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  1. #1
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    Did the Judge violate my rights?

    Questions from Illinois:

    The day before my trial my Public Defender filed a "Motion for Continuance".
    To support that motion she argued the following:

    1) Counsel was appointed only one month ago.

    2) Counsel has reviewed the docket and feels it is necessary to file and argue several motions to supress.

    3) Counsel has been unable to prepare for trial because of the lack of time, and the necessity for more discovery.

    4) Counsel is on trial in another matter.

    5) In the instant case, to deny the defendant's request would prejudice the defendant in that he would not be able to argue his defense on the legal issues in this case.

    Motion was denied by the judge. He said any motions that needed to be filed would have to be filed before court the following morning. They would then be addressed at that time.

    The next morning the PD had in fact filed 2 motions to suppress, and 1 motion to dismiss.The Judge said we would go ahead and pick a jury, then have a hearing on the motions after lunch.

    PD objected to selecting the jury prior to a hearing on the motions. She argued "Your Honor if I am successful in my motions, picking a jury is a waste of the Courts time"

    To this the Judge responded, "The filing of these motions on the day of trial is a waste of the Court's time". We picked a jury, first.


    Here are my questions

    1) If the Judge appointed the PD, then denied her motion for continuance one day before trial, when she said she was unprepared for trial. Did he not violate my right to "assistance with Counsel" granted by the sixth ammendment?

    2) By selecting a jury prior to a hearing on her pre-trial motions, Did he not violate my right to "due process". With the jury impanelled the defense had no opportunity to "take leave to appeal" the judges' rulings on the motions?

    3) By picking the jury before hearing the motions, doesn't that strongly suggest that despite what evidence the defense presents to support those motions, the judge is going to deny those motions?

    Thanks, feedback appreciated


    Roger
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    What does your attorney have to say?
  3. #3
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    What does your attorney have to say?
    She was a public defender. She said this was the "biggest f@#$%&g miscariage of justice she had ever seen". Also said the Judge was so incompetent he "couldn't tell his A@# from a hole in the ground if he had a flashlight in one hand and a mirror in the other"

    What do you think?
  4. #4
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    It seems pretty obvious the judge is walking all over your attorney. It also sounds like he is setting you up to be found guilty. If you are going to continue to fight this, get ready for an appeal. It sounds like the judge wants you to be found guilty. This case is in district court right? No jury, just arguing your case before this same ridiculous judge. You will have to have strong resolve to go through with this. So, be ready to be found guilty and be prepared t go to superior court. In this case that should be a good thing. Hopefully you will get a judge that actually makes decisions based on the law. Also if he makes legally sound decisions than a jury should never get to hear this case. Isn't it unbelievable what takes place in the justice system. I mean seriously,a cop that never should have arrested you a d.a. who should not be prosecuting you and a judge that should have tossed this a long time ago. What a miscarriage of justice. All these "honorable" people breaking the law and violating your rights. There is no justice here. Sorry about rambling on, I see this a lot and it frustrates me. It sounds like your lawyer is doing a good job, but the judges just don't respect the p.d. Could you see the judge treating a well respected criminal attorney like that. Heck no. Anyway the answer to your question is yes. Not much you can do except get found guilty than appeal. goodluck.
  5. #5
    Ronin is offline Member
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    The Public Defender had the case for a month and waits until the day before a scheduled trial to anounce to the court that she is not prepared and would like a continuance? And now the court should rearrange its docket and tell everyone else who was prepared and ready for jury selection and a trial the next day to pack it up and wait until the PD is good and ready?

    The Public Defender is the one who dropped the ball, and if anyone is guilty of incompetence it is her. She is just covering her own screw-up by bad mouthing the judge, which is a reflection of her lack of professionalism.

    She had more than enough time to review this case and any scheduling conflicts and file this motion at least three weeks prior to trial.

    Apparently, the judge has no tolerance or sympathy for attorneys who wait until the day before a trial to request a continuance.

    Unfortunately, you will not get far with an appeal on this. Although you could try for ineffective assistance of counsel, which depending upon the outcome of the trial and the facts in the case, is almost always a real long shot.
    Last edited by Ronin; 10-03-2009 at 10:20 AM.
  6. #6
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    Ronin, You are joking right? Who do you think was prejudiced by the PD's incompetence? So, you believe in a system that alloows you to get as much justice as you can afford? To hell with " With liberty and justice for all", is that what you are saying?

    Assistance with counsel, granted by the sixth amendment means "effective assistance of counsel" (Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U. S. 335). If you aren't prepared you can't be effective.

    Thanks
  7. #7
    Ronin is offline Member
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    No joking...

    Your assumptions about what I personally "believe in" or what I am implying are incorrect.

    Yes, you were prejudiced by the PD's neglect. But the extent to which your constitutional rights were actually harmed, and the strength of any resulting appeal, will depend upon many factors.

    Whether you are deprived of a liberty interest (ie; incarcerated) as a result of this, you being able to establish that the judge would not have had the discretion to deny your motions to suppress had he heard them, and that in turn the remaining evidence is legally insufficient for any reasonable minded jury to convict you.

    While not necessarily right on some levels, this is a hard reality that is inconsistent with most folks abstract notions of fairness and how the legal system should work.
    Last edited by Ronin; 10-03-2009 at 02:32 PM.
  8. #8
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Josh, I have to admit I agree with Ronin on this one. It does seem that your p.o. made a mistake. I should also point out that in my district, at that court level these results are not uncommon. A lot of judges in the District court circuit are "rubber stamp" judges. That means they almost always go along with the d.a. and spend very little time reading and contemplating over motions. You will have to go to superior court with this if you want even a chance at justice. I know this whole ordeal is a hard thing to stomach and to prevail you will need to have steely resolve. Up to this point in your court proceeding they are pressuring you to plea, and you cannot if you want to appeal. This whole thing seems very unjust to me as well. goodluck.
  9. #9
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    Ronin, when you said,

    "The Public Defender had the case for a month and waits until the day before a scheduled trial to anounce to the court that she is not prepared and would like a continuance? And now the court should rearrange its docket and tell everyone else who was prepared and ready for jury selection and a trial the next day to pack it up and wait until the PD is good and ready?"

    What were you implying?

    Because the inference i took was that you think the courts' docket, and the convenience of the personel, are more important than the rights of the accused. If you meant something other than that, I apologize!

    How was I harmed? I was in effect denied counsel, and denied "Due process of Law" other than that I guess no harm.

    Feedback appreciated,


    Roger
  10. #10
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Many moons ago, (he's since retired), a state judge here used to have this little sign on his bench saying "Your lack of preparation is not my problem."

    What that means is lawyers are given all court dates in advance, precisely so that they have time to prepare for the next appearance. Judges normally have dozens, if not hundreds, of other matters to deal with each day. To conduct a trial, all of those other matters have to be moved to another day (which is how you end up with such busy dockets).

    So for any lawyer, PD or not, to come in on the trial date and make a motion for a continuance solely because they are not prepared, (particularly when they had 30 prior days in which to make the motion and warn the court), it is as unsurprising as it gets that the motion was denied. Fair to you? Not necessarily - but you do have appellate recourse. Fair to the other 200 people who had to wait even more time for their appearances because the judge cleared his calendar to give you a trial? Nope.

    So what is a judge to do? Oh yeah, actually hold people to the dates the court provides, which is entirely legal. Your beef here is with the PD, not the court.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  11. #11
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    A second person has now indicated that the schedule of the court is more important than the right of the accused to have assistance of counsel.

    The right the judge violated was my right to effective assistance with counsel. That doesn't have a damn thing to do with the docket of the court.

    Also, did you see the part of the original post about the need for more discovery?

    The judge you knew with the sign. If he ever sent someone to trial with an unprepared public defender, he violated their rights granted by the sixth amendment.

    Roger
  12. #12
    Ronin is offline Member
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    The United States Supreme Court has held “procedural due process rules are meant to protect persons not from the deprivation itself, but from the mistaken or unjustified deprivation of life, liberty, or property.” Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 259 (1978).
    You can argue the handling of your case till the cows come home, but unless you can establish any due process violations resulted in the unjustified deprivation of life, liberty, or property, your complaints will not get the response you desire. But there is recourse with the appeals process to protect your constitutional rights to life, liberty, or property, if such rights were violated.
  13. #13
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshuaace2 View Post
    A second person has now indicated that the schedule of the court is more important than the right of the accused to have assistance of counsel.

    The right the judge violated was my right to effective assistance with counsel. That doesn't have a damn thing to do with the docket of the court.

    Also, did you see the part of the original post about the need for more discovery?

    The judge you knew with the sign. If he ever sent someone to trial with an unprepared public defender, he violated their rights granted by the sixth amendment.

    Roger
    So in your world, if I am a PD representing someone, say, someone who I know is 100% guilty, all I have to do to keep him or her out of jail is to show up on every trial date and just tell the judge that I am not prepared. The judge is then required to adjourn the trial or else the defendant is denied effective assistance of counsel. Repeat until the defendant dies a free man. You're a genius!


    PS: You're still wrong, but you obviously don't care to hear that. So, to save some time here, yes, this was a horrible travesty of justice. You should sue the state, the judge, the PD, the prosecutor, the bailiff, the court officers, the court clerk, the court janitor and the court window washer. Ask for $1.2M.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  14. #14
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Roger, What is the status of your case now? Am I correct in assuming this started as a misd. in district court, than there you lost the suppression hearing than lost at trial in front of a judge. After that you appealed to superior court, again lost the supp. hearing, had a trial w/jury and got found guilty? I am just curious if all that has happened so far happened in 1 court with the same judge or if 2 diff. judges reached the same conclusion. Are you going to go any further, if so will you be able to retain private counsel? I think you have valid points of law. I understand how you feel that you should not have been punished by your attorneys mistake. It is a sensible arguement, just not practical considering the court process. The judge being frustrated with your lawyers lack of preparation punished you. It is certainly not fair, but from a legal standpoint I think you would have a hard time getting satisfaction. Since it seems from your posts and your other thread that you have done some legal research, I am sure you looked into ineffective assistance cases. I have reviewed none in your state , but in mine it takes a ridiculous amount of misconduct on the defense attorneys part for the defendant to prevail on those grounds. As always goodluck. Dave
  15. #15
    Joshuaace2 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty View Post
    So in your world, if I am a PD representing someone, say, someone who I know is 100% guilty, all I have to do to keep him or her out of jail is to show up on every trial date and just tell the judge that I am not prepared. The judge is then required to adjourn the trial or else the defendant is denied effective assistance of counsel. Repeat until the defendant dies a free man. You're a genius!


    PS: You're still wrong, but you obviously don't care to hear that. So, to save some time here, yes, this was a horrible travesty of justice. You should sue the state, the judge, the PD, the prosecutor, the bailiff, the court officers, the court clerk, the court janitor and the court window washer. Ask for $1.2M.

    You're being facetious. I like good humor, haven't seen any in awhile, but I like it.

    No, in my world, in criminal trials the rights of the accused are more important than the convenience of the court personel.

    I read the Constitution again today. I see the parts that say the accused has the right to a fair and speedy trial, in front of a jury of his peers, before an unbiased judiciary, with the assistance of counsel.

    What I didn't see was the part where any of those rights are superceded by the convenience of the court personel, the arrangement of the docket, or the round of golf the judge has scheduled.

    Would you mind telling me where you saw that part? If you cannot, then it is you my friend that are wrong.

    PS. Yes, I am a genius. You got one thing right anyway. Were your other
    7000 plus posts provoked by as much thought as this one? Amazing!!!!

    Engaged in a battle of wits with an unarmed person, I should be ashamed of myself!

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