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Can Public Defender represent client in his court on a private case?

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jjl188

New member
What is the name of your state?
New Jersey

I am a victim in a case that was to be held in the same court that the crime took place. I was a victim of theft of personal property and information.

The case was going to trial, and the defendant made an accusation that since my attorney in family court (different court system and case) is also the mayor of this town, the case must be then transferred and the judge had to excuse himself due to the accusation.

The case was then transferred to another town, where the defendants attorney is also the Public Defender for that court. This is so colluded in my opinion. They made the accusation (although I was representing myself in court) just so the could transfer it to her attorney's court house where they know they can rig the case for their benefit.

Can they do this? Her attorney was paid on as a private attorney, and he transferred the case to the court house where he acts as the appointed public defender. What is my best option here?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
 


quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state?
New Jersey

I am a victim in a case that was to be held in the same court that the crime took place. I was a victim of theft of personal property and information.

The case was going to trial, and the defendant made an accusation that since my attorney in family court (different court system and case) is also the mayor of this town, the case must be then transferred and the judge had to excuse himself due to the accusation.

The case was then transferred to another town, where the defendants attorney is also the Public Defender for that court. This is so colluded in my opinion. They made the accusation (although I was representing myself in court) just so the could transfer it to her attorney's court house where they know they can rig the case for their benefit.

Can they do this? Her attorney was paid on as a private attorney, and he transferred the case to the court house where he acts as the appointed public defender. What is my best option here?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
A case can be transferred if there is reason to believe a fair trial cannot be held in the location where the crime occurred.

This is not "rigging" a case. The prosecutor will still be presenting the same evidence to support the criminal charges and the defendant's attorney still has to present a defense to these charges.
 

jjl188

New member
A case can be transferred if there is reason to believe a fair trial cannot be held in the location where the crime occurred.

This is not "rigging" a case. The prosecutor will still be presenting the same evidence to support the criminal charges and the defendant's attorney still has to present a defense to these charges.
But the court the case was transferred to is where the defendant's attorney works as the appointed public defender, therefore paid by the same borough. Could I not make the same argument and ask the judge to recuse himself and have the case transferred to another court where I believe it will be a fair trial?
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
Your post is confusing. You said a crime took place and that you were the victim, but then you said you were representing yourself. Is this a crime that the defendant is charged with, or are you suing her?

I'm not sure how court appointed lawyers work in NJ. In Massachusetts, I take court appointed cases, and I'm also free to do private work. I don't have the ability to rig a case. Even if I did, I would not waste that ability on a minor case with a self represented opponent.
 

quincy

Senior Member
But the court the case was transferred to is where the defendant's attorney works as the appointed public defender, therefore paid by the same borough. Could I not make the same argument and ask the judge to recuse himself and have the case transferred to another court where I believe it will be a fair trial?
Yes. The same argument could be used.

Is this a criminal or civil action? If criminal, the state will make any motions they feel necessary. If this is civil, you should have your own attorney.
 

jjl188

New member
It is a criminal case in which the defendant (also my child's mother) was charged with two theft charges. When I said I was "representing myself" was because she made an accusation in the court that I was being represented by the mayor in a family court case, which I am. Although I am the victim in the criminal case without representation, the judge still recused himself and transferred it to another court. The court it was transferred to is where defendant's criminal attorney also works as the public defender. I want it transferred to a different court, because I do not feel it will be a fair trial if it takes place in the same court house he works as the PD.
 

quincy

Senior Member
It is a criminal case in which the defendant (also my child's mother) was charged with two theft charges. When I said I was "representing myself" was because she made an accusation in the court that I was being represented by the mayor in a family court case, which I am. Although I am the victim in the criminal case without representation, the judge still recused himself and transferred it to another court. The court it was transferred to is where defendant's criminal attorney also works as the public defender. I want it transferred to a different court, because I do not feel it will be a fair trial if it takes place in the same court house he works as the PD.
You will have to trust that the prosecutor knows what he is doing.

Good luck.
 

Ohiogal

Queen Bee
It is a criminal case in which the defendant (also my child's mother) was charged with two theft charges. When I said I was "representing myself" was because she made an accusation in the court that I was being represented by the mayor in a family court case, which I am. Although I am the victim in the criminal case without representation, the judge still recused himself and transferred it to another court. The court it was transferred to is where defendant's criminal attorney also works as the public defender. I want it transferred to a different court, because I do not feel it will be a fair trial if it takes place in the same court house he works as the PD.
You are out of line quite frankly. You have no right to demand that her DEFENSE attorney cannot be a public defender accepting appointed cases. If the attorney actually was the PUBLIC defender, more likely than not, they would not be taking paid cases. Most likely they accept APPOINTED cases from that court.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
But the court the case was transferred to is where the defendant's attorney works as the appointed public defender, therefore paid by the same borough. Could I not make the same argument and ask the judge to recuse himself and have the case transferred to another court where I believe it will be a fair trial?
No. You say the defendant's attorney is a public defender. Public defenders in NJ are NOT paid by the borough. They work for and are paid by the state Office of the Public Defender. As an independent state agency, the public defender's office has no connection with the prosecutors (or the borough for that matter). The courts are themselves independent of both the public defenders and the prosecutors. So the fact that the attorney is a public defender that is generally assigned to represent defendants in that borough presents no conflict of interest here; the court is not going to be biased against the state because the attorney regularly appears there no more than it would be biased against the defendant because the prosecutors appear in those courts often. Moreover, you are not a party to the case. You are the victim, and while you have a particular interest in the outcome, you are not a party to it and do not yourself have a right to a fair trial in this. If the prosecutor felt the change of venue was a problem, he or she would have made the proper objection to it.
 
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quincy

Senior Member
The final sentence in Taxing Matters post is key. If the prosecutor recognizes a problem with the venue, the prosecutor will make it known. You need to trust that the prosecutor in your case knows what he is doing.

Good luck.
 
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