September 23, 2009

DISMISSAL OF CASES CONTINUED PAST THE LAST DAY BECAUSE OF COURT CONGESTION

DISMISSAL OF CASES CONTINUED PAST THE LAST DAY BECAUSE OF COURT CONGESTION

This is the latest in the series of cases out of Riverside where there's no court available and the case goes past the last day for trial. The California Court of Appeal upholds the trial court's dismissal, rejecting the DA's claims that civil trials have to be interrupted, and that a review of
all courts must be conducted to ensure that only criminal trials are
occurring.

The DA claims mismanagement (though why that should avoid dismissal is beyond me), but the Court of Appeal rejects that, saying that there was just court congestion and thus not good cause. The Court of Appeal affirms two good Riverside appellate division cases, Flores (179 Cal.App.4th Supp. 9) and Cole (165 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1).

People v. Wagner; 2009 DJ DAR 10829; DJ, 7/23/09; C/A 4th

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June 18, 2009

CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL LAW: DELAY CAUSING PREJUDICE, NO JUSTIFICATION, REQUIRES DISMISSAL

So there was a little, teeny, tiny preaccusation delay bringing this case. Like 26 years! Really.

In 1981, the DA filed attempted murder in San Diego and got an arrest warrant. In 1982, the defendant was arrested in Pennsylvania and waived extradition, but the DA couldn't find the victim so the defendant was released and was told the case was dismissed. The defendant was denied disability benefits in 2007 because of the still outstanding arrest warrant, so he tried to clear this up.

Oops, the DA decided to proceed. Evidence was lost and the victim's memory was unclear, so the defense was able to show prejudice. Since the DA did nothing for 25 of the 26 years after the defendant was arrested in Pennsylvania, there's no justification for the delay. The dismissal for violation of state speedy trial and federal due process rights is affirmed.

Um, how much taxpayer money was spend having to defend this case?

People v. Mirenda; 2009 DJ DAR 8732; DJ, 6/18/09; C/A 4th

July 25, 2008

DISMISSALS FOR VIOLATION OF SPEEDY TRIAL BEFORE THE END OF THE LAST DAY

DISMISSALS FOR VIOLATION OF SPEEDY TRIAL BEFORE THE END OF THE LAST DAY

On the last day for trial in these misdemeanor cases, there just wasn't any court to send them to, so the judge dismissed them. The DA appealed. The Appellate Division affirms the dismissal, rejecting a slew of DA nonsense.

They say that the lack of courtrooms isn't good cause. Of note is their affirming a dismissal before the end of the court day, an issue we've always lost before.

People v. Cole; http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions; (7/25/08; Riverside App. Div.)