Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

October 31, 2008

Legally Insufficient Indictment-Failure to State Specific Means by Which Alleged Crime Accomplished – Illinois / Felonious Conduct of Judge Pantle and Judge Alonso in Obstructing Justice by Denying Defense Access to Evidence


The first thing I do if I am indicted or charged is look at the charging instrument – complaint, information, or indictment. I ask does it include all the elements of the alleged crime? If not, it is legally insufficient and voids the charge and case. There are other reasons it may be insufficient and I will discuss that in later posts. The motion in this post goes over the relevant controlling case law. Please enjoy it! I hope you find it useful. This is my motion in one case where the indictment is constitutionally legally insufficient basically because it fails to state the SPECIFIC MEANS of the alleged crime – in this case the specific allegedly fraudulent invoices, naming the specific dates of service, name of patient, service billed for, provider of the service, provider who is billing, and WHAT SPECIFICALLY is fraudulent about the invoice. It also states there is a “single intention or design” (i.e. scheme) but gives NO CLUE as to what the scheme involves or who are the alleged perpetrators other than me. The US Supreme Court as well as higher courts in Illinois have ruled in similar cases that this is a void indictment and therefore the entire case is void, not just voidable.
This is a case where in 2004 I was charged with felony Medicaid fraud by the Illinois Attorney General with a fraudulent grand jury indictment by an illegally impaneled special grand jury. The trial is still pending. If you want to attend, please e-mail me and I will inform you of the date when scheduled. Contributions to my legal defense fund may also be given to my attorney – made out to: “Shelton Legal Defense Fund” C/O J. Nicolas Albukerk, 3025 W 26th St., Chicago, IL 60623. The IL AG has absolutely no legal authority to indict anyone (with the exception of about six crimes specified by statute giving AG authority) without the invitation, review, and at least minimal participation of the State’s Attorney. This never happened in mycase. The law was mistated to the grand jury, only perjured testimony was given to grand jury, extensive exculpatory evidence was withheld from grand jury. No crime is actually alleged in indictment as act is specifically authorized by the Federal Medicaid Act if one guesses that the alleged crime is billing Medicaid for services of employees who are statutorily qualified to provide services – i.e. psychologists and counselors. I will post all the other motions to dismiss that the court has illegally refused to hear later.
UPDATE: I tried to file this pro se. It is still my position that I am being illegally denied the right to self-representation – more on this later. My attorney is considering adopting this motion and filing it under his name. In the meantime, Judge Alonso refused to hear it because it did not come from my attorney, who is now representing me over my objection. I did this not because he is a bad attorney, he is very good, but I believe at this point I need to represent myself – more on this later. The judge allowed this motion to be filed as an offer of proof only.

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS

COUNTY DEPARTMENT, CRIMINAL DIVISION

 

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS       )

                        Plaintiff,                                    )          

                        v.                                             )           No. 04 CR 17571

                                                                        )

LINDA SHELTON                                         )           Jorge Alonso

            Defendant                                 )           Judge Presiding

 

 

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR INSUFFICIENT INDICTMENT OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE AN OFFER OF PROOF

 

NOW COMES Defendant, Linda Shelton, Pro Se, who respectfully moves this court to dismiss case due to insufficiency of indictment, or in the alternative offer this motion as an offer of proof that the indictment is insufficient and therefore the case is void ab initio. In support of this motion Defendant states as follows:

1.      In Illinois, an indictment must be reasonably certain enough to apprise a defendant of the charges against him, enable him to prepare a defense, and permit a conviction or acquittal to serve as a bar to any subsequent prosecution for the same offense. People v. Greico, 255 N.E.2d 897, 898-899 (Ill. 1970)

2.      A defendant has a fundamental right to be informed of the “nature and cause” of the charges against him or her. People v. Meyers, 158 Ill. 2d 46, 51 (1994).

3.      In Illinois this fundamental right is given substance by statute and incorporated into section 111-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (725 ILCS 5/111–3 (West 1998)). 725 ILCS 5/111‑3 states: “111‑3. Form of charge. (a) A charge shall be in writing and allege the commission of an offense by: . . . . (3) Setting forth the nature and elements of the offense charged;” [emphasis added] See Meyers, 158 Ill. 2d at 51; People v. Davis, 281 Ill. App. 3d 984, 987 (1996). When the sufficiency of a charging instrument is challenged in a pretrial motion, the inquiry upon review is whether the instrument strictly complies with section 111–3. Davis, 281 Ill. App. 3d at 987.

4.      When the language of a statute which constitutes a charge against the defendant defines the acts prohibited, no further particularity is necessary. People v. Kamsler, 214 N.E.2d 562, 566 (Ill. 1966)

5.      An indictment is not flawed because the overt act could be described in greater detail. City of Chicago v. Powell, 735 N.E.2d 119, 125 (Ill.App.1st Dist, 2000) CITING People v. Meyers, 630 N.E.2d 811 (Ill. 1994). Rather an indictment is sufficient so long that it would enable a defendant to prepare a defense. Id.

6.      Ordinarily, the requirements of section 111-3 are met when the counts of a complaint follow the statutory language in setting out the nature and elements of an offense. Davis, 281 Ill. App. 3d at 987. The relevant inquiry is not whether a charging instrument could have described an offense with more particularity, but whether there is sufficient particularity to allow the defendant to prepare a defense. Meyers, 158 Ill. 2d at 54. A charging instrument is a preliminary pleading, and it need not contain more than a cursory statement of the facts. People v. Smith, 259 Ill. App. 3d at 497. However, it must state some facts.

7.      If the charging instrument meets the minimum requirements of section 111–3(a) but (combined with any discovery the State furnishes) is insufficient to allow the defendant to prepare a defense, he or she can–and should–seek a bill of particulars. Smith, 259 Ill. App. 3d at 498; People v. Intercoastal Realty, Inc., 148 Ill. App. 3d 964, 971 (1986).

8.      An indictment need not state the exact means used in committing a charged offense if that means is not an integral part of the offense. Grieco, 255 N.E.2d 899; SEE People v. Brogan, 816 N.E.2d 643, 654 (Ill.App.1st, 2004) (defendant’s argument that the indictment failed to apprise him of the details of how the overt act was carried out failed because the argument focused on the nature of the proof rather than the nature of the offense.) However, if the means is an integral part of the offense, the indictment needs to state these means.

9.      When the language of a statute does not articulate a specific offense, the indictment must articulate a specific overt act. People v. Potter, 125 N.E.2d 510 (Ill. 1995) In Potter, the defendant was charged with reckless driving. The indictment specifically stated that the defendant drove recklessly by speeding. The defendant was therefore not left to question whether the reckless conduct was running a red light, driving at night without his lights on, or one of a myriad of other possibly dangerous driving manners. However, there are numerous cases where the reviewing courts ruled that the indictment did not articulate a specific overt act[1], and therefore, these indictments were fatally defective.

10.  In the case at bar, the indictment states defendant is alleged to have “in furtherance of a single intention and design, … by means of false statements and representations, . . . caused false billing invoices to be submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Aid.”

11.  The indictment does NOT SPECIFY any details of this “single intention and design” so the Defendant cannot prepare a defense because she must guess at what kind of scheme and with whom she schemed in order to commit the alleged crime. As she is innocent, she has no knowledge of any scheme to which to prepare a defense.

12.  The indictment does NOT SPECIFY what false statements or what false representations she is accused of having made. She cannot prepare a defense and is forced to guess that the false statements have something to do with the large amount of different types of information on an invoice (Exhibit A), such as patient name, patient Medicaid number, date of service, type of service, diagnosis, or provider name.

13.  Defendant must also guess at which step is fraudulent in a complicated series of steps necessary to submit an invoice, from agreeing to work for the business, to signing the contract with the billing agent, to giving a patient encounter form to the business assistant when a patient is seen in clinic, to the billing agent setting up the business for electronic submission and registering the business and provider for billing, to signing a power of attorney form, electronic partner trading agreement, and alternate payee form, in order to generate an electronic invoice from the patient encounter form, to submitting the invoice over the wire, and to documenting hours worked on chart review and teaching therapist or setting medical policies.

14.  She further has to guess which dates of service for which of thousands of patient’s names in remittance advices given to her in discovery by the state, for the large time period of the indictment, June 2000 through April 2002, are involved so she can examine each of these invoices and guess at what is allegedly fraudulent about them.

15.  The above involves pulling out each of the thousands of charts in storage, examining each date of service record and comparing them with the invoices, after obtaining access to medical charts not under her control or possession until June 2008. It also involves examining all business and bank records related to billing and payroll, after obtaining access to them, as they were not under her control or possession until June 2008.

16.  As Defendant was not owner of the practice and did not have access to these documents after she left the practice in 2003, until June 2008, when she received Power of Attorney over all documents of the practice, at the request of XXXX, the owner, who is now medically incapacitated and dying of XXXXXX, Defendant is supposed to figure all this out and develop a defense using this material in only a couple of months. This is a Herculean task that no one could possibly be expected to accomplish. The Court for four (4) years has negligently and/or willfully interfered with and prevented Defendant from obtaining banking and billing records or compulsory process and prevented Defendant from legitimately seeking details of alleged offense.

17.  The State does not specify if Defendant is alleged to have ghost-billed by listing patients and Medicaid numbers of persons who never came to the practice, upcoded by listing a code for a higher degree of service than provided, substitute-billed for a provider who was not eligible to bill, schemed with the business owner, the biller, the office assistants, or whomever, for any of this. In addition, no specific acts (specific patients, specific dates of services, or specific services) are described in indictment, and no specific dates of service or specific services billed for are described in Bill of Particulars.

18.  No reasonable person can be expected to prepare a defense under the above circumstances, where the State, in the indictment has utterly failed, as required by law, to specify the overt acts which constitute the alleged criminal acts.

19.  The State, in discovery, has provided a list of approximately 54 patients which are family groups with approximately 30 adults. They claim that this discovery material represents the State informing the Defendant of the means of the illegal acts she is alleged to have committed. This, along with a Bill of Particulars, however does not cure the fatally defective and insufficient indictment. The 30 or so adults were provided in a witness list. If each psychiatric patient is seen an average of 20 visits, then these 54 patients represent about 1080 visits. Defendant, without the indictment specifying which patients and which visits are allegedly fraudulent and how they are fraudulent is left to guess about this information for each of these 1080 office visits. The State’s bill of particulars and answer to discovery states that Medicaid received bills for services for these 54 patients and lists inclusive dates of service and total amounts billed for, but does not state specific dates of service and patients for which they claim that services were billed fraudulently or what was fraudulent about the bill, except that the bills were for services “not provided by the physician,”  which could mean several different types of overt acts or omissions.

20.  Defendant is now in a situation, ordered by this Court, and produced by the State, analogous to someone being indicted and charged with murder, but not being told who she murdered, where and on what continent the murder took place, what was the nature of the alleged weapon, or even what year the murder took place. This is the ultimate injustice and sham proceeding, that should have been dismissed several years ago. This is a continuing four (4) year act of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. There is no specific Who, What, Where, or When! These proceedings are therefore, a travesty of justice and beyond any semblance of legitimate American jurisprudence. This case brings this Court, this State, and its legal system into disrepute based on the unconstitutional, illegal, and unethical actions of this Court and this State against Defendant that run counter to every due process principle guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

21.  The State has also provided in discovery thousands of the practice’s “remittance advices” that cover an approximately two year period. Remittance advices are documents generated by Illinois Medicaid sent to the medical provider which list the names of patients billed for, the recipient’s Medicaid number, the date of the service, the code for the service claimed, the invoiced amount, and the amount paid to the provider or alternate payee by Medicaid. Defendant must guess at which of these dates of services and patients may be added to the witness list and what is fraudulent about each and every one of the invoices submitted that Medicaid used to generate the remittance advices. Defendant would have to examine each invoice, if available, examine each chart for each date of service, and determine if there was a scrivener’s error, or a somehow fraudulent invoice and determine what was fraudulent about the invoice, and who was responsible for this act. Only in July 28, 2008, four (4) years after the indictment has this Court began to enforce discovery rules and order the State to clearly identify all witnesses to be used against Defendant, although the Court still has not ordered the State to identify the acts (dates of service and details of invoice that they allege are fraudulent) that constitute the alleged crime.

22.  It appears that the State is forcing the Defendant to perform their investigation and figure out what, if anything, she should be charged with concerning these thousands of patient encounters, not just by her, but by every physician and provider in the practice during the broad indictment period, four years after the indictment was handed down.

23.  Of note, a bill of particulars does not cure a faulty indictment. People v. Meyers, 158 Ill. 2d 46, 53 (1994). The indictment must stand on its own in stating facts sufficient to support all elements of the offense. The indictment, even with discovery materials, fails to inform Defendant of the alleged means of the crime or the alleged specific acts constituting this crime, four (4) years after indictment.

24.  The indictment in this case is fatally insufficient in failing to specify the acts that allegedly constitute the crime charged. Therefore, no  crime has been legally charged and the case is null and void ab initio.

25.  Under 725 ILCS 5/114-4(e), if the State, due to lack of due diligence, fails to bring Defendant to trial within one (1) year, following the indictment, after one additional hearing scheduled 14 –30 days after this motion is filed, then the case must be dismissed with prejudice for lack of due diligence.

26.  Defendant has previously moved for dismissal, 17 months after the indictment, due to lack of due diligence and this has been unconstitutionally denied. Defendant renews her request for dismissal for lack of due diligence. After four years or 48 months post-indictment, the State clearly should have provided the Defendant discovery, including all allegedly fraudulent invoices and a bill of particulars to address the above, even if this court erroneously rules that the indictment is valid.

27.  The court has placed Defendant’s subpoenas on hold for several years and denied Defendant counsel for nine (9) months in 2005-2006. The law only requires the billing agent and practice to keep invoices for three (3) years. The billing agent now claims the invoices no longer exist. The State failed to produce any invoices for the indictment period despite repeated specific orders of Judge Pantle several years ago. It claims to have microfiche of some invoices, but these cannot include most of invoices produced by Ms. Moore, as the State only make microfiche of paper claims. State has not admitted to having or denied having in their possession copies of electronic invoices from indictment period, but has failed to produce them (the actual alleged means of the alleged crime) despite orders of the Court in 2006 to do so. Ms. Moore, by law was allowed to destroy all invoices and computer records of them before 2006.

28.  In addition, banks are only required to keep records for five (5) years. Due to physical incapacity and lack of funds, Mr. XXXX, the sole proprietor of RFOM during the indictment period, has not been able to preserve all his business and bank records. Citizen’s Bank has now informed Defense attorney Albukerk that the practice’s bank records no longer exist as it is now beyond this five (5) year period. The State has failed to ask for, subpoena, or proffer the practice’s bank records in discovery while the case has been pending for four (4) years.

29.  Therefore, the Court and State have caused Defendant to be deprived of the “instruments of the alleged crime,” (the allegedly fraudulent electronic and then paper invoices) as well as exculpatory business and bank records, and therefore, materially and intentionally prevented Defendant from preparing a defense. This is not just lack of due diligence by the State. This is active interference with the defense, as well as violation of the judges’ oaths of office.

30.  The defense cannot have invoices inspected by an expert for forgery of Defendant’s signature by someone unknown person regarding paper claims, nor inspect the electronic partner trading agreement from the third-party adjudicator, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (”BC/BS”), which allows BC/BS to accept electronic claims from Medicaid providers, for forgery of Defendant’s signature.  

31.  These acts of withholding and failing to preserve evidence by the Court and the State, in themselves should cause this case to be immediately dismissed as a sanction against the State and the Court and because it now is more difficult, if not impossible to definitively prove that Defendant did not produce or cause to be produced most of the invoices in question, nor receive most of the money given the practice by Medicaid or have any part in deciding its distribution. This is the main element and the nature of the alleged crime, stated in general terms in indictment, without description of overt acts. With the physical incapacity of Co-Defendant and his written statement that he is invoking the Fifth Amendment and has refused to give a dying declaration, Defendant is put in the impossible position of proving a negative without the help of any evidence.

32.  Defendant was UNCONSTITUTIONALLY prohibited by the court from filing any pleadings pro se by a written order of Judge Pantle, dated July 6, 2005, that has not been rescinded, and DENIED at the same time an attorney from May 2005 to January 2006, a period of nine (9) months. All Defendant’s subpoenas were put on hold by the court. Defendant has repeatedly requested to present argument to the court on her many outstanding and fully briefed motions and to represent herself and fire attorneys, initially hired by her family without her consent and then hired by her when it became clear that this court was going to continue its lawlessness and deny her all due process, right to an attorney of her choice, and right to a speedy trial. ALL her reasonable requests have been unconstitutionally denied by outrageous and dishonorable conduct of this court.

33.  Denial of her Faretta rights has been baseless, and the reasons stated on the record by Judge Pantle are legally insufficient, lacking details and only conclusory; not properly documented by this court in a manner necessary to deny Faretta rights. Speedy trial has been violated as de facto removing Defendant as pro se counsel between July 6, 2005, when the court prohibited her from filing pleadings, while at the same time denying appointment of an attorney, until Defendant hired an attorney on January 19, 2006, means defense could not have agreed to any continuance during that time and therefore, all continuances during these seven (7) months must be charged to the State, and therefore case must be dismissed for speedy trial reasons.

34.  Therefore, Defendant has been unconstitutionally barred from this court from filing or presenting this motion and many other motions, many of which have been fully briefed since February 2005. Attorneys acting on her behalf, against her wishes, have not fully presented all issues stated in Defendant’s pro se pleadings to the court. She therefore, is requesting her attorneys, denied their request to withdraw by the court and forced to continue to represent Defendant, and therefore appointed by the court over her objection, to file a motion to vacate July 6th, 2005 order preventing Defendant from filing pleadings, as well as adopt this motion and enter this motion, or in the alternative let Defendant pro se argue this motion. If the court won’t allow Defendant to argue it, Defendant requests that it be entered as an Offer of Proof, so that on appeal arguments and defenses she would have presented are preserved on the record.

            WHEREFORE, Defendant respectfully requests this Court to dismiss this case with prejudice for a fatally flawed indictment, or in the alternative for lack of due diligence or speedy trial violation. If this motion is not allowed to be filed for argument, then Defendant requests it be entered as an offer of proof.

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

                                                                        _______________________

                                                                        Linda Shelton, Pro Se

 

Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

Pro Se Defendant

 

Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to Section 1-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in this instrument are true and correct.

                                                                        __________________________

                                                                        Linda Shelton, Pro Se

 

Dated: August 4, 2008

[1] People v. Foxall, 283 Ill. App. 3d 724 (1996): The defendant was charged by information with disorderly conduct based on transmitting a false report of sexual misconduct to the Department of Children and Family Services. Foxall, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 727. The reviewing court held that the information was insufficient because it did not specify the contents of the false report, and basic fairness required the State to identify the allegedly false statements. Foxall, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 727.

 

Davis: The reviewing court found that the indictment was insufficient when the defendant was charged with official misconduct based on “disseminat[ing] information,” but the indictment did not identify the contents of the alleged communication. Davis, 281 Ill. App. 3d at 990.

 

People v. Stoudt, 198 Ill. App. 3d 124 (1990): The reviewing court held that a complaint that charged defendant with resisting a police officer was insufficient when the complaint stated that the officer was engaged in the execution of his official duties but did not identify the authorized act the officer was performing. Stoudt, 198 Ill. App. 3d at 128.

 

People v. Leach, 279 N.E.2d 450 (Ill.App.1st, 1972): The defendant in Leach was charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer. The charging instrument was insufficient because it only stated that the defendant committed the above offense by knowingly obstructing a police officer. Id. at 453-454

 

United States v. Bobo, 344 F.3d 1076 (11th Cir, 2003): The indictment was insufficient because it failed to specify the nature of the scheme used by the defendant to defraud the State of Alabama and the United States.

 

United States v. Nance, 533 F.2d 699 (D.C. Cir., 1976): The indictment was insufficient because it failed to apprise the defendant of the nature of the false pretenses by which the defendant gained unauthorized control over money.

 

People v. Gerdes, 527 N.E.2d 1310 (Ill.App.5th, 1988): The defendant in Gerdes was charged with obstructing justice by giving false information to the police. The charging instrument did not specify the nature of the allegedly false information. The defendant was therefore left to wonder which of many statements to the police the basis for the charge against him was, so the appellate court dismissed the indictment. Id.

 

 

 

 


October 26, 2008

The Revolution Will Not Be Organized

Filed under: Civil Rights, Individual Rights — Tags: , , , , — Linda Shelton @ 3:10 pm

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE ORGANIZED

This is a poem of immense depth and truth that I wish to share with all who read on this site!
It is from: http://therevolutionwillnotbeorganized.org/ . It’s author gave me permission to share it with you. Perhaps this will inspire others to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Talk is cheap. Civil rights and justice are not! It may seem hopeless to fight city hall and the corruption in C[r]ook County and Illinois, but you are not alone. If South Africa can end Apartheid, the U.S. ended the war in Vietnam, and the Civil Rights Movement was successful, we can end corruption in C[r]ook County and Illinois. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Speak up. Notify authorities. Network with others. Be a flea and complain to the hilt. Stand up and act against injustice. That is the reason for this blog! Good luck with your cases!
“The Revolution Will Not Be Organized”

The revolution will not be organized,
the revolution will not be organized.com,
the revolution will not be Yahoo Grouped, Meetuped,
downloaded, uploaded, QWERTY’d, or blogged.

The revolution will not be handled by webmasters,
think-tankers, authors of policy position papers,
authors of anti-policy position papers,
secretaries, executives, executive assistants,
insiders, whistle-blowers, informants, counter-informants,
committees or sub-committees.

Your neighbor with excellent leadership qualities
will not lead you into, through, or out of the revolution.
The revolution will not be inspired, instigated, managed
or controlled by him, her, or them.
The revolution will not be organized.

No matter if you eat at McDonald’s and can barely walk,
no matter if you drive an S.U.V. and rarely walk,
no matter if you were public school indoctrinated,
vaccinated, humiliated, ostracized, terrorized, minimized,
no matter if you live in a house owned by BofA,
no matter if you eat cat food, dog food,
Puppy Chow for your inner child,
no matter if you shop at Salvation Army, Saks, TJ Maxx,
when the Cold Hand of Power touches you,
it touches revolution.

They will come to chip you, rape you,
tell you you are theirs, imprison you in FEMA camps
because you spoke out,
because you doubted the official story,
because you looked with your own eyes,
spoke from your own heart.
They will come for you in black uniforms, black helmets,
swinging black batons, symbols of the New Authority,
and you will say,
“No, my children and I will not come with you.”

You will say no — not because Charlie Sheen
inspired you one night on FOX News
to look more closely at falling towers.
You will say no — not because Alex Jones
led you through the darkness with a bullhorn.
You will say no — not because Howard Zinn
handed you the Book of Truth on a silver platter.
You will say no because you are your own
star of truth shining the way.

At your unique hour, in the dark,
beneath a burning paper currency moon,
the Cold Hand of Power will touch you and revolt you.

At your unique hour,
when they come for you because you asked questions,
because you did not lower your eyes,
because you did not bow down,
at your unique hour,
in your unique circumstance,
you will find yourself in the grip of a courage
you have not known but which you are.
You will stand in front of black helmets with invisible faces,
and you will say,
“No, my children and I will not come with you.”

Daughters and sons of revolutionaries,
blood burning for freedom,
eyes set toward tomorrow,
each of you alone in the darkness,
beneath tender constellations burning gold and silver,
each of you will remember the path to take
when the Cold Hand of Power comes for you,
each of you will make your way without direction or encouragement,
as those before you made their way without direction or encouragement,
forging history, embracing destiny.

You will not march in file.
You will not march.
The revolution will not be organized.

In your darkest hour,
beneath the burning moon,
you will pledge allegiance to the truth,
as those before you pledged allegiance to the truth.

The truth cannot be organized.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Organized”
written on September 24, 2008 by
Jock Doubleday

More Info On Standby Counsel and Self-Representation (Pro Se & Faretta Rights)


The following proves that failure to do a “Faretta inquiry” by the court is reason to overturn a conviction, as is failure to allow a defendant to represent themselves.  See previous posts for more details. The following gives case law as to criteria to be used to decide if a court will appoint standby counsel.

__________________________________________________

 

Case law is clear that the trial court has broad discretion to appoint counsel for advisory or other limited purposes and to determine the extent and nature of standby counsel’s involvement. People v. Redd, 173 Ill.2d 1, 38, 218 Ill.Dec. 861, 670 N.E.2d 583 (1996).

 

Standby counsel may be appointed to assist a pro se defendant “in overcoming routine procedural or evidentiary obstacles to the completion of some specific tasks, such as introducing evidence or objecting to testimony, that the defendant has clearly shown he wishes to complete” and may also help “ensure the defendant’s compliance with basic rules of courtroom protocol and procedure.” McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed2d 122 (1984).

 


“In deciding whether to appoint standby counsel, the court should consider the following criteria: ‘(1) the nature and gravity of the charge; (2) the expected factual and legal complexity of the proceedings; and (3) the abilities and experience of the defendant.’” People v. Mazur, 333 Ill.App.3d 244, 249, 266 Ill.Dec. 573, 775 N.E.2d 135,140(2002), quoting People v. Williams, 277 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1058, 214 Ill.Dec. 741, 661 N.E.2d 1186 (1996).

 

The Public Defender Act of Illinois permits appointment of a public defender to serve as standby counsel for accused who elects to represent himself in a criminal proceeding. Case law is clear that the trial court has broad discretion to appoint counsel for advisory or other limited purposes and to determine the extent and nature of standby counsel’s involvement. People v. Redd, 173 Ill.2d 1, 38, 218 Ill.Dec. 861, 670 N.E.2d 583 (1996).

 

 Standby counsel may be appointed to assist a pro se defendant “in overcoming routine procedural or evidentiary obstacles to the completion of some specific tasks, such as introducing evidence or objecting to testimony, that the defendant has clearly shown he wishes to complete” and may also help “ensure the defendant’s compliance with basic rules of courtroom protocol and procedure.” McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed2d 122 (1984).


“In deciding whether to appoint standby counsel, the court should consider the following criteria: ‘(1) the nature and gravity of the charge; (2) the expected factual and legal complexity of the proceedings; and (3) the abilities and experience of the defendant.’” People v. Mazur, 333 Ill.App.3d 244, 249, 266 Ill.Dec. 573, 775 N.E.2d 135,140(2002), quoting People v. Williams, 277 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1058, 214 Ill.Dec. 741, 661 N.E.2d 1186 (1996).

 

The Public Defender Act of Illinois permits appointment of a public defender to serve as standby counsel for accused who elects to represent himself in a criminal proceeding. People v. Gibson, 136 Ill.2d 362, 556 .N.E. 2d 226, 144 Ill.Dec. 759 (1990)., 136 Ill.2d 362, 556 .N.E. 2d 226, 144 Ill.Dec. 759 (1990).

 

Right to Counsel and Self-Representation (“Faretta Rights”)


FARETTA RIGHTS OR RIGHT TO SELF-REPRESENTATION

There is a long history in the United States of self-representation. In fact most defendants represented themselves in colonial days. See Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 95 S. Ct. 2525, 451, L.Ed.2d 562 (1975) for a detailed history.

“The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of our Constitution guarantee that a person brought to trial in any state or federal court must be afforded the right to the assistance of counsel before he can be validly convicted and punished by imprisonment.” Faretta at 807

Right to self-representation under the Sixth Amendment is part of the due process required under the Fourteenth Amendment. Faretta at 819-820

Forcing a defendant to accept an unwanted attorney to defend him is a denial of due process, because the “defense presented is not the defense guaranteed him by the Constitution, for in a very real sense, it is not his defense.” Faretta at 821

“Personal liberties are not rooted in the law of averages. The right to defend is personal. The defendant, and not his lawyer or the State, will bear the personal consequences of a conviction. It is the defendant, therefore, who must be free personally to decide whether in his particular case counsel is to his advantage. And although he may conduct his own defense ultimately to his own detriment, his choice must be honored out of ‘That respect for the individual which is the lifeblood of the law.” Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337, 350-351 (BRENNAN, J., concurring)”. Faretta at 834

“When an accused manages his own defense, he relinquishes, as a purely factual matter, many of the traditional benefits associated with the right to counsel. For this reason, in order to represent himself, the accused must ‘knowingly and intelligently’ forgo those relinquished benefits. Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S., at 464-465. Cf. Von Moltke v.Gillies, 332 U.S. 708, 723-724 (plurality opinion of Black, J.). Although a defendant need not himself have the skill and experience of a lawyer in order competently and intelligently to choose self-representation, he should be made aware of the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation, so that the record will establish that ‘he knows what he is doing and his choice is made with eyes open.’ Adams v. United States ex rel McCann, 317 U.S., at 279.” Faretta at 835

In general, the right to self-representation was not knowing and intelligent unless the judge questions the defendant and he responds affirmatively that he understands:

(1) the nature of the charge;
(2) the minimum and maximum sentence prescribed by law, including, when applicable, the penalty to which the defendant may be subjected because of prior convictions or consecutive sentences; and
(3) that he has a right to counsel and, if he is indigent, to have counsel appointed for him by the court.
(4) that a counsel would be able to interview witnesses, easily follow courtroom procedures, understand all options as to defenses, negotiate more easily with the prosecutor, research the law on the case, deliver subpoenas, search for witnesses, and the like.
(5) that he has a right to present evidence in mitigation at sentencing if convicted.
Not all of above are required by all states – you should research the law in your state under criminal procedure and waiver of counsel, as well as read the above Supreme Court cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court position on this matter is as follows: “This protecting duty [to protect the Sixth Amendment right to counsel] imposes the serious and weighty responsibility upon the trial judge of determining whether there is an intelligent and competent waiver by the accused.’6 To discharge this duty properly in light of the strong presumption against waiver of the constitutional right to counsel,7 a judge must investigate as long and as thoroughly as the circumstances of the case before him demand. The fact that an accused may tell him that he is informed of his right to counsel and desires to waive this right does not automatically end the judge’s responsibility. To be valid such waiver must be made with an apprehension of the nature of the charges, the statutory offenses included within them, the range of allowable punishments thereunder, possible defenses to the charges and circumstances in mitigation thereof, and all other facts essential to a broad understanding of the whole matter. A judge can make certain that an accused’s professed waiver of counsel is understandingly and wisely made only from a penetrating and comprehensive examination of all the circumstances under which such a plea is tendered.” Von Molte v. Gillies, 317 U.S. 279 at 723-724.

NO RIGHT TO SELF-REPRESENTATION ON APPEAL

“[I]n Price v. Johnston, 334 U.S. 266 the Court, in holding that a convicted person had no absolute right to argue his own appeal, said this holding was in ‘sharp contrast’ to his recognized privilege of conducting his own defense at the trial.’ Id., at 285” Faretta at 816

LIMITS OF RIGHT TO DEFEND SELF

A defendant has a qualified right to represent himself, that can only be denied if a defendant is unable to participate in the proceedings through mental incapacity, serious and obstructionist conduct, or cannot knowingly and voluntarily elect to represent himself. Faretta (Ibid)

“Moreover, the trial judge may terminate self-representation by a defendant who deliberately engages in serious and obstructionist misconduct. See Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337 . Of course, a State may – even over objection by the accused – appoint a ‘standby counsel’ to aid the accused if and when the accused requests help, and to be available to represent the accused in the event that termination of the defendant’s self-representation is necessary. See United States v. Dougherty, 154 U.S. App. D.C. 76, 87-89, 473 F.2d 1113, 1124-1126.” Faretta at FN 46 page 834-835

“The right of self-representation is not a license to abuse the dignity of the courtroom. Neither is it a license not to comply with relevant rules of procedural and substantive law. Thus, whatever else may or may not be open to him on appeal, a defendant who elects to represent himself cannot thereafter complain that the quality of his own defense amounted to a denial of ‘effective assistance of counsel.’” Faretta at FN 46 page 835

The problem in C[r]ook County is that the judges deny Faretta rights for bogus reasons falsely stating that the defendant is engaging in serious and obstructionist misconduct when he questions the judge, presents case law to the judge (one-ups the judge), writes a large number of motions, writes motions that are long and scholarly (“wastes the judge’s time with rambling motions”), etc. The system is broken and corrupt. The judges are ignorant, arrogant, incompetent, and biased against pro se litigants.

In order to represent yourself you must understand you probably will be found guilty because of this bias. You need however, to preserve the issues for appeal and file in writing your request to represent self and a motion to reconsider this when self-representation is denied to preserve the issues on the record. In your motion to reconsider you should consider writing that the judge’s reasons for denying Faretta rights are bogus just to preserve the issue and arguments for appeal.

Good luck to anyone who fights like hell for their rights! I do and will continue to do so.

October 25, 2008

Discovery in Misdemeanor Cases in Cook County – Exceptions to Schmidt


Generally in misdemeanor cases a defendant has NO OBLIGATION to provide discovery to the state. However the State SHALL provide limited discovery to the defendant as defined by the case Schmidt. They cannot hide exculpatory evidence. Exceptions to misdemeanor Schmidt discovery rules allow the defendant to subpoena or ask in discovery for certain evidence that would not normally be allowed. Any pro se defendant in a misdemeanor case should thoroughly read Schmidt. See reference below. Judges are TOTALLY ignorant of these exceptions. Handing them a memorandum of law on the subject is very helpful. Remember though that judges don’t read 95% of what you give them – they also assume pro se pleadings are useless trash. So be tactful and state: “Your honor I apologize for reminding you of what you already know – exceptions to Schmidt discovery rules – I don’t want to insult your intelligence, but I believe this applies to my case ……..

MEMORANDUM OF LAW – EXCEPTIONS TO SCHMIDT DISCOVERY

 

            Discovery is limited in misdemeanor cases as guided by People v. Schmidt 56 Ill. 2d 572. However, in People v. Williams, (4th Dist 1980), 90 Ill. App. 3d 158, 45 Ill. Dec. 785, 413 N.E.2d 118, United States v. Nixon, (1974) 418 U.S. 683, 945 Ct. 3090, 41 L.ed.2d 1039, People v. West, (1981), 102 Ill. App. 3d 50, 57 Ill. Dec. 701, 429 N.E.2d 599, and People v. Harris, 91 Ill. App. 3d 1, 46 Ill. Dec. 256 it was decided that courts have inherent discretionary authority to order discovery in a nonfelony case for purpose of seeing that criminal trial process is fair and achieves the goal of ascertaining the truth. It was also held that disobeyance of a court order to comply with a valid subpoena is not proper manner in which to test scope of subpoena but, rather, any claim that subpoena process is being abused should be presented to trial court in motion to quash.

            In these cases tests have been adopted which allow pretrial discovery under certain limited conditions under the powers of judicial discretion. Under the suggested tests to be used for deciding if an exception to the Schmidt discovery rules should be granted:

“… a party must show (1) the material sought is evidentiary and relevant; (2) the material sought is not otherwise reasonably procurable by the exercise of due diligence in advance of trial; (3) the moving party cannot properly prepare for trial without such production and the failure to obtain the materials sought may tend to unreasonably delay the trial; and (4) the application is made in good faith and in is not intended as a general fishing expedition.” (Ibid)

 

            Considering the relevance of evidence, there is other case law that provides cause for appeal if the subpoena of and use of evidence by the defense at trial is prohibited by the court:

“Evidence concerning acts which are so closely and inextricably mixed up with the history of the guilty act itself as to form part of one chain of relevant circumstances is admissible.” People v. Olivias, 354 N.E. 2d 242, 41 Ill. App. 3d 146.

 

“For suppression of evidence to involve a violation of right to due process, it must be shown that he evidence was suppressed after a request for it by defendant, that the evidence was favorable to him and that it was material.” People v. Jordan, 69 Ill. Dec. 777, 448 N.E. 2d 237, 114 Ill. App. 3d 16, affirmed in part, reversed in part 82 Ill. Dec. 925, 469 N.E.2d 569, 103 Ill. 2 192, habeas corpus dismissed by U.S. ex rel. Jordan v. Detella, 1995 WL 76913.

 

“Evidence having a natural tendency to establish the facts in controversy in a criminal prosecution should be admitted.” People v. Jenko, 102 N.E. 2d 783, 410 Ill. 478.

 

“Defendant is entitled to all reasonable opportunities to present evidence which might tend to create doubt as to his guilt.” People v. Johnson, 355 N.E. 2d 699, 42 Ill. App. 3d 425.

 

            It would be a violation of Defendant’s due process rights if she was denied the use of relevant evidence and witnesses pertaining to affirmative defenses which are material and favorable to the Defendant. The above case law suggests that a judge has the discretionary authority to order recalcitrant witnesses for the defense to come to court and submit to interview by defense counsel so that defendant may prepare defense, and even to order them to submit to interview by deposition.

 

Defendant Arrested for Pretending to be “Counsel” [Attorney Code 99500 = Pro Se Counsel]


In C[r]ook County Circuit Court, Dishonorable Judge Thomas Donnelly and the C[r]ook County State’s Attorney Devine have charged a pro se defendant with fraudulently presenting himself as an attorney because at the bottom of a pleading he wrote the attorney code 99500.  Court Clerk Dorothy Brown’s office uses this code to designate pro se counsel. The appearance form which is filed in every case in the Court’s Law Division specifically states that the “attorney code” for “pro se” = 99500. Someone needs to inform the judges about this. Divine and Donnelly should have their ignorant, incompetent faces plastered all over the press for this one.  When this case is resolved I’ll add to this post.

Please help Mr. Moore by writing and complaining to:
Hon. Timothy C. Evans
Chief Judge Circuit Court of Cook County
50 W. Washington, Rm 2600
Chicago, IL 60602

Hon. E. Kenneth Wright
Presiding Judge Municipal 1
Circuit Court of Cook County
50 W. Washington, Rm 1303
Chicago, IL 60602

States Attorney Richard Divine
Cook County States Attorney
50 W. Washington, Rm 500
Chicago, IL 60602

Please inform the press and urge them to cover this story! It proves how incompetent, corrupt, and unethical is our states attorney. It proves that he wastes government money harassing activists and whistle blowers such as myself and Mr. Moore.

Standby Counsel for Pro Se Defendant – a Right?


I have a number of times successfully convinced the judge to appoint me standby counsel. An attorney used as standby counsel may NOT  speak in the courtroom, but may offer the defendant technical advice and advice on courtroom procedure. He may even agree to help the defendant with research.

A judge who appoints standby counsel has the responsibility to delineate the limits of the duty of the standby counsel, but they NEVER do this in my experience. This may or may not include assistance in serving subpoenas or formatting documents or legal research.

I have used standby counsel to find out what to say when introducing evidence in court and what is the procedure to present certain evidence to a witness, as well as what is the law pertaining to certain types of motions or discovery.

 

There is no right to standby counsel. Some judges will deny it all the time. Then you are on your own completely and are still held to the standards of an attorney by the court in that you can lose (not be allowed to introduce evidence, be unable to get a motion in limine granted, etc., because you didn’t follow some unwritten or unclear procedure or policy of the court).

 

In this case I was charged with aggravated battery of an officer and filed this memorandum of law to educate the judge on standby counsel case law. This helped get him to allow standby counsel.

 

The charge stemmed from the following: When I went through the security entrance at Bridgeview Courthouse near Chicago in 2002, I was suffering from severe back pain, walking with a cane, and unable to lift my briefcase from a luggage cart. The Deputy, Rebecca Doran, from Cook County Sheriff Courtroom Services refused to let anyone help me lift my bag up onto the table to be scanned. I was unable to do so. I ended up trying to come in to the courthouse slowly through the security gate pulling my bag on the luggage cart and continuously asking them to stop violating the American with Disabilities Act by not assisting me. Doran pushed me and I lost my balance and my arms went flailing. She falsely testified that I attacked her. The C[r]ook County State’s Attorney suborned perjury by putting her on the stand and Doran committed perjury and the SA has refused to prosecute her for this felony crime. My hand holding my keys made a tiny abrasion (3mm X 4 mm) on her arm when my arms went flailing. The judge said he couldn’t see it on the photo of her “injuries.” In the photo she was laughing. She arrested me for felony aggravated battery of an officer. Bail was set at $10,000 and I was jailed at America’s Abu Ghraib, Cook County Jail.

Most Honorable Judge Rhodes ruled at the end of the prosecution case in chief that I had thoroughly impeached the Sheriff deputies and that he was making a finding of not guilty. The deputies said I walked into the building with no medical problems, but when I showed them the prisoner inventory listing my cane as the first item on the list, I got them! They had perjured themselves by denying I was walking with a cane and saying I wildly attacked them like a linebacker.

 

 

MUNICIPAL DEPARTMENT, SIXTH DISTRICT

CRIMINAL DIVISION

 

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS       )

                        Plaintiff,                                    )

                                                                        )

                        v.                                             )           No. 02 CR 28530

                                                                        )

LINDA SHELTON                                         )           Honorable Thomas Panichi who later recused himself

                        Defendant                                 )           (Hon. Judge Rhodes at trial) Presiding Judge

                                               

MEMORADUM OF LAW – STANDBY ATTORNEYS

 

            A defendant has no absolute right to a standby attorney if they elect to defend themselves pro se. The right of self-representation does not carry with it a corresponding right to legal assistance; one choosing to represent himself must be prepared to do just that. People v. Gibson, 136 Ill.2d 362, 383, 144 Ill.Dec. 759, 556 N.E.2d 226 (1990). However, case law is clear that the trial court has broad discretion to appoint counsel for advisory or other limited purposes and to determine the extent and nature of standby counsel’s involvement. People v. Redd, 173 Ill.2d 1, 38, 218 Ill.Dec. 861, 670 N.E.2d 583 (1996). Standby counsel may be appointed to assist a pro se defendant “in overcoming routine procedural or evidentiary obstacles to the completion of some specific tasks, such as introducing evidence or objecting to testimony, that the defendant has clearly shown he wishes to complete” and may also help “ensure the defendant’s compliance with basic rules of courtroom protocol and procedure.” McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed2d 122 (1984).

            “In deciding whether to appoint standby counsel, the court should consider the following criteria: ‘(1) the nature and gravity of the charge; (2) the expected factual and legal complexity of the proceedings; and (3) the abilities and experience of the defendant.’” People v. Mazur, 333 Ill.App.3d 244, 249, 266 Ill.Dec. 573, 775 N.E.2d 135,140(2002), quoting People v. Williams, 277 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1058, 214 Ill.Dec. 741, 661 N.E.2d 1186 (1996). The Public Defender Act of Illinois permits appointment of a public defender to serve as standby counsel for accused who elects to represent himself in a criminal proceeding. People v. Gibson, 136 Ill.2d 362, 556 .N.E. 2d 226, 144 Ill.Dec. 759 (1990).

April 6, 2004

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                        ______________________

                                                                        Linda  Shelton, Counsel Pro Se

 

October 24, 2008

Outrageous Government Conduct – Not Just for Drug Cases!


IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS

COUNTY DEPARTMENT, CRIMINAL DIVISION

 

People of the State of Illinois                             )

                        Plaintiff                                     )

                        v.                                             )           No. 05 CR 12718

Linda Shelton                                                   )

                        Defendant                                 )           Honorable Judge Kazmierski

                                                                        )                       presiding

 

 

MEMORANDUM OF LAW

OUTRAGEOUS GOVERNMENT CONDUCT DEFENSE

 

                NOW COMES, the Defendant, Linda L. Shelton, Pro Se who respectfully submits this memorandum of law as follows:

 

The Orphan Doctrine of Outrageous Government Conduct

Otherwise known as the criminal defense of

DUE PROCESS

Proof that it is alive and well in Illinois

The doctrine of “outrageous conduct,” sometimes referred to as “outrageous misconduct,” was introduced by the Supreme Court. In the course of discussing the entrapment defense, the Court speculated that:  “[W]e may some day be presented with a situation in which the conduct of law enforcement agents is so outrageous that due process principles would absolutely bar the government from invoking judicial process to obtain a conviction ….” United States v. Russell, 411 U.S. 423, 431-32, 36 L. Ed. 2d 366, 93 S. Ct. 1637, 1643 (1973). The Russell court went on to state that in order to rise to the level of outrageous, the misconduct must be of such a nature that it violates “‘fundamental fairness, shocking to the universal sense of justice, mandated by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” Russell, 411 U.S. at 432, 36 L. Ed. 2d 366, 93 S. Ct. at 1643, quoting Kinsella v. United States ex rel. Singleton, 361 U.S. 234, 246, 4 L. Ed. 2d 268, 80 S. Ct. 297, 303 (1960).

The outrageous-misconduct defense was further addressed by the Supreme Court in Hampton v. United States, 425 U.S. 484, 48 L. Ed. 2d 113, 96 S. Ct. 1646 (1976). “Police involvement in crime would have to reach a demonstrable level of outrageousness before it could bar conviction.”  Id. 1653 n.7

In Hampton, the defendant was convicted of distributing heroin, despite his argument that because the heroin had been supplied by a government informer and sold by the defendant to an undercover agent, the defendant’s due process rights had been violated. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction but wrote three separate opinions. The plurality opinion found that neither the defense of entrapment nor the defense of outrageous conduct was available to the defendant because the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime. The plurality opinion stated, “If the police engage in illegal activity in concert with a defendant beyond the scope of their duties[,] the remedy lies[,] not in freeing the equally culpable defendant[,] but in prosecuting the police under the applicable provisions of state or federal law.” Hampton, 425 U.S. at 489, 48 L. Ed. 2d 113, 96 S. Ct. at 1650 (plurality opinion of Rehnquist, J., joined by Burger and White, JJ.). Two justices concurred in the result but refused to foreclose the possibility of the fundamental-fairness defense even where predisposition is shown. Hampton, 425 U.S. at 491-95, 48 L. Ed. 2d 113, 96 S. Ct. at 1650-53 (Powell, J., concurring, joined by Blackmun, J.). On the other hand, the dissenting justices believed that the behavior of the law enforcement officials was sufficiently offensive to bar a conviction. Hampton, 425 U.S. at 495-500, 48 L. Ed. 2d 113, 96 S. Ct. at 1653-55 (Brennan, J., dissenting, joined by Stewart and Marshall, JJ.). Accordingly, Hampton stands for the proposition that even though proof of predisposition to commit a crime will bar the application of the entrapment defense, fundamental fairness will not permit any defendant to be convicted of a crime in which police conduct is outrageous. See United States v. Twigg, 588 F.2d 373, 378-79 (3rd Cir. 1978).

            “The due process defense of outrageous police conduct was elevated from theory to reality in United States v. Twigg, 588 F.2d 373, 377 (3rd Cir. 1978). That court reversed convictions of two defendants, because ‘the nature and extent of police involvement … was so overreaching as to bar prosecution of the defendants as a matter of due process of law.’…  The State has argued that this due process defense…our [Illinois] supreme court has conclusively rejected…in People v. Cross, 77 Ill.2d 396, 33 Ill.Dec. 285, 396 N.E.2d 812 (Ill. 1979).  We believe that… Cross should not be interpreted as a bar to the due process defense.” People ex rel Difanis v. Boston, 92 Ill.App.3d 962, 416 N.E.2d 333, 336-337 (Ill.App. 4 Dist. 1981).

 

In People v. Ming, 316 Ill.App. 1274, 250 Ill.Dec. 412, 738 N.E.2d 628 (Ill.App. 5 Dist. 2000) the court extensively discussed the defenses of entrapment and outrageous government conduct, holding that the defense of outrageous government conduct exists in Illinois, even if it has never been successfully employed:

“…[T]he outrageous [government] conduct defense looks at the government’s behavior.  See United States v. Gamble, 737 F.2d 853, 858 (10th Cir. 1984).…  One circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has declared the defense dead (United States v. Boyd, 55 F.3d 239 (7th Cir. 1995))… First, we point out that decisions of United States district courts and courts of appeal are not binding on Illinois courts. See City of Chicago v. Groffman, 68 Ill. 2d 112, 118, 368 N.E.2d 891, 894 (1977). Second, it is noteworthy that Boyd dealt with prosecutorial misconduct, while the instant case deals instead with the alleged misconduct of an undercover drug agent. Finally, we disagree with the Boyd court’s holding that the doctrine is dead.  Contrary to the holding in Boyd, the fact remains that most jurisdictions at least acknowledge that such a defense exists.  For example, United States v. Mosley, 965 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir. 1992), cited cases from 11 circuits, all of which agreed that the defense of outrageous [government] conduct exist.” Ming. Id.

“One of the few cases to actually advance the defense of outrageous police misconduct from pure theory to reality is United States v. Twigg, 588 F.2d 373 (3rd Cir. 1978), which is distinguishable from the case before us. In Twigg, a government informant suggested the establishment of a laboratory to manufacture ‘speed.’ The government supplied a chemical used to make the drug, made arrangements with chemical supply houses to provide the other ingredients, and provided the production site, and a government agent was completely in charge of the operation. Thus, Twigg involved an egregious case of government overinvolvement in which the government’s undercover operative essentially concocted and conducted the entire illicit scheme. The Twigg court characterized the police conduct as ‘so overreaching as to bar prosecution of the defendants as a matter of due process of law.’ Twigg, 588 F.2d at 377. In a footnote, the Twigg court stated:

 

FN ‘We are adhering to Justice Powell’s reasoning [in Hampton] that in evaluating whether government conduct is outrageous, the court must consider the nature of the crime and the tools available to law enforcement agencies to combat it.’ Twigg, 588 F.2d at 378 n.6.”

 

Ming. Id.

“The outrageous-conduct defense is distinct from the entrapment defense because while the entrapment defense looks to the state of mind of the defendant in order to determine whether he or she was predisposed to commit the crime being prosecuted (Jacobson v. United States, 503 U.S. 540, 118 L. Ed. 2d 174, 112 S. Ct. 1535, 1540 (1992)), the outrageous-conduct defense looks at the government’s behavior. See United States v. Gamble, 737 F.2d 853, 858 (10th Cir. 1984). The defense of outrageous conduct is premised upon the notion that the due process clause imposes limits upon how far the government can go in detecting crime irrespective of the character of the target. See People v. Hirsch, 221 Ill. App. 3d 772, 779, 582 N.E.2d 1228, 1232 (1991). We are cognizant that ‘[t]he banner of outrageous misconduct is often raised but seldom saluted’ (United States v. Santana, 6 F.3d 1, 4 (1st Cir. 1993)) and that one circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has declared the defense dead (United States v. Boyd, 55 F.3d. 239 (7th Cir. 1995)). In addressing whether or not the doctrine is valid, the Boyd court stated:

 

FN ‘Today we let the other shoe drop, and [we] hold that the doctrine does not exist in this circuit. The gravity of the prosecutors’ misconduct is relevant only insofar as it may shed light on the materiality of the infringement of the defendants’ rights; it may support, but it can never compel, an inference that the prosecutors resorted to improper tactics because they were justifiably fearful that without such tactics the defendants might be acquitted.’ Boyd, 55 F.3d at 241.”

 

Ming. Id.

 “Several Illinois cases have discussed the defense of outrageous government conduct with respect to undercover drug officers and recognize its validity, including People v. D’Angelo, 223 Ill.App.3d 754, 166 Ill.Dec. 217, 585 N.E.2d 1239 (1992).  In both People v. Johnson, 123 Ill.App.3d 363, 78 Ill.Dec. 829, 462 N.E.2d 948 (1984) and People ex rel Difanis v. Boston, [supra], the defense of outrageous government conduct was recognized. The D’Angelo court found that because defendant failed to raise the issue of outrageous conduct in his posttrial motion, the issue was waived, but the court legitimized the defense by stating, ‘In any event, we do not believe that the conduct of the government agents in this case is so outrageous that it violates fundamental fairness or shocks the conscience.’ D’Angelo, 223 Ill. App. 3d at 782, 585 N.E.2d at 1257. In both People v. Johnson, 123 Ill. App. 3d 363, 462 N.E.2d 948 (1984), and People ex rel. Difanis v. Boston, 92 Ill. App. 3d 962, 416 N.E.2d 333 (1981), the defense of outrageous governmental conduct was recognized as a separate defense from that of entrapment.… However, none of those courts believed that the conduct complained of rose to the level of outrageousness necessary to bar the action…  In fact, no Illinois case has yet to find outrageous government conduct sufficient to bar the prosecution of the defendant; on the other hand, no Illinois case has denied the doctrine’s validity.  After considering the historical perspective of the doctrine, we hold that it is a valid defense in Illinois. …  A defendant can raise the defense of outrageous [government] conduct if the government was overly involved in the creation of a crime or if the government coerced the defendant into participating [therein].    One of the few cases to actually advance the defense of outrageous government conduct from pure theory to reality is United States v. Twiggs, 588 F.2d 373 (3rd Cir. 1978).    Twigg involved an egregious case of government overinvolvement in which the government’s undercover operative essentially concocted and conducted the entire illicit scheme.  The Twigg court characterized the police conduct as ‘so overreaching as to bar prosecution of the defendants as a matter of due process of law.’    Should the proper factual situation arise, courts should apply the doctrine of outrageous police misconduct and dismiss the charges against a defendant.”  Ming. Id.

“After considering the historical perspective of the doctrine, we hold that it is a valid defense in Illinois.” Ming. Id.

 “Whether the circumstances of a case demonstrate outrageous government conduct is a question of law for the court to decide. See People v. Johnson, 123 Ill. App. 3d 363, 373-74, 462 N.E.2d 948, 955 (1984). A defendant can raise the defense of outrageous conduct if the government was overly involved in the creation of a crime or if the government coerced the defendant into participating. See United States v. Mosley, 965 F.2d 906, 912 (10th Cir. 1992)…. Whether or not conduct is outrageous must be determined on an ad hoc basis and cannot be reduced to a specific formula. See United States v. Santana, 6 F.3d 1, 6 (1993)…. [The Santana case gave guidelines to determine outrageous government conduct in drug sting cases where the defendants claim entrapment.] While the Santana court appreciated the district court’s efforts to structure such a test, it found that ‘there is simply no way to reduce the myriad [of] combinations of potentially relevant circumstances to a neat list of weighted factors without losing too much in the translation.’ Santana, 6 F.3d at 6. We agree with the Santana court that there is no universal litmus test for a court to utilize to determine whether or not conduct is outrageous…. Ultimately, the outrageousness of a police officer’s actions must be evaluated by (1) taking into account the totality of the relevant circumstances (Santana, 6 F.3d at 7) and (2) considering whether or not the totality of the circumstances show misconduct of such a nature that it violates fundamental fairness and is shocking to our universal sense of justice. See Russell, 411 U.S. at 432, 36 L. Ed. 2d at 366, 93 S. Ct. at 643.” Ming. Id.

 

The court in United States v. Diaz, 189 F. 3d 1239 (1999) stated the following: “In sum, there is no binding Supreme Court authority recognizing a defense based solely upon an objective assessment of the government’s conduct in inducing the commission of crimes. Non-binding dicta of the Court, indicating that there may be such a defense, has been recanted by its author based upon reasoning later adopted by a majority of the Court in United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 737 n. 9 (further citation omitted). Moreover, this court has recognized the availability of this defense only in dicta because, in every case in which the issue has been raised, the government’s conduct has been held not to have been ‘outrageous.’ The only case squarely holding that an objective assessment of the government’s conduct in a particular case may bar prosecution without regard for the defendant’s predisposition [United States v. Twigg, 588 F.2d 373 (3d Cir. 1978), cited extensively by Mr. Diaz] has been greatly criticized, often distinguished and, recently, disavowed in its own circuit.” Diaz, Id.

“In considering this argument, we are not as sanguine as the government, nor even as literary or mythical. See Rec. vol. I, doc. 16, at 23 (‘this court should similarly reject the outrageous government conduct defense as a chimera or unicorn ­ often hunted but never taken into captivity’). We note that the disaffection with the doctrine does not yet indicate its total impossibility. Rather, as Justice Powell noted in Hampton v. United States, 425 U.S. 484 (1976), while rejecting the plurality’s conclusion that neither due process principles nor supervisory powers could support a bar to conviction in any case where the Government is able to prove predisposition:

 

I emphasize that the cases, if any, in which proof of predisposition is not dispositive will be rare. Police overinvolvment in crime would have to reach a demonstrable level of outrageousness before it could bar conviction.

 

Hampton, 425 U.S. at 495 n.7 (Powell, J., concurring) (emphasis added).” Diaz, Id. 

 

United States Attorney’s View of Outrageous Government Conduct

[for purposes of understanding the viewpoint of a “prosecutor”]

 

In U.S. Attorney’s Manual:

“While the essence of the entrapment defense is the defendant’s lack of predisposition to commit the offense, the ‘defense’ of outrageous government conduct presupposes predisposition but seeks dismissal of the indictment on the ground that the conduct of law enforcement agents was ‘so outrageous that due process principles would absolutely bar the government from invoking judicial process to obtain a conviction.’ United States v. Russell, 411 U.S. 423, 431-32 (1973). Thus, the outrageous government conduct defense is not really a defense at all. Rather, it is a claim that the institution of the prosecution suffers from a purely legal defect; as such, the claim is waived unless raised prior to trial under Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(b)(1) and (b)(2). See, e.g., United States v. Henderson-Durand, 985 F.2d 970, 973 & n. 5 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 856 (1993); United States v. Duncan, 896 F.2d 271, 274 (7th Cir. 1990); United States v. Nunez-Rios, 622 F.2d 1093, 1099 (2d Cir. 1980).

The Supreme Court has never held that the government’s mere use of undercover agents or informants, or the use of deception by them, gives rise to a due process violation, although in Russell it left open that possibility. The requisite level of outrageousness could be reached only where government conduct is so fundamentally unfair as to be ‘shocking to the universal sense of justice.’ Id. at 432. No court of appeals has held that a predisposed defendant may establish a due process violation simply because he purportedly was induced to commit the crime by an undercover agent or informant. See, e.g., United States v. Pedraza, 27 F.3d 1515, 1521 (10th Cir.) (not outrageous for government ‘to infiltrate an ongoing criminal enterprise, or to induce a defendant to repeat, continue, or even expand criminal activity.’), cert. denied, 115 S. Ct. 347 (1994). Defendants who claim to be victims of outrageous government conduct sometimes also argue that the district court should dismiss the indictment in the exercise of its supervisory power. In the absence of a due process violation, however, a district court has no authority to dismiss an indictment on this basis. See, e.g., United States v. Simpson, 927 F.2d 1088, 1090 (9th Cir. 1991).” See U.S. Attorney’s Manual

 

Historical Context

[Note: that outrageous government conduct affirmative defenses have

almost entirely been limited to police drug stings and

undercover operations related to drugs and a few cases of proscutorial misconduct-there is no precedence providing guidelines for its use in other situations]

 

In United States v. Santana and Fuentes, 6 F. 3d 62 (1993) the court stated:

“Outrageous misconduct is the deathbed child of objective entrapment, a doctrine long since discarded in the federal courts.  See, e.g., Sherman v. United States, 356 U.S. 369, 372 (1958) (rejecting an objective entrapment approach in favor of a subjective approach).  The doctrine’s midwife was Chief Justice Rehnquist (then Justice Rehnquist), who, in the course of championing a subjective theory of entrapment, speculated that the Court might ‘some day be presented with a situation in which the conduct of law enforcement agents is so outrageous that due process principles would absolutely bar the government from invoking judicial processes to obtain a conviction. . . .’  United States v. Russell, 411 U.S. 423, 431-32 (1972). Seizing upon this dictum, the defendant in Hampton v. United States, 425 U.S. 484 (1975), attempted to construct an outrageous misconduct defense rooted in the due process clause. Hampton lost his case but succeeded in legitimating the doctrine, albeit precariously.FN4

FN4 In Hampton, a concurrence combined with the plurality to reject the appeal.  However, the two concurring Justices switched sides to form a different majority vivifying the doctrine of outrageous misconduct. See Hampton, 425 U.S. at 491-95 (Powell, J. concurring).


Although it has a comfortably familiar ring, ‘outrageous misconduct’ is

surpassingly difficult to translate into a closely defined set of behavioral norms. The broadest hints as to the content of the outrageousness standard lie in the dictum that spawned the doctrine. Inasmuch as Rochin  v. California, 342  U.S. 165 (1952), is the case irrefragably linked with the legal rubric of fundamental fairness, one hint is found in Justice Rehnquist’s citation to Rochin.  See Russell, 411 U.S. at 431-32. A second hint is contained in Russell’s explicit equation of outrageous misconduct with violations of ‘that ‘fundamental fairness, shocking to the universal sense of justice,’ mandated by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.’ Russell, 423 U.S. at 432 (quoting Kinsella v. United States ex rel. Singleton, 361 U.S. 234, 246 (1960)). Picking up on these clues, most courts apply a variant on the fundamental fairness standard as a sounding line for outrageousness. See Mosley, 965 F.2d at 910 (collecting formulations).  Although this standard lacks mathematical precision, we agree with Justice Frankfurter that imprecision of this nature does not leave courts without  adequate guidance; rather, ‘[i]n dealing not  with the machinery of government but with human rights, the absence of formal exactitude, or want of fixity of  meaning, is not an unusual or even regrettable attribute of constitutional provisions.’ Rochin, 342 U.S. at 169.          
           The banner of outrageous misconduct is often raised but seldom saluted.  Even though one respected jurist contends that the doctrine belongs in the dustbin of history, see United States v. Miller, 891 F.2d 1265, 1271-73 (7th Cir. 1989) (Easterbrook, J., concurring),
FN5 case after case confirms its continued existence. See Moran v. Burbine,  475 U.S. 412, 432 (1985) (‘We do not question that on facts more egregious than those presented here police  deception might  rise to  a level  of a  due process violation’); United  States v. Mosley,  965 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir. 1992) (collecting cases  from eleven circuits).  Be that as it may, the doctrine is moribund; in practice, courts have rejected its application with almost monotonous regularity. See, e.g., United States v. Barnett, 989 F.2d 546, 560 (1st Cir. 1993), petition for cert. filed (June 28, 1993) (No. 93-5018); United States v. Lilly, 983 F.2d 300, 309-10 (1st Cir.  1992); United States v. Marino, 936 F.2d 23, 27 (1st Cir. 1991); United States v. Rosen, 929 F.2d 839, 842 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 112 S. Ct. 77 (1991); United States v. McDowell, 918 F.2d 1004, 1008-09 (1st  Cir. 1990); see also United States v. Panitz, 907 F.2d 1267, 1272-73 (1st Cir.  1990) (collecting pre-1990 First Circuit United States cases declining to invoke the doctrine); United States v. Bogart, 783 F.2d 1428,  1434-38  (9th Cir.) (summarizing elevant  case law), vacated in part on other grounds sub nom. United States v. Wingender, 790 F.2d 802 (9th Cir. 1986); United States v. Warren, 747 F.2d 1339,  1342-43 &  nn. 7-8 (10th Cir. 1984) (collecting precedents from various circuits). Indeed, since the Supreme Court decided Hampton, a federal appellate court has granted relief to a criminal defendant on the basis of the outrageous misconduct defense only once. See United States v. Twigg, 588 F.2d 373, 382 (3d Cir. 1978).  The historical record makes it clear, therefore, that the outrageous misconduct defense is almost never successful.FN6

FN5 In  Judge Easterbrook’s  view, the appropriateness of the government’s decision to supply drugs as part of an undercover operation  presents a ‘political’ question that is quintessentially nonjusticiable.  Miller, 891 F.2d at 1272. With respect, we think this conceptualization stretches the military analogy too far.  We adhere instead to the idea that ‘those charged with th[e] investigative and prosecutorial duty should not be the sole judges of when to utilize constitutionally sensitive means in pursuing their tasks.’ United  States  v. District Court, 407 U.S. 297, 317 (1972).

FN6 In addition to Twigg, one court of appeals invoked the doctrine in an alternative holding, see United States v.  Lard, 734 F.2d 1290,  1296 (8th  Cir. 1984), and  another directed  the district court to determine  whether outrageous misconduct should be found on remand, see Bogart, 783  F.2d at 1438.  A smattering of district courts have also applied the outrageous misconduct doctrine to the defendant’s advantage.   See, e.g., United States v. Marshank, 777  F. Supp. 1507, 1524 (N.D.  Cal. 1991); United States v. Gardner, 658 F. Supp. 1573, 1577 (W.D. Pa. 1987); United States v. Batres-Santolino, 521 F. Supp. 744, 751-52 (N.D. Cal. 1981).


          There are two competing visions of the doctrine’s role. One school of thought holds that the defense should be confined to cases involving extreme physical, and possibly psychological, abuse of a defendant.  See United States v. Kelly, 707 F.2d 1460, 1476 n.13 (D.C. Cir.) (per curiam)  (collecting cases),  cert. denied, 464  U.S. 908 (1983).  A second school of thought holds that outrageous misconduct may also function as a kind of supplement to  the entrapment  defense, reserved for  those cases where law enforcement personnel become so overinvolved in a felonious venture that  they can fairly be said either to have ‘creat[ed]”  the crime or to have ‘coerc[ed]’ the  defendant’s participation  in it. Mosley, 965 F.2d at 911-12; see also Bogart, 783 F.2d at 1436-38. This case does not require us to choose between these two conceptions of the doctrine….
               Having traced the evolution of the doctrine of outrageous misconduct, we proceed to consider its applicability in this case. Although what transpired here fits neither of the conventional patterns of outrageous misconduct described above, the district court nonetheless ruled that furnishing the hefty heroin sample (and then losing track of it) comes within the doctrine’s sweep. We conclude, for two independently sufficient reasons, that the district court erred….
          Nevertheless, we do not think that the inquiry into outrageousness can usefully be broken down into a series of discrete components. Almost by definition, the power of a court to control prosecutorial excesses through resort to substantive aspects of the due process clause is called into play only in idiosyncratic situations and such situations are likely to be highly ramified. Where facts are critically important and fact patterns tend to be infinitely diverse, adjudication can often best proceed on a case-by-case basis.  The outrageousness defense falls into this category. Thus, it is unproductive to force the determination of outrageousness into a mechanical mode….
          Let us be perfectly plain. We find that outrageousness, by its nature, requires an ad hoc determination….

At bottom, however, outrageousness is a concept, not a constant. What shocks the conscience in a given situation may be acceptable, though perhaps grim or unpleasant, under a different set of circumstances. Slashing a person’s throat with a sharp knife may be an unrelievedly outrageous course of conduct if one thinks in terms of Jack the Ripper, helpless women, and the shadowy streets of London; the same behavior will be thoroughly acceptable, however, if the knife is a scalpel, the knife-wielder a skilled surgeon performing a tracheotomy, the target a patient, and the venue an operating room. Although we recognize that formulaic tests offer administrative convenience and ease in application, we also recognize that neither life nor law can always be made convenient and easy. So here: there is simply no way to reduce the myriad combinations of potentially relevant circumstances to a neat list of weighted factors without losing too much in the translation. Cf. Borden v. Paul Revere  Life Ins. Co., 935 F.2d 370,  380 (1st Cir. 1991)  (discussing ‘outrageousness’  in the context  of tort liability and concluding that ‘[t]here  is no  universal litmus test that a court can utilize to determine whether behavior is extreme and outrageous’)….

 

[FN presented without text referencing it] FN11 We do not totally reject the possibility, suggested by the court below, that outrageous misconduct may be found apart from situations in which the government has used brutality or induced commission of a crime.  We simply note that the case at hand does not require us to explore this doctrinal frontier….

 

Generally speaking, an outrageous misconduct defense can prosper only if a

defendant’s due process rights have been violated….

            [T]he outrageous misconduct doctrine, no matter how cramped its confines, is not entirely mummified. Should the occasion and the necessity arise, we continue to believe that the law will prove itself adequate to the task of preventing the government from going too far. In the war on crime, as in conventional warfare, some tactics simply cannot be tolerated by a civilized society.”


Santana, Id.

 

 

Dated: April 4, 2007

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                                                        Linda L. Shelton

                                                                        Pro Se Defendant

Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

Void for Vagueness Doctrine – Applied to IL Medicaid Fraud


 I was unlawfully convicted of criminal contempt for telling Dishonorable Judge Kathleen Pantle that she was aiding and abetting the criminal and impeachable conduct of IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as well as the fact that she was violating her oath of office by continuing with the criminal case against me although she had no jurisdiction.

 

In order to preserve the issue for appeal and because Dishon. J. Pantle refused to appoint a public defender after de facto removing me as Pro Se Counsel by making a written order that I was NOT ALLOWED to file any pleadings [an unconstitutional act that violates her oath of office], I firmly but politely stated I was leaving and not coming back (because she had no jurisdiction and the case was bogus) and turned around and tried to leave.

 

I was immediately arrested and immediately summarily convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to 30 days in CCDOC. [More about all this later!] This memorandum was given to IL Supreme Court on my direct appeal of this criminal contempt conviction [a petty offense]. The IL Supreme Court denied leave to appeal – [ignored my appeal and made no ruling and refuse to consider it.] This criminal contempt case is presently before the U.S. District Court on a habeas corpus petition, as I have exhausted state remedies. If denied the Circuit Court of C[r]ook County may lift the stay on my sentence and I will have to serve the remaining 13/30 days of the sentence and surrender to the C[r]ook County Sheriff. This would be a gross injustice [see following two posts also]. 

 

As you all should know, under the IL Constitution a citizen has NO RIGHT to an appeal to the IL Supreme Court. Appeals there are by permission and they only take about 5/100 cases, usually if they find it interesting. Only Capital Cases have a right to appeal to IL Supreme Court. Therefore, the IL Appellate Court is ususally the end of the line except you can appeal by means of habeas corpus to Federal District Court AFTER you exhause all state remedies. [Appeal through IL Supreme Court AND file IL habeas corpus petition by means of motion for leave to file it to IL Supreme Court – which takes two to three years in IL – 6 mo to two years in other states].

 You might also want to note the discrimination against Pro Se Defense Counsel and the double standards. In similar cases regarding defense attorneys the judges usually sentence them to $500 fine. I don’t think 30 days for a pro se counsel = $500 for an attorney. This is grossly disproportionate.

No. 105037

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

In the

 SUPREME COURT

Of The State of Illinois

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

)  Petition to Appeal as a Matter of Right

) or in the Alternative Petition for Leave

) to Appeal

                                                                        ) 

LINDA SHELTON                                         )  On Appeal from Appellate Court, First

            Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner            )  District, No. 05-2053

) 

v.                                             )  There Heard on Appeal from Circuit

)   Court of Cook County, County

)   Department, Criminal Division

                                                                        )  

)   No. ACC 050087-01

            )  

STATE OF ILLINOIS                                    )   Honorable Judge Kathleen Pantle,

            Plaintiff-Appellee-Respondent               )           Trial Judge

                                                                        )   Order of Trial Court May 10, 2005

)   Order of Appellate Court

)                       June 19, 2007

 

MEMORANDUM OF LAW – VOID FOR VAGUENESS DOCTRINE

 

            Defendant, Pro Se, respectfully presents to this Honorable Court the following memorandum of law concerning statutes and case law regarding void for vagueness doctrine.

            It is impermissible to prosecute a person, per due process requirements, for a crime if it relies on a vague, ambiguous, or conflicting legal requirement. As the Seventh Circuit Court recently emphasized in Gresham v. Peterson, 225 F.3d 899 (7th Cir. 2000), criminal penalties require a “high degree of clarity.” Id. at 908. A year earlier, the Seventh Circuit Court also held:

            The vagueness doctrine holds that a person cannot be held liable for conduct he could not reasonably

            have been expected to know was a violation of law.  It is well-settled that, as a matter of due process, a

            criminal statute that fails to give a     person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated

            conduct is  forbidden by the statute, or is so indefinite that it encourages arbitrary and erratic arrests and

            convictions is void for vagueness. [United States v. Brierton, 165 F.3d 1133, 1138-39 (7th Cir. 1999)

            (as amended)]

 

            The Supreme Court has emphasized this same principle on numerous occasions. In United States v. Harriss, 347 U.S. 612 (1954), the Court held that:

            The constitutional requirements of definiteness is violated by a criminal statute that fails to give a person

            of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated       conduct is forbidden by the statute. The

            underlying principle is that no man shall      be held criminally responsible for conduct which he could not

            reasonable understand to be proscribed. [Id.at 617 (citations omitted)]

 

See also Dowling v. United States, 473 U.S. 207, 229 (1985) (reversing a conviction because “Congress has not spoken with the requisite clarity” and affirming the “‘time-honored interpretive guideline’ that ‘ambiguity concerning the ambit of criminal statutes should be resolved in favor of lenity’”) (quoting Liparota v. United States, 471 U.S. 419, 427 (1985) and United States v. Hudson, 7 Cranch 32 (1812), inner quotations omitted.)

            Even if the Illinois regulation per the Administrative Code is upheld to deny reimbursement for these counseling services to the poor, all defendants in any similar vendor fraud cases indictments and prosecutions cannot be sustained amid the uncertainty and vagueness created by the federal-state conflict. Indictment and prosecution of any defendant under a similar theory to this case of substitute billing run afoul of the Seventh Circuit Court’s holdings in Gresham and Brierton, and the Supreme Court precedents following Harriss.

            “It is well known that ‘no one may be required at peril of life, liberty or property to speculate as to the meaning of penal statutes.’” United States v. Ward, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15897 (E.D. Pa Sept. 5, 2001). *12 (quoting Lanzetta v. New Jersey,  306 U.S. 451 (1939)). The Ward court then detailed the rigorous threshold test necessary for criminalizing conduct in the regulatory arena:

            Especially where a regulation subjects a private party to criminal sanctions, ‘a regulation cannot be

            construed to mean what an agency intended but did not adequately express.’ 

            Diamond Roofing Co.,Inc. v OSHRC, 528 F.2d 645, 649      (5th Cir 1976). As

             Bethlehem Steel made clear, ‘if the language the Secretary has the means and obligation to

             amend.’ [Ward, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS    15897, *19 – *19 (quoting

            Bethlehem Steel v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Comm’n, 573 F.2d 157, 161

            (3rd Cir. 1978)).]

 

            The Ward Court cited a legion of precedents requiring dismissal of the indictment, which likewise require dismissal of the indictment in the vendor fraud case against Plaintiffs. “[I]t is our view that courts should not defer to an agency’s informal interpretation of an ambiguous statute or regulation in a criminal case.” Ward, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15897, *22. See United States v. McGoff, 831 F.2d 1071, 1077 (D.C. Cir. 1987),

            In the criminal context, courts have traditionally required greater clarity in  draftsmanship than in civil     

           contexts, commensurate with the bedrock principle that in a free country citizens who are potentially

           subject to criminal sanctions should have clear notice of the behavior that may cause sanctions to be

           visited upon them.[;]

 

See also United States v. Apex Oil Co., Inc.,  132 F.3d 1287 (9th Cir. 1997) (affirming dismissal of indictment because the conduct was not clearly forbidden by the regulations); United States v. Plaza Health Laboratories, Inc., 3 F.3d 643, 649 (2nd Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 512 U.S. 1245 (1994) (in criminal cases, “a court will not be persuaded by cases urging broad interpretation of a regulation in the civil-penalty context”). See also, United States v. Whiteside, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 4610, *18 – *19 (11th Cir. Mar. 22, 2002) (“The government cannot meet its burden in this case because, despite its contention to the contrary, no Medicare regulation, administrative ruling, or judicial decision exists that clearly “proscribes defendants’ conduct.)

            The indictments in the vendor fraud case against defendant and all defendants in similar cases fail to cite violation of any binding federal rule. Accordingly, the indictments directly contravene Supreme Court teaching in Christensen v. Harris County, 529 U.S. 576 (2000), and over 150 decisions that have relied on it. Defendant and similarly situated defendants in other cases administered much-needed services to the poor under the federally funded Medicaid program, in full compliance with all applicable federal laws and formal regulations. It is contrary to Christensen and its progeny to sustain Defendant’s and similarly situated defendants’ indictments for conduct that did not violate any clear and binding rules.

            The Medicaid program has been recognized to constitute one of the most complex and intractable regulatory systems in our country. See Herweg v. Ray, 455 U.S. 265 (1982) Burger, J., dissenting) (observing that ‘the Medicaid program is a morass of bureaucratic complexity.”) Medicaid generally provides the lowest level of reimbursement, and requires treatment of the most ill and difficult patients. Physicians who participate in the low-paying Medicaid program should not be imprisoned based on a game of “gotcha”. See United States v. Harris, 942 F.2d at 1132 (“If the obligation . . . is sufficiently in doubt, willfulness is impossible as a matter of law, and the ‘defendant’s actual intent is irrelevant.’”) (citing Garber, 607 F.2d at 98, quoting United States v. Critzer, 498 F.2d 1160, 1162 (4th Cir. 1974)). Indictment and/or conviction of Medicaid physicians based on regulatory gamesmanship is both unjust to defendants and catastrophic to the needy patients, because it drives small practitioners out of Medicaid.  Courts are increasingly dismissing these types of fraud charges against physicians, and dismissal is appropriate in the vendor fraud case against Plaintiffs. See, e.g State v. Vainio, 2001 MT 220, 35 P.3d 948 (Mont. 2001) (reversing a Medicaid conviction because it was based on an improperly promulgated state regulation); Siddiqi v. United States, 98 F.3d 1427, 1429 (2nd Cir. 1996) (reversing Medicare fraud convictions for “claim[s] for services rendered by somebody else”); id. at 1438 (“It takes no great flash of genius to conclude that something is wrong somewhere.”)

            The vendor fraud case against Defendant and similarly situated defendants is void for vagueness, similar to the Siddiqu and the Vainio cases as explained in the precedent setting and controlling cases such as Harriss, Gresham, and Brierton. “Void for vagueness” means criminal responsibility should not attach where one could not reasonably understand that his contemplated conduct is proscribed. United States v. Chandler, 66 F. 3d 1460 (8th Cir. 1995) The vendor fraud case against Defendant and similarly situated defendants clearly falls under the void for vagueness doctrine and should have been dismissed ab initio.

 

Dated August 12, 2007.

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

                                                                                _____________________________

                                                                                Linda L. Shelton

Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner Pro Se

 

 

Prepared By:

Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

Vigorous Defense is NOT Contempt – Intent Must be Shown


 

I was unlawfully convicted of criminal contempt for telling Dishonorable Judge Kathleen Pantle that she was aiding and abetting the criminal and impeachable conduct of IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as well as the fact that she was violating her oath of office by continuing with the criminal case against me although she had no jurisdiction.

 

In order to preserve the issue for appeal and because Dishon. J. Pantle refused to appoint a public defender after de facto removing me as Pro Se Counsel by making a written order that I was NOT ALLOWED to file any pleadings [an unconstitutional act that violates her oath of office], I firmly but politely stated I was leaving and not coming back (because she had no jurisdiction and the case was bogus) and turned around and tried to leave.

 

I was immediately arrested and immediately summarily convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to 30 days in CCDOC. [More about all this later!] This memorandum was given to IL Supreme Court on my direct appeal of this criminal contempt conviction [a petty offense]. The IL Supreme Court denied leave to appeal – [ignored my appeal and made no ruling and refuse to consider it.] This criminal contempt case is presently before the U.S. District Court on a habeas corpus petition, as I have exhausted state remedies. If denied the Circuit Court of C[r]ook County may lift the stay on my sentence and I will have to serve the remaining 13/30 days of the sentence and surrender to the C[r]ook County Sheriff. This would be a gross injustice [see next post also]. 

 

As you all should know, under the IL Constitution a citizen has NO RIGHT to an appeal to the IL Supreme Court. Appeals there are by permission and they only take about 5/100 cases, usually if they find it interesting. Only Capital Cases have a right to appeal to IL Supreme Court. Therefore, the IL Appellate Court is ususally the end of the line except you can appeal by means of habeas corpus to Federal District Court AFTER you exhause all state remedies. [Appeal through IL Supreme Court AND file IL habeas corpus petition by means of motion for leave to file it to IL Supreme Court – which takes two to three years in IL – 6 mo to two years in other states].

 You might also want to note the discrimination against Pro Se Defense Counsel and the double standards. In similar cases regarding defense attorneys the judges usually sentence them to $500 fine. I don’t think 30 days for a pro se counsel = $500 for an attorney. This is grossly disproportionate.

 

No. 105037

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

In the

 SUPREME COURT

Of The State of Illinois

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

)  Petition to Appeal as a Matter of Right

) or in the Alternative Petition for Leave

) to Appeal

                                                                        ) 

LINDA SHELTON                                         )  On Appeal from Appellate Court, First

            Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner             )  District, No. 05-2053

) 

v.                                             )  There Heard on Appeal from Circuit

)   Court of Cook County, County

)   Department, Criminal Division

                                                                        )  

)   No. ACC 050087-01

            )  

STATE OF ILLINOIS                                    )   Honorable Judge Kathleen Pantle,

            Plaintiff-Appellee-Respondent              )           Trial Judge

                                                                        )   Order of Trial Court May 10, 2005

)   Order of Appellate Court

)                       June 19, 2007

 

MEMORANDUM OF LAW – VIGOROUS DEFENSE IS

NOT CONTEMPT

 

            Defendant, Pro Se, respectfully presents to this Honorable Court the following memorandum of law concerning statutes and case law regarding a vigorous defense and criminal contempt.

            “We will reverse a finding of direct criminal contempt if the contemnor can show that his conduct was a good-faith attempt to represent his client without hindering the court’s functions or dignity.” In re Marriage of Bartlett, 305 Ill.App.3d 28 (1999).

            In People v. Coulter, 228 Ill.App.3d 1014 (1992), “trial court’s remarks, taken as a whole, exhibit hostility toward the defense”. The courts have stated that overzealous, inappropriately sarcastic, and lack of civility in language of counsel during a vigorous defense does not automatically constitute contempt. Intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and provocation in the underlying proceedings may be considered in determining intent.

 “In attempting to obtain a favorable ruling on their motion for reconsideration, contemnors could have made better use of the English lexicon to further their client’s cause, and the cause of professional civility, but we conclude that the language employed was not, in itself, sufficient to prove intent to embarrass or hinder the court beyond a reasonable doubt.” People v. Griffith, 247 Ill.App.3d 21 (1993)

 

Search for essential elements of crime of contempt must be made with full appreciation of contentious role of trial counsel and attorney’s duty to zealously represent client’s interests, if conduct complained of is that of attorney engaged in representation of litigant; vigorous, independent bar is indispensable to system of justice. Griffith, id.

 

Even though defense counsel may have been overzealous or improperly sarcastic at times, record disclosed that his conduct in courtroom constituted good faith attempt to represent his client’s without hindering court’s functions or dignity and therefore did not constitute direct contempt of court. People v. Miller, 51 Ill.2d 76, 21 N.E.2d 292 (1972)

           

            Although provocation is not a defense, the circumstances of the underlying proceedings may be weighed to determine whether the offense of criminal contempt was proved   beyond a reasonable doubt. In re Marriage of Bartlett, 305     Ill.App.3d 28 (1999); People v. Pearson, 98 Ill.App.2d 203, 240 N.E.2d 337 (1968)

 

In determining whether direct criminal contempt has occurred, the reviewing court may consider provocation by the trial court and erroneous trial court rulings that may have triggered the contemnor’s comments. Bartlett, id

 

Courts should not confuse a vigorous defense with contempt.  Intent must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction for contempt. Without intent, a criminal contempt conviction must be reversed.

 

Dated August 12, 2007.

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

                                                                                _____________________________

                                                                                Linda L. Shelton

Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner Pro Se

 

 

Prepared By:

Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

 

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