Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

May 27, 2014

Right to present a defense


Add your case’s caption, add the standard ending to a court pleading (Respectfully submitted by _______, and the litigants name address and phone), as well as a notice of service and filing.

Look up the case law in your state as Illinois case law has no precedent in another state which is true of all case law. Substitute your state’s case law for case law here, but you may be able to obtain search terms as sell as Shephardize the U.S. Supreme Court cases to find your state’s case law by using the following:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

MEMORADUM OF LAW – RIGHT TO PRESENT A DEFENSE

NOW COMES Linda Shelton who respectfully presents to the court this memorandum of law.

  1. A defendant has a right to present a defense, as in In re Marriage of A’Hearn, 408 Ill.App.3d 1091, 947 N.E.2d 333, 349 Ill.Dec.696 (2011), where the court ruled that it was too harsh a sanction as well as it ignored the best interest of the child, when in a post-trial motion to change custody was dismissed due to the litigant violating discovery. The court ruled that the best interests of the child were so important that a discovery violation was not extreme enough to deny a hearing on the merits.
  2. Every defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to present a defense. People v. Manion, 67 Ill.2d 564, 10 Ill.Dec. 547, 367  N.E.2d 1313 (1977) [It is a fundamental error to deny the right to present a defense that requires the decision be overturned. Striking Manion’s response was a denial of a right to present a defense as was the court’s decision to hold the trial and deny a continuance so Manion could obtain discovery and plan a defense.  The decision of the court was overturned.]
  3. It is a fundamental doctrine of law that a party to be affected by a personal judgment must have his day in court, and an opportunity to be heard. Renaud v. Abbott, 116 US 277, 29 L Ed 629, 6 S Ct 1194 (1886). Every person is entitled to an opportunity to be heard in a court of law upon every question involving his rights or interests, before he is affected by any judicial decision on the question. Earle v McVeigh, 91 US 503, 23 L Ed 398 (1875).
  4. Per the U.S. Supreme Court, a judgment of a court without hearing the party or giving him an opportunity to be heard is not a judicial determination of his rights. Sabariego v Maverick, 124 US 261, 31 L Ed 430, 8 S Ct 461 (1888), and is not entitled to respect in any other tribunal.
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