Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

December 19, 2012

Discovery in misdemeanor cases in Illinois


Discovery in misdeemanor cases in Illinois do NOT follow the Illinois Supreme Court Rules on discovery which only apply to felony cases.

The rules in misdemeanor cases are described in a case called People v. Schmidt, 56 Ill.2d 572 (1974). They required the states attorney to give the defense a 1) witness list, 2) copy of confessions, and 3) any exculpatory evidence (evidence that proves the defendant or suggests the defendant is not guilty).

The defendant is NOT obliged to provide the state anything including witness lists in misdemeanor discovery.  The defendant’s witnesses can decide to refuse to speak to the state’s attorney’s investigators.

There are exceptions, but the state or defendant must ask for additional discovery by motion and have a hearing before the court about this issue.

The only change in the law was in a case called People v. Kladis,  2011 IL 110920 ¶ 23, 355 Ill.Dec. 933, 960 N.E.2d 1104    [#110920, 2011 IL 110920, 2011 Ill. Lexis 2236, 2011 IL 110920] where the court ruled that the state must also provide videos from police cars capturing the incident in discovery.

See this page describing all this in more detail.

https://prosechicago.wordpress.com/criminal-defense-procedures-in-misdemeanor-court/

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.

October 17, 2008

Lawless, Corrupt, Incompetent, Wacko C[r]ook County Judge Kuriakos Ciesil Jails Defendent for Being 40 min Early for Hearing


Despite the following letter to the presiding judge of Municipal 1 District of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the only action taken was to temporarilty re-assign Judge Ciesil. I will petition the court post-trial to vacate all her orders which were illegal and refund the 10% of the bond money held by the Clerk for costs after bond was refunded. I should not have to pay for the gross judicial misconduct of Dishonorable Judge Ciesel.

October 4, 2007 LETTER

Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr.
Presiding Judge
First Municipal District
Circuit Court of Cook County
1303 Richard J Daley Center
50 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60602

IN RE: Outrageous and illegal conduct of Judge Maria Kuriaskos Ciesil

Dear Honorable Judge Wright:

I am writing to you to inform you of the inappropriate, unethical, and frankly lawless conduct of Judge Ciesil and ask for your immediate intervention by removing her from any duties on the bench involving defendants and reassigning her to a desk job until she is completely evaluated by you and perhaps the JIB. This should include a psychiatric examination because her behavior and rulings are so inappropriate and bizarre that it must be considered that she has a severe personality disorder making her unable to make fair judgments and causing her to boost her ego by irrational attacks against defendants and attorneys. If she is found not to be unfit for duty then, at the very least, you should order direct and constant supervision and tutoring by a senior judge for at least 3 months before she is allowed to return to the bench unsupervised.

I am a defendant in several misdemeanor cases as a result of retaliation against me by corrupt county and state officials, as well as a result of police brutality and unlawful arrests. In Branch 46, before Judge Sheehan, I was able without an attorney to have six (6) bogus cases dismissed against me. As you know, I at first was before Judge Ballard, who proved to have inappropriate conduct (being in great need of training on demeanor, the law, judicial procedure, etc.) and you have reassigned him elsewhere.

Judge Sheehan replaced Judge Ballard on my cases. She is an outstanding judge, who is intellectually honest, attempts to be unbiased and fair, does not show preference to the prosecution, treats defendants with respect assuming they are innocent until proven guilty, clearly follows the rulings of higher courts, takes a step back and does not make knee-jerk decisions when she is unsure of the law during a hearing, and has potential to be one of the finest judges on the bench in the Circuit Court of Cook County because her demeanor, actions, and ethics are of the highest judicial level, besides the fact that her IQ is clearly very high.

Then when Judge Sheehan was reassigned to juvenile court there has been a succession of judges on my remaining two cases in branch 46. One Judge, Kenneth Fletcher also proved to be unfortunately ignorant of the law and inappropriate. I wrote a motion for SOJ for cause and he recused himself.

Judge Katz replaced him and his conduct was very appropriate and judicial. All the judges have been ordering that my pretrial hearings be held at either 11:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m., because I have brought up motions that are quite advanced legally, appropriate, and challenging to the court.

Almost every continuance was set for 10:00 a.m. or later. I have throughout all these cases always arrived early to court or on time except for several days where I was hospitalized. My attorney, J. Nicolas Albukerk (I have decided to allow donors to pay for an attorney on my remaining cases as my health has deteriorated and the stress of representing myself is now too much), instructed me to meet him at 9:30 a.m. outside courtroom 304 at 555 Harrison St. My attorney told me this court date was at the usual time and I should be outside the court by 9:30 to talk with him. On 9/26/07 I arrived in the area around 9:00 a.m. and was unable to find a parking space at a meter due to construction in the surrounding area. I therefore parked in the lot next to the courthouse. I avoid parking there because of financial difficulties and I don’t want to keep borrowing money to pay the parking fees. I cannot take public transportation due to my disabilities [severe reactions to perfumes and fumes]. I walk with a cane due to spinal problems.

I arrived in the courthouse around 9:15 a.m. and up to the courtroom at 9:20 a.m. There were no seats in the courtroom so I sat on the bench outside of court. There was a crowd outside the courtroom including about six CPD officers. I had a pleasant conversation with one of them. At about 9:40 a.m. Sgt. Rankus came out of the courtroom and asked me where was my attorney, that the “judge wanted to call my case.” I told her that he had two other cases in 401 and 404 and he told me to wait for him. She told me to go find him and I slowly walked to the fourth floor and was unable to find him. I arrived back at courtroom 304 about 5-10 minutes later and went in and sat on a bench in the gallery because a seat had opened up and Sgt. Rankus was telling everyone to come into the courtroom.

After several other cases were called, my case was called and I stood up in the gallery and told the judge that Mr. Albukerk was involved in several other cases upstairs and told me to ask for the judge to hold my case until he arrived. Judge Ciesil very firmly told me to come stand before the bench. I did that. Then she took a paper out of one of the files and announced that she had issued an arrest warrant because I “was late” and told the Sheriff to execute the warrant. She raised my bail on each of the two cases from a $1,000 I-Bond to $25,000 D-Bond (total of $50,000 D-Bond)! This is an outrageous and unconstitutional excessive bail, especially for a disabled, indigent person!

I was stunned. She didn’t want to listen to a word I said and was very rude. She did not ask for any explanation or attempt to discuss the issue. I rapidly and frantically told her that my hearing was not scheduled until 10:00 a.m. and that I was not late, while the deputies were trying to drag me to the lock-up. I told her I arrived at 9:20 a.m. and had a conversation with a CPD officer in the hall [these 6 or so officers were seated in the courtroom in the front row of seats] as the courtroom had no seats available. I told her Sgt. Rankus had told me to find my attorney. I pleaded with the CPD officers and Sgt. Rankus to speak up and they remained silent. The judge was OBLIGATED to question the officers, read the file, which details that almost every other court date started at 10:00 a.m. or later. Instead she yelled that her court starts at 9:00 a.m. and that she had issued the warrant at 9:05 a.m. because I was “late”. She made NO EFFORT to read the previous file orders or to contact Judge Katz.

I was taken to the lock-up and not allowed to use medication. I have been fighting a virus for a week and asthma attacks that are not well controlled. I had been in the emergency room at Mt. Sinai Hospital all day on 9/21/07 with a severe asthma attack. I then went into an asthma attack and the deputies called an ambulance and I was taken to the U. of I. ER in custody and remained there under treatment until about 5:00 p.m., when I was returned to 555 Harrison lock-up and then transported to CCDOC.

My attorney arrived as I was being transported by the paramedics out of the courthouse, in custody, accompanied by several deputies, fully restrained [in a wheelchair]. I was released on bond from the jail at 3:00 a.m. and immediately, at the exit to the CCDOC had someone call an ambulance, which took me back to the hospital because I was so ill. I was unable to attend the hearing ordered by Judge Ciesil the next day, 9/27/07 at 9:00 a.m. because I had to be hospitalized and was released from the hospital on 10/2/07. My attorney has written a motion for Substitution of Judge for Cause which is attached and was filed the next day when he appeared on my behalf before Judge Ciesil.

Mr. Albukerk, my attorney, told me that after I was removed by paramedics as he arrived at court, Judge Ciesil refused to read the court file to see that the other dates were at 10:00 a.m. or later, so he read them into the record. He said the judge refused to quash the warrant and threatened him with contempt. He said he stepped back from the bench, put his hands behind his back and stated firmly to her that he was fully prepared to be taken into custody if the Judge thought that pointing out the truth and making arguments constituted contempt.

Please contact Mr. Albukerk at 773 847-2600 for further details. He told me that on 9/27/07 Judge Ciesil refused to transfer the case to you and insisted she would do nothing until I appeared in her courtroom, setting the next status date for 10/24/07 at 9:00 a.m. Judge Ciesil’s interaction with Mr. Albukerk is so unbelievable and outrageous that you cannot ignore it. Mr. Albukerk is writing an amended SOJ for cause motion, to include a lot more of what happened and it is all too astonishing to explain indirectly. Please get the facts directly form Mr. Albukerk and from the transcripts, which he has ordered and should be available shortly.

Mr. Albukerk also stated to me that Judge Ciesil used also as an excuse to issue the arrest warrant that I had refused to cooperate with a limited BCX [mental fitness exam] ordered. When Dr. Lourgos of FCS told me to sit in a back corner behind a table in a small interview room, I refused to do so and reminded him he was under written orders of Judge Sheehan to accommodate my disabilities [flashbacks of being attacked induced by small rooms] and he replied that he didn’t have to follow that order. I asked to sit by the door or to be interviewed in a larger room and he then said “the interview is over, leave.”

Please note the limited BCX was ordered upon MY request in a motion that I had filed for a forensic clinical exam for the issue of temporary insanity during the alleged “crime” possibly resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder – see attached motion. As temporary insanity was a possible defense because I have a lack of memory of some of this incident where I am alleged to have battered a lock-up aide by “kicking her” it was necessary to determine if temporary insanity due to a flashback related to a post-traumatic-stress disorder from which I suffer occurred at the time of the alleged “crime.” This flashback was induced by an illegal attack on me by a lock-up aide during this incident – see motion.

Judge Ciesil said that the report from FCS said I refused to cooperate with the exam. Judge Ciesil should know that statutes state that a defendant may choose to refuse to answer questions and bail cannot be changed or revoked due to this refusal.

725 ILCS 5/104‑14

       (c) The court shall advise the defendant of the limitations on the use of any statements made or information gathered in the course of the fitness examination or subsequent treatment as provided in this Section. It shall also advise him that he may refuse to cooperate with the person conducting the examination, but that his refusal may be admissible into evidence on the issue of his mental or physical condition.
Mr. Albukerk pointed out that I refused to cooperate because Dr. Lourgos from FCS refused to obey Judge Sheehan’s order to accommodate my disability (see order in file) by allowing me to sit by the door in a small room or interviewing me in a large room with a window. Mr. Albukerk read this order into the record and Judge Ciesil stated “that’s not my understanding.” I am unable to tolerate discussions of the life-threatening and terrifying incidents causing the flashbacks except with these accommodations and end up becoming out of touch with reality, unresponsive, frozen, crying, with a look of terror on my face, often frantically hiding under a table or cowering against a wall.

Please replace her immediately as the judge in that courtroom and quash the arrest warrant, expunge the warrant, and order that the entire $5,000 bond be immediately returned. Judge Ciesil’s order for a warrant and increase in bail is null and void due to judicial error and outrageous conduct.

I and my attorney are initiating ALL appropriate legal actions in response to this outrage and lawlessness with the Illinois Appellate Court, the JIB, and if necessary with the press.

Please respond to this letter ASAP, if not to me to my attorney. Judge Ciesil has illegally harmed me in ways that are too upsetting for me to describe – other than to say I was attacked by a correctional officer after being taken into custody and medically neglected at the CCDOC resulting in hospitalization from the moment I was released on 9/27/07 to 10/2/07 and my health has been damaged. Please contact Mr. Albukerk for details. I have been under treatment by a psychiatrist to help diminish the symptoms of PTSD.

I REFUSE TO APPEAR IN COURTROOM 304 AGAIN UNTIL THIS MENTALLY UNSTABLE, UNETHICAL, LAWLESS, AND DANGEROUS JUDGE IS REPLACED! I will come to court on 10/24/07 but will remain seated outside the courtroom unless I see that there is a different judge on the bench. You may consider this contempt. I CONSIDER THIS MY CIVIC PATRIOTIC DUTY, LIKE THE FOUNDERS OF OUR COUNTRY, TO STAND AGAINST TYRANNY. Judge Ciesil has brought the court into disrepute and is unethically filling up the jail with unfortunate defendants who are five minutes late and have good excuses! Judge Ciesil made knee-jerk, rash, and unethical decisions without reading the file pleadings, orders, or attempting to verify anything. She clearly is biased and assumes all defendants are worthless scum who should be slammed.

Sincerely with utter despair over this tyranny and with utter determination to fight it,

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

Cc: Chief Judge Evans

Cook County Commissioners

Posted and published on Internet

Attachment:
Mr. Albukerk’s Motion for SOJ for Cause
Pro Se Motion for Forensic Clinical Exam

With reasonable men, I will reason;
with honest men, I will plead;
but to tyrants, I will give no
quarter, nor waste arguments where
they will certainly be lost.

William Lloyd Garrison

In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
MUNICIPAL DEPARTMENT, FIRST MUNICIPAL DISTRICT,
CRIMINAL SECTION

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS Plaintiff V. LINDA SHELTON, Defendant, Case No 06-221401, Honorable Colleen Sheehan Presiding

MOTION FOR FORENSIC CLINICAL EXAM

NOW COMES, the Defendant, Linda L. Shelton, Pro Se who respectfully requests that this court order a forensic clinical exam of defendant concerning state of mind during alleged act and in support of this motion states as follows:
1. Defendant was arrested for disorderly conduct on March 4, 2006 [charges later dismissed] and brought to the 1st District Woman’s lock-up for processing.
2. As she was being released on a personal recognizance bond she was brought out of a cell to her possession, sealed in plastic bags on a table.
3. [Chicago Police Department] Detention Aide Shell ripped open the bags, when defendant was too weak to do so and told her to organize her possessions.
4. As defendant organized her possessions back into her briefcase she noticed her bottle of prednisone, prescribed by a physician. She takes an extra dose of this medication when stressed due to a relative steroid deficiency to prevent an asthma attack and to prevent complications of neurocardiogenic syncope.
5. Defendant opened her bottle and attempted to take a dose of medication.
6. Detention Aide Shell then violently grabbed defendant and body slammed her against the table causing contusions and yelling that she was not allowed to take any medication. Several other aides and/or officers ran at defendant and aided and abetted this felony attack on the handicapped defendant.
7. This caused defendant to attempt to pull away in self-defense and struggle while she yelled to stop assaulting her.
8. Then defendant went into a flashback due to her illness post-traumatic-stress disorder.
9. This illness has resulted from several previous attacks on her by officers at the First District causing injuries and great fear.
10. Defendant remained in this altered state of consciousness and next found herself being dragged to a cell and then beaten in a cell by a female aide or officer. Defendant is unable to remember much of the incident when she was in an altered state of consciousness due to the PTSD.
11. Defendant will use the defenses of self-defense, temporary insanity and outrageous government conduct (due to the history of repeated false arrests, beatings and medical neglect by First District Chicago Police).
12. Defendant is indigent and requires an exam by a forensic psychiatrist regarding the defense of temporary insanity.
WHEREFORE, Defendant Pro Se, respectfully requests this honorable court to
order a psychiatric exam of defendant by Forensic Clinical Services regarding the issue of temporary insanity during this alleged act.

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.

Dated: October 17, 2006

Respectfully submitted,

Linda L. Shelton

Pro Se Defendant

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