Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

August 25, 2015

Sample appeal – Illinois small claims court – landlord steals items


Small claims court can be frustrating when judges look down on pro se plaintiffs and simply rubber stamp everything the defendant’s lawyer states.  This is a sample appeal of such an unjust ruling where the plaintiff lost due to I believe purposeful misconduct of an attorney and a judge. Read the Appellant’s brief here.

Note that appeals are not like trials. The Appellate Court may ONLY consider information on the record on appeal and in the transcripts. YOU CAN NOT ADD new evidence or information. Therefore, at trial in the local court, make a list and make sure you have all your witnesses and evidence or you won’t be able to add it later.  If the judge refuses to hear a witness or allow you to introduce evidence, then ask the judge to “make an offer of proof” (i.e. to have the  person testify or admit the evidence without it being considered just so that it is on the record). If you anticipate this will be a problem, then file the evidence or affidavit instead of as a motion, label it an “offer of proof” and file it in your case attached to this “offer of proof” where you state you are filing this offer of proof and why you are doing so.

The litigants names and case number were changed so they remain anonymous, except for the name of the corrupt landlord’s corporation and the judge.

Remember, in small claims, Illinois Supreme Court Rules 286(b) allows a small claims court to hear and view all relevant evidence, admit evidence with more relaxed rules of procedure and rules of evidence upon order of the court. This means the court may allow affidavits as evidence and not require the presence of a witness and may allow documents to be admitted without strict rules of authentication.

You must follow strictly all appeal rules, so don’t forget to read Illinois Supreme Court Rules for civil appeals and your local court rules also. Illinois Supreme Court Rules are here. If you don’t follow them, your appeal will be rejected.

Note strict rules such as:

  • 1 1/2 inch margin on left
  • requirement of certification page stating you followed the rules as to page limits
  • you use an appendix and not exhibits
  • the appendix must include an index to the record on appeal and the transcripts (if any), that the page number of testimony of specific witnesses must be indexed and that if you did not have a court reporter and made a “bystander’s report” instead that it is also in index, a copy of the order appealed from, and a copy of the notice of appeal
  • notice of filing and service and filing of record on appeal or record of proceedings (transcripts)
  • don’t forget to include your $50 filing fee or a petition for indigency (see Illinois Supreme Court web site and your local appellate court division’s rules)
  • bind the appeal brief securely on the left side (three staples is OK)

Note that you can not just make conclusory statements (“They ripped me off”).  You must back up all your statements, documents, testimony with evidence (testimony by witnesses, documents and reference to “authorities”), with case law (where a court has interpreted a law and said this is how the rules or statutes work and what they mean), or back it up with reference to other authorities (statutes, supreme court rule, administrative rules – note statutes are sent to administrative rules committee and then an administrative rule is made – many pro se litigants are not aware of this – see here; there are similar administrative rules in federal law and all state laws).

June 10, 2009

Sample Appeal of Wrongful Conviction


I have now filed my Illinois Appellate Court appeal of my wrongful conviction for aggravated battery of a correctional officer. Sgt. Anthony Salemi had attacked me, falsified his records, committed perjury, and with the help of Nifong-like prosecutorial misconduct of ASAs Andrew Dalkin and John Maher and extreme judicial misconduct by Judge Joseph Kazmierski, I was convicted and sentenced to two years in the Illinois Dept. of Corrections plus one year of mandatory supervised release.

I served the minimum 6 months and the full supervised release and was not able to appeal due to illegal conduct of staff at the Cook County Dept. of Corrections and Illinois Dept. of Corrections where I was held and due to damage to my health requiring several hospitalizations within the last year since my release on March 27, 2008 from prison. The damage to my health was a result of torture at the CCDOC and IDOC by ignorant, sociopathic, poorly trained officers and incompetent medical staff (with the exception of Dr. Baker). The social workers even told me they purposely were told not to allow me to use the law library. My medications were withheld in illegal acts of willful indifference to medical needs.

I have informed the FBI and asked them to prosecute for felony conspiracy to violate rights under color of law, etc.

I will never forget the comment to me at CCDOC by Sgt. Molevetti “We got you on one made charge so I can write anything I want and get you on another.” Officer Levy said the same thing. It appears that falsification of records is common practice at CCDOC. We need to take him down and jail him too!

As soon as I win this one, the mother of all civil rights suits will be filed against these creeps. Any officer who has aided and abetted this wrongful conviction is a target in my book to be arrested, removed as an officer, and jailed for felony conspiracy to violate rights under color of law under federal law.

I strongly suggest that ANY officer or CCDOC staff who has knowledge about this wrongful conviction march over to the FBI on Roosevelt Road, ask for a duty agent and confess and turn in the corupt officers and sergeants. The time is NOW to clean up the CCDOC and get rid of decayed and dead wood! If you don’t turn them in, you are part of the corruption and are condoning it! I have no sympathy for you!

You can read my appeal and the evidence of innocence and Sgt. Salemi’s guilt along with the incomptence of Inv. Sofus, as well as the prosecutorial misconduct at: Appeal-of-Wrongful-Conviction-Battery-Shelton-Illinois-2009

Note that the appeal exceeds the 50 pages allowed by the Appellate Court. I have written a motion for leave to file this 82 page appeal due to the extreme prosecutorial and judicial misconduct resulting in 18 different issues justifying appeal and overturning verdict.

Note that the appendix has case law on spoilation of or failure to produce critical evidence, self-representation, and insufficient indictments – all what I have already posted on this site elsewhere.

February 10, 2009

Illinois Appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien Brings Court into Disrepute


I have an appeal pending before the Illinois Appellate Court on the following issue:

My case is a conviction for aggravated battery of a correctional officer. In fact, I had been assaulted and battered by Cook County Department of Corrections Sergeant Anthony Salemi on May 16, 2005. He falsified his records, and he knowingly wrongfully filed a criminal complaint against Plaintiff falsely alleging I attacked him, in retaliation for me complaining about the Cook County Department of Corrections violating my civil rights. (Denying Constitutional and statutory rights to medical care, access to courts, free brief phone call to family and attorney)
I was in jail for a 30 day sentence for criminal contempt because I told Judge Kathleen Pantle that she was violating the law in the pending fraudulent case involving a fraudulent charge of Medicaid vendor fraud (trial scheduled for February 17, 2009  rm 207 criminal court building 26th and California – all are invited) and had no jurisdiction and then said I was leaving to preserve the issue for appeal and she found me in contempt when I turned around and attempted to leave the courtroom quietly.
Sgt. Salemi stated that when he entered my cell, after sending away the female unit officer (in violation of rules that male officers may not enter female cells alone except in emergency), I attacked him while in a wheelchair and forcing my way through the door by ramming him with my wheelchair “skinning his shins” and then after this knocked him down and he stood up, “kicking him in the chest with my RIGHT leg.” This is despite the fact that I have a partial right hemiparesis with impairment of my RIGHT leg so that I can not kick it with force above the waist, the wheelchair was broken and difficult to move, I have congenital injury to the spine causing life-long weak arms and shoulders making it difficult to move the wheelchair forcefully, and I was on the sixth day of a dry hunger strike (protesting denial of access to courts and denial of medical care), intensely dehydrated and unable to stand for more than a few moments due to weakness from the dehydration. My physicians gave unrebutted testimony affirming these facts. The state had no expert witnesses or physician witnesses.
Sgt. Salemi lunged in, grabbed  my neck choking me, then flung me out of the wheel chair while pulling the wheelchair from under me causing large contusions to the back and inner thighs (3 X 5 and 4 X 6 inches) as well as bruises on my arm in the form of his fingers, contused knee upon which I landed, and a severely contused toe that got caught in the wheelchair. All of this was documented and the jury ignored it.
I was wrongfully convicted because of a biased jury. The jury became biased because of extreme Nifong-like prosecutorial misconduct by Assistant States Attorneys Andrew Dalkin and John Maher, and by outrageous denial of due process and abuse of judicial discretion by Judge Joseph Kazmierski, all of which grossly denied me a fair trial.
I was illegally sentenced to prison instead of probation, in violation of Cunningham v. California, 127 S. Ct. 856 (2007), and the Statutes of the State of Illinois. 
At CCDOC and IDOC I was illegally abused and punished for refusing to walk (IDOC staff falsely claiming I was faking my multiple medical conditions and physical handicap) during the reception process, including a life-threatening assault on me with an ammonia inhalant (purportedly given to prove I was faking a collapse and asthma attack, but which was NOT documented in records at IDOC), but which exacerbated the attack, caused brief unconsciousness and is contraindicated in asthma, as well as denial of medical care. The IDOC staff are attempting to conceal the documents about Plaintiff’s reception events at IDOC in order to cover-up their official misconduct and ADA violations, in refusing to release the reception summary to me.
The habeas petition contains all the details of the perjured testimony by Sgt. Salemi and other Sheriff officers as well as the proof of my innocence and their falsification of records. My habeas petition contains all pertinent references to the transcripts and record on appeal and all issues on appeal.
Shelton-Federal-Petition-for-Writ-of-Habeas-Corpus-Aggravated-Battery-2009
The Illinois Appellate Court 1st District has now four times denied my motions to compel the court reporters to prepare a free set of transcripts and file them with the court so that my appeal can move forward. The court reporters have refused this direct order of both the trial court and appellate courts. Judge Sheila O’Brien denied another such motion on 2-5-09. This is unconstitutional and a violation of her oath of office that amounts to felony theft of honest services and conspiracy to violate my civil rights under color of law.
Judge O’Brien is OBLIGATED by U.S. Supreme Court previous rulings (stare decisis) to ensure that I am NOT prevented from filing transcripts for my appeal. Failure to enforce her court’s and the trial courts orders is a dereliction of duty and her oath of office that amounts to the federal crime of theft of honest services.  It also is a deliberate attempt to impede my appeal which is a Constitutional right. This amounts to the federal felony crime of violation of civil rights under color of law and conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law.
Judge O’Brien has brought the court into disrepute because of her incompetent, and/or purposeful, and/or malicious in violation of the Constitution’s mandate that convicted persons have a right to an appeal. She should be impeached.
Federal Judge Coar agrees with this in general because he has ruled that the actions of the Illinois Appellate Court amount to a State willful waiver of their right to insist that I exhaust state remedies (appeals) before proceeding with a Federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to overturn this wrongful conviction based on actual innocence, as well as grotesque prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.
Please consider assisting me with donations to my legal fund and showing up for trial on 2-17-09 on the last charge I am defending. Judges tend to follow the law more and make less unconstitutional rulings when they have an audience. That is why I promote the concept of court watchers. Juries tend to have less bias against the Defendant when they see family and others showing the defendant support by filling the gallery.
Unfortunately my family is small, ill, and distant and no one can come to court. Any support in any fashion in my legal, political, and personal health struggles is appreciated.

October 26, 2008

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).

 

October 24, 2008

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.

 

Cook County Good Time Jail Credit – Memorandum of Law


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.]

 

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].

 

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 – GOOD TIME JAIL CREDIT

 

            Defendant, Pro Se, respectfully presents to this Honorable Court the following memorandum of law concerning statutes and case law regarding good time county jail credit.

            Under the Illinois County Jail Good Behavior Act, 730 ILCS 130, good time credit is automatic unless an administrative due process hearing initiated by the sheriff revokes the good time credit. The Circuit Court of Cook County and Illinois Appellate Courts have no legal authority in regard to revoking good time credit, as they are bound by statute, which authorizes the administrative hearings at the jail to provide the due process hearing, which by statute, must precede any revocation of good time credit.

            Silence on the record on appeal, regarding this issue, is therefore mandated to be in favor of the defendant.   Unless the State can prove that a due process administrative hearing was held revoking good time credit automatically granted to defendant, this court is legally bound to order that good time credit is granted. As the granting of credit is automatic, it is the burden of the state to prove it has been revoked by a due process administrative hearing, which it failed to do. To put the burden on the defendant violates statutes, due process, and legal precedent.

            The Fifth District Appellate Court, in People ex rel. Yoder v. Hardy, 116 Ill. App. 3d 489, 45 N.E.2d 965, 71 Ill.Dec. 811 (1983), citing the United States Supreme Court in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 41 L.Ed.2d 935 (1974), stated that a prisoner has a constitutional liberty interest to due process that binds a department of corrections to follow its own regulations in revoking good time credit. When statutorily required procedures (an administrative hearing) for revoking good time credit are absent from the record, then good time credit must be presumed to stand.

            The fact that the good time credit is statutorily automatic, relieves the defendant from the burden of proving he/she applied for it and was granted it (no application is required by statute.)  It is an error of law for the Appellate Court to state, by fiat, that the defendant must prove that he/she earned good time credit or that the correctional facility employees must determine that his/her behavior was good before granting good time credit.

            The Appellate Court ruled erroneously in case at bar that a silent record in this regard is decided against the defendant. The opposite is true in the case of an automatic awarding of good time credit when the record does not support ANY evidence of an administrative hearing revoking good time credit.  The absence of an administrative order removing good time credit from the record proves that good time jail credit applies and was not revoked.

                It is inappropriate for the Appellate Court to sue sponte revoke good time credit by fiat, as it did in the case at bar (SCA B9-10, 12). The Appellate Court is legally bound to uphold the law and follow higher court precedent.

           

Dated August 11, 2007.

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

                                                                                _____________________________

                                                                                Linda L. Shelton

Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner Pro Se

 

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