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.

 

 

 

 


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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.

October 14, 2008

Indigent Petition Illegal Denial in Cook County


In Cook County Illinois, the presiding judge of the law division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge William D. Maddux, routinely violates statutes and denies indigent petitions. He particularly denies them if you are a whistle blower against County Government, if you have filed more than one suit as an indigent person, or if you are “too” well dressed.

He violates law by not granting indigent status when one is on Medicaid, food stamps or SSI, as well as if one is living at an income less than the poverty level.

He fails to specifically state the reason he denies the petition and fails to order a payment schedule or a date certain by which to pay the fee.

He tells his staff to not tell the indigent person their names or their positions to make it harder for the person to appeal his decision. He has his staff routinely write on these petitions: “cannot maintain action in good faith.” This is not a legally valid reason to deny a petition.

Judge Maddux is committing conspiracy to violate rights under color of law, and violation of rights under color of law knowingly and willingly which are both federal felony crimes under the Federal Code. He is violating his oath of office to uphold the law and denying the indigent person their civil rights to redress of grievances, equal protection under the law, and due process. He should be removed from the bench.  I have filed the following Complaint for Mandamus against him in this regard in the Illinois Supreme Court today. I encourage all who are similarly situated to do the same. Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Timothy Evans, is failing to supervise him or his staff and is therefore aiding and abetting  this crime.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

 

 

Linda L. Shelton                                             )

                        Plaintiff                                     )

                                                                        )      Case No. ______________

v.                                                                                                                              )

)

The Honorable William H. Maddux,            )

in his official capacity as executive director     )

of the Law Division of the Cook County      )

Circuit Court and its Presiding Judge           )

                                                                        )

and                                                                  )

                                                                        )

Dorothy Brown in her official capacity             )

as the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk       )

                                                                        )

                        Defendants                               )

 

VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR A WRIT OF MANDAMUS

 

            Plaintiff Linda L. Shelton, complains of Defendant as follows:

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.      This complaint asks this Court to issue a writ of mandamus requiring the Presiding Judge of the Law Division, County Department, of the Circuit Court of Cook County (“CCCC”) and the Clerk of the CCCC to comply with the nondiscretionary mandates of the portion of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure governing how courts process and evaluate request by litigant to proceed in forma pauperis.

THE PARTIES

2.      Plaintiff Linda L. Shelton is a resident of Cook County and the State of Illinois.

3.      Defendant the Honorable William H. Maddux (“Judge”) is the duly appointed presiding judge of the Law Division of the County Department of the CCCC. He was appointed the presiding judge of the Law Division by order of the Chief Judge of the CCCC, the Honorable Timothy Evans, and as such is authorized to make administrative decisions for the functioning of the Law Division of the CCCC, per rules of the CCCC, consistent with the laws of the State of Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.

4.      Defendant Dorothy Brown is the duly elected Clerk of the CCCC (“Clerk”) under the laws of the State of Illinois.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND ARGUMENT

5.      The Judge has by fiat decided that all petitions for in forma pauperis status in the Law Division of the CCCC will be heard by him ONLY at 11:30 a.m. each morning the court is open. If the plaintiff appears in his courtroom after noon he absolutely refuses to hear the plaintiff’s petition that day. He does not hear the petitions in open court, but requires that the petition be given to his law clerk and the decision on the petition is done without the presence or further input of the Plaintiff. At his discretion, the Judge may come into the courtroom and question the Plaintiff, which on information and belief in practice is almost never done. This procedure is NOT published or posted anywhere and Plaintiffs must discover it by accident or by asking the Clerk or the Judge’s courtroom clerk or law clerks.

6.      On information and belief Plaintiff has discovered that the Judge routinely denies petition to sue as an indigent person in violation of Illinois Statutes and has violated the Plaintiff’s constitutional statutory rights as follows:

735 ILCS 5/5‑105

             Leave to sue or defend as an indigent person.
                         (a) As used in this Section:
                                     (1) “Fees, costs, and charges” means payments

imposed on a party in connection with the prosecution or defense of a civil action, . . . .

(2) “Indigent person” means any person who meets one or more of the following criteria:

(i) He or she is receiving assistance under one or more of the following public benefits programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, General Assistance, State Transitional Assistance, or State Children and Family Assistance.

(ii) His or her available income is 125% or less of the current poverty level as established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, unless the applicant’s assets that are not exempt under Part 9 or 10 of Article XII of this Code are of a nature and value that the court determines that the applicant is able to pay the fees, costs, and charges.

(iii) He or she is, in the discretion of the court, unable to proceed in an action without payment of fees, costs, and charges and whose payment of those fees, costs, and charges would result in substantial hardship to the person or his or her family.

(iv) He or she is an indigent person pursuant to Section 5‑105.5 of this Code.

(b) On the application of any person, before, or after the commencement

of an action, a court, on finding that the applicant is an indigent person, shall grant the applicant leave to sue or defend the action without payment of the fees, costs, and charges of the action.

(c) An application for leave to sue or defend an action as an indigent

person shall be in writing and supported by the affidavit of the applicant or, if the applicant is a minor or an incompetent adult, by the affidavit of another person having knowledge of the facts. The contents of the affidavit shall be established by Supreme Court Rule. . . . The clerk of the court shall post in a conspicuous place in the courthouse a notice no smaller than 8.5 x 11 inches, using no smaller than 30‑point typeface printed in English and in Spanish, advising the public that they may ask the court for permission to sue or defend a civil action without payment of fees, costs, and charges. The notice shall be substantially as follows:
        “If you are unable to pay the fees, costs, and charges of an action you may ask the court to allow you to proceed without paying them. Ask the clerk of the court for forms.”

(d) The court shall rule on applications under this Section in a timely manner based on information contained in the application unless the court, in its discretion, requires the applicant to personally appear to explain or clarify information contained in the application. If the court finds that the applicant is an indigent person, the court shall enter an order permitting the applicant to sue or defend without payment of fees, costs, or charges. If the application is denied, the court shall enter an order to that effect stating the specific reasons for the denial. The clerk of the court shall promptly mail or deliver a copy of the order to the applicant.
            (e) The clerk of the court shall not refuse to accept and file any complaint, appearance, or other paper presented by the applicant if accompanied by an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis, and those papers shall be considered filed on the date the application is presented. If the application is denied, the order shall state a date certain by which the necessary fees, costs, and charges must be paid. The court, for good cause shown, may allow an applicant whose application is denied to defer payment of fees, costs, and charges, make installment payments, or make payment upon reasonable terms and conditions stated in the order. The court may dismiss the claims or defenses of any party failing to pay the fees, costs, or charges within the time and in the manner ordered by the court. A determination concerning an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis shall not be construed as a ruling on the merits.
             (f) The court may order an indigent person to pay all or a portion of the fees, costs, or charges waived pursuant to this Section out of moneys recovered by the indigent person pursuant to a judgment or settlement resulting from the civil action. However, nothing is this Section shall be construed to limit the authority of a court to order another party to the action to pay the fees, costs, or charges of the action.

 

The Judge wrote on the order that the Plaintiff is denied in forma pauperis status despite the fact that the Plaintiff is “indigent” as provided by the above statute. He wrote as the reason on the order in the handwriting of his law clerk: “cannot maintain action in good faith.” (Exhibit A) There is NO provision in this statute for the Judge determining whether or not the Plaintiff can maintain the action in good faith. It is mandatory that the Judge grant the petition if the Plaintiff meets the qualifications for indigent status as defined in Statute, 735 ILCS 5/5-105(a)(2) & (b). The Judge failed to issue an order as to when the filing fee must be paid to prevent dismissal and fails to consider payment plans, which is an issue he is required to decide and write in his order per statute, 737 ILCS 5/5-105(e). These omissions of the Judge are violations of the First and Fifth Amendments rights to redress of grievances (access to the courts) and due process.

7.      The Clerk oversees the office of the Clerk of the CCCC. She and her staff are responsible for filing and maintaining a record of all civil cases filed and heard in the CCCC. The Clerk is responsible, in her official capacity, for the actions of her staff as alleged herein. The only information a plaintiff obtains from the Clerk on her website in regards to in forma pauperis petitions is that they must be heard by a judge.  The Clerk’s authority to file complaints is determined by the rules of the CCCC and Illinois Statutes:

CCCC Rule 0.3.1 Clerk of Court

(a) The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County shall perform the duties usually performed by the Clerk as provided in “An Act to revise the law in relation to clerks of courts,” Chapter 25, Illinois Revised Statutes.

 

705 ILCS 105/10
The principal clerk shall, in all cases, be responsible for the acts of his or her deputies.


705 ILCS 105/13
The clerks shall attend the sessions of their respective courts, preserve all the files and papers thereof, make, keep and preserve complete records of all the proceedings and determinations thereof, except in cases otherwise provided by law, and do and perform all other duties pertaining to their offices, as may be required by law or the rules and orders of their courts respectively.

 

8.      The Clerk of the CCCC, on information and belief, refuses to accept a complaint for filing unless the Plaintiff pays the filing fee or presents to the Clerk a copy of an order from the Judge granting in forma pauperis status.

9.      The statutes of the State of Illinois, 735 ILCS 5/5-105, state:

The clerk of the court shall not refuse to accept any complaint, appearance, or other paper presented by the applicant if accompanied by an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis, and those papers shall be considered filed on the date the application is presented.

 

This is a non-discretionary act of the Clerk of the CCCC.

10.  Plaintiff of October 2, 2008 arrived in the courtroom of the Judge at 10:30 a.m. and waited until the call was ending to hand the courtroom clerk a Petition to Sue as an Indigent Person (Exhibit B) and a tort Complaint (Exhibit C).

11.  At approximately noon the court proceedings had ended, the Judge had retired to his chambers, and the courtroom clerk took the Plaintiff’s documents and documents from other similarly situated persons to the Judge’s chambers.

12.  Approximately an hour later, the Judge’s staff came out and gave all the papers and orders to an employee of the Clerk’s office, who told Plaintiff and other similarly situated persons to follow him to the Clerk’s office on the 8th floor of the Daley Center, Room 801.

13.  In room 801 in the line for filing complaints each in succession after a period of waiting the Clerk’s staff called Plaintiff and similarly situated individuals up to the counter.

14.  Plaintiff was informed that the Judge denied the Petition. Plaintiff asked why? The Clerk’s staff stated “You can’t sue in good faith.” The Clerk’s staff demanded payment of the filing fee of $381 in order to file the complaint.

15.  Plaintiff stated she could not pay the fee. The Clerk’s staff refused to file the complaint without the fee, so Plaintiff demanded her papers back. The Clerk’s staff withheld the order from Plaintiff and gave back the complaint and blank copies of the proposed order.

16.  Plaintiff immediately went back to the Judge’s courtroom and requested to have her case (Petition) recalled to the courtroom Sheriff’s deputy, who was the only person in the courtroom at that time. She sat quietly with her walker on a bench in the gallery.

17.  The Sheriff’s deputy went to the Judge’s chamber and came back and told Plaintiff her situation was being reviewed.

18.  A secretary or law clerk who refused to reveal her name or position came out and told Plaintiff she would not be heard. Plaintiff told her that she did not receive a copy of the order and this woman went in the back and eventually came back with a copy of the order that said the Petition was denied because “cannot maintain action in good faith.” Plaintiff stated to this lady that this order was legally insufficient and void and she wanted to make an instanter motion to reconsider. The lady stated she would not give legal advice, when none was asked for.

19.  The lady stated that the Judge was gone. Plaintiff stated she would wait until he returned. The lady stated that Plaintiff would have to come back another day at 9:30 for motions. Plaintiff stated that she needed a case number and that the Clerk had failed to write one on the order. The lady stated she would give no legal advice. Plaintiff stated that she wanted to know the administrative procedure for appealing the decision. The lady stated she would give no legal advice.

20.  Plaintiff stated she needed the lady’s name so that she could appeal the ruling and that she would come back the next day with a motion to reconsider. The lady refused to give her name and left.

21.  The courtroom deputy refused to give the lady’s name or the nature of her position in the court.

22.  Plaintiff stated she would go in the back to the chambers and ask the law clerk to identify the lady, as she had the same standing as a pro se counsel as an attorney to request information from the secretary and law clerk in the chambers. The courtroom deputy stated he would not allow Plaintiff to go to the chambers.

23.  Plaintiff then got out her cell phone and called the CCCC Chief Judge Evan’s office. Rosemary answered the phone and Plaintiff politely requested the name of the secretary and law clerks for the Judge. Rosemary stated she didn’t give out that information, not even first names. She demanded the name of the caller and Plaintiff stated Linda. She demanded Plaintiff’s last name and Plaintiff stated, “when you give me your last name, I’ll give you mine.”  Plaintiff asked Rosemary how to make a complaint to the Chief Judge and Rosemary said to write a letter and gave the address.

24.  During this time, two Sheriff’s Sergeants and several Officers arrived in the courtroom. As Plaintiff was talking on the phone, the deputies ordered her to leave the courtroom and the oriental Sgt. known to others as “Q” threatened Plaintiff with an unlawful arrest for “trespass to state supported land.” Plaintiff demanded their names and the name of the lady. They refused to give their names and said “read it off my badge”, but were too far for Plaintiff to read the names, except for two deputies, Woods badge 11223 and Erman. Plaintiff stated she wasn’t leaving until she had the name of the lady so she could write a proper appeal identifying all the actors in the situation. The deputies then ordered Plaintiff to stand and submit to arrest. They grabbed her papers and her walker away from her and Plaintiff stood up. The deputies ordered Plaintiff to walk to the door and Plaintiff replied: “that’s impossible because you took my walker.”

25.  The deputies surrounded Plaintiff and returned the walker and Plaintiff walked out of the courtroom door surrounded by the deputies and led by Sgt. Q. They did not arrest Plaintiff, but a deputy pulled the walker too fast causing Plaintiff to lose her grip. Then Deputy Woods pushed Plaintiff, Plaintiff lost her balance and had to grab Woods’ shoulder to keep from falling. Plaintiff loudly complained: “stop assaulting me.” The deputies then gave back the walker and backed off a bit.

26.  Plaintiff then proceeded to the Clerk’s satellite office next to the Judge’s courtroom and went up to the counter and asked the name of the lady and the Judge’s law clerks, two of whom came into the room while Plaintiff was talking.  The two clerk’s assistants and the two law clerks refused to identify the lady or themselves. Plaintiff called a friend on her cell phone and was told one of the law clerk’s names was “Donald”. Plaintiff then left the building.

27.  The next day Plaintiff was granted food stamps by the Illinois Department of Human Services (“IL Medicaid”).

28.  Plaintiff has a clear right to have either her Indigency Petition approved or to receive a written order stating the specific reasons for the denial. The Judge had a clear duty to approve the Indigency Application or to issue a written order stating the specific reasons for denial. Now that Plaintiff has been granted food stamps, the Judge has an absolute duty to approve the Indigency Petition. The Clerk had a clear duty to file the Complaint.

29.  By refusing to perform their statutory duties, the Clerk and the Judge violated Plaintiff’s right to due process, her right to equal protection of the laws and her right to petition the government for a redress of grievances as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Illinois.

WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff, Linda L. Shelton respectfully

requests that this Honorable Court:

a.         issue a writ of mandamus requiring

1.                  that Dorothy Brown, the Clerk, accept the filing of Plaintiff’s complaint nunc pro tunc to October 2, 2008; and

2.                  that the Honorable Judge Maddux, grant Plaintiff’s Indigency Petition;

3.                  that Judge Maddux’s staff must identify themselves and state their positions when asked by a citizen;

4.                  that Judge Maddux’s staff will cease and desist using Sheriff’s deputies to harass citizens seeking grants of Indigency Petitions, will stop in so doing obstructing justice, and will stop violating constitutional and statutory rights of such citizens;

b.         issue an order requiring Defendants to reimburse Plaintiff for the costs associated with bringing this action including but not limited to parking fees and Xeroxing costs;

c.         grant such other relief as this Court deems appropriate including but not limited to reprimanding the Judge for violation of his oath of office.

 

Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/109-1 I certify that the statements set forth herein are true and correct.

 

____________________________                           

October 9, 2008                                              Linda L. Shelton

 

 

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

Plaintiff Pro Se

 

 

 

 

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