Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

October 24, 2008

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.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: