“Justice? We don’t need no steenk’ing justice!”
We have all heard about them. A few of us have even had the misfortune to have it happen to us, or to someone that we know. An encounter with a corrupt court system and the criminals within them that populate our so-called ‘justice’ system.
This post will show you just how at least one of these corrupt courts operates some small part of its criminal enterprise. What you are about to read is from two of the Motions that were filed in a real case involving a real person, but the personal info and case information has been removed to protect her privacy. The final disposition of the case was a full dismissal, but the reason for the dismissal is what you need to understand, AND to watch out for.
The young lady in this case was was falsely charged with “road rage resulting in property damage” by a pair of Austin’s finest extortionist thugs, who arrived some time after the incident had occurred, and who apparently had zero experience in traffic accident investigation and even less with common sense. They fabricated their evidence to suit their version of the facts rather than the ones given to them by the victim (the young lady, my client) and an eyewitness. Both of whom tried to inform the two officers of exactly how the teenage illegal alien in the SUV full of teenage girls had first come flying out of parking lot, barely missing their car traveling down the same street, and, then, just a little farther down that street, tried to drive the SUV across the entire front end of the victim’s car by making a right turn from the inside lane at a red lighted intersection and while my client’s car was traveling in the outside lane to the immediate right.
The SUV cut across the front of the victim’s car, causing her hood to go under the SUV, which hit its rear tire right on her left front wheel and fender. The scuff marks on her car fender were ample evidence that, considering the facts of the circumstances involved, this type of impact would result only if the driver of the SUV was making an illegal turn across the front of the car. And the impact was forceful enough that it not only damaged her wheel and fender, it also broke the car’s front axle. The teenage boy then tried to drive away, never stopping. The victim, broken axle and all, refused to let him get away and forced her car forward, chasing the boy until he finally stopped some distance further down the street. At which time the cops were called to the scene.
Now, by the time these two idiots, I mean officers, arrived on the scene, all of the teenage girls in the SUV had left the scene and were hiding out in a nearby mall, waiting for the cops to leave so they could come back. Which the victim witnessed them doing right after the cops left. None of them were ever questioned about the accident, despite being eye-witnesses. And even though the teenage boy was at fault and temporarily detained, and even though he had no license or proof of financial responsibility (I know, and NOT my primary point here), he was given only a minor traffic citation and then let go. The young lady, the actual victim, however, was given the third degree. And both she and her witness that had been riding in the car with her were called liars who had concocted their whole story. She was then falsely charged with several alleged offenses, including “road rage.”
Nonetheless, the actual remaining details of the traffic incident is not our primary concern here. It is the outright disregard for the truth, individual rights, due process, and justice, that immediately came to follow in one of the most corrupt municipal court systems I have ever seen. And, as it turns out, it is a court that systematically commits egregious crimes and rights deprivations against the public as a whole, not just this one young lady. And those that run it and profit from its crimes simply justifies them as a necessity of ‘doing business’. And it is my personal experience that this court is not alone in this sort of corruption and as a purveyor of injustice for the purpose of revenue. But, on with the story.
Always Monitor the Court Record:
One of my primary rules of going to court, and one which I insist that my clients and students actually follow, is to be sure that you regularly and personally check the court record. ‘Regularly’ in this case meaning on an ever escalating scale as the trial date draws closer. Now, this is assuming that the court in question is not so far away that checking the record in person isn’t really feasible.
However, most courts have an online public access system for looking up docket scheduling information and such, provided that you have ever been given any information at all that such a system even exists, much less how and what is needed to access it. In any case, I would offer this warning, don’t trust the online system to be accurate or timely in any way, and I mean in any way. These things are updated by people, when they are updated at all, and even then it is often by very lazy, bored, and careless people. Checking the actual file is always preferable to checking the online resource.
When it comes to checking the physical court record, in the beginning, check the court record at least once a week after getting the citation(s) to see what, if anything, has been filed in the case that didn’t come from you. As the time for trial draws nearer, you escalate your record check frequency until, on the last week just before trial, you check the record at least three times, the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of that week. You also make sure that you check the record on the day before trial, always, no exceptions. So, if your trial was to be held on the Friday in the above example, you would still recheck the record on that Thursday, the day before your trial, even though you had just checked it on that Wednesday. You will see soon why I have this rule and why it is so important to follow it.
The Right to Notice and How It’s Properly Done:
It is during this phase of the prosecutorial process where everything usually begins to fall apart on the due process points. Because, when anyone files something in the adjudicatory court record that relates to forward movement in the case, like a complaint actually being filed or a scheduling for some required appearance or action, you are supposed to be notified of it. This is what is referred to simply as “Notice” in legal circles. And that Notice is required to be done in a manner that covers all the due process bases relating to Notice. The metaphor of ‘bases’ in this case meaning proper, sufficient, and timely.
Proper means that Notice was provided in accordance with the laws on how it is to be performed in order to be considered valid, which in most states is by either a process server, service by an officer (usually a ‘City Marshall’ or county constable), hand delivery in open court, or United States Postal Service (“Mail, Mailed, Mailing”).
Sufficient means that the Notice contains enough information to inform the person upon whom it has been properly served as to why they are are being served and what is required of them, such as responding to or appearing in some specific place and time regarding some legal matter. The Notice should always state the basics of the specific matter itself, such as “You are being sued because of an accident in which you were involved with Mr. John Brown … ,” when the thing of which you are being Noticed will happen “… for which an initial hearing has been scheduled for 10:00am on April 1, 2016, … ,” and where the thing of which you are being Noticed will happen “… in the 126th District Court, Court Room 216, 1000 Guadalupe St., Austin, Texas, 78799.” This particular type of Notice is not required to spell out all of the details of the matter itself. But, at some point, there is supposed be another kind of Notice provided that does contain those details, and it usually comes either in the form of a civil complaint, or a criminal complaint and one or more types of charging instruments, such as an Information or Indictment, if it involves an alleged crime.
Timely means that the Notice was provided in a time frame that provided the recipient with enough time in advance to adequately prepare and respond to the Noticed matter and to comply with it by making an appearance and/or filing something as the case may be.
The Plot Thickens:
Now, what happened in this young lady’s case is egregiously criminal in its nature. No, not any of her actions, but that of the city attorneys and judges in the Austin Municipal Court. And here is what they did.
This happened during the week right before my client’s trial was scheduled to commence on the following Monday. While following my instructions on keeping a close check on the contents of the court record, my client made a discovery that left her so shocked that she immediately called me to let me know. She had already checked the record on the previous Monday (she had taken ill and missed the Wednesday check), and she was now checking the record again on Friday, the last work day prior to her scheduled trial.
In the court file she found two new documents that had just been filed that past Thursday, the day before. The two new documents were a Dismissal Order for each of her case(s) under their original cause numbers, the very cases that she was scheduled to go to trial for on that coming Monday. Following that Dismissal Order in the record was a new set of criminal complaints, and all of them had new cause numbers. And all of them were set to go to trial on that same Monday that her original cases had been set for.
Realizing that something wasn’t right about any of this, she panicked, not knowing what to do since she had no copies of these pleadings with her to refile and no time to go home, print out copies, and then come back to file them. Because, here it was, Friday night, and the court was closing at 8pm, approximately 30 minutes from the time she had called me. I told her to calm down and listen to me. I instructed her to have the clerk print her out one copy of everything that she had filed in the old cause numbers (all of which were pleadings I had written that made her prosecution on these bogus charges legally impossible, hence the need for these underhanded and criminal activities by the city attorney and at least two of the judges within the court).
I told her that, once she had the printed copies in-hand, she needed to line out the old cause number and replace it with the new one that was written on the new complaints. Then, immediately have the clerk refile them in the new cases. Since the Austin Municipal court scans all case filings into their computer system, she was only going to need one copy to refile in each of the new cause numbers, and then she would have the clerk return the new copy for each cause number to her with a proper court file stamp on it. I also told her that, while she was doing that, I would be writing her a new Motion demanding a disqualification of the judge and prosecutor, judicial and professional ethics sanctions against both, and a complete dismissal with prejudice of all charges. As soon as I had them done I would email them to the clerk and my client should get those printed out and filed as well.
At no time had my client ever been Noticed that her original cases had been dismissed or been provided with a copy of that dismissal order. Nor had she had any Notice that the city asshole,…. I mean attorney, had refiled the same charges under new cause numbers. And she definitely had no Notice that would have allowed her to review and challenge the form and substance of the new complaints, as is her right under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Arts. 45.018(b) and 45.019(f).
Who Actually Committed A Crime Here?
Now, do you fully understand what my client had just proven to have happened here, using only the official record? Without any Notice whatsoever to my client, the city attorney had quietly dismissed the original charges against her, and then recharged her with the same alleged offense using NEW complaints and NEW cause numbers, and, then, criminally conspired and colluded with at least two judges within the trial court to continue the new cases from the same point at which the original had been dismissed as if they were the SAME original cases!
Why do I claim that at least two judges were involved? Well, for one, because a judge is the only one who could have signed off on the original dismissals, and two, the actual trial judge would have to have seen the very same court file at least a day or so ahead of time, and would have known that my client’s due process rights had just been smeared into the pavement like an armadillo under the tires of a fully loaded logging truck. And finally, the judge who was present to preside over the trial was not the same judge whose name appeared on the secret dismissal order.
Now, you might be thinking “So what, why does that matter? Why should they start all over if they had already gotten this far in the original case?” Well, let me try and break those points down for you.
First, all of my client’s original pleadings filed in the cases were attached to the original cause numbers, you know, the ones that were just secretly dismissed? Which means that, if she loses at trial, and then goes after an appeal, the record will have only the NEW cause numbered items forwarded to the appellate court. Nothing with the dismissed cause numbers would be in that record. Meaning that none of her original pleadings would ever see the light of day in the appeals process in order to be reviewed by the appellate court. Not her challenge to jurisdiction, not her written objections to the lack of evidence, or the prosecutor’s use of inadmissible evidence. Nothing. It would be as if she had just sat back and let everything happen without being involved in putting on a defense for herself at all.
Second, while such a dismissal would not require going back to the beginning investigatory stages of a case, it is still being filed in the court as a new case, replete with new pleadings by the Snake…., I mean State. And my client’s right to Notice and due process, which includes the right to challenge any or all of these new pleadings, as well as any related evidence, must also start from the very beginning. Which would require a reset and restart of the entire judicial proceeding. To do anything else violates an individual’s fundamental right to substantive and procedural due process by denying them the opportunity to do any of these things.
Third, it is illegal. It constitutes several high crimes and misdemeanors by the very people entrusted to adjudicate these cases. People who, apparently, are perfectly fine with criminally conspiring and colluding to commit much higher level crimes in order to profit from those accused of offenses of a much less severe nature. You do understand that, right? Those two new documents are evidentiary proof that the city attorneys and judges of the Austin Municipal court knowingly conspire and collude to unconstitutionally and illegally deprive individuals of their fundamentally protected rights under color of law. And they are perfectly willing to continue doing so in order to ensure a conviction rate that will, overall, garner huge sums of money for their employer, the City of Austin, Texas, and of course, continuing long-term employment and a hefty paycheck for themselves in the process. All of which is, of course, protected by the State of Texas, as it garners its fair share from these illegal activities in the form of 50% of all fines adjudged and collected by the City of Austin. And this is true of every municipality and justice court in the entire State of Texas.
What this Vampiric System and its Minions Fears the Most… EXPOSURE TO DAYLIGHT!
Okay, enough explanation, let’s get to the meat.
Please remember that I was under a severe time constraint, having less than 30 minutes to formulate and write both of these documents and then get them emailed to my client at the clerk’s window so she could have them printed out, sign them, and then file them in her cases. So they are devoid of my usual refinements and niceties, like ToC’s, ToA’s, footnotes, case opinion references, etc., that are normally required for an appeal-ready pleading. But I was not expecting that an appeal would be necessary in these cases after what we had just discovered and had them dead-to-rights on. And I was right!
These are the individual pleadings that were filed in my client’s case(s) after the discovery of this criminal conspiracy and collusion involving the petty thugs and thieves employed by the City of Austin. Just imagine how these pathetically inept and corrupt souls spend their days posing as honest, hardworking, and knowledgeable prosecutors and judges. These documents are not the originals that were filed in her cases as relating to how we were fighting the charges themselves. They apply only to the criminal acts of the prosecutors and the judges of which I have spoken thus far. They document just why you should never trust any of these courts, regardless of the level at which they function.
The Main Body of Each of the Two Key Motions:
Defendant’s Motion to Quash Complaint:
1. Comes now Jane Doe, Defendant in error, as one of the People of Texas, without benefit of counsel, hereinafter “the Accused”, and makes this special appearance for the express purpose of challenging the court’s jurisdiction for lack of a proper complaint and charging instrument.
Abbreviations used in this document:
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure TxCCrP
2. The Accused maintains that this is a special appearance for the express purpose of challenging the court’s jurisdiction in CAUSE NUMBERS XXXXXX and YYYYYY for lack of jurisdiction, denial of due process, and to quash the facially and factually invalid complaints filed thereunder respectively.
3. The Accused maintains that she is NOT a trained legal professional, lawyer, or attorney,
and being denied assistance of counsel, is forced to proceed as a Pro Se litigant. The court
should and presumably does know that the Accused may NOT be held to the same standards of pleadings and knowledge of the legal process as a legal professional shall be. The Accused is being forced to navigate the legal waters against the Accused’s will and without benefit of legal counsel, using rules and procedures both unfamiliar to the Accused and not of her own making.
4. The Accused is entitled to timely notice of any proceedings and/or filings in their case as a matter of right, which is a fundamental part of the right of due process. The STATE has knowingly and willingly failed to properly serve the Accused with a copy of the dismissal motion and order of the original cause number and filed with the court on February 22, 2010.
5. The STATE has knowingly and willingly failed to properly and timely serve the Accused with a copy of the dismissal motion and order involving the original complaint and case number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX, thus depriving the Accused of the right of proper and timely notice.
6. The STATE has knowingly and willingly failed to properly and timely serve the Accused with a copy of the new complaint in the new case, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY. The STATE has failed to do this within the requisite time frame of no later than one day prior to any proceeding in the prosecution under the complaint, and, therefore, is in direct violation of the Accused’s right to due process and to have a copy thereof pursuant TxCCrP Arts. 45.018(b) and 45.019(f).
7. However, the Accused is certain that the contents of the new complaint, as currently filed under CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY, are just as facially and factually invalid as the original complaint filed under CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX.
8. The Accused is certain of this because both complaints are presumably based on the same faulty information and false facts, specifically, those contained in both Citation #99999 and the official police report.
9. From all appearances, both of the Affiants who signed the two different complaints are asserting the same incorrect facts, and these false and incorrect facts are the same ones that appear within the aforementioned citation and police report. Both documents contain
numerous disparities in their content, facts, accuracy, and the reality of what happened at the scene of the accident on the night of October 2, 2010. These errors and inconsistencies are so blatantly obvious and inaccurate that the Accused finds it absolutely astounding that the city attorney has not even bothered to question them at any time whatsoever. This simply proves that neither the clerks of the court that are being recruited to sign the criminal complaints as Affiants, or the prosecutors and judges that are doing the actual recruiting, check any of the facts contained in the actual documentation that would allegedly support the facts asserted in the complaint.
10. The Accused can find absolutely no law requiring an accused to aide, abet, assist, or otherwise provide the prosecution with anything whatsoever for the use of perfecting the criminal complaint that is to be used to charge an accused. Therefore, it is the belief and understanding of the Accused that only true and correct facts may be asserted and appear on the face of the complaint, and the truthfulness and accuracy of the facts therein are solely the responsibility of the prosecution.
11. Pursuant TxCCrP Arts. 1.14(b) and 45.019(f), the Accused’s sole responsibility and duty in regard to the truthfulness of all facts and content of both the criminal complaint and the charging instrument is to “object to a defect, error, or irregularity of form or substance in a charging instrument before the date on which the trial on the merits commences,” and that is the limit of the Accused’s said responsibility under the law, to do nothing more than simply object to it.
12. The Accused objects to the false facial and/or factual assertions made in both the original complaint as it was filed under CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX, and the new criminal complaint as currently filed under CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY.
13. The Accused asserts that the complaint is factually inaccurate and facially invalid, and therefore, fatally flawed, and the Accused challenges said complaints in their entirety.
D. Lawful Demand.
14. The Accused moves the court to quash the criminal complaint filed under CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX as being both facially and factually invalid, and therefore, fatally flawed.
15. The Accused moves the court to quash the criminal complaint filed under CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY as being both facially and factually invalid, and therefore, fatally flawed.
16. The Accused also moves the court to levy civil and criminal sanctions against assistant city attorney, Steven H. Garret, and clerks of the municipal court, Lisa Munden, Erin Cole, and Annakaye Kirby, for prosecutorial misconduct, tampering with governmental records, abuse of official capacity, official oppression, criminal conspiracy, aggravated perjury, and denial of the right of due process.
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Improper Notice:
1. Comes now Jane Doe, Defendant in error, as one of the People of Texas, without benefit of counsel, hereinafter “the Accused”, and makes this special appearance for the express purpose of challenging the court’s jurisdiction for lack of proper notice.
Abbreviations used in this document:
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure TxCCrP
2. The Accused maintains that this is a special appearance for the express purpose of challenging the court’s jurisdiction in CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY for insufficient notice and denial of due process.
3. The Accused maintains that she is NOT a trained legal professional, lawyer, or attorney, and being denied assistance of counsel, is forced to proceed as a Pro Se litigant. The court should and presumably does know that the Accused may NOT be held to the same standards of pleadings and knowledge of the legal process as a legal professional shall be. The Accused is being forced to navigate the legal waters against the Accused’s will and without benefit of legal counsel, using rules and procedures both unfamiliar to the Accused and not of her own making.
4. The Accused filed several motions, judicial notices, and subpoenas in the original cause number for this case, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX.
5. The Accused is in possession of a copy of a document obtained on February 22, 2011 from the court record associated with this case and which accompanies this motion as ATTACHMENT A, and shall be referred to hereinafter as same.
6. Despite ATTACHMENT A not being titled or styled in any way normally associated with a proper motion, its apparent use was to submit to some magistrate an ex parte State’s Motion to Dismiss the original complaint. The magistrate to whom this motion was presented, and who subsequently granted this alleged motion to dismiss, is unknown to the Accused, and, does not appear to be the magistrate known to be previously assigned to the Accused’s case. The Accused was never served with a copy of this “Motion”, nor was the Accused ever informed by any lawfully required method of notification that the original complaint had been dismissed and the case refilled with a new complaint and cause number.
7. The Accused also has not been served with a copy of any new complaint used to create the new case, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY. The Accused is entitled as a matter of right to be notified of any complaint against her and to have a copy thereof no later than one day prior to any proceeding in the prosecution pursuant TxCCrP Art. 45.018(b).
8. As the Accused understands it, the proper procedure would have been to amend the original complaint, not to dismiss the entire case and then refile it under an entirely new cause number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY. The Accused feels that this was done not for the sake of amending the complaint, but to invalidate all of the Accused’s previous filings and requested subpoenas under the original cause number, which would also explain the STATE’s failure to properly notice the Accused of the refiling.
9. If dismissal of the complaint and original cause was the proper procedure to follow, then, why was the Accused not properly notified of both the filing of the Motion to Dismiss and the subsequent refiling of the case under an all new cause number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY?
10. The Accused objects to these proceedings as the court and the STATE are moving forward with the prosecution as if all of the prior pretrial filings and actions under the original cause number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX, are presumed to still be in full force and effect in the new cause number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY. The Accused sees this both as a violation of Texas law and the Accused’s unalienable and statutorily protected right of due process by the law of the land.
11. It is the understanding of the Accused that the dismissal of a cause before the court puts an end to that cause, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX. As the Accused understands the law, the dismissal of a case would also void any and all proceedings and filings made in the case under that cause number. Thus, such a dismissal would necessarily divest the court of any jurisdiction and any further actions under that cause number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX.
12. Therefore, due to this understanding, the Accused believes that the filing of a new cause number, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY, begins an all new case and a new set of pretrial proceedings. If this is true, then, the requirement placed upon the prosecution and the court is that all filings and proceedings are to begin anew, and are to be performed in accordance with the rules of procedure codified in the relevant entirety of the TxCCrP just as if this was in fact, an entirely new case.
13. The Accused asserts that since the original cause number has been dismissed, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER XXXXXX, and a new cause number has been issued in the instant matter, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY, the court lacks jurisdiction to proceed directly to trial on the merits under the new cause number because none of the preliminary proceedings that are required to be performed in a new case have been performed at all. The court and the STATE are acting as if the new cause number may be treated as a continuance of all prior proceedings under the dismissed original cause number. This simply defies the logic of justice, fairness, impartiality, proper and adequate notice, and the right to procedural due process.
14. Pursuant TxCCrP Art. 45.001 the Texas Legislature made it clear that the entirety of Chapter 45 is to be construed for the following purposes:
CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 45. JUSTICE AND MUNICIPAL COURTS
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art. 45.001. OBJECTIVES OF CHAPTER. The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for processing cases that come within the criminal jurisdiction of the justice courts and municipal courts. This chapter is intended and shall be construed to achieve the following objectives:
(1) to provide fair notice to a person appearing in a criminal proceeding before a justice or municipal court and a meaningful opportunity for that person to be heard;
(2) to ensure appropriate dignity in court procedure without undue formalism;
(3) to promote adherence to rules with sufficient flexibility to serve the ends of justice; and
(4) to process cases without unnecessary expense or delay.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1545, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
15. The Accused asserts that TxCCrP Art. 45.001(1) makes “fair notice” a requisite of a criminal proceeding in a justice or municipal court. Affiant asserts that being served with a copy of the complaint either the day immediately prior to the date of a trial on the merits, or, in open court on the same day and commencement of such a trial, is neither fair nor adequate notice of new proceedings in a new case, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY.
16. As the Accused understands the law, there are specific statutory and constitutionally mandated steps and procedures in a criminal prosecution, and none of these have been done under the new cause number and in accordance with Texas law. The Accused asserts that this is a grievous judicial and due process error constituting grounds for prosecutorial and judicial misconduct, and, therefore, grounds for a dismissal with prejudice of the cause currently before the court, specifically, CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY.
D. Lawful Demand.
17. The Accused moves the court for a dismissal with prejudice of CAUSE NUMBER YYYYYY for the following reasons:
1) numerous violations of the Accused’s right of due process by the law of
2) by denying the Accused lawfully proper and timely notice of all filings
3) by the conducting of ex parte proceedings and communications in a
4) for improper prosecutorial collusion with one or more clerks of the court
to immediately funnel all filings made by the Accused directly to the office of
the prosecuting City Attorney and thus creating the appearance of
impropriety, partiality and bias by a member of the court to the prosecution
and/or acting as a member of the prosecutorial “team”; and
5) for improper prosecutorial collusion with one or more clerks of the court
to deny the Accused proper and timely notice of proceedings and/or
prosecutorial filings as required by law.
18. The Accused also moves the court to levy civil and criminal sanctions against assistant city attorney, Steven H. Garret, and clerks of the municipal court, Lisa Munden, Erin Cole, and Annakaye Kirby for prosecutorial misconduct, tampering with governmental records, abuse of official capacity, official oppression, criminal conspiracy, aggravated perjury, and denial of the right of due process.