Friday, June 25, 2010

Amerland Executives Arrested For Manslaughter

This entry was posted on June 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm and is filed under LAPD, civil rights, housing victories, human & civil rights, legal, organizing, united nations with tags amerland, jules arthur, la can, amerland group, Becky Dennison, human rights violations, ruben islas charged with manslaughter, amerland executives arrested, casa vallejo fire, martha enriquez, martha isla, affordable housing developers arrested for manslaughter, amerland group owners arrested for elder abuse. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Contact: Becky Dennison 213-840-4664
Pete White 213-434-1594

Los Angeles Affordable Housing Developers Arrested for Northern CA Manslaughter of Tenants

The arrests of Amerland Group founders Ruben Islas and Jules Arthur does not come as a surprise to tenants that still live in properties they control—especially in Los Angeles. For years Amerland has been the center of controversy in Downtown Los Angeles, where the group has been working to gain a stronghold on the area’s residential hotel stock.

Islas, Arthur and three other Amerland executives, [along with Martha Enriquez, and Martha Isla],  were arrested yesterday and charged with two counts of manslaughter, one count of elder abuse and two counts of elder abuse causing death in connection with a fire that resulted in three deaths in a Vallejo retirement home in 2008.

Amerland’s failure to maintain fire protection systems has been an ongoing problem for tenants in the Group’s Downtown Los Angeles buildings. In Spring 2008 Amerland was convicted of 36 counts of fire code violations in their two Los Angeles residential hotels, and tenants of these buildings say the problems persist.

Leonard Woods, a disabled, retired worker who has lived at the Alexandria for more than a decade, said fire alarm systems still sound without cause, and disabled, elderly residents are trapped on top floors.

“When the fire alarm goes off, the elevators stop, and if you can’t get down the steps, you’re stuck,” Woods said. “People in wheelchairs, they’re cooked.”

In May 2008 the Los Angeles City Attorney filed criminal charges against the company because of fire code violations at the Rosslyn and Alexandria residential hotels. The complaint alleged, in part, that Amerland failed to repair broken fire systems and clear blocked exits at the Alexandria Hotel. Also, it alleged that the fire protection system in the Rosslyn Hotel was in such disrepair that Amerland employees were supposed to have 24-hour fire watch patrols ordered by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Amerland was later convicted of the charges.

These criminal charges came in addition to civil claims addressing issues such as illegal evictions, harassment of vocal tenants, disability discrimination, and major habitability issues.

For more information go to
Witnesses are available upon request.

Residents DOJ Complaint Filed on Safer Cities »$1 million settlement from Alexandria Hotel owners, City and CRA to current and former tenants

Low-income tenants at the century-old Alexandria Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, who were subjected to unlawful displacement, shutoffs of heat, water and elevator service, have negotiated a broad-sweeping case settlement in their lawsuit filed in December, 2007. This victory comes after more than three years of tenant organizing to protect their homes, including dozens of LA CAN members. The settlement sets numerous new policies and also provides compensation to the 10 most harmed tenants as well as more than 100 tenants who were wrongfully displaced.

The case of the Alexandria Hotel is much more than the classic “landlord preys on weak and vulnerable tenants” narrative. Those cases are usually characterized by slumlords, in isolation, failing to provide basic services and habitable environments for tenants who are usually poor. In the case of the Alexandria Hotel, the City of Los Angeles and the Community Redevelopment Agency were aware of the problems almost immediately after Amerland Group took control of the property. Tenants consistently raised their voices to City officials and City Councilmembers about the violations of their housing and human rights, yet the City and CRA failed to remedy those situations. But a strong group of organized low-income tenants would not give up, we continued to stand up to the political and developer interests in creating a “new downtown” and, finally, have achieved victory.

The publicly-funded project at the Alexandria, as originally approved by the CRA, was intended to revitalize the property for the benefit of current tenants. However, it became clear pretty quickly that “improving” the property involved more than new paint and kitchenettes—it also meant getting rid of the original tenants, mostly African American, extremely poor people. In response, tenants made numerous visits to Councilmember Huizar and his staff, testified publicly at the CRA Commission (because it was the local funding agency) and City Council, contacted the Mayor’s Office on multiple occasions, collected evidence to support their claims, and educated and organized dozens of tenants to fight against the mass displacement.

Instead of help from City officials, tenants and organizers were routinely ignored, targeted and/or slandered by both the developer and city officials. For example:

Þ There were emails between the developer and City officials accusing tenants and LA CAN staff of lying, drug dealing, and other things to discredit the testimony of poor people

Þ After the problems at the Alexandria were well-documented and shared, letters of support from local and state elected officials, including the Mayor and Councilmember Perry, were provided for a second project by the developer

Þ High ranking LAPD officers attended extended CRA board meetings to provide public support for the developer to off-set complaints made by tenants

Þ Multiple LAPD officers attended eviction court to testify against current tenants, although there were no convictions to report

Again, tenants did not give up in the face of adversity. LA CAN members continued to document the problems and worked with our legal partners at LAFLA to put together an amazing legal team to support the efforts of tenants. This settlement provides some long-deserved justification and compensation for tenants who stood up for their rights, faced eviction, endured humiliation and name calling by Councilmember Cardenas and others, but finally won their David and Goliath story. It also includes policy changes at the Alexandria and the CRA that will prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. LA CAN is proud of all of our members who participated in this fight, especially those who lived at the Alexandria.

Links to some media coverage:

Press release:
This entry was posted on February 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm and is filed under housing victories, human & civil rights, legal, organizing with tags skid row, human rights, amerland, CRA, alexandria hotel, la can, slumlords, downtown los angeles, amerland group, logan property management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The framework of laws and rules that govern the administration of justice in cases involving an individual who has been accused of a crime, beginning with the initial investigation of the crime and concluding either with the unconditional release of the accused by virtue of acquittal (a judgment of not guilty) or by the imposition of a term of punishment pursuant to a conviction for the crime.


Criminal procedures are safeguards against the indiscriminate application of criminal laws and the wanton treatment of suspected criminals. Specifically, they are designed to enforce the constitutional rights of criminal suspects and defendants, beginning with initial police contact and continuing through arrest, investigation, trial, sentencing, and appeals.

The main constitutional provisions regarding criminal procedure can be found in Amendments IV, V, VI, and VIII to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment covers the right to be free from unreasonable searches and arrests:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. A warrant is a paper that shows judicial approval of a search or arrest. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Fourth Amendment does not require a warrant for all searches; rather, it prohibits unreasonable searches. All warrantless searches are unreasonable unless they are executed pursuant to one of several exceptions carved out by the Court.
The Fifth Amendment covers an array of procedural concerns, including the death penalty, multiple trials for the same criminal offense (Double Jeopardy), Self-Incrimination, and the general right to due process. It reads, in relevant part,
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury … nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
The Sixth Amendment addresses the procedures required at trial. It provides,
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Finally, the Eighth Amendment states, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

At first, these amendments were construed as applying only to federal prosecutions. The states were free to enact criminal procedures contrary to them until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment forbids the states to "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" (§ 1). Under the Fourteenth Amendment, states must provide most of the criminal safeguards found in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.

Federal courts must comply with all the criminal procedures listed in the amendments to the Constitution. For state courts, the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a "selective incorporation" approach to determine precisely what process is due a criminal defendant. Under this approach, only fundamental rights are protected.

According to the Court, fundamental rights in criminal procedure include freedom from unreasonablesearches and seizures; freedom from Cruel and Unusual Punishment; assistance of counsel;protection against self-incrimination; confrontation of opposing witnesses; a Speedy Trial; compulsory process for obtaining witnesses; a jury trial for prosecutions for cases in which the defendant could be incarcerated; and protection against double jeopardy. The only protections that are not specifically required of states are the Eighth Amendment prohibition against excessive bail and the Fifth Amendment requirement that infamous crimes be prosecuted by grand jury.
The judicial interpretation of fundamental rights has allowed states considerable leeway in shaping their own criminal procedures. Although their procedural rules and statutes are similar in many respects, federal and state legislatures are responsible for their own criminal procedures, and procedures vary from state to state. State and federal governments may not limit the protections guaranteed by the Constitution, but they may expand them.

Automobile Exception to the Warrant Requirement

An example of this principle may be seen with the so-called automobile exception to the Constitution's search-warrant requirement. Under the automobile exception, states may allow the warrantless search of an automobile, except for the trunk, if the police officer reasonably believes that the vehicle holds evidence of a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that this exception is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment because drivers have a "reduced expectation of privacy" and because a vehicle is inherently mobile. This reduced expectation of privacy also allows police officers with Probable Cause to search a car to inspect drivers' and passengers' belongings that are capable of concealing the object of the search, even if there is no proof that the driver and passenger were engaged in a common enterprise. Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295, 119 S. Ct. 1297, 143 L. Ed. 2d 408 (1999).

However, states are not required to adopt the automobile exception. The New Hampshire Supreme Court, for example, ruled that all warrantless searches are unreasonable except for a group of well-defined such searches, and this group does not include warrantless Automobile Searches (State v. Sterndale, 139 N.H. 445, 656 A.2d 409 [1995]). Thus, in New Hampshire, a police officer may not base the warrantless search of a vehicle on the mere fact that the place to be searched is a vehicle. New Hampshire, therefore, provides expanded protections under the Fourth Amendment.

Conversely, a state may not allow the search of any vehicle without reasonable suspicion. A vehicle search that is conducted in the absence of reasonable suspicion would be an infringement of guaranteed Fourth Amendment protection, and a court would strike down such an infringement as unconstitutional. A state law may not diminish the scope of the automobile exception by authorizing a warrantless search of an entire vehicle following a traffic stop in which the driver is issued a citation for speeding. Although law enforcement may conduct a full vehicle search if the defendant is formally arrested, the issuance of a traffic citation does not justify the considerably greater intrusion of a full-fledged search. Knowles v. Iowa, 525 U.S. 113, 119 S. Ct. 484, 142 L. Ed. 2d 492 (1998)


Criminal prosecutions officially begin with an arrest. However, even before the arrest, the law protects the defendant against unconstitutional police tactics. The Fourth Amendment protects persons against unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement officers. Generally, a Search Warrant is required before an officer may search a person or place, although police officers may lawfully prevent a criminal suspect from entering his or her home while they obtain a search warrant.Illinois v. McArthur, U.S. 326, 121 S. Ct. 946, 148 L. Ed. 2d 838 (2001).
Police officers need no justification under the Fourth Amendment to stop persons on the street and ask questions, and persons who are stopped for questioning are completely free to refuse to answer any such questions and to go about their business. But the Fourth Amendment does prohibit police officers from detaining pedestrians and conducting any kind of search of their clothing without first having a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the pedestrians are engaged in criminal activity. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that reasonable suspicion is provided for a stop-and-frisk type of search when a pedestrian who, upon seeing police officers patrolling the streets in an area known for heavy narcotics trafficking, flees from the officers on foot. Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 120 S. Ct. 673, 145 L. Ed. 2d 570 (2000)

The warrant requirement is waived for many other searches and seizures as well, including a search incident to a lawful arrest; a seizure of items in plain view; a search to which the suspect consents; a search after a Hot Pursuit; and a search under exigent or emergency circumstances. Nor does the Fourth Amendment require the police to obtain a warrant before seizing an automobile from a public place when they have probable cause to believe that the vehicle is forfeitable contraband. Florida v. White, 526 U.S. 559, 119 S. Ct. 1555, 143 L. Ed. 2d 748 (1999).

However, the Fourth Amendment does prohibit police use of a thermal-imaging device aimed at a private home from a public street to detect relative amounts of heat within the home. Such devices are typically employed to determine whether a suspect is using a high-intensity lamp to grow marijuana in his or her home. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the use of thermal-imaging devices constitutes a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and thus their use is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 121 S. Ct. 2038, 150 L. Ed. 2d 94 (2001).

The Supreme Court also ruled that a state hospital conducted an unreasonable search when it undertook warrantless and nonconsensual urine testing of pregnant women who had manifested symptoms of possible cocaine use. The governmental interest in using the threat of criminal sanctions to deter pregnant women from using cocaine did not justify a departure from the general rule that an official nonconsensual search is unconstitutional if not authorized by a valid search warrant. Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 532 U.S. 67, 121 S. Ct. 1281, 149 L. Ed. 2d 205 (2001).

The U.S. Supreme Court's Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence is splintered over the constitutionality of using fixed checkpoints or roadblocks to conduct warrantless and suspicionless vehicle seizures. The Court has held that the Fourth Amendment allows law enforcement to perform warrantless vehicle seizures at a fixed checkpoint along the nation's border to intercept illegal Aliens, so long as the search is reasonable in light of the "totality of the circumstances". United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 122 S. Ct. 744, 151 L. Ed. 2d 740 (2002). The Court also ruled that roadblocks may be used to intercept drunk drivers. However, the Court rejected on Fourth Amendment grounds the use of a roadblock to perform warrantless and suspicionless searches of automobiles for the purpose of drug interdiction. Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 121 S. Ct. 447, 148 L. Ed. 2d 333 (2000).

When an officer seeks a search warrant, he or she must present evidence to a judge or magistrate. The evidence must be sufficient to establish probable cause that evidence of a crime will be found at the place to be searched. Probable cause is a level of belief beyond mere suspicion but short of full certainty. Whether an officer can establish probable cause to obtain a search warrant depends on the facts of the case. For example, if an arrested person is discovered with a small amount of marijuana, this alone will not justify a search of the person's home. However, if the person is discovered with a large amount of marijuana, the quantity may support the suspicion that more marijuana may be found in the person's home, and the large amount may be used as the basis for obtaining a search warrant.

Police officers seeking a search warrant must state, under oath and with particularity, the facts supporting probable cause. If the search warrant is later found to be lacking in probable cause, or if important statements made by the officers are found to have been intentionally misleading, the evidence seized pursuant to the warrant might not be admissible at trial. Moreover, if the search goes beyond the scope granted in the warrant, the evidence seized as a result of that encroachment might not be admissible at trial. For example, if the warrant states that the officers may search only the suspect's apartment, they may not expand the search to a storage closet outside the apartment.

In executing a search warrant pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement officers may enter private property without knocking or announcing their presence if the officers have reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing would be dangerous, futile, or would inhibit an effective criminal investigation by allowing the destruction of evidence. While the lawfulness of a "no-knock" entry does not depend on whether property is subsequently damaged during the search, excessive or unnecessary destruction of property in the course of the search might violate Fourth Amendment rights, even though the entry itself is lawful and the fruits of search are not subject to suppression.United States v. Ramirez, 523 U.S. 65, 118 S. Ct. 992, 140 L. Ed. 2d 191 (1998).

The Exclusionary Rule

The Exclusionary Rule protects the right to be free from unreasonable searches. This rule holds that otherwise incriminating subject matter that police officers have obtained illegally must be excluded from evidence. Along with the right of appeal, the exclusionary rule is a defendant's chief remedy for a violation of his or her rights in a criminal procedure.

The Stages OF A Criminal Prosecution

A criminal prosecution usually begins with an arrest. In some cases, the arrest is the culmination of a police investigation; in other cases, it may occur with minimal police investigation. Either way, the manner in which the police investigate suspects and collect evidence is almost always an issue in a criminal case.

During an arrest, a criminal suspect is advised of his or her Miranda rights. These include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. After arrest, the defendant is subjected to a cursory search for weapons and contraband. The defendant is then driven to the nearest jail, police station, or detention center for booking. During booking, the defendant is photographed and fingerprinted, and the arrest is entered into the police log, or blotter. The defendant is informed of the charge or charges if she or he has not already been so informed. The defendant is also allowed to make one telephone call. After being stripped of all personal items, belts, and shoelaces, the defendant may be placed in a holding cell to await presentation before a magistrate. For misdemeanors, which are less serious than felonies, the defendant may be released with the posting of a cash bond and a promise to appear before a magistrate.

While the person waits for this first appearance before the court, a police officer prepares a complaint against the suspect. The complaint is a document that describes the alleged crime. It is screened by prosecutors and then submitted to the court. The court reviews the complaint to determine whether there is sufficient legal basis to hold the person in custody. If the magistrate finds that the facts alleged do not establish Probable Cause to believe that the suspect committed the crime, the magistrate must dismiss the complaint and order the release of the person from custody.

The first appearance must be held without unnecessary delay. Many jurisdictions impose a twenty-four-hour limit on initial detention before a hearing, but this limit may extend to seventy-two hours if the arrest is made on a Friday.

In the first appearance, the magistrate informs the defendant of the charge or charges as set forth in the complaint. The magistrate also informs the defendant of his or her rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. If the defendant in a felony case is not already represented by private counsel and is unable to afford private counsel, the court appoints an attorney. This is usually a public defender, but it may be a private defense attorney paid by the court or working free of charge. In most states, the attorney meets with and represents the defendant in the first appearance. The defendant in a misdemeanor case does not always qualify for a free attorney.

If the magistrate finds probable cause, the magistrate sets bail in the first appearance. Bail consists of the conditions the defendant will have to meet to gain release from custody pending trial. Acceptable bail is usually cash or other liquid assets. Bail is intended to guarantee the defendant's appearance at trial. In some jurisdictions, if the magistrate determines that the defendant presents a danger to the community or may attempt to flee, the magistrate may refuse to set bail. In such a case, the defendant is forced to remain in jail until the case is resolved.

If the charge is a misdemeanor, the first appearance serves as an Arraignment, where the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. The magistrate then allows the defendant to post bail or leave on her or his own recognizance, with the understanding that the defendant will reappear for trial.

Following the first appearance, a felony case proceeds to a Preliminary Hearing. Before this hearing is held, the prosecutor and the defense attorney communicate to see if there is any possibility of a plea bargain, or a mutually acceptable disposition of the case. If a deal can be reached, and it is acceptable to the defendant, it is presented to the court for approval at the preliminary hearing.

The preliminary hearing is conducted by the magistrate to determine whether the prosecution has sufficient evidence to continue the prosecution. Unlike the first appearance, the preliminary hearing is adversarial. The prosecutor relies on witnesses to present the prosecution's evidence, and the defendant may do the same. Both sides are allowed to question, or cross-examine, the opposing side's witnesses. After this hearing, the court may dismiss the charges if they are not supported by probable cause.

In some states, review by a Grand Jury is also required before a felony prosecution may continue; this review is not required for a misdemeanor prosecution. A grand jury is a group of private citizens summoned to review, in private, the prosecution's evidence. Generally, a grand jury consists of more jurors than a trial jury, which usually numbers twelve. In a grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor presents the evidence against the defendant to the grand jurors, and the grand jurors may ask questions of the prosecutor. The prosecutor then presents a proposed indictment, or a written accusation sworn to by the prosecutor. If a majority of the grand jury finds no probable cause for the prosecution, it returns a no bill, or a refusal of the indictment. If a majority finds probable cause, the grand jury returns a true bill, and prosecution continues.

Following a true-bill finding by a grand jury, the prosecution files the indictment with the trial court. Where no grand jury was required and only a preliminary hearing was held, the prosecution files an information, which is similar in form to an indictment but written and approved by the prosecutor alone.

After the indictment or information courts review criminal convictions for trial court errors. They rarely overturn verdicts on evidentiary bases. Even if an appeals court finds a trial court error, it will affirm the conviction if it feels the error did not affect the outcome of the case.

Generally, state court defendants appeal to a first court of appeals, then to the highest state court (usually the state supreme court), and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. In federal cases, defendants appeal to a U.S. court of appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. The review of appeals after the first appeal is discretionary; that is, the court may decline to hear the case.

After exhausting all appeals, a defendant sentenced to incarceration may collaterally attack the conviction and sentence. This means the defendant attacks the conviction in an action other than an appeal. The most common method of collateral attack is submission of a petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus. This is a civil action against the warden of a prison, challenging the legality of the imprisonment. If the court approves the writ, the inmate must be set free.

A habeas corpus petition is not an appeal; courts will grant a writ of habeas corpus only if the defendant can prove that the court that sent the petitioner to prison was actually powerless to do so or that such detention violated the petitioner's constitutional rights. Generally, an inmate will ask for the writ in state court before filing in federal court.

All states also have a procedure in place to hear claims of newly discovered evidence. However, no relief is granted if the new evidence would not have made a difference in the verdict.

Some inmates are given early release from prison, or Parole. Parole is granted by the state or federal parole board or correctional board. It allows the inmate to finish the prison sentence in the community. The court requires a paroled defendant, or parolee, to meet certain conditions on release and to meet regularly with a parole officer for the duration of the sentence.

In some states, if the conviction was for first-degree murder, the defendant may be sentenced to death. Where the sentence is death and the defendant has lost all appeals and collateral attacks, the defendant may ask the governor of the state for clemency. For federal crimes, the president retains the power of clemency. Clemency is forgiveness and mercy, and it usually comes in the form of a pardon or of a commutation of a sentence. A pardon releases the inmate from custody and restores his or her legal rights and privileges, such as voting and gun ownership. A commutation decreases or suspends an inmate's sentence. A commutation is a lesser form of clemency because it does not restore the legal rights of the inmate.


The exclusionary rule deters police misconduct in searches. Without the admission of the evidence at trial, the case against the alleged criminal may be dismissed, and the officer's actions in gathering that evidence will have been wasted effort. The exclusionary rule also prohibits the use of evidence obtained in violation of other constitutional rights, such as statements of the accused that are elicited in violation of the right against self-incrimination.

The most important exception to the exclusionary rule is the good-faith exception. Essentially, the good-faith exception allows the use of evidence obtained in violation of a person's constitutional rights if the officer who obtained the evidence acted in a reasonable manner. If evidence is illegally seized and does not fall under an exception but is erroneously admitted at trial by the judge, a guilty verdict will be reversed on appeal if the prosecution cannot show Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that the evidence did not contribute to the conviction.
When officers have collected evidence pursuant to a search warrant, the burden is on the defendant to show that the warrant lacked probable cause or that other problems tainted the collection process. For a warrantless search, the prosecution bears the burden of proving that the search was reasonable. However, before evidence seized during a warrantless search will be excluded from trial, the defendant must prove that he or she had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place that was searched. Homeowners, for example, enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy in items that they keep inside their homes. However, houseguests might not have a similar expectation of privacy in the homes they are visiting, especially when they do not stay overnight and their sole purpose for being inside the house is to participate in criminal activity such as a drug transaction. Minnesota v. Carter, 525 U.S. 83, 119 S. Ct. 469, 142 L. Ed. 2d 373 (1998). Disputes over the application of the exclusionary rule are usually resolved at a pretrial proceeding called a "suppression hearing."


The general rule is that to make an arrest, the police must obtain an arrest warrant. However, if an officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, and there is no time to obtain a warrant, the officer may make a warrantless arrest. An officer also may make a warrantless arrest of persons who commit a crime in the officer's presence.

An invalid arrest is not generally a defense to prosecution. However, if an arrest is unsupported by probable cause, evidence obtained pursuant to the invalid arrest can be excluded from trial.

When an arrest is made, the arresting officer must read the Miranda warnings to the arrestee. These warnings apprise an arrestee of the right to obtain counsel and the right to remain silent. If these warnings are not read to an arrestee as soon as he or she is taken into custody, any statements that the arrestee makes after the arrest may be excluded from trial.

After the arrest, the police must follow certain guidelines during their investigations. For example, if the arrestee requests an attorney or expresses a wish to remain silent, the officers must honor the request and refrain from questioning the arrestee. However, the police may attempt to confirm that they have arrested the right person.

 They may do so by showing a victim a photo array that includes a picture of the suspect; by arranging a lineup of live persons at the police station, with the suspect included in the lineup; or by organizing a show-up, which is a personal showing of the arrestee to the victim shortly after commission of the crime.

Where photo arrays or lineups are used, the police must refrain from highlighting the arrestee. For example, if an arrestee is white, an officer may not show a witness a series of photographs in which all of the other subjects are black. If an identification procedure is too suggestive, any identification by the victim may be excluded from trial.


At trial, a criminal defendant has a number of constitutional rights, including the Right to Counsel, the right to a public trial, the right to a trial by jury, the right to a fair and impartial trial, the right to confront witnesses in court, the right to compulsory process to obtain witnesses, and the Privilege against Self-Incrimination. Violation of any of these rights may result in the reversal or vacation of a conviction on appeal.

There are exceptions and nuances to most of the procedural trial rights. Under the Sixth Amendment, if a defendant is indigent, or unable to afford an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney. This right applies only for felony charges and cases in which actual imprisonment may be imposed. Accordingly, an indigent who is not represented by counsel at trial may not be sentenced to incarceration, regardless of whether conviction of the offense warrants incarceration (Scott v. Illinois, 440 U.S. 367, 99 S. Ct. 1158, 59 L. Ed. 2d 383 [1979]). However, a defendant will not be appointed an attorney if the he or she is able to pay for a private one.

A criminal defendant has the right to an attorney from the first critical stage of the criminal process through the end. An attorney must be present at the request of the defendant during such events as interrogation, lineup identifications after charges have been filed, preliminary hearings before the court, trial, and sentencing.

The Sixth Amendment right to counsel includes the mandate that a defendant's counsel must be effective and not incompetent. Attorneys must generally consult with their clients about trial strategy and tactics, in order to be effective and competent. However, a criminal defense attorney's failure to consult with a client before deciding against filing a post-conviction appeal does not necessarily render his or her assistance ineffective or incompetent. While the better practice would be for attorneys to always consult with their clients regarding the possibility of appeal, the Sixth Amendment only requires such consultation when there is reason to believe either (1) that any rational defendant would want to appeal; or (2) that this particular defendant reasonably demonstrated to counsel that he was interested in appealing. Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. 470, 120 S. Ct. 1029, 145 L. Ed. 2d 985 (2000).

A defendant is free to reject counsel and to proceed pro se, or by self-representation. However, a judge may disregard the defendant's request and appoint an attorney if the pro se defendant engages in dilatory or disruptive tactics. Additionally, state courts of appeal may disregard a defendant's request to represent himself or herself on appeal without violating Sixth Amendment rights. Martinez v. Court of Appeals of California, Fourth Appellate Dist.,, 528 U.S. 152, 120 S. Ct. 684, 145 L. Ed. 2d 597 (2000)

The Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury does not guarantee a jury in all cases. The right generally applies only in "serious cases"—which are generally considered to be those in which conviction can result in incarceration for more than six months. When a jury trial is not guaranteed, the trial court judge will hear the case and make a decision.

In federal court, a jury verdict must be unanimous. This directive is not applicable to the states. In some states, a vote of nine out of twelve jurors is sufficient to convict or to acquit. States may even provide as few as six jurors. Six is the minimum, because juries should represent a cross section of the community. If a jury of six is used, the verdict must be unanimous.

Under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, a defendant has the right to cross-examine all prosecution witnesses at trial. In limited circumstances, the out-of-court statements made by a witness who is absent from court may be offered through the testimony of a third party. Known asHearsay statements, this type of evidence may be admitted if the statements were made under oath and subject to cross-examination by the defendant's attorney, and if the witness is unavailable to testify at trial despite the best efforts of the prosecution. However, a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confront and to cross-examine the accuser in open court is violated when the prosecution introduces the incriminating hearsay statements of a non-testifying co-defendant in a joint trial, even if the defendant's name is redacted from the incriminating statements, because juries will often realize that the redacted portions are referring to the defendant. Gray v. Maryland, 523 U.S. 185, 118 S. Ct. 1151, 140 L. Ed. 2d 294 (1998)

The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination extends from the moment of custody. A defendant need not make statements or testify at trial, and that right is absolute. However, with a sufficient showing of need by the prosecution, self-incrimination may come from sources other than the defendant's statements or testimony. For example, a court may force a defendant to appear before witnesses for identification; to provide handwriting or blood or voice or fingerprint samples; or to repeat certain words or gestures.

However, the mere fact that a defendant has pled guilty to a criminal act does not waive the privilege against self-incrimination during the sentencing phase. As a result, a defendant has the right to remain silent, during sentencing, about facts that bear upon the severity of the sentence, and the sentencing court may not draw an adverse inference from the defendant's silence. Mitchell v. United States, 526 U.S. 314, 119 S. Ct. 1307, 143 L. Ed. 2d 424 (1999).

If the defendant does testify, he or she may be questioned by the prosecutor about previously inadmissible statements that contradict that testimony. Thus, the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination will not apply if the defendant has made statements that are contrary to testimony given on the witness stand. Nor does the Fifth Amendment prohibit a prosecutor from calling the jury's attention during closing arguments to the fact that the defendant had the opportunity to hear all other witnesses testify and to tailor his testimony accordingly. The Fifth Amendment prohibits the prosecution from commenting to the jury about the defendant's failure to testify at trial, but it does not prohibit the prosecution from making comments that impeach the defendant's credibility after her or she has testified. Portuondo v. Agard, 529 U.S. 61, 120 S. Ct. 1119, 146 L. Ed. 2d 47 294 (2000).
The Compulsory Process Clause of the Sixth Amendment gives a defendant the right to obtain favorable witnesses. This means that the defendant has the same power as the prosecutor to subpoena witnesses. However, if the government, acting in Good Faith, deports a potential defense witness (i.e., makes the witness leave the jurisdiction), it does not violate compulsory process rights.

The Sixth Amendment grants the right to "an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed." This clause gives a defendant the right to question jurors for bias and prejudice. The right belongs to both the defense and the prosecution, and it is exercised in a proceeding called Voir Dire. In voir dire, both sides are allowed to question jurors and to reject a certain number of jurors, until the jury pool is complete. The rejection of jurors may not be based on race, sex, or national origin.

At trial, the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt beyond a Reasonable Doubt. This level of belief is abstract and has been described in a number of ways. The best definition is that any doubt regarding the defendant's guilt should not be fanciful or conjured up to avoid delivering a verdict of guilty. This standard is reserved for criminal trials; it is a higher standard than "a preponderance of the evidence" and "clear and convincing evidence," the burdens of proof used in civil trials.

The vast majority of criminal cases are resolved with a plea of guilty before, or sometimes during, trial. Prosecutors may use their discretion to reduce charges in exchange for a guilty plea, in an arrangement known as a pleabargain. A plea of guilty cannot be revoked after a court has accepted it. Generally, it is appealable only if the right to a trial was not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived.

Prosecutors are often content with a pleabargain because it satisfies the criminal justice system's goal of encouraging people to accept responsibility for their actions, and because pleabargains avoid costly, time-consuming trials. A prosecutor also may agree to defer prosecution and to drop charges after a specified period if the defendant fulfills certain conditions. A defense attorney may seek a plea-bargain if the evidence against the defendant is overwhelming. Both sides are free to reject any plea-bargains and to proceed to trial.

If a defendant is acquitted of all criminal charges, the prosecution may not subsequently prosecute the defendant for the same act that produced those charges. This right is derived from the prohibition of double jeopardy that is found in the Fifth Amendment. In a jury trial, double jeopardy protection attaches when the jury is impaneled and sworn in. For bench trials, or cases presented to a judge only, double jeopardy protection begins when the first witness is sworn in. Under double jeopardy protection, the prosecution may not deliberately cause a mistrial if the trial is going poorly for the prosecution. However, if the jury cannot reach a verdict, and the court declares a mistrial, the defendant may be retried for the same offense.

Generally, a defendant may not face both federal and state prosecutions for the same offense. One exception to this general rule is that a defendant in state court may face charges in federal court for the same act with the permission of the attorney general, but only if the offense is within the jurisdiction of the federal court. For example, a conviction for driving while intoxicated raises no federal concerns; federal laws do not address that offense. Thus, the attorney general may not authorize the federal prosecution of a defendant who has been acquitted in state court of driving while intoxicated. The acquitted defendant may, however, face a civil lawsuit for damages, because civil actions do not put a person "in jeopardy of life or limb," and therefore double jeopardy does not apply to them (U.S. Const. amend. V, cl. 2). Similarly, the Double Jeopardy Clause is not violated when a defendant faces both criminal and administrative proceedings arising out of a single wrongful act.Hudson v. United States, 522 U.S. 93, 118 S. Ct. 488, 139 L. Ed. 2d 450 (1997).


Sentencing After conviction, a defendant may be allowed to remain free until sentencing. The decision on this issue is made by the court, and it depends on the nature of the conviction and the nature of the defendant's perceived character. For example, a court will not allow a convicted murderer or rapist to remain free until sentencing. A court may, however, allow a nonviolent convict to post a bond and to remain free pending sentencing.

Sentencing for a felony conviction is usually heard by the court in a separate hearing held several days or weeks after the verdict. At a felony sentencing hearing, the prosecution makes a recommendation of punishment, and the defendant usually argues for leniency. For lesser offenses, such as misdemeanors and violations, sentencing may immediately follow the verdict.

Judges generally have wide discretion to craft individualized sentences within statutory guidelines. However, states violate defendants' Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury in capital cases when they authorize the sentencing judge alone to determine the presence or absence of aggravating factors required for the imposition of the death penalty. Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584, 122 S. Ct. 2428, 153 L. Ed. 2d 556 (2002). And where a capital defendant's future dangerousness is at issue and the only sentencing alternative to death available to the jury is life imprisonment without the possibility ofParole, due process requires the court to allow the defendant to inform the jury of his or her parole ineligibility, either by a jury instruction or in arguments by counsel. Shafer v. South Carolina, 532 U.S. 36, 121 S. Ct. 1263, 149 L. Ed. 2d 178 (2001).

Sentencing can include any combination of community service, Forfeiture of property, fines, and incarceration. Courts may also exercise their sentencing discretion and order a term of Probation.

Under state and federal forfeiture laws, law enforcement authorities are authorized to confiscate property of certain criminal defendants. Under federal law, persons who have been convicted of controlled-substance violations or Racketeering schemes may be forced to relinquish much of theirPersonal Property, including real estate, stocks, cash savings, and vehicles. States also authorize forfeitures for the violation of certain state laws, such as those regarding controlled substances and the solicitation of prostitution.

Probation releases a convicted defendant into the community under the supervision of a probation officer. This type of sentence is generally reserved for first-time offenders, to give them an opportunity to reform and rehabilitate.
A probationer will be called back into court and sentenced to serve a term of incarceration if he or she breaks the terms of the probation. For example, suppose that a person who has been convicted of marijuana possession and sentenced to probation has been ordered to complete treatment for chemical dependency and to report to a probation officer twice a week. If the probationer fails to complete these requirements, the court may order the defendant to serve a period of incarceration for the marijuana offense.

If probation is revoked, the probationer is entitled to counsel. However, an indigent probationer is not automatically entitled to a court-appointed attorney. Whether a probationer receives free counsel depends on a number of factors. Generally, the court will appoint an attorney if an indigent probationer denies committing the alleged act and faces lengthy imprisonment.

Under the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, sentencing and confinement in jail or prison may not involve torture or barbarity. The Eighth Amendment is also construed as meaning that the punishment should fit the crime. For example, it would be cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a person who has been convicted of trespassing to the same punishment as a person who has been convicted of Homicide.
With regard to the amount of punishment that may be inflicted, the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment also bars punishment that is clearly out of proportion to the offense committed. The U.S. Supreme Court has considered the issue of proportionality, particularly in the context of the death penalty. In Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584, 97 S. Ct. 2861, 53 L. Ed. 2d 982 (1977), the Court held that death was a disproportionate penalty for the crime of raping an adult woman.

But the high court has held that the death penalty itself is not inherently cruel, instead describing it as "an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme of crimes" (Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 96 S. Ct. 2909, 49 L. Ed. 2d 859 [1976]). Modern methods of administering Capital Punishment, such as shooting, hanging, electrocution, and lethal injection, have been upheld as constitutional by federal and state courts. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that statutes providing a mandatory death sentence for certain degrees or categories of murder are unconstitutional because they preclude sentencing authorities from considering aspects of a particular defendant's character or record, or from considering circumstances that might mitigate a particular crime (see Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586, 98 S. Ct. 2954, 57 L. Ed. 2d 973 [1978]). In Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399, 106 S. Ct. 2595, 91 L. Ed. 2d 335 (1986), the Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits states from inflicting the penalty of death upon a prisoner who is insane.

The U.S. Supreme Court has also ruled that the execution of mentally retarded criminals violates the Eighth Amendment's guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment. Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S. Ct. 2242, 153 L. Ed. 2d 335 (2002). Citing "evolving standards of decency," the Court stated that its decision was informed by a national consensus reflected in deliberations of the American public, legislators, scholars, and judges. Atkins overruled Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 109 S. Ct. 2934, 106 L. Ed. 2d 256 (1989), a decision rendered just 13 years earlier. However, inStanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361, 109 S. Ct. 2969, 106 L. Ed. 2d 306 (1989), the Court found that there was no national consensus prohibiting the execution of juvenile offenders over age 15.
Appeal Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to appeal a criminal conviction. Most states do provide the right to an appellate review of criminal convictions, to protect against trial court errors. However, many states limit their review of state court convictions by hearing only short oral arguments and issuing decisions without explanation.

Federal statutes grant criminal defendants in federal court the right to appeal. Only one review is granted as a matter of right, and this is to a U.S. court of appeals. Review of state and federal convictions in the U.S. Supreme Court is discretionary.

Where a criminal appeal is granted by state law as a matter of right, the court is required to appoint an attorney to represent indigent defendants on appeal. An indigent defendant is also entitled to a free trial transcript or other means of affording appellate review; this applies to any indigent defendant, including one who is punished only with a fine.

On appeal, the burden is on the defendant to prove that an error occurred in the trial or that the evidence was insufficient to convict. Appellate courts reviewing a defendant's challenge to the appropriateness of a particular sentence must generally apply a deferential standard of review. Sentencing courts are in a better position than are appellate courts to decide whether a particular set of individual circumstances justifies the imposition of a given sentence under the sentencing guidelines, the U.S. Supreme Court has observed. Burford v. United States, 532 U.S. 59, 121 S. Ct. 1276, 149 L. Ed. 2d 197 (2001). Defendants must raise all claims of trial error in their first appeal in order to preserve the claims for future appeals.

Habeas Corpus Petitions After an incarcerated defendant has exhausted all appeals without success, he or she may file a writ of Habeas Corpus. This is a civil suit against the warden of the prison (in his or her professional capacity), challenging the constitutionality of the incarceration. There is no right to the assistance of an attorney for habeas corpus petitions.

A habeas corpus petition is not another appeal. The only basis for a writ of habeas corpus is the deprivation of a constitutional right. For example, an inmate may claim that he or she was denied the assistance of counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, because the defense attorney was incompetent. But defendants generally may not rely on habeas corpus proceedings to challenge a federal sentence on the ground that the prior state convictions upon which the federal sentence was based had been unconstitutionally obtained. Daniels v. United States, 5532 U.S. 394, 121 S.Ct. 1567, 149 L. Ed. 2d 608 (2001).

Parole If an inmate is released on parole and then violates the terms of the parole, he or she must attend a hearing to determine whether parole will be revoked. The parolee may be entitled to the assistance of counsel at the revocation hearing. This entitlement will depend on a number of factors, including whether the parolee denies committing the alleged acts, as well as the rules of the parole board. If the parolee can afford a private attorney, he or she is free to hire one; there is no bar to representation in parolerevocation hearings.

Inmates who seek parole often cite mitigating factors that existed either before, after, or at the time the crime was committed. However, parole boards and related Executive Branch departments are under no obligation to give mitigating evidence any weight, and may typically reject an inmate's request for parole without providing any reason for doing so. Accordingly, the federal Bureau of Prisons has the authority to adopt regulations that categorically deny early-release incentive to prisoners whose current offense was a felony attended by "the carrying, possession, or use of a firearm." Lopez v. Davis, 531 U.S. 230, 121 S.Ct. 714, 148 L. Ed. 2d 635 (2001).

Further readings

Arkin, Marc M. 1992. "Rethinking the Constitutional Right to a Criminal Appeal." University of California at Los Angeles Law Review 39.
Israel, Jerold H., Yale Kamisar, and Wayne R. LaFave. 1993. Criminal Procedure and the Constitution: Leading Supreme Court Cases and Introductory Text. St. Paul, Minn.: West.
PMBR. 1993. "Criminal Procedure." Multistate Workbook. vol. 2. Multistate Legal Studies.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WEST VALLEY JAIL/ San Bernardino County/ California


San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
INTERNAL AFFAIRS Report # 02 0278
655 East Third Street
San BernardinoCA 92415-0061

The West Valley Detention Center is also known as the San Bernardino County Jail in Rancho Cucamonga. The facility is physically located at 9500 Etiwanda Avenue in Rancho CucamongaCA 91739.

Unit 15 is where the homeless and mentally challenged females are placed. They have no voice, and no one seems to care, and, no one is watching.


A history of ancient 
Israel is contained in mankind’s oldest book, The Bible. There was no prison or jail system mentioned here, rather the emphasis was placed on justice through a by a set of laws given in the First Five Books of the Old Testament, which meant not just punishing the perpetrator of the crime, but also compensating the victim.
These laws gave 
real justice to the innocent victim by compensating him for his loss. They also punished the criminal in a way that served as a deterrent to crime. 
God was obviously very much aware of the dark side of human nature when given absolute power and authority over others.
In a classic psychological test in 1971, ordinary college students picked at random to play guards and prisoners in a mock prison built in the basement of Stanford University. However within six days the pretend prisoners were being treated like real animals and the experiment, meant to last two weeks had to be called off.

The experimenter, Philip Zimbardo, was later quoted as saying that his experiment seemed temporarily to blot out the experiences of a lifetime, "and the ugliest, most base, pathological side of human nature surfaced."

Several experts have stressed weak leadership as key in dissolving a guard’s inhibitions and brings about the sense, "well, no one is really watching."

More than anything, some researchers say, prison atrocities are prevented by engaged managers who keep close watch. They are the ones who lay down clear standards and enforce them. When there are no standards they put guards in an extraordinary place of both menace and power, unguarded.


Being confined in West Valley Jail, San Bernardino County, California can only be understood as being transported into a Lynchian Nightmare filled with psychological and physical abuses, that often digress into real torture and crazy making scenarios that distort time and reality, carried on by bizarre sociopathic-type "guards" against helpless, dehumanized inmates - many homeless, mentally ill, and illegal who have no protection and no voice, and where memory retention of events, names and faces blur into a fog. It is literally a true proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

Judge Sabit, a Juvenile Court Judge had been openly honest about not knowing the law of void judgments, but also seemed almost giddy when she believed she would be making a judgment on another judge's decision on a void judgment. So, in spite of not knowing the law she proceeded to improperly retry the case, and listened to several hours of fabricated subrogated perjury that evidently made such an impression on her, that she could no longer could have discernment to know the truth from fiction.

  A judge may only look at the judgment roll record; she may not retry the case and allow for any "new testimony, etc." Federal decisions addressing void state court judgments include Kalb v. Feuerstein (1940) 308 US 433, 60 S Ct 343, 84 L ed 370; Ex parte Rowland (1882) 104 U.S. 604, 26 L.Ed. 861: "A judgment which is void upon its face, and which requires only an inspection of the judgment roll to demonstrate its wants of vitality is a dead limb upon the judicial tree, which should be lopped off..." People v. Greene, 71 Cal. 100 [16 Pac. 197, 5 Am. St. Rep. 448].

But now, on 
May 26, 2010 I sat in Court Room 7, at the Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court and listen as Judge Sabit, who has now been made aware of the law through a legal research team, and, must dismiss 28 counts of this bogus and void restraining order brought against me by the vindictive, retaliatory and unethical, Attorney Linda Hollenbeck, an Amerland Group ("slum lords" personified) morally corrupt lackey who is beyond having a conscience for her illegal activities, Martha Enrique, an owner of Amerland Group and a sister in evil collusion's, along with Briarwood Manor Manager, Karen Brooks -- just a dumb, and easily manipulated broad -- and "win at all costsDeputy District Attorney Jack Liu. They all sit blankly, staring straight ahead as all the counts are read, one by one, and dismissed.

This all began when Amerland Group/Logan Property Management along with their attorney, Linda T. Hollenbeck went after me with a bogus, retaliatory eviction when I complaint about fire-safety violations, and crime on the property. When I challenged the eviction Attorney Hollenbeck, did several unethical tricks, and finally in retaliation took out two restraining orders for "Work Place Violence" CCP 527.8. Both were identical in wording and the four declarations seemed all written by one person, and even had the same spelling mistakes. The first one was thrown out immediately by a judge who knew the law for "not making their case."

But the second one, heard by Judge Rex Victor, a Juvenile Court Judge went forward. It was obvious from the beginning it was a void order as Victor did not follow the law of work place orders, and, Hollenbeck had even missed the filing date by three days, making the order automatically void.  I challenged the order as void at least twice in court. I warned Hollenbeck, Enrique, Brooks, Ochsner and the other property owners, on several occasions that the order was  void, but all ignored me and continued to have me falsely arrested for just appearing to get my mail, or to make complaints, or seek services from the apartment management. (Such void on the face judgments lack jurisdiction and can legally be ignored [by defendant] as they neither bind, nor bar anyone. Obviously a judgment, though final and on the merits, has no binding force and is subject to collateral attack if it is wholly void for lack of jurisdiction of the subject matter or person, and perhaps for excess of jurisdiction, or where it is obtained by extrinsic fraud[Citations.]" 7 Witkin, Cal. Procedure, Judgment, § 286, p. 828.).  (Burns v. Municipal Court (1961) 195 Cal.App.2d 596, 599.)
As the finally count is dismissed, I smile at Mike Camber, Public Defender and exhale; it is over.

Well, then up jumps Deputy District Attorney, Jack Liu. "But there is this  
 Stay Away Order issued by Judge Libutti back in June and Ms. Stephens violated that by contacting  Karen Brooks, victim, and Cassandra Oseth-Ochsnervictim this last week." He presents a police report taken at Briarwood when I visited resident Carol Colgrove, and a document from an online Facebook communication Mrs. Ochsner and I had a few days ago. Brooks and Ochsner are "victims" of nothing -- it is a void restraining order, from the beginning and every count has just been dismissed.

It is me that has been the victim in all of this.

I look at Mike, and he asks softly, "Were you aware there was a stay away order?" I shake my head and mouth the word softly, "No!" It would be void anyway and no order may be put onto an already void order. (A void judgment or proceeding founded on a void judgment is void:30A
 Am Jur Judgments '' 43,44, 45. Henderson v. 
Henderson, 232 NC 380, 100 SE2d 227.) This is just more vindictive retaliation from people who don't the law, and to a judge who does not know the law.

Now Judge Sabit excitedly jumps right in, again almost giddy: "You are being incarcerated with Bail set at $150,000 (Excessive Bail: Stack v. Boyle 342 U.S. (1951) the U.S. Supreme Court, Ajudge or justice may be censured for "setting 'grossly excessive' bail and [thus] showing a 'severe attitude' toward witnesses and litigants," as the Michigan Supreme Court did to a trial judge recently : Debra Cassens Weiss, writes, "Judge Censured for Excessive Bail, Severe Attitude", ABA JournalFebruary 8, 2008).

Judge Sabit becomes quite rude, not hiding her bias toward me when she says with venomous implications, "Read my lips, IF YOU SHOULD MAKE BAIL...'" I am too stunned to listen to the rest. Judge Lubutti had piggy-backed this order on the already void restraining order during a hearing in June 2009 when I had made a Motion to Dismiss, and I now know that "no order made on an unlawful, void order is valid!" But this judge, by her own previous admission "Does not know the law of void orders."

I look at Mike, confused. I want to yell at him, "Speak up!" but all he says, obviously distressed,” You are going to jail." I begin to remove my jewelry, and place everything into my attaché case as the bailiffs ask me to follow them. I am grateful, well, at least there are no hand cuffs. Mike takes my belongings and says he will call my daughter to come for my car.
Judge Sabit is biased toward me. She has listened to the subronated perjury (PENAL CODE SECTION 118-131) of Karen Brooks, Cassandra Oseth-Ochsner, Frank Reyes (a convicted felon), and Judy Hyden, a woman on the cusp of Alzheimer's, all brought into the court by Attorney Linda Hollenbeck and Deputy District Attorney Jack Liu. None of their fabricated and couched testimony was in the original record of the original trial, but certainly it obviously impressed Judge Sabit, and now she can obviously have no valid, unbiased ability to be impartial.

I am back in Court Room 7,  on 
 June 22 to change my plea. Judge Sabit needs to recuse herself because of comments she has made on the record that proves she is bias toward me. (
Code of Civil Procedures (CCP) Section (§)170.1 (a)(6)(C): “For any reason . . . A person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.”

Judges MUST follow the law: "Court must prove on the record, all jurisdiction facts related to the jurisdiction asserted." Latana v. Hopper, 102 F. 2d 188; Chicago v. New York 37 FSupp. 150 When judges act when they do not have jurisdiction to act, or they enforce a void order (an order issued by a judge without jurisdiction), they become trespassers of the law, and are engaged in treason. The Court: Yates v. Village of Hoffman EstatesIllinois, 209 F.Supp. 757 (N.D. Ill. 1962.

Once in the back I am searched and sent down an elevator to the basement to be transported to jail. I am under a great deal of stress, and the deputy makes me walk fast and I feel the angina coming on. (I am 69, disabled, had an open heart triple-by-pass in June 2002 and now live with congestive heart failure, hypertension, sleep apnea, post traumatic stress, and stress related angina. I am homeless and have been sleeping in my car for over a year.) I feel my legs give way and I go down to the ground. The paramedics arrive and I am taken to 
Arrowhead Hospital where I am shackled to a bed and treatment of a sorts begins.

I suffer from congestive heart failure, sleep apnea, hypertension, and post traumatic stress, and all this is part of my medical record. I am 69 years old and have been homeless and sleeping in my car for over a year because of the illegal and retaliatory eviction of Amerland Group/Logan Property. Their reputation for evicting people who complain is legendary in well known, and documented in the media. Eight people died in fires on their properties such as the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles and, when people complained they were evicted by Attorney Hollenbeck. People who were mentally challenged, disabled -- in wheel chairs, and amputees, elderly -- it didn't matter they were made homeless by Amerland Group and their attorney.

Sometime later the next day I ask to make a phone call, but the hospital deputy tells me "That isn't going to happen till you get to jail." He is old and grouchy and refuses to be friendly. I am old and grouchy and so frustrated with my false incarceration; the two of us are at odds. I say, "I bet you would be happy if I were to just die." At that point he calls the nurse and doctor and tells them "She is suicidal! I am going to put her on a 5150." (That is Penal Code for” gravely mentally disabled and unable to care for self.") He puts another shackle on my other ankle, and handcuffs my hands to the bed so that I cannot move. The nurse is told to give me two injections and I am drifting in and out of a hazy reality. Sometime in the next few hours I am sent off to West Valley Detention, but I am still not totally conscious enough to be awake and aware, and hardly able to walk straight.

I am escorted through a door at the facility and notice three uniformed police officers and several deputies all standing around talking and laughing among themselves -- maybe telling jokes, or sharing war stories.

A tall very thin black female deputy yells at me,"Hey! I know you; you're that fat fucking, drunken prostitute -- here again -- and I know just what to do with you!" (I have never seen this woman in my life.)

Three black female deputies grab me and begin to race me down the hall. "Stop" I cry. I am going into angina. They make me go faster to a small room. I am out of breath and this initiates a severe angina attack that is never acknowledged or attended to. I ask for help, and remind them it is a penal code violation to deny me medical treatment. They laugh, "Yeah, what Penal Code would that be!"(California Penal Code Section 673; 
 Eighth Amendment constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment; Estelle v. Gamble 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976).(1976) 429 
U.S. 97.Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, No. s-90-0520 (Three-Judge Court Opinion and Order) ("Coleman Order"),ACLU National Prison Project)

I am stripped of my cloths, and my eye glasses are taken away, and I never get them back. I am given a short, heavy, sleeveless type of a jacket that is too small to completely cover me, nor give me any protection from the freezing cold floor. Although there is a toilet, there is no toilet paper, and there is nowhere to sit or lay down except on the floor. There is no call button for medical attention. My angina comes in painful ascending and descending waves of pressure and pain. The three black women taunt me from outside the window making childish faces of hate and even sticking out their tongue. They remind me of bullies on a school yard. There are people across the hall in an office like setting but they "don't see me." Every deputy who walks by does not bother to look at me and ignore my cries for help. I am invisible. The female black deputies come from time-t0-time to insult me and make fun of my very visible "ugly body,” and chide me with, "You are a danger to yourself and others so who would want to help you; you are crazy!"

I feel the energy drain from me, tears come easily and I can't think straight; I am emotionally crumbling I am dazed and losing track of time and space. I am in extreme fear I might die.

A time comes where I am dragged from the cell to the finger print and photo area. Once there my fingers, and arms are randomly, painfully twisted and the guards long finger nail are used to gauge me in the side. I am so exhausted and in so much pain two guards must hold my head up to take my LOCKDOWN PHOTO. I think I fell down, or at least my legs went weak and I remember being dragged on the floor back to the cell and dumped on the floor. I believe this is when I am kicked in my left side.

For sometime I lay on the floor and angina sets in again and I need help. No one is paying attention. I take off the vest and stuff it in the toilet and flush. The cell begins to flood. Finally I am paid attention to and I am given another vest and taken to another smaller cell that is totally enclosed -- I can't see out, and no one comes to check up on me. There is no toilet; only a hole in the floor. No toilet paper. No water. There is uneaten food thrown against the walls. Still no one offers me any medical help. (I have not been offered any food in all of the hours I have been incarcerated. It doesn't matter; I am not hungry and I won't eat for the next seven or eight days any way.)

Suddenly the small window in the lower part of the door opens. A female with a heavy accent that I can't quite grasp appears and informs me she is a psychiatrist. She tells me she is moving me to another unit because I am "a danger to myself and others." She looks at my upper arm, one of the places I was gouged with finger nails. She asks, "Did someone bite you?" "No, it where the guards gouged me with the finger nails." "Oh!" she responds, "We have told them not to do that." The window slams shut.

I don't know how long before deputies came with cloths: red pants and a yellow shirt. Along with three or four others I am walked to Unit 15. It is dark outside. My life is about to be drastically changed.

We are met by two guards: a Hispanic looking male, Deputy M, with dead dark emotionless eyes, and a young causation female, slight of build and wearing glasses. She tells me she chose to be a deputy because she "looks so cute in the uniform." Both of them are dancing around and in some crazy way they look like marionettes on strings. An older woman deputy, I believe her name is Ferman, is in charge of the POD control center and is laughing at the two deputies dancing behavior. It is like a carnival atmosphere.

I am put into a cell with a constantly running faucet. Some times the water spills over the sink onto the floor. This will be true until I leave. On the third evening I slip on the water while getting up from the toilet and fall and hit my head and arm. There is a large bump on my eyebrow and blood on both my head and arm. I call to the guards and they immediately say, "What are you doing hitting your own head on the wall -- we need to put you on suicide watch." I don't know if they ever do. I suspect because I am bleeding they must call the paramedics, and I am transported to Arrowhead Hospital. There is no serious damage, just a bad headache for a night and day. The faucet is never fixed all the while I am there.

Interestingly, once when I use the call button for help to get some nitro for the angina I am experiencing a Deputy Gonzalez answers and while I am trying to explain my needs for help she responds, "You're not crazy are you? You are fakin' it because you're afraid to be in General Population." She disconnects the line, and refuses to answer again. I get no help for the angina.

I am having trouble right now writing this as it causes me flash-backs and emotional pain to relive this horrible abusive experience. I shall now just basically summarize the ongoing events:

I am given no written rules, and no intake information. I am given two pieces of lined paper, two stamped envelopes, a pencil, and a tooth brush. I begin to document the events and write a Habeas Corpus (false imprisonment) to the court -- The staff refuses to mail.

I am kept in ongoing 24 hour lock down, except for one cold shower. I am not given any time outside my cell, and when I ask I am told "When you get your time, you will get out." My time never comes. I have requested a visit from the Chaplin. None ever comes.

One morning Deputy M. calls me out of the cell, puts handcuffs on behind my back. He goes into my cell and takes all of my notes, pencil and last envelope and walks me back into my cell and throws me down on the bed and begins to twist my fingers and wrists, and pulling my hair. It lasts a long time. I am screaming. "Now, is that what they did to you at intake," he asks, removes the cuffs and leaves the cell.

I continue to ask to make a phone call. I am continually refused. One afternoon I am called to the front to pick up papers and I go over to the phone and dial my attorney's number. "Get back to your cell!" I am told I must have a pin number. I ask the deputies "What is my pin number?" They tell me, "We never assigned you one; we don't want you calling the outside."
One day, for what seems no reason Deputy M. again calls me out of the cell, puts handcuffs on me, behind my back, extremely tight causing excruciating pain. He starts to follow me back into the cell and a pang of fear runs through me and tells me to scream, "He is going to beat me up or rape me!" He twists the handcuffs into my flesh and again I begin to scream from the horrible pain. Many of the inmates are in the Day Room eating, as is one staff member. I have all of their attention, but they look away. Staff member, Isabelle [a nurse] walks over and puts her arm around him and says, "Not this guy; he is one of our best deputies.He backs out of the cell, but leaves the cuffs on.

Suddenly I am called on the intercom that I have a conference call from my attorney, Mike CamberPublic Defender (909.948.4592) and I am pushed out of my cell with the handcuffs still cutting into what I know must be raw flesh. Deputy M. and another female deputy begin running me down the hall to a steep flight of stairs where I am pushed to quickly climb and climb. I am gasping for breath. I get to the call booth but the handcuffs are left on and I am screaming, "Michael do something..." I don't know what else I say. I can't hear Mike Camber. The guards quickly lead me away, again down the stairs where another female deputy joins them to make me go faster down the stairs. I am hysterical, and in so much pain. "Better keep going -- hate to see ya fall down these stairs..." says Deputy M. I think he might push me down the stairs. He puts me into a wheel chair in the hall and then tips it several times and I am terrified he is going to throw me out. He leads me back to my cell and removes the cuffs, and pushes me inside. I see that I am bleeding from one of my wrists but no one will answer the call button.

In just a short while a female deputy comes for me and tells me I have an attorney visit. She puts handcuffs on, not so tight but right over the raw flesh, that is still bleeding. She too makes me climb the stairs, even though their is an elevator. Zahara Tigeri, Public Defender (909.945.4296) is there. She sees the blood. And, I show her a bruise on my left side where I believe I was kicked during intake. She tells the deputy she wants me to have an X-ray. She watches as I am again made to walk the stairs. But not so fast because Zahara is watching. Once down on the main floor I am taken to the nurse’s office and she puts a light bandage over my bleeding wrist. (No medication is administered) The nurse accuses me of doing this to my self. I tell her, "My attorney wants me to have an X-ray?" The female deputy responds, "We don't take orders from Public Defenders!" No X-ray. I ask for photos. I am refused. Another male Deputy M. with sort of a lisp, walks me down the hall and tells me, "It would be too bad if you were to get hit real hard for walking so slow." I expect him to hit me at any moment. He doesn't.

This blond nurse has given herself the moniker "Nurse Ratchet." She refuses to give her real name. This is a direct reference to the sociopathic, power hungry, abusive nurse in the novel/film, "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest," which takes place in a mental hospital. She is just as cold and uncaring to the inmates,people whom she knows have no voice, and no one is watching, and no one cares.  However, she is very friendly to Deputy M -- even to the point of flirting with him, making references to "going to the beach."

I have not eaten since being admitted.

I am numb. I can't stop crying and when I knock on the window for help a black deputy comes over and begins to bang on the window from her side. She continues to bang every time I try to talk. She walks away and flips me off.

I don't know how long it is before I am taken to court. But I still have no idea of just what I am accused of doing. "Trespassing? Interfering with business??" I was at Briarwood at the request of Carol Colgrove. There is even a photo of me coming out of her apartment. I never went in, or even near the office. I was not passing out papers.  I did nothing to interfere with business. I also stopped and talked with friends playing cards in the dining room on my way out. I have an open invitation from Margaret, and others to "visit at anytime..." I bring food to the residents from my daughter's catering business.

Simply being on the property…even if one were engaged in activities "frowned upon" by the owner…does not subject one to a trespass charge absent actual obstruction or interference with the business.

 one is accused of entering someone else’s property with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the business activities conducted on that property, then one must have actually interfered with or obstructed that business. If one didn't, then one has not committed a criminal trespass! In re Wallace (1970) 3 Cal.3d 289. This case holds that Actual damage … an obstruction or interference with the property’s business…is required before a Penal Code 602 PC California criminal trespass charge may be sustained. ALSO: One cannot be charged with "trespass" if they are visiting a person on the property. It gets down to "legitimate activity" Byers v.Cathcart, 57 
Cal. App. 4th 805 (1997); SEE:  Penal Code 602(o), end note 15:  People v.Wilkinson (1967)248 Cal.App.2d Supp. 906, 910:  The pertinent part reads as follows, "However, this subdivision shall not be applicable to persons engaged in lawful labor union activities…to persons on the premises who are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution, or to persons who are on the premises at the request of a resident or management.

When Karen Brooks calls the police, (five of them show up!). I remind them the restraining order is void, and I can't be trespassing as I have been invited by a resident. They don't arrest me.

I am thinking then it must be for violating a [void] Stay Away Order? I talk to the Deputy District Attorney, Marbi Burnett. We talk about movies, and the Innocent Project -- not about my case. The judge makes some statement about "Two years summary probation...and how she "understands the First Amendment, but you can't be making people fearful..." I am not understanding. I am the one in fear. I have no strength, or sense of presence to answer. I just not and agree. I have had a psychotic break with reality. Torture has taken away a piece of my humanness, and that makes it very difficult to function completely, to regain balance and a sense of being grounded; I am numb.

When I am sent back to wait to return to jail, where I will be released, I am having a very hard time breathing. I ring the call button. One of the same black deputies, the tall skinny one -- the one I believe kicked me at Intake. I I tell her, I need some  
Oxygen. She slams the door and ignores me.

Back at jail my cell has two inches of water on the floor from the overflowing sink. I push the water out. Deputies come and shut off my water, leaving me only toilet water if I want a drink.

Sometime very late that night, (there is no clock to tell time) a deputy tells me they are "going to drive me home." They put me in a van. I am so fearful that I believe they are going to drive me some where and kill me. Instead they take me to the emergency room of Arrowhead Hospital. I ask to make a phone call. I am told I now have a 5150 Hold and have "no rights to make a phone call." I am given the 5150 document and see it has been written on the hold that I have been complaining about abuses. I wait hours to see a psychiatrist, who spends about twenty minutes and comes to the conclusion "You don't belong here," and releases me.

While waiting, a mentally challenged woman I recognize from Unit 15 is brought in. She has a fractured leg from either falling or being pushed down the stairs. She has been given no treatment for four days and is in terrible pain. I give her a paper with my contact information, but the deputy takes it away and tears it up.

There is more to this experience but I have a great deal of difficulty facing it.

My son comes to pick me up, and I go to one of my children's homes and sleep a restless sleep.

The next day I return to  
West Valley Jail to complain and speak with Deputies Weaver, and K. Alsuwadi. They refer me to Internal Affairs, where Sgt. Williams tells me I can go to any Sheriff's Sub Station to make a report. I chose to go to Chino Hills and speak for quite some time with Sgt. StewartI also go and see Steve Lux, Montclair, Assistant Chief of Police.(909.621.4771) I make a visit to my psychiatrist, Nidia M. Colomer de Saca (909.465.93337), who is already treating me for Post Traumatic Stress, and then on to see a therapist at San Bernardino Mental Health in Upland to get a method for dealing with my emotions about all of this. I also contact Adult Protective Services and they assure me they will be contacting the Sheriff directly.

It will take me much time to recover, and I have more to say -- it will need to wait for a bit. However, I will make sure that something is done.

PO BOX 9475

Stay tuned for more of this story that will not only stun you
but perhaps 
make you angry enough to speak out

CA To Look at Prison Abuse

SACRAMENTO, May 12 (UPI) -- California Senate officials say they will investigate and make public findings regarding allegations of abusive and racist treatment of prisoners.

"We are deeply concerned about the allegations of abuse and racist treatment of inmates at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation behavior management units at several institutions covered in the recent Sacramento Bee series," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Public Safety Committee Chairman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, wrote in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.     

"We are even more troubled ... by the accusations that investigations into these allegations were either ignored, or worse, covered up," Steinberg and Leno wrote.

The Bee alleged evidence of cruelty and brutality at High Desert State Prison in 
SusanvilleCalif., including incidents of racial slurs, withholding of medical care and extreme isolation and deprivation at that unit and other similar California prisons.

"Prisons must be managed for the safety of staff and inmates and to rehabilitate offenders," Schwarzenegger said Tuesday. "The (corrections) department has zero tolerance for abuse and we support their vigorous and comprehensive review of the matter."

Corrections researchers urged a formal investigation into alleged abuses which apparently was suppressed.

"There appear to be charges of retaliation against employees who have attempted to bring these issues to light," Steinberg and Leno wrote. "The Senate intends to fully examine these allegations."

                                                            ALSO of Interest

There are about 2.4 MILLION American people in prisons and jails today -- every 1 out of 100 Americans are incarcerated. That is an astonishing number of incarcerated Americans and that number is steadily rising!
We put people in prison at rates that range from about 300 % to 800 % higher than other developed nations. [Paul F. Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado.]

While some of these people clearly should be imprisoned, we also lock away thousands of Americans for nonviolent, victimless crimes, at an immense social and economic cost, and, in 1999 The US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE estimated "at least 10% of all those incarcerated are innocent." That is thousands of innocent people behind bars. Many are held in 24 hour solitary confinement. 
The main reason so many Americans are behind bars is because prisons are “Big Business” in the United States. Billions of taxpayers’ dollars are spent each year to run this business.

Barbarically long sentences are handed down to nonviolent offenders and you can bet the Parole Boards will do everything they can, be it legally or illegally, to keep those prisoners behind bars.
Once a person walks out of the prison, The Beast still follows with parole terms and lifetime registries that swipe away any chance at a job or a place to live. 

This “Big Business” is nothing less than


This happens through:

  Legislation that has denied our Constitution to the point that it is only a piece of old paper that means nothing anymore.
  Un-ethical Law Enforcement
  Money-grabbing lazy Attorneys, both paid and court appointed
  District Attorneys who never learned how God feels about a LIE or even what a lie is, who only work for a conviction at all costs, not for truth and justice.
  Bias condescending Judges who hide evidence from the true fact finders, 
Add Poor Administration and Criminal Prison Personnel to that list and you have:

  Mentally ill being treated like less than animals.
  Medical neglect and denial
  Malnutrition and Starvation
  Dehydration
  Poisoning through water, food, and medications
  Violent Physical Abuse
  Mental Abuse
  Emotional Abuse
  Murder
  Torture
  Rape
  Mutilation

Do we want to spend our tax dollars to allow this crime to go on? Do we really want to spend our tax dollars to keep nonviolent, possibly innocent people locked away?

2.4 Million people dehumanized 
and locked away from any help!

If these facts bother you, then YOU are maybe being called to help. Join to build the 2 Million Plus Citizens in Action and let the perpetrators and the supporters of injustice know that we are watching and we demand this abomination to stop!

The Change Starts With YOU!