Meeting the Expectations of the Court Court of Common Pleas

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1 Meeting the Expectations of the Court Court of Common Pleas Click on any item to view associated materials Biographies of Speakers The Honorable Alex J. Smalls, Chief Judge, Court of Common Pleas Thomas A. Foley, Esquire, Thomas A. Foley, Attorney at Law Douglas A. Shachtman, Esquire, The Shachtman Law Firm Webpage to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware Program Materials * The Court of Common Pleas Practice from Theory to Practice Common Pleas Practice Tips * The forms included herein are samples only and may not be appropriate for any particular matter. 1

2 CHIEF JUDGE ALEX JEROME SMALLS Wilmington, Delaware EDUCATION LEGAL Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey American Jurisprudence Award, Criminal Law, Juris Doctorate, May 1976 UNDERGRADUATE Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland Citation from Alpha Mu Honor Society, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, May 1972 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE Chief Judge - July 21, 1997 to Present Associate Judge - October 8, 1993 to July 20, 1997 MUNICIPAL COURT FOR THE CITY OF WILMINGTON Associate Judge February 21, 1991 to October 8, 1993 CITY OF WILMINGTON DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY May 3, 1985 to February 21, 1991 COMMISSIONER OF LICENSES AND INSPECTION January 8, 1985 to May 3, 1985 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE Deputy Attorney General-Criminal Division March 1980 to January 8, 1985 DELAWARE BAR ADMISSION, March 28, 1978 PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS National Conference of Special Court Judges Delaware Sentencing Accountability Commission American Bar Association Delaware Bar Association National Criminal Justice Association TEACHING EXPERIENCE University of Delaware Delaware State University Delaware Technical Community College AJS Bio Sep 13 07

3 Thomas A. Foley, Esquire Attorney-At-Law Thomas A. Foley has been practicing law since His practice is devoted entirely to criminal defense. Mr. Foley defends all types of criminal cases, ranging from First Degree Murder to Drinking and Driving. Mr. Foley is licensed in Delaware and the District of Columbia. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Foley graduated from Miami University in 1982 and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, where he subsequently was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal. Following an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Thomas Foley studied law at the University of Detroit School of Law. After graduating cum laude in 1989, Mr. Foley served as a prosecutor with the Delaware Department of Justice until 1995, when he entered private practice. Mr. Foley is married. He and his family live in Wilmington. T Foley Bio Sep 07

4 DOUGLAS A. SHACHTMAN Douglas A. Shachtman is the proprietor of The Shachtman Law Firm in Wilmington. He has conducted a civil practice, concentrating in litigation for more than 40 years. He has advised clients and litigated in the areas of commercial disputes, construction, civil rights, debt collection, consumer protection statutes, disputes arising from real estate contracts, property disputes and nuisance actions, among other areas of the law. Mr. Shachtman received his B.S.B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Florida cum laude and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is admitted to practice before the Delaware Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. He was a member of the Court of Common Pleas Civil Rules Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Delaware State Bar Association. He was appointed to the DSBA Ad Hoc Committee for the Court of Common Pleas Access to Justice and the DSBA Ad Hoc Committee to consider changes to the 2011 Administrative Directive. He taught at Widener Law School and the University of Delaware on a part-time basis, as well as being on the faculty for continuing legal education seminars in consumer law, commercial law, social security law and basic lawyering skills in Delaware and at Legal Service Corporation training sessions in various parts of the country. Further information is available at Shachtmanlaw.com.

5 BRIDGE THE GAP THE DELAWARE PRE-ADMISSION CONFERENCE The Court of Common Pleas Practice TABLE OF CONTENTS I. ORGANIZATION OF THE COURT A. Civil Jurisdiction 1. Civil claims for amounts under $50, Practice and Procedure 3. Arbitration 4. Mediation 5. Petitions for Name Changes 6. Habitual Offender Petitions Under Motor Vehicle Statutes B. Appellate Jurisdiction 1. Appeals from Justice of Peace Courts 2. Appeals from Division of Motor Vehicle C. Criminal Jurisdiction D. Court of Common Pleas Website E. Procedure and Practice F. Forms H. Rule 110 In forma Pauperis I. Administrative Directives J. E-filing Procedures 1

6 K. View from the Bench II. III. IV. PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE TYPES OF CASES COURT ENVIORMENT V. WHAT THE JUDGES WANT VI. VII. VIII. IX. STANDARDS OF CIVILITY HANDLING CRIMINAL PROCEEDING MISDEMEANOR CASES FELONY CASES X. TIPS ON GOING TO COURT 2

7 I. ORGANIZATION OF THE COURT The Court of Common Pleas is a limited jurisdiction constitutional court, (effective April 26, 2005). Its civil jurisdiction is outlined in Title 10, Chapter 13 of the Delaware Code. The Court is comprised of a Chief Judge, eight (8) Judges and two (2) Commissioners. One Judge is required to be reside in each County. One (1) Commissioner is assigned to New Castle County, and one (1) Commissioner is shared between Kent and Sussex Counties. The shared Commissioner time is divided equally between Kent and Sussex Counties. A. CIVIL JURISDICTION 1. Civil claims for amounts under $50, Practice and Procedure 3. Consumer Debt Actions 4. SPEED special pleading 5. Arbitration 6. Mediation 7. Petitions for Name Changes 8. Habitual Offender Petitions Under Motor Vehicle Statutes (a) The Court has jurisdiction to hear all civil matters where the amount in controversy or the sum demanded does not exceed $50,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs. (b) The Court has unlimited jurisdiction to award amounts on counterclaims. (c) (d) The proceeding is tried without a jury. Under the provisions of 10 Del. C. 1328, any person who commences a civil action in this court shall, by virtue of such commencement, be deemed to have waived any right to trial by jury of the issues to which such person s original pleading is directed. Any party other than the party commencing the action may demand a trial by jury of an issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties such demand in writing and depositing with the Clerk of the Court the amount necessary for the commencement of an action in Superior Court. Such demand shall be made five (5) days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue. The demand for the jury trial may be endorsed upon the pleading, provided it is 3

8 typed or written on the first page of the pleading immediately following the caption of the case. Failure to file in accordance with 10 Del. C. 1328(c) constitutes a waiver of trial by jury. (e) (f) Bringing an action in this Court indicates the party s intention to be bound by the jurisdictional limit of the Court. (Evaluation of claim s worth is important). Guardians for the Disabled - The statute governing appointment of guardians for disabled persons was amended July 2, 1999 giving the Court of Common Pleas authority to appoint guardians and approve settlements in connection with a single-transaction matter arising out of a tort claim for a disabled person. (g) The Court issued amended Administrative Directive which set forth procedural guidelines in consumer debt collection cases. This requires the debtor list the original creditor where the action is brought by any entitiy which is not the original creditor. (h) The Court in 2010 adopted Administrative Directive creating a SPEED Docket which is a Special Election and Expedited Docket available in case where the amount in controversy exceeds $10, 000. However this special pleading is not available in consumer debt actions. B. Civil Appellate Jurisdiction 1. Civil (a) (b) Civil appeals for J.P. Court are to CCP, where the matter is tried de novo. 10 Del. C. 9571, requires notice of appeal must be filed within 15 days of the J.P. Court s final order ruling, decision or judgment. CCP Rule 72.3(b) requires that a certified copy of the transcript of the J.P. Court proceedings be filed within ten (10) days of the filing of the Notice of Appeal. a. The parties and the issues below must be identical on appeal. Even a dismissed party below must be joined in the appeal. 4

9 The Mirror Image Rule: See: Ney v. Polite, Del. Supr., 399 A.2d 577 (1979) Tomasetti v. WSFS, Del. Supr., 672 A.2d 61 (1966) Matt Slapp Subaru v. Podolecki, 1989 WL (1989) Two Cases: Fossett v. Dalco Construction Co WL (2004 Supreme Ct.) Pavetto v. Hansen 2004 WL (2004 Super. Ct.) Need to be aware of to avoid the pit fall (d) Failure to join all of the parties below or where a new issue is alleged on appeal defeats the jurisdiction of the Court. (e) An appeal de novo is governed by CCP Civil Rule ) Large volumes of cases are generated by appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court. 2) Need to give attention to Civil Rule 72.3 (a) (b) Appeal must be filed within 15 days (this is jurisdictional) Within 10 days after the Appeal, the Appellant must file with the Justice of the Peace Court notice of appeal and direction to close the record, and a certified copy of the notice with the Court of Common Pleas within 10. (f) Problems: In the Justice of the Peace Court, a corporation may be represented by its officers where a Form 50 is filed. 5

10 Where there is an appeal to Common Pleas, the Corporation must be represented by an attorney The problems result from how the claim is stated by a non-lawyer and subsequently by an attorney -- Also where the mirror image rule is violated. C. E-filing Instituted in the Court of Common Pleas on November 3, Cases required to be e-filed o Administrative Directive effective November 3, 2008 o All cases are required to be e-filed unless exempt by paragraph B o Paragraph B exempt the following Filings by pro se litigants Proceedings excused by the Court for cause Costs Technology fee of 1.00 for each document under 15 pages. D. Criminal Jurisdiction (Jury Trial Election Available) 1. All Misdemeanors (except certain drug offenses) 2. Motor Vehicle Offenses 3. Preliminary Hearings in Felony Charges 4. Appeals of Criminal Matters from the Justice of the Peace Courts 5. Appeals of Criminal Matters from Alderman's Courts 6

11 E. Overview of Criminal Jurisdiction The Court of Common Pleas for the State of Delaware has criminal jurisdiction throughout the State over all misdemeanors, motor vehicle offenses where the fine exceeds $100, and drug related offenses, involving possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a hypodermic needle. The Court is also responsible for preliminary hearings in felony cases. Jury trial is available to all defendants in criminal matters. In May of 1998, Municipal Court merged with Court of Common Pleas and the Justice of the Peace Court. F. An Overview Of Criminal Procedures and Process The Court receives approximately 97% of its criminal cases from the Justice of the Peace Courts, and a relatively small percentage is received from Alderman's Courts. These charges are transferred to the Court because the lower court may not have jurisdiction, or at the request of the defendant. All defendants have a right to have their cases heard in the Court of Common Pleas by a law-trained judge, as well as a right to a jury trial. The remaining 3% of criminal cases result from filings received directly from the Attorney General. After being arraigned, where the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty, the case is scheduled for a case review or trial, depending on the matter. If a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty, the judge may sentence immediately, or may order a presentence report. A presentence report is a detailed report prepared for the Judge, which includes such information as the individual's family background, employment history, educational background and criminal history. The Judge reviews the presentence report prepared by Court staff and uses the information, along with appropriate sentencing guidelines, to arrive at an appropriate penalty. These reports are ordered for all of the more serious offenses, especially where the possibility exists that the defendant may be incarcerated. The Court receives matters scheduled for Preliminary Hearing from the Justice of the Peace Courts. These hearings are to determine if probable cause exists in felony cases. The prosecution must present evidence that there is probable cause to believe that the offense(s) were committed and the defendant committed the offense(s). If the Court finds that probable cause exists, the matter is bound over to Superior Court. If the Court does not find that probable cause exists, the matter is dismissed. 7

12 G. Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction 1. Justice of the Peace Courts right of appeal where sentence exceeds $ fine or imprisonment of 1 month 11 Del.C. 5920; right to transfer 11 Del. C Alderman Court right of appeal where sentence exceeds $100.00, fine or imprisonment of 1 month 11 Del. C H. Administrative Appeals 1.Appeals from Motor Vehicle Division Appeals from the Department of Public Safety are heard on the record. In accordance with CCP Civ. R. 72.1, a party may appeal by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the Court in the appropriate county within 15 days from the entry of final judgment, order or disposition from which an appeal is permitted by law. The clerk gives notice to all parties by mailing to all parties and issues notice to the Department of Public Safety, to be served upon the custodian of the records. In accordance with CCP Civ. R. 77.2, appellee may, in lieu off a brief, file a motion to affirm the original order on the basis that appellant s appeal is without merit because 1) the issue on appeal is clearly controlled by settled Delaware law; 2) the issue on appeal is factual, and clearly there is substantial evidence to support the findings of fact below; or 3) the issue on appeal is one of judicial or administrative discretion and clearly there was no abuse of discretion. 2.Appeal From Animal Control Panel Appeals from Dog Control Panel are de novo. Where the owner of an impounded dog challenges the action of the Panel, the owner may appeal the Panel s determination to the CCP within 10 days of receipt of the written determination. The filing of the appeal shall act as a stay of the Panel s decision, pending final disposition of the appeal. II. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE Motions - Motions must be noticed by the moving party. They are generally heard on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. Failure to notice the motion will result in it not being scheduled. Motions to increase the time for service made under CCP Civil Rule 4(j) are not required to be noticed and is generally considered by the Judge in chambers. 8

13 Pretrial Conferences - Each matter filed with the Court that is not settled during the discovery stage is scheduled for a pre-trial conference. The attorney who will try the case and the client is required to be present. The Conference is designed to review all possibilities for settlement and whether certain areas can be disposed of by stipulation. The parties must provide a list of all witnesses and list of exhibits which will be presented at trial. The conferences are generally scheduled for Tuesday afternoons. The parties are expected to make a good faith effort to settle the case. Trials - There are generally three trials scheduled on each civil trial calendar. Proceedings begin at 9:00 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday (first and third) and Fridays. The court try to limit trial time to two hours so the parties are encouraged to stipulated on any issues not in dispute. Additionally, time is allotted where it is determined at the pre-trial conference that the proceeding cannot be adequately presented within the two (2) hours normally allocated. Adequate justification is required for additional time requested. Decisions are generally rendered following the trial unless there are complex issues which require further deliberation and/or research. Decisions are reported on Nexis-Lexis within 48 hours. Arbitration - All claims which exceed $15, under CCP Civil Rule 16.1 are subject to compulsory arbitration. Counsel is required to certify that the amount in damages sought does not exceed $15, to not be subject to the procedure. The parties by agreement may subject a case to arbitration even where the amount is less than $15, The arbitrator s award may not exceed the jurisdictional limit of the Court. Where the party wishes not to be bound by the arbitrator s award, the party must within twenty (20) days of the arbitrator s order, serve and file a written demand for a trial de novo. A demand for a trial de novo is the sole remedy for relief from arbitrator s order. Voluntary Mediation - Any civil matter is eligible for referral to voluntary mediation upon election of the parties. 9

14 PETITIONS FOR NAME CHANGES The language of 10 Del. C. Chapter 59 sets out the statutory provisions of change of name. It requires a verified petition in substantially the form set forth therein. There must be a public notification of the proposed change in a newspaper of general circulation. The Court generally requires testimony of the party making the petition to ensure compliance with the statute. Proceedings are heard on Monday afternoons. SCHEDULING A.Trials are scheduled on each day at 9am, except Fridays B.Consumer Debt cases are scheduled for trial on Fridays at 9am C.Motions are scheduled on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. D.Cases are not specifically assigned to Judges, except where a party elected for proceed under the SPEED Docket or when Judge has entered an order on a significant matter in a pending matter. III. TYPES OF CASES A. The largest volume of collection matters where the defendant has defaulted on a loan or financing agreement. B. The second greatest number is private party disputes neighbors: damages to property by the others; dispute over property ownership C. Third category is contract actions D. Some personal injury type cases VI. THE COURT S ENVIRONMENT A. Statistics B. The last time we did the statistics on pro se litigants, which included 1999 (a) (b) (c) Civil Complaints Appeals Motor Vehicle Appeals 10

15 (d) Petition for Name Changes and Habitual Offenders Petitions C. The Parties which were Pro Se are: New Castle County: Plaintiffs: 17.2% Defendants: 89.0% Kent County: Plaintiffs: 10.5% Defendants: 95.5% Sussex County: Plaintiffs: 37.6% Defendants: 92.2% D. Practice 1. Thus, it is a high probability that you will encounter a pro se party if you practice in Court of Common Pleas. 2. The question before the Court is how can the Judge deal with selfrepresented litigants without departing from the judicial role as a neutral impartial decision maker? 3. On the Court s website, we have forms to assist pro se litigants and give instructions regarding various filing and responses. It also gives sample filings. 4. In discharging this duty, it is helpful if you are mindful of the mission statement adopted by the Court: The mission of the Delaware Court of Common Pleas is to provide assistance and a neutral forum to people in the resolution of their everyday problems and disputes in a fair, professional, efficient, and practical manner. 5. The Court s approach is to ensure: (a) (b) Access to justice Neutral forum this means: The rules are interpreted to give everyone an opportunity to be heard on the merits. Where the litigant is pro se we can give opportunities to comply with the rule after explanation where it is not jurisdictional. (c) At trial, we give flexibility on the rules of evidence where there is no clear prejudice to the opposing. 11

16 V. WHAT JUDGES WANT A. Evidence from Judge s Perspective B. View from the Bench what the Judge wants in the Courtroom C. Demeanor D. Appearances 1. Timely 2. Copies VI. STANDARDS OF CIVILITY A. Presentation a. Opposing Counsel demeanor B. Oral Argument b. Presentation c. Concise d. Large caseload e. Legal authority for your position VII. HANDLING CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS A. Traffic Tickets B. Title 21 deals with all motor vehicle offenses. C. Traffic violations are charged via a summons - "a ticket". 21 Del.C Officer has discretion (seldom used) to make formal arrest Signing the summons (acknowledging notice) DOES NOT constitute an admission of guilt. Speeding tickets usually have two notations: 1. Actual speed (e.g. 80 in a 55) 2. Offered speed (e.g. 64 in a 55)(i.e. "Pay the ticket... get 2 points... don t make me come in to court, or we re back to 80 in a 55") 12

17 3. Marching Orders in bottom right hand corner of ticket/summons. Officer provides a deadline date to either 1) pay ticket via mail, or 2) appear for Arraignment at JP Court D. Voluntary Assessment Center (mail only). Options: 1. Pay the fine via mail, or 2. Send letter (see attached) saying "send ticket to JP Court/CCP" 3. See exceptions - 21 Del.C. 709(e). E. DUI, Reckless Driving, Aggressive Driving, No Insurance F. Driving While Suspended, Driving without a License G. Leaving the Scene H. JP Courts 1. JP 11 (2 Penns Way,Suite 100 New Castle)-Troops 1/2/9; NCCPD) only one staffed by AG s and PD s Office can plea bargain police liaisons who plea bargain traffic tickets-very reasonable and user friendly 2. JP 10 (Price s Corner - Troop 6) 3. JP 20 (4 th and Walnut - WPD) 4. Options at Arraignment at JP Courts (other than JP 11): Plea guilty to the charge(s). Probation before Judgment Show proof of Insurance Opt for trial, and keep in JP Court transfer to CCP (including JP 20) 5. Why and when to transfer ticket from JP Court to CCP? Plea bargain (No DAG s at JP Courts, except JP 20) Jury trial 13

18 6. CCP "Traffic Court" (One-stop shopping) Tuesday mornings are arraignments/plea bargaining If contested, trial will go forward that same Tuesday afternoon Unless Defendant enters Not Guilty Plea, and opts for Jury Trial. Jury trial will be scheduled for later date 8. Probation Before Judgment - "It s a beautiful thing" See 11 Del.C If no "prior" traffic offense within 5 years: Still pay fine No conviction No points Available at JP Courts 9. Accident cases: No Contest pleas are available Restitution 10. Habitual offender law (21 Del.C ): If "Habitual", 5 year loss of license, with no "home-to-work" permit Three (3) or more separate convictions within a 5-year time frame of: a. DUI; Reckless Driving b. Driving without license, FTR, Driving Suspended c. Leaving the Scene, Disregarding Command of Police Officer d. Ten (10) separate and distinct moving violations within 3 year time frame 11. Juveniles charged w/ Traffic offenses: Are prosecuted in Adult Courts (JP/CCP) Except those Title 21 offenses earmarked in 10 Del.C. 927 DUI, Reckless Driving, No Insurance, Driving Suspended 14

19 I. DUI Cases 1. Generally charged via a summons (Ticket) in 90% of cases. 2. Felony DUI cases can t be charged via summons 3. 3 DUI s in a lifetime is felony. See 21 Del.C. 4177d(3); 90 days min. mandatory; 4 th in a lifetime is 6 month min mandatory (a). (b) DUI summons (just like any traffic ticket) will earmark Arraignment date in whatever JP Court MUST defend a DUI case on two separate fronts: 1) Court system 2) DMV Administrative hearing MUST request DMV hearing within 15 days of arrest or automatic suspension kicks in. (See attached) DMV must schedule hearing within 30 days following motorist s request for hearing. 21 Del.C. 2742(g) If client wins the hearing, DMV will return the license, but client will have to surrender license, if convicted of DUI, or if enters FOP Program. 3) JP Court #11 handles all DUI s in New Castle County for the JP Court system A. Transfer to CCP B. Keep case in JP system all JP Court DUI cases are litigated at JP 15 (Claymont) on Fridays AG s office will represent State, and can plea bargain at JP 15 Guilty verdict, following trial at JP 15 can be appealed de novo to CCP C. Plea Guilty/Enter FOP program at Arraignment 15

20 never makes sense if there are other charges above and beyond DUI no DAG to "plea bargain" with D. If DUI case is transferred to CCP: a) Arraignment (limited plea bargaining) b) Case Review (plea bargaining session) c) Trial (6-8 months following arrest) E. Loss of Driving Privileges (see attached) F. FOP Program - 21 Del.C. 4177B a) Criteria b) No priors c) No PI accident d) BAC under.15 G. AG s Office can waive disqualifying factors. See 21 Del.C. 4177B(f). H. Great option for out-of-state drivers a) Home State NOT notified b) Make sure Home State license not coming up for renewal I. Advantages: a) No "conviction"; no points b) No fine c) Can obtain home-to-work permit after 90 days d) IID Program - can drive after 30 days J. Disadvantages: a) Still counts as a "prior", if arrested for 2 nd DUI within 5 years b) Lose license for 6 months minimum 16

21 c) Must take DUI course K. It s generally a smarter play if client has already lost DMV hearing L. See attached FOP Court Order VIII. MISDEMEANOR CASES A. Can be charged via summons, just like traffic ticket B. Arrest - See 11 Del.C Shoplifting, Possession of Marijuana, Resisting Arrest No need for Bail Same rights and options available to client, as outlined below 1. Arrest without a warrant if felony or misdemeanor that is: (a) (b) (c) (d) Committed in Officer s presence Shoplifting Domestic Physical injury/sexual contact 2. Arrest means client will be "booked": (a) (b) (c) (d) Fingerprinting Initial Appearance/Bail Usually unsecured bail Video meeting with magistrate C. Options at Initial Appearance at JP Court: 1. Keep case in JP Court, except for those offenses earmarked in 11 Del.C. 2702(b), in which JP Court doesn t have jurisdiction: (a) (b) (c) (d) Vehicular Assault 2 nd Misdemeanors involving sex or drugs Domestic Violence cases which go to Family Court Possession of Marijuana, needle and syringe, and paraphernalia offenses 17

22 D. Transfer case to CCP. Why? 1. Jury trial 2. Judges are "lawyers" 3. Plea bargain (AG s Office doesn t prosecute in JP Courts, except JP Court 20, and DUI s in JP Court 11) 4. Need a prosecutor to dismiss case E. Misdemeanor cases in CCP: 1. JP Court will assign CCP Arraignment date, usually 2 months out 2. Options at CCP Arraignment (a) (b) (c) (d) pleading) Plea bargain Not Guilty, Bench trial Not Guilty, Jury trial Client need not appear (See attached Rule 10C prior F. Domestic Violence cases go to designated "DV" calendar G. Marijuana cases go to Diversion/Case Review calendar, before going to Trial calendar H. DUI cases go to DUI Case Review Calendar (see above) I. Everything else goes to Jury/Non Jury Trial Calendar J. Probation before Judgment - "it s a really beautiful thing" Available to Defendants with: no prior misdemeanor convictions within 5 years no prior non violent felony convictions within 10 years no prior violent felony convictions ever Good way to preserve clean record See attached PBJ Order 18

23 K. Mediation (Pow Wow between DEF and "complainant") 1. Voluntary 2. Case dismissed if Mediation successful L. CCP Drug Diversion Program - Judge Surles 1. Wednesday mornings and afternoon Mornings 2. Only for Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of needle and syringe cases (only drug CCP handles) 3. See attached CCP Diversion petition/agreement 4. Brandywine Counseling = treatment agency 5. Fourteen (14) weeks in length 6. Monthly status conferences with Judge James 7. Upon successful completion, charges dismissed, can file expungement M. What happens when Defendant is cited for both traffic and criminal charges? 1 Traffic charges will follow Criminal charges if everything charged via warrant 2. If Traffic charges issued via summons, 3. Two separate animals will be created at JP Court 4. The traffic case will be prosecuted separately 5. Traffic and criminal charges could wind up in separate courts Traffic and criminal charges could wind up is same court, but on different calendars 6. Bottom line: Make sure all charges accounted for. IX. FELONY CASES A. Must be charged via Arrest Warrant or Rule 9 Indictment. B. "Book him Dano" 1. Fingerprinting 19

24 2. Initial Appearance/Bail 3. Unsecured/secured/cash 4. Conditions of bail 5. Preliminary hearing date assigned C. Preliminary Hearing - CCP 1. Within 10 days following arrest, if in custody 2. Within 20 days following arrest, if not in custody 3. Always in CCP 4. All Felony cases and misdemeanor drug cases (except marijuana) 5. Automatic bail review, if requested 6. Can waive hearing in exchange for police report 7. NO HEARING if already indicted in Superior Court 8. Can plea bargain to misdemeanor 9. Seldom done in "Victim" cases 10. Court file goes to Superior Court the next day. X. TIPS ON GOING TO COURT (Civil) The court process can be very complicated. The decision to represent yourself in court is an important one. When making this decision you must be aware of the responsibilities you are undertaking. The Court will expect you to follow the same rules attorneys must follow. If at any point throughout the court process you are not sure about representing yourself, you should talk to an attorney. To help you prepare for court, please do the following: A. Bring the proper documentation During your court trial or hearing, you or your attorney will have the opportunity to explain the facts of your case to the Judge or Commissioner. Make sure your paperwork is organized and that it supports your claim. Examples include receipts, contracts, letters, bills and photos. If you plan to enter your paperwork into evidence during your trial or hearing, bring 4 copies (1 original and 3 copies). You must give the Court the original, give one copy to the other side, keep one copy for yourself and have the third copy available should you decide to use it when questioning a witness. Bring a pencil and paper with you to take notes about your case. B. Don't miss your court date 20

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