Friday, March 20, 2009

People v. Grimes (Cal. Ct. App. - March 16, 2009)

Next time the Clerk of the Court gives you a hard time, just remember: They're not perfect either. Take, for example, this criminal case:

"The offense occurred on the night of August 20, 2005. Defendant entered his plea on October 14, 2005. He was sentenced on November 23, 2005, and he filed his notice of appeal that same day. [Me: Notice that justice is pretty darn speedy thus far!] The superior court clerk must "promptly mail" to the Court of Appeal notification of the filing of a notice of appeal. . . . However, it was not until March 11, 2008, that notice of filing the notice of appeal was mailed. In a declaration, the Appeals Clerk for the Amador County Superior Court stated that she had just discovered that this appeal, and two others, had been 'filed and forgotten,' and that defendant, who had received a two-year sentence, 'is more than likely out of prison by now.' Once we were notified of the delay in these cases, we processed them expeditiously."


But Justice Morrison essentially says: No blood, no foul. The Clerk gave a mea culpa, and there was no meritorious argument anyway.

Still. "File and forget" probably isn't a practice of which you want to make a habit. Even though, in the short term, it sure does save some time, eh?