1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Court Won't Respond

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by evansste, Aug 12, 2022.

Tags:
  1. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Michigan
    My father is incarcerated, and has made a request to the court, but they haven't responded. He's since learned that they have to respond within 56 days. That time period has passed, yet he still hasn't heard from them. What can he do?
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Likes Received:
    1,372
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Is he incarcerated in Michigan? If not, then in what state? What kind of request was this — what was he asking the court to do? In general requests for action by a court need to be set out in a proper pleading or motion, though some courts will give prisoners some leeway if the request is not in the right form. That said, if it strays too far from the required form of the request, it may not get any response.
     
  3. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks, so much, for responding.

    Yes. He's incarcerated in Michigan.

    The request was for a court order for a tissue block sample. The tissue block sample is being held at a medical examiner's office, and he wants to perform a DNA test on it. We have discovered that the body, in his supposed victim's grave, doesn't match the person that he's been convicted of murdering. For this reason, we want to perform a DNA test on the tissue block sample, which was taken directly from the body that was found and used to convict him. We suspect that he's serving time for a crime that may not have even been committed.

    We have contacted the medical examiner's office, and have asked that they release the sample, so that we can perform a DNA test. However, they have said that they won't release it without a court order; hence my father's motion to the court.

    I know my father has submitted motions to the court before. So he's not completely unfamiliar with the process. However, I believe that this is the only time that they have not responded. So, he's not quite sure what he can do.

    Thanks, again, for responding.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    35,014
    Likes Received:
    6,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If what you say is true, there's no way a layperson can effectively navigate the legal system to achieve the result desired.

    That said, reach out to these lawyers who can and have effected the release of wrongfully incarcerated individuals.

    Innocence Project - Help us put an end to wrongful convictions!
    ...


    Contact - Innocence Project
    ...
     
  5. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks, army judge, for your response and suggestion.

    It makes sense for us to reach out to The Innocence Project, and we have done that, a few times, in the past. However, they've also been fairly non-responsive. It could be that they already have a high case load, or it could be something else. We just don't hear back; which is why my father has chosen to send a "Motion to Compel Discovery", "Affidavit Suspension of Fees/Cost", "Certification of Prisoner Account" and "Motion for Appointment of Counsel", to the court. He has mailed these requests to the court, but, again, they haven't responded.

    We have no recourse if The Innocence Project won't respond. However, if the court legally has to respond within 56 days, shouldn't there be something that he can do?

    Thanks, again, for responding.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,948
    Likes Received:
    2,817
    Trophy Points:
    113

    What makes him think that the court must respond in 56 days? I'm asking for a specific citation to a court rule or state statute/law.
     
  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Where did your father get this information?
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Trophy Points:
    113

    How/from whom did he learn this? What law or court rule supposedly requires a response within this time frame?

    Is there any pending legal action (e.g., a habeas petition)?

    Absent further detail, all anyone here can tell you intelligently is that he should confer with his attorney.

    Ok...well...he's obviously not going to perform that test in jail/prison. Does he have a lab set up to do this test? There's got to be an attorney involved, right? If not, he's swimming upstream with one hand tied behind his back.
     
  9. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for all of the responses.

    We already have a lab that is able to perform the DNA test. We would use the same lab that we used to determine that the body, in the victim's grave, doesn't match.

    I'd have to reach out to my father, in order for him to provide the actual 56-day statute. I write him often, and he simply told me that this is what he's learned. I didn't ask him for a statute, but I will.

    There is no pending legal action. He's been incarcerated for over 36 years, and has exhausted all of his appeals. However, throughout his appeals processes, he didn't consider the idea that the authorities may have misidentified the body. It was only after all of his appeals had been exhausted, that we chose to exhume the body, and perform a DNA test. Because of this new information, we're seeking a court order, so that we may test the tissue block sample.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    10,807
    Likes Received:
    4,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

    There are three places in the Michigan Rules of Criminal Procedure that mention 56 days:

    6.505
    6.506
    6.509

    Michigan Court Rules Chap 6. Criminal Procedure

    They are pretty easy to understand and none of them apply to a deadline for the "court" to respond to anything.

    By the way, all the filings he has made to the court, did he also serve them on the prosecuting attorney as the rules require?
     
  11. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    He sent me a copy of what he mailed to the court. In his letter to the office clerk, he states that he has enclosed one original, and three copies. He then requests that copies be sent to the prosecutor's office.

    I'm able to contact him, via electronic communication -- kind of like an E-mail system for inmates. I sent him a message, but, according to the website, it can take up to 48 hours for my message to be delivered. Unfortunately, this isn't very efficient. However, I'm looking forward to his response on where he learned of the 56-day rule.
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,948
    Likes Received:
    2,817
    Trophy Points:
    113

    It's not up to the court to serve the documents.
     
  13. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I don't practice criminal law. Nor do I practice in Michigan. However, with no pending legal action of any sort, I'm highly skeptical that the court has any obligation to do anything. Of course that will depend on what exactly your father submitted to the court.

    In the case of an incarcerated prisoner, who appears to be acting without an attorney and who is presumably regarded as indigent, it may very well be up to the court clerk to do this.
     
  14. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,948
    Likes Received:
    2,817
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Fair enough - I may have gone a bit too far out on that limb...
     
  15. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My father has submitted four things. He sent "Motion to Compel Discovery", "Affidavit Suspension of Fees/Cost", "Certification of Prisoner Account" and "Motion for Appointment of Counsel".

    It's true that he has exhausted all of his appeals. However, that was before we discovered that the body in the victim's grave, doesn't match the body of the person that he's convicted of murdering. In light of this new reality, surely something must be able to be done.

    Technically, if that victim isn't dead, she could walk into that prison tomorrow, and visit him. If he still has to serve time, while it is easily possible to prove that she's not even dead, by merely performing a DNA test, then we truly have a broken system.
     
  16. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    10,807
    Likes Received:
    4,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Seek a pardon from the governor.
     
  17. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    We sought a pardon, earlier on, from the governor. Granholm was our governor, at the time.

    She was extremely kind and gracious enough to respond to me, and I still have her response letter. However, she didn't offer a pardon. She mentioned that we'd have to go to the parole board, first, which we did. However, nothing became of it.

    I should note, however, that we tried this many years ago -- before exhuming the body and discovering that it doesn't belong to the victim. Although, I suppose this new evidence wouldn't matter, in terms of going to the parole board. This is because the parole board requires that the convicted person admit guilt; which doesn't line up with the new evidence that suggests that a crime may not have been committed.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate your willingness to help.
     
  18. retic

    retic Member

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Have you tried asking a group such as The Innocence Project for help?
     
  19. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    10,807
    Likes Received:
    4,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

  20. evansste

    evansste Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks, so much, for this! I had never heard of Professor Duane, so this is extremely helpful.

    You're right, there are no guarantees. However, it certainly can't hurt for me to contact him. So, I will.

    At the very least, I've learned to never talk to the police. The video is highly educational, and he makes a lot of sense.

    Thanks, again.

    We've tried contacting The Innocence Project, a few times, with no luck. The one, here in Michigan, has been fairly unresponsive.

    Unfortunately, the one in New York, won't accept cases from Michigan because Michigan already has an Innocence Project program.
     

Share This Page