Case Conclusion Date: 04.26.2005
Practice Area: Appeals
Outcome: Affirmed lower court judgment in favor of client
Description: A criminal complaint against Mr. Pinedo was dismissed in the Superior Court based on a finding that Mr. Pinedo had been prejudiced by a delay in prosecution and denied due process. The prosecution did not appeal, but filed a new complaint. The court dismissed again. The People appealed. The Court of Appeal sustained the lower ruling: Indeed, in discussing an appeal of the dismissal order, in United States v. Marion, supra, 404 U.S. at page 312, 92 S.Ct. 455, the court indicated that the motion to dismiss was a â€œ â€˜motion in bar.â€™ â€ It acknowledged that the pretrial dismissal there â€œwas beyond the power of the Government to cure since re-indictment would not have been permissible under such a ruling.â€ ( Ibid.) The court also characterized the motion to dismiss as follows: â€œ[T]he motion to dismiss rested on grounds that had nothing to do with guilt or innocence or the truth of the allegations in the indictment but was, rather, a plea in the nature of confession and avoidance, that is, where the defendant does not deny that he has committed the acts alleged and that the acts were a crime, but instead pleads that he cannot be prosecuted because of some extraneous factor, such as the running of the statute of limitations or the denial of a speedy trial.â€ ( Marion, at p. 312., 92 S.Ct. 455) Based on the above authority and the California dicta in Crockett v. Superior Court, supra, 14 Cal.3d 433, 121 Cal.Rptr. 457, 535 P.2d 321, we conclude that a dismissal, even by a magistrate, on this due process ground terminates the proceedings and is an order that must be appealed or it becomes final. In Crockett, the California Supreme Court addressed the operation of the statutory provisions that supplement a defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial, e.g., section 1381.