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How to write a letter to a judge asking for a dismissal of a case.

Shirley, MA |

I would like to know how to write a letter to a judge asking him to dismiss a case. I am the victim of that particular case. On the day of the arraignment I spoke with the Da and the victims advocate and express to both of them that I did not wish to move forward with the case. When the case was called up, neither one of them said anything about me not wanting to move forward to the judge. I can't afford an attorney and I thought that I could maybe send a letter to the judge asking him to dismiss the case. Could someone please help me with this? I just don't know how I should write such a letter. Thank you!

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer
Posted

Based on your response, it sounds like you have a marital privilege that you can assert in order to refuse to testify against the defendant. If there is not other source of evidence besides you, for example, a third-party witness or your 911 call that falls into a narrowly drawn exception to the general rule against using the 911 call when the caller is not present to testify at trial, then the case will be dismissed on the trial date when the DA cannot go forward to trial.

You do not need to write any letter to the judge, nor should you attempt to do so. Communicate your intention to assert your marital privilege to the defendant's attorney and to the DA's office through the victim's advocate. Don't be surprised if the victim's "advocate" stops advocating for you, and tries to either convince you to testify or subtly (or not so subtly) threatens you, once she finds out you are intending to assert your marital privilege. In some courts, a judge will dismiss the case before trial once the marital privilege is asserted on the record (assuming there is no other evidence besides the spouse's testimony). In other courts, the judge won't dismiss the case until the trial date even if the spouse has asserted her privilege before trial.

Good luck,

Dominic Pang (617-538-1127)

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much Mr. Pang. Would you please tell me how could I go about asserting my marital privilege before trial? I have already said to the victims advocate that I do not wish to move forward with the case. Thank you again.

Dominic L. Pang

Dominic L. Pang

Posted

If the next court date is not a trial, you can assert your privilege at that court date. Tell your husband's attorney that you wish to assert your marital privilege and see if he/she can make arrangements for you to assert it prior to trial. If the next court date is a trial date, you can assert the privilege during the first call of the list that day. The victim witness advocate is not going to help you assert your privilege.

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much Mr. Pang! We could not afford an attorney and the judge did not appoint onr because he said that my husband made too much money and that my husband could pay for his own attorney or represent himself. So he is going to take his chances and represent himself ( which we have no idea of how to do that) so that's why I wanted to know who do I have to go and talk to at the court to make sure that I will be able to assert my privilege.

Posted

As the victim, you don't necessarily need your own attorney. This case is in the hands of the DA now, and is his/hers to control. Make your request in writing to the DA, and then he/she has to decide if the case can move on without a cooperating victim. I don't believe you have standing to file a motion to dismiss directly with the judge (which is what you are asking).

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much!

Posted

You could also contact the defense attorney about how to help the defendant get the case dismissed.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your area who regularly practices in the subject matter which your question is about. You should develop an attorney client relationship with the lawyer of your choice so that your communications will be subject to the attorney client privilege and have the other benefits of a professional relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific matter as partially described in the question.

Posted

The judge does not have the authority to dismiss a case because the victim wants it dismissed. All criminal cases are in the hands of the DA and they are the only ones that can dismiss a case if the reason is the victim doesn't want to proceed. No ADA will dismiss a case because that's what the victim wants in a domestic violence case. Depending on the facts of the case they may not be able to proceed without your cooperation. However, unless you have a 5th amendment right not to incriminate yourself or are married to the defendant the DA can have a warrant issued for you to be brought to court. You should speak to the defendants defense attorney.

David Newton
978-995-2014
617-449-7441

This is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much! I am married to the defendant.

David C. Newton

David C. Newton

Posted

Then you can assert a marital privilege if you are summonsed to court . Take a copy of your marriage certificate to his next court date and infirm the prosecutor and your husbands attorney that you are asserting your marital privilege.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Mr. Newton.

Posted

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