What law is violated if someone has a date to appear in court on a complaint against a police officer and that person is intercepted by another officer in plain clothes in the court's lobby and told that their complaint is not legitimate and therefore they will not be allowed to see the judge. This officer then tells the person that he is starting an investigation into the complaint and he will decide if it is a valid one. This person is held in a room and questioned until after the judge has left for the day. At this point they are allowed to leave.
Isn't it up to the judge to hear the evidence presented and decide if a case is "legitimate"? What laws were broken and how can one proceed in order to have this investigated?I would like to thank the two lawyers for their input, but after reviewing the answers given I can see the gravity of the real issue is getting lost in the minutia of who, when, where and why. A quick search revealed the answer in a recent Appeals Court case in which Justice Brown states: "I agree with the majority that there is simply no excuse for a police officer approaching any witness or party in a pending criminal matter and engaging in “deliberate and intentional” conduct likely to intimidate such a person and thereby affect the course of trial proceedings". Commonwealth v. Teixeira, (2009), Commonwealth v. Cronk, 396 Mass. 194, 198-199, 484 N.E.2d 1330 (1985). Apparently this is not a rare instance in Massachusetts and the odds are an unfortunate few in other states may have similar experiences. .
It depends on several things: who the person is (defendant, plaintiff, witness), what kind of court date it is (pretrial, motion, trial, clerk magistrate hearing), and what kind of complaint it is (criminal, civil lawsuit, internal affairs). I would need to know more to give a correct answer.
Attorney Lauren Craig Redmond ~ 617.953.6116 ~ No attorney/client relationship is established or implied by any email or phone conversation.
If the clerk magistrate's hearing had taken place, and probable cause had been found to move forward, then the next step in the process would have been an arraignment hearing involving the alleged defendant and the district attorney's office. And if that was the case, then the complainant doesn't need to be present at the arraignment.
If, on the other hand, you're suggesting that the clerk magistrate did not make a finding of probable cause - but instead bound the matter over for hearing with the judge for the judge to decide whether there was probable cause or not - that would be a first in my experience.
Frankly the whole fact pattern sounds like something out of a crime TV show.
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