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Adversary Proceedings Don’t Require an Adversary

Posted on April 30th, 2007 by Marc Stevens

When you deal with bureaucrats enough, some truth is bound to come out, even if accidentally.  The following is another example of the absurdities you can expect from bureaucrats where a little truth came out.  Legal land is a place where black is white, white is black and adversary proceedings do not require adversaries.

A friend was accused of committing a crime, but was not accused of violating anyone’s legal rights or causing damage or injury of any kind.  She filed a motion to dismiss/strike the complaint for a lack of standing, no corpus delecti and no jurisdiction.  The grounds were all supported by current “precedent” and “law” e.g.:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  Declaration of Independence [emphasis mine].

“An analysis of standing begins with a determination of whether the party seeking relief has sustained an injury (see Society of Plastics Indus. v. County of Suffolk, 77 N.Y.2d 761, 772-773, 570 N.Y.S.2d 778, 573 N.E.2d 1043 [1991]).”  Mahoney v. Pataki, 772 N.E.2d 1118, 1122 (N.Y. 2002).

“To adjudicate upon, and protect the rights and interests of individual citizens, and to that end to construe and apply the laws, is the peculiar province of the judicial department…The judicial power “is the power to hear and determine those matters which affect the life, liberty, or property of the citizens of the state.”  (City of Sapulpa v. Land, 101 Okl. 22, 223 P. 640, 644, 35 A.L.R. 872, 878.)”  Nash v. Brooks, 297 N.Y.S. 853, 855-856.

While a New York case about corpus delecti was not presented, it’s still applicable and every “state” surrounding New York has a relevant series of cases:

[New Jersey] “Proof of the corpus delecti is required in all criminal cases…There are three basic elements in the proof of a crime: (1) the occurrence of loss or injury, (2) criminal causation of that loss or injury and (3) the identity of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime.  However, it is firmly established in this State that the term corpus delecti embraces only the first two of these elements-loss or injury and criminal causation.”  State v. Hill, 221 A.2d 725, 728 [bold emphasis mine].

[Delaware] “Though questioned by Wigmore, the prevailing American rule is that proof of the corpus delecti requires (1) proof of the injury, death or loss, according to the nature of the crime, and (2) proof of criminal means as the cause.  7 Wigmore on Evidence, [section] 2072.  This is the rule in Delaware.”  Nelson v. State, 123 A.2d 859, 861.

[Connecticut] ““Corpus delecti” consists of occurrence of specific kind of loss or injury embraced in crime charged, rather than commission of crime charged by someone.”  State v. Vuilleumer, 210 A.2d 673, 674, 3 Conn.Cir. 223.

[Pennsylvania] “It has long been fundamental to the criminal jurisprudence of thie Commonwealth that a necessary predicate to any conviction is proof of the corpus delecti, i.e., the occurrence of any injury or loss and someone’s criminality as the source of this injury or loss.  See Commonwealth v. Burns, 490 Pa. 619, 627, 187 A.2d 552, 556-557 (1963); Commonwealth v. Turza, 340 Pa. 128, 133, 16 A.2d 401, 404 (1940).”  Commonwealth v. Maybee, 239 A.2d 332, 333.

An attorney named KARA M. BUCKLEY filed this response to the motion, here’s page one and page two.  You’ll notice despite the caption “THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK – against-” Jane Doe, Ms. BUCKLEY wrote: “There is no plaintiff in this action…”  Yes, you read that correctly.  For some reason Ms. BUCKLEY thinks because the action is called “criminal” a plaintiff or adversary isn’t required even though there is one listed in the caption.  Apparently Ms. BUCKLEY does not believe an adversary is necessary for an adversary proceeding, and the state and federal court systems are adversarial, Harris v. New York, 401 US 222 (1971).

Maybe it’s me, I’m not an attorney like Ms. BUCKLEY.  I looked up the legal definitions of adversary in a law dictionary and here’s what I found:

adversary proceeding.  A contested action or proceeding; one having parties, as distinguished from a proceeding on ex parte application.”  Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, page 40, 3rd Edition.

adversary.  The opposite party in a contest or action.”  Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, page 40, 3rd Edition.

plaintiff.  The party complaining in an action or proceeding.  A person who brings a suit, action, bill or complaint.  See 3 B1 Comm 25.”  Ballentines’s Law Dictionary, page 952, 3rd Ed.

See how this can be confusing?  I guess we need to be attorneys to understand.  If there is no plaintiff then there aren’t opposing parties.  Why are “THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK” listed as being “against” someone else if there is no opposing party?  How do you prosecute a case when there is no opposing party?

To help understand this, I called a few people who are considered authorities on the subject of the New York state court system.  I spoke to Arthur Harris, press secretary for the New York State Attorney General’s office in New York City.  Mr. Harris, though not an attorney, confirmed the New York state court system is an adversarial system and there must be two opposing parties, even in criminal cases.

I also spoke with Mr. Oscar G. Chase, a  Russell D. Niles Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute of Judicial Administration at the New York University School of Law.  Mr. Chase is a 1963 graduate of Yale Law School and he also agreed, the New York state court system, like all the other state and federal systems is adversarial and an action must have two opposing parties, even in criminal cases.  You can listen our phone call here.

Why does Ms. BUCKLEY insist a plaintiff or opposing party is not required in a criminal case?  Who do you think is wrong, the United States Supreme Court, Arthur Harris and Oscar G. Chase of NYU or Ms. BUCKLEY?  You need to ask only one question to prove Ms. BUCKLEY wrong: Ms. BUCKLEY, who brought this complaint?  If someone brought the complaint, then there is a plaintiff or opposing party.

I wish I had the opportunity to ask Ms. BUCKLEY what her role in the proceedings are since by her own admission there isn’t another party to represent.  Why is she there?

It’s one thing to disagree with the requirements of standing, but claiming “no plaintiff” or opposing party is necessary because “this is a criminal action” and therefore not relevant is ridiculous.  Maybe that’s why the requirements of standing were not addressed.  Standing is required in every case because the jurisdiction of the courts is strictly limited to only the object of the creation of government and that’s to “Secure” the “rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  This was in the original New York constitution and also held by the New York appellate courts:

“To adjudicate upon, and protect the rights and interests of individual citizens, and to that end to construe and apply the laws, is the peculiar province of the judicial department…The judicial power “is the power to hear and determine those matters which affect the life, liberty, or property of the citizens of the state.”  (City of Sapulpa v. Land, 101 Okl. 22, 223 P. 640, 644, 35 A.L.R. 872, 878.)”  Nash v. Brooks, 297 N.Y.S. 853, 855-856 [emphasis mine].

Whether an action is called “civil” or “criminal” is irrelevant; for a court to proceed against someone the opposing party, commonly called the “plaintiff”, must allege the violation of a right and the resulting damage or injury.  Notice Ms. BUCKLEY claims she only has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant committed the crime alleged.  Ms. BUCKLEY either fails to understand, or she purposely ignores the fact that to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt requires a crime or corpus delecti (body of the crime).  And that’s the very injury Ms. BUCKLEY claims she does not have to prove.  The “legal authority” to the contrary to Ms. BUCKLEY’S position is staggering and a very small part is available here on my standing cross-reference.

To prove a crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt means to prove “(1) the occurrence of loss or injury [and] (2) criminal causation of that loss or injury” beyond a reasonable doubt; they are two ways of saying exactly the same thing.  For some reason Ms. BUCKLEY does things differently.  I can only speculate it has something to do with the fact she makes money doing it and can never be held accountable by the people whose money she is taking.  This monetary interest most likely explains why the “judge” agreed with Ms. BUCKLEY instead of laughing and sanctioning her for a frivolous filing.

Ms. BUCKLEY is wrong regarding the corpus delecti when she (intentionally or otherwise) confuses two issues on page two.  There is the corpus delecti rule which states there must be independent evidence from the defendant’s confession to establish the corpus delecti and there is the requirement there be a corpus delecti.  The corpus delecti must be there for there to be a crime.  To hold otherwise is to ignore the stated objective of government and hundreds or thousands of supreme court precedent (yes, I know it’s all PR).  Even if Ms. BUCKLEY plans on having a witness independent of the defendant, there still has to be evidence of a corpus delecti which of course is the “occurrence of specific kind of loss or injury embraced in crime charged, rather than commission of crime charged by someone.”  State v. Vuilleumer, 210 A.2d 673, 674, 3 Conn.Cir. 223.

No crime was committed here.  Traffic violations, like drug offenses, are not crimes and all one needs to do is read the above cases about corpus delecti and judicial power to know it.  Traffic courts are nothing more than gangs of armed robbers putting on a show; a really bad show that’s obvious to anyone who pays attention.  When you point out they are not crimes using their own rhetoric and PR, you’ll get more “legalistic gibberish” such as offered by Ms. BUCKLEY or this gem from my previous article  Attorneys and Bureaucrats – Always Non-responsive .

However, Ms. BUCKLEY is correct when she wrote: “There is no plaintiff…”, because there is no “STATE OF NEW YORK”, “PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK”, “State of New York” or even “New York State”.  It’s too bad this nugget of truth went over the head of the black-robed attorney acting as judge who dutifully denied the motion.  Apparently this attorney is unaware adversary proceedings require adversaries.  We can’t forget this is legal land though; only in legal land can you have an adversary proceeding without an adversary

 

              

1 Comments For This Post

  1. RadicalDude Says:

    Wow marc great article.

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