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WandaEmms

Witness harassment

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I'm a defense witness for an upcoming criminal trial.  The judge just allowed a State motion to exclude witnesses from attendance at all pre-trial court appearances and from buying any court transcripts. The Court's actions are directed towards me, and I feel harassed. Is there any objection I can make and if so how. I have lived in association with this case and other witnesses in it for 5 years now without tampering with anyone's testimony or revealing information improperly. I've followed the case and bought court transcripts but never posted or made improper use of them. My testimony stems from my personal experience and knowledge independent of any information presented to the Court.  And, my testimony will be extremely limited in scope, and nothing they are discussing even pertains to it. I feel the Court is permitting the State to overstep it's rights. Please let me know what might apply here, thanks!

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Hi @WandaEmms

 

Welcome to the Answers community and thanks for posting! It is typical of most trials that testifying witnesses are excluded from the courtroom while not testifying. Illinois Rule of Evidence 615 allows either party to request that testifying witnesses be excluded from the courtroom. It would make sense, therefore, that witnesses are also prohibited from ordering transcripts (which would allow them to read previous testimony). As a witness, you do not have standing to object to the judge's ruling. If the defense attorney believes that there is a valid reason for allowing you to remain in the courtroom while other witnesses are testifying, then he/she should raise an objection.

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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57 minutes ago, WandaEmms said:

I feel harassed.

 

Oh, good grief....

 

 

57 minutes ago, WandaEmms said:

Is there any objection I can make and if so how.

 

You can make all the objections you like.  You also could have, but apparently didn't, oppose the prosecutor's motion.  Any objections will fall on deaf ears, however.

 

 

58 minutes ago, WandaEmms said:

I feel the Court is permitting the State to overstep it's rights.

 

You're entitled to feel anything you like, but as a matter of law, the court and state did no such thing.

 

 

59 minutes ago, WandaEmms said:

Please let me know what might apply here

 

Not really sure what this means.

 

The court heard and granted a completely routine motion.  You're free to discuss this with the defendant's attorney, but I suspect he or she has better things to do than concern him/herself with your hurt feelings.

 

 

3 minutes ago, WandaEmms said:

does that mean that I cannot even get copies of court filings from the record?

 

We obviously have no idea what the court's order says beyond what you told us, and you didn't tell us that the order precludes this.

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Just now, WandaEmms said:

The court order does not address court filings; just transcripts and attendence. 

 

I'm part of the defendant's support circle. I'd want to pass some filings to those of his circle who blog, so they could comment.

 

@WandaEmms You may want to allow the defense attorney to make decisions about this. Anything publicly filed can be accessed through the courts, so a blogger could get them for himself/herself. However, if you become too involved, it may lead to you being disqualified as a witness, so be careful not to take any action which might undermine his defense. It may also be wise to wait until the trial is over to write publicly about the case.

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The only thing you can safely do as a witness is wait until you are called to the stand and testify as to what you observed.  It sounds as if you are attempting to steer or interfere with the presentation of evidence at the trial of the case.  I would suggest you stop posting here about your interest in skirting the judge's order in case someone is monitoring your postings.  

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15 hours ago, WandaEmms said:

The court order does not address court filings; just transcripts and attendence.

 

No reason to think the order covers anything other than what it says.

 

 

15 hours ago, WandaEmms said:

I'm part of the defendant's support circle. I'd want to pass some filings to those of his circle who blog, so they could comment.

 

Obviously, "those . . . who blog" have the same access to documents as you.  They also (presumably) aren't bound by the court's order prohibiting you from attending hearings and buying transcripts.  Of course, the chances that blogging will be of any benefit to you friend are virtually nil (and, in fact, it's more likely that such activity will be a detriment).

 

 

15 hours ago, RetiredinVA said:

I would suggest you stop posting here about your interest in skirting the judge's order in case someone is monitoring your postings.

 

Concur...big time.

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