Sunday, August 8, 2010

But The House Isn't There Anymore...

I was appointed to a case where my client was charged with a felony. After reading the affidavit, I determined that the officer had not done much investigation as there was another person that should have been charged but the officer didn't bother to locate him. A subpoena had been issued for the victim but the officer's return stated that the subpoena could not be served because the house had been damaged by the flood & was torn down. The victim was not in court & had not contacted the court or DA's office to inquire about the case.
I argued with the DA to dismiss the case. The DA wanted the subpoena reissued. Reissued to where??? The house was's not there anymore. Hello!!! What is the point of reissuing the subpoena to the same address? The DA would not agree to dismiss the case without reissuing the subpoena. The DA said that if the subpoena comes back unable to be issued, he would dismiss the case then. So, my client has to come back to court because the DA thinks the Sheriff's Office can achieve the impossible & serve the victim in this case at an address that no longer exists.
The Clerk didn't get it either but the Judge came to my rescue by saying that it is the State's responsibility to see that the subpoena is served.