Criminal Defense Attorney T. Augustus Claus Explains how the district court needs to do more.
House Arrest in Las Vegas
The state District Attorney tells you the process is sufficient, Frankly, the Supreme Court disagrees. We’re going to have oral arguments on June 15th on the process that the judicial district court has put in place to not notify and not place on calendar when the electronic monitoring protocols are allegedly violated.
What happens now is when someone’s taken in on EMP (Electronic Monitoring Program), what we get is a note, a note with hearsay, with unproven hearsay in it from the house arrest officer. And more often than not, when we try to schedule a hearing, the House Arrest officer doesn’t show up to the hearing. And when they do come in, the times that I have had evidentiary hearings on these matters, many of the assumptions or the allegations put forward in those house arrest or electronic monitoring protocol notes are proven to be demonstrably false.
Electronic monitoring violations
Because the requirements are so broad, the court usually finds some violation occurred even when putting the defendant back in custody. But again, the state sidesteps the real issue of how house arrest processes these electronic monitoring violations. They schedule no hearings, they file no motion. The state is not required to file any motion like they would have been in the good old days before when we had bail and that was the only condition of release. If the state wants to take away someone’s bail, they’re required to file a motion to forfeit that bail and tell the court precisely why. If the person picked up a new charge, Then they typically would be in custody on that new charge. But because of the wonders of the electronic monitoring program and its complete lack of oversight, what we have is a situation that’s been bred where all the court gets is this hearsay memorandum no hearing is scheduled, and no motions are filed until a zealous advocate for the defense does so.
Las Vegas Justice Court has a different process
Whenever somebody is placed in custody for purported violations of electronic monitoring, the justice court themselves places that person on calendar. That’s what the district courts failed to do. They think that this hearsay note is sufficient. Obviously, my position is it’s not my position is that other courts do more, that the municipal court does more, that the Justice Court does more when dealing with infractions, and that the district court should be doing more.
I would ask in a theoretical sense, holding someone without bail, without cause, without charge isn’t that the penultimate due process violation when the person doing it isn’t even required to file so much as a motion? That’s the question being put to the Nevada Supreme Court. And I put that question to you.