Defense Claims Prosecution Made ‘Inappropriate Threat’ to Client in Court

Interior of the County Courthouse building (Santa Barbara, California).

By Leila Katibah

SANTA BARBARA, CA – During a pretrial conference Wednesday morning, a prosecutor denied he had made an “inappropriate threat” to an accused in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, but the defense insisted.

Deputy Public Defender Anders Iverson informed Judge Clifford R. Anderson, III, of a miscommunication regarding the supervised pretrial release of the accused, who is charged with a misdemeanor of battery on spouse.

He was initially also charged with contempt of court for violating a protective order, but that charge was dismissed in the furtherance of justice, Iverson explained.

“He is aware he needs to go to pretrial services today with the little ones to make sure that he confirms a solid way for him to check in moving forward. The bench warrant should have been held at the last court date,” stated DPD Iverson.

“[The accused] has shown up to every court appearance on the calendar,” continued DPD Iverson, noting the accused has had difficulties completing pretrial check-ins because he doesn’t have a phone. Iverson confirmed the accused is now aware he has to go to check-ins in person, even if he has no phone.

“He’s going to go over there today after court with the little ones and figure out a way that he can maintain that compliance with pretrial services,” stated DPD Iverson.

“A condition of release was to take care of that in August,” Judge Anderson said, to which DPD responded, “Right, but I wouldn’t have jurisdiction to do that, your Honor.”

Judge Anderson remained adamant that it was a condition of his pretrial release, and not taking care of it is a violation. “Three months should be more than enough time to take care of a warrant,” Judge Anderson said.

DPD Iverson provided updates for the court regarding the matter of the warrant, at which point Deputy District Attorney Sherwin Nadjm stated in the event that pretrial supervision needs to be addressed in person, the accused must “not to bring the kids mentioned multiple times this morning.”

“That’s an inappropriate threat made on the record to my client. He is their sole provider, of which Mr. Nadjm is aware…it is the reason he had their no contact order changed to a peaceful contact order, because his significant other works daily,” DPD Iverson responded.

DDA Nadjm retorted that he would consider notifying Child Welfare Services.

Judge Anderson concluded the matter by stating, “Let’s hope that [the accused] is not out of compliance with pretrial services and hasn’t done anything else to put his liberty at risk.”

Judge Anderson scheduled the next hearing for Dec.14, requiring the accused to be present, and that his counsel provide something in writing regarding the Kern County warrant.

DPD Iverson clarified that if the accused is in compliance, it is not necessary that he be ordered present for the next hearing.


About The Author

Leila Katibah is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is double majoring in Sociology and Middle East Studies with a minor in Professional Writing. After graduating, Leila plans to attend law school to pursue a career in Public International Law.

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