COURT WATCH: Judge Continues Case Past ‘Last’ Day after Prosecutor Claims Not Prepared because Didn’t Receive Motion to Dismiss

By Bryan Miller 

WOODLAND, CA – Judge Tom Dyer here in Yolo County Superior Court this week continued the case of a man past the 30th day—the last day before charges can be dismissed—because the prosecution was not ready to respond to a motion to dismiss the case by the defense.

The continuance creates further issues because of the need for an American Sign Language interpreter for the accused, which has been difficult to obtain throughout the history of the accused’s case.

According to Deputy Public Defender Katie De Anda, a motion to dismiss the case was presented to both the court and the district attorney’s office Feb. 28 which was within the deadline for the motion to be dismissed.

However, while she insists it was received by a Deputy District Attorney, DDA Sara Johnson claimed she did not learn of the dismissal motion until that morning, and because of that, she was not able to prepare a response. DDA Johnson asked the case be continued in order for her to be able to form a proper response.

DPD De Anda objected to the motion for the case be continued, noting California Law states failure to file a response without good reason is a waiver of the issue. De Anda argued her client should have his misdemeanor drug possession charges dismissed.

DDA Johnson maintained to the court she did not know of the motion and she believed the court day today was on the issue of a violation of probation.

Judge Dyer sided with the prosecution, giving them until the next morning to formulate a formal response.

However, DPD De Anda pointed out the issues with obtaining an ASL interpreter for the accused. The interpreter assisting in this hearing said that it was her “first time at this courthouse” and that she lives “very far away.”

As a result, De Anda pointed out that if the court fails to obtain an ASL interpreter then there are statutory timeline issues with the case going well over its 30th day, which was Feb. 26.

Judge Dyer put the issue over until the following morning, giving DDA Johnson time to form her response, with the hopes that a sign language interpreter would be available.

About The Author

Bryan Miller is a fourth year political science - public service major at UC Davis. He has a desire to pursue law in the future and has a large interest in the justice system and constitutional law. In his free time Bryan likes to spend time outdoors fishing and hiking.

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