JUST THE FACTS March 01, 2001 page three
WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?
In each publication of Eureka County Taxpayers League's "Just The Facts", there will be a column entitled "Who Do They think They Are?" Its purpose will be to inform the public of conduct or activity which adversely affects Eureka County taxpayers. We are confident that once citizens are fully informed of certain decisions and actions of governmental officials or agencies and once those officials and agencies learn that there will be thorough news coverage of these same, there will be a vast improvement in the way our government is run.
You can trust that this column will contain only a truthful recitation of the facts covered. We will also give each party who is the subject of our coverage the opportunity to respond and to express their point of view before this column goes to print so that we can present as complete a picture as possible.
Our by-laws and the by-laws of the Nevada Tax Payers Association and the national Tax Payers Union state that one of our primary purposes is to inform and educate the media and the public at large of matters which are pertinent to the expenditure of tax payers issues and dollars. And now, for our feature story of this issue's Who Do They Think They Are?
Suppose that you are charged with some type of criminal wrongdoing even though all of the facts show that you are innocent. In other words, you are truly not guilty. It is sad but true that the news is full of stories in which lots of innocent people are arrested in our country everyday and it happens here in Eureka County all too often.
According to American principles of justice, when one is charged with a crime, that person is entitled to his day in court in which the accusing authority must prove that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution can't do that, then the verdict must be not guilty and you are free from any sort of punishment. But that is not the way it was recently in Eureka Justice Court case number 20-00027. Believe it or not, a local native and well-respected citizen was charged with a violation of the Eureka County Code even though he was innocent and the facts and evidence proved it.
Our citizen took the right approach and at his first appearance in court, he entered his plea of "not guilty" and requested his day in court. The case did go to court, and the verdict was not guilty. However, even though the citizen was found "not guilty", he was ordered to pay $250.00 as punishment! Is that legal? Of course not, but it has happened and our not guilty citizen is having a very difficult time trying to get this terrible situation corrected. So far, the authorities involved won't budge even though they know that an illegal sentence has been imposed.
Our not guilty but nevertheless sentenced citizen cannot appeal this ridiculous sentence because there is nothing to appeal from. If a citizen accused of a crime is found not guilty, there is nothing to appeal from. Common sense, of course, indicates that if a not guilty person appeals, he is asking the court to find him guilty and who would ever do that?
So, our not guilty citizen wrote to the elected District Attorney and politely and respectfully asked for his help with this dilemma. What was the DA's response? "Refer all future correspondence about this case to the court." In other words, don't pester our DA about your civil rights!
When our not guilty tax payer received that response, he wrote to the Justice of the Peace asking him to please correct the improper order. The response? None so far.
Then he wrote to the Tax payers league and we wrote to the court as well. At press time for this newsletter, there still has been no response, although we told the court that we would be including information regarding this issue in our newsletter and we would like to have the court's point of view. The District court has been written to now, as well. If necessary, it can go to the Supreme Court, but our not guilty citizen should not be forced to pay an illegal fine or a lot of attorneys fees to secure justice and his due rights under the law.
Remember readers, these are your elected officials engaging in this type of conduct. Write them, or call them, or write to us and let us know your views on this matter. Our elected officials must clearly understand that this county's citizens won't put up with innocent people being punished or with orders and rulings that are contrary to the established laws in this state and country. The phone number of the Committee on Judicial Misconduct is (775) 687-4017. The local Justice Court number is 237-5540.
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