Dec. 3, 2010

Day of My Arrest; Court Summaries; The Death of Hope

by Annabel Melongo


04/13/2010: At 10.30 am Annabel presented herself for the mental fitness exam at 2610 S California Ave., 10 th floor. At around 11.00am Dr. Markoo, coming from behind, greeted her and they both proceeded to the examination room. Once there, Annabel's first remark was about the requested french translator. Dr. Markoo replied that he wasn't aware of such a request. Nevertheless, het told her that she was well understood and if during the session she didn't understand something, she might ask him to repeat slooly. Annabel agreed ans asked the doctor to proceed. The first questions were pretty basic. There were about that day's date, her name then it gradually got to her education, ethnical background, courtroom proceedings, mental health. At the end of this first phase, Dr. Markoo told Annabel that she was well-educated, calm, cooperative, had good eyes contact as well as good verbal skills.
After this verbal evaluation, the second phase started with questions about her pending charges specifically the judges and lawyers involved in her case. In the middle of the questioning, some police officers knocked at the door and Dr. Markoo left the room for about 5-10 min. When he came back from his converstion with the police officers, his line of questioning shifted to the website. He was curious to know who posted the messages on that site, who owned it and finally the meaning of the capitalized word 'SURPRISE' on the 03/03/2010 entry.
Annabel told him ahe wouldn't comment on her relationship with her previous lawyers due to the confidentiality nature surrounding it, that the is owned by someone in France and that the website didn't present any threat to anyone nor was it involved in any illegal activity but merely displayed public documents and made observations regarding her case and thet 'SURPRISE' on the 03/03/2010 was about her hiring a new lawyer. Dr. Markoo then asked if she had further questions, she naysayed. He shook her hand and closed the session.
When Annabel proceeded outside the examination room, she was told by about 6 police officers, men and women, that an arrest warrant had been issued on her. They handcuffed her and her Miranda rights are never read.
When she inquired about the natures of the charges, she's told they're unknown.

Court Summaries Since my arrest.

04/09/2010: Nick Albukerk, Annabel's new lawyer, filed a motion for leave to appear. Judge Broonahan is not in court, motion is granted by judge Wilson. The case is continued to 04/20/2010.

04/13/2010 (Day of the Arrest) : See attached document.

04/142010: The same police officers who brought her to the Maywood jail the night before, picked her up the next morning. Annabel is transported to 2610 S. California Ave. for a bond hearing. After she's released from police custody, she stayed in a waiting room for about 2 hours before appearing in front of the bond judge. Her computer tempering prosecutors, Podlosek and Gunnigle, were present. Her lawyer was not in court. The prosecutors requested a 30,000D bond for the new eavesdropping charges and asked the judge to have Annabel's passport surrendered. With no attorney to defend her, the bond request iis easily granted. The case is continued to 04/15/2010. It became apparent to her that her computer tempering prosecutors were the ones who orchestrated her new arrest.
After the bond hearing, she's taken to a room with other female detainees. She stayed in that room about 5 hours before starting the procedures required to be booked at the Cook County jail. The procedures, among others, are being photographed, undergo a mental evaluation, a x-ray session and finally to wear jail clothes. By the time she got to her cell, it was around 2.00 a.m. There, she wanted to cry, no tears came. The well of emotional tears has long dried out through the 4-yearlong legal drought. Then her thoughts shifted to her family and to the dream she once had about coming to America. In the darkness of that sleepless night, she realized, the dream has turned into a nightmare. The nightmare of hypocrisy in its naked ugliness. With her dreams and hopes and aspirations buried and dead, she surrendered herself to the Almighty and became resolute to accept her condition as yet another episode in her challenging legal case.

04/15/2010: Annabel is called in front of Judge Brosnahan at around 11.30 am. When she entered the room, she's surprised that her lawyer wasn't in court. Judge Brosnahan made a recap of the case, then asked the Defendant if she submitted to her ordered psychological evaluation. Annabel answered in the affirmative. The judge then looked through her paperwork and said that no evaluation result was sent to her. The state prosecutor, Podlasek, went on to tell the judge that the Defendant caught a new case, Eavesdropping, and as such her I-Bond conditions were violated and demanded a new bond for the computer tampering charges. Furthermore, he told the judge that the Defendant should surrender her passport. Annabel couldn't believe what she was hearing. Though she was no longer Pro Se, she felt the urgent need to step up and defend herself. She told the judge that the state prosecutor can't schedule a court hearing and make all those demands without notifying the lawyer assigned to the case. The judge asked who was the new lawyer and urged Podlasek to notify the Defendant's attorney on the new developments. The was was continued to 04/20/2010.

04/20/2010: Annabel's lawyer is finally in court. After his initial presentation, Attorney ID and name, he made a summary of the case. He told the judge that since her client has been rendered indigent by the state, he requested to be appointed. Judge Brosnahan said she would take his request into advisement. The state prosecutor and Nick Albukerk then argued the new bond on the computer tampering charges. After having heard both arguments, Judge Brosnahan set the bond to 500,000 D. Linda Shelton was also in court that day to argue her habeus on behalf of the Defendant. When Judge Brosnahan refused to let her argue her motion, Linda Shelton expressed her discontentment and the judge ordered her out of the courtroom. The case was continued to 05/05/2010.
After the court hearing, Nick Albukerk came to see the Defendant in a cell adjacent the courtroom. With tears in her eyes, she asked him not to withdraw. Worth noting, by that time, Mr. Albukerk hasn't received a dime yet from her. He promised he wouldn't withdraw but made it clear he needed to be paid for his services. He gave her his business card and asked her to call collect. He also volunteered to get a French translator so that Annabel's family can be notified of her arrest. She felt very relieved by the gesture.

05/05/2010 Nick Albukerk argued his motion to have the excessive bond reduced . He said that Eavesdropping wasn't a violent crime and that only few states consider such an act a crime. The state prosecutor, Mr. Podlasek, replied stating that the Defendant posted discovery and private information on her website, that her recordings of telephone conversations between her and Pamela Taylor and posting of said conversations on the internet amounted to cyber-terrorism. After hearing both arguments, Judge Brosnahan reduced the bond to 300,000 D, still excessive for the Defendant to bond out. The case was continued to 05/12/2010.

05/12/2010: The state prosecutors demanded to quash all subpoenas issued by the Defendant when she was Pro Se. Nick Albukerk replied that the state doesn't have the inherent power to quash a subpoena. Only a judge can do so, he argued. He also put the Defendant on record regarding transfer of funds from her former lawyer. The hearing was continued to 05/20/2010 although the Defendant had to be in court on 05/18/2010 to be assigned a judge for the eavesdropping charges.

05/18/2010: As a matter of formality, Annabel went to room 101 to have a judge assigned to the Eavesdropping charges. Though her lawyer wasn't in court, he already knew that Judge Brosnahan will be assigned the new charges. After room 101, she was sent to that judge and the case was continued to 05/20/2010.

05/20/2010: In a grueling court hearing that lasted almost 3 hours, most subpoenas issued by the Defendant while Pro Se were withdrawn. This was the result of a decision between Albukerk and his client to withdraw subpoenas irrelevant to the computer tampering charges and to keep only those that were relevant. For those subpoenas that were not withdrawn, Judge Brosnahan ordered them to be stricken in their face and asked Nick Albukerk to rewrite them. The Defendant was then arraigned on the Eavesdropping charge and the case was continued to 06/14/2010.

06/14/2010: Nick Albukerk told the judge that he was in the process of rewriting the Defendant's outstanding motion to dismiss as well as the subpoenas that weren't withdrawn. The hearing was continued to 07/26/2010 for an argument on the motion to dismiss. After the hearing Albukerk and his client also discussed filing a motion to dismiss the Eavesdropping charges.

07/26/2010: By the time Annabel arrived in the courtroom, the hearing had already started. Nick Albukerk made her signed the verified Mmtion to reduce all bonds in front of the judge. In a surprising move, the state prosecutors decided to switch election to the Eavesdropping case. See a pattern? The day Annabel was scheduled to argue her motion to dismiss the computer tampering charges, a psychological evaluation was ordered on her and when she submitted to it, she got arrested. He new lawyer rewrote the motion to dismiss and the very day he was supposed to argue it, the state switched the election. The case was continued to 08/11/2010.

08/11/2010: Really frustrating day for the Defendant. The state submitted its response to Albukerk's motion to dismiss the Eavesdropping charges. Annabel asked him not to argue it that day, but he told the judge that he wanted to do so. In doing so, all the relevant documents showing her reasonable belief that a criminal activity was afoot were not attached or shown to the judge. After hearing both arguments, the judge denied the motion to dismiss. Nick Albukerk then asked Judge Brosnahan to appoint him. He proposed a plan. He also informed the court that her client's motion to reduce her bond was denied. He further took responsibilities for all misstatements present in his initial motion to reduce bond as well as on the affidavit regarding transfer of funds from his client's former lawyer. He acknowledged his client never had the opportunity to read the motion before it was filed. The case was continued to 08/26/2010.
After the hearing, a discussion arose between Annabel and her lawyer. At the end of the discussion, she wondered why the once strong and unified defense team has now disintegrated.

08/26/2010: Nick Albukerk argued the state's motion to eliminate the criminal activity defense during trial. The state abstained from arguing. The Defendant's lawyer argued that the case presented by the state is not only a civil case irrelevant to his client's situation, but also that it was a ruling from another jurisdiction. After agreeing in part with the defense, Judge Brosnahan nevertheless granted the state's motion stating that Pamela Taylor, manager at the Cook County Reporter's Office, wasn't the Court Reporter having transcribed the June 18th, 2008 transcript and therefore couldn't be a party to the alleged criminal activity. Nick Albukerk concluded in telling the judge that her decision was made on a fact, a responsibility given to a jury as a trier of facts. He told the judge that he would file a motion to reconsider and if denied, he would appeal her ruling.
Annabel also wanted to file her request demanding trial for the computer tampering case. Judge Brosnahan didn't allow her to do so, arguing that there was no need to demand trial on a case that was tolled, corroborating Nick Albukerk's response to his client when she suggested the idea. The case was continued to 09/29/2010.
After the hearing, Nick Albukerk met Annabel in her cell. He was very aggravated. He promised he would file a proper motion explaining his argument. He went on to say that he didn't bother to write one such response to the state's motion because he thought it to be weak and that his oral argument would have sufficed.

09/29/2010: Nick Albukerk came late. Not being able to make it on time, he called the state prosecutors and arranged a continuation date. When he arrived in court, a jury trial was ongoing. Annabel met the judge in his absence and the case was continued to 10/18/2010.
When Nick Albukerk met Annabel in her cell, they discussed legal issues. Among them, a check to sign for his services and Carol Spizzirri not picking up subpoenas sent to her.

10/18/2010: Nick Albukerk told the judge that he hasn't been able to write the motion to reconsider due to being fired two times by the Defendant. He also told the judge that he hasn't been appointed nor been paid by the Defendant who gave him some conditions, among those, a second motion to dismiss. Annabel then told the judge that her lawyer shouldn't discuss in open court confidential conversations between them. She confirmed that she gave her lawyer certain conditions and absent their fulfillments, she would ask him to withdraw. Annabel further told the judge that if she ever appoints Nick Albukerk, she would hire a new lawyer and make that person her lead attorney. Judge Brosnahan replied that she couldn't go on firing firing lawyers and since sofar no other attourney had filed appearance, she allowed Albukerk to remain her lawyer. Although Albukerk went on record continuing the hearing to 10/25/2010, the actual continuance was 10/27/2010.

10/27/2010: Nick Mr. Albukerk filed his motion to reconsider the ruling made by the judge on August 26th, 2010. Before arguing his motion though, he told the judge that his client asked him to withdraw and consequently, didn't know if he should proceed with the argument. The judge asked Annabel why she wanted Albukerk to withdraw. She answered she wouldn't discuss those issues in open court. As to whether the motion to reconsider had to be argued, she said, she wanted to read it first. The judge then let her read it in the room adjacent the courtroom. Nick Albukerk and a female officer were also present in that room. When she finished reading the motion, she was very pleased with it and asked him to proceed. Nick Albukerk however told her he just wouldn't go on and argue the motion, he wanted to know if he was still her lawyer. In that instant, Annabel really felt bad about everything she had made Albukerk go through the past weeks. The excellence of his motion was undeniable and the meekness with which he asked that question really touched her. She confirmed that he was still on board as her lawyer. After that, they both went in front of the judge. Albukerk brilliantly argued his motion stressing the fact that the case presented by the state prosecutors, In re Marriage Of Almquist, 299 Ill. App. 3d 732, was a civil case out of jurisdiction, that the judge was depriving his client of a fair trial by making a factual determination reserved to a jury and finally that Pamela Taylor, the Cook County Court Reporter Manager, was in fact a party to the alleged criminal activity. To stress this point, he used the analogy of someone hidding a criminal to prevent him/her of being caught. The state, on the other hand, argued that Pamela Taylor didn't transcribed the alleged falsified transcript and as such couldn't be part of the criminal activity. After few other questions urging Albukerk to clarify Pamela Taylor's involvement in the alleged criminal activity, Judge Brosnahan told him he presented his case better than the last time and consequently she overturned her ruling barring the criminal activity defense during trial. Thereafter, Albukerk brought up the issue of a check belonging to her client stemming from a refund from her previous lawyer and the fact that he still wasn't paid. Judge Brosnahan urged the Defendant to resolve the financial issues with her lawyer and that lawyers were not her puppets. The case was continued to 11/16/2010.
After the hearing, Nick Albukerk met Annabel and told her that he had urging issues but urged her to call him later that day. When Annabel called, she confirmed that she would sign the check so that he would be fully funded for the Eavesdropping case. Additionally, she praised him for his argument. Later, while reflecting on that day's event, she commanded Albukerk's social skills thanks to which, a mega tsunami in her legal case was dodged.

11/16/2010: Nick Albukerk updated his witnesses' list to include Peggy Anderson, a manager at the Cook County Clerk Office. He also told the judge that he would submit a second motion to dismiss. Thereafter, he set the trial date on the Eavesdropping case to 12/13/2010.
Later, when Annabel and Albukerk met after the hearing, she asked him about the subpoenas sent to the Illinois Attorney General Office regarding documents on any investigation on Save-A-Life Foundation. Before the mid-term election, the Illinois Attorney General requested additional time to comply with the subpoenas. However once the election was over, the state prosecutors moved to quash the subpoenas.
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