Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your question.
Your question is very important to me, but please remember that I can only respond to the information you provide and I do not know your entire situation. My response is limited to what you have written to me and the answer may change with additional facts.
Also, due to site reasons, there are times I am initially only able to see a portion of post, so I apologize in advance if it means that you have to duplicate information.
There may be future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. Now, let’s address your question!
You have not given the state in which the Ward is charged, but in most states where a criminal defendant is incapacitated, an attorney is required to file a Dilatory Plea, thus if you are the guardian you should notify the court of the disability and request a public defender who will in turn request an evaluation of the defendant and either the case proceeds or is dismissed. Unless you are a lawyer, you cannot file any pleadings on behalf of the defendant even as a guardian because you would be practicing law without a license and that is a felony in most states, so I would proceed very carefully if I were you. At the next hearing date, you can approach the court and inform the court of the disability and request a Public Defender to be appointed and they will take it from there.
I wish you the best.
Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.
Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification. If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.
DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.
In common-law-pleading, any of several types of defenses that could be asserted against a plaintiff's cause of action, delaying the time when the court would begin consideration of the actual facts in the case.
Under common law, a plaintiff began the lawsuit and drew up a paper reciting the events that supported his or her claim to relief. The defendant was entitled to enter a plea responding to the plaintiff's allegations. If the defendant's plea required the court to decide some threshold question not related to the merits of the plaintiff's case, it was called a dilatory plea. For example, a plea to the jurisdiction challenged the authority of the court to hear the kind of matters described by the plaintiff. A plea in suspension presented facts to justify a temporary halt to the proceedings, such as when a guardian was needed for one of the parties. A plea in abatement objected to the place, manner, or time of the lawsuit; it did not defeat the plain-tiff's claim entirely but, if successful, forced the plaintiff to renew the suit in another form, place, or time.
Federal courts and states that follow the pattern of pleading permitted by the rules of federal civil procedure no longer specifically allow dilatory pleas. The same assertions can be made by motion, but the motions may sometimes be called dilatory pleas by persons complaining that they unnecessarily delay proceedings.
Washington State uses its Rules of Criminal Procedure and your correct pleading to challenge jurisdiction is a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction.
I would strongly encourage you to request the appointment of a Public Defender if you cannot afford an attorney to work with you on this issue.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).