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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23176
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Had a municipal ordinance violation case in MO. Lost in

Customer Question

Had a municipal ordinance violation case in MO. Lost in municipal ct and received 1 yr SIS, and of course this prevented a Trial De Novo. I filed a Writ of Mandamus in the Circuit Ct, and judge dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the SIS had already expired by the time the Writ was heard. This was a miscarriage of justice to begin with. because according to the MO Supreme Court Rules the Ordinance Violation that I was charged with didn't meet some major requirements. Most importantly the violation for which I was charged was not the same violation that the city warned me of prior in their "Violation Notice." Also, the Judge had no authority by law to even "sentence" me to an SIS. (Interestingly enough after my case, when the city revamped their code, they added a part that grants the judge authority to now hand down SISs! My attorney was family and new nothing about municipal law. My question is two part; 1) I want to sue the prosecutor and the City, but don't know what for, abuse of process? some constitutional violation?; 2) Regarding the 2 year statute of limitations for suing, can I sue up the the 2 yr mark of when trial occurred or would it be when charge was issued, or what?
Thank you
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 6 months ago.
Hello, Unfortunately, prosecutors have complete immunity from suit. If they didn't, nobody would ever do their job. What you can do would be to file a grievance against the prosecutor with his licensing authority, alleging prosecutorial misconduct/abuse of process. The bar takes such complaints very seriously and will investigate the matter. The prosecutor can lose her position, perhaps even his license to practice law, if your grievance is found to have merit. If what you're saying is that your sentence was unlawful, you can appeal on that basis or get a hearing before the judge on that basis. You'd need to consult with an attorney who does post-conviction work to assess the viability of such an action. The statute of limitations begins to run when the unlawful act was initiated. In this case, it would be when the charge issued.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Well it has been 2 years and a few months since the actual violation was written, and it has been less than 2 years since the circuit judge dismissed my Writ of Mandamus ( without prejudice). Does that leave. me any options at this stage? Is there any statute of limitations with regard to filing a grievance with prosecutorial licensing authority?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 6 months ago.
You would file the complaint with the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel. in some states there is a statute of limitations on bar grievances, in others not. The OCDC does not mention a statute of limitations on their FAQ. You'd have to contact them to see if you can still file. Beyond that, there wouldn't be anything further you can do beyond consulting with a post conviction lawyer, if you're saying your sentence was illegal since the judge had no authority to impose it.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your answers. There was only one of my original questions that you really didn't answer. Consulting a post conviction attorney is not informative. I asked about suing the prosecutor and the city. You only answered regarding the prosecutor, which was great but I also asked about the city. I'm still within the 2 yr statute of limitations because I was "sentenced" in April of that year. Time is running out quickly and I need to know what I can sue the city for, since they were a party obviously. As I said, I appreciate your informative answers with regard to the prosecutor.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 6 months ago.
I'm sorry but I don't see a cause of action against the city. Your grievance is against the prosecutor.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Well it was the Zoning Dept of the city who wrote the initial warning and then issued the violation for something else. But if that's your opinion I guess that's your answer. I will say this, I have another suit against the city and ct clerk for violating Sunshine Law, the latter of which denied me information. So I would think a person representing the city also brings the city into it as well, just like my current Sunshine Law suit. You are the Atty though, so I guess you've answered
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 6 months ago.
But the court clerk can be sued and the prosecutor can't. Also, the prosecutor has complete discretion to handle a case as he sees fit. He's not accountable in the same way the clerk is. I'm not saying there's nothing there. I'm saying that I don't see a cause of action. You're welcome to post a new question and get a second opinion. There may be those with far more experience in these types of actions than I've got.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Well that's very upsetting to me because I posted on here to get "expert"advise and you're giving me opinions in an area that's not your expertise. Why didn't a post conviction attorney take my questions to begin with?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 6 months ago.
I didn't say I lacked the experience in this area to post an answer. I didn't say I wasn't qualified to answer post-conviction questions. I'd note however, that this is not a post-conviction question. Post-conviction lawyers are criminal lawyers. Suing the government is a civil remedy. Your question requires a straddling of civil, criminal, and administrative law and procedure. What I said was I see no viable suit against the city with the prosecutor out of the picture. Then I said that you are welcome to seek a second opinion. Someone else may indeed know more than I do. Someone else may not. Put 15 lawyers in a room and ask a question, you can get 15 different answers. Enjoy your weekend.

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