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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Outside of Atlanta
    Posts
    2

    Angry Can You Be Lawfully Arrested and Detained for "Failure to Appear"

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Georgia
    Four sheriff squad cars came to home one evening and told me I was under arrest for "Failure to Appear" for a speeding citation. I was in bed asleep at the time. The deputy showed me a piece of paper with my pic on it and said it was a bench warrant. I never got to read it. On the way to the jail I was of course in handcuffs, with no seatbelt on. I noticed the deputy's speed was ten mph over the posted speed limit and asked him to obey the law and slow down. He ignored my request and continued speeding. Upon arrival at jail I was placed in "the hole", a cell with no toilet, water, or bench to sit on. Nor was I read my miranda rights affording me right to counsel. At one point hours later a Lt. came in and asked if I was ready to cooperate, I said no, what was the charge. He threatened me with possibly remaining in the cell for two weeks because the judge was going to be out of town and I had better cooperate. I declined.
    After over 4 hours in the hole I decided to cooperate just to get out of jail, and I was made to pay 336.00 to get out. I was never properly served by a sheriff, or a certified process server, nor notified by certified mail of alledged court date. I understand under title 18, U.S.C. (FBI.gov website) subsection 240, 241 that this was a deprivation of rights, my liberty, under color of law. Do I have recourse here against the county and the clerk of courts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Arrested for "Failure to Appear" Without Having Due Process

    I've never gotten a speeding ticket in Georgia, but everyone I have seen from other states is the summons. It has the date to appear right on it, and a warning about failure to appear. My guess is that the police did what they were supposed to do, and that you didn't help yourself at all by criticizing their driving, etc.

    As for Miranda, forget it. It doesn't apply here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,626

    Default Re: Arrested for "Failure to Appear" Without Having Due Process

    If were speeding and received a citation for it, that is the only notice required. The fact you failed to appear is on you. Should you have been buckled in? Sure. Absent some form of damages suffered, all you can do is make a complaint to the transporting officer's agency. Miranda is generally only required for custodial interrogations. If you wanted a lawyer, you should have asked for one when the supervisor came in to talk to you. The "hole?" Really? For an FTA? I find that hard to believe. Perhaps it was simply their version of a holding cell. Depending on the jurisdiction, not all jails have the fancy facilities.

    In closing, no you have no recourse for things that lawfully occurred as a result of your lack of action.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Arrested for "Failure to Appear" Without Having Due Process

    Quote Quoting debtslave911
    View Post
    I understand under title 18, U.S.C. (FBI.gov website) subsection 240, 241 that this was a deprivation of rights, my liberty, under color of law. Do I have recourse here against the county and the clerk of courts?
    18 USC 242, et seq. are criminal charges, not civil.

    Now if they held you for two weeks until permitting bail, arraignment, that is another matter, criminally and civily. Civil damage claims are most likley under 42 USC 1983, called a 1983 action.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Outside of Atlanta
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Arrested for "Failure to Appear" Without Having Due Process

    This was a second court date...different from the one on the original citation. I sent the original citation in...certified mail...they received it. I signed it "without recourse" and some other stuff I do not want to go into now but they accepted it. As I missed the original court date they never signed a bench warrant for that. the offense was in Oct. 2010, court date dec. 6 2010. that went by without a bench warrant issued. I was pulled over in april 2011 by Ga Hwy Patrol, did not receive any citations, and was not arrested than for any bench warrants for missing the original court date in dec 2010. Then I sent a letter to the clerk of court on a completely different legal matter. Expecting a reply about this matter... I never received one. The failure to appear was for a court date on june 6th, 2011 for the speeding back in oct 2010. the bench warrant was for the june 6th court date...not the one on the citation in dec 2010. A completely different date. I was never served proper notice according to Ga. laws of civil due process. But the FBI's website clearly states two or more people acting under "color of law" no person can deprive a person his liberty or property "without due process"...without notifying the person through a county sheriff, or a court certified process server, or a certified letter...than they have violated their own law of due process. I know the old saying..."You can't finght city hall"...but this bench warrant was on the second court date, not on the original citation, it should have been served through a certified processor, or certified mail according their own rules. As far as the "Hole"...it was just a holding cell with no toilet, bench or water. and I was intimadated by two deputies. which on the FBI site Title 18 U.S.C. subsect. 240...241 deprivation of rights by 2 or people acting under color of law... shall not threaten or intimadate or deprive a person his life, liberty, or property "without due process". I am not trying to argue with anyone, just trying to find out if it would be worth filing a complaint somewhere. I do not know who to go to so I am trying to find some help on here for starters. There is a little more to this story than I am willing to put on the internet, but violation of due process is the basic issue. Thanks for any input!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    387

    Default Re: Arrested for "Failure to Appear" Without Having Due Process

    Bench warrants cannot be served by a process server. They can only be executed by a law enforcement officer as they require the officer to attach the body of the person demanded to bring them before the judge to answer for their failure to obey a lawful order of the court. Under most state laws, Failure to Appear is a contempt or interference with a judicial proceeding. Whether a bench warrant shall issue is the sole decision of the judge assigned to the case. Once issued, it is sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency to be enforced. That is in fact due process once the original citation was returned, indicating that you were aware of the case against you. If you want to fight the FTA charge, be prepared to have to attack specific details of the service and to spend a lot of time and money in the process.

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