Note: Due to the switch in election, the prosecution for the computer tampering stopped in July 26th, 2010, and would resume when the eavesdropping case is disposed of. Any court hearing prior to April 14th, 2010, is therefore listed in the computer tampering case under the section 'Chicago Courthouse'.
April 14th, 2010: The same police officers that brought her to the Maywood jail the night before, picked her up the next morning. Annabel is then transported to 2610 S. California Ave. for a bond hearing. After she's released from police's custody, she stayed in a waiting room for about 2 hours before appearing in front of the bond judge. Her computer tampering prosecutors, Mr. Podlasek and Mrs. Gunnigle, were present in court. Her lawyer was not in court. The prosecutors requested a 30,000 D 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 is easily granted. The case is continued to 04/15/2010. It became apparent to her that her computer tampering prosecutors were the ones who orchestrated her new arrest.
After the bond hearing, she's taken to a cell 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, were to be photographed and allowed a free phone call, to undergo a mental health evaluation, a X-Ray session and finally to be taken to the female jail's division to put on the blue uniform which forms the jail clothing. By the time Annabel got to her jail's cell, it was around 2.00 am. There, she wanted to cry, no tears came. The well of emotional tears has long dried out through the four yearlong legal drought. Her thoughts then 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.
April 15th, 2010: (Transcript is here) Annabel was called in front of Judge Brosnahan at around 11.30 am. When she entered the room, she was surprised that her lawyer wasn't in court. Judge Brosnahan made a recap of the case and asked the Defendant if she submitted to her ordered psychological evaluation. Annabel answered in the affirmative. The judge looked through her paperwork and said that no evaluation result was sent to her. The state prosecutor, Mr. 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 und 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 case was continued to 04/20/2010.
April 20th, 2010: (Transcript is here) Annabel's lawyer is finally in court. After his initial presentations, 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 her 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.
May 5th, 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 the postings 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.
May 12th, 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 also put the Defendant on record regarding transfer of funds from Mr. Darryl Goldberg, the Defendant's 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.
May 18th, 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 would be assigned the new charges. After being in room 101, she was sent to that judge who continued the case to 05/20/2010.
May 20th, 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 Mr. Albukerk and his client to withdraw subpoenas irrelevant to the computer tampering charges and to keep only those that were relevant. For the ones that were not withdrawn, Judge Brosnahan ordered them to be stricken in their face and rewritten by Mr. Albukerk. The Defendant was then arraigned on the Eavesdropping charges, for which she was indicted on April 27th, 2010, and the case was continued to 06/14/2010.
June 14th, 2010: Mr. Albukerk told the judge that he was in the process of rewriting the Defendant's outstanding motion to dismiss the computer tampering charge as well as writing subpoenas that weren't withdrawn. The hearing was continued to 07/26/2010 for an argument on the motion to dismiss.
After the hearing Mr. Albukerk and his client also discussed filing a motion to dismiss the Eavesdropping charges.
July 26th, 2010: By the time Annabel arrived in the courtroom, the hearing had already started. Mr. Albukerk made her signed the Verified Motion 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 the same charges, the motion for discovery and the motion to appoint a computer expert and when scheduled to argue them, the state prosecutors switched election to the Eavesdropping case. The case was continued to 08/11/2010.
August 11th, 2010: Really frustrating day for the Defendant. The state submitted its response to Albukerk's motion to dismiss the Eavesdropping charges as well as the discovery motion. Though Annabel asked her lawyer not to argue it that day, he told the judge that he wanted to do so. In arguing the motion, all 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. Mr. Albukerk then asked Judge Brosnahan to appoint him. He proposed a plan. He then informed the court that her client's motion appealing the reduction of 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 Mr. Darryl Goldberg. He acknowledged his client never had the opportunity to read the motion before it was filed. He said nothing about his reply to the state's response of the bond appeal. Unbeknownst to the Defendant, the state also filed a response to discovery and a bill of particulars. 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.
August 26th, 2010: Mr. 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, supervisor 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. Mr. Albukerk concluded telling the judge that she made a factual decision which is the responsibility of 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 Mr. Albukerk's response to his client when she suggested the idea. The case was continued to 09/29/2010.
After the hearing, Mr. 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 motion because he thought the state's motion to be weak and that his oral argument would have sufficed.
September 29th, 2010: Mr. 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 Mr. Albukerk met Annabel in her cell, they discussed legal issues. Among them, a check to be signed to him and Carol Spizzirri not picking up subpoenas sent to her.
October 18th, 2010: Mr. 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 further added 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 answered telling 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. She added telling the judge that if she ever appoints Mr. Albukerk, she would hire a new lawyer and make that person her lead attorney. Judge Brosnahan replied stating that she couldn't go on firing lawyers and since no lawyer had filed appearance, she allowed Mr. Albukerk to remain her lawyer. Although Mr. Albukerk went on record continuing the hearing to 10/25/2010, the actual continuance was 10/27/2010.
October 27th, 2010: Mr. Albukerk filed his motion to reconsider the ruling made by the on judge on August 26th, 2010. Before arguing it, 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 Mr. Albukerk to withdraw. She answered stating 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. Mr. Albukerk and a female officer, Alice, were also present in that room. When she finished reading the motion, she was very pleased with it and asked him to proceed. Mr. Albukerk however told her he just wouldn't go on and argue the motion without first knowing if he was still her lawyer. In that instant, Annabel really felt bad about everything she had put him through the prior 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. Mr. 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 supervisor of the Cook County Court Reporter Office, 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 the individual of being caught. The state, on the other hand, argued that Pamela Taylor didn't transcribed the alleged altered transcript and as such couldn't be part of the criminal activity. After few other questions urging Mr. Albukerk to clarify Pamela Taylor's involvement in the alleged criminal activity, Judge Brosnahan told him he presented his case better that the last time and consequently overturned her ruling barring the criminal activity defense during trial. Thereafter Mr. Albukerk brought up the issue of a check belonging to her client and being a refund from Mr. Darryl Goldberg, the Defendant's former lawyer. Mr. Albukerk also brought up the fact that he still wasn't paid. Judge Brosnahan urged the Defendant to resolve the financial issues with her lawyer stating that lawyers were not her puppets. The case was continued to 11/16/2010.
After the hearing, Mr. Albukerk met Annabel and told her that he had urging matters 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 Mr.Albukerk's diplomatic skills thanks to which, a mega tsunami in her legal case was dodged.
November 16th, 2010: Mr. 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 Mr. Albukerk met after the hearing, she asked him about the subpoenas sent to the Illinois Attorney General Office regarding the investigation of Save-A-Life Foundation. Before the mid-term election, the Illinois Attorney General requested additional time to comply. However, Mr. Albukerk told her, once the election was over, the state prosecutors moved to quash the subpoenas.
December 13th, 2010: Mr. Albukerk requested a French translator to translate for the Defendant in case she appears on the stand. The translator came to court however, the state prosecutors objected to his services arguing that the Defendant's English was perfect. As proof, they handed Mr. Albukerk an Amended Discovery Response wherein the Defendant stated she hadn't spoken French for 14 years in an email. Though Mr. Albukerk replied stating that the Defendant thick accent might be detrimental when she testified, Judge Brosnahan nevertheless ruled that the Defendant didn't need a French translator because while Pro Se, she wrote her own motions and was well read.
The next argument was how to deal with the facts of the computer tampering case during the Eavesdropping's case trial. Mr. Albukerk requested, for the sake of fairness, that the jurors be told the facts underlying the computer tampering case because the Eavesdropping case was based on the arraignment's transcript of the computer tampering case. The state prosecutors objected arguing that the jurors needed not know the facts of the computer tampering case, that the two cases were independent. The judge ruled in favor of the state prosecutors stating that the computer tampering facts were irrelevant to the Eavesdropping case. Mr. Albukerk then raised the issue on how to present the computer tampering case to the jurors since obviously the Eavesdropping case was based on its arraignment transcript. The judge said that both sides can elect to call it either a 'pending case' or the 'computer tampering case'. Mr. Albukerk further asked the judge to forbid the state to mention that the computer tampering case was a felony. The judge made no decision on that.
The second argument was about the second motion to dismiss. In his written motion, Mr. Albukerk argued that the Illinois Eavesdropping statute was unconstitutional. He stressed that fact by referencing an Illinois Supreme Court case People v. Beardsley, 115 Ill. 2D 147, which ruled that one party to the conversation was enough to lawfully record a conversation. This ruling was superseded by the 1994 Amendment to the statute. Strangely though, the Illinois Supreme Court has never overruled its decision albeit the Amendment. The prosecutors decided not to argue the motion. Judge Brosnahan ruled that the statute wasn't unconstitutional. Though the Defendant asked her lawyer to read to the judge certain cases law, the motion was denied. The Defendant then told her lawyer to let the judge know that the Defense never expected her to grant the motion, that the motion to dismiss was written to set a ground for a possible appeal in case of a conviction. Mr. Albukerk declined to repeat that.
The last and final issue was about the witnesses. The state prosecutors informed the court that Mr. Flood, the Defendant's former lawyer, was undergoing a medical surgery and they didn't know if he would be available for the trial the next morning. Mr. Albukerk also told the court that his affidavit to allow the FBI agent, Dana Depooter, to testify was approved and consequently, she made herself available to testify. Mr. Albukerk then called Mrs. Peggy Anderson, a Cook County Clerk Manager, and requested to have her subpoena continued for two days given that the trial was postponed. The case was continued for jury selection and opening statements the next day, 12/14/2010.
December 14th, 2010: The state prosecutors, Mr. Robert Podlasek and Mrs. Julie Gunnigle, told the court that although Mr. Flood had left the hospital, he hadn't return phone calls requesting him to testify. Consequently, they asked the judge to postpone the trial. Mr. Albukerk replied by telling the court that he was ready for trial and that the witness in question was not material to the case. He also wanted to know if Mr. Flood was ever subpoenaed to testify. Mr. Podlasek responded arguing that Mr. Flood was indeed an important witness because he was the Defendant's former lawyer during the alleged arraignment. Mr. Albukerk complained of not having time to postpone the trial due to a full schedule. After hearing both arguments, the judge ruled in favor of the state stating a tentative trial's date. Mr. Albukerk's last request was to let his client try clothes purchased for trial. Afterward, the tentative trial date was set to 01/12/2011.
January 12th, 2011: See 'Trial Summary' section.
January 13th, 2011: See 'Trial Summary' section.
January 14th, 2011: See 'Trial Summary' section.
February 16th, 2011: The Defendant is called in front of the judge. After the initial presentations, Judge Brosnahan made a summary of the case's status, particularly recalling the mistrial that happened a month earlier. Mr. Albukerk told the judge that his client asked him to withdraw. While he was speaking, the Defendant noticed that instead of a motion to withdraw, Mr. Albukerk had in front of him a motion in limine. The judge asked the reason underlying the Defendant's decision. Mr. Albukerk replied stating that his client, among other things, wasn't happy with how her trial was conducted. The judge inquired on the defendant's new lawyer. She said the individual was supposed to meet her in court that day. The judge ruled that since no new lawyer appeared in court, she would keep Mr. Albukerk as the case's lawyer. The Defendant argued that Mr. Albukerk couldn't represent her anymore because she filed and ARDC ( Attorney Regulatory Disciplinary Committee ) complaint against him. She also informed the judge that Mr. Albukerk knew about the complaint and insisted that if despite that fact she appoints Mr. Albukerk to represent her, she would file a motion to have her substituted. Mr. Albukerk responded stating that he knew of the complaint and that in fact, it represented a conflict of interest. The judge asked the name of the new lawyer, the defendant responded stating that she couldn't give a name yet since a contract hadn't been signed. Annabel then asked for a month continuance to finalize the process of getting a new lawyer. The judge wouldn't give her one month, but two weeks instead. The defendant argued that she needed more time because she was in jail and communication wasn't easy. The judge replied saying that she was given only two weeks because she kept her new lawyer's name secret. The hearing was continued to 03/02/2011.
Almost two weeks earlier, unbeknownst to the Defendant, a mandate was filed closing the appeal of her bond in the Appellate Court.
March 2nd, 2011: Mr. Albukerk came to the defendant's cell and told her that there was a chance the judge would let him retry her case. Annabel showed him her typed ARDC's complaint and told him he couldn't represent her anymore. Mr. Albukerk said it was fine and urged her to file it. She replied stating that it had already been filed. She then requested a written motion to withdraw. Mr. Albukerk said he would file one and left. Minutes later, the Defendant was called in front of the judge. After the initial presentations, the judge inquired on the status of the defendant's new lawyer. Annabel told her that the lawyer she was interested in was out of town and that he lately came back and was reviewing her case. She also added that her outside contact was supposed to talk to that lawyer to discuss his legal fees. The judge later granted Mr. Albukerk's motion to withdraw in both cases. She finally asked the Defendant for a continuance date. The Defendant asked for two weeks. The case was therefore continued to 03/18/2011.
Mr. Albukerk later came to the defendant's cell, handed her a copy of his filed motion to withdraw, wished her good luck and left. The Defendant avoided looking at him. It was really painful for her because right then and there she realized, no matter what happened between them, she had somehow become attached to Mr. Albukerk and seeing it ending that way deeply hurt her.
March 18th, 2011: Instead of the third floor, the officer in charge took the defendant to the fourth floor and informed her that Judge Brosnahan was now presiding in that floor. After waiting past 12.30pm, the Defendant was finally called in front of the judge. To her surprise, none of the prosecutors are present. The judge informed her that her case had been sent to the Chief Judge to be reassigned because it was an old one. Afterward, the Defendant revealed the name of the lawyer she was interested in. She stated the difficulties of contacting her family was the main reason why he hadn't file appearance. The judge responded saying it was an issue she would need to raise with her next judge. The case was continued to 04/05/2011.
April 5th, 2011: While waiting in her cell, an officer came and told the Defendant that her new judge was Judge Steven J. Goebel and that her next court date was 04/11/2011. When she inquired about his courtroom, she's told that her new judge didn't have one because he was an alternate. Which the officer explained stating that alternate judges were assigned rooms as they become available.
April 11th, 2011: Annabel was called in front of Judge Goebel. Greater was her surprise to see Mr. Albukerk in court. After being presented for the records, the judge recalled the status of the case; he stated it was awaiting a new lawyer. He reaffirmed keeping Mr. Albukerk in the case because no new lawyer had filed appearance. The Defendant replied telling the judge that Mr. Albukerk couldn't possibly represent her anymore because she filed an ARDC complaint against him. She inquired on the status of Mr. Albukerk's motion to withdraw. The judge checked her files and to Annabel's surprise, he said that Albukerk's motion to withdraw hadn't been ruled on. She replied telling the court that Judge Brosnahan granted that motion.
When asked about her new lawyer, she confirmed that she was in touch with a lawyer and that Mr. Albukerk knew about it. Mr. Albukerk concurred stating that he has been called by the lawyer in question as well as his associate. The judge ordered the defendant to bring her new lawyer at the next hearing. He kept Mr. Albukerk as the lawyer in the case pending the arrival of the next lawyer. Feeling very irritated by the whole situation, she asked to substitute the judge as a right. The judge restated that once the Defendant's new lawyer filed appearance, Mr. Albukerk would withdraw. He then ordered the Defendant to be taken away. The hearing was continued to 04/25/2011.
April 25th, 2011: At around 1.00pm, Mr. Robert A. Willis, a criminal attorney, visited the Defendant in her cell. He asked her to briefly describe her case. Afterward, when Annabel begged him to come to court, he said he could do anything that day because he didn't know the facts surrounding the case. Nevertheless, he promised to visit her in jail by the end of that week. At around 1.30pm, the Defendant is called before Judge Goebel. After being presented for the records, Mr. Albukerk told the judge that he was called by Mr. Robert Willis who informed him he was interested in taking over the case. Judge Goebel asked the Defendant if she intended to hire him; the defendant said yes and further added that she found out that the former lawyer, in which she was originally interested, wouldn't represent her. Due to the change of events, she requested three weeks for Mr. Willis to visit her in jail and to pay his retainer fees. The judge granted her request. The case was continued to 05/19/2011.
May 19th, 2011: The Defendant is called in front of Judge Goebel. Mr. Albukerk is not in court. The judge informed the Defendant and the state prosecutor that he had a double-jury trial underway. Therefore, he asked for one week continuance. The Defendant opted for June 2nd, 2011, the prosecutor agreed. The hearing is continued to that date.
However, while waiting in her cell expecting to be taken to jail, Mr. Albukerk came and announced that the hearing was changed to 05/27/2011. He argued that he had a trial on June 2nd, 2011. An exchange of unpleasant words ensued. The Defendant stating that she didn't want him anymore as her lawyer and him replying that he was still on the case because the judge wanted him to stay. Annabel later asked him questions regarding various entries on her cases' certified dockets. Mr. Albukerk answered the questions the best he could and left.
May 27th, 2011: The Defendant is not in court due to her surgery. The hearing was continued to 06/24/2011.
June 24th, 2011: Mr. Albukerk came to the Defendant's cell and greeted her. He inquired about the Defendant's new lawyer. Annabel told him that she hadn't been in contact with her family due to her surgery therefore, she didn't know if her new lawyer was paid. She told Mr. Albukerk that she would ask the judge to issue an order to request the jail's administration to let her make an international phone call. Mr. Albukerk volunteered to speak on her behalf on that matter and the Defendant let him do so.
Once in front of the judge, Mr. Albukerk asked for the order and explained to the judge why the new lawyer hadn't filed appearance. The Defendant told the judge that she might reconsider Mr. Albukerk as her lawyer under the condition that she get the chance to review her entire file; specifically motions filed by Mr. Albukerk without her consent, motions she never saw and also to review other things Mr. Albukerk did behind her back such as waiving her presence in court without her permission. When the judge said that Mr. Albukerk couldn't show her discovery material, the defendant stressed the fact that she wasn't that concerned about the discovery but rather about motions filed on her behalf which she was entitled to know. Mr. Albukerk told the judge that the Defendant wanted to see all the mathematical files. When the judge inquired about the meaning of 'mathematical', he couldn't provide a convincing answer. The Defendant and Mr. Albukerk started fighting in front of the judge about the lack of transparency between them. The judge recognized that there were issues between them. He assured the Defendant that her presence wouldn't be waived anymore and that he would rule on Mr. Albukerk's motion to withdraw in two weeks. The Defendant urged the judge to order Mr. Albukerk to bring her file to jail for review, Mr. Albukerk categorically refused. The judge promised to sign the international phone call order and continued the hearing to 07/11/2011.
July 11th, 2011: Mr. Albukerk came to the defendant's cell. She asked him to ask the judge to recommend her to Division 17 due to her failing health and the long waiting hours before the court hearings. Though Mr. Albukerk knew nothing about that division, he nevertheless promised he would ask. He then informed her that a trial date was set and that she had no choice but agree to it. Annabel went berserk stating that his first trial was a joke and that she wasn't prepared for the second one. She sent him away telling him she wouldn't talk to him anymore and that she would either request a public defender or another lawyer to get appointed until her family sends her money for the expected lawyer.He tried to calm her down, but she wouldn't listen to him. A police officer came to inquire about the commotion. Mr. Albukerk told him that the Defendant was mentally deranged. Annabel replied stating that she couldn't look at him, feel him or smell him without being sick. As he was about to leave, he restated that she had no choice but to agree to the trial date. Annabel replied telling him it was her right to decide when to go to trial not his. She then sent him to hell.
When called in front of Judge Goebel, the judge inquired on the status of the new lawyer. The Defendant told him that no one from the jail's administration called her to make a phone call; consequently, she wasn't able to make one. The judge inquired about the international phone lines at the jail. The defendant stated that an international phone line wasn't necessary. She only needed a phone with local access because she had an international phonecard purchased by a friend who mailed her the local access number and the pin. With tears in her eyes, she went on telling the judge that her relationship with Mr. Albukerk was severely damaged, that he made her sick and called her mentally deranged. She recommended that, while waiting for funds for a new lawyer, a public defender be assigned to her case rather than having Mr. Albukerk appointed. In the even the judge appointed Mr. Albukerk, she told the judge, though she didn't want to do that, she would file a motion to substitute him. The judge said he needed another week to rule on Mr. Albukerk's motion to withdraw. The hearing was continued to 07/19/2011.
July 19th, 2011: The Defendant is brought in front of the judge. Judge Goebel made a summary of the case and called someone from the Public Defender's office. That individual went on to say that he had no public defender and that Mrs. Carbellos, who once represented the defendant, had been transferred to other duties. The defendant told the judge that a public defender might not be necessary after all because someone called her family and her prospective lawyer, Mr. Willis, was to be paid by the end of the month, and once paid, he would file appearance by the first week of August. The judge stated that if Mr. Willis hadn't filed appearance by then, a public defender would be appointed. When Annabel asked for the copy of the international-phone-call order, she was told it was withdrawn based on securities issues cited by the jail's administration. The defendant inquired about Mr. Albukerk continuing presence in her case. The judge replied stating that Mr. Albukerk would remain in the case till the next hearing. When the defendant mentioned the fact that Mr. Albukerk's motion to withdraw was already granted by Judge Brosnahan, Judge Goebel went on to say that he checked all the court sheets and notes and saw nothing alleging to that. The hearing was continued to 08/10/2011.
August 10th, 2011: Annabel was called in front of the judge. The presiding judge, Judge Joyce, said he was doing Judge's Goebel calls. Mr. Podlasek made a summary of the case, telling the judge that Mr. Albukerk had withdrawn from the case and that he called Mr. Willis and was told that Mr. Willis hadn't been retained yet. Judge Joyce inquired about the defendant's intentions to hire Mr. Willis. She responded stating she wanted to represent herself. The judge made a note of this and continued the hearing to 08/11/2011.
August 11th, 2011: The defendant is called in front of Judge Goebel. After making a summary of the case, he advised Annabel against her intentions to represent herself explaining that she didn't have a law degree. The Defendant reasserted her desires to go Pro Se reminding the judge that while Pro Se, she authored a motion to dismiss her computer tampering charges that was still pending. The judge then asked various questions regarding her charges and urged her to answer in the affirmative. Afterward, she requested a standby counsel or house arrest in the alternative. She also requested a bi-weekly access to the law library, a copy of the international-phone-call's order as well as a copy of the jail administration's letter denying her phone calls for securities reasons. While inquiring about the international-phone's order, as grounds of an eventual civil lawsuit, Annabel stated that she didn't understand why the jail's administration, which granted her international phone calls before using a phonecard and a French interpreter's assistance, was now citing security's concerns. The judge said he would decide about appointing a standby counsel or granting house arrest during the next hearing. The case was continued to 08/31/2011.
August 31st, 2011: The defendant was visited in her cell by a public defender. Mr. Marty, the public defender, asked her if she had ever been convicted. He also asked various questions about her cases. After telling him about the computer tampering case and how the state switched election to the Eavesdropping case, she told Mr. Marty that she wasn't interested in his services but rather wanted a standby counsel. He made a note of this and left.
In front of Judge Goebel, the defendant reasserted her desires to go Pro Se. The judge consequently excused the public defender and asked questions related to the defendant's knowledge of the charges against her. Annabel responded stating that she understood those charges as well as their sentences. Afterward, she inquired about her motion requesting a standby counsel or house arrest. The judge said that he had seen no such motion. Minutes later, an officer came and handed the motions to the judge. The judge took a quick recess and the defendant was taken back to her cell. Some minutes later, she was recalled and in front of the judge. After signing her motions, she handed one copy to the state prosecutor and another one to the judge while keeping a third copy for her own records. The defendant later requested her legal files. The judge urged the prosecutor, posing for Mr. Podlasek, to call Mr. Albukerk to bring the files to the next hearing. The case was continued to 09/14/2011.
September 14th, 2011: While in her cell, the defendant learned that Judge Goebel's relative had died and consequently, Judge Joyce was doing Goebel's calls. At around 2.00pm, she was called in front of judge Joyce. Upon entering the courtroom, she saw Mr. Albukerk with two huge cartons holding her files. After the initial presentations, Mr. Podlasek, citing a Supreme Court Rule, requested that the defendant's files be handed to him arguing that he needed to redact discovery information which the defendant wasn't supposed to see. Judge Joyce asked the clerk for the defendant's files. After checking Judge Goebel's notes, he acknowledged the Supreme Court rule dealing with discovery information handed to a defendant. Afterward, the judge asked the defendant's opinion. Annabel vehemently objected to have her files handed over to the state prosecutor. Instead she requested that Mr. Albukerk brought her files to Judge Goebel's next hearing. Judge Joyce stated it wasn't a bad idea and ruled in her favor. The defendant called to the judge's attention her motion for standby counsel or house arrest. The judge said that Judge Goebel would rule on that matter. When Mr. Albukerk asked to meet the defendant to show her the content of her files, the judge also ruled that it would be done during the next hearing. The case was continued to 09/20/2011.
September 20th, 2011: Once in front of the judge, Annabel greeted him and Mr. Albukerk, her former lawyer, made the initial statements. He told the judge that he had subpoenaed various documents with personal information and names and addresses of individuals, that of the two boxes he had, one held the defendant's clothes and the other had her legal files. It was at that instant that the defendant learned that the Illinois Attorney General did respond to Mr. Albukerk's subpoenas, which was in total contradiction with what he had told her. Mr. Podlasek, the state prosecutor, seized the opportunity to request the defendant's legal files for redaction's purposes. To counter that request, Annabel reminded the judge that when she was Pro Se two years prior, not a single page in her discovery was redacted. Furthermore, citing Supreme Court Rules 412, 413, 414, 415, she said that there was nothing in those rules hinting to the fact that a Pro Se litigant's legal file had to be handed over to the state for redaction's purposes. She warned the judge that doing so, given the confidentiality of the documents in her file, it would greatly prejudice her and undoubtedly result in an unfair trial.
Afterward, she showed the judge a letter from her mother stating that she had the money to hire a lawyer and wanted to know whom to send it to. She also showed the judge the dates her mother wanted her to call and consequently renewed her demand to make an international phone call from jail. To give weight to her request, she added that after her surgery, she had called her family twice from jail with the help of the social worker. She also mentioned that the said conversation was monitored by a French translator who promised to let her make a monthly call to her family as long as she purchased the international phone card. The judge ruled that the defendant's file wouldn't be given to the state, rather, that Mr. Albukerk would separate confidential information from subpoenaed information and that he would review the latter. He promised to sign an order allowing the defendant to make an international phone call.
When Annabel inquired about the Supreme Court Rule prescribing that a Pro Se litigant turned over her legal file to the prosecution, to her surprise, Mr. Podlasek said that he never uttered such a rule, that it was Judge Joyce's idea. Regarding the subpoenas, she complained to the judge that Mr. Albukerk misinformed her by telling her that they were quashed. Mr. Albukerk acknowledged not being forthcoming with the information.
To conclude the hearing, the judge asked Mr. Albukerk to write the international phone call's order. The defendant begged the judge to attach a timeline to the order otherwise it would take longer before a call was made. The judge agreed to do so. While writing the order, Mr. Albukerk asked for the defendant's jail ID. The defendant deliberately refused to answer. When the deputy clerk gave an erroneous number to Mr. Albukerk, the defendant corrected this by showing her ID to the judge. Finally, the judge asked Mr. Albukerk for a continuance date. The defendant immediately stated that Mr. Albukerk was no longer talking for her and chose October 5th, 2011. The state agreed to the date and the hearing was continued to 10/05/2011.
October 5th, 2011: From her fourth floor cell, Annabel was picked up by a deputy sheriff and taken to the courtroom. Once in front of the judge he acknowledged, for the records, the state prosecutor and the defendant's presence. Mr. Albukerk, also in court, presented himself as the defendant's former lawyer.
The judge first inquiry was whether the defendant made her international phone call. The defendant answered stating that she wasn't approached for the call and consequently didn't make one. She demanded that the Cook County be found in contempt and charged $500 a day until it complied. The judge responded stating he wouldn't enforce a jail's rule and denied the contempt request.
Regarding the issue of the defendant's file, he ruled that but for the attorney-client confidential communication, the remaining of the defendant's legal file be turned over to the state prosecutor for redaction's purposes. The defendant strongly objected to that ruling arguing that it would greatly prejudice her and that insofar neither the judge nor the state prosecutor had cited a statute or case law hinting to handing a Pro Se litigant's file to the state.
The judge overruled the objection stating that it was one of the risks she exposed herself when she opted for self-representation. As a compromise, the defendant begged the judge to ask the prosecutor to keep the original copies of her legal file in the event she hired a lawyer. The judge agreed and asked the prosecutor to see to it. The defendant then moved to argue her motion requesting Electronic Monitoring.
She told the judge to disregard as moot the request for a standby counsel arguing that she needed time to heal from her failed attorney-client relationship with Mr. Albukerk. To request house arrest, she stated that:
- The Illinois Eavesdropping Law was challenged both at the Federal and Illinois levels. She cited Probe v. Lindenhurst, ACLU v. Alvarez as federal cases and People v. Allison as the state case. She also mentioned People v. Moore which took a jury less than an hour to acquit the defendant which jury was heard decrying the trial as a waste of time.
- The maximum sentencing for her charges was fast approaching on October 14th, 2011, and that it would be unconstitutional to be held in jail past that date.
- The renewal of her immigration status.
- The Cook County jail was overcrowded and that she was using up jail's resources that could be well spent on real criminals given the weakness of the state's case against her.
At the end of her argument, the judge wanted to know where she intended to live if Electronic Monitoring was granted. She said she would live with her friend. The judge called the friend in question and inquired about her housing situation. Mr. Albukerk answered telling the judge that it was a condo belonging to his former client and that he had once been there. As he was about to mention his former client's name, Annabel politely asked the judge not to let Mr. Albukerk continue. Mr. Albukerk stopped talking and the state prosecutor continued telling the judge that if the defendant had spent one and half years in jail, it was mainly her fault because she didn't want to be retried. He further requested that in the event Electronic Monitoring was granted, that the defendant be barred from using the internet. The defendant countered telling the judge that in any litigation, the defendant always chooses which defense's strategy is suitable; she said she saw no need to expose herself to trial under an unconstitutional charge. Regarding being barred from using the internet, she objected that it would violate her First Amendment Right to receive information because the internet had relevant information for her case. To strengthen this, she presented Judge Frankland's ruling in People v. Allison as a product of an internet download. She also stated that she was monitoring the developments in ACLU v. Alvarez on the internet via the PACER website.
The judge concluded that he would rule on the Electronic Monitory issue at the following hearing. The case was continued to 10/13/2011.
As the defendant was about to live the courtroom, Mr. Albukerk asked the judge if he was being released from the case. The defendant turned around and looking straight into her former attorney's eyes, she forcefully answered the question in the affirmative. Due to being rushed out of the courtroom by the deputy sheriff, the defendant was unable to hear the judge's answer. However, later that day, when she called her friend, she learned that the judge officially removed Mr. Albukerk from her cases.
October 13th, 2011: From her third floor's cell, Annabel was called by a deputy sheriff and taken to the courtroom. She greeted three of her friends who came to attend her hearing. The hearing took some minutes to start because the court reporter wasn't at her original place. When the court reporter finally came, the judge stated for the records that both parties were present. First, the judge inquired about the defendant's ability to hire a lawyer. He then wanted to know how far in the process was the state prosecutor in redacting the defendant's legal file. Finally, he raised the issue of the Electronic Monitoring. Annabel reminded him that the housing situation needed to be settled first as decided in the previous hearing. The judge therefore called the defendant's friend and put her under oath. Her friend was sworn as to her name, the address of the rental, and the ownership of a computer which she would let the defendant use.
The judge finally instructed the defendant on the conditions of her bond. She was forbidden to post anything on the internet regarding her case, she was allowed to go to the Daley Center law library once per week on Mondays and given the permission to ask the Electronic Monitoring Program or the judge for any other necessary movement. Though Annabel challenged the part forbidding her to post material on the internet, she dropped the issue when she was reassured that she would be able to do anything but posting on the internet. When she requested to be let out on Sundays to go to church, the judge denied it. Once all conditions were set, the judge asked the defendant if she understood them and if she knew that violating any one of them might lead her back to jail. The defendant acknowledged everything but told the judge that he gave her no other choices. Mr. Podlasek was ordered to write the Electronic Monitoring order. After the defendant reviewed the order, the judge signed it. The defendant thanked the judge. The joy within her was immeasurable. After 18 months in jail, the thought of being released was overwhelming. She innerly thanked God as well as her father whose death's anniversary happened to be that day. She let Mr. Podlasek have his way while choosing a continuance date. The judge laughed when Annabel said she was being nice to the state prosecutor. Before being taken out of the courtroom, she happily waived at her friends. The case was continued to 10/18/2011.
October 18th, 2011: After the initial presentations, Judge Goebel inquired about the status of his Electronic Monitoring order. The defendant stated that she was interviewed by an Electronic Monitoring officer the preceding Saturday and gave that officer some references for checking purposes. However, she told the judge, when she inquired about the checking of references, she learned that none of her acquaintances had been called. The judge said that it usually takes a week for the Electronic Monitoring Program to finalize the house arrest process. Hoping by then that the defendant would be released, the case was continued to 10/25/2011.
October 25th, 2011: The defendant is called in front of Judge Goebel. After the initial presentations, the judge acknowledged the fact that Annabel was finally out. He asked the state for a continuance date. Once the date was established, the defendant showed the judge the order to have the trial's transcript as well as pretrial hearings transcripts ordered free of charge. After he let Mr. Podlasek review the order, he signed it and the hearing was continued to 11/10/2011.
November 10th, 2011: By the time the defendant arrived in the courtroom Maisha, her roomate, was already there. Maisha remarked that Annabel's name wasn't in the list at the door. Annabel confirmed this by checking the list herself. Maisha then asked one of the officers if Melongo was on called. After checking the records, the officer said she was. She then waited to be called.
After the initial presentations, Mr. Podlasek presented a motion to have the defendant's Electronic Monitoring Order and Bond revoked. The defendant, in response, told the judge that she couldn't file her motion to dismiss because of lack of heavy duty stapler. Nevertheless, the judge urged her to file the motion. The defendant stated she would rather do so once the motions were properly stapled. The defendant tried to say something but the judge put her case on a recall and urged her to review Mr. Podlasek's motion for argument. Maisha and Annabel went outside the courtroom. They reviewed the motion and though initially, Annabel prepared for an argument, she favored asking for a date to argue the motion because she didn't have the refuting documents with her. In order to get a continuance date, when recalled, she saw the judge her EM evaluation's sheet. She also told the judge that she had emails showing Mr. Albukerk luring her to his office as well as a movement document proving that she was allowed to travel to his office on November 7th,2011. The judge read the EM evaluation's sheet and gave it to Mr. Podlasek who, after reading it, tried to convince the judge that the document wasn't timely. Annabel answered back stating that it was issued a day prior to the court hearing and two days after the November 7th, 2011 movement. Although the defendant asked for a two weeks continuance, the judge continued the hearing to 11/14/2011.
November 14th, 2011: Annabel being again a detainee, was called from her cell. After the initial presentations, the judge made a recap of the last hearing and asked Annabel if she was ready to argue the state's motion. Mr. Podlasek, faking a surprise, asked the nature of the motion. After saying she was willing to do so, the defendant asked the judge she wanted certain documents from Mrs. Hamilton, in court with Davy Cady, to prepare her argument. After being handed those documents by a police officer, she presented her motion to dismiss to Mr. Podlasek and also gave a copy to the judge. To prepare for her argument, asked for a pen and a 10 minutes recess.
Back in her cell, she quickly went through the documents and decided to use the Lexis Nexis document Journal of the Legal Profession as well as the Illinois Supreme Court Rule regulating how to deal with attorney-client property once a lawyer withdraws from a case. She practiced her argument one last time and waited to be called. Instead of 10 minutes, her wait stretched over more than an hour and half.
When finally recalled, the defendant was surprised to be told by the judge that if she was willing to return the file, she would be put back on EM and he would decide who's the file's owner. When she tried to say something toward arguing the state's motion, the judge informed her that it was unnecessary. She smiled at him though unable to understand the change of events. He asked her to write a new order putting her back on Electronic Monitoring. She requested a pen and she went to her cell. The case was continued to 11/17/2011.
Back in her cell, she wrote the order and added conditions which were not part of the judge's initial requests. she stated that she shouldn't be back in jail absent a court order, that her confiscated documents be returned, that the EM took off their records any violation based on a stolen file. A male police officer picked up the order but minutes later, Annabel could hear torn up by the judge who had a new EM order rewritten.
November 17th, 2011: Once in front of the judge, the defendant discovered that Judge Domenica was doing Judge's Goebel calls. Mr. Albukerk was present in court. After doing the initial presentations and case's recap, Mr. Podlasek handed a folder to the judge stating it was sealed and was seized from the defendant when she was arrested. As the judge was about to return the file to Mr. Albukerk, the defendant told her that it wasn't the attorney-client file, that the folder in question was her own legal documents. The judge took back the folder and went through it stating loudly the documents it contained. Mr. Albukerk confirmed that it wasn't the file in question. Afterward, the judge read a letter from Mrs. Hamilton who complained about a phone call she received from EM questioning which case the defendant was on EM for. The judge checked this by going through the defendant's file and finding Judge Goebel's order of November 14th, 2011. She decided to write a second order enforcing that first order. In her order, she basically stated that the defendant had to be put back on EM on both cases. The hearing was continued to 11/30/2011.
November 30th, 2011: When she arrived in the courthouse, Annabel learned that Judge Goebel wasn't assigned a courtroom yet. She was told she had to wait until 1.00pm to know which room he would be assigned. She went to Popeyes and spent time there before coming back to the courthouse around 1.00pm.
When called in front of the judge, she was surprised to see that neither Mr. Podlasek nor Mr. Albukerk were present. The defendant presented the following documents to the judge: Amended motion to declare statute unconstitutional and to dismiss, Memorandum why the defendant was Incarcerated and Released, motion to server charges and motion to request movement. Since Mr. Podlasek wasn't in court, one of the judge's clerk volunteered to give him the motions. Annabel continued the case to 12/07/2011 and thanked the judge for putting her back on Electronic Monitoring.
December 7th, 2011: Once in front of the judge, the defendant and Mr. Podlasek made the initial presentations. Mr. Podlasek afterward handed her two folders from her legal files which were previously given to him for redaction's purposes. The defendant asked for her entire file, reminding the judge that the requested 5 weeks to redact the files were long overdue. Precisely, she told the judge that the redaction had taken seven weeks and that she needed her legal file. Moreover, she argued that items like the Discovery CDs, the motions filed by Mr. Albukerk, and the discovery itself didn't need to be redacted, that the only documents which needed redaction were the six subpoenas issued by her former lawyer. The judge ruled that Mr. Podlasek should give the CDs back. Mr. Podlasek said he hadn't had time to review those. He was also handed the motions filed a week earlier by the defendant. The judge put the case on recall asking him to review the motions before arguing them. Annabel went back to her seat and went through the folders that were just given to her. Minutes later, she was recalled. Mr. Podlasek stated that based on the memorandum he might withdraw from the case. He then argued that the motion to server charges was baseless because he never asked the charges to be joined. The judge agreed though Annabel argued that the two dockets had the same continuances and same trial's date and she also added that Mr. Albukerk's motion to withdrawfiled on March 2nd, 2011, wasn't reflected in her cases' dockets. The judge ruled that the charges were not joined and consequently denied the motion to server charges. As for Albukerk's motion, he said that he was no longer in the case and that she was now Pro Se. Annabel finally argued her motion to request movement stating that she needed a movement day to go to the hospital, work on her immigration's status and buy her own food. The state prosecutor rejected the notion of a one day-movement arguing that she could request movements from EM. The judge ruled that she would be granted movements to Stroeger Hospital and to the Immigration but wouldn't allow her a one day-movement per week for anything else. He put the case back on recall to give her time to write an order for the requested movements. In allowing her to write the order, he forbade her to write anything he didn't state. Once the order was written, the judge recalled the case and read the defendant's order to Mr. Podlasek who agreed to it. The case was continued to 01/11/2012.
December 28th, 2011: After the initial presentations, the defendant told the judge about the new developments in Federal court. She told him that the Federal Judge Pallmeyer had put a 90 days stay on the Frobe v. Lindenhurst case to watch what happens in the ACLU v. Alvarez in the Federal Appeal Court, the People v. Allison in Illinois Supreme Court and in the Defendant's case. The judge asked her how she knew about these facts. Annabel told him that she's in touch with the lawyer on the case and that she also read the transcript. Afterward, she argued her motion requesting Mrs. Pamela Taylor not to interfere with the Defendant's strategy defense. To boost her case, she presented Mr. Albukerk's motion to dismiss the computer tampering filed in the civil department as evidence on why she needed to order transcripts to reconstruct her case which she inherited without summaries. The judge checked the records to see if the motion to dismiss appeared on them. When he found nothing mentioned, he told the defendant to rewrite the motion and he would see to it that it got properly filed. He finally asked the state attorney to work with the defendant on relevant pre-trial dates hearings which he would approve and give to Mrs. Pamela Taylor. He forbade Mrs. Melongo and Mrs. Pamela Taylor to be in contact with each other. The case was continued to 01/11/2012.
January 11th, 2012: After the initial presentations, Mr. Podlasek handed the Defendant part of her file still in his possession. The documents handed over, among other things, contained 2 CDs, various copies of subpoenas and responses thereto, exhibits and jury instructions used during the trial. Afterward, Annabel presented her Motion For Nunc Pro Tunc Order requesting that the court records be corrected to file her Motion To Dismiss, Discovery and Motion For a Computer Expert in criminal court as opposed to being filed in the ā€Civil Dept.ā€¯ by Mr. Albukerk on July 6th, 2011. The judge granted the motion. The Defendant then handed the judge a list requesting certain pre-trial transcripts. In response to her request, the judge said he would look at the list and decide which dates were worth ordering transcripts. Finally Annabel requested to have the state's response to her amended motion to dismiss the eavesdropping case. Mr. Podlasek requested another 2-3 months. Annabel vehemently objected to it stating that the state was already given 2 months and didn't need additional time to respond to a motion written by a Pro Se while in jail. The judge agreed and said it has been a long time. Consequently, he gave the state a two weeks continuance for a status hearing on the response. The case was continued to 01/23/2012.
January 23rd, 2012: Judge Goebel had a scheduled trial. Judge Joyce did his calls at 1.00 pm in Room 101. When Judge Joyce asked for whoever was on Judge Goebel's call, Annabel stood up and said she was. The judge asked her to seat and had her prosecutor called. When Mr. Podlasek arrived, the prosecutor and the defendant made the initial presentations. Mr. Podlasek handed Annabel some subpoenas that, he told the judge, were redacted. When Judge Joyce asked for a continuance date, Mr. Podlasek asked for two weeks. Annabel objected to that, telling the judge that the hearing was previously scheduled by Judge Goebel for the status on the response to the defendant's amended motion to dismiss filed more than 3 months earlier. After urging the defendant to quiet down emotionally, Judge Joyce refused to grant a two weeks continuance and urged the state prosecutor for an earlier date. The hearing was continued to 02/03/2011.
February 3rd, 2012: After the initial presentations, the state prosecutor, Robert Podlasek, handed the defendant the remaining of her file that he acquired for redaction's purposes. He then told the judge that on February 14th, 2012, he would file a response to the defendant's amended motion to dismiss her case. When the defendant inquired about who was writing that response, the judge cut her short, telling her it was irrelevant. The defendant afterward told the judge that she had few issues to raise. First, she told the judge that though the state prosecutor was ordered to redact only credit cards and social security numbers, he redacted information he wasn't supposed to. The state prosecutor apologized for that and said it was a mistake. Annabel replied telling the judge that the damage had already been done and that if her current motion to dismiss wasn't granted, she would issue a second motion to dismiss based on the miscarriage of justice resulting from the state prosecutor taking hold of her file on false pretenses. Second, she showed the judge her appointment with the Immigration and ask to have a copy of her passport. Mr. Podlasek said he didn't know where her passport was. The Defendant replied stating that he was the one who requested her passport surrendered when she was arrested. One of the judge's clerk said that he would inquire about the defendant's passport. The defendant then presented her motion to appoint experts. The judge said he would rule on it during the next court hearing. Finally Annabel revived her issue of requesting certain transcripts. The judge said that other than one of the transcript, he didn't think that the other transcripts were relevant to the defendant's case. Annabel replied stating that the judge wasn't in the position to evaluate what was best for her defense. She stated that she needed those transcripts to fill certain gaps given that she received a case without summaries. Although she pleaded hard, the judge nevertheless denied her request. The case was continued to 02/14/2012.
February 14th, 2012: Annabel came late and immediately went to the judge through a repeated call by the officer. Once in front of judge Goebel, she apologized for being late putting the blame on the long checking line. After the initial presentations, the state prosecutor handed her a copy of the state's response to her amended motion to dismiss. She told the judge that the state's response was her Valentine's gift. Afterward she went on record telling the judge that the state removed entire documents from her file that was handed to the state, that her communication with her former lawyer was still in that file and that the same file also had her former lawyer's notes. She summarized saying that if her current motion to dismiss wasn't granted, she would file a second motion to punish the state for what it did. She also told the judge that her passport's issue hasn't been resolved and that the clerk office was unable to locate it. After inquiring whether the passport was surrounded, the judge urged the prosecutor to find out who had the defendant's passport. The defendant later related that Mr. Albukerk objected to it being surrendered and added that she had it with her when she was arrested on April 13th, 2010. The case was continued to March 15th, 2012. Upon leaving, Annabel wished the judge a Happy Valentine. She then went to Room 602. She stayed in that room for about one hour after which Mr. Kutnik argued the motion to dismiss Christopher Drew's eavesdropping charges. His argument centered on the Illinois Eavesdropping Law lacking a culpable mental state. The state objected when Mr. Kutnik tried to bring the First Amendment issue as well as when he raised the vagueness's issue. At the end of the hearing, Judge Sacks said he would make his ruling on March 2nd, 2012. Annabel was stunned on how packed the courtroom was. She said to herself that if her case had had that much attention, she would be a free person by then. She left the courtroom feeling empowered about the learning experience.
March 2nd, 2012: Annabel is in court on her notice of motion to have Judge Goebel sign an order allowing her to bring her computer to court for her argument on the Amended Motion to dismiss. Given that her hearing was scheduled for 1.00 pm at Room 101, Annabel went to room 602 to attend Judge Sacks's ruling on Christopher Drew's motion to declare the Illinois Eavesdropping Law unconstitutional. After the hearing, in which the Eavesdropping was indeed declared unconstitutional, she went to room 101 and learned that Judge Stephenson had continued the case in her absence to 03/06/2012.
March 6th, 2012: When she arrived in court, the defendant learned that Judge Goebel was in room 315A. After the initial presentations, she showed the judge her motion to show cause why Northwest Recovery shouldn't be held in contempt for not complying with her subpoenas. The judge refused to grant the motion stating that the subpoenas were not properly stamped, signed and dated. The defendant reassured the judge that the ones attached to the motion were just copies from her computer, that she had the actual subpoenas at her house. The judge stated that once he saw those properly executed subpoenas, he would grant the motion. The defendant further presented her order to bring her laptop to court for her argument on her Amended Motion to dismiss. Mr Podlasek, the state prosecutor, objected to it. The defendant explained that she needed a computer to play snippets of conversations proving that Mrs. Pamela Taylor was a willing speaker. The judge agreed to have the defendant bring her laptop to court on 03/13/2012 but denied the part on the order requesting a microphone. When it was the state prosecutor's turn, Mr. Podlasek presented his motion to show cause and the motion to have all subpoenas issued by the defendant quashed. He argued that through those subpoenas, the defendant had accessed to important personal information such as SSN and credit cards numbers. The defendant countered saying that it wasn't so much an issue of SSN or credit cards cards number, because when given the opportunity to redact such information in previous subpoenas, the state prosecutor failed to do so. The real issue, she said, was Mr. Podlasek's insecurity regarding the subpoenas, given that they revealed information that made the defendant's case strong and his case weak. When Mr. Podlasek brought the issue of Judge Brosnahan barring the defendant from issuing subpoenas, the defendant said it wasn't true; that it was within a certain context. She argued that issuing subpoenas is THE right for the defense and that a judge had no power revoking it. The judge inquired about the size of the subpoenas. The defendant said it was a box. The judge put the case on recall for 1.00pm and asked the defendant to get the box from her house. When the defendant asked for transportation, given the time and size of the box, the state prosecutor said he had no investigator to take her to her place.
At around 1.00pm, using public transportation, Annabel arrived in court with a box filled with subpoenas' returns. When her case was called, after the initial presentations, she told the judge that she was ready to argue the state's motions. She presented the properly sealed subpoenas sent to American Express and Consumer Credit Union to the judge. After examining the documents, the judge passed them to the state attorney who acknowledged that the subpoenas weren't forged. The judge denied the motion to revoke bond and granted the motion to quash the subpoenas. The state then argued that even though the subpoenas weren't forged, the defendant saw, read and reviewed information she wasn't supposed to. The judge admonished the defendant about issuing improper subpoenas. He asked the defendant if any of the documents were disseminated or copied. The defendant answered no to the first question and yes to the second. The judge became extremely aggravated. He immediately revoked her bond and ordered her arrested and taken away. The defendant tried her best to plead with the judge, but he would not listen to her. Completely confused and dumbfounded, she followed the female officer who later inventoried her property before sending her to Division 5 to be processed and admitted to jail. The case was continued to 03/15/2012.
March 15th, 2012: Annabel was called from her cell and taken to Judge Goebel in room 101. After the initial presentations, she requested her documents from her friend who was in the audience. The officer in charge got the said documents and after being ordered by the judge to review them, he gave the documents to the defendant. The defendant requested 30 min. to go through those documents before arguing her Amended Motion To Dismiss. Though the state said it was ready for arguments on that motion, the judge said that he had pressing matters and as a consequence, the motion couldn't be argued that day. Annabel told the judge that she really wanted to argue her motion because some of her acquaintances took off from work and some made long distance trips to attend her argument. The judge maintained his position and so did he when Annabel wanted to argue her motion to have her EM bond reinstated or to be released on I-Bond. The case was continued to 03/19/2012.
March 19th, 2012: Annabel was picked by a female officer in her cell and taken to judge Goebel presiding on the fourth floor. Once the initial presentations were over, the judge asked the defendant to proceed in arguing her amended motion to dismiss. At first Annabel felt extremely nervous. She knew that her whole life was hanging on her argument. The thought of her condition in jail and everything she had to undergo calmed her down and she got composed. Before starting her argument, Annabel demanded a pen and that the prosecutors seat somewhere else. Her argument started by her recalling that she was the most unlikely person to challenge an American Law, that she was in jail, that she was not an American, that she was not a practicing lawyer and that English was her third language. She went on recalling that the Time Magazine's person of the year was The Protestor. She identified herself as one and said that she was claiming her Fundamental Human Rights, contrary to taking advantage of American Rights. She then talked about Judge Sack's recent ruling declaring the Illinois Eavesdropping Law unconstitutional on its face on the Fourtheenth Amendment and Judge Frankland's order declaring the same law unconstitutional on its face on the First and Fourtheenth Amendments. In the second part of her argument, she presented the law unconstitutional as it applied to her. She argued that Mrs. Pamela Taylor was a willing speaker and presented how her freedom of speech, freedom of press, petition and due process rights were violated. Finally she concluded claiming that the Eavesdropping law defeated the state's protectiveness of its people, that no one in Illinois had ever been charged when the interests of the state weren't at stake, that the controversial law was used to intimidate some and to protect the fear and anxieties of the powerful and well-connected. She also argued that, by spending 23 months under arrest, she had been the defendant who has endured the harshest punishment under the Illinois Eavesdropping Law in Cook County, if not in Illinois. She finally put the challenge of ultimately having her case dismissed on Judge Goebel and said that her case was a legal harassment that the eavesdropping law had enabled. After thanking the judge, she left the floor and took her seat to listen to the state's argument and to taking notes.
The state argued that they were legal cases stating that a right to record wasn't established, that Mrs. Pamela Taylor wasn't a willing speaker, that the defendant wasn't the press and that her petition right wasn't infringed upon because she could have used other forms of evidence. Annabel rebutted stating that the three cases the state was citing dealt with qualified immunity and never with the question of a first amendment right to record. She further argued that those three cases when confronted with such a right recognized that it was plainly, underdeveloped and not clearly established. But none, she said, never ruled that such a right didn't exist. As for Mrs. Pamela Taylor not being a willing speaker, the defendant defeated this by asking the judge to read part of Mrs. Taylor voicemail's message. Once the judge was done reading it, the defendant read it for the record. She also read parts of Mrs. Taylor testimony during her trial to prove her point. As for the point of not being the press, Annabel countered this stating that managing the illinoiscorruption.net website made her part of the press. Finally she refuted the fact that her petition right wasn't violated. She told the judge that a government couldn't prefer one form of evidence over another one because sometimes, she argued, the prohibited form of evidence might be the only form of evidence in existence. She explained this by telling the judge that without her recordings, being a foreigner, she couldn't win a credibility contest against Cook County. Once her rebuttal was over, the judge said he would make his ruling on April 5th, 2012.
Annabel then reminded the judge about her motion to have her EM bond reinstated or to be released on I-Bond in the alternative. When the judge asked her to proceed, she argued that Judge Sacks' ruling on March 2nd, 2012, made her charges void and consequently she should be released on I-Bond. She also told the judge that she was sent to jail on a misunderstand because she didn't have enough time to fully assess the types of documents that were requested of her given that she needed to find within a limited timeframe the documents she needed to argue her motion and that the morning of March 6th, 2012, she had an order signed to bring her computer to court and therefore, she never remotely thought of bringing her computer to court without such an order. Finally she told the judge that she never acted maliciously about the digital copies of the subpoenas because she could have lied by telling that she had no copies and that no one in the courtroom would have been able to prove her wrong. The fact that she honestly answered the question of having copies proved, she argued, that she never intended to keep those copies but rather, was just too busy and preoccupied about the pending accusations against her.
The state responded by telling the judge to deny the defendant's motion because she was ordered to bring everything she had in her possession but voluntarily kept for herself those digital copies. Mr. Podlasek further told the judge that the defendant deliberately disobeyed his order. In the rebuttal, the defendant stressed the fact that if she had had transportation, maybe she would have had the broad perspective of thinking about bringing everything she needed; but the limited time and the the idea of going back to jail after being released for four months clouded a clear judgement on her part. The judge ruled that he would reconsider releasing her on EM if she had someone bring her computer at the next hearing. Annabel asked her friend in attendance if he would be kind enough to bring her computer to court at the next hearing. Annabel wrote the order to allow her friend to bring her computer to court. While signing the order, the judge added the ligne stating that the laptop should be brought to him. The case was continued to 04/05/2012.
April 5th, 2012: After the initial presentations, Annabel started sobbing when she told the judge about her apartment's situation and complained about not knowing why she was in jail. She suggested the idea of being released and bringing the computer personally to the judge. After reminding the defendant that she was sent to jail because of the subpoenas still in her possession, the judge acknowledged receiving two letters from one of her friend regarding her apartment's situation and because of this critical situation, he said he would put her back on EM with the condition that once out, she would bring the computer to court in order to have the subpoenas deleted. The defendant thanked the judge who then asked the state prosecutor to prepare a new EM order with the same conditions as the one previously issued. When Annabel asked for a copy of the order for her own records, the judge promised to give one to her officer. The case was continued to 05/12/2012.
April 12th, 2012: From her waiting cell, Annabel is taken to the third floor in a cell adjacent to courtroom 301. When called in front of the judge and after the initial presentations, the judge asked Mr. Podlasek to call EM to inquire why the defendant hadn't been released. The case was put on recall. Back in her cell, she meditated while wondering if she would be recalled. When called back, Mr. Podlasek told the judge that he talked to a sheriff and was told that the EM program had its own internal staffing which was evaluating if Ms. Melongo should be reconsidered on EM. He mentioned her change of address as an eventual problem and said it would take 2-3 weeks. The defendant rebutted this telling the judge that EM was aware of her change of address and mentioned the fact that she knew of a detainee who was mandated the same time as she did and that the detainee had long time left. The judge said that if the defendant wasn't released, he would find out why the following week in a conference call. He suggested the following Wednesday or Thursday as possible continuance dates. Given that Mr. Podlasek had a conflicting schedule on Thursday, the defendant opted for Wednesday. Before leaving the courtroom, she requested a copy of her EM order. The judge ordered his clerk to make a copy of the order. The defendant later received it through the cell's door from the state attorney's assistant. The case was continued to 04/18/ 2012.
April 18th, 2012: Annabel went to court for her scheduled hearing two days after being released from jail. Upon learning that Judge Goebel was presiding in room 307, she went to the clerk office to review some records. When she arrived in the courtroom, she learned that Judge Goebel wasn't there and that Judge Stephenson was presiding over his calls. While waiting to be called, she chatted with her friend outside the courtroom and also had a phone conversation with another one. When Judge Stephenson started doing Judge Goebel's calls, Annabel and her friend went back to the courtroom. Her prosecutor was not in court. When Goebel's calls were over, Annabel asked for a simple continuance date but Judge Stephenson refused, saying her prosecutor had to be in court. Annabel consequently begged one of Judge Goebel's clerk to call Mr. Podlasek. That clerk later told her that the prosecutor said he didn't know that she was out of jail and that he would be there at 1.00pm. Annabel then left the courthouse to take care of her alarming housing situation in which she had a 12.00pm appointment with her landlord. Very upset with the meeting because she didn't get the keys to her place, she returned to court at around 1.20pm only to learn that a warrant was put on her because she didn't show at the court hearing. She couldn't believe her ears. She went to the 13th floor and asked Mr. Podlasek why he didn't tell the judge that she was already on house-arrest. Mr. Podlasek answered saying that it was the judge's decision not his. Annabel went to the clerk office and file a notice of motion to quash and recall her warrant. To that motion, she attached a copy of the passport's document proving that her hearing was at 10.00am and served it to the state prosecutor at the 13th floor. The prosecutor, upon receiving the notice, said that he couldn't find the judge and that he wouldn't be there for the motion scheduled the next day. When she left the courthouse, Annabel went to the house arrest building and begged the supervising officer not to arrest her because she would go to court the next day and her warrant would be quashed. The lieutenant in charge, after reviewing her file, told her that she had her hands tied and had to arrrest her because of the outstanding warrant. with tears in her eyes, Annabel was stripped of her property and taken to Division 5 to be processed and admitted to jail, yet again.
April 20th, 2012: When called in front of the judge, neither the state prosecutor nor Judge Goebel were in courtroom 305. Judge Walsh, presiding over Judge Goebel's calls, noticed that the warrant wasn't executed. She said that judge Goebel was best positioned to hear arguments on the defendant's motion to have her warrant recalled and quashed. She continued the case to 04/23/2012.
April 23rd, 2012: After the initial presentations, Judge Goebel asked the detainee to proceed with her motion to have her warrant quashed and recalled. The defendant started with the March 2nd, 2012, court hearing. She told the judge that on that day, the hearing was scheduled for 1.00pm. Somehow Mr. Podlasek came to court at 10.00am and Judge Stephenson continued the case in the defendant's absence. But the same judge, the defendant argued, wouldn't continue the case when the defendant was in court and the prosecutor wasn't. Afterward, the defendant recalled the events of April 18th, 2012, telling the judge that she waited more than two and half hours and even had the prosecutor called for him to come to the hearing. However, the prosecutor wouldn't come, preferring to come at 1.00pm. Finally she told the judge that a warrant on her was unnecessary because she was on house-arrest and was monitored 24/7 by the Cook County Sheriff. She used the example of arresting someone already jail on the same charges to illustrate her point. When she started talking about illegal arrest and violation of her Fourth Amendment Right, the judge asked her to stop. He ruled that it wasn't judge Stephenson's fault and that he was the one who scheduled the hearing to 1.00pm, nevertheless, he said that the defendant showed good faith by being in court in the morning and coming late during the afternoon hearing. The defendant explained that in normal conditions, she would have called Mr. Podlasek but since she was just out of jail and hadn't had the opportunity to get her property from the police station, she didn't have her cellphone and consequently couldn't call Mr. Podlasek beforehand to warn him of her late coming. The judge put the defendant back on EM and asked Mr. Podlasek to issue an EM order with the same conditions. The prosecutor later requested that the defendant filed with the clerk's office her new address and phone number and that her computer as well as all digital storage with the copies of subpoenas be brought to court once the defendant was out. The judge stressed this by telling the defendant that in the event she didn't return copies of all the subpoenas, she would be in deep trouble. The defendant stated she would return everything and that she knew about the consequences if she failed to do so. To close the hearing, the defendant told the judge that if EM wasn't called, she would have to wait another 2-3 weeks before getting out. The judge asked Mr. Podlasek to call the supervisor at the EM for a quick release of the defendant. The case was continued to 04/27/2012.
April 27th, 2012: Annabel was called from her cell on the third floor and taken to Judge Goebel presiding on the same floor. After the initial presentations, the judge updated her on the status of her EM's situation. He said that the reason she wasn't out, was mostly because of her housing situation. Annabel acknowledged this and gave credit to Mr. Podlasek for calling the EM division. After briefing the judge on her housing situation, she told him that was called twice by EM to provide an alternate address when her landlord wasn't responsive. She also gave Mr. Podlasek that alternate address in order to confirm it to EM. Afterward, she requested an order for movement the following Sunday, May 29th, 2012, to take care of her critical housing situation as well as an order to bring her computer to court at the next hearing date. After the judge signed both orders, the prosecutor asked that the defendant's computer be given to the state's forensic expert. The defendant strongly objected to that, telling the judge that the state would go in a fishing expedition to find another crime and also that her computer contained client-attorney information. The judge ruled that the computer would not be given to the state but that the files would be deleted in open court. Before leaving the courtroom, the defendant begged Mr. Podlasek to call EM with the alternate address. Mr. Podlasek promised he would. The case was continued to 05/03/2012.
May 3rd, 2012: From her fourth floor's cell, Annabel was taken in front of judge Goebel. After the initial presentations, she told the judge that Mr. Podlasek was playing games regarding her release. Mr. Podlasek immediately objected and the judge backed him up, telling the defendant that the prosecutor was in no way obligated to call EM or to get in touch with her in jail. When the defendant tried to bring up Mr. Podlasek's motivation to call EM when it came to send her to jail and a lack thereof when she was supposed to come out, the judge stopped her. Annabel gave up arguing that point and told the judge that her friend was in court and was in a better position to tell what was the matter at the EM division. The prosecutor objected to that too, so did he when the same friend try to give an affidavit of certain facts to the judge. The judge refused both the friend's testimony and the affidavit. Seeing that the judge wasn't responsive to anything, she agreed to a continuation date. She waived goodbye to her friends and the case was continued to 03/09/2012.
May 9th, 2012: Annabel was out from jail five days earlier. When she arrived in court, a female officer refused to let her in with her laptop, stating that the court order to bring her laptop to court on May 3rd, 2012, was outdated. The officer asked Annabel to bring a new order for that day in order to be let in with her laptop. Once in front of the judge, after the initial presentations, Judge Goebel announced that the Seventh District Court Of Appeal had issued his ruling on the ACLU v. Alvarez case. He urged both parties to read the ruling document because it might heavily impact the case. After acknowledging learning about the ruling earlier that day, Mr. Podlasek told the judge that the defendant didn't bring her laptop. Annabel answered telling Mr. Podlasek that he shouldn't speak on her behalf and explained why she came without her laptop. She then asked the judge for 20-25 min. to get a proper court orderallowing her to bring the laptop to court. She also filed a Memorandum of Defendant's Argument On Amended Motion To Dismiss as well as a request demanding trial. In response to the defendant's request for trial, the prosecutor immediately stated that he was ready. Annabel countered telling the judge that the law requested that all pending motions be resolved before trial was to commence. The judge agreed on that, though reminding the defendant of the risk of representing herself and making such decisions. He ruled that the Speedy Trial period would start after 05/30/2012 because the case was already continued by agreement. The judge put the case on recall and Annabel rushed to write a new order allowing her to bring her laptop to court. Once the judge signed the order, she rushed outside and brought her laptop back some minutes later. When the judge recalled her case, Annabel brought with her a thumbdrive and a laptop. She explained that certain files were on the laptop and that the thumbdrive, a backup of the laptop's files, also had the copies of the quashed subpoenas. The judge and the prosecutor stood behind her and watched her delete the quashed subpoenas on both the laptop and the thumbdrive. Once the files were deleted, the judge asked Annabel to raise her right hand and put her under oath. He asked whether all files were completely deleted from her computer and thumbdrive, whether the files were recoverable from her laptop, and finally whether she disseminated the files by giving them to someone or publishing them on the internet. Annabel answered no to all the questions. The case was continued to 05/30/2012.
May 22nd, 2012: Annabel motioned up her case for this day to discuss some subpoenas she intended to issue. At the courtroom 315A and before the hearing, she was called by Mr. Podlasek who asked her to see the subpoenas in question. She found a table with some chairs and invited Mr. Podlasek to seat . Just as she was about to open her folder, Judge Goebel joined them. Annabel started with the subpoena to Carol Spizzirri. After reviewing its content, Mr. Podlasek objected to the last two requests on the subpoena. Annabel countered saying that she saw no ground for the objection since the subpoena was the exact replica of Mr. Albukerk's failed ones. The judge said that it wasn't that important and Annabel moved to the next subpoena, the one to the Illinois Attorney General Charitable Trust Fund. After Mr. Podlasek objected to it, Annabel argued that although Mr. Albukerk issued a similar subpoena and it was properly answered, the documents were removed when Mr. Podlasek got hold of her file. When the judge learned that Annabel had 15 such subpoenas to present, he asked her to make copies of them and to give the copies to Mr. Podlasek for review. He then said that on May 30th, 2012, he would decide which subpoenas were worth issuing. Annabel and Mr. Podlasek went back to the courtroom only to be told by the judge that a hearing wasn't necessary anymore and that they could leave. They went to the Mr. Podlasek's floor, the 13th floor, where Annabel handed her subpoenas to Mr. Podlasek to copy. Afterward, she went to the clerk office and reviewed some records.
May 30th, 2012: When Annabel arrived in court, she learned that Judge Goebel would preside over his cases at 12.00pm. She went to the library and worked on her arguments to have her case dismissed due to the ACLU v. Alvarez, No. 11-1286, ruling in the Seventh District Federal Court of Appeals. She also worked on defending the subpoenas she intended to file. At around 11.45am, she went to the 204 courtroom but another judge was still doing her calls. Annabel sat with her friend and both kept busy reading some documents. At around 12.30pm, Judge Goebel finally arrived. Annabel was called in front of him at around 1.00pm. After the initial presentations, she remarked that the state prosecutor, Mr. Podlasek, wasn't in court. The judge told her that he had a trial and set the next hearing. Annabel couldn't clearly hear what he said. When she asked him to repeat his statement, the court reporter did it on his behalf. The hearing was continued to 06/04/2012
June 4th, 2012: When Annabel arrived in court, she learned that Judge Goebel would preside in room 301. She rushed to the courtroom, given that she was already a few minutes late. Once in the courtroom, she asked her friend, who came earlier, if she had been called. She was relieved to learn that she hadn't. While waiting, she went through the subpoenas she intended to present to the judge as well as her argument on the ACLU v. Alvarez, No. 11-1286, ruling. When called, she greeted the judge and made a presentation for the records. The judge reminded the parties that the matter was set for review of the defendant's subpoenas. The state prosecutor, Mr. Podlasek, started with the subpoena to Carol Spizzirri. Just as he was about to object to certain paragraphs, the judge asked for a recap of the computer tampering case. Once Mr. Podlasek was done with the recap, he objected to paragraphs 8-12 of Spizzirri's subpoena. The judge allowed paragraph 8, the bills and invoices of computer experts, paragraph 9, copies of defendant's checks, he stroke down paragraph 10, the documents proving the $1M loss and narrowed paragraphs 11-12 to include only documents related to the computer tampering incident. Just as the prosecutor was about to move to Shahna Monge's subpoena, the judge put the case on recall to expedite his remaining cases.
When recalled, Mr. Podlasek objected to the telephone and address requests in Shahna Monge's subpoena. The defendant countered by telling the judge that Ms. Monge was the forensic examiner in the computer tampering case and that once she issued her report, she vanished and that neither the Illinois Attorney General or the state prosecutor were forthcoming in providing her contact information. The judge granted the subpoena arguing that she was the state's expert. Afterward, the prosecutor presented the subpoenas to TCF, JPMorgan Chase, American Express and Fifth Third Bank. The judge quashed them all stating that they were irrelevant to the case. When it came to the subpoena to Anderson Hospital, the judge narrowed it down to documents related to the defendant and the case. He fully granted the subpoenas to the Illinois Attorney General Charitable Trust Bureau and Criminal Division, arguing that the defendant's case was part of Save A Life Foundation's investigation as stated in Ms. Spizzirri's letter to that office. Finally, the prosecutor said that he had no objection to the other subpoenas but stretched the fact that they must all be returned to the court. The judge acknowledged this and told the defendant to rewrite the subpoenas he granted and to bring them for review at the next hearing.
To conclude, the defendant brought up the argument on the ACLU v. Alvarez, No. 11-1286, ruling. The state prosecutor told the judge that he hadn't have time to review that ruling due to a busy schedule. Although the defendant argued that it had been almost a month, the judge gave the prosecutor an additional two weeks but went on record telling both parties that he would make a ruling at the next hearing. The defendant filed the notes she made while reading the ACLU's ruling; when asked for a continuation date, she told the judge that her demand of trial prevented her from agreeing on a continuance. The judge said that it made no difference since there were still pending motions and that it wasn't until all those motions were disposed of that the Speedy Trial's clock would start ticking. The defendant agreed to a date and the case was continued to 06/19/2012.
June 19th, 2012: ( Transcript is here. )When Annabel arrived in court, she learned that Judge Goebel would preside in room 301. She took the stairs and rushed to that courtroom. There, while waiting to be called, she prepared for her argument on the ACLU v. Alvarez's ruling, No. 11-1286. When finally called, after the initial presentations, the judge gave her 5min. She read the following passages to the judge from the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruling:
The state prosecutor on the other hand, read the closing paragraph of the ruling stating that it concerned only the ACLU's case and didn't apply to the defendant because that case dealt with recording the police at a volume audible to the unassisted ear. He also added that since the defendant had a private conversation with Mrs. Pamela Taylor, the ruling didn't apply to her. The judge stated that the law as a whole was challenged, not the factual details of the defendant's case. The defendant rebutted telling the judge that her conversation with Mrs. Pamela Taylor wasn't private but dealt with public matters. Afterward, the judge granted the defendant's amended motion to dismiss. Immediately, the defendant asked to be put back on I-Bond. The judge granted that request as well upon objection of the state. The state prosecutor, Mr. Podlasek, finally told the court that he didn't know if the state would appeal. He said it would be known at the next court hearing. The case was continued to 07/19/2012.
- Audio and audiovisual recording are media of expression commonly used for the preservation and dissemination of information and ideas and thus are ā€included within the free speech and free press guaranty of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.ā€¯ p.23.
- The eavesdropping statute operates at the front end of the speech process by restricting the use of a common, indeed ubiquitous, instrument of communication. Restricting the use of an audio or audiovisual recording device suppresses speech just as effectively as restricting the dissemination of the resulting recording, p.24.
- Audio and audiovisual recording are communication technologies, and as such, they enable speech. Criminalizing all non-consensual audio recording necessarily limits the information that might later be published or broadcast ā€“ whether to the general public or to a single family member or friend ā€“ and thus burdens First Amendment rights, p.26.
- Moreover, ā€the first Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw.ā€¯ p.28.
- Either way, it should be clear by now that its effect on First Amendment interests is far from incidental. To the contrary, the statute specifically targets a communication technology; the use of an audio recorder ā€“ a medium of expression ā€“ triggers criminal liability. The law's legal sanction is directly leveled against the expressive element of an expressive activity. As such, the statute burdens First Amendment right directly, not incidentally, p.39.
- But the Illinois eavesdropping statute obliterates the distinction between private and non-private by criminalizing all nonconsensual audio recording regardless of whether the communication is private in any sense. If protecting privacy is the justification for this law, the law must be more closely tailored to serve that interest in order to avoid trampling on speech and press rights, p.51.
June 25th, 2012: Annabel went to court for a hearing she motioned up on June 22nd, 2012, shortly after she realized that the order dismissing her eavesdropping case wasn't in compliance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 18. When she arrived in the courtroom, Judge Goebel called both the defendant and the state prosecutor and stated that defendant's motion was granted and that he would submit a written order dismissing her case on 07/19/2012.
July 19th, 2012: When Melongo arrived at room 3A15, she prepared for her court hearing. Mr. Podlasek joined her and while they were all busy reading and waiting for the judge, Judge Goebel came out of his office and asked Mr. Podlasek if he ordered the June 19th, 2012, court transcript dismissing Melongo's eavesdropping case. When he said no, the judge asked Melongo if she did. She answered in the negative. The judge therefore asked Mr. Podlasek to order the said transcript. Consequently Mr. Podlasek left the courtroom to get the transcript. The hearing was later delayed because the judge's clerk wasn't in court. When he came back, Melongo's case was called.
After the initial presentations, Mr. Podlasek gave the judge a copy of the just ordered transcript. Melongo requested a copy as well. Afterward, the judge reminded Melongo about questions she had regarding some subpoenas. The defendant told the judge that the clerk wouldn't let her file custom subpoenas. The judge advised her to use the clerk's subpoena form and attach her requests to it.
Once the subpoenas' issue was resolved, the defendant inquired about the state's response to her motion to dismiss the computer tampering case filed on July 6th, 2012. To the defendant's surprise, Mr. Podlasek stated that he wasn't aware of the motion and that it might even have been ruled on. The judge answered telling him that he saw no proof of that in the sheets and that he would personally ask Judge Brosnahan about it. Rebutting Mr. Podlasek, Melongo asked to have her case put on recall for 1.00 pm because she had proof that the motion, along with two others, was faxed to Mr. Podlasek. She also accused Mr. Podlasek of deliberately ignoring her motion because his duties as a prosecutor prescribe that in the event of perjuries on the facts, charges should be dropped.
Melongo finally brought up the issue of attending court hearings whenever a police officer was on the stand. She argued that since she will subpoena the state witness to testify, she wanted to learn how such a hearing was conducted. The judge allowed her to get the information from his clerk. The case was continued to 07/26/2012.
July 26th, 2012: When Melongo arrived in court, she learned that her hearing was at room 3A15. She went to that courtroom along with two of her friends and waited for her case to be called. Once called and after the initial presentations, the judge filed his written order dismissing the eavesdropping case.
Afterward, the judge asked Mr. Podlasek about his response to the defendant's motion to dismiss. The prosecutor stated that he wanted the defendant to acknowledge the motion before he could respond. The judge said that the defendant acknowledged it at the previous hearing and that he didn't want to hear any argument about the existence of that motion. Mr. Podlasek asked for more than a month to respond. The defendant objected arguing that the said motion was already three years old. The judge granted the prosecutor's request.
Afterward, Melongo presented a fax rebutting the prosecutor's statement of not being aware of her pending motion to dismiss. The judge declined to read the document stating that the issue was already closed. Next, she presented a filed memorandum wherein the Illinois Attorney General was throwing the Cook County State Attorney under the bus regarding her two cases. The judge read part of the document and put it in the defendant's file. To close the hearing, the defendant filed a motion demanding trial. The judge granted the filing upon the prosecutor's objection. The case was continued to 08/28/2012.