This is an actual transcript of a actual trial where the defendant was prepared. The defendant was my daughter. My daughter is a registered nurse with no legal experience whatsoever. This is her third time defending herself. using her Dad's Tipmra she has never lost. I have told her to slow down. Note: She did not use the CFR defense because she knew from her Dad that they don't calibrate speedometers in Webster Groves. She went in knowing that the case was in the bag.
IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF WEBSTER GROVES MISSOURI, THIRD CIRCUIT, ST. LOUIS COUNTY
CASE NUMBER: 24-99-8736J
Hearing Date: June 3, 2001
Reported by: Peter Knap: Court Reporter
Trial Judge: Hon. Fredric M. Potts
COUNSEL OF RECORD: Adam P. Fornbe Esq.
For the Defendant: Pro Se
The Municipal Court calls Sergeant Francis Jones as witness, having been previously duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION: BY MR. Fornbe
Q Officer, Please state your name and spell your last name for the record.
A Sergeant Francis Jones, J O N E S
Q How are you employed, sir?
A By the City of Webster Groves Police department.
Q On 03/11 of 2001 did you issue a speeding Citation No. 42-2687-9696 ?
A Yes, I did.
Q To whom did you issue that Citation?
A To the Lady at the Defense table Mrs. (name-blank)
Q Why did you issue her a Citation?
A On the date of the violation, March 3, 2001, on or about 11 AM, I was driving along Big Bend Blvd. when I had occasion to observe a Blue Toyota Four Runner enter the street from the right and proceed at what appeared to be a great rate of speed. I followed the defendant for several blocks and noted the speed at 46 MPH. the speed limit on Big Bend Blvd is 25 MPH.
Q And how is it that you ascertained this speed, using which device?
A The speedometer on the Police car that I was driving.
Q To your knowledge was that speedometer functioning properly and recording accurately on the day and at the time of the arrest?
Q If the speedometer should fail or not read accurately, are there any indications that such may be the situation?
A Yes, the speedometer would start fluctuating, stick or go to zero if it failed.
Q On the date of the arrest, before and within a reasonable time after the arrest did you observe any such failure indications on your speedometer?
Q Did Mrs. (name blank) say anything at her arrest that may be noteworthy to bring to the court's attention?
A. She said that she knew she was going fast and did not realize she was going 46 MPH
THE COURT: Without objection the statement is Admitted .
Mr. Fornbe: I have no further Questions.
THE COURT: Mrs. (name blank) You may take the stand or ask questions if you wish.
THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Sergeant Fornbe, do you have any formal training in either speedometer repair or calibration?
THE DEFENDANT: Does your police department regularly check and certify the speedometers used on the departments police cars?
A: I am certain that they do.
THE DEFENDANT:: Do you have any direct knowledge as to that fact?
A: No, but I am certain that the department does do these checks.
THE DEFENDANT: Sergeant Fornbe, then please present to the court a certification from such a facility as to the last time the speedometer on the car you used that day was calibrated and certified?
PROSECUTOR: The witness has testified as to the accuracy of the speedometer
THE DEFENDANT: Your honor the witness has testified that he has no formal training in either speedometer repair or calibration and as such can not testify as to the accuracy of the Speedometer.
THE COURT: Sergeant Fornbe, do you have such documentation as requested by the defense?
A: I am certain that we do, the police department is in the basement of this court house, we have our records there.
PROSECUTOR: Your Honor, had the witness wanted such records she should have requested them prior to trial.
DEFENDANT: Your Honor, it is not the function of the defense to present foundation as to the prosecutions evidence.
PROSECUTOR: Your Honor, I notice the Defendant reading from material, copies of which have not been made available to the Prosecution. I request the court order the Defense to make available for review the papers from which she is reading?
DEFENDANT: Your Honor, these are my trial notes and I object to turning over to the prosecution my notes. they are not presented as evidence and contain my defense strategy.
THE COURT: Motion denied,
DEFENDANT: Does this mean I have to turn over my notes to the prosecution your honor?
THE COURT: No, it means the prosecution at present has no right to see your notes. However you may show them to him if you so wish.
PROSECUTOR: Your Honor the prosecution requests this trial be continued next week in order for the Prosecution to find the paperwork requested by the defense?
DEFENDANT: I object your honor, the trial is today and if the prosecution failed to bring documents necessary for foundation the prosecution should move on without them.
PROSECUTOR: Your Honor, may we have thirty minuets to search for them in the police station?
THE COURT: Are you asking the court to take a thirty minuet recess. We have twenty people here waiting for their trial. Sergeant Jones, do you believe you can find the requested paperwork in thirty minutes?
A: I don't know your Honor, I don't even know if we have them here or if they are located somewhere else.
THE COURT: Motion denied, please continue.
DEFENDANT: The defense motions for dismissal as the prosecution has failed to prove to a legal degree of certainty that the measuring device used was accurate and functioning properly at the time of the arrest.
PROSECUTION: Your Honor, the defendant admitted to speeding to the officer at the time of the arrest.
DEFENDANT: Your Honor, the defendant is charged with traveling at 46 mph, something the prosecution has failed to prove.
THE COURT: Case dismissed, Please call the next case Mrs. Cleary
Commentary on this trial
As you can see the prosecution had no chance. The defendant was prepared and if the prosecution did present such a certification as to the speedometer the defendant had more questions available that would have made it impossible for the prosecution to prove that the speedometer was accurate to a legal degree of certainty. She also had a coy of BOECKER her purse should the need arise.
Note: The appellate Courts in Canada and the United States have ruled that a speedometer test by a certified facility, within a reasonable period of time (usually six months) is necessary for the admissibility of speedometer readings as evidence. But only if the issue is brought up by the defense, during trial. This defendant presented the Judge two case laws to read before the trial began which made the calibration of the speedometer critical. Without those case laws the Judge most likely would have ruled irrelevant the defendants request for speedometer certification from an approved facility.
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