Appendix Pages 43, 44 and 45
LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CRIMINAL DIVISION
STATE OF FLORIDA
ROBERT F. ALLSTON
Case No. 94-803CF
Comes now the defendant, Robert F. Allston, who respectfully states:
It is now over a year since defendant was arrested on March 26, 1994, but in spite of having had four lawyers the last three of which have been private attorneys selected by the Court, the defendant remains very much in the dark about what the charges against him have been including who (outside of David Owen) has accused defendant of threatening them in the past and who is accusing him now and what the circumstances might be. As well, why was it necessary for defendant to be held in jail almost a year without trial and without the offer of a plea bargain at great expense to both defendant and taxpayers.
As well, the case reveals many major issues of legal ethics proper for the defendant's defense none of which have been addressed by any of the lawyers selected to represent defendant by this court. Exhibit A is a copy of a letter of April 6, 1995, seeking information, addressed to defendant's present attorney. Also in the file is a copy of a similar letter of March 7, 1995, to defendant's previous attorney in the same law firm.
There has been no response of any nature to either letter. The law firm has represented defendant for about three months. In spite of many phone calls and these letters defendant has had only a 3 minute phone conversation with Mr. Hendry wherein he promised to visit defendant in jail but never has.
There have been as well many procedural problems some of which are presented herein.
A substantial part of the root cause of these various problems in preparing for trial can be traced to the refusal of defendant's lawyers appointed by this court to address questions of unethical conduct of fellow lawyers. However if defendant is to have a fair trial, these problems must be resolved.
It should be noted that defendant has already gone to great lengths to obtain both basic and detailed information about his case a well as good counsel. They include such acts of civil disobedience as a 19 day hunger strike, staying 24 hours a day for most of a month in the jail lobby and being arrested for trespassing in the State Attorney's Office which is the reason defendant is now in jail in case no. 95-MM1691. After his arrest on March 15, 1995, defendant was subjected to many weeks of very loud TV 24 hours a day causing much loss of sleep and causing him to get a case of nerves and heart problems now being treated by the jail doctor.
Therefore to help bring the case closer to trial and move forward with trial preparation defendant is requesting the following of the Court (Clerk, counsel, prosecutors -- as the case may be):
Defendant has had problems in the past, (1) getting papers filed, (2) having motions heard and, (3) having the opportunity to speak at hearings. Defendant respectfully alleges that these problems have retarded the processing of this cause considerably.
(1) Defendant filed a Notice of Appeal on 12/5/94, which was lost by the Clerk after it was stamped and defendant filed a paper "Pursuant to Denial of Rights Notice of Intent to Engage in Civil Disobedience" at his first appearance on 3/16/95, the title of which was read to Judge Carlin by the Court official who received it but it was lost as well. The defendant respectfully requests that every effort be made to retain this motion for the file.
(2) There have been only two hearings in this cause, 11/21/94 and 2/15/95, both dealing with counsel. In the first hearing defendant's Motion to Proceed Pro Se and for Continuance" was filed 3 months prior to the hearing (hearing requested several times) but not heard. There is much that is still current in that motion and defendant respectfully requests that both it and this Motion be scheduled and heard.
(3) At the second hearing of 2/15/95, defendant was advised by his attorney, Frank Alderman, III, "I...remind and encourage you as co-counsel as well as the defendant, that you have the right to indicate to the Court whatever you wish regarding this motion." Then at the hearing, defendant's counsel, Frank Alderman, III, spoke at length characterizing defendant as a "mental case" impossible client but the court refused to allow defendant to speak on these various issues at the hearing on this motion.
Whenever defendant has suggested to his different counsel and the court that there were issues of legal ethics to be addressed, a common response has been to characterize defendant with mental problems. So that this issue does not further hold up preparations for trial defendant requests that his entire record of mental health examination while in jail under 94-803CF or 95-MM1691 be placed in his court file. Then if warranted defendant can be appointed a guardian of other measures taken to protect his rights.
Defendant understands that both his attorney and prosecutors have the same file on the case called a discovery file. Both have indicated to him that he could have a copy which he has requested from both. Hence defendant would appreciate having a copy from either source as soon as possible prior to this hearing.
Defendant has made numerous requests to jail guards to make copies of papers for filing with this motion without success. Therefore defendant respectfully requests the court to contact jail authorities to see if a policy of furnishing up to 2 copies of documents that are to be filed within 24 hours of the request could be installed at the jail. This would be a very significant help both now and in the future. Without the ability to make copies it is difficult to file papers.
Inmates are furnished "request slips" for communications with the clerk, law library, doctor and many others. However these forms are often not available for up to a week. Defendant respectfully requests that these be available on 24 hours notice to guards.
Mr. Hendry's secretary, Pam, advised defendant on the telephone that he had attempted to visit defendant at jail on 2 occasions but was not allowed to. Defendant requests Mr. Hendry or the court to investigate the problem to be sure defendant's rights to see his counsel is protected whether it be Mr. Hendry or any other counsel.
Another three months has gone by while defendant has been represented by Mr. Elver and Mr. Hendry in the same firm selected by the court. In spite of repeated phone calls and defendant's letters defendant knows nothing more about his case. Defendant does not ask from his defense counsel any more than the law allows but he does expect to be defended to the full extent allowed by law. It should be clear that this case is way overdue for trial preparation and trial.
Wherefore defendant respectfully requests the court to be allowed to speak in depth about these problems and that he have counsel with the competence and independence to represent defendant to the full extent allowed by law. Defendant would appreciate having from his attorneys a written discussion of the status of trial preparation, the reason they have not responded to defendant's phone calls and letters and a response to his letters. He would appreciate having this a week or more before the hearing and filing a copy with the clerk.
There is a proposed declaratory judgment action (with brief) of defendant filed in this cause under order of judge Thompson dated 10/14/94. This litigation was initiated by defendant because it presented a substantial conflict of interest to his counsel. It is very important to defendant because it addresses medical problems and counsel. It was denied by Judge Nelson by Order of 11/22/94, and defendant filed notice of appeal 12/5/94 which disappeared from the record. The Clerk wrote to defendant (Exhibit B) suggesting he contact his counsel frank Alderman, III, Esq. about it but Alderman resigned by letter of 2/2/95 just six days later. Defendant could not bring it up at the 2/15/95 hearing because he was not allowed to speak. Defendant has already requested his counsel to address the issue (in Exhibit A Addendum to Notice of Appeal). Defendant would appreciate having an analysis of defendant's rights of appeal regarding this appeal a week of more prior to the hearing in writing, filing a copy with the clerk, so that this information will be available for the hearing.
Defendant requests the defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges or other legal professionals familiar with the case to report or disclose any work or their own or other legal professionals that does not meet professional standards as required of those in the professions.
Defendant fell damaging his wrist recently in jail making his handwriting poor quality. Anyone having a problem with reading it can send a copy to defendant with any questions to be returned.
Wherefore defendant respectfully requests the relief as set forth herein.
This the 6th day of May, 1995.
Robert F. Allston
Lee County Jail
1700 Monroe Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901