Defendant Holds Himself in Contempt (And It’s the Only Thing He Did Right)

Generic legal document—do not imitate

Well, you’ve probably seen this already, if you’ve been paying any attention at all. (You’d have seen it here sooner but for a ridiculous amount of actual legal work. Things are back to “normal” now.) The transcript below is from a June 20 hearing in Floyd County, Georgia, in the case of a Mr. Denver Allen. Mr. Allen is facing a number of criminal charges. Counsel had been appointed for him, but he claimed to find said counsel not to his liking and wanted to fire him.

The transcript is entitled “Court Advises Defendant Regarding Representation by Public Defender on Defendant’s Oral Motion to Fire His Assigned Attorney,” but a better title might have been “Court Tries to Give Defendant Advice But Gets Twelve Pages of Obscenities in Response.”

Things are okay until about page seven. Allen says he wanted a different public defender and the judge tells him it doesn’t work that way. (I suppose it might have been different if Allen’s reasons had been remotely credible, but they weren’t.) The judge says Allen could either keep this lawyer or represent himself at trial, which, as the judge accurately says, would be “the biggest mistake of [his] life.” Allen won’t accept that. “I’m not going to work with this attorney,” he said, “so I hold myself in contempt ….”

What he seems to have meant is that he would try to derail everything by committing contempt of court, because that’s what he proceeded to do. This starts at the bottom of page seven, and continues until page 19 with about a 60% obscenity quotient. (The judge responds in kind a few times, which is unfortunate but under the circumstances not too surprising.) It’s really very remarkably offensive, so if you’re in the habit of reading things out loud at work, you should not do that with this one. Also, stop doing that in general, because it’s kind of weird.

As you’ll see, Allen goes well beyond what was necessary to get a contempt citation, and also managed to get a “terroristic threats” charge added, which is one of the many negative ramifications threatening to kill a judge’s entire family may have.

Enjoy, if that’s the right word.