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Home / Legal / Idaho Documents - Malicious Prosecution of Jeannie Smith / Reply Brief in Support of Motion to Disqualify Clearwater County Prosecutors Office
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Idaho Legal Documents - Malicious Prosecution of Jeannie Smith

Reply Brief in Support of Motion to Disqualify Clearwater County Prosecutors Office
Filed December 15, 2020

Reply Brief in Support of Motion to Disqualify Clearwater County Prosecutors Office

I, Jeannie Smith, reply to the “State’s” objection to my Motion to Disqualify the Clearwater County Prosecutors Office as follows.

Standard 3-1.2 Functions and Duties of the Prosecutor
(b) The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict. The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances. The prosecutor should seek to protect the innocent and convict the guilty, consider the interests of victims and witnesses, and respect the constitutional and legal rights of all persons, including suspects and defendants.
ABA Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function

In the State’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Disqualify Prosecuting Attorney the “State” alleged my motion was ridiculous, untrue, frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation. In the “State’s” Supplemental Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Disqualify and supporting affidavit, Clayne Tyler accused me of lying regarding various statements made by him and Chris Goetz. The “State” publicly attacking me through these proceedings and negative newspaper coverage is damaging enough, but to falsely accuse me of lying and calling my honest defenses all manner of names, in the “name” of pursuing justice is extremely distressing.  No statement made by me has been false or can be perjured. However, to avoid getting pulled into a lengthy argument over the merits of the foreclosure of this property, of which I am not a party, or the court judgments, fraud, and systemic corruption associated with it, which discussion Clayne Tyler could use in support of his Motion in Limine, I request the Court recognize the damaging impact of Clayne Tyler’s statements and ensure justice is served by immediately disqualifying the Clearwater County Prosecutor’s office from this case.

Though my resources are limited, I had access to the Idaho State Bar Advocate article that Clayne Tyler extensively and seemingly exclusively quoted and regurgitated for his supplemental memorandum. I would like to point out to the Court that while the Advocate stated, “Although less common, disqualification motions are also sometimes predicated on other asserted violations of the professional rules or alleged discovery violations”, Clayne Tyler reworded it to state, “Although very infrequent, disqualification can be sought based on…” (emphasis added). To the extent that a second response/memorandum is not permitted by Idaho rules, I ask the court to disregard it, and the supporting affidavit, in its entirety.
This motion was filed to prevent harassment and mitigate further injuries and damages from accruing. Clayne Tyler willfully ignored and refused to act on acute regulatory failure and fraud that ultimately resulted in my arrest and other grave miscarriages of justice. Because of this, I believe Clayne Tyler has a conflict of interest that precludes my having a fair, impartial trial based upon the merits as long as the Clearwater County Prosecutors Office is representing the State.

[5] A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law's procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.
Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct


According to the Idaho State Bar Advocate, “The remedy of disqualification flows both from the courts’ inherent authority over counsel and their ability to enforce the rights of parties to a proceeding.” I therefore, request this Court to disqualify the Clearwater County Prosecutors Office for the following reasons.
1) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified because they have withheld exculpatory evidence in violation of the Brady Rule, Idaho Professional Rules of Conduct, and Idaho Criminal Rules.


The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;
Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct

According to the Brady Rule, a prosecutor is required to disclose

“any evidence favorable to the accused – evidence that goes toward negating a defendant’s guilt, that would reduce a defendant’s potential sentence, or evidence going to the credibility of a witness.”

At a minimum, the “State” has withheld existing exculpatory evidence that validates,

1) Sheriff Chris Goetz stated,

(a) there appeared to be robo-signatures on bank documents,
(b) he observed evidence of fraud in filings by the bank,

(c) he desired to stop the sheriff’s sale on the property whose ownership and right to possession was in question on November 12, 2019,

(d) he was threatened by Clayne Tyler with being held personally liable if he stopped the sale of the property,

(e) the Clearwater County Prosecutor’s Office threatened him with losing his job if he did not violate his conscience and sign the deed over to PHH despite the defects in the sale and deed,

(f) the bank had cancelled all eviction actions,

(g) he promised to let the Nickersons know if anything changed or the bank initiated an eviction process,

(h) he was unwilling to expend the time and resources to press charges against the bank for felony offenses without Clayne Tyler agreeing to prosecute,

(i) and other such statements that support my reasons for believing I was lawfully occupying the property on November 12, 2019;

2) Clearwater County officials have been complicit and concealed evidence of hate crimes, official misconduct, and public misrepresentation of true facts surrounding my arrest;
3) Standard law enforcement practices were ignored and broken in my arrest;

4) Malice, ill intent, and hate for the Nickerson Family and their property, not my alleged trespassing or obstructing justice, contributed to and caused my arrest;

5) Admissions from the bank and its alleged agents refute PHH had any authority or right to remove any persons from the property on November 12, 2019;
6) Evidence and legal authority prohibited the county sheriff from performing raids or seizures on the Nickerson property;
8) Evidence and legal authority of applicable eviction restrictions prohibits even an owner from entering his own property, if occupied by someone else, without clear warning and/or permission without facing trespass charges;

9) Clayne Tyler stated to multiple people that no matter what evidence was presented to him that Clearwater County is a small county, and he would not go against the big banks; and
10) Other such evidence that will aid me in negating my alleged guilt.

I have compelling reasons to believe the “State” is withholding much more evidence which is not listed here that could conclusively establish my innocence and aid my defense. I firmly believe facts and evidence exist and are in, or could be in, the possession of the “State” that proves I am innocent of all charges against me and that all actions by Clearwater County toward me on November 12, 2019, were unlawful and conducted outside proper authority.

EC 7-14 A government lawyer who has discretionary power relative to litigation should refrain from instituting or continuing litigation that is obviously unfair.
Code of Professional Responsibility, 1970

2) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified because they have exhibited a willingness to lie to conceal evidence.
On November 26, 2019, Clayne Tyler provided a written response to an information request by a local resident which stated in part,

“I am in receipt of your public records request seeking ‘Sheriff (sic) report on 11-12-2019 of the eviction of the Nickerson Family on Crow Bench’…Assuming you mean any law enforcement reports or police reports generated by the Sheriff, or any Sheriff’s deputy, related to Sheriff’s enforcement of a court eviction order related to Nick and Donna Nickerson on November 12, 2019, there are no such records.” (emphasis added)
See Exhibit A.

At a minimum, at least one report had been generated at that time and was part of public court records. This report begins,

“On November 12, 2019 I assisted with the service of a court order to evict Charles and Donna Nickerson and family from 139 Neff Road.” Primary Report by Mitchell Jared, attached to Affidavit For Initial Determination of Probable Cause After Arrest Without Warrant

This report is clearly related to the “Sheriff’s enforcement of a court eviction order” of the Nickersons. For the record, no such order was served to me, nor has any order been produced that allowed or authorized the actions of Clearwater County on November 12, 2019. Unfortunately, this type of misguided misconduct does not appear to be an isolated incident. Clayne Tyler reviewed the fraud claims by the Nickersons challenging PHH’s ownership of their property, yet remained silent when Chase claimed ownership during the raid. Additionally, multiple individuals stopped by our campsite vigil and shared their personal testimonies of their experiences with Clayne Tyler prosecuting when there was no crime, stifling or offering to stifle a prosecution, and other such actions. In light of his willingness to blatantly lie to secure a desired outcome and deliberately conceal and refuse to provide evidence which is statutorily required to be provided, it seems evident and reasonable that I will receive the same unfair treatment during all portions of these proceedings if Clayne Tyler is allowed to be the “keeper” of the evidence of the truth. As demonstrated in this motion in its entirety, this has been my personal experience thus far.

3) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified because they have demonstrated they have an axe to grind.
In the “States” various motions and responses the following statements have been made:

“It is anticipated that the Defendant may attempt to re-litigate…”

“ ‘We find that the Nickersons pursued this appeal frivolously, unreasonably, and without foundation’….This motion consists of nothing more than a continuation of the same behavior noted by the Idaho Supreme Court.”

“There is no real response that can be made to this motion other than it is ridiculously untrue…The State, through both the Prosecutor’s Office and the Sheriff, reviewed materials presented by the Nickerson family alleging fraud and criminal acts, and found no such fraud and criminal acts existed.”

These statements demonstrate a clear showing of personal or emotional involvement in this situation, and a reasonable, if not definite, possibility that this office may not exercise its discretionary function in an evenhanded manner. I was not a party to the foreclosure, and the “State” is prosecuting Jeannie Smith, not a Nickerson. It would seem the “State” seeks to “grind” the Nickersons by prosecuting me. This is unjust and an abuse of power.

"The public prosecutor cannot take as a guide for the conduct of his office the standards of an attorney appearing on behalf of an individual client. The freedom elsewhere wisely granted to a partisan advocate must be severely curtailed if the prosecutor's duties are to be properly discharged. The public prosecutor must recall that he occupies a dual role, being obligated, on the one hand, to furnish that adversary element essential to the informed decision of any controversy, but being possessed, on the other, of important governmental powers that are pledged to the accomplishment of one objective only, that of impartial justice. Where the prosecutor is recreant to the trust implicit in his office, he undermines confidence, not only in his profession, but in government and the very ideal of justice itself." Professional Responsibility: Report of the Joint Conference, 44 A.B.A.J. 1159, 1218 (1958).

Within the framework of these Rules, however, many difficult issues of professional discretion can arise. Such issues must be resolved through the exercise of sensitive

professional and moral judgment guided by the basic principles underlying the Rules. These principles include the lawyer’s obligations, as an advocate, to zealously protect and pursue a client’s legitimate interests within the bounds of the law and, as an officer of the court, to preserve the integrity of the legal system’s search for the truth while maintaining a professional, courteous and civil attitude toward all persons involved in the process.
Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct

4) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified to protect public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the criminal justice system in Idaho.

Since I have previously waived my right to a speedy trial, (see Motion to Continue Pretrial Conference, filed July, 29, 2020), there is no benefit that can ensue by continuing the current representation. If justice is the true purpose of these proceedings, then another prosecutor can pursue justice. On the other hand, my case is being watched all over the country. The public suspicion and lack of confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Clearwater County justice system, if misconduct and prejudicial prosecution is allowed to continue, could be astronomical and far outweighs any alleged benefits from an unbroken prosecution.
5) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified because I will be severely damaged by the unlikelihood I will receive a fair trial, prejudice against me by the prosecutor, and concealment of evidence necessary for my defense.

EC 7-13 The responsibility of a public prosecutor differs from that of the usual advocate; his duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict. This special duty exists because: (1) the prosecutor represents the sovereign and therefore should use restraint in the discretionary exercise of governmental powers, such as in the selection of cases to prosecute; (2) during trial the prosecutor is not only an advocate but he also may make decisions normally made by an individual client, and those affecting the public interest should be fair to all; and (3) in our system of criminal justice the accused is to be given the benefit of all reasonable doubts. With respect to evidence and witnesses, the prosecutor has responsibilities different from those of a lawyer in private practice: the prosecutor should make timely disclosure to the defense of available evidence, known to him, that tends to negate the guilt of the accused, mitigate the degree of the offense, or reduce the punishment. Further, a prosecutor should not intentionally avoid pursuit of evidence merely because he believes it will damage the prosecution's case or aid the accused.
Code of Professional Responsibility, 1970

As demonstrated in this motion in its entirety, the very foundations of due criminal process, constitutional rights, and professional conduct have been compromised by the “State” in these proceedings from the initial charge to the present day. It would be naive and remiss to believe this continuation of behavior will suddenly remedy itself at trial.
6) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified because they acted outside the principles and guidelines governing prosecution.
The “State,” represented by Clayne Tyler, is prosecuting me without a prosecuting witness; when no injury or damage to person or property occurred; when there are no complaints, instructions, or charges from any alleged owner of the property communicating a desire for anyone to be charged with trespass; when I have no previous criminal record and I have been within walking distance of the property for over a year and never re-entered the property; and when the State, not me, violated and did not obey the written instructions of the court and plaintiff. In light of these facts, the “State” still seeks to put me at substantial risk by incarcerating me in an over-crowded county jail where COVID-19 cases run rampant inside its walls, and I am in a high risk category for contracting and developing complications to this disease. Furthermore, limited county funds are and will be spent in continuing this prosecution and possible incarceration of me while real criminals continue to walk at liberty harming innocent people and property.

The importance, to the public as well as to individuals suspected or accused of crimes, that these discretionary functions be exercised "with the highest degree of integrity and impartiality, and with the appearance thereof" (People v. Superior Court (Greer), supra, 19 Cal.3d at p. 267) cannot easily be overstated. The public prosecutor "`is the representative not of any ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer.'"
People v. Eubanks, 14 Cal. 4th 580, 59 Cal. Rptr. 2d 200, 927 P.2d 310 (1996)


The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause; Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct


It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct

7) The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office must be disqualified because there are no alternative solutions to disqualification that enable me to obtain a fair trial.
Unless this Court is going to take on the personal responsibility to 1) examine all evidence available to the prosecutor regarding my case and ensure it has all been provided, 2) fact check the prosecutor’s statements to ensure they are the truth, and 3) review all documents and trial preparations for factual integrity and unbiased prosecution to ensure justice, not axe grinding, is their motive, there is no alternative solution which can resolve these gross defects in the administration of justice.
In closing, if Clayne Tyler stills believes I have somehow misjudged his motives, I ask that he, in a showing of good faith and good will, voluntarily dismiss all charges against me, disqualify himself if the charges are not dropped, and immediately provide all withheld exculpatory evidence.

"The prosecuting attorney Is the attorney for the state, and it is his primary duty not to convict but to see that justice is done." ABA Opinion 150 (1936).

The Idaho State Bar Advocate closes their article on disqualification with this quote, “[t]he goal of the court should be to shape a remedy which will assure fairness to the parties and the integrity of the judicial process.” The Clearwater County Prosecutors Office has concealed exculpatory evidence, ignored defects in the complaint and proceedings, exhibited prejudicial actions and attitudes toward my defense, violated the rules of Professional Conduct and other applicable professional guidelines and standards, demonstrated they have an axe to grind against the Nickersons through me, firmly convinced me I cannot receive a fair trial with their office representing the “State,” and displayed dishonesty in the production of evidence and their dealings with the public. There are no alternative solutions to disqualification which would allow me to obtain a fair trial and the risk of public suspicion and lack of confidence far outweigh any alleged benefits from continuing the present representation. I therefore entreat and move this Court to exercise its authority and grant my Motion to Disqualify the Clearwater County Prosecutors Office so that I may receive a fair prosecution and trial if these charges are not dismissed. I also move the Court to order the “State” to produce withheld exculpatory evidence so my innocence may be further established.


"Integrity is the very breath of justice. Confidence in our law, our courts, and in the administration of justice is our supreme interest. No practice must be permitted to prevail
which invites towards the administration of justice a doubt or distrust of its integrity."
Erwin M. Jennings Co. v. DiGenova, 107 Conn. 491, 499, 141 A. 866, 868 (1928).


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