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Home / Legal / Idaho Documents - Malicious Prosecution of Jeannie Smith / Motion To Suppress
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Idaho Legal Documents - Malicious Prosecution of Jeannie Smith

Motion to Suppress
Filed February 17, 2021

Motion to Suppress


Comes now, Defendant Jeannie K. Smith, moves this Court to suppress and exclude illegally obtained evidence from being used against me in violation of my Constitutional rights. All alleged events, answers to questions and interrogations, statements, and reactions to threatening demands that happened on November 12, 2019, occurred while I was in custody, when I was under distress, and when I had not been informed of or read my Miranda Rights.

1) It is well established, and the state has not objected to the fact, I was in custody and significantly deprived of my freedoms at all times while interacting with, and being questioned by, law enforcement on November 12, 2019.


A seizure occurs when a “reasonable person...believe[s] that he [is] not free to leave” the presence of government agents, United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 554

(1980), including when a government officer “merely indicate[s] by his authoritative manner that the person is not free to leave.” United States v. Patino, 649 F.2d 724 (9th Cir. 1981).

 

When officers surrounded the property and dwellings of the Nick and Donna Nickerson Family Idaho Ranch on the morning of November 12, 2019, I was not free to continue to perform my daily tasks or even leave the house I was in. At the time I did not know or believe they were actual law enforcement or could be acting under any authority that could be granted by the law. I still do not. Nevertheless, access to my location was blocked off by law enforcement and barricades on the county and surrounding roads.  The public and even friends and neighbors had no access to me and were threatened with arrest if they tried to get to me. Officers in tactical gear were brandishing assault weapons. An unknown, but large number of officers and vehicles were present to the point it felt like they were everywhere. After breaking and entering into the dwelling where I was, I was double handcuffed, taken outside in wintry weather conditions, and left to sit on a cold hard brick retaining wall with a female guard placed at my side. It is indisputable I was significantly deprived of my freedom and I was under arrest and in custody during their entire operation. It is also unquestionable that I was in a police dominated and controlled environment and I was blocked off from the public. Heavily armed individuals were breaking glass, axing down and ramming through doors, crawling through windows, and other reckless and destructive invasion acts.

“The requirement for Miranda warnings is triggered by custodial interrogation. State v.

Medrano, 123 Idaho 114, 117, 844 P.2d 1364, 1367 (Ct. App. 1992). The United States

Supreme Court equated custody with a person being deprived of his or her freedom by the authorities in any significant way. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 478 (1966). This test has evolved to define custody as a situation where a person’s freedom of action is curtailed to a degree associated with formal arrest. Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 440 (1984); State v. Myers, 118 Idaho 608, 610, 798 P.2d 453, 455 (Ct. App. 1990)… To determine if a suspect is in custody, the only relevant inquiry is how a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would have understood his or her situation. Berkemer, 468 U.S. at 442; Myers, 118 Idaho at 611, 798 P.2d at 456.” State v. Arenas, 389 P.3d 187, 161 Idaho 642 (Ct. App. 2016)

2) The questioning I was subjected to was interrogation. Coercive interrogation tactics were used, including exposing me to painful and uncomfortable physical conditions for an extended period of time, openly engaging in malicious destruction of private property, subjecting me to demeaning and accusing comments regarding my age and actions, and other such words and actions caused me to be under severe distress.


The term “interrogation” was later refined in Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980) to refer “not only to express questioning, but also to any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect.” Id. at 301-02. State v. Arenas 389 P.3d 187, 161 Idaho 642 (Ct. App. 2016)

On November 12, 2019, I was subjected to coercive tactics, entrapment, physical duress, emotional anguish, and numerous other distressing circumstances. Due to the unlawful and unprecedented actions of the men and women holding me hostage, I did not believe they were actual or legitimate officers. I had heard Sheriff Chris Goetz tell the Nickersons they were lawfully on the property. He had not changed or altered his assurances or notified them anything had changed. I was never shown or served any writ, order, warrant, or lawful basis or authority for their actions. Previous actions had been rendered unlawful and retracted. It was never demonstrated to me they were authentic law enforcement. They were acting in a manner inconsistent and diametrically opposite to my understanding of how law enforcement should, and usually does act. I was under extreme physical and mental distress. In the light of these circumstances, which the officers were aware of, allegedly asking me any questions or to do anything was nothing short of entrapment.

Furthermore, physical threats/shows of force and violence by armed men and women in tactical gear; termination/prevention of communication and presence of an attorney, relatives, neighbors, or friends; exposure to the elements (freezing weather, precipitation, seated on cold exposed surface); firm belief that these men and women were not/could not be actual law enforcement due to their lack of regular uniforms and illegal actions which contradicted the law and general duty of care expected from an officer; deprivation of food, water, and restrooms; emotional and psychological abuse and trauma created by deputies stating their excessive use of force, brutal destruction, and malicious vandalism was all my fault; physical pain and discomfort; false arrest; tyrannical detainment; malicious entrapment; distraught and distressed mental condition due to these circumstances; and lack of familiarity with the criminal justice system, among other circumstances, prevent the state from using these statements against me or relying on them to support any claims against me. All of the circumstances around and during the time of questioning clearly demonstrate I was under extreme duress at all times on November 12, 2019, when approached, accosted, and questioned.

 

3) At no time on November 12th was I informed of my Miranda rights.


“Despite the importance of cross-examination, we have concluded that the Miranda decision compels rejection of the State's position. The warnings mandated by that case, as a prophylactic means of safeguarding Fifth Amendment rights, see Michigan v. Tucker, 417 U. S. 433, 443-444 (1974), require that a person taken into custody be advised immediately that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says may be used against him, and that he has a right to retained or appointed counsel before submitting to interrogation. Silence in the wake of these warnings may be nothing more than the arrestee's exercise of these Miranda rights…”

Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 96 S. Ct. 2240, 49 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1976)

Miranda Rule
Prior to any custodial interrogation; that is, questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom in any significant way, the person must be warned:

1. That he has a right to remain silent;

2. That any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him;

3. That he has a right to the presence of an attorney;

4. That if he cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.

Unless and until these warnings or a waiver of these rights are demonstrated at the trial, no evidence obtained in the interrogation may be used against the accused. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444, 478, 479, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 1612, 1630, 16 L.Ed.2d 294. Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition (emphasis added)

According to Nolo, “It doesn’t matter whether an interrogation occurs in a jail, at the scene of a crime, on a busy downtown street, or the middle of an open field: If a person is in custody (deprived of his or her freedom of action in any significant way), the police must read the Miranda rights if they want to ask questions and use the answers as evidence at trial.” www.nolo.com. Any information regarding any alleged statements or answers by me in the Primary Report by Mitchell Jared took place while I was in custody. Neither Mitchell Jared nor any other individual informed me of or read me my Miranda Rights. This is unchallenged. Furthermore, at no time, on November 12, 2019, or at any time since have I voluntarily waived any of my Miranda Rights. Additionally, my Constitutional rights prevent the state from using this report or any alleged evidence compiled on November 12, 2019, at trial.

4) The unlawful search and seizure of my person and property violated my Constitutional rights and require that all evidence gathered that day be suppressed.

The state falsely claims Clearwater County Sheriff deputies acted based on authority granted them by a Writ of Ejectment. This alleged writ states,


“…you are hereby commanded to cause Defendants and their goods and chattels to be forthwith removed from the premises and the Plaintiff is to have restitution of the same. In the event the goods and chattels are not promptly removed thereafter by the said Defendants, you are authorized and empowered to cause the same to be removed to be a safe place for storage.” Second Writ of Ejectment (not served, emphasis added)

I was never served any writ, never given opportunity to remove my possessions, and never given time to comply with the alleged writ. Additionally, the alleged writ specifically instructs the sheriff to cause the Defendants to be removed. I was not, and have never been a defendant in any case regarding the ownership of the Nickerson Family Idaho Ranch. I have no ownership or lawful interest in the ranch. I was a guest and have only ever been a guest. The writ does not grant any authority for the sheriff to take any action toward a non-defendant. The writ also does not grant authority to violently, forcefully, and destructively remove and seize persons and property, whether defendant or non-defendant, especially when they have not been served and given opportunity to remove their possessions and leave. On November 12, 2019, I, and my possessions were unlawfully and unreasonably seized and separated by “law enforcement” acting beyond the scope of any “granted” authority and in violation of Constitutional provisions and law enforcement policy. I was taken to jail. My possessions were seized, transported across county and state lines into Washington State out of the jurisdiction of this state, and recklessly placed into unsafe storage. The whereabouts of some of my possessions are still unknown.


Idaho Sheriffs Civil Manual
1.3.9 Entry to Land, Buildings, and Dwellings.
A sheriff may peaceably enter private buildings and dwellings to effect execution of process, but may not break and enter against the owner's wishes, except where specifically authorized by the court to do so. (emphasis added)

“From earliest days, the common law drastically limited the authority of law officers to break the door of a house to effect an arrest.[6] Such action invades the precious interest of privacy summed up in the ancient adage that a man's house is his castle. As early as the 13th Year-book of Edward IV (1461-1483), at folio 9, there is a recorded holding that it was unlawful for the sheriff to break the doors of a man's house to arrest him in a civil suit in debt or trespass, for the arrest was then only for the private interest of a party. Remarks attributed[7] to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, on the occasion of debate

in Parliament on the searches incident to the enforcement of an excise on cider, eloquently expressed the principle:

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter—all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!"”

Miller v. United States, 357 U.S. 301, 78 S. Ct. 1190, 2 L. Ed. 2d 1332 (1958)

 

 “physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed”.  Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 100 S. Ct. 1371, 63 L. Ed. 2d 639 (1980)

“As the United States Supreme Court stated in Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 589-90, 100 S.Ct. 1371, 1381-82, 63 L.Ed.2d 639, 653 (1980) (citation omitted):

The Fourth Amendment protects the individual's privacy in a variety of settings. In none is the zone of privacy more clearly defined than when bounded by the unambiguous physical dimensions of an individual's home — a zone that finds its roots in clear and specific constitutional terms: `The right of the people to be secure in their ... houses ... shall not be violated.' That language unequivocally establishes the proposition that `[a]t the very core [of the Fourth Amendment] stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.' In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.”
State v. Maland, 103 P.3d 430, 140 Idaho 817 (2004).

Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States (Reiterated in the Constitution of the State of Idaho, Article I, Section 17)

 

Law enforcement disobeyed the very order they were supposedly enforcing by not allowing me opportunity to remove myself and my belongings prior to any action on their part. In addition they violated their own Sheriff’s manual, the Constitution, long-standing case and common law, and their oaths of office by forcefully breaking and entering; seizing, arresting, and confiscating my person and possessions; and desecrating my Constitutional right to be secure in my person, house, papers and effects. Any alleged evidence gained or created from such unlawful search and seizure is inadmissible and must be suppressed.

5) Any evidence against me gathered while I was exercising fourth amendment Constitutional rights is inadmissible and must be suppressed.


"When a law enforcement officer claims authority to search a home under a warrant, he announces in effect that the occupant has no right to resist the search." Bumper v. North Carolina, 1968, 391 U.S. 543, 550, 88 S.Ct. 1788, 1792, 20 L.Ed.2d 797. When, on the other hand, the officer demands entry but presents no warrant, there is a presumption that the officer has no right to enter, because it is only in certain carefully defined circumstances that lack of a warrant is excused. Camara v. Municipal Court, 1967, 387 U.S. 523, 528-29, 87 S.Ct. 1727, 18 L.Ed.2d 930. An occupant can act on that presumption and refuse admission. He need not try to ascertain whether, in a particular case, the absence of a warrant is excused. He is not required to surrender his Fourth Amendment protection on the say so of the officer. The Amendment gives him a constitutional right to refuse to consent to entry and search. His asserting it cannot be a crime, Camara, supra, 387 U.S. at 532-33, 87 S.Ct. 1727. Nor can it be evidence of a crime. District of Columbia v. Little, 1950, 339 U.S. 1, 7, 70 S.Ct. 468, 471, 94 L.Ed. 599:

Had the respondent not objected to the officer's entry of her house without a search warrant, she might thereby have waived her constitutional objections. The right to privacy in the home holds too high a place in our system of laws to justify a statutory interpretation that would impose a criminal punishment on one who does nothing more than respondent did here…

The Supreme Court has held that the assertion by a defendant of his constitutional privilege against self incrimination under the Fifth Amendment cannot be used against him… This reasoning is equally applicable to using against the defendant her refusal to consent to entry into her home without a warrant. The right to refuse protects both the innocent and the guilty, and to use its exercise against the defendant would be,

as the Court said in Griffin, a penalty imposed by courts for exercising a constitutional right. Because the right to refuse entry when the officer does not have a warrant is equally available to the innocent and the guilty, just as is the right to remain silent, the refusal is as "ambiguous" as the silence was held to be in United States v. Hale, 1975,

422 U.S. 171, 176-77, 95 S.Ct. 2133, 45 L.Ed.2d 99…This is why the evidence is inadmissible in the case of silence. United States v. Hale, supra, 422 U.S. at 180, 95 S.Ct.

2133; Doyle v. Ohio, 1976, 426 U.S. 610, 617 fn.8, 96 S.Ct. 2240, 49 L.Ed.2d 91; Grunewald v. United States, 1957, 353 U.S. 391, 421-24, 77 S.Ct. 963, 1 L.Ed.2d 931. It is also why the evidence is inadmissible in the case of refusal to let the officer search.

Inadmissible evidence, which can readily be misinterpreted by the jury, should not be admitted…” United States v. Prescott, 581 F.2d 1343 (9th Cir. 1978) (emphasis added)

 

The state alleges I resisted and obstructed officers by failing to open the door when officers without a warrant or any other lawful authority demanded entry. Evidence that I exercised my Constitutional right cannot be used against me as evidence of a crime. No person demanding entry into the dwelling where I was ever produced any warrant or authority. Furthermore, I was frightened and intimidated by these individuals dressed in tactical gear and brandishing assault rifles who demanded entry without demonstrating and validating their lawful authority or purpose. There is no law requiring me to allow them entry under these circumstances. Rather, I have a Constitutional right and immunity to deny them entrance. Additionally, my actions and inactions did not obstruct their unwarranted, unjustified, and aggressive activities whatsoever as officers utilized the exact same actions to gain access into buildings not occupied by me. Therefore, all evidence against me gathered during a lawful exercise of my Constitutional rights must be suppressed and not presented as a crime at trial.

6) The officers official misconduct, unlawful and inappropriate actions, illegal searches, and violation of their oath of office in obtaining all alleged evidence against me requires all evidence be suppressed.


I.C. § 18-703. Illegal Arrests and Seizures.

Every public officer, or person pretending to be a public officer, who, under the pretense or color of any process or other legal authority, arrests any person or detains him against his will, or seizes or levies upon any property, or dispossesses any one of any lands or tenements, without a regular process or other lawful authority therefor, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (emphasis added)

Misconduct
A dereliction of duty; unlawful, dishonest, or improper behavior, esp. by someone in a position of authority or trust.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th Edition

I.C. § 59-401. Loyalty Oath -- Form.
Before any officer elected or appointed to fill any office created by the laws of the state of Idaho enters upon the duties of his office, he must take and subscribe an oath, to be known as the official oath, which is as follows: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of (insert office) according to the best of my ability." (emphasis added)

Ordering the intentional and malicious destruction of private property, or a violent and potentially fatal attack on law abiding citizens as occurred in this situation, violates and does not support the Constitution. I did not believe legitimate law enforcement would break laws, willfully act without and in violation of court authority, destroy private property when other options were available (i.e. locksmith, etc.), purposefully subject me to inhumane conditions, violate my Constitutional rights, and seek to entrap me. My only logical conclusion on November 12, 2019, was these men and women were rouge cops, bank terrorists, or mercenaries. I have since heard enough about what has happened to others in this county that I realize in Idaho, these atrocities are possible. Allowing evidence in this case or at trial which was obtained unconstitutionally and outside any legal authority is prejudicial, unjust, unlawful and a violation of the very laws which the state claims to uphold. According to the Constitution of the State of Idaho, Article 1, Section 3, “the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.” It is malfeasance and tyranny to violate the supreme law of the land, act beyond the scope of authority granted by any writ or court order, subject me to an extremely coercive and distressing atmosphere, fail to inform me of or read me my Miranda Rights, question me repeatedly under these distressing and prolonged hours of police dominated conditions, and then use my alleged answers as evidence of a crime.

Therefore, I move this Court to suppress all testimony of any of the officers present and all other evidence, whether written, audio, or video containing any questioning of me while in custody because it was illegally obtained in violation of my Constitutional rights.

 

7) The officers failed to inform me of their intention to arrest, the cause of arrest, or their authority to arrest me in violation of I.C. § 19-608 and therefore all evidence gained by this illegal arrest must be suppressed.

The state has not challenged the fact the officers failed to inform me in accordance with I.C. § 19-608. Moreover, the Idaho Supreme Court states,


“Here, the officers had no warrant, and viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Sprague, did not advise him of the fact that he was under arrest…The officers contend that since Sprague was in the actual physical control of a motor vehicle at a time when they had reason to believe that he was driving under the influence of intoxicating beverages, he was in violation of I.C. § 49-1102 (1982) and, hence, was "engaged in the commission" of an offense. Therefore, the officers insist and the district court agreed that the officers did not need to inform Sprague of the fact of his arrest at the time they arrested him.

We cannot agree with the trial court's very narrow, hypertechnical reading of the statute. The clear intent of the statute was to uphold an otherwise lawful arrest when, under the circumstances, it would not be practical for an officer to inform the arrestee of the fact of the arrest, the officer's authority to make the arrest, and the cause for the arrest (i.e. when a suspect flees). Here, the officers had stopped Sprague. There was no showing that he attempted to avoid them or failed to stop when they signaled him to do so…Simply stated, there was no reason for them not to advise him of the fact of his arrest, the reason therefore, and their authority to make the arrest.” Sprague v. City of Burley, 710 P.2d 566, 109 Idaho 656 (1985)

At no time did I resist or flee arrest. At no time was any person or property in danger by my actions. At no time was there any reason for immediate or hurried actions. There was and is no cause or statutory “loophole” for not informing me of the intention, reason, and authority for my arrest in accordance with Idaho law.         

Should the state seek to challenge this motion, it bears the burden of proving the legality of the challenged issues by the preponderance of admissible evidence. Affidavit testimony and argument previously submitted to this Court, and hereby incorporated in this motion, establishes the truth of the facts contained in this motion.

Wherefore, because law enforcement seized me and my property in violation of my Constitutional rights, all evidence containing alleged statements made by me were illegally obtained, I was placed in custody and questioned without being advised of my Miranda Rights, the asserting of my fourth amendment rights cannot be a crime, and officers acted unlawfully and without authority, I move this Court to suppress any and all testimony and evidence obtained against me on November 12, 2019. Additionally, based on I.C.R. 41(f), I move this Court to order the immediate return of my yellow winter rain coat, bear spray, and any other property seized and retained based on this unlawful and unreasonable search and seizure. This Court should further, at the very least, order a public retraction and apology and act to remind the state and Clearwater County officials of their obligations to uphold the Constitution, their lack of authority to prejudicially revoke my Constitutional rights, and of the unrestricted guarantee of liberty and justice for all…even in Clearwater County, Idaho.



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