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By Sandy Schroth

Defendant claims constitutional right to cell phone use in courtroom


December 12, 2019

Arguing a case “before” a judge came with a twist in the Antelope County courtroom in Neligh last Wednesday.

An Oakdale resident started the process before he was called to face the judge, when he questioned bailiff Lyle Juracek regarding instructions for those entering the courtroom to turn off cell phones. The man claimed a constitutional right to have his device turned on.

When he was called to face the Honorable Donna Taylor, he continued to argue his constitutional rights, this time asking the “nature of the charges” and if she was operating under oath before he would enter the defendant’s area. He said his appearance in court was “under duress, under threat.”

Taylor advised Garrett A.H. Hill, 23, of the charges against him and the possible penalties if convicted. Hill is charged with two waiverable traffic offenses, operating a vehicle without a driver’s license and without a valid vehicle registration, both Class 3 misdemeanors alleged Nov. 1. Each carries a possible penalty of up to a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail. Hill was informed the charges were waiverable, and if first offenses, would include fines of $75 and $25, respectively, in addition to costs.

Taylor asked his intentions regarding legal counsel.

“I don’t intend to be represented, but I don’t waive the right,” he replied. “So, you can’t imprison me.”

He continued to question the “nature of charges” and the jurisdiction of the court in his case and stated an intention to read statutes to her.

“Here is the simple issue,” Taylor said. “If you want to be represented, I will appoint an attorney.”

She also informed him he could refer to the statutes during a trial.

Hill had filed a motion to dismiss that cited five “adjudicative facts of negligence.” The motion listed among other things, “claimants full legal name is ‘Garrett Angelo Hunter Hill’ and must be used in all legal matters;’” the charges are “not a proper legal citation for any laws of Nebraska State;” County Court: court address: 501 M Street, Neligh, Ne 68756 is not a court of the state of Nebraska;” and “courtroom furnishings include a gold fringed flag of the United Sates: Army Regulation … states this style of flag is displayed in military courtrooms. If claimant is under military rule, then the officers of the court have a duty to the organic laws of the United Sates…”

Taylor overruled the motion and when he refused to enter a plea until his questions were addressed, Taylor entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and set a trial for Jan. 15.

As he left the courtroom, Hill uttered notice he would place a lien against the judge’s bond and appeal judgement. She told him he could not appeal until a trial had been held and judgement delivered.


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