Paris Hilton Not Home Free: Prosecutor Challenges Release
[Note: Scroll down for updates as I've added several]
The City Attorney is also demanding that the Sheriff pick her up at her house tomorrow and transport her to court for the hearing.
There's more. He is asking the Judge to hold the Sheriff in contempt of court for putting Paris on home detention which the Judge precluded in his sentencing order. The court spokesman today said the Sheriff asked the judge to modify the sentence to home detention yesterday and the judge declined. But, the Judge was told of the sentence change before
My earlier post on Paris' release is here.
Update: I think it's up to the Sheriff where to place her. Even the court spokesman initially said today,
TMZ has confirmed that Judge Michael T. Sauer was informed of the Sheriff's decision before Hilton was reassigned to house arrest, but the Judge only responded by reaffirming the terms he imposed on May 4.
We spoke to Allan Parachini, Public Information Officer for the Los Angeles County Courts, who advises that "All decisions on incarceration are made by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department once a sentence is imposed."
I'm wondering if the Judge didn't tell the sheriff when he filed the motion to put her on house arrest that now that she had been sentenced and incarcerated he could place her wherever he wanted and there was no need for court permission, thus he denied the motion. He probably didn't count on the City Attorney's challenge.
Update: The court spokesman says at 12:30 pm ET on Friday that the Sheriff called the court and asked if he would modify his sentence. The Court told the Sheriff to file the appropriate pleadings and the Sheriff never did. The issue of her medical condition never came up at the hearing because no papers were ever filed about it.
One other note: Her probation was not revoked. It was continued with the added condition she serve 45 days in jail because she had violated the terms by driving without a license. See the original order (pdf).
Update: On Greta, someone is saying that the jail either didn't have her specific psychiatric medicine available or the jail wasn't allowed by state regulations to give it to her in the quantities prescribed. If it wasn't on their list of approved medicines they couldn't provide it to her.
I wonder if Paris won't be admitted to the hospital tonight so she doesn't have to go to court tomorrow.
Prediction: The Judge upholds the Sheriff's decision. Paris won't go back to jail.
Update: Scribe disagrees and has written a diary explaining his reasoning. His post convinces me the Sheriff had the right to do what he did.
If you've ever sat through a criminal sentencing, you hear the words at the end, "I hereby commit you to the custody of the (take your pick) Attorney General, Department of Corrections, Sheriff of whatever County" for a period of x time."
At that point, custody and jurisdiction over that prisoner and sentence is transferred to, in this case, the Sheriff. The Sheriff complied with the Court's order. He put Paris in custody in a county jail, not on electronic monitoring. But that doesn't mean he can't change the conditions of confinement later.
When we as defense lawyers want to change the place of incarceration, the Judge tells us he doesn't have that authority, it's up to the Bureau of Prisons or the Sheriff where to place the prisoner. The best I've ever been able to do is file a motion I call "Relief from Conditions of Cruel and Unusual Punishment" and argue it as an 8th Amendment issue...not an issue of whether the custodial agency had the power to make the decision.
The city attorney is arguing that in Paris' case, because she was on probation, the court retains jurisdiction over her. It's true he retains jurisdiction of her case. But I don't think it's true he retains jurisdiction for where or how she serves the sentence, once the Sheriff has complied with his initial order.
I believe the Judge signed off on this in advance by agreeing the Sheriff didn't need his permission to change her conditions of confinement once he complied with the initial order.
We'll know tomorrow morning, but I still think the Sheriff acted within his authority. The Judge may hang the Sheriff (and Paris) out to dry, but I think if he does, it's because he's catering to public opinion, not the law.
Last update for the evening: WaPo's Eugene Robinson on Paris Hilton as Mona Lisa.
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