Paris Hilton On Her Way to Court

It's all Paris, all the time.

Earlier posts with background and my views here and here.

The judge in the Paris Hilton case flip-flops again. First he says Paris can appear by phone. Then the City Attorney complains and he orders her to come in. They are now waiting for Paris to arrive.

I'm riveted to the tv. I can't stand all the prosecutor heads screaming for blood. All three of the cable networks have them front and center. It's Gladiator Central.

But I'm watching as I'm packing and getting ready to leave town and will try to make to the finish.

Update: Hearing now scheduled for "midday" local time. The Sheriff's van is on its way to Paris' house to pick her up. They are going to do a perp walk? How disgusting. Her bodyguard has umbrellas in hand. The scene at her home is a complete circus. I haven't seen anything like this since the OJ road chase.

Continued updates below the fold.

Update: A Sheriff's car has pulled into her driveway to pick her up. Note: She should not be cuffed because she's still on home detention and wearing the ankle bracelet. But, TMZ is reporting she was cuffed before being put in the car.

Update: Take some time to familiarize yourself with the issues that will be before the court. The City Attorney's complaint is here.

Update: All three cable networks have switched to a Pentagon press conference about the retirement of Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace.

Looks like Paris may have caught a break -- her perp walk to the police car may have gotten pre-empted by the news conference. Update: Unbelievable scene at the house with the paparazzi chasing the police car down the hill on foot. So they're on the way to the courthouse.

Stay tuned, if you're interested. The uber-right Sheriff Joe from Maricopa County, AZ who makes his inmates wear pink panties is on MSNBC. He says he would have handcuffed her. Of course, there's no reason to. Until the Judge rules otherwise, she's on an ankle bracelet and hasn't violated the terms. Putting her in cuffs would have been atrocious.

10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Update: Tommy Chong is on MSNBC. He's sticking up for Paris and blasing the media circus. Go, Tommy. That's Aspen in the background of his camera shot, he's speaking at the same conference I am, if I ever get off the computer and hit the road to start driving.

Update: New thread here.

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    Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:12:44 PM EST
    a spoiled, rich and slutty socialite whose celebrity has gotten her time off a sentence the average Joe or Jane couldnt even think of getting.
    that is just plain incorrect. Many average Joe's and Jane's get out of LA County after only serving a few days of their sentence. It is probably true, however, that your perception of the events of this case is the one shared by most people.

    Jeralyn Should Offer To Serve Paris' Sentence (1.00 / 1) (#19)
    by MrGreyGhost on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:03:44 PM EST
    Since this writer feels so sorry for Paris and feels that Paris (who has driven around drunk, had a suspended license and violated her probation) was so "wronged", she should offer to do Paris sentence (thats if she actually does go back to jail). I'm just amazed and angry that anyone would feel sorry for a spoiled, rich and slutty socialite whose celebrity has gotten her time off a sentence the average Joe or Jane couldnt even think of getting. Home "confinement" in a palatial estate is not punishment, it's making a joke out of the criminal justice system.

    The criminal justice system... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:24:43 PM EST
    doesn't need any help being made to look like a joke, the system accomplishes that on its own.

    the average joe wouldn't have gotten 45 days (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:20:20 PM EST
    for violating probation for driving with a suspended license.

    Generally, (none / 0) (#30)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:28:42 PM EST
      I agree with that. (And, I often think that generaly people assume "celebrities" get it easy when in fact the glare of the spotlight often  makes it harder to get someone "off easy."

      I know from personal experience that when it's a case getting media coverage the prosecutor's office (and sometimes the prosecutor himself rather than an assistant) like to make sure word gets out how tough on crime they are-- when the day before we came to a quick agreement to do something when no one was paying any attention.

      But-- the "Average Joe" is unlikely  to prance into court late exuding the attitude that the plebian judge is inconvenciencing him. When they do behave badly in court,  "Average joes" pay a price too for acting like idiots and pissing off the judge,


    Probation for Driving Drunk IS a big deal (none / 0) (#38)
    by MrGreyGhost on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 08:02:42 PM EST
    She's being put in jail for violating the terms of her probation based on offenses, which included being caught driving drunk twice and being caught with a suspended license. This is MAJOR because, if you didnt know already, driving drunk is not only a crime, but it puts other's people's lives (and Paris') at risk. Now you may still think that's not a big deal, but thank goodness most of the rest of the world, most importantly Judge Sauer, does.

    I wonder... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 11:45:06 AM EST
    ...who we will find to be the largest  contributors to Sheriff Baca's next campaign?

    Hmmm, I wonder...

    The fact that valuable resources are being wasted on this pathetic excuse for an adult aside, I find it impossible to believe greasing of pockets does not have a lot to do with this.

    If it's a circus it's one of her own making (none / 0) (#2)
    by jerry on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:14:08 PM EST
    I am having a hard time feeling any sympathy for her.

    There are thousands of cases everyday that could benefit from the sunshine that her case is getting.

    Paris Hilton (none / 0) (#3)
    by wlgriffi on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:22:37 PM EST
    I couldn't care less about The Hilton nonsense. The world is in a spin toward catastrophes of various degrees and the media and Jeralyn is obsessed with this type of trivia.SHAME!!!!

    this case (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:25:29 PM EST
    epitomizes the politics of crime which is what this blog is about. If you're not interested, please read another blog.

    about Talk Left (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by karenl on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:37:43 PM EST
    clearly you do not have an understanding of what this blog is all about - whether it is GITMO, Libby or Hilton the death penalty, the Duke case, Jeralyn covers the injustices in our legal system - and from a perspective not covered in other blogs. Read elsewhere if you don't get this, as opposed to "shaming" someone!

    The business.... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:51:20 PM EST
    of caging human beings cannot be called trivial.

    Add.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:58:00 PM EST
    Part of our "spiral towards catastrophe" is the flippancy with which we cage humans.

    the DA (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:36:55 PM EST
      Seems to have a good point about the effect of a judge's "no home detemntion" order restricting the Sheriff's discretion as to type of custody without further order of the court,under California law, but I'd expect Hilton and/or the Sheriff to move for a reconsideration/modification  of the order in light of changed circumstances (whatever her medical issue is)

    Medical Issue (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by manys on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    She survives by feeding off the light from flashbulbs. Without flashbulbs, she would starve like Ultraman.

    What insanity (none / 0) (#6)
    by troqua on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    I don't see how they can renege on the deal to let her serve out the time at home.  If the prosecutor wasn't properly notified, then deal with that.  You can't further punish Paris by backing out of the deal now.  We can argue about whether that was a good move by the sheriff, but at this point, it's a done deal as far as Paris is concerned.  Take it up with the sheriff, it was his move, not hers.

    And, btw, the legal issues are fascinating and I appreciate this blog.  

    But, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:43:57 PM EST
      it's not a "deal" in terms of a judicially enforceable agreement between Hilton and the sheriff. There is no offer, acceptance and consideration involved; it was merely an administrative decision by a government official. Now,  the DA is arguing that the officiial (the Sheriff) had no legal authority to do it when the judge's order expressly said no home detention. The sheriff can certainly be ordered to comply with lawful court orders and Hilton has no right to home detention simly because the sheriff made a unilaterla administrative decision to  prevent the judge from ordering she serve the sentence he imposed. they need to ask the judge to change the sentence previously imposed not claim a right to a different one.

      (At least she'll be on time today and one would presume a little more respectful and humbled.)


    The sheriff has discretion to release her (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:46:43 PM EST
    from his custody.  I suppose he could have just deleted the home detention condition and let her walk out.  

    Under what statute (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:50:42 PM EST
    does a sheriff has authority to release prisoner remanded to his custody without regard to lenght of term imposed, manner of custody ordered and lawful application of "good time" and other administrative mechanisms established by law?

      Are you suggesting a sheriff could simply let his wife or som out of jail because he felt like it? I find that hard to believe. california's a strange place no doubt but it's not that strange.


    Well it is that strange (none / 0) (#37)
    by Patrick on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 06:19:41 PM EST
    Sheriff's Parole is one form of an early release.  I'm sorry the specific code section escapes me and I can't find it in the limited time I have, but here's an article about SF County Sheriff's Parole

    No state has a provision by which a sheriff can (none / 0) (#21)
    by scribe on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:06:28 PM EST
    just let someone out of jail, contrary to their sentence.

    He violated a court order, therefore he's in contempt.  Paris is, truly, just a pawn here - she gets moved where-ever the Sheriff moves her.  But, when the Court forbids him from moving her someplace, his moving her there is a contempt.

    Truly, though, all the time, effort and money being spent on this case could be far better spent elsewhere.

    OT - Pace was not scheduled to retire, IIRC.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs job is for a term of years  - 4, I think.  
    I think Pace was fired.  But, why?


    OT... (none / 0) (#32)
    by desertswine on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:40:12 PM EST
    152. Chairman: Appointment; Grade and Rank
    (a) Appointment; Term of Office.

    (1) There is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from the officers of the regular components of the armed forces. The Chairman serves at the pleasure of the President for a term of two years, beginning on October 1 of odd-numbered years. Subject to paragraph (3), an officer serving as Chairman may be reappointed in the same manner for two additional terms. However, in time of war there is no limit on the number of re appointments.


    Deal was the wrong term (none / 0) (#15)
    by troqua on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:52:09 PM EST
    I'm speaking more to what appears to me to be Paris unfairly caught in the middle of a struggle between the sheriff and prosecutors, and now the judge.  

    Maybe (none / 0) (#23)
    by manys on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:08:57 PM EST
    ...but how is it unfair? There are zillions of prisoners who are caught up in a system that doesn't take into account their personal needs. Why should Paris be different?

    And (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:42:45 PM EST
    Those may be unfair as well. That doesn't make this any less unfair.

    Sheriff's departments in California (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:41:47 PM EST
    oftern release people early from custody due to overcrowding.  The sheriff doesn't consult ahead of time with the court.  Also, the court can make a recommendation as to where the sheriff should house a particular person, but the sheriff is not obligated to do so.  

    But (none / 0) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:46:21 PM EST
     this is not an early release due to overcrowding. It's an alternative form of incarceration under which to serve the term unilaterally imposed by the sheriff because of purported medical reasons.

    True, but the sheriff still has discretion to (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:48:40 PM EST
    release her, and since the probation department is part of the Sheriff's Department, he probably also has discretion to require home detention.  

    Controversy (none / 0) (#24)
    by manys on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:11:12 PM EST
    The problem seems to be whether the Sherriff retains that discretion when the court order expressly forbids it. I am not a lawyer and so do not have the knowledge or training to discern the nuances being argued, but the DA seems to think that something's wrong here. I doubt the DA is just making things up out of thin air like Dick Cheney does.

    Isn't it the City Attorney's office? (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:35:54 PM EST
    The elected city attorney of LA has higher political aspirations.  

    What does she have that they can't treat? (none / 0) (#17)
    by jerry on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:00:22 PM EST
    I would like to know why they can't treat what she has.  Since there are privacy questions involved, I don't want to know what she has, but I want to know why they can't treat it, and they have done in the past in similar cases.

    If they let other prisoners with similar situations serve from home, fine.  If they haven't, I think that's terribly relevant.

    I think that in the future if she has future run ins with the law, then the state has reason to question the psychiatric care she is receiving.  Perhaps she needs a different psychiatrist, or different therapies.  In other words, yes, if I were the judge, I would let the shrink know that if he is found to be gaming the court I would put his ass in jail.

    I have no idea (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:08:21 PM EST
    but this aspect of the case raises a widespread problem that no one would consider trivial. Not surprisingly, a large number of people with serious mental illnesses commit or are accused of committing crimes and are incarcerated. The "care" these people receive is very often very lacking and people are deprived of needed medications for dangerously long periods of time because jailers will not allow prisoners to bring medication with them and it often takes a considerable time for jails to examine people and provide prescriptions for medication. Sometimes also, the "jail docs" will conduct very cursory examinations, consult no records and not confer with treating physicians and decline to prescribe the medications the people were taking. (this also happens with people with physical illnesses with routine but essential meds for diabetes, hypertension, etc,)

    Paris the thought (none / 0) (#27)
    by manys on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    Imagine Paris Hilton becoming an advocate of prisoner's rights in light of her experience in the system. Jails are full of people who are not receiving adequate treatment for mental illness. If she was anybody else she would have been shut up with a horse-pill of Lithium to zombie out her time.

    Interesting, isn't it. Persons who are (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:02:53 PM EST
    incarcerated are sometimes placed on suicide watch, but they  don't get a "got out of jail free" card.  

    Precedent (none / 0) (#26)
    by manys on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:12:52 PM EST
    Maybe Paris will contribute something to society after all, if other prisoners can rely on her treatment in order to modify their own.

    Wouldn't hold my breath on that one. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 01:51:11 PM EST
    Paris Hilton: The Big-Attitudes (none / 0) (#35)
    by Daniel DiRito on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 03:41:04 PM EST
    See a satirical tongue-in-cheek graphic titled "The Big-Attitudes" which updates the Biblical Beatitudes to fit the Paris Hilton fiasco...here:


    Paris (none / 0) (#36)
    by Kewalo on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 05:42:49 PM EST
    I have long considered Paris Hilton a symbol of the decadence of the right. I've even taken to calling the estate tax, the Paris Hilton tax with much derision.

    But the way the judicial system and the media have acted today has actually made me feel sorry for her. She's mostly been a twit and no matter how awful her twitiness might have been, she didn't deserve the coverage today.