Contact: Liberty Counsel, 407-875-1776, Media@LC.org; Press Kit
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 25, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- Yesterday Judge Christopher Hite denied Sandra 'Susan' Merritt's request to the San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss the 14 criminal charges which the Attorney General failed to refile within the time prescribed by law.
Judge Hite said that Attorney General Xavier Becerra "intended" to re-file the previously dismissed counts against Merritt and gave him until close of business yesterday to correct what he called a "clerical error." The law clearly states that a dismissed charge must be re-filed within 10 days of the dismissal or be permanently barred. But the court ruled that the 14 counts can be re-filed two months beyond the prescribed time.
The Attorney General claimed that his failure to timely file an Amended Complaint was a mere "clerical error," that should be "corrected" by the Court. If California's top attorney, with the full resources of the state, could not manage to bring his political charges within the required deadline, no court has the power to fix that "error." Dismissal is the only remedy. The law is clear.
Liberty Counsel is defending Merritt and seeks dismissal of the 14 felony charges brought against her for her undercover work in exposing Planned Parenthood's unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts. The Court had previously agreed with Liberty Counsel that the criminal complaint filed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra against Merritt was legally defective and dismissed 14 of the 15 counts. The Court and California law granted the Attorney General 10 days to attempt to correct the defects and re-file the charges, but the Attorney General failed to file any amended complaint in Merritt's case within the required deadline.
"Not only has the Attorney General chosen to bring utterly baseless criminal charges against Sandra Merritt at the behest of his financiers at Planned Parenthood, but he also failed to timely refile the dismissed criminal charges. The law states these charges cannot now be refiled," said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel's Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel.
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel said, "It is disconcerting when the law says one thing and courts do another. Ten days cannot be stretched to two months. The 14 previously dismissed counts cannot be refiled. This is reversible error," said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.