Monthly Archives: August 2015

NORGAARD PLEA OF GUILTY – Unable to Recall Facts (15-16)

NORGAARD PLEA OF GUILTY: A Norgaard Plea is a procedure that governs situations where a defendant wants to enter a plea of guilty (usually in order to take advantage of a plea agreement) but is unable to recall facts damnesiaue to intoxication or amnesia. Unlike an Alford plea (see update 14-18) in a Norgaard plea, defendant does not make a claim he is innocent. State v. Ecker, 524 N.W.2d 712, 716 (Minn.1994); State v. Johnson, A14-1605, Minn. App. June 29, 2015.

To the dismay of the Court of Appeals, there are certain judicial mistakes/oversights that tend to reoccur with every new generation of judges and attorneys. Two of the most common oversights involve Alford and Norgaard pleas of guilty. These oversights almost always involve failure to make a complete record. Creating a full and complete record to support any plea of guilty should be viewed as a collaborative effort shared by both judge and attorneys.

The proper procedure for an Alford plea of guilty can be found in Update 14-18, dated October 8, 2014.

This week’s judicial update outlines the procedure that the district court must follow before a Norgaard plea of guilty can be accepted.

TO READ THE FULL UPDATE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:

PendletonUpdate 15-16

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FELONY SENTENCING & PROBATION VIOLATION HEARINGS: The one thing a judge should never say or promise (15-15)

judge-pointing-finger-300x286GENERAL RULE:  During a felony sentencing or probation violation hearing (PVH), although judges may warn defendants that a violation of probation can have serious ramifications, the court should NEVER PROMISE, MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS OR OTHERWISE IMPLY that the court will send the defendant to prison if he/she violates conditions of their probation, or that the court has otherwise prejudged the proceedings.

Warning: If such a statement is made and a reasonable examiner [i.e. an objective, unbiased, layperson with full knowledge of the facts and circumstances] would question whether the judge could impartially conduct the proceedings, then at the request of the defendant, the judge would likely be disqualified from the probation violation hearing. State v. Finch, 865 N.W.2d 696 (Minn.2015).

TO READ THE FULL TRAINING UPDATE CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK:

PendletonUpdate 15-15