The Department of Justice consists of the DoJ command headed by Max Lancett as well as the District Attorney's Office. The DoJ is the group responsible for publishing the Erie County Criminal Code. Also the DoJ has authority over the Sheriff's Office.
Government Structure (notice from former Chief Jusitce Oliver Sullivan) Edit
As many of you are aware; the elected officials in the government of Lakeside Valley have been disbanded primarily due to the inability for the Legislature to function, due to lack of qualified or interest parties.
The Head Admins have looked at this issue and decided to change the governmental structure from a Democracy to the a Semi-Authoritarian Kritocracy (to get technical). This means the Rule of Law and the process by which laws are made will funnel through the Department of Justice before being made Law and the final authority in Lakeside resides with the Judges and Justices.
With this in mind - the below changes will be made, effective immediately:
- There will be (1) Chief Justice, (3) Justices, and (6) Judges.
- The Lakeside Valley Constitution remains in effect but will be adjusted to reflect civil protections only (all reference to elected officials will be removed).
- Any person may submit a "bill" for consideration to be made law or to change a law. It will be assessed for constitutionality and impact to the community before being implemented. In some cases - the new laws may be put for the for a vote by the community. (HA's will monitor changes to prevent conflicts)
- The DOJ Special Investigations Unit and the Office of the District Attorney will be merged. As a result, the District Attorney will become the Director of SIU. The Asst. DA will be the Second in command. DA and ADA must be Bar Certified Lawyers and will have arrest powers. DOJ is committed to the preservation of your civil rights and upholding the law.
- Current SIU Investigators will continue to function as outlined in the SIU charter, building long term cases only (no standard patrol functions are permitted).
- The Police Department will no longer report to the Executive Office of the Governor and will now report to the DOJ. They are not permitted to make changes to law on their own, and must have DOJ approval for major policy changes.
- The Police Department will have a new legal advisory position that will represent the PD in Civil Court and facilitate new bills from SO to the DOJ.
While it may seem DOJ has too much power - I will remind all Citizens that corruption is not permitted in SIU or DOJ. While it is allowable in Police Department - we will diligently root it out and attempt to restore the trust of the people we are sworn to protect.
Justice - They are the Judges senior, and have all judicial powers while at the same time also are the head of the Lakeside government. They are in charge of public policy, departmental policy for all the government agencies and write the laws of the land.
Judge - They mediate situations, present opinions on case law and preside over court cases.
Prosecutors - Prosecution determines the charges an individual will face in court and will be the state's attorney. State Prosecutors are hired by the state, while PD prosecutors are police while off duty acting in the capacity as prosecution.
State Defense - The State Defense is responsible for representing the State in matters of lawsuits typically from cases ranging from motor vehicle accidents to excessive use of force.
Lawyers - These are the citizens of Lakeside who have passed the bar exam, to become a Bar Certified Lawyer. This allows them to represent civilians as well as provide legal advice to those in need.
Bounty Hunters - These are people who are licensed by the DoJ, to hunt for people who have been put on bond, but have not turned up to the scheduled court case.
All proposed policies, laws, and other matters will first be sent to and handled by the Council. The goal of this Council is to give the community equal representation in the creation and adjustment of law and policy. There will be weekly meetings at which the council will discuss all matters in the 'To be Discussed' section.
How to put your ideas forwardEdit
First, a person (Maybe you!) wishing change, create, or modify a law or policy will contact their Council Member. This can be done through teamspeak, private message on the website, or in Lakeside.
Secondly, the Council Member will write down all matters that their peers have wished to be discussed and bring these items to the Council Meeting.
Thirdly, the Council will discuss all ideas, motions, laws, and policies suggested during the week and decide to pass on the item to the DOJ for final approval, deny, or modify and pass on to the DOJ.
This new Bond system is designed provide an avenue for those who feel they have been unjustly accused. A person may pay his or her own bond. The payment shall be made in the form of a ticket charged to the person paying the bond. Only DOJ (Justices, Judges D.A. and SIU) and Police rank Captain and Above may approve a bond as they will be designated as Magistrates. Once payment has gone through, the issuer will update the criminal database record detailing the Amount, who paid the bond, and a link to pertinent evidence so a prosecutor can take over the case during the trial.
Bond is refundable once a person arrives at a scheduled hearing. The bond money will be returned to the payer of the initial bond by a DOJ representative (i.e. Justice, Judge). If the accused fails to show, then a bench warrant will be issued for their arrest. They will automatically be found guilty of the initial crimes and their time in prison shall be doubled (initial time of punishment x 2). If they are arrested for a different crime while out on bond they shall be found guilty of the initial crimes and shall serve regular time. Their bond will also be forfeited to Lakeside (at a later point bounty hunters will be able to collect the bond for safe retrieval of a suspect).
- An officer arrests a suspect.
- If the suspect is pleads guilty of the offense, they are processed as normal.
- The suspect pleads not guilty of the offense, and there is a stalemate over reasonable doubt then Bond is available as outlined below.
- An authorized official must be available - DoJ (Justices, Judges D.A. and SIU) and Police rank Lieutenant and Above can determine if a stalemate exists and a judge would be needed.
- The arrestee is allowed to pay bond themselves, but if they cannot afford it they will be given a chance to contact someone that can pay the amount.
- Officer takes screenshot of ticket issued and payment made - this is placed in the Bond Template in the forums as a receipt.
- The offender shall be given 10 minutes to make Bond once informed.
- A court date will be set by a DoJ member where you must attend, or a bounty will be placed on you for your safe retrieval.
Bar Certified Lawyers may file a civil suit on behalf of their client (Plaintiff) against an alleged, named Defendant (person, business, agency) by posting in this format. This allows them to take the defendant to court, where the case will be heard by a judge and a decision will be made on what, if anything, the Plaintiff will receive from the civil suit.
An expungement is where a person requests a crime to be expunged (removed) from his/her criminal record. When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to the record will be informed that the subject of the record has had the record expunged and it may not be used to disallow a license or employment. A pardon is an act of clemency in which the order, absolves the grantee from the guilt of the grantee's criminal acts and exempts the grantee from any penalties imposed by law for those criminal acts. Any Citizen may request for a Class 2 Felony or lower criminal conviction to be expunged from their record, but must meet the below criteria:
- The subject must not have have been convicted of a crime 2 weeks prior to the "crime/incident" being expunged.
- A cool down is in effect before a request will be heard.
- Previous Expungement - after 30 days of Granting.
- Class 2-4 Felony - after 2 weeks of occurrence.
- Class 5-6 Felony - after 1 week of occurrence.
- Misdemeanor - after 1 week of occurrence.
Judgements will be made based on recency, frequency and severity. Parole periods may be granted where you must not be convicted of a felony during a period of time prior to the expungement going into effect. For more details please visit here.
There are three types of marriages available in Lakeside currently and these are:
- Civil marriage: a judge, justice of the peace or authorized municipal clerk marries you, often at a local municipal office or city hall.
- Religious marriage: a recognized religious official marries you (i.e. priest).
- Private ceremony: a ceremony which involves some sort of considerable planning. A religious official or an authorized governmental official can marry you during a private ceremony.
- Apply for a marriage license - in order for you and your spouse to get married, you must first apply for a marriage license. You and your spouse must SEPARATELY fill-out the marriage license form. Once you have completed the marriage license form, you and your spouse will be assigned a validation ID. A validation ID is needed for your marriage certificate. If you have not received your validation ID within a week, please contact the DoJ.
- Then you can choose what type of marriage you would like and, if you wish notify the community by requesting for the event by posting here where a member of staff or the public relations team will handle it.
- Marriage Certificate - after your marriage has concluded, you MUST fill out the marriage certification form. A marriage certificate will officially entitle you to being married. A custom marriage certificate will be posted on the 'Marriage Certificate section of the Department of Justice forum section.
Restraining orders are issued by a judge and are intended to protect those who fear for their own safety, or are being harassed. Essentially, a restraining order prohibits an individual from an action that is likely to cause harm; usually, a restraining order prevents any contact or communication between two or more people. There are two types of restraining orders available from the DoJ:
- A Temporary Restraining Order can be granted immediately, with a sworn statement, without a hearing and without any notice to the opposing party. They are intended to last less than 2 weeks, or until a hearing can take place.
- A Restraining Order can be granted immediately, with evidence, without a hearing, but providing notice to the opposing party, and will have an expiration date assigned. A renewal request is permitted by the petitioner.
If a restraining order is violated, call 911 and report the situation. A police officer MUST arrest the violator and take them to jail if the police officer believes the order has been violated in bad faith. First Time violators of the order shall be charged as a Misdemeanor Contempt of Court, and serve no less than 20 minutes, unless you are released by a judge. A repeat violation of the order shall be charged as a Felony Contempt of Court with incarceration of up to 30 minutes. To apply for a restraining order please fill in this form
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