Saturday, September 22, 2012

LOIS GOODMAN Case: Emergency Hearing

On Wednesday, September 19th, 2012, Local ABC Ch. 7's Miriam Hernadez reported there was an emergency hearing in the Lois Goodman case.  The prosecution was requesting to obtain a DNA sample from Goodman.  According to the report:
DNA was taken at the time of Goodman's arrest, but that sample was sent to a state database. Prosecutors said they needed a separate saliva sample.
The defense argued that prosecutors had not shown probable cause that Goodman was involved in the homicide, and that taking the saliva sample was an unnecessary intrusion.
The prosecution won their motion.  Goodman was ordered to provide a DNA sample.  According to the report, Goodman's defense has five days to file an appeal. As of today, I could not find a filing for Goodman with the California Courts of Appeal, although the defense still has three days left to file.

Goodman remains out on bail confined to her home and wearing ankle monitoring.

I did not attend this hearing since I didn't know about it. Kudos to Miriam Hernandez for attending the hearing and having a camera inside the courtroom.

I am at a disadvantage covering cases where the defendant is out on bail and where the preliminary hearing has not commenced.  When a defendant is incarcerated, I can always check the LA County Sheriff's web site for the next date a defendant is scheduled to be in court.

But when a defendant is out on bail, it's in these instances where the mainstream media does a great job.  I do not have the years of building relationships within the DA's office, or with defense attorneys to get advance notice when motions have been filed or there are emergency hearings.  My only other alternative would have been to call the clerk of the assigned courtroom every day to see if any motions had been filed and when they would be argued.

What I do have to offer my readers is copies of the motions filed by the prosecution and the defense for this hearing.  Special thanks to Elizabeth Martinez of the Public Information Office for helping me obtain and purchase these documents so quickly.  (Documents purchased from the court cost fifty-cents a page. Sprocket)

I have uploaded the following documents to my SCRIBD account:

Prosecution's Motion for DNA Sample.

Defense Opposition Motion for DNA.

If I continue to follow this case, I will start a Quick Links page.


Anonymous said...

I love how your words so clearly paint a picture of the courtroom scene without a camera! When it's televised, all appears neatly organized (mostly!), but you show what is going on beforehand!

A couple of questions...We seem to hear a lot of the same court personnel (judges, clerkk, deputies) names. Are there only a few judges who handle the higher profile cases?

and,,,during Spector I, there was a retired gentleman who sttended regularly and occasionaly commented here. During Spector II, I believe he chose to stay in Judge Pastor's court. Is he still attending court regularly?


Sprocket said...


First, I do not know how the LA County Superior Court assigns cases. I know that the number of cases assigned to each judge is taken into account.

Interestingly, two recent trials involving officers (one a sheriff and the other Lazarus) ended up in Judge Perry's courtroom. Perry has never authorized the use of any electronic equipment inside his courtroom. It's hand written notes all the way.

Just take a look at the total list of courtrooms for Clara Shortridge Foltz (downtown) on the LA County Superior Court's web site.

Clara Shortridge Foltz

Then click on the link for "Courtroom Directory". Not counting the two arraignment courts (Dept 30 & Dept 100) there are approximately 55 different courtrooms (I don't know how many other courtrooms were closed in this building due to budget cuts.)!!!

Also understand that most cases don't last more than a few days to present evidence and a defense. That average case in the downtown courthouse is less than 7 days I think. Complex, long cases are not the norm. Lazarus only took a month to present and not five months like Spector did.

I do know, that several of the cases I'm interested in end up on the 9th floor of the downtown Criminal Court Building. There are now 9 judges on that floor (before cutbacks and Judge Ito losing his courtroom there used to be ten). I've been in most of these courtrooms, but not all.

David Viens is a somewhat high-profile case and it's being held in Dept 122, on a totally different floor.

Lois Goodman is still at the Van Nuys Courthouse. I don't know if it will stay there after the preliminary hearing. For example, the Christian Gerhartsreiter case, the preliminary hearing was in an outlying courthouse, and then transferred downtown to Dept 107, Judge Pastor.

Cameron Brown's first trial was in the Torrance Courthouse. The defense made a motion to get a new judge for the second trial and that was granted. That's how that case was transferred to downtown.

There are murder trials that take place in the outlying courthouses every day. It's just impossible for the mainstream media to report on them all.

In Washington DC, there is an ambitious web project, to track and document in detail every murder that occurs in Washington DC. Here's the link.


I believe you are thinking about Dr. Carroll Adams. I have not seen him down at the courthouse for a long time, but I do know he still reads T&T.

Anonymous said...

I'll be happy to cover one of the hearings for you- Katie