From the October 1999 Idaho Observer:

Reed names money as defendant in Lance case

BONNERS FERRY -- Prior to an October 7, 1999 hearing before District Magistrate Quentin Hardin at the Boundary County Courthouse regarding the case of Harley Lance (The Idaho Observer, August, 1999), Deputy Boundary County Prosecutor Todd Reed stated that Lance was not the defendant in this matter -- the money he carried at the time of his arrest was the subject of the day's proceedings.

Lance was arrested April 24, 1996, for allegedly possessing three ounces of marijuana and 28 grams of methamphetamine. Numerous inconsistencies and perversions of due process indicate that Lance is not guilty of the crimes though he was sentenced to serve 2-6 years in prison, after a mistrial had been declared in response to a hung jury, by District Judge James Michaud.

The court docket posted outside of the courtroom named Boundary County Prosecutor Denise Woodbury as the plaintiff and, under defendant, the docket stated simply: Attorney withdrawn. Lance had not been transported from Shoshone County Jail where he has been incarcerated since last June.

Reed and Woodbury were present in the courtroom. Don Harkins, editor of The Idaho Observer, after reading the docket, asked Reed if there was a proceeding scheduled to address the issue of the $1,108 found on Lance at the time of his arrest. Reed said, yes, and then Harkins asked how there could be a hearing concerning Lance if there was nobody in the courtroom to represent him.

Deputy Boundary County Prosecutor Reed replied, “The money is the defendant in this matter.”

There was no indication that the defendant money was present in the courtroom to defend itself, nor is there any indication that the Boundary County Prosecutor's Office had served a summons on the money to compel its appearance.

Judge Hardin entered the courtroom 10 minutes late and began reviewing the documents pertaining to the case. Hardin asked where Lance was, discovered that he was in the Shoshone County Jail and that no transportation order had been filed and no summons to appear had been recorded so that he could defend himself in the absence of counsel.

Reed failed to inform the judge that Lance's presence was not necessary because it was Lance's money, not Lance himself, that was the defendant in this matter.

Hardin ruled that the matter would be continued and wished that the hearing be rescheduled as soon as possible and stated that, “Without a return of service, I do not have the jurisdiction to proceed...”

Woodbury filled a motion last June that intended to “steal” the $1,108 that Lance was carrying at the time of his arrest. Woodbury cited four reasons she should be allowed to have Lance's money, the most significant being “The Plaintiff be awarded its costs and attorney's fees pursuant to I. C. 12-120, 12-122 and other applicable Idaho laws.”

It appears that, had nobody been on hand to witness the hearing, the money would have been awarded to Woodbury without (either) defendant being present to represent themselves.

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