From the May 2002 Idaho Observer:

Complaint, nickname equals jail time in Okanogan county

by Leonard Browning

Approximately four years ago Rick Batson arrived in Okanogan County expecting a nice quiet place to live with his friend and her dependent child. Little did he know what was in store for him.

While installing a sound system on stage at the local county fair September 9, 2000, Batson, who does not drink and strives very hard to adhere to his strict Christian beliefs, was confronted by a person under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This person spat in Batson's face. An officer of the law responded to the argument. When Batson complained to the officer of this person's behavior, the officer began to interrogate him instead of the offending party.

The officer asked Batson his name. Batson innocently responded by volunteering the nickname everyone uses to address him. The officer then attempted to run his criminal history.

Batson was then immediately arrested, taken to jail, forced to put up a bond, and charged with, of all things, Obstructing a Public Official in his Duties because Batson did not give his correct name.

The law enforcement officer investigated a complainant rather than the facts alleged in the complaint. Batson was charged with a crime for giving the officer his nickname, which had nothing to do with facts of the complaint, and the person who was reportedly engaging in actionable behavior was not confronted.

After Batson bonded out of jail, his criminal history came back to haunt him.

In his past, Batson had done what many people have done to appease the prosecuting authorities and copped a plea of guilty to the possession of an explosive device. While legally possessing gunpowder, several years ago Batson had an accidental explosion that removed his right arm, his right eye, and his right ear. And for this accident, which harmed no other person or their property, Batson was sentenced to serve three years in prison.

However, Batson was such an outstanding inmate and had such an exemplary attitude, he was released after one year.

In possession of Batson's criminal history, law enforcement began to question people who knew him. They found two very non-credible witnesses who said they heard Batson state that he would tie explosives to his body and blow up the courthouse and Judge Culp. (It has been rumored that Judge Culp was recently found in his chambers with a large coke spoon stuffed up his nose. It has also been reported that he is now in treatment for his cocaine addiction).

The hearsay information that the non-credible witnesses presented to the law enforcement officers was taken to the prosecutor's office and was assigned to Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Ralph Perkins.

Perkins, who is 6 foot five or six inches tall and was a district court judge in Pend Oreille county, Washington, was married to a very sweet, intelligent, lovable, and petite, 5 foot, 99-pound lady. She is a practicing attorney in Pend Oreille County. On September 3, 1993, Perkins entered a guilty plea to an assault on his wife, Case No. 93-1-00030-1 in the Superior Court of Washington, Pend Oreille County. According to Perkins' own statement, he choked his wife about the neck until they both thought she was dead. He did this after he hit her in the back with a closed fist. Perkins lost his judgeship over the incident.

Perkins filed a complaint and a summons on Batson. However, according to state law, superior rules case law, the Washington State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States, “A person charged with a crime must be informed of the nature of those charges and served with a complaint and summons.”

Batson was never personally served, nor was the information read to him. Batson was never asked if he understood the charges. This is why he could not understand the reason he was in jail since he had never been informed of the charges.

CAC contend that, since Batson has never received due process and the prosecutor has never established jurisdiction, the court does not have jurisdiction over him. Furthermore, Batson's so called arraignment was also illegal due to the fact there was no jurisdiction and he was not represented by an attorney.

Batson has stated to the court that he waives none of his rights.

Batson has been in jail without jurisdiction in excess of 78 days. Washington state law dictates the release of a person on speedy trial violations after 60 days of incarceration after arraignment. The state contends they have an extra 30 days because Perkins was disqualified. However, Perkins was never qualified and never had jurisdiction in the first place since Batson was never served.

CAC members are currently in the think tank preparing a Writ of HABEAS CORPUS, which is regarded as the great constitutional guarantee of personal liberty. We must also note that Batson has been severely damaged by these frivolous charges and his illegal incarceration.

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