Posted 2023 | State v. RR (Martin County)
Client was charged and convicted by jury of false imprisonment and sexual battery. He was sentenced to life in prison. Sometime before the trial, the court ordered a competency evaluation be conducted on the client. The trial court failed to do it properly. On appeal, the appellate court ordered that a new competency hearing be held. The appellate court held that if the client was not determined to be competent at the time of trial, he would be granted a new trial and his life sentence would be vacated.
The case was sent back to the lower court in order to determine competency. The State argued that no hearing was required becuase the client was competent, but relied on the wrong time period. Instead of conducting a nunc pro tunc competency hearing, the lower court refused to do so, thereby denying the client the opportunity to vacate his life sentence.
The lawyer referred the case to Mr. Forman in order to appeal the court’s ruling. Instead of filing an appeal, Mr. Forman had a better idea. He determined that a motion to enforce the mandate in the appellate court would be quicker and would obtain the same result as an appeal. Mr. Forman filed the lengthy motion, which was granted. The Fourth District Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Forman and ordered the lower court to conduct the competency hearing. If the State cannot prove the client was competent at the time of trial years ago (which is difficult to do), then the life sentence will be reversed. Client and his family were pleased with this outcome.