View Full Version : Close court session

07-29-2010, 04:47 PM
I would like to know how a CLOSE COURT SESSION is done in USA .
It is because my mc is strongly accused as an accomplice for a terrorist.

I would like to know what is the procedure ,how many years will she get.
I read about it in a novel ,but I can't recollect, so pl help me
and thanks

07-29-2010, 08:57 PM
I'm not sure exactly what your question is. A closed court hearing is exactly the same as one in open court, with the exception that the door is closed and you can't talk about it. The law doesn't change, nor do the players. A bailiff locks the door once everybody is in, and that's the only thing different.

As far as whether the hearing is closed, it is either an automatic matter, at the court's discretion, or the request of one of the parties. The hearing to determine whether it is closed will be closed to the public until the judge says otherwise.

I've done many closed hearings for juveniles. A security hearing that is closed isn't much different.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Susan Littlefield
07-29-2010, 09:28 PM

If you live in the United States, I would call you local county bar association to see if there is an attorney you can hook up with who deals with criminal law. Tell them you are a writer and need a contact. Many professionals are more than happy to provide information.

07-29-2010, 11:29 PM
Being accused of being an accomplice to a terrorist (even strongly accused) isn't going) to get her any years, or even a trial. She must be charged with committing a specific crime (it's not a crime to be a terrorist, it is a crime to commit an act of terrorism) and she must plead innocent or nolo to get a trial (tho even if she pleads guilty--common when charge-bargaining) there could be a closed session in accepting the plea and sentencing.

So the specific act she made in aiding or abetting the terrorist on his specific act (conspiracy to commit murder, illegal transfer of arms, etc) will be the charge. Maybe she is charged with opening bank accounts to help him launder money, with making purchases, with renting a house to provide his mailing address, with driving the car to and from specific crimes... if you don't yet have your specific scenario in mind but you want her to actually be innocent, just look for the reasonability standard. If she's going to say later she had no idea he was a bad guy, she's going to have to have not been around during his heavy planning sessions, etc.

07-30-2010, 12:07 AM
Supplementing my answer, and ignoring the CIA, Combatant Status Review Tribunals, and the Patriot Act and actions that don't follow the law, you need to understand why a terrorist would have a closed hearing.

The US system involves a very basic premise that the courts will be open and public. In terrorists cases, issues might arise that involve national security. For example, testimony might involve the US's ability to wiretap cell phone calls. Or information might be obtained from someone who is a US spy. Releasing this information could potentially compromise national security and would be closed to the public.

But information that doesn't involve national security would be done in an open courtroom. For example, a plea and sentencing would involve no national security issues and would be done in public. Testimony pertaining to the planes crashing into the WTC would be public.

A trial could have public proceedings and secret proceedings. Happens all the time in cases involving divorce, trade secrets in business, and other areas.

People being held at Gitmo are there as enemy combatants and are subject to the Geneva Convention. The terrorists who destroyed the WTC would be charged with specific criminal acts and would be tried in accordance with US criminal law.

This stuff is really complicated, as I think was addressed in a prior thread of yours. You need to do a lot of research, way beyond the scope of this forum, to be able to competently write about it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

07-30-2010, 07:38 AM
Thanks for all your suggestions. As Jim Clark and others observed , I have earlier contacted with you all and got the information ,based on that i wrote my script.My reviewers have told it is weak.
I am based in Chennai and I am really in the horns of a dilema . All have said the script has come well. Now as I am rewriting my script again , with the help of a script developer I am faced with this problem. I googled and I am reading John Grisham's books ,but still I am unable to solve it .Pl any suggestions will help and you have my grateful heart.

07-30-2010, 05:52 PM
I don't know whether this is one scene, or several. But if it is one scene, or one scene would help solve the rest of it, and you can keep it under 2,000 words, you might post it here so we can see the context of your issue.

The other is to tell us what your plot needs and see if we can answer your questions that way.

Right at the moment, your questions are way too broad to be able to help you much.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

08-03-2010, 12:04 AM
Remember that books and movies aren't always accurate. Right at the moment, one of the cable networks is advertising a movie with Raven-Symone dealing with segregated proms. C'mon, this is twenty years too old. Now we're dealing with gay issues involving proms. So accuracy is not the hallmark of movies.

Ok , I am posting my synopsis.

Synopsis of My Indian Sister

“My Indian Sister” is the story about fraternal twins Sundari and Lovely Krishnan, children of a mixed couple Ramesh Krishnan an Indian professor and his wife Margaret Krishnan, a white American lady.

Sundari Krishnan resembles her father and Lovely resembles her mother. This story concerns the hatred Lovely has for her sister and how the hatred is turned to love by Sundari.

At the beginning of the story, Sundari comes from India and learns how Margaret Krishnan got married to Ramesh Krishnan in the traditional South Indian manner.
Sundari is than arrested as a terrorist. There's got to be a specific charge. Terrorism is not a charge, although assisting someone in a terrorist activity is. When she's arrested, she would be held in jail pending trial. This could take anywhere from months to a couple of years later. How she faces the tribulations in jail and how she wins the heart of the warden and other inmates is explained in a precise manner. Now I've met a couple of wardens. These guys are busy. Not too many inmates who don't get into trouble are known to the warden. The bad ones keep him too busy. The warden helps her to become a lawyer. There is no prison that has a law school, nor would any bar association allow a convicted felon to join the bar. The most any prison has is paralegal training and even that is questionable. Later it is found that Sundari is innocent and she pleads her own case successfully. So new evidence is found and she's granted a new trial?

She then founds an organization called "Hope Free Legal Aid for Destitute Women. She helps destitute poor womenby giving free legal aid. Many of these organizations are already around. Joe Richard is a friend who assists in her cases.

Lovely first becomes a model with the help of Eva Hurst. Michael Hustings, a Director, gives her an acting assignment and the movie is a hit.
Slowly romance develops between the director and the actress. She starts living with him.
Lovely finds her pregnant. While Michael is happy she does not want anything to do with the child and aborts it. Michael is disappointed and cut ties with her.
Lovely Krishnan does not receive any more offers, so when Eva Hurst asked her to meet Anthony Desiredio, who was a bit of a problematic man, she agrees to meet him .

Anthony Desiredio was a sex pervert. He raped her and also physically assaulted her. However, she continued to work with him as she was bound by a contract. But not for long. He took her to Nirvana club, and there due to the ecstasy of drugs he started to assault her. When Lovely Krishnan protested he burned her with a cigar.
Lovely flew into a terrible rage and hit him on his head with a wine bottle. He started bleeding and he swooned.

A model, Cathrina Jones, finds him bleeding and she screams. This alerts the manager, who summons the doctor who declares him dead. The manager in turn informs the police. By investigation the police suspect Lovely Krishnan.

Lovely flees to Miami and changes her identity to Dawn Netsana. She works as a hostess for a hotel for some time. A special detective Guy Fletcher traces her to this hotel and she is arrested, extradited, and sent to a California jail.

Michael Hustings comes back into her life and requests that she take her sister’s help. Lovely agrees to take her help with hesitation

Sundari then pleads her case in court. Whether she wins the case and frees her sister can be seen only by reading the rest of the script.

This script is based on a true life story. The man was a black singer and the woman was a white fan. She gave birth to fraternal twins, and one child was black and the other was white.

Please see. it is how important for me to prove that she is innocent for my story and of course she has to be arrested.

I don't know what to tell you. The thing about learning to be a lawyer in prison has been addressed very thoroughly in another thread. My reaction is you have a systematic failure to understand the American legal system. And the level of misunderstanding goes way beyond what can be addressed on the internet. I'm not even sure what books to suggest reading.

But as I said, movies aren't always known for accuracy. Who knows? Maybe no one will care.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

08-03-2010, 08:30 AM
It is ok Jim. I am rewriting with the help of a friend . About movies they are many aliens all that stuff. Are they true ? It is not .
Actually this thread is my life saver .However I cannot expect everytime to be helped and thanks for trying