Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Drunk-driving Missouri prosecutor Nicholas Jain faces a lawsuit after campaign effort to "talk tough on crime" led to alleged libel of man with dismissed charges

Nicholas Jain
Nicholas Jain, the drunk-driving Missouri prosecutor who spearheaded a bogus "assault of a law enforcement officer" charge against my wife Carol, faces a defamation lawsuit in his home area of Dunklin County (county seat: Kennett).

Jain is running for prosecuting attorney (PA) of Dunklin County and faces a Republican primary on August 7 against incumbent Jeff McCormick. But in his efforts, while campaigning, to attack McCormick and sound "tough on crime," Jain talked his way into a lawsuit. (The complaint is embedded at the end of this post.)

In a June 27 post to his campaign Web site, Jain discussed cases McCormick's office had dismissed. One of those involved a defendant named Kaluem Reid, and Jain suggested something was corrupt about the dismissal of charges against Reid. From Jain's Facebook post:

Prosecutors should be open and responsive to the citizens they serve, and proud of the way they resolve the cases they handle. I will be proud of the way I prosecute cases, and I will want the public to know the end result of those cases. I am committed to seeking the truth as prosecutor, and during this election.

Four weeks ago, after repeatedly hearing questions while campaigning all over the county, I asked current prosecutor, Jeff McCormick, for information on cases that his office dismissed, specifically those that were moved out of this county before being dismissed. He wrote “I will have someone research those items and will get back to you with an estimate of the time and cost to provide the information along with an estimate for copies.” I am still waiting.

While waiting, I found one defendant, Kaleum Reid, whose cases, which included felony drug and weapons charges, were transferred out of Dunklin County and immediately dismissed. The attorney who got these dismissals for Defendant Kaleum Reid was, at that time, also representing prosecuting attorney Jeff McCormick in a civil matter. (Jain apparently is referring here to a 2017 divorce  case involving McCormick.)

Prosecutors must avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Moving cases out of this county and dismissing them accomplishes nothing except keeping the dismissal from being reported in the local newspaper. And, when a prosecutor agrees to do this for an attorney who is actively representing both the defendant and the prosecutor at the same time, it raises even more questions.

This is the same Nicholas Jain, who while serving as an assistant PA in Greene County (Springfield), brought at least two cases without a whiff of probable cause -- the "assault" case against Carol and a DUI case against Charles Hollis Roux. The arrest of Roux was so dubious that Judge Margaret Palmietto suppressed evidence, and Jain appealed, with the Missouri Court of Civil Appeals violating its own precedent to overrule Palmietto. On the second go-around before her, Palmietto took the easy route and convicted Roux, even though her own words showed there was no probable cause for arrest, much less prosecution. (See State v. Charles Hollis Roux, Case No. 1631-CR00195 at case.net.)

As for Carol's case, Jain dropped out of it when he moved to Dunklin County earlier this year, replaced by a brainless twit (with zero respect for the rule of law) named Nicholas Bergeon; Palmietto (the original judge in Carol's matter) stepped down on a recusal motion, replaced by the hideously corrupt Jerry Harmison, who convicted Carol without a shred of fact or law to support it.

This tells us two things about Nicholas Jain:

(1) He's the product of a hopelessly crooked "justice system" in Greene County;

(2) He is such a hypocrite that he brings DUI charges against others, while keeping his own DUI conviction -- for which he served two years of probation -- under wraps.

How did Jain step in doo-doo regarding the Kaleum Reid case? Here is more from Jain's Facebook post:

From what I’ve been able to piece together, over the course of two days in August 2017, the Malden Police Department investigated and submitted three reports to the prosecutor’s office, each of which resulted in felony charges being filed. One case was based on an eyewitness report that Kaleum Reid brandished a weapon in a threatening manner during an altercation, and the prosecutor charged Reid with felony unlawful use of a weapon. Early the next morning, an eyewitness reported seeing Kaleum Reid pointing a gun out of the window of his car then hearing six to seven shots after she ducked down to hide. The victim hid on her living room floor until daylight after the defendant shot into her home. Based on that report, the prosecutor charged Reid with another charge of felony unlawful use of a weapon. Later that same day, police executed a search warrant at Kaleum Reid’s house where they found what preliminary tests indicated to be cocaine. The prosecutor charged Reid with felony possession of a controlled substance.

On August 30, 2017, a private attorney entered his appearance in the two weapons cases. He then entered his appearance in the drug case on September 14, 2017.

On October 12, 2017, Kaleum Reid’s private defense attorney filed a petition in an unrelated civil matter as private attorney for Jeff McCormick.

According to the Delta Dunklin Democrat’s Dunklin County case reports, on October 25, 2017, venue was changed to New Madrid County for all three cases against Kaleum Reid.

Around November 2, 2017, Jeff McCormick dismissed all three cases against his attorney’s other client, Kaleum Reid, previously held on more than $100k in cash bonds on three separate felony charges, was released to return to the streets.

There could be some legitimate reason for these cases to be dismissed, but did that reason not exist the week before when the cases were in Dunklin County? And, why was no special “independent” prosecutor requested when both prosecutor and defendant with three separate felony charges were current clients of the same private attorney?

For some reason, Kaleum Reid took offense to Nicholas Jain trashing his good name over charges that were dropped. Heck, even Jain admitted there might have been legitimate reasons for dismissal, but he bashed Reid anyway -- and Jain never provided any specifics about what would be unethical about Reid and McCormick having the same attorney, one in a criminal case and one in a civil matter.

Jeff McCormick
The attorney in question, Theodore Liszewski of Sikeston, MO, wrote in Reid's complaint that there were, in fact, solid reasons for dismissal -- and they had nothing to do with McCormick. Specifically, a witness refused to participate in court proceedings, and no evidence linked Reid to the alleged offenses. From the complaint:

5. At some time during the calendar year 2017, Plaintiff [Reid] was charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon in Dunklin County, Missouri;

6. Plaintiff thereafter retained counsel;

7. Plaintiff’s Counsel, upon being retained by Plaintiff, spoke with Ian Page, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Dunklin County, Missouri regarding Plaintiff’s charges and the allegations against Plaintiff;

8. Plaintiff’s defense counsel, nor Plaintiff, spoke to the elected Dunklin County Missouri Prosecuting Attorney about Plaintiff’s case;

9. Ultimately, the State’s charges were dismissed after witness refused to participate in Court proceedings and no evidence linked Plaintiff to the charges alleged.

Reid is suing Jain for false light/invasion of privacy and libel, and Jain could wind up lighter in the pocketbook. Reid is seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages on each count, plus pre-judgment interest and costs. It's hard to determine how high the damages could go, but a six-figure judgment for Reid does not seem out of the question.

You'd think Nicholas Jain -- with a DUI conviction rattling around in his own closet, plus at least two cases he initiated without probable cause -- might be careful about questioning the ethics of others. The Reid complaint alleges that Jain made his Facebook remarks without consulting anyone connected to the dismissed charges -- witnesses, defense counsel, Reid himself.

This is in keeping with Jain's handling of Carol's case. Clearly, no one investigated the case before bringing charges, no one talked with the "victim" officer (Jeremy Lynn) , who admitted he initiated contact with Carol, not the other way around -- meaning, as a matter of law, she was not guilty.

Nicholas Jain has a habit of trashing others in the public square, without doing his due diligence. This time, it might bite him in the ass -- big time.


Anonymous said...

Jain was just begging to be sued. Smart.

Anonymous said...

This guy is too dumb to be a dog catcher, much less a prosecuting attorney. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Bad-mouthing a private citizen who has had criminal charges dismissed?

Really . . . really . . . stupid . . .

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know . . . Jain was drunk when he wrote that post on his campaign Web site.

Anonymous said...

Jain says he will seek the truth as prosecutor in Dunklin County. Was he searching for "truth" in those two cases he brought in Greene County, without probable cause?

I suspect Mr. Jain has a peculiar definition of "truth."

Anonymous said...

I hope the plaintiff and his attorney take Jain to the cleaners.

Anonymous said...

Jain says he will be "proud" of the way he prosecutes cases. What does pride have to do with anything a prosecutor does. He should follow the facts and the law. He should pursue justice.

If he can't do that, he's worthless -- no matter how proud he might be.

legalschnauzer said...

I wonder if Jain is familiar with Rule 4 of the Missouri Supreme Court. Here it is:

"A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate. This responsibility carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence."

Anonymous said...

I can't decide if Jain is more of a smart-ass or a dumb-ass. Close call.

e.a.f. said...

OMG its like a soap opera. You can't make this stuff up. why every little county, town wants its own prosecutors, judges, police chiefs, etc, if beyond me. its a duplication of services which cost a lot of money. Why this isn't handled by the state is beyond me. Of course they way things are handled in some of these civic entities everyone seems to make money, except the poor citizens who is nailed for bail over the smallest and silliest thing.

Dismissing cases can be for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are made public, some times privacy ought to be respected. One of the chief reasons in the U.S.A. that I've been able to conclude is the witnesses don't want to testify or the "injured" party doesn't want to press charges. Weird system.

Jain appears to not to be the brightest "star" in the state. He most likely had a look around and thought it could be a nice way to make a living, you know all the perks some of these elected people have. Nice to see him exit.

legalschnauzer said...

e.a.f. --

Great point about all the towns and municipalities. Birmingham, AL, is one of the worst offenders in the U.S.; St. Louis, MO is another one.

If my memory is correct, Birmingham has something like 35 municipalities in the area -- and I believe that only includes Jefferson County. If you include the full five-county metropolitan area, the number goes much higher.

A lot of that in the U.S., in my view, is driven by race. White folks want communities divided into little segments, so they can maintain control with hyper-local government and keep folks with dark skin out -- or at least manage their numbers.

Anonymous said...

I'm amused by Jain's claim that moving a case to another county keeps newspapers from reporting on a dismissal. Assuming the case is moved to an adjoining county, does he think reporters can't drive across county lines to learn about the case? Even if it's moved several counties away, Missouri has case.net, so a reporter can sit on his butt in the newsroom and keep up with any case around the state.

Jain's comment is just plain stupid. A lot of things Jain says and does are stupid.

ineedthat12 said...

Did you notice the typos in the complaint?
The oddest one is in the signature block at the bottom. "attorney for defendant"
Liszewski clearly represents the plaintiff.
Maybe he will do better at trial than at drafting.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:15 --

Yes, I did notice that, and in my experience, it's pretty common to see typos and other errors in complaints drafted by lawyers. Also, see quite a few errors in opinions "written" by judges -- and that doesn't include all of the errors of fact and law. Another form of error I've seen is lawyers who file complaints before they have the facts straight in their own cases. I've seen one case in Alabama where Rob Riley was the lawyer, and he must have filed 8-9 or more amended complaints because he was just throwing the thing together as he goes.

The whole system is slap-dash.

e.a.f. said...

35 municipalities, what a waste of money and duplication of services. Of course if it keeps some parts of America great/white, to some its worth the money. In British Columbia all prosecutors work for the "Crown" or "State". They have offices in major centers and do work for that geographical location. it is efficient and cost. No need to run an election, you build a group of lawyers who do the work because they believe in it. The lawyers benefit because they make the same money, (unionized) have paid vacations, pensions, benefit packages. What the citizens get out of it are prosecutors who do the job and don't care much about who you are. if you're a really big fish, the provincial government may go outside and hire a lawyer to do the prosecuting if its connected to politics. All prosecutors are part of the A.G. dept. but don't work for the government.

I understand some people want "white' people to administer everything in their "white neighbourhood/town" but really given the capitalist nature of americans they might have wanted to save a few bucks. Just can't get over that 35 civic entities..........No wonder Justice is so easy to manipulate in Alabama and other cities

Rick Perry said...

Can I get an ooops for my brother rethuglican?