Sunday, August 19, 2007
It is rare that one succeeds on a Hyde Amendment claim, but occasionally it happens. A U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas issued such an order. In the Introduction, the court states:
"The United States Attorney indicted an Oklahoma businessman in conscious indifference to the legal and factual basis of the charges that they brought against him. The fifty-four-count indictment was a jumble of claims and stray facts – a garbled press release about working men who cannot get insurance. The court dismissed all counts of the indictment. The businessman seeks defense costs. He will be repaid because the prosecution was not substantially justified."
And in the conclusion the court states:
"Criminal prosecution casts a shadow on defendants that can linger even after an acquittal. The discretion the government has to prosecute those it thinks guilty of crimes must be grounded in a sound facts and articulated law. The Hyde Amendment was passed to give some recompense to those prosecuted without this most basic discretionary safeguard from prosecutorial oppression. The case against [this individual] lacked even a semblance of responsible work by the government. His attorneys had to work with a jumbled array of facts and theories, a mountain of documentary evidence, and unresponsive government lawyers."