Report Back from 12/21 Court Hearing

Nicole and Joseph feel much appreciation for the show of support they received from the community today. Around 20 supporters came from San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and surrounding areas. There is no better antidote to repression than solidarity.

Today’s hearing was for several pre-trial motions. First, the defense argued for the case to be transferred to the Northern District of California, as travel to San Diego creates hardship for Nicole and Joseph. That motion was denied based on the likely timeline of the case — there are only one or two more pretrial hearings left until the case moves to trial.

The defense also argued that the State should present and reorganize the discovery, so that the defense could more easily navigate the information. Judge Burns granted that motion.

Also, it was ruled that Nicole is required to give a handwriting sample. Nicole’s lawyer can be present while she submits that sample writing. Joseph is not required to do so, because there is already one on file for him from his previous federal court case, which ended with all the charges being dismissed.

Lastly, Joseph’s attorney was able to successfully argue for his house arrest to be limited to a nightly curfew. So now Joseph is only on house arrest from 6pm to 7am, every day of the week! That’s great news, as he will be able to have a lot more personal latitude during the day. Thanks to everyone who has supported him along the way while he was on house arrest, especially those who donated from his wishlist. It has helped immensely.

A new pretrial motions hearing has been set: Tuesday, March 1st. Judge Burns has requested that a trial date be set at that pretrial hearing for a date no later than six weeks past March 1st. So it is looking like trial will be set for early spring.

Nicole and Joseph both feel a lot gratitude for the support that their case has received. Family, friends, and strangers traveled from hours away to be with these two as they endured the weight of repression in a federal courthouse. They look forward to the future as the case moves to trial.

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