FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

Crime-courts

Solano man’s misdemeanor battle shifts to federal appeals court

By From page A3 | August 09, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Derek A. Todd got into a heated dispute more than four years ago in a courthouse hallway while waiting for a family law custody mediation session.

Bailiffs repeatedly told Todd to settle down and then they repeatedly told him to leave. Todd ended up being arrested a charged with a couple of misdemeanors.

After years of ongoing and unsuccessful efforts at fighting the charges, Todd this week took his August 2010 case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A month after his arrest, a jury found Todd guilty of misdemeanor assault and obstructing a peace officer. Judge Wendy G. Getty ordered him to attend anger management classes and to perform 312 hours community service, which he did with the New Hope church.

Todd appealed the jury’s verdict to a local three-judge panel, which upheld the conviction. He appealed that decision in 2012 with the state Court of Appeal and then the California Supreme Court, which both ruled against Todd.

Todd moved his challenge into the federal court system, coming up with a dozen reasons why his conviction should be overturned. After a year and a half of legal wrangling, Senior U.S. District Judge James K. Singleton Jr. issued a 33-page decision two weeks ago concluding Todd’s legal arguments were meritless.

The unsuccessful challenge is just one of 49 federal court cases Todd has launched since 2010. Todd on Tuesday appealed Singleton’s ruling with the Ninth Circuit. It is one of four appeals Todd has pending with that court.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
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