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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Victim Representation And Ideas to Consider As a Victim In Maryland




Dear Mr. Phillips, Mr. Twigg,
This paragraph is mostly included for the respected Mr. Michael Twigg, so that he may be aware of, and help to make arrangements for, if at all even possible, an offer of reduced restitution from the defendant in the sited case herein, so that we may effectively and most efficiently bring this case, again herein, to closure more quickly, thus saving valuable time for all the parties involved, saving the County/City precious time and money as well as insuring the victim, myself, and Mr. Schaff, the victim's attorney of file hired to insure fair representation and full adjudication of the defendant, immediate timely settlement for our mutual legal contract of record for his representation, and thus find closure for all parties involved, including the closure of her case in its entirety as an extension of this olive branch, only if all the other sentencing stipulations have been met to this date, which I believe, but may have not been fully limited to, drug/alcohol treatment, as may be reviewed on record of file.
I am also willing to appear, if so needed, at any and all court appearances, or draft and/or sign and have notarized if needed, any additional paperwork including, but not limited to, motions as long as those fees for such described administrative documents be encumbered solely by the defendant in this case.

I am John "Stephen" Swygert. In a previous email Mr. Gregg Schaaf, a friend of mine and also former employer stated to Mr. Phillips...(I have this email on file if so needed for any reasonable purpose):

"I believe that you(added today: Mr Phillips) are the Community Supervision Officer for Helen Ziler (01-K-13-015546) who is making restitution payments for destruction of property to John Stephen Swygert in the total amount of $2,458.63.  Mr. Swygert is a friend of mine who has sometimes worked in my office and I represented him in communicating with the SAO prior to the plea. He authorized me to write this email to you on his behalf.   Mr. Swygert, who goes by "Steve",  received one restitution check in the approximate amount of $200 following what he understood to be three payments by the Defendant.  He received this a couple of months ago."
To be clear, this case was filed originally on 12-19-2013. and today is, of course, 06-11-2015. The final dispostion of this case took place on 03-04-2014.

From the start of the case to today's date already roughly 18 months have already transpired. If I am not mistaken, the sentencing sets forth a schedule of 30 months to pay restitution in the amount of $ 81.95 per month. This would bring the date of closure to roughly September of 2016, well over a year and a half away from today's date...still!
In actuality the payments, processed by the state, were not distributed until several months after they were received as well, thus potentially adding more time to this from start to finish.

This actually means a total time vested in this case of, at the least 30+ months, which perhaps we can find closure to in a month from today. af all parties agreed and the State offered this Mercy in sentencing with other stipulations so met, thus saving at least 15 months of time with this one single case.
Ultimately, I am analyzing ways in which the state may be able to save money in such cases moving forward as well as perhaps find even better closure for the victim's involved, if they too would offer this type of mercy towards a defendant having met all other sentencing guidelines.
We are concerned primarily with justice being served, and I think in many cases, it may be possible to reduce this type of case load state wide and save countless expenditures across our great state, and suggest that this be a utilized startegy to right the financial ship of this state as well as make the legal system even more efficient and better cost effective for the tax payer.
If this conduit does not yet exist in order to offer this type of efficient finalization in regards to certain cases, mainly restitution but perhaps other types as well, perhaps it could be legislation drafted and so propsed so that we may move forward looking for even better economic solutions and efficiency concerning the state and county/city budgets as well as a way to free up time so that the potential may exist to even better be able to handle the current case loads and therfore, perhaps save even more money as we would actua;lly have to hire fewer additional attorneys on behalf of the states attorneys office currently abundanyly overloaded in our own county here, at the very least, but for what looks to be in the short term and likely for the long term an growing trend as the economy striggles furthermore which looks to last for quite a while.
I also strongly suggest this startegy for victim's rights to be properly represented (victims having legal representation a method often overlooked, perhaps on contingency and a method often overlooked) to all victims that have had property vandalized, as an example but not limited to just those cases per se,... or for victims that are seeking any form of restitution alongside justice being served, as hiring an attorney to make sure your best interests are represented as well as making certain the States Attorneys Office recognizes and fully addresses these cases from start to finish for full adjudication will have an overall effect of fairness and efficiency.
I very greatly appreciate our local States Attorneys Office pertaining to this particular case, as it appears this has so far effectvely prevented any more crime from this particular defendant, as I have searched the Maryland Judiciary Case Seach online and found no further accounts of any activity of a criminal nature since this case's imitial filing, and ultimately that is the effect the courts must demand, such that all criminals are held accountable and pay back their respective debt to society, whatever that may be. It also insured that my rights, the victim in this case, were best represented, and that indeed a regular citizen can play a part in this legal system, the finest in the entire world. It is a terrible experience to be  victim, but afte rthe fact, it is a wonderful experience and satisfying to be a part of the actual follow through to make sure justice ndeed prevails. The only issue that remains is quicker closure where possible, ths pushing that envelope of efficiency we must seek further evry single day.
Last month, May, I received a check for only $ 20, and it has been well over four weeks and I have not received anything to date as I sent this email to you this evening.
I am curious why this check was only $ 20 and what the further delay is in my most recent check I am awaiting, and also think I did not recieve another one other fairly recent month, perhaps February or March.
I appreciate your lookig into this and once again apologize for having to reach out in this manner at all and waste our valuable time respectively, however I am counting on these funds to pay bills, as I am currently disabled, and I am keeping track of when these checks arrive as well as what the amounts are too.
Any parties herin may reach me at my home number is 301-722-2430 and has voice mail, however a response to this email would more then likely reach me much quicker.
Also raising my concerns, on several ocassions recently (and even in the past many years as this is a quite common occurence) I have received mail at my mailbox at my home address that was actually for 461 Baltimore Avenue which I placed back out at the mailbox for the postman to re-deliver to the proper address. I am concerned perhaps a check has been lost like this that should have been delivered to my home but ended up elsewhere.
Is there any way possible to speak to the States Attorney's office and make an offer to be paid a lesser restitution amount in one lump sum so that we may close this file permanently and I may get what is owed to me as well as what I owe currently to Mr. Schaaf as a direct result for something that I was a victim of? I do not want my victimization suffered on Ms. Ziler's behalf to also now perhaps cost me a friendship as well, as I feel I have suffered more then enough at this point already. If this is even possible in the first place, I would only want an offer extended if all the other terms of her sentencing and with your very own office have already been met, as Ms. Ziler was going to be in treatment as part of her sentencing as well from my understanding, and I hope that is indeed something accomplished in a timely manner and to her benefit as she further places this transgression behind her.
I think an offer of this nature would save a lot of time and lessen the burden on all of us. If this was able to be done I would want that check made out to Mr, Schaaf ultimately so I would make certain he was paid as owed for his services, because as of now, he is a friend that I owe a large debt to after i was victimized, which hardly sounds fair but is the agreement I made in order to insure justice be preformed, and I appreciate that it indeed has been.
I utilized Mr. Schaaf's services, although being the victim in this matter, to insure two things be efficiantly accomplished. One, that I would be compensated as deemed proper in the eyes of the court, and secondarily, that yet another criminal would not go unpunished after committing a relatively serious crime.

It is a real shame that these cases work this way, as these criminals cost all parties and there representation involved countless unaccounted hours of time as well as a lot of money, which I am certain they rarely at best ever even consider themselves. I believe collectively, concerning restitution that at least six, if not more, emails and/or phone calls have had to been sent to keep an informed follow up through this journey and again, insure payment.
First, and of my own personal most important concern, as I believe I owe Mr. Schaaf 1/3 of the restitution per our legal binding contract for his representation on my behalf, if my calculations are correct, that would be a total amount of $ 819.54. (2458.63 / 3 = 819.54)

As a ball park figure, I believe I have recieved roughly $ 600 of this imposed restitution to date, and again, that being fully a ball park estimate without me pulling all of my personal records and spending even more time then I would like to at this point, is more then likely then likely a fairly favorable estimate at best.

If that is roughly correct, that would mean that Ms. Ziler still owes me roughhly $ 1860. (2458.63 - 600 = 1858.63)

As I have personally yet to make any payment at all with Mr. Schaaf and have this burden continually hanging over my head, as well as our friendship quite possibly and reasonably  logically expected to no fault on his own, as this is strictly our business arrangement for his diligent representation, my proposal is this:

If we could draft an agreement for an adjusted sentencing in regards to restitution, I would be willing to accept a total final payment today of, $ 1550 thus saving the defendant nearly $ 300 in total as a meaningful incentive and gesture towards full closure.
As a further incentive towards Ms. Ziler's follow through and acting as a strong an impetus to that degree, if this was able to actually and fully close this file for Ms. Ziler and the State's case to that effect, I only see progress for all of the parties involved and mercy as well as this offer is extended in reasonable fashion.
If this is not able to be done, as there is perhaps no conduit to facilitate such a gesture, and as I do not fully have that knowledge to date, is this something that could be further contemplated for non violent cases where restitution is being paid on these longer drawn out schedules, and so extended only after all other sentencing guidelines have been satified by the defendant? I do not need any reply but rather offer this as a legal seed, again if that conduit is non existant at this point. However, I do think there is a means to accomplish a goal of this sort and feel if it was better utilized in these types of cases it could certainy prove a cost effective measure and ultimately please all parties involved.   

This proposed offer as I have laid out would, of course, all have to be reconciled first against the actual records on file. So if these are not accurate, I would suggest a formula in the amount equal to the sum of  Mr. Schaaf's fee ($ 819.54) + 70% of the remaining balance owed me after Mr. Schaaf's full amount of payment is deducted from the total now actually due per those records of file.
Again, all of my suggested financial numbers pertaining to my particular case that is here need to be reconciled for an actual and accurate accounting before making an offer, but I do feel they are at least fairly close and will certaily work well towards demonstarting my overall idea as I have set forth within this document.

Furthermore, I would suggest an architecture of this proposal that extends this olive branch for a total not to exceed 30 days from the date so offered, and if it shall be accepted, with the additional stipulation of passing a drug screening, wherein upon satisfactorily accepting and passing those stipulations, that payment would be made payable to Mr. Schaff, the victim's legal counsel, in the form of a Money Order or Cashiers Check, where as those parties, Mr. Schaaf and myself, John S. Swygert, would finalize our mutual contract, pertaining to this specific case, for satisfactory completion concerning services rendered after having recieved those funds.

Lastly (Mr. Phillips), is there any way you can please offer me the full current accounting on the restitution amonut paid thus far as it stands to date, so I may reconcile it with my own receipt of record ? That would insure I stay fully organized and up to date at this point in time and most importantly insure that if an offer like this can indeed be made that my mathematics herin is close enough so that an offer may indeed be so finalized as suggested and lastly let me file a decent amount of my own paperwork away for safe keepping as we move forward towards expedient closure in a more timely fashion for all parties.
I truly appreciate the fine work you (each of you as email recipients herein) are preforming and apologize for making your case load a little heavier, and merly thought this could simplify my own life and reduce stresses as well as alleviate one case from the very heavy load we are all aware of that Allegany County carries, which is the highest in the state per capita based on the F.B.I.'s Uniform Crime Reports most recent data sets available.
Perhaps there is an even better email address for the Govenor and one of you would be willing to share these thoughts with him as well please, as i did send it to him too, simply trying to more progressively communicate and resolve several issues at once.

I apologize for being so long winded, and I hope I have not been repetitive within this document and was simply thinking of a creative and efficient way to finalize every aspect of this case and bring about the efficient closure of it in every aspect that would be deemed satisfactory if all parties would indeed be in agreement

John S. Swygert 



Victim Representation AND Ideas to Consider as a Victim ~ Govenor Larry Hogan / States Attorney Office Michael Twigg ~ Maryland