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The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has filed its first appeal to one of many cases dismissed by Riverside Superior Court after it was not tried by a legal deadline.

The DA’s Office announced that the court had dismissed more than 200 cases Oct. 24. The Riverside District Attorney’s Office has criticized the dismissals, saying precedent allows the cases to be prosecuted at a later date, and that the dismissals were optional. Presiding Judge John Monterosso explicitly disagreed with that description, and said it is a settled fact that they had to dismiss the cases.

Under California Law, criminal cases must be dismissed if they have not gone to trial 60 days after their arraignment. That time can extend if the judge finds “good cause” to delay the trial. During the COVID-19 pandemic, then-Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye imposed multiple executive orders that extended that deadline past the 60 days mark. The last of the orders ended on Oct. 7, but the court still had outstanding cases.

The DA’s Office announced they appealed the dismissal of People v. Tapia (BLF2100023). The DA’s Office had charged Jose Tapia Feb. 17, 2021, with assault with a deadly weapon to cause great bodily injury. The office claimed he used a weapon against a person.

Deputy District Attorneys Emily Hanks and Jesse Male filed the appeal.

David Reed of The Reed Firm defends Tapia.

The appeal has two numbers: E080079 and E080076.

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