Tales from the Brown Desk – Episode 16 – Negotiations, Plea Deals, & Florida Man
Weekly Criminal Law Podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk, brought to you by Rigney Law LLC. Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and traffic law. It may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion advised.
Episode 16 continues a series – A Walk Through the Criminal Justice System in Indiana. In this episode, Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys Jacob Rigney and Kassi Rigney will walk us laypeople through negotiations and plea deals. And of course, the latest news out of Florida including an update to the Florida Kangaroo story.
Jacob Rigney – It’s Friday afternoon. We’ve locked the door because we need silence while we think and pray for the safety of Florida kangaroo, and also because it’s time for another edition of our weekly podcast Tales from the Brown Desk. I’m Jake Rigney of Rigney Law LLC. With me as usual is my law partner, wife, and the waterer of my desk plants, Kassi Rigney. Our host is Teri Ulm. Friendly reminder, Tales from the Brown Desk is a free-flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and jokes about Canadians. It may not be suitable for children, our President, your secretary, the treasurer of your high school class, or the sergeant-at-arms; one of the more likable sidekicks from the He-Man cartoons. These jokes suck. I don’t need… whatever. I don’t know. I need writers. Listener discretion is advised. Here’s Teri.
Teri Ulm – Hi everyone. Hi Jake. How are you today?
Jacob Rigney – I’m basking in the glow of that wonderful intro I just wrote. It was really really terrible. I feel awesome about myself now.
Teri Ulm – I always look forward to them. Your rhetoric and just how you just… I don’t know. They’re funny. Hi Kassi. How are you today?
Kassi Rigney – Hi Teri. I’m well. Thank you.
Teri Ulm – Good. So today we’re going to continue our series: A Walk Through the Criminal Justice System in Indiana.
Jacob Rigney – Part 7.
Plea Deals, Plea Agreements, & Plea Bargains
Teri Ulm – Part 7 of 72. So last week we talked about the Pretrial Conference in criminal cases, and this week we’re going to continue our walk down the swamp, through the swamp, and take the next step. And that is negotiating and plea deals. So my first question is: I’ve run across different terms for plea deal. Like plea agreement, plea deal, plea bargain. Do all of these terms mean the same thing?
Jacob Rigney – Probably. It depends on the context in which people use it. But, typically a plea agreement, a plea bargain, and a plea deal are all the same thing. There are other types of agreements that you can reach with the prosecutor’s office that don’t involve pleas. So not all…. I guess it’s a Venn diagram.
Teri Ulm – Draw it for us.
Jacob Rigney – You can resolve your case through several different types of agreements. One of those agreements is called a plea agreement.
Teri Ulm – So a plea deal, in Indiana, is the proper terminology is a plea agreement?
Kassi Rigney – I don’t know if there’s one right term. You’re describing the document. So as long as the title appropriately describes the document, and maybe different courts have a different term, but there’s not really one right answer.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. This is one of the things I think that drives people crazy when they talk about lawyers. Because so many terms in the English language that we use have a very specific meaning, and have a meaning that isn’t always apparent from just the words. There’s all sorts of things; they’re called terms of art, and the terms of art mean very specific things. They have long expansive meanings that only lawyers understand and that regular people don’t understand. Then we get to one like plea agreement and we’re just like: I don’t… I guess… I don’t… Yeah. They all mean the same thing. There’s not really a one word for it. It just is. It’s the thing where you plead guilty and you get something for it. And it’s not a term of art at all. Plea agreement isn’t a term of art. It doesn’t have a specific meaning or hold any sort of higher hidden meaning to a lawyer. It just means that a person is admitting they committed some crime and they’re receiving some kind of benefit in return for that admission, and that there won’t be a trial.
What is a Plea Deal?
Teri Ulm – Can you define a plea deal for our listeners?
Jacob Rigney – Shit. I just did.
Teri Ulm – You did?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah.
Kassi Rigney – You plead guilty or you plead not guilty. So, what it is, when you’re talking about a plea deal, it’s an agreement between the parties regarding how you’re going to plead on the case. I guess that’s just an alternative. Whatever agreement. Usually you admit something or dismiss something. Sometimes they don’t. There’s any which way the parties can make an agreement as long as it’s within the confines of the law which is pretty broad.
Jacob Rigney – Right. Most counties enter a plea of not guilty for you. Or at least ask you whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If you say not guilty, then eventually you’re going to resolve that case with a trial unless one of two things happens. Either you change your mind and enter a later plea of guilty to a crime, or the state dismisses the entire case. Which happens sometimes. We’ve seen it go all three different ways in our careers, many times. It just sort of depends on the facts of your case. But that’s it starts. They would enter a plea of not guilty for you, and then your lawyer can negotiate a plea agreement potentially where you know what your sentence is going to be in return for your admission that you committed the crime.
Teri Ulm – So if there are maximum and minimum sentences for crimes, why are plea deals even offered?
Kassi Rigney – Well, there’s a big difference between six months and two and a half years. Ultimately you can enter a plea agreement which limits your exposure sometime with somewhere within the minimum and maximum range. If you also want to avoid trial through plea, you can just plead open to the court without an agreement. In that case you’d plead to all counts and then the maximum minimum range. The benefit of a plea agreement is that you would cap and oftentimes limit what your exposure is. What you’re charged with an offense that has a range of a punishment. What benefit do you get if you admit to plead guilty, but you still get all of that risk? Because it’s a benefit to both parties. Both parties are giving something up. Both parties are getting something. If both parties walk away a little bit unsatisfied, then was probably a proper negotiation.
Are Plea Deals Offered in All Criminal Cases?
Teri Ulm – Are plea deals offered in all criminal cases?
Jacob Rigney – Not all of them. Although they are offered in the vast majority of criminal cases. Even on murder cases there will usually be some sort of plea offer at some point. Obviously murder cases get negotiated by plea agreement much less often than lower level cases, but in almost every case there’s going to be some sort of plea offer. And that even includes death penalty cases. Sometimes the state will charge the defendant with a crime and seek the death penalty, but then offer a term of life without parole in return for his guilty plea. So… Or her. I guess I should say there are women who can commit capital murder. But there is no right to a plea offer. The state does not have to make a plea offer. They do not have to resolve a case by plea agreement. They can choose to take any case they want to trial, unless the defendant decides to just admit guilt without a trial.
Are Prosecutor’s Required to Offer Plea Deals?
Teri Ulm – You’re kind of answering my next two questions, and that was: are prosecutors required to offer plea deals? And from my understanding is that they’re not.
Kassi Rigney – No they’re not required to, but like Jake alluded to and like I mentioned, let’s say the state’s got you over a barrel. You’ve got a confession. You’ve got strong evidence. You don’t want to go to trial. But you cannot work out an agreement with the state. You can plead open to the court, and the benefit you get there is taking responsibility, and that’s a statutory mitigator. In theory, you should get some benefit in the sentencing. It’s not often that that happens, because prosecutors don’t want to negotiate theirselves into trial. And prosecutors generally know what a case is worth in front of a particular judge, so they’re trying to make an offer to the defense that is as close to what they think they’d get out of the judge as they can push the defense to. Assuming they both agree that there would be a conviction.
Are Most Criminal Cases Resolved by Plea Deals?
Teri Ulm – Now, from your experience both on the criminal defense side and the prosecution side, do you think that most criminal cases are resolved through a plea deal or do most go to trial?
Jacob Rigney – Most do not go to trial I would say a majority of the criminal cases that are filed are resolved by some kind of agreement. Although it varies quite a bit depending on the type of case. For example, murders and serious sex crimes like child molesting and rape are not often resolved by a plea agreement. Those cases probably more like… well with murders I think it’s less than 50/50. And with sex crimes cases it’s probably more like around 50/50 where they get resolved by a plea agreement. A lot of people don’t want to admit to a sex crime, because it carries obviously a pretty significant social stigma, especially child molesting. A lot of people won’t plead guilty to murder just because it carries such a long sentence that it doesn’t really seem like there’s actually much of a benefit. But lower level cases often get resolved by plea agreement a vast, vast majority of the time. Domestic violence though, on the other hand, those types of cases are resolved by plea agreements much less often, because the state has difficulty a lot of times obtaining convictions on those cases. So because of that those don’t get resolved by plea agreement, because most most of them are going to get dismissed. That’s not a commentary on the rightness or wrongness of the system, or of the people who are involved in it, or the people who choose not to participate in it. It’s just unfortunately a simple fact of the system that we work in.
Teri Ulm – How soon after charges are filed are plea deals typically offered?
Kassi Rigney – Technically the state could hand a defendant a plea offer with the charging information. They could make one as late as the morning of trial. It’s any time. The question, at least from my perspective, I’m not ready to assess a plea offer until I’ve at least looked at initial discovery, if not all the discovery. The state generally has already looked at that stuff, oftentimes, by the time they’re charging. Or they see those items before the defense does. So, any time. Again, it’s just flexible. There’s not a hard deadline.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Remember when we were talking, I think in the previous two episodes, about how these sort of things can kind of all overlap a little bit, well we haven’t even talked about trials yet. But plea agreements can be offered even during the trial, and even after the trial is over and the jury is deliberating. There is an old story from Criminal Courtroom 5 that I’ve heard a few times when I was a prosecutor. Where a case went to trial. I don’t remember how long the trial was, but the prosecution started getting a little bit of a concern based on the questions that the jury was asking during deliberations, and they made the defendant a plea offer, and the defendant decided he wanted to accept the plea offer while the jury was still negotiating. So they did the paperwork. They got it turned in, and as they were turning in the paperwork the jury announced that they had a verdict. So the judge literally has a folded-up piece of paper with the verdict on it that no one has looked at except for the jurors, and a signed plea agreement from the defendant that the jurors don’t know about, obviously. He finally just has to turn and look at the defendant and say: “Which one of these do you want?”.
Teri Ulm – Wow. Door one or two?
Jacob Rigney – Right. Do you want the plea agreement that you’ve signed or do you want to find out what this verdict is? And he decided he wanted the plea agreement. So they did the plea agreement. They did all of that before anyone looked at the jury verdict.
Teri Ulm – Did they find out what the jury verdict was?
Jacob Rigney – And it was not guilty.
Teri Ulm – Oh my god. Wow.
Kassi Rigney – Oh. Wow. That’s the way it goes. It’s one of those things. As a prosecutor I remember getting jury verdicts and more than once hearing that a defendant’s like: “Hey. Can I get that plea now?” and it’s not. This is a one step at a time, and you maybe at this step and have to make a decision. It doesn’t matter what the next step is. You only get this much information when you make this decision. And, that didn’t include the jury verdict. Too bad for him, but did that mean that the jury got it wrong?
Jacob Rigney – I have no idea. Only he knows.
Kassi Rigney – Yeah.
Are Plea Deals Ever Taken Off the Table?
Teri Ulm – Are plea deals ever taken off the table?
Kassi Rigney – Yes. Most plea agreements, that I’ve seen, have standard terms that allow for withdrawal of the plea agreement if between the time of it being signed and actually entered with the court. For instance, somebody gets a new case, some serious conviction from another jurisdiction. So they can be withdrawn. The defendant can withdraw it as well under certain circumstances.
Jacob Rigney – Right. But only up until the point where the judge accepts it, enters judgment of conviction, and sentences. Usually after that, it’s everyone is stuck with it whether they like it or not. There are some exceptions. If the defendant, for example, was very poorly advised by his attorney about something, and we’ve seen pcr’s (post-conviction relief) petitions where a defendant got really bad advice from their attorney, and as a result their conviction was overturned. But usually once you get it in front of the judge, and the judge goes through all of
it with you, and you agree to it, you’re kind of stuck with it.
Kassi Rigney – Well, the trouble that people have is: so you’ve got this document, if you’ve ever seen it. It’s got a bunch of initial places to initial and a place to sign. And you review that with your attorney. Then you go in court. Every judge I’ve ever been in front of asks: Have you seen this document before? You sign this? You talk to your lawyer about it? You sign this? You understand it? You’re supposed to be saying: “Yes. Yes. Yes.” Well, even if you say all yes, the judge reviews it with you again, on the record. All of that is to protect the record. So you get people that come back and say: “Well, I didn’t really understand” or “It isn’t really what we want”. Well, the system has already set you up for that to fail, because you already went under oath and said I talked to my attorney. They answered all my questions. Yes, judge. I want this. Yes. You’ve answered all my questions. So plea agreements are contracts and the system knows how to write a tight contract. Most of the time.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. The system is designed to prevent people from sort of doing the buyer’s remorse routine years later after they realized that, I couldn’t speak for any particular client, I’m certainly not talking about any particular client, but you sign up for 10 years because you’re looking at 50. And these are just numbers I’m making up. This is not anything. But you sign up for 10 years because you’re looking at 50, and it sounds like the right thing to do because 10 is way lower than 50. And then you get 5 years into it and you’re like: “Fuck! 10 years is forever! Let me out of prison. I thought this was going to go by faster than this.” Because 10 years is a long ass time to spend in prison. So, sometimes you see buyer’s remorse, people trying to get out of those agreements afterward. And it’s real tempting. Especially because five years later, it’s a lot harder for the state to put their case back together. So, if you can get your conviction overturned, they’re gonna have a hard time proving it, going back and trying you again. So, those are, I think, the factors that push it that direction. But the system is designed to head that off at the pass.
Does Accepting a Plea Deal Mean Admitting Guilt?
Teri Ulm – So, does accepting a plea deal mean that you’re admitting guilt?
Kassi Rigney – In the state of Indiana, you have to admit guilt to the crime you’re pleading to. We don’t have no contest pleas. You may have heard the term offered plea. They’re the same thing. You cannot say: I didn’t do it, but the state can prove it. Or they can prove it and I’m standing without saying anything. Indiana doesn’t have that. In the state of Indiana you have to admit that you did what they said you did. If you tell the court that, they are supposed to reject the plea.
What is a Set Term Plea Agreement?
Teri Ulm – Is there a such thing as a set term plea, and what is that if there is?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. It’s pretty common. There’s what we call a set term plea and then there’s what we call an open plea. To understand the difference, you kind of have to understand how sentences work. So for a level five felony, for example, the penalty range is two to six years. Sometimes with a plea agreement you agree to plead guilty in return for just changing the range. So, instead of looking at two to six, the parties agree that the court has to give him between zero and four, or between two and four. Whatever you like. Because technically the two years is suspendable. So really the minimum is zero. So you can just agree to change the range. That’s called an open plea. Or, you can reach a plea agreement where the defendant admits guilt, and in return all the aspects of the sentence are agreed upon. For example, in that case we could say: he pleads guilty to a level five felony. He gets one year in prison, one year in work release, followed by one year of home detention, followed by one year of probation. So, he’ll get a four year sentence, and we’re splitting it up. One year in each of these components. And, in that case it’s set term because we know how long it is, we know where he’s going to serve each portion of it, and we know what his probation terms are going to be. So, in that case, Chad has done what’s called a set term plea.
What Types of Things are Negotiated in a Plea Deal?
Teri Ulm – What types of things are negotiated in a plea deal?
Kassi Rigney – A big thing, if there’s executed time or not (meaning jail time), home detention, work release, or probation. And then oftentimes terms of probation or terms of community correction. Potentially, classes that you might take the DOC. Depending on if there’s a protective order. There might be community service work. There might be substance abuse evaluation and treatment. Driver’s license suspension, conditions of those driver’s license suspensions. Just about anything. Essentially you can negotiate any portion. Anything that the judge has jurisdiction to include in the sentence. So, if a license suspension is statutorily authorized by the Indiana code, then you can negotiate the license suspension. I have actually negotiated specific terms of probation, once or twice. Typically, you got to have a really good reason to do that, and it’s got to be something that the prosecutor doesn’t care enough about to get bent out of shape about. But I have done that where I went back and said: “Hey. Look. We want this specific normal term of probation to not apply to my client because he doesn’t have a problem with this particular thing or that particular thing.” They have agreed to it, depending on what it is. Sometimes. But that’s very rare. But, yeah. It’s anything the judge could do to you at sentencing is what you can negotiate.
Can a Felony Charge be Negotiated Down to a Misdemeanor Charge?
Teri Ulm – Can you negotiate a felony charge being lessened to a misdemeanor charge?
Kassi Rigney – Certainly. This is part of what the discovery process is for. We’ve talked about a probable cause affidavit. That’s a preview of what the evidence is. That’s what the police officer thinks this case is about essentially. Well, when the lawyers get going into the discovery process, you start interviewing witnesses and start seeing what it is. Certainly. Maybe there’s not legal basis for the state to even pursue that anymore. Maybe it’s too risky to risk a felony and a misdemeanor is a way for them to secure some kind of conviction out of it. Or maybe they just think that’s the appropriate charge. Sometimes you get into discovery and the state will dismiss. If the police got the witness statement wrong or made another error.
Is a Plea Deal the Same as a Conviction?
Teri Ulm – Is a plea deal the same as a conviction?
Jacob Rigney – In Indiana, yes. Now there might be jurisdictions…..Well, you know what. Even in Indiana, not necessarily. Almost always. They do have occasionally what’s called a deferred conviction/deferred judgment where they put you on probation or some similar sort of program and if you successfully complete it they just dismiss your case. But, if you fail to complete that for any reason, then they just go forward with the plea that they’ve done and enter judgment of conviction against you. So, that happens. It doesn’t happen very often, especially not anymore. There used to be a court in Marion County that would do those on a somewhat regular basis, but that court closed, and got turned into a regular old misdemeanor court in downtown in the City County building. So, shout out to community court. But that doesn’t happen very often. But in theory, you can plead guilty and then not get convicted. The vast majority of plea agreements in Indiana result in convictions. I can’t even think of a court that still does deferred judgments.
Kassi Rigney – When they do them, they’re not titled ‘plea agreement’. They’re called a deferral agreement. When I’ve seen them, as well.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Back in community court, the ones they did actually said you had to do a factual basis, and then the judge would withhold entering judgment of conviction. So it was a full-on plea agreement.
Kassi Rigney – So, it sounds like that’s what our diversions are now except the court would just hold on to it and monitor it till the end of the period.
Jacob Rigney – Right. And the difference was that you couldn’t go to trial after a deferred entry. Because you’d already made an admission. Because you’d already plead. So, if you mess up your program, they just sentence you. In fact, the one I’m thinking of, they still do it in in Veterans Court in Marion County. You have to plead guilty to the crime, and if you fail out of the veterans court system, they just sentence you. The diversion, which is a different sort of way to resolve a case, and something we haven’t talked about yet, in that you don’t plead guilty. You just agree to do some stuff and if you do it, they dismiss your case. Which probably sounds no different than the thing I already described. And it is a very fine difference, but the big question is just whether you retain your right to a trial or not. Technically on a regular old misdemeanor diversion where you agree to do some stuff and they agree to dismiss it, if you do those things, if you come back later having not done it, you still have the right to a trial. So, that’s the small difference, is what happens if you fail those two different programs. One of them you just get sentenced and the other one you have a trial.
Who Initiates a Plea Deal?
Teri Ulm – Is it the prosecutor that always initiates the plea deal, or is it ever the defense attorney that might initiate it?
Kassi Rigney – Well, the defense can. I think Jake and I both agree that it’s a stronger position to make the other person make an offer first. But again, there’s an art to it. There’s not a fine line. There’s no here’s how you negotiate step one, step two, step three with hard recommendations. Every case is different. You negotiate on the facts, the law, with the other person. Because you may negotiate differently with a different person. Some prosecutors are nicer than others. Some are more receptive to certain arguments than others.
Are Plea Deals Public Record?
Teri Ulm – Are plea deals public record?
Jacob Rigney – Yes. That is a pleading that is filed in court. Well, no. It doesn’t have to be filed. There is a court that doesn’t do written play agreements. But it’s on the record one way or another. Either announced in open court or in writing and filed with the court. And those proceedings are open to the public. So any person who wants to get information about the proceeding can do so by contacting the clerk in that county. They are always on the record in some way.
What Happens if You Don’t Take a Plea Deal?
Teri Ulm – What happens if you don’t take a plea deal?
Kassi Rigney – Ultimately doesn’t change your position. You’re charged with a crime. You can admit or you can go to trial.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Or you can wait and see if they dismiss it.
Kassi Rigney – Yeah. So you don’t like the plea, you’re still in the same position. You can admit or go to trial. You just failed to work out a satisfactory agreement regarding that admission.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Sometimes I compare it to buying a car. Obviously there are ways in which it’s much different than buying a car, right? Because you never end up in prison at the end of your car negotiation. But when they make you an offer, when the state makes an offer, you always have the same three options. And it’s the same three options you have when you’re buying a car. You can accept the offer that they’ve made in which case you are either resolving your case or buying a car, depending on which of these things you’re doing. You can reject their offer. In the car example, then you are not buying a car. In the court example, you are then either going to trial or the state ends up dismissing it if their case falls apart. Or you can make a counteroffer. Obviously in the car version of this explanation you’re coming back with different numbers, or a different warranty, or I don’t know what. I don’t remember. It’s been a long time since I bought a car. In the in the criminal version of it, you’re proposing different terms for the agreement. Whether that’s either changing the range to something more agreeable to you or changing a specific term that they’ve proposed, if it’s a set term plea agreement. So, those are always your options with their offer. It’s always the same.
Florida Man (& Kangaroo)
Teri Ulm – We are now going to interrupt this episode to bring you the latest Florida Man news. Now our first two stories out of Florida are updates to stories we talked about in previous episodes.
Jacob Rigney – Okay.
Teri Ulm – Do you remember Florida Kangaroo?
Jacob Rigney – I definitely remember Florida Kangaroo. I am thinking about Florida kangaroo every day.
Teri Ulm – Well there’s an update to his story. Local 10 reports…
Jacob Rigney – My fingers are crossed.
Teri Ulm – Local 10 reports that it was literally kangaroo court this last Wednesday when Florida Man entered a plea of not guilty in connection with his misdemeanor charges that he’s facing for housing Florida kangaroo. He’s going to trial! Florida kangaroo has a name. His name is Jack Jack.
Jacob Rigney – Jack Jack!
Teri Ulm – Jack Jack.
Kassi Rigney – Our four and a half -year-old daughter named her?
Jacob Rigney – That’s quite possible.
Teri Ulm – So a new development… I just came across how long it took the Florida police to corral Florida kangaroo. It was an hour and a half, and they managed to put a rope around his neck to put him in the car.
Kassi Rigney – I am still confused about the decision to put a wild animal in the cab of a car.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. It was poor. That was a poor choice.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. And the day after Jack Jack’s… Well they say rescue. I would say apprehension. Florida Man organized a fundraiser, free Jack Jack on gofundme in hopes to raise $25,000 so he can move to an area that is zoned properly, and he can have his kangaroo.
Jacob Rigney – Give me money or I’ll break the law again. Brought to you by Florida Man.
Kassi Rigney – So should I just find out what cute animal demands to be resided, and wherever it is i want to move, and then… Because this isn’t for free Jack Jack. This is to get Florida Man a new home.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – Right. That’s a dick move, Florida Man. Stop pimping out Jack Jack for your own financial gain, bro. That’s not cool. I’m on team Jack Jack all the way on this.
Teri Ulm – Well, Florida Man’s not having much luck with his gofundme, with his free Jack Jack. With his $25,000 goal. Last checked, he raised $805.
Jacob Rigney – Damn. That’s still too much.
Kassi Rigney – That is too much.
Florida Man and Son Arrested in Columbia (Miracle Mineral Solution)
Teri Ulm – Yeah. So moving on to our next story update. Do you remember the miracle Covid cure that was being sold by that church down in Florida?
Kassi Rigney – Qanon. Yes.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. I’m scared to even talk about this again, because those guys can really… There’s a lot of them.
Teri Ulm – Well, Forbes reports that Florida Man, the Florida Man and his sons that sold the toxic miracle Covid-19 cure, has been arrested in Colombia. So he went to Columbia with one of his three sons, and they were selling the miracle cure out of Colombia and shipping it to the United States and to Africa. But Colombia authorities arrested them on Tuesday. And they are set to be extradited back to the United States.
Jacob Rigney – Why are they being extradited back to the… Have they been charged in the United States?
Teri Ulm – Yes.
Kassi Rigney – Remember they failed to appear for court.
Jacob Rigney – Well, that was just like the FTC or something.
Kassi Rigney – Oh wait. Yeah. Yeah. It was a civil thing.
Teri Ulm – Well in July it says the four, because the Florida man and his three sons, were federally charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to defraud the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and criminal contempt.
Jacob Rigney – Cool. Remember when I told you they were going to jail?
Teri Ulm – They’re going. They’re in.
Jacob Rigney – It’s almost like I knew. It’s almost like I know what I’m talking about sometimes. It’s weird.
Kassi Rigney – Well, first I thought: how bad has it gotten if you have to run awry of Colombia’s criminal justice system? That’s my first thought.
Jacob Rigney – Columbia’s like: “Six, six bricks of cocaine is legal, but you keep that miracle mineral cure shit the hell out of here.”
Teri Ulm – Yeah. No bleach, please.
Jacob Rigney – Like I said, I don’t really… I’m glad we are talking about it again, but I’m… I also don’t want to, because I don’t want to get like 7 billion negative Google reviews or something.
Teri Ulm – From the far far right.
Jacob Rigney – Right. From the Qanon army.
Kassi Rigney – I’m gonna want you to cut that. Don’t give these people any ideas.
Jacob Rigney – They already had the idea. But geez. Just stop guys. Figure out some other way. The rumor is that that guy is Q. He is the original pizza gate, Qanon, child molester ring. That whole thing started with him. The rumor is. That’s not confirmed.
Teri Ulm – Interesting.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. I don’t want to get sued for slander. I don’t know. I’ll do a Donald Trump. People are saying. People are saying that that’s uh that that’s Q. People are saying it. Not me. People.
Kassi Rigney – Smart people.
Jacob Rigney – Smart people.
Kassi Rigney – Lots of people. The best people.
Jacob Rigney – Very very smart people that I respect are saying that. Okay. It’s me, because I don’t respect anybody, but myself. No that’s what Trump would say. I don’t know if he’s Q or not. I don’t know.
Teri Ulm – I don’t know. Maybe there will be another update down the road. We’ll see. So the next Florida story…
Jacob Rigney – Probably not.
Old Florida Man Arrested for Singing a Little Tune and Strumming his Guitar While Sitting on his Porch.
Teri Ulm – Well, I defer to you on these criminal cases. So, this next story is a little disturbing to me.
Jacob Rigney – Oh good.
Teri Ulm – Just because I could see myself being this guy.
Jacob Rigney & Kassi Rigney – Laughter….
Kassi Rigney – Oh great. That’s a great lead-in.
Jacob Rigney – You can see yourself being a guy. All right.
Teri Ulm – Well doing what this Florida Man did.
Jacob Rigney – Your man friend will really appreciate knowing that.
Kassi Rigney – So this person you see yourself in this man’s disturbing behavior.
Teri Ulm – I do. Okay, so we’ll just jump right into it now.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Let’s hurry. Let’s run headlong into this.
Teri Ulm – So, Sydney Now magazine reports that Florida Man was arrested for singing a derogatory song he allegedly composed for his neighbor. Florida Man, who’s 62, was sitting out on his front porch insulting his neighbor with a musical number as he strummed his guitar. The Florida or Florida female neighbor told police that she heard Florida Man singing: “There is a neighbor who is a bitch. I see her now. She’s a witch.” And Florida Woman recorded this on her cell phone, called the police, showed it to the officers, and claimed that he was harassing her, and the song affected her peace and quiet. They arrested Florida Man.
Jacob Rigney – What?
Teri Ulm – Sitting on his porch singing a little tune.
Kassi Rigney – This is ridiculous. Karen needs to go back inside. Just turn up her daytime stories and stop worrying about Florida Man. This is childish. Who cares.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – It’s weird. I almost never do this, but I am on Florida Man’s side on this one. It turns out that the only thing worse than Florida Man is Florida Karen.
Teri Ulm – Florida Man, he originally denied the allegations against him, but later he said that it doesn’t mean that he was singing about her. So, I can’t sit on my porch and sing a little tune?
Jacob Rigney – No. You can. You just can’t make… In Indiana you can. You just can’t make unreasonable noise.
Teri Ulm – I think Florida Man was… I don’t think he should have been arrested here, but he was.
Jacob Rigney – I don’t think so either. Although obviously it depends on what the Florida statutes say, and god knows we haven’t read those. We’re too busy making fun of Florida Man to bother reading about his laws. I don’t think I want to read any laws that a Florida Man wrote. In Indiana, that would almost certainly not be a crime. If you called the police for that, the police would almost certainly… Well, I shouldn’t say that. I don’t know exactly what the police would do. My guess is they would probably tell you to find something better to do.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – Than call them about that. Especially in Indianapolis, they’d be like: Yeah. I had to take 15 minutes out of my day and cut my dinner short to come over here and listen to you complain about four bars that you suck Karen. Bye. Yeah. Just bye. I was gonna say bye Felicia, but I don’t think I’m supposed to say that.
Teri Ulm – We have one last story out of Florida before we wrap it up.
Jacob Rigney – They never end.
Florida Sheriff Orders his Deputies to Not Wear Masks.
Teri Ulm – So, the New York Times reports that a Florida sheriff has ordered his deputies not to wear masks. He even barred visitors from his office…
Jacob Rigney – I read about that. from wearing them.
Kassi Rigney – Now this is a unique situation. I think to some limited way there could be a safety concern. You’re going into a place of incarceration, making sure that you identify those people. I’ve gone into a courthouse and I generally have to ID myself. And I have been asked to pull my mask down before, when I’m showing that photo ID. The fact that he doesn’t let them put it back on or that the people who are essentially caged in there with the virus, and being denied any opportunity to even try to protect themselves or others is a problem in my mind.
Teri Ulm – So the sheriff’s reasoning behind this…
Jacob Rigney – Oh. This will be good.
Teri Ulm – It was more about improving communication with the public. In light of all the hatred towards law enforcement right now, he thought it would be better for his officers’ voices not to be muffled behind a mask.
Jacob Rigney – Your voices aren’t really muffled very much behind a mask.
Kassi Rigney – You know, when you put forth a justification like that, I mean he didn’t even try. Either he’s stupid or he really just wants to say: “Fuck you, guys”.
Jacob Rigney – Okay. I’ll go further. Not only are we not required to wear masks, I’m banning masks. That’s how much I love the freedom. Think I can’t come up with a stupid explanation here. People can’t hear through masks. Bam. Done.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. The sheriff ended his email… He sent an email to all his deputies letting them know about his no mask policy with a strict tone of enforcement saying: “My orders will be followed or my actions will be swift to address”.
Jacob Rigney – My orders will be followed or my actions will be swiftly addressed. What the?
Kassi Rigney – Enjoy your authority much?
Teri Ulm – Well, you probably won’t be surprised to know that the New York Times also reported that prior to the sheriff issuing his order he was on the phone with President Trump. So.
Jacob Rigney – Hmm. Yeah.
Teri Ulm – Yeah.
Jacob Rigney – That doesn’t surprise me.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. Well that’s all the time we have for today.
Jacob Rigney – Oh that’s my cue. Thanks, Teri. And thank you for listening to Tales from the Brown Desk. Please remember, while we may discuss legal issues and provide information regarding the law to our listeners, we do not intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any listener. Our advice may not be applicable to some legal issues. Please consult with an attorney you’ve hired to review your legal situation before you attempt to apply the things we have said to your case. You can ask us a question if you like. Just email Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org, and title your email: “Podcast question” and we’ll read it on our next podcast. Unless we start getting too many questions and then we’ll just read the good ones, but we’re probably not going to get too many questions. Buzzsprout says we have 30 listeners now. That’s up one from last week. Great job one new listener! By the way, I think the one new listener we added lives in Israel and I don’t mean like Israel, Texas. I mean like the country on the Mediterranean. Israel. I checked to see if there were any acceptable jokes i could make about Israel the answer is no.
Teri Ulm – No.
Jacob Rigney – There are no jokes that I can make about that. So, thanks for listening person in Israel. That’s not a joke. The attorneys at Rigney Law also do not comment on their current pending cases. Nothing we’ve said in this podcast is a comment on a case we are currently working on, even if your name is Chad, even if you’re a Kangaroo, even if you’re in a cage in Florida right now. I love you Jack Jack. I miss you. I’m rooting for you, bro. Zega zoom to everybody.