Sandra Merritt Seeks Dismissal of Charges

Aug 15, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Sandra ‘Susan’ Merritt filed a Motion to Dismiss late yesterday asking the San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss the politically-motivated criminal complaints brought against her by the State of California because the Attorney General failed to timely file an amended complaint by the 10-day deadline regarding the dismissed Counts 1-14. 

Liberty Counsel is defending Merritt and seeks dismissal of the 14 felony charges brought against her for her undercover work in exposing Planned Parenthood's unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts. Additionally, Merritt requests that her cash bail of $75,000 be exonerated.

The Court had previously agreed with Liberty Counsel that the criminal complaint filed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra against Merritt was legally defective and dismissed 14 of the 15 counts. The Court granted the Attorney General 10 days to attempt to correct the defects and re-file the charges, but the Attorney General failed to file any amended complaint in Merritt’s case within the required deadline. Failure to timely file an amended complaint after it has been dismissed means that Counts 1-14 must be permanently dismissed. Liberty Counsel’s recently Motion to Dismiss argues that Counts 1-14 must be dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be filed again.

The Attorney General, who has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood, claims that Merritt and David Daleiden filmed 14 people without permission between October 2013 and July 2015 in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the county of El Dorado. One felony count was filed for each person filmed. The 15th charge was for “criminal conspiracy” to invade “privacy.” However, the videos produced by Merritt and Daleiden exposed unethical and potentially illegal conduct by Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood itself has admitted, under oath, that the recorded conversations took place in “non-confidential” and public venues.

“The Superior Court’s docket in Sandra Merritt’s case is indisputably missing a timely filed amended complaint,” said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel's Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel. “The Attorney General – California’s top lawyer with a staff of 4,500 and an annual budget in excess of $800 million – has no excuse for his inability to comply with clear and simple legal requirements in the high-profile political prosecution he has chosen to bring against Ms. Merritt. This bogus case must be dismissed,” said Mihet.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.