Sandra Merritt Challenges Court’s Refusal to Dismiss

Oct 2, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today Sandra “Susan” Merritt filed a Petition for a Writ of Mandate which challenges Judge Christopher Hite’s refusal to dismiss the untimely Amended Complaint that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra failed to refile within the time prescribed by law.

Judge Hite previously ruled the attorney general “intended” to re-file the previously dismissed counts against Merritt and gave him an extension to correct what Becerra called a “clerical error.” The law clearly states that a dismissed charge must be re-filed within 10 days of the dismissal or be permanently barred. But the court ruled that the 14 counts can be re-filed two months beyond the prescribed time. 

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. 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 and California law 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.

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel said, “The court must obey the law. It is irresponsible practice when the law says one thing and courts do another. Judge Hite must take the correct legal action and dismiss the 14 criminal charges against Sandra Merritt,” said Staver.

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.