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Six years ago a piece of legislation was enacted known as the “Single Point of Entry”,(SPOE) It is part of Wyoming Statute 14-6-203 which is under Title 14 in the Wyoming Statutes. The idea is that the District Attorney will be the single point of entry for any minor into the legal system. Visualize the District Attorney as the Air Traffic Controller channeling juvenile offenders into various court systems or diversion programs. Here in Wyoming we usually refer to the District Attorney as the County Attorney, he or she is the highest office holder in the county’s legal department. As an elected official, the County Attorney has the “buck stops here” position in a county’s juvenile justice system.
We don’t have mail delivery available in Dubois to our houses, so we have post office boxes. I don’t come down the Mountain daily; I try to combine errands because gas isn’t cheap. On Monday the 5th, I checked the mail, on my way to hunt Elk. In the mail was a letter with the Governor’s office listed on the return. I was expecting a “Dear John”, my expectations were ill founded, enclosed in the envelope was a letter congratulating me on my appointment. Also in the letter was an “Oath of Office” form that I was to fill out, have notarized and return.
Reading Law Featured
Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner. Thomson/West, 2012. $69.93 new, $43.27 used, and Kindle edition at Amazon.com.
As they say on the Internet, IANAL. I am not a lawyer. So what am I, a non-lawyer, doing reviewing a book on reading legal texts? A book that might well be a law school text or part of an attorney's continuing legal education?
Others involved in the legal process should also be interested in this book. Legislators, clerks of court, paralegals, and others who draft or read legal instruments should know something of how jurists will interpret them. This goes beyond lawyers: Wyoming has the good sense to have a citizen legislature with ranchers and nurses among its members. You don't have to be a lawyer to draw up a contract: real estate agents draw up sales contracts all the time. People make agreements routinely; those may come before a judge if there is a disagreement.
October 1st is opening day for Elk Rifle Season around my house. This was very apparent as Lucy and I drove to Gillette for my appearance on Glenn Woods’ radio show. “It’s a long season, I can miss opening day” I thought to myself.
In keeping with the sentiment expressed in my last blog about participation rather than non-participatory criticism, I have submitted my application for service on the WY State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice to the Council as well as the Governor’s office. I have been told by a member of the Council that I am from an “over-represented” Judicial District, and that I probably won’t be appointed.