Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Montana Courtroom Ruckus: 'You're Out of Order!'

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Al Pacino famously yelled "You're out of order. You're out of an order" when he portrayed an off-the-rails attorney in 1979's And Justice For All.

The same words were shouted in a Montana courtroom Nov. 19, but the proceedings were very real. In fact, the real-life drama included the judge walking out of the room, and the defendant insisting that he was in charge of the hearing.

The Associated Press reports that Monday's hearing stemmed from a July incident in which 51-year-old Joel Boniek, a former Montana state legislator, failed to stop at an emergency roadblock in his hometown as a wildfire burned near the Paradise Valley, Mont., region. Boniek was arrested and charged with obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest, and fleeing from the scene.

On Tuesday, Boniek walked into a court hearing in Lingston, Mont., followed by supporters. He instantly questioned the prosecutor's authority.

"Your honor, why is this woman [Deputy County Attorney Kathleen Carrick] even speaking if she can't prove she's a [public official]?" said Boniek, according to the AP.

Boniek's supporters then joined the fray, but when Park County Judge Linda Budeski told the supporters they were out of order, they shot back, "You're out of order," leading others in the crowd to join in.

The AP reports that Judge Budeski adjourned the hearing and walked out of the courtroom.

"The judge has left the room, I'm in charge now," said Boniek.

But a security officer responded, "No, you're not," and even questioned Boniek about a lump under his jacket, but Boniek refused to allow them to search him.

"The judge abandoned the courtroom, and I announced the case dismissed as the last man standing in the courtroom," said Boniek.

But the judge later told the AP that the case is still open, just delayed.

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