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Mental Health Ward or Trial for MAPA Prez Nativo Lopez?

MAPA President Nativo Lopez’ bravado and penchant for courtroom drama again failed to impress Judge Patricia Schnegg during his performance in Los Angeles Superior Court on November 22, 2010, where he faces eight felony charges regarding voter fraud.

After irritating court officials by repeating four times a boisterous proclamation that he had fired his attorney, Judge Schnegg calmly advised public defender John Powers that she was not relieving him of representation of Nativo Lopez until a determination had been made of Lopez’ mental competency.

Deputy District Attorney Juliet Schmidt requested that Lopez be remanded to custody for his repeated failure to provide identification at numerous scheduled psychiatric evaluations and for “malingering” to delay proceedings. Judge Schnegg warned Nativo that he might find himself “…spending the holidays with a new group of friends in County jail” if he misses the December 3, 2010, scheduled appointment.

So, it appears on January 12, 2011, we will have the long-awaited decision on whether Nativo Lopez will go to trial or be sent to a mental-health institution. He will appear before a newly assigned magistrate because on January 1, Judge Schnegg was appointed Presiding Judge.

While the Los Angeles Superior Court is attempting to get a mental competency declaration regarding Lopez’ ability to stand trial, apparently the California Appellate Court in Santa Ana believes Nativo Lopez  knew exactly what he was doing in 2009 when he distributed flyers and led protests accusing Overhill Farms, Inc., of “racism” and unfair labor practices after they were ordered by the IRS to lay off 254 employees with invalid Social Security numbers.

Overhill Farms fought back and announced on July 1, 2009, that it had “… filed a lawsuit against Nativo Lopez and six other leaders of an unlawful campaign aimed at coercing the company to violate federal law by rehiring former employees who have no legal right to work in the United States.” reported on November 16, 2010, “Overhill responded by suing the protestors for defamation. Lopez tried to block the lawsuit with an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion…The trial court denied the motion, however, and the Santa Ana-based Fourth District California Court of Appeals affirmed in a split-panel decision.”

According to the OC Weekly , Steven J. Goon, Overhill Farms’ attorney, wrote to the appellate judges that, “… ‘Lopez acted “maliciously” by launching “a campaign of lies against Overhill Farms in an attempt to coerce Overhill to ignore and violate the law [by re-hiring] illegal aliens . . . This is textbook extortion.’”

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