Final notes on the Zach Scruggs Summary Judgment Opinion

Judge Biggers rejected Zach Scruggs’s attempt to set aside his misprision plea

The opinion spends seven or so pages thoroughly demolishing the argument that the misprision plea was defective because Zach Scruggs wasn’t alleged to have concealed anything. This is a claim that Zach Scruggs’s lawyers keep saying is jurisdictional.

First, such a claim was completely waived (and waived, the opinion notes, at a moment Zach Scruggs was represented by a former US Attorney, a former Assistant US Attorney, and a former state attorney general). Second, the information did allege concealment, and Zach Scruggs acknowledged he knew what it was and that he had done it during the plea colloquy. Third, in attempting to argue that the supposed defect in the information and factual basis are jurisdictional, the Scruggs brief relies on an overruled case (ouch!). Fourth, the factual basis does allege that Zach Scruggs received and kept from disclosure to his lawyers or the other side the corrupt orders, so it does describe concealment.

NMC
5/16/11