Inmate claims judge denied speedy trial

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 14, 2012, 7:31am

GALVESTON - A Texas inmate has filed suit against a local municipal judge, claiming he was deprived of his right to a speedy trial.

Ralph Joseph Bianchi, who is currently incarcerated in Texas Department of Criminal Justice's H.H. Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, alleges League City Municipal Court Judge Kerri M. Foley failed to consider his motions for a speedy trial.

Bianchi's lawsuit was filed June 11 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 2.

Court papers explain that Bianchi received a traffic ticket for an unsafe lane change on Dec. 3, 2001, and was issued an arrest warrant for failing to appear before the League City Municipal Court on Jan. 3, 2002.

The plaintiff was then taken in custody, convicted on an unrelated charge and sentenced to life.

He proceeded to request the municipal court for a speedy trial, the first time in May 2003.

In response, the court offered "time served" to the complainant if he agreed to enter a guilty plea to all charges.

According to the original petition, Bianchi submitted numerous motions for speedy trial between June 2003 and last month to no avail.

It further argues the court's supposed actions violated Bianchi's constitutional rights.

Bianchi is representing himself in the case.

Galveston County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Barbara Roberts is presiding over the litigation.

Cause No. 67,620

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