Judge rules on Weddell case

Ron Weddell's case against James and John Bustamonte will be forwarded to the Nevada Attorney General's Office after a ruling handed down by District Judge William Maddox.

Maddox also ruled that the Justice Court Clerk must accept a criminal complaint from developer Ron Weddell.

While saying Weddell clearly had the right to file his complaint, Maddox stopped short of ordering Carson City Justice Court to issue a warrant for the arrest of two men, who Weddell says tried to force his daughter to sell drugs and almost ran over one of his employees in October 1997.

Weddell's attorney, Day Williams, said he and Weddell were happy with the ruling.

"It says that the clerk has got to file the complaint against the person charged," Williams said. "The clerk has no discretion and should have filed the issue. We're pleased with this ruling."

District Attorney Noel Waters said he may ask Maddox to reexamine his ruling in the matter.

Waters said that the clerk refused the complaint under orders from Justice of the Peace Robey Willis.

According to the court documents filed Thursday, Weddell presented the document labeled "criminal complaint" to the Carson City Justice Clerk for filing on Feb. 17, 1999. Weddell also paid the filing fee.

The clerk did not file the complaint and the document ended up in Waters' hands.

Willis has said repeatedly that he believes the District Attorney should file charges.

According to a citation in Maddox's ruling, it is the duty of the clerk to accept any filing unless she has specific instructions from the court.

That will be the basis for Waters' request for Maddox to reexamine the ruling.

"The judge directed it not be filed because he believes that it is the District Attorney's responsibility to initiate prosecution," Waters said.

According to the ruling, one reason Maddox ruled against requiring the justice court to issue an arrest warrant was that the criminal complaint did not provide probably cause to show a crime had been committed.

Maddox also denied a request for the arrest of John and James Bustamonte and the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case.

Instead he ordered that all evidence in the Bustamonte case be delivered to the Attorney General's office for investigation.

Waters said he did not oppose turning the case over to the Attorney General.

Weddell's attempts to have the Bustamontes prosecuted led to a petition drive for a grand jury, which is presently being verified by the Carson City Clerk's Office.

Weddell was arrested for firing his gun at the Bustamontes during his confrontation with them. Maddox's predecessor, Judge Michael Fondi, overturned the charges.


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