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Court transcript discrepancies alleged by attorney for jailed Holland restaurant owner

Legal team for Marlena Pavlos-Hackney says they have yet to receive an "accurate" transcript of her arraignment on March 19 in an Ingham County courtroom
Marlena in Court Update
Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 19:02:48-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — The attorney for the restaurant owner who was jailed for allegedly failing to comply with local health orders appeared in court Tuesday regarding several motions they recently filed.

Robert Baker, the attorney for Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, filed a series of motions with Ingham County Courts on April 9—one of which asks the court to dismiss the contempt charge against Marlena's business, and refund the $15,000 in fines she has so far paid.

Another motion asked the court for an accurate transcript of Marlena's arraignment hearing held on March 19 in front of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who was filling in for Judge Wanda Stokes, who is overseeing the case.

Attorney Baker says the transcript his team received of the hearing does not reflect what happened in the courtroom during Marlena's arraignment.

“I have requested various times, from different members of the court staff, and the clerks, about getting this audio or video, and I'm being told that it's unavailable. They didn't say it doesn't exist; they just said it's unavailable to me,” Baker said Tuesday in the hearing.

But Judge Stokes said that in fact, the audio and video he is looking for does not exist. She said Tuesday that the court reporter who was responsible for transcribing the arraignment did so based on shorthand notes she had taken.

“I do agree that we should have a complete transcript, and it should be accurate, and my experience with Miss Fox [the court reporter] is; they normally are. So if there are some... substantive errors or irregularities within the transcript, those need to be corrected,” Judge Stokes said.

Before considering the motion filed by Marlena's team to have her contempt charge dismissed, Judge Stokes wants the issue over the transcript resolved. She decided to give the defense an additional 10 days to come up with a complete list of all the meaningful inconsistencies they have found.

“I did not want to move forward with my motion for relief from the original judgment without a proper transcript, because if she rules against us, then it's very likely that I would appeal,” Baker told FOX 17 in an interview following the hearing.

“I’m grateful to the Judge. Hopefully, when we get the proofs in front of her, she will make the correct decision.”

The case so far against Marlena's Bistro and Pizzeria
March 19, 2021 Marlena is Arrested
March 20, 2021 Restaurant is Closed After Arrest
March 20, 2021 Supporters Gather in Front of Restaurant
March 20, 2021 Attorney Baker Speaks After Arrest
March 22, 2021 MI GOP Holds Press Conference at Restaurant
March 22, 2021 Motion Filed to Have Marlena Released from Jail
March 23, 2021 Marlena Released from Jail
March 26, 2021 — Lawmakers Say Marlena Unfairly Targeted
April 14, 2021 — Documents Filed to Dismiss Case

Interactive Timeline of Events Leading up to Marlena's Arrest (According to the Attorney General's Office)

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