A Fight Back Woman Blog

To enlighten and inform, and to encourage overseas prosecution of sexual assault

Power of Attorney – Part I

In a shameful display of negligence, I have let a week pass before getting to the concept of Power of Attorney. Forgive me. But I am going to touch on a topic leading into that concept to give a sense of what I went through from the time the official charges came in and my January 28, 2010 pre-trial hearing in Rome.

My attorney had confidence my case would move to trial. And he hypothesized that it would take place in the summer. Having briefly experienced a Roman summer when I had my Prosecutor interview, this prospect gave me dread. I was told a trial would likely be several weeks. Hmm..several weeks in air conditionless Rome for a highly stressful trial. That thought bothered me almost as much as the cost, but even more than that, I was freaking out a bit about my job. How would I go about leaving work for the trial, when it could extend beyond the 3 weeks vacation I get each year? At a company and in a department where I had been so wonderfully taken care of and protected, I could not fathom how I could ever ask them to let me slip off to Italy for an undetermined period of time.

I began looking through my benefits. I had the option of taking unpaid leave or short-term disability (a stretch). I was worried about my health insurance and the cost of a multi-week trip to Rome without a paycheck. No surprise my anxiety skyrocketed. And my weight just kept dropping. And dropping until one day I pulled on a skirt for a work event, and it fell right off me. I had to hold it up with a binder clip and I looked terrible.

My attorney told me we would file for civil damages to be paid before my trial (assuming the pre-trial judge would move my case to trial) and we needed to file all the necessary paperwork ahead of the January 22 hearing.  As I have mentioned previously, you can have civil damages handled before the criminal trial as a way for the offended party to secure reparations and the offender to limit damages a judge could impose later on. To do that, you have to file Power of Attorney documents at the Italian Embassy. I received the following instructions from my attorney:

“According to italian law you have to grant me a general power of attorney in order to allow me to bring the civil action in the criminal proceeding against Marco XX, to become a formal party.

According to Italian law the general power of attorney act must be signed – at the same time – by the party (you) and by the lawyer and the lawyer with his signature certificates the identity of the party (in your case that Keri Potts is Keri Potts); in our case this is not possible, so Italian law to solve this problem allow you to go to the competent Italian consulate, sign the attorney in front of an officer who will certificate your identity.

In your case the competent Consulate of Italy is in Newark because you are resident in New Jersey. The officer there will explain you all details but the main facts are that you have to go there from Monday to Friday 9.30 – 12.30, with your passport and around 50$ (they will tell you the price).

I’ve already sent her the Italian and the English version of the general power act, she will make sign both (and she will keep a copy of the English version in order to have proof that you have a knowledge of the Italian act that you have signed); I, also attach you, the two acts.”

Filing would make me a formal party for the civil, and if I received a settlement, it would make me informal for the trial. And neither tag would make me any more or less trustworthy in the court’s eyes as it was just a legal formality. Regardless, the hope was to surprise Marco at the pre-trial hearing to indicate we meant business and that we weren’t going away anytime soon.

I am pasting in for you here the Italian version of what I needed to file. I will give the English tomorrow with what the final document looked like for filing.

PROCURA SPECIALE

AI SENSI DELL

’ARTT. 100 E 122 C.P.P.

La sottoscritta Keri Allison Potts, nata New York (Stati Uniti d’America), (all. 1 – fotocopia del passaporto), residente in New Jersey (Stati Uniti d’America), persona offesa dal reato nel procedimento penale n. 54775/08 RG NR – 17005/09 RG GIP, pendente avanti al Giudice per l’Udienza Preliminare presso il Tribunale di Roma, dott.ssa Roberta Palmisano, a carico di Marco XXX, nato a Perugia il 26.12.19XX, elettivamente domiciliato in Roma, via Ciro Menotti n. 4 presso lo studio del codifensore di fiducia avv. Elisa Scaroina, imputato in ordine ai seguenti reati:

art. 609bis c.p. perché, con violenza consistita nell’afferrarla per le braccia e per il capo e nel tenerla ferma con le mani  e con il suo stesso corpo costringeva Potts Keri Allison a subire atti sessuali in particolare baciandola sulla bocca e mordendole le labbra nonché toccandole le parti intime, segnatamente le zone genitali.

Artt. 582, 585 c.p.

in relazione all’art. 576 n.1 c.p. perché, al fine di commettere il reato di cui al capo che precede e con la modalità ivi descritte, nonché colpendo con un pugno sul volto Potts Keri Allison, cagionava alla stessa lesioni personali giudicate guaribili in gg 7 sc.

In Roma 12.11.2008.”

per il quale è fissata l’udienza preliminare del giorno 28 gennaio 2010 e successive avanti al Giudice per le indagini preliminari presso il Tribunale di Roma – dott. ssa Roberta Palmisano, P.le Clodio, revocando ogni precedente nomina e dichiarazione di domicilio,

DICHIARA

di nominare difensore e procuratore speciale, ai sensi dell’art. 100 c.p.p. e procuratore speciale, ai sensi dell’art. 122 c.p.p., l’avv. Valentino XXX, del Foro di Milano, nato a Bari il 16.07.1979, con studio in Milano, viale Piave n. 11, presso il quale elegge domicilio, affinché si costituisca parte civile e stia in giudizio nel procedimento penale sopra indicato a carico del predetto imputato, in nome e per conto della sottoscritta, persona offesa dal reato.

 All’uopo conferisce al nominato difensore di fiducia e procuratore speciale tutte le più ampie facoltà per l’espletamento del mandato, nessuna esclusa ed, in particolare, quelle di nominare sostituti processuali, anche al fine del deposito dell’atto di costituzione di parte civile, consulenti tecnici di parte, discutere, firmare e presentare istanze, ricorsi, memorie e conclusioni, di chiedere la citazione del responsabile civile, avanzare richieste di risarcimento danni e provvisionali, procedere ad eventuali transazioni, rinunciare alla costituzione di parte civile e/o revocare la costituzione di parte civile, proporre impugnazione ai sensi degli artt. 576 c.p.p. e 37 disp. att. c.p.p. e fare quant’altro riterrà necessario per l’espletamento del presente mandato, in modo che mai da alcuno possa venire eccepita indeterminatezza o difetto di poteri, con promessa sin d’ora di “rato et valido” di quanto verrà deciso in esecuzione dell’incarico conferito.

 La presente procura speciale è conferita per tutti i gradi del giudizio, compreso quello di Cassazione ed, eventualmente, di esecuzione della sentenza, ed è diretta ad ottenere l’integrale risarcimento di tutti i danni patrimoniali e non patrimoniali, patiti e patiendi dalla sottoscritta Keri Allison Potts, in conseguenza dei reati così come contestati all’ imputato.

 A riprova della perfetta comprensione dell’atto da me sottoscritto, allego alla presente procura la traduzione di cortesia fornitami dal mio difensore, altres’ prdotta avanti la competente autorità consolare italiana negli Stati Uniti d’America (all. 2).

 Con osservanza.

(Keri Allison Potts)

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