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Name: Cooks v. Newland
Case #: 03-56326
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/19/2005

A defendant’s desire to represent himself in only one of two pending cases does not preclude consolidation of those cases. The defendant had unsuccessfully argued in the California appellate courts that the trial court should not have consolidated two robbery cases because the consolidation forced him to choose between his rights under Faretta v California (1975) 422 U.S. 806 in one case and his rights under Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) 372 U.S. 355 in the other. The defendant conceded that the two cases could have been originally charged in one complaint and that under those circumstances he would have had no right to proceed in pro per as to one count but not the other. The Ninth Circuit held that the California courts had not unreasonably applied Faretta and Gideon, because the constitution does not promise the defendant an unconditional choice between self-representation and representation by counsel.