"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Chenango County Family Court, New York, continues to block access of litigants to their own files

I've written on this blog that I know of three cases where the Chenango County Family Court blocks people's access to their own court records and digital recordings of proceedings, especially when judicial misconduct is a potential issue.

Now I know about four such cases, and in all of them the litigants were indigent, issues of judicial misconduct were involved, in 1 case out of 4 the person was not entitled to an attorney, in 1 out of 4 a person was denied assigned counsel and in 2 out of 4 assigned counsel refused to do discovery in a pending case or to communicate with their clients, thus, jeopardizing the case and refusing to provide any assistance of counsel, yet the Family Court continued in one case and continues in another case to use the fact that the person had or has an assigned counsel to deny them access to the court records.

Based on the facts reported to me, which I have no reason to doubt, it appears that the Chenango County Family Court (NY) has a policy to block litigants from raising issues of judicial misconduct in order to protect judges.

Such issues were already raised against the Chenango County Family Court in a federal lawsuit, Davis v Campbell, 3:13-cv-0693-LEK-ATB filed by a pro se indigent plaintiff, but the lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Lawrence Kahn of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York before it was even served, on "immunity" grounds, even though the person asked for declaratory relief (to declare that what the court did was a violation of the U.S. Constitution).
I provided an analysis of how the dismissals and discrimination against pro se indigent plaintiffs occurs in cases like this in an earlier blog post here.

Declaratory relief is not subject to any judicially created immunities, nor is a request for prospective injunctive relief of an ongoing constitutional violation, and the indigent plaintiff was intimidated against appealing the case because the federal district court "certified" the case as frivolous (made in bad faith) and thus chilled the indigent litigant from appealing the case.

So, next time when you read in a scholarly article or book that most of the judges are allegedly honorable and only very few engage in judicial misconduct - think again.

If that is true, why the judicial machine on both state and federal sides is so active in stalling claims of judicial misconduct on all levels - from assigning the "right" counsel who does not want to work for the indigents, to intimidation of attorneys by sanctions and revocation of licenses for criticism of the judiciary, so that attorneys would be terrified and would refuse to make motions to recuse.

Why would a district federal court be "certifying" that a pro se federal lawsuit that is clearly claiming multiple constitutional violations was brought in "bad faith" by an indigent plaintiff before that plaintiff had the benefit of consulting an attorney or serving the lawsuit?

It appears that in such "sua sponte" dismissals courts act on behalf of judges, in completely violation of court-advocate rule.

And this will remain how things are done in courts until and unless victims of this misconduct come forward and start speaking out.

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