"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, July 22, 2019

The basis of indictment against Attorney Connie Reguli of Tennessee - or, rather, lack thereof. Part II

The case against Attorney Reguli, see my first blog in this series here, is in the nature of contempt of court proceedings, since it is based in its entirety on the mother and attorney supposedly disobeying a court order.

After her own investigation, according to the mother's application for certiorari to the higher court seeking to have the ex parte order vacated, attorney Reguli has found out that the ex parte order of removal was signed not only in the wrong county by the wrong judge (three jurisdictional defects - wrong county, no order of recusal from a proper judge, no order of appointment of the signing judge), 

but also at a very wrong time. 

The alleged court order in question is the order of Smith County Judge Michael Collins in a DeKalb County Juvenile Court action - before the action was even started, so Judge Michael Collins (never sanctioned for his egregious misconduct in this case) is some kind of a magician predicting that the case will be started and, just as well, signing an order of removal of two children from their mother before the case was started - why not?

Those are all important jurisdictional considerations, but the main one was - the judge cannot even consider any applications (motions) for orders, ex parte or otherwise, in an action that was not yet officially started, not filed with the court.

What I am posting here are excerpts from the mother's application for a writ of certiorari to vacate Judge Collins' illegal ex parte order of removal of her children.

This application was filed on August 28, 2018.  The ex parte order was signed on August 13, 2018.

A hearing on an ex parte order of removal of children - because it is an extraordinary measure - must be given the next day.

By the time the mother filed the application for a writ of certiorari, 15 days after signing of the order, she still did not have a hearing.

The timeline is like this:

August 8 and 9, 2018 (Wednesday and Thursday) - the police talks to the children and the mother and does not remove the children;

August 10, 2018 (Friday) - a police officer tells the mother's attorney that he sees no emergency

August 13, 2018 (Monday) - at some point during the day social services, without filing the petition with the court clerk,  approach Judge Cook of Juvenile Court, DeCalb County (who represented the father of the children in some previous child support and domestic violence proceedings).  

It is early time for Judge Cook to even consider a recusal, procedurally - because the petition was not yet filed, and the lawsuit is, thus, not yet commenced.

So, Judge Cook does not enter an order of recusal.

But, social services do not want to follow the law, to first file a petition, create a court record, and only then seek an application for an ex parte order - which is the lawful way to do it.

Instead, they engage in a shameless judge-shopping.

They go to another county, where they find Judge Michael Collins, a Recovery (drug) court judge, and a judge who, according to his Facebook page, is a devout churchgoer, advocate for the children and who has a disabled child of his own (one of Wendy Hancock's children is disabled).  

They allege, all through hearsay, drug use and dealing by the mother and physical abuse of a child by the mother (which was all dismissed later after a full trial), pull at the judge's heartstrings - and voila - he signs an application in a nonexistent court case, so that social services can happily go back and now file the already signed court order, together with a petition, in the Juvenile Court of DeCalb County.

The order tells them to serve the mother, to give her notice of the next day's 10:00 am hearing.

They do not do that.

The next day Judge Collins holds a hearing ex parte, without any evidence on file that the mother was served with the order, "takes testimony" of one of the children under oath, and then fails to audio-record it or create any records in the file that such a hearing was held.

That's Judge Collins' second misconduct in the case.

Then, Judge Collins blocks the mother's attorney from accessing the records in the file until and unless she files a written notice of appearance - which legally constitutes a waiver of service, at the direct request, which the judge admitted, of DCS attorney Catherine Pack, practically acting as an agent of DCS in the proceeding.   The third instance of judicial misconduct.

And then, Judge Collins recuses from the case on August 20, 2018 - without ever giving the mother a hearing on his illegal ex parte order of removal.

The mother then prepares with her attorney Connie Reguli an application to undo the ex parte order through the so-called "Rule 10" application for a writ of certiorari.

The higher court denies it by saying that you cannot file such an appeal before the final judgment in the case and dumps it back to the trial court.

Eventually, there is a full trial of the case, and the case is dismissed, thus making the already void ex parte order of judge Collins a nullity once more over.

Now, AFTER the case was dismissed, after attorney Reguli has won Wendy Hancock's children back for her - for the second time - the District Attorney of Williamson County indicts both the attorney and the mother for violating that same many-times-dead ex parte order of Judge Collins - which was 
  1. made in CLEAR absence of all jurisdiction when it was signed (before the lawsuit was started), 
  2. without an order of recusal of the court's proper judge (another jurisdictional defect), 
  3. without an order of appointment of Judge Collins by the Supreme Court of the State of Tennessee (another jurisdictional defect) and 
  4. which was made moot and a nullity because the whole case was dismissed in the mother's favor.

Nothing like using the full power of the state to beat the dead horse some more - and to harass the mother and her attorney who, despite all odds, despite all illegalities in the case (and there is a much longer list than  was described above and in the previous blog article of this series) - keep winning against the almighty government.

Harassment of an attorney by the government with a criminal prosecution for successful and diligent professional services looks pretty much like what they do in 3rd-country dictatorships, so, there.

I would also want to point out what I DO NOT see - which should be reasonably expected under the circumstances of this case, based on history of such cases in other countries, including 3rd-world dictatorships.

I do not see attorney solidarity.

I do not see attorneys standing up for one of their own, who is repeatedly persecuted by the government for successfully and diligently doing her job for her client, winning cases against the government and for suing that same government.

Apparently, bar associations in the State of Tennessee and individual colleagues of Attorney Reguli prefer to sit out the storm in the bushes, waiting to see who will win in this battle of taxpayer-backed Goliath against David.

In other countries, for your information, dear "colleagues", attorneys would have already hit the streets with demonstrations of protests, forcing authorities to drop the bogus fabricated charges against attorney Reguli and her client, but I understand, you are afraid for your own hide (scratch that) law license and will never stand up for one of your own, especially knowing that attorney Reguli is in cross-hairs of the government because she has pissed off several powerful judges in the area, regulators of law licenses of all attorneys in the state.

Nope.  No solidarity.  You will be watching how the government is trying to eliminate one of their own with the help of fabricated charges, hoping that the same cup will miss you.

That's a Russian roulette, folks, and a shameful one.

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