Thursday, January 18, 2007

Proposed Legislation to help fix the broken courts

From: Francis C. P. Knize: 50 Sunset Pass, Wilton, Ct. 06897 203 544 9603

Dear Gov. Rell,

If you are truly interested in reforming the Conn. Judiciary, the bill below works toward accountability. Citizens are now requesting your support for this Bill;  The `Connecticut Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act of 2007', and ask that since there might be resistance by the Judiciary Committee because its lawyer membership slant, that you would come forward and produce an executive order out of the Bill's text. My delivery to the committee is following the Bill below. Please communicate with me concerning this very important Bill. Please note that Rep. Lawlor and Sen. Mcdonald had no questions about the Bill during the hearing, as to imply they would resist its premise.

Francis C. P. Knize; Producer on legal reform

STATE OF CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Raised Bill No. ________ (Modeled from Congress’ H.R. 5219)
January Session, 2007
_______JUD*
Referred to Committee on Judiciary
Introduced by The House Judiciary Committee, authored by Francis C. P. Knize using
recommendations from Rep. Christopher Shays, and Raised H.R 5219 at the U.S. Congress’
House Judiciary Committee.
An Act Concerning Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement and Judicial Reform

Creation a State Statute, to provide for the detection and prevention of inappropriate conduct,
illegal activity, undermining of the judicial machinery, and violations of the Judicial Oath to
support the U.S. and State Constitutions in the State Judiciary; while acknowledging the review
standard of a public officer’s “Spirit of Restraint� to infringe upon a party’s fundamental rights.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Jan , 2007
Francis C. P. Knize, producer, using recommendations from Mr. Christopher Shays during an
interview with him, introduces the following bill; which is now referred to the House Committee
on the Judiciary.

A BILL
Creation of a new Statute to provide for the detection and prevention of inappropriate conduct
and detection of fraud which does, or attempts to ... defile the court itself, or is a fraud
perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not perform in the usual
manner, concerning the application in the Connecticut State judiciary.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Connecticut in
Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Connecticut Judicial Transparency and Ethics
Enhancement Act of 2007'.


SEC. 2. INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR THE JUDICIAL BRANCH.
(a) Creation and Duties-


`CHAPTER ___--INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
0001. Establishment.
0002. Appointment of Inspector General.
0003. Duties.
0004. Powers of the Inspector General and Assistant Inspector Generals
0005. Powers of the 12 member panel of the Grand Jury
0006. Reports.
0007. Whistleblower protection.

`Sec. 0001. Establishment
`There is established for the judicial branch of the State Government the Office of Inspector
General for the Judicial Branch with powers to appoint a Grand Jury Panel (hereinafter in this
chapter referred to as the `Office').

`Sec. 0002. Appointment of Inspector General
`The head of the Office shall be the Inspector General, who shall be appointed by a panel
made up of at least 2/3rds non-lawyer/judge/ABA members after consultation with the
majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the Speaker and minority leader of the House
of Representatives. The Inspector General must have a history of having “clean hands�.

`Sec. 0003. Duties
`With respect to the Judicial Branch, the Office shall--
`(1) conduct investigations of matters pertaining to the Judicial Branch, including
possible misconduct in office of judges and proceedings under Standards of both
Ethics and Law, including powers to determine whether laws were broken, whether
judicial discretion was abused, whether abuses were against Public Policy, including
issues that may require oversight or other inappropriate actions {including fraud and
malicious prosecution) within the State Judicial Branch.
`(2) conduct and supervise audits and investigations, including Abuse of Power, Fraud
upon the court; illegal or inappropriate use of discretion.
`(3) prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse; and
`(4) recommend changes in laws or regulations governing the Judicial Branch.
(5) Appoint a 12 member Grand Jury Panel made up of two-thirds non-
lawyer/judge/ABA members.
(6) Ensure that a complaint be set for trial within 60 days from entree of the
complaint, new grand juries will be appointed as case flow becomes constrained.
Assistant Inspector Generals can be appointed if the Inspector General finds he is
overloaded to adjudicate all cases himself, where the Assistant Inspector General must
then pass the findings and Judgment to the Inspector General for the Inspector
General to exercise his duty of reporting and other administrative duties.
(7) Ensure all Office Members and jury members take an oath to support the State
and Federal Constitutions before assuming their respective duties.

`Sec. 0004. Powers of the Inspector General and Assistant Inspector Generals
`In carrying out the duties of the Office, the Inspector General shall have the power--
`(1) to make investigations and reports;
`(2) to obtain information or assistance from any Federal, State, or local governmental
agency, or other entity, or unit thereof, including all information kept in the course of
business by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the judicial councils of
circuits, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and the United States
Sentencing Commission;
`(3) to require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such
witnesses, and the production of such books, records, correspondence memoranda,
papers, and documents, which subpoena, in the case of contumacy or refusal to obey,
shall be enforceable by civil action;
`(4) to administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, or affidavit;
`(5) to employ such officers and employees, governing appointments in the
competitive service, and the provisions State General Schedule pay rates;
`(6) to obtain services as authorized by Statute sec_______, at daily rates not to
exceed the equivalent rate prescribed for like State employees ; and
`(7) to the extent and in such amounts as may be provided in advance by
appropriations Acts, to enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, studies,
analyses, and other services with public agencies and with private persons, and to
make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the Office.
(8) to appoint a 12 member Grand Jury Panel to hear all cases.
(9) to demand that finding(s), order(s) or judgment(s) in question from a judge so
charged under this office be clarified as to state an authority of law for which the
judgment should be based, in particular order(s) for denial or dismissal if no written
finding was available.
(10) to instruct the jury to find upon the clarification as to its legality.
(11) to ensure that the parties under the judge had their claims and allegations
addressed, and that the judge had ruled upon the facts of their pleadings.
(12) to ensure that probable causes are not defeated by a call for a judge’s right for
judicial discretion, but rather discretion is always questioned for its legality and
constitutionality.

``Sec. 0005. Powers of the 12 member panel of the Grand Jury
1) The Grand Jury shall be granted powers of jury nullification and have the right
to take it upon themselves to judge the law as applied ethically and
constitutionally by a judge as well as the facts in controversy surrounding a judge’s
decision; under Amendment VI of the U.S. Constitution.
2) The Grand Jury shall be granted the power for impeachment of a Public Official,
being a body authorized under the legislature.
3) The Grand Jury shall be granted power to suspend judicial immunity for acts
where clear and convincing abuses of power, law, and harmful discretion
occurred.
4) The Grand Jury shall be granted powers to determine Fraud, as a species of
deceit well settled in law as a court’s fraud upon the court as defined by KENNER;
it “is fraud which does, or attempts to ... defile the court itself, or is a fraud
perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not
perform in the usual manner� Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968);
7 Moore's Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512,sec 60.23. Charges against
a Judge for fraud must meet the level of "an intentional plan of deception designed
to improperly influence the Court in its decision {and} has had such an effect on
the court " to have changeable effect upon the outcome of the original judgment. 7
Moore's Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, sec. 60.23. Fraud is to be determined as
judicial misrepresentation which follows the well-settled 5 point test adapted to the
rulings of a judge:1. a false misrepresentation of a past or present material fact or
law; 2. knowledge by the public official making the false assertion that it is false or
ignorance of the truth of the assertion; 3. an intention to induce the claimant to act
or to justify the claimant to act; 4. the claimant must have been induced to act or
justified in acting in reliance on the representation or ruling; and 5. the claimant
must suffer damage proximately caused by the misrepresentation set within the
the context of the ruling.
5) The Grand Jury shall be granted powers to determine fiduciary damages to the
claimant, upon a finding of wrongdoing by a public official.

Sec. 0006. Reports
`(a) When to Be Made- The Inspector General shall--
`(1) make a report to The General Assembly relating to the activities of the Office
within 60 days of any judgment authorized under its office; and
`(2) make prompt reports to the The Judiciary Committee on matters that may require
prompt or emergency action by them.
`(b) Sensitive Matter of National Security or of individual or corporate privacy - If a
report contains sensitive matter, the Inspector General may so indicate by making a
finding on the facts alleged for a sensitive matter and receive that report in closed session.
The burden is upon the Inspector General to prove lives are at stake concerning National
Security Issues, or that disclosure to the public will severely harm a non-accused
individual or Corporation. Findings of the Inspector General will be made public in all
cases upon a verdict of guilty.
`(c) Duty to Inform Attorney General- In carrying out the duties of the Office, the
Inspector General shall report expeditiously to the State’s Attorney General whenever the
Inspector General has reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal
or State criminal law

`
Sec. 0007. Whistleblower protection
`(a) In General- No officer, employee, agent, contractor or subcontractor in the Judicial
Branch may discharge, demote, threaten, suspend, harass or in any other manner discriminate
against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act
done by the employee to provide information, cause information to be provided, or otherwise
assist in an investigation regarding any possible violation of Federal or State law or regulation,
or misconduct, by a judge or any other employee in the Judicial Branch, which may assist the
Inspector General in the performance of duties under this chapter.
`(b) Civil Action- An employee injured by a violation of subsection (a) may, in a civil action,
obtain appropriate relief.'.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of chapters for part ____ of the C.G.S , is amended by
adding at the end the following new item:
Title____; Inspector General for the Judicial Branch.

Statement of Purpose:
To adopt certain recommendations put forth by the model of H.R. 5219 at Congress on Judicial
Reform with respect to the transparency, accessibility and accountability of the Judicial Branch.

END

Testimony by Mr. Knize at the legislative committee on recommendations for judicial reform yesterday:

Delivery to Judiciary Committee on recommendations on 2 bills.

My name is Francis Knize and I am a producer following judicial reform in our state and
country.

In response to Chris Powell; we should never take out the clause that all courts are
open from the State’s constitution. We must maintain that right of the people. And to
address what can be done for judicial accountability put forth by Mr. Kennedy; hope is
at hand if we can have an open legislature that can enforce its duty to inspect the
judiciary for wrongdoing. Rep Lawlor talks about the problem that “on the face of law�
courts ignore the law. It’s time for a solution; An Inspector General of the Judiciary.

As it relates to the bills before us today, the question before us, and why we are here,
is the assurance that such bills are needed. One reason is clear; Judicial
accountability. As a producer working on a series on Judicial accountability called “In
the Interest of Justice� and I am in negotiation with CourtTV. Having recognized the
national public outcry for a fairer system which lower courts on occasion do not, but
should, be held accountable to honor the State and US Const.’s, it is paramount
Connecticut must open its courts to new scrutiny. Why? To secure court integrity and
allow the public a vehicle for which they can ensure that the Judicial branch does not
fall into disrepute. Presently, there is little real oversight where it is known that over
97% of complaints against public officials are routinely dismissed. The system proves
itself to be slanted. Camera’s provide the start for oversight upon the circumstance
where a judge has not performed his or her judicial function and to observe whether the
judge's attitude or state of mind leads a detached observer to conclude that a fair and
impartial hearing is unlikely. This committee has not yet addressed the full scope of the issues.
This includes
that judges would show whether they ANSWERED ON EACH ALLEGED and pleaded
CHARGE. And that a record with cameras can be made without a party having to obtain
expensive transcripts and also having to delay their case waiting for those records. And
that a recommendation to start allowing that parties can bring in the courtroom their
own sound recording device to help ensure the record is true and not missing
segment’s as many litigants have been claiming that happens. Or that Conn. be like Fla
and post the recordings immediately on the Internet Judicial site. That all Orders should
be made available for free, and that a party need not order transcripts to get at the oral
order. That Pro Se are treated fairly, and heard by judges at least on equal par with
lawyers. The court has recognized that Pro Se parties should be given leeway in the
court, but often Pro Se largely have the substance of their pleadings ignored. They are
discriminated against, as I have experienced directly. We need stop gaps which protect
citizens beyond an often inefficient Appeal process, where wait times for hearings can
be six months, and rightful stays are unjustifiably denied without the judges giving their reasons.
The public suspects that judges will always protect other judges over the need to enforce Canon
3 to report another judge’s wrongdoing. The power of judges is stacked against citizens when it
comes to judicial accountability. We need legislature to act to make sure “no man is above the
law.�

All denials and dismissals should by law offer a sufficient finding as to why. The practice of
denials and dismissals are often abused in the public’s eyes. What I am saying bringing up these
points is that the legislature must continue its important role of oversight upon the judicial branch,
where Connecticut has experienced first hand that one of its highest judges has abused the system
under the guise of Judicial Independence. We need judges to have Judicial Independence, up to a
certain threshold, it should stop when possible breaking of the law occurs. Separation of Powers
can mean that the legislature has its own authority to make sure that laws are followed by public
officials. An IG, appointed by the legislature itself can focus on this power. Legal Data shows
around the country that, in many cases judges abuse their responsibility, and that it is the rightful
authority of the Legislature to step-in to the process when it occurs. The requirement for “a spirit
of restraint� by judges is often not followed. The public’s confidence and trust for the judiciary is
at an all-time low. It runs 8 to 40 % as shown by the ABA’s own polls, how many in this
committee have read ABA’s PCT reports? The ABA polls succinctly describe the need for an
Independent Legislature to conduct Judicial investigations. For divorce court it is closer to 8 than
40%. Underlying the involved ABA report is the need for members of the Judiciary to support the
const. In our State J. Callehan started the implementation of the ABA recommendations. J.
McDonald and Sullivan soon removed those initiatives when they replaced J. Callehan. That is the
true appearance of the courts so far in Conn. concerning these inititives. Judicial Independence Vs
Checks and Balances is the big question. When Judges don’t respect and support the Const.,
where are the checks and balances?


Men are often discriminated against according to their const. Right to equality and federal laws.
They are not protected. Also,
parties have a right that lower courts honor federal laws at the outset, rather than put an
enormous burden upon aggrieved parties to go through a lengthy appeals process to higher and
higher courts, where they are claiming that federal laws and common law well-settled policy was
completely abused by the court,

It is IN THE Greater PUBLIC INTEREST to investigate when judges ARE potentially
BREAKING THE LAW, and that the Connecticut Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement
Act of 2007' is able to piggyback on the bills heard today including 5528. The JRC doesn’t want
to approach the issue under the premise of a Judge’s right to discretion, so we need an Inspector
General of the Judiciary to solve the problem, by his or her power to assemble a 12 member
Grand Jury. The Connecticut Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act of 2007'. that
you each have a copy of, assimilates many recommendations set forth by Congress’ House
Judiciary Committee, initially voted 20 to 6 in favor of, and comments from lawyers and the
public at large, it begins the process in a State to create REAL legislative oversight to insure a
judge honors his duty, with oversight, in part, directly by the community. Rep. Christopher Shays
said in an interview with me that he recommends an Inspector General
for detection of misconduct and that it should embody the black letter as including “breaking the
law to make sure judges honor their oaths to “Support the Const.�

Court is a forum which searches for the truth, but often the burden to fight against a corrupt
ruling is too great. This has happened in my own divorce case where a Shareholder’s Agreement
was thwarted despite jurisdictional challenges which were not addressed by lower and higher
Courts. It is well settled that once challenged jurisdiction must be proven by the court in a finding
on the record. On many occasions in my case this simply was not done. And yet this requirement
is so fundamental to the power of a judge. My mother was almost killed in a car accident, my
family called me to say she would not live the week and I should go to her. Yet, the Supreme
Court did not find this was a just cause for filing a motion late. In my case the higher courts
proved themselves to be without any real standard of ethics. Ethics violation standards should
also include when a ruling authority breaks the law. It is IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST to
investigate when judges ARE BREAKING THE LAW. The recommendation process must
continue until we can solve some of the problems of an unopen judiciary.

We also, need a continued process of recommendations to change law to create a fairer system,
and prevent judge obfuscation.

It is IN THE BEST PUBLIC INTEREST through the Legislature to investigate when judges ARE
BREAKING THE LAW.

The recommendation process should be ongoing for some years, because there are so many
questionable Practice Book laws that work to defy the premise of fair hearings and the right to
have aggrievances heard. END



* * * *

Chris Kennedy's complaint .pdf, click here

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