[text] of letter mailed out July 29, 2008, from Brattleboro, Vermont
This blog is for those that are victims of official, police, attorney, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct. This forum is also for the furthering of rights of non-custodial parents and their children. We will lobby legislators, propose laws, and inform the public. Feel free to post your story, comment, or email your video in.
To the Connecticut Judiciary Committee Legislators:
Should an Attorney, such as Michael H. Agranoff [more information], be able to lose important paperwork, such as the Attorney/Client agreement, and either not have any files on a client, or refuse to show them, to justify a bill of over $17,000 for defending a client that was attacked on his own property during a robbery attempt, where the client got a year in prison, 3 years probation for using pepper spray to end the attack?
The Statewide Grievance Committee seems to think that Agranoff shouldn't be investigated, and no hearing held, even if he issues them contradicting statements regarding his handling of my money, has lost or can’t produce my legal file, and seems to have committed theft, fraud, or other crimes in his pretense of acting as a real lawyer.
It has come to my attention that the Connecticut Judiciary Committee has given lawyers immunity in child cases with passed legislation. Does that mean a lawyer can rape children they are in charge of, or when representing the family in a case?
Agranoff seemed to owe Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan a favor from what I gathered from what Agranoff told me. Agranoff allegedly had some sort of improper relationship with a female client and faced being disbarred. Agranoff told me how unfair that was, defending his refusal to defend me, while charging me over $17,000 saying that Judge Kaplan had told him he was not allowed to defend me in a criminal case as payback for not being disbarred for improper behavior.
I had tried to have Kaplan removed as judge from Rockville court for bias in civil cases for at least 2 years prior. Should Kaplan then be able to put me in prison in retaliation? Does any of this sound like you might be interested in at least reviewing my trial transcripts to see that the courts and Connecticut attorney act legally, and in the best interest of the public?
Steven G. Erickson[address snipped]
P.S. I am posting the text of this email to you [here]
(b) Knowing and knowingly defined. For purposes of this section, the terms "knowing" and "knowingly" mean that a person, with respect to information--
(1) has actual knowledge of the information;
(2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or
How did Fogel v. Collins, No. 06-15395 (9th Cir. June 27, 2008) (opinion) escape the blogosphere's attention?
In Fogel, a 22-year-old Nevada City resident painted his van with some interesting messages:
The words 'I AM A FUCKING SUICIDE BOMBER COMMUNIST TERRORIST!' were painted in block letters on the back of the van above the rear window. On the rear window was painted 'PULL ME OVER! PLEASE, I DARE YA[.]' Below the window in slightly smaller letters was the text 'ALLAH PRAISE THE PATRIOT ACT . . . FUCKING JIHAD ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT! P.S. W.O.M.D. ON BOARD!' A small American flag was attached to the van below the lettering. The rest of the van was decorated with slogans and paintings that had no political or threatening character.
The police officer who saw this van, unlike Barack Obama supporters, had a sense of humor. Id. at *7687 ("[The police officer] concluded that the messages on the van were just 'political satire' and returned to the police station after taking digital photographs of the van.") His supervisor disagreed, ordering the officer to impound the vehicle.
Keep in mind that Fogel had not committed any crimes. He had not been pulled over. Rather, his van was parked in his apartment's parking lot.
After police officers found Fogel in his apartment, they asked him if they could search his van. He consented to a search. No evidence of any crime was found.
Police arrested Fogel, charged him with making terrorist threats. They also impounded his vehicle:
Sergeant Hooker called a private towing company to impound the van. He instructed the company not to release the van until Fogel removed or painted over the writing. Fogel was told he would have to remove or paint over the entire message in order to retrieve his vehicle from the impound lot.
Id. at *7689. Fogel sued.
The Ninth Circuit held that the messages on his van were protected political satire. The panel noted: "When we take into account the entire context of Fogel's statements on the van, it is hard to see how any reasonable observer would have believed the statements were serious expressions of an intent to cause harm." Id. at *7695.
Yet, amazingly, the panel holds that the police officers were entitled to qualified immunity. How?
If a court wants to grant qualified immunity, makes it seem as though liability may be imposed only if there has been a case with identical set of facts. Thus, the court noted:
[I]n no case had a court held on identical or closely comparable facts that the speech was protected by the First Amendment. That is, in May 2004, when the officers acted, there was no reported case in which a person in the post-September 11 environment satirically proclaimed himself or herself to be a terrorist in possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Id. at *7699. There is, however, a long line of cases protecting satire. There is also a long line of cases holding that one cannot be arrested for non-threatening speech. Indeed, the panel spent several pages explicating those cases! See id. at *7791-97.
Are police officers so stupid that they can't apply a general rule ("You can't arrest someone for satire") to a specific set of circumstances (messages on a van)? Or is it that, when it comes to letting police officers escape liability for unconstitutional conduct, where there's a will, there's a way?
Wednesday morning's oversight hearing of the Justice Department by the Senate Judiciary Committee got off to a contentious start between Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the committee's top senators.
And then Mukasey dropped the bombshell: The so-called McNulty memorandum may be revised and is likely to be replaced by a new set of guidelines for the handling of attorney-client privilege in corporate fraud investigations.
Responding to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the ranking minority member, Mukasey revealed that Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip is drafting a letter to Specter addressing "real significant proposed changes" that could replace the policy named after former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty.
"There's no such as thing as a memo that achieves perfection. ... There are adjustments in the McNulty memo that can and will be made," Mukasey said. "In particular, we will no longer measure cooperation by waiver of the attorney-client privilege."
Mukasey said Filip's letter can be used to discuss changes "that may very well produce a memorandum in short order."
Specter, the lead sponsor of a bill in the Senate to modify the McNulty guidelines, had asked Mukasey what justified "coercing a waiver of the attorney-client privilege" and whether legislation is necessary.
The McNulty memo, which addresses how prosecutors should treat suspected corporate wrongdoers and their invocation of the privilege, is one of several in a succession of Justice directives that have been criticized as far-reaching and unfair to corporations.
Last month, Mukasey hinted that the memo could be tweaked.
Earlier Wednesday, at the outset of the question and answer session, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee's chairman, accused Mukasey of failing to keep his promise, made last fall, to review all controversial legal opinions by the department's Office of Legal Counsel issued in recent years.
"Why have you done that?" Leahy asked bluntly.
"Respectfully, I don't think I’ve gone back on my word," Mukasey said. Mukasey went on to say that he has reviewed "all significant OLC memos," some of which have been made available to the judiciary and intelligence panels in Congress.
Leahy quickly interjected: "I beg to differ with you a little bit. ... Simply reviewing the current [opinions], I don't think is enough." Leahy explained that revisiting past legal memos on executive powers would help the committee.
"I can't make a commitment to open up drawers of OLC and make them available to this committee," Mukasey shot back.
Leahy next suggested Mukasey make a list available of the memos he chose not to review. The attorney general was not swayed: "For me to give an index of all OLC memos, I don't know that it would serve anybody's interests."
Frustrated, Leahy ended his questioning: "Your answer is, 'No.'"
Mukasey responded: "My answer is qualified."First reported in The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times
Meehan, named by President Bush as chief prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania nearly seven years ago, didn't immediately reveal the reason for his departure. He scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon.
The Republican has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2010.
Meehan was sworn into his current post in 2001, only six days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He oversees an office of some 200 lawyers who handle all the civil and criminal federal cases in Philadelphia and eight other southeastern Pennsylvania counties.
Meehan's tenure saw more than a dozen convictions stemming from a federal probe that became public when police discovered an FBI bug in then-Mayor John F. Street's office in October 2003. Street was never charged, but several confidants and the city treasurer were put away.
Meehan's office is also prosecuting one of the state Senate's most powerful figures, outgoing Democratic Sen. Vincent Fumo.
His office has named among its priorities the protection of children from online predators and the elderly from substandard nursing homes and predatory lenders. Other initiatives have include prosecuting identity theft and cracking down on gang activity.
Meehan was elected Delaware County district attorney in 1995.
A month into his tenure there, he was thrust into the prosecution of high-profile murder suspect John DuPont. Heir to his family's chemical fortune, DuPont was convicted of the 1996 shooting death of Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz.
Meehan received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College, where he was a hockey standout, and was a National Hockey League on-ice official for several years.
He ran high-profile statewide election campaigns including Specter's 1992 Senate win and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's upset victory in 1994.Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
I.THE HISTORY OF JUDICIAL ARROGANCE TO FOUR CENTRAL ASPECTS OF THE PETITION CLAUSE
A)ASPECT ONE: THE RIGHT OF PETITION FOR REDRESS vs. SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY
B)ASPECT TWO: JUDICIALLY CREATED PERSONAL & OFFICIAL IMMUNITY
C)ASPECT THREE: POLITICAL PERSECUTION FOR EXERCISING PETITION RIGHTS
D)ASPECT FOUR: THE JUDICIAL CONTEMPT FOR PETITIONING TO REDRESS GRIEVANCES WITH GOVERNMENT IN FEDERAL COURT
II.THE DUEL MEANING OF THE PETITION CLAUSE: PROCEDURAL vs. SUBSTANTIVE
III. THE JUDICIARY IS ORGANIZED TO AVOID SUBSTANTIVE REDRESS OF CONSTITUTIONAL GRIEVANCES AND REASONABLE EXPLANATION OF UNREDRESSABILITY
The right (of petition) embraces dissent, and "would seem unnecessary to be expressly provided for in a republican government, since it results from the very nature and structure of its institutions. It is impossible that it could be practically denied until the spirit of liberty had wholly disappeared and the people had become so servile and debased as to be unfit to exercise any of the privileges of freemen." "[D]eprivation of it would at once be felt by every freeman as a degradation. (2)