10/27/2006

Kangaroo Court?

Just what kind of a court are they running at Justice Court these days? I recently obtained and read a 28 page District Court Order issuing Writs against our local Justices of the Peace.

I do not have time to write extensively on this case today, and will be out of town tomorrow, so it will be Sunday at the earliest. I am also obtaining some additional records from the case.

For now, though, suffice it to say that District Court Judge Julie Macek has written a very detailed, thorough and dispassionate analysis of both of our JP's conduct in one case, and I simply cannot understand what is going on in that Court. These two individuals apparently either refuse to follow the law, refuse to read the law, or simply do not know what it is. Frankly, when Gladys Vance was a (non-lawyer) JP, she did a better job of following the law than these two attorneys have done in this case. It is really a travesty.

The whole Order smacks of a teacher having to discipline the children on the playground. It is disheartening that a District Court Judge has to spend the time and effort that Judge Macek spent educating other Judges on what is very basic, statutory, procedure.

18 comments:

Allen said...

I've read the order. Here is my legal analysis:

1. I believe that Judge Macek ruled correctly that there should have been express orders transferring jurisdiction to another judge for further proceedings on the contempt issue.

2. Judge Macek ruled incorrectly when she held that as a matter of law, the conduct was not contemptuous under 3-1-501, M.C.A..

3. Judge Macek ruled incorrectly when she granted a writ of mandate ordering the presiding JP to appoint and transfer jurisdiction to another justice of the peace for further proceedings on the contempt charge.

The correct result would have been to mandate that the justice court cease any further action on the contempt charge.

I know that I am right on points 2 and 3. Are any of you smart enough to figure out why? :)

GeeGuy said...

I'll answer after I receive your response to my questions about the illegality of locking up Jenice Freer. You've grown strangely quiet on that issue!

allen said...

I hope that my comments have not become such a fixture on your blog that 2-3 days absence in posting is seen as a strange silence! :)

I am prepping for a trial next week, so my client's needs are taking up much of my time.

I do appreciate the apology, even if I decline to accept any belatedly attached strings. Re: the Freer issue, I think that I have said my piece, and will leave it at that. I am not one for beating the proverbial dead horse. And I am not sure that a recitation of the nature of my own informal investigation really adds much to the discussion of the substantive issues in any event.

Are you going to the griz game tomorrow? If so, have fun!

Anonymous said...

For some time now, I have silently monitored your increasingly strained, incredible, and blind defense of Sam Harris. At the outset, you appeared to maintain, or at least project, a modicum of objectivity and reasonableness. Not anymore. First, in your zeal to downplay and obfuscate Harris’ patent and malicious disregard for Ms. Freer’s civil rights, you have unfairly and inaccurately personally attacked and smeared her character. You don’t know her. You no nothing about her. You take great offense to strangers who unfairly attack your character. Leave her alone. Before you continue this malicious character assassination, you might want to review the Montana Rules Of Professional Conduct for lawyers or at least the golden rule.

Second, in the course of this repugnant character assasination, you intentionally and maliciously spilled into the public domain certain factual allegations that clearly came from two separate confidential criminal investigative reports of the Great Falls Police Department in manifest violation of Ms. Freer’s constitutional right to privacy and the Montana Criminal Justice Information Act, Title 44, MCA. Since you have no lawful access to those police reports, it appears that that you unlawfully and unethically obtained and/or disseminated this confidential criminal justice information from someone who does (mayhaps the person who you are so zealously defending -- he was hopping mad earlier this week when the police department and county attorney declined his frontal request for the police reports -- ask him). Don’t bother with any responsive technical legalese about the seeming statutory exception for initial incident reports. The Montana Supreme Court has recently ruled (see 2006 Havre Daily News case) that our constitutional right to privacy trumps this lame statutory excuse. Hopefully, you will soon have an opportunity to make your technical argument to the Disciplinary Counsel of the Montana Commission on Practice at which time you will of course be compelled to disclose your source irrespective of the responsive smoke-screen propaganda that you may subsequently post here.

Lastly, your self-serving conclusory analysis of the District Court’s (Judge Macek) lengthy order is apallingly irresponsible and offensive. Don’t bother further enlightening blogdom with any more of your smug, defensive, self-serving legal analysis. If you and your alter-ego Mr. Harris truly believe there is any merit to your/his political rhetoric, then he may present it in open court at the show cause hearing that the District Court has set for next Friday on this matter (the District Court ordered the Justice Court to stand down on yet another questionable contempt proceeding or appear and show legal cause why they shouldn’t have to). On the other hand, keeping talking here if the tactic will again be for him to avoid exposing himself in open court while at the same time publicly criticising the District Court for not “hearing his side of the story.” (See recent Freer-Neill Tribune article wherein Harris disengenously asserted that he can justify his actions and that Judge Neill didn’t hear his side of the story. Contrary to this obfuscation, he had more than ample notice of Judge Neill’s hearing, consciously avoided it, and unsuccessfully tried to circumvent it by issuing an order for Ms. Freer’s release before the District Court hearing. Fortunately, Judge Neill prevented this blatant cover-up by ordering that Ms. Freer be transported to District Court immediately. It may also interest you to know that Judge Neill stated in open court that Harris’ conduct was the biggest miscarriage of justice he has ever seen -- check the record).

Before you expose yourself to legal and ethical peril any further, you might want to think about throttling back a bit. Do you really believe that two different district judges and everybody else who has had the audacity to hold Sam Harris accountable for his action are lying, politically-motivated, and retaliating against him because he “is holding people accountable” ? Come on. Why are you attacking people who are trying to hold him accountable ? As the old adage goes, sunshine is the best disinfectant. Get out of the way of the mop.

Anonymous said...

I am still interested in hearing from Allen where he got his information on the Freer case from. Seems like he got caught flat footed in lies and now does not want to come clean and admit responsibility. If he had a source other than Sam there should be no hesitation in outing the source of your info. The only conclusion to be reached is he is protecting Sam. Come on, Allen- give up the goods! Why would you be complicit in Sam's lies?

Worried said...

"The correct result would have been to mandate that the justice court cease any further action on the contempt charge."
I have to agree with Allen on this one. Judge Macek clearly identified that the JP Court has no jurisdiction to address contempt that does not occure IN THE PRESENSE OF THE COURT. Since Larry Anderson did not do anything in Court the JP's had no jurisdiction, end of story, end of case.
As for where Allen got his info RE: Ms. Freer, an educated guess would be that he got the info from his mate who works in the JP Court.

allen said...

Enough is enough.

I wouldn't ordinarily respond to such vitriol, but you raise a serious accusation.

The information I posted about the obstruction of justice charge is public criminal justice information with no restrictions on its dissemination. I have looked at no confidential criminal investigative reports. And in case you hadn't noticed, I said that I was done with the subject. What more can I do to leave her alone?

I regret that you find my analysis of Judge Macek's order irresponsible and offensive. But come on. Analyzing and critiquing judicial decisions is what lawyers do. It is a perfectly legitimate exercise, whether done in a brief, a law review article, a newspaper column, or in a comment to a blog. I like and respect Judge Macek. But I don't agree with every decision she issues. And if critically analyzing the decision of a sitting judge is a crime, then a lot of people associated with this blog, as well as any attorney who has every appealed an adverse decision, are in trouble.

What surprises me the most is the sheer ferocity and virulence of your post. What's your strategy here? Shut down any dissent with threats? Destroy the career of anyone who has the effrontery to suggest that Harris may not be the devil incarnate?

Would you like my address so that you can come vandalize my house and kill my pet?

Yes, you have the right to remain anonymous. But at least I have sufficient courage in my convictions to identify myself and to stand by what I post.

Anonymous said...

This was not the first time that the JP's tried to use this tag team effort to hold a lawyer in contempt, This is not the first time that the law was explained to both of them, and this is not the first time that the JP's agreed that they did not have jurisdiction to hear contempt complaints arising out of statements contained in briefs. They had already tried the same thing on Fagenstrom earlier and JP Harris agreed that he did not have jurisdiction to hold Fagenstrom in Contempt but decided to have a hearing anyhow. At the end of the illegal hearing Harris found Fagenstrom had not done anything wrong. So if he already knew he had no jurisdiction for out of Court written statements, how come JP Harris and JP Jensen tried to do the exact same thing to Larry Anderson a few months later? So much for education.

GeeGuy said...

Allen, you have clearly pissed someone off. Well and good, well and good.

You state: "The information I posted about the obstruction of justice charge is public criminal justice information with no restrictions on its dissemination."

Fair enough, but you again ignore a big part of the problem. I have asked you a couple times now to provide the source of your factual assertions in your comment at www.gffirefly.blogspot.com. You stated a) that you did not post anything false, b) that you did not get any information from Sam Harris and c) that you didn't get the information from the Tribune.

This raises the question, then, of where?

Your "recitation of the nature of [your] own informal investigation really adds much to the discussion." It has now been suggested that your informal investigation involves the illegal disclosure of otherwise confidential information.

Where did it come from, your 'bookkeeper' defense? Where did it come from, your suggestion that the creditor sought an arrest warrant? Where is your evidence of willful refusal?

You done been called out by our anonymous poster, my friend. Let's see your guns!

a-fire-fly said...

I'm curious too Allen. Share with us.

And please do not claim that you have not been spending time on these sites.

Anonymous said...

Allen - As the anonymous poster who called you out, the silence is deafening.

Anonymous said...

Allen - As the anonymous poster who called you out, your response that:
Would you like my address
so that you can come
vandalize my house and kill
my pet?

Wow !. Yet, another transluscent obfuscation and avoidance of the merits. Your "public criminal justice information" is out and out B.S. and you know it -- whether you can plausibly assert that it was laundered before you received the confidential information is of no consequence -- I know where it came from and so do you. It came from Sam Harris, directly or indirectly. You are his mouthpiece.

In re my anonymous response and your feigned incrudulence, I'm not interested in getting into an ass-kicking contest with a one-legged man, i.e., you. Obviously, I know a little bit more about the sordid details than you do. I have first-hand information -- you don't. I don't have a horse in the race -- you do. I stand by my initial post -- it is all easily verifiable upon independent inquiry if you are truly interested in the truth. I respect your right to your opinion, but if you feel threatened about your compliance with the Rules of Professional Responsibility, look in the mirror. Mr. Harris is not the devil incarnate -- he is simply an immature, irresponsible, uncaring, mean-spirited little man in a big chair. I detest: (1) his disregard of fundamental civil rights; (2) his disregard of his oath of office; (3) his lack of compassion for his fellow man; (4) his hypocrytical pandering about "community standards," "strong values," and "holding people accountable"; (5) his self-rightous refusal to take any responsibility for how he treats people; (6) his intentional abuses of power; (7) his willingness to bend and disregard the law for his own purposes; and (7) your zealous attacks and critiques of those who dare to call a spade a spade. I have nothing further to say. Knock yourself out in trying to discredit and undermine my view. I will engage no further.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous you responded to Allen's request that you identify yourself with insult. You must be part of the court or Freer's attorney if you have the first hand knowledge you claim. So which is it?

Many years I had the *pleasure* of reading then Deputy County Attorney Dirk Sandefur's writing in some dispute between Cascade County and the City of Great Falls. Your use of hyperbole and the cliche you use are very similar to Sandefur. Curious, I hope we don't have a district court judge commenting anonymously on a blog. That would be disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Allen and/or Same -- Is nobody safe ? Paranoia will destroy ya. Don't overlook Judge McKittrick, Judge Luth, and any or all seven justices of the Montana Supreme Court, and the U.S Supreme Court. Somebody must be responsible other than Sam and Allen.

GeeGuy said...

"Curious, I hope we don't have a district court judge commenting anonymously on a blog. That would be disappointing."

This, from an anonymous poster.

Too rich!

free thought said...

You know, GG, you taught all the readers a lesson about the risk of using their own names on the web.

GeeGuy said...

A different interpretation might be that the lesson is that one should not type or do anything online that one would not be willing to sign his or her name to.

a-fire-fly said...

That comment tickled my funny bone too!Anon, why do you have any more right to post unnamed than anyone else?
"But at least I have sufficient courage in my convictions to identify myself and to stand by what I post." Allen? you still around? Gonna answer GeeGuys questions?