Tag Archive for: Due Process

Absolute judicial immunity is not a forgone conclusion!

13 Sep
September 13, 2012

Judicial immunity dodged a bullet in the 1978 lawsuit Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349.

Here’s what happened:  The mother of Linda Kay Spitler Sparkman filed a petition to have her minor daughter sterilized.  The judge, Judge Harold D. Stump, signed Ms. Sparkman’s sterilization petition in a flawed legal process (without due process) and without legal authority.  A lawsuit later came to pass after Ms. Sparkman came of age and couldn’t have children.  Ms. Sparkman subsequently sued Judge Harold Stump for damages.

Unfortunately, Ms. Sparkman did not also challenge the constitutionality of judicial immunity in her lawsuit.  Therefore, the US Supreme Court had no other choice but to apply the judicial immunity doctrine as it had been thus far defined: Judges have absolute immunity when performing judicial acts.

Ms. Sparkman’s attorneys argued that Judge Stump was personally liable because he was operating outside his judicial authority: Judge Stump didn’t provide Ms. Sparkman due process and that he had no statutory authority to perform such an act.  The Supreme Court concluded that although the Judge behaved badly, he was nevertheless performing a judicial act and was therefore operating in his judicial capacity.  Judge Stump had immunity.

There was significant disagreement in the ruling however.  In the dissent, United States Supreme Court Justice Powell stated:

But where a judicial officer acts in a manner that precludes all resort to appellate or other judicial remedies that otherwise would be available, the underlying assumption of the Bradley doctrine is inoperative. See Pierson v. Ray, supra, at 554.

In this case, as MR. JUSTICE STEWART points out, ante, at 369, Judge Stump’s unjudicial conduct insured that “[t]here was and could be no appeal.” The complete absence of normal judicial process foreclosed resort to any of the “numerous remedies” that “the law has provided for private parties.” Bradley, supra,at 354.

Central to the judiciary’s rationale for judicial immunity is the presumption that an aggrieved person may seek redress at appeal when they feel that a judge has made a bad decision.  Again, Justice Powell in the Stump dissent:

Underlying the Bradley immunity, then, is the notion that private rights can be sacrificed in some degree to the achievement of the greater public good deriving from a completely independent judiciary, because there exist alternative forums and methods for vindicating those rights.

Though it was the majority’s position that Judge Stump did enjoy immunity for terrible judicial act, it was Justice Powell’s (and two others–a 5-3 decision) position that when judicial acts defeat due process, the offending judge shall not be immune.  We cannot know if this Court would have found absolute judicial immunity unconstitutional, but the minority emphatically did not like the precedent the case set.  Additionally, the minority found missing the underlying support judicial immunity when the judicial acts defeat due process (the bullet dodged).

We are challenging judicial immunity for intentional acts, because it has been our experience that intentional illegal acts by the judiciary are routinely designed to, or have the practical effect, of defeating due process.

The justice system’s justice gyro

03 Sep
September 3, 2012

The American justice system is a remarkable thing.

We accuse IRS employees of RICO (a horrible crime originally created to go after the mafia) in our lawsuit.  Later, we accused some federal judges of wrong-doing to protect the same federal employees.  It is such a horrific allegation that one would think we would be denied due process instantly.  God knows that the affected federal employees tried.  But we survive.  And that’s the part that makes me proud to be an American.

I believe in the justice system.  I think you should too.  Our new found faith in the system is not because we have won or are winning.  It is instead because we have not lost.  This is a critical distinction.  The RICO lawsuit is so catastrophic to the government that one would think that an instant denial of justice would occur so that the government could protect itself.  Yet each justice denying act by specific employees has made the circumstances of the lawsuits worse.  I see now that the rule of law, as applied within our system of justice, cannot readily depart from a path of true justice without serious consequences to both the perpetrators and the system itself.

The miracle of our justice system is that justice is not obtained from an individual (a single judge for example).  It is instead the system itself.  Justice is obtained by the numerous and intricate parts of the system working together.  I recently learned of a new motorcycle that keeps itself upright, even when struck by another vehicle.  It maintains its stability through an internal gyro.  The American justice system has its own internal justice gyro: the fact that the rules applied to one must also be equally applied to all.  This feedback result is achieved through the court of appeals and the Supreme Court.  Though district courts can (and do) depart from justice, the appeals courts cannot so easily follow them because their decisions will later affect the lawsuits of others.

The justice system is complicated.  It is not surprising to find areas of the system enabling individuals within the system to temporarily defeat a persons due process or other right.  The RICO lawsuit seems to have drawn out these various tricks: jurisdiction ruse, minute orders, and total immunity.  But in another miracle of the American justice system, a citizen can and should challenge the statutes in a court (requirements for a Constitutional lawsuit).

Thus, one cannot obtain justice without a willingness to use the entire system.  Justice is achieved by motivated Americans committed to insuring that the entire justice system exploited.  Our RICO lawsuit has clearly challenged “the system.”  So far, bias in the system has not been able to permanently deny us justice.  Our ability to survive has been as a result of the broader system’s built in whirring justice gyro.  It’s extraordinary.  This internal gyro, against the will of many powerful federal participants, forcefully keeps the system on course.

I once thought that the RICO lawsuit illustrated what a mess the justice system has become.  I now see that the RICO lawsuit, with its potential catastrophic consequences, is still unable to unbalance it.  God bless the justice system.

Constitutional lawsuits must meet simple requirements

01 Sep
September 1, 2012

Constitutional lawsuits are easy to file. More importantly, they are essential for liberty.

Figuring out what was required to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of federal laws was harder than it should be.  Hence, this post.  I hope this simple list of requirements for constitutional lawsuits helps others pursue their rights.

I believe three things are required for constitutional lawsuits:

Federal jurisdiction is established using the same jurisdiction statutes as used for any other other federal lawsuit.  Specifically, the federal courts have jurisdiction if the plaintiff is challenging a federal statute (federal question jurisdiction).  Sovereign immunity is easily overcome in lawsuits attacking the constitutionality of statutes using the United States citizen’s statutory right of review (5 USC § 702).  Finally, the plaintiff must establish standing.   Standing is a requirement originating in the constitution.  The standing requirement is essential to keep the courts from becoming all powerful and legislators in their own right (God bless the founders).  The court has no authority to sit in judgment of any statute unless there is an actual controversy between real parties.

Standing requirements are as follows:

‘First the plaintiff must have suffered an “injury in fact”—an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized, see id., at 756; Warth v. Seldin, 422 U. S. 490, 508 (1975)Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U. S. 727, 740-741, n. 16 (1972);[1] and (b) “actual or imminent, not `conjectural’ or `hypothetical,’ ” Whitmore, supra, at 155 (quoting Los Angeles v.Lyons, 461 U. S. 95, 102 (1983)). Second, there must be a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of—the injury has to be “fairly. . . trace[able] to the challenged action of the defendant, and not . . . th[e] result [of] the independent action of some third party not before the court.” Simon v. Eastern Ky. Welfare  Rights Organization, 426 U. S. 26, 41-42 (1976). Third, it must be “likely,” as opposed to merely “speculative,” that the injury will be “redressed by a favorable decision.” Id., at 38, 43’

Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 US 555 (S. Ct. 1992).

Constitutional lawsuits are therefore simple to create.  I believe it is our civic duty to challenge an overreaching federal agency or employee.

The requirements of Federal Jurisdiction are used by courts as a due process denying trick

29 Aug
August 29, 2012

Federal jurisdiction is used in circular court logic to defeat forever unpleasant lawsuits.

The United States has filed its motion to dismiss regarding our lawsuit challenging the constitutionally of federal statutes that enable systemic lawlessness within the federal government.  We know where they stand now.  It is weak and does not respect the rule of law.  For liberty loving people, the document is disheartening.

The statutes we challenged in our constitutional lawsuit purport to provide citizens with a remedy against federal employees whenever they break the law.  Instead, the federal remedy statutes exacerbate the problem of systemic lawlessness by providing total personal immunity for federal employees’ intentional violation of the law.  Effectively, the statutes undo deterrence for lawless behavior of federal employees.

We opposed the brief. (United States motion and Our Opposition)

The United States’ central argument is that all our claims have been justly dismissed because, they assert, federal employees do not have to appear in court as a result of far reaching federal immunities.  The courts have so far agreed with the United States by dismissing the lawsuits.  The courts also reasoned that federal immunities insured that it had no authority to even consider the lawsuits.  The courts called this a “federal jurisdiction” dismissal.  Nevertheless, in every federal jurisdiction dismissal the courts would also add a “dismissal” on the lawsuit on “the facts”.  The court would then argue that both that the lawsuit was over, because it did not have the power to hear the case, and that we could never file a future lawsuit on the same issues since they had also “decided” the case on the issues.   I hope the ridiculousness of the court’s position is obvious to you.

They are mistaken (or worse).  When a court lacks “federal jurisdiction”, it has no legal authority to find judgment on any claim against any party.  There has been no determination on the facts.  Our lawsuit has just been delayed.  This dirty trick is another creepy attempt by federal employees to deny due process.  I bet this stunt is pulled all the time to pro se plaintiffs.  Here’s what the Supreme Court had to say about the issue:

Whether the complaint states a cause of action on which relief could be granted is a question of law and just as issues of fact it must be decided after and not before the court has assumed jurisdiction over the controversy.  Bell v. Hood, 327 US 678 (United States Supreme Court 1946)

If any portion of the justice system is just, federal employees will not be able to escape liability.  In any event, the dirty trick described by this post is the point of our constitutional lawsuit.  Previous (and just) courts under stood the issue:

“[W]hen the judgment of a state court … is challenged for want of due process it becomes the duty of this Court to examine the course of procedure in both litigations to ascertain whether the litigant whose rights have thus been adjudicated has been afforded such notice and opportunity to be heard as are requisite to the due process which the Constitution prescribes” Hansberry v. Lee, 311 US 32 (United States Supreme Court. 1940).

Our constitutional lawsuit is proper.

Due process is at risk in the federal court system

02 Jul
July 2, 2012

Be on guard.  The federal courts system has some dirty tricks to defeat due process

Due process rights are protected by the 5th amendment

Presently we are attempting to force a final resolution in the district court the second lawsuit (based on the Bane Act statute).  We intend to appeal the decision. We have an excellent case.  The proof: the court wants us to proceed no further.  To accomplish this, the court has attempted to trick us into forfeiting our appeal rights.  Here’s how it works.

The second lawsuit has been “dismissed” three times.  After the first two times we appealed the decision.  I assure you, we did not file our appeal too early.  Nevertheless, appeals can be unjustly tricky things.  One has a limited amount of time to file an appeal.  Usually it is 30 days.  If you miss that window, your rights to appeal are lost.  We knew this and were on guard.  We studied the law and met the conditions for appeal.  The court, however, was using the system’s latitude for ambiguity to deceive us into missing that 30 day filing requirement.

In the first dismissal, the judge (Roger Benitez) filed a minute order for dismissal.  We learned that he was attempting to defeat due process.  Ordinarily courts are required to file a separate document with the clerk of the court establishing final judgment.  Courts recognize minute orders to be final judgment under certain circumstances too.  Primarily, the minute order needs to communicate that the judge has completed the case.  Our minute order said, in very cautionary and unambiguous language, that our case was closed (see here). Also, all the parties and claims in our complaint had been resolved.  This is another requirement for using minute orders to indicated final judgment.

We filed our appeal.  A few days later the United States filed a motion to declare that the United States had not been dismissed.  It is important here to know that grounds for dismissing some of the federal employees were that the United States had been substituted in for those employees.  However, the status of the United States was irrelevant for the lawsuit’s final judgment since the United States had not been served.  Furthermore, the United States could not yet be sued because we had not yet filed an administrative complaint against it (as required by statute).  The United States therefore had sovereign immunity.  Sovereign immunity prevented the court from obtaining jurisdiction over the United States.  That is, the court had no authority over the United States.  But, the appeals court, in conflict with its own precedent, ruled that the case was not yet over.  Nevertheless, we undermined the first attempt at defeating due process.

A hearing was then held on a motion to dismiss the United States from the lawsuit.  For dismissal, the district filed another minute order. A second attempt at defeating our due process.  This time, the court was not as overt (declaring case closed) in the minute order’s text.  Instead, at the top of the order, it just said appeal.  Well, we did.  Again, the appeal court said we jumped the gun.  Right!  Finally, a couple of weeks ago, and just after we served the United States on the constitutional case, the district court dismissed the lawsuit declaring that they do not have jurisdiction over the United States.

We just filed a document with the court requesting that court enter final judgment as they are required to do by law (here’s the law).  No notice yet.

And so it goes.  Each day we anticipate some new justice denying stunt.  Each day, because federal employees have immunity and our RICO case is excellent, we often get one.

We anticipate more stunts designed to defeat due process as we proceed.