June 6, 2008
Could asking judge to officiate defendant's wedding be a sneaky sentencing ploy?
I have reported before on cases in which a defendant has gotten married at the same time he is sentenced (see here and here), but this new article from the Washington Post puts a new spin on this kind of tale. Apparently the prosecution is objecting to what it fears is a sentencing ploy:
A former State Department officer has a proposal for U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee: Before the judge sentences him on child pornography charges, he wants Lee to perform his wedding ceremony. Lee is considering the highly unusual request, under which Gons Gutierrez Nachman, 42, would tie the knot with his 21-year-old Brazilian fiancee in the same Alexandria federal courtroom where he admitted having sex with three underage girls while posted overseas.
Prosecutors are not forever holding their peace. "The government objects," they wrote the judge Wednesday. "The defendant's request, in the government's view, attempts to shift the focus away from the very serious criminal offenses for which he will be sentenced."...
Legal ethicists said the judge should have strenuously objected. "It would show very poor judgment for the court to perform this ceremony or even to entertain the possibility," said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University. "He should have shot this down as soon as they asked. He's not there to perform weddings; he's there to send a man to jail." "I suspect that in 232 years of American history," Gillers added, "it's never happened that a judge has performed a marriage ceremony for a defendant awaiting sentencing in a serious felony case in his own court."
I suppose we now know that Professor Gillers is not a regular reader of this blog: just a few months ago I spotlighted here a story headlined "First the Wedding, Then Years in Prison." That post even included this amazing picture in case Professor Gillers is concerned about the possibility of bloggers creating revisionist American history.
UPDATE: In the comments, Professor Gillers reports that he was misquoted by the Wash Post: "I said 'federal judge,' but the 'federal' got dropped. I continue to suspect that what I actually said is true." As one who has been frequently misquoted local media, I fully understand his plight and I now feel bad that I made fun of this mis-quote.
I am not sure that I would share Professor Gillers' confidence that this is a completely unprecedented request, and I would love for a federal judicial historian to perhaps help us find out. That said, I do think that the nature of the crime, as well as the fact that the bride is half the age of the defendant, makes Professor Gillers' ethical instincts here spot on.
June 6, 2008 at 07:23 AM | Permalink
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Over at Doug Berman's sentencing blog, there is this interesting discussion about whether asking the sentencing judge to perform a wedding service could be a [Read More]
Tracked on Jun 6, 2008 3:58:44 PM
I think I learned about 3 months into law school not to say "I doubt that's ever happened."
Posted by: anonymous | Jun 6, 2008 7:51:10 AM
This pinhead from NYU has a lot of nerve popping off about Judge Lee's judgment and his ability to perform two official functions without one influencing the other. Judge Lee is an excellent judge and a first-class gentleman. He can no doubt perform the marriage with the solemnity the occassion deserves and then conduct the sentencing hearing with the decorum that occassion deserves.
Posted by: A. Nony. Mous | Jun 6, 2008 9:11:37 AM
It cannot be done because a judge cannot lend the prestige of his office out to a private entity. Every lawyer, prosecutor and judge knows this basic tenet.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 9:55:21 AM
Ronald: what does that have to do with anything? Judges marry people all the time.
I think the sentencing should come first, and THEN the marriage. Maybe the proseuctors would be alright with that temporal arrangement. Simple solution... though if that were the case I have a feeling the defendant would not want to bother. Clearly the defense wants the judge to have to sentence him immediately after marrying him. Marrying him after sentecing wouldn't be as difficult or conflicting. If I were the prosecutor that's what I'd suggest.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 10:30:28 AM
Mr. Humphreys, are you joking? Judges officiate weddings all of the time. The problem here is that the judge is being asked to do it by a party who has a case before him.
I don't doubt the second commenter's assertion that the judge is perfectly capable of doing both things properly, but it is a questionable request for a defendant to make of a judge under the circumstances.
Posted by: anonymous | Jun 6, 2008 10:35:36 AM
I agree that it is a questionable request and I would even be willing to agree that it is a bald-faced defense ploy to attempt to garner sympathy. If I were the prosecutor, I would likely object for the record.
Defense attorneys make these sympathy plays all the time and judges are supposed to be able to see through them. I'm just saying that Judge Lee is fully capable of seeing through the charade and imposing a proper sentence.
Posted by: A. Nony. Mous | Jun 6, 2008 11:02:12 AM
The sentencing proceeding is a function of the judge's duty in the course of his service to the state. That is his office and his station to the state.
The marriage would be a private affair. The marriage is not CONNECTED to the state duty owed IN THE CRIMINAL CASE. If this were permissible then perhaps WE COULD ALSO GET THE JUDGE TO ANSWER SOME LEGAL QUESTIONS ON MATTERS THAT INVOLVE THIS DEFENDANT IN OTHER PROCEEDINGS.
While it is permissible for judges to marry citizens, perhaps you fine listeners would agree that this scenario is not permissible --the sentencing judge performing the defendant's marriage ceremony. The mere performance of the ceremony pre-sentence would suggest pre-sentence leniency. 554(a)
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 11:03:29 AM
Mr. Humnphries, You raise an interesting argument, but it might need a wee bit of refining there.
The First issue is that this is a federal – not a state – judge. While federal judges usually can preform state weddings (as the state statute says they can), they are bound by different canons of ethics than state judges.
Secondly, you do not explain how using large letters make your point more valid. You also seem to have a strange rubric of “duties owed” which is rarely found in any of the literature concerning judicial ethics. Perhaps, to give some comfort, to those of us that think that you are a non-lawyer, or making this stuff up, you can provide some citations.
Third, your reference to “554(a)” is somewhat strange. First of all, what “554(a)” are you talking about. Second, what does it say? As an American, I am sure that you understand the importance of citing and providing any relevant text. This is what separates real Americans (i.e. lawyers) from poor people and terrorists.
Taking a guess, the 554(a) I know is in the Administrative Procedure Act (i.e. 5 USC 554). This wouldn’t have much to do with an Article III Judge. 28 USC 554 is the oath of office for United States Attorneys.
So, I think that a lot of your argument needs some refinements.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 6, 2008 12:04:23 PM
Right, I don't read this blog except this once. I said °federal judge," but the "federal" got dropped. I continue to suspect that what I actually said is true.
Posted by: Stephen Gillers | Jun 6, 2008 12:25:33 PM
Thank you for your very constructive criticism. First, I should have used the term "federal" to describe the proceeding and the judge. You are correct. Second, I should have cited to 455(a) instead 554(a) of Title 28, although I am fairly certain you knew I meant the recusal provision --perhaps not in taxation matters. However, I will again state you were correct and it is better for our discussion and the "benefit of others" that I restate that you are correct. Third, I take issue, however, with your statement: "This is what separates real Americans (i.e. lawyers) from poor people and terrorists." In rebuttal I state that real Amercians do not have to be attorneys, just Americans. Fourth, I am not an attorney (my law degree is not accredited) and if you visited my website to learn how my legal education was stolen (www.anti-nova-nsu.org) then you would certainly not have wondered. I would like to be an attorney and I have more than 15 years of draft experience. Finally, I will take great care to express my opinions in a more concise manner, succinctly to the point on each and every occasion in the hopes that I will not confuse anyone ---and I will be careful not to use CAPS where bold text is without, lest I wake the sleeping giant. In the end, the government will have an excellent appealable issue, particularly so if any downward departure or low-end sentence is given (after the marriage proceeding). That is why the government would have objected.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 12:36:48 PM
As long as the federal judge can perform marriages under the applicable state law, there is NO REASON the judge can't recess the sentencing hearing and perform the marriage.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 12:56:57 PM
Scotus I wonder in your mind if those are real Americans fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Posted by: noway | Jun 6, 2008 1:58:44 PM
Quit whining, everyone knows poor people and terrorists are not True Americans (tm).
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 3:17:23 PM
The question is whether the public might likely conclude that the judge, having just married this particular defendant --whether that factor would likely impact the judge's decision to impose a harsh sentence vis-a-vis a lenient sentence. It is not whether state law permits it --this is a question of ethics and federal law (28 USC 455). Would the judge now be more likely to impose a lighter sentence? Would any member of the public likely conclude that the judge might be partially compromised by virtue of having joined this defendant to another in matrimony? The judge could enter an order granting a motion for permission to marry, but the service should be performed by someone other than the sentencing judge. Besides, even the minister is a witness to the marriage. I believe the government would be unfairly disadvantanged in the sentencing proceeding that followed such a union. I would expect a departure for family ties and circumstances. And if the defendant did not get it, even he could later complain that the possibility of the appearance of a 28:455 problem was the very reason such a departure was not given. Too many variables.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 3:29:48 PM
As a former federal judge, I should disclose that I once sentenced a defendant after his sentencing before me for a serious felony. The case involved a youthful defendant who was a felony in possession of firearm. As I recall, after receiving the request from the defendant, I checked with prosecution and the court security staff to make sure there were no concerns. Hearing no objection, I went forward with the ceremony. I felt that it was important to rehabilitation of the defendant in prison (I think he got about 18 months) for him to know that he had a beautiful wife willing to wait for him. I believe I performed the ceremony in about 2005. The marshals allowed the defendant to kiss the bride after the ceremony, which was performed in my courtroom.
Posted by: Paul Cassell | Jun 6, 2008 3:45:00 PM
Noway, I recently received an email from one of my law school classmates in Iraq, so there are at least some real Americans fighting over there.
Mr. Humphries, since you didn't graduate from an accredited law school there really isn't a reason to continue talking to you. This is not a reflection on you personally, but rather on your qualifications and commitment to American values.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 6, 2008 3:46:30 PM
Mr. Cassell, I generally agree with you. I think that there it is neither unethical nor unwise for a sentencing judge to conduct a wedding. However, are you saying that if his wife had been ugly (and that was revealed on the record), would you have not gone ahead with the ceremony?
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 6, 2008 3:56:39 PM
You present yourself, S.cotus, as an elitist fascist. I will note your written insults. This was a legitimate discussion which you turned into a personal attack. Part of American values is respecting the opinion of another which disagrees with your opinion. I respect your opinion, even if I disagree. Why can't you respect mine? With all of your legal training, have you forgotten about free speech? Why should we abuse the artistic license given to us in these discussion rooms?
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 4:36:58 PM
I have no quibble with the notion that non-lawyers are entitled to express their views. I don’t see what good it does, but I feel the same way about many kinds of music. I did not mean anything to be a personal attack and I believe that I so stated.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 6, 2008 4:42:51 PM
Ronald--It's a schtick. A seemingly never-ending, not very funny one, but a shtick nonetheless. He does it full time over at his other blog, although there it alternates with more straightforward expressions of his otherwise generic liberal views (which I don't necessarily disagree with, at least on these issues).
Posted by: Jay | Jun 6, 2008 5:11:38 PM
Thank you, Jay, for the education. I found www.jim.com to be a very interesting place. Nice to see that someone still makes our Federalist Papers available online without asking for compensation. I have always liked A.Hamilton's address to the people of the State of New York on my birthday (5/28), his mention of habeas corpus, which was my inspiration for the filing of my first 28:2255 (for another) --which was granted (after 5 years pending). Recently I was able to help reduce a 720 month sentence to 360 months (one of the largest post-Amendment 706 reductions) and on June 3, 2008, I was able to help vacate a Life sentence to 360 months. I may not have the degree, but I have the ability. Judge Ryskamp inspired me to move on to a modified IRAC styled, which has helped greatly in mitigation cases.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 5:50:31 PM
I don't buy the notion that being forcefully separated from your spouse (especially if he/she is non-ugly) will effectuate rehabilitation. First of all, being married at sentencing means there is no way to consummate the marriage, so it can easily be annulled by the non-incarcerated spouse. That will happen relatively soon after sentencing, assuming the judge doesn't allow a self-surrender (which is an option in federal court, but not in state courts as far as I know). Judge Cassell - did you allow this particular defendant to self-surrender, so he could go home with his wife and consummate the marriage?
I respect your opinion, even if I disagree. Why can't you respect mine? With all of your legal training, have you forgotten about free speech?
Ronald: Your right to free speech does not include having your opinion respected by others. If a person is not qualified to give an opinion on a particular matter, there's no reason it should be respected. And certainly no constitutional right to demand such respect. I disagree with S.cotus about needing a law degree to talk about the law, at least in general. As long as you're not poor or a terrorist, you can presumably talk about anything. Your words might rebut that presumption, if they indicate a lack of knowledge, logic, or rationality. I think we give too much credence to professional licenses these days. Most lawyers don't know what the hell they're talking about, either.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 7:21:16 PM
Jay, Out of curiosity, do you think my view that executions should be televised and that the public has a right to view them under the 1st amendment is "generic." I can't get a single person at an ACS, NLG, or ACLU meeting to agree with me no matter how many drinks I buy for them.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 6, 2008 7:33:13 PM
Bruce: good analysis on consummating and annulling the marriage. As to free speech, perhaps I should just tolerate another's right to use abusive terms and in the same field of play, another should learn to tolerate the free speech of other Americans. The blog is not a place to impose one's will, but rather to share ideas. Qualified....hmmm...interesting term. In this atmosphere even the peasant may share his thoughts with the king. If an opinion does not lack "knowledge, logic, or rationality", would the opinion by qualified? I need not worry, for as a Plaintiff in a civil RICO action, I am a private attorney general.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 7:53:59 PM
The blog is not a place to impose one's will, but rather to share ideas.
That's a false dichotomy. It's a place for both - I impose my will at this blog, and others, all the time. And I share ideas, too. In fact, merely by sharing my ideas I oftentimes impose my will.
I really don't think S.cotus was "abusive" towards you. Dismissive, yes. But not abusive. You really think people unqualified to talk about X should have their opinions about X respected by others? I could not disagree more strongly. In court, if you're not qualified to talk about something, your opinion is legally irrelevant and not admissible. You'll be forcefully told to shut up and held in contempt if you don't. I wish real life worked that way.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 8:09:13 PM
Bruce: people submit to your shared ideas, not your will. I concede that the term "dismissive" is a better choice of words. As to court and court hearings: I love to attend. I have a closet full of suits just for that purpose. I have 15 years experience, love being heard and I am a good public speaker. In court, I do my best and always have a lost-moment-line for backup. I have never been held in contempt, nor told to "shut up" by a judge. In fact, I distinctly remember watching Judge Damoorigan take up my side and the enjoyment I experienced when opposing counsel spent about 8 seconds making "ah..ah" sounds when asked "how would that not constitute an unjust enrichment?" --the need for a lost-moment-line.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 8:19:30 PM
If it is a defense strategy (as opposed to "ploy"), it is brilliant. Why haven't I thought of it. Mitigating Factor No. 172 coming up.
Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Jun 6, 2008 8:37:07 PM
If people submitted to my ideas, I wouldn't need my will.
Sitting in court, watching crazy people bitch and whine about lost money and nightmares as they parade their civil cases before a weary judge is no way to learn about the intricacies of the law. I hate civil cases, that's why I practiced criminal defense. Though now I'm back to doing civil stuff... such is life.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 8:41:09 PM
I do many criminal appeals. I write the brief, whereas someone else takes credit. I understand. Now I am the civil plaintiff and I must say I like my odds now and the relaxed standard of proof. Soon Ray F will be sitting in the opposite chair being deposed. Justice comes in very, very small doses. I will quote myself here because I have become an authority in my own mind: "Return my education, Your Honor. Return to me that which the university has stolen!"
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 8:46:33 PM
How can you return something that has no value (i.e. an education from a non-accredited law school)? Or is it another school you're talking about?
How does a civil case have a relaxed standard of proof as compared to criminal appeals (I assume you write briefs for defendants, and not the state)? Insofar as a defendant has to make a showing, it's usually something like "no rational juror could have found" or "reasonable jurists could not disagree" ... but you've never had to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. Some issues, depending on the jurisdiction, have to be shown by the defendant by clear and convincing evidence. But that's a burden for trial, not appeal.
I've always felt civil cases should have a beyond a reasonable doubt burden of proof just like criminal cases. Anyone can show something by a preponderance of the evidence. That shouldn't be good enough to haul someone into court and show entitlement to, and thus forcefully receive, their money/property. I might be willing to settle on clear and convincing evidence instead. But "more likely than not" is too unreliable and prone to abuse.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 8:55:02 PM
Bruce: I am talking about another school. Burden of proof. In criminal cases (not the appeal) the standard --as you know-- is beyond a reasonable doubt...but in a civil case I can establish a civil RICO conspiracy by a much lesser standard (even though it is a criminal statute). You might find my civil RICO case somewhat interesting and possibility a theme in-line with our original theme in this post: the need to recuse. The judge in my prior Broward (state) case was a member of an organization that had a nice luncheon with the university president on the same day as a critical order was entered in favor of the university. There is much more to it. I put 600+ hours into that summary judgment motion (read it --your comment is welcomed) and should have prevailed, but for the collusion ---yeh, I know many litigants complain---but I sat there at the long hearing and watched it happen, over my objection --favors and friends. If the state court judge would have granted me summary then the university would have lost all federal funding (roughly 400 mil per year). And so now we are in federal court and I believe in the federal judges --that they cannot be purchased, because of the impression left on me by Ryskamp --such a good jurist. They sit on the front line in dispensing justice. I go to the front line for that justice and for the return of my education. And if federal funding is lost, so be it, as long as my education is returned so that I might have my chance to pay my dues to the bar.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 6, 2008 9:29:01 PM
Ronald: RICO civil cases are very hard to make out. It's almost easier to prosecute them because the facts will be more egregious, you'll have had the power of the FBI to do the investigating and legwork, and you'll have the ability to say people (other than yourself) were victims and they need justice. "I need justice" is always weaker than "those poor unfortuante people need justice."
I hate state courts and state court judges, especially in states where they are elected. Federal judges are, for the most part, better jurists, and they don't have to care about political pressure ("judge X allows children to be put in danger"). THough all judges are prone to doing favors for people they know and/or like. No way around that, it's human nature. And no federal judge likes to recuse himself. I once had to fight for weeks to get a federal judge to recuse him/herself in a criminal case where not only did I have witnesses who swore under oath that the judge had said my client was a crooked thief, but the judge admitted having said it! Still, the judge said recusal was unnecessary. Finally he/she caved in and transferred the case to another judge. At the end of the day, the judge didn't want to risk my client's conviction being overturned... he/she wanted my client to rot in prison b/c he was a crooked thief.
By "education returned" do you mean you earned credits/a degree but they won't acknowledge it? It's friday and I'm too lazy to go read a bunch of random legal pleadings (no offense).
Posted by: bruce | Jun 6, 2008 10:47:23 PM
Bruce: the complaint (with color charts) is available on the "Home" page of my website (www.anti-nova-nsu.org). There is even a sentence calculation for one of the employees --the one who is at the helm of a CFCE. To answer your question regarding the college credits and official transcripts witheld/retained, I will remain ineligible for any additional federal funding until the university releases the same, which they will not unless I pay a laundry list of unlawful charges. I will not pay because if I did I would be A&A the RICO, 18:2. The crimes were indeed reported, but the defendants remain free to continue their activities. There has not been a single arrest. Outrageous! They are free to continue their reign of tyranny, to extort and disenfranchise students from low income families. I will not yield to extortion. I want to see an arrest and a conviction so that restitution to others will be mandatory. I would expect the United States to take some action because the United States is also a party to the contract (Program Participation Agreement) which creates the federal funding infusion, and the RICO victims are the beneficiaries to the contract. Many more variables, to include that my education hangs in the balance.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 7, 2008 11:08:59 AM
Ronald you don't have the defendant's pleadings on your website, only yours (the plaintiffs). Gotta read both to truly see what's going on. Not that I saying your pleadings are not true, only that I have to read both sides to fully form an opinion about the case and the underlying facts. Anyone who would just read one side's pleadings and form an opinion is a jackass.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 7, 2008 11:57:46 AM
Bruce: you are correct. Just got service on one defendant; waiting on waivers on the remaining. When they respond in the federal action, I will list their responses. As in most civil cases, I expect they will file the customary MTDs. My job here is to make the (Count I) RICO Conspiracy count stick. If I do that, then all my defendants remain. Since the elements are pleaded, and only factual determinations remain (and the facts if pleaded would entitle me to relief), I expect to survive. If I would have just received an honest ruling in the state court on my motion for summary judgment (600+ hours to draft), then we would probably not be in federal court today.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 7, 2008 12:41:38 PM
What about the civil action? That's where all the pleadings are. You wrote a partial MSJ - did they file a response? You said the judge ruled in their favor, so I assume they filed something.
By the way, I'd imagine your federal case would be thrown out on the basis of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 7, 2008 5:42:53 PM
Also, why did you not appeal the state court ruling? That's what you're supposed to do, not go to federal court. Federal courts don't review state court decisions. Only the Supreme Court can do that. Even if you gave up on your real claims and tried come fineagle a federal civil RICO claim, it will still be "inexorably intertwined" with the real claims and thus barred by Rooker-Feldman.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 7, 2008 6:33:24 PM
Bruce: When the prior proceeding was a sham, where my legal rights were completely ignored, and where the sham is the result of collusion between the adjudicating judicial officer and another (favors and friends), I think Rooker-Feldman inapplicable. Further, the United States is a party to the contract under suit --the prior proceeding was rigged. Access to the courts means "meaningful" access in a setting that satisfies constitutional standards. I was well aware of the RF doctrine. Finally, the state court could not have exercised jurisdiction over the Sec.of Education or the United States --that can only happen in a federal court. Nothing is certain but the attempt. It will be a nice change to be heard before an honest judge in a court which I have long respected.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 7, 2008 9:17:17 PM
Has the united states joined the case as a plaintiff? Are you trying to bring a False Claims Act case?
I have news for you. Every civil plaintiff I've ever met who has lost a case blames the judge's bias and says exactly the same thing you are saying. As you concede, all litigants complain. Even if it's true, it's just the more reason to have taken it up on appeal (you're the first I've met who didn't appeal). By not taking it up on direct appeal, you waived all right to review. If there is still time to appeal, DO IT! You have no way to predict that the state appellate judges (I'm sure you get a panel of 3 in your state) will be biased, too. And there is procedure for dealing with biased judges - move to have them recuse, and seek a writ of mandamus if they don't (assuming you have evidence to support your claim of impermissible bias). Evidence that shows a judge knows a litigant, and doesn't hate them, without more will not support recusal.
As for your proposed "rigged state proceeding" exception to Rooker-Feldman, while novel, I am quite confident it won't fly (but good luck).
I assume you're proceeding pro se. Any lawyer who told his client to forego direct appeal and go directly into federal court instead would commit malpractice per se.
I've never heard a losing civil litigant say "I got beaten badly, the judge threw my case out of court and denied me all relief, but the judge was fair and neutral and unbiased." Never. Not once. To hear that even once would restore a little bit of my faith in humanity. I don't ever expect to hear it, though. We'll see if your attitude towards the federal judge changes when he grants the defendant's motion to dismiss based on rooker-feldman. When that happens, though, please don't go directly to The Hague.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 8, 2008 12:09:56 AM
Bruce, When a person says “When the prior proceeding was a sham, where my legal rights were completely ignored” you know that they are not to be taken seriously. This is why I have no use for lay people, and why every family I know be ashamed to have a non-lawyer in the family.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 8, 2008 7:33:54 AM
Bruce: The filing of this action may spark an arrest, which leads to a conviction, which leads to restitution. I am a victim. Remember this: even if I win, I have already lost. But to have compensation is important. S.cotus: you just like to cause controversy through insult.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 8, 2008 10:57:18 AM
S.cotus: yea, I can't argue with that. Though i'd add the caveat that many lawyers shouldn't be taken seriously either. A bar card is a condition that is necessary, but not sufficient, to be taken seriously.
Ronald: the government doesn't monitor the courts to see when civil cases are filed alleging criminal wrongdoing. Every civil plaintiff thinks they are a victim and that the defendant should be arrested. Every one of 'em. And if the government does monitor the courts, they would have acted on your civil case in state court.
Everybody thinks they are a victim. In america, being a victim is the most sought-after social status. It's why I despise the "victims' rights" movement - it exacerbates this stupidity of victim-fucking... everyone owes victims everything and must give them the "right" to express their feelings and yell and scream and point and condemn. Anyway, even if you ARE a victim, that's no excuse for not following proper procedure. I read your federal RICO complaint. If I were the attorney for the defendants, I'd have it dismissed, with prejudice, tomorrow. Let me give you the best free legal advice you'll ever get. If it's not too late to appeal the state court ruling, DO IT. "I didn't appeal because the prior proceedings were a sham" is no excuse. It assumes the next level of proceedings will be a sham, and it assumes the problem can't be redressed. Of course, the only evidence you have to support the allegation of sham proceedings is that the trial judge was a member of a women's alliance group that held an event which one of the defendants attended. That, and you lost. Like most plaintiff-victims, if you lose then the whole thing must, therefore, be a sham and the judge (and jury, if applicable) must have been biased. S.cotus is right about not taking this sort of complaint seriously. I mean... you actually put a sentencing chart in your civil complaint to show how bad you think the defendant really is... wow.
One thing I don't understand is that your case (from what I can tell) is either a simple case of theft, or nothing at all. You had a government loan to pay (about) $6,000 of tuition, which cost (about) $6,000. The loan would have covered the tuition. The loan was confirmed. The school says you didn't pay. Where did the loan go? If the loan was never made, or sent to the wrong school, you have the responsibility of clearing that up. If the loan was made, what happened to it? Why is the school saying you owe them tuition? Did they steal your tuition money? Are you even paying off that loan at the present time? Was the loan made or not? Was the loan received or not? If it was, what does the school have to say about it? If it wasn't, you're not a victim at all. I noticed you never once asked for your tuition money back. I know you want your records released, but still... either one or the other. Is that an acknowledgment that the school never received your tuition loan payment?
None of these most basic of questions are answered in your pleadings. Instead you talk about how they wrongly charged you a $50 late fee, breached fiduciary duties and other trivialities. Either the school received the tuition loan money or it didn't. If they didn't get it, it's your problem. If they did get it, why did it not cover your tuition? Someone must have stolen/embezzled it.
Also, why is it that all pro se parties put color charts in their legal pleadings?
Posted by: bruce | Jun 8, 2008 2:49:59 PM
Bruce: I run my course because I must. Every pro se case involving NSU (on appeal) has been PCA in the 4DCA (WPB,Fl). The RICO was discovered just a few months before the state court judge ruled. I like color charts and graphs (you can say much more much quicker). The student loan was enough to cover tuition. The school had the money, but demanded I take additional loans and pay direct from my pocket as well. I should have just paid the unlawful demand. There was not a single lawyer who would take my case because the current university president is the former president of the Fla.Bar. This was a simple case of theft, as you mentioned (really unjust enrichment though), but after hundreds of hours of research I unearthed the living and breathing RICO. It is going to be difficult. If I am dismissed wp then I will appeal to the 11th. If that is unsuccessful then I will file a formal administrative complaint with the Sec.Ed and have my transcripts released. Then I will take that "new agency action" and factual deterimination and sue again --because the Sec.Ed cannot pay my financial damages, only order the schoold to return or release my transcripts. I am paying on the student loan even without access to my credits. I have consistently requested law enforcement to make an arrest, so I could have my damages paid as restitution. I made a promise to the US and I have continued to honor that promise. I wanted an education. I wanted something more for my family. I will not go away quietly. Thank you, Bruce, for your opinions. Where do you practice?
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 8, 2008 3:53:37 PM
The student loan was enough to cover tuition. The school had the money, but demanded I take additional loans and pay direct from my pocket as well.
On what ground? If you owed $6,000 and the student loan covered the $6,000 why would you have to pay more than $6,000? That makes no sense. There's gotta be something you're leaving out. That's why you didn't put the defendants' pleadings (especially their MSJ) on your website. You don't want people to see their side of it. That's the only thing that would make any sense from where I'm sitting.
Anyway there is no RICO. You don't allege a RICO violation and you're not going to win a civil RICO. You don't even allege two predicate acts w/in the last 10 years. You just say they violated RICO. Total ipse dixit.
You're better off appealing the final summary judgment to the florida state court of appeals than appealing to the 11th Circuit the denial of your civil RICO for failure to state a claim and lack of jurisdiction under Rooker-Feldman (which I assure you will happen sooner rather than later). If it's too late to appeal the state court judgment, then you screwed up big time. Huge. You have this whole plan for revenge and none of it will work. You're intentionally passing up the one plausible route for relief so you can seek more emotionally satisfying but unviable methods of redress. That's really stupid. Just being blunt here. I practiced state and federal criminal defense for several years and I recently became general counsel for a large corporation in Texas (to answer your question). If you were smart you'd appeal the final state court judgment against you, and drop this loser federal RICO thing... assuming you can still timely file a notice of appeal. If you can and you don't, one day in the future you'll be sitting around thinking about how that random, anonymous guy on the internet was right and you should have listened to him. Federal rico is gonna be 12(b)'d outta there. Even if your "sham prior proceeding" exception to Rooker-Feldman is correct, only the Supreme Court can create it. The district courts and circuit courts of appeals are bound to enforce Rooker-Feldman as it currently exists, and any exception thereto will have to be made by the SCOTUS. So you're destined for failure from the outset.
If that is unsuccessful then I will file a formal administrative complaint with the Sec.Ed and have my transcripts released. Then I will take that "new agency action" and factual deterimination and sue again --because the Sec.Ed cannot pay my financial damages, only order the schoold to return or release my transcripts.
No you won't. Don't take this personally, but you think you are a lot smarter and more clever than you really are. I've often heard it said that people with a little knowledge are more dangerous than people with no knowldge. I've never really understood that saying until right now.
I will not go away quietly.
Yeah I believe that. And each time you lose, you'll say it's a conspiracy of bias against you. In your mind, bias is the only explanation for how you could possibly not win. That can't be healthy... especially when you're foregoing viable routes of seeking redress for unviable ones (i.e. federal RICO suit).
There was not a single lawyer who would take my case because the current university president is the former president of the Fla.Bar.
Well, that's one theory. Another is that no lawyer felt you had a viable case. One theory involves a huge state-wide conspiracy against you, the other does not. Ockham's razor - the simplest explanation is the more likely one. In my experience, no lawyer turns down a viable case because the defendant used to work for the state bar. Who the hell cares about that? Former president of the state bar? Even an active president of the state bar has no real power. It's a figurehead position. They give speeches and talk about IOLTA accounts and how lawyers should do more pro bono work. Anyway, there's no reason why the president of the university would even be a proper defendant in a case regarding erroneous billing of student loans. Regardless, I've never even heard of "Nova" University... surely the president thereof is not an all-powerful untouchable figurehead in and across the state of Florida. (No va means 'does not go' in Spanish... seems fitting). That's like saying lawyers won't sue other lawyers because they're all lawyers. Lawyers sue lawyers for legal malpractice all the time. I've sued other lawyers for legal malpractice. One of the lawyers I worked for out of law school sued a very famous, wealthy, and widely respected lawyer for legal malpractice (and won). I don't buy the "conspiracy of respect" theory for half a second. That means the only other alternative is that no lawyer felt you had a case. While I don't know all the facts and still have a huge question about what happened to the student loan money (nobody who read your pleadings should have that question - it should have been addressed in the first pages of your state court complaint), I can believe no lawyer would want to take your case due to bad facts. I can't believe every lawyer in the state of Florida is afraid of the president of Nova University.
This was a simple case of theft, as you mentioned (really unjust enrichment though)...
If they took your student loan money, which paid in full for the tuition, and then kicked you out of school and said you owed them tuition money, it is a case of theft. You didn't pay them by mistake, they didn't keep money to which they were not entitled, so how is it unjust enrichment? Not that I really claim to understand the facts, as I have not read both sides' pleadings. Put the defendants' MSJ (the one that was granted) on your website and I'll see if my opinion changes at all.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 8, 2008 5:51:45 PM
Bruce: "If they took your student loan money, which paid in full for the tuition, and then kicked you out of school and said you owed them tuition money, it is a case of theft." Answer: that happened, but first they threatened to sue me if I would not pay more money and take additional loans.
Then I began to investigate other student cases and found many judgments obtained against former students (35 pages, single spaced). I noticed the same affiant claiming the student owed monies, Elaine Brenner. I noticed the same attorney in many of the cases, Marc Gold. It began to fall into place after I reviewed my final NSU invoice and found many different charges that were not lawful...hmmm...happening to thousands of other students? Yes.
$50.00 late fee
$1,110 for class not even provided
$50.00 Application fee (which was waived)
Apparently, if I do not pay these charges I will never have my transcripts or credits. The late fee charge is itself one of the enrichment schemes used. Just like charging for classes neither provided nor available. Next attempting to collect (with debt collectors and attorney-debt collectors) thousands of dollars not even owed to the university. There are other schemes to defraud and I will place them neatly inside my RICO Case Statement.
The time for taking an appeal of the final state court judgment expired after 30 days. I knew the rule. I know it well and I choose not to appeal. I have probably drafted at least 50 to 70 appellate briefs in the 4DCA in my lifetime. I must admit that the argument of opposing counsel was colorable --and they won, I lost, I am unhappy and still without an education.
My primary field has been criminal appeals, extraordinary (collateral) rememdies and administrative actions. I have done quite a bit of civil pleading, but not much experience with civil RICO. However, the conspiracy can have many people, but only one of the conspirators needs to have performed two or more predicate acts. We have two or more. Elaine Brenner filed two fraudulent affidavits claiming I still owed the monies I do not even owe. Many communications by mail for monies I did not even owe; many more than two.
Election of Remedies. I have the option to file a claim for payment with the United States (I also reported major fraud and could receive a discretionary payment). Perhaps that would spark an arrest. Then after the conviction comes down I could receive restitution.
Your thoughts on the R-Fdm doctrine were one of my main concerns in drafting the RICO. I have a strong presumption of collusion (March 11 meeting and order) so I will do my best to enhance the same. Thank you again, Bruce, for the time you dedicated. People ask why I do not read social books and I remind them that after reading a 14-day jury trial, and briefing the statement of facts to that trial ---I just look at the book as work. So I understand that it is above and beyond the norm for you to even look at work after work, especially work that pays nothing but the need to take more time to write out work. A conversation in writing is worse than playing chess by mail. In the end, I will be judged by this case and not the many great appellate matters I have done so well. Thank you and I will keep you requests in mind when I update my website. Your comments and opinions have been well received.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 8, 2008 7:43:10 PM
The time for taking an appeal of the final state court judgment expired after 30 days. I knew the rule. I know it well and I choose not to appeal.
Then you're a double idiot. I mean that as an objective statement of fact, not an insult. Doesn't matter how many appellate briefs you've drafted for down on their luck prisoners in your lifetime. Also... I can't imagine a plausible way for a non-attorney who is not in prison to be drafting legal pleadings and appellate briefs for other people. "Jailhouse lawyers" do that all the time, but you're not presently incarcerated. I hope you're not practicing law w/out a license (by whatever Florida's definition of UPL is).
Elaine Brenner filed two fraudulent affidavits claiming I still owed the monies I do not even owe.
What is the school's basis for claiming you owe them tuition money (forget the late fee and application fee)? What's their colorable defense and basis for their counterclaim?
I must admit that the argument of opposing counsel was colorable
And what was their argument? I have no doubt that it's colorable or else they wouldn't have won. It has nothing to do with bias or that the judge belongs to a women's group that one of the defendants supports. Come on, what was their argument? They clearly made out a case as to why they did not steal your money (though it seems you didn't even frame the case as a theft case) and why you owe them tuition money. What was their argument? If you concede their argument was colorable, why do you also insist they won because of bias against you? S.cotus is right - that simply can't be taken seriously.
Your thoughts on the R-Fdm doctrine were one of my main concerns in drafting the RICO.
Yet you don't mention it once in your legal pleadings. I really doubt you'd heard of rooker-feldman before this. If you had, you wouldn't have foregone direct appeal and went directly to federal court to file a case that's barred by rooker-feldman, no matter how dumb you may be.
Then after the conviction comes down I could receive restitution.
You're a very religious person, aren't you? I'm guessing you're an Evangelical Christian. No, it has no bearing on the merits of your case. I just want to know if my guess is correct. I'm very good at this.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 8, 2008 8:16:25 PM
I work for different attorneys around the US. My work in the 4DCA here in Broward is related to local attorneys I have worked with for years. I also processed more local appeals (4DCA) because I worked as the Senior Paralegal at a Firm in Ft. Lauderdale for about 5 years.
Bruce wrote: "I really doubt you'd heard of rooker-feldman before this....no matter how dumb you may be."
I do not appreciate the "dumb" label. It is nice of you to express your learned opinion, especially when you do so in the manner of a gentleman. Perhaps you are trying too hard to impose your will, instead of sharing your ideas. I discussed R-f in paragraph 7 of an opposition pleading I filed on 2/22/2008 in the state court matter: "7. Rooker-Feldmen. That the Rooker-Feldmen doctrine will not bar Affiant from federal removal of the count for Breach of Third-Party Beneficiary Contract. Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983)." Good thing, Bruce, you did not lay money on that assumption.
Bruce wrote: "And what was their argument?" Their argument was that because I relied on some of their alleged violations of the HEA in the alleged theft of my federal funding that I had no private right of action under the HEA, such that McCulloch v. P*C Bank, Inc., 298 F.3d 1217, 1221 (11th Cir. 2002) required dismissal. I countered by showing that I had other statutory causes of action --that the court had to give effect to the other statutory causes as explained in Cliff v. Payco Gen. Am. Credits, Inc., 363 F.3d 1113 (11th Cir. 2004). Further I produce a 4th Circuit case, College Loan Corporation v. SLM Corporation, 396 F.3d 588 (4th Cir. 2005), which noted that "pursuit of state law claims, relying in part on violations of the HEA or its regulations" "is even more important in an area where no federal private right of action exists." I do not believe their argument should have prevailed. And I believe that it prevailed because of the collusion. A note on the collusion: view my short video which shows that within a few minutes of my hand delivering pleadings to the JA that opposing counsel had a copy in-hand --at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH7AmSbAN7Q
Bruce wrote: "You're a very religious person, aren't you? I'm guessing you're an Evangelical Christian. No, it has no bearing on the merits of your case. I just want to know if my guess is correct. I'm very good at this." Answer: I went to a private Catholic school for grades 4-6 and was raised a Catholic. I am not very religious. I have not been to church in 8 or 9 years. Do I believe in JC? Yes. I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I am hoping for an arrest that leads to a conviction, because restitution is mandatory under the MVRA. Remember, I reported this matter to law enforcement.
If you would like to receive Adobe copies of pleadings, I will be happy to email them to you. When I respond in the fed.action to the MTDs, when I bring the administrative action, when I file the bar complaints, the jqc complaint, the petition to force an LS&T action (Ref: the Common Manual, Ch. 17), etcetera --you may have courtesy copies of each of these matters. I will never consent to the theft of my education, so I will litigate beyond the point of financial ruin. And I will promote videos, publish the book and continue to press forward until my educational credits are release and the damages (not very much though) are paid. If defendants have any counterclaim regarding publicity or opinion that I promote to others, then my defense will always be truth. Thank you.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 8, 2008 11:17:45 PM
Bruce: Other parties. Ray F and PM&M were not parties in the state court action, nor subject to the final judgment.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 8, 2008 11:39:13 PM
Ronald: the "dumb" label was in reference to not appealing your case. That was objectively, verifiably, undisputably stupid. If someone is stupid, I'm going to tell them that they are stupid.
I'll take your word that you knew about R-F... but that should have given you serious pause about not appealing your case and instead, filing a federal action over the same issues seeking the same relief.
When I mean "what was their argument" I want to know what they had to say about the money ($6,000) they received from your student loan to pay for your tuition ($6,000), specifically, why they said you owed them money for tuition even though they received your (sufficient) student loan dollars. That's what makes no sense here. I can't imagine anyone would say something costs X dollars, get paid X dollars, and then refuse to prove the product/service fully paid for. Something else must be going on here vis a vis your payment. I want to know what they said about your loan money. Did they not receive all of it?
You sure have the tone of undeserved, unwarranted self-assuredness of a religious fundamentalist. Kinda surprises me if you're really not one. I hate nothing more than unearned, unjustified self-confidence. It's why I really hate kids born after 1980 or so... they've grown up being told they are winners and can do and be anything they want and are all special and super and they are all winners - when they compete every team gets a trophy. So we have a bunch of semi-literate morons walking around thinking they are god's gift to the world. You actually plugged in numbers (which you think are right) into the US Sentencing Guidelines and made a chart in your civil complaint to show how long you think the defendants should go to federal prison. That's amazing. I have never read such self-aggrandizing legal pleadings in my entire life. There was one footnote you stuck in somewhere about christmas/thanksgiving presents of discovery requests that was truly conceited.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 12:03:08 AM
I sort of like the video. However, just because the post office’s website doesn’t indicate that something was delivered doesn’t mean that it has not been. Based on that you accuse the other lawyer of “lying.” That is really funny.
(In fact, the post office doesn’t even claim that Delivery Confirmation will be updated, and it claims that Express mail won’t be updated until midnight.)
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 9, 2008 7:39:10 AM
S.cotus: What I'd really like to know is how all of the bias obsessors find these little factoids to latch on to, like the judge rented a movie that stars Kevin Bacon, and then play six degrees of Kevin Bacon with another movie, which the OPPOSING PARTY rented. Thus the judge was biased! I've seen plenty of losing litigants obsess over facts like this (e.g. "the judge is a member of a public advocacy group, and the defendant supports that group too!") and become convinced that such factoids are incontrovertible proof of collusion and bias. It really takes a special kind of narcissist to think they are so indisputably correct that the only way they can lose is through a conspiracy of foul play against them. But I want to know how they even find out about these little factoids in the first place. Maybe the opposing party tells it to them to cause them to flip out... but that seems a little conspiratorial in and of itself.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 9:26:13 AM
Bruce, Its funny you should mention it, as I know one lawyer who actually will make a big show of “putting it on the record” that the judge and his client are members of the same group (usually something that everyone is a member of like the ACLU or a theater group).
At some level, the psychology of lay people is interesting. Indeed, I really would like to know how the lay people come to their conclusions. Unfortunately, as we see from the above comments it is almost impossible to get them to explain their rationales in a way that we could understand. Usually most conversations go like this:
Me: I understand that you are not happy with the outcome of this case. Can you identify a legal error?
Them: Conspiracy, RICO, corruption
The thing about the delivery confirmation above is would be funny, except right now I am stressing about how the letter containing one of my bar dues was is not listed as “delivered” though there are several “en routes” on their website.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 9, 2008 10:03:08 AM
The psychology is, indeed, very interesting. I want to know how they find out about these little trivialities, though. Seriously, do they hire private investigators to stalk the judge and opposing counsel? I don't get it. Only once have I even suggested a judge was biased, and it was because people came forward in a criminal case of mine who provided affidavits saying the judge believed, and had frequently stated to them, that my client was "a crooked thief." I finally got the judge to recuse him/herself.
At the same token, though, this client was a total nutjob who eventually became convinced I was part of a gov't conspiracy because I (and the other 2 lawyers representing him) worked out a plea deal w/ the gov't where he'd be looking at about 2 years, max. He initially accepted the plea, but when he was given his chance to allocute, he started reading off this 50 page speech (which nobody had known about beforehand) about how everyone involved was conspiring against him. Me, every defense lawyer, the POTUS, several members of Congress, the FBI, CIA, and IRS, had allegedly conspired to get him to plead guilty. So the judge let him withdraw his plea and let us withdraw as his defense counsel (conflict of interest as we were part of the supposed conspiracy).
He's now serving something like 280 months. Had he not felt he was the center of the universe and the most important person on the planet, he would probably be close to getting out of prison right about now.
Truly fascinating psychology, though. It must be nice to feel so important, smart, clever, and one step ahead of everyone all the time.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 10:52:10 AM
Oh, USPS delivery confirmation sucks. They'll only scan it at delivery like 25% of the time.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 10:54:17 AM
Bruce wrote: "You sure have the tone of undeserved, unwarranted self-assuredness of a religious fundamentalist. Kinda surprises me if you're really not one. I hate nothing more than unearned, unjustified self-confidence." Answer: I have been wondering just what others perceive of me through my writings; now I know. I am a determined man who will not permit the theft of his education. Religion has nothing to do with it. I certainly deserved my chance to use the federal funding which the United States promised (in writing). I will remain self-assured in that regard, as any student should.
Bruce wrote: "You actually plugged in numbers (which you think are right) into the US Sentencing Guidelines and made a chart in your civil complaint to show how long you think the defendants should go to federal prison." Answer: the United States is also a victim here. These particular defendants have engaged in major fraud against the United States. Since my job long entailed the use of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, I see no reason not to mention the severity of the crime as well (particularly when the instant civil action is founded on a criminal statute). I could have gone to the far extreme and created a Presentence Investigation Report for each defendant. Hmm...
Bruce wrote: "There was one footnote you stuck in somewhere about christmas/thanksgiving presents of discovery requests that was truly conceited." Answer: I received the day before Thanksgiving a motion to compel discovery materials that were already provided. The motion was garbage and the opposing counsel's attempt to win a later procedural victory --claim that Plaintiff violated discovery rules so dismissal appropriate for deliberate violations, etc. I was in full compliance with discovery. The other side was not. Remember that I had to absorb their discovery violation in order to draft that partial summary judgment motion. Hundreds of hours learning how to correctly process federal funding. Since I had a notice of Defendant's noncompliance with order compelling discovery already pending, yes, I could have brought a mammoth motion for sanctions --and given that to opposing counsel as a type of "gift" as well, much like the "gift" he provided me (the day before Thanksgiving).
S.cotus wrote: "I sort of like the video. However, just because the post office’s website doesn’t indicate that something was delivered doesn’t mean that it has not been. Based on that you accuse the other lawyer of “lying.”" Answer: It is not possible that the tracked mail could have been delivered prior to opposing counsel's draft of that responsive fax. I mailed the pleading March 12 at about 5:45 PM. He responded by fax March 13 at about 2:00 PM. Also, he was dishonest in the text. And his responsive research did not take 5 mintues --it took at least 1.5 hours. Remember, this is the attorney who engages in outright judicial estoppel, which my motion to strike succinctly explains at this link if you have a question: http://www.anti-nova-nsu.org/1st.Summary%20Judgment/Pl.Ver.Mot.Stk.Def.Rply.2.Pl.Mot.Par.Sum.Jdgmt.pdf (written in a nice IRAC form). Let me not forget that Firm's requirement that I first execute a "release and waiver" in order for discovery to be provided --they made 3 of these outrageous requests and I will deal with that ethicial violation at the appropriate time.
It has been a pleasure to discuss these issues. I have a RICO Case Statement to complete so I will focus on that for the next week or so. You gentlemen certainly have PACER accounts, but I will post other materials in my own time as I update my website. Thank you.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 9, 2008 11:14:15 AM
You don't "engage in estoppel"... you are estopped.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 11:17:22 AM
Also.... PACER costs 8 cents per page.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 11:18:43 AM
Bruce: don't waste too many more of your billable hours on my case. I already have feelings of guilt for your loss of about 2 or 3 hours of time. But I really do appreciate your input.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 9, 2008 11:29:44 AM
Personally, I always pictured S COTUS as one of those lawyers who was all happy to graduate from a top law school and get a job with BIGLAW at a large salary only to find that their first client was a guy who dropped out of high school started a construction business worth several times what a BIGLAW partner makes. Thus, I figure that most lawyers don't take his ranting about the stuff because that attitude is pretty common among us lawyers (sure the guy may be worth $100 million dollars, but if he's so smart why isn't he an attorney?) It helps somewhat make up for the frustration of going through all we go through to become a lawyer only to find that a longshoreman makes more per hour (but at least our odds of being crushed to death by a shipping container are lower).
As for the substantive issue - it does seem odd - how does this perv get a 21 year old Brazilian to want to marry him? She must only be in it for the money and a green card. I know that they recommend defendents with child porn or child exploitation charges to try to have an adult wife or gf in the audience, but not sure if a 21 year old is such a great idea - who knows, at least she's legal but I'm not sure if it will counter the impression among the audience and judge that he's into young girls.
Posted by: Zack | Jun 9, 2008 11:38:01 AM
I wonder if you're the same Ronald Lee Humphries who was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison for drug and firearm violations. Both you and this guy are in the Southern District of Florida. What are the chances? Also the judge who presided over that case, Ryskamp, is the same judge you mentioned earlier.
19 HUMPHREYS, RONALD LEE flsdce 9:1995cr08103 10/12/1995 06/14/1996
USA v. Humphreys, Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp
(2) Imprisoned for a total term of 90 months. Defendant be confined to an Institution close to South Florida, be provided with intensive drug treatment and be afforded educational benefits, Supervised Release for a term of 5 years, Assessment of $100.00
18:922G.F UNLAWFUL TRANSPORT OF FIREARMS, ETC.
(4) Imprisoned for a total term of 90 months. Defendant be confined to an Institution close to South Florida, be provided with intensive drug treatment and be afforded educational benefits, Supervised Release for a term of 5 years, Assessment of $100.00
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 11:38:07 AM
Bruce: People make mistakes. Some people actually learn from their mistakes. I thank Judge Ryskamp every day for teaching me respect for the law.
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 9, 2008 11:46:03 AM
Hah it is the same Ronald Lee Humphries. How funny. Totally worth 16 cents. I'm sure this was a whole conspiracy against him, too.
While I think it's horribly unfair, I thought there was some incredibly stupid law that makes people ineligible for federal student loans when they have felony dug convictions.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 11:50:28 AM
Yes people do make mistakes, and yes the do sometimes learn from them. I think you are thanking Judge Ryskamp for terminating your supervised release early, though. Had he denied that motion, I wonder if you'd feel differently. Who knows.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 11:53:05 AM
Zack, Obviously a lot of what I say is tongue-in-cheek which is pretty obvious to all of us. Yes, I have had clients like you describe. However, I do not really dislike them, so long as we could mutually respect each other (and an easy way to develop such a rapport is to spend non-billed time getting him to explain his business and/or tour his plant), life and practice would be good.
Regarding the substantive issue, I suspect that this “perv” probably is marrying her for some pension or immigration reason before the conviction become final.
Bruce, Nice use of PACER. (Though I could have sworn it went up to .09.) Since I spend about $200 a month on my own personal blog-related stuff, I should probably keep better track of this.
One other problem is I really can’t take felons seriously.
“Answer: It is not possible that the tracked mail could have been delivered prior to opposing counsel's draft of that responsive fax. I mailed the pleading March 12 at about 5:45 PM. He responded by fax March 13 at about 2:00 PM.”
Yes it is. Routinely mail is delivered the next day at 9:00. (If you doubt me, just watch how fast Netflix receives your DVDs and sends you an email.) The amount of time it takes a lawyer to draft a response obviously varies by lawyer. Some lawyers are very fast. I can draft many things in five minutes. Some things take longer.
And, let’s say the lawyer got your filing from the court, there would be nothing wrong with that, either. Some courts provide for electronic notification of non-electric cases. Some lawyers have people checking active dockets every day. Some courts Xerox pleadings that look like they are from wackos and put them in the “boxes” of lawyers just to be “sure” that they got them.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 9, 2008 12:05:45 PM
Bruce: that law does not apply to those who have gone through successful treatment. That would be Question 35 on the FALSA application. I really appreciate how Judge Ryskamp changed the way I viewed criminal laws. He was excellent --the way he conducted his hearings. I was very, very impressed. I wanted to someday bring my law degree (an accredited one) by his chambers. I wanted to someday tell him that he had made a real difference in my life. I wanted him to know that because of his decision that I went on to become something much better --a better person. I wanted to say "thank you" to Judge Ryskamp (although I have written many words of thanks and praise via the Web).
Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Jun 9, 2008 12:10:59 PM
S.cotus: he'll be gone now... he has a lot of really important legal work to do.
I heard they were going to raise it but it's still 8 cents per page at the moment. one thing they did do is get rid of the "one free view" from emails sent by the court. I used to be able to have pacer send filings in any case I wanted to 100 email addresses and have 100 free views of ECF documents. Now I don't even get one. Kinda sucks.
Posted by: bruce | Jun 9, 2008 12:16:17 PM
S COTUS definitely, the factory tours are the best - I know some attorneys (only male attorneys though as it turns out) for whom going to factories or coal mines or the like is by far the highlight of the job (seriously, how many attorney office's do you see with pictures of the attorney at some client's job site standing next to a truck or a locomotive or some sort of machinery grinning like a little boy who just opened up a toy version of one on Christmas).
I also think that a lot of attorneys are wondering how to find a 21 year old Brazilian woman - not me, I'm happily married, but still I have to wonder.
You know, I think that a lot of the multimillion dollar but not too educated industrialist types wish they were as educated as attorneys and a lot of attorneys wish they had the courage and the ability to start their own business - especially if they get to work with large machines or in factories. So it works out - I still say that if we had courage, we wouldn't have become attorneys in the first place.
Posted by: Zack | Jun 9, 2008 1:18:03 PM
i like the concept of your blog, i hope you can post more articles, im gonna wait for next post, keep it up
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IS THIS REPORTED GAY SANTA MONICA COMMISSIONER JUST ONE BAD EXAMPLE OF A NEW POLICY IN AMERICAN FAMILY COURTS ALL ACROSS AMERICA OF DON'T ASK AND WE WON'T TELL ???
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE VERY REAL POSSIBILITY THAT COMMISSIONER DAVID J. COWAN OF SANTA MONICA CA COURT HOUSE IS A CLOSET GAY MAN OR FOR THAT MATTER ~ OPEN GAY MAN, THAT HAS SOMEHOW BEEN GIVEN COURT CASES INVOLVING FAMILY CHILD CUSTODY ISSUES AND IS THE NEWEST FACE OF WHAT IS TO COME IN AMERICAN FAMILY COURTS ACROSS AMERICA ?????????????????
MR.DAMON DUVAL AND HIS TWO WONDERFUL CHILDREN (MAYA & JAZZ ) HAVE ALL NOW BEEN KEPT APART FROM ENJOYING EACH OTHERS COMPANY BY COMMISSIONER DAVID J. COWAN SINCE DECENBER 4 2008. FOR SOME VERY UNCLEAR REASONING THIS APPARENT GAY NAPOLEON COMMISSIONER APPEARS TO BE MORE INTERESTED IN MR.DUVALS MENTAL HEALTH STATUS THEN THE LIVE IN BOYFRIEND OF HIS EX WIFE OF THE LAST 2 YRS., WHO HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE EL SEGUNDO POLICE DEPARTMENT AS HAVING TOUCHED MR. DUVALS LITTLE 3 YR OLD MAYA ON HER PRIVATE PARTS ??
THIS SANTA MONICA COURT COMMISSIONER APPOINTED CHILDREN'S COUNCIL AT MR. DUVALS REQUEST (LAWYER AMY NEIMAN OF SANTA MONICA CA) WHO HAS BEEN MORE INTERESTED IN ACTING AS A MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT( WITHOUT THE QUALIFIED DEGREES ) AND MISLEADING THIS CHILD CUSTODY MATTER INTO GAY NEVER NEVER LAND WITH THIS SANTA MONICA COMMISSIONER FOLLOWING HER FEMALE INTUITION & ADVICE CONCERNING THE MENTAL HELATH STATUS OF MR. DUVAL!
FOR SOMEONE WITHOUT MENAL HEALTH DEGREES TO QUESTION THE PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT OF THE MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT WHO HAS ALWAYS STATED CLEARLY TO THE COURT THAT MR. DUVAL IS OF SOUND MIND AND WOULD TESTIFY IN PERSON TO THE COURT CONCERNING THIS FACT, IS ALMOST ANOTHER FUTURE LEGAL CASE FOR LA COUNTY WAITING TO HAPPEN ?
**WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THE LA COUNTY COURT SYSTEM TO OPEN A INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS THAT ENCOMPASS THIS POSSIBLE CHILD PEDOPHILE CUSTODY CASE AND HOPE THAT ALL CURRENT COURT APPOINTED LAWYERS WORKING FOR LA COUNTY LIKE AMY NEIMAN ARE ADVISED TO HELP PREVENT CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS RATHER THEN CREATING ONE IN THE FUTURE !
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS WILL CONTINUE WRITING ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC LEGAL CASE ON THE WWW UNTIL A PROPER OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION OF THESE PEDOPHILE CHARGES HAS BEEN PROPERLY ANSWERED !!!
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS HAS A VERY DIFFICULT TIME WITH ANY RESULTS THAT COME FROM THE EL SEGUNDO POLICE CONCERNING THIS INVESTIGATION DUE TO THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIP OF MR. DUVALS FORMER WIFES CURRENT DIVORCE ATTORNEY (MR.ROY KIGHT )HAVING HAD HIS LAW OFFICE SITUATED IN EL SEGUNDO FOR THE LAST 20 YRS.+ , AND HAVING GOOD FRIENDS IN EL SEGUNDO TO DO HIM CERTAIN FAVORS WHEN NEEDED !!!
~ A SIX MONTH RESTRAINING ORDER THAT BEGAN THIS CHILD CUSTODY SEPERATION OF MR. DUVAL AND HIS CHILDREN WAS BASED ON A EL SEGUNDO REPORT THAT MR. DUVAL SAYS WAS CLEARLY FABRICATED ABOUT HIM TO MAKE HIM LOOK BAD TO THIS PRESIDING JUDGE ~
*** ISN'T IT A LITTLE ODD THAT THIS EL SEGUNDO LAWYER MR.ROY KIGHT WAS ABLE TO PREDICT 22 MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME BY TELLING MR. DUVAL OUTSIDE A SANTA MONICA COURT~ ROOM THAT HE WAS "GOING TO TAKE AWAY ALL HIS CHILD VISITATION AWAY BETWEEN HIM AND HIS CHILDREN AND THAT THIS IS A POKER GAME FELLA AND ARE YOU READY TO PLAY " ***
NO MR. DEVALS MENTAL HEALTH IS NOT THE ISSUE IN THIS LEGAL CASE, THE REAL ISSUE HERE IS DID THIS DIVORCE LAWYER ROY KIGHT SET MR. DUVAL UP WITH GAINING FALSE TESTIMONY IN EL SEGUNDO CA AND INFLUENCE THE EL SEGUNDO PEDOPHILE INVESTIGATION OF HIS 3YR, OLD DAUGHTER ???
ATTORNEY ROY KIGHT IS ON THE RECORD AS HAVING PREVIOUSLY THREATENED MR. DUVAL OUTSIDE THE SANTA MONICA COURT ROOM AND WE FEEL MIGHT ALSO BE SO CAUGHT UP IN THIS CUSTODY BATTLE AND THAT HE MIGHT HAVE HAD WAY TOO MUCH INFLUENCE AND INTEREST WITH THE PEDOPHILE INVESTIGATION THAT NEVER TOOK PLACE ????????????????
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED IF LAWYER ROY KIGHT WOULD ADMIT UNDER OATH (AND SUPPLY INVESTIGATORS HIS PHONE RECORDS) AS TO NOT EVER ATTEMPTING TO INFLUENCE THE FORMER (NOW RETIRED EL SEGUNDO POLICE DETECTIVE MULRONEY CONCERNING THIS PEDOPHILE CRIMINAL LEGAL CASE ???????????????????????????
WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE INTERESTED IN PREVENTING FAMILY COURT GAY COMMISSIONERS AND JUDGES ACROSS AMERICA FROM CONTINUING TO ALLOW THEIR COURT APPOINTED LAWYERS LIKE (AMY NEIMAN OF SANTA MONICA) TO MISLEAD JUDGES AROUND THE COUNTRY LIKE WHAT HAPPENED IN MR. DUVALS CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN SANTA MONICA CA,TO CALL THEIR GOVERNMENT LEADERS WHO THEY FEEL MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP MAKE THE NEEDED CHANGES IN THIS LEGAL PROCESS FROM SEPERATING AND DESTROYING OTHER FAMILIES IN OTHER CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS OUR COUNTRY !!!
***PLEASE ENTER THESE TITLES LISTED BELOW INTO ANY WWW SEARCH ENGINE TO SEE THE FIRST OF MANY WRITTEN ARTICLES CONCERNING MR. DUVAL AND HIS TWO CHILDREN. THE PICTURE OF THIS CARING AND LOVING FATHER WITH HIS TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN IS SPECIAL AND SAYS IT ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1) SANTA MONICA SCANDAL CREATED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS ~
2) PRESIDENT OBAMA YOU TUBES 4 U.S KIDS !!!
3) AMERICAN DIVORCE COURTS NEED A GIDEON FROM U.S.SUPREME COURT !!!
LAINDYMEDIA.ORG HAD THIS VERY SPECIAL PICTURE FEATURED WITH THE ARTICLES ! WE ALSO ENCOURAGE ANYONE INTERESTED TO ALSO WATCH THE VIDEOS MR. DEVAL HAS OF HIM SPENDING YEARS OF TIME BEING TOGETHER WITH HIS KIDS AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS (beach,hikes in Santa Monica Mountains,riding scooters in parks,etc on ~
BIGDADDYMAYAANDJAZZ.COM OR AT THE END OF PREVIOUS ARTICLES UNDER VIDEOS .....
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A WWW LOBBY GROUP MADE UP OF VOLUNTEERS WHO CONTINUE TO LOBBY AROUND THE WORLD ON THE WWW FOR MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS TO ALL BE AFFORDED PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION BY OUR U.S. CONGRESS IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY COURTS OF LAW NATIONWIDE.
JUST ENTER LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS OR OUR PHONE NUMBER INTO ANY WWW SEARCH ENGINE TO READ PREVIOUS ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WORLD !
[email protected] (424-247-2013)
WE ALSO WANT TO GIVE YOU ANOTHER SMALL SAMPLE OF OTHER WRITTEN ARTICLES THAT LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS HAS PUBLISHED ON THE WWW.
1) TROY DAVIS,PLEASE REMEMBER THAT AMERICA IS NOT THE OLD SOUTH ~ AFRICA !!!
2) MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM !
3) REV RICK WARREN, THESE REALLY ARE CRIMES AGAINST HUMNITY ISSUES !!
4) ARE THEY KINGS OF SLAVES OR THE U.S. CONGRESS ??
5) PRINCE CHARLES, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IRAN GAVE U.S. JOURNALIST ROXANA A FAIR TRIAL !!!
6) INTERNATIONAL PROTEST WITH GOOGLE NEWS STORY NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT TO SAVE 2 AMERICANS !!!
7) DOES OPRAH CONDONE THIS INJUSTICE ???
8) INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS !!
9) U.S. JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS IN NEED OF BILLIONS IN BAILOUT FROM IVORY TOWER U.S. CONGRESS !
10) WHEN THE INNOCENT ARE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY !!
11) PRESIDENT OBAMA DID NOT CREATE THIS MESS, BUT LETS ALL SAY A PRAYER FOR HIS SUCCESS !!!
12) ACTOR CHRIS NOTH AND MARK BURK SLANDERED BY MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON !!
13) POORER AMERICAN S NEEDS WORLDS COURT HELP !
14) WILL THE ROYAL FAMILY NOW HELP PRESIDENT OBAMA FREE THEM ?
15) U.S.CONGRESS DECADES OF NEGLECT & ABUSE OF POORER AMERICANS ~ A SAD AND TRAGIC REALITY !!!
16) AND GEORGIA WANTS TO EXECUTE TROY DAVIS ???
17) IS NELSON MANDELA NEEDED IN AMERICA TO CORRECT THIS INJUSTICE ???
18) THIS SUPREME COURT KNEW REAL JUSTICE ?
19) 100,000 INNOCENT U.S. PRISON INMATES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN OFF BY OUR GOVERNMENT !!!
20) WORLD COURT FINDS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN USA !!!
21) WHY DO POORER AMERICANS NEED GOD TO LOBBY OUR U.S. CONGRESS SENATOR OBAMA ???
22) WHERE ARE AMERICAS RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHEN IT BECOMES THIS EASY TO EXECUTE EVEN INNOCENT AMERICANS ???
23) MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS HAVE BEEN PORTRAYED BY RICH AMERICA !!!
24) AMERICAS JUDICIAL SYSTEM NEEDS C*H*A*N*G*E...
25) WILL THE POPE NOW SPEAK OUT ABOUT THESE AMERICAN INJUSTICES ???
26) WHEN GODS FACE BECAME VERY RED !!!
27) ARE AMERICAS RELIGIOUS LEADERS BEING SILENCED ?
28) IS THE U.S.GUILTY OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY ??
29) THANK GOD PRESIDENT OBAMA RESPECTS OUR POORER AMERICANS !!!
30) U.S.CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS HAD TO BEG U.$ CONGRE$$ ...
31) GOD AND PRESIDENT OBAMA ARE WALKING HAND IN HAND ON THIS ONE !!!
By LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS
[email protected] 424-247-2013
THIS SANTA MONICA COMMISSIONER DOES NOT BELONG IN FAMILY COURT ANYWHERE IN AMERICA !!!
ALL OUR READERS ARE ENTITLED TO KNOW THAT MR. DUVAL HAS BEEN PICKETING IN FRONT OF THE SANTA MONICA COURTHOUSE NOW FOR 21 WEEKS MONDAY - FRIDAY FROM 9AM TO CLOSING AT 4:30 PM !
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS IN TOTAL DISBELIEF THAT COMMISSIONER DAVID COWAN WOULD EVER THINK THAT HE IS EVEN CAPABLE SOMEHOW OF EVER BEING A FAMILY COURT JUDGE IN THE FUTURE IN SANTA MONICA WITH THIS BIASED JUDICIAL MENTALITY TOWARDS STRAIGHT MEN WITH THEIR CHILDREN !
IT IS OBVIOUS TO ANY HONEST PERSON VIEWING THIS LEAGL HORROR STORY THAT COMMISSIONER COWAN HAS DONE EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO DESTROY THE LOVING RELATIONSHIP MR. DUVAL HAS HAD WITH HIS TWO CHILDREN AND I WOULD DARE SAY THAT THIS COMMISSIONER COWAN WOULD BE WELCOME TO SIT IN ANY COURTHOUSE IN FAMILY COURT WITH MEAN SPIRITED CALLOUS DECISIONS AS THESE PORTRAYED IN THE DUVAL LEGAL CASE !!!!
**LAST MONDAY THIS SO CALLED GAY COMMISSIONER, AGAIN CONTINUED HIS CALLOUS DECISION MAKING IN THE DUVAL LEGAL CASE BY TURNING DOWN MR. DUVALS (AND ANY LOVING FATHERS NORMAL REQUEST) TO BE WITH HIS KIDS ON FATHERS DAY !
MR. DUVAL IS SUPPOSE TO ONLY GET 10 MINUTE PHONE CALLS EVERY NIGHT WITH HIS TWO KIDS (IF THE EX WIFE DECIDES TO EVEN PICK UP THE PHONE ?)
COMMISSIONER COWAN HAS ISOLATED TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN FROM A LOVING FATHER WHO HAS SPENT YEARS HAVING FUN AT THE BEACH,HIKING IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS, RIDING SCOOTERS ALL OVER VENICE BEACH ETC...WITH HIS KIDS ???
*** PLEASE VISIT MR. DUVALS WEB SITE
BIGDADDYJAZZANDMAYA.COM TO SEE THE VIDEOS OF DAMON DUVAL WITH HIS KIDS AT THE LOCAL POOL, IN THE SCHOOLS ON SPECIAL EVENTS ..ETC
MR. DUVAL HAS SPENT YEARS ENJOYING AND LOVING HIS TWO CHILDREN TO HAVE THIS ONE MAN CONTINUE IN HIS VICIOUS ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY THE LOVING BOND HE HAS HAD WITH BOTH CHILDREN.
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMRICANS HAS INFORMED MR. DUVAL THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR HIS GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO CONTINUE BEING THE LOVING FATHER TO BOTH LITTLE MAYA AND JAZZ !!!
SANTA MONICA COURT HOUSE HAS NOW BECOME A FUTURE BATTLE~ GROUND LOCATION FOR STRAIGHT FAMILIES IN AMERICA TO DEMAND TO HAVE THEIR COMMISSIONERS AND JUDGES NOT BE CLOSET GAYS OR OPEN GAYS DECIDING CHILD CUSTODY MATTERS !!!
THANK YOU COMMISSIONER COWAN FOR DEMONSTARTING TO STRAIGHT AMERICA THAT BIASED GAY MEN LIKE YOURSELF DO NOT RESPECT TRADITIONAL FAMILY VALUES AND SHOULD NEVER EVER BE IN FAMILY COURT OR EVER GIVEN CHILD CUSTODY LEGAL CASES !!!
Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Jun 11, 2009 1:15:13 AM
really interesting- thanks
Posted by: Cheshire Conference Venue | Jan 8, 2010 12:56:41 PM