Archive for the ‘Judge’ Category

Kids-for-Cash Documentary Set to Debut This Weekend

November 15, 2013

A documentary about a juvenile justice scandal in Northeastern Pennsylvania will have its premiere this weekend at a film festival in New York.

“Kids for Cash” will be shown Sunday at the festival called DOC NYC. The film directed by Robert May examines the case of former Luzerne County judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. now serving lengthy prison terms.

Prosecutors say the judges locked away thousands of children at for-profit detention centers – often for minor offenses – in exchange for payments from the facilities’ builder and co-owner.

Last year, a federal judge approved a nearly $18 million settlement for 1,600 juveniles who said they were wrongfully incarcerated.

“Kids for Cash” also will have a special screening in Philadelphia on Feb. 5, two days before it’s released in theaters nationwide.

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Kids-for-Cash Documentary Set to Debut

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Judge facing discipline refused to take deposition oath

November 8, 2013

Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown refused to be sworn during a deposition before the Judicial Qualifications Commission – a videotaped moment of defiance used against her Monday at the outset of her weeklong disciplinary case.

Over the objection of Brown’s attorneys, the three-judge panel of special masters allowed into evidence the judge’s videotaped refusal to swear to tell the truth during an Aug. 1 deposition in the case that now includes 47 counts of judicial misconduct.

“I am always an officer of the court,” Brown says in refusing to take the oath. “I am a judge.”

Meanwhile, Brown’s attorneys said the case against her is a result of problems with her court staff and that she’s being singled out for delayed releases of criminal defendants that have happened with other Marion Superior judges.

Brown was the first witness called in a hearing expected to last at least through the end of this week and possibly into next week. Brown wiped away tears as she attempted to explain why she refused to be sworn in the deposition. “I believe I’m always an officer of the court and therefore always bound to the truth,” she said.

“But you decided to do something different today,” JQC attorney Adrienne Meiring said after Brown took an oath before the masters. Retired Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro is presiding over the panel that includes Boone Superior Judge Rebecca S. McClure and Lake Superior Judge Sheila M. Moss.

Meiring pointed Brown to rules of evidence requiring witnesses be sworn and admitted into evidence the statutes governing oaths that judges and other public officials such as police officers must take. Taliaferro asked Brown multiple times to explain why she believed she wasn’t required to swear an oath at the deposition.

“I wasn’t basing it on anything other than I’m always an officer of the court,” Brown said.

Meiring argued that Brown’s refusal to be sworn at the deposition illustrated the nature of many of the complaints against her. The charges against Brown include allegations that she delayed release of at least nine defendants – in one case for 22 days – failed to properly oversee her court, was hostile toward parties who came before and retaliated against court staff who complained, among other things.

Meiring opened by using Brown’s alleged words against her – “This isn’t McDonald’s … It’ll get ruled on when it gets ruled on,” Meiring said. “This is not simply a situation of a bad day.

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Judge facing discipline refused to take deposition oath

See Also:
Deadline set for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown to respond to petition seeking her removal

Tonight on T.S. Radio: David Scheid: The Criminals on the Bench

October 27, 2013

David Sheid joins the show to talk with us about a magistrate in Michigan who had him plucked from his seat in the courtroom, arrested, and hauled two counties away to a court friendly sheriff’s department.

Why? You ask?  David had encountered this judge previously over a fraudulent speeding ticktet.  In fact, David had documented the abuse of the court on numerous ocassions.  This same judge recognized David as he sat among other “court watchers”.  He had not spoken to anyone.  He had not caused any kind of disturbance.

What was David eventually charged with?  Tune in and find out!  Corruption in our courtroom is never more evident than when court is in session and a black robed criminal is calling the shots.  The law be damned!  These courts have nothing to do with the law, nothing to do with your rights.

Ask any judge in the country……the law is what they say it is, even if they have to lie, or make up a new one on the spot.

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

Judge Tells Living Man That He’s Still Legally Dead

October 17, 2013

Life can be tough, especially when a judge says you’re dead in the eyes of the law.

That’s exactly what happened to Ohio resident Donald Eugene Miller Jr. on Monday when a judge upheld a 1994 court ruling declaring the 61-year-old legally dead.

The Courier reports that 19 years ago, a court in Hancock County declared Miller legally dead eight years after he disappeared from his rental home.

As a result, Miller has lost his Social Security number and his driver’s license.

Judge Allan Davis called it a “strange, strange situation,” but he also said the court cannot budge in its decision.

“‘We’ve got the obvious here,” Davis said. “A man sitting in the courtroom, he appears to be in good health.”

Each state can make its own laws regarding declaring someone legally dead. Most generally rely on a similar set of criteria: that someone is missing and presumed dead if they can’t be located for at least seven years, the absence has been continuous and a genuine effort has been made to locate the person.

Miller said he is a recovering alcoholic and abandoned his rental home while in the throes of his addiction. He said he returned to the court as part of an effort to get his life back together.

“It kind of went further than I ever expected it to,” Miller told the court. “I just kind of took off, ended up in different places.”

Technically, Miller can petition to have his Social Security number reinstated in federal court, but his attorney, Francis Marley, told the Courier that Miller does not have the financial resources to pursue a second hearing.

“My client’s here on a wing and a prayer today,” Marley said.

His ex-wife, Robin Miller, asked for the initial death ruling so that Social Security death benefits could be paid to their two children. She reportedly declined to testify in court on Monday.

“I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned,” Davis said.

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Judge Tells Living Man That He’s Still Legally Dead

Ohio appeals court again sides with hospital seeking to send Amish girl back to chemotherapy

October 9, 2013


An appeals court has sided again with an Ohio hospital that wants to force a 10-year-old Amish girl to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.

The court ruled that an attorney who’s also a registered nurse should be granted limited guardianship over the girl, Sarah Hershberger, and the power to make medical decisions for her.

Doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital believe Sarah’s leukemia is treatable but says she will die without chemotherapy. The hospital went to court after the family decided to stop chemotherapy and treat Sarah with natural medicines, such as herbs and vitamins.

The appeals court ruling, issued last week, overturns a judge’s decision that said that keeping the parents from making medical decisions for their daughter would take away their rights.

“While we respect the wishes of the parents and believe them to be honest and sincere, we are unwilling to adhere to the wishes of the parents,” the appeals court judges wrote.

The beliefs and convictions of the parents can’t outweigh the rights of the state to protect the child, the court said. It also ordered that the guardian should be appointed right away.

Full Article and Source:
Ohio appeals court again sides with hospital seeking to send Amish girl back to chemotherapy

See Also:
Judge Again Blocks Ohio Hospital’s Attempt to Force Amish Girll to Resume Treatments

Judge sides with hospital that forced chemotherapy for Amish girl with leukemia

Ohio hospital wants to force Amish girl’s cancer treatment after parents stop chemotherapy

Disgraced Conahan in default for ignoring lawsuit

October 5, 2013

Even behind bars, disgraced former Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Conahan is still dodging the law.

Conahan, locked away in federal prison, has ignored a civil lawsuit filed against him in connection with the kids-for-cash judicial scandal, federal court officials said Thursday.

The acting clerk for U.S. District Court in Scranton on Thursday ruled Conahan is in default for “failure to answer, plead, or otherwise defend against the complaint.”

Conahan is a defendant in a class-action civil rights lawsuit on behalf of thousands of juveniles who appeared in court before his colleague, former Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. Both men are serving lengthy prison sentences for accepting kickbacks for placed juveniles in two for-profit detention centers. The default opens Conahan to damages when the case is finally resolved in federal court.

The suit also seeks damages from Ciavarella, PA Child Care LLC, Western PA Child Care LLC and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., which own and operate the centers in Pittston Township and Butler County, and the former co-owner of those companies, Robert J. Powell, a Drums attorney who paid the judges $770,000.

Wealthy developer Robert K. Mericle, who paid $2.1 million to Conahan and Ciavarella, who placed juveniles in two for-profit detention centers built by his construction firm, is no longer a defendant in the lawsuits. He won court approval last year for a $17.75 million settlement with more than 1,000 former offenders who appeared in the county juvenile court in 2004-2008. After the suit was initially filed, Conahan asked a court to dismiss the suit on the basis of “judicial and legislative immunity.” Since a federal judge denied the request, Conahan has not responded to the suit, court documents filed Thursday said.

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Disgraced Conahan in default for ignoring lawsuit

Ex-District Judge Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

September 22, 2013

BROWNSVILLE – A judge sentenced former district judge Abel Limas to six years in prison for one count of racketeering. Limas was also ordered to forfeit $257,000 in property he owns and pay more than $6 million in restitution.

Limas was the focus of a corruption case at the Cameron County courthouse. He pleaded guilty more than two years ago and has testified in four trials related to the case.

The ex-judge confessed to accepting bribes for favorable court rulings. He also admitted to taking more than $250,000 from four attorneys.

In court today, his defense attorney said Limas was rehabilitated and did everything asked of him. Limas apologized for embarrassing the judiciary system and his family.

He left the courthouse without any comment about his sentence.

Former Cameron County district attorney Yolando De Leon called the outcome “a good recognition of the damage done to many, many people, many institutions.”

But Limas’ attorney Chip Lews said, “I think it’s exorbitant. Given all the assistance Abel Limas gave the federal government, one would expect a lighter sentence.”

The former judge will report to federal prison in a couple of months. Until then, he is a free man.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-District Judge Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Indicted Texas Judge Loses Bid To Nix Removal Suit

September 13, 2013

Law360, Houston (September 12, 2013, 3:15 PM ET) — A Texas appeals court declined Thursday to throw out a civil removal suit aimed at a state judge indicted on abuse of office charges, clearing the way for proceedings to continue in the case.

The First District Court of Appeals denied Galveston County Court at Law Judge Christopher Dupuy’s petition for mandamus, in which he said that the trial court hearing the removal suit should have dismissed the case.

Full Article and Source:
Indicted Texas Judge Loses Bid To Nix Removal Suit

Judge Again Blocks Ohio Hospital’s Attempt to Force Amish Girll to Resume Treatments

September 11, 2013

A judge has again blocked an Ohio hospital from forcing a 10-year-old Amish girl to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.

The order siding with the parents comes just a week after an appeals court sent the case back to the judge and told him to give more consideration to the request by Akron Children’s Hospital.

The hospital wants a registered nurse to take over limited guardianship of Sarah Hershberger and decide whether she should continue treatments for leukemia. The hospital believes Sarah’s leukemia is treatable and says she will die without chemotherapy.

Andy Hershberger, the girl’s father, said the family agreed to begin two years of treatments for Sarah last spring but stopped a second round of chemotherapy in June because it was making her extremely sick.

Judge John Lohn, in Medina County, said in his ruling Tuesday that not allowing the parents to make medical decisions for their daughter would take away their rights. He also said there is no guarantee that chemotherapy would be successful.
“They are good parents,” he said. “They understand completely the grave situation their daughter is in and the consequences of their choice to refuse chemotherapy for Sarah at this time.”

Lohn said also that allowing for a guardian would go against the girl’s wishes.

 
Full Article and Source:
Judge again blocks Ohio hospital’s attempt to force Amish girl to resume cancer treatments

See Also:
Judge sides with hospital that forced chemotherapy for Amish girl with leukemia

Ohio hospital wants to force Amish girl’s cancer treatment after parents stop chemotherapy

Deadline set for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown to respond to petition seeking her removal

September 8, 2013

The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday set a noon Wednesday deadline for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly J. Brown to file a response challenging an emergency petition to remove her from the bench.

The order signed by Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson says the deadline was set because disciplinary rules do not specifically establish a deadline for responses to interim suspension petitions.

The state Commission on Judicial Qualifications last month filed a complaint against Brown alleging 45 counts of misconduct. At the same time, the commission filed an emergency petition seeking her suspension, with pay, pending outcome of a disciplinary case involving the alleged misconduct.

The action to remove a judge before completion of a disciplinary case is an “extraordinary measure,” the court noted when announcing the action against Brown on Aug. 26.

Brown, a Democrat elected in 2008, faces charges that include dereliction of duty, delaying the release of at least nine defendants from jail, failing to train or supervise court employees, creating a hostile environment for staff and attorneys and failing to properly complete paperwork.

A staff member who answered the phone in Brown’s court Friday said that the judge was “unavailable” but could not say whether or not Brown was working. Brown was reported to be on vacation when the charges were filed and it was not clear Friday whether she had returned to the bench.

Full Article and Source:
Deadline set for Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown to respond to petition seeking her removal