RE: Jury Fees ----------------
What a ruckus it would cause, if people started writing off
on their taxes, what they lost for performing jury duty.
I think this would only be fair!
Do not your taxes PAY for the courts in the first place?
Why then can't your taxes PAY for you to have the courts perform
their constitutional function in the manner, that you get to write
on your taxes, all that you have not received as remuneration
due to being at jury duty?
Don in Massachusetts.
At 12:10 AM 11/20/04 -0800, you wrote:
November 19, 2004
My Summons To Jury
(By Ron Branson, JAIL4Judges CIC)
Yesterday, Thursday, November 18th, I was summons
to report to the court in Van Nuys for jury service. My pre-recorded
phone instructions were that I must bring my own ball-point pen due to
California budgetary short-falls, and that the County of Los Angeles
could no longer afford to pay for pencils for the jurors. I thought,
"Wow, we are really scraping the bottom of the barrel when the
taxpayers can no longer afford pencils." So I looked at my
"Jury Summons" envelope, and in this case the County of Los
Angeles could afford postage, to wit, "U.S. Postage Paid L.A. County
Superior Court." Then I thought of the current news of the County of
Los Angeles complaining about budget short-falls so that they had to
close hospitals for the poor, while at the same time receiving news that
somehow the county "found" $309,000,000. (Perhaps they found it
sitting around in a brown paper bag left in a corner behind a desk
somewhere.) Anyway, what do you think these wise trustees of the County
funds decided to do with that $309,000,000? Yes, your right, they decided
to give themselves all a pay raise for their wonderful job they are doing
for Los Angeles. Never mind that they are destining us for bankruptcy.
Now, the County of Los Angeles even can't afford pencils.
Things here in Los Angeles are getting to sound
like Chowchesque (sp?) in Romania. He permitted absolutely one light bulb
per household, and strictly enforced this law, while he lived in a Castle
overlaid with pure gold on his walls. Politicians here in the U.S. were
then praising him as a one of the masterful world leaders. However, the
people there had a different perception. They eventually had enough and
charged his Castle of gold and got their hands around his throat. The
picture was not pleasant as the people ransacked his Castle, destroying
all the official tax records, and government documents, causing a lot of
U.S. politicians to back off their praise of this man. The message sent
was clear, the people were fed up.
Back to my day as a juror. On the outside of my
summons envelope it was unmistakable that I had no choice in the matter
but to report to court for service. "Your failure to respond to this
Summons will result in .... penalties, including a possible fine of up to
$1,500..." So, in order to avoid the SWAT Team swarming my house
with tanks, machine guns, and a bullhorn saying, "Come out with your
hands up," I thought it was wise to report in, albeit under threat,
duress, and coercion, known as TDC, the same initials as in "top
dead center" used in mechanical terms.
Early in the morning, in preparation for court, I
resisted the thought of wearing my full J.A.I.L. uniform, and instead
adorned myself with my JAIL4Judges T-Shirt after removing my five stars,
as I thought it might be a bit overbearing for them. However, I did
retain my gold name badge, "Ron Branson - National J.A.I.L.
Commander-In-Chief," and off I went to court.
At the door I was rung-out for my valuables, i.e, I
had to empty my pockets into this little tray, which was pushed through a
scanner. On the other end an officer scrambled through my valuables and
picked up my key ring with a fingernail clipper attached thereto. He
started talking to me in broken English, so broken that I could not
understand what this uniformed officer was saying. Embarrassingly, I
said, "Sir, I cannot understand what you are saying." He then
turned to a nearby Deputy Sheriff who spoke English, who told me that I
would have to surrender my fingernail clipper, or take it out of the
court building and back to my car.
Having elected the latter, he then asked,
"What's JAIL4Judges." When I told him that we were a nationwide
movement of citizens persuaded to hold judges accountable to their sworn
Oaths of Office, and to the Constitution, and all laws made in pursuance
thereof," he said, "Well, they aught to be," and accepted
a JAIL4Judges business card, as I departed from the building. I thought
within myself, "Boy, these judges are really paranoid. They are
afraid someone is going to high-jack the courthouse, or take a judge
hostage with a pair of fingernail clippers at his throat." Mind you,
every officer there was packing a rod, and the building was full of them.
Besides, right there in the foyer fifty feet away was the Sheriff's
When I returned without the fingernail clippers, I
was again passed through the electronics. The gentleman behind me also
cleared the electronic examination, however, a female guard stopped him
because he had a bulge in his trousers, and she told him he would have to
remove the bulge and again pass through the metal detector. I though
within myself, "Wow, they are now searching for more than metal,
they are after anything that bulges, even if it is not metal." He
had to remove the bulge, and go through the metal detector again.
Gee, are these judges afraid somebody might pull
out a handkerchief to choke out a judge? I just couldn't understand. Is
there some kind of bounty placed upon the heads of judges, or is
everybody seeking a their head to mount above their fireplace over
a crackling fire? Hey, we can meet and talk with our Congressmen,
Senators, Legislators, and even our State Attorney General without being
rung out. So why do judges feel everyone wants their head? What's going
on here? It must be a miserable job as a judge to drive around as if they
were a mafia boss, looking in the mirror everywhere they drive, wondering
if someone is out to get'em.
Finally, I arrived at my destination, the Jury Pool
Assembly Room, where my papers where checked for correctness. As I walked
among the jurors to find a seat, I saw effort made by twisted neck to see
what I had on my chest. I took my seat. One person said, "I can't
wait to see the face of the judge when you enter their
After a bit, one lady opened up a conversation, and
we talked about jury service, and I started educating her about jury
duty. After listening to me for awhile, in defense of this country she
made the oft repeated statement that the U.S. nonetheless has about the
best justice system in the world, to which I replied, "Do you know
why most people believe that? It is because the government tells them
that." Then I informed her that per capita the United States has the
most of populous prisons than any tyrannical dictatorship in the world,
whether fascist or communistic, including Red China whose population far
exceeds ours, and that there is not one nation anywhere around the world
that comes even to a close second." The fact is, the most
prosperous business in America, besides General Motors, is our
ever-expanding Law Enforcement Growth Industry. It brings in hundreds of
billions of dollars annually to the judges, police, sheriffs, clerks,
court reporters, lawyers, mechanics, auto dealers, medical
doctors, food industry, cooks and food preparers, etc, etc. It touches
every profession, including huge building contractor companies, arms
dealers, bondsmen, office suppliers, computer makers, linen
manufacturing, launderers; the list goes on virtually endless. If one
just considers the transportation issue which consumes hundreds of
millions of gallons of fuel, there would be almost twice as much fuel
available for private and business use. Applying the law of supply and
demand, the price of fuel would drop horrendously, and thus, so would all
products and services in America.
I told her that I receive emails from those who
have come to America from communistic countries seeking freedom, only to
find disappointment. The last one I received was four days ago, who said,
"I never thought America could be so unjust. I feel that I am back
Russia. I came to America, following the American dream. I arrived with
nothing, worked hard, and built a nice life for my family. Now I have
nothing again. They have taken it all away." - Leo Gurovich. He is
but only one of the many who have reported this same news to me. She
seemed to lose interest, so I dropped off the conversation.
I looked around the Jury Room and saw all these
posters, so I decided to walk around to read them. They were all about
placing abused children into foster homes, and that they needed
volunteers. I was informed via these posters that this 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt corporation was being supported by the Los Angeles County
Superior Courts, and that I could donate my jury fees to this cause.
Then, at the jury room administration window I saw a sign that said,
"Please consider donating your jury fees to worthwhile court
projects." Obviously, they were referring to taking children from
their parents to place them in foster homes. They need children -- many
more children. I understand that our federal tax dollars pays are going
to the states at $25,000.00 per child that the states place in foster
homes. It is big a very big business.
Coming to "Jury Fees." For over fifty
years all jurors in California received only $5 per day, about enough to
cover your lunch in the courthouse cafeteria. Just recently they decided
to be generous to the California jurors and give them a raise. So they
decided to give them $10 more. Hey, they can now afford three meals a
day, rather than just lunch. Whoopee. But wait a minute. Does not the
U.S. Constitution, to which all of these judges swore by an Oath to
uphold and defend, say, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to
their jurisdiction." XIII Amendment. At least that is what my
version of the Constitution says which I receive from my legislator. It
is identified as to who it is from inside the front cover,
"California Legislature Assembly, 2004-2004." I began to think,
"Here I am in involuntary servitude, serving under threat, coercion
and duress if I failed to do otherwise, yet this can only be upon the
punishment of a crime for which I was duly convicted. Was I somehow
unconscious during this trial? $15 a day. Why we have both state and
federal laws that forbid anyone from imposing such wages upon someone
even if they voluntarily wanted to do so. Gee, could you imagine if
employers imposed an obligation upon their employees to report for
service under TDC for $15 per day, and imposed a fee upon them of $1,500
if they failed to appear? This cannot be! Ah, I've got it figured out.
What the thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution actually means, despite
what it says, is, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ...
shall exist ... unless the government determines it is your required
"civic" duty. And this is precisely what the Supervising judge
said to us when he came down to talk to us jurors. He said that it was
our civic duty to serve as jurors, and that we should be honored to do
Indeed, they had a display on the wall of photo of
movie stars who where compelled in to serve jury duty for pittance, but
in exchange, they got to tell about the movie in which they starred, such
as "Star Wars." And we got to see, as if a museum piece, their
displayed juror badges.
Well, the bottom line, they never called me as a
juror, no, not even so much as to see the inside of a courtroom. And that
was my day of jury service. -Ron Branson:
National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief
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