*** J.A.I.L.'s Affect On Judicial Immunity ***
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California December 22, 2005 ______________________________________________________The Inherent Right of ALL People to Alter or Reform Abusive GovernmentThe Right Upon Which All Other Rights Depend
The Torchbearer for J.A.I.L. Nationally - Support Them!P.O. Box 412, Tea, S.D. 57064 - (605) 231-1418
J.A.I.L.'s Affect On
By Barbie, ACIC, National J.A.I.L. Administration
The distraction potential is nothing short of chaotic. Consider, for example, there are two million people in America's prisons right now. How many of them think they got a fair shake from the judge? How about all the people that lose in civil lawsuits every day? .... The bottom line is, do we want our judges deciding cases in the courtroom or being distracted by all the time they have to spend as defendants? There's probably enough litigation in this country already. We'll see what the people of South Dakota have to say about it. --Kendall Coffey, Fmr. U.S. Attorney [emphasis added]
Such an amendment would dangerously undermine the independence of the judiciary, and could lead to the harassment of judges, according to Tom Barnett, Secretary-Treasurer of the State Bar of South Dakota. Hopefully, the good citizens of South Dakota will realize a truly independent judiciary is essential to a fair civil and criminal justice system and vote down the proposal. --ADR Institute (arbitrator training) [emphasis added]Does the above sound familiar? Those portions are taken from two internet articles regarding the South Dakota J.A.I.L. Amendment, included below. In my report in JNJ 12/13/05 titled "An Open Letter to News Reporters"http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2005/2005-12-13.html, I covered four of the common lies being published about the J.A.I.L. Amendment:1. That J.A.I.L. will interfere with the independence of the judiciary. (It will actually enforce judicial independence by making judges accountable under law).2. That J.A.I.L. will allow judges to be sued by litigants who "didn't like" the decision and felt they "didn't get a fair shake." (J.A.I.L. enforces law only, not decisions or the feelings of litigants).3. That J.A.I.L. isn't needed in a state with little or no judicial corruption. (The amount of corruption is not relevant-- J.A.I.L. is needed as a guard to assure the protection of the People's rights by the judiciary).4. That imprisoned inmates will be allowed to serve on the Special Grand Jury. (Imprisonment is listed as an exception to qualification of jurors).Those lies will continue to be reported by newspapers, on television interviews such as the one below, and by internet articles such as the ADR article below. One thing to always note when reading the J.A.I.L.-bashing articles, is who is making the false claims. It will almost always be a member of the legal fraternity, such as the former U.S. Attorney, and the editor of the legal arbitration institute, in the below articles. However, some members of the legal fraternity realize what a hoax it is. See "A 50-Year Career Lawyer Speaks Out" http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2005/2005-11-29A.htmlwhere former judge John F. Molloy says: When a lawyer puts on a robe and takes the bench, he or she is called a judge. But in reality, when judges look down from the bench they are lawyers looking upon fellow members of their fraternity. In any other area of the free-enterprise system,this would be seen as a conflict of interest. By the time I ended my 50-year career as a trial attorney, judge and president of southern Arizona's largest law firm, I no longer had confidence in the legal fraternityI had participated in and, yes, profited from. --John F. MolloySo, Mr. Coffey, and the editor of ADR, --take a bow. The ADR even cites one of the brethren, Thomas Barnett of the South Dakota State Bar, to continue to spread his lies as well.J.A.I.L. On Judicial ImmunityAlthough I didn't cover the judicial immunity issue among the four in my JNJ of 12/13/05 (cited above), I did discuss it extensively in "The Target For J.A.I.L. Is The Abuse of Judicial Immunity For Whomever It Is Applied" (JNJ 12/7/05)http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2005/2005-12-07A.html. I respectfully request Mr. Kendall Coffey and his interviewer Fredricka Whitfield, as well as the editor of the ADR item, to read that article. As it states, J.A.I.L. is involved only with the abuse of judicial immunity as stated in the Preamble. Read it, Mr. Coffey, et al., as well as the entire amendment.And that abuse covers only the violations listed in the amendment, i.e.,--any deliberate violation of law;--fraud or conspiracy;--intentional violation of due process of law;--deliberate disregard of material facts;--judicial acts without jurisdiction;--blocking of a lawful conclusion of a case;--any deliberate violation of the Constitutions of South Dakota or the United States.So, Mr. Coffey, et al.,
It would have been nice if Ms. Whitfield asked you those questions. What would your answers be, Mr. Coffey?? I know the Legal Fraternity thinks it is above the law. But I'm sure the South Dakota voters think otherwise!-Barbie-Two pieces of propaganda follow:Aired November 17, 2005FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR:Kendall Coffey, I want to bring you into this equation. Maybe you can help answer the question of why even have judicial immunity?
- Are judges to be immune from responsibility for committing those acts?
- Are judges and related officials above the law?
- Are only judges entitled to protection from liability for violations of law, or
- Are the People entitled to protection from miscreant judges?
KENDALL COFFEY, FMR. U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, this goes all the way back to merry old England, Fredricka. It's one of the most basic things in the system. In this country, it was established right after the Civil War in connection with the trial of one of the alleged accomplices in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Why have it? Because we've got to have judges focus on their work in a courtroom as judges, not being hauled into a courtroom as defendants, not being threatened by the possibility of a lawsuit.
The distraction potential is nothing short of chaotic. Consider, for example, there are two million people in America's prisons right now. How many of them think they got a fair shake from the judge? How about all the people that lose in civil lawsuits every day?
So if there's anything that would increase moral litigation, subject us to avalanches and flood tides beyond imagination, it's opening the door to suing judges whenever we disagree with what they do.
WHITFIELD: Is not the appellate court system in place in which to try to challenge, perhaps, a judgment coming from a case you're involved in?
COFFEY: Absolutely. And in fact, everyone has an absolute right to go to the appeals court, different judges who had nothing to do with the trial court process, to get a fair shake if there had been significant mistakes. One of the realities is people in this country do not have a good feeling or understanding of what happens in the appeals process. There aren't reality or daytime TV shows that talk about appellate courts. And I think if there was a better understanding of the vital role of appellate courts, there might be a recognition that we don't really need to solve any frustrations with the legal system by declaring open season on our judges.
WHITFIELD: So being able to sue a judge might obviate the need altogether to even have an appellate courts?
COFFEY: Well, originally, before you had appellate courts, going back centuries, that's when they allowed people to sue judges. Once you have appellate judges, very responsible, different, independent from the trial court situation, you've got a real safeguard. And, of course, in many cases you go beyond the intermediate appellate court and you can go all the way to a state or a federal supreme court.
The bottom line is, do we want our judges deciding cases in the courtroom or being distracted by all the time they have to spend as defendants? There's probably enough litigation in this country already. We'll see what the people of South Dakota have to say about it.
WHITFIELD: Where do you see this potential going potentially in South Dakota?
COFFEY: Well, if they've got enough signatures, it could get on the ballot. Now, it's a pretty convoluted proposal. And I can see all kinds of legal challenges to the technical sufficiency of the proposal itself, which, of course, would be decided by judges.
WHITFIELD: All right. Kendall Coffey, thank you so much.ADR = Appropriate Dispute ResolutionBallot Initiative Seeks to Strip Away Judicial Immunity, and Maybe Arbitral ImmunityDecember 6, 2005 | ADR Institute Editor
A petition with over 46,000 signatures of South Dakotans seeks to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2006 ballot in South Dakota. The proposed amendment would allow lawsuits against judges and possibly arbitrators for alleged abuse of authority. Bill Stegmeier, a South Dakota businessman, drafted the proposal which contains 13,000 more signatures than necessary to place the measure on the ballot.
If approved, this amendment would change the well settled law that a judge enjoys absolute civil immunity from suit so long as the contested action was judicial in nature and was not taken in the complete absence of jurisdiction. See Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57 (1978)(Westlaw registration required); Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 347 (1872)(Westlaw registration required) (stating that "[a] judge shall be free to act upon his own convictions without apprehension of personal consequence to himself"). The amendment would eliminate immunity in cases involving deliberate violations of the law, deliberate violations of constitutional rights, or deliberate disregard of the facts.
The proposed amendment would apply only to state judges in South Dakota; it would not apply to federal judges. It is possible the law could directly affect arbitrators, however. Judicial immunity has been extended to arbitrators based on the idea that an arbitrator's role is "functionally equivalent" to the role of a judge, with a corresponding need to protect the process from reprisals by dissatisfied parties. See Galuska v. N.Y. Stock Exch., 2000 WL 347851 (7th Cir. Apr. 3, 2000)(Westlaw registration required); New England Cleaning Servs. v. Am. Arbitration Ass'n, 199 F.3d 542, 545 (1st Cir. 1999)(Westlaw registration required); Olson v. Nat'l Ass'n of Sec. Dealers, 85 F.3d 381, 382 (8th Cir. 1996)(Westlaw registration required).
While he has never personally had a bad experience in court, Stegmeier said the amendment could help curb abuses he has heard about across the country. According to Stegmeier, the current system does not provide an adequate way to hold a given judge accountable for improper behavior or to prevent them from judicial misconduct. Promoters of the amendment were especially motivated by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing homes to be seized for private development. See Kelo v. City of New London, Conn., 125 S. Ct. 2655 (2005)(Westlaw registration required).
Such an amendment would dangerously undermine the independence of the judiciary, and could lead to the harassment of judges, according to Tom Barnett, Secretary-Treasurer of the State Bar of South Dakota.
Hopefully, the good citizens of South Dakota will realize a truly independent judiciary is essential to a fair civil and criminal justice system and vote down the proposal.
Arbitrators do act in a judicial capacity and would be subject to J.A.I.L. if they claim to be covered by judicial immunity.
The arbitrator acts as a private judge in a closed and private court. Arbitrated disputes result in a binding decision based on the evidence and testimony of all parties provided at a hearing convened by the arbitrator.They admit this in the above text: Judicial immunity has been extended to arbitrators based on the idea that an arbitrator's role is "functionally equivalent" to the role of a judge, with a corresponding need to protect the process from reprisals by dissatisfied parties. However, J.A.I.L. has nothing to do with "reprisals by dissatisfied parties."
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