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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Federal Judges Knowingly Cheated Plaintiffs In Lawsuits About Corruption At Alabama Hunting Club

Hunting-club land in
Lowndes County, Alabama

Federal judges knew they were ruling unlawfully when they dismissed federal lawsuits alleging a hunting club was used to fix Alabama divorce cases.

How do we know that? One of the judges own words, in public documents, prove it.

We already have shown that U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield dismissed one case in a fashion that is contrary to clear, simple law--and U.S. Magistrate Robert Armstrong dismissed a second case by parroting Edenfield's faulty ruling.

Joseph W. Blackburn, a professor of taxation at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, was at the heart of both lawsuits. Blackburn was the plaintiff in the first case, claiming that Jefferson County judges and lawyers conspired to corrupt the judicial process in his divorce from U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn. Joe Blackburn acted as an attorney in the second case, representing other plaintiffs who claimed they were the victims of corruption in Jefferson County Domestic Relations Court.

Both lawsuits revolved around alleged misconduct at a hunting club in Lowndes County, Alabama, frequented by certain lawyers and judges. Defendants in the lawsuits included former Jefferson County Circuit Judges John C. Calhoun and Ralph A. "Sonny" Ferguson; plus Birmingham attorneys Charles Gorham, George Richard Fernambucq, and L. Stephen Wright.

The defendants filed motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), and Edenfield granted them--in the face of clear law that says he could not. Here's how we explained it in an earlier post:

How did (Edenfield) do it? By conveniently ignoring Rule 12(d) FRCP, which states as follows: (d) Result of Presenting Matters Outside the Pleadings. If, on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) or 12(c), matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56. All parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to the motion. What are "matters outside the pleadings"? They are evidence, usually in the form of an affidavit or a document that is entered by either party. When such matters are entered, and the court does not exclude them, Rule 12(d) plainly states that the motion to dismiss must be converted to a motion for summary judgment and governed by Rule 56 FRCP.

Both Rule 56 and Eleventh Circuit case law state that summary judgment cannot be granted when the nonmoving party (in this case, Blackburn and the other plaintiffs) have been given no opportunity to conduct discovery. As we explained previously, this is all laid out in a case styled Snook v. Trust Company Bank of Georgia, 859 F. 2d 865 (11th Cir., 1988). From our earlier post:

Snook states, in pertinent part: "This court has often noted that summary judgment should not be granted until the party opposing the motion has had an adequate opportunity for discovery. . . . The party opposing a motion for summary judgment has a right to challenge the affidavits and other factual materials submitted in support of the motion by conducting sufficient discovery so as to enable him to determine whether he can furnish opposing affidavits."

Sounds simple, doesn't it? So how could federal judges get it wrong? Well, Edenfield's own words show he intentionally cheated the plaintiffs in the first case. And as noted earlier, Armstrong simply copied Edenfield's ruling on the second case.

Here is how we can tie this all up: The record shows that Blackburn and the other plaintiffs asked for an opportunity to conduct discovery, and they were denied. The record also shows that Edenfield considered at least two "matters outside the pleadings." As we've already shown, that means the motions to dismiss had to be treated under the rules for summary judgment--and discovery had to be conducted. So we've established that Edenfield got it wrong. Now, let's establish that he got it wrong on purpose. To do that, we visit page 24 of Edenfield's ruling. (See the ruling at the end of this post.) In footnote 17, Edenfield writes:

In that the Court is relying on evidence outside the pleadings, it will apply the summary judgment standards set forth in Part II(C) supra.

That sounds dandy, but here's the problem: Edenfield knew the standard, but he didn't apply it. If we check Part II(C), on page 4, of the ruling, it states in pertinent part:

Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law."

Edenfield granted the defendants a judgment as a matter of law, but he gave the plaintiffs no opportunity to conduct depositions or seek answers to interrogatories. In short, he gave the plaintiffs no chance to show there were genuine issues of material fact, which would have required the denial of summary judgment, with the case set for trial. Here is the simplest way to look at it: Edenfield admitted he was using the summary judgment standard, and under Eleventh Circuit precedent in Snook, that requires a judge to give nonmoving parties a chance to conduct discovery.

If I know what Snook and Rule 56 FRCP say, and I don't have the first day of law school, it stands to reason that a federal judge knows. And Edenfield's own words indicate he did know--he just intentionally chose not to follow the law.

What does this say to you? Here's what it says to me:

* Joe Blackburn and the other plaintiffs are right on target about their allegations regarding hunting-club corruption in Alabama;

* The truth about the hunting club probably is way worse than it is portrayed in the lawsuit allegations;

* That's why Edenfield and Armstrong felt compelled to cover it up; the legal tribe must ensure that the public never knows that our courts truly are cesspools of corruption.

And how is this for irony? The Blackburn lawsuits were civil actions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), essentially alleging that Alabama divorce courts are infested with organized crime.

Judge Edenfield's own words indicate that "your Honor" himself engaged in organized crime in an effort to cover up hunting-club corruption.


Blackburn Calhoun Opinion

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lamar Smith, Chairman, U.S. House Judiciary Committee, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Patrick Leahy, Chairman, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, 224 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

via fax: Lamar [202]225.7680;[512] 306.0427, Texas Ofc.; Leahy [202] 224.9516;

2012 [May 4], Senator Patrick Leahy, at the Vermont Bar Association’s Law Day Event remarked how preserving the rule of law, ensuring access to justice, and maintaining a fair and independent judiciary are issues that he, as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary and a representative of the U.S. Constitutional government, works on every day in Washington, D.C.

... It was to commemorate Vermont’s Law Day that Senator Leahy spoke to the Vermonters and all Americans, his urgent message was about protection from the overreach of government ..

. . . . "We depend on our courts, and the lawyers like many of you here today who advocate before them, to curb those excesses and protect the rights of every American. To do that, of course, we need a fair, independent, and functioning judiciary. Unfortunately, these days, on the federal level, it is becoming harder and harder to achieve just that."

http://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/press_releases/release/?id=b7eff002

Now Legal Schnauzers, when the Pentagon was secretly controlled by such as FRITZ KRAEMER, for more than 45 years and he passed on his legacy via the manuscript playbook it is said for these most interesting times:

ON EXCELLENCE.

THE, "bourgeoisie is a social class characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture. A member of the bourgeoisie is a bourgeois or capitalist (plural: bourgeois; capitalists)."

CORRUPT "judges" are the best kept secrets of the temple of capitalism's globalism's gobblism aka colonialism!

Dumber than boxes of rocks or on drugs that have eaten too many holes in the brains and thinking does not synapse, else why destroy the best country on planet earth in the year 2012?

MILITARY POLICE STATE USA, was and is a controlled environment, read Fritz and his best mentoring of Henry Kissinger, Donald Rumsfeld, and any criminally insane poly addict? to do the bidding of the NEW THIRD GENERATION bourgeoisie.

Roberta

David said...

This reminds me of these lines from D. H. Lawrence...

"How beastly the bourgeois is!
Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp
England
what a pity they can't all be kicked over
like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly
into the soil of England."

Some federal judges are no more than sickening toadstools!

legalschnauzer said...

Eloquently stated, David. And how's this for irony. Judge Edenfield was brought in from Georgia supposedly to provide an "impartial arbiter" over the hunting-club case. Then, he proceeded to baldly cheat the plaintiffs out of discovery, out of an opportunity to prove their case. Edenfield proved to be the usual whore for the legal profession. And what law firm defended the hunting-club lawyers. Why, it was Bradley Arant, the favorite firm of Bob Riley and his family.

Anonymous said...

Bradley Arant seems to have their hand in all the illegal activity of the "justice system" around these parts. In Marc Kerley's divorce, a daily master was appointed to oversee his pendente lite hearing. This appointee was Candace Peeples, wife of Lloyd Peeples, an attorney with Bradley Arant.
Mrs. Peeples, at that time, was an associate of Judith Crittenden. Mr. Kerley had called their office 3 weeks prior to the hearing to arrange a consultation with Ms. Crittenden. He cancelled the appointment and hired another attorney.
He did know at the time of the hearing that Peeples was associated with Crittenden. Candace Peeples gave custody to the mother, Libby Kerley, who was in drug rehab at the time.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 1:55 p.m.--

Thanks for a most enlightening comment. I haven't gone into great detail on this yet, but Bradley Arant provided defense for the hunting-club lawyers, while the judicial defendants were represented by the state attorney general's office. When Bradley Arant is connected to a case that could result in a high-dollar judgment against their client(s), it's interesting how often the judge winds up making rulings that have absolutely nothing to do with the real law.

If the Peeples family makes substantial income off our current corrupt divorce-court situation, that might help explain why Bradley Arant is interested in keeping the status quo.

I'm sure the GOP lawyers at the firm tout themselves as "pro family" when, in fact, they specialize in tearing families apart, causing parents and children to suffer needlessly.

Do you know what kind of qualifications one must have to be appointed a daily master over a pendente lite hearing? I wonder how much Mrs. Peeples made off the Kerley case and how much time she spent on it.

Anonymous said...

Toadstools, yes this is perfect since the toxic truth of toadstools is indeed also very true.

I must get to my art on this one. Thanks for the incredible visual.

Roberta

jeffrey spruill said...

No wonder why these judges -state & federal- love you Mr. Schnauzer

legalschnauzer said...

Judges and I have sort of a mailman-dog relationship. They are bigger than me, but I'm territorial--and I have sharp teeth.

Anonymous said...

The main point of interest in the Kerley case is not so much about the money that passed hands, but the cover-up of corruption from the trial judge, Sonny Ferguson, all the way up to the Civil Court of Appeals.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schnauzer,

Here is interesting tidbit in the Marc Kerley/Libby Kerley divorce:
Rob Riley, son of Bob Riley, was Libby Kerley’s attorney when she was serving politicians and other high profile men in her prostitution/human trafficking ring.

This is while she was married to her first husband, Butch Henkel, who has served time in a LA state prison for armed robbery.

Ed Cosby, owner of Ed’s Pet World, was Libby Kerley and Theresea Kilgore’s prostitution ring pimp and is now living in Mexico. You may recall a few years ago when he was convicted of manslaughter.

We’ve just begun to stir this pot. More names will be surfacing soon.

legalschnauzer said...

What kind of legal work was Rob Riley performing for Ms. Kerley?

Anonymous said...

Who said it was legal? Just kidding. She was involved in a lawsuit. I don't know what else. I'll try to find out more about their relationship.

Anonymous said...

Rob Riley has ties to prostitution and human trafficking? I wonder if Doug Jones, Riley's "Democrat" legal buddy, knows about this.

Riley and Jones seem to have a habit of messing with other peoples' lives. Kind of makes me think they might mess with the wrong person(s) someday.

Will your pot stirring turn up something on Doug Jones or other members of big downtown law firms? I can't wait to find out.

Jones and Rob Riley, I hear, are "kissin' cousins." Riley also has his nose thoroughly up the rectum of Jere Beasley, another phony "Democrat."

Sounds like the Kerley case could get real interesting. Can't wait for more revelations.

Schnauzer, I have no idea who this Anonymous is writing about the Kerley case, but you need to have him/her join your staff.