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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor is pulling bogus legal terms from some dark crevice under his robe in our civil-rights case re: wrongful incarceration


U.S. Judge R. David Proctor
U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor is violating black-letter law from two circuits in an apparent effort to ensure we do not receive justice for the police beating, arrest, and five-month incarceration I endured in Shelby County, Alabama -- a case that was so off-the-charts unlawful it received national and international news coverage. Proctor is trying to execute his chicanery by concocting a term, and an idea, that does not exist under the law.

Perhaps Proctor deserves high marks for creativity. But when it comes to ethics, and his willingness to uphold the law (as he took an oath to do), he is an abject failure.

We've shown that Proctor cited a case from the Seventh Circuit -- Bryan v. Johnson, 821 F. 2d 455 (7th Cir., 1987) -- in an effort to keep the court from issuing summonses and effecting service, as it is required by law to do for in forma pauperis (IFP) litigants, a status for which two judges (including Proctor) have found we are qualified.

Bryan, of course, is not controlling law in the Eleventh Circuit, which covers Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. But we have found Eleventh Circuit law that is based largely on Bryan and reaches the same conclusion. The case is styled Herrick v. Collins, 914 F. 2d 228, (11th Cir., 1990), and its key finding is as follows:

“We hold, accordingly, that when the district court has granted an in forma pauperis motion and required payment of a partial filing fee, the court MUST issue the summons.”

Proctor granted our IFP motion and required us to pay a partial filing fee, which we did. Is there any excuse then for him to get it wrong on simple law from his own circuit? I can't think of one.

Here is how Proctor screwed up -- and it almost certainly was not accidental. He coined the phrase "partial IFP status" to support his claim that we were not entitled to have court-issued service. There is no such status, under the law; you either are IFP, with no obligation to pay fees, or you are IFP with an obligation to pay a partial fee. Either way, you are an IFP litigant, and the court is required to issue summonses and effect service on your behalf.

This is the third post we have published, with timely citations to law, that shows the actual law on this issue.

What is the purpose of partial payments for some IFP parties? A case styled Irons v. Pennsylvania, 407 F. Supp. 746 (M.D., PA, 1976) explains. It also is spelled out in numerous law-journal articles.

Partial payment plans are designed to help curb the indiscriminate filing of frivolous lawsuits `by weeding out those [actions] where it appears the plaintiff himself has some financial resources but has such a lack of good faith in his action that he is unwilling to make any contribution, however small, towards meeting its filing costs.

What have we learned? There is no such thing as "partial IFP status." Partial IFP payments do exist, and they are designed to discourage the filing of frivolous lawsuits. Once Proctor ordered us to make a partial payment, and we paid it, we had cleared the bar for frivolous lawsuits, and the court had to complete service on our behalf. (Our Rule 60 motion challenging Proctor's rulings is embedded at the end of this post.)

In fact, under the law, Proctor does not have authority to keep that process from happening.


(To be continued)


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like a lot of Americans, I used to think federal judges were cut from higher cloth than state judges. Now, I'm starting to understand that they are both terrible.

Anonymous said...

So much is being written these days about emails. How about hacking into email accounts of sitting federal and state judges? I bet it would produce all kinds of evidence about rigged cases.

Anonymous said...

Serious question: why are you trying to piss off the guy who gets to decide what happens to your cases? You have a lot riding on this personally.

Do you want to win? If you want to win, pissing off the trial judge by accusing him of corruption at the very start of the case is an unorthodox strategy.

legalschnauzer said...

That's a reasonable question, @12:14, and here's my answer: I've tried every way in the world to deal with corrupt judges. I've been nice to them, I've been overly respectful, I've stood when they've entered rooms, I've had nice ones and mean ones, tall ones and short ones, white ones and black ones, male ones and female ones, state ones and federal ones. No matter what kind of judge I've had, no matter how I've treated them, I get screwed -- and by screwed, I mean the judge rules contrary to simple law, over and over again.

One common factor is that every such judge thinks Carol and I are too stupid to figure out what they are doing. So I am showing right up front that I've got this figured out -- and I do. I'm not trying to piss off Proctor, and I don't know that I am. I don't know that he's read my posts or even heard about them. I've quit trying to figure out how corrupt people are going to act. So my goal is to shine light on this situation for the public.

By the way, I'm not accusing Proctor of corruption. I'm showing, point by point, that he is corrupt. I'm sure that's not news to him -- he knows he's corrupt in this case. How he handles others, I don't know. If he gets pissed when parties point out, accurately, that he is acting corruptly . . . well, he doesn't have the temperament to be a judge.

Do I want to win? Of course. But this is not about trial strategy; it's about journalism, showing how our courts really operate, the depths to which they can sink.

Final note: Proctor already had dismissed The Jail Case, without prejudice, before I ever did any reporting about the case on this blog. Did being quiet do me any good? No, it didn't.

How would you handle it if you had been through what Carol and I have been through?

Anonymous said...

This is slightly off the beaten path, but I would argue that the policy of forcing indigent parties to make partial payments -- under the notion they will file frivolous lawsuits if you don't -- is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

A wealthy person files a lawsuit, his ethics are not considered questionable in the eyes of the court. But if a poor person files a case, many of them immediately have their integrity questioned.

Smells to high heaven to me.

legalschnauzer said...

You make a great point, @2:32, one that had never occurred to me, even though I've been a victim of it. This is judge-made law, and it is discriminatory, and it should be brought to the attention of Congress for an override. Since a disproportionate number of indigent parties probably are people of color, you also could call it racist.

I hope you and others will write your Congressmen. I bet a lot of politicians don't even know this rule and practice exist.

Anonymous said...

A question, LS:

Since Proctor made you pay $200 to prove your case wasn't frivolous, has he treated you with any more fairness than he would have otherwise. I guess my question is this: Did he charge you $200 bucks and then throw your money right down the toilet?

legalschnauzer said...

No, his big-time cheat job started when I paid the $200. So yes, he's thrown our $200 right down the drain.

The public needs to turn this trick on its ear. Let's charge judges $200, make that $500, to prove they aren't going to treat our cases in a frivolous manner. Seems to me, two can play that game.

Anonymous said...

You asked a helluva questions, @12:14, and you gave a helluva answer, LS. Bravo to you both.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, I'm not accusing Proctor of corruption. I'm showing, point by point, that he is corrupt"

That sums up why you will lose these cases and lose all cases. What an idiot you are. You're already in contempt if the judge even bothers to throw you in jail. Wow.

legalschnauzer said...

Contempt? And you are calling me an idiot? You are out of your mind and completely uninformed about legal matters. No wonder you posted a comment as "Anon." I would too if I wrote stuff that nutty.

As I pointed out in my comment, and the court record shows this, Proctor already was cheating me before I began reporting on this case. Looks like you have dismal reading comprehension skills and can't handle rational thought. No wonder this blog bothers you.

A final thought: You constantly are claiming I'm going to lose these cases, yet you've never come close to addressing the cases on their merits. I can only assume that's because you aren't capable of doing it. I don't think anyone would be interested in your "thoughts" on the subject anyway.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @5:08. Question was honestly asked, and it was honestly answered.

That's the kind of give-and-take I enjoy. The whole process made me think, and that's a good thing -- I think.

Anonymous said...

LS, I think you've published enough of the "lunatic fringe" comments to give us an idea of how these cretins "think." You've clearly touched a nerve, and it has them soiling their britches.

But I would suggest we don't need to read more of their comments, so I hope you will start deleting them at moderation.

The 6:12 comment was the last straw for me. Suggesting you are in contempt for writing accurately about Proctor shows this guy couldn't find his ass with a road map.

When your attackers are this dumb, I would say you are in pretty good shape.

Anonymous said...

"I've tried every way in the world to deal with corrupt judges. I've been nice to them, I've been overly respectful, I've stood when they've entered rooms, I've had nice ones and mean ones, tall ones and short ones, white ones and black ones, male ones and female ones, state ones and federal ones."

This remark tends to support this judge's assessment that you are a frequent filer of lawsuits.
Also it hints that with so many arrayed against you, that perhaps the problem isn't them, but you. All of these judges are corrupt? All?

I've got a question - the court did not refuse to issue summonses, but didn't serve them, is that correct? And you could have arranged to have them served using an online site? It's not like you don't have access to the web, or the courts website, which you must have visited.




legalschnauzer said...

You aren't very bright, are you, @12:15? I will try to help you, but it probably will be fruitless:

* If you actually read the post, Proctor is using the bogus term "frequent filers" as grounds for treating us unlawfully. The term means nothing under the law, and his action is contrary to law. The issue is not his use of a bogus term; it's his use of bogus term to act outside the law.

* The court said it was not going to issue summonses, even though clear law shows it has a duty to do so. And no, we could not have had them served via an online site because (a) As a pro se litigant, I did not know about any such online site, and still don't know if one exists; and (b) Proctor already had dismissed the case, without prejudice, anyway. I wasn't looking for an online form because I knew that, under the law, the court had to serve process for us -- and you can't cite any law to the contrary; neither can Proctor. We simply are demanding equal protection, to be treated the same way other IFP parties are treated.

Your ignorance surpasses all understanding. How do you have time to write these comments when your lips are pressed against Proctor's ass 24/7? What a feat!

Anonymous said...

I cannot promise not to be angry at Proctor. I do promise, however, to try to keep my anger under control, to keep it from leading me—as it leads Proctor—to inspire a recrudescence of ill-natured fatuity.