Monday, October 31, 2016

Here are specifics about U.S. Judge R. David Proctor and his abuse of "pauperis" law in lawsuit over my police beating and unlawful incarceration in Shelby Co.

R. David Proctor
How is this for irony? My wife, Carol, and I qualify for indigent status (in forma pauperis or IFP) in federal court because lawyers and judges essentially have stolen almost everything we once owned, including my freedom (for five months) and our home of 25 years. Now that we clearly qualify for IFP status -- two judges have ruled that we do -- one of those judges is trying to take it away. Gee, I can't imagine why I've described Alabama courts as a dysfunctional sewer. The judges, themselves, prove that my assessment is, if anything, too kind.

Why does the IFP issue matter? Well, if you qualify for it, you either pay no filing fees (which can be in the neighborhood of $500) or a partial fee. Also, the court itself, via the clerk's office has an obligation to issue summonses and complete service of defendants on your behalf. All of this simply makes common sense. Like filing fees, service costs can be steep -- depending on how many defendants are involved -- and law holds that litigants are not to be denied access courts simply because they are poor. After all, some litigants, like us, are poor only because of corrupt courts.

As posted here last week, we have filed two federal lawsuits in the Northern District of Alabama, seeking justice for the abuse we've experienced at the hands of lawyers, law enforcement, mortgage political operatives, bankers, house flippers, and so on. In one case that we call "The House Case" (Shuler, et al v. Garrison, et al) we allege wrongful foreclosure, defamation, and other torts against more than a dozen defendants -- and our IFP situation has gone smoothly. U.S. Magistrate T. Michael Putnam granted IFP status, the clerk's office promptly started fulfilling its duty to effect service on our behalf, and a number of defendants have responded with various motions that are awaiting court action. In other words, The House Case is rocking along, as it should be.

The one we call "The Jail Case" (Shuler, et al v. Duke, et al), about police brutality, false arrest and imprisonment, etc., actually was filed first and should be even further along. U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor granted what he called "partial IFP status." and required us to pay a reduced filing fee of $200. We timely paid that fee, sent defendants' names and addresses to the clerk's office, contacted a woman named Angela Day who told us the clerk's office would conduct service on both cases, and waited for the real legal action to commence.

Instead, we got an order from Proctor claiming our "partial IFP status" did not entitle us to service-by-court and gave us a small window (two or three weeks, I think) to complete service on our own. We knew Proctor was wrong about the law, so we challenged his order (as we are entitled to do), and he ruled that his small window had closed and dismissed our case without prejudice (meaning it can be refiled), claiming we had failed to prosecute. In fact, we had prosecuted it exactly as we had with The House Case, so Proctor's refusal to follow the law indicates he is incompetent, corrupt, or both.

Proctor's actions are a classic example of chicanery we have seen in both state and federal courts time and again. A lawyer or judge will make a citation to law, giving the impression he has conducted actual research, probably thinking no one will check on it. When you read the case, you find its holding is nowhere close to what the judge or lawyer says. It's as if every law school offers a course titled How to Cheat The Other Side 101. If so, Proctor clearly took the course, and he must have aced it. We are guessing he didn't do quite so well on any legal-ethics course that might have been required.

We have filed an appeal of Proctor's ruling with the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. That appeal is pending, and it clearly represents a waste of judicial resources and taxpayer dollars -- not to mention our time. If Proctor simply had followed the law, The Jail Case would be even further along than The House Case.

Here is an explanation of the straightforward law that guides this area of law. The statute in question is  28 U.S. Code 1915, and 1915(d) could not be more clear:

(d) The officers of the court shall issue and serve all process, and perform all duties in such cases. Witnesses shall attend as in other cases, and the same remedies shall be available as are provided for by law in other cases.

The highlighted section plainly states that "officers of the court" SHALL issue and serve all process . . . " That seems to be written in clear English, and the word "shall" indicates the officers have a duty to prepare and serve all process -- it is not a discretionary matter.

So, what does Proctor come up with? He claims Sec. 1915(d) applies only to "full status" IFP litigants. He also claims that a case styled Bryan v. Johnson, 821 F. 2d 455 (7th Cir., 1987) holds that courts are not obligated to conduct service for "partial IFP" litigants.

Proctor could not be more wrong. I've published all of 1915(d) above, and it says nothing about "partial IFP" status. Neither does Bryan v. Johnson; in fact, here is the key holding in that case:

A district judge should deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis if an action is frivolous or malicious. If the motion is granted and the complaint filed, the matter cannot be dismissed until summons has issued.”

The record shows that Proctor did, in fact, grant our "pauperis" motion and allowed the complaint to be filed, which means he did not find it to be "frivolous or malicious." Under those circumstances, the matter cannot be dismissed until summonses have issued. But Proctor dismissed our Jail Case and blocked the clerk's office from issuing summonses and completing service, forcing us to seek corrective action from the Eleventh Circuit. In blunt terms, Proctor butchered the law he took an oath to uphold.

Bryan goes on to hold as follows, providing more specifics:

If the court had considered the complaint to be frivolous it should have at that point dismissed the matter pursuant to § 1915(d) instead of ordering Bryan to pay a partial filing fee. Moreover, Bryan himself thought his claim was meritorious because he devoted a significant share of his assets to prosecuting his claim. Thus, instead of dismissing the complaint, the court should have permitted a summons to issue and allow the defendants to respond.”

When Proctor ordered us to pay a partial filing fee, it was the equivalent of a finding that our case was not frivolous. It also meant that Proctor was obligated to permit process to be completed and allow defendants to respond. He has not allowed either to happen in The Jail Case. Is that because U.S. Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, whose duty station is the Hugo Black Courthouse in Birmingham (making him, sort of, Proctor's boss ), is a defendant in the Jail Case? After all, my arrest came just a few weeks after I reported on nude photos of Pryor that appeared at the gay-porn site in the late 1990s. I would say Proctor is, in fact, trying to protect Pryor and perhaps other right-wing luminaries among the defendants. (Proctor seems to wear his conservatism on his sleeve, attending the staunchly right-wing and political Briarwood Presbyterian Church.)

One problem with Proctor's rulings is that he  bases them largely on Bryan, which is from the Seventh Circuit and is not controlling law in the Eleventh Circuit. But we have found Eleventh Circuit law that is controlling -- it borrows from Bryan -- and reaches the same conclusion.

At this point, Proctor is violating law from two circuits -- the Seventh and the Eleventh. And he is showing utter contempt for the rights of taxpayers to have their dollars used wisely and lawfully.

(Note: Below is one of two documents we have filed to counter Proctor's rulings. Our documents do not include our signatures and a time stamp because we are out of state and cannot submit documents in person at the Hugo Black Courthouse, as we have done in the past. We must file documents by U.S. Mail, so the signed and time-stamped versions can be seen in the official court file. Unable to show that we are wrong and unwilling to follow the actual law, Proctor has twisted himself into a pretzel trying to come up with some way to justify his rulings and deny us justice.

(So far, he has only succeeded in digging his legal hole deeper. We hope to publish copies to Proctor's rulings here. But we currently have them only in paper form, and our scanner was stolen in our unlawful eviction here in Missouri, so we do not have the capacity to digitize the paper rulings and publish them here. Anyone with a PACER account, which is a subscription service that charges fairly steep fees, can check the full docket in both of our cases. Meanwhile, we hope to figure out a way to scan and embed Proctor's rulings, and other documents, here.)

(To be continued)


William Blanchard said...

Your complaints are doomed. Rant all you want. Attack me all you want. All you have are your lies.

You have no money, no friends, no true allies. Your health is suffering. Instead of getting the help you need, you're going to ruin what's left of yourself. Well, good riddance!

Anonymous said...

Never retreat. Never surrender.

Go Schnauzer Go!
Go Schnauzer Go!
Go Schnauzer Go!

Anonymous said...

"our scanner was stolen in our unlawful eviction here in Missouri"

How on earth are you going to mount any sort of legal action without a PC and scanner, relying on the public library! You're AMAZING Schuler!

legalschnauzer said...

Note to readers:

I'm going to run some comments I've received on today's post as an illustration of the nutty response in some quarters to my reporting on our pending civil-rights lawsuits in Alabama. You will notice that the comments generally have nothing to do with today's post -- and they tend to offer zero facts or analysis to support their claims. Why has our reporting on the lawsuits generated such responses? I will leave that for readers to decide. I've deleted dozens of similar comments in recent days, but I'm going to run a few today so readers can get a feel for the kind of lunacy that is out there.

legalschnauzer said...

Mr. Blanchard:

You are like a case of jock itch that won't go away. I've asked you several times for any citations to fact or law that support your assertion that our cases are "doomed." You've provided nothing so far. Not sure what makes you think my health is suffering. I recently had a check up, and my test numbers all were excellent. Let's see if you can base any future comments in reality. I doubt if you can.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:49 -- I didn't say we don't have a PC. And I didn't say we need a scanner for conducting a legal case. I do need a scanner to run certain documents here on the blog. But the court generally takes care of scanning any documents submitted for either of our cases.

Anonymous said...

Pretty funny when William Blanchard accuses you of ranting. His own comments are a rant, and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments is like eating cotton candy -- all fluff and no calories.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that none of these commenters can address the questions you put to them.

Anonymous said...

I see on another post where a commenter from the "lunatic fringe" claims you have written lies about him/her. You asked for specifics, and I've seen none so far. Does that make the commenter a phony or a coward?

legalschnauzer said...

That's the conclusion I've reached, @2:14. Here is URL to that other post:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the commenters make no reference to the controlling law you cite in your posts, which shows that Proctor is operating outside the law. I can only assume that's because they have no interest in the law. They have a personal agenda against you, but it doesn't seem to matter to them that a judge clearly is violating the law.

The Real William Blanchard said...

Mr. Shuler, I did not post the comment above. Remember, you banned me. I'm setting up my own site for everyone to openly comment on your work, since you don't want that happening here. Yes, you will be able to participate!

I can handle a little conflict, Mr. Shuler, though it seems you cannot.

Anonymous said...

abuse @

legalschnauzer said...

The Real William Blanchard:

Please send me a link when you have your site up and running. Can't wait to read it.

The Real William Blanchard said...

I will certainly send you a link, Shuler. I doubt you'll have the guts to actually defend yourself outside the safe confines of your blog. You only talk big when you can censor others.

legalschnauzer said...

You've yet to present anything that requires me to "defend myself." You haven't laid a glove on anything I've written. I don't think you have the courage or intelligence to write a blog. And I certainly don't think you can attract an audience. But give it a shot. I will be waiting with great anticipation.

Are you going to write your blog under William Blanchard or some other fake name? That should boost your credibility.

The Other Real William Blanchard said...

"The Real William Blanchard" isn't me. I'm the real William Blanchard who posted yesterday. No idea why someone would bother to impersonate me. William Blanchard is my real name (some people call me Bill) and I can prove it.

Roger, I have to apologize. I see how some of the things I wrote might have been misguided. Of course you are a skilled journalist. You do so much good for the country. Thank god you are out there fighting for some sort of truth.

The world is a hostile place, Roger. Is there any greater proof of that then the rise to power of someone like Donald Trump? We would not need someone like him to run as President if it were not for the abuses of power and privilege that are now routine among our elites. He was one of them and has sucked at the teat of power, abusing women and drugs and using his wealth to get what he wants. Now he fights for us. That is why voters here and in Alabama will turn out in record numbers and make him the next President.

A. Douglas said...

What I am trying to say is that rather than finding the support you need, politically and financially, you seem determined to defeat yourself.

Do you know why people who agree with you on many points will not align with you? Because as smart as you are, you make the same mistakes over and over again.

You have every reason to be paranoid, actually, but you see the wrong enemies.

Clifton Walker said...

I am not "William Blanchard" and had no idea who that was until I went back to check the comments.

I'm just another "enemy" who just happens to think you're wrecking your own life. It's a reasonable conclusion based on even a few minutes reading your blog.

What you need is to see a psychiatrist. Not my area but I think Paranoid Personality Disorder seems reasonable. The following symptoms are pretty apparent, aren't they?

* Doubt the commitment, loyalty, or trustworthiness of others, believing others are using or deceiving them
* Are unforgiving and hold grudges
* Are hypersensitive and take criticism poorly
* Read hidden meanings in the innocent remarks or casual looks of others
* Perceive attacks on their character that are not apparent to others; they generally react with anger and are quick to retaliate
* Cannot see their role in problems or conflicts and believe they are always right
* Are hostile, stubborn, and argumentative

Roger, get some help before its too late.

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong to say that you are already making excuses for the ultimate dismissal of these incompetent complaints of yours? Right the judge is corrupt. We've heard that one before.

Anonymous said...

This is going to get interesting after Pryor's buddies rule against you and prison inmates who pay partial IFP fees have their case dismissed because they could not complete service.

legalschnauzer said...

Note to readers:

I have run a few more comments from the "lunatic fringe" who have become unhinged by our reporting on federal lawsuits about Jail Case and House Case. Thought it would be interesting for rational readers to see the loony correspondence we are getting on this subject. A nerve clearly has been struck.

legalschnauzer said...

@7:14 -- Have no idea where you're coming from. Such inmates, by law, must have service completed by the court. It's both statutory and case law. David Proctor can't get the current law right, and he certainly has no authority to change the law just because he's screwing up my case.

You seem to be acknowledging that Proctor is acting unlawfully, and a desire to protect Pryor is at the root of cheat job against me. That makes you smarter than these other folks.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:17 -- The judge IS corrupt. I've spelled it out in multiple posts and have another one going up soon. Try to provide any specifics that show any of Proctor's rulings are correct. If you prefer, you back to our cases before Acker and Kallon and show any substantive rulings that were correct under the law. You sound like a spitball thrower, which is easy. Let's see if you can do research and deal in real law and real facts. I doubt you can do it, but I'm giving you a shot. I certainly will print anything you present that shows Proctor is acting within the law.

legalschnauzer said...

Clifton Walker:

It's quite a trip to see you encouraging mental-health checkups for others. You aren't capable of seeing the irony in that. Hah!

legalschnauzer said...

A Douglas:

Why don't you fill me in on the correct enemies. My e-mail address is on the front page of the blog. Give me a shout.

legalschnauzer said...

Hey, Clifton:

Copying your "material" off of bathroom walls now. That's the perfect place for your literary skills.

Anonymous said...

I support Proctor 100%. One of the best judges on the bench. I've appeared before him several times. Courteous, knowledgeable, and very fair.

Anonymous said...

After reading this website, you will never again be able to trust The Hon. R. David Proctor, and you will see with crystal clarity the way that he can pervert any established ideology. Before examining the present situation, however, it is important that I bear witness to the plain, unvarnished truth.
Something recently occurred to me that might occur to Proctor, as well, if he would just turn down the volume of his voice for a moment: Proctor promotes a victimization hierarchy. He and his compadres appear at the top of the hierarchy, naturally, and therefore assert that they deserve to be given more money, support, power, etc. than anyone else.

Other groups, depending on Proctor's view of them, are further down the list. At the bottom are those of us who realize that the purpose of this website is far greater than to prove to you how fractious and stultiloquent Proctor has become. The purpose of this website is to get you to start thinking for yourself, to start thinking about how he doesn't simply want people to believe that people don't mind having their communities turned into war zones. Proctor wants this belief drummed into people's heads from birth. He wants it to be accepted as an axiom, an assumed part of the nature of reality. Only then will Proctor truly be able to get away with igniting a maelstrom of ultraism.

Thank you, Roger!

legalschnauzer said...

@10:19 -- What was the name of the case you had before Proctor? What makes you think he was fair? Can you point to any action he's taken in my case that is in line with the law?