Thursday, June 21, 2018

Here is the tip of a legal iceberg that shows Missouri thugs' efforts to "preclude" Carol's federal claims are due to fail, assuming an honest judge applies the law

Jerry Harmison Jr.
We have established that Missouri "law men"
brought a false assault of a law enforcement officer charge against my wife, Carol, so they could attempt to "preclude" her from bringing a federal lawsuit for excessive force, police brutality, and related claims. We've shown that Judge Jerry Harmison Jr., in essentially sentencing Carol this week to a $10 fine, apparently committed a legal blunder of epic proportions. Where might this tale of crookedness and corruption lead? Let's take a look:

Our justice system has become so diseased that cops, prosecutors, lawyers, and judges actually conspired to bring baseless criminal charges against Carol because thuggish deputies broke her arm during our unlawful eviction in September 2015. In other words, our experience shows that if cops brutalize you and break your bones -- causing you to land in the hospital for trauma surgery -- they are more likely to bring false criminal charges against you to avoid accountability for gross civil-rights violations.

The pattern goes something like this: Cops abuse a citizen physically (and we've seen that repeatedly across the country since the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri -- most recently with the abuse of NBA player Sterling Brown, who has filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee.); cops and prosecutors abuse the victim in state criminal court (and judges let them get away with it); then, they all try to cheat the victim in federal court.

As Muhammad Ali might have said, particularly when he was a young Cassius Clay: "The more they abuse you, the more they screw you."

Will it work in Carol's case? Not if a federal judge can be found who follows the law. But since when in postmodern America has a judge been known to follow the law -- in Alabama, Missouri, state, court, federal court?

As we showed in our previous post in this series, our federal claims (I have civil-rights claims, along with Carol) will be governed by preclusion law -- also known as res judicata or collateral estoppel -- at the state level. And Missouri preclusion law is not complicated.

Dozens of cases spell out the basics of preclusion law in Missouri, and we will borrow them from a case styled Stacy v. Massa (W.D., Missouri, 2013). From the Stacy opinion:

In Missouri, issue preclusion applies when:

(1) the issue in the present action is identical to the issue decided in the prior adjudication; (2) the prior adjudication resulted in judgment on the merits; (3) the party against whom issue preclusion is asserted was a party or is in privity with a party to the prior adjudication; and (4) the party against whom collateral estoppel is asserted had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue in the prior suit.

Much is happening in Carol's case at the moment -- including an apparent attempt to cheat her that might blow up in the faces of midwest "law thugs," with possible comical consequences -- and we will go into details in upcoming posts. But we already can make a reasonable analysis on the four issues cited above in Massa:

(1) Will the issue in the criminal action be identical to that in the federal civil-rights action? No, not even close. The issue in the criminal case: Did Carol "knowingly cause, or attempt to cause, physical contact with Officer Jeremy Lynn?" We have not yet filed the federal case -- Missouri has a five-year statute of limitations -- so all of the claims have not been set. But the central issue will be this: Who broke Carol's arm, who caused that to happen via an unlawful eviction, and was the forcedused reasonable? None of those issues was decided in the criminal case.

(2) Did the prior adjudication result in a judgment on the merits? No.In fact, I'm not sure you could say it was adjudicated at all. Jerry Harmison Jr., the third judge assigned to the case (Becky Borthwick recused for unspecified reasons after two days), followed in the footsteps of his predecessor (Margaret Palmietto) and allowed the prosecution to get away with stonewalling on discovery. In essence, Carol was not allowed to gather evidence central to her defense, so it's hard to see how anyone could claim the case was decided on its merits. The prosecution's case had no merit, as we've shown repeatedly on this blog -- and we will show in upcoming posts. On top of that, it appears that one result of Judge Harmison's screw-up is that there is no final judgment at all in Carol's case, much less one based on the merits..

(3) Was the party against whom issue preclusion is asserted a party in the criminal matter? Carol was a party in the criminal matter, and she will be a party in the civil matter. I was not a party in the criminal matter, and I will be a party in the civil matter. So, the answer is no.

(4) Did Carol have a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue in the prior case? This question is so ridiculous it almost makes me laugh. How can you have a "full and fair opportunity to litigate" when the prosecution is not forced to turn over discovery, and multiple motions to compel are ignored? I could write dozens of paragraphs on this question, but for now, we can narrow it down to one issue: Harmison was required by Missouri law to rehear Carol's Motion to Suppress Evidence, and that's because Palmietto's earlier denials were interlocutory and not conclusive or binding on future proceedings. [See State v. Pippenger, 741 S.W.2d 710 (Mo. App. W.D. 1987)]. Did Harmison fulfill his obligation to address suppression issues? Nope. He avoided them -- twice. If he had followed the law, and ruled according to law, there would have been no trial. So, the answer to our question is no, not even close.

We are just getting started in our analysis that shows the scheme to preclude Carol's federal claims is due to fail. Missouri state law. Eighth Circuit federal law, federal law from other circuits, and U.S. Supreme Court all show Carol's civil-rights claims are not precluded, as a matter of law. And we soon will show how the outlandish nature of Carol's sentencing could add significantly to Greene County's civil liability for its inability to police its police force.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

Someone needs to "preclude" Mr. Harmison's judicial career.

Anonymous said...

You wrote just a few months ago about cops being convicted for civil-rights violations, and almost all of the cases involved falsification of police records.

So cops are held accountable in some places. Missouri just must be a special kind of stupid.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:05 --

Thanks for reminding me of that post. I think all of those cases in that post were federal criminal cases under 18 USC 242 -- Deprivation of rights under color of law. Carol's case was a trumped-up state case, and it is going to lead to a Sec. 242 case against prosecutors, cops, etc.

Also, going to try to bring it against Harmison, the judge. Judges generally can't be sued for their misconduct, but they can be prosecuted, and our goal is to see Harmison and others responsible for this travesty to wind up in federal prison.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Harmison can sell his leftover pickles to inmates in the federal pen.

legalschnauzer said...

Oh, forgot to mention that we likely will be filing a Sec. 242 case (maybe RICO or both) in Alabama -- and that could net a judge or two (Virginia Hopkins, William Acker, Abdul Kallon, etc.), plus personnel at Alabama State Bar and the Riley Jackson law firm (including the oily one -- Rob "Uday" Riley).

If discovery in that case points to officials at UAB, it could lead to prison terms for a number of UAB types -- like Pam Powell, Dale Turnbough, Janice Ward, Anita Bonasera, and former president Carol Garrison.

Also could lead to certain board members at the time, including a guy name Riley and a thug named Bryant, not to mention a current U.S. Senator named Doug Jones, who undoubtedly was involved in my unlawful termination.

Anonymous said...

I was taught in elementary school that judges were supposed to follow the law, uphold the constitution, and all of that stuff. What happened to that?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:23 --

I was taught the same things. Judges take an oath to uphold the law and the constitution, but no one makes them follow through. Those are just empty words to many judges, with no meaning, no application.

As you can tell from our current occupant of the White House, we live in the "me, me, me" era, and that's what Harmison is all about. It should be no surprise that he was appointed by Eric Greitens, who resigned under a cloud of scandals. Greitens likely was the most corrupt governor in the USA, and Harmison is his boy.

Anonymous said...

Somebody -- probably from Alabama or DC -- is pulling this judge's strings. He's a puppet.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:27 --

Good point. As evidence for what you state, check out Harmison's "judgment" in Carol's case. Is there a single citation to law? Nope, zero, nada. Not even an explanation of what the relevant statute says. He leaves all that out because the law doesn't apply to Carol's case, and he either is ignorant of it, or too lazy to look it up.

Anonymous said...

It's clear now that the Public Defender bailed out of Carol's case and the prosecutor waived jail sentence, so Carol would be forced to a bench trial, where a judge could cheat her without having to worry about a jury.

This was all planned well in advance. They saw that Carol wasn't going to plead to something she didn't do, so they had to do something. Classic collusion, which should be fun to point out in a Sec. 242 case.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the dashcams and the bodycams...

legalschnauzer said...

@11:14 --

We're waiting for those, too. Carol requested them about four times in discovery, and the state's response was something like, "We're not aware that such footage exists." I have heard from multiple sources that GCSO does not use body cams, but they clearly have dash cams. My guess is that footage simply has been unlawfully withheld because it shows who broke Carol's arm, how it was broken, etc. -- and that's bad for the state's case.

Anonymous said...

The judges in this case -- Palmietto and Harmison -- are nothing but puppets for the police state.

Anonymous said...


Re: your comment at 10:15am about who was involved with your termination. You are extremely warm on who was responsible. I can't give you any other information at this time...

Smut Eye

Anonymous said...

This shows our police state isn't getting better; it's getting worse.

Anonymous said...

Harmison still might be worrying about fallout from the Greitens fund-raising and Confide cases. He probably should be worrying about those.

legalschnauzer said...

Smut Eye --

Thanks for your insights. I've tended to see it as a Doug Jones/Rob Riley production, with perhaps Jones playing the leading role -- simply because I'm starting to think Doug Jones is an even bigger asshole than Rob Riley, if that's possible. I know they both were perplexed about my reporting on their shared worked in the HealthSouth lawsuit, which largely funded Jones' run for the Senate.

Having worked at UAB for 20 years, I know a little bit about how the place works, and the BOT is very important on any personnel matter that could wind up in a lawsuit. If you get cheated out of your job at UAB, the official entity you sue is the BOT -- and perhaps the two biggest dirt bags on the board then were Paul Bryant Jr. and Bob Riley.

Finally, you might be aware that I've uncovered evidence of the Alabama State Bar interfering in one of our federal cases, and I think that kind of chicanery has been going on awhile, perhaps dating back to my UAB termination.

Anyway, that's how I look at it -- perhaps with Doug Jones being leading man because he had ties to UAB admin, and he's just a rotten human being. Feel free to contact me if you are so inclined --

BTW, Smut Eye is an interesting handle. Catches the attention.

Anonymous said...

LS --

Smuteye is a small town in Bullock County, south of Montgomery. Surprised you haven't heard of it.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:23 --

Thanks for the reminder. I had heard of it -- I seem to recall an Intercourse, AL, somewhere down south -- but it slipped my mind. Don't think I've ever been to Smuteye.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Schnauz. Long time reader, first time commenter.

I’m impressed you got it right on this one—the police could not use collateral estoppel to prevent you from bringing suit. You are also correct on two of the reasons why.

The main reason is that the issue decided in the criminal case is not the same issue in the highly anticipated section 1983 suit. Things like how was Carol’s arm broken, was the eviction lawful, and whether police used unreasonable force were not at issue in the criminal case. That is the same reason those things were not relevant to the criminal case: even if the eviction was unlawful or the police did break Carol’s arm, Carol can be prosecuted for and convicted of assault on a law enforcement officer.

But here’s the kicker: No one involved in this drama would have thought conviction would prevent a suit. No one with a law degree—including Bergeon and Harmison—would believe collateral estoppel would apply here. Please move on to the next conspiracy theory. Thanks.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:23 --

Interesting comment, which leaves this question: Why did the cops, and prosecutor Dan Patterson, bring bogus criminal charges against Carol in the First place?

You say all the lawyers involved knew a conviction could not prevent a suit, but I'm not sure you're right about that. Patterson brought the charges -- and I assume you agree with me that they all know Carol is not guilty -- so why did Patterson bring the charges? The only answer I can think of is that Patterson (and his sheriff buddy, Arnott) stupidly thought it would prevent or hinder a lawsuit. Do you have a better answer?

Of course, it will only wind up enhancing their civil liability.

You shouldn't be particularly impressed that I was right about this one, because I'm right about all of them when it comes to the relevant facts and law. I can go into speculation mode, and like most people, my guesses can be both reasonable and wrong. But I don't miss on legal issues; in fact, I've already written pretty much what you wrote in your comment.

If you think you can point out an issue where I was wrong on the law, feel free to give it a shot. I think you're going to have a hard time.

You're last sentence is pure stupidity. Are you suggesting Carol's broken arm, by cops, is a "conspiracy theory," that it only happened in my mind?

You make a pretty good comment, for the most part, but too bad you have to sully it by being a wise-ass and a dumb-ass and certain issues.

legalschnauzer said...

Another point where you are wrong: The things you mention were relevant to the criminal case. If the cops were unlawfully on the premises, and they were, that is an unreasonable search and seizure and evidence gathered under such circumstances must be suppressed. That's a critical issues under the U.S. Constitution, and you surely grasp that. If they broke Carol's arm, and they did, then failed to mention it in the Probable Cause Statement, that is a defective PC Statement that merits dismissal of the case. Any force in this matter, where no crime was alleged and (by law) the landlord was supposed to be conducting the eviction, is unreasonable and directly relevant.

Carol, like anyone, can be prosecuted and convicted of assault on an LEO, but not in a case where there is no probable cause -- and there wasn't here for a variety of reasons, one being that there was no named accuser and no corroboration or verification of his story. Like the crooked judges, you want to ignore what the law actually says -- that the key issue is "who knowingly caused or initiated physical contact," and Officer Jeremy Lynn admitted multiple times that he did. On top of that, Carol reasonably believed she and her family were about to become the victims of an unlawful home invasion, and Missouri's Castle Doctrine allows use of force alleged against her -- even though she didn't actually use force.

I agree that the issues you raise will be more front and center in the civil trial, but you are wrong about their relevance in the criminal matter.

The amazing issue in the criminal case is this -- over 15 months time -- neither judge ever made clear what the law actually says, and the central element in the alleged offense.

The law says nothing about "pushing" an officer. That's because, under circumstances such as these, (where an officer unlawfully breaks into your home and grabs you) you can push back and use force (even though Carol didn't). She (or I) might have been justified in using deadly force in this instance, under Castle Doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like @10:23 is a member of the prosecution team.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:59 --

It is a member of the prosecution team; it's Nicholas Bergeon. I've heard all of these lame excuses before.

Carol sent Bergeon a scathing email the other day -- with copies to his boss (Dan Patterson) and a local newspaper reporter (who is to lazy or fearful to touch a story like this) -- and this comment is Bergeon's response. I'm sure he was told not to respond in a personal email, so being the puss that he is, he chose the anon comment route.

All he did was add to the evidence that he's nothing but a sorry sack of human excrement.

Bergeon wouldn't know the law if it kicked him in the crotch. He's a pathetic, whiny prosecutor bitch. I look forward to seeing him without a bar card.