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OPINION: When The Doors To Justice Are Closed – Where Do You Go?

 

When the doors of justice are closed to you because of your race, it is painful, to say the least. And, when wrongdoing by officers of the court, such as judges and attorneys, is ignored, the sorrow of not being equal in your own country is without measure.

There are codified rules which are in place, which the courts are obligated to follow, but, there is a slight problem, if you are a Black person in Arizona, those rules do not seem to apply, and the wrongdoing is upheld in each and every venue. Of course, the purpose of having a Justice Court is vague, but rights are being denied to American citizens and Justice Court should be abolished. It’s employees act as if they are playing a game and many of them are unqualified and without proper knowledge as to the rules of court. And, unfortunately, the Office for Administration of the Courts does not even care that the Rules of Court are not followed in Justice Court, at least when it comes to a Black person. If they do not follow the rules of court, that office does not bother to really look into the issues, and those Justice Court employees are allowed to continue to run a court despite their failure to adhere to the Arizona Rules of court.

Another example, if a judge does something which violates  rules of conduct the judicial canons, one must take the matter to The Arizona Judicial Commission. In one case, a Judge named Adam Watters,  refused to seal medical records, stating that the court does not do such things, when, in fact, they do. And failure to do so is a violation of federal law, Arizona law and Arizona rules as well. However, the commission decided to give him a pass, even though he had been reprimanded before for wearing a judge’s robe in an ad when he ran for political office. They could reprimand him for wearing a robe, but not for violating the privacy of an American citizen? The medical information is now public record as the Superior Court law clerk used it in his so-called ruling.

Then there is Justice Susan  Bacal, who refused to recuse herself, for whatever reason, even though the party asserted that there had been prior contact with the party which was negative. And, in the opinion of the party, she exhibited a bias towards the party in favor of the White attorney. In fact, when the party appeared before her, after having filed an answer complaining as to the fact that the attorney had filed a pleading which was indeed based upon a false premise at no point other than for identification on the record, did the  judge address the party who responded in writing – in fact the party need not have even shown up as she was treated as if she were invisible. The judge ruled that the issue was “moot” without addressing the fact that the attorney had filed a false pleading, for which she should have been sanctioned. It appears as if the case remained under her supervision in order to enable Blythe Edmondson to prevail on behalf of her client … no matter what. For later, even the funds for the bond were released prior to exhaustion of appeals, which is also a violation of the rules of court. It is the opinion of this writer that the case was steered to Bacal for obvious reasons. Bacal  This writer wonders if the attorney and the judge are acquainted outside of the court. Apparently the Judicial Commission feels as if all of this is perfectly okay.

In Pima County Superior court, Judge Metcalf allowed a law student to respond to an appeal, and did so without the attorney for the opposing party even having entered an appearance, or pay the required fees. In fact, the ruling came down before the time for the opposing party to pay the fees had even expired! What was the rush? Did the attorney get a favor from the court or the student? It just so happens that the student is a law student at which the attorney still participates as a mentor. Did they have any contact? One may never know. But it is odd that an appeal was put on an illegal “fast track” in total contradiction to the normal pace of an appeal from Justice Court.

And then, there is the State Bar of Arizona, where, if you are a Black person who complains, an attorney can get away not only with violations of the ethical rules, but can lie to the investigator and be supported with full knowledge of the lies which are told. It appears as if the State Bar of Arizona is merely a clique of attorneys who are policing themselves while abusing their discretion when it come to Black complainants. (According Alberto Rodriguez of the State Bar Communications Department, the investigations department does not have any investigators who identify themselves as being Black or African-American.) Matt McGregor did not even afford the complaining party with the opportunity to provide clarifying or contradictory information which might have refuted what the attorney had stated in their response. Mr. McGregor did not even share the responses of the attorney until he wrote he “final” review. It appeared to the party that he had made up his mind prior to doing any investigation, and if he did not afford the party an opportunity to refute what Edmondson had stated, then he would not be bound by the truth of the matter at all, but could take the word of the attorney since it was the only word he had. Of course you can appeal it, but the Chief Bar Counsel, Maret Vessala will only support what the investigator, (Matt McGregor), stated, and in fact twist and distort issues in order to do so. Ms. Vessala, who has been with the bar for about twenty years, has a history with the complaining party, and once allowed attorneys to collude to prosecute another  individual without suffering any consequences, despite proof of their wrong-doing. One example of her non-factual attempt to support the attorney  is the fact that the party asserted that judge Pro Tem did not rule upon her counterclaim, while Edmondson falsely asserted that he had done so. (The employees, including Judge Watters, appear to have done everything that they could do to stop the default judgment of the counterclaim.) They insisted that he did issue a ruling, when he did not, and despite the fact that Edmondson admitted in open court that she did not reply, Vessala and McGregor insisted that he she did reply, but without stating when or where. But, because Edmondson asserted that she did reply, and, that the judge had ruled upon it, they attempted to misconstrue the record in order to support her false statements. They seemed hell-bent upon convincing themselves, because that is what they did in the end – convince themselves that the attorney must be telling the truth – because, after all, she is White, and the party making the allegations was Black. Surely the Black person must be either lying, or confused, or just not bright enough to understand simple language, let alone a court proceeding. (What they failed to realize or even check into was the fact that the party was a bona fide paralegal, who graduated with honors from a highly accredited program and nationally recognized as being one of the best programs in the state.)  There is much more which they allowed to go unpunished and unchecked, and this particular attorney is being allowed to roam the halls of justice without even so much as a slap on the wrist while she engages in behavior that is contrary to the ethical rules of the State Bar. But, she is White and the complaining party is Black. One is not left with any other reasonable conclusion than to believe that there is indeed motivation based upon race, especially after presenting on numerous occasions conduct for which their should be penalized.

So when the doors of justice refuse to open, what does one do? One continues to fight and soldiers on until the truth is known far and wide. One takes it to the next level, federal court. One takes it to the press. One does not accept being treated as less than. One does not accept their constitutional rights being violated or ignored. One does not waive their constitutional rights to equal protection under the law. One fights until they win and equal justice is achieved.

https://tucson.com/news/local/steller-column-judges-question-hiring-of-pima-court-official-linked/article_7b638840-bf23-5b91-9e65-e248e66dcc47.html

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Opinion: Why Is Pima County Consolidated Justice Court Unfair?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King,Jr.

First of all, we are taught as soon as we can read and understand, that the American system of justice is fair and equal. And, there are some of us, who believed it, and some of us who continue to fight for that fairness and equity.  Now, some will say that this post is about ‘sour grapes’, but please be assured, it is not. And since I asked the question,  I will provide the answers which support my opinion that the court is unfair, biased, and, unfortunately, it has ‘pockets’ of racism.

In my opinion, there is a ‘circle of corruption’, and those who are within that circle make it a point to ‘steer’ a case to the other members of that circle.  In that way, they are assured of an illegal victory. And that circle does not stop at the doors of that particular court, it goes up to the next level, which is Pima County Superior Court. Now, the coincidences must be looked at objectively, and one being that Lisa Royal, the current Court Administrator for Justice Court, was also once part of the administration of Superior Court. That does not automatically translate into the existence  of a ‘conspiracy’, but when everything starts going south, and the rules are bent and/or ignored, then one has to, at the very least, explore that possibility.

For example, in Arizona, there is something that is called the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, now in this particular case, the landlord, admitted that he was retaliating. The ACT says that if a landlord is asking a tenant to move based upon a complaint about living conditions, then it is retaliation, and it is prohibited.  Now, if a tenant not only has proof of the complaint, but has that proof in writing, the landlord is supposed to be prohibited from making a tenant move. When a judge sees a document that has a statement written by the landlord, under oath, then why would Judge Pro Tem say that he did not “see” retaliation?  This is the portion of that sworn document:

 

(As most people know, the word “troublemakers” is code for those who request their rights. That is the term used  in the 1950’s and 1960’s to describe Martin Luther King, Jr.) This was an admission to retaliating, written under oath, and to which he admitted on the record. So what stopped the judge from ruling as to retaliation?

When an agency director, who is paying a portion of the rent, testifies under oath that the landlord promised to  provide a lease, then why would the testimony of that independent third-party be ignored by the judge? And, then, why would a Superior Court judge mis-state the facts and state that the tenant “assumed” that there was supposed to be a lease,even though that issue is not properly before them?

Why would Lisa Royal and Xavier Verdugo promise to adhere to specific rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, then not do so? But instead, allegedly use their connections to speed up the process while ignoring those rules? Why would a Superior Court judge refuse to rule upon a Motion for New Trial when  it is within his purview to do so, and again, rush the case back?  Why would Justice Court then rule on that motion without jurisdiction, but delay in ruling on the motion to vacate the ruling? Why, when one of the other tenants/defendants no longer resides with the other, would Justice Court refuse to serve that party with notice of a hearing using their mailing address?

When all of the above questions, in and of themselves, represent judicial aberrations, then one must come to the conclusion which forms the opinion that the specific parties, and their court, are indeed, unfair. One must also, at that point, look at what is similar and dissimilar between all of the parties. If all of the parties are of all races except for Black,  but the defendants/tenants are Black, then one can fairly come to the conclusion, (based upon the judicial aberrations), that the issue of race, must indeed be a factor, and that the scales of justice are not balanced, and in this case, lady justice was not blind at all.

And yet, they boldly do it in plain sight, on the record, and blatantly.  It is my opinion, that the parties involved not only lack a conscience, but also lack a soul, and have neither integrity nor respect for the offices which they hold. It is my opinion that their loyalty is not to the law, but to one another. Could that be why the plaintiff’s attorney, Blythe Edmondson,  felt comfortable paying fast and loose with the facts, and, the truth?

It seems as if this were some re-creation of the feudal system, and the poor laborer has no rights when it comes to the wealthy landowner or the aristocracy. But wait … what? No, but that can’t be right? That was England, right? This is America, right? And, slavery has been abolished in America, right?  There is something called the U.S. Constitution, right? There is something called Due Process, right? There is something called “Equal Protection Under The Law”, right?

Based upon all of the above, this is not an issue of sour grapes, but an issue of injustice and  of justice denied.

So my friends, that is why my opinion is that Pima County Consolidated Justice Court is unfair and biased. That is why it is my opinion that this particular case was steered to those within the alleged ‘circle of corruption’.

I would say to each and every one of them – ‘Shame on you for what you have done.’

#EqualProtectionUnderTheLaw #MartinLutherKingJr #ArizonaLandlordTenantAct

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