Judicial Corruption


 

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Index

What officially constitutes judicial misconduct?

Get rid of useless agencies

Service in the Armed Forces of the United States in not a crime

Inept and uneducated judges

Minimum education standards for judges

Secrecy and judges


 

What officially constitutes judicial misconduct?

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• Willful misconduct by a judge, including misconduct which, although not related to judicial duties, brings the judicial office into disrepute or is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

• Willful or persistent failure of a judge to perform judicial duties, including the incompetent performance of judicial duties;

• Intemperance, including extreme or immoderate personal conduct, recurring loss of temper or control, abuse of alcohol, or the use of illegal narcotics or dangerous drugs;

• Any conduct on the part of a judge that constitutes a violation of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct; or

• A disability, which is or is likely to become permanent, that interferes with the performance of judicial duties.

But what we most commonly see are judges who either ignore, or are ignorant of the law, or manipulate it for their own ends or purposes. Aside from wholesale, blatant disregard of due process, if they even understand the concept, and commonplace acceptance of brazen perjury and subornation of perjury while treating it as "harmless error," we have documented evidence of judges who:

• Conduct star chamber proceedings and deny admission to parties in the case;

• Allow witnesses and evidence to be entered at trial in both criminal and civil proceedings that has not been previously disclosed as required by court rules, thereby condoning "trial by ambush;"

• Conversely, arbitrarily refuse to admit evidence in both criminal and civil proceedings even though properly discovered to opposing party, or admit evidence from one party that has not been produced prior to trial.

• Refuse to allow pertinent testimony by witnesses even when proper notice was given, or allow witnesses to testify about whom prior notice has not been given, i.e., conduct "trial by ambush;"

• Allow testimony only from one party in the issue before the bar, i.e., you may be prohibited from testifying in your own defense or verbally presenting your case;

• Demonstrate complete lack of familiarity with the case before the bar and the applicable laws and precedents;

• Ignore or refuse to consider and rule on properly filed motions;

• Put docket management above justice and reschedule hearings without proper notice;

• Give preferential treatment on the basis of gender or to specific attorneys;

• Take no notice of those who flout court orders;

• Discriminate against pro se or pro per litigants;

• Refuse to allow the case to be heard and decided by a jury;

• Rule on the basis of emotions and feelings without regard to evidence, the Constitution, the law, court rules, logic, reason, or common sense;

• Make rude or demeaning comments from the bench, e.g., in one case a Colorado judge referred to a litigant before him as an "overeducated nigger;"

• Assume jurisdiction in cases and disputes where they have no legal authority to intervene or rule;

• Refuse to recuse themselves despite glaring conflicts of interest, biases and prejudices, or personal acquaintance, relationships, and business dealings with one or more of the parties in the case before them;

• Routinely appoint cronies as conservators, guardian ad litem (GAL), special masters, child custody evaluators, and to other picked, hugely expensive, and commonly unnecessary positions. Such brassy effrontery is particularly noted in child custody and probate cases; and

• Ignore findings from experts they haven't handpicked or appointed.

It is in the interest of every citizen to root out these black-robed monsters and end the destruction they inflict daily on children, families, and citizens from every walk of life.

Cronyism is rampant in the Colorado courts. Such favoritism is particularly odious in the area of family law where judges hire the attorneys who are supposed to defend parents who have somehow come afoul of the Department of Human Services, or who appoint oft-unneeded special advocates, guardian ad litem (GAL), or a host of other court hangers-on and parasites who depend on the judge for their income. It is a virtual certainty that a court crony is far from a top performer in their field and will tell the judge only what he wants to hear.

As a good lawyer is both a valuable asset and rare, as evident above, competent counselors command a premium in the marketplace, and are naturally loath to take a lower paying and more restrictive position, e.g., a judgeship.

For the remainder, add a bar, or protective association that makes teacher's unions look competent and unprotective. Then provide a disciplinary system for lawyers that acts on the whole to ensure that the incompetent and dishonest members cannot be weeded out. From that cesspool use a system where judges are appointed generally on the basis of political favoritism, rather than on the basis of competence, education, and intelligence.

Competent attorneys are usually too busy to play politics or curry favoritism. Also, those lawyers who defend freedom and civil rights, and insist upon due process, tend to be politically unpopular.

So, in general, we usually take politicians and judges from the "75 to 90 percent of American trial lawyers [who] are incompetent, dishonest, or both," because these are the individuals whose incompetence or other faults generally don't allow them to succeed in private practice. Thus, they often seek a political appointment as a judge.

No attorney is going to be politically palatable for an appointment as a judge if they have ever expressed an unpopular opinion or resisted the majority. Thus, they must be "politically correct" to a fault to be appointed.

Provide judicial immunity to isolate these individuals from any responsibility whatsoever for their actions. Add in, as a presumed "control" of judges, an election that has more in common with Stalin's Russia than democratic America wherein once every four or six years these black-robed dangers stand unopposed, and one finds the basis for courts in Colorado.

Citizens are left with a system whose practitioners consider themselves untouchable. In effect, they are. As a citizen suggested in the September 9, 2009, Colorado Springs Gazette, the state should:

Get rid of useless agencies

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"I think all Colorado taxpayers would like to see Gov. Bill Ritter target illusory and deliberately ineffectual state agencies for his budget cuts. I suggest Ritter start by eliminating the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel , as they investigate less than 10 percent of the formal ethics complaints against attorneys and magistrates that they receive annually, according to HALT, Inc., a nonprofit legal reform group in Washington, D.C.

Next, I think Ritter should eliminate the equally illusory and deliberately ineffectual Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline as it has not unseated a single judge in its 42-year history.

Colorado citizens who for years have suffered from the unethical and often illegal actions of members of the legal community, including court officials, will not even notice the absence of these agencies."

Dale Thorup

Cañon City

Service in the Armed Forces of the United States is not a crime

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We are particularly disgusted and revolted by the increasing use of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States as a factor to condemn and convict a man in our courts. Far, far too often we have heard the term "trained killer" used to describe both active-duty military and veterans in our courts. It is impossible to think such denigration is simply an aberration.

A claim by a woman, sustained by the courts, that she is in "fear" of a man simply because of his service in the military, as a police officer, or in any other dangerous occupation, is a mockery of the rule of law. Such traitorous behavior by judges must be stopped.


 

Inept and uneducated judges

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More and more we find ourselves using the phrase: "Dumb as a judge!"

The citizenry have every right to expect a judiciary who are familiar with the mechanics of our technological society as well as the finer points of the law. Such men and women must also be familiar with both the federal and state constitutions and hold those documents as the supreme law of the land.

Instead, all too commonly in our courts we find arrogant, ignorant, black-robed dunces next to whom a jackass would be a Mensa candidate.

The general decline in educational standards has not exempted the judiciary and it is rare to find a judge who has the education one would reasonably expect of a sophomore science or engineering student. So instead of learned counsel what one typically encounters in both attorneys and judges today is an arrogant ass with the education a college freshman would have scoffed at in the nineteenth century.

There is a simple litmus test for these statements:

A sophomore science or engineering student will almost certainly have had:

• Differential and integral calculus.

• Deductive, inductive, and symbolic logic (Philosophy 101).

• Basic physiology and anatomy.

• And have a better grasp of history, English, computers, and physics than virtually any judge we know of.

So enquire of any judge in question as to their education in these basic subjects.

Where Thomas Jefferson studied Newtonian mechanics (requires calculus, differential equations, and vectors and tensors as prerequisites) before becoming an attorney, today the typical judge cannot accurately divide by two.

Minimum education standards for judges

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So what fundamental education should the average judge have in addition to a broad knowledge of the law? We would suggest the following undergraduate studies as a minimum requirement for anyone aspiring to a judicial position in our technological society:

• A course in deductive, inductive, and symbolic logic including the use of truth tables. Oh what a wonderful difference the use of truth tables would make in many cases.

• At least one semester of economics. A basic grasp of why capitalism works and socialism doesn't is essential. All too often judges work on the principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to their need, which is, of course, the Marxist anthem.

• A minimum of one year of American and world history. Don't you think a judge should know where that seditious Declaration came from and why? And how the Constitution came into existence and why it, not their personal opinion or their emotions and feelings, is the overriding law of the land.

• One year of English composition and spelling with demonstrated competency in writing and spelling.

• One year of differential and integral calculus. A technological society is incomprehensible unless one has mastered calculus.

• An introductory course in electronics and computer theory with an introduction to vectors and tensors. In an electronic age of information don't you think a judge should have some idea how a radio or television works? What a transistor is? What a flip-flop or an and gate is?

• Proficiency in at least one computer programming language. Courts are increasingly automated and a judge really ought to know something about the process.

• A minimum of one semester of physics with calculus, preferably using computers as part of the coursework.

• One semester minimum of chemistry with calculus, preferably using computers as part of the coursework. Today chemistry plays a fundamental role in criminal cases.

• At least two courses in the biological sciences, e.g., physiology, anatomy. If the judge ever tries a criminal case involving violence they will surely need these courses.

• At least one course in mechanics, in addition to physics, that introduces the engineering principles of internal combustion engines, rockets, structures, thermodynamics, and other principles that underlie a technological society.

• Completion of law school, successful completion of the bar examination, and a member of the Colorado bar in good standing.

Can you think of any valid reason why we should not demand the highest educational and professional standards of our judges and magistrates?

So if you get a chance, look at the educational background of most any judge against these criteria. Our guess is you will be shocked at the general level of ignorance of these subjects the average judge possesses. Conversely, any judge that has most or all of these subjects in their background is almost certainly widely and highly respected.

Worse, most judges have very little knowledge of the law or court rules, as is painfully evident in their rulings. Or if they do have such knowledge, all too commonly they pervert it for corrupt purposes.

Judges aren't usually born with the wisdom of Solomon but, with experience, some of them improve. However, appointments are made at all levels of individuals with basically no experience. Consider an example in the 4 th Judicial District of Colorado. In September, 2002, Patrick Kelly was appointed a district judge, midway up the judicial ladder. His previous position was as a county clerk and his legal training was in Oklahoma. His total experience as a practicing attorney was as an assistant district attorney, and he hadn't even done that for nearly a decade. Short, overweight, opinionated, and arrogant, suddenly he is making life and death decisions.

Don't you think there should be a better way of selecting and training judges?

 

Secrecy and judges

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Rocky Mountain News, Opinion, p. E5

Shine light on misconduct

June 24, 2007 — So the executive director and general counsel of the state Commission on Judicial Discipline thinks it's good policy to keep investigations of judicial misconduct secret.

"The nice thing about Colorado is that the judges choose to go away if they misbehave," said Rick Wehmhoefer.

Well, yes, it may be nice that they go away without a fight if they think that the commission will uphold a complaint against them, although we don't see why a judge who believes a complaint is unfounded should hesitate to contest it if the commission disagrees.

But it is not nice at all that they are able to leave without the public ever finding out that they were being investigated for misconduct or whether the nature of the misconduct might be relevant to the cases that have come before them. Only if the commission recommends that the Colorado Supreme Court discipline a judge are its findings public, and the last time that happened was in 1986. The commission was established in 1966, and in 41 years it has never recommended that a judge be removed for misconduct.

Lawyers don't enjoy the protection of such secrecy. Not only is the fact that disciplinary hearings are being held a matter of record, but the hearings themselves are open to the public, and have been since 1998.

Wehmhoefer points out that most complaints — the commission investigated 179 in 2006 — are unfounded, most are related to criminal rather than civil cases, and more than 80 percent are from inmates unhappy with something a judge has done. Perhaps that's a reason for investigations to remain confidential in the early stages, but in 34 states findings become public at some point in the process, while in Oregon disclosure is triggered by commission hearings.

Last year, Wehmhoefer said, the commission sent letters of reprimand privately to two judges. Two others retired while their cases were pending before the commission. Once judges have left the bench, the commission has no further authority over them and the complaints against them are never disclosed. Even though the number of incidents is small, as a matter of principle the public ought to know about them.

Changing the system, which is part of the state constitution, will require an amendment. We'd like to see the legislature put an amendment on the 2008 ballot, as a means of bringing greater transparency to the justice system. We agree with the American Judicature Society, which has been advocating a more open system since 1996, that "confidentiality can undermine the public confidence in the judicial discipline process."

When judges can escape the consequences of misconduct simply by resigning, indeed it can. And does.

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Added November 5, 2012

Last modified 3/9/14