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Showing posts with label RETALIATION. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RETALIATION. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WOODY ALLEN AND THE POLITICS OF TOLERATION IN CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CASES!

In the light of Ronan Farrow's exposure of the allegations against Harry Weinstein, the Woody Allen Child Sexual Abuse scandal has again caught notice.  Why is it that Harvey Weinstein faces such overall condemnation in the movie industry and yet Woody Allen has not?  

For instance, one reporter -- Molly Fitzpatrick of "Splinter News" --  investigated how actors have responded to Dylan Farrow's sexual abuse accusations against Woody Allen.  Below are the names of actors she checked up on:  Cate Blanchett, Alex Baldwin, Wallace Shawn, Diane Keaton, Louis CK, Scarlett Johansson, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Firth, Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins, Mariel Hemingway, Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, Anna Camp, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively.  Their responses have been neutral, indifferent, or a resounding "It's none of my business."  

Why is it none of their business?

Monday, February 6, 2017

THE CONNECTICUT JUDICIAL BRANCH USES UNDUE INFLUENCE TO BULLY AND HARASS INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST PAUL BOYNE AND SILENCE ITS CRITICS!

In the early hours of January 19, 2017 a troop of six FBI agents banged on investigative journalist Paul Boyne's door in Virginia where he lives with his elderly parents who are in their 80s.  What were they there for?  The agents had a search and seizure warrant allowing them to take all of Mr. Boyne's computers, computer equipment, and related items based upon the laughable allegation that he had been cyberbullying, stalking or harassing family court Judge Elizabeth Buzzoto.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

THE CT JUDICIAL BRANCH, DESPERATE TO DEFLECT ITS CRITICS, HIDES BEHIND LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO TO CONVICT FAMILY COURT REFORM ACTIVIST TED TAUPIER AND NULLIFY THE FIRST AMENDMENT!

On August 29, 2014, a SWAT team of 75 officers along with two armored vehicles stormed Cromwell resident Mr. Ted Taupier's house with their weapons drawn, threw him to the ground and arrested him. [I am hearing that there was no need to throw him on the ground; he was apparently quite cooperative and just stood there!  Anyone else is welcome to comment!] 

The basis for this arrest?  

Apparently, late in the night on August 22, 2015, Mr. Taupier sent an email to six other friends which appeared to threaten the life of Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, some of it couched in the language of movies and science fiction and other parts of it appearing to be more serious.  One of the recipients of this email, Jennifer Veraneault, was frightened by the email and so after consulting with a friend, and a failed attempt to reach Mr. Taupier, she reported the email to authorities.  

The result was the absolutely dramatic arrest scene which I have described, and subsequent charges filed against Mr. Taupier for 1) threatening in the first degree; 2) threatening in the second degree; 3) two counts of disorderly conduct; and 4) breach of peace in the second degree.  He was released on bail of $75,000, was required to wear an ankle bracelet and was put on house arrest.  

Did Ted Taupier deserve this dramatic response to his late night diatribe against Judge Bozzuto?

On June 11, 2015, Attorney Norm Pattis, a highly regarded civil rights and criminal attorney blogged about the Ted Taupier case on his website stating, "Just how the state perceives [the email Ted Taupier sent] to be a threat to anyone is beyond my comprehension.  The speech is certainly ugly, even irresponsible, but if there is a specific intent to cause alarm or harm to Judge Bozzuto in the email, I can't see it."  

Commenting on his observations regarding the subsequent trial in the case, Attorney Pattis stated, "there's little doubt that the state failed to prove Taupier guilty of threatening.  His reckless bluster among folks he thought were friends and fellow travelers cannot be construed as an intent to threaten the judge.  No evidence suggests that he intended, or foresaw, that anyone would forward the email to Judge Bozzuto."  

At the very worst, Attorney Pattis anticipated that Ted Taupier would be acquitted of threatening and perhaps be convicted of disorderly conduct or breach of peace.  Instead, much to my surprise, on October 2, 2015 Judge Gold found Ted Taupier guilty of all charges in a 56 page decision that at times comes across as rambling and at other times obscure.  

While I never expected that Ted Taupier would get off scott free from these charges, it does appear excessive and vengeful that the Court convicted him on all charges and he now faces a six year prison sentence simply for speaking in an exaggerated and hyperbolic manner about a family court judge.  This is particularly true when you consider that Mr. Taupier never directly addressed Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto with any vituperative language and anything he said was written in an email sent people he believed were likeminded friends.  

Make no mistake, this Judge's decision was a purely political act, a blatant attempt to silence and intimidate current and potential critics, and has nothing to do with the law.  

I say this because in the last few years there has been escalating political unrest directed towards the CT Judicial Branch, particularly in connection to accusations that the family court system is corrupt. Along with many others, Mr. Ted Taupier, who has played a central role in advocating for reform of the legal system, has faced systematic retaliation from the CT Judicial Branch.  I myself have reported that this blog has also been the focus of vicious retaliation from the legal profession in the last year.  

What can be done when the judges of the CT Judicial Branch use their power within the judiciary to wreak revenge upon their critics?  

First of all, it should be noted that Tanya and Ted Taupier are typical of the kinds of successful couples that the CT Family Court likes to exploit and that in the course of obtaining their divorce they suffered the full gamut of the kind of corrupt behavior standard in family court.  

Tanya Taupier has a high level position at Aetna Insurance Company and Ted Taupier, prior to his arrest, had a solid position with Citicorp.  They have two children -- a son and a daughter.  Ms. Taupier filed for divorce in the fall of 2012 and had sufficient income to hire two divorce attorneys--Attorneys Geraldine Ficarra and Michael Peck--who continue to remain her attorneys.  At the same time, she also hired a criminal defense attorney Chris Morano formerly a prosecutor in the Michael Skakel case, no doubt also highly expensive.   

For his part, Ted Taupier hired in succession Brown, Paindiris and Scott, a highly regarded divorce attorney firm, then Attorney Henry B. Hurwitz, and then finally Lobo and Associates, LLC and then went pro se.  

In addition, the parties hired Attorney Margaret Bozek as the guardian ad litem for the children--Attorney Bozek has been associated with other problematic cases.  Attorney Bozek quickly racked up a bill of $30,000 and counting.  

It took three years before the divorce was final and, from what I've heard, a whole bunch of legal professionals cashed in before the case was over.  

So what happened specifically that so deeply radicalized Ted Taupier and ultimately led him to express his anger so strongly in regard to Judge Bozzuto in a private email to fellow advocates.  We just don't know because there is no information regarding Mr. Taupier's perspective in the entire October 2, 2015 decision. 

This is true despite the fact that Judge Gold stated on page 3 of his decision, "the determination of whether a defendant's allegedly threatening statements may be prosecuted and punished under the law requires that they be examined and considered in the light of their entire factual context and with reference to all surrounding events."  We got something in the Memorandum of Decision of October 2, 2015, but it certainly wasn't the "entire" story.

Instead, the Court summarized two very sanitized and edited stories in which Ted Taupier's perspective is entirely eliminated--one in regard to where the Taupier children would go to school and the other in regard to Mr. Taupier's disposal of his antique gun collection told from the perspective of the prosecutors.  

I certainly experienced this kind of repeated editing in my case and I know many others have experienced this.  What Judges do when they write Memoranda of Decision is simply pick and choose among the facts they like, and ignore or suppress the evidence they don't want to hear or acknowledge.  Along the way Judges often invent several extra stories for good measure just because it fits in with the legal picture they are attempting to develop.  

So even while making pompous and high minded sounding remarks about how all the evidence must be heard, Judges regularly edit or eliminate essential information from the record.

Not only do Judges tamper with court cases by suppressing the defendants side of the story, they also refuse to listen to witnesses at will.  Thus, in Ted Taupier's case, the Court simply dismissed as not credible the witnesses who came in support of Mr. Taupier and put their testimony in footnotes.  Meanwhile, inexplicably the Court stated that the one witness who felt threatened by Mr. Taupier's remarks was credible, even though we all know that she acted out of mixed motives that everyone is well aware of.  

This is not justice.  This is not the "entire factual context." 

What it actually adds up to is a legal exercise in judges using their superior status and the benefit of the doubt they receive from people who have watched too many episodes of "Law and Order" to smear the reputation of a vulnerable citizen who doesn't have anything like the same social and financial resources.  

We should also be troubled by Judge Gold's heavy reliance on the Supreme Court case State v. Krijger which came out on September 2, 2014.  For one thing, the State V. Krijger involves a defendant who made a direct verbal threat to the complainant (an attorney--surprise, surprise!).  In contrast, Ted Taupier never made a direct threat towards Judge Bozzuto--he was merely speaking with several friends in a private email.  And while Judge Gold from his standpoint thinks it was inevitable that one of those friends would communicate with authorities regarding the content of Ted's email remarks, that is not a given in my view.  Despite Judge Gold's insistence that all his conclusions were purely objective, reasonable people cannot help but think that subjective biases might have influenced Judge Gold's thinking process.  Therefore, what we have here are two very different circumstances, yet Judge Gold is treating them as if they are identical, which makes no sense to me.

Another point to keep in mind is that this case wasn't even the law at the time the alleged criminal act had taken place.  In many respects, the timing of when the decision in this case was issued, immediately after Taupier was arrested, bears the mark of case law especially formulated to target a particular individual such as a political activist.

What is additionally troubling when it comes to the State v. Krijger decision that acted as the basis of the Judge's determination in this case is that it essentially eliminates our first amendment right to freedom of speech in the State of Connecticut.  Take a look at the content of this decision on page 24 of Judge Gold's decision: "a state may punish those words that by their utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace....Furthermore, the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except when such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."  

This language is so broad that it really encompasses and identifies as illegal, even criminal, pretty much any meaningful political action that is time honored in most democratic countries.  For instance, with a definition of this kind, what would happen to someone like Malcolm X who stated that he intended to gather together an army to defend African-Americans "by any means necessary."  

What happens to someone like Martin Luther King who advocated acts of civil disobedience, i.e. the freedom riders, lunch counter sit ins, thus "inciting or producing imminent lawless action."  What about my friends in wheelchairs who have protested violations of their ADA rights by blockading intersections with their wheelchairs in violation of the law.  Are the discussions they held planning that political demonstration a violation of the law?  If they are, all of us who hope to create social change for the better are in serious trouble.

The bottom line is that when the Judicial Branch of the State of Connecticut becomes so afraid of its critics that it creates laws that eliminate CT citizens' first amendment right to free speech and then uses that law to jail possibly for six years the first innocent man it can find, we have a problem!  

More seriously, I question the focus here.  Why are we looking at a citizen's potential threat to a judge, when what we really need to do is look at the threat that is leveled upon many citizens by the actions of that judge.  

Further, we are not just concerned about a single judge; we are concerned about the entire CT Judicial Branch.  As Mr. Michael Nowacki pointed out succinctly a few years ago, the CT Judicial Branch has been creating law for several decades in violation of CT General Statutes 51-14, and in violation of the Constitution which mandates the separation of powers.  

Further, investigative journalists have discovered serious RICO violations within the CT Judicial Branch.  One commentator stated, "We know that an unregistered, sub regulatory corporation has been running through the CT Judicial Branch for 30 years, with member and directors in all positions of administration, from grant writing, program administration, and even regulation and oversight.  We know the judges and professionals they appoint onto cases they preside over are tied in profitable business relationships.  We know that numerous CT agencies, departments, and branches (DCF, DOC, judicial and others) are beholden to an agreement to collude in order to fix case outcomes to maximize funding over all other factors, including constitutional rights, due process, and human rights.  We know that judges are deliberately placing children in the most dangerous homes available to them, including violent pedophiles and murderers, in order to generate endless billing hours for their business partner lawyers, evaluators, and treaters, all of whom judges are appointing in the first place.  We know that many judges have non-profits that contract with the judicial branch, some even list a business address in their chambers.  We know that hundreds of millions of dollars are running through each of some of those non-profits per year.  We know that the Office of Inspector General audited some official judicial accounts in 2010 and found $13 million missing and unaccounted for." 

I'd forget chasing an insignificant (ok maybe not to himself!) individual like Ted Taupier around the block.  What about our State government that fails to protect its citizens? 

I am also aware that there are a considerable number of family court litigants and their children who have spoken about experiencing discrimination against them based upon their disabilities.  They have talked about how the CT Judicial Branch is completely non-compliant with federal ADA law as well as the ADAAA and denies people their reasonable modifications which are required for them to be able to obtain testimonial and participatory access to legal proceedings.  

Yet nothing has been done about any of these illegal activities--not a thing--despite the CT Department of Justice major announcements that they intended to investigate.  

Further, the CT Department of Justice specifically stated they would have a report on the compliance of the CT Judicial Branch with the ADA at the end of August 2015, and yet they still have not produced one and it appears have no plan to produce one. Further, they have broken the back of this so-called investigation by stating that they have no intention of looking at the specific complaints that people with disabilities have made against the CT Judicial Branch.  Aren't those complaints with their associated documents essential evidence in regard to whether the CT Judicial Branch has complied with the ADA or not?  Basically, the refusal to investigate complaints represents a complete indifference to the many disabled victims of the CT Judicial Branch's indifference and disregard of their fundamental civil rights.

How is it that all these State resources--police, a 75 man SWAT team, prosecutors, etc. etc. and CT Judicial Branch resources could be used to persecute a single man who made a few off color remarks in a bad moment, yet law enforcement personnel disregards and ignores the widespread human rights and civil rights violations and corruption for which the CT Judicial Branch is responsible?  

How is it that within only a few months of denying Adrianne Oyola a protective order which could have stopped Tony Moreno from tossing Baby Aaden off a bridge to his death, Judge Barry Pinkus is apparently back on the bench in Middletown adjudicating complex DV cases which he is clearly incapable of handling.

Someone please explain this to me.  What can we do as citizens to protect ourselves from the foolish and negligent actions of the Connecticut Judicial Branch when it is that very Branch we are supposed to turn to in order to obtain relief!

I am also surprised that Mr. Taupier's attorney did not argue self defense in this case.  Of course, there could be a very clear cut answer to this as I am not an attorney.  But consider the various ways in which CT Family Court destroyed Ted Taupier's life and cut him off from his relationship with his children.  Yes, it is true the Court made sure none of that evidence made it on the record.  Still, I am pretty sure that what this family went through was pretty devastating.  

Under the circumstances, couldn't Mr. Ted Taupier's remarks be construed as self-defense.  I was reading the 2008 OLR Research Report entitled "Castle Doctrine and Self Defense in Civil Cases."  This report describes the  Castle Doctrine by stating that the doctrine "establishes the circumstances under which a person can use physical force and deadly physical force to defend himself or someone else without being convicted for assault, manslaughter, or murder."  These are so called "stand your ground" laws.  Could stand your ground law apply to verbal defense as well as physical defense?

Wouldn't it be fair to say that a good many family court litigants have reported that the CT Judicial Branch is corrupt and that its employees are doing violence to their families and children, destroying their lives, bankrupting them, putting them out to live on the streets, snatching their children, allowing their children to be medically neglected or physically abused.  

Under these circumstances, couldn't we argue that the true threat here is not to Judge Bozzuto; the true threat here is to Ted Taupier and his family and to all the many family court litigants who have been exploited and taken advantage of in CT Family Court?  Yes, Ted Taupier made a statement which could be considered a threat, but wasn't he grievously provoked?  

Yet I don't believe this Castle Doctrine was ever raised, because the Court System carefully crafts the grounds upon which it will prosecute a defendant; it excludes anything it doesn't want it or the public to hear and then sets out to orchestrate these highly sophisticated show trials carried out as public relations gambits and media spectacles intended to divert attention from their own sordid crimes.  This is how a case which should be about a family court victim attempting to defend himself gets transformed into legal debates over whether a few exaggerated comments made in private to close friends is a true threat to a judge who wasn't even a part of the conversation.

One last point: if you look at the Memorandum of Decision of October 2, 2015 in the Taupier case and attempt to understand the Judge's explanation of the CT General Statutes and the case law which he used to justify convicting Ted Taupier, the more convoluted and incomprehensible it gets--after all it is 56 pages, plus an additional 12 to discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court Elonis decision.  

If the average person makes the simple assumption that he or she has the right to freedom of speech--and most people do that---how could they possibly comprehend or even know of the Judge's extensive listing of the broad and extensive exceptions he and his pals have made to our Constitutional right to free speech.  Doesn't that make any one of us subject to entrapment within any context that we express ourselves--on social media, in letters to friends, on blogs--pretty much anywhere--because we aren't aware of the many exceptions.  Personally, I consider that thought chilling as should any reasonable Connecticut citizen.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DID THE CT JUDICIAL BRANCH PUNISH INDIVIDUAL LITIGANTS BY POSTING PRIVATE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR CASES ONLINE?

During this past year, several family court litigants have talked during public hearings about the tragedy visited upon their families when the CT Judicial Branch published the memoranda of decision of their cases online.  The authority for publishing these memoranda of decision arises from Conn. Gen. Statute Section 51-215a - (Formerly Sec. 51-21): Publication of decisions of the Superior Court and the Appellate Court.  This statute states as follows:

"(a) The clerks of the Superior Court shall file with the Reporter of Judicial Decisions copies of memoranda of decisions in Superior Court cases. The reporter shall select therefrom for publication such decisions as he deems will be useful as precedents or will serve the public interest and shall prepare them for publication and index them in substantial conformity with the manner in which decisions of the Supreme Court are prepared and indexed. The decisions selected shall be published by the Commission on Official Legal Publications in the Connecticut Law Journal and in such bound volumes as the Reporter of Judicial Decisions deems necessary."

In other words, the Reporter of Judicial Decisions has been statutorily required to do the job of selecting memoranda of decision that he thinks will be "useful as precedents or will serve the public interest" and put them out there for publication.  In real terms, this means that private information regarding litigants' divorces has ended up out there on the internet available for all of the world to see and has resulted in considerable harm and damage to the families involved.  

Several family court litigants have talked about the damaging impact that the publication online of their court  decisions had on them.  For instance, in one situation, the memoranda of decision included the psychiatric diagnoses of the litigants' children, where they lived and what school they went to.  Any pedophile could have used that information to stalk the children, kidnap them, or cause some other kind of devastating harm to them.

It was not unusual for litigants to find private medical information such as psychiatric diagnoses, substance abuse problems, or chronic physical conditions ending up online in these memoranda of decision.  False accusations of domestic violence or sexual impropriety as well as financial wrongdoing also made there way into these memoranda of decision and ended up online.  Others talked about how they found themselves unable to obtain employment or were fired from a job because of the contents of the memoranda of decision.  

The worst of it is knowing that your friends and neighbors can simply go online and look up the decision in your case online and thus find out about the most intimate and private details of your life, or what is reported as having occurred in your life, when you know very well that nothing of the kind happened.  They could do it at any time and you would never know.  So the next time you go to a school event you might spend your time wondering -- do these people know about what has been said about me in my case?  

In my situation, knowing that the memorandum of decision was online was particularly difficult for me because the entire memoranda was fabricated out of false, misleading, and out of context information.  Most particularly, I objected to the fact that information that was purely hearsay ended up in the decision and included statements the judge made deliberately in order to smear my reputation permanently.  Why did the Reporter of Judicial Decisions choose my case?  There was nothing significant or precedential about it.

It wasn't long before many of us who were victims of this situation began to ask ourselves if there was some pattern to the publication of these decisions.  If you consider that at least 15,000 - 17,000 cases go to trial each year, how is it that our cases were particularly selected for publication?  Was there an intention to silence us?  It did not escape notice that many of the memoranda of decision chosen for publication were ones where the attorneys in the cases or the judges had a particular interest in silencing us.  

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that a judge or an attorney would drop by the office of the Reporter of Judicial Decisions and say informally, don't forget to publish that case!  Why not!  A lot worse has happened in our corrupt family courts!

Thus, it is interesting to see in the 2015 legislative session that the Judiciary Committee is considering Section 11 of proposed S.B. Bill 1033 An Act Concerning Court Operations which would eliminate this section (a) from the CT General Statutes and would prevent the CT Judicial Branch from publishing these memoranda of decision in the future.  

I would strongly recommend that everyone call their representatives and also encourage members of the Judiciary Committee to pass this bill.  We need to protect the privacy of CT Family Court victims and stop individual judges and attorneys from using these memoranda of decision to get back at people and take revenge and permanently ruin their lives.