Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

September 18, 2017

Complaint for mandamus & civil rights relief from incompetent judges


When judges or officials are incompetent, malicious, or plain mean and violate your civil rights there are two other means that the public usually doesn’t realize by which they can obtain relief even during the case. The judge or official must have a mandatory (non-discretionary) duty under the law or constitution to do a particular act, must have failed to do it, and must be able to do it if ordered to do so in order to use a mandamus complaint. Civil rights law is very complicated.  Both types of complaints should be handled by an attorney, but as a starting place if you are interested in such complaints then this is an example that was filed by me, a non-attorney pro se. Look up the  case law and look up cases regarding mandamus or civil rights in the circuit courts and under your states’ laws.

  1. Mandamus – this is where you ask a court to order an official (including a judge) to perform a task that is mandatory and not discretionary like set a bail when no bail was set in violation of the law – in Illinois no bail is allowed only on murder cases, cases where the sentence may be life, or cases where a due process hearing was held and the defendant is proven to be a danger to the public or himself.
  2. Civil rights complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. Suppose a court refuses to allow you to put any witnesses on the stand, refuses to allow you to subpoena documents or refuses to accommodate your disabilities, even when you discussed them with the disability coordinator and followed the court procedures. Under the federal civil rights act section 1983 you can ask a different court (either state or federal) under federal law to declare the judge’s acts or orders in violation of law or the constitution (declaratory relief) and order the judge to follow the law and allow you compulsory process or force the judge to accommodate your disabilities (injunctive relief).
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August 25, 2015

Sample appeal – Illinois small claims court – landlord steals items


Small claims court can be frustrating when judges look down on pro se plaintiffs and simply rubber stamp everything the defendant’s lawyer states.  This is a sample appeal of such an unjust ruling where the plaintiff lost due to I believe purposeful misconduct of an attorney and a judge. Read the Appellant’s brief here.

Note that appeals are not like trials. The Appellate Court may ONLY consider information on the record on appeal and in the transcripts. YOU CAN NOT ADD new evidence or information. Therefore, at trial in the local court, make a list and make sure you have all your witnesses and evidence or you won’t be able to add it later.  If the judge refuses to hear a witness or allow you to introduce evidence, then ask the judge to “make an offer of proof” (i.e. to have the  person testify or admit the evidence without it being considered just so that it is on the record). If you anticipate this will be a problem, then file the evidence or affidavit instead of as a motion, label it an “offer of proof” and file it in your case attached to this “offer of proof” where you state you are filing this offer of proof and why you are doing so.

The litigants names and case number were changed so they remain anonymous, except for the name of the corrupt landlord’s corporation and the judge.

Remember, in small claims, Illinois Supreme Court Rules 286(b) allows a small claims court to hear and view all relevant evidence, admit evidence with more relaxed rules of procedure and rules of evidence upon order of the court. This means the court may allow affidavits as evidence and not require the presence of a witness and may allow documents to be admitted without strict rules of authentication.

You must follow strictly all appeal rules, so don’t forget to read Illinois Supreme Court Rules for civil appeals and your local court rules also. Illinois Supreme Court Rules are here. If you don’t follow them, your appeal will be rejected.

Note strict rules such as:

  • 1 1/2 inch margin on left
  • requirement of certification page stating you followed the rules as to page limits
  • you use an appendix and not exhibits
  • the appendix must include an index to the record on appeal and the transcripts (if any), that the page number of testimony of specific witnesses must be indexed and that if you did not have a court reporter and made a “bystander’s report” instead that it is also in index, a copy of the order appealed from, and a copy of the notice of appeal
  • notice of filing and service and filing of record on appeal or record of proceedings (transcripts)
  • don’t forget to include your $50 filing fee or a petition for indigency (see Illinois Supreme Court web site and your local appellate court division’s rules)
  • bind the appeal brief securely on the left side (three staples is OK)

Note that you can not just make conclusory statements (“They ripped me off”).  You must back up all your statements, documents, testimony with evidence (testimony by witnesses, documents and reference to “authorities”), with case law (where a court has interpreted a law and said this is how the rules or statutes work and what they mean), or back it up with reference to other authorities (statutes, supreme court rule, administrative rules – note statutes are sent to administrative rules committee and then an administrative rule is made – many pro se litigants are not aware of this – see here; there are similar administrative rules in federal law and all state laws).

August 1, 2014

Federal Petiton proving corrupt judges, sheriff, & state’s attorney in Cook County


SIC color_edited-1

PLEASE come to court and show support for Shelton at the next court date on Jan 13, 2016, 10am, 2600 S California, Chicago IL, courtroom 506. Write letters to the U.S. Attorney, Sen. Durbin, Sen. Kirk, your senator, Rep. Lipinsky or your representative, and the press. Some addresses are at end of post. Spread the word through social media that Shelton needs public support to continue these blogs and fight unlawful attacks against her in retaliation for them and for helping so many with pro se litigation and defense.

This is a petition for writ of habeas corpus to the federal district court in Chicago. The Cook County Sheriff in retaliation for Shelton filing civil rights suits has been falsely arresting Shelton repeatedly and maliciously prosecuting her for battery to officers. Of NOTE: She is never charged with battering anyone else and has a lifelong history of non-violent pacifism.  For more information go here.  Also read Shelton’s other blogs: http://cookcountyjudges.wordpress.com  http://chicagofbi.wordpress.com   http://cookcountysheriffdeputies.wordpress.com   http://illinoiscorruption.blogspot.com and search them for posts about Madigan in particular. They have beaten her so many times and so viciously that she now has post-traumatic-stress disorder and when aggressively approached by officers goes into a flashback where she cries, screams, tries to protect herself from imagined blows swinging her arms randomly (as she is reliving attacks) and cowers. If she is pushed, carried, or dragged, due to disabilities and severe balance problems she grabs at things to steady herself – all the while being out of touch with reality during these brief PTSD flashbacks. She has been arrested and charged with FELONY battery to an officer with a possible sentence of 3-14 years for “touching an officers ear and pulling her hair until her hand slipped off”. She has been held in jail one year on no bail and only recently released on $300,000 bail. This is unconstitutional excessive bail She has been denied notice, counsel of choice, discovery of evidence, and has been fraudulently accussed of being psychotic and unfit for trial, illegally without notice or jury trial, without any professional saying she was psychotic or unfit, sent to a secure mental health facility who after a few months said in court she was never unfit and is not psychotic and sent her back to jail. As a result of this lawlessness Shelton has now filed at Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Federal District Court asking for relief and presentment of the criminal conduct of judges, sheriff staff, state’s attorney, court clerk, and other corrupt persons to the U.S. Attorney for  prosecution. You can read it here: (download will be 24 pages) fed habeas 6-12-14 final Full Petition with evidence (download will be 400+ pages) Habeas Petition Asst. US Attorney Zachary T. Fardon United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division 219 S. Dearborn St., 5th Floor Chicago, IL 60604 Phone: (312) 353-5300 ______________________ FBI,Special Agent in Charge – Chicago Robert J. Holley 2111 W. Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60608 Phone: (312) 421-6700 Fax: (312) 829-5732/38 E-mail: Chicago@ic.fbi.gov _________________________ Senator Durbin WASHINGTON, D.C. 711 Hart Senate Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 9 am to 6 pm ET (202) 224-2152 – phone (202) 228-0400 – fax ____________________ Senator Kirk Washington, DC 524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC, 20510 Phone: 202-224-2854 Fax: 202-228-4611 ___________________ Congressman Lipinsky Washington, D.C. Office 1717 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 P (202) 225 – 5701 P (866) 822 – 5701 F (202) 225 – 1012

December 9, 2011

Time for Fourth branch of government to clean up corrupt Cook County Courts


When the British government acted like dictators and ignored the laws we had the Boston Tea Party and then the revolutionary war.

 

It is time for a new awakening of the Fourth branch of government – this time to clean up the courts. It is past time to talk the talk -we must walk the walk -no fear – just act! When the judge violates the law – file everything possible in state and federal court (complaint for supervisory order; complaint for mandamus; Section 1983 federal civil rights suit for injunctive relief – justices have immunity from suits for monetary damages but not from suits for injunctive relief or mandamus; Attorney Regulatory Commission Complaint; Judicial Inquiry Board Complaint; Judicial Council complaints; complain to the press; complain to officials in charge of the County or State; complain to your representatives and senators; make a request for impeachment to the speaker of the house; complain to the press, put ALL details of your case on the Internet.

The Declaration of Independence states:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Our right to justice is not something that the judiciary should play with. Our justice system is not a tool of self serving lawyers to use to allow lawyers to take advantage of the misfortunate and victimize them. Our courts are to serve the people and not as a profit center to protect the incomes of lawyers. We the people hereby give notice to the judiciary that you are acting in contempt of the people and that you will refrain from continuing to do so or face the consequences.

For more details see this link: http://www.perkel.com/politics/issues/fourth.htm

May 18, 2009

Black Line Trial Call – Judge Maddux’s Illegal Scheme to Quash Suits


NOTE: As of April 1, 2016 the Black Line Trial Call has been abolished and a Master Trial setting call has been established. See article about this new system. You no longer will have hearings without notice !!!

Judge Maddux Violates Constitutional Rights – Dismisses Torts with Dual Court Assignment for Same Case – hidden “Black Line Trial Call” WITHOUT Notice to Litigant – RICO Violation?

In the Circuit Court of Cook County Law Division Presiding Judge William D. Maddux has devised a system that has been in place for several years that serves to quash cases primarily of pro se and indigent plaintiffs  by “dismissing for want of prosecution” (“DWP”) without notice in violation of Illinois Supreme Court Rules. Judge Maddux appears to suffer from arrogance, a controlling obsessive-compulsive character where he must micro-manage as many aspects of all cases in his division as possible, narcissism in that he must be involved in every case and grandiose delusions in that he must boost his self-esteem by controlling others in all cases – even to the point of denying civil rights and the law.

This scheme involves assigning each case to two parallel courts. The first is the motion judge and then trial judge. The second is the “Black Line Trial Call.” Litigants are not informed or given notice about the “Black Line Trial Call.”  The second parallel court hearings are used to cause DWP without notice.

This scheme that he devised purportedly to move cases along faster, but which actually denies the First Amendment right to redress of grievances, amounts to a RICO violation. Judge Maddux is enriching the courts and clerk’s office or County of Cook by taking money for filing fees and then illegally quashing the cases by DWP in clear violation of law. This makes the Cook County Circuit Court Law Division and the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office a criminal enterprise used by Judge Maddux, with approval of Chief Judge Timothy Evans and Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, essentially influencing this criminal enterprise by influencing through racketeering the outcome of every case in the Law Division. The crimes are fraud in that the Circuit Court appears to permit a person redress of grievances and accepts their filing fee, but instead DWP without notice in an unconstitutional scheme. This is also felony violation of civil rights under color of law and conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law. As the mails are used in this scheme to inform the plaintiffs that their cases have been dismissed this is also mail fraud. Finally, this is also theft of honest services, as courts are supposed to uphold the constitution, not purposely violate it.

The scheme or conspiracy to wholesale deny civil rights under color of law goes as follows:

The plaintiff files a lawsuit (tort) for damages and pays the filing fee thinking that they will obtain redress of grievances and have a just chance to present their case to court and be made whole by awarding of damages.

The case is assigned by a random system to a motion judge. If it finishes all pre-trial matters, it is then assigned to a different judge for trial. (The ABA recently advised that a case should stay with the same judge from pre-trial through trial as a matter of best practice. The present system is a mess as the motion judges are often changed in the middle of cases and then the judge is totally unfamiliar with the previous motion judge’s rulings and time is wasted and rulings become unfair and confusing because of ignorance of the judge. The trial judges are then also unable to make appropriate rulings through ignorance of previous rulings and this impairs a fair hearing.)

The case is also assigned to an 18 month or 24 month pre-trial “discovery” schedule for purposes of the “Black Line Call.” The plaintiff is NEVER told that the “Black Line Call” system exists and only find out about it by word of mouth, if they read the Circuit Court of Cook County web site in detail, or if they read the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk web site in detail, which contains a link to the Court web site and contains the “Black Line Case Docket”.  The majority of pro se litigants who are novices therefore do not know about this second court “system,” to which their case is also assigned.

When the case reaches the 18 mo or 24 mo discovery schedule date, it is assigned to the last number on the “Black Line Call”, a list of cases. The cases are heard about thirty a day without any notice except publication in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the case being listed on the Court Clerk’s “Black Line” computer docket. A specific date is NOT given for the hearing, but rather the litigants must guess at the date that the case will move from the end of the line of about 300 cases to the first thirty cases (“above the Black Line”), or read the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin or court computer docket every day after 4:00 p.m.

The plaintiff must appear on that date at 9:00 a.m. or the case is DWP. No continuances of any kind are allowed. No accommodations are made for the disabled or pro se litigants of any kind. Then when the case is DWP, the plaintiff receives a postcard in the mail from the court that their case has been dismissed and the motion judge will refuse to hear it any or receive any motions. The litigant will have to make a motion to vacate the DWP before Judge Maddux within 30 days or make a 1401 petition before Judge Maddux for the case to be re-instated. Judge Maddux refuses to re-instate cases for unknown reasons.

For Judge Maddux’s Law Division rules and orders related to the “Black Line Trial Call: see:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/divisions/index.html

Illinois Supreme Court Rules 104 and 105 require proper notice be given to a litigant before a motion, including a motion of the court under the “Black Line Trial System,” can be heard by the court. Therefore, since all orders for DWP by Judge Maddux or his designee judge were done without proper notice to the litigant, these orders are all null and void. The court fails to make a motion or affidavit or order to hear the case in a hearing before a judge other than the judge assigned for the case and fails to specify that this hearing is ordered by the court, for the purpose of setting a trial date and ordering discovery be finished or closed or extended. A case cannot constitutionally be DWP for failure to appear at a “Black Line” hearing when the plaintiff was not legally notified of the hearing per the following Supreme Court Rules and Illinois Statutes:

“Rule 104. Service of Pleadings and Other Papers; Filing

(a) Delivery of Copy of Complaint. Every copy of a summons used in making service shall have attached thereto a copy of the complaint, which shall be furnished by plaintiff.

(b) Filing of Papers and Proof of Service. Pleadings subsequent to the complaint, written motions, and other papers required to be filed shall be filed with the clerk with a certificate of counsel or other proof that copies have been served on all parties who have appeared and have not theretofore been found by the court to be in default for failure to plead.

(c) Excusing Service. For good cause shown on ex parte application, the court or any judge thereof may excuse the delivery or service of any complaint, pleading, or written motion or part thereof on any party, but the attorney filing it shall furnish a copy promptly and without charge to any party requesting it.

(d) Failure to Serve Copies. Failure to deliver or serve copies as required by this rule does not in any way impair the jurisdiction of the court over the person of any party, but the aggrieved party may obtain a copy from the clerk and the court shall order the offending party to reimburse the aggrieved party for the expense thereof.

Rule 105. Additional Relief Against Parties in Default–Notice

(a) Notice–Form and Contents. If new or additional relief, whether by amendment, counterclaim, or otherwise, is sought against a party not entitled to notice under Rule 104, notice shall be given him as herein provided. The notice shall be captioned with the case name and number and shall be directed to the party. It shall state that a pleading seeking new or additional relief against him has been filed and that a judgment by default may be taken against him for the new or additional relief unless he files an answer or otherwise files an appearance in the office of the clerk of the court within 30 days after service, receipt by certified or registered mail, or the first publication of the notice, as the case may be, exclusive of the day of service, receipt or first publication. Except in case of publication, a copy of the new or amended pleading shall be attached to the notice, unless excused by the court for good cause shown on ex parte application.

(b) Service. The notice may be served by any of the following methods:

(1) By any method provided by law for service of summons, either within or without this State. Service may be made by an officer or by any person over 18 years of age not a party to the action. Proof of service by an officer may be made by return as in the case of a summons. Otherwise proof of service shall be made by affidavit of the server, stating the time, manner, and place of service. The court may consider the affidavit and any other competent proofs in determining whether service has been properly made.

(2) By prepaid certified or registered mail addressed to the party, return receipt requested, showing to whom delivered and the date and address of delivery. The notice shall be sent “restricted delivery” when service is directed to a natural person. Service is not complete until the notice is received by the defendant, and the registry receipt is prima facie evidence thereof.

(3) By publication, upon the filing of an affidavit as required for publication of notice of pendency of the action in the manner of but limited to the cases provided for, and with like effect as, publication of notice of pendency of the action.”

This “Black Line Trial Call” invented and administrated by Judge Maddux in violation of Supreme Court Rules and due process therefore amounts simply to a scheme to quash as many cases as possible without due process by having a dual court system, of which the litigant is not informed about, nor is given notice of hearings. In my opinion this amounts to a RICO violation, in that Judge Maddux with the agreement of Chief Judge Evans, Clerk Dorothy Brown, and Sheriff Dart use the Circuit Court of Cook County and its arm the Clerk’s office as a criminal enterprise to enrich the Clerk’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office by violating laws and depriving pro se, primarily indigent plaintiffs of their constitutional right to redress of grievances and due process. The laws violated are:

1)                  Constitutional right to redress of grievances;

2)                  Due Process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments;

3)                  Violation of Civil Rights Under Color of Law;

4)                  Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights Under Color of Law;

5)                  Theft of Honest Services by Judge Maddux and Clerk Dorothy Brown (Acting as a judge yet denying due process and violating constitutional rights, collecting fees knowing that due process will be denied and mailing a postcard verifying that due process was denied);

6)                  Obstruction of Justice (interfering with First Amendment rights to redress of grievances);

7)                  Mail Fraud (mailing a postcard to litigant that the case is dismissed [yet the dismissal is void as due process is denied]);

8)                  Extortion (of original filing fee and fees for service to Sheriff with no intention to actually give plaintiff due process);

9)                  Extorting money by denying due process in order to enrich a criminal enterprise including the Circuit Court of Cook County through the Office of the Clerk of the Court – filing fees; and through the Office of the Cook County Sheriff – service fees (all fees fraudulently obtained as the “Black Line Trial Call” system or scheme sets up the majority of pro se plaintiffs to have their cases dismissed without notice or due process).

The FBI and United States Attorney should be investigating this, should prosecute the offenders, and should restore constitutional rights to redress of grievances and due process to the citizens of Cook County.

October 24, 2008

Cook County Good Time Jail Credit – Memorandum of Law


I was unlawfully convicted of criminal contempt for telling Dishonorable Judge Kathleen Pantle that she was aiding and abetting the criminal and impeachable conduct of IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as well as the fact that she was violating her oath of office by continuing with the criminal case against me although she had no jurisdiction.

 

In order to preserve the issue for appeal and because Dishon. J. Pantle refused to appoint a public defender after de facto removing me as Pro Se Counsel by making a written order that I was NOT ALLOWED to file any pleadings [an unconstitutional act that violates her oath of office], I firmly but politely stated I was leaving and not coming back (because she had no jurisdiction and the case was bogus) and turned around and tried to leave.

 

I was immediately arrested and immediately summarily convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to 30 days in CCDOC. [More about all this later!] This memorandum was given to IL Supreme Court on my direct appeal of this criminal contempt conviction [a petty offense]. The IL Supreme Court denied leave to appeal – [ignored my appeal and made no ruling and refuse to consider it.]

 

As you all should know, under the IL Constitution a citizen has NO RIGHT to an appeal to the IL Supreme Court. Appeals there are by permission and they only take about 5/100 cases, usually if they find it interesting. Only Capital Cases have a right to appeal to IL Supreme Court. Therefore, the IL Appellate Court is ususally the end of the line except you can appeal by means of habeas corpus to Federal District Court AFTER you exhause all state remedies. [Appeal through IL Supreme Court AND file IL habeas corpus petition by means of motion for leave to file it to IL Supreme Court – which takes two to three years in IL – 6 mo to two years in other states].

 

No. 105037

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

In the

 SUPREME COURT

Of The State of Illinois

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

)  Petition to Appeal as a Matter of Right

) or in the Alternative Petition for Leave

) to Appeal

                                                                        ) 

LINDA SHELTON                                         )  On Appeal from Appellate Court, First

            Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner            )  District, No. 05-2053

) 

v.                                             )  There Heard on Appeal from Circuit

)   Court of Cook County, County

)   Department, Criminal Division

                                                                        )  

)   No. ACC 050087-01

            )  

STATE OF ILLINOIS                                    )   Honorable Judge Kathleen Pantle,

            Plaintiff-Appellee-Respondent              )           Trial Judge

                                                                        )   Order of Trial Court May 10, 2005

)   Order of Appellate Court

)                       June 19, 2007

 

MEMORANDUM OF LAW – GOOD TIME JAIL CREDIT

 

            Defendant, Pro Se, respectfully presents to this Honorable Court the following memorandum of law concerning statutes and case law regarding good time county jail credit.

            Under the Illinois County Jail Good Behavior Act, 730 ILCS 130, good time credit is automatic unless an administrative due process hearing initiated by the sheriff revokes the good time credit. The Circuit Court of Cook County and Illinois Appellate Courts have no legal authority in regard to revoking good time credit, as they are bound by statute, which authorizes the administrative hearings at the jail to provide the due process hearing, which by statute, must precede any revocation of good time credit.

            Silence on the record on appeal, regarding this issue, is therefore mandated to be in favor of the defendant.   Unless the State can prove that a due process administrative hearing was held revoking good time credit automatically granted to defendant, this court is legally bound to order that good time credit is granted. As the granting of credit is automatic, it is the burden of the state to prove it has been revoked by a due process administrative hearing, which it failed to do. To put the burden on the defendant violates statutes, due process, and legal precedent.

            The Fifth District Appellate Court, in People ex rel. Yoder v. Hardy, 116 Ill. App. 3d 489, 45 N.E.2d 965, 71 Ill.Dec. 811 (1983), citing the United States Supreme Court in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 41 L.Ed.2d 935 (1974), stated that a prisoner has a constitutional liberty interest to due process that binds a department of corrections to follow its own regulations in revoking good time credit. When statutorily required procedures (an administrative hearing) for revoking good time credit are absent from the record, then good time credit must be presumed to stand.

            The fact that the good time credit is statutorily automatic, relieves the defendant from the burden of proving he/she applied for it and was granted it (no application is required by statute.)  It is an error of law for the Appellate Court to state, by fiat, that the defendant must prove that he/she earned good time credit or that the correctional facility employees must determine that his/her behavior was good before granting good time credit.

            The Appellate Court ruled erroneously in case at bar that a silent record in this regard is decided against the defendant. The opposite is true in the case of an automatic awarding of good time credit when the record does not support ANY evidence of an administrative hearing revoking good time credit.  The absence of an administrative order removing good time credit from the record proves that good time jail credit applies and was not revoked.

                It is inappropriate for the Appellate Court to sue sponte revoke good time credit by fiat, as it did in the case at bar (SCA B9-10, 12). The Appellate Court is legally bound to uphold the law and follow higher court precedent.

           

Dated August 11, 2007.

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

                                                                                _____________________________

                                                                                Linda L. Shelton

Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner Pro Se

 

October 14, 2008

Indigent Petition Illegal Denial in Cook County


In Cook County Illinois, the presiding judge of the law division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge William D. Maddux, routinely violates statutes and denies indigent petitions. He particularly denies them if you are a whistle blower against County Government, if you have filed more than one suit as an indigent person, or if you are “too” well dressed.

He violates law by not granting indigent status when one is on Medicaid, food stamps or SSI, as well as if one is living at an income less than the poverty level.

He fails to specifically state the reason he denies the petition and fails to order a payment schedule or a date certain by which to pay the fee.

He tells his staff to not tell the indigent person their names or their positions to make it harder for the person to appeal his decision. He has his staff routinely write on these petitions: “cannot maintain action in good faith.” This is not a legally valid reason to deny a petition.

Judge Maddux is committing conspiracy to violate rights under color of law, and violation of rights under color of law knowingly and willingly which are both federal felony crimes under the Federal Code. He is violating his oath of office to uphold the law and denying the indigent person their civil rights to redress of grievances, equal protection under the law, and due process. He should be removed from the bench.  I have filed the following Complaint for Mandamus against him in this regard in the Illinois Supreme Court today. I encourage all who are similarly situated to do the same. Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Timothy Evans, is failing to supervise him or his staff and is therefore aiding and abetting  this crime.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

 

 

Linda L. Shelton                                             )

                        Plaintiff                                     )

                                                                        )      Case No. ______________

v.                                                                                                                              )

)

The Honorable William H. Maddux,            )

in his official capacity as executive director     )

of the Law Division of the Cook County      )

Circuit Court and its Presiding Judge           )

                                                                        )

and                                                                  )

                                                                        )

Dorothy Brown in her official capacity             )

as the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk       )

                                                                        )

                        Defendants                               )

 

VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR A WRIT OF MANDAMUS

 

            Plaintiff Linda L. Shelton, complains of Defendant as follows:

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.      This complaint asks this Court to issue a writ of mandamus requiring the Presiding Judge of the Law Division, County Department, of the Circuit Court of Cook County (“CCCC”) and the Clerk of the CCCC to comply with the nondiscretionary mandates of the portion of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure governing how courts process and evaluate request by litigant to proceed in forma pauperis.

THE PARTIES

2.      Plaintiff Linda L. Shelton is a resident of Cook County and the State of Illinois.

3.      Defendant the Honorable William H. Maddux (“Judge”) is the duly appointed presiding judge of the Law Division of the County Department of the CCCC. He was appointed the presiding judge of the Law Division by order of the Chief Judge of the CCCC, the Honorable Timothy Evans, and as such is authorized to make administrative decisions for the functioning of the Law Division of the CCCC, per rules of the CCCC, consistent with the laws of the State of Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.

4.      Defendant Dorothy Brown is the duly elected Clerk of the CCCC (“Clerk”) under the laws of the State of Illinois.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND ARGUMENT

5.      The Judge has by fiat decided that all petitions for in forma pauperis status in the Law Division of the CCCC will be heard by him ONLY at 11:30 a.m. each morning the court is open. If the plaintiff appears in his courtroom after noon he absolutely refuses to hear the plaintiff’s petition that day. He does not hear the petitions in open court, but requires that the petition be given to his law clerk and the decision on the petition is done without the presence or further input of the Plaintiff. At his discretion, the Judge may come into the courtroom and question the Plaintiff, which on information and belief in practice is almost never done. This procedure is NOT published or posted anywhere and Plaintiffs must discover it by accident or by asking the Clerk or the Judge’s courtroom clerk or law clerks.

6.      On information and belief Plaintiff has discovered that the Judge routinely denies petition to sue as an indigent person in violation of Illinois Statutes and has violated the Plaintiff’s constitutional statutory rights as follows:

735 ILCS 5/5‑105

             Leave to sue or defend as an indigent person.
                         (a) As used in this Section:
                                     (1) “Fees, costs, and charges” means payments

imposed on a party in connection with the prosecution or defense of a civil action, . . . .

(2) “Indigent person” means any person who meets one or more of the following criteria:

(i) He or she is receiving assistance under one or more of the following public benefits programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, General Assistance, State Transitional Assistance, or State Children and Family Assistance.

(ii) His or her available income is 125% or less of the current poverty level as established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, unless the applicant’s assets that are not exempt under Part 9 or 10 of Article XII of this Code are of a nature and value that the court determines that the applicant is able to pay the fees, costs, and charges.

(iii) He or she is, in the discretion of the court, unable to proceed in an action without payment of fees, costs, and charges and whose payment of those fees, costs, and charges would result in substantial hardship to the person or his or her family.

(iv) He or she is an indigent person pursuant to Section 5‑105.5 of this Code.

(b) On the application of any person, before, or after the commencement

of an action, a court, on finding that the applicant is an indigent person, shall grant the applicant leave to sue or defend the action without payment of the fees, costs, and charges of the action.

(c) An application for leave to sue or defend an action as an indigent

person shall be in writing and supported by the affidavit of the applicant or, if the applicant is a minor or an incompetent adult, by the affidavit of another person having knowledge of the facts. The contents of the affidavit shall be established by Supreme Court Rule. . . . The clerk of the court shall post in a conspicuous place in the courthouse a notice no smaller than 8.5 x 11 inches, using no smaller than 30‑point typeface printed in English and in Spanish, advising the public that they may ask the court for permission to sue or defend a civil action without payment of fees, costs, and charges. The notice shall be substantially as follows:
        “If you are unable to pay the fees, costs, and charges of an action you may ask the court to allow you to proceed without paying them. Ask the clerk of the court for forms.”

(d) The court shall rule on applications under this Section in a timely manner based on information contained in the application unless the court, in its discretion, requires the applicant to personally appear to explain or clarify information contained in the application. If the court finds that the applicant is an indigent person, the court shall enter an order permitting the applicant to sue or defend without payment of fees, costs, or charges. If the application is denied, the court shall enter an order to that effect stating the specific reasons for the denial. The clerk of the court shall promptly mail or deliver a copy of the order to the applicant.
            (e) The clerk of the court shall not refuse to accept and file any complaint, appearance, or other paper presented by the applicant if accompanied by an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis, and those papers shall be considered filed on the date the application is presented. If the application is denied, the order shall state a date certain by which the necessary fees, costs, and charges must be paid. The court, for good cause shown, may allow an applicant whose application is denied to defer payment of fees, costs, and charges, make installment payments, or make payment upon reasonable terms and conditions stated in the order. The court may dismiss the claims or defenses of any party failing to pay the fees, costs, or charges within the time and in the manner ordered by the court. A determination concerning an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis shall not be construed as a ruling on the merits.
             (f) The court may order an indigent person to pay all or a portion of the fees, costs, or charges waived pursuant to this Section out of moneys recovered by the indigent person pursuant to a judgment or settlement resulting from the civil action. However, nothing is this Section shall be construed to limit the authority of a court to order another party to the action to pay the fees, costs, or charges of the action.

 

The Judge wrote on the order that the Plaintiff is denied in forma pauperis status despite the fact that the Plaintiff is “indigent” as provided by the above statute. He wrote as the reason on the order in the handwriting of his law clerk: “cannot maintain action in good faith.” (Exhibit A) There is NO provision in this statute for the Judge determining whether or not the Plaintiff can maintain the action in good faith. It is mandatory that the Judge grant the petition if the Plaintiff meets the qualifications for indigent status as defined in Statute, 735 ILCS 5/5-105(a)(2) & (b). The Judge failed to issue an order as to when the filing fee must be paid to prevent dismissal and fails to consider payment plans, which is an issue he is required to decide and write in his order per statute, 737 ILCS 5/5-105(e). These omissions of the Judge are violations of the First and Fifth Amendments rights to redress of grievances (access to the courts) and due process.

7.      The Clerk oversees the office of the Clerk of the CCCC. She and her staff are responsible for filing and maintaining a record of all civil cases filed and heard in the CCCC. The Clerk is responsible, in her official capacity, for the actions of her staff as alleged herein. The only information a plaintiff obtains from the Clerk on her website in regards to in forma pauperis petitions is that they must be heard by a judge.  The Clerk’s authority to file complaints is determined by the rules of the CCCC and Illinois Statutes:

CCCC Rule 0.3.1 Clerk of Court

(a) The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County shall perform the duties usually performed by the Clerk as provided in “An Act to revise the law in relation to clerks of courts,” Chapter 25, Illinois Revised Statutes.

 

705 ILCS 105/10
The principal clerk shall, in all cases, be responsible for the acts of his or her deputies.


705 ILCS 105/13
The clerks shall attend the sessions of their respective courts, preserve all the files and papers thereof, make, keep and preserve complete records of all the proceedings and determinations thereof, except in cases otherwise provided by law, and do and perform all other duties pertaining to their offices, as may be required by law or the rules and orders of their courts respectively.

 

8.      The Clerk of the CCCC, on information and belief, refuses to accept a complaint for filing unless the Plaintiff pays the filing fee or presents to the Clerk a copy of an order from the Judge granting in forma pauperis status.

9.      The statutes of the State of Illinois, 735 ILCS 5/5-105, state:

The clerk of the court shall not refuse to accept any complaint, appearance, or other paper presented by the applicant if accompanied by an application to sue or defend in forma pauperis, and those papers shall be considered filed on the date the application is presented.

 

This is a non-discretionary act of the Clerk of the CCCC.

10.  Plaintiff of October 2, 2008 arrived in the courtroom of the Judge at 10:30 a.m. and waited until the call was ending to hand the courtroom clerk a Petition to Sue as an Indigent Person (Exhibit B) and a tort Complaint (Exhibit C).

11.  At approximately noon the court proceedings had ended, the Judge had retired to his chambers, and the courtroom clerk took the Plaintiff’s documents and documents from other similarly situated persons to the Judge’s chambers.

12.  Approximately an hour later, the Judge’s staff came out and gave all the papers and orders to an employee of the Clerk’s office, who told Plaintiff and other similarly situated persons to follow him to the Clerk’s office on the 8th floor of the Daley Center, Room 801.

13.  In room 801 in the line for filing complaints each in succession after a period of waiting the Clerk’s staff called Plaintiff and similarly situated individuals up to the counter.

14.  Plaintiff was informed that the Judge denied the Petition. Plaintiff asked why? The Clerk’s staff stated “You can’t sue in good faith.” The Clerk’s staff demanded payment of the filing fee of $381 in order to file the complaint.

15.  Plaintiff stated she could not pay the fee. The Clerk’s staff refused to file the complaint without the fee, so Plaintiff demanded her papers back. The Clerk’s staff withheld the order from Plaintiff and gave back the complaint and blank copies of the proposed order.

16.  Plaintiff immediately went back to the Judge’s courtroom and requested to have her case (Petition) recalled to the courtroom Sheriff’s deputy, who was the only person in the courtroom at that time. She sat quietly with her walker on a bench in the gallery.

17.  The Sheriff’s deputy went to the Judge’s chamber and came back and told Plaintiff her situation was being reviewed.

18.  A secretary or law clerk who refused to reveal her name or position came out and told Plaintiff she would not be heard. Plaintiff told her that she did not receive a copy of the order and this woman went in the back and eventually came back with a copy of the order that said the Petition was denied because “cannot maintain action in good faith.” Plaintiff stated to this lady that this order was legally insufficient and void and she wanted to make an instanter motion to reconsider. The lady stated she would not give legal advice, when none was asked for.

19.  The lady stated that the Judge was gone. Plaintiff stated she would wait until he returned. The lady stated that Plaintiff would have to come back another day at 9:30 for motions. Plaintiff stated that she needed a case number and that the Clerk had failed to write one on the order. The lady stated she would give no legal advice. Plaintiff stated that she wanted to know the administrative procedure for appealing the decision. The lady stated she would give no legal advice.

20.  Plaintiff stated she needed the lady’s name so that she could appeal the ruling and that she would come back the next day with a motion to reconsider. The lady refused to give her name and left.

21.  The courtroom deputy refused to give the lady’s name or the nature of her position in the court.

22.  Plaintiff stated she would go in the back to the chambers and ask the law clerk to identify the lady, as she had the same standing as a pro se counsel as an attorney to request information from the secretary and law clerk in the chambers. The courtroom deputy stated he would not allow Plaintiff to go to the chambers.

23.  Plaintiff then got out her cell phone and called the CCCC Chief Judge Evan’s office. Rosemary answered the phone and Plaintiff politely requested the name of the secretary and law clerks for the Judge. Rosemary stated she didn’t give out that information, not even first names. She demanded the name of the caller and Plaintiff stated Linda. She demanded Plaintiff’s last name and Plaintiff stated, “when you give me your last name, I’ll give you mine.”  Plaintiff asked Rosemary how to make a complaint to the Chief Judge and Rosemary said to write a letter and gave the address.

24.  During this time, two Sheriff’s Sergeants and several Officers arrived in the courtroom. As Plaintiff was talking on the phone, the deputies ordered her to leave the courtroom and the oriental Sgt. known to others as “Q” threatened Plaintiff with an unlawful arrest for “trespass to state supported land.” Plaintiff demanded their names and the name of the lady. They refused to give their names and said “read it off my badge”, but were too far for Plaintiff to read the names, except for two deputies, Woods badge 11223 and Erman. Plaintiff stated she wasn’t leaving until she had the name of the lady so she could write a proper appeal identifying all the actors in the situation. The deputies then ordered Plaintiff to stand and submit to arrest. They grabbed her papers and her walker away from her and Plaintiff stood up. The deputies ordered Plaintiff to walk to the door and Plaintiff replied: “that’s impossible because you took my walker.”

25.  The deputies surrounded Plaintiff and returned the walker and Plaintiff walked out of the courtroom door surrounded by the deputies and led by Sgt. Q. They did not arrest Plaintiff, but a deputy pulled the walker too fast causing Plaintiff to lose her grip. Then Deputy Woods pushed Plaintiff, Plaintiff lost her balance and had to grab Woods’ shoulder to keep from falling. Plaintiff loudly complained: “stop assaulting me.” The deputies then gave back the walker and backed off a bit.

26.  Plaintiff then proceeded to the Clerk’s satellite office next to the Judge’s courtroom and went up to the counter and asked the name of the lady and the Judge’s law clerks, two of whom came into the room while Plaintiff was talking.  The two clerk’s assistants and the two law clerks refused to identify the lady or themselves. Plaintiff called a friend on her cell phone and was told one of the law clerk’s names was “Donald”. Plaintiff then left the building.

27.  The next day Plaintiff was granted food stamps by the Illinois Department of Human Services (“IL Medicaid”).

28.  Plaintiff has a clear right to have either her Indigency Petition approved or to receive a written order stating the specific reasons for the denial. The Judge had a clear duty to approve the Indigency Application or to issue a written order stating the specific reasons for denial. Now that Plaintiff has been granted food stamps, the Judge has an absolute duty to approve the Indigency Petition. The Clerk had a clear duty to file the Complaint.

29.  By refusing to perform their statutory duties, the Clerk and the Judge violated Plaintiff’s right to due process, her right to equal protection of the laws and her right to petition the government for a redress of grievances as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Illinois.

WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff, Linda L. Shelton respectfully

requests that this Honorable Court:

a.         issue a writ of mandamus requiring

1.                  that Dorothy Brown, the Clerk, accept the filing of Plaintiff’s complaint nunc pro tunc to October 2, 2008; and

2.                  that the Honorable Judge Maddux, grant Plaintiff’s Indigency Petition;

3.                  that Judge Maddux’s staff must identify themselves and state their positions when asked by a citizen;

4.                  that Judge Maddux’s staff will cease and desist using Sheriff’s deputies to harass citizens seeking grants of Indigency Petitions, will stop in so doing obstructing justice, and will stop violating constitutional and statutory rights of such citizens;

b.         issue an order requiring Defendants to reimburse Plaintiff for the costs associated with bringing this action including but not limited to parking fees and Xeroxing costs;

c.         grant such other relief as this Court deems appropriate including but not limited to reprimanding the Judge for violation of his oath of office.

 

Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/109-1 I certify that the statements set forth herein are true and correct.

 

____________________________                           

October 9, 2008                                              Linda L. Shelton

 

 

Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

Plaintiff Pro Se

 

 

 

 

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