Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

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).

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November 25, 2014

How confirmatory bias taints the law – a must read for all attorneys


There is a concept in psychology and psychiatry termed confirmatory bias, which often adversely influences the judgment of officers, attorneys, judges, and juries, resulting in biased, unfair or unlawful arrests, decisions and convictions. It is the unfortunate human tendency for each individual to become part of a position, to hold that position regardless and to hear only that which supports that position, a phenomenon known as “confirmatory bias”. Dr. Richard Rappaport, a nationally renowned member of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law concluded in an editorial in a leading Journal for the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, in 2006, that AZ, a civil rights activist, had been abused by the courts and police due to this principle, when they falsely labeled her as psychotic and treated her as an escaped mental patient, disregarding everything she said, withholding medication needed for medical illnesses that threatened her life, and even beat her.[1] In the 2013 murder trial of David Camm, the defense argued that Camm was charged for the murders of his wife and two children solely because of confirmation bias within the investigation.[2] Confirmatory bias is pervasive in law. It is an area which is ripe for increased efforts to recognize it, as well as for legislation and rules that incorporate methods to reduce it.  To see the rest of this article click here: HOW CONFIRMATORY BIAS TAINTS THE LAW

[1] Editorial:  Losing Your Rights: Complications of Misdiagnosis,  written by Dr. Richard Rappaport, J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 34:436-8, 2006

[2] “David Camm Blog: Investigation under fire”. WDRB. October 10, 2013.

 

July 31, 2014

When opposing counsel lie to the court


You can file a Petition for adjudiction of criminal contempt against the attorney whether the case is in the local court or the appellate court. You should attach an affidavit stating that you have reviewed the transcripts or motion wherein the false statement was made. You should swear that the statement was false and how it was false You can ask the court to hold the attorney in contempt for fraud upon the court and sentence him for criminal contempt after a trial. If the court holds the attorney in contempt for fraud, then you can file with the ARDC and ask for the attorney to be disbarred. ARDC = Attorney Regulatory and Disciplinary Commission.

A petition is written just like a motion, but it is a collateral proceeding and not part of the case. It should be given a separate case number by the clerk.

Opposing counsel is an officer of the court. Attorneys have a code of conduct under IL Supreme Court Rules that prevent them from making false statements. They can be disbarred and should be.

Criminal contempt is when someone makes  false statements or commits fraud upon the court. Criminal contempt cannot be purged. As those charged with crimes have a 5th Amendment right to remain silent they can not be ordered to show cause as in a civil contempt case where someone refuses to obey an order.  Therefore you must file a Petition for Adjudication of Criminal Contempt instead of a Motion for Rule to Show Cause as you would with civil contempt. Criminal contempt is an act that

Civil  contempt is when you disobey an order and you hold the keys to the jail as you can expunge the order to jail you if you comply with the order such as pay child support or perform an act ordered by the judge. This is not an attempt to embarrass the court or bring the court into disrepute.

The following contains extensive important case law relevant to above and your cases.

CONTEMPT OF COURT (CIVIL V CRIMINAL) 

Circle Management, LLC., v. Olivier, 378 Ill.App.3d 601, 317 Ill.Dec. 555, 882 N.E.2d 129 (2007) [Ill.App. 1st Dist]

Major controlling case with amici including Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF), the Lawyer’s Committee for Better housing (LCBH), Cabrini-Green legal Aid (CGLA) and the Northwestern University School of Law Bluhm Legal Clinic (Bluhm Clinic).

         

Courts have inherent authority to punish a party for contempt. See People v. Warren, 173 Ill.2d 348, 370, 219 Ill.Dec. 533, 671 N.E.2d 700 (1996) (“The power to punish for contempt does not depend on constitutional or legislative grant”) [further citations omitted]

“Contempt of court has been defined as any act that is calculated to embarrass, hinder, or obstruct a court in the administration of justice, or that is calculated to lessen its authority or dignity.” Levaccare v. Levaccare, 376 Ill.App.3d 503, 508, 315 Ill.Dec. 280, 876 N.E.2d 280 (2007), quoting People v. Budzynski, 333 Ill.App.3d 433, 438, 266 Ill.Dec. 713, 775 N.E.2d 275 (2002).

Criminal contempt sanctions are punitive in nature and require a finding that the contemptuous conduct was willful. People v. Minor, 281 Ill.App.3d 568, 574, 217 Ill.Dec. 449, 667 N.E.2d 538 (1996); People v. Ernest, 141 Ill.2d 412, 422, 152 Ill.Dec. 544, 566 N.E.2d 231 (1990).

Civil contempt is prospective in nature, and is “designed to compel future compliance with a court order.” Emery, 374 Ill.App.3d at 977, 313 Ill.Dec. 502, 872 N.E.2d 485, quoting In re Marriage of Sharp, 369 Ill.App.3d 271, 279, 307 Ill.Dec. 885, 869 N.E.2d 539 (2006).

Although a court may enforce an order to pay money through contempt, this power is “limited to cases of willful refusal to obey the court’s order.” In re Marriage of Logston, 103 Ill.2d 266, 285, 82 Ill.Dec. 633, 469 N.E.2d 167 (1984).

“’It is not a contempt of court to fail to pay money which one neither has nor can obtain and which he has not causelessly either put out of his hands or failed to receive.’” Shapiro v. Shapiro, 113 Ill.App.2d 374, 388, 252 N.E.2d 93 (1969), quoting White v. Adolph, 305 Ill.App.76, 79, 26 N.E.2d 993 (1940)

Trial courts have inherent authority to impose sanctions against a party that fails to abide by valid court orders. Sander v. Dow Chemical Co., 166 Ill.2d 48, 67, 209 Ill.Dec. 623, 651 N.E.2d 1071 (1995); Smith v. City of Chicago, 299 Ill.App.3d 1048, 1054, 234 Ill.Dec. 108, 702 N.E.2d 274 (1998).

FRAUD – NOT JUST FALSE STATEMENT, BUT ALSO SUPPRESSION OF THE TRUTH

It is also clear and well-settled Illinois law that any attempt to commit “fraud upon the court” vitiates the entire proceeding. People v. Sterling, 357 Ill. 354; 192 N.E. 229 (1934) (“The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters applies to judgments as well as to contracts and other transactions.”); Moore v. Sievers, 336 Ill. 316; 168 N.E. 259 (1929) (“The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters …”); In re Village of Willowbrook, 37 Ill.App.2d 393 (1962) (“It is axiomatic that fraud vitiates everything.”); Dunham v. Dunham, 57 Ill.App. 475 (1894), affirmed 162 Ill. 589 (1896); Skelly Oil Co. v. Universal Oil Products Co., 338 Ill.App. 79, 86 N.E.2d 875, 883-4 (1949); Stasel v. The American Home Security Corporation, 362 Ill. 350; 199 N.E. 798 (1935).

Fraud maybe inferred from nature of acts complained of, individual and collective interest of alleged conspirators, situation, intimacy, and relation of parties at time of commission of acts, and generally all circumstances preceding and attending culmination of claimed conspiracy Illinois Rockford Corp. V. Kulp, 1968, 242 N.E. 2d 228, 41 ILL. 2d 215. “The Court has broadly defined fraud as any conduct calculated to deceive, whether it be by direct falsehood or by innuendo, by speech or silence, by word of mouth, by look, or by gesture. Fraud includes the suppression of the truth, as well as the presentation of false information. (In re Witt (1991) 145 Ill.2d 380, 583 N.E.2d 526, 531, 164 Ill. Dec. 610).” See also In re Frederick Edward Strufe, Disciplinary case no. 93 SH 100 where the Court stated that “Fraud has been broadly defined as anything calculated to deceive.” “Fraud upon the court” has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to “embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery cannot perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication.” Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore’s Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, ¶ 60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated “a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final.”

Fraud does not always divest court of jurisdiction and cause orders to be void. They however would be voidable.

 

Misrepresentation of neglect in petition for wardship did not void jurisdiction.

 

An order is rendered void only by lack of jurisdiction, not by error or impropriety. (p. 377)

 

Only fraud that confers only colorable jurisdiction upon court renders judgment void; fraud that occurs after court’s valid

 

Fraud can render a judgment void, but not all fraud can do so. (Johnson v. Hawkins (1972), 4 Ill.App.3d 29, 32, 280 N.E.2d 291.) There is a difference between fraud that confers only colorable jurisdiction upon the court, and fraud that occurs after the court’s valid acquisition of jurisdiction; only the former type of fraud will render a judgment void. (Schwarz v. Schwarz (1963), 27 Ill.2d 140, 144-45, 188 N.E.2d 673.) The latter type of fraud, fraud that occurs after jurisdiction has been acquired, will render the court’s  order voidable, but not void for lack of jurisdiction. (Vulcan Materials Co.  v. Bee Construction, 96 Ill.2d at 165, 70 Ill.Dec. 465, 449 N.E.2d 812; In re Marriage of Noble (1989), 192 Ill.App.3d 501, 509, 139 Ill.Dec. 133, 548 N.E.2d 518; James v. Chicago Transit Authority (1976), 42 Ill.App.3d 1033, 1034-35, 1 Ill.Dec. 552, 356 N.E.2d 834; Johnson v. Hawkins, 4 Ill.App.3d at 32, 280 N.E.2d 291.) Fraudulent concealment, for example, renders a court’s orders voidable, not void. In re Application of County Treasurer (1990), 194 Ill.App.3d 721, 726, 141 Ill.Dec. 350, 551 N.E.2d 343.

 

Can file civil rights suit against lawyer when they lie to the court and harm you

In ?  Vigus v. O’Bannon, 1886 N.E. 788, 118 Ill. 334; Hazelton v. Carolus, 1907 132 Ill. App. 512; Carter v. Mueller 457 N.E. 2d 1335 Ill. App. 1 Dist. 1983, The Supreme court has held that: “The elements of a cause of action for fraudulent misrepresentation (sometimes referred to as “(fraud and deceit)”are: (1) False statement of material fact; (2) known or believed to be false by the party making it; (3) intent to induce the other party to act; (4) action by the other party in reliance on the truth of the statement; and (5) damage to the other party resulting from such reliance. ______________, ____ U.S. _____ (_?_)

_____? citation_______Scott, 377 Mass. 364, 386 N.E. 2d 218, 220 (1979) See Lopez-Alexander, Unreported Order No. 85-279 (Colo. May 3, 1985) (Judge removed for, inter alia, a persistent pattern of abuse of the contempt power. The Mayor of Denver accepted the findings of the Denver County Court Judicial Qualification Commission that the judge’s conduct could not be characterized as mere mistakes or errors of law and that the conduct constituted willful misconduct in office and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute). Canon Ethics where there is a pattern of disregard or indifference, which warrant discipline.

Section 1983 of U.S.C.S. contemplates the depravation of Civil Rights through the Unconstitutional Application of a Law by conspiracy or otherwise. Mansell v. Saunders (CA 5 F 1A) 372 F 573, especially if the conspiracy was actually carried into effect, where an action is for a conspiracy to interfere with Civil Rights under 42 U.S.C.S. 1985 (3), or for the depravation of such rights under 42 U.S.C.S. 1983, if the conspiracy was actually carried into effect and plaintiff was thereby deprived of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the United States Constitution and Laws, the gist of the action maybe treated as one for the depravation of rights under 42 U.S.C.S. 1983, Lewis v. Brautigam (CA 5 F 1a) 227 F 2d 124, 55 ALR 2d 505, John W. Strong, 185, 777-78 (4 th ed. 1992).

Properly alleged facts within an affidavit that are not contradicted by counter affidavit are taken as true, despite the existence of contrary averments in the adverse party’s pleadings. Professional Group Travel, Ltd. v. Professional Seminar Consultants Inc., 136 ILL App 3d 1084, 483 N.E. 2d 1291; Buzzard v. Bolger, 117 ILL App 3d 887, 453 N.E. 2d 1129 et al.

i.e. even if false statements, unless you have affidavits that they are false, the statement is taken as true

FRAUD BY STATE IN CRIMINAL CASE – FALSE STATEMENTS TO CRIMINAL COURT

 

Where the public policy of the State of Illinois is violated, the order is void, Martin-Tregona v. Roderick, 29 Ill.App.3d 553, 331 N.E.2d 100 (1st Dist. 1975).

“Fraud upon the court” makes void the orders and judgments of that court. It is clear and well-settled law that any attempt to commit “fraud upon the court” vitiates the entire proceeding. People v. Sterling, 357 Ill. 354, 192 N.E. 229 (1934)

To apprehend a person on a sham or pretextual charge is so dangerous to interest of privacy and personal security as to call into play the exclusionary rule … The officer’s subjective intent and beliefs are quite crucial … If sham arrest operating under the impression that an arrest for offense count not stand up – use exclusionary rule …arrest must have a good faith probable cause  Carroll v. United States 267 U.S. 132, 156, 69 L.Ed. 543, 45 S.Ct 280 (1925); Moss v. Cox, 311 F.Supp. 1245, 1252 (ED VA 1970)

Due Process Defense 97 ALR Fed. 273

December 19, 2012

Discovery in misdemeanor cases in Illinois


Discovery in misdeemanor cases in Illinois do NOT follow the Illinois Supreme Court Rules on discovery which only apply to felony cases.

The rules in misdemeanor cases are described in a case called People v. Schmidt, 56 Ill.2d 572 (1974). They required the states attorney to give the defense a 1) witness list, 2) copy of confessions, and 3) any exculpatory evidence (evidence that proves the defendant or suggests the defendant is not guilty).

The defendant is NOT obliged to provide the state anything including witness lists in misdemeanor discovery.  The defendant’s witnesses can decide to refuse to speak to the state’s attorney’s investigators.

There are exceptions, but the state or defendant must ask for additional discovery by motion and have a hearing before the court about this issue.

The only change in the law was in a case called People v. Kladis,  2011 IL 110920 ¶ 23, 355 Ill.Dec. 933, 960 N.E.2d 1104    [#110920, 2011 IL 110920, 2011 Ill. Lexis 2236, 2011 IL 110920] where the court ruled that the state must also provide videos from police cars capturing the incident in discovery.

See this page describing all this in more detail.

https://prosechicago.wordpress.com/criminal-defense-procedures-in-misdemeanor-court/

January 17, 2012

How to win a legal argument


    The “argument” either orally or in writing in a pleading such as a motion or petition is the manner in which a litigant can win or lose in court. This may seem simple but it is not. There is a lot of confusion and most people think that if a law says something, it must be followed. This is a delusion and is NOT how the law works in the United States.
    The court does not care about the truth or facts. It cares about who convinces them that their argument is correct or the best. It comes down to whoever shouted loud enough, did the best magic act, used the best smoke and mirrors, or denigrated the other side enough so that the judge didn’t listen to them wins.
    First understand that we are the UNITED States of America. There is a concept known as state’s rights.
    Federal law DOES NOT always trump state law. If you have a federal right that is CLEARLY delineated by federal law or the constitution such as the right in a CRIMINAL trial to have a jury decide your fate, then any state law depriving you of that right is unconstitutional and is trumped by your federal right.
    However, federal rights such as the constitutional Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Due Process right does not always trump state law. For example, if there is a state law that says you have to stop at a stoplight, the federal due process constitutional right is NOT violated if someone doesn’t stop at the stoplight, hits you and the police fail to give them a ticket. There is no federal law that says a person has to stop at a stoplight and no federal law or right that says police must give someone who violates the law a ticket.
    Therefore DO NOT PRESUME YOUR FEDERAL DUE PROCESS RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED WHEN THE STATE COURT OR POLICE DO NOT FOLLOW STATE LAW.
    Next remember that EVERY argument MUST be backed-up by case law that is on point supporting that argument. You should Shephardize your cases. That means look in the ” Shephard’s Citations” volumes and see if there is a more recent case that overturns or that supports the decision in the case you are looking up. This is how you verify the validity of the authority (case law) that you quote. If you don’t know how to use Shephard’s Citations ask a law librarian to teach you.
    If you state an argument but fail to develop it and back it up with case law, the court can THROW OUT that argument for “failure to develop it.”
    If you have an argument where there is NO case law available and this is the FIRST time it is being argued in any court, then this is an ” issue of first impression .” You still have to develop it or the court may throw it out for failure to develop it. You need to review the historical “common law” and then explain the “line of reasoning” including quoting any cases that have a similar line of reasoning although about a different issue. If you say: “I am right because the statute says this,” you will likely lose because you did not develop your argument.
    Laymen think that if a statute says an official “shall” do X, then that doing X is mandatory. You are wrong. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that sometimes the word “shall” is interpreted as a discretionary duty. This is what I call “perverted logic.” Then you have to explain, while quoting case law, why the word “shall” in the argument you use that claims that “shall” means the action is mandatory, really is mandatory. In other words you have to explain the issue of “statutory construction” or the line of reasoning from case law that explains when the word “shall” is mandatory and when it is discretionary. Then you have to explain citing case law on the line of argument from other cases that you are using why this line of argument applies to your case. “Statutory construction” is the issue of how you interpret a legal statute written by the legislature. This includes the issues of “legislative intent” which you can find by reading the “legislative record” (the verbatim copy of the arguments of the legislators when the bill was debated before passage). It also includes the issue of “clear language interpretation” where the courts have held in case law that if the language is clear then it should be interpreted clearly (which is open to interpretation as illustrated in above discussion of the word “shall”). This also includes the fact that if two statutes are conflicting and contradictory, then case law says that the statute that is more specific controls.
    Another difficult concept is the fact that criminal law and civil law have DIFFERENT procedures. Look at the Illinois code of civil procedure v. the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore case law concerning civil procedure may not translate into precedent for criminal procedure. The same applies for federal v state laws, codes and rules as well as appellate v. local trial rules and procedures.
    Stare decisis is the principle in law that previous appellate or supreme court decisions are controlling and must be followed, especially if they are long-standing.
    I am developing this article, so the above is introductory, but you get my point. See the code of civil procedure section on “pleadings” posted to the right under “pages” on this blog and read it carefully.

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

October 27, 2011

IL Supreme Court returns father’s parental rights when not informed of case


This decision of the Illinois Supreme Court defines the concept of due diligence in notifying a parent that there is a case where they can lose parental rights. Attempts at service by mail or personal service is NOT enough!

Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed October 27, 2011

In re Dar. C., 2011 IL 111083
Appellate citation: No. 4-10-0267 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

CHIEF JUSTICE KILBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Thomas, Garman, and Karmeier concurred in the judgment and opinion.
Justice Burke specially concurred, with opinion, joined by Justice Freeman.
Justice Theis specially concurred, with opinion.

In this McLean County case, a father whose parental rights had been terminated on March 7, 2008, challenged that result for lack of personal jurisdiction. Under the Code of Civil Procedure, he filed a petition for relief from that judgment, claiming that, under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, it was improper to serve him only by publication in Bloomington after attempts at personal service or service by certified mail were unsuccessful. Statute requires a “diligent inquiry” before a parent may be served by publication. The failed attempts had been based on potential addresses obtained through the use of computerized database searches. The State simply mailed letters but made no visits to the addresses to seek further information. The appellate court affirmed the termination order.
The termination took place in proceedings that began pursuant to 2006 charges that the respondent father’s two minor children, who were living with their mother, were neglected. It was known that the mother was receiving Social Security benefits, but no effort was made to determine their source or to obtain a release of Social Security information. Later that same year, a separate proceeding to collect child support from the father was initiated by a different attorney in the same prosecutor’s office, with the complaint being signed by a caseworker in the termination proceeding. In the collection matter, the father’s birth date, Social Security number and physical description were listed. The State indicated that it had located the respondent at a treatment center in Lake County and obtained his consent for entry of a child support order using the funds from his social security disability benefits.
In this decision, the supreme court said that “the State’s ability to obtain respondent’s contact information in the separate child support action casts significant doubt on the diligence of the State’s inquiry into respondent’s location in the termination proceedings” and that “relying on a computerized database search of a parent’s name while ignoring, or otherwise not investigating, other potentially useful information, does not constitute a diligent inquiry.” These circumstances indicate that there was a lack of personal jurisdiction over the father in attempting to serve him by publication on these facts. The appellate court was reversed and the termination of the father’s rights concerning his children was vacated as void. The cause was remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

June 10, 2009

Sample Appeal of Wrongful Conviction


I have now filed my Illinois Appellate Court appeal of my wrongful conviction for aggravated battery of a correctional officer. Sgt. Anthony Salemi had attacked me, falsified his records, committed perjury, and with the help of Nifong-like prosecutorial misconduct of ASAs Andrew Dalkin and John Maher and extreme judicial misconduct by Judge Joseph Kazmierski, I was convicted and sentenced to two years in the Illinois Dept. of Corrections plus one year of mandatory supervised release.

I served the minimum 6 months and the full supervised release and was not able to appeal due to illegal conduct of staff at the Cook County Dept. of Corrections and Illinois Dept. of Corrections where I was held and due to damage to my health requiring several hospitalizations within the last year since my release on March 27, 2008 from prison. The damage to my health was a result of torture at the CCDOC and IDOC by ignorant, sociopathic, poorly trained officers and incompetent medical staff (with the exception of Dr. Baker). The social workers even told me they purposely were told not to allow me to use the law library. My medications were withheld in illegal acts of willful indifference to medical needs.

I have informed the FBI and asked them to prosecute for felony conspiracy to violate rights under color of law, etc.

I will never forget the comment to me at CCDOC by Sgt. Molevetti “We got you on one made charge so I can write anything I want and get you on another.” Officer Levy said the same thing. It appears that falsification of records is common practice at CCDOC. We need to take him down and jail him too!

As soon as I win this one, the mother of all civil rights suits will be filed against these creeps. Any officer who has aided and abetted this wrongful conviction is a target in my book to be arrested, removed as an officer, and jailed for felony conspiracy to violate rights under color of law under federal law.

I strongly suggest that ANY officer or CCDOC staff who has knowledge about this wrongful conviction march over to the FBI on Roosevelt Road, ask for a duty agent and confess and turn in the corupt officers and sergeants. The time is NOW to clean up the CCDOC and get rid of decayed and dead wood! If you don’t turn them in, you are part of the corruption and are condoning it! I have no sympathy for you!

You can read my appeal and the evidence of innocence and Sgt. Salemi’s guilt along with the incomptence of Inv. Sofus, as well as the prosecutorial misconduct at: Appeal-of-Wrongful-Conviction-Battery-Shelton-Illinois-2009

Note that the appeal exceeds the 50 pages allowed by the Appellate Court. I have written a motion for leave to file this 82 page appeal due to the extreme prosecutorial and judicial misconduct resulting in 18 different issues justifying appeal and overturning verdict.

Note that the appendix has case law on spoilation of or failure to produce critical evidence, self-representation, and insufficient indictments – all what I have already posted on this site elsewhere.

February 10, 2009

Illinois Appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien Brings Court into Disrepute


I have an appeal pending before the Illinois Appellate Court on the following issue:

My case is a conviction for aggravated battery of a correctional officer. In fact, I had been assaulted and battered by Cook County Department of Corrections Sergeant Anthony Salemi on May 16, 2005. He falsified his records, and he knowingly wrongfully filed a criminal complaint against Plaintiff falsely alleging I attacked him, in retaliation for me complaining about the Cook County Department of Corrections violating my civil rights. (Denying Constitutional and statutory rights to medical care, access to courts, free brief phone call to family and attorney)
I was in jail for a 30 day sentence for criminal contempt because I told Judge Kathleen Pantle that she was violating the law in the pending fraudulent case involving a fraudulent charge of Medicaid vendor fraud (trial scheduled for February 17, 2009  rm 207 criminal court building 26th and California – all are invited) and had no jurisdiction and then said I was leaving to preserve the issue for appeal and she found me in contempt when I turned around and attempted to leave the courtroom quietly.
Sgt. Salemi stated that when he entered my cell, after sending away the female unit officer (in violation of rules that male officers may not enter female cells alone except in emergency), I attacked him while in a wheelchair and forcing my way through the door by ramming him with my wheelchair “skinning his shins” and then after this knocked him down and he stood up, “kicking him in the chest with my RIGHT leg.” This is despite the fact that I have a partial right hemiparesis with impairment of my RIGHT leg so that I can not kick it with force above the waist, the wheelchair was broken and difficult to move, I have congenital injury to the spine causing life-long weak arms and shoulders making it difficult to move the wheelchair forcefully, and I was on the sixth day of a dry hunger strike (protesting denial of access to courts and denial of medical care), intensely dehydrated and unable to stand for more than a few moments due to weakness from the dehydration. My physicians gave unrebutted testimony affirming these facts. The state had no expert witnesses or physician witnesses.
Sgt. Salemi lunged in, grabbed  my neck choking me, then flung me out of the wheel chair while pulling the wheelchair from under me causing large contusions to the back and inner thighs (3 X 5 and 4 X 6 inches) as well as bruises on my arm in the form of his fingers, contused knee upon which I landed, and a severely contused toe that got caught in the wheelchair. All of this was documented and the jury ignored it.
I was wrongfully convicted because of a biased jury. The jury became biased because of extreme Nifong-like prosecutorial misconduct by Assistant States Attorneys Andrew Dalkin and John Maher, and by outrageous denial of due process and abuse of judicial discretion by Judge Joseph Kazmierski, all of which grossly denied me a fair trial.
I was illegally sentenced to prison instead of probation, in violation of Cunningham v. California, 127 S. Ct. 856 (2007), and the Statutes of the State of Illinois. 
At CCDOC and IDOC I was illegally abused and punished for refusing to walk (IDOC staff falsely claiming I was faking my multiple medical conditions and physical handicap) during the reception process, including a life-threatening assault on me with an ammonia inhalant (purportedly given to prove I was faking a collapse and asthma attack, but which was NOT documented in records at IDOC), but which exacerbated the attack, caused brief unconsciousness and is contraindicated in asthma, as well as denial of medical care. The IDOC staff are attempting to conceal the documents about Plaintiff’s reception events at IDOC in order to cover-up their official misconduct and ADA violations, in refusing to release the reception summary to me.
The habeas petition contains all the details of the perjured testimony by Sgt. Salemi and other Sheriff officers as well as the proof of my innocence and their falsification of records. My habeas petition contains all pertinent references to the transcripts and record on appeal and all issues on appeal.
Shelton-Federal-Petition-for-Writ-of-Habeas-Corpus-Aggravated-Battery-2009
The Illinois Appellate Court 1st District has now four times denied my motions to compel the court reporters to prepare a free set of transcripts and file them with the court so that my appeal can move forward. The court reporters have refused this direct order of both the trial court and appellate courts. Judge Sheila O’Brien denied another such motion on 2-5-09. This is unconstitutional and a violation of her oath of office that amounts to felony theft of honest services and conspiracy to violate my civil rights under color of law.
Judge O’Brien is OBLIGATED by U.S. Supreme Court previous rulings (stare decisis) to ensure that I am NOT prevented from filing transcripts for my appeal. Failure to enforce her court’s and the trial courts orders is a dereliction of duty and her oath of office that amounts to the federal crime of theft of honest services.  It also is a deliberate attempt to impede my appeal which is a Constitutional right. This amounts to the federal felony crime of violation of civil rights under color of law and conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law.
Judge O’Brien has brought the court into disrepute because of her incompetent, and/or purposeful, and/or malicious in violation of the Constitution’s mandate that convicted persons have a right to an appeal. She should be impeached.
Federal Judge Coar agrees with this in general because he has ruled that the actions of the Illinois Appellate Court amount to a State willful waiver of their right to insist that I exhaust state remedies (appeals) before proceeding with a Federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to overturn this wrongful conviction based on actual innocence, as well as grotesque prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.
Please consider assisting me with donations to my legal fund and showing up for trial on 2-17-09 on the last charge I am defending. Judges tend to follow the law more and make less unconstitutional rulings when they have an audience. That is why I promote the concept of court watchers. Juries tend to have less bias against the Defendant when they see family and others showing the defendant support by filling the gallery.
Unfortunately my family is small, ill, and distant and no one can come to court. Any support in any fashion in my legal, political, and personal health struggles is appreciated.

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