Board President Preckwinkle kindly replied and said she is continuing to try to achieve changes, but does not have the authority to change several things or obtain documents owed to me.
April 22, 2014
Madam Tony Preckwinkle
President Cook County Board of Commissioners
118 N. Clark St Rm 537
Chicago, IL 60602
Re: Court & Clerk Systemic and Criminal Violation of Law
Dear Pres. Preckwinkle:
This letter is to inform you of criminal systemic “errors” by the Court Clerk and Judges that need to be corrected as well as systemic fraud upon criminal defendants amounting to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars – millions over decades, without due process of law.
In criminal cases, when a defendant does not show up in court a BFW (Preliminary Bond Forfeiture, Warrant) is issued. Then the defendant has 30 days to show up and have the preliminary bond forfeiture quashed or it becomes final.
Many defendants have good excuse not to have shown up in court – for example: 1) they are hospitalized; 2) they are in custody and the Sheriff refused to bring them to court – because the sheriff is not aware of other court cases or dates unless the court provides them a mittimus paper; 3) there was a death or birth in the family – its hard to be in court if your wife is in the delivery room; or 4) they are on active duty in the military and are out of the country. Then they bring proof of the above to the court and the judge quashes the BFW.
However, the Clerks systemically make the following errors:
1) Instead of writing “preliminary bond forfeiture” = pBFW, they write that this is a final bond forfeiture = BFW, which is transmitted to the Illinois State Police and FBI criminal databases such as LEADS and are used by prosecutors to argue for high bail due to “flight risk”.
2) The judges although they order the warrant to be quashed, they fail to order the bond forfeiture to be quashed.
3) The Clerk therefore fails to write that the bond forfeiture was quashed.
4) If the defendant doesn’t show up for court the Clerk and judge fail to write that this is a final bond forfeiture.
Therefore, on the State Police rap sheets, all preliminary bond forfeitures, even if quashed and warrant quashed for a good reason, state that the preliminary bond forfeiture is a final bond forfeiture. This forever defames the defendant.
This means that when a judge looks at a rap sheet in order to decide bail on a future case, they set fraudulently high bails as they use these “bond forfeitures” that have been quashed as reason to set an exorbitantly high bail rationalizing that the defendant is a “flight risk”.
For example: because I had four (4) “preliminary bond forfeitures” which had been quashed because I was hospitalized each time listed on rap sheet as final bond forfeiture, Judge Daly at Bridgeview set my bail on a MISDEMEANOR case at $50,000 instead of at $1,000 in 2009. Therefore, I was unconstitutionally jailed because I could not pay the bail.
This means my family had to pay $5,000 to get me out of jail (I later won the case) and the court Clerk kept $500. This was theft of my funds as the bond order was void because it was based on false information. I expect this high bail to be vacated nunc pro tunc and the $500 returned. I would prefer the County to take initiative and correct these things, but I doubt they will.
The rap sheets are providing judges false information and this is costing defendants dearly in excessively high bails and wrongful incarceration. I intend to have all these fraudulent bail orders vacated and the Clerk of your court will then owe me a lot of money.
Please make sure that Clerk Dorothy Brown immediately does something to correct these errors. I had a meeting with Dorothy Brown in Dec. 2009 with an attorney as a witness. I told her about the above and she has failed to correct the errors. This means Clerk Dorothy Brown is knowingly and willingly keeping false and incorrect records, each act of which is a class A misdemeanor crime , as you know. I will be filing court pleadings to have all my dockets corrected to reflect this. The number of incorrect court records is staggering as this has been going on for decades. Nine of my cases have such errors. All of my 35+ criminal cases are false arrests in retaliation for my complaints and whistle blowing activities, as well as for my blogs and assistance to other litigants against the state and their officers and judges.
Also note that technically the Illinois bail bond law is unconstitutional as it ties the fee for a fixed service (processing of bond) to the bail amount. Thus someone who is found not guilty after five years of murder and who paid $100,000 bond to get out owes the County $10,000 for processing one bond, while a guilty drug addict who paid $200 to get out on bond only owes the County $20 for the exact same service (processing of bond). This is fraud and denial of equal protection concerning right to property (money), which cannot be taken without due process of law. This is no different than Medicare fraud when a billing agent for a doctor charge by percentage of the doctor’s income instead of per bill processed. You cannot tie the fee for a fixed service to the value of services, labor, or property provided or owned by others. Many billing agents have been sent to federal prison for Medicare fraud. Isn’t the County unknowingly doing the same thing and harming its citizens?
Please be informed of a very serious criminal act going on by the Clerks at Bridgeview courthouse. The cost of a certified computer docket is $9. Any clerk you go to at any other courthouse will print out the docket and charge $9 as the Court Clerk’s web site states.
I wrote Clerk Brown in 2012 and the following is part of the letter:
“I went to Bridgeview Courthouse on 2/10/12 to the civil clerk and asked for two certified docket printouts on case numbers 10 P 006117 and 11-M5-000940. The Clerk said the charge for this 78 page docket and about 15 page docket was $9.00 PER PAGE or about $702 and $135. As you know, your charge is $9.00 per docket regardless of the length of the docket. $837 is a lot different than $18.
This is an $819 overcharge.
It is likely that some people have been inhibited in filing expungements or appeals due to this continuing practice of gross overcharges. This is doing great harm to litigants.
This is massive extortion. All your other clerks at other courthouses charge $9.00 per docket, not per page. Someone has dropped the ball and is not supervising Bridgeview properly or someone at Bridgeview is stealing this money and pocketing it. You must immediately investigate and take action to correct this.
I confirmed with all the clerks present that they actually have been charging the public $9.00 per page for a certified print-out of a single current case docket, instead of $9.00 per docket regardless of number of pages. I suspect someone is embezzling the money as your auditors or supervisors would have caught such a gross error.
I even asked Mr. Blumberg to call your Chief Counsel and he came back and said he spoke to Ms. Demos and she confirmed that the charge was $9.00 per page!
I paid for just the last page certified of each of the above two dockets. I demand that you immediately send by overnight mail the rest of the docket that I paid for.
Your clerks at the Daley Center and other courthouses are charging the appropriate $9.00 per certified case docket.
Attached is Mr. Blumberg’s signature on your fee schedule where he has yellowed what he said is the fee under:
“For record searching, for each year searched.
For each page of computer printout _______________________$9.00”
Ms. Malis agreed with him despite my protests. She has been there long enough to know the correct fee! These are fees for searching the archive records not for printing out a docket!
As you know this is not the fee for a certified computer docket. The correct fee is listed here and applies to the entire docket regardless of the number of pages. I have circled in in red on the attached fee schedule.
“For each certification or authentication with the seal of office ______$9.00”
This is outrageous and means your staff has been stealing tens of thousands of dollars or more from the public.”
I have informed the Inspector General for the Clerk’s office and as far as I know, nothing has been done. I have seen no arrests discussed in the media. Who is covering this up? What are you going to do about it? Where is the money going?
Please also be informed that Judge Biebel and Judge Wright have de facto suspended habeas corpus for people with misdemeanors and detainees at Cook County Jail who file a petition for writ of habeas corpus from Cook County Jail. By law, the Clerk must file any habeas petition a person brings to her and give it a separate civil case number, then schedule it for hearing before the presiding judge of the division promptly. If incarcerated, the presiding judge should issue orders bringing the defendant into the court.
I have tried to file more than six habeas petitions in misdemeanors in 2012 and they are still pending, by mailing them to an attorney friend who tried to file them. The clerk of 1st municipal division refused to give them a civil case number or a hearing date. She just filed them in the criminal case files. We repeatedly both contacted Judge Wright’s, Judge Evans’ and Clerk Brown’s offices and simply got the run around. I contacted them in writing. I mailed a petition for writ of habeas corpus to the clerk at 2650 S California in August 2013 and the supervising clerk now told me that it was placed in the criminal file, not given a civil case number and sent to Judge Biebel to decide whether it should be filed and heard. It was never given a civil case number or heard and is still pending. This issue is now before the Illinois Supreme Court.
The clerk supervisor shockingly said there are “two kinds of habeas petitions” – as instructed by Biebel’s office – one from those in jail and one when an attorney comes and files them. Apparently this County does not understand the rights of citizens under the U.S. Constitution including due process and equal protection. She gives the attorneys’ petition in these felony cases a civil case habeas number and schedules them for hearing. She sends the detainees petition to Biebel and he deep sixes them! That is criminal to de facto suspend the highest civil right a person has – to petition for writ of habeas corpus under the suspension clause of the United States Constitution. This needs a federal criminal investigation, as when a judge knowingly usurps power he does not have (here is doing the clerk’s duty and impeding purposely these petitions from being heard), then according to Chief Justice Marshall in Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 5 L.Ed 257 (1821) that it is “treason on the constitution” when a judge “usurps [the jurisdiction] that which is not given”. The case against me is totally bogus and has the appearance of retaliation for my complaints.
This is just the tip of the iceberg I have concerning misconduct of the Court Clerk, the judges, the sheriffs, and the State’s Attorney, as well as Public Defender in Cook County. I really would like to sit down with you and a representative from the Illinois Supreme Court and U.S. Attorney’s office with several colleagues and give you all evidence of so much other misconduct, criminal acts, and failure to follow their statutory duty, as well as felony federal funding fraud among players in the courts that you will be gob smacked. You have only witnessed the surface of the iceberg in your dealings with Evans and Alvarez. There is not one aspect of the functioning of the courts that is not in need of major reform. Evans must go! He and D. Brown should be impeached, along with several other senior judges. There is plenty of evidence for Greylord 2.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I hope you will give me a response as to what you plan to do about this. Judge Evans and Clerk Brown, apparently do not think the above need attention as they have done nothing despite being informed.
Linda L. Shelton, PhD, MD