Thursday, March 9, 2017

The people are sovereign!

The Maine legislature will be holding a public comments session next friday, the 17th in Augusta, regarding the following proposed bill: "An act to change the oversight Agency for Recreational Marijuana from the Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Department of Administration and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations and to allocate Funds for Implementation". From the website, of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, you can email the committee clerk if you aren't attending but want to comment... I did. 

People in states that allow either recreational or medical marijuana use are going to face big problems from the new form 4473, which apparently makes it a crime to purchase a gun if you use marijuana. I asked in my email to the legislative committee: "If marijuana users aren't allowed to purchase guns, doesn't that mean that if a marijuana user already owns one, he/she would have to dispose of it, or law enforcement could take it away?" I provided a link to a Portland Press story about the new form 4473. In my email, I mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court decision Alden v. Maine, and quoted from it: "the original understanding of the Constitution's structure and the terms of the tenth amendment confirm that states retained much of their sovereignty despite their agreeing that the national government would be supreme when exercising its enumerated powers."

So, law-abiding citizens who turn in their guns, or don't purchase them because of this new question on the form 4473, will be helpless against the real criminals. Anyone can get a gun, whether it be through a friend, or through a failed background check as shown below. Pete had been labeled a felon, due to a conviction in 1981, but was still approved.






Thursday, March 2, 2017

New Form 4473 says pot smokers cannot purchase guns!

I was cleaning out paperwork and found a Form 4473, that Pete had filled out about 13 years ago at KMart; he had passed this background check and purchased a gun, there, and at other licensed gun dealers in Maine! Maine Game Wardens should never have seized OUR guns, purchased during OUR marriage. I had asked for Intervenor status as well as for there to be a hearing to challenge the search warrant...it's called a Frank's hearing. It was scheduled back in 2013, but I was never notified of the hearing date by the court, so I didn't appear. And since Pete had wanted to get things over with, and had agreed to a plea bargain, neither he or his attorney showed, and the motion was dismissed.  

When I was researching about the form 4473, I read that the new form has a question on it, 11.e., which asks the applicant about marijuana use. Despite that your state may have legalized it for recreational use, or even if you have been prescribed marijuana for medical use, you will not be able to legally purchase a gun. Here's a link to the form Firearms Transaction Record, that was revised in October of 2016 and has been in use since mid January 2017.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Denial of Unemployment Benefits - appealed again!

I previously blogged about an employer who lied to the Maine Department of Labor regarding the reason I am no longer employed with him. Well, I continue to try to get the Maine Department of Labor to reverse the decision denying me unemployment benefits. The latest decision came from the Unemployment Commission on January 31, 2017. It affirmed the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings, which had affirmed the decision of the Bureau of Labor...or whatever. They're all birds of a feather, and they flock together, usually. You have 10 days to request a reconsideration, so I did that. Yesterday I received word from them: it was simply that my request was received. By the way, I have 180 days (so 6 months) from the date of the alleged violations of employment law, to file a complaint with the EEOC. That deadline will come around the end of March.

UPDATED: EEOC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is taking public comments until March 21, 2017 regarding new guidance rules they apparently plan to put into place to help them in evaluation of complaints. There's a link in that article, to a 75 page report from the Office of Legal Counsel, as well as a link to a 2016 report on harassment in the workplace. Okay, I gotta go read those now. It's definitely relevant. 
11-16-2016 Maine Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gorman's order dismissing my appeal


My letter to the Maine Supreme Court on 11-07-16 requesting more time to file my brief, as I had just received the audio recording of the hearings held in Superior Court. 
My complaint in Superior Court of Aroostook County was filed in December of 2013, right after the Maine Human Rights Commission failed to properly investigate charges I brought against my former employer (Ken and Deb Martin, former owners of the Long Lake Sporting Club). After the defendants hired a lawyer he had filed a motion to dismiss my complaint due to missed deadline. However, during a status conference, Judge Hunter had stated he would allow me the additional time. I remember specifically, I had told him that I was working at potato harvest in the months just before my complaint was due. In an order he later wrote, he dismissed other complaints I filed (such as defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress) in an amendment to the original complaint. He said that I hadn't complied with the rules, and dismissed those claims, but stated that he'd allow me to proceed with the Whistleblower claim. Nonetheless, he instructed the clerk to schedule a hearing on the motion to dismiss anyway.

So, on June 20, 2016, it was Aroostook County Superior Court Judge, Harold Stewart II who was presiding over cases. The defendants' lawyer argued the same thing he'd argued in his paperwork: missed deadline. After the hearing, I filed interrogatories and the defendants' answers with the court as well as a request for a hearing to be held regarding the discovery. The Martin's failed to provide information which was crucial to my proving that I had not received an equal share of pooled tips. I requested they provide me with the total amount of pooled tips that each of my co-workers received for the shifts they worked with me. I also requested a jury trial, and stated that the only reason I had not previously requested one is that there is a $300 fee. Within three days, Judge Hal Stewart had dismissed my complaint. 

A few weeks ago, I started gathering paperwork and was thinking about filing a certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. I wanted to get something in at least before deadline. The rules say you have 90 days from the date of the last state court decision (Nov. 16, 2016) to do that. The odds of getting a case heard are pretty slim...less than 1%. I really hate all the rules. You need ten copies, one for each justice plus an original for the court; and I'd make one for myself too, and the defendant, so it's really 12. Instead of working on that, I discovered another option: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) might help me.

I just discovered that the Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC) never dual-filed my complaint with the EEOC, and they were supposed to. The EEOC is the federal agency that enforces employment discrimination laws. The state ones are called Fair Employment Practices Agencies, or FEPA. Either the state or the feds can investigate a complaint, and if you don't like the outcome from one, you can get a review from the other. So, I faxed them some information (10 pages total) a few days ago...basically, my complaint and the MHRC findings.

Interestingly, at the MHRC website I came upon a name that I recognized: Michael Afthim. A jury awarded him over a million in damages after his boss lied about the reason for his discharge, and failed to deal with safety concerns brought to him. Now what I discovered was that prior to him filing the lawsuit, Afthim had made a complaint to the MHRC, and they had found there was reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Afthim had been discriminated against...however, they failed to take further action. You can see his name here on page 4; it's the first one under the category Litigation. The MHRC, and other commissions, panels, committees, which are supposed to investigate complaints, and help the parties mediate, simply aren't as effective as they should or could be. The budget of the Maine Human Rights Commission is about one million dollars per year, half of which comes from the federal government... and most of it is for payroll. And guess what? They want more. See # 13. At # 8, it seems an admission that they do not dual-file with the EEOC.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Supreme Court filing fee - unconstitutional?

Rules for filing petition in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Rules, $300 fee to file . Unconstitutional? I think so.

Apparently most states refund fees to defendants if their conviction is later overturned, but not Colorado. Here's some discussion on that. I'll have to do a bit more surfing; I don't know if the case was taken up by the justices or not.

Gorsuch, Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court believes in separation of powers. You know, if it does exist, tell me why are Maine lawyers allowed to become legislators? What then does he have to say about the fact that many of our recent presidents have been lawyers? Have we reached the point of no return? Do politicians and government officials think that the public is so dumbed down or so complacent that we'll just ignore this?  

Let me explain. Just pretend that you bring your dog to the dog groomer for a haircut/grooming. He tells you that you should put your dog on a vitamin. You do that, and his hair grows at a ridiculous rate. So you end up having to go to the groomer more often. Well, when laws aren't clearly written (ambiguous), people end up in court where it's usually the case that they pay lawyers to represent them. So, you see ambiguous laws are the lawyer's bread and butter.

Actually, there's been a lot of research and there's evidence showing the original 13th Amendment, was actually an amendment to keep lawyers (and others with titles of nobility) out of government. During the Civil War, records were lost, and it ended up that a new 13th amendment to end slavery is what replaced the original. Read more here. It does seem like our government is for sale.   

Look a likes - Gorsuch and Stewart II

I don't know if I can handle Gorsuch being on the Supreme Court of the United States. He looks too much like Judge Hal Stewart II.
Neil Gorsuch










Judge Hal Stewart II

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Employer blatanly lied to the Department of Labor

For two years I put up with it. I even offered to help my former employer, Wayne Marquis, of Van Buren Maine, improve relations between he and his employees. He has difficulty retaining good workers, and hires alot of people with criminal records; I don't have one, yet. I just like seasonal work because it allows me time during the year to get other  things done. I manage our rental properties, doing cleaning, painting, evictions! 

So, here's what happened on Sept. 30, 2016. We were moving from one potato house to another during harvest. I was driving my car, with another employee with me in the passenger seat. Wayne was behind me in a pickup truck. I slowed down because I thought I had arrived at the road where the potato house was, but it was the wrong road. I sped back up. Wayne had not expected me to slow down. He hadn't realized I wasn't quite sure of the location which I'd only been to once before. The roads do look alike, in Saint David, on the river side, near Al's Auto. When we both arrived at the location, Wayne began hollering at me saying he almost bumped me. I bit my tongue and said nicely to him "I didn't realize you were following me so closely." He left, and I thought that was the end of it; but a few hours later, he returned just as furious as ever and started in on me again. Several co-workers witnessed this, and some said they would have quit. I didn't. 

I called Wayne the next morning at 7:10 a.m. and left a message telling him that we had to speak before I would return to work. I reached him later in the day, hoping for an apology...but no. When I tried to tell him that at least I had a license and a car to get to work, which most of his employees don't, he hung up. He texted me on my cell phone eventually asking for my time card. When I met him to give it to him, he made it clear that he was no longer going to employ me. Did I mention that there were no porta potties on the job site? Totally illegal. He knew. I told him that my co-worker hadn't gone all day, and that I had made him some lemonade. I couldn't hold it and used a cup to relieve myself at the back of the potato house while everyone was outside. 

Now have you ever heard of constructive discharge?  When conditions of employment are so intolerable, you can quit a job, or be fired, and still collect unemployment, assuming you have earned enough in your quarters. I applied for unemployment, but was denied. From paperwork the Department of Labor sent me, I saw that Wayne had lied, stated that I quit for no good reason. I appealed, and he did call in for the interview. And he lied again. He told the interviewer that I was driving dangerously, and had cut him off. I told the interviewer that was a lie, and I asked "Where were you when I cut you off?" He answered "I was behind you". 

Also, he told the interviewer that because I had quit he had to hire someone to replace me immediately. That was another lie, for he had told me that since I was leaving he wouldn't have to lay off an employee who happened to be a minor child who would be returning to school after harvest break. I'm not sure his actual age, but definitely there were child labor laws being broken. The number of hours we were working was often 12 or more. Furthermore, Van Buren is a small town; I knew the girls he hired, and he did not hire them to replace me for potato harvest as he told the Dept of Labor, but for racking which was nearly a month later. But despite that, and despite that I told them about the lack of a porta potty, as well as Wayne's failure to provide gloves to rackers, the Department of Labor upheld the previous decision denying me benefits. I even told the interviewer about year 2015 potato harvest when Wayne had yelled at me for being late from lunch after I'd driven to Madawaska to use a restroom because again no porta potty was onsite. I did not return to harvest potatoes that fall, but I did go work in the racking facility all winter as I had in 2014.

During the years I worked for Wayne, I often requested gloves, as the ones sold in stores nearby are not waterproof. The ordinary rubber gloves get holes in them within a week. The potatoes are wet, hands get cold when wet. The temperature in the potato house is probably no more than 60 degrees. Since I worked primarily with my right hand, and was always throwing out my left glove, I learned that if you take a left handed glove and turn it inside out you get a right handed glove. Wayne finally agreed to purchase nitrile gloves which I pointed out to him in a catalog he had. Yet after an order from that company came in and there were no gloves with it, he said we were almost done the season and he'd get some for next winter. Then we worked for two more months into June before we finished racking. And I recently spoke with an employee at Marquis Farms who said that Wayne has still not purchased gloves for the rackers, but another employee did order some, but they were not free, and not waterproof. 

Well, I've had about all I can take for blogging about this emotionally draining topic. There's more, like how he hired Mexican workers last winter to replace some of us...but it backfired on him. I will now have to appeal the latest decision denying me unemployment benefits to the Superior Court; and we know from the dismissal of my lawsuit against Ken and Deb Martin, that they are corrupt. Oh one more thing before I go, I discovered there is a name for what I and others are experiencing. It's called Legal Abuse Syndrome, and it's similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Next step - Supreme Court of the U.S.

Under both state and federal laws, an employee who notifies an employer of illegal policies and practices in the workplace, and who is fired for doing so, is protected by what are called Whistleblower statutes. Well, after the Maine Human Rights Commission took two years to investigate, then dismissed my complaint against Ken and Deb Martin, I filed lawsuit in Superior Court of Aroostook County in December of 2013. My case was being presided over by Judge Hunter for the most part. Yes, he's the judge who imprisoned me. Read about it in the last paragraph of a former post of mine.

Though the Committee for Judicial Responsibility and Disability dismissed my complaint against Hunter, it would later reprimand an attorney for doing exactly what Hunter had done: attempt to get a signature, or allow the prosecutor to, at a time when Pete (my husband) was without an attorney. I was away from home doing seasonal work at Wyman's of Maine in Cherryfield when I first read the story on my break in the factory's cafeteria. The Ellsworth American story is titled "Two area lawyers reprimanded". While I've provided a link to the newspaper's website, I can't find the story online. I did save the newspaper clipping, so I'll quote from it:
In a second order also issued July 20, Ellsworth attorney Steven A. Juskewitch was similarly sanctioned for his "repetitive improper conduct and inappropriate action" for communicating with a woman who was not his client, and who had no lawyer, in an effort to obtain her signature "on documents that would ultimately benefit his client..."
In that story, it's also mentioned that former Hancock County Assistant District Attorney William B. Entwisle of Sedgwick was sanctioned for actions "arising from his failure to turn over discovery materials to the defendants or their lawyers in two separate criminal cases he was prosecuting." A few years ago, I helped circulate a petition to Governor LePage calling for another Assistant D.A. from Hancock County, Mary Kellett, to be fired. According to this story on 10-31-16, Kellett is still practicing law in Maine. Vladek Filler, a man from Georgia, who used to live in Maine, and who was on the receiving end of Kellett's malicious prosecution, filed a lawsuit in federal court. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a "friend of the court" (aka amicus curaie) brief calling what she did a crime. I'd like to know how much Maine taxpayer money has been spent defending Mary Kellett, and the other 17 defendants named in Mr. Filler's case of denial of due process and fair trial. Kellett claims she has "absolute immunity". It's absolutely absurd.  

It wouldn't be the first time that a prosecutor twisted or withheld evidence in a case that ended in a wrongful conviction...anyone remember Dennis Dechaine?

Well, getting back to my case against Ken and Deb Martin. I will start working on a petition to the Supreme Court. After the Superior Court dismissed my claim against the Martin's, I appealed to Supreme Court of Maine, which upheld Judge Stewart's dismissal of my complaint. The decision was signed by none other than Justice Ellen Gorman. She's the judge who ruled summarily (that means you get no trial because the judge believes you have no evidence and could never win), against us in a lawsuit several years ago in which my son had broken his arm but had been treated for a dislocated shoulder. That treatment displaced the fracture and he had to be transported to another hospital for emergency surgery. I previously blogged about this, in 2007. On my homepage, type in "Gorman" in the search bar at the top left corner of the screen and you'll bring it up...along with other unjust decisions she's made.

Anyway, I have 90 days from the Maine Supreme Court's order on November 16, 2016 to file a cert petition, or at least put in a request for an extension. I plan on scanning some of the documents in my case  and placing them on this website.


 

Hungry for Justice - Panel finds no bias in MHRC?

Here's a link to a post I made in October of 2011 after being fired from my waitressing job at the Long Lake Sporting Club.

So, I filed a complaint with The Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC) regarding the Martin's. Soon, the MHR gagged me. That is, they made me sign a statement agreeing not to discuss (or write about) the case while they performed their so-called preliminary investigation. Sounds to me like a violation of the 1st Amendment right to free speech...by a Commission that's supposed to protect human rights?. 

Regardless, I refrained from blogging about what the owners of this high-end, family-owned restaurant in the small town of Sinclair Maine had done to me...as well as what they and some of my former co-workers were about to do: defame me in an attempt to get a favorable decision from the Maine Human Rights Commission. Well, the employer's plan worked; the Commission dismissed my complaint.

Well, I recently read that last fall the governor ordered an investigation of the Commission, after he felt that the Commission was biased against employers, or the business community! And guess what? Well, read about it here. The story's title, LePage’s probe of human rights panel finds no bias against businesses,
leaves no doubt in ones mind of what the outcome was. The supposed independent panelists apparently didn't look at the documents they needed to in order to come to the conclusion any reasonable person would have after a thorough review of the MHRC. That is, that the Commission is biased. How else can you explain this, from the story? 
The report found that in 2014, only 5 percent of the cases filed with the commission resulted in the commission finding reasonable grounds that there was a violation.
Now understand this: only when the Maine Human Rights Commission finds reasonable grounds (after a preliminary investigation) to believe that a violation has occurred does it take any further action such as mediation (which often results in a settlement offer made to the harmed party) or further investigation. So, does this panel really believe that 95% of the complaints received by the MHRC in 2014 were totally baseless?



Thursday, July 28, 2016

I'm back with an important message! Don't trust Justice Hal Stewart

On Monday, June 20th, 2016 I appeared in Superior Court of Aroostook County, Maine, for a hearing on defendants' motion to dismiss my lawsuit... and discovered that the new judge, Hal Stewart, is dirty. Judge Hunter had been presiding over the case, but is now semi-retired. Hunter, I thought, showed leniency towards both the Martins and I. We were both pro se for some time. They later hired an attorney...I couldn't afford to.  


My lawsuit, CARSC-CV-2014-0001, against Ken and Deb Martin of Sinclair Maine has been lingering in Superior Court of Aroostook County since late 2013. The Martins are the former owners of the restaurant Long Lake Sporting Club...now owned by their son Neal. I worked as a waitress for the Martins for a short time before they fired me in September of 2011. They did that after I insisted that I receive an equal share of the pooled tips I had helped earn. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) an employer cannot withhold an employee's tips for any purpose, including training; and tips must be equally divided. I also told my employer that it was illegal to not pay me for hours worked simply because no customers came to dine.

At the time, I didn't know there were laws regarding tip pooling; I hadn't waitressed since high school in the early 1980's. It's very clear, however, from the many documents filed in the case - some by the Martins themselves - that certain practices at the restaurant were illegal. Here the rules regarding tip-pooling at a U.S. Dept of Labor website.

The Martin's attorney, Norman Trask, sent interrogatories to me, and I to them. Many of their responses were incomplete. And they withheld information I requested which was crucial to my claim: specifically payroll records which would show that other waitresses received more of the pooled tips than I for the same hours worked. Responses to interrogatories are made under oath. Lying under oath, and concealment of evidence is criminal. Their attorney had a duty to supplement the record if he came into any new evidence, such as statements made by his clients that contradicted their earlier statements.  

I let Judge Stewart know during the hearing on June 20th, about the incomplete and/or contradictory responses of the defendants; and I immediately filed these interrogatories and the defendants' responses with the clerk, along with a hand-written motion to compel complete responses and produce documents. I also requested a jury trial...stating that I had not waived my right, but simply couldn't afford the $300 fee. And I filed a request for a discovery dispute conference; but none was scheduled.

On the 23rd of June, 2016 on the same day that the police officer driving the van in the Freddie Grey case was found not guilty, Judge Hal Stewart dismissed my claim against Ken and Deb Martin. I'll appeal to the Maine Supreme Court.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The latest on Mary Kellett...

Well, here's news about Mary Kellett. An attorney named Luke Rioux posted the latest at his website Harmless Error, writing that the penalty for the Assistant D.A. Kellett's dirty deeds was "almost nothing." I had helped circulate a petition calling for her dismissal a while back, after Judge Kevin Cuddy found Kellett guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. She'd kept important facts of the case from Vladek Filler's attorney... evidence which was detrimental to the prosecution. Filler was then found guilty of domestic violence and/or charges of that nature.

Interesting, Kellett's disciplinary hearing was presided over by Ellen Gorman. She's the judge who kept us from getting to trial in Androscoggin Superior Court. After doctors at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital treated my son, Aaron, for a dislocated shoulder, we'd found out it was in fact broken. The fracture was so slight that it went undetected by emergency room doctors. Yet after they treated for a dislocation, my son needed surgery and pins because they displaced  the fracture. That happened in 2000, when Aaron was 14 years old. The case was pursued for six years with Attorney Anthony Ferguson before we finally got before the medical malpractice screening panel. After an unfavorable decision there, Ferguson dropped the case, and I filed suit on behalf of my minor son. Ellen Gorman, a Superior Court justice in 2006, soon awarded summary judgment to the doctors involved, though in their responses to my complaint, admitted a "valid claim exists to defend." Their attorney had asked for a jury trial and paid the fee. Now, here's something I discovered recently in the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 38 e.  Withdrawal. A demand for trial by jury made as provided in this rule may not be withdrawn without the consent of all parties.
But it was.

Judge sentenced to 28 years... Yahoooo!!!!!!!!!

Remember a few years ago in Pennsylvania a few judges were selling out to private prisons... jailing adolescents who shouldn't be? Well, one of those judges was just sentenced... here's the story.
The state's Supreme Court just threw out 4000 convictions under Ciavarella's rule.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Marijuana legalization

Found a story titled Portland, Maine May Legalize Pot. Maine's largest city may soon legalize the herb.  
Among the plan's supporters, Maine ACLU representative Bob Talbot notes that Maine spent $8.9 million enforcing marijuana laws in 2010, and that 47.9 % of all the state's drug arrests that year were for pot charges.
Since legislators killed a bill to legalize pot recently, I read somewhere that it will be 2016 before any law legalizing recreational use could be passed and go into effect.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pete accepts plea bargain.

Here's an update regarding the charges against my husband stemming from the April 28, 2011 search and confiscation of my family's firearms at our home. Maine Game Wardens obtained a search warrant based on nothing but Pete's "felon" conviction from 1981 and the fact that they'd seen him carrying a gun, while hunting. He accepted a plea bargain, against my wishes: spent week in jail, has to pay a $2000 fine, and forfeited the guns.

Just before he pled guilty, I mailed to the court a motion to be an intervener in the case; but I got no answer. I have a stake in this, as the guns are marital property. The judge didn't acknowledge me as a party to the case, so didn't respond to my filing. However, the clerk of the court did send a date-stamped copy of my motion to the D.A., and to Pete's attorney who then sent it to Pete.

If a warrant is obtained on false or missing information which would have made a difference in the judge's decision to issue the warrant or not, the case should be dismissed. Well, I requested a Frank's hearing to challenge jurisdiction. However, since the judge wouldn't acknowledge me as a party to the case, that went nowhere. Getting Pete to ask the state-appointed attorney to do this was impossible; he just wanted to get it over with. And two other attorneys had asked to be dismissed from his case... probably because I was asking questions they felt uncomfortable answering, or just couldn't answer without admitting that the whole system is set up to screw the average Joe! Anyhow, law enforcement officers, in this case the Maine Game Warden Service, often play the "public exigency" card to obtain a warrant, when they have no real reason to believe any danger is about to come to the public.

It appears that Judge Hunter recused himself from the case. It could well be due to my filing a complaint against him with the Committee for Judicial Responsibility and Disability. As if I didn't know it would be dismissed. This Committee's budget is controlled by judges. Why did I file a complaint? Well, Judge Hunter imprisoned me in the law library of the Superior Court. It's true, he had me handcuffed by the bailiff and escorted out of the courtroom when I tried to assist Pete, who had yet to be appointed an attorney. Judge Hunter wanted him to sign papers put before him by the prosecution: bail conditions, though he wasn't under arrest! With me out of the picture, Pete signed. And he was not too happy that I'd caused a scene, because he had to wait for me for about an hour after he got out of court. To be released I had to apologize to the judge for disrupting his courtroom. The state has yet to return any of ours or our sons' guns.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is there a pharmacist in the house?

Yes. after I wrote to Representative Joseph Bruno a few years ago asking for his help regarding a summary judgment by Judge Ellen Gorman in my son's medical malpractice case, essentially denying him a trial and telling him "You lose," Bruno resigned. Soon after that, I discovered his ties to the medical community. Well, a recent investigation reveals other legislators and their spouses who benefited from State of Maine contracts from 2003 to 2010 totaling about $235 million... contracts not required to be disclosed because the receiving party was the legislator's company and not the individual legislator; how sick is that?

In the story there's a link to a chart telling who and how much. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

LePage proposes cuts - but there is a larger debt train than Medicaid!

A December 7, 2011 Morning Sentinel story gives these numbers:
MaineCare is a $2.5 billion-a-year program, although federal funding and other revenue cover most of the cost. MaineCare will cost the state's general fund about $660 million this year.
From a New York Times story on December 23, 2011, about Governor LePage's proposed Medicaid cuts:
Calling the state’s entitlement system “a runaway train,” he has proposed contentious changes, including some of the most drastic Medicaid cuts in the nation.
But Dan Billings in May of 2010, before he was appointed as LePage's chief legal counsel, wrote about another, even larger debt train than Medicaid - it's Maine's unfunded pension obligations, totaling in the billions of dollars! Quoting Billings from the article:
You may wonder how Maine has more debt than the bonds approved by voters. Though the Maine Constitution strictly limits loaning Maine's credit "directly or indirectly," through the years politicians have been creative in coming up with numerous ways that debt could be incurred without voter approval. Unfortunately, Maine's courts, beneficiaries of this extraconstitutional debt, have upheld such schemes.
Maine also has unfunded pension obligations totaling nearly $4 billion. In addition, unfunded obligations for health care coverage for retired state employees, teachers and legislators is estimated to be more than $2.2 billion. These are bills that are certain to come due that will be paid by Maine taxpayers.

"Legislator loophole" - Governor LePage proposes to close it

Legislators and government officials, may soon have to disclose more details about their ties to companies which receive government monies. From the 12-15-11 article:  
Current law only requires that legislators or high-level state employees report state purchases of goods or services worth more than $1,000 directly from the individual legislator or family member, not from a corporation or entity for which the legislator or family member works.

A report by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting  apparently is what prompted Governor LePage to propose the legislation. The story by Naomi Shalit and John CristieIt looks like in a seven year period, 2003-2010, an average of 34 million dollars per year was received by companies owned by legislators or immediate family members of legislators, or by companies which employed them.

Another loophole exists; and the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, Jonathan Wayne, doesn't believe that it can be closed until 2013. It's that the deadline for legislators to report such affiliations with companies which receive government money, often comes due after the legislator has left office...so it never gets filed. From  the January 4, 2012 story
There is no disclosure form on file, for example, for the last month and a half that Kurt Adams served as chairman of the Public Utilities Commission in 2008.
This link from one of the stories  shows the names of the Maine officials and legislators whose companies, or companies owned, or partly owned or run by family members, were the major benefactors of our hard-earned tax dollars.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Felon in possession case law

Here's some case law that I should print out and give to my husband, Pete. It concerns a nonviolent felon charged with possession of firearms.

I'm blogging from the Madawaska Public Library. I've moved, and my Internet is currently disabled; so my roadrunner account isn't working. I'll be creating another through gmail or hotmail.

I got a new job: inspecting military garments at Creative Apparel in Fort Kent. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Food for thought

I've been soooooo busy. I'm trying to get my rental units occupied for winter, and my father-in-law, Alcide Michaud, passed away on October 2. 

I started work as a waitress on Friday, September 30, at the Long Lake Sporting Club in Sinclair. I hadn't done anything like that since high school, and was fired up about the chance to earn a hundred or more dollars in like five hours of work; however, I was denied an equal share of the pooled tips! Telling me I was still "in training" the owners allowed the waitress in charge to give me less than half the pay other waitresses received... including one who was hired a few days AFTER I was!  

About the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

And now I've been fired. Quoting the owners "It's just not working out." What a disappointment. Luckily chef and co-owner of The Swamp Buck, Mark Tardif, had called me just a few days before I was fired, and I've been putting in a few hours at the restaurant, doing some cleaning. We actually get to take breaks there, and we have a time clock... unlike at the Sporting Club. Though it isn't illegal to not have a time clock, it is illegal not to pay employees for hours worked simply because you didn't get any customers that day, or night.

Maine Department of Labor


Maine Human Rights Commission - The Whistleblower's Protection Act is supposed to protect a person who reports his/her employer's illegal activity and then is fired. You'll find actual reports at the Commission's website, however names are hidden. 
 

 


Deal, or No Deal? The plea bargain

I came upon this information about plea bargains and thought I'd share it with you as well as list it under my Law Links.

Pete (my husband) had to appear in court today regarding the "felon in possession of firearms" charges. He wouldn't let me go to court with him and he didn't bring home any paperwork. He said he was unable to speak to the judge and that the Assistant District Attorney, April Hare, would like to see him get jail time if he doesn't accept a plea bargain! He is very stressed out about this situation. Hunting was a sport that he enjoyed so much, and now Maine State employees have taken that away from him, and turned our lives upside down. One of our sons blames us because his guns were taken from our home and we haven't been able to get them back for him. 

Back in May I blogged about the unreasonable search and seizure in which ten or more agents of the state took over a dozen guns (most belonging to our sons) from our home on April 28, 2011.

Pete's court-appointed attorney, Tobey Jandreau, apparently filed a "motion to suppress statements of defendant" but he never sent a copy of the filing to Pete. Jandreau should have put in a notice of disqualification of the judge. I provided him a copy of the letter I received from the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability acknowledging receipt of my complaint against Judge Hunter.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maine is in the spotlight again!

Click on the headline to read the story. Quoting from it:
"Presidential candidate Bob Barr has called for an investigation into civil rights crimes committed by Kellet and renowned private investigator TJ Ward has been tackling the case for Filler free of charge. According to Ward, this prosecutorial corruption scandal is affecting numerous innocent lives. As Kellett’s wrath wages on, more men in the town of Ellsworth aren’t safe from persecution as the DA continues her witch hunt."




Monday, September 26, 2011

Intervention is key to a safe community! Maine man with extensive criminal record shot by police, dies.

I just learned about this story, posted earlier this morning. Paul Fritze opened fire in the home of a neighbor who had invited him over for a birthday party; and Maine State Police shot and killed him. I agree that guys like Fritze should not be allowed access to guns. Quoting the Kennebec Journal story by Craig Crosby:
A New Jersey probation officer was quoted in published reports describing Fritze as dangerous, "a time bomb and an accident waiting to happen" when in possession of a firearm.

However, grabbing guns from someone who has been labeled a "felon," as my husband has, but who has since changed his/her ways, is nothing but a revenue-maker for the state; and laws which enable such action do nothing to prevent true crime, and actually increase organized crime, committed by agents of the state and federal governments.

An apparent neighbor of Fritze, Donna Bruen, "said she wishes that neighbors had done more to reach out to Fritze" Crosby wrote. Intervention is integral.  

They have a Right to censure, that have a Heart to help: The rest is Cruelty, not Justice. ~William Penn 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Judge dismisses "eavesdropping" charges against Illinois man

Michael Allison was facing 75 years in jail for recording police officers in court; certain statutes in Illinois make it a felony to record without the permission of all parties. Fortunately, Judge David Frankland dismissed the five counts.

Allison, who repairs cars, was facing charges for breaking an ordinance dealing with non-registered vehicles in his yard, and had asked for a court reporter in his case; when he was denied, he recorded the proceedings himself.

Judge Frankland takes a common-sense approach. He states:  
“The statute [as it is currently written] includes conduct that is unrelated to the statute’s purpose and is not rationally related to the evil the legislation sought to prohibit,”
Allison was a guest on Rule of Law Radio, where you can listen to the archived show. The charges appear to have been in retaliation for Michael Allison exposing what is described at the Rule of Law website as "a massive car title theft ring implicating public servants of municipalities, sheriffs departments, and the State of Illinois." Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Maine v. Roland G. Pouliot

I was looking for Maine cases regarding instances in which someone had been charged with "possession of firearms" that were actually owned by someone else; and I found a 2003 Maine Supreme Court case Maine v. Roland G. Pouliot.

The State of Maine confiscated eighty-eight firearms from the Pouliot family! The defendant's wife, Sylvia, and her son operate a discount store in Machias, Maine; and son Jamie operates a pawnshop. She confirmed that all but one gun, a black powder rifle, were returned to Jamie, who was a third party intervenor. I spoke with Sylvia Pouliot today and she said her husband did spend 90 days in county jail for the charge, but there was no fine. They hired their own lawyer, and she said costs were about $30,000.        

Friday, September 23, 2011

Supreme Court rulings - Gun "use" in drug deals

I found this entry at Wikipedia very interesting. The Supreme Court, in one case (Smith v. United States), found that trading an automatic weapon for cocaine constituted "use" of a firearm in a drug deal; but in Watson v. United States, receiving a firearm in a drug trade was not considered "use."

In Watson, Justice Ginsburg was in the majority. Quoting from the Wikipedia entry: 
Her reasoning is that she defines the word “use” to mean using as a weapon and not in bartering transactions. She also goes on to state that she would overrule Smith, 508 U.S., at 241, and make the precedent both “coherent and consistent with normal usage.”



   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I found Laura! Or she found me rather.

When I opened my email earlier I found a message from someone who I thought I'd never hear from! Click on the headline to read Laura's story at Ripoff Report. Judge French screwed us in 2004, and in 2005 Laura wrote about how Judge French ignored her evidence after she had her son taken from her due to her husband's actions. 

I didn't discover the story until the autumn of 2009, at which time I posted about it; and hours ago Laura posted a comment under that post. Below is the email message I received. Thanks Laura... I definitely do plan to keep in touch! 

Laura Kirkland has left a new comment on your post "Government Monster Out of Control - CPS/DHS - Augusta Maine.":

Hello,
My name is Laura Kirkland, the woman mentioned in your posting here. It has been several years since I wrote that account of my DHS/CPS nightmare. Since then, I have tried to stay active in working with and helping other individuals and families affected by unbalanced, unethical, tyrannical and often illegal policies. I am very interested in working to make changes in our VERY primitive system(s). Although I am now 47 years old, I am a senior in college working towards my Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I also believe that active communication is key to successful changes and am very pleased to have found this site!
My email address is LauraKirkland123@aol.com if anyone would like to contact me regarding...anything :)
 

"Hunter" season is here!

Tensions are high in the Michaud household. Hunting season is here and our sons want their guns back! Our oldest telephoned the Maine Warden Service and was told the guns would probably not be returned, and that he'd better have good receipts.

Pete's court-appointed attorney, Toby Jandreau, has done virtually nothing to get the ridiculous charges against him dropped... you know "felon in possession of firearms" and "fraudulently obtaining a hunting license." The lawyer should disqualify the judge, whose name is ironically "Hunter"; and the Assistant D.A.'s name is April Hare. The D.A. made Pete an offer: forfeit the guns - although it's not clear which ones as the state hasn't bothered to determine who actually owns them - and pay a total of $2500 in fines. Scroll back to my May 3 blog entry to read more.





Sunday, September 18, 2011

1902 Dick Act invalidates gun control laws

Apparently, legislation passed in 1902, called the Dick Act, invalidates all gun control laws; the problem is, Congress just ignores it.

I want to thank the anonymous commenter to my July 14, 2011 blog post for bringing this to my attention. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

AFFIDAVIT UPON REQUEST BY JUDGE

Rod Class put in an affidavit (click on title above to access it) in his traffic court case after the presiding judge requested he do so. The judge, Howard E. Manning Jr., has since recused himself. 

You'll find a link to the affidavit, and other documents related to the issue of "driver's licenses" and "travel," at the Rod Class Team website. Just scroll down to the section about the traffic case. 

Here, in Rod's letter to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, he includes various sections of United States Code, Title 49, and explains the codes don't apply to the average individual, but to those who are operating in commerce... that is, being paid to transport goods or people. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Promises, promises...

As a gubernatorial candidate, Paul LePage promised transparency; but as governor of Maine, he's not being very open about his schedule of activities. Here's the story.