Thursday, March 9, 2017

Form 4473

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. If marijuana users aren't allowed to purchase guns, does that mean law enforcement could take a gun or guns away from someone if they know that individual uses marijuana? Here's a link to a Portland Press story about the new form 4473.

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 in 2003 to purchase a gun.

From the U.S. Supreme Court decision Alden v. Maine, "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."

Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Double Jeopardy...or worse.

Maine Game Wardens should never have seized our family's guns just because of Pete's decades old conviction in 1981 when he was 18 or 19 years old. That's like double jeopardy (prosecution twice for the same offense), only you don't get tried the second time...only convicted.

I asked for Intervenor status, as well as for there to be a hearing (called a Frank's hearing) to challenge the search warrant after the wardens, assisted by other law enforcement, came to our home and confiscated all of my family's guns in April of 2011. Most of the guns, probably all of them, were purchased during our marriage and are marital property.

So, a hearing was scheduled in 2013, but I was never notified of the hearing date by the court, apparently because I wasn't granted intervenor status. And though Pete and his attorney were notified, since Pete wanted to get things over with, he never told me. And neither he or his court-appointed attorney went to the hearing, so my motion was dismissed.

Pete ended up agreeing to a plea bargain for the supposed crime of being a felon in possession of firearms. He spent a week in jail, probably has another felon on his record, lost his guns to the state, has to pay a fine, and can't hunt with a gun, nor have one in our home for our protection. Oh, I can have one if I don't allow him possession of it apparently...come on.

The new form 4473 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 if you use marijuana. 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

Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. vs. Harford Glass Co.

I previously blogged about an employer who lied to the Maine Department of Labor, telling them that I had quit. I didn't quit, and I continue to try to get the Maine Department of Labor to reverse the decision denying me unemployment benefits.

The Unemployment Commission on January 31, 2017, 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. By now I know the chances of getting justice if you are just an average Joe are pretty slim, I've asked for a reconsideration anyway.

I have 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. But anyway, there is no deadline to get a decision reversed when someone commits fraud. Here's a Wikipedia article about the Supreme Court case that affirmed that.

Case dismissed...

11-16-2016 Maine Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gorman's order dismissing my appeal after Superior Court Judge Hal Stewart dismissed my complaint against Ken and Deb Martin (owners or former owners of the Long Lake Sporting Club in Sinclair, Maine).

In this letter to the Maine Supreme Court on 11-07-16 I requested more time to file my brief, as I had just received the audio recording of the hearings held in Superior Court. 
I had filed a complaint in Superior Court of Aroostook County in December of 2013 against the former restaurant owners...but only after the Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC) failed to properly investigate my complaint and ruled in favor of the Martins. What the employer did was fail to pay me for a few hours I worked as a waitress. The reason they wouldn't pay me: there were no customers to wait on. My complaint also stated that for every shift worked, I hadn't been paid an equal share of the pooled tips. Their reasoning was that I was a new employee. These things are clearly illegal.

Judge Hunter - who previously imprisoned me in the law library when I tried to help Pete with his case - had been presiding over the case until Judge Hal Stewart came along. I wasn't nervous being in front of Hunter though, even though I had filed a complaint about him which of course got dismissed.

The case was moving slowly, since neither I nor the Martins had an attorney. I tried to settle with them...though if I could have afforded the attorney fees that I should be reimbursed, and could count on the justice system to work the way it should I would never have settled. Finally though, the employer hired a lawyer, and he filed a motion to dismiss my complaint due to a missed deadline. 

Judge Hunter had early on in the proceedings addressed the issue... allowing me the additional time. I remember specifically, I told him that I had been working at potato harvest that fall during the months right before my complaint was due to be filed. In an order he wrote, he dismissed other complaints I filed (such as defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress) as an amendment to the original complaint...but he was allowing me to proceed with the Whistleblower claim.

I was away from home when Pete received the paperwork (motion to dismiss) in the mail. I had him mail it to Wyman's office in Deblois. I was living in one of their cabins and working in the factory in Cherryfield during blueberry harvest that fall. Judge Hunter, despite that he'd already stated he'd allow me to proceed, instructed the clerk to schedule a hearing on the motion to dismiss. But it wasn't until the next summer that a hearing was scheduled, and it was the new judge, Hal Stewart II, who presided over the hearing. And he had been a lawyer practicing in the same town as the defendants' lawyer was.

June 20, 2016 was the date of the hearing. In interrogatories, the defendants' had failed to provide information I had asked for: checkstubs of the wait staff who worked the same shifts I had. When I told the judge that, he said I could put in a request for a hearing on this discovery dispute. So I did. I hand wrote it and filed it with the clerk immediately. And I also requested a jury trial, and stated that the only reason I had not previously requested one was that there was a $300 fee. Within three days, Judge Hal Stewart had dismissed my complaint. I remember it was on the same day that another Maryland police officer, the one driving the van, was found not guilty on charges in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. 

Since the Supreme Court of Maine dismissed my appeal I guess I could file a certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. The odds of getting a case heard are pretty slim...less than 1%. Or, 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 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 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

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

Lawyers reprimanded

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.

The Maine Human Rights Commission took two years to investigate, then dismissed my complaint against Ken and Deb Martin, so I filed a 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 later reprimanded an attorney for doing what Hunter had done: attempt to get a signature, or assist and 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."

Anyuhow, 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 against us in a lawsuit several years ago in which my son had broken his arm, and been misdiagnosed as having a dislocation. That treatment displaced the fracture...requiring surgery. I 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.

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 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 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?