Sunday, December 10, 2023

Robbins v. MCILS - ACLU lawsuit

At the website of the American Civil Liberties Union you'll find the complaint, as well as motions and orders, in pdf form, regarding the lawsuit in Maine which was granted class-action status in 2022.

Under the heading "Take Action" if you scroll to the bottom of the ACLU's webpage, there are topics you can click on and send prewritten letters by email to lawmakers.

In August, 2023 the Portland Press Herald reported that the ACLU and the Commission (MCILS) tasked with providing legal counsel to indigent defendants, had reached a deal. However, it didn't get approved by Justice Micaela Murphy. In September of 2023 under the story "Judge rejects proposed deal on indigent defense lawyers"

The agreement notably goes beyond the commission’s direct control, relying heavily on outside cooperation from court officials, state lawmakers and county jails. Much of the settlement depends on the commission “successfully advocating” for increased resources and support.

“I just don’t know what that means,” she said. “Does that mean you have to bring sleeping bags to the appropriations table?

If Husson College's law students had been allowed to take the Bar exam and practice law in Maine, even though professors at the college located in Bangor, were not tenured, maybe there would not be this shortage of attorneys in Maine. From a March 4, 2010 story by Judy Harrison at the Bangor Daily News website, titled Supreme court rejects Husson law school’s application

In its proposal to the supreme court, representatives from Husson said its law school would cater to nontraditional students, offer courses at night and during the day, and allow students to attend part time. As of Thursday, Husson had received 192 inquiries from potential students, mostly from northern and eastern Maine, said Julie Green, Husson’s spokeswoman.

In 1963 The Supreme Court of the United States decided a case, Gideon v. Wainright. That case expanded legal assistance, to criminally charged defendants who could not afford counsel, not only in federal cases, but in state courts. However, in most cases an individual is going to stand a better chance of presenting their argument and winning their case if they are helped by someone with experience.

At the American Bar Association's website, from a story in 2008 titled Access to Justice: Is Civil Gideon A Piece of the Puzzle? it's revealed that the ABA has known for thirty years what a problem we have in the United States, regarding the lack of legal aid for the average individual.

...a 1994 ABA study that found that about four of every five civil legal needs for low-income families were not being met. Several subsequent state surveys found similar results.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Firearms Transactions Record

Here's the new form 4473

I can't believe that it's been several years since the question regarding marijuana use was added to form 4473. In order to purchase a gun, people who are marijuana users will have to lie on the form.

Nearly half of all U.S. states allow at least medical marijuana, and many of them now allow recreational marijuana. I don't understand why question 21 f hasn't been challenged by now and removed from the form!

Most gun violence is not caused by people high on marijuana. 


Commission formed to investigate mass shooting

Governor Mills appointed a Commission to investigate the apparent failures in Maine to find Robert Card and take his firearms...despite that there were many warnings that he would commit a mass shooting. 

Who was Robert Card? Confirmed details on Maine gunman

I have concerns about all three of the judges who are on the Commission! And on Monday, November 20, 2023 I went to the capital where they met at 10 am, and I asked whether these judges, who are not even accountable in their own professions, should be on the Commission. 

Justice Ellen Gorman is the judge who dismissed my son's medical malpractice case when she was a Superior Court justice in Androscoggin County. The misdiagnosis was something anyone could understand; however she gave summary judgment to the hospital/doctors, denying him a trial. We appealed to the Maine Supreme Court. 

You can read the decision here: Aaron Michaud v. Blue Hill Memorial Hospital et al. That's not the only bad decision she's made, but it's the most obvious, and egregious. Medical malpractice screening panels have been ruled in Pennsylvania to be unconstitutional delay of a person's right to trial.

Justice Daniel Wathen: He was in the majority when the Maine Supreme Court issued a decision in June of 1998, in Kingsbury v. Forbes. Following is part of the dissent in the decision affirming the dismissal of a man's appeal, though it was admitted that it was the court's fault that there wasn't any progress made in the case in two years. From the dissent in that opinion: 

[¶ 11] A pro se party who has complied with the requirements of the rules and reasonably has placed the responsibility for the next step in the proceedings in the hands of the court, in my opinion, has demonstrated the good cause necessary to prevent dismissal pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Holding pro se litigants involved in small claims actions to the technical requirements of Rule 41(b) in circumstances where the court system has failed to fulfill its own responsibilities defeats the goal of providing a litigant-friendly procedure to resolve small claims disputes. I would therefore vacate the judgment of the Superior Court.

Lastly, Judge Geoffrey Rushlau: He granted a protection from abuse order against me last year! All I had done was try to communicate with my son's ex girlfriend, Andrea Picard, to request contact with my grandchildren, who live only one hour away, in Waldoboro.  

After that protection order expired, she applied for another one, but Judge Brent Davis denied her request on October 3, 2023. This time she alleged that she was afraid I would hurt her to get to the children, or kidnap them. Ridiculous. 

Maine taxpayers pay when judges and other Maine government employees misbehave. The following is a story concerning Judge Rushlau, who at the time, was District Attorney for four Maine counties! The case was apparently settled. 

Former Lincoln County Employee Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Rushlau forced her to resign in December 2014 under false and misleading pretenses, according to court documents.

Regarding the newly formed Commission to investigate the mass shooting last fall, I forgot to ask at the meeting in November, if they would be paid, how much, and where the money would come from.

Only a few other members of the public spoke at the meeting. I mentioned that there should be some in-between for people who are a danger to society but not yet incarcerated... or those who are released from jail or prison, but who may still pose a significant danger to society. Many crimes are committed by individuals who have prior histories of violence, substance abuse, or have mental illness. 

In April of 2023 a Maine man, who had just been released from prison, shot and killed his parents and two other individuals, as well as injured total strangers.

Police: Maine man killed parents before firing on motorists

Thursday, November 23, 2023

 The Maine Supreme Court heard arguments on November 8, 2023 regarding an incident dating back six years, to 2018. A Maine man was arrested and strip searched without good reason

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) case argued in Maine

They questioned whether requiring police to determine whether an arrest is “reasonable” could be too confusing to be useful in practice. And they expressed doubt that Gaul could win his legal case against the man who arrested him because of rules protecting law enforcement officers from liability