Whenever anyone’s substantive rights are being destroyed, we all need to be concerned, very concerned. The stories below present, in terrifying detail, a phenomena that is occurring all across this state. Basic, fundamental and key Constitutional Rights are being trampled upon. Forget for just a moment about the “minor” violations that are occurring in foreclosure courtrooms and how this represents such an abdication of the sacred oath taken by our judges to uphold the law and protect and defend the Constitution.
One of the key principles of our entire system of government is that it is open for full inspection at all times and that the rowdy mob that is the American people are not just able to participate in the government….they are absolutely required to participate in their government. Most importantly, all courtrooms must be free, open and accessible to the people. This is so whether the court is hearing small claims cases, death penalty cases or even foreclosure cases. The fact that judges now feel emboldened to ignore the Constitution so that they can rush along doing the important job of serving the banks and foreclosure mills (Yes, even the mills that are investigation by the Florida Attorney General) is a terrifying testament to a fundamental breakdown in our system of government.
This cannot be allowed to continue. Read the excerpts below and understand that once major violations of Constitutional rights like the right to open access are permitted, judges will not just wake up of their own volition and honoring those rights again…..they will get comfortable in closed courtrooms and that’s the way it will stay…..
Monday Aug 23, 2010. Court room 4A Palm Beach County Courthouse. I was with a friend who had a hearing at 9am. We were greeted by the Floor Receptionist and told we had to wait for our team”¦”¦Now they are calling them teams”¦”¦.the Plaintiff and the Defendant”¦”¦..my friend was Pro Se. We still had to wait for the Plaintiff to arrive”¦”¦She was 20 minutes late”¦”¦”¦there was an armed guard outside the door of Court room 4A. As we approached to enter, with our team, I was asked if I was party to the hearing I said I was with my friend, the next best friend, and observing , the guard told me I could not go in. I asked why, she said because I was not a party to the case, I said I have never been refused entrance before, and the guard said I could not go in. I asked if she was denying the public the right to enter the courtroom and she told me I would have to wait outside”¦”¦.that there was not enough room”¦”¦.I waited outside for 10-15 minutes made a couple of phone calls and then she said I could go in”¦”¦.There were plenty of seats when I went in”¦”¦.So I was rather concerned that I was denied access to our public court rooms. But you feel helpless up against them”¦.I felt like my rights were being violated”¦”¦
“On 8/30, I had a Summary Judgment Foreclosure hearing on Palm Beach County’s ” Rocket Docket“. The judge spoke for 14 minutes to the crowd, of mostly pro se defendants, about how they should just agree to the summary judgment and the plaintiffs, (whose attorneys (Shapiro & Fishman had a dedicated courtroom and to whom he referred to as ” my attorneys”) would be gracious (Ha!) enough to allow them to stay in their homes for 120 days if needed (even though the statute says he only has to give them 30). When it came to hearing arguments which were fully briefed and provided to the court (pursuant to the instructions of the Divisions head judge) he only allowed 30-60 seconds for argument, failed to read any of the papers, failed to review the plaintiff’s foreclosure package,flatly ignored the Affidavit filed in Opposition, ignored my plea for a trial, signed the judgment and dismissed me. I never was permitted to even read the proposed judgment or to examine the ” newly discovered” allonge which Shapiro’s counsel said I had no right to see. Thank God I had a court reporter!”
I want to know why attorneys who practice in these courtrooms are allowing this to occur. I want to know why the press (national and regional) are not covering this issue. Shame on both groups for allowing this unprecedented attack on our fundamental rights to continue. Why are defense attorneys allowing this to occur? Why are you not taking these pro se and observers by your side and demanding that they be permitted into THE COURTROOMS THAT THEY PAID FOR, THAT THEY OWN, THAT OUR FOREFATHERS SHED BLOOD TO KEEP OPEN? That Sheriff only has a gun and that judge has no authority when he seeks to exercise it in a manner so repugnant to the Constitution.
WHY ARE ATTORNEYS AND PRESS NOT STANDING UP TO FIGHT THIS TYRANNY?