Barbara Johnson, 'Queen of the Silenced', speaks out on judicial immunity
By Barbara Johnson, March 11, 2003
Basically all "quasijudicial immunity" means is "the same immunity from suit that a judge gets."
The folks who get that immunity have simply been "appointed" by judges. Guardians ad litem, investigators, social workers.
When they mess up big time, when they are incompetent, when they are biased or have their own agenda and are unfair to a party, when they are corrupt, they may not be sued. They get protected by immunity, even though they are NOT judges.
Quasijudicial immunity equals judicial immunity equals absolute immunity equals immunity at all times they are working supposedly "within the scope of their job."
It gets hairy because even when such a person does something outside the scope of his or her job, the court still dismisses the action on the grounds of quasijudicial immunity.
Some of the stories raise the hairs at the back of one's neck. People are suffering wrongs done them and have no relief whatsoever from any court. THAT is UNconstitutional.
Most significant is that article V of our Mass. Declaration of Rights guarantees us that the magistrates (read, judges) and officials of all three branches of government must be ACCOUNTABLE to the people at all times.
Therefore immunity is UNconstitutional in this Commonwealth and every decision which has dismissed cases on immunity grounds has been an improper decision.
You see, immunity is judge-made law. Bradley v. Fisher, a U.S.S.C. case decided in 1870, relying upon a British case out of the Court of the Exchequer, decided that we, too, should have judicial immunity. The judge in that case wrote, in words for all intents and purposes, "Even when a judge is malicious and corrupt, it is important that he maintain his independence . . . so I hold that absolute immunity should protect not only this judge but all judges." (Judges are not supposed to make law, they are supposed to INTERPRET laws.)
My reaction was, of course, What! We should leave him alone so that he can be corrupt and malicious again??!!$%^&*
If we can wipe out judicial immunity, then quasijudicial immunity will be flushed down the drain as well.
Of course, pleading this issue whenever I have gotten the chance has put me on quite a few not-too-peachy lists. And each time I plead the issue, there is no way I can cover my butt. I have to voice it or write it. Either way there is a record made.
Judicial and quasijudicial absolute immunity is the primary source of the injustice plaguing our judicial system.
If one or two good cases against judges were allowed to be sued, the others would clean up their act damn fast.
Look at the corruption when the judges make the parties pay the fees of the guardians ad litem. G.L. c. 215, 56A, says the Commonwealth SHALL pay those fees. No legislature contemplated that judges would purposely DISobey the statute.
Read Pat Wen's articles (two) in the Globe during the last two weeks. Anonymous judges admitted to her that they automatically make the parties pay. Although she did not mention my name, I was the source of a few facts in that article. (I have no clue as to which judges she interviewed.)
In fact, the entire court has entered into a conspiracy to defraud the parties in family courts. See my Drano Series #57, which is a Complaint I filed against five judges, including two sitting chief justices and one retired chief justice. The supporting documentation is identified in the Complaint.
Drano Series #57 is one of the primary reasons the Bar wants my Bar Card. After all, not only did I file it, I PUBLISHED it. I advocated on a few lists that the parties file motions for re-imbursement. So the court has been under siege and not happy about it.
I challenged a judge (Gould) who in an improper manner CLOSED the courtroom. Brought witnesses in that day. She wrote a decision. A single justice (Dreben, I think) of the Appeals Court wrote a cautionary decision. Gould ignored it. I brought the issue to a single justice (Spina), who wrote a short but stronger opinion. Gould ignored that one, too.
I following up by filing a Complaint for Contempt against Gould in the SJC, even though I knew his opinion was not what we call a "clear and unequivocal order" and she could not be found in contempt of it. But... I wanted to send him a message: If the Court is going to issue orders, then make them worthwhile; otherwise don't lay your so-called greatness on us.
The Trial Court (or A-G, I forget which) wrote a Motion to Dismiss the contempt complaint. SPina allowed it immediately . . . even before I had received the copy mailed to me. I never had the opportunity to oppose the motion and argue my client's position.
Even E.F. Hutton says you just don't get respect, you have to earn it.
Clearly our courts have NOT earned that respect from someone such as I who does not believe anything until it's proven to me. Nothing on blind faith. Blind faith should be reserved for religious arenas, not countenanced by courts of law.
Other problematic areas are the 209As (the so-called abuse-prevention orders) and the removal of children from the Commonwealth. The 209As are the teddy bears and Peanuts security blankies of the radical feminists. Ironically, women are in greater danger after a 209A is issued than before.
When you take away everything a man holds dear -- his children, his home, his money -- he gets angry or, at the very least, earns the right to be angry. So you have judges who say, Well he did not do anything, but what she did is so bad, he could be angry, so we'd better put a 209A on him. (Judge Fuller sitting in Greenfield did this... as have others)
What's wrong with this picture? He was the original victim. She had lied. Instead of punishing her for lying, he gets punished by having his constitutional liberty severely limited.
When she lies again or sets him up -- happens all the time -- he is charged with violating the 209A and is subsequently jailed.
And everyone wondered why the Sniper snapped! The man had nothing to lose. His life as he knew and wanted it had come to an end. The newly coined phrase in the vernacular is "police suicide," meaning take a few down and let the police assist in the suicide.
The press has to wake up and play reveille for the public.
Other problematic areas where judges throw away common sense, the rules, and stare decisis are child support and visitation. According to the Child Support Guidelines, the guidelines are based on "traditional custody and visitation arrangements." Yet they are applied even when the dad has not seen the child(ren) for years. Dad is reduced to being merely a wallet for mom. And moms do not have to be accountable as to how or for whom the money is spent.
Growing ever more prevalent is the jailing for child-support arrearages. In February alone, 308,000 jobs lost. Men on unemployment, and later then when the stipend runs out, cannot make the payments ordered when times were flush. The men cannot afford lawyers to seek modification. And judges are not modifying orders when they come into court pro se (without legal counsel). I've received literally scores of calls: I'm $7,000, $18,000, $58,000, in arrears. What can I do? The judge would not reduce my order. I cannot find a job at the same pay. I get $30,000 now, not $60,000 or not $80,000. I used to work at a dot-com company. I used to work as a stock broker. I used to. . . .
Supervised visitation is, of course, demeaning, embarrassing, and as harmful to children as it is to the parent (usually male). I've seen an evaluator recommend that a dad have only supervised visitation, not because he was abusive or dangerous to the child, but because having a third party present during visitation would protect HIM from being the victim of mom's repeated false allegations.
That recommendation defies fundamental fairness. Thank goodness I was sufficiently aggressive to force the evaluator to include her bizarre reason in her report. The judge, as expected, followed the so-called prestigious evaluator's recommendation. Dad, of course, had to PAY the evaluator just to see his child. Fortunately the supervisor saw very quickly how wonderful the dad/child relationship was and how bonkers the mom was and recommended that the order be changed.
Police departments refuse to enforce c. 269, sec. 13A, false reporting to the police. Not only should it be enforced, there should be a similar law for false reporting to a court.
CASA should be made to assist men as it does women. Ditto with the VWAs, the victim witness advocates. Whatever happened to that constitutional notion of equal protection.
As you can see, the problems are numerous. There is no hope that Romney/Healy will ever address these problems.
It's because I've addressed these issues in an outspoken way -- courts steamroll over wimps -- that the petition has been brought. There isn't a judge I've been before who has not mentioned the campaign. Court officers -- as far away as New Bedford and as recently as last week -- said, We heard you were coming.
The Bar and the judiciary want my butt big time. Well, they're going to have to fight hard to get it.
I am hoping that reporters or columnists will make their fight even more difficult to win by bringing these issues to the public fore.
Barb, Queen of the Silenced
# # #
Barbara C. Johnson
Advocate of Court Reform and Attorney at Law
6 Appletree Lane
Andover, MA 01810-4102
False Allegations: http://www.falseallegations.com
Participating Attorney: http://www.lawguru.com/cgi/bbs2/user/browse.shtml
The judicial system is very broken. It must be fixed.
There are four people who can do the job:
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
Everybody thinks Somebody will surely do it.
It is a job Anybody can do. But Nobody is doing it.
At least I'm trying. What are you doing?