Please see below. We recently received an answer to our Motion to Dismiss our Civil Rights complaint where Ken and I complained about the behavior of Peter Schmeidel, Adam Stern (for interfering with my blogging), Cynthia Farenga for assisting, and Jerome Larkin for assisting and for PS and AS calling up and threatening Ken that if he did not drop his investigation of the Mary Sykes case, he would be sanctioned by the probate court! As incredulous as this seems, I have heard numerous other reports of threats in the probate courts by the “in group” from those that don’t normally practice there but have a client with a juicy estate. This is abominable behavior.
The decision is interesting, but odd. We stated a claim for direct violation of our First Amendment rights, but the court says we did not state a claim for Retaliation under the First Amendment, even though we did not plead that. We pled a direct violation
First the court uses the Rooker Feldman decision to keep us out of federal court. On p. 4 it says that our civil rights claim is grounded in decisions emanating from state court proceedings, which is fairly ludicrous, because blogging has nothing to do with, nor can it be remedied in either the probate court or in a federal court proceeding. Threats to keep attorneys out of probate have nothing to do with a probate court proceeding, that is just a civil rights violation.
Next, the court entirely ignores the fact that my blog is entirely non commercial speech consisting of political speech–the type of speech that should be awarded the highest protection by any court. It is much similar to the Hillary movie discussed in the Citizens United case. What does this court say?
“There is no generalized First Amendment right to speak whenever
one desires.” Armstrong v. Fishel, No. 14 C 1015, 2014 WL 1282551, at *2 (C.D. Ill. Mar. 31,2014).
This is indeed the oddest quote. No where in the 9 page opinion does the court even begin to differentiate the correct standard regarding political speech (the government has no right to control political speech) and commercial speech (strict scrutiny, least restrictions to accomplish a valid purpose which is capable of being remedied by controlling the speech) and private speech among individuals (defamation or lying about another person’s character or reputation, esp. where they may be injured in their business or profession.) The type of speech is not discussed at all. And further, the Armstrong case is the wrong standard for political speech.
Next, on page 7, the court discusses immunity for the GAL’s in probate. The only problem with the court’s assertion of immunity for CF and AS is that threatening other attorneys, interferring with my blogging are not part of any probate proceeding. Neither CF or AS has been appointed either my or Ken’s GAL and we are not part of the proceeding.
The court notes that JL has official immunity and cannot be sued for damages. I disagree because it is not part of JL’s duties to allow attorneys to threaten other attorneys falsely. JL is supposed to protect honest and ethical attorneys.
With respect to PS, the court correctly cites the Heilman case, but does not recognize the conspiracy between the defendants, and also it was properly pled.
They further state that a GAL is not a state actor under 42 USC 1983.
The court also cites the 7th circuit Palmissano case with this quote:
“The Court notes that to the extent the plaintiffs complain that their First Amendment
rights were violated because they have been discouraged or prevented from speaking out regarding corruption in the courts, false or reckless accusations of dishonesty within the judicial system do not fall within the scope of protected speech”. Matter of Palmisano, 70 F.3d 483, 487-88 (7th Cir. 1995). (see page 8, fn 1)
however, if you read the Palmisano case, he made repeated unfounded statements on just about every judge he had:
“If Palmisano had furnished some factual basis for his assertions, then we would need to determine whether either the Constitution or principles of sound judicial administration permit a sanction–for an attorney is not absolutely liable for every statement that turns out to be incorrect. It would unduly quell investigation and exposure of corruption to disbar an attorney who publicized suspicious conduct, just because the suspicions were dispelled.”
Also, in Palmisano he accused the judges of all being corrupt and taking bribes. In the Sykes, Gore, Wyman, etc. cases, those are all different cases. Sykes has no jurisdiction and $1 million missing. Gore has 29 gold teeth missing and $1.5 million missing. Drabik has $9 missing from Harry and Lydia’s estate, etc. They are all different. In each case, there are family fact witnesses with evidence of the missing amounts and most importantly this blog is protected by 47 USC sec. 230. I
In addition, Palmisano was not running a blog that published also the proof, that is, the transcripts, pleadings and declarations and affidavits of those fact witnesses who state a completely different story of the Sykes case–a deeper darker one–one which the ARDC routinely ignores complaints thereupon.
A Notice of Appeal and Docketing statement has already been filed. It is hoped the 7th circuit recognizes a direct First Amendment violation, can identify the correct standard for political speech (Citizen’s United) and can reverse and remand this case for justice on a clear civil rights violation. None of CF or AS are mine or Ken’s GAL’s The GAL case cited has nothing to do with our case.
Here is the link to the decision: