Depositions indicate that criminal defendants appearing in the Harpersville Municipal Court
“have been subjected to repeated and ongoing violations of almost every safeguard afforded by the United States Constitution, the laws of the State of Alabama, and the Rules of Criminal Procedure,” Harrington wrote in an order (PDF) issued Wednesday.
Harrington temporarily enjoined the city from incarcerating individuals on probation or in post-conviction proceedings unless it first holds a hearing and then obtains his permission. He also said individuals who are convicted must have at least 30 days to pay fines and court costs without being assessed additional fines.
Harrington said the constitutional violations are “so numerous as to defy a detailed chronicling in this short space.”
Defendants are placed on probation with the company, he said, when they are unable to pay the entire amount of assessed fines and court costs on the day of trial. Defendants are jailed, without adjudication, for failure to pay fines or appear in court. Because of the failure to appear or pay, there is a new criminal charge for contempt of court with incarceration and additional fines, again without adjudication. In some cases, fines and fees amounts to “thousands upon thousands of dollars.”
. “When viewed in a light most favorable to defendants, their testimony concerning the city’s court system could reasonably be characterized as the operation of a debtors prison,” he wrote. “The court notes that these generally fell into disfavor by the early 1800s, though the practice appears to have remained commonplace in Harpersville. From a fair reading of the defendants’ testimony one might ascertain that a more apt description of the Harpersville Municipal Court practices is that of a judicially sanctioned extortion racket. Most distressing is that these abuses have been perpetrated by what is supposed to be a court of law. Disgraceful.”
Let’s hear it for the brave judge to buck the system and say the Emperor has no clothes. For certain, someone tied in is getting kickbacks to get this predatory criminal system into the court system.
It is most interesting the ABA turns off comments. You will note when my suspension for blogging about corruption resulted in an avalanche of posts coming to my defense, denigrating the behavior of MacCarthy’s flying monkey team, the ABA pulled all of those comments.
They, however, were saved on this blog and you can search for them.
I applaud the ABA for publishing the truth of what the court systems have become in recent decades. Ken and I will tell you that before there was a great deal of integrity. But my research shows that the court system, the attorney registration boards have become infiltrated with mob types.
That has to end. We have to reclaim our state and US constitutions.
Lyle Harrison was recently in prison, they refused to treat a broken tooth properly, they drugged prisoners against their will for filing grievances, and they fed the prisoners a diet of 1,000 calories or less–to grown men. I asked the 4th district to investigate and they returned my Motion to Appeal as denied but not signed by any justice in particular–just the clerk. (Moultrie County, Illinois) Both Lyle and his brother lost significant weight. Andrew, a grown man of taller than average size went down to under 100 lbs in the prison system after 2 months.
And Lisa Madigan, Anita Alvarez and Diane Saltoun “don’t do” court corruption, or any other corruption it seems.