J.A.I.L. News Journal
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Los Angeles, California                                               March 31, 2006
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Support Your Local Judge
(Research Report by Rose Lear - firstrose@verizon.net)
 
The following information is provided by Michigan JAILer Rose Lear. For purposes of brevity and clarification, some portions may be redacted and/or edited by comments. Every effort is made to remain true to original text.
 
Support Your Local Judge

The two armed bandit strikes again. Just as they started working second and third shift back in the 50's and 60's, now the state prisons are going to do the same. Prison Industries are growing. [It took just over 200 years in America to acquire the first one-millionth person placed behind bars, but  approximately only 15 years to double that number. Having passed the two-millionth mark only recently, America is continuing its expanse at an alarming rate. One of America's greatest and most prosperous industries today is prison complexes, said to be just behind that of General Motors which is now laying off. America's incarceration level per capita far exceeds every communist and fascist dictatorship around the globe by far. -j4j] We can expect to see more convictions for petty crimes, misdemeanors and infractions.

01/05/06 AP.  Idaho - Senator suggests prison "hot cots." Senate President Pro Tem Robert Geddes says Idaho could correct prison overcrowding by requiring inmates to sleep in shifts.
 
The so-called "hot cot" proposal would have two inmates sharing the same bed at different times of the day. Geddes announced the proposal during the Associated Press Legislative Preview today. He says inmates could volunteer for the swing-shift life, and they would have a better shot at scarce prison jobs because the facilities would be operating around the clock. 

What you will read below doesn't just apply to Idaho and Michigan, it is happening in every state. I know that here in Michigan, not only do the judges pad their retirement Funds, but so also do the legislators. Why else would they keep making everything under the sun against the law?

Michigan Compiled Laws

MCL 600.8381 (1)(b)
 
(1) Until October 1, 2003, when fines and costs are assessed by a magistrate, a traffic bureau, or a judge of the district court, not less than $9.00 shall be assessed as costs and collected for each conviction or civil infraction determination and each guilty plea or civil infraction admission except for parking violations. Of the costs assessed and collected, for each conviction or civil infraction determination and each guilty plea or civil infraction admission, $9.00 shall be paid to the clerk of the district court.

(b) Beginning October 1, 2003, the clerk shall transmit $9.00 of any costs assessed before October 1, 2003 to the justice system fund created in section 181 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.181.

600.181 Justice system fund; creation; use; disposition; investment; distributions.

Sec. 181.

(1) .... The money in the fund shall be used as provided in this section. ...

iv) To the secretary of the legislative retirement system for deposit with the state treasurer in the retirement fund created in the Michigan legislative retirement system act, 1957 PA 261, MCL 38.1001 to 38.1080, 1.2% of the fund balance.

(vii) To the state court fund created in section 151a, 14.3% of the fund balance.

(viii) To the court equity fund created in section 151b, 25.55% of the fund balance.

Sec. 151b.

(c) Excess court fees transmitted by the state treasurer pursuant to section 217 of the judges' retirement act of 1992, Act No. 234 of the Public Acts of 1992, being section 38.2217 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
 
One may be well advised to read the information provided at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jail4judges/message/897

From the April, 2000 Idaho Observer:

Support your local judge -- it's the law

For almost anyone who has been forced to defend himself (family, life, property, business, children, freedom) from the position of a plaintiff or a defendant in a contemporary court, judges can be a life form lower than attorneys. Why? Because judges come to court with the gameboard set up so their actors can lie, cheat, steal and purchase their way through the justice system.

There is no question among those who have been in it, the court system, managed and policed by judges, is a $multibillion litigation racket where justice is only served by accident. It is of paramount irony that judges, the same ones who have been presiding all these years and are responsible for the absolute, money-and-misery-making machine that has become the legal system, are obligated by law to pad their retirement a little softer with every civil action a citizen files in his court.

Following is the language that is law concerning judges. Keep in mind that supreme court judges, as of 1998, make $90,791 per year with an annual 4 percent increase in pay; district court judges make $85,095 per year with the same 4 percent annual increase in pay that most of us cannot claim by law.

The potential for judges to stack their retirement fund by forcing desperate people to file useless actions in court is extreme and, considering the nature of some men to be insatiably greedy, we can imagine that judges and their agents have learned how to run their court in a manner most likely to produce the maximum of documents which must be filed for a fee. Add the carrot of modern investment strategies that have made $billions of (electronic) dollars for pools of investors, and you have the most illustrative real-life example of the fox guarding the henhouse that has ever been sanctioned by state statute.

TITLE 1
COURTS AND COURT OFFICIALS
CHAPTER 20
JUDGES' RETIREMENT AND COMPENSATION

1-2002. JUDGES' RETIREMENT FUND. For the purpose of paying such retirement compensation, there is hereby created in the office of the treasurer of the state of Idaho a fund to be known as the "Judges' Retirement Fund," which shall consist of all moneys appropriated from the general fund, and all moneys received from special fees to be paid by parties to civil actions and proceedings, other than criminal, commenced in or appealed to the several courts of the state, together with all contributions out of the salaries and compensation of justices and judges, and interest received from investment, and reinvestment, of moneys of the judges' retirement fund, all as hereinafter provided.

All sums of money so accrued and accruing to the judges' retirement fund, less an amount deemed reasonable and necessary by the administrative director of the courts to pay for necessary actuarial studies to assist in administering the judges' retirement fund, are hereby appropriated to the payment of the annual retirement compensation of such retired justices and judges, and to payment of the allowances to surviving spouses.


TITLE 1
COURTS AND COURT OFFICIALS
CHAPTER 20
JUDGES' RETIREMENT AND COMPENSATION

1-2003. ADDITIONAL FEES IN CIVIL ACTIONS AND APPEALS.
(a) In addition to the fees and charges to be collected by the clerks of the district courts of the state and by other persons authorized by rule or administrative order of the Supreme Court as now or hereafter provided by law, such clerks and authorized persons are directed to charge and collect the additional sum of eighteen dollars ($18.00) for filing a civil case or proceeding of any type in the district court or magistrate's division of the district court including cases involving the administration of decedents' estates, whether testate or intestate, conservatorships of the person or of the estate or both and guardianships of the person or of the estate or both, except that no fee shall be charged or collected for filing a proceeding under the Summary Administration of Small Estates Act. The additional sum of eighteen dollars ($18.00) shall also be collected from any party, except the plaintiff, making an appearance in any civil action in the district court, but such eighteen dollars ($18.00) fee shall not be collected from the person making an appearance in civil actions filed in the small claims departments of the district court.

(b) The sum of eighteen dollars ($18.00) shall also be collected:

(1) from an intervenor in an action;

(2) from a party who files a third party claim;

(3) from a party who files a cross claim;

(4) from a party appealing from the magistrate's division of the district court to the district court;

(5) from a party appealing the decision of any commission, board or body to the district court.

(c) The clerk of the Supreme Court is authorized and directed to charge and collect, in addition to the fees now prescribed by law and as a part of the cost of filing the transcript on appeal in any civil case or proceeding, other than criminal, appealed to the Supreme Court, the additional sum of eighteen dollars ($18.00); for filing a petition for rehearing, the additional sum of ten dollars ($10.00); for filing an application for any writ for which a fee is now prescribed, the additional sum of ten dollars ($10.00); for filing appeals from the industrial accident board, the additional sum of five dollars ($5.00).

(d) The clerks of the district courts, persons authorized by rule or administrative order of the Supreme Court and the clerk of the Supreme Court are directed and required to remit all additional charges and fees authorized by this section and collected during a calendar month, to the state treasurer within five (5) days after the end of the month in which such fees were collected. The state treasurer shall place all such sums in the judges' retirement fund.


TITLE 1
COURTS AND COURT OFFICIALS
CHAPTER 20
JUDGES' RETIREMENT AND COMPENSATION

1-2008. INVESTMENT OF JUDGES' RETIREMENT FUND. The investment board shall at the direction of the supreme court select and contract with a minimum of one (1) investment manager to manage the investment of the judges' retirement fund. The investment manager(s) shall, subject to the direction of the board, exert control over the funds as though the investment manager(s) were the owner thereof, subject to the limitation hereinafter provided. The investment manager(s) is hereby authorized to invest the judges' retirement fund in the following manner and in the following investments or securities ....

(5) Corporate obligations designated as corporate convertible debt securities.

(6) Obligations secured by mortgages constituting a first lien upon real property of the state of Idaho which are fully insured or guaranteed as to the payment of the principal by the government of the United States or any agency thereof.

(7) Time certificates of deposit and savings accounts.

(8) Common or preferred stocks of corporations.

(9) Commercial paper, which at the time of purchase, is rated prime 1 by Moody's Investors Service incorporated or is rated A-1 or higher by Standard and Poor's corporation. ....


As we can plainly see, our legislature has provided the judicial branch of government with laws that allow them to prosecute for profit, the most obvious conflict of interest imaginable: Judges are allowed to run their courts as a vehicle to generate revenue that allows them to pad their own retirements.

The more appeals the public is forced to file because lower court rulings were compromised in one way or another, the more money appears in the account. The worse judges are, the better their retirement.

One last point: Judges' private retirement fund from publicly-generated revenues is overflowing with money and being used to make more money through modern investment strategies while your public retirement from privately-generated revenue has been spent by the people we elected to draft, approve, and implement this entire retirement travesty.


    MICHIGAN JUDGES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM 53

    Stocks Market Value

    Microsoft Corporation $4,137,766
    Citigroup Incorporated  4,075,380
    General Electric Corporation  3,909,508
    Pfizer Incorporated  3,842,305
    Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated  3,322,819
    Exxon Mobil Corporation  2,975,971
    Wells Fargo & Company  2,057,776
    Bank of America Corporation  2,046,585
    Intel Corporation  2,046,369
    Federal National Mortgage Association  1,901,433
    Largest Stock Holdings (By Market Value)*
    September 30, 2003

 
(Concluding remarks by Ron Branson):
It becomes obvious from the above statistics illustrative of the courts around the nation, that the courts and judges of America are the beneficiaries of huge legacies at the expense of the People. It should be noted that Constitutionally all appropriate fines imposed by a court for specified violations must have a reasonable connection to the damages incurred by the government for the said violation. In other words, the sentence must fit the crime. However, imposing fines that raises revenue for a legislative or judicial retirement fund is unconstitutional, because all revenue-raising ventures must be apportioned equally. In other words, everyone benefting from the venture must reasonably pay an equal amount.
 
The test then is to ask one's self whether the retirement of judges is a measure to be borne by the community at large, or by fining violators of a code. If the venture is one of revenue-raising for the retirement of judges, then it is unconstitutional because it is not uniform, and a burden shared by all. If it is a legitimate fine, it must be limited to damages reasonably caused by the violation, and no more.
 
You are each encouraged to investigate what percentage of your fines is going toward the support of judges in your state. You are welcome to report your findings to Rose Lear, firstrose@verizon.net, who is researching this project. 
 
Obviously, J.A.I.L. will weigh in on these alleged violations and the constitutional question involved in a fine v. revenue-raising.
 
J.A.I.L.- Judicial Accountability Initiative Law - href="../../State_Chapters/dc/DC_initiative.doc">www.jail4judges.org
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