Habeas Corpus 2012
Lost for 136 years
Outpost of Freedom
June 19, 2012
Where has the Sacred Writ Gone?
My first introduction to Habeas Corpus came back in 1995 and dealt with a traffic citation. My understanding of the Sacred Writ was minimal, but I tested it and found that, for whatever the reason, the judge seemed to not want to deal with it. That story, though not relevant to the current situation, can be found at What if I'm Arrested?
For these past seventeen years, I have, from time to time, revisited my research on the Habeas Corpus. However, last September (2011), I received an email from the sister of Larry Myers. She had found me through some articles I wrote back in 1997 regarding the Florida Common Law Court trial (again, not relevant to the current situation) in Tampa Florida. I had testified on behalf of one of the Defendants, and knew most of those accused by the government of various 'crimes'. Larry had avoided prosecution and had reestablished himself in Arkansas, where he was leading a productive, though somewhat obscure, existence. His sister asked if I could help Larry as he had recently been arrested and returned to Florida to stand trial, fifteen years after the Indictment (1993). Considering the coincidence of so many elements, I decided that, perhaps, the time had come to revisit Habeas Corpus and see if those thoughts that had occurred over the years, were more along the lines of guidance into finding and drawing that line between federal and state authority. So, I agreed to help.
Researching and reviewing what I had found, it wasn't until February 2012 that I had even come close to having a document worthy (or not) of presentation. Copies of this first Habeas Corpus (Exhibit 1) were sent to Larry with the following instructions:
There are two copies. One is for you to retain, the other to be served on the Sheriff or his agent. Of course, it will be the agent (corrections officer), since I doubt that the Sheriff will come to see you -- unless, after he reads this, he may want to see you. If he does come to see you, be adamant in saying nothing more than "That document has all that I have to say. You have been served and there is a time imposed on your response." Don't answer any questions regarding the Habeas, as it says what it needs to say, and anything else that you might want to say cannot help, may not hurt, but, may be used to attempt to explain away the Habeas Corpus.
Larry replied to me explaining that he had, twice, tried to serve the jailers ("goalers"), before January 27, and then resorted to mailing, on January 27, through the prison US mail system, the Habeas Corpus to Sheriff Gualtieri (Pinellas County, Florida). Whether the Sheriff ever received the Habeas Corpus is unknown, though, in effect, Habeas Corpus was suspended by denial of acceptance of service. I had anticipated that the "body" would be brought forward and that the Habeas Corpus would be argued in front of Judge Merryday (presiding judge of both the 1997 and 2012 trials).
In light of that understanding, I also secured a Power of Attorney Specific (Exhibit 2) from Larry providing that I could speak on his behalf regarding the Habeas Corpus.
Larry's trial began on February 6, 2012. It was over on February 9, with conviction on all counts. The Habeas Corpus -- the Sacred Writ -- had been ignored by the judge who should have "answered and returned" under the mandate of the Constitution.
Upon learning that not only had the Habeas Corpus not been heard, effectively denying that privilege, the Court acted as if nothing had ever occurred, out of the normal, I prepared and sent the Habeas Corpus, with cover letters, to Sheriff Gualtieri (Exhibit 3); Judge Merryday (Exhibit 4); the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (Exhibit 5); and, the Florida Supreme Court (Exhibit 6), all Certified, Return Receipt. All parties received the packages on February 12, 2012, except the Florida Supreme Court. I have never received a receipt from that package.
As far as a response to those letters, I did receive a response from the Florida Supreme Court on February 25 (dated February 20, Exhibit 7), and took it to mean that they were willing to consider the Habeas Corpus if I could overcome the two objections stated in their letter; the Decision of the United States Supreme Court in Abelman v. Booth [602 U.S. 506 (1858)]; and, the provisions of the Florida Constitution, Article V, §3(b).
I then replied to the Florida Supreme Court, on March 5 (Exhibit 8), responding to the two objections in their letter, though in the form of a letter.
In a letter from the Florida Supreme Courted, dated April 18 (Exhibit 9), they referred to my "correspondence" instead of the previously referenced "letter". Apparently, I had naively assumed that a Demand, as the first Habeas Corpus was styled, was a motion to the Court. So, I decided that I needed to submit a Motion rather than the Demand, or letters, which I had previously submitted.
The Motion (Exhibit 10) was submitted to the Florida Supreme Court on May 9, 2012, with copies being served on all of the previously mentioned parties (Sheriff, Judge, and Appellate Court). In an effort to assure that I had properly filed this Constitutional Privilege, the Motion was covered by a letter (Exhibit 11) asking that any deficiencies in the filing be pointed out -- a sort of check list for completeness -- and explaining that I was not seeking legal advice. Obviously, a misconception on my part, as their reply will indicate.
I will state that I probably erred in attempting to make the Motion as brief as possible. I omitted a number of cites and arguments that I had developed, assuming that the Court would adequately research this long-lost Writ., It would seem that the Florida Supreme Court is obliged to look out for the interests of its citizens and is the responsible party in a challenge to federal encroachment/jurisdiction into state authority.
The Florida Supreme Court then denied the Habeas Corpus in their letter of May 20, 2012 (Exhibit 12). Though they claimed that explaining a "deficiency" would be giving legal advice, they pointed out a "deficiency" in that it "concerned] a party prosecuted in federal court" and that he was "currently incarcerated in a federal facility". Well, the Habeas Corpus was a challenge to the overreaching federal laws under which he was prosecuted, and, the "federal facility" is owned by Corrections Corporation of America, Inc., and is not on federal land, ceded or jurisdiction ceded, as required by the Constitution. To use an overused phrase, the "federal facility" is no more federal than Federal Express.
Coincidently, the service of the Motion to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and their response to my letter of February 12 (Exhibit 13), crossed in the mail. Their response, dated May 10, 2012, interestingly, relegates the Scared Writ to an appeal, post conviction, and explains that they have "limited jurisdiction". "Only cases first filed and finally decided in a US District Court may be appealed and reviewed by this court", is how they put it.
They continue with reference to FRAP 22 (Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Exhibit 14), which states, "(a) Application for the Original Writ. An application for a writ of habeas corpus must be made to the appropriate district court. If made to a circuit judge, the application must be transferred to the appropriate district court". So, though the 11th Circuit was noticed that the Demand was filed with the District Court, as well as the Appellate Court, then, they act as if nothing has happened.
So, apparently, they failed to do their homework.
More to come....
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