Monday, January 23, 2012

Judge Brian Hill Threatened Sue Brewington with Contempt of Court

Judge Brian Hill Threatened Sue Brewington with Contempt of Court

A couple of weeks ago, someone suggested to my mom, Sue Brewington, that she make a public records request for the audio from the hearings/proceedings of my criminal trial. On January 12, 2012, Sue personally delivered a written public records request to the Office of the Dearborn County Superior Court II, Judge Sally Blankenship. On Saturday, January 14, 2012, Sue received an order from Judge Brian Hill. The order stated Sue was allowed to obtain the public records. Judge Hill’s order threatened Sue Brewington with criminal contempt if she shared the public records with any other member of the public. (See #4 in the order)

“The release of these audio records is hereby specifically limited to the personal review of said recordings to Sue A. Brewington.” “The recipient Sue A. Brewington is barred from broadcasting or any way publishing these recordings in any manner. Violation of this order may result in contempt proceedings.” The same judge who sentenced me to prison for intimidation is the same judge who is threatening Sue Brewington in an attempt to intimidate her from sharing public records with other members of the public.

Judge Hill’s “ruling” is disturbing because it discriminates against my family. Anyone is entitled to the audio from my criminal trial; Judge Hill just decided to set the precedence that each member of the public had to receive the public records through the Dearborn County Superior Court II and not from another member of the public; especially Sue Brewington. Judge Hill’s “ruling” basically states that every U.S. citizen is entitled to the court audio from the criminal trial of Dan Brewington but Judge Brian Hill has decided to force every U.S. citizen who is interested in reviewing the audio from my trial to pay Dearborn County for the right to listen to the public records and to wait an estimated 30 days for their public records request to be processed. If Judge Hill fails to place the broadcasting/publishing restrictions on future public requests for my trial audio, then it will prove that Judge Hill’s ruling on my mother’s public record request was discriminatory and threatening. If Judge Hill continues to rule that every U.S. citizen who is interested in obtaining the audio from the public record of my trial, then Judge Hill is effectively placing a public tax on acquiring public records in my case.

The record of my case is no different than thousands of other criminal cases. Aside from issuing a gag order or sealing records, trial records are public record. The premise of releasing public records is to promote transparency in efforts to maintain checks and balances on government. The public is entitled to acquire and share documents from my trial. The public is free to do the same with transcripts from the hearings. The public was free to sit in on the hearings and listen to witnesses and the overall court proceedings. Now Judge Brian Hill doesn’t want the public to have the same access to the audio. Judge Hill threatened Sue Brewington with contempt if she shared the audio from my trial; even with people who attended the original proceedings. What does Judge Hill and Dearborn County have to hide? Are the transcripts accurate? Is the court audio incriminating? Is Judge Hill claiming to “protect” the alleged victims in the case? If so, does he protect all victims in criminal trials when it comes to the release of public records or just judges and officers of the Court? Judge Hill sentenced me to prison for blogging “too much” about public officials. He said I was a bad candidate for probation because I would probably blog about the probation department. Judge Hill threatened to jail Sue Brewington if she shared public records from the trial. Judge Hill’s record of protecting public officials while disregarding constitutional rights is distressing, but it appears that Judge Brian Hill is threatening members of my family with criminal contempt in an effort to stifle free speech.

If you feel strongly about free speech, access to public records, please download a copy of Sue's public records request and mail the request to the address on the form. If Judge Hill fails to respond to new requests in the same manner as he did in the first order to Sue Brewington, it will only further demonstrate his discriminatory practices and disdain for the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Thank you for your support.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Frivolous Lawsuit," Eagle Country News Reports

“Frivolous Lawsuit” Eagle Country News Report.
The website of Eagle Country Radio 99.3 listed my story as its number five news story of 2011. I have followed the Eagle News stories throughout my incarceration and have found the reporting to be fairly unbiased but not entirely accurate; though the misleading information may not have been a result of bad reporting, just bad sources.
The Eagle Country 99.3 website reported that a federal civil rights lawsuit, filed on my behalf, against Dearborn County and other individuals was dismissed as being frivolous, which is unequivocally false. The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice upon motion by my lawyer, Robert Kelly. Either Eagle Country made a mistake in their reporting or someone lied to them. Civil Rights lawsuits against government officials cannot be dismissed as being frivolous on the surface. In my suit against the County and some of its agents, people like Judge Humphrey and Prosecutor Negangard do not have the ability to claim that a lawsuit against them is frivolous prior to any hearings or fact finding. It would make it nearly impossible for any civil rights lawsuit against government officials to prevail if the official only needed to resort to a “frivolous” defense claim. The United States Supreme Court has not issued a rubber stamp ruling or opinion on such a defense. Why would the courts and law libraries of the United States be filled with intricate findings in the rulings of civil rights cases if judges were allowed to toss suits based on simple “frivolous” arguments by the defense? However, courts may dismiss suits if the Plaintiff fails to cite a violation of civil law or if a suit is brought against someone who enjoys absolute immunity from civil action; like a judge.
Now before the detractors rush out and start blogging about how I admitted that I can’t sue Judge James D. Humphrey in a civil court, I want to make it clear that I never named Judge James D. Humphrey, in his professional capacity, as a defendant in a civil law suit; only the private citizen, Mr. James D. Humphrey. Judge Humphrey has the ability to victimize children and families in the domestic courts while enjoying absolute immunity from any civil responsibility. Judge Humphrey can hide behind his black robe while violating my Fourteenth Amendment right to be a parent. Unfortunately Mr. James D. Humphrey does not enjoy the same immunities as his judicial counterpart as defending public criticism does not fall under the judicial capacity of Judge James D. Humphrey.
“This was sick revenge dragging my wife and kids into the matter,” Humphrey said during his testimony. “I don’t know of many cases where a subject has more clearly expressed his intent to do harm.” These statements as reported in the Eagle’s October 25, 2011 story is exactly why James Humphrey is named as a defendant in a civil rights case. This is coming from a man with over two decades of service as a judge and prosecutor. Despite the fact that my writings contained no threats of illegal harm or conduct, Humphrey testified that my case surpasses nearly all of the murder, rape, assault, stalking, harassment, and other intimidations cases he has come across over the past twenty plus years when it comes to an expression of intent to do harm. I never involved his, nor anyone else’s children in the matter. James Humphrey involved his children when he contacted their schools because I blogged too much about their father. I spoke generally about Humphrey being a family man and having the opportunity to enjoy spending time with his children and grandchildren. (I overestimated Humphrey’s age when I assumed he had grandchildren.) The first specific mention of his two sons in my case did not come until Prosecutor Negangard sought a restraining order against me and placed the names and ages of Humphrey’s children on the order. I was ordered to stay away from people who I did not know existed. As for the wife of James Humphrey, Heidi Humphrey was listed as a public official by the website for the Indiana Supreme Court. Heidi Humphrey involved herself in judicial activities when she became an advisor to the Judicial Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the Indiana Supreme Court. She claimed she didn’t recall serving on the committee. I wonder how it would fly if someone testified in Judge Humphrey’s court that they could not remember being in a gang? “Sorry for the misunderstanding sir. You’re free to go.” Ignorance seems to be a defense reserved for his wife.
The October 25, 2011 article on the Eagle website justifies my federal lawsuit. The website quotes Dr. Sara Jones-Connor as saying “For over four years we have dealt with his attacks on a daily basis.” Dr. Edward J. Connor condemned my family for supporting my “harmful views.” What is worthy to note is Dr. Jones-Connor lied under oath about how long I had been expressing my views and at no point in the trial did anyone offer any evidence to disprove my views and opinions. The fact that Dr. Connor acknowledged my family supported my public opinions demonstrates how the criminal action was brought to undermine my First Amendment rights. Since the Connor’s and Humphrey’s realized they would lose if they brought a civil libel/defamation suit against me, they utilized the Dearborn County criminal justice system to conspire to deprive me of my civil rights. “Nothing that has been done has stopped Dan Brewington in his attacks on Dr. Connor and Judge Humphrey”, Negangard echoed. “He needs a sentence that demonstrates the severity of his actions.” Translation – Dan Brewington will not cease exercising his First Amendment right to free speech and he should be given a severe prison sentence for continuing to exercise his constitutional rights. To this date, no one has ordered or even asked me to stop writing. Why? It would constitute prior restraint of free speech; a violation of the United States Constitution. No civil or criminal court order demanding me to stop; just a five year prison sentence punishing me for my political and social opinions.
That’s why a federal civil rights lawsuit cannot be dismissed with simple “frivolous” claim. I would hope Eagle Country will address the error and question who made the false statement. As it appears that the Dearborn County Register/Birdcage liner operates out of the Dearborn County Prosecutor’s office, Eagle Country 99.3 seems to be the only credible news source in Dearborn County. Hopefully Eagle Country will have the courage to take county officials to task for constitutional violations. Unfortunately for all media groups and public voices who criticize Dearborn county officials, their speech is only as free as Judge Humphrey and Prosecutor Negangard allow it to be. That’s why Eagle Country and the other county news organizations should take great interest in the re-filing of my civil rights lawsuit because if I fail, they will only be able to report the news as Negangard sees fit.