Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Timeline of Dan Brewington’s case since the Notice of Appeal was filed on October 24, 2011

A. Notice of Appeal – October 24, 2011 – Filed by Bryan E. Barrett, Brewington’s Trial Attorney

1. “Pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 11, the Clerk of Dearborn Superior Court No.2 is requested to transcribe, certify, and file with the Clerk of Dearborn County Courts the proceedings or hearings of record, …

B. Letter from Jeffrey Stratman - November 3, 2011.

1. After writing in a letter “I will value, respect and request your insight and opinion on issues to raise in the appeal…” without even speaking to Brewington, he arbitrarily reduces the appealable issues by limiting the information that he is even going to review for the appeal.

2. The last paragraph says “If you cannot read or write and are reviewing this letter…”.

3. Brewington’s entire case was about his writings on the internet. Apparently Mr. Stratman didn’t know anything about Daniel Brewington’s case and yet he had a “verbal discussion” with Barbara Ruwe, Court Reporter for Judge Sally Blankenship, and somehow a decision was made to ignore the directives in the filed Notice of Appeal.

4. According to Mr. Stratman’s letter he knew very little or almost nothing about the Brewington case and yet according to Ms. Ruwe decided that there was no need to have ALL of Brewington’s records in order to prepare an appeal.

5. Common sense might tell a person to get everything that was requested and then disregard what was not deemed needed. Mr. Stratman seemed to do the reverse. He decided what was needed even though he admitted in the letter to Brewington that he didn’t know anything about the case.

6. In November and December Brewington still thought that all of the hearings were to be included in the transcripts because that was what the Notice of Appeal asked for.

7. There are no other written documents according to the certified CCS that the Notice of Appeal filed on October 24, 2011 was ever changed.

C. Brewington’s letter to Jeffrey Stratman November 24, 2011

1. I am not comfortable being represented by a Dearborn County attorney assigned out of Judge Sally Blankenship’s office since, she had already recused herself in regards to my case, citing conflict of interest, after setting my bond at $600,000.

2. I want all appealable issues preserved so they may be heard at the federal court level if all state appeals are exhausted. Brewington wrote this before he even knew about the changes to the Notice of Appeal discussed and decided on as per Stratman’s and Ruwe’s conversation.

D. Request for Public Records. January 12, 2012 – Sue Brewington’s request.

1. Request made for all audio so the written transcripts could be checked for accuracy.

E. Order to Release the requested audio and 2 pieces of evidence. January 12, 2012

1. Judge Brian Hill released all of the material that Sue Brewington requested. Then he ordered that if she shared or published any of the material she may be held in contempt of court.

2. Sue Brewington was not pleased with the contempt information but was relieved that they would finally have a complete record of Dan Brewington’s entire case.

F. Finding out that we would not be getting the transcripts from every hearing as per the filed Notice of Appeal. Around January 24, 2012

G. Motion to Grant an Extension for the transcripts, filed by Barbara Ruwe, Judge Sally Blankenship’s (Judge who set Dan’s bail at $600,000 and then recused herself because of conflict of interest issues), Court reporter. After waiting for the transcripts until January 24, 2011 we find Ms. Ruwe asking for a 90 day extension to finish what the Notice of Appeal asked for on October 24, 2011. That would have made it impossible to start on the appeal for a total of 180 days after the Notice of Appeal was filed. Filed January 25, 2012 with the Court of Appeals.

1. Ms. Ruwe stated that the only transcripts that Jeffrey Stratman requested were the Trial and the Sentencing Hearing. “Through verbal discussion” they arbitrarily changed the Notice of Appeal instructions that cited Indiana Appellate Rule 11 and that is all she prepared.

2. She writes in the extension request “On January 20, 2012, … the transcript was complete and a bill for the remainder due”.

3. “On January 23, 2012, I was prepared to file the transcript of the jury trial and the sentencing hearing (not what was requested in the Notice of Appeal) but had not received the balance due for the transcript”.

4. Note: January 20, 2012 was a Friday and January 23, 2012 was the following Monday, of course no payment was received over the weekend and the transcripts that she had “finished” were not complete.

5. She asked for and received in writing a request for additional transcripts made by Brewington’s appellate attorneys.

H. The transcripts for two more hearings are received in less than two weeks but the extension was filed with the Court of Appeals.

I. Attorneys accept the transcript as complete but reserve the right to request the missing hearings.

J. The Court Reporter’s Motion for Extension of Time to File Transcript is granted, in part, to and including March 12, 2012. Margret G. Robb, Chief Judge. Found on Indiana Clerk of Court: Online Docket Search Results.

K. Petition for Bail Pending Appeal – Filed January 24, 2012

L. Corrected Memorandum in Support of Petition for Bail Pending Appeal – Filed January 31, 2012.

M. Order Denying Petition for Bail Pending Appeal. – Filed February 2, 2012

N. Amended Order to Release the Audio, February 2, 2012

1. “Subsequent to the issuance of those two Orders, the Court has discovered that no audio recordings of the Grand Jury Proceedings for February 28, 2011, March 1, 2011 and March 2, 2011 were admitted into evidence in this cause, therefore, these audio recordings are not a record in these proceedings.” Sue’s Brewington’s response.

2. “The final Pretrial Conference/Bond Reduction Hearing which had originally been set on July 18, 2011 was continued on the State’s Motion and no hearing took place on the date. If a telephonic conference with counsel was held on that date, it was merely an effort to reschedule and find an agreeable date and no recordings were made. Therefore, no audio recording exists for July 18, 2011.” Sue Brewington’s response with attachments one, two, and three.

a. The hearing was in two parts: Bond Reduction Hearing and Final Pretrial Hearing.

b. F. Aaron Negangard, Prosecutor, Dearborn County, on June 28, 2011, filed a Motion to Continue the bond reduction hearing, the reason being, Shane McHenry, who is scheduled to testify is unavailable.

c. As of July 18, 2011, according to the certified CCS record, Judge Hill had not ruled on Negangard’s Motion. Judge Hill began the “hearing that didn’t take place” by taking care of the Bond Reduction Continuance. Judge Hill stated that he telephonically communicated his intention to grant the Order to Continue the bond reduction hearing until August 3, 2011, asking the attorney’s if they would be available. After taking care of that business Judge Hill went on with the pretrial hearing portion for the day. The court reporter was present and the entry in the certified CCS is as follows: Final Pre-Trial Hearing; Def W/Atty B Barrett; State by J Kisor.

d. This hearing took place in the Dearborn County Circuit Courtroom on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse, Judge Humphrey’s Courtroom. Sue Brewington was present along with at least 4 other people that would sign an affidavit stating that they were there.

O. Another Public Records Request, February 14, 2012. This time for the written Transcripts for the Arraignment Hearing, March 11, 2011, the June 17, 2011 hearing, and the July 18, 2011 hearing, that Judge Hill’s amended order says doesn’t exist because no hearing took place.

Timeline written and submitted by Sue Brewington 2/22/2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why is it so difficult to get all the transcripts from everything regarding my trial?

Why wasn’t the Notice of Appeal in my case, filed October 24, 2011, followed?

More Corruption In Dearborn County, Indiana?

During my sentencing hearing on October 24, 2011, after Judge Brian Hill sentenced me to five years in prison, my public defender, Bryan Barrett, filed a notice of appeal in my case. The notice of appeal states, “Pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 11, the court reporter of Dearborn Superior Court No. 2 is requested to transcribe, certify, and file with the Clerk of Dearborn County Courts the proceedings or hearings of record.” For some reason, the court reporter is doing everything in her power NOT to include the transcripts from ALL proceedings and hearings.

On January 25, 2012, the court reporter from the Dearborn County Superior Court No 2, Barbara Ruwe, filed a request for an extension with the Indiana Court of Appeals. Ms. Ruwe claimed the extension was necessary because she was not aware she was supposed to transcribe all proceedings and hearings. In her motion for extension of time, Barbara Ruwe informed the Court that around the filing of the notice of appeal on October 24, 2011 “Mr. Jeff Stratman was appointed as appellate counsel and through a verbal discussion with him, he only requested a transcript of the jury trial and the sentencing hearing.” Prior to my family retaining the services of civil rights and constitutional law experts, the Superior Court No. 2 appointed Dearborn County attorney Jeffrey E. Stratman as my appellate lawyer. Barbara Ruwe claimed she and Jeffrey Stratman came to a verbal agreement that she would not include transcripts from all hearings. The hearings they allegedly decided not to include were those which include my testimony explaining my ineffective counsel, not having evidence, not understanding the charges against me, etc... The “verbal discussion” that allegedly occurred between Barbara Ruwe and Jeffrey Stratman on or around, October 24, 2011, almost waived my ability to raise those issues on appeal. Even more disturbing is the fact Jeffrey Stratman was not appointed as my appellate lawyer until November 1, 2011. On November 3, 2011, Mr. Stratman acknowledged he knew nothing about my case because Mr. Stratman stated he was unaware if I could either read or write.

“If you cannot read or write and are reviewing this letter with assistance from someone, please try to notify me somehow and I will try to schedule an earlier teleconference to explain the case to you.” This is an excerpt from a letter I received from Jeffrey Stratman dated November 3, 2011. Mr. Stratman also stated, “I will generally do very little to prepare a case for the appeal prior to receiving the transcripts.” Despite the fact Jeffrey Stratman was not appointed until 11/1/11 and, as of 11/3/11, he was unaware of the nature of my case because Mr. Stratman was unsure if I could read or write, Dearborn County Superior court No. 2 court reporter Barbara Ruwe claimed that on or about 10/24/11, she and Jeffrey Stratman came to a “verbal” agreement not to follow the terms of the original notice of appeal. No motions, formal letters, or any written record of the change; just a “verbal discussion.”

It is frightening to know the extent of the corruption that runs rampant in Dearborn County. Either the Dearborn County Superior Court No. 2 appointed a lawyer to represent me who tried to waive appealable issues without having any knowledge of my case, without ever speaking to me, or court reporter Barbara Ruwe lied to the Indiana Court of Appeals about her unwritten agreement with Jeffrey Stratman to exclude documents that are critical to my appeal. A complaint to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission against Jeffrey Stratman would determine if Mr. Stratman’s actions were truly negligent or if Dearborn Superior Court No. 2 court reporter Barbara Ruwe lied to the Indiana Court of Appeals in a malicious attempt to obstruct justice in my case. If Barbara Ruwe is guilty of trying to sabotage my appeal, I highly doubt she was acting alone. Until it is determined whether the claims of Barbara Ruwe are truthful, anyone doing business with Dearborn Superior Court No. 2 should be very leery of its court reporting practices. People should also steer clear of legal services provided by Dearborn County lawyer, Jeffrey Stratman, until it is verified that Barbara Ruwe was lying about Mr. Stratman’s legal services being reckless and negligent.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Part of My Heritage

Maybe my Aunt Martha is on to something. My father’s sister sent me copies of memoirs written by a relative of mine, Daniel J. Hancock. The memoirs composed in 1900 and 1908 indicate that some of my family has a history of being imprisoned and/or being threatened with imprisonment for not following “the law.” It appears I may have a genetic “flaw” which causes me to stand strong behind my beliefs and convictions.
Daniel J. Hancock’s memoirs recollect his family history from their move from Snow Hill, Maryland in 1818. Hancock, whose Aunt Elizabeth (Hancock) married Elijah Brewington, told of 17 family members and 3 “negroes” (Prior to leaving Snow Hill, father William Hancock “gave all negroes all their freedom,) (all that would accept it), before leaving Maryland, and those that came out refused to be separated from the family.”) travelling by land from Snow Hill to Brownsville, PA, “and then purchased a flat boat on which the wagons, horses, and all other property, were embarked and floated down the Monongela River, to the Ohio River, thence down the Ohio to Cincinnati, and after remaining a few days then decided to locate in Dearborn County, Indiana, and disembarked at Aurora and located at Wilmington.” Hancock’s first mention of a family member running into legal problems was that of his grandfather Daniel Hancock. “Grandfather Daniel Hancock was a Baptist preacher and the negro, James, was his body-servant, who often related to me his adventures with Grandfather on his preaching circuits, and ministering to his bodily wants when in prison for preaching in Virginia, contrary to the law which only permitted ministers of the established church (Episcopalian) to preach.” Grandfather Daniel Hancock did not enjoy the First Amendment right to freedom of religion because the Constitutional right had yet to be established in the United States. Over 200 years prior to being convicted of exercising my First Amendment right to free speech, my relatives were First Amendment trailblazers.
Daniel J. Hancock’s first formal education came in a school his father William helped build in 1826. The schoolhouse my relative helped build in Wilmington (outside of Aurora) was one of the first schools to be constructed in Dearborn County, Indiana. When farm duties prevented young Daniel from attending school, he began borrowing books from “Mr. Harris of Aurora,” who had a large library.
In 1833, at the age of fifteen, Daniel left the farm to “commence merchandising” for his father “and at 17 did most of the buying and was sent South to sell the produce taken down in flat boats, and for three years spent six months of each year South (as far as New Orleans) and one month East, buying goods, the other four months selling goods and collecting.” In 1839, Daniel was stricken with yellow fever and was “not capable of active outdoor life for more than a year.” In that time he began “reading Law and commenced the practice of law in 1841.
In 1846, Daniel left Dearborn County to settle in St. Louis. Daniel’s father did not agree to accompany him to St. Louis because William was not “content to dwell in a slave state, after having removed from one.” Daniel wrote, “Father seemed to have something like a forecast of the coming slavery troubles and was extremely desirous that I should keep out of the hands of what he called “iniquitous human bondage.” He noted, “After my arrival at St. Louis, and witnessing the sale of, and separation of families of negroes at auction at the East door of the Court House I was forcibly reminded of Father’s oft predictions that the “Lord had a day of reckoning in store for our nation.” Daniel’s views on race would subject him to threats of fines and imprisonment.
“The negroes had a Baptist Church on Almond Street.” “I was a teacher in this school for two years, and soon after I began teaching was waited upon a constable named Maxwell, who asked me if I was aware that I was violating the laws of Missouri and liable to fine and imprisonment, to whom I replied I could not think it possible any such law could exist in Christian America, and at his solicitation accompanied him to his office and then read the law in the Statutes of the State. I said to him, “Mr. Maxwell, I am obeying the laws of God in teaching the Gospel to the negroes and shall not desist, so if you think proper, prosecute me for it.” Daniel Hancock stood firm in his convictions and did not cower to threats of prosecution. He went on to write, “I was not, however molested.”
Daniel Hancock’s work with African-Americans would continue through the Civil War. “About 1848 another African Baptist Church was organized on Morgan near Ninth street, and I was given charge of the Sunday School and continued with the school for nearly twenty years, and have always regarded this work with the negroes as the most profitable part of my Church work in St. Louis.”
Daniel J. Hancock wasn’t only courageous in his stance on African-Americans, during the Asiatic Cholera outbreak in 1850 & 1851, he sent his family to Indiana while he “stayed throughout the entire time of the scourge, attending almost every night on the sick and was mercifully preserved from even a tendency of an attack, though [he] was frequently nursing those attacked, a number of whom died.” He also “did much transportation for the Government during the war, both of troops and army stores and lost three steamboats while doing such services.” Hancock’s efforts help secure St. Louis for the Union.
Over two centuries and several generations since Daniel Hancock was imprisoned for preaching the Baptist faith in Virginia during the latter part of the 1700’s another Daniel sits in prison for exercising his First Amendment right in speaking out against the family court system. Over 150 years after Daniel J. Hancock told law enforcement officials to prosecute him for teaching African-Americans, Daniel Brewington sits in prison because he encouraged Dearborn County officials to prosecute him if they felt his opinions were not protected by the First Amendment. I can’t help but ponder what might have happened if Daniel J. Hancock decided to stay in Dearborn County and continue to practice law. Maybe Dearborn County officials would have been able to comprehend the provisions of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the Untied States of America
I want to thank Aunt Martha for sending me the memoirs of Daniel J. Hancock. (Also a big thanks to Uncle Bob who has trekked many a church, library and cemetery, with his wife, in search of genealogy of my father’s family.) I would also like to advise Aunt Martha and Uncle Bob not to travel to Dearborn County because now they are probably wanted for questioning in their roll of conspiring to assist me with blogging material. Maybe it’s genetic or maybe, as Aunt Martha suggested, just a coincidence, but I hope Daniel J. Hancock’s memoirs and this blog help demonstrate the absurd and repressive nature of the modern Dearborn County government and the duty of individuals to stand strong against challenges to civil rights.