The Case of the "Missing" Transcripts Continued. Post #1.On Tuesday, July 3, 2012 Sue Brewington received an email from Dan’s Indianapolis attorneys that said the Court Reporter for Superior Court II, Barbara Ruwe, had located the “missing” transcripts from the June 17, and July 18, 2011 hearings. The July 18, 2011 hearing that Judge Brian Hill’s Order said never took place, actually did take place and the June 17, 2011 hearing that Ms. Ruwe said only took place in Judge’s Chambers, actually did take place in open court. Both Judge Hill and Court Reporter Barbara Ruwe were adamant that these hearings did not take place or did not take place in open court. Judge Hill has since called Dan’s Indianapolis attorneys to accept responsibility and to say he thought that he had not come down to Dearborn County, for a hearing on July 18, 2011. We do not know what his take was on the other hearing.
It was only after receiving the signed affidavits... Dan’s Indianapolis attorneys submitted signed affidavits from 4 people swearing to what occurred in the “missing” hearings and that they were present at one or both of the hearings. The tapes “magically” appeared and the transcripts are going to be prepared. Dan’s attorneys received them on Friday, July 13, 2012. The transcripts were sent to Sue Brewington and will be posted on Dan’s blog.
Sue Brewington filed her first public records request with Superior Court II on January 12, 2012, pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act (Ind. Code 5-14-3).Matt Brewington filed his request a few days after this.
By January 24, 2012 two orders had been recorded in the CCS that said Matt and Sue Brewington could have all the tapes that they requested.Judge Hill added that they could not share the taped public court records with anybody without risking contempt of court.
On February 2, 2012 the Order changed.The Grand Jury tapes would not be released.
No recordings were made because “no hearing took place on that date”, July 18, 2011.
On February 14, 2012 Sue Brewington hand delivered another public records request. On February 24, 2012 Barb Ruwe, Court Reporter for Superior II called to say the records request was available and Sue should pick it up in the auditor’s office Monday, February 27, 2012.Monday morning, February 27, 2012 Sue Brewington picked up the tapes that were ordered in the Amended Order EXCEPT for the audio for the June 17, 2011 hearing. After being told the July 18, 2011 hearing that Sue Brewington attended did not take place she was now being informed that the June 17, 2011 hearing that she attended only took place in the Judge’s Chambers and no recordings were made.
Sue Brewington received a post it note that said the June 17, 2011 hearing took place in Chambers and she also received typed information on a sheet of paper, no headings, no signatures, “response to request on February 14, 2012 from Sue Brewington”:1) Reiterated there was “no audio of July 18, 2011 hearing as that hearing was continued as indicate on the Amended Order… signed February 2, 2012.”
2) Reiterated that the “Grand Jury audio recordings are not a record in these proceedings as indicated on the Amended Order signed on February 2, 2011. Also Grand Jury proceedings are confidential and cannot be released to anyone.” (The Grand Jury transcripts in this action had already been released by the Judge before trial and were no longer secret.)
3) Sue Brewington’s public records request for the March 11, 2011 arraignment hearing was “forwarded to counsel for the Defendant”. (Sue Brewington made a public records request for the transcript but Barbara Ruwe forwarded it to Dan Brewington’s counsel and failed to respond to Sue Brewington as to why she did not comply with the public records request.
4) New information. “Request for transcript from June 17, 2011 – This was a pre-trial hearing held in the Judge’s Chambers that was not recorded and there is no audiotape of that hearing. Therefore a transcript cannot be made.” (As we have recently discovered, this is not true)5) “Request for transcript from July 18, 2011 – Hearing was continued and no hearing held. Therefore a transcript cannot be made. (As we have recently discovered, this is not true).
This case is important because it represents a potential change in Indiana law, where the state is trying to criminalize political speech and two hearings were missing transcripts. Of course it is “unbelievable.” What happens to people, who are not keeping the records that Dan’s family is keeping, and all they have to rely on are the records from the Dearborn County Superior Court II? If it wasn’t for the persistence of Dan’s family, with the help of his civil rights attorneys from Indianapolis, Michael K. Sutherlin and Associates, there would be no record of two hearings that took place. Dearborn County Superior Court II, under Judge Sally Blankenship, has a legal responsibility to keep accurate court records and provide the public with records upon request. This is a matter of gross negligence or a malicious attempt to obstruct justice, and to obstruct access to public records, which would be criminal activity. Conspiring to obstruct justice by denying, not only public access but the defendant’s access to records, for his defense, could definitely be considered criminal activity.
For background information on this issue: http://www.danbrewington.blogspot.com/2012/03/missing-records-from-brewington-case.html This article was posted March 8, 2012 on danbrewington.blogspot.com. We are still trying to get every last transcript from this case. You can contact Dan's family at firstname.lastname@example.org.