So now it’s time for the “post-conviction” collateral proceedings and for reasons I won’t go into right now the first place to go was the local federal court in Rochester with a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. I prepared that petition over the next few months and had it ready for filing by February of ’08.
I had by this time become very cautious, because the goings on with the Grievance Committee not only indicated incompetence, it also potentially pointed to something sinister and dangerous for me if it wasn’t incompetence. Sephora was incarcerated nearby at Albion, but for some reason I wasn’t able to get over to see her to sign the petition so I brought it in my own name as her “next friend” which is allowed under the statutes authorizing federal habeas corpus. I went to downtown Rochester and served the Attorney General at his office down there and then went over to file the petition in the District Court at the federal building on State Street.
Well, well. They were all upset that I had brought the petition in my own name and started giving me a hard time, like they weren’t going to accept it for filing. But one problem I had was that I had already served the Attorney General – like you are supposed to – and I didn’t trust the Attorney General’s office, which after all had appeared on that prohibition proceeding in the Appellate Division and pretty much nobody over there would even talk to me about it. In other words, I wanted the petition publicly filed right then because I didn’t want the AG’s office privately alerting the scumbags down in Livingston County that this is what I was up to, whereupon the scumbags down in Livingston County, who had already raped my client and suborned perjury and threatened and intimidated witnesses and threatened me, might finally take the next logical step in the chain and, you know, kill me. And the public filing of the petition right then would be something of a deterrent to that since there would be a public record of what I was doing right before they killed me, creating the risk in their mind at least that if they did kill me someone would connect the dots and suspect what they did. Whereas if the petition didn’t get filed, then until it did I was at a heightened risk, and however speculative the risk might have seemed why should I take any additional risk at all because of some piddling clerk at the federal court?
In other words, I wanted the Petition filed as a matter of self protection and risk management.
Now. I’m not taking no for an answer over at the federal building when they’re telling me they won’t accept it for filing because it’s in my name and they’ve “never seen that done”, and in my lawyerly way I finally pull rank and tell them to shut the fuck up and file the thing and any problems with all that will be between me and the judge.
I didn’t put it quite that way but that was the idea.
So ultimately they file it on February 15th, 2008. Remember that date, too, just for a minute. The petition was another of those 30+ page tomes that took me months to write up, but this whole thing is complicated, you know? The legal issues are different depending on what court you’re in and what relief you’re seeking so there’s only so much mass producing you can do in this business.
And just in case you think my thoughts about Livingston County scumbags was incipient paranoia, take a look at this link. This is a whole comments section on an article that appeared online about Sephora taking her plea and going to prison. Pretty much all the commenters talking trash about Sephora are Livingston County cops who have very little to do other than go on internet message boards and talk trash. Notice there’s a long gap in the comments from August of 2007, and then suddenly the trash talk starts up again on February 20, 2008 – five days after I had filed the petition in federal court in Rochester.
Yet no one in Livingston County had been served with the petition at that point. The only requirement was to serve the Attorney General up in Rochester, and that is all that I had done.
But somehow within five days the Livingston County rumor mill got a hold of the information that this petition had been filed up in Rochester and the cops did what they do – crank up the volume on the rumor mill in a silly effort to intimidate and squelch the opposition. But this was also unnerving, because it meant that the scumbags were very tuned in to what I was doing and talking about it all the time, and while it probably would be paranoid to jump to the conclusion that this was extremely dangerous for me and start panicking, it would not be paranoid to recognize that extreme danger could not be ruled out and to take precautions accordingly, such as making sure the fucking papers got filed publicly before the scumbags had a chance to find out on the sly.
Does this make sense to you? Good.
But there was another big problem with the habeas corpus petition I filed in the district court in Rochester: it got assigned to Judge David Larimer. Judge Larimer is a terrible judge, just one of the worst ever. He has made his whole career, if you want to call it that, siding with the government every single time no matter what, and beyond that always siding with the stronger litigant against the weaker. He was the butt of many jokes about this in the legal community but of course there is a serious side to it, which is that if a client comes to you because they have been screwed over in some federally significant way and you go over to federal court and file a case for them and it gets assigned to Judge Larimer, your client is just going to get screwed over again worse than the first time.
So let us not tarry with Judge Larimer. His conduct with respect to the petition I filed there was entirely predictable and after fighting with him for eight months or so on some stupid procedural point he just throws the petition out without ever even speaking to me. I’d call him an asshole but that really doesn’t capture it. Criminal is more like it.
To be continued…