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More problems in our Lacey, Thurston County, WA justice system?

When it rains in Washington, it fills the Pacific Ocean.

I generally do a good job avoiding contact with government employees, but sometimes it just can not be helped.

This story begins back in October, just after terrorists struck in N.Y. I had borrowed my dad's truck and was headed back to home traveling west on Martin Way just about the time traffic was getting thick. Martin Way has a 50 mph speed limit and I was in the inside lane planning to move to the center lane and turn left onto Carpenter Road. I was surrounded by many cars, all in a hurry to get home.

From in front of me a Lacey patrol vehicle traveling east moved abruptly into the center (2-way turn) lane, passed by me, then forced his way between the cars in the two lanes of traffic behind me and spun a U-turn in the gravel just off the road. Then without stopping, the officer immediately merged between cars, quickly changing lanes twice to squeeze in directly behind me.

Now at about this point I am expecting him to turn on his light and siren as he has obviously decided to pull me over.

As I continue driving toward Carpenter Road with the Patrol Car glued to within a few feet of the truck's back bumper, I am wondering what caused the officer to want to pull me over. I knew the left rear tire was down a couple of pounds, but not that much! Turning onto Carpenter I was amazed to not see flashing lights behind me. I (still) could see no reason for his radical driving, (other than an emergency situation which this did not seem to be in, as, he was not using his siren and lights to indicate he needed to get by.)

I digress here to mention that twice before in my life I have had a patrol car tail gating behind me, and wound up with a ticket as I sped up to remove myself from the danger of being tailgated. I believe now that this is a tried and true tactic of the police, and did not want to fall into that trap again. I continued to drive normal, not caring if a bystander got a lesson in where little cars come from.

Well, a mile or so up the road, around a couple of corners and then the blue light came on. I pulled over on a side street, wondering what the penalty for a low tire might be.

The officer was very frightened over something judging by his behavior but also very polite. I was given a "ticket" for driving a vehicle with expired tabs then allowed to continue to drive with the assurance that I could show the ticket to another officer should I get pulled over again and avoid another ticket.

Strange. The tire was fine. I still have no idea why he decided to come after me. And I am convinced that the decession was made while we faced each other on Martin Way. This meant that the tabs were not visible to him (as they are located on the back plate, not the front) and that something else initiated his pursuit.

Back home I told Dad what had happened and showed him the ticket.

He convinced me to go to court, and I sent in the paperwork as required.

A day later I was phoned by a person claiming to be a clerk working for the City of Lacey and asked about my record in reference to something which she alleged to have happened 11 years ago. Upon asking, I was told that there is no time limit on driving records. I learned then that anyone working there has access to my driving record without limit. I am shocked! Well, sort of. I had always thought there was a limit on viewing such records, even for a clerk in the Lacey office.

I received a notice of the hearing date shortly thereafter. They scheduled it to be four months away, and gave me 10 days in which to respond if I wished to retain my right to a speedy proceeding, noting that the right would automatically be forfeited should I not respond. The notice went on to state that the evidence and arguments of the prosecution would be made available to me upon request also within time constraints.

Today, I went to court for my "contested hearing hearing".

I was to be in room #1 of bldg. 3 at three pm.

I checked the posting in the hall of bldg. 3 and it confirmed this room and time.

Arriving early, I found the door locked.

Three pm arrived and the room door was still locked.

I double checked the posting and my paper and saw that I was in the right place at the right time on the correct date. I was very unsure of any legal recourse I might have, or of any problem which would later surface if I left.

I joined the line of folks who were paying their tickets and waited a quarter of an hour to ask the clerk what was up. You are in room #3 because your thing says room #1, she said and, didn't your read the posting in the hall? I told here it said room #1, thanked her and entered room #3.

I was lucky, the officer did not show up, I thought. And indeed, he was not present. Speaking with the prosecutor, I was told to leave, go to the next building, and request a document which would prove that dad's truck had been once again tabbed legal.

In the next building I was told that dad's name was not enough to look up such a record, and a license plate number would be required. They suggested calling the insurance company.

After calling the insurance company to find out that they did not have his number available to him over the phone, I returned to bldg. 3 Room #3.

My case was heard by Judge Susan Dubuiss next. (Click her name to send her a email with your comments.) The prosecutor indicated he would not go along with a reduction as I had no proof that tabs had been purchased.

This same problem is evidenced many times in dealing with government, i.e. the inablility of any individual employee to view the records created by another. Here, a government employee, was taking advantage of the fact that government records were not acsessable to the court. Is this lazyness on the part of the prosecuter for not having the records of his organization pertaining to the case on hand, or, is it the fault of a system which is incoherent in its records, or, is it an intentional act to win a case in spite of the truth?

The judge stepped in with the comment that the ticket itself (which was not in my possesion as it had been mailed back to the government as required by law in order to get this hearring scheduled.) had the number written on it. The prosecution did not then give me a copy, nor read the number aloud. This information should be available in the courtroom through a computer network and the fact that it is not is extremly neglegent on the part of those involved. The judge, the prosecuter, the defendent's counsel should all be demanding this from our legislature, as this access to both records and computers is a required pair if justice is to prevail in the 21st century. The "old" method of bringing a copy of every needed document is now outdated and if I had had a laptop computer connected to the internet via cellphone I would have been able to lookup the rules of evidence which were about to be vaguely refered to. I have read the same document year after year without ever learning (memorizing) it, and accept this as proving the contention that we humans need to have the document in writing before us for analysis and interpretation not a vague recollection of what some law says. With this access, I would have a chance against brilliant prosecuters hoping they are quoting the right verse. Let us look it up on the spot, don't expect a continuation to be inserted into the proceedings every five minutes while someone drives to the law library to check the wording in some section, as we all know, the judges won't do it.

What happened next is so weird I would not have believed it if not there.

After preparing for four months, the prosecution had only a tiny scrap of paper to offer as evidence. It was a photo copy (unsigned, unnotorized.) of something given to him in Lacey detailing the officer's brilliant career and ending with a statement so brief concerning the incident as to be no more than a reiteration of the ticket itself.

I objected to it being introduced as evidence as the officer was not present to cross examine.

Over ruled.

I objected to it being introduced as evidence based on it being an unsigned photocopy.

Over ruled.

Made a motion to dismiss based upon lack of evidence, and complete lack of any testimony.


After the prosecution read the statement the judge immediately decided to swear me in. (I am not sure why as I did not intend to testify.) I was given no chance to redirect or cross examine, nor given the chance to so much as touch the photocopy which was being used in convicting me.

I called my 81 year old father to the stand. I asked him to tell the story of how the tabs were forgotten, and heard him testify that they were now on the vehicle all legal like.

I suppose this helped. In the end the judge lowered the ticket to the standard $120 just as if real proof of the tab was on hand.

The prosecutor cross examined.

The judge found me guilty.

So, let me summarize this. I was arrested without any warrant. Stripped of my right to a speedy trial. Denied access to documents entered as evidence. Never had any right to a jury to begin with as the constitution has been rewritten as a collection of judicial opinions, and the presiding judge simply ignored the actual words used to write it and instead choose to rule that what was going on was not a criminal case.

I have included for reference a few snippets from the amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment 6 to U.S. Constitution

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment 7 to U.S. Constitution

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment 8 to U.S. Constitution

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This looks and sound good, but is worthless when those who are in power simply ignore it or rewrite it in the form of court opinion. It has no meaning other than to act as a facade for the actual functioning of government.

What I attended today was a type of hearing. I guess this is different from a listening or understanding but the fact remains that a judgment was made and a fine was imposed and naming the proceeding something other than civil or criminal does not alter this.

I believe I am the victim of a series of poor decisions by judges who do not care about the law as written and who now find themselves in a state of absolute power, able to redefine what had been written to anything they wish. As citizens we are foolish to let this stand.

I for my part, intend to do nothing as I am not the leader of some powerfull group willing to find a way to revamp our government and spend decades working at it. I am, at nearly a half century old, now convinced that any attempt to work from within the system will result in the system becoming more complex and less caring. Not only can't you fight city hall, but if you make an issue of something they will gang together and get even with you.

I can't help wondering why that patrolman did a "U-ey" like he had spotted Al Capone, if, he did not know who I was, (and had not observed any violation of law or suspicious act.) Is this retaliation for having written my last comment on our judicial system? I have not had a ticket in a decade, and now a couple months after writing about my experience with being called for jury duty, I get one. Serves me right for complaining about someone placed in jail (it was called a civil case that time) because they had a chance of committing a crime in the future. The judge asked us ahead of time to decide if we could send him to jail under these circumstances, and dismissed those who said no and kept those who said yes. Ask me what their verdict was if you can't guess! That mornings newspaper gave eyewitness accounts of their criminal acts while jailed but why bother with real crime when you can jail folks for what they might do.

Are you a judge? If so, be advised. Your willingness to go along with colleagues rewriting law as opinion will sooner or later spawn anger in those who have been wronged. We have enough nuts in this world without you creating more. When you find contradiction in law, rule in favor of citizen rights, not against them. We need to be on the same side. It is not a government ruling citizens we seek, but citizens creating the rule called government. If those in office continue to abuse their power as these judges have, then the citizens will eventually react, and some will turn from proper recourse of voting their anger to the acts of insanity and frustration we are seeing on the nightly news.

Don't read this as any kind of personal threat, for it is not meant to threaten you nor anyone, nor do I plan to take further action beyond writing or other legal recourse. As for the judge who presided today, I will contribute to your opponent in the next election and expect that you will not be re-elected when our community wises up to your trampling of our freedoms and rights, not to mention your lack of backbone in standing up for our liberties. There was a person present in the court room (other than myself) who was as outraged as I, and has also decided to speak out against your judgment in this small community, but all this will be behind closed doors.

I am still flaberghasted by this. It did not even matter to this judge that there was no evidence other than the prosecutor reading a photo copy alleged to be written by the officer. The point was clearly raised about the photo copy not containing an original signature or initial to indicate that the officer had in fact endorsed the copy as his statement. The prosecutor had clearly messed up in not bringing an original, and the judge clearly decided it was not needed.

This statement was accepted by the judge as factual and I had no opportunity to examine any evidence nor ask any question of any witness.

Mind you, after waiting months for a trial, this judge saw fit to excuse the prosecution from needing any witnesses as if it would be unusual for anyone to wish to cross examine. I do not get it. If these parties all know what is about to transpire, why on earth would anyone think that a witness is not needed?

The answer? They planed it this way. If I wished to cross examine the prosecutions witness I would be required to ask for a continuance. I told the judge; I was prepared and felt that the prosecution was the unprepared party, I did not need a continuance, and that the case should be dismissed for lack of evidence. But somehow it did not seem that way to the judge who told me I could have a continuance if I so desired.

This is functioning in a manner so as to influence folks to pay the fine and not make a fuss. If you want to get a fair deal, come back later is the rule. This one trip should have been enough, and I will not be back. I received such an unfair ruling this time, I fear that the system is no longer functional and would expect the judge to go along with anything the prosecutor says. I could have all the valid and sound arguments in the world backed by undeniable facts and it would not change the outcome.

That this is a society ruled by constant laws is an illusion. The truth is that those in positions of power have decided to take advantage of our system and are using it to meet their own means. This is a money making machine run by the judges with the cooperation of the police. There was no need for me to be in the court room today at all, and apparently not much need for a prosecutor and definitely no need for the arresting officer to be there.


I do my level best to live in a manner which is kind to my fellow beings and honest. I don't cause harm nor do I incite others to violence. I have known high ranking officials and legislators and judges and police since a child, and know them all to be just plain 'ol folk like the rest of us. So I appeal to all you: change things. To the cop on the beat, I ask your indifference to any infraction whose enforcement is not worth dying over as you are loosing all respect from your community for being so petty.

Officer, the buck starts with you. As the spear tip of law it is up to you not just to catch the criminal, but to cease making unwarranted stops as they are illegal. And don't take the supreme courts word for it, read the US constitutional amendments yourself. That thing about probable is completely wrong. Read it, you will see that the process should go like this:

There seems to be no reason to do otherwise unless under attack. This could all be done in the patrol car while tail gating a suspect. Bottom line, it is the judges duty to make the decision to arrest, not the officers duty, nor even within the officers rights. With modern equipment, this should be easy to implement, as the hardware is all in place. Still, it will be a long time before the general population accepts police as anything except bad news (times of distress and danger accepted.) How many times have we heard a story about some one not calling the police because they feared the police more than they feared their current circumstance? A myriad of petty charges are at the disposal of the police.

A Tumwater officer once told me that he could name off thirty separate violations (referring to the car of my employee who had managed to chop six inches of length from it center and had welded it back together including the balancing of the drive shaft in one day in his back yard. Same employee who after being in court in Thurston County was sent to western state for observation where he conceived of the idea of writing a list/book of three letter acronyms, which is today, the largest TLA list in the world. Same fellow could repair anything electrical or mechanical, period. Perhaps one of the brightest folks I've known, but with a stubbornness born of putting logic ahead of social niceness, which no doubt is viewed as a threat by anyone wishing to control him. I mention this as the officer mentioned may well thought he knew of thirty things which he could list but was in the end only guessing and trying to compare his view with what was written law. He was not qualified to car from a mechanical view as he is not educated in metallurgy and calculus and physics, nor is the judge for that matter, nor was the collective legislative body who created the law. He was a person who's outward appearance screamed of demon worship and heavy metal, yet in truth takes in abandoned kittens and spends his spare time reading tech manuals, designing engines and jogging, and has been followed all across town by the police, freaked out by his dark appearance and unwillingness to stop walking and chat a bit. His language skills were such that they most likely would have little idea of what he was saying without a dictionary and a few years of study in english and physics. He spoke accurately, and without regard for offending the person he spoke to. If you were an idiot, he would tell you quietly in words which would curl your toenails that you are an idiot and that you should do some reading.) The point being: if he said the car was right for testing/driving on the road, it was. And the law was being interpreted by him as allowing it, yet not by the officer. Only a QUALIFIED judge can determine this, anyone else is guessing including any lawyer in town who wouldn't know a sprocket from a spline. Connecting folks together using modern communications can help everyone in deciding what is right to do and what is not. No harm no foul, a point of view seemingly taken by the officer who (to his credit) did NOT cite my employee, but watched amusedly, and perhaps a bit in awe.

So too the buck must stop with the judges. Put your collective feet down just like Armstrong did, beginning with one small step. If there is a contradiction in law, recognize it as such and throw the new law out the window. Let the legislature write it as was intended. Force, by your rulings, a coherence in the meaning of words and the interpretation of syntax so that the expressions which govern us are not being rewritten by your decisions.

If you need a place to start, try starting with the notion that the US Constitution does not need to be interpreted, nor corrected for grammar, but that it should be taken literally. If the court does this and problems result, then it will be the providence of the legislature etc. to amend or correct, not the courts. Doing otherwise eliminates the validity of the legislature as much as having police decide to arrest eliminates the need for judges.

There did not seem any reason to have a judge present today. If I had been confronted by the prosecuting attorney and told directly that he could reduce the ticket to $120 in exchange for proving that tabs had been purchased I may have objected, but as a docile citizen would have payed. I might have paid anyone saying they were an official money collector, in fact I did.

With everybody taking over the providence of the others it makes me wonder if we will begin to see violence between the branches as they fight for control of the money.

And that brings us to the close, for that is what this is all about. Money. Government is using these petty fines and fees for funding.

I propose the following: A single method and rate of tax be applied to every transaction within the state and collected by the seller and sent directly to the state. The rate to be set by vote or legislature. Eliminate all license fees, tabs, etc. (The state may grant license but not charge for it, nor for any other service.) Eliminate all fines levied against persons. Fines against corporations may still exist.

No witness, no evidence, yet still one conviction. My 81 year old dad insisted on paying the fine, he was utterly disillusioned by the events of the day also saying this is just a money making thing for these folks involved. Myself, I belive it may be wrong federally, criminally, and hope I get to see their next victim sue them into oblivion in federal court or better, see them prosecuted by the big boys.

Good night.


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