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Impeachment Petition

     
 

What is an impeachment petition?  First a citizen needs to understand that the impeachment process is a political tool of checks and balances that our forefathers wrote into the Constitution to remove corrupt elected public officials (including judges) from their respective offices by way of the House of Representatives.  Keeping within the context of impeachment petitions against corrupt judges the investigative body of the House of Representatives is the House Judiciary Committee which is charged with reviewing and investigating the petitioning citizen's complaint of judicial misconduct.  Once the investigative results are presented to the entire House of Representatives, the articles of impeachment against the corrupt official (judge) are to be sent to the state Senate for trial "similar" to a court of law. The Senate will either convict the judge for unethical behavior or acquit.  This requires a two third vote in favor of IMPEACHMENT.  Regardless, impeachment is a political action (not judicial) with its sole purpose being to remove a corrupt official (judge) from their elected or appointed offices as punishment.  Some of the side benefits to impeachment are the judge will lose his/her state pension, they will be barred from holding any public office, and they and their family will basically live out their lives in disgrace. A small price to pay considering the thousands of families and children's lives they destroyed.

Doing some research on the Impeachment Process in Pennsylvania I discovered that up until 1968 the House of Representatives via a citizens district representative received any complaints concerning Pennsylvania's judiciary.  Supposedly, by 1968 the population increased dramatically, and consecutively the volume of complaints being lodged against corrupt judges proportionately increased to a degree that it was not practical or feasible for the state legislature to handle matters of disciplining judges.  I have not found any documented history on how the complaints against judges were actually addressed or how corrupt judges were reprimanded, if at all,  for their unethical conduct.  Recently...Michael Schwoyer, present (non elected) Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee readily points out that in Pennsylvania there was only one corrupt judge actually impeached in two hundred years.  So, in 1968 the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct and Review Board was born ( a virtual black hole) to receive and investigate all complaints against errant judges.  [Unfortunately, filing complaints through the JCRB were routinely encouraged, as matter of policy, by  your district representatives under the guise that it is the aggrieved citizens only available recourse for dealing with judicial corruption.  In the interest of their political self serving agendas a legislator either by ignorance or diversion will never, ever advise a constituent of their RIGHT to file an impeachment petition and in most cases pretend they don't know an action of this type exists]. Fortunately, the creation of the JCRB did not eliminate the impeachment clause in the Pennsylvania Constitution. Further it did not eradicate or absolve the state legislature's responsibilities from taking action for impeachment when receiving a citizens petition for redress of grievances against "their" government. As to be expected  any profession or government entity that self polices itself does not work, never did, never will, as was such with the JCRB. 

By 1993 the state legislature was again being bombarded with complaints about Pennsylvania's judiciary.  Only this time the complaints were being directed at the JCRB for nonperformance and malfeasance.  Hence in 1993 the Pennsylvania constitution was amended once again by Pennsylvania voters to establish a Judicial Conduct Board. This disciplinary board now incorporated a two tiered  procedure for dealing with corrupt judges and the twelve member panel was to include six non-lawyer private citizens. Three private citizens are appointed by the board of the Supreme Court and three are appointed by the Governor. Sounds honorable and unbiased doesn't it? Once investigations are complete the charges (if any) are to be taken before the second stage of the JCB called the Court of Judicial Discipline. One needs to keep in mind that this procedure is never made public record and is totally conducted in secrecy under the umbrella of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. A prudent person would have to infer that anything conducted in secrecy is most likely done underhanded. I remember reading in the newspapers in 1993, that the state legislature beamed with pride that this new two tiered  method of disciplining corrupt judges would restore the publics confidence in the judiciary and the way corrupt judges would be investigated and disciplined.  Being time tested-- twenty years later--- has proven the legislature wrong  and the JCB to be...another pipe dream!

So here we are again in 2005 where the Judicial Conduct Board like its predecessor is an abominable failure and public disgrace.  I believe that six to eight hundred complaints are filed with the JCB each year and after allegedly investigating these complaints barely result in some 2%  disciplinary actions against a member of the judiciary.  The majority of that minuscule 2% are prosecutions against the expendable token district magistrates. Now, anyone who has filed a complaint with the Judicial Conduct Board knows that they are expeditiously dismissed without any real action what-so-ever being taken against the judge complained of. Result,  the courts' victims walk away feeling rejected , hopeless and victimized a second time by the judicial system...while the accused judges remain untarnished and unabated from striking out again at their next victim.

I think the above paragraph and statistics are self explanatory as to the reason the impeachment process in Pennsylvania must be taken out of mothballs and utilized by the citizenry.  Somewhere, accountability for corrupt judges must be established, otherwise we are going to continue this accelerating slide towards total tyranny by the judicial branch of government. Anyone who has been through the Family Court System and has been designated and denigrated to the status of Non Custodial Parent or court ordered Non Parent can certainly understand that domestic relations law and the Constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania are not being upheld by the family courts. In fact we have a female judge in Blair County that boldly announces from the judicial bench that the Constitution of the United States and Family Law are like comparing apples to oranges.

Over the last fifteen to twenty years NCP's have slowly band together to fight a Family Court System gone mad.  It is the consensus of every NCP who has fought this battle against family court corruption that something extraordinary will have to be done by NCPs to "SHOCK" the general public's and political consciousness into taking a hard look at the plight of NCPs and their children.  Wherefore it has been my contention that multiple Impeachment Petitions filed before the state legislature at one time will stimulate the urgency for change in law and public policy.  Further, any filed impeachment petitions are put on the legislative calendar as legislative business and are a matter of public record...should the corporate controlled news media dare to report.  Multiple impeachment petitions should let the genie out of the bottle while raising the awareness of our state legislators that corruption in our court system and the ensuing status quo cover ups running amuck are not going to be acceptable any longer.

In preparing the impeachment petition against a corrupt judge an aggrieved litigant-citizen needs to mentally review their custody case step by step for factual detail and procedural etiquette. To assist this endeavor a person should review the following guidelines, but also keeping in mind that we are not attorneys and absolute perfection is not a constitutional mandate to file. We are talking about, good over evil...fairness and justice...right and wrong...not form over substance. Just keep the facts as accurate as possible to preserve your credibility and that of others who may choose to file future impeachment petitions..

Next one must consider that judges took a solemn oath to protect and uphold the law and  Constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania.  A violation of one or more of the above categories deprives a person of their Constitutional right to Due Process and Equal Protection of the Law.

If you have been reduced to a mere every other weekend visitor with your child by the court, you will need to ask yourself is this what you deserved?  Was the law followed? Overwhelmingly, the answer will be that you did nothing wrong to warrant being separated from your children...had an excellent relationship with "your" children... and loved them every bit as much as the other parent.  It must then be concluded that the judge or master did not fairly weigh or consider the evidence in your case.  A simple example would be [mom is a proven alcoholic and dad drinks coffee ... both were actively involved in raising the children].  Minus any other "real and proven" abuse factors detrimental to the children's well being,  which has the greater weight in deciding custody? A responsible disinterested person would see dad as the more stable and appropriate parent to raise the children.  How could a judge see it differently?  So would it be fair that mom should still be awarded primary custody of the children just because she voluntarily enrolls herself in Alcoholics Anonymous?  This is not equal protection of the law when one parent is held to a higher standard of acceptable conduct than the other parent. In this scenario if primary custody was awarded to mom then the judge manipulated, mitigated or totally ignored the evidence in making a preconceived custody order). In other words you were not given due process of law...you were just "processed" through a one size fits all production line just because you divorced the other parent. 

If a judge did not fairly weigh the evidence in your custody case then he/she violated his judicial canons to conduct a judicial proceeding fairly and impartially.  Evidence is something that furnishes or tends to furnish proof; especially : something (as testimony, writings, or objects) presented at a judicial or administrative proceeding for the purpose of establishing the truth or falsity of an alleged matter of fact.  Evidence is exactly that, not a judges belief or what he/she distorts it to mean.

Remember these are your children, not a trophy to be won through the highly contentious adversarial winner take all mentality of the Pennsylvania Family Court System.

In preparing your Impeachment Petition you will be basically writing your own story in numbered paragraphs for reference points that outline the pertinent events that had taken place in your custody hearing, protection from abuse hearing, or any matter that brought you before the family court system.

Code of Judicial Conduct and all the laws you need to know to file an impeachment petition can be found online at this link.
http://members.aol.com/StatutesPA/Index.html  These can also be found in any law library and most public libraries.

On this website start out by looking under the heading...The Pennsylvania Rules of Court.

(a) Look up subtitle Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Conduct. (Note: these are the Judicial 
    Canons (ethics guidelines) that direct the course of a judges conduct.

(b) Look up subtitle Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Chap. 1915. These concern 
      custody. (Note: these are the laws that "must be followed" in guiding the course of 
      civil procedure and custody litigation.

(c) Look up Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence. (Note: These are the statutory guidelines that
     must be followed during the course of litigation that permits or defeats the 
     introduction of viable evidence into the case record.  This includes documentary and
     testimonial evidence.


Next look under the heading... Table Of Contents for the Pennsylvania Statutes.

(d) Look for Title 23 and open it.  Next, go to Chapter 53...CUSTODY. These are the 
     statutes that "must" be followed in determining custody placement of children. (Note:
     these are the statutes that judges and "custody masters" must follow in determining
     divorce and custody matters. Judicial discretion does not permit a judge or master to
     willfully and wantonly ignore, redefine, or reinvent laws.

Start your document citing Pennsylvania's constitutional authority of the legislature to impeach a corrupt public official (judge).  This can be found on the example model attached. If you accuse a judge of committing a crime under Pennsylvania criminal statutes then his/her conduct is felonious.  From my own experiences with the court system, judges criminal conduct usually encompass criminal conspiracy, tampering with public records, and fabricating physical evidence, or as in my case the judge endangered the welfare of my child.  Be advised that charges like these should be avoided in your impeachment petition because they require a greater degree of evidence...proof to convict a judge.  However, if you discover a transcript has been deleted of  material statements (evidence) and have witnesses to this crime, or the judge refuses to provide the audio tape recordings of the hearing, (which are public record) then by all means accuse the judge of felonious conduct. 

The body of the Petition should include your statement of facts (story) and particulars where the judge failed to follow any of the above guidelines. This is where you will need to chronologically identify the judges unethical conduct (per incident) by citing the applicable state statute and Judicial Canon.

Conclude the petition by signing it and having it notarized. Most state representative's offices can do this free of charge.

Once notarized send the document to:

The Office Of  The Chief Clerk
House of Representatives
Room 129, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020

Expect to receive a letter from the Parliamentarian claiming that the complaint is a matter for the Judicial Conduct Board but advises that the Impeachment Petition has been sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who will in turn refer the petitions to the House Judiciary Committee.

A petitioner may also send a copy to their district Representative.  Sending the petition e-mail to all members of the House of Representatives is permissible.  Sending a copy to local news media or larger Pennsylvania newspapers is also recommended. 

However, do not send copies of the Impeachment Petition to any member of the state Senate.

One should also be aware of the probability that the Impeachment Petition will not be acted on for at least a year and will be "removed" from the legislative calendar without further action.  Wherefore, the Impeachment Petition will need to be refiled at the next legislative session in order to be placed back on the legislative calendar. In other words keep the pressure on.


                                                                           PETITION

                                        FOR THE IMPEACHMENT OF (insert) Judge's name,
                          
                        COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, (insert) Judge's County, PENNSYLVANIA


Pursuant to the Pennsylvania  State Constitution and Article V1--PUBLIC OFFICERS (Power of Impeachment -- section 4.), (Trial of Impeachment Section--5.), and (Officers Liable to Impeachment--Section 6.);  and Article V, Section 15 [Tenure of Justices, Judges and Justices of the Peace], and Section 17 [Prohibited Activities--Subsection (b)], and Section 18 [Suspension, removal, Discipline and Compulsory Retirement]-- Subsection (d): paragraph (5). 

To investigate the charges made and brought hereunder by the undersigned Petitioner against The Honorable (insert) judges name,  Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, (insert) judges county, Pennsylvania, as more fully set forth in the Petitioner's Affidavit in support of this Petition, attached hereto and made a part hereof as if fully set forth, implicating Judge (insert judges name)of (insert any or all of the following if applicable to your case--malfeasance, nonfeasance and felonious) conduct in office so sadistic that it strikes at the very heart of the American justice system; further implicating his failure to uphold his sworn duties as protector of the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Pennsylvania, and the laws of the State; and implicating his/her failure to uphold and enforce the public policy of  Pennsylvania for frequent and continuing contact between a child and both parents; and implicating his/her decisions to the contrary of said public policy in his/her official capacity as Common Pleas Court judge as violation of statutory and constitutional protections and liberties; and,

When warranted, to indict said Honorable (insert) judges name for (if applicable use all or pick any combination  malfeasance, nonfeasance and felonious conduct in office, and to bind him/her over for trial on impeachment from office in the Senate of the State of Pennsylvania at the earliest possible time.


DATED this __________ day of month, year.

                                  RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,

                                  PETITIONER:
                                  signature__________________________________________
                               
                                   Petitioner's name (typed)
                                   Petitioner's address                          
                                   Petitioner's home town, PA   
                                   Petitioner's telephone number

                                                         AFFIDAVIT OF PETITIONER

                                       IN SUPPORT OF PETITION FOR IMPEACHMENT

STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA )                          
                                           ) ss.
COUNTY OF (insert) NAME   )

(1.)
I, affiant (petitioner's name )., being duly sworn, upon oath, do hereby depose and state as follows:

(2.)
I am a legal resident of  (insert) city name, county name,  Pennsylvania.

(3.)
I make this affidavit in support of my Petition for Impeachment of Judge (insert) judges name , Common Pleas Court Judge of (insert) county, Pennsylvania. The statements made in this Affidavit are based on my personal knowledge.

(4.)
I am the Defendant in a post-decree civil action in the Common Pleas Court in and for (insert) county, Pennsylvania. (plaintiffs name v. defendants name) case number (example 96 GN 2139).


                                            (Optional__ Petitioners closing statement)

Thomas Jefferson has warned:
(Quote) "As for the safety of society, we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam, so judges should be withdrawn from their bench, whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution."

Frederick Douglas has warned:
(Quote) "Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact
amount of injustice and wrongdoing which will be imposed on them; and these
will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." 

Carl Schurz's profound statement sums up this situation we face today:
(Quote) "My country right or wrong; if right , to be kept right and if wrong, to be set right." 

I am again asking that my state legislature take heed to the warnings of these wise men. This unbridled reign of terror being inflicted on an unsuspecting Pennsylvania citizenry and its defenseless children by a self policing out of control judiciary body of our state government must be reined in through an honest and determined legislative investigation of the Blair County Court.

FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.

                                       ____________________________
                                       Affiant-(insert) petitioner's name.

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME this ___________ day of

(insert) month, year, by Affiant  (to be filled in by notary - petitioners name)________________________.

Witness my hand and official seal. ______________________________________.

My commission expires: _______________