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My one-time ‚ judge, jury, and executioner, Zina Cruse, is running for St. Clair County Circuit Judge. Nothing could be sweeter, in my opinion, because now she has exposed her soft-pink-underbelly to my wrath for her arrogant and ‚ unlawful display in court on May 8, 2009 when she had me jailed for contempt when I refused to engage her insanity by entering a plea to a non-existent charge. You can read about that incident here.
Judge Cruse has succumbed to the allure of social media in furthering her ‚ hopefully failed pursuit of a position on the bench that is also stained by the likes of Judge Brian Babka, Vincent Lopinot, and Robert LeChien. ‚ She feels she is ready to be elevated from the position of Associate Circuit Judge to a full-blown Circuit Judge. I would agree, only in the sense that I find the paper trainee ‚ hat she wears when banging the gavel completely unattractive, and a disservice to paper trainee hats. She has established herself on Facebook in both her professional capacity and her campaign. Her dedicated campaign website is here.
Now, do I hate Zina Cruse? No. I have only met her once, and the result of that encounter left me sitting in a cell for some 3 hours because I refused to answer a question that did not apply to the reason why I was in her court. I cannot, however, in good conscience sit quietly by why such a person seeks a position on the bench where she will either bully or terrorize others possessing less temerity than I, into pleading or ‚ otherwise submitting themselves to punishment, undeserved. Judge Cruse did not take the time to engage me, investigate the facts, or otherwise pursue the truth as to why I was standing before her that day. Her arrogance and callousness is commonplace in many courtrooms where the uninformed and ignorant march dutifully before someone they probably believe cares little for the truth, but submit nonetheless in hopes of receiving lighter lashes than expected. I don’t care for the threat of lashes, I will stand my ground before bending a knee before anyone claiming to have any authority over me and no proof to support their claims.
There is an opinion published by the Illinois Supreme Court relating to a case where Zina Cruse was the presiding judge and improperly rescinded a statutory suspension of a driver’s license. A reading of the rule, which is fairly straightforward, would bar such a rescission under the circumstances presented on the record, yet Zina Cruse failed to apply a clear point of law to the case and rescinded the suspension. The State appealed and won. You can read the case here. Now, it is not uncommon for the Appellate Court to overturn lower court rulings, so I’m not saying Zina Cruse was targeted by the Appellate Court, but in my opinion, as a legal researcher, the point of law in this case is so clear and unequivocal that there should have never been a rescission‚ in the first place. This speaks to, what I believe to be, Zina Cruse’s inattention to detail. In my case, I had an order dismissing a case, and no charge upon the record, yet Zina Cruse was adamant about me entering a plea when the court date was merely to show cause why I should not be held in contempt. I was there to show cause, that being, there was never jurisdiction proven which would then subject me to the authority of the court. Zina did not want to hear my “cause”, she only wanted me to plead to a fictional charge. As a result, she found me in contempt for me standing my ground and stating I was there only to show cause. That is where her brain disconnected and she ordered me jailed. Bad move, Ms. Cruse. Subsequently, that charge, which I was held in contempt for not entering a plea, was later found to be in error and dismissed.
Cruse is being opposed by Anne Keeley. ‚ You can visit her website here. I have never met Ms. Keeley, but I know she has never had me jailed for disagreeing with her. That sums up the Democratic Party challengers, but there is a Republican in the mix as well. Her name is Laninya Cason, and she is a St. Clair County Associate Judge. She has been reported to have made some comments which endeared her to local Tea Party members at a forum held in Collinsville, Illinois recently. The Southern.com also did a write-up on her which you can read here. Now, am I a Tea Party’er? No. I am an Anarchist. The Tea Party clings to the notion that the Constitution is reverent and government, in some form, is necessary. I, of course, differ on both points and hold mankind to a much higher‚ standard, but my peaceful philosophical beliefs are no threat to anyone other than government actors, and only then insofar as I do not seek refuge, protection, support, or other recognition from systems employing force to further an agenda. That said, in this imperfect world where a significant reduction in government will not happen over night, I have to say that Laninya Cason is the preferred choice for this position.
I feel a personal investment in keeping Ms. Cruse off of the bench, but would do the same for any of the other judges who have exhibited similar tendencies. I am no stranger to filing complaints with the Illinois ‚ Judicial Inquiry Board, and even have an online form here for those who wish to do the same.
I will concede to this, if Ms. Cruse would contact me personally and apologize for her actions on May 8, 2009, I will likewise remove any negative posts on my site referencing her. I believe such an overture to be astronomical‚ in odds, but to do so would be to exhibit more humility and respect than any other judge I’ve been involved with. Until I receive that apology, I will proceed as planned in hopes of informing others of her contempt for civility, respect, and accountability to the people who pay her salary. Being called into court does not confer guilt, and the State has a burden to meet before it can pass judgment or punishment on an accused. To treat the parade of unwitting citizens before her as rabble is of the lowest sort of character.
Doing a Google search, I found an online paper writing about Ms. Cruse’s election. The paper is The Southern.com
I am public and truthful about all my information, and will freely make available to the public anything which is challenged.
Ms. Cruse, you know where to reach me if you wish to make amends. I am not closed to forgiveness, but am resolute in holding those accountable who use violence or intimidation against others.
If you are so inclined, please visit her campaign website at Zina Cruse for Circuit Judge .org
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You can also visit her campaign on Facebook here
Her personal Facebook page is here
Feel free to visit her pages and drop the url for this post on the page, along with this original post
Ms. Cruse, I’ll be waiting.
Meet Ms. Cruse’s opposition, Laninya Cason. Good luck, Ms. Cason.
Photo courtesy the Madison County Record
Well, Zina Cruse whipped the tar out of her Democratic opponent, Anne Keeley. That’s too bad. I do not understand, save for the corrupt and big-spending St. Clair County Democratic machine, how someone like Zina Cruse can prevail. Her supporters must be the most ignorant or corrupt of sorts to stand behind her. Most people who tell me about their experiences with Zina Cruse in court have little positive to say.
Here’s the story in the equally deaf-dumb-and-blind Belleville News Democrat who refuses to run any stories which come from a private individual about government corruption.
Well, Zina, enjoy it while you can.
I attended traffic court with my wife in St. Louis County Circuit Court, where a motion hearing was to take place. My wife was called by the judge to approach the bench. She approached with me in tow. The prosecuting attorney took his position at the left corner of the table facing the judge and my wife took her place at the far right corner with me to her right.
Discussion on one of the motions began with the prosecutor for the City of Olivette, Steven Fluhr, arguing for the plaintiff. I was listening, whispering to my wife what was taking place and what to say in rebuttal. Judge Clifford then barked at my wife to keep quiet, that he was listening to the prosecutor, and he would tell her when she could speak. Now remember, my wife is pro se, and not versed in the ways of appearing at the bar.
Clifford then asked me who I was, and I said that he needed to address my wife, since I was not a party to the case. My wife told him that I was her counsel. He asked me if I was an attorney, to which I replied, no. He then told me that I could not be my wife’s counsel since I was not an attorney. My wife said that she had the right to choose her counsel and I was her choice.
Clifford proceeded to tell me that “this area” was reserved for members of the bar, and since I was not an attorney I had to sit down. I told him that I was not going to sit down, and that I was going to honor my wife’s request to assist her. He then said that he would have me jailed for contempt if I did not sit down. I told him to do what he felt he had to do, I was not sitting down. He then said that he had never been shown such disrespect in his courtroom, and he didn’t want to have to jail me for contempt, but he was prepared to do so if I did not sit down. I said to do it. There was a bailiff in the courtroom who approached me from behind as this was taking place and I just turned to look at him and I shook my head as in not to lay a hand on me. He stopped about six feet behind me.
Clifford ordered the clerks to get the sherriff. One of them asked, “Really?” and Clifford responded with, “Yes!”. Everyone just stood there. The clerks got on the phone and called the Sherriff, the prosecutor, Steven Fluhr, just looked down at his shoes, and my wife asked me what she should do if they arrest me and should she stay there for the hearing. I told her that if I am taken away that she should walk out of the courtroom since she had been deprived of her right to assistance of counsel.
At about this time two deputies came into the courtroom and Clifford held his hand up as to have them halt and told them that I was not under arrest yet, but rather to just wait there. So, there stood the deputies at the back of the courtroom, a bailiff behind me, my wife to my left and the prosecutor opposite her. There was not a sound for what seemed like about two minutes as Clifford leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling. I stood there prepared to be escorted to a cell.
Clifford finally leaned forward and said, “You can assist your wife, but you can’t stand at the bar. That is reserved for attorneys. If‚ you wanted to assist her then‚ you will have to sit in‚ your seat and she could go‚ to‚ you to consult.” I’m thinking to myself, almost aloud, “Where is the contempt of court you threatened me with? I proceeded back to my seat, which was about six rows back. There stood the two deputies behind my seat and before I sat down I thought about sitting with them standing guard over me. I thought, “To hell with that.”, and I walked back up to the front of the courtroom and sat in the front section usually reserved for attorneys. This was a better place to hear what was taking place at the bench.
As my wife argued the motion which I had written for her she turned a few times as if to ask me a question. Clifford paused and asked, “Mrs. McCoy, it appears you have some questions for your husband. Do you wish to consult?” She said yes and was allowed to come sit by me while I briefed her on what was happening and how to argue the motion. This happened a total of three times and was allowed to consult with me uninterrupted.
After the proceeding was concluded, Clifford said, “Mr. McCoy, will you approach the bench?” I walked to the bench and leaned over close to Clifford when he said, “In all my years on the bench I have never had anyone show such disrespect. When I give an order I expect it to be followed. If you ever disobey another order in my court I will hold you in contempt, do you understand?” I looked Clifford in the eye and said, “It think we understand each other.” I then turned and walked out of the courtroom.
The moral of the story is that people have a right to assistance of their choosing. I do not represent people in legal proceedings. I do not speak to the court on their behalf. I speak with them privately. No judge has a right to tell someone they are not entitled to assistance of any kind. Clifford knew this and also knew he would be breaking the law by denying my wife assistance. He would have opened a can of worms by having me held in contempt. I was prepared for this possibility. When you have nothing to fear you will realize the only people like Clifford have on their side is intimidation and fear.