BREAKING: New Supreme Court Pleadings | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

BREAKING: New Supreme Court Pleadings

See JFP Melton Blog/Archive here.

Today, Judge Tomie Green filed a response (PDF, 128 KB) to attorney Dale Danks' Tuesday motion calling for emergency relief from the Mississippi Supreme Court. Danks, who is the lead attorney on Mayor Frank Melton's defense team, accused Green of larceny for withdrawing a decision on March 5 and replacing it the morning of March 6. In her response, Green calls for Danks' motion to be stricken from the record.

"Preliminarily," Green wrote, "the undersigned trial judge humbly requests that the supplemental petition filed by the attorneys representing Defendant Frank Melton on today March 6, 2007, falsely accusing the trial judge of the commission of the crime of the tampering or the stealing of court records pursuant to M.C.A. 97-9-3 be STRICKEN from the record." (Emphasis in original.)

Green goes on to explain that the March 5 decision she filed and then withdrew in response to Danks' motion asking that she recuse herself was the wrong draft of her order. It was also missing exhibits.

Green writes that the mistake was both simple and innocent: "On March 5, 2007, one of the circuit judges ask (sic) me to qualify the jury for him because he was sick. While talking with the judge I received Defendant Melton's motion to stay my arrest warrant and requesting my recusal. I gave my court administrator and law clerk instructions about drafting the order denying both and directed certain exhibits be attached. After the jury was qualified, I quickly read the order and signed it without noticing the missing exhibits. I then went to presided (sic) over two (2) criminal trial. I then directed the law clerk to retrieve the order from the clerk's office. I don't recall being aware of the Supreme Court's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction."

This last point from Green in critical, because in his motion accusing Green of larceny, Danks suggested she was trying to evade the Supreme Court's jurisdiction. "Judge Green had no authority whatsoever to remove her appealable Order from the Court file and it appears that she did so once she learned of this Court's Opinion of March 5, 2007, in an attempt to deprive this Court of jurisdiction," Danks wrote.

Green writes: "Defendant's criminal allegations are defamatory and derogatory and were even sent to the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, without just cause. I have never given either the Defendant or either of his attorneys reason to publicly make such harsh claims or criminal charges against the court, with complete disregard for the truth. Accordingly, the trial judge requests sanctions for such misconduct."

Green then notes that she has submitted the substituted March 6 order. She concludes: "Moreover, I ask that this honorable court grant me the presumption of impartiality, inasmuch as the Defendant has provide (sic) no evidence to support their motion for recusal. Finally, there is absoltely nothing unusual about the alleged probation violations, supporting affidavit from the probation officer, warrant, arrest and hearings to be prosecuted by the State's Attorney General, so as to require this court's intervention."

Meanwhile, in a supplemental emergency application for extraordinary relief, Danks accuses Green (PDF, 92 KB) of further misconduct, though he uses more cautious language. "Following the filing of this second Writ," Danks writes, "public comments were purportedly made by Judge Green in the Clarion Ledger wherein she, among other things, negatively commented on the 'defense attorneys (sic) integrity.' Exhibit 'B'. These type of comments appear to be prohibited by Cannon 3B(9). The comment to this rule specifically states that 'in cases such as a writ of mandamus where the judge is a litigant in an official capacity, the judge must not comment publicly.' Furthermore, these public comments, attributed to Judge Green, if made, are further evidence in support of the pending request for her recusal as a reasonable person would conclude that Judge Green harbors at least some prejudice against defense counsel and/or Frank Melton, which would affect her ability to be fair and impartial."

The copy of Danks' motion provided to the Jackson Free Press by the Supreme Court's clerk, however, did not include the Exhibit B Danks references. However, in a March 6 story, The Clarion-Ledger wrote: "Green said the tampering accusation reflects poorly on the defense attorneys' integrity." This line was not a direct quote, however. The direct quote that follows does not make any direct reference to defense attorneys' integrity, though it does assert that they could be subject to sanctions: "'No lawyer would make that type of claim against a judge and not think that is basis for a bar complaint,' (Green) said. 'If that's what they believe, they need to file criminal charges.'"

On March 8, Danks corrected this apparant omission in a supplemental filing (PDF, 68 KB).

Finally, Attorney General Jim Hood also filed a response with the Supreme Court (PDF, 148 KB). "Because of the timing of events, the pending emergency petition seeks appellate review of the withdrawn March 5 order but not the more detailed March 6 substituted order," writes Special Assistant Attorney General Harold E. Pizzetta III on behalf of the attorney general's office. (Emphasis in original.) "Fortunately this Court need not resolve the unique jurisdictional issues raised by the pending emergency petition."

The AG's response goes on to argue that the court should reject defense attorneys' request for the Supreme Court's intervention on its face. "A mandamus rule under Rule 21 is an extraordinary remedy available only when the petitioner lacks a plain, adequate, and speedy remedy in the ordinary course of law," Pizzetta writes. "A mandamus petition is not a substitute for an available appellate prodedure."

Here, the AG's office is arguing that the court should reject Danks' request for extraordinary relief on the withdrawn order because he can appeal, through the regular process, the substituted order. Pizzetta argues that doing so will save the court the trouble of resolving whether Danks can appeal a withdrawn order. He also argues that rejecting Danks' motion "would benefit practitioners and this Court by reinforcing that recusal issues must be presented pursuant to Rule 48B and not through successive emergency mandamus petitions." In others words, rejecting Danks' motion would make it clear that defense attorneys must argue for recusal through the regular process rather than through motion after motion to the Supreme Court.

If the court decides to consider Danks' motion, the AG argues, Danks' arguments are "not well taken." Pizzetta points out that Danks' second motion refers to three incidents that occurred in November, 2006. "Because petitioner delayed asserting his recusal claim, his arguments are waived pursuant to controlling procedural rules and precedents of this Court." In other words, Danks' waited too long to demand Green's recusal.

The AG's response makes specific reference to the plea bargain negotiations that Danks accused Green of improperly influencing. "As set forth in the transcript attached to the trial court's substituted order, the petitioner did not object to the conduct of the plea procedures during the proceedings, and in fact benefitted from the complained of procedures," Pizzetta writes. "Further, during the plea colloquy the petitioner acknowledged under oath that he was waiving procedural and appeal rights by enterring his plea." This is a point that Green made also.

"The time and diligence requirements embodied in relevent precedents and Rule 1.15 are designed to prohibit the strategy employed by opposing counsel," Pizzetta continues. "Knowing of potential grounds for recusal, a party may not delay seeking recusal until such time as an adverse ruling is entered." Here, the AG is arguing that the rules and precedents governing recusal are designed to prevent attorneys from filing for recusal only when a decision breaks against them.

The AG concludes his response with sharp criticism of Danks for the tone of his motions. "Finally, the unfortunate tone of these proceedings as a whole warrants the attention of this Court," Pizzetta writes. "For example, petitioner has strayed beyond ardent advocacy by accusing the trial court judge of committing a crime. This Court has previously cautioned attorneys that theatrical comments alleging judicial corruption for the purpose of securing a procedural advantage are inappropriate. See Mississippi Bar v. Lumumba, 912 So.2d 871 (Miss. 2005). When an attorney makes a false accusation of judicial corruption, such an accusation 'adversely affects the administration of justice and adversely reflects on the attorney's judgment, and, consequently, her ability to practice law.' Id. (quoting In Re Holtzxman, 573 N.Y.S.2d 39, 43, 577 N.E.2d 30, 34 (N.Y. 1991)). It is more than regrettable that a matter of such importance to the citizens of Jackson finds itself in this posture."

As of 3 p.m., the Mississippi Supreme Court has not yet ruled on these motions.

Previous Comments

ID
126186
Comment

"Judge Green had no authority whatsoever to remove her appealable Order from the Court file and it appears that she did so once she learned of this Court's Opinion of March 5, 2007, in an attempt to deprive this Court of jurisdiction," Hes right what else could she have possibly been trying to do by sending her law clerk down to the circuit clerks office after five? Was she trying to make the court file neater? Come on give me a break.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-07T14:45:44-06:00
ID
126187
Comment

Obviously Shaun you don't believe the reason the Judge gave for pulling back the document. Yet, you believe Melton's attorneys. So, I think it is safe to say, you don't have much respect for Judge Green, just like Melton's legal team.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T14:59:30-06:00
ID
126188
Comment

Pike: Im not so sure she is wrong. I don't think you can go back and just remove documents. If you filed wrong stuff, you can just file a motion to amend or something like that if I remember right. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-07T15:02:54-06:00
ID
126189
Comment

But, is it criminal? You don't accuse judges of criminal activity lightly. Heck, throw it all out, reissue the warrant under another Judge. Melton's in jail one way or the other. His house is falling apart. He knows it, we know it. And, his people are starting to talk! Not in a good way either.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T15:07:28-06:00
ID
126190
Comment

didn't say it was criminal.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-07T15:30:30-06:00
ID
126191
Comment

Shaun, make some coherent argument as to how Judge Green could possibly have been trying to deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction by filing a substituted order.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-07T15:43:14-06:00
ID
126192
Comment

Pike is making my point. She might have done it poorly—inelegant, I believe I called it—but no one has shown yet how it indicates "bias" or criminal "tampering." My mind is open, but I'd like to hear a convincing argument.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-07T15:51:09-06:00
ID
126193
Comment

Wow, just got in and seeing the latest motions. The last three paragraphs above are amazing. The AG's office is quite articulate, eh? To repeat the three grafs: The AG's response makes specific reference to the plea bargain negotiations that Danks accused Green of improperly influencing. "As set forth in the transcript attached to the trial court's substituted order, the petitioner did not object to the conduct of the plea procedures during the proceedings, and in fact benefitted from the complained of procedures," Pizzetta writes. "Further, during the plea colloquy the petitioner acknowledged under oath that he was waiving procedural and appeal rights by enterring his plea." This is a point that Green made also. "The time and diligence requirements embodied in relevent precedents and Rule 1.15 are designed to prohibit the strategy employed by opposing counsel," Pizzetta continues. "Knowing of potential grounds for recusal, a party may not delay seeking recusal until such time as an adverse ruling is entered." Here, the AG is arguing that the rules and precedents governing recusal are designed to prevent attorneys from filing for recusal only when a decision breaks against them. The AG concludes his response with sharp criticism of Danks for the tone of his motions. "Finally, the unfortunate tone of these proceedings as a whole warrants the attention of this Court," Pizzetta writes. "For example, petitioner has strayed beyond ardent advocacy by accusing the trial court judge of committing a crime. This Court has previously cautioned attorneys that theatrical comments alleging judicial corruption for the purpose of securing a procedural advantage are inappropriate. See Mississippi Bar v. Lumumba, 912 So.2d 871 (Miss. 2005). When an attorney makes a false accusation of judicial corruption, such an accusation 'adversely affects the administration of justice and adversely reflects on the attorney's judgment, and, consequently, her ability to practice law.' Id. (quoting In Re Holtzxman, 573 N.Y.S.2d 39, 43, 577 N.E.2d 30, 34 (N.Y. 1991)). It is more than regrettable that a matter of such importance to the citizens of Jackson finds itself in this posture."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-07T15:57:20-06:00
ID
126194
Comment

If they take this statute literally, then they should take the one that says public officials who get misdemeanors have to leave office. A la Kim Wade! They called it criminal - larceny with up to 5 years jail time in their motion. That is harsh!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T16:00:50-06:00
ID
126195
Comment

No need for me to post that last one for Shaun and fish. That is some legal smack down! If the MSSC rules in favor of Melton after this it is clear that the fix is in. If you read the probation officers letter, the special Judge seemed clueless and uninterested in what the probation officer was telling him regarding Melton. If they don't do something to Danks, Lumumba may have a civil case?

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T16:09:55-06:00
ID
126196
Comment

Hey if you go watch the video of Melton turning himself in, when Danks leaves he gets in his car and drives off - WITHOUT A SEATBELT! This man is out of control! ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T16:16:47-06:00
ID
126197
Comment

He's just old school. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-07T16:20:10-06:00
ID
126198
Comment

AP story from Sun Herald: http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/breaking_news/16853047.htm

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-03-07T16:21:35-06:00
ID
126200
Comment

One of our citizen journalists raised a point I would invite our legal bloggers to consider. Rule 60, Relief from Judgment or Order. Paragraph (a) specifically authorizes a Court to correct an error "at any time on its own initiative." Perhaps a corrected Order would have been better procedure, but no guidelines are provided. Can anyone comment on this consideration? Lawclerk? Ray?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-07T16:29:26-06:00
ID
126199
Comment

Interesting that Danks seems to have gone silent. Quite the contrast to the last couple days.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-07T16:29:28-06:00
ID
126201
Comment

I'll take a stab at it. They mean the court where the action/motion resides. they don't mean where another court is a party.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-07T16:36:35-06:00
ID
126202
Comment

I think we are all in a wait and see pattern. Did the MSSC give a time they would rule? I feel sorry for him in many ways. In many ways I don't.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T16:39:40-06:00
ID
126203
Comment

I feel sorry for him, too. I've felt sorry for many criminals. But at some point, people have to take responsibility for their actions. The problem with Mr. Melton is he was in the position to hurt others on behalf of the citizenry and using our resources. All crimes are bad, but crimes committed on behalf of the citizenry and with public resources are horrifying and fall on all of our shoulders. That's why it was so imperative last year that people in the position to do so so (AG, DA, sheriff) had to take responsibility and put an end to the madness. They were late on the punch, but cheers to them for deciding to step up and do the right thing, whether or not it was popular. That's a sign of real integrity.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-07T16:44:15-06:00
ID
126204
Comment

I dont know judge Green, but pulling back a court filing is not kosher. You must file an amendment if you have aready filed a document. I would expect that there is possible misconduct here by the judge and the clerk. If anyone can pull a document that has been filed without a hearing the system will be completely unreliable.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-03-07T16:51:09-06:00
ID
126205
Comment

I'd agree with that. That was just plain dumb. and a great way to make a court mad.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-07T17:09:56-06:00
ID
126206
Comment

A court can correct an error on its own initiative... that just means they don't have to wait for the defense or prosecution to file a motion to correct the error. They have the power to correct errors sua sponte. However, I still don't know if the judge was wrong to invalidate her order and file the amended one. I would agree though, that a better way would be to amend it without pulling it. Again, though, we don't have all the information as to what really happened. I would not go so far as to say it was misconduct by the clerk. He/she was following a supposedly lawful judicial order. If I clerked for Judge Green, and she told me to get an order for her, I would most likely do it. I don't think I would question her every time she told me to do something or I would be without a job pretty quickly.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-03-07T17:30:56-06:00
ID
126207
Comment

agreed but I think the law quoted above refers to the Court that is hearing a case, not a case where the court, in this case, Judge Green, is a party in front of another court. If that is the case, she made a mistake.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-07T17:40:39-06:00
ID
126208
Comment

I am pretty sure it is fishy. Maybe not misconduct, but enough to ensure an appeal. She needs to recuse NOW and let another court deal with this quickly. City government is in crisis, it is time to get this over with.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-03-07T17:58:30-06:00
ID
126209
Comment

I haven't heard a good argument for recusal. The judicial system really stinks if attorneys can file hysterical motions to get a judge to step down every time they don't like what the judge does. That doesn't make me feel good. So those of you who are against Green here—how do you respond to the AG's office arguments today? That one sounds pretty damn convincing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-07T18:07:46-06:00
ID
126210
Comment

Wouldn't someone have to prove some effort on Judge Green's part to be malicious? I mean, I know there's no justice in this world, but at least someone pay attention to the rules!

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-03-07T18:38:20-06:00
ID
126211
Comment

Does seem like there needs to be more evidence than the pull back, and refile of the same document with attachments? She called Dunn. Dunn hasn't come out and said, the Judge told me I had to do this or that. Or that she didn't want her to keep a copy, and not tell anyone. Seems like Dunn kept a copy with her note. So... the Judge may have erred; but, did she do it maliciously and with contempt? They are stretching, and I don't see why the MSSC would side with the defense.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-07T18:51:12-06:00
ID
126212
Comment

I don't think there needs be any intent element on the part of the judge. Sometimes, just the action of what they did is enough to imply intent. I believe that Danks is *really* stretching this... I know that this is probably the *only* thing that will possibly get Melton out of jail, so he's going for it. Melton's violations could not have been clearer. The only way to get Melton a reprieve is to have the judge be taken off for now. What kills me are the comments from the public about Melton and how he just needs to do his job... and how other people are not treated like he is. Um... yeah. You're right. Other people aren't given 10 chances.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-03-07T18:56:28-06:00
ID
126213
Comment

My argument is that this is not a regular case. Every movement will be seen and analyzed. Everyone knows, or ought to know, that the defense will exploit ANY opening, no matter how small. Green should have known that she was going to be called on this. I am not saying there is malice, just the appearance of a problem is enough to kick the case to appeal. At the least it was careless. The judges and the AG are going to have to be completely on their toes here. Melton is charged with not following correct procedures outlined in his probation agreement. If the court is not following their own procedure, or looks like they arent, the process loses all credibility. This could so easily turn into an OJ-type circus that drags on for months or years.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-03-07T18:58:44-06:00
ID
126214
Comment

The process has no credibility as it is; the knowledgeable and rich can play games with it for ages. Danks is doing just that, marching to his owner's beat. Any other criminal which pulled these stunts would be buried under the jail. Melton won't be.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-03-07T19:38:17-06:00
ID
126215
Comment

Ladd: I haven't argued for recusal. I addressed a very narrow procedural point and that is it. I think it was a dumb mistake and she knows better and pointed out that courts usually don't like that kind of stuff. That is it. I have not said a word about intent or how outrageous Danks's claims may be or said a word about Judge Green besides that.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-07T22:12:25-06:00
ID
126216
Comment

"Shaun, make some coherent argument as to how Judge Green could possibly have been trying to deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction by filing a substituted order. " Hey Brian next time you try a case over in Hinds Circuit give me a call I promise I will sit second chair & bring you coffee & bow down to your superior legal prowess. And again Brian how many criminal cases have you handled? And where did you learn about jurisdiction? Was it at Ole Miss law cause I don't remember you being there but then again I am sure you attended Harvard or Cornell.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-07T23:57:55-06:00
ID
126217
Comment

It seems to me alot of time and taxpayer dollars are being wasted on this case...God forbid if this situation were over and done with tomorrow..What would the great legal minds in Mississippi and the press do with all of that free time?...I've been trying to figure what it is that Frank Melton has actually done to get all of this attention?...Did he murder somebody?..NO!!!..Did he rob a bank or gas station?...NO!!!!.....OOPS!!!!...I know what he did, He actually acted like he gave a damn about what really should matter, the citizens of this city..I bet those great legal brains out there are burning so hot that your heads are about to come off!!!!!!!!!!! ....Judge Green and all of the other great legal minds out there probably haven't had use their legal degrees and knowlege for much more than taking up space on the wall or on their desks.... Judge Green in her haste to complete her part in the great plan to get rid of the Mayor was probably trying to do some quick damage control to cover her own posterior.....If Jpd, the Hinds county DA, and the judges had put forth one tenth the effort to keep the criminals off the street, then this discussion wouldn't even be necessary..What ever is done about this situation in the end, you must be very clear about what the law is on this....You don't want to make a poltical martyr out of the Mayor..you just might get more than you bargain for.....The opponents of Mayor Melton could have saved themselves a lot of time and energy if they had just had dug up some dirt on him when he first became head of WLBT.... Then he would have probably have never become mayor....Isn't that how you play the game of politics?????..Why waste so much energy on this one case, when you have drug dealers and murderers who have never been in front of a judge..Why can't you great legal minds figure this one out!!!!!!!!......I think this more to do with Frank Melton stepping on somebody's toes than just a probation violation.....There are some players behind the scenes involved in this that if they were brought out in the light, it would make what Frank Melton is accused of look like a Sunday picnic..This has to be at least partially true, or else why would everybody be making such a big stink out of this...I have an execellent idea....why doesn't someone out there do a discussion or t.v. documentary on corruption in the legal/justice system...

Author
nosweat
Date
2007-03-08T00:26:58-06:00
ID
126218
Comment

yet another long winded late night rant from little seen posters defending Melton.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-08T07:33:10-06:00
ID
126219
Comment

Great fiction nosweat. What does time does the mother-ship arrive? I'm sure the kool-aide will tatse even better on board.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-03-08T08:07:57-06:00
ID
126220
Comment

Well, nosweat sho' don't like legal minds! The suggestion that we should go out and dig up dirt on newcomers to our state so that we'll be able to keep them out of public office twenty years later is really awful.

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-03-08T08:31:35-06:00
ID
126221
Comment

Does this person even go outside? Read the news? Go home, Troll.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-03-08T08:49:19-06:00
ID
126222
Comment

Shaun, Hey Shaun, why don't you answer the question if you're such a legal eagle, instead of changing the subject? Bull shit talks, you know?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T08:49:28-06:00
ID
126223
Comment

I suspect that Shaun is just here to blow smoke, but my question is genuine and is addressed to everyone. Can anyone provide an account for how Green's actions could be an attempt to thwart the SC's jurisdiction? That was Danks' original claim, and I can't see how it makes any sense at all, especially since the issue is now ... er, sitting before the SC.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T08:51:59-06:00
ID
126224
Comment

I've enjoyed reading shaun's posts. I haven't seen shaun insult anyone here. Brian, just because you try to correct a mistake doesn't mean everything is ok. What Shaun has been saying is that Green made a mistake in not following the correct procedures in correcting her other mistake. So predictably she is the subject of some rather extreme claims by Danks. Make no mistake, that was sloppy work by Judge Green in not attaching her exhibits. I don't care what her character is or how fair she is. She was sloppy when she filed her documents with the Court and should've been more diligent in such a high profile case. Believe it or not Brian, things get thrown out of court all the time over jurisdictional issues and procedures not being properly followed. The merits of the case or claim have NOTHING to do with it. There are rules and they have to be followed.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-08T08:59:43-06:00
ID
126225
Comment

Brian, The SCT will have jurisdiction once Hinds ruled on it, not before, which is why they refused to hear Danks's first appeal to them. There was no jurisdiction until the HInds court has ruled. When Green filed her order, it gave the SCT jurisdiction... Well, then she pulled her order, so who has jurisdiction now? But then she re-filed, so the SCT has it again. I need some coffee.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-03-08T09:01:20-06:00
ID
126226
Comment

Yes, LawClerk, and that was really my only point. Danks' original rather inflammatory claim was that Green pulled the order to avoid the SC's jurisdiction. That doesn't seem to be the case, and I was just wondering whether I was missing something. Kingfish, you are completely missing the point. I never said that what Green did was OK. I understand that things can get yanked on procedural or jurisdictional grounds. It seems clear from what lawyers are posting that she should have filed an amended order. She writes of how busy she was that afternoon, and I think it's worth noting that Danks et al. can devote themselves to this 24/7 while Green has a full docket. Nevertheless, in such an important matter, sending the wrong draft without exhibits was very sloppy. As an editor, I have to groan a bit at how many typos there are in her order. I have no idea how the SC will rule on these matters. That said, I asked Shaun a simple question, and he/she responded by rattling off his credentials in a snearing, contemptuous tone that has no place in this discussion. I don't care how many cases he's tried in Hinds County or the fact that he is a Rebel. (That last does not particularly commend anyone to me.) We are trying to understand the different facets of this legal battle, and anyone who can help us will have our gratitude, as always. If Shaun can help us with that, we will be grateful to him as well, especially if he has a contrary view. But he has to articulate it. I would remind Shaun that he is in my courtroom, and I can boot him for any reason at all, which I will do if he continues to be nonresponsive and combative. Cut out the condescending tone and address the issues. That's what we are here to do.

Author
Brian Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T09:29:50-06:00
ID
126227
Comment

By the way, regarding Nosweat, why is it that Melton trolls are always so grammatically hopeless? One exclamation point is sufficient, as is one period. As for the "substance" of his post, I love this bit of nonsense: He actually acted like he gave a damn about what really should matter, the citizens of this city. Yes, I believe he was charged with aggravated giving a damn about what really should matter. Chortle.

Author
Brian Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T09:35:23-06:00
ID
126228
Comment

Brian: ALL Lawyers are condescending. ;-) agreed with what you said about Green. However, being busy is one thing but when you KNOW the other side is looking to rip your filings to pieces and will go after you personally, you take care of business. that's all I'm saying. Other than that,can't quibble with anything in your post.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-08T09:40:02-06:00
ID
126229
Comment

Kingfish, big surprise—you are missing Brian's point and mine. I don't believe either has said it is "OK" for her to make a mistake. The request we non-Ole Miss grads have both made of the legal-heads on here is to provide a good argument that Green did something that she should be recused for, or that there is evidence of a criminal act as Danks so emphatically argued a couple days back. And although neither of us has a law degree from that fine institution, please don't try to tell us that the strongest argument for recusal for that is that Barbara Dunn had never seen it happen. Shaun devolved into ad hominem above when Brian asked him for a coherent argument after he used Dunn as his reason, which was a serious request of him. We both realize that there may be legal oomph behind the need to recuse her for doing that (and that we could see it in the SC ruling at some point), but the problem is no one had made that coherent argument here. If you can't make it, don't start attacking people for asking you to back up your emphatic statements. We are asking common-sense questions and using our marginal logic skills to try to understand what's happening. When we ask for your expert knowledge, why not give it instead of acting all I-went-to-Ole-Miss-na-na-na-boo-boo about it? Also, I will ask ask: What do you legal-heads think of the AG's arguments? That was certainly the most intelligent-sounding motion I've seen filed in all those. It seems like the only argument of Danks this week left standing is whether Green should be recused because she changed her motion out. But, again, that's just the impression of this non-Ole-Miss grad. Would love to hear other thoughts about it. Wouldn't it be possible for Green to get slapped in some way without this warrant being quashed? And wouldn't it also be possible for Danks to be sanctioned for the "criminal" accusation even if the Court bought the argument that her changing the motion indicated "bias" on her part? It strikes me that there are more than one or two scenarios here. Overall, it strikes me that the Supreme Court won't want a part of this and may well just follow the AG's suggestions. (Isn't it gothically delish that the AG cites the Lumumba case—a black attorney against a white judge—in this case of a white attorney against a black judge. Reminds me of the use of the Neshoba County conspiracy precedent in the '60s that was prosecutors tried to use against the RNA members in the '70s. I digress, but the law can be extremely interesting, eh? And it sure wants to be color-blind even if not everyone administering it chooses to be.) (And 'Fish, "you" isn't about all about you in the case.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T09:55:10-06:00
ID
126230
Comment

As for exclamation points, you know what F. Scott Fitzgerald said: "Using an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.) !

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T09:56:41-06:00
ID
126231
Comment

I can see the SC getting irritated with both of them actually. Her for making a mistake, Danks for his written histrionics. I've seen that happen at the SC also.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-08T09:56:54-06:00
ID
126232
Comment

Your right Brian, I shouldn't have been condescending, I was in a bad mood so I apoligize for that. Anyway when Green entered her order she lost jurisdiction of the case. The SC intially deined melton's request because they did not have jurisdiction yet, but after Green's order they did have jurisdiction so it just looks quite odd that she tried to remove it right after they ruled. Look I am no fan of Melton but he is entitled to a fair and impartial proceeding & so far it has not been.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-08T10:02:01-06:00
ID
126233
Comment

I can see the SC getting irritated with both of them actually. Exactly. That's my point. Very often, people will assume that courts are going to "choose sides," when in fact both sides can get (and should) get slapped around. A question: Who would actually bring/decide on any sanctions against Danks should that happen? I don't understand how that works. One thing that struck me about both the AG's and Green's motions was the point that Melton waived the right to ask for the judge to be recused (and the court threw all that out as moot) after he pled in November. Why did Danks think that would fly now? It seems like the precedent and are law are very clear that you can't just start complaining about the judge after you've violated your probation. And the AG stated the obvious by saying that any "bias" in that discussion seemed to lead toward Melton. Also intriguing to me is this issue that Melton had a few overlapping things going for the last few months: He apparently was wearing the bracelet since his first arrest (didn't I read that in there? or not?); then since November he was under "intensive" house arrest, alongside his probation, and not supposed to leave his house without probation approval. Unless I'm a fool—and I most assuredly don't have that Ole Miss law degree; stipulate that—it seems to me that it is harder for him to argue that he didn't have a curfew and such AT LEAST under the house arrest part, considering the agreement he signed with PSC. I mean, she made it clear in their unsealed discussion of whether he understood the plea that the "house arrest" part would be much more intense than the probation part. So isn't it possible that he would do things to violate his house arrest that he might get away with once the court released him from part and returned to plain old probation? Understand my question? One I figured out he was house arrest, after reading that transcript, it struck me that he could be in deeper poo right now that we all realized. And why is Danks saying to The Clarion-Ledger that there could be bail for him now? Can you bail out after a probation/house arrest revocation? That seems to defy all sense of logic. Finally, did y'all see that Dennis Grant told the judge that Danks said Melton could do things like go to Upper Level because he did it as mayor? First, he didn't do it while on house arrest/probation, I assume. Secondly, does that mean that Danks is telling Melton's probation officer what Melton can and cannot do? Thirdly, does that mean that Danks is telling Melton that he won't get in trouble for doing those things? I'm drawing no conclusions there; those are only the questions raised by that letter for me. Other thoughts?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T10:11:34-06:00
ID
126234
Comment

Y'all are making me feel bad about punctuation. That is the fun of blogs, IM's, and text messaging is that punctuation has become a form of communication and expression in addition to it formal english usage. I'm not defending notme because that is just string of thoughts not well organized much less punctuated. click the period

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-08T10:13:31-06:00
ID
126235
Comment

The SC intially deined melton's request because they did not have jurisdiction yet, but after Green's order they did have jurisdiction so it just looks quite odd that she tried to remove it right after they ruled. The problem, though, is that no one has presented conclusive evidence that she "tried to remove" jurisdiction. Isn't that speculation? Again, Shaun, what do you think of the AG's comments on this? Look I am no fan of Melton but he is entitled to a fair and impartial proceeding & so far it has not been. The problem is that we've seen no evidence that it hasn't been. You (and Danks in his motion) seem to believe it based on the fact that Barbara Dunn had never seen a judge pull back and replace a motion. But what is the other evidence? And precedent? Us non-legalheads really want to learn here. Help us out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T10:14:33-06:00
ID
126236
Comment

Yeah I have never heard of posting bail on a revocation, I mean what would be the point of a revocation then? But then again I handled sale of cocaine case in Yazoo County last year where my client was already out on bond on another charge & got picked up on that current charge & I got him another bond, where the statute says you can't do that. So anythings possible if the Judge ignores the law.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-08T10:18:13-06:00
ID
126237
Comment

Don't feel bad. We'll only pick on you about it if you also display troll behavior. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T10:18:34-06:00
ID
126238
Comment

or act like Kingfish. the lawyer can file Rule 11 sanctions or file a bar complaint. The court can always sanction the attorney or take further action on its own initiative

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-08T10:22:19-06:00
ID
126239
Comment

We're just going to call you TrollFish going forward. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T10:32:41-06:00
ID
126240
Comment

I feel so much sorry for those who make comments like the ones from nosweat. The comments made are like those from a woman or man trying to defend physical and emotional abuse. "I didn't know that he/she loved me until he/she hit me in the mouth and my head hit the concrete!" nosweat raised the question, "Did he murder someone.?" I don't know if he did or not; however, melton was certainly accused of sexually abusing two children some years back and both ended up dead. The case was dropped and records supporting their claim can not be found. nosweat raised the question, "Did he rob some bank or a gas station?" Again, I don't know if he did or not; however, I do know that he robbed the City of some real talents and opportunities leading to Jackson becoming "The Best of the New South." I do know that he stole water and admitted to doing so. He hooked a huge firefighter hose to the City's waterline and pumped it into the swimming pool at the Farish St. Y. I don't know anything about digging up dirt on melton; however, I do know that his dirt has been at surface level - no digging is necessary evidenced by such things as the destruction of the home on Ridgeway and allowing underaged young black males to assist him in tearing down the property with a sledgehammer. I do know that there are eye witnesses to the young man being handcuffed and beaten at the upper level. This list goes on and on and maybe an appropriate ending to my comments is simply thing: DR. KING WAS KILLED FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS; NOT OUR WRONGS. This great leader had both sweat and tears. So, nosweat, step back just a few minutes and jog your memory: You may also become enlightened and will no longer hold Judge Green and others lawyers responsible for the crimes melton committed.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-03-08T11:05:09-06:00
ID
126241
Comment

It's not terribly interesting, but I thought I should mention that I amended the story to include a letter from Danks today. Apparently, he did forget to attach that exhibit yesterday and has corrected it today.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T11:20:11-06:00
ID
126242
Comment

Thanks Shaun. I read your post before I had any coffee this morning, i.e. I was in a bad mood, too. Pike, I watched your video about punctuation and discovered I've been doing it all wrong these many years. How do you YouTube junkies find this stuff?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T11:27:25-06:00
ID
126243
Comment

I just put "punctuation" in the search engine. The bigger question is where does YouTube get all this stuff? It's incredible! If you haven't, you have to click the last period in the paragraph. The memories... I'm sure I use punctuation wrong a good deal of the time. That letter Danks filed? You mean he actually forgot to attach something? Wow! It all starts with putting your seat belt on when you get in the car. You do that, and the rest of the day is smooth sailing!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-08T11:36:43-06:00
ID
126244
Comment

No problem Brian. I actually think that we had a similar conversation regarding Melton's trial while smoking outside of Dwayne Thomas' campaign party at Hal & Mals.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-08T13:33:58-06:00
ID
126245
Comment

I just read on the Supreme Court hand down list that they dismissed Melton's motion. I am not sure if this pertains to the first motion or the latest one.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-08T13:50:06-06:00
ID
126246
Comment

Shaun, I just talked to the Court. It sounds like that motion on the hand-down list is the one from early in the week when the SC denied jurisdiction originally. There's something about a list coming out at 1:30 every Thursday that lists all the motions from the week before (even if they're already public). So, it sounds strongly as if that is NOT a new motion. Will keep you posted, otherwise. Thanks for the tip, though.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-08T14:17:20-06:00
ID
126247
Comment

Yeah the hand down list comes down every Thursday at 1:30 for the SC & every Tuesday at 1:30 for the Court of Appeals.

Author
snowjob
Date
2007-03-08T14:23:25-06:00
ID
126248
Comment

I remember you, Shaun. Good to put a face with the name.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-08T18:42:21-06:00

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