On March 13, 2009, I posted a notice of a motion I had filed in the appeal of my criminal conviction. As I noted then, the appeal had been rejected to even be filed by the Montana Supreme Court and my own counsel (William Hooks) refused to file a motion for reconsideration, even though the supreme court had blatantly ignored many of the critical issues of the appeal. Within days of receiving my attorney's letter of intent, I filed a motion to dismiss counsel and for extension of time to file my own motion for reconsideration. I received the supreme court's response yesterday:
March 17, 2009
Your documents are being returned. The time for filing a petition for rehearing has expired. The Montana Rules of Appellate Procedure do not provide for motions or pleadings to be filed after a cause number has been closed and after the time period of a petition for rehearing or reconsideration has already expired.
Clerk of the Supreme Court
By B. Stipich
Appellate Case Manager
For reference, the governing law in this case is Montana Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 20, which says:
c. The clerk of the supreme court will not accept a petition for rehearing for filing after remittitur has issued or after the time for filing such a petition has expired in a proceeding filed under rule 14.
Of note: Rule 14 does not ascribe time limitations of any sort - it is the rule governing filing of extraordinary writs. To the best of my ability to ascertain, there is no specified period for exhaustion of a motion for rehearing or reconsideration, though any court has the right under jurisprudence to re-examine any ruling, even if the time of appeal or motion for reconsideration has expired or is out of time.
In the instant case, even if the period of time had expired, there was an extraordinary circumstance that would permit the court to consider the motion I filed: I was represented by counsel who did not provide me with sufficient notice of his intent not to seek reconsideration until it was too late for me to seek it in a timely manner myself, not to mention that I could not seek such independently while I was represented by counsel pursuant to Montana Rules of Court.
Essentially what is going on here is that the Montana Supreme Court did not want to even consider my issues. Simply put, the ruling by that court was designed to maintain an unlawful conviction. The court could not address all issues raised in the appeal without either ruling in my favor or overruling longstanding State and Federal precedent. So the Court ruled upon cursory issues that they could justify denying the appeal upon, and relied upon my counsel to not challenge their improprieties. I was not notified until three weeks after the decision was issued that my counsel did not intend to seek a rehearing and apparently that had been outside whatever non-published period of time reserved for motions for reconsideration. By the time I could respond, the court simply rejected even filing my motion.
This is just another example of the state supreme court acting in conspiracy with lower courts in the state to perpetuate a constitutionally infirm legal system. Due process is not adhered to in this state and is routinely denied to those whom the state finds disfavorable at any level. When corruption exists at all levels of government, how can anyone hope for fair and just disposition of justice in Montana?
In my case, this is not an isolated issue. I have filed no less than three applications for writ of supervisory control over Flathead County, Montana, courts (with two separate motions for reconsideration) with documented evidence of violations of State and Federal laws, vexatious litigation, obstruction of due process, tampering with records and other forms of official misconduct. And yet, no matter how blatant the criminal misconduct of the lower court, the state supreme court denied each and every effort I made to remove Flathead County's authority over me.
As I have said before, I am an enemy of the State of Montana and as such I have been deprived my constitutional liberties over and over again. Though I continue to fight, I cannot hope to prevail on my own. I need help, either through pro bono legal assistance or donations sufficient to actually hire proper legal counsel. And yet, after five years of fighting, I continue to fight alone...
I once again appeal to anyone who reads this and would provide aid: Either contact me directly or make a donation to the cause through Paypal. My email address for both is email@example.com.
I am hopeful that someone will demonstrate that they care about what is going on here and the implications it has upon our country as a whole...
Political Prisoner since 2004