Posts Tagged ‘rule of law’

Eleventh Circuit: Notice of Appeal Does Not Divest District Judge of Jurisdiction of Matters Involved In the Appeal!

May 28, 2008

Justice Turned On Its Head

Justice Turned On Its Head

Judge Donald L. GrahamJudge Donald L. Graham, The “Teflon Don

Point of This Post

The Purpose of this post is to set forth yet another extreme measure that the Eleventh Circuit deployed in order to conceal and shield U.S. Dist. Judge Donald L. Graham from public rebuke and scrutiny. The law clerks or staff attorneys who decide cases at the Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals are making a joke and a mockery of our legal system. This posting discusses a single element of the Eleventh Circuit’s, U. S. Court Appeal Case No. 01-13664-A, an unpublished opinion. This is appeal has been described as: Eleventh Circuit Case No. 01-13664: The Appeal From Hell. This appeal, Case No. 01-13664-A, is loaded with the stench of dishonesty and lawlessness; however, this post will only analyze the single issue of jurisdiction of the lower court, trial court, or district court during the appeal. This posting will show that the Eleventh Circuit used an unpublished opinion to get the desired outcome, affirming Judge Graham, notwithstanding the law and the facts. The Eleventh Circuit took for itself the right to maintain two irreconcilable, inconsistent, and illogical legal positions. First it rightly claimed that an order, pre-filing injunction, rendered on September 20, 2001, Doc. 878, or three months after the notice of appeal was filed on June 25, 2001 was beyond the scope of appeal . See post, “Putrid Dishonesty:Beyond the Scope of Appeal“. Secondly, the inconsistency arose when the Eleventh Circuit rendered its opinion in October 2002, it then used the very same pre-filing injunction, rendered on September 20, 2001 that it claimed was beyond the scope of appeal to affirm Judge Graham. The Eleventh Circuit had it both ways. The reason for this inconsistency is that the Eleventh Circuit badly needed this order included in order to make a finding pursuant to Rule 41(b), Federal Rules Civil Procedure.

The icing on the cake and even worse and more dishonest than the taking of two inconsistent legal positions is the fact that the pre-filing injunction, rendered on September 20, 2001, Doc. 878, is actually illegal. At page 3 of the pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001, Doc. 878, it expressly states: “THIS CAUSE came before the Court sua sponte. ” Sua Sponte issued pre-filing injunctions, or pre-filing injunctions issued without notice and opportunity to respond are routinely rejected as a matter of course. Pre-filing injunctions implicate the right of access to the courts, even Teflon Don recognizes this fact. See pg. 7, Doc. 878, (“This screening requirement best balances the interest in constitutionally mandated access to the federal courts with the need to protect the Court’s jurisdiction and integrity.“). Judge Graham is expressly rejecting the authority of the United States Supreme Court who has said on multiple occasions that the right of access to the courts is constitutionally protected and requires due process before that right is abridged or restrained in any manner.

Recap

The Eleventh Circuit, using the device of an unpublished opinion, did the following:

  1. It declared the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001 beyond the scope of appeal and struck Mason’s appellate brief because of it in March 2002. See post, “Putrid Dishonesty:Beyond the Scope of Appeal“.
  2. On October 16, 2002, when the Eleventh Circuit rendered its unpublished opinion, it then included the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001 in its decision.
  3. The Eleventh Circuit used a clearly invalid sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction to justify its goal of affirming Judge Graham.

A US Circuit Judge On the Potential Dangers of Unpublished Opinions

“If, for example, a precedent is cited, and the other side then offers a distinction, and the judges on the panel cannot think of a good answer to the distinction, but nevertheless, for some extraneous reason, wish to reject it, they can easily do so through the device of an abbreviated, unpublished opinion, and no one will ever be the wiser. (I don’t say that judges are actually doing this–only that the temptation exists.) Or if, after hearing argument, a judge in conference thinks that a certain decision should be reached, but also believes that the decision is hard to justify under the law, he or she can achieve the result, assuming agreement by the other members of the panel, by deciding the case in an unpublished opinion and sweeping the difficulties under the rug. Again, I’m not saying that this has ever occurred in any particular case, but a system that encourages this sort of behavior, or is at least open to it, has to be subject to question in any world in which judges are human beings.” 1 J. App. Prac. & Process 219 (1999). UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS: A COMMENT, Richard S. Arnold, Copyright © 1999 University of Arkansas – Little Rock School of Law ; Richard S. Arnold.

The Opinion

The Eleventh Circuit rendered its opinion in Case No. 01-13664 on October 16, 2002. The Opinion makes the following “finding”:

Moreover, despite the closure of the case by the district court, Mason’s continual filing of motions with the court addressing matters previously settled prompted the district court to prohibit Mason from further filings without explicit permission and initiate criminal contempt proceedings. Therefore, the record supports the district court’s implicit finding that a sanction less than dismissal of the action with prejudice would have had no effect.

See Opinion, pgs. 13-14.

This finding is a direct reference to a pre-filing injunction or vexatious litigant injunction rendered by Judge Graham on September 20, 2001. See below.

The Sua Sponte Issued Pre-Filing Injunction

Plaintiff Marcellus M. Mason is Permanently enjoined
from filing any additional pleadings in case numbers 99-14027- CIV-GRAHAM, 00-14116-CIV-GRAHAM, 00-14201-CIV-GRAHAM, 00-14202- CIV-GRAHAM, 00-14240-CIV-GRAHAM, 01-14074-CIV-GRAHAM, 01-14078- CIV-GRAHAM, and 01-14230-CIV-GRAHAM or from filing any new lawsuit which relates in any way to Plaintiff Marcellus M. Mason’s former employment and/or subsequent interactions with Defendants without first receiving permission from the Court, as set forth below. This injunction shall apply equally to any persons or entities acting at the behest, direction, or instigation, or in concert with Marcellus M. Mason.

See Doc. 878, pg. 8.

Law On Jurisdiction During Appeal

According to the published decisions of the Eleventh Circuit: “It is the general rule of this Circuit that the filing of a timely and sufficient notice of appeal acts to divest the trial court of jurisdiction over the matters at issue in the appeal, except to the extent that the trial court must act in aid of the appeal.” SHEWCHUN v. United States, 797 F.2d 941 (11th Cir. 1986). “It is well-settled law that the filing of a notice of appeal divests the district court of jurisdiction over a case.” WEAVER v. FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT COMPANY, 172 F.3d 771,(11th Cir. 1999)(citing Griggs v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58, 103 S.Ct. 400, 402, 74 L.Ed.2d 225 (1982)). “The general rule regarding divestiture of jurisdiction, however, does not apply to collateral matters not affecting the questions presented on appeal.” id.

“The district court’s exercise of jurisdiction should not “materially alter the status of the case on appeal.” Mayweathers v. Newland , 258 F.3d 930 (9th Cir. 2001).

Given the above definition, if the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction, Doc. 878, is involved in the appeal then Judge Graham would not have jurisdiction to enter an order pertaining to “questions presented on appeal”. At pages 13, 14, of the opinion the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction was clearly involved in the appeal as it used to justify a dismissal of the case under Rule 41(b), Fed.R.Civ.P.; Consequently, Judge Graham was without jurisdiction to render the order. You can’t on the one hand argue that an order, the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001 is a “collateral issue” and beyond the scope of appeal on March 6, 2002, and then turnaround on October 16, 2002 and include the very same sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001 to affirm Judge Graham. Incidentally, as documented below the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001 is clearly invalid.

Subsequent Decisions are Equally Dishonest

A petition for mandamus was filed on or about April 19, 2004. On May 20, 2004, the Eleventh Circuit stated:

In Mason’s case, he filed a notice of appeal as to the dismissal of his civil case. The September 20, 2001 order did not relate to the issue on appeal, but instead enjoined Mason from filing any further pleadings in the district court without permission. Because the order related to collateral issues, the district court had jurisdiction to issue it.

How can an issue, the sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction of September 20, 2001, be a “collateral issue” and used in the opinion at the same time? If it is a
“collateral issue” then how it an integral part of the appeal and the opinion at the same time as demonstrated above?
See Opinion Case No. 04-11894. Incredibly, this “opinion” makes the following admission:

This Court granted, in part, the appellees’ motion to strike Mason’s brief, holding that the portions of the brief that related to the September 20, 2001 order were beyond the scope of appeal.

This type of dishonesty simply cannot be tolerated in a free society as it is offensive and insulting.

Quick Facts

This appeal was docketed under Eleventh Circuit Case No. 01-13664. The Notice of Appeal was filed on June 27, 2001. See Docket No. 795. This was an appeal from a Rule 41(b), Fed.R.Civ.P. dismissal by Judge Graham in district court Case No. 99-14027-CIV-Graham/Lynch. Judge Donald L. Graham, “Teflon Don”, failed to make the explicit finding that “lesser sanctions would not suffice“. Incidentally, Judge Graham’s colleague at the S.D. Fla., failed to make the same finding that “lesser sanctions would not suffice” but was reversed by the Eleventh Circuit. See posting this site, “Teflon Don” Avoids Reversal While Colleague Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages Suffers Reversal

On June 20, 2000, Federal Magistrate Frank Lynch Jr. issued the following order:
[I]t is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendants’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction is GRANTED…Plaintiff shall be prohibited from contacting any of the Defendants, including their supervisory employees and/or the individual Defendants, regarding any matter related to this case.” See Docket Entry No. 201

On July 25, 2000, Federal Magistrate Frank Lynch Jr. issued the following order:

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendants’ Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction is GRANTED… Plaintiff shall correspond only with Defendants’ counsel including any requests for public records.” See Docket Entry No. 246.

Highlands County asked and got Judge Graham to dismiss a lawsuit because of alleged violations of these orders, which Mason contended on appeal, were illegal. (For a completely different story and more dishonesty see how the Eleventh Circuit was willing to discuss Mason’s alleged violations of these orders while steadfastly refusing to review these very orders for validity, see posts, “Eleventh Circuit Repeatedly Refuses To Review Orders For Validity” and “A Federal Magistrate May Issue An Injunction So Long As He Does Not Call it An Injunction ” Highlands County filed two motions for sanctions in the form of dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit. Docket Entry Nos. 511 and 646. These motions depicted out of court communications between Highlands County and the Plaintiff, Marcellus Mason. Judge Graham and his Magistrate granted these motions and dismissed the case on June 20, 2001. See Docket Entry Nos. 766 an and 791.
The following alleged out of court lawful communications were used to dismiss the lawsuit.

  • “They claimed that, during the week of 5 February 2001, Mason had demanded to view his personnel file from Highlands County’s Human Resource Director Fred Carino, a named defendant in the case.” See Opinion, pg. 4.
  • They stated that, on 13 and 14 February 2001, Mason also appeared at Carino’s office and demanded to view the billing records for Highlands County’s attorney and Highlands County’s liability insurance documents. See Opinion, pgs. 4-5.
  • They attached a copy of an e-mail apparently sent by Mason in which he explained that he would file a criminal complaint against Carino if he was denied any requested documents and expressed his belief that the county had “waived” its rights under the Orders as a result of Carino’s conversations with Mason and letter. See Opinion, pg. 5.
  • On 6 April 2001, Heartland again moved for sanctions in the form of dismissal because Mason had “repeatedly personally contacted [by e-mail] supervisory employees and/or individual Defendants” in the case since the magistrate judge’s 27 March order. See Opinion, pg. 6.

Legal Requirements For a Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) Dismissal

The Eleventh Circuit “has clearly stated that because dismissal is considered a drastic sanction, a district court may only implement it, as a last resort, when: (1) a party engages in a clear pattern of delay or willful contempt (contumacious conduct); and (2) the district court specifically finds that lesser sanctions would not suffice.” World Thrust Films v. International Family Entertainment, 41 F. 3d 1454 (11th Cir. 1995). “A district court has authority under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41(b) to dismiss actions for failure to comply with local rules.” id..

Although we occasionally have found implicit in an order the conclusion that “lesser sanctions would not suffice’, we have never suggested that the district court need not make that finding, which is essential before a party can be penalized for his attorney’s misconduct.” Mingo v. Sugar Cane Growers Co-op of Florida, 864 F.2d 101, 102 (11th Cir.1989) (citations omitted). This court has only inferred such a finding “where lesser sanctions would have “greatly prejudiced’ defendants.

——————–SCOPE OF APPEAL LINE JUNE 25, 2001——————————-

—————–BEYOND THE SCOPE OF APPEAL LINE JUNE 26,2001———————–

=====================================================================

Beyond the Scope of Appeal

On September 20, 2001, Judge Graham rendered a pre-filing injunction sua sponte, or own his motion and without notice and opportunity to respond which is a violation of due process. Docket No. 878. The validity of this sua sponte pre-filing injunction is not the point of this posting, however ample case law against its validity is set forth in http://mmason.freeshell.org/SuaSponte.htm#caselaw.

Right of Access To Courts is Constitutionally Protected

The right of access to the Courts is clear according to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977);M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102 (1996). The Supreme court has stated the right of access to the courts also protected by the First Amendment. BE&K Construction CO. v. National Labor Relations Board et al. 536 U.S. 516 (2001)(“the right to petition extends to all departments of the Government,” and that “[t]he right of access to the courts is … but one aspect of the right of petition.”). California Motor Transp. Co. v. Trucking Unlimited, 404 U. S. 508, 510 (1972)(“The right of access to the courts is indeed but one aspect of the right of petition.“). See Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509 (2004)(recognizing “the fundamental right of access to the courts”); Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974)(“The constitutional guarantee of due process of law has as a corollary the requirement that prisoners be afforded access to the courts in order to challenge unlawful convictions and to seek redress for violations of their constitutional rights.“).

Orders Issued Inconsistent With Due Process Are Void

A judgment is void if the rendering court acted in a manner inconsistent with due process of law. Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2862. “A judgment rendered in violation of due process is void in the rendering State and is not entitled to full faith and credit elsewhere.” World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. V. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980). “[T]he constitution, by prohibiting an act, renders it void, if done; otherwise, the prohibition were nugatory. Thus, the warrant is a nullity.” Anderson v. Dunn, 19 U.S. 204, 217 (1821). “’No judgment of a court is due process of law, if rendered without jurisdiction in the court, or without notice to the party.” Old Wayne Mut. Life Ass’n v. McDonough, 204 U.S. 8, 15 (1907). Generally, a judgment is void under Rule 60 (b) (4) if the court that rendered it lacked jurisdiction of the subject matter, or of the parties, or if acted in a manner inconsistent with due process of law. E.g., s Burke v. Smith, 252 F.3d 1260 (11th Cir. 2001); U.S. v. Boch Oldsmobile, Inc., 909 F.2d 657, 662 (1st Cir. 1990);Beller & Keller v. Tyler, 120 F.3d 21, 23 (2nd Cir. 1997); Union Switch & Signal v. Local 610, 900 F.2d 608, 612 n.1 (3rd Cir. 1990); Eberhardt v. Integrated Design & Const., Inc. 167 F.3d 861, 867 (4th Cir. 1999); New York Life Ins. Co. v. Brown 84 F.3d 137, 143 (5th Cir. 1996)

Supreme Court’s Emphasis on Due Process

In a long line of cases, the United States Supreme Court has held that impingements of constitutional rights are, without variation, subject to the strictures of “due process” or notice and opportunity to be heard prior to their enactments. Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 313 (1950); Anti-Fascist Committee v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123 (1951); Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970), Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67 (1972); Owen v. City Of Independence, 445 U.S. 622 (1980); Carey v.Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 259 (1978); Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 333 (1976).

Case Law Against

Case Law On Pre-Filing Injunctions

US CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAVE ROUTINELY REJECTED “SUA SPONTE” PRE-FILING INJUNCTIONS.

A long line of United States appellate courts, including the Eleventh Circuit, have rejected sua sponte issuances of pre-filing injunctions because they are violations of due process. In Weaver v. Leon County Sch. Bd., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 8128 (11th Cir. 2006), the Eleventh Circuit held that a litigant was entitled to notice and an opportunity to be heard before a restriction was imposed on his ability to challenge an injunction. U.S. v. Powerstein, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 14928,*;185 Fed. Appx. 811 (11th Cir. 2006)(litigant entitled to notice and an opportunity to be heard before the court imposed the injunctive order ). See Sires v. Fair, 107 F.3d 1;1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 2173 (1st Cir. 1997); Cok v. Family Court of Rhode Island , 985 F.2d 32 (C.A.1 (R.I.), 1993) (vacating a pre-fling injunction issued without notice); MLE Realty Assocs. v. Handler, 192 F.3d 259, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 23362 (2nd Cir. 1999) ; Lau v. Meddaugh, 229 F.3d 121 (2nd Cir. 2000) ; Holton v. Oral Surg. Sing Sing Corr., 24 Fed. Appx. 37; 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 25151 (2nd Cir. 2001); Moates v. Barkley, 147 F.3d 207, 208 (C.A.2 (N.Y.), 1998) (district court may not impose a filing injunction on a litigant without providing the litigant with notice and an opportunity to be heard.); Gonzales v. Feiner, 131 Fed. Appx. 373, * 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 8370, ** (3rd Cir. 2005) ; Wiliams v. Cambridge Integrated Servs. Group , 148 Fed Appx. 87, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 18624 (3rd Cir. 2005) ; Brow v. Farrelly, 994 F.2d 1027 (C.A.3 (Virgin Islands), 1992)(vacating a sua sponte issued injunction); It is imperative that the court afford the litigant notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to issuing such an injunction. In Re Head, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 8265,*;174 Fed. Appx. 167 (4th Cir. 2006)(vacated a 10 yr. old sua sponte injunction); Cromer v. Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 390 F.3d 812, 819 (4th Cir. 2004)(vacating a pre-filing injunction issued without notice); Tucker v. Drew, 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 11784 (4 th Cir. 1994) ;DOUGLAS BAUM v. BLUE MOON VENTURES, LLC , 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 91,*;513 F.3d 181;49 Bankr. Ct. Dec. 68 (5th Cir. 2008)(“Notice and a hearing are required if the district court sua sponte imposes a pre-filing injunction or sua sponte modifies an existing injunction to deter vexatious filings.”) ;De Long v. Hennessey, 912 F.2d 1144 (9th Cir.) ; Roscoe v. Hansen, 107 F.3d 880;1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 4996 (10th Cir. 1997); Molski v. Evergreen Dynasty Corp., 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 20966,*;500 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2007)(litigant must be given notice and a chance to be heard before the [injunctive] order is entered.); Tripati v. Beaman, 878 F.2d 351,354 (C.A.10 (Wyo.), 1989)(vacated and holding that the litigant is entitled to notice and an opportunity to oppose the court’s order before it is instituted.); Procup v. Strickland, 567 F.Supp. 146 (M.D. Fla., 1983)(court issued a show cause order) Procup v. Strickland, 760 F.2d 1107, 1110 (C.A.11 (Fla.), 1985) (held that district court did give adequate notice and opportunity to be heard before issuance of the injunction); Cofield v. Alabama Pub. Serv. Comm., 936 F.2d 512, 514 (11th Cir.1991)(noting that court issued show cause order prior to rendering pre-fling injunction); In re Powell, 851 F.2d 427, 431 (D.C.Cir.1988)(reversing and holding If a pro se litigant is to be deprived of such a vital constitutional right as access to the courts, he should, at least, be provided with an opportunity to oppose the entry of an order restricting him before it is entered.); Martin v. Circuit Court, 627 So.2d 1298 (Fla.App. 4 Dist., 1993)(reversing a pre-filing order and holding that limiting the constitutional right of access to the courts, essential due process safeguards must first be provided); Lawsuits of Carter, In re, 510 S.E.2d 91, 95; 235 Ga.App. 551 (Ga. App., 1998)(reversing a pre-filing injunction because notice or an opportunity not given); Riccard v. Prudential Ins. Co., 307 F.3d 1277, 1296 (11th Cir. 2002) (holding that injunctions “may not be expanded beyond the meaning of its terms absent notice and an opportunity to be heard.”).

Courts have felt that the notice and opportunity to respond was so important that they have reversed district courts even where they thought the pre-filing injunction was otherwise valid. See Oliver, In re, 682 F.2d 443, 446 (C.A.3 (Pa.), 1982); Scott v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage , 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 15709,*;143 Fed. Appx. 525(4th Cir. 2005); Gagliardi v. McWilliams, 834 F.2d 81, 83 (3d Cir. 1987).

Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson Aggressively Defends Judge Donald L. Graham

April 17, 2008

Judge Donald L. GrahamJudge Donald L. Graham

Foreword

There’s an old Negro spiritual called “May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me”. In this same spirit, this author allows the work of Chief Circuit Judge J.L. Edmondson and his cohorts to speak for them. Unlike, Judge Graham and his enablers, their work will not be characterized or mis-characterized it will be produced in full and publicly available for the reading public to make their own assessments. The record fully supports the idea that Judge Edmondson and his colleagues at the Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals have defined the concept of “judicial misconduct” out of existence. Moreover, the record here will reveal that Judge Edmondson and his colleagues will not mention the allegations of misconduct raised against Judge Graham, much less test them for veracity.

What To Focus On

  • The allegations of misconduct are not denied.
  • The allegations of misconduct are rarely mentioned.
  • The Allegations of misconduct were ignored in the appellate process
    • Usurping Legal Authority
    • Refusing to Rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction
    • Allowing Scores of Motion to Languish
    • Judge attempted to arrogate his own authority by ordering the clerk to return notices of appeals without filing them.

      • intentionally lying and misrepresenting the law;
      • refusing to rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction for more than 15 months;
      • allowing scores of motions to go undecided;
      • and usurping legal authority.
      • The complaint alleges (Core Allegations):
      • intentionally lying and misrepresenting the law;
      • refusing to rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction for more than 15 months;
      • allowing scores of motions to go undecided;
      • and usurping legal authority.
    • See Complaint and Order, Judicial Council Order.

      December 14, 2001, Judge R. Lanier Anderson renders order dismissing the complaint due to:

      The allegations of the Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling”. Additionally, this complainant currently has pending in this court several Petitions for Writs of Mandamus that address this issue. Consequently, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 372(c)(3)(A) and Addendum Three Rule 4(a)(2) this Complaint is Dismissed.

      When Judge Anderson wrote this order, the Eleventh Circuit had already had denied the mandamus petition, Case No. 01-15754, which he references in his order dismissing this complaint. Consequently, Judge Anderson knows that Judge Graham’s misconduct has not been discussed, much less remedied.


      INTERVENING MANDAMUS

      December 5, 2001, in a terse one page, (Case No. 01-15754), “opinion” denies relief. “The “petition for writ of mandamus and petition for writ of prohibition” is DENIED.”
      January 25, 2002, the Eleventh Circuit refuses to give the basis for its opinion of December 5, 2001 and denies a motion for rehearing or clarification.

      Complaint No. 02-0029

      Judge Graham attempted to use the contempt process to force Mason to drop a lawsuit filed against him.

      In this Complaint, Mr. Mason makes the unsupported allegation that Judge Graham has “improperly and illegally used his office to bring criminal contempt charges against me since the imitation (sic) of my last complaint on February 8, 2002”. Although Mr. Mason does not submit any evidence or documentation in support of his allegation, Judge Graham did in fact issue an Order to Show Cause regarding possible contempt charges against Mr. Mason detailing why Mr. Mason should be charged with criminal contempt, Not one reason cited in this order relates to any complaints having been filed against Judge Graham by Mr. Mason. The allegations that Judge Graham improperly and illegally issued the Order to Show Cause, and that it was issued in retaliation for Mr. Mason having filed complaints against judge Graham are clearly disputed by Mr. Mason’s behavior and obvious disregard for Judge Graham’s Omnibus Order and are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling”, Therefore, pursuant to 28 U .S.C. § 372(c)(3)(A) and Addendum III Rule 4(a)(2), this Complaint is Dismissed .

      See Complaint and Order.


      COMPLAINTS FILED IN 2005

      A Series of complaints, Nos. 05-00008, 05-0011, 05-0012, 05-0013, 05-0020, and 05-0021, were filed in 2005. In order to keep Judge Edmondson from viewing allegations of misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance against Judge Graham in isolation, Mason included the following allegations in all the complaints so that Judge Graham’s record could be viewed in the aggregate.

      Additionally, in 2005, Judge Edmondson knows for certain that Judge Graham has escaped appellate review because the Eleventh Circuit, though fully briefed, refused to discuss whether Judge Graham should have disqualified. Moreover, the Eleventh Circuit declined to discuss the allegations of misconduct and abuse that Mason used to support the thesis that Judge Graham should have disqualified. See, Case No. 01-13664, Unpublished Opinion.


      Complaint No. 05-0008

      Complaint filed January 29, 2005.

      Additionally, Judge Graham knowing falsely created a Civil Justice Act Report that concealed the fact that he had a motion for a preliminary injunction pending for more than 15 months. Judge Edmondson reply to these allegations:

      In this complaint, the single (unsupported) allegation that has not already been determined in previous complaints filed by Mr. Mason against Judge Graham is that Judge Graham intentionally falsified his March 31, 2001, Civil Justice Reform Act Report in an attempt to conceal the fact that he had not ruled on one of Mr. Mason’s motions for over 15 months. Notwithstanding the fact that the motion in question was pending for more than six months, and the fact that the March 31, 2001 report is incorrect, Mr. Mason has not presented any information, evidence or documentation to support his claim to suggest that the omission of this motion on this CJRA report was an intentional attempt by Judge Graham to conceal his failure to rule on the motion. The allegations of this Complaint are “frivolous”, “successive”, and “appropriate corrective action has been taken”. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 16 of Title 28 U .S.C. § 352 (b)(I)(ii) and Addendum III Rules 4 (b)(3) and (4) and 18(c) this Complaint is DISMISSED.


      Order 05-0011. Complaint No. 05-0011
      Complaint filed January 31, 2005.
      This complaint, in addition to the core allegations, alleges the following:
      Judge Graham has arrogated his own authority, much like Sadam Hussein, Stalin, Hitler, other infamous autocrats and dictators. Specific acts of misconduct committed by Mr. Graham include, but is not limited to the following:
      Concocting a patently illegal injunction or pre-filing screening under the guise of “inherent authority”. See (D.E. 878), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/DE-878/de878.pdf.Using this patently illegal injunction to initiate and gain a criminal contempt conviction. Allowing the Eleventh Circuit to use this patently illegal injunction, (D.E. 878), rendered on September 20, 2001 , to affirm the dismissal of a case, 99-14027-CV-Graham, that closed on June 20, 2001. Imagine that! Allowing the Eleventh Circuit to destroy my right under the “rule of law” to appeal this patently illegal injunction, (D.E. 878).Using intimidation by ordering me, Robert Waters, AUSA, Frank Smith, U.S. Probation, and others to come to a “Status/Motion Hearing” on January 9, 2005. Abusing his office and circumventing the appellate process by ordering me not to file any one page requests to file Rule 60(b) motions and refusing to put this illegal order in writing so that it can be challenged on appeal. July 7, 2005, Judge Edmondson answered these allegations:

      In this complaint, there are only two allegations that have not been determined in previous complaints filed by Mr. Mason against Judge Graham. Mr. Mason first complains that Judge Graham issued a verbal order on January 14, 2005, which advised him not to file any further pleadings with the court . Mr. Mason then complains that this order was not in writing to prevent him from filing an appeal. The allegations of this Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling or frivolous or both”, and the allegations of the complaint “lack any factual foundation or are conclusively refuted by objective evidence” . Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 16 of Title 28 U .S .C. § 352(b)(1)(ii) and Addendum III Rules 4(b)(2)(3) and (4) this Complaint is DISMISSED.


      Order No. 05-0012. Complaint No. 05-0012

      COMPLAINT FILED FEBRUARY 7, 2005. SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AND JUDICIAL ABUSE

      1. Mr. Graham abused his office by having the U.S. Marshall, Keith L. Kluttz, come and interrogate me at my home on or about February 5, 2004 when he had no earthly reason to do so.
      2. Mr. Graham abused his office by ordering me to come to “Status/Motion Hearing” on January 14, 2005 on a closed civil case, 99-14027.
      3. Mr. Graham conducted a quasi criminal hearing under the guise or cloak of a “Status/Motion Hearing” in a civil matter. The AUSA and U.S. Parole were attendance at this “Status/Motion Hearing”. I was unrepresented by a competent criminal defense lawyer.
      4. Graham ordered me to answer his intimidating questions in violation of my Fifth Amendment rights. Mr. Graham gave me no warning that my statements could be used against me even though the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Probation were in attendance.

      On January 9, 2005, Mr. Graham concocted what he termed a “Status/Motion Hearing” order. This order was then certified on January 10, 2005 by one of Mr. Graham’s clerks. This order specifically demands that the following individuals be there: Frank Smith, U.S. Probation, Robert Waters, AUSA, Lynn Waxman, Appellate Attorney, Maria Sorolis, counsel for Highlands County. This order was picked up by Fedex on January 10, 2005 and delivered to my home on January 11, 2005. Mr. Graham scheduled this hearing for January 14, 2005 at 15:30 in Fort Pierce. Mr. Graham was already scheduled to be in Fort Pierce on this date. Mr. Graham made no effort to talk to me or my appellate attorney about dates that would be convenient to us. Mr. Graham made no prior contact with me or Ms. Waxman. At this hearing, Mr. Graham made absolutely no mention of the merits of any pending motion in the civil case, 99-14027. Mr. Graham kept saying the case was closed and not to ‘file’ anymore Rule 60(b), Fed.R.Civ.P. motions or requests to file Rule 60(b), Fed.R.Civ.P. motions. Mr. Graham asked U.S. Probation about the terms of my probation. Why is this needed in a civil matter?
      For what purpose did AUSA Robert Waters and US Parole Officer Frank Smith attend a “Status/Motion Hearing” in a civil matter? Mr. Graham has refused to put any of the “commands” he made in writing so that they could be held up to public scrutiny. Mr. Graham felt it important enough to hastily concoct a “Status/Motion Hearing”, but not important enough to memorialize is “commands” to writing. Mr. Graham does not have the legal authority to demand, under the threat of arrest, that I attend a “Status/Motion Hearing” on a closed civil case. Mr. Graham had a deputy US Marshall come by my home and interrogate me without the presence of counsel even though criminal contempt case was pending, Case No. 02-14020-CR-Moore. I was questioned by the U.S. Marshall without benefit of having an attorney present. Mr. Graham had no probable cause to send the US Marshal to my house. The mere fact that Mr. Graham disagrees with my unrelenting attacks on his record and personal integrity is not sufficient reason to “sick the dogs on me”, or US Marshal. The US Marshal’s office is not Mr. Graham’s private police force.
      June 27, 2005, Judge Edmondson states:

      In this complaint, there are four allegations that have not been determined in previous complaints filed by Mr. Mason against Judge Graham. Mr. Mason complains that Judge Graham abused his office by ordering him to appear at a Status/Motion hearing held on January 14, 2005, and that Judge Graham scheduled this hearing without any attempt to talk with him or his attorney about dates that were suitable for them. Mr. Mason also complains that Judge Graham ordered him to answer intimidating questions at this hearing without warning that his statements could be used against him even though the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Probation offices were represented and present at this hearing. Mr. Mason further complains that Judge Graham improperly and without good cause sent the U.S. Marshals as his own private police force.

      The allegations of this Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling”, frivolous”. and the allegations of the complaint “lack any factual foundation or are conclusively refuted by objective evidence” and “successive”. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 16 of Title 28 U.S.C. § 352(b)(1)(ii) and Addendum III Rules 4(b)(2)(3)(4) and 18 (c) this Complaint is DISMISSED. Order No. 05-0012.

      Complaint No. 05-0013

      Complaint filed February 8, 2005
      In addition to the core allegations, this complaint alleges:
      Mr. Graham abused his office by ordering me to come to a “HEARING ON CONDUCT OF PARTIES DURING PROCEEDINGS” on December 4, 2001 on a closed civil case, 99-14027. The case was closed on June 20, 2001.This case was on appeal since June 25, 2001, consequently, Mr. Graham no longer had jurisdiction over the case. Why do I need to a ““NOTICE OF HEARING ON CONDUCT OF PARTIES DURING PROCEEDINGS” on a closed case? Does Mr. Graham get to order me to come to a hearing anytime he gets ready?
      Judge Edmondson’s reply:

      In this complaint Mr. Mason alleges that Judge Graham abused his office by ordering to appear at a hearing on December 4, 2001, when the case in question, No. 99-CV-14027, was closed and on appeal at the time the hearing was scheduled. The allegations of this Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling”. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 16 of Title 28 U .S .C. § 352(b)(1)(ii) and Addendum III Rules 4(b)(2)(3) and (4) this Complaint is DISMISSED. Order No. 05-0013.

      Complaint No. 05-0020

      Complaint filed February 16, 2005
      This complaint alleges:
      Judge illegally blocked Mason’s access to the courts by improperly denying motions to proceed without payment, in forma pauperis, on 18 different occasions, while refusing to cite a legal or factual reason for doing so as required by law.
      Graham allowed IFP motions to linger for months in violation of S.D.Fla. Local Rule 7.1.B.3 which calls for a hearing on motion in 90 days. (DE #8, 9-18-2001). Plaintiff’s motion was filed on 3/12/01 (DE #2). It took Graham more than six months to create a reason to deny this motion that was not denied until 9-18-2001. See (DE #8, 9-18-2001).
      Graham deliberately stated misleading facts or outright lied in justifying his injunction of September 20, 2001, (DE 878), by using the very unfiled lawsuits that he denied me IFP status to support this patently illegal injunction . For the purpose of justifying the injunction, (DE 878), Mr. Graham counted the following lawsuits as being “filed”: (1)Case No. 00-14202, (2)Case No. 00-14201, (3)Case No. 00-14116, (4)Case No. 01-14074, (5)01-14078, See pgs. 1-2, DE-878, URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/DE-878/de878.pdf. Mr. Graham states, “Marcellus M. Mason (“Mason”) has filed eleven (11)cases and/or counterclaims in this District…” According to Mr. Graham’s own definition of “filing”, “A complaint is not considered filed until the filing fee is paid.” See (DE -10) Case No. 00-14201. See also (DE -10) Case No. 00-14202. No filing fee was paid in either of the above cases because Graham arbitrarily denied me the benefit of the in forma pauperis statutes. Using Graham’s own definition there were only 11 minus 5 or 6 lawsuits “filed.” Case No. 00-14240 which Graham also counts was actually filed by Highlands County, not me. Now Graham has only 5 lawsuits filed. Case No. 01-14230 was filed in state court and removed to the S.D. Fla. by Highlands County after Graham crafted the injunction where they knew the case would be assigned to Graham. See Notice of Removal, URL: http://geocities.com/mcneilmason/secret/01-14230/NoticeOfRemoval.pdf. Graham now has only four lawsuits that I filed, not the 11 he concocted. See Litigation Summary, URL:http://mmason.freeshell.org/LitigationSummary.doc . The four remaining lawsuits Case Numbers 99-14042, 99-14257, 99-14314 were consolidated with Case number 99-14027.

      Judge Edmondson’s reply:

      In this complaint Mr. Mason, although worded differently that his previous complaints, re-makes the allegation that Judge Graham denied him access to the courts by summarily denying a string of motions for in forma pauperis and that Judge Graham did not identify either of the only two reasons allowed for such denial. The allegations of this Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling” and “successive”. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 16 of Title 28 U .S .C. § 352(b)(1)(ii) and Addendum III Rules 4(b)(2)(3) and (4) this Complaint is DISMISSED.

      Order No. 05-0021. Complaint No. 05-0021

      Complaint filed February 19, 2005
      This complaint alleges:
      Mr. Graham should have disqualified himself long before any motion for attorney’s fees had been presented. “Disqualification is mandatory for conduct that calls a judge’s impartiality into question.” U.S. v. Microsoft Corp., 253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir. 2001). As this Complaint and previous complaints clearly demonstrate Judge Graham should have disqualified himself because he: (1)he intentionally misrepresented the law; (2)refused to rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction for more than 16 months;(3)usurped legal authority by requiring me to seek the permission of a private law firm to communicate with my government;(4)allowed scores of motions to go undecided; (5)concocted a “pre-filing” injunction;(5)lied on a Civil Justice Act Report;(6)See Section 372(c) complaints docketed under Case Nos. 05-0008, 05-0011, 05-0012, 05-0013, and a complaint dated Wednesday, February 16, 2005 for more reasons Graham should have disqualified. Mr. Graham and his Magistrate awarded the Defendants, Highlands County, a whopping award of $200,000 that he admitted in writing had nothing to do with the law or the “merits”. Mr. Graham even lied in order to award the defendants $200,000 in attorney’s fees. These allegations are fully supported by the following RECORD facts. See (DE #882), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/DE-882/de882.pdf . (DE 891), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/DE-891/de891.pdf . Judge Graham intentionally lied in order to award attorney’s fees of $200,000. Mr. Graham admitted that he knew the law and was not going to follow it with respect to the awards of attorney’s fees. At page 3 of the Report and Recommendation, Graham and his Magistrate admit that Christiansburg Garment Company v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 434 U.S. 412 (1978) is the standard for awarding attorney’s fees. Mr. Graham and his Magistrate admit that I had no chance of paying $200,000 in attorney’s fees but awarded it to the defendants anyway. After awarding the Defendants $200, 000 in attorney’s fees against me, Mr. Graham then decided to deny me in forma pauperis status to appeal this travesty. Moreover, Mr. Graham refused to offer any lawful reason for denying me IFP status. See (DE #906), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/DE-906/de906.pdf . I prevailed on a summary judgment in a lawsuit filed against me by Highlands County and Mr. Graham refused to award me costs of less than $200.00. See (DE #27), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/00-14240/de27.pdf ; (DE #33), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/00-14240/Doc33/de33.pdf ; (DE #35), URL: http://mmason.freeshell.org/00-14240/Doc35/1.jpg . Judge Edmondson’s reply:

      In this complaint Mr. Mason repeats allegations, filed in previous complaints, that Judge Graham should have recused himself, that Judge Graham refused to rule on several motions, and that Judge Graham required him to seek permission from a private law firm to communicate with his government. The only new allegation in this complaint concerns the attorney fees awarded by Judge Graham to the defendants in the amount of $200,000. Mr. Mason claims Judge Graham lied in order to grant the fees. The allegations of this Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling” and “successive”. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 16 of Title 28 U .S .C. § 352(b)(1)(ii) and Addendum III Rules 4(b)(2)(3) and (4) this Complaint is DISMISSED.

      Order No. 05-0021.

      What makes this order particularly offensive is that both Judge Graham, for no stated reason, and the Eleventh Circuit, both denied Mason the opportunity to appeal the $200, 000 judgment. The Eleventh Circuit claimed the appeal of the $200,000 attorney’s fees was frivolous without providing a scintilla of evidence to support its mere fortuitous and self-serving conclusion.
      On September 20, 2001, Judge Graham rendered a pre-fling injunction sua sponte, or on his motion and without notice to the litigant Marcellus M. Mason. See Docket Entry Number 878, (D.E. # 878) . Page 3, of this document boldly asserts: THIS CAUSE came before the Court sua sponte.
      EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE IS THE FACT THAT THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT REFUSES TO REVIEW THIS SUA SPONTE ISSUED PRE-FILING INJUNCTION FOR VALIDITY. SEE mmason.freeshell.org/SuaSponte.htm#AppellateHistory.

  • When Does Judge Graham become Accountable?


    Judge Edmondson’s Attack on the Complainant

    On May 2, 2005, Circuit Judge J.L. Edmondson, Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeal stated:

    Of the eight complaints not specifically naming Judge Graham as the complained–of judge, five name judges of this Court who served on panels reviewing Mr. Mason’s appeals — panels that affirmed decisions and rulings by Judge Graham. None of Mr. Mason’s judicial complaints have prevailed. All of the complaints that have been resolved to date have been dismissed for some or all of the following reasons: the complaints were (1) plainly untrue; (2) frivolous; (3) successive; (4) conclusively refuted by objective evidence; (5) lacking in factual foundation; (5) lacking in evidence sufficient to raise an inference that misconduct had occurred; or (6) directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling…Eight of Mr. Mason’s twenty-one judicial complaints are still pending before this Court: Complaint numbers 05-0011, 05-0012, 05-0013, 05-0020, 05-0021, 05- 0022, 05-0023, and 05-0036. Six of those complaints name Judge Graham while the other two name judges of this Court who served on panels that affirmed decisions or rulings issued by Judge Graham. Four of the complaints are, on their face, successive. Accordingly, determination of those eight complaints will be held in abeyance pending the resolution of this Show Cause Order

    See Show Cause Order.

    The Perfect Scam

    IMPORTANT BACKGROUND AND CONCURRENT FACTS

    In order to fully understand the lengths that Judge Edmondson and his cohorts at the Eleventh Circuit are willing to go through to conceal the acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance committed by Judge Donald L. Graham, one must read the opinions in the direct appeal, Case
    No. 01-13664
    and mandamus petition, Case No. 01-15754 (“The “petition for writ of mandamus and petition for writ of prohibition” is DENIED.)in conjunction with the complaints listed below. The Eleventh Circuit does not deny the allegations it simply ignores them. In the direct appeal, the Eleventh Circuit acknowledges that it was briefed on the issue that Judge Graham should have disqualified because of the alleged misconduct, however, it refuses to discuss this issue on appeal (“Mason also raises issues that relate to non-sanction matters, … the denial of his motions to disqualify the district court and magistrate judges,“). Similarly, it refuses to discuss this issue in mandamus petition.

    The Eleventh Circuit and Judge Edmondson employed a perfect strategy to conceal these allegations of misconduct. The direct appeal and mandamus orders are non-published. Neither of these opinions have ever been available in the Court’s database or released. Couple this fact, with the fact that the Judicial Misconduct Complaints are kept confidential no one would ever know save this website.

    It is noteworthy and quite revealing that upon reading the complaints and Judge Edmondson’s replies that he does not deny, because he can not, any of the allegations set forth in any of the complaints below.

    The point of the foregoing is that Judge Edmondson and his cohorts knew full well that when these complaints were lodged that the Eleventh Circuit had already refused to address these allegations in the appellate process. Consequently, there is no remedy for these acts of misconduct and abuse.


    Complaint #01-0054

    This complaint raised the following allegations:

    Complaint No. 01-0054. On November 7, 2001, former Chief Judge R. Lanier Anderson, without denying the truth of the allegations, stated:

    Marcellus M. Mason. Jr. filed this complaint against United States District Judge Donald L. Graham, pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. § 372(c) and Addendum Three to the Rules of the Judicial Council of the Eleventh Circuit. The allegations of the Complaint are “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling” and/or ‘Action on the complaint is no longer necessary because of intervening events, and intervening events”. Consequently, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 372(c)(3)(A) and (3)(B) and Addendum Three Rule 4 (a)(2), this Complaint is DISMISSED.

    On March 5, 2002, the Judicial Council declined to do a review. See Order.


    Case No. 01-0068

    Complaint No. 01-0068

    Complaint filed on November 27, 2001

Is Judge Donald L. Graham More Dangerous than Jeremiah Wright ?

April 9, 2008

Justice Turned On Its Head

Justice Turned On Its Head

Judge Donald L. GrahamJudge Donald L. Graham Jeremiah WrightJeremiah Wright


God Damn the Constitution !

Who is More Dangerous Jeremiah Wright or Judge Donald L. Graham? Is it the person that makes incendiary remarks protected by the Constitution or the federal judge who systematically trashes the Constitution with impunity? This author believes that Judge Donald L. Graham is far more dangerous to America than Jeremiah Wright because Judge Graham appears to hate the Constitution. Judge Graham has shown a reckless disregard for the Constitution and the “rule of law”.

Constitutional Protections Violated by Judge Graham

Judge Graham has violated the following specific provisions of the United States Constitution.

  • First Amendment
  • Due Process
  • Right of Access to The Courts
  • Tenth Amendment
  • Article III

Pertinent History [Case No. 99-14027-CV-Graham/Lynch]

On June 15, 2000, Docket Entry 199, and July 12, 2000, Docket Entry 231, Maria Sorolis and Brian Koji, Allen, Norton & Blue asked Judge Graham’s Magistrate, Frank Lynch, Jr., to grant them preliminary injunctions that required Mason to contact them before he could talk to the government defendants, the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners. These orders required Mason, a nonlawyer, living in Sebring, FL to contact private attorneys some 90 miles away in Tampa, FL. These orders were granted by the Magistrate, Frank Lynch, Jr., on June 19, 2000 and July 25, 2000.

Plaintiff shall be prohibited from contacting any of the Defendants, including their supervisory employees and/or the individual Defendants, regarding any matter related to this case.

(DE #201). This order is dated June 19, 2000. Additionally, these orders directed that Mason contact these same lawyers prior to making public records request under Florida law. Between June 19, 2000 and July 25, 2000, Mason repeatedly challenged the jurisdiction of the district court via motions and the like. Judge Graham and the Magistrate absolutely refused to state where they got the legal authority from to issue these orders.

Plaintiff shall correspond only with Defendants’ counsel including any requests for public records.

(DE #246).

Plaintiff shall be prohibited from contacting any of the Defendants, including their supervisory employees and/or the individual Defendants, regarding any matter related to this case.

(DE #246). This order is dated July 25, 2000.

Judge Graham ultimately dismissed this lawsuit on June 20, 2001 because of alleged out of communications between Marcellus Mason and the Highlands County Government. See Docket Entries 766 and 791.

Sua Sponte Issued Pre-Filing Injunction

On September 20, 2001, or three months after the closed on June 20, 2001, Judge Graham concocted a pre-filing injunction, sua sponte. Docket Entry No. 878. Sua sponte means on the court’s own motion and without a request from any party in the lawsuit. In this matter, the pre-filing injunction required Mason to seek the permission of Judge Graham to file a motion or a lawsuit, or leave to file. According to Judge Graham’s colleague in Miami others, Judge Adalberto Jordan, the purpose of a filing injunction is to “to ensure that frivolous or meritless lawsuits do not interfere with their constitutional function”. May vs. Shell Oil Co., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14786,* (S.D. Fla. 2000). “[B]efore a district court issues a pre-filing injunction against a pro se litigant, it is incumbent on the court to make “substantive findings as to the frivolous or harassing nature of the litigant’s actions… To make such a finding, the district court needs to look at “both the number and content of the filings as indicia” of the frivolousness of the litigant’s claims.” De Long v. Hennessey, 912 F.2d 1144, 1148 (9th Cir. 1990). Judge Graham’s pre-filing injuction does not list a single lawsuit that was without merit. In order to justify the injunction, Judge Graham lies about the number and nature of lawsuits filed. See Lawsuits Filed. At page 3, Judge Graham claims that eleven lawsuits were filed by Mason when in fact Mason filed four lawsuits which were consolidated into one case, 99-14027. As a matter of act, Judge Graham is precluded by law from asserting that D.C. Case No. 99-14027-CV was without merit because Judge Graham refused to rule on pending summary judgments by both Highlands County and Mason.1


First Amendment

The First Amendment states.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Plaintiff shall be prohibited from contacting any of the Defendants, including their supervisory employees and/or the individual Defendants, regarding any matter related to this case.” ( DE #201). The The Defendants being referred to here is the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, and other governmental agencies.

The filing injunction violated Mason’s First Amendment Rights.

The First Amendment right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances” — which includes the filing of lawsuits — is “one of ‘the most precious of the liberties safeguarded by the Bill of Rights.’ ” BE & K Constr. Co. v. NLRB, 536 U.S. 516, 524, 122 S. Ct. 2390, 153 L. Ed. 2d 499 (2002) (quoting United Mine Workers v. Illinois State Bar Ass’n, 389 U.S. 217, 222, 88 S. Ct. 353, 19 L. Ed. 2d 426 (1967)). Consequently, a determination that a litigant has repeatedly filed frivolous and harassing [*3] lawsuits itself implicates his First Amendment interest in access to the courts. Indeed, where an individual’s use of the courts is declared abusive or baseless, “the threat of reputational harm[,] . . . different and additional to any burden posed by other penalties,” is alone sufficient to trigger First Amendment concerns. See id. at 530./span>

<Molski v. Evergreen Dynasty Corp., 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 7372 (9th Cir. 2008).

Right of Access to The Courts

The right of access to the Courts is clear according to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977);M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102 (1996). On September 20, 2001, Judge Graham rendered a pre-filing injunction sua sponte or without notice and opportunity to be heard. See Docket Entry Number 878, (D.E. # 878) Page 3, of this document boldly asserts: THIS CAUSE came before the Court sua sponte.

Judge Graham has aggressively blocked access to the Courts by arbitrarily denying a string of in forma pauperis motions, “IFP”, indigency applications, or application to waive court filing fees. In none of these denials, 18, did Judge Graham supply any reason for denial of the IFP motion. See IFP Page. Assuming the Supreme Court of the United States is relevant and further that Judge Graham is required to follow their rulings, then Judge Graham does not respect the Supreme Court either. The Supreme Court has said that an IFP motion can be only denied “if the allegation of poverty is untrue, or if satisfied that the action is frivolous or malicious.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989). See also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992).

Due Process

It is black letter law that a litigant is entitled to notice and opportunity to be heard before the court imposes the injunctive order. U.S. v. Powerstein, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 14928,*;185 Fed. Appx. 811 (11th Cir. 2006); Baum v. Blue Moon Ventures, LLC , 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 91,*; 513 F.3d 181; 49 Bankr. Ct. Dec. 68 (5th Cir. 2008)(“Notice and a hearing are required if the district court sua sponte imposes a pre-filing injunction or sua sponte modifies an existing injunction to deter vexatious filings.“). See Case law.

Bad “Faith Finding”

The U.S. Supreme Court has unequivocally stated: A court must, of course, exercise caution in invoking its inherent power, and it must comply with the mandates of due process, both in determining that the requisite bad faith exists and in assessing fees.”(emphasis added) Chambers v. Nasco, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 50 (1991).In this same sua sponte issued pre-filing injunction Judge Graham makes a so-called “finding of bad faith“. “It has become clear to the Court that Mason is proceeding in bad faith.. Such activity is in bad faith and will not be permitted by the Court.D.E. #878, pg. 5, 6,(“Bad Faith” section). See Bad Faith Case Law.

Tenth Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Tenth Amend., U.S. Const. Plaintiff shall correspond only with Defendants’ counsel including any requests for public records.” (DE #246). Public Records are covered under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes. There is no provison, or need for that matter, for a federal judge to exert jurisdiction over Florida Public Records. As a matter of fact, the Florida Supreme has expressly rejected Judge Graham’s jurisprudence. Henderson v. State, 745 So.2d 319, 326 (Fla. 1999)(“[w]e do not equate the acquisition of public documents under chapter 119 with the rights of discovery afforded a litigant by judicially-created rules of procedure”); Wait v. Florida Power & Light Co., 372 So.2d 420, 424 (Fla. 1979)(“we find no authority to support the argument that Florida Power & Light, by engaging in litigation before a federal forum, has somehow given up its independent statutory rights to review public records under chapter 119. The fact that Florida Power & Light simultaneously engaged in litigation before a federal agency does not in any way prevent its use of chapter 119 to gain access to public documents.”).

Article III

A Magistrate Judge is a statutory judge created by an act of Congress, “The Magistrates Act”. 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(A) clearly states:

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary-(A) a judge may designate a magistrate judge to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the court except a motion for injunction relief,…” 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(A)

Judge Graham has expressly stated that it is not clear error for a Magistrate to issue an injunction.

On June 19, 2000, the Honorable Magistrate Judge Frank J. Lynch entered an Order granting Defendants a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Plaintiff from contacting any of the Defendants in this action. Upon notice that Plaintiff was violating this order, Defendants filed a Renewed Motion For Preliminary Injunction. On July 25, 2000, Magistrate Judge Lynch entered an Order granting Defendants’ Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction, once again prohibiting Plaintiff from contacting any of the Defendants in this action or their supervisory employees. Magistrate Judge Lynch also ordered that Plaintiff shall only correspond with Defendants’ counsel. Plaintiff then moved to rescind the July 25, 2000 order, however, on August 15, 2000, Magistrate Judge Lynch denied Plaintiff’s Motion to Rescind. Plaintiff appeals the August 15, 2000 ruling. After careful review of the file and the pertinent portions of the record, the Court finds that Magistrate Judge Lynch’s ruling is not clearly erroneous nor is it contrary to law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72; see also Cooper-Houston v. Southern Railway Company, 37 F.3d 603 (11th Cir. 1994).

See Docket Entry No. 407 dated November 2, 2000.


  1. See (Doc. 507);(Doc. 667);(Doc. 668) );(Doc. 706);(Doc. 797). Incidentally, the Defendants have tacitly admitted by not refuting with record evidence, that the Plaintiff has made a prima face case. See Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motion, (Doc. 769, Pg. 7).
  2. Judge Graham is fully aware of the frivolous requirement because it was his court that cited May vs. Shell Oil Company, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14786, *7 (S.D. Fla. 2000). See Case No. 00-14240, (D.E. #27, dtd. 1-16-01)(D.E. 33 dtd. 2-13-01). This was a lawsuit filed by Highlands County against Mason asking for a pre-filing injunction.

Does A Mere Clause In a Sentence Represent Meaningful Appeal?

April 7, 2008


Justice Turned On Its Head

Justice Turned On Its Head

Judge Donald L. GrahamJudge Donald L. Graham


Point of this Post

The Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeal cited a mere clause in a sentence in an unpublished opinion and apparently considered this “meaningful appellate review” of Judge Graham’s failure to disqualify. This appeal was captioned under Eleventh Circuit Case No. 01-13364 and Dist. Ct. Case No. 99-14027-CV-Graham/Lynch. This appeal was ultimately concluded with an unpublished opinion that to be kind and civil amounted to nothing more than dishonesty and a reckless disregard for the “rule of law”. See Undermining An Appeal Right to see other ways this appeal was undermined.

It couldn’t be more clear that the Judges at the Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeal, are not going to let the “rule of law” prohibit them from achieving their desired outcome-a total vindication of Judge Graham’s miscreant behavior. This behavior is fully documented at: http://mmason.freeshell.org/CoreAllegations.htm

A US Circuit Judge On the Potential Dangers of Unpublished Opinions

“If, for example, a precedent is cited, and the other side then offers a distinction, and the judges on the panel cannot think of a good answer to the distinction, but nevertheless, for some extraneous reason, wish to reject it, they can easily do so through the device of an abbreviated, unpublished opinion, and no one will ever be the wiser. (I don’t say that judges are actually doing this–only that the temptation exists.) Or if, after hearing argument, a judge in conference thinks that a certain decision should be reached, but also believes that the decision is hard to justify under the law, he or she can achieve the result, assuming agreement by the other members of the panel, by deciding the case in an unpublished opinion and sweeping the difficulties under the rug. Again, I’m not saying that this has ever occurred in any particular case, but a system that encourages this sort of behavior, or is at least open to it, has to be subject to question in any world in which judges are human beings.” 1 J. App. Prac. & Process 219 (1999). UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS: A COMMENT, Richard S. Arnold, Copyright © 1999 University of Arkansas – Little Rock School of Law ; Richard S. Arnold

MOTION FOR REHEARING

The Eleventh Circuit was told of their “mistake” or omission of failing to decide whether Judge Graham should or disqualified or recused himself. Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., writing for the panel, rejected Mason’s plea to consider whether Judge Graham should have disqualified or recused himself. On Jan 31, 2003, Judge Birch said: “The petition(s) for rehearing filed by appellant, Marcellus M. Mason, Jr., is DENIED.” See Rehearing Denial Order.

Disqualification on Appeal

See Case Background Information.
On March 11, 2002, Marcellus Mason filed a brief with the Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeal that stated, among other things, Judge Graham should have disqualified or recused himself. See Appellant’s Brief. This brief excoriates Judge Graham and accuses him of the following:

  • Usurping authority by allowing a Magistrate to render an injunction.
  • Usurping authority by prohibiting out of court direct communication with the government
  • Usurping authority by administering the Florida Public Records Act.
  • Intentionally lying and misrepresenting the law.
  • Refusing to rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction that had been pending for more than 19 months.
  • Mismanagement of the Case by Allowing scores of motions and filings to languish without being decided.

These allegations, and others, are fully documented at http://mmason.freeshell.org/CoreAllegations.htm.

    Meaningless Appeal

    On October 16, 2002, Judges Stanley F. Birch, Jr., Susan H. Black, and Stanley Marcus asserted:

    “Mason also raises issues that relate to non-sanction matters, e.g., .. the denial of his motions to disqualify the district court and magistrate judges…”

    See Opinion, page 10. This is the sum total of appellate review as to whether Judge Donald L. Graham should have been disqualified due to misconduct. The “opinion” is 14 pages long. There is absolutely no discussion as to whether the allegations of misconduct are true or not.

Rehearing Motion

Subsequent to the Eleventh Circuit’s failure to decide whether or not Judge Graham should have disqualified or recuse in their “opinion”, Mason filed motion informing the Court of this “oversight” or failure.

This Court’s opinion does not address whether or not the district court abused his discretion by not disqualifying. Plaintiff raised this issue in his Initial Brief at pages 30-33. Mason contends that the district court is in violation of Canon 1, Canon 3, Code Of Conduct For United States Judges Code Of Conduct For United States Judges. Plaintiff’s motion to disqualify was submitted on February 7, 2001, (Doc. 460), which was submitted prior to Defendants’ motions for dismissal in the form of sanctions, the first of which was not submitted until March 2, 2001, (Doc. 511). The district judge should have never taken action on the Defendant’s motion for dismissal that was submitted on March 2, 2001 because he was required to disqualify on Mason’s motion submitted on February 7, 2001.

Pg. 13, Motion For Rehearing.

On Jan 31, 2003, Judge Birch said: “The petition(s) for rehearing filed by appellant, Marcellus M. Mason, Jr., is DENIED.” See Rehearing Denial Order.


Compare Judge Graham To Judge Duross Fitzpatrick

In Chudasama v. Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353 (C.A.11 (Ga.), 1997), Judge Duross Fitzpatrick, Middle District of Georgia, the district court was excoriated for mismanagement of a case. This case involved the district court’s failure to resolve discovery disputes and failure to decide motions. “Failure to consider and rule on significant pretrial motions before issuing dispositive orders can be an abuse of discretion.” Chudasama, supra.