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Thread: Letter of Complaint to the Judicial Commissioner

  1. #1
    Seniorita Member Shannon's Avatar
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    Letter of Complaint to the Judicial Commissioner

    I have been waiting 6 months to receive a reply to a complaint I sent to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner. It was an easy wait because I knew my complaint would be taken seriously and even upheld. I knew this because my allegations were on the record so couldn't be denied.

    Judge David McNaughton had indisputably acted in a manor that obstructed "fair Process" "Judicial independents" and "Natural Justice". He ignored The sentencing Act, during a sentencing hearing.

    Imagine my surprise when I received a letter from Sir David Gasgoigne, (The Commissioner, himself)
    it took him 4 pages to outline the complaint I had written and sent to him and he even managed to take liberties with my own words and then advised he wasn't taking any further action!

    A person who was blissfully unaware of the law and the Commissioners role may have given up at this point and decided it was a huge waste of time writing to the commissioner in the first place and I guess the Government rely on this happening and don't have to do anything else!

    I have to ask the Question............

    Why do we even have these Government Departments that are put in place to allegedly protect us from injustice within the JUSTICE SYSTEM if all they do is ignore their own Guidelines and rules and cover for those who have breached them!

    Why do they make their Guidelines and Rules available to the public if they don't want us to notify them of breaches of these?

    Why do they appoint a commissioner of such things and lead us to believe he is there to assist in keeping the integrity of Justice system?

    Its all a facade to make us believe they are trying to protect us from people in high places who abuse the system but really they are there to lull us into a false sense of security!

    My reply letter is copied below. Clearly the Commissioner needs to be reminded of his DUTIES and the LAW!

    And again I wait a reply!



    13th of August 2012

    Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner
    P.O. Box 2661,
    Wellington,
    New Zealand

    judicialconduct@jcc.govt.nz

    Dear Sir David Gasgoigne,

    Thank you for your correspondence dated 27 July 2012. I note that you have
    Dismissed /not upheld my complaint that Judge McNaughton held a favorable bias
    towards the police and acted in manor that was not impartial and was in conflict with fair process,
    judicial independence and natural justice.

    In dismissing / not upholding my compliant of judicial bias, you
    relied on the fact that my complaint lacked any "real or persuasive
    evidence of bias". Unless any new evidence comes to light I am required to
    accept your position.

    However I do not accept your finding of no misconduct in Judge McNaughton
    stating I was depicted in a photograph wearing a stolen police uniform. In
    making your finding you advised the Judge had not stated I had stolen the
    police uniform but that I was wearing a stolen police uniform. Both
    statements are emphatically incorrect. I had not committed such an
    offence, nor was I charged with such.

    To the contrary the police had fully investigated and found no evidence of
    wrongdoing. I had also received written confirmation from police that the matter
    was at an end.

    PRINCIPLES OF SENTENCING
    Your finding ignores provisions under the Sentencing Act 2002, in
    particular Section 7 which refers to the Purposes and Principles of
    Sentencing. That section sets out the matters on which a court may
    sentence or otherwise deal with an offender namely to ensure
    accountability, responsibility, harm and interests of the victim. The
    photograph of me wearing a police shirt does not align to any of those
    categories.

    The personal circumstances in how I came to be in possession of the
    uniform was not unlawful and nor were those circumstances explored by the
    Judge. To the contrary the Judge had received the information from police
    through informal channels. Judge McNaughton confirmed he had received the
    information, "... since the conclusion of the defended hearing". At no
    time did he allow myself or my counsel to respond. I believe this
    somewhat supports my allegation that the Judge held a favorable bias
    toward police in that he willingly accepted information passed to him
    without independently appraising the information.

    Judges are not at liberty to make statements that an offence has been
    committed when there has been no evidence of such. Nor are they at liberty
    to consider issues that have been passed to them through improper and
    informal channels.

    PROOF OF FACTS
    Section 24 of the Sentencing Act 2002 sets out that the Court may accept
    as proved any fact that was disclosed by evidence at the hearing and any
    facts agreed by the prosecutor and the offender. Section 24(2) sets out
    that if a fact relevant to the determination of a sentence is asserted by
    one party and disputed by another, the prosecutor must prove beyond
    reasonable doubt the existence of any disputed aggravating fact.

    I or my counsel were never given any opportunity to dispute the allegation
    that the uniform I was photographed in was stolen. Police made reference to the matter
    then passed further information relating to that matter to the Judge outside of
    court proceedings. Judge McNaughton had suppressed that detail from my counsel.

    The uniform I was pictured in was not stolen. It is clear Judge McNaughton saw
    otherwise and considered the uniform stolen. The first time he made reference to a stolen police uniform was at time of passing his sentence. It became an aggravating factor in my
    sentence. At no time did Judge McNaughton indicate the weight he would
    be attaching to that matter (s.24(2)(a).

    You state at paragraph 11 of your letter that comments during the course
    of proceedings may fall within your jurisdiction if those comments are
    both –

    (a) unnecessary and irrelevant to the essence of the proceedings or the
    decision; and also

    (b) inappropriate (that is gratuitous or otherwise indicating personal
    bias on the part of the Judge or constituting an unwarranted attack on a
    party or counsel.

    In reference to point (a) above, I contend that Judge McNaughton’s
    statement that I was in possession of a stolen police uniform was not only
    unnecessary and irrelevant but also unfounded. The police had fully
    investigated and no evidence of offending was identified. Nor was I
    charged.

    In reference to point (b) above, I contend that the Judge’s actions of
    willingly accepting information by police outside of court proceedings,
    withholding that information from my counsel, then relying on it at time
    of sentencing are strong indications of bias in favor of the police.

    When examining Judge McNaughton’s comments at time of sentencing, it is
    without doubt that his reference to the photograph was aggravating to the
    sentence that he passed. It is also without doubt that his belief that I
    was wearing a stolen police uniform caused him to hold a personal and
    adverse bias toward me. His comments being "The photograph that you posted
    of yourself on Facebook in this stolen police uniform really says it all
    about your attitude to the Courts and to the community in general."

    Judge McNaughton's comments were inappropriate and constituted an
    unwarranted attack.

    At no time did my counsel or I have an opportunity to defend the
    allegation of the uniform being stolen. At no time did I have an
    opportunity to present police evidence to corroborate that the matter had
    been fully investigated and no such finding of a stolen uniform was made.

    You have made your findings under the Judicial Conduct Commissioner and
    Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004. The purpose of the Act is set out in
    Section 4 which states the Act is to enhance public confidence in, and to
    protect the impartiality and integrity of the judicial systems by, amongst
    other things, (1) establishing an office for the receipt and assessment of
    complaints about the conduct of judges and (2) providing a fair process
    that recognizes and protects the requirements of judicial independence and
    natural justice.

    I respectfully find your decision erroneous and have substantiated that
    belief. I accordingly request that you revisit the circumstances of my
    complaint, namely improper reference by Judge McNaughton to the stolen
    police uniform during a judicial process.

    Yours faithfully

    Shannon

  2. #2
    Good on you Shannon. You have said what many of us feel, and have personally experienced.

    We learned early on that Ian Haynes as a Commissioner was a rubber stamp. He was set up to be a rubber stamp. He was appointed for only one reason, and that was to field complaints about judges that otherwise were being addressed to Members of Parliament.

    Of course the MPs were not allowed to become involved in judicial matters. But their limp-wristed replies that said time and time again, "As a Member of Parliament I can't get involved" were costing them votes. So the intermediary was appointed to do the exact same thing, but not in the name of the MPs. So instead of MPs saying "I can't get involved", MPs sent their letters to Ian Haynes, who then said exactly the same thing, that he can't get involved. Of course it is relevant that Ian Haynes was appointed for 5 years to do this, but even he couldn't tell lies for that long, and he resigned before his time was up.

    So along came Sir David. We all held our collective breaths, hoping for some new accountability. One of Sir David's first jobs was to challenge Bill Wilson, our number one judge in the country. So what happened, Sir David's wings were clipped by the High Court, when Sir David's perfectly valid findings re Bill Wilson were overturned by the very people he was challenging, the judges themselves. So of course now, Sir David has reverted to form. Unless a judge somewhere blows up Parliament or something equally dramatic, Sir David's job is to compromise the entire Knights of the Realm, and do what the job was originally set up for. To tell us that just like Ian Haynes before him, he can't get involved.

    We are stuck with it sadly. Fortunately the JCC office does not cost too much to run, though the cost is rapidly increasing. Every cent of it is wasted "going through the motions" taxpayers dollars.

    So good on you for letting this Knight of the Realm have the venom of your wrath. Just by the way. If you think you've had a raw deal, you should try being a male in our justice system. We males are supposed to be tough, and take whatever the system dishes out. We're male after all, and we deserve all we get from the cops (sarcasm alert). How dare we unruly peasants expect any sympathy from lawyers and judges. How dare we assume that the Bill of Rights Act was written for the peasant class in New Zealand. At least historically in Bill of Rights issues, women have been the ones to set some Bill of Rights standards.

    One of my lawyers said to me - What do you mean you want to take a Bill of Rights claim to the Courts? Are you a fool? You're not female and you're not going to prison, therefore you WILL lose. The only people in New Zealand who win Bill of Rights issues in New Zealand are females for whom police bullying is not tolerated, or men going to prison, the only cases in which the press are interested.

    Anyway, Shannon, thanks for speaking for so many of us.

    Bill of Rights
    Last edited by Farrque; 14-08-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: fixing typos

  3. #3
    Seniorita Member Shannon's Avatar
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    I am not saying women are not favoured but I can advise, without a doubt! that I am NOT one of the favoured women in the NZ Justice System ...lol
    I got a two year jail sentence for a crime I didn't even commit and that anyone else who had committed such a crime
    would have got home detention if that!

    I then spent 3 months in jail before they could get me out! It took another 3 months to get the conviction and sentence over turned in the high court.

    This is the reason people don't speak out about corruption. If I hadn't made so much noise about a corrupt Police SGT, this never would have happened.
    The great thing is - I now have nothing left to loose so I am going to make so much noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    for as long as it takes!!!!!! :-)

  4. #4
    Seniorita Member Shannon's Avatar
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    The case can be re heard so we are waiting to see if if that happens but even if it does I intend on taking legal action as I wouldnt have been sent to jail If police hadnt interferred and released false informtion into the court, well to Judge McNaughton - behind the scenes (such as the Police uniform matter)

  5. #5
    Good on you Shannon.

    The Judicial Commissioner is a waste of time from what I have read. I believe that the role is still yet to have it's first hearing i.e. no complaint has yet even gone to a hearing in NZ.

    We did not even bother filing a complaint with the judicial commissioner. We won all our cases - gagging cases in the Family court. However, the corruption we witnessed inside the courtroom filled us with fear. We fled the country as we felt we could not live where we have no protection from the law - I'm referring to the laws/conventions/regulations that govern a judge's behaviour inside the countroom. Our analogy is that the secret NZ Family court is New Zealand's Guantanamo Bay where the State does it's dirty deeds in secret beyond the law and the rule of law. Judges knowing break the law and the rule of law inside the court because they know they are immune from consequences - this is the NZ way.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    Have you thought about claiming wrongful conviction and getting compensation?
    To whom did you have in mind that Shannon should claim, Yoda? God? The tooth fairy? Easter bunny, perhaps?
    How should she go about this easily-spoken-of impossibility? Did you check if Shannon has the spare $25 thousand she would need to start such a claim process? Where would you point her to, Yoda?

  7. #7
    Let me take my point a bit further.

    When NZ set up the Health and Disability Commission, it also set up a complaint mechanism to air grievances about the promises made to NZers about our health system. So the gov't makes health promises. Someone doesn't get delivery on that promise, and wants to complain. What do they do? They go to the Health and Disability Commission website and file a complaint.

    But what happens when someone gets a Bill of Rights guarantee breached against them (of which several appear to have been breached in Shannon's case above)? Different story indeed. Using the same wording as my last paragraph above.. .. So the gov't makes promises. Someone doesn't get delivery, and wants to complain. What do they do? They go to the .. ... ... .... well, there isn't a Bill of Rights Commission is there like there is a Health Commissioner, to complain to.

    Did you know that when the British introduced (in 1998) the equivalent of our 1990 Bill of Rights Act, they copied a lot of what New Zealand already did in its NZBoRA (nice turnaround from a thousand years of opposite history). The Brits called it the Human Rights Act. But contrary to what happened here, the British Law Society was the biggest advocate for the new statute. What had happened here was the complete opposite, where the NZ Law Society were the biggest opponent of our Bill of Rights Act. And lawyers have remained the biggest opponent of our NZBoRA. Those opposing lawyers in the late 1980s are now the judges who are still opposed to our NZBoRA.

    But what else did the Brits do, that Sir Geoffrey Palmer didn't do for us?

    When they created the Human Rights Act (remember this Act is not the equivalent of our Human Rights Act), they also provided for a complaints mechanism. So if Shannon is in Britain, she gets shafted on a Bill of Rights promise, and she can complain to the Bill of Rights Commission.

    We were sadly let down by Sir Geoffrey Palmer who gave us rights without any means of enforcing those rights (other than tremendously expensive legal action to enforce them). In other words, if you are one of the ordinary class of New Zealanders, we have no effective rights. Believe me, I have put it to the test (see the 'Alice in Wonderland' thread).

    So while we have theoretical rights, we only get them if we are at least approaching millionaire status and can afford the expensive lawyers. And there endeth the lesson.
    Last edited by Bill (of Rights); 29-08-2012 at 08:20 PM. Reason: fixed typing error

  8. #8
    Member Beachedas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill (of Rights) View Post
    Let me take my point a bit further.

    So while we have theoretical rights, we only get them if we are at least approaching millionaire status and can afford the expensive lawyers. And there endeth the lesson.
    The other way to access the justice system is to be flat broke and court fees are waived. The Crown does eventually pay out in most cases of false imprisonment but you will need to prepare a claim.If you prepare and file the claim yourself, it will only cost you your time. I took corrections to court & although it took about 20hrs to prepare I won. It was only $200.. but well worth it.
    “The citizen's job is to be rude - to pierce the comfort of professional intercourse by boorish expressions of doubt”
    -John Ralston Saul-

  9. #9
    Don't forget that being broke and filing for free, does not immunise you from having to meet the other party's costs if you lose. Especially if your opponent is Crown Law, which it would be in Shannon's case, the Crown costs can quickly amount to tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, Crown Law are experts at making their costs amount to tens of thousands of dollars. That is their best means of stopping us plebs from taking on the corrupt system.
    Last edited by Bill (of Rights); 30-08-2012 at 07:55 PM. Reason: typing error

  10. #10
    Member Beachedas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill (of Rights) View Post
    Don't forget that being broke and filing for free, does not immunise you from having to meet the other party's costs if you lose. Especially if your opponent is Crown Law, which it would be in Shannon's case, the Crown costs can quickly amount to tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, Crown Law are experts at making their costs amount to tens of thousands of dollars. That is their best means of stopping us plebs from taking on the corrupt system.
    You seem to miss the point, If you have nothing...you have nothing to lose, even the Crown has trouble extracting blood from a stone.
    “The citizen's job is to be rude - to pierce the comfort of professional intercourse by boorish expressions of doubt”
    -John Ralston Saul-

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