Brickbats

Brickbat: Here Comes the %@!$* Judge

|

A Palm Beach County, Fla., judge has sentenced Derrick Jenkins to six months probation with the first 30 days in jail for sending another judge an expletive-filled letter questioning the judge's competence. Jenkins was upset that Judge Howard K. Coates had dismissed a lawsuit he filed against the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. His letter contained no threats against Coates. Jenkins says he was just exercising his First Amendment rights. But Judge Robert Panse, who was assigned the case, found him guilty of criminal contempt of court.

Advertisement

NEXT: Another Looming Threat to E-Cigarettes

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Fuck that judge

    1. Fuck both of them.

      1. I’m sure the judges were just having a little light-hearted fun, they sound like rather chipper fellows if you ask me.

        1. Paging Preet

          1. Fuck that guy

      2. Don’t stick your dick in crazy.

        1. But crazy is so much better in bed than sane!

          1. Will it still be worth it if crazy decides to turn you into a unich?

  2. “His letter contained no threats against Coates.”

    I wonder if Judge Coates managed to work “shout fire in a crowded theater” into this sentence? Authoritarians always love to use that.

    I am seeing more and more of this type of thing (people being punished insulting, but for non-threatening language).

    I think we may eventually need to pass a law to protect the right of citizens to say things like this. I’m thinking it should be a really important and prominent law too. Perhaps like a “first law” or something like that……

    Odds are 10 to 1 in favor of this judge being re-elected with a commercial showing this as just one example of his “tough on crime” stance.

    1. Speech is violence. Havent you been paying attention?

      1. Was he triggered?

    2. Many people, mostly assholes, love authority as long as it is directed at someone they do not like or agree with.

      “Carry on clingers and defer to your betters” comes to mind…

    3. I wonder if Judge Coates managed to work “shout fire in a crowded theater” into this sentence? Authoritarians always love to use that.

      I wonder if you read the post? Coates was the recipient of the letter, not the judge who found the guy guilty of contempt.

    4. “I wonder if Judge Coates managed to work “shout fire in a crowded theater” into this sentence? Authoritarians always love to use that.”

      You can do that though. It’s the incitement of panic that is illegal. If you dressed up like Grimace from Ronald McDonald Land, went down front, waved your little arms around, and yelled “Fire” and everyone laughs then you’re good. Theater can ask you to leave.

  3. Ah, isn’t it wonderful living under a kritarchy?

  4. Coates then took action. He charged Jenkins with criminal contempt for “statements and representations calculated to lessen the authority and dignity of the Court.”

    Nothing preserves judicial dignity like hurt feelings.

  5. Maybe if the ACLU weren’t too busy telling us that men can have babies they would have had time to look at this.

    1. Maybe they can’t have babies, which isn’t anyone’s fault, not even Trump’s…but they have the *right* to have babies!

      1. Sadly, we’ve passed the Monty Python satire point.

        Nowadays having a ‘right’ you can’t exercise isn’t enough – everyone must indulge the delusion.

        1. This shit is why The Onion is going bankrupt.

  6. “criminal contempt of court”
    Well, he got that part right.
    This is just a “common sense” infringement of only one part of the constitution, so it is just fine.

    1. Should be justifiable contempt

  7. Appeal and sue.

    Demand a jury trial pursuant to the US Constitution, Amendment VI, the right to a speedy and public jury trial in all criminal prosecutions.

    Courts retort with claim that contempt of court is NOT a criminal prosecution. Funny how the Constitution gives no power to the Judiciary to put people in jail for a crime without a jury trial.

    Civil contempt of court: Maximum penaltax is a fine. The courts have to enforce that judgment like everyone else who gets a judgment.

    1. It’s a criminal complaint as far as the powers of the court are concerned, a civil complaint as far as the rights of the defendant are concerned. A civil violation of criminal law.

        1. Georgia is great because you can demand a speedy and public jury trial for any traffic offense. All crimes in Georgia are misdemeanors or felonies. There are no infraction offenses of criminal law.

          “Infraction” offenses are how some states got around having to hold a jury trial for a speeding ticket.

          1. Last time I challenged a speeding ticket an angry looking judge sat down and said something like “By law the radar is always right. So even if you can prove it was wrong, it was right because the law says so. ‘Just driving’ or anything like that is not an excuse. You’re all guilty. So lets start wasting everyone’s time.” What a douche.

            1. That is common to judges. They are not fans of you wasting the court’s time with pesky constitutional rights.

              Hence, the Georgia demand for jury trial. Let a jury decide. My experience is that the district attorneys/city attorneys always dismiss the charges before trial.

              Proving guilt to a sympathetic judge is much easier than proving a traffic offense to get a unanimous 12 person verdict of guilt.

  8. Fuck Coates.

  9. The case having been dismissed seems like would put the person outside the power of contempt.

    1. Right; the case had been dismissed. So is it any different if I am not a party to a lawsuit, and I send a judge a letter telling they are fucking stupid, can I then be charged with “contempt of court?”

      1. It’s a hell of a power. No jury. The “victim” decides the case and punishment.

        1. Absolute power and all that…

  10. Maybe, using expletives in this kind of communication is ultimately self defeating. This is a case of playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes.

    1. “Shut the fuck up or I’ll come over there and beat the shit out of you”, he explained. (With apologies to Ring Lardner.)

  11. “You have impugned my reputation in the community by calling me, and I’m not going to repeat it, but an f’ing hypocrite and unfit to serve as a judge,” Coates told Jenkins, according to a transcript. “You have accused me of being incompetent. That causes personal harm. But the harm goes beyond me. It goes to the judicial system as well.”

    What a whiny little bitch.

    1. That is the Rest of the Story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

    2. I certainly hope this judge never hears a case on slander or libel – he doesn’t seem to know what any of those big words actually mean. On the flip side, the progs asserting “words are violence” have a new friend.

      1. “…the progs asserting ‘words are violence’ have a new friend.”

        And of course such an abuse of power will never ever be used against them.

    3. Judge doesn’t seem to be very clear on the judicial duty to be fair and impartial on the issues before the court. Namely, the issue of whether or not he is in fact a fucking hypocrite, incompetent, and unfit to serve as a judge. I’ll bet he never even held a hearing or called any witnesses to testify on the matter. Which, when you think about it, speaks to his hypocrisy, incompetence, and unfitness to be a judge, doesn’t it?

    4. We must worship the system.

    5. “You have impugned my reputation in the community by calling me, and I’m not going to repeat it, but an f’ing hypocrite idiot and unfit to serve as a judgequarterback,” Coates Mason Rudolph told JenkinsUnicorn Abattoir, according to a transcript. “You have accused me of being incompetent. That causes personal harm. But the harm goes beyond me. It goes to the judicial system as well.”

  12. Seems to me that the court is entirely worthy of contempt.

  13. “statements and representations calculated to lessen the authority and dignity of the Court.”

    “No shit, Sherlock!”

  14. Yup, judges can do that. They shouldn’t have that power, but they do. Judges can throw around contempt of court with no checks whatsoever. It’s not right, but no one except that gadfly libertarian in the corner cares.

    1. That is why fighting this bullshit is so important.

      I think many Americans still have a fundamental sense of right and wrong and detest government abuse.

      Highlighting judicial abuse is just the first step.

      1. Except when that abuse is aimed at others for behavior and opinions they don’t like.

        1. As I so often say … principals not principles.

          Who is more important than what.

  15. jfc that asshole judge is a pussy.

  16. What was the lawsuit against the sheriff about?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.