Brickbat: An F for Penmanship


The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WDRB News looked at 231 warrants issued by King County judges since January 2019 and found that the judge's signature was illegible on 72 percent of them, making it impossible to know who signed them. Jefferson Circuit Court Chief Judge Angela McCormick Bisig said she doesn't believe the readability of judge's signatures is a problem. "I don't see anything hidden or lacking in transparency," she said. "I don't believe a judge is going to sign a search warrant and no one will know that it's them." When presented with several signatures from warrants, Bisig could not identify which judges they belonged to.

NEXT: Why Are American Taxpayers Propping Up Mexico's Insolvent, Government-Owned Oil Company?

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. An F for flattery.

    F means, they want to remain notified for further posts in a particular thread or they want to follow the discussion by members on a particular topic. Some members type F or f or follow or following to be kept in the loop for the discussion.
    Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) Guidelines according to WHO.

    1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…DFg after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

      Here’s what I do…>> Click here

    2. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially rewarding Job Aby I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

      Heres what I do……………………………………………… More INformation Here

  2. Well, apparently, they at least have a key to check against privately, so it isn’t quite as bad as it could be. Still, the whole situation’s . . . sketchy.

    1. They do have a list of judges, but I don’t believe they have a “key” because 72% of the search warrant signatures weren’t identifiable.

      This suggests someone may be forging search warrants for unethical and illegal abuse of government power. E.G., do you think criminals will complain if the cops steal their stolen goods, cash or drugs?

      1. As I read it, the journalists couldn’t read 72% of the signatures, and the clerk “key” wasn’t provided to them, so while they couldn’t ID the judges, in principle the clerk could.

        That is of course open to all sorts of abuse and thus is an unacceptable state of affairs, but it’s one step less awful than if there was no way for anyone to link ’em.

        1. Presumably, if the warrant were called into question, the petitioner could depose the affiant (cop) and court clerk to definitively state who signed it in their presence.

  3. Plausible deniability. Comes in handy at election time.

  4. This is very interesting but sad. Personally, I feed on the positive and money here and thanks for the article

  5. When the legal community has me sign things, my name is also printed somewhere on the document.

    1. There is usually a block to print your name if it is not already in the document because signatures are not simply writing your name. Odd that warrants don’t include that.

    2. Seems like they should be able to initial every charge or vital piece of evidence sought or something too.

  6. My signature must have been hacked, I don’t remember signing that warrant at all.

  7. Signatures really need to be phased out as a means of evidence. Not only are they easily forged, not only are they hard to check, but we now have multiple generations who don’t even have unique signatures that stay consistent between one line and the next. It’s time to start using facial recognition technology, scanning id cards, or fingerprints when trying to prove something is really you.

    1. Assprints seem appropriate for how warrants are treated.

      1. Everybody’s taint is unique, like a snowflake.

        1. I’d like to see that on an inspirational poster, with a picture of Bill Nye looking heavenward at a field of stars.

          1. That would be like one of those “Magic Eye” posters; you could only tell which taint was Bill Nye if you looked at it cross-eyed.

            1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…ZDs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

              Here’s what I do…>> Click here

    2. For government critters absolutely. Biometrically qualify the fuck out of them and make them fingerprint everything they sign off on.

  8. Give them all ink stamps

    1. Don’t be so blaze. sealing wax and a signet ring of office is the way to go.

    2. Very chineese!

  9. I think legibility of the signature isn’t as important as uniqueness and consistency. Are the judge’s signatures equally illegible on other documents they have signed? If you had a book of all the illegible signatures could you find the one that matches the warrant?

    1. I disagree slightly and, to a degree, disagree with Illocust’s post above.

      The point of signatures is not strictly internal paper trails. From English common law, they signify to the subject/citizen that the person(s) at their door are acting on behalf of the crown/people and not of their own motivation. Having scribbles (or a string of alphanumeric characters) in a database that any clerk can look up does little to convey to a citizen that the judge they voted for (or not) has issued a warrant against them.

  10. So an illegible signature makes the warrant invalid, and all evidence found tainted?
    And any search under an illegible signature is illegal and the serving officers have no QI?

    1. He who can afford the best lawyer is most likely to prevail.

      But they’re still gonna shoot your dog.

      1. HA! I have taken preventative measures; I do not have a dog.
        If they want to shoot my dog, they will have to bring it with them and give it to me before they break down the door.

  11. The warrants need to contain the judge’s name. Every other government form needs to have the name be readable, along with the signature. Either printed on the form, typed in, or written in print not cursive.

    Print here____________
    Sign here ____________

    1. Don’t the judges keep a log of signed documents, like the logs a notary public keeps?

      How many people got shot in that wrong address SWAT raid? Let me see the warrant. I don’t recognize my signature.

      1. Don’t the judges keep a log of signed documents, like the logs a notary public keeps?

        At the very least, you’d think they’d keep a journal or a calendar in case they get falsely accused of a sexual assault 30 yrs. down the line.

  12. Sounds like a feature, not a bug.

  13. Doesn’t matter.
    When the police are defunded, there can be no searches, therefore no search warrants. There can be no arrests, therefore no arrest warrants.

  14. only way it could be more on purpose is if a FISA court.

  15. It’s not like a judge will ever be held accountable for signing a bad warrant, anyway. But Brandybuck is right; just about every other legal document requires the signer’s name printed along with the signature.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.