Letter to Judge McCoy


(By the way, McCoy's email address is: mccoy@law.ucla.edu). He has not bothered to respond to my email and perhaps to the writer below.)

Dear Judge McCoy,

I’m writing to ask you to look into the disposition of a Small Claims Court case brought by a man named Ron Mason on or around November 19, 2008 and presided over by Court Commissioner Martin Green.

I have read the eyewitness account of four people who were in the courtroom (attached) and if even part of what it recounts is true I find Commissioner Green’s conduct very troubling.

Although I have attached the account for your edification I would like to draw your attention to a couple of particularly egregious allegations:

1. Commissioner Green is alleged to have said several times to Mr. Mason, “Why are you here?” It is a citizen’s right to be heard in Small Claims Court and I can see Commissioner Green’s actions here in no other light than as an attempt to intimidate and belittle Mr. Mason and his right to equal justice under the law, and to redress if his rights have been violated. A Court Commissioner, by questioning those rights, is abrogating them.

2. He referred to the cats who were killed by L.A. Animal Services as “contraband” when in fact they were evidence. I have spent time at City shelters and I know that animals seized in an investigation are supposed to be preserved – alive – as evidence. This is particularly true because since Mr. Mason was initially threatened with charges of felony animal neglect, the physical condition of the cats would have been relevant to the case.

3. Commissioner Green refused to order compensation for cat cages and medications seized (and not inventoried according to law) by LAPD, contending that the cages and medications were “used in conjunction” with the “contraband” cats who were seized, and were therefore contraband also. But the L.A. Municipal Code allows owners up to three cats, which Mr. Mason now has. Cages and medications are used in conjunction with cats, not just with “contraband” cats. Any responsible cat owner has medications, and cat cages are used to trap, neuter and return feral cats, an act that is explicitly allowed in the L.A. Municipal Code (53.69, c. "The Department may also waive fees under Subsections (a) and (b) for any person or rescue organization described above, assisting the Department to safely capture an animal for the health or safety of the animal or the public, including the trapping, neutering and returning of feral cats." I do not believe Commissioner Green has the right to decide which cats need medication and cages and which don’t.

4. He repeatedly (reportedly six times) compared Mr. Mason’s seized property to the gun of a felon. This was not only false, it was slanderous, because Mr. Mason was never convicted of anything, which also calls into question how he could call the property of someone who never committed a crime “contraband.”

5. His only criterion for determining the validity of a warrant was to remark that he knew the issuing judge and she was a “good judge.” This is appalling, giving an enormous appearance of impropriety to the entire court system. Of course the warrant was issued by a judge, and yes, he might know that judge, but to openly proclaim that the fact that he knew a judge was reason enough not to question a warrant’s validity is to completely undermine the basis of our criminal system. A warrant isn’t valid because you know the issuer; it’s valid or not based on the facts, and anything less is a complete mockery of the law.

Judge McCoy, I read the account of this proceeding and felt outraged that any citizen should be treated with this degree of disrespect and disregard for his rights. Commissioner Green has openly demonstrated not only an unjust bias towards law enforcement and judicial officials; he has shown a complete contempt for people who depend upon him for a fair hearing and for justice.

I’m asking that you investigate this case, speak to Mr. Mason and the other individuals who were in court that day, along with Commissioner Green. If you find that any one of the allegations against Commissioner Green have merit, I ask that you either dismiss him or substantively discipline him for this misconduct, contempt for the public, and corruption of the law. It is our right to expect justice when we go into a Los Angeles courtroom. Mr. Mason did not receive justice from Commissioner Green, I hope he will from you and that we can be reassured that we as citizens can expect justice as well.

Thank you for your help in this matter,


Anonymous said...

There is one point I neglected to put in this letter which is also relevant to Commissioner Green's grasp of L.A laws.

As Ed reports it: "I asked "Commissioner Green, "Does that mean that anyone who has more than three cats is at risk to be raided, have all their cats and cages, food, vet documents, seized and the cats killed?"

His response was, "Yes, to the fullest extent of the law."

But Ed, you mentioned back almost at the start of the Mason debacle that they in fact DIDN'T have the right to seize all Ron's cats, vet records and property; that they should have simply cited him for having too many cats. I'm guessing that's why they trumped up that "neglect" BS (which they had to have known was false because they had his vet records and all that medication. Hard to neglect cats you keep taking to the vet and medicating....)

But the premise is still sound - do they in fact have the right to just seize any cats over the number of three? Which cats are they entitled to seize and which cats do they have to leave? It sounds like Commissioner Green was just making it up as he goes along, and throwing in another random threat to cat owners for kicks.

It's frightening to think that we pay people to sit on the bench who have no actual knowledge of what the applicable law is, in addition to such an open disregard for our Constitutional rights.

Ed Muzika said...

As I have been told from many people from many points of view, unless you have a lawyer, you don't have much of a chance.

The "experts" decide what the laws are. what they "really" mean, and prosecute them the way they want. By expert, I do not mean someone who has studied the law and represents their own interests; I mean someone who has not gone to lawschool and passed the bar.

These people and those who hire them are treated differently than you and I.

The only thing "we" can do is publically expose them. Even they cannot ignore public rage--except for Villaraigosa.

licensed lawyer or whatever they do with them.

Anonymous said...

Hey, why don't you bomb 'em?
Kill the judge! Kill the judge!

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess the expert's interpretation of law will remain unchallenged until the seizure of "contraband" cats results in the killing of someone's beloved pet that just happened to be roaming the wrong place at the wrong time.

Brad Jensen

Ed Muzika said...

According to Mason, at least one of the cats seized was a neighbor's cat from 3-4 houses away.

He does not know what happened to the cat, whether the owner ever checked the pound, whether it was killed, etc.

Remember, they were locked in the evidence room with little public contact.

I am sure in most raids involving outdoor cars, some owned cats are taken and killed, especially those who have had leukemia shots, which will check as having leukemia. They definitely would be killed.

Anonymous said...

A cat that gets an FIV (Feline AIDS)vaccination will show up as positive on the SNAP Combo test for FIV. Feleuk (FeLV or Feline Leukemia )vaccine does not make a cat have a false positive result!

It is noteworthy that hardly any veterinarians use the FIV vaccine. Feleuk is the disease that causes serious illness in cats. A cat with FIV can live for years and often needs only occasional antibiotics.

Ed Muzika said...

Thanks for the info.

Let me ask, why is it that every vet I've been to doesn't want to give a Leukemia vacine to unless they've already been innoculated if the vacine does not make them positive?

Also, what is the infection rate for FIV and Leukemia in percentages.

That is, give a colony with 10 healthy cats, if an infected cat were introduced, how many would get Leukemia and how many FIV?

Doesn't FIV lead to more than occasional bacterial infections? Does it not make them more susceptible to viral infections or even certain cancers?

The prognosis for FIV is that benign?

Anonymous said...

There is this recently-published 17-page online document (quite scholarly) that will answer many of your questions about FELV and FIV:

www.catvets.com/uploads/PDF/2008 AAFP Retrovirus Guidelines.pdf

Anonymous said...

Re Commenter #3 - you aren't fooling anyone. We know you write stupid comments like that because you are afraid of the truth coming out. You are terrified when people spread the truth about the unchecked and illegal bullying tactics of Ed Boks and his sorry LAAS.

Trying to equate legitimate exposition of FACTS with violence is a lie and a very weak one at that. I suggest you get into another line of work.

Ed, re FIV, I've actually had occasion to do some internet research on FIV lately and the conclusions are mixed. My vet insists I shouldn't put an FIV+ cat with my healthy cats. But then again, she didn't know that the incidence of FIV being passed in utero from mother to kitten is actually very rare. Apparently it's also very rare that it gets passed from FIV+ cat to non-FIV cat in healthy, non-aggressive living situations. Most sources online say it's really only passed through deep bites, although my Merck-Merial book says that it can be passed by any saliva contact. So it's apparently all still up for debate.

This site was useful: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fiv.html

Apparently they only discovered FIV something like 30 - 40 years ago, so no doubt FIV cats have been living with non-FIV cats since cats began.