Monday, January 23, 2012

Judge Green to Jim Hood: Ten more days (Complete video of hearing)

Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green extended the temporary restraining order* granted to Attorney General Jim Hood another ten days and required ten inmates now free to call in every day. Judge Green issued the tro on January 11 blocking the state from releasing any convicted felons pardoned by Governor Barbour. The Attorney General asked Judge Green to invalidate most of the pardons granted by former Governor Barbour. Judge Green set the next hearing on February 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM.

The courtroom was a who's who of the top defense lawyer in Mississippi. Ed Blackmon, Bill Kirksey, John Collette, Cynthia Stewart, Jane Tucker, Tom Fortner, and more were all there. Lobbyists crowded the audience, unable to resist the political drama Haley's pardons created as a horde of deputies kept order. Ironically the safest place in Jackson at 3:00 PM today was Judge Green's courtroom.

The hearing began with Tom Fortner telling the court he represented Nathan Kern, Anthony McCray, David Gatlin, and Charles Hooker. All were pardoned by Governor Barbour and the subject of Jim Hood's motion. Judge Green surprised the courtroom by telling Mr. Fortner he had not notified the court he was representing them. Mr. Fortner informed the court he had filed notice with the circuit clerk on January 20 and emailed a copy to Judge Green's adiminstrator. Didn't matter. Judge Green rebuked him "Counsel, that is not the way you serve the court is by email not to a court administrator. She's not here. So may I have a copy of what you allegedly filed?" Apparently filing notices and motions with the circuit clerk is not considered a proper court filing in Judge Green's courtroom. One prominent defense lawyer said after the hearing the new rule is to serve Judge Green no matter where she is, even if out eating dinner.

Mr. Fortner had filed a motion asking the court to transfer the case back to Judge Weill, claiming Judge Green had removed the case after it was randomly assigned to junior circuit judge. Mr. Fortner also alleged the Attorney General had a conflict of interest, claiming AG lawyers helped prepare the notices and processed the pardon applications and later suing their own client- the Governor.

The lawyer for the Attorney General addressed the court (5:00 clip 1). Although four pardonees appeared in court, Joseph Ozment did not appear and the AG said he had not been found. The AG sought to amend the motion to block the pardons by adding five more convicts: Kirby Glenn Tate, Aaron Brown, Joshua Howard, Azikiwe Kambule, and Katharine Robinson. These individuals were John Does in the original motion. Judge Green allowed the amendment. Sylvia Owen (rep. Tate), Cynthia Stewart, and Ed Blackmon objected to no avail. Ed Blackmon told the court he had a hearing for habeas corpus on Thursday in Yazoo City. Ms. Owen said the same thing about her client but in Sunflower County. Both challenged the jurisdiction of the court but again did so in vain.

Judge Green again took it upon herself to lecture the attorneys present(24:50 of clip 1): "All of you know how to practice law. And I would expect this court to listen to what you have to say and talk through the motions, and those motions have to be proffered before the court. Now I am good, but I am not so good (FIGJAM)that you can come the day of the hearing and start throwing motions in baskets, the day before the hearing through emails. This hearing was conducted on the 9th, we are now on the 23rd, with everyone having an opporotunity that if everyone wanted the court to consider their motions, they would have properly done so. I have allowed the amendments to the original complaint..."

Judge Green later said the case was a "simple issue" (7:45 of clip 3). The issue is whether the constitution has been complied with. It is my understanding that the only persons who will be addressed are persons who are fully and completely pardons. The hearing today was for those persons who were ordered to appear.... The only question before this court is whether the conditions for felony conviction and publication has been met. It doesn't change with which circuit judge hears the case... It will not become a case about this judge..."

Mr. Fortner raised the issue of whether a conflict of interest existed (18:20 in clip 3). Mr. Fortner pointed out in his brief the AG advised MDOC and participated in the publication of the notices, arguing the AG "assumed responsibility to publish them in the first place." He compared it to a law firm representing both sides of a dispute. The AG called it a "thinly veiled attempt" to divert the court's attention. The AG said each lawyer assigned to an agency represented that agency, not the AG. Judge Green rejected Fortner's argument and said the responsibility for publishing the notice rested with the "applicant" and that the Attorney General is "authorized to raise ANY issues of constitutionality". She further told Mr. Fortner his motion was "without merit".

Here are the tweets from the hearing as it took place.. Note: Governor Barbour's lawyer filed an amicus curiae brief.

*Rule 65(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil procedure state: "A temporary restraining order may be granted, without notice to the adverse party or his attorney if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the applicant before the adverse party or his attorney can be heard in opposition, and (2) the applicant's attorney certifies to the court in writing the efforts, if any, which have been made to give the notice and reasons supporting his claim that notice should not be required. Every temporary restraining order granted without notice shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance; shall be filed forthwith in the clerk's office and entered of record; shall define the injury and state why it is irreparable and why the order was granted without notice; and shall expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to exceed ten days, as the court fixes (except in domestic relations cases, when the ten-day limitation shall not apply), unless within the time so fixed the order for good cause shown is extended for a like period"

Judge Green issued the original order without notice to several parties as allowed by the rule and they only had ten days to file anything. The AG complaining it didn't have time to read these when it was the one who asked for the emergency TRO was rich.

Watch the first five minutes of the first one. Tells you all you need to know about how the hearing went.

Part 2. Judge Green schedules hearing on Feb. 3. Watch exchange between Judge Green and Fortner.

Part 3.

Part 4.


Anonymous said...

Shes gonna be in Starkville?

Anonymous said...

Video 1: Is she actually telling the AG to stop grandstanding and how to do their job?

Anonymous said...

Verbatim: "axchoo".

Does she have a cold?

Anonymous said...

What was JH asking? Was he asking defendants to leave?

Anonymous said...

She at least knows and espoused, correctly, who owns the MS Constitution correctly.

Anonymous said...

OMG. Did you see that fidgeting, the flick of the nose "No skin off my nose", the left hand flipping the coin? Great camera shots, the non-verbal communication tells.

Anonymous said...

In response to disqualification, I say, let Holder take a poke. I bet he looks at it, takes a whiff, and punts.

Anonymous said...


"I would hope an attorney knows where his allegiance lies, regardless of who pays him."

WTF. Are you kidding me.

Anonymous said...

Did you see that bald spot on the close up? I now understand the bouffant.

Anonymous said...

Did you "accidentally" turn the camera at the end?

KaptKangaroo said...

January 23, 2012 10:40 PM

I looked and found that comment and was as shocked as you. It was more disturbing how JH quickly ended the ceremonies in the final video. I'm really not sure what to think of the entire conversation.

shadowfax said...

I have a dumb querstshun: Since she is obviously pissed that Haley let Karen out, should she not recuse herself from the whole circus?

Anonymous said...

Does Holder understand the inner wordkings of this judicial hell hole and the underlaying magical jurisdiction at play in the Hinds court. Jim Hood's make work project and your tax dollars.If the imates win this it will all be a waste. Now look really good and understand what all these Mississippi back road dealing lead up to.

Anonymous said...

It is actually possible for the Attorney General's office to come down on both sides of a case.

For instance, in the Kemper County clean coal plant case: The AG (consumer protection division) intervened on behalf of the people of Mississippi in the Public Service Commission's docket.

Another division of the AG is defending the Public Service Commission in the appeal currently before the Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

shadowfax - of course she should recuse herself (esspecially since she manipulated the assignment to take it away from Judge Weill in the first place), and of course she won't. She is notorious for the number of decisions she has that are overturned by higher courts.

Still, her constiuents must be happy, and she must be reflecting their values or she wouldn't keep getting elected.

She is a prime example of shy it's a good idea to keep your home and business dealings out of Jxn/Hinds Co.

Anonymous said...

Claude H. Lindsley, the architect of the courthouse, did a fine job in the court interior. Our Attorney General has to act as the people's defender as he is actively pursuing in the case before Judge Green. Notice to the public is the clemency petitioner's duty. JH acts as needed as counsel for all the various public bodies... JH must act, but the judge must be impartial.

Curt Crowley said...

All of a sudden the argument for appointing judges makes sense.

Anderson said...

Everyone appalled by this hearing should support raising judicial pay.

Mississippi's is IIRC the lowest in the Southeast, and with judges as with anything, you get what you pay for. If good lawyers have to take a 50% pay cut to be judges, not many will run for judge. That leaves the bad lawyers on the bench.

The Miss. Supreme Court is promoting a plan to raise salaries for trial & appellate judges over 4 years, relying entirely on hikes in filing fees (= No New Taxes).

Since the Legislature killed that plan last year, you might try contacting your rep or senator and telling 'em you support the pay raises.

Anonymous said...

Anderson - did that proposal die in the House, the Senate, or both last year? Big changes may be possible in the House now.

Anonymous said...

Jim Hood is arguing

"It's a straight up and down constitutional issue - whether it was complied with or not," Hood said. "This is just dry law."

Tomie Green is echoing the theme...
Green stressed the only point argued would be the constitutionality of the pardons

To hear this implies that governor power is reviewable and revocable. A technicality of interpretation of the publication requirements will not be strong enough to undo the governor's clear intent.

tomie green and jim hood will have created an expensive circus.
no more , no less.

Shadowfax said...

What else do we expect of miniature poodles that jump on the backs of asses and trot around in circles under a tent while popcorn-eating mouth-breathers watch in amazement?

Anonymous said...

VIA CNN: "We have some money available to confidential informants who provide us with information that will lead to the whereabouts of Joseph Ozment," Attorney General Jim Hood said.

Is this even legal? Doesn't there have to be a warrant to use funds to provide a reward for information leading to capture? This concerns me more from a Constitutional perspective than what Barbour did.

Anonymous said...

It does seem strange that the AG's office took responsibility of directing and publishing the publication notices, and then failed to do it correctly...and then filed this injunction because it was not properly published. Things that make you go ..hmmmmmm?

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS