Judge Alan Dickey, acting outside the oath he swore, hands down a non-jury trial six month sentence to 55 year old local man who misses one court hearing because of Doctor Appointment.
Seminole, FL (USA), Saturday – October 22nd, 2011 — In Seminole County a civil case has landed a man behind bars for six months for criminal contempt with no jury trial to decide his fate. The case number 2008CA003218 is a civil case now turned criminal because one man missed one hearing, even though he had a physician’s note as a plausible reason for his absence. The State Attorney, Andrew Jones, prosecuted the case with the help of the civil plaintiffs high cost attorneys. This action would have been similar to Judge Perry in the Casey Anthony trial allowing John Morgan, Dan Newlin, Mark Nejame, and Ranier Munns and their law firms to assist the State of Florida in the prosecution of Casey Anthony. Judge Perry did not allow that in Orange county, but if you travel north about 20 miles, you will discover a courtroom that allows this unprecedented behavior.
In the field of law, there is a distinct difference between civil and criminal cases. A civil case is when you have a dispute with another citizen or company and you decide to sue or vice versa. A criminal case is when the State of Florida, for example, prosecutes you for a crime you have committed and you face criminal charges. Occasionally, a civil case can result in criminal charges against the plaintiffs and defendants. For instance, if a plaintiff or defendant fails to appear in court they can be charged with contempt of court, their actions could result in criminal charges being filed against them. For most civil cases that turn criminal, the State Attorneys regard them lightly and typically don’t inflict serious consequences. This is because they are busy prosecuting real thieves and murderers.
Casey Anthony, the most recent high profile case, was a criminal case and her fate was decided by her peers, not Judge Perry. However, what occurred in Seminole County is a civil case presided over by Judge Dickey, that has landed a man behind bars for six months for criminal contempt charges, without any jury trial to decide his fate. In this unilateral, unauthorized decision, Judge Dickey has revealed a blatant personal bias.
If you watch the nightly local news, you’ll hear about budget cuts being enacted in Seminole County, and local public schools being shut down because of lack of funding. Yet now the Chief Judge, who oversees the Seminole County Judicial budget, is responsible for billing Seminole County taxpayers for six months housing costs for a civil litigant who missed a hearing, although he had a physician’s note. To say this is an abuse of power by Judge Dickey and a gross abuse of Seminole County funds is an understatement. The Judicial Qualifications Commission has received complaints against Judge Alan Dickey; however, the JQC won’t act in regards to Judge Dickey because they do not get involved in ongoing litigation. Since this case will remain open, Judge Dickey can continue to rule with a personal bias, much like former reprimanded Judge Erickson in Seminole County. Judge Erickson, who resembles Judge Dickey and has had a personal friendship with him for years, has put innocent victims in jail and grossly abused his power; yet, he got a mere slap on the wrist from the Judicial Qualifications Commission. The Judicial Qualification Commission (JQC) also has the former chief Judge of Seminole County, the Honorable Preston Silvernail as the Vice-chair. Silvernail is the one whom appointed Judge Dickey as the new Chief Judge in Seminole County.
The consequences given to these Judges are a joke, and continues to allow them to express personal bias, take bribes, and put innocent people in jail and then when caught, are simply asked to step down, retire, or receive a month’s probation. This is what is taking place in our court system today and our community needs to speak out in outrage. Judge Alan Dickey, who translated his personal bias in the above case to former Senator Lee Constantine on a phone call in December of last year, still refused to come off the case when requested by the man now serving the six month sentence handed down by him. Judge Dickey even refused when the public defender, Scott Sterling, petitioned for his removal. Mr. Sterling mentioned he has never seen such bias, but responded weakly to the injustices, perhaps because his paycheck is signed by the county. Any sentence exceeding six months requires a jury trial in Florida, yet Judge Dickey callously ordered the five months and 23 days immediately upon a Final Judgment ruling. Typically, after being found guilty you come back to another hearing for sentencing. However, Judge Dickey handed down the sentence quickly, with the civil attorneys in the courtroom, who ironically asked for the same 5 months 23 days sentence for civil contempt.
No Judge should favor one side or be impartial; however, the actions of Judge Dickey show otherwise. The State prosecutor in the above case, Andrew Jones, shares the same office with public defender Scott Sterling at 101 Bush Boulevard. However, no plea deal was done between the two because of Judge Dickey allowing the attorney from the civil case to assist Jones in the prosecution. Judge Dickey’s loyalty behind the bench for 35 years is commendable. Judge Dickey should be honored for his 35 years; however, his inability to separate himself personally from a case, hopefully, will result in the Judicial Qualifications Commission removing him from the bench. Seminole Corrupted County is quickly becoming a cesspool with Judge Dickey at the helm. If you want to help please go to http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/representatives/representatives.aspx and tell your House Representative to impeach Judge Dickey. Seminole County is represented by Chris Dorworth, Jason Brodeur, Larry Metz, and Scott Plakon. The members of the house with a 2/3 vote can expel him, or if you have any information on Judge Dickey, send it to the Judicial Qualifications Commission at 1110 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32303. The JQC can recommend to the state Supreme Court to reprimand or retire Judge Dickey. And remember, every day innocent people get put in jail because of corruption and Judges abusing their power. If you would like to help, visit https://www.wepay.com/donate/prosefund and make a donation to help stop corruption in our courts.
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