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August 8, 2011

Re: Impeachment of Judges Alan S. Apte, Alice Blackwell  , and Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in Orange County, Orlando, FL.

Katie Cunningham, Policy Chief, 417 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399–1300

Randy Havlicak, Staff Director, Florida House of Represntatives Judiciary Committee, 412 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399–1300

Missy Jones, Administrative Assistant, Florida House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, 412 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399–1300

Gentle People:

I am requesting the opportunity to meet with the Judiciary Committee to discuss serious problems with Orlando judges and the initiation of impeachment proceedings. A number of incidents have occurred over the years, but three recent incidents have gone beyond anything that remotely resembles the enforcement of the law or the dispensation of justice. A description of these three incidents follows:

 The Case of John Kurtz
On the early morning of January 1, 2011, John Kurtz was filming a violent arrest on Church Street in Downtown Orlando.  On June 30, 2011, Kurtz was found not guilty of the felony charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.  The verdict was due primarily to video evidence captured from an IRIS street camera at the corner of Church street and Orange Avenue, which effectively disproved all three versions of Officer Adam Gruler’s story about when and where the battery took place.

However Kurtz was found guilty of the misdemeanor of resisting arrest without violence during the same incident.  This is an oxymoron.  How can one be guilty of resisting arrest, if he is not violent.  This is a made-up phony charge.

Kurtz was sentenced by Judge Alan S. Apte to 30 days in the Orange County jail, which he has served.  He also is on one year probation with the threat that if he talks or associates with anyone else participating in distributing leaflets espousing jury nullification or feeding the poor, he will be put in jail for a year.

Kurtz was denied the right to appeal.

The issues involved here are threefold:

The arresting police officer, Adam Gruler, testified that Kurtz did not resist while being arrested.  Yet Kurtz was found guilty by Judge Apte of resisting arrest.
How can an association with people engaged in the legal actions of distributing literature and/or food be a cause for revoking probation?
Kurtz was denied his right to appeal.

    A more detailed description of events is given by Kurtz in his news release of July 2, 2011.

The Case of Keith McHenry et al.
    Keith McHenry, the founder of the world organization of “Food not Bombs” was arrested with several others in Orlando, FL on June 1, 2011, for sharing food with more than 25 poor people in Eola Park, a municipal public park.  He was held in custody for 32 hours before being released.  He was instructed to not participate in food sharing again.  

He was arrested again on June 22, 2011, for standing near food distributers, though he was not distributing any food himself.  He was charged with trespassing, held in jail for 17 days, and fined $350 to cover the cost of the arrest, though he has not been arraigned, much less had a trial.  His lawyer tried to get him released on bail, but Judge Blackwell refused to grant bail. A second judge finally released him on bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday August 9, 2011.


The Orlando City Council has made it a crime to feed more than 25 people in Eola Park.  If two people feed more than 25 people, it is a crime in Orlando.  It is not clear what the law covers if the 2 people are not associated with each other. It seems peculiar that a person is not trespassing for being in a group of 25 people unless he is feeding them.

On Tuesday, August 22, 2011, three other “Food not Bombs” members will be tried in Orlando for the crime of distributing food to the poor.

Enclosed is a letter that I sent to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on June 22, 2011, regarding this situation.

    
The case of Mark Schmidter
Mark Schmidter was arrested for contempt of court on June 29, 2011 for distributing FIJA pamphlets on courthouse property. The police seized his pamphlets and eye glasses. They are being held as evidence. Mark has difficulty seeing without his glasses. His glasses are not evidence. They are being held as cruel and unusual punishment.  I have been arrested 33 times.  Never were my glasses withheld from me.  A court date of July 9, 2011, was set.  Mark was held in prison until 1:00 am until his bail of $2500.00 was posted, which cost him $250.00 to pay the bail bondsman.  The judge trying the case is Belvin Perry, the same one who issued the order to stop distributing the pamphlets.  Thus the judge is a party to the case.  This cannot be a fair and impartial trial.  Mark has been ordered to stay off of court property or be found in contempt. I have heard that 2 others also have been arrested for contempt, but I do not have any details.  I had written previously to Judge Perry (copy enclosed) informing him that he was violating Amendment I of the U. S. Constitution and falsifying statements of a circuit court decision.  Mark is being subjected to unequal enforcement.  I and others have distributed FIJA information several times at that courthouse and never been bothered.

On July 26, 2011, Mark was found guilty for violating Administrative Orders 2011 03 and 2011 07 (copies enclosed) by Judge Perry, who is the Plaintiff in this case, and sentenced to 151 days in jail  on one order and 141 days in jail on the other order to be served concurrently, and a fine of $500.00.  He had filed a Motion to Dismiss on July 26, 2011.  It was denied.

He intends to appeal, but needs $1500.00 to file.  He currently is released on $2000.00 bail, for which he had to pay $200.00

Several news articles have been written about the Schmidter case.  Copies of  the following are enclosed:


Amy Pavuk in Orlando Sentinel on July 6, 2011
CopWatch on July 26, 2011
Economics9698 on July 26, 2011
Anthony Colarossi in Orlando Sentinel on July 27, 2011

Judges Apte, Blackwell, and Perry must be removed from the bench and disbarred from practicing law.  At the meeting that I am requesting, others and I will discuss the evidence and grounds for impeachment proceedings.

        Thank you for your consideration.

Yours in freedom and justice,


Julian Heicklen
Organizer
Tyranny Fighters


Encl: News release of John Kurtz of  July 2, 2011
Letter of June 22, 2011, from Julian Heicklen to Mayor Buddy Dyer
Letter from Julian Heicklen of May 17, 2011 to Chief Judge Belvin Perry
Administrative Orders 2011 03 and 2011 07
Motion to dismiss Mark Schmidter’s case of July 20, 2011
Story by Amy Payuk about the Schmidter case in the Orlando Sentinel of July 6, 2011.
CopWatch on July 26, 2011
Economics9698 on July 26, 2011
Anthony Colarossi in Orlando Sentinel on July 27, 2011

CC: Speaker Dean Cannon, Florida House of Representatives, 513 The Capitol, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Governor Rick Scott, Office of the Governor, State of Florida, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Florida Supreme Court, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1925

Judge Alan S. Apte, Courtroom 18A, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, Orange County Courthouse 425 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando , FL 32801

Judge Alice Blackwell, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, Orange County Courthouse 425 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando , FL 32801

Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, Orange County Courthouse 425 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando , FL 32801

Anthony Colarossi, Seniot Reporter for State Courts, Orlando Sentinel, 633 N. Orange Avenue, P. O. Box 2833, Orlando, FL

Tyranny Fighters via E-mail without enclosures