Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Altoona Decision May Have Implications For Luzerne County Judges

A story that appeared in today's Altoona Mirror by Phil Ray may have implications regarding the juvenile court cases filed against the disgraced judges in Luzerne County.

State office:?Man can’t sue Drug Court judge

HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts said an Altoona man cannot sue the administrative judge in charge of Blair County Drug Court over a decision to fund an abortion for a program participant.

The state court's office replied by asking that Bowers' petition be dismissed because of the concept of "sovereign immunity."

It is also contended that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the only entity that has the power to investigate "the practice, procedure and the conduct of all courts."

Bowers also filed a right-to-know request to view the minutes of the review team. That request was denied because judicial records are not subject to the new state law, Sullivan said.

I thought there was a lesson learned in Luzerne County with regards to secrecy and the courts. The Supreme Court should not hold itself higher than the people it represents.

In today's Allentown Morning Call Chief Justice Ron Castille opines about the Luzerne County judges' situation.

As leader of the Pennsylvania court system, my top goal is for the citizens of this commonwealth to trust their judges, and for judges at every level to deserve that trust.

The Supreme Court also is gravely concerned about broad damage to the court system and is prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to restore public confidence in the judicial system in Luzerne County.

Your honor, respectfully, don't hide your records. It would be a start towards regaining trust. Next, explain how Richard Sprague can be the President Judge of the Court of Judicial Discipline, be an attorney in private practice who may have to go up against judges he may have to face when brought before him in that capacity and represent lawyers charged with crimes. Why didn't he need to recuse himself during Judge Ann Lokuta's trial when it was alleged he represented PA ChildCare and Robert Powell? It may be entirely within the parameters of the system but you need to explain it to the non-legal professionals so that it makes sense.


just ed said...

They will have to get more from the rest of the crooks the IRS will take care of the judges

Fedup said...

I just loved the part when he said "The Supreme Court has taken a series of steps to address problems in Luzerne County. As an immediate response, the court relieved both judges of their judicial duties and cut off their pay."

HA! The key word here is 'immediate'. Now, I can't say the exact time frame it took to do the right thing, but I know for sure it was NOT even near IMMEDIATE. The FBI should investigate the entire court system from the Supreme Court down to the Magistrates.