Historic Association between Plaintiff Sophia Johnson, her friend Anthony Miller and Kyrene Constable Brandon Schmoll
Background information on pages 8-11 “set the stage” and give the Commission an understanding of the events leading to and surrounding Sections I, II, III & IV that I experienced in Sophia Johnson v. Sandra Miller and the report of malfeasance and/or misconduct.
The court action begun by Plaintiff Sophia Johnson and her ludicrous court action originated within the 20th Legislative District (LD20) chapter of the Arizona Republican Party.
Defendant Sandra Miller became an LD20 precinct committeeman in September 2009 and was re-elected in August 2010. I’m a rank-and-file member and have never served as or declared candidacy as an LD20 officer. I’m not now nor have I ever been a member of a Tea Party group.
Brandon Schmoll became a precinct committeeman in March 2009 while living with his parents at 15015 South 5th Avenue in AZ Legislative District 20 (Ahwatukee Foothills, West Tempe & West Chandler) and the Kyrene Justice Court jurisdiction.
Anthony Miller was elected an LD20 precinct committeeman in September 2008, and was elected District Chairman in December 2009, with an expressed personal goal of recruiting young people into the Republican Party (N). Anthony Miller has actively promoted Brandon Schmoll’s advancement as a public elected official in the Republican Party.
Anthony Miller nominated and promoted Brandon Schmoll for election as Member-at-Large to the Maricopa County GOP Committee in January 2010. Brandon wasn’t elected, but Anthony continued efforts in Brandon’s campaign for Kyrene Constable in the 2010 General Election.
As LD20 District Director, Anthony Miller was instrumental in Brandon Schmoll’s November 2010 election to Kyrene District Constable. Examples of assistance to Brandon Schmoll “above and beyond” that given to other Republican candidates rendered by Anthony Miller include.
• press statements urging the incumbent Constable to resign before the election (O ),
• sending LD20 e-mail bulletins urging earmarked donations to the Schmoll campaign (P-1, P-2),
• rescheduling a monthly meeting as a precinct walk in the neighborhood where Brandon lived with his parents Craig & Kim Schmoll (Q-1, Q-2, R).
Plaintiff Sophia Johnson moved from West Phoenix to LD20 in February 2010. She knew District Chair Anthony Miller from past McCain presidential and senatorial campaigns when they worked together, and she was elected to precinct committeeman in August 2010.
She attended the October 16 event at the Schmolls, as well as other precinct walks in October, so Kyrene Constable Brandon Schmoll knows her as someone who helped his campaign. She also attended “meet and greet” events (S) to prepare for both the November general election as well as the LD20 election in December.
When word spread among LD20 members that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson had asked the court for the “order of protection” against me, it was widely recognized that the Plaintiff wasn’t alone in the action; Anthony Miller was an acknowledged participant despite his name not being a party to the action. Any doubts of Anthony Miller’s involvement disappeared when he accompanied Plaintiff Sophia Johnson to court and remained with her for the entire session.
When Constable Schmoll phoned my home on January 20, he mentioned having served the Motion to Continue (E) upon Plaintiff Sophia Johnson earlier that afternoon. He explained, “we got to talking and she said she didn’t know you.”
It’s very rare for a Constable to have any sort of discussion with people upon whom he serves court papers unless he knows them outside the court-service venue! Constable Schmoll’s failure to recuse himself from serving court papers on people he knows is one of the subjects included in a CESTB complaint filed February 14 2011.
* * * * * *
Brandon Schmoll was elected Kyrene Court Constable on November 2 1010.
The 2010 Election of LD20 officers was held on December 1 where Constable Brandon Schmoll was elected one of LD20’s 40 state committeemen, a voting delegate to the January state Republican convention. At the same election meeting, Anthony Miller was re-elected District Chairman and Plaintiff Sophia Johnson was elected Secretary.
The December 6 report from the Maricopa County Recorder (T) showed that Constable Brandon Schmoll had moved from his parents’ home in LD20 to another legislative district within the Kyrene Justice District.
Upon moving from LD20, both his precinct committeeman and state committeeman status ended. Another LD20 precinct committeeman elected to LD20 1st Vice Chair on December 1 was also found ineligible for his district and state offices after moving from the precinct he represented as a precinct committeeman.
During December 2010, new Board Members initially attempted to resolve the matter quietly and in a timely manner prior to the County and State GOP meetings on January 8 and 22, but District Chairman Anthony Miller refused to address the matter “until after the holidays.” Rank-and-file LD20 members like myself were unaware of the 2 ineligibles until we received an e-mail bulletin on January 1 from the newly-elected LD20 Board.
Ultimately, the matter of the 2 state committeemen posts (Brandon Schmoll and Roger Dickinson) was resolved at the January 8 County Republican Meeting when County Chairman Rob Haney announced rejection of the 2 state committeemen reported as “moved out of the jurisdiction” by the December 6 County Recorder (T). The meeting Minutes record Chairman Haney’s replacing them with the next 2 highest-voted (U).
After the 1281 – 575 defeat at the Maricopa County January 8 Meeting of the “moderate” candidate for County Chairman by the “conservative” candidate, “moderate” Anthony Miller resigned his post as LD20 District Chairman, citing as his reason the Tucson shootings and his family’s concern for their safety from the threats and violence of tea party members. He released the ineligibility matter to news media as an “internal squabble of moderates vs. conservatives” rather than an issue of law, adding a few hints of alleged racism (Y) for a juicier story.
(I understand that Anthony Miller later withdrew the “Tea Party” accusation when challenged for specific names of those making the threats (V). He also recanted the “racial” accusations in a later story to the Los Angeles Times (W)).
On January 10, newly-elected Secretary Sophia Johnson voluntarily resigned her post, followed 3 minutes later by Anthony Miller’s resignation, and a third resignation followed 10 minutes later. 3 resignations in 13 minutes is no coincidence! (X-1, X-2, X-3).
What I’ve seen as Constable Schmoll’s misconduct is the subject of a separate complaint filed with CESTB (Constables Ethics, Standards and Training Board). Nonetheless, most of Constable Schmoll’s alleged bias and misconduct would not have been successful without the “assistance” of JP Rogers.
It required either the tacit or implicit aid of JP Rogers to achieve the automatic Injunction Against Harassment that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson hoped to obtain when filing her January 14 Petition (A). Had JP Rogers done her job and followed her sworn oath and Judicial Canon/Rule 2.2 (“Impartiality and Fairness -- A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and shall perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.”), the entire case would have stopped on January 14 when Plaintiff Sophia Johnson lacked the evidence required by ARS 12-1809-R. There would have been no hearing held where JP Rogers openly advocated for Plaintiff Sophia Johnson, cut off and interrupted my testimony and ultimately berated me publicly to vent her resentment at being forced to follow the law and rule in my favor.
The background described is readily verifiable from newspaper accounts and documents listed on page 7 of the complaint text and copies accompany the complaint.
While its connection with my Justice Court case and my current complaint to Arizona CJC may be speculation, it’s the only explanation that makes any sense at all; the case filed against me by Plaintiff Sophia Johnson had no credibility at all.
The Petition submitted by Plaintiff Sophia Johnson (A) didn’t even fulfill the requirement of ARS 12-1809-R that a “series” of harassing acts have occurred—her court petition listed only one. The few LD20 meetings where she and I may have both attended have not even led to so much as a nodding acquaintance; even she admitted to the Arizona Republic (Y) that we don’t know each other at all.
That Plaintiff Sophia Johnson truly believed my use of the word “remind” was a threat is far too ludicrous to even consider. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (the authority on American English usage for 182 years since 1828) DOES NOT agree with Plaintiff Johnson that “remind” is threatening or with JP Rogers that it’s “rude,”“bad language,” or “chills someone’s ability to participate in the political process.”
Merriam-Webster defines remind as "to put in mind of something : cause to remember"
and M-W cites usage examples that expose as foolishness the contentions of Plaintiff Johnson and JP Rogers that it reflects “rude,” “threatening,” “chilling” or “bad language:”
(1) She'll forget to call the doctor if you don't remind her
(2) Remind me to buy some groceries after work.
(3) I had to remind him that we were supposed to leave early.
(4) The audience was reminded to turn off their cell phones inside the theater.
(5) The mail just arrived. That reminds me--did you mail that letter I gave you yesterday?
Plaintiff Johnson’s own post-hearing statement to the Arizona Republic (J) reveals her true intent from the beginning as well as her knowledge that she had no case and only wanted attention from the news media:
“Earlier this month, Johnson sought an order of protection in Kyrene Justice Court against fellow District 20 Republican Sandra Miller based on one e-mail that Johnson perceived as a threat. Justice of the Peace Elizabeth Rogers denied the order Tuesday, citing a lack of evidence to show a pattern of harassment.”
“Johnson said after the hearing that she doesn’t dispute Rogers’ decision. ‘I just wanted to put her (Miller) on notice so we don’t have any more of this.’”
That the combined errors, irregularities and inappropriate handling in Sophia Johnson v. Sandra Miller were the result of just an innocent mistake, coincidence or a new and inexperienced constable are highly unlikely. Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s own statement that she just wanted to draw attention (“notice”) reveals the intention of Anthony Miller and herself to use Arizona’s legal system to retaliate against people they regard as political opponents.
That JP Rogers enabled them is undeniable. The degree of malfeasance is for the Commission to investigate and establish.
DESCRIPTION OF JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT
I. Prior to Court (January 14 – 24)
A. January 14 2011 – Scheduling an IAH on January 25 when the Plaintiff’s report made clear there was insufficient basis to grant the protective order. JP Rogers approved and signed an incomplete Notice of Hearing (B) for service and scheduled a hearing based on non-existent and unfounded “harassment” of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson by Defendant Sandra Miller
There was no case to hear because Plaintiff Sophia Johnson failed to meet legal criteria.
JP Rogers should have realized on looking at the petition (A) that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson didn’t fulfill the law’s requirements (as I realized during my research of the law after FINALLY obtaining Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s Petition from the Court). The “case” should have been dismissed on January 14. After that, Plaintiff Sophia Johnson could have sought legal assistance in meeting the law’s requirements—either amend the petition with more “acts” (providing they were truthful) or dismiss it entirely and avoid the whole charade. It’s not the job of JP Rogers or any court staff (including the Constable) to give legal advice or make exceptions for non-compliant situations.
B. January 14 2011 (Friday evening 9:00pm) Failure to deliver to Defendant Sandra Miller ALL the documents required by law and court procedure. The Notice of Hearing (B) was delivered, but the required “petition”(D) was omitted. I received only the 1-page Notice of Hearing.
While the service was by a deputy rather than Constable Schmoll himself, the obvious need for the Petition (D) was plainly printed on the Notice (B): “Plaintiff must serve Notice of Hearing, together with a copy of the petition for a protective order, on the defendant at least two days prior to the scheduled hearing.”
In addition, the Notice of Hearing (B) was only partially completed. JP Rogers signed the Notice with neither of the three options checked so not only did her Constable’s office serve the Notice (B) without the required Petition (D), but she enabled the Court to send a Notice that withheld from me which of the three orders were being sought.
The need for both items was plainly printed on the Notice. Neither omission was accidental; the Petition wasn’t “mislaid.”
I was delayed 4 days until the court would reopen on Tuesday, January 18 (after the 17th Monday holiday) before I could inquire about the missing petition.
In the meantime, the missing Petition (D) and the incomplete Notice (B) meant I had no idea what the plaintiff was requesting against me or the events or bases for the requested court order that are normally listed on the Petition. When Plaintiff Sophia Johnson told the news media she’d requested an “order of protection,” nothing on the Notice (B) told me whether or not her claim was true.
Only later did I learn Sophia Johnson’s claim was false. That Plaintiff Johnson clearly knew the pending request was for an “Injunction Against Harassment” and NOT an “Order of Protection” is clear by her “IAH” entry on the Confidential Service Information sheet (DD).
I phoned the Kyrene Court at 9:05am Tuesday, January 18 and spoke with two staffers (Ellie and Annie) to notify them of the incomplete service and determine what processes the Court had to correct the incomplete service, and my needed action to set it in motion.
It began as a three-way conversation, with my talking to Ellie whereupon she relayed my question to Annie, and then relayed Annie’s reply back to me.
Both agreed that the Petition for Protection (C) should have been included with the Notice of Hearing (A); neither could explain why it had not been included. I was told to make a personal trip to the court to get the petition that the Constable’s office was responsible for delivering to me. (I found it incredible that I was expected to go to the court to pick up documents to compensate for non-performance by the Constable’s Office.) Ultimately Annie took over the call so we could speak directly.
The first of many excuses Annie offered was “it’s not our responsibility because the Court doesn’t employ the process servers. File a complaint against the process server.” Next was “I don’t know who served the papers since the Constable’s office has not filed the Proof of Service,” but nonetheless she evaded answering questions about any court processes in place for correcting the incomplete service and delivering the petition to me as it should have been on January 14.
Annie said only the judge could make that decision, but I wasn’t allowed to speak to the judge. When I asked what court procedure addressed the matter of incomplete service, she cut off the question in mid-sentence and repeated “Only the judge can make that decision and if you insist on speaking with the judge you’ll have to come at a time when she doesn’t have court” and began listing the days and times she might be available.
After a frustrating hour-and-20-minute phone call of repeated runarounds, interruptions and contradictions, Annie finally agreed to mail the petition (D), but only “as a courtesy.”
To be certain the document she planned to mail was indeed the same Petition for Protection (D) named on the Notice (B), I asked Annie Cox if the Petition contained the specific order and the events as basis for the requested protective order. She rudely and arrogantly replied, “I’ll mail it to you, but I’m not going to read it to you over the phone.”
Despite the evasions and runarounds from Annie Cox, I was certain that incomplete and/or improper service of court documents is an issue in court proceedings; JP Rogers herself told the Arizona Republic (Z) that failure by the former Constable Jon Levenson to serve court processes had hindered proceedings and evictions on the court calendar. Those rules didn’t change just because voters elected a new Constable. For whatever reason, Annie Cox chose not to give me the information about notifying the court of improper and/or incomplete service.
Because of the sloppy handling, “errors and slip-ups” of JP Rogers’ court and the resulting delays, I didn’t learn the charges against me and the specific court order requested until the 5:00pm mail arrival on Wednesday January 19 brought the Petition for Protection (D) 5 full days after it should have been delivered with the Notice of Hearing (B)!
Interestingly, I went to the court on Thursday morning (January 20) to request a Hearing postponement to compensate for the Court’s delay in delivering ALL the required documents to me. When Lubia came to the window and heard what I hoped to do, she handed me a “Motion” form to complete. Nothing about “…if you insist on talking to the judge” or any other runarounds with which Annie Cox proved herself so adept. Both Lubia and Linda were very courteous and answered legitimate questions courteously and fully. In other visits, I also spoke with Chrissie. With the exception of Annie Cox, all were courteous and provided forms or answers to questions presented to them. They didn’t exhibit the overbearing attitude as Annie Cox nor habitually cut me off in mid-sentence as Annie Cox has.
Another experience that day with Annie is further evidence of her arrogance and overbearing attitude. Upon returning to the Kyrene window with the completed “Motion to Dismiss” form, I asked the clerk which date to enter—the original scheduled hearing date or the new date I was requesting (I entered the “hoped” date because the form didn’t make it clear). The staffer wasn’t sure and said she’d check. Next, Annie stood up from her desk with the form in her hand and called out “This is Wrong!” so loudly that everyone in the area could hear—I could hear it myself from the other side of the window! Annie and the other staffer came to the window, whereupon Annie called out twice more “This is Wrong!” and told me the date needed to be the original hearing date. As evident on the “Motion” form (E), I corrected the date and re-submitted it.
Annie Cox achieved nothing by loudly calling everyone’s attention to my error. She could have pointed out the error to the window clerk to bring back to me. Instead, she chose to try to intimidate me by informing the entire office staff, then going to the window to confront me with two more “This is Wrong!” proclamations).
I have experienced Annie Cox’s behavior both on the phone and in person—both are abominable—overbearing, arrogant, confrontational and rude.
Until I could obtain the Petition (D), seeking legal counsel was an exercise in futility; the attorney’s first question is “what are the charges against you?” The delay caused by the Constable’s failure to deliver all the needed documents rendered me virtually unable to seek legal counsel or to even prepare my own defense during that 5-day period.
I’ve since concluded it was intentional to keep me unaware and to hinder my defense, making it harder to prepare after the delay. To that purpose, it was successful; only the help of a former paralegal friend enabled me to prepare a defense that was successful despite the hindrances by JP Rogers, the Constable’s Office and court staffer Annie Cox.
C. January 20 2011 (Thursday evening 6:00pm) JP Rogers allowed and arranged for Constable Brandon Schmoll to phone my home for no legitimate reason during an active court case in which I was a defendant against 2 of the Constable’s friends, Anthony Miller and Plaintiff Sophia Johnson.
That a constable would contact a principal in active case (aside from serving the actual papers) is highly improper and smacks of intimidation. Even more inappropriate was his twice-repeated suggestion that I contact the plaintiff directly to “work things out.”
My phone is unlisted; it’s not in directories. Constable Schmoll could only have my phone number if he got it from the court. And court staffers wouldn’t have provided a confidential number unless Constable Schmoll had the approval of JP Rogers in making the call.
Knowing Constable Schmoll’s close association with “unofficial party” to the case Anthony Miller (Section I, Background, pages 8-11), I was even more wary of the Constable’s call, and told him so.
Rather than end the call as he should have done, Constable Schmoll continued the conversation on several topics that were highly improper under the circumstances:
1. he said JP Rogers told him that my Motion to Continue (E) mentioned the missing Petition for Protection (D) on the January 14 service, giving the impression that he was calling at the direction of or on behalf of JP Rogers.
2. he mentioned JP Rogers’ wanting to “hear both sides” before making a decision. My Motion to Continue (E) didn’t prevent “hearing both sides;” Constable Schmoll was referring to JP Rogers’ original January 14 action of accrediting a case that should have been dismissed. -
3. he wanted to talk with me about the service process and documents delivered to determine if problems existed in the system, even asking if I’d meet with him and staff members.
4. he didn’t want to accept my position of deferring the conversation in #3 until the current court action was completed. Instead, he wanted to do it ASAP, calling it a “courtesy” to me.
5. he recommended TWICE during the call that I contact Plaintiff Sophia Johnson directly to discuss the issues in her court action and resolve the matter outside court. He commented that he’d served papers to the plaintiff that afternoon, talked with her and learned she didn’t know me, leading him to recommend that I contact the Plaintiff Sophia Johnson directly rather than wait for the next week’s hearing. After two attempts, he dropped the matter only when I pointed out that the court action wasn’t my idea; if Plaintiff Sophia Johnson wanted to “work things out” she was free to withdraw the action and approach me directly.
6. he offered legal advice to me as in Item #5 above (albeit unsolicited as well as advice that I would have been foolish to follow) in violation of policy against court staff providing legal advice. In addition, Constable Schmoll’s advice directly contradicted Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s express comment on her Petition:
DO NOT SEND ANY E-MAILS U.S. POSTAL MAIL TALK TO ME BASICALLY, I JUST WANT HER TO LEAVE ME ALONE. (A, page 3).
Constable Schmoll’s twice-repeated proposal that I as the Defendant contact Plaintiff Sophia Johnson directly to “work things out” was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” eliminating any and all doubts I may have had that Constable Schmoll was assisting Anthony Miller and Plaintiff Sophia Johnson in their case against me.
Constable Schmoll tried several ruses to get me to talk further (“just doing it as a courtesy to you’) rather than wait until after the conclusion of the active case. When I finally said, “I’ll call you—what’s your phone number,” he provided his office number 602 372-3510 (“if I’m not in, there’s always someone who will answer”) where I could contact him at the appropriate time. When he AGAIN tried to pursue the matter, I told him “that’s where we need to leave this conversation for now.”
Considering that most people in this situation would feel pressured by an officer of the court or even feel that the outcome of their case depended on cooperating with Constable Schmoll, there’s no doubt that it’s attempted intimidation. That JP Rogers arranged and allowed Constable Schmoll’s call is an abomination and betrayal of her public trust.
When researching the anti-harassment law ARS 12-1809-R (C), it became increasingly clear that Constable Schmoll’s January 20 phone call and attempt to get me to contact Plaintiff Sophia Johnson was intended to generate the second event in the “series” of harassing events required for the Injunction Against Harassment, without which the plaintiff had no case. Indeed, it was the Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s inability to show the required “series” that forced JP Rogers to dismiss the case despite her obvious aversion to ruling with a verdict in my favor (K), even if it did follow the law.
Whether or not JP Rogers was aware of Constable Schmoll’s attempt to “set me up,” the Constable wouldn’t have made the call without JP Rogers’ approval. Constable Schmoll didn’t show any concern that his phone call was unethical, indicating that JP Rogers approved the call and the topics Constable Schmoll presented.
D. January 20-21: Refused to Investigate Reports of Constable’s Improper Conduct.
The matter was reported TWICE to JP Rogers, both documented in writing or recorded:
• Original letter (G) hand-delivered to the Kyrene window on Friday morning, January 21.
• My open court testimony at 9:07.59am on Tuesday, January 25.
That JP Rogers has failed to report and/or investigate Constable Schmoll’s January 20 phone call eliminates any doubt of her tacit or implicit approval of the attempt to “set me up” by urging me to contact Plaintiff Sophia Johnson directly. In the 4 weeks since JP Rogers’ dismissal of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s case, there’s been no attempt to contact me for the details. Failure to follow up would only happen if JP Rogers knowingly arranged and approved the call, and now wants deniability.
“Silence is consent.”
JP Rogers cannot credibly claim to be unaware of how such a phone call might be misinterpreted, yet she enabled it to occur. It’s clear to me that JP Rogers is ignoring Constable Schmoll’s ethics breach to prevent disclosure of her own participation.
Nor can she credibly claim “I can’t do anything; I have no control over the Constable.” Only last year, she took action against her previous constable Jon Levenson’s non-performance of his duties by filing a complaint with the Constable Ethics, Standards & Training Board (Z).
For JP Rogers to enable and approve such a phone call is not only a breach of court and judicial ethics, but by allowing and enabling Constable Schmoll to investigate his errors and failures and providing him the opportunity to cover them up, she’s sending the fox to guard the henhouse.
E. January 21 2011 (Friday morning 9:00am). Allowing a male court staffer to assist Constable Schmoll’s attempts to deter my filing a CESTB complaint against the Constable for ethics violations described in I-B and I-C above).
When on Friday I delivered a letter addressed to JP Rogers (G) to the Kyrene court window notifying her of Constable Schmoll’s call to my home the previous evening, a male staffer came to me with a Post-it note (AA) telling me that any feedback or comments of the January 14 process service should be reported directly to Constable Schmoll.
I recognized and was annoyed with this continued “badgering” by Constable Schmoll after his repeated attempts the previous evening, but asked the staffer why further discussion with the Constable was necessary beyond that from the evening before. The staffer claimed he didn’t know.
I immediately phoned Constable Schmoll at the Post-It phone number (AA) that differed from what he provided the night before. He had nothing new to say except to mention the number (602) 219-8721 as his cell phone number that would reach him right away, rather than his office phone. I reiterated where we left the matter the previous evening and that nothing had changed since then.
Both events C and D occurred AFTER about 1:00pm Thursday afternoon when I inquired of court staffers the procedure for filing a complaint against the Constable as Annie Cox told me to do during the Tuesday morning (Jan. 20) phone call, and they provided me with the CESTB agency and phone number.
I doubt Annie Cox had the Constable’s Office in mind when she cut me off in mid-sentence during Tuesday morning’s phone call to tell me “the court doesn’t employ the process server—you’ll have to file a separate complaint against them.” To follow her advice, I asked the name of the process server; it was then she admitted the Proof of Service hadn’t been filed yet. Experience with her speed at countering customer inquiries with a variety of excuses (all with the message: “the court isn’t responsible for anything and I can’t give legal advice”), it was more likely the first excuse that came to her mind.
That JP Rogers enabled and allowed court staff to assist in a cover-up of Constable Schmoll’s ethics violations is undeniable. The male staffer who delivered the Post-it note that morning didn’t seem to be at all concerned that JP Rogers would object.
F. January 21 2011: JP Rogers’ Denial (F) of my Motion to Continue that would have compensated for her court’s delay in Petition delivery, giving no reason for her refusal of accountability.
By refusing to “refund” to me the 5 days’ preparation I lost due to her court staff’s bungling and non-service, JP Rogers refused accountability and denied responsibility for what happened in her court. She also hindered my access to legal counsel that I clearly mentioned intending to seek on the completed Motion to Continue (E):
“The Notice of Hearing Served Thurs, Jan 14 did not include the Petition for Protection listing Charges. I didn’t receive the Petition until Wednesday (Jan 19) after the court mailed it to me. I’d like to consult an attorney for advice but was delayed pending arrival of the petition.”
That JP Rogers showed no recognition or responsibility for the hardship her court staff created for me is an outrage. But that’s the message she sent in denying the 5-day continuance!
Her support and agreement with the objection of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson further reinforced the trend of JP Rogers accommodating the Plaintiff, as well as trying to cover-up her own initial bungling and trying to accommodate her Constable and his friends.
While it was at the time unthinkable to me that JP Rogers (or any judge) would hinder a defendant’s access to legal counsel, it’s become clearer in retrospect. An attorney would immediately have recognized the court’s incomplete service of the process papers and insisted on quashing the original service (the process that Staffer Annie Cox evaded with runarounds and double-talk during my Tuesday (January 18) phone inquiry. An attorney would have recognized immediately that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s case was without basis and insisted on a dismissal, and JP Rogers wanted to do all she could to prevent my learning it.
Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s response to my motion reveals she knew in advance JP Rogers would side with her in denying the motion: “Keep the court date of 1/25/11 at 8:45am for the hearing. Thank you.” Plaintiff Johnson wouldn’t have thanked the judge in advance if she thought there was the slightest chance the judge would grant my motion to compensate me for the days lost in defense preparation due to the bungling of her Constable and her court staff.
On Friday January 21, I hadn’t yet discovered ARS 12-1809-R and JP Rogers undoubtedly hoped to complete the January 25 hearing before I did.
G. January 24 2011: JP Rogers denied my Motion to Dismiss (H, I), refusing FOR THE SECOND TIME to comply with ARS 12-1809-R and providing no reason for continuing to insist on hearing a non-compliant case. She refused to acknowledge her January 14 error and/or negligence when she accepted a non-compliant petition as a valid case.
My motion form clearly stated “dismiss prior to IAH Hearing” and “Dismiss the case and scheduled Hearing for the Requested Protective order.” A copy of ARS 12-1809-R ( C) was attached to the Motion to Dismiss (H) to prove there was no harassment, and that JP Rogers had erred by scheduling a hearing when Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s own petition (A) proved there was no harassment.
That JP Rogers AGAIN arrogantly gave no reason for her denial indicates her continuing to pander to Plaintiff Sophia Johnson.
Evidently JP Rogers hadn’t reviewed ARS 12-1809-R ( C) to insure that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s Petition (A) complied on January 14. When my January 24 Motion to Dismiss pointed out the non-compliance, she should have reviewed the matter then and there. Instead, she apparently didn’t want to admit her January 14 error so insisted on holding an unnecessary hearing the next day.
That Plaintiff Sophia Johnson came to court the following day with 2 more e-mails that she called “angry and hateful” (downgraded from her petition statement of “threatening”) suggests that JP Rogers may have allowed the Plaintiff to amend her petition with more “acts” to meet legal criteria.
If the Plaintiff amended her petition, I should have been informed of and received a copy of the petition and any and all amendments.
If the Plaintiff did NOT amend her petition, JP Rogers had no valid basis for denying my Motion to Dismiss; the copy of ARS 12-1809-R ( C) attached to the Motion to Dismiss (H) made clear I was well aware that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson had no case. Instead, JP Rogers continued to flaunt the law by insisting on regarding what Plaintiff Sophia Johnson presented as valid when it wasn’t.
After her misinformed insistence on “hearing both sides” of a non-case, JP Rogers rendered a verdict (K) less than 24 hours later dismissing the request for the same reason as my Motion to Dismiss that she summarily rejected the day before!
Her arrogance for the second time in deferring to objections of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson again shows her bias for the Plaintiff. Sophia Johnson clearly wants the attention of a hearing and doesn’t care about compliance with the law.
The difference between Plaintiff Sophia Johnson and JP Rogers SHOULD BE that JP Rogers swore an oath to uphold the law. By accepting and upholding Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s objection to Dismissal as valid, JP Rogers abdicated her oath and sworn duty.
II. In the Courtroom (January 25 2011 - 8:49:15 – 9:27am)
A CD (with software download directions) of the audio and video proceedings will enable the Commission to see and hear the disgraceful behavior of JP Rogers.
A. Excuse for Denying 1/24 Motion to Dismiss (Time 8:49.27 am)
“There was a motion to dismiss, however I denied that motion. We have not—this court has not issued an injunction in this matter, so there is nothing for me to actually dismiss. So we are going to proceed on with the hearing, which is a hearing on whether or not I will grant an Injunction Against Harassment.”
This is nothing but double-talk with legal terms thrown in hoping to give credibility to meaningless jibberish. JP Rogers’ red herring of “nothing to dismiss” begs the obvious question “if there’s nothing to dismiss, then why are we here in the first place?” There IS something to dismiss—the petition and request for protective order.
It’s also hogwash. JP Rogers claims “this court has not issued an injunction in this matter, so there is nothing for me to actually dismiss.” Yet with her Verdict (K) that followed less than an hour later, that’s exactly what she did by checking “The Court dismisses the protective order listed above.”
Nothing changed as a result of the hearing. No Injunction Against Harassment was ever issued, whether before or after the hearing. Yet before the hearing she claimed there was nothing to dismiss, and less than an hour later, she dismissed the very thing she earlier claimed couldn’t be dismissed because it didn’t exist!
This is the first example of her increasing her speaking speed when what she says is false—the increased speed is noticeable. Another example appears later in Section II-C-2 below.
JP Rogers could have offered Plaintiff Sophia Johnson to amend her petition with more “acts” but instead the judge allowed the Plaintiff to present 2 more “surprise” e-mails at the hearing. I wasn’t notified of any amended petition or provided a copy when I checked in at the Kyrene window on January 25. Since Plaintiff Sophia Johnson and Anthony Miller had already checked in, they should have submitted to the court any amendments to her original petition (such as notation of additional “threatening” e-mails).
That Plaintiff Sophia Johnson came to court the following day with 2 more e-mails she called “threatening” suggests that JP Rogers allowed the Plaintiff to amend her petition with more “acts” to meet legal criteria.
If so, I should have been informed of and received a copy of the amended petition. I RECEIVED NOTHING.
If not, JP Rogers had no valid basis for denying my Motion to Dismiss; the copy of ARS 12-1809-R ( C) made clear that Plaintiff Sophia Johnson had no case and that I now knew it. Instead, JP Rogers continued to flaunt the law by insisting on regarding what Plaintiff Sophia Johnson presented as a valid case when the law made clear it wasn’t.
After her misinformed denial (I) of my Motion to Dismiss (H) that showed her continued insistence on “hearing both sides” of a non-case, JP Rogers rendered a verdict less than 24 hours later dismissing the request for the same reason as my previous day’s Motion to Dismiss (H) that she summarily rejected the day before!
B. Repeatedly stopping my testimony
That JP Rogers cut me off several times during my testimony and then later having the audacity to call my behavior “rude” and “uncivil” is the height of hypocrisy.
1. I wasn’t able to say “Be prepared that politics may hurt your feelings…” because at 9:05:41 am, JP Rogers rudely stopped me with the excuse ”I’m going to stop you because you’re kind of getting outside of where we’re going with this. I think I’ve gotten your point in what you’re trying to explain to the court…”
Ironically, she guessed wrong to think I planned something like “if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.” What I actually planned to say (above) was very similar to what she said at the beginning of her rant at me that’s coming up soon. Her implication is that because she THOUGHT she knew what I planned to say, her rude behavior is justified. It isn’t.
JP Rogers has a court staffer named Annie Cox with the same rude habit of cutting off a customer’s comment or question because she already thinks she knows without listening the question or comment that’s coming and seems to think it isn’t necessary that she listen. Cox then gives an answer that’s not related to the questioner’s inquiry, and when the questionerrepeats the question to obtain the answer they initially wanted. Annie Cox interrupts again, parroting the same non-responsive answer. Section I-B (page 13-14) describes my conversation with Annie Cox on my first phone call to Kyrene Court.
It’s just as “rude” and “uncivil” from a judge as from a court staffer.
JP Rogers may have been bored (or resentful) at what I said, but I was reasoned, analytical and well-prepared. Analytical reasoning is what JP Rogers should have exercised when Plaintiff Sophia Johnson first submitted her Petition(A).
Further, she could have avoided having to hear anything had she done her job on either January 14 (by proper review of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s Petition for Protection (A) for compliance with ARS 12-1809-R before signing the Notice of Hearing (B) for service to me), and again on January 24 when my Motion to Dismiss (H) exposed her non-compliant case that JP Rogers never should have allowed. But with JP Rogers’ insistence on holding the unnecessary hearing, I expected her to hear everything I had to say pertinent to the issue. After all, she and her refusal to do her job by following the law were the only reason I was required to be there; the so-called “case” was a loser from the start.
2. Several interruptions with other cases, but only during MY testimony.
More “rude” and “uncivil” behavior demonstrated by JP Rogers. I was forced to attend the hearing only because of her slipshod handling of the original request, and I expect her to listen attentively and without interruptions. JP Rogers “sandwiched” these cases at her discretion but ONLY during my testimony; she didn’t interrupt the testimony of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson with phone calls and other cases.
Examples: 8:58 am: speaker-phone call with JP Rogers’ “not yet-we’re late” reply
9:09:36 – 9:15.26: “jury trial/bench trial, bankruptcy” (6 minutes)
3. Reading Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s petition statement: “I received a threatening e-mail.” JP Rogers wouldn’t allow me to read Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s 5-word petition statement that documented and proved both Plaintiff Johnson’s non-compliance with the law from the beginning and JP Rogers’ failure to properly know and apply the law.
4. Anti-harassment law ARS 12-1809-R that required dismissal of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s request for lack of evidence. Time 9:17.15 am
JP Rogers wouldn’t allow me to read the 55-wprd definition of harassment that made clear the criteria required by judges dealing with matters of harassment.
While she may claim in #3 and #4 that “the court knows this” as justification for stopping my reading them into the record, “the court” (meaning JP Rogers herself) had established a track record of being totally unaware or determined to ignore the law and the Petition’s (A) noncompliance. That JP Rogers was unaware (or chose to be unaware) of the law made clear her need to be “reminded” and “reminded” that I was also aware.
C. JP Rogers adopts a role of advocate/apologist for Plaintiff Sophia Johnson.
1. Accepting additional last-minute surprise evidence from Plaintiff Sophia Johnson without advance disclosure to me or amending them into the Petition. Time 8:50 am
JP Rogers accepted as evidence from Plaintiff Sophia Rogers 2 additional e-mails that the Plaintiff didn’t list on her original Petition for Protection (A).
a. January 15 e-mail (L-2) with image copy of Notice of Hearing (B) attached. Plaintiff Johnson’s objection: the 45 LD20 members who received it saw her DOB on the Notice of Hearing (B) and now knew her age as 48.
b. January 1 e-mail (L-3) commenting on her video interview with Anthony Miller
Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s objection: she doesn’t like my comment that “grouped” her with Anthony Miller. Later evidence showed Plaintiff Sophia Johnson has “grouped” herself #1 in a 3-person mass resignation that included Anthony Miller. JP Rogers asked and learned that Anthony Miller accompanied the Plaintiff to court that day.
These 2 e-mails and Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s objections are pathetic. They should have been included originally on January 14, or amended after the Motion to Dismiss and a copy provided to me, but weren’t. I can visualize Plaintiff Sophia Johnson on a last-minute Monday-night frenzy to find more “angry and hateful” or “threatening” e-mails after learning that day with my Motion to Dismiss that I knew and applied the “harassment” definition of the law to her non-compliant Petition (A).
JP Rogers should have excluded them as tardy (unless she chose to provide me a copy and grant a continuance for me to review them).
Early in the hearing at 8:53am and again at 8:55am, I asked JP Rogers if Plaintiff Sophia Johnson would be required to identify the e-mails and specific language that the Plaintiff vaguely termed “angry and hateful” or that met the law’s requirement of “threatening” or “harassment.” JP Rogers brushed me aside, saying that she as the judge will decide the proper weight to give the evidence presented.
That’s not the question I asked, and it’s also irrelevant. JP Rogers is trying to both shield Plaintiff Sophia Johnson from accountability.
With her reply, the judge took on the responsibility for identifying the passages, and even acknowledged the request as reasonable. Yet at the end of her tirade when she ruled in my favor, the judge needed a reminder of her own accountability after her attempted “hurry-up adjournment” to AGAIN evade accountability.
It’s incumbent on those alleging that I wrote “angry and hateful” or “threatening” messages to prove their accusations. That requires identifying the specific text and why it’s objectionable. JP Rogers’ comment about “weighting” the evidence is a red herring and achieves nothing to identify “threatening” language. JP Rogers shielded the Plaintiff from that responsibility throughout the hearing.
Ultimately, the judge acceded only at the conclusion of her rant and then only because I “reminded” JP Rogers of the request after her attempt to hurriedly declare “Hearing is Adjourned.”
2. Defending misrepresentations and false claims (“US mail,” “talk to me”) on the Petition (A) of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson as “standard” checkoff items on petition form when no such list exists. (Time 9:07:07 am).
During my point-by-point replacement of rhetoric with facts, I pointed out these red herrings by Plaintiff Sophia Johnson, who wrote them on the Petition Intake form (A) for the court to “stop me from doing” but offered no evidence that they had ever occurred..
JP Rogers AGAIN interrupted my testimony to pooh-pooh my demonstration that the Plaintiff’s claims were false: “That’s standard for pretty much every single petition –those are listed for a person to pick from.”
This is Example #2 of JP Rogers’ higher-speed speaking when her comments are false.
To check if JP Rogers’ claim was truthful, I went to the Kyrene Court window for the forms needed to request an Injunction against Harassment. The staffer provided the Intake Form (BB) for me to complete, the Plaintiff’s Guide Sheet (BB), and the Confidential Service Information (BB) sheet.
Finding no “list to pick from” on any of the provided forms, I asked the staffer for the paper with the “list” of things I could check off, but she had no idea what I was talking about. Nor had staffer Annie Cox, the apparent authority for the Kyrene Court window.
Plaintiff Sophia Johnson didn’t check them or choose them from a list, she wrote them on the form intentionally despite total absence of any attempts at “US Mail” or “talk to me.”
There was no “list to pick from” on the blank IAH intake form or any separate sheet; the “list” cited by JP Rogers doesn’t exist. The judge was once again trying to defend the misrepresentations of Plaintiff Sophia Johnson, and in the process the JP destroyed her own credibility.
3. Verdict stated with “spin” toward Plaintiff Sophia Johnson.
Even when denying the Injunction, JP Rogers just couldn't bring herself to tell Plaintiff Sophia Johnson the plain unvarnished truth that “you have insufficient evidence to qualify, the additional e-mails beyond the single one on your petition aren’t harassment, and they definitely aren’t threatening.”
“…but I don’t think that Miss Miller did that in this case.” The verdict should not be based on what JP Rogers believes; it’s cut-and-dried to anyone who can count. Even the one dubious item on the Petition isn’t a series regardless of what JP Rogers wants so badly to accept as valid. Instead, JP Rogers does all she can to emphasize what she thinks I did or might do that’s “bad.”
Having said all that, I do understand why JP Rogers feels the need NOT to reprimand Plaintiff Sophia Johnson for her frivolous court action that wasted everyone’s time. None of it would ever have moved forward without the aid of JP Rogers; had the judge done her job in the beginning, none of it would have happened.
D. Publicly Berating a Law-Abiding Citizen who has violated no law and has been falsely accused . Time 9:24 – 9:27am
Just before being forced to rule in favor of both me and the rule of law, JP Rogers launched into a 3-minute rant publicly berating me with no justification.
At the same time, she defended Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s hysterical and unfounded accusations against me with a lame “politics is emotional.” Not once did she chide Plaintiff Sophia Johnson for bringing an unfounded case to court, wasting everyone’s time and taxpayers’ money, again demonstrating her bias toward the Plaintiff and against me as the Defendant. Or perhaps she just didn’t like being publicly proven wrong.
“When it comes to politics, it’s one of the fastest things to send a person into an intemperate mood, one might say. It’s very easy to get heated, it’s very easy to get angry, it’s very easy to use language that is rude, uncivil, and can eventually turn over into something that invokes violence, because it’s politics.
No one has the right to use language that would abuse or otherwise harm another person."
JP Rogers is again being the Plaintiff’s advocate by misrepresenting the word “harm” as “physical injury” (equally ludicrous as Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s claim that “remind” was a “threatening” word), and that’s nonsense. An e-mail between 2 people like the January 11 one causes “harm” only if it’s seen beyond the sender and receiver. I showed it to no one else; Sophia Johnson didn’t even attempt to prove otherwise. Others saw it only because the Plaintiff herself distributed the so-called “threatening e-mail” rather than apply the “Delete” button that rational people would. She bears full responsibility for anyone with whom she shared it (such as the news media).
JP Rogers substitutes the context of “hurting someone’s feelings” for “harm” in further attempts to be the advocate/apologist for Plaintiff Sophia Johnson. While the judge may intend to make her admonition more compelling and add to the dramatic impact, it’s also misrepresentation.
JP Rogers should certainly know that “hurt feelings” are much different from physical injury. JP Rogers should also know that an incident of “hurt feelings” very rarely constitute “harassment.”
That Plaintiff Sophia Johnson overreacts is demonstrated very clearly with her contention that “remind” as “threatening.”(Y)
Another of her e-mails makes obvious her eagerness to be “be offended” or “have hurt feelings”—a November 22 asking “vote for me for Secretary”(S) e-mail that she initiated. Upon hearing of a slate of conservative candidates, she’s “frankly very offended” at not being included. What she really means is that her feelings are hurt. Her January 11 “resignation e-mail” (L-1) also spoke of her feelings being hurt because Board Members didn’t include her in discussions and current information.
Since this case began, I’ve both seen several examples myself as well as spoken with other LD20 members characterizing the court action as “more of Sophia’s drama.”
Plaintiff Sophia Johnson’s attempts to escalate her “hurt feelings” into something more dramatic and sensational is “crying wolf.” By adopting the role of advocate for Plaintiff Sophia Johnson, JP Rogers’ panders to such behavior.
"Miss Miller, in one of the e-mails you used some language that was definitely out of line. It was. You shouldn’t use that kind of language when talking to a fellow PC. Yes, I understand you can get angry; I get angry too. But you can’t use that against another person.
Take a moment to breathe and then respond before you do, so that way you don’t accidentally or even with intent, say something you’ll regret later. The fact is, the language you used in one of those e-mails was definitely bad.
But that didn’t rise to the level of granting an Injunction Against Harassment because, once again, it is a series of acts that intend to harass, annoy or otherwise bother somebody.
And that’s definitely not a good thing to do, but I don’t think that Miss Miller did that in this case.
Now I am to understand that you are both PCs. Are you PCs in the same precinct?"
Sandra: No, different precincts, but the same District.
It is again easy to get angry, but when you do that you chill the other person’s ability to participate in the political process, and I’m fairly sure both of you that’s the last thing you intend no matter how upset you get over something.
So, Miss Miller, in the future, you may wish to pause and think before you send an e-mail.
But I’m going to be dismissing this order; it is not granted. Hearing is adjourned.
“I’m going to be dismissing this order.” She contradicts her own claim made at the opening of the hearing that because the court hasn’t issued an injunction, there’s nothing to dismiss. Further evidence that her excuse for Denial of the Motion to Dismiss is bogus. It’s the petition/request that the judge dismisses, even when no previous injunction exists. JP Rogers could just as easily have dismissed the same petition/request at my January 24 Motion to Dismiss as she did the following day. (H)
Sandra: Your Honor?
Sandra: I would ask if you would identify the e-mail and text that you feel is objectionable.
Finally – JP Rogers must identify my “out of line” language
JP Rogers’ must finally show her hand—no more bluffing. When finally forced to identify the language she claims is “out of line,” there is none. Her bluff below fools no one. She knew it from the beginning; that’s why she tried to do a fast-shuffle adjournment.
Notice that JP Rogers’ voice changes from her rather mellow “I’m enjoying this” timbre during her tirade at me to the terse and snippy tone that she uses when “reminded” that she’s expected to be accountable for her ranting accusations after brushing it aside in the beginning and later trying to adjourn before she can be held accountable.
ER: “Your whining and sniveling makes me very glad I didn't waste my vote on you for Secretary. And don't kid yourself that a big part of Anthony's reason for resigning isn't due to the shellacking that the RINO/McCain/Anthony faction took at Saturday's County meeting. The better than 2-to-1 vote was a referendum on John McCain, and they know it's likely to be repeated for the state GOP chair.
They like to win, but they are nasty losers. Luckily we have another candidate to fill in as Secretary. Should you ever utter a complaint as a PC about how LD20 operates, you'll be reminded that you voluntarily gave up your opportunity to change things. If I'm present, I'll be honored to be the one to remind you.”
Miss Miller, this is what I’m talking about—chilling the other person’s ability to participate in the political process.
There’s no need for those words. That is all.”
JP Rogers’ rhetoric is a combination of misrepresentation and meaningless jibberish.
The judge’s purpose with this tirade is:
(1) to vent her resentment of me for exposing her slipshod handling of the case (or perhaps she’s “angry” as she admits in her tirade),
(2) to convince those in the courtroom that there was a valid reason for her insistence on holding the hearing, or
(3) throwing a consolation prize to the friends of her Constable (Plaintiff Sophia Johnson and Anthony Miller) who thought they would win the case.
Or perhaps a combination of all three.
No provision exists in the US or Arizona constitution or Arizona Revised Statutes that makes “hurting someone’s feelings” actionable. The same is true of “chilling someone’s ability to participate in the political process”—it’s not designated a crime.
Except possibly in the minds of plaintiffs like Sophia Johnson and judges who pander to them as JP Elizabeth Rogers did on January 25.