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Indiana order to show cause

Scales of Justice imageI’ve been wondering exactly what this was about ever since I learned about a court date for November 27 where Orly Taitz is ordered to appear before judge S. K. Reid in Indiana to “show cause.” In my limited legal experience, an order to show cause is usually a bad thing for the one who receives it, and that turns out to be the case here.

Taitz disclosed on her blog yesterday what it is about in a published copy of a letter to Judge Reid that says in part:

Orly Taita photoI received from you a letter stating that this court intends to hold a hearing to show cause regarding release and publication of a certain audio transcript of the October 22 hearing, which contains expert testimony of forgery in the birth certificate of Barack Obama. “Parties are ordered to show cause  whether or not they should be in Contempt of Court for the release and posting on “Youtube” of the audio recording of October 22, 2012 hearing, all in violation of this court order and pursuant to the Code of Judicial Conduct rule 2.17”

I can understand why Judge Reid is upset by the release of the recording because it puts her in a very bad light. Reid allowed Taitz to get testimony into the record from unqualified experts. I think the trial should never have been held while motions to dismiss were pending and that the audio recording is an embarrassment to the judge (as well as to Taitz). The only mitigating factor for Judge Reid is that she vacated the entire trial afterwards.

If Taitz is to believed, and I personally do in this instance, the audio recording in question was made by the court reporter and sold to Taitz. The court ordered the parties not to make recordings, but Taitz didn’t do that. What she probably did was to publish, or to allow to be published, the recording she properly obtained and after the recording was published on YouTube, she published the embedded YouTube copy of it on her web site. As of this morning, the YouTube video itself has been made private.

YouTube "This video is private" logo

Judge Reid cited the Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17, which I reproduce in its entirety below:

RULE 2.17: Prohibiting Broadcasting of Proceedings

Except with prior approval of the Indiana Supreme Court, a judge shall prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom and areas immediately adjacent thereto during sessions of court or recesses between sessions, except that a judge may authorize:

(1) the use of electronic or photographic means for the presentation of evidence, for the perpetuation of a record, or for other purposes of judicial administration;

(2) the broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing of investitive, ceremonial, or naturalization proceedings;

(3) the photographic or electronic recording and reproduction of appropriate court proceedings under the following conditions:

(a) the means of recording will not distract participants or impair the dignity of the proceedings;

(b) the parties have consented, and the consent to being depicted or recorded has been obtained from each witness appearing in the recording and reproduction;

(c) the reproduction will not be exhibited until after the proceeding has been concluded and all direct appeals have been exhausted; and

(d) the reproduction will be exhibited only for instructional purposes in educational institutions.

There are also local rules in many Indiana counties dealing with recordings, and in particular Marion County has rules on the subject, but I didn’t see that they add anything to the Judicial Rules above.

The release of the recording was discussed on the Indiana Law Blog, which includes a bit from an article by Amos Brown III at the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper:

Who placed an audio recording of a Marion County Superior Court hearing onto YouTube? Speculation focuses on one of the plaintiffs in a hearing Oct. 22 that tried to strike President Obama’s name off the Indiana election ballot.

Dr. Orly Taitz, the noted anti-Obama “birther” activist, was suing the state to get the president’s name off the ballot. A hearing in Judge S.K. Reid’s court was Taitz and her five other plaintiffs’ opportunity to make their case.

They failed. Judge Reid ruled in favor of the state. But audio of the two hour plus hearing was posted onto YouTube Nov. 1. Publicizing audio of Indiana Superior Court proceedings is a violation of judicial rules and Indiana law. Those involved could lose their law licenses or be prosecuted.

Court officials are investigating this serious breach of legal ethics by a group that seemingly doesn’t want to follow any rules of law unless it helps their goal of belittling the elected president of the United States.

That all looks pretty bad for Taitz and the best argument she was able to muster was:

There  was never any order stating that parties are not allowed to post on you-tube audio recordings lawfully purchased from the court.

I think Taitz could have made that argument better. Pursuant to Indiana Code §5-14-3-4(a)(8) the Supreme Court of Indiana issued Administrative Rule 9 on access to court records and a Public Access to Court Records Handbook. The Indiana Courts web site summarizes:

Administrative Rule 9 expresses the general premise that records are publicly accessible unless they are explicitly excluded from access.

and the Handbook says:

Recordings of court proceedings made by court reporters are public records….

In January of 2012, Joseph B. Hoage, Indiana Public Access Counselor, wrote in an informal opinion:

The Handbook provides that creating a copy of the audio record is probably the most efficient and least time consuming method to provide public access. The court reporter indicated that a copy of the hearing existed on hard drive and CD. If the Court is able to make a copy of the CD, the recording is not declared confidential, and providing the recording complies with the Court’s management of its audio recording pursuant to AR 9(D)(4) and Indiana Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17, it may do so. The Court may also issue in conjunction with providing a copy of the CD an order specifically limiting its use and barring the recipient from broadcasting the received record in any manner. The Court would further be allowed to charge you a fee pursuant to IC 5-14-3-8.

I think we may reasonably presume that there was no order specifically limiting the use of the purchased court recording and at this point I would open the floor to arguments as to whether Taitz broke the rules or not. I personally appreciate access to court records.

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38 Responses to Indiana order to show cause

  1. avatar
    Arthur November 21, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Dr. C. wrote,

    “I can understand why Judge Reid is upset by the release of the recording because it puts her in a very bad light. Reid allowed Taitz to get testimony into the record from unqualified experts. I think the trial should never have been held while motions to dismiss were pending and that the audio recording is an embarrassment to the judge (as well as to Taitz). The only mitigating factor for Judge Reid is that she vacated the entire trial afterwards.”

    I listened to the audio, and I was impressed by Judge Reid’s patience with Taitz. The question I had was “why?” Why be so patient, so accommodating to someone who is so utterly incompetent? And like Dr. C., I couldn’t understand why this “trial” ever took place.

    Was Reid hoping that by treating Taitz with generosity, Taitz would recognize she had been given a fair hearing and end her crusade? If so, the Judge profoundly misunderstands birthers and Taitz in particular.

  2. avatar
    bovril November 21, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I believe the issue here is that whilst the parties (particulary the lawyers) in a case are perfectly entitled to an audio recording to supplement or obviate the need for a written transcript that provison is not to be taken to be a licence to distribute.

    The rules in my IANAL view say that there will be no recordings of any type EXCEPT with the following specific exceptions or explicit approvals X, Y, Z.

    Whether I agree as to the reasonableness of this restriction in information flow is irrelevant where it is the law……

    Of course in Orly World since this is a Konstitutional Krisis of the first order such pedantic requirements are irrelevant…. 8-)

    The best part naturally is where she then moves from an ineffectual “Not me Guvnor” to whining about how its all so expensive to be a Konsitutional Krisis lawyer, to boo hoo my local sponsor is trying to throw me under the bus, to outright threats to the court.

  3. avatar
    charo November 21, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    The rule puts the onus on the judge to prohibit broadcasting. How did the judge do that? I don’t see how Orly is in trouble on this one, but I could foresee her wrecking things up for herself at the hearing.

  4. avatar
    bovril November 21, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Charo,

    No, the rule is no recording UNLESS explicitly excepted or approved and it is incumbent upon the judge to own the responsibilities around that.

    Remember Orly has been admonished on a number of occassions by judges that irrespective of her status she is responsible for knowing and following local rules.

    (Yeah I know she had been allowed to skate innumerable times but that is at the discretion of the judges various)

    “RULE 2.17: Prohibiting Broadcasting of Proceedings

    Except with prior approval of the Indiana Supreme Court, a judge shall prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom and areas immediately adjacent thereto during sessions of court or recesses between sessions, except that a judge may authorize:

  5. avatar
    G November 21, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    AGREED. On both accounts.

    Arthur: Was Reid hoping that by treating Taitz with generosity, Taitz would recognize she had been given a fair hearing and end her crusade? If so, the Judge profoundly misunderstands birthers and Taitz in particular.

    bovril: No, the rule is no recording UNLESS explicitly excepted or approved and it is incumbent upon the judge to own the responsibilities around that.

  6. avatar
    misha marinsky November 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    charo: I don’t see how Orly is in trouble on this one, but I could foresee her wrecking things up for herself at the hearing.

    Sorry, but the onus is on Orly and her minions. I also hope she gets hit with defense costs. I’ll repeat:

    The Sharper Image does not exist anymore. Consumer Reports gave SI’s air cleaner a poor rating. SI sued CR, and lost. In the past, Bose Audio and Suzuki sued CR, and lost.

    CR then counter-sued SI for defense costs, and prevailed. CR was awarded $500K.

    SI had to liquidate, to pay the award in one lump sum.

    Needless to say, that is what I am hoping for in this instant case. It is my daily wishes, that Orly and her crowd of fawning malcontents get hit, and hit hard, for defense costs.

    Maybe she’ll flee to a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv. She can join Sharansky and the rest of the refuseniks there. They have plenty of time to lick their wounds.

  7. avatar
    charo November 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    bovril: No, the rule is no recording UNLESS explicitly excepted or approved and it is incumbent upon the judge to own the responsibilities around that.

    Orly didn’t record it.

  8. avatar
    G November 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    But she did publish it…

    charo: Orly didn’t record it.

  9. avatar
    charo November 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    G:
    But she did publish it…

    The rule states that the judge is to act affirmatively.
    With Orly in charge of herself, who knows what she’ll blurt out.

  10. avatar
    BatGuano November 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    from orly:

    “…. as this case is over, it is closed, this court no longer has jurisdiction over the parties and I no longer represent any parties.”

    then

    “I am notifying this court that I intend to appeal the decision of this court on my own behalf,….”

    so….. it’s over till it’s not over?

  11. avatar
    JPotter November 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I say its a challenge to Orly, from the judge, to show competence. Does she have any respect or familiarity with IN law or court procedures?

    She will only whine, and therefore fail.

  12. avatar
    G November 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Yep. As you both have pointed out, this is a chance for Orly to demonstrate an ounce of competence to the judge.

    As you both have also pointed out, based on Orly’s history, she will be her own worst enemy and most likely, FAIL spectacularly…

    charo: With Orly in charge of herself, who knows what she’ll blurt out.

    JPotter:
    I say its a challenge to Orly, from the judge, to show competence. Does she have any respect or familiarity with IN law or court procedures?

    She will only whine, and therefore fail.

  13. avatar
    MN-Skeptic November 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Orly received Judge Reid’s letter.

    Orly hates being smacked down, and her failure in Judge Reid’s court was just classic. Not only did she fail, but everything was thrown out.

    However, in true Orly fashion, anything recorded in a court proceeding is OFFICIAL and is evidence which can be used in any other court. Orly had an official recording of the proceedings which immortalized her experts and their testimony. Like her recording from Georgia (which went so well for her!) this new recording could be publicized near and far so everyone could see how great she was and how wonderful and damning her experts were.

    So Orly must have been furious when she received a Show Cause letter stating that she could not publicize the Indiana recording. A double smack down from Judge Reid!

  14. avatar
    JL from Sherman Oaks November 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Doc, I am not sure why you have posted citations that might help OrLena. She reads here, you know. Of course, she is so helplessly unable to learn anything, but still …

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Most things on this blog are helpful to the birthers if they would pay attention.

    JL from Sherman Oaks: Doc, I am not sure why you have posted citations that might help OrLena. She reads here, you know.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I fully agree. I think she sent the letter to Judge Reid already, presumably without the help of her Indiana associate, Mr. Black and the result is her typical legal argument, an argument without the legal part.

    I think Orly knows who made the YouTube video, otherwise she would have said so.

    I’m perfectly OK with Orly receiving sanctions in the form of costs for every frivolous lawsuit she ever filed, and I believe she should be labeled a vexations litigant and have restrictions on her abusive legal filings in the future. However, I don’t want her to get zinged for publishing a public record, which is something we Obots do all the time.

    G: As you both have also pointed out, based on Orly’s history, she will be her own worst enemy and most likely, FAIL spectacularly…

  17. avatar
    JPotter November 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    JL from Sherman Oaks: Doc, I am not sure why you have posted citations that might help OrLena. She reads here, you know. Of course, she is so helplessly unable to learn anything, but still …

    Well, with similar effort, she could find the citations herself …. kinda hard to make public information more public. Well, OK, it can be made easier to find.

    But, you know as well as I, JL, that even when spoonfed the best possible information, if her case was made for her, she would still manage to blow it. The woman is, in every sense, incompentent.

  18. avatar
    Bob November 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Perhaps it’s not kosher to put it up on a .com site but would be okay with the judge on a .org site.

  19. avatar
    Keith November 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    G:
    Yep.As you both have pointed out, this is a chance for Orly to demonstrate an ounce of competence to the judge.

    As you both have also pointed out, based on Orly’s history, she will be her own worst enemy and most likely, FAIL spectacularly…

    As the saying goes…

    The lawyer who represents herself has a _____ for a client.

    I’m sure you can fill in the blank with an appropriate word.

  20. avatar
    JPotter November 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Bob: Perhaps it’s not kosher to put it up on a .com site but would be okay with the judge on a .org site.

    …. and .biz is right out LOL

    …. .gov and .edu should be coolerz as well.

  21. avatar
    predicto November 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Simple fact: Orly wouldn’t know how to look up a local rule if her life depended on it. I am certain she had no idea she was doing anything improper.

  22. avatar
    Phil Cave November 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Well this lawyer see a breach of the spirit of the judge’s order. Parsing the rules may avoid a criminal action or sanctions. But it’s still unprofessional. A lawyer in that situation has an obligation, IMHO, to either not publish or ask the judge for clarification.

    Likely the judge forgot that a CD could be obtained which may be why it wasn’t covered in her order.

  23. avatar
    Thomas Brown November 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    “The lawyer who represents herself has a _____ for a client. I’m sure you can fill in the blank with an appropriate word.”

    With Orly, you don’t even need to fill it at all. She does, indeed, have a blank for a client.

  24. avatar
    Tomtech November 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    I hope there was a recording request form which Orly filled out before leaving Indiana.

    The rule specifying that the recording is for private use of the attorney and any appeals plus a requirement that it should not be disseminated to others would be on the request form and Orly lost her copy.

    When she sent the CD version to Mississippi there was probable a requirement from the Indiana court which said that the dissemination notice accompany any filling in a separate court.

  25. avatar
    John Reilly November 22, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    When the story first appeared, Dr. Taitz said that she purchased the recording from the reporter and had a receipt. I do not believe that she continues to make that assertion in her letter. Nor do I believe Judge Reid would make this fuss if the court reporter sold the recording. I think this is a bootleg tape. Judge Reid would be a fool to schedule this hearing to be confronted with a receipt from the court reporter.

    See this link to Dr. Taitz’ site.

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/?p=362970 for the assertion that there is a receipt.

    Here is what she now says:

    6. The only thing that exists on you-tube, is an audio, which to the best of my knowledge was lawfully purchased from you, the court, through your own court reporter for $25 and which was posted on you-tube by a third party.

  26. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny November 22, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Tomtech: that the dissemination notice accompany any filling in a separate court

    Er, fiLLing? Is Lena Averbukha now playing the dentist in Mississippi? ;>)

    It will not help her much. As I said a few times before:

    “Orly Taitz: cannot plead, cannot drill. Slightly blonde. Can bore a little.”

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Where is that rule?

    Tomtech: The rule specifying that the recording is for private use of the attorney and any appeals plus a requirement that it should not be disseminated to others would be on the request form and Orly lost her copy.

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I haven’t seen the order, nor do I know if such orders are just a matter of course to enforce the local rules or whether this was a special instance. I get the impression that restricted distribution of court reporter recordings is intended to protect confidential information that comes out at trial, and in particular closed court sessions.

    There are really a lot of things that I don’t know that makes it difficult to put what Orly did in context.

    Phil Cave: Likely the judge forgot that a CD could be obtained which may be why it wasn’t covered in her order.

  29. avatar
    Phil Cave November 22, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I’ll revise and extend my remarks. It appears TomTech has the answer. The judge apparently didn’t need to have the order cover a court reporter copy. It’s apparently supposed to be already in the written request the attorney makes for the audio copy.

  30. avatar
    Benji Franklin November 22, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    predicto: Simple fact: Orly wouldn’t know how to look up a local rule if her life depended on it. I am certain she had no idea she was doing anything improper.

    That’s right! Seriously, it’s hard to imagine any responsible adult announcing that she is an attorney when she seems to know absolutely nothing about the Law and courtroom procedures. Orly’s endlessly demonstrated legal incompetence, juxtapositioned with the incongruous fact that she actually has ANY license at all to practice law, only makes sense as part of a scheme by her unaccredited Law SChool’s faculty/student mentor to establish, by letting her get through the cracks, a plea of insanity by that advisor for some other purpose unrelated to Usurper politics.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I haven’t seen the form, and it’s not for want of searching. I haven’t even found a reference to a form existing. The Marion County Court web site says that if someone wants a transcript, they should deal directly with the assigned court reporter and that the court isn’t involved in providing transcripts.

    Phil Cave: The judge apparently didn’t need to have the order cover a court reporter copy. It’s apparently supposed to be already in the written request the attorney makes for the audio copy.

  32. avatar
    John Reilly November 22, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Maybe that is why Dr. Taitz has dropped her reference to the receipt. Maybe the order restricting use is on the receipt.

  33. avatar
    The Magic M November 22, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    predicto: I am certain she had no idea she was doing anything improper.

    I am certain she didn’t care anyway if she did. After all, everything is permitted in the Never-Ending Quest to Oust the Usurper [tm]. If a military coup is fair game, what’s violating local court rules in comparison?

  34. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny November 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    -“I personally appreciate access to court records.”

    Let me play devil’s advocate here. When I said that what Reid and Malihi did is what a juge de paix in Belgium, Luxembourg or (parts of) Switzerland could do in a case like this, I forgot to say that such proceedings are not 100% public, but only open to anybody involved and their lawyers. Any rcording is made for the benefit of the judge only. There is some quid pro quo here. The plaintiffs get help in establishing what the hell it is they are protesting against, under what law they can claim damages and so on. The defendants are not publicly put to shame or pilloried. The judge’s written verdict is of course public.

    There are other problems here. Orly Taitz supposes that paying the clerk for the audio also settles the copyright question. I am not sure she is right there: what about the “performance” by the defense lawyers. Can the State of Indiana put that into the public domain? The case may now be vacated, but that does not mean there was no “performance”: the lawyers will still send a bill to their clients for instance.

    The copyright question is not so innocuous as it seems. Material not covered by copyright may be freely edited. How can anyone be sure the audio on YouTube was not manipulated? And we all know that Orly Taitz at least intended to use it (read: introduce it as evidence, as a weapon in her smearing campaign against Obama) in the case in Mississippi.

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    This isn’t something that I talk about, but I certainly am concerned about the manipulation of documents. I used to get documents from PACER, but now because of the expense and because there are so many of them, I use files from plaintiffs, defendants and third parties who say they download them from official sources.

    I haven’t been burned yet to my knowledge, but I am mindful of the possibility.

    Paul Pieniezny: The copyright question is not so innocuous as it seems. Material not covered by copyright may be freely edited. How can anyone be sure the audio on YouTube was not manipulated?

  36. avatar
    The Magic M November 23, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Paul Pieniezny: How can anyone be sure the audio on YouTube was not manipulated?

    Didn’t she (or someone close to her) previously publish a video of court proceedings in a Taitz case without the parts where Orly was admonished by the judge for incompetence?

    And this comes from the same Orly who claimed that an official court transcript that had different page breaks (but otherwise identical content to the word) from another court transcript of the same proceedings was “manipulated” and “forged”…

  37. avatar
    Bob November 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Looks like Orly is going to accuse the judge of being a corrupt Obot. She’s calling it “undue pressure and extrajudicial contacts.”

  38. avatar
    jtmunkus November 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    I believe that Judge Reid was taken to task by her superiors for staging an entirely inappropriate judicial spectacle, after Amos Brown published his article (and very likely commented on air) about TaitzYouTubeGate. She ordered the OSC hearing because she had to, not because it was her idea.

    Taitz clearly had an advocate in Judge Reid during the early stages of the procedural farce, at which Taitz never had anything resembling standing. The judge scolded and admonished Orly several times to follow the rules, with the threat of punishment – which she never carried out, all the while rolling out the red carpet for txe birthers and gladly inviting them run amok in her courtroom.

    If RubberStamp Reid (the laziest jurist I’ve seen during my couple of years anti-birthing) could, she’d punt this down the path of least resistance and move right along. She’s going to give Orly another meaningless warning, and let her favorite birther off the hook, one more time.