Articles Posted in F-bomb

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Close up of a mobile phone with a touch screen. Focus is on the phone with small DOF.

 

Court after court has held that you can f-bomb the police.  Depending on the situation, it may be totally disrespectful and rude, or it may be justified and appropriate. Regardless, it is constitutionally protected.  Of course, that doesn’t mean the police can’t charge you, or that a state court can’t convict you, but you will eventually be vindicated.

So this gent, Mr. Buehler, was recording a proceeding in court. The judge was not pleased, although it appears Mr. Buehler was legally permitted to record. A kerfuffle ensued, and just when you thought it might be over …  As reported by PINAC (photographyisnotacrime.com):

As [Gonzalez Police Captain Gayle] Autry turned around to return to the courthouse, a sarcastic “have a nice day” was exchanged between the cop and one of Buehler’s associates.
Buehler then told him to “go fuck yourself” as he was walking away, prompting Autry to turn around, pull out the handcuffs and arrest Buehler for disorderly conduct, even though numerous court decisions have ruled that using profanity against a cop is protected by the First Amendment.

Judge Voigt later denied Buehler’s motion to recuse herself from presiding over the subsequent trial given her involvement leading up to his arrest.

Buehler defended himself in court on June 5, 2013 and was found guilty after a 7-hour trial presided by the biased Judge Voigt.

He immediately appealed the decision and was granted a new trial with a new judge, who hopefully understands Constitutional law better than Voigt.

You can read a ton more here.

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Certainly a Judge must control the courtroom. How a Judge may do this, not surprisingly, is determined by the law. One tool is the power to hold someone in contempt. [Hint: It’s a power used, a lot, below.] According to the Supreme Court, if the sentence imposed for contempt is less than 6 months, there is no right to a jury trial. Now, to our man in Maryland.

In 1990, Mr. Johnson was convicted of malicious destruction of personal property, placed on probation, and given a 3-year suspended sentence. He had to stay out of trouble for 3 years. Unfortunately, in 1991 he was convicted of burglary, and sentenced to 10 years. So Mr. Johnson is in jail for a couple years, when he is called to court for violating his 1990 probation – with just 10 days remaining on the 3-year suspended sentence.

Althought the prospect of serving an additional 3 years – on top of the 10 years he was already serving – did not sit well with him, his probation agent told him that the State would not seek to tack on the additional 3 years for violating his probation. WRONG! The Judge added on the 3 years, and a lively, lengthy, colorful conversation ensued. And just when you think it might be over …

THE COURT: Call the next case please.

[PROSECUTOR]: State calls Eugene Wright …

MR. JOHNSON: — at the same time. Don’t make no motherfucking sense.

THE COURT: Bring him back. Take him back.

MR. JOHNSON: No motherfucking sense.

THE COURT: Pull him back.

MR. JOHNSON: Yo, man, stop yanking on my motherfucking arms. Motherfucking —

THE COURT: Sit him back over there in front of the table. [Uh-oh]

THE CLERK: Give me the file back. He might be under contempt of court.

THE COURT: Now, stand up there. Come back to that table there. Step on up now. What’s wrong with you?

MR. JOHNSON: What the fuck you think wrong with me, man? Goddamn, I’m trying to tell you I ain’t have no motherfucking option in this shit, man.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. JOHNSON: What the fuck? You think everybody just want to go sit in prison for the rest of their life because you ain’t got nothing better to do than to sit up there and crack jokes. This ain’t no motherfucking joke, man. This is about my goddamn life.

THE COURT: That cost you five months and twenty-nine days in addition to the three years I’ve just given you [#1, and suspiciously shy of the 6 months that would require a jury trial]

MR. JOHNSON: Fuck this shit, man.

THE COURT: All right. That’s five months and twenty-nine more in addition to the five months and twenty-nine I’ve given you. [#2]

MR. JOHNSON: Fuck you, bitch.

THE COURT: That’s five months and twenty-nine days. That’s three years. That’s five months and twenty-nine days. Now, wait a minute. That’s consecutive to the three years that you’re now doing. Each one of those. Separate and independent. [#3]

MR. JOHNSON: If I had a gun, your motherfucking head would be splattered all over the back of the goddamn wall for —

THE COURT: And you’d better shoot straight when you try. When you get out, come on. Five months and twenty-nine more for that. That’s consecutive to the three others and consecutive to the one that you’re doing now. [#4]

MR. JOHNSON: Whatever man. You’re tired of giving it out? Did you finish or what?

THE COURT: Well, we can see. That’s five months and twenty-nine more. [#5]

MR. JOHNSON: Kiss my ass again.

THE COURT: Five months and twenty-nine more. [#6]

MR. JOHNSON: Kiss my ass until you’re tired of giving me another.

THE COURT: That’s six of them.

MR. JOHNSON: Kiss my ass again.

THE COURT: Seven. Five months and twenty-nine days. [#7]

MR. JOHNSON: Fuck you. Kiss my ass again.

THE COURT: Five months and twenty-nine days. [#8]

MR. JOHNSON: All right.

THE COURT: Consecutive.

THE CLERK: Silence.

MR. JOHNSON: So you finished giving out time?

THE COURT: I guess. Until you cuss again.

MR. JOHNSON: Suck my dick. [Very tricky, because “dick” isn’t a cuss word.]

THE COURT: Five months and twenty-nine days consecutive. [#9] [Damn!]

THE BAILIFF: Quiet in the Court.

MR. JOHNSON: You finished?

THE COURT: I suppose.

MR. JOHNSON: Well, what the fuck are you holding me for then?

THE COURT: Five months and twenty-nine more days. Consecutive. [#10]

MR. JOHNSON: Get the fuck off me, man.

THE COURT: Call the next one.

Not thrilled with the prospect of finishing his 10-year sentence, then 3 more years for the probation violation, then just under 5 MORE YEARS for contempt of court, Mr. Johnson appealed. Who do you think won? Mr. Johnson did. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the contempt convictions.

In the instant case, the trial judge, by engaging in a prolonged dialogue with the appellant,may have provoked the appellant into repeatedly committing acts of contempt. Convictions for those acts may not stand.

The Court of Special Appeals held that the entire incident described above be considered as only one episode of contempt, and sent the matter back to the trial judge on that one count of contempt, with the not-so-subtle hint that they “leave it to his judgment what further action should be taken.” Johnson v. State, 642 A.2d 259 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1994).

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You probably already guessed that the country in question is not the United States. The country is Turkey.  As reported by todayszaman.com:

The case was opened by former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy and lawyer Süleyman Sarıbaş. In a leaked recording of a phone call that was made as part of the corruption investigation, Cengiz, of Cengiz Holding, which has received lucrative state tender contracts, such as for the third airport, was heard using extremely vulgar language with reference to the nation and the public. Sarıbaş sued Cengiz for TL 10,000 over the businessman’s comment to his friend, “We will f–k this nation,” referring to the people of Turkey. An İstanbul court on Tuesday decided Cengiz must pay TL 8, 000 in compensation.

Sarıbaş has promised to use the money awarded in the lawsuit to sponsor a new ablution area and bathroom for the mosque in his hometown.
“I went to the mosque in my village in December. The ablution room and bathrooms were in very bad condition. I called on the imam and the villagers and said that once summer comes, I will have new ones made. The project plan was prepared the other day, and now his [Cengiz’s] money will go where it belongs,” Sarıbaş said.

Following the court decision, Sarıbaş also said that any citizen could sue Cengiz for his profanity targeting the nation in order to punish that kind of mentality.

Any citizen can sue? It sounds more like “this nation” is going to “f–k” him! Here’s the source.

(Legal Juice is brought to you by Washington, DC personal injury lawyer, and bicycle commuter, John Mesirow.)

 

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If you had to guess the state, you would have guessed “Florida.” You would have been right. As reported by The Miami Herald:

Miami-Dade County Judge Jacqueline Schwartz broke judicial conduct rules when she told the owner of a Coconut Grove convenience store last year to “Go f— yourself” in a dispute over a political campaign sign, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission has found.

The punishment? A public reprimand, and she has to write a letter of apology to the convenience store owner. You can read A LOT MORE, and see a photo of the judge, here.

 

 

 

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Once again, had these officers been regular Juice readers, they would not have busted this f-bomber. But they did, and the City of Farmington is going to pay. As reported by The Daily Times:

Tye Trujillo was arrested at IHOP, 3546 E. Main St. in Farmington, by three Farmington police officers after allegedly saying the word “F—” several times shortly before midnight on June 11, 2013, according to an arrest report.

The officers — Dennis Ronk, Albert Boognl and Tamara Smith — were eating dinner at the restaurant in full uniform when the offensive language was used, the report states.

Trujillo, 32, was at the restaurant with several friends. A family with three small children were seated near them, the report states.

According to the report, Ronk approached the men and told them that if they said the word one more time, he would arrest them.

Trujillo allegedly used the word again and Ronk followed through on his threat, the report states.

Trujillo was cited for disorderly conduct and was found guilty of violating city code in Farmington Municipal Court on April 10.

Think that verdict held up? Nope. And now …

[Trujillo] … has filed a lawsuit against the city of Farmington claiming that his constitutional right to free speech was violated. He seeks unspecified damages in the lawsuit.

You can read more here.

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Either this is not being taught at police academies, or lots of cadets are skipping class. Why? Because over and over, cops bust people for f-bombing. The Juice has blogged about this for years. The police are going to lose every time! As reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A man from the Washington County town of Houston who repeatedly swore in front of Canonsburg police, and was arrested and charged for it, sued today alleging that the borough maliciously prosecuted him and violated his constitutional rights, including the right to free speech.

And he’ll win. Here’s how it went down.

Richard Pustovrh, 24, was arguing with his employers in September 2012, when they called the police. After an officer arrived, Mr. Pustovrh repeatedly used an obscenity, “to vocalize his feelings and frustration that the situation was” messed up, according to the complaint by Washington, Pa., attorneys Keith Owen Campbell and Travis J. Dunn.

Officer James Spingola warned Mr. Pustovrh not to use the word, but he continued to do so, according to the complaint. The officer then handcuffed Mr. Pustovrh, took him to the station, detained him in a holding cell and charged him, according to the complaint.

Online docket records show that a district judge found Mr. Pustovrh guilty of disorderly conduct and obscene language, but that the charge was withdrawn when he appealed.

Of course it was withdrawn when he appealed! It’s constitutionally protected speech.

Mr. Pustovrh seeks a judicial declaration that the police acted in an unconstitutional fashion, compensation for his distress and punitive damages of $100,000.

Click here for the source.

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You would think the world ended. So some police officers dropped the f-bomb for emphasis. Is this really a big story? Clearly The Juice doesn’t think so. As reported by newschannel9.com (Chattanooga, Tennessee):

It’s a caught-on-tape moment you have to hear to believe. Two Dalton Police Officers hurling the f-bomb and other four-letter words at children on a school bus. Now those cops are in a heap of trouble with not only parents – but the city as well.

Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker says they usually keep things like these under wraps. But this time, he says he felt the community needed to know what happened. Many we spoke with say an officer should never use offensive language to make a point, even if the children themselves are using four-letter words.

“She can’t f****** focus on what she’s doing? What if she flips the bus over or hits somebody? You think it’s f****** funny when you’re all hurt or throwing up because your hurt. What’s funny then,” Officer John Gurrieri says on the bus.

Along with veteran officer Steven Collins, Gurrieri was was dispatched to Glenwood Avenue. That’s where a bus driver called 911, saying more than 50 kids on her bus were out of control and she couldn’t focus on driving safely.

Mercy me!

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Judges are generally an understanding lot. But there are some things you just can’t say to a judge.  Mr. Harry Elias found this out the hard way. As reported by kamloopsnews.ca:

Harry Elias was in a family court proceeding on Monday when he allegedly told provincial court Judge Stella Frame to f-off during a heated family hearing, several people familiar with the matter said.

Allegedly? It was in open court!

Frame then cited Elias for contempt of court and ordered he be held at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre overnight.

It turns out the timing of the outburst could not have been worse.

Veteran lawyers at the courthouse said they’ve never seen anyone jailed overnight for contempt of court, but had seen warnings from judges accompanied by a cooling-off period.

The incident came at the end of the day, however, giving no time for Elias to be brought back up after spending time in sheriff’s cells in the basement of the courthouse.

No worries though. Mr. Elias has been released, and is now free to drop f-bombs again, although it’s safe to say none will be directed at a judge. Here’s the source.

 

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One might think the f-bomb has the power of an a-bomb, the way folks deal with it. Take the recent case of a judge in New York who was not pleased with the shirt an alternate juror was wearing. Per the New York Post:

The shirt in question, worn by 19-year-old alternate No. 3, Nneka Eneorj, as she sat in the front row of the jury box, caught the judge’s eye just as the defendant was about to take the stand. “WHO THE F[UCK] IS KANYE WEST?” the shirt read, the offending obscenity resting just above the wood veneer rail of the jury box.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber ordered the other jurors out of the courtroom — directing Eneorj to stand before his bench.

Uh-oh.

“Do you think it’s appropriate to wear a shirt that says ‘f—‘ on it in my courtroom?” the judge asked, anger in his voice.

Based on the reporting, The Juice is unclear. Did the judge say “f—” or “fuck”? If it was the latter, oh no you din’t! Anyway …

When Eneorj started to protest about having a sweater on — not that it covered the front of the shirt — the judge cut her off, demanding, “You’re excused.” “Sounds like a personal problem,” she sniffed of the judge as she walked out of the courthouse, indignantly.

So she’s already an alternate juror, and is not even given the opportunity to turn her shirt inside out? Oh, and here’s some of the testimony from the case later that day:

Officer David London — caught on surveillance tape delivering a violent, 20-blow baton beating to a prone suspect in an Upper West Side lobby two years ago — let at least a dozen “F-bombs” fly as he recounted what suspect Walter Harvin was purportedly threatening as the blows fell. Among Harvin’s shouts, London told the remaining jurors, were, “You can’t take me,” “I’m gonna f—ing kill you,” and, it’s derivation, “I’m gonna f—ing kill you motherf—er.”

And here’s Ms. Eneorj after leaving the courthouse:

“You will not believe what the f[uck] just happened!” she gabbed into her cell phone, as two news photographers snapped away on the sidewalk outside.

Here’s the source, including a photo.

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FbombTHfinal.jpgCook County, Illinois Judge Stanley Sacks, during the trial of a Chicago police officer convicted of reckless driving, said:

Pardon my language, but big fucking deal.

So… judicial. For this little doozy, Chief Judge Timothy Evans re-assigned Sacks to non-judicial duties for four months.