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Thread: Judge threatens me - Ohio - advice appreciated

  1. #1
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Judge threatens me - Ohio - advice appreciated

    I have also found out that township employees and/or officials have researched my background - which includes being a firearms instructor and a RKBA/OC activist.

    This morning I went to Hamilton County's courthouse for an "ex-parte" (I believe this means only one side is heard) hearing on my request for a protection order against Judge Ralph E. Winkler. Here was my filing:

    "At the conclusion of the July 12, 2010 Green Township Board of Trustees meeting, Winkler, husband of Trustee Tracy Winkler, introduced himself as Judge Winkler. Without provocation, Winkler stated that he would "defend his wife's honor" if I questioned her integrity or called her a liar. Judge Winkler appeared upset about recent revelations of indecorous, illegal, or unethical acts of elected and top-level officials (i.e. of the Township). I believe that Winkler’s threat was both menacing and coercive, and was intended to dissuade me from investigating such matters. Further, Judge Winkler's actions conveyed a threat of physical harm should I continue to speak out about improprieties."

    It seems implausible to me that one could get away with such a thing (and on top of it threaten my First Amendment rights), so I thought I'd throw the subject open for consideration.

    I would very much appreciate any and all help.

    Thank you.

    Audio of threat
    Last edited by BB62; 07-22-2010 at 05:30 PM.

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    Engage legal counsel.

    If this is "gloves coming off",
    Quote Originally Posted by BB62
    I have also found out that township employees and/or officials have researched my background - which includes being a firearms instructor and a RKBA/OC activist.
    ,then you may be being a bit hypersensitive.
    Last edited by Doug Huffman; 07-19-2010 at 03:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Lawyer up, carry a recorder, and be aware...

    Good luck. Judges are a tighter-knit crowd than LEOs. I'm surprised you even got a hearing.

    IF you can't get a restraining order, keep recording threats, and then take them all to the media.

    Sometimes the Court of Public Opinion is our last resort...
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Definition of "threat" is often not a question of law, but of fact. That sounds like the case here and why ex-parte hearings would not be the appropriate path. A judge cannot decide a question of fact unless he is the trier of the case, i.e., no jury, both as to fact and law. You didn't say much about his exact words, but it sounds like a weak case based solely on what you did quote. Just my opinion.

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    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
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    I have no clue about Ohio law, but both CA and AZ are the same on 'threats'. They must be specific, with an immediate means of carrying them out.

    For example, "you'd better watch your back, because one day you are going to end up dead" is not a legal threat in CA and AZ. Because there is no specific time frame or action threatened.

    On the other hand, calling some one and saying "I'm comming over and I'm going to shoot you in the head", then in short order you drive to their house and park down the street, well that is a credible threat.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Definition of "threat" is often not a question of law, but of fact. That sounds like the case here and why ex-parte hearings would not be the appropriate path. A judge cannot decide a question of fact unless he is the trier of the case, i.e., no jury, both as to fact and law...
    In Ohio, a hearing for a restraining order is held in two parts - the first ex-parte (one party), the second is both parties.

    I am not (currently) asking for the judge to be charged criminally, I'm merely trying to find a part of the ORC (Ohio Revised Code) which allows for a restraining order based on one threat only.

    For a number of reasons, I will not be hiring a lawyer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    ...You didn't say much about his exact words, but it sounds like a weak case based solely on what you did quote...
    I suggest listening to the audio.

    Thanks to all.
    Last edited by BB62; 07-19-2010 at 05:38 PM.

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    I didn't hear anything that a court would call a threat.

    Of course, my hearing stinks. Did he ever say what he meant?

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I didn't hear anything that a court would call a threat...
    Nothing against you personally, but I really don't care if you or anyone else considers what was said to be a threat.

    My SOLE interest for this thread is this (for those who have some legal aptitude/interest): have I missed something in the Ohio Revised Code that addresses the ability of a citizen to obtain a restraining order after a SINGLE instance of threat?

    I thought I was in a good position today, but that may not be the case - hence my question.

    Thanks to all who may be able to address that issue.
    Last edited by BB62; 07-19-2010 at 09:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Nothing against you personally, but I really don't care if you or anyone else considers what was said to be a threat...
    You post the audio and ask for advice, you're gonna get comments on the audio, especially after "suggesting" folks listen to the audio when they question the exact wording of the threat.

    I'm gonna give you one more nickel's worth of free advice: Regardless of how many threats it takes to get a restraining order, you ain't getting one. I tried to be subtle. Now, I'll just flat-out say it: You've been threatened zero times and will not get that RO--no matter what the law says.

    Moving on.
    Last edited by eye95; 07-19-2010 at 09:09 PM.

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    The best you will be able to do is file a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Dis...dc/default.asp

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Cool flowchart. Thank you for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I didn't hear anything that a court would call a threat.
    Under a "reasonable person" standard, it was quite clear that he intended to convey a threat, without actually issuing a threat.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Under a "reasonable person" standard, it was quite clear that he intended to convey a threat, without actually issuing a threat.
    He's a judge which meant he was a lawyer of course he is playing word games.

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    "Don't call my wife a liar" and "I'll stand up for my wife's honor" could be interpreted as suggesting to you that you may face a defamation lawsuit. Probably not actionable in the state where I practice -- which is not Ohio.


    There is usually a procedure in state law for making complaints about injudicious actions by judges. You may wish to consider whether such a complaint is or is not a better route than a protective order at this point.

    PS Please do not confuse the above blathering with legal advise.
    Last edited by The Donkey; 07-20-2010 at 09:28 AM.

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Definitely file a complaint up his chain of command. Or go hide under a rock. You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em la la la...
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Donkey View Post
    ...There is usually a procedure in state law for making complaints about injudicious actions by judges. You may wish to consider whether such a complaint is or is not a better route than a protective order at this point...
    Yes, that is the conclusion I am rapidly coming to - but I'm still holding out hope that there may still be some way to go the protective order route.

    I do have information on how to go the other route, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Donkey View Post
    ...PS Please do not confuse the above blathering with legal advise.
    Or advice.


    Thanks again.
    Last edited by BB62; 07-20-2010 at 11:48 AM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Donkey View Post
    "Don't call my wife a liar" and "I'll stand up for my wife's honor" could be interpreted as suggesting to you that you may face a defamation lawsuit. Probably not actionable in the state where I practice -- which is not Ohio.


    There is usually a procedure in state law for making complaints about injudicious actions by judges. You may wish to consider whether such a complaint is or is not a better route than a protective order at this point.

    PS Please do not confuse the above blathering with legal advise.
    I agree. I don't feel the reasonable man would consider this a credible threat of violence. That being said, judges are held to a specific and stricter code of conduct than the average citizen. I just don't see this rising to the standard which would get a restraining order. But it very possibly does rise to the standard to file a complaint for official malfeasance. On the other hand, if the judge was responding to what he considered the threat by you of slander against his wife and was speaking in a legal responsive mode, you need to temper your words accordingly. There also exists a defense for simple assault called "fighting words" under Common Law. These are a usage of slander so objectionable and reprehensive that the reasonable man would be excused in physically assaulting the speaker. Just my interpretation from the limited facts at hand.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Pardon me for coming late to the party.

    I have a very important question to ask: Why do you want a protective order, that will merely keep the person who happens to be an appointed/elected judge from being within x number of feet from you, or calling you on the telephone, while he is not acting in his official capacity as a judge? (OK, he will also have to surrender any firearms he possesses during the life of the protective order, if yu want to harass him over that.)

    From what you posted he made the point of introducing himself as "Judge X", not "Mr. X, the husband of Mrs. X." As such, his statements to you seem to be trying to use the power of his position to gain an advantage in a strictly personal issue of "defending" his wife from accusations - whether theose accusations have a foundation in fact or not. That is clearly a misuse of the power of his position - a misfeasance and a malfeasance. For such conduct he needs to be reprimanded by the body that governs the conduct of judges.

    You have been advised of the process of filing your complaint against him for his misfeasance/malfeasance. Yet you seem to want to persist in getting a protective order - the benefit to you or the public at large I cannot fathom.

    Snce I am an inherently curious individual who likes to understand the motivation of folks, especially when they persist in a course of action that has little chance of providing benefit to them or accomplishing anything meaningful in the way of correcting improper official behavior, I ask for a personal favor. Explain why you want the protective order.

    Thanks.

    stay safe.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZkopper View Post
    I have no clue about Ohio law, but both CA and AZ are the same on 'threats'. They must be specific, with an immediate means of carrying them out.
    The nice thing is that a threat to inflict bodily harm, as in "I'm gonna kick your..." need be only witnessed by two or more people and backed up by a reasonable risk that the individual could indeed physically carry out his/her threat. They don't need to be massive people to be a reasonable risk, as any adult human who knows what they're doing can inflict serious damage on another in a split second, and you have no idea what they're capable of, but the very fact they're making the threat indicates that at least they believe they can take you on!
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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    ...You have been advised of the process of filing your complaint against him for his misfeasance/malfeasance. Yet you seem to want to persist in getting a protective order - the benefit to you or the public at large I cannot fathom...
    I'm not going to go into great depth, not because you haven't asked a valid question, nor have you asked it rudely, but...

    You've misread the timeline. The protective order had already been filed, and an ex-parte hearing held on it before I came here to ask my question about what seems to now be apparent - a single instance of threat is not sufficient to get a protective order. Of course my question is/was essentially "Am I correct"?

    An official complaint will be undertaken.

    In the meanwhile, my original question remains for those who can/are willing to address it. (and I mean no slight to you, Skidmark)

    Thanks for your post.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Fear Not.

    Dude, if you are righteous, then be bold as a lion.
    If this judge keeps it up, and if it becomes evident that he is throwing his weight around to cover up wrongdoing by the Township government, then he may soon be asking for a protective order - from his cell-mate. I'd get him some "soap-on-a-rope" and tell him if he kept it up, he'd probably be glad he had got it. Meanwhile keep the recorder on and keep gathering your evidence, against both Hizzonner and the Township. I grew up in Huber Heights back when it was Wayne Township, and believe me, these Town Clowns are often worse than a homeowner's association.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Under a "reasonable person" standard, it was quite clear that he intended to convey a threat, without actually issuing a threat.
    A threat of what? Legal action? It is perfectly legal for someone to threaten to defend the honor of someone else they believe to have been defamed--especially considering that the someone was a legal professional.

    Reasonable folks will not see the threat to be one of physical violence. "Defending honor" does not imply physical force. Unless he was holding a gun or some other weapon, or shaking a fist, this was decidedly NOT a threat of violence.

    Seriously, I expect the first judge who heard the ex parte presentation probably doubled over once he was alone in his chambers.

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    American Activism is based upon boxes, not courts

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Lawyer up, carry a recorder, and be aware...

    Good luck. Judges are a tighter-knit crowd than LEOs. I'm surprised you even got a hearing.

    IF you can't get a restraining order, keep recording threats, and then take them all to the media.

    Sometimes the Court of Public Opinion is our last resort...
    No this is the land of these States United. We have four boxes to fight tyranny

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    and because we are Americans, the ammunition box.

    Not advocating violence in this case, just reminding one and all that the 2nd A was not meant to preserve our right to go hunting.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Under a "reasonable person" standard, it was quite clear that he intended to convey a threat, without actually issuing a threat.
    A threat of what? Legal action? It is perfectly legal for someone to threaten to defend the honor of someone else they believe to have been defamed--especially considering that the someone was a legal professional.

    Reasonable folks will not see the threat to be one of physical violence. "Defending honor" does not imply physical force. Unless he was holding a gun or some other weapon, or shaking a fist, this was decidedly NOT a threat of violence.
    Perhaps your world is different, but I've never once heard anyone threaten to "defend my wife's honor!" and mean they would take it to court. I've never once heard it used where the obvious intent was anything other than an ass-kicking.

    Please note that the OP asked the judge multiple times what he meant. The judge could have said, "I'll sue your ass into the poorhouse for libel!", but he didn't. He just kept repeating, "I'll defend my wife's honor", leaving the implication of violence hanging out there.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 07-21-2010 at 08:38 PM.

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran GLOCK21GB's Avatar
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    you should have asked him....hey, by the way...how do I taste ? Yer woman was extra good last night...... call his bluff.
    http://youtu.be/xWgVGu3OR4U AACFI, Wisconsin / Minnesota Carry Certified. Action Pistol & Advanced Action pistol concepts + Urban Carbine course. When the entitlement Zombies begin looting, pillaging, raping, burning & killing..remember HEAD SHOTS it's the only way to kill a Zombie. Stockpile food & water now.

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