The Orlando Sentinel has been documenting unconstitutional imprisonment by judge Ralph Eriksson. Judge McIntosh repeatedly overturned Eriksson’s bizarre orders. Despite previous investigations, judge Eriksson is STILL on the bench!
WHY aren’t the victims SUING the county and Eriksson?
Troubled Seminole County Judge Ralph Eriksson faces a new round of formal judicial charges involving his decisions to jail people last year when they didn’t pay court fines and costs in a series of misdemeanor cases.
The state Judicial Qualifications Commission’s investigative panel issued a notice of formal charges against Eriksson this week. The notice alleges that Eriksson repeatedly issued bench warrants or sentenced people to jail for failing to attend his proceedings and pay court costs.
He did this even after the defendants were no longer on probation and more than 60 days had passed since their sentences expired, the allegations state.
His rulings followed court proceedings he called “Sentence Review Hearings,” according to the charging document. Many of Eriksson’s challenged orders, the notice states, came despite another judge’s decision that found his practices improper.
That jurist, state Circuit Judge Donna McIntosh, released one man from custody, noting “that no rule or statute provides for Sentence Review Hearings, and that the county court of Seminole County had no jurisdiction to enforce the financial obligations” the way Eriksson did, the document states.
Eriksson did not return a message left with his assistant Wednesday.
The JQC panel alleges that in late August Eriksson issued bench warrants for people who did not attend the hearings, even if it was not clear they were served a summons. The other judge later revoked most of those warrants.
In September, Eriksson ordered two men to explain why they did not pay their fines, according to the findings. The next month he sentenced the two men “to 60 days in jail without affording them the right to counsel or due process,” according to the report.
They later were released by Judge McIntosh.
The same thing happened in November. Eriksson sentenced three men to 60 days in jail for failing to “fulfill the financial obligations in their cases.” After they challenged the sentences, Judge McIntosh released the men in separate court orders.
The practice of setting Sentence Review Hearings and problematic sentences continued through December, according to the document.
The panel’s notice also cites an early January story in the Orlando Sentinel which stated that Eriksson “improperly jailed more than 20 people during the last five months, finding them in contempt of court and locking them up for failing to pay court costs.”
The Sentinel story noted that the other judge had ruled Eriksson violated their constitutional rights and ordered their release.
Most likely, NO action would ever be taken against judge Eriksson if the Orlando Sentinel hadn’t brought attention to his misconduct and unconstitutional orders.
THOUSANDS of perverts like judge Eriksson are terrorizing the American people with impunity.
They have nothing but CONTEMPT for justice, the law and fairness. They are sickos who take great pleasure in making the most helpless people suffer. These perverts are spreading throughout state and federal courts like a cancer.
I truly appreciate the Sentinel’s and reporter Anthony Colarossi’s efforts.
They also posted several VIDEOS of judge Eriksson in the court room. I watched the video titled “Judge orders hard-of-hearing man to jail“. PLEASE watch this video if you don’t already know how dysfunctional the “justice” system is.
Apparently the defendant is represented by a PUBLIC DEFENDER. Incredibly, she seems to be acting as his “interpreter”, she presents NO argument whatsoever and does NOTHING to help this poor guy. BTW, his “crime” was possession of marijuana.
Judge Eriksson explains the procedures using a football analogy. As the system is set up now, he is actually right. A judge has NO duty to ensure FAIR proceeding and to ensure that JUSTICE is served. The courts are NOT required to provide plain English rules for non attorneys.
The American judicial system is designed to terrorize the American people and to ensure that the criminals and the wealthy with the most expensive attorneys will prevail. All too often, that means that criminals can continue to defraud, scam and extort.
Not ALL judges are perverts, but it rarely happens that I see a judge who can tell the difference between right and wrong and takes a stand for JUSTICE.