The preparer of this report had overserved the motion hearing for contempt of court, June 4, 2018, in the herein stated court with the herein stated parties.
VENUE: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF SCOTT COUNTY, ARKANSAS
PARTIES: FREDERICK R. POTTER, PLAINIFF
CASSAUNDRA HOLMES, DEFENDANT
THOMAS WRIGHT and KEVIN WRIGHT, INTERVENORS
PRESIDING JUDGE: JUDGE DAVID H. MCCORMICK
PRESENT FOR THE DEFENDANT: JACK SKINNER
2 Town Square St, Greenwood, AR 72936 Sebastian County
PO Box 1225, Greenwood, AR 72936-1225
Contact Jack Skinner, (479) 996-6167
Law Firm Affiliation, Skinner Law Firm
PRESENT FOR THE PLANTIFF: KEVIN HICKEY
502 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72901 Sebastian County
Contact Kevin Hickey, Phone: (479) 434-2414
Law Firm Affiliation, Kevin Hickey Law Partners
The ambiance of the court room appeared to be in a fairly new building with a clean court room with the capacity of sitting for approximately 300 people.
To add character to the court observation the preparer will first give you an insight of the demeanor and judicial oversight of Judge David H. McCormick by describing a case heard in his courtroom just prior to hearing the Fred Potter case.
The case was an alleged domestic violence case. Two parents who had a history of drug addiction had lost child custody to the maternal grandmother. The case involves allegations of the father committing physical harm to his ten-year-old son.
The attorney for the father had requested that the court room be closed to the public during the son’s testimony. Judge David H. McCormick had denied the request and subsequently the 10-year-old son had to testify in from of a filled court room primarily made up by Fred Potter supporters and news media.
Having noticed that a Department of Human Services investigator had departed the room, the preparer had exit the court room to interview the investigator. The investigator had acknowledged and agreed that the rule regarding the closing of the court room during the testimony of a juvenile should have been invoked.
With the total disregard by the judge of a juvenile and the traumatic injury inflicted the expectations of the court’s treatment of a 88 year old veteran is determined to be severe and grave.
In the case concerning Fred Potter and his niece, Cassaundra Holmes, the judge was noticeably loquacious and seemed to be directing his calculated comments to the audience and to the news media. The judge repletely addressed the court with remarks of rehashing the history of the case in it’s totality given rise to the preparer making the conclusion that the judge’s remarks were designed to be ostentatious before the audience and the news media. The conclusion of the preparer was the remarks were misleading to the audience and the public.
The judge, along with the attorney for the defendant, had engaged with what is known as court room tagging. That means that the judge and the defendant’s attorney went back and forwards to overpower the attorney for the defendant. This is a court room tactic designed to intimidate the opposing side and is clearly against reasonable interpretation of the Canyon Code of Ethics. It was clearly visible that the attorney for the plantiff was over powered, intimidated and was not in command of the representation of his client.
The judge had offered statements in open court that the preparer took notice that were misleading and/or factually not accurate as pertaining to the merits of the case.
POINTS OF INTEREST NOTED
The preparer had taken notice that the judge held Fred Potter in contempt of court and subsequently incarcerating Fred Potter in the Scott County jail until he returns items that he does not have and never proven that items ever existed.
The court has three options available when held in contempt.
The question to the court would be if you fined Fred Potter in the beginning and then release him because of the judge’s concern for his health and levy unreasonable fines four days later then why did the judge not levy the finds in the first place? It is undisputed that the health of a 88 year old veteran, Fred Potter, is grave and dangerously impearl. The court has direct knowledge of his health.
Why did the court sign a court order placing Fred Potter on a harsh house arrest, Thursday, May 29, 2018, without any provision of visitation and pastoral visitation then resend the order on Monday, June 4, 2018? It is overwhelming to the preparer that this tactic by the court was designed to prevent Fred Potter from attending and visiting with his fellow Veterans, friends, and supporters after the judge had taken notice of the Veterans Walk in Solidarity and its magnitude.
According to the American Bar Association, judicial temperament means that a judge exhibits “compassion, decisiveness, open-mindedness, sensitivity, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice.” Where is the concept of judicial temperament in the circuit court of Scott County, Arkansas?
In this case, the preparer took notice that the defendant, Cassaundra Holmes, does not have to prove that the items therein ordered to be return, does exist. The burden of proof is placed upon the plaintiff that they do not exist. How does one prove a negative?
Because of the judicial misconduct the case has become a complex and difficult situation with no easy solutions. The quagmire is the direct result of ineffective legal misrepresentation, judicial misconduct and an attorney for the defendant along with the defendants therein a party thereof who displays a total distain and disregard to the rule of law and moral conscientious.
The preparer, after careful consideration, interviews, and investigation offers the follow conclusion worthy of further investigation and attention by state and federal officials. Please note that some information obtained by the preparer is confidential in nature therefore not published for public dissemination.
This case has many elements that rises to different levels of concern. Due to the age and health of Fred Potter, the case is clearly defined under any state’s reasonable guidelines and common law as elder abuse.
With the conduct and judicial over-step along with the disregard of judicial temperament and the signing of unreasonable court orders it is apparent that the court is being use for the purpose of monetary extortion of a senior citizen.
*** NOTE: The preparer had offered to take statements from and in behalf of the defendant. The preparer additionally made an attempt to greet the attorney for the defendant starting with a handshake but the attorney had refused to acknowledge the preparer.