TO: Thurston County Court Clerk, (360)786-5430
2000 Lakeridge Dr SW, Bldg #2
Olympia, WA 98502
RE: Administrative arrogance in light of 1st & 6th Amendment guarantees
Dear Court Clerk/Administrator.
I am in possession of ZOOM instructions from your office to the public regarding witnessing courtroom proceedings, of necessity, in an era of pandemic contagion. I have file attached a PDF copy of the same to eliminate any ambiguity and for clarification. See below.
As a citizen and American, I am particularly offended by the chutzpah contained in the sentence instructing the public they may NOT record, capture, or ‘journal’ said proceedings via the ZOOM session in the relative comfort and privacy of their own homes, et al. This is blatantly inconsistent with 1st and 6th Amendment guarantees including (but not limited to) freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the right to complete transparency in each and every step of a legal proceeding in a court of law. I am personally familiar with Thurston County’s pattern of violating these legal standards and fundamental liberties.
It is not by largesse or grace your office makes these sessions available to the public, but by Constitutional mandate and the obvious threat of pandemic contagion. You may be able to arrogantly throw the weight of what remains of the King’s Court around during sessions defined by the 4 walls of the courtroom or in personam/subject matter jurisdiction, but you have NO authority to prohibit journaling a PUBLIC proceeding outside those 4 walls or as to people who are not litigants/witnesses. Your office publicly broadcasts these sessions because it HAS to. Moreover, you yourselves record them and make them available to any member of the public who can afford a copy. Thus, not only does your office lack the dictatorial authority you seek, but no one in that courtroom has any expectation of privacy.
Please allow me one further, but simple clarification: If you think you can stop/prevent me or any other citizen from capturing/recording the ZOOM sessions your office broadcasts, you can kiss my hairy ass! I shall endeavor to enlighten the rest of the general public as to the limits of your arrogance/misapprehensions/incompetence and encourage them to follow suit in challenging it.
Remote proceedings by Zoom are court proceedings. The court follows General Rule 16 which I have linked here: https://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa=court_rules.display&group=ga&set=GR&ruleid=gagr16.
If you are not media and would like to order an electronic copy of the proceeding or a transcript of the proceeding you can do so by following the instructions on this link: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/sc/Pages/transcripts.aspx
Court rules have no teeth in my home or the homes of others who are not litigants/witnesses/attorneys of record. They were intended and only apply to the 4 walls of the traditional courtroom. You have absolutely no case law, RCW, or ruling to the contrary regarding ZOOM sessions. I/We have the State and U.S. Constitution which I’ve cited. (1st & 6th Amendments). Thus, you and your directive to the public WILL be ignored as you have no meaningful basis in law to restrict the public’s access to the ZOOM sessions or their right to journal them.
The open letter to you adequately covers these issues and has been published. Patriots and the public with critical reasoning WILL ignore you and your arrogant ill conceived misapplication of court rules beyond the bounds of your authority.