January 13, 2008 - Up for reappointment
In order to continue to abuse his authority as a 'Judge', Gaylord Finch
must be reappointed by the Virginia Legislature.
Since Judge Finch
can't or simply refuses to follow the basics of a fair trial as spelled out in both the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions, his reappointment should be denied. The only questions is, are the Virginia delegates taking their duties seriously or are they going to allow an unethical Judge like Finch to remain on the bench?
Update - Newspaper Coverage
The Examiner just published an article covering the problems with Judge Finch.
"Any one of these complaints should give legislators pause as they reconsider reappointing Judge Finch. Taken together, however, they paint such a disturbing picture of judicial arrogance and disdain for the constitutional rights of citizens as to render him unfit for the bench."
Read the entire article: Pitchfork rebellion against Judge Finch
Fairfax judge’s performance questioned
- Last Thursday, the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees certified to the legislature all other incumbent judges seeking reappointment...The delegation asked for Finch’s name to be pulled so that it can give further consideration to complaints about his performance.
I've e-mailed information about Judge Finch
abusing his power and failing to follow basic legal procedure to every one of Virginia Delegates. So far I'm not encouraged by the responses and lack responses.
For example I contacted Delegate Albo's office and only got a very terse reply. Delegate Albo's office failed to mention that the public hearing would be held THE VERY NEXT DAY. That kind of makes it look like Delegate Albo
did not want me to attend and share my views about Judge Finch at a public hearing.
Delegate Albo's office also failed to tell me that they expected to vote on Judge Finch this week. Again that doesn't look good. I have sent him several more messages and even called his office. His staff assured me they would have someone return my call but they have not done so.
It starting to look like Delegate Albo is not interested in any problems in the Justice System. That is kind of interesting as Delegate Albo
is the Chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee
. Of all the delegates he should be the most interested any any misconduct by Judges. Perhaps he is too busy to listen to details of misconduct by judges or perhaps he is confused and thinks he is chairman of the Kangaroo Courts Committee. We will find out when he votes on Judge Finch. I'll post his vote on my site so you will know if we should be looking for both a new chairman and new delegate the next time Delegate Albo comes up for re-election.
While the lack of timely information prevented me from attending, a couple people did find out about an earlierinterview with Judge Finch on Dec 11, 2008 and I obtained a recording of part of it. You may listen to it in Windoze Media Part 1 Part 2
or MP3 Part 1 Part 2
Here is a letter by Elizabeth Haring
about why jude Finch should not be reappointed.
See how others have rated Judge Finch
. His average grade is a 'D'.
To learn more about why Judge Finch should not be reappointed read his page in the Hall Of Shame
Here is a copy of a letter I've sent on to each of the Delegates, as well as several news outlets:
DISHONORABLE JUDGE FINCH January 12, 2009
Dear Members of the General Assembly:
I have heard that Judge Finch of the Fairfax County Circuit Court is up for re-appointment. I believe his reappointment should be denied due to his demonstrated misconduct in putting his personal interests ahead of fulfilling even the most basic of judicial duties. He has blatantly violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and Virginia.
I had posted information about an acquaintance's custody case that in part involved Judge Finch. Judge Finch was unhappy with the comments on my website and I heard from multiple sources that he was upset about it. He even ordered the person involved to demand I remove the comments from my website. That alone is improper interference by a government official of my First Amendment protected Right to Free Speech.
Later, I was arrested for attending my handicapped son's school party and Judge Finch heard the case. Judge Finch violated the judicial ethics requirements when he denied my oral motion to recuse himself. Clearly with the public statements I had published about him and with it widely known among noncustodial parents that Judge Finch was very upset with me about it, it clearly appeared he had a conflict of interest. Instead he lied in court and said he had never heard of me or my website, a fact easily proven wrong by the court clerk who has official records of the case I reported about that specify my name, home address, phone, web site address, etc and state that the defendant must contact me and have me remove information about him from the website.
During the course of the 'trial' Judge Finch denied me all of the basic elements of a fair trial as required by both the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions. He denied me:
1. My right to call witnesses in my defense.
The superintendent of the school district had stated to many people in writing why the school had me arrested. His written statement directly contradicted the statements of the prosecutions main witness (claimed the court order prohibited me, quite the opposite and easy to prove with certified copy of custody order). Judge Finch quashed my properly filed and served subpoena for the school superintendent.
2. My right to present evidence.
Judge Finch also refused to let me play the audio recording of the incident for the jury or to provide the jury with the transcripts of the incident. There aren't many trials where the entire incident from start to finish was recorded and is available for the Jury to listen to. It was a violation of my Constitutional right to prevent me from playing that to the jury so they could hear for themselves exactly what happened. Judge Finch also refused to let me present the transcripts made from the recording even though I had case citations that said he was required to do so. On top of that, without letting me call the superintendent as a witness, Judge Finch also would not accept as evidence the emailed statements that he made that would have damaged the prosecution's case.
Judge Finch was so blatant in denying information to the Jury that even when the Jury sent him a question during deliberation he refused to answer it even though the recording or transcripts would have answered it conclusively.
3. My right to properly cross examine witnesses and impeach their testimony.
Judge Finch wouldn't let me use the recordings or transcripts of the incident to impeach the witnesses=92 testimony. The jury would likely have taken a much different view of the testimony if I had been allowed to play the short recording to prove conclusively that the witnesses were lying (intentionally or unintentionally).
4. Refused to rule at all on my properly and timely filed motion to dismiss.
He didn't deny my motion, he refused to make a ruling on the motion, as the only ruling available to him would have been to dismiss the case and that didn't fit his plan of payback for my website. This motion was drafted at the suggestion of a Circuit Court law clerk who took the time to contact me before the trial and point out there was no grounds to charge me with any crime as the case law is that if you think you have a right to be on the property, even if you are mistaken, you are not guilty of criminal trespass. Given that I had a custody order that said the mother must invite me, the mother did in fact invite me, the school invited me, and state law and school policy also require the school to let me attend, its clear that I had every reason to think I had a right to be on the property to attend my son's party, which is confirmed by my going to the office as soon as I entered the building, telling them what I was there for, and then following their directions to sign in and take a visitor badge.
5. Refused to appoint an attorney for me even though I had been ruled indigent and had filed a motion asking for an attorney to be appointed.
Judge Finch denied me my right to have a record of the hearing in order to prevent me from appealing his ruling or exposing his misconduct publicly.
However denying an indigent defendant the use of a court reporter or a recording device is another violation of Due Process and another reason why Judge Finch is unfit to be a judge in Virginia. I had brought my own recording device to the courthouse but he would not let me use it, and there was a court reporter sitting there but he ordered her not to record the hearing.
Please note that if you would like more info on Judge Finch or the so called 'trial', information is available on my website, including the motions, recordings of the incident, transcripts, photos, etc. You can take a look yourself and then ask 'why did Judge Finch break the law to convict someone who can prove he was innocent'.
Judge Finch should be removed as his continued presence in Virginia Courts is a mockery of justice. If he is willing to violate the Constitution and his oath of office, in order to stick me with a $100 fine for using my First Amendment Rights in a minor case, he certainly can't be trusted to properly handle the serious cases that come to circuit courts.
Is there anything I can do to help provide more information to help with denying his reappointment? If so please use my contact info below.
Wesley Smith - Liam's Dad
Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny.
- Patrick Henry