Category Archives: Meet Judge Vincent Lopinot

Electile Dysfunction – Don't "Pull a Boner" and Vote for These People

When it comes to selecting a Democratic candidate from this year’s political menu, nothing speaks more to flaccid competency than the St. Clair County Democratic Party. I find all government to be a manifestation of a societal mental disorder, but the boots-on-the-ground for this political profundity are those served up on ballots across America. The fifedom known as a Judicial Hellhole, St. Clair County, is home to some of the more renowned malfeasants I have come to know.

I find it hard to believe that I would be so unfortunate to have encountered all of these officials and received the kind of treatment I witnessed. It is safe to say that arrogance, incompetence, and fraud are the order of the day for politics in St. Clair County and dare I say, probably everywhere. The issue is so systemic that jokes are made of public incompetence and corruption as though it were expected. Yet, people continue to vote for people like this and then proceed to whine.

The range of actions witnessed by the foregoing individuals goes from malfeasance to criminal. Mr. Kelly went so far as to invoke his constitutional duty, in one of our email conversations, and then in an act of fraud, file a civil case on my behalf.

I make no secret about my feelings towards government. I hold myself, and mankind, to a higher standard. Ordinary people elect ordinary people to do extraordinary things that in some way touch all of our lives. Truth be told, they are just ordinary people and have no power to do anything unless we surrender our will, and subsequently our wealth, to them and the institution they serve. Public service has become self-interest and becoming beholden to oligarchs who control us through our purse strings and threat of reprisal from the all-powerful State.

My experiences with these people was not an anomaly, or a one-off. I did not happen to catch them on a bad day. These are people who, when held to a standard presumed to be applicable to all who supposedly take an oath that at some point references a constitution designed to preserve and protect individual rights, resort to violence, fraud, and arrogance in either avoiding that duty or turning that power against us. I urge voters to not select any of these individuals for office. I make my case below.

Brendan Kelly - State's Attorney

State’s Attorney, Brendan Kelly. The man who mishandled criminal complaints as circuit clerk and filed a civil case on my behalf in an effort to derail my pursuit of criminal charges against police. I’ve had a number of actual, and attempted, conversations with Mr. Kelly all of which I have thoroughly documented. I believe if Mr. Kelly acted the way he did as Circuit Clerk then how can he be trusted with the power of the State’s Attorney? If Mr. Kelly acted in his official capacity and took sworn criminal complaints under the pretense of properly filing them, and then file a civil case on someone’s behalf where no filing fee is paid, how does that translate to being entrusted with executing the duties of the State’s Attorney where integrity should be primary consideration since we are talking about prosecuting individuals for violations of law which could result in their being imprisoned or executed? Is this the type of character we want in these matters? I think not. There are also other allegations brought to me by other concerned individuals concerning Mr. Kelly’s actions in office, but to be fair, until I have examined the allegations and evidence I can make no such mention here.

Zina Cruse - Associate Judge

Photo courtesy Zina Cruse for Judge

Judge, Zina Cruse. The woman who jailed me for contempt when I refused to enter a plea to a charge that was dismissed 3 years prior. I have posted about Ms. Cruse’s deficiencies a number of times. When confronted with a paper from her own court demanding an appearance for a specific issue, and then to adjudicate on another entirely different and moot issue is not the makings of a reasonable judge. Going further, when presented with the information, she becomes emotional and aggressive, calling the bailiffs to take me into custody for disagreeing with her and threatening to have me jailed over an entire weekend for contempt. Ms. Cruse seems to have some emotional or mental deficiencies that render her incapable of reason and impartiality.

Kahala Dixon - Circuit Clerk

Acting Circuit Clerk, Kahala Dixon. The woman who, then serving as Assistant State’s Attorney, argued that jurisdiction was related only to where an offense occurred (the situs), and that the State’s failure to file a verified complaint was not a jurisdictional matter. She also attempted to proceed to trial without a witness, and when the defendant moved to dismiss, she felt entitled to another court date because it is common for the State to not have their witnesses ready on the trial date. Ms. Dixon did not understand that there is subject matter jurisdiction, and in personam jurisdiction. She could only focus on “Did it happen in St. Clair County?” as her justification, and not on the fact that for the State to have in personam jurisdiction, there must be a properly filed complaint, and when the accused demands the filing of a verified complaint, under the law, she has a mental vapor-lock and requests a new trial date where she can really be prepared this time. Better she serve in the Circuit Clerk’s office where she can’t hurt anyone directly.

Judge Robert Lechien

Photo courtesy the Madison Record

Judge Robert Lechien. The judge who was previously assigned to my civil case against Fairview Heights Police. I filed the suit pro se, and in the usual course of business the opposing counsel filed motions for particular relief in a matter. Before I go on, some will say my opinion of Lechien results from sour grapes because I did not receive the ruling I desired and such is the way of law, and I’m just a poor loser. That may be said, even though I believe I thoroughly rebutted the opposing side based on the law, but the sticking point was when Judge Lechien called the letter of the law “punctilious”. What he was saying is, I am asking the court to apply the technical and specific wording of the law to the issue at hand, and that is presumably unreasonable. When I held him to the actual letter of the law and it’s application in other cases, he resorts to saying, “You’re just being picky.” If that is the case, then the Constitution, statutes, his oath…. are “punctilious”, and therefore of no power to bind him to any standard other than we he creates.

Judge Vincent Lopinot

Photo courtesy the Madison Record

Judge Vincent Lopinot. I originally had no issue with Judge Lopinot, as my initial exposure to him was as my instructor in a torts class I took at a local college. I may be judging Mr. Lopinot a little too harshly, but I took exception to the way he callously dismissed me when I attempted to approach him regarding criminal complaints against police officers, a duty bound to him by way of his position as a judge. He told me he did not have to hear such complaints and stomped out of the courtroom, after what I have to admit was a respectful ruling on a case he had just finished presiding over when the above, Khala Dixon, was acting as Assistant State’s Attorney. I also took exception to the way he handled a seat-belt ticket for my niece when she attempted to present a motion I had written to the court where Lopinot was presiding. He treated her with the same callousness and contempt he treated me. You could be my best friend, but when you have a duty to act then you act. You do not turn your back and walk away. On this point, I find it impossible to recommend Judge Lopinot for election. He may have acted out of ignorance, but as the adage goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The elusive Brian Alben Babka

Judge Brian A. Babka. This judge is the consummate schmoozer and issue-dodger. Babka is the personification of the bastard-lawsuit filed on my behalf by Brendan Kelly when he was Circuit Clerk. I had 2 hearings before Babka regarding the issue, and he is aware that the case was not filed by me, but by Mr. Kelly. He continued to engage the fraud and hear my arguments regarding bringing criminal charges against Fairview Heights Police officers, Joshua Alemond and Aaron Nyman. Judge Babka actually had in his possession the criminal complaints, as well as my motions for presenting them to the court. Upon reviewing the supporting case law I provided where a private individual can present sworn complaints to a “magistrate” for hearing and upon finding probable cause issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused to be later held for possible prosecution, Babka managed to dodge the issue by claiming he did not know the difference between a magistrate and an associate judge. I went on to file a meticulous brief in support of my motion which Babka summarily dismissed.

I do not have a picture of Babka, but aside from my site information, here are some other links to his professional life.

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Judicial Misfit, Judge Vincent Lopinot, does it again.

Once again, a St. Clair County Judge has exhibited callousness and arrogance in refusing to follow the law; this time against my niece when appearing in his court for a seat belt violation. Judge Vincent Lopinot, of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit bullied Melissa McCoy into taking a fine for a seat belt ticket which was never lawfully charged and denied her right to be heard when challenging the veracity of the offense.

First, a little background. I was a paralegal student at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in 2006 where Mr. Lopinot was my torts instructor. I had heard of his shenanigans prior to taking his class but gave him the benefit of the doubt. He seemed proficient in the subject matter and struck me in no particularly negative way aside for his dismissing some instances where the authority of government to act in a particular way was brought up in class. After that, I happened upon Mr. Lopinot a few times during my visits at the St. Clair County Law Library located in the courthouse. Mr. Lopinot would be passing through on the way to or from court and would extend salutations and comment on my appearing to always be doing legal research. The meetings, however brief, were always civil. That would change a few years later.

Lopinot would comment in class about my ability to quickly understand legal concepts and commented to me that I was one of his “best students”. I believe he called me, during one of our encounters in the library, “a diligent researcher”. Why he would forget me and dismiss my petition in court is beyond me. Maybe he merely forgot who I was since over 3 years had passed. Nevertheless, he should be held to a standard despite whatever professional infatuation he may have exhibited towards me in the past.

I was with my brother, Kent McCoy, on an appearance date for a charge where Judge Lopinot was presiding on 7/29/10. Digressing for a moment, the charge was improperly filed, lacked evidence, and reeked of police incompetence and bias. The case, which the State set for bench trial on that day, was dismissed because the Assistant State’s Attorney, a diminutive and incoherent black woman, failed to apprise her witness (the police) to be present for a trial. She believed a bench trial date is just legal-speak for “more tactics to get the accused to appear when no charges have been filed so we can wear him down”. The ASA (Assistant State’s Attorney) babbled, stuttered and whined to have her case continued so she could bring her witnesses to court…the next time. Judge Lopinot did the right thing in dismissing the charge for the State failing to be prepared to prosecute on the trial date. Kudos to you sir…but wait…

At the same time, I had intended to approach Judge Lopinot with sworn criminal complaints against Fairview Heights Police “officers” (they are really not officers, it is a colloquial term of deceit) Joshua Alemond and Aaron Nyman. Illinois statutes state that a sworn complaint presented to a judge requires the judge to examine the complainant under oath and upon a finding of probable cause based upon the written complaint and sworn examination shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused. Judge Lopinot was in his courtroom while in session and had a duty to hear the complaint. Judge Lopinot thought differently.

As I attempted to approach the bench he commented that I did not have a right to bring a complaint directly before the court, but instead had to take them to the police (good luck there) and he refused to hear my complaints. The bailiff took his usual bull-dog stance and would not allow me to approach further while commenting “we do not do that here”, referring to hearing complaints. Ignorance is as ignorance does. I then filed a complaint with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board against Judge Lopinot for his refusing to abide by his oath and follow the law. See Lopinot Complaint Judicial Inquiry Board

That said, my niece also appeared before Judge Lopinot for a seat belt ticket. I had written some motions for her which require the State to produce a verified complaint or dismiss the charge. She refused to appear for previous court appearances because there was no lawful duty to appear absent a lawful charge and the State, in it’s bureaucratic glory, found her guilty and levied a fine against her. The appearance before Lopinot was to explain why she had not paid the fine. She did not pay the fine because I instructed her to not pay the fine as well as to not appear. The court also refused to hear or rule on any of the motions she filed, which I had written. When Judge Lopinot examined her on the matters she articulately stood her ground and demanded to see the verified complaint and have the court rule on her motions. Lopinot refused to produce a verified complaint, failed to show where she had knowingly and voluntarily waived her right to a jury trial, refused to hear the motions, and essentially shouted her down when she tried to speak. Whether or not he knew that my niece was my client I can’t say.

She eventually acquiesced and paid the fine. What Lopinot failed to realize is that I was sitting in court with my cell phone that happens to have voice recording capabilities. I did not make my presence known since I did not want that to influence his ruling since I had a open complaint against him. The volume is a little low where my niece is speaking but Lopinot is clearly audible. I am going to try to enhance the audio so my niece can be heard to the full context of the dialogue can be discerned.

I am discussing with her the filing of another complaint against Lopinot for his failure to apply the law. I have other clients who will be appearing in traffic court before Lopinot and I must coach them accordingly on how to anticipate his acerbic demeanor and deal with it accordingly. As with other judges in St. Clair County, Zena Cruse and John Baricevic amongst them, arrogance, ignorance, and abuse reigns supreme.

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