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MidwestPerson

judge altered the original court audio recording

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Can a judge secretly alter/change a court audio recording?  I was pro se.  Since I had asked for some subpoenas of the opposing attorney and third parties, I thought the hearing was for that.  Instead the judge held the hearing even though I said three different times I did not realize the hearing was that day.  I was unprepared having none of my documents.  As soon as I left the courtroom, I wrote down everything I could remember.  The judge ruled against me.  I asked for a Motion to Rehear and wrote why I felt there should be a rehearing.  The judge turned the  motion down.  I filed an appeal with the court of appeals and requested and paid for the transcript from the court reporter.  When I received the official written transcript, there were changes and deletions.  The opposing attorney who is also a part-time judge in three towns in the same judicial district.  As an officer of the court he has not come forward to tell the truth, neither has the judge.  The judge stated in his/her comments near the end of the court hearing that I had used the phrase "mumbo jumbo", yet no where in the transcript it is where I am recorded as having said this which I did.  In addition to be a 55 minute recording, each minute generally is one page of typing, there are 38 pages of typing or about 38 minutes of words.  Seventeen (17) minutes of the hearing are not accounted for.  Changes made to the recording were similar to what I had mentioned in the Motion to Rehear.  I am interested in comments.

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Your post is really confusing.  Are you saying that you were trying to subpoena opposing counsel?  You said you thought the hearing was for that and then say that you didn't realize the hearing was that day even though apparently you were there....When you say the judge ruled against you, is that with regard to the subpoena's or what?  What is the whole case about?  I second Jack's view--you should have an attorney. 

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On 8/2/2019 at 6:59 PM, MidwestPerson said:

Can a judge secretly alter/change a court audio recording?

 

In the abstract, virtually anything is possible.

 

 

On 8/2/2019 at 6:59 PM, MidwestPerson said:

I am interested in comments.

 

Get yourself an attorney.  I suspect you misunderstood and/or misinterpreted just about everything that happened.

 

Beyond that, there's not much anyone here can tell you since we haven't seen any of the relevant documents.

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 1..I realize I am/was "over my head".  It seems to me that was quite obvious to anyone reading my post.

 2.  If I had the money for an attorney, I would have gotten one.  People without funds (money) are more apt to be taken advantage of by opposing attorneys.

 3.  Not only did I can some attorneys in various cities, I personally visited some law offices in Wichita and Salina.

 4.  I do not handle stress well.  As you have read, I have difficulty organizing what I want to say.

 5.  I made a motion to admit a will and to contest the will.

 6.  I had a subpoena for the opposing attorney and subpoenas for numerous third parties who had business and medical records needed for a hearing for the judge to sign.

 7.  The judge, I assume, typed the order for a hearing.

 8.  I thought the day of the hearing was to discuss the subpoenas, etc, like a pre-trial conference.  I only had two papers in my bag.  All my exhibits were at home.

 9.  On three separate occassions during the hearing, I told the Court I was did not realize we would have the actual hearing today, and that I was not prepared.

      I had to remember from memory what I wanted to discuss/say.   The Judge said the will would not be admitted, hence the Court did not have to deal with the subpoenas.

10. I started writing down notes as soon as I left the courtroom as to what was said and what occurred in court.

11. I filed a motion to rehear stating in detail why I should be given another hearing.  It was in this document that I made mention of particular incidents which occurred in court.

12. The Judge said "no" to a rehearing.  The Judge sounded angry.

13. I filed an appeal.

14. The hearing was audio recorded on a digital system.  I requested a copy of the transcript from the court reporter.  I paid for the transcript.

15.  After reading the transcript several times, I realized parts were deleted or altered.  I was very upset.  I called Topeka to the Supreme Court stating what had transpired.  They said I           could file a complaint.  I was hesitant about doing that.  Within the week, I had the papers necessary to file a complaint.

16. According to the court reporter, each minute of recording is about one page of transcript.  The recording was 55 minutes long.  The transcript of the recording was 37 1/2 pages. 

      55 minus 38 is 17 minutes/pages of no transcript, no talking???  It is difficult to believe that almost 31 percent of the hearing was silence.  That is almost one third!

17. When I requested a copy of the original recording in ditigal form (DVD/CD), The county district clerk, upon review by the Chief District Justice and Chief District Clerk said no.

18.  The case is about the estate of my mother, of one of my siblings and their spouse controlling our mother, hiding her from other siblings even crossing state lines to do this, moving this 90+ year old woman 9 times in two and one half years as documented from bank statements, a sibling and spouse who have had financial problems, filing bankruptcy twice, isolated our mother.  From March 2012 to December 2015, I did not get to talk to my mother or visit her, except less than a week before she died when she did not know me and I could only visit if my daughter took me.  This is about major will changes differing greatly from her 2004 will when I was helping her.

18. I learned later the following  The Judge became a judge about seven or eight years ago.  The opposing attorney is  a municipal judge in three communities in the same judicial      district next to the county where the hearing was held.  The attorney has been a municipal judge more than 20 years.

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, MidwestPerson said:

14. The hearing was audio recorded on a digital system.  I requested a copy of the transcript from the court reporter.  I paid for the transcript.

Which hearing was recorded?  There was an original hearing, for which you were not prepared and it resulted in your case being dismissed.  Was that hearing the one you claim was recorded and altered.  Then you moved for a rehearing and and were denied.  Was that the hearing that was recorded?  Your description is a little difficult to understand. 

 

In any event, the way things work is that the parties get to present their case.  If they are not prepared and lose, they do not get to have another hearing for which they hope to be prepared.  That being the case, If the altered record is the record of the motion to rehear, it is irrelevant.

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Additionally,  it's not clear what you thought you could subpoena from opposing counsel.  If they have stuff you are entitled to see, you request discovery.  If you want bank records, you get a subpoena duces tecum and serve it on the bank for those records.  They are then sent to the court where you can obtain them for the purpose making copies.  The original records subpoenaed stay with the court and that way they would be admissible at a hearing.  Generally, there aren't "hearings" about subpoenas until after they are issued and served.  If the party served with the subpoena objects, then there would be a hearing on their objection.   You really way out of your league. 

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1 hour ago, RetiredinVA said:

Which hearing was recorded?  There was an original hearing, for which you were not prepared and it resulted in your case being dismissed.  Was that hearing the one you claim was recorded and altered.  Then you moved for a rehearing and and were denied.  Was that the hearing that was recorded?  Your description is a little difficult to understand. 

 

In any event, the way things work is that the parties get to present their case.  If they are not prepared and lose, they do not get to have another hearing for which they hope to be prepared.  That being the case, If the altered record is the record of the motion to rehear, it is irrelevant.

1.  There was only one hearing.  It was held on the same day as a lot of other cases were heard.  This is the hearing which I say the court audio recording was altered/changed.  This was not a case about a "discrepancy" in the transcript so the Judge has both parties come to an agreement about what was said.

2.  There was no hearing for a rehearing.  The Judge said no in her order.

3.  The Court could have taken my three "not prepared, not ready" responses as requests for a continuance.  Attorneys go into court hearings and request continuances a lot.

4.  My subpoenas could be considered discovery even though I did not say "discovery".

5.  I have official copies of all the district court papers.  I want a digital copy (DVD or CD) of the original recording.  It is a public record, it was recorded in open court, it is an official court document.

6.  The opposing attorney wrote the last will for my mother.  My sister became POA about 2013.  The attorney nor sister would give the other siblings a copy of the POA.  An attorney in the attorneys office sent a letter to the siblings saying the firm was representing my mother's estate.  Later the opposing attorney admitted he was representing my sister.  He did not say he was prepresenting her as executor of the the will.  In later interactions with the attorney and his firm, the attorney stated he was representing my sister, then later said he was representing my sister and her spouse.  The other siblings did not like this attorney and did not want him involved in any asset transactions.

I believe that there is a definite conflict of interest for an attorney to be my mother's attorney, then represent a beneficiary when there is conflict in the estate.

7.  The case is on appeal waiting on a decision.

8.   I expected my case would be heard.  When I say "heard", I mean that I would get to have my say, to present any evidence I had.  I thought the judge would be objective and impartial.  I have found I was sadly mistaken.  

9.  I am 72 years old, no legal experience/knowledge, have disabilities.  Legal Aid and the Kansas ACLU would not/could not help.

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38 minutes ago, MidwestPerson said:

Regarding legalwriter--the request for subpoenas could be construed as a discovery request.

Unfortunately for you, as well as many other pro se parties, the court is not required to "construe" anything for the benefit of one of the parties.  In cases where both parties are pro se a judge may allow a little leeway - see for instance Judge Judy.  But once one party has an attorney the rules are usually strictly applied.  Judges will sometimes directly advise the pro se party they should really get an attorney. 

 

If you were an attorney practicing in the court in question you would no doubt know the purpose of the hearing and would know how and when to request a continuance.  The court probably has rules about timing of discovery which may have make your subpoena-discovery requests invalid.  You have not given us sufficient information to guess what happened.

 

However, regarding the merits of your case, it seems you were trying to have a will written in 2004 by your mother found to be your mother's last will and testament.  It appears a later will had already been probated and your sister had already been appointed executor.  It is usually very, very difficult to contest a will that has already been proven to be the testatrix's last will and testament.  Even a very experienced attorney would have a difficult time putting together such a case.  It would require expert testimony as to the mental state of the testatrix, who would normally have to be identified before a hearing.  The allegations you made about your sister having filed bankruptcy and move nine times are all irrelevant.  Perhaps why the judge mentioned that your case was "mumbo jumbo".

 

In other words, regardless whether the transcript and recording of the hearing are accurate, the probability of  your winning at the end is pretty close to, if not exactly, zero.  Get on with your life.

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Discovery is handled between the parties.  The court doesn't deal with it directly unless a request was made which the other party didn't provide.  Then the party seeking discovery would file a motion with the court.  A subpoena is NOT discovery.   A subpoena is a court order to produce which, as I pointed out before, CANNOT be use to get documents from opposing counsel.  Even if you could, the documents would not be admissible in court.

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19 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

 1..I realize I am/was "over my head".  It seems to me that was quite obvious to anyone reading my post.

 

I would agree with this. Your posts are hard to follow but it is apparent that you have little understanding of how the courts operate or the procedures they follow.

 

20 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

5.  I made a motion to admit a will and to contest the will.

 6.  I had a subpoena for the opposing attorney and subpoenas for numerous third parties who had business and medical records needed for a hearing for the judge to sign.

 

You made the motion at the hearing? And requested the judge sign subpoenas at the hearing? These things should have been filed in motions prior to the hearing. This allows the judge time to read over your motions and subpoenas and do any research that may be required to rule on them. Asking the judge to make a split second decision about them is improper. There are also time limits and constraints that usually govern the proper time frame to file a motion. Improperly filing a motion will almost certainly result in it being rejected.

 

20 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

 7.  The judge, I assume, typed the order for a hearing.

 8.  I thought the day of the hearing was to discuss the subpoenas, etc, like a pre-trial conference.  I only had two papers in my bag.  All my exhibits were at home.

 9.  On three separate occassions during the hearing, I told the Court I was did not realize we would have the actual hearing today, and that I was not prepared.

      I had to remember from memory what I wanted to discuss/say.   The Judge said the will would not be admitted, hence the Court did not have to deal with the subpoenas.

 

Why would you assume that and what bearing does that have on the case? The court has clerks and other staff that will be charged with keeping the courts schedule and mailing out subpoenas. They usually have a boiler plate form for the different hearings. You not realizing, being unprepared, or in over your head just points to the fact that you should seek legal aid. Its possible that you could have asked for a continuance at the hearing. Depending on how many other continuances have been granted and how you worded the motion you could have bought more time. Just saying to the judge that you are unprepared and didn't understand the purpose does not qualify as a request for continuance. See above about the will not being admitted.

 

20 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

10. I started writing down notes as soon as I left the courtroom as to what was said and what occurred in court.

11. I filed a motion to rehear stating in detail why I should be given another hearing.  It was in this document that I made mention of particular incidents which occurred in court.

12. The Judge said "no" to a rehearing.  The Judge sounded angry.

 

As already stated if you missed a deadline to file motions and subpoenas then there would be no reason to re hear the motions. There would be no motions to reconsider as no valid motions were filed. Often times when people who are unprepared and have no understanding of the court system come into the court and tell the judge he is wrong it can upset them. It is a very very bad idea to upset the judge. 

 

20 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

13. I filed an appeal.

14. The hearing was audio recorded on a digital system.  I requested a copy of the transcript from the court reporter.  I paid for the transcript.

15.  After reading the transcript several times, I realized parts were deleted or altered.  I was very upset.  I called Topeka to the Supreme Court stating what had transpired.  They said I           could file a complaint.  I was hesitant about doing that.  Within the week, I had the papers necessary to file a complaint.

16. According to the court reporter, each minute of recording is about one page of transcript.  The recording was 55 minutes long.  The transcript of the recording was 37 1/2 pages. 

      55 minus 38 is 17 minutes/pages of no transcript, no talking???  It is difficult to believe that almost 31 percent of the hearing was silence.  That is almost one third!

 

So what exactly is missing? Is it anything that will factually affect the case?  From your initial post:

On 8/2/2019 at 9:59 PM, MidwestPerson said:

The judge stated in his/her comments near the end of the court hearing that I had used the phrase "mumbo jumbo", yet no where in the transcript it is where I am recorded as having said this which I did.

 

Was the part that is missing you going on about "mumbo jumbo" and not about anything factual about the case? Where you discussing the will that the judge had already ruled could not be entered into evidence? Often times if your statements are incoherent or rambling about non nonsensical things they will not be included as they have no bearing on the case. Also if you discuss things that the judge has ruled will not be introduced into the trial it can be stricken from the record. 

 

19 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

3.  The Court could have taken my three "not prepared, not ready" responses as requests for a continuance.  Attorneys go into court hearings and request continuances a lot.

4.  My subpoenas could be considered discovery even though I did not say "discovery".

 

This has been gone over already. You are in over your head. The court is not required or likely to try and decipher your statements. If you want a continuance, you have to specifically request it. If you want discovery, you have to specifically request it. You can not ask one thing and expect the court to magically know what you want, then file the proper motions for you. That's what attorneys are for.

 

19 hours ago, MidwestPerson said:

8.   I expected my case would be heard.  When I say "heard", I mean that I would get to have my say, to present any evidence I had.  I thought the judge would be objective and impartial.  I have found I was sadly mistaken.  

 

That is the problem with most people who represent themselves. A few hours/days of online research does not prepare you to handle a case of this caliber. Different hearings are set for different reasons. If you want certain things, such as subpoenas or discovery, you have to file them at the proper time. You go into the hearing with a pre conceived notion of what is going to happen, and it doesn't live up to it and you blame it all on the court being unfair. The best thing you can do is find some legal aid. 

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