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Dear Representative (name of representative),
I am bringing a serious issue involving wrongdoing in our federal court system to your attention. Specifically, Judge W. Royal Furgeson in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has committed impeachable offences as described herein.
Judge Furgeson has been presiding over civil case #3-09CV988-RF (NetSphere v. Baron), a breach of contract case. In November 2010, after the case settled, Jeff Baron, one of the parties, objected to excessive attorney fees requested in another case, after several hundred thousand dollars had already been paid to attorneys. After Mr. Baron made the objection, the attorneys requesting the fees held private meetings with Judge Furgeson’s Special Master judge in the case (Peter Vogel) , where Vogel consulted to have himself appointed receiver over all of Jeff's property. Within three business days after Jeff made his objection to the excessive attorney fees, Judge Furgeson held secret, ex parte proceedings and appointed Vogel as receiver over Jeff, ordering that 100% of Jeff's assets and possessions be seized (everything from Jeff's IRAs and cash to his house and car keys) and placed it in the hands of Peter Vogel.
At the same time, Judge Furgeson effectively placed Mr. Baron under house arrest, ordering Mr. Baron not to take any money, clothes or any other property outside of the judge’s district, not to engage in any business transactions, and not to accept payment of any kind from any source. Mr. Baron has been in a 'civil lockdown’ since November 2010, and all of his money and property have remained seized. His 'crime' ? Mr. Baron is accused of unspecified 'delay' in court proceedings of the settled lawsuit before it was settled.
Most disturbing, Mr. Baron has been ordered to not hire a lawyer to represent him and threatened with contempt and jail if he attempts to hire a lawyer. An attorney who was willing to take the case on appeal (without being paid any fees while the receivership has been pending) has been cited for contempt and threatened with jail for daring to file appeals related to the case. Filing appeals has been labeled 'vexatious litigation'. Meanwhile, the judge ordered that Mr. Vogel and his firm be paid at the rate of approximately $10,000 per day, depleting nearly all of Jeff’s assets, which consisted mostly of IRAs and bank accounts. To date, Mr. Vogel’s 'fees' total over two million dollars.
Mr. Baron is obviously unable to defend himself properly without resources for a paid lawyer. Since Mr. Baron’s unpaid appellate counsel (a solo practitioner) has been cited for contempt for daring to file appeals, no other lawyer has been willing to volunteer. Further, when Judge Furgeson was asked to recuse himself, Judge Furgeson refused to consider the request, and ordered many of the court documents, including the recusal affidavit, hidden from the public.
While this conduct deeply disturbed me, I became even more alarmed when I read the following statements that Judge Furgeson made, on the record, in this case:
“I'm telling you don't screw with me. You are a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool to screw with a federal judge, and if you don't understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army, Marines and Navy behind me.”
“You realize that order is an order of the Court. So any failure to comply with that order is contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death.”
“you are expressly prohibited from retaining any legal counsel . Should you retain any legal counsel, the Receiver may move the Court to find you in contempt…” (in letter from Judge Furgeson’s receiver to Jeff)
Unless Congress takes action, public confidence in the American judicial system will be seriously eroded. I am asking you to investigate the matter and to bring it to the immediate attention of the House Judiciary Committee. Additional material regarding this case can be found at the website LawInjustice.com. Although this website is editorial in nature, it also contains some of the official court documents which may assist Congress in an investigation.
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