Restraining order terrorism: the circus continues

The saga continues of the case of the People vs. Francis “Coyote” Shivers, on his recent conviction for violating a restraining order obtained or procured by his ex-wife, “NCIS” actress Pauley Perrette.  Shivers was convicted of calling her his “false accuser” on Facebook, which the evidence clearly demonstrates she is, and for using his cell phone to record a confrontation with her boyfriend which the record also proves he did not provoke.

Some of the latest developments can be now put into the “circus” category, and some others can be described as fair and logical.

Mr. Shivers originally was scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 at the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, in the courtroom of Judge Kathryn Solorzano. Sentencing has been rescheduled for May 31, so we will not know until that time what his punishment will be.

There may not even be a sentencing as Mr. Shiver’s legal counsel, Anthony Brooklier, a temporary replacement for Shivers’ attorney of record, announced his intention to petition for a retrial.

According to the court, the required paperwork has to be submitted by May 8.  When that request will be addressed is anybody’s guess, but requests for retrials are routine in L.A. County Courts.  The reasons for the request for a retrial are not known, but I’m sure we will find out soon enough.

The most obvious possibility is of course that the prosecution of Shivers is just another typical false allegation scenario (which the record in this case bears out) that has resulted in the issuance of a bogus restraining order on behalf of an emotionally disturbed and vindictive plaintiff, in this case Pauley Perrette.

Perrette has been further facilitated by a legal system that rubber stamps restraining orders and a city attorney suffering from “Mike Nifong” syndrome. It has escalated into a legal apocalypse for Shivers by public servants who drool over the opportunity to rub elbows with “Hollywood A-Lister’s” and the potential for six figure retirement jobs.

Pardon me for calling it like it is.  If you don’t believe or understand it, take a few moments and review recent Los Angeles history.  Have I said anything that a bunch of people don’t already know?

From our courtroom sources, it appears that Judge Solorzano exercised a level of fairness in the proceedings with no display of bias or favoritism towards one side or the other.  That is of course a good thing as that is what a judge is supposed to do; to judge fairly and competently, relying on facts and evidence, not on conjecture, rumor, or speculation, and not for the opportunity to have a “Dancing Ito” moment.

The circus components came in the form of Ms. Perrette offering her victim impact statement, and the dozen or so of her entourage that included various attorneys, assistants, hangers-on, groupies, yes men, yes women; various Hollywood losers; essentially a combination of all of the above, all there to lend credence to Perrette’s over the top dramatics. Really?  Does anyone, with more than five grams of functioning brain matter think this is just a bit odd?  What every day individual has the financial resources to employ an entourage of obsequious maladroits?

Perrette is permitted by law to make a victim impact statement, and she also has the right to free speech, just as anyone else does.  What is peculiar here is that she offered this statement even though it had already been decided that Mr. Shivers sentencing had been continued to a later date.  Apparently, this was facilitated by the prosecutor, Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Elizabeth Gertz.

Since I am unaware of her reasons for doing this at the time, I won’t speculate or guess as to her motives.  I can only say that in my experience, statements from victims are usually done at the time of sentencing.  Was this another in a long list of special considerations afforded to celebrity individuals in our criminal justice system?  I won’t offer an opinion; I will let the individual reader make up their own mind.

The more clownish part of the circus act came from the mouth of Perrette herself. From what witnesses have reported, Perrette went into a rambling and convoluted diatribe that continually deviated from the purpose describing victim impact to the court. Once the transcripts and her written statement entered in the record become available, it will be presented here at AVFM in its entirety.

Apparently there was some attempt by a member or members of her entourage, possibly a member of her legal team, to enter into the record the declarations of others, slamming Mr. Shivers. This was denied by Judge Solorzano as irrelevant.  In this situation, Solorzano was not only correct but exercised some common sense; something that has been sorely missing in this circus to date.

I have seen these types of convoluted, confusing, even delusional victim impact statements before. It is perfectly legal though pretty embarrassing. I can just imagine the eyes rolling and cringing on the part of some in her personally employed cadre and the concern they must have shared as she turned her victim’s impact statement into a scene from a B-movie.

I make a reference now to the recent bombing in Boston, though by no means does this compare to what those unfortunate victims, their families, and the heroic first responders and public safety personnel experienced.

Since that tragedy, however, there have been a host of experts offering their opinions on understanding the nature of that tragedy and the mentality of people that could do something so horrific. One of the opinions I heard offered, and I’m paraphrasing here, was this:

“If you want to get into the mind of a terrorist, all you need to do is listen to his words.”

That is assuming, of course, that the terrorist is male, which would be a bad assumption if you were talking about those that use restraining orders to terrorize.

This is how it works the criminal justice system. It can apply to defendants, victims, prosecutors, law enforcement, or even judges. The words of Pauley Perrette speak volumes as to what is going on inside that head.

AVFM Contributing writer, Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Tara Palmatier, in her article on this case (an assessment of the psychological profile of false accusers), and the information in her article and her professional opinion have come full circle.  We have all seen this many times before. This is not our first rodeo.

The point here that is the bigger issue is not to focus on Pauley Perrette.  I think she has already confirmed by her own behavior and words that something is not quite right upstairs.  Who knows, maybe the target of her next restraining order will be the aliens who crash-landed at Roswell.

Or Elvis.

The bigger and more important issue is the law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial officials who bought into this nonsense, and then who took it upon themselves to skew and spin the information and facts to accommodate the wishes and desires of a clearly disingenuous individual, because of her celebrity status coupled with the mindset to discriminate based on sex.

We can, and must, deal with the facts and evidence in this case, and rely on professional experience to form a logical, and common sense assessment of what has actually occurred.

Unfortunately, the fact is that this case reflects the severe misuse, abuse, and manipulation of the restraining order system in this country.  It happens in every city, county and state.  It is also a fact that there are virtually no sanctions against false accusers, no contempt or perjury sanctions, or any other criminal penalties when lies have been discovered.  From a practical and tactical perspective, there is simply no downside to lying to a judge to get and use a restraining order as a weapon, something Pauley Perrette is documented to be quite knowledgeable about.

What is fact is the inherent and foundational mindset that is pervasive in these types of scenarios, of man-bad / woman-victim.  This predisposed mindset is rampant in the very institutions where it should be strictly verboten; our criminal justice system.

I take a very realistic view of the various components of the criminal justice system, and provide those components with a benefit of a doubt, taking into consideration the stresses that are involved, the tragedy that is encountered, and the realization that sometimes professionals working within the system sometimes do make mistakes.

On the flip side of the coin, I will be first to speak out when a component of this system conducts themselves with self-serving interests, biases, prejudices, poor judgment, or outright corruption; when the public trust has been violated.

The professionals of the criminal justice system are servants of the public, all of the public, not just those of a certain social or economic status.  Public servants are beholden to the public trust and are duty bound by oath to protect Constitutional rights and due process.  When those clear and district lines become blurred, the public is placed at risk, and thus entitled to an explanation. Those who violate that oath must be removed from those positions of authority and decision making.

In this case, it has been discovered and is explicitly clear and can be proven that at least one member of the state bar who is part of this case has not acted in accordance with the California State Bar and American Bar Association, Rules of Professional Conduct.

The information as it currently exists supports the filing of a complaint and the sustaining of the imposition of sanctions with the appropriate oversight body.

What is required here is the system correcting and policing itself.  The American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct; Rule 8.3 (a) states:

“A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.”

So the question of the day is who will step up to the plate?

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of the lunacy of the current restraining order system in this country.  One is funny and the other will make you mad.

In 2005, New Mexico Judge Daniel Sanchez signed a request for a temporary restraining order written by Colleen Nestler.  In her handwritten petition, Nestler asked for a restraining order against TV Talk Show Host David Letterman, claiming that Mr. Letterman was transmitting secret coded words to her indicating his desire to marry her among other bizarre claims.  Judge Sanchez signed the order and defended his actions stating that Nestler had filled out the form correctly.  When asked later if he had done anything wrong, Sanchez claimed that he did not.


In April of 2012, Foxborough Massachusetts volunteer Firefighter Dan Iagatta passed away as a result of serious injuries sustained while training for a triathlon, after being struck by a motorist.  Dan, a loving father of two, a businessman, and active and popular member of his community had a restraining order served on him that was signed by Judge Beverly Boorstein.  This occurred a couple of months after his accident which had left him in a wheelchair and a quadriplegic with just enough movement in one arm to operate a motorized wheelchair.  The restraining order petition by his wife, after she filed for divorce, claimed that she was, “afraid.”

Exactly what Mrs. Iagatta was afraid of, I don’t know, but it was argued and ignored that Dan Iagatta could not move without help and had to make costly modifications to his childhood home to accommodate his complete disability status.  What was Dan going to do, chase his wife at 1 MPH and terrorize her in his motorized wheel chair?

It gets worse; this wonderful compassionate; Judge Boorstein then later ordered the sale of Dan’s childhood home, with all of modifications to accommodate his disability supplied by friends and family, to pay off his wife’s lawyers.  Dan was evicted and literally wheeled out to the curb like trash.  The wonderful compassionate Judge Boorstein retired shortly thereafter when private investigators had her on videotape doing personal errands and shopping at malls during work hours.  She now operates some type of consulting business while receiving a lucrative public employee retirement.  Why this woman is not turning big rocks into little rocks in some god awful rat infested federal penitentiary someplace is beyond me.

This is how bad this restraining order system has become. It makes Pauley Perrette look like a minor issue. Well, unless you are Francis Shivers, facing time in jail.

The sad and tragic thing is that these are really not unusual examples.  They are the rule rather than the exception.  Not everybody has the financial resources of David Letterman to make these things go away, nor do these cases, with the exception of a handful, make any kind of news.

We are posed with several opportunities here.  The first is that this case should be a wake-up call to those in positions of authority and decision making. After years and years of hearing the same thing, they need to take the responsibility upon themselves to institute changes.

Why is it always left to the advocacy groups, the victims groups, the Constitutional rights groups, the due process groups to do the research, to produce the facts, to suggest legislative changes, to correct a process which contains the most egregious violations of civil, Constitutional, and due process rights in this country’s history since Jim Crow?  Why do our public servants have to be embarrassed and humiliated into doing the right thing before they act?  Why do people have to file all kinds of complaints and lawsuits to get officials to admit their mistakes, and to get the oversight bodies to do their jobs?  Let’s get real folks; does it take a rock to fall on someone’s head?

This case presents a host of opportunities.  This example is so blatant, so obvious, and so egregious that the blame of this must fall upon the shoulders of those in positions of authority and decision making.  In the case of those who are in the service of the public, we need to remove those individuals from those positions and to impose strict and severe sanctions as required to send a message that this type of buffoonery and corruption is not acceptable.

An opportunity exists to undo a wrong to a man whose only crime appears to be his big mouth and poor taste in women; and to give a sense of blind justice to the tens of thousands of others similarly affected.

The issue in this case is not Pauley Perrette and her telepathic communications with space aliens; the issue is the persons and institutions that allow for, encourage, and facilitate these kinds of injustices in the first place.  They should and do know better, and if they don’t, then they can go flip burgers.

Everyone who has done work on this case from A Voice for Men and the other groups are watching this case. A host of folks are using their knowledge and expertise to dissect every dotted I and every crossed T, are on the job. And wouldn’t you know, lots of really bad mistakes have been revealed.

Hubris happens, especially when no one looks over your shoulder and checks your work, and no one calls you on the carpet for your misdeeds. That sort of neglect is like laying a magnet beside your ethical compass.  You get sloppy, just like plumbers, or building contractors, auto mechanics, and even judges. Boorstein, who I am sure never imagined that she would be videotaped on a work day shopping spree at Saks, is living proof.

So let’s see what will happen here.  I have already pointed out the responsibility of those members of the state bar to report misconduct among their ranks.  I guess if they don’t they will be in the same position as at least one, and possibly more, who are already in violation.

For Mr. Shiver’s, let’s hope that he will be granted a retrial, and that the criminal justice system will work as it is supposed to.

For Ms. Perrette who is nothing more than a prop in this circus; well, I guess the only logical thing that can be said is that all of that money she spent on lawyers, flunkies, losers, and groupies would have been better spent on psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, brain scans, and maybe a voodoo priest thrown in for good measure.  (I wonder if that toy doll and pin thing actually works?)

For those dedicated professionals investigating and reporting on this circus as well as those commenting; thanks are given for the right to free speech.

I am proud and honored to be in the association and company of all of these honorable and dedicated folks who are trying to make a difference in a system that is completely broken and needs to be fixed.

I am going to throw in a Hollywood reference of my own that symbolizes the determination and dedication of those fighting the good fight.  I’ll use a line from the movie Tombstone, when Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp tells Ike Clanton at the train station right after he smokes his pal,

“You tell ‘em I’m coming, and Hell’s coming with me. You hear?! Hell’s coming with me!”

Stay tuned, we’re just getting warmed up.

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