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June 18, 2010 11:51 PM UTC

Doug Bruce Speaks -

  • by: NEWSMAN

Bruce to AG: No need for a ‘perp walk’

GAZETTE: June 18th, 2010,

· Anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, who is facing a contempt-of-court citation today from the state Attorney General’s Office, is accusing Attorney General John Suthers of going after him to win votes in his re-election campaign.

“I am sure your actions are of great benefit to your re-election campaign; using an unpopular public figure as a political whipping boy has got to be a political ‘no-brainer,’ a slam dunk winner,” Bruce said this morning in an e-mail to Suthers.

“But I appeal to your conscience and sense of legal ethics not to continue down this wrong path,” Bruce said in the e-mail, which he also sent to The Gazette.

Here’s the full text of Bruce’s e-mail to the attorney general:

Please call me today to schedule a telephonic court setting date for a court hearing prior to a trial on the citation for contempt of court that you are seeking.

You have handled this case so far by ex parte contacts with Denver District Court Judge Brian Whitney. That is unethical, illegal, and unconstitutional. I have a right to attend my own lynching. No matter how much you hate the three tax-limiting petitions that are on the November ballot, no matter how much you despise me personally or TABOR generally, that anger does not excuse your acts of political revenge on me, your unilateral presentations to the judge, or your trying me in the newspapers via your tax-paid public relations staff.

I read in today’s paper that you plan to continue this one-sided vendetta today by seeking a contempt citation. Since the judge has granted your every request without requiring that I even be notified of any such “hearings,” it appears no tax-paid government employee thinks my attendance is required at any stage of this political show trial. I would not be surprised if you and the judge again got together privately and convicted and sentenced me without bothering to let me speak.

Since you won’t listen, I wish to explain in court your factual and legal errors. As a former prosecutor, I know that any accused person has Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to be informed of the charges, to attend every hearing in his case, to cross-examine the witnesses against him to receive the benefit of the rules of evidence, and to be heard in open court. I hereby request all those rights be enforced in my case, including timely discovery of all evidence you believe you have and the standard prohibition against your introducing evidence not furnished in timely discovery.

It is not clear to me whether you intend today to set a hearing or just to go ahead andconvict me. (It would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?) You are already doing your best to convict me in the court of public opinion, so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that final disregard of my constitutional rights to due process of law and what is commonly known as “a day in court.” I am sure your actions are of great benefit to your re-election campaign; using an unpopular public figure as a political whipping boy has got to be a political “no-brainer,” a slam dunk winner. But I appeal to your conscience and sense of legal ethics not to continue down this wrong path.

Instead of completing your prosecution without me, please have your assistant AG call me today to arrange for a telephonic setting with the court clerk for a court date, the way such matters are handled in every other civil and criminal case. After that date, I want a public hearing with all your witnesses, and I want my right to testify in my own behalf, just like every other citizen.

I hope you will also agree that you have the burden of proof, that I am presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, and that I have a right to an appeal.

I also request a copy of the specific charge against me at an arraignment, and the right to request a jury trial. I do not waive any of my legal rights.

Since Judge Whitney had no trouble granting your two prior motions without hearing from me, that shows he has prejudged the case, which is the definition of prejudice. He has received information from your office unilaterally, and I presume your assistants spoke with him before he granted your motions.

He has replaced existing law, and invented new law, on service of process, then applied it retroactively in violation of constitutional bans on ex post facto application of laws. I therefore request another district court judge be assigned to preside over this case, and will file a Motion to Disqualify if that does not occur.

Among other things, I challenge his finding of valid service, which is an element of contempt of court.

He cannot make such a finding unilaterally, then preside over a trial in which that is a key element. I am entitled to a neutral and detached magistrate, not one predisposed to uphold his own prior findings of fact.

Therefore, the case should be reassigned before we schedule dates with the new judge’s clerk.

If you insist on proceeding unilaterally today, I hope you will at least notify the judge of my request for his recusal, and that I have offered to appear at a citation hearing. If you obtain a warrant for my arrest, I am notifying you that I will appear voluntarily in court at any time. There is no need for a “perp walk” parading me in handcuffs, or to allow your friends in the media to take pictures of me in an orange jump suit. I have done nothing wrong, as you will soon find out to your deep and very public embarrassment.

The phrase “equal protection of the law” applies here. Check it out; it’s in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and it applies to the actions of your office. In case you have lost your copy, I would gladly provide you a copy of the federal and state constitutions, as well as the Colorado Code of Civil Procedure regarding subpoenas. Please let me know.

I await a phone call today from your office.

Douglas Bruce



13 thoughts on “Doug Bruce Speaks –

  1. As much as it is admittedly popular to criticize Mr Bruce , and as much as I would not recommend or have taken some of the actions he has, this case does look like a bit of overkill.

    It is in ALL of our interests to see that the AG’s position does not become the accepted practice.  Taping a subpoena to your door when you are out of state is not generally accepted as proper service, EXCEPT in Mr Bruce’s case.

    Statements made about e-mail being proper service are unbelievable.  This can not stand. Saying that a subpoena can be lawfully served by an unacknowledged e-mail is absurd.  I do not want to live in a society that would call that fair.

    I delete 20 plus spam e-mails every day without ever opening or reading them.  I sometimes don’t check my e-mail for days or weeks when I am out of town.  

    I would never want it to be considered as evidence of proper service that you or I were sent an unacknowledged spam e-mail.  

    We will all “rue the day” if in our zeal to “get” an unpopular public figure, we accept a standard that we would not want to live with.


      1. Doug Bruce’s comments were sent to more than just the Gazette (ie: press release) and they are now in the public domain.

        The Gazette just happened to be the published source I quoted.

  2. With all his insistence on unnecessary and unfair proceedings, he still does not make himself available to be served. And while he says’ he will appear in court – by not getting served if he happens to not show up – no downside to Mr. Bruce.

    I say he’s still trying to game the system. If he’s not just have him say he’ll be at his front door tomorrow to accept service.

    1. I say by his asking to speak to the AG or his representative, he is arraigning just that.

      But, in any case, my point still stands about allowing e-mail to be proof of service.  

      1. By asking to speak on the phone he’s trying to make it appear that he’s arranging that but he’s insuring that he is not being served and can therefore continue to duck appearing in court.

        Doug is trying to act like he’s being unfairly set upon, yet this is all due to his avoiding being served. None of this would have happened if he didn’t keep ducking the process servers.

        He’s playing the system.

        1. If a person was REALLY out of state on vacation as Bruce claims, at some point he will have to show when and how he traveled and/or where he was.  If he really was out of state, then his claim of improper service just may have merit.

          As to playing the system now, well, the AG is trying the case in the media.  Not even Doug Bruce would dare not show up if he makes an agreement to do so. IMHO

          1. But again, if he really wanted to take the wind out of everyone’s sails, he could just have sent an email saying I’ll make sure I’m home at 10:00 am tomorrow – have them serve me then.

            Problem resolved and the media story is gone. Of course, then Doug will have to appear in court…

          2. He obviously knows about the service attempts.  He’s written the AG about the proceedings.  If he wasn’t avoiding service, he’d just note where he’s going to be so someone could serve him his notice.

            Bruce has been gaming the system the whole time – FireEater, who IMHO should know, said as much and I believe him.  This is an attempt a (pre-)trial by press release, designed to make him seem like the victim when the real victims are the citizens of Colorado who he’s been trying to scam by hiding himself from proper procedures.

    2. Why doesn’t Mr Bruce  simply agree to accept service by  mail? Registered or otherwise.

      If he has nothing to hide and is willing to appear – ie, if he really wanted his day in court, he would accept service, retain counsel and enter discovery just as he describes.  

      No, no, let’s arrange (not arraign) a time to talk by phone where I can be anywhere.

      He’s hiding.

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