I lived in New Zealand for seven years and became involved in the political life of that country as a regional leader in the Green Party of Aotearoa, New Zealand. I lived in Dunedin during that time and met many activists of various kinds.
One person stood out for me and we have kept in touch over the years as we both dealt with corrupt legal and judicial systems. Mr. Tatsuhiko Koyama, a Japanese lawyer admitted to practice before the High Court of New Zealand, became the target of what can only be called judicial fraud.
He asked me to review some court documents to compare the judicial signatures and I found what appeared to be forgeries.
Mr. Koyama has been fighting a dogged battle, bringing years of apparent court dishonesty to the media, various leaders in the judicial branch, and the government.
In Straw v. U.S. District Court, 1:18-cv-278-CMH (E.D. Va.) and Straw v. Indiana, Filing 328893, Windsor County Vermont Superior Court, I describe a concerted effort to violate my civil rights by courts in the Midwest.
Fighting a court is like trying to grab a snake covered in oil. They have more power than you do, often are poisonous, and are unaccountable when they libel you and strip you of your rights. It seems the more they bite you with dishonesty, the more you get blamed for what they do, especially when the chosen weapon is to label you insane or that you file “frivolous” cases. That’s the quick road to oblivion and perpetual losses regardless of the merits of your case. It’s called judicial victim blaming and it is a regular component of 7th Circuit opinions, in my experience.
The courts rely on the massive number of cases filed to bury you and make the very your use of your rights seem like an abuse of some kind.
That’s what happens to Mr. Koyama too. Powerful people in the government who should be helping him simply take his correspondence, smile politely, and move to then next topic without addressing the fraud that keeps building up over time, a bitter cancer that is eroding all New Zealanders’ rights under law.
It is always interesting to me to see the differences in how governments view and treat civil rights. Once in New Zealand, I voluntarily went to the hospital for treatment and when I felt ready to leave, was forced to stay even though the doctor did not find me to be a threat to anyone or myself. Sometimes people in power like doctors can act like immune judges, and certainly there are Nurse Ratchets out there.
When I wrote to the U.S. Courts about the illegitimate and rampant use of the term “frivolous,” it reminded me of how Mr. Koyama has been treated. The government simply picks his pocket by taking money out of his bank account without permission or authority to do so.
After what the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did to me, hiding and protecting perjury by the office of the Indiana Attorney General, I can’t say the United States is any better than New Zealand. The disability discrimination is so intense, I simply got out of the kitchen and moved to the Philippines for nearly 10 months to decompress. Doing research and building up a portfolio of facts and photos is a lower-key way to fight disability discrimination.
Another way is to write, like with my column, so graciously printed by Democracy Chronicles. When I write a column, there is no hostile judge just waiting to denounce me with quotes of 1600s poetry and an evil eye. I can say what I believe to be true, like with my mention of Mr. Koyama, and the world can read it and learn.
That’s part of why I keep fighting after 18 years of discrimination from the Indiana Supreme Court. I want others to see how sacrifice is met with derision, and what my readers can expect if they are disabled or have loved ones who are disabled. Courts are not reliable, especially for the weak and disabled and poor.
I think my experience adds up to leaving the Midwest forever. It did not take a ban on me using the federal courts for me to come to that conclusion, thought I was banned for opposing the perjury I mentioned. Straw v. Indiana, 18-2878 (7th Cir. 2018). I am pursuing justice in Vermont, Virginia, and North Carolina state and federal courts to deal with the deluge of problems fundamentally the result of my public service suffering and my family’s suffering being disrespected by elitist, spoiled, rich judges with lifetime appointments who don’t understand that they have obligations to people. They are not insulated from influence. They are insulated from accountability and humanity, insulated from ethics.
The ADA is treated like flavoring that they add to a rotten decision to hide prejudice and discrimination while favoring someone they like.
Judges like Richard Posner have admitted that all he did was reach some conclusion about whom he favored, then wrote a BS order to justify it in some way, because it is he who gets to set the precedents and he who gets to distinguish or outright overturn precedents, apparently when he didn’t like some litigant.
That’s how the 7th Circuit and other dishonest courts act. They disfavor one side or favor one side, or both at the same time, and the results are not based on law, but simply flavored with the language of law.
Another friend of mine, law professor Jiefen Li, explained that this is the difference between rule OF law and rule BY law.
Dictators flavor their arbitrary decisions with the language of law. Democratic decisions favor fairly imposing rules onto fact patterns established in an orderly fashion in courts.
I feel like we are living in the 1760s, still trudging under the heavy yoke of judges serving a foreign empire, not at all interested in justice, but steeped in elitist traditions serving higher powers than the average person.
I am a democrat and I believe there is a better model for the U.S. courts and no jurist from the USA can tout our model to anywhere else where there are so many judges who are abusive precisely because of the model we have. Judges don’t protect rights anymore than Congress does, and at least with Congress, an election can pare away the ones who offend the most. Judges at the federal level are appointed and then totally without any democratic safeguards to stop them from hurting people. The United States should have to pay when a judge hurts someone. Judges cannot judge themselves, though that is precisely what they do when they start directing their ire at a citizen who deserves respect. A judge is lower than an average citizen and we need to modify our systems so nobody has to ever be abused by a judge again. Judges should be afraid of the public, not the reverse. Term limits. Elections. Easy impeachment for any or no reason. Recalls. All of these escape valves need to be implemented, because they are almost totally absent.
I wish New Zealand would take Mr. Koyama seriously and put him in charge of an investigative body to reform the courts in that country. Sometimes a report can make a big difference with legislation that is needed. Someone like him, an outsider, is precisely that kind of viewpoint that can protect rights. I will always favor the thorn in the side, because such people usually are the ones whose interests match the public interest. Inveterate power must be removed and reformed as a regular ritual in democratic society.
David Anderson says
Counselor – you’re a lively one aren’t you? I can’t work out whether you’re a real hard charger and incredibly devoted shark for justice, or you get a psychological charge from taking on large systems. Neither option is exclusive and neither has any moral valence in my book – both are decent motivations and (while I don’t know the specifics of your cases) I admire you.
And it takes a particularly determined attorney to take on other attorneys – you must get a lot of flack for that – personally I wouldn’t but then I’m not as motivated. As you’ll agree there’s a sort of… feeling… almost prejudice against lawyers attacking other lawyers and the justice system. Lots of lawyers (myself included) extend that professional courtesy to doctors – the disreputable nature of suing doctors is probably why it is an unpopular path for lawyers to pursue – and so lucrative. (I’m referring not to cases of gross negligence in law or medicine, of course). Its an unfortunate state of affairs as, as indeed you argue, it invites invidious labels of “frivolous” when oftentimes it isn’t.
I also lived in NZ (I’m Australian born), though only for 5 years in fits and starts in the 70s and 80s so our experiences will differ THOUGH its my very general impression that justice and representation actually works a bit better there. CERTAINLY representation does b/c their system isn’t disabled by money politics as ours is. Ours is positively poisoned by it. Plus, Aust & NZ are more secular societies so the poison of religion that seeks to regress the direction of humanity is not as evident there.
Writing publicly as you’re doing is helpful in your mission and its fortunate there are places like DC.org who give you a voice. I suggest you send the articles you write to the people concerned (the NZ Herald, the NZ courts, etc) for maximum impact.
To the extent you try and clean up that system, and I have no reason to doubt your motives, my hat off to you sir.
David Anderson, J.D.
Andrew Straw says
Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I did send the article to many of the top leaders in NZ and there seems to be some positive movement.
My background is not just thorn in the side. http://www.andrewstraw.com
I am a victim of the corrpt new Zealand courts/politics. I married a man who was a court registar in Hamilton. He Abused and misued his position to tamper with my immigration process, by continually contacting immigration and border and security. He used me as a slave and injured me so badly i can’t work. He gaslighted me and runned my life there and in back home. He stole most of the equity out of our property and is pretending to be the victim, as he saw a trend of sympathy for men who are actually abused.
From the stress of the past 8 years i developed stage 4 cancer and have ptsd from all the abuses. This man illegally sold our first house and put 2nd house in his parents names. He took all my money and has the audacity to blame me for money i never had access to. He had the mail going elsewhere as i never saw the mail person drop off anything except flyers. I was a perfect fool for trusting him.
The court file was transferred to manukau and papakura. Now twice i have been denied representation. These unethical judges, mostly woman know him and have not stepped aside. Now they are forcing me to fly to new Zealand for hearings, i fear for my life and the fact this slimeball injured me so badly i haven’t been able to work for 11 years as the injury are permanent ACC documented. After his tampering caused me to be an overstayer. Now he wants me to fly at my expense back to New Zealand, now that he works for the prison system. I believe he will have me killed, considering what he did to keep me away. He contaminated the courts with an email telling all of themwe broke up before we actually did. He cried the blues to all these gossip mongers.
This matter was pushed forth to hearings even though discovery wasn’t completed, they denied me any form of legal representation and denied my affidavit. Again last week, they denied my lawyer to represent me by putting him on hold and not let him participate. They are denying me any changes and forcing this date.
These court cows are disgusting from the registars to the judges.
So now that i don’t have a lawyer, and they are forcing me to pay court costs because i now have not had representation..
This scumbag human trafficked me, he stole everything from me and now im supposed to end up with nothing because these unprofessional hags are going to make sure i pay, as i noticed new Zealanders hate foreigners.
I have lost over a million dollars of income because of him injuring me, i have lost my entire life efforts because i trusted him.
I have stage 4 cancer, heart problems from first chemo, fibromyalgia, spondalitis, ptsd. But he is victimized because he claims i hit him 3 times and i kept asking for all my stuff i sent to new Zealand, he even denied ownership of.
Immigration won’t investigate as i was told i should have known, apparently I’m supposed to be psychic. Meanwhile they let him violate my privacy.
Andrew Straw says
As you go deepee down the legal hole, the stranger things get. I would not spend another dollar once it gets that bad. Cut bait and focus your life in a place that treats you better.
Vote with your feet.