BY LINDA SUTTER
Late Friday afternoon, December 27th, I received a text, “ Judge Doehle conducting a meet and greet at Enoteca Restaurant located on 3rd Street in downtown Crescent City between 5-7 pm”. With grand curiosity I attended. I arrived at 4:45 pm in order to get a seat. By 5:30 pm approximately 40 people had arrived. Among those apparent supporters were Martha McClure, Rich Enea, Don Beard, Don Olsen, and Gerry Hemmingsen: clearly Democratic support.
I ended up leaving before she spoke due to a prior dinner engagement at 6 pm. But there are things I know about Judge Doelhe that I will take into consideration as she asks for my vote. In the very short time Doelhe has been on the bench, she has shown time and time again political favoritism first and law second. Her background is not well rounded. As a family law attorney she demonstrates unfamiliarity with complex civil, constitutional, or criminal law, all at the public’s expense.
Is she capable of making simple decisions in a timely manner in a small claims court between a tenant and landlord dispute? The answer is a resounding “No!” Not only can she not make a simple decision due to lack of understanding of the law, instead of finalizing a decision within a week as she stated in court, she took three weeks. Justice delayed is justice denied, costing the landlords involved in the case hundreds and hundreds of dollars while their property is further destroyed and the tenant received another month rent-free.
Does Judge Doehle have the inner strength to practice excellent law by the law? The answer is clearly demonstrated in her court room with a resounding, “No!” Women and children in this county are suffering from violent attackers without consequence or even something as minor as a restraining order. In one case Ms. Doehle signed a search warrant that was in violation of Civil Rights demonstrating that she lacks the basic fundamental understanding of what constitutes probable cause.
When a litigant makes a decision to have her recused as a judge in their case Ms. Doehle does not graciously abide by the law and bow out, she argues with the litigant on why she should be the judge and then demeans the litigant by placing a vexatious litigant label (chronic filing of frivolous lawsuits with the intent of harassment) on the person. Where is the justice when it causes the litigant more time and financial burden to an already expensive litigation case?
Anyone in California can look up someone’s name to see if they are on the vexatious litigant list, and if they are, it affects one’s ability to sue because it means you have filed so many baseless, meritless and frivolous lawsuits that it affects ones right to petition. It puts it up to the whim of a judge to allow you to file. Being put on a vexatious litigant list is a tactic commonly used by attorneys and courts to stiffle a person who is an outspoken advocate against corruption.
What the public needs to understand is all judges have qualified immunity. It basically means they can screw up your case and your life without any consequence, destroying your life or a child’s life. We the taxpayers of this county don’t have time for these types of mistakes nor do we have the financial resources to support this person because she wants the prestige of being a judge. Ms. Doehle does not appear to have her emotions in control to support law and bases her decisions on handshakes from the District Attorney’s office as well as how she feels instead of what the law says. This county has had enough decisions based on the good old boys instead of upon integrity, honesty and fortitude.
True, I did not hear what she had to say Friday night, but I base my opinion on what I have personally witnessed in her court room and I doubt there is anything she could say that would change my opinion. I will listen to her rhetoric at least once and we’ll see if she changes my mind. However, actions speak louder than words and her track record speaks volumes about the kind of judge she is and will continue to be.