I started the The Ripp Report 16 years ago as a consumer organization, handling complaints about simple consumer issues and political corruption. Political corruption and legal and ethical complaints soon overwhelmed any common consumer complaints.
Baldwin County is plagued with a deep corruption element, from top to bottom, Judiciary, attorneys and elected officials. Baldwin County is infamous for it’s rigged elections and corrupt appointments.
The county’s sheriff department investigates itself and reports to itself, ignoring any “outside law enforcement agencies”.
The good, honest and ethical members of our legal community, and politicians, are absent and silent. They are to scared to challenge the corruption of the good ole boys, aka The Machine, adopting a “just go along attitude”.
Baldwin County has Judges that can be bought and judges so incompetent they should not even have a law degree. Judges that will protect “certain” attorneys from their mistakes or legal graft. Baldwin County has SOME the most low life unscrupulous attorneys in the State of Alabama.
Of course the same corrupt judicial family boosts of being christian.
I am purposely being blunt because I want you to be warned. If you live in Baldwin County you cannot have any expectation of justice in any civil, criminal, probate or legal issue you may have.
Family court will strip your assets while ignoring your children.
How could things get this bad?
The silent good guys, Judiciary, Bar, Attorney General and laughable Ethics Commission are toothless titles. In addition to the toothless titles, Baldwin County has no print media other than Lagniappe, Mobile, that is willing to expose corruption.
The Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, Tom Albritton is a classic example of blatant corruption. Where is the outrage? Where is the media? Where are the authorities?
SHACKLED AND CHAINED
You can be guaranteed that you will see the bowels of injustice if you wind up in divorce court in Baldwin County. The cockroach attorneys that crawl around the halls of Judge Michelle Thomson’s court have made divorce, a cottage industry. They can fleece a family of money faster than a Sheppard can shear a sheep.
Judge Michelle Thomason’s court is an embarrassment to the rule of law. She has negatively impacted hundreds of family’s and has destroyed many. The Ripp Report has written numerous articles trough the years about the kangaroo court she chairs.
No judicial officer or politician in Baldwin County comes even close to the complaints Judge Thomason has garnered. The worst part is many attorneys and judges think she is incompetent, however they belong to that silent christian sect.
Maybe the good Judge is finally going to be judged.
No-one in Baldwin county ever cast a vote for Judge Michelle Thomason to sit as a circuit Judge, she was elected as a District Judge.
“District courts in the state of Alabama are courts of limited jurisdiction, attorney Austin Burdick explained, typically presiding over misdemeanor criminal cases, civil claims of less than $10,000 and some felony proceedings. On the other hand, circuit courts have general jurisdiction, where more serious and most legal matters can be disposed of. “
The Bessemer-based attorney was hired to step into a 7-year-old divorce case in Baldwin County last year, he sought Thomason’s recusal based on an alleged conflict of interest and the jurisdictional question.
Thomason, who denied a similar motion to recuse years earlier, denied it again, and higher courts declined to entertain appeals. So in July, Burdick took the complaint to federal court, where he named Secretary of State John Merrill as a defendant.
In the motion, Burdick claimed state law limits the duration of special court appointments to 180 consecutive days and “the successive reappointment’s of Thomason to hear circuit court cases for more than a decade is a blatant act of voter disenfranchisement.
The problem is we have a judge who is running as a district court judge, the voters are told she’s a district court judge, and Alabama law tells us what district court judges may do and it’s very limited,” he said. “And then instead of taking the office she was elected to, she is taking the office of a circuit court judge, so the voters are really being disenfranchised.”
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE LAGNIAPPE ARTICLE:
What pay does Judge Thomason get?
A District Judge or Circuit Judge. She just re-financed her house so I am betting she is getting the higher salary.
The Sec. Of State and the presiding Circuit Court Judge offered very weak and lame excuses for the decade long appointment of Michelle Thomason. The state law is clear and specific yet Thomason choose to deceive the public and absolutely disenfranchised the voters.
This is a very important lawsuit that has wound up in Federal court because of the failures of State Courts. Complaints in Alabama evaporate from any accountability, maybe the fed’s will do the right thing.
In the last 8 years I have talked with as many as a 100 people that were victims of Thomason’s kangaroo Court. Rarely can these individuals go public with complains because they are handcuffed to the court.
The case headed to Federal Court is one I have followed for 8 years and have personally witnessed
Judge Thomason in all her glory. Mt Burdick is representing Chey Garrigan in the Federal suit.
Chey’s story starts with her daughter being picked up at Bayside Academy by someone other than her. No permission had ever been given for anyone other than the mother to pick up the child and she gave no-one authority.
The reaction of Bayside was swift they shut down for a day, coded the doors, added security guard. The Headmaster was fired and Pricilla Comer the child’s teacher went into early retirement. Bayside has provided no sign out sheet for that child being picked up.
It is soon discovered Chey’s common law husband had the child in north Alabama.
At this point I want you to put on Chey’s shoes and imagine what your state of mind would be if this happened to you. She is slapped with “threatening phone calls” which paves the way to the bank for the cockroach attorneys. Charges are ultimately expunged.
To shorten a long story Chey finds out her daughter is back in Baldwin County and goes to the home of her ex husband. A domestic dispute ensues where Chey is assaulted by her ex and drug out of the house. Here is where the cockroaches appear, she immediately goes to Fairhope Police, and guess what? With no Miranda right every read to her, they arrest her.
At this point she became the new bait for the cockroach kangaroo court of Michelle Thomason.
Garrigan talked with Attorney Steven Johnson, the worst of the cockroaches, he agrees to represent her on the condition she have dinner with him. She rebuffs his invitation and hires Brian Chun.
Her ex, Jake Simkins hires Buddy Brackin however he shows up for court with no other than Steven Johnson. Mr. Simkins had a prior relationship as a contractor, landscaping, for both Johnson and Thomason. Brackin has a long history with Michelle Thomason.
Brakin and Johnson are Thomason’s favorite roaches and she allows them to feed in her court.
Garrigan files a bar complaint supplying a phone recording and two witnesses. Of course the useless Bar protected the attorney. Bar complaints in Alabama are fruitless however Garrigan is persistent and follows up with authenticated documents and two witnesses, which fall on deaf ears.
Attorney Brian Chunn refers to Bayside as a “preschool”?
A $10,000 dollar preschool?
Keep in mind, many attorneys’ and judges’ children go to Bayside so they do not want any negative attention.
In the first hearing, Garrigan was required to have a hair folic test for drugs. She tested negative then came the mental evaluation and alcohol allegations. With no substantial evidence cockroach Johnson poured on every legal hurdle he could muster and Judge Thomason rubber stamped all his requests.
Garrigan now goes to attorney David Simon, another roach. Cathy Brumback PHD therapist testified on her behalf of Garrigan as well as Brenda Perry, retired DHR, and a DHR case worker. It made no difference to the court. Simon wanted more money and Johnson continued to abuse the legal system, while Judge Thomasons approved Johnson’s every move.
It is under Simons employment where she is assaulted by her ex and arrested by Fairhope police. She has obviously been assaulted and went to the police for help, only to be, the only one, arrested. Her ex
does not even have to go to the police station. Why was he not additionally arrested?
After Simon and thousands of dollars for fruitless legal representation The Ripp Report suggests attorney Harry Still, not in the roach clan. Thomason appoints Larry Fison, the director of Strickland youth center to supervise visitation. Fison finds Garrigan fit and questions the actions of the ex. Judge Thomason not liking the report, she ordered, then refuses to accept it. Mr. Fison is then accused of having an affair with his client.
This results in a scathing letter to the court from Fison who has an impeccable record, a history of hundreds of clients, and never such a complaint. Thomason ignores the letter.
A JIC complaint is filed against the Judge. The JIC complaint is filed in Judge Thomasons, thick file of complaints. The Judiciary protects Judges the same as the Bar protecting Lawyers and the laughable Ethics commission protects politicians.
Harry Still hits a wall and feels it best to resign from the case. More attorneys, Judy Newcomb for one ,follow and even a donation of 10,000 dollars from a charity fails to assist Garrigan.
Now enters attorney Derek Rose in Judge Jody Bishop Court where Rose informs Garrigan he expects the Judge to dismiss the case against her. WRONG. In all fairness, Judge Bishop inherits the convoluted and collateral case, which originated from the original arrest in Fairhope.
She is escorted to Jail for 30 days with no appeal bond. After 14 days she is Shackled, chained and handcuffed, put in an orange jump suit with no undergarments, in front of a different judge from another county. She refuses a plea deal and is released from jail after 30 days with a two year probation. She is constantly drug tested for two years. All tests are negative.
I assure you this is just a summery of events, of what a mother has to go through when her child is essentially “kidnapped” and cockroach attorneys like Steven Johnson crawl out from under the toilet.
Attorney Steven Johnson and Judge Michelle Thomason have succeeded in keeping the child from the mother. She has no visitation, she does not know what school her child goes to, what church if any, or any details about her daughters life.
Chey Garrigan has spent 8 years and ten of thousands of dollars while not given up trying to see her daughter. That is all she has ever requested.
This is only one story of hundreds of victims, in Baldwin County, of a flawed court and unethical attorneys.
This Federal suit is the result of total failure and corruption of Judge Michelle Thomason. Baldwin County Family Court has Baldwin County citizens, SHACKLED, CHAINED AND HANDCUFFED from justice as long as Michelle Thomason remains a Judge and continues to deceive and disenfranchise voters.