Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I make the "Watch List"

I was stopped at the door of the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C. today by the U.S. Marshal's Service. They indicated that I was on their "Watch and Escort List" and needed an armed escort to go to the Clerk's office in order to file some legal papers. What fun!

I stand in good company. My family was so proud when then-President Nixon put my grandmother, Mrs. Harper Sibley on his enemies list. She was on Nixon's enemies list we later learned because she was president of that radical group --the United Council of Church Women.

Anyway, here is my letter to the Marshal's Service in response . . .

United States Marshal George B. Walsh
U.S. Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

Re: Inclusion on United States Marshal’s “Watch & Escort List”

I write to inquire upon what basis I have been placed on the United States Marshal’s “Watch & Escort List” at the U.S. Courthouse at 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Today, for the second time in the last two months, I was stopped at the security checkpoint at the 3rd Street, N.W. entrance immediately upon entering and before I presented any identification. The United States Marshal on duty informed me that he was required to have me escorted in the building and immediately called someone to escort me to the Clerk’s office where I had a matter to file. I was escorted to and from that office and then left the building.

While at all times all members of the United States Marshal’s Service treated me with dignity and respect, I nonetheless must write and inquire – pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act – upon what basis I have been accorded this special – and chilling – treatment in pursuit of my First Amendment right to petition the government.

I do not believe that my suspension from the practice of law by this Court – without hearing I might add – merits such treatment. Nor does the fact that as counsel for the D.C. Madam, Jeane Palfrey, I am in possession of heretofore not publically released telephone records which contain the telephone numbers of individuals who work in the U.S. Courthouse and identify them as customers of the escort service, merit such treatment.

Accordingly, please either provide promptly the basis for the inclusion of my name on the United States Marshal’s “Watch & Escort List” at the U.S. Courthouse at 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W., so that I may challenge such defamation of my character or confirm in writing that I am not on such a list so that I may have such letter with me whenever I desire to enter the Courthouse.


Vicky Gallas said...

Welcome to the club Montgomery! But wait - you were only the attorney that attempted to defend your former client, Jeane Palfrey, zealously. Now you know why I didn't bother with law school.

Good luck on getting any answer to your letter - yes, I know it's the Freedom of Information Act - but trust me, it's not what it is supposed to be at all.

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