Committees of Correspondence

February 12, 1998


    I remind you that the "Committees of Correspondence" were formed in the 1770's to alert the citizenry of the imperial abuses of King George III and his agents. Over two hundred years after creating a federal republic, the taint of imperial abuse is back. We gave specific powers to a federal government and reserved the remainder to the states.

    Abuse of judicial powers occur in the case of John & Rhetta Sweeney. On April 14, 1989 the Sweeneys filed a lawsuit against ComFed Bank of Lowell, Massachusetts in Middlesex Superior Court, a state court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the first "Committee of Correspondence" was created. In response to the bank failure and fraud of ComFed, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) succeeded to ComFed Bank in a court filing of December 13, 1990. In order to establish jurisdiction over the Sweeney case, federal law required that substitution of parties and removal to federal court had to be perfected within 30 days. Substitution had to be achieved before the case could be removed.

    Lawyers for both sides were still arguing substitution before Judge Sullivan on January 15, 1991- two days past the legal deadline for removal. Examination of Middlesex Superior Court docket sheets in both state and federal court show that no notice of removal was recorded until January 30, 1991, fifteen days after the statutory deadline had expired.

    Are we a nation of laws or men? The removal statute requires compliance within 30 days- no later than by January 13, 1991. What authority allows for the requirement of law to be swept aside? Who is the imperial judge who can ignore the law? Not only was removal a nullity but also substitution. How do we know ? On August 31, 1993- nearly two years after this judge allowed removal and substitution- another attorney for the RTC entered a motion to substitute, clearly recognizing the failure to substitute within the original removal.

    How did this federal judge come to nullify a state court decision and judgment without authority of perfected substitution and removal? And without perfected removal or an issued writ how is it that the Federal District Court had in its possession the entire original Sweeney state court file?

    And how is it that the agent for the RTC, author of this substitution and removal, acting without a legal services agreement, entered the motions in the Sweeney case in four different courts- Essex, Middlesex, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Federal District Court- without notifying opposing counsel?

    We need to reclaim the federal legal system from such imperial abuse. Every citizen is entitled to the protection of the law, and entitled to the certainty that original state court records cannot be removed from the courthouse. Want to feel outraged? Go to the Middlesex Superior Court and demand to see the original Sweeney Court file. It is gone. It could be you.