DECEMBER 7, 2008
HONORABLE RICHARD B. TEITELMAN
C/o MO. STATE SUPREME COURT
207 WEST HIGH STREET
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. 65101
RE: CAUSE #: ED74508 (12/7/99)
GRAY (city of Festus) vs. White
Please allow me to preface this correspondence with a brief introduction of who I am and what precipitates this writing. My name is Jeff Weinhaus, lifelong resident of Missouri. I am the owner/editor/publisher of “The Bulletin” newsletter, as well as “The Provocateur” newspaper. For their duration, these publications have presented the side of the legal system that most involved in that very quagmire choose to ignore predominant is rural/backwoods/bubba controlled venues in our state. It usually culminates in judges pressing their lips against the rear-ends of their golf-buddy/politician/lawyer friends, and most adversely effects those at the bottom end of the “who they know”, “JUST-US” chain (taxpayers/landowners/small businessmen). One venue where this is most evident is in the “C-I-R-C-U-S” Court of Jefferson County. Over the last 14 years I have garnered much “mileage” from this story. After your involvement, it seemed (and was hoped) that it would have a bright ending; JUSTICE, if you will, as opposed to the prior “JUST-US”, that Mr. White was experiencing. BUT, an ill wind has again exited the rat’s ass, here in Jefferson County. Hence, I felt it time to contact you. I have interviewed Mr. White in depth, on numerous occasions and defer to quoting him extensively on this matter, as no one knows this case better than he. He’s had to endure it for 15 years!!!!
The above captioned cause that I write you on today is one which you have a long and intimate connection with. I felt it was fitting that I am writing you for commentary (and to bring you up to speed on the latest GAMES being played in this matter) on the NINTH (does it ever end???) anniversary of you authoring the decision in ED74508. It is my hope to get a printable response from you after you have an opportunity to research this issue. Or, at least, to make the Court you are currently seated on, aware of the “JUST-US” injustice taking place in both the 23rd Judicial CIRCUS Court, AND the Eastern District Court of Appeals!!!
A synopsis (before you re-read the decision you and Judge Mooney concurred on in ’99): Defendant (hereinafter referred to as Mr. White) had operated an antique and classic auto restoration dealership on the rural outskirts of the City of Festus. He had operated that business out of his home, in Festus, for 8 years, until such time that he outgrew that viability. Plus Festus interceded and shut him down. In 1979 he went through a process of having his 8-acre tract of land rezoned to commercial & was allowed to erect a new building, and relocate the operation to that 8-acre tract. I have a personal connection to this whole scenario, as the 8-acre tract was purchased by Mr. White’s father, from my maternal grandfather, in 1957; Mr. White bought his first vehicle, a 1957 MG-A from my paternal grandfather, in 1969. Throughout the fifteen years Mr. White operated there, from ’79 to ’94, his business prospered and grew, as did the local greedy land developers (who utilized the JUST-US principles with the local politicians). Throughout that same period, a 40-acre hayfield across the street “sprouted” several dozen very high dollar homes. As politics goes, the squeaky wheel needing the grease was not on one of Mr. White’s vehicles, but rather the disgruntled homeowners across from Mr. White’s operation. In ’94, Mr. White’s then 37 year-old fiancée was dying of breast cancer. The plaintiff, hereafter referred to as Festus (since they removed Mr. Gray as a denominated party), was it as an opportune time to “kick” Mr. White, while he was down. They refused to reissue his City Business license, resulting in the loss of his state dealer’s license. Thus, by statutory regulation, terminating his business viability as an auto dealer, and only allowing him to sell 6, versus 200, annually. I find it perplexing that the regulations for Mr. White to become a Missouri Auto are more restrictive/constrictive than those for Mr. White obtaining his license to sell machine-guns???? They filed for injunctive relief in the local CIRCUS Court in January ’95; Mr. White filed a counterclaim for damages. The priorly described ass-kissing bench ruled in favor of Festus; Mr. White, pro-se, took case through Eastern District Appellate; you authored the decision; Festus transferred to State Supreme Ct.; Mr. White prevailed. Case remanded back to trial lever for reinstatement of counterclaim for DAMAGES (a very important issue, at this juncture); Festus was ordered to immediately provide Mr. White with a license, and to reimburse him for the cost associated with the appeal.
Immediatlely afterwards, Mr. White (in January of 2001) went to Festus and offered to settle, without involving counsel, or them (the citizens of Festus) paying any more in litigation costs. His offer was $1.75 Million and HE would voluntarily remove the cars/buildings/business and never restart an auto business there (something your decision states he'll never have to do)!!! This offer was to also cover another pending matter of even more "JUST-US" (which you likely have not been privy to): Mr. White had contracts from 2 cell-phone providers to put towers on that same property. They were to lease a 50-foot square for $600/mo. over 25 years and $500/mo. over 20 years. BUT, the politicians already shoving it in White's rear over this matter of his car business, tortorously interfered with his contract (he had already cashed the first checks) and the carriers rescinded both contracts!!! NOW, hang on , it gets better. One tower was erected a block away on a city lot (between 3 new homes) belonging to Mr. Gray (YES, the very same Mr. Gray in this matter; Festus' building commissioner). The other tower went a block away to then Jefferson County Public Administrator, Larry Church, (AHHHH-POLITICS and "JUST-US"). After that, the then Festus Chief of Police (YES, the same chief you personally refer to in you decision for Mr. White, who YOU stated "CAUSED him to loose his license"), pitched a fit because he didn't get the tower on his property. Mr. Gray was fired; litigation followed; he got his job back; a better position; a raise; recovered lost pay; and kept his tower. Mr. White, he got left-out!!!!
Well, Festus told Mr. White that they would never pay him a penny. "He needed to go back to Court and they intended to then drag this issue with appeals for another 10 years”. Well, here we are. Mr. White hired counsel to handle these monetary matters, since your decision had become final and had already shown the wrongdoing on the part of Festus. All that needed to be settled was the matter of DAMAGES.
Judge Patterson recused himself after the counterclaim for DAMAGES was reinstated; Judge Kramer took over from there. Since ’01, one delay after another, by Festus, has been approved by Kramer and his CIRCUS Court. In December of ’07, the case was set to go to trial. Mr. White had gone in debt for $20K to secure expert fiscal witnesses, to corroborate his extensive losses from the time of his business being shut-down in ’94 through the 6 full years it took to get back to the DAMAGES issue in Court, and for the ongoing future lost profits. During this same period of trial preparation, Festus never even declared any expert witnesses to refute those of Mr. White. Why; because they already knew what Kramer would pull on their behalf (dismissing at the last minute)!!! Kramer had started waffling, and took the position that Mr. White’s decision (which you authored) never showed “wrongdoing”. It was his posture that Mr. White not only needed to prove his fiscal damages, but also needed to prove the “wrongdoing” (on Festus’ part). Now, this wrongdoing was cited and covered by you throughout your whole Appellate decision. You spoke to Festus’ position constituting an illegal taking of Mr. White’s property; the unconstitutional nature of licensing requirements and denials (already a precedent from Capps v Bruns); and relative to the Festus police chief; “that the City, acting through its police chief, caused Appellant to lose his state dealer’s license”. Yet, with all of you citations of wrongdoing, Kramer put White into the position of having to “re-try” the original case, in addition to his DAMAGES counterclaim (???res-adjudicata????). THEN, at the 23rd hour, Kramer allowed Festus to raise a new affirmative defense, Sovereign Immunity. At that point, Kramer allowed the SANDBAGGING and dismissed the counterclaim for that very defense. Festus should have been time barred, under Court rules (guess they don’t apply in a CIRCUS Court); additionally, Festus should have been barred from raising any immunity defenses due to Mr. White’s constitutional and civil rights having been violated (as outlined in your decision). I fully understand the premise of “The King Can Do No Wrong”; but, I do not understand its place in a country where we sent “intended application”). Also, “the responsibility of one to pay is not negated by their inability to pay”. Relative to the intent issues: I would think that your whole premise in ordering the Trial Court to hear White’s counterclaim for DAMAGES, was in attempt to see Mr. White “made whole again”!?!?!?! And, had you intended for him to start a protracted “application process”, to regain his licensure, you’d have instructed him to do same!?!?!? I trust that the ambiguity issue holds for judges’ mandates, as well????
I was in attendance both times White presented oral argument (at ED and Supreme Court). I distinctly remember your humorous reaction when he spoke of “people liking pork steaks, but not pig farms; that they needed to realize that when you build a home downstream/downwind of one, your air and water may get a little shitty, in taste”!!! He went on to speak of their same approach on antique cars; the fact they love them restored and in a parade, yet employ the NIMBY principle when a guy restores them for a living next door. He also spoke of government bodies not implementing their planning AND zoning on equal depths of focus (exactly what happened with White’s property and subsequent issues). The only two people who’ve made sense throughout all of this is White and yourself.
I would love to get you take on this, but I know that is highly unlikely, till it is over, and/or too late. What is of paramount portent, first and foremost, is that JUSTICE, not more JUST-US, prevail in these types of cases. Hopefully you will see this justice is afforded Mr. White. You have dealt with adversity and achieved much; Mr. White has had his share of the same. His father died at age none; his brother was a year old. Ten years later his mother committed suicide and he curtailed his college law studies to raise his then 11 year old brother, turning his hobby into the very business in issue. At 41 he lost the fiancée to breast cancer. Before your decision was finalized by the Supreme Court, in an effort to at least mildly mitigate damages, and secure SOME income, he opened a bicycle business in late summer of 2000. His income has plummeted from $100K+/year in early ‘80s to less than $15K/yr (now roughly the annual cost of his health-care insurance; and hence the $5 million amended DAMAGES counterclaim). As Mr. White puts it “if this case is lost, he has nothing left to lose, but his life”. Scary when you realize it is coming from a man who wears a shirt that states “WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, ANARCHY WORKS; LET US NEVER FORGET HOW WE FORMED THIS ONCE GREAT NATION”, with a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on the other side of the shirt (a belief I strongly harbor, too). This has also become the sentiment of many of my readers, and grows every time another politician/judge/lawyer pulls this crap. Please see that this case, now being asked for your re-consideration, is handled justly, and to fruition. It has become ever more increasingly evident that White cannot garner a fair trial, if a trial at all, in Jefferson County. Your highest of Courts should hear this case, and put it to rest, to avoid re-visitation for perpetuity. Folks say “Cooky Thornton didn’t handle this right” before his Kirkwood City Hall massacre. Well, Mr. White HAS handled things properly (to date) and has lost far more than the $2K of traffic tickets Thornton had (which was erased before his rampage). With Mr. White’s background in construction/demolition, weapons, and explosives, it would be nothing for him to make the Thornton rampage look like a cake and ice cream social (and if this goes any further south, I’d say he’s fully justified). We don’t need to add more judges/politicians/and attorneys to Mr. White’s “shouldn’t be breathing” list; let’s instead negate it!?!?!?!
P.O. BOX 72
CRYSTAL CITY, MO 63019