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1
The Seed Discussion Forum / Those freaking anniversaries
« on: March 13, 2014, 06:43:56 PM »
A mere 41 years ago...this day comes and goes now without much thought about what it was in 1973.
Thanks so much all the folks on this forum who understood, reached out, and were kind to me. Thank you.   

2
Published on originally on Law.Com Augst 31, 2010
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 
Pa. Supreme Court: Minors May Be Involuntarily Committed for Drug, Alcohol Addiction
By:  Leo Strupczewski

The Legal Intelligencer
August 31, 2010

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of an act that allows for parents and guardians to have minors involuntarily committed for drug and alcohol treatment.

Writing that prior case law established the presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children, the court, by way of a 6-1 majority, ruled that parents' rights to make decisions on the care of their children are "paramount" to the constitutional rights of their children.

That, along with the decision that the therapeutic nature of drug and alcohol treatment altered the bar for due process claims, helped lead the court to its ruling.

"We stress that we are dealing with a process in which a parent or guardian is seeking medical treatment for their child," Justice Debra Todd wrote. "This statute is civil in nature and involves therapeutic treatment for a brief duration -- as well as the hope of recovery and a brighter future for the child."

Justice Thomas G. Saylor dissented from the majority, writing that he was concerned with the risk for errors in making commitments, the possible length of the commitments and the manner in which the assessment is completed.

"I am not insensitive to the possibility that familial ties may be strained by pitting children against their parents or guardians as adversaries in a judicial setting and hence, I would not conclude that adversarial testing of the petitioner's veracity or motives is constitutionally required -- particularly as the petition itself becomes largely irrelevant once an assessment is ordered," Saylor wrote.

"I would hold, though, that, in view of the substantial involuntary commitment periods authorized by Act 53, and the possibility of erroneous deprivations due to the brevity of the assessment process, the 14th Amendment entitles a minor to a more thorough evaluation concerning the need for inpatient treatment than the relatively scanty procedures outlined in Act 53."

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, had argued at oral arguments in September 2009 that the act was unconstitutional on its face.

Reached for comment, she said the decision was a "great disappointment."

"The lack of protection [for juveniles] is worrisome," Levick said. "Having said that, I'm not sure where else we can go."

She later added: "You can read Saylor's dissent and we certainly take solace that at least one justice who heard the case agreed with what our arguments were."

Kemal A. Mericli of the Office of the Attorney General, who had argued the act was constitutionally viable, could not be reached for comment.

According to Todd, a juvenile, referred to only as F.C., was committed to a residential treatment program after his grandmother filed a two-sentence petition and he admitted during an assessment that he used marijuana daily and alcohol occasionally.

His grandmother's petition read "[F.C.] will not go to school and I believe he's doing drugs and he's running away. And he's stealing."

The minor had volunteered to attend an outpatient program.

After the trial court ordered the commitment, F.C. appealed the decision and challenged the constitutionality of Act 53, which permits such commitments. The court ruled it was constitutionally viable, as did a unanimous panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Authoring the Superior Court panel's decision, Senior Judge Robert E. Colville wrote that due process is "concerned with the procedural safeguards demanded by each particular situation in light of the legitimate goals of the applicable law." Considering that fact, Colville wrote for the panel, the procedures used under Act 53, namely, not providing juveniles an opportunity to dispute the allegations lodged against them and subjecting them to assessment outside the presence of counsel, are "fundamentally fair" when weighed against the goal of providing treatment to minors.

In her analysis of the case, Todd agreed with Colville's reasoning.

The justice cited the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court decision Parham v. J.R.

Though F.C. argued Parham required a "careful analysis" of a minor's background before making a commitment decision to meet due process standards, Todd wrote the case recognized minors enjoy "certain rights," but that the "significant right of the parent or guardian to make decisions regarding care is paramount."

Further, Todd wrote, Act 53 requires a parent or guardian to file a petition, a medical professional to conduct an assessment and a formal hearing, with a right to counsel for the minor, before a juvenile may be involuntarily committed by the court.

Those requirements must be met every 45 days to determine whether a juvenile should still be committed, according to Todd.

F.C. argued the state's Mental Health Procedures Act and additional Act 53 procedures in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas offered extra protections to juveniles that should be extended in all Act 53 proceedings.

Todd wrote, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court has held there is no constitutional right to a formal hearing for a minor when a parent or guardian thinks there's a need for medical treatment and that a "minimal informal" procedure is enough.

Further, Todd wrote, parents or guardians filing petitions with the court do so subject to penalty of unsworn falsification to authorities.

"[W]hile the provision of additional protections for minors as exemplified in other statutes and in Allegheny County may be salutary, they do not render Act 53 itself unconstitutional," Todd wrote. "In this light, appellant's argument for additional protections is more properly made to the General Assembly

3
News Items / PA Supreme Court: Minors may be Involuntarily Committed
« on: August 31, 2010, 08:47:39 PM »
Published on originally on Law.Com Augst 31, 2010
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 
Pa. Supreme Court: Minors May Be Involuntarily Committed for Drug, Alcohol Addiction
By:  Leo Strupczewski

The Legal Intelligencer
August 31, 2010

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of an act that allows for parents and guardians to have minors involuntarily committed for drug and alcohol treatment.

Writing that prior case law established the presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children, the court, by way of a 6-1 majority, ruled that parents' rights to make decisions on the care of their children are "paramount" to the constitutional rights of their children.

That, along with the decision that the therapeutic nature of drug and alcohol treatment altered the bar for due process claims, helped lead the court to its ruling.

"We stress that we are dealing with a process in which a parent or guardian is seeking medical treatment for their child," Justice Debra Todd wrote. "This statute is civil in nature and involves therapeutic treatment for a brief duration -- as well as the hope of recovery and a brighter future for the child."

Justice Thomas G. Saylor dissented from the majority, writing that he was concerned with the risk for errors in making commitments, the possible length of the commitments and the manner in which the assessment is completed.

"I am not insensitive to the possibility that familial ties may be strained by pitting children against their parents or guardians as adversaries in a judicial setting and hence, I would not conclude that adversarial testing of the petitioner's veracity or motives is constitutionally required -- particularly as the petition itself becomes largely irrelevant once an assessment is ordered," Saylor wrote.

"I would hold, though, that, in view of the substantial involuntary commitment periods authorized by Act 53, and the possibility of erroneous deprivations due to the brevity of the assessment process, the 14th Amendment entitles a minor to a more thorough evaluation concerning the need for inpatient treatment than the relatively scanty procedures outlined in Act 53."

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, had argued at oral arguments in September 2009 that the act was unconstitutional on its face.

Reached for comment, she said the decision was a "great disappointment."

"The lack of protection [for juveniles] is worrisome," Levick said. "Having said that, I'm not sure where else we can go."

She later added: "You can read Saylor's dissent and we certainly take solace that at least one justice who heard the case agreed with what our arguments were."

Kemal A. Mericli of the Office of the Attorney General, who had argued the act was constitutionally viable, could not be reached for comment.

According to Todd, a juvenile, referred to only as F.C., was committed to a residential treatment program after his grandmother filed a two-sentence petition and he admitted during an assessment that he used marijuana daily and alcohol occasionally.

His grandmother's petition read "[F.C.] will not go to school and I believe he's doing drugs and he's running away. And he's stealing."

The minor had volunteered to attend an outpatient program.

After the trial court ordered the commitment, F.C. appealed the decision and challenged the constitutionality of Act 53, which permits such commitments. The court ruled it was constitutionally viable, as did a unanimous panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Authoring the Superior Court panel's decision, Senior Judge Robert E. Colville wrote that due process is "concerned with the procedural safeguards demanded by each particular situation in light of the legitimate goals of the applicable law." Considering that fact, Colville wrote for the panel, the procedures used under Act 53, namely, not providing juveniles an opportunity to dispute the allegations lodged against them and subjecting them to assessment outside the presence of counsel, are "fundamentally fair" when weighed against the goal of providing treatment to minors.

In her analysis of the case, Todd agreed with Colville's reasoning.

The justice cited the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court decision Parham v. J.R.

Though F.C. argued Parham required a "careful analysis" of a minor's background before making a commitment decision to meet due process standards, Todd wrote the case recognized minors enjoy "certain rights," but that the "significant right of the parent or guardian to make decisions regarding care is paramount."

Further, Todd wrote, Act 53 requires a parent or guardian to file a petition, a medical professional to conduct an assessment and a formal hearing, with a right to counsel for the minor, before a juvenile may be involuntarily committed by the court.

Those requirements must be met every 45 days to determine whether a juvenile should still be committed, according to Todd.

F.C. argued the state's Mental Health Procedures Act and additional Act 53 procedures in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas offered extra protections to juveniles that should be extended in all Act 53 proceedings.

Todd wrote, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court has held there is no constitutional right to a formal hearing for a minor when a parent or guardian thinks there's a need for medical treatment and that a "minimal informal" procedure is enough.

Further, Todd wrote, parents or guardians filing petitions with the court do so subject to penalty of unsworn falsification to authorities.

"[W]hile the provision of additional protections for minors as exemplified in other statutes and in Allegheny County may be salutary, they do not render Act 53 itself unconstitutional," Todd wrote. "In this light, appellant's argument for additional protections is more properly made to the General Assembly

4
The Seed Discussion Forum / REJOICE and celebrate May 9, 2010
« on: June 24, 2010, 09:33:13 PM »
Broward County, FL

Arthur R. Barker
Probate Case No.:  PRC  100002513
DOD 5/9/10

Not much on the public record:  May 28, 2010 Purported Will Case opened
case opened; Receipt issued;
May 29, 2010 Purported Will Case closed.  

Wisely, a private event.

5
The Seed Discussion Forum / Tired and dismayed
« on: July 29, 2009, 06:28:00 PM »
Have you folks and guests who seem so intent on tearing everyone who crosses your path a new asshole lost your minds???? Geeze louise....go back and read what you wrote and then stop for minute. Just stop. And think.  

Apparently there needs to be some moderator/moderation here because self-restraint is clearly not present of late.  I have an idea:  instead of yelling at the "the man" for attempting to supress your free speech, why not take a few minutes to reflect on what you are about to stick up here for the whole world to read and perhaps, just maybe, edit the content so that your true intent is clear to the reader.   Or tell me to fuck off.

People had different experiences, they are going to have different memories and therefore different opinions about their experiences.  But the point of introspection, which is sometimes what happens here, is to see what's inside. We know that coming to terms with the seed experiece is an introspective exercise.  It makes people vulnerable and easy targets.  Under these circumstances, restraint is a virtue.  

There's no boogey man here, just lots people who are on a continuum. Greg, Ginger, pro-seed people, anti-seed people, trolls, guests, me, the Joneses, and the people who are trying to keep up with the Joneses, the spies, the anti-spies...we're all just moving along working through the stuff of this life and making it to next day.  
 
Finally, can some one, any one at all,  please explain to me what social value, what greater good is served by making wild, baseless accusations about a persons intelligence, sexuality, moral, or ethical standards?  Since we are essentially stangers bashing away on keyboards who have never had the pleasure of a personal meeing, is seems kind of stupid to accuse each other of being cross-dressers, liars, uneducated, etc., etc.  In the light of our last day, none of us is going to be all that pretty anyway.      

But then again, maybe tearing new assholes and misdirecting IS the agenda.   :wall:    
DOH !
Signing off to dream of a kinder, gentler world, a thousand points of light....

Stripe

6
The Troubled Teen Industry / New Case Against Sue Scheff
« on: August 07, 2007, 12:01:31 PM »
David Leacock, attorney in Jupiter, FL filed a lawsuit on behalf of Scott Green and Michelle Green, Plaintiffs.

The suit names as Defendant:
Susan L. Scheff
Parents Universal Resource Experts, Inc.
Focal Point Academy, LLC
Glen Horlacher
and Boyd Hooper
 

Case was filed in Broward County, FL  
Case filed 7/31/2007
Case No.  06 2007-CA 18185 AXXXCE

Case is before Judge Leroy H. Moe

7
Just curious b/c I live in LW now.  I'm a Seed survivor, probably a bit older than most Life-ers.   I recall seeing an article in the local newspaper a couple of years back. Just wondering what's up and if the place is still ruining lives....

8
News Items / DRUG-FREE ZONES
« on: July 06, 2007, 01:05:31 PM »
Drug-free zones target blacks unfairly, critics say

By ANTIGONE BARTON, and CHRISTINE STAPLETON
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 01, 2007


The 400 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard, where four men stood on a recent Sunday beckoning passing cars, doesn't appear to enjoy special protection from drug crimes.
But with two signs warning that this city street is a "drug-free" zone, this neighborhood of modest homes and aged apartment complexes is one of the front lines of a quarter-century-old "war on drugs."
It is a war that has seen years of casualties with no end in sight; the number of people imprisoned for drug-related crimes has only climbed each year since 1982. And while police say the heightened penalties for selling drugs in drug-free zones fortify their position, critics say the size and number of these zones have only increased the toll with a disproportionate impact on black offenders.
"The crimes aren't being displaced because there's nowhere to displace them to. There's no incentive for drug dealers to move," said Ben Barlyn, a New Jersey deputy attorney general who heads a state commission that in 2004 examined the impact of drug-free zones in that state.
That study, followed by two more, concluded that drug-free zones cover densely populated urban corridors where black neighborhoods predominate. As a result, researchers said, zones have created two systems of justice, penalizing black offenders for where they live as well as for their crimes, while white offenders who tend to live and work out of the zone face lesser penalties.
Those examining the impact of drug laws have pointed to other factors leading to disproportionate numbers of blacks serving time for drug crimes, including higher penalties for crack cocaine than powder cocaine, and for street narcotics than unauthorized prescription drugs. Racial profiling also has been cited as contributing to racially disparate incarceration rates.
While policy analysts have found all of these factors have led to longer prison sentences for black offenders and distrust of law enforcement in black communities, they cite one more problem with 1,000-foot zones.
The zones, they say, have proven to be a losing strategy in the war on drugs.
Still, Florida lawmakers have continued to expand the zones and add more.
A Palm Beach Post study of the law's effects shows that the zones now blanket Palm Beach County's inner cities and:
Of 440 people arrested in Palm Beach County last year on "selling within 1,000" charges, 406 - 92 percent - were black;
Statewide, 80 percent of those charged with selling within 1,000 last year were black;
Application of the law is inconsistent, with cases dismissed for 16 percent of white defendants and 6.6 percent of black defendants.
The numbers of people sent to prison on selling within 1,000 charges have climbed steadily in the past 10 years, with black convicts outnumbering whites 12-1.
On Boynton Beach's Martin Luther King Boulevard, two signs warn that this is a "drug-free school zone," while the sign down the block states that this is a "drug-free park zone."
Alone, either sign means that people caught selling drugs here can face more serious charges and more prison time than drug sellers elsewhere. Together, the signs mean two sets of raised charges and penalties. And, although no sign says so, churches in the neighborhood and the convenience store across the street mean dealers could face four criminal charges for one drug transaction.
The same four crimes can also be charged to residents of this street caught with saleable amounts of drugs in their homes.
That is because people living on this street live within the overlapping circumferences of four invisible thousand-foot circles.
Across Florida, these circles also surround community centers, day-care facilities, colleges, housing projects, and, after a 2005 addition to state drug laws, nursing homes.
"Now they're protecting people who can't even leave the premises," said Anthony Calvello, a Palm Beach County public defender who appealed some of South Florida's first drug-free zone arrests to the state's Supreme Court. "What's the thinking behind all this?"
While lawmakers put them in all 50 states during the past 20 years, researchers have found the zones have not slowed drug selling.
"The premise was to protect certain places and drive drug dealing away from vulnerable people," said William Brownsberger, a former prosecutor and policy analyst, who in 2001 completed the first critical study of the law in Massachusetts. "But when every place is special, no place is special. What the laws do is lock people up for exorbitant periods of time for relatively low-level crimes."
Police, weary of arresting and rearresting drug dealers, say any law that keeps criminals off their streets for longer is valuable to them.
Opponents of the law say the money now spent on longer prison sentences could be better spent on drug treatment and entrepreneurial training.
'A nice fat round number'
Calvello calls the law establishing the zones "a draconian statute with no rationality."
To get an idea of how long 1,000 feet is, imagine standing at the corner of one city block and seeing what's happening three blocks away. A thousand feet is nearly a fifth of a mile, more than the span of three football fields and as long as the town of Briny Breezes.
Nobody seems to know how lawmakers concluded that 1,000 feet was the distance necessary to protect children from drug dealers.
"It was a nice fat round number," said Barlyn, of the New Jersey commission. "When push comes to shove, we find the law casts too broad a net."
In 1982, though, the late Sen. Strom Thurmond's proposal to add extra penalties to those caught selling within 1,000 feet of schools helped to set the stern tone for the "war on drugs" the Reagan administration had promised.
When Florida passed its own law in 1987, police in Fort Lauderdale set up stings within 1,000 feet of schools.
"There were about 50 of these cases," recalled Calvello, who appealed many of them. Judges threw out about 20 cases, saying that luring offenders into the zones was an unconstitutional application of the law. Prosecutors appealed those cases.
Defendants appealed the cases that weren't thrown out.
Calvello wrote the appeals brief for the State of Florida vs. Stacy Burch, representing Burch in an appeal of what was actually a group of cases, under the name of one of the first arrested under the law.
He argued that the law had a disparate impact on members of racial minorities of whom a greater number tend to live in the densely populated urban areas now decreed "drug free."
The 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach rejected that argument and the case went before the Florida Supreme Court, which upheld the statute, saying it was not intended to be discriminatory but to protect children.
Many arrests, however, took place when schools were not in session.
"It could be midnight in the middle of July," Calvello said.
The Florida high court, along with other state supreme courts, also said it had seen no evidence that the law disproportionately affected black offenders.
That would have been impossible to prove in the early years of the law, Calvello said.
In the past 10 years, however, while the number of white offenders imprisoned on selling-within-1,000 convictions has tripled, the number of black offenders imprisoned on the charges increased tenfold.
"If these statistics are borne out, maybe the court should take another look at it," Calvello said.
The law's scope has only grown, with little investigation of its impact.
The Florida Legislature added a minimum sentence provision to the law, saying those convicted of selling drugs near a school would serve at least three years in prison. The provision had originally applied to drug buyers as well, but they, along with rapists, were exempted from mandatory sentences when the threat of explosive jail crowding became clear.
In addition to the 1,000-foot school zones, lawmakers added a number of smaller zones to the law, eliminating good behavior time-off for those convicted of selling controlled substances within 200 feet of public housing projects, vocational schools and public parks in 1990. In 1998, they tagged on day-care centers, places of worship and convenience stores.
In 2001, a research team in Boston headed by the former prosecutor and policy analyst Brownsberger found that dealers continued to sell drugs where they lived, with urban drug dealers simply paying stiffer penalties.
Those penalties, he added, didn't "serve anyone because when they eventually do come out, they're often unable to function in society."
Crime 'deserves ... special severity'
While Brownsberger's study had found that drug sellers seldom sold to minors, a Hialeah high school civics class was pushing for a law to expand drug-free zones, saying that would better protect children. In 2003, a bill based on their work and sponsored by Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, passed, turning previously 200-foot zones into 1,000-foot zones.
Aronberg keeps a photo on his wall of then-Gov. Jeb Bush signing the bill into law.
His intent, he says now, was to make sure that the law was consistent.
"If that means that drug deals are treated more seriously throughout the city, then so be it," he said recently. "I think this is a crime that is so destructive that it deserves to be treated with special severity."
Police in cities now consisting of almost uninterrupted "drug-free" zones agree.
"Obviously when we arrest drug dealers, we want them to get the highest penalty they can," said Sgt. Rick Ponce, spokesman for the Lake Worth Police Department, "because then they won't be committing crimes in the city."
West Palm Beach Lt. Thomas Wills said, "if it's within 1,000 feet, we will charge it 100 percent of the time."
The charge makes getting bond more difficult as well, helping slow the revolving door effect of drug sellers immediately re-offending after their arrests.
Called a distortion of due process
Gabriel Sayeth, of the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit organization that examines the effects of drug laws, said that clout comes at a cost.
"The idea of due process is distorted beyond recognition under these laws. The people who live in school zones face something that people living elsewhere never have to face - a very strong reason to plea out," Sayeth said.
The Drug Policy Alliance commissioned the study "Disparity by Design" that examined laws across the country in 2006, finding them to have been ineffective in reducing drug crimes, inconsistently enforced, and, with a record now of 20 years, indefensibly discriminatory.
In addition, researchers concluded that money spent on longer prison sentences would be better spent on drug addiction treatment.
Florida now spends an average of $49.61 a day - $18,108 yearly - to imprison each of its inmates, while the average cost for a person completing addiction treatment through Palm Beach County's drug court is $2,250 a year.
While it costs $90 a day to keep an inmate in the Palm Beach County Jail, the average cost of an inpatient treatment bed is $36 day, said Marty Epstein, assistant state attorney for the Palm Beach County Drug Court.
Recidivism for drug court graduates is about 12 percent, as opposed to close to 50 percent for those sentenced to incarceration.
"Show us the data that these drug-free school zones have accomplished what they were intended to do," Sayeth said.
Aronberg concedes he does not know what prompted lawmakers to surround schools with 1,000-foot zones.
"It's the first time I've heard there's a great racial disparity," said Aronberg, a former prosecutor. "It clearly had no racial bias in the intent. It had the unanimous support of the black legislative members. If the effects of the law show racial bias, I'll be willing to review that."
At least four other states had by 2005 begun to consider changes to their laws that would reduce drug-free zones from 1,000 feet to 200 feet.
In Florida however, legislators voted in 2005 to add 1,000-foot drug-free zones around nursing homes.
"I'd like to say I'm surprised, but I'm not. Florida tends to be weird," Sayeth said.
While 1,000-foot zones remain politically popular for state legislatures, Sayeth said, candidates for municipal offices have begun to make the law's effect on their communities a campaign issue.
And former Massachusetts prosecutor Brownsberger, who wrote the first critical study of the laws, is optimistic, especially now that he is a member of the legislature.
"There's a lot of sentiment that we've gone too far."


LINK TO PALM BEACH POST ARTICLE:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/con ... _0701.html


LINK TO A RELATED PALM BEACH POST ARTICLE
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/con ... hside.html

9
Feed Your Head / DRUG-FREE ZONES
« on: July 05, 2007, 11:42:13 AM »
Drug-free zones target blacks unfairly, critics say

By ANTIGONE BARTON, and CHRISTINE STAPLETON
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 01, 2007


The 400 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard, where four men stood on a recent Sunday beckoning passing cars, doesn't appear to enjoy special protection from drug crimes.
But with two signs warning that this city street is a "drug-free" zone, this neighborhood of modest homes and aged apartment complexes is one of the front lines of a quarter-century-old "war on drugs."
It is a war that has seen years of casualties with no end in sight; the number of people imprisoned for drug-related crimes has only climbed each year since 1982. And while police say the heightened penalties for selling drugs in drug-free zones fortify their position, critics say the size and number of these zones have only increased the toll with a disproportionate impact on black offenders.
"The crimes aren't being displaced because there's nowhere to displace them to. There's no incentive for drug dealers to move," said Ben Barlyn, a New Jersey deputy attorney general who heads a state commission that in 2004 examined the impact of drug-free zones in that state.
That study, followed by two more, concluded that drug-free zones cover densely populated urban corridors where black neighborhoods predominate. As a result, researchers said, zones have created two systems of justice, penalizing black offenders for where they live as well as for their crimes, while white offenders who tend to live and work out of the zone face lesser penalties.
Those examining the impact of drug laws have pointed to other factors leading to disproportionate numbers of blacks serving time for drug crimes, including higher penalties for crack cocaine than powder cocaine, and for street narcotics than unauthorized prescription drugs. Racial profiling also has been cited as contributing to racially disparate incarceration rates.
While policy analysts have found all of these factors have led to longer prison sentences for black offenders and distrust of law enforcement in black communities, they cite one more problem with 1,000-foot zones.
The zones, they say, have proven to be a losing strategy in the war on drugs.
Still, Florida lawmakers have continued to expand the zones and add more.
A Palm Beach Post study of the law's effects shows that the zones now blanket Palm Beach County's inner cities and:
Of 440 people arrested in Palm Beach County last year on "selling within 1,000" charges, 406 - 92 percent - were black;
Statewide, 80 percent of those charged with selling within 1,000 last year were black;
Application of the law is inconsistent, with cases dismissed for 16 percent of white defendants and 6.6 percent of black defendants.
The numbers of people sent to prison on selling within 1,000 charges have climbed steadily in the past 10 years, with black convicts outnumbering whites 12-1.
On Boynton Beach's Martin Luther King Boulevard, two signs warn that this is a "drug-free school zone," while the sign down the block states that this is a "drug-free park zone."
Alone, either sign means that people caught selling drugs here can face more serious charges and more prison time than drug sellers elsewhere. Together, the signs mean two sets of raised charges and penalties. And, although no sign says so, churches in the neighborhood and the convenience store across the street mean dealers could face four criminal charges for one drug transaction.
The same four crimes can also be charged to residents of this street caught with saleable amounts of drugs in their homes.
That is because people living on this street live within the overlapping circumferences of four invisible thousand-foot circles.
Across Florida, these circles also surround community centers, day-care facilities, colleges, housing projects, and, after a 2005 addition to state drug laws, nursing homes.
"Now they're protecting people who can't even leave the premises," said Anthony Calvello, a Palm Beach County public defender who appealed some of South Florida's first drug-free zone arrests to the state's Supreme Court. "What's the thinking behind all this?"
While lawmakers put them in all 50 states during the past 20 years, researchers have found the zones have not slowed drug selling.
"The premise was to protect certain places and drive drug dealing away from vulnerable people," said William Brownsberger, a former prosecutor and policy analyst, who in 2001 completed the first critical study of the law in Massachusetts. "But when every place is special, no place is special. What the laws do is lock people up for exorbitant periods of time for relatively low-level crimes."
Police, weary of arresting and rearresting drug dealers, say any law that keeps criminals off their streets for longer is valuable to them.
Opponents of the law say the money now spent on longer prison sentences could be better spent on drug treatment and entrepreneurial training.
'A nice fat round number'
Calvello calls the law establishing the zones "a draconian statute with no rationality."
To get an idea of how long 1,000 feet is, imagine standing at the corner of one city block and seeing what's happening three blocks away. A thousand feet is nearly a fifth of a mile, more than the span of three football fields and as long as the town of Briny Breezes.
Nobody seems to know how lawmakers concluded that 1,000 feet was the distance necessary to protect children from drug dealers.
"It was a nice fat round number," said Barlyn, of the New Jersey commission. "When push comes to shove, we find the law casts too broad a net."
In 1982, though, the late Sen. Strom Thurmond's proposal to add extra penalties to those caught selling within 1,000 feet of schools helped to set the stern tone for the "war on drugs" the Reagan administration had promised.
When Florida passed its own law in 1987, police in Fort Lauderdale set up stings within 1,000 feet of schools.
"There were about 50 of these cases," recalled Calvello, who appealed many of them. Judges threw out about 20 cases, saying that luring offenders into the zones was an unconstitutional application of the law. Prosecutors appealed those cases.
Defendants appealed the cases that weren't thrown out.
Calvello wrote the appeals brief for the State of Florida vs. Stacy Burch, representing Burch in an appeal of what was actually a group of cases, under the name of one of the first arrested under the law.
He argued that the law had a disparate impact on members of racial minorities of whom a greater number tend to live in the densely populated urban areas now decreed "drug free."
The 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach rejected that argument and the case went before the Florida Supreme Court, which upheld the statute, saying it was not intended to be discriminatory but to protect children.
Many arrests, however, took place when schools were not in session.
"It could be midnight in the middle of July," Calvello said.
The Florida high court, along with other state supreme courts, also said it had seen no evidence that the law disproportionately affected black offenders.
That would have been impossible to prove in the early years of the law, Calvello said.
In the past 10 years, however, while the number of white offenders imprisoned on selling-within-1,000 convictions has tripled, the number of black offenders imprisoned on the charges increased tenfold.
"If these statistics are borne out, maybe the court should take another look at it," Calvello said.
The law's scope has only grown, with little investigation of its impact.
The Florida Legislature added a minimum sentence provision to the law, saying those convicted of selling drugs near a school would serve at least three years in prison. The provision had originally applied to drug buyers as well, but they, along with rapists, were exempted from mandatory sentences when the threat of explosive jail crowding became clear.
In addition to the 1,000-foot school zones, lawmakers added a number of smaller zones to the law, eliminating good behavior time-off for those convicted of selling controlled substances within 200 feet of public housing projects, vocational schools and public parks in 1990. In 1998, they tagged on day-care centers, places of worship and convenience stores.
In 2001, a research team in Boston headed by the former prosecutor and policy analyst Brownsberger found that dealers continued to sell drugs where they lived, with urban drug dealers simply paying stiffer penalties.
Those penalties, he added, didn't "serve anyone because when they eventually do come out, they're often unable to function in society."
Crime 'deserves ... special severity'
While Brownsberger's study had found that drug sellers seldom sold to minors, a Hialeah high school civics class was pushing for a law to expand drug-free zones, saying that would better protect children. In 2003, a bill based on their work and sponsored by Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, passed, turning previously 200-foot zones into 1,000-foot zones.
Aronberg keeps a photo on his wall of then-Gov. Jeb Bush signing the bill into law.
His intent, he says now, was to make sure that the law was consistent.
"If that means that drug deals are treated more seriously throughout the city, then so be it," he said recently. "I think this is a crime that is so destructive that it deserves to be treated with special severity."
Police in cities now consisting of almost uninterrupted "drug-free" zones agree.
"Obviously when we arrest drug dealers, we want them to get the highest penalty they can," said Sgt. Rick Ponce, spokesman for the Lake Worth Police Department, "because then they won't be committing crimes in the city."
West Palm Beach Lt. Thomas Wills said, "if it's within 1,000 feet, we will charge it 100 percent of the time."
The charge makes getting bond more difficult as well, helping slow the revolving door effect of drug sellers immediately re-offending after their arrests.
Called a distortion of due process
Gabriel Sayeth, of the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit organization that examines the effects of drug laws, said that clout comes at a cost.
"The idea of due process is distorted beyond recognition under these laws. The people who live in school zones face something that people living elsewhere never have to face - a very strong reason to plea out," Sayeth said.
The Drug Policy Alliance commissioned the study "Disparity by Design" that examined laws across the country in 2006, finding them to have been ineffective in reducing drug crimes, inconsistently enforced, and, with a record now of 20 years, indefensibly discriminatory.
In addition, researchers concluded that money spent on longer prison sentences would be better spent on drug addiction treatment.
Florida now spends an average of $49.61 a day - $18,108 yearly - to imprison each of its inmates, while the average cost for a person completing addiction treatment through Palm Beach County's drug court is $2,250 a year.
While it costs $90 a day to keep an inmate in the Palm Beach County Jail, the average cost of an inpatient treatment bed is $36 day, said Marty Epstein, assistant state attorney for the Palm Beach County Drug Court.
Recidivism for drug court graduates is about 12 percent, as opposed to close to 50 percent for those sentenced to incarceration.
"Show us the data that these drug-free school zones have accomplished what they were intended to do," Sayeth said.
Aronberg concedes he does not know what prompted lawmakers to surround schools with 1,000-foot zones.
"It's the first time I've heard there's a great racial disparity," said Aronberg, a former prosecutor. "It clearly had no racial bias in the intent. It had the unanimous support of the black legislative members. If the effects of the law show racial bias, I'll be willing to review that."
At least four other states had by 2005 begun to consider changes to their laws that would reduce drug-free zones from 1,000 feet to 200 feet.
In Florida however, legislators voted in 2005 to add 1,000-foot drug-free zones around nursing homes.
"I'd like to say I'm surprised, but I'm not. Florida tends to be weird," Sayeth said.
While 1,000-foot zones remain politically popular for state legislatures, Sayeth said, candidates for municipal offices have begun to make the law's effect on their communities a campaign issue.
And former Massachusetts prosecutor Brownsberger, who wrote the first critical study of the laws, is optimistic, especially now that he is a member of the legislature.
"There's a lot of sentiment that we've gone too far."


LINK TO PALM BEACH POST ARTICLE:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/con ... _0701.html


LINK TO A RELATED PALM BEACH POST ARTICLE
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/con ... hside.html

10
The Seed Discussion Forum / Being a good post-seed skeptic
« on: June 07, 2007, 03:39:49 PM »
I attended a business/networking meeting this morning put on by an organization called Le Tip.  Is anyone familiar with it? I checked on the web and every site for any local chapter reports the same basic information.  That's one hint...

My initial reaction a couple hours later was that it is somewhat "Amway-esque" in the requirement to contact 10 people during the first week of membership and then attend a marketing seminar in the first 60 days.  But instead of soap it's legitmate business leads passed from one member to another. The draw is making money in one's own profession rather than selling soap, etc.    

That being the case, and acknowledging that my nature is to be highly skeptical of any group that requires alliegence to a higher cause, conforming to rules, and mandatory attendance, I wonder if anyone else has any experience with the company and what results, if any?

Thanks in advance for any input.  
Stripe

11
The Seed Discussion Forum / Cult weirdness and speculation abounds
« on: October 16, 2006, 03:21:23 PM »
Friday night evening news  10/13 (had to either be CBS or NBC )had a story regarding where Mark Foley has gone for rehab. Like it really matters in the grand scheme of things....

Cult specialist Rick Ross was on, voice only, speculating as to Mr. Foley's whereabouts.  Ross said maybe, based on Mr. Foley's love of Hollywood stars and his donation/support records, that Mr. Foley is in a rehab at the Scientology Center in Clearwater, FL.  Did anybody else catch this, or was I in a Friday the Thirteenth warp?

Really now, does the crutch of scientology have an actual durg and alcohol rehab center there? All this time I thought it was just a straigh-ahead cult.. I mean church.  I did not know it was a full service operation.

12
The Seed Discussion Forum / Talk about a chilling experience
« on: August 24, 2006, 04:39:27 PM »
I just spent the past few days reading the novel "1984" by George Orwell.  I've seen plenty of references to the book since I started posting here, so I thought I'd give it a read.

I think I read it in 11th grade back in 1974 (post 10th grade Seed) and I don't recall my mind questioning anything about my experience at The Seed.  Must have been some great doublethink I was running back then.

There were passages in that book that made my blood run cold.  I'm not a place where I can add those passages right now, but I'll post them tomorrow.

Does anyone else have a "favorite" passage from the book?  

Post it and let's compare and contrast the fiction of the novel "1984" with the reality of The Seed.

Stripe

13
The Seed Discussion Forum / The inevitable death of Art Barker
« on: May 08, 2006, 03:36:00 AM »
Just like the rest of us, Art Barker is going to die.  It might be from old age or disease - but death is as inevitable for him as it is for the rest of us.

So, that being said...imagine that you have been asked to give a eulogy for him.  Put it up  here.  

Or, if a tribute is not your cup of tea, what parting words do you have for the man?  


Here's what I have to say.

Old man, I forgive you.  I forgive you for for being blind, arrogant, stupid, and cruel.

The society you sought to create through The Seed program was doomed to fail from the outset.  It was doomed because it sought to crush the human spirit and replace it with your warped teachings.

I have no need to recount your acts of arrogance, stupidity and cruelty. History has recoreded them here and those acts are written on your soul. Forever.    

Fade to black.

14
The Seed Discussion Forum / MORE SEED HISTORY
« on: April 06, 2006, 11:19:00 PM »
Here?s another bit of recorded Seed history that I am sure most Seedlings never heard about. How about any people who were in The Seed in the spring of 1971 -  Does any one recall this girl named Bernadette?  

What?s the importance of this? Truth. History.  Read the case and the Dissenting Opinion and see for yourself.    

Here we have The Seed and what might be a new comer Seedling who is very ill.  We have Mrs. Shelly Barker apparently NOT contacting the parents to tell them their child is ill, apparently NOT telling the parents to take the child to the hospital.  We have The Seed apparenlty NOT contacting their own staff physician either.  

How many other people who were in the seed have recounted stories of being sick and being refused medical care? Or seeing this happen to other people. Was there really ever a doctor physically present at The Seed to attend to all of the children?  The drug addicts?  I never saw a doctor when I was there.

Instead we have sworn deposition testimony that Mrs. Shelly Barker of The Seed was calling her doctor friend at home looking to use his name to get Bernadette admitted to Broward General Hospital.  And Mrs. Shelly Barker telling the doctor that Bernadette was dying because she was a drug abuser in some kind of drug abuse crisis.  

Did blind allegiance to their own agenda not let them see how sick Bernadette was?  It's a tragedy when allegiance so perverts perception, but it's even worse when it results in death.  

Directly or indirectly, I think The Seed and its addiction specialists played a part in this terrible outcome.    

HERES THE CASE - PAY ATTENTION TO THE DISSENT. I warn you all, it's long, dry reading. The entire decision is posted and nothing is taken out of its original context.  

*************************************************

Thomas GIALLANZA, father and personal representative of the Estate of Bernadette Giallanza, Deceased, Appellant v. Louis L. SANDS et al., Appellees

No. 73-1134

Court of Appeals of Florida, Fourth District

316 So. 2d 77, 1975
July 3, 1975

SUBSEQUENT HISTORY:  
Rehearing Denied August 13, 1975.


COUNSEL:
Thomas E. Hunt, of Mueller & Hunt, Fort Lauderdale, for Appellant.
Mark Hicks, of Blackwell, Walker, Gray, Powers, Flock & Hoehl, Miami, for Appellee-Vincent J. Strack, M.D.


JUDGES:
Cross and Mager, JJ., concur.  Walden, C.J., dissents, with opinion.

OPINIONBY:
PER CURIAM

OPINION:
 Upon consideration and review of the record on appeal and the briefs herein we are of the opinion that genuine issues of material fact exist so as to preclude a summary disposition.  Holl v. Talcott, Fla.1966, 191 So.2d 40; Nance v. Ball, Fla.App.1961, 134 So.2d 35; Lab v. Hall, Fla.App.1967, 200 So.2d 556. A summary judgment should be cautiously granted in negligence cases and in malpractice suits such as the instant case where genuinely triable issues of fact exist with respect to such matters as whether the appellee Strack was negligent in accepting decedent as a drug abuse patient without actually seeing her; whether the appellee Strack did in fact accept decedent as a patient and assumed the duty to treat; whether the failure to properly diagnose the case was the proximate cause of the death of decedent. The nature of the factual issues as presented   precluded a determination at a summary proceeding and necessitated a full exploration by a trial.  Lab v. Hall supra; see also Levy v. Kirk, Fla.App.1966, 187 So.2d 401.
The sole and only appellate issue presented is whether there exists genuinely triable issues of fact so as to preclude a summary disposition permitting a litigant to have his day in court.  The legal issue presented in this appeal is governed by applicable principles of law pertaining to summary judgments; the malpractice insurance controversy, the legislative considerations thereof and newspaper articles thereon are in nowise legally germane to that issue.
The liability of appellee Strack and his conduct under the circumstances are the very factual issues that necessitate resolution at a hearing on the merits.  Cf.  Sec. 768.13, F.S.  As aptly observed, in 30 Fla.Jur., Summary Judgment, sec. 10:
 
". . . Public policy requires that the courts be ever vigilant in making summary disposition of causes, lest the application of the rule result in destruction of the right of litigants to have the issues made by the pleadings tried by a jury of fellow citizens. . . ."

 Therefore, as between a recognition of a litigant's constitutional right to a hearing on genuinely triable issues and a defendant's inconvenience until the issue of liability is resolved the court is constrained to follow the precedent of a jury determination.  See Forrest v. Carter, Fla.App.1975, 308 So.2d 141.
Accordingly, the summary judgment is reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings consistent herewith.
CROSS and MAGER, JJ., concur.
WALDEN, C.J., dissents, with opinion.

DISSENTBY:
WALDEN

DISSENT:
WALDEN, Chief Judge, (dissenting):
It's a sad day for Good Samaritans.  Do a simple act of kindness and compassion and end up being sued for it.  And what is specially galling, the suit here receives the stamp of judicial approval.
This is a medical malpractice action.  The Fourth Amended Complaint alleges that Bernadette Giallanza died as a consequence of malpractice.  Her father sued for damages under the wrongful death and survival statute.  A large net was cast.  In eight separate counts it caught up as defendants three dentists, two hospitals, and four medical doctors. One of the medical doctors was Vincent J. Strack, appellee here.
The trial court correctly assessed the  claim against Dr. Strack as having no merit under the criteria found in Rule 1.510(c), F.R.C.P. Summary judgment was entered.  The majority of this court's panel has chosen to reverse and cause the matter to go to trial.  I would affirm the trial court decision and thereby approve the removal of Dr. Strack from the action.
While nowise denigrating the right of those persons suffering damages to seek recompense via medical malpractice actions, I nowise feel that the mere filing of a complaint absolutely entitles them to a jury trial.  Medical malpractice, while receiving a lot of current publicity, is just another form of action which is to be judged by the common everyday rules of law.  Such suits enjoy no special status or niche.  It is possible for such claims to be frivolous or without merit so as to be subject to summary disposition just as any other claim.  When this does happen, as here, it is our duty to discern it and eliminate it.
It is no small matter to refuse to strike down a frivolous claim and thereby cause an innocent defendant to be needlessly subjected to trial.  A trial obviously causes expense, damage to professional reputation, time loss, and, necessarily, great emotional strain.  Surely the summary judgment rule has some office, some time, some where.  See dissent in Tucker v. American Employers Insurance Company, 218 So.2d 221 (4th DCA Fla.1969), at page 223.  It is inappropriate for this court to fault the trial judge's decision and reverse by merely citing some words of plaintiff's charge gleaned from the complaint.
Tedious as it may be, it is necessary to demonstrate the lack of a genuine issue here and Dr. Strack's entitlement to judgment as a matter of law.
The first six counts, plus Count 8, of plaintiff's complaint charge others with the responsibility for the death of decedent from intra-cranial infection, or meningitis. I would say that plaintiff's entitlement to recovery, if any, is to be found in those counts.
The unsworn complaint against Dr. Strack is found in Count 7.  While it incorporates by reference all the rest of the complaint, the incorporation adds nothing of significance.  It alleges:
"COUNT VII
* * *
"39.  The Defendant, VINCENT J. STRACK, MD, for many years last past has been holding himself out to the public as a medical doctor, skilled and able in his profession, and during this time has practiced the profession of a medical doctor at 1140 Bayview Drive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"40.  Defendant, VINCENT J. STRACK, MD was negligent in accepting the patient as a drug abuse patient and was negligent in accepting her without seeing her. The Defendant, VINCENT J. STRACK, MD was negligent in that he specifically treated the case as a drug abuse case rather than a case of intra-cranial infection or meningitis. Furthermore, he negligently diagnosed the fever of the patient as coming from the pulmonary area and failed to recognize intra-cranial disease. Specifically, the patient was admitted to BROWARD GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER on May 5, 1971 and was treated for 3 days as a drug abuse case and meningitis was not diagnosed until May 8, 1971.  The patient died on May 9, 1971.  Had diagnosis of intra-cranial infection or meningitis been made at the time of admission and had the patient been referred to neurology and neurosurgery, medical and surgical procedures could have been instituted which would have prevented patient's death.
"41.  That by and through the neglect and carelessness of the Defendant, VINCENT J. STRACK, MD the deceased, BERNADETTE GIALLANZA,  was caused to suffer great and excruciating pain and discomfort to her jaw, brain and meninges, and the negligence of the Defendant, VINCENT J. STRACK, MD was a direct and contributing and proximate cause of the decease and expiration of said BERNADETTE GIALLANZA on May 9, 1971.  The negligent acts of the Defendant, VINCENT J. STRACK, MD, heretofore set forth were such that they did not conform to the standard of care prevalent in the community for such physicians."

 
By way of summation and further emphasis, Dr. Strack in the broadest and most general terms (I seriously question if the Count stated a cause of action because of the shortage of ultimate facts supporting the conclusions) was charged with four acts of negligence:
1.  "negligent in accepting the patient as a drug abuse patient"
2.  "negligent in accepting her without seeing her"
3.  "negligent in that he specifically treated the case as a drug abuse case rather than a case of intra-cranial infection or meningitis"
4.  "negligently diagnosed the fever of the patient as coming from the pulmonary area and failed to recognize intra-cranial disease."

 
In granting summary judgment the trial court had before it two depositions only, those of Dr. Strack and Dr. Zeman.  There is no conflict in the testimony.  The only contradiction to be found in the record is between the above-listed four conclusions of negligence found in the pleading, as opposed to the uncontradicted explicit and sworn testimony found in the depositions. That uncontradicted testimony covers completely and lays to rest the above four pleaded charges of negligence.  Most obviously the charges of negligence are false and without support in fact.  It is manifest that this defendant never accepted the decedent as a "patient."
The trial court is permitted with the sworn testimony before it to pierce the shield of the pleadings to determine the existence of an issue.  It may inquire into the qualitative substance of the complaint and whether it was filed in good or bad faith.  Boyer v. Dye, 51 So.2d 727 (Fla.1951); and A & G Aircraft Service, Inc. v. Drake, 143 So.2d 703 (2d DCA Fla.1962). It is clearly the law that when the facts established on motion for summary judgment clearly show that there is no genuine issue of any material fact the court may pierce the paper issues made by the pleadings [**9]  and render judgment on the merits.  Parker v. Ferrara, 174 So.2d 574 (2d DCA Fla.1965); Vihon v. McCormick, 109 So.2d 400 (2d DCA Fla. 1958); Warring v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc., 105 So.2d 915 (3d DCA Fla.1958); See, 30 Fla.Jur., Summary Judgment  13 (1974).
From the uncontradicted sworn testimony of Dr. Strack it appears:
1.  He is only on the inactive courtesy staff of Broward General Hospital.
2.  On the day the decedent was admitted to Broward General Hospital, May 5th, Dr. Strack was at home.  He was ill in bed with a high fever under a physician's care.
3.  On May 5th, while Dr. Strack was at home ill, he received a telephone call from a Mrs. Barker.  Mrs. Barker is the wife and work assistant of the Director of The Seed, a drug rehabilitation center located four blocks from Broward General Hospital.  Dr. Strack was acquainted with Mrs. Barker, and The Seed.
4.  Dr. Strack testified that Mrs. Barker stated:
"that she had a young girl who was running a high fever and hallucinating and had been on drugs, or was on drugs, and that they had difficulty in getting her into Broward General Hospital.
* * *
"She said that she had been in contact with the hospital emergency room and they told her that they needed a doctor to assign, a doctor to send her in.  They needed a doctor's name for her to be admitted.
* * *
"Q Doctor, did Mrs. Barker give you any more information about Bernadette Giallanza being on drugs or having been on drugs?

"A Well, just that she was on drugs and had taken various drugs, injectable drugs and so forth.  And I can't recall the exact words at the time because she said the girl was dying and in a very desperate condition and they were only four blocks away from Broward General.  So, I told them to take the girl down there.

"Q Now, the term the girl was dying is sort of an extreme term.  Did she explain why she thought the girl was dying?

"A No, except that presumably she had been taking drugs and so forth and so on.

"Q Now, Doctor, after this conversation with Mrs. Barker, what did you do?

"A I told Mrs. Barker to take the girl to Broward General Hospital and she could mention my name, as you know, recommending the girl be hospitalized.  But I did not offer to attend this girl.

"Q Did you call the hospital yourself?

"A No. sir.

"Q If your name then appears on any of the charts, it is because Mrs. Barker used your name when she took the girl in?
"A Well, I would say ultimately, that is the reason.  That is the primary reason."

 
Dr. Strack testified that later the emergency room doctor at Broward General Hospital telephoned him concerning decedent. Dr. Strack testified:
"I explained the fact that I was in bed sick and unable to make the call.  I also explained the fact that I was on the inactive courtesy staff and I could not be responsible for the girl's admission.
* * *
"Q Did the emergency room doctor describe to you what this girl's condition was, what he had seen?

"A Not in any great detail that I recall except that she was running a high fever and apparently hallucinating.

"Q Doctor, could you tell what the purpose of his call was?  Why did he call you?

"A He wanted to assign the case to me.

"Q He wanted to know if you were actually going to be active on it?

"A Yes.  And I told him I couldn't accept the responsibility of being the active attending for two reasons.  First that I was ill and confined to my bed and second that I was on courtesy staff and not eligible to attend this type of case."

That night a staff doctor at Broward General Hospital telephoned Dr. Strack.  Dr. Strack's testimony of that conversation:

 
"Q What did Dr. Pizarro say to you and what did you say to him?

"A He told me that the case had been assigned to me and he wanted to know, you know, what was up and so forth and so on.
So, I explained the same thing I explained to the emergency room doctor, that I was ill and unable to actively attend the child.

"Q All right.

"A And furthermore that I was on courtesy and that whoever was on active attending call should be assigned to the case.

"Q All right, sir.  Now, did Dr. Pizarro discuss with you this girl's situation?

"A No. I didn't get into great detail, except that she was very ill and had a high fever and so forth and so on.
* * *
"A He said that they had moved her to intensive care and that they were giving her, you know, resuscitation and so forth and a matter of keeping her respirations going and so on."

 
The next day, May 6th, Dr. Strack visited the chart room at the hospital and wrote at the proper place the information which Mrs. Barker had furnished to him concerning the decedent and noted from the chart that the case had been posted to General Service on the prior day, May 5th.
At no time did Dr. Strack meet the decedent, examine her, treat her, make a diagnosis   of her condition, or have any contact with her or her family.  His sole contact with the decedent was through the telephone call received from Mrs. Barker on May 5th.  On all occasions he related to all concerned that he was ill, ineligible to accept this kind of case, and had refused all responsibility for it.
We now go to the deposition of Dr. Zeman, the plaintiff's expert witness.  Dr. Zeman never met the decedent, but had evaluated the chart and given opinions concerning what had been done by other defendants.  He noted that several doctors had attended the decedent but that Dr. Strack never saw her.  Dr. Zeman's only valuation of Dr. Strack was as follows:

 
"Q Doctor, your name has been given by Mr. Hunt and Mr. Giallanza as an expert who is to testify in this case, so let me ask you this: Do you have any intention of testifying with respect to the actions of Dr. Strack in this case?
"A I am not even sure who Dr. Strack is.  I would have to go through the chart.
"Q Dr. Strack is the physician whose name appears on the admissions area of the Broward General chart on 5/5/71.
"A My only conclusion of the admission of this patient to the Broward General Hospital from reviewing the chart was that she had a brain abscess when she was admitted or she had intercranial disease and their admitting diagnosis was anti-drug abuse.  I have nothing else in that admission.


"Q If it were to be established that on 5/5/71 Dr. Strack, who had never seen Bernadette Giallanza, was in bed ill and that he was a personal friend of some people who ran a drug rehabilitation clinic called The Seed - who called him up and asked him to use his influence to get the girl admitted to the hospital and that he did so and in fact made a telephone call and had her admitted to the hospital, to the hospital service and that he himself was on the courtesy staff and did not have an active service in the hospital, would that have any effect upon your opinion or whether or not you would have an opinion as to whether or not he had practiced medicine properly or improperly?

"A I would have no opinion about something like that.

"Q You wouldn't criticize him in that situation?

"A Yeah.  I have no opinion about this at all."

 
And so to summarize the testimony, it is manifestly clear and undisputed that Dr. Strack never diagnosed, never treated, never sent a bill and was never medically connected with the decedent. Moreover, he repetitively projected at all pertinent times that he was unable and unwilling to accept the responsibility for decedent's medical care.  There was no basis for anyone's implying or believing that he had under-taken to treat the decedent as a patient. In other words, there was never a doctor-patient relationship of any kind.  The sole connection between Dr. Strack and this case was his response to Mrs. Barker, upon being told by her that the decedent was ill and dying and that she was unable to procure medical care or hospitalization, that Dr. Strack allowed Mrs. Barker to use his name merely in order that the decedent could be admitted into the hospital for emergency treatment by the general staff doctors of that hospital.  It was certainly clear to Mrs. Barker who was acting on behalf of the decedent that Dr. Strack's activity was simply limited to the act of allowing Mrs. Barker to mention his name when she returned to Broward General with the sick girl.  
In the absence of a doctor-patient relationship there can be no liability on the part of the physician.  In Kennedy v. Parrott, 243 N.C. 355, 90 S.E.2d 754 (N.C.1956), the court said:
When a person consults a physician . . . seeking treatment for a physical ailment, real or apparent, and the physician or surgeon agrees to accept him as a patient . . . imposes on the physician . . . the duty . . . to apply his skill in a careful and prudent manner." Id. at 757.

 
Allowing the use of his name cannot be said to have resulted in a doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Strack agreed to allow his name to be used. He fulfilled his part of the relationship, and therefore owed no further duty.
In McNamara v. Emmons, 36 Cal.App.2d 199, 97 P.2d 503 (4th DCA 1939), the court held:

 
"The relation of physician and patient is, in its inception, created by contract either express or implied.  The contract may be general or . . . limited . . .  When general, the physician may undertake the treatment of a patient during the course of an illness wherever the patient may be.  A physician is under no obligation to enter into . . . a general contract for . . .  treatment of a patient. He may limit his obligation by undertaking to treat the patient only for a certain ailment or injury at a certain place and at a specified time." Id. at 507.

 
In Findlay v. Board of Sup'rs of County of Mohave, 72 Ariz. 58, 230 P.2d 526 (1951), the court held:

 
"'When the professional services of a physician are accepted by another person for the purpose of medical or surgical treatment, the relation of physician and patient is created.  The relation is a consensual one wherein the patient knowingly seeks the assistance of the physician and the physician knowingly accepts him as a patient. . . .' 41 Am.Jur., Physicians and Surgeons, Sec. 71." Id. at 531.

 

In this case neither the patient nor her representatives sought out Dr. Strack for professional services.  There was no consensual relationship - Dr. Strack never saw decedent, never saw the parents and never undertook to examine.  Although it is not determinative, it is notable that he never charged for any services.  When queried by the hospital, Dr. Strack specifically stated that he did not accept the case; he was not asked by the decedent or any representative to attend to her.  Mrs. Barker, who was trying to help decedent, did not ask Dr. Strack to accept decedent as a patient.
In Childers v. Frye, 201 N.C. 42, 158 S.E. 744 (1931), the court held:

 
"A physician or surgeon is not bound to render professional services to every one who applies, and he may therefore, by notice or special agreement, limit the extent and scope of his employment. Such is the simple law of contract." Id. at 746.

 

The applicability of this clause to the case at hand goes without saying.  See Hurly v. Eddingfield, 156 Ind. 416, 59 N.E. 1058 (1901).
In 57 A.L.R.2d 460,  25, it is noted:
"It appears to be well settled that a physician who is employed only for a specific occasion or service is under no duty to continue his visits or treatment thereafter, and is consequently not liable for abandonment if he ceases treatment of his patient after performing the specific service."

 

Dr. Strack was never even employed, and contracted only to have decedent hospitalized.
The note in A.L.R. cites the following as "Particular types of limited employment:

 
"Physician limiting himself to office practice only.    * * *
 Surgeon undertaking to operate only. * * *
Physician's services limited to one call only. * * *
Physician called for consultation or assistance only. * * *." Id. at 461-464.

 

It goes without saying that these limitations involve far more patient contact, with but limited liability, than Dr. Strack ever had with the deceased.  From the very inception of the plea to use his name to enable the girl to enter the hospital he limited his service to the use of his name only.  The very afternoon of the admittance he stated, due to his own illness and courtesy position at Broward General, that General Service should attend the girl.
A late expression in this area of law is found in Chatman v. Millis, 257 Ark. 451, 517 S.W.2d 504 (Ark.1975). In a malpractice action the trial court held:

 
 "There would have to be a doctor-patient relationship or some similar relationship between the parties, and that the complaint in the instant litigation alleged, and counsel had admitted, that Chatman had never been examined by Millis, and in fact, was not even known to the doctor; accordingly, there could be no action for malpractice." Id. at 505.

 
The Supreme Court of Arkansas affirmed on the basis of the following principles:
"We do not flatly state that a cause for malpractice must be predicated upon a contractual agreement between a doctor (psychologist) and patient, but we do say that a doctor-patient relationship must exist, i.e., there must be a duty, as a doctor, owed from the practitioner to the patient. Under the allegations before us, Millis made no examination of Chatman; in fact, he did not even know Chatman, and had never seen him.
* * *
"Concisely stated, we simply reiterate that under the facts alleged, appellee owed no duty, as a doctor, to appellant, and this duty must be in existence before appellant can recover because of negligence, constituting malpractice." Id. at 506.

 
The following citations from treatise volumes are applicable, and further bulwark the inescapable conclusion that law and facts combine to prove Dr. Strack devoid of any duty that would have rendered him liable in these circumstances.  Dr. Strack made no contractual bargain to enter a physician-patient relationship:
70 C.J.S. Physicians and Surgeons  37 (1951):

 
"  37.  Contract of Employment  
"The relationship between physician and patient arises out of contract, express or implied, general or special, and the rights and liabilities of the parties thereto are governed by the general laws of contract.
"The relationship of physician or surgeon and patient is one arising out of a contract, express or implied. . . .
"The duty owed to a patient is measured and determined primarily by the contract of employment.  The contract may be a general contract, but there is no obligation to enter into such a contract and the physician or surgeon may by special agreement or notice limit the extent and scope of his employment."

 
61 Am.Jur.2d Physicians, Surgeons, etc.,  96 (1972):

 
"  96 Creation and nature of relation.
"A physician is under no obligation to engage in practice or to accept professional employment, but when the professional services of a physician are accepted by another person for the purposes of medical or surgical treatment, the relation of physician and patient is created.  The relation is a consensual one wherein the patient knowingly seeks the assistance  [*85]  of a physician and the physician knowingly accepts him as a patient [**22]  .  The relationship between a physician and patient may result from an express or implied contract, either general or special, and the rights and liabilities of the parties thereto are governed by the general law of contract, although the existence of the relation does not need to rest on any express contract between the physician and the person treated.  However, the voluntary acceptance of the physician-patient relationship by the affected parties creates a prima facie presumption of a contractual relationship between them. . . .
* * *
"The physicians and surgeons of a hospital, public or private, [Dr. Strack was not a physician of the hospital] enter into the relation of physician and patient with every patient brought into the hospital, as soon as he is brought in . . .  The existence of the relation is a matter of fact depending on the questions whether the patient entrusted himself to the care of the physician and whether the physician accepted the case."

 
And so without laboring it further, it is clear to this writer that the trial court decision granting summary judgment in favor of Dr. Strack should be affirmed.
The majority decision supporting the plaintiff's claim against Dr. Strack does much to make understandable:
(1) The Legislature's current concern with malpractice litigation;
(2) The high cost of malpractice insurance which necessarily results in higher costs to all patients.
(3) Self-imposed limitations and resignations from the practice by medical doctors, which necessarily results in an increased scarcity of medical service;
(4) The difficulty of many citizens in emergency distress in finding someone to care for them. n1

 
 

n1 While not a matter of this record, nor used as a basis for my decision, I mention an Associated Press article for peripheral interest only.  It appeared on page 16A of The Miami Herald of Friday, February 21, 1975, and chronicled this dilemma: A woman gave birth to a child in an ambulance without medical help after 21 doctors over a course of 7 hours refused to accept her as a patient or to authorize her admittance to the hospital.  The hospital refused to admit her without doctor authorization.
By way of commentary on the article, obviously all 21 doctors could not be sued for malpractice because they played it safe and totally refused to answer a call for help.  What will Dr. Strack and others similarly situated do hereafter when someone in an emergency situation applies to them under other than controlled circumstances?
 
It is believed that the foregoing circumstances are matters of everyday knowledge which may be properly noticed.
For the foregoing reasons, I respectfully dissent.

15
In thinking about our experiences inside the Seed, I think it also important to look at what was happening OUTSIDE the Seed while we were there.  The real events that really happened - not the stories from Art Barker and his Staff.

For those who still want to believe that any ?controversy? surrounding The Seed was a good thing, that it was indicative of a society rejecting the goodness of Art Barker and his program, look at how far this Parent had to go to NOT participate in The Seed.

In my opinion, this case shows a bold-faced grab for control though the courts? the question is ? where does this grab for power really come from?  Do any of you truly believe that in 1974 the local State Attorney really cared who went to the Open Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale?  More likely it eminated from somewhere off State Road 84 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Here?s the case in nutshell, but read the whole Court Opinion.  The Palm Beach County Juvenile Court issued an order of civil contempt against Mrs. Provost (whose daughter was Court ordered to the Seed) when the Mother refused to participate in the Seed program.  

As some of you may know, in a civil contempt proceeding, the Court can hold you in jail as a means of forcing your compliance with its order if you ?hold the keys to your jail cell,? i.e.:  all Mrs. Provost had to do to get out was participate in the program  - go to the Open Meetings.

She appealed the commitment order and the 4th District Court of Appeals rightly found that the Juvenile Court had no jurisdiction over Mrs. Provost and it could not force her to participate in the Seed program.  However, the Junvenile Court could force this parent to PAY for it.

HERE IS THE REPORTED CASE IN FULL ? Footnotes (n1, n2, n3, and n4) follow this Opinion.


In the Interest of S.M.G., a child.  Mrs. Norwood PROVOST, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee

No. 73-651

Court of Appeals of Florida, Fourth District

291 So. 2d 43; 1974 Fla. App. LEXIS 7822

February 15, 1974

COUNSEL:  
John W. Bellamy, Bellamy & Barnes, West Palm Beach, for Appellant.
Robert L. Shevin, Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, and C. Marie Bernard, Asst. Atty. Gen., West Palm Beach, for Appellee.

JUDGES:
Walden, Judge.  Owen, C.J., and Mager, J., concur.

OPINIONBY:
WALDEN

OPINION:
What are the dimensions - the outer bounds - of the power (jurisdiction) of the Juvenile Court (n1) over the parent of a delinquent child? That is the question.


Appellant is the mother of a fifteen year old daughter who had been adjudicated to be delinquent under F.S. Section 39.10, F.S.A.1971. (n2).  Thereafter in the administration of Chapter 39 and in laudable pursuit of the child's rehabilitation, the juvenile court ordered the appellant mother to "participate  in and fully cooperate with the Seed Program. (n3)

Appellant, while indicating interest in her daughter's welfare, did in gist refuse to travel back and forth between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale and to otherwise participate in the Seed Program.  Because of this, the court, on May 23, 1973, adjudicated appellant to be in contempt of court and ordered her incarcerated for a period of thirty days.  This appeal resulted.
Our interest and focus is upon the legality of the initial order which mandatorily required the appellant to follow a course of action contrary to her wishes.  If the court lacked jurisdiction to enter same, the order is void and there is no basis or predicate for contempt proceedings.   n4


We recognize, as a start, that the juvenile court is a statutory court of limited jurisdiction.  Its authority and jurisdiction is limited to that conferred upon it by the Legislature of the State of Florida.  Its general jurisdiction is provided by F.S. Section 39.02, F.S.A.1971.
We have screened and sifted the statutes and particularly F.S. Chapter 39, F.S.A.1971, and specially Section 39.02, supra, with reference to the issue.  The only instance and provision that can be found granting specific power over a parent is F.S. Section 39.11(2)(b), par. 4, F.S.A. 1971. Thereunder where the delinquent child has been removed from the parent's custody, a court is empowered to order the parents to pay the person or institution having custody reasonable sums of money for the child's care, support and maintenance.  To emphasize there is no other power to order a parent to do anything as a matter of first instance.  That's all.


And so how does the juvenile court function with this limited authority over the people who normally have primary responsibility for the welfare of a child?  The answer and the very success of the juvenile court program is to be found in the skill and technique of the dedicated jurists who man the benches of such courts.  By melding the love and natural anxiety of parents of delinquent children and by judicious use of their power to remove such children from their parents' home and place them with other persons or institutions at the parents' expense, and other persuasive arts, a court is able in most all cases to obtain cooperation and to fashion the best possible solution to the tragic problems that befall such young people.  Of course, there are, as all know, hard core cases attended by recalcitrant or unfit parents, and there are those cases unfortunately for which there is no solution.  In these latter cases even the possession of the statutory power over such parents would probably be self-defeating and lead only to frustration and increase in the jail population.
Thus, brushing aside our first blush impression to the contrary, we find no void or fault in the statutory fabric and do not presume therefore to recommend the enactment of additional judicial authority.

In conclusion, it is our holding that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to enter the appealed order and, hence, same was void. The order is reversed and  the cause remanded with respectful instructions to discharge the appellant.
Reversed and remanded.
OWEN, C.J., and MAGER, J., concur.


FOOTNOTES TO THE OPINION

n1 -  Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court in and for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.

n2 -  F.S. Chapter 39, F.S.A.1971, applies to the instant case.  The chapter was subsequently amended, see Florida Laws 1973, Chapter 231, effective July 1, 1973.

n3 - The Seed Program is an innovative drug rehabilitation endeavor which is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The success of the Seed Program depends in large part upon the cooperation and personal participation on the part of the parents of the delinquent child.

n4  - F.S. Section 39.13, F.S.A. 1971, and 6 Fla.Jur., Contempt,  27.  To illustrate, an application of the Contempt Statute, if the court entered a legal order placing the child in the custody of an institution and a parent, or for that matter, anyone, interfered with that order by removing or allowing the removal of the child from such custody, that person would be a proper subject of contempt proceedings.  See Graham v. State, Fla.App.1962, 144 So.2d 97, for a proper example of the court's exercise of its contempt power.


 

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