Skip to main content

Can a judge be held responsible for illegal deletion of transcripts.

Tucson, AZ |
Filed under: Litigation

Can a judge be held liable for the illegal deletion and altering of federal court transcripts. I understand that a judge should be free to make an unbiased decision. In this case the court transcripts have been altered in an attempt to deny an appeal. The information that was deleted would have caused my case to be overturned. The appellate attorney that I had was useless. The judge has known that the transcripts were illegally altered because I filed numerous motions including a Motion 2255 with the complaint that the transcripts were altered. Can a judge be liable for failing to provide an attorney for me after I fired the one that was assigned to me. She failed to impeach witnesses and was in collusion with the prosecutor to allow perjured irrelevant testimony which was prejudicial

Either the judge did not carefully read the Moton 2255 or he was a part of the illegal deletion of the records. The judge also entered into an ex parte communications about not allowing information into the hearing that would have acquitted me when I was forced to represent myself. There is case law that the defendant is to be present at all times during the hearings except in rare instances. I was forced to either deal with an incompetent attorney or represent myself. In either instance it was detrimental to my case. The judge respond to the 2255 with comments that I was wasting the court's time and that I would be sanctioned if I filed another motion. The judge also signed a bogus revocation that read that I failed to program. I was never ordered to program.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Judges enjoy absolute immunity in suits against them for actions taken within the scope of their judicial duties.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.


  2. Judges may not be sued. In addition, Federal Judges are appointed for life. Based on the facts that you have described, I do not see any legal remedy for what has occurred. Unless this is a criminal law matter, there is no obligation of the court to appoint an attorney for you. If this was a criminal law matter, and the court failed to appoint a new attorney for you and you were entitled to receive one, that might be an issue you could raise in a habeas petition. You might want to consult with an appellate law specialist in your area to be sure.

    Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and Jeffrey Lewis. If you have a legal question, you should contact an attorney and seek legal advice based on your specific circumstances. Do not take any actions or refrain from acting based on any information contained in this website. Jeffrey Lewis disclaims any liability or responsibility for any actions taken or not taken in reliance on this website.


  3. You raise a number of issues that can only be addressed by a qualified attorney. Schedule an appointment to meet with one immediately.

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  4. 18 USC 2255 is a statute dealing with bringing a personal injury suit if you are a victim of the violation of at least 1 of 14 separate sections of Title 18. (28 USC 2255 is a statute dealing with reduction of sentences.) You can get costs and attorney's fees if you win. I can see why you would want this statute to apply.

    You say you made many motions, including one for the applicability of 2255. Apparently, the judge found many, if not all of your motions to be frivolous and sanctioned you by making you seek permission before making another motion.

    As for tampering with the transcript, well, that just not possible. There is no traditional stenographer who types on a stenotype in federal court. Rather, there is a clerk/stenographer who dictates onto tape or electronic media. The transcript is only produced in response to a request from one of the lawyers (the court will get a courtesy copy). Your theory suggests that this judge edited the tape or digital file, which is not just sitting around, and edited it so skillfully that the transcript was seamlessly and coherently reassembled after being scrubbed of all evidence that would support an appeal. While federal judges are appointed for life, they may be impeached. What is so special about this case that a judge would risk his lifetime appointment? This tampering practice is about as common as unicorns.

    You also contend that the judge, prosecutor and your lawyer are conspiring against you and the appellate attorney is incompetent. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a disbarrable offense for the lawyers and an impeachable offense for the judge, it simply does not happen. Ask yourself, what is the upside there.

    So, to recap, frivolous motion practice led to sanctions, your lawyer was incompetent and conspired against you, you fired your (incompetent) lawyer and wanted the judge to find you a new lawyer (only for indigent defendants in criminal cases), your appellate lawyer was incompetent, the judge was committing a crime to screw you, and the prosecutor was against you (oh, wait a minute, you got that one right). The more likely scenario is that these people weren't telling you what you wanted to hear so you became frustrated and lost perspective. Take a step back and take a deep breath and try to look at all of this as if you weren't involved. You may see that it's your case that is lacking (not you), and not all the other people involved.

    We are serious lawyers for the seriously injured. I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer are not legal advice. These opinions are thoughts based on New York practice. We have no attorney-client relationship. Conducting a conversation with me through the avvo comments section does not create an attorney-client relationship. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance.

Litigation topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics