Ramlow v. Peterson et. al

Case May 19, 2021 Jun 9, 2021
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Nicholas R. Ramlow

The Accused in Re:





















            Mr. Ramlow alleges that Idaho Court Administrative Rule 48 (“I.C.A.R. 48”), drafted by the Supreme Court of Idaho (“SCOID”), grants general rule making powers to inferior courts during an emergency but DOES NOT grant authority to the court to engage in rule-making that directly or indirectly (as applied) result in violations to constitutionally protected fundamental rights and that these violations have been imposed upon him by Chief Justice Roger Burdick (“’C.J.R.B.”).  Mr. Ramlow further alleges that all Idaho judges and court staff, including John Does 1-3, Jane Does 1 and 2, and Honorable Judge Clark A. Peterson (“H.J.C.P.”), and others into the future who are served this notice and, who prohibit him from entering the court for refusal to wear a mask are infringing on fundamental rights, to include free speech; the very mechanism whereby Mr. Ramlow conveys the Courts’ lack of authority on the matter and its usurpation of the ID CONST, Art. I § 4, 7, 13 and 18, the Due Process Clause of the Constitution of the United States, Amendment 14, and Amendment 6 protections to a speedy, public, and impartial trial by Jury; and are in violation of the law, pursuant 18 U.S.C. § 242- Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law




            On April 22, 2020, SCOID issued an Order, pursuant to I.C.A.R. 48 , stating “…all State of Idaho court proceedings and facilities shall operate as follows until further order of this Court: …No jury trials shall commence, nor shall a juror be required to appear…This order suspending jury trials shall be deemed good cause to deny a motion to dismiss a criminal case based upon the time requirements set forth in section 19-3501, Idaho Code (suspension of speedy trial protections)…access by the public to the court proceedings may be requested, but will be permitted at the discretion of the presiding judge (denial of public trial)…while in a courthouse, any person attending or participating in a court proceeding or doing court business must wear a mask…Individuals who, in violation of these protocols, approach a court services office or enter a courthouse…shall be denied access (punishment for religious/conscientious objectors).”[Emphasis added]  This Order was signed on April 22, 2020 by C.J.R.B. and given effect of law on May 1, 2020.

            In July of 2020, Mr. Ramlow became involved in a highly litigious custody modification battle with his ex-girlfriend [Redacted] as a result of Ms. [Redacted] continuous conduct of welfare fraud, prostitution, and taking the parties’ child out of state or to the Midwest without informing Mr. Ramlow and, further, because there were allegations that Ms. [Redacted] and her boyfriend were witnessed driving with the child after having consumed high quantities of alcohol and in an erratic nature causing a report to be lodged against them with the police.

            On October 21, 2020, as a means of discrediting Mr. Ramlow’s claims against her, Ms. [Redacted] filed a petition for civil protection order in case number CV28-20-6569 and made an allegation of stalking and/or threats against Mr. Ramlow, pursuant I.C. § 18-7907.  In Ms. [Redacted]’s petition she claims that Mr. Ramlow and her boyfriend got into an altercation on May 9, 2020 and that her boyfriend later found a tracking device on her car on September 16, 2020.  An in-person hearing on the matter was scheduled for November 4, 2020 and Mr. Ramlow was served all relevant documents.

            On November 4, 2020 Mr. Ramlow drove four hours to appear before the court and to argue the merits, or lack thereof, of the allegations made against him.  He had no prior knowledge of the SCOID Order and was denied access to the court with threat of force and stigmatization by Jane Doe 1 and John Doe’s 1 and 2 for his refusal to wear a mask.  The presiding judge continued the matter to November 18, 2020.  

            On November 5, 2020, a sworn complaint was filed and Mr. Ramlow was charged with stalking, pursuant to I.C. 18-7906.  An affidavit of probable cause supporting the complaint and warrant of arrest were filed with the court setting out the conduct as to the allegations in the complaint and a warrant was issued by the Court in case number CR28-20-17671. I.C. 18-7906 also includes an exemption for constitutionally protected conduct, however, arguments in favor of constitutionally protected conduct cannot be brought forward unless upon appearance by the defendant, Mr. Ramlow.  Mr. Ramlow remains unaware of the criminal allegation at this time.

            On November 17, 2020, Mr. Ramlow submitted a motion to attend the civil protection order hearing without wearing a mask and an affidavit in support of that motion.  

            On November 18, 2020, Mr. Ramlow drove 4 hours to appear at the civil protection hearing.  Upon arrival, Mr. Ramlow is notified by counsel, Kevin J. Waite, that his motion to attend the hearing without wearing a mask was denied by H.J.C.P.  At 9:05 a.m. (PST), Mr. Ramlow is denied entry into the court with threat of force and stigmatization by John Doe 3 and Jane Doe 2 for failure to wear a mask.  Transcript of the hearing indicates that H.J.C.P. (1) treated Mr. Ramlow’s refusal to wear a mask as a failure to appear and ordered the bailiff to arrest him (2) did not allow Mr. Ramlow’s counsel to argue the merits of the case (3) allowed the petitioning party to adjoin persons to the protection order not listed in the original petition without allowing counsel’s objections to be heard and, in so-doing, (4) caused procedural and substantive injury by depriving Mr. Ramlow of fundamental due-process and paternal rights protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

            On November 18, 2020 at roughly 9:30 a.m. (PST), the arrest warrant in CR28-20-17671 is executed outside building 9 of the Kootenai County Courthouse.  Mr. Ramlow is then taken to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department (KCSD). While at KCSD, Mr. Ramlow refuses to wear a mask and John Doe 4 punishes him by placing him in solitary confinement and turning the air conditioning on.   After (5) hours of sustained maltreatment, Mr. Ramlow verbally objects to the compliance tactics imposed upon him by KCSD employees.  John Doe 4 concurs with verbal arguments and permits Mr. Ramlow to proceed through in-processing without requiring him to wear a mask.

            On November 19, 2020 at approximately 2:00 p.m. (PST) Mr. Ramlow is moved to a hearing room and asked by John Doe 5 to wear a mask.  Upon rejecting the offer, John Doe 5 removes Mr. Ramlow from the hearing room and places him in solitary confinement.  John Doe 5 explains “I agree with everything you are saying and stand for and I’m glad that there are people like you out there.  We need you.  On our end (KCSD) it’s a technicality and, while we don’t really give a [expletive].   I mean, I really hate these [expletive] things, but when we put guys in front of the judge we have to ‘pretend’ as if we do.  I’m going to respect your right to not wear a face covering and when its your turn to appear, I’ll come get you.”  

            On November 19, 2020 at approximately 2:45 p.m. (PST) Mr. Ramlow appears without wearing a mask as a pro se litigant before Honorable Judge Robert Caldwell.  Here, with the help of KCSD employees, Mr. Ramlow was able to argue the merits of his case and the bond requirements without interference by court staff.  Transcript of the hearing indicate that, when the prosecuting attorney attempted to adjoin children to the no contact order, Mr. Ramlow objected and his objections were heard, including: (1) Mr. Ramlow lacks prior history of any violent behavior (2) State lacks sufficient evidence to establish probable cause (3) Mr. Ramlow has a long history of fighting for and acting in the best interests of his child, and (4) that the proposed victim, who was previously being investigated for prostitution and welfare fraud has concocted these allegations as a political means of alienating Mr. Ramlow from his child.  Mr. Ramlow’s objections were sustained by Judge Caldwell and no children were adjoined to the no contact order. [Emphasis added]  The Court ordered a bond in the amount of $100,000.00 and Mr. Ramlow posted a surety bond. A pretrial conference via Zoom was scheduled for February 5, 2021 to which Mr. Ramlow appeared and explained he will exercise his right to trial and the matter was left set for status conference via Zoom for February 22, 2021 to which he again appeared. On February 23, 2021 a notice of pretrial conference via Zoom was scheduled for April 6, 2021 and trial for April 26, 2021.

 On February 24, 2021 Mr. Ramlow’s attorney filed a motion to withdraw which was heard on March 18, 2021 whereat Mr. Ramlow was again present via Zoom.  Mr. Ramlow’s criminal attorney, John Redal, signed and dated his motion to withdraw on January 7, 2021 and withheld his intent to withdraw from his client for (48) days until filing with the court, a clear abuse in attorney/ client relationship.  After allowing Mr. Ramlow’s attorney to withdraw, the court issued another notice of pretrial conference to be held on April 6, 2021, this time in-person, leaving Mr. Ramlow (2) conflicting notices in his case file; one for hearing by Zoom and the other in-person.

            On March 31, 2021, Mr. Ramlow served H.J.C.P. via his clerk of court, Cassie Poole, a Form COL Violation Warning with a citizen’s statement indicating Petersons unlawful actions and abuse of discretion and, later, on April 23, 2021 his attorney in that matter, Kevin J. Waite, filed a notice of appeal.  Further, Flathead County Sheriff, Sheriff Heino, has verbally rendered the protection order issued in CV28-20-6569 null and void for blatant due process violations and is unenforceable within the jurisdiction of Flathead County, Montana. [Emphasis added]

In addition to the civil and criminal allegations of stalking, Mr. Ramlow was still involved in the highly litigious custody modification case CV28-20-6569 which was scheduled for trial on April 7, 2021.  Mr. Ramlow became enthralled during trial preparation and mistakenly referred to the older notice of pretrial conference via Zoom, filed on February 23, 2021.  Mistakenly, Mr. Ramlow failed to appear in-person. On April 6, 2021, the Honorable Judge John A. Cafferty issued an order of bond forfeiture and a warrant to arrest Mr. Ramlow for failure to appear in-person.

On April 29, 2021, Mr. Ramlow’s new counsel in the criminal matter, Henry Madsen, filed a motion to quash warrant; set aside bond forfeiture; reinstate bond; reset for trial and/or dismiss.  On April 30, 2021 a notice of in-person hearing on motion to quash warrant was filed and scheduled for May 20, 2021.

Currently, Mr. Ramlow plans to attend the hearing in-person but believes that the court staff will prohibit him from entering the building for refusal to wear a mask and the merits of his motion will not be heard.





1.  Separation of Powers Principles-


            a. Doctrine


The doctrine of separation of powers, as implemented in drafting the Constitution, was based on several generally held principles: the separation of government into three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial; the conception that each branch performs unique and identifiable functions that are appropriate to each; and the limitation of the personnel of each branch to that branch, so that no one person or group should be able to serve in more than one branch simultaneously.  To a great extent, the Constitution effectuated these principles, but critics (Cato, Brutus, and The Federal Farmer) objected to what they regarded as a curious intermixture of functions.  It was to these objections that James Madison (Publius) turned in a powerful series of essays.  Madison recurred to “the celebrated” Montesquieu, the “oracle who is always consulted,” to disprove the contentions of the critics. “[T]his essential precaution in favor of liberty,” that is, the separation of the three great functions of government, had been achieved, but the doctrine did not demand rigid separation. Montesquieu and other theorists “did not mean that these departments ought to have no partial agency in, or control over, the acts of each other,” but rather liberty was endangered “where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department.” The Federalist Nos. 47–51 (J. Cooke ed. 1961), 323–353 (Madison). [Emphasis added].

This doctrine of separation of powers is further expressed in the distribution of powers in ID CONST, Art II § 1.” Departments of Government. The powers of the government of this state are divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive and judicial; and no person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or permitted.” Further, according to the Supreme Court of the United States, the “single basic idea” underlying Article III standing is “separation of powers.”  Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811, 820 (1997) (quoting Allen, 468 U.S. at 752); see also, e.g., Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, 134 S. Ct. 2334, 2341 (2014) “The law of Article III standing…is built on separation of powers principles…” (quoting Clapper, 133 S. Ct. at 1146).  This practical conception of standing has now given way to a primary emphasis upon separation of powers as the guide. “[T]he ‘case or controversy’ requirement defines with respect to the Judicial Branch the idea of separation of powers on which the Federal Government is founded. The several doctrines that have grown up to elaborate that requirement are ‘founded in concern about the proper—and properly limited— role of the courts in a democratic society.” Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 750 (1984) (quoting Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975)


b. Judicial Power/During an Emergency. [Hint- not much different than normal]


Judicial power is the power “of a court to decide and pronounce a judgment and carry it into effect between persons and parties who bring a case before it for decision.” Justice Samuel Miller, On The Constitution 314 (1891).  It is “the right to determine actual controversies arising between diverse litigants, duly instituted in courts of proper jurisdiction”. Muskrat v. United States, 219 U.S. 346, 361 (1911).  The terms “judicial power” and “jurisdiction” are frequently used interchangeably, with “jurisdiction” defined as the power to hear and determine the subject matter in controversy between parties to a suit, United States v. Arrendondo, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 691 (1832). It is “to make rules governing their process in the absence of statutory authorizations or prohibitions Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1 (1825), “…to prevent abuse, oppression, and injustice…” Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131 (1888) [Emphasis added]

ID CONST, Art V § 2 states that “The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a court for the trial of impeachments, a Supreme Court, district courts, and such other courts inferior to the Supreme Court as established by the legislature. The courts shall constitute a unified and integrated judicial system for administration and supervision by the Supreme Court. The jurisdiction of such inferior courts shall be as prescribed by the legislature. Until provided by law, no changes shall be made in the jurisdiction or in the manner of the selection of judges of existing inferior courts. [emphasis added] Here, it is important to note that the power of “administration and supervision” is not the same as, say, the power to amend the Idaho Constitution and engage in the deprivation of fundamental and constitutionally protected rights.  Constitutional protections are themselves “prohibitions” on the “administration and supervision” of inferior courts and are hierarchically supreme to statutory provisions and statutory provisions are, in turn, supreme to I.C.A.R.; they exist as inflexible side-constraints to the general rule making powers of the Idaho Supreme Court.

Further, as has already been pointed out, judiciary powers within the State of Idaho are “established” and “prescribed by the Legislature”.  I.C. § 1-213 reads, “Duty to make rules- Limitation.   The Supreme Court shall prescribe, by general rules, for all the courts of Idaho, the forms of process, writs, pleadings and motions, the manner of service, time for appearance, and the practice and procedure in all actions and proceedings. Said rules shall neither abridge, enlarge nor modify the substantive rights of any litigant.”  Here, a C.J.R.B. loyalist might say, “see it only says that he can’t modify substantive rights, he can make procedural alterations”.  This simply isn’t true.  Even if the legislature said that SCOID could “write any rule it wants and amend the constitution”, the statute itself would be void because (1) statutes or other rules it might create are inferior to constitutional provisions and (2) allowing the court to engage in anything beyond making “general rules” would be a violation of separation of powers principles outlined in ID CONST, Art. II § 1.   SCOID has very weak rule making powers; this is by proper and intelligent design.

I.C.A.R., which are subservient to I.C. § 1-213, are “Rules Governing the Administration and Supervision of the Unified and Integrated Idaho Judicial System” and their purpose is “…administering and supervising the unified and integrated Idaho judicial system by the Supreme Court pursuant to Article V, Section 2, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho [and I.C. § 1-213].”  I.C.A.R 48- Emergency Closure of Court Operations - Record of Closure - Disaster Emergency Plan states that “(a) In the event of an emergency or threatened emergency, the Administrative Director of the Courts or his or her designee, or where practicable, after consultation with the Administrative Director of the Courts or his or her designee, the administrative judge, or his or her designee if the administrative judge is unavailable, may order the closure of a district court [singular] and related offices, including the district court clerk’s office, until the safe operations of the court and its offices can be restored.”   Further, “…When the conditions creating the emergency have passed, the administrative judge or designee, in cooperation with the Administrative Office of the Courts, shall provide for the immediate resumption of court business by the most expeditious and practical means possible, which may include alternate operational hours or moving court operations to alternate facilities, if necessary…”[Emphasis added].  

The beautiful thing about rules is that they say what they say, and they don’t say what they don’t say. The clear intent of the rule is contained in its verbiage; to address a localized emergency in which “a district court” must be closed.  Here, even if a local court burned to the ground, constitutional protections need not be violated as operations can temporarily be moved to another building or the jurisdiction of another court temporarily broadened.  Even then, I.C.A.R. 48 could not be the legitimate means for these constitutionally protected violations because I.C.A.R., itself, is a subset of 4th tier rules (low effect of law) that lack the power and lawful effect of Legislative statute (Medium effect of law) or constitutional provisions (high effect of law)!! C.J.R.B. has unlawfully exercised legislative powers by taking a broad brush to a set of 4th tier rules and, in-so-doing, rendered federal and state constitutional protections hallow, ultra vires.  

It should be painted in the minds of Idahoans as a somewhat disgraceful picture, that in their current state of serfdom, it is a Montana resident who must point these facts out, which are clear and visible, to Idaho officials and residents!  Has Idaho adopted the Soviet system of willful blindness and preference falsification?   Have its citizens rendered its government infallible and are they, therefore, blind to its folly?  Is it blind obedience? I.C. § 1-1901(2) reads “[every judicial officer has power] to compel obedience to his lawful orders”.   To the extent that I have thus shown these rules to be unlawful, no free person in this state can be compelled into obedience of them by judicial officers.


2. Fundamental Right to a Speedy and Public Trial by an Impartial Jury


The Constitution of the United States, Amendment VI, reads “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” 

The Constitution of the United States, Amendment XIV § 1 reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”


a.   Trial by Jury


Historically, it was the United States Supreme Court’s position that the right to a jury trial meant “a trial by jury as understood and applied at common law, and includes all the essential elements as they were recognized in this country and England when the Constitution was adopted.” Patton v. United States, 281 U.S. 276, 288 (1930). It had therefore been held that this included trial by a jury of 12 persons, Thompson v. Utah, 170 U.S. 343 (1898), who must reach a unanimous verdict, Andres v. United States, 333 U.S. 740 (1948).  However, as the 14th Amendment extended this guarantee to the states, the Court indicated that at least some of these standards were open to re-examination, Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 158 n.30 (1968), and in subsequent cases it has done so, such as in Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970).  In this case, the Court held that the fixing of jury size at 12 was “a historical accident” that, although firmly established when the Sixth Amendment was proposed and ratified, was not required as an attribute of the jury system, either as a matter of common-law background (Id. at 86-92), or by any ascertainment of the intent of the framers (Id. at 92-99).

Being bound neither by history nor framers’ intent, the Court thought the “relevant inquiry . . . must be the function that the particular feature performs and its relation to the purposes of the jury trial.” The size of the jury, the Court continued, bore no discernable relationship to the purposes of jury trial—the prevention of oppression and the reliability of factfinding. Furthermore, there was little reason to believe that any great advantage accrued to the defendant by having a jury composed of 12 rather than six, which was the number at issue in the case, or that the larger number appreciably increased the variety of viewpoints on the jury. A jury should be large enough to promote group deliberation, free from outside attempts at intimidation, and to provide a fair possibility that a cross-section of the community will be represented on it, but the Court did not speculate whether there was a minimum permissible size and it recognized the propriety of conditioning jury size on the seriousness of the offense. (Id. at 99-103). [Emphasis added].


            b.  Impartiality


The requirement of an impartial jury is secured not only by the Sixth Amendment, which is as applicable to the states as to the Federal Government, Irvin v. Dowd, 366 U.S. 717 (1961), but also by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303 (1880), and, finally by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. In the exercise of its supervisory power over the federal courts, the Court has permitted any defendant to challenge the arbitrary exclusion from jury service of his own or any other class. Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 83–87 (1942).  Even before the Court extended the right to a jury trial to state courts, it was firmly established that, if a state chose to provide juries, the juries had to be impartial. Turner v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 466 (1965).

Impartiality is a two-fold requirement. First, “the selection of a petit jury from a representative cross section of the community is an essential component of the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial.” Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522, 528 (1975). This requirement applies only to jury panels or venires from which petit juries are chosen, and not to the composition of the petit juries themselves. Lockhart v. McCree, 476 U.S. 162 (1986).  In Lockhart, the Court asserted, “We have never invoked the fair cross-section principle to invalidate the use of either for-cause or peremptory challenges to prospective jurors, or to require petit juries, as opposed to jury panels or venires, to reflect the composition of the community at large.” Id. at 173. This explanation is that the fair cross-section requirement “is a means of assuring, not a representative jury (which the Constitution does not demand), but an impartial one (which it does).” Holland v. Illinois, 493 U.S. 474, 480 (1990).

“In order to establish a prima facie violation of the fair-cross-section requirement, the defendant must show (1) that the group alleged to be excluded is a ‘distinctive’ group in the community, i.e. partisan non-mask wearers; (2) that the representation of this group in venires from which juries are selected is not fair and reasonable in relation to the number of such persons in the community; and (3) that this underrepresentation is due to systematic exclusion of the group in the jury-selection process.” Duren v. Missouri, 439. U.S. 357, 364 (1979).  Further, once a plaintiff demonstrates a prima facie violation, the defendant faces a formidable burden: the jury selection process may be sustained under the Sixth Amendment only if those aspects of the process that result in the disproportionate exclusion of a distinctive group, such as exemption criteria, “manifestly and primarily” advance a “significant state interest.” Id. at 367–68. 

Second, there must be assurance that the jurors chosen are unbiased, i.e., willing to decide the case on the basis of the evidence presented. Frazier v. United States, 335 U.S. 497 (1948).  A violation of a defendant’s right to an impartial jury does occur, however, when the jury or any of its members is subjected to pressure or influence which could impair freedom of action; the trial judge should conduct a hearing in which the defense participates to determine whether impartiality has been undermined, Remmer v. United States, 350 U.S. 377 (1956), or when a defendant is subject to trial in an atmosphere of mob or threatened mob domination.  Frank v. Mangum, 237 U.S. 309 (1915)

 It would be an understatement to say that mask mandates in Idaho are controversial.  People are moving to Idaho to flee lockdowns and mask mandates in other states (not to minimize government abuses here).  The willingness to wear or not wear a mask is thus rendered a political question, a priori, and of no objectively rational basis seated in public safety. In Mr. Ramlow’s own experience, there exists a “distinctive” “class” of people around him whom predicate their decision making about public participation in activities on whether or not masks are a requirement.  At county health board meetings there are a diverse range of people who support masks and those who don’t.  In many of these meetings over the last year, non-mask wearers have been in the majority. Put differently, a large proportion of the population who are actively engaged in civics, properly understood, do not wear masks.  How many Idaho residents simply refuse to show up for jury duty on the basis that its participation requires wearing a mask?  Of those who do show up, can the court assume that they are composed of a “fair cross-section” of the community?  Surely, underrepresentation is a consequence of systemic abuses, for it is the mask wearing requirements that are the very means by which the court excludes this “distinctive” “class”. Establishing a lack of “state interest” will be reviewed in the fact finding below.  For now, Mr. Ramlow alleges that the State of Idaho’s ability to seat an impartial jury is lacking and that it fails to meet the “cross-section” requirement.

Lastly, mask wearing requirements are at odds with impartial jury safeguards. There are limits on the extent to which an inquiry can be made into whether a criminal defendant’s right to a jury trial has been denied by a biased jury. With origins dating from the English common law, a rule of evidence has even been adopted by the Federal Rules of Evidence 606(b)(1) and by the vast majority of the states that forbids the “impeachment” or questioning of a verdict by inquiring into the internal deliberations of the jury. The “no impeachment” rule, which aims to promote “full and vigorous discussion” by jurors and to preserve the “stability” of jury verdicts, has limited the ability of criminal defendants to argue that a jury’s internal deliberations demonstrated bias amounting to a deprivation of the right to a jury trial. Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, 580 U.S.___, No. 15–606, slip op. at 9 (2017) (noting that 42 jurisdictions follow the federal rule), slip op. at 11.  In the Court’s view, there are three safeguards that adequately protect Sixth Amendment interests while preserving the values underlying the no impeachment rule; (1) the voir dire process, (2) the ability for the court and counsel to observe the jury during trial, and (3) the potential for jurors to report untoward behavior to the court before rendering a verdict. Tanner v. United States, 483 U.S. at 127 (1987).   After days of muffled communication and very little ability for the court and counsel to interpret facial expressions and other non-verbal conduct, is it reasonable to expect that the safeguard above remains wholly intact?  Mr. Ramlow alleges that mask wearing requirements render this protection hallow.


            c. Speedy and Public Trials.


The Magna Carta declared “[w]ee shall not . . . deny or delay Justice and right, neither the end, which is Justice, nor the meane, whereby we may attaine to the end, and that is the law.” Ch. 40 of the 1215 Magna Carta.  Much the same language was incorporated into the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 and, from there, into the Sixth Amendment. The right to a speedy trial is a right of an accused, but it serves the interests of defendants and society alike. The provision is “an important safeguard to prevent undue and oppressive incarceration prior to trial, to minimize anxiety and concern accompanying public accusation and to limit the possibility that long delay will impair the ability of an accused to defend himself.” United States v. Ewell, 383 U.S. 116, 120 (1966).  But on the other hand, “there is a societal interest in providing a speedy trial which exists separate from and at times in opposition to the interests of the accused.” Persons in jail must be supported at considerable public expense and often families must be assisted as well. Persons free in the community after arrest may commit other crimes, lengthy intervals between arrest and trial may promote “bail jumping,” and growing backlogs of cases may motivate plea bargaining that does not always match society’s expectations for justice. And delay may retard the deterrent and rehabilitative effects of the criminal law. Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 519 (1972); Dickey v. Florida, 398 U.S. 30, 42 (1970) (Justice Brennan concurring).

“The history of the right to a speedy trial and its reception in this country clearly establish that it is one of the most basic rights preserved by our Constitution.” So finding, the Supreme Court held in the 1967 case of Klopfer v. North Carolina that the right to a speedy trial is one of those “fundamental” liberties that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment makes applicable to the states. Klopfer v. North Carolina, 386 U.S. 213, 226 (1967).   The protection afforded by the speedy trial guarantee of the Sixth Amendment “is activated only when a criminal prosecution has begun and extends only to those persons who have been ‘accused’ in the course of that prosecution.” United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307, 313 (1971). Nevertheless, invocation of the right need not always await indictment, information, or other formal charge but can begin with the actual restraints imposed by arrest if those restraints precede the formal preferring of charges (Id. at 307, 320 and 321). 

In two cases involving both detention and formal charges, the Court held that the speedy trial guarantee had been violated by states that brought criminal charges against persons who were already incarcerated in prisons of other jurisdictions when the states that brought the criminal charges had ignored the defendants’ requests to be given prompt trials and had made no effort through requests to the prison authorities of the other jurisdictions to obtain custody of the prisoners for purposes of trial. Smith v. Hooey, 393 U.S. 374 (1969); Dickey v. Florida, 398 U.S. 30 (1970).  But an individual’s speedy trial rights can be at issue even when he is not subject to detention and it is uncertain whether the government will ever pursue further prosecution. Thus, a state practice permitting a prosecutor to take nolle prosequi with leave, which discharged an indicted defendant from custody but left him subject at any time thereafter to prosecution at the discretion of the prosecutor, was condemned as violating the guarantee of a speedy trial.  Klopfer v. North Carolina, 386 U.S. 213 (1967).

The denial of speedy trial rights, how applied: “The right of a speedy trial is necessarily relative. It is consistent with delays and depends upon circumstances. It secures rights to a defendant. It does not preclude the rights of public justice.”  Beavers v. Haubert, 198 U.S. 77, 87 (1905).  No length of time is per se too long to pass scrutiny under this guarantee, Pollard v. United States, 352 U.S. 354 (1957), but neither does the defendant have to show actual prejudice by delay.  United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307, 320 (1971).  The Court, rather, has adopted an ad hoc balancing approach. “We can do little more than identify some of the factors which courts should assess in determining whether a particular defendant has been deprived of his right. Though some might express them in different ways, we identify four such factors: Length of delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of his right, and prejudice to the defendant.” Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 (1972). 

Mr. Ramlow alleges that unauthorized rule-making has caused congestion in the courts and jails that have adversely affected speedy trial protections or have produced complex procedural hurdles for litigants who, on one end, have legitimate pleas, and on the other, cannot get them heard.  This congestion has not only a burdensome effect to society, but to the liberty interest of litigants as well.  Litigants can become overburdened with various compliance tactics imposed upon them by judicial officers attempting to enforce I.C. § 1-1901(2).  Mr. Ramlow alleges a substantive component exist in this matter, in his own liberty interest.


3.  Due Process, The Right To Be Heard.


            Due process requires that the procedures by which laws are applied must be evenhanded, so that individuals are not subjected to the arbitrary exercise of government powerMarchant v. Pennsylvania R.R., 153 U.S. 380 (1894).   The required elements of due process are those that “minimize substantively unfair or mistaken deprivations” by enabling persons to contest the basis upon which a state proposes to deprive them of protected interests, Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 81 (1972). “[S]ome form of hearing is required before an individual is finally deprived of a property [or liberty] interest.” Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 333 (1976). “Parties whose rights are to be affected are entitled to be heard.” Baldwin v. Hale, 68 U.S. (1 Wall.) 223, 233 (1863).  An elementary and fundamental requirement of due process in any proceeding which is to be accorded finality is notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and [must] afford them an opportunity to present their objections.” Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 314 (1950). 

This right is a “basic aspect of the duty of government to follow a fair process of decision making when it acts to deprive a person of his possessions. The purpose of this requirement is not only to ensure abstract fair play to the individual. Its purpose, more particularly, is to protect his use and possession of property from arbitrary encroachment…” Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 80–81 (1972).  “In almost every setting where important decisions turn on questions of fact, due process requires an opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses.” Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 269 (1970).  Where the “evidence consists of the testimony of individuals whose memory might be faulty or who, in fact, might be perjurers or persons motivated by malice, vindictiveness, intolerance, prejudice, or jealously,” the individual’s right to show that it is untrue depends on the rights of confrontation and cross-examination. “This Court has been zealous to protect these rights from erosion. It has spoken out not only in criminal cases,but also in all types of cases where administrative actions were under scrutiny.” Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474, 496–97 (1959).

With respect to liberty interests, the Court has followed a meandering path. Although the traditional concept of liberty was freedom from physical restraint, the Court has expanded the concept to include various other protected interests, some statutorily created and some not.  This expanded notion of “liberty” is to include the right to be free of official stigmatization.  Thus, in Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971), the Court invalidated a statutory scheme in which persons could be labeled “excessive drinkers,” without any opportunity for a hearing and rebuttal, and could then be barred from places where alcohol was served. The Court, without discussing the source of the entitlement, noted that the governmental action impugned the individual’s reputation, honor, and integrity.  At what cost to the liberty interest of litigants is it to be deprived of the ability to be heard in court proceedings for failure to wear a mask and under the stigma that they are ‘potential’ carries of the common cold?  Further, who incurs the burden of proof?  Should there not be evidence in fact?

Mr. Ramlow alleges that C.J.R.B., H.J.C.P., John Doe’s 1-3 and Jane Doe’s 1 and 2 have deprived him of the fundamental right of due process when they (1) barred him from entering the court by means of (2) stigmatization and (3) proceeded in CV28-20-6569 without allowing him or his counsel to be heard or to argue the merits of the case, (4) deprived counsel of his ability to object and (5) adjoined persons to the protection order not listed in the original petition and, in so doing, deprived him of fundamental paternal rights protected by the 14th Amendment.


4. A Refusal To Wear A Mask As Political Speech/ Government Restraint On Speech Content


            The Constitution of the United States, Amendment I, reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  As a general matter, government may not regulate speech “because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content,” (Police Dep’t of Chicago v. Mosle, 408 U.S. 92, 95 (1972)), and “It is rare that a regulation restricting speech because of its content will ever be permissible.” United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U.S. 801, 818 (2000).  The constitutionality of content-based regulation is determined by a compelling interest test derived from equal protection analysis: the government “must show that its regulation is necessary to serve a compelling state interest and is narrowly drawn to achieve that end.”  Ark. Writers’ Project, Inc. v. Ragland, 481 U.S. 221, 231 (1987). Further, narrow tailoring in the case of fully protected speech requires that the government “choose the least restrictive means to further the articulated interest.” Sable Commc’ns of Cal. v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115, 126 (1989).  The application of this test ordinarily results in invalidation of the regulation. 

The Court has recognized two central ways in which a law can impose content-based restrictions, which include not only restrictions on particular viewpoints, but also prohibitions on public discussions of an entire topic. First, a government regulation of speech is content-based if the regulation on its face draws distinctions based on the message a speaker conveys. Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781, 791 (1989). Second, the Court has recognized that facially content-neutral laws can be considered content-based regulations of speech if a law cannot be “justified without reference to the content of speech” or was adopted “because of disagreement with the message [the speech] conveys.” Id. at 791.  Mr. Ramlow alleges that the first element of government regulation is met here, as the SCOID Order has on its face “any person attending or participating in a court proceeding…must…wear a mask covering their nose and mouth”, and “Signage shall be posted…advising individuals not to enter courtrooms…[if they] are not wearing a mask covering their nose and mouth,” and “Individuals who, in violation of these protocols,…shall be denied access…” Further, the “…order may be [punishable] through contempt proceedings…”.  The second element is also met in so far as the regulation cannot be justified without reference to people who do not wear masks as potentially harmful or dangerous.

Importantly, for a law that falls within the first category of recognized content-based regulations—those laws that are content-based on their face—the government’s justifications or purposes for enacting that law are irrelevant to determine whether the law is subject to strict scrutiny.   “Nor will the mere assertion of a content-neutral purpose be enough to save a law which, on its face, discriminates, based on content.” Turner Broad. Sys. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622, 642–43 (1994).  Put another way, for laws that facially draw distinctions based on the subject matter of the underlying speech, there is no need for a court to look into the purpose of the underlying law being challenged under the First Amendment; instead, that law is automatically subject to strict scrutiny. Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576 U.S. ___, No. 13–502, slip op. at 8 (2015).   As such, in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the Court, in invalidating provisions of a municipality’s sign code that imposed more stringent restrictions on signs directing the public to an event than on signs conveying political or ideological messages, determined the sign code to be content-based and subject to strict scrutiny, notwithstanding the town’s “benign,” non-speech related motives for enacting the code. Id. at 8. In so holding, the Court reasoned that the First Amendment, by targeting the “abridgement of speech,” is centrally concerned with the operations of laws and not the motivations of those who enacted the laws. [Emphasis added] In this vein, the Court concluded that the “vice” of content-based legislation is not that it will “always” be used for invidious purposes, but rather that content-based restrictions necessarily lend themselves to such purposes. Id. at 10.

Mr. Ramlow claims that refusing to wear a mask is symbolic speech that conveys the lack of authority of SCOID to engage in rule making that have the effect of constitutional provision and, also, that SARS-COV-2 is of such benign nature (a fact-based claim below) that the state lacks a sufficient and “compelling state interest” to impose such draconian rules on its citizens.  Further, within the Courts’ understanding of symbolic speech, Mr. Ramlow’s conduct represents a class of this speech considered ‘pure speech’.   The refusal to wear a mask is akin to a refusal kneel when compelled by others to do so.  It is Stoikiy muzhik, which translates to “Stoic man standing” or, as the character playing Rudolf Abel put it in the film Bridge of Spies (2015), “Standing man”.  Standing Man Scene from Bridge of Spies - Stoikiy muzhik - YouTube  

In Tinker v. Des Moines, the Court held that “the wearing [or lack thereof] of an armband for the purpose of expressing certain views is the type of symbolic act that is within the Free Speech Clause..It was closely akin to 'pure speech'…” and that, “[neither] students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”  Further, “In order for the State… to justify prohibition of a particular expression… it must be able to show that…conduct would ‘materially and substantially interfere with…the operation of the school’…” Tinker v. Des Moines Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969).  Here, the Court is clear that the burden of proof to “justify prohibitions” on symbolic speech falls on the shoulders of SCOID.  Mr. Ramlow alleges that SCOID has failed to meet that burden and must show evidence that Mr. Ramlow’s conduct of refusing to wear a mask will, in fact, “materially and substantially” interfere with the administration and supervision of the courts.  This, of course, would constitute a political act on behalf of the court; another impenetrable barrier of separation of powers.  This brings Mr. Ramlow write back to the beginning of his allegation; that power is distributed in such a way that SCOID cannot lawfully engage in the breadth of rule making that it has attempted because to give effect to the lawful remedy requires the circular circumvention of its powers.




Mr. Ramlow hereby gives notice that he intends to present the facts in [Section] V and VI of the AMENDED COMPLAINT (p.15- p.55), filed on 2/3/2021, IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DIVISION FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, Case No. 3:20-cv-02814-JRK, Renz et. al. v. Garner et. al., as material to the allegations made against the accused in this matter, and to further substantiate claims made against “material” or “substantial” or otherwise “compelling state interest”, as applied to judicial powers.  These facts are attached hereto as [Exhibit A]

            A link is also provided here:







                        That upon (24) hours of service of this Notice, to the executive branch officers for whom it is served upon in and for the State of Idaho, to engage in nullification as a means of prohibiting the unlawful exercise of power by the judicial branch.  I Pray that you do not enforce laws that are unlawful.




                        That upon (72) hours of service of this Notice, to the judicial officer for whom it is served upon in and for the State of Idaho, to fetter the court to its jurisdiction, and for the “immediate resumption of court business by the most expeditious and practical means possible”, pursuant I.C.A.R. 48(a).  I Pray for the resumption of court business and the proper station of its jurisdiction; constrained to the laws written by others.






            Upon being served this Notice, it is presumed that you are no longer in question or ignorant of “clearly established law”.   Further, you are hereby notified that, if you fail to act in accordance with these laws, that Mr. Ramlow intends to file an injury claim against you pursuant 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and that he will propose the doctrine of fair notice as a dispositional challenge to the “clearly established law” standard as one of the remedies in that action.




            Dated this 19th day of May, 2021.

                                                                                    By: Nicholas Ramlow









Notice of Tort Claim

Jun 9, 2021 Jun 9, 2021 Permalink (Alt)

On 6/8/2021, Nicholas Ramlow filed the attached Notice of Tort Claim against Kootenai County in the amount of 5 million dollars.


notice-of-tort.pdf (127 KB)

Interview on 5/18/21 after producing the final draft of Notice

May 19, 2021 Jun 9, 2021 Permalink (Alt)

Nicholas Ramlow speaks about I.C.A.R. 48 and impartial Jury safegaurds.

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