16 Red Flag Hearings: 14 Affirmed, 0 Reversed, 2 Remanded

Looking for Justice by holding a Red-Flag Hearing?  Don't Count On It

The Department of Safety, Bureau of Hearings, has posted a Compendium of Superior Court Cases.  Under "I. Substance Abuse Completion Requirements" there are listed sixteen red-flag hearings, or appeals of decisions made by Amethyst Foundation, REAP, or other administrators of IDIP programs.  Of those sixteen hearings, none were reversed.

"90 meetings in 90 days"
Keskula v. Beecher, 04-E-142, (Merrimack, Lewis, 07/19/04) AFFIRMED
Referred to further counseling by LADAC; Petitioned for, and after a hearing, Hearings Examiner entered as his disposition the indefinite suspension of Petitioner's driving privileges and further directed that he attend 90 self-held group meetings in 90 days, and securing a low-risk alcohol evaluation from a LADAC …; Petitioner disagreed; appeal filed; HELD: "The Hearings Examiner acted within his discretion in making the rulings and determinations … There is ample support for the conclusion that the required aftercare was warranted in this case."
Charming.   Ninety meetings in ninety days is an old AA slogan.  It is how new people ("pigeons" in AA slang) are recruited.  Like other cults, AA tries to insulate new member from the outside world during the period of indoctrination.  There's no evidence that this helps in maintaining sobriety at all.

Issues of effectiveness aside, ordering AA attendance, which this clearly is doing, is unconstitutional.

All of these courts have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion or engages in religious activities:
  • the Federal 7th Circuit Court in Wisconsin, 1984.
  • the Federal District Court for Southern New York, 1994.
  • the New York Court of Appeals, 1996.
  • the New York State Supreme Court, 1996.
  • the U.S. Supreme Court, 1997.
  • the Tennessee State Supreme Court.
  • the Federal 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, 1996.
  • the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh District, 1996.
  • the Federal Appeals Court in Chicago, 1996.
  • the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, September 7, 2007. 
  • the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2006.
  • the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2005.
  • the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, 2006.

The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear challenges to those rulings, or to change or over-turn those lower court decisions. By letting them stand, the Supreme Court has made them the law of the land.  

In the case of Grandberg v. Ashland County, a 1984 Federal 7th Circuit Court ruling concerning judicially-mandated A.A. attendance, the court said:
Alcoholics Anonymous materials and the testimony of the witness established beyond a doubt that religious activities, as defined in constitutional law, were a part of the treatment program. The distinction between religion and spirituality is meaningless, and serves merely to confuse the issue.
— Wisconsin's District Judge John Shabaz
Really, could the law be any clearer than that?

"Conflicting LADACs"
Reyno v. Beecher, 05-E-603,(Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 01/18/06) AFFIRMED
Referred to further counseling by LADAC; suspension sustained after hearing with conflicting testimony from more than one LADAC. Program disagreed with LADAC. Hearings Examiner held that Petitioner must follow program's recommendation. Court affirmed in a short one-line opinion.

Bastille v. Beecher, 05-E-055,(Rockingham, McHugh, 04/27/05) AFFIRMED
Referred to further counseling, suspension was sustained after hearing with conflicting LDACs. Director ordered counseling. Court ordered Petitioner to submit to a new LDAC evaluation. Evidence was sufficient to sustain order, but time was up and court ordered restoration after it reviewed additional submissions by petitioner about two weeks later.
The bottom line appears to be:  In a contest of opinion between an Amethyst Foundation/REAP/Serenity House LADC vs. your outside expert, you lose.

"The Court may not 'Second Guess' the Examiner's reliance on the Reports, as to what weight and credibility to assign them."

Gregoire v. Beecher, 04-E-0063, (Strafford, Smukler, 07/07/04) AFFIRMED
Referred to further counseling; did not comply and at a hearing, the Hearings Examiner ordered Petitioner to show compliance; Petitioner argues that although the examiner was correct in reaching the foregoing conclusions based on the evidence before him, the evidence upon which he relied was inaccurate. HELD: Petitioner has not met his burden of demonstrating that the examiner's decision was unreasonable or unlawful. "The Court … may not second-guess the examiner's reliance on the reports or his determination, as to what weight and credibility to assign them."

Oeser v. Beecher, 02-E-50, (Cheshire, Groff, 8/19/02) AFFIRMED
After a hearing ordering aftercare, Petitioner appealed raising "the following five issues on appeal: (1) …sentence has been served and her license must be restored; (2) … was not granted a hearing; (3) … license must be reinstated after 1-year; (4) hearing violated … right to due process and the DOS regulations; (5) … counselor is unqualified and the tests used … to determine her risk of re-offending were unreliable." Court held: "clearly the statute provides for continued revocation of the license of a person convicted of a DWI offense beyond the 1-yr period, if the person fails to meet the further counseling requirements. The Court finds that there is no evidence the hearings officer failed to follow the departmental regulations in the conduct of the hearing, or failed to give … a full and fair hearing in complete accord with all constitutional requirements of due process. Finally, the Court finds that … has failed to establish as a matter of law that the counselor was unqualified or that the tests were unreliable. The Court finds that the hearings officer's acceptance of the counselor's opinions and recommendations for treatment were reasonable."

Ferris v. Beecher, 01-E-42, (Strafford, Mohl, 4/6/01) AFFIRMED
Referred to further counseling by CADAC; after hearing the Hearings Examiner agreed with the CADAC and concluded that petitioner's alcohol abuse problem was not under control and that he was at risk to be a repeat DWI offender; appeal filed; petitioner considers himself only a "problem drinker" and argues that his test scores were inaccurate because he answered the questions based on his life style habits in 1998 as opposed to the present, as directed to do by the CADAC. The Court held: once petitioner demonstrates compliance with the program and is not at risk to recidivate, he can then petition to be decertified as an Habitual Offender.
So not only will your expert witness be wrong, the court will too, and it must defer to the wisdom of the Amethyst Foundation/REAP/Serenity House LADC!  Nevermind that to be a LADC requires only a rudimentary training, and not even a high school diploma, which is driven by christian fundamentalist ideology that is unconcerned with issues such as fairness.  Retribution, punishment, and "saving you" for your own good is all that they are concerned with.

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