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Indybay Feature

Alex and Jeff "Freedom Painters" Go to Court Hearing

Tuesday, September 01, 2015
1:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Event Type:
Court Date
Robert Norse
Location Details:
701 Ocean St. Basement of the County Building Dept. 10

Note: Alex and Joff have not asked me to post this court date (nor discouraged me from doing so). It is likely to be short and simply involve disqualifying Commissioner Kim Baskett. The case will then be transferred to a court in the adjacent courthouse with a new court date a week or two off.

Charged with something like "having a display device outside designated areas", painters Alex Skelton and Joff Jones are slated to appear in Dept. 10 in the basement of the County Building in court of Commissioner "Basement-Level" Baskett. They were arrested in an unusual procedure on August 20th, and taken before Judge Gallagher instead of to jail. He gave them the September 1st court date in Baskett's court, as I understand it from Alex and Joff.

I believe the two intend to disqualify Baskett using their one peremptory challenge under CCP 170.6. It's on-line (sort of) at§ionNum=170.6.

For others interested in disqualifying Baskett--which I heartily recommend: The law library adjacent to Baskett's Dept. 10 can provide the necessary disqualification form (they may charge 50c). The form can be presented at the window of the Superior Clerk on the floor above, if no specific court date has already been assigned (and perhaps even then). The motion can also be made orally in Baskett's court at the time of your first appearance there.

Interestingly, the wording of the law indicates you can disqualify her (or any other judge) up to the time where the judge hears any facts around the case. In infraction cases, such as those involving the Freedom Sleepers, that means any time prior to court trial, even after arraignment.

So for Alex and Joff, it's just a matter of going into court and making an oral motion stating that they swear under penalty of perjury that they believe her to be prejudiced and want another judge. It doesn't require any evidence, and apparently no paperwork.

According to some who have disqualified Baskett at the Superior Court window--skipping Baskett's "Basement-Level" court entirely, you can actually ask that your case be put into Dept. 1 to be heard by Burdick. I'm not an unqualified fan of Burdick, but suspect he's generally better than other judges.

Good luck to Alex and Joff. For interviews with them both, check out today's Free Radio Show at (1 hour and 40 minutes into the audio file).

NOTE: I mistakenly announced the court date as Monday August 31st on air; it's not. It's Tuesday September 1 and 8:30 AM. Sorry for any confusion.

More info on this case: "Artists Return After Arrest" at
Added to the calendar on Sun, Aug 30, 2015 10:35PM
by Robert Norse
Hand-wringing apologies.

The court date is 1:30 PM not 8:30 AM. And, as described, it's only to disqualify Commission "Basement-Level" Baskett.

I'm sure Alex and Joff would appreciate more support when they show up at trial or a prior hearing in a main court.

Sorry for the confusion, folks.
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