Jan - Mar 2008 - John returns to the Federal Building and is accused of violating a Court Order for writing "I LOVE YOU DOM" and "SEN CLINTON HELP US" with kid's chalk on the ground outside the building. He is tried by US Magistrate David Peebles and found guilty. John argues that there was no criminal intent -- that his was a sincere Civil Rights effort. You can read the entire transcript here.
(Some updates were lost due to an editing error -- for activity in Late 2007 and early 2008 -- please check the mailing list message archive here.)
2/24/06 - Plans are now being made to resume our efforts with Senator Clinton (click here). We may hopefully have more influence as she runs for reelection in New York. Check our list message for more details. Anyone who wishes to get involved please contact John directly (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org).
1/29/05 - John Murtari's mother, Caterina Murtari, passed away at home at the age of 89. With the help of Hospice aids & nurses John was able to take care of her at home. She was in pretty good condition over Christmas and was able to celebrate with family and with her Grandson, Domenic. Her funeral will be celebrated in Lyons, NY, on Saturday, 4 Feb. Here is a copy of the Funeral Program that Domenic first designed. More about her.
11/29/05 - Update to below - John has had to suspend his efforts in Syracuse due to his mother's illness. Anyone who wishes to get involved please contact John directly (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org). John is also involved with renewed legal activity regarding Child Support and is involved in NonViolent Action regarding a local traffic ticket. (Follow the links for more detail).
10/9/05 - John Murtari, group coordinator, has been interrupted in planned activities at the Syracuse Federal Building. His mom, Caterina, is 89 years old but has encountered some serious health issues. Two trips to the emergency room in August and September, and almost two weeks in the hospital.
John's dad, Domenico, died back in 1989 (age 97), and John is the only child. Because of failing liver function the diagnosis for his mom is terminal and John is caring for her at home (he is lucky to be able to work from home). The Hospice Program (for those with terminal illness) has been great in offering aid support at home along with visiting nurses.
There is still hope for a recovery and her condition and spirits have certainly improved since she came home. For an 'old' link that has a picture of the Family check out, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/grandma_dm.htm Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!
8/31/05 - John Murtari's mother has been ill the last week and some plans have been delayed. An infection caused a trip to the Emergency Room, but she is slowly improving.
8/25/05 - (Syracuse/Washington DC) Ron did visit the DC offices of Senator Clinton and John was at the Syracuse Federal Building. Unfortunately, we had no other participants.
Please plane on joining us between 2-3 PM for a public
8/22/05 - John returned to the building at 10 AM. Climbed the sculpture again and remained there until 11 AM. No arrest occurred.
8/18/05 - At 2 PM John Murtari climbed the 20 foot sculpture in the Federal Plaza. He unfurled a banner and also carried pictures of various parents and children. The message was “Senator Clinton – Please help us!” Click here to read a news release. He came down voluntarily from the sculpture after about 90 minutes and was arrested. He was not charged with any offense by Federal authorities, but was turned over to the Syracuse City Police. He was given a ticket for 'trespass' and released at the building.
Check here for full details on what happened and how you can help!
Over the next weeks more activity is planned. Your presence is welcome as a spectator and also by making a personal visit to Congressional offices in the building. Please contact John directly if you can help (877-635-1968,x-211).
8/16/05 - The US Attorney's office files their reply (page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4) to an earlier Motion made by John. On August 5th, he had submitted a motion to Magistrate DiBianco (click here for text) asking for the pending charges to be dismissed and for protection from being blocked from entering the building.
August 2005 - The effort to get a meeting with Senator Clinton will continue (first time visitors please review the extensive BLOG below on what has happened). In recent months John has been improperly 'blocked' from even attempting to enter the building to petition his Senator regarding Civil Rights. Efforts on the outside of the building have been stopped by Federal authorities willing to designate considerable man power to stopping John's efforts to avoid any arrest (review activity below).
8/15/05 - John arrived at the Federal building a 2PM, there were no other parents present. At 2:15 he entered the building and was allowed through security. He had just arrived on the 14th floor when he was met by two Federal Police officers. They were surprised he had gotten inside. They asked him what his plans were. He said he was there to 'petition his Senator for reform.' They told him 'you know you can't do that' and forced him out of the building as before.
8/9/05 - John sends a letter via fax and FedEx to Senator Clinton and to the US Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Mr. Glenn Suddaby -- asking them each for help,
8/5/05 - John submits the motion to Magistrate DiBianco, click here for text.
7/30/05 - Vacation is over. John's family is thankful there was no interference with his vacation plans by a pending trial in Federal Court (arraigned on May 18th - see below). He sends a Thank You letter and pictures to the Judge and Prosecutor.
7/26/05 - John plans on submitting a motion to Magistrate DiBianco in an attempt to get a restrictive order vacated, or to stop authorities from using physical force to block John from entering the building. He will try to enter the building at 2pm on the 15th and hopes to be allowed to continue (your presence is welcome and will help send a message of support to the Senator). If he is again blocked at the door, after discussion, the plan will be to do some 'unannounced' (but as always peaceful & NonViolent) activities outside the building.
SUMMER VACATION - John Murtari, Group coordinator, has a six week vacation period with his son, Domenic, from June 10 to July 23. Other than for the Friday before Father's Day, there are no activities planned for Syracuse.
June 17th (Friday before Father's Day)
(CANCELLED, no participants) -
We hope to get a nice group of Moms and Dads to
the Federal Building to help Senator Clinton see how important reform is.
Please bring a brief (two page) summary of what the "system" did to your family.
Make sure to include a color picture of you and your kids. As a group we
will drop those off at the Senator's offices on the 14th floor.
A proposed agenda for our meeting with Senator Clinton.
June 7th - John reports to the US Attorneys office in response to a deposition order (page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4) of May 6th. The deposition is conducted by three people from the Department of Justice, Mr. William Pease, Chief Attorney of the Civil Division, Mr. Richard Southwick, US Attorney prosecuting John, and a paralegal that had reviewed the financial material. Their is also a Court reporter present to produce a transcript. It takes approximately two hours. Besides extensive financial records, John also completed a summary worksheet of his family finances (page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7, page 8, page 9)
May 18th - John Murtari will be arraigned Wed (May 18) in Federal Court for the Northern District of New York (Syracuse) at 9:30AM. He will be charged with 'destruction of government property' for attempting to write "Dom I Love You - Senator Clinton, Please help us!" with chalk on the side of a Federal Building. Your attendance is welcome.
The court appearance results in tentative plans that might result in trial being scheduled right in the middle of John's summer vacation with his son. He sends a quick message to the US Attorney. Later that same day he sends a pleading letter to the US Magistrate.
May 6th - John had an unpaid $500 fine to the Federal Government. Earlier in the Spring he had completed a financial statement for the US Attorney's office. He now received a letter (page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4) notifying him of a deposition regarding his finances and requiring more financial disclosure.
May 6th (Friday before Mother's Day) - We had hoped to get a nice group of Moms and Dads to the Federal Building to help Senator Clinton see how important reform is. Unfortunately, we only had one person turn out.
If you have been on the list for a while you know the number of FEEDBACK messages that have 'skewered' Senator Clinton for not caring about reform -- but what can we seriously expect when we don't show ourselves?
May 3rd (Conference/Lobby Day in Albany) - As a group coordinator, John will be attending the LEAD (Family Legislative Education and Awareness Day) event in Albany -- all are welcome and he hopes to meet some of you there. For more info check the web site, http://www.fafny.org
4/26 & 4/28 - On 4/26 John returned to the Federal Building at 2 pm to stand in quiet petition. He also wrote on the ground using kid's chalk in a couple of locations on the Federal Plaza: "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us". He returned again on the 28th and when building security saw him starting to write, they took his chalk on two occasions.
4/21/05 - John returned to the Federal Building at 2 pm to stand in quiet petition. He also wrote on the ground using kid's chalk in a couple of locations on the Federal Plaza: "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us". About 10 minutes later a building maintenance person came out with a bucket of water and cleaned off the writing. A while after that John wrote the same message in a couple of more places with chalk. He left about 40 minutes later. The messages were still there.
4/13/05, 4/14/05, 4/15/05, 4/18/05 - Effort scheduled to resume. John plans on returning to the Federal Building each day at 2 pm. He will first try to enter the building carrying our petition for the Senator's help (see below, he has been blocked from entering in the past). If not allowed entry he plans on writing "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us" on the outside wall. Check here for updates. Your participation and presence is welcome!
NOTE: The sequence below is unusual in that John was not arrested at that moment. Obviously, officials still have the option of charging him on these activities at a later date.
John went to the building on the 13th
and was denied entry to 'petition Senator Clinton for reform'. He then
walked around the side of the building and had just finished writing "Dom I Love
You" with chalk when two Federal police officers approached him and took the
chalk from him. One of the officers then frisked him for more chalk.
They took a picture of the wall. He was then told he was free to go. He
was not arrested.
John then returned and started writing the same message again on a wall near a walkway to the building. The two officers then returned and the sequence was repeated. At that point John left. He plans on returning according to the schedule above.
He returned to the building on the 14th with conduct similar to the above. After writing on the wall one time; however, John had walked away from the building to pickup more chalk when he decided that the one action was enough. The two Federal Police offers were patrolling in front of the building and it seemed unnecessary to play a cat & mouse game with them and take their time away from other duties. He approached the officers and told them he would be leaving, but returning the next day.
He returned to the building on the 15th with conduct similar to the above. After writing on the wall one time, John had his chalk taken away. He then returned to the front of the building to quietly petition for the next half hour. He also went back on Monday, the 18th. There had been a change in staff schedules and at their request -- John kept things simple and just stood in front of the building. That completed the planned sequence.
4/7/05 - John Murtari was arrested and taken into custody today when he returned to the Hanley Federal Building in Syracuse, New York. John attempted to enter the building and was denied entrance by a Federal Police officer. John then went to a nearby wall and started to write "Dom I Love You - Senator Clinton Help Us!" on the outside wall of the building using chalk. He was told not to write anything and he only finished the first few words before being arrested. He was charged with "disobeying an officer" and "vandalizing gov't property/graffiti". (Click here for images of tickets). He was then released. At present John plans on returning to the building Wednesday, April 13th. Your presence is welcome!
Today's action was part of an ongoing effort to convince Senator Hillary Rhodam Clinton (D-NY) of the importance to many parents of Family Law reform.
4/7/05 - After a delay, John plans on returning to the Federal Building again at 2 pm. He will first try to enter the building carrying our petition for the Senator's help (see below, he has been blocked from entering in the past). If not allowed entry he plans on writing "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us" on the outside wall. Check here for updates. Your participation and presence is welcome! John also got a couple of letters from the US Attorney's office. One letter told him a lien had been placed against his home due to an overdue $500 fine previously assessed. The other letter was in response to John's letter of the 5th (below), it asked him to complete a financial disclosure form (which John did complete and returned on 4/13).
4/5/05 - The day prior someone who identified themselves as being from the US Attorney's office called John's workplace and started asking questions about him. Staff did not answer, but John did respond by sending a letter to the US Attorney's office asking for clarification and also his willingness to give them information. (click here for entire letter).
3/11/05 - Activity will be suspended for a couple of weeks. John will be flying out west on the 20th to pickup his son for spring break, a week together!
3/10/05 - John returned to the Federal Building. After standing for a while holding our petition for help, he took out some chalk and wrote "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us" on four locations near the front entrance. "Take a piece of chalk and write a loving message to your kids!" No action was taken by officials.
3/8/05 - John returned to the Federal Building, it was another cold day. Syracuse had over 50 the day before -- today it was about 20 and windy! After standing for a while holding our petition for help, he took out some chalk and wrote "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us" on three locations near the front entrance. No action was taken by officials.
3/3/05 - John returned to the Federal Building and after standing for a while holding our petition for help, took out some chalk and wrote "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us" on a couple of locations near the front entrance. No action was taken by officials.
3/1/05 - John returned to the Federal Building and stood out front carrying our petition to Senator Clinton. It was a snowy day in Syracuse and the ground was very wet.
2/14/05 (Valentine's Day) - John returned to the Federal Building and after standing for a while holding our petition for help, took out some chalk and wrote "Dom I Love You - Sen. Clinton Help Us" on the ground near the front entrance. No action was taken by officials.
1/25/05 - Click here for Video of News Coverage Cathy Hughes & John Murtari stood in front of the Federal Building and then used children's chalk to write on the ground. Although John had been arrested last Thursday for doing this, no arrests occurred today! We also had News coverage from a local NBC afffiliate, WSTM - 3. They aired the story on their evening news mentioning that we were parents asking Senator Clinton to get involved with national reform and passage of a Family Rights Act. They showed us standing in front of the building with pictures of our children and also writing on the ground .(Our News Release)
1/24/05 - A Federal court appearance scheduled for 2PM. Asst. US Attorney Richard Southwick made a motion for dismissal of the pending charges against John Murtari which was granted by US Magistrate Judge Lowe.
1/20/05 - John returned to the Federal Building at 2pm and was again refused entry. He was pushed outside and tried a different approach. He took some children's sidewalk chalk and began repeatedly writing on the ground in front of the building (trying to avoid the snow!) this message:
"Senator Clinton - Please help us! - AKidsRight.Org"
He was taken into custody, arraigned by US Magistrate Judge George Lowe, and released. He was given two tickets for damaging government property with graffiti and disobeying an order to stop (front image / back image). For updates we encourage you to sign up for our mailing list (click here).
1/18/05 - John returned to the Federal Building, entered it briefly and then was pushed outside again. Security officers stayed on the inside and would not let him reenter. It has become clear that a new approach is necessary to end this standoff.
1/9/05 - Your help and presence is welcome on the 18th (excerpt from recent list message follows). John also wrote US Attorney Glenn Suddaby regarding blocking tactics used by police.
[total of 17 arrests - 98 nights in jail - 4 guilty/2 innocent/11 dismissed]
as of 1/1/05
Our peaceful efforts have now resulted in a total of 50 arrests and 147 nights in jail as of 1/1/05 (34 charges dismissed).
11/5/04 - John is released and will be traveling to see his son in November and they plan on having Christmas vacation together. In January, the effort will resume, you support and participation is welcome! Follow the links above for more details, or email John at jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org , please review the web information to get a complete history of what has happened in the past. You are also welcome to call John at his office, 315-635-1968,x-211 (please leave a message and phone number).
11/1/04 - Due to bad prison conditions at the Cayuga County Jail, John helped prisoners submit a complaint to Federal and Local officials. John wrote the Editor of the local Auburn paper, and an article was published on October 20th. A revised complaint was sent later in November.
9/24/04 - Federal Magistrate Gustav J. DiBianco sentenced John Murtari to serve 44 days in jail after being tried 'in absentia' for 4 counts of trespass at the Syracuse Federal Building. A $500 fine was also imposed. Read the news release here. He is being held at the Cayuga County Jail. You are welcome to write to John in jail at the following address: John Murtari, P.O. Box 518, Auburn, NY 13021. Please also send a fax or make a phone call to the Senator's offices both in Washington and Syracuse. They are paying attention to what is going on here. Click here for contact information.
9/21/04 - John has a trial scheduled in front of Federal Magistrate DiBianco starting at 10 AM. John arrived at the building at about 9:30 AM and remained outside. There were two people, Diane Burns and Tony Sprout who had driven all the way from Ohio to be present and witness events (John was very thankful for their presence). They also paid a visit to Senator Clinton's office and left a message with the secretary -- no one was available to talk to them.
John did not go into the building even after a couple of visits from security staff (this was a simple response to repeated actions by security staff to 'push' him away from the building and deny him access). He was also presented with an order from the Judge that if he did not enter, he would be tried in 'abstentia'. It appeared the 'symbolism' of his action (which would have forced officials to pull him into the building for a trial) was recognized. He had planned on also remaining silent if forced into the building. This was a change in approach brought on by events of the last few weeks. In John's words:
9/13/04 - In another attempt at resolution John writes Senator Clinton and the US Attorneys office.
9/2/04 - John returned to the building at 2pm. He entered the foyer area but was again pushed out by Federal Police. At this point a back and forth effort was made between different doors and two members of security staff were assigned to monitor. John left at 4pm and does not plan on returning for at least a week while he makes another attempt for resolution with the US Attorneys Office and Senator Clinton. (please check here for details).
8/31/04 - An appearance in Federal Court did not go very well. An attempted stipulation, which had been agreed to with the US Attorney's office, and would have sped up processing of pending charges was rejected by the Judge and a trial date of Sep 21st was set. John also brought up to the Judge that he was being 'blocked' and 'pushed' from the building. The Judge took no action. A three count complaint was presented (page1, page2, page3 - note the complaint fails to mention an additional arrest that occurred on April 7)
8/25/04 - Murtari again returned to the building. He was again blocked, but refused to move away from the immediate door area. In a bit of a surprise Building officials locked the revolving door where John was located and posted an officer between him and the only other entry door to the building. John remained there for two hours from 2-4pm. He plans on returning again tomorrow (Thursday) and Monday/Tuesday (Aug 30,31) at the same time. You are welcome to come and talk with John outside the building. Email him at jmurtari@aAKidsRight.org, or call at 877-635-1968,x-211.
8/19/04 - Murtari returned to the Federal Building
for the third time on Thursday to resume a peaceful effort to petition Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton to meet with parents regarding reform. Building security
had blocked his access to the building by not allowing him through the doors.
Today John returned to the building with some other errands which included
visiting the office of the Federal Court Clerk. He was allowed into the building
after a 'scene' at the front door, but was then forced out. He plans on
returning to the outside of the Building on Monday and Tuesday morning and
making an effort to enter on Wednesday (Aug 23-25). Your support is welcome.
8/17/04 - John Murtari returned to the Syracuse Federal Building to resume his peaceful petition effort outside the offices of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). When he arrived at the Federal Building, he was told by Federal Police officers that he would not be arrested because they were going to deny him access to the building. John remained at the front door of the building approximately two hours without getting access. He plans on returning each day and welcomes any thoughts you may have on how to proceed as the situation continues.
8/10/04 - It looks like their will be no scheduled Court appearances. John will be returning to the Syracuse Federal Building at app. 2 pm on Tuesday the 17th and returning to the public hallway on the 14th floor of the Federal Building (outside the offices of Senator Clinton). You are welcome to come to watch and to also demonstrate your concern for reform by visiting the Senator's local office.
7/25/04 - A series of arrests occurred earlier on Feb 12th, and April 1st, 5th, and 7th (described below). John expects a decision from Federal Magistrate DiBianco in the next few weeks and the start of a jail sentence. It is difficult to predict schedule and John agreed to suspend his activity until mid-August for an opportunity to spend a summer vacation with his son. If there are delays in legal processing, John will return to continue our efforts on August 17th - your support and participation is welcome! Check here for updates during the next few weeks.
4/15/04 - John appears before Federal Magistrate DiBianco. He had written a letter earlier to the Judge explaining this was the last planned activity before August (he wanted to be able to spend summer vacation together wish his son). A stipulation was also signed agreeing that the past four arrests will be decided based on the earlier trial transcript of November 7, 2003.
4/7/04 - A letter is faxed
to the local and Washington offices of Senator Clinton asking for help.
John returns to the Federal Building at 2 pm and is again arrested by Federal
Police. In a bit of a change, he is arraigned by Magistrate Judge Lowe who is
not familiar with the proceedings. He is released and warned not to repeat
the activity. John tells the magistrate there are no more events planned.
An interim appearance in scheduled with Judge DiBianco for 2pm on April 15th
(your attendance is welcome).
4/5/04 - John returned to the building and went to the 14th floor. He was again arrested and arraigned by US Magistrate Gustav J. DiBianco. John asked the Judge for a stay in the proceeding and in prosecution until the appeal process was completed. It was quickly denied. John was offered a 'conditional release' form but refused to sign it since a condition was no more offenses. The Judge issued an order regarding his release, page 1 and page2.
4/1/04 - John returns to the Federal Building and goes to the 14th floor to continue his peaceful petition of Senator Clinton by walking in the public hallway while caring the above petition. He is arrested by Federal Officers and arraigned and released by US Magistrate Gustav J. DiBianco.
3/24/04 - A letter is received from US Magistrate DiBianco asking both sides to reword the stipulation for clarity. John agrees and waits for the new version.
3/1/04 - Both the US Attorneys office and John agree to a stipulation to avoid the need for another trial (as outlined below). A copy of the filing
2/12/04 - John Murtari was again taken into custody
by Federal Police outside the offices of Senator Clinton on the 14th floor of
the Syracuse Federal Building. As usual, he was carrying a simple petition made
up of pictures of moms and dads and children who have been separated. He was
arraigned and released by US Magistrate Judge DiBianco. Both sides
plan on "stipulating" to the facts and allowing the Judge to make a quick
decision based on almost identical facts from a previous trial (a decision of
guilty and jail time is expected). See letter below for more details.
1/09/04 - Our plan is to resume NonViolent Action on February 12th. Some meetings are planned for later this month and info will be posted to the site and via our mailing list in the next few weeks!
12/12/03 - John was released from Jail in time to travel and pick up his son for their Christmas Holiday together. He was thankful to all who wrote both to him and Senator Clinton!
11/10/03 - John Murtari was sentenced to a 35 day jail sentence by US Magistrate Judge DiBianco. Your support is encouraged and you are welcome to write him in jail. His mailing address is:
10/15/03 - John receives a copy of a letter from the Federal Public Defender's office to Magistrate DiBianco. They appear to decline the assignment (Page 1, Page 2) for reasons related to when John had earlier asked his counsel be removed for cause (see 1/21/03, below). John wrote a reply letter, excerpt below:
10/9/03 - John returned to the Federal Building at 1330 today. Federal police asked him why he was at the building. He responded, "I'm here to petition my Member of Congress." He was taken into custody while in the lobby of the building.. He was taken to a holding cell used by the US Marshalls in the Federal Building and appeared before Magistrate DiBianco at about 5 pm. The Magistrate said he had reviewed Federal procedures and he had no authority to detain John pending trial. After some discussion about moving up the trial date to next week, it was decided to keep it at October 23rd. John was also assigned counsel from the Federal Public Defenders office. He was then released.
10/2/03 - John plans on returning to the Federal Building on October 9th at 1:30 pm to continue our effort for reform. Your participation is welcome.
10/1/03 - John Murtari returned to the Syracuse Federal building to again peacefully petition Senator Clinton. Federal police asked him why he was at the building. He responded, "I'm here to petition my Member of Congress." He was taken into custody while in the lobby of the building. He was arraigned by Federal Magistrate DiBianco and released. We will have more details at the site as they become available.
9/26/03 - Another letter is faxed to the Washington offices of Senator Clinton requesting a meeting between her and parents. Full contents of letter.
9/14/03 - Plans are again made to resume the effort on the 1st day of October.
9/1/03 - John found out that his conviction for "disorderly conduct" had been upheld by a local Federal Judge (the first step in the appellate process). He has asked his assigned counsel to start the appeal process to the US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
8/25/03 - John receives a copy of a letter from the US Attorney's office to Magistrate DiBianco. It is the first notification he has received that his appeal was denied by local US District Judge Mordue. (Page 1, Page 2)
8/4/03 - NonViolent action is scheduled to resume at app 1:30 PM. This has been delayed. There was a "problem" at John's place of work and his presence will be required there for a while. The exact duration is not known. He does plan on being outside the building at 1:30pm, but just to talk to people who may not have seen this message.
7/28/03 - John Murtari returned to the Syracuse Federal Building again today in a continuing effort to petition Senator Hillary Clinton regarding Family Law reform. He was joined there by Gary Taubar who visited Senator Clinton's office to ask for help in finding his son.
John was arrested by Federal Police on the 14th floor and was arraigned later in the afternoon by US Magistrate Judge DiBianco. He was then released pending trial. The effort should resume again on Monday, August 4th. Check the site for updates.
6/13/03 - Plans are to resume the effort on July 28th, your participation is welcome. Registration links at the top of this page.
4/14/03 - The US Magistrate Judge who has been presiding over the Federal prosecution of John for his activites issues a couple of orders in response to motion's filed below. Read the decisions (Decision 1, page 1, page 2 , page 3; Decision 2, page 1, page 2, page 3) In summary he stays final decisions until US District Judge Mordue issues a decision on the pending appeal of his earlier trial.
4/10/03 - A letter is received from Lona Valmero, a senior advisor to Senator Clinton. Her schedule does not permit a meeting, but one of her legislative aids may contact us for a meeting. We would be happy to talk with anyone, but our efforts will continue to get a meeting with the Senator. This is an important national issue.
4/4/03 - John's mother (age 86) was admitted to the hospital for testing and treatment of potential blood clots in the lungs. This will be at least a 3 night stay with more treatment afterwards. At present he is not sure when he can continue the effort. If there are those of you ready to continue, please contact him (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org). More news next week!
4/3/03 - In preparation for next week John sends a brief letter to Magistrate DiBianco and Mr. Southwick (the Asst. US Attorney prosecuting the case).
3/20/03 - John writes a letter to Mr. Glenn Suddaby, US Attorney for the Northern District of New York(copy to Senator Clintons Syracuse Office & fax to DC office) asking for him to review the case and consider a halt to prosecution pending appeals. Mr. Suddaby replies and states the governments intention to prosecute any violations of the law (letter here).
2/27/03 - John appears in Federal Court to be arraigned on the remaining charges. The US Attorneys office delivers a four count complaint (page 1, page2, page 3). On March 13 John submitted a motion to the Federal Magistrate to have the pending charges dismissed and also for the assignment of counsel. The reply from the US Attorneys office regarding John's motion (page 1, page 2).
2/22/03 - John appears again in front of Syracuse City Judge Kevin Young. His attorneys motion for dismissal on the remaining charges is granted. This is approximately the 28th charge to be dismissed in City Court.
2/12/03 - John submits a motion to the Federal Magistrate to have the stay away order vacated and to have the charge causing the contempt hearing dismissed. You can read the Order to Show Cause issued by Judge (page1, page 2). On March 19th a two page response is filed by the US Attorney's office (page 1, page 2)
1/29/03 - A trial on one of the remaining trespass charges is scheduled in Syracuse City Court in front of Judge Kevin Young. Mr. Charles Keller, an attorney from the Hiscock Legal Aid Society, will represent John. He has represented him in the past and is very familiar with the matter. (The charge was dismissed).
1/22/03 - There was an appearance in Federal Court over John's request to have a new attorney assigned and time to file motions prior to a Contempt hearing. The Judge removed his present attorney, but did not assign other counsel. The date for the Contempt hearing was adjourned without date and motions must be submitted by February 12th. Action on the pending charges is awaiting detailed complaints from the US Attorney's office.
1/19/03 - A hearing on the Contempt is scheduled for Jan 28th. As always we would like to get more people involved in the effort.
1/15/03 - John has a couple of appearances this week in front of Federal Magistrate DiBiano. The most important of which is regarding potentially being held in contempt for violating the Judges order regarding conduct in the Hanley Federal Building. Below is a summary of documents (you can click on the link to see the actual document). :
1/7/03 - John was arraigned and released by City Judge Kevin Young.
1/6/03 - John returned to the Federal Building and was arrested on the 14th floor for trespass, loitering, and disorderly conduct. He was also given a Show Cause Order signed by a Federal Magistrate to appear in Federal Court on Jan. 16th for potential contempt charges. He was arrested by Syracuse City Police and should be arraigned in City Court tomorrow.
This is John's last planned NonViolent action until mid-February. He has plane tickets to visit his son out West the weekend of Feb. 13th for his birthday. John hopes the pending court appearance will not put that visit into jeopardy.
1/2/03 - John wrote to Mr. Joseph Pavone, the US
Attorney for the Northern District of New York, and asked for a review of what
was happening in his case (see the letter here).
He also asked that the US Attorney's office investigate potential abuses of the
Civil Rights of parents and children by the Family Law system of New York.
There has been no response at all from the office of Senator Clinton to events after repeated contact attempts (see below). John did contact the Senator's office and talked to Eric in scheduling, he was familiar with the group. Eric said a new manager of scheduling would be in place Monday. Another copy of your letters was faxed to Eric along with our meeting request and he did receive it. We hope there will be a meeting soon. John plans on returning to the building on January 6th, at app. 1 PM to continue our efforts. Participation by concerned parents is welcome (and needed).
12/30/02 - John returned to the Syracuse
Federal Building again and was arrested by Federal police on the 14th floor. He
was first charged with loitering and then when he wanted to return to the 14th
floor he was given tickets for trespass and disorderly conduct (while sitting in
the office of the Federal Police). He was then taken into custody by
Syracuse City Police. He should be arraigned tomorrow in Syracuse City
Court. There may be additional Federal charges filed for violating a
Judge's order on Thursday.
12/28/02 - Just a personal note, Domenic was here for a week and we had a great time. Here is a picture of him (age 9), me, and my mother (you can click for a larger version). It was a very good year, here is a copy of our Christmas Newsletter.
12/16/02 - John gets a copy of a stay away order from the Judge from his Federal Trial. . You can read page1 and page 2. You can read some of John's earlier comments on the trial results here. He hopes his attorney will be able to do "something" before December 30th, but there may not be time. His plans are still the sam.
12/12/02 - A package is sent to Senator Clinton's local and Washington offices (via FedEx) asking for a meeting with parents. The package contains letters written by other parents and copies of local news articles.
11/22/02 - John was sentenced today to 10 days in jail by US Magistrate Judge DiBianco in the Syracuse Courthouse for the Northern District of New York. On his release John plans on resuming the effort on December 30th.
11/4/02 - John returned to the Federal Building at 1pm and was arrested and spent another night in jail. He was arraigned by City Judge McKinney the next day and released. Thursday he appears in front of City Judge Young for motions and to set a trial date for state charges against him. Trial date was set for January 29th at 9AM on the trespass charge originating from July 29th, all others had been dismissed.
Federal Trial Results - both guilty and NOT guilty. Click here for current information on the trial. Local newspaper coverage:
10/03/02 - A day earlier John learns that US Magistrate Judge DiBianco has assigned him counsel from the Federal Public Defenders office in Syracuse. He meets with his assigned counsel, Attorney Lisa Peebles, and also a research assistant, Attorney Melissa Tuohey. They seem experienced, capable, and eager to provide an active defense. It was quite a relief for John! For full details on the trial preparation and copies of key documents, click here. His trial will not start on October 9th, but their will be motions made.
10/01/02 - John is arraigned by City Judge Rosenthal and released. No activity is planned in the next weeks so that John can prepare for trial in US District Court on October 9th.
9/30/02 - John sent a letter to US Magistrate Judge DiBianco with his request to subpoena witnesses to testify at his trial on October 9th. He returned to the Federal Building at 1 PM and was arrested by Syracuse City police for trespass. The Federal Police also wrote another ticket for violation of building rules, ticket here. He should be arraigned tomorrow.
9/23/02 - John returned to the Federal Building at 1 PM and proceeded to the 14th Floor where Senator Clinton's office is located. He again started his walk in the corridor and had continued for app. one hour when US Courthouse Security approached him (which they never had in the past). The officer told John that one of the District Judges had her chambers on that floor and there was some unusual activity going on and would he please leave. He was also told no one was in Clinton's office, it was closed for the day (no reason given). A Federal police officer was also there and John asked if this was just a "one time thing" and he was told it was. He did as they asked.
9/19/02 - John returned to the Federal Building. He was detained by building security as usual and they called the City Police to take him to jail. The City told them their had been a shooting. A young boy had been killed and the force was pretty busy. They would not be able to respond till evening. Federal security asked John if he would just go home for the day, that it would make things easier, and just come back next week. He did as they asked.
9/18/02 - John appears in front of Federal Magistrate DiBianco for the Northern District of New York. Asst. US Attorney Southwick explains the government's desire to prosecute the case. The charge is violating building rules. A trial date of Oct 9th at 2pm is scheduled (no jury due to the minor nature of the offense). John ask for assignment of counsel to represent him, completes a financial statement, and expects a decision in the next few days.
8/29/02 - John has a preliminary hearing in Syracuse City Court today, 29 Aug, as his attorney moves to have the six pending trespass charges against him dismissed (as they have been about 20 times in the past). This is a new Judge, and of course, nothing is a sure thing.
A few days ago John also received notice of his arraignment date in front of a Federal Magistrate in the Syracuse U.S. District Court House for the Northern District of New York. In two other prior occasions these charges were also dismissed, but this time may be different. The date is Sept. 18 at 9:30 AM (anyone interested is welcome to attend.
Efforts have been suspended briefly. John and his mom have travel plans to fly out west to spend the weekend with this son, Sep 12-16.
8/22/02 - John returned to the 14th floor and was arrested by Syracuse Police. He was arraigned by Syracuse City Judge McKinney and released. There is a "preliminary hearing" date set for next week August 28th with Judge Young. His attorney will be making a motion to dismiss the six pending arrests. John's next return date to the building is not scheduled.
8/21/02 - A letter was sent from John to the Federal Building Manager, asking that no further arrests for trespass be made.
8/15/02 - John returned to the 14th floor and was arrested by Syracuse Police. He was arraigned on Friday (8/16) by Syracuse City Judge McKinney and released. He plans on returning to the building again on Thursday, August 22nd, a 2PM. Your participation is welcome!
8/14/02 - In the past week the effort received a generous $200 donation from Dr. C. Paul Sinkhorn, MD. He also wrote a letter to Senator Clinton we'd like to share with you. Earlier in the week John also wrote a letter to Judge Merrill, the supervising Judge for Syracuse City Court.
8/9/02 - John was arraigned by Judge Cecille. His assigned council quickly spoke up and said the whole "accusatory instrument" was defective and the charge should be immediately dismissed, that you can't have trespass in a public building. The DA also spoke up and told the Judge the people preferred to see Mr. Murtari released. That this matter would best be served in motions on the preliminary hearing date of Aug 29th -- and that he expected the charges would be dismissed. The Judge asked John if he had received a warning from Judge Young during his last visit and hadn't Judge Young warned him that a bail would be set if he returned. John told the Judge that Judge Young had said he would hold him in Contempt of Court and jail him immediately. Judge Cecille let John know that he would be doing arraignments on Saturday and that if he saw John, he would set a bail. John was released. He plans on returning to the Building on Thursday, Aug 15th (he will not be returning on Monday due to conflict with a dental appointment for his mother which cannot be delayed).
8/8/02 - John returned to the building at 2pm. He was advised by building security to leave and also by the Federal Police officer, but was allowed to continue his "walk" as they watched. At about 2:30 the Syracuse Police showed up and arrested John for trespass. He will be arraigned on Friday. Many thanks to all of you that sent email and letter/phone calls in support of John -- he appreciates it.
8/6/02 - John was arraigned in Syracuse City Court by Judge Kevin Young. The Judge did not appear familiar with the background of the case and appeared frustrated to be seeing the same individual again. He asked the DA if "this person was getting radio transmissions from the building" and was told it was a political matter. After asking John if he "understood english", he told him to keep away from the building and warned him he would face immediate jail time for contempt if the Judge saw him at another arraignment. John plans on returning to the building on Thursday, Aug 8th, at 2pm.
8/5/02 - John returned to the 14th floor and was told he was in violation of building rules and advised to leave. He was then arrested by Syracuse City Police and charged with simple trespass. Arraignment is scheduled for 8/6/02.
8/1/02 - John returned to the 14th floor and was told he was in violation of building rules and advised to leave. He was then arrested by Syracuse City Police and charged with simple trespass. John was arraigned in Syracuse City Court by Judge Young the next day and released. He plans on returning to the building on Monday, August 5th.
7/30/02 - John was arraigned on "simple trespass" (Newspaper story was incorrect) charges by City Judge Rosenthal and released pending a preliminary hearing on August 29th with City Judge Young. Judge Rosenthal was familiar with the charges and remarked that she had dismissed them in the past and that a similar defense motion for dismissal could probably be made by just changing dates on the prior submission. Check here for image of story which appeared in Syracuse Post Standard. He plans to return to the building on Thursday, August 1st, and every Monday, Wednesday after that. Your participation and support is welcome.
7/29/02 - John Murtari, Mary Jo Marceau-Hawthorne (Macedon, NY), Chris Ranney (Binghamton, NY), and Rich Eichinger (Ft. Wayne Indiana) entered the Federal Building at app 2 PM and went to Senator Clinton's offices on the 14th floor. Mary Jo, Chris, & Rich presented some letters and had a brief conversation with Kathy Calhoun, the Senator's Regional Representative. John remained in the hallway carrying a card of pictures as he has done in the past.
He was arrested by Federal Police officers for failing to obey building signs regarding "demonstrations" (see ticket here), and when he expressed a desire to return to the 14th floor after being "ticketed" the Syracuse City Police were called and he was charged by them with Trespass (a "violation") and brought to the Justice Center. A news release was sent out describing the event.
7/26/02 - A news release is sent out to national and local media describing the event.
7/25/02 - A copy of the letter sent to Senator Clinton is faxed to the Federal Building manager. John Murtari (group coordinator) includes a note making her aware of the event and asks to be allowed to proceed without interference. He reminds the manager that all charges were dismissed in both Syracuse City, and US District Court. John calls Cathy Calhoun and asks if it will be possible to get a personal meeting of parent's with the Senator and is told that would not be possible at the present time. He also calls the Senator's Washington office and leaves a message for Catherine Brown, a legislative aid.
7/23/02 - Letter is faxed to the local and Washington offices of Senator Clinton, describing the problems parents have had in getting "access" to the Senator, and asking her to meet personally with parents hurt by our present system.
REMEMBER - Again, we are
trying to keep a positive and courteous attitude at all times. These are good
people that we are dealing with (certainly no worse than any of us are!). They
may have trouble understanding our situations and goals. We will help them
understand, NOT by insults, but by demonstrating OUR willingness to sacrifice
for the sake of our children.