There are a lot of things you can do in New Orleans that you can’t do anywhere else. But cursing out a judge is apparently not one of them.
Ashton O’Dwyer has made a bit of a name for himself in the post-Katrina universe. A tipster provides some backstory on this former lawyer:
Ashton O’Dwyer has become a bit of a nuisance in Louisiana post Katrina. I am pretty sure that at one point, he actually seceded from the union in an attempt to get financial foreign aid following Katrina. He has been disbarred for abusive language and disrespect of the legal system. He does have several cases where he represents himself pro se.
Recently, Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle (E.D. La.) held O’Dwyer in contempt of court for saying “screw you” and hanging up, at the conclusion of a status conference.
O’Dwyer fired off a (handwritten) response to the contempt order, defending his conduct:
[A]t the time he told Ivan L. R. Lemelle (as a man, not as a Judge): “screw you,” and hung up the telephone during the referenced status conference by telephone, the business of the Court had already been concluded.
Actually, that is not a terrible argument, if the court’s business was actually concluded before O’Dwyer made his remark.
But O’Dwyer doesn’t leave well enough alone. Did you know that
both O’Dwyer and Lemelle are Judge Lemellle is black? That fact becomes important — at least in O’Dwyer’s mind.
More details after the jump.
O’Dwyer found this bias and prejudice towards O’Dwyer by Lemelle particularly ironic, because as a Negro, Lemelle undoubtedly has suffered bias, prejudice and unfair treatment from time-to-time in life. However, when O’Dwyer pointed out this irony to Lemelle, Lemelle indicated in so many words that he was unmoved, and so O’Dwyer reacted in the way he did because there was no sense in prolonging and unfruitful conversation with Lemelle, whose mind was “closed,” biased, and prejudiced.
I really hope that “indicated in so many words that he was unmoved” means that Judge Ivan Lemelle put on his best Ivan Drago voice and said, “You will lose.”
The contempt fine is $1,000, but O’Dwyer doesn’t have that kind of flow:
As to the fine or sanction of $1,000, O’Dwyer pleads impecuniousness and poverty. O’Dwyer’s sole remaining asset is his home … which Lemelle seems “hell-bent” on taking away from O’Dwyer …
In short O’Dwyer currently has $45 in his pocket, and is financially unable to pay any fine, much less one in the amount of $1,000.
The recession man, it’s brutal.
In any event, O’Dwyer signs off in the exact manner you would expect:
Finally, O’Dwyer has two more words for Ivan L.R. Lemelle (as a man, not as a judge), “SCREW YOU!”
Hopefully, this moves Judge Lemelle into the “I must break you” phase.
O’Dwyer Response to Contempt Order.pdf [PDF]