FOI Request to USDOJ re: Larry Neal and The Cochran Firm Fraud
AN ACT OF SENATE was required in 2007 to get the USDOJ to answer a request for information about the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal, a lifelong mentally ill heart patient who died in Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee. The Jail had been sued by the USA and was placed under USDOJ supervision because of many abuses to inmates years before 2003 when Larry Neal was detained there. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) intervened on behalf of Larry’s survivors and influenced the USDOJ to answer an inquiry about Shelby County Jail 18 months after the agency ignored my rquest for reports the USDOJ should have received from Shelby County about Larry’s arrest and death in that correctional facility.
The wheels of justice turn slow, especially when wrongdoing involves persons in government. This is evident in the debate over open disclosure and accountability regarding torture in War on Terror detainment camps. Apparently the same agency responsible for waterboarding prisoners in the offshore camps is also behind the conspiracy of cover-up surrounding Larry's secret jailhouse death and his survivors’ subsequent denial of due process of law - the USDOJ. The quest for open disclosure and accountability about Larry continues today – nearly six years later. When the justice system lacks integrity, prisoner torture and secret deaths occur.
Below is a request issued May 7 under the Freedom of Information Act to the USDOJ. A list of the addressees follow the letter. Please see The Cochran Firm Fraud 1 and 2 on YouTube for background information.
Re: Larry Neal, SSN: 415-18-4822 – Deceased former inmate in Shelby Co, TN
USA v. Shelby County, Tennessee, re: violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1997 and
USA v. Shelby County, Tennessee re: violations re Americans with Disabilities Act
Please treat this as a Freedom of Information Act request and a request for relief under U.S. Code 18, Section 245 and other federal law. I request the following documents and information:
REQUEST (1) Regarding USA vs. Shelby County, Tennessee I request a transcript of any and all court hearings and proceedings that occurred subsequent to August 1, 2003.
REQUEST (2) I request a copy of any and all Releases issued to Shelby County subsequent to January 1, 2006, that were in any way related to federal overview of that correctional facility.
REQUEST (3) I hereby request a copy of any exceptions that the USDOJ or USA issued to Shelby County that excused the jail from making reports to the USDOJ for the time period of July 2003 and August 2003.
REQUEST (4) I hereby request a copy of any exceptions that the USDOJ or USA issued to Shelby County, Tennessee regarding the reporting requirements mandated under the terms of Shelby County Jail’s Agreement(s) related to any USA v. Shelby County, Tennessee civil action Please note the following facts:
A. On August 1, 2003, Larry M. Neal, a disabled American citizen, died in the custody of Shelby County Jail where he had been secretly detained for approximately 18 days, during which period the Shelby County Jail repeatedly disclaimed to Neal’s social worker and family members that Neal was in custody. The jail’s false statements that Neal was in custody were apparently made in order that Neal would not be administered his prescription psychiatric and heart medications and therefore die.
Whether or not more was done to kill Neal is unknown to his family due to the fact that Neal’s family has been denied accountability and investigation regarding Neal’s death to date, nearly six (6) years after Neal’s death.
B. Shelby County Jail was fully aware of Neal’s heart condition and psychiatric condition as well as contact information for his social worker and family members due to previous arrests in Shelby County Jail that resulted from behavior arising from Neal’s acute mental illness. Neal’s record with Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Jail dated from 20+years prior to his death in custody and included at least one other arrest in 2003. Therefore, police knew or should have known Neal’s identity.
C. Shelby County Jail was mandated to give the USDOJ periodic reports regarding any inmate injuries and deaths during the period when Neal experienced his final incarceration in Shelby County Jail.
D. Mary Neal made a request under the Freedom of Information Act that the USDOJ provide her a copy of all reports made by Shelby County Jail related in any way to Neal’s final arrest and death in custody of the jail.
E. USDOJ issued two reports stating that Shelby County Jail made no reports to the USDOJ regarding Neal’s final arrest or death in custody, although such reports were mandated by the Agreement between the USA and Shelby County Jail.
F. Mary Neal made a request under the Freedom of Information Act that the USDOJ provide her a copy of all reports made by Shelby County Jail related in any way to the time period of July 2003 and August 2003.
G. The USDOJ responded that Shelby County Jail made no reports whatsoever to the USDOJ that included the reporting period of July 2003 or August 2003.
H. Neal’s survivors contracted with The Cochran Firm on August 8, 2003, to sue Shelby County Jail for wrongful death and to sue the State of Tennessee and Neal’s final care home for negligence.
I. The Cochran Firm had a secret conflict of interest in that the Managing Partner of Memphis office of The Cochran Firm was Julian Bolton, Esq., a 20+year member of the Shelby County Commission, which owns and operates the Shelby County Jail where Larry was killed by depravation of necessary prescription drugs and/or other means.
J. The Cochran Firm lied to Neal’s survivors about conducting legal work on Neal’s cases for 10.5 months, at which time the law firm confessed that it had actually done no work regarding Neals v. Shelby County Jail and that the firm’s managing partner was himself in a supervisory role over the jail. The Cochran Firm’s managing partner therefore had a vested interest in preventing the Neal’s legal action against Shelby County Jail, and it did so by holding the cases inactive (Tennessee’s statute of limitations is only 12 months).
K. Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility (the Tennessee Bar) ruled that David McLaughlin did nothing wrong in entering a contract with Neals’ survivors that The Cochran Firm never planned to honor; using U.S. Mail to write lying letters to the firm’s clients about a vigorous discovery process and legal work that was not actually being done; and ignoring the Neals’ attempts to communicate with McLaughlin and The Cochran Firm to get status information on the Neals’ lawsuits until it was too late for the Neals to find a decent attorney who was not working for their defendants behind their backs. Defendants’ perjury before the Bar in the form of a fraudulently edited email the law firm submitted in defense of the Neals’ claim was also deemed to be “immaterial” by the Tennessee Bar.
L. Neal’s survivors sued The Cochran Firm for its fraud in Georgia Superior Court on August 1, 2004, with Judge Wendy Shoob presiding, Civil Action No. 2005-cv-104215. Suit was served to The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office, where Neal’s survivors underwent their initial client intake interview over the phone on the date of Neal’s death.
M. The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office disclaimed being a Cochran Firm office or having any association with The Memphis Cochran Firm office. The law firm claimed to be properly identified as Cochran Cherry Givens & Sistrunk, P.C. (“CCGSS”), which was wholly owned and operated in the State of Georgia. The law firm claimed that Neal’s survivors’ lawsuit for fraud by The Cochran Firm was therefore served to the Atlanta law office in error.
N. In May 2006, Judge Shoob dismissed Neal’s survivors’ lawsuit against The Cochran Firm, affirming that it was served to “CCGSS” in error, because that Atlanta law office is not a The Cochran Firm office.
O. Judges selected to preside over cases in GA. Sup. Ct. are supposed to be by random process. However, Judge Shoob had previously presided over a wrongful death case due to change of venue wherein Memphis police officers were on trial. She ruled in favor of Memphis police officers in that case. Additionally, pleadings were reportedly lost from the court file regarding Neals v. The Cochran Firm.
P. In November 2006, six months after The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office was declared to be non-existent by the law office’s statements in court and Judge Shoob’s Order, The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office contracted to represent the survivors of Kathryn Johnston, 92-year-old murder victim who was killed by Atlanta police. The Cochran Firm filed lawsuit in GA Sup. Ct. for Johnston’s survivors despite the fact that GA Sup. Ct. had done the law firm the huge favor of declaring the law firm non-existent in Georgia just six months before Johnston was murdered.
Q. News of The Cochran Firm’s fraud against the Neals, the Atlanta office of The Cochran Firm’s denial of its public identity is blacked out of mainstream news. Advertising for The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office continued without interruption throughout the time it was disclaiming that identity in Georgia Superior Court and such advertising continues today. Neal’s survivors notified FCC, FTC, BBB, FBI, HS, and numerous elected officials aware of The Cochran Firm’s identity issue – either perjury in GA Sup. Ct. or false advertising, but none addressed the issue, and no one warned Kathryn Johnston’s survivors or other consumers, to my knowledge.
R. Neal’s survivors filed suit against The Cochran Firm in United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia on August 15, 2007, under the diversity rule with Judge Timothy Batten presiding, CA# 1:07-CV-1935. As you know, filing suit under the diversity rule can only be done when no office of a corporate entity exists within the state of the plaintiffs.
Judge Batten granted Summary Judgment to The Cochran Firm on February 9, 2009. Judge Batten ruled that no jury would find that The Cochran Firm was responsible for the Neals having lost the opportunity to sue Shelby County Jail and other intended defendants just because the law firm entered a contract with Neals’ survivors that the lawyers never planned to honor; used U.S. Mail to write lying letters to the Neals about a vigorous discovery process and legal work that was not actually being done; and ignored the Neals’ attempts to communicate The Cochran Firm to get status information on the Neals’ lawsuits until it was too late for the Neals to find a decent attorney who was not working for their defendants behind their backs. Judge Batten ruled that all of that was “immaterial.” Defendants’ perjury before the USDC in the form of a fraudulently edited email the law firm submitted in defense of the Neals’ lawsuit was also deemed to be “immaterial” by Judge Batten.
It was apparently also “immaterial” that plaintiff Mary Neal endured many online and in-person stalking incidents, having been followed regularly since successfully serving suit on The Cochran Firm and David McLaughlin in December 2007 and January 2008. In one pleading, Cochran Firm attorney Angela Mason named the color of the vehicle that followed Mary Neal home from work at night most often, although Mary Neal had never told anyone the color of the vehicle. Therefore, unless she has ESP, the lawyer should not have known this information.
S. Mary Neal’s attempts to warn the public about The Cochran Firm’s Fraud and dubious identity through using the Internet has been frequently curtailed by censorship. Additionally, Mary Neal has been stalked online and in person. During 2008, Mary Neal was followed to a Chevron station in her neighborhood by a US DOT truck and four other vehicles and surrounded there for 1 hour, afraid to leave without police assistance.
Drivers of the vehicles stayed at the Chevron also, and police did not respond to Mary Neal’s 911 call during the hour she waited for police help. This was about the fourth time Mary Neal was waylaid in neighborhood businesses by men in a team of vehicles during 2008. Affidavits from persons who witnessed the stalking incidents are in the Neals vs. The Cochran Firm USDC file; and available through Hines Management Co. at the Atlantic Center Plaza on W. Peachtree St. in Atlanta, GA. Police refuse to investigate any of the stalking incidents, and federal agencies refuse to trace Mary Neal’s online censorship and stalking – veiled death threats that are sent to her via the Internet.
T. In September 2008, a Willacy County, Texas grand jury indicted former U.S. Attorney General A. Gonzales on charges of prison profiteering – illegally using his position over the USDOJ to prevent that federal agency from investigating abuses of inmates in county jails in return for personal gain. Larry Neal’s secret detainment in Shelby County Jail and his death occurred during the time when Mr. Gonzales was attorney general. Neal’s survivors’ requests for an investigation regarding his murder in Shelby County Jail have been refused by the USDOJ, despite these facts:
i. The USDOJ was already in a position of overview over Shelby County Jail following findings by the USA of gross abuses and injustices to Shelby County Jail inmates.
ii. The USDOJ is responsible for the just treatment of institutionalized persons.
iii. Shelby County Jail kept secret from the USDOJ, despite the jail’s responsibility under the jail’s Agreement with the USA to report all inmates’ injuries and deaths during the time period when Neal was incarcerated and died in the jail’s custody.
U. Based on the foregoing, it is my conclusion that the USDOJ was complicit in helping Shelby County Jail escape accountability for Larry Neal’s secret detainment and death in the jail. I further conclude that the USDOJ may be party to intimidating Mary Neal for not dropping the matter regarding the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal based on the following:
i. There was a US DOT truck among Mary Neal’s stalkers on September 27, 2008, an incident which occurred after 10:00 p.m. nowhere near federal highways;
ii. Mary Neal’s denial of 911 emergency services during her hour-long siege at the neighborhood Chevron station and other in-person stalking incidents;
iii. Continuing refusal by local law enforcement to investigate Mary Neal’s in-person stalking;
iv. Ridiculous court rulings by two judges: Judge Shoob, who ruled there was no such thing as a Georgia office of The Cochran Firm, although it is the most famous law firm in Georgia and the most prolifically advertised; and Judge Batten, of USDC, who accepted Neals’ survivors’ lawsuit against The Cochran Firm under the diversity rule just as though The Cochran Firm Atlanta office did not exist, and then issued an order which determined that The Cochran Firm’s perjury in USDC and the firm’s illegal fraud and other offenses against the Neals were “immaterial.”
v. Continuing refusal by the USDOJ to investigate Larry Neal’s murder in Shelby County Jail;
vi. Refusal by law enforcement to trace source of Mary Neal’s cyberterrorism and censorship regarding her online communication; and
vii. Purpose to the Freedom of Information request:
1. I do not believe that Shelby County Jail failed to make reports for the time period of July and August 2003 while it was mandated to report to the USDOJ under the terms of the jail’s Agreement with the USA. In fact, Shelby County Jail wrote Mary Neal and claimed that the jail did indeed file reports with the USDOJ during that time period.
2. I believe that the reports Shelby County Jail filed that included the time period of July and August 2003 omitted telling the USDOJ about Larry Neal’s murder in Shelby County Jail and were therefore fraudulent.
3. It is further my belief that the USDOJ, which knew about Larry Neal’s secret arrest and death in Shelby County Jail in 2005, allowed Shelby County Jail to enter perjury into federal records to obtain release from USDOJ overview in 2006.
4. I believe that during federal hearings regarding USA vs. Shelby County Jail, the USDOJ knowingly accepted fraudulent testimony from Shelby County Jail in federal court proceedings wherein the jail sought release from federal overview.
5. Finally, I believe the USDOJ issued Shelby County Jail a Release from federal overview in 2006, although the USDOJ knew the jail was not in compliance with the terms of its Agreement.
6. I believe Neal’s survivors are denied due process of law regarding The Cochran Firm Fraud as well as illegal stalking, harassment, and censorship against Mary Neal by whatever party(ies) is allowed by the USDOJ and other federal and local law enforcement agencies in violation of U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 245and other federal law.
REQUEST (5) Therefore, this Freedom of Information request includes a request for any documentation or explanation whatsoever to clarify why the USDOJ refuses to investigate Larry Neal’s secret detainment and death in Shelby County Jail custody and/or information which might refute Mary Neal’s conclusions laid out at Section U-vii above. Thank you in advance for adhering to open disclosure standards and the mandated timeline for answering Freedom of Information Act requests. Documentation referred to in this letter should be available at these sources:
I. See DOCUMENTS tab at website http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com for these documents:
a. communication between Mary Neal and the USDOJ and the USDOJ’s reports denying receipt of reports from Shelby County Jail
b. conflicting statement Shelby County Government’s affirming that jail reports were made to the USDOJ as mandated
c. Agreement between Shelby Co. Jail and USA
d. Pleadings by the law office called Cochran Cherry Givens Smith & Sistrunk, P.C. in Georgia Superior Court, but known worldwide as being the Atlanta office of The Cochran firm, the identity it disputed to defeat Neals’ lawsuit
e. Judge Shoob’s Order dismissing Neals v. The Cochran Firm
f. Georgia Secretary of State’s corporation search stating that there is no Cochran Cherry Givens Smith & Sistrunk, P.C. registered in Georgia and there never was any such professional corporation registered with the state
g. Advertisements by The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office. See also the YouTube video released by The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office just one week after Judge Batten dismissed Neals v. The Cochran Firm’s breach of contract case which was filed under the diversity rule at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlcolpUzckU.
II. For witness statements attesting to Mary Neal’s stalking; examples of Mary Neal’s cyberterrorism, and Cochran Firm attorney Angela Mason’s admission that she knew the color of the vehicle that followed Mary Neal without being told by Mary Neal, please see Hattie Neal and Mary Neal v. The Cochran Firm, USDC, Northern District of GA, CA # CA# 1:07-CV-1935.
III. See also the security report from the building where Mary Neal worked regarding another stalking event, available at Atlantic Center Plaza’s management office (Hines) on W. Peachtree.
IV. See DeKalb County Police records for various police reports on these matters.
I look forward to receipt of the documents answerable to REQUESTS (1) through (5), require law enforcement to investigate stalking incidents and censorship against Mary Neal; and help promote safety of Neals’ survivors; and please investigate the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal. Although I do not think such a thing should be necessary, please see the petitions by over 700 others who join me in requesting the USDOJ to do its job and other relevant data at this link:
Mary Neal Requests Meeting with USDOJ – Updated in Comments
New World Order Nullifies Constitutional Rights for Neal Family
I do not think it is ethical for the government to use The Cochran Firm or other law firms as covert government agencies. Although lawyers are entrused with privileged information from clients, the government should resist the temptation to use attorneys to collect data on minority clients and other citizens. Law firms should not use their fiduciary positions to contain the cost of lawsuits that are filed after police violence by citizens such as the Neals and Ms. Kathryn Johnston’s family. It appears The Cochran Firm is allowed to engage in fraud against its clients, then be protected by a myriad of agencies like the FCC, FTC, BBB, FBI, police departments, and courts. The courts essentially gave The Atlanta office of The Cochran Firm a writ of “non-existence to be sued” and allowed the firm to commit perjury in court when caught in breach of contract and fraud against its clients. And I am followed, censored, and threatened for protesting such illegal, unethical acts.
Mary Neal /mn
cc: Various Religious, Civic, Educational, and Social Affiliations
CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Eric Holder, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
U.S. MAIL FIRST CLASS
James M. Kovakas
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Officer
Department of Justice
Room 7304, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Marlene M. Wahowiak
Special Counsel for Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts
Office of Professional Responsibility
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 3529
Washington, D.C. 20530
Nelson D. Hermilla, Chief
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
Room 311, NALC Building
Washington, DC 20530
Rena Y. Kim
Chief, FOIA/PA Unit
Department of Justice
Suite 1127, Keeney Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Federal Bureau of Investigation
2635 Century Center Parkway, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
I did not include in the leter the fact right after my niece facilitated service of the lawsuit to the Memphis office of The Cochran Firm, she was fired from her government job without explanation (as a new employee, none was required). Within days, FBI agents went to the 45-year-old grandmother’s home and asked her had she been nude dancing. She told me that she responded that the FBI likely knew what she ate for breakfast that morning, so they had to know she was no nude dancer. She had just passed all background checks for her position. It seemed to be plain harassment - punishment for facilitating service of the lawsuit to The Cochran Firm office.
That is what happened to my niece – a citizen, taxpayer, and mother of military men. It is a shame how my family is dogged out. My punishment is worse than my niece’s was – censored, stalked online and in person. My 86-year-old mom got the worst of it, though. She fell leaving The Cochran Firm’s office after signing their bogus contract for legal services the day after Larry’s funeral. She lost most of her ambulatory skills and lives with constant pain in her legs and hips now. She believed that standing up for Larry would help other mothers not lose their mentally ill children in jails and prisons when they should be in treatment. We keep trying to make that a reality. Some day, it will be.
NOBODY DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED FOR HAVING A DISABILITY.
There are approximately 25,000 inmates in solitary confinement in American prisons, and 60% are mentally ill people who should not even be in jail. YOU should help us to help them. One day, people will be judged not by their addresses or job titles. We will be judged by what we did for the least of these, His brethren. As you read the verses below, think about who is “naked and in prison.” All the inmates are fully dressed, except for the incarcerated mentally ill. READ:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.