Pedophiles, Penn State, and a Judicial Commission that fails, and a State Bar that rewards bad-to-criminal behavior.
Fresh from Penn State students chanting "We Are Penn State" and the irony of massive denial in basic problem identification, now seems like a good time for a judicial reality check from a historical perspective.
The reality check comes in the form of Jason Wayne Bumpus, a troubled juvenile, who was in a Riverside County Juvenile Hall when he learned his mother committed suicide, (albeit under questionable circumstances.)
Enter Judge Craig Kamansky who as Jason's legal guardian, personally checked Jason out of Juvenile Hall and according to the lawsuit later filed, sexually abused the boy. The facts were set forth in Jason's 1995 lawsuit against Judge Kamansky which reads in part,
"San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Craig S. Kamansky appeals from the district court's order denying his motion to dismiss Jason Wayne Bumpus's Sec. 1983 complaint for failure to state a claim. Judge Kamansky contends that the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity renders him immune from civil liability for damages for the acts about which Bumpus complains. We have jurisdiction over this interlocutory appeal by virtue of the collateral order doctrine, Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526-27 (1985), and we affirm.
Bumpus's complaint alleges that Judge Kamansky used his position as a judge to gain custody of Bumpus, and then used his position as Bumpus's court-appointed guardian to sexually abuse him. Accepting these allegations as true, as we must in ruling on the propriety of denying a motion to dismiss, it is clear that Judge Kamansky is not entitled to a dismissal on the ground of absolute judicial immunity. These acts, even though allegedly performed by a judge, are not "judicial acts" to which the doctrine of judicial immunity extends. See Ashelman v. Pope, 793 F.2d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir.1986) (en banc) ("A judge lacks immunity where he ... performs an act that is not 'judicial' in nature."); Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 362 (1978) ("the factors determining whether an act by a judge is a 'judicial' one relate to the nature of the act itself, i.e., whether it is a function normally performed by a judge").1"
Bad news: The Court Sealed the lawsuit.
Jason Bumpus's new attorney accepted a confidential settlement on behalf of Jason.
More bad news: Enter the California Commission on Judicial Performance
A Complaint to the Commission on Judicial Performance was made regarding the "conduct" (read: attack) by Judge Craig Kamansky....which Kamansky happened to film.
The Commission wrote: "In the course of a commission investigation regarding his off-the-bench conduct, Judge Craig Kamansky was asked to provide certain videotapes. The judge agreed to supply the tapes, but before doing so, deliberately over-taped them. When asked by the commission about the altered videotapes the judge repeatedly denied the deliberate overtaping.
When presented with evidence to the contrary, the judge admitted his misrepresentations."
But the Commission on Judicial Performance failed Jason Bumpus.
Judge Kamansky's continued efforts to hide his behavior was ultimately rewarded by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. The Commission issued a wrist slap, public reproval to the judge.
There was never any effort by the Commission on Judicial Performance to remove Judge Kamansky from the bench.
What is Judge Craig Kamansky doing these days? When not collecting a pension, Kamansky works as a private arbitrator with Inland Valley Mediation and Arbitation.
He also teaches Continuing Legal Education for the State Bar.
(We are not making this up.)
What became of Jason?
Jason committed suicide.