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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wairarapa Community Law Centre manager perverts the course of justice:

Legal aid lawyers in the Wairarapa are ripping off the legal aid system and the manager of the local community law centre is hoarding the knowledge and resources that should be freely available to the community in order to force people, mainly those on lower incomes, to rely on incompetent and corrupt lawyers, or no lawyers and no access to legal resources.

The manager of the local Community Law Centre, Murray Henderson, who I am informed by a reliable source is an ex police officer, controls the resources at the Community Law Centre jealously, he refuses to allow people to speak with the actual lawyers who give their time once a month to attend the Centre by telephone, even if the lawyers are sitting there for the whole time and nobody comes in, and has trespassed me for no reason whatsoever at the urging of local lawyers like Ainslie Hewton, so that she can make money charging people for access to legal information and resources.

The local community law centre is merely the repository of a vast array of pamphlets, clients are refered to the array and invited to take whichever pamphlets they like.  Unfortunately most of the pamphlets are of little, or limited, use.  The staff have access to computers, but clients are not permitted to use the computers - to look up current legislation for instance - the first thing people who need legal advice require usually is to see the actual legislation regarding their particular situation.  If a person is charged, or wishes to charge someone with, a criminal offence, they need to see the actual statute which applies to the charge.  The same goes for civil law - people need access to real resources and information - websites containing Court transcripts, judgements, precedent law, etc, need to be freely available to the public - not just lawyers.

The following is a copy of the signed formal complaint which was sent to the Legal Services Agency and the committee of the Wairarapa "Community" Law Centre, represented by Ainslie Hewton, Ron Southey and John Cawood I believe, and others.

Mr Lindsay and I never received a response to this letter, like so many other letters.

The AGM of the "Community" Law Centre was advertised in the newspaper several months later as "all welcome" or something like that, so I went, to find out why I had never received a response to the complaint.

As I quietly entered to room the meeting was to be held in, as the meeting was just beginning, Murray Henderson attempted to physically prevent me from entering the room in a manner that can certainly be considered assault, stepping in front of me pushing me and so on.  Soon this drew attention from the other people in the room, and the Chairman of the meeting, Mr Cawood asked what was going on and I told him.

He said he had no objection to my attending the meeting as long as I did not cause any disturbance and I told him I most certainly had no intention at all of causing a disturbance, I had only come to politely ask, at the appropriate time, why there had been no response to my letter, which I had repeatedly asked to be passed on after being unable to get any contact details for the committee and being told repeatedly to send my complaint to the manager of the Centre, Henderson, who I was complaining about, who did not appear to have passed the complaint on to anyone.  I briefly explained that because I'd received no response to my complaint about the manager (Henderson), I'd like contact details for the committee in order to make the complaint directly to his employers, the committee.

Mr Cawood confirmed he had not received the complaint, and said I could stay, Mr Southey voiced his support, then Ainslie Hewton approached me in a threatening manner and insisted I be removed, advising the committee that if they allowed me to remain the trespass notice served on me by Henderson would be invalid.  Hewton was the subject of a complaint by me to the law society

This isn't even sound legal reasoning - allowing me to stay in no way negated the ability of the committee to trespass me from the meeting in five minutes time or whatever if there was any reason to do so, which there certainly wasn't.
Here's the letter:
Moreton Road
R D 2

17 May 2007
To Whom It May Concern:

Mr Angus James Lennox Lindsay and I wish to lodge a formal complaint regarding the ‘service’ received at the Wairarapa Community Law Centre today, from Murray Henderson the manager.

Mr Lindsay approached me for some assistance with obtaining information from the Police disclosed with regard to some charges Mr Lindsay is facing in Court.  Evidently he has appeared twice already and is expected to plead at his next appearance in about two weeks time, but he has not seen a summary of facts or anything, and cannot find the summons.

Mr Lindsay does not have a solicitor acting for him as yet, he is concerned at the potential cost of legal representation and he says he is unsure of the exact nature of the charges.  Mr Lindsay has an illness which affects his ability to communicate with people sometimes, which he finds stressful, which can sometimes exacerbate this condition. Mr Lindsay asked me to help him write a letter to the Prosecution Section of the Wellington Police requesting that information such as that normally disclosed and a copy of the summons be provided to him, that letter is attached “A”.

We rang the Prosecution Section to confirm that they had received the fax, they were very helpful and co-operative and agreed to fax the material to the Wairarapa Community Law Centre according to Mr Lindsay’s request, and promptly did so, on the understanding that Mr Lindsay would collect it from the Community Law Centre, producing his drivers license as confirmation of his identity.

Out of courtesy I rang the Wairarapa Community Law Centre for Mr Lindsay as asked, to advise them of this arrangement.  By the time I got through to their phone the fax from the police had already arrived.  I recognised the voice of Murray Henderson, who has been obstructive and unco-operative to me in the past regarding other matters.  He had seen my name on the letter from Mr Lindsay to the Wellington Police and immediately started asking questions about what Mr Lindsay’s business had to do with me, so I said it had nothing to do with me except that Mr Lindsay had asked me to call and advise the Wairarapa Community Law Centre of the arrangement out of courtesty, and that he was on his way to collect the documents.  I was extremely courteous and polite to Mr Henderson, who then said that he would not be providing the material to Mr Lindsay, and when I asked him why not, he said “Because I’m sick of you giving people legal advice.”  I said that I don’t and I never have, I just help them to access information, and facilitate communication to empower them to make up their own minds about things, and help themselves using public resources.  Mr Henderson reiterated that “We won’t be giving Mr Lindsay his documents.”  I asked why, Mr Henderson said “Because I’m sick of you using the Law Centre like this.”  I said “Like what?”  He replied “If you come in here I’ll give you a trespass notice.”

Mr Lindsay went alone to the Wairarapa Community Law Centre to collect the material, and produced his license and asked politely for the documents.  Mr Henderson refused to give them to him, told him to sit down, and began questioning Mr Lindsay about who was representing him in Court, what my role in the matter was (“You tell me what this has got to do with Kate Raue” being one of several such comments we both heard), why Mr Lindsay wanted the disclosure material, why he didn’t have a lawyer, why he hadn’t made other arrangements regarding the disclosure (because Mr Lindsay wished to collect the information from the Law Centre so that he could collect or access other legal information regarding the charges from the same place), why Mr Lindsay hadn’t asked Mr Henderson’s permission before making arrangements with the Wellington Police, etc, etc.  He demanded Mr Lindsay sit down (Mr Lindsay is rather imposing and Mr Henderson isn’t) then stood over him jabbing at him with his finger and interrogating him in a bullying, intimidating manner.

After I had done a few errands and Mr Lindsay had still not returned from the Community Law Centre 25 minutes later, I went into the Centre to collect some information regarding the Ombudsmen’s office.

Mr Lindsay was sitting in a chair with Mr Henderson standing over him, jabbing at him with his finger in an intimidating manner, shouting at him and asking him a whole lot of questions that I thought were none of his business, such as “You tell me what Kate Raue said to you!”  I ignored this and began looking at the display of pamphlets.  Mr Henderson had his back to the door and did not immediately see that I had walked in the door, until Mr Lindsay called out “Hi Kate” after a few more questions of this bullying interrogation from Mr Henderson.

Mr Henderson then turned on me with his jabbing finger and cross-examinations, demanding that I sit sown and answer similar questions to those he had apparently been asking Mr Lindsay for over 25 minutes.

I explained that I understood Mr Lindsay had come in to pick up some documents, faxed to the Law Centre by the Wellington Police, and that it really had nothing to do with me apart from helping to facilitate communication between Mr Lindsay and the Wellington Police by helping him type the letter, and that I had just come in to pick up some information regarding the Office of the Ombudsmen.

I offered to help facilitate communication between Mr Lindsay and the Community Law Centre if there was a problem, but it was quite clear, it was a simple straightforward matter of just giving Mr Lindsay his documents without harassing him any longer, as he was becoming quite upset and frustrated at this grossly unfair treatment, which had been going on for quite a long time by now and was completely unnecessary.

Mr Henderson served me with a trespass notice instead of providing me with the pamphlet about the Ombudsmen which I went into the Centre to get, and I would like the notice revoked please as it seriously limits my access to vital community resources.  The notice is completely unwarranted, there has never been anything whatsoever wrong with my behaviour or manner when I have gone to the Wairarapa Community Law Centre.  Mr Henderson’s attitude to the law, and his role in the administration of the law in the community was demonstrated by a letter he wrote to the editor of the local paper about his dog, which many people found quite disturbing.

When Mr Lindsay and I went to the Masterton Police Station we were told that Mr Henderson had told the Police that he had behaved in such a disgraceful manner because he thought I had told the Police that I worked for the Wairarapa Community Law Centre.  This is utter rubbish.  I told him the first time he made the accusation to me that I had certainly never said any such thing, it is a figment of his imagination.

Attached “B” is a letter which Mr Henderson tried to force Mr Lindsay to sign when he was finally given the material.  I take strong exception to this statement and so does Mr Lindsay, who said so at the time he was forced to sign it in order to obtain his documents.  The information was faxed to the Community Law Centre at Mr Lindsay’s request, the letter to the Police makes that quite clear, and Murray Henderson should apologise for this extraordinary letter.

I simply went to get a pamphlet about the Ombudsmen, Mr Lindsay went to pick up his papers, it is absolutely outrageous that we had to waste all afternoon because of Mr Henderson’s spiteful petty attitude and we would both like an apology as soon as possible and an urgent review of this matter and the tenure of Mr Henderson’s appointment.

Yours sincerely

Katherine Raue     __________________   

I have read the above account of the facts and swear this is a true and correct account of what happened.

Angus Lindsay     _____________________

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