Utah Judge accused of Extortion and Racketeering

by Alexandra Wilson

     July 13, 2019 I was driving from Arizona back to Iowa from Arizona and stopped by one of my favorite places – Moab, Utah.

     After driving around several blocks, I couldn’t find any parking spaces that would be ideal to park my 16″ Ford E-350.   All the spaces seemed to be the same size.  So I parked across from Moab Coffee Roasters.  My vehicle extended past the parking lines, however other vehicles did as well, and there was still room for vehicles to pass without having to cross over into the other lane.  

   I returned less than an hour later (it was one-hour parking), and a Moab Police SUV was parked behind me with his lights on.  I approached whom I soon found out was Officer Braydon Palmer. He informed me I was about to be towed  because my vehicle was too long.  I told him I was happy to move it but that I didn’t think it would be an issue.  He said me it was “too late” and he was going to give me a citation.

     I asked him where a better spot to park would have been, and he informed me of two possible locations, both of which were several blocks away in places non-locals wouldn’t know about.  I told him I was happy to park in those spots from now on, but I didn’t see any signs directing larger vehicles to park elsewhere.  I requested he give me a warning instead of a citation, however he insisted on giving me a ticket.  Although I have a current license, Officer Palmer included a warning within the citation alleging I had “no valid license.”  I  did request to get my license from the vehicle, however he denied my request then gave me the warning regardless.  That is not my primary complaint, however: that is just one of several injustices I’ve faced regarding this incident.  You can view  Officer Palmer’s citation here.

The Extortion begins:

      According to Bush v State, 19 Ariz 195, 168 P 508; 31 Am J2d Extort § 1, extortion is defined as “the unlawful taking by an officer of the law, by color of his office, of any money or thing of value that is not due to him, or the taking of more than is due, or the taking of money before it is due.”

    1 Am J2d Abuse P § 12 states that it is “a method of abuse of process.”

     Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed.) defines it as “The offense committed by a public official who illegally obtains property under the color of office; especially, an official’s collection of an unlawful fee.”

      This brings us to the “Schedule of Bail” document that was attached to the citation Officer Palmer issued to me, which demanded me to:

    1. indicate that I plead guilty and enclose $40 with the “Schedule of Bail” document in order to pay the fine; or
    2. indicate that I plead not guilty and enclose $40 bail with the “Schedule of Bail” document, and then wait to appear in court as ordered.

    The  “Schedule of Bail” document, in tandem with the false citation, were used to attempt to extort money from me that was not due.  The “Schedule of Bail” document threatened me with an arrest warrant and increased fines if I did not pay them money – a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without  due process of law.

My Initial Response:

    July 22 I sent a letter to the City of Moab’s City Council informing them about what happened and requesting they post signs to direct larger vehicles to appropriate parking spaces.  I attached a copy of the letter to a second letter I wrote to the Grand County Justice Court requesting them to dismiss the charges.  In the letter I explained that if the city had posted signs I would have obliged, but there was no indication that what I did seemed illegal, unreasonable, or unsafe.  You can read both letters here.

Exhibit D letter alleging past due amount – Sept 16 I received this letter dated Sept 11 which alleged that the amount I owed was now past due and increased to $90.11.  The letter gave me the option to:

  1. pay $90.11 by mail; or
  2. contact the court to schedule a hearing.

    The letter threatened an arrest warrant and suspension of my driver’s license if I did not comply.  

Sept 18 I called the court and told Chief Court Clerk Debbie Lawley that I live in Iowa and would like to appear by phone.  She recorded my email address and said she’d get back to me after she speaks with the judge. 

Exhibit E email thread w Debbie Lawley Debbie informed me Judge David Tubbs would not let me appear by phone and that my only option was to appear in person if I plead not guilty.  I reiterated that I live 1029 miles (4 states away) from their court and that this was only a traffic citation, however Judge Tubbs refused to change his position. Here’s the form Debbie sent me that is referenced in the thread: promise to appear form

Exhibit F complaint to Utah’s Judicial – Sept 24 I filed this complaint with the State of Utah’s Judicial Conduct Commission.  The complaint alleges Judge Tubbs violated Utah Code 76-6-402(2)(g),(i) (theft by extortion), 18 USCA §§ 1961-196 (racketeering), and Utah Code 76-10-1603 (unlawful acts).  He uses his position of power and arbitrary time limits and constraints by the court to coerce persons into paying money that is not due.

Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future