May 22nd, 1999
Dear Mr. Hentoff,
I read your Memoir "Speaking Freely" just days after filing a lawsuit in Federal Court here in New York for the violation by a judge in Housing Court of my rights under the First and Four teenth Amendments to the Constitution. And I was delighted to read that Judge Brennan's "favorite part of the Constitution", as you say, is the First Amendment, because in my lawsuit I ask twice as much in damages for the violation of my rights to free speech as I ask for the violation of my right to due process.
Your commitment to constitutional rights and your love of the law are the main reasons I'm writing to you, but there is also the fact that I share your position on abortion and your dim view of the ACLU. My experience with them is that they, like criminal defense lawyers, invoke the Constitution only to protect the rights of the bad guys, and when an innocent person's constitu- tional rights are violated, they could not care less.
I have also been disappointed in my attempts to get the mainstream press to cover my story. What's wrong with an old fashioned murder-for-inheritance these days? It can't be for lack of a political agenda for the press to push because my story swarms with corrupt officials: a Transit Authority bus driver, cops, dectectives, judges, lawyers... and civilians too numerous to count, including a landlord from the first circle of hell.
What's wrong then? The dirty cop in my case was involved in an attempted murder, which is rather high in the scale of cop badness, but I'm not black like Abner Louima. It's hard to say the crime against me was a bias crime since it was, in essence, a woman-against-woman crime. Still, the component of self-hatred and projection should not be overlooked. And although my mother tried to have me killed I'm not paralyzed from the neck down and asking for life support to be disconnected, like this poor woman who made the front page of the NY Times. In fact I'm malnourished but otherwise alive and kicking with both feet. Maybe it's simply because I did not die? Or because being kept incommunicado for nine years is not sexy enough? Or because when I say that I can't be contacted by phone the people at the newspapers think I'm just making a crank call? Maybe they've never heard of phone-tapping. Or because the letters I sent never reached their destination?
Still, after the police, the D.A., the Disciplinary Committee (for lawyers) and the U.S. attorney all invoked their discre- tionary power to do nothing, only press coverage can save me from the horrible situation I'm in. So since you seem to have integri- ty -this almost extinct quality- I'm asking you, with the fervor borne of desperation, to please read the attached documents and cover my story in the press.
I am attaching:
- an account of my court appearanceon May 19/99;
- an affidavit of May 17/99 in support of a motion to strike my case from the trial calendar and for the recusal of the judge in pretrial procedings;
- an affidavit of Nov. 27/98 in support of a motion to amend my Answer to my landlord's non- payment petition, amendment based on newly discovered evidence of collusion between him and my mother.
My situation boils down to the following:
On May 23, 1990 (tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the event!) I was the victim of an attempted murder disguised as a traffic accident. Instead of being killed or maimed, I "only" had multiple knee fractures.
The crime was covered-up by the police who made a false report and by the personal injury lawyers who treated the case as an accident and wanted me to perjure myself to make it look like I was the one responsible for my injuries. (Index number 21980/90, Supreme Court NY County). Because I didn't want to commit perjury the case never want to trial.
The trauma of the near-death experience and the injury and hospitalization added to the pressure and mind-twisting exerted on me by the lawyers; and, uh, the fact that my wealthy father was just at that time dying of lung cancer in France, and now I had to travel with a broken knee... and I kind of dreaded the family reunion... all these pressures and traumas wiped out my memory of what happened just before the contact between me (on a bike) and the other vehicle (a T.A. bus) occurred.
When the amnesia lifted in November 1993 I understood that only my mother, with the knowledge of my entire extended family and the active participation of at least one of my sisters, could have order my assassination. Because the way my mother handled my father's estate in the past three years (1990 to 1993) gave ample proof that she had not included me among the heirs, although by French law I am entitled to an equal share with my siblings.
My affidavit of November 27/98 explains the connection between my landlord's non-payment petition and the cover-up of the crime.
The allegations in my affidavit of May 17/99 are similar to those in my lawsuit, filed in Federal Court on May 4/99 as a poor person. (I wonder if it's ever going to emerge from the limbo of the review committee, judging from the attitude of the clerk). In substance, I allege that Judge Milin in Housing Court and my landlord and his lawyers have conspired to prevent me from amending my Answer to the non-payment petition, to prevent the allegations of criminal collusion between my mom and my landlord from becoming public. By doing so they have violated my rights to free speech and due process as a witness and litigant (an affida- vit is protected speech!)
I don't want to sound melodramatic but the emotional pain I suffer because of this is absolute agony. I am being treated as a non-person, I am being de-humanized by the people who violate my constitutional rights, and it hurts like hell!
If you do me the honor of a visit to my website you'll find more information, in particular how the assassination was set up in seemingly unrelated increments with diabolical premeditation.
Now, if the allegations of my affidavit of Nov. 27/98 were false, do you think that the judge and the landlord's lawyers would go to such extremities to prevent me from airing them in court? I consider all this illegal maneuvering to be an admission of guilt.
The only way to get in touch with me is by e-mail at
email@example.com. I do
hope to hear from you soon or to see you at my next court date on
Sincerely, Brigitte Picart