First Amendment Law Review
UNCCH College of Law
Chapel Hill, NC
Duke University College of Law
Campbell University Law Observer
Saturday, November 17, 2012 7:43 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:24 PM
Dear Sirs and Madams:
In the Buncombe County District Court, criminal division on 21
February 2012, Hon. Samuel Cathey, after a bench trial, issued a
"continued prayer for judgment" (commonly called a "PJC") on condition
defendant comply with a NCGS 50C order now in the NC Court of Appeals
(scheduled for hearing on the brief 26 November 2012), and payment of
over $500 in costs in file no. 11 CR 062224, State of North Carolina
vs. James Lawrence Smith, charged with cyberstalking, an aggravated
Under NC law this was a final district court judgment, and immediately
upon the rendering of this judgment, the defendant gave notice of
appeal to Superior Court for a trial de novo and a petit jury, which
was his right under NC law.
The notice of appeal in open court not only completely vacated and
annulled Judge Cathey's judgment and punishment, but also removed from
the judge any further jurisdiction in the matter except as to the
appearance bond which he left unchanged. Jurisdiction was now in the
The proceedings were recorded by electronic recording which may be
duplicated and transcribed for your hearing and inspection.
to hear the open court judgment of Judge Cathey by scrolling to a
centimeter from the end of the mp3.
The judge clearly issued a judgment continued on conditions, which
under NC law is immediately appealable to Superior Court and a jury.
At some time after the judge issued the judgment and notice of appeal
was immediately made in open court, the judge forged a new judgment by
striking the PJC. You can see evidence of this corrupt alteration
2/3rds down the page.
The clerk of superior court would not allow us to have a certified
copy of this judgment, but two BCSD deputies and I saw the altered
original judgment in the clerk's office and saw where the alterations
were made, the clerk's minutes also had been altered, and the "X"
which had been made in the block for continued judgment had been
almost completely whited out with liquid plastic whiteout.
The judge, therefore, without authority and without notice to the
defendant, secretly altered his original judgment and sentenced the
defendant to 30 days in the Buncombe County jail.
The 67-year-old defendant made four onerous appearances in Superior
Court, week after week. Defendant's attorney repeatedly advised
defendant to request the Superior Court judge to allow him to comply
with the prayer for judgment of the district court, although it did
not speak the truth. If the defendant had agreed to comply with the
forged judgment, he would have immediately been surprised, shocked!,
by being jailed for 30 days, pursuant to the unlawfully forged
To reiterate and make clear just exactly what occurred which was
corrupt, the judge had NO AUTHORITY to do anything further other than
the ministerial act of signing a judgment reflecting his verdict and
punishment in open court, once the defendant gave notice of appeal.
This is settled law in North Carolina. See citations below.
So what Judge Cathey did was to punish the defendant for appealing the
judgment. Defendant had a right by NC law to appeal for trial de novo
in the Superior Court trial division of the General Court of Justice.
The judge's corrupt acts are also unconstitutional, as prohibited by
the Due Process guarantees under the 14th Amendment, and in violation
of the North Carolina Constitution [Law of the Land]. See references
to the relevant law below. In addition the judge violated the
Judicial Canons of Ethics, and further violated Chapter 15A of the
General Statutes of North Carolina which clearly divest the District
Court judge of any further authority regarding the judgment and
sentence after announcement of notice of appeal.
The trial and the judge's original sentence are preserved verbatim on
compact disc, which I will be happy to provide for you on request.
Defendant has good reasons to believe that various clerks, and even
the Clerk of Superior Court of Buncombe County, actively participated
in this judicial fraud and its coverup after discovery.
Thank you for your consideration in this very serious matter. I am
the defendant, James Lawrence Smith. You are welcome to question and
interview me. I have nothing to hide.
James Lawrence (Larry) Smith
199 Aurora Drive
Asheville, NC 28805
[cell number redacted]
citations and references
1. See _In re Renfer,_ wherein District Court Judge Susan Renfer was
reprimanded by the NC Judicial Standards Commission for similar
(illegally raised defendant's bond to $3,000 cash in State vs. Roger
H. Lake, Jr.)
2. See NCGS Section 15A-534(e)(1)
3. "[T]he language of G.S. 15A-534(e)(1) unequivocally deprives the
district court of authority to act following notice of appeal. Rules
of statutory construction require that G.S. 15A-1431 be read in
conformity with the clearly enunciated rule of G.S. 15A-534(e)(1);
statutes in pari materia must be interpreted in light of each other
with the more specific statute informing the more general one."
quoted from: http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/?p=1086
4. Grist vs. Smith, a NCGS 50C order, is now scheduled for hearing on
the brief, in the NC Court of Appeals, on 26 November 2012. The
record and brief may be seen here: