Normal Topic I think I need legal advice... (Read 4783 times)
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I think I need legal advice...
Jan 12th, 2004 at 3:29pm
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I am still on probation from a conviction 10 years ago. Routinely (about once a year or so) I am required to subject myself to the polygraph.


I have had depression for a very long time and occasionally, over time, I "think" I am "okay" to come off of the medication I am using (Zoloft). Just about this time last year, I wanted to "kick the meds" and see if I was within a state of being "myself".

The true test would come at the beginning of May when I learned of my brothers death and my fathers serious health decline from a massive stroke which left him not knowing who I was anymore. On May the 4th, I hung myself. The attempt left me passed out on the floor as my "support system" gave way and I dropped.

Hence, I was wrong to self-diagnose. After a stint in the hospital, I was back on my favorite survival companion, Zoloft and Remeron.

After my restart on Zoloft at 100mgs and Remeron at 40mgs, I was asked to take a maintenance polygraph of which the results were found to be inconclusive. After the polygraph, I told the polygrapher that I felt, prior to coming in, that my ability to endur the test staying perfectly still was going to be a problem.

An agreement was reached to wait until I "settled into" my meds. However, what I found extremely disturbing was my probation officer asking me to switch to other meds that would allow me to pass the polygraph. Go figure! I was actually being asked to put aside the benefits of my existing meds for the benefits of passing a polygraph!

Of course my probation officer was quick to throw in the disclaimer, "Of course I am not a doctor". So, I am left with interesting questions:

"Do I switch to the meds that my probation officer wants me to take in order to pass a polygraph (and quite possibly risk my mental health)?"

or;

"Do I continue with my first priority; my mental health and let the cards fall where they may where the interactions of drugs and polygraphs force both probation officers and polygraphers to come to grips with the variables of unreliability such a test expose.?"

The problem with the first question should seem obvious.

The problem with the second consideration might be a little more elusive than the first. If I continue with what my physician and I think is right for me, I stand the potential for more inconclusives which equates, within the minds of the probation officer and polygrapher, to "lack of credibility". In a rational world, it seems impossible to make the leap from "inconclusive" to "lack of credibility".

However, before I could make it to the followup of my last inconclusive, I started having seizures and visual changes during those episodes. After talking with my doctors (Kaiser-Permanente), I was started on Klonopin to control my seizures while a schedule of tests were set up to diagnose my condition. Within the last few months, I have taken a CT scan, An MRI, and a Positron Emmission Tomography (PET) scan with results pointing to anomalies regarding the bone of my skull (being one and the same) and a sinus disease.

It was during the scheduling of these tests that I was confronted by my probation officer that I must take the followup test on the 20th of December with no exceptions. (things are a bit tight with our finances and spooling out $200.00) five days prior to Christmas was rough. However, what was even psychologically tougher for me, was that the fiancial obligation of the test put into jeopardy my ability to proceed, in a timely manner, with my schedules for tests regarding my seizures, etc. Hence, I had to cancel some appointments and defer them until after the first of the year because we simply did not have the "copay" available after the $200.00 for "junk-science".


The conclusion of the last test: I was using countermeasures. I was shocked! This was absolute nonsense. The polygrapher started the test off by, after asking only two questions, telling me that I was trying to control my breathing. Again, nonsense. However, he had know set me up to "think" about my breathing. As soon as the polygrapher made the accusation at the beginning of the test, I felt like walking away from it. I knew where it was going and felt that the test was already predetermined. In the mind of the polygrapher as well as the probation officer, the formulae goes something like this:

"allegedly using countermeasuress" = inconclusive = no credibility = take test again and again and again.

I indeed passed the last test but that does not matter IF the polygrapher "wants" to believe countermeasures were deployed. It seems to me that there should be 3 possible findings at the end of a polygraph:

1. countermeasures deployed

2. inconclusive (meaning that a determination of deception could NOT be made)

3. Pass

Problem with the above is that a finding of "countermeasures deployed" works against the validity and reliability of the polygraph. Hence, "countermeasures deployed" is refined as "inconclusive" in order to protect the "integrity" of the test. Even a finding of "inconclusive" is wrong inthat the finding ends up being a negative against the person being tested. Rather, a finding of "inconclusive" can only mean "PASS". So, there truly (in a rational world) can only be 2 outcomes, PASS or FAIL.

My story to you could have been longer or shorter but my main reason for posting this here is to find out if there is something that I can do legally about probation officers putting the polygraph ahead of my health. There is something seriously flawed about what has been happening and I need to consult with someone in the legal profession.


Any help would be gratefully appreciated,

-Alan

* Incidentally, I am still in the process of going through another CT Scan this week along with seeing a Neurologist for the first time to discuss the results of all of my scans.
  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #1 - Jan 12th, 2004 at 5:21pm
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Opensource

It seems to me that you have a very good damage suit that would fall under Title 11  Americans with Disabilities Act  and Sec. 504 of Rehabilitations Act.

I am not a lawyer so I can't give you legal advise. However, if you will send a private email, I will send you a web site that shows you how to file your own federal lawsuit. You may even find a federal lawyer that would take it on a percentage basis. Also you may wish to contact the ACLU for legal help. THIS IS A FEDERAL VENUE. Don't ever let it start up in a state court.

I think your PO is greatly overstepping his authority, and borders on criminal activity, by asking you to stop your meds just to take a damn poly. The polygrapher can be sued for giving you a poly and making a "legal" determination while you are on those type of meds. That is a big NO NO and he should know this.
  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #2 - Jan 12th, 2004 at 6:56pm
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TwoBlock,

Thank you for the quick response. I knew results could come from here. Please check your email.



Ciao,

-Alan
  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #3 - Jan 12th, 2004 at 9:55pm
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TwoBlock,

The link that you referred me to via your email does not exist:

"The page you've requested does not exist at this address."


Ciao,

-Alan


  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #4 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 4:54am
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To all who are interested

Tomorrow, Jan,13 at 9:AM the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Tennessee v Lane case. This is an ADA action filed by Lane which he won in Federal District Court and appealed by Tennessee to the Appeals Court also won by Lane and again appealed by Writ of Certiorari to the Sup. Crt.

This is another test case to decide if Congress overstepped it's authority by abrogating states' 11th. Amendment right to qualified immunity from damage lawsuits.

Lane, who was in a wheel chair at the time of his court date, had to crawl up two flights of the County courthouse steps to make it to the courtroom. The judge, prosecutors and other courthouse staff stood at the top of the steps and laughed at him while he was crawling up.

I wonder if this judge and prosecutor would have passed a polygraph, without using countermeasures, to get their jobs if one was required.
  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #5 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 6:27pm
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???twoblock,

Just what does your last post have to do with polygraph?

Ray L.
  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #6 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 6:35pm
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Quote:
???twoblock,

Just what does your last post have to do with polygraph?

Ray L.


I believe that "Twoblock" was referring to a case that he referenced to me privately but definitely has relevance.

Sorry for any confusion on your part. This appears to your only reply to a thread as a new member or "pseudo name"; welcome.

-Alan

  
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Re: I think I need legal advice...
Reply #7 - Apr 5th, 2004 at 11:03am
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Well I do not know the next time any of you will check this message board, but I have something that all of you may be looking for. The company is called prepaid legal services incorporated, you can go to http://prepaidlegal.com or http://prepaidlegal.com/go/wallace23 which will also present you with a job oportunity. If you or anyone you know (or anyone who views this message) is interested, please e-mail me at kochTsolutions@hotmail.com.
  
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I think I need legal advice...

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