South Carolina has had numerous issues with courthouses disobeying the U.S. Constitution and various federal laws and statutes. Some people defend these actions. Some say that precautions that are taken by courthouses such as the measures taken by the Kershaw County Courthouse in South Carolina protect the privacy of citizens. That argument is subjective. What is not subjective is that combat veterans with hearing problems should never be prevented from bringing in their listening devices so that they can hear. Would any of the problem who justify the actions of courthouses have any moral fiber left if they justified a courthouse preventing an elderly disabled veteran from bringing in a device that is meant to help him hear?
Last week, The Daily Counter was contacted by an 81-year-old Vietnam veteran living in Kershaw County, South Carolina named David Dean.
David Dean is a retired law enforcement officer. Dean has also taught criminal justice at a local community college.
Back in March 2015, Dean was awarded a 100% service-connection for disabilities brought on from years of military service. He served during the Vietnam War. According to the National Archives, more than 58,000 Americans were killed in that conflict. Dean was one of the lucky ones who survived. He came back home to serve as a law enforcement officer. He says service is something that comes second nature to him.
“Way I see it, putting your life on the line for your country and your community is something that I think everyone should be willing to do,” he told this author.
Dean originally reached out to The Daily Counter in response to this author’s coverage of Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan.
The following audio recording comes from an interview between David Dean and this author, Dion McNeil:
David Dean mentioned an incident that occurred in 2019.
Dean says he came to the Kershaw County Courthouse in South Carolina. Due to a courthouse rule that was brought upon by South Carolina Family Court At-Large Judge Monet Pincus, no electronic devices that can remotely record any audio or video can be brought into the courthouse. At first, Dean says he cooperated but started questioning the rule. Dean is a 100% service-connected veteran, former law enforcement, and taught criminal justice at a college who has hearing problems due to his military service. Surely, an exception could’ve been made for an 81-year-old man, right?
According to a court rule enacted on July 1, 2019, the courthouse in Kershaw County, South Carolina has a rule that bans all cell phones, electronic devices, any device that could potentially be used for recording, backpacks, and totes. This is even if the item in question is used for a documented medical condition such as complete or partial hearing loss.
The stated reason why this rule was enacted was to protect the privacy of litigants, court employees, and court officials. Now, if someone said that they wanted to protect the privacy of citizens that is one thing. But with the 1st Amendment being apart of the law of the land, why would any court want to protect the privacy of court officials and court employees? Isn’t the whole point and purpose of the 1st Amendment intended to remove that privacy, secrecy, and potential for government-initiated harm through the courts?
Not only was there not an exception made but that, according to Dean, was when the situation became hostile. He says that Sergeant Craig Hudson of the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department presented himself and informed Dean that the no cellphone rule was because of the Kershaw County Clerk of Court Janet Hasty. What could give Dean’s statement about Sgt. Hudson’s claim validity is the fact that almost every journalist with The Daily Counter has been told the same thing. This simply isn’t true but we will get to that later.
Dean claims that Sgt. Hudson told him to place his belongings into a plastic bag before coming into the courthouse. Dean complied. He says he was then told that he couldn’t bring his cell phone into the courthouse. “I told them I have hearing problems and you can see the hearing aids in my ears,” Dean said.
He requested the law that stated that a 100% disabled veteran couldn’t bring a phone being used as a listening device into the “lowest court in the land.” He says that Sgt. Hudson refused to produce the law in writing to a former law enforcement officer. Mr. Dean requested a supervisor, Sgt. Hudson’s refused to call for a supervisor, he says. “He said that it was Miss Hasty’s courthouse law,” Dean said. A request for Janet Hasty, Kershaw County Clerk of Court, was also refused by Sgt. Hudson, says Dean.
While some of the officers and staff involved in the situation have claimed that Dean didn’t mention his disability we have met with David Dean several times and not once was he caught without his hearing aids in. Do you think that a man who is over 80-years-old and has hearing aids in his ears might be telling the truth if he says he mentioned a hearing disability but nobody listened? Isn’t the measure of if someone is telling the truth or not is if in a moment they can correctly attribute an action or inaction to the correct person? If the answer to that question is yes then it doesn’t bode well for the honesty of these deputies.
Janet Hasty couldn’t be reached for comment.
We’ve spoken with Hasty before. She appears to be proficient in talking around situations instead of directly addressing issues. While the courthouse ban on electronic devices is often attributed to Hasty, we at The Daily Counter don’t think it is fair to blame her for what another either done or would have the ultimate responsibility. Many who have come to The Daily Counter have said Hasty’s moral principles and capabilities, to be honest, are questionable but for the sake of honesty, we cannot let this woman bear the blame for something she isn’t ultimately responsible for.
The rule came as a result of Judge Monet Pincus as she sits on the Kershaw County Court Security Committee. According to an order from the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, Monet Pincus was assigned as co-chair of the Kershaw County Court Security Committee. It would have been her who would have either brought this rule upon the courthouse or approved this rule. Either way, the buck would stop with her.
Here is a copy of that order which is dated May 28, 2019: Click Here
Isn’t it strange that a woman who is known to be married to a retired high ranking Army non-commissioned officer would implement or approve of a rule that didn’t make an exception for decorated war veterans such as David Dean? Isn’t this person supposed to be a judge? Judgment is supposed to be Monet Pincus’ primary job function. Where was the sound judgment and reasoning here? Wouldn’t you think that a woman who claims to care about veterans, operated a law firm that welcomed veterans and married a retired veteran would have made sure that these sorts of situations don’t occur? Keep in mind that Pincus is apart of the South Carolina Judicial Branch as a judge which means she is government.
It was the government that sent David Dean and a lot of other brave men and women to war. Those brave heroes came back with debilitating injuries. David Dean was no exception. The same government that caused David Dean to lose his hearing and face a laundry list of injuries resulting in a 100% service-connection is now the same government that placed Monet Pincus in a position to cause this man further headaches. He just wanted to bring in his cell phone which, according to medical records, is what he often uses for a listening device in combination with earphones.
This author reached out to the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC). David Dean warned us that the SC Human Affairs Commission claimed to not be able to handle public accommodation cases.
That sounded absurd given the commission’s mission statement which states, “The Mission of the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission is to eliminate and prevent unlawful discrimination in employment based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability; housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability; and public accommodations based on race, color, national origin, and religion thereby promoting harmony and the betterment of human affairs for all citizens.”
Surely, David Dean’s case fits what the SC Human Affairs Commission has sworn to fight back against. When this author got a reply from this commission it became clear that David Dean was right about the commission refusing to do anything and “passing the buck“.
This author had a phone conversation with Alex Nelson from the SCHAC. The conversation revealed the exact type of verbal redirection and refusal to render any help or services that David Dean spoke of.
Alex Nelson: “Well, Mr. McNeil, before you continue, I have to say that our agency doesn’t handle this.”
Dion McNeil (This Author): “What do you mean you don’t handle this? You’re the human affairs commission. I’d think a dog shelter handles dogs. Then I’d expect a military to handle wars. Names mean something even if you don’t think they do. Based on your name, what do you think you should do for David Dean?”
Alex Nelson: “Sir, what I’m trying to tell you is that we don’t handle these types of complaints.”
Dion McNeil (This Author): “Then, I have to be honest with ya, I’m unsure of what it is you do.”
That’s just one example of how the conversation went. No matter how hard this author tried SCHAC wasn’t going to lift a finger to help David Dean.
So why was this rule implemented anyway? Let’s take a look back at Monet Pincus. We are going to go over some known or, perhaps, publicly unknown facts about Monet Pincus. Decide for yourself if this new rule was intended to protect the privacy of litigants or the privacy of a judge with a checkered past and an even more questionable line of judgments.
Here are a few facts about Monet Pincus:
- Monet Pincus was arrested for weed but routinely has litigants drug tested for weed at their own cost and that’s even when the litigant has never been arrested for anything weed-related or has any arrest at all.
- In 2019, John Monk of The State Newspaper published an article about Monet Pincus concerning Matthew Younginer. There was a case featuring Younginer and the mother of his children. Pincus tried to have Younginer’s children shipped away to Montana which is 4 states away. This was against the wishes of Younginer and his children, namely his then-16-year-old daughter Ansley. Younginer filed a complaint with the South Carolina Judicial Merit Selection Committee. In that complaint, it was revealed that his daughter Ansley maintained journal entries. It was also discovered that Pincus allegedly had Ansley’s testimony in court stricken from the record which matches Pincus’ record striking and record sealing reputation.
- Pincus had a former guardian-ad-litem in Richland County speak out against her. Nathan Ginter, a former police officer, was in court against his child’s mother who was out on bail for felony child endangerment. Somehow, Pincus gave that mother a favorable judgment despite the arrest and this was against a man who would go on to serve as a guardian-ad-litem. Ginter gave a testimony in front of the South Carolina General Assembly under oath explaining the situation. Watch that testimony by clicking here.
Do you think this was about, as Kershaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Blackmon claimed, “Facebook postings”? Or do you think this is really about preventing people from further exposing judges like Monet Pincus? Isn’t it strange that a judge like Monet Pincus would approve or enact this rule just a few months after John Monk and The State Newspaper published an article detailing the ridiculous nature of the Matthew Younginer case?
The case was vacated. If you know what it means to have a case vacated then you’d understand that it is the ultimate judicial slap in the face. When a case is vacated it is as if the case didn’t happen at all. No judge wants to be known for having cases vacated. So, how would one prevent this? Well, the first and probably the best option is to simply be a better judge. However, for some people, if they can’t simply improve their judicial judgment then perhaps it is time to silence critics and ensure those pesky members of the media never hear about any potential judicial mishaps.
This appears to be an attempt to force the general public into trusting someone because all dissenting information is censored or prevented from being extracted. The judicial branch in both state and federal government relies upon trust. If someone is telling you not to record in a building you’re paying taxes for then why would you ever trust this person? Is it possible or even highly likely that this person did this to prevent additional news stories written about judges like her? Is it reasonable that such a rule would even affect someone like David Dean? Several Kershaw County Sheriff’s Deputies claimed that this rule would prevent Facebook postings.
Is a man in his 80s going to just post recordings on the internet or do you think that he just wanted to be able to hear?
This is a developing story as David Dean has plenty more to tell.