Website Owner: Login to to activate your website.

Need your own Website?
Click Here to get your own website online!

Abuse of Discretion -



Revised © 2012
  1. Review of the Docket Sheet discloses irregularities by United States District Judge John C. Coughenour’s apparent judge shopping spree while trying to find a U.S. Magistrate who would play ball and enter a Recommendation of Denial.
  1. The Docket Sheet discloses Judge Coughenour reassigning Steve’s case from the original U.S. Magistrate that the case was randomly assigned to, Monica J. Benton, to U.S. Magistrate James P. Donohue and then to U.S. Magistrate Brian A. Tsuchida. All without request from Mr. McDonald or Magistrates Benton and Donohue.
  1. Initially the case was randomly assigned to U.S. Magistrate Monica J. Benton. (DK No. 8). Without request from Mr. McDonald or by Magistrate Benton moving to recuse herself sua sponte, District Judge Coughenour took the case from her and administratively reassigned it to U.S. Magistrate James P. Donohue (DK No. 39)
  1. Four months later, again without Mr. McDonald moving to recuse Magistrate Donohue, or Magistrate Donohue moving on his own motion to recuse himself sua sponte, Judge Coughenour took the case from him and reassigned it to newly appointed U.S. Magistrate Brian A. Tsuchida July of 2008. (DK No. 56)
  1. The following month Magistrate Tsuchida denied Steve’s request for the appointment of counsel to obtain a copy of Trial Exhibit No. 45, (color photograph of the motel room door) and funding to obtain an affidavit from Dr. DeHaan to reconstruct his missing trial testimony. (DK No. 59). In his request for counsel, Steve pointed out that Dr. DeHaan’s affidavit he originally provided was insufficient because Skagit County refused to release a color copy of this exhibit, so it could be properly evaluated and used in the reconstruction of his missing trial testimony. (See Motion for Appointment of Counsel to Obtain Documents and Testimony to File a Legally Sufficient Reply, DK No. 40)(listed at website)
  1. Because District Judge Coughenour was interfering in the judicial selection process by consistently removing magistrates without request from either the Magistrates or Mr. McDonald, Steve filed interrogatories (written questions) to the Magistrates asking why his case was being singled out for a selective Magistrate search by District Judge Coughenour (DK No. 76). They failed to respond.
  1. Once it became apparent what Judge Coughenour was up to, looking for a Magistrate he could control to enter a Recommendation of Denial, he set about trying to remove Magistrate Tsuchida. (Dk. No. 58, 60, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 69, 73). All his efforts were denied when the judicial officials bonded together to protect Judge Coughenour’s wrongful actions.
  1. November 2008 Magistrate Tsuchida entered a 35-page Recommendation of Denial. This Recommendation was affirmed by District Judge Coughenour by an additional 23-page Order adopting it and adding additional reasons, for an unheard of 58-page Order of Denial. All for a pro se petition. His Order failed to follow established guidelines and rules when dealing with Steve’s issues on ruined exculpatory evidence/material exculpatory evidence destroyed in bad faith, the insufficiency of the evidence and removal of trial testimony. (See Traverse and Request for Certificate of Appealability DK No. 29, 93) (listed on website)
  1. Notwithstanding conspiracy theories, a factual review conducted through Court’s Web Pacer Service of over 200 Habeas Corpus Docket Sheets, discloses that not one was found where Judge Coughenour had, not once or twice, went into a case on his own to remove a properly assigned U.S. Magistrate without cause. The obvious explanation could only be that he was judge shopping, looking for a Magistrate who he could bulldog into issuing a Recommendation of Denial. The new and inexperienced Magistrate Brian Tsuchida was just such a system puppet.
  1. During a televised interview conducted March 25, 2010 on PBS, Judge Coughenour stated that no one remembers what takes place during a trial or in the court room or what anyone says or does during the proceedings.

  2. His comments and actions in the Rashid case angered the public and generated hundreds of letters from American citizens throughout the country threatening his life and resulted in U.S. Secret Service protection around the clock for the next several years. As for the reason he gave terrorist Asam Rashid only 22 years for coming to this country to murder its citizens, he further stated he, “wanted to be fair to terrorists.”

  3. A P.R. campaign to rehabilitate him was initiated by select individuals, WSBA members, and Supreme Court judges or attorney generals, cautioning that any WSBA attorney who exposes to the public any ruling a judge makes in this state is subject to disciplinary action because the prosecutor in the Rashid case had held a press conference on the courthouse steps lamenting what this scoundrel had done to protect terrorists coming to our shores to murder U.S. citizens.
  1. Notwithstanding this, people will now also remember what Judge Coughenour did in Mr. McDonald’s case. How he went judge shopping and failed to provide funding to obtain a legally sufficient affidavit to correct and reconstruct Dr. DeHaan’s missing trial testimony. Then came along and denied his petition for writ of Habeas Corpus because the affidavit was legally insufficient.
  1. The best way to deal with his actions is through continued exposure to the public and his peers. (See to list judicial complaints or read about the wrongdoing of others, including Judge Coughenour.) “Outing” this type of individual will enable others to protect themselves by filing motions citing these facts in order to have these wrongdoers recused from their cases. Interestingly, they act just the opposite in other cases involving issues of great public importance, like Sheehan v. Gregoire, 272 F. Supp. 2d 1135, 1149 (W.D. Wash. 2003), where he held in response to a citizen’s releasing of police officers’ and guards’ home address and other related personal materials on an internet website, that:
Defendant’s position is troubling. Defendants boldly assert the broad right to outlaw any speech, whether it be anti-Semitic, anti-choice, radical religious, or critical of police, so long as a jury of one’s peers concludes that the speaker subjectively intends to intimidate others with that speech. This brash stance strikes at the core of the First Amendment and does not comport with constitutional requirements. Putting certain individuals in harm’s way by singling them out for the attention of unrelated but violent third parties is conduct protected by the First Amendment. Planned Parenthood, 290 F. 3d at 1063. Moreover, once the government places personal identifying information in the public domain, reliance must rest on the judgment of those who decide what to publish or broadcast. The Florida Star 491 U.S. at 538, 109 S. Ct. 2603. See also, Fogel v. Collins, 531 F. 3d 824 (9th Cir. 2008).

  1. Because of Judge Coughenour’s wrongful actions in Mr. McDonald’s case, he filed a formal judicial complaint under 28 USC§351(a), that was assigned Case No. 11-90031 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A copy of this complaint follows this article.
  1. Incensed that this website had been set up exposing his actions and now a judicial complaint had been filed outlining him, Federal Judge John C. Coughenour had the U.S. Marshal’s Service designate him a terrorist.
  1. A Secret Notification was filed under Cause No. USMD/FID2039739 and placed in his inmate file saying, “DO NOT LET INMATE KNOW OF THE EXISTENCE OF THIS NOTIFICATION.”
  1. Because Mr. McDonald had properly followed the law and pursued judicial remedies and signed his name to the document/complaint against the judge, just the opposite of the hundreds of anonymous threats written to his honor outraged by his decision to “be fair to terrorists,” Mr. McDonald was unjustly singled out and punished by this vindictive individual.
  1. A person who by his very action, does not deserve judgeship and should be removed.