In what some considered to be a controversial move by the incoming government, Seneschal Lüc da Schir kicked off the new term early last month by issuing a Prime Dictate calling for the removal of longtime Clerk of Courts, Bradley Holmes, citing misconduct. Holmes, who is currently serving active duty in the United States armed forces, was accused of inactivity in carrying out the responsibilities of the Clerk, especially given the large number of cases and filings as of late. Although Holmes would likely "be happy to be able to perform his duties as Clerk of Courts, and there has been no intended malice in his actions," da Schir noted, "I regret to ascertain that unfortunately S:r Holmes appears to be no longer able to provide the level of activity that his position requires."
Not surprisingly, several prominent citizens from the right-side of the political spectrum called upon the King to veto or refuse to assent to the PD, arguing that the Dictate was overreaching. Magistrates Béneditsch Ardpresteir and Txec Nordselva defended S:r Holmes, with both commending him for his professionalism and his speed at which he responds to their emails, especially given his current military service. Magistrate Ardpresteir also registered his discontent with the perceived underhandedness by the current government, writing, "It is a sorry state of affairs that the present ruling coalition does not have the will or the mettle to face the vote in the Cosa on such matters, if at all things need to be changed."
Sevastáin Pinátsch, the current Minister of Stuff and a prominent citizen from the province Atatürk, of which Holmes currently serves as Senator, acknowledged that while interactions with Clerk or Senator Holmes are "pleasurable", the interactions themselves are rarely to be seen. Pinátsch, whose views were similarly expressed by other coalition party members, noted that they would have preferred Holmes step down gracefully, understanding his current limitations, rather than having to issue the PD.
Refusing to immediately assent to the PD, King John seemed to express some displeasure with 'jumping the gun'; sharing the impatience with the Corts that many do, he began to try communicating with Holmes to try and work out a solution that wouldn't involve a forced removal from office. The King also disagreed with citing the inactivity due to military service as misconduct, as current law clearly states that absence due to military service is excused.
Distain Miestrâ Schivâ suggested that the failure of the King to act on the Prime Dictate was "a really bad move" by the monarchy and those who support it, saying that his failure to assent does little more than humiliate the current Seneschal, who hails from the moderate monarchist MRPT, and may push some moderates into the republican camp as a result.
"As a government, I think we heard quite enough about what we failed to do last term." writes Minister Pinátsch, "As such, dangling problems like this cannot and will not be ignored any longer."
Following this discussion, Holmes posted in the Courtroom offering the position of Deputy Clerk for whoever would be willing to step in and fulfill the demanding duties in the event of his absence. No one applied for the position, and one week following the job posting, King John reluctantly removed Holmes from his position as Clerk of Courts by royal decree, without assenting to the PD.
Although the PD wasn't assented to, some see the issuance of the Dictate in and of itself as being significant: "As a government, I think we heard quite enough about what we failed to do last term." writes Minister Pinátsch, "As such, dangling problems like this cannot and will not be ignored any longer."
Seneschal da Schir recommended the appointment of relatively new citizen Marcel Tafial as the new the Clerk of Courts, to which the King quickly assented. Responding to a Terpelaziun, da Schir wrote that he asked Tafial to serve as Clerk because he is currently one of the most neutral citizens in the Kingdom at the moment, and that he has full faith and trust in Tafial's ability to execute the tasks required by his new position.