Now, when an attorney does something like that, he will be sanctioned - by the judge.
When a judge is doing it, the Commission on Judicial Conduct takes a position that anything the judge did in litigation must be reviewed on appeal only, and there is no violation of discipline for the judge in misrepresentation of the record.
I am not satisfied with such an answer.
When the judge looks at a sheep and says he sees an elephant, the judge should check out his glasses, his medications or go see a doctor.
Yet, that's what happens in court, and appellate division, astonishingly, affirms.
Name of judge and case name
What the judge said in his ruling
Shields v. Carbone,
Delaware County Supreme Court,
Index No. 2009-440
· That I was an attorney at the time administrative proceedings regarding a pond on my husband’s property were held
· That I made a motion to recuse in those proceedings
· That I was fined by the DEC Commissioner in those proceedings
· That my motion to recuse was part of my pattern to make such motions
· I was admitted to the bar in 2009, the proceedings were held in 2006-2008
· I did not make such a motion, I was not allowed to intervene and be a party in that proceeding
· I was not fined, I was not even allowed to be a party
· For obvious reasons, that was not true, since I was not a party, not an attorney for a party, was not allowed to participate and did not make the motion
Neroni v. Follender, Delaware County Index No. 2013-331
· That there was a case (singular) M & C Brothers, Inc. v. Torum which was the basis of my lawsuit
· That I failed to state a cause of action for fraud upon the court and did not plead it with specificity when I said that Attorney Follender defrauded the court by consistently, on record, claiming that I am the attorney of record in Torum II when I wasn’t (coincidentally, also a judge in the Town of Denning, Ulster County, Judge Tormey “happens” to keep being assigned as a judge of choice to preside over cases where judges are parties to an action, whether they are sued as judges or not)
· There were two cases by such short name, with two different Index No., filed at different times, one where I was an attorney of record and one where I wasn’t
· Naturally, when the judge refused to see two different cases with two different numbers, different parties, different attorneys of record, different filing dates, different procedural history – I doubt that even a good shrink will help
As an illustration, this is a piece from Judge Becker's decision against me in Shields v. Carbone, Delaware County Index No. 2009-440, dated August 12, 2011 where he clearly states that I participated in DEC proceedings as an attorney, made an improper motion to recuse, was fined $10,000 by the DEC Commissioner and was ordered to conduct remediation on my property.
This is a picture from the New York State court administration website showing that I was admitted to the bar in 2009 (I updated this blog on May 25, 2014).
At the time Judge Becker made his decision in Shields v. Carbone, on August 12, 2011, he had in front of him a motion for a summary judgment in the DEC proceedings he is referring to in Shields v. Carbone.
He made a decision in these proceedings in October of 2011.
These are portions of that decision where Judge Becker shows knowledge that the DEC administrative proceedings occurred before 2009 when I was admitted to the bar:
Moreover, Judge Becker also reflects in his decision that he knew from the record that the only motion I made there is to intervene and vacate the decision on liability for failure to include me as a necessary party, not a motion to recuse, and that the motion was denied, I was not a party to the proceedings and could not, thus be sanctioned, ordered to pay a fine or ordered to do anything with the property:
Yet, having that record in front of him, he says the opposite in Shields v. Carbone:
And, having deciding the DEC case without imposing any sanctions on me for my alleged motion to recuse, without even mentioning such a motion (because it was never made), without affirming any alleged fines against me or any alleged orders of remediation against me (which were non-existent), Judge Becker never went back to Shields v. Carbone, never acknowledged his mistake and never vacated his decision sua sponte.
Instead, he sent his decision to the disciplinary commission, misrepresentations of the record and all.
This is what I call intellectual dishonesty - or dishonesty any way you look at it.
When the Appellate Division affirmed Judge Becker's sanctions against me, while ignoring his misrepresentation of the record of the DEC proceeding, the transcript about his ex parte communication between Judge Becker and the Delaware County Attorney Richard Spinney, and despite this obvious dishonesty AND stated that the judge had no bias against me, that was a separate act of intellectual, and any other, dishonesty.
Both of judges made their misstatements in order to be able to impose sanctions upon me, because otherwise there was nothing to impose them for.
Judge Carl F. Becker used my alleged actions as an attorney when I was not an attorney and was not doing anything in an administrative proceeding where I was not allowed to join, where I did not make the motion to recuse and was not fined by the DEC Commissioner, to justify sanctions against me. The Appellate Division affirmed.
Judge James C. Tormey sanctioned me, first, for making a motion to recuse him because Attorney Jonathan S. Follender of Arkville, New York had the audacity to ask Judge Tormey to punish me, among other things, for bringing a federal case Bracci v. Becker (dismissed without reaching the merits on jurisdictional grounds) where I asked to join Judge Tormey himself as a supplemental defendant (the case is currently on appeal in the 2nd Circuit). Judge Tormey considered it appropriate for himself to preside over a case where he is asked to punish me for bringing the federal litigation against himself. As I said, no shrinks can help with such behavior, only taking off the bench can.
Secondly, Judge Tormey sanctioned me because he allegedly read the record (which he did not, as the court sign-out sheet showed), saw one "Torum" case there while I was talking about two, one where I was attorney of record until August 10, 2011 and where subject matter jurisdiction of the court ended on that date with satisfaction of judgment, and another which was initially heard on August 12, 2011 where I did not represent anybody, which was derivative to Torum I and in which the court (Carl F. Becker, by the way) lost subject matter jurisdiction before the hearing, on August 10, 2011, with the same satisfaction of judgment.
That did not prevent Mr. Follender from trying to squeeze from the case as much counsel fees as he could, given favorable treatment by Carl F. Becker, and to badmouth me for frivolously not appearing in an action where no affidavit of service of the initial pleadings was filed, where I was not retained by any parties, where I did not file a notice of appearance, where I was not assigned by the court, and where subject matter jurisdiction of the court died two days before the initial hearing.
When a motion to renew or reargue was made, Judge Tormey rejected it because he allegedly did not see in it anything new, even though there was plenty of new evidence, and even though it was not based only on new evidence, but also asked to reargue because Judge Tormey imposed sanctions upon me based on his belief that there is only one Torum case while there were two.
Why such an effort? Because Judge Tormey by that time already sent his sanctions to the disciplinary committee, obviously in a hope that his sanctions will be the last straw to disbar me, especially that he mentioned that an attorney was suspended for what I allegedly did by bringing a lawsuit for fraud, fraud upon the court and defamation against Mr. Follender.
Mr. Follender stated I was an attorney of record in Torum II, that I did not show up when I was supposed to, caused my clients' default and should be sanctioned.
Judge Becker believed it (he would have believed that I fly on a broom in order to sanction me, but anyway) and scheduled a frivolity proceeding, where I did not come, a year after the court lost SUBJECT MATTER jurisdiction.
Was it fraud? Of course, it was, both by Mr. Follender, his law firm and his client on whose behalf he was advancing his fraudulent arguments.
Was it defamation? Of course, it was, and it was in fact defamation per se, because Mr. Follender was not only making false claims against me, but false claims damaging my professional reputation, did it knowingly, and did it to gain legal fees from me that attach to a finding of frivolous conduct.
Was any immunity involved? Of course not - the Torum II court where Mr. Follender was making his claims was without subject matter jurisdiction when the claims were made.
If it wasn't, my claim of fraud upon the court was valid, but, depending on finding or not finding jurisdiction, either fraud and defamation (if there was no subject matter jurisdiction) or fraud upon the court (if there was subject matter jurisdiction) were valid claims against Mr. Follender.
Did Judge Tormey care?
Of course not - all he cared was to exact personal vengeance against me, please the assigning judge Michael Coccoma (whom I pissed off by asking to sanction his wife in a private civil actions where his wife concealed the death of her client from a court and made a motion for a court-ordered deposition after the death of her client and after jurisdiction of the court abated), and save Attorney Follender (a brother-judge) from a lawsuit.
Judge Tormey's personal vengeance was to have me disbarred for daring to make a motion to include him as a supplemental defendant and exposing him on record in federal court and in Neroni v. Follender (motion to recuse) for his ex parte communication with the NYS Attorney General in the state law case Bracci v. Carl F. Becker which he dismissed after that ex parte communication (and NYS Court Administration claimed that the video recorder broke and there are no security tapes of that ex parte powwow for me to see), and for that reason he preferred not to correct his obvious, glaring, screaming mistake of claiming that there was just one underlying Torum case instead of two.
All of that is enough to take any single judge off the bench many times over.
Both Judges Becker and Tormey are still on the bench.
Does Judge Tormey have a history of not caring about the law and using it to achieve his own ends?
Yes, he does.
Why is he still on the bench?
Was he allowed to keep his robe after the political espionage scandal and after the federal lawsuit was settled for $600,000 taxpayer dollars on a condition that he now has to preside over cases against judges as a penance to the court system and make them go away?
Should Judge James C. Tormey be called instead Judge Tormey the Closer? The hat fits remarkably.
Judge Tormey has "closed" three lawsuits against judges or people associated with judicial system in 2011-2013, and that is only where I was the plaintiff, who knows how many more of such cases Judge Tormey "closed".
My cases are:
- Bracci v. Carl F. Becker
- Neroni v. Stephen Zayas (member of attorney disciplinary committee who brought a fraudulent charge against me claiming that I failed to appear in a deposition in the same Torum I case at the time when I was not admitted to the bar)
- Neroni v. Follender
That Judge Tormey could be disciplined and could lose his robe with or without a decision in the federal lawsuit, is clear from the fate of his co-defendant in the federal lawsuit Judge Bryan Hedges who was taken off the bench on an accusation of sexual misconduct which he committed when he was still a law student, 40 years before the claims were made, when all statutes of limitations already expired.
Records of the federal lawsuit against Judges Tormey and Hedges and records of the disciplinary proceeding against Judge Hedges that I personally reviewed and have copies in my possession, give a glimpse as to why Judge Hedges was thrown under the bus after all these years, and Judge Tormey was spared and was "only" ordered to serve as a "closer" for the judicial system.
According to the affidavit of plaintiff Bobette Morin in the federal action, Docket 143, Judge Tormey and his defendant Voninski asked her to engage in political espionage against a judge of Onondaga County Family Court who was running for the seat of a Supreme Court Justice on a democratic ticket.
When Ms. Morin refused to do that and retaliation followed, it was Judge Hedges who disclosed to her that Judge Tormey's assistant targeted her for destruction.
According to pleadings in Judge Hedges' disciplinary proceedings, Judge Hedges was turned in for discipline by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick after he refused to pay the alleged victim who was supposed to share that payment with the district attorney - it is in the pleadings (Judge Hedge's Respondent's Brief summarizing the evidence)!
This is as corrupt as it can go, and yet, the District Attorney still is in office, still has his license and is "serving" on state court commissions and in associations shaping up state policy on sentencing and ethics in government.
My research on Westlaw showed that the district attorney William Fitzpatrick was not even censured, and, since he continues to act as a district attorney, he was not suspended or disbarred for his attempt for extortion from Judge Hedges which was reported, through sworn testimony, to the New York State Commission of Judicial Conduct.
On the opposite, in the Orwellian world that we live in, that same district attorney was later selected to serve on the State Committee for Ethics, was appointed in 2010 by Judge Lippman to the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission where he still serves at this time and is now the Chair of the Ethics Committee of the State District Attorney's Association for the Fair & Ethical Administration of Justice. Even though I am not a believer in a Supreme Being, all I can say is "God help New Yorkers" because nobody else will...
In December of 2013 Mr. Fitzpatrick co-chaired the NYS Commission for Ethics in Government and submitted a report on investigation of public corruption... Mr. Fitzpatrick's request to Judge Hedges, through the alleged victim or her mother, to pay the alleged victim of his misconduct 40 years after the fact, when all statutes of limitations were over, in order for Mr. Fitzpatrick to share in the bounty, was not part of the report.
The interesting detail is that it has been reported in Morin's court papers that the district attorney William Fitzpatrick was Judge James C. Tormey's roommate.
It has been also reported in the press that Judge Tormey "did not want" to settle, and allegedly settled only because Judge Hedges did, and Judge Hedges gave an interview to newspapers indicating that Judge Tormey was mad at Judge Hedges settling because he said the lawsuit divided the Family Court personnel. In fact, there is no such thing as a mandatory settlement in court, whether state or federal, and Judge Tormey did not have to settle simply because judge Hedges did, he could happily proceed to trial which is allegedly what he wanted.
The Commission for judicial conduct apparently turned a blind eye to all of those interesting details indicating that Judge Tormey and his law school buddy William Fitzpatrick who was not a party to the federal lawsuit, but who was mentioned in the court papers, held a huge grudge against Judge Hedges and were bent on destruction of Judge Hedges.
Judge Hedges stepped off the bench himself before brought in front of the Commission, and there was no need to hold a disciplinary proceeding against him.
What Judge Hedges was charged with was not behavior committed when he was on the bench or even when he was an attorney, and Judge Hedges legitimately questioned jurisdiction of the Commission, under the circumstances, to hold disciplinary proceedings against him.
The Commission's chief acknowledged that it was "uncommon" to pursue a judge for something he allegedly did 40 years ago, long before coming to the bench. The Commission "removed" Judge Hedges from office and the New York State Court of Appeals upheld the "removal". Yet, legally a person who already resigned from office, as Judge Hedges did before disciplinary proceedings started, and his resignation was accepted, already removed himself from that office as a matter of law and, legally, cannot be removed from the same office for the second time.
The removal decision was heralded as ensuring that Bryan Hedges will never sit on the bench again. Bryan Hedges resigned in 2012. He was admitted to the bar in 1973.
Before being admitted to the bar, people are required to have a college degree. If a person goes to college immediately after high school, and goes to law school immediately after college, he or she will graduate at 25 and be admitted to the bar at 25-26 years of age.
Bryan Hedges was admitted to the bar in 1973, being 25 or 26 at that time. He resigned in 2012, 39 years later, at that age of 64 or 65. The mandatory age of retirement in New York is 70. It would have been highly unlikely that Judge Hedges would ever run for office after he abruptly resigned, or, even if he did, that he would be elected. Therefore, his disciplinary proceeding was very likely a witchhunt and a revenge on behalf of Judge Tormey and his group of supporters, including William Fitzpatrick, because Judge Hedges actually confirmed Judge Tormey's office's involvement in the witcchhunt against Bobette Morin.
Yet, while the disciplinary proceedings against Judge Hedges were claimed to be done due to the topic of alleged child molestation, the real reason was apparently that the Commission was used as a tool of vengeance by Judge Tormey and the Court Administration, because, once against, Judge Hedges by the time the disciplinary proceedings were held already stepped off the bench voluntarily.
In fact, there was evidence before the commission that the alleged molestation never occurred, and that the alleged victim simply changed her story to get a payoff from Judge Hedges (also from Judge Hedge's Respondent's Brief in the Commission).
The picture that appears out of all of this mess is not pretty at all.
Judge Hedges broke the "rule of silence", told Ms. Morin that she was targeted by Judge Tormey's assistant (and obviously by Judge Tormey, too) for destruction, and refused to cave in for extortion from the alleged victim, her mother and the district attorney. Judge Hedges was also the most likely reason as to why the lawsuit in Morin v. Tormey had to be settled before trial, because Morin could testify on her personal knowledge about Judge Hedges' statement to her about Judge Tormey's and his assistant Voninski's plans. It is already in the affidavit and on Pacer.
Given the wealth of information against Judge Tormey and the gravity of sworn accusations based on personal knowledge, there was nothing that could prevent the Commission for Judicial Conduct from prosecuting Judge Tormey.
There is no statute of limitations for judicial misconduct, and so Judge Tormey could and still can be pursued for what he did to Bobette Morin, if the Commission really and genuinely cares about its duties to the people of the State of New York to maintain the ranks of the state judiciary clean of the black sheep.
A federal court's decision is not required to prosecute a judge (as Judge Hedges' case clearly shows - statutes of limitations in both civil and criminal case were long gone, they are 5 years in the state of New York, plus 10 years for the infancy toll).
Yet, Judge Tormey was spared.
Nobody is going to willingly disclose as to why, but actions, as always, speak louder than words.
Judge Tormey's settlement in Morin v. Tormey in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York was finalized on 9/26/2011, as the docket sheet of the case indicates.
The New York State Attorney General's office represented Judge Tormey in that action in 2011.
The letter of the private counsel requesting participation in the January 12, 2011 conference is highly " irregular", because that counsel is not the official attorney of record at that time. At the time the letter is presented to the judge, the New York State Attorney General still represents Judge Tormey, and no other attorneys may step in without a court's decision granting them a motion to disqualify, which never happened.
So, Judge Tormey rules in my case that the NYS AG is the sole decision maker as to whether he has a conflict of interest in representing a state actor, but when that same issue concerns himself, he shared my position, but never disclosed that to me.
Immediately after his settlement, Judge Tormey was assigned by Judges Coccoma and Mercure to the lawsuit Bracci v. Becker in state court, a case for retaliation and misconduct against a judge, a case for which Judge Tormey was uniquely disqualified due to his just finished federal litigation of 4.5 years.
On November 22, 2011, 2 months after his settlement in federal court, Judge Tormey presides over a motion to dismiss where NYS AG's office represents Judge Becker, sued in his individual capacity.
Judge Tormey does not disclose the recent federal litigation against him on the issue of retaliation to me as the attorney for the Plaintiffs, but states in a transcript, in response to my statement that I do not know yet whether I will pursue newly emerged claims in federal court that nobody knows better than him what a pain federal court is.
Judge Tormey was ethically obligated not to preside for 2 years after the end of his federal litigation over a case where NYS Attorney General appears in front of him, and to disclose representation of NYS AG's office, yet, preferred to not disclose the representation by the NYS AG's office in the year where he was presiding over my Bracci v. Becker case, which was a clear ground for disqualification.
Instead, Judge Tormey conducted a powwow with Judge Becker's attorney in the courthouse and dismissed the case against judge Becker, and then the NYS Court Administration claimed that the security tapes of the ex parte communication were unavailable because the video recorder allegedly got broken.
It is interesting to mention that in his decision dismissing the lawsuit against Judge Becker Judge Tormey rejected my argument that there was a conflict of interest in the NYS Attorney General representing Judge Becker, sued in his individual capacity, in Bracci v. Becker lawsuit, and at the same time appearing in front of him in a DEC proceeding.
Judge Tormey stated that it was the sole and absolute discretion of the New York State Attorney General to decide whether NYS AG has a conflict of interest in representing any state actor.
Yet, Judge Tormey failed to disclose at that same time that he took the same position as I did in his own federal litigation that same year, when he hired a private counsel for himself, claimed conflict of interest of the New York State Attorney General, and claimed that he is entitled for New York State to pay that private counsel, even though he was sued for retaliation against an employee and for attempts to engage the employee in a political espionage, something which had nothing to do with his official duties!
After he dismissed my lawsuit against Judge Becker, without disclosing his disqualification, Judge Tormey dismissed two more lawsuits against people which are part of the judiciary.
One lawsuit was against Stephen Zayas, sued by me for fraud upon the court when he was still a member of the Committee for Professional Conduct, NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division 3rd Judicial Department, and since resigned amid investigation (allegedly, over "inaccurate" time sheets), the other was against attorney Jonathan S. Follender ("coincidentally" the Town of Deming Justice, Ulster County), also for fraud upon the court.
Thus, within 2 years of the settlement, Judge Tormey has "served" and paid back the New York judiciary by working as a "closer" on three cases, engaged in ex parte communication to save Judge Becker, misrepresented the record to have the attorney who sued Judge Becker disbarred - and was neither investigated nor disciplined for his political espionage, persecution of attorney Bobette Morin, or for his shenanigans in Bracci v. Becker or Neroni v. Follender cases.
Logical, isn't it?
Only the logic is scary and the whole story reeks to the high skies of corruption.
Judge Tormey's retaliation against me is a matter of public record.
Any reader of this blog can go to the Delaware County courthouse in the state of New York, retrieve cases I am talking about and which are referenced in Neroni v. Follender case and see the truth of what I am saying.
Judge Tormey had the record of two cases in front of him, said there is one and sanctioned me as if there was one. And sent the sanctions immediately to the disciplinary committee. And refused to recognize his mistake even when I made the motion to vacate, renew and reargue and caught him in the lies that he reviewed the record when he never even signed it out, and documentary evidence regarding that is also in my motion to vacate, renew and reargue.
What I do know that judges like Judge Tormey and Becker, who go to the length of misrepresentation of the record in front of them in order to set personal scores with attorneys who exposed their misconduct do not belong on the bench, and people who keep them there are complicit in their behavior and are as guilty of fraud as those judges are, whether they are or are not covered by immunity.
In her affidavit to the federal court (Docket 143) Ms. Morin stated under oath that she was threatened by the court administrator Mr. Dowling that she has "pissed the wrong person" and that Judge Tormey wants to "get rid of her".
Now, both Judges Becker and Tormey, want to get rid of me - both for personal reasons, and the system obliges them.
I believe, a thorough investigation by whatever state or federal authorities who still remain faithful to the U.S. Constitution is in order to get out the hornet's nest of judges who do what they please to serve their own interests and eliminate whoever exposes their misconduct.
Of course, New York State Attorney General's office cannot engage in such an investigation because Judge Tormey is their former client, and that is exactly why New York State Attorney General's office should not be allowed to represent judges sued in their individual capacity for violating people's constitutional rights - because, among other things, it creates a conflict of interest and prevents the NYS AG's office from discharging its duties to investigate and root out corruption in the government.
But, it is my firm belief that judges like Tormey and Becker, who are ready to use/abuse all of their own and their powerful buddies' power in order to rain fire upon people who dared to expose their misconduct, should not be allowed close to the bench and should be taken off the bench a.s.a.p. before they did more damage to more people.
An investigation and disciplinary proceedings against these two judges are long overdue.