"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What do you do if a judge knowingly misleads you about his own authority to decide a case in a particular court?

In view of the fact that on April 7, 2015 a jury trial was scheduled in the case Mokay v. Mokay on damages (Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees, see my blog "the Mokay saga" and my blogs for early April 2015), while the Appellate court designated one of the plaintiffs in the Mokay case as a tortfeasor (and thus official party defendant in that same case where his attorneys represent both party plaintiffs and party defendants, requiring them to disgorge all legal fees claimed as damages, see my blog about the "trio" of tortfeasors), I filed two court actions.

First, February of 2015 I have filed a lawsuit against the Estate of Andrew Mokay, one of the Plaintiffs in the Mokay action, in order to determine percentage of guilt, if any of my husband, as opposing to the decedent Andrew Mokay as a tortfeasor; and

Second, on April 1, 2015 I have filed a petition on behalf of my husband Mr. Neroni in the Delaware County Surrogate's court asking the Surrogate's Court to:
  1. make Richard Harlem, attorney for the Estate (and attorney for all Plaintiffs in the Delaware County Supreme Court) to disgorge legal fees granted to him by Judge Carl F. Becker on 7/5/2011 and put the money back into the Estate to make the Estate solvent against the claim of my husband as a potential creditor; and
  2. to stop disbursing moneys from the Estate, once again, to keep the Estate solvent.

Once again, I filed the Petition in the Surrogate's Court on April 1, 2015.  Here is a scan from the file index of the Surrogate's court's case Estate of Andrew Mokay, File No. 2007-021 from April 1, 2015 to today's date.

The index clearly shows that the filings continue beyond April 3, 2015.

Yet, without notifying me as the attorney of record in the Surrogate's Court case, on April 3, 2015 Chief Administrative Judge for the 6th Judicial District Judge Mulvey issued an administrative order:

That order was ordering TWO things:

1) REMOVAL of the case from the Surrogate's Court to the Delaware County Supreme Court;
2) Assignment of Judge David H. Guy TO THE SUPREME COURT case.

The order of assignment of April 3, 2015 was never provided to me as the attorney of record for the petition, or to the court to which it was removed - neither the Delaware County Clerk Sharon O'Dell, nor the Delaware County Supreme Court Clerk Kelly Sanfilippo were copied on the order, and the order was not filed in the Delaware County Supreme Court, and not assigned an index number or an RJI number up to this day (I checked today when I found the order in the Surrogate's Court file).

The supervising judge Michael V. Coccoma (see my blogs about him and his wife Ellen Coccoma who I caught in committing fraud upon the court and who, of course, was never punished by judges who are all her husband's subordinates) was notified of the removal of the case, clearly saw that the court order was not copied to the court to which the case was transferred, or to the parties in the Surrogate's Court action, but did nothing to intervene and correct it.

While, according to the April 3, 2015 order of assignment, Judge Guy was assigned ONLY to the removed Supreme Court case, Jude Guy acted as if he was assigned to the Surrogate's Court case, and did the following (also see the index scan above):

1) On April 7, 2015, the day when Judge Kevin Dowd illegally started an ex parte trial in Mokay v. Mokay during the legitimate medical leave of the Defendant, Judge Guy, without authority, issued a decision in the Surrogate's court denying my motion to recuse Judge Becker "as moot", and claiming that "[t]he matter has been duly reassigned to the undersigned by the Administrative Judge, but without mentioning that "the matter" was "reassigned" to Judge Guy only after it was removed to the Supreme Court and that Judge Guy had no authority to act as the Surrogate's Court judge.

2) On April 8, 2015 Judge Guy illegally issued "citations" in the Surrogate's Court and illegally scheduled the matter to be heard "on submission" on May 5, 2015 in the Surrogate's Court.

3) My client expended a lot of efforts and money to have the citations properly served, without knowledge that the citations were illegal and proceedings were already removed from the Surrogate's Court;

4) On May 1, 2015 I received a phone call from the Surrogate's Court Clerk Ms. Hulse who told me that Judge Guy rejected service of process upon several people because it was in accordance with the CPLR and not the Surrogate's Court act.

At the time when he rejected service of process in accordance with the CPLR, Judge Guy clearly knew that he was assigned only to the removed Supreme Court case and that he was proceeding in the Surrogate's Court case without authority - but never notified me that the case was a Supreme Court case and directed me to ask him, in a letter, to issue supplemental citations.

I complied, without knowing that Judge Guy has no authority to act as a Surrogate and that the Surrogate Court has lost jurisdiction over the case long time ago, as per the April 3, 2015 order of removal.

Moreover, at that time, Judge Guy clearly knew that, for a case removed to the Supreme Court, service of process must be done in accordance with the CPLR and not the Surrogate's Court act, and thus, requiring me to ask the court for supplemental citations and to re-serve in accordance with the Surrogates' Court Act was not only an act without authority, but also a mere harassment meant to inconvenience me and my client.

On May 5, 2015 Judge Guy illegally issued Supplemental Citations in the Surrogate's Court without having any authority to do that.

David Mokay and Patricia Knapp were served in accordance with the CPLR.

David Mokay was served first by several attempts at personal service, which he ducked, and then by "nail-and-mail" service, after David Mokay's residence address was ascertained and confirmed by his neighbors, co-tenants in the apartment building.

Patricia Knapp was served by a substituted service upon her husband at her residence (and then by mail), which is permissible under the CPLR which governs service in New York Supreme Court.

Judge Guy ordered David Mokay re-served under the Surrogate's Court Act personally, knowing that (1) it was not possible because David Mokay was ducking service and (2) that David Mokay was served in accordance with CPLR at the time when the case was transferred to the Supreme Court and CPLR applied instead of the SPCA (of which I did not know).

After first ordering me to serve Christine Reed on a P.O. Box (which I did by certified mail), Judge Guy ordered me to personally re-serve Christine Reed in "Meridale, NY".  Christine Reed was by that time already served by certified mail, in accordance with SPCA 307, as a person whose domicile in New York was not proven and for whom the court knew only her P.O. Box number in Meridale, which was not good evidence that she resided in that town, in the State of New York, or even in the United States of America.

Judge Guy clearly knew that he (1) had no authority to issue citations in Surrogate's Court (2) issue citations with an incomplete address, ordering me to find a person in the town of Meridale, NY without any assurance that she resides there.  Judge usually do not direct people to search for the persons to be served on the streets or under bridges, but there was no residential address pointed out in the citation, although Judge Guy obviously equated a P.O. Box in a town of Meridale, NY with a residential address and a domiciliary in the State of New York, United States of America, which cannot be discerned from a P.O. Box.

On May 6, 2015 I received "Answers" from attorneys Michael Getman and Richard Harlem.

Richard Harlem was claiming, among other things, that I did not plead the Petition properly in compliance with the Surrogate's Court act.

Of course, by the time of the answer, unbeknownst to me - and hopefully (for Mr. Harlem's sake) unbeknownst to him, Surrogate's Court act no longer applied, as the case was removed on April 3, 2015 to the Supreme Court, of which Jugde Guy did not notify the parties.

On May 6, 2015 I asked Judge Guy for an extension of time to amend the Petition to take care of the claimed pleading deficiencies under the Surrogate's Court Act pointed out in Mr. Harlem's "Answer and Affirmative Defenses".

Judge Guy received that correspondence on May 7, 2015 and it was filed with the Surrogate's Court (because I did not know that the case was a Supreme Court case, and I directed my filings and correspondence to the Surrogate's Court).

Today is May 12, 2015.  I came to work on the file to the Surrogate's Court today and the clerk of the court made no attempt to give me any notifications from Judge Guy that the Surrogate's Court does not have jurisdiction over the case since April 3, 2015, and that I should not waste my time and money of my client preparing amended petitions in the court that lost jurisdiction over the case over a month prior.

Moreover, when I pointed out to Ms. Hulse that, according to the court order, the case has been transferred to the Supreme Court on April 3, 2015, she was surprised.

Delaware County Clerk Sharon O'Dell was no less surprised, stated they did not receive a copy of the order for filing and they cannot assign an index number allowing the case to proceed, until and unless they receive the order of removal dated April 3, 2015, from Judge Mulvey directly.

My husband and client, Mr. Neroni, as well as I, feel that he is the victim of continued harassment of the court system.

Had he known of the order of April 3, 2015, we could have made a motion to consolidate the three related cases in the Supreme Court.  The fact that Judge Mulvey did not even make aware clerks of the court to which the case was removed of his order of removal and assignment of Judge Guy to the Supreme Court, speaks of deliberate actions of Judge Mulvey to deprive my husband of time-sensitive information.

Of course, I am turning in all participants in this "assignment order" and how it was hidden from me and from the clerks of the transferee court, to the NYS Judicial Conduct Commission and to authorities responsible for commencing criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Enough is enough.

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