"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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The practice of 3R's: Recusal -> Re-entry -> Retaliation in New York court proceedings

I wrote on this blog about a peculiar trick played by judges in New York sometimes - they first recuse from one case of a litigant, and then continue on other cases, or get assigned to other cases, as if they are impartial for those other cases.

There are several laws governing recusals in New York:

  1. Canons of Judicial Conduct, which is a set of court rules, 22 NYCRR 100;
  2. Judiciary Law Section 14;
  3. State constitutional right to due process, impartial judicial review and access to court
  4. Federal constitutional rights to due process, impartial judicial review and access to court and the law interpreting such rights, such as the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court case Caperton v A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc. indicating that under certain circumstances due process may require recusal.

All of these above laws have mandatory language:  a judge "shall", and a judge "shall not".

Since the mandate for a review by an impartial judge is a constitutional mandate, and in view of all the mandatory language of statutory law and court rules devised to enforce that double (state and federal) constitutional mandate, there should be strict rules ensuring adherence of judges to the law of disqualification.

Yet, New York State Appellate Divisions, and the New York State Court of Appeals instead gutted all of the above 4-tiered law, with its mandatory language, and put one self-serving judge-invented (for their own benefit) rule instead:

"the challenged judge is the sole arbiter of his or her own recusal and disqualification".


None of the trial-level or appellate-level decisions explained where did this rule come out of.

None of the decisions explained why the whole 4-tiered body of mandatory law was replaced by courts by a "rule of discretion", but that's how it is in New York at this time - "a judge is the arbiter of his/her own recusal and disqualification".

It must be added that discretion is the function of jurisdiction, and Judiciary Law 14 strips an interested judge of jurisdiction and makes an interested judge's decisions null and void.

Here is a law review article dating back to 1988 (28 years ago) indicating a division that, in New York, disqualification of a judge for personal interest or connection with a party is statutory, while a disqualification for personal bias is "at best discretionary".

First, New York appellate court already eliminated that distinction.  There is no such thing any more as a "statutory disqualification", whenever you raise Judiciary Law 14, the challenge is denied without an explanation, and the court claims the issue of recusal was "within the sound discretion" of the challenged judge.

Here is about the "sound discretion".  First, judges have to examine "their own conscience" - which, as I wrote before, first has to exist, then, has to be a tangible entity to be made part of the record and be verifiable for purposes of appeal.

Then, the judge who is "examining his own conscience" must be impartial and not consider the act of making a motion to recuse as "disrupting the court" or "harassing the court".

Making motion to recuse is the equivalent of disrupting the court for Chenango County Supreme Court Judge Dowd, as he stated in his recent Appellee's brief to a federal appellate court.

Making a motion to recuse for the recently retired Delaware County judge Carl F. Becker (as well as for all other judges who were so far reviewing my disciplinary case, and relying upon sanctions for making motions to recuse as a basis to pile up more sanctions), is an equivalent of "harassing the court" - forget the 1st Amendment and due process.

But, to be able to review even one's own conscience, one should be all right upstairs, so to say, don't you think?

With Judge Dowd, that requirement is clearly a problem - Judge Dowd is a judge who was rambling during a child custody proceeding about some law school building a urinal in the judge's honor.  On record.  

And, when my husband raised the issue of Dowd's incompetency in a federal lawsuit, he was sanctioned by the federal court, the lawsuit against Dowd was dismissed on the basis of immunity for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench, and Dowd was allowed to continue his demented "service" on the bench, including "service" on my husband's case.

To scrap existing law of disqualification and instead to invent a judge-created rule giving "discretion" to a raving lunatic on the bench, allowing him, and raving lunatics like him, to examine "their own conscience" in deciding whether they will or will not be impartial to the challengers of their own misconduct is not a rational act in itself.  And certainly not a valid law. 

But, the rule indicating that judges are "arbiters of their own recusal and disqualification" is what is used in New York courts - and no other laws need to bother humbly asking to be noted.

I am actually writing a book (it takes time) about the "Becker-Dowd-Tormey-Coccoma-Sharpe syndrome" documenting the demented ravings of judges challenged in motions to recuse, some who "retired" and others who remain on the bench, and not only judges in New York state.  Takes time to put such a book together, with all that the judicial system is throwing at my husband and myself, but I am doing it, and I will publish it. 

I also wrote a blog article, 2 years ago, about the necessity of a rule in New York allowing peremptory removal of judges (especially judges who are fact-finders) from cases, so that no reasons need to be given.  Such a rule alone would have eliminated many sanctions against attorneys imposed for doing their duties to their clients, making motions to recuse, sanctions that continue to be imposed after my suspension.   

I just want to list timelines of recusals and re-entries of several judges and courts:

  1. Carl F. Becker, now retired, of Delaware County Family Court, County Court, Surrogate's Court and Supreme Court (as Acting Supreme Court justice);
  2. Kevin Dowd, as Supreme Court justice;
  3. James Tormey, as Supreme Court justice;
  4. Appellate Division 3rd Judicial Department in its entirety
  5. Michael V. Coccoma, as Supreme Court Justice, Chief Administrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District and Chief Administrative Judge of upstate New York

The timeline of recusals and re-entries of Carl F. Becker

1.  October 2009 - Becker recused from the child neglect case against my husband and myself brought by his buddy Commissioner Moon (also quickly retired while under investigation), the case was brought right after I brought a motion to recuse against Becker in a case of a client, because Becker was a fact-finder judge on a case where his client of 27 years, that same Commissioner Moon, was the Petitioner and his other clients were testifying witnesses.  We deposed Moon who blurted out (under oath) that "nothing would have happened had you (me) opened "that door".  What Moon meant is that he wouldn't have brought child neglect proceedings against me had I allowed police and social services to search my home law office.  I did not "open that door", protecting confidential information of our clients.  Therefore, my husband and I were charged with child neglect.  Not only that was illegal, but - what kind of information was Moon (and Becker, who was clearly behind that attempt to search our home law office) after?  The child neglect case was dismissed in 2010 and dismissal affirmed on appeal.

Becker did not recuse at that point from cases where both my husband and I were representing clients as attorneys, even though he complained to other lawyers that we "double-team" (I was second-chairing my husband's criminal trials, helping my husband with review of Rosario materials, drafting proposed jury instructions and arguing oral motions).

Yet, since Becker demonstrated, by his recusal in October of 2009, his lack of impartiality towards us, he should not have been on any of our cases where we were parties - as a matter of due process and our right to impartial judicial review, as parties.  Right?

Let's go further.

2.  Around February of 2010, Judge Becker directed a party in a Family Court matter to turn me into the disciplinary authorities.  The party did that, the committee investigated and found no misconduct on my behalf.  I rule of judicial conduct requires disqualification of a judge who complained about an attorney to the disciplinary authorities, for 2 years.

2 years from February 2010 is February 2012.

ALL of Becker's sanctions against me (including the three that were the basis for the disciplinary proceedings used to suspend my law license) were within that 2-year window.  All of them were unlawful and imposed by a judge who, by mandatory rules of Judicial Conduct, should have recused from ALL of my cases - not only as a party, for that he should have recused based on his October 2009 recusal - but even all of my cases as an attorney.

Since no misconduct was found, after full investigation, Judge Becker directed a party to file a false complaint against me, and thus should never have been on my cases.

3.  In December of 2010 I filed a complaint with the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct about Becker's and his misconduct, also involving, among other people, the misconduct of the now-Delaware County judge, and then-Delaware County District attorney Richard Northrup, and the then-Vice-Chair of New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct and a private attorney Stephen Coffey, of O'Connel & Aronowitz, a law firm from Albany.

I asked to take Becker off the bench, based on 9 cases of documented misconduct. 

Becker was, instead, elevated to the position of an Acting Judge of Delaware County Supreme Court, assigned himself to all of my cases in early 2011.

I, naturally, having in mind Becker's recusal in 2009 and Becker's direction to a party to file a disciplinary complaint against me in 2010, as well as Becker's misconduct in several additional cases that I knew of, made motions to recuse.

Having found that Becker failed to file the required certificate of election in 2002, I also challenged his legality as a judge in a motion.

Becker reviewed the motion of his own legality, caused Delaware County Commissioner of the Board of Election William Campbell to file a false certification of the 2002 election in 2011, while all original documents from that election, according to the Board's answer to my 2010 FOIL request, were gone in 2004, sanctioned me for making the motion to recuse and challenging his legality and sent the sanctions to the disciplinary authorities.

Then, Becker sanctioned me - and my husband - in practically all cases to which he assigned himself.

In August of 2012 Becker recused allegedly from all of my cases as an attorney and party and cases where my husband was a party (who was by that time disbarred 4 years before the final judgment in the Mokay saga, see also here, here and here , the brainchild of the notorious retired judge Robert Harlem and his son Richard Harlem who Becker was protecting).

Becker communicated his alleged complete recusal from all cases to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York where Judge Becker was sued also for his actions as a judge of Delaware County Surrogate Court.

Despite a pledge to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Neroni v Becker that Becker recused from all cases involving me as an attorney or party, and my husband as a party, that pledge was a lie, and here is why.

1)  Becker did not recuse untl April of 2015, from The Estate of Andrew Mokay, Delaware County Surrogate's Court File No. 2007-021, transferred to Delaware County Supreme Court by order of Judge Mulvey in April of 2015 without an index number, the case that Mr. Neroni was describing in Neroni v. Becker in the Surrogate Court until April of 2015.  April of 2015 was, "coincidentally", one month before Becker announced his "intent" to "retire" from the bench - right at about the time the NYS Comptroller was investigating Delaware County for its no-bid contracts, and around the time when Becker's other buddies, County Attorney Richard Spinney and Commissioner of Social Services William Moon, also quickly retired.

2) Becker sua sponte re-entered a Family Court case of a case in September of 2012, the case was where he imposed in 2011 sanctions upon me and my pro bono client for challenging his legality, as well as misconduct - in order to moot an appeal, and sent his order produced by this re-entry to the Appellate Division.  The appeal was "successfully" mooted by Becker.

3) Becker issued an order in a child neglect/abuse case of my client in October 2012, which he had no authority to do because of his recusal, and which differed drastically (it was a lot more punitive) from what he pronounced on record after the trial in June of 2012, before his recusal.  Becker dismissed child abuse charges against my client in June of 2011, but imposed punishment in October of 2012, 2 months after his announced recusal of August of 2012, as if child abuse was found.

4) In 2014, Becker's name appeared on bail receipt of my close friend and then-client Barbara O'Sullivan whom he relentlessly pursued with the help with his buddies Richard Northrup (former Delaware County DA, now Delaware County judge, illegally sworn in as a judge by Becker, a private attorney at the time of swearing-in) and John Hubbard, Becker's law partner who did not disclose his role as his law partner, as he was supposed to, during the 13 years while the DA's office where Hubbard was employed was appearing in front of Becker.

Even after the dismissal of the shameful fabricated criminal case against Barbara O'Sullivan, she still continues to be pursued, and recently her dog was killed under suspicious circumstances.

 The timeline of Kevin Dowd's re-entries after recusals

1) In September of 2012, Kevin Dowd recused from the case Neroni v Harlem, Delaware County Index No. 2011-547, after he was assigned to the case after recusal of Carl F. Becker.

Yet, Dowd got assigned - and refused to recuse despite several motions to recuse - from the case Mokay v Mokay which was a case related to Neroni v Harlem.

2) In or around April of 2013 Kevin Dowd recused from a case Demeree Realty v Sines, Chenango County Index No. 2010-256 where an attorney tried to sue me (lawsuit was dismissed and discontinued on stipulation when I moved for sanctions) for giving proper advice to my client as to whether to pay a fee to an unlicensed real estate broker who committed fraud upon my client.

 Despite these two prior recusals, Dowd continued to "preside" over my husband's case Mokay v Mokay, and, after the final judgment in Mokay v Mokay when the court lost jurisdiction over the case, Dowd sanctioned me in an obviously void order for not appearing at a trial because of a medically documented injury and leave.

In March of 2016, in an appeal from the dismissal of a lawsuit (where I was the civil rights attorney for the plaintiff), Dowd equated the making of a motion to recuse with disruption of the court that entitled him to order to bodily throw a person out of the courthouse.

Dowd also threatened me in April of 2015, through his law clerk (see my blog about her Facebook friends and jobs that her Facebook friends get in front of Judge Dowd), that he will bodily bring me into the court proceedings, trauma or no trauma, causing me to plaster on my door the medical leave from my doctor in case of a police raid on my home law office and to sit for the whole day of April 7, 2015 in anticipation of being bodily dragged in my pajamas to the courthouse.  Naturally, I did not take medication I was prescribed that day for my injury, so that I would be fully alert during the "bodily dragging" process.

Given Dowd's history of (1) threats of bodily dragging injured people to court, (2) orders to bodily throw people out of the courthouse for making motions to recuse him, in the belief that such motions is an equivalent of violent disruption of court proceedings, my husband and I were lucky I was "only" illegally sanctioned for being sick and my husband was "only" punished by Dowd with a $300,000 judgment imposed after Dowd's review of boxes of exhibits that Dowd blocked me from ever seeing, and that disappeared during the pendency of my husband's appeal.

After all, Dowd, the raving lunatic who talks about urinals built by law schools in his honor, on record, during child custody proceedings, could have ordered some real bodily harm done to us during court proceedings - and would have escaped with "absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts".

 The timeline of recusals and re-entries of Judge James Tormey

In 2013, when Judge Kevin Dowd (see above) recused from my case in Demeree Reatly v Sines in Chenango County Supreme Court, where I was brought in as a defendant (Judiciary Law 487 charges were dismissed by Dowd, "negligence" in giving advice charges that Dowd refused to dismiss were discontinued when I moved in front of Judge Mulvey to dismiss for failure to comply with discovery, failure to state a claim and for sanctions), the case was assigned to Judge James Tormey, Chief Administrative Judge for the 5th Judicial District, see my blog about lawsuit against this notorious woman-hater who was involved in the crimes of soliciting political espionage from court employees to derail judicial elections, but did not lose his judicial robe or his law license, here.

Judge Tormey recused from the case, and the case was reassigned to Judge Mulvey, Chief Administrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District (apparently, only Chief Administrative judges could at that point deal with the likes of me).

Yet, in the same year of 2013, right after recusal from one case where I was a party, Judge James Tormey was assigned to another case where I was a party, Neroni v Follender, where Judge Tormey not only dismissed my meritorious lawsuit against a private attorney (who is "coincidentally" also a judge in a justice court in Ulster County) who ran his mouth with false accusations against me to Judge Becker, obtaining sanctions for diametrically opposite claims, because for Becker the only important point as to whether impose a sanction was whether my name was on it.

My motion to recuse was denied.

My motion to vacate, renew and reargue the dismissal - and a repeat motion to recuse, especially because Tormey sanctioned me for SUING TORMEY in federal court - was denied, with a sanction of $2,000, attorneys fees in favor of fraud-fabricator Follender of $8,000, an anti-filing injunction in favor of the fraud-fabricator Follender, and a threat that, should I ever again sue the fraud-fabricator Follender or his corporate clients M&C Brothers, Inc. on whose behalf he was fabricating fraud, I will be CRIMINALLY prosecuted on a motion from a PRIVATE ATTORNEY Follender in Tormey's court - without a grand jury indictment, which is a requirement for criminal prosecutions in Supreme Court.

The appellate Division affirmed all of the above,  see my blogs about it here, here and here, where yet another recused-and-re-entered court, the NYS Appellate Division 3rd Department, "advised me" that Tormey's decision not to recuse was a matter of his "discretion".

 Moreover, the interesting part is that the 3rd Department relied in their decision on suspension of my law license (a case from which the 3rd Department recused, but withheld a portion of the record from the transferee court), where Judge Tormey's decision was included into the motion that was granted by the 4th Department before the 3rd Department had a chance to review it on appeal.

Nothing like a little bit of a pre-judgement, but who cares if that's Tatiana Neroni, right.  

And nobody cares that Tormey's two direct subordinates were members of the disciplinary committee of the 4th Department that pursued my suspension (see here and here), right?

Not to mention that when I discussed misconduct of THAT committee, that had Tormey's subordinates as its members, that committee brought now-dismissed criminal charges (now dismissed) against me and tried to have me locked up in the County Jail within the reach of Tormey and his local friends.  That's why I stay away in South Carolina to begin with.

The timeline of recusals and re-entries of Judge Michael V. Coccoma

In July of 2007,  Judge Michael V. Coccoma recused from the Mokay v Mokay case where my husband, then-attorney Frederick J. Neroni was a defendant.  I was not an attorney at that time.

See the Mokay saga and the Blanding saga above, with links.

In 2009, Judge Michael V. Coccoma became a Chief Administrative Judge of the 6th Judicial District, overseeing Delaware County, and then Chief Administrative Judge of upstate New York.

Since 2009, recused Judge Michael Coccoma or his direct subordinate Robert Mulvey were assigning judges to cases of Mr. Neroni, including the case from which Judge Coccoma recused in July of 2007, Mokay v Mokay.

Judge Coccoma or his subordinate Judge Mulvey assigned to the case the recused Judge Becker, the recused Judge Dowd, assigned to my cases the recused Judge Becker, the recused Judge Dowd and the recused Judge Tormey (see above).

Moreover, in or around September of 2013, Judge Coccoma got himself assigned to a case where I was an attorney for a client in Otsego County Supreme Court.  When I pointed out to Judge Coccoma that I filed a motion to sanction his wife attorney Ellen Coccoma for fraud, fraud upon the court and frivolous conduct (a charge for which my husband is still within 6 years statute of limitations to sue Ellen Coccoma for fraud upon the court), Judge Coccoma then recused from that case.

Yet, Judge Coccoma immediately assigned the previously recused Judge Tormey to my lawsuit Neroni v Follender, obviously with an instruction to "deal with me", and Tormey did - as described above.

The timeline of non-recusals, recusals and re-entries of New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division 3rd Judicial Department

In November of 2009, I made a complaint for judicial misconduct of NYS Appellate Division 3rd Department in the case Gjonaj v Sines, where the court relied upon off-the-record testimony of an attorney for a real estate broker to go against the existing law and throw an elderly woman out of her home, who was defrauded by a real estate broker into selling the contract for 1/2 of what the house was worth.

I did not know at that time about several interesting points about the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct.

I did not know that the Commission did not have a rule prohibiting members and former members of the Commission - and their law firms - from practicing in front of the Commission, so the Commission was simply a sinecures for members, former members and their law firms.

I did not know that attorneys from law firms of members and former members are assigned, year after year, as referees in cases brought in front of the Commission.

By the way, when I turned in Becker for his shenanigans with Steven Coffey, Vice-Chair of the Commission, in 2010, Coffey did not recuse either, and did not disclose that his partner from law firm O'Connel and Aronowitz is one of the most frequently assigned referees of the Commission for Judicial Conduct.  Naturally, my 2010 complaint against Becker was dismissed, in 2011 Becker was elevated to the bench of the Delaware County Supreme Court, sanctioned me in 2011, and sanctions used in 2013-2015 proceedings to finally suspend my law license in 2015.

I did not know that one of the attorneys who previously was fired from a case into which I was hired, and who, after resolution of the case, threatened to prosecute my husband, myself and my client for a felony grand larceny for taking back the bail belonging to my client (and that has been confirmed by TWO appellate decisions, after SIX years of additional litigation - see Shields v Carbone), Steven Coffey, was a long-time member and Vice-Chair of the Commission.

By the way, I finally obtained the bail money for my client and returned it to him, through litigation, only I lost my law license because of the sanction imposed upon me by Becker for a motion to recuse him from that case - where 

(1) Becker's buddy Delaware County Attorney Richard Spinney acknowledged on record an ex parte communication with Becker about the bail money;  

(2) where Becker did not follow the law, as the Appellate Division acknowledged, twice, and did not order release of bail as the law required;  where 

(3) Becker and prosecutor Northrup did not disclose on record that Assistant District Attorney John Hubbard is Becker's former law partner, as it was required by court rules of judicial ethics, it was disclosed only in January of 2016, after my law license was suspended based on Becker's sanctions in that case, after Becker "safely" retired, after Northrup was "safely", though illegally, sworn-in by private attorney Becker into judgeship, and after Hubbard was safely ensconced as Acting Delaware County District attorney.

The conflict was NEVER disclosed to me, but was disclosed to a newspaper, "The Walton Reporter".

And, finally, I did not know that a judge of the Appellate Division 3rd, now Chief Judge, Karen Peters, was also a member of the Commission for Judicial Conduct, and thus HAD TO recuse from a case where I requested discipline against her own court, including her own boss, the then-Chief Judge of that court, the now-deceased Anthony Cardona.

Karen Peters did not disclose her conflict of interest, did not recuse from the case, my complaint about her own court was dismissed by the Commission - and voila - Karen Peters was rewarded with a chief judgeship after Cardona passed away, and her court had my husband disbarred and unlawful sanctions of recused judges repeatedly affirmed, while ignoring a whole chunks of appellate record (motions and transcripts of ex parte communications).

In other words, in Gjonaj v Sines, out-of-the-record ATTORNEY TESTIMONY tipped the balance of the court's decision, while in my cases and cases of my husband, applicable law in our favor and large chunks of the record were ignored.

Now, on June 11, 2014, the 3rd Department added (without notice) my already-disbarred-by-that-court husband to my own disciplinary proceeding and recused from the case, transferring it to the 4th Department.

That RECUSAL from a case involving both of us in its caption, should have resulted in recusal of that court from all cases.

Yet, the already recused court stubbornly remained on our other cases, required to file motions to recuse itself, which we did - multiple motions, each with a $45.00 filing fee - and denied all of them without an explanation or reasoning.

After recusal, the 3rd Department ruled against me or myself and my husband or my husband in FIVE cases so far:

1) Kilmer v Moseman in 2015 - denied my request for sanctions against Michael Coccoma's (see above) wife Ellen Coccoma who was caught in misconduct, and against former judge Eugene Peckham and his law firm Levene Gouldin and Thomspon who were also caught in misconduct.

I did not know at that time that Levene, Gouldin and Thompson is one of the law firm whose attorney has been repeatedly hired as a referee for the NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct.

2) Mokay v Mokay - intermediate appeals in 2014 and 2015;

3) Neroni v Grannis - October of 2014;

4) Neroni v Harlem - motions on intermediate appeals in 2014 and 2015;

5) Neroni v Follender - 2016

                              *     *      *

After all this merry descriptions of recusals and re-entries of FOUR judges and the entire Appellate Court into our cases in order to punish us for exposing judicial misconduct through lawful means (FOIL requests, complaints to Commission of Judicial Conduct, motions to recuse, lawsuits in state and federal courts), let me re-state the applicable law.

Not the law invented by courts in their own favor on the spot, but the written law that exists on the issue of judicial recusal and disqualification.

  1. Canons of Judicial Conduct, which is a set of court rules, 22 NYCRR 100;
  2. Ethical rules requiring that a judge must recuse from an attorney's case for 2 years if a judge complained or caused a disciplinary complaint against an attorney, and it got dismissed;
  3. Judiciary Law Section 14;
  4. State constitutional right to due process, impartial judicial review and access to court
  5. Federal constitutional rights to due process, impartial judicial review and access to court and the law interpreting such rights, such as the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court case Caperton v A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc. indicating that under certain circumstances due process may require recusal.

 Consider also the following cases.

1) McCuin v Txas Power & Light Co., 714 F.2d 1255, 1261 (5th Circuit, 1983):

"To permit a disqualified chief judge to select the judge who will handle the case in which the chief judge is disabled would violate the congressional command that the disqualified judge be removed from all participation in the case".

2) Parent v New York, 786 F. Supp. 2d 516 (NDNY, 2011) - assignment of cases is deemed a judicial function.

So, when Judge Coccoma, or his subordinates, assigned judges to my own cases and cases of my husband, Judge Coccoma re-entered the case after his TWO recusals - in July 2007 and in September 2013.

3) McFadden v Sassower, 27 Misc. 3d 45, 900 N.Y.S. 2d 585 (N.Y. Supp. App. Term, 2010) saying that once the court recused itself, it cannot rule on the case, and such rulings are VOID and citing to the case Friends of Keuka Lake v DeMay, 206 A.D. 2d 850, 615 N.Y.S. 2d 203 (4th Dept. 1994).

So - with all of this MANDATORY law of disqualification and recusal on the books, why New York state judges are still allowed to practice the trick of 3Rs - Recusal -> Re-entry -> Retaliation?

Because from top to bottom the regulation of judges, attorneys and courts is done by the same people who will never let "their own" down.

And that has nothing to do with any laws.

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