"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.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Legal constitutional arguments have no place in Delaware County Family Court, State of New York... What about Chenango County Court?

This is what I heard from a judge, the Hon. Frank B. Revoir, Jr., in August of 2014.

First of all, the judge allowed himself to yell at me quite loudly (have a court recording to prove it), simply for making legal arguments, cut me off constantly, would not allow me to make appropriate arguments.

Here are the quotes from Judge Revoir from that day:

"Sit down, I am not going to argue that nonsense any longer".

My so-called "nonsense" (not to mention that it was HIGHLY disrespectful for Judge Revoir to speak to an attorney this way to begin with, especially to yell), was as follows:

1) mother and father had TWO court orders mandating parents to cover their own transportation costs for visitation of the child;

2) it was the father who relocated first to one state after the mother got joint legal custody back from an appellate court, and then to North Carolina, when a court of another state gave the mother a temporary visitation;  thus it was the father who should have born the costs of transportation, but the court split it evenly;

3) the mother was indigent and it was proven in court many times, and the mother had assigned counsel in many courts, which is only given to indigent parents;

4) TWO court orders, out of another state and, most recently, out of the state of New York, mandated the parents to cover their own transportation costs;

5) there was NO court order requiring the mother to deliver the child halfway to the father so that the father could save on his transportation costs;

6) the father simply bought tickets to an airport IN ANOTHER STATE, and required the indigent mother to travel 4 HOURS ROUNDTRIP, AT HER OWN EXPENSE, to that other state.  The mother ignored those claims because they were not in the court order.

Judge Revoir:

1) did not take jurisdiction because he said jurisdiction belongs in another state;

2) did not find the mother in violation of a court order and did not give her an evidentiary hearing for such a violation, but

3) still said that the mother was somehow "supposed" to make that 4-hour roundtrip to deliver the child to the father in antoher state, CONTRARY TO TWO COURT ORDERS that Judge Revoir ADMITTED HE LACKED AUTHORITY TO MODIFY,

and called my legal constitutional arguments about the above, supported by the text of the judicial decisions from two courts:

1) nonsense;
2) lying.

Judge Revoir did not allow me to speak, even when I politely asked to speak and put my arguments on the record, one time he said simply "no", the other time he allowed me to speak "briefly", but immediately as I started to speak, Judge Revoir started to interrupt me, run over me, cut me off at every word, yell at me, and finally told me that it is not the Supreme Court there, where I would think that I could make legal arguments in the alternative, in Family Court he calls it lying.

Family Court in New York is a court of LIMITED JURISDICTION.

Here is what a Family Court in New York has NO AUTHORITY to do:

1) conduct criminal proceedings;
2) provide equitable relief;
3) decide issues of constitutionality of statutes or regulations;
4) accept "motions" in lieu of petitions;
5) rule on credibility of one party contrary to the other without an EVIDENTIARY hearing.

The only function of the Family Court is to decide issues pertaining to family affairs:

1) child neglect and abuse proceedings;
2) child and spousal support;
3) child custody and visitation;
4) paternity;
5) family offense proceedings

Yet, ALL of those issues must be decided within the boundaries of

1) The Family Court Act and
2) State and Federal Constitutions

Thus, legal arguments are a MUST in Family Court.

Making alternative legal arguments is NEVER something wrong or punishable.

A LEGAL argument is not a FACTUAL statement.

That's why, a legal argument CANNOT POSSIBLY be considered lying.

When an attorney is accused of lying to the court, the attorney is impliedly threatened with sanctions and told to shut up.

When an attorney shuts up, he or she does not preserve certain issues for the record, and waives such issues for purposes of future appeal.

Thus, to intimidate an attorney for making "too many" legal arguments by accusations of "lying" to the court is to deprive a party of:

(1) effective representation of counsel,
(2) fair and impartial court,
(3) access to court,
(4) right to appeal

Where, like in Family Court, what is at stake is the FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT of a parent for care and custody of his or her child, such behavior of a judge is simply intolerable. 

What Judge Revoir said is reflected in the record of those proceedings.  

I referred Judge Revoir for his misconduct to the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct, which refused to even investigate him.

So, what Judge Revoir did - calling a constitutional argument "lying to the court", is acceptable from the point of view of New York Judicial Conduct Commission.

Yet, if there is no room to "alternative" legal argument in the judge's court, and the judge calls legal arguments "lying", there is a real issue about competency of that judge and his fitness for the bench.

If the judge has NO JURISDICTION TO MODIFY the order of custody or visitation, his only authority is to tell BOTH parents - get out of here, file your petitions in an appropriate court, I cannot do anything for you.

Yet, that's not what Judge Revoir did.

Judge Revoir said:  "I have NO JURISDICTION to review MOTHER's petition to modify custody", key words being "I have no jurisdiction".

Now, if the court dismisses mother's petition for lack of jurisdiction, the court dismisses ALL RESPONSIVE PLEADINGS with that dismissed petition.  And judge Revoir did dismiss the mother's petition for lack of jurisdiction.

Yet, that's now that's not what Judge Revoir did - and, remember, he did not want to hear "that nonsense" from me "about which airport". And the "nonsense" was not so much about "which airport", but about compliance with the text of two court orders that Judge Revoir stated HE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO MODIFY - well, at least for the mother.

By the way, motions in New York courts, including in Family Court, are governed by Civil Practice Law and Rules.  A motion on notice may only be heard if it was served by regular mail at least 13 days in advance of the hearing.  The COPY of an affidavit of service FAXED by the father to the Family Court stated that the motion on notice was sent 4 DAYS in advance of the hearing, so the court, under any circumstances, COULD NOT HEAR that motion.

Especially the court could not hear that motion because the mother, nor her counsel DID NOT HAVE THAT MOTION and there was insufficient time, even if they did receive it in the middle of the court proceeding, to respond to 100 pages of that motion where the judge refused to give mother's attorney ANY - ANY - time to review those 100 pages before he ruled on them.

If the judge said he has NO JURISDICTION to modify the order of custody and visitation, and the existing order of custody and visitation says that the parents must bear their own costs of transportation for visitation, and the mother already has borne her half, the other half, from door to door, must be borne fully by the father.

If the father CHOSE to buy tickets TO THE WRONG AIRPORT and texted mother about it, the mother, pursuant to the TWO EXISTING COURT ORDERS, had NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to go into expenses and deliver the child wherever father wanted it, because such a "requirement" by the father would be A MODIFICATION OF THE COURT ORDER, which the father should have first obtained from a court.

Yet - it was not Supreme Court, and Judge Revoir did not want to hear those LEGAL ARGUMENTS, instead calling them LYING, and I DO TAKE OFFENSE ABOUT IT, because it is an accusation not only against my client, but also against me, that my ALTERNATIVE LEGAL ARGUMENTS are somehow LYING TO THE COURT - which is, with due respect, nonsense and incompetence on behalf of a judge.

The bottom line:

What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.  What is not good for the goose, is not good for the gander.

If the court did not have jurisdiction to modify custody and visitation order for the mother, the court did not have jurisdiction to modify custody and visitation order for the father, and that's exactly what Judge Revoir did, without any petition from the father pending, on a "motion" which was not properly served, without any time given to the mother for rebuttal of that 100-page motion, and with a threat that - if the indigent mother does not deliver the child to the father to far-away state, necessitating a plane or a very long drive, both expensive endeavors, and on the eve of a holiday weekend where tickets, especially last-minute tickets, are extremely expensive - the mother will (1) go to jail; (2) the judge will consider sanctions for frivolous conduct against the mother.

Once again - the judge DID NOT HAVE JURISDICTION to hear the mother's case, but somehow the father DOES HAVE JURISDICTION to change the same court order for the benefit of the father - and to threaten mother with jail - and to threaten her with sanctions for frivolous conduct.

And - if we are talking about equitable principles of "fairness",

(1) it is not fair to allow the father NOT to comply with the court order requiring him to cover FULLY transportation costs for the child one way, and not only partially, as he did by ALLEGEDLY flying to the neighboring state's airport and demanding that the child be delivered to him;

(2) is not fair to allow the father to save money at the expense of an indigent mother; and

(3) the Family Court has NO JURISDICTION to decide issues of "equity", instead the Family Court MUST STICK TO THE LANGUAGE OF THE COURT ORDER - and there was NOTHING in that court order directing the mother, after she fulfilled her duty in covering transportation costs for the child one way, to cover any transportation costs for the child the other way.

My question then - if Judge Revoir does not recognize LEGAL ARGUMENTS in a court of limited jurisdiction that can only be governed BY LEGAL ARGUMENTS, and never by arguments regarding equity, and if Judge Revoir refused to consider any "best interests of the child" or talk to the child, instead denying the mother credibility simply because of the timing of her petition - what exactly is governing Judge Revoir's decisions?

If it is not the law, not legal arguments, not the contents of the court orders - then what?

Now, why did I invoke the events of 3 years past? 

By the way, Judge Revoir recused from that case, but both the mother, and her mother, were criminally prosecuted, and both prosecutions failed - by a jury acquittal in one case and a dismissal of felony charges in the other.

Because Judge Revoir considers constitutional argument made not in Supreme Court lying to the court.

And Judge Revoir is now presiding over a first degree murder trial in the alleged murder of an 11-year-old girl, Jacelyn D. O'Connor.

The judge is all about image and publicity, while his real image, is this:

- about the law and about the U.S. Constitution that Judge Revoir took an oath to protect.

So, on top of being a jerk, Judge Revoir is also an oath-breaker.

And, criminal proceedings, especially felony proceedings, are heavily based on constitutional law.  The law that Judge Revoir does not know and which it despises and punishes people for invoking it.

And, Judge Revoir was, nevertheless picked to preside over a case - at least at the town court's arraignment level and felony hearing that is scheduled for defendant Brower for tomorrow - that is hinged upon constitutional law, while considering constitutional arguments to the court lying and unacceptable.

The problem does not end there

Defendant Brower is, reportedly, indigent and was assigned a public defender - John Cameron, by "coincidence" a brother-in-law of the Supreme Court judge Kevin Dowd, of Chenango County, who reportedly has a nickname of a "hanging judge" and who is in-famous for his own misconduct, corruption and grudges.

Frank Revoir worked for Kevin Dowd as his law clerk, and was apparently mentored in judicial misconduct well.

Judge Dowd's law clerks have exceptional ethics. 

For example, Frank Revoir's successor in that honorable position, Claudette Newman (herself a judge of a local justice court) recently hid a long string of Facebook friends and made her profile private, as soon as she was caught having attorneys appearing in front of her (and to whom "her" judge gave money-bearing assignments) and court reporters reporting at "her" judge's cases, are the law clerk's Facebook friends.

As I said, Judge Dowd was an excellent mentor to Newman, and to Revoir.

As to having a brother-in-law of a judge who presides over criminal matters and whose former clerk, now a judge, also presides over criminal matters - it is all a big happy family in Chenango court system.

So, defendant Brower in the case accusing him of rape and murder of 11-year-old Jacelyn D. O'Connor is apparently worse off represented by the hanging judge's brother-in-law than if he would be representing himself .

After all, his defense attorney apparently owes his position of a public defender with a stable salary and benefits, to his judge-brother-in-law and it is unlikely that he will jeopardize his cushy position for a mere client who is facing life in prison.

Of course, time will show whether attorney Cameron will sell out his client, but red flags are all over the place.

Meanwhile, Judge Revoir had already started to put his ... uh... footprint... thumbprint... ass-print, rather, upon this case.

By not imposing a gag order on the police and prosecution and by irreversibly contaminating the jury pool.

The deceased girl's relatives, as well as the public at large, should be interested not to have just somebody to be locked up for this case, but to come down to the truth as to why and how their girl died, so that an innocent person is not convicted and a criminal is not left roaming the streets in search of next victims - as it happened in Arizona v Youngblood, as it happened in numerous murder cases where people were exonerated off death row after having served decades behind bars and escaping execution.

Passions are flying high in this case now.

And specifically because they are high, the judge who presides over this case, should have a level head, competency about the law and courage to follow it.

Now Revoir assigned the tomorrow's felony hearing to judge James A. Fox for tomorrow's felony hearing.

It is interesting whether Judge Revoir, after having acted as a judge in the court below, he will then proceed as a judge in the County Court, should the defendants be indicted (they were not yet), or will he have the unexpected decency to recuse.

I will continue to cover this case.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. i would like to add to this if i might. i know better than most as to the corruption of the chenango county court system, its been all the same players for many years. a persons constitutional rights are not recognized in this county, and it is all done in plain view. the problem is no one knows whatrights they have based on both the US Constitution and the New York Constitution, These Town Judges are nothing more than a mouth piece/ a puppet for their superior colleges who conspire to violate a persons rights. The theory of being guaranteed the right to an impartial judge/trier of facts is obsolete. HOW ON EARTH CAN A JUDGE SIT IN JUDGEMENT OF LAWS THEY THEMSELVES DO NOT KNOW????? Amnd the local district attorneys go along , hook, line and sinker with these violations, encouraging it. They have to know that the CPL does not support these actions, if not, they should not be in the positiuon they are in either. The problem is, either people are afraid to speak up, or , as the violators are hoping, everyday citizens are ignorant to the laws. AS AN EXAMPLE, the past two weeks in the town of Afton, my son was not given his right to a 180.80 action, the Afton Judge denied the motion, even tho time was up, and cited her reason as EXACTLY WHAT THE LAW SAYS WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE REASON...Ummm HELLO. And the ADA was there to give her a great big pat on the back for her public display showing her ignorance of the law, Everyone who was in the court to either testify or support my son was threatened with contempt and a free ride to jail. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I never having appeared before this 'POSER" was looked at by this judge, she asked if i was Joni, i told her yes and she instantly blasted in open court that she would not tolerate any outbursts from me. For REAL..I guess she was aware that it would infuriate me to see my kid getting boarded upon the railroad express, because that is exactly what happened, and is continuing on to this day. You cannot find a local lawyer who dares challenge their orders. CONTEMPT OF COURT, GUILTY....everyone should be contempable to any court that does not provide equal protection of the law, but wait, maybe it is equal, no one is given their day in court. NOT A COURT OF FAIRNESS ANYWAY. I have experienced the injustice for the past 30 years, and than some. The Chenango County Social Service workers are comfortable going into these courts and lying and supplying false info to these judges, as are the state police. Why wouldn t they be, they ALL CONSPIRE TOGEATHER. As Troop C once said, "A LIE STUCK TO IS AS GOOD AS THE TRUTH". The police pick and choose what judge will authorize search warrants too, as was the case i am trying to deal with now. Search warrant based on false and eroneous affadavits was submitted and authorized to and by Frank Revoir( won't say honorable because he is anything but) even though the CPL clearly states it is to be submitted to a local court, but, that the police could not count on the ignorance of the local judge to be able to withstand the scrutiny of covering up the BS info.....I could go on for ever with the violations of law by these county JUDICIAL OFFICERS...I too am submitting a complaint to the Committee on Judicial Conduct. THERE HAS GOT TO BE A WAY TO END THIS ONE SIDED JUSTICE