The word "vex" is described as:
As dictionary definitions of these two words show, "vex" may mean "annoy", so it is the same.
Yet, 5 judges-"linguists" from the New York State Appellate Division 1st Judicial Department Renwick, J.P., Andrias, Kapnick, Gesmer, Moulton, JJ. recently made law - not that they are allowed to make law, that is the exclusive authority of New York State Legislature, but why would they care - regarding their own recusals.
The brand new spanking law of judicial recusals in New York is now that if the judge is "annoyed" by a party or the party's attorney, but not "vexed", he does not have to recuse from a court case.
They also said that "[t]he court also acted within its discretion in ordering a sanctions hearing to ascertain whether the recusal motion was frivolous (see 22 NYCRR 130-1.1[a], [c]; see also 22 NYCRR 130-1.1[a][b])", paving the way for possible proceedings - now as regulators of attorney John O'Kelly's license to discipline attorney John O'Kelly for making a motion to recuse a judge protecting his clients' constitutional right to impartial judicial review.
After all, the 3rd Department had already suspended an attorney - John Aretakis - in 2008 for criticizing a judge in a motion to recuse without a hearing, based on sanctions of "annoyed but not vexed" judge whose was annoyed enough to sanction an attorney for daring to criticize him, and his colleagues in the Appellate Division 3rd Department agreed that criticism by an attorney of a judge is a no-no offense.
And, the 4th Department has done the same, too - suspending me in 2015 - also for criticizing a judge in a motion to recuse and for " additional complaints, filings and charges of “gross continuing judicial misconduct” against the court", and also I was denied a hearing, since I already had all the "process due me" in having a "frivolous conduct" proceedings instituted and decided by an "annoyed, but not vexed" judge sanctioning me for criticizing his own precious self.
Here is how a judge "tries" a proceeding for sanctions the judge institutes for criticizing the judge's own self - note that the judge is at the same time
- the alleged victim;
- an unsworn witness;
- a prosecutor;
- a judge -
- and even marks his own exhibits at that "trial" that was all the "process due" that an attorney in New York deserved before he was stripped of his license and livelihood.
Why the 1st Department should be any different? They may also now pursue attorney John O'Kelly so that he would not dare criticize the supposed cousin of Sheldon Silver for being biased against tenants in favor of landlords - surprise, surprise!
Of course, the trial judge, #Judge ShlomoHagler who was "annoyed" enough to hold a sanctions hearing against attorney John O'Kelly for criticizing the judge's precious self for his supposed cozy relationship with landlords and bias and hostility towards tenants and their attorneys, recently himself got sued for a supposed illegal sale of a lucrative real property lot as a president of a synagogue in violation of a ruling of a rabbinical court - sued by board members of his own synagogue, and the lot is adjoining an institution that was run by NYS Assembly leader (resigned and prosecuted for corruption ) Sheldon Silver.
Given that I was sanctioned by a judge who, before I was suspended based on his sanctions for criticism of his precious self, ran from the bench during a triple investigation:
- by the New York State Comptroller;
- by the New York State Judicial Conduct Commission, and
- by the FBI
Now, John O'Kelly alleged in his motion to recuse that Judge Hagler was actually Sheldon Silver's cousin - and Judge Hagler could not have it.
Judge Hagler commenced a sanctions hearing against John O'Kelly for "frivolous conduct", for his supposed failure to properly investigate his allegations - even though the constitutional standard for a motion to recuse is APPEARANCE of impropriety, and appearances are based on REASONABLE PERSONAL PERCEPTIONS and not on hard proof, especially that judges do not necessarily trumpet about their misconduct and bias at every corner.
More and more people going public regarding impropriety of the current "law" of recusal, which has nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the judiciary usurping the power to decide whether to step down from a case or not - no matter how conflicted they are.
- a California attorney Linda Shao gave a video interview to a journalist about her efforts to recuse 8 justices of the U.S. Supreme Court for financial conflicts of interest in a case, and about shameful (Linda Shao said - "felonious", and she is right) tricks the U.S. Supreme Court clerk's office played not to even file her motion to recuse or not to file the most relevant portions of her motion into the docket; and
- "Law and Liberty" published an article questioning propriety of behavior of the "notorious RGB", the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg who makes repeated statements about the U.S. President, a party in litigation in front of her, makes trips to Hawaii at the expense of Hawaii State Law School, a part in interest in a litigation against President Trump while a judge whose three law clerks are professors in that same law school is "deciding" the case within 7 miles from where Ruth Ginsburg is gallivanting at the State of Hawaii's expense - but continues to stick to his cases like glue and refuses to recuse - as well as refuses to recuse from Linda Shao's case involving as an issue a judge's connection with American Inns of Court while RGB has an American Inn of Court named after herself and has American Inns of Court "sponsor" trips of her law clerks to England.
- what the law of recusal and criticism of judges should be in a constitutional democracy, based on the structure of power in a constitutional democracy and constitutional rights involved in such judicial recusals - let's call it "Model C";
- what the law of criticism of judges was in medieval England, "the Old Country" - let's call it "Model K"; and
- to try and place the "law" of recusal as it exists in the U.S. and in the State of New York today based on these models.
Model used in NY
Who is the sovereign
The People (Constitution, Preamble “We the People”, the Dredd Scott case – People are the sovereign, there are no subjects in the U.S.)
Who are the subjects
What is the government
Servant to the sovereign – the people
Servant to the sovereign – the King
What is criticism of the government
People’s way to check on their servant, the government
A challenge by the subjects of the divine power of the sovereign, the King
The place of criticism of the government
Theoretically – a good thing, the way allowing the democracy to work and cleanse itself
A criminal offense, seditious libel
Standard of proof to criticize the government
Protected by the 1st Amendment, strict scrutiny (a judicial invention) to punish for criticism
The critic is never right. Later on – “you need to have iron clad proof” to win a seditious libel case.
Constitutional threshold of recusal
Appearance of partiality of the judge – the public must have, as a matter of due process, not only impartial adjudication, but also the appearance of impartial adjudication
The judge is the reflection of the King and is always right
De facto – K
Burden of proof based on the threshold
Reasonable perception of partiality
Judges require ironclad proof that the judge did something wrong, and when such proof is provided (Christine Mire's case in Louisiana), the attorney is punished for providing that proof
Due diligence to prepare the motion
Judicial collusion, corruption and ex parte communications are not exactly announced from rooftops, so what attorneys can judge upon can only be the reasonable perception and the breadcrumbs picked up from circumstantial evidence, “connecting the dots”. Circumstantial evidence is good enough even to convict of murder in NY.
1. Required ironclad proof against himself;
2. Was upset about criticism of himself by an attorney for doing his due diligence and investigating the judge
Same as John Aretakis' and my case in New York
Two diametrically opposite “standards of due diligence” + I am the King standard
De facto K
Who gets to try the motion to recuse
Should be – somebody other than the object of criticism, common sense and due process
Judge sitting in judgment of himself problem;
Potential of retaliation – accuser/adjudicator problem
Until 1792 in England –
The Star Chamber, a judge sitting in judgment of himself
Right to a jury to review accusations of criticism of the government
Should be, as with trial of any other issue of fact relevant to the party’s adjudication
Introduced in Star Chamber by Act of Parliament in 1792 (the Fox Act).
The bill was prepared by the former Star Chamber judge Sir Edward Coke who knew from his own adjudications how biased a judge reviewing such cases can be.
Seditious libel cases were removed from judges and placed with the jury
Defamation of judges as a separate lawsuit to be brought by judges (idea belongs to Russian attorney Vitaliy Burkin recently stripped of his "advocate" status for criticism of corruption in the Russian judiciary)
If a judge considers himself “defamed” by criticism, as for any other citizen, the path to a remedy for that defamation lies through a separate defamation lawsuit against the party the judge thinks is defaming him.
That requires that:
· The judge prepares a lawsuit, satisfying enhanced pleading standards for defamation;
· Files it, with a filing fee;
· Properly serves it upon the opponent, the critic;
· Hopes to survive an immediate motion to dismiss for failing to meet elevated pleading standards and on 1st Amendment grounds that the critic will likely win because of high standards – New York Times v Sullivan (deliberate falsehood + malice) + strict scrutiny for content-based regulation of speech
· Hopes not to be slapped with frivolous conduct sanctions and attorney fees to be paid to the critic;
If the judge survives a motion to dismiss, he still faces exposure through paper discovery, interrogatories, notices to admit under oath, out-of-court depositions and in-court trial by jury and cross-examination
The King is above the law and can have his servants summarily punish the critic or institute criminal proceedings against the critic instead trying his luck in a civil defamation case
A subject cannot call the King to testify
Judges should not be above the law. If they think anybody made false statements about them, their remedy is the same as for everybody else - a separate lawsuit for defamation in a court of law where the judge will have to:
- pay his own way for representing himself in this private legal matter - personal defamation of a judge, like everybody else has to do;
- put together a non-frivolous lawsuit satisfying the very rigorous special pleading standard, like everybody else has to do;
- pay all the filing and judicial assignment fees, like everybody else has to do;
- properly serve the lawsuit upon his critic, his opponent in litigation, like everybody else has to do;
- expose himself to the rigors of paper discovery and oral depositions, including questions that the judge must answer his critic (defendant in a defamation lawsuit) under oath regarding information in exclusive possession of the judge;
- expose himself to the rigors of a jury trial in open court before the public and to public cross-examination of himself by his critic;
satisfying all the requirements of the law, as everybody else has to.
If judges are afraid to submit their own personal claims to adjudication by their peers in the judicial system and to the jury - which is what it appears to be with
- Judges Carl Becker (my case),
- Cristian Hummel (John Aretakis' case),
- Phyllis Keaty (Christine Mire's case), and now with
- Shlomo Hagler (John O'Kelly's case) - and instead try to invent "rules", like the "rule of frivolous conduct" allowing themselves to turn constitutional courts into medieval courts and try cases against themselves by themselves - that IS the best proof that judges do not believe in impartiality of any judges at all, and that anybody can obtain effective and fair legal remedy from the American judicial system.
That did not prevent the same New York State Court of Appeals from dismissing in 2016 my 1st Amendment appeal from suspension for "harassment by speech" and "defamation" of Judge Becker (as decided by Judge Becker in a "frivolous conduct" proceeding instituted and tried by Judge Becker) as lacking a "substantial constitutional question".
That did not prevent the 1st Department in 2018 to rule that it is perfectly hunky-dory for judge Shlomo Hagler who was "annoyed, but not vexed", to start sanctions proceedings for "frivolous conduct" for harassment of his precious self by speech (which was deemed unconstitutional by NYS Court of Appeals in 2014) and, obviously, for making false statements against his precious self - instead of bringing a lawsuit in defamation against attorney John O'Kelly which Judge Shlomo Hagler knows very well he will lose if he files it - with sanctions for frivolous conduct against Shlomo Hagler and attorney fees for such a frivolous defamation lawsuit to be paid by Judge Shlomo Hagler to attorney John O'Kelly.
That is - if the law is to be applied as it exists for every one of us, mere mortals.
That judges do not trust their own court system to provide a fair and effective legal remedy for them in a defamation lawsuit and thus invent shortcuts for themselves turning court proceedings into medieval pre-1792 Star Chamber trials of the Old Country is a litmus test of impartiality of the American judiciary - requiring that legislatures MUST take what is going on in courts seriously, MUST address the crisis in access to justice CAUSED by the judiciary "regulating" itself and the profession it belongs to, attorneys.
When attorneys cannot establish for their clients the clients' constitutional right to impartial judicial review because that would involve breaching the supposed personal pledge of fealty to the likes of judges Becker, Hummel, Keaty and now Hagler, because doing your duty for your clients results in loss of reputation and livelihood for an attorney - it is proof that courts turned into a useless and harmful waste of public money.
Laws of recusal must be set in stone, and fast - by impartial members of legislatures having no connection with the judicial system and over whom judiciary has no control, and that will exclude any legislators who are attorneys with licenses regulated by the judiciary, "officers of the court".
What we have now as a "law" of recusal and "law" of sanctions for motions of recusal - based on judges setting their own "rules of procedure", rules of "judicial ethics", and trying their own cases by themselves in their own favor - has nothing to do with the law or the Constitution each of the American judges, including Becker, Hummel, Keaty and Hagler were sworn to uphold and protect.
Judges should be given a strong legislative kick in the butt to wake up and smell the coffee - it ain't the King's Bench any more.