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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Corrupt Judicial Ethics Commission's Bad Acting

Bedford judge admonished for imposing illegal fines
The Journal News by Sean Gorman - July 29, 2009

BEDFORD, NY - The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has admonished Bedford Town Justice Charles G. Banks for imposing excessive fines in more than 200 traffic cases, saying he imposed penalties totaling $11,281 more than allowed by law. The judicial oversight panel found in a seven-page ruling this month that Banks' actions create "at least an appearance that he was imposing excessive amounts in order to increase the town's revenues." The fines were levied from October to December, 2006 as well as in October to December 2007, according to the opinion. After learning of the commission's investigation, Banks immediately took steps to refund money to motorists who were excessively fined, according to the ruling, which also states that Banks, on the bench since 1995, has agreed not to seek re-election this year and that his actions were unintentional. But a sharply-worded dissent from the judicial panel's vice chairman called for the harsher penalty of censure, saying that the total level of excessive fines that Banks levied in all of 2006 and 2007 may have been more than $60,000. sgorman@lohud.com

5 comments:

Quietly Smiling said...

Awful, and Somers is not any better. In fact the whole court infrastrucutre in northern Westchester is a cesspool and flies in the face of the rule of law. Enter Stage right, the Hon. Justice Denis J. Timone:

Referencing your letter of October 6, 2005 requesting specific factual information pertaining to the above referenced Complaint, Complainant states as follows:
BACKGROUND
That from September 1, 2001 Complainant and his family took up residence at xxxx, a convertible three bedroom single family home and premises upon information and belief owned by xxxx, as lessees under a one year lease expiring on August 31, 2002.
That on or about May 2003, xxxx offered Complainant a new one year lease from September 1, 2002 to August 31, 2003 (“Lease”), that at this time contained a paragraph nine (9) to a rider to the Lease, at the discretion of lessee, “Tenant has first option for a new lease on unit (‘Option Clause’)” and that at this time contained a holdover period of six months (i.e., Complainant’s authorized occupancy, when he exercised the unilateral option on September 1, 2003, extends to March 1, 2005).
That Complainant suffered the loss of his then 38 year old wife to breast cancer in December 2003 and was left with providing sole parental support for a then seventeen month old baby boy.
That, in or about May 2004, Complainant and xxxx entered into a dispute surrounding Complainant’s contracting for an Au Pair that would reside in the convertible third bedroom to care for Baby so that Complainant may resume his career and provide support for Baby.
1. That Respondent violated DR 1-103 [NYCRR §1200.4] Disclosure of Information to Authorities in that Respondent possessed knowledge, (1) not protected as a confidence or secret, or (2) not gained in the lawyer’s capacity as a member of a bona fide lawyer assistance or similar program or committee, of a violation of DR 1-102 [NYCRR 1200.3] that raises a substantial question as to another lawyer’s, Albert A. Capellini’s, honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer and failed to report such knowledge to a tribunal or other authority empowered to investigate or act upon such violation.
That Complainant, a recent widower providing the sole parental support for Baby, continued his occupancy pursuant to the Lease and was served with a Petition – Hold Over Dwelling by Respondent, who upon information and belief was briefed and counseled by Albert A. Capellini (“Capellini”) without Respondent or Capellini even considering prior case law and controlling authority (see case law and authority below) in determining the effect of the Option Clause on the Lease.

Quietly Smiling said...

2. That Respondent violated DR 7-102 [NYCRR §1200.33] Representing a Client Within the Bounds of the Law in the representation of xxxx wherein Respondent:
a. Asserted a position on behalf of xxxx when Respondent knew or when it was obvious that such action would serve merely to constitute the abuse of process against Complainant;
That Respondent, in a Notice to Quit Premises letter (“2nd Notice”) dated June 21, 2004 feinting a month to month tenancy and advising of the termination of the feinted month to month tenancy while threatening a holdover proceeding for immediate eviction and upon information and belief drafted by Respondent and caused to be disseminated by Respondent, failed to even consider, inter alia, Rausch’s Landlord and Tenant, page 473, § 11:2 that states “[W]here a tenant is given a right to renew the lease in general terms…the terms and conditions of the original lease are definite, and those terms and conditions govern the renewal term by implication,” in determining its effect of the Option Clause on the Lease; at this time, Complainant’s, a recent widower and the sole means of sole parental support for Baby, authorized use of the premises had more than 8 months until expiration.
That Respondent, in a Petition – Holdover Dwelling (“Petition”) dated August 25, 2004 feinting expiration of the Lease and expiration of the holdover period, failed to even consider, inter alia, Clark v. Caldwell 521 N.Y.S. 2d 851, 132 A.D. 2nd 171, that held, “an option is an absolute and unconditional promise to sell [in this case lease] at a certain determinable price within a period of time and is a unilateral contract that optionee completes by accepting,” in determining its effect of the Option Clause on the Lease; at this time, Complainant’s, a recent widower and the sole means of sole parental support for Baby, authorized use of the premises had more than 6 months until expiration.
b. Knowingly committed the abuse of process by advancing a position unwarranted under existing law, and without a good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law;
That Respondent, in a Petition – Holdover Dwelling (“Petition”) dated August 25, 2004 feinting expiration of the Lease and expiration of the holdover period, failed to even consider, inter alia, Clark v. Caldwell 521 N.Y.S. 2d 851, 132 A.D. 2nd 171, that held, “an option is an absolute and unconditional promise to sell [in this case lease] at a certain determinable price within a period of time and is a unilateral contract that optionee completes by accepting,” in determining its effect of the Option Clause on the Lease; at this time, Complainant’s, a recent widower and the sole means of sole parental support for Baby Stephen, authorized use of the premises had more than 6 months until expiration.
That Respondent in the Petition failed to even consider, inter alia, Rausch’s Landlord and Tenant, page 473, § 11:2 that states “[W]here a tenant is given a right to renew the lease in general terms…the terms and conditions of the original lease are definite, and those terms and conditions govern the renewal term by implication,” in determining its effect of the Option Clause on the Lease; at this time, Complainant’s, a recent widower and the sole means of sole parental support for Baby, authorized use of the premises had more than 6 months until expiration.

Quietly Smiling said...

c. Concealed or knowingly fail to disclose that which Respondent is required by law to reveal;
That by failing to avail himself of prior case law and controlling authority in determining the effect of the Option Clause on the Lease, Respondent concealed or knowingly failed to disclose that which Respondent is required by law to reveal, the citings adverse to the position of xxxx
d. Knowingly made a false statement of fact;
That by failing to avail himself of prior case law and controlling authority in determining the effect of the Option Clause on the Lease, Respondent’s feints of expiration of the Lease and expiration of the holdover period in the Petition, Respondent knowingly made false statements of fact, when considering the citings adverse to the position of Luciano
That, moreover, throughout the proceedings of the Petition, Respondent traversed from tall tales of “hold over without authorization of xxxx” to, upon information and belief, “no, it’s not hold over, we just want to renovate and sell the property,” to finally admitting the fact that the now frivolous proceedings brought by Respondent concerned a question of law – the meaning of “Tenant has first option for a new lease on unit.”
e. Counseled and assisted xxxx in conduct that the Respondent knew to be illegal, the abuse of process against Complainant;
That by failing to avail himself of prior case law and controlling authority in determining the effect of the Option Clause on the Lease, Respondent’s feints of expiration of the Lease and expiration of the holdover period in the Petition to, upon information and belief, “no, it’s not hold over, we just want to renovate and sell the property,” to finally admitting the fact that the now frivolous proceedings brought by Respondent concerned a question of law – the meaning of “Tenant has first option for a new lease on unit,” Respondent knowingly conducted himself in a fraudulent manner, when considering the citings adverse to the position of xxxx.
f. Knowingly engaged in other illegal conduct or conduct contrary to a Disciplinary Rule;
See 3 and 4 below.

Quietly Smiling said...

3. That Respondent violated DR 7-104 [NYCRR §1200.35] Communicating with Represented and Unrepresented Parties in that during the course of the representation of xxxx, Respondent:
g. Gave advice to Complainant, who was not represented by a lawyer.
That at the commencement of the proceedings of the Petition, Complainant filed a Motion for Continuance to Answer and Retain Counsel. That, moreover, when not represented by counsel, Respondent “button-holed” Complainant outside the courthouse before the Motion hearing and advised that “it is in your best interest to pay the month of August 2004 rent since returned to you, or else I will tell the Judge to proceed,” or words to that effect. That, furthermore, not represented by counsel, Complainant paid the August 2004 rent as a result of the threat of Respondent, an act which severely jeopardized the case of Complainant and forced him into an out of court settlement of the proceedings.
4. That Respondent violated DR 7-106 [NYCRR §1200.37] Trial Conduct in that Respondent:
a. Failed to disclose controlling legal authority known to Respondent to be directly adverse to the position of xxxx in Respondent’s abuse of process;
That by failing to avail himself of prior case law and controlling authority in determining the effect of the Option Clause on the Lease, Respondent concealed or knowingly failed to disclose that which Respondent is required by law to reveal, the citings adverse to the position of xxxx.
b. Stated or alluded to any matter that Respondent had no reasonable basis to believe that such statement will not be supported by admissible evidence in Respondent’s abuse of process.
That by failing to avail himself of prior case law and controlling authority in determining the effect of the Option Clause on the Lease, Respondent’s feints of expiration of the Lease and expiration of the holdover period in the Petition to, upon information and belief, “no, it’s not hold over, we just want to renovate and sell the property,” to finally admitting the fact that the now frivolous proceedings brought by Respondent concerned a question of law – the meaning of “Tenant has first option for a new lease on unit,” Respondent knowingly conducted himself in a fraudulent manner, when considering the citings adverse to the position of xxxx.

In summary, Mr. Casella, the strong-armed tactics, in diametric opposition to current case law and controlling authority, of Respondent as well as his self-aggrandizement as a “big fish in a small pond” serve as a mockery to the profession. Wherefore, Complainant, who has no professional or personal experience in “small ponds,” demands discipline, whether by admonishment, reprimand, suspension, resignation, or disbarment, against Respondent

Anonymous said...

Was the Honorable Charles G. Banks getting a cut of the fines? If so it was in his interests to pull this scam? Who else in the Town of Bedford has knowledge? This sounds like some small town down south that runs a speed trap.

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2