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Monday, March 24, 2008

Judge's Signature Stamps Secured After Clerk's Forgery Arrest (MORE, CLICK HERE)

Courthouses Lock Up Judges' Signature Stamps After Ex-Clerk Busted for Forgery
New York Lawyer - March 24, 2008
OGDEN, Utah (AP) - Officials' signature stamps are being locked up in the wake of accusations that a former court clerk served an eviction notice with a fraudulently applied judge's signature.

Supervisors are now keeping inventory of the stamps in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Stamps are either assigned to an individual clerk or kept locked up.

Maria Gomez is charged with forgery in the January creation of a document bearing an unauthorized recreation of a judge's signature. In charging documents, she is accused of using the notice to try to evict some tenants she was having trouble with. A preliminary hearing is set for April 15.


Anonymous said...

all of a sudden this becomes public and everyone gets excited, this has been going on openly for ever

Anonymous said...

This particular clerk is guilty of far more than what she is being charged with and she was being protected by more than one of the supervisors at that court. When some of the clerks that worked there reported her for things in the past, retribution was swift from her supervisor protectors. My only hope is that more of the guilty will see justice from this incident.

Kate said...

I agree with "retired clerk" - this has indeed been going on forever.

In Westchester County, there's a signed court order from Judge Nick Colabella dated the day he was under anesthesia for prostrate surgery (I think this was in July 2002). Now how could he have signed a court order when he was under anesthesia?

Who forged his signature? And what idiot in the county clerk's office accepted this order for filing without questioning this?

(And yes, I know who did this).

So, if a judge doesn't read motion papers (and they don't, the Law Secretaries do), and the judge doesn't write the court order (same answer - hard to write anyway while holding a golf club), and finally, they don't even sign those orders since their staff is forging their signatures, then are they really valid court orders?

What constitutes a valid court order?

Wouldn't this all be easily prevented if the judges were made to go to the County Clerk's offices with their orders to sign them in person before the clerk? And have the clerk's signature on these orders as "official witness".

Baring this, shouldn't the county clerk at least verify signatures (and if the judge was even in court on the date of signature) before filing these orders into the official record? Where's the due diligence and cross-auditing here?

But what do I know. I'm just an ex-auditor.

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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