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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Selective Mob Tactics Continue at Judicial Ethics Commission

Family Court Judge Ousted From Bench
Failed to Protect Parents' Rights, Ruling Says
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko - October 29, 2008

ALBANY - An upstate Family Court judge has been removed from the bench for putting "onerous and unfair" barriers in the way of some parties appearing personally in his court. The Court of Appeals yesterday in In the Matter of David F. Jung, 150, unanimously upheld the removal recommendation against Family Court Judge David F. Jung of Fulton County made earlier this year by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Judge Jung, an attorney, was elected to the Family Court bench in 1992 and also has served as an acting Supreme Court justice. The decision appears on page 28 of the print edition of today's Law Journal. The Court held that Judge Jung appeared to mistakenly believe his actions were excused by the discretion given judges under the Family Court Act "for dealing with the complexities of family life." "He fails to grasp that with such discretion comes grave responsibilities to the litigants before him as well as to their children," the Court ruled in a per curiam decision. "While we recognize that petitioner has well served youth in his court and through his extensive involvement in community service, part and parcel of effecting the 'best interests' of a child is affording that child's parent the rights inherent in the parental bond."

The Court cited five instances of misconduct, which also formed the basis of the Commission on Judicial Conduct's unanimous removal recommendation against Judge Jung (NYLJ, Feb. 20). One case involved Karrie Foote, a learning disabled and illiterate woman who was held in contempt for failing to appear before a support magistrate in a custody case in May 2005. When she appeared before Judge Jung and requested counsel, he told her it was "too late" and "double too late" for representation. He sentenced her to 180 days in the county jail based on the support magistrate's contempt holding, according to yesterday's ruling. Ms. Foote was released nearly two months later under a writ of habeas corpus by a Supreme Court justice. An Appellate Division, Third Department, panel in People ex rel Foote v. Lorey, 28 AD3d 917 (2006), affirmed the writ. In response to the Third Department ruling, Judge Jung issued a press release defending his policies and expressing "disappointment" at the decision. He said he would begin confirming support magistrates' rulings in writing instead of having defendants appear in person.

In three other cases cited by the Court yesterday, people were not allowed to appear before Judge Jung in cases in which they were parties because they were incarcerated on unrelated charges. In all three cases, Judge Jung sentenced defendants in absentia to jail terms of at least 180 days and revoked their custody rights to their children, according to the Court. The cases represented impermissible breaches of litigants' basic rights that judges should be safeguarding, the Court determined yesterday. It suggested that the lapses were more egregious because Third Department panels granted writs of habeas corpus to three parties jailed by Judge Jung. "Plainly, even the Appellate Division precedents failed to impress the importance of these due process rights upon petitioner in any meaningful way," the Court held yesterday. Removal from the bench will prohibit Judge Jung from holding judicial office again in New York state. His case was the 66th in which the Court has accepted a removal recommendation from the conduct commission. In nine other cases, the Court reduced removal recommendations to censures and in two others, increased the recommended punishment of censure to removal.

Judge Jung's attorney, Vincent Capasso Jr. of Capasso & Massaroni in Schenectady, said in a statement yesterday that his client had served "honorably and admirably" as a judge. "Although we are understandably disappointed with the Court's decision, we accept its determination and will move forward," Mr. Capasso said. Edward Lindner of the conduct commission argued for the agency before the Court. Robert Tembeckjian, the commission's administrator, said Judge Jung's policy was "basically not to ensure the presence of people whose rights were to be affected. That was the egregious nature of the conduct." The Fulton County Bar Association filed an amicus curiae in the case arguing that Judge Jung, who had an otherwise unblemished record and who did not profit personally from his misconduct, should not be removed from the bench. "Judge Jung has shown courage, fairness and independence on the bench, and has treated attorneys and litigants who appeared before him with respect and dignity," Anthony Casale of Schur & Casale in Mayfield wrote on behalf of the bar group.

Here's the NYS Court of Appeals Ruling:

Decided on October 28, 2008

No. 150 In the Matter of the Honorable

[*1]David F. Jung, a Judge of the Family Court, Fulton County. Petitioner, For Review of a Determination of State Commission on Judicial Conduct Respondent.

Vincent Capasso, Jr., for petitioner.
Edward Lindner, for respondent.
Fulton County Bar Association, amicus curiae.


Petitioner, a Judge of the Family Court, Fulton County, commenced this proceeding to review a determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct that sustained five charges of misconduct against him and imposed the sanction of removal from judicial office. Upon our plenary review of the record, we accept the determined sanction.

After serving as a law guardian for more than a decade, in 1989 petitioner was elected to the Fulton County Family Court and in 1992 he was appointed to serve as an Acting [*2]Supreme Court Justice. In 2005, petitioner presided over a series of Family Court cases that form the basis of the Commission's findings. By formal complaint dated December 6, 2006, the Commission served him with five charges. Charges I, II and III alleged violations of litigants' right to be heard and of Sections 100.1, 100.2 (A), and 100.3 (B)(1) and (6), of the Rules of Judicial Conduct. Charges I, IV and V alleged violations of litigants' right to counsel and violations of the same sections.[FN1]

On April 19, 2007, petitioner, his counsel and Commission counsel entered into a stipulation of facts. A hearing was held on April 26, 2007, and the Referee accepted the stipulation into evidence. Petitioner testified, called two witnesses to testify on his behalf, and submitted additional affidavits attesting to his character. On September 7, 2007, the Referee sustained all five charges based on petitioner's violation of litigants' rights when he entered defaults and sentenced them, in absentia, to jail. The Commission unanimously sustained all charges, concluding that petitioner violated the cited sections of the Rules of Judicial Conduct, and imposed the sanction of removal, noting that as a consequence of petitioner's disregard of fundamental rights, five litigants were sentenced to significant terms of incarceration and at least three served several months in jail on the unlawful sentences he imposed.
I. Factual Findings

Charge I alleged that while presiding over the case of Wendy Lynn Hohenforst v Thomas DeMagistris, petitioner violated the defendant's due process rights, including the right to be heard and the right to counsel, when he summarily held DeMagistris in default on two family offense petitions and sentenced him in absentia to two consecutive 180-day terms of incarceration notwithstanding that defendant was being held in a courthouse holding cell throughout the proceeding.

Outside of the courtroom prior to a family offense proceeding before petitioner, DeMagistris verbally assaulted counsel for his children's mother, Hohenforst, and was placed in a Family Court holding cell. Petitioner thereafter convened a proceeding in the courtroom and placed on the record a description of the incident, stating that DeMagistris was not in the courtroom because he had been placed under arrest for "criminal behavior" and had thus waived his right to appear. Subsequently, petitioner dismissed counsel for both parties upon their own motions without inquiry as to whether DeMagistris had notice of his counsel's request. Upon excusing counsel for the mother, petitioner asked if she wanted an adjournment, which she declined. Following an inquest, petitioner granted the relief she requested, including divesting [*3]DeMagistris of custody of his children, dismissed defendant's cross-motion for failure to prosecute, and sentenced defendant to a year of incarceration. Petitioner directed that DeMagistris be served with the orders if he was still in the holding cell.

DeMagistris was released by Supreme Court's grant of a writ of habeas corpus, affirmed by the Appellate Division (see Matter of Hohenforst v DeMagistris, 44 AD3d 1114 [3d Dept 2007]).

Charge II alleged that in Fulton County Department of Social Services v Angelic Constantino, petitioner violated Constantino's due process rights when he failed to order her produced in court although he knew she was incarcerated in a correctional facility outside the county, summarily found her in default, sentenced her in absentia to six months incarceration, and revoked her custodial rights.

At the time, petitioner's longstanding policy was that "incarcerated litigants had to request of the court to be produced by the court." After unsuccessful attempts to contact petitioner's court, Constantino, incarcerated in another county, failed to appear for an April 11, 2005 hearing before petitioner on a custody petition and an allegation that she had violated an order of protection. Although petitioner knew that the Fulton County Department of Social Services had served Ms. Constantino with the petition in Schenectady County jail, and acknowledged having been told by counsel for the father's parents that Constantino was in jail, petitioner denied that he had actual knowledge that she was in jail, as he considered counsel's statement hearsay. He later maintained that if Constantino "has a normal IQ and she didn't know how to ask [for an order to produce] . . . it's her responsibility to find out." He stated, further, that although the summons did not alert her to his policy, she was obligated to find out by "word of mouth." On April 12, 2005, Constantino called the court from jail and asked why she had not been produced. Court staff informed her of petitioner's policy and advised her to put her concerns in writing, which she did with the assistance of attorney in a letter dated April 15, 2005. Her attorney was told that as "no request was received from Angelic Constantino and the court was in receipt of an affidavit of service," the matter had proceeded upon default.

Constantino was released by Supreme Court's grant of a writ of habeas corpus, affirmed by the Appellate Division (see The People of the State of New York ex rel Angelic Constantino v Lorey, 28 AD3d 1041 [3d Dept 2006]).

Charge III alleged that in Matter of Julie A. Dacre v Dennis A. DaCorsi, petitioner violated DaCorsi's due process rights when, knowing that DaCorsi was incarcerated and unable to appear, he found him in default and sentenced him to nine months in jail.

DaCorsi was due to appear before petitioner on a custody petition on April 28, 2005. According to petitioner's docket sheet, DaCorsi's sister called on April 27, 2005 and [*4]informed the court that her brother had been arrested but was due to appear in Family Court the following day. A clerk told her that either the sheriff or DaCorsi himself would have to contact the court and ask that he be produced. Petitioner was informed (although the actual date is in dispute) that someone claiming to be DaCorsi's sister had called, but testified that he had "no idea if it was his sister" and if it was that she "could have gone over to the jail with a piece of paper to sign and she could have delivered it to the court and I would have produced him." Petitioner explained that, in any event, he did not consider the sister's call a request to produce.

Petitioner held DaCorsi in default, and after an inquest DaCorsi lost custody of his children and was sentenced in absentia to consecutive terms of 90 days and 180 days incarceration. On June 26, 2006, petitioner granted DaCorsi's motion to vacate the default judgment and for petitioner's disqualification.


Charge IV maintained that in Matter of Dale A. Rulison v Nickie L. Smith, petitioner violated Smith's right to counsel when he denied her request for assigned counsel as late, summarily affirmed a magistrate's order that found her in default when she failed to appear for a hearing on a child support matter, and sentenced her to 90 days in jail.
It was petitioner's policy that a litigant seeking assigned counsel in a family offense proceeding had to apply for a public defender within two weeks of initial appearance, regardless of the date of the hearing. On January 12, 2005, Smith appeared before a support magistrate to answer charges that she had violated an order of support. She requested counsel and was given an application for the public defender, and the matter was adjourned until April 27, 2005. On February 8, 2005, Smith submitted an application for representation by a public defender in the child support matter. Petitioner said the application was late and on February 14, 2005 denied it as untimely. On February 14, 2005, Smith also submitted an application for representation in a custody and visitation matter. Petitioner approved that application on February 18, 2005.

On April 27, 2005, Smith failed to appear for the support hearing and the magistrate declared her in default and recommended that she be held in contempt. On May 18, 2005, Smith appeared before petitioner for a confirmation proceeding. Petitioner later explained that the confirmation hearing was "merely [for the judge] to approve what the support magistrate did. . . . Or the judge may, and I emphasize may, conduct an evidentiary hearing, which is not what we were doing in this case." When Smith attempted to defend herself against the petition, petitioner said "I don't see any objections filed here," confirmed the magistrate's determination and sentenced Smith to jail. Smith said she had sought representation from the public defender and never heard anything; petitioner responded "you'll have to take it up with the public defender's office." Petitioner testified that he did not see, upon reviewing her file, that Smith had been assigned counsel on the custody matter and that he did not attempt to find out if any court [*5]attorneys were present at the courthouse that day.

Smith did not appeal or move to vacate petitioner's decision, and was released from jail after paying a "purge."

Charge V alleged that in Matter of Timothy Foote v Karrie Foote, petitioner violated Karrie Foote's due process rights when, despite evidence that she was learning-disabled and unable to read, he denied her the right to counsel, summarily affirmed the magistrate's finding of default and sentenced her to 180 days in jail.

Foote appeared before a support magistrate on January 20, 2005, on charges of contempt of court for willful violation of an order of support. She told the magistrate that she could not read and did not have a lawyer. The magistrate told her she could apply for a public defender and adjourned the matter until May 11, 2005. Foote obtained an application but never filed it. On April 4, 2005, she appeared before petitioner on a custody modification petition. Petitioner advised Foote of her right to an attorney and instructed her to fill out an application. The parties met with a court mediator, resolved their custody dispute and returned to petitioner's courtroom for confirmation.

Foote believed that this custody settlement resolved the support matter, and failed to appear before the support magistrate on May 11, 2005. The magistrate declared her in default and recommended that she be held in contempt. On May 25, 2005, Foote appeared, without counsel, at a confirmation proceeding in front of petitioner, and told petitioner she had requested a lawyer. Petitioner responded that it was "too late," later explaining that he meant it was "a double too late" "too late . . . with me and too late . . . with the magistrate."

Petitioner maintained that he could not have sent the Foote matter back to the support magistrate or taken steps to obtain counsel for her because he would have violated a Uniform Rule providing that a litigant is entitled to only one adjournment absent good cause, and he did not find good cause. He confirmed the decision and told Foote he was going to incarcerate her. Foote's mother addressed the court, explaining that Foote couldn't read and that she herself had not had time to read the papers or explain them to her daughter. She stated:
"I told Kerrie that she needs to ask for a lawyer. She needs to be represented by a lawyer. I don't understand how these procedures can go on without her having some kind of representation. Especially when she doesn't even read. . . . She has a fourth grade reading level."
Petitioner responded:
"[Y]ou're telling me that. That doesn't make it a fact. But if we had some medical proof that was so, if she had told somebody that, I, I'm not the magistrate, so I didn't hear the case." [*6]

Petitioner signed an order committing Foote to the Fulton County Jail. He later acknowledged that Foote herself told the support magistrate she could not read and that he had "noted that" in his review of the record. He also recalled her mother saying "that she had the ability of a fourth grade reader, which is a pretty good ability."

Foote was released by Supreme Court's grant of a writ of habeas corpus nearly two months later. The Appellate Division affirmed (see People ex rel Foote v Lorey, 28 AD3d 917 [3d Dept 2006]).

After the Appellate Division's Foote decision, petitioner issued a press release defending his policies and expressing "disappointment" at the determination. Petitioner additionally stated:
"Henceforth, in an effort to further streamline and simplify procedures, since the statute does not specifically require the Court to mandate court appearances of parties so that confirmation of the Support Magistrate's decision can be made in person, the Court will simply issue a written confirmation unless the Court finds that the Support Magistrate erred in some fashion."

. . . .

"If, at some point, the Appellate Division . . . re-considers this issue and reverses itself as it has done in the past, or that if the Court of Appeals rules in favor of our prior policy and procedure, we can and will reinstate same."
During the Commission's investigation, petitioner testified that he wouldn't have handled any of the cases any differently.
II. Analysis

At issue here is petitioner's denial of due process to litigants in family offense — specifically custody and support — proceedings. DeMagistris, Constantino and DaCorsi involved denial of the right to be heard; DeMagistris, Smith and Foote the right to counsel.

The right to be heard is fundamental to our system of justice (see Mullane v Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 US 306, 314 [1950]; Jones v Berman, 37 NY2d 42, 55 [1975]). Parents have an equally fundamental interest in the liberty, care and control of their children (see Stanley v Illinois, 405 US 645, 651 [1972]; Matter of Ella B., 30 NY2d 352, 356 [1972]). The right to be heard, therefore, necessarily attaches to family offense proceedings, regardless of a party's status as incarcerated or otherwise detained pursuant to state authority (see Matter of Tristram K., 25 AD3d 222, 226 [1st Dept 2005]["[e]ven an incarcerated parent has a right to be heard on matters concerning [her] child, where there is neither a willful refusal to appear nor a waiver of appearance"]). This right is no less vital to a [*7]proceeding for summary contempt (see Katz v Murdoch, 28 NY2d 234, 238 [1971][a person subject to incarceration for contempt is entitled to an opportunity to appear and "to offer any reason in law or fact why that judgment should not be pronounced"]; see Matter of Mosso v Mosso, 6 AD3d 827, 829 [3d Dept 2004] ["due process requires that . . . the contemnor be afforded 'an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner'"]; see also Family Court Act § 454 (1), (3) [providing for incarceration "after hearing" on a willful violation of an order of support]).

Integral to this fundamental interest in the liberty, care and control of their children, and coextensive with the right to be heard in a meaningful manner, is a parent's right to representation of counsel in family offense proceedings. "[A]n indigent parent, faced with the loss of a child's society, as well as the possibility of criminal charges, . . . is entitled to the assistance of counsel" (Ella B., 30 NY2d at 356 [codified in 1975 and extended to provide litigants with the right to counsel in custody, family offense and contempt proceedings (see Family Court Act §§ 261, 262 [v], [vii])]). The right to counsel includes the right to notice prior to a court-ordered withdrawal from representation (CPLR 321 [b][2]; In re Kindra B., 296 AD2d 456, 458 [2d Dept 2002]). Waiver of this right must be "unequivocal, voluntary and intelligent;" a court is obligated to make a "searching inquiry" to ensure that it is (see People v Smith, 92 NY2d 516, 520 [1998]).

At most, petitioner would now concede that his denial of these rights to litigants amounted to legal error and not misconduct. As we have previously explained, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive; a pattern of fundamental legal error may be "serious misconduct" (Matter of Reeves, 63 NY2d 105, 109 [1984]); see Sardino v State Com'n on Judicial Conduct, 58 NY2d 286, 289 [1983]; see McGee v State Com'n on Judicial Conduct, 59 NY2d 870, 871 [1983]). Moreover, the Court agrees with the Commission that in denying litigants these rights, petitioner also violated the Rules of Judicial Conduct.

Although judicial disciplinary proceedings are not punishment (Matter of Esworthy, 77 NY2d 280, 283 [1991]), the severe sanction of removal is warranted where a jurist has exhibited a "pattern of injudicious behavior . . . which cannot be viewed as acceptable conduct by one holding judicial office" (Matter of VonderHeide, 72 NY2d 658, 660 [1988]) or an abuse of "the power of his office in a manner that . . . has irredeemably damaged public confidence in the integrity of his court" (Matter [*8]of McGee, 59 NY2d 870, 871 [1983]). Such behavior is especially "intolerable" in Family Court, "where matters of the utmost sensitivity are often litigated by those who are unrepresented and unaware of their rights" (Matter of Esworthy, 77 NY2d at 283). Removal is thus appropriate when a Family Court judge exhibits conduct "which necessarily has the effect of leaving litigants with the impression that our judicial system is unfair and unjust" (id. [among other misconduct, "[i]n case after case" judge "neglected to inform litigants appearing before him of their constitutional and statutory rights, including their right to counsel"]).

Here, in four out of five cases, the due process violations at issue resulted from two policies that petitioner effectuated in his courtroom for many years. Two of the violations of the right to be heard stemmed from petitioner's policy that an incarcerated litigant would not be produced for a proceeding unless he or she specifically asked to be produced. This unwritten rule, neither printed on a summons nor communicated to any facility, imposed an onerous and unfair burden on litigants who had no way of knowing what was required of them. Litigants who had previously been incarcerated and produced for matters before other judges were even more disadvantaged by petitioner's anomalous policy. Instead of taking steps to ease their burden, petitioner, in Constantino and DaCorsi, actually increased it by refusing, under the guise of not having "actual notice" of each litigant's incarceration, to acknowledge attempts to contact the court by family members and litigants themselves. Petitioner's view, however, was that even his own knowledge of a litigant's incarceration would not have excused failure to comply with the strictures he imposed. As the Commission concluded, such a policy impermissibly "elevated form over substance where liberty and parental rights hung in the balance."

Petitioner's institution of this longstanding policy resulted in gross and repeated deprivation of the fundamental right to be heard, and had grave consequences for litigants. [*9]This policy, along with petitioner's unwavering imposition of a two-week time limit on requests for counsel, evidences a "pattern of injudicious behavior" that this Court cannot sustain (see Matter of VonderHeide 72 NY2d at 660). Also significant is petitioner's response to the Appellate Division's three grants of writs of habeas corpus in DeMagistris, Constantino and Foote (see People ex rel. Constantino v Lorey 28 AD3d 1041 [2006]; People ex rel Foote v Lorey, 28 AD3d 917 [3d Dept 2006]; Matter of Hohenforst v DeMagistris, 44 AD3d 1114 [3d Dept 2007]). After these reversals, petitioner chose to modify his first policy by increasing notifications, yet continuing to place the burden of production in court on incarcerated litigants. With regard to his second policy, he publicly stated his intent to discontinue confirmation hearings — the proceeding where Smith and Foote invoked their right to counsel — and issue written confirmations instead (see Press Release of April 26, 2007).

Plainly, even the Appellate Division precedents failed to impress the importance of these due process rights upon petitioner in any meaningful way. As in Matter of Reeves, these "errors were fundamental and the pattern of repeating them, coupled with an unwillingness to recognize their impropriety, indicate that petitioner poses a threat to the proper administration of justice" (63 NY2d at 110-111).

It is apparent from the record as a whole that petitioner continues to believe that his actions were a permissible exercise of the "wide discretion" given Family Court judges "for dealing with the complexities of family life" (Family Court Act § 141). He fails to grasp that with such discretion comes grave responsibilities to the litigants before him as well as to their children. While we recognize that petitioner has well served youth in his court and through his extensive involvement in community service, part and parcel of effecting the "best interests" of a child is affording that child's parent the rights inherent in the parental bond. We acknowledge that removal from office is an "extreme sanction" that is imposed only "in the event of truly egregious circumstances" (Matter of Cunningham v Comm. on Judicial Conduct, 57 NY2d 270, 275 [1982]). We conclude that petitioner's steadfast adherence to longstanding [*10]policies that have seriously compromised the due process rights of litigants justifies removal.

Accordingly, the determined sanction should be accepted, without costs, and David F. Jung removed from the office of Judge of the Family Court, Fulton County.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Determined sanction accepted, without costs, and David F. Jung removed from the office of Judge of the Family Court, Fulton County. Opinion Per Curiam. Chief Judge Kaye and Judges Ciparick, Graffeo, Read, Smith, Pigott and Jones concur.
Decided October 28, 2008


Footnote 1: Charges IV and V also alleged violations of Section 100.3 (B)(3) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct.


Anonymous said...

It's the system that is horribly broken. It's the system that lacks oversight of a POTENTIAL problem. Where was the Administrative Judge is this? (Too busy attending to collecting cash for the powers that be, perhaps) And because every court employee is too afraid to speak up and do the right thing, they kept quiet. Congratulations to Judy Kaye and Bob Tembeckjian for again targeting one judge and letting their countless buddies get away with actual crimes. How do you sleep at night, Ms. Kaye?

Anonymous said...

The Commission on Judicial Conduct is a total sham. It protects insider judges, and totally destroys upstate judges and others who get on the bad side of a small group of political thugs. The SCJC is a criminal operation, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

To Westchester are more than correct..and as exposed as the CJC has been on this site, they still perform in complete corruption...with no one checking their actions!
Maybe a little story about a chief atty in Rochester could assist in federal accountability!

Anonymous said...

It took several cases before the scum was removed? The Commission ignored other cases where judges have done the same kind of acts. The OCA and Commission are like the Joker in Batman who'll kill anyone even his fellow scum. The system is pure evil.

Anonymous said...

I just called the Commission on Judicial Conduct to tell them what I think of them. Mr. Tembeckjian couldn't come to the phone, no doubt too busy counting this week's protection money. Here's the contact info:

Commission on Judicial Conduct
New Phone and Fax Numbers
The Commission's New York City Office has new phone and fax numbers: 646-386-4800 (phone) ♦ 646-458-0037 (fax)

The Commission's Albany Office has a new phone number: 518-453-4600. The Albany fax number remains the same: 518-486-1850.

Anonymous said...

While it's probably a waste of time calling the CJC, except of course to tell them how crooked they are, don't forget to tell Governor Paterson what you think. Remember, Paterson will soon show his real colors when he appoints a new Chief Judge. The elimination of the corrupt CJC must follow the appointment of OCA's new leader.

Call the Governor- tell him what you think of NY's court system and the clowns that currently run it!!

Anonymous said...

KEEP IN MIND that SOME of the Upstate NY Judges have been protected as well particularly in counties that were Republican strongholds during the 12 years of Governor Pataki where legitimate and serious Family Court, Foster Care, Child Support, Law Guardian and related problems were frequently reported to the Corrupt State Commission on Judicial Conduct and yet Every complaint was Whitewashed by the CJC although finally some "other" avenues of investigation and reform are taking interest.

One member of the upstate Third Department Appellate Division who is up for re-election, Judge Anthony Carpinello, has had a daughter working in the NYC office for Tembeckjian of the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Anonymous said...

That commission not only lies, but they actually put it in writing.
I have an ongoing issue with a "judge" and they keep kicking it out saying they don't have the authority when the law and their own rules clearly state they do.
I now copy my representatives, and the heads of the Judiciary committees for the State Senate and Assembly just to be sure they know what is going on. It is the laws they have enacted which give these people the authority run these committees and commissions.
Since we elected them to represent and protect us, I want to be sure they know what is going on and that I expect them to do their job and make sure that the laws and rules are actually being complied with. If they are not, it is their job to see that they are.

Anonymous said...

The truth is: anyone could look at any selective cases of any judge and paint him/her as an animal. The SCJC is bad, very bad, and it should be closed down. The do the devil's work.

Anonymous said...

For more on the System being broken, unfortunately the National concern over problems in the Mortgage industry came too late for at least one hardworking resident in the federal Northern District of New York where the residents OWN Ch 13 Bankruptcy Attorney, a Ch. 13 Trustee himself out of Rensselaer County, not only blatantly failed to take action to protect a homeowner who had suffered repeated efforts to "sabotage" a refinance agreement, but failed to disclose to his own Client in Ch. 13 offers by the Lender's Bankruptcy lawyers to make the Ch. 13 "Plan" even more workable.

Then the Ch. 13 lawyer failed to come in to the NDNY Bankruptcy Court to explain these failures going back to 2004/2005 when the "market" was more appealing and the hardworking property owner not only lost Buy back agreement but lost the Right to Sell which was part of the Ch. 13 Plan in the first instance, yet the Owner's own lawyer stayed silent while the Bankruptcy Judge disregarded and overlooked in that instance and yet bent over backwards in others.

This was not a situation where the Homeowner was trying to purchase a property well beyond their means which is a concern in the current mortgage meltdown but instead was a property well within the means and the Owner had been paying in thru Ch. 13 for months when the Ch. 13 lawyer abandoned the client.

Interestingly, it seems that many of these Mortgage Deals went thru Westchester County and White Plains area.

Yet given the problems in the CJC and State Courts, rememdies there became futile as well.

How do these folks sleep at night? Anyone know??

Anonymous said...

To above;
Do you have the names of any mortgage brokers, banks, attorneys, etc. involved in the issues you describe? Or is there a source to locate this information? It's hard to connect the dots with vague info like "Westchester."

Anonymous said...

You have to blame most of the corruption problems on the Administrative Judges. The judges under the administrators are fearful that if they don't obey the sometimes improper directions of their bosses, their lives will become a living hell. Thus the beginning of the downward spiral to the gutter where no ethics is found and where anything goes. Yes, people, there are a lot of honest, hard-working judges who believe in true justice. But justice is not possible when, from the top (Kaye) down, every act is directed by back door politics. And if you don't obey, the thugs (Tembeckjian's crew of liars and bums) will surely take care of you. I, too, am waiting for Governor Paterson to take some very aggressive and decisive action.

Anonymous said...

Confidential Memo to SCJC Top Thug RT: A guy with the initials DP will soon make sure you are out the door. I can hear the swirling wind of blacks robes as the cheer goes out for your long overdue departure.

On behalf of the NYS Judiciary, I would like to thank Governor Spitzer and prostitutes everywhere for affording the new Governor the opportunity to clean house at The Commission on Judicial Conduct. Amen.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous Post Above: YES, I have Multiple Names of Brokers, Lawyers, Bankruptcy Foreclosure "Mill" style law firm out of Buffalo, Lawyer's name out of Westchester, and much more but will Not Post all the Info here.

The other State Court twist to this Ugly Saga is that the Hardworking Homeowner ONLY had to file Ch. 13 in the First Instance due to some "saboteurs" killing her Buy Out Loan as the person was buying out the Property in a Matrimonial Settlement and the property had gone on the Foreclosure Block while the Primary Breadwinner had moved out of the home during the Marriage break up but then was Cleared to Close before the Foreclosure "hit" the Block but then started receiving Calls from "Lefty" and "Rocco" type folks from Rockland and Westchester and the like saying, "hey, we got the inside deal at the bank. You are going to lose your loan. But we will buy your home for 10 cents on the dollar to keep a foreclosure off your Record."

This was the ONLY reason for Ch. 13Filing and then Amazingly, after PAYING IN to Ch. 13 for Months ( should have been gaining "Equity" right since making Full Mortgage Payments ) the Ch 13 Plan was killed while almost Simultaneously going through the Backdoor in the Local County Court so the Bank could buy the loan Back from "itself". Guess was an Inside Deal from the Get Go on the Flip!

The Owner had Good Income and had been sending money during the Breakup to other spouse but money was not going to the Mortgage.

So Yes, many documents but you would have to write me at

Anyone serious about corruption has a gravy train of County, State and even Bankruptcy Court corruption on this one!

Anonymous said...

I agree, we'd have better judges if there was better assistance, support and oversight. We get what we sow: underpaid, fearful, hacks who don't dare do the job they swore to do. I hope that other post is correct and we get all new administrative judges. And, of course, the ethics committees need a total overhaul.

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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
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