Monday, March 2, 2015

NYS Supreme Court Denies Pro Se Litigants Their Day In Court: The Case of Judge Kathryn Freed

Judge Kathryn Freed

I went to Court for oral argument on February 3, 2015, but Judge Freed called in sick, and all cases were adjourned.

Attorney Tatich from the Corporation Counsel called me at 4:36PM, February 2, 2015 and told me that I misspelled his name on the post!! So sorry (corrected it).

Mr. Tatich then told me that he did not know why Judge Frank Nervo is listed in the eTrack, because evidently the Court has an order wherein Judge Nervo recused himself from my case. I wonder why (next research job).

And, also according to Mr. Tatich, Judge Freed was moved from her current position and is not doing any city cases but she is doing whatever was on her list when she was moved, so she is back in her courtroom until....

If this sounds like it is confusing, it is.

Betsy Combier

Anyone who has tried to file a case pro se in State Supreme Court - or Federal, for that matter, but that's another story - will be subtly or directly denied due process. Judges despise people who do not have lawyers representing them, for any of the following reasons:

1. Judges have a problem understanding a pro se person who does not speak English or who does speak English, but must pretend that they do understand. It isn't a matter of understanding, they are directed not to allow pro se litigants to win, because then there is precedent.

Take Shlomo Hagler, for instance. He plays a game with pro se litigants. We - court watchers - have been gathering information about his pattern and practice of denying pro se litigants their due process. What he does is, and I saw this happening, pro se litigants are coddled into thinking he is preserving their rights, and then he denies their petitions/lawsuits in a one sentence ruling from the bench. I saw this: a pro se person appears before him, and in this case it was a bi-lingual teacher for the Department of Education, asking the judge to grant her petition to overturn the arbitration award of a 3020-a arbitrator who suspended her for 45 days without any probable or just cause. This teacher does not speak English well at all. So Judge Hagler was really, really nice, and said she did not need an attorney, and then told the Corporation Counsel that they had to come back with proof that they honored her due process. The next time they were back before Hagler, he dismissed the case in one sentence.

That is his pattern and practice. A theater performance that does not fool anyone.

2. Judges cannot make secret deals with pro se litigants, as they do with Attorneys.

3. Judges do not believe that pro so litigants know anyone "powerful" enough to make them worried about denying any due process. As I have said many times, assumptions are too dangerous to rely on. Judges should do the right thing the first time, and not be scared straight, as I try to do by writing about them on this and my other blogs.

I have fought for rights since 1999. My church stole my mom's ashes from me when she died on March 15, 1998, then their Insurance Carrier, Guide One, and the Surrogate Court hired an Attorney to harass me for the next 14 years. I had heart failure on July 22, 2006. My Attorney, Jonathan Landsman, tried to fight me on the subway after the trial so that I would not get my mom's ashes. Judge Lottie Wilkins did the trial, and when the jury came out with their verdict, that I must receive $500,000 for my pain and suffering, Wilkins suddenly declared a mis-trial, sent the jury away, and told me and Attorney Landsman that we had to pick a new jury for a second trial and be back in her courtroom in 1 hour.

Luckily, I taped NYPD Detective Ahearne who told me that Supreme Court Judge Karla Moskowitz was paying Attorney Kenneth Wasserman to harass me. I got her - Judge Karla Moskowitz - removed from the Supreme Court 3 days after she finally dismissed with prejudice  the case falsely claiming I took money from my grandfather's estate, which did not exist when the case was put into the Court's Computer. Judge Moskowitz was moved to the First Department Appellate Division, and I submitted the tape there, and won there as well. But it almost killed me.

Here is another, very recent incident that I had in the Courtroom of New York State Judge Kathryn Freed:, below. By the way, I am a firm supporter of the rights of Veterans and of the gay/lesbian/transgender groups, so I am not citing Judge Freed for her support for any of these groups, only her attack on pro se litigants, and me in particular:
Judge Freed on her balcony

On July 18 2014 at 11:15AM I went to the NY State Supreme Court to help a teacher friend move his record from the Supreme Court to the Appellate Division, First Department, so that he could perfect his appeal of Judge Kathryn Freed's denial of his case. Judge Freed granted the Corporation Counsel's Motion To Dismiss, as she always did. I decided to do a favor for my friend.

subpoena filled out, ready for Judge Freed's signature in the lower right

With all the papers in hand, plus the subpoena for Judge Freed to sign/stamp (Judges are mandated to sign/stamp subpoenas for pro se litigants who want to appeal the decision made in their court to a higher court), I went to her Courtroom at 80 Center Street on July 18, 2014  to obtain her signature on the subpoena before filing the papers to move the record.(I have deleted the name and Index number).

When I walked in her Courtroom, a man was sitting at the desk, and I went to him (the Courtroom was completely empty) and gave him the subpoena for the Judge to sign. I saw Judge Freed in her Chambers, in shorts, sandals and tee shirt. The man took a look and then handed it back, and said "I will not give this to the Judge, it is all wrong".

I asked him, "What is wrong?"

He said "I cannot tell you, I am not a lawyer, so I cannot give you legal advice".

I said, "So what do I do now?"

He said, "Go to the pro se office".

I said "Thank you." and I left 80 Centre Street, and went across the street to 60 Centre Street, the pro se office. When I went in, I saw a Supervisor I knew, and I said hi, could you please tell me what is wrong with this subpoena???? He looked at it, and said "I don't see anything wrong". He asked me why I was there, in the pro se office. I told him, and he said, oh, just go back to the same man and tell him that the Judge should sign it. He is a relief person, and the actual clerk in Judge Freed's courtroom is away this week on vacation.

So I went back to 80 Centre Street, and went back to Room 280. When I entered the Courtroom, it was still empty, and the man with whom I had spoken earlier was still sitting at the desk. So I went over to him and said that the pro se office had told me to come back and ask for the subpoena to be signed. He asked me who told me that. I gave the Supervisor's name, which actually was his middle name. The man called the pro se office: "Hi, is this Bob (or Bill, I don't remember which)? Ok, this is Larry Russo. I have a person who says she just spoke with a man in your office named _______. Is there such a person? No? Ok, thank you." He hung up.

Russo then told me he was fed up with my trying to get the subpoena signed, I was stupid and should have my friend hire an attorney. He was not going to show the subpoena to Judge Freed. He was talking so loudly in such an abusive way, that Judge Freed came out of her Chambers for a minute (in her shorts and tee) to see what was going on, then turned around and went back in to her Chambers. She left the door open.

I started to leave the room, now convinced that there was a story here, and just before opening the door to the hallway, I turned around and asked Mr. Russo very nicely: "Do you belong to a Union?"

Russo got quite angry and said, "yes, of course I do... The Court Clerk's Association. What is it to you? You don't even have my name."

I said, very nicely, "Oh, I do have your name, it's Larry Russo. Thanks again."

I left. I went back to the pro se office and asked to speak with Bob/Bill. He came over and I handed him the subpoena. I asked him first, did he just speak with Larry Russo? He said yes. Then I asked, what is wrong with this subpoena?? He said  "well, maybe you could spell out "New York" at the top instead of "NY". So, I changed it. I thanked him, and went back to 80 Centre Street and Judge Freed's courtroom. It was lunchtime (1PM), so the door was locked. I went to the 4th floor law library.I was getting a little nervous the time to move the record was not going to be met (1:30-2:30PM).

rules to move the record

but I needed the signature of Judge Freed.

At 2:15PM I went back to Judge Freed's Courtroom, and it was still empty except for Larry Russo. I said to him: "Please, Mr. Russo, would you please give this to Judge Freed? I just need her signature at the bottom, so that I could move the record for my friend. I went to the pro se office and the judge must sign it."

Russo said, "who did you speak to?"

I said, "Bob/Bill, the man you called."

Russo said, "what is his last name?"

With that, I said, a little bit louder than I had before, "C'mon, Mr. Russo, I need this signed, and now you are being very verbally abusive. Would you please just show the subpoena to the Judge so she can sign it?"

Russo grabbed the subpoena out of my hand, and told me he would be right back, but he was SURE the Judge would not sign it.

A minute later he came back, threw the unsigned subpoena at me and said, "See???? I told you she would not sign it!"

I left. Now what should I do, I thought. I decided to see the CEO of the Court on the 7th floor, if he would see me. I took the elevator to the 6th floor, told the guard my name, and met the CEO again for the second time. He told me this whole episode was ridiculous. I obtained the signature of Judge Heitler, and moved the record. It was approximately 4:30PM when I left 60 Centre Street.

Now I also have two cases of my own in the Supreme Court. The first, INDEX No. 101748/2005, which concerns the concussion I received on February 10, 2004. In that case, as with all of my cases, I am on eTrack, which means that I get emails a week before appearances.

Except, pro se litigants don't get notices until AFTER the date of the appearance, which you now have missed. I went to Judge Freed's office the day before the prior appearance in January, (Mr. Russo was not there!!!) and heard that Freed had been moved to non-City cases. I was told that the Court would let me know the new Judge and the new date.  See the email below. Not only has the schedule been kept from me so that I missed my appearance, but both cases have been given the same Judge, recently: Judge Kathryn Freed!

I plan to argue against the City's Motion To Dismiss, and appeal any ruling of Judge Freed for prejudicial actions and violations of my due process.  Judge Freed, whose office was in the very same building as the NYC DOE 3020-a hearings, 51 Chambers Street, and who now walks to the tune of denying pro se litigants their rights, must be held to a standard of applying the rules of due process and judicial fairness. Stay tuned.

This is how accountability works. The City Attorney on the concussion case has been Attorney Payne Tatich, and now is Kari Heyison from the Bronx where Judge Troy Webber works. She used to be the Surrogate Court Judge interim - while Nora Anderson was on trial for taking money from Attorney Seth Rubenstein - who put me on trial after she told me that if I ever wrote anything about her (Troy Webber) she would never probate my mom's Will (She said this in her Courtroom on April 1, 2009) Within a few days, the story was on my website and I filed a RICO against her on June 8, 2009.
Judge Troy Webber

Judge Webber, angry at me for putting what she did on my website after she locked me in her courtroom and threatened me with never probating my mom's Will on April 1, 2009 if I did write anything, put me on trial without a jury, and then convicted me of abusing my mom, as retaliation. (I had heart failure over this, I never abused my mom).

LinkedIn Page of Payne Tatich

Payne Tatich

NYC Law Department
CurrentNYC Law Department
  1. Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic,
  2. Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP,
  3. Case Western Reserve University
Edit experience
  1. Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Kari Alexandra Heyison, Esq.

Assistant Corporation Counsel-- at Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York
Brooklyn, New York
Law Practice
  1. Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York
  1. Touro Law Center Family Law Clinic,
  2. Jaspan Schlesinger LLP,
  3. United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Edit experience
  1. Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Last Appearance:
Appearance Date: 11/25/2014 --- Information updated
Appearance Time: 
On For: Motion --- Information updated
Appearance Outcome: Oral Argument (80 Centre St) --- Information updated
Justice: FREED, KATHRYN E. (DCM) --- Information updated
Part: IAS MOTION 5 --- Information updated
Comments: 9:30 --- Information updated

Future Appearances:
Appearance Date: 03/12/2015
Appearance Time: 
On For: Supreme Trial
Appearance Outcome: 
Justice: NERVO, FRANK P. (DCM)
Comments: 2PM

Appearance Date: 03/03/2015 --- Information updated
Appearance Time: 
On For: Motion
Appearance Outcome: 
Comments: 9:30

Appearance Date: 01/20/2015 --- Information updated
Appearance Time: 
On For: Motion
Appearance Outcome: Adjourned --- Information updated
Comments: 9:30