Thursday, July 9, 2020

As Turkish Firm Reneges on Lease on 58 Street SDNY Judge Buchwald Inquires Into Security


By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 – The Turkish firm Koleksiyon Mobilya San A.S. leased the ground floor, second floor and basement of 228 East 58th Street and then declined to replace a Letter of Credit. Litigation ensued.  
On July 9 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald held a proceeding. Inner City Press called in to cover it. Judge Buchwald told Inner City Press, You won't find this one interesting.
 But it was.  
One issue involved the difference between residential leases, where tenants often forego paying the final month since they know they won't get their security deposit back.
 Plaintiff's lawyer told Judge Buchwald this was different, that the Letter of Credit made it more practical for commercial landlords to pursue decamping tenants.  
 I don't practice commercial real estate law, Judge Buchwald said - contrasting to what Chief Judge Colleen McMahon said in other recent case -- but she listened intently to the brief seminar on the letter of credit.
The case is 228E58STR LLC v. Koleksiyon Mobilya San A.S., 19-cv-7795 (Buchwald)
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Alpha UX Enstsson Sued For Talking Bestiality on Slack As SDNY Magistrate Judge Urged


By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 – Michelle Chu, a 43-year old Asian American woman of Chinese descent, went to work in 2015 at Alpha UX, Inc., a New York City-based tech start-up.  She says Alpha's CEO Thor Ernstsson made "sexist, racist, abusive or otherwise offensive comments" to her.
She sued. 
On July 9 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul G. Gardephe held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  
 Chu says that Ernstsson's account image on Slack was a picture of a statue of a naked man.
He abused Chu on Slack, she says, and "Mayowa Fadina, one of Alpha's only African-American employees, was subjected to inappropriate racist comments that were so severe it nearly led to a physical altercation at an Alpha work function."  
Chu says that "Alpha's employees openly 'joke' - on Alpha's oen Slack channels - about one another's six lives, masturbation, rape and having sex with animals." 
 On July 9 Judge Gardephe said they could take all this to Magistrate Judge Netburn, who was handling the Magistrates' Court that day.
The case is Chu v. Alpha UX, Inc., 20-cv-497 (Gardephe)
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On Child Porn SDNY Judge Pauley Reiterates $5000 JTVA Fine For Rosario Urging Butner


By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 –    Carlos Rosario was convicted on child porn charges and sentenced to 20 years and $5000 fine under the Justice for Trafficking Victims Act.
On the latter he appealed, and the Second Circuit remanded the case for further findings.  On July 9 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge William H. Pauley III held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 
 Judge Pauley asked Rosario about his debts and joint accounts with his wife, with TD Bank and others.
Then he imposed the case penalty, while also ruling that Rosario should have access to the Bureau of Prisons' email system and get a placement in Butner rather than his previous prison where an unspecified "incident" took place.
The case is US v. Rosario, 17-cr-306 (Pauley)
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H&H Bagels Settles SDNY Class Action For $17 For Each Week Worked


By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 –    H&H Midtown Bagels East was sued by its employees in 2018 for wage violations.
On July 9 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held a fairness hearing about a settlement. Inner City Press covered it.  
On the line were a number of employees / class members. Some had not heard about the case; they were told to remain on the line and hear from class counsel afterward. John Koeltl caught typos and more in the proposed settlement.
 It seems that workers will be getting some $17 dollars for each week they worked for the company.
The case is Salazar v. P.V. Bakery, Inc. et al., 18-cv-4153 (Koeltl)
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In FARC Case in SDNY Before Judge Carter Plaintiffs Zero In On Citibank As Garnishee


By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 – In one of the FARC cases pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in which Samark Jose Lopez Bello is seeking to intervene, back on June 22 Judge J. Paul Oetken held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it, see below.
 On July 9 in a parallel case before Judge Andrew L. Carter, the plaintiffs reported on cash turnovers by UBS, BB&T (now Truist), Raymond James and others to the tune of $51 million. But Citibank has not turned over the funds, and that is the rub. The case is Stansell et al v. Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia (FARC).
   On June 22 before Judge Oetken, surprisingly, Citibank which appeared in a parallel case before SDNY Judge Andrew L. Carter, was not present.
These despite a June 5 filing that the case would be addressing issues "regarding whether the Citibank assets are 'subject to TRIA attachment and execution.'"
  Judge Oetken called this a "metaphysical" issue, a word then repeatedly used by counsel.
 On June 26, after 5 pm, this was filed to Judge Oetken: " Re: Pescatore, et al. v. Palmera Pineda, et al., No. 1:18-mc-00545-JPO Dear Judge Oetken: On June 22, 2020, this Court held a telephonic conference with the Pescatore Plaintiffs and Intervenors Samark Jose Lopez Bello and Yakima Trading Corporation (“Intervenors”). During the call, the Plaintiffs notified the Court that they wished to seek an extension of time to complete the execution and turnover proceedings related to their judgment against the FARC terrorist organization and its agents and instrumentalities. See 18 U.S.C. § 2333(e). Accordingly, Plaintiffs hereby move for this time extension pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a) and N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 5234(c), which is detailed below, and respectfully request that this extension be ordered on or before July 3rd to preserve Plaintiffs’ priority under New York law. Plaintiffs seek an extension under N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 5234(c), which states: (c) Priority of other judgment creditors. Where personal property or debt has been ordered delivered, transferred or paid, or a receiver thereof has been appointed by order, or a receivership has been extended thereto by order, and the order is filed before the property or debt is levied upon, the rights of the judgment creditor who secured the order are superior to those of the judgment creditor entitled to the proceeds of the levy. Where two or more such orders affecting the same interest in personal property or debt are filed, the proceeds of the property or debt shall be applied in the order of filing. Where delivery, transfer, or payment to the judgment creditor, a receiver, or a sheriff or other officer is not completed within sixty days after an order is filed, the judgment creditor who secured the order is divested of priority, unless otherwise specified in the order or in an extension order filed within the sixty days. (emphasis added).
This extension is necessary because Plaintiffs will be unable to complete their execution within the 60 day time period. The Intervenors seek to raise several legal issues that are likely to delay the resolution of any execution and turnover proceedings. In addition, Plaintiffs recently obtained discovery concerning the nature of the Intervenors’ assets, and Plaintiffs have agreed to share this information with the Intervenors. Therefore, to ensure the Plaintiffs maintain their priority and rights, if any, to the assets of the Intervenors in relation to any other judgment creditors, Plaintiffs believe it is vital to obtain a time extension pursuant to § 5234(c) so that this Court can fully resolve the legal rights of the Plaintiffs and Intervenors. As such, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the time requirement in § 5234(c) to complete execution be tolled until this Court rules otherwise. Plaintiffs have not previously requested any extensions of time, and the Intervenors do not oppose this motion and reserve their rights to assert all available defenses."
The Judge Carter case has a conference in July.
This case is PESCATORE et al, 18-mc-545 (Oetken).
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In SDNY Donziger Wants To Know Cost of Prosecution But Not CJA Issue UNanswered


By Matthew Russell Lee, Scoop Patreonthread
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 – Steven Donziger, who had a June 2020 trial date postponed amid the Coronavirus pandemic, was wrongly accused of being close in Ecuador with Rafael Correa and thus a flight risk, it has emerged.
   Donziger's lawyer Andrew J. Frisch challenged Prosecutor Rita Glavin and her firm Seward & Kissel LLP for alleged conflict of interest, claims shot down on January 6. But Frisch didn't raise, and perhaps has no standing to raise, another conflict of interest, for prosecuting for the US while also representing defendants being prosecuted by the US Attorney's Office.
 Now on July 9, Donziger's lawyer Richard H. Friedman has asked SDNY Judge Preska for disclosure of how much is being paid for the private prosecution of his client. He cites US v. Suarez, a Second Circuit decision find a qualified public right of access to CJA forms and says, "that right should be even stronger in the present context." Watch this site.
   Inner City Press politely in writing asked for a response on this last year; no answer. It has been advised by other criminal defense attorney's that the issue should be raised to the Federal Defenders, given their role. But should that be necessary? We'll have more on this.
  On December 4 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Loretta A. Preska proposed four trial dates and the parties chose, for now, June 2020. Glavin, who has yet to answer written Press questions about simultaneous services as Special Prosecutor and CJA defense attorney (we still remain hopeful, and open to publishing any explanation), again argued that the Speedy Trial Act does not apply to this proceeding. Time was excluded nevertheless.
 On September 13 in another off shoot of l'affaire Donzinger, SDNY Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger a discovery hearing was held. The lawyer for Chevron described in great detail the so-called "Donzinger protocol" to search for responsive records. She then said there were still bugs to the protocol, such as a search for Amazon as in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest turning up documents about what she called the "mail order company" Amazon. Somewhere Jeff Bezos was wincing. Or not.
  Still unexplained is how a lawyer can at once prosecute a case for the United States and represent indigent criminal defendants against it. We hope to have more on this - we did ask.
  On August 12 Donzinger's then new lawyer Andrew J. Frisch appeared before SDNY Judge Loretta Parker and informed her that while follow lawyer Martin Garbus, staying at Truro near Provincetown in Massachusetts, is willing to co-sign Donziger's bond, it is possible he will not travel to the courthouse in Boston, much less New York, in the time frame specified.
 Frisch offered to find another co-signer. Judge Preska gave him until the close of business on Wednesday, August 14. This is a unique hybrid of a case, both criminal and civil; Judge Preska for the record excluded time under the Speedy Trial Act.   Representing the United States in the proceeding was lawyer Rita J. Glavin, who also serves as an appointed criminal defense attorney on the SDNY's Criminal Justice Act panel, which to some might seem a conflict, into which Inner City Press has respectfully inquired. And is still waiting. The case is US v. Donziger, 19-cr-561 (Preska).

Inner City Press will continue to cover this and other SDNY and 2nd Circuit cases - watch this site, and there is more on Patreon, here.

In SDNY Mag Court Oxy Nurse Freed While 2 Bronx Defendants Detained Without Bail


By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 8 – At 3:41 pm on July 8, the US Attorney's Office for the SDNY announced that "Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York... announced today the unsealing of a criminal Complaint in Manhattan federal court charging PURIFICACION CRISTOBAL, a nurse practitioner who operated a medical clinic in the Bronx, New York, with illegally distributing large quantities of oxycodone.  CRISTOBAL was taken into custody this morning and is expected to be presented before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn later today."  
  Inner City Press, which covers the SDNY, immediately called in to the CourtCall line since the Magistrates Court has been closed for months. But the case that was on was not on Cristobal / Oxy.
  First it was a Mr. Watson, no press release by SDNY, who wanted to be released on bond. Denied.  
   Then it was Mr. Scott, "in the courthouse," also detained.  
   Finally past 6:30 pm on the same line, oxy nurse Cristobal was presented. A bail package had been agreed to, and her relative was outside the courthouse to drive her home.   It may be the difference between violent crime and non violent crime.
   But why would the SDNY US Attorney, under fire in the US v. Nejad and US v. Ahuha and Shor cases, put out a press release about a defendant they were agreeing to free, while not putting out anything on two other defendants they managed to detain?
   Inner City Press will have more on this. Watch this site. This case is US v. Cristobal, 20-mj-6995 (Netburn)
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