Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg

Jing Kelly Update
Appellate Division, State Supreme Court Finds Family Court Judge Sara P. Schechter, “Erred in
Permitting Intervention by the Child’s Paternal Relatives.”
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department
Justices Joseph P. Sullivan, Milton L. Williams,
Luis A Gonzalez, James M. McGuire Presiding


November 2nd, the Appellate Division, First Department of State Supreme Court, sitting in Manhattan, once again, for the third time in just under a year, found in favor of a motion brought by Jing Kelly to reverse an order of New York County Family Court Judge Sara P. Schechter, this time setting aside the Judge’s order of December 29, 2005 which had granted intervenor status to Tristram Kelly’s paternal uncle Douglas Kelly, and his wife, Corinne. That same appellate tribunal had one year earlier, November 17, 2005, ordered “immediate visitation” to commence between Jing and her then five-year-old son Tristram, who was then, and is now, still being held in virtual False Imprisonment 3,000 miles away in California.

The Appellate Court’s most recent finding was based upon the plain language of the controlling legislation, Section 1035(f) of the Family Court Act that “precludes a child’s relatives from intervening in Article 10 Child Protective Proceedings where the only living parent has appeared in the proceeding and refuses to consent to intervention.”

Analysis:

In granting Jing Kelly’s motion to vacate Judge Schechter’s unlawful discretionary grant of intervenor status to Douglas and Corinne Kelly, the high court did not go nearly far enough. For one thing, it refused Jing’s application “for remittitur to another Family Court Judge,” (a motion to remove the case from Judge Sara P. Schechter’s Court) a move clearly called for given her demonstrated extreme bias against Jing, her utter disregard for the well-being, and very whereabouts of Jing’s son Tristram, not to mention her total disregard for the orders and mandamus, of this very same tribunal, for more than three years running.

All things considered, the Appellate Division’s failure to act more decisively to protect the interests of this mother and child clearly suggests the kind of thinking that keeps bad judges on the bench, because those empowered to do something about them would rather perpetuate their tenure despite all of the injustice and grief they may continue to generate from their courts. This outrageous case is a stunning example of everything that is wrong with the Court System of New York State. Whatever happened to Equal Protection, Due Process, and Fundamental Justice? All of these doctrines have been abandoned in this case.

One can but wonder if Tristram would be separated from his mother, as he has been for four years, if he were the grandson of another Appellate Judge, or, if his mother was of Anglo-Saxon ethnic origin and the relatives determined to keep them apart were Chinese-Americans. We don’t think so! In this case, Justice delayed, severely delayed, has been Justice denied.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Announces Unsealing of Indictments Against 20 Crack Dealers
United States District Courthouse, White Plains
Office of the United States Attorney,
Southern District of New York

Thursday, November 16th, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Garcia, announced the unsealing of seventeen federal indictments charging twenty individuals, operating in the southwest section of the city of Yonkers, with narcotics offenses. Garcia indicated that the indictments grew out of a major joint task force investigation into narcotics trafficking in Westchester, for more than a year. Garcia indicated that all but one of the accused had been apprehended, and in custody.

The investigation involved the FBI, the Yonkers Police Department, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety as well as the White Plains Police Department, the New York State Department of Parole, and the Westchester County Department of Probation, the last three of which were not in attendance. Garcia displayed a chart listing the names of all of those indicted, all in their twenties, as well as the minimum and maximum sentences that may be imposed, under federal sentencing guidelines, upon conviction.

The Westchester Guardian inquired of Supervising Senior Resident FBI Agent David Velazquez, who headed the investigation, if those arrested were, “in fact, essentially ‘street level dealers’ and, if it was anticipated that “they would lead investigators to higher ups.” Velazquez acknowledged that those arrested were relatively minor players, a fact easily discernable from the total cache of crack cocaine seized over a year-long investigation, a total of two pounds. Attorney Garcia was quick to point out that the investigation was, indeed, ongoing, and would likely produce more important dealers.

Analysis:

This press conference was not what it appeared to be. Those who were indicted and arrested could have been apprehended under State criminal statutes and prosecuted in State Court, as is usually the case, without the involvement of federal resources or personnel. The Guardian believes that the federal involvement, and the press conference, were calculated to demonstrate that the Justice Department, and specifically, the United States Attorney and the FBI are interested, and involved in all aspects of criminal activity in Westchester, not merely crimes of Corruption and failed Public Integrity, which everyone knows is the subject of principle concern to Mr. Garcia, and the powers in Washington. Public integrity was, in fact, the concern that prompted him to offer a toll-free telephone number to Westchester residents and business persons to report public corruption.

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