I recently had one of the most disturbing experiences I’ve ever had as a lawyer…..I was threatened by a judge who was coming over his desk and glaring and scowling at me in a very intimidating manner. The whole experience was grotesquely disturbing.
So what exactly led to such a conflict? The hearing itself was merely a pre-trial hearing in a foreclosure case. There were two attorneys from the bank present from two separate law firms. Those attorneys and I had worked out a resolution and were going to ask the judge for a continuance of the trial the court had set.
The problem is, when we walked into that judge’s chambers he began with,
“Well, since this is only a simple foreclosure case we won’t need much time to try this.”
To which I replied,
“Well, judge you see this case is not just a “simple” foreclosure case and I will be defending it properly.”
When I expressed that I was going to be doing my job properly, this really set the judge off and at that point in time things really began to get confrontational. As the judge really began to lay into me, one of the opposing attorneys sought to calm things down a bit and interject a bit just to divert the conflict. What he said was,
“You see judge, Mr. Weidner tried this very case with me last year and…(here comes the good part)….it took us four hours…”
The moment the attorney said it took four hours to try a foreclosure case, the judge became even more aggressive and hostile to me…literally coming up out of his chair, huffing and grinding his jaw directly at me a comment to the effect of, how in the world was this guy allowed to waste four hours of court time trying a “simple” foreclosure case? (All the while coming out of his chair and literally looking like he would physically attack me.) But here’s the very best part….you see, my helpful opposing counsel, in response to the judge’s comment about “wasting” court time replied..
“Your honor, Mr. Weidner was very thorough and in fact he won the case…that’s why we’re here trying this case again….”
At that point in time, the judge had enough. He barked out in response in my direction,
“I’m gonna call my bailiff…you’re about to be arrested!”
I was then completely stunned into silence. I was literally afraid that if I said one more word he was going to attack me or have his bailiff throw me into jail. A truly mind blowing experience and so disappointing for me as an attorney. Immediately after the hearing, I put all these facts into an affidavit and filed my Motion to Disqualify the judge who issued his Order of Recusal. Such an Order should be very simple, merely granting the relief, but this Order went one step further and included the words,
“Attorney Weidner can best be described as arrogant, ignorant and insulting to the court.”
Those words, even if true are simply not appropriate in such an Order. At best they represent the opinion of the judge and are necessarily clouded by the nature of the proceedings. But taking each word individually they, “arrogant”, “ignorant”, “insulting”, each are not relevant to the matter before the court…strung together they confirm the only legally operative issue before the court…..the proposition that a litigant has a reasonable basis to believe the court is not neutral in its consideration of the litigants that appear before it.
As the travesty of the judicial system known as foreclosure funding winds down, this experience will forever be seared into my brain as the perfect expression of the system gone wrong.
Please hint who it was.
Your knowledge and commitment to the foreclosure foley
Thanks for your work!
Don’t stop Matt! Imagine how we Pro Se’s feel when… for instance at the beginning of a hearing the judge says… “Defendant, do you have an opening statement? And if it’s something you’re just reading off a paper then I don’t even want to hear it”… that one happened to me. Or when you’ve done everything right, proved Plaintiff could not ever have had any standing and get the verdict and you’re ruled against… that’s another really common one. These judge’s really do seem to think they have a fifedom and that we’re just all ignorant piss ants. We need more like you to go into the courts and educate… or shall I say enlighten the judiciary as to the truth in this situation. Thanks for all that you do do! We fight the largest and best technologically equipped opponent in the world. Isn’t it amazing they have to rely on old reprobate judges so self absorbed that they believe only they can possibly hold the answers. It may be only my opinion, but from what Ihave witnessed inthe last 7 years… our Judicial System has no Justice in it. Only just enough to maintain a veneer of it.
When the court begins to use adjectives it is likely objectivity is absent.
Matt, I am truly sorry to hear that you’ve had to endure such a clearly unprovoked assault by that Judge. It does not, however, surprise me as I have been directly privy to examples of judicial discrimination and unveiled attacks against a number of foreclosure defense attorneys in Florida to the effect that if those attorneys were to continue to press their clients’ allegations of fraud that they could be severely disciplined by the Court and may even lose their license (as if a Circuit Judge can lawfully threaten an attorney with a sanction which can only be applied by the Florida Bar and the Supreme Court). My only question to you, without providing too much revealing information, is, was this an elected, appointed or Senior Judge?
The judge should be removed from office and disbarred. No question.
This grieves me more than you can know. As a pro per litigant, I had never imagined the kind of corruption I have seen in the court. We are being foreclosed on by a defunct entity using forged documents signed by a convicted felon….and yet here we are in the Appellant Court. I never imagined it would make it this far. I have seen the incredible bias of which you speak, and I wonder what is the court’s investment in the outcome? Isn’t justice the goal here? Rhetorical question, I know, there is no answer.
I am re-sending this because there is some confusion on my end it was properly sent in the first place.
My wife and I have been defending two homes pro se since 2011. We are in Monmouth County, NJ.
In Matawan, Monmouth County, NJ there is a law firm, “Cleary, Alfieri and Jones”. This law firm seems to be in the habit of populating the bench in Monmouth County. It now boasts two judges named “Cleary”; husband and wife, and another named Linda Grasso Jones.
Recently, Phelan, Hallinan, Schmieg and Diamond added a new partner named Jay Jones. I believe his middle initial is “B”.
Mr. Jones made partner in the largest foreclosure mill in the country only 4 years after graduating from Villanova Law School.
I don’t have the resources to discover his relationship to this unholy trinity of judges and I can’t say for sure if there is, in fact, any relationship in the first place, but, the woman, Judge Cleary is an abomination and clearly shares the malevolence toward foreclosure defendants demonstrated in your encounter with the judge described above.
Recently, in court, March 20, 2015, Judge Cleary attacked me because I had placed my arm around my wife to comfort her. We are in the process of collecting the transcript and tape and will attempt to have her recuse herself do to her obvious disregard for common decency.
In the meantime, Thank You, you are a patriot and I admire your steadfast refusal to be abused by such as these.
Sincerely, Michael Keane.
2407 Hamilton Ave., Spring lake Hts., NJ 07762