2007 could be a significant year in the history of New York State jurisprudence. A Federal District Court has ruled that the process of selecting New York State Supreme Court judges is unconstitutional. However, if history is any guide the New York State Legislature, whose job it will be to propose a constitutional amendment, will kick it around, come to no agreement, wait for a Federal mandate, litigate it to death, and spend the next several election cycles pointing fingers at each other. This is how things don’t get done in New York State.

The selection/election(?) of Supreme Court judges in New York State is laughable. The Daily Gotham hit the nail on the head when an 11/7/06 NYS Supreme Court candidates list submitted by Liza Sabater was prefaced with the comment,

“Here's the last list: The infamous list of "who the hell are these people" running for Supreme Court Justice. Yah. We're supposed to entrust our rights and freedoms to people we have no idea if they've even passed the bar.”
Voters are expected to vote for these candidates on the blind in virtually uncontested races.

Over the last several years the process of selecting judges has been microscoped from within. Panels have been appointed, commissions convened and here we are business as usual. The primary qualification of a good portion of our bad judges is party loyalty.

There are unfortunately many, many New Yorkers whose lives have been utterly destroyed by the “stench on the bench”. Kings County has afforded us a peek inside a cesspool of bribes, kickbacks, fraud, extortion, cronyism, incompetence, civil rights violations, racial discrimination, etc. Does any one think this only happens in Brooklyn?

The only recourse is to go right back to the same judicial system to seek redress which is akin to beating one’s head against a wall.

According to Citizens for Judicial Accountability,

“The ineffective self regulation of the Bench and Bar is self evident from the dismissal of, 97% of the complaints against lawyers, 99% of the complaints against state court judges, 100% of the complaints against federal court judges, that less than 2% of the cases are tried and the practice of rubber stamping without explanation over 65% of the appeals.”
The purpose of this site is to be a clearing-house of information. If you believe you are a victim of the courts anywhere in New York State, tell your story. Be as specific as possible. Name the judge(s) involved, as well as the attorneys and even the law clerk. Here’s your chance. It is impossible for the mainstream media to cover every story about junk justice. But here someone is listening. Here we can all compare notes.

Let’s see if a pattern emerges, how often the same names pop up, are there dots to connect, campaign contributions to scrutinize?

Every New York State legislator will be notified of the existence of this site. Hopefully it will save the taxpayers the expense of another convened commission or appointed panel. Yes, a certain portion of posts can be dismissed as rants from disgruntled litigants, but a good portion will be verifiable.

What happened to all the victims of legal abuse in Brooklyn? Were they granted new trials?

Let’s also hear about the fair, wise, and impartial judges. These are the ones we need to keep on the bench.

From time to time this site will feature stories like the two below. Both involve sitting Supreme Court Judges. The first exposes a bully abusing his power to toss a 93-year-old neighbor out of his home. The second features extremely peculiar judicial decisions based of the evidence (or at the very least that which was allowed into evidence) in a child custody case.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Sometime in 2005 the family of 93 year-old Thomas Carroll of Queens decided to rebuild their father’s house, a home he has lived in since 1957. In the words of his daughter Noreen, “he is a vibrant independent man who still wants to and is able to live on his own”. Unfortunately his home did not wear as well as he and required enough work to warrant razing and reconstructing it from scratch.

In August of that year the New York City Department of Buildings approved the building plans. A builder was hired and an application for a demolition permit submitted.

During this time, the family became aware of a letter sent to his Co-op board signed by the wife of Judge James Golia, Supreme Court, District 11, in protest of the building proposal. Judge Golia and his wife own the house immediately adjacent to Mr. Carroll’s house. The judge’s wife also circulated the letter among neighbors looking for support. The Golia’s found no sympathy in distributing the letter since the building plans were reasonable and Mr. Carroll was considered to be a good neighbor.

Both sides met, but no agreement could be reached because it became apparent that the only solution acceptable to Judge Golia was that nothing be built on the lot.
The Co-op board responded to the judge reiterating their permission for Mr. Carroll to proceed.

The following month, the architect notified the family that a hold had been put on their building plans. The Department of Buildings (D.O.B) stonewalled their architect for 5 months. The family appealed directly to the Queens Borough Commissioner of the D.O.B. He was transferred to Brooklyn and never responded.
Next the family contacted Patricia Lancaster, Commissioner of the N.Y.C Department of Buildings in Manhattan. She referred the matter back to the acting Queens Commissioner who after further review lifted the hold.

The demolition permit was filed again and all heating and domestic systems were dismantled and utilities disconnected rendering the house uninhabitable. Next their architect informed them that a new hold was placed on the building plans, this time by the Manhattan D.O.B.

After strong protests the plans were reviewed and the hold released. The demolition permit was issued in May 2006. The old house was torn down and a new foundation established. The following month a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was issued by the courts. Judge Golia’s wife, the plaintiff in this action, named Thomas Carroll, the Co-op, the N.Y.C. D.O.B., the general contractor, the demolition crew and the architect as defendants.

After 16 months of construction delays through actions taken by the judge and his wife, the court removed the TRO and construction commenced. The Golia's have appealed the D.O.B. issuance of the building permit with the Board of Standards and Appeals.

Did we happen to mention that James Golia was Assistant Commissioner of the D.O.B. from 1993 to 1994?

This drama is still playing out and we will keep you updated.


Esther Yang, is an Indonesian immigrant of Chinese descent college educated in New York (B.S., SUNY, 1989). She is a community activist and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to represent New York’s 74 Assembly District in 2006.

Esther lost custody of her daughter as the result of a 2002 divorce. She has also lost her life savings and two real properties in decisions rendered by Judge Joan Lobis, Supreme Court, District 1.

According to a Jan. 16, 2006 article in The World Journal, an ethnic language newspaper serving the Chinese community.

“…she did not drink, did not use drugs, had no prior record and had lawful income, but the judge awarded the custody of her six year old daughter to her unemployed white ex-husband and divided their properties equally. Only for three weekends a month could she see her daughter for three days and had to pay child support in the amount of more than $700.

“Esther must prove that she is living within a 30 minute car ride of her daughter’s school. In contrast, the judge allowed her ex-husband to move anywhere within a 100 miles of New York City.

“Esther, as the president of the PTA of her daughter’s school, said she had been living in Manhattan even before the birth of her daughter and now her ex-husband had moved to Staten Island. To meet the requirement of the 30-minute car ride, she has to spend $75 dollars in taxi fare.

“…her ex had applied to the federal government for welfare subsidies on account of his capacity as a veteran with psychiatric problems and put her and her daughter as dependants. These facts were not admitted by her ex-husband in the divorce lawsuit. Even though she informed the judge of this evidence, the judge would not take them seriously.”

Esther was awarded custody briefly after her ex-husband, in violation of court orders, absconded with their daughter to Ulster County. In a subsequent motion, custody was reverted back to the father while the court “noted its extreme displeasure with the father’s recent unauthorized move”.

Esther’s daughter, now 7 years old, tested in the top 8 percentile in ERB testing. Judge Lobis has granted Esther’s ex-husband the right to make all education decisions. Currently their daughter is attending a Title 1 failing school.

Esther has submitted evidence that her daughter is domiciled in a residence that does not have a certificate of occupancy. Judge Lobis is not concerned.

Last year Esther requested she be allowed to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her daughter. Her request was denied. In a fax to Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis, the presiding judge in all these decisions, attorney Adam Edelstein wrote that the proposed schedule “does not include Chinese New Year because my client has informed me that the mother is not Chinese”. Why are her ex-husband and his attorney allowed to dictate what ethnicity she is? Esther has offered DNA testing as proof. The court continues to ignore her.

Esther has been forced into bankruptcy. She can no longer afford legal representation. She will however, never give up the fight.

Judge Lobis has threatened to incarcerate Esther Yang for nonpayment of child support. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 9, 2007 at 9:30 A.M. The hearing will be in Part 20, Courtroom 345, NYS Supreme Court, 60 Centre St., New York. Anyone who would like to bear witness and/or lend moral support is urged to attend.

This is not the first time Judge Lobis has raised a few eyebrows.
In a May 30, 2004 New York Post article regarding the Casale vs. St Clement child custody battle, Brad Hamilton reported,

“In March, an appeals court ruled that the new judge in the case, Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis, reconsider the custody question. But Lobis refused to take up the custody issue, denied the evaluation request and rejected the recommendation for a child guardian, spurring a motion in which the mother slammed Lobis for "abdicating her role as judge."

In a subsequent article (New York Post, Oct. 2, 2005) on the subject of judicial misconduct, Mr. Hamilton writes,

“…the Commission on Judicial Misconduct which says it's so overworked that it can't investigate many of its cases dismissed 73 percent of its 1,546 complaints. Dozens of complaints were dropped against a handful of Manhattan Supreme Court justices now under investigation by the FBI.

“Complaints in 2004 were dismissed against Gerald Garson, the Brooklyn judge charged with fixing divorces, and against Manhattan Supreme Court justices Marylin Diamond, Shirley Kornreich, Judith Gische, Joan Lobis and John Stackhouse. That group is being probed by the FBI for allegedly favoring companies to which they have financial ties.”

Adam Edelstein represents Esther’s ex-husband, on child custody matters. Adam Edelstein is a member of The Edelsteins, Faegenburg, & Brown law firm. They maintain offices in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. In a subsequent posting we will examine political campaign contributions made by the firm and the firm’s individual members.