4/29/2013 – I lost faith in the US Justice system when I was denied due process and the denial was affirmed right up through the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. I changed from this page to one with a black sky. But, as time passes and I see how many people visit this page, I’ve reconsidered. For one thing, I wouldn’t still be in my home if I hadn’t acted as a pro se party to protect myself from foreclosure. That’s big. You see, my garden is deeply important to me. Fighting to keep my garden is worth the huge, ongoing effort that it takes.It may help you, as it does me, to know that Wells Fargo, who filed a foreclosure action on my home, violated certain state laws when it denied my loan modification. Although I accepted a payment from the Foreclosure Review Settlement it did not curtail my right to file a separate cause of action under state law.The cause of action is clearly explained in Wigod v. Wells Fargo, a case in which Wells Fargo was held to account by a federal appeals court. So, while I didn’t win my case involving violation of the automatic stay and deprivation of due process, I still have a lot to thank myself for, for acting pro se. That is, I lost a big battle but I’m still in my home and the war is not over.
9/25/10 – When I lived in London I belonged to a babysitting club in which a member of almost every couple was a doctor, lawyer, architect, theatre critic, or journalist. I was an unwed mother living with the quintessential English boffin, and yes, when he said he was a boffin I said he shouldn’t call himself that, mistaking the word for baffoon despite the fact I’d met him when he was here in a US Think Tank thinking for our military.During a three year span, half of those couples split up, and in almost every case the wife and mother of the children had a car accident on the day she received her final divorce decree. Was that because she was devastated that what she had trusted hadn’t lasted?I decided never to marry when I was in high school, so the closest I’ve come to feeling that legally devastated is when the New Mexico state courts allowed Deutsche Bank National Trust’s lawyer, Richard Leverick, to lie (in the case the 10th Circuit just decided in his and Deutsche Bank’s favor, allowing violation of the automatic stay).For me the state supreme court decision was the dissolution of something I had believed in and counted on, and loved.I don’t know why the New Mexico Supreme Court allowed Leverick’s lies. Possibly it was because they didn’t listen to the CD recordings the court made of his statements during the critical hearing.For me, the NM Supreme Court’s behavior affected me with that deep cut-to-the-bone feeling one experiences when a spouse is caught cheating.But there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t sue for divorce from the state courts.Then the other day I decided to file a Petition for Rehearing and attach the pertinent pages of the transcript (which I now have of the CD recording) and the documents which show Leverick’s statements to be lies.And, low and behold, I feel better. (ultimately I lost, however)
"It is now the settled doctrine of this Court that the Due Process Clause embodies a system of rights based on moral principles so deeply imbedded in the traditions and feelings of our people as to be deemed fundamental to a civilized society as conceived by our whole history. Due Process is that which comports with the deepest notions of what is fair and right and just.” Solesbee v. Balkcom, 339 U.S. 9, 16 (1950)“Due process is violated if a practice or rule ”offends some principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscienceof our people as to be ranked as fundamental.” Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105 (1934).
5/22/08 — I am renewed today in my belief in the American justice system, based upon the Constitution that reaches back to the Magna Carta signed centuries ago in England.I had been at a loss how to object to the appeals court’s Opinion of May 14, 2008, saying that it affirmed the district court because I had not appealed in time and therefore it would not hear my issues.How could I be expected to appeal before I had any notice of the things to be appealed? The catch-22 of it was all but overwhelming. Luckily I remembered Lawrence Cohen, now a QC (Queen’s Counsel) in London.
I remembered him taking me to lunch at Lincoln’s Inn and sitting us next to the lead barrister in to Slater-Walker and Charles Raw’s book of that title, which I had typed for Charles and the managing editor of the Sunday Times, John Barry. At lunchtime the hall was bustling with barristers. It was a great experience.
Lincoln’s Inn counts among it’s members, Sir Thomas More, who was later elevated to sainthood, John Donne, Oliver Cromwell, later Lord Protector in the time of the republic lived above the gatehouse, William Penn the founder of Pennsylvania, Daniel O’Connell, David Garrick and John Galsworthy. The Prime Ministers Horace Walpole, William Pitt the younger, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Canning, Spencer Perceval, Melbourne, Addington and Asquith. Dickens worked as a clerk in New Square, and Old Hall served as the Court of Chancery, in which the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce from the book Bleak House was heard.I am so stoked to think I was lucky enough to have lunch where these great men had all eaten as well as talked andthought.After that I went to the Royal Courtsof Justice a time or two more, one ofthose times Lord Denning lookeddirectly at me when I entered, andsmiled. I guessed he recognized me bymy recurrent visits, plus, I am tall.On the other hand, perhaps hisexpression was a constant near smileas in this image of him.I should put an image hereof the Royal Courts of Justice,to give you an idea of howthey looked then, andpresumably look today. I foundthem beautiful and impressive.This image is how they lookedwhen I stood at the bus stopnearly across the street. It isnot a photo that I took butrather one I found on the web.It is amazing to me that my interest in justice then may reflect what was to come to pass in my life now, so many years later.It is justice and good men which protect us, and, due process.
The lawyer was in our babysitting club. His wife had babysat for my son, as I had for his children. He was a partner in a Temple firm. I forget exactly how it works, but there are four or so different geographical areas of lawyers in London; each is called an "Inn" as I remember it. One such Inn is Lincoln, another is Temple. I forget the others.When there was a hearing my babysitting-club-friend-lawyer sent a junior barrister. (Lawyers in England are either solicitors, who do paper-work type law, or barristers, who appear in court with wigs and gowns, unless they’ve now changed it.)The junior lawyer arrived to court late, without any books. Usually lawyers brought books. He borrowed John’s lawyer’s rule book when he was unclear on the question being decided. (I was chagrined.)Sometime after that, the actual lawyer I’d hired called and said there was a settlement offer that was good and he strongly recommended that I take it. So, I did.I went to his office, taking my three year old son with me, to sign the papers. After signing, I asked about the check. He said, oh… no… there wasn’t a check for me, after paying his bill there wasn’t any money left.This is a man whose kids I’d taken care of, whose house I and my son had been to for high tea with his wife and kids. He knew I had little money and needed to take care of my son.I went to the law library in London, and I talked to someone about what the lawyer had done. The person said yes, it was shocking, but that I wouldn’t be able to find a lawyer to sue him because lawyers don’t sue other lawyers. That was in 1976.A similar thing happened here in Santa Fe shortly after I returned from England, but here I got some relief because the lawyer represented the hospital when I was contesting what I owed them in my Chapter 11, 1997-2001; I objected saying their lawyer had money of mine in his trust account that he owed me and he therefore had a conflict of interest. He/they failed to make a proper showing, and I didn’t have to pay the amount.Another time, there was an extremely important hearing in the state court, having to do with my condo in the Chapter 11, and I hired a lawyer so that it would be done properly. But in court he was so extemporaneous and not on target that the judge actually said, "I don’t know if you’ve read this case, but I have." I had paid that lawyer several thousand dollars, but I didn’t pay him for that appearance; I didn’t complain to the bar, but I didn’t hire him again, either.On the other hand, when I lived in London I took silversmithing classes and in one of them I dropped a small gold bead and was having trouble finding it when a bearded young man came over and offered to help. He turned out to be a barrister, and he helped me a lot by telling me what the pivotal part of the law was, and how to address it. He, Lawrence Cohen, of Lincoln Inn, used to win very many of his cases and was often quoted in the Times newspaper for having made a point that changed the law. He always carried a huge bag of books of case law. He used to say that he had his wig regularly cared for so that it always looked new, because it emphasized how young he was, and that was a benefit to him.With his help I won a cooker case, because I knew what to say. I won another cooker later because of my confidence from the first time, and because I instinctively said the truth in the right way for it to carry weight.
Before you go to court pro se, say a Prayer, because going to court is scary — even if you are not pro se!The better you deal with your fear, the better your chances. And, Never Underestimate Inspiration!or MIRACLES!!!!!That said, I believe that several decisions have gone against me because I was pro se, not because of the law or the facts of the case.Case in point, the 10th Circuit spoke of me being "hampered" in my "pro se litigation," as opposed to having a cause of action for lack of accommodation of my disability.What is chilling about this, is that the case the defendants relied upon had been overturned and I had said so in my pleading.Further, the federal district court, where I was attempting to sue the state district court for refusing to accommodate my disability, had listed my cases as if the existence of more than one case by a pro se party was cause to dismiss.Echoing this, in a concern-making way, is the fact that the pro bono lawyer contacted for me by a lawyers for the elderly program here in New Mexico, said that he would not take my case because I did not have money to pay an expert witness, and because I had so many cases.He said that no jury would decide in favor of someone with so many cases, who had not been able to find a lawyer to take them.I replied that I thought an average jury would understand why someone would file cases without a lawyer, given the cost of lawyers.(5/9/09 — Ah, I see the lawyer I am opposing now has based his pleadings on this page, i.e. that since I have more than one pro se case my case against him and his clients for violation of the automatic stay should be dismissed.)