Imperial Women To Meet With State Rep Bill Patmon For Legislation For Case Assignments To Judges By Random Draw, Foreclosures

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 05:44.
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From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

The Imperial Women will meet with State Rep. Bill Patmon (D-10) at 6 pm on Mon. March 28 at the Lil Africa Village at 68th St. and Superior in E. Cleveland. The restaurant is owned and operated by community activist Michael Nelson and is behind "The Kitchen Cafe".
 
A Cleveland Democrat, Patmon will entertain a request that he consider proposing legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives sought by the grassroots organization as to judicial reform and an amendment to Ohio foreclosure law as to the appraisals of foreclosed homes set for sheriff sales.

The group seeks a state law that requires that all municipal and common pleas judges in Ohio are assigned and reassigned to civil and criminal cases by random draw, which means that they will be selected randomly by lot rather than the handpicked process sometimes used to manipulate outcomes in cases to the detriment of the community, the Black community in particular.

Currently courts throughout Ohio differ on the process but most get away with handpicking judges such as Cleveland Municipal Court where some judges are selected by random draw and others, such as Judge Lynn McLaughlin Murray, are sometimes handpicked for cases such as those that involve police, community activists and the enemies of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. She then violates the law and other authorities and harasses innocent defendants subject to malicious prosecutions by Cleveland Law Director Robert Triozzi in exchange for endorsements for her judgeship by Jackson and others, activists say.

And in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, where felonies and other matters are heard, Cuyahoga Presiding and Administrative Judge Nancy Fuerst routinely handpicks judges when her colleagues are removed from cases for one reason or another, or voluntarily withdraw. This allows her to assign judges deemed hard on crime and hard on Black people like Cuyahoga Judges Tim McGinty and Daniel Gaul to cases where she wants to manipulate defendants into taking plea deals that they ordinarily would reject. She also assigns judges like McGinty that violate statutory law to jail Black men and that illegally dismiss meritorious civil cases, often triggering costly appeals.

"I look forward to meeting with the group," said Patmon, a former Cleveland City councilman and unsuccessful candidate for mayor in 2009 against Jackson, who is in his second year of a second four-year term. "Justice should be blind."

Also at issue is a request by the activists for a state law requiring that attorneys that represent Ohio trial court judges in lawsuits and other proceedings brought by defendants and others such as affidavits of prejudice and petitions for writs of prohibition come from an independent venue. They are precently represented by county prosecutors of the common pleas court and law directors that prosecute cases in municipal courts.

"Prosecutors and law directors like Triozzi should not be representing the judges that they bring criminal charges before because the judges then become their clients and are influenced by them as to sentencing and other measures," said Kathy Wray Coleman, a leader of the Imperial Women. "It is unfair, if not unconstitutional."

Other legislation sought by the group is for homeowners subject to foreclosures in Ohio to have the opportunity to submit certified appraisals to the court when their homes come up for sheriff sales where currently Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid is illegally allowing appraisers to reduce home values as much as 60 percent. Consequently,  mortgage companies, banks, judges and other politicians can buy them at a reduced price and then stick the former homeowners with the bill.

Currently state law limits appraisers to those selected by the sheriff, some of whom worked under former Sheriff Gerald McFaul, are corrupt, and were hired to issue illegal appraisals with the approval of certain corrupt judges and foreclosure magistrates in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Coleman said that Reid is also violating state law by failing to do interior inspections for the appraisals.

"Homeowners subject to foreclosure can file a motion with the court to vacate the illegal appraisals that lack interior inspections and can seek an order for a  reappraisal by the judge in the case to minimize the fallout from the sale," she said. "And if you buy a foreclosed home and there was no interior appraisal you can move the court to vacate the sale before confirmation if the value of the home is less than the appraised value."

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Why not random selection?

Kathy, do they give any reason for assigning judges, rather than using a random draw?

I was always under the impression that Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Municipal used random draw, but you have shown otherwise. Although you have shown one reason why they might do that, I'm wondering what their justification is?

 

ps - if you don't know, you might want to find out before you meet with Rep. Patmon, so you can defend your position.

 

good luck - please let us know!

Their are various reasons

Their are various reasons for reassignment. But the issue is the need for random draw upon such. And the main reason reassignments are handpicked is corruption. We believe that due process protections are infringed upon when judges are arbitrarily assigned and reassigned to cases.----Kathy Wray Coleman--In Cleveland Municipal Court judges are sometimes assigned personally, and that too is typically due to case fixing, research reveals. A state law precluding it is necessary.

I concur: it's pay to play in Cleveland Muni Court with Judges

...and all about "who you know!" Handpicked=unacceptable social injustice.

Thanks for highlighting the truth of the underground legal industry in NEO! Hopefully the feds will keep digging until all these players get caught! Let them learn what their abusive practices have done to our community at large! 

Keep up the great work! 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

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Foreclosure Appraisals & Mr. Bill Patmon

While I support this meeting wholeheartedly, it's a sad fact that a great deal of the "original appraisals" that were done upon purchasing the homes were simply illegally inflated by both bank/mortgage appraisers and a county administration that was allowing a free for all to be passed on to unsuspecting buyers because it inflated the county tax base.

Ultimately, the "END SHERIFF SALE APPRAISALS" need addressed as well and I salute your efforts. Yet, these "deflated appraisals" are probably some of the most realistic in a very long time. (I do agree that homeowners in foreclosure could allow for the interior and get better appraisals though...that's a great option.)

Many of those areas where they are being deflated have had most of their "CDBG" funding redirected to "OTHER PROJECTS & DEVELOPMENT" towards "MASTER PLANS" which have "steered public participation" to degrees that entire neighborhoods have NO CLUE that their future is full of demolitions, deprivation of CDBG funding allocations, and plans for highways, parks, and bike paths.

(See the City of Cleveland Planning Commission and Cuyahoga County Planning Commission websites & get familiar with the maps, allocations, and plans ("THE BIG PICTURE" aka "MASTER PLANS"). 

Most of the people are used as Demographic quotas to get funding then neglected thereafter. It's a sad situation on both the east & west side of town. The people don't get to participate, have been violated by political steering of information, and the people are left holding the bag... (36 years of Community Development).

Best Wishes with Mr. Bill Patmon. He has always appeared to be a very sincere person. I met him last year on the campaign trail. He also is great at working between the people and the politicians. I will pray that you all do well in this meeting.

 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

The deflated appraisals are

The deflated appraisals are illegal and designed to assist mortage companies and corrupt politicians in getsting houses at a cheaper price and one that is illegal..  And if the house typically sales in the community for $200,000 and then they foreclose and  appraise it at $60,000, the homeowner is hurt. Nothing about the process is legal and independent homeowners should be able to submit certified appraisals to deal with the corrupt appraaisals  left  behind by the guilty plea of former Cuyahoga Sheriff Gerald McFaul, a disgrace---Kathy Wray Coleman--The lawfirm of Bricker and Eckler is representing some of the mortagage companies and the foreclose and then buy the houses back at a deflated price per illegall appraisals and then hand the bill to the former homeowner.  And Bricker and Eckler is under under contract by the county to to assess potential malfesance by county employees when some of their attorneys are corrupt to the bone.--I spoke with a person in the office of Sheriff Bob Reid and he agredd that some of the activity is illllegal, And County Prosecutor Bill Masons office told a concerened person to file a criminal complaint as to  alleged fradulent appraisals. --County corruption, is widespread even if house values were unflated by the county recorder.

Let's think about home

Let's think about home values. 

I write this because you have heart..........and you have brains.  It's human to have heart, and dishonest to not use our brains in pursuit of our hearts' sense.  Use both.

An old lady landlord of mine was trying to sell a small apartment building.  She was in a hurry to sell--"I'm so old, that when I go to the store, I don't buy no green bananas.", she said.  I thought she should hold out for better offers because I thought the building was worth more.  She answered "Something's worth what someone will give you for it.".  She was quite a woman.

Now the love of my life and I go house shopping.  A home is priced and we make an offer.  Our thinking is that we can resell and recover our investment down the line when we're ready.  With luck, we might even make some money.  As in most business, it comes down to "Buy low.  Sell higher."  Maybe part of the "sell higher" is that we're going to put added value through some sweat equity into the place--do some remodeling and fixing.  Still, if we pay too much for those things, it's going to be hard to recoup it later.  Again--don't overpay. 

Here's where appraisals matter a lot.  Realtors look for the prices that similarly situated homes have been getting and try to price a home accordingly.  Buyers and sellers do the same.  You find the perfect place.  You have your down payment--I hope.  You go to a bank and apply for the loan.  If approved, the bank cuts a check to the sellers and they're on their way.  They hand you the keys and leave with memories. 

Now, you and the bank are partners of a sort.  Without them, you're still paying rent or living with Aunt Mimi and those six cats--including the one with no tail, one eye, and three legs called "Lucky".  As to this little arrangement with your friendly banker, the bank has to roll the dice.  You see, say they've cut that $60,000 check to the sellers of that great place on the West Side.  Their chief protection is the purchase money security interest--the mortgage-that the buyer gave to them.  To make it less risky for them they require deposits on homes so that they aren't financing 100% of the purchase.  In my youth, 10% was standard.  The first time I purchased the bank made me cough up a money hairball to the tune of 20%!!  Ack! Ack!  I can still feel the bolus.  Do you know how hard it is to get me to fork over hard-earned beer money?

The standards on down payments have gotten real low, I hear.  But, apparently, it enables people to become owners more easily.  It took quite awhile to save up that deposit, I remember.  What I also remember is that it committed me to taking care of my property because I had sank some large cash up front into the place.  It also meant that I had to be convinced that I was getting a fair price on the house.  This reassured the bank, too.  They only forked over 80% over the purchase price.  Still, they wanted an appraisal to be fairly accurate, so that, if need be, a resale of the home upon foreclosure would bring in enough to cover their ass--ets. 

So, the upshot was--both me and my friendly West Side banker had a shared interest in not paying too much for the house.  We both wanted an accurate appraisal.

Is an appraisal a guarantee?  Of course not.  Yes, real estate generally trends up.  And location is so important.  But there are exceptions to general rules--those exceptions usually "prove" the rule, general though it may be.  Across the nation, a few basic underlying factors contributed to an unprecedented buying binge.  Of course, sharpies saw their opportunities.  Nothing new there, or necessarily, illegal.  And, please note--not all "sharp" practices SHOULD be illegal. 

The binge went on as long as we could keep pumping air into those prices.  Public tax coffers got nice and fat.  Public budgets got fat, too.  How long could it go on?  Well, how long can speculative bubbles last?  Ponzi schemes eventually run out of new marks....er......buyers, I mean.

So, now we all question low appraisals.  There is a solution---if you think your appraisal is a lowball---find a buyer yourself.  An appraisal takes a crack at assessing the near-term market.  It's imperfect.

This brings me back to that landlady.  How I hated when she was right.    She did not like to be taken advantage of.  Who does?  But, she really was a businesswoman, and, lady.  She took her lumps on occasion.  It's the rare business person who doesn't, if she or he is honest. 

With honest reflection, we can learn.  Mistakes happen.  Move on.  Losing a home is likely a hard experience for many.  Especially if it happened because a stream of income that was the basis of paying monthly mortgage payments was interrupted through no fault of a borrower, as in the case of long-term health emergencies. 

Let's all think and look at our own roles in these issues before we point fingers and make vague, sweeping statements about officials or professions.  That's a disservice to them and you.  We can do better.

God Bless You and Yours

I Concur, Kathy about Corruption in Foreclosures in Cleveland

Kathy, you are sharing an excellent perspective. It's nice to hear someone else cite specific details of corruption county wide. Several of us have pointed out various issues going on around our county...

I hope more and more people like you exploit the dirty rotten truth of our little corrupt town until the players are all brought out to the light and everyone gets social justice at large.

The entire system is built to keep the legal system in big business suits and keep the little people from fighting for their rights. Most lawyers don't want the truth to be heard because it'd put Cleveland's legal industry under scrutiny. (AND IT NEEDS SOME HUGE SCRUTINY!) 

"IT'S ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW IN THIS TOWN!"

Great work, Kathy! Keep it coming... thanks for sharing, caring, and inspiring others to fight social injustices at large! God Bless! 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"