2010
01.04

This is a copy of the transcript of Judge DelRicci’s recusal from the case. I have annotated it with comments and questions. Another posting contains a copy of the transcript without the annotations.

RECUSAL ( ANNOTATED )


Recusal
Monday, July 6, 2009
Commencing at 10:00 a.m.

Courtroom G
Montgomery County Courthouse
Norristown, Pennsylvania

Before: the Honorable Thomas M. Del Ricci, Judge

Parties appeared as follows:
Terance Healy, pro se


Healy vs. Healy

THE COURT: The first matter on our docket for today is an announcement of an Order in the matter of Sonya Healy versus Terance Healy. In the divorce file, it is docketed at 07-12477. And the purpose of this proceeding is just to make an announcement of an Order and an explanation for the Order that I feel is appropriately made on the record.

On the record? Judge Del Ricci usually issued court orders in Short List conferences without the benefit of any formal hearing; without any presentation of facts; without any review of evidence; and without any transcript being recorded by a Court Reporter. His determinations were delivered often without even a review of the statements in the petitions or responses.

The transcript will reflect that I have advised the parties that this was going to occur today and I note the presence of Mr. Healy in the audience, as well as young Mr. Healy in the audience as well. Mrs. Healy and her attorneys have obviously chosen not to attend and their attendance was not compulsory.

In a letter dated June 24, 2009, Judge Del Ricci advised the parties that he would be recusing himself from the case on July 6, 2009, adding a period of 2 more weeks where nothing would occur regarding the pending Custody situation.
– The Judge’s Recusal announcement lasted 8 minutes.
– The Custody Modification had been filed on December 26, 2007.
– Custody would become a moot point on August 7, 2009, the minor child’s 18th birthday.

Judge Del Ricci indicates that he recognizes my son. He doesn’t speculate, or ask for confirmation. Colin has not been inside any courtroom for any ‘official’ proceeding. When have they met before?

By way of background, this Court has presided over this case for approximately 18 months. During that period of time, we have addressed a variety of issues including support, support enforcement, custody and civil contempt among others. We have been firm and, most importantly, have attempted to be fair in conducting all of those proceedings. A review of our rulings shows that we have issued rulings in favor and against both parties as the law required in each instance.

The law requires the Court to follow due process which was ignored on several occasions. Judge Del Ricci refused to respond to requests for an explanation of the applicable rule of law for several situations. The specifics are in the Request for Recusal .

As far as scheduling hearings, that was at all times handled by court administration. I do not place matters on my docket. It is important to note that all matters involving this case as with every other case were scheduled in accordance with procedures that were issued and published and adopted by this Court 18 months ago when I took over Judge Dickman’s docket. The only involvement I have with scheduling is to grant or deny continuance requests, and when a matter is placed on the Court’s protracted list over the two-week protracted cycle, I call those cases into court in the order in which they are listed. All other scheduling matters are handled in accordance with those procedures and directed by the Office of Court Administration in the family division.

Judge Del Ricci has issued Orders that direct Court Administration to delay scheduling of subsequent proceedings for periods of weeks or months.
– January 2009, an order was issued as punishment to the Defendant for not delivering discovery documents prior to the Court date even though that date had been scheduled with less than 24 hours notice AND where the Discovery Order failed to indicate a date for delivery.
Judge Del Ricci has ordered Court Administration to cancel procedural meetings scheduled with the Support Enforcement office, FURTHER ordering Court Administration to schedule ANY Support Enforcement matters before him.
– not following the law
– denying the Defendant the standard procedural meeting with Support Enforcement Officers to work out payment issues.
– without review or consideration of the history of the matter
Child Support was immediately appealed (September 2007) and the Appeal date scheduled even before the Support Order was printed. The Support Master was not concerned about the veracity of information provided. There was no concern about getting it right, or the effort which would be required to correct the misinformation, or the exaggerated financial obligation being placed on the Defendant.
– The appeal had been continued repeatedly at the request of the Plaintiff (See Stupid Lawyer Tricks),
– The appeal was cancelled and rescheduled for Judge Del Ricci’s court no less than 6 times between February 2008 and April 2008,
– The meeting evolving into a ‘surprise’ Contempt Hearing (April 2008) occurring one month BEFORE the rescheduled date for the Appeal (May 2008),
– Humiliating the Defendant with immediately sentencing him to 6 months in jail for Contempt,
– Having the Defendant shackled by deputies while announcing his ruling,
– Taken from the courtroom passing his children who were in the hallway,
– Only to find out during the protracted hearing on the Appeal (May 2008), that he had acted on a Temporary Support Order which had never been fully executed by a Judge.
The Court Docket clearly lists and confirms each of these Court Orders and events.

I bring all of this up because of information that I have come across recently that has affected my ability to continue to preside over this case. Let me begin by saying I will probably use the wrong computer terms when describing what I’m about to describe, but that’s not because of any intent on my part, it’s because of a lack of knowledge of the correct terms. Several weeks ago my daughter while surfing the web and utilizing a search engine called Bing, she came across an article, posting or blogs, I don’t know the correct term, written by Mr. Healy.

The Microsoft BING Search engine was newly announced by Microsoft in June 2009. Even in late July 2009, the Defendant’s web site had not yet been included by the search engine and as such could not have appeared in the search engines results. With BING being a new concept/site, Judge Del Ricci could not really utilize his ‘lack of knowledge’ preface to excuse his phrasing. Had Judge Del Ricci indicated using the Google search engine, it could be more broadly interpreted as a generic reference to search engines. At that time, BING could not generally be interpreted as generic reference.

It is reasonable to consider that the family members of a judge, who has been serving on the bench for over 11 years, would have been instructed to never discuss the judge’s active cases with him as it could create a conflict?
A judge who realizes he is reading about one of his cases, in a newspaper or online, would stop reading upon the realization he was reading ex parte information which could create a bias and require him to recuse himself?
Judge DelRicci was aware of the existence of the Defendant’s web site as some of the site’s contents had already been the subject of a petition filed by the Plaintiff in April 2008.

Internet blogging provides anyone the opportunity of creating an identity. How does the judge know the article or posting which has ‘affected his ability to preside over this case’ was written by Mr. Healy? The judge is making his decision based on a document which he BELIEVES to have been written by Mr. Healy without any authentication that his information is correct.

Now I am not adverse to criticism. Needless to say, these blogs were hardly flattering, but I am not adverse to criticism; it is part of the job. I have what I consider to be somewhat broad shoulders and, if I did not, I could not continue ion this position because being a judge requires you to make difficult decisions and you are not going to make the parties that appear in front of you happy at all times. So one must expect to be reasonably criticized and perhaps even somewhat unfairly criticized. But when the materials that I reviewed on that day went beyond the scope of any fair criticism of this individual judge or of the Court, the words imply that the Court was guilty of wrongful conduct. It was an indictment that struck at the very integrity of the Court and our system of justice. These words were not merely opinion, clearly Mr. Healy and any person is entitled to hold, express and publish their opinions. That is a right that has been guaranteed since shortly after the founding of this country and we do not take exception to that. But when opinions are interlaced with statements purported to be facts that are not only untrue, but indeed, libelous, we go beyond that which can be supported under any First Amendment right.

The Defendant maintains that the information he presents on his web site is factual and can be corroborated by court documents and many other collateral references.

The judge is failing to provide any specific information which would permit authentication. There can only be two reasons for this.
(1) He knows his information cannot be authenticated to the Defendant
(2) He knows that questioning a specific item would provide the opportunity to respond/confirm.

The judge fails to identify the article which has so unreasonably criticized him to the point where he needs to recuse himself.
The judge fails to provide any information which authenticates the author of the document to which he is referring.

Perhaps trying to shame, further humiliate, distract, or possibly just antagonize, the Defendant’s son filed a complaint of libel and defamation seeking $ 8000.00 in compensation with the Magisterial District Court (February 2009).
Judge David A. Keightly ruled on the matter (April 2009) entering a judgment in favor of the Defendant, and additionally against the Plaintiff for fees in the amount of $ 0.00. The Defendant did not file a counter suit seeking to financially hurt his misdirected son.

During that hearing, Judge Keightly expressed doubt that Judge Del Ricci would hear the custody case… and he was correct.

Now having been confronted with this situation, I took pause to determine how to approach it.

THREE MONTH DELAY IN SCHEDULING: After the March 6, 2009 hearing, another custody contempt issue was added to the growing list of custody petitions.
Court Administration failed to schedule the custody matter on the protracted hearing list until on June 3, 2009, it was scheduled for July 13, 2009. Why did it take 3 months to get listed on Judge Del Ricci’s protracted schedule?

I took no immediate action to avoid acting irrationally or with any specter of emotion. I took the time to discuss the matter with a fellow jurist whose opinions I hold in high respect. I have also discussed the matter with the administrative judge of the family court division. I was not unmindful and specifically addressed the sensitive scheduling issues that relate to this case in particular due to prior continuance requests by Mr. Healy that were granted by this Court.

There has only ever been one continuance requested by Mr. Healy.

After placed at #2 on the list for protracted hearings for February 23, 2009, Robert Angst requested his personal schedule be accommodated.
The Defendant’s mother, an essential witness to the financial issues and many of the custody issues was scheduled for emergency surgery for Wednesday of that week.
The court accommodated Robert Angst’s schedule, pushing the date back by one day and in the process creating the conflict for the Defendant’s witness.
The Defendant had no option but to request a continuance of his now 15 month old custody case, which was granted.
AND THEN
Consolidated with the custody case, Robert Angst was unwilling to continue the Plaintiff’s contempt case and wished to proceed and presented arguments for proceeding.
Judge Del Ricci explained to the Plaintiff that the Defendant‘s primary witness was actually at that moment having emergency surgery and was unavailable for the custody hearing, for which he had granted a continuance only moments before.
The witness was equally unavailable for the contempt hearing.
Robert Angst persisted in refusing to continue the contempt hearing.
Appalled by the uncompromising and unreasonable behavior of the Plaintiff, Judge Del Ricci continued the contempt hearing.

And the delay that was part of a complaint that was addressed in the postings. I also consulted with private counsel regarding my rights to seek civil redress against the publisher, as well as to discuss my obligations as a jurist. All of this discussion and thought process led me to a single conclusion that was concurred with by all of those with whom I had consulted. It is a course of proceeding that I undertake reluctantly, not because it is incorrect course of proceeding, but because it goes against my nature not to avoid that which is unpleasant or difficult and to put aside any personal feelings or opinions that I may hold and to judge a case fairly based upon the evidence and the merits of the position advanced by each party. It is what I have attempted to do as a judge since I have been honored with this office over the past 11 years.

I am recusing myself from presiding over further proceedings in this case. Though I believe I can be fair, the fact that consideration has been given to taking action together with all of the other circumstances raises at least a specter of a lack of impartiality. Any appearance of impropriety or potential unfairness must be avoided because that can only harm the Court and I will not be party to that.

Appearance of impropriety or potential unfairness? See the Petition Requesting Recusal

As stated previously, I discussed this matter with the administrative judge of the family court division of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. She has been made aware of this Court’s concern regarding the timing of this hearing. I did not specifically direct and I do not specifically direct any scheduling date. Again, to do so would be getting involved in something that I am recusing myself from getting involved with. Accordingly, I leave that decision up to the Office of Court Administration which is their province.

I am directing therefore that an Order be issued at this point recusing myself from further proceedings and directing that the court administration reassign this matter to another judge in the family division. That Order will be docketed today.

Thank You
(at 10:08 a.m., proceedings were concluded.)

After the case was re-assigned, Judge Bertin responded to an issue raised by the Defendant indicating that the Defendant had wanted Judge Del Ricci to recuse himself.
BUT, how could the Judge Del Ricci have known that?
Judge Del Ricci did not recuse himself in response to the Defendant’s UNFILED Request for Recusal.

ILLEGALLY INSTALLED COMPUTER SURVEILLANCE SOFTWARE???
A person using illegally installed computer surveillance could have provided the judge with the document which about to be filed.

The Defendant edited the Request for Recusal of Judge Del Ricci for over a month. At one time, the document was in excess of 100 pages with notes and citations.
On June 24, 2009, all that remained was proofreading and printing.
On June 25, 2009, inexplicably, the document would not print even after several hours of troubleshooting both the computer and printer.
On June 26, 2009, I received the letter indicating Judge Del Ricci had decided to recuse himself, and would do so on July 6, 2009.
There was no longer any need to file the completed document.

Judge Del Ricci recusing himself effectively prevents you from filing the Request for Recusal detailing inappropriate actions which would potentially embarrass the judge and the court.

Judge Del Ricci announcing his recusal intent further delayed the custody hearing for another 2 weeks until he would officially recuse himself.

Judge Del Ricci indicates YOU caused him to have to recuse himself, but fails to specify what YOU did to cause this action. This prevents you from being able to refute the judge‘s statement. You cannot prove it as fact, or deny it as false.

Judge Del Ricci‘s recusal includes intimidating threats of filing his own lawsuit against you.
A lawsuit would have to be considerably more specific requiring him to prove the information is untrue and requiring authentication of the author… that might reveal the actions of another person
Angst & Angst weren’t there for the recusal, they were busy filing an EMERGENCY petition which was a reworked version of that 60+ page misleading petition that successfully delayed the custody hearing for 2 years.
– Will anyone else notice that they either withdrew each count, or deferred the issue until Equitable Distribution, so they can double their return on the chaos, and won’t be sworn in.
– The Equitable Distribution Master’s head is going to be spinning when served up some of that Angst & Angst chaos. The lies are very effective in that environment.

CAN I REQUEST THOSE IMAGINARY NON-EXISTENT DOCUMENTS NOT PROVIDED AS PART OF DISCOVERY CAUSING YOU TO APPEAR TO BE IN CONTEMPT FOR NOT PROVIDING NON-EXISTENT DOCUMENTS AND DELAYING A CUSTODY HEARING FOR OVER 2 YEARS
AND THROW IN SOME OF THAT UNSERVED SUBPEONA FOR IMAGINARY PAPERWORK.
They do NOT want the real pension paperwork. It would only serve to highlight how they charged more for legal fees than you will receive over the first 10 years of that pension.
They prefer the imaginary document with the fictional numbers
last time the Support Master accepted their information… that worked so well… they had you thrown in jail before you could correct the figures at the appeal.

It hasn’t been about divorce since Sonya met with Angst & Angst in early January 2007 and picked up that first secret phone at Verizon. The secret phone has information which ties everything and everyone together. She moved out of the house when she thought I had found it.

After the criminal activity began, it was about avoiding detection and prosecution by any means without concern for the impact on the children, the family or the friends who were recruited, or manipulated, into participating in the conspiracy.

Review the docket and the case. I have been indicating, since June 2007, that my computers and phones have been repeatedly hacked and attacked The allegations were clearly documented in a Protection From Abuse order filed on December 26, 2007. I stand by the list of allegations which are as accurate now as they were in 2007.

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