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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

September 28, 2020

Bronx Rapper Detained As Fugitive Doing Sh*t Lyrics Read Out In SDNY Magistrates Court

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - ESPN - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 25 – A 20-year old Bronx rapper on the run from Federal law enforcement since April has been captured after posting to Facebook from a newly bought cell phone.

 On September 25 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn held a detention proceeding. Inner City Press exclusively covered it. 

Assistant US Attorney Adam Hobson recounted how Count Cooks was named in a multi-defendant drug conspiracy indictment in April, and on the run since then. He made a point of quoting Cooks' lyrics from a recent song: "I'm a fugitive, but I'm still doin' sh*t."  More on Patreon here.

 Cooks' assigned Criminal Justice Act lawyer from Kramer Levin, who had just consented to the detention of other assigned clients named Hill and Martinez, made an application for bail.

He said later in the case there could be consideration of the evidentiary weight of rap lyrics, a topic Inner City Press has written and been quoted on (here on the SDNY trial with Tekashi69 in The New Yorker).

  But in this case, Judge Netburn concluded that there were not set of condition that could assure the safety of the community.

 Cooks was detained, and there is no listed court appearance until November. In the indictment he is a/k/a CJay. Inner City Press will stay on this and other cases in the SDNY.

September 21, 2020

Annie Doe Questioning George Floyd Protests Got Suspension From Bronx's College of Mount Saint Vincent But Still There

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - ESPN - Doe Podcast

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 17 – Annie Doe - not her real name - while a student at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale in the North Bronx posted on Instagram criticism of protests to the alleged murder of George Floyd. 

She wrote, "Just because one black guy dies doesn't mean the entire world should act like untamed apes."   More on Patreon, here.

 She was charged with harassment, and issued a two year suspension and a referral to a homeless shelter.

She sued - and "has not left the premises." 

 On September 17 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni held a lengthy proceeding. Inner City Press covered it - and ended up live tweeting, here.

 Annie Doe's lawyer conceded it is not a First Amendment case, since College of Mount Saint Vincent is a private school. But he attacked the disciplinary process Annie Doe was put through.  

 His complaint noted Annie Doe's support of Trump and MAGA, and the negative reactions these drew from other CMSV students. He sued for sex discrimination, retaliation and most intriguingly, breach of contract.  The College of Mount Saint Vincent lawyer said "the optics are bad," parents who pay tuition are asking why Annie Doe is still on campus. Her "electronic card access to the front door has been canceled" - but she has not left.

 Judge Caproni, past 5 pm, asked about dog whistles. Inner City Press, three hours into the hearing, began live tweeting.  

At 6 pm, Judge Caproni denied Annie Doe's requested injunction. She told the CMSV lawyer he has until October 2 to oppose - presumably, to make a motion to dismiss.

She offered the services of SDNY Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron, if both parties want it. There is a related case - Inner City Press will continue to follow and report on this, watch this site. More on Patreon, here.

***

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September 14, 2020


Avenatti Threatens to Appeal To Seal Info in Stormy Case As Inner City Press Bronx Contrast

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Song Radio
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 10 – When after three days of jury selection the trial of Michael Avenatti for allegedly extorting Nike began on January 29, Assistant US Attorney Robert Sobelman told the selected jurors that Avenatti was supposed to look out for the interests of his client, but he did not - he had a weapon, social media.  More on 1st day on Patreon here.

 On August 7 in the Stormy Daniels case, Avenatti had motions heard by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.

 On August 27, Inner City Press filed a formal request that documents in the case not be sealed, full filing on Patreon here.

  On August 28 Judge Furman entered an order: "The Court received the attached communication from Matthew Lee of Inner City Press “seeking leave to be heard and for the unsealing of the CJA Form 23, affidavit, and all associated documents” relating to this litigation. To the extent that Mr. Lee (who is admitted to the bar of the Southern District of New York) seeks leave to be heard, his application is GRANTED. The Court reserves judgment on the question of whether Defendant’s CJA Form 23 and related documents should be unsealed. SO ORDERED. Dated: August 28, 2020 New York, New York JESSE M. FURMAN." Docket No. 85, on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud, here.

  On September 2 Federal Defenders, rather than attempt to explain why they routinely divulge and put in the public record the financial information of less high profile and lower income clients, stating in Magistrates Court exactly how much their clients make and where they and even their spouses work, has written in this: "The defense acknowledges that the Court granted Matthew Lee, a representative of “Inner City Press,” leave to be heard on this matter. The defense requests leave to respond to Mr. Lee one week from the timely filing of any substantive brief or letter. For now, it bears emphasizing that the Court’s measures requiring the Federal Defenders to keep an accurate record of the hours spent on Mr. Avenatti’s defense, and also requiring Mr. Avenatti to regularly update the Court on his finances, are sufficient to protect the public fisc and to ensure that funds for court-appointed counsel are being properly spent. Further, “neither the First Amendment nor the common law provides a right of access to financial documents submitted with an initial application to demonstrate a defendant’s eligibility for CJA assistance.” In re Boston Herald, Inc., 321 F.3d 174, 191 (1st Cir. 2003). And “even if there were a common law presumption of access, then it would be outweighed here … by [Avenatti’s] countervailing privacy interests” and rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Id."  Full letter on Patreon here. It is UNacceptable -- the public's and press' right of access is not limited to the public fisc, it is based on the FIRST Amendment. 

  Hearing nothing more, but continuing to closely cover all things SDNY, on September 8 Inner City Press filed again: "Re: US v. Avenatti, 19-cr-374 (JMF) - Further on the need to unseal CJA Form 23 and associated documents including affidavit 

Dear Judge Furman:     Pursuant to this Court's August 28, 2020 Order granting leave to be heard, and in response to Federal Defenders' September 2 (footnote) response), this is a further argument for the unsealing of the CJA Form 23, affidavit and all associated documents in US v. Avenatti, 19-cr-374 (JMF).   

  Before citing case law, Inner City Press which closely covers SDNY criminal proceedings notes that just today, before SDNY Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses, the financial situation of defendant Jonathan Smith was fully disclosed on the record.

To obtain CJA counsel it was disclosed that Mr. Smith of The Bronx received $471 a week in unemployment, and pays $150 to $200 a month in child support of each of his three children, and $65 a month for cell phone service. See, US v. Smith, 20-cr-317 (Swain / Moses).    

We again ask, why should lower income and less high profile defendants in the SDNY have their financial information so disclosed while Avenatti's information is sealed in its entirety? 

  Avenatti in his other SDNY case, in which he was convicted by a jury, has requested another adjournment of sentencing, to December.   

 On September 10, Federal Defenders responded, saying that the disclosure of the Bronxite and Massachusetts drug defendants' information is somehow different than for Avenatti, who is apparently in their view due great privacy and protection. Then they threaten to appeal if Judge Furman rules for transparency: "RE: United States v. Michael Avenatti 19 Cr. 374 (JMF) Dear Judge Furman: We write to briefly respond to the letter submitted on behalf of Inner City Press by Matthew R. Lee requesting the unsealing of Michael Avenatti’s CJA 23 Form and accompanying affidavit. See Dkt. No. 90. Neither the public nor the media have a presumptive right to access the financial documents of a defendant who seeks court-appointed counsel under the Sixth Amendment. In re Boston Herald, Inc., 321 F.3d 174, 191 (1st Cir. 2003) (“[N]either the First Amendment nor the common law provides a right of access to financial documents submitted with an initial application to demonstrate a defendant’s eligibility for CJA assistance.”). And as discussed more thoroughly in Mr. Avenatti’s previous letters, any such common law or First Amendment interest is trumped by the real and appreciable risk of self-incrimination Mr. Avenatti faces should his sworn statements about his financial condition be made available to the government or publicly.1  1 As set forth in Mr. Avenatti’s reply to the government’s response in opposition to keeping his sworn financial statements sealed, the court in the Central District of California presiding over a different case against him has sealed Mr. Avenatti’s application for court-appointed counsel under Ninth Circuit precedent and local rules. Accordingly, Mr. Avenatti respectfully requests that the Court stay any order to unseal those same documents in this case so that he may pursue appropriate appellate relief."

We'll have more on this, once the situation becomes clearer - it is not clear if Inner City Press is permitted to surreply to this. It should not be necessary. The courts should be transparent, and defendants should be treated equally.

And later the US Attorney's Office said, " in light of the presumption of openness in criminal proceedings and the approach favored by the Second Circuit, the defendant has failed to provide a legally sufficient basis for wholesale and indefinite sealing of the CJA 23 Form and supporting affidavit." Full letter on Patreon here. Now we await Avenatti's / his Federal Defenders' reply. Watch this site.

This case is US v. Avenatti, 19-cr-374 (Furman).

Bronx Car Crash Case In SDNY Seeks Delay For New Lawyer But Called Not Rocket Science

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 9 –   Solomon Appiah was in his car in front of 1180 Webster Avenue in The Bronx on March 22, 2018 when his car was hit by a truck with New Jersey plates, owned by World Import of Livingston Avenue, LLC. Appiah sued. 

 He filed suit in state court, in The Bronx. But the NJ-based defendant removed it to Federal court. On September 9 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge James L. Cott held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

 One of the lawyer said that he would not long remain as counsel of record. Judge Cott pointed out that this could result in a new lawyer disagreeing with the schedule to be set that day.

He also said that 90 days to amend the complaint in this case was too long. "This is not rocket science," he said.  

 Only last week, Judge Cott was handling criminal case after criminal case in the Magistrates Court. But the (federal / diversity) law covers car crashes, too.

This case is Appiah v. Espinal et al., 20-cv-4575 (Cott)

September 7, 2020

In SDNY Hedge Funder Kamensky Bailed For $250000 While Bronxite Remanded to MCC With Claustrophobia

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 3 –    At 1:22 pm on September 3 SDNY prosecutors announced

"that DANIEL KAMENSKY, the founder and manager of New York-based hedge fund Marble Ridge Capital (“Marble Ridge”), was charged in a Complaint in Manhattan federal court with securities fraud, wire fraud, extortion, and obstruction of justice.  KAMENSKY’s alleged criminal acts occurred  in connection with his scheme to pressure a rival bidder to abandon its higher bid for assets in connection with Neiman Marcus’s bankruptcy proceedings so that Marble Ridge could obtain those assets for a lower price.  KAMENSKY then attempted to persuade the rival bidder to cover up the scheme.  KAMENSKY was arrested today and is expected to be presented before Magistrate Judge James L. Cott this afternoon."

    Inner City Press live tweeted the presentment, about two hours later, below. The prosecutors agreed that Kamensky could be released the same day on $250,000 bond.   

But while Inner City Press and at least three others waited from the time of presentment until 7 pm for Kamensky to come out of the SDNY courthouse, covering both the Pearl Street and Worth Street doors, he apparently did not appear.

Meanwhile in the same Magistrates Court, a man charged with shooting a gun in The Bronx, and with claustrophobia, was ordered detained.

 Inner City Press could not live tweet that one, being in a collective stake out - but will write a story later despite the prosecutors not publicizing the case and the docket number not being give. Here's from the Kamensky's proceeding:

AUSA: Surrender all travel documents, restricted to SDNY, EDNY, NDNY and South Florida with pre-approval. No contact with witnesses outside of Marble Ridge except in presence of counsel, and with those inside, nothing about this case

AUSA: Kamensky to be released today, with co-signers to be interviewed by Sept 10. $250,000 bond (half of that required yesterday for UN rapist Elkorany).

 Judge Cott: Preliminary hearing?

 Retained counsel: Waive to 30th day.

The case is US v. Kamensky, 20-mj-9381 (Cott).

August 31, 2020

As Avenatti Seeks To Seal Info in SDNY Stormy Case Inner City Press Gets Leave To Be Heard

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Song Radio
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 29 – When after three days of jury selection the trial of Michael Avenatti for allegedly extorting Nike began on January 29, Assistant US Attorney Robert Sobelman told the selected jurors that Avenatti was supposed to look out for the interests of his client, but he did not - he had a weapon, social media.  More on 1st day on Patreon here.

 On August 7 in the Stormy Daniels case, Avenatti had motions heard by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.

 On August 27, Inner City Press filed a formal request that documents in the case not be sealed, full filing on Patreon here: "Only this month in SDNY Magistrates Court the content of CJA Form 23s have been read out in the public record, including for the appointment of Federal Defenders. See, e.g., US v. Castro, et al., 20-mj-8994 (Freeman) & here.

 Those and other defendants whose CJA Form 23 and financial information have been disclosed including in Magistrates Court this month had the same arguments as made by Federal Defenders in their August 21, 2020 letter, that the information might be used against them. And yet the other defendants' information was disclosed.

  Here, the sealing(s) and withholding of the CJA Form 23 and affidavit in their entirety go beyond those requested even in the CIA trial before Judge Crotty, US v. Schulte, 17 Cr. 548.    

 In that case, Inner City Press vindicated the public's right to know, in the docket, see here and here.  Inner City Press recently got even more sensitive filings unsealed in a North Korea sanctions case before Judge Castel, US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15 (PKC), Docket No. 33 (LETTER by EMAIL as to Virgil Griffith addressed to Judge P. Kevin Castel from Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press, dated 5/18/2020, re: Press Access to documents in US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15), 40 (order to unseal) and 41 unsealed filings). See also Inner City Press' May 9, 2020, filing to this Court for openness in US v. Randall, 19-cr-131,  No. 343.  

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that reporting by the news media allows members of the public to monitor the criminal justice system without attending proceedings in person. Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v Virginia, 448 U.S. at 572-73  (1980). By attending and reporting on court proceedings, members of the press "function[] as surrogates for the public." Id. at 573.   Inner City Press has covered the case(s) against Mr. Avenatti for some time, see e.g., May 13, 2020, ESPN Louisville Sports Live, "On this episode of LSL, the guys speak with court reporter, Matthew Russell Lee about the lack of fallout from the evidence exposed about Nike in the Michael Avenatti trial," for example on radio here.

    Inner City Press and I are submitting this a day early in part because we are unsure if the US Attorney's Office will be pushing for openness to the public. In another pending case, US v. Edwards, 19-cr-64 (GHW), the Office had initially said that documents submitted by the defendant (described as the leaker of Paul Manafort's Suspicious Activity Reports) should be put in the public docket. Then, while Inner City Press is pursuing that, the US Attorney's Office has stopped pushing. So, just to preview, we may seek leave to sur-reply depending on what not only the defendants / Federal Defenders but also the US Attorney's Office have to say.   

 Respectfully submitted, /s/ Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press."

  On August 28 Judge Furman entered an order: "The Court received the attached communication from Matthew Lee of Inner City Press “seeking leave to be heard and for the unsealing of the CJA Form 23, affidavit, and all associated documents” relating to this litigation. To the extent that Mr. Lee (who is admitted to the bar of the Southern District of New York) seeks leave to be heard, his application is GRANTED. The Court reserves judgment on the question of whether Defendant’s CJA Form 23 and related documents should be unsealed. SO ORDERED. Dated: August 28, 2020 New York, New York JESSE M. FURMAN." Docket No. 85, on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud, here.

And later the US Attorney's Office said, " in light of the presumption of openness in criminal proceedings and the approach favored by the Second Circuit, the defendant has failed to provide a legally sufficient basis for wholesale and indefinite sealing of the CJA 23 Form and supporting affidavit." Full letter on Patreon here. Now we await Avenatti's / his Federal Defenders' reply. Watch this site.

This case is US v. Avenatti, 19-cr-374 (Furman).

Two Men Charged With Mailing Coke to Bronx With One Detained As Other Released on Bond

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 26 – Abraham Cano and Welynton Garcia de la Cruz are charged with conspiracy to send dozens of kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico into the United States, including to an address on White Plains Road in The Bronx.  

On August 25 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman held back to back presentments of the two co-defendants. Inner City Press covered it.   

Both had retained counsel. Cano's lawyer said he consented to detention without prejudice to a later application for release. Mr Cano was let off the call.  

Then his co-defendants was offered a bail package by the US Attorney's Office: $50,000 bond co-signed by two financial responsible persons and electronic monitoring.    

Assistant US Attorney Benjamin Schrier explained the insistence on GPS, mentioning up to 60 kilos of cocaine.

He did not say if his Office would have offered the same conditions of release to Cano and if not, why not.

The case is US v. Garcia de la Cruz et al., 20-mj-9068 (Freeman).

August 24, 2020

Police Union Preliminary Injunction to Block Complaint Release Denied But Stayed To Mon 2 PM

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 21 – Police, Fire and other unions sued to block the release of complaints against their members now the New York Civil Rights Act Section 50-a has been repealed.

The case was removed to Federal court by the City. On July 28 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla held a proceeding. Inner City Press live tweeted some of it, below.

 On August 21 Judge Failla convened the parties and amici and read her decision. Inner City Press tweeted only a part of it. She denied the preliminary injunction with one small exception, and stayed her decision until Monday at 2 pm. Just after she adjourned, someone of the call said, "Take that, b*tches."  Here's a bit more (the Order will go online) --

Judge Failla says, at the outset, with certain very limited exceptions for information covered by collective bargaining agreements, I am denying the plaintiffs' [the police unions'] motion for a preliminary injunctions. 

Judge Failla: ....on the specific issue of doxxing, plaintiffs have not shown examples of doxxing with this data. I have not found irreparable harm.

Judge Failla: Things that can be expunged, under the CBAs, are different. On these, I think it has to be arbitrated. "Schedule A Command Violations heard in trial room.. that could be subject to a request for expungment."

As Judge Failla continues reading her decision, someone's Hold music surges on. She pauses until it is turned off.

Judge Failla is staying her decision until Monday at 2 pm to allow the possibility of appeal to the 2d Circuit.

 After Judge Failla adjourns, but before call is over, someone on the call says, "Take that, b*tches."

Proceeding begins with accusation that CCRB "conspired" with the NYCLU because the City knew a TRO was coming - and responded to its FOIL request very quickly. [Judge Failla is calling it "NY-CLUE;" she quotes the old saw about horseshoes and hand grenades]

The question on the FOIL response is whether CCRB was acting "in concert" with NYCLU.

Judge Failla: But there was no court order yet. Answer: They got info on an expedited basis, for the City to evade its legal obligation to keep this information confidential.

CCRB responded to 71 FOIL request - all in a matter of days, Judge Failla is told. 

Anthony Coles of DLA Piper: The City and NYCLU were working in concert to reveal information protected by collective bargaining and the Constitution.

Currently stayed: publication of these CCRB records. If and when they are released, will be text searchable. 

Since July 15 - since the TRO? - NYCLU has received a "dictionary" from the CCRB

Judge Failla: I've learned from no less than Judge Hand that I cannot enjoin the world at large. But I can enjoin a party acting in concert, here, with NYC. I can't reach back in time. Were they acting in concert to violate an existing court order? Not at the time

 Judge Failla: This lawsuit could have been filed on July 12 and we'd be focusing on prior restraint. I am modifying my order to remove the injunctive relief I imposed on NYCLU - I am staying it for 24 hours, if Mr Coles goes to 2d Circuit

August 17, 2020

Minter Charged With Gun in Bronx Says Indictment Not Seen Detained Until Nov 4

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 14 – Dave Minter was arrested for shooting and having a gun in The Bronx, as a felon. On August 14 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held his arraignment. Inner City Press covered it. 

  Minter said he hadn't seen the indictment. His lawyer quickly said they had discussed it and that Minter was understandably frustrated.

  The AUSA said they have video, from ShotSpotter and the apartment building lobby.

 He said that a gun found with Minter had only one bullet in its six chambers "confirmed" he had shot the five shots.

 The complaint has photos of Minter in an Under Armour sweatshirt, and on lobby video. 

  Judge Koeltl set the matter down for November 4.

The case is US v. Minter, 20-cr-389 (Koeltl)

August 10, 2020

After OD Deaths in The Bronx 2 Defendants Were Not Produced March 9 Now Oct Motions

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 4 -- Back on March 14, 2019 a couple was found dead of a drug overdose in an apartment on Lafayette Avenue in The Bronx. The next day the New York City authorities attributed the deaths to cocaine and fentanyl.

   An investigation ensued, included described controlled drug buys leading to a February 3, 2020 complaint against four people including Bobby Ramos and Tyrone Howard.

  These two, after arrest, was scheduled for arraignment on March 9 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni. But, "[d]ue to an error by the Government's clerk's office, Mr. Howard and Mr. Ramos were not ordered produced for the scheduled arraignment." Assistant US Attorney Juliana N. Murray wrote to Judge Caproni to request a new date on March 11. 

 Inner City Press, already in 40 Foley Square to cover a sex trafficking trial before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, ran to cover the arraignment. Judge Caproni moves fast.

But even at 3:05 pm she was naming April 30 for the next conference, at which she said she aims to name a trial date. A defense lawyer said he'd write to the court about discovery - including the extraction of seized smart phones - on April 28.

  Now on August 4, moving fast again, Judge Caproni has ordered that all pre-trial motions are due on or before October 15 and replies by November 19. Time has been excluded.

The case is US v. Burgos, et al., 20-cr-189 (Caproni).

August 3, 2020

As Bronx Man Pleads Guilty To Gun Charge Tale of Park Avenue Shooting Causes Pause

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 31 – Timothy Mitchell came to plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl on July 31. Inner City Press covered it.

  The change of plea proceeding was moving along according to the ritual until Judge Koeltl asked AUSA Andrew Chan what evidence he would have presented at trial.

Chan said there is video of Mitchell shooting a gun on Park Avenue in The Bronx. The court reporter asked, Park Avenue?

  Mitchell asked to speak. He was advised, strongly, to speak with his lawyer.

Ultimately the plea got back on track. Mitchell was only pleading guilty to having a gun, not shooting it. But that got into the transcript.

The case is US v. Mitchell, 19-cr-843 (Koeltl)

July 27, 2020

Bronx Center Sued For No Sign Language But Even Pre Settlement Scheduling Secret

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 21 – The Plaza Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at 100 West Kingbridge Road in The Bronx has been sued for failure to provide American Sign Language interpreters.

On July 21, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 Despite high minded public interest language in the Complaint, when Judge Wang proposed the next step being a "pre-settlement conference" scheduling conference from which the public and press would be excluded, plaintiff's counsel said that would be fine. 

To be fair, while Magistrate Judge Wang urge the parties to consent to assigning her the case for "all purposes," she noted that she is paid the same regardless.  

This dubiously confidential pre-settlement conference scheduling conference was set for Thursday, October 1, at 3:30 pm.

It's one thing for actual settlement conference before Magistrate Judges to be closed to the public and press. But "pre-settlement conference scheduling conferences"? 

This case is Nieves v. The Plaza Rehabilitation & Nursing Center et al., 20-cv-1191 (Gardephe / Wang)

July 20, 2020

Bronx Man Facing Death Penalty For Murder Mulls Switching Lawyers in SDNY<