January 28, 2016
Cullen & Associates, P.C. 2 Rector Street, Ste. 903
New York, NY 10006
Re: CPW Towers, Inc. v. Maddox, L&T Index No. 86146
(Civ. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2014)
Dear Mr. Cullen:
I have always believed that a courtroom should also be a classroom for the public to have free access to learning the law but I have had to pay a “dear price” for harboring this belief. RPAPL § 745 requires a public trial in any summary, holdover proceeding. This also means the securing of trial transcripts to prevent judicial erasures.
Unfortunately, it is common knowledge, among oath-takers, that it is too risky to demand a public trial with the public in attendance. I have had to witness physical attacks on attorneys, spectators and witnesses. Some judges have openly denied access, by the public, to courtrooms because of race.
When I objected, in Pagones v. Maddox et. al, Index No. 4595 (Sup. Ct. Dutchess Co. 1988), for example, I was unsuccessfully cited for contempt of court. The trial judge had lacked personal knowledge of the facts. This has “chilled” the right, of the public, by attorneys, to demand a public trial.
This letter seeks to balance the interest of the landlord against the interests of the public. Tenants herein and neighbors are the only persons who will suffer under this arrangement because landlord herein has benefited from suppression of information due to tenants’ concern for goodwill. This balancing test is not perfect but it favors the landlord.
Although Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) was outlawed by Gayle v. Browder, 352 U.S. 903 (1956), the badges of Plessy still haunt descendants of enslaved Africans despite the best efforts of Prof. Charles Hamilton Houston and Prof. James M. Nabrit, Jr. Both men taught at Howard University Law School. They laid the legal groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement.
Plessy continues to survive and thrive in the United States because of the dictum of Justice Henry B. Brown of the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy:
We consider the underlying fallacy of plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because of the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.
Gov. Mario Cuomo adopted Justice Brown’s reasoning when he was faced with a conclusion, by a blue-ribbon commission in 1991, that New York’s judicial system was “infested with racism.” Stated differently, Gov. Cuomo, in effect, told blacks: Don’t believe your lying eyes. No black “selected” official raised an objection to this supposed hallucination.
Aided and abetted by the Thirteenth Amendment, the legal maxim, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” has become the major contributor to the prison-industrial complex. On the other hand, blacks honestly but mistakenly believe that “freedom is free.” Thus, they should be invitees in courthouses.
The above-referenced summary proceeding is fueled by Plessy. Both sides have attorneys. The landlord’s attorney presumably has a “clean disciplinary record” and has never been convicted of a crime. He is in good stead with the bar and he is able to enjoy all of the privileges of an attorney. The landlord’s attorney is white.
On the other hand, tenant herein is also a duly-admitted attorney to practice law in New York but with none of the privileges of an attorney in the above-referenced summary, holdover proceeding. He is a descendant of enslaved Africans with an unearned, bad reputation arising out of slavery and through no fault of his own. This means that he is a “criminal” although no client or pubic official has ever filed a disciplinary complaint against him for criminal conduct or for any betrayal of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
The public record fails to show any criminal conviction by the undersigned. There has been no successful criminal contempt citation against the tenant herein who practiced law in New York until 1990. On the other hand, many white felons are allowed to practice law in New York. White immigrants are also allowed to practice law in New York.
Disciplinary complaints were filed by public officials against the undersigned including Steven Pagones, an assistant district attorney in Dutchess County. A petit jury in a defamation trial in Dutchess County in 1998, found that Pagones was an “attacker” of Tawana Brawley in 1987. My accusation that Pagones had raped her was found to be true by a jury. Nonetheless, New York would employ Pagones to practice law as an assistant attorney general amid and after the defamation trial.
Moreover, my disputed allegation with the state’s attorney general over the manner of death of P.O. Harry Crist, Jr. was also true. For nine years, New York had denied me the right of discovery under CPLR §3102. At trial, starting in November 1997, the examining pathologist testified that I was correct to say that the manner of death of P.O. Crist was not a suicide. NYS Attorney General Robert Abrams had lied to the public. He still refused to correct his untoward action. Therefore, I am also the victim of state-sponsored defamation.
This exculpatory testimony had no effect on the five year suspension. I had been suspended from the practice of law before the examining pathologist had disclosed the truth. In Pagones v. Maddox et. al, the late Justice S. Barrett Hickman instructed the jury: “Truth is not a defense to defamation.” This should be an erroneous instruction today, after Gayle v. Browder, but it was permissible during slavery.
The Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department sought to combine its Order dated August 1, 1994 with employing Penal Law § 175.25 to demonstrate that I did not have a clean disciplinary record. This is inconsistent with the public record. Nothing has changed in the United States for more than one hundred years. Blacks still lack rights.
Most blacks in New York reside in the Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department which sanctions slave instructions. No black homeowner can protect his home and property against a lynch mob. See People v. John White. Judicial gerrymandering has had the effect if not the intent of victimizing most blacks in New York.
Both the Manhattan Appeals Court and the Brooklyn Appeals Court dishonor the teachings of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.: “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I was originally admitted to the Appellate Division: First Judicial Department. This is original jurisdiction but this intermediate appellate court has closed its eyes to Matter of Maddox in the Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department.
The Brooklyn Appeals Court had acquired co-ordinate jurisdiction after I had exercised the right to travel. Like under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, I can be penalized in New York for exercising the right to travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn, which gives deference to slavery, in order to provide pro bono services to descendants of enslaved Africans.
The Appellate Division: First Judicial Department can take judicial notice of the fact that I was disciplined by a bill of pains and penalties in violation of Article 1, section 10, clause l of the United States Constitution. A similar legal provision, to guarantee protection against arbitrary actions, should exist in New York. The Brooklyn Appeals Court ignored Article 1, Section 10, clause 1 of the United States Constitution. Therefore, it has lost personal and subject-matter jurisdiction over the undersigned.
My questionable suspension from the practice of law was only for five years. This excessive and shocking penalty, which has now been for more than a quarter of a century, was aided by the office of New York State Attorney General in Maddox v. Prudenti et. al. Index No. 5444 (U.S.D.C., E.D.N.Y. 2004) in making a false statement therein. Defendants misrepresented, in federal court, that I had been disbarred in New York. New York is now turning this “lie” into a reality.
The Appellate Division: First Judicial Department must remedy these injustices and, unconditionally and immediately, order the undersigned’s reinstatement to the practice of law. Otherwise, New York will sanction the “separate but equal” doctrine under Plessy. This would also favor the landlord in the above-mentioned summary proceeding.
This is especially disturbing since C. Vernon Mason was also admitted to the Appellate Division: First Judicial Department. New York filed a similar complaint against Mason regarding Tawana Brawley. The Appellate Division: First Judicial Department disbarred him for different reasons. This is an unequal result based on the same disciplinary complaint.
To be sure, this is also a test case under Plessy but I maintain that an attorney may not benefit from racism in prosecuting a petition in a summary proceeding against a tenant illegally barred from the practice of law in New York. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, landlord’s attorney has an obligation to withdraw from this summary proceeding. This is a conflict-of-interest and it is a violation of legal ethics.
In the prior, summary proceeding, the Manhattan Housing Court judge allowed for an abatement of rent for unsafe and uninhabitable conditions in the subject premises but failed to order the landlord to correct them. Those conditions still remain in the subject apartment. The present, summary proceeding is a retaliatory proceeding for exercising statutory rights. At the very least, judicial racism is a contributing factor.
Landlord had received actual notice of these above-mentioned conditions for years. No action has been taken to remedy these conditions. It is unlikely that these conditions can be remedied while the undersigned is the victim of not only judicial racism but also judicial terrorism. The Appellate Division: First Judicial Department must intervene and remove all judicial burdens.
Very truly yours,
Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
Hon. Luis A. Gonzalez
Appellate Division: First Department