Judge Christopher J. Muse: Are the wagons circling at Barnstable Superior Court?
Did an Unknown Superior Court Judge Defy the Massachusetts Court of Appeals?
This story is part of our exclusive series about Pro Se Litigants. Case: Torres v. Torres
When wishing one of our sources in our Pro Se series, Torres v Torres, a Happy New Year, he told us that he was informed by a phone message left on Skype, that his informal request to the Barnstable Superior Court to allow him to attend a scheduled conference by telephone was denied.
Now, that may not seem newsworthy on the surface, until you examine the facts of the case. This is the same set of facts that were reviewed by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. That Court, after serious consideration and review of these facts, allowed argument of the Appeal to be heard via telephone (details here) and further, allowed that the location of the Plaintiffs not be disclosed to the Defendants or their Attorneys (details here).
Here is our summary of the facts of the case:
- The Plaintiffs were declared legally Indigent (flat broke) by BOTH the Massachusetts Appeals Court (details here) AND the Barnstable Superior Court (details here).
- The Plaintiffs’ lives have been threatened by certain associates of the Defendants, one of whom is dead from a gunshot to his head. He was accused of being part of a criminal organization in the Complaint’s R.I.C.O. charges.
- Strongly supported, is that the Plaintiffs’ money was transferred into the account of the Defendant Sophie J. Torres without the knowledge or consent of the Plaintiffs.
- The Plaintiffs, based on a signed contract with Sophie J. Torres, did sell their Baja beach home to obtain the necessary funds to save the family homestead, a farm, that was the subject of that Contract.
- A storm came about when it was discovered that Mary C. Torres of Falmouth, the adopted daughter of Sophie J. Torres, took her mother to an attorney provided by Jesse E. Torres IV (aka Jesse Stockwell, Jesse E. Stockwell) and changed her father’s Will to benefit her, Mary C. Torres, by $800,000.
- The storm struck land when Jesse E. Torres III asked his son, now Jesse Stockwell, a self-proclaimed millionaire, to repay the $11,000 he had loaned him to start a business years previously. He asked his son to send the money directly to his grandmother, to enable her to pay the construction mortgage on the homestead. Jesse Stockwell, the founder of Debtmerica LLC, refused to honor his debt.
- The Plaintiffs, who had been drained of all of their available funds, funds that were to be repaid to them on the completion of the homestead, were apparently no longer of use at this point. They were subsequently evicted from their home by Sophie J. Torres with Mary C. Torres at her side, and Jesse Stockwell and/or Debtmerica LLC paying the considerable legal bills.
In-depth coverage of the case is provided in the article, “Torres v. Torres: The Case In A Nutshell“.
During the eviction trial in the Falmouth District Court, Seth G. Roman Esq, the attorney of Sophie J. Torres and Mary C. Torres, argued numerous times that the Barnstable Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Muse in the case Torres v. Torres had dismissed the Plaintiffs’ Complaint, and as such, there was no contract in existence.
Now is where we believe the Massachusetts Court of Appeals saw the real injustice and irony of this case which led them to the very unusual acts of allowing argument of an Appeal by telephone, and that the location of the Plaintiffs not be disclosed to the Defendants or their Attorneys.
Here is what we speculate the Court of Appeals most likely concluded, you decide.
- The Plaintiffs were thrown out of their home based on a bad decision by a very controversial Judge, Christopher J. Muse, an order that was overturned by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals.
- It is not relevant that Sophie J. Torres and family are accused of stealing the Plaintiffs’ money. Nor is it relevant that, based on a new signed contract with Sophie J. Torres, the Plaintiffs sold their Baja beach home and used a considerable amount of the funds available for the restoration of the family homestead. However, it is relevant that after these acts, the Plaintiffs were LEGALLY FLAT BROKE.
- While it is not relevant that controversial Judge Christopher J. Muse or the Barnstable Superior Clerk’s Office didn’t schedule a hearing on the Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Restraining Order, there is a named DEAD MAN and GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS FROM FEDERAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DOCUMENTING DEATH THREATS AGAINST THE PLAINTIFFS (details here) AND AN ARREST WARRANT ISSUED (details here).
- A quote from Appeal Request: “Lastly, we ask that it is taken into consideration that it was the direct and deliberate actions of the Appellees that have caused us to not be available to argue this matter, and that they should not profit from their actions.”
As reported, the informal request to the Barnstable Superior Court to allow the Plaintiffs to attend a scheduled conference by telephone was denied. The Plaintiffs were informed of this decision in a Skype voice message left by the clerk of an unknown Barnstable Superior Court Judge. The question that immediately springs to mind is, can an unknown judge make such an order? Further, can a request to use electronic means to attend the conference, (i.e. via telephone/Skype), be denied using the very means that it is denying, (i.e. leaving a voice message via telephone/Skype)?
These acts go far beyond bias. Did the unknown judge knowingly make an order that would place the lives of the Plaintiffs in jeopardy? While it is hard to believe that a sitting Judge did this, we again reviewed the transcripts of the hearings to get some background.
Eviction and No Trespass Orders
Did Judge Christopher J. Muse clearly make it known that he didn’t give a damn that the Plaintiffs were about to be made homeless from an illegal order? Did Judge Christopher J. Muse have no concerns about the Plaintiffs being wrongfully thrown into the streets without a hearing or due process of law?
…but what is the purpose of putting it on the Internet?
What does that do in terms of whether you have access or not?
Is it meant to intimidate the Court? [Transcript 2, pg 20, lines 15-18]
The fact was that the only recourse the Plaintiffs had when being served an illegal No Trespass Order, alleged to have been Police Cronyism, was to expose it by having the well-documented facts published, (stories here, here and here). The Defendants’ Attorney Jeremy M. Carter, a former Mashpee Cop who apparently left the FBI to become a Mashpee Cop, was accused of using his past status to enforce both the eviction and no trespass orders he or his firm, Wilkins, DeYoung & Carter, served on the Plaintiffs.
Why did Judge Christopher J. Muse not take note when Attorney Jeremy M. Carter stated on the record, “I have no idea what he’s talking about” concerning knowledge of these two notices filed by his law firm where he is a named partner? The notices were properly filed as exhibits, and should have been right there in front of him. Available here: Eviction Notice, No Trespass Notice and Jeremy M. Carter’s exact words from the transcripts [page 21, line 10]. These orders, if they had been enforced, would have thrown the Plaintiffs onto the streets that very same day. This article was the sole reason preventing the Falmouth Police from carrying out those illegal orders. Yet Judge Christopher J. Muse instead focused on the Internet. Read the hearings’ transcripts for yourself.
While Judge Christopher J. Muse doesn’t have to care about where the Plaintiffs would live, he does have to consider that the Plaintiffs had a contractual right to be on the property. See Contract #1 and superseding Contract #2. Did he consider that he had ignored hearing the Plaintiffs’ Status Quo Motion and Restraining Order (on file with the court for months) which would have prevented this situation from ever happening? Did he not consider homelessness a good enough reason to take, what he inferred was, a drastic action of making an injustice public?
Or was he just plain mad that he had to enforce that pesky 1st amendment, claiming that by publishing such a story the Plaintiffs were attempting to intimidate the Court? Was he absent the day that Public Hearings and 1st Amendment discussions took place at law school or is he saying he would prefer we return to The Inquisition?
Had Judge Muse already made up his mind to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ Complaint for using their 1st amendment rights, when he made the following statement on the record:?
THE COURT: It doesn’t seem right, and there’s absolutely no gain from that kind of activity for anything that’s happening in this courtroom, nothing.
And it could have an adverse — I’m not — I can’t give you the metrics on it, I can’t figure out exactly what it is, and I don’t intend to, but I can tell you that — that it’s going to be an unnecessary cloud on the litigation. [See transcript 2, page 28].
It is certainly apparent to this reporter, that Judge Christopher J. Muse did not like having to uphold the 1st Amendment and that he would prefer his courtroom behind closed doors. It appears a plain and simple fact, that he didn’t like having his Court Documents on the Internet (we can see why). In reading the transcripts, it appears obvious why the Court ignored its own order to produce tapes of the hearings, his demeanor and tone were obviously way too embarrassing to be on the Internet. We also agree with the Plaintiffs’ argument that they did not have a fair or impartial Jurist in Judge Christopher J. Muse from this point on.
Who is this Unknown Barnstable Superior Court Judge? Is it criminal for a Judge to knowingly place litigants in a life threatening situation? Can a Judge penalize Plaintiffs for not attending a hearing, or in this case, “Conference“, when it was the direct actions of the Court and Defendants that caused them to be unable to attend? Was this the situation when the Massachusetts Court of Appeals overturned Judge Christopher J. Muse, and also allowed both phone argument and specific actions to protect the Plaintiffs’ lives?
Would there be a burden on the Court to allow the Conference to be conducted by telephone, a Conference generally held in chambers? Both the Massachusetts Court of Appeals and the Superior Court had declared the Plaintiffs legally indigent, and therefore, without the means to physically get to the Conference. The same problem they had during their Appeal, and whose Appellate Court allowed their oral argument by telephone.
Or is it the news coverage of this case? Where the facts that were uncovered and published simply less than flattering to the Judge or Judges?
Or was it that the Plaintiff Jesse E. Torres III was the Founder and Co-Chairman of the “Committee to Impeach Shirley R. Lewis”, an effort that was a major local and national news story for two years. Shirley R. Lewis was a Barnstable County Probate Judge who was ultimately removed from office.
- An unknown Judge ordered that the two LEGALLY BROKE Plaintiffs attend a Rule 16 “Conference” thousands of miles from the location where they receive refuge with family and friends. Of note, these conferences are generally held in chambers. Are they implying that they can’t use the phone in their office?
- This unknown Judge’s actions slap the Massachusetts Court of Appeals right in the face, since, as has long been upheld, the decision and manner in which the Appellate Court handled the case must also be considered by the lower court.
- After they considered the facts of this case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals allowed the Plaintiffs to present evidence and argue their case before it by telephone, and took those precautions necessary to protect the safety of the Plaintiffs.
- Judge Christopher J. Muse was overturned on Appeal, and the case he wrongfully dismissed was sent back for trial.
- The Plaintiffs are now thousands of miles away and broke because they were wrongfully evicted, based, beyond reasonable doubt, on Judge Christopher J. Muse’s overturned order, and the direct actions of the Defendants.
Unfortunately for Mr. Torres, this is not the Plaintiff Torres’ first bout with the Massachusetts Courts. On December 31, 2013, the Plaintiffs filed the motions noted below in Barnstable Superior Court. Mr. Torres stated his reasoning being that, after his informal request was denied, he wanted to be sure he’s on the record, to preserve his Appellate and Title 42 rights.
Of note, the Plaintiffs had to drive several hundred miles to mail their pleadings from an unknown location, as the Court would not agree to keep their location sealed, even knowing of the specific death threats against them.
It should be stated that Plaintiff Torres told us he tried at all costs and waited over 2 years, going so far as to win the Appeal by an unbiased panel of Justices, to have the original Complaint and Pleadings heard. Now it seems he’s, once again, going to be unjustly stopped in his tracks by the Barnstable Superior Court. As Mr. Torres stated, “I simply wanted to make a request to be present at a Conference by phone that I cannot afford financially to attend.” This request is a far simpler situation than was undertaken by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals when it granted Oral Argument by Telephone, which was in open Court with a full panel of three Justices along with their Clerks.
Please note that Mr. Torres, for economic reasons, has turned over his jetiii.com domains to uswatchdogs.net. This includes the plaintiffs.jetiii.com website containing the documents of the Torres v. Torres case. We are currently finishing the new faster website, which will be at the same url, and will provide faster loading html pages and docx files of the Plaintiffs’ pleadings that you are free to download. We will of course, continue to support the pdf versions of all files. The new motions will be available shortly.
- Plaintiffs’ emergency motion for change of venue (here)
- Plaintiffs’ emergency motion for the recusal of Judge Christopher J. Muse (here)
- Plaintiffs’ emergency motion for rule 16 conference to be heard by telephone (here)
- Plaintiffs’ memorandum of facts surrounding the actions of the Barnstable Superior Court Clerk’s Office in the above entitled matter (here)
- Plaintiffs’ emergency motion to serve the defendants electronically in the same manner and conditions as used by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals for motions, or as they are better known, emotions (here)
- Plaintiffs’ emergency motion to seal Plaintiffs’ address (here)
- Plaintiffs’ emergency motion to set aside MSCR 9A requirements for this and the motions contained herein, as notice of a scheduled rule 16 conference was not received by the plaintiffs until December 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm est, making it impossible to comply with superior court rule 9a service regarding the scheduled rule 16 hearing (here)
- Attachments (here)
Stay tuned for our full coverage of this unfolding Pro Se case, or should we say, battle.
- Is Christopher J. Muse a bad Judge? see what attorneys and pro se litigants are openly posting about him.
- Was Massachusetts Judge Christopher J. Muse so embarrassing on tape that the Court ignored its own order?
- Judge Christopher J. Muse overturned; Pro Se Appellant
- Barnstable County Superior Court Clerk’s Office: was it Incompetence or Vengeance?
- Is momentum building to Elect Judges in Massachusetts: momentum is growing to draft former Impeacher of Judge Shirley R. Lewis to head new effort in Massachusetts?
- Torres v. Torres: the case in a nutshell
- Torres v. Torres: a story of two pro se litigants’ battle, not just for justice, but their very survival