Some Are Sick, Yet Lack Medical Records; Impoverished; Lonely; Angry; Troubled; Grieving; HIV Infected; Domestically Embittered; Child Molesters; Scared; Unskilled; Suicidal; Drug or Substance Abusive; and Crime Prone Hurricane Katrina Migrants (originally written January 2006)
My opinion is based on facts, but I don’t consider myself as knowing it all. I am a New Orleans Louisianan, African-American displaced evacuee. I am writing to state unimpeachable, precise details and facts to prove how reprehensible political corruption, as well as the apartheid situations highlighted during the hurricanes and floods, subsists because of corrupt Federal and State Courts in New Orleans. (Indeed, not all New Orleans courts are corrupt.) This is an excerpt from a larger upcoming publication. Because of the urgency of the facts, this is a rushed excerpt of what is to follow. I am writing with vulnerable people in mind; victims of New Orleans (and Louisiana) corruption, elitism, tyranny, and racism. Also, hopefully this input is helpful for the decision about combining the criminal and civil New Orleans court systems, and modification of the city’s Assessors’ Office.
The “Baker bill,” and the Questionable Request for FEMA’s Evacuee List
In New Orleans, what is made legal is not always lawful. Privacy invasion supposedly for voting purposes, when Secretary of State, Al Ater obtained FEMA’s evacuee list, is an example. Since voter turn-out was not up to par when people were not displaced, voting is not a priority for displaced people who don’t know where they will reside. However, so that more people can return, the Mayor could use that list to notify evacuees about how New Orleans will work with landlords to decrease rent gouging. A rent subsidy could help.
NOTE: While much of what was posted in 2006 may not seem relevant or understandable now that it is year 2012, many of the issues are pertinent and relevant to why cities and states where Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuees now reside are in some ways adversely affected. Here are some additional portions of that 2006 article:
Ninth Ward residents who disagree with bulldozing their properties were blamed, yet people who refuse to cooperate with FEMA trailer placements were not blamed. Also, (akin to the woman who told Mayor Nagin Mardi Gras is for White people) I believe that New Orleans’ underlying goal concerning the trailers is because, for restaurant and hotel tourism, blue collar displaced workers are necessary.
Elements of New Orleans Apartheid
Apartheid, a policy of exclusiveness in ethnicity, or class, or race is largely associated with third-world places. Fundamentally, apartheid produces poverty and illiteracy; and it leads to crime and social atrophy. The segment of apartheid in New Orleans was exposed through Katrina. New Orleans apartheid is mostly kept in place because tainted judicial decrees are supplied in furtherance of unethical political agendas.
Along with the apartheid mix, are difficulties in paying bills, oppressive (and worrisome) illegal debt collections, and lawless court rulings. On January 2005, under Title 15 of the United States Code Â§1692 in the “Congressional findings” section, abusive debt collection was reported as being “a devastating social issue.” Also, according to the Federal Consumer Protection Agency, poverty is a key factor of disintegrated households –hence, New Orleans’ poor people. Furthermore, it is no coincidence that a “Google” search on: “poverty” and “Louisiana” generates millions of listings! Louisiana and Mississippi are the top poverty States. (Both states sustained the harshest hurricanes and flooding devastation.)
Although New Orleans’ corruption and fraud are not unique, New Orleans’ apartheid infection is now interspersed to countless United States cities. For that reason, evacuee problems and situations that have come or will come to a city near you should not be dumped on sheltering cities without New Orleans partaking in aiding the needs of its displaced evacuees. (Of course, skilled, educated, prominent evacuees were also displaced; and their difficulties and challenges also merit prayers and assistance.)
Illustrative of effects of exclusivity, during the federal discrimination lawsuit against D.A. Eddie Jordan and the City of New Orleans, plaintiffs testified about how wronged and demeaned they felt. They told about unrelenting worry, sorrow, fear, humiliation, inability to pay bills, outrage, and uncertainties that stripped them of their quality of life. What those fired employees described is what impoverished people are all too acquainted with. Impoverished people live day in and day out excluded, stressed, sorrowful, uncertain, and worried.
For THE HAVE NOTS, judicial inequities further apartheid. Even if there is no clear law about a subject, basic ethics and fairness should undergird justice. In other words, when court orders are rendered that violate fairness and ethics, it can be concluded that an error has been made, or an intentional perversion of justice (corruption). In either regard, justice is denied. And when the same judge makes the same error, an inference can be made that the ruling is either intentional disregard for equity, or blatant ineptness. (Court and Judicial are being used interchangeably.)
In New Orleans, the have-not could be someone who has not sufficient knowledge about the issue at hand, or has not financial means, or has not resources, or has not elite status, or has not devious rivals with adversaries, or has not exercised diligence to avoid being exploited, or has not emotional stamina to endure tyranny, or has not an interest in continuing to pay legal costs for a case that lasts too long, or has not the courage and capacity to defend himself.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the “Orleans Parish Civil District Court,” was located at 421 Loyola Avenue in New Orleans, and was comprised of: Judges, law clerks, court criers, civil sheriffs, minute clerks, record room staff persons, record room filing and docket clerks, commissioners, conveyance office, recorder of mortgages office, ad hoc staff and judges. The Orleans Parish Civil District Court is also known as “State Court.” My meaning for “New Orleans Court System,” includes all of the foregoing State Court entities as well as lawyers and paralegals interacting within that Civil District Court. The “Federal Court System,” I am referring to comprise the “Eastern District” Federal Court's federal district judges and federal appellate judges, clerks, marshals, lawyers, and magistrates who operate from the locations of 500 Poydras Street, and 601 Camp Street, in New Orleans. By saying “New Orleans Court Systems,” I mean both the Federal Courts and the State Courts that were located at those addresses. (Some court system departments have been situated elsewhere due to Katrina and flooding.)
New Orleans’ Infection of Corruption and Poverty
In cities near you, sundrily unfortunate outcomes are comprised with the complexities of evacuee circumstances. It is becoming a common occurrence to read or hear about community dismay, and crime and overloads of city budgets; and some evacuees who have no jobs. Housing discrimination complaints are popping up, as well housing discrimination lawsuits; and countless evacuees are worried about eviction. In fact, some evacuees feel hopelessly homicidal and suicidal like in the city of Grapevine, Texas where officials reported a murder-suicide of three Katrina evacuees facing eviction.
Hospitable cities’ manpower and financial resources become strained (public schools, law enforcement, hospitals, courts, etc.) as New Orleans’ substance abusers, child support, child custody, and juvenile cases arrive on city court dockets. Also, are the facts of rapists, and scores of HIV-infected Louisiana evacuees who migrated to other cities. * An article about New Orleans’ HIV evacuees can be found in Newsweek, December 12, 2005.
Adding insults to hospitable cities, the Not-In-My-Backyard folks who opposed the placement of FEMA trailers in New Orleans show that compassion is not an automatic trait. Even Mayor Nagin has on more than one occasion stated that New Orleans is a city of HAVES and HAVE NOTS. The New Orleans’ pursuit of ‘the good life’, and ME-FIRST mentalities; and the ‘deep pocket’ business represented by a corrupt attorney is demonstrative of reasons for New Orleans business decline, and lack of jobs.
A court of law is supposed to provide justice. In contrast to the federal court plaintiffs who were fortunate enough to acquire adequate legal representation, people who don’t know what law was broken –or people who are unable to obtain representation have dim hopes of redress. In such instances, the unspoken retort is: “Suck it up” and move on with your life. However, some people are unable to “move on” when unredressed indignities are grievous to them. Thus, social atrophy and crime is not implausible.
Typical civil court cases includes child support obligations, workers’ comp, divorce, discrimination, alimony, child custody, lawful and *unlawful debt collection, and partition after divorce, etc. But, there are also non-typical cases such as the post-Katrina cases whereby landlords obtained ex parte court orders to evict their tenants despite the fact that the Mayor forbade access to the city! What is common to such court cases is the likelihood of injustice and the capacity to obtain from a judge, a court order which violates correctly established jurisprudence.
Partitions, divorce, alimony, custody, child support, probate cases also become unduly costly to the heart and spirit of litigants when dog-eat-dog attorneys and unethical judges are in the mix. Moreover, undue hatred among family members, especially domestic litigants occur when opposing parties are misled to believe that the other is responsible for a long-drawn, costly case. (Also, please see February 22, 2204, The Times Picayune news article entitled: “Plan would decrease bitter court battles.”) *Especially in domestic cases, the corrupt lawyers and judges are nemeses for children being without parental visits and child support payments.* HOWEVER, as delineated below, a most profitable money-making corrupt court event evolves around Ã¼predatory “HOEPA” loans, Ã¼unfair debt collections, Ã¼unlawful confiscation of property, and Ã¼mortgage fraud.
Similarly, there needs to be an investigation of bankruptcy court! Countless New Orleans people were being lured by attorney TV commercials to file (repeated) federal bankruptcy cases –of which did not get confirmed. Moreover, lawful, as well as fraudulent “lift stay motions” were granted by the sole Chapter 13 bankruptcy judge. Also, some people actually had legal grounds to file adversarial proceedings, (for instance, 11 U.S.C.Â§ 544, allows a debtor to “avoid” an “unperfected” security lien) but debtors were not informed by attorneys who prepared those cases. (Extensive details about records, transcripts, and information about bankruptcy court and Judge Douglas Dodd are contained in the upcoming completed publication.)
Mortgage Fraud- The White Collar Crime, and Unfair Debt Collections
For people fortunate enough to not encounter white collar crimes associated with mortgage fraud and ruthless debt collection, the subject is murky and seemingly unfounded. Yet, a “Google” search of the terms: “mortgage fraud + foreclosure” and “unfair debt collections” could wound up being at least a day’s worth of reading on the Internet. An effective method for concealing New Orleans mortgage fraud is because of “cognovit clauses” (confessed judgments).
**Narrowly defined, mortgage fraud is erroneously perceived as merely misrepresentations regarding questionable buy and / or sell transactions, real estate transactions affecting a borrower and a lender. However, Departments of Justice U.S. Attorneys are revealing mortgage fraud as much more extensive. In New Orleans, elements for successful mortgage fraud are: straw purchasers, straw buyers, insiders, foreclosure fraud, fraudulent conveyances, unfair debt collections, fraudulent act of sales, invalid deeds, mail and wire fraud, and unethical attorneys and judges. More specifically, New Orleans corrupt judicial abuse of “confessed judgments”and disregard for Fair Debt Collection Laws **illustrates why –if the “Baker bill” is passed, safeguards are needed to avert that bill's abuse.
Because of numerous and unfolding nuances to mortgage fraud, seminars are held to educate about this staggering white collar crime, that creates shocking results for the national economy. Because of the fact that the nature of fraud entails concealment, all of its activities and participants are not readily detectable without investigation. But, some methods of New Orleans mortgage fraud are obvious and confirmable, as more fully divulged in this essay (and other leads should surface upon investigating facts as they come to light).
A fast-growing White Collar crime, mortgage fraud costs industries billions of dollars; and mortgage fraud is not limited to residential mortgages. Within 2 years, in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. Attorney, Greg Lockhart, reported that mortgage fraud caused losses of more than 200 million dollars. The following instances of mortgage fraud in other cities show some of the factors are involved.
In Detroit, Michigan, Special FBI Agent, Daniel D. Roberts (stating that mortgage fraud is an escalating problem) and U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy investigated and charged 20 people with mortgage fraud. In Atlanta, lawyers Russell H. Hippe III and Sharel L. Payne were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King on mortgage fraud charges. Further, Senate Intelligence Committee, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller III has extensive intelligence on the subject.
Pervasive instances of mortgage fraud have been discovered in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, and Utah. For more in-depth information about mortgage fraud, see these lawsuits: ABN AMRO Mortgage Group vs. Promised Land Mortgage LLC, et al., (Indiana 2005); Prime Time Mortgage, Co., et al., vs. Flagstar Bank, FSB, et al., (Ohio 2005); United States v. Winthrop Thies, (New Jersey 2004); United States v. Maritza Ellis, (District of Columbia 2005); and United States, v. Reginald Owens, (Chicago).
The illegal property seizures and illegal auction sales being conducted in New Orleans, ensure success of mortgage fraud schemes. Approximately several hundred illegal auctions and property sales have occurred within a three-year time frame!
Toward detecting New Orleans court corruption, narrowing numerous facets of the broad network sheds light on who participates in court corruption and what are their roles. New Orleans mortgage fraud / illegal seizure scheme begins with “confessed judgment,” and a repossession lawsuit. (Many states have banned “confessed judgments”.) For even more clarity, research by “Googling” “predatory lending” and “confessed judgments.” OR www.povertylaw.org/legalresearch/manual/Consumer.pdf).
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted within Consumer Protection Laws to protect consumers from victimization by unscrupulous debt collectors, regardless of whether a valid debt actually exists, and imposes liability for violating the FDCPA. However, corrupt courts ignore FDCPA.
Also, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, in pertinent part, under the heading: “Congressional findings and declaration of purpose,” released on January 8, 2005 of the United States Code, chapter 15, sections 1692, stated: “There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.”
An agency or a lawyer can be a debt collector. But a lawyer is legally authorized to file court proceedings for collecting a debt. The most profitable debt for collection is property; and the top property is real estate. Hence, the origins of countless deceptive money-making judicial cases. Further, although false, deceptive, or misleading representation in connection with collecting a debt is prohibited by Fair Debt Collection law,15 USCÂ§1692e, that does not curtail its rampant abuse in New Orleans' courts.
A consumer is correct to expect the enacted laws to be enforced! Furthermore, as it pertains to predatory loans, consumers are not supposed to have to know truth in lending laws (TILA) in order to avoid victimization. Further, in New Orleans, especially if the consumer is a Black person, it is not likely that consumer’s rights will be upheld in either Federal or State Courts.
*Especially as it pertains to real estate seizures, few indigent people know about Consumer Laws; and not many know what Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practice law called LUTPA is supposed to do for them. Also, if by chance a court case was allocated to a possibly fair judge, via “forum-shopping,” maneuvering such a case gets transferred to a corrupt, and / or inept court. (There were two New Orleans class actions because of Unfair Debt Collections and illegal property seizure schemes. I have not had the time to follow those cases entitled: Bauer v. Dean Morris, CDC 2004-17015, and Bauer v. Dean Morris, CDC 2005-02175. Also, please see December 15, 2004 Times Picayune article entitled: “Homeowners sue law firm, mortgage lenders. . .”).*
For proof of unlawfully auctioned New Orleans properties, go to the Orleans Parish Civil Sheriff website at www.civilsheriff.com. After accessing the site, click “case inquiry” and “real estate sales list”to see properties -including the properties listed in this essay. (I have only listed some of the properties that were auctioned unlawfully, as well as unlawfully contrived property deeds that were recorded in public records.) Note: the case inquiry link leads to other links that tracked the activities for that property.
After the success of an illegal auction including sometimes “straw-buyers,” the fraudulent transfer of those properties enables the appearance of a legitimate property transfer, but the whole scheme is unlawful.
Again, in New Orleans, legal and lawful are not the same thing. In light of the "Louisiana way" of judges and lawyers, in some courtrooms, anything goes! This year 2014 judicial ordeal shows contrast between legal and lawful: “FRAUD on the Court” –more on lawsuit: Barbara Jackson v. Pittre Walker, Rev. Dennis Everett. . .
Had it not been for the *COALITION of activists who went to court on behalf of the people whose property was targeted for bulldozing, something would have, again, been made legal, although unlawful. (Former Mayor Nagin had announced a mandate for bulldozing damaged properties.) Such a mandate shows how what can be made legal, is not lawful. In New Orleans, something becomes legal based upon who issues the mandate, rather than based upon the statutes and the Constitution.
Yet, if people have no knowledge of applicable laws, people do not know what or whom to oppose; nor do people who’ve lost everything in the hurricanes have money to pay a lawyer to represent them! Also, alarmingly, the bulldozing mandate could have been executed despite property owners are displaced, and outside of the city which precludes their raising opposition. *In light of various lawless rulings rendered by that same judge, it is a good thing that the coalition’s intervention averted a crony ruling.
Also, even persons diligent enough to research laws in a library do not guarantee they will correctly comprehend the law (evidently, neither do some of the New Orleans judges, nor their staff). And sometimes, it appears that the mere nerve of a pro se litigant attempting to argue his / her lawful right becomes reason for arrogant judges to rule inequitably. Such are additional elements of New Orleans' apartheid.
Further, most likely in the same manner as judges signed ex parte orders for landlords to evict displaced evacuees, it remains to be seen how many people's court cases have also been tossed out of New Orleans courts, with no consideration for fact of displacement, nor consideration of due process notification, and no consideration for logistics of limited ability to travel to where the cases were being disposed of. In light of the city’s pattern of ignoring Constitutional rights, it is likely that the same theory used for ignoring the fact that people had no transportation to evacuate, was also used for tossing (dismissing) court cases filed prior to Katrina. Even worse is the fact that some people are not likely able to afford paying a lawyer to seek reinstatement of dismissed cases.
**Little did I know that, after writing this above article in year 2006, I would become prompted to write of significant additional things that emphasize what is mentioned in the above 2006 article. Specifically, this petition: "Request for Congressional Foreclosure Panel to Examine Foreclosure Lawyers" http://www.change.org/petitions/request-for-congressional-foreclosure-panel-to-examine-foreclosure-lawyers and "Judge Thomas Porteous and the Judicial 'Devil's Den' from Whence He Came" http://newsblaze.com/story/20100922041842lawg.nb/topstory.html and "Response to: Louisiana Courts' Low Ranking Based on Flawed Data" http://newsblaze.com/story/20100327052856lawg.nb/topstory.html and "Illegal Foreclosures & Evictions, Appalling Lender / Lawyer Abuses, Impediments to Justice" http://newsblaze.com/story/20091011141440lawg.nb/topstory.html
Q. WHAT REINFORCES CASUALTIES, EXILES, HOMELESSNESS, and POVERTY? A. ENTRENCHED CORRUPTION THAT STEALS FROM & EXPLOITS "DISADVANTAGED" PEOPLE BY ACQUIRING FEDERAL FUNDS, AND REDIRECTING THOSE FUNDS ELSEWHERE:
New Orleans City Councilman Jon Johnson pleads guilty to federal conspiracy charge http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/new_orleans_city_councilman_jo.html
"Media ignored Mississippi's use of waivers to redirect funds designated for low-income Katrina victims" http://mediamatters.org/research/2007/08/30/media-ignored-mississippis-use-of-waivers-to-re/139727