At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Here is what happened at hearing last Tuesday, in fact, here is what is happening in release of documents from Clergy Cases settled in LA in July 2007

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By Kay Ebeling

Steier: I won’t accept this. There are particular realities of the situation. I am going to ask for a hearing date and then determine if an appellate (filing?) would be appropriate. (He’s already planning to appeal the decision that will be made next hearing.)

DeMarco turns around to Steier and says, “It’s been fully briefed. Do you still want to formulate arguments? There’s no need to extend more and more delays.”

Steier: The delay is not mine. I'm not a total idiot. The issue is different from Clergy Two. Now we're going forward with a new discussion and I'm going to argue it.

But then here’s where it gets murky. Steier needs everyone to coordinate their calendars around this trip he’s taking. I sense others in the court have been impatient with him for a long time. It’s in the body language. An ephemeral slouch comes over the attorneys as Steier jumps up yet again and asks for more time to file more briefs, more hearings, more ways to stretch this thing out so long that the Los Angeles news media has long forgotten the clergy cases, even some of the plaintiffs seem to have forgotten. (January 20 post here about release of documents finally starting got less than average number of clicks.)

The lawyers and judge juggled the hearing date so that Donald Steier, who represents an undetermined number of priests, could file his opposition brief (number 7,377 or so) in time to take his trip and be back for the hearing without putting off the whole operation another couple months, because then DeMarco has to be in Fresno for a trial in March.

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I know something has been happening here without me knowing what it is -


Hmm, you know something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones.

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I’ve kept an eye on Superior Court notices at the website. Even when it says “nothing on calendar next two weeks” there can still be hearings scheduled. You have to go to the Case Summary section, not the Court Calendar section.

Still, when the clergy cases were downtown in the Superior Court building on Hill Street, I could jump on a Metro and be there in half an hour, look things up, and be home, real quick.

It's near impossible for me to get to this Dept 308 location.

As a result a lot has been decided concerning release of documents in the LA cases, a lot has been ordered to remain sealed, and I have to get down there to read the judge's orders, maybe one afternoon next week -

So here is what I got from that hearing last Tuesday:

They worked it out that the hearing on Donald Steier’s latest arguments to seal documents will be March 5th.

(I could have sworn I saw a Hawaiian shirt in Steier’s briefcase, but he slammed it shut real quick.)

“I’ll get the briefing done in my absence,” he said in short curt tones, like to say - you people are causing me such an inconvenience. They are going to make him have to work while he's in the Bahamas or wherever. “It’s not our fault,” Steier said.

Judge: I know, I just hope in my lifetime we get the stuff in the jury room moved into storage.

Steier: Well you don't even have these files. (He is bristling)

DeMarco: Would you mind telling the court the anticipated length of this next brief?

Steier: It will be a complete briefing.

DeMarco: Are we talking about another 50-page--?

Judge: He needs my permission to file a 50-page brief.

Steier: Well there’s constitutional law issues, and if the court - I will write it to any deadline you set.

(You get the feeling he’s on automatic. File objections, file objections, copy and paste these paragraphs to fill the pages, stuff up everybody’s time and minds with mounds of arguments - take off on vacation leaving them to wade through it. What really bugs me is it appears to be working. Steier is getting a lot of documents sealed. He’s wearing down the court system. The pervert priests get to keep their reputations. )

Judge: It has to be before you go on vacation.

(Several attorneys overlap each other discussing exactly how many days prior to a hearing a briefing must be filed. Six of them get out hand-held digital devices to check their calendars.)

(Steier reaches in and caresses the fabric of the getaway shirt in his briefcase.)

The judge asks more questions about this trip Steier is taking. He glances back at me then says, May I approach the bench. The rest of the discussion takes place way up there where I can’t hear a thing. I try to sketch, but my hands just don’t want to draw anything.

Truth is my hands are shaking. My whole body is shaking. That incident with the Armenians in my apartment building had repercussions. I guess because I already have PTSD, the way I responded to it, I kept re-seeing them, all 11 of them standing under my balcony, hollering hate at me.

Problem is, with PTSD, I was shaking, literally shaking after the incident, inside, not just my hands, my entire being -

I shook for a week.

I think Tony DeMarco thinks I'm a junkie the way I was shaking when I interviewed him.

Wow.

I'm starting to shake again now as I write about the incident last week where I was assaulted by 11 Armenians in my apartment building, three of them wielding buzz saws. That really happened.

There isn't really a Hawaiian shirt in Steier's briefcase. . .


Back to Court:

Steier: I have no objection to anything but Exhibits from third party files.

That means Police files in this case.

Judge: Okay then we're sending this pile back where they came from?

Steier: No.

Judge: Okay, we'll go look at that room. There are over three hundred (300) exhibits in the jury room. This stack (She pulls out one of several stacks of papers behind her) these are the ones someone objected to.

(She picks up another stack)

Judge: We have motions to seal, okay, we'll just keep all of these under seal.

(And the stack goes back. Piles and piles of documents remaining under seal.)

Judge: Then there are these two other stacks. Two, one for a tentative to unseal - this relates to the other order, and then there’s this pile.

(Will anyone ever be able to figure out what happened here?)

DeMarco speaks to the Judge: We've already spent time on arguments. I did not submit an objection to the order to leave these sealed.

Judge: And this stack, these DeMarco briefed with arguments why they are sealed (He later told me these would be personal private information about plaintiffs, left under seal now as well.)

Judge: Okay we had a motion to unseal on this stack quite a while ago. (She brings out another pile) Recently there was a supplemental brief, but the newer brief doesn't mention these.

Church attorney Sean Kneafsey looks back at me and says something I can't hear.

Judge: This stack is staying sealed.

(Several attorneys stand up and speak about right to privacy, and Griswold vs. Connecticut. )

Judge: They're all staying sealed. So let’s get everything boxed up and everything in that room outta here. So I’ll go look at the boxes and then this will be all wrapped up.

Steier: No. I did file objections and I was prepared to argue those today. There are documents not in the courtroom but they are in the order. I am objecting to those going to the referee.

DeMarco: The protocol is that they should go to the referee, after we hear arguments over -

Judge: Some are to be sent back where they came from and some are going to the referee.

Then all the attorneys, the court reporter, and the judge all got up and went to look at the documents that are stored in a room across the hall.

They left me behind so I could not hear what they said. That's the way they seem to like it.

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That's the best I can do on this for now, guys, my two other jobs are slamming.

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1 comment:

Ted said...

This reads like something out of "Alice in Wonderland," or better, out of one of the zany Marx Brothers' movies. This entire court transcript should be sent to Woody Allen. He could make a couple of hundred million by turning this whole charade into a cinematical paradoxical enigma. I nominate Cloris Leachman for the judge's role.She would have the audience rolling in the aisles.