Yes it was. Yes it is. Stone cold crazy. Batshit. Baying at the moon. Barking a loony tune. Straight up straight jacket stuff.
"...And, yet..." he said, "it's kind of... sexy."
Only in Los Angeles, would a lawyer, perusing reams of legalese -- chronicling a three year journey into hell -- think, 'hey this is hot.'
On the surface, he was looking at a case involving an illegal restraining order, used by an infamous law firm - as a retaliatory weapon to stop internet postings, and then as a way to sabotage a defamation lawsuit.
In other words, you sue our client, we set it up so you get destroyed. A vicious business but hardly exciting. The tactic doesn't even have a snazzy Latin name, just a boring old American one - extra judicial strategy.
Big Whoop. People lie. Lawyers suck. Water's wet. But, unbutton one more button, and you'll see that she or he, has the goods.
We are talking a misdemeanor pursued like a triple homicide, where a then broke comic hired Branjelina's lawyers. Said lawyers then used the the elite LAPD Threat Management Unit to help bring criminal charges, hide witnesses, doctor police reports, fake arrests, and much more.
We are talking secret missives from lawyers to cops, from judges to other judges. We are talking seven search warrants (four being special circumstance), eighteen man SWAT style raids, 31 days in jail- with no underlying charges to justify the jailing. We are talking bail denied, and the specter of being forcibly medicated and committed to Patton State Hospital for the criminally insane.
Two excruciating years, culminating in a trial. Three charges went to trial. Two acquitted by the judge, in the middle of trial, and one dismissed by the judge in the almost unheard of ruling of - DISMISSAL IN THE INTERESTS OF JUSTICE.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I can can hear you thinking. She sounded kinda normal there for a while. Paranoid? Schizophrenic? Paranoid Schizophrenia? - a crackpot with a conspiracy theory and a thesaurus?
If that's not bad enough, I've been struck, then stuck with the slander that I'm also a celebrity stalker. The saddest of sadsacks. The loser of losers. The creepiest of all creeps. Byron and Shelley, collaborating on an ode to say, Kim Kardashian, couldn't make it anything less than pathetic. To make it all even worse, I was apparently hounding a public figure, that almost no one in the public, had heard of.
It must seem like I have a steep climb out of a deep hole. But, really I don't, because the "victim," said I spooked my prey in public. Therefore, I had witnesses. Lots of witnesses.Great witnesses: A coffee shop manager, a club manager, a parole officer( moonlighting as a bouncer) and two police women.
And not just them, but the "Victim." herself. You see, she would end up giving six accounts of every allegation, and she'd change it up in an indicting way, every time.
But, before I get to the witnesses, let me give you a smidgen of context. Who was this high profile person? Who was this, "celebrity" ? ... Wait for it... Wait for it.. Wait for it... Ladies, and gentleman, it's Tig Notaro. I think most of you might still ask, who?
Notaro is a comedian, who recently raised her profile exponentially by sharing a long string of woes: mother dying in a freak accident, rare belly bug called C -Diff, and last, but not least - breast cancer.
As she buried me, she rose Phoenix like from the ashes - with a full head of hair and a book deal. But when this happened, she was just a struggling comedian, trying to build her brand.
And who was I? I was and am a little green alien who's covertly working for the CIA - to protect our great nation from a species of nefarious lizard... Kidding! Kidding! See what they've reduced me to.
But seriously, I was a thirty seven year old former real estate agent, writer, and editor, just a few months new to L.A. I'd had some success in comedy. I did Improv, character work, and stand up, but I never followed through. I had no illusions about L.A. For now, I was relegated to open mics - a dismal stomping ground. But, as the saying goes, you have to start somewhere.
Being new to L.A, I knew only a few people. One being a girl named Stephanie Willen...
(My greatest fear is that you're going to run to the proverbial bus driver and ask him to be let off the proverbial bus. Please stay put. We are getting to the good stuff, if you can call coming this close to being committed to a prison hospital and jaw dropping illegal legal shenanigans, the "good stuff.")
But, first I have to have you see that there was no validity to the original restraining order, and at the same time prove that the police were in on it.
This is not a case of she said vs. she said. It's a case of she said vs what she'd later say. Then she said vs. what I'd say. And, most compellingly- She said vs. what many unbiased witnesses would say.
As Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence." And, I have the evidence.
Note on the presentation: I can show you all of Notaro's six different versions (what she swore to in an affidavit, then told police, then under oath in court, then to an investigator, then to the prosecutors, and then in the civil suits) of her versions of the story, and how rife with ridiculous inconsistencies they would become. I can also show how her versions clashed with the versions of her alleged witnesses. But I don't want to overwhelm you. So except for two instances, I will present her many versions by supplying a link, and supplying just the final version- the one in the appeal - the one I'm still still stuck with.
First "incident" August 29th 2007
Setting: Tsunami coffee shop
Description from Metromix magazine online.
Neighborhood: Silver Lake
4019 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
For this music, comedy, and poetry night follow these instructions: Walk through the door, sign up, wait nervously, get called onto the stage, do your thing, try not to feel awkward.
Be warned, crossing back through the stage to duck out early will get you a chorus of raised eyebrows and a few remarks like, "Where are you going?"
At Tsunani, I saw ex-friend Stef Willen with Notaro - who I'd never met before. I chatted with Willen - the awkward small talk you make with people you don't like anymore hence the ex. I hung around and listened to some poor to middling poetry and some bad to so-so jokes. The night ended as they say, without incident. For nine months, I never saw or heard from either of them again.
Insert she says vs. she changed her story. (see below)
What appeals court said:
In August 2007, Notaro and Willen were in a cafe having coffee when Spitzberg approached their table and began to yell insults at them, including fucking dyke, ugly, cunt, and bitch. They ignored Spitzberg, who followed them outside, became more belligerent, and shoved/pushed Notaro. Spitzberg denied pushing Notaro
What witness Sam Consuegra (succinctly) said:
Later an investigator for the public defender would go talk to him. Sam seems to have gotten spooked, but he still maintained that no violence occurred
"Incident" Two - Largo Comedy / Night club April 7th, 2008
What I say:
From Tsunami to Largo nine months have passed. Nine months: The time it takes a baby to gestate and drop into the cold cruel world. I go to a show at a club called Largo. The show I wanted to see was MCed by Notaro, but since I had nothing against her and thought she had nothing against me, I didn't think twice about it. I paid my five bucks, had a beer, and enjoyed the show.
I had no intention of approaching Notaro, but Notaro approached me after the show. Seeing her standing over me at the bar, I said, "good show." She said, "thanks." Then with the weirdest look (a mixture of glee and spite if I had to give it a description) she said, "You pushed me... you pushed me the last time I saw you." She walked away to talk to a woman. I walked over and asked, "Did you just say I pushed you?"
Notaro did the "ready for my check" wave. A man appeared, and she told him, "Get her out of here." I sputtered a few times, and the little guy, I assumed was a bouncer, said, " You've got to go. The artist gets what the artist wants."
Since the appeals court decision doesn't mention the Heidi part, I'll insert the statements made by Notaro about that:
Most significantly, take a look what Notaro said under oath, at the hearing to get a permanent restraining order.
I WAS SPEAKING TO MY AGENT, ALISA INTERRUPTED ME AND SAID:"YOU DON'T REMEMBER ME. DO YOU REMEMBER ME?" I SAID, "I DO," AND THEN TURNED BACK TO MY AGENT. THEN SHE INTERRUPTED ME AGAIN. SHE SAID "I DON'T THINK YOU REMEMBER ME."
I SAID, "I DO REMEMBER YOU. TIME I MET YOU YOU WERE AGGRESSIVE. YOU PUSHED ME, AND I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU AT ALL." THEN SHE GOT IN MY FACE AND -- IF YOU WILL EXCUSE ME, I WILL TELL YOU WHAT SHE SAID.
THE COURT: TELL ME WHAT SHE SAID
MS. NOTARO: SHE CALLED ME A CRAZY DIKE AND CUNT GOT IN THE MY FACE. AND AT THAT POINT I HAD THE SECURITY REMOVE HER
What appeals court said:
On the evening of April 7, 2008, after Notaro performed at Largo, Spitzberg approached her and asked Notaro if she remembered her. Notaro said that she remembered meeting her and that Spitzberg had been aggressive and had pushed her. Notaro then said she did not want to talk to Spitzberg and told Spitzberg to leave her alone. Spitzberg became enraged. Notaro was fearful that the situation would escalate and had Michael Griffee, the doorman at Largo, escort Spitzberg out of the club.
What witness Heidi Feigin said:
(Heidi Feigin- was Notaro’s agent and went to see her that night.)
Investigator’s report for public defender.
When asked if this female subject caused any trouble at the show at Largo at this night in question, Feigin said no she had caused no problems on that particular evening. She stated she had just sat at the back of this club and next to the bar while watching the show. When asked if she had seen this unknown female subject ever make contact with Notaro on that night in question, Feigin said no. When asked if she knew the unknown subject’s name, Feigin once again stated no.
What this agent, Heidi Feigin told my public defender in March of 2010 during the criminal trial stemming from these lies - written in Alissa Malzman's (the public defender who tool the case to trial) handwriting:
"Nothing what Tig said was true AT ALL (pd's emphasis) and I don't understand why Hunter Siedman (apparently Tig's manager) is calling me and saying, "Why are you testifying for the other side?"
Over the next three days, I tried to contact Notaro. I tried to contact Willen. I tried to contact the club. Anything to clear it up. No luck.
If Largo was a pizza joint, I'd get my slices elsewhere. But, I didn't want to be blacklisted from comedy. This had to be a misunderstanding. I went back with my sister to try and straighten things out.
"Incident" Three - April 12th, 2008
The manager was standing outside. I told him what had happened and asked if I could talk to Notaro. I was treated to the, "Whatever the artist wants," spiel again, and some added obnoxiousness thrown in. There was nothing left to do but leave.
A few feet away stood a handsome African American man. He'd watched the entire exchange, told us he sympathized with us, was the bouncer for the Dime, and invited us in for a drink. We declined politely and left.
What Notaro said:
Notaro performed again at Largo on April 12, 2008. When Notaro was standing outside the club talking to the owner, she saw Spitzberg and her sister running toward her. Notaro ran inside before they could make physical contact with her.
The owner did not let Spitzberg inside the club and called the police. Spitzberg and her sister went to the club's back door, where they verbally abused the owner and the doorman and yelled, "We're going to get that fucking dyke."
Spitzberg left the club before the police officers arrived. According to Spitzberg, Largo's owner and another man at the back door were abusive to her and her sister, and they returned their insults. Spitzberg denied screaming or using obscenities.
We read Julius from Notaro's affidavit and he wrote this for us:
"I am the door guy at the dime which is no more than 16 feet away from where Largo once was. I remember the day in question and remember nothing happen(ing) I even talked to the ladies for a minute or two and invited them inside the dime for a drink. These ladies are good people to be around and everything that this woman said is a lie."
Julius to Public defender of Spitzberg and to Katie Ford, city attorney:
"Nothing Happened. Anyone saying anything different is a liar."
Okay so, so far three people, Sam, Heidi, and Julius, are saying that Notaro is seeing and hearing things that did not remotely take place. She is alleging verbal and physical mayhem and we have three unbiased bystanders saying that absolutely nothing of any note took place.
Remember though how I told you I can prove the TMU were involved?
A year and a half after this all started, a prosecutor, Martin Boags, sent out for the police records that had to exist if the allegations of police being called, and coming were true.
The appeals court got the police coming story from Notaro's affidavit and court testimony. Here's her version for Gregozek's police report:
(Imagine a club full of people out for a night of laughs, being stuck in lock-down for five hours with two maniacs trying to break down doors and break in windows, and not one person using their cell phones to save themselves. Maybe they counted on management for that, except a year and a half later, a prosecutor sends away for the 911 call and finds out none were made. Ergo no police came to be foiled by the wily absconding Spitzbergs.)
But Notaro said they came. Let's look at that again. This would turn out to be her first account, her police report to John Gregozek.
When Martin Boags ordered those records, he learned that no such call was made and so no police arrived.
So what does that mean to Boags and to this case?
It means that Notaro and two of the "witnesses" she brought to the restraining order hearing (Kevin Seccia and Michael Griffee), lied about this under oath. It means that John Gregozek has not only included it in his police reports as fact, but swore to it being true, under oath in now six search warrants dating all the way to the time Boags ordered these records. It means something is very wrong with the case against me. It means it should never have never been brought and now must be dismissed. It means that not only did Notaro lie to police but she perjured herself in an affidavit and in court, under oath. It means that Gregozek also committed perjury by swearing to this under oath. But I only knew any that no police were called or came 'til a year and a half later.
Back to April 2008:
From April 12-29th, 2008
The only thing left to do was to bemoan my fate online. Basically, I went on a message board called datalounge and did a little virtual fist shaking; asking if anyone ever heard of this Tig, and why this annoyingly named person was such an asshole. It turned out that a few people, who followed alternative comedy, did heard of her, but most didn't. But it was agreed by all that indeed she was behaving like true blue asshole.
I have to make it very clear that there was never anything resembling a threat. To make it clearer, nothing in that thread, or anything I ever wrote online, was used or mentioned in any of the legal proceeding that were to follow. Everything written by me was strictly protected by the First Amendment. Nothing was even untrue and therefore though I would sue for defamation no one ever sued or even countersued me for defamation.
(Later I would find out that during the duration of that thread, Notaro's lawyer, Allison Hart Sievers of Lavely and Singer, had sent a series of cease and desist letters to datalounge. None were ever produced so I do not know what they said but I do know that Lavely and Singer's cease and desist/threat letters are legendary.
Last "incident" - April 29th, 2009. Please remain seated.
Seventeen days later, I went to the Improv for an open mic.
In the foyer was a poster of Notaro. She was going to be there later that night.
I must have looked like a hitchhiker, who just noticed that the passenger's side door handle had been removed. I called my sister. "Tig is coming here. Tig is coming here. What do I do!!!"
"Oh for god's sake, chill the fuck out," said my sister.
"Even if you are still there when she comes, she won't do anything. Who knows, maybe she'll even feel sorry. If you're still there when she comes, she wouldn't do anything."
"Do you think?"
"Could be. She's human, isn't she?"
Having been talked down, I signed up for the open mic. At some point I went outside to smoke a cigarette. A comedian (Brian Whitaker) came out to have a smoke too. We talked for a bit when suddenly his eyes widened. It was Brian's turn to look at me like the doomed hitchhiker whose stop had come and gone. "Hey I recognize you. You're Alisa. Your picture and your sister's picture have been faxed to the club. I'm sorry but you can't come back in."
Oh my god. What is wrong with this crazy bitch?
I called my sister, this time crying. She came over.
O.K. I think you know where this is headed - (the artist wants what the artist wants blah blah blah). We were by the car when the cops showed up. She had actually called the fucking police!
Officers Badar and Montalvo acted all coplike at first, with the stay there no funny moves routine. Badar stood guard as Montalvo went inside to talk to Notaro and who knows who else.
Montalvo reemerged after a few minutes, and went into a huddle with Badar. They both looked confused. Then their miens seemed to change - they became friendly. Badar said, "Go home ladies. There has been no crime here."
And then they said something that made little sense at the time, "If I were you. I'd get a lawyer."
"Why would we need a lawyer."
"I just would, if I were you."
I guess even where's there no crime, cops don't go in for conversation. We went home but didn't call a lawyer. What would I need a lawyer for?
On April 29, 2008, Notaro was driving to perform a show at the Hollywood Improv club when the promoter called her to inform her that Spitzberg had been removed from the club. When Notaro arrived, she saw Spitzberg outside the club, talking to people. Notaro entered the club through a side door. The security guard for the Improv club, Brian Whitaker, told Notaro that Spitzberg said that she knew where Notaro lived, the color and make of Notaro's car, and the car's license plate number. Spitzberg, her mother, and her sister remained outside the front of the club and verbally attacked other performers, patrons and security guards for over two hours. Notaro attempted to leave the club, but because she felt unsafe, she remained in the club. The police were called, but they were unable to take any action because Notaro's life had not been directly threatened. After the Spitzbergs left, Notaro went home.
Please note that Gregozek did not say there was an arrest (though the minutes of the court would say so for the duration of the criminal case and so Martin Boags would send away for arrest records), but he did include an incident number. See last line of first paragraph.
Neither Montalvo or Badar filled out any reports that night - no police report or incident report. Why then would Gregozek invent one for the occasion? If he was on the up and up he'd contact Montalvo and Badar and include their finding in his report. Instead he doesn't do that but rather inserts a number that doesn't exist.
The only answer could be that Gregozek was trying to make me look as bad as possible. First, he had to have known that no police were called or came the night of the 12th. But, he'd written it as verified fact. Now he had to have known that Montalvo and Badar had concluded that no crime occurred and so they did not see fit to make any record even. This time he'd go as far as to invent a number so any future prosecutor or judge would think there was all sorts of police involvement in this case.
Since no one would tell me Montalvo or Badar's name 'til deep into the malicious prosecution, I did not get an affidavit from either. But when this case was going to trial, the public defender, Alissa Malzman, would contact Montalvo (no one seemed to be able to contact Badar) and Alissa told me Montalvo told her that she concluded that no crime occurred and so did not see any good reason to fill out any reports. She also told Malzman she'd be a witness for my defense.
(Montalvo would be put on the prosecutions witness list without her permission.)
Wow. A cop ready to go against other cops. A cop who would not only testify that Notaro and Nick Kroll's accounts were false and malicious, but would make it clear that Gregozek invented an incident number, to assist in a malicious prosecution against me, and then even swore to it in his search warrants. Only the good die young. Jacqueline Montalvo came to court on February 22nd, 2010 to be sworn in as my witness. On February 25th, 2010 -- three days later - she was dead. A car accident.
Off duty LAPD officer killed in diamond bar car accident
In her affidavit, Notaro had also spoken of a sheriff sneaking her into a side door after distracting me. Sheriff at the side door? A sheriff sneaking her into the side door? Was he wearing a Stetson and big brass badge? Later we found out there was no side door at the Improv, and obviously no sheriff, because he would have shown up in this case. So no side door and no Sheriff. No shit.
One week later - May 5th, 2008
Two hard knocks on the door. Two giants to my 5' 6" inch eyes stand in the doorway. They introduced themselves as Detective Gregozek (cue Jaws music) and Detective Hoffman. LAPD. I immediately knew it was about Notaro, since I didn't have a beef with anyone else and no one I knew had been recently murdered. I was happy to see them. Maybe they could talk some sense into her.
We'd find out later they'd just come from the offices of Lavely and Singer, where they'd pick up a temporary restraining order and a small stack of internet postings from the message board, "datalounge."
"Did you write about Tig on the internet?" asked Gregozek
"There were no threats. Is it illegal now to make fun of someone on the internet?"
The easy admission seemed to deflate him. "No... it's not illegal, but it is illegal to push someone."
" She's still sticking to that lie?"
"Well Stephanie is saying it too."
Oh my god. What is wrong with these crazy bitches.
Gregozek filled me in on what I'd been doing, behind my very own back, for the last few months. Basically, behaving in a grossly undignified manner - pushing, ranting, raving at people and stationary objects. Someone was creating a narrative for me, whether one bit true or not.
Between my, "oh my god she's lying, oh my god they're lying, oh dear god why are they lying like this," I remembered all the people who had to have shared Notaro's traumas - the witnesses.
Back then, I only knew them by their generic identities - the barista, the bouncer, the brunette that was standing near Notaro at Largo, the coffee shop people, the club goers, and the cops.
Holy Cow - CCTV. Holy double cow - the cops.
I almost felt sorry for Notaro. She really fucked herself over. You can mess with me but not with the mighty LAPD. Gregozek and Hoffman did not appear to care about my Perry Mason moment. They got off the sofa and presented me with the temporary R.O, " You can tell all that to a judge.
"But... But... But... "
"We're not Stupid. We see what's going on." said Hoffman.
Of course they did! They were actual detectives.
"But why do I have to see a judge then?"
Just stay off the internet," Gregozek said, "and you'll be fine. From what I can tell she won't even show up."
"But how would you know that?"
"Just stay off the internet and you'll be fine."
(Later I'd call him and he'd change it up with, "Just stay off the internet and you're legal troubles are over.")
"But how is it illegal to tell people she's lying about me when she is?"
"It's only a problem when you have a permanent hearing coming up," he said in a no more questions you bore me baritone.
Gregozek and Hoffman left. I wouldn't see them again 'til a year and a half later, when they came back with 18 friends in riot gear - One with a battering ram.
The papers they gave me held the first clue as to who the the brunette lady was at Largo. (It was Tig's talent agent, Heidi Feigin. Notaro made it her business to tell anyone reading about her agent from William Morris) And, a new name, a name I'd never heard of, someone named Nick Kroll. But Kroll's name wouldn't seem significant till years later. Then, he just seemed like just another liar.
Notaro's official affidavit embellished new horrors: Me and my sister acting like B movie gangsters mixed with rednecks - watch your back see, gay bashing, hate criming through the streets of West Hollywood, casing the joint see, shoving, dodging the coppers on the night of April 12th. Notaro was supplying me with all kinds of dialogue - providing me with words and expressions I'd never use.
The first version of the perversion was signed by Notaro, and though it had a name of a law firm, Lavely and Singer, on top, there was no bar number and no lawyer's signature.
I Googled Lavely and Singer. It said they were a boutique law firm. That conjured up images of small stylish storefronts selling dresses, hats, gloves, and all manner of lovely little things. Not too alarming.
I googled Notaro, to get some insight into her. She had a MySpace page. Aha! I saw that the cops were right about her not showing up - she would be appearing in Denver on the day of the hearing.
I looked up Gregozek and Hoffman. Nothing about them then. If I had gone a little deeper - searched a little more, I would found out about Lavely and Singer, and I would have known that John Gregozek and James Hoffman were not regular LAPD. They worked for the LAPD's Threat Management Unit - a unit that only dealt with the city's more serious stalking cases.
I would have also found out that their former head, Robert Martin, had recently been represented by Lavely and Singer in a defamation claim against an author and Penguin Publishing. The gist was that a David Waddell wrote about a book about shady dealing with celebrity stalking and security cases and had written critical things about the Threat Management Unit.
Later I'd see that this unit had been featured in L.A. magazine, and years later they even got their only show (unimaginatively called Stalker and thankfully cancelled quickly), but before the hearing, and for a few months, I thought they were just regular LAPD Detectives. Even without knowing their true identity, it begged the question, was it normal practice for two big strapping detectives to act as process servers.
Was Notaro more powerful than Jennifer Aniston?
Jennifer Aniston? What are you on about? How did Jennifer Aniston get involved in all this?
It turned out that Aniston and Notaro had a few things in common.
1. They both wanted R.O.'s.
2. They both got them in a Santa Monica court.
3. They both were represented by Lavely and Singer.
4. Both cases were given to the TMU with Gregozek as lead detective.
Now the differences:
1. Jennifer Anistons' application for the temporary order is 96 pages - stuffed with police reports, incident reports, her lawyer's (who has a name - Evan Spiegel) affidavits, her affidavits, Gregozek's lengthy affidavit.
2. Notaro's is a one page emailed affidavit and three pages of handwritten filled out court forms.
3. The TMU is out and proud as the unit involved in Aniston's case. In my case the TMU and Gregozek are operating on the down low. Gregozek is nowhere to found on paper, or at the hearing.
4. In Aniston's case everything is typewritten with the lawyers signature in two spaces. In my case, the lawyer's bar number is not included and not only would she not show up to the hearing, she did not write anything or sign the forms.
Aniston's RO request is signed by her Lavely and Singer lawyer
No Bar Number
Notaro's lists Los Angeles Police
And although there is no evidence of the TMU or any of their detectives in the restraining order filing or hearing we do see that Gregozek was doing deliveries for Lavely and Singer.
In short, the TMU were strictly acting as errand boys with badges. They don't exist in any real way until criminal charges are filed right after I'd sue Notaro for defamation.
My dying words will be," If I knew then what I know now." And, my epitaph, " Shoulda, coulda, woulda."
I shoulda taken out a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, with these words:
My dearest Tig,
I know you love the sound of your own name. Don't get me wrong, I love it too. And yet what does it stand for? Terrific Incredible Genius. Get it? TIG. Madonna, Oprah, Cher, Charo, even Jesus are yesterday's news. The world needs a new one namer and Tig is that name. Please please please stop trying to destroy my life.
Your most humblest admirer,
We shoulda and coulda hauled ass to find witnesses before the hearing; taken out an ad in the Los Angeles Times, "If you've been at this place at this time and saw nothing unusual please call Alisa Spitzberg at this number."
At the time, and now, I don't like to haul ass. Most of all, I wouldn't have listened to the oddly honest lawyer I spoke to - who told me that though he charged five thousand dollars, he wouldn't take my money, because no judge would grant such an order with no evidence and based on a push, real or imagined, that happened 9 months ago, especially since no one even called the cops.
Instead of doing any of that, on the day of the hearing, I drove down to the Santa Monica Courthouse, in a stupid state of calm. Yeah, the two cops were somewhat sketchy, but real bad apples only existed in movies or down in Compton. While Gregozek and Hoffman weren't exactly in season Honeycrisp, they couldn't have worms at their center.
As for judges: I thought they were the ultimate adults of the universe. If that Burbank attorney thought he couldn't take our money, no judge could see it differently. Again, I felt twisted pity for this Tig person. If she in fact did show up, she'd be shamed in open court, fined, or even jailed for false statements.
Well, that didn't happen.
I cannot emphasize how I didn't get what I was getting into. The Lavely and Singer lawyer, Allison Hart Sievers, never showed up. If the lawyer of note is not present, the proceeding cannot continue. For Notaro to proceed without a lawyer, she'd have to file a substitution of attorney. Meaning, they'd have to postpone the hearing.
The judge had to say, "Where's your lawyer, Ms. Notaro? I don't know if you know, but Ms. Sievers knows that if she's not here we can't proceed. Where are these cops you list as just LAPD? And who are all these people who you've brought to court? None of them are in your affidavit? And they sure didn't fill out any affidavits. It's terribly unfair that Ms. Spitzberg cannot have a way to properly cross examine them, and you just made major inconsistent statements without even cross examination so... And, one more thing Ms. Notaro, who the hell are these three roommates you list here? Are these the men you've brought with you? No? None are here today? So you're telling me you want to restrain her from three men who are not even present. Ms. Notaro, I think you are a very shady lady. You've got some splaining to do."
Well, that didn't happen.
I'll just offer you the low-lights. Rosenberg helped Tig when she couldn't remember dates, when she couldn't remember locations, helped refresh her memory to what she or her witness's already said. He didn't force them to sit outside when the others testified as required by law. He didn't notice that the information she spouted in court did not match up to what she'd written in her affidavit. (Just one example: Now I didn't go to Largo to stalk Tig I'd come to stalk Stephanie. After 9 months of no contact I'd somehow took an insane guess that Stephanie followed Tig around to all locations. HUH?) He didn't notice that one witness, Micheal Griffee completely changed his story right from moment to moment, right in front of him.
The clincher to him was that I had checked her schedule on MySpace. When I saw I was being railroaded, I asked for a continuance because of how I read she would be in Denver at the time of the hearing. Saying I saw this on her MySpace to him was an admission so damning, that he almost said, AHA!
Her witnesses babbled on unabated, with no way for me to prove they were lying cause they'd never supplied any previous statements. A three year CLETS was awarded to her and her three roommates (who'd I'd never seen or even heard of. Later I'd find out that two of them never lived with her at anytime, much less at the time of that hearing.)
Avoiding Notaro would be relatively easy, but keeping a non jailable distance from all men of roommate age was no way to live. I'd only feel safe around ladies who were not Tig, which again was no way to live.
Would people actually come into court and lie under oath? I have to believe most people would never do that. But if you spent five minutes in the L.A. comedy scene, then you wouldn't be as surprised. For instance, Stephanie Willen went from being a secretary of a gossip columnist to thanking Tig for getting her a job as her camera woman, thanking her for trips to Aspen, and actually getting Funny or Die video( With Notaro and Nick Kroll)credits, and even a small spot on NPR's this American Life. Open Mic-er Brian Whitaker never had a paying gig since being in L.A was suddenly on his My Space talking about opening at the Improv for Notaro and saying, "Thanks for the gig Tig."
A month later, on June 29th 2008, I began my unpaid legal career by filing a notice of appeal.
July 14th 2008
During the two months that followed the granting of the order, I went out a few times to comedy clubs. I kept to the more fringe ones - places I'd hoped my wanted poster wasn't posted by the bar. One night, I was standing in a venue called El Cid. I ended up talking to a girl named Martha Kelly (who I knew from Tig's MySpace was a friend of Tigs)
One side effect of all this fuckery was, that apropos of almost anything, I'd start babbling about the THING. I was recently run over and the tracks were still fresh. Tig's name was too easy an invitation to refuse.
Somewhere in the recounting of the THING, I said to Kelly, "She needs to stop doing this, she's killing my mother."
Besides being the most limp wristed strong arm tactic in the history of provocation, it was also true. My mother is a refined little Hungarian, from a generation, where restraining orders are strictly given to drunk men in wife beaters. The fact of her ex-yeshiva girl getting one was too much to bear. Plus, it broke her heart that I was stopped from doing comedy.
Not only would she not stop this, this got worse. Why Notaro was so cruel will never make sense. She shouldn't have won but she won, but she seemed to want more. My name popped up all over the internet. Grade school scarlet letter stuff. The ugliest slander imaginable. So ugly I have a hard time repeating it.
A Harris Wittels told the world I stalked many female comedians. So did some stranger named Jazz Ponce. A Scott Boxenbaum referred to me many times as a stalker, the town weirdo and more. When I tried to respond in any way I was either attacked or blocked from the site. Later I'd find out that the people who were either saying vicious things or were making sure I couldn't protect myself against the viciousness, were all connected to Nick Kroll. At the time though it just made no sense and it felt like hell.
Stalking is a crime and being wrongfully accused of it is actionable. If it's a lie, the person saying or spreading the slander on the internet is liable for libel. So I continued my uncompensated legal career by writing a defamation suit (I couldn't get a lawyer without paying a lot of money, I didn't have, upfront.)
And then things went from the miserable to the horrible.
I filed the suit on August 11th, 2008. A few days later, on August 19th, 2008, I got a letter in the mail from the office of the city attorney - that they were pursuing a charge on a misdemeanor, but what for? The letter didn't tell me. And since I didn't do anything, I couldn't even guess.
My mother called Gregozek, asking how they could criminally charge me when he and Hoffman knew Notaro was a liar. She got off the phone looking more confused than scared.
"Is suing someone for defamation illegal?"
"Of course not. What did he say?"
He said, "What could I do. You sued her, didn't you?"
Even without Detective blabbermouth admitting it, it wasn't hard to figure out what was going on.
As a lawyer would say in the near future, " These people are obviously commandeering the system and I don't know why?"
In a message dated 4/13/2009, 4:20:17 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
I understand your frustration, I really do. These people are obviously commandeering the justice system for their own petty purposes and it needs to stop. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the system knows it's being commandeered, and it comes down to your word against hers and the DA and cop who inexplicably believe her.
I will walk in on the 16th a motion, probably the Pitchess and the discovery motion. I will bring the motion to dismiss once we complete those motions, as we will perhaps have more information to support the dismissal at that point. In fact, I foresee bringing the motion to dismiss on multiple occasions before and during trial.
As far as depositions are concerned, we're going to have to wait on that. We are not entitled to a deposition in a criminal proceeding, only to have her on the stand to confront and cross-examine at the trial. The deposition is for the civil suit, which must necessarily happen after the criminal case is over.
Good question future lawyer. How the hell is Notaro so powerful that she outpowers Jennifer Aniston? So powerful that she gets the TMU to try and sabotage a defamation suit? Not to mention how the hell is she paying for those Lavely and Singer lawyers, who we since found out were as high powered, and expensive as it gets. (Averaging 500 bucks an hour.)
I'm going to tell you my theory in a minute. Please pay attention cause this is the most important part of everything. Remember, Notaro and her lawyer knew she was being sued on August 11th. Let's look at Gregozek's version of what happened.
That night Martha Kelly makes an urgent call to Notaro, immediately. She tells her that not only was I worried about my mother's health but that I want firearms.
August 1st (18 days later- 2 weeks and four days)
Notaro suddenly feels the need to call Gregozek and tell him what Kelly has told her. Gregozek doesn't write a report.
He, and two other detectives, ride from Downtown L.A to Hermosa Beach to show Kelly one photo (me). While there they take no witness statements. They will no further investigation whatsoever.
Letter dated August 19th is sent to me informing me that I've been charged with a misdemeanor by a Phyllis Henderson (Whom I'd never hear from or see again.)
Gregozek attempts to get a stalking charge filed, but a City Attorney named Webster rejects it.
According to the file, I am officially charged with one count - misdemeanor, which is strange considering the August 19th letter from the Office of the City Attorney. Why send a letter about a charge that hasn't even been filed yet?
So we're supposed to believe that Notaro gets an urgent call that a restrained person is talking about guns. She sits around for two weeks and four days, and then apropos of nothing special happening, she decides to call her cop, Gregozek, to report it. Then, for seven days, Gregozek and the TMU sit on their asses and then on the eighth day, the TMU lets three Elite Detectives, Gregozek, Hoffman, and Defoe, take a day trip to Hermosa Beach - to show a... photo to Martha Kelly? They take no statements?
So the day after I sue Notaro, Gregozek goes in for an arrest warrant. Now the law is that when to comes to misdemeanors an officer must witness the crime to get such a warrant so that is very suspicious to begin with. But whomever calls the shots rejects his application.
What had to have happened: Kelly tells Notaro about the conversation. End of story. More than two weeks later, on the 11th or after, Allison Sievers gets the heads up that Notaro has been sued, and Gregozek, being the good Nazi that he is, gets a call from Sievers, telling him what she wants him to do. That day he goes to submit his police report to get an arrest warrants and is rebuffed. He gives up on the warrant business but shops around for a prosecutor to sign off on a misdemeanor (Violation of a court order.)
A letter is sent to me on August 19th telling me of some charge. He's done his duty but Notaro wants more, so Allison is directed to get Gregozek to bring him a prized charge of stalking. A City Attorney by the name of Webster, rejects it, we'd find out.
Gregozek presents no witness statements, no evidence of any kind and not even the restraining order (we'd also soon find out) so they have no triable case and they know it. As you will see soon, the first plea I am offered is ten days in jail- an outrageous offer that no defendant would ever take. And for the next court appearance the plea will become informal diversion- a few hours of anger management and stay out of trouble for a a year and you'll have no record.
Why thank you good sirs, of course I'd take that.
But, I didn't. I didn't do the one thing they bet on from the start - I wouldn't plea when not guilty.
Maybe she had family in the Mafia? Her name did sound Italian. Maybe her father is some powerful millionaire. I looked a little into it, and her father might be Italian, but he definitely wasn't a powerful millionaire. She did claim to be Sarah Silverman's best friend but was she so powerful? I don't think so. Sorry Sarah.
So here's the theory as to to how little Tig could have the TMU and the prosecutors do her bidding.
We'd learn much much later she did have a friend- a friend who said he'd go to Greenland for her cause he'd do anything for her. And he also said she was his oldest and best comedy friend. And this friend's father is very very powerful and not just a millionaire, but a multi billionaire with connections.Not just connections but very specific connections to the players in my case.
His name is Nick Kroll.
Who is Nick Kroll?:
At the time, Nick Kroll, was a struggling comedian without the struggle, and yes that Nick Kroll - the one who lied about the car being full of beer cans the cops failed to see, and who we surely never saw on the scene. And he was supposed to be Tigs most important witness, but didn't show up to the R.O hearing.
No matter how many times it's proven that people, especially in the fucked up justice system, do get together to do bad and then cover each other's asses, conspiracies will always be shorthand for organic brain disease.
I have no use for conspiracy theories or the people who believe in them. I feel sorry and annoyed at the tragic but still annoying souls who get get stuck on them. Doomed to sit in darkened rooms, chain smoking and scribbling on the walls. Black sharpied circles and arrows, spiderwebbing into red sharpied, AHAs, to be shared in dark web chatrooms with other weirdos.
So the conspiracy grows. If you harass a waiter and find a toenail in your soup, your suspicions could be taken seriously. If you accuse the water-boy, who you've also been rude to, with supplying the nail clipper eh not so much. If you insist that the chef set the whole thing up, it will make your fellow dining companions try to secretly catch each other's eyes. If you accuse the management of the entire chain of malfeasance, you will make your parents cry. The saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there not out to get you," should be more specific in the suspect numbers.
So what do you do if you're me - drowning in a forest of fallen trees of actual evidence? We were confused about the why, but really stymied on the how and the who.
Nah. No way. Couldn't be. And, yet it couldn't be anything else. Cognitive dissonance can make you feel mad - angry that you have to write long disclamairs on how you are angry mad not mad mad. How could a little thing called Tig have the power of 500 dollar an hour lawyers, Elite police squads, and prosecutors and judges. The suspect numbers were just too much.
In late 2013, the who and how became clear. I was reading some unrelated to my case article, when I saw the words Kroll Securities, and remembered the last name of that false witness. I googled Kroll Securities, and soon enough came upon a Wikipedia For a powerful billionaire named Jules Kroll, and indeed Nick Kroll was his youngest son. Soon enough I came upon an article about an Ian Puddick- who had a website devoted to how he was screwed by Kroll and the cops. It eerily mimicked my tale.
Basically, in England there was a guy named Ian Puddick. Ian's wife had an affair with her boss. Ian found out and did the understandable things a spurned husband would tend to do - He called the wife of her boss. He called the boss. He got angrier and called clients of the boss and told them secretes of what his wife told him about the boss. And, finally he did what I did, started a ... gasp... blog. The blog was basically about how Mr. Tim Haynes is a very bad man.
The only things unusual thing in this scenario of the aggrieved spouse causing a ruckus is who the boss had on retainer to fight said ruckus - Kroll Inc/ Kroll Ltd/ Kroll Risk/ Kross securities.
Kroll sounds like what would happen if Tom Clancy and Kafka had a baby - a Dr. Evil by way of James Bond, in a business suit. Kroll has got their dirty little fingers in all the spooky arts imaginable - litigation support/ reputational management, Private investigations/ Forensics/ Defense Contracting/ CIA contractors and on and on.
For our purposes we'll stick with reputation management. In short, if someone has a reputation problem, or as the kids today call it, " brand issues," Kroll will assess the risk to the reputation and take measures to contain the risk and then restore the reputation. Please look it up.
See! They don't even hide it. What they do hide is how they go about it.
Then more articles -about how Jules Kroll scouts for lawyers, prosecutors, and even judges and offers lucrative jobs in the private sector. Oh looky here, Bill Bratton, the chief of police at the time of my prosecution
also moonlights as a Chairman for Kroll
Nick Kroll has claimed repeatedly that he considers Tig Notaro to be his best friend. A friend he would do anything for...
Ka-ching. Jesus Christ. No fucking way. Oh looky here the former head of the TMU was a Robert Martin, who was represented by Lavely and Singer when a David Waddle wrote a book seeking to expose the alliance between crooked cops trying to get in good with lawyers etc so they could get high paying jobs in private and celebrity security. And another former head of the TMU, Gregory Boles, now works for Kroll in Africa. Lucrative as hell. There was even more links between Kroll and law enforcement of all kind, in cities all over the world. They even owned the forensic labs that did the drug testing for law enforcement and they did security for courthouses throughout the land.
To sum it up, Ian Puddick is someone I can cry in my beer with. I had a little blog. He had a little blog. He was annoying his wife's boss and I was annoying Nick Kroll's friend. In both cases they used the services of particular lawyers, who contacted special branches of the police. In both cases, they criminalized a civil case. The missing link is that in my case, the brand I was annoying was someone who was MCing shows for five dollars a ticket. In Puddick's case he was pestering a director of a multi million dollar insurance agency. And, the biggest thing we have in common is Kroll.
Clara Folz Courthouse
All court houses, especially big city ones, have a lot of history. Rosenberg's court had Roman Polanski in the vicinity, before Polanski decided to pop out and off the Switzerland. Ms. Folzes beat all that. The marble benches where I spent countless butt breaking hours were haunted by infamous phantom asses i.e Manson and his disciples, O.J and his family, Robert Blake and his family (or maybe nobody came for him. I don't know) I am not putting myself in such vaunted company but I was treated a lot more seriously that the average non violent misdemeanor convict. Again with Carl Sagan, "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence."
Public defender, Anan Desai, was a lot like that misguided attorney from Burbank. Desai was a young princely sort. I liked him and he seemed to like me back. He treated me like a good friend. He told me it was curious to bring charges on so crappy a case. He wondered aloud what is going on with comedians in Los Angeles, and passionately said twice he'd be happy to take it to trial. He told me that their plea offer was ten days in jail. Anan commented on how bizarrely harsh that was.
He didn't even have the restraining order in his possession. No one had given him it. It would turn out that the prosecutor, Phyllis Henderson, who agreed to add a charge, did not have it in her possession when she charged me, but Anan did have one page - a police report dated April 30th. He read me the report. It made me ecstatic. Notaro had seriously changed her story again. So now she had changed her story from April 30th to May 5th, and then again on May 28th. Now we had the push inside, not outside and all the words I used on her and her agent were changed to now say that they'd been used on her and Stef Willen.There were many more that would have convinced anyone that Notaro (and Willen and any witness she brought to the hearing)were lying their asses off.
Oh Tig. Tig. Tig! You are way past perjury, now you are deep into even more felonious misconduct. You are way past a civil restraining order now you've engaged the criminal justice system to fight your vendetta. Forget about fines, honey, you're going to the big house.
5I stood in front of Judge Dennis Landin. I heard Landin make a garbled comment about granting something. I had no idea what he possibly could have been granting. Did Anan know? I don't know. It turned out to be a Domestic Violence criminal restraining order.
Did Landin say, when presented with the prosecutors request,"Domestic Violence? There is dispute that there is no relationship between these two. Are Ms. Notaro and Ms Spitzberg married, shacking up, or even related? And even if they were, there's this quaint little thing called due process, where we are required to have notice to Ms Spitzberg. The we must have hearing before I could sign this serious piece of paper. Mr. Prosecutor, you gotta lotta splaining to do.
That didn't happen.
Instead Judge Dennis Landin discarded all that due process nonsense, and signed the order.
(only much later would I even know such a order existed and only much later would prosecutors try to use it at trial.)
October 16th 2008
Of course I didn't plea, so I had to go back for more. Anan was missing from the second hearing. In his place was the Anti Anan - A ferocious ferret named Nicky Meehan. Meehan was strictly concerned with pleasing the powers that be - scraping off the dry peas off the court's plate. Meehan was presenting me with a new plea. The plea was called "informal diversion." She spoke of a few hours of anger management and stay out of trouble for a year, and it's over. How did it go from ten days in jail to some rageaholic get togethers?
I asked her this. She said, "Cause it's a bullshit case." But, I didn't mismanage my rage in any way that would get me into any trouble, and I told her this.She like every cynical lawyer in every cynical movie said,"look around. Most of these people are innocent too. It doesn't matter.You got the best plea in the criminal justice system."
I looked around. Surely most of them must have done something. You don't get charged with crimes, willy nilly. I didn't get the irony back then. Was it because I was white, and though financially compromised, at the time, was still living in the not so distant past, where I had, "Call my lawyer," cache.
When you are, "in it," you are not thinking about class system and socioeconomic studies, you're only thinking that this has got to end soon. They'll drop it. Worse comes to worse we'll go to trial - a day or two tops. I'll be vindicated . Then back to normal life - normal life seemed so grand compared to this.
" So no, absent dismissal, I want to take it to trial," I told her.
Nicky Meehan walked out in a literal huff.
It didn't look like anyone was eager to help me. But I tried again, I wrote Hoffman these emails
Before those emails, I'd called him and begged him to talk to witnesses, a short distance away from the TMU's office. And, he actually chuckled and said, "I'm not going to talk to witness for THIS."
Since no one was going to help us, we did what we should have done at the beginning( Not that that would have probably made a difference in Rosenberg's court.) We researched the protocols about witness statements. Some other lawyer we spoke to sent us proper affidavit forms. Of course there was the same problems as before, who were these people and how hard would it be to find them?
Light-bulb over head - the bouncer at the Dime. Bouncers usually stayed in the same stop. Please please still have the same job.
Mr. Handsome was still guarding the Dime's door. Approaching strangers and asking them to get involved in your mess is a recipe for rejection. When we showed him what Notaro had sworn to on that night, he got angry. He told us he's a parole officer by day, so for him to miss all that was extra insulting. He
wrote out that affidavit(see above.) Another light bulb moment: Baristas. Coffee shops have baristas. Please please please let there not be a high employee turnover( cause it's been nine months.)
The Coffee shop was about to close. One guy remained behind the counter. I asked him if he remembered me. He didn't. I asked him if by any chance he was there on August 29th 2007- A Wednesday. An open mic. Turned out, he wasn't a barista but the manager, and as manager he hadn't missed a comedy/poetry night for the last six years. Surely, he would remember his quiet cafe transforming into a gunfight at the OK Corral.
He remembered that nothing happened at any open mic. Would you write an affidavit saying that, I said. His reaction was more expected that Julius's. He didn't really want to get involved. As the kids say, "He didn't want no drama." But, he wrote it up(see above.)
November 6th 2008
According to this, now the prosecution did order the restraining order after they filed a charged, based on its alleged violation.
Next up was the pornly named Franica Tawn- another youngin. They were all pretty young. She did a few things you'd expect, prepared an extensive discover motion to get CCTV and anything relevant to my case. She also got the public defender's investigator to talk to the witnesses I told her about. (And that's how we found out what talent agent, Heidi Feigin, and Tobin shea( Manager of El Cid) would say.
Franica like them all, except Nicki, seemed to start out with good intentions, until inexplicably it screeched to a stop. The problem with her was that even though she did the right things, she kept us in the dark about the motion. I only knew it even existed until after trial, and though she'd set it for hearing that hearing came and went and appears to have been canceled and she never saw fit to tell me any of it. As for the investigator reports, they turned out to be amazingly great, but she wouldn't tell me what was said.
You see, Franica let few things slip from her lips, but one day she did wonder out loud why Allison Sievers of Lavely and Singer was calling the court all the time(Once the case is in the criminal court a civil attorney should have nothing more to do with it.) Franica also wondered out loud how Tig got out of the city attorney's November 5th subpoena( A subpoena was when the court compels the plaintiff to testify about their accusations,.)
After five months of Franica keeping me in the dark, I had no choice but to be my own lawyer. Yeah Yeah a fool for a client but I didn't stay a fool for long. When I got my hands on the discovery that Franica never told me about, I saw something else that Franica never told me about - four special circumstance/exigent circumstance search warrants. You can thank George W. Bush for these special warrants. After 9/11, they became super easy to get. Usually, they have to give you the heads up before they search your property. But, exigent means the crime is so serious, so pressing, the perp so dangerous, that it's in society's best interest that they be conducted in secret.
Such warrants are mostly used on terrorists or pedophiles. In case the would be bomber has time to dismantle or detonate his bomb, or the kiddie lover deletes his pervy pictures and browser history. We also saw that Allison Sievers had sent two letters to Gregozek and the prosecution, wanting additional charges to be put on for four Facebook posts.
Put letter right here
The first paid lawyer, Howard L. Williams. Howard( a very Howard looking person,) seemed excited to take it to trial. He loved my witnesses. He thought something was very wrong with Gregozek. Not only that but the timing - the 18 day gap between her call to police and the timing of the lawsuit. He said if he could get Notaro or Gregozek on the stand, they were toast. As for the Facebook charges, he saw no link to me. If someone else did it, it was legal. Either way a collateral attack on the order would make that all meaningless, as it was not a valid order and you can't criminally charge someone on an order obtained by fraud or perjury.
And as for the posts, only a toddler getting caught red-handed with a cookie would cry about it. Boo hoo I stabbed you and you bled on my shoe. Shame on you! He told me what I already knew -- once you file charges you better be sure they are good charges cause if they win, hello malicious prosecution! He told me he intended to quote unquote paper the prosecution. He promised to file a motion to traverse the warrants, a motion to attack the validity of the restraining order, a few motions to dismiss, and intriguingly a piches motion. Once upon a time there was a man called Piches, who had a smart idea. He thought to myself, "Hey if a cop is setting me up can I see if this guy has a history of being crooked. Is the pig dirty, or basically clean."
One of the luxuries of having a private attorney is being able to pace nervously in the comfort of your own home. Howard filed a motion to traverse. It was four months late but that's another story. During a court date ,where it turned out there would be no hearing because the prosecutors said they weren't ready, Howard mentioned how he planned to file a Piches and to get Gregozek on the stand. The newest prosecutor, Jennifer Waxler( who had actually bought a second chair prosecutor, Felise Kalpakian, to help her. (Highly unusual for a non violent misdemeanor.)
What is even more unusual is that Waxler somehow knows without texting, calling, sleeping with(as far as I know,) that Gregozek is going to be on vacation on the day that Howard wants to get him on the stand. And, when the judge tried to set a date for when Gregozek got back from cough cough Cancun, Waxler made a brazen move. They wanted to have me remanded and put in jail till trial(according to Howard.)
How could they do this? Blame Lauren D. Lauren Joy Spitzberg is my sister. She has no order against her so she could have written anything she wanted, on the internet. Apparently this Lauren D. wrote her horrifying missive on a computer message board, in 2005. Notaro admitted herself that we did not became aware of each other till 2007.
What did the horrifying missive say according to Jennifer Waxler, " I went to the show with my sister etc...." The ellipsis written by Lauren D too?
Villar should have said,
" Ellipsis's? Ellipsis's? Are you kidding me? I saw your show and ... what?What does it after the show bit? Does it possibly say I want my money back? Does it say I saw your show in 2005 and now I'm going to kill you? In any case, is her sister married to someone whose last name begins with a D? And even if she kept her maiden name, she has no orders against her so what is your point? Something's real weird here Waxler. Her lawyer says he want to put the detective on the stand and you know without contacting him he's on vaction and now suddenly you want the girl in jail. You've got some splaining to do? Hey why is Miss Kalpakian here. She has some splaining to do too.
That didn't happen.
Howard should have argued all that. He should have known that they couldn't have tracked that to me or even my home cause I did not know Notaro existed in 2005. He should have argued that I never went on a AOL computer uh chat room in my life and this all made no sense But, Howard wasn't even there. He'd send his partner Stanley Leiber's son in his place without telling me. And, Stanley's son was struck dumb.
The judge, thank goodness, demanded more for an arrest. She forgot all about Gregozek coming in and focused on linking Lauren D to me, or my sister, or someone else? She set a date, August 8th 2009 for a hearing to link a post from Lauren D to me or my sister or someone else from 2005?????? Whaaaaaaaaaa.
Remember while all this was going on, I was at home thinking that Howard was kicking so much legal ass. I didn't know until late that night that his partner's son, according to him( though it wasn't true) had narrowly saved me from a long stint in jail.
Me and my sister both read Howard's email. If I can use my hitchhiker analogy one last tortured time - we probably looked like, two chicks sitting in the back, who just spotted rope and duct tape under the seats. It took a few whimpering minutes to realize that neither of us is Lauren D, with all that implied. We also realized that Howard didn't know almost anything about the case, possibly not even our names.
Anyone who keeps yammering about that old saw, "Fool for a client," never had so many fools for a lawyer. Or, worse than fools?
( If I knew what was going to happen I would risk getting another idiot as I'd have to in a few long months.)
I had ready written an appeal and a lawsuit, what's a little piches motion. I wrote it up and planned to file it before the Lauren D hearing. As I've said before if you have a lawyer and want to be your own lawyer you have to file a substitution of attorney - In the criminal courts - a motion to withdraw.
Some days before the Lauren D link hearing, and now there are not one not two but three prosecutors. The gruesome twosome is now joined by a small beady eyed man named Martin Boags. I give the clerk my motion. On the way back, Waxler asks me what I just filed. A piches, I say slyly. Piches Bitches!
She gave me the stink eyes and scurried up to confer with Boags and Kalpakian. She is no doubt sick of me and my motions( I'd filed a few more) Good. I want her to be sick of me and my motions. I want the to stop this bullshit.
( They would but not in the way I expected. OMG!)
Kalpakian and Waxler got in front of their lectern. I got in front of mine. Before the judge could say anything, Waxler said, "May we approach your honor." Your honor nods and we all starting heading towards her. B ut, before I can make any headway, a bailiff puts his hand on my shoulder and nods,"no," I whose middle name should be at this juncture, Alisa "I want to put it on the record," Spitzberg, say, "I'd like to put it on the record that this is an exparte. For the lucky who never had to deal with courts, an exparte is Latin for you judges don't talk in private with either side. Basically, once party can't talk to the judge without the other party being president. It's not only rude, it's illegal.
A public defender sitting in court told me to get up there, they can't do that." But a prosecutor I've never seen before approached and told him to, "shut up."
I had to just stand there and watch their backs - Waxler stood like a stone but Kalkpakians backfat wiggled wildly as she frantically whispered.
When they decided ex parte was over, they returned to their lecterns. I can't go into to every detail of the hearing but I'll give you the low-lights. If you want to read the whole thing, go here. Scribd or separate place.
go to the transcript and post all shady lines.
I'm not the type to announce where my shrink( who I was actually going to cause of all this) hangs her shingle. But, when you are treated like a marginalized cockroach for so long ( over a year now,) you want to make it clear that you have some white privilege left too. We're in L.A after-all.
It sounds like Jessner is sending me off to a judicial spa- someplace they'll assist me on my case, and give me a massage while they are at it. Sounds pretty good. But just to show I still have some agency over my fate, I said, " I happen to be busy that day, I'll need another date. She gave me another date.
Back home, I googled competency. It seemed that Jessner was really sugarcoating something much more sinister. The prosecutors never ask for mental evaluations. It's something the defense does when they think it's a much better outcome than jail. Secondly, to be declared incompetent you have to be a cliche of crazy.
Example: Joe Wayne Shmo has killed his stepmother. He has chopped off her head, and taken it to school in a knapsack. The prosecution wants capital murder. The defense knows that Joe Wayne Shmo is guilty- cause he streamed the murder on Facebook live. Either Joe Wayne Shmo is feigning insanity AKA malingering, or he is really nuts and according to our system, you can't punish him for being genuinely batshit.
In short, you will never see a prosecutor, who is up to any good, say, " Sure Dahmer ate seven people but he's clearly off. We'd like to postpone the trial so he has a chance to get himself together. IT JUST DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.
Now, for the judge to declare it on their own, you have to be the kind of crazy you simply can't disguise: Drooling, twitching, stammering, screaming to Jesus or for the devil. They have to be in such a forsaken state that the judge themselves has to pull the alarm.
I never stood before Jessner before. What could she have seen in a few minutes, that no other judge, lawyer, prosecutor had seen in eleven months. Now, the good news, I thought they'd finally overplayed their hands. The judge in 95 specializes in these matters. At the worst, they'll send me back. At best, they'll have the chance to look closer, and start asking questions.
Department 95 was a squat stucco building on the border of Glendale and the Valley. The drill was a little different than a regular court. Put your keys, phone and purse on the little treadmill. After they pass inspection, pick it all up, and walk into the one and only dreary doctor office like waiting room. The judge I stood before was confused. Did the judge say where is your lawyer, as the law required, cause you're so crazy you certainly can't represent yourself. Did the Judge tell us that Jessner's got some splaining to do. Well he didn't do the latter but he did do the former! Finally, a judge who follows the law. How quaint.
Back to Division 40
A few days later I schlepped back to Division 40. Jessner and/or Villar weren't there. Instead, Karla Kerlin, former showgirl, former corrupt prosecutor, and now judge presided(Although I did not know all that about Karla Kerlin back) then. Waxler and Kalpakian had evaporated. Just the beady eyed guy who was there for the August 12th whatever you want to call that.
In an 'oh never mind that move,' Kerlin tells me at Boags(At an unrecorded sidebar no less,) that the competency thing is over on order from Jessner's Courtroom. Luckily she'd also make that clear in open court. Kerlin asked anxiously, "is there the possibility of a plea." I told there wasn't. She told me the trial would last at most, a day, before setting it tentatively for trial.
There was a hitch, Boags was going on vacation. City workers sure get a lot down time. Kerlin told me it was best I gave him some time to get up to speed, "Cause Marty is a good guy."
Later, I found out if indeed it was a vacation, it was a working vacation, cause Marty was requesting documents related to my case.
He would be the first and only prosecutor in the last year and two months who would look at any of the evidence. What will he find? He will find out that the allegations that the police were called on August 12th 2008, was a lie. There would be no record of a 911 call or any police participation.
He will find that the arrest that is mentioned on the minutes, at the Improv, never took place. He will find out that Gregozek's incident number was a fake. He will I assume find out many more exculpatory things.
What will he do with all these discoveries? Will he do what he must do - dismiss the charges, call his vacationing compatriot and say are you completely insane Gregozek, what are you up. How have you wasted all this time, money, and why? You've got some splaining to do, young man.
That didn't happen at all. Instead Boags would write a motion to reinstate the competency nightmare and send it the night before he'd managed to set it for a hearing.
It wasn't really that shocking that he would go there. A quick google search would reveal Marty's unsavory past. Some good guy, Kerlin.
Once upon a time, little Martin went to Beverly Hills High. There he wracked up a lot of unpaid parking tickets, and so did his rich buddies. Luckily for him, and them, Martin Boag's father was judge Charles Boags. And, Judge Boags made everything right. Unbelievably, to me, the judge was caught, prosecuted and unbenched - in spite of the efforts of Johnnie Cochran. Yes, that Johnny Cochran. Little Martin would have to face his father's disgrace by his own son's hand, but he would still be free to go to law school and end up as my prosecutor.
Later when it got to the civil remedy part, I would have a sit down with Christopher Darden. Yes that Christopher Darnen. It's a small world, six degrees of separation, and all that jazz. But, back to the present.
In this instance, all rules of the court were completely discarded as Marty would filed the motion a day before the court set him a hearing. Even layman probably understand how against the rules that is.
The next day in court what does Kerlin do? Does she say, " For Christ's sake counseler we resolved that disaster last time. What would make you think that she's gone crazy again? And, you know very well that it's against every rule to file a motion the night before the hearing. Marty, you are not acting like a good guy, you got some splaining to do.
Do I really have to tell you that that didn't happen?
Instead, Kerlin ordered me upstairs, to the courtroom of Robert Vanderet, so he could hear the baseless and untimely motion. Why couldn't Kerlin rule on the motion herself? It had to be that the only reason to send me up to an empty courtroom was so that the public defenders milling around in her court, didn't get another show.
My first impulse was to do as I'm told. But in the elevator, I had a holy shit nothing is making sense moment, and I pressed the button to go back down. I forgot to tell you about Robin Ginsburg. Robin Ginsburg is the supervisor of the PD's. She approached me sometime after August 12th, to tell me she saw Jessner's ex parte, and she told me she was not only willing to supply an affidavit but she'd try to score me affidavits from all present. So I went back down to ask her to help me.
She told me she'd get a high level public defender, Alissa Malzman, to accompany me.
In Vanderet's court, Alissa put up a bit of a fight. She cited a law that stated that if a defense attorney claims that his client is competent then this can't happen or at least must be considered before any evaluation could take place. Alissa then stated that she'd seen me many times in court, and she found me competent.
Who knew anyone was actually watching me?
Sorry about another splaining but it's really the best way to explain.
Did Vanderet say, "Ms. Malzman is absolutely correct. It's a defense attorney who calls the shots on whether she's fit for trial, they have to work with her after all. So unless I see Spitzberg under the table biting her fists, you've got some splaining to do, Charles Boag's prodigal son."
That so didn't happen.
Later we'd find this post it
which went a long way in explaining why Vanderet was saying how his hands were tied. That is what Vanderet would say when it came to his ordering me to 95, " My hands are tied."
So based on no law, but on Kerlin's order, he ordered me back to Division 95 on October 14th 2009. I pretended again that I have more pressing matters to attend to on that date. This time it doesn't work. Vanderet made it clear it has to be that exact date, that exact time and he even spoke of an exact judge, though there was a few judges in that court. Or as he puts it, "That's Maria Stratton's bellyache." Cue Omen music.
Alissa says she'll be there to accompany me, but later she told me outside that she won't be there since they have public defenders in that court. I asked her to please do anything to give the heads up to whatever public defenders that were in that court. She promised me she would and it turned out she did.
Before I left, I ran into Robin Ginsburg, who told me to call her that night. Of course I did. On the phone, Robin was very friendly. Very concerned. She told me that the prosecution was dicking me around, but if anything seemed fishy in that court, just leave and call her.
Division 95 -October 14th 2009
Remember, at this point I don't know anything about secret post it notes with nefarious instructions or anything about the laws governing competency to stand trial. All I can guess is that a real doctor and a judge, specifically trained to spot craziness is going to talk to me. The only thing that is delusional about me, at this point, is that I keep believing that there are real doctors and real judges.
I enter the court's waiting room again. A heavy set African American woman is imploring her keeper(A guard) if she can get a soda from the vending machine. He tells her he'll take her to the water fountain. " I don't want water. I want a Coke." He refuses and not because he's worried about her calorie intake, cause he won't get her a diet Coke either. My mother can't stand it anymore, "Get her a soda," she tells the guard, "I'll pay for it." We are all getting worked up. When I get home I plan to write a blog post about the plight of this thirsty woman. The guard explains that it's not the money it's that, "Caffeine riles these people up." Well, she's not asking for a Red Bull, but I guess he knows something that we don't.
So, it's back to feeling ineffectually sad for her in silence. A woman(hard sixty, polyester green pantsuit) walked towards us. She doesn't want change for refreshments, she's here to introduce herself as Bernadette Everman - my lawyer for today's' shenanigans. I asked her if she got Alissa's memo and she seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. She tells me she just got the case a few minutes ago.
All she knows is that I'm supposed to talk to a Dr. Velarde and after that, a judge will see me. She directs me to a back room. I ask her, "Don't you have to come with me?" "No," she says, "Not necessary. Just go talk to the doctor. You'll be fine."
Dr. Velarde's office was a cheap desk and chair. I'd later learn that at that time, Velarde was not certified to conduct competency evaluations. He was a jail doctor when he was expected to "evaluate," me. The exam resembled a pop quiz of the judicial system for dummies.
Him: " What is a judge."
Me: He is a former lawyer who is elected to make ruling on cases.
Him: What does the judge do?
Me: He makes rulings
Him: What does the prosecutor do?
Me: He brings charges if someone commits a crime. He has to prove his case without a reasonable doubt.
And so forth and so on. If I may so myself, I was scoring an A+ .
Then he asked me one more question, "Do you understand your charges."
Me: That's the problem. No, I don't. Two of them don't make sense. They are saying I posted something to Facebook, but they have no evidence that it was me or anyone from what I can tell.
Note: At trial, Judge Moore, would take it upon himself to acquit those two charges mid trial. In essence saying, they make no sense. So there!
Velarde closed his little notepad and said, "I'm concerned. This has been going on for too long. Let me just talk to the judge."
He sent me out to wait an disappeared behind the court's heavy doors.
Bernadette Everman came out after about fifteen minutes. We smiled at her. She was supposedly on our side, so why not smile? Something about my dumb innocent face must have annoyed her because the next thing she did was vomit out what would turn out to be my saving grace - " The doctor declared you incompetent."
"You mean competent?"
" No. Incompetent.
" Did you say in before competent."
"Yes I did. The opposite of competent,"
I remembered my research and my motion - I get to have two doctors for my side.
She said, "let me just check in with the judge. You stay there."
Everman got the door open with a grunt, and was gone. We sat there for a few moments. Then my sister said, "Let's get out of here right now." It took me a second to remember Robin Ginsburg's words of warning. A whole bottle of perfume poured over a year old flounder, left out in the desert, could not mask the smell of such rancid seafood. Things were indeed fishy.
With the soundtrack of midnight express playing in my mind, the three of us began walking as calmly as possible towards the exit. It took real restraint to not break out into a trot. The two guards at the exit smiled sweetly and said, "Have a great day, ladies." I will always love those two guards.
When I got home I called Ginsburg. She nearly screeched... WHAT?? But then she seemed the think for a moment and she said, "I was kidding about leaving. You have to go back." Dun de Dun Dun Dun. Wow.
Then I called Alissa Malzman. She screeched even worse, but told me if Robin said so, I had to go back.
Two days later an urgent message from Everman - a letter- came in the mail, telling me to come back, offering me candies in the shape of two more doctors. The child catcher of 95 was wasting her fucking time. I planned to stay under the bed forever.
Had I really started to lose it? Could it be that Everman did plan to secure two doctors. Could it be Robin Ginsburg was just a big old jokester? Had my family been infected with my madness? Could we be experiencing the three person version of folie a deux?
It turns out that none of us were nuts. Later I would learn that Stratton had it all set up beforehand. The minute I would have walked into that courtroom,( and I would have if Everman had kept her mouth shut, and if Ginsburg hadn't told me to leave...) a few baillifs would have been at the ready, to shackle and cuff me. Then they would hustle me into a prison van or some mental hospital van, and driven me to Patton State Hospital in San Bernadino, California. I'd be stuck with a needle full of Thorazine, until I was forty pounds fatter, fifty IQ points lower, and a million times sadder.
This can't really happen in America. If it did, everyone would know about it. C'mon really now.
What she had prepared on October 14 2009
but I had to wait till much after December 1st 2009 to see what she'd prepared exactly. I'd only be allowed to see this file, months after the trial was over.
When you write out a tale like this, you realize how helpful and true cliches are. In the following days everything seemed eerily silent. The eerie silence was only interrupted by calls to lawyers. One lawyer downright told me he wouldn't make waves with judges. One told me this is way too complicated for his skill set. I can't remember what the third said. But, basically all the lawyers thought I sounded awfully competent to stand trial and all told me not to worry about them coming to the house to arrest me. Just drive safely, they cautioned. Because you see on a non violent misdemeanor that just doesn't happen. And, they seemed to be right. Wouldn't they have come calling right away?
The days passed with no knocks, except for the pizza guy who was peered at tothrough the peephole, for far too long. No one seemed to be coming. We waited for the next apt cliche - the other shoe ready to drop. During that time I only drove like an eighty year old woman, to lawyers and back.
On the eighteenth day, I was googling ' attorneys malicious prosecution,' when I came across the name, Peter Knecht.
Peter Knecht sold himself online as the king of fighting malicious prosecutions. The building he worked out of was Jetsonesque high rise on the Sunset Strip. His office however resembled a dusty Versailles- lots of uncomfortable but impressive looking furniture, sprinkled with gray dandruff, hence the dusty part.
He didn't look like a brilliant legal eagle. He was 5'3, seventyish, and wore a wig that screamed from the tops of its lungs, "I am a wig." But Knecht seemed to absorb the gist of the situation immediately. He'd seen it all before. He told us that back in the day the cops had the power to stick a feisty defendant in the asylum without the need for subterfuge. And, then he basically reiterated what Howard said but he knew the most unimpeachable forensic psychiatrist experts. I wondered why he'd even validate that fraud by bringing in doctors but he assured that was the best strategy. I told him about my bench warrant worry. He told me not to worry. There was no law on the books that one can't leave a fraud proceeding. But, again he counseled me to drive carefully. He spoke of the civil rights suits he could foresee, when all this was resolved.
It was like a pleasant dream at the tail end of a nightmare. Then, the dream died. His fee would be thirty thousand dollars. When he saw my dream dashed eyes, he said that I might still be in luck. There was a lawyer who was in the same office suite who would do it for a lot less. Knecht described him as a go getter, a hungry up and comer- a real tiger, who reminded himself of himself when he was young.
Before I left, I picked up a brochure off his desk. "That's my wife," he said, pointing to a miniature lady in rolled up white shorts. The picture was of him, his wig, and his wife frolicking on a beach. The text stated that Sandra Knecht was a loveologist. I guess the brochure was to stir up some loveologist business for his wife. Why not spice up your sex life while being maliciously prosecuted?
It was all so strange, and yet by this time the strangeness was familiar.
When logic and proportion
Has fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards and
the red Queen's off her head,
Remember what the dormouse said,
Feed your head. Feed your head.
I like keep your head, keep your head better, but those are the lyrics.
If it seems I'm being assaulted by a non stop stream of grotesquery, I mostly was and it would get even worse. All I can say is get yourself falsely accused and see what characters come your way. The Los Angeles legal system is not littered with pretty souls.
James E. Silverstien
If entering Knecht's office was like being transported to the 17th century, entering James's office was like walking straight into the 1980's. Framed pictures of Reagan and his ruddy cheeks, stared from three different walls. James, a thirty four year old redhead, former frat boy, and of course - a Reagan Republican. James was a salesman of the Saul Goodman variety. He heartily agreed with Knecht's assessment of himself and added some more superlatives - he was a go getter, a self starter, a tiger, and a badass who took no prisoners. He only had to hear the barest bones of the situation to know what this was all about and he was sickened. It made him sick.
He handed me his Bic, as he told me his Mont Blanc was out of commission for the moment. It's ten thousand, a lot for a misdemeanor but remember this is real complicated and I'm the man to pursue them in civil court when I kick their asses. The sooner you retain me the sooner I can get this leash off, and the sooner we can win big in civil court together. 10,000? .... still I hesitated, he was a Republican and he was wearing pocket hanky for god's sake. If things got even more out of hand with the prosecution, he'd bring in the press. Knecht would hook us up.
As I hem and hawed, he went in for the kill. You do understand that the prosecution is wet for you. Did he just say what I think he said? These guys have a massive hard on for you, he continued.
Yes he did just say that. But I though, he did come from another era, an era when men swaggered and swung their dicks - PC culture be damned. Maybe that's exactly what I needed - someone who doesn't pull any punches.
Just then the clincher walked in - Peter Knecht said "you are obviously." innocent before launching into strategy. In short, he would be a silent partner, a firm but in his ear presence. So family and friends helped me get the 10K together. God bless em. James told me to go home and write him a timeline and whatever else I could think of. He finished with, "I love this case. It's rare that I can win so easily."
I was up early the next morning writing the timeline for my new lawyer. The phone rang. Either a family member had passed or a telemarketer was starting early(depending whether or not he was stateside or not.) The caller ID said anonymous. I picked it up. SPITZBERG OPEN THE DOOR. POLICE. I expected to see Gregozek and Hoffman. I would say hello Newman and Hoffman and Gregozek/ Newman would blurt something like I'm only doing this cause Marty Singer made me. God save my soul.
The door opened onto what looked like fifty cops, wearing black bullet proof vests, and pointy Plexiglas helmets ( it turned out that there were only eighteen of them.) Once cop limply held a battering ram.But, in my new definition of luck there were no guns pointed, no get get on the grounds, not even a show up your hands.
We had no idea how they would justify being there. Out in the hallway I was cuffed, uncuffed, cuffed, uncuffed and cuffed again. Everyone stood around uncertainly like shy singles at a single mingle. A sense of urgency, a sense of purpose was so comically lacking. It was all so over the top. So awkward. So absurd, that instead of the terror they were clearly trying to inspire, they got a state of you've got to be fucking kidding me insouciance. We even said it out loud a few times. It wasn't completely due to our amazing badassery, the
blasé attitude was helped mightily by the fact that we had just retained lawyers.
I can't remember most of all that happened next. Luckily some of it was videotaped, but we'd get that much later. I remember asking why they were arresting me. And Jeffrey Dunn( Head of the TMU)said, "I read you blog." And me screaming, "He just said he reads my blog. call my lawyer now." I had(awkwardly and sporadically) been chronicling what was going on. I had said one one blog post that Waxler resembled a shark and that Gregozek resembled a keilbasa. But, a SWAT team for an apt sausage analogy. Please.
I was ferried past neighbors on lock down and looky loo eyes peering from door slits, down the elevators and into an unmarked police car. The tape ends there for me. But the tape continues for my sister and my mother. They were made to sit in the hall for approximately two hours, asking where's warrant(though that ta[e would be edited of the heavily edited tape provided in later discovery,) but it would have my sister realizing that not only was Hoffman there in riot gear but the entire TMU unit and others were there. 18 in all, according to later discovery.
My mother was saying stuff like, "Shame on you California. Shame on you Hoffman. You're all a bunch of bandits." Much more interesting in a Hungarian accent. Bizarrely a TMU cop, Martha Defoe, somehow knew that my mother was a Holocaust survivor. Her daughter had become interested since going to the Holocaust Museum in L.A. She suddenly wanted a history lesson . My mother tried to accommodate them and so she told them how in 1944 the Germans came to her door. The parallels weren't lost on Defoe and Smith and the two of them began to very visibly cry. Gregozek appeared in his little riot gear- pale and blotchy as always. No sign of that vacation tan Waxler spoke of just a mere few weeks before. Indeed he looked very much like a kielbasa.
They all looked so obviously miserable, that Gregozek stepped forward to take responsibility for whatever the hell this spectacle was. "It's my investigation," he said apropos of nothing. They ended taking up things that were in the warrant like computers, phones, cameras, even a library card. They had no right to take anything but the fact that they took emails to lawyer Howard Williams showed that law just didn't matter anymore.
To add insult to injury to injury they took our modem -which cut off the phone, the TV, and the internet. My sister brought a cheap radio that only got country.
They kept everything for five months and found nothing. I don't think they thought they would. They just wanted me to fall to the floor, and scream, "I'll plea I'll plea just leave me alone already." Later on we'd read an article where Jeffrey Dunn would go on about how when they feel the cuffs on their wrists they break. Ah that's what all the cuffing and uncuffing was about.
Van Nuys Jail - First Cell
I was put alone in a cell . No one to talk shit about the po po with. The next mornig, I was bussed to holding cell in the twin towers jail where I waited for ten hours. No one ever called my name, cause, "they messed up your papers."
On November 6th 2009, I was taken again by bus to court and a strip search after. In the 31 days I'd be strip searched nine time due to mix ups with the papers. Had that not happened it would only uh happen seven times. It's as degrading as it sounds. A few female guards stand behind your naked self. One guard makes sure you haven't smuggled anything in any place that your body has a hiding place for. Hair. Mouth. Under the tongue. Under the breasts. And, of course lower down. Or, in prison guard parlance - "spread your cooch." It's so so awful but I could take it cause I had a lawyer. And, if James had seen a lawsuit then, now he was looking at early retirement.
The next day, I was able to see judge bellyache AKA Maria Stratton. The Oz like Stratton turned out to be a mousy past middle age woman with stringy salt and pepper hair and glasses. D.A Vagnossi, familiar from the Vanderet/ Boags "hearing." surprised everyone but Stratton by requesting that I be denied bail, using the pretense that leaving the court was reason enough for such a request.
James ticked a few reasons this made no sense; No criminal record. I lived in the area and no evidence of being a flight risk. Most importantly I had just spent a small fortune on a lawyer.
Stratton denied bail with the pretense that I was deemed incompetent by one doctor and had the nerve to leave when in the midst of a Stalin Era fraud. She didn't say the latter but that was the gist of her reasoning to give a former own recognizance inform diversion plea offer defendant the kind of denial of bail reserved for serial killers et al.
I thought about my 69 year old in poor health mother and how her heart couldn't take this and I began crying hysterically. Something about me crying loudly like that must have tugged at Silverstien's heartstrings. Not enough to go and write up a bail motion or request a formal bail hearing, it would turn out, but he requested and got permission to get a doctor then and there.
He got on his cell and told me that a doctor Ronald Markman was coming down very soon to do an evaluation. Markman wasn't a jail doctor or even just a mental health court qualified drone. He was a famed forensic psychiatrist and even a lawyer.
So back to the holding cell for a few more hours till Markman showed up. The holding cell was empty due to the rarity of competency to stand trial matters in the system.
Markman gave me a bunch of very particular tests and announced that I was competent as him and what is going here? You are being gaslighted." he said. He seemed overly impressed that I knew the movie and who starred in it.
Stratton isn't pleased. "Get me Sharma," she says. Velarde- not qualified for them. One overqualified for me. Now she wants a qualified for them. Why is she so openly working for them? I'm not going home tonight or possibly ever.
It turns out that ten thousand dollars didn't pay for phone calls or jail visits, or even to come in and sit with me for the Sharma, "evaluation." James Silverstien justsaid, "No way that guy is going to find you incompetent, don't worry about it."
A little man of Indian descent with a perma smirk, got me from my mental health holding cell and took me to a small office in the building.
"I hear you are paranoid about the situation. You believe that everyone is out to get you, right?"
I denied it and I wasn't lying. Things didn't look good but everyone against me? No. I didn't think that everyone was against me, but it was clear some were.
" I understand you deny your charges. Do you know the expression, The lady protests too much."
"Yes. I do."
He looked doubtful.
" Do you know who said it?"
Uh... Stephen King? Shakespeare you MORON
I just said, "Shakespeare."
I have no idea if he was chastened or not. He smirked and left the room.The psych evaluation and the English test were over. . He didn't twirl his mustache but he should have. Oh how one can smile and smile and be a villain. Shakespeare again.
Anyway, I think we all know where this is going.
James never even came to court.And I wasn't allowed into court. James was put on speaker phone. He said, "Really???," Like Robin Ginsburg before him. "Your honor we request another doctor."
Back to spreading my cooch at the Lynwood Correctional Facility. After I was gone, my sister told me that James had signed off on speakerphone by saying," I hope your husband gets better soon, your honor."
My sister called James from her cell phone, screaming a one word question, " Tiger? Tiger? Tiger!?"
My god, clever cliches seem to abound, James answered, "You get more flies with honey than vinegar." The tiger wasn't drafting any bail motions and the Tiger decided that my one last doctor would be my shrink from Beverly Hills.
I could write a book about the 31 days I spent in jail. Not because I have any horror stories, except for the horror of being in jail for no good reason. But, I'm not going to write a book cause I want to get to the end of this. So, I'll just give you a little taste.
After all the cold eyes and mercenariness of the courts, the clink was almost cuddly. My first bunky(cellmate) was a six foot tall twenty four year old carjacker named, Alicia. Except for her schooling me on how to prepare for anal porn(pro tip- Irish Spring works well) and introducing me to bible verses, " I was the whore of Babylon, Bunky, the whore of Babylon -” Revelation 17:5, I pretended that she was just some college roommate, until she stole my Raisinets. I confronted her and realized I wasn't in S.U.N.Y Albany anymore. A guard heard her threatening to "kick my ass," and threatened us both with the hole. Luckily, she pulled food stealing stunts before so I was spared the hole.
Next up was Dawanna - a forty two year old heavily tattooed Crip, with four kids, and one on the way. (It seemed that I was the only one in jail who was child and ink free) Dawanna had told me that she'd given a Blood a colostomy bag. I was so intrigued that I was actually sharing my cell with a Crip, that at first that I didn't consider what her capacity to give a colostomy bag implied. And even after I realized what that implied, I wasn't scared as I should have been. The only thing that scared me was leaving toothpaste in the communal sink. Dawanna HATED that.
I kept myself busy by writing letters and detailing the antics of my endlessly fascinating fellow inmates. There was Jazz( Who looked like a biracial John Gotti in drag) And officer Ramirez AKA the raccoon. She literally had a genetic condition that made it look like she had two black eyes. The meth head, that assured me apropos of nothing that she never burned her baby's toes. Then there was Magic who told me about her twin(Named Tragic. I swear to god.) The older convict who talked about being at the big house with Patricia Krenwinkle(Of Manson fame,) whom she simply called, Krennie. Krennie, according to her, was,"Good people."
There were boyfriends, baby daddies, and pimps with names like, Dolla Bill, Rite Aid, and Grey Goose. I waited and waited. What was taking so long to get Leventhal? It would turn out that Leventhal's lawyer brother had told her he didn't think she was qualified. It turned out it would have been catastrophic if she had come. She would have sealed the deal for the prosecution according to the laws of competency to stand trial. It would have been two more qualified Vs. one qualified and one unqualified. Checkmate.
We learned later that Markman was so upset at what he was seeing that he contacted one of his colleagues to do the second exam - A Dr. Suzzanne Duppee.
Duppee did her job. I got the full competency to stand trial screening.
Unlike Markman, after she finished, she stayed in court. Duppee sat there and stared down Stratton. No other way to put it. And, Stratton with a mighty exhalation of defeat crossed out what was on the page before. Later, I found out what what she'd crossed out and what had been prepared:
Stratton set bail at ten thousand dollars which made absolutely no sense. From own recognizance informal diversion plea to so damned dangerous that no amount should allow me to be on the loose to ten thousand dollars. Since I had no record, the bondsman agreed that 800 dollars was enough. Stratton ordered me back to the criminal court the next day despite Silverstiens protestations that he had to be in another court that day.
The famous glass box - Back to Division 40
We got the bond together right away but the "papers got messed up" again so I had to sit in the famous glass box we've all seen in the movies. Silverstien had to have tried to recuse Kerlin but he didn't. She was there. James made a feeble effort to get me back on my own recognizance but Kerlin not only wouldn't agree her last words were, "We'll see you back here if you're not in custody again."
The bond went through two days later( Something went wrong with those damned papers again.) At 12.30 A.M, on December 4th 2009, I had my last jail brand snack (A bag of chips- Granny Goose hot jalapeno.) There was nothing left for them to do but dismiss or go to trial.
On January 11th 2010, Silverstien called and sounded very serious. He wanted me to come into the office immediately. James met us by his door and led us down to Knecht's office where both men were. We sat down on the little kingly chairs in front of a big mahogony desk. James started with, "I talked to Boags. he's amenable to another plea. This one is even more amazing. Plea to trespass and go to a psychiatrist of your choosing.
"Now it's trespass. After all this, a psychiatrist and trespass?!"
Knecht chimed in with some hard truths, "Listen you don't have a chance. When the government is out to get you, you never win."
(So why good sirs didn't you tell me this before I signed a check for ten thousand dollars?)
"Look," I pleaded, "Why don't you just talk to the witnesses."
James stared at a candy dish on Knecht's desk, with unfocused and uncomprehending eyes. "You did talk to the witnesses, didn't you?"
"I'm not going to play that game," He said.
" There are witnesses, James?" Knecht asked with unfeigned incredulity.
James looked at him like a little boy who soiled his shorts.
"If there are witnesses, James, at least do a hall interview."
He nodded weakly and said nothing.
I left knowing that my 10k had got me those doctors and nothing else, except maybe a jolly rancher from Knecht's candy dish.
Later, Alissa Malzman would say about Silverstien, "He raped you. I hate to say it but he raped you. I can't believe he didn't talk to any of witnesses in all that time."
Without Silverstien though I would have been disappeared, so if rape has an upside I guess that's it.
And, still I kept James. A lousy lawyer was better than no lawyer. The next day we appeared before Kerlin again. Kerlin again floated the any pleas please. James should have responded with, "No pleas. My client has been tortured. She's clearly being railroaded and you are playing a part. What happened to a speedy trial. Where is justice? This is an outrage! I am outraged! You and this whole criminal justice system have so much splainin to do.
That did not happen.
The Tiger was annoyed but not at her. "Your honor," he whined, I informed my client that if she doesn't plea that the consequences would be even more harsh."
Now if you are well versed in the law or even if you are not, you know that a defense attorney simply doesn't make that kind of statement in front of the prosecutors and a judge. The dried peas were stuck to the plate. Don't hold it against me, I tried to scrape it off. If he's turning on me now and not even hiding it, what's he going to do at trial? I had to get rid of him. But first that pesky substitution of attorney/ motion to withdraw again.
At the motion to withdraw hearing, James goes up to the sidebar to talk to Villar. Again, no one invites me and again against all laws, it is not recorded. Back out in the hall, he tells me, "Oh by the way, they've added four more charges. two for stalking. two for criminal threats. It would turn out they were all based on the same accusations made by Notaro to get the restraining order back in April of 2008. Those accusation are now 21 months old. The statue of limitations are up. If things go wrong, I am facing seven years in jail. But, I'm happy. Am I actually insane?
No. No. You see all this time I'm talking about how the order was void and there can be no prosecution of it and aside of Howard knowing about this motion to attack the validity of the restraining order, I've been getting blank stares. Most haven't heard of it.
But because opening the restraining order will guarantee that all my beautiful witnesses can come in. So many hot showdowns. Martha Kelly vs Tobin Shea. Notaro vs all her statements and more, Nick Kroll vs. Jacqueline Montalvo, Heidi Vs Notaro. Same Vs Willen and Notaro. How sweet it would be.
In the hall a public defender comes at me - his face furious. "I saw you in that cage. I saw you in that cage. You are being so so screwed." I almost grabbed both his hands and said, "My hero. Will you help me." But, I kept my paws to myself, and calmly said, " So, you'll help me?"
Eric, that was his first name, said, "Yes. Give me a few minutes." On the way back I see Alissa Malzman hanging out in the hallway. I don't feel too friendly after she left me hanging in 95 and did nothing to sound the alarm. But, something makes me say, " You know what Eric said, he said he saw me in that cage and that I'm being screwed." Alissa took a deep breath and said, " I want to help you. I want to be your lawyer. I'm Eric's supervisor." And then she got all kismetty on me. "Didn't you notice are names are almost the same. Alisa. Alissa. Together again." I'm terrible at even holding necessary grudges, so we practically laced fingers, swung hands, and skipped into court.
In a movie this would be a swelling of the soundtrack moment. In real life, it sort of was too. When Alissa states her intentions, Villar is visibly confounded. Here is a person who can't seem to keep a lawyer, who was a hair's breath from being declared incompetent just a month ago, and now here's a public defender looking all blissed out to get a chance to represent her.
Alissa asked me if I wanted to go to trial immediately. I said yes and she informed the the court that we wanted trial immediately. However, immediately, in court terms means who knows how long. A few days later we met in her office. She tells me her mother is outraged. I tell her maybe her mother should be my lawyer. She says, " No. No. I'm outraged too."
I didn't walk around with a mic, but if you got this far I trust you won't think anything is improbable anymore. Alissa says, "Boags wants to make his name on this case, but then so do I." Then she stopped herself, "But that's wrong. This is not about me. It's about you. You're being maliciously prosecuted."
Making your name on a tiny misdemeanor? Jesus Christ. If I'd learned anything about human nature during this, Alissa wanting to make her name was the best guarantee she'd try to win. I'd know about something called a void order for a few months now. Basically if you can prove that the order was obtained by fraudulent means you cannot criminally prosecute on it. She never heard of it but she promised to look it up. But, that was a last I heard about her looking into void orders until a few days into trial.
She started officially trying to contact witnesses to sign them into the defense. Julius is happy to come in. He comes in and Alissa says about him, "I love him and he's gorgeous too. Sam she tells me is a "good kid and he's no longer reluctant and can't believe this is still going on." Heidi Feigin is pissed. Not only is Tig lying but she is getting phone calls from Tig's manager saying, "Why are you testifying for the other side." (Witness intimidation anyone?) And, best of all Jaqueline Montavlo has signed up for the defense.
Later I'd learn that the prosecution had wrote her name as a witness for the prosecution. I was sitting in court when she signed in. She never looked my way or smiled. Just sat there stone faced. (I'm glad she wasn't friendly. No I got your back winks. No pats on the arm. That would have haunted me even more.)
Two weeks later - March 4th 2010
Alissa had gone to a hearing on my case, and calls with three bullet points
1- They dropped the four charges
2- Boags is off the case(we later learned he was demoted to civil court.)
3- Montalvo is dead.
Her full name was Jacqueline Montalvo, and googling confirmed that she had died three days after I'd seen her in court.
Dropping the charges should have been good news but I knew it was bad news for me because it meant that they would try to keep out the validity of the restraining order. I was right. The prosecutor requested that everything predating the granting of the order be excluded. And, against Supreme Court law, the judge agreed.
Onwards to Trial
The only suggestions Alissa gave me was to dress down.- the old look like a librarian tactic. I thought my case was too strong and it was better to just look like myself.
A jury is going to be picked or as it's called, Voir Dire. Oh my god, they are seriously going to pick a jury. Twelve actual people and even alternates for my lame three count case? It all went by in a blur. I don't remember the questions posed them but I do remember the prosecutions favorite question, " Do you have faith and trust in the police?" No African Americans made the cut. But, we did have an African American judge and I think that made all the difference.
The first thing Judge Randolph H. Moore said was, "I see a very calm defendant in front of me." Which begged the question, what was he expecting? Judge Moore was an adorable looking man, but then again Hamlet's pernicious villians probably had their cute moments too.
When you are seated in a real courtroom as a real defendant with a real judge, and a real jury, your mind is filled with numb horror. Terror makes you stupid and slightly deaf.
But, I do remember certain moments. Like when the prosecution asked to add two more charges based on the same two facebook charges. This was their argument: Remember Judge Landin - the judge who signed that domestic violence criminal order. It seemed like they just found out about it and now wanted to use against me mid trial. The argument continued that I not only broke the civil order but the criminal order. In other words, they are insane.
The problem for Moore was that Landin had signed the order without benefit of due process - without notice or hearing. Upon hearing their request to add the two more charges, Judge Moore looked at the piece of paper, and said, " I don't see any hearing here and I don't see any notice here." Katie Form who I nicknamed, "Freulien Ford," piped up, " But it happens all the time." Moore said, "Just because it happens doesn't make it right."
This is completely off script. A Judge was doing the right thing. He was stopping them. I started bawling in front of everyone.
First up the first two Facebook Charges. Gregozek makes his grand entrance. He looks at me like I've kidnapped and killed his only child(The psychotic chutzpah of this guy!) Alissa's cross examination of him makes it clear that there is no evidence at all the support the two Facebook charges. Hoffman nor any member of the TMU don't show up(Conscience? I wish I knew.)
In Hoffman's place is Sam Moreno AKA Alex Moreno. Ford introduces Moreno as a computer forensic expert and makes him recite his CV for the jury.
Wow. I am almost impressed. I fight very hard not to crack up in front of the jury, and pretty much fail. Moreno looked very uncomfortable, and like Gregozek, was forced to admit he found nothing. I think they called him to imply to a jury that although this all looks silly, the FBI and Homeland Security doesn't do silly. They want the jury to think,'There has to be more to this, even if we don't see it.'
The next morning, Alissa points out the obvious to judge Moore. She asks for him to dismiss the charges himself(acquit the charges. Always asked. Very very very rarely granted.)
Moore says in essence, "absolutely." The charges that they used to say I was crazy, cause I couldn't understand how they could have added them, were just thrown out cause they made no sense. Alissa gasped and said to me, " I just never win this much."
Alissa tells me that since this is taking so abnormally long with all these hearings outside of the scope of the jury (that took up approximately 90% of the trial,) she doubts that they flew in Martha Kelly and put her up in a hotel for a week. She thinks the prosecution is about to finally pull the plug. She even points out a woman sitting in the court who is the prosecution's known plug puller. Throughout the trial, many prosecutors would sit in court, whispering amongst themselves.
They just don't spend that kind of a money, time or energy, for a misdemeanor, she tells me. The day after the two charges victory, Alissa seems strangely chilly. Not cold shoulder cold, but distant. We were hardly friends but this felt like a why don't you like me anymore situation.
Nine days in, and Martha Kelly did show up. She swears in and begins to testify. She mentions the firearms but now instead of calling Tig the next day or eighteen days later, now it's I called Tig minutes after she heard me say anything. Now she conveniently had no cell phone that night, and had to use a cell phone of a Michelle Billoon( who we learn is residing in Vienna at the time of trial) Sheesh. Conveniently, if say I had a lawyer - who ordered Martha Kelly's phone records- they wold not exist so they'd have to go to Vienna to get Billoon's. Double sheesh.
Alissa approached for the cross examination. I don't remember what exactly she asked, but only what she didn't. She doesn't ask her about the comedy fesitival booking at the Bentzen ball, a few weeks before trial. She didn't question why she didn't contact the police and why it took Tig 18 days to do so. She didn't mention the lawsuit and the timing of the prosecution after the lawsuit.
Next up was Jackie Kashian. Just like in Rosenberg's court she appeared out of the blue as a witness. No previous witness reports so no way to way to cross examine. If Martha Kelly, to her credit, seemed uneasy, Jackie Kashian seemed sexually aroused. If you believed her, that night at El Cid was the most miserable of her existence. And, again Alissa didn't ask her the questions she had to ask her. No mention too that she too got a gig at the Bentzen ball, a few months before trial. No mention as to why if it was such a memorable trauma, she never told anyone until right now.
Her last witness, Jeff Klinger, didn't have much to say other than I made a scene. At this point, it was clear that Alissa was purposefully not going to ask the right questions. Note: Martha Kelly and Jackie Kashian had done some paid gigs in the past but Jeff Klinger was strictly was strictly an open micer. And guess what he got? Can't guess..He got a spot at the Bentzen Ball.
Why is the Bentzen Ball such a big deal.
insert something about it.
Well Alisa and Alissa had a good run till then. Et Tu Alissa.
I remembered something Alissa had said in her office before trial, " You know even if you get convicted on one misdemeanor it's not so bad. You're an artist, right? No dear, I'm not an artist. I'm not going to drink absinthe in my garrote with my fellow artistes, laughing about my amusing little misdemeanor.
And, if I thought I might just be being paranoid about Alissa, I knew I wasn't when she told me she couldn't find the one witness that I needed to help my case, A Tobin Shea- even though he was the manager of El Cid and still working there.
I believe that Alissa had started out on the up and up, but somewhere along the way she'd changed course. Under her watch, she'd had four charges dismissed, and two charges acquitted by a judge. Almost unheard of successes. Since she thought I was a creative type and a misdemeanor would not ruin me in the business world, she wanted to give her employers(The city) one win so they couldn't be sued.
All this is not just wild theory or supposition, as I will show you a little later.
And now it's time for the star witness. Tig struts into court wearing a minuature men's suit. Most alleged victims get the are you okay would you like some water, perhaps a tissue treatment, but Judge Moore sneered her name and misprounced it too - Nateerio. And continued to do so even after he was corrected.
I won't repeat all the lies she was allowed to tell. But, she throws in something new. My 5'5 115 pound sister who was sitting on a bench outside throughout the trial, reading old New Yorkers, had apparently been beating her up on the regular And not just her, my sister had somehow located her family members and had pummeled them too. Alissa did nothing about that. She again did not ask about the 18 days. Again did not ask about the lawsuit. Did not ask about her now five contradictory statements. Did not ask why my sister was free to be outside this very courtroom reading a New Yorker instead of being in jail for a series of assaults. Etu Alissa ETU!
Since I didn't have Tobin Shea and I was denied the collateral attack I was stuck with only myself. I took the stand.
Since I was admonished not to say anything about the restraining order, there wasn't much for me to do to defend myself. I should have pulled an Al Pacino in Justice for All, but I couldn't shake my rule following upbringing. Also, I thought it unwise for the judge to get mad at me.
It all ended in the proverbial whimper. The judge made satement in open court about how well he thought I did on the stand. Insert parts in the transcript.
Waiting for the Verdict
When you spend twelve days, up close and personal, with your supposed peers, you begin to believe that they can see you for who you are. You imagine that after all this, they'll buy you a beer, and you'll all sitting around saying, " I know right?" And, when you discover that you're just a stranger who made them miss work, it's a backstab twelve times over.
It wasn't the jury's fault. They were made to sit out in the hall for closed door hearings, for days. They didn't know that the judge expunged the domestic violence order, they didn't know about the four charges dropped, and how those facebook charges were added and why they disappeared. They didn't know about those comedian's bias. They didn't about Gregozek's bias. They were forbidden to know anything about Notaro's lies and the lawsuit. They never heard about Sam, Julius, Heidi, Montalvo, Badar, Nick Kroll et al. In short they didn't know anything about anything.
All they knew that her comedian witnesses and herself were not cross examined, implying that there was nothing to cross examine, and that my sister's looks must be deeply deceiving and she must be out on bond.
Maybe the thing that was most damaging though was Ford had managed to sneak into the jury instructions and the things that Gregozek had sworn to on the search warrants. All those long disproven laws presented to them as fact.
They ended up deadlocked 9-3 against me. Judge Moore had to send them back and so he did. Two ended up folding and one stood firm. Judge Moore did not send them back again. After the jury was dismissed Alissa sighed and whispered to me, "We're going to have to do this all over again." We?????
If Ford demands a retrial, she's going to get it. The numbers are against us. Even when the numbers are favorable to the defendant a judge will allow a retrial. It's called separation of powers. Meaning: It's the prosecutors call. The judge doesn't step in.
Sure enoough, Ford stood up, and requested a retrial. And, the judge said
Malzman looked shell shocked. Ford practically stomped her feet. But we have a rebuttal witness who could disprove everything she said on the stand. For nearly two years they had kept omniscient magical witness hidden away and now she remained elusive for the duration of this 12 day trial.
But Moore wasn't buying it. Show Transcripts.
Alissa talked waste and excessive power and asked that Judge Moore dismiss it in the interests of justice. For years I thought that Malzman's telltale heart couldn't take it anymore. It should have a long and complicated motion to write that went to a long and complicated hearing to hear. A judge almost never grants it and definitely never grants it after a single oral request.
Insert his dismissal speech. Alissa looked like she'd fall over. I didn't offer a glass of water or a steadying hand. She didn't look at me and I didn't want to look at her. Our partnership ended without a hug or a high five.
Most people's motives were murky and remained so. But, I did figure out why the Public Defender's office seemed to be working with angel's on their right shoulder and devil's on their left
Franica Tawn and Robin Ginsburg selling out so quickly, Alissa Malzman starting so strong and petering out so dramatically, and Anan's metaphorical gun to the head phone call. After trial, I called Alissa saying I need a few witness statement on seen on her desk but were not given to me in the discovery she'd sent. In particular, one made by Nick Kroll. She told me I could pick them up at the Public Defender's office on the 19th floor.
"I've come to pick up some discovery."
The secretary went to the back and brought out the top man, the lord of the PD's, Michael Hoagie.
"Hi. Alissa told me I could pick up the missing discovery."
"You won," he said, "Go home."
He didn't say it like you won yay, go home and relax. Take a nice long soak with some fragrant bath salts, maybe a candle. He said it like, "You messed me up now get the fuck out of here."
I said, " What the fuck is your problem." You're not supposed to say fuck to these people's faces but the trial was over and I was supposed to be free, so I repeated, "I want my discovery. What the fuck is wrong with you?"
" You better leave now. "
"I'll leave when I get my statements."
"I don't think you get it. You're not getting anything. Go home."
So in the end, as usual, I begin to leave, with a scathing blog post in mind. Just two steps out I saw a bunch of bailiffs soldiering down the hallway. Oh shit... there for me. Again! Christ, can I wait a week for PTSD to officially set it. Flashbacks anyone. I said, "What the fuck is wrong with you guys." Kidding. "I'm leaving officers I'm walking quickly and calmly towards the elevators, hands in plain sight. That was the last I'd see of Clara Folz until I was called for Jury Duty(Honest to god. I got out of that easily)
So you see Hoagie had always wanted a plea. Bottom line the Public Defender works with the city attorney or District attorney to spare the city expense and to keep everything running smoothly. In jail everyone called them the public pretenders and that wasn't a joke. Never count on them. If you can afford a real lawyer.. oh wait. Just go on the run.
So could all this be wild supposition or a well earned paranoid fantasy? Nope. After escaping the clutches of the bailiffs, I called Alissa. "You told me to come up and get it. Do you know what Hoagie did? Do you know what almost happened to me? How could you have done that? I trusted you."
"Alisa... stop... I work for the city." That shut me up. At least, she sounded sad.
What's the expression?... Phyric victory. After everything I went through to get there, I had won with a question mark. Technically I was free to go. But if I had gotten the day in court I practically killed myself trying to get, I would not be stuck with easy slander and a crazy story I will never get out of my head, no matter how I try. I never thought much about the money that you get from, "civil remedies." Even if I did get get something I knew it would take forever to collect. All I wanted was teaspoon of vindication. A friend with an unused law degree told me that lawyers would be lining up.
I spoke to dozens, but, suing cops, judges, or prosecutors is not something lawyers tend to jump out, especially on contingency. Civil rights lawyers, I'd learn, aren't interested unless you are shot(preferably dead) Gloria Allred isn't interested unless you are a playmate(preferably a playmate who is the mistress of a big shot.)
Christopher Darden. Yes that Christopher Darden, had aged well and was perfectly polite but thought the case too complicated. Maybe his glove stunt made him gun shy. Finally, the lip licking lawyer from the beginning of our story shows up. As sexy as he saw it, a case like mine would take serious man power and he just didn't have it. So I was left with the only person that had righteous indication and the ability to work for free.
It was a monster lawsuit and considering what I was up against, it's surprising it it wasn't thrown out right away. Judge Fruin kept bringing me back. A good sign. He also brought back a lot of familiar faces. Members of the TMU and that Lavely and Singer lawyer, Allison Sievers.
I got as far as Judge Fruin one day telling me that he sees I have gone through a serious injustice. Big Big damages and that I'll be able to tell it to a jury.
And after a whole year that this case was before Fruin, for two weeks since those statement, it seemed that the skies had opened the sun was shining, and things all made sense again.
And then at the next hearing Allison Seivers brought a Lavely an Singer favorite, a SLAPP suit and the city an immunity motion of some sort. Both did not relate to the facts of the case. But suddenly Fruin was saying stuff like " How am I doing?" before he finally dismissed my suit, offering no valid legal reason.
As for the others, did I take Silverstien and Knechts betrayal lying down? No I sent evidence of his malfeasance to the bar and found out that basically a lawyer has to nap soundly throughout a client's trial in order to be reprimanded. (And, even then there have been cases were that is fine too.)
Since the bar or courts couldn't offer me any relief I once again turned to the internet to get a little Yelp inspired revenge - a site called Ripoff Report. With noble thought that it was my duty to save some other sap from eating a hypothetical bad burrito. Boy, did I misjudge that situation. Could Silverstien be so unethical, so vicioius , so vengeful that he'd lie his ass off to save his sorry ass. Duh. Of course he would, and he did.
So now not only do I have to contend with appeals decision but I have to contend with his obscene rebuttal, on the internet, for all times.
Let go and let god. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Notaro said she got cancer and I would be lying so hard if I didn't think god himself had smote her.
I put as much evidence as I could on the internet. I have a stat counter on my blog and I check periodically i.e every day. Ips from Glendale (Kerlin) Pasadena (Jessner) Gregozek (Huffington beach) California courts, Department of Justice.
Over time the internet told me what happened to some of these foes. Boags was demoted to civil court. Karla Kerlin was demoted to civil court in East L.A. Stratton was demoted to civil court in Van Nuys. Karma came calling and Jessner took her place in 95, before being demoted to civil court downtown. Gregozek left the TMU and is a Sargent in the Southeast Division. A promotion in the police world but he didn't yet get the cushy security job he so desperately wanted. No more jaunts to celebrity mansions. He got a desk all the way downtown. And finally to prove that Karma is cruelly inconsistent bitch, a month after my trial ended, Judge Randolph Moore was kicked out of that court and transferred to juvenile.
Weird stuff kept happening that I don't want to go into cause I gave you so much strange as it is. I felt we had to get out of Dodge. I moved to a place with an area code to close for comfort(912) The first week there I somehow misdialed the last number and a cop showed up telling me I dialed 911. The look of relief on my face was so profound, he asked to come in and check around. He probably thought I had a body in the bathtub. He like everyone else found nothing.
And, me? I'm OK I guess. I have my triggers: Dialing my own area code, cop shows, judge shows, police sirens, hard benches, corruption stories, anonymous caller id's, pink ribbons, miraculous remissions, picking up the phone, getting the mail, lawyers with pocket hankies, lawyers without pocket hankies, hot chips, getting naked and on and on and on.
I've avoided most things Kroll but his ugly mug will pop up on my twitter feed from time to time. I've been luckier with Notaro. She stays off my osmosis, unless she's made some news for stripping on stage, having fights with Amy Schumer and Louis CK. Recently I heard she wrote about her bum luck called, "I'm just person." Well, I just beg to differ.
I will end with a song lyric and a few handy cliches. Love isn't all you need. It doesn't conquer all. But it does help to keep you going. Love is what I got remember that. I stood up for myself. I have my dignity. I fought the good fight. The truth shall set you free and Karma is going to bite them in the ass.