immunity for bankruptcy trustees who act under the supervision of
and subject to the orders of the bankruptcy court). "[A] trustee
will enjoy absolute immunity so long as he does not act in the
clear absence of all jurisdiction, or at least acts under the
supervision of the bankruptcy judge." Howard v. Leonard,
101 B.R. 421, 423 (D.N.J. 1989) (citations omitted).
Here, Sapir filed a motion to dismiss Ms. Reisner's bankruptcy
petition before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Adlai S. Hardin on the
ground that Ms. Reisner failed to comply with a pre-confirmation
order. Sapir's motion was granted. As a Standing Chapter 13
Trustee, Sapir had a duty to bring such motion. Further, the
propriety of filing the motion and its merits were duly
considered on oral argument before Bankruptcy Judge Hardin. Thus,
Sapir's actions fall within the perimeter of the judicial
immunity afforded Trustees in bankruptcy. See, e.g., id.;
Weissman v. Hassett, 47 B.R. 462, 466 (S.D.N.Y. 1985) (Chapter
13 Trustees are absolutely immune from suit for actions taken in
furtherance investigation and reporting functions in connection
with bankrupt's reorganization).
Even if Sapir were not entitled to absolute immunity for his
actions as Trustee, the sweeping allegations of conspiracy set
forth in the complaint fail to state a cognizable claim against
him. See Barbera, 836 F.2d at 99; San Filippo, 737 F.2d at
256. Accordingly, Sapir is entitled to judgment on the pleadings.
VI. Augello Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
The complaint is completely devoid of any reference to, or
allegation concerning, Michael Augello, Jr. To the extent he may
be included in general allegations of "racketeering" and
"conspiracy" pertaining to all defendants, the complaint fails to
state any cognizable claim against him. See Ostrer, 567 F.2d at
553; Sadler, 793 F. Supp. at 90.
With respect to Augello and Moran, plaintiffs' complaint
asserts the following:
Plaintiffs [sic] wished to purchase the premises 53
Gerow Avenue, Spring Valley, N.Y. 10977 described in
the annexed copy of the forged deed, in her usual
name of Ida Reisner, however, [she] had agreed with
defendant [Augello] to [let him] be co-signer with
[her because Augello told her that] defendant
Heritage Savings Bank required a `male co-signer' . .
. [Heritage's requirement of a male co-signer was] a
surprise to me because my interest was in purchasing
the house in my name alone. (Compl. ¶ 2)
On or about July 26, 1977 in the name of Michael
Augello and Ida J. Augello, then being social
friends, . . . [Augello and I] took title by deed
filed in the office of the County Clerk of Rockland
County, N.Y. in both names on July 28, 1977 in Liber
994 Page 637 copy annexed hereto. (Compl. ¶ 2).
Defendant Augello was at the time . . . married to
Rosario Augello and owned and resided at 23 South
Monsey Road, Monsey, N.Y. 10982. (Compl. ¶ 2).
The defendant Heritage Savings Bank ostensibly gave
a mortgage to the said Michael Augello rather than
Ida Reisner aka [sic] Ida J. Augello as agreed on the
said premises. . . . This was the result of a
fraudulent and criminal conspiracy by defendants
Augello and Heritage. Defendants Augello and Heritage
forged the conveyance by attemptin[g] to strike out
the name of Ida J. Augello aka [sic] of Ida Reisner
[on the deed]. (Compl. ¶ 3).
Upon information and belief, defendant Michael
Augello and plaintiff signed a bond or note in
evidence of the said mortgage as appears from said
mortgage filed in Liber 1142 Page 949. (Compl. ¶ 4).
That at some time after delivery of the deed in the
joint names of Michael Auge[llo], the name of
plaintiff, Ida J. Augello was attempted to be
obliterated from the said deed without Plaintiff's
knowledge or consent or any writing made and signed
by her as Ida J. Augello or other name authorizing
the removal of her name from said deed. (Compl. ¶ 5).
Plaintiff Ida J. Augello paid for the said premises
out of her own money to the Kensh[er] Homes, Inc. and
has paid all payments on the purported mortgage until
discovery of the fraudulent forgery to strike
plaintiff's name from the deed approximately from
June 1992. (Compl. ¶ 6).
That upon information and belief, defendants have
collaborated in many acts according to a pattern of
`racketeering' to steal, extort and deprive
[plaintiff] of her ownership to the said premises.
(Compl. ¶ 8).
Plaintiff has at all times since July 27th 1977,
having . . . physically [occupied the Premises] since
on or about August 1st 1977 to the 13th day of April
1998, when plaintiff was illegally evicted in
consequence of the extra-judicial disloyal plotting
of defendants to steal her herein described premises,
and has never paid `rent' to defendant Michael
Augello, but that Augello claimed that he had to pay
the mortgage in cash pursuant to his sophisticated
scheme to steal my home which I paid for with the
proceeds of the sale of my former home at 7 Brook
Lane, Portchester, N.Y. 10573, [after the sale of
which] I temporarily moved to 21-25 Greenridge
Avenue, White Plains, N.Y. 10601. (Compl. ¶ 11).
Upon information and belief, the defendant County
Clerk of Rockland County knowingly colluded with
defendants Augello [and] Moran . . . to accept a
forged document that attempted to strike the
plaintiff's name from a conveyance which conveyed the
within described premises . . . [and] to `steal and
evict plaintiff from her home on April 13th 1998 all
to plaintiffs damage in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1961
et seq. pursuant to a pattern of racketeering and
organized crime.' (Compl. ¶ 15).
Upon information and belief defendants [Moran and
Augello] . . . acting in concert, colluded,
conspired, connived and plotted to forge the
conveyance of the premises above referenced to
attempt to strike the name of plaintiff from the said
conveyance and to receive purported `mortgage'
installments from the plaintiff without informing
plaintiff of the forged deed in violation of RPL 431
a felony subject to enforcement as a crime under the
law of the State of New York, but connived with other
defendants to evict plaintiff from her home on April
13th 1998. (Compl. ¶ 20).
WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment restoring . .
. her title to the premises herein, and further
judgment in the sum of $200,000.00 for damages in
addition to punitive damages . . . in the sum of
$100,000,000.00, individually and jointly, the
enforcement of penalties, forfeitures and
imprisonment of the defendants, together with such
other and further relief as may be just herein.
(Compl. Ad Damnum Clause).
A. Claims Precluded by the 1997 Sherwood Order and the 1998
Judgment and Warrant of Eviction
The obvious overlap between issues raised in the instant
complaint and those previously litigated in the Supreme Court of
the State of New York and the Justice Court of the Village of
Spring Valley requires this Court to examine not only the
availability of certain claims in light of New York principles of