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George Hom v. the Honorable Lawrence Brennan

December 31, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Spatt, District Judge.


The Plaintiff George Hom (the "Plaintiff" or "Hom"), proceeding pro se, commenced this action in April 2003 against the Honorable Lawrence Brennan, J.F.C. ("Judge Brennan"), the Honorable Carnell Foskey, J.F.C. ("Judge Foskey"), Dorothy Phillips, Esq. ("Phillips"), Debbie Mehr ("Mehr"), and New York State Governor George Pataki ("Pataki") (collectively, the "State Defendants"), and Lois Grossman, Esq. ("Grossman") (collectively, the "Defendants") alleging, among other things, that the Defendants deprived him of his civil rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983").

On March 5, 2005, the Court issued an Order dismissing the Complaint with prejudice. In addition, the Clerk of the Court was directed to close the case. The Plaintiff has now filed a motion to "renew" the Court's decision dismissing the action. For the reasons set forth below, the Plaintiff's motion is denied.


In 2000, the Plaintiff was involved in litigation in the Nassau County Family Court against his former spouse Jane Zullo (the "Family Court action"). On or about November 1, 2001, the Family Court action was re-assigned to Judge Brennan. The Plaintiff alleges that during the time in which Judge Brennan was presiding over the family court case, he "deliberately displayed open bias against [the] plaintiff." (Compl. ¶ 6.) For example, the Plaintiff alleges that from November 1, 2001 through February, 2003, Judge Brennan held scheduled monthly open court appearances in which the he allegedly "continuously, willfully, and repeatedly threatened and intimidated" the Plaintiff. (Compl. ¶ 8b). The Plaintiff further alleges that from November 1, 2001 through March 27, 2003, Judge Brennan allegedly "delayed the administration of his judicial duties" by not addressing certain motions. (Compl. ¶10.)

On or about March 13, 2002, Phillips, the supervising law clerk at the Family Court, held a closed door conference with respect to a then pending custody/visitation proceeding. After this proceeding, Phillips allegedly threatened and coerced the Plaintiff into settling his custody petition. The Plaintiff further claims that on or about June 11, 2002, Phillips allegedly conspired with a representative of the Nassau-Suffolk Law Services by engaging in "ex-parte communications with Nassau-Suffolk Law Services" in which the "actual directives of a certain court order dated March 22, 2002 were altered." (Compl. ¶ 15(b)). As a result, the Plaintiff allegedly suffered "extraordinary damages."

Almost one year later, on or about March 25, 2003, the Plaintiff filed an Article 78 petition in the New York State Supreme Court, County of Nassau making, among other things, a request that Judge Brennan recuse himself from the Family Court action. On April 3, 2003, Judge Brennan recused himself and the case was subsequently transferred to Judge Foskey.

On April 7, 2003, upon Judge Foskey's request, Grossman, a supervising attorney with the Nassau-Suffolk Law Services Committee who represents Zullo, provided a case status report and allegedly misstated certain information regarding an incarceration proceeding. The Plaintiff alleges that after he responded to Grossman's allegedly incorrect status report, Judge Foskey held an incarceration proceeding after which the Plaintiff was incarcerated overnight. The Plaintiff further alleges that his incarceration was also caused by Judge Brennan's delays in reducing his court rulings into writing. Also, Grossman allegedly gave two boxes of donuts to "someone in the Law Department office" in exchange for documents which the Plaintiff later learned was a copy of his order to show cause. (Compl. ¶ 31.)

On or about April 21, 2003, the Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, commenced this action in the New York Supreme Court, County of Nassau. The complaint entitled "Amended Article 78 Proceeding [] and Sect[ion] 1983 Litigation in State Court" asserted nine causes of action including, among other things that Judge Brennan, together with the other defendants, conspired to deprive the Plaintiff of his civil rights as guaranteed to him under the United States Constitution. (Compl. ¶ 46.)

On May 7, 2003, Grossman filed a Notice of Removal to this Court with the consent of the State Defendants. Subsequently, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). On March 5, 2005, the Court ordered that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice and directed the Clerk of the Court to close the case. The Plaintiff subsequently appealed this decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On January 3, 2006, the Court of Appeals "dismissed [the appeal] because it lacks an arguable basis in fact or law."

On July 27, 2010, the Plaintiff filed the present motion to "renew", pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules ("CPLR") § 2221(e), which the Court construes as a motion for reconsideration. The Plaintiff also moved pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 371 "for alleged federal charges, if made of the contents to hinder any other person in executing or enjoying its civil rights given by the U.S. Constitution." For reasons that are not entirely clear, the motion was not electronically filed. Thereafter, on July 21, 2011, the Plaintiff refilled his "motion to renew the Order of Dismissal, dated March 5, 2005, Spatt, J."


A.As to Whether a Motion to Renew Under CPLR § 2221(e) is Proper

As an initial matter, the Court finds that the Plaintiff's motion to "renew" was not brought properly. To the extent that the Plaintiff is seeking to renew his claims pursuant to the procedures described in CPLR ยง 2221(e), he cannot prevail in utilizing this mechanism to have his claims heard ...

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