By City of Angels Lady
I had a weird day yesterday in and around Superior Court. Judge Fromholz granted a key Kreutzer case’s amended complaint, allowing her case against the church’s handling of sex criminal employee Paul Kreutzer to go into financial discovery as plaintiffs have shown they will “likely prevail,” as happens in California civil lawsuits.
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However, on Tuesday Church Attorneys did succeed in getting the Los Angeles Archdiocese Health and Welfare Corporation removed as defendant in Case BC308065. Even after the judge had issued his tentative ruling, Phillip Baker argued that Sister Frances Catherine, principal of Our Lady of Peace Elementary School, had nothing to do with corporate policy.
John Spano from the LA Times was behind me so I switched to 26 point bold type and put on my screen: "Trying to keep Sister Catherine the real culprit here out of the story” and I coughed and waved my hands around trying to subtly gesture, “read this, read this” but I don't think he saw it. Soon I was scrolled down past it.
Apparently Baker father and son won that round. Sister Catherine Frances, who traveled with Kreutzer, palled with him from back in the day, is being removed from the Kreutzer cases? I don't know for sure.
Apparently Church Attorneys argued that in the 1960s, around the time MS. Magazine appeared and feminism was rampant, the Nun who was principal of a Catholic school had no say in corporate policy.
Are there any nuns reading this?
Public Access Still Denied in Clergy Case Files
Even the Times and people with paid accounts cannot read documents now
After the hearings I tried to go document diving and it was “access denied” all over the place. Note: A civil subpoena was served on Cardinal Mahony around May 22, and since May 31st, it’s been impossible to access any recent documents in the JCCP4286 case file, where all Clergy Cases are filed, separate from the rest of Los Angeles Superior Court Civil cases, with a separate sub-contract, (outsourced to the private sector) to a computer firm with a network called arc scan web.
When I realized the documents were still out of access I went back upstairs. There the LA Times reporter and a guy from Copley News (Yay there were two reporters there yesterday) were talking to a guy with a couple court employee badges dangling from his lapel.
I walked up and announced that access was still being denied and the John Spano said, Yes that's what we've been discussing here. The guy in dangling badges was the LA Superior Court PAO. So I said again, louder, all the details. They quote unquote upgraded last Thursday and since then there’s no way to access the documents.
Here is what I think is wrong with mainstream media today. These two guys in ties were holding a polite conversation with the Public Information officer. I went all Rosalind Russell and kept repeating, “Public access is denied to the documents, ever since Mahony got subpoenaed to testify.”
The PAO guy excused himself and acted like I was dirt under his shoes, but at this point in my life I don't care. I followed him down the hall repeating, Public access has been denied since Cardinal Mahony got a subpoena, don’t you think that's a strange coincidence? He scurried off with his hands over his ears, literally.
Later that day access was even worse than last week. Every document had been cut off. When you tried to access individual cases, which you could still do last week, you got this error message:
“Local cache access was denied.
Please report this problem to your website Administrator."
ACCESS GOT WORSE LATER
A few hours later, I’m back access still denied, so I try another approach
I’m inside the JCCP Network and the Java reader is OPENING.
Then a New message comes up:
“Local cache access was denied.
C:/Documents and settings/public/viewone/cache or c/ViewONE/cache originally defined as ‘
I went to the Record Manager’s office and soon realized my synapses weren’t connecting right. Luckily Tuesdays at 11 AM I have Anger Management Class.
OVERHEARD AFTER COURT:
Plaintiff Liaison Tony DeMarco and Church Attorney Donald Woods sat outside after the hearings talking over what they were going to talk over with the judge in a few minutes.
I’m not tacky enough to write down all they said. I made a point of showing them, the tape player’s off, I’ve put down my pen. I’m just sitting here. Staring at Donald Woods. So as this practiced glad-hander -- he grins with leprechaun eyes, even taps you gently on the shoulder, as he weaves the words you absolutely don’t want to hear into the conversation -- went back and forth with Tony DeMarco, he’d look up at me now and then quizzically. Or just wanting someone to smile back.
Yesterday I wasn’t smiling. There was no place else for me to be so I just stared at Donald Woods as he argued. Church attorneys have not allowed “hierarchy” witnesses to answer key questions and plaintiffs have beaten against their walls for months trying to get fair depositions for fair discovery.
Woods: But we don’t want to pay for a referee to sit there all that time. . .
DeMarco: Then you shouldn't have been making so many objections.
(Okay, that one was too good to pass up. Remember I’m not a real journalist. I just have incredibly adaptive PTSD, I’m functionally insane. All my life I’ve adopted personae of other people, other professions. Right now I’d adopting the persona of a journalist to write this. In a year I'll be doing something else. That's my life as a priest rape survivor.)
More Than a Thousand Hits in One Night
And I’m freaked thinking the Pope is reading this
It was a weird day for me yesterday as I woke up to find 1100 (eleven hundred) people had clicked on the blog post about Crimen Solicitatis overnight, and I felt weird like the Vatican was watching me. Then I realized, Hey, when the pope was Cardinal Ratzinger, he essentially leaked the document, Crimen Solicitatis by footnoting it in that 2001 document. So maybe the current pope can see the “Jesus” in people power and open public information as experienced in America. I hope he is reading this. But it made me uncomfortable.
SAMPLING OF TRANSCRIPTION
From Hearing on Kreutzer Cases June 5
CHURCH ATTORNEY PHILLIP BAKER: The crux of the order is the bottom of Page 4 the paragraph saying Sister Catherine is agent. They've let no evidence that she’s a managing agent.
Question is not if she had authority at school but can she control corporate policy. Managing agent is to include only corporate employees with corporate decision making who affect policy.
Here is where I typed in: “Trying to keep Sister Catherine the real culprit here out of the story” trying to get the Times to read my screen.
CHURCH ATTORNEY PHIL BAKER CONTINUED: She was principal at Our Lady of Peace but did she have any role in the Archdiocese? She had a role in the abuse reports but she didn't have anything to do with corporate policy.
I think the court ought to just look I respectfully submit.
We're involved in settlement discussions. I didn't ask them to wait ‘til the eve of trial to file a motion.
Baker picks up his papers and frowns.
PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY STEVE BRADY: It’s the standard for the acts whether they constitute malice. Not Sister Catherine as managing agent but evidence of corporate policy.
(Baker is swaggering and shaking his head, as Brady talks. He holds his hand up like a kid who can’t wait as Brady is talking.)
BRADY: All we need to show is we meet the minimum requirements necessary to go to jury.
(Brady turns pointedly to defendant attorneys.)
BRADY: Mr. Woods begged plaintiff not to file this motion February 18th and we've had numerous conversations up to time this motion was filed. He said it would affect the status of “certain entities ie the insurance companies in this case.”
“We had to file this order to get this heard before we started trial. The timing was made and set up by the defense.”
JUDGE” You only have to show a preponderance of evidence that Sister Frances Catherine was
BRADY: Just that she committed the acts. This is not a summary judgment.
JUDGE: I do have one question. The second amended complaint names two defendants
PLAINTIFFS: We do that on the record now. The Second amended complaint filed before dismissal of the Education and Welfare Corporation
BAKER: (TRIUMPHANTLY!) There’s only one defendant now.
JUDGE: I need to talk to counsel briefly.
(They all go off into court’s back room and when they come out it appears to me that the plaintiffs are smiling and Baker et all are getting red in the face. The elder Baker holds the gate open and leads his son who trounces out of the room.
EMAIL FROM DANIEL SHEA
Published with his permission
Fun part of writing this blog is emails I get from people reaction to it. This came in from Daniel Shea attorney in Houston who took the Fort Worth cases to Washington in 2004, (and while pursuing cases in Massachusetts, unearthed the Crimen Solicitatis document).
“Actually, crimen was used as summary judgment evidence in the Fort Worth diocese case. The diocese made the mistake of trying to marginalize crimen using an affidavit of John Beal, a canon lawyer at Catholic University. John and I were theology classmates at Louvain in the 70s! Tendering his affidavit opened the door for me to take his deposition after a big struggle. All eight hours are on both text and video and in my opinion reasonably authenticate the document. The Beal deposition was then used extensively in the plainiff's opposition to the diocese's motion to summarily dismiss the case. That motion was denied without further comment by the court and the case was settled for almost 4 million for the 2 plaintiffs.
When reading crimen, don’t miss Formula B, the "Formula of Abjuration." In order to obtain the bishops absolution, the priest has to state that "no one can be saved unless he believes what the holy Roman catholic church teaches, preaches, confesses and practices." That little nugget, according to Ratzinger's letter, is part of a document that had been in full force and effect from 1962 until at least Ratzinger's May 18, 2001 letter. What does that tell you about the extent to which the conservatives never lost their grip on the church -- the best efforts of John 23rd notwithstanding.
Daniel Shea, Attorney
Later on the way home I’m thinking about this weird day.
That's when it dawned on me. . .
The reason I lived through all those overdoses in the 1980s. Yesterday after the hearing, there was no place else for me to be at that moment other than sitting on the bench across from Church Attorney Donald Woods and Plaintiff Liaison Tony DeMarco and just being there. He had to see me whether he wanted to or not.
Excuse the typos etcetera, I'm running out the door.
Hearing today on Mahony’s subpoena.