Appellate Circuit

Appellants and Denied Lower Court Intervenors Give Notice to Eleventh Circuit About Judge Jill Pryor

It is obvious the Burkes intend to file a second motion to disqualify Judge Pryor based the on new facts raised (sealing the motion to disqualify and refusing to unseal with ‘one-liner’ orders) and after the court denied the Burkes’ first motion to disqualify.

LIT COMMENTARY

If you are not familiar with the background to this article, the run-up to this order to seal is detailed and can be found by reviewing the Judge’s page and the Burkes intervention page.

The Missing 2018 Financial Disclosure Report for Judge Jill A. Pryor

Email to Judicial Committee; 5.00 am, Friday, 17 April, 2020

Good morning,

We received the Florida Judges and Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Financial Disclosure Reports on 13th January 2020. We attach a copy of your letter (EXHIBIT-A). It is now more than three months later, without these reports being received. Please advise when these reports are to be received. In particular, Judge Jill A. Pryor, as she is on our current appeal panel. Judge Pryor has refused to recuse based on our findings from the one supplied report, for the year 2017. The 2018 report is the pending report from your department.

This is a time sensitive request so your earliest response is valued. We would also respectfully request that the missing reports are emailed rather than mailed on a USB Stick due to COVID-19 and based on the fact we are over 80 years old.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Joanna Burke

APPELLANTS BURKES’ MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME

Appellants and denied lower court intervenor-plaintiffs, Joanna Burke and John Burke (“Burkes”) now file this 30-day extension request for the following significant reasons;

JUDGE JILL A. PRYOR’S MISSING FINANCIAL REPORT

The Burkes’ have previously alerted the court of the request for the judges’ financial disclosure reports which were requested but pending. Those reports, in the majority were received in a letter dated January 13, 2020.  In the committee’s letter[1], it was advised that 3 reports for the fiscal year 2018 were not included and would be sent when ‘released’.  Judge Jill A. Pryor [“JP”] is named in that list.

Today, 17th April, 2020, the Burkes reminded the Committee via email[2] the missing 2018 Financial Disclosure report for Judge Pryor remains outstanding. They urged the Committee to provide a timely response to the missing report as JP is on the 3-panel in this instant action and has refused to recuse. The Burkes now seek a 30-day extension of time while the Committee provides the necessary missing JP Financial Disclosure report.

THE LAW RE ASKING A JUDGE TO RECUSE

A federal judge, embraces public service and with that role comes prestige, authority and the understanding this ‘black robe’ position requires unquestionable impartiality.[3] This judicial appointment comes with a higher level of public scrutiny as citizens expect judges to rule from the bench whilst adhering to the model code of judicial conduct and ethics.[4]

In the federal court system, a federal statute governs judicial recusal.[5] The statute describes two categories for disqualification. The first being that a judge “shall disqualify himself  herself in any proceeding in which his her impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

The second situation in which recusal is necessary arises if  a judge (1) has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party; (2) has a direct financial interest, however small, in a party; (3) has served as lawyer in the matter in controversy while in private or governmental practice; or (4) has a spouse or child who is a party, lawyer or witness in the proceeding.[6]

The Missing and Tardy Financial Disclosure Report

The Burkes invoked their rights to review the financial disclosure record(s) of JP. As highlighted, the Burkes could only review 2017[7] as 2018 was not supplied. That itself is alarming as it is indicative that the filing is tardy. There can be no other logical reason for the missing annual report.[8]

The Burkes Motion to Disqualify JP

As a result of a review of the 2017 financial disclosure report, on Jan. 28, 2020, the Burkes filed their first motion to disqualify JP.  This was denied in a ‘one-liner’[9] order on Feb., 21 2020. Surprisingly, the JP was not finished with the Burke’s motion to disqualify. On Friday, March 6, 2020, JP ordered the Burkes motion to disqualify be sealed, another ‘one liner’ entry on the docket. The following day, March 7, 2020, the Burkes filed a motion to unseal and this was date-stamped Monday, March 9, 2020. This was subsequently denied in a ‘one-liner’ order on March 31, 2020.

ARGUMENT

At a minimum, the Burkes first and fourteenth amendment rights are in jeopardy in this appeal, which would be unconstitutional (further constitutional argument(s) and citations will be provided in detail in any subsequent motion(s) and/or complaint, a general argument is raised herein).

The Burkes are entitled to review the Financial Disclosure Reports of sitting judges, but the 2018 report for JP is missing, assumed tardy. No other explanation is considered, given the majority of the judges 2018 reports were available from the Eleventh Circuit, the lower court and also the Burkes request for the judges’ reports on the Fifth Circuit did not result in any tardy or missing reports for 2018. Hence, for reasons which can only be excused for tardiness, the Burkes should not be penalized due to JP’s violation(s).

FORWARD-THINKING DISCLOSURES

(1) It is obvious the Burkes intend to file a second motion to disqualify JP based the on new facts raised (sealing the motion to disqualify and refusing to unseal with ‘one-liner’ orders) and after the court denied the Burkes’ first motion to disqualify.  This will include any relevant fact(s) from the missing 2018 report.

(2) Denial of the Burkes’ second motion to dismiss, whenever it is filed and under whichever circumstances, will automatically result in a complaint being filed by the Burkes against JP to the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit, in accordance with the Guide to Judiciary Policy (published May, 2016) and referencing the  IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JUDICIAL CONDUCT AND DISABILITY ACT OF 1980,  A REPORT TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE (2006) (“the Breyer Report”).

RELIEF REQUESTED

The Burkes reply brief(s) in response to Ocwen and the CFPB/BCFP is currently due to be answered by the 29th April, 2020.

Appellants now respectfully requests that this Honorable Court grant this Motion, a 30-day extension, thus revising the due date up to and including Friday, 29th May, 2020 to allow for the missing report to [hopefully] be received and then allow for review by the Burkes.

As this court will note, the Burkes requested an expedited email reply from the Committee responsible for these reports, so delay is not being sought. It is merely to provide time for the report to be received and allow the Burkes reasonable time to review the same. In summary, it is significant and for the reasons as stated herein.

Respectfully submitted

[1] Cover Letter from the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on Financial Disclosure was included as “Exhibit A” in the Burkes Motion to Disqualify, Jan. 28, 2020.

[2] Email follow up to the Committee, “Exhibit B” attached.

[3] One of the most fundamental and self-evident principles of any fair system of justice is that judges must be neutral and impartial. In the United States, the Constitution requires that a “neutral  and  detached  judge”  preside over judicial  proceedings. Ward v. Village of Monroeville, 409 U.S. 57, 62 (1972); In re Murchison, 349 U.S. 133, 136 (1955).

[4] See USCourts.gov and ABA.

[5] 28 U.S.C. § 455 (Current through P.L. 116-78 (12/05/2019))

[6] See 28 U.S.C.  § 455(b)

[7] Exhibit A.

[8] See ABA reporting requirements.

[9] See recent sister court opinion which disfavors ‘one-liners’; Equal Emp’t Opportunity Comm’n v. Vantage Energy Servs., No. 19-20541 (5th Cir. Apr. 3, 2020).

On Friday, 6 March 2020, the Eleventh Circuit Judge Jill A. Pryor Ordered the Motion to Disqualify (denied) be Sealed

Every Tom, Dick and Harry Wants to Seal Records, But That’s Not How the Courts’ Work. Well, Theoretically

Secrecy is fine at the discovery stage, before the material enters the judicial record. But those documents, usually a small subset of all discovery, that influence or underpin the judicial decision are open to public inspection unless they meet the definition of trade secrets or other categories of bona fide long-term confidentiality.

Motion to Intervene is a Right of The Press and the Public

The public thus has a right to access complaints in pending cases, in the weeks before an answer is filed, in the months while a motion to dismiss may be pending, and after any motion to dismiss is granted.

If you want to Talk to a Judge, Head for the Beach House, not the Court House

Eugene Volokh; This First Amendment right of access extends to “documents and records that pertain to a proceeding in which one or more parties seek to disqualify a judge for bias. Application of Nat’l Broadcasting, Inc., 828 F.2d at 345, because “experience and logic” support such a right, id. at 344 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

General Docket
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Court of Appeals Docket #: 19-13015 Docketed: 08/05/2019
Nature of Suit: 2890 Other Statutory Actions
Joanna Burke, et al v. OCWEN Financial Corp., et al
Appeal From: Southern District of Florida
Fee Status: Fee Paid
Case Type Information:
     1) U.S. Civil
     2) U.S. Defendant – Non PLRA
     3) –
Originating Court Information:
     District: 113C-9 : 9:17-cv-80495-KAM
     Civil Proceeding: Kenneth A. Marra, Senior U.S. District Court Judge
     Secondary Judge: William Donald Matthewman, U.S. Magistrate Judge
     Date Filed: 04/20/2017
     Date NOA Filed:
     08/02/2019

03/11/2020 Open Document Certificate of Interested Persons and Corporate Disclosure Statement filed by. On the same day the CIP is served, the party filing it must also complete the court’s web-based stock ticker symbol certificate at the link here http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/web-based-cip or on the court’s website. See 11th Cir. R. 26.1-2(b). [19-13015] (ECF: Bernard Barrett) [Entered: 03/11/2020 03:44 PM]
03/11/2020 Open Document Appellee’s Brief filed by Appellee Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [19-13015] (ECF: Bernard Barrett) [Entered: 03/11/2020 04:33 PM]
03/11/2020 Open Document APPEARANCE of Counsel Form filed by Edwina Clarke for OCN, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing Inc. [19-13015] (ECF: Edwina Clarke) [Entered: 03/11/2020 06:43 PM]
03/11/2020 Open Document Appellee’s Brief filed by Appellees OCN, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing Inc.. [19-13015] (ECF: Sabrina Rose-Smith) [Entered: 03/11/2020 06:58 PM]
03/13/2020 Received paper copies of EBrief filed by Appellees OCN, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing Inc.. [Entered: 03/13/2020 10:41 AM]
03/13/2020 Received paper copies of EBrief filed by Appellee Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [Entered: 03/16/2020 07:42 AM]
03/18/2020 Open Document Supplemental Appendix [2 VOLUMES] filed by Appellees Ocwen Mortgage Servicing Inc., Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and OCN. [19-13015] (ECF: Sabrina Rose-Smith) [Entered: 03/18/2020 10:09 AM]
03/19/2020 Received paper copies of EAppendix filed by Appellees OCN, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing Inc.. 2 VOLUMES – 3 COPIES [Entered: 03/23/2020 03:52 PM]
03/23/2020 Over the phone extension granted by clerk as to Party John Burke. Updated Reply Brief. Due on 04/29/2020 as to Appellant John Burke. [Entered: 03/23/2020 01:02 PM]
03/31/2020 Open Document ORDER: Appellants’ “Motion to Unseal” is DENIED. [9028354-2] ENTERED FOR THE COURT – BY DIRECTION [Entered: 03/31/2020 03:27 PM]

Appellants and Denied Lower Court Intervenors Give Notice to Eleventh Circuit About Judge Jill Pryor
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Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

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