bankers

Relying on the Words of Judge Willett and joined by Judge Elrod, the Citizens Take Action…

We urge litigants and our judicial colleagues to zealously guard the public’s right of access to judicial records—their judicial records—so “that justice may not be done in a corner”.

LIT UPDATE

Screw you Judge Don Willett sayeth Judge Al Bennett. I only report to the President of the United States of America. Yeah, public service, but judicial immunity allows me to say Screw you to #WeThePeople as well – no right of access to unsealed documents (for no good reason). Request by citizens for open transparent courts denied.  p.s. full thread of email correspondence between the Burkes and the Court below.

MAY 4, 2021

From: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 3, 2021 at 9:54 AM
Subject: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>

Good morning Ms Edwards

RE: HALLIBURTON v. PHH MORTGAGE CORP., 4:20-CV-00919, S.D. TEX.

We are trying to obtain copies of the 2 letters as referenced below in the above action.

We now turn to the courts order, Doc. 19, page 7 of 7, April, 26, 2021, wherein it states;

“On April 16, 2021, this Court held a teleconference to consider a letter request
from Plaintiff for an order to compel the production of servicing notes related to
Plaintiff’s account with Defendants after April 28, 2016 and a letter from
Defendants opposing this relief.

After considering the letters and argument of counsel, this Court finds that an order to compel is appropriate.”

We were unable to locate these “letters” on the docket and hereby kindly request a copy of the same in your response and/or a particular docket number and date in the court docket record wherein these letters may be found.

Thanking you in anticipation of your earliest email response.

Sincerely
Joanna & John Burke

From: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>
Date: Mon, May 3, 2021 at 11:40 AM
Subject: RE: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>

Good morning,

The Court is not clear if you are a party to this case or counsel of record for a party to the case.  If you believe opposing counsel/party is not in compliance with an order of the court, than please file a formal document ton the record.

Thank you

From: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>

From: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>
Date: Mon, May 3, 2021 at 2:54 PM
Subject: RE: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>

All documents that are not designated as sealed, appear on the public docket. If the document is not on the record, it has not been electronically filed. If you wish to obtain any copies you must contact the clerk’s office helpdesk at 713-250-5500.

Thank you

From: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 3, 2021 at 3:02 PM
Subject: Re: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>

Many thanks for the quick response.

1. The document 19, the judge’s order, is the date of sealing so the letters were before that. It is assumed they are not sealed – can you please confirm?

2. I am hard of hearing so a phone number is not very helpful. Could you provide a clerk’s office helpdesk email if you believe that is where I need to go for a copy of these two letters from counsel?

Once again, thank you for your continued assistance.

Joanna Burke

Please review Judge Bennett’s procedures regarding discovery issues on the court’s website (excerpt below). I believe you are referencing emailed letters sent to the court requesting a conference on discovery issues. Such letters are not filed on the docket .

DISCOVERY

The Court expects that the parties will make every effort to resolve all discovery issues absent court intervention. When those attempts prove unsuccessful, a conference with the Court may be requested. Before filing any Motion to Compel, the complaining party must email the Case Manger a letter-not to exceed two (2) pages-explaining the nature of the dispute and detailing the date, time, and place of the parties’ prior out-of-court discovery or scheduling discussions and the names of all counsel participating therein. The Court will then determine the need for briefing or a conference on the matter.

From: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 3, 2021 at 5:17 PM
Subject: Re: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>

Dear Ms Edwards,

In this civil case and subsequent email thread, you have classified the letters as related to a discovery dispute. The dispute was in relation to compelling the defendants to produce the ‘servicing notes’.

Furthermore, you advise, per the judge’s own preference (court procedures), the parties each emailed a letter and therein requested a conference on the discovery issues. The judge obliged with a conference and ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

First, you claim emailed letters related to discovery do not need to be uploaded to the docket. We respectfully disagree. Whether it is emailed or posted, it is public record as it relates to the civil action.

Second, it is common for parties to present to the court a stipulated protective order for the court to sign. Such an order becomes an order of the court only upon the court’s issuing it, in this case, doc. 19. It is not sufficient for the parties to file it. Here, the protective order was after the order was implemented (as we stated in an earlier email in this thread).

See Glenmede Trust Co. v. Thompson, 56 F.3d 476, 480–81 (3d Cir. 1995).

Third, even the letters were emailed or sealed, we also rely upon the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s recent opinion authored by Judge Willett, specifically;

“We urge litigants and our judicial colleagues to zealously guard the public’s right of access to judicial records—their judicial records—so “that justice may not be done in a corner”.”

Binh Hoa Le v. Exeter Fin. Corp., No. 20-10377, at *18 (5th Cir. Mar. 5, 2021)

Finally, based on the above, we kindly ask that you reconsider your denial of access to the two letters – which, we claim, are public record – and where there is no protective order or ‘good cause’ to withhold them.

Again, citing Judge Willett;

“The public deserves better. The presumption of openness is Law 101: “The public’s right of access to judicial records is a fundamental element of the rule of law.” Openness is also Civics 101. The Constitution’s first three words make clear that ultimate sovereignty is wielded not by government but by the governed. And because “We the People” are not meant to be bystanders, the default expectation is transparency—that what happens in the halls of government happens in public view. Americans cannot keep a watchful eye, either in capitols or in courthouses, if they are wearing blindfolds.”

Binh Hoa Le v. Exeter Fin. Corp., No. 20-10377, at *10 (5th Cir. Mar. 5, 2021).

In light of the above, we look forward to your earliest decision.

From: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>
Date: Tue, May 4, 2021 at 8:55 AM
Subject: RE: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>

Good morning,

Civil action 4:20cv00919 Halliburton v. PHH Mortgage Corp, on its own behalf and as successor-by-merger to Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC et al is available for review via PACER or terminals located in the clerk’s office. Documents designated as sealed on the record can only be unsealed per a Court order. Additional requests must be filed as a formal motion and order on the record.

Thank you

From: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, May 4, 2021 at 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>

Good morning

The letters are not sealed so no motion should be necessary.
If they are now available on pacer could you provide the doc number(s) / date?
Please confirm our understanding of your short reply.

Thank you.

From: Lisa Edwards <Lisa_Edwards@txs.uscourts.gov>
Date: Tue, May 4, 2021 at 11:07 AM
Subject: RE: Judge Bennett’s Docket is Missing Letters
To: Joanna Burke <kajongwe@gmail.com>

Ms. Burke,

Your request was presented to the Court and denied. The record as it appears on the electronic docket is accurate.

Thank you

Letter to Counsel in Halliburton v. PHH Mortgage Corp. Case from the Burkes

For background, visit the earlier article on the Halliburton case.

APR 28, 2021

Dear Counsel,

RE: HALLIBURTON v. PHH MORTGAGE CORP., 4:20-CV-00919, S.D. TEX.

We, the Burkes (“Burkes”) refer to the above instant civil action and declare our immediate interest in this complaint as we are similarly situated. The matter involves foreclosure and the alleged mortgage servicers are the same.

We now turn to the courts order, Doc. 19,  page 7 of 7, April, 26, 2021, wherein it states;

“On April 16, 2021, this Court held a teleconference to consider a letter request from Plaintiff for an order to compel the production of servicing notes related to Plaintiff’s account with Defendants after April 28, 2016 and a letter from Defendants opposing this relief.

After considering the letters and argument of counsel, this Court finds that an order to compel is appropriate.”

First, we were unable to locate these “letters” on the docket and hereby kindly request a copy of the same in your response(s) and/or a particular docket number and date in the court docket record wherein these letters may be found.

Second, we seek to ask if you would object to the Burkes requesting access to the compelled production.

If you object, we take this advance opportunity to notice counsel that we will be submitting a motion to intervene for the purpose of obtaining all the servicing notes and compelled production of documents received in the above case and before any destruction is ordered. At that time, we would rely upon the responses received by counsel to the above in order to assert if you are opposed or unopposed to our motion.

Third, as far as Lone Star Legal Aid; considering your mission statement and the fact we assume you are representing Ms. Halliburton pro bono in this case, we are more than perplexed as to why you would jointly agree to a confidential order in this matter in light of the panels’ comments in Binh Hoa Le v. Exeter Fin. Corp., No. 20-10377 (5th Cir. Mar. 5, 2021) and specifically, the mortgage servicer loan file.

We now move for transparency in this matter. As Judge Willett opined;

“With great respect, we urge litigants and our judicial colleagues to zealously guard the public’s right of access to judicial records—their judicial records—so “that justice may not be done in a corner.””

As you are no doubt fully aware, mortgage servicer files including notes, are not privileged. The fact it is part of a confidential order is even more alarming, but that matter is left to be addressed directly with the Judge in this case.

Finally, we have submitted this letter via email only[1] to the counsel listed above. As this matter is time sensitive, we would please ask that you respond by return.

Thanking you in advance for your co-operation.

Sincerely

The Burkes…

[1] Relying upon Rule 106 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (“TCRP”) as adopted by the Texas Supreme Court in 2020 as it relates to process of service and assuming arguendo that the equivalent FRCP is effectively the same, especially during the pandemic and how the courts have adopted more electronic methods of delivery and communications.

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Relying on the Words of Judge Willett and joined by Judge Elrod, the Citizens Take Action…
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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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