“The Duration of This Divorce Action and Post-Judgment Proceedings Is Approaching the Quarter Century Mark”
From New York trial judge Ariel Chesler’s opinion last month in Z.U. v. F.U., just the introduction:
The duration of this divorce action and post-judgment proceedings is approaching the quarter century mark. But, neither that length of time nor the fact that this is the 50th motion sequence fully captures the Jarndyce-like history that has transpired between these parties and in this courthouse. Like that fictional case imagined by Dickens in “Bleak House,” this litigation has seen “processions” of jurists and “great bundles of papers.” It too is “so complicated that no [person] alive knows what it means,” and the case “still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.”
Prior jurists who have handled this matter have described it as “long,” “tortuous,” “convoluted,” involving “scores of motions,” “endless,” and “seemingly interminable.” It has been noted that “much of the history involves the bad conduct of the parties, particularly that of defendant, which has created needless problems for the judges and staff of New York County Supreme Court and caused a constant and unconscionable drain on precious judicial resources.” Indeed, Justice Saralee Evans (retired) presided over the case until she felt compelled to recuse herself.
This conduct has included that on October 25, 2012, the day on which a prior hearing was scheduled to begin before a Referee, Defendant was arrested for striking “her ex-husband with an open hand across the face while both were seated in the 6th Floor Lobby [at 60 Centre Street] awaiting their court appearance,” according to the summons issued to her. This incident, coupled with prior incidents where Defendant had threatened to bring a gun to court, led to a dec
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