Satmar’s judicial shenanigans are well known among judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers in Brooklyn.
In 2004, the Honorable Melvin S. Barasch, rejected an attempt by the Aron Teitelbaum Kiryas Joel faction of Satmar to sieze control of the property and powers of the Williamsburg Yetev Lev Satmar Congregation under the control of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum. Judge Barasch’s 10/22/’04 ruling for the New York State Supreme Court has this incredible epilogue about Satmar attempts to corrupt justice. I have reproduced in its entirety below .
Throughout the litigation of these actions and pendency of the motion, there have been many incredible and outrageous attempts by certain individuals purportedly involved with and/or close to those involved the factional Satmar dispute to discredit, intimidate and improperly influence this Court. We think it would behoove the District Attorney of Kings County or any other entity charged with such authority to investigate and take every appropriate action against those involved in such activity.
Expenditure of vast sums of money and the exercise of enormous power have been the hallmarks of the above fight which have resulted in the following:
.Continuous hearsay claims of bribery throughout the course of the many hearings published on internet chat-rooms , in newspapers and phone calls.
.An individual who purports to be a pious members of Satmar in the forefront of the factional dispute is a former convict who served time in Federal Prison for swindling and may now still face other criminal charges.[Judge Barsch is probably referring to Moshe Yaakov Yosef Brach]. He has inundated the fax to our Chambers and to top officials throughout the State and the Office of [*15]Court Administration with false, incredible stories claiming “deals” “bribery” etc. involving this Court and its staff.
.Retired judges, and other high profile attorneys were retained, not all for substantive purposes but rather for window dressing and in order to present an aura of the ability to legally maneuver the case in their respective favors. One such individual, who never appeared to argue substantive law, once stood up and asked to make a sealed motion for the Court to recuse itself. When the Court demanded that he state on the record the basis for his request, he responded that it was based upon double hearsay allegations that a tabloid newspaper was inquiring about. Some ten months after making that request, he has yet to file such a motion. This individual had failed in his several previous attempts based upon spurious grounds, on both administrative and appellate levels, to move this case to another Judge.
There is little doubt that the motivation of the individuals responsible for the acts described herein is to intimidate the Court and prejudice its decisions. False accusations concerning members of the Court’s chambers have been published by fax, on the internet and members of the staff’s family have been harassed at home as well. Chambers have been daily inundated by calls from individuals using pseudonyms and falsely claiming to be reporters or attorneys who are tangentially involved in the case seeking information.
Those who would hopefully investigate this matter should note that there are judges who would prefer to decline any assignment involving members of this group of litigants. The integrity of the Judiciary must be preserved (emphases in quoted text added by this blogger, Yerachmiel Lopin)
DA Charles J Hynes never acted on a clear judicial call to investigate and prosecute Satmar attempts to corrupt justice. Instead he postures, blusters, and does press conferences about arrests. In fact, he arrested Samuel Kellner on trumped-up charges handed to him by the family of the convicted molester Baruch (Mordechai) Lebovits and backed by the testimony of his cousin, the notorious Satmar fixer, Moshe (Gabbai) Friedman. Kellner’s real crime: helping the DA prosecute molesters. He also seems to drag out the prosecution of most ultra orthodox child molesters which gives the community more opportunities to intimidate witnesses into withdrawing charges.
It is true that he successfully prosecuted Nechemya Weberman. However, he was under immense pressure following attacks on his neglect of Haredi sex abuse by the New York Times and Mayor Bloomberg.
Update 11:30 am, day of posting: The judges name in the title was misspelled intially. Now correctly spelled Barasch.