Link to the PDF of the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board Formal Complaint vs. Sidney Powell et al. for filing a complaint that alleged widespread voter fraud and sought to decertify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Michigan Attorney Discipline Board correctly made 9 attorneys pay the victim $153,285 attorney fees incurred for defending against a baseless complaint
The City of Detroit filed a complaint to sanction attorneys whose unethical conduct damaged the City by their knowingly filing meritless claims to attempt to reverse the ceritified results of the 2020 election not supported by law or evidence.
The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, according to its legal duty to assist its State Supreme Court to govern the legal profession in Michigan, accepted the complaint, conducted an investigation, issued findings of fact and conclusions of law, to support an order for the attorneys to pay the City of Detroit $153,285 that the City of Detroit had been forced to incur defending against this frivolous lawsuit.
Nevada allowed pro se victim to be declared vexatious litigant for objecting to accruing $36,210 in attorney fees to collect $57,282 wrongfully withheld from her for 8+ years
Nevada State Bar just refused all complaints at intake without investigation.
Victim Nona Tobin, President of Fight Foreclosure Fraud, Inc., filed verified complaints to the State Bar of Nevada that were all fully supported by verified forensically audited documentary evidence. All cited specific provisions of the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct that had been violated by specific actions taken by the named attorneys on specific dates. Many of the allegations specifically charged that the attorneys of concealing evidence of criminal conduct and recording false claims to title which would be felonies if convicted.
Assistant Bar Counsel Philip Pattee rejected all her complaints at intake without Nevada law: 1) the victim’s complaint must provide evidence that meets the clear and convincing standard and 2) the victim must provide the Bar Counsel with a court order that includes written findings of attorney misconduct before the Bar Counsel will open an investigation file or even send the matter to the attorney to require the attorney to refute the allegations in the complaint
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order in Michigan Case should be emulated here
Quoted below is Forrest Quinn’s excellent NextDoor June 22, 2023 post about Adam Clarkson’s adding his own requirements for residents to serve on the SCA Board. Since I am the poster child of this particular form of homeowner abuse, I thought I’d give you the back story of how it all started and how much, much worse it’s become since 2017.
Sun City Anthem was managed from the time it went from developer (Del Webb) control to “self-management” by a contract manager, FirstService Residential (FSR) that also held the Nevada NRS 649 debt collector license and using a wholly owned subsidiary doing business as Red Rock Financial Services was the HOA’s debt collector and foreclosure sale trustee. Remember that all HOA managers are fiduciaries by law even when they are performing debt collection functions. Attorneys are also supposed to be fiduciaries even when they are acting as HOA debt collectors. (You have to remember that because they have forgotten.)
During the transition to “self-management” Sandy Seddon was hired 11/1/15 to overlap with FSR as a shadow manager to transition the systems at a base salary of $250,000, $100,000 more than the Sun City Summerlin full-time manager who was hired at the same time. Many people objected, including me, when six months after she took over after FSR’s departure in late 2016, the Board gave her a $20,000 bonus. I went to the HOA office and found that we actually had a separate Community Association Manager, Lori Martin, besides Sandy Seddon who was called the General Manager at that time. I requested a copy of the HOA’s management performance compensation policies and to see if any market surveys that had been done to set her salary. CAM Martin informed me that there were no policies, that the Board had essentially unfettered discretion to set the pay. When I asked, “so they could pay her a million bucks a year?” The answer was yes.
I ran for the Board in 2017 and was elected on 5/1/17 with 2,001 votes. On the same day I took my elected Board seat, Adam Clarkson’s 1st unethical, improperly obtained contract to be Sun City Anthem’s (SCA’s) debt collector and legal counsel.
NRS 116.31086 requires that an HOA Board selects vendors by an open bid process contract bids. SCA Board put out an RFP for a new debt collector to replace FSR dba Red Rock in 2015 and after a full public evaluation of the competitors, selected Alessi & Koenig, LLC to be SCA’s debt collector.
In January 2017, I sent a recommendation to the SCA Board to fire the debt collector because Alessi & Koenig, LLC had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and they had misled the Board into modifying its contract to a successor entity that had been used to conceal assets from creditors. Instead of putting out a new RFP for a debt collector as required by NRS 116.31086 or even thanking me, Seddon and the Board ignored me.
I filed an application for the Board on 2/5/17, and Lori Martin told me I had to put on my conflict of interest form that I had filed a civil complaint to quiet title of my late fiance’s home that Red Rock had wrongfully foreclosed three years earlier without notice after Red Rock rejected multiple assessment offers that cured the delinquency and had unlawfully kept virtually all the sale proceeds. I told her I wanted the HOA to work with me to settle at no cost without litigation because the HOA shouldn’t cover up the former agents’ wrongdoing. My interest in the Board was to assist SCA become a first-time employer to set up personnel performance, accountability, transparency and compensation policies as that was my professional expertise.
The opinion of SCA’s legal counsel of the time interpreted NRS 116.31034 to allow me to run for the Board so Seddon got the Board to select a new General Legal Counsel for the HOA at the April 2017 meeting before the next Board was seated.
SCA’s litigation attorney in my quiet title/excess proceeds case agreed to settlement negotiations in March 2017 that I had initiated to attempt to achieve a mutually-beneficial resolution of the wrongful foreclosure action at no cost to SCA or to me before the 5/1/17 SCA Board election.
Rather than allow me to have my rights under SCA CC&Rs XVI: ADR & Limitation on Litigation, and for no good purpose, SCA management changed the litigation attorney to one who rejected my 3/22/17 no cost settlement offer unilaterally without taking it to the SCA Board for approval and without consideration of the best interests of the Bound parties.
Seddon, in concert with my competitor for one of the vacant 2017 Board seats, Board President Rex Weddle, orchestrated another unlawful manipulation of NRS 116.31086 before the 2017 election to bring Clarkson in as SCA’s debt collector without an RFP and without agendizing the Board action to do so at the April 2017 meeting before the new Board was seated.
Once Clarkson started at SCA with the power of two highly incompatible roles on the same day as I was seated in my elected position, the relentless campaign to keep information from me, to treat me differently from other Board members ensued.
At my first SCA Board meeting, Clarkson got the Board in closed session (after removing me) to order me to recuse myself from all collection matters regardless of whether there was any relationship whatsoever to the 2014 wrongful foreclose conducted without valid SCA Board approval at an open Board meeting by SCA’s former agents who had unlawfully kept $57,282.32 excess proceeds from the sale that belonged to me.
Even though I knew NRS 116.31084 defines how a Board member recuses herself if there is a conflict, I didn’t argue because I expected the litigation could be quickly settled, not realizing that Clarkson and the new litigation attorney were going to obstruct the litigation.
Clarkson and the litigation attorney not only refused to produce SCA’s enforcement records, SCA Board agendas and minutes, or any of SCA’s official records of probative value to my case, but instead produced the unverified, uncorroborated, incomplete, inaccurate and falsified records of SCA’s former agent Red Rock, misrepresenting them to the Court as if they were SCA’s official records.
Clarkson’s obstruction of my litigation and my Board service conceals a corrupt system he wants to perpetuate
I was forced into litigation, and then my litigation obstructed to cover up that SCA’s former agents, FSR as manager, and FSR dba Red Rock, as debt collector, in 2014, secretly sold, and unlawfully kept nearly all the proceeds from, a dozen SCA homes to a hand full of insider speculators, for a fifth of their value, without approval at an open Board meeting as required by our bylaws 3.15 and 3.15A, for the alleged violation of delinquent assessments, without publishing the quarterly delinquency report required by SCA bylaws 3.21(f)(v), without any without the same notice as the SCA Board is required by CC&Rs 7.4 and bylaws 3.26 to provide when issuing a fine or sanction of any amount.
The core issue is HOA homeowners have rights that are guaranteed to us as the intentional beneficiaries of our HOA’s governing documents, independent of what the state law says. And independent of what Clarkson and the other CAI lobbyist attorneys say.
My problem with all the attorneys against me in the litigation is the attorneys who are supposed to be fiduciaries to the HOA, and to the homeowners as the intentional beneficiaries of the HOA for which it exists, don’t view things that way. They view themselves as representing other interests.
Clarkson’s perspective appears to be that he is a Super-Director above the Board and above the law “I am the attorney. I decide the law. You are required to act solely “on the advice of counsel”. You are prohibited from acting contrary to the attorney’s edicts. He frequently acts in his own self-interest because he has the conflicting role of being a debt collector and a particularly greedy attorney so he makes up rules to decrease transparency. He changes the wording on policies here and there to change so they don’t apply to him or Sedddon, just very sneaky, but blatantly, very non-fiduciary things, as working for the sole and exclusive best interest of the common good of the HOA membershi is the farthest thing from his mind.
The HOA litigation attorney David Ochoa I think actually works for the HOA’s insurance company. He is definitely not working in the interest of the HOA or the HOA homeowner. He was protecting SCA’s former agents because the more liability that can be kept on the backs of the owners the less there is on the insurance company. Just a theory. He’s the one who refused to settle because my claims were similar to the bank’s, but no bank ever filed a claim aginst SCA in this case nor against me for that matter. But somehow without the HOA having any interest in the title and never having filed any claims against me got summary judgment to quiet title by filing an absolutely unnecessary motion for summary judgment against me when there was zero interest of the HOA served by so doing.Further, he did so, after concealing all the HOA’s records of probative value and presenting the Red Rock falsified records as if they were SCA’s. Both HOA attorneys and the Red Rock attorney concealed the applicable 4/27/12 debt collection contract that had an indemnity clause favorable to SCA and the homeowners, and Ochoa disclosed the 2007 contract that shows SCA has to indemnify Red Rock. Since Clarkson refused to discuss why that indemnification provision was not enforced, SCA homeowners were on the hook for $87,000+ legal fees for litigation related to pre 2016 foreclosures that Red Rock should have paid.
Forrest Quinn asked on 1/30/23 if SCA management was trying to discourage residents from running for the SCA Board.
On 1/31/23 Clarkson sent me his 7th notice of my ineligibility to run for SCA Board.
Interpretation of NRS 116
Note that the way Forrest Quinn interprets NRS 116.31034 is the same way anybody who can read English interprets it.
I filed complaints to the State Bar to sanction multiple attorneys for what they have done that damaged both me & SCA by acting in their own self-interest instead of as fiduciaries.
The State Bar rejected the complaint at intake without investigation, telling me only to come back if I had a court order with written findings that established attorney misconduct.
I prepared five draft complaints to file civil actions to request a judge provide written findings, and gave Clarkson and each of the other implicated attorneys, a notice of intent to give them an opportunity to refute the VERY SERIOUS and fully documented accusations against them which they simply ignored.
Since I am still in litigation over the $57,282.32 excess proceeds from the 8/15/14 foreclosure, I filed a motion for an order to show cause to this judge requesting that she consider the five uninvestigated Bar complaints supported by forensically-audited evidence showing that these attorneys knowingly misrepresented both the law and the facts to multiple courts in order to unfairly alter the standing of the parties and to change the outcome of the proceedings and then drafted the orders for the judge to say that the false facts were undisputed and the law was correct.
How Clarkson and attorneys for HOA servicers are stripping my rights to rise above the law
Basically, what happened in my case would be equivalent to a malicious prosecution in the Jim Crow era where a white attorney and a white Sheriff doctor the evidence to frame a black man, and the white judge signs the order to put the black man to death without checking the evidence by simply overruling the black man’s black attorney. Appeals are futile because the order is written that the evidence was corroborated six ways to Sunday and everything the white officers of the court say was beyond a reasonable doubt and the court record showed a vote of 12-0 by a non-existent jury.
I am now fighting a vexatious litigant restrictive order, entered on 3/28/23, that prohibits me from any unrestricted filing of ANY civil complaint in ANY Nevada court against ANY defendant for ANY cause of action unless I pay an attorney to represent me.
Not likely I’m going to hire another attorney after firing three of them, and after I’ve already incurred over $400,000 in litigation expenses over the past seven years, unsuccessfully trying to void the wrongful foreclosure and without getting my $57,282.32 excess proceeds with interest and penalties that’s been unlawfully withheld from me for nearly nine years now simply because I am trying to void the sale and my opponents and trying to cover it up.
In the vexatious litigant restrictive order, the judge’s findings were 100% in favor of the attorneys (big surprise). She “found”, based on no consideration of facts supported by verified evidence in the court record, in an order drafted by one of the implicated attorneys, that my complaints were frivolous and devoid of any legal or factual merit and that my intent for filing them was improper and solely for the purpose of harassing the (presumably innocent) attorneys in the title dispute.
The Governor signed SB 417 on 6/9/23. Boon to HOA management. Woe to owners.
Hardly anybody knows that all Nevada HOA homeowners’ right to control their budgets has been diminished by Clarkson and Seddon keeping their pay a secret from those who pay it.
SB 417 text shows a change to NRS 116.31175, successfully lobbied for by Community Association Institute (CAI) lobbyist and SCA allegedly fiduciary legal counsel/debt collector Clarkson. This states that HOA homeowners no longer have a right, previously guaranteed by state law, to ask HOA management for records that show how much any employee is being paid either per hour or according to the terms of an employment agreement.
There is no benefit to any HOA in the state of Nevada to have a ridiculous provision like this, any more than there would be a benefit to any city in Nevada for the legislature to have passed a rule that said that management could keep half of the budget a secret from the taxpayers.
This opens the door for a massive amount of corruption and stupidity, and there was simply no proper purpose for it except to cover up that Sandy Seddon is still being paid double what her job is worth to the SCA assessment payers, and she and Adam Clarkson are going to “vet” everybody off the Board who says so.
Thanks to Clarkson, SB 417 allows for the Ombudsman to refuse to investigate and allows for people to be kept off the Board for up to 10 years if accused of something
An April 11, 2023 article in the Nevada Current reported Clarkson’s saying some of us just aren’t “good people”
How does this all fit together?
It’s simply a power grab to abridge HOA homeowners’ rights for the unjust enrichment of HOA servicers represented by the CAI lobbyist Clarkson.
I complained in 2017 about HOA agents and managers telling the Board that the Board had to do certain things in closed meetings: 1) the former agents told the HOA Board falsely everything about foreclosure had to be done in closed meetings, but that was false. I said so, and Clarkson kicked me off the Board, obstructed my case from getting the evidence, and conspired with the former agents to lie to the court so I couldn’t win on appeal; 2) Clarkson said the Board could meet in closed meetings every month and pretty much disregard what the law said about the only permissible topics and he was the sole arbiter of what the law was and so by getting a vote of the other six members of the Board at a closed session hen he “declared my seat was IMMEDIATELY vacant by operation of (some unspecified and unknown ) law” given that NRS 116.31036 removal election is the only legal way to remove someone from the Boardhe did so in retaliation to my submitting notices of intent to file complaints against Clarkson to the State Bar and against Seddon for concealing records and working without a proper management contract and against the Board for harassment and bullying because I had complained about their interference in the recall election. It’s been one retaliatory act after another for years, incrementally, a few tiny word changes in an SCA Board policy here, a few false statements in a court order, joined by other attorneys, that describe them as uncontroverted there, then a barely noticed bill through the biennial State legislature masquerading as raising $10 limit on an information request that in really a means to eliminate transparency about HOA management compensation and a means to disenfranchise HOA homeowners for 10 years and eliminate the Ombudsman for Owners in Common Interest Communities’ duty to investigate complaints, as Clarkson says, “even if they are true”. After all, the complainer is obviously not a good person.
Clarkson and Seddon have defamed me by making false claims that I am ineligible to serve on the Board nonsensically because of things I allegedly put before the Board from which I stood to make a profit. The list is longer each year and the reasons are false and frequently use the DARVO technique. Deny – Attack-Reverse -Victim -Offender.
SB 417, vexatious litigant restrictive order, SLAPP, DARVO, Clarkson’s alternative facts version of the law to “vet” me off Board for 7 years, suppression and falsification of HOA evidence that proves predatory practices that Clarkson is perpetuating, lying to court, and defamation are just some of the techniques these attorneys have used to silence me as a whistleblower and to give undue power to HOA servicers who are supposed to be fiduciaries.
A bill sponsored by the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee seeks to rein in Nevadans who lawmakers say are harassing and demanding too much of their homeowners’ associations and management companies.
“Some of the actions that we’ve taken to protect HOA members have gone a little too far and expose executive board members and their employees to harassment,” including death threats and vandalism, Sen. Melanie Scheible said as she presented Senate Bill 417 to the committee Tuesday. “They’ve also put expensive demands on boards to fulfill unit owners’ requests for records that sometimes have no bearing on the issue at hand.”
Senate Bill 417 removes the current $10 cap community managers may charge homeowners for record inspection, and allows them to charge actual costs.
Laurie Berger, a community association manager in Reno, testified one homeowner’s request took 65 hours for her staff to process.
Samuel Covelli, a retired corrections officer in Las Vegas, says he was “stonewalled” when he asked his HOA for financial information.
“I’m sure there are good HOA boards. I’m sure there are good management companies. I’m sure there are good attorneys in the community representing people,” he testified.”But this whole process is horribly slanted against a homeowner. I’ll take some of the blame for not paying attention to what went on in my HOA for 20 years.”
The bill allows an association to ban a homeowner from serving on an HOA board for up to 10 years for filing a vexatious, defamatory, or false complaint with the state, and allows board members or staff to use HOA funds to recover compensatory damages, attorneys fees, and costs from a person who takes “retaliatory action,” as determined by the State Real Estate Division.
Las Vegas homeowner Michael Kosor says the measure is an assault on the First Amendment and serves to chill opposition to HOA governance. He says it’s also “a rainmaker for the attorneys and management companies.”
Kosor says defamatory speech is already prohibited. The legislation, he says, allows the association to determine what is defamatory and gives the association “the ability to censor free speech based on opposing positions from that of the board.”
Southern Highland’s developer Garry Goett’s OIympia Companies sued Kosor for defamation over statements made on-line and in-person at HOA meetings. Kosor prevailed before the Nevada Supreme Court.
“I’m a retired Air Force colonel fighter pilot with combat experience in the Gulf War,” Kosor testified Tuesday. “This experience defending the attacks of this developer on my family’s financial future was in total the most stressful experience of my life.”
Kosor contends Goett has erroneously maintained control of the Southern Highlands board. He’s presented what he says is evidence to the state, but NRED has refused to investigate. SB 417 would codify the state’s ability to pick and choose investigations.
“There’s an imbalance of power between homeowners and homeowners associations and management companies,” Las Vegan Howard McCarley testified in opposition to the bill. “Extensive financial resources are available to associations and managers. Residents are on their own.”
Adam Clarkson of the Common Associations Institute, the lobbying arm of HOA management companies, says the state’s Real Estate Division receives “a lot of complaints from people that are just routine fighters,” and noted the bill would allow boards to prevent those people from serving on the board.
“They are not the kind of people who should be on the board,” Clarkson said. “They are not good people.”
The measure would also give the state the ability to ignore some complaints.
“Even if the facts are true, NRED doesn’t have to investigate it,” Clarkson of the Community Association Institute testified.
Kosor says the government should advance HOA transparency “and encourage greater participation of owners in their HOAs. This bill does the opposite.”
Generally speaking, only the most egregious misconduct, such as bribery of a judge or members of a jury, or the fabrication of evidence by a party in which an attorney is implicated, will constitute a fraud on the court . See Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co., 322 U.S. 238, 64 S.Ct. 997, 88 L.Ed. 1250 (1944); Root Refin. Co. v. Universal Oil Products, 169 F.2d 514 (3d Cir. 1948); 7 J.W. Moore, Federal Practice, ¶ 60.33 at 510-11.
Occhiuto v. Occhiuto, 97 Nev. 143, 146 n.2 (Nev. 1981)
Occhiuto v. Occhiuto, 97 Nev. 143, 146 n.2 (Nev. 1981) (“”[I]n order to set aside a judgment or order because of fraud upon the court under Rule 60(b) . . . it is necessary to show an unconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decision.” England v. Doyle, supra, 281 F.2d at 309. See also United States v. Standard Oil Co. of California, 73 F.R.D. 612, 615 (N.D.Cal. 1977).”)
Fraud directed at the “judicial machinery” can mean conduct that fraudulently coerces or influences the court itself or a member of the court, such that the impartial nature of the court has been compromised.Bulloch v.United States,721F.2d 713,718 (10th Cir.1983).
Lepp v. Yuba Cnty., No. 2:17-cv-1317-KJM-EFB PS, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 11, 2019) (“”Fraud on the court” is “fraud which does or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery cannot perform in the usual manner.” Alexander v. Robertson, 882 F.2d 421, 424 (9th Cir. 1989).”)
Estate of Adams ex rel. Estate v. Fallini, 386 P.3d 621, 625-26 (Nev. 2016) (“However, counsel violates his duty of candor to the court when counsel: (1) proffers a material fact that he knew or should have known to be false, see generallySierra Glass & Mirror v . Viking Indus., Inc. , 107 Nev. 119, 125–26, 808 P.2d 512, 516 (1991) (providing that counsel committed fraud upon the court “in violation of SCR 172(1)(a) and (d)” when he proffered evidence and omitted pertinent portions of a document to “buttress” his client’s argument, and that he “knew or should have known” that the omitted portion was harmful to his client’s position); cf.Seleme v. JP Morgan Chase Bank , 982 N.E.2d 299, 310–11 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) (providing that under FRCP 60(b)(3), a party alleging fraud or misrepresentation must demonstrate that “the opposing party knew or should have known from the available information that the representation made was false, and … the misrepresentation was made with respect to a material fact which would change the trial court’s judgment” (internal quotation marks omitted)); and (2) relies upon the admitted false fact to achieve a favorable ruling, seeKupferman v. Consol. Research & Mfg. Corp. , 459 F.2d 1072, 1078–79 (2d Cir. 1972) (holding that counsel pursuing case with known complete defense could be fraudulent, where defense was unknown to the court, or, apparently, unknown to the defending parties); see also Conlon v. United States , 474 F.3d 616, 622 (9th Cir. 2007) ”)
Ehrenberg v. Roussos (In re Roussos), 541 B.R. 721, 729 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2015) (“Most fraud on the court cases involve a scheme by one party to hide a key fact from the court and the opposing party. For example, in Levandera corporate officer testified in a deposition that the corporation had not sold its assets, and a bankruptcy court subsequently entered a judgment against only the corporation. Levander,180 F.3d at 1116–17. It turned out that the corporation had in fact transferred all of its assets to a related partnership. Id. We held that the false testimony constituted fraud on the court, and the bankruptcy court was allowed to amend its order to include the partnership as an additional party to the judgment. Id.at 1122–23.”)
Could Judge Peterson fairly adjudicate this last order given that claims of fraud on the court attorney misconduct triggered the unwarranted restrictive order?
“”A judge is presumed to be impartial, and the party asserting the challenge carries the burden of establishing sufficient factual grounds warranting disqualification.” Rippo v. State, 113 Nev. 1239, 1248, 946 P.2d 1017, 1023 (1997). Under Nevada law, a judge must be disqualified whenever her “impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” NCJC Rule 2.11(A), which presents an objective inquiry: “whether a reasonable person, knowing all the facts, would harbor reasonable doubts about [the judge’s] impartiality,” Ybarra v. State, 127 Nev. 47, 51, 247 P.3d 269, 272 (2011) (quoting PETA v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd., 111 Nev. 431, 438, 894 P.2d 337, 341 (1995)). Additionally, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause requires disqualification “when, objectively speaking, ‘the probability of actual bias on the part of the judge . . . is too high to be constitutionally tolerable.'” Rippo v. Baker, 137 S. Ct. 905, 907 (2017) (quoting Withrow v. Larkin, 421 U.S. 35, 47 (1975)).”
Would a reasonable person think this conduct was impartial?
not establishing that the interpleader action was filed in good faith
refuse to resolve the interpleader action presented in 2021 by holding an evidentiary hearing
dismissed unanswered claims of conversion
not dismissing Nationstar and Wells Fargo when they failed to file a mandatory counter-claim for the proceeds and failed to file a timely answer to cross-claims
refusing to allow their default to be taken
6. filing an order to show cause to get rid of the third-party complaint against attorneys
holding the hearing anyway even after the voluntary dismissal order was signed
who had no standing to hold an ex parte hearing with the attorneys for Tobin’s opponents
Would a reasonable person think she kept an open mind to the evidence?
[S]o long as a judge remains open-minded enough to refrain from finally deciding a case until all of the evidence has been presented, remarks made by the judge during the course of the proceedings will not be considered as indicative of disqualifying bias or prejudice.”
Wharff v. State, No. 72185 (Nev. App. Dec. 19, 2018)
“Disqualification is required when “a reasonable person, knowing all the facts, would harbor reasonable doubts about [the judge’s] impartiality.” Id.; see also NRS 1.230; Williams v. Pennsylvania, 579 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1899, 1905 (2016) (“The Court asks not whether a judge harbors an actual, subjective bias, but instead whether, as an objective matter, the average judge in his position is likely to be neutral, or whether there is an unconstitutional potential for bias.” (internal quotation marks omitted)).”
Brofman v. The Eighth Judicial District court of the State, No. 85299-COA (Nev. App. Oct. 7, 2022)
“Generally, a judge’s remarks “made in the context of a court proceeding are not considered indicative of improper bias or prejudice unless they show that the judge has closed his or her mind to the presentation of all the evidence.””
On 12/19/22, I filed a motion for an order to show cause why written findings of attorney misconduct should not be forwarded to the State Bar because the State Bar would not investigate complaints without it.
Below is my statement of intent which was to clearly show that my claims had been obstructed and never fully heard due to the misconduct of my opponents.
The motion was made in good faith and supported by verified evidence
Summary of 2/23/22 and 2/28/22 Bar complaints against Nationstar’s attorneys
Nationstar’s attorneys: Wright, Finlay, Zak, LLP
Melanie Morgan (SBN 8215) Akerman LLP
2/28/22 Complaint to State Bar vs. Nationstar’s attorneys: Wright, Finlay, Zak, LLP and
Nationstar’s attorneys: Melanie Morgan, Managing Partner Akerman LLP and Wright Finlay Zak, LLP lied about Nationstar being owed a debt; lied about Nationstar having any standing to file a quiet title claim. Abused the HOA quiet title litigation process multiple times as a corrupt business model, representing different lenders who did not NRS 104.3301 standing to foreclose on the 1st deeds of trust they were lying about owning.
The most critical material facts knowingly misrepresented by all of Nationstar’s attorneys related to the assignments and reconveyance of the 1st deed of trust that was extinguished by the 8/15/14 HOA sale: 7/22/04 Hansen deed of trust
1) assignment to BANA was void as it was robo-signed days after BANA signed a 4/4/12 consent decree agreeing not to robo-sign documents to fake ownership of loans that basically had been securitized out of existence;
2) also void because there is no notary record of it (NRS 111.240);
3) also void because non-compliant with Nevada’s anti-foreclosure fraud law (AB 284 (2011)
9/9/14 ASSIGN BANA to Wells Fargo by BANA – could not transfer interest:
1) assignment is void as BANA’s 4/12/12 assignment to itself above was void;
2) assignment was recorded almost a month after the deed of trust was extinguished by the 8/15/14 HOA sale;
3) servicing banks BANA’s and Nationstar’s failure to record a notice of default on the 7/22/04 deed of trust constitutes a waiver of any right it may have to use the property as security for the Hansen promissory note;
4) servicers’ failure to record a notice of default was the direct and proximate cause of the HOA sale because an HOA is prohibited from foreclosing if a lender has recorded a notice of default on the 1st deed of trust (NRS 116.31162(6)(2013)
12/1/14 ASSIGN BANA to Nationstar by Nationstar – could not transfer interest:
1) void because BANA had no interest to assign on 12/1/14;
2) void because it was actually a self-assignment executed without authority by Nationstar;
3) void because Nationstar did not record or disclose a properly executed power of attorney from BANA;
4) void because Nationstar rescinded it a week after the end of discovery in the 1st action
3/8/19 ASSIGN Wells Fargo to Nationstar by Nationstar – could not transfer interest:
1) void because Wells Fargo had no interest to assign to Nationstar;
2) void because Nationstar’s robo-signer executed it without authority;
3) void because Nationstar recorded it after the end of discovery in the 1st action;
4) void because Nationstar prevailed in the 1st action by filing a non-meritorious joinder on 2/12/19 claiming to be BANA’s successor in interest and then two weeks later rescinding that claim and then after the end of discovery recording a new robo-signed claim to be Wells Fargo’s successor in interest;
5) Nationstar is judicially estopped from claiming that either it or Wells Fargo is the beneficiary due to its repeated conflicting claims regarding when and from whom it acquired its claimed interest;
6) Nationstar admitted i n discovery two days after this robo-signed assignment was executed on 2/25/19 that Nationstar was then, and always had been since 12/1/13, only the servicer, never the beneficiary.
3/8/19 RESCIND 12/1/14 BANA to Nationstar by Nationstar – could not transfer interest as it was rescinding a void assignment:
1) this rescission was done in bad faith a week after discovery ended after Nationstar learned that Tobin could prove that it was lying about being the beneficiary as BANA’s successor in interest; 2) this was executed by Nationstar robo-signer Mohamed Hammed posing as if he were the V-P of BANA;
3) In the months following this rescission, Nationstar persisted in its false claim that the sale was valid to extinguish Tobin’s interest by was void to extinguish the interest Nationstar was lying about owning as the successor of BANA
6/3/19 RECONVEY Hansen DOT to Joel Stokes – not to the borrower’s estate – by Nationstar
1) void because Nationstar did not have the legal authority to reconvey the deed of trust to anyone, let alone to a non-party two days before the quiet title trial in the 1st action;
2) void as Nationstar claimed to be both the trustee and the beneficiary when in fact it was neither and therefore had no legal authority to record a reconveyance (NRS 205.395);
3) Nationstar could not have been both the trustee and the beneficiary as NRS 107.028(2) prohibits it;
4) void as it was a fraudulent transfer (NRS 111.175) to consummate the $355,000 devil’s pact between Nationstar and Jimijack recorded on 5/23/19;
5) underlying deal with Joel Stokes is void as the attorneys misrepresented it as the Nationstar-Jimijack settlement of all claims to the court to gain its imprimatur fraudulently;
5) void as the Nationstar-Joel Stokes deal excluded Tobin as a necessary party (NRCP 19, NRS 30.130) as she was denied the opportunity to defend her 3/28/17 deed;
6) void as the lien was released as a quid pro quo to steal Tobin’s property by obstructing her claims from being heard on their merits;
7) void as this was recorded when Tobin as an individual and as the Hansen Trust trustee had pending quiet title claims against Jimijack to void the defective HOA sale subject to the deed of trust, i.e., Jimijack’s deed was defective and inadmissible as evidence of title (NRS 111.345) and so if Tobin’s claims had been heard on the merits, Jimijack would have lost. Nationstar knew that Tobin knew it did not have standing to foreclose on her if the title was unwound to put her and Nationstar back as if the sale had never happened. The ONLY way they could both win was to obstruct Tobin’s case from being heard and tell the court that they settled the title dispute out of court.
7) void as Nationstar never produced any evidence that it had any legal right to collect $355,000 in exchange for releasing a lien it did not own;
7) underlying deal with Joel Stokes is void as Nationstar dismissed all its quiet title claims without adjudication;
8) void as Nationstar essentially confiscated Tobin’s property without foreclosure and without adjudication, by lying about being the beneficiary and abusing the HOA quiet title litigation process to collect on a debt it was not owed.
9) void as Nationstar circumvented the restrictions of the PUD Rider Remedies (F) to turn the alleged payment of delinquent HOA assessments into a de facto foreclosure without notice of due process required by NRS 107.080.
Summary of Bar Complaint against Melanie Morgan
1. Met ex parte with Judge Kishner on 4/23/19 after serving notice on all parties through the court’s e-file Odyssey system on 4/15/19 and 4/22/19 that the hearing was continued to 5/7/19 (NCJC 2.9, NRPC 8.4 and ABA standard 6.31(b))
2. As the managing partner over multiple subordinate attorneys, and as the successor of Nationstar’s and BANA’s prior attorneys, Wright, Finley, Zak, perpetrated fraud on the court
by misrepresenting to the court the material facts, (e.g., 1) that Nationstar was owed a debt from the 7/22/04 deed of trust that was extinguished by the disputed 8/15/14 HOA sale,
2) that Nona Tobin had not been granted leave to intervene as an individual
3) that Tobin’s 3/28/17 deed did not give her NRS 40.010 standing anyway
4) that the HOA sale was valid for the sub-priority portion of the lien),
5) changed attorneys to create plausible deniability, e.g., removed Karen Whelan after Joe Coppedge asked Nationstar in 2018 to join Tobin in an MSJ to void the sale in its entirety
6) in A-21-828840-C when Nationstar was going to have to respond to Tobin’s claim that it was judicially estopped from claiming to be owed a debt from the Hansen 7/22/04 deed of trust),
7) concealed inculpatory evidence (e.g., all Equator records, communications between Nationstar and Tobin or Nationstar and Red Rock or Nationstar and Wells Fargo) on these dates: 5/15/18, 12/10/18, 2/7/19, 2/12/19, 2/12/19, 2/20/19, 2/21/19, 2/21/19, 2/27/19, 2/28/19, 2/28/19, 3/7/19, 3/12/19, 3/12/19, 3/18/19, 3/21/19, 3/26/19 RTRAN, 4/12/19, 4/15/19, 4/19/19, 4/22/19, 4/23/19, 4/23/19 RTRAN, 4/25/19 RTRAN, 5/3/19, 5/21/19 RTRAN, 5/29/19 RTRAN, 5/31/19, 6/24/19, 6/24/19, 6/25/19, 7/1/19, 7/22/19, 6/25/20, 8/11/20, 4/9/21, 4/26/21, 5/3/21, 5/5/21, 8/19/21, 11/9/21, 11/15/21, 11/16/21, 11/23/21, 11/30/21.
3. In conspiracy with Joseph Hong, made a fraudulent side deal with Joel A. Stokes, that a) was mischaracterized to the court (5/21/19 transcript) status check-settlement documents) as a “Nationstar-Jimijack settlement of all claims” that was recorded on 5/23/19, and
b) which allowed Nationstar to be dismissed from the quiet title trial
c) so it did not have to produce any evidence to support its quiet title claim
and d) evaded either Nationstar or Jimijack having to refute Tobin’s quiet title claims on their merits.
2/23/22 Bar complaint filed against Melanie Morgan Petitioner’s 84371 appendix volume 27 (22-08189) (pages 4045-4154) was supported by exhibits of multiple unadjudicated administrative claims against Nationstar and Akerman.
On 2/23/22, Tobin, as the President of Fight Foreclosure Fraud, Inc., filed a complaint against Nationstar’s attorney, Wright, Finlay, Zak, LLP (“WFZ”) that initiated Nationstar’s meritless quiet title complaint. The bar complaint is filed concurrently as a Request for Judicial Notice because it their duplicitous filings are the corrupt foundation of this dispute. However, they ceased to be Nationstar’s attorneys on 4/10/18 when Akerman took over.
Assisting lenders to cheat homeowners is WFZ’s business model.
Movant requests the court determine if written findings against the WFZ attorneys separate from Nationstar are appropriate given that the four-year statute of limitations for complaints to be addressed by the Bar has passed, but the five-year statute of limitations for racketeering has not.
The motion seeks orders from Chief Judge as Judge Peterson’s impartiality in this case can reasonably be questioned
Disqualify Judge Peterson from this case only pursuant to NCJC 2.2 (lack of fairness and impartiality); 2.6 (failure to ensure the right to be heard); 2.7 (failure to decide claims); 2.9 (improper ex parte communications); 2.15 (didn’t report attorney misconduct to the State Bar or take other appropriate actions)
Set aside the 3/28/23 order pursuant to NRCP 5959(a)(1)(A) (irregularity in the proceedings) or (B)(misconduct of prevailing party) (C) (ex parte vexatious litigant bench order in absentia and refusal to attach opposition to order) and/or NRCP 60(b)(1)(mistake, errors of law), NRCP 60(b)(3) (misrepresentation), NRCP 60(d)(3) (fraud on the court) and conduct an evidentiary hearing to establish by clear and convincing evidence that fraud on the court had obstructed a fair adjudication of my claims
Alternatively, simply set aside the 3/28/23 order as being outside the curt’s jurisdiction, unsupported by undisputed facts, containing findings that are not supported by evidence and improperly filed without allowing me to attach my opposition to it, and grant my 12/19/22 and 1/23/23 unopposed motions pending when Judge Peterson’s improper ex parte hearing unfairly exempted my opponents from meeting the requirements of EDCR 2.20, i.e., (filed a written opposition to motions)
By settling the jurisdictional question of standing first, based on evidence, facts, and law, striking rogue filings, and treating non-party Red Rock LLC exactly the way I was treated in the 1st action when I was removed from the case as an individual party before the trial, this case could be resolved immediately and fairly.
The Chief Judge is asked to balance the equities:
Should the Chief Judge disqualify Judge Peterson so another court can conduct the NRS 40.110 evidentiary hearing that has never been held to resolve Tobin’s title dispute?
Should the Chief Judge let stand an order that restricts Tobin’s filing any civil action vs. any defendant for any cause of action except if an attorney file it for her?
“Within 10 days after the service of the motion, and 5 days after service of any joinder to the motion, the opposing party must serve and file written notice of non-opposition or opposition thereto, together with a memorandum of points and authorities and supporting affidavits, if any, stating facts showing why the motion and/or joinder should be denied. Failure of the opposing party to serve and file written opposition may be construed as an admission that the motion and/or joinder is meritorious and a consent to granting the same.”
EDCR 2.20(e) Motions; contents; responses and replies; calendaring a fully briefed matter.
Consider the overwhelming, unjustified prejudice to Tobin, and unfair advantage to her opponents, if the 3/28/23 order stands
defamtory order declares me a vexatious litigant when there are no facts to justify it.
I am publicly humiliated and branded by an egragiously unfair and overly broad order that is faught with unsubstantiated, factually incorrect, insulting lies while I am blocked from getting my legitimate claims addressed.
I am prohibited from complaining about the attorneys who lied to the court, filed meritless claims by lying about their clients’ standing and misrepresenting the evidence, who entered false and falsified evidence into the record, who obstructed my case from being heard on the merits by unethical means including improper ex parte communications and concealing inculpatory evidence, who fraudulently transferrred the title before the trial, who falsified title reports
A judge’s personal opinion stands that my complaints against attorneys and the prior judge are “unprovable” and “improper” solely because she decided she didn’t need to conduct an evidentiary hearing to decide against me and order me not to stop complaining.
The motion for an order to show cause why attorneys should not be disciplined for filing false evidence, obstructing my case, that restricts me from filing any civil action vs. any defendant for any cause of action as a pro se is unappealable because Judge Peterson neither granted the motion nor denied in an appealable order. Therefore, the attorneys get a free pass from ever having to refute or deny my claims and I am prohibited from complaining about it.
Consider there is no prejudice to Judge Peterson if she voluntarily recuses herself or if Chief Judge excludes her from the decision to set aside the 3/28/23 order on jurisdictional or other grounds
None. She continues to be a judge. She just makes no more decisions on this case. Whether the reviewing judge decides to set aside the 3/28/23 order because Judge peterson acted outside her jurisdiction to grant relief to a non-party or acted improperly to exempt Tobin’s opponents from the EDCR 2.20 requirements at the unnoticed ex parte hearing or for whatever reason, Tobin will be made whole, at no cost to Judge Peterson. She never has to see the case again. It doesn’t go to the courts of appeal or the the commission on judicial and so her permanent record is unaffected.
There’s a hard way that everyone will fight
1. Declarations and exhibits provide evidence and legal authority to justify reassigning the case to another judge for a new trial so an evidentiary hearing can be finally held as Tobin has repeated requested and her opponents have repeatedly obstructed.
And there’s an easy way to end it without appeal
2.alternatively, the case can be resolved immediately on jurisdictional grounds, i.e., that Red Rock LLC’s lack of standing as an interested party to the dispute requires that its rogue filings be stricken from the record by granting Tobin’s 1/23/23 motions as unopposed and adopting the order submitted on 2/10/23 that Judge Peterson denied because she had improperly and unfairly exempted Tobin’s opponents from EDCR 2.20 at the 2/2/23 ex parte hearing.
“Legal Standard “In an interpleader action, the ‘stakeholder’ of a sum of money sues all those who might have a claim to the money, deposits the money with the district court, and lets the claimants litigate who is entitled to the money.” Cripps v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 980 F.2d 1261, 1265 (9th Cir. 1992)
“Accordingly, many courts have held that those who have acted in bad faith to create a controversy over the stake may not claim the protection of interpleader. See, e.g., Kent v. N. Cal. Reg’l Office of Am. Friends Serv. Comm., 497 F.2d 1325, 1328 (9th Cir.1974) (“Interpleader, which is an equitable remedy, is not available to one who has voluntarily accepted funds knowing they are subject to competing claims.”) (citations omitted); Farmers Irrigating Ditch & Reservoir Co. v. Kane, 845 F.2d 229, 232 (10th Cir.1988) (“It is the general rule that a party seeking interpleader must be free from blame in causing the controversy, and where he stands as a wrongdoer with respect to the subject matter of the suit or any of the claimants, he cannot have relief by interpleader.”) (collecting cases); see also44B Am. Jur. 2d Interpleader § 7 (“The equitable doctrine of ‘clean hands’ applies to interpleader actions.”
Rule 22 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows interpleader of disputed funds where a Plaintiff is subject to double or multiple liability. Perfekt Mktg., LLC v. Luxury Vacation Deals, LLC, 2015 WL 10012987, at *2 (D. Nev. Nov. 16, 2015). The purpose of the interpleader is for the stakeholder to “protect itself against the problems posed by multiple claimants to a single fund.” Lee v. W. Coast Life Ins. Co., 688 F.3d 1004, 1009 (9th Cir. 2012).
What interpleader asks the court to do
An interpleader action typically involves two stages. Id. In the first stage, the district court decides whether the requirements for a rule or statutory interpleader action have been met by determining if there is a single fund at issue and whether there are adverse claimants to that fund. Id. If the Court finds that the interpleader action has been properly brought, it then makes a determination of the respective rights of the claimants. Id.”)
What the facts here are
Red Rock instructed Steven Scow to interplead $57,282.32 on 8/28/14 which was declared “excess funds” after Red Rock took its fees and the HOA had been paid in full. Red Rock did not have standing in 2021 to file an interpleader action.
Steven Scow concealed his and other’s wrongdoing
Steven Scow concealed his possession of the money and its location. He hid the fact that all named defendants had released their liens before the conclusion of the first action. Scow obscured his obstruction of my claim for the proceeds in the first action by refusing to provide them during mediation. He also hindered my second civil claim for the proceeds by filing a motion to dismiss it with prejudice, citing res judicata and the failure to include the HOA as a necessary party.
Scow further obscured his interference with my quiet title claims in the first two actions by providing inaccurate, incomplete, false, and falsified Red Rock foreclosure records. This prevented the sale from being entirely voided and allowed Nationstar and its co-conspirators to commit fraud on the court by having the sale declared valid regarding the sub-priority.
The attorneys perpetrated fraud on the court, covering up that Red Rock rejected assessments that cured the default three times, the sale would have been fairly voided in its entirety in the 1st action, and we would not be still litigating four years later without a judge ever looking at the evidence.
I was the sole claimant after June 3, 2019
3/12/15 Wells Fargo released the lien of the 2nd deed of trust
3/28/17 Gordon B. Hansen Trust closed and assigned its title interest to sole beneficiary Nona Tobin as an individual
6/3/19 Nationstar released the lien of the 1st deed of trust
What Judge Peterson believes despite the law and the facts supported by the evidence
She believes there is some unwritten law that says Red Rock doesn’t have to distribute the proceeds after the sale if someone might try to unwind the sale years later.
Judge Peterson buys into Red Rock’s argument so much she argues for them.
Judge Peterson’s argument matches Nationstar’s 4/26/21 argument also when she allowed multiple disinterested entities to oppose the funds being distributed to the sole claimant.
I didn’t file any quiet title claims against Nationstar in the 1st action and Nationstar didn’t file any against me.
I wanted the sale to be void to return to our respective positions. Nationstar filed for summary judgment against the Hansen trust, but not against me as an individual, met ex arte with the judge, got me removed as an individual party and got all my evidence suppressed, lied to the court to say that it was BANA’s successor in interest, then rescinded that claim a week after the end of discover, filed motion after motion to prevent me from being able to return to my pro se status to be able to represent myself or to be the real party in interest after the Hansen Trust was closed, made a fraudulent side deal with Jimijack, filed motions to have me declared a vexatious litigant, opposed the excess proceeds to be distributed to me as the sole claimant, and on and on and on.
Why? Because Nationstar had no standing to foreclose
Because if the sale were voided in its entirety, than Nationstar would have to prove based on evidence that it actually had NRS 104.3301 standing to foreclose, and we both knew it couldn’t.
Thus, by eliminating my involvement, Nationstar obtained $355,000 for releasing the lien on the 1st deed of trust, which they falsely claimed to own from non-party Joel A. Stokes, on June 3, 2019, just two days prior to the show trial in the 1st action – a trial that neither Joel Stokes nor Nationstar were required to attend, and from which I was barred – all documentary evidence and witnesses were excluded.
For the result of a meritless interpleader action to be the preclusion of all the victim’s claims and the imposition of a vexatious litigant restrictive order for forced defense against entities who have no standing is unfair and disproportionate.
Steven Scow filed the interpleader action knowing it was meritless
Link to previous blogs (ScaStrong.com/tag/interpleader) on how this interpleader action was filed in bad faith because the law required ALL proceeds be distributed AFTER THE SALE, no one but me had standing to make a claim after June 3, 2019 and Scow got my 6/3/20 civil claim for the proceeds dismissed with prejudice before he sued me and four other defendants without standing on February 16, 2021 to interplead the excess proceeds he should have distributed in 2014.
Interpleader requires single fund, neutral stakeholder, and adverse claimants
This case: wrongfully withheld funds, misidentified, implicated holder joined by disinterested opponents to attack single claimant with standing
Pruco Life Ins. Co. v. Martin, Case No.: 2:11-cv-00186-GMN-GWF, at *2 (D. Nev. Aug. 16, 2011) (“Procedurally, an interpleader action encompasses two stages: First the district court decides whether the requirements for rule or statutory interpleader action have been met by determining if there is a single fund at issue and whether there are adverse claims to the fund. In the second stage the court makes a determination of the respective rights of the claimants. Mack v. Kuckenmeister, 619 F.3d 1010, 1023-24 (9th Cir. 2010). (citing Rhoades v. Casey, 196 F.3d 593 (5th Cir. 1999)). 28 U.S.C. § 1335 allows a stakeholder, “to file an interpleader action to protect itself against the problems posed by multiple claimants to a single fund.” Minnesota Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Ensley, 174 F.3d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 1999). ”)
Nevada case law supports sanctions for filing a meritless interpleader action knowing there is only one claimant and the other have no standing
Filing a meritless interpleader action could be sanctionable if the filer attorney has knowingly unlawfully held one person’s money and the other defendants have no standing to make a claim. Sanctions may be appropriate if the filer acted in bad faith, recklessly, or vexatiously, or if the action is frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless.
Michelman v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., 685 F.3d 887, 889 (9th Cir. 2012) (“Interpleader is proper when a stakeholder has at least a good faith belief that there are conflicting colorable claims.”)
“See Tise, 234 F.3d at 426-27; Wells Fargo Bank v. PACCAR Fin. Corp., No. 1:08-CV-00904 AWI SMS, 2009 WL 211386, at *2 (E.D.Cal. Jan. 28, 2009). Further, “[b]ecause the interpleader plaintiff is supposed to be disinterested in the ultimate disposition of the fund, attorneys’ fee awards are properly limited to those fees that are incurred in filing the action and pursuing the plan’s release from liability, not in litigating the merits of the adverse claimants’ positions.””
Several of the cases cited here suggest that filing a meritless interpleader action could be sanctionable. For example, in Lee v. W. Coast Life Ins. Co., the Ninth Circuit discussed the principle that interpleader is not available to a party who has knowingly accepted funds subject to competing claims. This suggests that if an attorney files an interpleader action knowing that one of the defendants has no standing to make a claim, the attorney could be subject to sanctions. Additionally, in Mayorga v. Ronaldo, the court discussed its authority to sanction an attorney for bad faith conduct, including under 28 U.S.C. § 1927, which authorizes an award of fees and costs against an attorney whose reckless conduct causes a litigant to incur them. This authority could be used to argue that filing a meritless interpleader action could be sanctionable if the filer acted in bad faith, recklessly, or vexatiously. Several other cases, such as Crawford v. Smith’s Food & Drug Store, Inc. and Pac. Gas & Elec. Co. v. Seiu Local 24/7, discuss the circumstances under which attorneys’ fees may be awarded as a sanction for bad faith conduct. These cases suggest that sanctions may be appropriate if the interpleader action is frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless.
Equitable doctrine of ‘clean hands’ applies to interpleader actions
Lee v. W. Coast Life Ins. Co., 688 F.3d 1004, 1012 (9th Cir. 2012) (““It is generally recognized that interpleader ‘developed in equity and is governed by equitable principles.’ ” Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Bayona,223 F.3d 1030, 1033–34 (9th Cir.2000) (quoting Lummis v. White,629 F.2d 397, 399 (5th Cir.1980), rev’d on other grounds by Cory v. White,457 U.S. 85, 102 S.Ct. 2325, 72 L.Ed.2d 694 (1982); Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Marsh,119 F.3d 415, 418 (6th Cir.1997) (“[I]nterpleader is fundamentally equitable in nature.”)). Accordingly, many courts have held that those who have acted in bad faith to create a controversy over the stake may not claim the protection of interpleader. See, e.g., Kent v. N. Cal. Reg’l Office of Am. Friends Serv. Comm.,497 F.2d 1325, 1328 (9th Cir.1974) (“Interpleader, which is an equitable remedy, is not available to one who has voluntarily accepted funds knowing they are subject to competing claims.”) (citations omitted); Farmers Irrigating Ditch & Reservoir Co. v. Kane,845 F.2d 229, 232 (10th Cir.1988) (“It is the general rule that a party seeking interpleader must be free from blame in causing the controversy, and where he stands as a wrongdoer with respect to the subject matter of the suit or any of the claimants, he cannot have relief by interpleader.”) (collecting cases); see also44B Am. Jur. 2d Interpleader § 7 (“The equitable doctrine of ‘clean hands’ applies to interpleader actions. The party seeking interpleader must do equity, not have caused the conflicting claims, and be free from blame in causing the controversy.”) (footnotes omitted).”)
Scow used interpleader to cover up his wrongdoing
On 2/16/21 Scow, concealed that he personally had unlawfully withheld the excess proceeds that Red Rock had instructed him to remit to the court on 8/28/14.
This is conversion, not interpleader
Scow caused summons to be served in the name of his client, Plaintiff FirstService Residential Nevada LLC (EIN 88-0358132) dba Red Rock Financial Services, a partnership (“Red Rock”)(whose partners he refused to disclose in discovery in the 1st action) when he knew Red Rock had no standing to file an interpleader complaint as it didn’t have the money and it didn’t face adverse competing interests. Scow served five defendants knowing that four of the five defendants had no standing to claim the interpleaded funds.
I know of no legal way for Scow to take a check made out to the court and transfer it under his own personal proprietary control, particularly since Red rock ceased to be a fiduciary agent for Sun City Anthem in 2015. Under the bylaws of that HOA, Red Rock had to surrender all of the funds that it had on account collected under the statutory authority of SCA to the SCA Board in April 2015.
Nevertheless, Judge Peterson insisted that this was an ordinary interpleader action and I was not allowed to have any other claims against Steven Scow.
Scow unlawfully withheld $3,500 from the $57,282.32 that Red Rock had designated as “excess funds” knowing that the statute specifically does not authorize any attorney fees to be deducted from the amount designated as “excess” to file an interpleader complaint.
Judge Peterson, by granting a non-party’s motion, dismissed my 3/8/21 AACC, all counter- and cross-claims and affirmative defenses, including unclean hands, with prejudice, without requiring Red Rock to respond
On 3/8/21 I, Nona Tobin, as an individual, filed the only timely answer, affirmative defenses, and compulsory counterclaims, including a claim for the proceeds. My 19 affirmative defenses listed unclean hands at number 11.
Violations of HOA CC&Rs owner protections (CC&Rs 7.4 Compliance & Enforcement; CC&Rs 16: Dispute Resolution and Limitation on Litigation
Judge Peterson did not dismiss Nationstar and Wells Fargo when they failed to make any compulsory counter-claims and did not answer my cross-claims
On 4/12/21, I filed a motion for an order to distribute the proceeds with interest to me as the sole claimant but Judge Peterson disregarded the law and let disinterested entities oppose me
On 4/26/21/ Judge Peterson let non-claimants Nationstar and Wells Fargo oppose the funds going to the sole claimant as long as I had other claims
Judge Peterson let Red Rock join the disinterested banks’ opposition even though Red Rock was supposed to be neutral
Red Rock’s/Scow’s true motives, and the banks’ collusion, for not distributing the proceeds after the sale, should now be apparent, but in case it’s not I’ll do a separate blog on that.
Scow knows that the banks are not going to make a claim for the proceeds and that if he can keep the owner from making a claim, then he can keep them, and the money trail will be virtually impossible to follow.
Being forced to pay attorney fees to Scow given his bad faith conduct is just plain wrong. He should be audited to account for the excess proceeds that were not distributed after the red Rock sales.
Mayorga v. Ronaldo, 2:19-cv-00168-JAD-DJA, at *2 (D. Nev. Feb. 14, 2023) (“The American Rule recognizes that each party in litigation must bear its own attorney’s fees in the absence of a rule, statute, or contract authorizing an award of fees.”)
“Courts usually award attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff in interpleader actions absent a showing of bad faith. Schirmer Stevedoring Co. v. Seaboard Stevedoring Corp., 306 F.2d 188, 194-95 (9th Cir. 1962).” Here, however, bad faith abounds, and attorney fees are definitely not appropriate.
The court can’t render judgment for or against a non-party
Moore v. Univ. Med. Ctr. of S. Nev., No. 69367, at *2 (Nev. App. Jan. 13, 2017) (“the district court entered judgment on this un-asserted claim without conducting a trial (and without employing any recognized trial substitute such as NRCP 12(c) or 56). Instead, the court simply resolved all pending factual and legal disputes on its own,in chambers, without hearing the sworn testimony of any witnesses, without applying any rules of evidence or any recognized procedures for admitting evidence, without permitting the parties to assert any objections to any evidence, without permitting any cross-examination of any witness by any party, and without identifying the legal standards used to resolve any factual or legal disputes, and without entering findings of fact and conclusions of law.”)
Moore v. Univ. Med. Ctr. of S. Nev., No. 69367, at *2 (Nev. App. Jan. 13, 2017) (“The district court clearly erred by failing to apply the Nevada Revised Statutes, the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, and applicable precedent from our supreme court, and by entering judgment without a trial in favor of a party that never even pled a claim for relief”)
Moore v. Univ. Med. Ctr. of S. Nev., No. 69367, at *3 n.2 (Nev. App. Jan. 13, 2017) (“Booke was not a party to the case, and the court therefore lacked jurisdiction to enter any judgment against him. See NRCP 4(d); Schwob v. Hemsath, 98 Nev. 293, 294, 646 P.2d 1212, 1212 (1982) (“Without proper service of process the district court acquires no. jurisdiction over a party.”) (citing Brockbank v. District Court, 65 Nev. 781, 201 P.2d 299 (1948); State v. District Court, 51 Nev. 206, 273 P. 659 (1929)). ”)
“A district court may render judgment for or against a person only where the court has jurisdiction over the parties. C.H.A. Venture v. G. C. Wallace Consulting Eng’rs, Inc., 106 Nev. 381, 383, 794 P.2d 707, 708 (1990). Thus, a court may not enter a judgment for or against a nonparty.”
NRCP 10(a)(1) The complaint must name all the parties
10(a) Caption; Names of Parties. Every pleading must have a caption with the court’s name, the county, a title, a case number, and a Rule 7(a) designation. The caption of the complaint must name all the parties; the caption of other pleadings, after naming the first party on each side, may refer generally to other parties.
“Parties are those who are named as such in the record, and who are properly served with process, or enter their appearance. 20 R.C.L. p. 662; Womach v. City of St. Joseph, 201 Mo. 467, 100 S.W. 443, 10 L.R.A. (N.S.) 140.”
A party must file an appearance, and no attorney ever appeared for Red Rock LLC
A court does not have jurisdiction over non-parties
I.C.A.N. Foods, Inc. v. Sheppard (In re Aboud Inter Vivos Trust), 314 P.3d 941, 946 (Nev. 2013) (“Young v. Nev. Title Co.,103 Nev. 436, 442, 744 P.2d 902, 905 (1987) (“A court does not have jurisdiction to enter judgment for or against one who is not a party to the action.””)
Red Rock LLC did not intervene as a timely motion and an interest in the proceedings would have been required.
Non-party Red Rock LLC never timely filed the required NRCP 24(a)(2) motion to intervene. It could not assert it had an interest it did not have relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, i.e., it never had any relationship to the HOA, the interpleaded proceeds, or this dispute, other than sharing an attorney and a similar name with the Plaintiff.
The 2/3/21 complaint must identify ALL the parties per NRCP 10a1 and Red Rock LLC is NOT named as the Plaintiff
Red Rock LLC did not serve any summons to claim relief as the plaintiff
I filed the only counter- and cross-claims, and I did not serve any claims against Red Rock LLC.
C.H.A. Venture v. G.C. Wallace Consulting Eng’rs, Inc., 106 Nev. 381, 384, 794 P.2d 707, 709 (1990) (“Personal service or a legally provided substitute must still occur in order to obtain jurisdiction over a party.”). Moreover, “[a] district court is empowered to render a judgment either for or against a person or entity only if it has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter,” and a district court cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over a party—even one with actual notice of the proceedings—unless that party has first been adequately served.
Red Rock LLC is not, therefore, a counter-defendant just because Scow added an LLC designation to counter-defendant in the caption.
No party timely responded to my 3/8/21 claims so I filed 1st 4/12/21 motion for the proceeds
No party timely (NRCP 12(a)(1)(B) responded to my 3/8/21 claims so I filed a 4/15/21 motion for summary judgment
Counter -claims require a timely responsive pleading (NRCP 12(a)(1)(B))
(B) A party must serve an answer to a counterclaim or crossclaim within 21 days after being served with the pleading that states the counterclaim or crossclaim.
Rule 12.(a) Time to Serve a Responsive Pleading.
4/16/21 Scow filed a rogue, unsupported NRCP 12(b)(5) motion to dismiss on behalf of non-party Red Rock LLC the day after I filed my MSJ because no party filed a timely answer to my 3/8/21 AACC.
12/28/21 Non-party Red Rock LLC filed an improper opposition to my motion for an evidentiary hearing and a motion for vexatious litigant restrictive order against me and motions for attorneys fees when it had no standing to be in the case
6/13/22 Non-party Red Rock LLC filed an improper opposition to my 2nd motion for the proceeds with interest and penalties for being wrongfully withheld 8+ years and another motion for a vexatious litigant restrictive order against me for moving to correct the orders for the party identification and another motion for legal fees.
Judge Peterson granted the non-party’s 6/13/22 motion for attorney fees but Scow didn’t accurately write the 1/9/23 order
I insisted that my opposition be added and a corrected order was filed on 1/16/23
1/23/23 I filed motion to reconsider this 1/16/23 order because it was granting the motion of a non-party and because it did not deny my prior 6/27/22 motion to strike the rogue filings of non-party Red Rock LLC in an written appealable order.
State, Div. Child Fam. Servs. v. Dist. Ct., 120 Nev. 445, 452 (Nev. 2004) (“[p]rior to the entry of a final judgment the district court remains free to reconsider and issue a written judgment different from its oral pronouncement.” Consequently, we stated that “[a]n oral pronouncement of judgment is not valid for any purpose; therefore, only a written judgment has any effect, and only a written judgment may be appealed.””)
2/10/23 I filed an order granting these motions as unopposed
2/15/23 court denied because of ex parte hearing I knew nothing about
Judge Peterson just ex parte declared “Red Rock is a party” and I’m a vexatious litigant and the court rules don’t apply to my opponents
1/23/23 motions ask for equal treatment of non-parties to fairly end this dispute
Judge Peterson allowed Scow to write the order. The order misrepresents the motion to reconsider as “frivolous” and violating the court’s admonitions.
It is not improper to move to strike the rogue filings of a non-party. It is asking for equal treatment.