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PERRY v. BERNARDIN

August 18, 2005.

VICTORIA PERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
THE HON. DANIEL BERNARDIN, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on the motion to dismiss filed by Defendant Honorable Daniel Bernardin ("Judge Bernardin"), a Municipal Court Judge in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Judge Bernardin is seeking to dismiss the complaint filed against him by Plaintiff pro se Victoria Perry ("Plaintiff" or "Ms. Perry"). The issue before Court is whether Plaintiff's claims against Judge Bernardin can survive a motion to dismiss. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. For the reasons stated below, Judge Bernardin's motion to dismiss is granted. I. BACKGROUND

  In 1996 or 1997, Evan Laine, Esq. represented Ms. Perry's mother, Ollie, in a personal injury suit. In 1998, Ms. Perry moved into the house across the street from Evan Laine and his family, on Saxby Terrace in Cherry Hill. In December 1998, Evan Laine and his law firm, Gold & Laine, P.C., agreed to represent Ms. Perry's mother once again. In 1999, Ms. Perry sent her neighbors, the Laines, various unsolicited items, including a disturbing letter discussing Plaintiff's religious beliefs, volunteering that Plaintiff was a virgin, and describing several sexual acts in great detail. In September 1999, the Honorable Francis J. Orlando, A.J.S.C. issued an order granting leave for Defendant Evan Laine and his law firm, Gold & Laine, P.C. to be relieved as counsel to Ms. Perry's mother. In March 2000, Plaintiff twice attempted to file criminal charges against Defendants Evan Laine and Jeffrey Gold, a partner at Mr. Laine's law firm, for perjury, harassment, conspiracy and other charges. The Honorable Jeffrey Karl, J.M.C. and the Honorable John McFeeley, J.M.C. found that there was no probable cause on either occasion. In July 2000, Ms. Perry filed a statement with the Cherry Hill Police Department accusing Judge Karl of conspiring and discriminating against her. She even attempted to file ethical charges against Judge Karl before the Advisory Committee of Judicial Conduct. All charges against Judge Karl were declined and/or found meritless.

  In March 2001, Plaintiff filed an ethics complaint against Defendant Evan Laine, Esq. Defendant Carl D. Poplar, Esq., representing Mr. Laine, filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, which was granted. In April 2001, Plaintiff filed an ethics grievance against Defendant Poplar, which was also dismissed. In July 2001, Plaintiff sent letters to the New Jersey Division of Youth & Family Services and Cherry Hill Police Department alleging that the Laines had neglected their teenage children by leaving them home alone.

  In October 2001, Plaintiff filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Evan Laine, Jeffrey Gold, Gold & Laine, P.C., Michele Laine (Evan Laine's wife), Christy Cicalese (an employee of Gold & Laine, P.C.), Carl Poplar, and Poplar & Eastlack, the predecessor firm to Carl D. Poplar, P.C. Ms. Perry later sought to add Defendant Brandon Laine, son of Evan and Michele Laine, as a defendant. The Honorable Stephen M. Orlofsky dismissed the entire case, with prejudice, on March 27, 2002. Plaintiff sought reconsideration of the dismissal and a recusal of Judge Orlofsky, both of which Judge Orlofsky dismissed. Ms. Perry appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Third Circuit affirmed Judge Orlofsky on April 24, 2003.

  In 2002 and 2003, Plaintiff filed complaints against the Laines with the New Jersey Superior Court, Camden County, Case No. CAM-L005235-02, and with the New Jersey Superior Court, Mercer County, Case No. MER-L-803-03. The Honorable John A. Fratto, J.S.C. dismissed the Camden County complaint and the Honorable Linda Feinberg, A.J.S.C. dismissed the Mercer County complaint. Ms. Perry appealed Judge Fratto's decision and also filed another complaint in the Superior Court, Camden County in February 2004. However, the defendants were never served with this complaint. Plaintiff also instituted charges against Evan and Michele Laine in Cherry Hill Municipal Court in February 2004.

  On August 4, 2004, Judge Fratto ordered that Ms. Perry "shall be restrained and prohibited from filing and/or instituting lawsuits, Complaints or other legal proceedings which are under and/or subject to the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of New Jersey, whether they be Civil, Criminal, Quasi Criminal and/or Administrative, against . . . Gold & Laine, P.C.; Jeffrey E. Gold, Esquire, Evan E. Laine, Esquire; Carl D. Poplar, P.C.; Carl D. Poplar, Esquire, Christy Cicalese; Michele [sic] Laine, Brandon Laine; and Jessica Laine" without prior approval of a Judge of the Superior Court. Gold & Laine v. Perry, Docket No. L-1402-04, Order For Restraints (Aug. 4, 2004). The only exception to Judge Fratto's Order is that Ms. Perry "is permitted to file or institute lawsuits, Complaints, legal proceedings, without prior approval, through an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of New Jersey who has duly filed an appearance on her behalf in each proceeding and said attorney will sign each pleading and/or document regarding the Complaints, lawsuits and other legal proceedings." Id.

  On September 10, 2004, Judge Bernardin, a Municipal Court Judge in Cherry Hill, wrote Ms. Perry a letter indicating that he will "not be making a probable cause determination with regard to [her] pending complaints" because Judge Fratto's August 4, 2004 Order precludes him from doing so. He also informed Ms. Perry that "[p]ursuant to the Order [she] can make application to Judge Fratto" and that "[he] will await direction from the Superior Court." Letter from Honorable Daniel Bernardin to Victoria L. Perry of Sept. 10, 2004.

  On September 29, 2004, Judge Fratto issued an Amended Order with the same terms as the August 4, 2004 Order but which also designated the Honorable John McFeeley, III, P.J.M.C. as the judge to review any Municipal Court complaint filed by Ms. Perry against any of the aforementioned defendants. Gold & Laine v. Perry, Docket No. L-1402-04, Amended Order (Sept. 29, 2004).

  Plaintiff filed another complaint against Gold & Laine, P.C., Carl D. Poplar, P.A., Jeffrey E. Gold, Esq., Evan E. Laine, Esq., Carl D. Poplar, Esq., Christy A. Cicalese, Michele Laine, Brandon Laine and Jessica Laine (Collectively, "Laine defendants") in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on November 24, 2004. The complaint, docketed as Case No. 04-CV-5842, was dismissed by the Honorable Robert B. Kugler, U.S.D.J. on December 10, 2004 pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)

  On December 10, 2004, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Judges Fratto and McFeeley, docketed as Civil Action No. 04-CV-6102. On December 23, 2004, Ms. Perry filed an amended twelve-count complaint asserting claims against Judges Fratto and McFeeley, and adding Judges Orlando and Bernardin as Defendants.

  On December 21, 2004, Plaintiff filed another complaint against the Laine defendants and one day later, on December 22, 2004, filed a nine-count complaint against them, which was denominated as an amended complaint. Both were assigned a new docket number: Case No. 04C-V-6255.

  On December 31, 2004, Plaintiff wrote me a letter asking me to handle both this case, which was then pending before the Honorable Robert B. Kugler, in addition to her Civil Action No. 04-6255,*fn1 which was already pending before me, on the basis that I could be fair because I had "no prior connection to this file." Letter from Victoria L. Perry to the Honorable Freda L. Wolfson of Dec. 31, 2004 (emphasis in original). On January 6, 2005, this case was reassigned from Judge Kugler to this Court for reasons unrelated to Ms. Perry's request.

  On January 14, 2005, Deputy Attorney General Joanne Stipick wrote Plaintiff a letter stating that it was the Attorney General's Office's "understanding that [Ms. Perry had] not yet effected proper service upon" Judges Fratto, McFeely and Orlando, and advised Plaintiff as to the proper person who is "authorized to and will accept service on behalf of" Judges Fratto, McFeely and Orlando, and that the person had agreed to ...


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