Excerpts from Petition for Writ of Certiorari
By Mary Ryan
May 12, 2003
Now comes Petitioners Thomas Ryan and Mary Ryan, plaintiffs in the matter of Mary Ryan vs. Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, A Corporation sole, C.A.No. PC 95-6524, presently pending in the Providence County Superior Court. The foundation of this lawsuit lies within the criminal conduct of Monsignor Louis W. Dunn, a Hierarchical Defendant in this matter, and has been convicted of first degree sexual assault subsequent to sexually using and abusing Plaintiff Mary Ryan for a period of years, along with other Hierarchical Defendants who created a haven for Monsignor Dunn to commit those crimes, shielding him from prosecution and holding him out to be a high ranking Hierarchical Official in good standing at the detriment of Plaintiffs' health and well being. Other Hierarchical Defendants while knowing Monsignor Dunn was engaged in felonious crimes, promoted him to the public and as well educated, sophisticated, high ranking official and served in his capacity as secretary to Bishop Russell McVinney, Vicar for Religious, Delegate of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, Ecclesiastic Judge, Canon Lawyer, agent and officer of various Corporations of the diocese of Providence, Defendor of the Bond, Consultant to Bishop Louis E.Gelineau, Pastor of St.Thomas Church, psychological and spiritual counselor of, and Surrogate father sexually abused Plaintiff Mary Ryan for years. Hierarchical Defendants in furtherance of the interests of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence has continued to inflict emotional pain through their agents and officers to date Pursuant to Rule 13 of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Petitioners seeks review of Orders entered by the R.I. Superior Court Mr. Justice Krause on April 3, 2003, and April 18, 2003. These specific Orders denied Petitioners' motion to compel discovery that has been previously ordered by Justice Israel, Justice Krause, and Orders of Justice Williams on July 11, 2003. These Orders have also denied Plaintiffs request to defer the Defendants premature Motion for Summary Judgment which was previously deferred by Justice Israel. The Order of April 18, 2003, denied Plaintiffs Motion to Reconsider or a Motion to Stay on the Summary Judgment proceedings and ordered Plaintiffs to respond with pleadings to the Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment by May 16, 2003. It appears on the face of his order of April 3, 2003, that Judge Krause has prejudged and granted the Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment which was not before him.
On April 16, 2003, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Reconsider in response to Judge Krause's April 3, 2003 ruling. On April 18, 2003, Judge Krause reiterated his Order of April 3, 2003 and demands that Plaintiffs file their pleadings in response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on or before May 16, 2003 and denied Plaintiffs time and warned Plaintiffs that if they did not comply with that date, it may be grounds to grant the Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment. He has scheduled no hearing date despite Plaintiffs' request to be heard.
Justice Krause disregarded the existence of all previous orders of Judge Israel, Management Order Number 10,12 and 14, Conferences held on February 26, 1999, and January 7, 2000, Justice Krause's rulings of July 1, and July 8, 2003 which is the law of the case. Columbus Ornamental Iron Works, Inc. v. Marin 102 R.I. 620, 240 A.2d 405 (1968), B.H.G. Inc. v. F.A.F., Inc. 784, A.2d 884, (2001). Justice Krause's decision is inconsistent with the R.I. Supreme Court's decisions of January 2002, July 11, 2002, and November 14, 2002.
Justice Krause's rulings of April 3, and April 18, 2003 are founded on extraneous information. Justice Krause relies on his notion of a changing landscape that is based on his personal view rather than the preceding Orders or the legal posture of the case. The viability of Plaintiffs claims cannot be determined until Plaintiffs are able to articulate facts, theory and supporting law properly before the Court and cannot be done until Plaintiffs complete discovery proceedings. Due to the circumstances, Plaintiffs have not had an opportunity to do so.Salvador v. Major Electric 469 A.2d 353.
Justice Krause relies his decision on the notion that Plaintiffs have engaged in some type of mediation or settlement proceedings and were dissatisfied and are the only litigants that did not accept $400,000.00 which is not true and his use of that information is improper and should have no bearing on the procedural posture of Plaintiffs' case or his reasons to deny Plaintiffs motion to compel discovery while allowing the Defendants to ignore outstanding discovery requests which significantly impacts the proof of Plaintiffs' claims and tolling theories.
Justice Krause has attempted to coerce Plaintiffs into settling on a number of occasions, which was not before him, despite Plaintiffs statements that they wanted to proceed forward with their case.
Justice Krause parrots defendants assertions in their Summary Judgment Motion as fact and argues their case for them to support his April 3, 2003, ruling. Justice Krause states that Plaintiffs are facially time barred, which is a disputed fact and can only be determined subsequent to the completion of discovery proceedings and Plaintiffs have had an opportunity to marshal discovery, articulate facts, theory and supporting law which is all consistent with preceding orders of Judge Israel, the R.I. Supreme Court and Judge Krause's rulings. of July 1 and July 8, 2002. Braggs v. Warwick Shoppers World, Inc. 102 R.I. 8, 12, 227 A.2d 582, 584 ( 1967)
Justice Israel recognized long ago that most plaintiffs had issues with the statute of limitations and tolling issues were so entangled with discovery that discovery had to be completed in order for plaintiffs to be able to prove their claim along with their tolling theories. Justice Israel was explicit in his understanding on a number of occasions to include his conferences with parties on February 26, 1999 and January of 2000, and made it a point to issue Orders consistent with that understanding and eliminate the circumstances which Plaintiffs now find themselves in.
Justice Krause has prejudiced plaintiffs claims. Justice Krause has transformed Defendants Objection into one of Summary Judgment and has apparently determined to grant the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment which was not before him and is inconsistent with Justice Israel's previous rulings and Justice Krause's July 1 and July 8, 2002, rulings. Justice Krause's use of case law to justify his ruling reflects two trial justices that granted summary judgment contrary to the previous justice. Plaintiffs can only conclude that he has prematurely determined the outcome of Plaintiffs' case, and transformed Plaintiffs Motion to Compel into summary Judgment. Kevorkian v. Glass, 774 A.2d 22, 24 (R.I.2001) Finally, the defendants argue that since they did not move for summary judgment by name, they could not possibly be required to secure a hearing date and give the plaintiff the proper notice. We refuse to give this argument credit since doing so would endorse and encourage parties to bury motions in pretrial memoranda or to neutrally label motions to avoid the rules of procedure.
Justice Krause has demanded that Plaintiffs respond substantively with a response by May 16, 2003, while effectively disabling their ability to prove their claim by denying Plaintiffs motion to compel the defendants to respond with outstanding discovery requests. It appears that Justice Krause demanded Plaintiffs to respond by May 16, 2003, to simply go through the motions knowing full well that he intends to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims.
Justice Krause has denied Plaintiffs their right to be heard or a continuance. Plaintiffs have just been entered as pro se on March 20, 2003 and have not had any time to prepare a substantive response to Defendants Motion for for Summary Judgment that has already been prejudged by Judge Krause due to the cirucmstances.. Discovery was previously ordered by Justice Krause, and Justice Israel and Chief Justice Williams on July 11, 2002 ordered that discovery was to proceed. Justice Krause denied Plaintiffs the right to be heard. Judge Krause on the one hand in July 1, 2002, declares:
"The landscape has changed, and the discovery horizons are much broader, aimed now at wholesale discovery for trial purposes. So too, much broader is the need of the plaintiffs in these consolidated cases as they seek to discovery pertinent information as to what the hierarchical defendants knew about an offending priest, when they knew it and what they did or failed to do in connection with that cleric all of which bears upon plaintiffs burden of proving an intentional tort at any trial of these cases.
It would be unreasonable to conclude that a court would provide a road of redress on one hand but would with the other hand, set up a roadblock to impede travel upon the very road."
Those words now ring hollow. Justice Krause on the other hand has determined that Plaintiffs' case no longer has any viability based on 37 other plaintiffs settlingtheir claims and has punished Plaintiffs for not wanting to subject themselves to the Defendants agenda.
Plaintiffs have exhausted all remedies and plead with this Honorable Court to hear them. Plaintiffs have tried to plead with Justice Krause to no avail. Plaintiffs only remedy at this juncture is to petition this Court to review Justice Krause's rulings of April 3, and April 18, 2003. Plaintiffs plead with this Court to relieve them of these Orders and any other relief that may be in the interest of justice. Plaintiffs have been placed under a serious deadline of May 16, 2003 to respond substantively to the Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment knowing that it will be difficult since a substantial portion of evidence has been removed. B.H.G. Inc. v. F.A.F., Inc. 784, A.2d 884, (2001). Plaintiffs have asked Justice Krause time and to reconsider his Order of April 3, 2003, particularly since Plaintiffs have claims that are not subject to the Statute of Limitations nor does the Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment apply to Monsignor Dunn. Judge Krause has denied Plaintiffs request for time in order to proceed with discovery and he has denied Plaintiffs Motion to compel, effectively disengaging the Defendants responsibility to respond to outstanding discovery requests which contradicts all previous rulings. Plaintiffs have been given a heavy burden to respond without an opportunity to prove their case. Coupled with these factors, Plaintiffs have just been entered as pro se litigants on March 20, 2003.and have not had time to proceed properly. Since October 8, 2002, Plaintiffs have been diligently working to retain counsel and have been unsuccessful as a result of circumstances that are beyond their control.
Plaintiffs have just received information from Attorney David Curtin of the R.I. Disciplinary Counsel regarding Plaintiffs Amended Complaint that was suppose to be filed in 2001 by Attorney Robinson. Although the Motions and Objections to that Amended Complaint exist and have been granted by the Court, the Amended Complaint itself does not exist in the Court file and has created even more difficulty. It is doubtful that Plaintiffs will be able to comply with the order since Justice Krause has disregarded all the preceding orders. Plaintiffs have attached a Motion for Stay for on Summary Judgment Proceedings and plead with this Court to grant a Motion to Stay until a determination as been made by this Honorable Court.
Justice Krause erred by denying Plaintiffs Motion to Compel and his ruling contradicts all previous rulings of Justice Israel, the R.I. Supreme Court and Justice Krause that Plaintiffs have relied on. Justice Krause justifies his ruling on a perceived changing landscape, which has no bearing on Plaintiffs claims nor should it be dispositive of Plaintiffs case. Justice Krause abused his discretion when he considered extraneous factors such as a settlement that other litigants were involved in and have nothing to do with Plaintiffs case. Justice Krause also abused his discretion by interjecting his own opinions and ordering parties such as a mediator and Defendants accompanied by an Ecclesiastic Judge to coerce Plaintiffs into a mediation process and placed Plaintiffs in a very bad position. Justice Krause erred and prejudged the Motion for Summary Judgment prior to the submission of pleadings on the behalf of Plaintiffs. Justice Krause erred by transforming Plaintiffs Motion to Compel into one of a summary Judgment. Justice Krause erred when he considered and argued the proposed merits of Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment. Judge Krause erred when he considered the Defendants proposed merits and weighed them as truth which was not before him and completely disregarded his own previous ruling as well as Justice Israel's previous rulings. Justice Krause's rulings of April 3, and April 18, has placed Plaintiffs' case in serious jeopardy and placed a heavy burden on plaintiffs to prove their claim while at the same time removing a significant portion of the evidence. Justice Krause has denied Plaintiffs to be heard and a continuance to have time to proceed with discovery to prepare a substantive response to the Defendants' Motion . Plaintiffs have just been entered as pro se and have had no time to proceed with discovery. There were outstanding discovery requests that Judge Krause compelled the Defendants to comply with and now he has totally disregarded those orders.. Plaintiffs have started the process to renew previous requests of outstanding discovery and are trying to do their best. It is not Plaintiffs desire to be pro se litigants but they cannot simply ignore all that they have worked so hard to accomplish to date. Justice Krause's Orders of April 3, and April 18, have effectively disregarded any proceedings in Plaintiffs' case and any claims that they may have which is fundamentally unjust.
For reasons unknown to Plaintiffs, Justice Krause has continued to subject Plaintiffs to embarrasment in the court room and has relentlessly attempted to coerce them to settle. Justice Krause has gone out of his way to create an intimidating environment to pressure Plaintiffs to settle which, as he stated on the record himself, is not his place, although he contradicts himself in his actions. Justice Krause invited Attorney Robinson back into the courtroom, as well as, Attorney Carl DeLuca during these proceedings despite Plaintiffs stating on the record and in their written communications that they did not want these attorneys anywhere near them. Another instance of Justice Krause's abuse of discretion and methods of coercion was to Order Mediators from C.M.C.I. to be present. at Attorney Steven Robinson's hearing to Withdraw. Also present at Attorney Robinson's hearing for withdrawal, accompanying the defense counsel was Monsignor Paul Theroux, an Ecclesiastic Judge. It appeared that Judge Krause anticipated his presence in that courtroom. .Judge Krause had no business imposing on Plaintiffs these coercive tactics to pressure them into a mediation process and settle to serve his agenda.
Although Plaintiffs understand that this is a civil process resulting from criminal conduct. the R.I. Constitution Article I Section 23 supports Plaintiffs rights to be compensated and to be treated with dignity, respect and sensitivity in the criminal process. Regardless of whether this is the civil process or criminal process, it is Judicial responsibility to insure that all that enter a courtroom are treated dignity and respect to preserve the public trust . . . Plaintiffs filed a Renewed Motion to Compel on February 26, 2003, and reminded Judge Krause of Plaintiffs' Constitutional rights as victims citing Article I Section 23, in response to Justice Krause's disrespect toward Plaintiffs in the courtroom Justice Krause responded by questioning whether the Plaintiffs understood that this is a civil process and not a criminal one. This civil process is a result of the Defendants criminal acts. Regardless, it is common courtesy to be respectful of anyone that enters the courtroom whether civil or criminal.
Notwithstanding the R.I. Constitution, R.I.G.L. 9 1 2 recognizes that victims should be compensated regardless of whether criminal charges are brought . Justice Krause has chosen to ignore this and disregard Plaintiffs as being difficult because they expect to proceed with their Constitutional rights. Judge Krause ignores the Constitution of the U.S., the Constitution of R.I,.R.I. State Laws, and every single Order that Justice Israel and this Court has issued in order to circumvent and short circuit the rights of Plaintiffs simply because it appears on the face that they are the only ones. Plaintiffs were the only ones who received a conviction in the criminal proceedings.
Plaintiffs simply want to proceed forward and prove the truth of their case which is that Monsignor Dunn, a Hierarchical Defendant sexually assaulted Plaintiff Mary Ryan for years, and other Hierarchical Defendants knew of Monsignor Dunn's criminal behavior long before he assaulted Plaintiff Mary Ryan and deliberately placed Monsignor Dunn in Plaintiff Mary Ryan's path knowing that it would be likely he would strike again and to date continues to cover those facts. Justice Krause should not expect Plaintiffs to ignore the substance of their lawsuit, take money and accept an agreement that there was no culpability on the part of the Defendants, and place the Defendants in a good light simply because they throw $400,000.00 at the Plaintiff. This is completely contrary to all previous proclamations of Judge Krause when he voiced loud and clear in July of 2002, to the State of R.I. his demand for disclosure from the Defendants which was consistent with all of Judge Israel's previous rulings and now rings hollow as a voice in the distance with no substance.. Justice Krause's rulings of April 3, and April 18, 2003 fly in the face of Plaintiffs and every lone victim that ever stood up to speak out and reduces this lawsuit and the protection of children to mere insignificance. . It was the lone plaintiffs who had the courage long ago to stand up and cry out and beg for justice that brought this issue to this Court, not the blindness of the public. Plaintiffs case or the viability of their claim should not be based on public clamor the same public clamor that has recessed into the bowels of silence once again and has created the illusion of a changing landscape leaving one set of Plaintiffs.visible on the horizon despite there thousands like them..
Plaintiffs do not have any other remedy to deal with the issue except to petition this Honorable Court and seek review of Justice Krause's rulings of April 3, 2003 and April 18, 2003. Plaintiffs plead with this Court to grant them relief from Justice Krause's Orders of April 3, 2003 and April 18, 2003, and grant them an emergency Stay pending this Honorable Court's determination and any other relief that this Court may find just.
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