Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jude Successfully Defends Herself At Her Sanity Hearing (Part 2)

The last two posts have been about Jude, whose story I began to tell last year.  It will be easier to understand this and the next few posts if you read them first.


Q:  Have you ever attempted suicide?

A:  Never.

Q:  Have you ever attempted to harm yourself?

A:  Never, never.

Q:  Do you have any plans to try to harm yourself?

A:  No.

Q:  Have you ever physically attempted or harmed anyone else?

A:  No, no, no, never.

Q:  Do you have any plans or desires to hurt anyone else?

A:  No.

Q:  You take care of all of your activities of daily living?

A:  Absolutely.

Q:  Do you eat well?

A:  Absolutely; too well.

Q:  Do you sleep well?

A:  Yes.  I do.

Q:  Take care of your own personal hygiene?

A:  Absolutely.

Q:  Could I ask you, you mentioned that you have some records from the school?

A:  Oh, absolutely.

Q:  Latest being 2008?

A:  Yep, yep.  I put them like from 2008 going back and I think he should—I have more though.

MR MINERVA:  Could I have this marked for identification?

THE COURT:  Yes.  Show counsel, please.

JUDE:  I have 2007, 2006.

MR. STERN:  Your Honor, at this time, saving the Court some time being preidentified, I’d object to these documents admission.

THE COURT:  The objection?

MR. STERN:  The objection is it is not certified copies of anything that it purports to be; and frankly, I don’t know its relevance at this time.

THE COURT:  I’ll keep that in mind.  I’ll look at it.

MR. MINERVA:  It is being offered to show that the school gave her an evaluation as of April of ’08 because there was a contention that she wasn’t working for the last two and a half years.

MR. STERN:  No one made that contention, Your Honor, so I’d object to it.

THE COURT:  Okay.  Just a moment.

THE PATIENT:  I have the pay stubs back at the hospital.

THE COURT:  Just a minute.  Continue.

MR. MINERVA:  Thank you.

Q:  Ms. Jude, you heard the doctor testify that C.P.S. has had some involvement with you and the children?

A:  Uh-huh.

Q.  Have your children ever been taken away from you?

A.  Absolutely not.

Q.  You also have mentioned having problems with the neighbors across the street?

A.  Absolutely.

Q.  Could you tell us about your relationship with them and what’s been going on?

A.  Well, they keep on calling out strange things to me and I don’t know them at all.  For instance, they called out that I’m a dike.  They called out that my ex-husband, that everyone knows that you found him – that he left you; everyone know he left you because you found him in bed with another man.

And they call out, they say:  Watch what we do to your daughter right in front of you, we’re going to kick her “A”.  They don’t say “A”, they say the word; for no reason.  They sit on my retaining wall and I ask them:  Could you please move?  That’s my property.  They say:  We don’t have to.  Show us the deed.

Q.  Who are these neighbors?

A.  Oh, these—they range in age from abut 17 to about the early 20’s; they’re like late teens.  The woman who lives there, who’s the mother, she doesn’t seem to have any control over her children.  They invite—I think she has three children that live there and they keep on—they’re mostly girls, they keep inviting these boys over. I counted up to 18, 19 boys.  And I’m off during the summer and I’m watching the house and they’re going in and out with the girls, in and out all day.  And then they, you know, come out with—they don’t go in the same way they come out; they come out I don’t know what’s going on across the street but I do know I’m not starting any trouble with them.  I do know that dog mess was placed on my door.  I do know my son’s bike was stolen.  I did not make a lot of calls within the last two weeks because I was in the Bahamas.  So that’s not.   I only made one call within the last month.  The call before that was like in June or something.

THE COURT:  Call to?

MS. JUDE:  To the police.  Because when Dr. Aronson stepped up, he said:  She’s made repeated calls in the last two weeks to the police about these neighbors.  And I said:  No, I didn’t, I was in the Bahamas; I wasn’t even there.

MR. MINERVA:  How long were you in the Bahamas?

MS. JUDE:  I was in the Bahamas for six days and two in Florida.

Q:  What dates were those?

A:  August – August 1st through –just came back on Saturday, whatever Saturday’s date was.

Q.  Approximately the 9th?

A.  Yeah, I think so.

Q:  Were you admitted on the 14th?

A:  I couldn’t believe it.

Q:  You also, I believe, stated or was stated by the doctor about your claim to the police of someone urinating on your rug?

A:  That was in June at the end of the school year.  What happened, I had a couple of things happen around the house so I called the police to the house and they came to the house.  They looked and there was a spot on the living room rug.  I just did my carpet last year, just have it redone.  So the police were asking me:  Could it be a dog?  I said:  Officers, you can come upstairs with me right now because my dog is locked up upstairs in a kennel and I have the key; she can’t get out.

So the dog was upstairs in the house that day in a room.  And when we came – when I showed the officers, they said:  How do these people get in?  I said:  Well, the window is open.  I said when we left out, the children and me; the windows were all closed because I do check that.  And I have ADT alarm but that window is not part of the alarm system.  So it looked like somebody – maybe they were trying to do vandalism.  The screen was askew, the window was open.

So the police asked me:  Couldn’t it have been a dog?  I said the dog is locked up in the kennel and the window is open and I left it closed.  So I have no idea what’s going on.  I just asked him:  Could they dust for fingerprints, that’s all.  I did not accuse anybody, did not say anything about any – I didn’t accuse anybody.  I just asked:  Can’t you dust for fingerprints and find out why this window is askew.  They asked:  Why did you leave it open?  I said:  I did not.  I checked to make sure they were closed before I left for work.

They may have been unlocked.  I have 12 windows on my bottom floor;  I have two floors.

Q:  Your problem with the neighbors involves teenagers to early 20’s, not with any adults?

A:  Well, the adult in the house hasn’t had any problems with me.  She’s having problems because she’s never there to see what her teenagers are doing.  So by the time she comes, unseen, whatever information she’s hearing is hearsay from a bunch of boys who have been in the house with her daughter. 

Q:  Are you involved in litigation concerning your employment?

A:  Absolutely.  I have my employers at PERB because I have placements that I asked and because of harassment –

Q:  What is PERB?

A:  PERB is a labor relations board—New York State Labor Relations Board.

Q:  So you currently have a claim against your employer?

A:  Absolutely.  We’re going back on October 2.  And I have the charges, if you want to see;  they’re not delusional.  I don’t think that I’m being asked to punch in, when everybody else is let go, you know, after me.  I’m being singled out for certain behaviors and positions that nobody else is asked to do.

If you give me a cluster position, they’re only telling me what classes I’m going to five minutes before I get there so I’m unprepared.

Q:  Who’s your complaint against?

A:  The union and the Board of Ed.  That complaint is against the union and Board of Ed. Because of the things going on in my job.  But the charges are there, I have them with me...

Q:  The doctor stated that you were in marriage counseling for a time?

A:  Yes, I was.

Q:  For how long a period of time?

A:  Well, while I was still married to him.  It started in the 1990’s and ended in the 2000’s; the late 1990’s to sometime in the 2000’s.

Q:  How long?

A:  Maybe five or six years.

Q:  That you were in counseling for?

A:  Yeah.

Q:  You were not receiving psychotherapy?

A:  No.  It was counseling.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to tell the Judge why he should discharge you today and why he should feel you wouldn’t be a danger to yourself or others?

A:  Yes.  Your Honor, I have never been a danger to myself.  I’ve never been accused of being a danger.  I’ve worked with children from 1990 to the present.  I’ve worked in some of the worse classrooms in New York City.  I started in the Bronx for six  years and now I work in Queens and I never have been accused of harming anybody.  I’ve dealt with countless parents and children.

I’m sure anybody who came into this court from my school would be shocked that I’m even here.  Besides that, I can’t pay my mortgage from in here.  I can’t deposit my checks.  I can’t pay my car, my homeowner’s insurance.  I can’t continue to maintain my household.

Also Dr. Aronson said something about that I didn’t have the psychiatric evaluation that my job requested.  First of all, they didn’t request a psychiatric, they requested a medical and I did have it.  I had it as soon as they could give it to me.  I had it on 12/27/06…  I brought in my doctor’s stuff on, which the legal department of New York City told me to go get, so I brought it in on August 31st and at that point in time I was supposed to be given an appointment to go to 65 Court Street and I was not given an appointment from August 31st, 2006 to August 27th; at which time I saw a medical doctor on Court Street and a psychologist.  So I had a psychological outside by my own doctor as well as theirs.

Q:  Do you mean December?

A:  December 27th, 2006; at which time I saw the medical doctor at 65 Court Street and a psychologist.  So I had the psychological outside by my own doctors as well as inside.  And on that day, 12/27/06, I was declared medically fit.

Q:  One other question, these problems you’re having with the neighbors, the doctor says you told them that you would not be calling the police anymore, that you would handle it a different way?

A:  Right.

Q:  Did you tell him that?

A:  Yeah.  I thought I told him – I thought I told you that the police suggested I go to –

THE COURT:  Talk to the Court.

MS JUDE:  I’m sorry.  I thought I told the doctor that the police suggested that I go to arbitration.  They said that there is something in our town called arbitration.  So when I said:  I’m not going to call the police anymore, the police came and told me, you should take your neighbors to arbitration;  you can go to the Town of ___________ to a judge and he’ll hear both of your sides.

So you know this sinister thing, I’m going to do something to them or whatever, I don’t know where that insinuation comes from.  If you look at anything I’ve ever done, I’ve handled everything litigiously.  I let the law handle it as much as possible.  I’m not going to harm them or harm myself.

MR MINERVA:  Thank you.  No further questions.


After listening to everyone and everything that was said to me, with all due respect to the doctor, it appears to me the doctor appears to be a very intelligent man, well trained, careful of his observations; but in the totality, I don’t believe there is clear, convincing evidence that this lady should be in the hospital.  I have doubts about every one of the criteria that are necessary to keep her in the hospital.  Therefore, I’m going to release her.

As for the problems that she’s having and described, they’re not unreasonable and they’re well within the realm of possibilty of occurring.  Her actions and complaints in her circumstances, I believe, are believable, and therefore, I am denying any extension of time and as I said, I’m releasing her.

MR MINERVA:  Thank you

JUDE:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

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