October 29 1998 Transcript, Family Court, New York, Robin Cotler, Judge Ingrid S. Braslow, Marc Domicello, Photius Coutsoukis, Susan Samora

     FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
          COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER
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          PHOTIUS COUTSOUKIS,
          
                         Petitioner,
          
           -against-                   Docket #V-1284-98
                                               
          SUSAN SAMORA,                FU #53516
          
                         Respondent.
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          Richard J. Daronco Court House
          111 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
          White Plains, New York  
                         
          October 29, 1998
          
          B E F O R E :
          
           HON. INGRID S. BRASLOW
           Family Court Judge
           
          
          
          A P P E A R A N C E S :
          
           Mark Domicello, Esq.
           Attorney for Respondent
          
           Photius Coutsoukis
           Appearing Pro Se
          
           Robin Kotler, Esq.
           Law Guardian
          
                                
          
                    SANDY SAUNDERS REPORTING
                   Bank of New York Building 
                Two New Hempstead Road, Suite 303
                    New City, New York 10956
                         (914) 634-7561
          
          
                         COURT CLERK:  Your Honor, 
           this is number four on the afternoon
                     calendar in the matter of Coutsoukis and
                     Samora.  Counsel, please note your
                     appearances first, starting on the
                     Judge's left.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Mark
           Domicello (phonetic), assigned counsel
                     for Susan S. Samora.                 
                         MS. KOTLER:  Robin Kotler 
           (phonetic), law guardian for Heddy
                     Coutsoukis.
                         COURT CLERK:  Both parties 
           please raise your right hands.  Do you
                     both swear to tell the truth, so help you
                     God?
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I do. 
                         MS. SAMORA:  I do. 
                         COURT CLERK:  Your name?
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Photius  
           Coutsoukis.
                         COURT CLERK:  Your name?
                         MS. SAMORA:  Susan Samora. 
                         COURT CLERK:  Thank you.  You
           may be seated. 
                         THE COURT:  All right, we're 
           scheduled for a preliminary proceeding on
                     Mr. Coutsoukis' Order to Show Cause.  All
                     right, yes?
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  For the 
           record, I'd like to make a statement.
                         THE COURT:  Go ahead.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  This is an 
           urgent, urgent, very urgent matter, a
                     serious emergency about my child in the
                     midst of a crisis of life and death.  A
                     very charming convicted rapist in
                     Connecticut stated on television that he
                     did not rape, it was just fun.  Please
                     keep that in mind if you hear the other
                     side say that my daughter is fine or that
                     she's getting better or that she was born
                     that way.  I would like to point out that
                     after a father's petition for
                     modification and in order to distract
                     from and distort a real life and health
                     matter for my daughter, Susan filed a
                     frivolous, dishonest, and destructive
                     petition for an Order of Protection with
                     another judge.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Objection, 
           Your Honor.  We're not here-- 
                         THE COURT:  Sustained.  If 
           you would address your remarks to why the
                     Court should entertain your Order to Show
                     Cause. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes, but 
           holding a hearing for that, especially at
                     the same time as my hearing, would help
                     accomplish the other side's insidious
                     objective.  Oregon has declined
                     jurisdiction and the current decree
                     contains provisions that are illegal
                     under New York State law.  Finally, with
                     my petition I move that the Court recuse
                     herself from this case, the reasons
                     having been explained in the petition and
                     in a letter I sent to this Court which
                     I'm now requesting it be entered into the
                     record.  
                         THE COURT:  Okay.  Mr.
           Domicello?
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Your Honor, I
           had an opportunity to review all of the
                     petitions in this matter.  I believe
                     there are actually two modification
                     petitions.  There's a petition which I
                     was served with which was not--does not
                     have a docket number on it, and also an
                     Order to Show Cause with petitioner's
                     affidavit. 
                         THE COURT:  Okay, there's 
           only one matter on the calendar today.  I
                     only have one Order to Show Cause-- 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Maybe this 
           petition, Your Honor, was not filed. 
                     I'll pass it up to the Court and see if
                     it's in the Court file.
                         THE COURT:  All right, V-1284
           of 1998.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Yes, I have 
           that, Your Honor, which is the Order to
                     Show Cause and the petitioner's
                     affidavit.  There's also this petition
                     which requests the same relief, which is
                     a modification of the--of the Oregon
                     order of custody and visitation.  Be that
                     as it may, Your Honor, I have an
                     application.  I'm requesting that these
                     petitions, the Order to Show Cause and
                     the petition for modification be
                     dismissed pursuant to Section 3211 of the
                     CPLR in that the cause of action may not
                     be maintained because of res judicata
                     grounds.  The allegations in the petition
                     are the exact same or similar to the
                     allegations that Mr. Coutsoukis alleged
                     in his Oregon petition to modify.  The
                     Oregon Court heard that action and
                     proceeding and made a ruling on it. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, they did
           not.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Therefore, 
           res judicata--res judicata grounds allow
                     this Court to dismiss this action on that
                     basis.  In addition, Your Honor, it has
                     come to my--
                         THE COURT:  Just a moment.  
           Okay, go ahead.  I'm sorry. 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  In addition, 
           Your Honor, it has come to my attention
                     that Mr. Coutsoukis is appealing the
                     Oregon order.  He is attempting to vacate
                     the Judgment of Divorce which
                     incorporated the Oregon order as to
                     custody and visitation.  With a pending
                     appeal, he cannot bring a new action in
                     this Court requesting modification of the
                     Oregon order and I'm--based on those two
                     grounds, I'm requesting that his petition
                     be dismissed. 
                         THE COURT:  Okay, thank you. 
           Ms. Kotler?
                         MS. KOTLER:  I would agree 
           with that, Your Honor. 
                         THE COURT:  I'm sorry? 
                         MS. KOTLER:  I would agree 
           with that, Your Honor.
                         THE COURT:  All right, do you
           want to make any other statements on the
                     record?
                         MS. KOTLER:  Just for the 
           record, Your Honor, I've never received
                     the backup affidavit that petitioner
                     cites in his petition.  The petition is--
                     I'm not sure that it was served properly. 
                     I'm not sure that it was all--you know,
                     all the pieces were there.  For the
                     Court's information, I have met with my
                     client.  She does not seem to be in any
                     kind of urgent distress.  I have spoken
                     with her doctors' offices, at least two
                     doctors, and I feel confident that she is
                     not in any immediate danger.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  A couple of 
           problems here.  Number one, the doctors
                     that the law guardian spoke with have a
                     history that comes from Susan.  Number
                     two, regarding the Oregon action, the
                     Oregon action never prevented this Court
                     from taking action in this case on
                     Susan's petition.  Saying that my--that
                     the Oregon Court has heard these exact
                     arguments and dismissed them is
                     erroneous.  The Oregon Court said that
                     the New York Court has jurisdiction and
                     issued twice a decline--declining of
                     jurisdiction order.  I had two judges at
                     one point pointing me in each other's
                     direction.  None of them want to hear
                     this, and nobody has.  
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  I'm not 
           disputing that this Court has
                     jurisdiction.  I believe it has
                     jurisdiction, but on res judicata
                     grounds, basically the issues that Mr.
                     Coutsoukis alleges in his petition are
                     similar to the allegations in the
                     petition that he's filed in Oregon. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  And they 
           have not been heard. 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  They have 
           been litigated, they have been heard,
                     they have been decided on.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No. 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  And I believe
           the Oregon--
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That is a 
           false statement.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  And I believe
           the Oregon judge will attest to that. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I have the 
           Oregon order and they are not what he
                     said.  The Oregon judge declined
                     jurisdiction, declined to have another
                     trial.  These charges, the situation of
                     my daughter's health, has not been heard
                     from the moment we were separated. 
                     Additionally, there are circumstances
                     that are more recent as well, namely I
                     had--all these arguments that we should
                     be having at a hearing that I could bring
                     evidence and witnesses for I am not
                     allowed the opportunity to do because the
                     Court keeps dismissing my--denying me the
                     opportunity to be heard.  My daughter is
                     not in good condition.  She is not in--
                     getting better.  I don't care what she
                     said or what the doctor said, the
                     evidence and the reports I got from them
                     speak otherwise and I would like to
                     present the evidence to the Court.  My
                     daughter is in danger.  When Susan
                     complains about telephone calls, we jump. 
                     My daughter's health and life is in
                     danger and we don't want to know about
                     it.  She has perjured herself and I can
                     bring you proof of perjury.  She has
                     committed extortion and I can bring you
                     the proof of that. 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Your Honor, 
           I'm going to object.  Mr. Coutsoukis is
                     testifying--
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Her lawyer 
           lied, and I would like to be able to
                     bring evidence and witnesses.
                         THE COURT:  Okay, are you 
           through with your statement? 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I have 
           tapes, I have videotapes, I have reports
                     from doctors.  Yes. 
                         THE COURT:  All right.  
           Anything else that you want to say, Mr.
                     Coutsoukis?
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I would like
           a hearing. 
                         THE COURT:  Okay.  Initially,
           the motion to recuse myself, there's
                     absolutely no grounds for this Court to
                     do that in law or in fact, and this Court
                     will not recuse itself.  As to the letter
                     that you wrote to the Court, that is in
                     the file.  But let me advise you, Mr.
                     Coutsoukis, this Court does not read ex
                     parte communication sent to it by any
                     party.  In fact, you sent-- 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  It was sent,
           copies to them as well.
                         THE COURT:  You sent this 
           Court yesterday or today a FedEx.  I am
                     returning that to you because it is
                     another ex parte communication and I do
                     not want you to--
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  These are 
           subpoenas, Your Honor, that need to be
                     signed. 
                         THE COURT:  You do--I do not 
           want you communicating with me on an ex
                     parte basis.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  These are 
           subpoenas, judicial subpoenas that need
                     to be signed by the Court.
                         THE COURT:  I am not opening 
           your mail.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  What do I do
           with the subpoenas?
                         THE COURT:  You can take care
           of that in the clerk's office.  Do not
                     send anything to me.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Fine. 
                         THE COURT:  The Court agrees 
           with Mr. Domicello that all of these
                     issues as to your child's health were
                     made before the Court in Oregon.  These
                     are identical issues to the ones that
                     were heard at that time.  The Oregon
                     order is on appeal, that's a further
                     ground why this Court should not hear it. 
                     Your previous application for custody
                     which was dismissed by this Court is also
                     on appeal.  This is--this petition does
                     not state anything new. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I would like
           to present evidence that the Oregon Court
                     did not hear those.  I have the Court
                     order that will show you that that is not
                     the case.  As a matter of fact, they are
                     on file with this Court.  The file of
                     this case contains the Oregon order that
                     states that this will not be heard.
                         THE COURT:  All I'm--as I 
           said before, I stand by my ruling that
                     all of these issues have already been
                     heard.  There is nothing new in this
                     petition.  Furthermore, Mr. Coutsoukis,
                     if you review your own order from Oregon,
                     you will see that your rights as the non-
                     custodial parent are very restricted.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  And that was
           done through a plot, an insidious plot
                     where perjury was involved and where, as
                     far as the rules for arresting someone,
                     when she said that I could flee with my
                     child while knowing I had my child every
                     day for the seven days that she
                     travelled, I had her every day for three
                     years prior to that at my possession.  I
                     was half an hour from the airport all the
                     time.  I sold my--I sold--I abandoned my
                     business in Oregon to come here and be
                     near--so my child can be near her mother. 
                     Then she tells you that I'm likely to
                     flee, and for that reason you arrest me. 
                     That is what went to Oregon to a new
                     judge who had not previously heard this
                     case.  Then her lawyer in Oregon lied to
                     the judge saying that the status quo as
                     of the hearing were just two days after
                     the consent agreement was that I am to
                     have supervised visitation.  We had Mr.
                     Domicello sign a letter that that 
           wasn't--that he spoke with Ms. Sands and
                     I have the--he has--yes, you signed a
                     letter, remember?
                         THE COURT:  Mr. Coutsoukis, 
           do not talk to her.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I'm not.  
           No, I was--
                         THE COURT:  No, you are. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I was
           looking at Mr. Domicello.
                         THE COURT:  I'm observing 
           you--
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I apologize.
                         THE COURT:  --and you are 
           directing your comments to her and I
                     don't want you to do that.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I apologize. 
           Mr. Domicello signed a letter.
                         THE COURT:  No, I'm not 
           interested in the letter that Mr.
                     Domicello signed.  Now, you just listen
                     to me and let me finish.  The order of
                     the Oregon Court restricts your right as
                     follows:  you can write the school,
                     request the child's school records, but
                     not more--not more often than a period of
                     sixty days at a time.  You can write to
                     the medical, dental, psychological,
                     psychiatric and other health providers
                     and request the child's medical and
                     health record, but not--
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I'm aware of
           that.
                         THE COURT:  No, let me
           finish.  But not more often than a period
                     of sixty days at a time.  You can contact
                     emergency medical, dental, psychological,
                     psychiatric or other health care for the
                     child, but only if petitioner is
                     absolutely unavailable. 
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I'm aware of
           that.
                         THE COURT:  Except for that 
           described on this page, you shall not
                     have any other contact with the child's
                     school staff, medical and other treatment
                     providers.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Correct.  
           That's an unfair and ill begotten decree. 
                                THE COURT:  That is in an 
                         order of the Court that is presumed
                                   to be legal.  This Court will give
                                   that order full face and--full face
                                   and effect.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I would 
           like to point out that there was an order
                     from the Court.  When Susan came here
                     last year whining, I was arrested.  That
                     order from the Oregon Court was not
                     presumed correct.  It was thrown out. 
                     Regardless of UCCJA, for no apparent
                     reason, I was arrested, I was separated
                     from my daughter, and you called Judge
                     Arnold who had never heard from the
                     parties yet.  And that's what happened. 
                     And then when she went there with her
                     lawyer lying and we had to get Mr.
                     Domicello to sign a letter that he spoke
                     with her lawyer and she knew what the
                     consent was about, they still lied.  The
                     judge wouldn't reverse anything at that
                     point.  This is an ill begotten, unfair
                     and destructive decree--
                         THE COURT:  You appeal it.  
           You appeal it.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I have 
           appealed it, but in the meantime, my
                     doctor--
                         THE COURT:  But that's what 
           you should do.
                         MR. COUTSOUKIS:  --my
           daughter is suffering.
                         THE COURT:  That is your 
           remedy.  Petition is dismissed.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  Your Honor, 
           with regard to the family offense
                     petition, I believe we have a trial
                     scheduled for December 1.
                         THE COURT:  Yes. 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  There is some
           allegations that my client--my client
                     obviously filed this petition without me
                     present.  There's some allegations with
                     regard to the child, okay, that have come
                     to my attention and also to Ms. Kotler's
                     attention whereby we believe that those
                     allegations would make out a case for
                     harassment against the child.
                         THE COURT:  All right, what--
           you can file an amended family offense
                     petition.
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  We were going
           to do that, Your Honor.
                         THE COURT:  Yes. 
                         MR. DOMICELLO:  And we're 
           requesting the Order of Protection--
           we're going to do that, Your Honor, and
                     then--
                         THE COURT:  Temporary order 
           is extended until the hearing date.
                         COURT CLERK:  Okay.  Parties 
           please step out.
                      (End of Proceedings)
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           STATE OF NEW YORK )
           COUNTY OF ROCKLAND)  ss:
          
                         I, Jeanette Carelli, certify 
           that the foregoing transcript of the
                     proceedings in the Family Court of
                     Coutsoukis vs. Samora, Docket No. V-1284-
                     98, was prepared to the best of my
                     ability, using four-track electronic
                     transcription equipment, and is a true
                     and accurate record of the proceedings.
          
                         _______________________
                         Jeanette Carelli 
                         Sandy Saunders Reporting 
                         2 New Hempstead Road 
                         New City, New York  10956 
          
           Dated:  November 12, 1998