June 22 1999 Transcript, Family Court, New York, Photius Coutsoukis, Susan Samora, Judge JOHN W. SWEENY, JR., Lawrence Ivan Horowitz, Robin Cotler, Judge Ingrid S. Braslow, Marc Domicello
                   COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER
                   PHOTIUS COUTSOUKIS
          5                                   Index Nos.
                                         X 00669-99; V 1284-98
          6        - versus -            X 00670-99; O 0972-98
                                         X 00820-99; V 1284-98
          7                                File No. 53516
                   SUSAN SAMORA
          9        ------------------------------------------------X
         10        Hearing on Petition for Violation and Order to
                   Show Cause
                                               June 22, 1999
         12                                    9:30 A.M.
                                               40 Gleneida Avenue
         13                                    Putnam County
                                                Office Building
         14                                    Carmel, New York
                   BEFORE:  HON. JOHN W. SWEENY, JR.
         16                 Presiding Family Court Judge
         18                      Petitioner Pro se
                                 SUSAN SAMORA
         20                      Respondent Pro se
                                 LAWRENCE I. HOROWITZ, ESQ.
         22                      Law Guardian
         23         --------------------------------------------------
                                  LAURIE HARDISTY, RMR
         24                       Official Court Reporter
                   40 Gleneida Avenue, Room 202, Carmel, NY 10512
         25                       (914) 225-3641 Ext. 294

          1        THE COURT:  First of all, sir, could you
          2        pronounce your name for me?
          3        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Photius Coutsoukis.
          4        THE COURT:  Coutsoukis?
          5        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
          6        THE COURT:  All right.  Mr. Coutsoukis, do you
          7        have an attorney?
          8        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, Your Honor.
          9        THE COURT:  All right.  What you're looking
         10        for here is, in terms of, as I understand the
         11        petitions -- I'm having some trouble
         12        understanding them -- in terms of visitation
         13        enforcement, as well as violations of the
         14        previous Court Orders; correct?
         15        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  And, also, suspension of a
         16        sentence.  I --
         17        THE COURT:  Suspension of a sentence?
         18        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  There was an Order of
         19        Protection issued by Judge Braslow.  The
         20        Petitioner accused me of telephone
         21        harassment.  Judge Braslow found me guilty of
         22        Harassment in the 2nd Degree and sentenced me
         23        to probation and a batterer's class.
         24        THE COURT:  Was that part of an Order of
         25        Protection?

          1        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That is correct.  And I filed
          2        a petition to suspend that sentence.  And if I
          3        may explain why at some point?
          4        THE COURT:  All right.  That I can't deal
          5        with.  That either has to go back to Judge
          6        Braslow or you have to appeal that to the
          7        Appellate Division, but I cannot review a
          8        finding on an Article 8 proceeding.  That
          9        makes me an appellate court for Judge Braslow,
         10        and I can't do that.
         11        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I'm sorry, Your Honor.  I'm
         12        not asking for a review or a reargument of the
         13        case.  She can have her Order of Protection.
         14        I'm asking that -- may I please?
         15        THE COURT:  Go ahead.  Why don't you all sit
         16        down.
         17        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Thank you.  Okay.  I'm barely
         18        able to scrape a living, and to --
         19        THE COURT:  Excuse me.  Are you reading from
         20        something now?
         21        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor, I'm so nervous.
         22        THE COURT:  That's all right.  Are you reading
         23        from something, so I'll know?
         24        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
         25        THE COURT:  I don't have anything in front of

          1        me.
          2        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, this is my notes, Your
          3        Honor.  You want a copy of what I filed?
          4        THE COURT:  No.  What I want to know is, Mr.
          5        Coutsoukis -- I have, as I understand it --
          6        I'm trying to understand the files that were
          7        sent to me from White Plains.  I have three
          8        petitions.
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  You do not have the one --
         10        THE COURT:  But not one about, you say,
         11        suspending or changing the terms of an Order
         12        of Protection.
         13             For that benefit, let me tell you, I
         14        cannot change aspects of an Order of
         15        Protection if you're claiming that what Judge
         16        Braslow did was wrong at the time.  If she
         17        said go to a batterer's class, if she said
         18        you're on probation, whatever she said, if
         19        that's the Order of the court, I cannot review
         20        that.
         21        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Okay.  Judge Braslow has
         22        recused herself.  Judge Cooney dealt with
         23        Judge Braslow's matters, including this one,
         24        and recused herself.  Consequently, Judge
         25        Braslow cannot deal with that case.

          1             Now, Judge Braslow, in her Order, at no
          2        time did she mention anything that had to do
          3        with battering.  The Petitioner never accused
          4        me of -- of any violence whatsoever, never
          5        hinted at any fear of any violence
          6        whatsoever.
          7             The reason I'm asking for suspension of
          8        the sentence is because I have to scrape a
          9        living from a home business, and having to go
         10        to White Plains three times a week, to the
         11        tune of 15 hours of my business hours, in
         12        order to do this sentence, I will lose my
         13        livelihood and end up on the street and not be
         14        able to support my child.
         15        THE COURT:  Again, Mr. Coutsoukis, I have
         16        three petitions before me.  That's why when
         17        you said about the Order of Protection and the
         18        batterer's class, from everything I read, that
         19        rang no bells for me whatsoever.
         20             I have your petition alleging violations
         21        by Ms. Samora on Orders of -- the Orders of
         22        the Oregon court.  I have a request for,
         23        apparently, I think, it's a change of custody,
         24        and I have the petition --
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Okay.  It was an Order -- a

          1        motion by Order to Show Cause that I sent here
          2        last week.  It was served to the other side as
          3        well.
          4        THE COURT:  To modify the Order of
          5        Protection?
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No.  Well, the way I asked
          7        was to suspend the sentence of the Order of
          8        Protection.
         10             (Off the Record Discussion between
         11             the Court and Court Clerk.)
         13        THE COURT:  My clerk is saying there's
         14        something with an "O" docket on it.
         16             (Off the Record Discussion between
         17             the Court and Court Clerk.)
         19        THE COURT:  Tell you what, let's go on to the
         20        other ones for right now.  We'll go back to
         21        that in a moment.
         22             In any event, Ms. Samora, do you have an
         23        attorney?
         24        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor, I have a court-
         25        appointed attorney in White Plains.  Now, I

          1        don't know if he has jurisdiction in this
          2        court.  As I understand it, this case is still
          3        considered a Westchester County case --
          4        THE COURT:  That's correct.
          5        MS. SAMORA:  -- and that you are, you know ...
          6        THE COURT:  I'm sitting as an Acting Family
          7        Court Judge in Westchester County.
          8        MS. SAMORA:  Right.  So, then, my supposition
          9        is that he would still be in place.
         10        THE COURT:  That is true.  Your attorney may
         11        not realize that.
         12        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Mr. Domicello resigned.  I
         13        received his resignation, his second
         14        resignation.  Mr. Domicello resigned from the
         15        case twice.  The second resignation I just
         16        received yesterday by mail, --
         17        THE COURT:  Did you receive it?
         18        MR. COUTSOUKIS: -- her attorney.
         19        THE COURT:  Do you have a copy of that?
         20        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That he sent it to Your Honor
         21        as well, sent a cover letter.
         22        THE COURT:  I've got one addressed --
         23        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Addressed to Judge Sweeny.
         24        THE COURT:  I have a letter from the Law
         25        Guardian --

          1        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That's right.
          2        THE COURT: -- or former Law Guardian.
          3        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Which I -- that's right.
          4        THE COURT:  Which, for the record, I don't
          5        consider letters, so --
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Thank you.
          7        THE COURT:  So, if anyone chooses -- if we get
          8        to a hearing, if anyone chooses to call the
          9        Law Guardian as a witness, they're free to do
         10        so.
         11        MS. SAMORA:  I don't understand what you just
         12        said, Your Honor.
         13        THE COURT:  I received a letter from the
         14        former Law Guardian --
         15        MS. SAMORA:  Yes.
         16        THE COURT:  -- in White Plains.
         17        MS. SAMORA:  Okay.
         18        THE COURT:  And once I got down to the part
         19        where it was dealing with substantive issues,
         20        I stopped reading it.
         21        MS. SAMORA:  Oh.
         22        THE COURT:  I do not consider letters.  I only
         23        consider testimony from witnesses.
         24        MS. SAMORA:  Oh, okay.
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Mr. Domicello sent a document

          1        that looked like some -- with a caption, just
          2        like Marsha (sic) is doing, in addition to the
          3        letter.  The letter was addressed to you, and
          4        he resigned the second time in this case.
          5        THE COURT:  Well, I'll see if he's resigning
          6        or not.  Do you have his name and address?
          7        MS. SAMORA:  Do I have his name and address?
          8        THE COURT:  All right.  Could you get that to
          9        us --
         10        MS. SAMORA:  Yes.
         11        THE COURT:  -- sometime so I could contact
         12        him, let him know this is still a Westchester
         13        County case?  If he's asking to be relieved, I
         14        will have to address that as a separate
         15        application.
         16             But, in any event, let's get back now to
         17        the other petitions.
         18        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Okay.
         19        THE COURT:  Can I have those three petitions
         20        back while you're looking?  My clerk is trying
         21        to go through.  I see nothing in here about an
         22        application for the Order to Show Cause, so,
         23        again, it was not sent up to me as part of the
         24        packet from White Plains.
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, it was sent directly

          1        here, Your Honor.
          2        THE COURT:  No, it should not be, no, sir.
          3        This is still a Westchester County -- let's
          4        understand this, for ground rules.  This is
          5        still a Westchester County case.  My clerks
          6        are doing this as a courtesy.  This is my
          7        Family Court calendar in Putnam.  Any and all
          8        papers are to be sent to White Plains.  They
          9        will then transfer them.  They will docket
         10        them down there and then assign them to me as
         11        though as I was sitting in New Rochelle or
         12        Yonkers.  Let's just say Carmel is an adjunct
         13        of Westchester County for purposes of this
         14        case.
         15        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Westchester County has been
         16        retaining my documents for over a month at a
         17        time.
         18        THE COURT:  Sir, they have to go to White
         19        Plains.  That's the way it is.  My clerks have
         20        no facilities to handle Westchester County
         21        motions.
         22             Do you have a copy of the petition that
         23        you sent?
         24        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I don't, Your Honor.
         25        THE COURT:  You don't have a copy?

          1        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I do, but I don't have it
          2        with me.
          3        MS. SAMORA:  Maybe I have.
          4        THE COURT:  Well, it's not in front of me.
          5        MS. SAMORA:  I wonder if I have it here.  Is
          6        this it?  Is it --
          7        MR. COUTSOUKIS: No.
          8        THE COURT:  It's not in front of me.
          9             I'm going to deal with the applications
         10        in front of me.  The first is the Order to
         11        Show Cause that does have an "O" docket on it,
         12        but it also has the "X" document of 670/99,
         13        which basically is referring to, as I
         14        understand this, Number 1, an objection to the
         15        police station being used as a venue for the
         16        transfer.
         17             Here's a letter we just had faxed,
         18        something from Marc Domicello, as we speak.
         20        (Secretary hands document to Judge Sweeny.)
         22        THE COURT:  Again, he says he thinks this is
         23        in Putnam County, also.
         24        MS. SAMORA:  Right.
         25        THE COURT:  We'll disabuse him of that notion,

          1        but we can't do that now.
          2             In any event, again, if I understand that
          3        Order to Show Cause, Mr. Coutsoukis, what
          4        you're -- what you are looking for, basically,
          5        the violation's, Number 1, about you don't
          6        want the sister-in-law to do the pickup;
          7        although, as I saw in the Order, there's
          8        nothing to stop a third party of Ms. Samora's
          9        choice to come and do the pickup, as I read
         10        that.
         11        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  It's not in the Order that
         12        can stop my daughter from completely being
         13        killed?  My daughter, Your Honor, was born in
         14        excellent health.
         15        THE COURT:  No, I read the papers, sir.  I'm
         16        just confused about what it is exactly you're
         17        looking for from me on this Order to Show
         18        Cause.
         19        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  The X 669-99?
         20        THE COURT:  No, the X 670-99.  670-99, the
         21        Order to Show Cause.
         22        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  This one, Your Honor?  I'm
         23        not a lawyer, and I have to work 60, 80 hours
         24        a day (sic) just to scrape a living.  It takes
         25        me a long time to prepare for a case like

          1        this.  If at all possible, to allow me time
          2        for discovery and to be able to come here with
          3        a case that can be tried.
          4             The other matter is that my daughter is
          5        scheduled to spend four weeks with me this
          6        summer, two weeks starting --
          7        THE COURT:  That's another petition.  We will
          8        address that, the visitation petition.
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Right.
         10        THE COURT:  I'm trying to keep them separate.
         11        Which is --
         12        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  670-99, you said?
         13        THE COURT:  Right.  670-99 you're claiming --
         14        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  What I'm saying is, to be
         15        spending all this time preparing for this,
         16        when I have -- while I'm spending the little
         17        bit of time that I do with my daughter, who is
         18        extremely attached to me and who gets to see
         19        me not that very often, I'm asking if -- if
         20        you would kindly allow a lot of time for --
         21        for preparation to come to a hearing on this
         22        and to allow me to come with an amended
         23        petition that would be clearer, more thorough.
         24        THE COURT:  All right.  So, I assume, then, I
         25        can put that in line with -- again, I'm

          1        putting the visitation petition aside with V
          2        493, which, again, consists of many of the
          3        same allegations.
          4             V 493-99, you don't have that.  That's
          5        the one --
          6        THE CLERK:  We have 669, 670, and 820.
          7        THE COURT:  That's ...
          8        THE CLERK:  Then I don't have 493.  I have
          9        669.
         11             (Off the Record Discussion between
         12             the Court and Court Clerk.)
         14        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I have 669, also.
         15        THE COURT:  All right.  669-99, I have.
         16        Withdraw the previous statement.
         17             Again, 669 refers, again, to violations,
         18        what purports to be violations, --
         19        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Correct.
         20        THE COURT:  -- the late pickup, etcetera.
         21             Now, on these two, if you want to submit
         22        amended petitions, I would strongly recommend
         23        that, Mr. Coutsoukis, especially on, let's
         24        say, on 669.
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Right.

          1        THE COURT:  Let's go to Paragraphs 30, 31, 32,
          2        especially, they are very vague.  If you want
          3        to submit a more definite statement, in other
          4        words, the dates, times, places where these
          5        things took place --
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
          7        THE COURT:  -- so Ms. Samora will have an
          8        opportunity to respond to them --
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That's right.
         10        THE COURT:  -- I'll allow you to do that,
         11        because, again, I can't possibly ask anyone to
         12        defend this unless it's more specific.
         13             So, what we'll do, then, is I'll give you
         14        an opportunity to serve an amended petition
         15        for 670 of 99 and 669 of 99, setting out more
         16        particular statements as to exactly the nature
         17        of the allegations.  Those petitions will be
         18        served upon Ms. Samora, as well as upon Mr.
         19        Horowitz.
         20        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Who's Mr. Horowitz?
         21        THE COURT:  Mr. Horowitz is the gentleman
         22        right here.  He's the new Law Guardian I'm
         23        assigning for your daughter.  Ms. Cotler asked
         24        not to be assigned up in Putnam County.  Mr.
         25        Domicello may ask the same thing; I don't

          1        know.  But I will deal with that separately.
          2        Again, I cannot just deal with that in a
          3        letter right now.  And the reason we went with
          4        Mr. Horowitz, also, is because we tried to get
          5        ahold of Ms. Colter and it was almost
          6        impossible to do it, and I wanted to get this
          7        thing moving.  Then she called and said she
          8        would not be available then, she would have a
          9        long summer schedule.  For the child's sake I
         10        appointed a new Law Guardian to keep this
         11        moving, and Mr. Horowitz will keep in contact
         12        with --
         14        (Secretary hands document to the Court.)
         16        THE COURT:  Here we have, again, Mr.
         17        Domicello.  He has one busy fax machine.  It's
         18        an Affidavit of Engagement.
         19        MS. SAMORA:  What does that mean?
         20        THE COURT:  It means he's already been
         21        assigned to be in front of another court on
         22        this day.  If you're assigned lawyers, they
         23        can only be one place at a time, and if
         24        they're assigned to be before another judge in
         25        that judge's court before this assignment,

          1        then I have to let him go.
          2        MS. SAMORA:  For this specific date only?
          3        THE COURT:  For this specific date only.
          4        MS. SAMORA:  Only?
          5        THE COURT:  Correct.  I haven't read his whole
          6        letter yet in the other matter, whether he
          7        wants out or not.  That I will have to deal
          8        with at another time.  Again, as far as the
          9        Affidavit of Engagement is concerned, I'll
         10        allow that.
         11             All right.  So, we'll do that.  How about
         12        two weeks to get that served, Mr. Coutsoukis?
         13        Can you do that?
         14        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Could you allow me more time,
         15        Your Honor?
         16        THE COURT:  Want three weeks, a month?  It's
         17        your petition.
         18        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Right; I know.  My daughter
         19        will be with me, and I have a business that's
         20        going to go out of business at the rate we're
         21        going, and ...   After her vacation, Your
         22        Honor ...?
         23        THE COURT:  Why don't you do this:  My
         24        computer is going to be unhappy and -- the
         25        White Plains computer is going to be unhappy,

          1        I should say.  Now I answer to the White
          2        Plains system -- because once these things are
          3        started, a time period kicks in.  If you want
          4        to withdraw this without prejudice to file a
          5        new one after the summer visitation, you can
          6        do that.  This way I don't have it sitting on
          7        my calendar and I can give you all the time in
          8        the world after that.
          9             So, you want to do that; withdraw those
         10        two without prejudice?  What we'll address
         11        today is just the visitation petition.
         12        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Okay.  Can I decide that
         13        after today?
         14        THE COURT:  Well, no.  I want to know now,
         15        because I'm going to lock you in for a couple
         16        of weeks, two or three weeks, to get a
         17        modified petition in.  If you want to withdraw
         18        it without prejudice, you can do that; all
         19        right?
         20        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Thank you.
         21        THE COURT:  All right.  Modify -- those are
         22        both withdrawn without prejudice, 669 and
         23        670.
         24        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  669?
         25        MS. SAMORA:  Could I have a --

          1        THE COURT:  That's right.
          2        MS. SAMORA:  Could I have copies of 670 --
          3        THE COURT:  You don't have to worry about it
          4        now, Ma'am, because it's not on the boards.
          5        You may be served later with a more particular
          6        statement.
          7             Now, then, let's go to the Order to Show
          8        Cause under 820, which is to enforce the
          9        visitation schedule -- actually, the vacation
         10        schedule.
         11        MS. SAMORA:  I don't have that either.
         12        THE COURT:  You were not served with that?
         13        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
         14        MS. SAMORA:  This is the only one I have,
         15        669.
         16        THE COURT:  It's 820, Order to Show Cause,
         17        dated May 18th.
         18        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  It may be that her attorney
         19        did not send it to her.
         20        THE COURT:  No, it was supposed to have been
         21        served upon her personally.
         22        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That's what I think I did.
         23        MS. SAMORA:  This is the last one.  I just got
         24        it the other day.  This is --
         25        THE COURT:  Do you have an Affidavit of

          1        Service?
          2        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I thought the court would
          3        have those.
          4        THE COURT:  No, no, you have to, you have to
          5        provide the Affidavit of Service for us.
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yeah, I did provide it when I
          7        filed, but I don't have it with me.
          8        THE COURT:  Oh, you did?
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I would assume it would be in
         10        the file.
         11        THE CLERK:  I haven't seen the file.
         12        THE COURT:  Well, tell you what --
         13        THE CLERK:  None of the papers have come
         14        through my office.  They've all gone through
         15        Diane.
         16        THE CLERK:  You have to provide the affidavit.
         17        THE COURT:  You said you have not been served
         18        with this?
         19        MS. SAMORA:  Yeah, I have --
         20        THE COURT:  You have to get affidavits on
         21        this.
         22        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I filed Affidavits of Service
         23        with every paper that I sent.
         24        THE COURT:  Tell you what, what it is, what it
         25        is, and for the -- I have a funny feeling

          1        we're not going to get it resolved --
          2        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor?
          3        THE COURT:  -- so I'll set it down for a
          4        hearing.
          5        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor, please, there is
          6        an urgency.  This matter is very, very
          7        urgent.  The problem is --
          8        THE COURT:  What are you looking for?
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Here's the problem --
         10        THE COURT:  What are you looking for?
         11        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I'm looking to be allowed to
         12        have my daughter in early August.
         13        THE COURT:  For how long?
         14        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  For the -- okay.  The decree
         15        said, the Judge said --
         16        THE COURT:  This is Oregon?
         17        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  -- that I choose when my
         18        daughter spends her time with me, and I can
         19        quote:  Well, I intended for him to have --
         20        this is from the last time she did this -- to
         21        have visitation during the summer in a way
         22        that would accommodate his schedule, and the
         23        idea that the school would completely preempt
         24        his ability to make a decision is certainly
         25        contrary to my intent.  I want him to be able

          1        to make that determination himself, and I'm
          2        not going to require him to take her to school
          3        during his visitation.  I understand your
          4        position, and I'm ruling that Mr. Coutsoukis
          5        will determine his time in the months of June,
          6        July, and August, that he'll meet the two --
          7        two-week standard and notify you by May 15th.
          8             And I did so, and I put -- when she said
          9        she would not comply, I put in the Order to
         10        Show Cause which said for a month.  Now I'm
         11        faced with a -- with the fact that I found a
         12        temp, somebody I can trust in my home where my
         13        business is, to -- to keep it alive while I'm
         14        spending time with my daughter, who's going to
         15        leave for college on August 20th, and,
         16        therefore, the earlier I can start the second
         17        two weeks -- well, the first two weeks' a moot
         18        point because the time I wanted passed already
         19        and I wasn't able to get her when I should
         20        have.
         21        THE COURT:  She starts college August 20th?
         22        MS. SAMORA:  He's talking about the aide.
         23        THE COURT:  Oh, I was wondering.
         24        MS. SAMORA:  She's only five-and-a-half, Your
         25        Honor.  Please, don't rush it.

          1        THE COURT:  Okay.
          2        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor, she's a little
          3        girl.
          4        THE COURT:  That's what I thought.  You threw
          5        me with that one.
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  She's only six, and she has
          7        the ability of a two year-old because of the
          8        damage that was done to her.
          9        THE COURT:  All right.  It's coming down to
         10        the Order from the Oregon court.
         11        MS. SAMORA:  Excuse me, Your Honor.
         12        THE COURT:  Yes, Ma'am?
         13        MS. SAMORA:  That Order was written when she
         14        was at what age?
         15        THE COURT:  I don't know.
         16        MS. SAMORA:  Three years-old, okay?  She's now
         17         -- I think we need to consider what her
         18        present situation is.
         19             She is designated by the Ossining School
         20        District as a 12-month student.  The reason
         21        she gets those services for the summer months
         22        is because she needs them.  She gets
         23        occupational therapy, she gets physical
         24        therapy, she gets speech therapy, and she gets
         25        one-to-one teaching --

          1        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor?
          2        MS. SAMORA: -- okay?
          3        THE COURT:  Excuse me.  Okay.  Here's --
          4        Folks, I'm not going to take an argument on it
          5        now.  What I will do is this:  I will set this
          6        down for a hearing, and, also, all of the
          7        information at the Ossining school will be
          8        given to Mr. Horowitz so he can contact the
          9        administrators down there, the teachers down
         10        there.  What I will do is, because --
         11        MS. SAMORA:  She's going to be losing a week
         12        anyway with his vacation, but then it will be
         13        three weeks she would be losing.
         14        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor, my daughter --
         15        THE COURT:  Have you two talked to Mr.
         16        Horowitz about the vacation?  You're talking
         17        about a one-week vacation schedule?
         18        MS. SAMORA:  That's already -- no, she's going
         19        to -- because of the current schedule that she
         20        has, she is going to lose a week of school,
         21        you know, but that's okay, but I don't want
         22        her to lose three weeks of school.
         23        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  She's not losing.  She is
         24        there to keep her mother from watching her.
         25        The one-to-one --

          1        MS. SAMORA:  Excuse me, Your Honor.
          2        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  -- that Susan --
          3        MS. SAMORA:  I don't want to sit here being
          4        harassed.
          5        THE COURT:  Hello, hello, hello.  You're not
          6        going to do that in my courtroom.  Let me be
          7        abundantly clear on that point.  I will not
          8        tolerate arguing.  I will not tolerate going
          9        back and forth.  If that happens, everybody is
         10        out of the courtroom and that's the end of the
         11        matter; okay?
         12             As I was saying, we're going to give all
         13        the information to Mr. Horowitz.  I will then
         14        come back and schedule this matter for a
         15        hearing on July the 9th.  This way it gives us
         16        plenty of time before August to get a decision
         17        out.  It also gives us plenty of time to bring
         18        in all the witnesses you need on this point,
         19        give Mr. Horowitz all the information he needs
         20        so he can talk and prepare for this.
         21             I would like to know your positions,
         22        though, before we start.
         23             Mr. Coutsoukis, you're looking for two
         24        weeks in August?
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I'm entitled to --

          1        THE COURT:  No, no.  Well, okay.  You say
          2        you're entitled to it.
          3        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Two weeks, no later --
          4        starting no later than the 6th, because I have
          5        no one to keep my business.
          6        THE COURT:  Of August; two weeks starting
          7        August 6th?
          8        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.  The other --
          9        THE COURT:  You're looking -- you're offering
         10        what?
         11        MS. SAMORA:  I'm asking that the second two
         12        weeks start on August 13th because that is the
         13        end of her school, her summer school, so she
         14        doesn't miss any more summer school.
         15        THE COURT:  You're saying the second week?
         16        MS. SAMORA:  Right; August 13th.
         17        THE COURT:  The way it would be, the second
         18        week would start August 13th?
         19        MS. SAMORA:  No.  There's two weeks.  He's
         20        asked for August 6th through the 13th.
         21        THE COURT:  Yes.
         22        MS. SAMORA:  I'm saying the 13th through the
         23        20th.
         24        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  6th through the 20th.
         25        THE COURT:  He's looking for two weeks.

          1        MS. SAMORA:  We're both saying two weeks.
          2        THE COURT:  Yes.
          3        MS. SAMORA:  We are not questioning two
          4        weeks.  It's the start date.
          5        THE COURT:  You're saying the first week
          6        should start --
          7        MS. SAMORA:  I'm saying start -- I'm asking to
          8        have him start his two weeks August 13th.
          9        THE COURT:  Oh, start the two weeks.
         10        MS. SAMORA:  Because school ends on the 13th
         11        of August.
         12        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Which means there will be a
         13        week of those two weeks where my business
         14        would close.  There would be no money coming
         15        in.  The July 9th date, Your Honor, is when my
         16        daughter is with me.  I spend very little time
         17        with my daughter.  My daughter has been
         18        devastated.  This one-to-one --
         19        THE COURT:  No, no, we're not getting into
         20        argument, remember?  Here's what we have --
         21        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  July 9th, Your Honor, that's
         22        my daughter --
         23        THE COURT:  Mr. Coutsoukis, if you keep
         24        interrupting me, then I'm just going to end
         25        this petition right now.  I don't have people

          1        talking over me, sir.  Please understand that.
          2        I'll dismiss the petition and we'll all go
          3        home.  I've got other people waiting in the
          4        hallway, and I want to get to their cases as
          5        well.
          6             There's no question we both agree Mr.
          7        Coutsoukis should have two weeks.  The issue
          8        we have is:  Should it be August 6th through
          9        20th or August 13th through 27th?  That's the
         10        only issue we have, apparently.
         11             Mr. Coutsoukis, if -- you're saying you
         12        don't want to do the 13th through the
         13        27th?
         14        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, a different item, Your
         15        Honor.
         16        THE COURT:  Well, just --
         17        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  July 9th.
         18        THE COURT:  Before you get to July 9th --
         19        maybe we can get away with July 9th.  What I'm
         20        saying is if the only issue is, if it's that
         21        key, we can, so-to-speak, move August 6th
         22        through 12th, if that's the only thing that's
         23        holding us up.
         24             You're saying you can't do the second
         25        week of that back end of August, i.e., the

          1        20th through the 27th, because you're taking
          2        time away from work.  But if you're working,
          3        you're not going to be with your daughter any-
          4        way.  What's the point of having the
          5        visitation if you're going to be working?
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, I will be with my
          7        daughter.
          8        THE COURT:  All right.
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  The fact is that I will be
         10        with my daughter.  I am self-employed.  I work
         11        from home, Your Honor, --
         12        THE COURT:  Okay.
         13        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  -- which means my business
         14        will be shut.  The same as the reason why
         15        I'm asking to change July 9th.  I have so
         16        little --
         17        THE COURT:  Don't talk about July 9th,
         18        please.  Let's just talk about the -- see if
         19        we can resolve the vacation schedule itself.
         20        We're one week away from getting this thing
         21        resolved.
         22        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Right.
         23        THE COURT:  I can save everybody a trip back.
         24        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  It's a choice of having my
         25        daughter spend that week in a place where a

          1        Kindergarten teaching assistant gives her
          2        one-on-one.  This is a different -- series of
          3        different individuals whose job is to keep her
          4        from running around and from hurting people.
          5        When she's to therapy, it's not, or to let her
          6        come with me -- when, last year, she spent the
          7        time with me, for the first time she had some
          8        progress in speech, for the first time she was
          9        able to do things that she cannot do for a
         10        year.  Taking my daughter from me and putting
         11        her in the public Kindergarten is like taking
         12        Helen Keller from Ann Sullivan and sticking
         13        her in a day care.
         14        THE COURT:  I'm not getting into that, Mr.
         15        Coutsoukis.  The fact is, what you're saying
         16        is, you --
         17        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I will lose my livelihood.
         18        I'm self-employed.  I don't get vacation.  I
         19        found a temp, and the temp was somebody -- was
         20        hard to find -- that I can trust to be in my
         21        house answering the phones, is going to be in
         22        college August 20th.
         23        THE COURT:  Let me say --
         24        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  If we follow her schedule,
         25        when the decree and the judge specified that

          1        that's what I get, that I should get, and he
          2        explained why that's what he meant.  If I
          3        don't get this, Your Honor, I will lose my
          4        livelihood.
          5        THE COURT:  You mean if you have your daughter
          6        with you for one week you'll lose your
          7        livelihood?
          8        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I cannot work.  My daughter
          9        requires total attention, and I have so little
         10        time with her, I cannot sacrifice that to save
         11        a business.
         12        THE COURT:  That's why I'm confused, Mr.
         13        Coutsoukis.  You want to have your daughter
         14        with you, but you say you can't afford to give
         15        her the time she needs because you have to
         16        work.
         17        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  No, I intend to do that.  I
         18        have a temp to do that, but the temp will be
         19        there up -- from now until August 20th, and he
         20        can mind the business so I don't go out of
         21        business.
         22        THE COURT:  Okay.  The temp -- I thought the
         23        temp -- I'm sorry.  I thought the person was
         24        looking after the child.
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  This is a college kid.  He's

          1        very bright.
          2        THE COURT:  I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
          3        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  He's minding the business,
          4        but he has to go to college August 20th.
          5        Somebody I can trust in my house, in my home
          6        business, to do that while I spend time with
          7        my daughter.
          8        THE COURT:  All right.  The issue comes down
          9        to whether she should pull the child out of
         10        school for that last week in Ossining,
         11        beginning from the 6th through the 13th.
         12             Mr. Coutsoukis' argument is the Oregon
         13        court said he picks it.  Ms. Samora's argument
         14        is there's been a change of circumstances.
         15        This child has educational needs now which
         16        must be taken into consideration and not just
         17        say, Okay, pull the kid out of school; I want
         18        the child now for my visitation.
         19             Mr. Coutsoukis comes back with:  Wait a
         20        minute.  I can't do that second week, the 20th
         21        through the 27th, because I don't have the
         22        person who can look after the business while
         23        I'm with my daughter.
         24             Does that about sum it up?
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Except that I have an

          1        additional argument, and that is that my
          2        daughter has been incarcerated in a totally
          3        inappropriate environment to free her mother
          4        into not -- and for her to be able to not
          5        spend time with her.
          6        THE COURT:  Mr. Coutsoukis, that's not the
          7        issue before me.  That's not the issue before
          8        me.  The issue is your visitation.
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Well, you mentioned school.
         10        It's not school, Your Honor.  I am the best
         11        school for my daughter, and they know that.
         12        There's nobody from the streets, that gets
         13        minimum wage, that watches her, that's going
         14        to teach her.
         15        THE COURT:  Let's do this:  Why don't you --
         16        July 6th -- we'll come back on Tuesday, July
         17        6th.  We'll review what we have from Ossining,
         18        from the information from Ossining to Mr.
         19        Horowitz, by that time.
         20        MS. SAMORA:  I'll get it immediately to him.
         21        THE COURT:  We'll go from there.  If I
         22        schedule a hearing on that, I will not
         23        schedule it for the visitation on July 9th.  I
         24        will not take your visitation away from you.
         25        MS. SAMORA:  He has the 6th --

          1        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I have the four weeks with my
          2        daughter, the two weeks this Friday, because
          3        that's the only thing she's allowed me,
          4        contrary to --
          5        THE COURT:  When is your July visitation?
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I pick her up this Friday,
          7        and I return her two weeks from this Friday.
          8        THE COURT:  You pick her up the 25th of June?
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
         10        THE COURT:  And you return her July 9th?
         11        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That Friday.
         12        THE COURT:  You want to come back July 13th --
         13        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Fine.
         14        THE COURT:  -- and we'll talk about this
         15        then?
         16        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
         17        THE COURT:  All right.  I didn't understand.
         18        We've got a problem July 13th?
         19        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.
         20        MR. HOROWITZ:  Yes.
         21        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I apologize for my foreign
         22        accent.  I'm so nervous.
         23        THE COURT:  That's all right.  People come
         24        here with foreign accents all the time.
         25        MR. HOROWITZ:  Judge?

          1        THE COURT:  I beg your pardon?
          2        MR. HOROWITZ:  I'm sorry, Judge.  I have a
          3        cold.
          4             I'm before Judge Tolbert that day with an
          5        all-day trial, which I was going to call you
          6        on the Simone matter, which was -- Simone
          7        matter, which was also on that morning.
          8        THE COURT:  We'll deal with the Simone matter
          9        later.  If you're on trial, we'll deal with
         10        Simone later.
         11             I can bring you in July 15th.  I'm
         12        starting another case then, but I can take a
         13        break.  Like at 11:00?  11:00 o'clock July
         14        15th.
         15        MS. SAMORA:  What day is that, Your Honor?
         16        THE COURT:  That's a Thursday.
         17        MS. SAMORA:  Okay.
         18        THE COURT:  Okay?
         19        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor, may I --
         20        THE COURT:  What I'm going to be doing, also
         21         -- I just got a note from White Plains.
         22        They're trying to track down your 6/7 Order to
         23        Show Cause.  That's probably the one on the
         24        batterers.
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I don't have a docket number

          1        because --
          2        THE COURT:  No, it's not a docket number, it's
          3        a date, June 7th.  Is that right?
          4        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  The date of receipt, you
          5        mean?
          6        THE COURT:  This is the note I have from the
          7        supervising judge's office in White Plains.
          8        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I don't recall the date, Your
          9        Honor.
         10        THE COURT:  Well, what they've also done is,
         11        apparently, from the history of the case,
         12        they've asked me to appoint 18-B counsel for
         13        you.
         14             So, what I'm going to do is this:  I'm
         15        going to --
         16        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Whether I want to or not?
         17        THE COURT:  You said you wanted a lawyer.
         18        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Well, the lawyer I want for
         19        the argument to submit for a specific case,
         20        that is to submit.
         21        THE COURT:  On this one?
         22        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  The argument, yes.
         23        THE COURT:  On an Order -- an Order of
         24        Protection --
         25        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.

          1        THE COURT:  On an Order of Protection, you're
          2        entitled to counsel.
          3        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes, yes, Your Honor, that is
          4        correct.
          5        THE COURT:  All right.  Now, my Legal Aid
          6        can't do it because it's not a Putnam County
          7        case.  So ...
          8             They do 18-B in Westchester?
          9        MR. HOROWITZ:  Yes, Judge.
         10        THE COURT:  All right.  So, I'll point an 18-B
         11        lawyer; all right?  So, we'll take a lawyer
         12        here who does Family Court domestic violence
         13        cases.
         15             (Off the Record Discussion between
         16             The Court and Court Clerk.)
         18        THE COURT:  We'll get -- we're going to get a
         19        lawyer for you on that one.
         20        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  There was no domestic
         21        violence.  She did not --
         22        THE COURT:  No, no.  If there's an Order of
         23        Protection, it's domestic violence.  It's a
         24        generic term, but that will be on the Order to
         25        Show Cause regarding the batterer's.  It has

          1        nothing to do with the visitation case.
          2             Yes, Ma'am?
          3        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor, I understand what's
          4        happening, and I don't know if this is part of
          5        an issue, but recently, during exchanges,
          6        where Judge Braslow has issued an Order that
          7        the exchanges should be in a certain way, Mr.
          8        Coutsoukis is taking pictures of me, and I
          9        find that that's very harassing.
         10        THE COURT:  Well, I'm not going to make a
         11        legal determination of that, Ms. Samora.  If
         12        you want to file for an Order of Protection on
         13        that, you can.
         14        MS. SAMORA:  Is that not part of the existing
         15         --
         16        THE COURT:  Why --
         17        MS. SAMORA: -- Order?
         18        THE COURT:  Are you taking pictures?
         19        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  There have been some false
         20        conversations.  I have recorded the
         21        conversations.  I have witnesses.  I have
         22        asked in the court, in the decree, that the
         23        visitation exchange takes place inside the
         24        police station, for my protection from false
         25        allegations.  So, Judge Braslow, of course,

          1        because there's a history to that --
          2        THE COURT:  Don't get into Judge Braslow
          3        again.  I read the papers.
          4        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Yes.  She -- Your Honor, she
          5        ruled that we will take now the -- the
          6        visitation exchange out of the police station
          7        where there are no witnesses, where I'm
          8        totally unprotected.  And this was filed after
          9        my mother returned to Greece and whereby she's
         10        not in the car with me.  So, I'm -- I'm alone
         11        in the car with Susan now shoving my daughter
         12        in and out, kicking and screaming.  That is
         13        the visitation.
         14             I don't want any false allegations, and
         15        the only way I can protect myself is with
         16        photos.  Now, the court has not allowed me to
         17        show transcripts of conversations for the
         18        harassment.  It has not allowed me to play the
         19        audio of these conversations, which she
         20        claimed were harassment, but at least I have
         21        something that I can fall back on.
         22             I am an innocent man, Your Honor.  I'm a
         23        51 year-old person who has never violated any
         24        laws.  I have never committed a crime.
         25        THE COURT:  What do the pictures show?  What

          1        are they going to show?
          2        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  For example, it shows that
          3        the Petitioner, who brought my daughter in
          4        long pants every time at the police station,
          5        which pants cover injuries which were
          6        consistent and sustained, that she accused me
          7        of lifting her dress and, she said, as a
          8        matter of fact, out in the street.  She and I
          9        have not been out in the street for years, and
         10        she said it in the courtroom.  And even though
         11        she got permission from the police station to
         12        tape record our visitation exchanges, she came
         13        to court in White Plains with absolutely no
         14        evidence of any violation.
         15        THE COURT:  Did you get permission to tape
         16        record exchanges?
         17        MS. SAMORA:  Tape record?
         18        THE COURT:  That's what he's saying.  Did you
         19        tape record the exchanges?
         20        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  She brought a tape recorder.
         21        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor, I brought a tape
         22        recorder for my own -- to stop this man from
         23        saying totally inappropriate things in front
         24        of our daughter.  I prayed that that might
         25        deter him from saying that I'm attempting to

          1        murder our child and that I'll pay for it.
          2        THE COURT:  Which I should point out, by the
          3        way --
          4        MS. SAMORA:  You know, I'm really -- Your
          5        Honor, this is --
          6        THE COURT:  I should point out something, by
          7        the way.  On the papers that I've read, Mr.
          8        Coutsoukis, you make a number of allegations,
          9        including possible crimes against the mother
         10        of your daughter, as well as -- as well as
         11        possible crimes against the Law Guardian,
         12        against the judge.  You may want to talk to an
         13        attorney on your own about that, sir, because
         14        you're saying certain things which, could very
         15        well be argued, do not fall within the
         16        protection of free speech in an affidavit of
         17         -- in support of an allegation.  Some things
         18        approach slander and libel, for which you may
         19        want to discuss with an attorney if you want
         20        to pursue that line.
         21        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  Your Honor, I have brought
         22        evidence which is indisputable, of which I was
         23        not allowed a hearing for years.  And, I mean,
         24        every time I would bring documentation from
         25        her own physicians, the one she got from our

          1        daughter, from her educational provider.
          2        THE COURT:  I'm just saying --
          3        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  So, I'm not making things up,
          4        Your Honor.
          5        THE COURT:  All right.  I just want --
          6        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  If they think --
          7        THE COURT:  I just wanted to give you that
          8        friendly bit of advice.
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I wish they would sue me for
         10        libel.  I can at least prove something.
         11        THE COURT:  As far as the camera goes --
         12        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor, it's very harassing.
         13        He doesn't say "hello" to our daughter.  He
         14        sits there.
         15        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  That's a lie.
         16        MS. SAMORA:  What does it say to her?  He
         17        doesn't even say, "Hello, Teddy".  He's
         18        sitting there with a camera.  It is bizarre,
         19        Your Honor.  What's the point?  I feel it's
         20        harassing.  If she's upset, she doesn't want
         21        to go.  He's going to use these pictures.
         22        THE COURT:  Then I strongly recommend you
         23        bring a witness with you.  You may want to
         24        file a petition for modification of
         25        visitation.

          1        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor?
          2        THE COURT:  I don't know what to say.
          3        MS. SAMORA:  Your Honor, I am totally
          4        confused.  I spent four months in a harassment
          5        trial.  Mr. Coutsoukis, through his motion,
          6        has just said to you that I have violated
          7        Judge Braslow's Order, and nothing happens.
          8        He has said that.
          9        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  She has violated every Order.
         10        MS. SAMORA:  No, you have.
         11        THE COURT:  All right.  Thank you.
         12        MR. COUTSOUKIS:  I never violated any Order.
         13        THE COURT:  Thank you very much.  We'll see
         14        you on -- what date did I give?
         15        MS. SAMORA:  15th.
         16        THE COURT:  July 15th at 11:00 o'clock.  Thank
         17        you.
         18        MS. SAMORA:  Mr. Horowitz, what can I get
         19        you?
         20        THE COURT:  He'll discuss it with you outside.
         21        MR. HOROWITZ:  Thank you, Your Honor.
         22        THE CLERK:  That's just a further proceeding.
         23        That's not a trial date; right?
         24        THE COURT:  That's correct.
         25          (Whereupon the proceeding concluded.)

          2                    C E R T I F I C A T I O N
          4                 I, LAURIE HARDISTY, a Stenographic
          5        Reporter for the State of New York, do hereby
          6        certify that I recorded stenographically the
          7        proceedings herein, at the time and place
          8        noted in the heading hereof, and that the
          9        foregoing is a complete and accurate
         10        transcript of same, to the best of my
         11        knowledge and ability.
         15                            ___________________________
         16                                LAURIE HARDISTY
  				o O o