Transcript of Hearing before Judge Douglas S. Wong

In the matters of:

Docket # V-11657/05

Respondent. _________________________________________________X

Docket # O-18182/05


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October 6, 2005
151-20 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, New York 11432



Dayawathie Rankoth:
Santuary for Families
67 Wall Street, New York, New York 10005

Law Guardian for the Child:
Assigned pursuant to 18-b

Official Court Reporter


COURT OFFICER: Calendar number 5 and 39
MR. SLOAN: Your Honor, I need
COURT OFFICER: Sir, be quite. Stand up.
Calendar number 5 and 39, in the matter of Rankoth and Sloan.
MR. KARAM: Sanctuary for Families, by Alexander Karam, for Ms. Rankoth.
MR. CADET: Vladimir Cadet. assigned counsel for the child Anusha Rankoth.
(Whereupon, the parties were duly sworn by the court officer.)

COURT OFFICER: State your name and relationship to the child.

MS. RANKOTH: Dayawathie Rankoth, mother.
MR. SLOAN: Samuel Sloan. I'm the father of Anusha.

THE COURT: Mr. Sloan, I just want to warn you, you're in a courtroom in a court of law, and you're going to act in an appropriate manner in terms of listening to court officers' directions and not arguing. If there is a problem with you, then, I can sanction you, which means putting you in jail. So, there better not be any problems with you in this courtroom.

MR. SLOAN: Your Honor, may I be heard?
THE COURT: No. Okay. As to Mr. Sloan's custody petition against Ms. Rankoth, I understand she's going to accept service and jurisdiction of the court, is that correct?
MR. KARAM: Yes, your Honor.
THE COURT: Even though Mr. Sloan doesn't have an affidavit.
MR. KARAM: Yes, your Honor. Service wasn't timely, but she will accept service, yes.
THE COURT: Respondent accepts service and jurisdiction. Issue is joined.
Now, this was already discussed with you with my court attorney. It's the same thing I just discussed with Ms. Rankoth. She filed a petition today for an order of protection. Normally, you could either wait to be served with the paperwork by her, and she would have to bring back an affidavit of service, Mr. Sloan. However, if you want to, you can agree to service and jurisdiction of the court on that case today so that both cases can proceed ahead. That's up to you. Do you want to wait to be served with the paperwork by Ms. Rankoth, or do you want to accept service and jurisdiction?
MR. SLOAN: I will accept service, but I want to speak to the issue.
THE COURT: I'm not dealing with the issue now. I want to know --
MR. SLOAN: I'm trying to move to disqualify this attorney because I have had conflicts with his law firm for fourteen years.

THE COURT: Any motion has to be in writing. Respondent accepts service and jurisdiction. Issue is joined on all cases.
Since there is no consent on these cases, the cases will be proceeding ahead to a hearing. Each of you can bring in all your evidence and witnesses on the next date for the hearing. You can testify at the hearing if you want to do so. You can question each other's witnesses at the hearing. At the end of the hearing, a judge listening to all the evidence on each petition, will make a final decision whether to grant a final order of protection or not, and also make a decision on the custody and visitation petition involving the child.
MR. SLOAN: Your Honor, she has two methyl amphetamine addicts living in her home.
THE COURT: Okay, sir. I just warned you about interrupting me, and I'm not going to warn you again. All those issues that you're presenting, you should save those for the hearing in front of a judge. I'm not interested in those issues at this time.
MR. SLOAN: I would like to be heard.
THE COURT: The incident with the order of protection from October 3, did your client report that to the police?
MR. KARAM: She did not, your Honor. Other than the contact and the threatening words spoken, there was nothing else related to it. She conveyed that to me, as well as the incidents that happened a week before when Mr. Sloan appeared at the apartment and banged on the door.
THE COURT: What about these allegations from 1988?
MR. KARAM: At the time, the parties were living in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
MR. SLOAN: Your Honor, may I be heard?
THE COURT: No. I did receive this answer to the custody petition and counterclaim. Once again, I'm putting that in the file for the judge who conducts the hearing, but I have reviewed it and informed ACS of the allegations.
ACS will be doing a full investigation of this matter and reporting their findings back to the Court. Both sides have to cooperate with the Administration for Child Services' investigation and report.
How old is the child here?
MR. KARAM: There are five children living -in the home. The child in question is going to turn fourteen next month.
THE COURT: Are the children all with your client at the current time?
MR. KARAM: Yes. Three of them she has in common with Mr. Sloan. Two are not related to Mr. Sloan.
THE COURT: Okay, and Mr. Cadet, do you have a report for the Court?
MR. CADET: Yes, Judge. I did have an opportunity to speak with my client. She denied all of the allegations in Mr. Sloan's custody petition alleging drug use in the home. She indicated there is no problem in the home.
She also indicated she wanted no contact with her father. I asked her why. She expressed to me concerns that her older sibling had told her when she was younger Mr. Sloan would often walk into the bathroom when she was bathing, just open the door. She's afraid about that, and also that she was aware that allegedly in the past, Mr. Sloan had abducted two of her siblings and went to California.
MR. SLOAN: May I address this, your Honor?
THE COURT: No. As I indicated, you'll be able to address all these issues at the hearing.
MR. SLOAN: Well, especially the part about the police coming to her house
THE COURT: Just get out your calendars.
MR. SLOAN: I would like to address
THE COURT: Sir, I'm not going to warn you again about interrupting me and talking out of turn. If you do that again, you're going to be held in contempt of court and you're going to be incarcerated.
Pick a date for each of the hearings. November 22,
23, 28, 29 or 30?
MR. CADET: November 28, your Honor.
THE COURT: Part 9, November 28. I'm actually going to be putting in the order, all sides must cooperate with ACS and law guardian investigation and reports, and I will be granting your client, on her petition, the order of protection.
MR. SLOAN: Your Honor, may I address that?
THE COURT: Mr. Sloan is not to commit any criminal offense against her, and this includes the children; not to assault, harass, threaten or menace her or the children. He has to stay away from her and the children at all times.
MR. SLOAN: Your Honor, I need to speak.
THE COURT: If you violate the order of protection, after being served with the order, then, you'll be arrested for violating the order of protection.
Also, there will be no communication or have anybody else contact her on your behalf.
MR. SLOAN: I need to address the Court on this.
THE COURT: Part 9, November 28, for the hearing. Thank you. Just wait outside.
MR. SLOAN: I'm making a complaint against you. You did not allow me to speak.
THE COURT: Step out, sir.
COURT OFFICER: Let's go, sir. Step out. (Whereupon, the matter was adjourned.)

Certified to be a true and accurate transcript.
STEPHEN E. GENDEL, Official Court Reporter

Here are some things noteworthy about this.

The first thing the judge says, before I have had a chance to say anything at all, is that if I say anything he is going to have me thrown in jail. It should be pointed out that I am the petitioner here, not the respondent, so I should be allowed to speak first. As will be seen, the respondents attorney is allowed to speak at length several times, but I am never allowed to say anything at all.

Next, Judge Wong says:

THE COURT: Even though Mr. Sloan doesn't have an affidavit.

At this point I have said nothing. In fact, I did have an affidavit of service by a New York City Police Officer. Nobody had asked me about an affidavit of service. Opposing attorney had been allowed to go into the courtroom several times without my presents and had had several private conversations with the court attorney, Mr. King which I was not allowed to listen to. Opposing attorney had also given documents to Mr. King and later to the court which I was not allowed to see. To this day I still have not been allowed to see the documents opposing attorney had handed up.

This shows that there was ex-party communications between opposing counsel and the judge which is of course a violation of all ethical rules.

I asked to speak ten different times. Each time the judge refused to allow me to speak and even threatened me with arrest if I said anything.

Had I been allowed to speak I could easily have refuted the allegations, because I had an affidavit of service from a New York City Police Officer dated September 29, 2005, the same date that counsel alleged that I banged on her door. Obviously, since four police officers were present I would have been arrested if I had done anything illegal. However, by refusing to allow me to speak and also refusing to allow me to see what was being alleged I was deprived of the opportunity to tell Judge Wong what really happened.

In conclusion, without any hearing or testimony of any kind or even service of papers, Judge Wong issues an order prohibiting me from seeing my children, thereby effectively granting custody of my three children to the two drug dealers from Tioga County, Pennsylvania who are living in the home.

Sam Sloan

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