NCFM NOTE: The article below appeared in the Mariposa Gazette. In brief, the court allowed Jerry’s land to be stolen by what appears to be a corrupt cabal of attorneys and public officials, including Judge Walton who in our opinion did everything within his power to expedite the theft. This is far from over and we trust there will be attorneys who will lose their law license and hopefully a judgeship. In fact, like Jerry, we hope all involved in the swindle lose everything they own…
Cox no longer owns his land, case now moves to discharge
November 27, 2019
Jerry Cox no longer owns his ranch in Mariposa County.
“Escrow closed and the new owner is in possession,” said Andrew Adams, who represents California Receivership Group.
He made that statement during a status hearing last week in Mariposa County Superior Court in the case involving Cox, owner of JDC Land, Co. The case has been at the forefront of discussion in Mariposa County — and beyond — for well over two years.
The court found Cox in violation of 101 code violations on his property and a receivership action was initiated by Judge Dana Walton. A receivership case is when the court assigns a company to oversee property the court has found in violation. In many cases, the property continues to generate income while it is in receivership.
But in this case, the Cox property sat vacant for well over a year as Cox was ordered not to go onto the property.
Earlier this year, Walton did allow Cox to go back onto his property but just a little over a month ago, the judge approved the sale of the property by the receiver.
After various court hearings, it was determined the property would be sold for $750,000 — a price Cox has argued is less than half the market value. The property has 437 acres as well as a main cabin and other buildings.
Though Cox has objected from the beginning, the court moved forward with the sale of the property and that is now completed.
But the case is far from over.
As part of a receivership case, it can only come to a conclusion when there is a discharge hearing. That is a hearing in which the receivership groups presents its final accounting so the funds from the sale can be distributed.
This case also involves Mariposa County, which brought the original action against Cox. The county is represented during each hearing, generally by Steve Dahlem, county counsel, and a lawyer from the firm Silver & Wright which has been retained by the county in the case.
Last week, another status hearing was held and various issues were discussed — including when the discharge hearing would take place.
Adams told the judge his firm would be preparing a final report that would be used during the discharge hearing.
Walton set a tentative hearing date for Jan. 27-28, saying he thinks it will take two full days.
“I’m certain there are going to be objections,” said Walton.
Marc Angelucci, the lawyer who represents Cox, said that timing is “far too soon.”
Angelucci said he is still waiting on discovery materials from the county. Angelucci also said there has been a “dispute” with the county in getting discovery materials.
In addition, he also wants to do a deposition of Mark Adams, the owner of California Receivership Group who was the lead person on the case. In the last several hearings, however, his son, Andrew Adams has been handling the case.
Angelucci said Mark Adams at first “refused” to do a deposition. Since then, though, Angelucci said he will “open himself up for discovery.”
Andrew Adams said it “was my understanding” the plan was “simply to put Mark Adams on the stand” during the discharge hearing.
“I think it is unfair not to do written discovery first,” said Angelucci. “I want all the documents.”
Walton asked Angelucci if he has done a “formal action” with the county and the receiver to get the materials.
Angelucci said he has with the county, but added they have “only provided” a few pages of materials “and I know there is more than that.”
As for Mark Adams, he said there was an initial email sent, but he has not had time to do formal actions.
Additionally, Angelucci said the financial status of Cox is hindering the process.
“My client is broke,” said Angelucci.
“You have had the opportunity to do your discovery and if it is not happening, you have other options,” said Walton.
Those options are filing court actions to compel witnesses to take part in depositions or discovery matters.
Angelucci called the process “very unfair.”
Andrew Adams told the court there is “no reason why we should wait” in determining the date of the discharge hearing. He said it is the receivership group that “bears the burden” to “explain the final accounting” during the discharge hearing.
But Angelucci scoffed at that theory, saying there is much more than that to determine.
“There are all kinds of things that happened,” said Angelucci.
That, he said, is why “we need to do discovery.”
Angelucci said he believes Mark Adams violated “his duties” as a receiver. He said there was vandalism at the property, other damage, flooding in the house because the water was left on, trashing of the house and much more.
“It appears you have a handle on all the issues (where) the parties have wronged your client,” said Walton.
The judge then decided to keep the Jan. 27-28 court dates, however, he did set another status hearing for 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 9.
Walton told Angelucci he needed to file any objections 15 days before that hearing in order for the county and receiver to respond.
“Both parties have a right to respond,” said Walton.
Another factor that could impact this case is a federal lawsuit filed by Cox against the receiver and the county. He is seeking millions for what he believes was improper actions on the part of the county and receiver.
The list of those allegations is long and includes what Cox says were violations by various county officials, including those who seized his property.
Additionally, Cox believes a rape case brought against him was directly related to the receivership case, something the county denies.
Cox was charged with 14 felony counts and could have spent the rest of his life in jail. That case went on for nearly two years before former Mariposa County District Attorney Tom Cooke dropped the matter.
Cox’s lawyers believe Cooke, in conjunction with other county officials, attempted to frame Cox in the rape case and that impacted the receivership case.
Walton brought up the federal case during last week’s hearing, asking about its status.
Andrew Adams said the receivership group has filed a motion to discuss, as has the county. The federal judge in the case ruled he would move forward on the receivership case without hearing oral arguments. A hearing on the county case was scheduled for this week.
“There is no resolution as of yet,” said Andrew Adams.
The possibility does exist the federal court could intervene and put a hold on the superior court case or the federal suit could be dismissed. When a ruling is expected was not know.