NCFM Update on the Jerry Cox case, Judge says Cox must vacate land
NCFM NOTE: Our view: Judge Walton ordered the sale of Jerry Cox’s 417 acre ranch including improvements over $8,000 in repaired code violations. Secrets. Sealed search warrants. Undisclosed buyer. True value of land and improvements in excess of one million dollars. Sale price, $750,000, of which Jerry may receive very little or none. Most or all will pay for Mariposa County hired guns attorney Mark Adams California Receivership Group, the law firm of Silver and Wright and related County costs. It’s a scam. Somebody is getting paid, blackmailed or otherwise coerced to become complicit in stealing Jerry’s property under the color of law. It’s so obvious it’s hard to understand how the players would put themselves in jeopardy, especially Judge Walton, involved career County bureaucrats, and one or more elected officials. Silver & Wright may even bill Jerry for tens of thousands of dollars in highly questionable legal fees, ostensibly to recover costs for a county, and after the sale of the property, from which Jerry gets nothing but more misery since his persecution has already taken his livelihood, property and whatever money he had. NCFM VP Marc Angelucci, who is representing Jerry pro bono has been sanctioned too! Sanctioned for standing up for the truth, for defending Jerry, and the law. Something sleazy is going on in Mariposa County and whatever it is, is disgusting, sordid and nauseating. Harry Crouch, President, NCFM.
Here’s another view from the Editor of the Mariposa Gazette…
October 17, 2019
By GREG LITTLE Editor
That was the ruling by Judge Dana Walton on Monday in a specially called hearing in Mariposa County Superior Court.
There was a hearing held last week about the matter, however, officials from Mariposa County sought clarification about the court’s order for the sale of the 437 acre ranch.
The Cox case has been ongoing in Mariposa County for more than two years. County officials found Cox in violation of 101 building code violations on his property. Once that happened, the case went to the superior court, where Walton ordered the property to be placed into receivership.
In California, a receivership is put in place and it means the receiver has control over the property. In this case, that receiver is Mark Adams of California Receivership Group, though his son, Andrew Adams, has made the last couple of court appearances.
But now, it appears the court is moving ahead with the proposed sale of the property. That sale is for $750,000 and was proposed by the receiver as a way to recoup some of the money he claims has been spent on the case since its outset .
For almost two years, attorneys representing Mariposa County have been battling Angelucci, who represented Cox in a rape case that was dropped in the county. Angelucci decided to continue with the receivership case and he is also involved in a federal lawsuit that was filed by Cox. A hearing on that case was scheduled for Tuesday, however, Senior District Judge Anthony W. Ishii of the federal court in Fresno, wrote a memo last week saying he did not need to hear oral arguments in the case.
What that means remains to be seen as Ishii said he will make a determination based on the written arguments submitted by Cox and the receiver. Cox is asking for at least $150 million from the county in the federal suit. The receiver is asking the federal court to toss out the case.
In the hearing on Monday, Andrew Adams told the court the proposed buyer of the property, who has remained anonymous by court order, “will not close with Mr. Cox on the property.”
He requested Cox be ordered off the property seven days following the closing of escrow.
Angelucci said after the meeting because Cox has now been ordered off of his property, he will be quickly filing a court action.
“We will have to file an immediate petition for writ and request a stay of proceedings,” said Angelucci. “This is completely unjust.”
In the receivership case last week, Walton said he would sign the proposed order for the sale of the property. However, the judge also emphasized he was not “ordering” Cox to move out “at this time.”
However, that appeared to change on Monday when the judge said he would sign the revised order saying Cox must vacate his property by Oct. 30. That would give time for the receivership group to close escrow with the buyer. Adams said he believes the entire deal can close within 30 days.
Adams told the court this step is necessary because “Cox has threatened and told anybody he would sue the buyer.”
Adams asked the court for Cox to vacate within seven days and Angelucci said it was “way too fast.”
Walton said he agreed with Angelucci, and made the order to vacate 15 days from Monday.
Walton ordered a writ of execution that would not be served on Cox until Oct. 30. That will mean he must vacate the property.
Though Angelucci has been adamant the property should never be sold in the first place, he has also argued the proposed selling price of the property is $750,000. Cox has argued the property is worth more than $1.2 million and has produced an appraisal which indicates that value.
Angelucci has argued continuously in the case the high-profile nature of the matter has meant most people who might be interested in the property would not make an offer.
The person who has made an offer through the receiver has remained anonymous by an order of the judge. Angelucci has also argued that anonymity is wrong, as well. He said Cox has no way to determine who the buyer is and what connections that person might have to anyone involved in the case.
“The public is aware this is tied up in litigation,” Angelucci said during last week’s hearing. “That could be a reason, among others.”
“We have one offer,” said Walton at the hearing, adding “if ” that offer is “based” on the fact the case is “in litigation, so be it.”
Another part of the settlement is that $50,000 of the selling price be set aside for the buyer in case that person is brought into a lawsuit. At first, Mariposa County officials resisted that clause, but last week, attorney John Fujji of the law firm Silver & Wright, which represents the county, said it is no longer an issue and the county has agreed.
Angelucci has told the court in the past it is possible the buyer of the property might be named in legal action in the Cox case. Whether that’s a separate action, part of the federal suit or in another manner remains unknown.
Angelucci again said he would be appealing the entire receivership case. He has tried that in the past, but it has been rejected. Walton told Angelucci he should file another request for the stay, presumably after the discharge hearing.
In another matter involving Angelucci, Silver & Wright is requesting the court consider sanctions against him for some of the information he has filed in the case.
Fujii, representing the county, said Angelucci has tried to “imply some kind of conspiracy between the county, court and receiver.”
Angelucci said he has simply pointed out various information about Silver & Wright and the fact the law firm has come under scrutiny around California for its actions in receivership cases.
For instance, in late 2017, the Desert Sun in Indio reported about various cases in which Silver & Wright was hired by government officials to enforce nuisance ordinances.
The newspaper reported Silver & Wright filed numerous criminal charges against residents and businesses for small crimes like overgrown weeds, a junk-filled yard or selling popsicles without a business license, and then billed them thousands of dollars to recoup expenses.
In one case in Coachella, the newspaper reported a family with a busted garage door and an overgrown, junk-filled yard was billed $18,500. It reported when the family appealed the bill to an administrative hearing officer, Silver & Wright added $6,700, bringing the total bill to $25,200.
In another instance, the newspaper reported a Coachella man was fined $900 for expanding his living room without getting a permit. He paid his fine. More than a year later, he received a bill in the mail from Silver & Wright for $26,000. The man said officials from the law firm told him he had to pay the cost of prosecution — of himself — and if he didn’t they could put a lien on his house and the city could sell the property.
“I don’t see any basis for sanctions,” Angelucci told the court, saying he was simply “pointing out a lot of controversy about Silver & Wright.”
He said when “people see” information like that, in cases like this, they “become more reluctant” to make an offer on a piece of property.
Angelucci also accused Dahlem of “slander” against Cox, saying in statements released to the news media that Cox had violated orders. Angelucci said there is no evidence Cox violated any orders.
Walton said he wanted to give Angelucci a chance to respond to the sanctions request from the county’s attorneys and set a hearing for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13.