Monday, May 18, 2009

Connecticut's Assistant Attorneys General Sued In Maine Court

Connecticut's assistant attorneys general and other officials connected with the prosecution of David Hoffman are being sued in a Maine Court.

This suit," accoring to papers filed with the court, "arises out of an ex parte attachment secured by Defendants in a Maine court against a Maine resident with the support of a false affidavit drafted by one of the individual Defendants, followed by the filing of a lis pendens in a Maine Registry of Deeds regarding the Property, which is located in Maine.

"Plaintiffs have alleged that all the Defendants acted together in creating the false affidavit, pursuing the Maine Action and filing the lis pendens with full knowledge that there was no legal or factual basis to do so and for the improper purpose of pressuring Mrs. Hoffman into accepting an unfair and unreasonable resolution to the Connecticut Action concurrently being pursued by Defendants against Mrs. Hoffman and certain of her businesses, but not against Plaintiffs.”

The attorney general's office has claimed sovereign immunity and qualified immunity from prosecution in the matter, and the most recent filing answers this claim.

“In the present case, Defendants, individuals and entities charged with upholding the consumer protection laws of Connecticut, abused their positions, fabricating evidence that Plaintiffs were involved in a fraudulent transfer. They then used that evidence to initiate a proceeding against Plaintiffs for an attachment in the amount of $1,517,600 when they knew that they had no legal or factual support for an attachment in an amount greater than $80,000, which amount itself Plaintiffs intend to prove is grossly inflated. As a result of these malicious actions on the part of Defendants, and the subsequent lien and lis pendens filed on the Property, Plaintiffs suffered enormously detrimental economic consequences.

"In fact, causing such unjustified consequences to Plaintiffs was Defendants’ intention as they sought to leverage the ongoing crippling effect of their lis pendens in order to improperly pressure Mrs. Hoffman to agree to an unreasonable and otherwise unobtainable settlement of their UTPA action.

“Further, it is Plaintiffs’ belief that the specific incident underlying this lawsuit is not an isolated one, but rather part of a pattern of behavior by Defendants, and that it is Defendants’ policy to routinely pursue claims for highly inflated amounts and with little to no factual or legal support against individuals and companies. Such a pattern of behavior provides further support for the conscience shocking nature of Defendants’ actions.

“As described above, two constitutional rights that Plaintiffs allege were violated by Defendants are their right to the use of the Property without unreasonable interference and Mr. Hoffman’s right to pursue his chosen livelihood. Both of these rights are well established. On a broader level, it certainly could not have come as a surprise to a reasonable government official that engaging in a conspiracy to put a false affidavit before a court, knowing that doing so would impair an owner’s right to use and sell his property and deprive an individual of the opportunity to engage in his chosen profession, would violate constitutional rights.

“This is not a case where government officials have pursued their roles in good faith, but nevertheless ventured into questionable territory. That is the kind of defendant that qualified immunity is designed to protect. Rather, this case involves actions by Defendants that any reasonable official would know were wrong, pursued for a wrongful purpose, with dramatic negative effects on the parties those actions were targeted against. Further, these actions were not spur of the moment mistakes. Rather, Defendants’ actions were part of a pattern of abuses. As a result, the Court must reject Defendants’ plea for qualified immunity.”
Post a Comment