Landmark Cases

PUBLISHED DECISIONS

Ray, Mitev & Associates has set precedent dozens of times, in State and Federal Court. Below are some of our published and notable decisions, as they have appeared in the paper of record, The New York Law Journal, broken down by practice area.

CRIMINAL PRACTICE/CIVIL RIGHTS

Woe v. Spitzer
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202539209195

Set precedent in Federal case involving the SORA laws and a sex offender’s due process right to be de-classified from registration, even as a Level 1 offender.

People v. McElroy
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202536964001
Obtained reduction of SORA level arguing that Internet photographs were not contemplated as physical victims in Risk Assessment Instrument

People v. Syska
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202563856163
Criminal Charges dismissed pre-trial after arguing that there was no obstruction of a police investigation by a woman who asked police if they had a warrant to enter her home.

Boyle v. County of Suffolk
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202474067448
Set precedent in a Federal civil forfeiture case involving Suffolk County’s seizure and retaining of automobiles of drivers who were only charged (but not convicted) of driving drunk, with the Court holding that the established forfeiture laws were being ignored in Suffolk County.

People v. Hahlbohm
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202500121786

Nolan v. Cuomo
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202585263730

Matovcik v. Times Beacon Newspapers
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202548122140

Spielman v. Carrino
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202473812429

PERSONAL INJURY/WRONGFUL DEATH

Malone v. County of Suffolk
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202580874920
Set precedent arguing that doctors who prescribe and overprescribe narcotics to known and habitual drug users could be liable to third parties for the injuries caused to them by said drug users, in a case arising out of the tragic Medford pharmacy Father’s Day 2011 massacre.

Stuve v. Baingan
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202616727090
The so-called “emergency doctrine” which drivers rely on to escape liability in automobile accidents does not apply to every case, the Court held, after it reversed itself on our motion to re-argue a grant of summary judgment against the driver that we alleged rear-ended our client.

MATRIMONIAL / FAMILY LAW

Schulz v. Schulz
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202581116637
Successfully defended against a relocation application at trial; the case stands for the proposition that a parent who relocates out of state without the other parent’s consent cannot thereafter use the relocation (and establishing of new home, new job and new school for the children) as factors to support their relocation.

In re Gregory Tarone
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202464397212
Set precedent in the Federal Bankruptcy Court, arising out of a case where the firm obtained summary judgment against a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding stemming out of a matrimonial action.

S v. S.
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202506607077

WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATES LITIGATION

Estate of Eriksen
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202586649763&slreturn=20130804162415
Successfully vacated a Court’s decree awarding a multi-million dollar wrongful death payout by Suffolk County to the father of a man who died while in police custody; the firm established that the deceased had left behind a daughter, who is by law entitled to the entire sum.

GENERAL LITIGATION

O’Keefe v. Blue Gold Fleet
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202503463183

Marino v. Shoreham-Wading River School District http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/CaseDecisionNY.jsp?id=1202500417856

Ray v. Eves
http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=900005443566

 

THE LONG ISLAND BEACH MURDERS

Shannan Gilbert is the 24-year-old escort who went missing while on a call to a private customer living near Long Island’s Gilgo Beach. Her disappearance led to investigators finding the remains of 10 other victims – all but one who worked as escorts – in the same area. Her remains were recently identified in a bog behind the private community.

To date, no arrests have been made in Long Island’s largest unsolved murder case.  Competing theories abound as to whether the deaths are the grisly work of one serial killer or multiple killers. Ray, Mitev & Associates represents Shannan’s family, including her mother, Mari Gilbert.

The firm has called for federal oversight of the 25-month long investigation, citing the very public disagreement between the top law enforcement officials in Suffolk County and the fact that the FBI has original investigative jurisdiction over interstate crimes and over crimes that involve serial killings.

The firm also traced the path police say Shannan took through the marsh near Gilgo Beach in the early morning hours before her death, filmed by cameras from 48 Hours. As the video below shows, the theory that she drowned in ankle-deep water is simply implausible:


If you have information regarding the circumstances of Shannan’s death, please call the firm confidentially at: 1-866-88-NYLAW

LANDMARK CASES

Hiller v. Suffolk County, a national precedent-setting case, where Mr. Ray successfully defeated an unfair police recruitment affirmative action program in federal court and obtained a record award for the Plaintiffs. Our firm has represented many police department candidates who have challenged unfair affirmative action programs in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Kaplan v. Chamberlain, the famous “surrogate parent” custody case, where a 26-year-old surrogate mother who agreed to have sex with Mr. Kaplan in exchange for $25,000, bore a son and fought Mr. Kaplan for custody.

People v. Pulinairo, where Mr. Ray represented Keila Pulinario in the precedent-setting “Rape Trauma Syndrome” case, involving a young woman who was raped and subsequently killed her rapist; this was also a full-length featured trial covered nationally on Court TV.

Woe v. Spitzer, a precedent-setting case where a federal judge recognized that New York’s current SORA law gives a Level I sex offender the opportunity to seek a modification to a “level zero” -  i.e., no supervision.

Latest Cases in the News:

November 2012 – Published stories in the New York Law Journal, New York Post, Newsday, about the landmark decision in Malone v. County of Suffolk. The case sets precedent in the field of personal injury/wrongful death. Previously, in order to be able to assert a claim against a doctor, one had to establish that there existed a relationship between the injured party and the doctor.

In the Malone case, we broke new legal ground by successfully arguing that doctors who fail to monitor their patients and prescribe to them addictive painkillers when they knew or should have known that said painkillers were medically unnecessary, are creating or maintaining a public nuisance. That public nuisance is personified by the drug addict who, like the murderer in the Medford pharmacy killings, will do anything in order to feed their addiction, including rob, maim and kill innocent people.

November / December 2012 – Published decision and article in the New York Law Journal; In this case, dealing with the relocation of a parent and two young children to a different state, a Family Court judge ruled that a pre-emptive relocation without court permission will not in itself create the requisite change in circumstances to allow a petition for relocation.

In M.S. v. W.S., we successfully opposed the relocation petition of Ms. S., who had previously taken the children to Florida, to live there with her boyfriend, without the knowledge and consent of Mr. S., to whom she was and is still married. Under the law, a sufficient change of circumstances must be shown; and it must be shown that relocation is in the best interests of the child.

Ms. S. argued that the change of circumstances was that she had already moved to Florida with the children and lived there for some months, and because she had a job and a home there, and the children were attending school there. We argued that one parent cannot create the change in circumstances by relocating (without first obtaining permission from the court) and then rely on their own improper conduct as the actual change in circumstances. Said another way, our position was that one cannot benefit from their own wrong; or to obtain indirectly that which they could not obtain directly.

In denying Ms. S.’s petition, the judge agreed with our position.

12/30/2011 – New York Law Journal, published article and decision on People v. McElroy,  a case where a judge modified downward a sex offender’s risk level, in granting the firm’s argument based on Court of Appeals precedent recognizing the anomalous result in sentencing those who are only convicted of watching child pornography under the same guidelines that were written to target sex offenders who had actual physical interaction with their victims.

9/10/2010 – New York Law Journal, published decision in Spielman v. Carrino, a case involving a pastor who seduced parishioners, denying a church’s motion to dismiss.

8/17/2010 – New York Law Journal, published decision in In re Tarone, granting summary judgment against a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding.

8/6/2010 – Newsday, article on People v. Anderson, a volunteer firefighter who received 3 months in jail on a statutory rape charge, where the firm argued that Facebook and other social networking sites where Mr. Anderson’s accuser had posted suggestive photographs and sexually explicit statements should be taken into account in sentencing Mr. Anderson.

The firm’s significant cases have been covered by the New York Times, Newsday, the New York Post, the Daily News, the New York Law Journal, London Sunday Magazine, Liz Smith and Playboy Magazine, as well as various other television shows and programs, including 48 Hours, Hardcopy, Current Affair, Inside Edition, Larry King Live, Sally Jesse Raphael, Geraldo Rivera, Maury Povich, Jenny Jones, Larry King Live, Dateline NBC and ABC’s Eyewitness News, and Court TV.

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