A Greenwich man whose home JPMorgan Chase & Co. sought to foreclose on has sued the bank, an attorney and the judge trial referee claiming he suffered a stroke in court because the proceedings against him were intentionally sent to the wrong jurisdiction.
Richard Caires, who is proceeding pro se, said in a 29-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Hartford that the stress of possibly losing his home caused him to have a stroke in August. The lawsuit claims Superior Court Judge Trial Referee Taggart D. Adams held Caires against “his will under threat and duress of losing his house … when he knew or should have reasonably known that he did not have subject matter jurisdiction, and that egregious abuse of authority caused plaintiff’s stroke.”
Caires, who declined to comment Friday, claims in the suit that he suffered irreparable damages to his health and reputation “as a direct proximate result of defendant judge to assume jurisdiction when he did not have it, at the behest of Brian Rich.” Rich, an attorney with Halloran & Sage, did not respond to a request for comment Friday.
In his suit. Caires, quoting case law, wrote: “When a judge acts outside of the scope of his authority, his immunity is purged and he is liable for damages under the Civil Rights Act.” As of Friday, the defendants had not retained counsel.
Caires is seeking actual damages of $10.7 million for the “value of our property interests in the fraudulent foreclosure proceedings instigated by defendant.” In addition, he’s seeking compensatory damages of $1 million for “fraudulent conveyance of property interest, intentional interference of person and property”; accumulative damages of $1 million; and punitive and exemplary damages of $1 million.
In addition, Caires is asking the federal court for a preliminary and permanent restraining order and injunction preventing the defendants from taking any further action against his home, including but not limited to garnishment, detainer action, receivership of rents or ejectment.
The property in question was most recently appraised at $6.5 million. The claimed debt is in excess of $8.2 million, according to court papers.
In his Oct. 4 memorandum of decision regarding a motion for continuance, Adams wrote that the case “has travelled several times between the Connecticut Superior Court and federal court.” Adams said: “In hindsight, this court erred in proceeding on Aug. 2 in light of Caires’ notice of removal of the case dated that day to the Connecticut federal district court.”
Adams also wrote in his three-page memorandum of decision that U.S. District Judge Janet Hall wrote that Caires “had engaged in a troubling pattern of filing meritless notices of removal on the eve of the state court trial.”
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson in Hartford.
Caires’ suit includes four counts: deprivation of rights under the color of law pursuant to the U.S. Code; refusal or neglect to prevent the deprivation of plaintiff’s constitutionally protected rights; abuse of process; and a declaratory judgment providing injunctive relief.