FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 26, 2022
Multiple Judges’ Secret Talks Have Deprived Libra Max of Her Ability to Fairly Advocate for Her Father’s Freedom, Lawsuit Claims
NEW YORK, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Libra Max, daughter of the 84-year-old ailing pop artist and beloved New Yorker, Peter Max, filed an unprecedented lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Deborah Kaplan, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts, who oversees the New York guardianship court. Libra Max has sued for violations of her constitutional right to a fair trial under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.
Libra Max, alongside many of Peter’s family and loved ones, has been fighting for three years to free her father from his forced isolation under the control of a financially-motivated court-appointed guardian, who is a stranger to the Max family.
“Our lawsuit lays out that four of the five judges involved in Peter Max’s case have engaged in unlawful secret communications—which has prevented Libra from fairly advocating for her father’s freedom,” said Libra’s attorney Andrew Celli, partner at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP.
The evidence in this case shows that at least one of the judges pre-determined the outcome of the case in a three-hour secret conversation—behind closed doors—before the case was heard in court, the lawsuit alleges.
As stated in the complaint, available here: “As guardianship judges have stated that such ex parte communications are standard operating procedure in that court, they represent a corruption of the entire process, as guardians who are focused on maintaining their lucrative positions and the favor of the court are permitted to submit secret evidence behind closed doors and unfairly bias the judge against an adversary—in this case, the ward’s only daughter.”
“This case is so critical because the constitutional right at stake is so basic: to hear and respond to all of the evidence that your adversary presents to the court,” said Celli. “This is the bedrock of our justice system and it ensures fairness. This emblematic case is the first of its kind but it won’t be the last. The shroud of secrecy over the guardianship system must be lifted.”
Thousands of Peter Max’s supporters, including family, friends, victim’s advocates, and lawmakers, have signed their support for Peter at FreePeterMax.com.
Libra Max and her attorneys, Andrew Celli and Jonathan Martinis, are available for interviews.