2005-08-11 - 3:16 p.m.
Here's the letter I wrote but hadn't time or money to go FAX!
In some ways writing this letter was a way to manage my conflicted feelings. By trying to e-mail this I DIDN'T REALLY GIVE up but tried my damndest and failed! That's better than giving up custody WILLFULLY! Yet I felt like the settlement was also in a way the right thing to do.
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
--- Below this line is a copy of the message.
Received: from [188.8.131.52] by web32714.mail.mud.yahoo.com via HTTP;
Thu, 11 Aug 2005 05:10:10 PDT
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 05:10:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Revoke Settlement
To: Tracy Cassman
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Attorney Joseph W. Stadler
One Franklin Court, Suite 100
181 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202
After showing up in court anticipating Trial on 9, 2004 and instead
being encouraged over and over yet again to settle the case of XXXXXXXXX vs XXXXXXXX I finally got tired of the whole thing and agreed to settle at
I am revoking that agreement of settlement as I believe that contract
was indeed signed under duress and was not made in good faith. I also
believe that in NEW YORK STATE There is indeed a right to revoke any
written contract within 48 hours before it becomes legally binding.
After leaving the court it occurred to me that in part my decision was
made based on a misunderstanding of the importance of one key issue.
Additionally my decision in that moment was informed by my state of
over tiredness and informed by the response to my request to "THINK ABOUT
THIS FOR TWENTY FOUR HOURS" as I indicated a desire to sleep on it and
assess the settlement proposal on the previously scheduled trial date
of Aug 10th. In response I was told "The offer might not be there
tomorrow." I was further informed that the court date of Aug 10th was not to
be followed up on as there was a conflict with the LAW GUARDIAN HOLLIS
HITE who could not attend trial then.
In short I think there was extreme pressure placed on me to settle this
matter, and I think the reasons for that had little to do with my case
at all, but more to do with the desire of all other parties involved to
be done with the matter.
I feel that I did indeed err in accepting a settlement under the above
condition of pressure. Furthermore in my tired state when I was told
that the next date for a hearing was to be until SEPTEMBER , that placed
an artificial sense of urgency in this matter, which really was not
present as it has indeed already been dragged out so long. I felt pressure
to be done with the matter which was indeed externally imposed, when in
fact there is no pressing TIME CONSTRAINTS or reason to be concerned
that the next hearing would be over a month away, except considering it
is almost a year since this matter was initiated. That use of time as an
artificial issue was also one that created undue pressure.
Furthermore, the one key issue is indeed the relevance of the child
support case which is concurrently in the ERIE family court which I had
filed in VA in May of 2003 and which is still on the docket . I
articulated the fact in court that on August 19, 2004 New York State Child
Support Enforcement successfully filed a case on behalf of the Commonwealth
of Virginia against Mr. XXXXXX seeking child support for my
custodial Children, after a full year in which they had been unable to locate
Mr. XXXXXX. I stated that on August 22, 2004 Mr. XXXXXXX filed his
case seeking custody of my children alleging abuse.
Tracy Kassman then asked Mr. Stadler, "Is there currently a child
support case " and in some language referred to his client Mr.XXXXXXX,
although I forget the exact wording of the question.
I beleieve Mr. Stadler CAREFULLY ANSWERED with something like "My
client has not brought forth a case"
I compel you Ms. Kassman to carefully review the transcript of that
My decision to settle was also made on the belief made in negotiation
with Mr. Stadler when I had discussed the fact of the child support case
as being very relevant and I indicated it was my understanding that in
NY STATE it is not only a matter of POLICY but I had thought I read
somewhere a matter of LAW that a parent who has failed to pay support
COULD NOT be granted custody. He replied there is no such law in New York.
I took his response in court to Ms Kassmaníăs question regarding the
lack of a case an one honestly indicating that Mr. XXXXXXX has not
brought forth a case seeking support from me yet in this matter. In the
court I assumed Ms. Kassman was asking about the child support issue and
she was in fact OK with the settlement EVEN WITH THE KNOWLEDGE that Mr.
XXXXXXXX had in fact failed to pay support obligations, as I ASSUMED
that she WOULD NOT CONSENT to such a settlement if in FACT there was a
legal problem with parents who have not paid support being granted
custody. I later realized that her questioning Mr. Stadler may have been in
fact to test the VERACITY of my statement of the fact of the support
issue, and in fact may not have been to determine if Mr. XXXXXXX
himself was bringing forth a case SEEKING support. It did not occur to me at
the time that it possible she could have been questioning MY VERACITY,
and could actually have been trying to confirm whether or not there was
case currently pending regarding support being sought FROM Mr.
It also occurred to me that there may have been intentional
manipulation in Mr. Stadleríăs response, OR it could be that he in fact was not
informed of the matter from his client Mr. XXXXXXX. It later occurred
to me that Ms. Kassman could indeed have been attempting to verify that
the support case was in fact really on the table on August 19 two days
before Mr. XXXXXXXXXXíăs filing for custody, and it later occurred to me
that Mr Stadler may have in fact been MISREPRESENTING reality in his
response (albiet likely unintentionally). Regardless if Ms Kassman was
asking if there is indeed a current child support case, the honest
answer SHOULD have been YES.
To clarify, the matter of child support is indeed STILL a current CASE
on the docket of the Erie Family Court
The case was put on hold until the custody matter was resolved. This
may be of significance in Ms. Kassmaníăs comfort level of accepting the
settlement, AS IT COULD BE INTEREPERTED THAT Mr. XXXXXXXX's obligation
to be truthful and forthcoming about this matter with both his attorney
and in the courtroom have indeed colored the settlement such that it
was not made in good faith.
I also would like to apologize for having once again changed my mind
and state for the record that in the future of this matter I want all
proposals of settlement mailed to me in writing with at least a 24 hour
period of consideration to be taken by me before I will enter into any
agreements. I find it PARTICULARLY important that this be done since I
have been representing myself PRO SE and altough I feel I am quite
capable to do so, I also recognize that protocol will be a great asset to all
parties involved. I however feel the need to place what I believe are
the interests of my children and myself first and therefore hope that
this case indeed continue on the docket with a new date for further trial
proceedings while exercising the legal right to revoke settlement, even
when signed, within the mandated time frame prior to its full contract
status taking effect.