A Southampton lawyer has filed a roughly 40-page objection to the suggestion that a dozen civil rights claims she filed against Southampton Village officials and neighbors be dismissed, saying a judge’s recent ruling ordering her to stop litigating is unconstitutional.
Not long ago, a federal magistrate scolded Evelyn Konrad for filing so many lawsuits, which some say are harassing her neighbors and village officials. Last week, Ms. Konrad said she has no plan to stop filing complaints, as long as they violate her rights in what she says has been overbuilding at the Rosko Place subdivision off Hill Street.
Although the magistrate recommended that she be prevented from filing future suits, Ms. Konrad said that would violate her First Amendment rights.
“They are doing illegal things in this village and in my neighborhood,” Ms. Konrad said. “The middle class is being thrown out like mad, and they are putting up these enormous houses that don’t fit in. The Rosko Place subdivision is a certified and approved subdivision with a common plan and scheme, and they are not allowed to violate that—but they do it all of the time.”
Judge Thomas Boyle, the federal magistrate, filed the recommendation on July 31. In it, he said the claims filed by Ms. Konrad need to stop and could be considered harassment. He goes so far as to say that the court will take action against Ms. Konrad if she proceeds in the future. “The ‘vexation, harassment, and needless expense’ to the village and the homeowners of the Rosko Place subdivision has persisted long enough,” Judge Boyle’s recommendation says.
He goes on to say that Ms. Konrad’s most recent filings should be dismissed, saying that she has filed evidence with the court having nothing to do with her case in order to bog down the local government.
Ms. Konrad disagrees, saying all of the documents that were filed pertain to her case, and that the recommendation by Judge Boyle is political steamrolling from her political opponents.
“This is not the State of New York,” she said. “This is the wild, wild West.”
The 17 claims in the suit stem from a 2005 village zoning ordinance that altered the village code to allow construction of homes with a living space exceeding 4,500 square feet. The change paved the way for homeowners in the Rosko Place subdivision, where Ms. Konrad lives, to alter or build homes much larger than previously allowed and, according to Ms. Konrad, changed the “character of the Rosko Place subdivision.”
Ms. Konrad is now waiting for an official determination from Judge Joseph Bianco, the judge hearing her case in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District in Central Islip, before filing an appeal in the second district court.
Also named in the suit are former Village Trustee Paul Robinson, an assistant attorney for the village, Elbert Robinson Jr., and private landowners William Brown, Denis Guerin, and Donald and Melinda Quintin.
“Magistrate Judge Boyle routinely misstates plaintiff’s position and the reasons for her opposition to the homeowner defendant’s actions in an arbitrary manner that would shock the conscience of any court,” the September 3 objection filed by Ms. Konrad states.
This week, Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said he was not surprised Ms. Konrad filed the response, but that he had not yet had a chance to read it. “I don’t even know what to say at this point,” he said.
Recently, Ms. Konrad said she is still awaiting an official word from the judge actually hearing the case, Judge Bianco, but that she expects she will lose. She also said she will appeal the decision, adding she will not be intimidated.
“The most unacceptable part of the magistrate’s R&R [review and recommendation] is his attempt to intimidate the plaintiff,” Ms. Konrad wrote in her appeal. “Plaintiff considers it far below the dignity of a U.S. District magistrate judge to make such a threat. It would certainly be far below plaintiff’s dignity to accept it. As long as the lawlessness by the three governmental defendants and their homeowner and spec builder co-conspirators persists in the Rosko Place subdivision, plaintiff will continue to write and to litigate against them, regardless of threats of financial ruin, and because of the unconstitutionality of these threats.”