Petition to the New York State Court of Appeals

Petition attempts to get court to reach the merits

A petition was filed returnable to the highest court of the State of New York September 25th, 2000. (The petition can be viewed by clicking here.)

This petition is sort of a last gasp effort. Multiple cases have been dismissed by the court without reaching the merits presented based on a narrow interpretation of a statute which says that a corporation cannot be represented by a non-attorney. It has been the law in the State of New York since 1972, however, that the statute can be circumvented by an assignment by the board of directors of the corporation and is well settled in both the First and Second Judicial departments. The assignments presented both in the record and within motions have been ignored and not mentioned in the orders used to dismiss the cases, however, enabling the court to circumvent the common law.

Then I discoved the Constitutional power of the corporation of the Trustees of Montauk through the 1686 colonial patent relative to the powers of the State Assembly at Albany. It is such a big deal that I felt it necessary to bring it up to the court in the manner you see in the petition.

Most likely this petition will be ignored. In the meantime, the town board government is on a rampage to injure Montauk's rights any way it can.

They have been provided with a certified title examination and the last will and testament of Alfred M. Hoyt which conclusively show that there is no clear title to the Shadmoor property and that it will revert to the Montauk Trustee corporation for lack of heirs.

They appear to be pushing ahead with plans to allow development at "Benson Point" in the Hither Woods after having been provided with documentation which shows that the Hither Woods are unallotted Proprietors' commonage under a 1661 deed.

They are in the process of developing a facility on the State right of way on Edgmere road next to town when neither the Town of East Hampton or the State of New York claim to own the property. The Montauk Library and a couple of houses appear to have already been built on the right of way and the new skate park was rushed in on it last year.

And, of course, the Town just put a locked gate up at the entry to the Bathing Reservation to deny the community's vehicular access to the interior. They also prohibit parking along the road making the property mostly inaccessible to the community and force people to drive on the beach in violation of the Benson covenants.

The Town of East Hampton was ordered by the New York Supreme Court to give up all corporate claim to Montauk in 1851. Less than one month after that release was made under the Town's corporate seal, Montauk was incorporated and the Proprietors' right to govern through the underlying 1686 patent was affirmed. Because the 1686 patent establishes the power of a Township to Montauk's proprietors as successors to the East Hampton trustees, Montauk is a Town. This was well understood between 1852 and 1925 when the Town of East Hampton reorganized around its supervisor with a new form of government in order to grab back Montauk.

I'm not making this up. Everything is in front of the court. The "town board government" is not a legal entity (no charter, no enabling act) and its claim to govern Montauk is historically unconstitutional under both the State and Federal constitutions. They have no right to collect Montauk's taxes, or control its police or determine its land use. They have been allowing the subdivision and sale of what I assert should be considered Montauk Town properties for seventy-five years.

The question is what the court is going to do about it. It should go without saying that politics has no weight on the scales of justice. This has not been the case here, however, and maybe we should accept that. I have done my best to uphold the purposes of the Montauk Trustee corporation and to protect and recover its properties.

I have done my duty to our posterity, and I can really do no more.

Bob Ficalora