Saturday, February 28, 2009




MERYL M. LANSON, individually,



Individually, and as Judge For The 11th
Circuit Court in and for Miami-Dade
County, Florida



Pursuant to Rule 15 and Rule 19 of F.R.C.P., Plaintiff, Meryl M. Lanson, Pro Se, hereby files this Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint to Add Indispensable Party Defendants and an Extension of Time and states as follows:
On December 8, 2008, the Court granted the Plaintiff, Meryl M. Lanson, an extension of time until February 15, 2009 to file her Amended Complaint. The following subsequent facts occurred, giving rise to the Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Add Indispensable Parties.
1. A hearing was held on December 24, 2008 in front of the Defendant, Judge Jeri Beth Cohen (Case No. 99-21062 CA 15). Plaintiff, Meryl M. Lanson, was not in attendance at that hearing. On or about the first week in January, 2009, Plaintiff, Meryl M. Lanson, received a copy of the transcript of the December 24, 2008 hearing.
2. Upon reading the transcript and conducting research and investigation, Plaintiff believes it is critical that an extension of time be granted in order to add the ADA Access Coordinator and the County as indispensable parties to this cause of action. Plaintiff was not aware that the ADA Access Coordinator and now the County have potential liability in this action and should be added as party Defendants under Rule 19 F.R.C.P.
3. The adding of indispensable parties and the extension of time is critical because of what transpired at the initial specially set hearing on Plaintiff’s ADA Accommodations held on July 16, 2008, and then what transpired at the December 24, 2008 hearing with regard to Plaintiff’s ADA Accommodations; both hearings before the Defendant, Judge Jeri Beth Cohen are in conflict.
4. For ease of reference of the aforementioned, the following excerpts from the hearings are germane to Plaintiff’s instant Motion.
July 16, 2008 Hearing - P. 7 – Line 19 through 23: (Attached as Exhibit 1)
The Court: So let’s look at the accommodations. Okay. I have the list here. Let’s look at them and see how we can accommodate her. All right.
P. 8 – Line 16 through P. 9 – Line 9:
The Court: Can I ask a personal question? And if that may be out of order so you tell me. I understand that that - - And I, you know, deal with medications everyday. I run a drug court. Most of the people in my drug court are duly diagnosed. So we on a regular basis work with psychiatrists. And most of the people in our drug court suffer from
P. T. S. D. that -- They are primarily women, obviously for different reasons. I am not comparing Ms. Lanson to the women in any drug court. I am saying the syndrome. And a lot of them have anxiety and/or depression. And medication - - They are medicated and it does work very well. Now I am not telling her she has to get medicated.
Ms. Huffer: Well, she is now.
Page 26, Line 1 through Page 27, Line 7:
Ms. Huffer: I have great respect, Your Honor, for you and your position. But you are sounding more like the therapist here. All she is asking is for you to hear hard evidence. That’s all she is asking for. That’s all the accommodation - -
The Court: But I am the Judge of what the evidence is, you see.
Ms. Huffer: Right.
The Court: You see. You want her - - You want to allow her to control this process.
Ms. Huffer: No. No. No. Access to evidence. In other words, full discovery, full everything.
The Court: We will get her that.
Ms. Huffer: That is important.
The Court: We will get her that. But I can’t say:
“Well, because she perceives something a certain way it must be so. Because she perceives what I have done a certain way it must be so.”
Ms. Huffer: But she is never to be invalidated due to P. T. S. D.
The Court: I am not invalidating her at all. In fact, I want to go through these accommodations and give them to her. I would never invalidate - -
December 24, 2008 Hearing – Page 5, Line 4 – 19: (Attached as Exhibit 2)
The Court: I understand that she feels that she’s done what she needs to do as far as her ADA request, but I’ve now run this through my lawyers and my ADA Office. I’ve been in extensive conversations with them about how to handle this. The reason being is initially I felt that if - - well, initially, I really didn’t approach it the way I should have, because it was the first time I’d ever had a request and I just - - you know, I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been about running it by my lawyers. But I felt that what she was asking for I could accommodate.
Page 6, Line 3 – 21:
The Court: That’s why I went to the lawyers for the Court and also to the ADA Office, and they told me very clearly that I should have come to them initially. That while Ms. Lanson feels that she’s adequately protected herself from an ADA perspective, my lawyers in the office here told me they don’t want judges making these determinations. This is not something judges are equipped to do. We’re not trained to know if somebody has a disability, how severe it is, what kind of accommodations they should be given, and they like it to run through the ADA Office, especially in a situation like this where it’s escalating and where she sued me for a violation of her ADA rights.

Page 7, Line 5 – 9
The Court: I am not equipped to make ADA determinations. That’s not something that I’m equipped to do. And that’s why there is an administrative structure to handle that.
5. The ADA Access Coordinator was previously put on notice of Plaintiff’s Request for ADA Accommodations. Attached, as Exhibit 3, is a copy of a letter from Plaintiff’s Consultant, Karin Huffer, M.S., M.F.T. to Judge Jeri Beth Cohen dated June 24, 2008. Attached, as Exhibit 4, is a copy of a cover letter to the Access Coordinator, dated June 27, 2008 from attorney, Mary Alice Gwynn, enclosing Plaintiff’s formal request for ADA accommodations as well as Exhibit 5, the ADA Report prepared by Karin Huffer, M.S., M.F.T. It was subsequent to receiving the aforementioned correspondence that Judge Cohen contacted all the parties for a specially set hearing regarding Plaintiff’s, Meryl M. Lanson, ADA Accommodations.

6. The granting and fulfilling of Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, Accommodations is an administrative/ministerial function. Therefore, the Office of the ADA Coordinator and related parties, need to be named as well as Judge Cohen, as outlined above by Judge Cohen, that she was never equipped to deal with the ADA Accommodations, initially, and should have immediately consulted with her attorneys, and the ADA Office, upon receiving the ADA Accommodations on June 13, 2008 prior to the ADA Accommodations hearing specially set by Judge Cohen.


Bel-Bel Int’l Corp. v. Cmty. Bank of Homestead, 162 F.3d 1101, (11th Cir. 1998), which held that under Rule 19(a) of F.R.C.P., a person who is subject to service of process and whose joinder will not deprive the court of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action shall be joined as a party in the action if (1) in the person’s absence complete relief cannot be accorded among those already parties, or (2) the person claims an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so situated that the disposition of the action in the person’s absence may (i) as a practical matter impair or impede the person’s ability to protect that interest or (ii) leave any of the persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations by reason of the claimed interest.
Based on the Court’s own admission at the hearing held on December 24, 2008, that the Court was “not equipped to make ADA determinations. That’s not something that I’m equipped to do,” the Court assigned responsibility to the ADA Access Coordinator for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami Dade County, Florida. As stated above, the Access Coordinator was also apprized by three separate parties of the Plaintiff’s Request for ADA Accommodations as early as June 13, 2008, more than one month prior to Judge Cohen specially set hearing on the Plaintiff’s Request for ADA Accommodations.

The ADA Access Coordinator was not present at the hearing nor did Judge Cohen make reference to the ADA Access Coordinator at the hearing on July 16, 2008. The first time that Plaintiff became aware of the Access Coordinator’s involvement, and now a potential party, was after reading the transcript of the hearing held on December 24, 2008 before Defendant, Judge Jeri Beth Cohen. The Access Coordinator, and the County, are now indispensable parties who must be included to have a complete adjudication of all issues and the elimination of the possibility of re-litigation. The purpose of joinder under F.R.C.P, 19(a) is to afford the parties “complete adjudication” of the issues and “elimination” of the possibility of “relitigation.” Tick v. Cohen, 787 F.2d 1490 (11th Cir. 1986) (quoting Schutten v Shell Oil Co., 421 F.2d 869(5th Cir. 1970). In addition, the Plaintiff may be unable to obtain complete relief without the absent parties present, F.R.C.P. 19(a)(1), and the Plaintiff may be prevented from adding this party at a later date pursuant to the doctrine of res judicata. Mann v. The City of Albany, Ga., 883 F.2d, 999 (11th Cir. 1989).
The joinder of necessary and indispensable parties is mandatory. City of Marietta v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 196 F.3d, 1300 (11th Cir. 1989). In addition, the Plaintiff is requesting to also add, as an additional party, John Doe, in the event new parties become indispensable parties after discovery has commenced.

The Defendant will not be prejudiced by the Court granting the Plaintiff’s request as the Defendant has not filed an Answer nor has discovery commenced and thus, the granting of additional parties is appropriate at this early stage of the litigation.
Plaintiff has contacted opposing counsel regarding the issues raised in this Motion. Counsel for Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, David Glantz, stated that “with respect to Judge Cohen, counsel opposes any further extensions of time to amend the Complaint against Judge Cohen. Attorney Glantz has no position concerning any additional parties.”

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff respectfully requests this Honorable Court to grant her Motion for Leave to include indispensable parties under F.R.C.P. 19. Plaintiff further requests, that in the event this motion to add indispensable parties is denied, Plaintiff requests a thirty day extension to file her Amended Complaint.

Respectfully submitted,

Meryl M. Lanson, Pro Se

By: ___________________
Meryl M. Lanson, Pro Se

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been sent via U.S. Mail, on this 17th day of February, 2009, to counsel on the service list.
Meryl M. Lanson, Pro Se

By: ______________________
Meryl M. Lanson, Pro Se

David J. Glantz
Assistant Attorney General
Office of Attorney General
Civil Litigation Division
110 S.E. 6th Street - 10th Floor
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

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