3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2020 7:41 PM by Keith Northington

    Seeking a sealed NY Supreme Court case & prisoner transfer information


      In 1954, my mother signed a death certificate which was wrong. She brought the case to the lawyers who in turn brought the case to Superior Court. Because of the volume of cases and the victim was injured in store-Bambergers, the case was changed to another place. Bamberger's headquarters was in New Rochelle area and since all company business involved is handled by the NY Supreme Court in Westchester County. The persons involved in the case were being fired because of the incident and wanted back pay and coverage. The incident happened by a box from a fork lift fell on my great aunt causing her death by knocking her down the granite steps. My great aunt's case was postponed because of the person driving the fork lift wanted compensation. Their case lasted from January 1954 to Sept 27, 1954.


      The prisoner was supposed to be transferred to another court for trial of the wrongful death. My great aunt's case was to start on Oct 11, 1954. I don't know how to access the Prisoner Transfer Index for the dates from Sept 27 to October 11, 1954. It was from a Federal jail to another. I only know the prisoners name. I need help trying to get the records. I don't know who or where to find the information, what court I need to contact, and since the records were just changed how to even find the information. The lawyers bundled the case with correcting the death certificate and the designated estate settlement. The court had the case sealed. In order for me to get the information to unseal the case I need to know the case caption, docket number, presiding judge and date of proceeding and the court reporter (if possible). I don't even know where the case was held. How do I get the sealed records unsealed or even find the information?

        • Re: Seeking a sealed NY Supreme Court case & prisoner transfer information
          Keith Northington Wayfarer

          What was the prisoner's name?


          What was your great aunt's name and where (what city and state) did she normally live?

          What was her husband's name?

            • Re: Seeking a sealed NY Supreme Court case & prisoner transfer information

              The prisoner name was Matthew T Staszak, employee of Bamberger and the driver of the fork lift. Others were Arthur L. Metzger and Herbert H Goldmark. The employees wanted compensation after they were immediately fired from Bambergers. Bamberger Corp and American Molding Powder and Chemical Company paid 20% net profits of both corporations which the plaintiffs shared equally in addition to their regular salaries. Elster Corp was also listed.


              My great aunt, Dorothea Thiere Dreyfus(s) lived in Newark from around 1896 to 1952. She moved in with us in Brick, NJ on Dec 26, 1952. Her maiden name was Thiere but went under Dora, Dorothy, Aunt Dot, and Dorothea. Her husband, William, was from outside of St. Louis, died in 1946. There was another Dorothea Dreyfus(s) married to a different William Louis Dreyfus(s) who lived on the same street but on the other side of town. They used to get their mail mixed up. The problem was when Surrogate's court got the two mixed up and the two became one name. We won the case proving there were two aunt Dora's but it was tied to the wrongful death trial which was sealed. We hired a lawyer and he said we may have won the case in Superior Court but because it was sealed we couldn't do anything. The state did not recognize the case and never changed the Surrogate's document.


              I need the information to give to the hearing, July 30th, of obtaining authority to act on my relatives behalf in correcting and obtaining the information necessary from the court system in the other states. The requirements are the Case Caption: Docket number; Presiding Judge; Date of Preceding: Court Reporter Name (if available) and where the document is stored because sealed cases are not in the same place as regular files.

            • Re: Seeking a sealed NY Supreme Court case & prisoner transfer information
              Keith Northington Wayfarer

              It's difficult to ascertain from your posting whether you are looking just for prisoner transfer information or court case information, or both.


              One of the cases involved with this was "Goldmark v. A. Bamberger, 286 A.D 1019 (1955) which was heard at the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, 2nd Department, October 10, 1955, which appears to be the same case posted as an ebook on Google Books, with the title page showing as "County Clerk's Index No, 5258/1955, New York Supreme Court of Nassau County--please read all of the ebook if you have not done so already.  The plaintiffs are listed as Herbert H. Goldmark, Arthur L. Metzger and Matthew T. Staszak, against A. Bamberger Corp, Elster Corp. and American Molding Powder & Chemical Corp. as defendants/appellants.


              A page in there is titled Papers on Appeal from Order, dated July 20, 1955, Judge James T. Hallinan, Clerk Paul Livoti

              Other pages in the file show that Arthur L. Metzger and Matthew Thomas Staszak were residents of Nassau County during the 1950's while Herbert H. Goldmark resided at Westchester County.

              Ordinarily, I would suggest that you contact someone at the Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola NY to talk to a clerk who is familiar with the older case records who would know where to look at an index to find the Goldmark v. A. Bamberger case to see if the case records were available so that a researcher you hired could look at the papers in the file to see if the earlier court cases were somehow mentioned or referenced there.  However, I have no way of knowing if the court is closed now because of Covid-19 or if it will be reopening in the near future (I guess you could check the court's website to see if they have an announcement posted about that).


              You should also have a researcher who can look at Westchester County Court Records for the 1954-1955 to see what might show up there.


              Shouldn't you also be checking Essex County NJ Surrogate Court Records for 1954-1955 to see if anything shows up there?


              If you have not contacted the New York State Archives to inquire with them about the Bureau of Prisons records, please do so to see if they can assist.