Block/Warsing Spring a Gotcha

Is Warsing leveraging Dr. Jack Resnick to shut down The Daily? Part I

Updated 18 weeks ago David Stone
Is Warsing leveraging Dr. Jack Resnick to shut down The Daily? Part I

"Sorry this is still ongoing," my friend wrote, referring to a legal action by defunct Main Street WIRE editor Briana Warsing against this newspaper, through her attorney, Marc Jonas Block. "Thought it was resolved," my friend added. I did too. Our trouble is, we can't afford an attorney to help defend us, and maybe, that's the whole point

Late last week, I opened a mailed package from Block. To my surprise, it was a "Request for Judicial Intervention," a motion for a default judgment against me and The Daily. He claimed that we never answered a Summons and Complaint  served "personally" by Block way back on March 5th, 2018, ten months ago.

Problem was, I never received any such document from Block or from Warsing. I expected to a year ago because it was published on the Roosevelt Islander blog along with a comment by Warsing.

Every time I left our building or went to public meetings everyone knows I attend, I watched for someone waiting to hand me paperwork that would kick things into gear.

I looked forward to getting it over with because the claims, already known to me from a Cease and Desist order which Block mailed to me late in 2017, were easily refuted, some straying far enough from the facts to flirt with fiction.

"Bring it on" was my thought.

But that never happened.

Yet, Block, supporting Warsing's motion for a default judgment, says it did. It's strange, though.

What some suggested, after the summons was not served after being published and commented on in the Roosevelt Islander, was that the intention was to intimidate us with the cost of legal fees, publicly shame me and my newspaper and undermine our credibility.

It was pretty embarrassing with commenters jumping in to attack, but my readers, for the most part, didn't bite.

I couldn't see any other reason why they'd go to the trouble and expense of filing a complaint and never serving the papers. It made no sense.

Nearly three months later, what Block did, according to his "Affirmation of Service" was drop "two true copies" of the documents with a doorman, referring to him - I'm withholding his name to protect his privacy - as "the person served."

Notwithstanding concerns Manhattan Park Management or the Porters' union might have over converting a working doorman unwittingly into a process server, neither Block nor Warsing alerted me to look for it.

Why not? I'd have met them in the lobby. And after all that time, I no longer expected anything.

Adding to the curious behavior, Block further says that, on the same day, March 5th, 2018, he "mailed 1st class mail marked 'PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL', (sic) not indicating on the outside thereof by return address or otherwise that said notice is from an attorney or concerns an action against the person to be served."

Is Warsing leveraging Dr. Jack Resnick to shut down The Daily? Part I

Really?

Why do that? I'd opened and responded to mail he sent previously (and currently.) Frankly, I never expected anyone to send a summons in disguise. Why obscure it?

I don't know what happened to the packages he says he left with the doorman, but one good hunch is that either my wife or I did what we've done with similar mail for years - trash it as junk without opening it. Mail with no return address, marked "PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL," is in my experience a bank trying to get me interested in a loan. I'd have tossed it without a thought.

Genuine messages don't travel in disguise.

However, if Block had let me know he was sending me his summons in that manner, I'd have watched for and opened it. I'd have met him at the front desk to take it. But I never heard about it until now, three seasons later.

The Yankees worked through spring training, played a home run record setting season, lost in the playoffs and restocked in the off-season, all since Block says he personally served the papers... on a doorman.

I've notified Block that I never received his summons and asked him to drop this claim so that we could go to the discussion Warsing said she wanted. That would be the neighborly thing to do. He refused.

Discussing the issues raised by Warsing is apparently not what's on his mind.

If he's so sure I somehow got this summons, why did it take him 10 months to do anything about it? According to the paperwork, I had 20 days to respond. Why wait for 200?

That and other questionable behavior will be dealt with appropriately within the court system, but my real concern - and horror - was what I read when I finally got to see the details of what Warsing alleges.

It's hair-raising, sometimes shocking and sometimes almost humorous - were it not for the people involved, who are too dangerous to laugh at - in stretching like a yoga instructor to reach conclusions and declare them as fact.

What about Dr. Resnick and The Main Street WIRE, Inc.?

Is Warsing leveraging Dr. Jack Resnick to shut down The Daily? Part I

Red flags shot up immediately when Block listed "Plaintiff THE MAIN STREET WIRE, INC. is a domestic corporation with office at 520 Main Street, New York, New York 10044 ("Wire"). Plaintiff WIRE owns and operates a bi-weekly newspaper entitled The Main Street WIRE, specializing in the local news and information for the community of Roosevelt Island, a narrow island in New York City's East River, with a population of approximately 16,000 individuals."

One of the few truthful items in that paragraph is "a narrow island in New York City's East River."

Warsing swore to this statement on January 2nd, this year.

As Editor and Publisher, surely she knows that the WIRE folded as of June last year. What remains is an active website. The website lists its address as Main Street WIRE, 40 River Road 11P, New York, NY 10044, not 520 Main Street.

Warsing and Block also share 40 River Road addresses.

But that opened up more questions.

If MAIN STREET WIRE, INC. is a valid plaintiff, why isn't there any statement or any other endorsement from the only owner the newspaper ever had, Dr. Jack Resnick, or another officer?

Dr. Resnick, not a Roosevelt Island resident, is a respected physician whose humanitarian dedication to helping homebound individuals is unique and locally legendary. Literally, hundreds of lives have been made better through his singular efforts. 

The man has high standards.

I emailed Dr. Resnick, with whom I met on multiple occasions concerning the WIRE, and asked if he was, in fact, suing me. He did not confirm that he was a party to Warsing's lawsuit. There exists no evidence of his involvement.

What is Warsing's status at the WIRE? 

Her LinkedIn profile lists her as a Freelance Writer who is also currently active as Editor/Publisher of the Main Street WIRE. It does not indicate any ownership or other corporate responsibilities. Warsing, like almost everyone else who got checks from the WIRE, including me, may be simply a "1099" or "contract worker," without employee status.

Who, then, at the MAIN STREET WIRE, INC. is Block representing?

Part 2 will deal with Warsing's specific accusations and our defense.

 

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