An Ohio judge allows a lawsuit to proceed alleging racketeering in the court-appointed guardianship of the sick elderly wife of a deceased doctor.
Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas Judge Sherrie Miday ruled on October 14 that the dismissal of the lawsuit, filed by Dr. Mehdi Saghafi before he and his sons died, was not appropriate.
“The court finds that the plaintiffs’ complaint sets out facts demonstrating viable claims for relief and that this court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the claims,” Miday wrote in its order.
The defendants whose motions for judgment on the pleadings have been denied include Joyce E. Barrett, James Reddy, attorney Neil Spike, attorney Rachelle Zidar and court-appointed guardian Zachary Simonoff.
“After interpreting the material allegations in the pleadings with reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom in favor of the non-moving party, the court finds that the plaintiffs’ complaint sets out facts demonstrating viable claims for relief and that this court has jurisdiction in the matter to adjudicate on the claims,” Miday said.
The Saghafi brothers allege abuse of process, theft, fraud, conversion, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment and negligence under the Ohio Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (RICO) against defendants involved in the conservatorship of their mother, Mrs Fourough Bakhtiar Saghafi, 87, who was placed under guardianship by Lorain County Probate Judge Walther in 2013.
Justice Miday refrained from making an order finding Walther in contempt of court for failing to produce documents under a subpoena relating to the health and finances of Ms Bakhtiar Saghafi.
“Judge James. T. Walther’s motion to vacate on January 30 is granted,” she wrote in the order. “The subpoena requires the disclosure of privileged or otherwise protected matters regarding the service and/or the disclosure of information that is not relevant to the underlying cause of action.”
It has been widely reported that Ms Bakhtiar Saghafi was allegedly forced to divorce her late doctor husband by the court after being declared incompetent due to dementia.
A conference call between the parties is scheduled for November 21 at 2 p.m.
In previous years, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Northern District Court of Ohio to deny Simonoff’s request that Dr. Saghafi be ordered to pay his legal fees after the surgeon general challenged an order requiring him to pay Simonoff some $3 million of his pension. product held by the mutual fund company Franklin Templeton.
Federal appellate judges Jeffrey Stuart Sutton, Deborah L. Cook, and Amul Thapar said in their landmark opinion that they were unconvinced of probate court officer Simonoff’s assertion that “[Dr. Mehdi] Saghafi’s legal positions were frivolous.
“Any time you defy a seemingly valid court order, you have an explanation to give,” the panel of federal appellate judges wrote in its opinion. “But Saghafi has an explanation. He argues that the divorce proceedings were a judicial fraud, a sham. And Ohio law authorities suggest that a judgment obtained by fraud may be void.