Last Minute! Federal District Judge Recuses Himself from Yomare Polanco’s Case

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New York: Judge Gerald Austin McHugh of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has recused himself from the civil action No. 22-2598 filed by Dr. Yomare Polanco against the Dominican State, a case known as #2:22-cv-02598-GAM Document 135 Filed 12/11/23 spanning 17 pages. In his conclusion, Judge Gerald Austin McHugh recused himself from the case, citing the doctrine of “FORUM NON CONVENIENS,” requesting that the case be heard in the courts of the Dominican Republic.

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FORUM NON-CONVENIENS: Forum non conveniens is a discretionary tool that empowers federal courts to dismiss an entire action when “a foreign court is the more appropriate arbiter of the merits of the case.”

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Before ordering the transfer to the Dominican courts, the judge ensured that Dr. Yomare Polanco would be protected, stating, “My transfer order will require the necessary Defendants to accept the jurisdiction of the Dominican Republic and that the plaintiff has an opportunity for redress in the Dominican Republic,” as stated in the judge’s ruling. “Considering the Dominican Republic as an alternative forum, I must now examine whether the forum is suitable.

The principle of accountability requires that the administration be held responsible for any harm to property or rights resulting from the administration’s conduct. This means that authorities and their agents will bear the consequences of their conduct by the law, including compensation for any damage to property or rights resulting from illegal acts or omissions by the administration. Under this law, Dominican citizens, like Mr. Yomare Polanco, can sue government entities, such as the Central Electoral Board, to obtain compensation for any misconduct, including the alleged fraud and misrepresentations that Mr. Polanco claims in his Amended Complaint, warns Judge Gerald Austin McHugh in the ruling.

Preamble:

The plaintiff, Yomare Polanco, filed this action against numerous entities and individuals associated with the Dominican Republic, its government, and the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). In the complaint, Dr. Yomare Polanco alleges that the defendants, including the Dominican state itself, formed a criminal enterprise based on bribery of Dominican electoral officials. In the assessment, the judge considered that since the core issue is the conduct of a foreign government in the administration of its elections, the Dominican Republic is a party. Each accused individual is a Dominican citizen; the Dominican Republic is the appropriate forum to litigate these claims because even individual claims are inextricably linked to Dominican elections and politics.

Relevant Background:

Mr. Polanco filed a lawsuit against thirty-seven defendants, claiming that all acted in concert to promote a conspiracy to manipulate the 2020 Dominican elections held on U.S. soil. Due to the number of defendants and the three dismissal motions filed in this case, each with different arguments, the defendants include the Dominican Republic itself, the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in New York, the Central Electoral Board of the Dominican Republic (JCE), various former government officials responsible for coordinating Dominican elections abroad, the PLD, and its U.S.-based counterpart.

Defendants from the Dominican Republic:

The first group, represented by the same lawyer, consists of the Dominican Republic, the Consulate of the Dominican Republic, and two former government officials coordinating Dominican elections abroad in New Jersey: Sara Lina Machado and Fernando Núñez. Central Electoral Board (JCE): The second group is from the Central Electoral Board (JCE).

PLD Defendants:

The third group consists of twenty individuals: sixteen representatives of the PLD in the United States: Yohanna Leonidas Tineo Estévez and Sublime Larancuent, two former government officials coordinating Dominican elections abroad in New Jersey and Washington, DC, respectively; Frank Cortorreal, president of the New York branch of the PLD; and Carlos Castillo, former consul of the Dominican Republic in the United States.

PLD Accused:

The fourth group includes. The Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) Its U.S.-based affiliate is the Dominican Liberation Party PLD Group, Inc.Temístocles Montás, former president of the PLD. Three representatives of the PLD in the United States. Unrepresented Defendants:

Finally, six defendants are not represented and have not responded to date.

Gilberto Cruz Herasme is a former supervisor of Dominican elections abroad.
Gisela Almonte, former coordinator of Dominican elections abroad in Pennsylvania (deceased). Julio César Castaños Guzmán, former president of the (JCE). Three representatives of the PLD in the United States.

This is a developing story; please return to this newspaper for more updates.

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