NCFM NOTE: The proverbial worm turned. Judge Walton stayed the sale of Jerry’s land, it looks like Receiver Adams lost his unnamed buyer and Walton let NCFM attorney Angelucci have his vacation in Hawaii! All good, now Jerry has time to find a real buyer. We’re still guessing that the unnamed buyer doesn’t exist any more than do Adams’ scruples… We also heard a rumor that influential Mariposa politicos want Jerry’s land for a landfill, to expand their cemetery, and to put in some sort of bio plant. If anyone knows if that’s true please let us know. Keep in mind, Mariposa County went after Jerry and his land like a grizzly after salmon after he was falsely accused of sexual assault. We are helping to hold her accountable since government won’t do it.
July 25, 2019
By GREG LITTLE Editor
The case involving local landowner Jerry Cox is like the Energizer Bunny.
It just keeps going and going and going.
That was the case on Monday of this week when it was continued for another 30 days.
The Cox case has been ongoing for more than two years. It involves his 435 acres of property being placed into receivership for what Mariposa County officials said were more than 101 code violations. Those code violations were mainly about the structures on the property.
When that happened, Mariposa County Superior Court Judge Dana Walton ordered the matter into receivership. A receivership is when a third-party takes over the property. In many cases in California, it is a property such as an apartment building where income can continue to be generated. But in this case, Cox was ordered off of his property, the Bison Creek Ranch, and was only allowed to return just a few months ago.
But what happened between those two pieces of the case is right out of a suspense novel — or horror novel where Cox is concerned.
Cox has claimed all along there are ulterior motives by Mariposa County officials, who he says are corrupt and have colluded to take his property. He said the alleged code violations were repaired for $8,000 and that the receiver has padded the expenses, mainly by charging exorbitant amounts for security and other work at the property.
However, in June, Walton ordered the property to be sold for $700,000. Cox argued the property was worth twice that and said the receiver, Mark Adams of California Receivership Group, was simply trying to get back his money, and that of the county, by selling it well under market value. Cox presented a property appraisal showing it worth well over $1.4 million.
At that time, the receiver told the court a buyer was in place. The court allowed that buyer to remain anonymous, presumably because of the high-profile nature of the case.
It looked as if the property would be sold, but that changed last week and apparently changed even more this week.
According to Adams, the potential buyer has not signed a contract. Adams went so far to say in a court filing that Cox, or people associated with him, had something to do with the potential buyer changing his mind.
In the filing, dated July 22, Adams said the potential buyer had not contacted him for over a week, “and that was just after expressing that continued exposure to liability for county fees and costs would kill the deal.”
When the judge ordered the property sold, he did make it part of the record the buyer could have potential liability, depending on the outcome of the receivership case.
But Adams, in his filing, said there was more.
“Essentially, it appears that the defendant’s tactics and threats and the uncertainty thrown in last minute with the county pledge has created enough chaos that the buyer is no longer interested,” wrote Adams in the filing.
Attorney Marc Angelucci, who represents Cox, called the allegation false.
“Mr. Cox adamantly denies having people call the buyer,” said Angelucci.
The judge appeared to agree, saying “there is no backup” to the claims of Adams “and the court recognizes that.”
The judge then turned questions toward Adams, saying the proposed order to sell the property he wrote, at the request of the court, was not what was expected.
He called some of the content of the report “disturbing” and told Adams he needed to file a formal explanation with the court.
Adams said when the order was written, he had not yet received a transcript of the hearing.
The judge told Adams if he didn’t have a transcript, “maybe you need to wait for one. The proposed orders were clearly not consistent with the court’s order at the hearing.”
Also during the hearing, Adams told the court he felt a deal was still possible, though he admitted he has yet to speak with the potential buyer.
He said “discussions” are underway, though he refused to tell the court with whom those discussions are taking place.
“I wouldn’t say the deal is dead at this point,” said Adams, who then went on to say he hasn’t “discussed with the buyer” the current situation.
Adams did admit the “original contract is void,” citing a June date when it was supposed to be finalized.
He added he was hopeful “to arrange a meeting with the buyer to assuage his concerns.”
But Walton vacated the previous order for the sale “since the matter is, on its face, dead.”
Adams said his “hope” was to meet with the buyer, either in person or by phone, “in the next week or two.”
He then requested at least 30 days before the next status hearing is held.
The judge told Cox’s attorney that if there was still a possibility that an associate of Cox wanted to buy the property, it “might be an opportunity.”
That happened during a June hearing when Krystal Mongeon, who told the judge she is associated with Cox, said she was interested in purchasing 160 acres for $750,000.
Mongeon told the court at that time she has a “trust” fund, but when asked if she could come up with the funds that week, she said it would take longer.
Mongeon told the court in June it would likely be August before she could obtain the funding to purchase the property.
“August isn’t going to work,” said Walton during that June hearing.
Now, however, the next status conference won’t be held until August is almost over. He set it for Monday, Aug. 26 at 3 p.m.
That came after a hearing scheduled for the previous week was delayed by the judge, though it seemed Adams wanted to proceed.
That hearing was scheduled for July 15, a full week before Adams submitted the supplemental document to the court requesting the hearing for Monday be canceled because the sale was apparently not going to happen.
During the hearing last week, it was learned that Angelucci was vacationing in Hawaii and he had notified Adams he was not going to be able to participate by telephone.
Adams claimed at the hearing he had “forgotten about” Angelucci being in Hawaii, but then offered, “I’m not sure why he can’t do Court Call from Hawaii.”
Court Call is the system used when those involved in court cases call in during hearings. It has been used extensively in this case.
After Adams questioned why Cox’s attorney could not call in while in Hawaii, the judge responded by saying, “Everyone has a right to take vacation time.”
Mariposa County Counsel Steve Dahlem also said he felt the hearing should be continued.
“The county believes we should not go forward at this time,” Dahlem said at the July 15 hearing.
He said the “county wants to recover the costs” in the case, “but not at the cost of Mr. Cox not being represented.”
That’s when the judge rescheduled the hearing for this Monday. That hearing is where Adams presented the supplemental report about the sale not being formalized and that he wasn’t sure if that was going to happen.