Delaware County judge clears name following case of 'paper terrorism'

Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge David M. Gormley
Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge David M. Gormley

For months, Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge David M. Gormley has sought to clear his record and name following a barrage of charges filed against him by a Westerville resident he once ruled against and who claimed that he owed money to her.

Gormley was vindicated Thursday when a visiting judge ruledthat he had done nothing wrong and chastised the attack against him.

"This was done as a weapon of extortion and harassment which has been referred to as 'paper terrorism,' " wrote retired Lucas County Judge James Bates, who was chosen by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor to hear the case.

It all began with a Dec. 7, 2018 ruling by Gormley to uphold a bank's $223,611 foreclosure judgment against Jennifer St. Jacques, a Westerville resident who had contested the foreclosure.

In court documents filed in the Delaware County Recorder's Office shortly after Gormley's ruling, St. Jacques alleged that Gormley owed her money from the sale of agricultural equipment and supplies over several years. Gormley said he neither owns nor cares for livestock.

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"I am not a farmer or feed supplier," Gormley told The Dispatch in June.

The fraudulent filings continued.

Just days after a sheriff's sale of the foreclosed property at 489 Blue Heron Court in the Delaware County portion of Westerville, St. Jacques filed a lien against Gormley for $360,149. A week later, she filed an "agister's lien" for the same amount against Gormley.

An agister's lien is a "lien upon an animal provided by contract or statute as a security for fees of a person who has fed or cared for the animal," according to USLegal, an online source of legal definitions.

Gormley had said: "I owe no money to Ms. St Jacques. ... I was simply doing my job by ruling on the legal issues raised in the (earlier) case in which Ms. St Jacques was a party."

The liens and claims against Gormley have been removed from the recorder's office. Other similar liens against the judge were also removed from the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

Gormley could have sought punitive and actual damages, but chose only to recoup his legal fees totaling $7,279, which Bates ordered St. Jacques to pay.

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Gormley's lawsuit filed in December stated that St. Jacques was engaging in an "intentionally malicious, fraudulent and fake pattern of misbehavior for the sole purpose of causing damage to the plaintiff."

dnarciso@dispatch.com

@DeanNarciso

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Delaware County judge succeeds in clearing record of false charges