First Chartered Investment aka Chartered Financial
Lessons in how NOT to fight a junk fax suit
This is the mind-blowing story of a junk faxer who parlayed a $5K judgment
into over $50K, felony charges, and much more...
Background: This page was created in order to document the chronology of what
has transpired in this unusual junk fax civil action. It was created after the
action was initiated. Since the litigation was on going for longer than I
expected, I decided it would be good to document what had happened and also
enter evidence as I collected it. I decided to make it available on the web for
my own convenience in terms of editing it, and so I can submit the URL to the
court so the court can review the audio evidence, and other hyperlinks
assembled here. I've embellished the content so that it also serves a broader
public interest purpose since this case was truly an unusual case. Also, I
wanted to post the information publicly so 1) if there were any inaccuracies in
the information I obtained, people would be able to contact me to correct the
error so that the evidence I introduce would be as accurate as possible and 2)
so that people with evidence that could help my case would be able to find me. I
welcome any suggestions or corrections (or rebuttals!). Use the contact link.
First Chartered Investments under the guidance of Charles Cunningham sent
out millions of junk faxes for almost a year after the
FCC told the president of the company (Katrina Hartwell) to stop in August 2002.
As a result of the continuing faxes, I
and a few other people took her to court over her disregard for both federal law
and the FCC citation.
After several delays, including the death of her husband Charles who had
authorized the faxing in the first place, she eventually lost in court.
Then she was persuaded by her husband's paralegal, Howard Herships, that the
ruling was unfair and unjust and that he would assist her in fighting for
One slight problem was that Howard is a famous vexatious litigant and his
friend, Eleanor Lindquist, is a famous pathological liar and scam artist.
By ignoring the FCC citation and by trusting Herships and Lindquist and not
taking any of the advice I tried to give her, Hartwell ended up with judgments 10 times
more than she started with, felony charges (for vandalizing my car), nearly
losing her business in receivership. In addition, she was scammed out of $100K
Had she simply paid the $5K judgment at the beginning, she could have avoided
much of this.
Ignoring the law, ignoring the FCC, and deliberately ignoring court orders doesn't pay. Judges are sensitive people and they do not like it when
people do not follow their orders or break the law. People
who tell you that they know how to abuse the legal system to tie up the creditor
to get you out of paying the judgment are just going to get you into more
trouble, not less. Hartwell is the textbook case
of why that is true and this is her story.
Aliases for company:
- First Chartered Investments, Inc. (the original name)
- Chartered Financial & Investment Corporation (the new name created to
try to avoid collection of the prior judgments)
The chronology of events
Note: the events below are some of the highlights of the events of this case.
This is not a complete chronology.
Throughout this ordeal, I have extended to the Defendants the
opportunity to settle this by cooperating but Hartwell has always refused to do
that. So now we are only left with options that are going to be very unpleasant
for her, in addition to the felony charge she is already facing. That was her
choice. All of these (including the felony charge) were her choices.
What follows is her
story of how she was able to turn a simple $5,000 judgment into judgments of
over $42,000, skyrocketing costs (she will have to pay the bill for the receiver
and the receiver's attorney and both of them are not cheap), felony charges, and
is on the verge of losing her business and personal property.
- various times in 2003: received junk faxes from First Chartered. They were
sent by fax.com which I confirmed by fax.com's records and via header
identification. The FCC sent Katrina Hartwell at letter telling her not to
fax. She ignored it and continued sending out faxes (without the company
name on the fax) for approximately a year thereafter. You shouldn't ignore
FCC notices because it proves to the court that you are intentionally
breaking the law. Courts are not going to be sympathetic to you at all.
- Aug 8, 2003: Marie Firl at 1592 Union Street is listed as the
agent for service for First Chartered. I send them a demand letter.
- Sept 24, 2003: I file one case for the 10 faxes that Andre Barde
has found in my fax pile. It's a $5,000 case (only $500 per fax because I'm
a neophyte at this point and don't know you can sue for $2,500).
- Oct 16, 2003: Registered process server serves the complaint on
Firl at that address
- Nov 20, 2003: Case is heard. Nobody shows up for the Defendant.
Default judgment is entered for $5,000. 30 days later I start to try to
collect, eventually sending a keeper to their office.
- Mar 4, 2004: Defendant files a motion to vacate the judgment
claiming that they weren't served. I now believe they were telling the truth
about that (e.g., either the process server was lying or Marie Firl never
gave them the complaint). I am a nice guy and explain to the
Defendant that they were served by a registered process server at their
agent for service's address and they should be careful what they ask for. I tell them I know
a lot more about the law than I did when I filed the original claim and that if they
choose to vacate the
judgment, then I will ask the court to dismiss without prejudice so that I
could re-file these claims as separate actions of $2,500 each. I also told
them that I found 6 more faxes so that instead of owing me $5,000, they will
owe me well over $40,000. They ignore my advice and choose to follow through
on the motion to vacate. That wasn't smart. They should have listened to me.
I warned them. I
dismiss the case without prejudice and re-file as 16 separate cases.
- May 18, 2004: I file as 16 cases. 2-04-SC-001187 thru
2-04-SC-001199, 2-04-SC-001214, 2-04-SC-001215, 2-04-SC-001718. Here are the
- July 15, 2004: Trial date. They ask for a continuance. Granted.
- Sep 9, 2004: Trial date. Katrina's husband died in China of a
heart attack about 60 days ago. She against asks for a continuance. Judge points out that they've known
about the case for at least 6 months and have used up their continuance.
Trial is held. Here are the notes I hand the judge:
Kirsch v First Chartered, Charles
Cunningham, Katrina Hartwell
- Sep 10, 2004: Judgments are mailed out. I win all 16 cases for
$2,500 plus service and filing costs.
Katrina decides not to appeal the judgments.
- Late 2004: Katrina hooks up with Howard Herships because he was
her husband's paralegal. But unbeknownst to Katrina, Howard is a famous
vexatious litigant who is not a lawyer. Howard assures Katrina he will save
the day for her. Essentially, Howard engages in the unauthorized practice of
law. Howard assures her he can file sufficient paperwork in the courts to tie me up in knots for years so I cannot
collect. He points to his infamous track record:
Article about Howard Herships and
his vexatious litigation. Hartwell trusts him because he tells her what
she wants to hear (that Kirsch can be stopped) and employs him as a
"computer consultant" so that he can represent the firm in court. They
change the name of the company to make it harder to collect. In the
meantime, I am doing research on their bank accounts, getting writs of
execution and abstracts of judgments issued, filing liens on her property,
wage garnishments, judgment debtor exam, OSC re: contempt, etc. I want them
to know that I'm not going to walk away. What's the point of wasting the
court's time to get a judgment if you aren't going to collect? If you aren't
serious about collecting, you should never have filed the lawsuit in the
first place. That would simply waste everyone's time.
- Jan 13, 2005: My motion to add Chartered Financial & INVESTMENT
CORPORATION to the judgments are granted by Commissioner Ryan after I
present compelling evidence that the new company is a successor in interest
of the old company.
- Early 2005: Appeal after appeal by Hartwell (with Herships
doing the ghost writing) in 6 different state and federal courts in an attempt to stay
the judgments...every single one is denied which is
exactly the right disposition since none of Hartwell's arguments (all of
which are crafted by Herships who is not a lawyer) have any merit
whatsoever. None of Hartwell's requests are granted. Yet she
doesn't get the message that maybe she is wrong and all the judges are
right. How many times does it take to for her to be convinced she is wrong?
Also there is a Debtor Exam which got dropped from the calendar by mistake,
an OSC re: contempt which got dropped through a clerical error, various
170.6 challenges against judges to delay the proceedings, etc. They also
file for a TRO in federal court against Commissioners Madden and Ryan personally.
That is pretty outrageous to sue a judge personally for a ruling you
didn't like. I am able to find their bank account and I levy a little more
than $10K from the account and they immediately move it so I can't do it
- Feb 9, 2005: I write
a letter to Presiding Judge Danner about these cases in response to a
letter that Katrina wrote to him portraying me as the evildoer. You take a
lot of heat from the evildoers and their attorneys for trying to do the
right thing and help enforce the law. They basically try to portray you as
abusing the legal system and paint themselves as innocent victims and lie
about what the law really says.
- June 13, 2005: I write an
page letter to Commissioner Madden explaining the various motions I am
making in case 2-04-SC-001196 to try to collect my judgment. The letter
contains a pretty good
summary of many of the techniques they've used to date to frustrate my attempts to
collect my judgment.
- June 16, 2005: 1pm D-86: My 3 motions are heard. Katrina doesn't
show but Herships shows up. Herships gets frustrated pretty quickly because
Madden correctly points out that Herships has no standing to appear. Even
though Madden is 100% that Herships can't talk, Herships calls Madden an "idiot" and then storms out of the courtroom. Madden denies the vexatious litigant
motion saying he doesn't have jurisdiction to make that determination (which
I believe is the correct ruling because it appears that it must be done in a court of record), I
withdraw the turnover order (for reasons I'll explain when this is over),
and he grants the assignment order (which Hartwell of course ignores after
it is later served upon her). In the meantime, Deputy Cordero stops Herships
from leaving the building because insulting the judge is a contempt of court
(PC 166(a)). The deputy discovers that Herships has a warrant for his arrest on
misdemeanor charges in San Francisco. So he does a cite and release on the
warrant (probably because it's a low bail amount and it's out of county).
But he also discovers that Herships driver's license expired 5 years
ago. The deputy tells Herships not to drive. It's not illegal to have an
expired license; it's just illegal to drive with an expired license.
Herships leaves the courtroom, but Cordero thinks Herships isn't going to
heed his advice and alerts the perimeter deputies. Sure enough, Herships
gets into his car (which is actually Eleanor Lindquist's car, a '91 Mercedes
300E (4 door) blue 2VIW753), and starts to pull out of the parking lot. Two seconds later it's
like a scene from "Cops" in the parking lot. Police cars swoop in and block his exit and force
him out of the car. Herships is arrested for driving without a license. The
car is towed. Herships should have heeded Cordero's warning. The big irony
of this is that the person who hears the traffic misdemeanors is
Commissioner Madden, the very same judge who Herships just called an idiot. What
can I say? Howard really knows how to work the system. He should
write a book.
- Aug 30, 2005: Herships is getting pretty upset that all of his
stuff is being denied so he files (using Katrina's name as usual) a declaration to try to disqualify
every judge in Santa Clara County: DisqulificationAttempt.pdf.
This is just the latest filing of a never ending series of legal filings in
courts in California (state and federal) as well as US Supreme Court that
have been continuing in the background. Nobody's ever seen anything like it
- Sept 2, 2005: Presiding Judge Danner denies the disqualification
and strikes the declaration: DisqualificationDenial.pdf.
I have to give Judge Danner a lot of credit for this; he was a lot more even
tempered in his ruling than I would have been if I were a judge.
- Sept 29, 2005: This is the big day for me. I am getting tired
playing the cat and mouse games with them so I have a motion for to
appoint a receiver in case 2-04-SC-001196 who is also empowered to collect
the other cases which should end the collection
nonsense once and for all (at minimal paperwork for the clerks since it is
only 1 paper and not 16). And Hartwell's OSC re: contempt is set for
hearing at 2pm in case 2-04-SC-001191 so after months of delay, she will
finally be held accountable for ignoring every single post-judgment court
order. Hartwell doesn't show up for either case. I call her office and they
don't know where she is. It's always a bad idea to be a no show for your own
contempt hearing. My best guess is that Herships has told Hartwell
everything is under control with the litigation he's filing so there is no
reason to show up. So Judge Southard carefully reads through the
proposed order then grants my receiver motion (commenting that he
appreciated the fact that I didn't try to take advantage of the situation
and ask for more than I should) and also issues a bench warrant for Hartwell's arrest for FTA on an OSC re:contempt.
- Oct 24, 2005: 1:45pm ex parte motion in D-84 (Southard) by the
receiver to expressly add to the order to allow him to hire an attorney and
post a $10,000 bond. Hartwell and Herships show this
time and a new third person is there who claims her name is Eleanor Lindquist. Hartwell says she
didn't show for her contempt hearing because she thought it was off calendar
and handed the judge a printout to justify her statement. One little problem
that Southard immediately pointed out to her was that the very printout she
handed in her defense shows it was ON calendar! So Southard didn't
buy it and suggested she turn herself in for arrest on the FTA warrant. She
chose not to and walked out. The hearing is over at 2:10pm. Hartwell makes a
gesture behind my back of "spitting" on me as she leaves (I can't see it but
the receiver and his attorney do). We see Hartwell, Herships, and Lindquist
head to their car. The receiver and his attorney suggest I get the plate
number. I go over and do that. Herships threatens to bash my face in and
tries to block my access, but I get the whole thing on tape because I have
the recorder on my cell phone started to take down the vehicle plate number (Herships.MP3). One of them asks me, "Is this your car?" My
car is near theirs and I say it is, but I think that is a really odd question.
Why would they ask that? So I head back to the courthouse to tell the
receiver and his attorney what Howard said to me (they are watching from a
my way back to the courthouse, while my back is turned, the receiver and his attorney see Herships
and Hartwell walk over to my car and then key my car and then gesture in a
sign of victory. They tell me to return to the vehicle. Sure enough:
fresh paint and two key marks that have different characteristics so appear
to be done by two people with different strength, one right after the other. So that explains the "is this your car?"
question I got right before they did it. I call the Palo Alto police who take my
statement and the statement of my 2 witnesses. It's a felony (PC 594(b)(1))
if the damage is >$400 so I get an estimate and provide it to the police
officer. Also, two people conspiring to commit a misdemeanor (which is what
happened on the second key mark) is a felony (PC
182). So is intimidating a witness (PC 136(a)(1) and PC 140). And
criminal threats such as the ones Herships made to me on tape is a felony
(PC 422). So they are potentially in really deep doo-doo. They later get
Herships' statement who claims I'm stalking them. He tells the officer he
filed a police report on it in Santa Clara County. Cop asks him for the case #.
Herships can't give it to him. I check. There is no such report. Nice documentation
of Herships lying to a cop on something really easy to verify. It's in
the police report and that's a misdemeanor. When it rains it pours.
- Oct 25, 2005: I have a fax.com appeal hearing at 9am which is moved
to Judge Nichols' courtroom at Down Town Superior (aka DTS). Judge Nichols,
by the way, totally rocks: he's very smart so he easily sees through the
shenanigans from the opposing counsel, his demeanor was perfection, his
process was excellent, he got to the heart of the issues, he allowed both
sides to air their argument, he didn't let the court room get out of
control, he didn't over pontificate, but just enough to assure us he
understood what he was doing, and he didn't make a mistake in anything he
said or did. To my surprise,
Herships, Hartwell, and Lindquist are in the audience. I figure they are not
there to cheer me on in my 4 year battle agains the fax.com evildoers. The fax.com case is over in about an hour and Hartwell
and crew then try to have Judge Nichols overturn the receiver order issued by
Southard. That of course is amateurish and totally improper; a judge at the same level can't
overturn another judge's ruling (Herships knows that) and also it wasn't on calendar and also they
never gave me notice. Nichols refuses to hear it presumably for those 3
reasons and has Hartwell arrested on Southard's FTA bench warrant for her
OSC re: contempt. It's cash bail only so Hartwell pays
the $3K and bails out shortly thereafter. Her court date is set for December
7, 2005 at 9amin D-84 in Palo Alto. I also file my opposition to Hartwell's most
recent (never ending) appeal to the 6th appellate district. I keep it short
and sweet. Check it out... it's all on one page:
Kirsch Opposition to Petition to transfer and request for stay.
Too bad all legal briefs aren't that brief.
- Nov 8, 2005: Apparently the DA decided to act on the police report
I filed on October 24 and the DA has a judge in Palo Alto issue felony arrest warrants
in Palo Alto for the arrest of Katrina Hartwell and Howard Herships for the
vandalism of my car. The warrants are endorsed for night service and the
bail is set at $10,000. Now that is cool. The justice system really works.
The bad guys are losing.
- Nov 16, 2005: Hartwell appealed Southard's receiver order in
2-04-SC-001196 by improperly filing it as a "small claims appeal"
which it is not. In Herships view, this creates an "automatic
stay" of enforcement. Of course, like everything Herships argues,
that is just total bullshit. Appeals of post judgment orders must be heard by the
appellate division, not a superior court judge and they have to go through
several steps if they want to stay the order. Herships claimed that the
Appellate Division refused to accept his appeal papers so that's why he
filed in the wrong court. If so, that was a mistake by the clerk, but filing
an improper appeal in the wrong is simply not the way to address it. But
following the law is not Howard's strong suit.
Judge Kleinberg heard the case (even though it should never have been
calendared by the clerk) and ruled the appeal wasn't timely since he can only hear the
appeal of the judgment (not post-judgment orders) and they are way late for
appealing the judgment (even Howard acknowledged that). Kleinberg had "blue tagged"
(with a sticky) each of Hartwell's attempts to overturn the
judgment and commented that in his entire judicial career which spans over
35 years, he has never seen a case
that has been appealed as many times as this one (and the small claims case
file he had only has some of the appeals...he doesn't know the half of it!). Eleanor appeared again (her third time)
to speak on their behalf. Eleanor admitted it was HER car that was towed
(the one Herships was driving without a license). This has me really
suspicious as to why a "small claims advocate" would loan out her car to
Howard Herships. So I do some research on Eleanor and find this thread:
Forces of BCO...help me bring down a
thief which indicates that this gentle innocent-looking 70 year old granny isn't
nearly as innocent as
she appears. Not by a long shot. Right after the hearing, Judge
Kleinberg had the deputies take Herships and Hartwell into custody on the
felony arrest warrant. I saw them in handcuffs being escorted out of the
courtroom. I also get in the mail a filing from the California AG's office
which was forced to respond to Hartwell's urgent motion in the federal
appeals court of the 9th circuit to appeal the denial of her TRO in federal court (Case No.
05-80129). The AG's filing is about .5" thick. This is just an incredible
waste of the AG's time to have to respond to Hartwell's frivolous attempts
to overturn her judgments. The AG is basically forced to assume the federal
judge isn't very smart and counter point by point every argument they make.
Big waste of time.
- Nov 17, 2005: Judge Kleinberg's outrage at what Hartwell has done
means that the next time they attempt an appeal to a court of record, I can
motion the appeals court to have Hartwell declared a vexatious litigant and
simply refer to the case file in 2-04-SC-001196 in my declaration. I will
invoke the authority of CCP 391.7(a) to bring a motion before the court to
have Ms. Hartwell declared a vexatious litigant pursuant to the definitions
in CCP 391(2) and 391(3). In the meantime, I send a letter to the presiding
judge about the matter in the hopes he will take action:
Letter to Danner on Hartwell.
I also speak to the receiver. Because Katrina refuses all offers from the
receiver to cooperate with him, life is going to get a lot worse for Katrina
real soon now. All of us cannot believe how stupid she is. She is putting all her
faith in Herships, a guy whose every motion has been denied. I have told her
in the past to get a real lawyer who knows the law and will tell her her
options and to arrange payment over time so that I do not have to disrupt
her life. I have no interest in that. I am simply trying to collect my
judgment and her non-compliance with court orders (such as wage garnishment,
SC-133, etc) and abusing the system have simply made her situation worse.
She clearly doesn't like it that someone is holding her accountable for
non-compliance with the law. She must think I am a bad guy and all the judges who tell her she's wrong
she thinks are wrong too. I cannot simply drop my collection efforts and let
her "off the hook." If I did that, Herships declares victory and then others
will replicate what Herships has done and judgments will be meaningless and
the rule of law will not be enforced. More Howard Herships antics is not something
that anyone would want to
encourage by any stretch. That would be a great disservice to the legal
system. Besides, this is a useful case study to others to show what
happens to people who refuse to comply with the law and with lawful court
orders and try to game the sytem. If we can win against the famous Howard Herships, it will hopefully
persuade others thinking of doing something similar to not do it. Also,
Katrina is operating on the mistaken belief that she can simply ignore court
orders she disagrees with. Of course, that is not how the system works. If
you don't have a stay in hand, you better follow the order. If this is not
enforced, the system breaks down because court orders become meaningless. There is no point in bringing a lawsuit in
the first place if you are not going to ensure that the orders are enforced
and the judgments are paid.
- Nov 18, 2005: Katrina lost her emergency appeal in federal court
(9th circuit court of appeals). The California AG tried to get the judge to
issue a pre-filing motion against her (the same type of Order that I
suggested in my letter to Danner above), but the federal judge declined to
do so at this time. That was probably because that judge has no clue as to
how many other suits she's filed since that evidence was NOT put before him.
- Nov 20, 2005: Herships has contacted the San Jose Mercury
newspaper about me. They do a story about this. Both Katrina and I are
quoted in the story. It runs on page 1 of today's paper! See the newspaper
articles section below.
- Nov 21, 2005: I receive a phone call at 12:30pm from a friend of
Katrina's brother John. He says that Katrina wants to settle this issue. All
of my previous settlement talks with them ended with an agreement between
the parties and then they never signed it. This time it seems real. Katrina
has already drafted a letter of apology. I tell him all I want is 4 things:
1) a payment plan for her to pay her legal debts to others who have
judgments or are owed money (such as the receiver I was forced to appoint)
and to me for both my judgments and the damage to my car 2) a written
apology so that I know that she knows what she did was wrong and now
realizes it 3) to tell the truth in court about the vandalism incident to my
vehicle and 4) to drop all litigation against the Superior Court and the
Commissioners. After the full payment is received, I will remove my liens,
file a satisfaction of judgment, and dismiss the contempt charges.
- Nov 21, 2005: I meet with John's friend. He want to settle this
with me at a reduced rate. No deal. We can't come to terms.
- Nov 30, 2005: Herships and Hartwell appear at their arraignment
on felony charges in D-88 (Pichon). They are represented by the public
defender, a Mr. Goodman. Goodman talks faster than any attorney I know.
Howard wants to hire his own attorney. So they basically re-schedule the
arraignment date to Jan 18, 2006 at 1:30pm. True to form, Howard argues with
Goodman as to how the defense should be handled. Howard wants to file all
these papers in protest, but Goodman says he can't do it..."it's like the
alphabet," Goodman explains to Herships. "You have to do A and B before you
do C." Herships reluctantly agrees (after arguing for a few minutes with
him). I'm sure Herships wants to take this case to the Supreme Court.
- Dec 19, 2005: Small claims case is heard by a Pro Tem. Hartwell
is honest and admits she keyed my car. Herships and Hartwell lose the case.
There are punitive damages of 3 times the actual damages also awarded
against Herships. If I'm lucky, Herships will appeal and I can get another
shot at 10x actual damages.
- March 13, 2006: We all meet at the receiver's attorney's office
and work out a settlement agreement. I agree to release the liens.
Howard Herships background
- Herships was the paralegal used by Charles Cunningham before he died. When
Katrina ran into legal problems, she naturally turned to Howard for help.
That was a major mistake.
- Howard Herships, a famous vexatious litigant, regularly engages in the
unauthorized practice of law. He promises his clients that Howard knows
how to tie up the opposition in knots for years. And by filing all his
paperwork using the client's name as pro per, Howard side-steps the
prohibitions of the vexatious litigant statute.
- Article about Howard Herships and
his vexatious litigation for an unflagging series of lawsuits over
almost 8 years over the same loan default.
- Court order
declaring Herships a vexatious litigant. This is actual the appeals
court ruling. Naturally, Howard is going to appeal any trial court ruling.
- Oct 24, 2005: Herships.MP3: This is an
audio of me
recording their license plate after the ex parte hearing that happened
just a few minutes before (see the entry above for that date). While I am
trying to view their plates, Herships approaches me to block my view of
their vehicle and threatens to
punch my face in. He then realizes he is being recorded and then pretends he is the
victim. So how many REAL victims say "hit me again...why don't you hit
me again?" None. This is just before two independent eye witnesses
observe Herships and Hartwell keying my car while my back is turned to them
as I walk back to the courthouse.
- Howard apparently never passed the bar because he has some unusual beliefs
about the law and the legal process including:
- The law shall be interpreted how Howard Herships thinks it should be
interpreted. Therefore, if Howard thinks it is illegal, it is. It does
not matter how many judges disagree with Howard. They are wrong.
Howard is right.
- If you get a bad ruling, it simply means the judge is an idiot.
Therefore, the right thing to do is try to overturn the decision so that
Howard's view of justice prevails. "If at first you don't succeed, file, file
again." There is no limit to how many times you can appeal because each
time, you can change a few words and re-file. The idea is that you may
get lucky and find a judge who agrees with you. You can get away with it
because judges are in general too timid to issue an order to stop you
from filing pro per even though the law was changed to allow them to do
that (it just forces you to use an attorney which doesn't violate your
right to due process).
- The law applies to other people, not to you. Therefore, it is OK to
operate a motor vehicle, even though you have a driver's license that
expired 5 years ago and even after a cop tells you not to do it. If you get arrested, it
doesn't mean that you were wrong. It simply means that the cop was
wrong. He just doesn't understand that if your name is Howard
Herships you are above the law and don't have to follow laws you don't
- If you get a court order to do something, if you don't agree with it,
you don't have to follow it. Everyone else needs a stay from a higher
court to avoid following a court order, but you aren't bound by that if
your name is Howard Herships. That is the Herships exemption from the
law. You can merely claim you have an appeal pending to stay the order,
or, if that doesn't work, your simply claim that a stay was issued in
your favor and that they just haven't issued the paperwork yet. It
doesn't matter if it isn't true because most people will take you at
your word and won't check anyway, especially if you say it with
confidence like it is really true.
- When writing legal briefs, it is perfectly OK to generalize narrow
case law to apply to your current situation if the result would help
your case. So if case law says that in contract cases where there is a
recurring payment that mandatory joinder is required when filing an
action, it is OK to interpret that as meaning that mandatory joinder is
always required in all causes of action, including tort law.
- When citing a case, it is OK to say that this case proves your point,
even though it says just the opposite. This works many times because
judges are lazy and don't look up the case. Therefore, they'll take your
word that the case says what you say it does, especially if your brief
looks and reads like it was written by a real attorney (who are not
supposed to do that).
- There are bad judges everywhere. If filing in the correct venue
doesn't work, file in the wrong venue and hope that the judge doesn't
notice. So if you have a Superior Court judgment in Santa Clara County
and you can't get it overturned there, then try to get a stay in San
Mateo via an ex parte motion using the argument that venue is proper
because the judgment is being enforced in San Mateo.
- If you are in a hurry, it's OK not to notify the other side of an ex
parte motion (as he failed to do on Oct 25).
- If the judge rules against you, you need to put him in his place and
show him who's really the boss. Tell the judge to stop interrupting you
when you talk. If that doesn't work, call the judge an "idiot"
to his face. If that still doesn't work, sue him personally in federal
court for making a bad ruling. And never ever follow any of his orders.
You have to show him that you are in control, not him. That will teach 'em.
And if that's not enough, just file a CCP 170.6 against them. This works
even if you know nothing about the judge (and admit it).
- To intimidate your opponent, tell him you filed for cert in SCOTUS and
it was granted and that Alan Dershowitz will be representing you. This
has a chance of working especially if you can sound convincing, so it's
worth trying. You have nothing to lose. If you get called on it,
apologize and say, "I guess I was mistaken."
- Don't worry about lying to a police officer even though it is a
misdemeanor. So it's OK to claim you filed a police report on an
incident that never happened even if there isn't a police report. If the
cop calls you on it and asks for the Case #, just say you don't have it
but will get back to him with it (and then never get back to him). And
use different venues each time you refer to the police report, e.g., if
the Palo Alto cop figures out there was no police report filed, you just
say "Oh, I filed it with the Sheriff" and vice-versa....if the Sheriff
calls you on the lie, you just say, "Oh, I filed it with Palo Alto." I
checked both and there was no police report that Howard claimed to the
Palo Alto cop.
Charles Cunningham information
Charles Cunningham was the person who originally contracted with fax.com to
send the faxes for First Chartered. Cunningham was Katrina's husband. He was a
VP of the company and Katrina was the President. He died a few months
before the judgments were rendered in this case, of a heart attack in
China. His paralegal was Howard Herships.
Eleanor Marie Lindquist facts
Eleanor is involved on this page because she showed up in court claiming to
be a "small claims
advocate" on behalf of Katrina Hartwell three times so far: on
Oct 24, 25 and Nov 17. I thought it was odd since there is no such thing as a
"small claims advocate." Also, even if there was such a thing, why would a small claims advocate loan Howard
Herships (a man w/o a driver's license) her car? That just seemed way too odd
for my tastes. Also,
at her first hearing she was a small claims advocate and at the third hearing
she was an advocate in family court. That's just way too weird for me. Something
is fishy here.
What's even worse is that she's talked to the press about me, and made up stories
about me out of nowhere stating things about me that are untrue and have no factual
basis. These are not simply misinterpreting facts. These are lies manufactured out of thin
It's pretty hard to believe that anyone would be so brazen to lie like
that. So I
did a little background checking and boy, was I amazed at what I found. I have
investigated a lot of people associated with junk faxes, but I've never run
across someone like Eleanor.
Eleanor sent me a letter asking me to remove the information about her on
this site. I said I be happy to remove any information which is both false and
defamatory if she would tell me what was in error. She wrote back asking me to
remove the information about her on this site because "all of the
information is inaccurate as it is not from reliable sources which can be
confirmed and as this information is readily available without of the statutory
protection under both Federal and State Law reporting laws, I am requesting you
remove it immediately."
My offer still stands. If she'd tell me statements that are false, I'd be
happy to remove them. If she wants to send me a rebuttal, I'd be happy to
publish it on this page.
In the meantime, here's what I found out.
I finally found out how Eleanor got involved in all this. Eleanor and
Herships are friends. That explains why she loaned him her car. For example, see
Meeting Summary of March 24, 2005 showing they are both representing SFHW at
this meeting. So at first I thought that Herships, who complains about me to anyone who
will listen, was complaining to Eleanor who offered to come in, roll up her
sleeves, and "save
the day" for Howard. Well, There are some reports
that Herships and Eleanor are living together but I haven't been able to confirm
that. Also, Eleanor, who Katrina met
through Herships, scammed Katrina out of $100K, but Katrina still trusts Eleanor
and still doesn't have a clue she is being scammed. Eleanor is just a great
liar. She's that good.
- People familiar with her (e.g., attorneys, friends, associates, former
employees, family members, etc) had the following things to say about Eleanor (I am mixing in all the remarks
so as to protect the sources from retaliation; note that these are the
statement of others and I have not independently verified these statements
but they seem to be remarkably consistent with each other and consistent
with what I observed first hand so I am publishing them here as Eleanor's
story is a matter of public interest):
- Eleanor is a teller of whoppers.
- She's a storyteller.
- She is a pathological liar.
- People who have known her much of her life say she has always been that
way. They can't figure out why.
- We have no idea as to her real name. Eleanor is her real first name and
Lindquist is her current husband's name. So that's her current name she is
using, but her real birth name is a mystery to us all.
- I can't believe the number of schemes she was involved in.
- In a deposition in the bankruptcy proceeding she was evasive, gave nonsense answers, and
contradicted herself many times. So many bogus names about husbands and kids.
We just couldn't figure it out. We got different answers every time we asked the
questions in the same deposition! I've never seen anything like it.
- Our client had a $500K judgment against her, mostly for attorney fees.
When we tried to collect, she declared bankruptcy.
- The bankruptcy trustee was convinced there were shenanigans going on.
The creditor's meeting, which is almost always 10 minutes long, was 2 hours long and
continued on another day. That is HIGHLY unusual and only happens when the
trustee knows that there is something hugely amiss.
- Our clients gave up because they thought we were drilling in a dry hole.
Our clients didn't have deep pockets to pursue it so they quit. If someone
has time and money, we could pursue it. Our client didn't want to spend the
money to deny the discharge because it may have meant spending a lot more
money without any assurances of being able to recover that at the end, even
if we were able to find any assets.
- She's probably hidden the dough and parked it somewhere where nobody can
- She supposedly got $15M in cash and equipment from HP for her company.
That money is gone.
- Eleanor and her husband can't account for where all the money went. They claim they do not
know. They kept very poor records. There were hardly any books. She said her
husband has Alzheimer's so that's why they can't figure out what happened.
The only problem with that is that after the bankruptcy, her husband later
moved up to Oregon where he's working for Intel. Doubtful he'd be able to do
that if he had Alzheimer's.
- Her husband Jeffrey C Lindquist is as dishonest as she is. They are cut
from the same cloth. He's in Oregon right now working for Intel. I hear he
just filed for bankruptcy.
- She's currently living in San Mateo. She moved out of her San Francisco
condo when the bank foreclosed on it around the time of her bankruptcy.
- When she moved out, she told everyone she had cancer. Yet the very day
she announced she was moving out, she was filing for bankruptcy. So I
seriously doubt she had cancer. She never lost her hair.
- She was on the board at the condo association. People were impressed
about what a pathological liar she was. She'd lie frequently. People were resolved to get her off the board.
- She ran for San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1984 using the name
Eleanor Davis. She told us she came in second. The SF Examiner for Dec 7,
1984 shows she really came in 14th place (about middle of the pack) with
- Her firm had 25 employees. She owed them at least $200K at the time of
- There were a lot of lawyers who had liens on her property. But the bank
came in first so all the others were left with worthless liens.
- At the condo association, there were some people who believed her.
Others saw right through her lies. She'd make these accusations about people
but then have
no evidence to back it up.
- You can't be sure anything is real with her.
- If she does have children they never spent any holidays with her or sent
her any gifts
- Here are the names I could find that appear to be AKAs based on bankruptcy filings, google search, etc)
- El St. John Lindquist (at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in San
Francisco on Bush St)
- El St. John
(for business, as in the cover photo to the right)
- Eleanor Marie Lindquist (her most recent name)
- Ellen Calamari
- Eleanor M Lindquist
- Eleanor M Davis (the name she used in 1984 when running for the San
Francisco Board of Supervisors)
- Eleanor Marie Calamari (her true birth name)
- Eleanor C Calamari
- Eleanor D Calamari
- Eleanor M Calamari
- Eleanor C Lindquist
- Eleanor Calamare
- Eleanor Calimari-Davis
- Eleanore M Calamari-Davis
- Eleanore Calamari
- Ellen Calamari
- From her bankruptcy testimony:
- 5 husbands: Jack Singer, David Reisman, Thomas Kinter, Charles Davis,
- Confirmation name (middle name): Cunigunda
- Has used "El St. John" as her professional name since age 17
- got paid $325K/yr at Silvertech; was board member and founder
- Never used any social security number except her own
- 7 children but wouldn't reveal names (likely because there aren't 7
children). There was only one that I could find that anyone knew about.
- Claimed she put $6M in AT&T stock and a Picasso in a storage
locker at Indiana & 25th street. Unfortunately, Jeffrey didn't pay
the bill so they sold the entire contents for the past due rent (a few
hundred dollars) to an anonymous stranger. OK, well that lie has so
many holes you can drive a truck through it. 1) AT&T stock would be in
her name or street name, not "bearer." Therefore, all she has to do is
ask AT&T to replace the shares. 2) the storage company she named doesn't
exist 3) at auction, the contents almost never go for the EXACT price of
the rent due, 4) the storage place would have notified them via mail and
phone many times before auctioning the stuff since most times, they
barely get 10% of the rent due so they try everything to contact the
owner, 5) buyers are never anonymous.
- Eleanor is the ONLY bad apple in the Calamari family. With the exception
of Eleanor, they are all really nice people.
- All of these aliases are explainable. Eleanor has been married 5 times. The Lindquist surname is because
she married Jeffrey C Lindquist. The Calamari surname is her real name for
certain. The Davis surname she took in 1984 is likely from her husband at
the time. The St. John surname that she recently took is related to her
church because she believes she's a saint. Yeah, I know...hard to believe,
- Why I think Eleanor Marie Calamari is her real name is that 1) it's the
only name in common to her 2 bankruptcies 2) it's the only name of all the
names listed in the bankruptcy that has a history to it 3) she "came
back" to using this name again recently after switching names 4) the
name is the earliest known name associated with her 6) her mother has that
name 7) she's of Italian descent so it's consistent 8) someone who knows
her extremely well confirmed it
- Companies where she is the owner/principal/agent for service of include:
- Silver Cyber Tech, Inc. www.SilverTechInc.com
Corporation Search Results)
- Silvercyber Tech, Inc.
- Silvertech Inc. 1415 Indiana St, San Francisco, CA 94107 See
Silvertech Inc. Search Results
- Panna Corporation, 465 Magellan Av, SF 94116 (see
Corporation Search Results)
- Golden Road Presents, Inc., 38 Bryant St #402, San Francisco, CA 94105 and also at 340 Brannan St #303, SF 94107
Corporation Search Results)
- Off Silver Cyber Tech, Inc, 38 Bryant Apt 402
- T & T Staffing, 465 Magellan Av, San Francisco CA 94116
- Global Cellular, Inc. (see
Corporation Search Results)
- Calamari Inc. (see
Corporation Search Results)
- Most recently, Eleanor is the COO of Eagle Dragon Group.
- She apparently lies about her age.
- Nov 17, 2005: age 70 in court admission under oath on Nov 17, 2005
(implies DOB Jan 1935 by she could have been rounding to the nearest
year in which case DOB Jan 1936).
- Nov 28, 2000: age 67 in article ZENIT, November 28, 2000 - The
World Seen From Rome (i.e., DOB Jan 1933)
- She regularly uses two different birthdates: Jan 1935 and 1937. Her
real birthdate appears to be Jan 18, 1935 since this is consistent
with the majority of the data, but it could be Jan 18, 1936.
- Lived with Jeffrey C Lindquist (see
Jeffrey C Lindquist bio
from the SilverTech site) at the condo in San Francisco. After the
bankruptcy, split up. She's in San Mateo now. He's in Oregon working for
- Currently resides in San Mateo.
- Her condo on Bryant St in San Francisco was purchased in Aug 2000 for $1.01M. The bank
(Washington Mutual) foreclosed at the time of her
- Owns a '91 Mercedes 300E (4 door) blue 2VIW753 which she let Howard
Herships drive. Herships had an expired driver's license at the time so her car was
towed when he tried using it. She reportedly told a cop that she was "across the
street" when they towed her car. That's just too hard to believe since why
would Herships drive away and leave her? The cops stopped Herships as he was
pulling out ALONE in the car...I know...I was there.
- Claims to have seven children (in the Zenit.org article "Grandmom
Launches Alternative Internet for Families" about El St. John of
Nov 28, 2000) and numerous grand-children. I'd sure like to know who they
are, but Eleanor refused to disclose this in her deposition in her bankruptcy case.
- Story of how she scammed a guy out of $100K and then sued him when he
gave up pursuing her is posted here:
Forces of BCO...help me bring down a
- Eleanor Marie Lindquist filed chapter 7 on 11/22/2002. Granted a discharge on
3/16/04. Case # 02-33288 TEC 7 in Northern California.
Eleanor Marie Lindquist aka El St. John
bankruptcy discharge dated March 16, 2004
- Here is the official El St. John bio from the SilverTech site
- One thing for sure...I've never heard of a "small claims
advocate" that she purported to be in court. There is no such position. Then,
in front of Judge Kleinberg, she
claimed she was an advocate in family court. But look at her background.
This is a CEO, business owner according to her bio. A real "big
shot." Hard to believe she'd give that all up to work in small claims.
The ONLY time anyone has ever seen her in court is with Hartwell and Herships. And letting
Herships drive her car??? Come on now. That would never happen if there
wasn't some kind of personal relationship going on. Herships was ALONE when
he was pulling out of the court parking lot. So she clearly gave him use of
her car. Yet she told the cops that she was across the street. But it took
them 30 minutes to arrest Howard. Why didn't Eleanor come? Why didn't Howard
wait for her before pulling out? And "small
claims advocate"? Even if there was such a position, Eleanor is hardly
the type that would take such a job. And to appear ONLY in Katrina's case? And explain the 14 aka's, multiple
birthdates, multiple social security numbers associated with her name, and stories of ripping people
off or leaving her employees stranded without pay.
- So she claimed under oath that she is a "small claims advocate" yet there
is no such position. And none of the small claims judges have EVER seen her
before. Nor have the deputies. She ONLY appears in this ONE case for this
ONE defendant. And she loans her car to the Defendant's friend who has no
license to drive. How is THAT possible?
- There is a top-rated mystery book featuring
Eleanor Lindquist written by Norman Rudnick about a a
well-known eccentric in San Francisco. I checked with the author who
confirmed that his book has absolutely nothing to do with the real
The bottom line is that Eleanor is a very intelligent, very smooth
pathological liar who can fabricate convincing facts on-the-fly. She has
defrauded a number of people out of a lot of money.
Newspaper articles about this case
Mysteries yet to be solved