A Sandy Lake Township couple has filed a federal lawsuit alleging a local judge and a sheriff’s deputy violated their civil rights when the wife was physically removed from a courtroom.

Raymond S. and Rebecca A. Crimone, 2917 Sandy Lake Grove City Road, said Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert G. Yeatts and deputy Anthony Tedesco violated their rights to free speech and against unlawful searches and seizures.

The charges are part of a much larger lawsuit that takes aim at mortgage companies, law firms and officials involved in the foreclosure of the mortgage of their home.

Nationstar Mortgage filed a foreclosure complaint Oct. 16 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court, alleging the Crimones defaulted on their 2004 mortgage and owe about $127,000.

The Crimones filed preliminary objections Dec. 2 arguing the complaint fails to conform with the Rules of Civil Procedure, an affidavit was improper and Nationstar does not have standing to sue.

The original mortgage was made by Wilmington Finance, which sold it to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., which sold it to Nationstar.

The Crimones essentially argue that Nationstar does not hold the original loan documents and all of the documents concerning the assignments of the mortgage that led from Wilmington to Nationstar.

According to the federal suit, a court hearing was scheduled for April 7 before Yeatts for oral argument on the preliminary objections, but the Crimones asked for a delay because of Mrs. Crimone’s pregnancy.

She ended up delivering two weeks early by C-section, although the date of birth is not included in the lawsuit.

A new court date of May 5 was scheduled, but the Crimones, who are acting as their own attorneys, said they were confused as to whether the hearing was for the objections or the request for the delay.

At the May 5 hearing, Yeatts said the hearing was for argument on the objections, while Mrs. Crimone said she was there for argument on the delay.

“The court transcript will show the course of the court hearing from that point, which leads to a point where the judge threatens to have plaintiff (Mrs. Crimone) removed from the court early in the proceedings and eventually has her forcefully removed,” the federal complaint says.

Mrs. Crimone denies that she committed any misconduct.

In escorting her out of the courtroom, Tedesco squeezed Crimone’s arm and twisted it behind her back, causing torn and sprained ligaments in her arm, the suit says. She remained under a doctor’s care as of June 20, the day the federal suit was filed, the suit said.

The suit also alleges improper loan transference, fraud, misrepresentation, and violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

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