The ex-girlfriend of a D.C. Superior Court magistrate judge pleaded not guilty today to charges that include stalking the judge and breaking into her home in Northwest Washington.
A grand jury in late April indicted Taylar Nuevelle, 39, for alleged crimes that happened in September and October last year against Magistrate Judge Janet Albert. Albert serves in D.C.’s Family Court, where she hears child abuse and neglect cases. She has been a judge since 2003. The National Law Journal wrote about the criminal case here.
Nuevelle was first arrested in November and was released on her own recognizance with orders to stay away from Albert. Nuevelle is suing Albert, 44, in civil court to compel the return of property from the judge’s home. D.C. solo practitioner A. Kevin Fahey, counsel for Nuevelle, says in a court papers that Nuevelle lived at the home during her yearlong relationship with Albert.
Albert’s lawyer, Robert Spagnoletti of D.C.’s Schertler & Onorato, says in court papers that Nuevelle was a periodic guest at the judge’s home and that the judge required Nuevelle to return keys whenever she was given a set. Spagnoletti says Nuevelle maintained a separate residence during the relationship.
Prosecutors allege that Nuevelle stalked and harassed Albert through, among other things, a barrage of e-mails and text messages in the weeks following the end of the relationship in September. Nuevelle is accused of breaking into the judge’s home and trying to commit suicide there.
Spagnoletti included hundreds of alleged text messages sent from Nuevelle to Albert in a filing in the civil case. Fahey moved last week to seal the filing and Judge Judith Macaluso ordered the exhibits sealed May 14. But the court papers remained publicly available as of this morning.
Nuevelle allegedly said in one message in September that Albert is “the yeller & the one that controls everything.” In another message, Nuevelle allegedly wrote: “Feeling powerful? All abusers do.” Nuevelle also told Albert to throw out her belongings. On Sept. 15, Nuevelle told Albert there is no need for a restraining order because she doesn’t want Albert to have to face her colleagues in court. The filing does not include text messages from the judge to Nuevelle.
Last week, Macaluso ordered the civil case put on hold as the criminal case unfolds.
Fahey says police and prosecutors obtained arrest and search warrants after Nuevelle filed a judicial misconduct complaint against Albert that accuses the judge of abusing her authority. Fahey calls the pursuit of criminal charges retaliation for filing the ethics complaint.
The ethics complaint, which is pending before the Committee on the Selection and Tenure of Magistrate Judges, alleges, among other things, that Albert used a deputy U.S. marshal to investigate and intimidate Nuevelle.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service says a deputy U.S. marshal, Thomas Pellicane, realized he was in a domestic dispute and found Nuevelle did not pose a threat against Albert. Pellicane suggested Albert call D.C. police, according to the spokeswoman.