Updated at 4:28 p.m.
Taylar Nuevelle is serving a 66-month sentence for stalking her ex-girlfriend, District of Columbia Superior Court Magistrate Judge Janet Albert, but she's set to be back in court Monday, this time to litigate civil claims against Albert.
A Superior Court jury found Nuevelle guilty in February 2010 of unlawful entry, stalking and burglary. But in a civil suit filed in October 2008, also in Superior Court, Nuevelle accused Albert of refusing to return her belongings and of owing her money for the care of a minor who stayed with them for several weeks. The two dated for about a year, between August 2007 and September 2008.
Superior Court Judge Judith Macaluso granted Albert summary judgment earlier this month on the bulk of Nuevelle’s claims, but allowed claims related to the return of property and money owed to stand. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday.
The case is moving forward at a quickened pace because Nuevelle is supposed to be transferred into federal custody on Aug. 2, where she’ll serve the felony portion of her conviction. During a status hearing this morning, Macaluso explained that once Nuevelle is in federal custody, the chances of getting her back in Washington for a trial are “nil.”
Once the trial is underway, Nuevelle’s transfer can be postponed. Macaluso warned Nuevelle that her ability to stay in Washington to litigate her trial is also dependent on her good behavior. The judge said she was informed Nuevelle had previously been on a hunger strike, but Nuevelle denied that.
Nuevelle is pursuing her civil lawsuit without an attorney. Albert, who did not attend the hearing today, is being represented by former D.C. attorney general and assistant U.S. attorney Robert Spagnoletti, now a partner at Washington’s Schertler & Onorato. He declined to comment on the pending case.
Albert was appointed to the bench in August 2003.
Shortly after their relationship ended in September 2008, Nuevelle was arrested and charged with breaking in to Albert’s home and hiding out in her attic for two days.
A jury found Nuevelle guilty and she was sentenced in July 2010 to serve more than five years in prison. She is appealing her conviction. Court records list her attorney as Julian Greenspun of Gaithersburg, Md., but he could not immediately be reached this afternoon.
Nuevelle also filed a judicial misconduct complaint against Albert in October 2008, accusing Albert of abusing her authority. A court representative confirmed the complaint was resolved a year ago, but could not provide any more details. Judicial misconduct complaints brought before the Committee on the Selection and Tenure of Magistrate Judges are not public record.
Judge Janet Albert, courtesy photo. National Law Journal photo of Taylar Nuevelle by Diego M. Radzinschi.