November 29, 2013–California Coalition for Families and Children announces opening its Family Court RICO Pleading File for use by parents, children, family court litigants, and professionals.
CCFC will maintain an open file containing pleadings, research, exhibits, and other resources for use by parents, children, families, litigants, and professionals seeking to initiate litigation in jurisdictions across the United States. “The menace we’re combating is nationwide” Says Colbern Stuart, President of California Coalition. “The Divorce Industry has quietly infiltrated state and federal legal, professional, and governmental institutions in all fifty states and continues unabated. Unfortunately those empowered to stop its advance elsewhere have shown a lack of willpower, knowledge, or courage to enforce the law. The file cabinet contains legal analysis that shows how the industry works, why it is illegal, and how to combat it. These are tools that can be copied and adapted for use in many local jurisdictions.” Says Stuart. The Coalition has filed its complaint in federal court in San Diego, CA, but because it is based on federal civil rights and trade and commerce laws, the analysis is applicable throughout the United States. “After today, more vicitims will be empowered to act, and those already empowered to act but who are failing to do so will have one less excuse for not doing their job.” Says Stuart. “After today, there’s no more ‘ignorance of the law’ excuses for state officials. Pay them now, or pay them later, but the bills for years of neglect, fraud, and abuse is coming your way very soon.”
Domestic Dispute Inudustry Litigant Resources available at www.weightiermatter.com
CCFC Announces Latest Round of Salvos in DDICE RICO Litigation: CCFC Files Motion for Sanctions Against Judges
November 30, 2013, San Diego, CA–Today CCFC filed
a motion for sanctions against the San Diego County Superior Court, Judge Robert J. Trentacosta, Mr. Michael M. Roddy, Judge Lisa Schall, Judge Lorna A. Alksne, Judge Christine K. Goldsmith, Commissioner Jeannie Lowe, Judge William H. McAdam, Jr., Commissioner Edlene C. McKenzie, and Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil.
Weightier Matter, our news and litigant resource, carries the motion, pleading file, research, analysis, and more. Join us there!
Your Opinion Matters to Us!
At CCFC we’re always seeking feedback from parents to pass along to the divorce industry and courts. We’ve prepared a brief poll seeking parent input about your impression of child custody evaluators before and after you hired them. If your divorce involved a paid child custody evaluator, what was your impression before and after your experience? Your answers are anonymous, so please feel free to comment as well as respond with as many choices as are true for you. Instructions: Pick as many answers as apply, or add your own to “Other.” There is no right/wrong answer–we’re only interested in your subjective impressions. THANK YOU!
Results will be posted in two weeks. Visit CCFC online at our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ccfconline
Yelp, or Gulp? Yelp’s “Recommended” Reviews–Why Knowing What Reviews Aren’t “Recommended” is More Telling than the Reviews that Are
The Power, and Unforeseen Truth, of the Internet
Say these words ten years ago and what would the reaction be?
“He’s a Blogger”
“It’s good Netizenship”
“I heard on Twitter”
Today, those words are not only universally understood, the listener knows that whatever is about to follow the phrase is so important that millions have already tuned in.
And one word that’s achieving that level of authority—Yelp. There are many recent articles on Yelp’s content, star ratings, features, and the effect it can have on a business, but few have probed the boundary lines that Yelp itself imposes on reviews. Yelp describes the goal of “filtering” reviews–to make the published reviews that go into its “star” rating more reliable by filtering out “unreliable” reviews. Yelp itself explains its own policies in a simple video below. We suggest viewing it before proceeding with this article.
We’ve experimented with this new “recommended” policy and here share what we’ve learned. It’s very revealing, but not revealing in the way Yelp probably intended. The reviews Yelp’s software filters as “recommended” may, or may not, be in fact more reliable. But it turns out that Yelp’s policy about deleting, or hiding certain reviews as “not recommended’ speaks volumes more.
We’ve posted information regarding several family court professionals who we’ve become familiar with, both from personal experiences and by learning from the experience of others. Yelp’s reaction has been insightful not only about our reivews, but about the others it “removes” to “not recommended.” In other words, Yelp promotes, or “yelps,” some reviews, and swallows, or “gulps” others.
Take, for instance, Dr. Stephen Doyne—the notorious “Dean” of the San Diego Family Law industry. If you’ve viewed our site before you know that CCFC has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in the Southern District of California accusing Doyne, among many others of his family court colleagues, of criminal racketeering, fraud, and abuse of his family court clients. Our parent members have been vocal about Doyne and several others across the Internet—both good experiences and unfortunately many bad ones. Our parents have been eager to share those experiences with others who, like we were at one point—enter family court thinking it behaves like any other professional services industry—regulated by laws and professional standards.
What we learned is that family court psychologists, attorneys, and judges are not subject to ordinary professional oversight and regulation—they’s entirely virtually free from oversight by appellate courts, civil courts, professional ethics boards and disciplinary committees. We’ve written letters, reports, complaints, and campaigned to every authority with potential jurisdiction over the industry, and virtually all have taken a “hands off” attitude toward family court operations and professionals. “Family Court is a closed society” they respond. “If you have a problem, take it up with the judge.”
We learned, far to late for some, that most of the assumptions that parents carry into family court are simply very, very naive. As a result of the lack of oversight, professionals such as Doyne and others are free to extort, defraud, and abuse parents and children once they become trapped in the family court system. Your attorneys? Well aware of this trap, yet fail to warn you–in some cases even lead you into it, then blame you once ensnared.
And the judges who oversee it? Willfully ignorant to the abuse, which is not only permitted, but encouraged.
Hence our lawsuit, but that’s a different story.
One venue we attempted to use to explain the fraud and abuse parents face in hiring family court professionals was Yelp. Many sites such as CitySearch, local news agencies such as Channel 10 and The Reader, and private boards such as “The Public Court” or “FixFamilyCourts” and “Angiemedia” have articles and discussion boards gathering opinions, but Yelp has, by far, the most sophisticated standards for choosing which reviews are “recommended” and which are not.
Here’s what our experience shows.
Yelp does not like reports of lawsuit activity. We posted the following review on Yelp (Click through-images to enlarge):
Within 48 hours Yelp “‘gulped”, and replaced it with this:
We thought the review was important enough to keep up, and re-posted it, with the following alert to Yelp about exactly what we were doing (Click to enlarge):
This review stayed up long enough to attract about sixty “votes” from users rating is “helpful” “cool” or “funny”—clearly Yelp’s users liked it. Yelp, did not. Within days Yelp again removed the post, and even sent an email stating the post didn’t conform to the terms of services. We looked at Yelp’s terms and no where did we see anything identified as objectionable content. We asked Yelp to explain, they declined.
Today, when you navigate to Yelp’s page for Stephen Doyne, you’ll find this (click to enlarge):
Still all bad reviews, but what’s even more telling is what Yelp filtered out. Navigate deeper to the gulped “not recommended” links and you’ll find more—much more… (click to enlarge)
The “Cole S.” reviews about the CCFC lawsuit are gulped—for violating content terms and restrictions–presumably Yelp thinks we’re “ranting”. While we disagreed about my post about a lawsuit by Doyne’s former clients violating Yelp’s terms of service, but we were also curious about why the five positive reviews were also filtered out—surely they couldn’t be accused of “ranting” or “repeat negative reviews”—what’s up with the filtering of positive reviews?
Simple—according to Yelp’s video (see above link), their software identifies reviews that are “suspicious”—“suspicious” positive reviews include almost exclusively reviews with a “conflict of interest”—in other words, reviews by the business itself, or entities the business has paid to review it. In other words—DOYNE IS POSTING POSITIVE REVIEWS ABOUT HISMSELF ONLINE.
See it for yourself–Yelp’s software has identified the “positive” reviews about Doyne to be, in fact, by Doyne. And his self-promotion isn’t limited to Yelp–the same deceptive reviews also appear prominently in CitySearch’s results–CitySearch’s filters aren’t as sophisticated as Yelp, meaning the fraud identified by Yelp is continuing to deceive consumers at CitySearch (click to enlarge):
It gets better. We tested the theory with another family court warrior–Marilyn Bierer. As you can see below, Marilyn Bierer is also deep into the business of self-promotion.
Our review of Bierer (click to enlarge):
Yelp gulped it. But what else appears as “not recommended”?
In other words, according to Yelp, the two reviews of Bierer from “Steve B” are reviews by Marilyn Bierer or her “conflict-of-interest” colleagues. I took a capture of the reviews when they were still posted. Here is Steve B.:
Very flattering–if she might, and did, say so herself.
Now why is that important? If you’re a coffee shop trying to drum up business in a new neighborhood, shame on you, but you’re not breaking the law. But for professionals such as psychologists and lawyers, it’s illegal to promote yourself in any deceptive way, its’ illegal to reveal client details, and its’ illegal to commit fraud on future clients. To put it bluntly, Yelp’s “neutral software” has identified strong evidence that Stephen Doyne and Marilyn Bierer have committed fraud, on their clients, fraud on consumers, violated client trusts, and breached numerous ethical rules of their profession. As bad as the evidence we’ve gathered against them already is, this could be the most damning.
Stay tuned as we use Yelp’s automated software review “gulper” to uncover other fraudulent “self-reviews” detected by others of our family court friends.
If you haven’t already closed the book on family court professionals’ attempt to pose as legitimate enterprises, here’s another reason to do so. They will eagerly and flagrantly disregard rules of ethics, professional regulations, and law designed to protect you, in order to propagate their treachery harming your family, and possibly ruining your life.
Don’t make the same mistakes we did. Avoid these frauds at all cost–or cost you it will.
Stay tuned—as our lawsuit unfolds we’ll be the first to report on the depth of the criminal enterprises operating in Family Court.
Visit our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/CCFCONLINE
Matt Horsley and Pure Financial Advisors steal from families. Lynn Stuart reaps the rewards of Horsley’s theft
Money Can’t By Me Love?
“I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend
If it makes you feel all right
I’ll get you anything my friend
If it makes you feel all right
Cause I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love”
You see a lot in 20 years of marriage. And hopefully learn a lot too. But I never thought I’d yet to learn that love, some love, is a commodity that ripens, and is best sold before the buyer knows it’s already rotting.
My ex-wife Lynn Stuart’s affair started with her co-worker Matthew (Matt) Horsley while they were working together at San Diego’s Channel 5 Fox News station. “Lynn Stuart” was a star on-air reporter and weekend anchor—Matt Horsley was a regular weekend “special guest” (aptly titled it turns out) on the weekend morning show. Lynn worked both Saturday and Sunday each weekend for about a year during which her then co-worker appeared regularly on the show. Lynn’s weekend-anchor “on-air” time was limited to about two hours during her eight hour shift in the early morning hours. Lynn went to work at 4:00 a.m. and worked until about noon Most of the eight hours “Lynn Stuart” had “free” to develop stories, write text for the tele-prompter, and apparently, entertain the guests of the show.
Pure Financial Advisors–Capital Acquisition
The man who Lynn now lives with was is a wealthy Senior Financial Planner working at Pure Financial Advisors in San Diego, California. Horsley advises wealthy clients on retirement and estate planning, tax planning, and investments. He’s worked with San Diego “wealth management” clients, trusts, and charitable organizations. He’s well-educated-with a degree from the University of Michigan, and serves as a director or officer of several local “family oriented” charitable organizations including the San Diego Center for Children. A recent press release describes his wealthy client base and responsibility for the financial security of many San Diego families. Judging from accounts of his various love affairs, Horsley is apparently talented at using his affluence to seduce others toward what he pitches as “financial security”–at least until Horsley drops them for a bigger, better deal:
I dated this guy right before and during this time. I was 22 and dumb. Just like only an older charismatic guy can do, he [Horsley] convinced me to cheat on my boyfriend in a weekend. [Horsley] then flew me out to San Diego twice a month on the weekends for the weekend. We had a lot of fun at first. That was his thing, we would do this till it wasn’t fun anymore. [Horsley] took me on a trip across the world for a couple weeks, took me to meet his parents in Michigan, boat trips, day trips…then it started to go south for no reason. One minute was telling me how much he loved me, how he could see the two of us having a kid I’m the next couple years , then I assume he started in a lot heavier with this affair. Once when we went to a club he even made out with another girl in front of me, then still convinced me to sleep with him the same night and for many [Horsley] months into January.
[Horsley] totally broke my heart. And I had to find out this way. Sucks.
The signs (that I missed) that Lynn was having an affair began in 2007 when she started coming home later and later from her weekend anchor shifts. Lynn’s shift was over at noon, but Lynn would often arrive home near dinnertime. Since “Lynn Stuart” was on TV, I could watch news “star” “Lynn Stuart” in the mornings with our son—then four years old—from our living room. “Look! Mommie’s on TV!” Many times Lynn was “on TV” with the regular “special guest” from Pure Financial. Our son and I enjoyed playing together while we could watch Mommie “work.”
I didn’t suspect Lynn of cheating until much later—after Lynn filed for divorce and began living with her current boyfriend and former “special guest” Matthew Horsley (Matt Horsley). As I think back, Lynn would often explain that she was late because she had “extra work to do after the show.” It was a valid excuse—news reporting is a hard-working career. It requires long hours and odd shifts—you have to be “on” when the news is “on.” Lynn would often work fifteen or twenty hour days. If someone calls in sick in a shift after you, you’re expected to cover. It was normal, and I didn’t mind because I got to spend the time with our son, going for short hikes, to the zoo or playground, or just spending quality time together—father and son at home. Lynn Stuart (then Lynn Sheets) and I had been together since High School—twenty years. I didn’t suspect Lynn of cheating for a single second.
Prepare Your Financial Future
Lynn had been spending more and more time at work with her morning show because it was an advance in her career—her chance to move “up” to a permanent anchor position; the “plum” position. Lynn’s night-time shifts were three days a week, weekend morning shows two days a week. I recall that Lynn more frequently began arriving home after midnight—several hours after “Lynn Stuart’s” show ended. I assumed it was simply Lynn’s demanding career. I had an early morning job and often couldn’t stay up, but noted—without suspicion—that Lynn often crawled into bed after 1:00 a.m.
Things began to fall into place after Lynn filed for divorce in June, 2007. We had been going through a rough period, but for unusual reasons. Throughout 2007 Lynn would come home from work irritable—as if Lynn had been having an argument with me before she arrived at home. Lynn would come in the door “ready to fight”—it was almost as if I had been with her in the car from her work involved in some struggle. Lynn would launch in accusing me of “you said this” when I wasn’t even in the car. Lynn began finding fault with things that would never have bothered her before, and was often immediately hostile to me—even insulting me. Lynn had always been emotional—perhaps a bit more so than the “average” woman—and I assumed that Lynn was just displacing frustrations she was having at work with me. I’d normally let her blow off steam and hope Lynn would settle down after she changed gears to home life’s more easy pace.
But in the summer of 2007 Lynn’s “moods” became more permanent. There seemed to be something really eating at her—as if Lynn really wanted a fight. I’d usually just duck and hope Lynn got over it, but sometimes I’d tell Lynn to lay off—that whatever was eating her wasn’t my fault. One such time, without even a fight, when I reacted emotionally myself, telling Lynn to “lay off” Lynn dropped the bomb. As calmly as if she were announcing enactment of a longstanding plan to change careers, Lynn said “That’s it, I’m getting a divorce.”
I was stunned—Lynn had never talked about divorce. Not once. I assumed Lynn was just blowing off steam. I moved to another bedroom, gave her some “space”, but Lynn was determined that she was leaving, repeating it for several weeks, and insisting on taking more “free time” for herself outside the home. I hoped the space would give her time to reconsider.
Plan Ahead for Market Fluctuations
I was wrong. Lynn filed within a few weeks, served me with papers, and immediately moved out of our house leaving me and our son at home.
I realized Lynn was already seeing someone regularly very soon after she moved out. Lynn would–rather glowingly—tell me “I’m going to the races with someone” or “I’m going out on a date tonight.” We were separated, and I had little grounds to object, but it was clear Lynn was already “into” someone, and had been for some time. I hoped it would be just a phase—a “rebound” and Lynn would come to her senses that breaking up our family over this Matt Horsley was wrong. Who would want to walk into a twenty year relationship and destroy a family? Even players know when they’re getting in too deep.
I was wrong again. It hit me when one day I showed up to pick our son up from school as scheduled, and he wasn’t there. His teachers said Lynn had arrived early and took our son “home.” They didn’t know that our son’s home was with me—and that Lynn was living separately–apparently with her homewrecker boyfriend Matt Horsley.
I called her and Lynn confirmed that she or someone had arrived early at school with her permission, and took him to “live with people who love him” Lynn’s cousins and parents had apparently come into town and had helped Lynn take him from school to her new home.
This began a new, less hopeful phase. We began the usual custody legal wrangling, and the court apportioned custody between us. My son began telling me about how Mommie’s new friend “Matt” had a “new car” that “Mommie gets to drive”. My (now) ex started showing up to custody drop-offs and pick-ups in a new $90,000 black Porsch 911-sales sticker still on the car. She made at the time $35,000 a year.
Be Alert for Windfall Profits
As weeks went by my son regularly told me about Mommie’s new friend “Matt” and that they were going to see his parents, and lots of his friends.
I shared this story with my divorce attorney early in the divorce—I asked her if she thought Lynn had been having an affair. She looked at me like I was an idiot and effectively said so. “Lynn’s been working with Matt for a year, coming home late, Matt buys Lynn a car, and now she’s going to meet Matt’s parents. What do you think?”
I suppose I was. But I couldn’t bring myself to believe Lynn had been cheating before our separation. My attorney suggested that the information might be useful in the divorce. I wasn’t interested in a “messy” divorce—my ex’s career at a conservative news station–Fox—made Lynn very vulnerable to any scuttlebutt of infidelity. Even rumors would ruin her.
But I was curious to learn the truth. My attorney suggested several ways of finding out—skip tracing, phone tapping, lots of “detective” type work, which I declined. With Matt Horsley already so deeply entrenched–willing to buy Lynn an expensive car, paying her rent, and taking her on trips—things at the time I could not afford—I assumed the relationship was doomed. I could not buy it back, yet was quite sure I no longer wanted to be with this unscrupulous golddigger.
I was, however, concerned about our son. I wanted to know that he was safe with Lynn, who this new guy Horsley was, and whether Horsley was trustworthy. Obviously Horsley’s morality was already questionable. My attorney suggested that I look at our home computer to see if I could find any files, email, photos, etc. that might lead to clues. I considered it, and remembered that Lynn and I shared passwords on our email accounts. I had never used Lynn’s, and it had been so long since we opened the accounts I assumed Lynn had changed the passwords.
I was wrong again.
I quickly logged into Lynn’s account and found the usual stuff—friends, family, and poked around until I found emails from people I didn’t recognize. Quite a few. One of the most frequent friends was the man who was now Lynn’s homewrecker–Matthew (Matt) Horsley.
Diversify Your Bonds
What followed turned out to be some of the most painful moments in my life. I read email after email from 2007—before our separation—between Lynn and the man who was now, and had been for some time—her homewrecking boyfriend “Matt Horsley” of “Pure Financial Advisors.” I could see the relationship develop. At first strictly business, coordinating his appearances on “Lynn Stuart’s” weekend news show, schedules, topics, times, etc. Horsley two or three times invited “Lynn Stuart” to company events. This wasn’t unusual—”Lynn Stuart” received many such invitations from many people. Having a “TV News Personality” like “Lynn Stuart” at a company event with high net worth clients was a big deal. “Lynn Stuart’s” “star appeal” was clearly an asset—”Lynn Stuart” was well aware of it and often did “favors” for guests or friends by “dropping by” an event. Lynn reveled in the local stardom and attention.
The invitations included one or two night-time events-a dinner party or show. They appeared to be “strictly business” events. As far as I could tell, Lynn had turned the night events down.
Until May, 2007, when I saw an email referencing confirmation to attend a show—the Jersey Boys—with a group of people. I couldn’t tell the details, but it was clear it was a group event and “Lynn Stuart” was attending as a “special guest” herself. The group, and Lynn’s host, was Lynn’s former “special guest” Matthew (Matt) Horsley and his business associates and financial planning firm Pure Financial Advisors. I checked my calendar for that date, and realized that Lynn had been working nights during that period—it would not have been unusual for Lynn to come home late—very late sometimes—on those nights. But on this night at least Lynn had not been working, or at least not in the way I had assumed.
Lynn had never mentioned that she had attended a show instead of work.
Past Performance is Not a Predictor of Future Results
The emails took a different turn from there—far less formal, and far less detail. Quick, flirty, “wassup baby!” type emails back and forth. Friendly-flirty. Nothing to alert anyone reading them at the time, but the context told me that there was much more then growing between the lines. Perhaps I’m lucky–few people ever understand the how, why, and precisely when their ex- spouse fell out of love.
After our separation in July, 2007, I found several between Lynn and Lynn’s best girlfriend about Lynn’s “new guy”—Lynn bragged that Matt Horsley was “only 35!” (Lynn was almost 40 at the time). Lynn told her friend Horsley was “loaded,” bought Lynn a new car, jewelry, and that they were planning to build a new home in Solana Beach near where we had lived together. I don’t recall any mention of his personality, intelligence, physique, or looks, other than Lynn’s gleeful comment that Horsley was “five years younger!” than Lynn I also saw emails between Lynn and Horsley talking about the home building project—within weeks of our separation, years before our divorce was final, they had already picked out an existing place for sale, bid on the home, and started plans to demolish and rebuild. This was a plan my ex was well-familiar with as we had purchased an rebuilt a home ourselves. It was her “dream” to live in a home that Lynn had built from the ground up. We worked hard to build that dream together. Lynn clearly wasn’t willing to give up all of that dream–especially if it meant that someone else would be required to pay for it.
The details in the emails seemed to indicate they had been talking about it for some time—they echoed offline conversations with considerable details.
It was clear that “Lynn Stuart” was calling the shots–Lynn was giving direction about what to build where, how much to bid, when to meet, etc. Matt appeared to be taking orders—a husbandly “yes dear” attitude. It seemed to me that he, like many others who are awed by someone who’s on TV, was star-struck by her.
They Buy the Sizzle and Sell the Steak
I was floored. I had given up hopes of repairing the marriage, and since we were separated, Lynn technically wasn’t required to be faithful, but I had no idea that Lynn was already into a deep affair at the time of our separation. As weeks went by my son innocently regaled me with more stories of their spending time together, going on trips to see parents and grandparents, spending holidays together, and the nice shiny new “fast car” Mommie was driving all the time now, as well as “Matt’s car”—the Porsche was now hers, and they used “Matt’s car”—a more family-friendly SUV–also.
My divorce attorney urged me to throw it at Lynn in the custody battle. I refused. Lynn was gone, and as long as my son was safe, I wasn’t concerned. But as time went on, I became increasingly concerned about our son’s safety.
On one occasion he arrived at our home with bruises on his wrist—as if someone had held his wrists too tightly the week before while he was with Lynn and Horsley. I emailed Lynn about the bruises and she denied knowledge. I photographed them and sent them to her. Lynn had no explanation. Lynn would occasionally call me to coordinate contact with our son while she was clearly drunk. Once I heard Lynn threaten to spank him. Our son was fearful when I returned him to Lynn’s home. Details of this period have been reported elsewhere.
Asset Class May Change Over Time
As time passed more details came out in the divorce, including that Lynn and Matt Horsley began to live together as a couple shortly after the divorce was final. They’re not married. Lynn lost her job as a reporter soon after our divorce because she became violent while working–she became extremely psychologically unstable after she filed for divorce–and moved in with Matt. I could share more, but it’s too painful to detail again.
Am I blameless? Of course not. I’ve learned a lot about myself as well. We could all do better. Did I deserve it for marrying a Gold Digger? I don’t think so-it’s hard to tell if that scrawny, shy, freckle-faced 17 year old high school sweetheart you fall in love with will evolve into a June Cleaver or a Betty Broderick at 40. Lynn Stuart is no June Cleaver. Young love may be innocent, but it’s also pretty dumb, and maybe so was I.
I was wrong, but I learned one thing for sure:
If money can’t buy you love, try a Porsche.
And from those twenty years of marriage to a commodity I barely knew, I can pass along my own financial advice for Mr. Horsley (what is in a name?) and his trusting clients:
“I hope you kept the receipt.”
Matthew Horsley’s Past Investments, and Aiding and Abetting Others In Abandoning Their Own Assets:
Related Links Re: Matthew Horsley, Lynn Stuart:
Judges Seek Dismissal of Racketeering Lawsuit–CCFC Responds to Judges’ Motion: “A clearer case of bad faith litigation conduct would be difficult to make.”
Judge Michael Groch and Family Justice Center Alliance members deny collaboration.
“It was recognized that certain members of the judiciary were instruments of oppression and were partially responsible for the wrongs to be remedied. The parade of cases coming to this Court shows that a similar condition now obtains in some of the States. Some state courts have been instruments of suppression of civil rights. The methods may have changed; the means may have become more subtle; but the wrong to be remedied still exists.”
– Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967)
Maybe some things really never change.
It’s a good thing one of them is truth. And we’ve been up to no good lately pointing that out to, well, judges who can’t seem to fish it out of a “bucket of mud.”
We’re here to help. In their recently filed motion to dismiss CCFC’s federal racketeering lawsuit, judges Robert Trentacosta, Lisa Schall, Lorna Alksne, Christine Goldsmith, Jeannie Lowe, William McAdam, Edlene McKenzie, and Joel Wohlfeil disclaim any association, affiliation, or support with the San Diego Family Law Community–including the County Bar, the Family Law Subsection, the City of San Diego’s in-house domestic dispute advocacy program-the San Diego Family Justice Center, the Family Law Facilitator’s Offices, or the court’s own in-house trained, supervised, and appointed psychological evaluator enterprise, including Stephen Doyne, Lori Love, and Robert Simon. “No affiliation whatsoever” the judges’ lawyers Mattew Green and James Gilpin of Best, Best & Krieger claim.
Some highlights below.
The Superior Court’s “move along nothing here to see” command came in the form of a motion to dismiss CCFC’s federal lawsuit alleging Racketeering and civil rights crimes against hundreds of thousands of county residents.
Great minds at work here–perhaps our county’s most proclaimed jurists. What legal rationale did they use to ask the District Court to throw the lawsuit out?
“It’s a bucket of mud”
“Defendants, with some prolixity, assail the Complaint as “incomprehensible rambling” (MTD 1, 10:2), “of the magnitude of War and Peace” (MTD 2), “bucket of mud,” “sprawling,” “incomprehensible,” “confusing, distracting, ambiguous, and unintelligible” (MTD 9), “confusing and conclusory” (MTD 10), and that a reader must “try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud[,]”. Yet the Complaint’s length and complexity cannot be accused as a defect of pleading; the statutes it is brought under are notoriously complex and perhaps confusing even to the accomplished jurists present in this litigation. ”
“One civil rights conspiracy statute asserted, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(1), (2), and (3) is drafted as a single sentence of 590 words in six paragraphs. It has been generously assailed by Justice John Paul Stevens as “somewhat difficult to parse.” Kush v. Rutledge, 460 U.S. 719, 724, 103 S. Ct. 1483, 1486, 75 L. Ed. 2d 413 (1983). RICO too has been bewailed as “arcane,” “tormented,” “complicated,” “agonizingly difficult” and “fraught with arcane mysteries.” Bryant v. Yellow Freight Sys., 989 F. Supp. 966, 968 (N.D. Ill. 1997); Macy’s E., Inc. v. Emergency Envtl. Servs., Inc., 925 F. Supp. 191, 193 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (“arcane eccentricities of RICO jurisprudence”); Combs v. Bakker, 886 F.2d 673, 677 (4th Cir. 1989) (a “tormented statute”); Sadighi v. Daghighfekr, 36 F. Supp. 2d 267 (D.S.C. 1999) (noting statute’s “torment”); Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 465 (1990); Cent. Distribs. of Beer [,] Inc. v. Conn., 5 F.3d 181, 184 (6th Cir. 1993) (“one of the most complex statutes ever enacted by Congress”); Jennings v. Emry, 910 F.2d 1434, 1435 (7th Cir. 1990) (“a complex statute”); Murray v. Midwest Real Estate Inv. Co., No. 98C1569, 1998 WL 919694, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 30, 1998) (“exceedingly complicated”).
Without doubt, the asserted statutes are complex—honed power tools to enable citizens to combat collusion by public and private officers wielding the devastating potential of state police power and private wealth to leverage racketeering and civil rights crimes.”
If that doesn’t work, they have a fall-back:
“We’re judges–we’re immune from these charges!”
Well, since they think that’s the case, it certainly explains a lot, but sorry to say the United States Congress and United States Supreme Court disagree:
“Like the complex criminal enterprises RICO and the civil rights statutes are intended to extinguish, the Complaint is by design complex. The “heavy artillery of federal law” RICO mechanisms are targeted to combat only complex organizations. United States v. Frega, 179 F.3d 793, 800 (9th Cir. 1999)). The statement of findings that prefaces the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 reveals that Congress enacted RICO to redress “a highly sophisticated, diversified, and widespread activity that annually drains billions of dollars from America’s economy by unlawful conduct and the illegal use of force, fraud, and corruption” using “social exploitation” deriving “money and power . . . increasingly used to infiltrate and corrupt legitimate business . . . and to subvert and corrupt our democratic processes.” The breadth of the “organized crime activities in the United States weaken the stability of the Nation’s economic system, harm innocent investors and competing organizations, interfere with free competition, seriously burden interstate and foreign commerce, threaten the domestic security, and undermine the general welfare of the Nation and its citizens.” Congress intended RICO to supplement state laws under which “organized crime continues to grow because of defects in the evidence-gathering process of the law inhibiting the development of the legally admissible evidence necessary to bring criminal and other sanctions or remedies to bear on the unlawful activities of those engaged in organized crime and because the sanctions and remedies available to the Government are unnecessarily limited in scope and impact. 84 Stat. 922–923.” U.S. v. Turkette, 452 U.S. 576, 588-89 (1981). ”
“Four decades of caselaw have confirmed Congress’ intent that RICO is not targeted toward mom-n-pop backroom scams, but to inoculate erstwhile legitimate enterprises, including unions, public corporations, mass market retailers, and public institutions such as law enforcement, political office, and the courts—including one case identifying Defendant San Diego Superior Court itself. See, e.g., H.J. Inc. v. Nw. Bell Tel. Co., 492 U.S. 229, 243, 109 S. Ct. 2893, 2903, 106 L. Ed. 2d 195 (1989) (telecommunications corporations); Nat’l Org. for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249, 260, 114 S. Ct. 798, 805, 127 L. Ed. 2d 99 (1994) (civil rights organizations); Odom v. Microsoft Corp., 486 F.3d 541, 546 (9th Cir. 2007) (Microsoft Corporation and Best Buy software retailing operations); Vierria v. California Highway Patrol, 644 F. Supp. 2d 1219, 1240 (E.D. Cal. 2009); Dow Chem. Co. v. Exxon Corp., 30 F. Supp. 2d 673, 694 (D. Del. 1998); U.S. v. Angelilli, 660 F.2d 23 (2d Cir. 1981) (civil courts); United States v. Frega, 179 F.3d 793 (1999) (the “San Diego Superior Court”).”
Other judges agree:
“It does indeed go without saying that an official, who is in fact guilty of using his powers to vent his spleen upon others, or for any other personal motive not connected with the public good, should not escape liability for the injuries he may so cause; and, if it were possible in practice to confine such complaints to the guilty, it would be monstrous to deny recovery.”
“This Court has never suggested that the policy considerations which compel civil immunity for certain governmental officials also place them beyond the reach of the criminal law. Even judges, cloaked with absolute civil immunity for centuries, could be punished criminally for willful deprivations of constitutional rights on the strength of 18 U.S.C. § 242, the criminal analog of § 1983.”
And it’s not just judges that want to be excused from criminal behavior, they say also their staff.
“Our Court Executive Officer, Michael Roddy, is just like a judge, so he doesn’t have to follow the law either.”
“Defendant RODDY claims quasi-judicial immunity (MTD IV.E), yet such a defense is clearly unavailable. RODDY is an administrator, not a judicial official, and the allegations of the Complaint do not allege any acts by RODDY requiring judicial discretion, application of facts to law, or acts intimately involved with the judicial process. Whatever Mr. Roddy’s general responsibilities as an administrator of the Superior Court operations may be, the Complaint alleges his responsibility for a private commercial forensic psychology enterprise and the family law facilitator, domestic violence clinics and paperwork, and related court operations. Compl. ¶¶ 11, 12, 23, 94, 96, 140, 275, 281, 318, Count 5, ENTERPRISES 1-4. These are not “tasks [which] are an essential part of the operation of the courts and the judicial process.” (MTD 12:9). See, Forrester, Antoine, Zolin, supra; Pomerantz v. County of Los Angeles, 674 F.2d 1288, 1291 (9th Cir.1982). To the extent that RODDY’S “precise acts” accused in the Complaint are within RODDY’S job description, they are administrative functions, possibly authorized, and therefore possibly eligible for a qualified immunity not relevant at this stage. ”
The Complaint also names the Family Justice Center, The County of San Diego, the Family Law Facilitator’s Offices, and the Administrative Office of the Courts, for collaborating with the judges themselves in illegal activity. The judge’s response?
“We’re not related” “Completely independent”
We found otherwise:
“To plead to these statutes, the Complaint must detail the complex and diverse duties, acts, and enterprises harming plaintiffs and impacting a wide class of U.S. citizens numbering in the millions. The Complaint asserts 32 distinct civil causes of action and 32 related indictable federal felonies, 27 categories of “predicate crimes” and 13 RICO Claims for Relief, based on seven “Schemes and Artifices to Defraud” under nine federal mail, wire, bank, and honest services fraud criminal statutes, including related obstruction of justice, and witness tampering and retaliation. It asserts two counts for prospective relief including a Motion for a Harassment Restraining Order and requests to enjoin enforcement of an entire body of unconstitutional family and criminal law. The Complaint names 49 distinct public and private entities comprising a nationwide Domestic Dispute Industry Criminal Enterprise (“DDICE”). Even counsel experienced in this rapidly-evolving body of federal civil and criminal law would be understandably paused to comprehend the Complaint’s necessary depth and complexity.”
“It is no fault of Defendants that, despite their relative acumen in the law, they did not immediately grasp the gravity of the statutes posed against them. Their refusal to pause to comprehend that message before insulting its messenger is far less innocent.”
“But WE didn’t DO anything! Blame someone else!”
Judges consistently deny any responsibility for the treachery of divorce lawyers, psychologists, and others, claiming they “see nothing!” Is that an excuse? According to one of our nation’s most respected legal minds–clearly “no.” Judge Richard Posner from the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has explained that when a government actor places a citizen in harms way such as, for example, ordering them to purchase the services of a fraudulent psychologist, or requiring them to hire unethical lawyers to access courts, they are just as liable as a tortfeasor who caused the harm. Judge Posner writes:
“We do not want to pretend that the line between action and inaction, between inflicting and failing to prevent the infliction of harm, is clearer than it is. If the state puts a man in a position of danger from private persons and then fails to protect him, it will not be heard to say that its role was merely passive; it is as much an active tortfeasor as if it had thrown him into a snake pit.”
“The Complaint ignores the Rules–Throw it out!”
“[Family Court] Defendants have attempted to introduce immaterial, impertinent, controversial, scandalous, and inadmissible evidence in support of a motion that cannot weigh evidence. They have submitted a perjurous declaration and foundationless, incomplete, and potentially fraudulent documents—via a request for judicial notice. They have misunderstood and misrepresented “capacity” and “standing” under both state and federal law. The have requested the wrong relief under the wrong authority. They have refused Plaintiff’s efforts toward informal resolution by withdrawal of the errant pleadings and exhibits, and refused stipulations to resolve pleading matters which are properly and regularly resolved by leave to amend, forcing unnecessary pleading in opposition.”
“Given the lack of merit to the MTD, Plaintiff submits that the MTD was filed to continue the pattern of HARRASSMENT and ABUSE, to cause unnecessary delay, and needlessly increase the litigation costs to Plaintiffs—a pattern identified in the Complaint as HARRASSMENT and ABUSE and demonstrated to be ongoing in the Ex Parte Application for Leave to File a Motion for Harassment Restraining Order (Dkt#4). Plaintiffs are a parents and children rights and support organization and their advocates who have fallen victim to defendants—an insubordinated Domestic Dispute Industry preying on parents and children through abuse of public resources by private criminal enterprises detailed in the Complaint. The MTD is but the latest in what will be proven to be a grotesque and shameful abuse of state law police power and color of law authority.”
“A clearer case for failure to reasonably investigate claims and avoidance of bad faith litigation conduct, harassment, delay, and unreasonable inquiry sanctions would be difficult to make.”
“Honor and shame from no condition rise.
Act well your part: there all the honor lies.”
– Alexander Pope
The Family Court judges’ legacy lies before them. Will it be shame through defeat, shame through victory, or honor through obedience to the trust that binds us all?
Our November 22 hearing has been continued to December 19, 2013. We’ll keep you posted.
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