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Carpe Dicta Updates San Diego Judicial Candidate Database With San Diego County Bar Association Ratings of Judicial Candidates
April 30, 2014–San Diego County Bar Association has released its 2014 judicial candidate rankings, giving incumbent Judges Ronald Prager, Michael Popkins, and Lisa Schall “well-qualified” rankings. Schall’s high ranking was awarded despite numerous ethical admonishments by the Commission on Judicial Performance, a criminal conviction, and dozens of citizen complaints. The rankings included challengers and incumbents, but are limited to three categories: “well-qualified”, “qualified” and “lacking qualifications.” From the press release and Daily Transcript:
Judge Michael J. Popkins, Judge Ronald S. Prager and Judge Lisa Schall all earned “well-qualified” ratings, which means they “possess professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament,” according to the bar’s Judicial Election Evaluation Committee.
The top rating also means the candidate has shown an “exceptional ability to perform the judicial function with a high degree of skill and effectiveness.”
Business litigation attorney Joseph Adelizzi, assistant U.S. attorney Carla Keehn, incumbent Judge Jacqueline M. Stern, Department of Justice attorney Paul Ware and Deputy Attorney General Brad A. Weinreb were given “qualified” ratings.
The panel said that those who are “qualified” possess “professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicating satisfactory ability to perform the judicial function.”
Attorneys Douglas Crawford, Ken Gosselin and Michele Hagan were rated as “lacking qualifications.” The rating committee gives that designation to candidates who are “lacking one or more of the essential abilities or skills to satisfactorily perform the judicial function.”
The lawyer’s association ranking of “well qualified” bespeaks of extraordinary standards of professionalism and ethics, and for that reason is highly coveted by incumbents and challengers alike. The County Bar Association represents to voters through its “Well qualified” ranking that candidates possess “exceptional ability to perform the judicial function with a high degree of skill and effectiveness.”
Schall Given Highest Rating Despite Criminal Record and Repeated Discipline
“We recognize that the County Bar has relationships with incumbent judges that it doesn’t want to injure, but awarding [embattled Judge Lisa] Schall the highest ranking is absurd” says Colbern Stuart, President of parenting rights organization California Coalition for Families and Children.
“The integrity of a process that applauds Schall’s track record of criminal behavior is simply appalling” said Stuart. California Coalition is suing judge Schall for racketeering and extortion crimes in a lawsuit in United States District Court, alleging that Schall was a knowing participant in the notorious Family Court forensic custody evaluator fraud ring that is the subject of that lawsuit. “If the San Diego County Bar Association’s ‘objective’ process results in a rating of Schall as ‘well qualified’ equal to Judge Prager, then their methodology is flawed. The Association advertises its process as ‘objective’–apparently they don’t deduct points for criminal convictions, repeated ethical admonishments for substance abuse, violence, and financial impropriety, abusing litigants in family and civil court, and being at the center of a federal racketeering lawsuit” says Stuart.
“Everyone admires standing by an old friend who’s in trouble, but to adulterate the integrity of a public service in order to save a judge who’s expiration date has passed is irresponsible” says Stuart. “The Association could have issued a separate press release, donated to her campaign, or endorsed her directly or through its members, and left the process alone. That they chose to impugn the process–and the integrity its evaluations as well as those it evaluates–is disappointing to say the least.”
California Coalition has sued the Association and a number of its membership including judges for False Advertising and “Honest Services Fraud” in its federal Racketeering litigation against the Divorce Industry. “The Association’s deception of Family Court legal services consumers and the citizens of San Diego is deplorable. Rating Lisa Schall able to perform the “judicial function with a high degree of skill an effectiveness” is equivalent to awarding Heinrich Himmler the Iron Cross because Dachau ran like a Swiss watch. Despicable” says Stuart. “These people need a major re-calibration.”
Incumbent Stern Receives Mid-Level Rating, As Does Challenger Private Family Attorney Adelizzi
Not all incumbents received the highest rating. Judge Jacqueline Stern received the mid-level “qualified” rating, defined as ““professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicating satisfactory ability to perform the judicial function.” Challengers Joseph Adelizzi, assistant U.S. attorney Carla Keehn, Department of Justice attorney Paul Ware and Deputy Attorney General Brad A. Weinreb were also given “qualified” ratings.
The Associations’ mid-level ranking for incumbent Stern and her opponent, divorce mediation attorney Joseph Adelizzi, increases the focus on that race. Adelizzi’s experience shows a broad range of civil litigation–real estate, environmental, tax, and personal injury defense work, with many trials. He has some experience as a criminal defense lawyer in misdemeanor cases, including property damage and minor personal injuries. His family law practice focuses on mediation as a less “taxing” alternative to divorce court. He touts his experience as a civil litigator and tax attorney for 30 years who focuses on reducing litigation costs through early assessment and negotiation. His judgepedia site, and his firm website Adelizzi explain his philosophy:
Divorce actions often degenerate into an all-out war. It does no good for one spouse to offer to divide property equally and provide ample support if the other spouse’s objective is to destroy. In a mediated Divorce it is essential that both parties share all pertinent information so that all issues relative to the divorce can be negotiated in good faith. Otherwise, in litigation, whatever money or property you have accumulated during your marriage will probably be consumed entirely by your lawyers because of the high cost of the litigation process.
He faces Jacqualine Stern, who has earned the ire of family court critics, consumers, and civil litigants. According to Judgepedia, she has been a judge since 1998, presided over family court docket for four years, and now presides over an independent civil litigation docket. She generated controversy in August of last year by overturning a $1.5 million jury verdict in favor of a plaintiff claiming sexual harassment by an Oceanside police officer. Judge Stern determined that plaintiff was “not credible.” Judges rarely overturn verdicts for any reason–particularly witness credibility. Her background reported from Smartvoter and her campaign website is a civil litigator defending municipal entities, including law enforcement and the County of San Diego.
Stern vs. Adelizzi represents a real choice for the seat–an incumbent with extensive background as a judge and in representing governments in civil litigation in Stern, and a private practice civil and family law litigator who promotes his cost efficiency.
Questionable Rankings Demonstrate Need for Improved Judicial Performance Evaluation Resource
“One of the reasons we’ve developed Carpe Dicta as a functional resource is to give voters an independent tool to evaluate the candidates for themselves” says Stuart. “We certainly have our opinions and preferences, but in Carpe Dicta we wanted to make raw data as visible to voters as possible. The county bar association’s ranking this year demonstrates that it is defective as a neutral tool for voters seeking independent evaluation. We encourage voters to do the research and make up their own minds. As a lawyer practicing in San Diego for nearly twenty years, I can assure you the county bar association holds no monopoly on awareness of a candidate’s behavior, values, and qualifications. The unfortunate reality is judging is no longer an esteemed intellectual profession–like partisan politics throughout the state and nation, standards have fallen, and judges are evaluated today from a perspective of entrenched institutional self-preservation. “Qualifications” means “how closely they hew the ‘government party’ line” says Stuart. “The bar association has today blinded itself to that radical bias.”
All government lawyers who are running achieved “qualified” rankings or above, while all but one civil attorney received a “lacking qualifications” ranking. Despite the fact that most superior court judges are assigned to civil or family court dockets, former government lawyers–prosecutors or J.D. bureaucrats–achieve advantage in appointments and elections to fill offices which guide policy over families and community business people. “Does anyone really believe that a background in California’s ocean of regulations and criminal laws makes an attorney “qualified” to run a business? Raise a family? No wonder our state is swimming in red tape and our courts are broke after blowing tens of millions on a computerized filing system that’s yet to see the light of day” says Stuart. “We’re California–we’re Silicon Valley, Google, Apple. Property and sales taxes higher than 48 other states and most sovereign nations. Hello?” says Stuart.
[More From WeightierMatter.com]
The June 3, 2014 judicial election that tags along with the political party primaries is ordinarily a sleeper, but this year an incumbent Judge—Lisa Schall—is facing a stiff challenge from a startup outsider: Assistant United States Attorney Carla Keehn.
The rare challenge to a sitting judge has swept the San Diego Superior Court bench into some early controversy as Schall’s judicial colleagues mobilize to her defense by going on the offense against her challenger’s campaign support base. Two San Diego Superior Court judges, David Rubin and Paula Rosenstein, have deployed the Superior Court’s own political capital to aid Schall’s bid for re-election by not-so-subtle coercion toward Keehn’s supporters.
On Friday February 21, 2014, the San Diego Union Tribune broke the story pointing to potential manipulation of Keehn’s campaign by San Diego’s entire Superior Court bench. The UT reported that one of the groups that had endorsed Keehn, Tom Homann Lawyer’s Association (THLA), had been pressured by Rubin and Rosenstein to withdraw their endorsement.
Nicholas Fox, President of THLA, wrote to Keehn on Feburay 10 expressing what he called “concerns” he was receiving from Judges Rubin and Rosenstein as well as “their colleagues at the Superior Court” about Keehn’s candidacy. Weightier Matter has obtained a copy of the email. In it Fox writes:
As you know, both Judge Rubin and Judge Rosenstein have expressed a concern coming from their colleagues on the Superior Court regarding your running against a sitting judge. As strong supporters of THLA, Judges Rubin and Rosenstein wanted to alert THLA of these concerns.
As you know, many judges on the Superior Court support THLA and its mission. They attend our events, including our annual dinner. In fact, I think the THLA annual dinner has the best showing from the Superior Court as compared to all other diversity bar associations. Our good relationship with the bench is something we have worked hard to establish, and something we cherish and need to protect.
Many of THLA’s lawyer members practice in the San Diego county courts, and Fox claims those attorneys also expressed concern about judges becoming alienated by THLA’s endorsement of a challenger to one of their judicial colleagues. Fox’s email goes on to describe “tension” between THLA and the San Diego bench:
The underlying tension is that these supportive judges are concerned by a THLA Board member taking on one of their colleagues in an election. Although all judges are individuals and subject to electoral challenge, they also collectively form part of the greater “Superior Court.” There is a great deal of collegiality among judges, and having a Board member of an organization that the judges strongly support directly challenge one of their own colleagues has raised concern.
Fox explains that by February 10 “tension” between the Court and THLA had spread to other THLA board members and “the legal community” in general. Fox conveys fears that by sticking by their endorsement of Keehn, THLA’s members would “alienate allies” on the bench, and that THLA’s members who appeared before Superior Court judges would suffer. Fox writes:
There is a generally expressed a concern that a Board member openly challenging a sitting judge will reflect poorly on the organization and be seen as an affront to the Superior Court and its sitting judges generally. The Superior Court’s perception of THLA may be negatively affected (as is perhaps evidenced by the concerns received thus far)
Fox didn’t write Keehn merely to pass along concerns from the bench. Keehn had been a member of THLA’s Board of Directors for years prior to her announced candidacy, and had sought, and obtained, the group’s support when she announced in October. But in the February email Fox notified her that THLA no longer wanted Keehn on its Board:
Because of the concerns coming from various sectors in the legal community, we ask that you consider resigning from the Board during the pendency of the election. This will protect THLA by not having a current Board member directly challenge a sitting judge, and hopefully will alleviate concerns from the Board and bench that THLA’s reputation may be damaged as part of the electoral process.
Fox also notified Keehn that THLA’s prior endorsement of her candidacy was no longer valid—as a matter of “policy”:
In addition, because of these changed circumstances, I need to emphasize that the endorsement THLA provided to you back in October 2013 was for an election to a vacant seat on the bench. Now that you are running against a sitting judge and not for a vacant seat, THLA’s prior endorsement is no longer in effect under Policy 2 of our Standing Policies and Procedures.
Fox, a lawyer at San Diego’s office of Foley & Lardner, explained that he was not withdrawing the endorsement, but that because Keehn had “changed” from running for an open seat to running against an incumbent, THLA’s endorsement was no longer good.
Fox expressed no reservations about Keehn’s merit against Schall, offering:
From my personal perspective, I think it is great you are running for judge, and I of course want you to be successful (in the election or otherwise). However, my personal opinions are irrelevant to the issues above. As members of the Board, we are stewards of the organization. We have a duty to the organization not only to promote what is in the best interests of THLA, but also to avoid actions that may harm THLA or its reputation.
In response to Weightier Matter’s email requesting clarification, Fox advised yesterday that Keehn has not resigned, but that if she chooses to do so “she would be welcome to return to the Board after the election if she is willing and able to do so. The proposal that she resign was only for the pendency of her campaign.”
Fox also confirmed to Weightier Matter that his statements in the email regarding the “pressure” coming from the entire San Diego “Superior Court bench” was a “mischaracterization.” Fox told Weightier Matter “there was a misunderstanding on my part. Everything is cleared up, as Judge Rubin noted in his comments in the U-T article.” The UT quoted Rubin as stating that his comments about “concerns” from the bench were “not in any way advocating on behalf of my colleagues.”
Keehn also reports having received “other calls from the bench” “urging her to reconsider.”
Judges Went on Attack Once Schall Was Challenged
When Keehn announced her candidacy in October, the seat she was running for was vacant. Her professional colleagues enthusiastically supported her. She sought the official endorsement of THLA, which did so. However, when the open seat she was running for became unavailable, Keehn chose to capitalize on the momentum she had built since October, and switched her candidacy to challenge Schall, who’s term ends this year.
Schall’s colleagues on the bench and throughout the county mobilized, mounting a collective defense as well as going on the offensive. Schall’s election website went live early last week promoting that “all 127 judges of the San Diego Superior Court” have endorsed her, as have District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, and Public Defender Harry Coker.
Good Reasons To Challenge a Problem Judge?
Keehn is not alone if she senses that Schall may not be the best choice for further public service. In her three terms Schall has been the subject of three public admonishments from the California Commission on Judicial Performance, and is at the center of an ongoing racketeering lawsuit brought by California Coalition for Families and Children based on Schall’s performance on the Family Court bench, irritating parents to the point of bringing a racketeering lawsuit. California Coalition also reports additional complaints that have not been published by the Commission, but are made part of the Coalition’s First Amended Complaint.
Keehn apparently tuned in to the public discord surrounding Schall, and decided to give voters a choice. “I’m a qualified candidate. And I think I would make a good judge,” Keehn said. “The California constitution mandates that every six years Superior Court judges come up for re-election. This makes them accountable to the citizens of their counties. It gives voters a chance to choose who should hold the office based on each candidate’s qualifications and their record.”
Carpe Dicta researched Keehn’s qualifications and reports her to be an extraordinarily talented lawyer with a diverse personal and professional background. Her academic accomplishment include degrees from Princeton University and University of California, Hastings College of the law, exemplifying the highest academic achievement, discipline, and intelligence. As a federal prosecutor she participated in a remarkable variety of criminal prosecutions and in developing pilot drug offender diversion programs for alternative sentencing, saving taxpayers the expense of high security lockups for low-risk drug offenders. Her website bio indicates she served as a lead prosecutor in the military Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corp, has competed in over twenty marathons, and is a mother of three. She has served both as a prosecutor and public defender in over thirty years of public service.
Keehn’s entry in the June contest brings not only controversy to an ordinarily pedestrian contest, but a very rare choice to business as usual on the bench. County judges are ordinarily appointed by the Governor from San Diego County’s District Attorney’s Office. Most are groomed for the position by more senior local prosecutors and judges, and once elected they rarely face a serious challenger. The strong resistance to Keehn’s candidacy from the sitting bench reveals the level of behind-the-scenes pressure that can prevent qualified challengers from seeking office. The result is a high percentage of former District Attorney criminal prosecutors with little fear of accountability managing not only criminal courtrooms, but civil, family, probate, juvenile, and appeal calendars.
Federal prosecutors are not part of that herd, in part because federal agencies are at times adverse to state agencies. Federal law enforcement, courts, and politicians possess substantial oversight responsibility for state and local officials to prevent campaign corruption and civil rights enforcement, drug interdiction, election oversight, and competing border issues. A federal presence on the state court bench represents a potentially strong independent influence that is—according to at least two judges who claim not to advocate for any others—unwelcome.
At Weightier Matter we think that kind of diversity may be well worth welcoming, and keeping, on the Board of San Diego County’s most important law organization.
Stay tuned as Carpe Dicta and Weightier Matter bring more coverage and analysis of a race that’s shaping up to be a real choice between an ambitious novel talent and business as usual in San Diego.
Assistant City Attorney Emily Garson’s Assault on Parents Seeking Family Court Reform Detailed by California Coalition
California Coalition’s recently-filed Amended Complaint in its Racketeering lawsuit details the collaboration between the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the San Diego Divorce Industry to silence parents affecting reform. The Complaint details collaboration between the City Attorney, Jan Goldsmith who is a former family court judge, his wife, Christine Goldsmith, sitting family court jduge, Michael Groch, sitting family court judge, and Assistant City Attorney Emily Garson, the “point woman” prosecutor manufacturing evidence and comitting perjury to prosecute CCFC President Colbern Stuart.
From the Complaint:
Prosecutorial Misconduct of Assistant City Attorney Emily GARSON
1. On about March 24, 2010, on information and belief, San Diego Assistant City Attorney Ms. Emily Garson (GARSON), made out a perjurous complaining witness declaration based on falsified or altered evidence, causing STUART to be charged with several misdemeanor violations of Cal. Pen.C. § 653m(a) (harassing by electronic communication) and (b) (repeated harassing by electronic communication), and one alleged misdemeanor violation of Cal.Pen.C. § 646.9(a) (stalking). The case GARSON initiated is identified as People of the State of California v. Colbern Stuart, San Diego Superior Court Case No. M104094DV (“People v. Stuart”).
2. The evidence of STUART’S crime has been kindly provided to this Court by counsel for Ms. Stuart at Doc. No. 48-14. The emails therein are impolite, rude, and indeed contain vulgarities. Yet unlike the sworn declaration that utilized those emails to initiate a retaliatory criminal prosecution and solicit a sentence of four years, the emails are not, and cannot be, crimes. See, U.S. v. Alvarez, 567 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2537 (2012).
3. GARSON lacked probable cause to initiate the People v. Stuart matter. Her sworn declarations as a complaining witness in doing so are crimes—felonies under federal law—several and severe. STUART has endured years in persecution as a result of such outrageous behavior. He re-appears today to redress those acts for himself and, he prays, thousands of others who have suffered similar and even more outrageous insults, violations, deprivations, and injuries under the indecency of those who today occupy offices of honor, yet who regularly debase those offices while driven by motives no one, perhaps not even they themselves, could honor.
4. Such behavior was intended to retaliate, obstruct, and deprive STUART of rights, privileges and immunities under state and federal Constitutions, constituting numerous misdemeanors under federal law. STUART’S subsequent arrests, imprisonment, injury, and severe mental distress constitute numerous serious felonies under state and federal law, as detailed fully below.
5. GARSON’S acts in investigating, manipulating evidence, witnesses, and the San Diego Superior Court, and initiating the prosecution of the People v. Stuart matter constitute CULPABLE and UNREASONABLE breach of one or more PROFESSIONAL DUTIES, and have foreseeably resulted in deprivations of STUART’S clearly-established rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Such acts are not immune from criminal accountability, and those on which the Claims of this Count are based, are not immune from civil.
6. These acts of GARSON will be referred to as GARSON PERJURY ONE.
7. On about April 6, 2010, GARSON caused to be filed a second perjurous Declaration In Support of Arrest Warrant relating to People v. Stuart containing similar false statements and misrepresentations based upon the same purported evidence. This documents is filed, though not authenticated, in this matter at Dkt#16-1, Ex. “A.”
8. The acts of GARSON in relation to the Declaration in Support of Arrest Warrant shall be referred to as GARSON PERJURY TWO.
9. On information and belief, GARSON collaborated, agreed, affiliated, and conspired with her boss, San Diego City Attorney and former San Diego Superior Court Family Division judge Jan Goldsmith, and her boss’s wife, sitting Family Division judge, and instant Defendant Christine Goldsmith, in such activities. On information and belief, C. Goldsmith and J. Goldsmith supervised, directed, encouraged, facilitated, and tolerated GARSON PERJURY ONE and TWO to interfere with and retaliate for Plaintiffs’ PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES and the DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
10. On information and belief, GARSON, J. GOLDSMITH, and C. GOLDSMITH did so with the knowledge and support of SCHALL and WOHLFEIL, all of whom acted with the specific intent to retaliate against STUART for the DDIJO COMPLAINTS I and II against them.
11. Defendants C. GOLDSMITH, J. GOLDSMITH, GARSON, SCHALL, and WOHLFEIL will hereafter be referred to as “CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS.”
12. Based upon GARSON PERJURY ONE and TWO, CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS caused STUART to be imprisoned without probable cause causing a false imprisonment for approximately 10 hours by agents of GORE. At the time STUART was imprisoned by GORE, GORE knew or should have known of the perjurous and retaliatory nature of the CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS’ acts (FALSE IMPRISONMENT 1).
13. STUART became aware of the charges in the People v. Stuart matter in late April,
14. STUART became intimidated, frightened, and oppressed as a result of CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS’ illegal activities, and refrained from pursuing the CLAIM AND DEMAND, DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITES, and this Action.2010. STUART perceived the charges to be illegal actions to retaliate for, deter, and oppress Plaintiffs from pursuing PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES, the CLAIM AND DEMAND, and the DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Prosecutorial Misconduct in People v. Stuart
15. In about June or July, 2010, STUART appeared for arraignment on the above-referenced misdemeanor charges relating to People v. Stuart.
16. STUART requested his attorney to discuss the case with the prosecutor representing the CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS to determine the basis for the charges. STUART’S attorney approached the Assistant City Attorney prosecuting the matter, on information and belief Ms. GARSON, to initiate discussions.
17. After a few minutes of discussion, STUART’S attorney returned and explained to STUART to the effect that GARSON was “really pissed off on this one.” He stated that GARSON was angry for “something you did at a bar association meeting.” STUART recognized this as the STUART ASSAULT and the same “criminal trespass” charge that SDCBA’S insurance carrier had made. STUART explained the circumstances of the STUART ASSAULT to his attorney, who was unable to draw any conclusions.
18. STUART’S attorney advised that the GARSON stated she was intending to add more charges. Based on his conversation with GARSON, he surmised and advised STUART that GARSON was intending to “bump it up to a felony.” STUART’S attorney advised STUART to the effect of “they’re going to throw everything they can at you on this one.” STUART understood the “everything” to mean charging STUART for a felony relating to ENGAGEMENT based on the same charge that CHUBB had made as “criminal trespass.” A further status conference was scheduled to permit GARSON to amend the criminal complaint with more charges.
19. Sensing that the CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS were using the threat of a felony or “criminal trespass” charge as an intimidation tactic retaliate against STUART for his CLAIM AND DEMAND, the DDIJO COMPLAINTS, DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, and PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES, on two occasions between about May 1, 2010 and February, 2011, STUART contacted GARSON by telephone, requesting that GARSON drop all charges in exchange for STUART’S backing off of the DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, the CLAIM AND DEMAND, and PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES. GARSON refused to return STUART’S telephone overtures. On information and belief, GARSON’s notes or other documents related to the People v. Stuart matter will reflect these communications.
20. At a subsequent status conference STUART was arrested immediately upon appearing in court illegally and without probable cause as a foreseeable consequence of the GARSON PERJURY ONE and TWO, causing a false imprisonment for approximately 12 hours in the custody of GORE, who knew or should have known of the malicious and retaliatory nature of the prosecution and arrest (FALSE IMPRISONMENT 2).
21. After he was illegally imprisoned, STUART’S attorney conferred with GARSON about the case and charges. He advised STUART, who was in custody, to the effect of “They’re adding more charges for stalking and harassment” and that the charges related to “something about the bar association.” He had few details but asked STUART to explain his understanding of the email exchanges and bar association events.
22. STUART summarized the events of the “annoying email” exchanges between him and his ex-wife, and the SDCBA ENGAGEMENT and SEMINAR, including the CLAIM AND DEMAND and the CHUBB “criminal trespass” threat. The attorney indicated to the effect that “653m is unconstitutional” but that prosecutors “still charge it to get you to agree to a protective order.” He advised that “they never seek jail time on these.”
23. After further conversations with GARSON, the attorney returned to advise STUART that the City Attorney’s Office was taking an unusually hard line on the case. He advised GARSON would be seeking to add new stalking charges as a felony.
24. STUART understood the “new charges” to relate to the threat of a “criminal trespass” and/or “felony stalking” “CounterClaim” originally made by CHUBB. Because he was under ongoing prosecution for an illegal charge against protected speech, and threatened with additional illegal charges STUART was intimidated and frightened to take any action to assert the CLAIM AND DEMAND, DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, or further PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITY.
25. On information and belief, while STUART was in custody GARSON requested and received leave to add several additional misdemeanor charges, but no felony stalking charge.
26. In or about December, 2010-January, 2011, Stuart attended a pre-trial conference in the People v. Stuart matter. He was once again arrested immediately upon appearing. The arrest was without probable cause and a foreseeable consequence of the GARSON PERJURY ONE and TWO, causing a false imprisonment for approximately 10 hours in the custody of GORE, who knew or should have known of the malicious and retaliatory nature of the prosecution and arrest (FALSE IMPRISONMENT 3).
27. STUART’S attorney, Mr. Solomon Chang, advised consistent with prior attorneys that the City Attorney’s Office and GARSON were taking an unusually hard line in the case, and still seeking to add additional charges. Mr. Chang indicated the additional charges would include what he described as “felony stalking” charges. STUART understood these charges to relate to the bar association false “criminal trespass” theory.
28. STUART’S attorney inquired if GARSON would be willing to negotiate to dismiss the charges in exchange for backing off the CLAIM AND DEMAND, DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, and PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES. Mr. Chang advised he would speak with GARSON. He did so, and returned, advising “no way” and to the effect “they want you to serve time on this one” and “you really made them angry.” He asked for more details about the ENGAGEMENT, and STUART ASSAULT. STUART shared the details, and Mr. Chang advised caution—to “wait and see” whether the City Attorney would be adding felony charges, or leaving the charge as several misdemeanors.
29. STUART was released from imprisonment the following day. He thereafter remained in fear that the CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS would add manufactured charges based upon the “criminal trespass” and “bump it up” to a charge for “felony stalking.”
30. On the first day of the People v. Stuart trial in late February, 2010, before jury selection the assigned trial judge Michael GROCH placed STUART under “house arrest” illegally and without probable cause as a foreseeable consequence of the GARSON PERJURY ONE and TWO, causing a false imprisonment of approximately one week (FALSE IMPRISONMENT 4). STUART was not charged, arraigned, or prosecuted for any crime.
31. GROCH ordered that STUART could avoid being jailed through trial only if he rented a hotel room in downtown San Diego and did not travel beyond the hotel and the downtown County courthouse. GROCH denied STUART’S request to return to his home in Los Angeles during the week-long trial to gather clothing and toiletries. GROCH did not advise STUART of any charges or violation of law. Such acts, though possibly immune from civil suit, constitute “monstrous” felony criminal violations of STUART’S rights relating to SEARCH AND SEIZURE, PROCEDURAL and SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS, and CRUEL AND/OR UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT.
32. Mr. Chang failed to object or seek hearing on the illegal arrest, explanation of charge, or other remedy for STUART’S arrest and “house arrest” sentence, advising only to the effect “I told you, they’re pissed.” STUART immediately purchased a hotel room for the entire week, and was forced to purchase several suits, shirts, ties, undergarments and toiletries to last through the week-long trial.
33. On information and belief, the People v. Stuart matter was GROCH’S first trial since being appointed from the District Attorney’s Office four months earlier, and also on information and belief his last. GROCH was transferred to the Superior Court’s Family Law Division shortly after the People v. Stuart criminal matter, where he remains.
34. On the first day of trial, before jury selection, Mr. Chang again advised to the effect that Assistant City Attorney GARSON was “holding” additional charges for felony stalking relating to the “bar association.”
35. STUART advised Chang that he could testify as to the bar association events to prove they were not “stalking” but free speech activity. Chang told STUART “you can’t testify in this case,” explaining that they City Attorney would be able to elicit testimony relating to the ENGAGEMENT and bring more serious charges accusing such acts as a pattern of “felony stalking” in addition to whatever charges the City Attorney was then “holding.”
36. STUART protested that such charges would be unfounded. Chang politely agreed, but advised “they might still bring the stalking charges as a felony” and that STUART would “have to take your chances with a jury and on appeal” and “you’re looking at a lot more time for a felony.” As a result of the fear of being charged with “felony stalking”, STUART did not testify at trial on his own behalf.
37. Each charge for “annoying or threatening electronic communications” under Cal. Pen.C. § 653m(a) and (b) carries a maximum sentence of six months in County jail. The statute prohibits “electronic communications” that use “obscene language or address to the other person any threat to inflict injury to the person or property of the person.” Cal. Pen.C. § 653m(a).
38. GARSON apparently charged each email sent by STUART in the exchange between STUART and his ex-wife from September, 2009 and February, 2010 as a separate misdemeanor offense. According to GARSON’s closing argument at trial, if STUART used a “curse word” in his email, GARSON charged the email as an “obscene language” under the statute. STUART used several “curse words” which were clearly insults, though clearly not threatening or “obscenity” under controlling United States Supreme Court and Supreme Court of the State of California precedent. GARSON also charged the entire group of emails as a single misdemeanor “stalking” charge under Cal. Pen.C. § 646.9 (stalking). Doc. No. 48-14.
39. STUART requested that Chang move to dismiss the criminal complaint on grounds that the statute it is brought under imposes unconstitutionally overbroad and vague restrictions on free speech, as “annoying” communications may not be criminalized. STUART also requested that Mr. Chang move to dismiss the case on the grounds that the email conversations were protected speech as they were neither threatening nor obscene under clearly established U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals precedent, and that a motion seeking judgment as a matter of law on the uncontested evidence would be appropriate. See, U.S. v. Alvarez, 567 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2537 (2012).
40. Mr. Chang agreed, and advised STUART he would make such a motion. Yet thereafter Mr. Chang failed to do so, instead raising the arguments—arguments on a question of law—in closing argument to the jury. GARSON successfully objected to the tactic. Mr. Chang failed to make a further motion to the Court, and the constitutional issues were not adjudicated.
41. Mr. Chang’s failure to properly assert the constitutional defense is inexplicable behavior for faithful, competent counsel. On information and belief, GARSON unduly influenced Mr. Chang, then a junior attorney on information and belief in his first trial, to forbear on asserting the constitutional defenses in order to impose duress, intimidation, and fear to impede and delay STUART’S CLAIM AND DEMAND and DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, and this Action.
42. On information and belief, GARSON collaborated, agreed, affiliated, and conspired with her boss, City Attorney and former family division judge Jan Goldsmith, other STUART ASSAULT COORDINATORS, and other ENTERPRISE PERSONS, including Mr. Goldsmith’s wife, sitting Family Division judge, and instant Defendant Christine Goldsmith, in such activity.
1. Shortly after his release from illegal imprisonment in May, 2011, STUART was contacted by the State Bar of California regarding an action that had been initiated relating to his law license. STUART contacted the State Bar and spoke with a State Bar investigator assigned to the case, Case No. 10-C-03559, one Mr. Radigan. Mr. Radigan advised STUART that GARSON had contacted the State Bar to report STUART for misconduct.
2. The State Bar investigator shared details of his conversations with GARSON, advising STUART to the effect that “you’ve really stirred up some anger down there” and that GARSON demonstrated unusual animus toward STUART. He advised that GARSON had claimed that STUART was “harassing judges” referring specifically to the SDCBA ENGAGEMENT and the DDIJO COMPLAINT I regarding SCHALL. Mr. Radigan repeated Ms. GARSON’S use of a number of extremely derogatory insults, epithets, and vile language inappropriate for repetition here. He was oddly delighted with Ms. GARSON’S vitriol and rather perversely intrigued at what had enlivened her so.
3. Mr. Radigan stated that GARSON had pressed him aggressively to invoke disciplinary proceedings, but that she was the only complaining witness. He stated that Ms. Stuart was not a complainant and would not be a witness. He stated to the effect that because of GARSON’S involvement in the criminal prosecution and lack of any attorney-client relationship injury, GARSON was “not the best witness,” but that she was nevertheless insisting that the State Bar pursue discipline.
4. STUART explained the details of the SDCBA ENGAGEMENT, STUART ASSAULT, PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES, and the email exchanges with his ex-wife to Mr. Radigan. Mr. Radigan indicated he had read certain relevant emails and read or heard details about the STUART ASSAULT, ENGAGEMENT, and PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITIES. He indicated that he personally didn’t believe any of the activities warranted discipline, but that GARSON’s aggressive pursuit of the matter compelled him to continue the matter. He advised STUART, “put something on file and this should go away.” On information and belief, Mr. Radigan’s notes, from which he read to STUART during their telephone conversation, will reflect these conversations, including Ms. GARSON’S defamatory, perjurous, and insulting statements.
5. STUART on about October, 2011, delivered a written response to the State Bar
explaining his political activity, the STUART ASSAULT, the email exchanges, giving his defense, and requesting dismissal of all charges. STUART did not receive a further response from the State Bar.
6. On information and belief, GARSON alone initiated the State Bar proceeding and illegally induced Mr. Radigan and possibly other State Bar employees to pursue a groundless investigation and prosecution of STUART within the State Bar to retaliate, intimidate, harass, and oppress him relating to the CLAIM AND DEMAND, DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, and PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITY. On information and belief, GARSON collaborated, agreed, affiliated, and conspired with each CITY ATTORNEY Defendant in such activity.
7. Because of the pending charges from the State Bar being aggressively pursued by MS. GARSON, the looming four year “suspended sentence”, the vague DVILS ORDERS, GARSON’s connection to them and demonstrated willingness to commit felony crimes to persecute STUART, after his first conversation with Mr. Radigan STUART was further intimidated and fearful of reprisal from CITY ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS. He refrained from pursuing the CLAIM AND DEMAND, DUE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, and PUBLIC BENEFIT ACTIVITES under the additional fear of jeopardizing his law license.
Family Court Racketeering Suit Expands to Name San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith for Use of City Prosecutors to Protect Local Divorce Industry Abuse
January 9, 2014—San Diego, CA—Today California Coalition for Families and Children expands their Racketeering lawsuit in federal court to detail San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s use of City Attorney’s Office’s resources to prosecute critics of the divorce industry. The federal complaint details Goldsmith’s and Assistant City Attorney Emily Garson’s misconduct in criminal proceedings against the Coalition and it’s President, Colbern Stuart, jailing him on false charges.
Assistant City Attorney Garson’s behavior is simply criminal-far beyond what prosecutors are permitted. The City’s own documents show she manufactured evidence and testimony.” Says Coalition President Colbern Stuart. Stuart was arrested while protesting with other parent members of the Coalition at an April, 2010 family law seminar hosted by the San Diego County Bar Association.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is a former Family Court judge, and his wife, Christine Goldsmith, is a sitting judge and Defendant in the Coalition lawsuit. “Goldsmith’s prosecution of the case reeks of conflict of interest. He staffed the case with a young prosecutor who apparently didn’t understand the depth of the illegal conduct she was being asked to perform. Obstruction of justice by a prosecutor is a serious felony—a clear and egregious violation of law and ethics rules.” says Stuart. “There’s no excuse for such behavior. She’s breaking the law to protect ravenous divorce lawyers. It’s simply disgraceful.”
“At the very least, it shows extremely poor judgment, but more accurately widespread disregard for the law among those sworn to up hold the law in the City Attorney’s Office. God save us when this egregious misconduct becomes tolerable behavior.” says Stuart.
From the Amended Complaint:
GROCH’S Order and GARSON’S numerous acts of punishment and prosecution of protected speech commentary against the City Attorney, and GARSON’S perjury and subornation of perjury constitute deprivations of STUART’S rights secured under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and related provisions of the Constitution of the State of California. Whether shielded from civil accountability or otherwise, the felonies represent a deplorable pattern of contempt of law. They are also RICO predicate crimes under 18 U.S.C. § 1961(1)(A) and (B), as detailed below.
GARSON lacked probable cause to initiate the People v. Stuart matter. Her sworn declarations as a complaining witness in doing so are crimes—felonies under federal law—several and severe. STUART has endured years in persecution as a result of such outrageous behavior. He re-appears today to redress those acts for himself and, he prays, thousands of others who have suffered similar and even more outrageous insults, violations, deprivations, and injuries under the indecency of those who today occupy offices of honor, yet who regularly debase those offices while driven by motives no one, perhaps not even they themselves, could honor.
That failure, combined with [The Commission on Judicial Performance’s] impotence to swiftly punish the same in deterrence, makes the act of entrusting a complaint to BATTSON and SIMI at outrageous risk of constitutional injury by county judicial officers behaving as a steerage-fare gallery of feckless petit-tyran, perversely immunized under the honor of patriots to indulge frolic, whimsy, and caprice. What shame a profession of reason today endures.
Under BATTSON and SIMI’S habituated tolerance for judicial misconduct, disregard of ethical canons and constitutional restrictions on abuse of authority, the mere act of identifying a litigant in an investigation subjects her to jeopardy by officer complained of or the officer’s colleagues acting in lockstep sympathy.
More at WeightierMatter.com
CCFC Announces Partnership with Carpe Dicta and Weightier Matter for 2013 Judicial Election Resrouce
What’s Wrong With Family Court?
You be the Judge!
December 12, 2013–San Diego, CA–CCFC today announces a partnership with Carpe Dicta, the online resource for news, reviews, commentary, and analysis of public servants, attorneys, and judges, to provide coverage and in-depth analysis of the 2014 Judicial Elections on June 3, 2014. From Weightier Matter:
CCFC, Weightier Matter, and Partner Carpe Dicta Announce June 2014 Judicial Election Voter Resources and Coverage
December. Christmas shopping, holiday parties, parking nightmares, and a celebration of what’s most near and dear to us: Family and tradition. But while most people take the holiday off to celebrate, spend time with loved ones, relax, and feast, for some December is an important time to start working. December 27, 2013–The official end of Christmas shopping season, is also the official beginning of Election Season for 2014 candidates statewide, and in America’s Finest City. And if you’re a judge, this election race–if you’re in it at all–is a sprint.
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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Family Court–Where Ignorance of the Law Is an Excuse? CCFC Responds to San Diego Family Court’s Lawyers Matthew L. Green and James B. Gilpin of Best, Best & Krieger
CCFC Responds to Family Court Judges Who Proclaim Ignorance of the Law. Maybe that explains a lot…
Family Court—Where Ignorance of the Law is an Excuse?
Our experience with Family Court judges has been universally bizarre—irrational rulings, ignoring evidence, tolerating perjury, and a chaotic standard of practice by divorce lawyers known to be unethical. It’s led many of us to believe Family Court judges are crooked, swayed by bribery, favoritism, or simple malice.
But in CCFC’s RICO lawsuit, we’ve encountered a new phenomenon that’s surprising given that the the people we’re suing are judges:
Ignorance of the law.
That’s right—Family Court Judges, ignorant of the laws that apply to them and their colleagues.
Surprised? Maybe not, but we were, especially given that we’ve sued eleven of them. You’d think they could together figure out even a complex civil rights/RICO lawsuit given that they deal with constitutional rights on a daily basis, and each of them come from criminal backgrounds where complicated criminal conspiracies are ordinary. But in our recent lawsuit the judges have together filed a motion to dismiss, claiming CCFC’s Complaint is “unintelligible” and “exhausting.” They’ve gone so far as to describe our Complaint as a “bucket of mud.” Not only are they confused, they’re angry!
They’re so angry they’re also requesting sanctions, asserting that the Complaint was filed in bad faith, without any basis in fact or law.
We were puzzled. Our Complaint is certainly complex—it sets out 34 Counts of criminal and civil allegations against eleven judges, family court evaluators, divorce attorneys, the San Diego County Bar Association, and the National Family Justice Center Alliance among others. But as we looked closer, we discovered the problem—the judges simply don’t understand the law. They’ve asked for the District Court to dismiss the action using the wrong rule of civil procedure. They claim the Complaint doesn’t plead affirmative defenses—defenses that they, as defendants, must plead and prove. They’ve claimed that the complaint doesn’t explain how their racketeering operation works, when their own books, articles, and even a former lawsuit against them explains their operations in (what must be for them) agonizing detail.
It took us time to grasp this fact, but it’s now quite clear:
The judges simply don’t understand that what they’re doing is illegal.
Our October 28, 2013 letter sets for the explanation in terms that are simple enough for even–well–Family Court judges to understand. Two days later Family Court judges immediately declined our offer to resolve the matter informally–clearly without taking even a moment to digest our lengthy disclosure in the letter. CCFC has been forced to file an emergency motion and exhibits to request that the Court permit expanded briefing on this critical issue.
CCFC’s letter sets out arguments that judicial immunity doesn’t apply in this case to the illegal acts of judges and the court in its interaction with family court forensic psychologists. There is no immunity to criminal charges–even for judges. You may be surprised if you’ve thought, or were told, that judges are always immune, or that regular civil procedure “doesn’t apply” in family court. We show why that’s wrong.
Stay tuned–we’re headed for a showdown at hearing in U.S. District Court in San Diego on November 22, 2013. Both Family Court Judges and CCFC are requesting to throw out the other’s pleadings, and sanctions for the efforts. It’s high stakes for parents, children, and Family Court judges. We’ll soon learn more about whether judges truly are as ignorant as they claim–and act–as our lawsuit moves forward.
Family Court Judges—Ignorant of the Law. Is it an excuse for them?
**UPDATE: NOVEMBER 22, 2013 HEARING HAS BEEN CONTINUED BY THE COURT TO DECEMBER 19, 2013. SEE OUR EVENT CALENDAR FOR DETAILS. YOU’RE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND!
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Judicial Malpractice? Why Judges Are Afraid–Very Afraid–You’ll Figure It Out–They Need Malpractice Insurance
Judicial Malpractice Insurance is Common. Why They’re Afraid You’ll Find Out–and Sue
We’ve said it before–“Judges break the law on the bench and off all the time. They’ve replied–“Yeah, but then your only remedy is an appeal. We can’t be sued.”
Who’s right? Ask a lawyer and they may side with the judges. Tough road to sue your master. But if you can’t believe what you hear, believe what you see. Judges recognize they can be sued–for a lot of things they do as lawyers. They’re so tuned in to it that they’ve asked insurance companies to write special policies for them. This article by David Cohen of Case Western Reserve examines the issue closely, exposing how many judges purchase insurance, what they pay, what they’re afraid of being sued for, and why. Cohen explains;
“For several centuries judges enjoyed absolute judicial immunity. Recent years have seen a decrease in the scope of judicial immunity. The increasing success of suits against judges has caused many members of the judiciary to purchase judicial malpractice insurance. The Author questions the current cost of such insurance by examining the amount and necessity of protection it affords and the risk of civil liability not already covered by the state.”
Despite the fact that they’re insured, and the premiums are paid for by tax dollars, they still peddle the “I’m just a poor government employee” tune to litigants and attorneys who don’t know better. Which is why Cohen met resistance from judges when he researched the issue.
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