May 25, 2014–San Diego, CA–Today California Coalition for Families and Children delivers its update on the RICO litigation to its membership and interested friends, along with a special message endorsing Carla Keehn and Joseph Adelizzi in the June 3, 2014 judicial election. From the email:
DIVORCE INDUSTRY RICO LITIGATION
Last week’s round of briefing against the San Diego County Bar Association and the local divorce industry was a herculean event, but we’ve established some major beachheads from which to launch further attack in the litigation. I attach a copy of our 186 page opposition brief. Additional links to all of the pleadings are at our website at http://www.weightiermatter.com.
Thank you to the many CCFC members and friends who volunteered to share the workload with the legal team. We’re grateful to have so many eager hands and sharp minds.
Our lawsuit has brought together a “perfect storm” of an experienced legal team and the pure accident of California Coalition’s commercial and my personal injury to achieve standing to assert both civil rights as well as competitive injury under federal statutes. CCFC’s membership has added a deep familiarity with the family law industry and actual customs of local courts and practitioners. We know where the bodies are buried before discovery begins, and we’ve been enabled to plead our knowledge and documentation in abundance in our 1500 page appendix to the complaint.
The soft shod and brown-shirted family lawyers are well-prepared for one-on-one civil rights and state court negligence/fraud/breach of contract claims, but few lawyers understand, much less expect to see a family court litigant group successfully assert RICO against the enterprise level collaboration. RICO is often bypassed in favor of civil rights because plaintiffs haven’t been able to cobble together the collective industry-level knowledge on their own, and law firms which can do the investigation won’t spend the money to do so in a measly divorce case. By attacking the $50 billion industry as a whole and aggregating our client base to an “association” level, we’ve changed both the stakes and the number of deliriously hubristic card sharks in our casino.
May 19, 2014—San Diego, CA—California Coalition For Families and Children, PBC announces filing of motions and oppositions in its Racketeering and Civil Rights lawsuit against Family Courts and the Divorce Industry. The latest round of filings explains to the United States District Court the foundation for the lawsuit and request that the Court permit the case to move into discovery.
“Defendants filed an avalanche of almost two hundred pages of attacks on the First Amended Complaint on virtually every legal ground that could be imagined” says Colbern Stuart, President of California Coalition. “They threw the book at us, and we responded in kind.”
California Coalition’s opposition brief totaled 186 pages of analysis explaining the legal foundations of the Action. The motions were filed as part of an “Omnibus” round of briefing ordered by presiding District Court Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo. In the filing, defendants joined forces and also filed separate “joinder” briefs on issues unique to each defendant. “They pretty much ganged up on us in this round—we’re facing an army of lawyers representing lawyers–divorce law firms, forensic psychologists, family law judges, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Commission on Judicial Performance, even Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye” says Stuart.
The “Omnibus” filing challenged the legal foundation for California Coalition’s First Amended Complaint. At this round of the litigation, no party can present evidence, but the District Court Judge examines the Plaintiff’s legal theories to determine if they state a cause of action recognizable under law. If the Complaint states “cognizable claims”, the case goes forward. Defendants can also assert technical defenses, such as expiration of statutes of limitation, or jurisdictional issues. Such defenses don’t adjudicate the merits of the claim—but only whether the complaint meets a checklist of technicalities. It’s common for such motions to be raised at the outset of the litigation. For many issues, the complaint can be “fixed” by simply amending to satisfy the technicalities. In other cases, such as statute of limitations or jurisdiction bars, judicial or other immunities, and certain other “all-or-nothing” defenses, a court isn’t required to grant the plaintiff permission to amend if it’s apparent that even an amended complaint couldn’t go forward. The Omnibus brief filed by all defendants raised many of these “all or nothing” defenses.
[More at WeigtierMatter.com]
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]
San Diego Domestic Dispute Industry Equal Protection Conspiracy Centerpiece: The “Universal Female Victim” and “Universal Male Perpetrator” Ideology
California Coalition’s July 24, 2013 letter to the City of San Diego and the San Diego Family Justice Center lays out the Family Justice Center’s ideology for law enforcement: “It’s always the guy’s fault. Period.” Easy enough if you’re a social worker, cop, or a judge–but is it? Oddly, the Family Justice Center is deaf to the equal protection conspiracy implications of their publications and teachings–publications and teaching that go directly to judges, law enforcement, social workers, and attorneys enforcing domestic violence laws.
Exhibit A to the letter breaks down the ideology with references to relevant law and exhibits exemplifying the crime. This Exhibit explains “Universal Female Victim” and “Universal Male Perpetrator” ideology as evidenced by the Alliance’s own writings.
[More at Weightier Matter]
Family Justice Center Alliance: Social Workers, Prosecutors, Police–Bureaucrats in Enterprise: Graphically Explained . . . by The Defendants Themselves
A central issue in California Coalition’s racketeering lawsuit–as with any lawsuit alleging complex collaboration between criminal elements–is the existence of “enterprise” and “conspiracy”-type collaborations between the defendants we’ve named. Not just everyday “how-do-ya-do” interaction qualifies as “enterprise” or “conspiracy” under federal law.
But it turns out this isn’t going to be half as hard as we thought. Federal conspiracy law is straightforward–an agreement to violate the law, and an act in furtherance toward that end. “Enterprise” is more challenging–its requires a “pattern”; repeated actions by one or more persons or entities to achieve one or more criminal purposes. Of course in bringing California Coalition’s racketeering and civil rights lawsuit we did our due diligence, investigating various operative elements we believed to at the root of the suffering of Family Court litigants, including the Family Justice Center Alliance, the San Diego City Attorney, the City of San Diego and its in-house Family Justice Center, the County Courts which operate domestic violence restraining order clinics, and the lawyers, social workers, and judges themselves. In our July 24, 2013 cease and desist letters and recently-filed amended complaint we alleged, as we must, that these defendants collaborate to violate the law in “enterprise” and “conspiracy.” Because of the technical requirements of pleading under these extraordinarily complex statutes, the lawsuit reads as easily as a neurology textbook.
Defendants responded as if we’d accused them of growing a tail. They claim not to operate in collaboration, but entirely independently, and always according to law. Since we’ve heard the “who, me?” explanation from California public officials before, we set out to prove our conspiracy and enterprise case in baby-step fashion.
[More at Weightier Matter]
California Coalition’s racketeering lawsuit in United States District Court draws aim on several major Domestic Dispute Industry operatives—divorce lawyers, social workers, and judges. But perhaps the most outrageous and truly heinous crimes we’ve uncovered in our litigation and research are those committed by forensic child custody evaluators. We’ve elsewhere explained the legal frailties of the “best interests of the child” standard–professionals can start there. Here we offer a summary of a debate that occurred within legal and scientific journals beginning in about 2005 and continues to this day. The discussion is fascinating—psychologists, lawyers, judges, and genuine scientists set out to answer the question: Do Child Custody Evaluations work? The answer? A resounding…
[More at WeightierMatter]
California Coalition Delivers Claim Against U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy to Attorney General Eric Holder
April 16, 2014—Today California Coalition delivers its Federal Tort Claims Act claim and demand package regarding the failure of Ms. Laura Duffy, United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, to protect families and children from abuse by Family Courts. From the Holder letter:
Dear Mr. Holder:
I write to alert you of a claim presented yesterday pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b) regarding Ms. Laura Duffy, United States Attorney, Southern District of California. I enclose a copy of the complete claim form and attachments.
This claim is premised on violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Ms. Duffy and unknown attorneys and personnel within the United States Attorney’s Office are alleged to maintain policies and practices in violation of Claimants’ rights to equal protection under the Constitution and Laws of the United States. Such policies and practices within the United States Attorney’s Office have and continue to cause, allow, or fail to prevent deprivation of the Claimants’ rights as members of each EQUAL PROTECTION CLASS defined in the Amended Complaint, causing injury therein.
[More at WeightierMatter]
April 15, 2014—California Coalition today delivers a claim under the Federal Tort ClaimsAct to United States Attorney Laura Duffy for her failure to enforce federal civil rights laws preventing San Diego Family Courts and divorce industry professionals from violating civil rights of families and children. The claim form summarizes the California Coalition’s Equal Protection allegations against Ms. Duffy for her creation and maintenance of policies depriving California families of Equal Protection of the Laws. From the Claim Form:
This claim is pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1986 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Ms. Laura Duffy and unknown attorneys and personnel within the United States Attorney’s Office maintain policies and practices in violation of Claimants’ rights to equal protection under the Constitution and Laws of the United States. Such policies and practices within the United States Attorneys Office have and continue to cause, allow,or fail to prevent deprivation of the Claimants’ rights as members of each EQUAL PROTECTION CLASS defined in the Amended Complaint, causing injury therein.
[More at WeightierMatter]
April 10, 2014—Today California Coalition for Families and Children PBC delivers a copy of its racketeering and civil rights lawsuit and demand to California Governor Jerry Brown to address Family Court Psychology Fraud ring. From the letter:
Dear Governor Brown:
I write to request you attention to a pattern of illegal activity within our state Superior Court system and ask for your help in remedying ongoing exploitation and oppression of families and children in our State. I am the President of California Coalition for Families and Children, PBC, a public benefit corporation comprised of parents and children organized to protect and promote parental autonomy, rights, and interests in domestic dispute and juvenile justice matters. I am also a lawyer and a parent. California Coalition has recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of its California members in United States District Court for the Southern District of California. I enclose a copy of the complaint in that matter.
The allegations detail patterns of illegal collaboration between San Diego Superior Court Family Division judges, divorce attorneys, and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. These activities include patterns of fraud, extortion, and abuse of parents and children by Family Court psychologist “custody evaluators” who are appointed or hired to assist families undergoing divorce or family law matters.
[More at WeightierMatter]
California Coalition Files Motion to Enjoin All California Domestic Violence Restraining Orders as First Amendment Violation and Tool of Racketeering
February 26, 2014—San Diego, CA—California Coalition for Families and Children today files a Motion for Preliminary Injunction in its ongoing civil rights and racketeering case against the Domestic Dispute Industry. In their Motion, the Coalition argues that the standard for invoking a domestic violence restraining order under the California Family Code—“abuse” –is an overbroad and vague content-based restriction on free speech, and therefore illegal. From the Motion:
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
Domestic violence is a serious national concern. United States Department of Justice statistics indicate that despite a decrease in frequency of intimate partner violence over the last twenty years, incident rates for nonfatal domestic violence remain at two tenths of one per cent of the population. Voluminous research, writing, and debate regarding the causes, nature, and appropriate means of eradicating this social malady have not resolved the controversy among researchers about how to eradicate the offensive persistence of domestic strife.
The solution legislated by the state of California and enabled by Defendant JUDICIAL COUNCIL is a courageous initiative consisting of a body of laws, regulations, policies, formwork, and practice standards guiding the behavior of social workers, criminal prosecutors, public and private civil attorneys, judges, court staff, administrators, and law enforcement animating unique oversight and restrictions on those most likely to be involved in domestic violence crimes: Families. Thousands of studies commissioned by state and federal governments have shown in abundance that families are statistically more likely to commit crimes of domestic violence. One attorney for the United States Department of Justice recently explained that every domestic relationship is a potential “powder keg” warranting special government attention. Even more studies proving this clear point are ongoing, yet the final solution to how undesirable family discord will be fully exterminated remains illusive. Stuart Decl. ¶¶ 34-34.
In pursuit of this end, state and local entities in California devote special attention to families in order to deter behavior which may lead to injury. This Motion asserts that one embodiment of California’s scheme to eradicate domestic violence—preventive restraining orders—fails to properly observe constitutional boundaries. Specifically, to what extent may police powers be deployed onto families to accomplish desirable goals of domestic violence deterrence without overstepping constitutional restrictions on the use of state-sponsored tools of coercion?
This Motion offers that California’s present scheme to eradicate domestic strife penalizes behavior that (1) is expressly protected by clearly-established fundamental state and federal constitutional rights, (2) violates no law, (3) causes no compensable injury, and (3) may not found any action in equity outside of the jurisdiction of domestic relations courts. Among the wide array of appropriate tools available to the state of California in responding to undesirable behavior, California’s coercive intervention scheme has overstepped clear constitutional boundaries, is of unproven efficacy, is widely abused as a tool for fraud and extortion, and demeans the integrity and effectiveness of our civil and criminal justice institutions. Based upon these deleterious consequences and the strong likelihood of prevailing on questions of law, Plaintiffs seek an order enjoining substantial ongoing illegal interference with the protected liberty interests of citizens of the United States and the State of California.
The complete story, pleadings, and analysis from Weightier Matter.