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Is this reason enough to report Commissioner to Judicial Commission?

Discussion in 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' started by Heidi_Starling, Nov 9, 2010.

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  1. Heidi_Starling

    Heidi_Starling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hearings in front of Family Court Commissioner regarding modification of physical placement filed by Ex.

    1. First hearing I was unable to retain counsel in the 9 days from when I was served. I submitted a motion to postpone to allow me time to retain counsel for myself. In the motion I also addressed our shared summer placement. Unknowing of Ex's intent to modify placement I had given him liberal placement from June 9 until first week of August. After I was served I notified Ex of my intent to have my share of summer placement for all of August and correspondance with him gave me reason to believe he would deny me my right to this. (Ex scheduled the hearing just days before August.)

    2. At the hearing I had to interrupt and say, "excuse me but I have a motion I'd like addressed." Commissioner asked what it was and being nervous I said postponement to retain counseld, the clerk held up the motion and he rudely said he'd get to that later. He never read the motion and the only addressing he did "later" was tell me I could show up to the next hearing with counsel or not it was up to me.

    3. At that hearing Ex's attorney had tried to get an immediate order and I told her she did not have any basis for an emergency order, she said it was stated in her motion (Commissioner did not read that either during the hearing. The Commissioner appointed a GAL and without reading my motion at all divided the rest of the summer into 2 weeks with me and 2 weeks with Ex. Because Ex had an attorney he also got the extra days before and after the more than 4 weeks of summer remaining. Also because I did not have an attorney it was just ignored that Ex stated he was going to be out of town for work for 3 days during the time in August he'd just been given.

    I feel this is reportable to the judicial commission for bias towards me because I was unrepresented, denial of my rights to an attorney, and negligence for not reading or addressing my motion.

    1. At a later hearing I had an attorney. The Commissioner stopped the hearing while I was on the stand before my attorney could redirect and also Ex's attorney had stated she was going to recall Ex before we finished, and asked the GAL for a recommendation. GAL said both homes and parents were good, but he pushed her and she said dad. My lawyer instantly read the statute stating presumption of well being to continue current placement. Commissioner adopted GAL recommendation without giving any reasoning or basis according to law, was ordering child move in the middle of the semester in a month and a half.

    I feel this is reportable to the judicial commission as he did not follow the law. I did not get due process, the hearing was stopped before it was finished. He adopted the GAL's recommendation blindly. He did not state any reasoning or basis for his decision on the LAWS which were clearly on my side.

    So my question is, do I have enough to report him to the judicial commission? Is my wording ok or is there better reasons to state in my report? I am not submitting this until after the de novo hearing in front of the judge to show clearly that I am not asking for an appeal by reporting him, I just think what he did did not uphold the law or inspire confidence in the judicial system and should be investigated and reprimanded.

    Thank you for your help
     
  2. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    Ha Ha You made a funny. Reports to a judicial commission, you crack me up. But its interesting you should bring that up at this particular time. You see, I have "issues" with the "latitude" with which judges and other officers of the court believe themselves to be endowed. I'm afraid what we witness among some of our judiciary members too often could be more aptly described as "jurisimpudence" instead of the tried and true "jurisprudence". roflmao

    You really should try stand-up, I hear there is money in that if you do it just right and you are definitely on the right track.:confused:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  3. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    Levity aside, I have had occasion to witness exactly how difficult it is to get anything to "stick" on judges/commissioners. You'd have more luck pulling the Titanic up out of its watery grave and setting her to sail again.

    For the most part, judges are teflon-coated. Nothing sticks, its magic and a handy contrivance if you happen to be a judge. However if you are someone who has been injured or offended by a judge well the magic is kind of worn off from that perspective.

    You see, there are certain requirements to find a judiciary member guilty of misconduct and whichever one you choose (is it behind Door Number 1 or Door Number 2?) they are clever enough to incorporate enough legal mumbo jumbo into the solution that it just DOESNT QUITE QUALIFY. But if you had picked Door Number 4 it would have been unbeknownst to you surreptiously smuggled to Door Number 3 and you all the while none the wiser until you pull the blanket off to reveal the proof. And that is that your proof has turned to a dormouse wearing knickers and a sprig of ivy for a dash of color. You'll be laughed out of the courtroom and be thought the foolfor sure if you try to catch a wiley judge, trust me.
    :eek:

    Well, in all seriousness I am not mocking your obviously sincere distress and righteous desire to have your grievances heard. It's just that I wish to save you countless hours of studying and research and exploration trying to find the wherewith all firstly. And then the really difficult part, enlisting the aid and endorsement of a solicitor or any member really of the public at large. I wish to save you the uncomfortable feeling of invisibility you get after a while when you are talking to people about your sincere convictions only to notice that they don't hear you. If you are seen at all it will be because the clothing you have on is adorned with a big red letter of unknown origin or meaning. Wherever it came from and however you ended up wearing it, it will take you quite a while to learn what everyone else figures out very quickly the minute you mention Judicial Commission complaint. I'd like to save you the agony of defeat basically.

    I'm sure you have heard before of the system of checks and balances that are built into our system. Well, there is a second lesser known set of checks and balances that has the same effect as running the judge through the whitewash and even if he was mud-encrusted on entering he will come the other end clean as a whistle and shiny too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
    Heidi_Starling likes this.
  4. Heidi_Starling

    Heidi_Starling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So I guess you're against reporting the GAL to the whitewashing commission too?? If I could find which whitewashing commission I can report her, it must be behind the top secret door # 00ZXQ. LOL

    Thanks for the warning. I thought I just wrote up the report and sent it with documentation. Yeah maybe they'll dismiss it right away or maybe they'll investigate and I might get a phone call to answer a question or 2. Maybe if I'm lucky he'll get a warning, tho he really needs to be fired. Once I put it in the mail I figured I was done, end of story. No need to gather the troops and set up picket lines or prepare for battle. I have low expectations and no need for publicity. Just doing my civic duty in this wonderful country of ours. Wonder if Canada has a better legal system and allows adults the freedom to smoke in their own home?

    Thank you for replying, it's been nice talking to you.
     
  5. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    Heidi, I'm glad you see that I was not minimizing what happened or putting you down for wanting your 'say'. Actually, reporting as you did is the best thing because I'm fairly sure that they have to hear about it and if nothing else comes of it then they are on notice that you know they are out of line, you're no idiot like that. I had a chance to report anonymously or not and I chose not to be anonymous because I felt first of all that if I do that it would somehow cast a shadow of doubt on me as to my truthfulness as I have nothing to hide and no reason to hide. Also, from the details of my complaint it would have been obvious who I was.

    I spent a long time researching to make my complaint. I got an acknowledgment letter from the guy in Missouri who is the contact person at this secretive commission and I knew from that letter and the one that I emailed to him that he had ZIP interest in what I had to say. I was told they could get a court transcript/recording from my case but they refused to do it. Actually saying that they refused is an oversimplification. It would be more accurate to say that their response was frigid and hostile in truth. So I had to pay for it myself. Basically, the judge's honest should have been seriously in question but rather than him having to prove his actions were honorable (a joke) I had to prove that he lied and I had to prove I WAS honorable/honest. There are so many loopholes and they cover for each other. All the evidence I got from searching online as to what happens to these complaints its a rare day in hell when anything comes out of it. MAYBE 1 out of a thousand might get their wrist slapped. Very rare to actually remove a judge. It is frustrating because even if there is clear evidence of blatant misconduct no one seems interested. The person who ends up getting hassled is the complainer. This commission was set up in each state as a result of a congressional study and lots of big bucks and hours of discussion and debate at the end of which time they made this commission thing and patted themselves on the back and said, "we did good". Which is a joke because the fox is in charge of the hen house. There is this 'system' you see. And there is an unspoken tacit agreement to look after each other. (judges). Actually I read more than a few very credible reports of people whose lives were ruined by their complaints. Certainly if any lawyer tries to do so he can pretty much kiss his practice goodbye. That's why no attorney will want to talk to you, no media, no nothing and all the regular people say "you're crazy to talk like that, you better stop" so its very disappointing and discouraging and has really really really pretty much destroyed my faith in the fairness aspect of our courts. I know what THE STORY is about how you're guaranteed fairness but the STORY and reality don't match.

    Anyway, you have a good attitude to not get obsessed with it. I foolishly thought that if I carefully documented everything they'd have to listen. LOL, I'm a funny girl when I wanna be.

    Good luck to you. The one thing I do recommend is that you try to let people know what happened, at least the basics. I would just like to get some people to accept the POSSIBILITY that our system is not what we think it is. I have extreme sympathy for the innocent people who end up in prison because of corruption. We want to think it doesn't happen but it does.

    Search the net for the "Innocence Project", its amazing and discouraging all at the same time. I'm sure they are only scratching the surface of the problem, but they are making a difference, a much needed difference. One of the weakest links in 'justice' is the tendency of the average citizen to give credence to any 'official version' and to discount any contradictions. That is a DANGEROUS tendency, we should never lose our desire and need to QUESTION "official versions" of the truth. We do a disservice to each other when we don't keep an open mind as to whether or not the accused is innocent. All that needs to happen to fry the accused really is to plant the idea that he's "whatever", crazy, confirmed bad guy with bad history, they can make up a story to match the facts. It's scary, really, if you think about it. The complacent attitude and the smug almost arrogant attitude that WE ARE SAFE just isn't true. There is no shortage of crooks and scoundrels worldwide so it is illogical to assume that somehow judges who are, after all MORAL human beings, are exempt from deceit.

    Anyway, like I said, keep the faith and best of everything to you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  6. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    I did want to ask you about the "guess you're against reporting the GAL to the whitewashing commission TOO?" I'm curious who the "too" is?

    It is daunting to think of a flagrant violator of 'justice' getting paid to do the wrong things he does.

    Life is not always fair.
     
  7. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    This is an informative website that reveals a lot about this topic, the accountability of the people who judge us. There are lots of them out
    there but this one is organized well and is a good reference source if you are interested.

    http://www.judicialaccountability.org/beyondthefacade.htm
     
  8. Heidi_Starling

    Heidi_Starling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Totally seperate issue from the Commissioner I am reporting, but same case. The GAL assigned misquoted the law to me, stated a recommendation for Ex because the child seemed to be a "traditional child" and he is recently married and goes to church which is what I believe she meant by traditional, stated to me in front of my lawyer a bias towards me because of a lie I told 3 years ago to my Ex but didn't think it was the same thing that Ex lied repeatedly by having affairs in the marriage, also stated to me and my lawyer she was glad she didn't have to consider the law in her job (OMG). Talk about immunity a GAL doesn't even have a commission to report complaints to, they are more untouchable than judges or I would possibly be reporting her too.

    Luckily I live in a different county than the court so I can tell all my friends & I have lawyer friends too who told me I should report this Commissioner. But I am also being very careful to not do or say anything that could get carried the 80 miles to that county's courthouse until this case is done. If the judge knew about it I have no doubt he'd stick up even more for "his" Commissioner. Not to mention if I told my lawyer what I plan she wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot pole, and I kinda need her until this case is finished.

    Thank you for the links, I'll check them out. Sorry you had such a horrible experience, it isn't right or just, but I know that is common in this country, and sadly I'm not expecting much from my report either. I won't even have a transcript for my report, nothing in front of the Commissioner is recorded, just a few notes from a clerk who's present and I'm amazed how little info is in that.
     
  9. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    There is NO issue that tears at us the way events and concerns we have about our children. I can tell how frustrated you are and how you are struggling to do things in the right order so you don't put your concerns in jeopardy. I admire you for that because its a difficult thing to do.

    I did want to say, if it is not apparent, I am not a lawyer so I do not know all the niceties and maneuvering and deal making that attorneys do. I have witnessed a lot during my years working in the legal system however nothing I did compares to the knowledge an attorney has. Most of what I know has been through observations in my own life and both my sons who have gone through the agony of divorce. And it is agony to sit in a courtroom and hear virtual strangers without any real connection to your child that are suddenly making decisions that could affect her entire life and of course yours. What I have witnessed with my sons, is that though they are supposed to be impartial in order to be effective a lot of what happens depends on the judge's appraisal of the parties which doesn't seem to be based on much more than instinct or personal experiences. And so much of it is unseen, nothing you can find in a book. It could be something as simple as the fact that you remind him of someone he had a dislike for. I just know I have seen things so UNBALANCED (speaking of the scales of justice) and so obviously lenient toward one side and coming down very hard on the other. And that in itself does by definition qualify for misconduct because the judge is supposed to avoid even the APPEARANCE of impropriety.

    It's scary to think that something so important to us as our children, that concern for their safety and well-being is left largely up to strangers, the judge and Guardian ad Litem in your case. It's hard to fight a battle when you don't have all the rules of the game (the unknown experiences and possible prejudices). Unfortunately imo the majority (but I do believe there are some who sincerely try their best) of judges see so many people coming in and out of their courtroom and they become comfortable with the fact that one or the other party is probably going to be dissatisfied that it no longer matters to them. And there is also more than a little arrogance involved. I've seen the same type of dismissive behavior and curt responses that you are talking about and you'd just like to stand up and yell "now wait a minute" but you can't or if you did it would only make matters worse.

    The truth is, people can talk themselves into anything, a story can have two completely different versions and set of facts and both can be constructed so as to appear plausible. And so based on things that have very little to do with law they see the facts filtered through tinted glasses that show one party or the other in favorable light. I think its cruel to demonstrate such arrogant disregard for your testimony and concerns and not reading what you wrote. But it doesn't matter what I think. But I will say that its part of the reason why I don't think its a good idea to have a judge get too comfortable in his position because when he does he's just not giving it the attention he would if he were starting out fresh and new and not jaded by things he's seen. Judges are, after all, and no matter what anyone else says about how they are held to high standards and held accountable, but they are largely unaccountable and also very human with all the frailties and personal prejudices involved.

    I will tell you that when you write your complaint its very important to find something to focus on other than the outcome of your case because they make a very big point of saying that its not about you being unhappy with his decision, it has to be based on something of substance. But the rules are so loose in some ways as to be ridiculous. For example, in my case, its my allegation that the judge told me a date entirely different from the date when the case went to trial and that because of that there was no way I could have been there to defend myself since I was unaware of that detail. So I can move to have the judgment vacated or I could request that another judge take over the case but that its the judge who I say is prejudiced against me who is going to decide if I get another judge. Does not make sense to me. But anyway, my complaint stressed, among other things, that I was lied to about the date. So I got an acknowledgment of the complaint but then the person who is the first to receive and see the complaint said he saw no evidence by reviewing the docket sheet that the judge changed the dates. Well, imo that is a ludicrous statement because common sense tell you the judge is not going to go to the docket and write "ha ha, I got her good, changed the date I did, lol". So if that was all I had to go on you're DOA before you even get to 1st Base. He's not going to write an incriminating statement on the docket. However much I dislike this judge and did from the beginning, I don't for a minute think he's stupid enough to do that. Anyway there are different versions of what the complaint has to be about and oddly by some requirements it has to do with something OTHER THAN THE CASE like the fact that the Judge was seen gambling and cavorting with wild women. So what, now you're suppose to hire a private detective to spy on the judge? That's ridiculous. There is enough "give" in the requirements that a case can always be made why what he did is perfectly correct and unquestionably evidence that he did not commit misconduct. I think its so bad that, by way of illustration, if it were homicide he were accused of and you was seen standing over the victim with blood dripping from the knife and on his judge's robe that they could come up with a plausible (in their mind) reason why he was in that position. He probably came upon the victim and finding her with a knife plunged into her chest, he rushed to save her and pulled the knife from her body and in so doing got blood all over himself. Almost any reasonable person knows that it would not be advisable to remove the knife but to let a doctor do so because by doing so you could make matters worse. You know that and I know that and they know that you know that its just that its nothing you can PROVE. You can't PROVE that when he pulled the knife out that he knew it would have resulted in her death and that therefore its faulty logic to think that was the explanation for his compromised appearance. They just juggle things around to fit the mold they've decided to go with. Nevertheless, give it your best shot then you know you did your best and did not shirk your responsibility to complain. That's one thing I do believe in is that because so few people do complain or know how to do it that its easier to ignore. I mean if 50 people showed up wanting the judges scalp it would be harder to brush aside and more people would notice. While the public might think YOU as an individual are a liar I think that 50 unrelated individuals with no commonality among them were to complain people would not be so quick to dismiss complaints.

    I found one website (and I consider it) where someone actually went to the courthouse and spent enough time there observing that he was able to find people with similar complaints who signed affidavits and so got the attention that otherwise would have been nonexistent. All very time-consuming and most people have responsibilities to job, children, etc.


    As to the GAL, what licenses does she hold? Is she a psychologist? If so you can report her to the Board of Psychologists. There is almost always someone to complain to. Good luck and don't give up the good fight. And yes, I wouldn't be surprised if new wife didn't have a large part to play in your ex's sudden stirring.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  10. Heidi_Starling

    Heidi_Starling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    In WI GAL's are lawyers and proving incompetance to that board is laughable. I've actually enjoyed all the research and debate in preparing my case, though my lawyer just pats me on the head and is finally acknowledging my knowledge of the law. Crazy isn't it, now I'm thinking I finally know what I want to be when I grow up and am entertaining going to college to be a paralegal. I'm drawn to Globe University which has a 3-4 year program online for a bachelors degree. I'd need to be able to do it at home so I'm available to my daughter still and would finish when she was over 16 which would be good timing for an outside the home job.
     
  11. KCGirl

    KCGirl New Member

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    Sounds like a worthwhile, do-able and ambitious plan. Go for it! Most of what passes for legal work is BORING! imo don't get into the trusts and wills and codicils (gag me) and none of that corporate $h!t either. No charge for the opinion, its pro bono!
     

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