Santa Clara Vexatious Litigants on List Even in Death
Wylmina Hettinga was declared vexatious by Santa Clara County Judge Mary Ann Grilli who retired earlier this year under allegations she had suffered from dementia and drug addiction for about as long as Ms. Hettinga was in her court. Nearly 10 years. . Wylimina fought to have equal time with her children and her fair share of the community real property , which was transferred entirely to her former husband, as he got full custody of her two youngest children as well. Not only was Wylimina denied a fair hearing before Grilli , she was denied her half of a community estate and equal time and rights to her children. Because of her battle, Wylimina advocated for changes in the law, trying to allow parents the right to a jury trial for custody matters, rather than facing retaliation of biased and incompetent family law judges, who abound in Santa Clara County.
SANTA CLARA, CA: California is only one of 9 states to have a law on the books restricting the right to access America's courts., it is know as the Vexatious Litigant Statue and can only apply to self- represented parties.
The vexatious litigant statute requires the state to publish a list sounding a shot across the judiciary that a person is so litigious, they should be kept from freely filing a lawsuit without first obtaining permission. VLs as they are referred to are required to at least file a prefilling motion and many to post a bond up to $100,000 , a financial impossibility for most.
In reality the VL statue denies American citizens access to the courts.
Since 2009 an alarming number of citizens have been declared vexatious based on their divorce and custody cases. In Santa Clara County alone the number of people declared VL arising from a divorce or custody case has risen sharply , largely due to litigation tactics of unscrupulous lawyers who informally advertise an anility to get another party declared VL during a complex divorce or custody matter. It effectively shuts done one party and locks them out of the courts.
Santa Clara County also shows an alarming number of women being declared vexatious , while their white collar husbands hide assets and convert community property into unimaginable sanctions. One woman was sanctioned $595,000 as she protested that the lawyer in her case had committed fraud to assist her husband get out of paying child support, and the lawyer then became a Santa Clara County judge.
Another woman was sanctioned $200,000 for filing complaints with the State Bar and trying to expose fraud her husband and business partners engaged in during a five year divorce matter.
An immigrant woman from China who was denied discovery, an interpreter and her children was sanctioned over $300,000 , lost all of her houses , was imputed for $150,000 in income, and nearly jailed after Judge Grilli took her children from her, for no reason other than she tried to expose fraud her former husband and business partners engaged in.
Wylimina Hettinga recently provided comment to the Northern California Recorder to explain the injustice she fought when she was declared vexatious.
Aside from the injustice the VL statute causes in divorce and custody cases by prejudicing one side where the judge is concerned, a vexatious litigant designation impacts people outside of court as well. Many are reporting being on the VL list causes them to:be
In short, by publishing a name on the vexatious litigant list , courts are causing people to lose income, liberties and freedoms.
In Santa Clara County vexatious litigant and lawyer Patrick Missud died in a Milpitas jail . A public records request sent to Santa Clara County General Counsel Lisa Herrick confirmed Missud remains on the list even though the county knows he died in their jail !
In Southern California Michael Smith, a school teacher , has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the vexatious litigant statute as applied in his custody case,. Smith was declared vexatious and his wife was allowed to move away with his daughter and he was not even allowed to respond. Smith is required to post $100,000 bond if he wishes to file a lawsuit in California. a financial impossibility on his teacher salary.
Since 2016 an investigation into Santa Clara County's policies and practices show alarming trends that include:
1. The person declared vexatious was often the parent without access to community money during long drawn out divorce or custody cases.
2. Women are declared vexatious in family law cases are a rate that is 10 times the rate of men declared in family law cases, and often when they attempt to fight unjust , void or unlawful orders made related to their children and their homes.
3. Persons declared vexatious are often attempting to expose fraud and RICO like claims in family law cases that include lawyers, judges, custody experts , relators , CPAs, property appraisers and even CPS workers.
4. Bonds required of VLs range from $25,0000 to $100,000 and are being set in a manner to further deny access to the courts,
5. Records indicate only one person has been removed from the list and Santa Clara County Presiding Judges Lucas and Pichon have denied other requests while appearing to be incompetent in the law and while knowing the list is maintained with persons who are deceased.
A group of Silicon Valley leaders and experts are finalizing a report on the vexatious litigant list .
" Santa Clara County doesn't seem the least concerned that they put more people on the vexatious litigant list than any other county, and maintain that list knowing their are dead people on it. It is beyond injustice. The list is being used to shut up the people who are speaking up about what Santa Clara County Family Courts are doing to families, children, the poor and whistleblowers."