2017 Media to the Rescue: State Legislators Finally Listening to the Cries of Our Children Trapped in Family Courts?
January 2017 Main Stream Media In Sacramento Publishes Story Exposing Family Court Corruption and Consequences ! Alastair Bland launches investigative reporting revolution with the help of Santa Clara based investigative reporter and public records expert Stephen James.
Two decades of legally alienating children from their parents and converting billions of dollars in community property to family court lawyers, experts and judges has finally reached a tipping point - and people are snapping and reporters are finally investigating.
Children who have grown up in California divorce cases are adults and now have voices . These children are speaking up and fueling online and social media protests that are demanding sweeping changes in California's Family Courts.
Maybe it took millions of women marching in American Streets. Maybe it took millions of Americans protesting in airports all over the country, or maybe it took an unprecedented filing of state and federal lawsuits filed by mobs of angry parents , and their adult children, to finally bring attention to what has been going on in California's divorce and probate courtrooms for years, but the attention is finally here and legal system cronies and insiders are not happy. The lawsuits appear to be breaking into billions of dollars.
History of Silence
Every year family court victims flood county district attorneys and local reporters with complaints and stories they hope will receive attention. Few do. Newspapers like the San Jose Mercury and San Francisco Chronicle actually have informal policies prohibiting reporters from covering family court cases.
In the late 1990's Santa Clara County parents, determined to get such attention ultimately succeeded in pressuring courts to get rid of Judge Stewart and corrupt custody experts, but a few years later, Judges like Mary Ann Grilli and James Towery continued the judicial incompetence, misconduct and cronyism, damaging thousands of innocent parents and children in the process. And media attention in family cases vanished.
By early 2000, in Sacramento, as the current Chief Justice Tani Cantil- Sakauye rose to power, people trapped in divorce cases became all to familiar with the dysfunctions of family court. In a county that lacks court reporters, and where judges openly engage in sex with court clerks, hundreds of parents lost custody, property and were sanctioned fees that eclipsed amounts seen anywhere in appeal records of Tharp , Feldman or Davenport.
In Santa Clara, Marin, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties, family and civil judges are known to deny legal parity awards of Fc2030 fees in family cases, and toss out fees and sanctions of $10,000 to $100,000 as a matter of routine business. Family cases now show fee awards that eclipse costs seen in most civil and criminal matters, especially when one party is involuntarily self represented.
When whistleblowers tried to bring issues of court corruption, and misuse of community property to the Santa Clara County DA, they were threatened , and retaliated against in a campaign that appears to have been led by Jeff Rosen himself, with John Chase , the supposed employee charged in managing the DA's public integrity unit assisting Mr. Rosen at every turn.
As advocates tried to draw media attention for domestic violence and rape victims in the county , they too faced retaliation from Rosen's office, despite Rosen having been reelected under a wave of support he gained while posing to support victims during the Brock Turner Stanford Rape case. Rosen's office appears to be assisted by court insiders, including Joe Macaluso., Public Information Officer, who has a long history of denying certain media outlets public records requests and for improperly speaking about family law cases to discredit litigants the Santa Clara County judiciary seeks to silence.
In 2016 the out of control family courts began to gain public attention after well known investigative reporter Stephen James moved to Santa Clara County to care for his elderly father, and began making media requests in the county's family court cases, as he had done in Sacramento.
Stephen James' reputation as an investigative reporter had been well known to family courts, DA's offices and other public agencies in Sacramento for decades. Santa Clara County Courts appear to have engaged in a coordinated county effort to deter Mr. James, and other activists, from spotlighting family court corruption well known to have existed in Silicon Valley for decades.
Erica Yew , a Santa Clara County Judge, and former Chair of the Commission on Judicial Performance, was keenly aware that Mr. James and other court reform activists had contributed to California's State Legislature demanding an audit of the state agency and Ms. Yew, appears to have allowed her colleagues to threaten and retaliate in a manner that sought to silence Mr. James ', and other media investigations.
By late 2016 Santa Clara County family court victims had evolved to a group of over 1000 parents , children, lawyers , reporters and tax payer watchdogs who placed Santa Clara County Courts at the top of their activism effort. Members were jailed, lost custody, property and businesses, but were not deterred after seeing a holiday video where judges and lawyers appear to have gathered to mock the poor, children and parents who can't afford legal representation in their divorce cases.
In early 2017 investigative journalist Alastair Bland, published a cover story for Sacramento News & Report, highlighting many of the stories that reflect the victims of Sacramento family courts, where Mr. James was essential to helping bring these pages to press.
Within one week of the story's publication, it hit family courts and legislative offices up and down the state. Family Court victims hand delivered hundreds of copies to make sure this time they were not ignored.
A Change. org petition has also be started to support bulk disbarment of family lawyers who engage in misconduct and profit by stealing money and child support from children.
The success of the Sacramento News and Report cover story may not only result in legislative change, it may spark a new era for investigative reporters, an era where reporters are allowed to listen to the troubles that form the issues, not the politicians and pundits who guess what those issues may be, as widely respected NYU journalist Jay Rosen discussed on NPR just last week.