In an unprecedented legal move, a federal court judge has allowed a vexatious litigant to depose California's highest ranking judge.
Michael Smith, a substitute teacher in Southern California was beaten badly by the rotten California Family Court system. Smith fought his immigrant wife in a custody case and was declared vexatious, rendering him legally and financially unable to fight the child's mother's move away request.
Fast forward nearly a decade, and Michael Smith has now been given a green light to force California's highest judge, Tani Canti-Sakauye, into discovery to uncover what the state knows about the vexatious issues and how those might be misapplied to divorce and custody matters.
A private research study shows that in Santa Clara County alone, judges and unethical lawyers, are routinely using the vexatious litigant statue to block innocent parents from the courts, as a litigation tactic. A parent can be declared vexatious when one side can afford a lawyer , and the other can not, as happened in Smith's case. Once declared vexatious, parents are forced to deal with the division of community property and their parent- child relationships in courts that are prejudiced against them.
The insidious aspect of the vexatious litigant statue, as applied in family law cases, is that courts can only then require one side to file a motion to request an ability to file a motion, The party declared vexatious must also request a motion to file a lawsuit in other cases not related to the divorce or custody matter where one party got the other declared vexatious. In some cases, the vexatious litigant must also additionally post a bond before being allowed to even file a motion on a simple custody or support matter.
In Smith's case, he was under a prefilling motion that required him to post $100,000 bond before dealing with any of his custody issues. It would take Smith over 10 years saving all of his income as a substitute teacher to be able to even request visitation with his daughter,
Smith has also reported that since his divorce he has had many hardships that he could have resolved through legal channels had he not been declared vexatious and subject to a bond in order to file the most basic lawsuit., A $100,000 bond order and the VL designation are realities that obstruct Michael's constitutional right of access to the courts and allow others to prey on him using he courts as a weapon. Smith and other VLs are branded like back in the day of the Salem Witch trials.
In theory the vexatious litigant statute is intended to prevent people from clogging the courts with meritless motions and lawsuits. In reality. unethical lawyers and judges clog California's courts more than any parent seeking shared parenting and equal division of community property estates.
The vexatious litigant designation prejudices one party with nearly everyone in the legal community . It is like a modern day Scarlett letter, a stain, on a reputation and it alarmingly can be applied by one parent , after a court refuses to level the legal playing field in a divorce or custody case.
Research shows that using the vexatious litigant statute in a divorce can pay off big time for lawyers. Court files reveal that Santa Clara Family Law attorney, Bradford Baugh collected $65,000 from his client Oliver Garbe in a Santa Clara County divorce to declare Garbe;'s former wife vexatious in a divorce dragged out by incompetent judges, including Mary Ann Grilli and James Towery .
Garbe was then able to use the courts, and the bias of Judges Mary Ann Grilli and James Towery, to strip his former wife of her children , property she had inherited from her father, and the companies she had bought from Garbe's step father, Sean Connery.
Ironically after Garbe's former wife obtained help from DCSS, and Judge Grilli was forced into retirement , support orders Judge Grilli made while Garbe had his wife was declared vexatious were modified and Garbe's child support check to her reportedly bounced.
There is something inherently wrong with a court system that allows one parent to pay a lawyer $65,000 to have the mother of their children declared vexatious , but not be forced to pay guideline child support for their children.
Attorney . Brad Baugh has abused the process of the courts to make three other people vexatious as well, one a father whom Mr. Baugh got a 50 year DVRO against to protect children long after the children would have aged out of the court.
Ethical lawyers and Judges will say the vexatious litigant statue does not apply to courts of equity and should not be used in family law cases. California is one of only 9 states to use the statute and once designated, court files show few people ever get off the list.
A public records request from Santa Clara County General Counsel , Lisa Herrick, shows that in one case, Patrick Missud, a disbarred vexatious litigant lawyer, attempting to reveal court corruption,, died suspiciously in a Santa Clara County Jail and remains on the list , even in death.
A public records request to the Judicial Council shows that the state has spent over $10,000 fighting the federal case against Michael Smith, with an arsenal of lawyers , as Michel Smith is homeless, working from POD storage units and writing pleadings from free WI- FI at places like Starbucks. Smith also has been reduced to showering in local gyms and relying on a 20 year old car in order to meet his deadlines and fund his litigation. His motion for appointment of counsel was denied in federal court.
Smith is in need of $5000 to repair his car and perform discovery on the state's highest and reportedly most corrupt judge.
If you are outraged at California's family courts would like to help Smith, he can accept Paypal or other donations to help him fight his case. Please email us to be put in touch : CalJohnQPublic@gmail.com, if you are able to help