For decades Mary Ann Grilli, a Judge in Santa Clara County, has used her tenure and authority to abuse the county's most vulnerable citizens, those engaged in family law matters before her. Since her biggest mess; In Re Marriage of Cheriton, Judge Grilli has been showing Santa Clara County residents she cares more about wealthy dads and their lawyers, than children involved in cases before her.
In a recent exparte Judge Grilli awarded a lawyer who stripped a mom of custody , $30,000 in fees, and ordered the mom to pay $3,000 of those fees, despite the mom being unemployed and on Medicare. That is not only unjust, it is a misuse of federal funds.
On December 10, 2015 when Grilli was questioned by one lawyer why she had violated local rules and double set motions before her , only to complain there were too many things before her to have time to hear, Judge Grilli replied ; " I didn't set it , the clerk did ".
So either Judge Grilli lied , in her own open court, or she is mismanaging court clerk staff, who are paid with public funds, and allowing them to violate local rules of law.
On October 15, 2015 , again before a crowed court, Mary Ann Grilli denied fees for a self- represented party to retain counsel, in a complex matter she herself had not been able to control for three years. Grilli sent the poor mom to act as her own lawyer for a week long trial in San Jose's civil court, but awarded fees of $40,000 in another matter, that was also heading downtown and that was already formally dissolved. In that case Grilli said it appears the litigants " are just continuing to fight'" . Apparently she wanted to make sure the lawyers were paid so they could keep up that fight , but didn't want to provide relief to a self-represented mom in a complex case, who had not been able to afford a lawyer for over a year. While Grilli knew the husband in that case had hired and paid over $1,000,000 in fees for his lawyers ( 6) , perhaps Grilli didn't know , of like the, mother's lawyer. Perhaps Grilli doesn't know how to provide evenhanded justice in family law matters where she is to consider the parties equal and equitably divide their property.
Is Judge Grilli engaging in defrauding the federal government to pay her favored lawyers?
The media is finally brining some attention to this judge; who dishes out bias and prejudice to self- represented, immigrant, poor or undereducated litigants, as a matter of routine.
A freelance reporter has been pulling files and mailing media requests in Grilli cases. If the county , the state auditor and the US Attorney General won't protect the rights of citizens engaged in family law matters in Santa Clara County, perhaps the media will.