In conduct that feels oh so familiar with the McCarthy Era, Santa Clara County Court insiders continue to try to lash out at reporters and members of the media critical of the courts and their use of pubic funds.
As previously reported, individual judges in Santa Clara County, especially in family law cases, appear to be abusing their power and authority to retaliate against litigants who are suspected of being critical of the Santa Clara County Courts, especially when those litigants are believed to associate with the media, or other groups supportive of First Amendment Rights.
When the Judge Persky controversy exploded on the national stage, Santa Clara Court officials went to work attempting to seek out and silence reporters and media outlets critical of the courts or the many programs the courts oversee.
Santa Clara County's public information officer, Joe Macaluso, (JMacaluso@scscourt.org ), appears to not have worked merely to provide public information about the county's courts, during that time. Instead Mr. Macaluso appears to have , on his own, or as directed by his court bosses, attempted to thwart public records requests and media requests, in an attempt to deter the media from exposing systemic problems in Santa Clara County Courts.
Mainstream media has not been deterred . The Metro News just published a scathing article on the court's misuse of interpreters. In a county with the language diversity issues Santa Clara County faces, this is simply disgraceful.
Interpreters are just the tip of the iceberg. The practices and policies Santa Clara County Courts are employing are so harmful to the integrity of our legal system.
Since 2010 , Santa Clara County residents became outraged after a trustee of a disabled man was allowed by the Santa Clara County Courts. To silence the criticism, the county formed committees with politicians like Jim Beall, and included judges like Mary Ann Grilli. Santa Clara County presiding judges and top court administrators knew Santa Clara was one of the worst in the state where probate and receiver issues were at hand.
After the county formed a committee, placating the public, Santa Clara County courts went immediately went back to their old policies and practices , using unscrupulous trustees, referees, custody experts , CPAs and vocational examiners , who continue to impose court corruption on the county's elderly, poor, undereducated and children who are trapped in the probate and divorce cases, where the county has a monopoly.
When litigants speak up, judges retaliate more. In a 2015 case before Judge Towery , a women tried to speak up about the money her husband was stealing in a business as he sent her into bankruptcy and dragged out the divorce.
Judge Towery, in every abuse of power and discretion imaginable, defined the couple's date of separation ( when it was not legally before him ) , and ran with the date claimed by husband and his lawyer, 8 years earlier than the date claimed by the self represented mother. No notice, no trial , no evidence, and with the bang of his corrupt little gavel and in violation of every family code imaginable, Judge Towery singlehandedly terminated the wife's right to long term support or proper business valuations, sending her to bankruptcy and her ex husband to the country club.
In case after case, Santa Clara County Courts consistently demonstrate a willingness to impose gender bias, financial misconduct and gross violations of due process on local litigants. The county's judges do with such zeal , that the public trust in the legal system has been vacated .
Judges who have forgotten they serve the people , and our greater society, have abandoned their oath with such an effervescence that they must be stopped and reeled in by media scrutiny which serves the public interest. .
A federal case is set to be heard in San Francisco later this month. where the issue of media and litigant rights to free speech and association with groups critical of Santa Clara County courts will take center stage. In that case Santa Clara County Courts have gone to extraordinary efforts and legal expense to keep "emails and blogs " that disparage the courts, out of the public record and away from the prospective jury.
Now that the Judge Persky controversy involving the Stanford rapist sentence is in every mainstream outlet in country, as well as thousands of emails and blogs, we wonder just how Santa Clara County Court arrogance will continue to keep the corrupt mismanagement and decades of misconduct out of the media, and away from federal court oversight .