Few will notice that exactly a year after Joe Sweeney was put in a Richmond jail (two days after publishing a report that got an audit of the agency that disciplines California Judges audited), the San Francisco Chronicle's Editorial Board, in a bold and unprecedented move, has published harsh words for the state agency that is failing to protect the public from bad judges..
Joe, like so many other family court victims, had merely been posting online about the gross unfairness in his divorce, where he faced an army of lawyers, and where he was designated with domestic violence. A judge deemed blogging on line and using papers in a public court file worth of jail.
Jail, lost houses, stolen children, Joe is far from alone where unfairness in family courts is being exposed and people are facing retaliation from judges, the most powerful individuals in the state. . Each day thousands of people reach out to the media, hoping someone will finally expose what is going on in California's Family Courts.
On August 17, 2017 a San Francisco court was filled with the usual parents and activists who have been calling for judicial reform for decades, but this time, and for the first time , they were joined by the public , who attended through the eyes of the San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News and Investigative reporters. Also in the audience where social media icons like Cathy Cohen, Sue Bee and members of Jane and John Q Public who have rallied social media groups, mothers, fathers and grandparents from all over the world to bring attention to California's Family Courts.
Today, in simple divorces, Silicon Valley houses and businesses have become quite lucrative , and have become the cash cow of the financially bankrupt court system. Litigants also report that rather than simply and equitably dividing community property, many judges are applying $100.000 or more to lawyers on one side , while additionally appointing custody evaluators, realtors, CPAs and referees to those same matters,
People who instinctively speak out about the appearance of injustice in family law cases face the greatest retaliation of all, often having their children taken. without lawful reasons .
In addition to trying to silence those who speak out against judges by sealing complaints, judges themselves often issue orders that prevent people from speaking out on Facebook or event brought complaints to local county agencies. See order of Solano County Judge Carrianger below. Judge James Towery has issued orders restraining litigants from filing complaints with the State Bar, IRS and FBI to conceal his misconduct.
Lawyers who file complaints against judges, or who attempt to disqualify a judge from a case where a judge may have a financial benefit in an outcome , or where the judge is clearly biased , often face huge financial consequences, as judges make sure that lawyer is never paid equal to what other lawyers who don't complain are paid. Court files up and down the state show that judges who face complaints themselves have failed to report attorney misconduct.
Additionally, Public Records Requests have revealed that nearly 95% of the state's judges also appear to have failed to fully report financial interests they may have in a case, where the judges then fail to recuse themselves, denying litigants fair and impartial hearings.
Q is glad to welcome the San Francisco Chronicle to the party aimed at removing bad judges, we hope more media outlets will follow suit.
See Chronicle story here: www.sfgate.com/news/article/Editorial-Judicial-watchdog-shouldn-t-escape-11956864.php
Judges Issue Self- Serving Gag Orders