Our divorce started in 1991, and finally ended in 2009. During that time I filed complaints against lawyers and judges for violating numerous laws and civil rights. The fraudulent acts, perjury and abuses within the divorce system were rampant. After going through the divorce, I could understand how all people can be skeptical about the entire legal system. Rather than talk about issues within the system that you must know are broken, let me list some ways that you can use to improve the system.
Allow complaints against lawyers while an action is ongoing. Now, the rules of the bar ethics committees usually will not pursue complaints while an action is ongoing and this only encourages lawyers to continue to violate RPC. When there are children and child support, actions go on for years and the abuses by lawyers continue.
Take the review of lawyers conduct away from members of the legal profession who do not police themselves adequately. I understand that there may be non-lawyers on the evaluation committee, but not a majority (use lawyers as advisors only.)
The same type of reviews and standards should be allowed against judges. Now, judges have almost absolute immunity. In those actions where judges can be sued, the actions are usually dismissed by other judges. I have observed judges act improperly and wagered with several other law students (at the time) that if I sat within a judges hearings for two weeks, I would find at least one violation of rules, cannons, law or behavior. I made that offer to one student whose father was a judge, and he refused to take up the wager.
Pass a law that will eliminate judicial immunity for other than executive, administrative, and legislative functions. The precursor of the civil rights laws (42 USC § 1983) allowed laws to be applied against judges (See the U.S. Supreme Court case Ex Parte Virginia – where a judge was jailed for excluding blacks from a jury.). Rotate judges out of specific courts with some exceptions. When judges and lawyers become familiar and friendly, abuses occur.
I have not mentioned any particular judges but have observed several who have knowingly violated rules and law. Open all family court rooms to the public. I know that several renovations have limited seating in courtrooms so actions could not be reviewed or observed.
Electronically capture all court documents and make them available and searchable on the internet. (If necessary, redacting of critical information will protect privacy.). Limit the sealing of documents by judges who do this to protect themselves after knowingly making incorrect determinations. When lawyers violate rules against Pro Se opponents, suspend them, incrementally.
I have been in jurisdictions that elect or appoint judges (New Jersey appoints and after seven years they have life jobs). Both systems have flaws. I would eliminate life tenure for judges because it tends to encourage lax behavior and makes it impossible to remove bad judges.
I could write a book or issue a report about court procedures and the need to change them. I have observed how judges make law, and then use any law to justify their determinations without any review. Very few appeals are successful, and those filed by non-attorneys have even more appeals dismissed. Rather than have judges try actions, let juries make determinations.
At one time, I was before Judge M. Sogluzzo of Hudson County and as far as I am concerned, she supported perjury, and was very abusive after being criticized in a public forum. She was not the only family court judge who acted improperly and got away with it. I have some transcripts that identify judges who lied to protect lawyers and failed to follow rules of law based upon written attacks against them (one such judge was Judge Zampino of Essex County, who retired from the bench.)
Allowing judges to determine if they should recuse themselves, is frequently abused by sitting judges. Each judge has prejudices, and that is one reason that juries should be used. Even with juries, judges control the courtroom and by allowing or excluding evidence, still control what juries use to evaluate actions. Courts currently, have no group that monitors them and controls their actions.
Once judges are allowed to rule, unfettered with procedural protections and absolute immunity, abuses increase without any controls. It appears that when lawyers criticize judges they can be sanctioned or suspended. This allows almost absolute power by lower court judges without any government branch able to monitor and change the judiciary.
By Peter DiPietro 856-213-7053
Retaliation by the Gloucester/Cumberland County Courts
My wife and I were separated in December of 1999, she was 2 months pregnant at that time. In April of 2000, I hired Craig Kugler of Hoffman, DiMuzio and Hoffman to furnish a Pro se complaint for divorce, when my wife was told of this she filed a false restraining order against me in May of 2000. No police reports were ever presented to the court in this matter. The judge placed a restraining order against me which still remains today.
My daughter was born in July 2000, my wife of-course refused me to see her, the priest who married us interceded and my wife would only let me see my daughter if I was supervised by the priest.
The divorce begins and I was ordered by Judge David Morgan to have a “risk assessment” by “Court Psychologist” Angela Merlo and my father was also to be interviewed by her as a possible supervisor.
Judicial employee Angela Merlo “court psychologist” furnished for the court her “risk assessment”. My lawyer Heather Wright told me I was not allowed to see the report but gave me a summary of Merlo’s assessment. Her assessment was that I was too remained being supervised and my father was not adequate, instead I had to be supervised by my wife’s mother in the basement of the church for all the parishioners to witness. This of course was extremely humiliating. Also she recommended me to be “medicated”. I had an evaluation done by Dr. Patel a “licensed” psychiatrist and Steven Pogust a “licensed” therapist. Both reports were presented in front of Judge David Morgan, he tossed both of these reports out because the “contradicted” Merlo’s “risk assessment”.
I hired a new lawyer, Michael Diamond, he accidentally sent me a copy of Merlo’s “risk assessment”. I and my father reviewed the “risk assessment” and found statements by her that were outright lies and both remembering the evaluations being tape recorded. My lawyer subpoenaed Merlo and I filed a complaint with the State Board of Psychological Examiners. Merlo responded to the subpoena by letter stating that she never tape recorded, but the biggest fraud is when the State Board of Psychological Examiners responded by stating that SHE IS NOT A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST. Yes the Gloucester county court was knowingly having an unlicensed judicial employee illegally holding herself “out” as a “psychologist”, conducting illegal evaluations, illegally performing a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) on individuals and hand scored the MMPI-2 (at the time of this evaluation the results of the MMPI-2 had to be sent to University of Minnesota for the results because software to purchase was not available), and furnished to the court a fraudulent report in custody and termination cases.
I then hired Dr. Phillip Bobrove of Haddonfield and Dr. Samual Bobrow of Washington twp. to conduct evaluations to be presented to the court. Both were paid and everything including the letter from the State Board of psychological Examiners was presented to them. The court tried to refuse me from sending a copy of Angela Merlo’s “risk assessment” to them but I prevailed. After seeing the risk assessment Dr. Bobrow refused to complete an evaluation and sent my money back, Dr. Phillip Bobrove took over a year to finish his report and has and continues to refuse me a copy of that report. The court gave me 15 minutes to read his report. He states on the very first page that he was in direct contact with Judge David Morgan (ex-parte communications) and that he feared a lawsuit. Both Bobrove and Bobrow knew they were dealing with a fraud within the courts. They both concealed this, instead I was forced by the court, Dr. Bobrove and continual false allegations to suspend my visitations with my daughter in May 2003 I have not seen her since. But here is where it gets good.
I filed suit in 2009 against my ex-wife DiPietro v. Vassallo et al. GLO-L-1583-09, this surrounds the illegal acts committed by Merlo, the court dismissed and the appellate court concealed the illegal acts in their decision, don’t believe me, see A-5207-09T1. All the evidence was attached in Federal Case DiPietro v. Moriski et al. 1:12-cv-02338, of course this was dismissed. Since then I have had my drivers licensed suspended when I was making child support payments, which caused my business to fold, see DiPietro v. New Jersey Family Support Payment Center 3:08-cv-04761, was illegally arrested and incarcerated without probable cause, see DiPietro v. Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department et. al 1:11-cv-0587, had my house illegally foreclosed on knowing that I was a victim of predatory lending, see Newfield National Bank v. DiPietro F-48886-08; DiPietro v. Newfield National Bank et al. L-001651-10, DiPietro v. Landis Title Company 1:11-cv-05110 and the most recent is DiPietro v. Newfield National bank et al. L-001550-12.
Within the foreclosure matter, an expert witness, Michael J. Smith, furnished for the court a report detailing all the mortgage violations surrounding my loan, he also shows that I was a victim of Predatory lending. I signed an application for a 30 yr. fixed rate mortgage, Newfield National Bank did not send me one disclosure and had me sign for balloon note mortgage that had to be paid in full in five years when I was assured that it was a thirty year mortgage. The court foreclosed on me and severed my counterclaim and transferred it to the law division. I included Landis Title Company to the suit and had another expert report performed by Michael J. Smith. His report on Landis shows that Landis could have not legally closed on the loan because of the absolute lack of federal required disclosures, RESPA. The report clearly shows that Landis and Newfield did conspire to give me a detrimental loan. The appellate court concealed the expert report of predatory lending from their decision; see A-0737-10T4. This court has deliberately destroyed my life, deprived me of my daughter of almost 10 yrs and counting, deprived me of my home, caused the shutdown of my business, continually arresting and incarcerating me all because I found out that they were having a judicially employee committing a crime.
Don’t believe me - you can see everything that I have stated and much, much more in these cases:
Angela Merlo illegally conducting duties as a psychologist:
District Court of New Jersey: DiPietro v. Moriski et al. 1:12-cv-02338(NLH)(KMW) In reference to Gloucester County Courts: DiPietro v. Vassallo et al. GLO-L-1583-09 and N.J. Appellate Court: DiPietro v. Vassallo et al.A-5207-09T1
Fraudulent Foreclosure of my property:
District Court of New Jersey: DiPietro v. Landis Title Company 1:11-cv-05110 in reference to Gloucester County Courts: Newfield National Bank v. DiPietro F-48886-08, Gloucester/Cumberland County Courts: DiPietro v. Newfield National Bank et al. L-001651-10, N.J. Appellate Court: Newfield National Bank v. DiPietro A-0737-10T4.
Presently, see Gloucester County Courts: DiPietro v. Newfield National bank et al. L-001550-12.
Suspending my driver’s license and issuing and illegal arrest warrant when I was making payments:
District Court of New Jersey: DiPietro v. New Jersey Family Support Payment Center 3:08-cv-04761
Arresting me without probable cause in retaliations for filing suits and criminal charges against Judiciary:
DiPietro v. Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department et. al 1:11-cv-0587
Mr. John A. Tonelli
PO Box 037,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0037
Re: ACJC 2012-216
Pisciotti v. Pisciotti
Dear Mr. Tonelli:
In December, 2012, you confirmed to me that an investigation of Judge Paul Escandon’s conduct in family court was pending. I have copies of complaints filed against Escandon, at all levels of the state, including the ACJC, since January of 2011, when my constitutional rights were first violated, as I was imprisoned in a house I could not afford, and received a reduction in my alimony contrary to an appellate decision.
For the following two years, I was litigiously harassed by my abusive, criminal ex-husband, Nicholas Pisciotti, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending myself, post divorce, as Escandon was complicit, ignored instances of fraud and funneling of funds by Pisciotti, permitting support evasion, dismissing appellate orders and signing orders submitted by opposing counsel without a motion or hearing. I have indisputable documents to prove my claims. I was forced to sell the home, I was ordered to live in, to pay legal fees, and moved instate to find work, and as a result lost custody of my children to a violent, two-time felon, confessed killer, known mob informant-who refused witness protection, after recently being released from prison and having being absent most of the children’s lives.
I lost my children as a result of Judge Escandon’s judicial malfeasance, failure to adhere to proper court procedure, numerous violations of my constitutional and state rights, including due process, denial of my freedoms to move within the state, ex-parte communication, failure to recuse himself when warranted, etc., proof of which was provided to you, and most importantly, his failure to consider the safety, well-being and best interests of three innocent children, all while awaiting justice from the higher courts and administration of New Jersey. The Appellate Division blindly backed a crooked judge in a ruling contradictory to New Jersey Law, and the Supreme Court refused to hear my case, although my constitutional rights, and most basic precepts of a court of law, were violated. I was ordered to pay legal fees of a criminal millionaire who successfully used the New Jersey judicial system as a tool, as my cries for justice went unanswered.
I demand my children be returned to me at once as they were taken by fraud, permitted by the State of New Jersey, or I will be forced to take legal action against Monmouth County Family Court and the State of New Jersey, seeking restitution, for its failure to administer the law, violations of due process rights, ignoring abuses taking place and endangering the welfare of innocent children. I have filed numerous complaints with everyone from Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lawrence Lawson, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, representatives of the Senate and Assembly to the Office of the Governor. I am aware of an excessive number of complaints filed against Judge Escandon for over two years and as of yet no action has been taken, other than transferring him to a different division.
The entire New Jersey Judicial System has not only failed me and my children, but we have been raped by the system, and I have the documents and transcripts to prove it. I will stop at nothing until my children are rightfully returned to me. I am meeting with civil rights attorneys and considering several recent invitations to televise my story, nationally, if immediate action is not taken, and the state of New Jersey fails to right a serious wrong. I am also in contact with a number of groups and individuals banding together to fight corruption, injustices, and abuses, frequently and routinely occurring in New Jersey family court. I intend to use all resources available and am prepared to pack the courthouse with supporters and media in my next motion for custody should no action be taken.
My name is Sara Sullivan and I’m a 33 year old mother. My son Zachary turns 10 years old this year. I do not have legal custody of him. I am not a criminal or an abuser.
In 2010 my ex-husband and I had a verbal argument that turned physical. I called the local police station for help. He got to the police first. He claimed that I wasn’t taking my medication for bipolar disorder and he claimed that I said I wanted to hurt him. Both claims were false. I claimed that he did hurt me, but the officers showed no interest in my visible injury. He did not file charges that night. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and they made notes of my injury. From the hospital, it was recommended that I go to Carrier Clinic rather than return home. I followed the direction of professionals. Four days later I was released from Carrier Clinic and the local police called me to notify me that my ex-husband filed a restraining order against me. I went to court un-represented twice, and ended up pleading guilty to harassment for slamming a door shut (true). The FRO was granted. I never had a chance to tell my side of the story and mention my injury. I thought I deserved the FRO against him more-so than he deserved one against me. So I got kicked out of the home that I own, and had no access to my son. My ex-husband injured me, framed me, and then isolated me from my son. I hired an attorney at this point, as this was completely unacceptable to me.
Four months into the FRO I filed for divorce. I would not stay married to someone that will not communicate with me. In the divorce process, my ex-husband wanted me to undergo a mental health evaluation. I agreed, without a court order, to meet with the Psychiatrist of his choice, as I have nothing to hide. I met with Dr. Shaning for two reports, and he noted in both reports that because I was angry (true) and had yelled at my son in the past (true), I shouldn’t be afforded unsupervised parenting time, or more time with my son. Together we paid him over $10,000 for two reports. The reports are ‘sealed by the court’ but my ex-husband made them available to my mother and father, which was a huge invasion of privacy. There have been no repercussions for any of his actions against me.
My parents are heavily involved in my divorce case. My father is abusive and angry, but puts on a show that he’s calm, cool, and collected. He has abused me in every way possible. Currently, his form of abuse is to show up in court on my court dates with his own attorney to state that I do not deserve joint custody of my son (which I unknowingly lost in the FRO and then eventually agreed to give my ex temporary sole custody just to stop the fighting and lawyer bills from adding up). My father hates me for speaking out about his abuse, and for getting divorced, but says that he loves me and that’s why he goes to court and fights me. All of this makes me look crazy when I’m not.
I have been denied picking my son up from school by the court. I have been denied joint custody of my son by the court. I have been denied driving my son distances, sharing him with friends and relatives and taking him to my house by the court. I have been denied birthday parties and playdates. My mother had to follow me around as a supervisor to Cub Scout meetings in which I help lead. I haven’t had an overnight with my son since 2010. I pay child support. Zachary’s therapist is friends with my ex-husband; they live in the same building. My parents act out against me; my ex tried convincing everyone that I was crazy (for leaving him). But I overcame. I see my son enough now and without restriction, because I hired a parenting time coordinator that has been able to help my situation. She oversees all of the interactions between my ex, me and my parents, and makes notes for the Judge that recommended her to me. She cost me $1500 and I just got an invoice for another $1000. I don’t have the money to pay her any more. I don’t have the money to pay for a trial to gain custody of my son back. I’m in therapy on a weekly basis to help me deal with this crazy court system. I don’t understand why the court denies me my ability to be a mother other than to keep my in the system fighting. Again, I am not a criminal or abusive. I am a successful, independent woman. Zachary and I love each other very much, and I have worked very hard to show him that I love him no matter what, even with all of the odds stacked against me. I think that I deserve joint custody of my son for free; as a basic human right, without spending more thousands of dollars that I don’t have on a trial. This system is designed for one thing and only one thing – transferal of money to the system.
I am going to list just some of the corrupt unethical events to show the incompetent system is set up for to destroy parents and permit the attorneys to extort your money until there is none left. The words “in the best interest of the children” has been trampled and replaced with “in the best interest of the attorney”. If there is some reason that there is some disbelief in the following series of evil events please contact me I will share all the details.
Victim of staged fraudulent DV charge. Removed from my house that I ran business out of.
8/2009 Lawyer 5k retainer, promises me for 10k he will have me divorced in 10 months. After couple months bill soars over 15k,”not his fault” he states X`s attorney is churning bill.
DV charges used to Blackmail me to pay all bills and sign agreement along with filing for divorce. Did not want to sign agreement I wanted to fight fraudulent charge. Lawyer became irate (he got physical with me) and promised after presenting tax returns there would be a fair agreement ordered by judge. It never happened. Another lie/empty promise. He gets judgment for fees
12/2009 new lawyer promises me right after New Year he would arrange a 4-way and settle everything. This is a simple case. $5k retainer. He did not accomplish 1 thing for me.
Alienation process begins with 10 year old daughter. Last visitation 12/26/09 have not talk to since poisoned. No cause presented. Court takes no action. Lawyer promises end is soon.
Alienation begins with 16 year old daughter, no cause presented. My rights to visitation denied
2/2010 another false promise. X`s attorney refuses 4-way, my lawyer recognizes X`s attorney is churning bill. After reviewing my financials, my attorney offers to barter his fees for me painting his new house. We shook hands and I thanked him. Being a general contractor I was grateful.
3/10 House Floods, litigation to churn bill. X receives ins. money does not make all repairs and her and her attorney pockets money. I ask for ordering sale of house and 4way both denied
Court granted X order to keep me from repairing my house. X and lawyer swindle ins. money
My attorney advises my X`s attorney is buddies with the judge and X will receive everything and judge will give her the house. He disconnects from case and delegates case to girl in office.
Months and months of fabricated litigation over false allegations from X`s attorney.
5/2010 I recognize I`m in a trap become depressed hospitalized. 4-way denied again
6/2010Doctor orders to stop working and stay out of stressful situations. Triple bypass is needed. X`s attorney harasses me and doctors. X elevates litigation, no break from court, hearings w/ out me
False allegations made to the court .Freezes all my accounts and take all my money.
8/2010 open heart triple by-pass. X`s attorney testifies it is a hoax. When I get out of hospital my attorney asks to be relieved from my case. Attorney denies barter deal and is granted fees.
I`m denied legal aid and help from a friend forced to go pro-se. House ordered to sell and X is permitted to obstruct sale. Falsely arrested 2/11 CS allegations,5/11 2nd fraudulent DV charge, Flood in 8/11house abandoned by X to sabotage. Judge does not enforce her order for X to repair.
X`s attorney drives my children to in-camera interview that DYFSS report was ordered for hearing and very bad report on X went missing. Children`s therapist was obstructed from testifying in court. Court ordered therapeutic visitation but is still not enforcing it. There is a Conspiracy on keeping ordered therapist unknown. No equitable distribution took place. I am now disabled going bankrupt.
Anonymous Due to Fear of Retribution From The Family Court System
I am a mother whose life has been completely ruined by the New Jersey Family Court System. I was the primary caretaker for my daughter since her birth. Through the marriage I was used and abused. He obtained his green card and citizenship through me. I was in banking and finance but when I got pregnant with my daughter I gave up my career so I could focus on my pregnancy. I had suffered two miscarriages prior this this pregnancy. During the third year of marriage my daughter was born. I was a stay at home mother while the father worked. I went through domestic violence but never reported it because I come from a background that is conservative and divorce was not even an option. My x walked out on me after finding out I was pregnant with our second child. When he walked out he completely wiped out all the bank accounts.
He left me pregnant with our 3 year old child. My parents and family live very close by and have been very hands-on. I was threatened with divorce and custody by my x after he walked out. I had to terminate my pregnancy as my x wanted nothing to do with it and I was extremely stressed with the abandonment. He filed for divorce in Hudson County and it went to a newly elected Judge whose reputation was already at stake. Prior, she was an attorney in Bergan County and was sued for legal malpractice. Once I went to court I obtained an attorney from Einhorn Harris Asher Barbarito and Frost and in the first 4 months my bill ran up to $40k. My daughter was in my sole custody. Our case continued and I changed attorneys. I then hired Marion Solomon with Aarons and Solomon in Bergan County. She was my attorney from 2009 June until December 2010. Her bill came up to $375k . The x’s bill came to $325k.
We went through a custody evaluation because the father suddenly wanted sole custody of child. The evaluation cost us $15k and was in my favor for being parent of primary residence since I was the primary caretaker. The father was not happy with the evaluation and wanted to proceed with trial. The trial started in Hudson County. The father was represented by Judith Bielan. I was threatened personally by her several times saying watch how she will get him full custody and wait until we take you to trial and make you look stupid. We went through mediation with a retired Judge. The retired Judge told the x that the Judge would go with the evaluator’s recommendation. Trial in Hudson County went on for 2 days after which the Judge was transferred to Bergan County. She wrongfully took the case with her to Bergan County stating both parties lived in Hudson County which was a lie. We always have resided in Hudson County. We then had an 11 day trial.
During this period I found out that my x had forged my signature on various checks and opened various fraudulent bank accounts to move our marital money out. I received an affidavit from banks saying it was identity theft and that I needed to file a police complaint. I took their direction and the x was charged with identity and forgery fraud on 4 accounts. In June 2010 he was indicted by grand Jury. During trial with the family court Judge put me on the witness stand to discuss the criminal charges. Judith Beilan represented the x on the criminal charges as well. They insisted to discuss the criminal case during the matrimonial proceedings despite my attorney saying we cannot comingle the two. I was cross examined during trial and was asked if I knew my x would be incarcerated and what was I willing to do for the sake of my daughter? I said my intent was never to put him in jail but he has cheated me throughout the marriage financially and duped me and he must be punished. I stated I would not want him to go to jail for the sake of our child. My x brought on various allegations of physical abuse towards my daughter by me. He also involved DYFS with charges of neglect and abuse on me. The evaluator clearly stated there was no abuse. Then he brought charges of force feeding my child which also the evaluator said was moot. DYFS dismissed this case as allegations were unfounded. After the trial ended (within a month) my x was encouraged by his attorney to file an OTSC to transfer custody because my daughter’s time with the father was suddenly increased and on two dinner visits she did not want to go. He testified to the trial court judge that I made throat slitting gestures to him and the court believed him and had us exchange the child at the police station. She was only 4.5 yrs old.
I was very open and positive about the evaluator’s recommendation but the x strongly opposed it and said he was the better parent and wanted sole custody. In November 2010 the Bergan County Judge called us in. She immediately transferred full custody of our child one week before she would turn 5 and completely threw me out of her life. She said he was the better parent who would be able to foster a relationship with me better than what I did. I never alienated my child from her father and the evaluator clearly stated this for the record. He also stated if custody was given to him it would be detrimental to the child. I had to transfer my daughter in half hour and was kept away for 5 days from her without a parenting plan. The father immediately changed all her doctors and her school. We were called back to court after 11 days and I got alternating weekends and 6 dinner visits a month. I went from being a full time mother to a visitor in my child’s life. There was no holiday plan put in place.
The Judge ordered therapy for everybody saying this is a temporary arrangement and when we can co parent she will give us joint custody and a more shared parenting as that was in the best interest of the child. She also said that this is sending shockwaves to me and my family. We were devastated. I was a good mother and did everything I could including sharing doctors and school activities with the father. Therapy for child was ordered so she could cope up with being kept away from me. The Judge called me hostile and lied on the record that I wanted the father to be put in jail when I clearly testified I did not want that. A week later I got a letter from the criminal court stating the criminal charges were lifted and upon speaking with the prosecutor in Hudson County he said your Judge said you knew everything but just wanted to trap the father.
After two weeks of losing custody I got a letter from Judith Bieilan saying they will ask for limiting my time and having me supervised. This is because I was sad and so was my daughter. She wanted to come back home. The father put her in full time daycare and with neighbors for 12 hours a day. I filed an appeal immediately and engaged Madeleine Lesnivich law firm from Bergen County. I paid them $35,000. The appellate division denied the emergency application for a stay. The firm then followed the scheduling order and filed the initial brief with the appellate. The judge then put out a full judgment of divorce including custody that she had already ruled on in November 2010 after 5 months where she gave the x everything and left me to a zero in finances. She made me pay his attorney $60k for bad faith litigation and stated that the custody order was interlocutory, wrongly imputed my income (I had not worked since Dec 2008 as I was a full time mom) and made me pay 1k in child support. . Madeline Lesnivich asked for another $25,000 and I could not afford it. I went to Miller Myerson and Corbo, the attorney Nirm Nagelendrun said I have a very good chance at the appellate level. He took $15, 000. The brief submitted by Madeline Lesnivish which cost me $35,000 was garbage.
Miller Myerson firm filed a motion to say the custody order was not interlocutory and we won on that. In the meantime a Parent Coordinator was appointed who could not resolve a single issue, Linda Shofel, to date she has been paid $35k and not been able to resolve a thing. The father went against his trial testimony on holidays and vacation and completely wanted to keep my out of my Childs life. The PC allowed him to put my child in fulltime daycare 360 days a year and also full time summer camp but did not let me enjoy even summer with my child until I engaged my attorney to do so thus spending more money. I had to engage in motion filing even to get summer time and long weekends with my daughter.
I was sent to another diagnostic evaluation court ordered by the trial judge from Bergan County which came back full favoring me. I filed a motion again with court to increase my parenting time or at least give me 50 50 custody but the Judge stated my case is in appeal and she lacks jurisdiction. I paid this new attorney close to $15k. Within a week of that hearing my daughter was over one night and we said a prayer where she said she wants to live with me and her father should stop troubling me. This inadvertently got recorded on x’s voicemail and he did an emergent OTSC again prompted by Judith Bielan to suspend my time and give me supervised visitation. The Judge found me disparaging and ordered supervised visitation to be reviewed in 3 months. I begged her not to put my daughter through further separation and let me have home visits. She, being a Bergan County Judge having Bergen County family guidance right across the court house, chose not to appoint a supervisor from there but got me a private supervisor who is an attorney to do home visits 3 hours a week at the rate of $75 an hour. I jumped at it. I got to see my child in a court room for an hour once each week and three hours with the lawyer in my home. The judge did not allow me to be present at the child’s daycare to wish her a happy birthday. All calls were monitored by father.
Father told child I was working and that construction was going on in my home therefore I can’t see her. I was restricted with my child to feed, bathe and be affectionate towards her. I was treated like a criminal. The supervisor would chase behind us with her note pad writing notes for 3 hours. She asked me for meals and food. She stopped the grandparents visit and curtailed my brother’s family visiting. I then filed a motion to change venue to Hudson County. That was granted and the review of supervision was held with the presiding Judge of Hudson County in January 2012. I engaged Attorney Cara Corbo and paid her 12k to represent me. She came fully unprepared and the Judge got me another 3 months of supervised visit. The same supervisor then assumed the role of parenting coach on her own and made me look in the mirror of the bathroom if I bathed my child, did not want me to feed her with my hand, wanted me to sit on the table with her and do games with paper on the wall making check marks, and saying good job. I was fully compliant with her requirements and went back for a review to court. The supervisor made a recommendation saying supervision is not required, the father opposed this with his attorney Judith Beilan and the Judge said I’ve done very well but she is new in the case and supervision would continue.
At this time I hired Eileen Tulipan to represent me. We went back in June where the supervisor made a recommendation of no supervision but the Judge cannot decide to engage my child’s therapist. She also stated supervision is unfair to the child and detrimental to her well-being. I paid this supervisor close to $14k . The child’s therapist clearly stated it is not her place to give opinions or recommendation and that’s the job of a forensic evaluator. A forensic evaluator was appointed in July 2012. The father refused paying the forensic evaluator and I had to do motion after motion to engage the forensic evaluator. The supervisor resigned and I got a lovely nice and experienced supervisor from Bergan County family guidance. She saw absolutely no need for supervision and wrote several letters of recommendation to the presiding Judge saying supervision is detrimental to child, child misses mother and overnights and more custody should be given to mother. She only spoke of my positive parenting and the fantastic bond my child and I shared. The Judge continued to ignore this and supervision continued into one full year. Ms. Tulipan was ineffective and was yelled at in court. My x was now pro se but the Judge went ahead with all he said further separating my child and me. I spent over $20k with Ms Eielen Tulipan and now she is suing me for another $55k.
I have spent close to $1 Million in litigation including my matrimonial attorneys, trial, appeal, supervisors and attorney for lifting supervision. I filed for bankruptcy. The current judge tells me to come up child support or be arrested. Now I have a new attorney who I have paid from a loan from my 401k to now fight m ex’s relocation. Evaluators have been paid $50k. Supervisors $18k. Parent Coordinator $35K. I will now get a bankruptcy discharge if I pay them 15k in settlement. This is Family Court? This is nothing more than deliberate false confusion and false incompetence to line the pockets of the whole system.
By Raymond FarzanCell 732-778-5047
We got married in Feb 1988 and two children were born out of our marriage. A son was born in 1989 and a daughter was born in 1994.
On 10/13/2004 she created a verbal argument and a matrimonial setup over a phony issue and left the house. Then she got a restraining order on me and drove me out of the house and took possession of everything we had including cash and jewelry. She emptied our bank accounts right away. In Family court she claimed that she was injured and disabled by me on that day. My ex-wife with the help of the Family Court devastated my life and the children’s lives. Now I am unemployed with ruined credit and my home is in foreclosure. The followings are the highlights of my never ending case:
12/23/2004: After she drove me out of the marital house and emptied our bank account she had about $80,000.00 cash in her possession. With that much cash she came to Family Court in Monmouth County and asked for weekly payment from me. I objected to that but the judge awarded her more than half of my weekly income through the Probation Office. I would estimate the damage for that court order to be at least $80,000.00
10/13/2004: she denied me of midweek visitations with my kids for three years and she continued to interfere in my weekend visitations. Despite many motions and complaints the Family Judges did not pay attention to me and did not do anything to stop that. I cannot put a price on the agony that I and the children went through.
5/19/2006: Heavy financial pressure drove me to bankruptcy. But that didn’t stop me from paying high weekly payments to my ex-wife. That ruined my credit. The cost of filing bankruptcy and bad credit is at least $100,000.00.
9/15/2008: I lost my attorney because I wasn’t able to pay his bills. His rate was about 25% of my ex-wife’s attorney’s rate. After that I had to go Pro Se in court.
6/1/2009: I attended an intense settlement conference as Pro Se. My ex-wife attended with her attorney. Two court appointed panelists also attended that conference. I was unemployed at the time. One of the panelists was a friend of her attorney and they had lunch together. During that all day conference the panelists and her attorney were pressuring me to agree to use a high annual income as a reference to calculate the alimony and child support. Her attorney used software to calculate the alimony and child support. They told me that was standard software that the court used. On that day I didn’t agree to the numbers that they proposed.
6/25/2009: The court called us back. On that day her attorney told me that a few days ago the court has asked him to prepare a Property settlement Agreement. And the judge told us we had to have an agreement by 4:00 pm that day. I was trapped. He had a few days to prepare the document and implant many traps in that document but I had no chance to read it and ask for a professional opinion on that document. The court did not treat me equally and fairly. I was coerced to sign the document.
8/21/2012: I lost my job on 7/10/2012 and filed a motion in court to reduce the alimony payment and to eliminate the child support because my daughter was emancipated. The court denied that. I offered to pay my daughter directly if she needed help but the court forced me to pay child support to her mother through the probation office. So far the estimated damage is about $10,000.00.
9/25/2012: I appealed the court order of 8/21/2012 in the Appellate Court.
11/27/2012: In July of 2012, before super storm Sandy, NJ had the 4th highest unemployment rate in the nation, the 2nd highest rate in the North East, and the highest rate amongst its neighbors. I lost my job on 7/10/2012 and I am still unemployed. 50% of my weekly unemployment check directly goes to her account in the Monmouth County Probation Office. So I am current with partial weekly payment. Despite all that the Probation Office suspended my NJ driver license on 11/27/2012 and expects me to find a job without a driver license. I am afraid to go to court to reduce the weekly alimony obligation because the judge would probably slap me in the face to pay her attorney fees.
The Probation office misclassifies alimony as child support and they probably apply child support laws to alimony.
I have asked the probation Office how much of my unemployment benefits is allocated to child support and how much to alimony. They do not answer that question.
During the past 8.5 years the Family Court and the Probation Office treated me as if I was a criminal.
Family court doesn’t care about children. The only thing that they care about is money.
During the past 8.5 years her attorneys have successfully warned the courts that they should watch out because I was an educated man. Why the Family Court is afraid of educated individuals?
During the past 8.5 years the Family Court has discriminated against me because of my race, ethnicity, religion, gender.
The Court has stood by watching as an unethical law firm and a malicious mother have made me fight my way out of three false allegations to the tune of $500,000 in their attempt to gain an unfair advantage in divorce and custody in order to take the kids to Oregon. All accusation have been thoroughly examined and proven false by Court “experts.” Now broke from defending myself, the Judge tells me to hire a new lawyer to achieve a fair shake through more litigation and Court visits (repeat - even though I’m now broke). My own Uncle, a retired Middlesex County Family Court Judge, told me 2 years ago, during the Plaintiff’s first false accusation, “Forget it, let her and the kids go to Oregon and give up. You will never get a fair shake in the system. Save your money and your sanity. The court whores will steal it all.” I thought he was crazy but now I see he’s not. I am two years into this divorce. The Judge stated 2 or 3 years is nothing in Family Court. If I told my clients the same thing, I’d be fired.
This absurd and criminal circus started with a Morris County Judge issuing a restraining order against me with no proof or knowledge of the case even after the local police and the local Long Hill Township Judge said I was no threat and denied a TRO. A sweetheart deal between local lawyers and the Judge is now being investigated by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct. As the Advisory Committee stated in their letter, don’t look to us for any help. I’ve learned the TRO is standard operating procedure and is the preemptive first strike for the Plaintiff.
The Court enforced the Plaintiff’s goal of parental alienation of my children while I faced the loss of my home and personal bankruptcy all due to multiple false accusations proven false by all experts including DYFS. While this sounds like a sob story, what I have learned this process is played out in Court rooms all across New Jersey every day with the Court watching. As proof this is standard practice, reference the online “Playbook” of standard divorce strategies used by unethical attorneys and fully acknowledged by the Court system. Such unethical family Court practices are so common, tired and over-used, the strategy is readily available on the internet. While interesting reading, it’s not fiction and it costs people their children, life savings and sanity.
I have been the victim of malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of process and slander which has nothing to do with divorce Court. The law firm has been playing fast and loose with the Court and they have engaged in 1.5 years of sharp practice. Why the Court stands by condoning this behavior is unconstitutional and my civil liberties are not being protected. The Judge knows this has cost a quarter million dollars yet thinks I’m uncooperative for thinking something is wrong. Why is there not a financial cap – is the sky the limit to transfer wealth to attorneys? Why does the case not get transferred to the civil law division for immediate trial by jury when the experts determine fraud and lies? Why are attorneys and Court “experts” allowed to run wild in the Court, while swallowing my life savings for their Mercedes, mortgage and prep school payments? To date, the Court has witnessed a simple divorce, which I offered to mediate 2.1 years ago, turned into a costly, damaging and illegal circus. The Court has actively witnessed the attorneys and their client to engage in:
Demand to Commit Fraud against a Financial Institution: The law firm formally demanded, in writing, that I lie to Bank of America and tell them I will not be selling the marital domicile in the future. If I did not provide evidence in writing, the law firm threatened more litigation. The Court ignored my appeal.
2 Year Harassment of False Alcohol Abuse Allegations: The law firm has attempted to reopen a closed DYFS alcohol investigation after I spent over $100,000 defending myself over the course of one year. DYFS closed the case and two (2) respected forensic alcohol investigators (one Court appointed) concluded I was falsely accused. This is blatant harassment and is being condoned by the Court. All evidence is attached. The law firm’s hired gun/“rebuttal expert” even tried to entrap me in an illegal, non chain of custody urine test which didn’t meet standard industry practices. For proof of this act, please contact me as I don’t want to drown you in documents. I reported the rebuttal expert to his ethics board only to hear his violation didn’t meet their standard violations. I get regular drug and alcohol tests in order to consult at the Federal Reserve Bank, FBI, Morgan Stanley, etc. They all use proper chain of custody testing at approved labs. There are tens of thousands of labs in each state. The Judge pretends he doesn’t understand the standard testing practices as he ruled against me and made me pay all costs. Even though three (3) agencies cleared me, the Judge watches them badger me and hasn’t made them reimburse me nor has he intervened and said “ENOUGH.” It's all about showmanship and transferal of money to their system .
Three False Accusations to Gain an Unfair Advantage: DV, Alcoholism, Child Molestation. All accusations have been proven false by experts yet the accusations consumed 1.5 years, $500,000 in fees (kid's college fund) and 2 years of expensive, unfair, unconstitutional PL support and their false police reports of domestic violence illegally barred me from my home, possessions and children. This is nothing more than an unethical law firm and a malicious mother running wild and committing illegal and unconstitutional acts with The Court Standing by as a willing witness and enabler.
To add insult to injury, their law firm petitioned for MORE fees and the Judge court ordered $50,000 from my 401K plan payable to them for a TRIAL or face jail. The ruination of a fine fit parent is at the hands of the Court. This is the second time this Judge has ordered payments to lawyers. The first time was $150,000 order as a home equity loan split between the lawyers for future legal fees. The only time I ever hear from the Judge is for payments to experts or lawyers. The Judge has never reached out regarding the expert reports that come back stating the plaintiff lied for custody. The Judge ignores a Motion to Stay his Order and now has ordered compliance or jail. A Judge who is breaking the law - again…
The public deserves to either be protected by the Court or educated by the press so innocent people are aware of the fraudulent and worthless protection offered by the Court. There is a clear, unethical conflict of interest in the family Court system and the public should not be subjected to it nor should they see their homes, possessions, kids and constitutional rights disappear over it. Divorce should not be big business. A divorce is just a break up and kids deserve better. Don't trust the family court. It's Anti-Family Court and is nothing more than a money making racket.
Anonymous Due to Fear of Retribution From The Family Court System
My case commenced in October 2005 and the dual judgment of divorce was not issued until September 2011; the case continued for an additional 6 months when opposing counsel filed a motion for reconsideration 8 days after final judgment, and the order on the motion for reconsideration was not issued until March 2012. In the interim, the case went through 5 judges, 2 mistrials, 17 days of trial that transpired between October 2008 and February 2011 (including 1 year between April 2009 and March 2010 when only one trial date was scheduled) and an additional 6 months before the judge issued a final order. My opponent spent over $500,000 on legal fees in a case where the marital assets were less than $100,000, including a single house and two cars. There were over 30 postponements or cancellations of trial dates during the pendency of the case, most without explanation.
Without getting into the substantive deficiencies of the court's final ruling, during the nearly 6 years that it took to resolve the simple case, I was required to pay between 58% to 68% of my pre-tax monthly income in unallocated pendente lite support leaving me without sufficient funds to pay my income tax bills. In spite of 3 motions to get relief during the pendency of the case so that I could get money to pay taxes, my opponent vigorously opposed such motions and the court consistently stated that an equalizing adjustment could be made to account for mounting tax debt in the final order. No such adjustment was made in the final order, leaving my with a 6 figure tax bill. My financial life was destroyed by the inability of the family court system to promptly hear the case, the willingness and ability of my opponent to protract the payment of pendente lite and manipulate the system to destroy me financially and the failure of the law in this area to require that taxes be paid on a priority basis.
I ask that as you read this you consider for a moment what this experience must have been like for me. I experienced 6 years of waiting for trial dates, getting trial dates and having them cancelled, motions by opposing counsel, endless demands for financial information, preparing for trial dates that were canceled, waiting in courthouse lobbies, all the time being overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, depression and uncertainty for my future and that of my daughters. And now being left to face bankruptcy and years of repayment of staggering bills. If you can imagine what this must have been like, then you can begin to understand why I am an advocate for family law reform.
As a practicing lawyer for over 20 years admitted to practice and having practiced in 4 states, I can credibly state that a case such as mine--where 6 years and over $700,000 in legal fees were required to resolve a simple matter--is unheard of in any other jurisdiction. Although mine is among the worst that I have heard of, there are many other similarly situated cases and circumstances where individuals in the family court system are being subjected to unreasonable delay, unnecessary expense and the exacerbation of an already difficult and stressful period in their lives. I believe that the situation can and must change for the better.
From A Parent of a Daughter Being Destroyed by Family Court Corruption
A Letter to Governor Christie:
Please read the enclosed two letters that I sent to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, a letter that I sent to Judge Paul Escandon and other supporting materials.
My daughter, Anonymous Due to Fear of Retribution By The Family Court System, is in the process of getting a divorce from Bryan Alintoff. Judge Escandon has been assigned to the case. His first ruling, as described in my letter to him and to Justice Rabner, was to strip my daughter of all of her parental rights without the due process of a hearing, as prescribed by the law. He also violated the regulation that requires him to set a hearing date that is within 30 days of the temporary ruling.
My daughter’s lawyers twice attempted to have Judge Escandon entertain their motions to correct what was a capricious and self- indulgent ruling that gave no consideration whatsoever to the welfare of a two year child or the rights of his mother. He refused to reconsider his ruling and was subsequently over-ruled by the Appellate Court.
Judge Escandon recently ruled on a long list of issues, many of which were well past a time when they should have been resolved. My daughter has received literally not a dime of support from her husband since the third week in September. Judge Escandon, again with callous disregard for the welfare of a child, allowed absolutely no money for my daughter to provide for the needs of her child. He also prevented her from entering the marital home, where Bryan lives, to obtain winter clothes for her son Hayden and herself.
Judge Escandon’s ruling, as described in the second letter to Justice Rabner, allowed for my daughter to receive $1,157 a month and nothing else. No money for lawyer’s fees, no money to pay back the money she was forced to borrow to support her son and herself for the past 4 months, no means to find the money that her husband has hidden.
Judge Escandon explained his decision by saying “I am not going to reward Anonymous Due to Fear of Retribution By The Family Court System for not working”. Her husband Bryan is a commodities broker who has earned an average of over $30,000 per month for the past 3 years. My daughter was a stay-at-home wife and caretaker for Hayden by mutual consent.
I am not contacting you merely to complain about a ruling that my family dislikes or believes is unfair. Judge Escandon has indulged himself in a vendetta against my daughter. In doing so he has violated the laws and regulations as well as paying no attention to the guidelines for what is reasonable and customary.
Judge Escandon has deprived my daughter of due process and the means to continue legal services in order to protect her rights and that of her son. From the beginning of the case he has pursued his own agenda with no thought to justice or adherence to the law or principles he is sworn to uphold.
Judge Escandon has shown himself to be corrupted or caught up in a vendetta against my daughter. There simply cannot be another explanation for his behavior. At this point the only way my grandson and my daughter can obtain a just decision is for Judge Escandon to be removed from her case.
Anonymous Due to Fear of Retribution From The Family Court System
I am a single mother of two who has being victimized by Judge Escandon in the Monmouth County Court System. I currently have two appeals pending in Monmouth County. Judge Escandon has acted highly inappropriately in my case to the point where he placed the safety of my children at great risk.
I am struggling to see justice in my case. I am a victim of Domestic Violence. I was issued a Final Restraining in 2010 against my ex husband. My ex husband has violated that Order 2x's and had been sentenced to 2 terms of Supervised Probation (by a Judge in criminal court). Despite that, Judge Escandon has recently ordered that I inform my ex husband of my current physical address. He ordered this after being informed that for my safety I had been issued a new Social Security Number, I am enrolled in the NJ Address Confidentiality Program and I had moved 2x's in less than 6 months because my ex husband kept hunting me down.
My ex has supervised parenting time and without following proper procedures and holding the proper hearings Judge Escandon changed the parenting time; ordering the defendant unsupervised parenting time. He changed the parenting time arrangement even after learning that my ex husband attempted to drink alcohol and drive the children around at a previous supervised visit. Judge Escandon said, on the record, that he didn't see a problem with my ex drinking on that day. The visitation immediately following the Judge's order resulted in injury to our youngest child (who has special needs) which went untreated and resulted in a hospital visit and a report to the NJ Department of Children and Families alledging neglect against my ex.
I am on my way to filing for bankruptcy because Judge Escandon continues to order me to pay counsel fees for my ex, though I am
appealing his orders; he currently has me owing thousands in attorney's fees to my ex's attorney. Meanwhile, he continues to deny
me attorney's fees for attempting to enforce my Property Settlement Agreement and gain funds that my ex currently owes to our children (he owes thousands to our children). Judge Escandon continues to disregard all of the evidence I have shown to support all of my claims against my ex. He has even gone so far as to say, on the record, that he does not like me. Further, mounting on everything is that fact that Judge Escandon has ruled on motions in my ex husbands favor ordering him things that he had not even requested in his papers; which is against the law.
This is just a piece of my story!
Judge Escandon is not fit to serve the people. I have found that he does not apply the law he instead makes up the rules as he goes along. A mother and her children will never be safe while having Judge Escandon as their presiding Judge. I am at the point where I have stopped fighting because each order issued by Judge Escandon sets me back further and further. I struggle to provide services for my children because Judge Escandon refuses to hold my ex responsible for his portion of expenses associated with the well being and daily lives of our children. There has to be something that we can do! It is impossible to believe that such a person continues to hold a seat on the bench. I had no idea that so many women and mothers were being subject to the same abuse that I received from Judge Escandon. Until Trenton cleans up Family Court, no family will see justice and no child will be safe.
MEMBERS OF THE PRESS MAY INTERVIEW ALL VICTIMS. THESE REPRESENT A HANDFUL OF THOUSANDS OF ABUSED CITIZENS THAT FALL VICTIM TO THE CORRUPTION AND EXTORTION THAT IS THE FAMILY COURT SYSTEM IN NEW JERSEY.
www.fclu.org Protecting Families From The Family Court System