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RON PIERCE, et al.,


Plaintiffs-Appellants,
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS


FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
_______________________________________________

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CALIFORNIA CHIEF JUSTICE CANTIL-SAKAUYE, et al.,

Defendants-Appellees.
_______________________________________________
Appeal from U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Civil Case No. C 13-01295 JSW (Honorable Jeffrey S. White)
_______________________________________________

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APPELLANTS REPLY BRIEF


_______________________________________________

Archibald Cunningham
State Bar No. 210625
1489 McAllister St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
archcunnghm@yahoo.com
415 563.1828
Attorney for Appellants/Plaintiffs

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INTRODUCTION... 1

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I. DISSCUSSION.. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. Appellants Constitutional Challenges to the VLS As Applied to


Custody Disputes Is Simply Not Addressed.. 4

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B. The AGs Reading of the Ex Parte Young Exception Would Gut The
Supremacy Clause 7
C. The AGs Assertion that Boddie v. Connecticut and
M.L.B. v. S.L.J Is Limited to the Facts and Circumstances of Those
Cases Is Simply Wrong.. 12
D. The District Courts Failure To Use Heightened Scrutiny In
Reviewing the Application of the VLS Was Reversible Error 14
E. Heightened Scrutiny Is Not Limited to Final, Full, Irrevocable
Termination of Parental Rights 15
F. There Are Numerous Constitutional Violations Here 17

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G. The VLS As Applied to Custody Disputes Is Not Narrowly


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CONCLUSION.. 24

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Federal Cases

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ACS of Fairbanks, Inc. v. GCI Communication Corp.,321 F.3d 1215,


(9th ir.2003). 8

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TABLE OF AUTORITIES

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Hardin, 23 F. 3d 1041


1045 (9th Cir.2000). 8

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Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 383 (197. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 461 (1988).16
Cunningham v. Mahoney, C-10-03211 JSW (N.D. Cal. 2010)10, 19
District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman,
460 U.S. 462 (1983)...........................................................................11, 19
Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908)..7, 8, 9, 10
Kougasian v. TMSL, Inc. 359 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2004).. 11
Los Angeles County Bar Ass'n v. Eu, 979 F.2d 697, 704 (9th Cir.1992)..8
Loving v. Virginia 388 U. S. 1 (1966)...16
M.LB v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102 (1996).12, 13, 16

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Rooker v. Fidedlity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923)...10. 11


Weissman v. Quail Lodge, Inc., 179 F. 3d 1194 (1999, 9th Cir. Cal.).6

Wilbur v. Locke, 423 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2005).8, 9

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Wolfe v. George, 486 F.3d 1120 (9th Cir. 2007).13

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Wolfe v. Strankham 391 F.3d 358 (9th Cir. 2004)... 7-9


U.S. v. Kras (1973) 409 U.S. 43413
State Cases
Elkins v. Sup. Ct. (2007) 41 Cal. 4th 1337...23
Johnson v. City of Loma Linda, (2000) 24 Cal.4th 61..11

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Lucido v. Superior Court, (1990)`851 Cal.3d 335..12


Luckett v. Panos (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 77...22

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Shalant v. Girardi (2011) 51 Cal. 4th 1164.. ..17

STATE STATUTES

Wolfgram v. Wells Fargo Bank (1993) 53 Cal. App. 4th 43....14

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CCP 391..passim
CCP 391.1. . 7, 18, 20
CCP 391.4..19
CCP 391.74-7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 24
CCP 391.8..22
Family Code 217..4
Family Code 2030..23
U.S. CONSTITUTION

1st Amendment .1, 3


11th Amendment..7

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION

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14th Amendment..3

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Cal. Const. Art. I, sec 7(b)...21


Cal. Const. Art. VI, 1122
TREATISE
7 Witkin, California Procedure, Judgment 339 (4th ed.1997)...11

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INTRODUCTION
In the Answering Brief of Defendants-Appellees (ABD), Deputy

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Attorney General Patti Li seems elliptical in her responses to the issues

raised by Appellants. Appellants have belabored the fact that the nature of

litigation in a custody dispute is fundamentally different from civil law suits.

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Yet, Deputy Attorney General Li and the AGs blithely skip over any
distinction between parents involved in custody disputes and litigants in civil
suits. This allows them, at the end of their brief, to insinuate that a parents
pleadings in a custody dispute, just like other civil litigants, are baseless
litigation not immunized by the First Amendment or that there is no
constitutional right to file frivolous litigation. (ABD, pg. 36-37).
Although the Appellants cite in their opening brief to a string of
Supreme Court cases holding that parental rights are the oldest fundament

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interest that is recognized (AOB, pg. 36), Deputy Attorney General never

admits the obvious constitutional guarantee of custody rights or concedes

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that the Vexatious Litigant Statute impinges on these rights during custody
disputes. When Attorney General Li finishes circling the wagon of these
issues, she attacks using the desperate lawyers most common weapon,
intellectual dishonesty, (ABD, pg. 24):
Plaintiffs assume, however, that because custody disputes affect
the exercise of these fundamental rights, parents must have unlimited
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access to family law courts so that they may repeatedly challenge


adverse custody and visitation determinations. Under this theory, the
state may never impose any conditions on litigation involving custody
disputes.

The AGs have combined hyperbole with obfuscation and wrapped up their

statement as if they were accurately and honestly describing the Appellants

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legal position. They seem to be agreeing that custody disputes involve the
exercise of fundamental rights, but then gloss over any tacit admission by
faulting the parents for trying to uphold them.

By recasting the discussion in extreme and overbroad terms such as


unlimited access, repeatedly challenges, and the state may never
impose, Attorney General Li deliberately misstates the Appellants
position. In doing this, she deflects attention from the fact that a custody
dispute involves constitutionally protected fundamental rights. She

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insinuates that the parents are not asking for equal protection or due

process but are demanding the special treatment of unlimited access. In

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distorting the motives of the parents, she implies that the parents are not
trying to restore their terminated parental rights but are repeatedly
challenging supposedly valid custody determinations that were borne out of
fully and fairly litigated hearings. By swapping out the factual and legal
predicate of Appellants position with her own view, she can at once

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discredit Appellants position while creating a new narrative in which she is


the master (of sophistry). In reconstituting Appellants position, the AGs

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then rush to the conclusion that Appellants theory is incorrect. (ABD, pg.

analysis with intellectual deviousness.

24). In short, Deputy Attorney General Li and the AGs confuse legal

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In the hopes of reasserting control over the narrative, Appellants will


briefly reiterate certain facts of their case. Despite Attorney General Lis
position to the contrary, Appellants are not demanding unlimited access.
Theyd be happy with any access or equal protection. For instance, on
August 26, 2012, Adil Hiramanek was slapped with a 50 year restraining
order in which Judge L. Michael Clark of the Santa Clara Superior Court
forbid him from seeing his three children until midnight on August 24,
2062. (RE 15, pg 7/7-8 1). On February 1, 2013, Adil was denied

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permission to appeal, by the California Court of Appeals for the Sixth

Appellate District, in a one-sentence order. (RE 11, Second Request for

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Judicial Notice, Exhibit D, pg. 6). Now, the 50-year restraining order has
lapsed into a final judgment and Attorney General Li is correct that Adil
must show changed circumstances to modify that order which cannot be
collaterally attacked and which was never fully-litigated. (ABD, pg. 29, fn

For law enforcement purposes, the restraining order shall be for 50 years,
and shall expire at midnight on August 24, 2062.
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5). But Deputy Attorney General Li fails to mention or realize that, under the
prefiling order of the VLS, Adil must show changed circumstances not

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in a fully litigated hearing to which represented parents are entitled under

Family Code 217 but in his pleadings. He was first denied the right to

appellate review of the underlying order and will be denied an evidentiary

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hearing under Family Code 217 to show changed circumstances. Adils


case is emblematic of the other class member/parents.
I. DISSCUSSION

A. Appellants Constitutional Challenges to the VLS As Applied to


Custody Disputes Is Simply Not Addressed.
In faulting these Appellants/parents for repeatedly challenging
either custody or visitation order, Deputy Attorney General Li and the AGs
either fail to admit the facts of this case or are oblivious to the reach of the

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VLS. The AGs simply ignore the facts and how they relate to the
constitutional challenge to the VLS on its face and as applied by the family

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law judges at both the trial courts and the appellate courts. In that respect,

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Archibald Cunningham had all his visitation rights terminated after a hearing

on February 26, 2010. Hed filed an Order to Show Cause for the purposes
of restoring a 50/50 share custody agreement he lost in a trial by
declaration. (RE 11, Second Request for Judicial Notice, Exhibit I-K, pg.
27-32). After the hearing, Maria Schopp, counsel for Archibalds ex-spouse,
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submitted a proposed order purporting to strip him of all of his remaining


parental rights. She did not comply with local rules regarding proposed

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rules and did not allow Archibald to object or to submit his own proposed

order. Neither did she meet and confer as mandated by the local rule.

Instead, she typed his name on the signature line because she knew he

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would never have agreed to the termination of his rights. Then, family law
Judge Patrick Mahoney colluded in the fraud and signed the order. (*See,
Comp., 29-30).

When the self-represented Archibald attempted to appeal the


February 26, 2010 order, he was denied permission under the VLS. The
presiding judge spit back the boiler plate language that the appeal (of the
termination of all parental rights without notice or an opportunity to be
heard) lacked merit. The fact is that Judge Mahoney had declared

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Archibald vexatious not once, but twice. Judge Mahoney declared

Archibald vexatious for the first time on February 23, 2009. While

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Archibald appealed the first vexatious litigant order (A124717), Judge


Mahoney subjected him to a second vexatious litigant motion by the same
party, on the same grounds, and conducted once again by him.
Besides imposing multiple fee sanctions of $23,000 and $33,000 on
Archibald, Judge Mahoneys first vexatious litigant order (and prefiling

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order) was used to deny him permission to appeal the February 26, 2010
order terminating his visitation rights (as well as the second vexatious

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litigant order of February 26, 2010 and a permanent TRO that the previous

judge, Judge Donald Sullivan, had declared null and void). Like Adil, the

order terminating his visitation rights is treated as a final judgment,

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demanding a showing of changed circumstances in order to modify it.


The facts and legal ruling of Appellant-Michele Fotinos case are the
apotheosis of an unconstitutionally applied statute. But Deputy Attorney
General Li says nary a word on this matter. The Ninth Circuit, in Weissman
v. Quail Lodge, Inc., 179 F. 3d 1194 (1999, 9th Cir. Cal.), unequivocally
provided that the VLS was never intended to apply to attorneys representing
clients, [W]e therefore conclude that an attorney appearing on behalf of a
client cannot be sanctioned as a vexatious litigant; by definition, he or she is

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acting as an attorney and not a litigant. However, Presiding Judge Beth

Labsom Freeman of the San Mateo Superior Court would issue a prefiling

well as Michele as vexatious. Now both Michele and Ms. Barry appear on
the Judicial Councils List of Vexatious Litigants. 2 There is nothing in the

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order in which she named both Michele Fotinos attorney, Patricia Barry, as

http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/vexlit.pdf

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VLS, and no case law that supports Presiding Judge Freemans order. 3

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plain language of the VLS, no indication in the Legislative history of the

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Given the word limitations of this reply brief, Appellant will forego

reiterating the facts of each of the other class-members. Though Ron

Pierces case is unique in that the Judge Kane of the Third Appellate District

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of California granted himself inquisitional powers, notified Mr. Pierce he


was conducting a combined 391.1 motion in the appellate court, and then
found Ron vexatious. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye herself refused to
allow Ron to appeal the vexatious litigant order from the appellate court
to the state Supreme Court. There was no precedent or procedure for this.
B. The AGs Reading of the Ex Parte Young Exception Would Gut The
Supremacy Clause.
Deputy Attorney General Li concedes that the district court declined

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to apply the Eleventh Amendment to the Chief Justice. (ABD, pg. 14).
However, Attorney General Li contends that the district courts reliance on

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Wolfe v. Strankam, 392 F.3d 358 (9th Cir. 2004) was misplaced because the

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BARRY Patricia San Mateo


PRO1
Superior Court 21437

11/16/12 Order states


specifics in re: Michele
Fotinos

At the time of her prefiling order, Presiding Judge Freeman had been
disqualified and had no power to issue any orders in any proceedings.
(CCP 170.4(d)). Shes now appointed to the Federal District Court of
California, Northern District.
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Ninth Circuit did not consider the Ex Parte Young requirement of whether
chief justice had any connection to enforcement of the VLS (ABD, pg.

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14). She also contends that the Appellants have not alleged facts that meet

the Ex Parte Young connection requirement. (ABD, pg. 12, 2).

The Appellants, however, reasonably relied on the controlling

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authority of Wolfe v. Strankam, 392 F. 3d 358 (9th Cir. 2004), which held
that official-capacity actions for prospective injunctive relief are not
treated as actions against the State. (ER 8, pg. 79, fn 10). In their
complaint, the Appellants sued the Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye only in her
official capacity and only for injunctive relief. This was consistent also
with the holding of Wilbur v. Locke, 423 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2005),
which held that the Ex Parte Young exception relates to the type of relief
requested and whether an on-going violation of federal law was alleged. 4

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(Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Hardin, 223 F.3d 1041, 1045

(9th Cir.2000); see also Los Angeles County Bar Ass'n v. Eu, 979 F.2d 697,

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704 (9th Cir.1992) ("[T]he Eleventh Amendment does not bar actions
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Wilbur v. Locke, supra, at 32: "[I]n determining whether `the doctrine of


Ex Parte Young avoids an Eleventh Amendment bar to suit, a court need
only conduct a straightforward inquiry into whether [the] complaint alleges
an ongoing violation of federal law and seeks relief properly characterized as
prospective.'" ACS of Fairbanks, Inc. v. GCI Communication Corp., 321
F.3d 1215, 1216-17 (9th Cir.2003) (Order), quoting Verizon Md., Inc. v.
Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 535 U.S. 635, 645, 122 S.Ct. 1753, 152 L.Ed.2d 871
(2002).
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seeking only prospective declaratory or injunctive relief against state


officers in their official capacities").

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The crux of the problem with broadly reading the Ex Parte Young

requirement for a connection to enforcement is that it would devour the

Supremacy Clause. Its beyond cavil that the Supreme Court in Ex Parte

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Young allowed prospective injunctive relief against unconstitutional action


taken by state officers. The Supreme Court did this as a way of protecting
the Constitutions Supremacy Clause. If the Supreme Court had not stripped
state officials of their power when acting outside the scope of what a state
authorizes them to do, then states could take unconstitutional actions with
impunity, thereby invalidating the Supremacy Clause. In this regard, the Ex
Parte Young decision is a legal fiction that assures that in the federal system
the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Both Strankham and

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Wilbur recognize the legal fiction.

Now, Deputy Attorney General Li wishes to read the Ex Parte Young

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connection to enforcement requirement as extending to official-capacity


suits. Apparently, shed want each class member to allege the particular
facts and rulings of their vexatious litigant case along with the on-going
violations. If Appellants did that, theyre afraid that their class action would
then be characterized not as a general constitutional challenge to the VLS

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but as a collective set of de facto appeals of state court decisions (and thus
barred by Rooker-Feldman).

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In that sense, Appellants feel that getting their class action heard

would be tantamount to the ordeal by water associated with witch-hunts,

whereby a hog-tied person is flung into a river and if he/she sinks and

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drowns, the person is innocent but if the person floats, then he/she is guilty
and is burnt at the stake. The test allows for the possibility of proving
innocence but not surviving. While Appellants imagine the AGs asserting
that this is mere histrionics, the Appellants would point out that classmember Cunninghams earlier civil rights suit naming Judge Mahoney was
dismissed under Rooker-Feldman as a de facto appeal. (ABD, pg. 17,
Cunningham v. Mahoney, C-10-03211 JSW (N.D. Cal. 2010)).
Clearly, Deputy Attorney General Li is only interested in having the

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class action dismissed, either under Rooker-Feldman or Ex Parte Youngs

connection to enforcement requirement. Her ordeal by water approach

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does not allow for the survival of this class action and a resolution of the
case on the merits. If there is any doubt about that, Appellants would point
out that Archibalds early constitutional challenge was given short shrift as a
de facto appeal and hes now told that the earlier dismissal by the district
court under Rooker-Feldman was actually a decision on the merits and is

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barred by res judiciata. (ABD, pg. 17: Cunningham thus had a full and
fair opportunity to litigate, and did so unsuccessfully.).

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The fact is that since the dismissal of Archibalds 2010 suit, he has

alleged new facts and presented new orders in this class action that evince

new and on-going violations of his right to petition and right to access.

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Deputy Attorney General Li does not cite any cases that provide that the
doctrine of res judicata applies proactively to negate new and future civil
rights violations. Appellants are not aware of any such case. For that matter,
Appellants take issue with Deputy Attorney General Lis characterization
that Archibald had any chance to litigate his earlier suit or his newly alleged
constitutional violations. The Ninth Circuit in Kougasian v. TMSL, Inc. 359
F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2004) found that a dismissal under Rooker-

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Feldman was not a decision on the merits. 5

Kougasian, supra, at 1140: An issue or claim is not precluded in federal


court merely because it already has been, or could have been, decided by a
California state court. Issue and claim preclusion (collateral estoppel and res
judicata) have specific requirements that must be satisfied before preclusion
can be found. For example, under California state law a litigant must have
had an appropriate opportunity to litigate an issue in the earlier suit before he
or she will be issue-precluded (collaterally estopped) from relitigating that
issue in a later suit. See, e.g., Johnson v. City of Loma Linda, 24 Cal.4th 61,
99 Cal.Rptr.2d 316, 5 P.3d 874, 884 (2000); see also McCutchen v. City of
Montclair, 73 Cal.App.4th 1138, 87 Cal.Rptr.2d 95, 99 (1999) (litigants
must have a "full and fair opportunity" to present their case for res judicata
to apply) (quoting 7 Witkin, California Procedure, Judgment 339 (4th

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C. The AGs Assertion that Boddie v. Connecticut and M.L.B. v. S.L.J Is


Limited to the Facts and Circumstances of Those Cases Is Simply
Wrong.

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The AGs asserts that the Supreme Court in both its decisions in

Boddie and M.L.B. v. S.L. J. expressly limited its analysis to the specific

facts before it. (ABD, pg. 24). She continues, (ADB, pg. 24-25):

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And in both cases, the litigants were completely unable to access the
courts, in sharp contrast to the access permitted under the VLS.
Because the VLS prefiling requirement does not completely block
access, theses cases are inapposite here.

First, Appellants are unaware of any comments by the Supreme Court in


these decisions that expressly states that its analysis is limited to the
specific facts before it. To limit review to the specific facts would defeat
the Supreme Court rules and reasons that mandate the acceptance of a case
for review only when there are compelling reasons. 6 Deputy Attorney

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General Li insists that the Supreme Court in Boddie explicitly limited its

holding to the precise circumstances faced by the appellants, and warned

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against a wider application of that holding: We do not decide that access for

ed.1997)); Lucido v. Superior Court, 51 Cal.3d 335, 272 Cal.Rptr. 767, 795
P.2d 1223, 1225 (1990) (setting forth the requirements for issue preclusion)
6
Rule 10. Considerations Governing Review on Writ of Certiorari
Review on a writ of certiorari is not a matter of right, but of judicial
discretion. A petition for a writ of certiorari will be granted only for
compelling reasons. The following, although neither controlling nor fully
measuring the Court's discretion, indicate the character of the reasons the
Court considers:
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all individuals to the courts is a right that is, in all circumstances,


guaranteed by the Due Process (ABD, pg. 25-26). In the same way, she

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insists that the Supreme Court in M.L.B. applied heightened scrutiny to a

the specific circumstances of the cases. (ABD, pg. 26, 2).

civil litigation prefiling requirement, but once again limited its holding to

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Contrary to the AGs position, both Boddie and M.L.B. have been
cited by hundred if not thousands of federal court cases without any federal
court ever warning of the limitations she claims. In fact, the Ninth
Circuit relied on Boddie in its decision in Wolfe v. George and turned to
Boddie to frame the issue of whether Mr. Burton Wolfes right to access and
his right to file a civil suit against San Francisco taxi cab companies rose to
the same level as divorce. (Wolfe, supra, at 1126). In the same way, the
Supreme Court relied on the analysis of Boddie in U.S. v. Kras (1973) 409

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U.S. 434 and found that the Robert Kras right to file for bankruptcy

(paying filing fees) was distinguishable from the married couples case

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(filing fees as exclusive precondition to access) in Boddie in two ways. First,


Robert Kras did not have a protected interest in filing for bankruptcy.
(Kras, supra, at 445). Second, bankruptcy was not the only method
available for Mr. Kras to adjust his legal relationship with his creditors.
(Id, 445). In short, the Attorney Generals err in suggesting that the two

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Boddie factors, infringement of a fundamental rights and the states


monopolization of means for adjustment of a fundamental relationship, are

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limited to the specific facts of Boddie. In fact, these factors are crucial here.

D. The District Courts Failure To Use Heightened Scrutiny In


Reviewing the Application of the VLS Was Reversible Error.

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The AGs dont consider whether the VLS, as applied to the facts and
events and circumstances of this class action, infringes on these parents
protected custody rights. Instead, they refer to the ersatz promises of the
state appellate court in Wolfgram v. Wells Fargo Bank (1997) 53 Cal. App.
4th 43, 60. (When a vexatious litigant knocks on the courthouse door with a
colorable claim, he may enter.). (ABD, pg. 29-30). The fact that Adil,
Archibald, Kerry Hicks, Michele Fotinos and now her attorney have been
knocking on those locked and bolted courtroom door for years has gone

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unnoticed by the AGs. Out of frustration and despair, the other class

members have stopped knocking.

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The AGs simply fail to address the horror stories that are the facts of

this class action. In Boddie, the Supreme Court was clear that the issue of a

statutes constitutional validity extents to how a court applies a statute, (Id,


379):
Our cases further establish that a statute or a rule may be held
constitutionally invalid as applied when it operates to deprive an
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individual of a protected right although its general validity as a


measure enacted in the legitimate exercise of state power is beyond
question. Thus, in cases involving religious freedom, free speech or
assembly, this Court has often held that a valid statute was
unconstitutionally applied in particular circumstances because it
interfered with an individual's exercise of those rights.

As noted throughout their brief, the AGs only concern themselves with the

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facial validity of the VLS in theory and appear oblivious to the trial and
appellate courts application of the VLS. In theory, the VLS seems heaven
sent. As applied, these parents know too well that its mere pie in the sky.
E. Heightened Scrutiny Is Not Limited to Final, Full, Irrevocable
Termination of Parental Rights.
The Boddie court, in the cited passage above, states unequivocally
that it has ruled that facially valid statutes have been held to be
unconstitutionally applied when they interfere with protected rights.

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Nevertheless, Deputy Attorney General Li insists that mere interference


with a protected right isnt enough to trigger heightened scrutiny. In her

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view, parents are only entitled to heightened scrutiny when their parental

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constitutionally protected rights are fully, finally, and irrevocably


terminated. (ABD, pg. 31, 2). This view runs afoul not just of Boddie but the
vast swath of jurisprudence related to the selection of the proper level of
scrutiny for constitutional violations. (AOB, pg 45, fn 1; Classifications

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Jeter, (1988) 486 U.S. 456, 461; Loving v. Virginia 388 U. S. 1 (1966).

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affecting fundamental rights are given the most exacting scrutiny. Clark v.

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In adopting the full, final, irrevocable standard, the district court judge

and the AGs read much into the comparison the Supreme Court made in

M.L.B. between termination proceeding in juvenile dependency cases and

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other domestic relations matters such as divorce, paternity, and child


support. (M.L.B., supra at 127; BD, pg. 28, 2 -29; AOB, pg. 36, 2 to 38)
To read a standard for selecting the proper level of scrutiny into a single
comparison by a single Supreme Court decision is simply not prudent. Such
a reading is not in harmony with the jurisprudence on the subject and is not
supported by the plain language of the passage itself.

The Supreme Courts comparison in M.L.B. is meant to place


termination proceedings among the spectrum of domestic relations cases

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that affect fundamental rights. The Supreme Court is emphasizing that its

the most extreme example of a constitutional deprivation. The AGs lift the

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passage from M.L.B. that provides that parental termination decrees are
among the most severe forms of state action (Id, 127) but then take the

quantum leap that only the most severe cases are afforded heightened
scrutiny. If only the most severe deprivations triggered heighten scrutiny
review, then the couple seeking a divorce in Boddie would not have met the

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standard. In short, the AGs are confusing the spectrum of constitutional


violations in domestic law cases with the selection of the proper standard of

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review for constitutional violations.

F. There Are Numerous Constitutional Violations Here.

Appellants will not restate their case here because they have laid out

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their position repeatedly in the complaint and opening brief. However,


Appellants wish to clarify the apparent misconceptions the AGs have
regarding self-representation in the context of custody disputes and their
failure to understand how it creates suspect classes and violates due process.
Deputy Attorney General Li asserts that prefiling requirements are
rational because they are not subject to the ethical and legal obligations
of licensed attorneys. (ABD, pg. 33, 2). This paraphrases the state Supreme
Courts holding in Shalant v. Girardi (2011) 51 Cal. 4th 1164 that

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representation is not absurd and that lawyers are presumed to be

ethical gatekeepers. (Id., 1167). The first problem here is that state courts

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judges such as Presiding Judge Beth Labsom Freeman apply the VLS not
only against represented litigants but against their attorneys. Likewise,
Archibald was represented and his attorney, Jennifer Nicoletto, was required
to fill out Judicial Council forms and was then denied access. While
representation is suppose to shield litigants, the family law courts fail to

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apply the VLS by its plain terms. In that regard, the VLS as applied by
family law judges is unconstitutional.

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The second problem is that self-representation in civil suits is

fundamentally different from acting in propria persona in custody case. As

an initial matter, civil litigants are the ones who initiate and file the civil suit

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and are the plaintiffs against whom a moving defendant can request a
vexatious litigant hearing against under section 391.1 of the VLS. If the
moving defendant can show there is not a reasonable probability that he
or she will prevail in the litigation against the moving defendant, then the
court can require the plaintiff to post security. 7 Herein lies the rub. It is
certainly rational to ask if a plaintiff is likely to prevail in a civil suit.
However, its neither rational nor compelling to ask if a parent has a
reasonably probability of prevailing in a custody dispute that can last for

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up to eighteen years. How can a parent prevail in a custody dispute? The

7 CCP section 391.1: In any litigation pending in any court of this state, at
any time until final judgment is entered, a defendant may move the
court, upon notice and hearing, for an order requiring the plaintiff to furnish
security or for an order dismissing the litigation pursuant to subdivision (b)
of Section 391.3. The motion for an order requiring the plaintiff to furnish
security shall be based upon the ground, and supported by a showing, that
the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and that there is not a reasonable
probability that he or she will prevail in the litigation against the moving
defendant. (emphasis added)

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very nature of a custody disputes renders the reasonably probability factor


or language absurd.

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The threat of being ordered to post bond in a custody dispute also

implicates constitutional concerns. To impose a bond requirement on a

parent as a precondition to access infringes fundamental rights and creates a

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suspect class. In his earlier federal civil rights suit, which Deputy Attorney
General Li cites to in her brief (ABD, pg. 17; Cunningham v. Mahoney, 103211 JSW (N.D. Cal. 2010), Archibald was slapped with an order by Judge
Mahoney to post a $5000 bond before hed be allowed to file any pleadings
in his custody dispute. Under section 391.4 8, when Archibald failed to post
the $5000, his custody case should have (shall) been dismissed. Similarly,
there is the on-going issue of whether hiring an attorney would shield a
parent from the need to post the required bond. In any case, these statutes

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may be rational or compelling to a civil litigant but to subject a parent to

the dismissal of his custody case for failing to post a $5000 bond that serves

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as an exclusive precondition to the adjustment of his fundamental


relationship is both absurd and an unconstitutional infringement of parental
rights.
8 CCP section 391.4: When security that has been ordered furnished is not
furnished as ordered, the litigation shall be dismissed as to the defendant for
whose benefit it was ordered furnished.

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A third constitutional concern or suspect classification relates to the


unlevel playing field caused by subjecting unrepresented parents to the

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VLS while shielding represented ones from 391.1 motions. Most of the

parents in this class did not initiate the dissolution proceedings and are not

plaintiffs. Nevertheless, the represented parents attorneys invariably bring

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391.1 motions against the unrepresented parent. In every case in this class
action, the unrepresented parent is invariably declared vexatious, made
beholden to a prefiling order, and then denied immediate and full access.
On the other hand, the represented parent may file pleadings to their
hearts content without any procedural obstacles. In this regard, the
unrepresented parent is at a distinct disadvantage in contending with and
litigating against an experienced family law attorney. This unlevel playing
field exists only because the unrepresented parent cannot afford an attorney

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or lacks the good fortune to find a pro-bono lawyer. Moreover, the

represented parent is immune (in theory, though not in practice as noted

regard, the VLS, as applied to custody disputes, manages to created suspect

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above) from a 391.1 motion as the result of being represented. In this

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class (unrepresented indigent parent) and at the same time violates the
Privileges and Immunities clause. 9

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There is no compelling or rational reason for giving one parent a

litigation advantage simply because the represented parent can afford an

attorney and the other parent cannot. Further, the imposition of the VLS to

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custody disputes is not going to curtail or eliminate custody disputes. 10 (No


one has suggested such disputes are inherently vexatious, though then are
often extremely bitter). As seen here, the VLS has been co-opted by the
wealthier parent to gain a litigation advantage and shut down the other
parents attempts to have frequent and continuous contact. Worst yet, it
gives family law judges the right to impose the VLS on parents and either
deliberately or inadvertently affect the outcome of the custody dispute
without necessarily considering the best interest of the children.

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Unfortunately, family law judges seem to be clearing their dockets of the

more contentious custody battles by use of the VLS.

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With respect to these parents right to appellate review, Appellants

pointed out in their complaint that the prefiling order of the VLS
9

Cal. Const. Art. I, sec. 7(b): A citizen or class of citizens may not be
granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all
citizens. Privileges or immunities granted by the Legislature may be altered
or revoked.
10
No one has suggested such custody disputes are inherently vexatious even
if they are often extremely bitter and protracted.
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substitutes their constitutional right to appellate review under Cal. Article


VI, Section 11 with a cursory review by a single administrative judge who

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determines if the appeal has merit. (Comp., 82-89). Prior to filing the

complaint, Appellants counsel had each class member file a section 391.8

motion to vacate their vexatious litigant order. Not surprising, each motion

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was denied. In theory section 391.8 of the VLS may seem valid, but in
practice it is applied unconstitutionally to deny access to appellate review.
G. The VLS As Applied to Custody Disputes Is Not Narrowly Drawn.
Deputy Attorney General Li reasserts all the narrowly drawn ruling
of decisions that were made in the context of civil suits, not custody cases.
She merely repeats the holdings without explaining why they should also
apply to custody cases. (ABD, pg. 34, 2). She quotes Lucket v. Panos
(2008) 161 Cal. App. 4th 77, 80, which ruled, [B]eing narrowly draw,

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Californias vexatious litigant statute allows a vexatious litigant to continue

to file lawsuits. This statement reads less like a reasoned conclusion and

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more like a tautology. As applied, and as noted above, the class member

here have only been allowed to file MC-701 forms requesting the right to

file. However, they are routinely and almost categorically denied the right to
file any pleadings. For the AG to suggest that the VLS is akin to a licensing
or permit system (ABD, pg. 34) may work for getting a fishing license or a

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adjustment of the fundamental relationship between a parent and child.

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rectal examine but it has no place as an exclusive precondition for the

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There are numerous ways that the VLS could be dialed back so as not

to inference with the class members fundamental rights for the care and

custody of their children. First, the unconstitutional infringement of the VLS

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could be cured simply by limiting its reach, by preventing its application in


the context of custody cases.

Second, the state of California could provide representation to


parents in custody disputes just as it provides lawyers in juvenile
dependency

cases

when

termination

is

threatened.

In

her

final

recommendations 11 of the Elkins Task Force, Chairperson Judge Laurie


Zelon recommended that more fees be made available. She also
recommended that trial courts make fee awards under Family Code 2030

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to level the playing field. Likewise, in calling for a task force in Elkins v.

Sup. Ct., 41 Cal. 4th 1337, fn 20, Chief Justice George said that special

propria persona. Making fees available is rational, while denying parents


access for not having funds to hire an attorney is not rational, its unfair,

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treatment should be given to the 82% of family law litigants who act in

11

http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/elkins-finalreport.pdf
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unconstitutional, and essentially vindictive since this is the only forum


they are given by the state-monopolized family law courts.

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Third, family law courts have broad discretion and family law judges

could require a parent to have pleadings reviewed in the Self-Help Centers

that are now provided in most if not all California superior courts. The staff

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and attorneys could review the pleadings as an alternative to prefiling


orders and make recommendations and editorial changes. They could also
offer advisory opinions/statements on the custody dispute at hand.
A fourth alternative was suggested by Chairperson Zelon in her final
recommendations. She recommended that the family law judge be provided
greater instruction on family law matters so that they are up to speed on
the law after being rotated into family law courts. Well-prepared, the
judges could better fashion and issue rulings based on a firm understanding

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of the law instead of the apparent practice of faking it until they make it. In

the same way, the Self-Help Centers could provide tutorials on family law

filing.

CONCLUSION

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issues so that parents could be educated on their rights and the mechanics of

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For the reasons stated, Appellants request that their class action be

s/Archibald Cunningham

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_____________________

Respectfully submitted,

fundamental custody rights be reviewed by the strictest scrutiny.

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Archibald Cunningham, Esq.


Attorney for Appellants
Dated: 3/10/14

Appellants Reply Brief -25

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remanded to the district court with directions that the violations of their

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Certificate of Compliance under Circuit Rule 32-4

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In compliance with this Courts page limitation, this reply

brief is proportionately spaced, has a typeface of 14 points, and contains

5488 words.

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Respectfully submitted this 10 day of March, 2014.

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:s/Archibald Cunningham
Counsel for Appellants/Plaintiffs

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Certificate of Service

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I hereby certify that on March 10, 2014 I electronically filed the

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Case: 13-17170

foregoing with the Clerk of the Court for the United States Court of Appeals

for the Ninth Circuit by using the appellate CM/ECF system. I certify that

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all participants in the case are registered CM/ECF users and that service
will be accomplished by the appellate CM/ECF system.

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s/Archibald Cunningham

Appellants Reply Brief -27

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17 April 2013

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Hon. Jaime R. Roman Misconduct: Rewrites California Vexatious Litigant


Law for Judge Pro Tem Divorce Lawyer Charlotte Keeley

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT

(72)

Judge Jaime Roman Misstates Law, Uses Overruled


Case to Justify Vexatious Litigant and Other Orders
Without Court Hearing

ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT

(37)

News Analysis & Opinion by PelicanBriefed

MATTHEW J. GARY
(34)
KICKBACKS
(33)
FLEC
(28)

The Sacramento Family Court Newsanalysis


teamhas been working overtime scrutinizingand
trying to make sense of a controversial20-page
statement of decision issued on Nov. 14 of last year
by Supervising Family Court Judge Jaime R.
Roman. Click here for our initial report from 2012.

PETER J. McBRIEN
(26)
ARTS & CULTURE
(23)
CHILD CUSTODY
(23)
ROBERT SAUNDERS
(22)

Roman's decision is now being challenged in both the


Third District Court of Appeal, and in a federal
class action lawsuit filed March 22 in U.S. District
Court in San Francisco. It is certain that taxpayers
will get a substantial bill for each case.

SCBA
(22)
CJP
(21)
JAMES M. MIZE
(21)

Court watchdogs contend Roman's order exemplifies


the overt lawlessness that occurs weekly in family
court, and the preferential treatment that full-time
judges provide for-profit attorneys who also serve as
temporary judges.

The unprecedented ruling - which was made-to-order


for Judge Pro Tem attorney Charlotte Keeley rewrites California vexatious litigant law and
procedure. Watchdogs hold Judge Roman
responsible for putting taxpayers on the financial hook
for the costs of yet another unnecessary appeal from
family court, and the federal litigation.

JUDGE PRO TEM


(51)

CHARLOTTE KEELEY
(19)
EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT

(19)
WATCHDOGS
(19)
PRO PERS
(18)
Judge Jaime R. Roman denied a family courtlitigant the right
to a court hearing and oraltestimony - fundamental components
of the right to dueprocess of law.

DIVORCE CORP
(17)
DOCUMENTS
(17)
PAULA SALINGER
(15)

In another pointless appeal caused by judicial misconduct,Judge Matthew J. Gary unsuccessfully attempted a
similar rewrite of putative spouse law and in 2011 was reversed in full by the Third District Court of Appeal. Our
analysis indicates that Judge Roman's order likely is headed for the same fate.

ROBERT HIGHT
(14)

To continue reading, click Read more >> below:

CARLSSON CASE
(12)

Off-the-Rails at Conjunction Junction

SACRAMENTO SUPERIOR
COURT
(13)

RAPTON-KARRES
(12)
APPEALS
(11)

COLOR OF LAW SERIES

(11)
CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(11)
SATIRE
(11)
WHISTLEBLOWERS
(11)
WOODRUFF O'HAIR
POSNER and SALINGER

(11)
JAIME R. ROMAN
(10)
LAURIE M. EARL
(10)
NO CONTACT ORDERS
(10)
SHARON A. LUERAS
(10)
FERRIS CASE
(9)
JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)
ROBERT O'HAIR
(8)
CANTIL-SAKAUYE
(7)
The confusing legal rationale of Judge Roman's 20-page decision is constructed from a series of allegedly
consistent conjunctions conjoining components of the Family Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and court rules.
For example, Roman writes at page six:
"Sacramento Superior Court Rule 14.02(C), consistent with Code of Civil Procedure
section 2009, in conjunction with Family Code section 210.." and
"Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(a), inconjunctionwith Family Code section 210..."
at page eight, and
"California Code of Civil Procedure section 2009 in conjunction with Family Code section
210...California Rules of Court rule 3.1306(a), in conjunction with California Rules of
Court, rule 5.21...See Family Code section 217(c); California Rules of Court, rule
3.1306(b), in conjunction with rule 5.21 and rule 5.119," at page 19.
Judge Roman's statute and court rule references, and calculated omission of contrary authority suggest an intent to
cherry-pick law - including law not applicable to a vexatious litigant proceeding - to reach a predetermined result for
the benefit of Judge Pro Tem attorney Charlotte Keeley. In our first report on the decision, veteran court
watchdog Robert Saundersastutely observed that the judge used reverse engineering. "In other words, he
knew how he wanted to rule and from there worked backwards to try and justify an unjustifiable ruling," Saunders
said in 2012.

Saunders' analysis appears to be substantially accurate, according to the family and civil law reference books
used by judges, attorneys and Sacramento Family Court News. The logically inferred intent of Roman's risible,
convoluted conjunctions is to enable himself to designate a family court party a vexatious litigantandissue a
$2,500 sanctions assessment and 13 additional orders against the same party - all without a court hearing and oral
argument. ButJudge Roman is off-the-rails at conjunction junction.

JULIE SETZER
(7)
MATTHEW HERNANDEZ
(7)
YOUTUBE
(7)
3rd DISTRICT COA
(6)
CIVIL RIGHTS
(6)
CHRISTINA ARCURI
(5)
CONTEMPT
(5)
MIKE NEWDOW
(5)
THADD BLIZZARD
(5)
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

(4)
LUAN CASE
(4)
MALPRACTICE
(4)
THOMAS M. CECIL
(4)
CHILD ABDUCTION
(3)
VANCE W. RAYE
(3)

California Practice Guide:Civil Procedure Before Trial, the gold standard civil law reference work used by
judges and attorneys, indicates that Judge Roman attempted to create the illusion that his order was grounded
inlegitimatelaw by misstating and misapplying Code of Civil Procedure 2009,Family Code 210, and217,
andCalifornia Rules of Court rules 3.1306 and 5.21.The perplexing rationale Roman cobbled together from
parts of each is preempted and effectivelynullified by the vexatious litigant statute and decisional law,
according to the Guide.

Court watchdogs and whistleblowerscharge that Judge Roman's prejudgment, unlawfully vacated hearing and
erroneous statement of decision are more examples of Chris Volkers, Julie Setzer and other
courtadministratorsfailing to adequatelytrain, supervise, and discipline family court judges. They point out that
Judge Roman, the supervising family law, probate and ADA judge has limited family court experience, and often
confuses civil law with family law. At the end of her own two-year stint in family court, Judge Sharon Lueras
confessed to the family law bar that, at the beginning of her family court assignment, she knew nothing about

VEXATIOUS LITIGANT
(3)
RACKETEERING
(2)

WE SUPPORT
Electronic Frontier
Foundation
First Amendment Coalition
Californians Aware

family law. The consequences of inadequate training andsupervisioncan be tragic. Unrepresented litigant
Jessica Hernandez blames Lueras for the death of her son at the hands of her ex-husband. Click here for our
coverage of the Hernandez case.

The Disappearing Hearing

LAW BLOGS WE LIKE


Family Law Professor Blog
Law Librarian Blog

As we reported in our original coverage, Judge


Roman unilaterally cancelled a family court
hearing calendared for Nov. 14, 2012. The
hearing was scheduled for the purpose of
arguing and resolving 15 disputed issues in the
case Katina Rapton vs Andrew Karres.

Law Professor Blogs


Thurman Arnold Family
Law Blog
Kafkaesq

On the day of the hearing, the parties and


attorneys arrived at the courtroom and were told
by the judge that the hearing was vacated and
would not take place. A dumbfounded Sharon
Huddle, the attorney for Karres, had the judge
repeat the statement a second time while being
recorded by a court reporter.Click here to read
the court reporter's transcript, obtained
exclusively by Sacramento Family Court
News.

At the end of the non-hearing, Judge Roman


scrawled out a minute order that read only
"VACATED: COURT STATEMENT OF
DECISION." The day before the hearing,
Roman wrote, signed, filed, and mailed to the
attorneys a 20-page statement of decision
resolving all issues.

Above the Law


The Divorce Artist

LEGAL NEWS &


INFORMATION
California Lawyer Magazine
Courthouse News Service
Metropolitan News
Enterprise
California Official Case Law
Divorce attorney Charlotte Keeley (R) with her client Katina Rapton of
Mel RaptonHonda. The lawyer works as a part-time judge in the
family law courthouse and has a close relationship with several
judges, according to court watchdogs. Keeley reportedly has billed
Rapton more than $1 million in connection with a child custody dispute.

Virtually all of the rulings were in favor of


Rapton and against Karres. Rapton, the Mel
Rapton Honda heiress is represented by
veteran family law attorney and temporary judge Charlotte Keeley. The orders requested by Keeley and granted
by Roman included designating Karres a vexatious litigant, and ordering the financially disadvantaged litigant to
pay Keeley $2,500 in sanctions. The vexatious litigant designation severely restricts Karres' access to every court
in California by requiring him to get pre-approval from a presiding judge before he can file anything, anywhere in
the state.

Conjunction Malfunction
The relationship between family law, civil law and the court rules applicable to each can be confusing. But the family
law procedure manual used by judges and attorneys, California Practice Guide: Family Law neatly sorts it all
out in just two pages, which,apparently, is news to Judge Roman who clumsily cut, conjoined, and pasted
conflicting laws and rules to justify his vexatious litigant order.

An assessment of the legality of Roman's order blacklisting Andrew Karres as a vexatious litigantbegins with the
law itself.California's vexatious litigant law is codified at Code of Civil Procedure391-391.8. Wikipedia
explains how the law works at this link. The law was intended to limit frivolous litigation by unrepresented, pro per
parties in civil courts. When a judge issues an order designating a self-represented litigant as a vexatious litigant,
the Constitutional rights of access to the courts, due process of law, equal protection of law and the right to
petition the government for redress are severely restricted. Due to the harsh consequences of the vexatious
litigant label, California law requires full due process before the order can be issued, including notice and a court
hearing where written or oral evidence is presented. The notice and hearing requirements of the vexatious litigant
statute are difficult to misconstrue:
"At the hearing upon the motion the court shall consider any evidence, written or oral, by
witnesses or affidavit, as may be material to the ground of the motion," reads the law at section
391.2.
At 391.3, the vexatious litigant law specifies, twice, that a decision is made "after hearing the evidence on the
motion." The California Practice Guide for civil law recites the procedure for a vexatious litigant determination,
including the required court hearing. Based on the 2002 appellate court caseBravo v. Ismaj,"[a] party may not be
declared to be a 'vexatious litigant' without a noticed motion and hearing which includes the right to oral argument
and the presentation of evidence," according to the Guide.

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Homepage
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Judicial Council
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be gender-specific)
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Directory

Since the 2002 Bravo case, at least 20


other published and unpublished
appellate court decisions have relied on
and mirrored the controlling holding in
Bravo, including these two cases from
2009 and 2012.

California Coalition for


Families and Children
California Protective
Parents Association
Center for Judicial
Excellence

In a single paragraph and four footnotes


at page 19 of his 20-page statement of
decision, Judge Roman provides his
rationale for issuing the vexatious litigant
order without a hearing. The judge
recites sections of the Code of Civil
Procedure, Family Code, and court
rules that he claims, when conjoined,
authorize him to "vacate the hearing in
this matter..."

Courageous Kids Network


Divorce & Family Law News
Divorce Corp
Divorced Girl Smiling
Family Law Case Law from
FindLaw

Notably absent from the justification is


any reference to the Bravo line of cases,
Judge Jaime R. Roman conjoined statutory law, court rulesand overruled
the notice and hearing requirements of
decisionallawtorewrite vexatious litigantprocedurein California.
the vexatious litigant statute, and the
instruction of the California Practice Guides, all of which contradictRoman's justification for denying Karres a
hearing with oral argument and the presentation of evidence. Roman does cite to a single case law reference,
Reifler v. Superior Court, a 1974 case which was effectively overruled by the Legislature as of January 1,
2011, and which in any event has no legitimate connection to the procedure for declaring a litigant vexatious.

Judge Roman gives his reasons for blacklisting Karres statewide as a vexatious litigant at pages 15-18 of his 20page statement of decision. Absent from the ruling is the boilerplate recital that "The Court has considered the
moving and responding papers, the evidence and argument presented at the hearing, and the files herein,"
which appears on page one of this vexatious litigant order from a family court case in Santa Clara County.

Judge Roman's unlawful order declaring Karres a vexatious litigant is now the subject of both a costly appeal and
federal civil rights litigation against Judicial Branch officials. The appeal and federal case will cost the parties
and taxpayers significant sums. The current cost to taxpayers for a single appeal is between $8,500 and $25,000,
according to recent appellate court decisions. Ironically, vexatious litigants are routinely accused of, and punished
for wasting scarce appellate court resources with frivolous litigation.
"Other appellate parties, many of whom wait years for a resolution of bona fide disputes, are
prejudiced by the useless diversion of this court's attention. [Citation.] In the same vein, the appellate
system and the taxpayers are damaged by what amounts to a waste of this court's time and
resources," reads a line of cases from 1988 to 2012, beginning with Finnie v. Town of Tiburon.

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The same should be said about the unnecessary appeal and federal litigation against the government compelled by
Judge Roman's order.

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Tani Cantil-Sakauye Defendant & Jaime R. Roman Implicated in Federal


Class Action Lawsuit for Misuse of Vexatious Litigant Law

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT

(72)

Controversial Order for Judge Pro Tem Attorney


Charlotte Keeley by Judge Jaime Roman Challenged
in Federal Class Action Lawsuit

ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT

(37)

Taxpayers Face Financial Liability

JUDGE PRO TEM


(51)

MATTHEW J. GARY
(34)
KICKBACKS
(33)
FLEC
(28)
PETER J. McBRIEN
(26)
ARTS & CULTURE
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CHILD CUSTODY
(23)
ROBERT SAUNDERS
(22)
SCBA
(22)
CJP
(21)
JAMES M. MIZE
(21)
CHARLOTTE KEELEY
(19)

Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is named as a defendant in this federal court litigation stemming from a vexatious
litigant court order issued by Sacramento Family Court Judge Jaime Roman for Judge Pro Tem Charlotte Keeley.

EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT

(19)
WATCHDOGS
(19)

SACRAMENTO FAMILY COURT NEWS EXCLUSIVE


A November, 2012court order designating a Sacramento Family Courtparty as a vexatious litigant is being
challenged in a landmark federal class action lawsuit filed yesterday in United States District Court in San
Francisco. The controversial order was issued by family court Judge Jaime Roman at the request of temporary
judge and veteran family law attorneyCharlotte Keeley in a case with a long-running child custody dispute
between Andrew Karres andMel Rapton Honda heiress Katina Rapton.

PRO PERS
(18)

The order blacklisted [pdf] Karres as a vexatious litigant [pdf] and raised eyebrows in the legal community
because Roman issued the ruling without providing Karres the court hearing required under state law and the due
process provisions of the state and federal Constitutions.

ROBERT HIGHT
(14)

The vexatious litigant designation severely restricts a litigants access to the courts by requiring them to get preapproval from a presiding judge before they are permitted to file pleadings in any court in the state.Sacramento
Family Court News in Nov. 2012 reported exclusively on Judge Roman's unorthodox order, which also is
pending review by the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento. Taxpayers likely will now get two substantial

CARLSSON CASE
(12)

DIVORCE CORP
(17)
DOCUMENTS
(17)
PAULA SALINGER
(15)

SACRAMENTO SUPERIOR
COURT
(13)

RAPTON-KARRES
(12)
APPEALS
(11)

bills in connection with the Keeley-Roman ruling.

The state court appeal will cost the public between $8,500 and $25,500, according to recent appellate court
decisions. The public cost of defending the federal case could be significantly higher. For several years, court
watchdogs and whistleblowers have asserted that full-time judges give preferential treatment to judge pro tem
attorneys. They charge that the Rapton-Karres case is one of several cases emblematic of judge-attorney
cronyism and its effects, including the unnecessary use of scarce court resources and the financial burden on
taxpayers.

COLOR OF LAW SERIES

(11)
CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(11)
SATIRE
(11)
WHISTLEBLOWERS
(11)

To continue reading, click Read more >>below:

WOODRUFF O'HAIR
POSNER and SALINGER

(11)

Named as defendants in the federal class action lawsuit are


California Supreme Court Chief Justice and Judicial
Council Chair Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye and Steven Jahr,
the Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of
the Courts.

JAIME R. ROMAN
(10)
LAURIE M. EARL
(10)

In addition to Karres, the plaintiffs include eight other family


court parties from throughout the state. All have been
blacklisted as vexatious litigants in their respective courts.
"Plaintiffs, who are parents in on-going custody disputes,
bring this class action against Chief Justice CantilSakauye and the Judicial Council in the hope of
overturning California's Vexatious Litigant Statute
(VLS) as it applies to family law litigants, particularly
parents caught in protracted custody battles. The
Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the VLS as it
is applied in the context of family law custody
proceedings. The Plaintiffs assert that the VLS on its
face and as applied infringes on their fundamental
custody rights," reads the introduction section of the
complaint.

NO CONTACT ORDERS
(10)
SHARON A. LUERAS
(10)
FERRIS CASE
(9)
JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)
ROBERT O'HAIR
(8)
CANTIL-SAKAUYE
(7)
JULIE SETZER
(7)
Justice Cantil-Sakauye is a former Sacramento
County Superior Court Judge.

Click here to read the complete lawsuit filed March 22. Sacramento Family Court News will provide continuing
coverage of the case.

MATTHEW HERNANDEZ
(7)
YOUTUBE
(7)
3rd DISTRICT COA
(6)
CIVIL RIGHTS
(6)

Related articles and posts:

CHRISTINA ARCURI
(5)

Click herefor our complete coverage


of the Rapton-Karres case.

CONTEMPT
(5)

Click herefor our reporting on Judge


Jaime R. Roman.
Click herefor coverage of judicial
misconduct.

MIKE NEWDOW
(5)

Click herefor our special Judge Pro


Tem Page.

THADD BLIZZARD
(5)

Posted by
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Labels:
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FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

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(4)

Location:
US District Court Clerk Northern District Of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue #36060, San Francisco, CA 94102,

MALPRACTICE
(4)

USA

THOMAS M. CECIL
(4)
CHILD ABDUCTION
(3)

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TEMPORARY JUDGE CONTROVERSY

Sacramento Superior Court Part-Time Judge


Program Controversy

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT

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JUDGE PRO TEM
(51)
ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT

(37)

Judge-Attorney "Cartel" Controls Court Operations Constitutes Racketeering Enterprise, Charge


Whistleblowers

MATTHEW J. GARY
(34)
KICKBACKS
(33)
FLEC
(28)
PETER J. McBRIEN
(26)

Sacramento Family Court News Exclusive Investigative Report


This special investigative report is ongoing and was last updated in October, 2015. Hyperlinks throughout this
report link to original source material including whistleblower leaked documents, records obtained under
public records law, public court documents, and our previously published articles with hyperlinks to source

CHILD CUSTODY
(23)
ROBERT SAUNDERS
(22)

material.

SCBA
(22)

As many of the articles on our main page


reflect,Sacramento Superior Court employee
whistleblowers and other court watchdogs contend
that a "cartel" oflocal family lawattorneys receive
kickbacks and other forms ofpreferential treatment
from family courtjudges, administrators and
employees.

CJP
(21)
JAMES M. MIZE
(21)
CHARLOTTE KEELEY
(19)
EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT

(19)

The whistleblowers assert that lawyers in the


privileged group receive an assortment of illegal perks
because they volunteer towork as part-time
judgesand run the family court settlement
conference program on behalf of the court.

WATCHDOGS
(19)
PRO PERS
(18)
DIVORCE CORP
(17)

The kickbacks usually consist of "rubber-stamped"


court ordersissued when the attorneys represent
clients in court. The orders consistently are contrary
to established law, and the rulings cannot be
attributed to the exercise of judicial discretion.

As a matter of law, the orders are illegal, according


to court reform advocates, "outsider" attorneys, and
thelaw practice reference publicationsused by
judges and lawyers.SFCN hasposted the
ordersonline atScribdand other document
publishingsites. Order links are provided throughout
this report.

ARTS & CULTURE


(23)

DOCUMENTS
(17)
PAULA SALINGER
(15)
ROBERT HIGHT
(14)
SACRAMENTO SUPERIOR
COURT
(13)
Sacramento Superior Court reform advocates assert that collusion
between judges and local attorneys deprives pro per court users of
their parental rights, community assets, and due process and access
to the court constitutional rights.

CARLSSON CASE
(12)
RAPTON-KARRES
(12)
APPEALS
(11)

Scheme Primarily Targets Divorce Cases Where Only One Side Has a Lawyer

Most of the demonstrablyillegal orders are issued against indigent, or financially disadvantaged "pro per"
parties without an attorney. Manypro per litigants-who make up over 70 percent of court users -also are
disabled.

In most cases, pro pers - who have little or no knowledge of family law - are unaware that the orders issued against
them are illegal. In addition, court clerks and employees are trained or encouraged tointentionally, and illegally
mislead unrepresented parties about their appeal rights. Pro pers who do attempt to file an appeal are forced to
navigate a gauntlet of unlawful obstructionserected by court employees andtrial court judges,and most
eventually give up.
Further handicapping pro pers, when representing clients in court judge pro tem lawyers are allowed to obstruct an
opposing parties' court access and ability to file documents through the court-sanctioned misuse ofvexatious
litigant lawand Family Codecase management law,according to whistleblowers andcourt records.The illegal
litigation tactic effectively deprives pro per litigants of their constitutional right of access to the courts, a violation of
federal law.

In exchange for acting as sworn temporary judges, operating the settlement program and reducing the caseload
and workload of judges and court employees, the attorneys also receive preferential trial scheduling, an
unlawful "emolument, gratuity or reward" prohibited by Penal Code 94.

The ultimate consequences of the systemic divorce court corruption include one-sided divisions of community
property, illegal child custody arrangements and the deprivation of parental rights, and unlawful child and
spousal support terms.

Court reform advocates also assert that the racketeering enterprise enables rampant fee churningandunjust
enrichmentby judge pro tem divorce lawyers, results in pro per financial devastation,homelessness, and
imprisonment, and hascaused, or contributed to at least two child deaths.

Years of illegal, pay-to-play child custody orders have resulted in the formation of several Sacramento-based court
reform and oversight organizations, including Fathers 4 Justice, California Protective Parents Association, and
the Family Court Accountability Coalition. The same family court watchdog group phenomenon has not
occurred in any other county in the state.

COLOR OF LAW SERIES

(11)
CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(11)
SATIRE
(11)
WHISTLEBLOWERS
(11)
WOODRUFF O'HAIR
POSNER and SALINGER

(11)
JAIME R. ROMAN
(10)
LAURIE M. EARL
(10)
NO CONTACT ORDERS
(10)
SHARON A. LUERAS
(10)
FERRIS CASE
(9)
JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)
ROBERT O'HAIR
(8)
CANTIL-SAKAUYE
(7)
JULIE SETZER
(7)
MATTHEW HERNANDEZ
(7)
YOUTUBE
(7)
3rd DISTRICT COA
(6)
CIVIL RIGHTS
(6)
CHRISTINA ARCURI
(5)
CONTEMPT
(5)
MIKE NEWDOW
(5)
THADD BLIZZARD
(5)
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

(4)

During three days of sworn testimony at his Commission on Judicial Performance misconduct prosecution, Judge Peter McBrien
inadvertently revealed aspects of an alleged RICO racketeering enterprise operating in the Sacramento County family court system.

LUAN CASE
(4)
MALPRACTICE
(4)

The alleged criminal conduct also deprives victims of their state and federal constitutional rights, including due
process, equal protection of law, access to the courts, and the fundamental liberty interest in the care,
management and companionship of their own children, according to several "outsider" attorneys.

Court watchdogs charge that the settlement conference kickback arrangement between the public court and private
sector attorneys constitutes aracketeering enterprisewhich also deprives the public of thefederally
protectedright tohonest government services.

THOMAS M. CECIL
(4)
CHILD ABDUCTION
(3)
VANCE W. RAYE
(3)
VEXATIOUS LITIGANT
(3)

The alleged federal crimes also include thetheft, misuse, or conversion of federal fundsreceived by the court,
predicate acts ofmail or wire fraud,andpredicate state law crimes, including obstruction of justice,child
abduction, and receipt of an illegal emolument, gratuity, or reward by a judicial officer(Penal Code 94).

RACKETEERING
(2)

With the help of court employeewhistleblowers, Sacramento Family Court News has partially reconstructed the
framework of the alleged criminal enterprise that, in scale and scope, rivals theKids for Cashcourt scandal in
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and the Orange County Superior Court case-fixing corruption scheme recently
exposed by the FBI.

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Settlement Conference Program Quid Pro Quo Arrangement

Californians Aware

The current day Sacramento County Family Court


system and judge pro tem attorney operated
settlement conference program was set up in 1991
by Judge Vance Raye,Judge Peter McBrien and
lawyers from theSacramento County Bar Association
Family Law Section, according to the sworn
testimony of McBrienat his 2009Commission on
Judicial Performancemisconduct prosecution.

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Family Law Professor Blog
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Law Blog

Click here to read the transcript of the controversial


judge's testimony.

In his own testimony during the same proceedings,


local veteran family law attorney and judge pro tem
Robert J. O'Hair corroborated McBrien's testimony
and attested to McBrien's character and value to
Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law
Section members. Click here to view this excerpt of
O'Hair's testimony. To view O'Hair's complete
testimony, click here.

Kafkaesq
Above the Law
The Divorce Artist

3rd District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vance Raye


is the co-architect of the current Sacramento County Family
Court system. Click here for details.

Judge Vance Raye is now the Presiding Justice of


the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, the
court responsible for hearing appeals from Sacramento Superior Court. The appellate court has been embroiled in
a number of controversies surrounding the review of Sacramento family court cases.

In 2012,troubled Sacramento County Judge James Mize, - a personal friend of McBrien - further privatized
family court services and expanded the ability of ostensibly "volunteer" temporary judge lawyers to earn kickbacks
and other preferential treatment with his so-called "One Day Divorce Program."

Court watchdogs charge that the system was designed to, and does servethe needs and financial interests of
family law lawyers at the expense of the 70 percent of family court users who cannot afford representation.

LEGAL NEWS &


INFORMATION
California Lawyer Magazine
Courthouse News Service
Metropolitan News
Enterprise
California Official Case Law
Google Scholar-Includes
Unpublished Case Law
California Statutes

Reducing the Caseload and Workload of Judges and Court Staff in Exchange for
Kickbacks

One objective of the allegedlyillegal public-private


partnership is to significantly reduce the caseload, and
workload of full-time judges by having private sector
lawyers - instead of judges or court staff - operate the
settlement program, according to watchdogs.

CALIFORNIA JUDICIAL
BRANCH
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Homepage
California Courts YouTube
Page

At the settlement conferences, judge pro tem attorneys


pressure divorcing couples to settle cases so they won't
use the trial court services, including law and motion
hearings, ordinarily required to resolve a contested
divorce.

Judicial Council
Commission on Judicial
Performance
Sacramento County Family
Court

In many cases, two lawyers - one acting as a temporary


judge - with social and professional ties team up against an
unrepresented pro per to compel one-sided settlement
terms. Accounts of coercive and deceptive tactics are
common.

3rd District Court of Appeal


State Bar of California
State Bar Court

In sworn testimony during his judicial misconduct


prosecution by the Commission on Judicial Performance,
Judge McBrien inadvertently revealed that an incredible 90
percent of cases assigned to his courtroom settled. "And so
I, frankly, have a very light calendar on law and motion
mornings," the judge added.

Sacramento County Bar


Association

The 2014 documentary film Divorce Corp exposed court


corruption throughout the United States and designated
Sacramento County as the worst-of-the-worst.

Under the quid pro quo agreement, in exchange for


reducing the workload of judges and court staff, as opportunities arise the temporary judge attorneys are provided
reciprocalkickbacks, gratuities, or emoluments when representing clients in court. The issuance and receipt of
the reciprocal benefits violates several state and federal criminal, and civillaws.

Local & National Family CourtFamily Law Sites & Blogs (may
be gender-specific)
ABA Family Law Blawg
Directory


Reciprocal benefits include the issuance ofdemonstrably illegal court orders that have ignored, and even
authorized criminal conduct by judge pro tem attorneys and their clients, including criminal child abduction.

In one case, a judge ordered the illegal arrest and assault of a disabled pro per to benefit the opposing, part-time
judge attorney. A court employee whistleblower leaked a courtroom security video of the incident. The judge pro
tem lawyer subsequently was caught on court reporter transcript defending the judge andlying about the arrest
and assault, portraying the disabled victim as being at fault.

The consistent, statistically impossible in-court success rate of judge pro tem attorneys has provided
themprominence, client referrals, wealth, and a substantial monopoly on the Sacramento County divorce and
family law business. Whistleblowers point out that this benefit of the alleged criminal organization also implicates
consumer protection andantitrust laws, including the CaliforniaUnfair Business Practices Act.

California Coalition for


Families and Children
California Protective
Parents Association
Center for Judicial
Excellence
Courageous Kids Network
Divorce & Family Law News
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Divorced Girl Smiling

Racketeering Scheme Insulates Members from Government Oversight and


Accountability

Family Law Case Law from


FindLaw
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Moving Past Divorce
News and Views Riverside
Superior Court
Weightier Matter

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Whistleblowers claim that Sacramento Family Court corruption results in the misuse of federal funds, deprives the public of the federally
protected right to honest government services, and deprives unrepresented, disabled, and financially disadvantaged court users of their
civil rights.

182

The quid pro quo arrangement also involves what whistleblowers assert is a reciprocal protection racket that
conceals the organization from discovery by law enforcement agencies and state oversight authorities, including
the Commission on Judicial Performance, responsible for judge misconduct, and the State Bar Association,
responsible for attorney accountability and discipline.

Case audits conducted by SFCN show that judge pro tem attorneys routinely violate state law, court rules, and
attorney ethics rules, but are never reported to the State Bar, or assessed fines, penalties or "sanctions" by fulltime judges as required by state law.

Pro pers who attempt to report judge pro tem attorney misconduct to the State Bar are told they need a court
order from a judge before a disciplinary investigation against an opposing attorney can take place. There are no
known instances where a judge issued such an order.

Court records leaked by whistleblowers also indicate that the under quid pro quo agreement, judges effectively
shield attorneys from criminal investigation and prosecution for alleged crimes, including witness intimidation,
childabduction,filing counterfeit documents, and violations of state and federal civil rights laws.

On the other hand, at the request of cartel attorneys, pro per litigants are routinely punished by judges with illegal
fines, draconian financial sanctions, and other types of punishment to discourage them from returning to
court, and to coerce them to accept settlement terms dictated by the opposing judge pro tem lawyers.

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Attorneys provide judges reciprocal protection by not reporting the judicial misconduct, Code of Judicial Ethics
violations, and criminal conduct committed by full-time judge cartel members. And the lawyers do more.

To help conceal and ensure the continuity of the enterprise, on the rare occasion when full-time judges doface
investigation by the Commission on Judicial Performance, members of the cartel provide false, misleading, or
otherwise gratuitous character witness testimony and other forms of support for the offending judge. The
testimony and support is designed to, and does reduce or eliminate potential punishment by the CJP, ensuring
judge members remain on the bench.

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(37)

ETHICS
(2)

ATTORNEYS
(11)
BAR
ASSOCIATION
(11)
BARACK
OBAMA
(1)
BARTHOLOMEW
and WASZNICKY
(3)
BUNMI

Racketeering Conduct of Court Clerks, Supervisors and the Family Law Facilitator

AWONIYI

The racketeering activity includes startling coordination, kickbacks, andpattern and practice misconductby court
clerks, supervisors, and theFamily Law Facilitatoroffice. Court clerks routinelyrefuse to filelegallysufficient
paperworkfor pro per parties, while at the same timefilinglegallyinsufficient, andeven counterfeitpaperwork which they arerequired by lawto reject for filing - for judge pro tem attorneys.
In some cases, judges and court clerks
work in tandem toprevent pro per
partiesfrom filing documentsat court
hearingsfor the benefit of judge pro
tems, deliberately creating an
incomplete and inaccurate trial court
record in the event the pro per files an
appeal.
Court records showthat clerks also
deliberately withhold and delay the
filing of time sensitive pro per
documents until after filing deadlines
have expired.

CALIFORNIA

(1)
CALIFORNIA

LAWYER
(1)

CALIFORNIANS AWARE
(1)

CAMILLE HEMMER
(3)

CANTIL-SAKAUYE
(7)

CARLSSON CASE
(12)

CECIL and CIANCI


(2)
CEO

(4)

CHARLOTTE
KEELEY
(19)
CHILD
ABDUCTION
(3)
CHILD
CUSTODY
(23)
CHILD

SUPPORT
(4)
CHRISTINA

ARCURI
(5)
CHRISTINA
VOLKERS
(7)
CIVICS
(1)

CIVIL LIABILITY
(1)
CIVIL
RIGHTS
(6)
CJA
(3)
CJE
(2)
In this case, a court clerk illegally "unfiled" a notice of appeal filed by an indigent,
disabled pro per litigant. Click here for details.

Alleged RICO Racketeering Enterprise Evidence

Court reform and accountability advocates assert that the local family law bar- through the Family Law
ExecutiveCommitteeor FLEC - continues to control for the financial gain of members virtually all aspects of court
operations, and have catalogued documented examples of judge pro tem attorney preferential treatment and
bias against unrepresented litigants and"outsider" attorneys,including:

Judge pro tem attorneys Charlotte


Keeley, Richard Sokol, Elaine Van
Beveren and Dianne Fetzer are each
accused of unethical conduct in the
problem cases included in the movie.
The infamous Carlsson case,
featuring judge pro tem attorney
Charlotte Keeley and Judge Peter
McBrien is the central case profiled in
the documentary, with Sacramento

(1)

JUDICIAL CONDUCT HANDBOOK

Family Law Facilitatorstaff provide pro per litigantswith false informationdesigned to concealstate law
violationsby court clerks and supervisors. Judges regularly provide attorneys withlegal advice and "bench
tips."When pro pers ask facilitator staff for similar information, they are told that facilitator employees are
prohibited from giving legal advice.

Divorce Corp, a documentary film that


"exposes the corrupt and collusive
industry of family law in the United
States" was released in major U.S.
cities on January 10, 2014. After a
nationwide search for the most
egregious examples of family court
corruption, the movie's production
team ultimately included fourcases
from Sacramento County in the film,
more than any other jurisdiction.

(23)

ATTORNEY
(4)
ATTORNEY

CJEO

CJP
(21)

(1)

ClientTickler
(2)
CNN
(1)

CODE
OF
JUDICIAL
ETHICS
(12)
CODE OF

SILENCE
(2)
COLLEEN
MCDONAGH
(3)
COLOR OF

LAW
SERIES

(11)

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(11)
CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS
(3)
CONTEMPT
(5)

CORRUPTION
(1)
COURT
CONDITIONS
(2)
COURT

EMPLOYEE
(1)
COURT EMPLOYEE
CODE OF ETHICS
(1)
COURT
POLICIES
(1)
COURT RULES

(4)
COURTS
(1)
CPG FAMILY LAW

(1)
CRIMINAL CONDUCT

(13)
CRIMINAL LAW
(3)

CRONYISM
(2)
DAVID

KAZZIE
(4)
DEMOTION
(1)
RICHARDS
(1)
DIANE
WASZNICKY

(2)

DISQUALIFICATION
(2)

DENISE

DIVORCE
(7)
DIVORCE
ATTORNEY
(5)
DIVORCE
CORP
(17)
DIVORCE
LAWYER

(5)

DOCUMENTS
(17)

DONALD TENN
(3)
DONNA
GARY
(2)
DSM-301.7
(1)
EDITORIAL
(1)
EDWARD
FREIDBERG
(2)
EFF
(2)

EFFICIENCY

IN

GOVERNMENT

ELAINE VAN
BEVEREN
(13)
ELECTIONS
(1)
AWARD
(1)

EMILY

GALLUP

(3)

EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS

(4)

EMPLOYEE
MISCONDUCT
(19)

EQUAL

PROTECTION
(2)

County portrayed as theGround


Zeroof family court corruption and
collusion in the U.S. Click here for our
complete coverage of Divorce Corp.

Divorce Corp, chronicling Sacramento Superior Court corruption,


is available on Netflix.

(2)
EX PARTE
(1)
F4J
(4)

FAMILY COURT
(9)
FAMILY

Judge Thadd Blizzard issued a rubber-stamped, kickback order in November, 2013 for judge pro tem
attorney Richard Sokol authorizing an illegal out-of-state move away and child abduction by Sokol's
client, April Berger. The opposing counsel is an "outsider" attorney from San Francisco who was
dumbfounded by the order. Click here for our exclusive report, which includes the complete court
reporter transcript from the hearing. Click here for our earlier report on the unethical practice of
"hometowning" and the prejudicial treatment of outsider attorneys.
Whistleblower leaked court records indicate that Sacramento Bar Association Family Law
Executive Committee officer and judge pro tem attorney Paula Salinger engaged in obstruction of
justice crimes against an indigent, unrepresented domestic violence victim. The victim was a witness in
a criminal contempt case against a Salinger client. The circumstances surrounding the obstruction of
justice incident also infer collusion between Salinger and controversial Judge Matthew J. Gary. For
our complete investigative report,click here.
Two "standing orders" still in effect after being issued by Judge Roland Candee in 2006 override a
California Rule of Court prohibiting temporary judges from serving in family law cases where one party
is self-represented and the other party is represented by an attorney or is an attorney. The orders were
renewed by Presiding Judge Laurie M. Earl in February, 2013.Click here for details.
Sacramento Family Court judges ignore state conflict of interest laws requiring them to disclose to
opposing parties when a judge pro tem working as a private attorney represents a client in family
court. Click here for our exclusive investigative report. Click here for a list of other conflict of interest
posts.
Family court policies and procedures, including local court rules, are dictated by the SCBA Family Law
Executive Committeefor the financial benefit of private sector attorneys, and often disadvantage the
70 percent of court users without lawyers, according to family court watchdogs and whistleblowers.
For example, in sworn testimony by Judge Peter McBrien before the Commission on Judicial
Performance,McBrien described seeking and obtaining permission from FLEC to change a local rule.
Click here and here.

COURT

COURT

AUDITS
(1)
FAMILY

CONDITIONS
(2)

FAMILY COURT

MEDIA COVERAGE

(1)
FAMILY COURT PROCEDURE
(1)

FAMILY
COURT
SACRAMENTO
(2)
FAMILY

COURTHOUSE
(1)
FAMILY

(9)

LAW

FAMILY
LAW
COUNSELOR
(4)
FAMILY
LAW
FACILITATOR
(4)

FATHERS FOR JUSTICE


(1)

FEDERAL LAW
(2)
FEDERAL

LAWSUITS
(2)
FEE WAIVERS

(2)
FERRIS CASE
(9)
FIRST
AMENDMENT
(2)
FIRST
AMENDMENT COALITION
(2)

FLEC
(28)
FOIA
(2)
FOX

(1)
FREDRICK COHEN
(4)

GANGNAM STYLE
(1)
GARY E.
RANSOM
(1)
GARY
M.
APPELBLATT
(2)
GEORGE

NICHOLSON
(1)
GERALD UELMEN

(1)
GREGORY DWYER
(1)
HAL
BARTHOLOMEW
(1)
HATCHET
DEATH
(1)
HAZART SANKER

(2)
HONEST SERVICES
(4)

INDIGENT
(1)
INFIGHTING
(1)
J.
STRONG
(2)
JACQUELINE
ESTON
(2)
JAIME R.
ROMAN
(10)
JAMES
BROSNAHAN
(2)
JAMES
M. MIZE
(21)
JEFFREY

In November, 2012 Sacramento


Family Court Judge Jaime R.
Romanissued a rubber-stamped,
kickback orderdeclaring a family
court party a vexatious litigant and
ordering him to pay $2,500 to the
opposing attorney, both without
holding the court hearing required by
law. The opposing attorney who
requested the orders is Judge Pro
Tem Charlotte Keeley. The
blatantly illegal orders resulted in
both an unnecessary state court
appeal and federal litigation,
wasting scarce judicial resources
and costing taxpayers significant
sums.Click here for our exclusive
coverage of the case.
Judge Matthew Gary used an
unlawful fee waiver hearing to both
obstruct an appeal of his own orders
and help a client of judgepro tem
attorney Paula Salinger avoid
paying spousal support. Click here
for our investigative report.

EUGENE L. BALONON
(1)

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

POSNER
(6)

(1)

JERRY

JERRY BROWN
GUTHRIE

(1)

JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)

JODY PATEL
(1)
JOE SORGE

(2)
JOHN E.B. MYERS
(1)
JOSEPH

SORGE
(1)
JOYCE KENNARD
(1)
JOYCE TERHAAR
(1)
JRC
(1)

JUDGE
(1)
JUDGE

TEM
(51)

SALARIES
(1)

JUDICIAL

PRO
JUDGE

JUDGES
(10)

CONDUCT HANDBOOK

(1)
JUDICIAL

COUNCIL
(6)

JUDICIAL
MISCONDUCT

(72)
JUDY HOLZER

Divorce attorney Charlotte Keeley (R) and her client Katina Rapton of
Mel Rapton Honda leave a court hearing. Keeley reportedly has billed
Rapton more than $1 million in connection with a child custody dispute.

An unrepresented, disabled 52-year-old single mother was made homeless by an illegal child support
order issued by Judge Matthew Gary for SCBA Family Law Section attorney Tim Zeff, the partner of
temporary judge Scott Buchanan. The rubber-stamped, kickback child supportorder, and other
proceedings in the case were so outrageous that the pro per is now represented on appeal by a team
of attorneys led by legendary trial attorney James Brosnahan of global law firm Morrison & Foerster.
For our exclusive, ongoing reports on the case, click here.
Judge pro tem attorneys Richard Sokol and Elaine Van Beverenhelped conceal judge misconduct
and failed to comply with Canon 3D(1) of the Code of Judicial Ethics when they were eyewitnesses to

HERSHER
(1)
JULIE SETZER

(7)
KICKBACKS
(33)

KIDS FOR CASH


(2)
LAURIE
M. EARL
(10)
LAW LIBRARY
SCHOOL
(5)

(1)
LAW

LAWYER
(1)
LAWYERS
(7)

LEGAL AID ASSOCIATION of


CALIFORNIA
(1)
LEGISLATURE
(1)

LEON KOZIOL
(1)
LINCOLN
(1)

LISTS
(4)
LOLLIE ROBERTS

(5)
LOUIS MAURO
(1)
LUAN
CASE
(4)
MALPRACTICE
(4)

MARTIN HOSHINO
(2)
MARY
MOLINARO
(1)
MATTHEW
HERNANDEZ

(7)

MATTHEW J. GARY

an unlawful contempt of court and resisting arrest incident in Department 121. Both Sokol and Van
Beveren failed to report the misconduct of Judge Matthew Gary as required by state law.Van
Beveren isan officer of the SCBA Family Law Executive Committee.Click here for our exclusive
report...
...Four years later, Sokol and Van Beveren in open court disseminated demonstrably false and
misleading information about the unlawful contempt of court and resisting arrest incident. The
apparent objective of the judge pro tem attorneys was to discredit the victim of Gary's misconduct,
trivialize the incident, and cover up their own misconduct in failing to report the judge. For our follow-up
reports, click here. In 2014, a video of the illegal arrest and assault was leaked by a government
whistleblower. Click here for details.Watch the exclusive Sacramento Family Court News video
below:

(34)
MCGEORGE

SOL
(2)

MEDIA
(1)
MICHAEL T. GARCIA

(1)
MIKE NEWDOW
(5)

NANCY GRACE
(1)
NANCY
PERKOVICH
(4)
NEW YORK

NEWS
(32)
NEWS EXCLUSIVE

(24)
NEWS YOU CAN USE
TIMES
(2)

(3)
News10
(1)
NO CONTACT
ORDERS
(10)
OPEN
GOVERNMENT
(2)
OPINION

(12)
PARENTAL

PAULA

ALIENATION
(1)

SALINGER

(15)
PERJURY
(1)
PETER
J. McBRIEN
(26)

PHILLIP HERNANDEZ
(3)

PRESIDING JUDGE
(2)
PRO
PERS
(18)
PROTEST
(9)

PSY
(1)
PUBLIC RECORDS
(1)

RACKETEERING
(2)
RAOUL M.
THORBOURNE
(1)
RAPTONKARRES

(12)

RECOGNITION/AWARDS
(4)

REVISIONISM SERIES
(2)

RICHARD SOKOL
(12)

RICO
(2)
ROBERT HIGHT

(14)
ROBERT O'HAIR
(8)

ROBERT SAUNDERS

(22)
ROLAND

In 2008controversial family courtJudge Peter J. McBriendeprived a family court litigant of a fair trial
in a case where the winning party was represented by judge protemattorney Charlotte Keeley. In a
scathing, published opinion, the 3rd District Court of Appealreversed in full and ordered a new
trial. 6th District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Conrad Rushing characterized McBrien's
conduct in thecase as a "judicial reign of terror."McBrien subsequently was disciplined by the
Commission on Judicial Performance for multiple acts of misconduct in 2009.Click here to read the
court of appeal decision. Click here to read the disciplinary decision issued by the CJP.
Judge pro tem attorneysCamille Hemmer,Robert O'Hair,Jerry GuthrieandRussell Carlsoneach
testified in support ofJudge Peter J. McBrienwhen thecontroversialjudge was facing removal from
the bench by theCommission on Judicial Performancein 2009.As a sworn temporary judges aware
of McBrien's misconduct, each wasrequired byCanon 3D(1)of theCode of Judicial Ethicsto take or
initiate appropriate corrective action to address McBrien's misconduct. Instead, each testified as a
character witnessin supportof the judge. In theCJP'sfinal disciplinary decision allowing McBrien to
remain on the bench, theCJPreferred specifically to the testimony as a mitigating factor that reduced
McBrien's punishment.Click here. Court records indicate thatJudge McBrienhas not disclosed the
potentialconflict of interestto opposing attorneys and litigants in subsequent appearances by the
attorneys in cases before the judge.Click hereforSFCNcoverage of conflict issues.
Judge pro temattorneysTerri Newman,CamilleHemmer,Diane WasznickyandDonna
Reedwereinvolved in a proposedscheme to rig a recall electionofcontroversialJudgePeter J.

ROBIE
(1)
RUSSELL CARLSON

(4)
RUSSELL L. HOM
(1)
RYDER
SALMEN
(2)
S. HINMAN
(3)

SACRAMENTO BEE
(4)

SACRAMENTO
COUNTY
SUPERIOR
COURT
(2)

SACRAMENTO
FAMILY
COURT
(14)
SACRAMENTO
SUPERIOR COURT
(13)

SANCTIONS
(2)
SANTA

CLARA

LAW SCHOOL
(1)
SARAH ANN

STEPHENS
(1)
SATIRE
(11)
SCBA

(22)

SCHWARZENEGGER
(1)
SCOTT
BUCHANAN
(5)
SCOTT
KENDALL
(1)
SCSD
(1)
SEATON
CASE

(1)

SELF-HELP

(1)

SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

(2)
SFCN READERSHIP DATA

(4)
SHARON A. LUERAS

(10)
SHARON HUDDLE
(6)

SO YOU WANT TO GO TO
LAW

SCHOOL

(4)

SOCIOECONOMIC BIAS

(5)
STATE AUDITOR
(6)

STATE BAR
(5)
STEPHEN
WAGNER

McBrienin 2008. The plan involved helping McBrien defeat the recall by electing him "Judge of the
Year" before the November election.Click herefor theSacramento News and Reviewreport.
Judge pro tem attorney
Robert J. O'Hair testified
as a character witness for
controversial Judge Peter
J. McBrien at the judge's
second CJP disciplinary
proceeding in 2009.Paula
Salinger, an attorney at
O'Hair's firm,Woodruff,
O'Hair Posner &

L. CANDEE
(1)

RON BURGUNDY
(1)
RONALD

(2)

STEUART

STEVE
WHITE
(2)
STEVEN GEVERCER
LEAVENWORTH

(1)
STEVEN

(1)

SPIELBERG
(1)

SUNDAY FUNNIES

(15)
SUNSHINE WEEK
(2)

SUPERIOR COURT
(2)

SUPREME COURT
(3)
TAMI

BOGERT
(1)
TAXPAYERS
(1)
TERRY FRANCKE
(1)

BLIZZARD
(5)

THADD

THADDEUS

STEVENS
(1)
THE RUTTER GROUP

(1)
THOMAS M. CECIL
(4)

Salingerwas later granted


a waiver of the
requirements to become
ajudge pro tem. A family
court watchdog asserts
the waiver was payback for
O'Hair's testimony for
McBrien.Click hereto
read our exclusive
investigative report.

THOMAS WOODRUFF
(5)

TIMOTHY ZEFF
(6)
TOMMY
ULF
LEE
JONES

(1)

CARLSSON
(7)
UNITED
NATIONS
(1)
UPDATE
(2)

VANCE W. RAYE
(3)

VEXATIOUS LITIGANT
(3)

VICTORIA HENLEY
(1)
VICTORY
Court records show that Judge Jaime Roman (L) and Judge Matthew Gary
routinely issued demonstrably illegal court orders for the benefit oflocal
attorneyswho also work as part-time judges in family court. Both judges
have been reassigned out of the family courthouse.

In cases where one party is


unrepresented, family court
clerks and judges permit judge pro tem attorneys to file declarations which violate mandatory state
court rule formatting requirements. The declarations- on blank paper and without line numbers - make
it impossible for the pro per to make lawful written evidentiary objections to false and inadmissible
evidence. Click here for our report documenting multiple state court rule violations in a motion filed
bySCBA Family Law Section officer and temporary judgePaula Salinger. To view the pro per
responsive declaration objecting to the illegal filing click here, and click here for the pro per points &
authorities.
Family court clerks and judges allow judge pro tem attorneys to file a fabricated "Notice of Entry of
Findings and Order After Hearing" in place of a mandatory Judicial Council Notice of Entry of
Judgment FL-190 form. The fake form omits critical appeal rights notifications and other information
included in the mandatory form. Click here for our exclusive report.
Sacramento Family Court temporaryjudgeandfamily law lawyerGary Appelblatt was charged with
13-criminal counts including sexual battery and penetration with a foreign object. The victims were
clients and potential clients of the attorney.The judge pro tem ultimately pleaded no contest to fourof
the original 13-counts, including sexual battery, and was sentenced to 18-months in prison. Court
administrators concealed from the public that Appelblatt held the Office of Temporary Judge.Click
hereto read our report.
Judge pro tem and SCBA Family Law Section attorneyScott Kendall was disbarred from the practice
of law on Nov. 24, 2011. Kendall was disbarred for acts of moral turpitude, advising a client to violate
the law, failing to perform legal services competently, and failing to keep clients informed, including not
telling a client about a wage garnishment order and then withdrawing from the same case without
notifying the client or obtaining court permission. Court administrators concealed from the public that
Kendall held the Office of Temporary Judge.Click here to view our report.
Judge pro tem attorneys Nancy Perkovich and Jacqueline Estonin 2008 helped Donna Gary - the
wife of Judge Matthew J. Gary - promote and market ClientTickler, a client management software
program for attorneys. The judge reportedly has never disclosed the conflict of interest as required by
the Code of Judicial Ethics. Click here for our exclusive report on the controversy.
In February, 2013 the website of family law firm Bartholomew & Wasznicky cut off the public from the
only online access to The Family Law Counselor, a monthly newsletter published by the Sacramento
Bar Association Family Law Section. Lawyers at the firm include judge pro tem attorneys Hal
Bartholomew, Diane Wasznicky and Mary Molinaro. As SFCN has reported, articles in the
newsletter often reflect an unusual, collusive relationship between SCBA attorneys and court
administrators and judges.Click here for our report.

Family court reform


advocates assert that judge
pro tem attorneys obtain
favorable court rulings on
disputed issues at a
statistically improbable
rate. The collusion
between full-time judges
and judge pro tem

OUTREACH

CHURCH
(1)
VL-

CLASS-ACTION
(1)
WALL STREET
JOURNAL

(1)

WASTE

(1)

WATCHDOGS
(19)

WHISTLEBLOWER
PROTECTION
ACT
(2)

WHISTLEBLOWERS
(11)

WHITE HOUSE
(1)
WOODRUFF
O'HAIR POSNER and
SALINGER
(11)
XAPURI B.
VILLAPUDUA

(3)

YOLO

COUNTY
(1)
YOUTUBE
(7)

attorneys constitutes
unfair, fraudulent, and
unlawful business
practices, all of which are
prohibited under California
unfair competition laws,
including Business and
Professions Code
17200, reform advocates
claim.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge James Mizetestified as a characterwitness in


support of controversial Judge Peter McBrien when McBrien was facing removal
from the bench by the state Commission on Judicial Performance.

Unfair competition and the collusion between judges and judge pro tem attorneys ultimately results in
unnecessary appeals burdening the appellate court system, and other, related litigation that wastes
public funds, exposes taxpayers to civil liability, and squanders scarce court resources.
Watchdogs point out that the court operates what amounts to a two-track system of justice. One for
judge pro tem attorneys and another for unrepresented, financially disadvantaged litigants and
"outsider attorneys." Two-track systems are prohibited by the Code of Judicial Ethics, according to
the Commission on Judicial Performance and the California Judicial Conduct Handbook, the gold
standard reference on judge misconduct.Click here for articles about the preferential treatment given
judge pro tem attorneys. Click here for examples of how pro pers are treated.
After representing a client in Sacramento Family Court, San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Gianelli
wrote "this is a 'juice court' in which outside counsel have little chance of prevailing...[the] court has now
abandoned even a pretense of being fair to outside counsel." Click here to read Gianelli's complete,
scathing account.
The Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section is led by an "Executive Committee"
("FLEC") of judge pro tem attorneys composed ofChair Russell Carlson, Vice Chair Elaine Van
Beveren, Treasurer Fredrick Cohen and Secretary Paula Salinger. Three of the four have been
involved in legal malpractice litigation, violations of the Code of Judicial Ethics, or as a defendant in
federal civil rights litigation. Click here to read SFCN profiles of the Executive Committee members.
Click here for otherarticles about FLEC.
Judge pro tem attorneys are by law required to take or initiate corrective action if they learn that
another judge has violated any provision of the Code of Judicial Ethics, or if a lawyer has violated any
provision of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Family court watchdogs assert that
temporary judges regularly observe unethical and unlawful conduct by family court judges and attorneys
but have never taken or initiated appropriate corrective action, a violation of the judge pro tem oath of
office. To view the applicable Code of Judicial Ethics Canons,Click here. For a Judicial Council
directive about the obligation to address judicial misconduct, a critical self-policing component of the
Code of Judicial Ethics, click here.

For information about the role of temporary judges in


family court,click here.For officialSacramento County
Superior Courtinformation about theTemporary Judge
Program click here.

Using public records law, Sacramento Family Court


News obtained the list of private practice attorneys
who also act as judge pro tems in Sacramento Family
Law Court. Each lawyer on the list below is currently a
temporary judge, or was a temporary judge in 2009,
2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013.SFCN cross-checked each
name on the Sacramento Countyjudge pro tem list
withCalifornia State Bar Data. The first name in each
listing is the name that appears on the Sacramento
County judge pro tem list, the second name, the State
Bar Number (SBN), and business address are derived
from the officialState Bar data for each attorney. The