Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg

The Appellate Division, First Department Is Either Impotent Or Simply Irrelevant Biased Judge Continues to Keep Mother And Son Apart In Defiance Of Appellate Court Commandment

The Unified Court System of New York State is clearly broken. There can be no denying that something is seriously wrong when a biased, defiant, New York County Family Court Judge, Sara P. Schechter, can continue to keep a loving mother, and her six-year-old son apart for four years, in total disregard of an Appellate Court ruling some thirteen months ago, specifically instructing her to “immediately commence visitation,” and a mandamus, several months ago commanding her to do so.

Jing Kelly, and her son Tristram,, now six, have been kept totally apart; no visitation, no telephone contact, no communication of any kind, since the child was kidnapped by Gail Hiler, nearly four years ago. Hiler who was later given custody of little Tristram, in an ex-parte proceeding, by Schechter, never intended to love or care for him. Instead, she farmed him out to live with her sister in North Carolina, and then, three years ago, sent him to her brother Douglas Kelly in California, where he has been held in virtual false imprisonment ever since.

Gail Hiler and her husband, James are each attorneys living in Larchmont. Douglas Kelly is also an attorney. Together with Judge Schechter, attorneys for ACS, and attorneys from Legal Aid, acting as law guardians, the Hilers, and Douglas Kelly have conspired to keep Jing and Tristram Kelly apart, 3,000 miles apart, for nearly four years.

No reasonable observer can deny that there is blatant bias, and prejudice at work here. The concept of “Best interest of the child,” the overarching principle against which all custody issues must be measured, is simply a ‘nonstarter’ in the courtroom of Judge Sara P. Schechter! In its stead Schechter has presided over the most outrageous ongoing denial of Constitutional and civil rights of a mother, and her young child, imaginable.

The cruelty, and the hatred that Judge Schechter not only abides, but joins, against Jing and Tristram Kelly for several years now, is born in the venomous persona of Gail Hiler, whose only purpose has been, and remains, keeping her nephew from his natural mother, as well as his maternal grandparents. The ugliness of her motives, twisted, and vicious, and clearly racial, as they are, lie etched in Hiler’s face.

That Sara P. Schechter should be acting in concert with those evil motives, violating every known principal of fairness and justice, abusing and subverting judicial resources and process, seeking only to inflict grievous injury upon mother and child, is evidence enough not only to warrant her immediate removal from this case, but also her removal from the bench. The fact that the Appellate Division, First Department has not censured Schechter is not attributable to oversight, but rather to the same old protectionist practices that keep innocent individuals locked away in our prisons, and women and children abused and impoverished by our matrimonial courts.

These protectionist practices are the more egregious in this case given the fact that all of the presumed checks and balances that should be operating in the courtroom, such as law guardians are under the direct control of
the judge, and will do precisely what the judge expects of them, even when it involves conspiracy to deny Constitutional rights. After all, they are Legal Aid attorney’s whose very employment at 60 Lafayette Street, New York County Family Court, is dependent upon ‘kissing up’ to this tyrannical judge.

In Jing Kelly’s case, there are two such collaborators in the courtroom, the second being the attorney for ACS. She is representing an agency that has a clear misconduct to shield from exposure, having unlawfully ripped Tristram from his mother when he was only weeks old, despite the fact that Jing had totally complied with Judge Schechter’s orders, and had removed the domestically abusive husband, Craig Kelly, subsequently deceased, from the marital apartment, taking the key from him. That action by ACS was in clear violation of everything Federal Judge Jack Weinstein has opined against in the typical handling by child-protective agencies of domestically abused mothers.

The psychological and emotional harm inflicted upon Jing and Tristram Kelly over the last four years can never be reversed, nor fully compensated with money damages. With each day that passes that harm grows deeper, and still the Appellate Court stands indifferently by as a misguided Judge, Sara P. Schechter, defies even their mandamus to “commence immediate visitation.”

How sad, and tragically ironic that a Chinese-American woman, who has been a citizen of the United States for some 18 years now, finds herself and her infant son, the victims of the kind of oppressive governmental activity most Americans would associate with Communist China? It is incredible that the only peaceful and sane moments that this mother and child have known together were the 18 months they spent in China, hiding from a violent and abusive husband/father, until his passing. And, it is all too obvious that the Courts of New York State, the system that the World uses as its standard in international disputes, through its Supreme Court Appellate Division, is either too impotent, or too irrelevant to bring Justice and relief to Jing and Tristram Kelly.

Fairness and humanity must now prevail where Justice has failed miserably in the unclean hands of one Sara P. Schechter. It is long past the time when the Chief Judge of the State, Judith Kaye, who would have Governor
Spitzer extend her rule, if only for 20 more months, must step forward and put an end to this unwarranted, and unlawful, torture of a loving mother and child. Failure to bring immediate relief will be further evidence of the
failure of even the Highest State Tribunal to bring about fundamental justice when the interests of innocent citizens demand action against a corrupt and tyrannical judiciary.

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