Thursday, June 7, 2007

Our Readers Respond...

Deepest Pockets Win Over Deepest Heart

Dear Editor:

I am the aggrieved parent of three beautiful children. I have been the residential custodial parent of my children since 2002 when their father left. They were 1, 2 and 6 at that time.

I have been a loving, dedicated and devoted mother and have always put my children first. I became engaged to be remarried in 2004. The children and I were elated. We planned to move from our current apartment in Irvington to a beautiful townhome in Danbury, Connecticut.

I told my ex-spouse of these intentions in February of that year. We would be moving in late August of the same year. The children even took their father to see where their new home was being built in March. The School was notified; my ex received a report from the school stating the impending move, and a certi-fied letter was sent.
I have now lost custody of my three beautiful children. Why?

Was it drugs, abuse, neglect, alcohol? No, it was none of those. It was what happens to so many women who go to the Westchester County Supreme Court and expect the best interests of the children to be the priority.

As I write this I am plagued by warnings from the Coalition for Family Justice, my attorney, and many other sources, not to go ahead with revealing my children’s and my situation, as I will “pay the consequences for going public.” I am concerned about a system that allows a law guardian to play GOD in the lives of children she only knows in passing; a system that says, “Once you are assigned a law guardian you can never get another one
assigned to your case unless the first one dies.”

My children’s law guardian is Therese Malach. She has unilaterally torn apart the only home my children have ever known since birth. The buzz words here for her are parental alienation and personality disorder, neither of which were ever substantiated at trial before Judge William Giacomo. The reality was this law guardian coming to court with my ex-husband and leaving with him; having private meetings with him outside the courtroom; having cigarette breaks with him in the stairwell, acting as if she were his own personal attorney and treating me as the opponent, the enemy, and anything but the mother of these three children we were supposed to all be there to protect.

I have documented scores of unanswered phone calls to her and scores of unanswered emails as well. I made so many attempts at communication with this woman, almost all of which were ignored. In addition, there were clandestine meetings at her home with my ex-spouse and my children during off-business hours. This was not disclosed to the Court, and, when my ex-spouse was questioned about it at trial, he perjured himself and stated that the only place he met with her was at her office. She, in turn, suborned perjury by not correcting this on the record.

During the trial she defended my ex-spouse with more passion and ferociousness than his team of high-powered, high-charging attorneys. It was incredible to watch. She objected to any testimony that could potentially harm
him more than 300 times during the 12-1/2 day trial.

She was appointed by Judge Donovan and she then chose the forensic expert. The Matrimonial Commission clearly stated in its report to Judge Judith Kaye that there is a major need for reform in the courts, especially concerning law guardians and forensic experts. The forensic expert, by law, is to be appointed by the presiding judge, and NOT by the law guardian. This practice goes hand in hand with the ex-parte communication so prevalent with these kinds of litigations.

During my trial Judge Giacomo commented, “These are great kids. They are doing great in school. They are healthy and someone is obviously doing something right with these kids.” They had been living in my custody.

Yet, custody was flipped, and More with that my children were forced to experience what no children should
have to experience, having their lives in the hands of people who could really care less about them.

What is important here is that the law guardian has been paid by my ex-spouse tens of thousands of dollars, and she has never even tried to be impartial. She was so comfortable in her biased behavior that she would resort to such unprofessional and unethical behavior without fear of any consequence. Why don’t I report this to the Grievance Committee that oversees these court-appointed childrens’ advocates? Because I was warned about that as well. If I were to report her “...She could make my life a living nightmare and might seek supervised
visitation or worse...”.

So what can a mother do under these circumstances? She cannot go through the legal system, for that would be an exercise in futility. She cannot try to speak to the law guardian about her childrens’ new set of problems and anxieties because she might as well talk to a wall.

The real question is, how is it that in Westchester County Supreme Court deeper pockets seem to be the one sure thing that decides these issues and deeper hearts are a mere afterthought?

Who really writes these judges’ decisions? Is it the judges themselves or their clerks like Barry Swersky Judge Giacomo’s clerk? Swersky, by the way, is on quite friendly terms with this law guardian.

Who is really running our courts and making the decisions that are affecting our childrens’ lives??? It is not who you might think!

A Loving, Concerned Mother

Another Family Wrecked by Matrimonial Court

Dear Editor:

Bravo for you on the story of Weissman v. Weissman; how similar this case sounds to my own. I was the daughter-in-law of a prominent Supreme Court Judge in Manhattan who had a very long arm of connections. I was married to his son who had ongoing brain cancer and was 100% disabled for seven years following two brain operations.

The disease was heartbreaking by itself, however my husband’s abusive personality became even more profound
as the disease progressed. Although, it was documented that I was his primary caregiver, I lost custody of our three children, one of which was two years old, due to an affidavit from my father-in-law to my matrimonial judge, stating his position in life as a Supreme Court Judge on the bench for 30 years, and claiming his son was primary caregiver.

Along with his affidavit, my brother-in-law, an attorney in the county where we lived, submitted an affidavit that mirrored his father’s. My divorce case was based on a mountain of lies from the beginning. My brother-in-law, who submitted himself as a witness in the case, had a vested nancial interest, and started caring for my then-sick
husband, was admitted as co-council against my attorney’s objections. I never got nancial discovery; my children, abused while in my husband’s care, were used as pawns so that I would settle for almost nothing just to obtain custody and ensure their safety.

I lost custody of them in January of 2000 but got them back in November of 2002. Thereafter, my husband’s misbehavior continued, and he eventually got supervised visitation. I WROTE TO EVERYONE. The medical evidence subpoened to the court was overwhelming. In the end there were 12 judges in my case, and medical evidence had surfaced to my matrimonial judge who suppressed my then-husband’s mental incompetency.

I am still nancially devastated by the vast cost of ve years of litigation my case encumbered by my husband who, it has been medically documented, could not make a rational decision since 1996, since it was that part of his brain which was afflicted with cancer.

I was forced to settle with an incompetent person, who was Plaintiff in the divorce case, and by medical testimony, the divorce should not even be valid. I wrote to Jacqueline Silberman, did a grievance on four of the judges to the Commission on Judicial Conduct; wrote to the Inspector General’s office and sent 20 or more certi-fied letters to Chief Judge Judith Kaye. NOTHING HAS EVER BEEN DONE AND MY BROTHER-

Debbie Blangiardo

Reader Takes Issue With Clerk Idoni

Dear Editor:

Last week’s press release by Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni, Need A Legal Record? Westchester County Clerk Idoni Invites Residents to Visit the Legal Division, baffled many of us who are litigants before the Supreme or County Courts. The office of the County Clerk accepts the fee payments for bringing the motion papers before the Court. It is not until the papers are brought to the Chief Clerk of the Westchester Supreme
and County Courts, now on the ninth floor, and stamped with an inked relief, with those exact words from there, that the motion papers are brought before the Court.

The papers are not stamped by the Westchester County Clerk until they are led there which could be soon, or
months, or even years later. A continual melodrama of liti-gants, searching for their motion and attendant papers, are folklore to those who have had the misfortune of tracking “lost” or “missing” documents from their fille.

The premises stated by County Clerk Idoni, that he protects and maintains court records while also making available appropriate court records to those who need them, is a performance of consummate public relations.

The between times, from the Court to the clerk le room or scanned documentation, is the rub.

One Who’s Been There

Court Corruption Got You Down?

Dear Editor:

On June 5, 2007 Supreme Court Justice Gerald P. Garson will be sentenced. ‘His Honor’ was convicted
of three felonies committed in the Matrimonial Part of Brooklyn Supreme Court. Assuredly, Justice Garson is not alone in his misbehavior.

An investigation, initiated by a pregnant mother named Frieda Hanimov through the Brooklyn DA, only verified hat was deemed “a fair assumption in Brooklyn”, for too long, CORRUPTION. For his misdeeds, accepting tens of thousands in cash, lavish dinners, top shelf cigars, Justice Garson’s conviction, 15 years in prison, is the maximum sentence prescribed.

Is Westchester any different than Brooklyn? - ose of us dealing with the Matrimonial Court think not! Many of us will attend the sentencing of Judge Garson. We are intent on bringing court reform to Westchester that is too long overdue, and we will be holding a one-hour demonstration on June 11, 9-10am, at the Westchester County Courthouse.

IF you’re SICK of it, hope you will join our demonstration.

Had E. Nuph

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