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Message Board:

We need to keep the pressure on the NH Family Courts by educating the public about the numerous injustices occurring. Please feel free to send us your information for posting. I have not had any recent dealings with the court system so I do not have current information to post. The best way to deal with these unethical judges, guardian ad litems and lawyers is to post as much on them as you can so that people do not want to do business with them. I have personally known judges that have their own practices as most judges are attorneys first. Hit these people where it counts. Their wallets. Starve them out and cut off their funds. When people do not want to use their services, they will have to change their evil ways or be unemployed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Concord Monitor Article With Reader Comments Tells The Truth - Legislature must end the witch hunts

Legislature must end the witch hunts

February 27, 2011

And now, more news from the asylum that is the New Hampshire House. Last year, a small group of state representatives, prompted by complaints from men angry about the outcome of their divorce cases, tried to use the archaic "bill of address" process to remove two marital masters and a judge. They didn't succeed, but they didn't give up.

This year, four representatives, Daniel Itse of Fremont, Paul Ingbretson of Pike, Al Baldasaro of Londonderry and Carl Seidel of Nashua, asked the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether grounds exist to justify the impeachment of one of those marital masters, Phillip Cross, for maladministration and malpractice.

Their actions are an abuse of their legislative office and, as District Court Judge Edwin Kelly told lawmakers, an attempt to breach the separation of powers. It is these lawmakers, not Cross, who should be sanctioned. The full House should proceed no further with this group's witch hunt.

The lawmakers, in an inchoate collection of ambiguous allegations, accuse Cross of charges that include unfairly treating one David Johnson by denying him the ability to present evidence favorable to him and defrauding the court by altering documents. But Johnson appealed the marital master's order first to superior court and then to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and neither body found enough merit in his allegations to accept his petition for redress. And how, one might ask, can a judge be impeached for malpractice when every point in his decision was affirmed by a superior court and the Supreme Court?

The lawmakers behind the impeachment effort are acting not because the judicial process failed but because they don't like the court's decision.

More than 220,000 court cases are filed in New Hampshire every year, and in nearly every one someone is unhappy with the outcome.

"If you decide to launch a full investigation in this case based on these allegations, is it your intention that every litigant around the state who is unhappy with a decision of a judge or master will be entitled to come to this body to seek and receive a full investigation of the judge or master who made that decision? . . . Is the Legislature to become a 400-member appellate court?" Kelly asked.

Nothing would please some lawmakers more, but this kind of legislative nonsense has consequences. Cross and the other judges and marital masters under attack for doing their jobs have been forced to defend themselves at a substantial cost in time and money. The other parties in these divorce cases, including children, can't put the past behind them because a small group of lawmakers won't let them. And the House is wasting yet more time that should be spent on balancing the budget and stimulating the economy to provide jobs.

Will the zany sideshow play on until voters realize what they've done, or will the grownups remaining take back the reins?


By Mike Puiia - 02/28/2011 - 3:10 pm
The article, unlike many in the Monitor, is flawed and biased. My viewpoints are shared as a marital mediator who is trained as a guardian ad litem and a former law enforcement officer.
The judiciary has purposefully, protectively and protractedly refused to police its ranks and the legislature is, contrary to what is stated in the article, a Constitutionally empowered system of checks and balances over the judiciary and is fully vested with the ability AND responsibility to impeach judges and masters when valid grounds exists for impeachment.
The primary avenue for redress against judges and masters is the Judicial Conduct Committee. The JCC dismissed 99% of all grievances against judges and masters in 2009 and 97% in 2008. A NH attorney went on record as follows (regarding the JCC):
“Rejecting so many grievances in the last few years ‘would suggest that there is no recourse to the citizens of New Hampshire when they have a valid concern about a judge violating an ethical rule’ Stearns wrote [Katherine Stearns (Esq)]”
We have many tremendous judges and masters, however, we have some that are not. Those few unlawful ones cost children, parents, families, society, the state and our taxpayers greatly and they need to be held accountable.
The judiciary can fire a master, however, the judiciary replied recently that the judiciary has never fired any marital masters in the history of the family division.
The judiciary has failed to protect citizens and police its ranks. The legislature is the check and balance and is Constitutionally empowered to do just that.
By motherof4 - 02/28/2011 - 11:40 am
When our For-fathers set up the the constitutional process do you really think they had a Family Court or
Marital Court
in mind? Come on! Divorce is a personal decision between a Husband and Wife...now between whoever, do to same sex marraiges...which by the way wasn't an aforethought of our Constitution as well. Divorces, in my own experience, usually revolve around who "should" get what based on emotions and not what's Constitional! I agree that there is too much gray area in this system, but please..take personal responsibility and DON'T get divorced!!!
By concernedforconcord - 02/28/2011 - 9:40 am
Separation of power does not mean that the Courts and Justices are untouchable. We have a governmental system devised by the framers that also allows for checks and balances. The current judicial misconduct system for Justices and Attorneys is controlled by the Supreme Court. (No checks and balances from the Legislature or Executive branches)
Quite frankly the process is a joke. It is time the legislature rein in the courts, especially the family courts. The Justices and Masters in the family courts are allowed far too much latitude and are not given enough guidance from the people via the legislature. The Lawyers that practice in family law love this, it leads to a lot of continued fighting over issues which leads cases to be longer with more billable hours. In the "separate" judicial system there is no incentive to change because it is cash cow for all involved. There are a lot of "angry men" out there because the system is archaic, based on family structures of the 1950's, and I dare say with some of the Masters biased against men. It is time to study the system, and review the performance of the Masters and Justices. I think that if an independent review were conducted, the public would be shocked at what happens in family court.
By pclemsc - 02/28/2011 - 6:14 am
What do you do: if the marital master IGNORES two psychiatric evaluations which say that the mother is SO mentally unstable that she's a danger to her daughter, and still gives sole custody to that mother?
: if the marital master forces you into supervised visitation (at $60 an hour), in an agency run by the MOTHER'S lawyer?
: when you know that the marital master is being paid by the child support collection agency?
: when the marital master refuses to let you present evidence or witnesses?
File a complaint with the Committee on Judicial Conduct, which exists to protect the judges and masters from complaints?
Report infractions to the administrative judge (Ed. Kelly) who's known for lying to protect the profits accruing to the courts?
File a complaint with the state Supreme Court, which signed the agreement to accept money from the (Executive Branch) Child Support Collection Agency?
Or do you turn to the only other means of acquiring justice provided by the state Constitution?
Our founding fathers were wise enough to assume that the courts would become corrupt if not controlled, and provided a means of holding them accountable. The time to use that (CONSTITUTIONAL) protection has long since arrived. The Communist revolutionaries in NH are saying that the Constitution is old and out dated, but this situation proves them wrong. The court will not police itself, so the other branches have to step in and keep them honest. Forget the spineless toadies in the Executive branch. That leaves only the Legislative branch to provide Justice in NH.
By JohnKJones - 02/27/2011 - 11:19 pm
I don't care what the cases are about, nor if the plaintiff was wronged in some manner by the out come of the Divorce Proceedings. The fact remains that the Legislature is no place for Judicial recompense. If these cases went all the way to the NH State Supreme Court and were denied then there is where you have your decision. And if there are grounds to appeal then do so. But don't waste your time railing against our established system of justice.
The two parties agreed to have their case heard and they were. The process has checks and balances. Calling them corrupt has no merit unless you can prove it. And thus far it appears NO ONE has!
Going through these back door methods in an attempt to discredit and remove a sitting judge doesn't create Justice, it only demonstrates Corruption in our Legislature.
Is that what you want?
By dwjoae - 02/28/2011 - 12:53 pm
Appealing court corruption is an exercise in futility. The corruption has been proven. Now it needs to go to the level of an investigation for impeachment. You want proof, that's how to get it. The problem is the Supreme Court. Their abuses of 73-A and Family Court Rule 1.2 are the root causes of these abuses.
To say that the Legislature is corrupt because they're getting inundated with complaints of Court corruption from their constituents is not only irresponsible, it's an attempt to protect those who create the problem, and deceive everyone into thinking they have no right to Petition their Representatives.
If the Courts have harmed you because of their abuses, disregard for due process, or violations of law, then you must seek redress in the General Court through your Representative. Contact he Chairman of the Redress Committee, Rep. Paul Ingbretson.
This article is very dangerous and misleading. The abuses of the Courts are extremely numerous. The deceitful comments made by the friends of the Courts must be ignored. People did not bring Petitions forward because they didn't like the decision. The complaints are about chronic abuses by these same Judges, over and over.
The fact is that the NH Supreme Court is behind all these issues. The problems need to get fixed in the Legislature. Removing a bad Judge is the responsibility of the NH House.
By unhappygrammy - 02/28/2011 - 6:30 am
You're right, the system does have checks and balances. Checks and balances that are NOT being followed. As for being able to prove the corruption, that's why we have the Redress Grievance Committee.
No-one else cares about the abuses carried out by our system. The Judicial conduct committee won't do anything. They stand by their own, the same way the Attorney Discipline System stands by it's own AND the Administrative Appeal's Unit stand's by it's own. Our Constitution gives us the right of Redress when we've been abused by the system. The right the Democrat's took away while they ran the state. The Redress Grievance Committee is a part of our Constitution, to keep our government in check.
By Duane - 02/27/2011 - 11:06 pm
Were it not so, but these "witch hunts" are turning up some real magical thinking among marital masters and domestic-relations judges. Namely, that they will get away with their sloppy and irresponsible methods. These courts consistently make no rulings on evidence; they are exempted from this cumbersome problem of dealing with facts. They regularly ignore due process, because they can. The first official rule in domestic relations: all other rules are optional. Check it out on their website. This is their actual Domestic Relations Rule No. 1. These courts routinely take children away from loving parents, because the rules of ex-parte procedure give them that ability, to take children "temporarily" for years or forever.
It is a gift from God that finally average citizens have realized the evil that is being done to children. In the '80s and '90s we had the childcare scandals, in which adult daycare providers were incarcerated for years on faulty convictions, to protect the children. Those same methods have been expanded to family law: false allegations, refusal to consider evidence, children being forced by mentally parents to make false statements, money being transferred by the victims to court officers (GALs).
The editors of this fine paper are sadly confused and ill informed. I dare them to sit in on the hearings, interview any of the people coming forward to voice a grievance, and do a full investigation of the situation. You will find a pattern of judicial misconduct that staggers the imagination as to its breadth.
I dare you.
By US CITIZEN - 02/27/2011 - 10:31 pm
Smearing the names and reputations of WE THE PEOPLE WHO STAND FOR THE CONSTITUTION, mocking the rights of WE THE PEOPLE to utilize the redress of grievance commitee and degrading WE THE FAMIILIES --the hard working Men and Women, Parents and Families who have been screwed by the system into "just a bunch of angry men" could only mean that those bad apples don't like it when WE THE PEOPLE speak because it upsets the apple cart and could reveal serious PROBLEMS in the Family Courts, in the Family Division and could show that there have been legal determinations in which "Just" has been absent from "Justice, "negatively affecting WE THE PEOPLE, WE THE PARENTS, WE THE CHILDREN, AND WE THE FAMILIES: Parents losing their parental rights because children have been made into a money making "commodity" by a For Profit state agency, parents and children having their civil rights seriously violated, and the Family Courts being paid to direct this unethical circus IS WHY the redress grievance committee is being utilized. So, to protect the unethical circus and those bad apples, there's reference to a "witch hunt"...The real witch hunt is the muddying of the Reputations of THE PEOPLE who really do care about WE THE PEOPLE, such as Daniel Itse , Paul Ingbretson of Pike, Al Baldasaro and Carl Seidel and of David Johnson. And the real "asylum" is the chaos that has resulted from those who don't practice our Constitution! Thank you Dan, Thank you David, Thank you Al, Thank you Carl! It's time to make some apple sauce of out those bad apples
By unhappygrammy - 02/27/2011 - 8:51 pm
Your article is way off base. This isn't just about angry men. It's about mother's, father's, grandparent's and even foster parent's who are fighting the injustices of the corrupt NH court system AND the corrupt DCYF. The State Reps. you degrade in this article are the only people trying to stop the injustice and abuse.
Is it legal and ethical for a Judge to deny evidence which proves innocence? What about a Judge who grant's adoption illegally, without terminating the father's right's? What about a Judge who denies a father paternity testing? What about the Probate Judge who writes lies in his decision, ignoring testimony and evidence in court and terminates a parent's right's unlawfully? And the Supreme Court is no better. They go right along with the lies of the Probate Judge.How about the Judge who states, "it's too bad if your child was taken illegally. It's too late because you didn't file a De Novo appeal." Are you aware parent's aren't even told they can file this appeal and the parent's who know about it are refused by their court appointed puppet's, who state the court is their boss. The same puppet's that the NH Judges refuse to let the parent fire?
All this corruption start's with Judge Kelly and goes up the ladder from there. So yes, I am extremely proud the Redress Grievance Committee. No-one else will look out for the people of NH. We voted the right people into office! They are working for us. Not the corrupt court's!
By stooge3982 - 02/27/2011 - 5:44 pm
Two things I have learned from reading these comments and the Letters to the Editor in the Monitor is that A: Nobody in this _____ state agrees with anyone else, and B: there isn't a single _______ ________ that has a solution. Civility? HA!! _____ that. Until the republican tea party _______ and the democratic ______ actually come up with some solutions to the issues, and understand that the ________ State House is NOT the place to ______ around with personal vendettas, the trip to hell in THIS handbasket is going to be a _________ short one.
By dwjoae - 02/27/2011 - 3:28 pm
The clever diversion is the belief that the JCC has any Constitutional power at all. They dismiss up to 99% of the complaints. They can make recommendations. They can't do anything.
This whole problem came about because the Judicial Branch is not accountable to the people via the JCC. All that power and authority lies within the NH House. If one has been wronged by the Courts, the venue for recourse is not to complain to the same Branch. The JCC is part of the Judicial Branch.
Anyone who has been wronged by the Government has the right to file a Petition for Redress of Grievance in the General Court through their Representative under Articles 31 and 32 in the NH Constitution.
A few years ago, Chief Justice Brock faced impeachment proceedings along with Justice Thayer. Both stepped down. Justice Coffey of the alleged JCC, faced impeachment, then stepped down.
Recently, a State Representative stated he would file for the impeachment of Judge Lawrence.
Currently, there is Legislation to commence investigating Master Cross for impeachment. Judge Sadler conspired with Master Cross as she rubber-stamped all his abuses.
For this Editorial to call this a witch hunt is extremely irresponsible and deceitful. This isn't supposed to be about gender or political party. It's about clean and responsible government without corruption.
Every Court employee gets an unpaid day off every month because the Family Division under Judge Kelly is literally killing the entire Judicial budget. The complaints against Cross are impressive, reprehensible and numerous from many.
By TaxiManSteve - 02/27/2011 - 3:06 pm
Experienced Rep Shawn Jasper tried, and lost two committee positions as a result. If he was marginalized for challenging the Tea Party's high priests and the NewBees (and save his party's majority from the growing backlash,) it doesn't look good for sanity to reappear until this reign comes crashing down and Jasper and his ink and/or even opposition party members are left to pick up the pieces....
By dwjoae - 02/27/2011 - 1:40 pm
Seriously, the writers of this article only got the ENTIRE story wrong. If they weren't so busy being the mouth piece of the corrupt Courts, they might have interviewed the parties involved.
The Bill of Address hearings involved a nearly 50/50 combination of men and women, not a bunch of angry men.
Cross caused me to spend ten weeks in jail to produce money I didn't have or owe in child support, after my Attorney filed Findings of Facts and Rulings of Law, three times, yet Master Cross ignored each.
The specific appeals mentioned by the authors never happened.
The lawmakers behind the impeachment effort are there for the fact that a Marital Master is not allowed to hold a Criminal Contempt hearing, lie, call it a Civil Contempt Hearing, and jail me while I had the majority of custodial time and the same income as my ex-wife.
The evidence that Cross prevented was the DCYF and HHS Ombudsman's reports proving that it was the mother who was harming the Child.
Where is the mention of the fact that the Child's PCP and Therapist each appeared in Court to get the Child home to her father after her mother willfully disobeyed the Doctors causing enormous health problems?
This Newspaper made absolute idiots of themselves with this article.
Citizen's Commission studied the problems with the Courts, in 22 surveys at 11 locations across the State, it revealed the terrible abuses of Judge Ed Kelly's Family Division created 3 times more complaints than all other Courts combined. Every Court worker takes unpaid days off because Ed Kelly is red inking the entire Judicial Budget.
By nhresident1 - 02/27/2011 - 3:39 pm
Republicans="Clowns." All they need to do is wear oversized shoes and big red noses. Every time these three open their mouths, one is left with a snap visual of a Marx Brothers routine being played out in hi definition. Bet none of them can do a cartwheel.
By DZ - 02/27/2011 - 10:06 am
And these came from a judge. "I don't care what you have to say" and "we're going to do it this way" when stating support was not determined following the RSA, also, "no fraud here" when a decision was based on proven false facts.
Or there is assigning a GAL, who previously worked for my ex and said, "I don't like what you do for a living" in the hour I was allowed with him, the one who NEVETR checked any of the references I gave him.
Or how about being ordered to therapy even after 2 separate independent ones said it was not needed and would be fraud to charge my insurance for it. Only to be sent to one by name whose license was "terminated" by the state. Take a guess what Judge Kelly's wife does for a living.
The "story" fails to point out, that the court put out a warrant for David Johnson in an attempt to prevent him from testifying to the legislature, dragging him out of the hearing.
If Kelly can clean up his corrupt courts, maybe there wouldn't be any need for such legislation, just ask him how many cases are reviewed for accuracy and what the criteria would be to do so.
By JosephSHaas - 02/27/2011 - 11:31 am
Thanks D.Z. for reminding me of this. Re: what you wrote of: "The "story" fails to point out, that the court put out a warrant for David Johnson in an attempt to prevent him from testifying to the legislature, dragging him out of the hearing." I was there that day to witness this, and that this is a tactic that was used before that too.*
In 199__ or early 200__ Concord State Rep. Jean Wallin, former State Liquor Commissioner, sponsored a House Bill #____for me dealing with "Contempt of Court", but before I could testify to that I was arrest for contempt and sentenced to 5 months and 29 days.
Why the odd number? Because that the Federal policy of not being allowed a trial by jury on a "petty" offense, that the state judiciary has adopted by policy over-ride of to the max as prescribed by the law in Articles 22+23 to only up to a limit of ten (10) days.
By C. dog e. doGy - 02/27/2011 - 9:47 am
there would be so much turmoil regarding love and marriage. Gee, most everyone here writes of the hallowed contract this institution provides between man and wife, wife and wife, man and man, with more combinations to be named at a later date. Yet, when asked for the terms, and the conditions under which the terms apply for this contract, I here crickets, I here crickets through the niiiiight.
Now if the good people of the Grate State of NH were adults, they could form the terms and conditions for their nuptial bliss all by themselves, or maybe enlist help from one of the slithering lawyers unsuccessful in catching up to the ambulance. But of course, this would have deleterious effects on employment within the Grate State because then "we" would lose our marital malaise industry. Such are the vagaries of love and marriage, and those who wish to control it.
– C. dog: blissfully free of contractual companionship, but regularly enjoys free association with females
By cmmb - 02/27/2011 - 9:23 am
Keep up the good work Rep Itse
Its nice to see someone in the legislature consistently push for accountability and constitutional government.
I applaud your efforts to ensure that the State and Federal Government stick to the jobs that we the people contracted them to do in the US/NH Constitutions and NOT ONE BIT MORE!.
More Government not only costs more but inevitably results in Less Freedom and Liberty.
Keep up the good work Rep Itse
By sailmaker - 02/27/2011 - 8:46 am
"more news from the asylum"
After the shooting in AZ....... the liberals and the Concord Monitor called for civility
They just do not want it to apply to Liberals
By susanthe - 02/27/2011 - 8:01 pm
by watching you. The party of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Jack Kimball shouldn't be wagging pious fingers at anyone.
By Gary Dickinson - 02/27/2011 - 7:49 am
with crap flying out when anyone walks by.
By Tim Oliver - 02/27/2011 - 8:12 am
Yes,there is a lot of that to clean up from the last batch of residents.
By wss1 - 02/27/2011 - 6:54 am
But to call the last cadre of financially irresponsible panderers "adults" stretches credibility.
Those members of the asylum spent us into almost a billion dollars in debt, denied they spent so much, made up revenue numbers, found "surpluses" (right before an election,) tried to use gimmicks to get their grubby hands on more money, concocted economic figures to justify their spending and ballooned debt in the name of "social fairness."
In essence, knowing they had limited funds, they still spent in deficit.
I wish the House would focus on the fiscal, but to insinuate they are any less "adult" than the dolts they replaced igores reality.
At least this bunch is not costing us as much for their whims.
By susanthe - 02/27/2011 - 7:59 pm
this bunch isn't costing us as much, you aren't paying attention.
Expanding the death penalty, drug tests for food stamp recipients, Itse's Army, joining the lawsuit against the health insurance giveaway bill, diverting the Suncook River - just to to name a few.
Oh, and don't forget the minder they had to hire for O'Brien so he'd stop stepping in it - that's $75,000 a year.
By Honest Abe - 02/27/2011 - 6:43 am
Daniel Itse of Fremont, and, Al Baldasaro of Londonderry are two of the most outrageous members of the NH Asylum, formerly known as the state legislature. Itse can be pleasant while he stabs the knife in your back; Baldasaro is just plain nasty. Neither one have offered anything worthwhile and neither one deserve an ounce of respect. They would have fit in well in 1692 Salem, MA.
By unhappygrammy - 02/28/2011 - 1:12 pm
The only witch trial's in this state are brought on by DCYF and our justice system. Because Dan and Al want Justice for their constituent's, you go against them. It's all about the money. Do you honestly think the Redress Grievance Committee would be putting themselves out on a limb if they hadn't seen all the proof of wrongdoing against the families of NH? No-one else will fight for justice. We finally have good people who will. When families walk into court in NH fighting for their children, it is a Salem witch trial!
By JosephSHaas - 02/27/2011 - 6:04 am
Monitor Staffers:
Your "command" of the English language is impressive to the point of being ridiculous.
As in that expression of: "liars figure, but figures don't lie."
IF you had been there at any of these hearings and/or read this Article 32 complaint you would have heard Howie Zibel, the lobbyists for the court system, talk about a judge out west who sentenced one man to twenty (20) years of incarceration, when the max by statute was half that to only ten (10) years and so the common denominator of mathematics NOT to apply here!? You have got to be kidding me!
Cross did sentence Johnson for contempt; to #___ weeks, when the law reads by Articles 22_+3 of the New Hampshire Constitution, Part 2 that the limit is up to a maximum of ten (10) days in jail. As compared to only 24 hours according to the constitution of the state of Indiana.
And so using the "Veronica Silva" case-law of the mid 1980s of when she was unlawfully serving time too, per her complaint by Attorney Andru Volinsky to the RSA Ch. 541-B:1-23 State Board of Claims, this judge before any removal from office ought to have a "moietty" or half of his salary or retirement attached and taken to pay the $2,500 per day x #__ days over the 10-days = $whatever as his penalty.
A check and balance from outside the Brotherhood of the Bar.
By kraftypat - 02/27/2011 - 3:36 am
in the New Hampshire Legislature. We never hear anything that is reasonable and even remotely sounds like it was expressed by a grown-up in the latest group of bills that have been submitted. Where are they hiding? Why aren't they submitting more reasonable bills? Why aren't they reining in these "Johnny or Janey come latelies?"
Pat Kraft

1 comment:

  1. To call it a witch hunt is the pot calling the kettle black

    If you stand up for your rights you’re a bunch of angry men. The truth of the matter is the court system in NH is biased. There is corruption and cover up at all levels and anyone that doesn’t think so is a fool. I was told by an attorney prior to going in front of Master David Forrest that he was biased against men. Another attorney stated that Judge Arnold favors men. The system is screwed up folks. It is just plain broken and needs to be fixed. Marital Master David Forrest would not accept key evidence in regards to my ex-wife’s mental condition during my divorce. Maybe Master David Forrest can explain to my kids why their father can’t be anything more than a pay check. Maybe Master Forrest can sit down with my kids and teach them about parental alienation. He can use their father for an example. He can discuss how their mother has turned them against their father and how he has actually rewarded their mother for doing so by never holding her accountable for any of her actions in court.