Marital Master Philip Cross - Destroying Children - Destroying Families - Destroying Lives
From the March 31, 2011 Nashua Telegraph.
|NH court overturns custody order - NashuaTelegraph.com |
CONCORD - A Portsmouth Family Court Judge was wrong to award custody of two children to a New Hampshire woman who may have coached them to accuse their father of sexual abuse, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
In a unanimous ruling written by Justice Gary Hicks, the high court ordered Portsmouth Family Division Judge Sharon DeVries to reconsider the case of James J. Miller and Janet S. Todd.
Miller, who now lives in New York, and Todd, who lives in New Hampshire, had struck up a relationship in 1999, after meeting online. They lived together for a time in both Michigan and New Hampshire, and had two daughters.
See the court's ruling below, or on the court's website: www.courts.state.nh.us/
- Andrew Wolfe
THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE ___________________________
Portsmouth Family Division No. 2009-806
IN THE MATTER OF JAMES J. MILLER AND JANET S. TODD
Argued: November 17, 2010 Opinion Issued: March 31, 2011
the trial court erred in awarding Todd parenting responsibility when she has “engaged in a sustained campaign to alienate the children from [him], and to interfere with his parenting rights, by making multiple accusations of sexual abuse.”
As we have recognized, “the obstruction by a custodial parent of visitation between a child and the noncustodial parent may, if continuous, constitute behavior so inconsistent with the best interests of the child as to raise a strong possibility that the child will be harmed.” Webb v. Knudson, 133 N.H. 665, 673 (1990); see also In the Matter of Kosek & Kosek, 151 N.H. 722, 728 (2005).
the trial court engaged in an unsustainable exercise of discretion.
trial court’s determination as to custody apparently did not take into account actions of the wife and impact of wife’s repeated lawsuits on husband’s ability to maintain contact with his children).
the false allegations of abuse significantly interfered with Miller’s visitation and deprived him of any relationship with his children for years.
mother’s attempt to deprive child of opportunity to know and love father by interfering with father’s visitation is not in child’s best interest); Theisen v. Theisen, 405 N.W.2d 470, 474 (Minn. Ct. App. 1987) (mother created and maintained atmosphere of unwarranted suspicion and accusation regarding conduct of father toward children resulting in psychological damage); C.J.L. v. M.W.B., 879 So. 2d 1169, 1178 (Ala. Civ. App. 2003) (not in child’s best interests to be raised by a mother so bitterly opposed to child’s father).
See Theisen, 405 N.W.2d at 472 (mother’s repeated attempts to alienate the children from their father and her pattern of conduct, having existed over the years, is unlikely to change);
The trial court awarded custody to Todd primarily because the children have spent the majority of their lives with her and that is where they are most comfortable.
Miller was denied any contact with his children for over two years and had little opportunity to establish a home life with them between 2004 and 2009. This raises the question whether Todd has benefitted from her misbehavior.
it was clear the court failed to consider evidence that mother willfully interfered with father’s relationship with the children
We conclude that the award of parental rights and responsibilities must be vacated and the case remanded for reconsideration in light of this opinion. On remand, the trial court must consider the factors set forth in RSA 461-A, I(e)-(g) in determining the children’s best interests in this case. Also, the court should consider the applicability of the recent amendment to RSA 461-A:6, IV (Supp. 2010). It is within the trial court’s discretion to take into consideration any additional circumstances that may have occurred while this appeal was pending.
Public record from Kenick v Kenick (there are DOZENS more in Exhibit “H” which is also public record in Case 2008-DM-184:
1. “My son-in-law, Joseph Kenick has asked that I share my observations concerning the Court proceedings and also the Petitioner’s continued attempt to deny a fair settlement for the children as well as the properties. Joe had been able to let us enjoy our grandchildren by traveling to our home in Vermont, bringing the children on camping trips to Coleman State Park, and arranging birthdays and other family events. On numerous occasions Sarah has interfered with some of those plans. I traveled to the Courthouse on the 10th of September and again on the 28th of December to testify on behalf of the children. My observation was that on the September visit which was two separate days of testimony, that although Mr. Kenick had more than six witnesses available to testify, the Court only allowed him 25 minutes of time on the day that I was there. I was told by some of the other witnesses that they had been waiting for both days and never testified. I returned to the Courtroom on the 28th of December and again found that the Court gave Ms. Kenick’s attorney more than half of the time available. My wife and I have spent time alone with the Grandchildren and occasionally the conversation would drift to how things are going at home. On several occasions, they would talk about some abusive behavior in Sarah’s house. I was very upset with Sarah’s testimony in Court in that she misrepresented statements that I had made and told the GAL so, in hopes somebody would see the light. I thought the judicial system was supposed to be an unbiased and fair system in which differences could be resolved. All that I see in this matter is an unfair and hurtful injustice to two innocent children.”
2. In a notarized affidavit dated February 5, 2011 Darrell Martin, Ms. Kenick’s own Stepfather, wrote “On the 28th of December, 2011, I testified in the divorce proceedings between Joseph Kenick and Sarah Kenick (Prescott). After I finished, Sarah was called to give her version of my statements. During her testimony I heard her telling things that I felt were not the truth. I was very upset at the things that she said and I addressed the GAL about some of the statements that Sarah had made. I told her that Sarah was not completely telling the truth. I finished the conversation by saying that I had no reason to drive 8 hours in a snow storm to not tell the truth. I would be glad to explain my observation if anyone needs more information.”
3. Darrell Martin also testified on December 28, 2010 that Petitioner’s father, who lives with her in Mr. Kenick’s home, struck Sarah’s mother so hard she required a metal plate to be surgically implanted in her jaw.
4. On June 30, 2010 I attended a hearing to testify regarding what the children had stated to me were reasons for their repeated pleas for protection and relief from Ms. Kenick and her father. Yet Marital Master Cross allowed NONE of the eleven persons present to testify, including the children’s 100 year old Great Grandmother. On February 11, 2011 I again attended a hearing to testify on behalf of the children and again Marital Master Cross refused to allow Mr. Kenick to call ANY of his twelve witnesses to take the stand while again allowing Ms. Kenick’s lawyer to repeatedly stall the entire hearing. I am also one of the several persons Mr. Kenick took as witnesses to custody transfers following the August 14, 2009 incident in what the children describe as a prepared altercation where they were forced into outgrown shoes and clothing while Mr. Kenick waited outside the home, and then Ms. Kenick and her father followed them out the door and when Mr. Kenick wouldn’t engage in an argument, Ms. Kenick’s father flew into a rage and ran into the street shouting obscenities and banging on the van with the children inside it according to the children. I am also the recipient of the Cubscout related email Ms. Kenick instigated in February of this year for which she then had Mr. Kenick arrested and jailed overnight. I understand the prosecutor said in Court he had no prosecutable case and it was placed on file. As a mother, scoutleader, and NH taxpayer, I am appalled at the lack of justice or Due Process I’ve personally witnessed in this case in the Portsmouth Family Court.”
5. Steve Jerge, the owner of the property where Ms. Kenick stalked me to seek an altercation after her August 14, 2009 attempt failed, wrote “I had never met either Mr. or Mrs. Kenick before they became our neighbors when Joseph Kenick purchased the house next door in April 2002. In October 2009 my family and I asked Joseph Kenick III if he would take care of our fish and our mail while we were away in Aruba. Mr. Kenick agreed and my family and I subsequently went on vacation. Ms. Kenick had no legal right, reason, nor permission to be anywhere on our property. Yet according to the police report of November 11, 2009, Ms. Kenick therefore trespassed on our property in order to confront Mr. Kenick. As the homeowner, Ms. Kenick had neither permission nor any legal right to be present; I hope the above clarifies the events of November 11, 2009” (when Ms. Kenick obtained a Restraining Order). He continues “I have also personally witnessed the bias and injustice of Marital Master Cross and the Portsmouth Family Court system. I repeatedly took days off of work to attend Court sessions and testify to the above as well as Mr. Kenick’s character. On June 30, 2010 I was one of eleven witnesses who attended, yet Marital Master Cross refused to let these witnesses speak. On September 10, 2010 I was one of more than a dozen witnesses to attended, yet Marital Master Cross refused to allow any witnesses to speak on behalf of Mr. Kenick or the children until the final twenty five minutes of a six hour hearing. I was also one of a dozen witnesses who came to testify on behalf of Mr. Kenick on February 11, 2011, yet Marital Master Cross again refused to allow witnesses to take the stand. As a taxpayer, I am deeply troubled by the gross bias, wasted resources, and complete lack of Due Process I have now personally witnessed in this case. Apparently rulings are only granted to those who can afford a lawyer and justice does not exist.”
6. Independent NH taxpayer and Courtroom witness Mario Izzo wrote “I am writing to you as a member of the public who recently witnessed Marital Master Cross on February 11, 2011, when he was presiding over the divorce hearing for Mr. & Mrs. Kenick. I left thinking it was nothing more than a kangaroo Court. Justices sitting on the bench should be fair and looking out for the welfare of the kids. From my own observations the only bench Marital Master Cross should be sitting on is a baseball bench. I took a day off of work without pay to testify for Mr. Kenick, because I have first hand knowledge of the complaints the children have made in repeatedly asking for relief from their mother’s custody. I could have understood not to be called, but when Marital Master Cross denied to hear any of Mr. Kenick’s witnesses, because Master Cross would let Ms. Kenick’s attorney ramble on for more than twenty minutes, is totally wrong and does not serve justice. For instance, Ms. Kenick’s attorney complained that she felt it was wrong for Mr. Kenick to go to the Stratham Police Station to pick up his children. Yet Ms. Kenick was the one who sought out Mr. Kenick to obtain a Restraining Order against him and the neighbor on whose property she did it was present to testify too and said he too was repeatedly denied even though he had attended several Court sessions. When Mr. Kenick would try to object to Ms. Kenick’s attorney’s long delay tactics, MM Cross would only say that he would have his chance to speak. When Mr. Kenick was able to speak he spoke for barely a minute before Ms. Kenick’s attorney would object and then would be allowed to shuffle papers and ramble on again so no witnesses were heard. Then Master Cross ended the day saying Mr. Kenick had the same amount of time to state his side and call his witnesses, and as I stated above no one was called despite twelve persons who sat in the Court room for the entire hearing. According to several persons present, this same injustice has been repeated by Marital Master Cross in this case time and time again. This is not a Court where both sides have a chance to present, but a kangaroo Court and Marital Master Cross should be removed from his position if the public is to have any confidence in the judicial system.”
7. Former NH AG Attorney Craig Donais wrote “I am an attorney admitted to practice law in New Hampshire. Mr. Kenick was very concerned about appearing Pro Se and retained me on a limited representation basis to sit beside him and advise him at the Final Hearing in his divorce on September 9, 2010 in the Portsmouth Family Court. I have not appeared for Mr. Kenick either prior to, or following the September 9, 2010 hearing. I understand from Mr. Kenick that the Guardian Ad Litem report was to be filed during the second week of August, but a report was not filed by GAL Jennifer Rackley until approximately a week before the scheduled hearing. In an unusual move, the GAL filed a modified report either during or immediately preceding the hearing, with substantially different allegations and information than was contained in the report from a week before. The report was not made available for review by Mr. Kenick prior to or at the hearing. Mr. Kenick requested that Marital Master Cross interview the children in camera, but he denied his request. During the hearing GAL Rackley was examined by the Respondent about her recommendations and in her testimony she indicated that she had no additional evidence to support her change of position from the report filed days earlier, nor had she investigated any of the incidents regarding abuses claimed by the children and the Respondent alleged against the Petitioner. It is my understanding that as a result of the information presented in this late GAL report that the Family Division modified the Respondent’s custody from the 50/50 shared custody arrangement which had been in effect since June 2008.”
· The Court and this public case file will also please note Respondent’s GAL related motion dated March 2010 requiring a Court order to deny GAL Rackley’s attempt to demand $140 an hour not to exceed $9000 when the Court’s February 6, 2010 order clearly stated $60 an hour not to exceed $1000 total.
8. Billie Jo Kangethe wrote a notarized affidavit dated February 14, 2011 stating “To Whom It May Concern, Joseph and Alexandra Kenick attend the Southern District YMCA Stratham after-school program on Mondays, Tuesdays, and every other Friday. They’re picked up by their father, Joe Kenick, on those afternoons between 3:30 and 4:30.” Which supports my pleas to the Court for protection from Ms. Kenick’s repeated attempts to create an altercation in front of the children two days in a row this past January.
9. I now have in my possession a notarized affidavit dated September 20, 2011 which states “I am the assistant to the Sunday School Program at Christ Church in Exeter, NH. I have personally witnessed Sarah Kenick swear at a group of Sunday school children. I also have first hand knowledge regarding the Kenick children’s repeated plea for protection and relief from Ms. Kenick’s custody. Both children have repeatedly stated they have been hit by Ms. Kenick’s father who lives with her, punished, confined to their room, denied attendance at numerous events, all while begging for protection from Ms. Kenick’s custody. On February 11, 2011 I attended the Court hearing to testify to the above when Marital Master Cross refused to allow ANY of Mr. Kenick’s twelve witnesses to testify. Where is justice for the children when Ms. Kenick’s lawyer is allowed to stall the entire hearing and the judge refuses to accept notarized affidavits or hear testimony? I was told by more than one witness in the courtroom that day that several of them have attended two, three, or more hearings, and the same injustice in the Portsmouth Family Court; and a testament to Mr. Kenick’s character, and love as a father, that he has been able to endure such prolonged injustice. For the safety and emotional well-being, SOMEONE from the Court or the State should listen to the children and immediately grant their plea to live with their father.”
NH House investigating impeaching marital master - From The Website Of The Washington Examiner
Therapist_and_Mother 1 week ago
I share my viewpoints as a therapist with decades of experience and also as a mother and grandmother who has been irreparably harmed by longstanding maladministration of court rules and violations of the law by Marital Master Philip Cross. It would take many hours to fully explain how drastically Master
Cross has injured our family over the four plus years we have been in his court and also to explain the cases from other families we've found that have been similarly harmed. Thank you to the intrepid women and men of the legislature who voted to investigate marital master Philip Cross.
mother4justice 1 week ago
I am waiting patiently for the day "Master Cross" is removed from the court system. This is the man who, Without asking one question of the mother of a 6 yr old little boy, decides to allow the estranged father to take him to a country which does not abide by the Hague Child Abduction Act.
I am a retired federal law enforcement officer with over thirty three years of service to our country on the front lines during both wartime and peacetime. I retired from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Dept. of Homeland Security in 2004. In all my long years as a federal law enforcement officer I have never seen, nor even imagined, as lawless an environment as the Portsmouth Family Division under Master Cross's dictatorial, unconstitutional and abusive rule. I write in support of HR7, a bill to investigate whether there are grounds to impeach Marital Master Phillip Cross.
It is my sincere hope and prayer for innocent children and families in our state that the legislature intervenes to stop the horribly destructive human and civil rights abuses that occur regularly at the Portsmouth Family Division by Marital Master Phillip Cross.
Master Cross's actions and rulings that are direct and extreme violations of the New Hampshire Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, established court rules, our rights to due process under the law, our civil rights, Case Law established by the Supreme Court and the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The JCC, Administrative Judge of the Family Court and the Supreme Court have continually refused to protect the public from unconstitutional violations of our laws by Master Cross and continue to only try to protect him and themselves as if they feel they are above the law. The legislature is the only and last
option left for "we the people" for protection from Master Cross. The Judiciary has failed to protect citizens and police it's ranks. The legislature is the check and balance and is constitutionally empowered to do just that.
How is any of the above justice or in the best interest of the children?