by Bruce Eden –
As a fathers’ rights and family court activist for over 30 years, I’ve seen a lot of mentally unstable judges. A family court judge tells a litigant at the first hearing ever in court he and his family are troublemakers. Another family court judge jails a good father for allegedly violating a restraining order for being near the shelter where his children are because the ex-wife filed false domestic violence charges, even though it was the police that put the address of the shelter on paperwork.
Another threatens to jail a father for not paying over 100 percent of his net income to his ex-wife. Yet, another cuts the father off from his children, termination of parental rights, without any compelling state interest, just because he can. A family court judge says he’s “God in the courtroom.” One says “the Constitution is suspended in his court” even though he took a constitutional oath of office to get his job. This same judge says “he makes up the rules as he goes along.”
Family court judges routinely threaten fathers’ lawyers to force settlement or it will go badly for their client. A lawyer who tried to fight back against a corrupt family court judge loses his license and home. Judges have sexual relations with female litigants or female attorneys. Certain lawyers say they have the judges or prosecutors in their back pockets. One judge even had the audacity to tell other judges at a domestic violence training session that when giving out restraining orders, throw the man in the street and worry about his constitutional rights later.
In 2009, a state Supreme Court judge in New York City was imprisoned for taking a $9,000 bribe to fix a custody case against a fit mother, and two Pennsylvania judges were also sent to prison for 28 and 12 years in the now infamous “kids for cash” bribery scandal requiring the reversal of 4,000 juvenile convictions. A clerk did sue a family court judge in federal court for violations of the law, making him and former clerks go to his house, get his mail, get his clothes, do his shopping, etc. The clerk who sued was put into a mental institution by this judge. So clerks are too scared to report bad judges.
Today we read about a deranged airline pilot who crashed a passenger jet into the French Alps. The public is rightfully demanding better mental health accountability. In our family courts, parents and children are being subjected to mental health evaluations every day on self-serving accusations of a scorned litigant or state agency.
Such orders yield billions of dollars in fees and revenues for lawyers, mental health professionals, and bureaucrats. But what about the judges, who issue such orders like burgers at a restaurant? Why aren’t they subjected to psychiatric or other mental health evaluations upon taking their jobs and/or routinely being evaluated?
There is a potential epidemic of egregious mental disorders in the family court judicial system. It’s not just ethical misconduct being overlooked by our judicial commissions, but felonies and deranged actions of officeholders held to the highest public trust. Children are being alienated and even removed from fit and loving parents simply because an unscrupulous lawyer has a relationship with a judge. Shouldn’t judges and lawyers who profit from their misdeeds be held similarly accountable with mental health evaluations?
Bruce Eden, Director
Dads Against Discrimination (dadsamerica.org)
PUBLISHED LETTER: Mental illness abounds among family court judges April 5, 2015