We note the long history of newspapers shielding the public from bad judges.
2012: Most recently after San Diego Judge Gregory Pollack continued to financially and emotionally cripple a sex crime victim by her husband, UT reporter Mike Gardner wrote about legislation to change that, Omitting the name of the judge responsible. After the bill rocketed through the legislature, for the Gov.'s signature, Morgan Cook writing for the North County Times, likewise omitted Judge Pollack's name from her coverage.
But the history of reporters doing so, is sadly long.
Against the public interest, the Sacramento Bee continues its decades old policy of refusing to identify the Family Court judges, first noticed by Familylawcourts.com in the Trevor Nolan case. Trevor was the little boy who first drew our attention to how deadly judges can be first, then cruel afterward. What drew our attention next, was how often the press refuses to identify judges in the cases they botch.
In Trevor's case, after the nameless judge decided on a hunch Trevor Nolan's mother was just being dramatic, he issued an order preventing Mom from being near Trevor, although she had medical training to care for his condition. After Trevor died, the judge, on anoter hunch removed custody of Mom's oldest son. This nameless judge reasoned that while Mom had been attending to the needs of Trevor, she was "probably neglecting" his older brother.
It took Mom two more years before she was to wrestle her surviving child from the clutches of the State of California.
However, and in keeping with their policy not to inform the public, when the Sacremento Bee reported the 800k settlement, the Bee did not identify the judge involved.
This policy held true in 2011, after the Samaan-Fay murder-suicide, but, "Murder is Right" family court case, although Editor Ken Chavez continued the Bee's policy of stonewalling the the public by repeatedly refusing to identify Judge James Mize as the family court judge over-seeing the Samaan-Fay custody dispute. Although we expect Chavez to continue the Bee's policy of thwarting discovery concerning the public's right to know, (which demonstrates the Bee is a media, not a journalism effort, we found out anyway.
We suggest checking your local paper to determine if the policy also includes protecting the identity of judges who make deadly mistakes.
The Riverside Press Enterprise seems to have the same policy.
When a ten year old boy shot and killed his white-supremacist, neo-Nazi father, Jeff Hall, not a single reporter covering the story identified the Family Court judge who sentenced the child's mother who had earlier alleged abuse, to no contact with her child. Prisoners have more rights. How could any reporter not identify the family court judge after writing the below:
Court records show Jeff Hall, the boy's father, had been involved in a decade-long custody dispute with Neal, his first wife.
At a January custody hearing, a Riverside Family Court judge ruled Hall would maintain full custody of the boy and his sister, who is 9.
The two siblings and Hall's three other children lived with Hall and his current wife at the Riverside house where the shooting occurred
Neal has had no contact with her children for the past six years, according to a custody order and authorities. Hall and Neal filed for divorce in 2000.
Hall won custody of the boy and his sister in 2004.
Court documents filed in the custody dispute show that Hall accused Neal of abuse and neglect. He also accused her of molesting the boy. She also accused him of abuse.
No charges were filed in connection with the allegations."
This boggles the mind. It defies belief. It is not journalism.
We continue to be amazed by the response of mainstream media. Reporters have simply not provided a credible response when asked why they do not identify family court judges. It's time to remind them:
Meet Jeanene Bonner. Well, you can't. Jeanene was murdered by the father she was so afraid of back in 2002. However, Jeanene stays with us because of the efforts this poor child made to stay alive.
Jeanene had wanted to speak to the judge in her parents custody case; Judge Aviva Bobb, so she could tell Judge Bobb how afraid she was to be with her father. After all, therapists always say to validate a child, one must listen to them.
But Judge Bobb wouldn't allow Jeanene to speak in court. Jeanene's mother suggested Jeanene write Judge Bobb a letter and she did.
Jeanene poured her heart out in a letter.
Write a better letter little girl
Later, the Court spokesperson described Jeanene's letter as "seeming contrived." He was speaking on the occasion of Jeanene's body being found and reporters were asking why Judge Bobb made the now dead, then fearful Jeanene, leave with the father she so feared. What happened to Judge Bobb?
In 2005 Judge Bobb was awarded the "Benjamin Aranda Access to Justice Award."
We wonder why Judge Bobb accepted the award.
Particularly since Judge Bobb thwarted both attempts made by Jeanene to speak to her.
Judge Bobb was the Supervising Family Court Judge for four years, from 2000 - 20004.
Apparently the Blue Ribbon panel that selected Judge Bobb wasn't aware of her part in getting a little girl killed.
So yes, Jeanene Bonner stays with us.
On to New Hampshire! Where we found Crow Dickinson! It was Dickinson, the man who held state office longer than any other person who best illuminated how disposable women and children remain. Crow, a Conway Selectman said, "Domestic Violence is a Gimmick" as he voted against spending any any town monies for a local non-profit that works with shelters, and provides support for victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. Crow Dickinson, former state representative caused an immediate uproar.
We telephoned Mr. Dickinson, and when he didn't like our questions, he hung up.
But if comments in the local paper provide a tip, old Crow has quite a history:
"I'm beginning to understand why voters sent him to Concord for so many years. They wanted to get his dinosaur ass out of town for at least part of the year."
"Dickinson, it appears, regularly "packs heat," and we don't just mean when he is taking a trip. Otherwise, the weight of a fully loaded .38 would have been a tip-off to him that there was a little something extra in his bag. The Conway lawmaker has a permit to carry a concealed weapon - for what reason we don't know. On the official state Web site, his occupation is listed as "forester." We don't know the last time someone had to use a firearm to fend off an attack by a tree."
"Crow is known to be a connoisseur of cocktails. It seems likely that may have played a role in this incident."
A hat tip to Susan the Bruce in New Hampshire, who also pointed out other problems with half the population in ofice. Bob Drinkhall. Whose Mother likely went into hiding.
"This quote from Drinkhall is in today's paper, the story, "Are the Conway Selectmen Sexist" by Andrea Osmun:
"I firmly believe people have to learn to take care of themselves," he said. Regarding two of the children's organizations he did not support, Drinkhall asked, "Why should a person who is struggling to survive and pay taxes pay for day care for someone who's not their own?"
Crow remains in office
Contra Costa Times
In November 2011, Malaika Fraley writing for the Contra Costa Times reported Wendy Hill, the former wife of Dean Click, who hid their child Jessica, then eight, from him for roughly 15 years; was, over the objections of the prosecutor, offered a plea deal by the criminal court judge. The deal offered by the judge, (identified throughout the article by Fraley as "the court") involved a sentence of probation only.
We complained about the mystery judge. The article was later amended to identify the judge as longtime Family Court Judge Susanne Fenstermacher, who is now on the criminal bench. Fenstermacher, Farley reported, "said she offered Hill the plea deal in the hope of reuniting Jessica with her estranged father. Click, she said, was "very kind and generous for not insisting on incarceration."
"I'm hoping that message gets back to Jessica," Fenstermacher said. "There's nothing the court can do to resurrect that relationship, but I'm hopeful down the road that will change."