Misconduct Charges Against Family Cou...

Misconduct Charges Against Family Court Judge Michael Livingstone

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“Family Court Injustice”

Since: Jan 08

cohasset

#1 Jan 6, 2008
Seeking your help and support creating public awareness of abusive judicial practices in our courts - particularly regarding Judge Michael J. Livingstone, Plymouth County Family and Probate Court.

Judge Livingstone appointed in 2002. In his 5 years he has the following distinctions

1. The most appealed Justice in the Commonwealth - 54 cases per http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/search_judg ....

2. The first Justice in the Commonwealth in approximately 20 years to have misconduct charges filed against him by the Supreme Judicial Court - See Boston Globe article
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/200 ...

3. Sending an innocent man to jail. See: WVCB Boston Channel.com story at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/14763949 ...

4. The highest contempt incarceration of any Judge in New England (according to blogger Chris of Needham Ma on blog found at topix.com/city/newbedford

I am compiling an archive of articles and cases for the press and public to use in creating awareness/pressure for the Judge to resign. Case docket numbers and personal identities will be held in the strictest confidence unless use is authorized or required by the Governor's office/appointee for verification.

I hope that by focusing on the obvious need for discipline with Judge Livingstone, collectively we may be able to influence broader action in our Judicial system. To raise the bar on professionalism and to insist on enforcing the Justices directive to make decisions in the best interest of the children of every family as provided for in our current set of laws.
If you have personal experience in Judge Livingstone's court, or know of someone who is willing to contribute, please ask them to do one or more of the following:

1. Send a letter to the Governor citing the injustice witnessed/experienced. cc Press and cc me at:
Jane Smith UPS Box
759 CJC Hwy Rte 3A #263
Cohasset, MA 02025

or [email protected]

Please provide me with an email address to keep you informed.

2. Break the silence and SHARE! Tell the stories of those who have been damaged by Judge Livingstone's bad decisions. Get over the insecurities and lack of confidence caused by his abuse - turn it into strength and focus.

3. Check in and participate in as many blogs about this topic as possible. See: http://seekingjustice4mafamili esandchildren.b...

4. Check in at www.ma.gov/cjc "press releases" regularly to learn of the hearing date, location and be at the hearing. Bring support in the form of friends and family.

THANK YOU in advance for caring enough to read this, hopefully participating in our efforts to expand awareness thus influencing action.
Keep in touch at http://seekingjustice4mafamili esandchildren.b...
mom loses rights

AOL

#2 Jan 8, 2008
It appears someone must have complained to topix about this site. This is what happens when people complain to them. They basically delete all the comments that were made then starts all over again I know there were at least ten comments on this site with info we were providing each other with.
Jane Smith

Marshfield, MA

#3 Jan 8, 2008
I'm keeping copies of the dialogue in Word.

If you look under Cohasset Ma you can see the entire dialogue.

Interesting. A gentleman named Mike (bold type) nickname Ironman (grey type) visited the New Bedford site. He copied the initial posting seeking assistance in quotes, but never left a comment.

Our esteemed Justice is nicknamed Ironman for sending dead beat dad's to jail. I don't see a problem sending true deadbeats to jail. The problem is when a Judge not only sends one innocent father to jail, but seems to make a game out of finding ways to manipulate and abuse the laws in an effort to punish those he simply doesn't like for whatever reason.

Unfortunately one Judge often influences another.

Let's see how much press we can influence. One or two people complaining isn't enough. I'll catalogue information, try to summarize and publish, but just one or two voices will not be heard. Perhaps attorney's who have seen too many of their client's families ruined, or other Justices who can comment anonymously here can offer productive suggestions for not only removing Judge Livingstone, but getting beyond him to a system that truly allows for ongoing judicial review.

P.S. I read what I think is your email - powerful. Haven't figured out how to respond yet. It brought tears. Will take that discussion off line.

Meantime, keep up dialogue wherever you can. You are doing the best you can for your children. Someday they will know your struggle for them and how much you love them.
mom loses rights

AOL

#4 Jan 8, 2008
The sad part is, NO ATTORNEY that has to go before Judge Livingstone nor any other judge will come forward. They have a living to make and won't jeopardize that. The proof is in the pudding that one judge follows a previous judges lead. That is what makes matter even worse. I mailed you the complaint form this morning along with my return address.
mom loses rights

AOL

#5 Jan 8, 2008
Quite strange we just started conversing and in the mail today I received the standard letter from Commission Against Judical Conduct stating that my complaint is currently being reviewed. This complaint was mailed in October. Like they may do something. By the way, what ever was the penalty or punishment for Livingston when he was found guilty regarding his unclaimed realty business and threatening a tennant of his on Judical letter head? Weren't those under the catagory FELONY?
Jane Smith

Manchester, NH

#6 Jan 8, 2008
I sent a letter to the Governor and a few others in Novemeber. It may have raised more eyebrows - may have had zero impact. No reply to date.

It may take them months to review every complaint. Could be a much bigger volumn than even we hope.:-)

Could also be lots of other things.

Now that I've learned we have year to complain, I too will be submitting at least one complaint - if the hearing isn't scheduled in the next few months or Judge Livingstone hasn't decided to pursue an alternative career path by then.

It's a lot less expensive than trying to go before him again for any good, valid reason even with the most complete substantive, verifiable evidence.

There may be - don't know yet, still learning - hope of having a new Judge assigned if the complaint is so obvious they have to do something in the name of justice.

We'll see.

Thanks for sharing. Hopefully others are reading and learning from/with us.
eric

Brooklyn, NY

#7 Jan 20, 2008
http://www.jurisimprudence.com/

File Criminal charges against the judge. you'll ge this attention then.

Civil suits don't work against corrupt courts officials.
Dont think so

Danbury, CT

#8 Feb 29, 2008
I like Judge Livingstone - he takes no BS and hold all parents accountable. Each person involved with DOR and support garnishments is responsible to keep an eye on it - apparently some people think they don't? If the pizza shop owner was not making the payments, the man should have spoken to the owner, DOR, and the court, the pizza owner was stealing, but ulitmately, support is not the owner's responsibility, it's the fathers.
Perhaps had the father been responsible in making payments in the first place DOR would not even have been involved in garnishments.
Judge Livingstone is fair and thorough, and in fact, as a custodial mother, I've been on the shorted end of the order, with my children's father getting the benefit of the doubt on more than one occasion, and in fact, gets back every penney he pays in support, in his taxes, as he gets to claim most of the children - Per Livingstones' order.
It's more about accountability and accepting ones responsibility towards their own self and family.
And, it's not just fathers - I've seen him sentence women too.
Some people should just suck it up and move on already - they had kids, they have to be responsible for them AND themselves.
Dont think so

Danbury, CT

#9 Feb 29, 2008
Jane Smith -

I'll write a letter to the Gov too - telling him Livingstone is a breath of fair fresh air on the bench!

People that complain, are usually the ones that have been ruled against. Well I've been ruled against too, but I stil think he's fair and a good Family Court Judge.

Jane

Bennington, VT

#10 Mar 1, 2008
It would be terrific if you would share a positive story about this Judge!!!

Can you cite even one specifc example where he actually accepted all the evidence, treated both sides with respect, evaluated the circumstance and made impartial, equitable findings? If you can, then we will finally have a case to use as an example of how he and others should conduct themselves on the bench.

You're so right in asserting the widely held stereotypical thought that only those hurt will complain. If those who have not been direcltly hurt get oustide of their boxes and realize they too are indirectly hurt - our society as a whole would benefit. There would be less need for repeat court appearances etc. Gee, taxes could be directed to more community services - whoa!

Consider the impact to your very own taxes as you pay for more Judges, court staff, building new couthouses and jails because a Judge sends innocent people to jail doesn't hear evidence indirectly creating a need for more court appearances. The need for more social and non profit services increase as children require psycological help and need special attention at school, parents lose livelihoods, teachers school advisors and medical providers deal with more stress not just in parents, but with children - the long term health effects on children is heartbreaking. Long term effects on our communities is largely ignored by folks - probably a lot like you - unwilling, yet very capable, of looking at the bigger picture.

If you really are a responsible person and want to help this Judge, educate yourself and try to educate him.

You can begin by reading the posts at.
http://seekingjustice4mafamiliesandchildren.b...

Also be sure to click on links to the Commission on Judicial Conduct - learn how a Judge is to conduct themselves on and off the bench. Read the charges against Judge Livingstone.

Please share your letter publicly - with us too. We'd love to be able to show both sides of the Judge - if it truly is possible.

Please copy [email protected] THANK YOU!!
UNFAIR TREATMENT

United States

#11 Mar 8, 2008
I have been dealing with Judge Livingstone for 3 years and he is the most biased person I have ever come against !! Everything thing that my ex asked for he got and believe me some of the things are completely unreasonable. Livingstone did not want to hear anything that I had to say and even court ordered me so that I can not leave the state. Not only does he continue to make my life miserable but he has also been torturing a couple of other people that I have met along the way. My own lawyer was scared of him and another I spoke with told me that thsi judge does not like women. A person that I talked to that worked in a law office told me that he is all for the men and if you try to get moved to a different judge he will make your life a living hell.
Jane

Bennington, VT

#12 Mar 9, 2008
Your anger and frustration is likely justified - but it may also be in your way of taking actions that can help make change.

Have you filed a complaint yet? If he did not allow evidence, or forced you to stay in MA without reasonable cause, or obviously ignored some law or canon of judicial conduct - you can file a complaint.

Most of the attorneys and "victims" I've talked with agree that he is not gender biased. Rather, he is all about process, all about fostering the more combative, assertive, character bashing style of lawyering. So, if your lawyer was acting in good faith towards achieving balanced results truly focused on the best interest of your children - and the opposing attorney was all about the money and winning at all costs - well, in Judge Livingstone's court, you and the children are irrelevant - the entire community loses. Judge Livignstone plays political favoritism exceedingly well.

FYI the public hearing on misconduct charges against him is scheduled for May 19th - please be there. Full article released March 5th by Lawyers Weekly - probably in this week's print issue. Follow the press for more details or keep checking in at www.gov/cjc - Eventually they have to issue a press release with details.

FYI this Friday - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - is the 11th annual conference on Family Law. Keynote speaker is addressing family law in the 21st Century - changing family dynamics, children's rights. Final session of the day is about over advocating - winning for your client at all costs vs. children's rights. If you can attend, please do. Details at: www.mcle.org

FYI back to the public hearing on misconduct, Mr. Ray Hotte who filed the misconduct charges, former best friend and business partner of Judge Livingstone will be there, John Ciarli innocent Dad sent to Jail that maade TV news in December is likely (not confirmed) to be there, at least 2 women who's children are being physically abused by their ex-s (Judge ignoring even DSS reports) will be there... and many more. Please do what you can to attend.

Thank you for keeping the issue alive in topix.
Eileen

Plymouth, MA

#13 Mar 10, 2008
I just found this, and I am amazed at how many people are complaining about Judge Livingstone...He is my Judge, and I want a different Judge, but have been advised not to. He has been biased towards me and my girlfriend. He is the Judge on both of our divorces, and has been awefull. How about this one, he has recently changed my ex's visitation to allow him to have them every two weeks for 3 days, which rotate, and he only lives in a one bedroom apartment. The Judge thought it was a wonderfull idea. My ex just wants his weekends off, and is not putting the kids first, and he allowed this. He is NOT putitng the kids first and I know this because he has NOT ever found my ex in contempt, even though he hadn't paid things that he was ordered to. I would love to know how to final complaints against him, and get him off the bench, I think he is a woman hater...
Eileen

Plymouth, MA

#14 Mar 10, 2008
Jane,
A friend of mine wrote a letter about what was happening on my case, she sent it to the govenor, local legislators, and of course the Judges who work with Livingstone, BUT nothing ever came of it. My ex was allowed to have the visitaion he wants, NOT what is good for our kids....Is there anything else I can do? I have 7 kids, and the Judge has NOT given me a fair shake at this divorce thing, and I have NO money, NO job, NO skills, but my ex can do whatever he pleases./...I don't get it, I don't get the system either...The child support guidelines only go up to 3 kids, so after that for my other 4 kids, I get an extra $64 for them, NOT per child, for ALL 4.....How am I supposed to feed them, clothe them??? Thank god I have a wonderfull girlfriend who bought us a house, but the funds are running out and we are now drowing financially, and my children will be the one's to suffer NOT their dad..HELP me....Thank you for you time.
Jane

Bennington, VT

#15 Mar 10, 2008
Hi Eileen.
1. You can't get another Judge in MA - even if the Judge is in fact highly prejudiced against you.

You can ask him to recluse himself. He then has to go into his chambers and perform what is essentially a "self-test". If he decides he doesn't need to remove himself from your case - he stays, you're stuck.

If he does remove himself – you may get one of the other Judges who likes to follow in the footsteps of the original Judge – you’re stuck again.

2. History with this Judge indicates he is highly prejudiced usually against one or the other party – but not due to gender.

This Judge tends to take sides with the attorney who pushes the process the strongest, and who is most skilled at character bashing/defamation.

If the character bashing, process focused attorney is truly skilled – all sight of your children, their needs, the ability of the father to provide, the language and intent of child support guidelines will be ignored. Evidence too will be ignored.

3. The letter to Governor and officials is good – but will not be enough. You must also file a formal complaint with the Commission on Judicial Reform, you can try to register a complaint with the Board of Bar Overseers – they don’t take complaints readily.

Keep copies of your complaints and follow up to be sure they received them. Follow up a month later to learn status.

For a complaint form and the process, as well as the rules of judicial conduct go to

www.ma.gov/cjc Click on file a complaint – it’s free.

Unfortunately you have little hope with this Judge, and almost no attorney who is in their right mind will truly be able to help you succeed in attaining justice. If Judge Livingstone doesn’t like you, you will certainly feel the pain of financial ruin, the inability to have your children provided for as required by law will quickly become (if it hasn’t already) irrelevant.

FYI – Mark your calendar. Judge Livingstone’s misconduct charges will be heard in public on May 19th. Details have yet to be published, but the CJC website has to post a press release eventually. For the latest article see this week’s issue of Lawyer’s Weekly.

So, if he resigns before then, or is asked to resign after the hearing you and so many others may have hope that a truly unbiased Judge may replace him. The new Judge will have quite a busy schedule with everyone trying to be heard – this time for real, with respect, and with an eye for the best interest of the children.

Good luck. Keep in touch.
Eileen

Plymouth, MA

#16 Apr 7, 2008
Can anyone tell me why Livingstone is still on the calendar for May 19th? Does he have special privligaes and doesn't have to go to court? I thought his trial was on the 19th? I have to go back in front of him because I got screwed in my divorce, and I need to ask for it to be reconsidered...AHHHHHHHHHHHH I am not looking forward to that with all that has already happened in my case...
Eileen

Plymouth, MA

#17 Apr 8, 2008
Dont think so wrote:
Jane Smith -
I'll write a letter to the Gov too - telling him Livingstone is a breath of fair fresh air on the bench!
People that complain, are usually the ones that have been ruled against. Well I've been ruled against too, but I stil think he's fair and a good Family Court Judge.
HE may be fair sometimes, BUT NOT all of the time...Do you think it is fair to take 7 kids and change their visitation with their dad, just because the dad wants it to NOT be on weekends? Now the 7 kids ages 13-3 yr old twins have to sleep on the floor in a one bedroom apartment, 20 minutes away from their schools, and get up extra early to go to school, is that fair for the children??? NO only for the selfish father who NO longer wants to do weekends, because he has a girlfriend, and she does NOT really like kids....
Is it fair to tell me my girlfriend can pay for my kids??? Is is fair that I am forced into debt because the father doesn't have to give me anymore, I can't go to work with 7 kids, daycare would be more than I would make.....Tell me where Livingstone is fair in my case??? Is it fair that child suppport guidelines only go up to 3 kids, so my other 4 get penalized....What is fair???
Jan Smith

United States

#18 Apr 17, 2008
Eileen
Not a problem anymore. He's gone. Like he never should have been appointed. But of course all politics. Now maybe alot of bad carma will come his way. What goes around comes around. Wonder how he is sleeping at night? You'll never see him again. Isn't that wonderful. God is good.
Jane Smith Org

Marshfield, MA

#19 Apr 18, 2008
Just to clarify - someone is trying to confuse you.

Jane Smith Org is not submitting, and will not engage in, commentary at the level of whoever is impersonating us as Jan. Beware public blogging - a lot of angry people out there. Unfortunately some are so angry they undermine the credibility of those who are actually making a difference on their behalf.

Yes, Judge Livingstone resigned. It's all over the papers, on radio, but not TV.

Unfortunately this one Judge resigning is but one step in the right direction. We still have a lot of work to do on helping us, the public at large, help ourselves. We need to help more people learn their rights; learn the responsibilities of attorneys and judges and how to file legitimate complaints when attorneys and judges do bad things.

We need to get the fear of reprisal and retaliation for following and upholding the law in an honest straight forward manner out of the system. We need to allow our attorneys to truly advocate for the best interest of the children of this Commonwealth. Motivate them towards more positive, equitable outcomes.

Too bad the Judge resigned. His public hearing would have done much to gain press and coverage of the real issues impacting our courts and communities today.

Jan, you are clever enough to try and disguise yourself as us. If you are truly clever, I suggest you stand up and use your own alias or real name on these blogs. You don’t need to hide behind or steal somebody else’s identity. And don’t even think about trying to undermine the efforts of this group. We are strong, public and have great credibility because we work hard every day helping everyone we can in whatever way we can. SOmetimes we can't do much, but we say so. You too benefit or you wouldn’t be trying to pretend you are one of us. How dare you attempt to undermine our small impact on influencing the Judge to make the right decision.

Public awareness, via Jane Smith Org. or otherwise, and the fact that it is only just begun to grow is certainly one of the deciding factors in this case. If you have any hope of us truly making a bigger difference, stand up for yourself, work with not against us.

You can start by offering your public apology to us.

Thank you.
Eileen

Plymouth, MA

#20 Apr 18, 2008
Hi Jane,
I am disapointed that he cut a deal, I am glad he is gone, but there is still a fight out there. Can you tell me what I should do now? I need to get my divorce looked at, I have been told by several attorney's it isn't a fair divorce, I have filed for a reconsideration, at the advice o the attorney of the day, but some of the advice was wrong and my ex's lawyer is pulling it apart. Do you know what happens to my motion now, who will look it over? I need to do everything in my power to fix this, my kids are suffering and it isn't fair......Can anyone give me some good advice as to which direction I need to go now?? I have filed complaints, but heard NOTHING......
Thanks

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