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#129 May 11, 2010
Judge seeks court order against own boss
By Greg Moran, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.
Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido, in a highly unusual move, said Friday she is seeking a court order against her boss and colleagues on the bench, contending they are not following state law in imposing probation conditions for domestic violence defendants.
Salcido, who is facing a re-election challenge this year, said at a news conference and in court papers that her insistence on levying certain probation conditions on defendants has led to her being harassed and retaliated against by her boss, Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh.
He is the supervising judge for the El Cajon courts, where Salcido has worked since being appointed to the bench in 2002.
At a news conference on the steps of the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego Friday, Salcido said she was filing a petition in the 4th District Court of Appeal, asking the court to order judges to impose all conditions of probation called for under state law for domestic violence offenders.
Salcido said there is a pattern in the courts of not doing so. She said those conditions include requiring domestic violence probationers to take a one-year course on domestic violence, issuing orders into a statewide database that are intended to provide people with protection from defendants. and ordering defendants to relinquish any firearms they may own.
Instead, under plea agreements, some defendants are being sentenced to 12-hour courses with no protective order or firearms conditions, she said. Those sentences are unlawful, she contends.
There is a culture in the San Diego court system that puts plea bargains ahead of public safety, she said.
#130 May 11, 2010
There is a culture in the San Diego court system that puts plea bargains ahead of public safety, she said.
Salcido said the court challenge is not related to her pending election challenge. Harold Coleman, an arbitrator and attorney who is being endorsed by a conservative group called BetterCourtsNow, is running against her in the primary June 8.
At the news conference, she invoked the case of John Gardner III, the confessed killer of teenagers Amber Dubois and Chelsea King. Deddeh was the judge who sentenced Gardner to six years in state prison in 2000 under the terms of a plea deal. Gardner could have faced a lengthier sentence under the crimes with which he was originally charged, and the shorter sentence has drawn criticism in the wake of the two killings.
Salcido said Deddehs conduct in that case of sanctioning a plea agreement failed to put public safety first. Not imposing all probation conditions for misdemeanor domestic violence cases raises similar concerns, she said.
Neither Deddeh, Presiding Judge Kevin Enright nor the court systems attorney, Mark Zebrowski, said they could comment on the court filing or the issues that Salcido raises.
Zebrowski said the state canons of judicial ethics prohibit judges from commenting on pending legal proceedings.
Coleman cited a different ethical rule that prohibits candidates from criticizing a sitting judge and declined to comment.
Superior Court Judge Fredric Link, who listened to Salcidos news conference, defended Deddeh afterward and said he was one of the courts best judges. Link, however, said he could not comment on the case itself.
It is extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented in the county to have a judge seek legal action against colleagues on the bench, and several judges contacted Friday were stunned at Salcidos move and privately critical of it.
Salcido contends in court papers that the law requires judges to consider the underlying relationship between the defendant and the victim to determine whether a case meets domestic violence standards. Domestic violence victims can include former spouses, cohabitants or people involved in dating relationships under the law.
So even if someone pleads guilty to a non-domestic-violence charge, such as disturbing the peace, if the relationship of the people involved is covered by the domestic violence definition, then all conditions of probation must be imposed, Salcido said.
When she pressed this issue, she said Deddeh became increasingly upset with her and retaliated by ordering her to get his permission before asking clerks to make copies of some court papers, which she said limited her ability to control her court calendar.
#132 May 11, 2010
Father arrested on suspicion of killing infant
The Associated Press
Posted: 05/11/2010 08:27:43 PM PDT
SAN JOSE, Calif.Police have arrested a San Jose man suspected of beating to death his 8-week-old daughter.
Officers said Tuesday that Pablo Rosas Hernandez was booked in Santa Clara County jail on homicide charges.
Police and paramedics were called to Hernandez's home on Saturday. When they arrived they found the child, Anahi Hernandez, was unresponsive. She was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
An autopsy by the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office found she died of blunt force trauma. Police did not give details about the circumstances of the infant's death.
Her 19-year-old father is expected to be arraigned later this week.
#133 May 12, 2010
Fathers kill children. Mothers kill children. It is a horrible tragedy, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the election of judges in Marin, except that it is an indication of the limited ability of some voters to make reasonable choices.
#134 May 12, 2010
As we know, State orders audit Marin Family Court. Kim Turner, Judge Verna Adams, C. Wood, etc endorsed the fund for Haakenson election. Kim ordered the mediator to destroy court documentation. Auditors are threatening to subpoena the records. It is a very serious concern.
#135 May 12, 2010
State, groups push for audit of Sacramento, Marin family courts
By Cynthia Hubert
Published: Friday, Apr. 9, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 1A
The state is threatening to subpoena family courts in Sacramento and Marin counties to force them to fully cooperate with an audit investigating how those courts decide where to place children at the center of custody disputes.
State Auditor Elaine Howell has been seeking access to court records since July, in response to concerns raised by child advocacy groups that allege the family court judges are overly chummy with their appointed investigators and return too many children to dangerous parents.
Howell accuses the courts of delaying the audit, which was mandated by the state Legislature. She has told the Judicial Council of California the policy-making arm for state courts that her office will issue subpoenas unless the courts allow "full and unfettered" access to the records requested.
The Judicial Council responded that the Marin and Sacramento Superior Courts want to cooperate, but have concerns about how the probe will be performed and the types of documents the Bureau of State Audits wants.
"The courts have never opposed such access," Mary Roberts, the Judicial Council's general counsel, wrote in a letter to the auditor's office this week. Rather, she said, court administrators want to make sure they protect confidential and sealed documents in family law matters. "We do not believe that subpoenas are necessary" to complete the process, Roberts said.
The audit is a response to allegations of conflicts of interest between Sacramento and Marin family courts and the court-appointed investigators who help judges decide custody disputes.
One of the groups raising concerns is the California Protective Parents Association in Sacramento, a judicial watchdog and child advocacy group. The group has charged that judges are too friendly with some of the attorneys, psychologists and others who evaluate custody disputes in Sacramento and Marin, and based on that association, are sending children back into dangerous situations.
In many custody disputes, the parent with the most money to pay evaluators gets a favorable result, even if he or she has a background that includes spousal battering or accusations of child sexual abuse, the group charges.
#136 May 12, 2010
"Kim Turner ordered the mediator to destroy court documentation." Do you have any proof?
#137 May 12, 2010
The court mediator "Meredith Braden" admitted on the record. Ask Kim Turner, what she did it againsts the law.
#138 May 12, 2010
Two names for you:
#139 May 12, 2010
I think you are a liar. What is the name of the case?
#141 May 14, 2010
Very interesting debate last night.
Recap will come tomorrow....
#143 May 18, 2010
Haakenson was Marins non-controversial fair-haired boy, with a long list of fans and supporters, including court critics. And, truth be told, he had worked hard for those fans and supporters. So he had a BPF (Bright Political Future). Everybody said so. High road? Low road? High road? Low road? Hmmmmm....since he had such a BPF, and so many hard-earned supporters, would it really matter? The high road was a bit rockier, and a bit riskier, the low road so much easier.....I mean really, SO much easier....SO tried and true....and SO protected and rewarded....
Like all good pimps, judicial baddies and their buddies are always looking for fresh talent the prettier and smarter, the better...
#146 May 20, 2010
Perhaps you have correctly guessed that Paul Haakenson took Marins low road, choosing a Marin fixture named Neil Moran to be his campaign treasurer, because Moran is good at filling out forms. Uh huh.
In Marin Countys infamous you scratch my back, I will scratch yours culture, the go-to man to run a judicial retention campaign is Moran, a partner at the Freitas McCarthy law firm. Moran has run the campaigns for many judges facing retention electionsincluding, in recent history, Michael Dufficy and John Sutro neither of whom was particularly respected in the legal community. Moran was the campaign treasurer, and the Freitas McCarthy address was the listed address, for both the Dufficy and Sutro campaign committees. The Freitas McCarthy law firm was each judges top donor ($2,500), and for each judge, Moran delivered many of the same endorsements Haakenson is now toutingall sitting Marin judges, multiple retired judges, all past presidents of the bar association, etc., etc. notwithstanding Dufficys clearly sordid Sheepranch partying past and multiple admonishments by the CJP.
What does Moran and Freitas McCarthy get out of this? Well, Moran is married to Judge Lynn Duryee. Morans Freitas McCarthy law partner, Peter Kleinbrodt, is married to Beverly Wood. Wood used to work at Freitas McCarthy, until she was selected by the Marin bench from a field of 60 applicants for the job of Marin court commissioner. Then Duryee and her good friend Wood sat together on the Marin Family Bench if you didnt get one, you got the other. And Ali Quam, who also worked at Freitas McCarthy, was hired as the Marin Family Court Facilitator.(Some have called the Marin courts a full-service employment agency for Freitas McCarthy.)
Duryee is Marins richest judge, and has routinely reported a $100,000-$1,000,000 interest in the Freitas McCarthy law firm on her economic disclosures. Wood initially reported a $10,000-$100,000 interest in the Freitas McCarthy law firm on her disclosuresthen it quickly grew to a $100,000-$1,000,000 reported interest. When Freitas McCarthy gets good clients, lucrative court appointments, good case outcomes and fee awards, Marin County bench officers Duryee and Wood benefit via their community property interest in Freitas McCarthy.
So who does Freitas McCarthy list as representative clients? The County of Marin, the City of San Rafael, the Town of Tiburon, The City of Belvedere, the Tamalpais Union High School district, the Marin Municipal Water districtamong others.
As of March 17, 2010, Morans firm had donated $2,500, Kim Turner had donated $1,250, and Verna Adams had donated $1,000 to Haakensonand those are substantial donations in Marin.
Duryee, Adams and Wood have all had a hand in some of the worst Marin family court child custody cases involving a) protective parents who have lost custody to wealthy and/or well-connected parents with problematic pasts, and b) neglect, injuries and/or abuse of the children while in the care of the wealthy/connected/problematic parents.
In aligning with Moran, Haakenson, notwithstanding his stellar credentials, has made it clear that he is a team player, and will not rock the boat, or bite the hands that feed him.
#148 Jul 14, 2010
I believe you, because I am a single mom who has been abused in marin county courts. My judge was Judge Verna Adams my Mediater Meradith Braden.
My son is three years old and I have been to court over 300 times in three years. I do believe, because it has happend to me.
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