Document purge in Marin family court ...

Document purge in Marin family court draws scrutiny

There are 501 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Aug 6, 2010, titled Document purge in Marin family court draws scrutiny. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

A monthlong document purge in Marin's family law court has prompted an investigation by the state judiciary, but the county's top judge says it appears no laws were broken.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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#1 Aug 6, 2010
Clearly the judge is wrong.
Those mediators were being paid by the courts.
That makes those documents official records
that must be preserved for 5 years.
The judge should have to go back to law school.
Something is rotten in the Marin courts.
Mark Winshel

El Cerrito, CA

#2 Aug 6, 2010
In some court systems, and such as for instance in San Francisco, it is standard procedure, and often in exchange for a bribe, to destroy, "edit," and "improve" court records, and including so as to protect the guilty.

For instance, some years ago I had a job in which an outside contractor (and let's call him X) who often came to the building to perform various assignments told me that he had previously met a clerk who worked for one of the SF traffic court judges, and that clerk had given X his home phone number and told X to give him a call whenever he got a traffic ticket so that the clerk could then destroy the relevant paperwork. So X told me that forever after whenever he got a traffic ticket and his docket number was called, the clerk would then say, "Your Honor, we have no paperwork," and which would then cause the judge to declare, and each and every time, "Case dismissed."

And previous to that I had a co worker who told me that some years earlier he had been arrested, and even though the followup investigation proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he was innocent and the charges were therefore dropped, still the court system had it on record, and also refused to remove it, that he had been arrested. So as a result his father, and who was afraid his son might be harmed in the future, and such as for instance when applying for a job, etc, by it being on record that he had been arrested, therefore paid fifteen hundred dollars to a federal judge he was acquainted with so as to make the file disappear.

The incident my former co - worker referred to probably occurred in the 1960's or 1970's. However in more recent years the word has been that for a bribe of about two thousand dollars or so, records in the SF court system can be "adjusted," "edited," "improved," or made to disappear.

NOTE: Due to having been a whistleblower and therefore having talked to a lot of people, I have learned a lot about the

Liars and





system, and including that in SF it is far more about illegal backroom fixes in exchange for under the table bribes than it is about truth, facts, and law.
Mark Winshel

El Cerrito, CA

#3 Aug 6, 2010
They probably have a lot to hide and cover up, since for a number of years the word on the street has been that in the Marin court system, and especially in the Family Court division, at least most of the judges have been nothing more than puppets on a string and rubberstamps for a few particular lawyers who are extremely politically connected and who get whatever they want and "request."

Supposedly the lawyers who are in that particular club just tell the judges what they want and the judges then roll over and give it to them.(It reminds me of the fact that the original Mayor Daley of Chicago used to say that he would rather have a lawyer who not particularly brilliant as long as he was politically connected than a lawyer who was much smarter but not politically connected.)

And in fact perhaps it is the goal of Marin's legal system to get almost as corrupt as San Francisco's.
San Rafael resident

Pacifica, CA

#4 Aug 6, 2010

I hardly wait those who involved will go to jail. If they have nothing to hide, they should hide nothing.

Kim Turner ordered Court Mediator "Meredith Braden" destroyed the court files and notes.

Many children's life and the protective parents relationship with their child have been destroyed by incompetent mediators, court appointed child attorney (money sucker) and attorneys who know the corrupt judge.
San Rafael resident

Pacifica, CA

#5 Aug 6, 2010

Novato, CA

#6 Aug 6, 2010
I don't trust anything Kim Turner does. She's a backstabber with a conflict of interest.
San Rafael resident

Pacifica, CA

#7 Aug 6, 2010 ...

Children are subjected to the abusive parents.

Attorney: Did you look at the court files?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: Did you read the court file?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney:(The mother) declaration filed on (date)?
Marin Court Mediator: I don't recall this one
Attorney: Did you try to find out if there were any CPS reports made since (year)?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: Did you read it while it was the case was going on, during the trial, do you recall?
Marin Court Mediator: I don't recall
Attorney: Are you aware of CA rules of court 5.215?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: Do you have any knowledge of whether this case involve domestic violence?
Marin Court Mediator: I do not
Attorney: Do you know what the first CLETS restraining order was issued in this case?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: Did you take any steps to contact (the mother) to talk about it?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: Did you go look at the trial, at what (the mother)was talking about?
Marin Court Mediator: No, I did not
Attorney: Have you read the pleadings file before you interviewed mother?
Marin Court Mediator: I don't recall
Attorney: Did you read it?
Marin Court Mediator: I didn't read it
Attorney: At any point in time since you got that motion, have you read the court file?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: FCS 1814, 1815, 1816, as you sit here today, are you familiar with them?
Marin Court Mediator: I don't know
Attorney: Did you look at the court file?
Marin Court Mediator: NO
Attorney: Have you read the file?
Marin Court Mediator: NO

Marin Court Mediator: most of them don't look familiar to me.
Attorney: and you said they don't look familiar?
Marin Court Mediator's attorney: Objection, misstates testimony
Marin Family Judge: Sustained

This judge covered up this incompetent mediator and her malpractice were fair and appropriate. The child is subjected to the abusive father and suspended from school. Marin Court Mediator Department should be shut down for good.

Sacramento Justice

Pacifica, CA

#8 Aug 6, 2010 ....

Judge Peter McBrien has a long and checkered career in Sacramento County, California. He pled down a felony to a misdemeanor in 2000. His crime was that he destroyed ancient oaks on a nature preserve to improve his view. He paid $20,000 restitution and received a public admonishment from the Commissioner on Judicial Performance. He was then rewarded at every turn for embrarassing himself, the judiciary, and Sacramento County by his criminal behavior. He was subsequently found 20 guilty of judicial misconduct in 2009 by the Commission's Special Masters after he walked out of a trial in the middle of witness testimony, and became embroiled in the case to the extent that he acted outside his judicial bounds to ruin one of the litigants.

Judge Peter McBrien's temper tantrums in court, his snide, cruel remarks that verge on the sadistic, his erratic, nasty demeanor, and the fear felt by litigants of being a mouse being played with by a dangerous cat in court.

Similar to Judge Verna Adams misconduct, judicial retalitation, made up non-existing order, and her violation of state law: Code Civ. Proc. Section 170.1(a)(6)(A)(iii), 170.1(a)(6)(B) and 170.3(c)(5).

It is time to remove problematic judges who disgrace to the community from Family Court.
Court watch

Pacifica, CA

#9 Aug 6, 2010
More from a JusticeCalifornia article:

"On June 4, 2009, the Judicial Council of California reported that the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Ronald M. George, has appointed Marin County’s Court Executive Officer, Kim Turner, to the California Judicial Council. ...

What is the Judicial Council?

According to the California Courts website, "The Judicial Council is the policymaking body of the California courts, the largest court system in the nation. Under the leadership of the Chief Justice and in accordance with the California Constitution, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice. The Administrative Office of the Courts carries out the official actions of the council and promotes leadership and excellence in court administration." ...
So, we now know, the Judicial Council sets policy, and the Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”) carries out official actions of the Judicial Council.
What is the Judicial Council composed of?
According to the California Courts website,“The Judicial Council is composed of 27 members: the Chief Justice; 14 judicial officers appointed by the Chief Justice (1 associate justice of the Supreme Court, 3 justices of the Courts of Appeal, and 10 trial court judges); 4 attorney members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors; and 1 member from each house of the Legislature. There are currently six advisory members, including judicial officers and court administrators. Each council member is assigned to one or more of the council's internal committees.”(underline emphasis added).
Marin County’s own Kim Turner is now an advisory member of the California Judicial Council, and will now be helping set the policies of our California courts.

Who is Kim Turner?

From 1999-2005, she was the former assistant and right hand woman to former Marin Court Executive Officer John Montgomery. She became the Marin Court Executive Officer in 2005, after Mr. Montgomery was arrested on 10 felony counts of conflict of interest, for funneling over $650,000 in court consulting contracts to his girlfriend, acquiring property with that girlfriend and concealing the acquisitions, and taking out-of-state trips without proper court authorization. Ms. Turner knew about many of Mr. Montomery’s questionable and/or illegal acts, and she and/or current assistant Court Executive Officer Karen Richardson signed off on many of them. Yet, Ms. Turner waited until January, 2005, right before an impending financial audit of the Marin courts, to report Mr. Montgomery’s improper conduct to the Marin presiding judge. ...

Mill Valley, CA
Court watch

Pacifica, CA

#10 Aug 6, 2010
More from JusticeCalifornia:

"The following is an excerpt from a document entitled "Internal Audit Services Report”(Special Investigation 2005-004) prepared by the Finance Division of the AOC, about John Montgomery, Kim Turner, and Turner’s assistant, Karen Richardson (both former assistants of Mr. Montgomery):

“Both assistant CEOs indicated that they were signing the expense claims, including travel claims, either under duress or intimidation, or were uncomfortable not signing them. Ms. Turner has also indicated that staff were frequently berated by Mr. Montgomery and were fearful of him. Ms. Turner has also stated that ‘he used this tactic on me only once...I advised him that if he ever did that again, he would have my resignation. He knows that I will not tolerate this behavior directed at me.’ This raises a concern as to why she brought the issue to the PJ and the AOC at this time (January 2005) and did not raise it previously”.[JusticeCalifornia Query: perhaps the pending financial audit inspired Turner and other court members to rat on her former boss so they could excuse signing off on Montgomery illegalities, and then take his place?]

The AOC concluded its Special Investigation report with the following paragraph about the Marin Court:

“The [Marin] court has continued a practice of following local procedures of the county and has not conformed to the AOC policy either concerning documentation or pre-approval of out-of-state travel (policies that became effective February 2004). The compliance with approved policies and procedures required by the Judicial Council/AOC are the specific responsibility of the court executive, Mr. Montgomery. Therefore, non-compliance is also attributable to him. Additionally, the non-compliance can and has led to his benefiting from the travel and other claimed expenses that are either not approved or are questionable. As indicated above, if he has his subordinates approve his claims this practice is also inappropriate and supports a conflict of interest, inappropriate/excessive/unauth orized travel, and questionable reimbursements of expense claims.”( bold emphasis added.)

Mill Valley, CA
JusticeCaliforni a

Mill Valley, CA

#11 Aug 6, 2010
What we have here is an admission that the California Adminstrative Office of the Courts conspired with CA Judicial Council member Kim Turner and Marin Presiding Judge Boren to destroy incriminating family court documents while the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee investigation of the Marin family court was pending.

The third branch no longer has any moral standing to order anyone to comply with any document demand, ever. Oops! We destroyed the records to make room for other files, just like the Administrative Office of the Courts, and Marin Court Executive Officer Kim Turner, and Marin Presiding Judge Boren did, after the CA legislature ordered a review of the Marin Family Court!

I expect that this Marin Superior Court family court document destruction mess is the first of many embarrassing third branch (criminal obstruction of justice?) unveilings and I also expect that CA Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George’s head was the first of many that will roll. Yeah, sure, he supposedly suddenly "retired", to the shock of everyone who knows him.

If the ethical members of the judicial branch do not step forward, and stop this court corruption at all levels, we should vote out every single silent judge up for retention election, or re-election, until the branch is cleansed of its patently corrupt members.

Enough already.
JusticeCaliforni a

Mill Valley, CA

#12 Aug 6, 2010
Correction: The presiding judge at the time of the document destruction was Verna Adams, who made some of the most cruel, and some say illegal, decisions that inspired, and are subject to the legislative audit of the Marin Family Court.
The Wonders Never Cease

United States

#13 Aug 6, 2010
The arrogance of power is unreal in Ms. Kim Turner, the AOC and the Marin bench. Anyone who knows anything about family law knows that the mediator notes which were destroyed in a month-long frenzy at Kim's direction contained the most important content that the State Auditor could see to assess whether mediators were in fact making recommendations based on the best interests of children, or not.

Remember this past Spring when we learned that the California State Auditor had to THREATEN SUBPOENAS in order to get the family court audit started, because the California AOC had spent 9 months blocking their access to key personnel and key records?

Well gee whiz, I guess we see now why the courts were dragging their feet for so long and trying to come up with a plan to explain the missing mediation notes!

I can just see them now, "Holy [email protected]*#! The auditors are actually gonna dig through our mediation notes to see if kids who reported abuse by a parent were then placed by recommending mediators with those very same abusive parents (which has been well documented by the Center for Judicial Excellence). Let's start shredding, folks! We can't get slammed by the auditor for court information that does not exist now, can we?

Good for the IJ for exposing this latest bit of stinky corruption from the Marin courts. This is a story that just keeps on giving over and over and over again. Dufficy FBI investigation, Montgomery felony arrest, the Winner Report, and now THIS.

San Rafael, CA

#14 Aug 6, 2010
Judge Deficiency is notorious for favoring his old law partners and being corrupt. Marin family court is a kangaroo court where money equals justice.
JusticeCaliforni a

Mill Valley, CA

#15 Aug 6, 2010
Yes, let’s see the AOC's “final report”.

I hope while they are crafting that report, they don’t forget a thorough factual explanation, and a legal analysis of Family Code section 1819(b); and, with that special provision in mind, Government Code section 6200; and also, Penal Code sections 182 and 96.5.

Oh, and RICO.

United States

#16 Aug 7, 2010
" ... an effort to preserve the court's limited storage space,..."


Disgusting liars.
Tina Turner

Pacifica, CA

#17 Aug 7, 2010
fedup wrote:
" ... an effort to preserve the court's limited storage space,..."
Disgusting liars.
Everyone knows that you just don't destroy the court files when the case is still pending and hearing goes on.

Fed up try to cover up for the corrupt Marin Family Court. It's might be too late. Kimmy was so afraid. She refused to comply with State Auditors.
Tina Turner

Pacifica, CA

#18 Aug 7, 2010
Sworn April 2010 testimony of Marin Family Court Services Mediator "Meredith Braden". This case is an active case.

Question: Okay, Well, generally do you have a file for each mediation case?.

Answer: It's a little complicated. We do keep files currently, but at one point the directive was that we were no longer keeping files. They were all destroyed.

Q: They were all destroyed?.

A: Yes.

Q: Can you tell me who directed you to do that?.

A: It was Kim Turner, to teh best of my knowledge, yes.

Q: What do you mean by to the best of your knowledge?.

A: I mean, we were told, through our supervisor at the time, that that was the policy from above him.

Q: Who was your supervisor?.

A: Leo Terbeiten. But he has since retired.

Q: When did he retire?.

A: At the end of 2009.

Note: Leo Terbieten did not actully retired. He stepped down because State orders Audit Marin Family Court. Leo Terbieten's still works as a family therapist and counselor at Corte Madera Town Center. He is a crook and liar.
Citizen Taxpayer


#20 Aug 7, 2010
The family court corrodes and makes worse everything it touches. The judges are incompetent and corrupt. Abandon hope all those that enter the courtroom.
Earl Richards

Halifax, Canada

#21 Aug 7, 2010
Why didn't the court personnel turn the "raw notes" and the "work files" over to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), if there is not enough space in the court storage room. The JLAC should be able to find room somewhere. What is the Marin Family Court trying to hide? Court records were probably destroyed, because the mediators would keep their "raw notes" and "work files". The mediators would throw the "raw notes" in the waste basket, when they are finished with them, and the "work files" would probably be in the mediator's office. Why would the mediators leave their "raw notes" and their "work files" in the courtroom, when they are finished with them? Why did not the court staff return the "raw notes" and the "work files" to the mediators, instead of destroying them. The "raw notes" and the "work files" belong to the mediators. The JLAC should check with mediators, to find out what happened to the "raw notes" and the "work files", and not depend on the family court.

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