In a communication to the Judicial Complaint Committee, a judge responded to a reprimand by the committee. This judge had been reprimanded for failure to comply with his judicial responsibilities to litigants in what was, in fact, a straightforward marital dissolution agreement that settled the financial obligation of the parties to each other.
The failure of the judge to comply with statutory deadlines did indeed create real-life problems and consequences for the complainant, who was the one most impacted by the judge’s delayed action. The complainant raised both statutory and civil rights grievances that were taken seriously and responded to in all haste by the judicial panel.
The Judge subject to the complaint and the sanctions about to be imposed by the Judicial Review Board responded to the Commission Members with the following statement that constitutes his full response:
Dear Commission Members:
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Notice of Complaint. I am both humbled and embarrassed by this experience. I understand why the complaint was made. I sincerely apologize to the complainant, her client, and the other party concerning this matter.
While I experienced issues with clerk calendaring, calendaring is ultimately my responsibility. A change in personnel and an increase in calendar management by me, has addressed and will continue to resolve any potential calendaring issues.
Another reason for the delay, and once that has been resolved, concerns my involvement with an out-of-county criminal matter. Long before I learned of my rotation to a Family Department assignment, I volunteered to handle a high-profile child molestation matter for Yavapai County. I volunteered to handle this matter when I was assigned to the Criminal Department. This matter required much work and even resulted in a published opinion via a special action with the Court of Appeals. Before this matter was scheduled for trial, I learned that I was to be rotated to a Family Department assignment. When I asked the then presiding judge what would happen to the Yavapai County matter given my re-assignment, I was told that I must keep the matter, but a commissioner would be assigned to cover my Family Department calendar while I was in trial, as the trial was scheduled to begin after my rotation. In advance of trial, I asked for the identity of the person who would cover my calendar while I was in trial in Camp Verde. I was told that I would not receive any coverage or other assistance, other than for emergency matters. The trial lasted over a month and required me to cover my family calendar on Monday, drive to Yavapai County Monday night, preside over the trial Tuesday through Friday, and then drive home Friday night. I worked on my Family Department cases as best I could on nights and weekends, however, the criminal trial required mc to do research and address trial issues nightly as well. As a result of this schedule, it became difficult to stay on top of the volume of filings we receive on a Family Department calendar. Unfortunately for me, the jury could not reach a verdict on all counts charged in the indictment. The presiding judge directed mc to handle the re-trial as well. Again, while I was promised assistance during this lengthy re-trial, I was not provided with same. I repeated the same schedule as before. Having to preside over two lengthy criminal trials in another county, created a deep hole from which it was difficult to recover.
Regardless of the above the main reason for the delay in the ruling concerns personal issues, of which I would prefer not to be made public. My issues do not pertain to substantive competence, an inability to make decisions, or an inability to author opinions. The reason for the delay concerned issues in my personal life that rendered working on a family department calendar to be difficult.
I have been a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge for nearly eight years without issue, absent the present one. I take my role as a judge and my responsibility to the litigants very seriously. However, issues that developed in my personal life made my assignment in the family department most difficult.
Family Department judges are tasked to handle several hundred cases. This requires mc to routinely work 70+ hours per week. The assignment required mc to read about or hear testimony concerning families falling apart, the amazingly cruel things people do to each other during the break-up of a relationship, and the impact of same upon children. If one is experiencing issues in one’s own life that relates in any way to these issues, one can easily become overwhelmed. If one is feeling any sort of depression concerning one’s related personal issues, dealing with the similar issues of a plethora of others will, naturally, lead to the worsening of one’s depression. This is what occurred to me.
I presided over very sad child abuse and homicide matters. I heard many people tell extremely emotional stories of their trauma. While the impact of this secondary trauma upon mc is unknown, it didn’t impact my performance as a judicial officer. This is due to the fact that l, thankfully, hadn’t personally experienced or was presently experiencing such trauma. Unfortunately, the close connection between what I was actively experiencing and the cases I handled led to a depression. That, in turn made it difficult for mc to muster the energy and motivation to complete certain tasks such as the one involved in this present complaint.
I had to preside over cases that have had a negative impact upon my personal health. As I have no control over my assignment, I was at a loss as to what to do. I felt alone and unsupported, albeit those were feelings I imposed upon myself. In retrospect I should have been more vigilant in my need for assistance. In the moment, I lacked the ability to do same.
I choose not to divulge specifics concerning matters of a personal nature. It is enough to state that my issues related to the topics I read and heard about every day, for hours a day. Should the Commission require additional information or detail, I would prefer to provide same, if necessary, in as confidential a manner as this process allows.
I will accept whatever decision the Commission makes concerning my conduct.
The existence of this matter and my own actions that led to same arc most embarrassing. I failed to perform in conformance with the requisite standards and in conformance with the standards I set for myself. Again, I stress that the responsibility concerning the subject matter of this complaint is mine and mine alone. A temporary re-assignment to a different department certainly would have assisted me and perhaps prevented this letter. Unfortunately, such an accommodations are not made. I felt alone, unsupported, and stuck. I didn’t have the strength to be a better advocate for myself or address my needs. As a result, my difficulties grew with each passing day which, in turn, increasingly negatively impacted my mental health, and made completing my work more difficult. Regardless, I am alone responsible for the delay, and should have been more vigilant to avoid same.
This experience has, honestly, scared me and caused me to focus more on the litigants’ needs than my own. I am on top of my work. I know that I must remain in my current assignment for at least 18 more months. I will strive to do my best, treat litigants with respect, and completely and timely fulfill my obligations in the interim.
I willingly and humbly accept and await your decision. Thank you for the opportunity to provide my input into this process.
Part one of the response above involves matters of scheduling, case management and mismanagement related to judicial department administrative flaws, which indeed created burdens for this judge, impeding his ability to fulfill his responsibilities. The second part of the judge’s response “involved personal issues, which I would prefer not to be made public.”
While the judge did not want his personal issues to be made public, the very public he served felt the weight of “personal problems” which were not reserved for a private, confidential part of his life, as would be the prerogative of any citizen. However, the judge in question, whose identity is withheld, had a private life / secret affair with an attorney who was prominently involved with cases in his court. This judge’s adulterous affair directly impacted critical issues of rulings in his court, which can be historically and concurrently linked to changes in his love life, which altered reasonable and fair rulings to decisions that completely went against prior critical rulings without evidence or basis for the ruling.
The attorney in question was the children’s Best Interest Attorney (BIA). This is a critical position that is supposed to form the nexus protecting the children from any form of bias on the part of the court or either parent. The Best Interest Attorney is supposed to speak for the children based on interviews with them and a thorough review of records and documents.
To this day the Best Interest Attorney, Stephanie Stromfors, has never spoken with the children, and apart from advocating for them, she has in fact sold out their interests. She interfered with authorities’ investigations of abuse, as per her direct contact with the detective. Similar acts of criminal interference and cover ups were initiated by not only Attorney Stromfors, but also the “therapeutic interventionist” Diana Vigil, and the attorney for the mother/abuser of the two young boys, Gregg Woodnick.
The judge whose name has been withheld was confronted and was asked to recuse himself from the case for multiple points of cause, some of which included allegations of misconduct and conflict of interest. Shortly after the recusal request, this judge’s wife, also an attorney, filed for divorce in 2021. The judge who had so carefully tried to protect his confidentiality confounded his own goal of protecting his privacy by threatening to sue the litigant for defamation, though the litigant had never revealed any information about the judge or his cohorts.
The Judge’s Rulings on the Case in Question
In relevant recent hearings our anonymous judge had stated clearly that the father had not “alienated” the children from their mother. The judge acknowledged the fact that the mother had abandoned the children, voluntarily and without cause. She left for parts unknown with partners unknown, never called her husband, tried to contact her little children, or filed for divorce. In spite of this abandonment, for nearly five years the children thrived with their father and their large extended family. During this period, the mother, along with her attorney Gregg Woodnick, requested supervised visits on multiple occasions. Every request was denied by this judge.
The mother returned as she left. A surprise, with disaster on her heels.
In the case at hand, this judge was faced with a preponderance of evidence as to the intense trauma the two boys had experienced from their mother, which was documented by the court-appointed trauma specialist in the official court finding. Many significant documents, transcripts and evidence have been sealed by the court of the judge who wishes his identity and his private life to remain undisclosed. But the very graphic, explicit reports of the children of their experiences with several different experts are documented and in our possession.
But Diana Vigil, the “therapeutic interventionist”—a court-created position ill-defined in the scope of her unlicensed practice of psychology—illegally presented a completely vile report to the court of our judge whose identity is maintained as anonymous.
The Vigil report omits crucial facts about the mother and the mother’s own personal history of abuse, with multiple incest relationships as a child and then as a young adult, even though other historical sources and clinical reports do supply the detailed facts of the mother’s distorted early life. As a young adult the mother chose to identify with her abusers, with the result that the abuses she herself had experienced were visited on her children.
But Diana Vigil’s vile report was accepted and approved by the judge, ruled on as if the report had validity and credibility, even though it represented a criminal act of fraud.
Seemingly under the spell of his paramour, legal advisor to the Protective Parent’s adversary, this judge ordered the children to be removed to the authority of a so called treatment center by the name of Family Bridges.
During a hearing in December 2020, the judge three times directed the BIA to write up an Emergency Removal Order, to transfer the children from their beloved Protective Parent into the hands of their intensely malevolent, seriously mentally ill parent.
In a shocking about-face, the order now stated that the father had “alienated” the children from their mother and the children were to be sent to a particular unlicensed “residential treatment program” for reunification of children with the “alienated parent.” Stephanie Stromfors wrote the Emergency Order transferring the children from their Protective Parent Father and sending them across state lines to Family Bridges.
What is Family Bridges?
Family Bridges, is an unlicensed “reunification program” in California, with no campus. Children who were dragged away screaming from their protective parent are held in motels with guards watching them. The deranged Administrators of this program engage in criminal practices developed to exert total control of all thought processes, to erase memories and rewrite the past.
Children are sent to the Family Bridges “reunification” program, in order to somehow convince them that the horrendous abuse they experienced at the hands of the “alienated” parent (who is with them in the program) didn’t happen. The goal is to seize control of the minds and bodies of these children at the cost of their psychic integrity and their ability to think independently once they leave Family Bridges.
The end product is total confusion around all mental processes. What the children remember, what they think, feel, and experience are all questioned and disputed.
Children emerge from this program completely broken. They often hate both parents, feeling abandoned by the parent who fought to protect them and hating their abusers, though they may now feel confusion about whether the abuser really abused them or if their abuse was planted in their minds by their Protective parent. Children who were raped by their fathers become so introverted, so fearful of everyone that they can deal with no one.
These children are victims sent to endure this torture by judicial figures, at the direction of so-called experts who are paid thousands and thousands of dollars to defeat the Protective Parent and children whose defiance against abuse is wrongfully named parental “alienation.”
About “Parental Alienation” and its Founder
The genie of a new world order of avarice and cruelty was released from the bottle as the concept of “parental alienation” formulated by Richard Gardner MD.
“Parental Alienation” is a universally discredited term in the entire medical/psychological community, as it is fully associated with the writings of Richard Gardner MD, a forensic psychiatrist who in 2003 committed suicide by stabbing. Gardner’s writings were based on his racist theories that the white race needed to procreate far more than other races. His theory, as written in his self-published books, expounds the idea that men have a right to have sex with their children and to begin to sexualize their children, essentially from infancy. As a physician he ignored the medical facts related to hormone changes at puberty that stimulate sexual feeling, that are before then experienced as abhorrent. In Gardner’s writings, women are present as broodmares to bear children and not to interfere in the father’s right to introduce children into sexual practices. Any efforts of mothers to protect children are marked as jealousy and intrusions against the father’s right to do whatever he wishes and states such as being good for the child.
The bonds of children’s love are begun in infancy, those bonds grow with toddlers and strengthen through each developmental stage unless one or another parent destroys that attachment. When children are left within reasonable home settings, where both parents are loving and attentive to the children, though there may be some conflict between the parents, the bonds of attachment and empathy for loved parents remain. Faced with conflict in divorce situations, these children want to see both parents.
The parent-child bond is built in infancy and remains strong . . . unless the parent damages that bond. When children resist seeing a parent, either they have excellent reasons for their resistance, or they are in fact dealing with a parent who is themselves clinically ill in the same manner as the person who is seeking to force children into seeing a parent who the children protest seeing. These cases involve major clinical pathology that must not be ignored with self-serving nonsense or ignorant statements.
But There is More to This Court Plot
Diana Vigil, the “therapeutic interventionist” on this case, apparently has a great interest in Family Bridges. With her husband John Moran (who is on the board of a Family Bridges lookalike program in Vermont), she has tried to open a Family Bridges program in Arizona. In the case at hand, there is clear evidence that Vigil colluded with the discredited mother and her attorney Gregg Woodnick, as follows:
The court order to send the children to Family Bridges was made on December 28, 2020. At least one month earlier, Diana Vigil, in cooperation with the mother of the children, was already in contact with Randy Rand, the unlicensed director of the Family Bridges program. On December 14, 2020, eight days before the December 28 hearing, the Mother sent a deposit to register the children for the “camp” that had not as yet been designated or ordered by the Court of our anonymous Judge. The date was already reserved.
To add contempt to collusion, Diana Vigil attended the four-day so-called camp “treatment proceedings” without having been authorized to do so, charging the Father’s credit card over $10,000 for her privilege of attending. Diana Vigil—a therapist licensed to practice in Arizona but not in California—was not authorized to charge the Father’s credit card her “training” at Family Bridges, for which she received “observer credits.” Further charges lodged by Diana Vigil were noted to be for the “After Care Training Program.”
The venal rulings of this judge whose identity is withheld have mortally impacted young children, causing intense but completely avoidable pain and suffering, when he could have and should have immediately transferred the children into the hands of their Protective Parent with incarceration of the abuser parent. This judge has never apologized for the damage he has caused, or sought to remedy these rulings.
The court system treats the fight against “parental alienation” like sedition. The court system scorns our outrage against their unjustifiable acts against children and Protective Parents. But at the Foundation for Child Victims of the Family Courts we invest countless hours and years to help protective parents and child survivors.
The extreme trauma experienced by the children and the consequences to their health and development will be the subject of numerous malpractice actions now in process, including against all parties named in this article.
Broken children and broken families have become the legacy of a court system that is not simply broken, which suggests an ability to fix it. No, the juvenile, dependency, and family courts and the methodology and motivation that drives them are the products of a clear strategy, ideology, methodology that will be elaborated on in articles to come.