Los Angeles Mother Receives No Satisfaction Nor Justice from California Judicial Labyrinth


by Sharon Rondeau

(Dec. 4, 2018) — A Los Angeles mother dismayed at behaviors and emotional distress experienced by her six-year-old daughter following a bitter divorce between her ex-husband and her which began when the child was an infant reports that her complaints of bias and malfeasance on the part of Commissioner Glenda Veasey remain unaddressed, including after she appealed to the California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) for assistance over the summer.

“Irene” and her ex-husband are both legal immigrants, she from an Eastern European nation and he from Istanbul, Turkey.  The two met in undergraduate school and were acquainted for a matter of years before their marriage, Irene said.  Their divorce became final in 2014 when their daughter was two years old.

Irene said that other than when she was nursing her child, she had no objections to her ex-husband having reasonable visitation.  However, she said that after his mother arrived from Turkey, “they went to court together and I was served with the papers while living in the same house, taking care of our child” in seemingly unending litigation over visitation and custody.

Of the divorce and subsequent ongoing custody battle, Irene told us last spring, “There was no asset division; there was nothing to fight for; the only fight was for this little child. From the very beginning, when she was three months old, he filed for 50-50 custody, ultimately wanting to obtain full custody. Obviously, that was absurd, because she was breastfed and under my care. He started bombarding me with all kinds of litigation; he wanted this; he wanted that. He would use some of my personal funds and I would ask for them back; Veasey would deny my request. In California, it’s very common that during a divorce, the lower-income party asks for financial assistance with legal fees from the higher-income party, but I was denied six times.”

Irene has provided examples of Veasey’s alleged bias and misconduct by means of court transcripts.

After a formal custody evaluation in 2015, the child’s father was awarded 30% custody and Irene 70%. Despite that, Irene’s ex-husband, who initiated the divorce, has enjoyed an increasingly aggressive schedule wherein the child has spent four consecutive overnights at his home, beginning when she was 2½ years old.

“For my ex to have four overnights a week beginning when my daughter was two and a half was very stressful for her,” Irene told us in a second interview in May. “She would wake up often at night and cry, ‘Mommy, mommy are you there?’” Irene said that her daughter began exhibiting “alarming” behavior which included crying and her screaming, “Mommy, I hate you!  Go away!” following consecutive overnights with her father.

In addition to behavioral problems, their daughter has been experiencing gastrointestinal problems, Irene said, and the pediatrician and gastroenterologist have twice recommended in writing that she see a child therapist. That has yet to happen, Irene told The Post & Email last month. Veasey “overturned an original order she herself made requesting an assessment of our daughter by a child therapist after my ex submitted a letter to the Court saying that he opposed our daughter being seen by a therapist,” Irene told us previously. “Veasey did so without even holding a hearing. All of this goes entirely against the published Rules of Court. You don’t get to overturn orders by writing letters; you have to go back to court or appeal them. In response to my writing a letter of complaint to the supervising judges, one indicated that her orders were, in fact, contradictory and it appeared to be inappropriate, but no further action was taken.”

Over the summer, a second custody evaluation was conducted, having been approved in early 2017.  However, Irene said, in February 2018, Veasey had already increased her ex-husband’s custody level to 50% without waiting for the evaluation to take place. Veasey also revoked Irene’s jurisdiction over educational decision-making without any grounds or change of circumstances presented by her ex-husband.  Because her ex-husband has objected to their daughter participating in extra-curricular activities such as dance and gymnastics, Irene said, Veasey placed a hold on both pending the outcome of the new evaluation for which Irene was ordered to pay half even though she had not requested it.

Custody evaluations in California can cost more than $20,000, depending on the number of hours required, and Irene said she was forced to remove money from her 401(k) plan in order to pay her portion of the bill.  The evaluator was chosen from her ex-husband’s list of names and cost $400 hourly, Irene said, when other qualified professionals often charge considerably less.

“Just before the new custody evaluation started, I submitted complaint letters to the Commission on Judicial Performance because when I was writing to the supervising judges, no one replied, or if they did, they said, ‘We’ve reviewed your complaint and we don’t find any misconduct,’” Irene told us.  “I’ve written to the attorney general and called but never received a response.  It’s almost impossible to get through to anyone there.”

Unsuccessful after requesting a different judge on multiple occasions, Irene persisted in her attempts to have Veasey’s actions reviewed by a supervising judge.  “In May 2018, the supervising judge of the Family Courts in LA County sent me a reply letter to my numerous concerns about Commissioner Veasey’s misconduct and failure to apply due process, which I addressed in my letters in 2017 and early 2018.  The supervising judge’s letter stated that he did not find anything inappropriate or any misconduct and failed to comment or give any explanation for why my hearing back in October 2017 was taken off the calendar without any explanation or rulings, while both parties were present in court on that day. Furthermore, the supervising judge did not comment nor give any legal explanation as to why the commissioner would deny a mother’s request for a child to be assessed or evaluated by a child’s psychologist four (4) times in one year, but later, when the child’s father asked for sole legal custody and 50% physical custody at that time, Commissioner Veasey granted him a request of physical custody and ordered an expensive custody evaluation per father’s request, which I had to pay 40% of all the custody evaluation cost,” Irene said.  “It seems like I go around and around and come to no resolution on anything. You send a concern/complaint letter with supporting evidence, they say they will look at it and then they send you a letter stating your claim is closed cause they did not find any misconduct.”

“There was the issue of the child therapist and the cost of the evaluation,” Irene continued.  “The supervising judge did not take any action to address that issue. They just ignored it; they did not try to explain.  There is no supervision.  The bottom line is that there are no checks and balances here in Los Angeles Family Courts.”

Further, she said of her experience with California courts and the oversight, or lack thereof, they receive:

I’ve dealt with appellate courts because we filed last year when Veasey denied my request for my ex to contribute to my attorney fees and custody evaluation costs.  Per Family Code 2030-2032, the higher earning party should contribute to the incurred attorney costs of the lower earning party to “level the playing field.”  I and my consulting counsel also felt that he should have paid more of the share of the custody evaluation because he requested it and he earns much more than I do, but Veasey denied me everything.

I wanted to see if the appellate judges are reasonable.  At oral argument in September, the appellate court denied my appeal completely.  I had an attorney with me and the appellate court just covered for Veasey, despite the clear mathematical calculation which should not have left any room for abuse of discretion of the Appellate Panel of judges.  They completely ignored her mistakes, misapplication of law and how she did not look into the financial situation of both parties in this case.

The appellate court issued a decision, but it’s based on error.  The financials showed an $800 difference in our monthly incomes, but in reality it was almost $3,000.  My appellate attorney pointed out that Veasey ignored my ex’s bonus; his bonus was huge.  That’s a part of his compensation, and the difference is not insignificant.

I highlighted their error and asked for it to be corrected and for the commissioner to recuse herself, but they denied it in one sentence.  They know if they overrule this decision, I will be able to change the judge, and I could post something on the internet and then others could step forward and ask to do the same.  It’s politics.  They know that Veasey commits crimes and is guilty of misconduct, but they still keep her.

Sometime in August I got a one-page letter from the Commission on Judicial Performance saying that they reviewed my claim but did not find that the supervising judge exhibited misconduct, so the case was closed.

For two years, I’ve been trying to get someone’s attention on the bizarre rulings from Veasey, but the supervising judges ignore it; they cover up for her.  They always say that I have to go to the appellate court because they cannot change her decisions.  But it’s almost impossible to have a ruling changed in the appellate court; 99.9% of the time, they cover up for the lower court.

I never asked any supervising judge to change a decision; I asked them to look into misconduct and incompetency.

You think you have laws and protocols here, but there aren’t. A corrupt and incompetent judge can issue a careless order and there’s no protection for you.  Once my ex went to the court on an ex parte basis and there was a different commissioner, and she denied his request.  One week later, somehow – who knows how — Veasey overruled the other commissioner’s minute order.  This is one of the things I wanted reviewed; it was about the child therapist.  Then I filed ex parte two times, and she denied them.  She didn’t even want to bother.

I wrote to the supervising judge and asked, “How is this possible?  One ruling was made; you can’t overturn it unless there was wrongdoing or an emergency. It was a regular ruling. There’s something going on; it’s misconduct; you shuffle the paper, and you make it impossible for me to do anything.”  This is how it’s turned into a three-year battle just to obtain an order for the child to be assessed by a child psychologist, and it is 6½ years of this commissioner presiding over our case, refusing to step down and making life worse for the child.

On June 17, 2018, Irene sent an eight-page, detailed letter with copies of transcripts and orders to the CJP, the first page of which appears below.

The response from the CJP appearing below concludes with, “No further action will be taken based on the information you have provided.”

Response from Commission on Judiciary Performance – 2018.09.06


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