We have been in touch with over 100 New Jersey Family Court litigants and reviewed filings and transcripts to discover the following examples of parents rights being violated in New Jersey.
- Custody changes are being made without plenary hearings (ability to face ones accuser, examine evidence, and or cross examine witnesses)
- Superior court judges (Judge Fitzpatrick, Judge Thomas Critchley) are making rulings on cases while the cases are under appeal. Notably when a case is appealed the trial judge loses jurisdiction to decide any issues that are subject of appeal, be it custody, property, or divorce issues that are being appealed.
- Judge Fitzpatrick did this in Styrm v. Styrm
- Judge Crichley recently did this in Ippolito v. Ippolito
- Custody is being changed for bizarre reasons see previous articles regarding Wallace v. Syphrett (Judge Fitzpatrick), where custody was changed because the father took his son to a doctor, and the doctor and a nurse agreed that the visit was validated.
- People are being threatened with incarceration for not paying support. See Ippolito v. Ippolito (morris / Sussex County) where Mr Ippolito was ordered to pay $55,000 per month in support and then denied the right to pay the support out of his retirement earnings. Mr. Ippolito was then ordered to come up with about $200,000 ab0ut 30 days even though he didn’t have it and he was retired. He is effectively being ordered back to work even though he was retired at the time his divorce started.
- Judge Marlene Ford has threatened to incarcerate Zia Shaihk for not paying support after he had paid support fees and legal fees of over $200,000 in a calendar year. He is impoverished now, and the judge then ordered his professional and drivers licenses suspended after she had ordered him incarcerated and he was released (without being able to pay the ordered support). Undoubtedly the new order will result in Mr Shaihk’s earnings decreasing and his ability to pay support in the future being decreased. These sort of orders disregard Mr. Shaihk’s actual ability to pay. In fact the entire support order is based on a theoretical income rather than Mr. Shaihk’s actual income. Undoubtedly he will be labeled a deadbeat dad, despite the fact that he does not have the money to pay what the court has ordered.
- Previously in Mr. Shaihk’s case he was removed from his home and restrained from seeing his children without ever being present for the hearing about civil restraints. Notably his wife’s domestic violence claims were unsubstantiated and dismissed… afterwords the Judge took a short cut
We could go on for pages with examples of the stories and files we’ve reviewed, but the above should be sufficient to create public concern that parents are losing property, children, and liberties without the appearance of fair trials in New Jersey.
One would hope the court itself will start to take notice of these issues and figure out a way to ensure that Family Court actually resolves issues in a legally palatable manner. If the court fails to fix these sort of issues then not only will the people of New Jersey suffer, but the court as an institution will diminish its own integrity.
Among the parents we’ve spoken with there is real tangible fear and loathing with regard to the New Jersey Courts. We are nearing a point where parents have very good reason to fear that their rights will be violated with impunity in New Jersey Courts.