27 April 2012

Judge Matthew Gary Abuse of Authority: Indigent, Disabled, Unrepresented Litigant Illegally Arrested and Jailed for Contempt of Court

Judge Matthew Gary Escapes Accountability for Illegal Arrest and Incarceration of Disabled Pro Per

Friday Document Dump

As this document reflects, Sacramento County Family Court Judge Matthew Gary ordered his courtroom bailiff to arrest and jail unrepresented, disabled litigant Robert Saunders for contempt of court on March 9, 2009. The incident was witnessed by Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section attorneys Richard Sokol and Elaine Van Beveren. Each lawyer also serves as a temporary judge in the same court. 

Two independent judges subsequently determined that both the arrest and contempt charge were unlawful, and the criminal case was dismissed. Both Sokol and Van Beveren had a legal and ethical duty to report Gary's misconduct. Courtroom clerk Christina Arcuri also had a legal and ethical duty to report the misconduct. None of the witnesses reported the misconduct or otherwise took any corrective action. At the same hearing, the judge issued an illegal "no-contact" order prohibiting Saunders from having any contact with his twin daughters. Saunders has not seen his children since. Gary has never been held accountable for his misconduct and violation of Saunders' constitutional, civil, and parental rights. Click here to read the exclusive Sacramento Family Court News report of the March 9, 2009 incident.