07 September 2012

Judge Matthew Gary Demoted by Presiding Judge: Stripped of Supervising Judge Title by PJ Laurie Earl - Judge Jaime Roman Installed as Supervising Judge

Controversial Judge Matthew Gary Removed from Supervising Judge Position

Sacramento County Family Court News Exclusive
Hon. Robert C. Hight – Hon. Bunmi O. Awoniyi – Hon. Steven M. Gevercer – Hon. Tami R. Bogert – Hon. James M. Mize – Vance Raye - CJP Victoria B. Henley – Hon. Thadd A. Blizzard -Supreme Court of California – Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye – Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan – Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard – Associate Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar – Associate Justice Ming W. Chin – Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter – Associate Justice Goodwin Liu – Justice Cantil-Sakauye –California Supreme Court - Matthew J. Gary Judge - Sacramento County Superior Court - Benjamin B. Wagner – Melinda Haag – Jayne Kim – Victoria B. Henley – Elaine M. Howle -  United States District Court Eastern District of California – Sacramento Federal Court – United States Courts - Judge William Shubb - Judge Edmund Brennan - Judge Garland Burrell Jr - Judge Carolyn Delaney - Judge Morrison England Jr - Judge Gregory Hollows - Judge John Mendez - Judge Kendall Newman - Judge Troy Nunley - Judge Allison Claire - Judge Dale Drozd - Judge Lawrence Karlton - Judge Kimberly Mueller – Office of the United States Attorneys Benjamin B. Wagner Eastern District of California,
Letterhead of former Supervising Family Law/Probate/ADA Judge Matthew J. Gary
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Jaime R. Roman has been named as the Supervising Family Law, Probate and ADA Judge, effective today. The supervising judge position previously was held by Matthew J. Gary, who prematurely has been removed from the post months before the normal rotation of presiding and supervising judge positions. 

All other supervising and presiding judge positions remain unchanged. Working from Department 121, Gary will revert to his position as a non-supervisory, rank-and-file family court jurist. 

Gary's short-lived stint as a supervising judge was marred by controversy, including a plan to eliminate many family court services and reduce the Family Law Division of the court to providing what he referred to as "core functions." Gary also has been battered by disqualification by an outside judge, and endured a major reversal from the Third District Court of Appeal

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In 2010, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Xapuri B. Villapudua ordered Gary removed from Robert Saunders' family court case for misconduct, including failing to follow proper contempt of court procedures in connection with having the disabled Saunders arrested and forcibly removed from his courtroom by multiple bailiffs. 

In separate court action stemming from the same incident, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Richard Gilmour subsequently dismissed a resisting arrest charge against Saunders. The actions by both judges on Saunders' behalf vindicated the unrepresented litigant's assertion that both the contempt and resisting arrest charges were baseless and motivated by Gary's temper, embroilment and abuse of authority. 

Saunders also charged that eyewitnesses to Gary's unlawful actions - including courtroom clerk Christina Arcuri, bailiff J. Strong, and judge pro tem attorneys Elaine Van Beveren and Richard Sokol - stood by and did nothing in violation of their oaths of office and instead effectively aided and abetted the judge's illegal conduct. 

A national family law website noted that the inaction and failure to uphold the law by Sacramento County Sheriff's Department deputy and courtroom bailiff J. Strong is a common problem in family courts nationwide. Click here.    

Judge Matthew Gary last year also suffered a full reversal by the 3rd District Court of Appeal. As in the Saunders case, in Seaton v. Seaton Gary did not follow clearly established law, according to the appellate court. 

After conducting his own improper investigation and forensic analysis on a 20-year-old marriage certificate signature, Gary concluded that the signature was not made by an extremely intoxicated person, as Patricia Seaton had claimed. The judge then nullified the Seaton's 17-year marriage, depriving Patricia of all property, support and other rights associated with a lawful marriage. 

The appellate court reversed Gary's decision, noting that the issues Gary had with Patricia's credibility were irrelevant to determining whether the marriage was valid.

And during a short stint as a criminal court judge, in a 2007 case Gary also made an embarrassing legal error that resulted in the reversal of the conviction of Daniel Ray Maier by the court of appeal. The case is People v. Maier.  


Judge Robert Hight – Judge Bunmi Awoniyi – Judge Steven Gevercer – Judge Tami Bogert – Judge James Mize – Vance Raye - Victoria Henley CJP - Judge Thadd Blizzard -kathryn werdegar – goodwin liu – marvin baxter – ming chin – joyce kennard – carol corrigan – tani cantil-sakauye – Supreme Court of California - Tani Cantil-Sakauye – Goodwin Liu – Marvin R. Baxter – Ming W. Chin – Kathryn M. Werdegar – Joyce L. Kennard – Carol A. Corrigan – California Supreme Court - Judge Matthew J. Gary - Hon. Matthew J. Gary Sacramento County Superior Court - Sacramento Family Court - Sacramento Federal Court Eastern District of California – United States Courts, US District Court Sacramento, Judge William B. Shubb, Judge Edmund F. Brennan, Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr, Judge Carolyn K. Delaney, Judge Morrison C. England Jr, Judge Gregory G. Hollows, Judge John A. Mendez, Judge Kendall J. Newman, Judge Troy L. Nunley, Judge Allison Claire, Judge Dale A. Drozd, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner,
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Matthew J. Gary characterizes his legal philosophy as "favoring judicial restraint ," and admires U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, according to a 2007 profile in Sacramento Lawyer magazine. The judge has adorned Department 121 - his Sacramento Family Court courtroom - with posters of the Founding Fathers.
Judge Matthew J. Gary is paid $169,289 per year, according to public records. 

Sacramento Family Court News acknowledges two anonymous sources who were first to provide us with this news. We appreciate the tip. 

To send us your anonymous tip by email, use our Contact Page. All communications are protected by the reporter's privilege and the California  Shield Law. For further details about our confidentiality policy, see our About Page and our Terms & Conditions Page.  

Related Content:

  • For SFCN coverage of Judge Matthew J. Gary, click here
  • For articles about Judge Jaime R. Roman, click here.
  • For our reports on Court Executive Officer Christina Volkers, click here
  • For articles about family court Director of Operations Julie Setzer, click here.
  • RoadDog Satire: The Persecution of Judge Matthew J. Gary. Click here.
  • For additional reporting on the people and issues in this post click on the corresponding labels below: