Court Clerk Blocks Appeal of Judge Matthew Gary Order Issued for Judge Pro Tem Scott Buchanan Partner Timothy Zeff
Wednesday Document Dump
In our initial report documenting that Sacramento Family Court appeals unit clerks were unlawfully rejecting appeals by unrepresented, indigent or financially disadvantaged litigants, we redacted the name of the party whose case was used as an example of the illegal practice. The litigant asked that we redact her name because she feared she would be subject to retaliation for the disclosure by Judge Matthew Gary or court employees.
For the benefit of other indigent, pro per litigants, she has since requested that we tell her full story, and publish her name. The document below is the complete notice of appeal filed by Susan Ferris, a disabled, unrepresented 52-year-old single parent. Ferris also was subjected to an unlawful "no contact" child custody order issued by Judge Gary for divorce attorney Timothy Zeff, the partner of Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section lawyer and family court judge pro tem Scott Buchanan.
To continue reading, and to view the notice of appeal document, click Read more >> below:
The notice of appeal Ferris subsequently filed was illegally "unfiled" by family court appeals unit Deputy Clerk Stephanie Hinman. For more than six months, the error has not been corrected, and Hinman has not been held accountable for her violation of the law and unlawful interference with court of appeal proceedings. The lack of any corrective action indicates that the illegal act is condoned by family court supervisors.
According to a criminal law attorney, the elements of a violation of Penal Code § 182 - conspiracy to pervert or obstruct justice or the due administration of the laws - specify that an agreement or conspiracy may be inferred from the conduct of those accused of the crime. Other criminal statutes that may apply include Penal Code § 470(c), altering, corrupting or falsifying a legal document, and Penal Code § 470(d), altering a document with the intent to cause damage to a legal, financial or property right.
Hinman's action clearly deprived Ferris of her legal right to appellate review. Click here to read the complete SFCN report on the unfiled appeal. Click here for our continuing coverage of the Susan Ferris case. Click on the labels below the document for additional reporting on the people and issues in this post.