Judge Matthew Gary Orders Illegal Fee Waiver Hearing to Obstruct Appeal of Own Orders, Help Judge Pro Tem LawyerMonday Document Dump
|Sacramento Superior Court whistleblowers allege that the court acts as a |
racketeering enterprise involving collusion between judges and
lawyers who also work as part-time judges in the same court.
Unilaterally overriding state law, constructing his own ad hoc interpretation of legislative intent, and legislating from the bench, Judge Matthew Gary denies a fee waiver request by a disabled, indigent, unrepresented litigant in this startling court reporter transcript, embedded at the end of this article.
The fee waiver request by a litigant with a cognitive disability was for trial court appellate costs for an appeal of several orders issued by the judge, including an illegal, non-conforming order for more than $10,000 in attorney fee sanctions to the opposing attorney. Click here to view the order.
The pro per had an existing fee waiver which by law automatically applied to the trial court appeal costs, making the hearing ordered by the judge patently unlawful. To view the order Gary issued after the hearing, click here.
The opposing party is represented by divorce attorney Paula Salinger, partner at the prominent Sacramento family law firm Woodruff, O'Hair, Posner & Salinger Inc., sworn Sacramento County Superior Court temporary judge, and current officer of the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Executive Committee or FLEC. Days after the hearing, Gary issued a second order reversing himself and granting the fee waiver request, but at the same time embedding in the order a sham finding designed to help Salinger and her client at a pending trial in the case.
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The second order mischaracterized the facts and testimony recorded in the hearing transcript, and included false statements intended to create a misleading record to enable Salinger to use the order at a pending trial to avoid a potential spousal support obligation of her client.
"[T]he court does not find [respondent's] assertion of poverty credible and that, even if he were, the state of 'poverty' is self induced & is a deliberate effort on his part to manipulate this ongoing dissolution case," the judge wrote in his revised order. Click here to view the order.Under judicial ethics rules, Gary's written statement indicates that he was not acting as an impartial judge, according to the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency responsible for oversight and accountability of California judges. Gary also is caught on the transcript probing the pro per about the pending trial and spousal support issue, subjects with no logical connection to the fee waiver hearing. Click here to view this portion of the transcript.
|Judge Matthew Gary used a fee waiver hearing to obstruct an appeal |
against his own orders to benefit a member of the local family law bar.
As the transcript records, the judge manipulated the hearing through intentional misstatements and omissions of material fact to achieve his desired result - fabricating false findings to help the judge pro tem attorney at trial - also a judicial ethics violation, according to the CJP.
In essence, Gary used the illegal fee waiver hearing for an unrelated and improper purpose: to influence and reduce or eliminate the potential spousal support liability of Salinger's client at a subsequent trial before a different judge.
The formal finding is calculated to enable the attorney to argue that her client should not have to pay support because - according to a finding by the judge assigned to pre-trial proceedings in the case - the unrepresented spouse's lack of income is "self-induced."
As the transcript records, Gary abandoned the role of judge and assumed the role of advocate for the opposing attorney. Acting as an advocate for a party or attorney is expressly prohibited by the Code of Judicial Ethics and multiple judge disciplinary decisions by the Commission on Judicial Performance. Click here to view CJP decisions.
Revealing additional bias and prejudgment, the judge speculatively accused the unrepresented litigant of "voluntarily" becoming unemployed a year before his wife filed for divorce so that he would be eligible for spousal support. Click here and here to view these excerpts from the court reporter transcript. A fervent right-wing ideologue, Gary reportedly detests what he calls the "entitlement mentality" of family court pro pers who obtain fee waiver orders or are on public assistance, according to a court employee.
A trial court judge who obstructs an appeal, or retaliates against an attorney or litigant for taking an appeal is subject to discipline by the CJP for violating the Code of Judicial Ethics. Click here to view a compilation of CJP disciplinary decisions. Judges also have been disciplined for manipulating a hearing to achieve a desired result, click here, and for creating a misleading record, click here. Despite documented, serial violations of the Code of Judicial Ethics, Gary has never been publicly disciplined by the CJP.
The judge's unlawful conduct in connection with the fee waiver hearing was witnessed by several court employees, including clerk Christina Arcuri, and bailiff J. Strong. As government employees, each had a legal and ethical duty to report the misconduct. Neither, apparently, did.
For additional articles about the people and issues in this post, click the corresponding labels below the document.