09 September 2013

Hon. Sharon A. Lueras Misconduct: Link To Second Child Death Revealed On Nancy Grace in Sarah Ann Stephens - Ryder Salmen Case

Judge Sharon Lueras Blamed in Infant Death in Case Covered by Nancy Grace and Headline News

"Well I hope the judge is happy tonight, because the baby's dead," Nancy Grace.

UPDATE: A UC Davis graduate student has started a petition at Change.org to ask the California State Auditor and Commission on Judicial Performance to investigate Judge Sharon Lueras for misconduct in connection with the deaths of Ryder Salmen and Matthew Hernandez. To view the petition, click here.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Sharon Lueras has been linked to a second child death during her two-year assignment to Sacramento Family Court. In an interview with Nancy Grace, Al Salmen, the grandfather of infant Ryder Salmen, disclosed that Lueras denied the family's request for custody of 8-month-old Baby Ryder. At the Sacramento Family Court hearing in the case, Judge Lueras ignored a dirty urinalysis test showing the mother, Sarah Ann Stephens, was on drugs and a threat to the health and safety of her baby, according to Al Salmen. Baby Ryder subsequently died from the ingestion of drug-laced breast milk. Stephens was arraigned August 9 on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of felony child endangerment. 

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In a similar case, Jessica Hernandez blamed Lueras for the hatchet death of her 9-year-old son Matthew by ex-husband Phillip Hernandez. In both cases, Lueras reportedly ignored evidence submitted by Jessica Hernandez and the Salmen family.  Family court watchdogs assert that had Hernandez or the Salmen family been represented by a judge pro tem Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section attorney, the evidence would have received meaningful consideration and the motions granted. 

Court reform advocates have cataloged and documented that judge pro tem SCBA Family Law Section lawyers receive preferential treatment from full-time family court judges, while the 70 percent of court users without attorneys do not receive fair and meaningful consideration of their family court requests. And as we reported in the Hernandez case, when her two-year stint in family court ended, Lueras wrote a farewell letter to the SCBA Family Law Section in which she admitted she had no prior experience in family law.

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, Judge Robert Hight – Judge Bunmi Awoniyi – Judge Steven Gevercer – Judge Tami Bogert – Judge James Mize – Vance Raye - Victoria Henley CJP - Judge Thadd 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 - The Honorable Joyce L. Kennard - The Honorable Marvin R. Baxter - The Honorable Kathryn M. Werdegar – Supreme Court of California - Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye -The Honorable Ming W. Chin The Honorable Carol A. Corrigan - The Honorable Goodwin Liu – The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye -Current California Supreme Court Justices – Justice Cantil-Sakauye – California Supreme Court -Hon. Sharon A. Lueras Sacramento County Superior Court - family court sacramento - Judge Kevin R. Culhane – Hon. Kevin R Culhane – Judge Kevin Culhane -
March, 2013 Sacramento demonstration supporting family court victim Jessica Hernandez and charging Judge Sharon Lueras with aiding and abetting the hatchet murder of Jessica's 9-year-old son, Matthew.

Sacramento Family Court has for years been plagued by scandals involving mismanagement, judicial misconduct and illegal collusion between judges, court administrators and temporary judge divorce attorneys from the SCBA Family Law Section. Court whistleblowers allege the public court is run by and for the financial gain of a cartel of private-sector lawyers from the SCBA Family Law Section. Family court parties represented by cartel members almost always receive favorable rulings from full-time judges in child custody disputes and on virtually all other family court issues, they charge. 

The unlawful non-disclosure to opposing parties of the conflict of interest that occurs when a judge pro tem represents a client in the same court is institutionalized, and hundreds of cases are tainted with the error. Click here for our exclusive report. Family court users without attorneys or represented by "outsider" attorneys not in the cartel are treated as second-class citizens and denied fair court proceedings by judges under the court's unlawful two-track system, according to court watchdogs and whistleblowers. 

Court records from several family court cases and internal court administrative documents obtained under public records laws substantially verify claims that family court administrators, judges and employees routinely violate state laws, court rules and ethical standards in cases where one party is represented by a judge pro tem attorney. Click here for the court records and story of a 52-year-old, disabled, self-represented single mother who was made homeless by an illegal child support order issued by Judge Matthew Gary. The order was requested by the partner of judge pro tem attorney Scott Buchanan

Click here for an account and documentation of an unprecedented, unlawful order assessing more than $10,000 in attorney fee sanctions against an indigent, unrepresented litigant. The order was requested by judge pro tem attorney and SCBA Family Law Executive Committee officer Paula Salinger, a partner at the prominent family law firm Woodruff, O'Hair, Posner & Salinger Inc. All four partners at the firm are temporary judges. Click here to view the complete court reporter's transcript from the sanctions hearing. 

Click here for the SFCN Color of Law series documenting serial state law and court rule violations by court employees. Click here for our report on multiple unlawful orders issued by Judge Jaime Roman for judge pro tem attorney Charlotte Keeley in the Rapton-Karres case. 

Click here for our report on how court employees illegally obstruct appeals by unrepresented, financially disadvantaged court users. Click here for our report on court employees allowing judge pro tem attorneys to file counterfeit entry of judgment paperwork, and here for coverage of court clerks filing non-conforming pleadings for temporary judges that obstruct an unrepresented litigants ability to object to false evidence. Click here to view internal court discipline policy documents obtained using public records laws.

The attorney hired by the Salmen family was an "outsider attorney" and not a judge pro tem. Had the family hired a temporary judge attorney, the motion for custody of Baby Ryder would have been granted, assert court reform advocates. Reform advocates
 call Sacramento Family Court "the most corrupt court in the United States," and equate the level of cronyism and corruption with the Kids for Cash scandal in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

Click here for our series of reports on the Jessica and Matthew Hernandez case. 

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