13 Unprecedented Unethical and Unlawful Violations Found in San Diego Family Courts by KidsMatter

Weak Judicial oversight fails to protect California families from judicial misconduct, due process and civil rights violations, and undisclosed conflicts of interest.

SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — KidsMatter, a 501(c)(3) charity based in San Diego, California, which represents over 25 parents, attorneys, and former judges throughout San Diego, as well as thousands of other litigants in California, is denouncing the San Diego Family Court for what can only be described as putting profits before parents and children.

The exploitation of parents and their children stems from the deeply flawed ecosystem that attorneys and judicial officers have created for themselves in the management and litigation of divorce cases. These Family Law participants are acutely aware that a parent’s love for their children is unconditional, where a mother or father will make great sacrifices and go to the ends of the earth to protect their bond and relationship with their children.

Unfortunately for these parents, the Family Court ecosystem is designed and managed by the members of the California State Bar, which was recently hit with a scathing report on April 14, 2022 from Michael S. Tilden, California’s State Auditor.  In the report, Tilden outlines several issues with the State Bar, including: undisclosed conflicts of interest between judges and attorneys; misappropriation of client funds; and improper handling of judicial complaints; among other egregious violations of the letter and the spirit of justice.

"And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the Titanic-sized problems we’ve identified and observed in San Diego family courts," said Mark Fidelman, Director of KidsMatter. "The nature of these exhausting ordeals in the courts—along with legal tools of the trade at the disposal of judicial officers and attorneys, demonstrate that protections have been erected to shield the wrongdoings and ethical abuses of judges and lawyers on many levels."

Parents coming forward to tell their stories have presented KidsMatter with evidence of family court violations, including but not limited to:

  1. Judges who have been recused backdating orders to before their recusal;
  2. Judges permanently removing children from their parents based upon unproven or hearsay allegations;
  3. Frivolous and fraudulent restraining orders based on false allegations;
  4. Violations by Minors’ counsels, with one even admitting the San Diego Family Law courts are corrupt;
  5. Multiple and frequent ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) violations;
  6. Suppression of exculpatory evidence (evidence that would tend to exonerate);
  7. Attorney sponsored blackmail;
  8. Blocking older children from testifying despite there being specific Family Law codes allowing their testimony;
  9. Numerous documented Child Protective Services and Family Court Services abuses, resulting in the removal of children from good parents;
  10. Court sanctioned child abduction as punishment for litigants not agreeing with a judge’s unconstitutional ruling 
  11. Frequent and institutionalized due process and civil rights violations of parents and their children;
  12. Intentionally blocking public access to the courts or removing of courtroom observers without cause;
  13. Conducting secret hearings without notice (euphemistically known as "Star Chambers") that result in the removal of children from their parents.

The recently concluded Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial has shown that false allegations cause real harm to people.  There are no adequate remedies for most parents and their children because, as Tilden’s audit showed, the family court system is flawed and corrupt, and operates with minimal oversight and seeming impunity.

The law does not provide criminal or civil remedies for false allegations, and the few legal safeguards that are in place to prevent such perjury are not enforced. KidsMatter could not find one prosecution of a false allegation made in Family Court in the San Diego Superior Court.  Moreover, after repeated attempts, we could not obtain any relevant information or statistics from the San Diego Superior Court regarding false allegations, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders , or reports of mediators being disciplined by Family Court Services.

"I witnessed a San Diego judge remove legal and physical custody of children from a father while he was recovering from a heart attack in a hospital bed, because I had personally witnessed a significant fraud upon the court and reported it to the judge.  Worse, the judge removed his children from him after she was disqualified from presiding over the case using a back-dated court order," said Fidelman.

Ultimately, this creates a system where abuses of power and authority prevail at the expense of the rights of parents and children, and promotes an industry that prioritizes profits before people. 

KidsMatter is calling on San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan, Attorney General Rob Bonta, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, and San Diego FBI Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy to conduct a proper investigation including  interviewing the undersigned and put an end to the abuses committed against these parents and children.

Herein verified and signed by:

  1. Mark Fidelman, North County San Diego Court, now Downtown San Diego
  2. T. Matthew Phillips, California Attorney at Law
  3. Mike Flood  North County Superior Court
  4. Mark Barrera, North County, San Diego Court
  5. Robert Emert, North County San Diego Court, now Downtown San Diego
  6. Vicci Bailey, San Diego Central Court, San Diego CA
  7. Edgar Silva, North County, San Diego Court
  8. Dedrick Girley, North County, San Diego Court
  9. Lisa Linke,  North County, San Diego Court
  10. Shannon Pollard, North County, San Diego Court
  11. Erica Jackson, North County, San Diego Court
  12. Vicci Bailey, San Diego Central Court, San Diego CA
  13. Charina Manalo, San Diego Central Court, San Diego, CA
  14. Lisa Goodpaster, San Diego, Ca
  15. Daniel Greenberg, Orange County, Court, Ca
  16. Kathrine Thomas, Monterey County, Salinas, CA
  17. Patty Boone, Santa Clara, CA
  18. Lamont Peay, Riverside, CA
  19. Mathew Phillips, Orange, CA
  20. Mark Andrews, Sonoma, CA
  21. Christie Black, Orange, CA
  22. Mark Esquibel, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, CA
  23. Angela Burley, Ventura, CA
  24. Kristen-Michelle Joseph, Los Angeles, CA
  25. Sean Murphy, Winchester Juvenile Court, Winchester, VA
  26. Raneisha Hubbert, Los Angeles Court, Ca
  27. Susan Bassi as an Investigative Journalist, Court Watcher
  28. Michael Volpe as an Investigative Journalist, Court Watcher
  29. Sellam Abraham, Placer County California,  Court Watcher

All twenty-nine of the KidsMatter spokespeople are available for media interviews by contacting Mark Fidelman at
or by calling +1 760-262-4252. Extensive documentation proving these allegations is available to interested journalists upon request.

The mission of KidsMatter is to raise awareness of systematic injustices in the Family and Dependency courts and to provide recommendations through open discourse to effect the changes necessary to rectify the culture of corruption that has become endemic in them.

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SOURCE KidsMatter