Fathers' Suit Against Family Judges Faces Uphill Battle

, New Jersey Law Journal


A group of fathers who are suing family court judges in federal court want to make it clear that their case is not a misguided attempt by disgruntled litigants to overturn their child custody rulings. Rather, they see it as an effort to end what they say is New Jersey family courts' systemic denial of due process rights to parents in custody disputes. But some observers are not optimistic about the plaintiffs' chances of success.

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What's being said

  • Mark

    What use to require proof of a commission of a crime, e.g., adultery, abuse, or abandonment, now just requires a biased opinion. From a Common Law matter to Equity lacking any protections. The whole system is a criminal enterprise.

  • DLR

    I have not had a fair hearing from the beginning and the damage to my children have been too far gone by the time my ex wanted to move out of state with my kids and the judge even allowed that. I just want to say the amount of pain that I have been through personally being that my ex was allowed to do this and the judge allowed it was like having a knife stabbing me in the back every single day. I wlll be filing a suit as well because my life has been completely destroyed by my ex and the court system as well as DYFS. I am getting permanent disability and because of that my ex felt like he can keep the kids away from me and get that money from me every month for the kids. It‘s all a game to the judges and my ex but did too much damage to my children as I see from far away just looking at some of the posts they have put on their accounts that I won‘t elaborate on.

  • Connor McManus

    A parent‘s right to care and companionship of his or her children are so fundamental, as to be guaranteed protection under the First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. In re: J.S. and C., 324 A 2d 90; supra 129 NJ Super, at 489.

    Cary Cheifetz... Your pants are on fire. Liar.

  • Karin Wolf

    This is why I filed a Federal RICO lawsuit against Gov. Chris Christie, the NJ Judiciary, DYFS, the AOC, the ACJC, et al., case no. 14-cv-5985, Wolf v. Escala. So has Rachel Alintoff, case no. 15-cv-1072, Alintoff v. Jones, and Damaris Adamo, case no. 15-cv-1073, Adamo v. Jones.

    All of us have been subjected to years of due process violations in family court. We have been approached by over 200 parents alleging the same.

  • Teresa Zerilli-Edelglass

    My hubby is one of the plaintiffs here. I stood side by side with him thru 12 YEARS of holy living hell. What we were all put thru was simply inhumane. That said, my stepson‘s life is ruined in that he will forever carry the emotional burden of having been subjected to court papers, outbursts, monetary disputes and a bunch of other horrific stuff that no child should ever bear witness to. The mother was clearly unfit and clearly unable to care for him the way we could. We went thru judge after judge after judge, none who was equipped to decided matters of this nature but for applying some kind of Constitutional standard that was conspicuously absent. It‘s yield to the mother...no matter what. Best interest is complete hooey. The only interest that is served in these cases is the wallets of the lawyers and all of the entities who profit from this industry. If we fix it, there‘s a lot of dough to be lost. Follow the money trail...it‘s that simple.

  • The Judge

    Family court is an unmittigated s-h-i-t-h-o-l-e

  • Willie Shakespeare

    Cheifetz is wrong about the "best interest of the child" as being the end-all practice. The U.S. Supreme Court has held in Parham v. J.R. and Lehr v. Robertson, along with the Pennsylvania Appellate Court case of Zummo v. Zummo, that the "best interest of the child" standard is repugnant to American tradition and repugnant to the U.S. Constitution.

    "Best interest of the child" standard requires that a full and fair hearing (e.g., plenary hearing) be conducted before one‘s children can be removed from them, or custody given to one parent over the other without any finding of clear and convincing evidence of neglect or abuse. N.J. law, NJSA 9:2-4 says that both parents are EQUAL when custody matters are to be decided. The "best interest of the child" standard is the last method referenced at the end of the law, but is the first method used by judges. They‘ve flipped the law around, and this is where the law should be challenged in its practice.

  • not available

    Sadly, what the New Jersey Courts have said, is that when it comes to children, due process does not matter. The above referenced suit is simple, the paintiffs seek a plenary hearing to put all the evidence on the table so that an informed decision can be made. How basic is that? I don‘t see how this request is not seen as fair, impartial, and American!

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