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Showing posts with label JUDGE CORRINE KLATT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JUDGE CORRINE KLATT. Show all posts

Friday, December 25, 2015




            The terms of the following Judges of the State of Connecticut will expire during the year 2017 and the nominations by the Governor will come before the Judicial Selection Commission for review commencing in February 2016.

            There are 36 judges with terms expiring in 2017:

            SUPREME COURT

           Hon. Richard N. Palmer
           Hon. Peter T. Zarella


           Hon. Bethany J. Alvord

            SUPERIOR COURT
        Hon. Holly A. Abery-Wetstone
Hon. Gerard I. Adelman
Hon. Salvatore C. Agati
Hon. Elizabeth A. Bozzuto
Hon. Mary-Margaret D. Burgdorff
Hon. Richard E. Burke
Hon. Emmet L. Cosgrove
Hon. Robert J. Devlin, Jr.
Hon. Kevin G. Dubay
Hon. Brian T. Fischer
Hon. Stanley T. Fuger, Jr.
Hon. James P. Ginocchio
Hon. Bruce P. Hudock
Hon. Corinne L. Klatt
Hon. Douglas C. Mintz
Hon. Vernon D. Oliver
Hon. Sheila A. Ozalis
Hon. Nicola E. Rubinow
Hon. Philip A. Scarpellino
Hon. Jose A. Suarez
Hon. Carl E. Taylor
Hon. William J. Wenzel
Hon. Dawne G. Westbrook
Hon. Peter Emmett Wiese
Hon. Glenn A. Woods

Senior Judges

Hon. Angelo L. dos Santos
Hon. Susan B. Handy
Hon. Kevin P. McMahon
Hon. Patty Jenkins Pittman
Hon. Susan S. Reynolds
Hon. Jane S. Scholl
Hon. Patricia A. Swords
Hon. Heidi G. Winslow

Comments regarding the reappointment of any of the Judges on the Reappointment List for 2017 may be submitted to the Judicial Selection Commission, 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT 06106 on or before January 29, 2016.  Reappointment interviews of the listed Judges will commence in February 2016 and continue through June 2016.  Accordingly, comments received after January 29, 2016 will be considered if received prior to a Judge's reappointment interview.  Anonymous submissions will be considered but afforded less weight than signed submissions.  

Sunday, April 5, 2015


On June 11, 2013, Kathi Sorrentino came to court with two separate checks--one made out to her ex-husband Saverino Sorrentino and the other made out to his attorney, Kevin Finch--each made out for $1,000.  When the parties finally arrived before Judge Corinne Klatt, the judge stated "Last week the Court found the defendant in contempt and ordered her to pay a one thousand dollar fine today."  

Still, there was a possible way out of the fine. Judge Klatt had also told Kathi Sorrentino she could avoid paying the fine, if she obtained mental health treatment to stop her from filing so many motions.  

Like the vast majority of judges in Connecticut, instead of acknowledging the domestic violence that Sam Sorrentino had committed against Kathi, and for which there was ample evidence, Judge Klatt preferred to attribute all the problems in the case to Kathi Sorrentino's mental illness.

All I can say is that Kathi can thank her lucky stars that Judge Corinne Klatt didn't call her "intelligent" the way so many judges describe other victims of domestic violence and stalking through the court system. 

Putting the joking aside, however, the fact is that using a mental health diagnosis or calling someone "crazy" for the purpose of discriminating against a family court litigant is a violation of the non-discrimination statutes of the State of Connecticut.  Family Court Judges are not allowed to ascribe the refusal of an abused woman to accept the abuse to some sort of psychiatric problem, not only because it violates the Constitutional mandate against discrimination based upon disability, but also because it violates the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and As Amended in 2008.  

Still, blithely unaware of these mandates against discrimination, and happily complaisant in her right to call a person who doesn't agree with her crazy, Judge Corinne Klatt stated as follows:  [Filing many motions is a sign not of] mental illness but some sort of, some type of mental health issue...the repetitive nature of these filings indicates to me...that it was almost so compulsive that it might be indicative of some of mental health issue..."

Apparently, on June 4, 2013, Judge Klatt had stated that if Kathi Sorrentino could make a good faith showing that she had attempted to obtain some counseling for this so-called mental health issue, she would consider canceling the fine of $1,000 for the order of contempt.  What Kathi did was see a person at her local domestic violence shelter.  The counselor at the domestic violence shelter basically said that it looked as though the problem that was going on was that Kathi did not have an attorney.  

Immediately, Judge Klatt intervened and said, you can't say that; it's hearsay.  

But the DV shelter advocate was correct.  Every self-represented party I know has had a problem with filing what the Court considers to be far too many motions.  Of course, I know what the Court really wants is for all of us self-represented parties to do is shut up and go away.  So even one motion from a self-represented party is much too much as far as a Judge is concerned.  Still, I hardly think it is fair to single out Kathi Sorrentino for showing evidence of a problem that pretty much every self-represented party  in the State of Connecticut has.  I myself was fined $35,000 in attorneys fees for filing too many motions.  

So, I guess in comparison to me, Kathi Sorrentino should consider herself lucky.  $1,000 is nothing in comparison to $35,000!  

However, since when does Judge Corinne Klatt think it is acceptable to define Kathi Sorrentino as mentally ill or intransigent based upon behavior that pretty much every self represented party is guilty of.  Doesn't this all again add up to an unconstitutional attack on the right Citizens of Connecticut have to represent themselves at all.  Isn't this a way to send the message, sure represent yourself, but as soon as you cross a single line, we are going to fine you into bankruptcy and call you nuts?

The bottom line is that Judge Corinne Klatt did not consider the letter acceptable and proceeded to demand that Kathi Sorrentino pay the $1,000 contempt fine.  At that point Judge Klatt demanded that Kathi pay the fine to the Clerk of the Court.  Unfortunately, since Ms. Sorrentino did not have enough money herself to pay the fine, her daughter had written out both of the checks to different people--one to Sam Sorrentino and the other to his Attorney Kevin Finch and there were no other checks available to write out to the Court Clerk.  

Immediately, both Judge Corinne Klatt and Attorney Kevin Finch dumped blame on Kathi Sorrentino for not knowing who to write the checks out for.

Attorney Finch:  Again, this is just another effort of Mrs. Sorrentino to delay matters.

Judge Corinne Klatt:  I ordered her a week ago to come in with a payment of a thousand dollars.  I gave you the week as a courtesy more than anything to you.  I gave you a week in which to pay the fine, ma'am.  And you come in today without a fine payment."

Ok, well, Judge Klatt, not exactly.  She had the fine payment, but it was written out to the wrong person.    While Judge Klatt insisted that she had told Kathi Sorrentino who to write the check out to at the hearing on June 4, 2013, a review of the transcript for that date indicated that she had not.

And, you see, here's the thing, how would anyone know that the fees on a motion for contempt would be payable to the clerk of the court.  As Kathi Sorrentino stated, "Nobody told me who to make the checks out to and if you look in the records, nobody did."  I have to say that I've been in and out of the Court for a decade and I sure didn't know that you would have to give the fine to the Clerk of the Court and not to opposing counsel.  If its news to me, I'm not surprised its news to Kathi Sorrentino.  

These kinds of scenarios show up in court repeatedly where the Judge and the opposing attorney in an abusive case will set up a major problem that's simply invented, but a self represented party wouldn't know, and put on a big show of outrage and indignation just to demoralize the victim of legal stalking through the court system.  This is why victims of long term stalking develop symptoms of PTSD and often lose their ability to function in daily life or hold down a job.  And, of course, that's intentional as well.

So what did Kathi Sorrentino do here, stuck in the middle of court without a proper check.  What she said to Judge Klatt is give me a little time and I will go and get a proper check and be back by lunchtime.  But that would be much too easy.  Instead, Judge Corinne Klatt decided to put Kathi Sorrentino in jail because she hadn't written the check out to the right person.  

You know, I have a sneaky idea how the Court could have avoided putting Kathi Sorrentino in jail.  She could have had Kathi hand over the check she had written out to Attorney Kevin Finch and then Attorney Finch could have written out a check to the Court Clerk!  That could have been another approach to getting the fine paid.  But that would have been much too easy, wouldn't it?  

The bottom line, though, is that if there is any concern that a self-represented party might end up incarcerated, isn't that party entitled to representation by a Court appointed attorney?  So what happened to that law?  Not important if you are too busy abusing someone?

I know that many of you reading this blog will think that situations like this are the exception.  Unfortunately, this isn't so.  They are the rule.  This is why we so desperately need to reform our family court system.

As a final note, Kathi Sorrentino did send a complaint about this incident to the Judicial Review Council, but by the time she did so the year long statute of limitations had gone by.  This is what happens frequently when judges abuse litigants; it ordinarily takes at least a year to recover from the shock before any one of them begins to think about filing a complaint and by then the opportunity is gone.  As one of the reforms of our legal system, I think the deadline should be extended up to two years.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


In an earlier blog on the Kathi Sorrentino case, I had spoken of the book "Man's Search For Meaning" in which Viktor Frankl stated that of all the many sufferings he endured in the Nazi Concentration camps, the worst he had to bear were not the physical privations, but the verbal abuse he had to put up with on a daily basis. When asked, "Why was this so?" his answer was, "Because it was so unfair." 

The context in which Mr. Frankl's words make the most sense in our Family Courts is in regard to how Judges bully and badger self-represented parties during hearings.  In ways that are very predictable, judges treat the represented party as if he can do no wrong, while judges consistently browbeat, harass, and pass judgment on the character of the self represented parties. This is one of the most unfair aspects of our corrupt Family Court system.

This phenomenon represents an ongoing, hidden disgrace in terms of how the Court treats litigants in Family Courts throughout the State of Connecticut.  In the hearing that took place on May 23, 2014, Kathi Sorrentino fell victim to the policy of abusing self-represented parties, and thus ended up losing custody of her son, Storm.

In this blog, I am referring to Judge Corinne Klatt who conducted Kathi Sorrentino's trial, but the bottom line is the techniques judges use in abusing self represented parties are well known and clearly judges discuss and share approaches.  So all of them stand guilty of the same abusive behavior, not just any single judge. 

Disregarding Court Rules:

The most common piece of nonsense Judges allow in hearings with self represented parties is to allow the opposing attorney to submit motions right when the hearing starts.  This is a violation of the due process right to know what you are being accused of in advance of the proceedings.  Thus, with Kathi Sorrentino, Dr. Eric Frazer submitted a status report that Kathi hadn't had the opportunity to see prior to the hearing.  Second, in Kathi Sorrentino's case, the judge allowed the opposing attorney to switch around the order of the witnesses right in the middle of the hearing which gave him considerable advantage.  As long as attorneys can manipulate the legal proceedings at will and a self-represented party has no recourse for that, it is unlikely that a self-represented party will ever have a fair hearing.

Often, judges will mislead self-represented litigants about court procedures as a way to disrupt their legal defense.  For instance, in my case the Judge told me that I did not have to object to decisions I disagreed with because the rules of the CT Practice Book had changed and objections were no longer necessary to preserve your right to appeal.  In fact, this was totally untrue. 

Likewise, Judge Corinne Klatt told Kathi Sorrentino that you are not allowed to object to a question that the opposing attorney posed, when in fact, of course you can.  Also, Judge Klatt told Kathi she was not allowed to object to an answer.  Ok, so you might not be able to "object" to an answer, but you can certainly expose the weaknesses in an answer during later examination.  

At other times when Kathi Sorrentino was legitimately standing up to state her objections, Judge Klatt responded with, "Please, stop interrupting." and "Stop shouting out in the courtroom."  So an attorney who objects is objecting, but a self represented party who objects is interrupting or shouting. This kind of judicial reframing of the actions of a self-represented party turns the application of a standard court procedure into a form of wrongdoing which could be punished by a contempt of court.  How can you possibly argue on behalf of your position under such intimidating conditions?  

Shouting loud commands:

Judges also bully self-represented parties by using repeated loud commands.  For instance this exchange during one part of the May 23, 2014 hearing:

Kathi:  Did I ever deny you any time during your parenting time?
Sam:  No.
Kathi: Not mine because, as you...
Sam:  No.
Kathi:  You admitted...
Judge Klatt:  All right.  All right.
Kathi: You do ask to...
Judge Klatt:  All right.  All right.  All right.
Kathi: Ok.
Judge Klatt:  He's answered the question.  You're not to argue with the witness; understand me?
Kathi: Ok.
Judge Klatt:  Ask your next question.

As I read through this transcript, I didn't see that Kathi had been arguing, but this is the point, that the Judge imposes an interpretation on a neutral situation and finds wrongdoing where there is none. 

Other behaviors like this include repeatedly going "Stop, stop, stop, stop" when Kathi Sorrentino was doing something minor like handing over an exhibit too quickly, or another variation, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" when Kathi asked the other side to show proof in regard to a statement they made.  Or when Kathi tried to elicit testimony from her ex-husband as to why he refused to continue with court ordered co-parenting therapy, "No. No. No. No. No."  

There are also situations where a judge doesn't think you are conducting your examination fast enough as a self-represented party and after each question barks out, "next question!, next question!, next question!" as Judge Klatt did with Kathi Sorrentino.  Or consider this outburst from Judge Klatt when she didn't think Kathi was going fast enough in her examination "This is the last time, move on to the next question.  I have ordered you five times.  I've actually counted.  Five times I've ordered you to move on from that subject.  Next question or I will stop this cross examination." 

Treatment like that inevitably leads self-represented parties to feel hurried and fragmented and judges do it for that reason.  Judges also like to tell self-represented parties off for using up so much of the Court's valuable time on their miserable self-defense.  For instance, Judge Klatt: "We are not going to turn this into a three day procedure.  Please."  Or else this exchange during Ms. Sorrentino's cross-examination of her ex:

Judge Klatt:  Just ask your next question.
Kathi:  So we have it on the record that Storm is registered...
Judge Klatt:  Please ask your next question.
Kathi:  with Dr. Landis...
Judge Klatt:  Are you finished with your questions?
Kathi: Okay.
Judge Klatt:  Are you finished with your questions?
Kathi:  No.  No, I'm not.
Judge Klatt:  Please.  Then go.

Again, when Kathi Sorrentino was attempting to make her final remarks she didn't say them fast enough for Judge Corinne Klatt as the following interchange indicates:

Judge Klatt:  Other than that, what do you want to tell me because...
Kathi:  Why?
Judge Klatt: ...quite frankly, ma'am, I'm about to shut you off.
Kathi:  Why?
Judge Klatt:  We've got three minutes left.  You've taken all day.  And as I've indicated, I think that's been a deliberate behavior on your part...
Kathi:  I'm sorry.  It's not deliberate.

Soliciting or Providing Testimony Outside Judicial Role: Frequently, when judges see there are big holes in a case, they will simply find a way to get the testimony in that is necessary to throw it in the direction of the particular litigant they've decided will win.

In my case, I recall the judge asking my ex's attorney questions about some retirement accounts in my ex's name thus cluing the attorney in on what arguments to use to get my ex excused from the penalties he should have endured for not reporting them on his financial agreement. 

In Kathi Sorrentino's case, the judge intervened extensively  and simply elicited the testimony he wanted to get out of Mr. Sorrentino, rather that leaving it up to the attorneys to argue to argue their case.  If you have the judge inserting evidence into the case of his own volition, and disregarding his role as neutral decision maker, how can you possibly believe that you have a fair trial.

Direct Personal Attacks:

Then there are the direct personal attacks on the self-represented litigant's character which are the most difficult to take and are a matter of course when a self-represented party is involved in a hearing.  For instance, there is the interchange between Judge Corinne Klatt and Kathi when Judge Klatt makes fun of her for not knowing the meaning of the word "filibuster":

Judge Klatt:  This is not let's ramble on because, really, that's all you're doing.  Are you familiar with what a filibuster is?  Ma'am, are you?
Kathi:  No. No.
Judge Klatt:  You're not?  Not at all?
Kathi:  No.
Judge Klatt:  You're a college graduate, aren't you?  Or I know you're enrolled in college...
Kathi:  English and Studio Art major.
Judge Klatt:  All right.
Kathi:  And I'm in school now for...
Judge Klatt:  All right.
Kathi:  and Education major.
Judge Klatt:  And you don't know what a filibuster is?
Kathi:  No.  Not off the...
Judge Klatt:  That's where somebody keeps talking just to stretch things out without really getting to the point of the issues at hand and which is what I think you're doing to me here.

There is something inherently wrong when a Judge of the superior court thinks it is acceptable to make fun of a self represented party for not knowing the meaning of a word. 

Condemnation for being intelligent:

With women who are representing themselves, there inevitably comes a point where the Judge will comment on how intelligent you are.  I personally know several women this has happened to.  This occurs because in these cases of abuse, the Family Court racketeers particularly choose women who are intelligent because the misogynist court system, I believe, is immensely gleeful to have the opportunity to humiliate and demean intelligent women. 

Also, they are aware that bright women are very likely to fight long and hard for their children, so this means more money for everyone all around. 

In Kathi's case, as with so many others, Judge Corinne Klatt's commentary on Kathi's intelligence is predictably interlaced with insult as follows:

Kathi:  I'm confused, your honor.
Judge Klatt:  Ma'am, you know what, Ma'am?  It is my obligation to assess the credibility of witnesses and I don't think you're in the least bit confused.  You're a bright, intelligent woman that has thoroughly prepared for this hearing and I think you're deliberately presenting to the Court in a fashion that makes you--that you're attempting to tell the Court or imply to the Court that you're confused.  I am not believing you in that regard."

But then after celebrating Kathi's intelligence, albeit in a very abusive manner, Judge Klatt tries to insult that intelligence by pretending that the entire court proceeding is not a direct attack on Kathi in the following interchange:

Kathi:  What I'm sensing and I'm hearing is that--that this is about me being accused of [being] an alienator and not complying with Court orders and I'm doing what I can to show that I am.
Judge Klatt:  Well, I hesitate to accuse, ma'am.  That's -- it's an affliction.  It is not -- it is not a crime we're accusing you of.

Right, it's a mental illness not a crime, as if that matters,  because the outcome for Kathi will be the devastating loss of custody of her child.  So is Judge Klatt trying to say that Kathi shouldn't worry about it?  How irrational is that? 

Increasing the noise level to drown out the truth:

The bottom line is that whenever Kathi Sorrentino succeeded in making powerful points in her defense, which was actually quite frequently, Judge Klatt would find a frivolous reason to strike that testimony from the record.  In addition, if Kathi was pursuing a successful line of questioning that proved that she was innocent of wrongdoing, inevitably Judge Klatt would allow the opposing attorney to jump up and down with irrelevant objections and commentary, or else she herself would interject discouraging remarks and observations. 

While for the better part, Kathi was able to make her points nonetheless, I recall being completely sidelined by those kinds of distracting techniques in my day.

The represented party can do no wrong:  

Meanwhile, the represented party pretty much gets away with anything he wants.  He can provide extensive hearsay testimony, make unsupported and outrageous statements without being required to provide the slightest bit of evidence.  He can refuse to answer the questions or answer them with outright lies and get away with it.  In other words, for the person who has an attorney to advocate on his behalf, hearings like this are a breeze. 

For instance, at one point while examining Mr. Sorrentino on the stand, Kathi Sorrentino was able to point out that he had no evidentiary basis for his accusations.  Immediately, Judge Corinne Klatt rushed to his rescue stating, "Well, ma'am, to be quite frank, that -- those comments are stricken.  You want to know why?  Because I am the one who determines credibility, not you."  

A hearing solely for show:

What this adds up to is that Kathi Sorrentino's hearing on May 23, 2014 was simply for show, a casual bow to the legal requirement that the Court allow a citizen a hearing before depriving her of her constitutional right to parent.  The outcome of this hearing was already predetermined. 

But yes, given the fact that legal techniques and procedures are geared to expose the truth, it does take the active intervention of the Judge to subvert the proceedings and conclude with an entirely unjust final judgment as happened in this case. 

Many of the self-represented parties who undergo this trial by outright wrongdoing by a judge talk about how exhausted they feel afterwards.  They are exhausted by the direct personal attacks and exhausted by the constant perversion of the truth.  It can feel as though you are an exhausted boxer staggering around the ring flailing back at punches that appear to come out from all sides. 

There is nothing fair or just about such proceedings.  The fact that Connecticut Family Courts conduct such show trials is a disgrace.  With the passage of last years Bill #494 and with the upcoming Bill #5505, there is hope that we can correct these kinds of abuses.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


At the end of the hearing on May 23, 2014, Judge Corinne Klatt stated "I will find that joint legal custody between the two parties no longer works.  Case law  establishes that it only works if the parties are united in -- purpose.  Clearly, that is not the case.  Given the testimony of the parties, the evidence that's been presented today, I will issue -- I will make a finding that sole legal custody of the minor child, Storm, will rest with the plaintiff [father].  Physical residence of the child will change within the next 60 days."  

OK, well, you see this is my problem--we are talking about a change in a final judgment dated November 29, 2007. Where is the case law which allows for such a dramatic change in custody based upon a failure in "united purpose" which existed prior to and subsequent to dissolution? What does the law state about a change in custody on that basis?  

According to Crowley v. Crowley, 46 Conn. App. 87, 92, 699 A.2d 1029 (1997) and Spencer v. Spencer, 71 Conn. App. 575, 481, 802 A.2d 215 (2002) when presented with a motion for modification of custody, a court must first determine as a finding of fact whether there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of one or both of the parties since the date of the judgment.  

As anyone with a familiarity with the Sorrentino case would know Kathi and Sam Sorrentino weren't "united in purpose" before their divorce, particularly since Sam had perpetrated domestic violence against Kathi, and they were not "united in purpose" afterwards" since Mr. Sorrentino continued to legally stalk Kathi Sorrentino through the court system subsequent to dissolution as I have documented.  Further, Judge Klatt's decision was in violation of the law in regard to the modification of a final judgment because it did not make a finding of fact that there had been any change in circumstances since judgment which would justify such a modification.  

On the contrary, what Judge Corinne Klatt observed was that there was an ongoing continuation of circumstances that had always existed prior to dissolution and which continued subsequent to dissolution which is not sufficient to change a final judgment.  As a judge, you can't just say, these two don't get along right now so I'm changing custody; otherwise, the Family Court system would be flooded with post-judgment cases.

Let's hear how Crowley v. Crowley defined this need to establish a change in circumstances before altering a final judgment.  The case states, "Second, if the court finds a substantial change in circumstances, it may properly consider the motion [for modification of final judgment] and, on the basis of the § 46b- 82 criteria, make an order for modification . . . The court has the authority to issue a modification only if it conforms the order to the distinct and definite changes in the circumstances of the parties.”  

Again, I am looking, but I don't see any determination of a change of circumstances in Judge Klatt's order which could then be used to focus the Order of May 23, 2014 on that change of circumstances.  In other words, this is an order for a change in custody which has been issued in complete disregard for and independent of the law.  

But far be it from me to require a Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut to have some knowledge of and obey the law when issuing custody orders that will have a profound impact on the best interests of a child.  

For those who may not have been following my narrative of this case, let me review the factors that fell into place after the March 28, 2014 hearing such that on May 23, 2014 there was an order for a change in custody.  What occurred was that on March 28, 2014 Judge Corinne Klatt determined that Ms. Kathi Sorrentino had committed Parental Alienation.  The Court ordered Ms. Kathi Sorrentino to address her alienation issues by taking specific steps which included obtaining therapy for herself and also for Storm to address this alienation.  

May 23, 2014 was supposed to be a follow up hearing to determine whether Kathi had obeyed the order and to see how everything was going as a consequence.  The decision to switch custody, though not cited in the final order as it properly should have been, was based on the grounds that Ms. Sorrentino's condition of PAS had not improved and that Storm continued to show symptoms of PAS as well and was, according to the GAL, getting worse.  Again, this would not be in accordance with the law which requires a change of circumstances.  If PAS exists in this case now, it most certainly existed prior to dissolution and would not represent a change. 

Be that as it may, this is the point I would make.  How can any reasonable individual believe that clients in therapy can achieve dramatic changes in mental status within such a limited period of time, i.e. sixty days?  I mean, this is not like getting a tooth pulled, I think we would all agree.  Plus, Storm had a long time history of anxiety which it is only logical became worse when he was required to go for overnights with his father which he had always disliked.  This is where people like me start talking custody switching schemes!

Further, how can anyone believe in the possibility for any kind of significant improvement when the mental health illness we are talking about is not covered by insurance because it is a quack diagnosis that no legitimate insurance company or mental health professional would recognize so Ms. Sorrentino was unable to find a competent counselor who could treat her?  

This was not hidden during the testimony in this case on May 23, 2015.  As Dr. Eric Frazer himself stated, "First, there's very few qualified people who have the expertise on parental alienation that are capable of offering it within the geographical area"  Oh, so what is Kathi Sorrentino supposed to do, grow wings and fly to a place that has them?  Dr. Fraser continues, "Secondly, of the people that are qualified to provide that service none of them are on the insurance panels because it's -- it's, as pointed out, it's not considered a clinical disorder that's billable under health insurance."  

Let me just interpret what Dr. Eric Frazer just said in real terms that we can all understand.  Bottom line is Dr. Frazer is acknowledging that PAS is quack science.  As Ms. Sorrentino stated, "My insurance does not cover parental alienation therapy because according to the American Psychiatric Association it is not a mental illness."  And as she further confirmed in her testimony before the Court, at Yale Primary Care which she contacted for treatment the nurse stated, "they cannot code it because it's not a DSM-5 behavioral issue.  It's not a recognized mental illness--so they can't diagnose it."

Right, it is not in the DSM-5, the compendium of mental health diagnoses for a reason, because it isn't a disorder or a mental health condition for which you can receive treatment.  It is a political invention for political reasons formulated by extremist father's rights groups to disenfranchise and disempower mothers and steal their children.  

It is also important to note that when Kathi Sorrentino tried to point out that based upon the formulations of the people who promote PAS, Parental Alienation Syndrome cannot exist in the presence of domestic violence and indicated that there was proven domestic violence in her case, the Court refused to hear it.  

Instead, Judge Klatt insisted that domestic violence directed towards Ms. Sorrentino had nothing to do with the father's relationship with the child.  After drawing that conclusion, the Court then stated to Ms. Sorrentino, since the domestic violence has no bearing on the father/child relationship, "stop talking about domestic violence."  This makes no sense.  When the father stood up in front of his wife and children and threatened to commit suicide, that inevitably affected both Ms. Sorrentino and Storm.  Unfortunately, Judge Klatt preferred to ignore the facts and the evidence, silence a victim of domestic violence, and cover the whole mess up with a false accusation of PAS.  This is standard procedure towards victims of domestic violence throughout the State of Connecticut.

Then, to compound one piece of nonsense with another, Dr. Eric Frazer continued on and stated, "any mental health treatment that's court involved is not reimbursable by health insurance carriers for that fact."  

Well, that is an outright misrepresentation.  There are some conditions where mental health interventions that the Court orders is not reimbursable, but there are many others that are. It depends upon what is being ordered (if treatment is for a recognizable condition listed in the DSM-5) and how the mental health professional presents the treatment to the insurance company for reimbursement.  

Ultimately, Dr. Frazer outright acknowledged that Kathi Sorrentino did not have the money necessary to pay for the kind of mental health treatment he felt she needed stating, "out of the qualified people none...operate and function at a rate commensurate with Ms. Sorrentino's needs."  Further, at another point in the testimony, Dr. Frazer acknowledged that in order to address the so-called parental alienation effectively, members of the family would have to have multiple sessions each week, but again said clearly Kathi Sorrentino couldn't afford that level of treatment.

Dr. Frazer also acknowledged that for Storm's treatment to be successful Storm needed to continue his treatment with Dr. Gruen.  However, he stated that Dr. Gruen was on the verge of dropping out of the case because she wasn't getting paid.  And who was court ordered to pay the bills for Dr. Gruen?  Father was court ordered to  pay them, but surprise he wasn't paying them and the Court, again, did nothing about that--no reprimands, no direct insults from the Court on the level that Kathi had to face repeatedly throughout the hearing.  

Not only that, father was supposed to be paying for health insurance for the children per court order, but he didn't bother to do that either.  Again, he was not held accountable for failing to do so, and Kathi Sorrentino was barred from providing testimony regarding that point because the Court didn't consider it "relevant".

Am I wrong, but to be considered in violation of Court Orders, in order to have a dramatic alteration in long standing custody arrangements, it should at the very least be determined that the losing party was willfully in violation of court orders, not that she just couldn't afford to obey them?  Also, if one party is going to be held accountable for not obeying court orders, shouldn't the other party be held accountable as well?  Clearly, that  wasn't going to happen in this courtroom with Judge Corinne Klatt.  

As Kathi Sorrentino testified, when she was in court ordered co-parenting counseling prior to the hearing, Mr. Sorrentino had no problem announcing to the counselor, Jane Todorski, that "he did not have to abide to these [court] orders because Dr. Frazer said he could do whatever he wanted."  Wow! And he was right too, apparently, but his behavior wasn't considered PAS.

Overall, what is troubling about this case is how the professionals involved from the Judge, to the opposing attorney, to the GAL psychologist, Dr. Eric Frazer, acted with a level of carelessness and disregard for law and for the wellbeing of the minor child, Storm Sorrentino, that I find inconceivable.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Question: Mr. Sorrentino, you and your ex-wife share joint legal custody, correct?

Answer:  Yes.

Question:  And you've also alleged she's violated the spirit of joint legal custody?

Answer:  Yes.

Question:  In other words, she doesn't confer with you about decisions surrounding your son?

Answer:  Yes.

You will note that, Attorney Kevin Finch, father's attorney doesn't ask about Kathi Sorrentino's adherence to the letter of the agreement.  The question might have been much harder for Mr. Sorrentino to answer without lying had the letter of the agreement been in question. 

But how are you supposed to defend yourself about questions in regard to the spirit of the agreement.  What is that, truly?  Either you do or do not confer--yes or no.  Kathi Sorrentino has stated that she did confer and she has the evidence to prove it, while Sam Sorrentino does not.

We have already seen how Mr. Sorrentino misrepresented what was going on in regard to Storm applying to private high school--Notre Dame.  The email record confirms that Mr. Sorrentino was perfectly well informed regarding what was going on with the plans for private school. Where else did he have complaints?

He complained that he was not getting information about school events in a timely fashion, "I would find out after the fact about activities, parenting--parent conferences, things of this nature."  Again, this is simply not true because the evidence Kathi Sorrentino provided indicates that she provided him with full information.  But lets put that all aside.  You see, this is the thing.  You have joint custody meaning that both of you bear equal responsibility for being on top of school matters.  Ms. Sorrentino is not your Mommy.  So if you, Mr. Sorrentino, want to know what is going on in school, you need to speak to the Principal or the secretary in the main office like every other non-custodial parent in the United States so that you receive all of the school notifications.

You yourself were fully aware of this, Mr. Sorrentino, because in your testimony you stated, "I had indicated this to Ms. Sorrentino that I need to be aware of these things.  She--her response was that I need to work it out with the school."  Exactly, you need to work it out with the school!  It is not as if the school system has never ever dealt with a non-custodial parent before!  My ex has signed up with each school my kids have been in and they send him an exact duplicate of every flyer, notification, and school bulletin that they send to me.  They even call him and tell him of every snow day and school delay, even when he is out of state and can't do anything about it.

But this is the spirit of the thing, since we aren't talking about the letter.  If Mr. Sorrentino wants to know what is going on in school with his son, he is well within his rights to obtain the emails of every last one of his child's teachers, the guidance counselor and the principal and he can request regular weekly updates from each one of them.  Furthermore, he has the option to volunteer at the school.  He could actually volunteer to be a member of the local parent teacher organization.  Nothing stops him!  Unless, the point is not to co-parent, but instead to sit on your duff and complain, point fingers at your ex wife, and spend your time legally stalking her through the court system!

This is where we return our attention to Dr. Eric Fraser, graduate of Miami Institute of Psychology, and PAS Tzar. Here we have a GAL who is determined to prove that Kathi Sorrentino was alienating the children from the father. 

But you see, again, here's the thing, I have in front of me a notarized letter written by Ms. Willie Brevard, a mental health professional, stating, "I do not find Kathi to be an alienator."  And also Brevard states, Kathi always encouraged the relationship between Storm and his father and continues to do so.  Storm loves his dad and has always spoken highly of him.  Kathi has always put the well being of her children first." 

This doesn't sound like a person with parental alienation syndrome to me! 

Then there is the problem of the abuse.  At one point, Mr. Sorrentino allegedly threatened to commit suicide in front of his ex-wife and children.  Sounds like, by doing that, he did a good job of alienating himself!

Predictably, at a later hearing Mr. Sorrentino claimed that he had never threatened to kill himself in front of Kathi or his children.  When Kathi Sorrentino pointed out that his testimony was contradicted by a letter of apology he himself wrote to Kathi stating that he was sorry that he had made those threats to kill himself, he denied that he wrote the letter and declared that it was a forgery.  The bad news for Mr. Sorrentino, however, is that a handwriting expert confirmed that he did, in fact, write it. 

In addition to threatening suicide, Mr. Sorrentino was reportedly sexually inappropriate with the older daughter (aged 15 when it happened) to the point that at the time of the divorce she was allowed to visit or not visit her father on her own terms. 

Again, this is the point, even among PAS advocates, it is well recognized that the presence of abuse rules out the diagnosis of parental alienation syndrome. 

Why didn't Dr. Eric Fraser bring up some of these issues in his report to explain where Ms. Sorrentino was coming from?  Clearly, because he didn't want any inconvenient facts to get in the way of his pet PAS theories in connection to this good mother.  Then when Ms. Sorrentino attempted to bring these issues up in court, Judge Corinne Klatt refused to allow the information onto the record even though she didn't have any solid, legal basis for that denial. 

If the court is going to censor all the information that comes before it and edit anything out of the record it doesn't want to hear, then naturally you get the kind of inappropriate ruling that this Court ended up with. 

I also want to point out that not only was there the presence of interpersonal abuse, there was also economic abuse at play in the Sorrentino case.  Again, this would rule out the diagnosis of parental alienation disorder in this case.

Originally, at the time of dissolution, Sam Sorrentino was required to pay $1000.00 per week in child support and alimony with the express intent that Kathi Sorrentino would use that money to pay off the mortgage on her home which was in his name.  However, not long after the divorce, Mr. Sorrentino had his child support and alimony reduced to $204 per week so Kathi was unable to pay that mortgage. 

Then, around 2009 even though the bank was not taking the home to foreclosure yet, Mr. Sorrentino filed a motion for contempt against Kathi for failure to pay the mortgage. While the bank was willing to work out a plan, Judge Gould, who was considering the motion said the process would take too long, ignored the bank and ordered Ms. Sorrentino to pay the back mortgage or else sign an agreement that required her to assume more of her ex-husband's debts. 

When she refused to do so, Judge Gould put her in a maximum security prison in Niantic, CT for a week. 

So this is a case where Mr. Sorrentino has freely taken advantage of his superior legal position in Family Court to bully, harass, and legally abuse his ex wife.  And then he goes around complaining, poor me, my kids don't like me and it's her fault.  I don't know that there are many children who are going to like the kind of father who would put their mother in jail, particularly when they have a mother who is as devoted to their welfare as Kathi Sorrentino is to hers.

Then, to add insult to injury, Kathi Sorrentino tried to defend herself from the Court's threats to put her in jail and impose unwarranted debts on her by going on the Lisa Wexler Radio Show to explain the situation.  Like many victims of family court she hoped that the pressure from local media would force the Court to act properly.  While she was being interviewed, the children were kept in a sound proof room where they were unable to hear the show.  Nonetheless, Dr. Eric Frazer used that situation also as the basis for his claim of Parental Alienation Syndrome stating wrongly that the children were in the room with Kathi when she was being interviewed.  Well, no, the record shows that they were not in the room and, in fact, Dr. Frazer was simply speaking carelessly if not outright lying.

But the bottom line is, this incident took place in 2010 and the hearing on custody took place in February and March of 2014.  That was a whole four years prior and was hardly relevant to the case at present.  In fact, I question the legality of even bringing it up.  In my view, the only reason  the Court allowed information on the Wexler show into evidence along with the inaccurate speculations regarding what happened at the show was to punish Kathi Sorrentino for having the nerve to try to defend herself or speak out publically about her plight. 

This is how the Connecticut Judicial Branch has succeeded in shutting off the flow of information to the public regarding the many Protective Mothers who have unjustly lost custody of their children, by silencing these mothers with threats of jail, loss of their children and other equally vicious punishments.