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Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
THE CT JUDICIAL BRANCH TAKES REVENGE AND THE CT LAW TRIBUNE SILENCES ITS CRITICS! THE TED TAUPIER DEBACLE CONTINUES!
I'm not the kind of blogger who goes for casual updates as many of you can attest. However, I did find it hard to keep quiet about some of the more recent developments in the Ted Taupier case.
It seems as though after sentencing Ted Taupier to a crushing 18 months in jail simply for speaking his mind privately among a small group of likeminded friends, the CT Judicial Branch is unable to control itself and is going for the jugular in seeking further revenge. As you know, I had posted a link to a Go Fund Me page for Ted Taupier in order to defray the expenses related to his legal defense and also to help him pay for his mortgage so he has a roof over his head. For those of you interested in that story, please see the link below:
However, from what I've heard the CT Judicial Branch contacted the "Go Fund Me" website and has had Ted's Go Fund Me account shut down. Go figure! Among those of us who have spent the last few decades observing and experiencing the bullying and racketeering directed towards family court victims, even we didn't expect this level of outrageous behavior! Does anyone know if this is even legal? Oh, but now, now, when has the CT Judicial Branch ever had respect for the law! In my dreams, perhaps!
Next, I had recently reported on Attorney Norm Pattis' even handed and reasonable commentary on the Ted Taupier case. See the link below:
Like many who read Attorney Norm Pattis' Op-Ed in the on-line CT Law Tribune website, I left my commentary at the bottom of his remarks. From my understanding the comment section was eventually filled with as much as 40+ comments and yet I was recently informed that all of these comments have been deleted. It looks to me as though by deleting public comments the CT Law Tribune has also destroyed any claim it may have had to journalistic neutrality. The claws have been removed from the velvet glove and now we know who runs the Tribune--yes, it's the CT Judicial Branch.
Seriously, I imagine the CT Judicial Branch oozing with corrupt legal functionaries covered with the blood of its victims, arrogant and gleeful, grinning widely exposing its fangs, reaching its chubby hands out for more. Somebody draw that, because it would be the most truthful portrayal of the CT Judicial Branch ever!
Thursday, January 21, 2016
MICHAEL VOLPE REPORTS IN "COMMUNITIES DIGITAL NEWS" AS FOLLOWS:
WASHINGTON, January 20, 2016 – An “ugly” but private email will test the limits of free speech and possibly set precedent, according to a noted attorney handling the case.
Edward “Ted” Taupier, 50, was convicted of threatening a judge and breach of peace and sentenced to 18 months in prison by Connecticut Judge David Gold in a bench trial.
The conviction stems from an August 2014 email Taupier sent that described details of the home of his then divorce judge, Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, “Bozzuto lives in watertown (sic) with her boys and nanny…there is 245 y(a)rds between her master bedroom and cemetery that provides cover and concealment,” and ended with an homage to Charlton Heston, “They can steal my kids from my cold dead bleeding cordite filled fists…as my 60 round mag falls to the floor and I’m dying as I change out of my 30 round mag.”
It was established in the first day of the original trial that Taupier never sent the email directly to Bozzuto. Instead, he sent it to six individuals.
Evidence also showed the statement about Judge Bozzuto was part of a thread in which the individuals complained of their own divorce and custody trials..."
Read more at:
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Saturday, January 16, 2016
"Ted is home on Appellate Bond, but the Court has imposed unreasonable restrictions on him, and he is unable to support himself and his children. He may very well lose his home, due to an inability to pay the mortgage. Please help if you can!"
To assist Ted, please click on the link below:
THE LINK APPARENTLY DOESN'T WORK! I'M NOT SURE WHAT'S UP. KEEP CHECKING BACK AND AS SOON AS I HAVE SOME MORE INFO I'LL LET YOU KNOW.
The Saga As Told By Ted Taupier
(Currently Incarcerated at HCC)
"This saga all started the Day 22 August 2014, when the Judge in my divorce case and her Clerk accepted the filing of an illegal motion. The Motions that was illegal was eventually thrown out but not before a hearing was scheduled to hear the illegal ex-parte order of contempt. Why was the clerk, the Judge and the Lawyer never sanctioned? This is their game and they make the rules, the attorney was grievanced and the CT Bar threw out the charges of misconduct to which in the this trial she openly admitted to knowingly submitting and illegal order.
When inherent fundamental rights clash with the immediate Family Court power structure, those common law rights are the first to fall. Under the direction of corrupt institutions the ideal of inalienable rights becomes a misnomer—since the structures in place have the immediate power to deny you those rights, they are no longer inalienable by instant circumstance.
And so it is with the family courts. Although they co-exist in a land where federal constitutional rights abound, and where such rights are legally controlling, these courts routinely ignore them. The federal “inalienable” right to parent one’s child is barely ever mentioned or entertained..."
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Yesterday, Mr. Ted Taupier, a father and a good citizen of the State of CT was sentenced to 18 months in jail based upon intemperate comments he made regarding his family court judge in a private email he sent to friends. I am here to say to the CT Judicial Branch and to Judge Gold who handed out this sentence that none of us are fooled.
Since dozens of individuals approached the CT State Legislature starting in 2014, and since the Task Force was established to investigate the wrongdoing of GALs in family courts throughout Connecticut, the CT Judicial Branch has been going out of its way to retaliate against CT citizens who have complained about its ill treatment. I am aware of one prominent family court advocate who had DCF remove his children from his care based upon no adequate justification subsequent to the task force hearings on GALs. I know of many litigants who complained of ill treatment from judges and family court attorneys who are now subject to gag orders.
I myself was subjected to more than one threat that I might be put in jail if I refused to reveal the sources of an article I published on this website. As a result, I had to pay significant attorneys fees and appear in court which was very traumatic for me given my past experiences.
I know of one specific individual who was particularly outspoken about CT Judicial Branch wrongdoing who had the local police station file false documents which compromised this person's case in family court. The stories have been coming in from all over this state reporting that Judges have been retaliating against family court activists, and this ruling in the Taupier case is just one more.
Judge Gold's harsh ruling is simply another attempt to intimidate and silence family court litigants who have legitimate complaints about the corruption and wrongdoing of family court in CT.
Things have gotten to be so bad in our State's family courts that the term "Corrupticut" is actually an entry in the free internet encyclopedia known as Wikipedia. How much more of a joke can CT's judicial system continue on being? This is the question that we are left with.
The bottom line is that in the email for which he was convicted, Ted Taupier was exercising his Constitutional right to freedom of speech along with a group of his compatriots in a private email. He never directly addressed the person he is charged with threatening, i.e. Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto.
It is interesting that The CT Law Tribune, the mouthpiece of the CT Judicial branch, reported how Judge Gold described Mr. Taupier's email as "frightening in its specificity" but did not mention another aspect of Mr. Taupier's email such as its obvious hyperbole, and its joking, exaggerated references to Charlton Heston's vastly hyperbolic encomium to machine guns in a widely circulated, and widely laughed at speech he made to NRA supporters. Taking Mr. Taupier's comments out of context and then awfulizing them for your own retaliatory purposes does not make a crime, much as my saying so may disappoint members of the CT Judicial Branch and Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers.
However, we can debate this extensively, if we'd like. But this is the bottom line. For several years, the CT Judicial Branch has colluded with certain profit minded attorneys and judges to develop a system within the family courts of this state which is intended to rip off citizens of this state who seek to obtain a divorce and establish custody arrangements for their children.
With the cooperation of many of their members, the Judicial Branch has allowed GALs, unscrupulous attorneys, and corrupt mental health professionals to charge families thousands and thousands of dollars for dubious services which have not benefited children, and instead have bankrupted families and emptied college tuition funds intended to give these children a future.
With the cooperation of their members, this Judicial Branch has subverted the due process of the law, repeatedly violated our constitution, flaunted its refusal to obey ADA law in the faces of vulnerable litigants with disabilities, and insulted their victims, the unsuspecting parents who have entered the family court system, and chewed up and spit them out onto the streets, homeless and childless, calling them "disgruntled" and "angry".
Are we angry? You bet we are angry. We are angry when Judges hide documentary evidence. We are angry when Judges refuse to allow us to put the witnesses on the stand whom we paid thousands of dollars to appear in court and conduct studies. We are angry when judges refuse to rule on the motions they are hired to rule on. We are angry when attorneys flout The Practice Book rules and the law, and judges let them get away with doing so. We are angry when GALs who are supposed to be neutral give one or the other party legal advice and inside information regarding how the judge will rule or how family relations will draw its conclusions. We are angry when attorneys sworn to facilitate discovery hand in documentation by piece meal over a period of years. We are angry when judges lie, when attorneys lie, when family relations officers lie, when mental health professionals lie, when clerks of the court lie, and on and on.
We have all walked in Mr. Ted Taupier's shoes. We all know what it means to become heartbroken and distraught about how we are treated in family court. Like many, I have worked hard all my life to earn a living. I can recall my first babysitting job at the age of 10 when I was paid $.47 an hour. I fought my way through my undergraduate years fighting against severe depression, worked my way through a master's degree and teaching program that took me five years because I worked full time also. I could continue on with the challenges of bringing up children--mine are in college now--and running a home business. Yet, I can recall having to stand before a judge for extended periods of time, keeping my mouth shut while the judge went on and on about what a poor character I had.
How did that happen that after decades of hard work and showing an honorable character, and obeying the law, and bringing up three children who are good citizens, how did I get to be as much of a piece of shit as the judges on those days described me, as the GAL on those days described me, as the opposing attorney in those days described me? Such things only happen in a CT Family Court system that is drunk on its power and that has lost its compass such that it can only work under the influence of the almighty dollar and has totally lost any comprehension that it actually has a responsibility to the citizens of this State, the taxpayers who pay their salaries.
I also want to return today to what this should all be about, what is justice about in situations like this related to family court. We are told that we should shut up and put up, that we should stop complaining, that we should stop holding court personnel to account in regard to proper legal practices because the only thing that matters is the best interests of the children, and attorneys and judges are always excusing their rotten deeds by saying they are doing everything in the best interests of the children, parents are of no account, apparently, in such an equation. However, if there was any one particular point many of the friends of Ted Taupier spoke of yesterday it was how putting Mr. Taupier in jail would harm the Taupier children.
Did that make a bit of difference to this court?
Judge Gold had no hesitation directly harming Ted Taupier's children by giving him a lengthy jail sentence. The only time, really, that it appears that the CT Family Court System starts mouthing off about the best interests of the children is when they are using it as an excuse to defraud family court victims.
Finally, it has always been the better part of wisdom to temper justice with mercy. Anyone who knows Ted Taupier knows how much he loves his children, knows how much they mean to him, and how he would go to the ends of the earth for their benefit. Instead of giving Mr. Taupier the opportunity to be the great father he is, family court ripped him to shreds. There is something beneath the dignity of a person in power, at least as far as I am concerned, to take a beaten father and beat him further. When is enough enough?
The CT Judicial Branch had an opportunity here with the Taupier case to build bridges and to bring healing to a situation where, through its own fault, it has caused considerably more damage to the citizens of the State of CT than ever Ted Taupier did, damage that goes well beyond the minor distress which Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto experienced, as unfortunate as that was.
Regrettably, in a haze of selfish, self defensive, arrogant shortsightedness, the CT Judicial Branch allowed that opportunity to slip through its hands. In doing so, the CT Judicial Branch has grievously failed in living up its responsibilities to the people of the State of CT and it will find, as a consequence, that rebuilding its reputation and rebuilding the trust and respect it once had before the family court fiasco will be a long hard road.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
There are parts of the public/media is a bit confused over application of law, free speech, criminal conduct, case law and conduct of Connecticut state courts.
Recently, a federal appellate court, 2nd Circuit, in New York ruled that an NYPD cop is not a criminal for talking about kidnapping and eating specific women. The judge states that 'fantasizing about committing a crime...is not a crime.'
The public is quite aware that the Connecticut judicial mafia has arrested one Ted Taupier and charged him with a crime for ranting about bad things happening to one Judge Bozzutto, the lesbian overlord of the corrupt state family court system. Judge Gold has convicted this person for expressing his desires/fantasy that bad things happen to a bad judge. Bullets, sights, trajectory, glass barriers....but no cannibalism, recipes, grilling instructions, seasoning or wine selections.
The public/media is curious to know if it is acceptable for NYPD cops to discuss kidnapping a Connecticut judge, killing it, filleting, barbecuing and hosting judicious buffet for state police. Obviously this was the issue reviewed by the federal court by Circuit Judge Barrington Parker.
If equal protection applies to NYPD cop's cannibalism, does it not apply to Connecticut lumberjacks? Would a private internet discussion about running Judge Bozzutto feet first through a wood chipper be acceptable under Judge Parker's decision? Or perhaps an essay on the corruption of state judges titled "A Million Pieces" where a retired NYPD cop moves to Connecticut to fantasize about bringing dietary justice to trafficked children? If the retired cop has a six burner, double tanked propane grill on the deck along with a butcher block, Henckels professional cutlery, pictures of the judge, address, pork recipes, extensive seasoning and a few bottles of chianti; can the state police arrest this retired cop for risk of culinary crime?
As the constitutional right to free speech is at the heart of the federal decision; limited power of government to criminalize thoughts. Is it not an issue for DOJ and your staff to address the arrest and conviction of Ted Taupier by lawless state actors under color of state law in deprivation of rights, protections, privileges of federal law?
Or are NYPD cops free to collect pictures of potential menu items, talk of kidnapping them, killing them, cooking them, eating them.....but if a family court litigant in Connecticut talks of Dorthy's house falling on the Wicked Witch of the court and her evil step sisters, then it is criminal only in Connecticut? DOJ sits idly by, condoning deprivation of rights?
Under 42 USC 1986, do you not have implied ability to remedy such deprivations? Are you not funded by the federal government to address such tyranny by the states? Or is fantasy cannibalism by cop not a crime in the New York district but can be a crime in the Connecticut region? Does your counterpart Preet Bharara operate under different constitutional criteria?
Or simply do NYPD cops have more right to free speech than a dad getting a divorce in Connecticut? Un-equal protection?
Surely your office can provide some guidance to the citizens of Connecticut on what criminal law dictates what can and can't be discussed about the judges of the family court.
connecticut/hc-ted-taupier- convicted-of-threatening- judge-20151002-story.html
Favor of a professional reply appreciated. Make it a FOIA request for any memos on the subject or guidance information provided by your department.
There is great public interest to understand what thoughts and fantasies are criminal and which are not. Surely it is the duty of your office to educate the populace and their police overlords on the proper limits of speech.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
IF WE CONVICT TED TAUPIER FOR TRASH TALKING, WHY DON'T WE CONVICT ATTORNEYS AND JUDGES FOR THE SAME CONDUCT?
Last year, I spent a considerable amount of time observing meetings of the "Task Force to Study Legal Disputes Involving the Care & Custody of Minor Children" which resulted in several reforms of the Guardian Ad Litem system.
At one point during these proceedings, I observed one member of the task force, Attorney Sue Cousineau, harshly and loudly say to her daughter, who was also observing the proceedings along with me,"Don't talk to a crazy person like that" or words to that effect, clearly indicating that she was referring to a fellow task force member, Ms. Jennifer Verraneault who was standing nearby.
As a result, Ms. Verraneault was so upset that she left the hearing room with Rep. Minnie Gonzalez and the proceedings were delayed for a considerable amount of time. I am not sure what they did--whether they reported the incident, or whether Ms. Verraneault merely spoke to Rep. Gonzalez out in the hallway to regain her composure. The bottom line is that Attorney Sue Cousineau's verbal attack was directly harmful and abusive to Jennifer Verraneault and resulted in the disruption of official business of the task force that had been authorized by the Connecticut General Assembly.
At the very least, I felt it was a demonstration of very poor character on the part of Attorney Sue Cousineau, which was particularly reprehensible since she acted in such a manner in front of her own daughter and showed a very poor example to the younger generation.
More to the point, in the light of the recent arrest and conviction of Ted Taupier for 1st and 2nd degree threat, disorderly conduct and breach of peace for an email that was never sent to his supposed victim, how come Attorney Sue Cousineau wasn't immediately arrested for face to face, directly using "fighting words" to her victim, a form of ""disorderly conduct" which ultimately resulted in a "breach of the peace" since it meant interference in Jennifer Verraneault's ability to continue to conduct business which she had been entrusted to carry out by the CT State Legislature.
How come there is one form of justice for legal professionals such as judges and attorneys and another, inferior, form of justice for Connecticut citizens like Ted Taupier or Jennifer Verraneault?
I would also hasten to add that I would characterize Attorney Sue Cousineau's statement as a form of hate speech because the word "crazy" in the sense that she used it, and I heard it, was intended to convey the same meaning that the N word would have if it were directed towards an African-American.
So why do I characterize Attorney Sue Cousineau's words as fighting words? Fighting words doctrine was first established in the United States as a limitation on freedom of speech in the 1942 case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. Here the Supreme Court held that the State has the authority to limit "insulting or 'fighting words" which are those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of peace." Calling a person "crazy" and implying that such a person should be silenced because they have been defined as such represents a direct infliction of injury.
Clearly, Attorney Sue Cousineau both created an injury and incited an immediate breach of peace when she made a statement indicating her contempt for people with mental health disabilities, one that she knew would upset Jennifer Verraneault and that indeed made it impossible for Ms. Verraneault to continue to participate in official proceedings she was a part of for a considerable period of time.
Further, under 8.4 "Introduction to Breach of Peace and Disorderly Conduct" published by the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, the charge of breach of peace includes conduct that includes "abusive or obscene language" I'd say calling someone "crazy" is absolutely abusive.
In regard to disorderly conduct, the statute says that it is "conduct that is grossly offensive, under contemporary community standards, to a person who actually overhears or sees it (for example me), [or] it impedes the lawful activity of that person." State v. Indrisano, supra, 228 Conn. 818. To repeat, Attorney Sue Cousineau's words interfered directly with Ms. Jennifer Verraneault's participation in the task force. Thus, Attorney Cousineau's actions met the standard for disorderly conduct.
Returning to the issue of how Attorney Sue Cousineau's remarks constituted a hate crime, here is how the law sees it. Connecticut hate crime statutes, according to Attorney Christopher Reinhart, are intended to "address certain actions that intimidate or harass another person because of his actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression." Under the hate crime statutes, any conduct that results in the deprivation of a citizen's legally guaranteed rights based upon disability is a crime.
I'd say that Ms. Jennifer Verraneault had the legally guaranteed right to carry out her official responsibilities on that task force without enduring the constant threat that she would be subjected to hate speech from Attorney Sue Cousineau in the course of her duties.
Again, keep in mind that the verbal abuse Attorney Sue Cousineau subjected Ms. Jennifer Verraneault to was face to face, not by email, and also verbalized directly to her, as opposed to arriving indirectly in the kind of whisper down the lane manner that took place in Ted Taupier's situation.
So again, my question is, if Mr. Ted Taupier is facing fines and many years in prison for braggadocio that he did not even intend Judge Elizabeth Bozzutto to know about, how come Attorney Sue Cousineau isn't held to account for what comes across to me as a direct verbal attack on a fellow official in a task force, carried out with the express intention of disrupting Ms. Verraneault's ability to contribute to that task force in a meaningful way.
What's with that double standard?
Going beyond this single incident which is so representative of the kind of discrimination against people with disabilities here in the State of Connecticut, what about the many litigants in family court who have had attorneys or judges falsely accuse them of mental illness with the express intention of denying them their fundamental constitutional and human rights?
How about those legal professionals who bring up litigants' disabilities and then ignore the fact that such litigants have rights under Title II and Title III of the American's With Disabilities Act? Those rights include protection from discrimination, protection from the deprivation of their rights, as well as reasonable modifications which they require in order to obtain access to those rights.
Jesus said in Mathew 7:2-4, For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4"Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye?"
These are words that Judge Gold should seriously consider.
And Jennifer, if you are reading this, ten to one you still have the right to sue, so keep that in mind.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
On November 14, 1996, police in Canton, CT received a phone call from a Jean Eichelman of South Windsor. She was worried about her parents who had called her earlier stating that their son, Neil Cretney, and Jean's brother had been threatening them. Neil, who was 44 years old at the time, had an extensive history of schizophrenia and had not been taking his medication.
Eventually, Neil Cretney barricaded himself in his room with an axe and refused to come out. Canton Police who had already managed two earlier violent incidents with Mr. Cretney, instead of doing something personally, decided to hand the situation over to the North Central Regional Emergency Services Team--a 20 member SWAT team--that stormed Cretney's room and shot him dead after he swung at one officer with the axe, cutting through his bullet proof vest.
Subsequent to Neil Cretney's death there was a lot of soul searching. Why did Canton police decide to call the SWAT team? Would it have been better if the Canton police had tried to talk Neil Cretney down before storming his room? Could anything have been done to prevent the tragic outcome? I can recall feeling very saddened by this situation at the time and I am aware that everyone concerned--the police, Mr. Cretney's family, members of the community--felt devastated by what happened. I believe that after that incident, the Canton police voluntarily participated in additional training to learn how to deal more effectively with people who have mental illness who are in crisis.
Why I am telling this story now is to say that when Jean Eichelman, Neil Cretney's sister, called up the police in order to safeguard her parents, it was never her intention to get her brother killed. She was in an impossible situation where if she did nothing, her parents could end up being injured. However, if she made a phone call to police, there was a considerable risk that her brother could end up manhandled, handcuffed, and carted off to a psychiatric hospital as had happened before.
I'm sure it never crossed her mind that Neil Cretney would end up dead, but that is always a possibility in any encounter that a person with a disability has with police. According to statistics, over half of the incidents of deadly violence that take place between police and civilians occurs in cases where people with disabilities, particularly individuals with mental illness, are involved. As soon as you pick up the phone to call for assistance from police, the fire department, or ambulance services, etc., pretty much the situation is out of your hands and there is nothing you could do about it.
Should we blame Ms. Eichelman and call her a murderer? No, she was in an absolutely difficult position where anything she did had the potential for harm. In the end, she chose the better of the two evils which was to safeguard the wellbeing of her elderly parents.
Likewise, with Jennifer Verraneault, who made the difficult decision to report Ted Taupier to authorities, she was similarly in a very difficult position trying to decide between the better of two evils, and with no absolutely fool proof way of determining which was better.
There were aspects of Ted Taupier's statements in the email for which he was arrested that were laughable, i.e. the quotations from Charlton Heston and the comments about the space station on the moon, or whatever that was. On the other hand, Mr. Taupier's other remarks were very intense and potentially very upsetting to anyone who didn't know him that well.
Thus, Jennifer Verraneault's concern about Ted Taupier and his wellbeing and the Judge's safety, from her perspective, made absolute sense.
It also made sense within the heated and intense debate that has been going on in the state legislature, in the streets, and in our court houses regarding the corruption of CT Family Court.
As Jennifer stated, "Try to put yourself in my situation and understand how scared I was for this family and for others."
I believe Jennifer's expression of concern is absolutely genuine. The problem is that once Jennifer reported her concern to other people and the situation snowballed, she had no control over the outcome and no control over the outrageous and excessive manner in which the State of CT chose to handle the situation, any more than Jean Eichelman did when that SWAT team went after her brother.
Jennifer had real fears regarding Ted Taupier and his wellbeing and that of Judge Bozzuto that should be taken seriously. As she states, "At the time I was alarmed and felt a tremendous amount of sadness for a father trapped in this unjust system. I immediately replied to his email prior to contacting anyone. I sent him an email to say I am worried about you. Do you have your children this weekend? The goal I had at the time was for Jerry and I to meet him on our way back from Mass. But he didn't reply to me at all. I felt so sad for him, his children and his family. For anyone to write what he wrote was extremely alarming to me. I am not used to having anyone share that type of information with me."
That is the thing. Some people, depending on their background and experience, would find what Ted Taupier said alarming, but many would not have found it alarming. I read that email and read all that stuff about Charlton Heston and I was like, don't be silly. In my own life, I've spent a good deal of time with people who have mental health challenges or who have dealt with extremely difficult life circumstances, so my radar for violence has a much higher threshold than for most people.
So there is this continuum in terms of how people assess situations of this kind and when it comes to understanding how Jennifer responded, we should be charitable and keep that in mind. She just saw things differently than other people did who were copied on the email. As Jennifer stated, "I was torn about what to do with the email from day one." And she states further, "When I saw the video where Ted's kids were taken out of school. I didn't know all the details. I was unaware that Ted had taken the video himself and it was only a month later I found that out. I thought OMG a judge ordered the police to take the kids out of school? I didn't know it was the ex-wife who had brought in the police. I thought how horrible! I thought, if I was disturbed by this image, how will Ted feel? His kids are crying and being taken out by police...I thought in the light of the email he sent five days earlier, he might possibly carry out what he put in the email...You see reaching out to let others know what was going on with Ted was not a calculated and evil thing that I did. I was sincerely worried about everyone."
I believe Jennifer 100 percent when she says this.
As with Jean Eichelman, once the report had gone out, there was nothing Jennifer could do to prevent what happened with Ted. Who could anticipate the kind of vicious, vengeful and excessive response to Ted Taupier on the part of law enforcement and on the part of Judge Gold. At the most, I would have thought that Ted would have been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and to cooperate with a treatment program to address his anger issues. But six years of jail, fines, house arrest, major legal expenses, etc., etc. That would be far beyond my ability to imagine, and I'm sure the same is true for Jennifer.
When it comes to the Family Court Reform movement here in Connecticut, everyone brings something different to the table. It is remarkable the broad range of economic, cultural, religious, ethnic, gender, and disability based backgrounds we all have. It seems as though the Family Court Abuse has been an open opportunity for pretty much everyone--it's a very democratic experience! In my earlier blog regarding the Ted Taupier Case, I spoke about Jennifer as having mixed motives, and I'm sure people were like, "Yes, we know, she's such a terrible person!"
This, actually, was not on my mind.
In our movement, because of her experience on the Task Force last year regarding child custody, Jennifer has the unique perspective of understanding not only how we feel as victims of the corrupt family court system, Jennifer has also heard extensively from people who work within that system in regard to the frustrations they experience from their perspective. I know everyone wants to say, yeah, from their criminal perspective, but that would not be fair. There are many good people within the CT Family Court System who are working hard to ensure just and proper outcomes for the litigants who make their way through Family Court. These are the people we need to learn to connect with and work with in a productive way.
I am sure that with this recent situation, those who are responsible for the criminal activities within the CT Judicial Branch are feeling overjoyed. First of all, they are probably really thrilled they finally nailed Ted Taupier who was such a pain with his honest and incisive testimony regarding the abuses he and his family endured in family court. But most of all, they are probably as delighted as can be that Jennifer Verraneault, who has been such a dynamic part of the Family Court Reform movement, is now crippled and undercut by these attacks on her character and on her motivations for working in the Family Court Reform movement.
Ha ha, all the corrupt attorneys, GALS, judges, and court personnel are probably saying--we've killed two birds with one stone!
I have to say that I do not agree with Jennifer in a lot of areas, particularly in regard to her support of theories of Parental Alienation. I think everyone knows that I'm not everyone's favorite player in the battle for Family Court Reform. As a general rule, it is true that my focus is considerably more on supporting the welfare of women than men.
But if there is one thing I want to say emphatically, it is that we need to stop fighting among ourselves and stand together shoulder to shoulder to fight for justice within the Family Court system. Let's focus on what really matters.
Of course, we are not going to agree on everything, but if there is one thing I constantly hear about from pretty much everyone it is that we all believe in fairness, we believe in justice, we believe in due process; we protest lying, cheating, and stealing, and we all believe that we need to get the children out of the line of fire so that they can live happy and fulfilling lives devoid of trauma and heartbreak.
We cannot allow ourselves to succumb to the temptation that our opponents in the corrupt CT Judicial Branch dangle before us to fight among ourselves, to backstab one another, or to smear each other's reputations.
I also want to say that I personally saw members of the that task force attack Jennifer and attempt to undercut her success. There is no doubt that she suffered a lot and gave a lot while she was in that role. If she stumbles and falls. If she is not perfect all the time. If she makes mistakes, in that, I believe, that she is no different than any one of us.
Under the pressure of the abuse of family court, who cannot say that they haven't said or done things that they regret. So what I'm urging everyone to consider is that we need to support one another, no matter how flawed we are, and reserve our challenges, our criticisms, and our calls to arms for the real enemies, those within the Family Court System who have exploited and harmed family court victims. United we stand. Divided we fall.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
THE CT JUDICIAL BRANCH, DESPERATE TO DEFLECT ITS CRITICS, HIDES BEHIND LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO TO CONVICT FAMILY COURT REFORM ACTIVIST TED TAUPIER AND NULLIFY THE FIRST AMENDMENT!
On August 29, 2014, a SWAT team of 75 officers along with two armored vehicles stormed Cromwell resident Mr. Ted Taupier's house with their weapons drawn, threw him to the ground and arrested him. [I am hearing that there was no need to throw him on the ground; he was apparently quite cooperative and just stood there! Anyone else is welcome to comment!]
The basis for this arrest?
Apparently, late in the night on August 22, 2015, Mr. Taupier sent an email to six other friends which appeared to threaten the life of Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto, some of it couched in the language of movies and science fiction and other parts of it appearing to be more serious. One of the recipients of this email, Jennifer Veraneault, was frightened by the email and so after consulting with a friend, and a failed attempt to reach Mr. Taupier, she reported the email to authorities.
The result was the absolutely dramatic arrest scene which I have described, and subsequent charges filed against Mr. Taupier for 1) threatening in the first degree; 2) threatening in the second degree; 3) two counts of disorderly conduct; and 4) breach of peace in the second degree. He was released on bail of $75,000, was required to wear an ankle bracelet and was put on house arrest.
Did Ted Taupier deserve this dramatic response to his late night diatribe against Judge Bozzuto?
On June 11, 2015, Attorney Norm Pattis, a highly regarded civil rights and criminal attorney blogged about the Ted Taupier case on his website stating, "Just how the state perceives [the email Ted Taupier sent] to be a threat to anyone is beyond my comprehension. The speech is certainly ugly, even irresponsible, but if there is a specific intent to cause alarm or harm to Judge Bozzuto in the email, I can't see it."
Commenting on his observations regarding the subsequent trial in the case, Attorney Pattis stated, "there's little doubt that the state failed to prove Taupier guilty of threatening. His reckless bluster among folks he thought were friends and fellow travelers cannot be construed as an intent to threaten the judge. No evidence suggests that he intended, or foresaw, that anyone would forward the email to Judge Bozzuto."
At the very worst, Attorney Pattis anticipated that Ted Taupier would be acquitted of threatening and perhaps be convicted of disorderly conduct or breach of peace. Instead, much to my surprise, on October 2, 2015 Judge Gold found Ted Taupier guilty of all charges in a 56 page decision that at times comes across as rambling and at other times obscure.
While I never expected that Ted Taupier would get off scott free from these charges, it does appear excessive and vengeful that the Court convicted him on all charges and he now faces a six year prison sentence simply for speaking in an exaggerated and hyperbolic manner about a family court judge. This is particularly true when you consider that Mr. Taupier never directly addressed Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto with any vituperative language and anything he said was written in an email sent people he believed were likeminded friends.
Make no mistake, this Judge's decision was a purely political act, a blatant attempt to silence and intimidate current and potential critics, and has nothing to do with the law.
I say this because in the last few years there has been escalating political unrest directed towards the CT Judicial Branch, particularly in connection to accusations that the family court system is corrupt. Along with many others, Mr. Ted Taupier, who has played a central role in advocating for reform of the legal system, has faced systematic retaliation from the CT Judicial Branch. I myself have reported that this blog has also been the focus of vicious retaliation from the legal profession in the last year.
What can be done when the judges of the CT Judicial Branch use their power within the judiciary to wreak revenge upon their critics?
First of all, it should be noted that Tanya and Ted Taupier are typical of the kinds of successful couples that the CT Family Court likes to exploit and that in the course of obtaining their divorce they suffered the full gamut of the kind of corrupt behavior standard in family court.
Tanya Taupier has a high level position at Aetna Insurance Company and Ted Taupier, prior to his arrest, had a solid position with Citicorp. They have two children -- a son and a daughter. Ms. Taupier filed for divorce in the fall of 2012 and had sufficient income to hire two divorce attorneys--Attorneys Geraldine Ficarra and Michael Peck--who continue to remain her attorneys. At the same time, she also hired a criminal defense attorney Chris Morano formerly a prosecutor in the Michael Skakel case, no doubt also highly expensive.
For his part, Ted Taupier hired in succession Brown, Paindiris and Scott, a highly regarded divorce attorney firm, then Attorney Henry B. Hurwitz, and then finally Lobo and Associates, LLC and then went pro se.
In addition, the parties hired Attorney Margaret Bozek as the guardian ad litem for the children--Attorney Bozek has been associated with other problematic cases. Attorney Bozek quickly racked up a bill of $30,000 and counting.
It took three years before the divorce was final and, from what I've heard, a whole bunch of legal professionals cashed in before the case was over.
So what happened specifically that so deeply radicalized Ted Taupier and ultimately led him to express his anger so strongly in regard to Judge Bozzuto in a private email to fellow advocates. We just don't know because there is no information regarding Mr. Taupier's perspective in the entire October 2, 2015 decision.
This is true despite the fact that Judge Gold stated on page 3 of his decision, "the determination of whether a defendant's allegedly threatening statements may be prosecuted and punished under the law requires that they be examined and considered in the light of their entire factual context and with reference to all surrounding events." We got something in the Memorandum of Decision of October 2, 2015, but it certainly wasn't the "entire" story.
Instead, the Court summarized two very sanitized and edited stories in which Ted Taupier's perspective is entirely eliminated--one in regard to where the Taupier children would go to school and the other in regard to Mr. Taupier's disposal of his antique gun collection told from the perspective of the prosecutors.
I certainly experienced this kind of repeated editing in my case and I know many others have experienced this. What Judges do when they write Memoranda of Decision is simply pick and choose among the facts they like, and ignore or suppress the evidence they don't want to hear or acknowledge. Along the way Judges often invent several extra stories for good measure just because it fits in with the legal picture they are attempting to develop.
So even while making pompous and high minded sounding remarks about how all the evidence must be heard, Judges regularly edit or eliminate essential information from the record.
Not only do Judges tamper with court cases by suppressing the defendants side of the story, they also refuse to listen to witnesses at will. Thus, in Ted Taupier's case, the Court simply dismissed as not credible the witnesses who came in support of Mr. Taupier and put their testimony in footnotes. Meanwhile, inexplicably the Court stated that the one witness who felt threatened by Mr. Taupier's remarks was credible, even though we all know that she acted out of mixed motives that everyone is well aware of.
This is not justice. This is not the "entire factual context."
What it actually adds up to is a legal exercise in judges using their superior status and the benefit of the doubt they receive from people who have watched too many episodes of "Law and Order" to smear the reputation of a vulnerable citizen who doesn't have anything like the same social and financial resources.
We should also be troubled by Judge Gold's heavy reliance on the Supreme Court case State v. Krijger which came out on September 2, 2014. For one thing, the State V. Krijger involves a defendant who made a direct verbal threat to the complainant (an attorney--surprise, surprise!). In contrast, Ted Taupier never made a direct threat towards Judge Bozzuto--he was merely speaking with several friends in a private email. And while Judge Gold from his standpoint thinks it was inevitable that one of those friends would communicate with authorities regarding the content of Ted's email remarks, that is not a given in my view. Despite Judge Gold's insistence that all his conclusions were purely objective, reasonable people cannot help but think that subjective biases might have influenced Judge Gold's thinking process. Therefore, what we have here are two very different circumstances, yet Judge Gold is treating them as if they are identical, which makes no sense to me.
Another point to keep in mind is that this case wasn't even the law at the time the alleged criminal act had taken place. In many respects, the timing of when the decision in this case was issued, immediately after Taupier was arrested, bears the mark of case law especially formulated to target a particular individual such as a political activist.
Another point to keep in mind is that this case wasn't even the law at the time the alleged criminal act had taken place. In many respects, the timing of when the decision in this case was issued, immediately after Taupier was arrested, bears the mark of case law especially formulated to target a particular individual such as a political activist.
What is additionally troubling when it comes to the State v. Krijger decision that acted as the basis of the Judge's determination in this case is that it essentially eliminates our first amendment right to freedom of speech in the State of Connecticut. Take a look at the content of this decision on page 24 of Judge Gold's decision: "a state may punish those words that by their utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace....Furthermore, the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except when such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
This language is so broad that it really encompasses and identifies as illegal, even criminal, pretty much any meaningful political action that is time honored in most democratic countries. For instance, with a definition of this kind, what would happen to someone like Malcolm X who stated that he intended to gather together an army to defend African-Americans "by any means necessary."
What happens to someone like Martin Luther King who advocated acts of civil disobedience, i.e. the freedom riders, lunch counter sit ins, thus "inciting or producing imminent lawless action." What about my friends in wheelchairs who have protested violations of their ADA rights by blockading intersections with their wheelchairs in violation of the law. Are the discussions they held planning that political demonstration a violation of the law? If they are, all of us who hope to create social change for the better are in serious trouble.
The bottom line is that when the Judicial Branch of the State of Connecticut becomes so afraid of its critics that it creates laws that eliminate CT citizens' first amendment right to free speech and then uses that law to jail possibly for six years the first innocent man it can find, we have a problem!
More seriously, I question the focus here. Why are we looking at a citizen's potential threat to a judge, when what we really need to do is look at the threat that is leveled upon many citizens by the actions of that judge.
Further, we are not just concerned about a single judge; we are concerned about the entire CT Judicial Branch. As Mr. Michael Nowacki pointed out succinctly a few years ago, the CT Judicial Branch has been creating law for several decades in violation of CT General Statutes 51-14, and in violation of the Constitution which mandates the separation of powers.
Further, investigative journalists have discovered serious RICO violations within the CT Judicial Branch. One commentator stated, "We know that an unregistered, sub regulatory corporation has been running through the CT Judicial Branch for 30 years, with member and directors in all positions of administration, from grant writing, program administration, and even regulation and oversight. We know the judges and professionals they appoint onto cases they preside over are tied in profitable business relationships. We know that numerous CT agencies, departments, and branches (DCF, DOC, judicial and others) are beholden to an agreement to collude in order to fix case outcomes to maximize funding over all other factors, including constitutional rights, due process, and human rights. We know that judges are deliberately placing children in the most dangerous homes available to them, including violent pedophiles and murderers, in order to generate endless billing hours for their business partner lawyers, evaluators, and treaters, all of whom judges are appointing in the first place. We know that many judges have non-profits that contract with the judicial branch, some even list a business address in their chambers. We know that hundreds of millions of dollars are running through each of some of those non-profits per year. We know that the Office of Inspector General audited some official judicial accounts in 2010 and found $13 million missing and unaccounted for."
I'd forget chasing an insignificant (ok maybe not to himself!) individual like Ted Taupier around the block. What about our State government that fails to protect its citizens?
I am also aware that there are a considerable number of family court litigants and their children who have spoken about experiencing discrimination against them based upon their disabilities. They have talked about how the CT Judicial Branch is completely non-compliant with federal ADA law as well as the ADAAA and denies people their reasonable modifications which are required for them to be able to obtain testimonial and participatory access to legal proceedings.
Yet nothing has been done about any of these illegal activities--not a thing--despite the CT Department of Justice major announcements that they intended to investigate.
Further, the CT Department of Justice specifically stated they would have a report on the compliance of the CT Judicial Branch with the ADA at the end of August 2015, and yet they still have not produced one and it appears have no plan to produce one. Further, they have broken the back of this so-called investigation by stating that they have no intention of looking at the specific complaints that people with disabilities have made against the CT Judicial Branch. Aren't those complaints with their associated documents essential evidence in regard to whether the CT Judicial Branch has complied with the ADA or not? Basically, the refusal to investigate complaints represents a complete indifference to the many disabled victims of the CT Judicial Branch's indifference and disregard of their fundamental civil rights.
How is it that all these State resources--police, a 75 man SWAT team, prosecutors, etc. etc. and CT Judicial Branch resources could be used to persecute a single man who made a few off color remarks in a bad moment, yet law enforcement personnel disregards and ignores the widespread human rights and civil rights violations and corruption for which the CT Judicial Branch is responsible?
How is it that within only a few months of denying Adrianne Oyola a protective order which could have stopped Tony Moreno from tossing Baby Aaden off a bridge to his death, Judge Barry Pinkus is apparently back on the bench in Middletown adjudicating complex DV cases which he is clearly incapable of handling.
Someone please explain this to me. What can we do as citizens to protect ourselves from the foolish and negligent actions of the Connecticut Judicial Branch when it is that very Branch we are supposed to turn to in order to obtain relief!
I am also surprised that Mr. Taupier's attorney did not argue self defense in this case. Of course, there could be a very clear cut answer to this as I am not an attorney. But consider the various ways in which CT Family Court destroyed Ted Taupier's life and cut him off from his relationship with his children. Yes, it is true the Court made sure none of that evidence made it on the record. Still, I am pretty sure that what this family went through was pretty devastating.
Under the circumstances, couldn't Mr. Ted Taupier's remarks be construed as self-defense. I was reading the 2008 OLR Research Report entitled "Castle Doctrine and Self Defense in Civil Cases." This report describes the Castle Doctrine by stating that the doctrine "establishes the circumstances under which a person can use physical force and deadly physical force to defend himself or someone else without being convicted for assault, manslaughter, or murder." These are so called "stand your ground" laws. Could stand your ground law apply to verbal defense as well as physical defense?
Wouldn't it be fair to say that a good many family court litigants have reported that the CT Judicial Branch is corrupt and that its employees are doing violence to their families and children, destroying their lives, bankrupting them, putting them out to live on the streets, snatching their children, allowing their children to be medically neglected or physically abused.
Under these circumstances, couldn't we argue that the true threat here is not to Judge Bozzuto; the true threat here is to Ted Taupier and his family and to all the many family court litigants who have been exploited and taken advantage of in CT Family Court? Yes, Ted Taupier made a statement which could be considered a threat, but wasn't he grievously provoked?
Yet I don't believe this Castle Doctrine was ever raised, because the Court System carefully crafts the grounds upon which it will prosecute a defendant; it excludes anything it doesn't want it or the public to hear and then sets out to orchestrate these highly sophisticated show trials carried out as public relations gambits and media spectacles intended to divert attention from their own sordid crimes. This is how a case which should be about a family court victim attempting to defend himself gets transformed into legal debates over whether a few exaggerated comments made in private to close friends is a true threat to a judge who wasn't even a part of the conversation.
One last point: if you look at the Memorandum of Decision of October 2, 2015 in the Taupier case and attempt to understand the Judge's explanation of the CT General Statutes and the case law which he used to justify convicting Ted Taupier, the more convoluted and incomprehensible it gets--after all it is 56 pages, plus an additional 12 to discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court Elonis decision.
If the average person makes the simple assumption that he or she has the right to freedom of speech--and most people do that---how could they possibly comprehend or even know of the Judge's extensive listing of the broad and extensive exceptions he and his pals have made to our Constitutional right to free speech. Doesn't that make any one of us subject to entrapment within any context that we express ourselves--on social media, in letters to friends, on blogs--pretty much anywhere--because we aren't aware of the many exceptions. Personally, I consider that thought chilling as should any reasonable Connecticut citizen.