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.