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NO.

C071887

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL


OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT

SUSAN C. FERRIS,
Appellant,
v.

DAVID M. FERRIS,
Respondent.

Appeal From the Sacramento Superior Court


Case No. 98FL05615
Hon. Matthew Gary, Judge Presiding
________________________________________

APPELLANTS OPENING BRIEF


________________________________________
JAMES BROSNAHAN* (SBN 34555)
KEVIN A. CALIA (SBN 227406)
DEVON EDWARDS (SBN 264833)
MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
Tel: 415.268.7000
Fax: 415.268.7522
JBrosnahan@mofo.com

WILLIAM KENNEDY (SBN 61701)


STEPHEN GOLDBERG (SBN 173499)
LEGAL SERVICES OF
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
512 12th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: 916.551.2150
Fax: 916.551.2195
bkennedy@lsnc.net

Attorneys for Appellant


SUSAN C. FERRIS

C.

The Trial Court Had No Reasonable Justification to


Sanction Susan

The trial court imposed a $2,500 sanction on Susan for failing to


drop her motion to appoint minors counsel and restrain David from
moving M out of state. (CT 212; RT 174:26-175:23.) Family Code
Section 271 authorizes attorneys fees sanctions only for conduct that
increases litigation costs by flouting the policy of encouraging settlement
and cooperation. (Parker v. Harbert, supra, 212 Cal.App.4th at p. 1176.)
The lower court did not state its basis for the sanction. (See RT 174:26179:6.) However, opposing counsel had moved for sanction for filing
frivolous motions that created litigation. (RT 175:6-16.) The $2,500
sanction was the amount opposing counsel stated was incurred for fees for
the motion to return M to California. (RT 175:19-23.) For several reasons,
imposing this sanction was an abuse of discretion.
Susans testimony as to why she did not drop the May 9, 2012
hearing was uncontradicted. (RT 176:1-179:12.) Susan told the court
during the May 9, 2012 hearing that she spoke to the court clerk about
dropping the hearing but was told she could not do so because a temporary
order was in place. (RT 176:1-4, 177:10-21, 178:8-9, 178:17-18, 178:2728.) There was no testimony on the record from the court clerk or from any
other source to contradict Susans testimony about her conversation with
the court clerk. (RT 179:9-12.) It was an abuse of discretion to sanction
Susan for failing to drop a motion which the court clerk had informed her
could not be dropped. (Ibid.)
The trial court attempted to justify its disbelief of Susan in two ways.
First, the trial court stated Susan was avoiding the direct question and as
a result the court assumed you did tell [the court clerk] that [opposing
counsel] agreed to drop it, and it turned out to be false . . . . (RT

38

178:19-24.) However, the trial courts characterization misstates Susans


answers to the courts questions. The trial judge directly asked When you
talked to [the court clerk], did you tell [her] that you and [opposing
counsel] had talked and there was an agreement to drop it? and Susan
directly responded No. (RT 177:28-178:3.) Contrary to avoiding the
courts question, Susan directly answered it. The courts incorrect claim
that Susan was evasive should not be a reason to find her not credible.
Second, the trial court justified its disbelief, stating, . . . and I can
tell from your body language that you are not telling me the truth. (RT
178:25-26.) There is no basis in the record indicating that the trial judge
was able to tell truth from fiction by body language. While the trier of fact
is permitted to disbelieve even uncontradicted evidence, such evidence
cannot be arbitrarily disregarded. (Ebersol v. Cowan (1983) 35 Cal.3d 427,
439; Filip v. Bururenciu (2005) 125 Cal.App.4th 825, 836 [the trier of fact
may only reject the uncontradicted testimony of a witness if it does not act
arbitrarily and has a rational ground for doing so.] [citation omitted].) It
is arbitrary and without rational basis for the trial court to question Susans
claim based solely upon her body language when the court could have
directly asked the court clerk to verify or contradict Susans statement.
Imposing sanctions here constituted an abuse of discretion.
It was also an abuse of discretion to sanction Susan for failing to
drop a hearing she attempted to consolidate. Susan filed an application to
consolidate the April 18 hearing on Davids child support modification
motion with the May 9 hearing on the motion to return M to California.
(CT 193-196.) Susans attempt to save litigation costs by having motions
heard at one court appearance instead of two, rather than increase costs,
was rejected by the trial court. (CT 200.) The April 12, 2012 motion is

39

marked No Hearing. (CT 193.) Opposing counsels choice to appear


anyway should not be held against Susan.
Because the trial courts findings lacked reasonable justification,
because Susan attempted to decrease litigation costs by asking to combine
or cancel hearings, and because the sanction imposed an undue financial
burden, a reasonable judge would not have imposed the sanction against
her. Imposing this sanction was therefore an abuse of discretion and the
order regarding sanctions should be reversed.

CONCLUSION
Under the California Constitutions due process clause, Susan should
not have been deprived her of the fundamental right to the care, custody,
and contact with her child without first being appointed counsel to assist
her in the proceedings.
The proceedings leading to the May 9, 2012 order resulted in
Susans loss of custody of M, an order not to contact M, and an order
permitting David to send M out of state. Because the trial court failed to
appoint counsel before depriving Susan of her fundamental rights, the May
9, 2012 order should be reversed and the trial court should be instructed to
appoint counsel to assist Susan in further proceedings related to contact
with and custody of her daughter. Alternatively, this order should be
reversed because the court failed to appoint Susan an attorney as a
reasonable accommodation for her disability.
The order imposing $2,500 in attorneys fees should be reversed
because the court did not consider that this sanction would impose an undue
financial burden on Susan and because the court lacked reasonable
justification for imposing this sanction.

40

Appellant respectfully requests this Court reverse the May 9, 2012


order and remand for further proceedings after counsel is appointed for
Susan.
Dated: September 16, 2013

MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP

By:
JAMES J. BROSNAHAN
Attorney for Appellant
SUSAN C. FERRIS

41

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA

MAY 9, 2012

---ooo---

Proceedings in the Marriage of FERRIS, Case No.

98FL05615, came on regularly this day before the Honorable

MATTHEW J. GARY, Judge of the Superior Court of California,

for the County of Sacramento, Department 121, thereof.


The Petitioner, DAVID M. FERRIS, was represented by

TIMOTHY ZEFF, Attorney at Law.

10
11

The Respondent, SUSAN C. FERRIS, appeared IN


PROPRIA PERSONA.

12

The following proceedings were then had, to wit:

---ooo---

13

THE COURT:

14

15

that's ready, come on up.


MR. ZEFF:

16
17

Let's see, on Ferris and Ferris, if

hallway.

Ms. Ferris is here.

I'd better get her.


Yeah.

18

THE COURT:

19

MR. ZEFF:

20

THE COURT:

21

THE RESPONDENT:

22

MR. ZEFF:

23

THE PETITIONER:

24

MR. ZEFF:

25

THE COURT:

26

MR. ZEFF:

27
28

She's in the

She's got an entourage.


And good morning to all.
Good morning.

Good morning, Your Honor.


Good morning.

Timothy Zeff -Any agreements this morning at all?


No, Your Honor.

Timothy Zeff for the

Petitioner, who is present.


THE COURT:
~-------:SACRAMENTO

Mr. Zeff, did you get a copy of this


COUNTY OFFICIAL COURT REPORTERS

166

i .

~ ..

did you tell Nalee that you and Mr. Zeff had talked and there

was an agreement to drop it?

THE RESPONDENT:

THE COURT:

THE RESPONDENT:

THE COURT:

No?

I know you didn't speak to Mr. Zeff.

THE RESPONDENT:
dropped.

THE COURT:

11

THE RESPONDENT:

Do you understand my question?

THE COURT:

And do you understand what

Do you understand my question?

Did you

tell Nalee that Mr. Zeff had agreed to drop it?

15

THE RESPONDENT:

16

THE COURT:

17

THE RESPONDENT:

18

Yes.

she told me?

13
14

She told me it could not be

That was the answer.

10

12

I never spoke to Mr. Zeff.

When you spoke to Nalee

8
9

No.

I never talked to Mr. Zeff.

That's not my question.


I only spoke to Nalee, and she

told me it couldn't be dropped.


THE COURT:

19

I'm going to assume then that you did

20

tell Nalee that Mr. Zeff agreed to drop it, and it turned out

21

to be false --

22

THE RESPONDENT:

23

THE COURT:

I never called Mr. Zeff.

--because you're avoiding the direct

24

question.

25

asking you, and I can tell by your body language that you are

26

not telling me the truth.

27

THE RESPONDENT:

28

You're answering everything but the question I'm

I'm telling the facts that Nalee

told me it couldn't be dropped.


L--------SACRAMENTO COUNTY OFFICIAL COURT REPORTERS

178

THE COURT:

That will be all for today.

THE RESPONDENT:

THE COURT:

Thank you.

What is the temporary order?

On the attorney's fees, the attorney's

fees, 2,500.

at $25 per month commencing 6-1-2012, all due if ten days

late.

each month.
THE RESPONDENT:

9
10

she told me about?

11

the hearing?

12

order.

13
14

What is the temporary order that

What is that order that I could not drop

She said Chris told her there was a temporary

THE COURT:
communications.

Ma'am, I'm not privy to any of those

I wouldn't know.

15

MR. ZEFF:

16

THE COURT:

17

THE RESPONDENT:

I'll prepare the order, Your Honor.


Thank you.
And also Mr. Zeff has never sent

18

me a findings after hearing.

19

and phone number.

20

THE COURT:

21

THE RESPONDENT:

22

That will be payable

Ma'am, do try to get that payment in by the 5th of

7
8

That is a 271 sanction.

He does have my correct address

All right.
Could that be ordered that he send

me all findings?

23

THE COURT:

Yes, you could get a copy of the

24

findings and order after hearing, ma'am, whether it's through

25

Mr. Zeff, or you -- you have access to your own file when

26

your file is down there.

27
28

THE RESPONDENT:

I have not been able to see my

file.

\
~-------,SACRAMENTO

COUNTY OFFICIAL COURT REPORTERS------179

19

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Victim of Illegal Order Issued by Judge Matthew J. Gary for Divorce


Attorney Timothy Zeff Homeless But Surviving

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT

(58)

Judge Matthew Gary Order for Partner of Judge Pro


Tem Attorney Scott Buchanan Results in
Homelessness for Disabled Mom

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Larscheid, Buchanan & Zeff family law attorney Timothy Zeff requested and was granted an unlawful $920 child support order byJudge
Matthew J. Gary. Zeff's partner, Scott Buchanan, is a family court judge pro tem. The order financially devastated 52-year-old disabled,
single parent Susan Ferris. Evicted from her Sacramento home and now homeless, she sleeps on the couch of a Bay Area friend.

SACRAMENTO FAMILY COURT NEWS SPECIAL REPORT


The disturbing aftermath of an unconscionable $920 child support order issued by Judge Matthew J. Gary
shows one of the ramifications, and the inexorable human cost of what court watchdogs contend is unchecked
family court corruption and cronyism.The April, 2012 order gutted the monthly disability income of unrepresented,
financially disadvantaged family court litigantSusan Ferris from $1,256 to $336. Gary previously issued an
equally unlawful order prohibiting the 52-year-old single parent from having any contact with her daughter,
Megan.

COLOR OF LAW SERIES

(11)
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NO CONTACT ORDERS
(10)


The April support order financially devastated Ferris, leaving her with far less income than she needed for food,
utilities, and rent. After several months under the order and behind on her rent, Ferris was evicted from her East
Sacramento home and became homeless.The same court order records that her ex-husband, David Ferris,
earns $8,089 per month. Click here to view Gary's minute order, obtained and posted online exclusively by
Sacramento Family Court News. As a result of the order, Susan Ferris' credit has been thrashed, the repo man
came for her car, and the eviction will now be part of her renter's report, making it virtually impossible for her to rent
a home in the future.

To continue reading, click Read more>> below:


Likeorders issued by the same judge in other cases, both minute orders contain no facts or law justifying the
draconian rulings, making them patently illegal under state law. The comparison to orders in other cases reveals a
consistent pattern that infers a calculated and deliberate intent to conceal from review the judge's misuse of Family
Code statutes for the prohibited purpose of punishing unrepresented parties. Gary, a fervent right-wingideologue,
also detests what he reportedly calls the "entitlement mentality" of family court parties who obtain fee waiver orders
or are on public assistance, according to a court employee. The template-like repetition of the judge's bad faith
tactics and overt socioeconomic bias also evinces an abdication of oversight responsibilities by Court Executive
Officer Chris Volkers, superior court Presiding Judge Laurie Earl, and family court Supervising Judge James
Mize.

SHARON A. LUERAS
(10)
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WOODRUFF O'HAIR
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(10)
CARLSSON CASE
(9)
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CHRISTINA VOLKERS
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FERRIS CASE
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3rd DISTRICT COA
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Family law attorney Timothy Zeff obtained a child support order for his client, David Ferris, who makes $8,089 per month. The order made
his disabled ex-wife, Susan Ferris, homeless. In this exclusive SFCN photo, Susan sleeps with her Yellow Lab "Buddy" on the couch of a
Bay Area friend. Family law attorney J. Scott Buchanan, Zeff's partner, holds the Office of Temporary Judge in Sacramento Superior
Court.

Gary issued the $920 child support order against Susan Ferris at therequest of veteran family law attorney
Timothy Zeff of the Sacramentofamily law firmLarscheid, Buchanan & Zeff. Zeff's partner is attorney and family
courtjudge pro tem J. Scott Buchanan.At a subsequent hearing three weeks later, Zeff requested and Gary
issued an additional illegal order directing Susan Ferris to pay $2,500 to her ex-husband for Zeff's attorney fees.
Click here to view the May attorney fees order, which also is barren of any facts or law justifying the ruling.

The order also is unlawful because it does not record consideration by the judge of the comparative wealth of the
parties as required by FamilyCode 271, the statute Gary used for the order. Click here to view the law
applicableto the comparative wealth assessment requirement. Gary has a documented history of issuing unlawful,
appeal-proof orders in cases where one party is represented by a judge pro tem family law attorney and the
other party is unrepresented and indigent or otherwise financially disadvantaged.

Serial Misuse ofFamilyCode 271 Sanctions Against

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Judge pro tem attorney Paula Salinger requested and was granted this unprecedented sanctions order by Judge Matthew J. Gary against
an indigent, unrepresented litigant. Gary recorded no facts, law or evidence in support of the order, making it virtually appeal-proof.

Sacramento Family Court News audits of other family court case files show that Judge Matthew Gary routinely
issues severe, disproportionate Family Code 271 attorney fee sanction orders against unrepresented, financially
disadvantaged litigants. The statute requires a judge to compare the income, assets and liabilities of both parties
before making a sanction ruling. The law is impossible to misconstrue:
"In making an award pursuant to this section, the court shall take into consideration all
evidence concerning the parties' incomes, assets, and liabilities." reads Family Code271.
Court reporter transcripts, minute orders and other records indicate that Gary - a former family law attorney - does
not consider the income, assets and liabilities of both parties, and in cases where only one party has an attorney
consistently omits the mandatory comparative wealth assessment required by the law.The draconian sanction
orders are unlawful but nonetheless effective against pro per parties with little knowledge of family law, much less
knowledge of the appellate law and procedure required to contest the order.

In one example cataloged by court watchdogs and memorialized by a court reporter's transcript, when directly
asked if he had considered the comparative wealth of the parties before assessing more than $10,759 in attorney
fee sanctions against an indigent, self-represented party, Gary conceded he had not, and appeared to express, or
feign ignorance of the law.The transcript records the judge repeatedly using a verbal diversion to the payment
terms of the sanction, a separate component of the sanction law unrelated to the comparative wealth
consideration. To view thetranscript excerpt,click here. To view the complete transcript, click here.

The separate and distinct comparative wealth assessment is required specificallyto prevent the misuse of Family
Code 271 sanctionsto discourage an economically weaker party from asserting their rights, according to
bothstate lawand the family law legal referenceused by judgesand attorneys,California Practice Guide:
Family Law, published byThe Rutter Group. To view view thePractice Guidereference,click here.To view
comparative wealth decisional law references,click here.

Sanction Payment Terms That Ensure Default

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Knowing the litigant would default on the first payment, Judge Matthew Gary ordered an indigent party without assets or income of any
kind to make sanction payments of $25 per month on a balance of $10,759. If the payments were made, it would take 35 years to pay off
the debt. For the benefit of judge pro tem divorce attorney Paula Salinger, the judge sua sponte - on his own -also made the payment
terms subject to "adjustment at trial."

FamilyCode 271(c)provides that:


"An award of attorney's fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section is payable only
from the property or income of the party against whom the sanction is imposed, except that
the award may be against the sanctioned party's share of community property."
In addition to ignoring the comparative wealth legal requirement, Gary also ignores this mandatory component of
the law. Knowing an indigent litigant without assets or income will be unable to make a monthly sanction payment,
the judge orders the litigant to do so, ensuring default when the first payment comes due. When the payment is
missed, after 10-days the entire balance is due, as shown in the order above. Click here to view the complete
order.

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And like the minute orders in the Ferris case, the facts and law justifying the unprecedented$10,759 attorney fee
sanction are omitted from Gary's minute order.Published by the Judicial Council, the California Judges
Benchguide Courtroom Control: Contempt and Sanctions instructs judges who issueFamily Code 271
sanctions
"[t]o issue a written order and to avoid stating conclusions in the words of the statute. Give a
factual recital, with reasonable specificity, of the circumstances leading to the order. If
desired, incorporate by reference portions of a party's papers that adequately set forth the
conduct, circumstances and legal arguments providing the bases for the court's
conclusions." Click here to view this section of the Benchguide.

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The Benchguide directions mirror California Rules of Court rule 2.30 - sanctions for rules violations in civil cases
- and the elementary principle of law that "An order imposing sanctions must be in writing and must recite in detail
the conduct or circumstances justifying the order." Click here. Without any factual recital, portions of the party's
papers, or references to the conduct and circumstancesjustifying the ruling, Gary ordered the unrepresented,
indigent litigantto pay a $10,759 sanction for the attorney fees ofjudge pro tem family law attorney Paula
Salinger.

Salinger isan officer of the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Sectionand partner at the
controversial family law firm Woodruff, O'Hair, Posner and Salinger. To view the astonishing, complete hearing
transcript - which SFCN will report on in an upcoming article - click here. Original, court case file records from this
and other cases indicate that Gary routinely uses unlawful sanction orders for the explicitly prohibited purpose of
discouraging economically weaker parties from asserting their rights, and to send the message that returning to
court will result in still more financial punishment.
In addition, to prevent the one-sided, unfair outcomes previously common in family court cases with socioeconomic
imbalances between the parties, the Legislature has explicitly mandated equalizing wealth disparities in a variety of
family court proceedings. For example, in the context of providing financially disadvantaged parties with attorney
representation, to ensure parity between the parties attorney fee awards must be "just and reasonable," and take
into account the "relative circumstances" of each spouse. Click here to view more than 40 court of appeal
decisions emphasizing this critical, long-established principle of family law.

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To avoid being reversed on appeal, unethical judges will leave out of an order the facts, law and evidence on which an order is based,
according to California Practice Guide: Civil Appeals and Writs, published by The Rutter Group.

Gary also has perfected the use of "appeal-proof" orders, which make appeals attempted by indigent, selfrepresented litigants futile, according to court reform advocates. Court watchdogs have collected minute orders
authored by Gary in cases where one party is unrepresented and financially disadvantaged, and compared them
with the orders of other judges. The orders issued by Gary consistently show that the judge does not memorialize
the facts, law and evidence supporting the ruling(s) issued, which virtually always are against the pro per. Appellate
courts have emphasized that a basic, fundamental duty of a trial court judge is to protect the appeal rights of all
litigants by making and filing in the trial court record findings on all material issues.
"Under our system it is mandatory that the superior court make and file its finding of the
ultimate fact on each material issue created by the pleadings," Herman v. Glasscock. Click
here.

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(1)

1102
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"It is elementary that a failure to find on all material issues raised by the pleadings is ground
for reversal." Kaiser v. Mansfield. Click here.
By comparison, this order from a different judge in aSacramento Family Court case also involving modification of
a child support order contains seven pages of the facts, evidence and law which the judge relied on in making the
order. Click here to view the order. And this order from another judge involving modification of custody/parenting
time contains 16 pages of facts, evidence and law in support of the order. To view the order, click here. Gary
uses the family law legal reference work California Practice Guide: Family Law to provide monthly "Bench
Tips" for family law attorneys in the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section newsletter, The
Family Law Counselor.

Gary's own preferred legal reference source makes clear that in child support modification proceedings the order
issued by the judge must include a statement of information or reasons. Click here for the Practice Guide

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reference. "Such findings not only will enable the parties to appreciate the basis for the child support order,
they will facilitate judicial review in any future appeal..." according to In re Marriage of Hubner, one of the
decisional law references cited by the Practice Guide. Click here to view the Hubner case.
Although Gary has an legal and ethical obligation to preserve the appeal rights of all litigants, including the poor,
under the doctrine of implied findings any appeal taken from an order authored by the judge is all but futile.
Where a trial court order is barren of facts supporting the order, the doctrine requires a reviewing court to infer that
the trial court judge made all factual findings necessary to support the order. A related legal principle, the
presumption of correctness, requires an appellate court to "indulge all presumptions supporting the judgment or
order" when the order issued by a trial court judge omits the facts, law and evidence on which the ruling is based.

Unethical judges who issue rulings they know could be reversed on appeal will "cloak" the rulings in the
presumption of correctness by leaving an incomplete record for review, according to the legal reference used by
judges and attorneys for appellate court procedure, California Practice Guide: Civil Appeals and Writs,
published by The Rutter Group. The orders issued by Gary also violate the Trial Court Performance Standards
specified in theCalifornia Rules of Court Standards of Judicial Administration, including the following
provisions of Standard 10.17:

(3)(A) Trial court procedures faithfully adhere to relevant laws, procedural rules, and established
policies...

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(9)
CODE OF

SILENCE
(2)
COLLEEN
MCDONAGH
(3)
COLOR OF

LAW
SERIES

(11)

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(10)
CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS
(3)
CONTEMPT
(4)

COURT CONDITIONS
(2)

COURT EMPLOYEE
(1)
COURT
EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS
(1)

COURT POLICIES
(1)
COURT
RULES
(4)
COURTS
(1)
CPG

(3)(D) Decisions of the trial court unambiguously address the issues presented to it and make clear how
compliance can be achieved...
(3)(F) Records of all relevant court decisions and actions are accurate and properly preserved.
Click here to view these portions of Standard 10.17.
An example of an attempted appeal of a ruling which Judge Matthew Gary cloaked in the presumption of
correctness is thisunpublished3rd District Court of Appeal decision.The reviewing court noted that the facts,
law and evidence recited in the written trial court order issued by Gary consisted entirely of "insufficient facts/res
judicata." The court of appeal mechanically invoked presumption of correctness and implied findings principles,
writing "we must conclusively presume evidence was presented that is sufficient to support the court's findings,"
and upheld Gary's ruling. Click here to view the court of appeal decision. Click here to view appellate court docket
information verifying Matthew Gary as the trial court judge.

"Entitlement Mentality" of Disabled and Indigent


Witnesses who attended the April and May 2012 Susan Ferris
hearings said that Judge Matthew Gary became embroiled
and appeared to issue the child support and attorney fee
sanction orders to vindictively punish Susan Ferris for
asserting her rights in prior proceedings - including an
unsuccessful attempt to disqualify the judge - and
forassociating with a group of court reform advocates,
including Robert Saunders, whoalso act as court watchers
for the indigent and disabled.

Gary reportedly has been livid at Saunders - also indigent,


unrepresented and disabled - since
Saunderssuccessfullyhad the judge removed from his own
case by a neutral, outside judge from San Joaquin County in
2010. Click here for our exclusive coverage of Gary's
disqualification by Saunders.
Gary and his long time court clerk Christina Arcuriallegedly
are right-wing ideologues who despise what they refer to as
the "entitlement mentality" of indigent, family court litigants
Judge Matthew Gary favors "judicial restraint"
and admires U.S. Supreme Court JusticeAntonin Scalia,
who obtain fee waiver orders, and disabled litigants on public
according to an interview inSacramento Lawyer magazine.
assistance, according to a family courtemployee
whistleblower who provided the information on the condition of
anonymity because they could be subject to retaliation for the disclosure. To view a description of retaliation
against a previous Sacramento County Superior Court employee whistleblower,click here.

Court records indicate that both Gary and Arcuri convey socioeconomic bias in performing their employmentrelated functions and duties. Bias based on socioeconomic status is explicitly prohibited by four separate sections
of the California Code of Judicial Ethics [pdf]. Canon 3B(5) requires judges to perform all judicial duties without
bias or prejudice, including bias or prejudice based on socioeconomic status. Judges must require staff and court

CRIMINAL
CONDUCT
(6)
CRIMINAL

FAMILY LAW
(1)

LAW
(3)
CRONYISM
(2)

DAVID KAZZIE
(4)
DEMOTION

(1)
DENISE

GARY
(2)
DSM-301.7
(1)
EDITORIAL
(1)
EDWARD
FREIDBERG
(2)
EFF
(2)

RICHARDS
(1)

DIANE WASZNICKY
(2)

DISQUALIFICATION
(2)

DIVORCE
(7)
DIVORCE
ATTORNEY
(5)
DIVORCE
CORP
(13)
DIVORCE
LAWYER

(5)

DOCUMENTS
(16)

DONALD TENN
(3)
DONNA

EFFICIENCY

IN

GOVERNMENT

ELAINE VAN
BEVEREN
(10)
ELECTIONS
(1)
AWARD
(1)

EMILY

GALLUP

(3)

EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS

(4)

EMPLOYEE
MISCONDUCT
(18)

EQUAL PROTECTION
(2)

EUGENE L. BALONON
(1)

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

(2)
EX PARTE
(1)
F4J
(4)

FAMILY COURT
(9)
FAMILY
COURT

COURT

AUDITS
(1)
FAMILY

CONDITIONS
(2)

FAMILY COURT

MEDIA COVERAGE

(1)
FAMILY COURT PROCEDURE

(1)

FAMILY
COURT
SACRAMENTO
(2)
FAMILY

COURTHOUSE
(1)
FAMILY

(9)

LAW

FAMILY
LAW
COUNSELOR
(4)
FAMILY
LAW
FACILITATOR
(4)

FATHERS FOR JUSTICE


(1)

FEDERAL LAW
(2)
FEDERAL

LAWSUITS
(2)
FEE WAIVERS

(2)
FERRIS CASE
(7)
FIRST
AMENDMENT
(2)
FIRST
AMENDMENT COALITION
(2)

FLEC
(26)
FOIA
(2)
FOX

(1)
FREDRICK COHEN
(4)

GANGNAM STYLE
(1)
GARY E.

personnel to do the same under Canon 3C(2). A judge must also perform administrative duties - which includes
the ministerial duty of accurately drafting and filing court orders - without bias or prejudice based on socioeconomic
status, according toCanon 3C(5).
Judge Matthew J. Garyis paid $169,289 per year, and was
appointed to the bench byGov. Arnold Schwarzeneggerin
2007. Schwarzenegger was named in the 2010Worst
Governors Reportby the government watchdog
groupCitizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington.Among other charges, Schwarzeneggerwas
faulted forproviding "state jobs to friends with dubious
qualifications."Click here.In a 2007 interview with
Sacramento Lawyer magazine, Gary characterized his legal
philosophy as "favoring judicial restraint," and said he
admired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Gary was found guilty in 2010 by San Joaquin


County Superior Court Judge Xapuri B. Villapudua of not
following proper contempt procedures when he had a
disabled litigant arrested and forcibly removed from his
courtroom. As SFCN reported in 2011, Gary's wife, Donna
Gary provides law firm administrative services and sells a
client management software program to family law attorneys.
Click here for our exclusive report. In 2011 a controversial
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
ruling issued by Gary was reversed in full by the 3rd District
Court of Appeal. In 2012 Gary was involuntarily demoted from his position as the supervising family court judge.
Gary is a graduate ofEl Camino High Schoolin Sacramento and previously worked at his fathers law firm,Gary,
Till & Burlingham. His father,Richard Gary,is a family law attorney. Links on the firm'sresources pageinclude
theChristian Legal Societyand theChristian Counseling & Educational Foundation.

Nonexistent Oversight and Accountability by Court


Administrators
Court watchdogs and whistleblowers point out that the flagrant lawlessness of
Judge Matthew Gary's series of orders in the Ferris case, and conduct in
other casesis additional evidence that accountability and oversight by court
administrators, including Court Executive Officer Christina Volkers, Presiding
Judge Laurie Earl, and family court Supervising Judge James Mizeis
nonexistent in Sacramento County Superior Court. Sacramento Family
Court News has reported on multiple instances of misconduct by family court
judgesandclerks and employees, egregious violations of conflict of interest
laws and the preferential treatment of attorneys who also act as temporary
judges in family court.

RANSOM
(1)
GARY
M.
APPELBLATT
(2)
GEORGE
NICHOLSON
(1)
GERALD UELMEN

(1)
GINGER

GREGORY

SYLVESTER
(1)

DWYER
(1)

HAL

BARTHOLOMEW
(1)
HATCHET
DEATH
(1)
HAZART SANKER

(2)
HONEST SERVICES
(4)

INDIGENT
(1)
INFIGHTING
(1)
J.
STRONG
(2)
JACQUELINE
ESTON
(2)
JAIME R.

ROMAN

(10)
JAMES
JAMES M.
MIZE
(12)
JEFFREY
POSNER
(6)
JERRY BROWN
BROSNAHAN
(1)

(1)

JERRY

GUTHRIE

(1)

JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)

JODY PATEL
(1)
JOHN E.B. MYERS

(1)
JOSEPH SORGE
(1)
JOYCE
KENNARD
(1)
JOYCE TERHAAR
(1)

JUDGE
PRO TEM
(44)

JRC
(1)
JUDGE
(1)

JUDGE SALARIES
(1)
JUDGES

(10)
JUDICIAL CONDUCT
HANDBOOK

JUDICIAL
(3)

(1)

COUNCIL

JUDICIAL
MISCONDUCT

(58)
JUDY HOLZER

HERSHER
(1)
JULIE SETZER

(7)
KIDS FOR CASH
(2)

LAURIE M. EARL
(10)
LAW
LIBRARY
(1)
LAW SCHOOL

(5)
LAWYER
(1)
LAWYERS

(7)
LEGAL AID ASSOCIATION of
CALIFORNIA
(1)
LEGISLATURE
(1)

LOLLIE
LINCOLN

(1)

ROBERTS
(5)
LOUIS MAURO
(1)

LUAN

CASE

(4)

MALPRACTICE
(4)
MARY
MOLINARO
(1)
MATTHEW
HERNANDEZ

(7)

MATTHEW J. GARY

(28)
MCGEORGE

Court administrators and oversight officials have repeatedlydeclined to provide


information about what corrective measures, if any, have been initiated to
address the problems. As state court judges, Mize and Earl are required by state law to take appropriate
corrective action when another judge violates state law, court rules, and the state Code of Judicial Ethics. The
obligation is a critical self-policing component of judicial ethics standards and ensures that the rule oflaw is
maintained. To view a Judicial Council directive about the duty to take corrective action, and the types of
corrective action required, click here. In addition, Judge Gary's unlawful conduct has been witnessed by several
court employees, including clerk Christina Arcuri, and bailiff J. Strong. As government employees, each has a
legal and ethical duty to report the misconduct.
Supervising Family Court
JudgeJames M. Mize.

MEDIA
(1)
MICHAEL

(1)
MIKE NEWDOW
(2)
NANCY

GRACE
(1)
NANCY PERKOVICH

(4)
NEW YORK TIMES
(2)

NEWS
(20)
NEWS
EXCLUSIVE
(26)
NEWS

YOU CAN USE


(3)
News10
(1)

NO CONTACT ORDERS

(10)
OPEN GOVERNMENT

(2)
OPINION
(12)
PARENT
RIGHTS

2014 UPDATE: Judge Matthew Gary's outrageous treatment of Susan Ferris resulted in a team of attorneys - led
by prominent San Francisco trial attorney James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster - taking over her case after
she filed an appeal in the 3rd District Appellate Court. The Sacramento Bee published a front page story about
the appeal on March 26, 2014:
"This is at the point where a lot of us think it's a disgrace," Brosnahan said. "You can't take
someone's child and that person doesn't have an attorney when you do...It's an outrage,"
Brosnahan explained to Sacramento Bee reporter Brad Branan.

(1)

PARENTAL

PAULA
SALINGER

(14)

PETER J. McBRIEN

(20)
PHILLIP HERNANDEZ
ALIENATION

(1)

(3)
PRESIDING JUDGE
(2)

PRO
PERS
(18)

PROTEST
(7)
PSY
(1)
PUBLIC
RECORDS

(1)

THORBOURNE
(1)

Click to visit Sacramento Family Court News on: Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Scribd, Vimeo, and Twitter.
For additional reporting on the people and issues in this post, click the corresponding labels below:

SOL
(2)
T. GARCIA

RAOUL

M.

RAPTON(9)

KARRES

RECOGNITION/AWARDS
(3)

REVISIONISM SERIES
(1)