Remove Bucks County PA Judge James M. McMaster
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On December 16, 2013, Bucks County, PA Justice Center Judge James M. McMaster took a ten-year-old daughter completely away from her loving and protective Mother and her beloved little brother and “awarded” sole legal and primary physical custody to her biological father, immediately after the young girl bravely testified in court to the judge's face of her father's abuse. The child’s testimony of her father's abuse was "sealed" by the judge to cover up and hide his misconduct. That day, the judge also dismissed the child’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order against her father, which had allowed mother sole legal and physical custody and protection of her ten-year-old child. The judge also unbelievably dismissed father's criminal contempt charges to his violations of the Protection From Abuse (PFA) order in which the child’s father had testified and admitted his guilt to a different, female senior judge. Father had criminal trespass, assault, and harassment charges.
Despite much documented evidence – professional witnesses, photos, police and medical reports – and the child’s own testimony to her father's abuse, Judge James M. McMaster dismissed the final Protection From Abuse Order and father's Criminal Contempt of a PFA violation charges altogether, and “awarded” the child’s abusive father sole legal custody, and completely reversed the order, ruling that mother instead was in "civil contempt" and instead of father going to jail as was expected, the Judge ordered mother to spend the next six months in jail or purge it by first paying the draconian sum of $6000.00 in roughly a week's time directly to Father, over the week of their daughter’s birthday and Christmas 2013, making an appeal impossible, unaffordable, and unconstitutional. Mother was quoted about $20,000 for an appeal. Judge ordered that Mother first pay the $6000 purge before attempting an appeal. The Judge also ordered Mother to deal face-to-face and alone with abusive Father to pay him the $6000 fine directly and alone with her baby. When Father refused to meet Mother and her baby alone for payment, Judge McMaster sided with Father again and found Mother in contempt again, and issued a bench warrant and sheriff deputies who threatened to break into Mother's home with "dogs" while Mother was holding her baby and had already paid the purge in full.
The Father has a long history of extreme domestic violence, abuse, control and anger issues--the reason for the separation in 2005 and finalized divorce in 2010. The custody hearings started in 2005, and the abuse continued to escalate worse and worse.
In 2008, after a particularly violent incident of physical abuse against Mother in which the child witnessed, where 911 was called, the Mother filed for her own Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order against Father. Even that was only temporary, as Father had an expensive highly paid and manipulative attorney and Mother was unrepresented.
In November 2012, Judge McMaster had already ruled Mother was in contempt for the same reason, took away complete custody of mother's 16-year-old son and awarded sole custody to the biological father and ordered mother to spend over 24 hours in jail and pay the fine of $1000 directly to Father for the same thing : reporting what their daughter told her, the extreme abuse and neglect by her father. Mother is also a Registered Nurse, required by Pennsylvania Law to report abuse as soon as it is reported to her.
This judge would not accept mother's documents, photos, evidence or witnesses, nor let her speak, screamed at mother in open court to "shut up,” threatened her over and over in open court, falsely accused mother of “alienating” the child from father despite no basis or truth to it. PFA is not alienation, it is protection. CCES therapists sided with Mother. One called Father a "bully,” another called Father "toxic" and only "good enough for weekends."
Despite this, Judge McMaster has made clear his obvious male gender bias, continues to threaten to throw mother in jail for future court appearances for "a significant amount of time." This judge also extorted expensive items from mother's home and forced mother and stepfather to meet the biological father and give them to him. Judge McMaster has also unreasonably refused to recuse himself and ordered himself to remain on this family’s case for all future rulings, despite his obvious male gender/father bias, extreme misconduct and inability to fairly make a ruling for the children’s and/or mother’s safety.
Mother was also ordered to pay father child support and he collects child tax refunds, and the child is fully covered under both mother's AND father’s health insurances, despite the fact that mother stays at home full-time with her two other young children, and father admitted to CCES therapists and the Judge that he is an alcoholic and smokes expensive cigarettes around the children in violation of the Court Order, works full time for his sister at Meineke in Doylestown, PA, and Father NEVER paid mother ANY child support even when Mother had both sole AND primary custody for years as ordered by the Court per the recommendations of the psychologists at CCES, but Mother now pays Father.
This is a horrible travesty of justice and corruption in Bucks County PA. A lying, corrupt Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services social worker Janeen Pironti Overberger illegally went into the child’s elementary school – on her very FIRST day of fifth grade – and interrogated and threatened her alone and without her Mother's knowledge or permission, and lied, causing the child to come home sobbing on her very first day of school and setting into motion the trial of the child’s and her mother's life… the hearing that ultimately meant she would be taken from her beloved Mom, Stepdad, little brother and all of the rest of her family and friends, little Chihuahua, school and activities, everyone and everything she has ever loved and held dear.
Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services worker Janeen Pironti Overberger and Judge James M. McMaster acted with gross misconduct. Parts of the transcript from the court hearing the day the child was ripped sobbing from her mother’s arms were changed, a criminal act of forgery. Records of the child’s testimony of her father’s abuse to the judge in his chambers have been “sealed.” A Woman's Place advocates, who are always normally present at all PFA hearings for the woman's support and protection, were not allowed into the Court hearing that day. Key witnesses were threatened, some forbidden by the Judge to speak and/or to attend at all. Lawyers were threatened.
The child’s Mom, Stepdad, little brother & sister, beloved little Chihuahua, and family and friends have all been fighting for her safe return to her home, school, and community that she was ripped so heartlessly from, ever since she began reporting to her Mom, Stepdad and many others of her father's abuse--which was then reported to and documented with CPS, schools, the authorities, medical professionals, and ultimately the Court. Her Mom is also a Registered Nurse and a Mandated Reporter by Pennsylvania Law.
On June 27, 2016, the vindictive father filed yet another (in a long line of) false contempt petitions, in an attempt to have the Mom--in his own words--"punished" and to unconstitutionally and abusively sever ALL CONTACT between the child’s Mother and 13-year-old daughter.
The child’s Mother is now being forced back into "Family" Court by the vindictive father once again, this time on October 17, 2016. The child’s father wants the Mother punished and to cut off ALL contact with their 13-year-old daughter. What kind of Father would do this to the Mother of his child? What kind of Father would do this to his child who loves her Mother?
According to the UN, "[d]iscrimination against mothers resulting in the loss of child custody to abusive fathers" is happening in the US, where far too often, family courts make grievous errors in judgment when deciding custody outcomes for children of battered women.
In this case, as in many others, a young girl was wrongfully and irresponsibly given sole legal and primary physical custody to her documented and identified abuser, her Mother was put on paid supervised visitation!...(paid by Mother at $60 an hour, minimum of 2 hour visits, doubled on holidays, even though the supervisor, a PhD expert psychologist hired by the Court, testified that Mother DOES NOT need and SHOULD NOT be on supervision, yet the Judge ordered Mother must continue supervision without giving any reason why!)...All documented evidence of abuse was suppressed by the Judge. Expert witnesses were disallowed, and the child’s own testimony of her father's abuse to the judge was "sealed." Both lawyers--the only witnesses--were ordered and forbidden by the judge to speak or write of the testimony or face being disbarred.
The child’s Mother is one of an estimated 2 million mothers in the U.S. alone who have lost custody of their children to controlling and abusive men who seek to punish women simply for leaving them--in the cruelest way possible--by completely severing the mother's contact with her beloved children.
The child’s Mom has never given up hope that someday Justice will prevail.
Please sign this petition to help Remove this Misogynistic Judge from the bench!
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