What we're all about...

Wake County District Court Judge Anna E. Worley, elected in 2008 and up for re-election in 2012, has been a controversial figure in Wake County family courtrooms. Parents' stories range from curious to downright shocking. As a custodial parent required to endure Worley's apparent lack of wisdom and seemingly arbitrary decisions, I am fighting back against a system whose very slowness and apathy has caused great suffering for my children. After nearly 3 years in Judge Worley's "family" court room, I have emerged with sole legal and primary physical custody of my three children. As thankful as I am for my own personal custody hell to be over, the years spent in Judge Worley's courtroom, the months spent awaiting orders rendered to be entered, the letters written to staff and the Chief Justice to force entry of a final order were nothing short of excruciating for my three children and myself. I will work tirelessly to ensure that I make the public aware of Worley's philosophy, rulings, and courtroom demeanor. Citizens must vote from a position of knowledge rather than ignorance.

01 May 2012

Group Pickets Worley Campaign Event

     On Friday April 27, a group of parents and other voters picketed Worley campaign "event" at Salon 21 on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.  I say "event" because, outside of the picketers, the only signs that a campaign event was going on were two Worley signs in front of the salon and three balloons posted near the side entrance.
     Thank you to all the folks who gave us thumbs up and happy honking horns as you drove by! 

25 April 2012

Protest Worley's Re-Election: Friday 27 April at 21 Glenwood Avenue

     This Friday April 27 from 5:30-7:00 PM, a group a folks will gather on the public sidewalk outside of 21 Glenwood Avenue.  Worley will be holding her third campaign gathering, and Parents Against Judge Anna Worley's Re-Election has obtained a permit to picket between the hours of 5:30 and 7:00 PM.  If you would like to show your support for removing Worley from the bench, just bring yourself downtown Friday at 5:30 and we will provide you with signs and flyers.

     This will be a silent protest, respectful of all businesses around Glenwood South.  Our goal is to raise public awareness of Worley's judicial record.  Voters have a right to make their own choices, and we hope to provide them with accurate information to make that decision with clarity and consciousness.

     Join us if you will!

Visit Daniel Barker on Facebook: Let's Get the Word Out!

     Daniel Barker has a great Facebook page!  Please check it out!  Honestly, I am not a big fan of Facebook, as I find it boring to read small snippets rather than in-depth articles; however, most folks love it and it seems to get the word out faster than most other internet venues.
     Please review his page and if you feel Barker is someone you can support, then get active.  Support his campaign by volunteering, putting a sign in your yard, sending out mass emails to friends and colleagues, donating funds. 
     This time next year, let Worley be a thing of the past!  Vote May 8!

24 April 2012

Barker Tops the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Survey

     Daniel Barker beat Worley and Gilliam in the N.C. Bar Association's Non-Incumbent Judicial Candidate Evaluation Survey (Barker and Gilliam) and the Judicial Performance Evaluation (Worley).  In fact, in the 10th Judicial District, Barker ranked second (missing the number one spot by a paltry .06 points!) amongst the other non-incumbents.  His overall performance score is 4.28, topping Worley (3.16) and Gilliam (3.42).  Worley is the bottom of the barrel between these three candidates, making the voter's choice simple.
     Peruse the survey yourself (Barker is on page 8).
     Show up May 8!  Cast your vote for Barker!  Make a difference for Wake County Families!

18 April 2012

Worley: The Kim Kardashian of Judges?

     On her web site, Worley focuses on her volunteer experience.  In fact, it's really the bulk of information listed.  Here's the intro paragraph to her most recent lengthy delineation of her volunteer jobs:

"Our founding fathers promised justice for all, and I have done what I can to maintain that promise. I have chosen to participate in groups and organizations that work to protect those with the least access to resources, the least access to education, and the least access to justice."  Worley goes on to list every place she has volunteered since the turn of the century ad naseum.

     The problem is this: whatever skills one might gleen from such volunteer experience, those skills still do not translate into her showing up on time each and every day to start court at 9 am.  What's Worley's point in spending so much time and internet space telling us repeatedly what a fabulous volunteer she is?  As the sole legal custodian of my children, I have sat in Worley's courtroom waiting and waiting and waiting for her to commence court.  9:15-9:30 has been the typical start time in a Worley courtroom.  Adding salt to the wound, Worley often sits in her courtroom office, talking and cackling loudly with courtroom staff during the time those expecting to have their cases heard are waiting for her to start.  Most of us are professionals and are accustomed to a normal workday and respectful colleagues. 

     Her apparent egregious pattern of flagrant tardiness is compounded by the fact that often when she does start to hear a case, she apparently has done no preparation and frequently spends the first 5-10 minutes after calling the parties to the front reading through the file while everyone sits in silence.  What a waste of time and resources!

     Is Worley the Kim Kardashian of judges?  Kardashian is a fraud and an imposter in the Hollywood social scene; is Worley following her path?  If so, unfortunately for Wake County children, the consequences may be devastating.

     Vote!  May 8: Daniel Barker!


Vote Daniel Barker!

     Daniel Barker is running against Worley and David Gilliam in the May 8 primaries.  Parents Against Judge Anna Worley's Re-Election supports Daniel Barker and hopes you will as well.

     Please peruse his thoughtful and informative web site, which includes the Independent Weekly Candidate Questionnaire.  Barker is a straight shooter, has children (silent cheer), and is actually deeply involved in his community.  His words are better than mine, so please take a few minutes to read through his answers.  I've included one here which so accurately assesses the root of the problem in Worley's courtroom.  We need Barker!  Get out and vote, people!

Barker says,

The most important issues currently facing our District Courts in Wake County are the inefficiency of the system and the high volume of cases. While these issues are distinct, successfully addressing the first issue, will ease the difficulties caused by the second. Historically, efforts to solve problems in government have typically begun with community leaders asking for more resources. In our current economic climate, requesting larger budgets is neither fiscally possible nor politically popular. In short, we are going to have to figure out a way to solve the problems of overcrowded and inefficient courtrooms without spending more money. As a district court judge, I would address these important issues in three ways. First, I will be efficient with the resources we have, starting with time in the courtroom. Arriving and beginning Court on time is critical to the efficient administration of justice when we have such busy dockets. Second, I will advocate for the smart use of technology to improve efficiencies within the district court where the same can be done without interfering with the fairness of proceedings to the parties. For example, expanding the use of web-based scheduling systems currently used in our domestic courts. Lastly, within a given court session, I will schedule matters in a way that will most effectively use the court’s resources while being respectful of everyone’s time.

Independent Weekly Withdraws Endorsement of Worley

The Independent Weekly has withdrawn its 2008 endorsement of Worley as a result of her poor performance as Wake County Judge over the past four years.  Please folks, allow me to just gloat and do a little invisible victory dance!  Read the Indy article below or check out the full text here.

District 10 (Worley seat)

Incumbent Anna Worley, 41, was elected to the judgeship in 2008. However, over the last four years she has received ample criticism for how she runs her court, including her own tardiness. Worley ranked last in the N.C. Bar Association's 2012 Performance Evaluation Survey for District 10, with a score of 3.16 out of 5. Her lowest scores came in administrative skills (2.84) and legal ability (3.2).
For these reasons, we are endorsing Daniel Barker, 46, a lawyer with 18 years' experience in civil and criminal courts. In his questionnaire, he listed the inefficiency of the legal system and the high volume of cases as the top priorities facing District 10. He understands the budget constraints and yet he details several easy administrative and cost-effective improvements: showing up to court on time and using web-based technology to schedule and run the court room efficiently.

Barker is well-respected among his peers. We were impressed by the sense of humanity with which he approaches plaintiffs and defendants: "I will endeavor to administer justice in a fair and impartial way and to do so with kindness and respect for all who appear before me. As long as a judge acts fairly and impartially, exhibits kindness to all in the courtroom and treats every person with respect, while a party may disagree with a ruling or judgment, at least they can accept it, knowing that they received a fair hearing."

Charles Gilliam, 62, a self-described conservative, is the third candidate.

06 April 2012

Worley: Please Submit Your Candidate Profile

April 16 is the deadline for candidates to submit their profiles to the 2012 NC Voter Guide.  I am waiting for Worley's to go up.  I am hoping for some very detailed information in her candidate statement.  Maybe she will address some of the questions in my 22 March "A Few Questions" posting.

Voter's Guide: Gather Info Before You Vote!

Please the 2012 N.C. Voter's Guide regularly during this election year.  Take your voter responsibility seriously and make sure that if you are casting a vote for a candidate, you know the philosophy and political agenda of that candidate. 

Judicial Activism

Corruption in the U.S. Juvenile and Family Courts. Full version (Pts 1,2)

Original info: This is a brief preview of an incomplete documentary about the abuses of America's Justice system, particularly in the family courts.
All credit goes to: Paul Ciccotelli, who originally uploaded parts 1 and 2 of Deconstructing America. http://www.youtube.com/user/paulciccotelli

26 March 2012

Facebook: Worley Speaks

     On Worley's recently created Facebook page, she writes in the Info section: "I appreciate the trust that Wake County voters have placed in me. For the past three years, I have enjoyed going to a job each day that allows me to help children and families. Now, I am readying to kick off my 2012 campaign and I hope to be allowed to give Wake County four more years."
     So, I have some commentary about her perception that Wake County voters placed trust in her.   We did not place trust in her - most voters are unaware of a new judicial candidate's position on legal issues, integrity in the courtroom or ability to fairly and appropriately decide complex issues for families in crisis.  We placed trust in her promise to apply the law correctly, to practice integrity and to have the background, wisdom and understanding to decide complex issues for families in crisis.  For many families who have endured horrific custody decisions rendered by Worley, she appears to have not delivered on that promise.
     Administratively, Worley was rated the lowest of any 10th district judge.  This is no small matter in family court.  Hearings postponed for over a year (my own husband's hearing on his motion for a parenting coordinator in his custody case with his ex-wife was postponed for over a year - he finally just voluntarily dismissed the case, as it wasn't worth missing so many work days only to have Worley continue it again at the request of attorney Steve Palme), court cancelled the morning of, cases pulled from the calendar with barely a day's notice, orders entered over 5 months late, orders NEVER entered.
     I know I keep harping on this, but Worley HAS NO CHILDREN.  She HAS NO HUSBAND.  She HAS NO EXPERIENCE BEING A PARENT RUNNING A FAMILY.  How on earth can she possibly run other people's families when she has no context?  A book does not experience make. 
     Does she know about the research which abounds on the negative implications of what appears to be her preference toward a "parallel parenting" philosophy?  Because she is not a mother, she has no experience with the damage that parallel parenting can cause to a child.  The damage is increased tenfold if one of those parents has a personality disorder (borderline or narcissistic personality disorders).  Parents with personality disorders wreak havoc in a family (both intact and divorced families), especially when a family court judge does not understand deeply how personality disorders play out in a courtroom.
     I fervently disagree with Worley's assessment of how she has helped children and families.  I am a parent that by all appearances should be glad to have been in her courtroom - I have sole legal and primary physical custody, all granted by Worley.  But on the way to that final judgment, Worley allowed so much damage to my children.  Based on false allegations leveled in an emergency custody motion filed by my ex-husband, Worley granted my ex 50-50 custody for 2 months.  In that two month period, my ex drove with my three boys with his driver's license revoked, was pulled by law enforcement and forced out of his vehicle along with my three boys, and told to surrender his license and get another ride home.  My ex called his current girlfriend, who came to pick up my children and return them home to me.  My ex also took my three boys to my husband's ex-wife's house for 8 gruelling hours while I sobbed and begged him to allow me to come pick them up. 
     That summer also included a scene in the Whole Foods parking lot during which my ex called me a "fucking cunt" in front of my three boys, told me to "get that pole out of my ass," "shut the fuck up," and reminded me as he had so many times before that I am "mentally ill and everyone knows it."  His apparent narcissistic personality disorder rage attack finally ended when my oldest son started yelling at his dad to apologize.
     That's how Worley helped my family and my children.  That's what she allowed to happen.  That's why she needs to be off the bench, in my humble opinion.  The damage to my boys from her sudden custody change (when she simply did not have the information to needed to make a decision) has taken years to undue.  The offending parent makes no effort to undue the damage done to the children.  The offending parent is apathetic.  Yet Worley empowers the offending parent seemingly out of her own lack of wisdom about family dynamics, personality problems and the underlying psychological issues that manifest as an inability to communicate and co-parent.
     Voters have a right to demand a judge who can adequately address these very complex family and custody issues.  In my experience in Worley's courtroom, I just haven't seen her handle these things in a way I think is helpful to anyone.
     Please, voters, do not allow Worley to "give" four more years to Wake County!  Fight this!

3:40 PM: Worley Cancels Hearing to Change Venue

     Once again, Worley cancels court.  This time, she discovered (close to closing time for today's court) that she will be in a 3-day hearing beginning tomorrow and is unable to hear ANY of the other cases attorneys and litigants have placed on her calendar weeks or months ago.  My own case - a Change of Venue from Wake to Orange County (where I have lived for over a year now but still can't get out of Wake County) - was scheduled for 15 minutes.  She would not handle it.
     So, now I must reschedule for late May.  I believe that Worley's unwillingness to handle and resolve custody cases is one of the causes of her overloaded calendar.  Isn't 2013 here yet?  Let's get her off that bench, voters!

22 March 2012

A Few Questions for Worley

     Over the past three years of dealing with Worley on the front lines, I have thought deeply about what I want in a judicial candidate for family court.  Below, I articulate a few questions we should all be asking ourselves about our family court judges.  Worley, I challenge to you answer these questions.  I challenge you to be transparent about your underlying mental construct which informs your judicial decision-making.  Voters have a right to know where you stand on these issues.  Your silence could belie an unwillingness on your part to allow voters to decide for themselves.  Ramblings about YWCA rallies and donating to children with autism are the politically-motivated actions to which we constituents are accustomed.  What do you have to offer regarding the following questions?
    First, in applying the best interest analysis in custody proceedings, please specifically delineate what factors you consider in determining the best interest of a child? 
     Second, is it your opinion that parents should, in the majority of cases, share 50-50 custody of the children?  If so, please explain in detail why you believe your opinion should influence a legal proceeding?  Isn't it the case that legal proceedings should be governed by our Constitution, state statute and common law?
     Third, what is your understanding, and from where did you gain this understanding, of personality disorders in adults and how those personality disorders can impact communication between parents and the success or failure of custody arrangements?
     Fourth, describe your stance on parallel parenting.  Please supply factual and statistical data to support your stance on this controversial form of parenting.
    I have lots more questions, but this is a great start.  We are waiting, Judge Worley.  We deserve answers.

Gilliam: Opposing Worley in the 2012 Election

Please read about Charles Gilliam and make an informed decision when voting in the primaries on 8 May 2012.

21 March 2012

Worley Has an Imaginary Meeting with Child in Custody Dispute

     Click below to hear Worley's actual court-recorded rendering of a judgment in a recent custody case.  Worley is "explaining" why she arrived at her custody decision, and in so explaining describes in detail a meeting with the minor child at issue in the custody dispute.  The problem is, as both parents have to explain to her in open court, Worley has never met this minor child.  Never seen her.  Never had any discussions with her in any form.  Yet she plows forward, even after realizing the memory she has is likely from some other custody case, and maintains the judgment she started with.

Worley's Re-Election Blog

     On her newly-minted re-election blog, Worley writes, "Elected to the District Court Bench, I have served Wake County for the past four years. I spend three out of every four weeks in Family Court. While custody, child support, spousal support and equitable distribution, are hard and emotional issues, their resolution allows families to heal and move forward. " [Emphasis added].
     While she is correct in stating that the resolution of custody and other such issues allows families to heal and move forward, I can say with absolute certainty that not one single action she has taken has brought resolution to my custody case nor allowed my family to heal and move forward.  What allowed my family to heal and move forward were two things: Woofer Davidian (our former parenting coordinator, whose term ended 27 January 2012) and my own personal commitment to working on myself, healing my family, and protecting my children from the bad choices their Dad has made.
     Worley has no children and no husband.  How can she even begin to espouse an understanding of families, parenting dynamics (much less parenting skills), children's development, and other significant issues which impact a child's experience in the world?  She has no personal understanding of what it is like to be a mother or a wife.  She studied English, Spanish and the law at Wake Forest University.  As I see it, a judge without children does not pass muster as a family court judge.
     Lastly, her assertion that custody and support are "hard and emotional issues" falls flat.  They are not hard and emotional issues.  They are devastating issues that wrench the heart.  They involve issues of mothers who set aside their careers in order to give lovingly to their children only to be told by a child judge that dad gets half the time - the very same dad who couldn't have cared less about his involvement with this children during the marriage.  It's those child support enforcement documents coming down the pike that engender the sudden onset of parental affinity.  A wise woman and judge would be able to step back and see that a mother who would give up such an important aspect of life (her career) because giving to her children is the job most valued by her is the mother that must continue to care for the children.  Anything less belies a total disrespect for the needs of the children. 
    When you go to the polls, don't buy the Worley Whitewash.  Look deeper.  Google her name - many of the results are all the same: GET RID OF WORLEY.  Some are speaking up on her behalf, but her own blog contains a lot of liberal drippings about the closing of the YWCA and a benefit for children with autism.  Voters don't care how many rallies Worley attends.  Rallies cost nothing.  Voters should care about her record.
    So, Worley, here is my challenge to you: Put your record out for the public to view.  Give us real data about the families that have ended up in front of you and just how many times they return because the issues don't get resolved. 
    We're waiting....

20 March 2012

Locke Milholland, Steve Palme, Anna Worley



Who amongst you would want these three determining the future of your children? Seriously?

Worley Spewing: "You Two Really Don't Know How to Get Along"

     Ah, the mantra of the inexperienced, immature and ignorant!  This statement in Worley's courtroom is indicative of two things: first, Worley has no apparent experience effectively handling a parent who has a personality disorders and second, Worley has no apparent experience effectively taking charge of a custody case in such a way that the misbehaving party gets the message that not stopping his misbehavior will lead to consequences. 
     Worley doesn't seem to get personality disorders.  She doesn't seem to understand the special challenges of attempting communication with a parent who actually desires the conflict more than he desires a solution.  For example, my children's father desires conflict with me because that conflict enables him to maintain a relationship with me, which relationship he lost due to his addiction issues.  His only avenue to me is through our children, an avenue he cruises down as often as possible.  Worley looks out into the courtroom and, apparently unwilling to adequately cope with all the contentiousness, says, like an unthinking parent, "You two need to stop fighting!"  It's like telling the beach to stop interfering with the ocean's waves. 
     I have never seen Worley actually solve a custodial conflict; however, I have seen her make many conflicts a hell of a lot worse.  Her lack of organization and administrative skills creates problems in itself because orders are late (or not entered at all), hearings are begun even though she can't remember important details of a case, she imagines meeting children when, in fact, she hasn't met them at all.      
     My first experience with Worley occurred in 2009 while I watched a case between a mother of a six month old breastfeeding baby and the dad who had visited the child two times since birth.  All was fine until Mom filed for child support.  Then Dad suddenly decided that baby needs her Daddy, filed for custody, and Worley gets their case.  Now, in this hearing, Dad testifies that, yes, he has smoked pot most of his life, but he's 5 months clean now.  And no, he hasn't seen the baby much, but that's because his other Baby Mama just had another of his kids that's now two months old.  So, Dad says, Won't this be great - my six month old can come visit me and my new Baby Mama (who's taking care of 2 month old) can help me take care of Baby Mama #1's 6 month old!
     And Worley said, yes that's a good idea.  She ordered visitation to begin three days from the day of the hearing.  That Mom had to hand her precious baby over to a drug addict Dad living with Baby Mama #2 who surely had all warm and fuzzy feelings for Baby Mama #1's brood.
      Worley appears to have little or no experience with or understanding of addiction issues, personality disorders or possible hidden, underlying causes of conflict in custody cases.  As a voter, I demand that judges sitting on the bench educate themselves adequately about these issues.  Divorce rarely happens between two healthy, spiritually-minded folks.  It happens because at least one person involved is practicing some sort of marital misconduct (in my own case, my ex is a debtor, an addict and appears to have a personality disorder).  That misconduct does not end when the marriage ends; in fact, that misconduct usually intensifies.
     Worley does not seem willing to take charge and implement consequences for custody order violations.  In so apparently failing, the bad-behaving parent becomes empowered and the children suffer mightily.  My son asked me in earnest to allow him to go to Worley's courtroom and tell her what he wants.  I told him no.  I told him this: that woman will never get her eyes on you because she doesn't deserve even a moment's conversation with you.  Everything you are is beautiful and sacred and loving.  She doesn't deserve to even be in the presence of that.
     Folks who violate custody orders repeatedly must have consequences.  Repeat violations of legal decrees is an indication that the violator has no respect for authority.  Folks who have no respect for authority will not actively alter their behavior until they themselves experience discomfort, pain or deprivation from their actions.  As long as others (children and ex-spouses) experience disomfort, pain and deprivation from the violator's actions, the violator is totally, completely unmotivated to change his behavior.  His own pain is his only motivator because he lacks empathy.  Empathy for the suffering of others motivates most people to adhere to social constructs.  But those who lack empathy will NEVER adhere to social rules until they experience direct discomfort from their lack of empathy (i.e. no child support equals jail time).
     And so, in the end, maybe Worley is right - maybe we two really don't know how to get along.  And it will stay that way because I will never lie down and let that man hurt my children.  He is more than welcome to a close and loving relationship with them, but if he wants to neglect or harm them or refuse to protect them, he's got Mama Bear to face.  Once upon a time, she was a wimp.  But she ain't no more.

27 February 2012

Wake County Judge Investigated by SBI

Read all about Judge Kristen Ruth and attorney James Crouch.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into how a Wake County District Court judge handled 12 driving while impaired cases, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said Monday.

Stephens asked the SBI to investigate Judge Kristin Ruth earlier this month, according to an exchange of letters obtained by WRAL News between Stephens and Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby.

Willoughby wrote to Stephens on Feb. 15 about what he called "unauthorized scheduling" and "unusual judgments" in impaired driving cases. Willoughby wrote that, in all 12 cases in question, Ruth had entered an ex parte order that changed the judgment dates, effectively shortening or eliminating the driver's license suspensions for defendants.

In each case, the defense attorney on record was James Crouch, who Willoughby accused of misconduct in court documents filed last month.

In addition, Willoughby wrote, Ruth gave limited driving privileges in three cases in which the defendants were not eligible. Those cases were also tied to Crouch.

Stephens responded in a Feb. 20 letter that he planned to request a review by an outside agency after determining that, while "there may be a totally innocent explanation for this conduct ... I can think of none."

"If these orders were knowingly entered," he wrote, "they could constitute evidence of misconduct, including an attempt to obstruct criminal justice."

Ruth said Monday that she had retained two attorneys, who advised her not to comment. One of those attorneys, Rick Gammon, declined to comment as well.

Stephens has requested that she not be assigned to any criminal cases while the investigation is ongoing.

Crouch has not been disciplined by the North Carolina State Bar, but Willoughby filed a motion for appropriate relief Jan. 29 against him in the case of 16-year-old Henry Horne.

Horne, who was arrested Dec. 10, was given a court date of Feb. 13, but Crouch showed up in court on Jan. 20 and told Judge Keith Gregory and Assistant District Attorney April Flythe that her supervisor agreed to put the case on the court calendar for that day, the motion states.

In North Carolina, only prosecutors have the authority to set trial dates. Flythe's supervisor, Assistant District Attorney Steven Saad, never authorized the Jan. 20 court date, Willoughby said in the motion

04 February 2012

Steve Palme: "Preliminary Injunction, uh, there's no such thing."

Steven Palme, of The Palme Law Firm, gave an unimpressive argument regarding a preliminary injunction against a defendant, which injunction Palme's client had sought and obtained from Worley.  You can see for yourself that this guy is all over the place and anyone who reads the NC Rules of Civil Procedure knows this is just malarky.  But Worley bought it!  She bought it and moved forward with the hearing telling the defendant that everything Palme had just spoken was accurate!  Based on the CD recording of the hearing, here's Palme's unimpressive argument:

     I would say that a preliminary injunction is not an interlocutory order. It’s got no expiration date. There’s no further hearing on a preliminary injunction. It’s just gonna stay in effect.
     You know, there’s nothing in – uh, asking here to say temporary custody, temporary child support order in, uh, in the decree of each one of those that the findings of facts are, uh, nonprejudicial to either party. That the order is nonprejudicial to either party. 
     The preliminary injunction, uh, there’s no such thing. It is a hearing on the merits and it is got the findings in it. They are findings of fact and they are not going anywhere.
     It’s akin to a domestic violence protective order because it essentially restrains one party from doing something that the court has determined is going to cause irreparable harm and in this case have an adverse effect on the minor child. There are no further orders that go into place in a preliminary injunction. The only way to get rid of one is basically either to set it aside, a Rule 60 motion based on some error of law or fact. Or other things that are in Rule 60 in the Rules of Civil Procedure.      
     And beyond that I don’t think there’s any way to get rid of a preliminary injunction.

31 January 2012

What Lawyers Have To Say About Worley

     More than 20,000 attorneys participated in reviewing North Carolina judges up for re-election in 2012.  With an overall performance rating of 3.16 (out of 5 possible points in 5 different categories) Worley rates at the bottom in the 10th District.  That's right!  She received the worst overall rating of any other judge up for re-election in 2012!
     Of all 10th District judges up for re-election in 2012, Worley received the lowest rating in every single category rated: Integrity and Impartiality, Legal Ability, Professionalism, Communication, and Administrative Skills.  Her rating for Administrative Skills was the worst: out of 194 responses, 84 rated her at below average or poor.  If you think that administrative skills are not as important as other skills judges need, consider this - I waited for over 5 months for Worley to enter an order giving me sole legal custody.  In those 5 months, I incurred over $1000 in parenting coordintor fees that I would not have needed to incur had an order been entered.  In family court, timeliness and administration of duty matters!
     Click here for access to the full report by the NC Bar Association.  Go to Page 45 for Worley's page.  Here's a summary:

Integrity and Impartiality 3.71 (average)
Legal Ability 3.20 (average)
Professionalism 3.43 (average)
Communication 3.29 (average)
Administrative Skills 2.84 (below average)
Overall Performance 3.16 (average)

NC Bar Association Kicks Off Its Judicial Performance Evaluations

Last summer, unbeknownst to most commoners, the NC Bar Association began a little survey designed to help us all see who we're voting for and what their performance record has been over the past 4 years.  For those who voted for Worley in 2008, you're excused.  She had no record to review.  Now, all bets are off.  Here's the article kicking of the legal community's evaluation of her:

Article Date: Tuesday, May 03, 2011
The North Carolina Bar Association’s Judicial Performance Evaluation survey of Superior and District Court judges up for election in 2012 begins this week and continues through May 31.

All North Carolina lawyers who have had professional contact – sufficient to form an adequate basis for evaluation – with any of the listed judges, are urged to complete a survey for all such judges. Your professional contact with a judge need not be restricted to courtroom appearances before that judge.

Participation is key to the success of this endeavor!

The process for conducting the surveys will be initiated electronically, beginning Wednesday, May 4, with an email from NCBA President Gene Pridgen alerting you that the survey will be transmitted within 24 hours. Additional information regarding the process will be contained in that email.

Then, for security purposes designed to ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of your participation, the survey itself will appear “From” bcrossland@bdo.com or survey-noreply@smo.surveymonkey.com, or some variation thereof, depending how you receive email. This email is also submitted over the signature of the NCBA president.

The keywords to remember are bcrossland and surveymonkey – this is not spam and you may need to check your spam filter to make sure that your system did not interpret it as such.

This survey is being administered by the accounting firm of BDO USA, LLP. A Ph.D. statistician has approved the design and methodology of the survey. BDO USA, LLP will receive your survey and protect your anonymity. The link provided for taking the survey is uniquely tied to your email address, to assure that only licensed N.C. attorneys participate in the survey, and that each attorney participates only once.

BDO USA, LLP will provide numerical ratings for each judge. Your email address will not be linked to any results released by BDO USA, LLP to the NCBA, to any judge, or to the public.

You may request a paper survey instead of an electronic one. Make the request to gfranks@bdo.com.

All district attorneys, public defenders, their assistants, and other government attorneys will automatically be mailed paper surveys. A government attorney who does not receive the survey by mail is encouraged to request a paper survey.

For additional information, email jpe@ncbar.org or contact David Bohm at dbohm@ncbar.org or 919-657-1553.

21 January 2012

Rachel French

Rachel Louise French is a paralegal employed by Ben Brown, who, in 2010/11 shared an office in downtown Raleigh with Locke Milholland, the attorney representing the father of my children during my custody hell with Judge Anna Worley.  To help the public understand the caliber of folks we are dealing with here, take this in... in 2004, French was arrested and convicted of accessory to murder after the fact in the Timothy Wayne Johnson case (Johnson and his brother were convicted of murdering two men from Chicago at an NC State football game).  WRAL news wrote in a story posted on its website: "Rachel Louise French, 20, of Apex, has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder.  The Meredith College sophomore is accused of assisting Timothy Johnson, 22, in escaping detection and arrest, according to an arrest warrant.  French was being held at the Wake County jail with bail set at $100,000."  She was convicted of the charge on 13 December 2005 of murder second degree (accessory after the fact).

Four years later, on 27 February 2008, French was arrested again and charged with misdemeanor child abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cocaine, and misdemeanor probation violation.  Her 6-month old daughter was with her when she was arrested on these charges.

Some time after her arrest in 2008, French filed an emergency custody motion against her daughter's father in which she alleged that her daughter's father had abused the child. 

Locke Milholland was her representing attorney in that motion.  It was denied.

Rachel Louise French:

Barton v. Barton: Appellate Court Reverses in Part/Remands Worley's Order

Yet another... http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nc-court-of-appeals/1579606.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FindLawNCCtApp+(FindLaw+Case+Law+Updates+-+NC+Court+of+Appeals)

Andrews v. Andrews: Appellate Court Reverses Judge Worley's Order

Check out the following N.C. Court of Appeals Opinion reversing Worley's ruling in a child support case: http://statecasefiles.justia.com/documents/north-carolina/court-of-appeals/11-433.pdf?ts=1323904790

20 January 2012

Judge Worley's Late Order: My Letter to Wake County Chief Justice Robert B. Rader

On 7 October 2011, I placed the following letter in the courthouse mailbox of Chief Justice Rader.  On 19 October, Judge Worley finally entered my modified custody order granting me sole legal custody, an order she had rendered in open court more than 5 months prior to the entry (rendered orders have no legal authority; only entered orders are enforceable).

Honorable Robert B. Rader
Chief Judge District Court
Post Office Box 351
Raleigh, North Carolina 27602

Dear Hon. Rader:

     I write to seek remedy regarding Judge Anna E. Worley’s five month delay in entering a custody order rendered in my case on 3 May 2011.  As of this letter, despite numerous attempts in writing and through personal contact with Judge Worley’s staff, Judge Worley still has not entered the order from the 3 May 2011 hearing granting me final decision-making authority, a significant alteration to my previous order which provided for joint legal custody between the plaintiff and me.

     The history of this particular hearing is as follows:  On 5 April 2010, Judge Worley granted my motion for a parenting coordinator, and appointed V.A. Davidian.  Mr. Davidian established payment arrangements with both me and the plaintiff, arrangements with which I fully complied.  However, the plaintiff in my custody case did not comply and has, to date, paid Mr. Davidian only $50 of the fees owed.  Mr. Davidian filed a Request for Hearing, which request the Court granted and set for hearing on 3 May 2011.  I had previously informed Mr. Davidian of a case conflict (as paralegal for a federal public defender, I was required to attend a sentencing hearing at the Federal Courthouse on New Bern Avenue on that day).  I requested that Mr. Davidian inform the Court of my scheduling conflict, to which he agreed.

     On 3 May 2011, the Court heard testimony only from Mr. Davidian, as I was attending the federal sentencing hearing, and the plaintiff was a no-show.  As I understand it from Judge Worley’s staff, Mr. Davidian did not inform the Court as to the reason for my absence.

     After hearing testimony from Mr. Davidian regarding communication difficulties caused by plaintiff, and difficulties Mr. Davidian himself was having getting the plaintiff to comply with the Court’s custody order, Judge Worley rendered an order granting me final decision-making power regarding my three minor children.  She also issued an Order to Show Cause regarding payment of the parenting coordinator’s fees, which Order was set to be heard 30 August 2011.  Plaintiff filed a motion to continue, but the Court never responded to that motion.  Instead, all parties and the parenting coordinator attended calendar call, were told to return at 3:00 PM that same day, returned at 3:00 PM only to hear Judge Worley’s ruling that the case would be continued to 30 September 2011 so that plaintiff could obtain an attorney.

     On 30 September 2011, all parties returned to court, only to be notified at 8:45 AM that Judge Worley was sick and would hear no cases that day.  The Show Cause cases are currently calendared for 3 November 2011. 

     In the 5 months since Judge Worley rendered her order, numerous custody issues have arisen prompted by the very lack of communication addressed during the 3 May 2011 hearing.  Because there is no written order entered, I have been placed in the very precarious position of trying to exercise the custodial authority the Court orally granted me (which “order”, as Mr. Davidian stated in an email to both plaintiff and myself, became effective “immediately”) on 3 May 2011, yet doing so with no legal authority.  As you well know, a rendered order is not an entered order. 

     One goal of providing me with final decision-making authority was to reduce the need for the parenting coordinator; however, the lack of any written order has interfered with that goal.  Because plaintiff responds primarily to legal enforcement, the lack of any written order has provided plaintiff a sense of empowerment, requiring me to consistently seek help from Mr. Davidian, thereby incurring more fees.  The lack of a written order has created instability in a situation which craves stability and predictability.

     In addition to the instability created by Judge Worley’s failure to enter an order in this case, plaintiff’s attorney has added a second layer of instability by emailing me professionally inappropriate and sexually harassing emails.  On 21 September 2011, Mr. Locke Milholland, in response to my email requesting a copy of the motion and order denying his motion for a continuance, emailed me the following: “Sure thing sugar pie, anything for you.”  To date, I have received no motion or order regarding the continuance. 

     I have no remedy regarding this situation, save this written request to you.  In family court, more than any other court in Wake County, parties must be able to rely on the system to place the children’s interest first and foremost.  A party’s pro se status should not render her custody case low priority.  In fact, a party’s pro se status perhaps should place her custody case at high priority, given the special challenges associated with navigating the complex world of custody litigation.  Moreover, a party’s pro se status should never mean that opposing counsel plays open season with unprofessional and sexually harassing tactics.  I cannot ever imagine Mr. Milholland emailing such fodder to a licensed attorney. 

     This case needs the stability associated with clarity, consistency, and professionalism.  I respectfully request that Judge Worley enter the order that she rendered in open court on 3 May 2011.  I respectfully request that, within your power, you require Locke Milholland to adhere to the rules of professionalism and to stop harassing me.  I have requested a written apology from Mr. Milholland, a request he has ignored.  I sincerely appreciate any effort on your part to encourage entry of the order, and discourage unprofessionalism on Mr. Milholland’s part.

     On 3 November 2011, the Court will hear parenting coordinator Woofer Davidian’s request to be released from the case due to Plaintiff’s nonpayment.  Plaintiff hopes Mr. Davidian will be released so that transparency about his refusal to communicate and his noncompliance with the order cannot be immediately handled.  Judge Worley will likely allow Mr. Davidian’s release, as this is his second request for release due to Plaintiff’s nonpayment. 

     Without a written order signed and entered granting me final decision-making authority (which order Judge Worley has already rendered in open court), and without a parenting coordinator in place, my children are left very vulnerable to a noncustodial parent who has shown by his actions (made into findings of fact in our custody order) that retaliation against me takes precedence over the best interests of the children.





17 January 2012

Judge Worley's 2008 Endorsements

     In 2008, trial attorney Chris Nichols posted the following on his NC Trial Log Blog: "I've known Anna since undergraduate days at Wake Forest. She's amazingly fair minded and knowledgeable. Her knowledge of family law is a very important attribute for the District Court as the District Courts handle about 99% of family law disputes. Anna won the primary election by almost 10,000 votes over her opponent in this election. She'll be fair and hold everyone to the burden of proof they have. While her opponent is a very nice guy and a good lawyer, he's recently been arrested which I believe would compromise his ability to be a District Court judge because if he is convicted (his first court date is October 17th) he could be subject to sanctions from the Judicial Standards Commission."
     Now, not for anything, but Mr. Nichols, according to his website http://www.nicholstriallaw.com/, is a personal injury and accident lawyer.  I'm no rocket scientist, but it seems to me that an attorney who handles personal injury cases is a far cry from being an expert on child development, family psychology, and custodial conflicts. 
     Furthermore, from where did Nichols gather this statistical data?  99% of family law disputes are handled in the district court?  Does this included appellate or supreme court review?  Is there some other court - superior court - where family court matters are heard or reviewed?  Is he simply making up statistics to dazzle and confuse?
     And exactly what evidentiary data does Nichols offer to support his contention that Worley will be "fair and hold everyone to the burden of proof they have"?  (As a former English teacher, I can't even begin to address the grammar issues with Nichols' posting!)
     Finally, Nichols was concerned that if Perry had been elected, his conviction would compromise his ability to be a district court judge - not, according to Nichols, because Perry's character is now in question, but because Perry could be subject to judicial sanctions.  Does this imply that consequences for poor choices are the only problem with making poor choices?  Shouldn't we all believe that the poor choices themselves are the problem?
     Nichols' endorsement of Worley back in 2008 smacks of the very verbal reality of which the public should be aware.  Clear, well-articulated endorsements based on facts and experience are what the public deserves when choosing elected officials.  Vague support wrapped around statistical malarky should be very suspect. 


Welcome to Take A Stand 2012: Parents Fighting Judge Worley's Re-Election

     Wake County's Judge Anna Worley is up for re-election this year after winning her 2008 judicial race against Mark Perry, who was arrested on 16 September 2008 and charged with drunken driving.(http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/3566119/).  After nearly 3 years in Judge Worley's "family" court room, I have emerged with sole legal and primary physical custody of my three children.  As thankful as I am for my own personal custody hell to be over, the years spent in Judge Worley's seeming circus of a courtroom, the months spent awaiting orders rendered to be entered, the letters written to staff and the Chief Justice to force entry of a final order were nothing short of excruciating for my three children and myself.  This blog is intended to begin a judicial watchdog movement.  Ask yourself: how much do you know about the judges for whom you voted in the 2008 elections?  Did you vote the party line, hoping that politics would be enough for those judges to uphold a value system that would best benefit children?  If so, in 2012, think again. Get informed.  If you don't, then don't vote.  Let those of us willing to seek information cast the votes needed to place family court judges on the bench.
     Unlike high profile candidates, judicial candidates tend to receive little media attention, and the public is often in the dark about a potential judge's record as an attorney, political and religious beliefs (read: agenda), life wisdom (Is it really possible to be a functional custody judge without ever experiencing marriage or parenting?), and ability to handle the administrative pressures of a judicial position.  Even after a judge has served her 4 year stint on the bench, how often do constituents review the record: what are attorneys saying about the judge? how many times have the judge's ruling been appealed? reversed? remanded?
     If you can't answer these questions about Judge Worley, please reconsider casting your vote in her favor.  Let those who have had experience dealing with her be the deciding voice.  After all, we are the ones whose lives are grossly impacted by poor decisions made.
     If you are a parent with a story to share about your experience with Judge Worley, I invite you to share it here.  Please: have integrity!  Tell the truth, speak facts.  Wake County voters deserve a clear picture of Judge Worley's impact on the children she supposedly serves.
     Take a stand!  Don't sit quietly and allow this judge to continue.