CONTEMPT OF COURT: WHY IS A NEW YORK COURT CONSISTENTLY FAILING TO IMPOSE CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ITS ORDERS?
March 1, 2010
By Paul Collier
Reports are surfacing about an anomaly in an unfolding family custody case going through the NY Supreme Court in Kings County (Brooklyn) under Judge Rachel Adams.
Last year, the New York Post published an article about a woman who was engaged in a long legal struggle with her ultra-orthodox ex-husband over custody of her children, full custody having been awarded to her in 2007. The story in the Post focused on a Rabbi Belsky, who used his clout to spread salacious stories about the woman:
Here are some excerpts from that article:
A Jewish woman from Brooklyn says she’s fighting a “Scarlet Letter” smear campaign — against a prominent rabbi who’s allegedly slamming her with lies about her sex life.
“He said that I have an underground, sexually promiscuous lifestyle and exposed my kids to it,” says Asia Teper, 33, of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, a fixture in Flatbush and member of the Orthodox Union and Yeshiva Torah Vodaas…..
Kohn owns a catering company and has filed numerous motions against Teper since she got full custody of the girls, ages 10 and 12, in 2007.
During a deposition he admitted to cheating on his 2005 income taxes, and in July he was arrested for contempt after he yanked the daughters out of an upstate summer camp and disappeared for six days.
The Freedomist now has learned that the court which has awarded custody has refused to enforce its order. And that the children involved have been spirited off by their father and have not been seen by their mother in several months. Freedomist is commencing an investigation of the matter. The first item that has surfaced is that there are allegations on the public record that the presiding judge in this case has been connected to an ongoing scandal involving the assignment of “Law Guardians” by judges who received political contributions from the same, paid, assigned Law Guardians. Here is an excerpt from an article outlining the allegations:
The systems governing both the appointment of law guardianships and the oversight of judicial campaign donations are replete with often demanding protocols. But the recent conviction of an ex-judge and the intimacy of relationships in the small jurisdiction of Staten Island raise questions about the precision and effectiveness of those regulations.
During the sentencing of disgraced Supreme Court justice Gerald Garson earlier this week, one divorcee blasted the jurist for accepting bribes from her ex-husband’s divorce attorney. “Money and cigars are what determined your custody decisions,” Sigal Levy told the court in her angry victim’s statement.
In an interview after the trial, Levy alleged that other private court appointed law guardians were wrapped up in webs similar to the one that ensnared Garson and Siminovsky. “The law guardians and everybody else are part of the system,” she said. “They wanted to appease him because he referred cases to them. People pay a lot of money to private law guardians.”…….
…..Since 2003, two judges have handed out private law guardian assignments in Richmond County, and one was a key player in Garson’s courtroom.
Panepinto shares these responsibilities with acting Supreme Court Justice Rachel Amy Adams, who was Garson’s former law secretary. Although Adams’s last race for Civil Court occurred in 1999, just before new campaign finance disclosure rules kicked in, records do reveal that out of the $136,600 in law guardian whom Adams has appointed since 2003, $116,600 worth of those assignments went to attorneys who had donated to her colleague Panepinto’s campaign.
Adams did receive $100 from matrimonial attorney Rosa Pannitto in a failed bid for the Democratic Party’s Supreme Court endorsement in 2002.
We are in the midst of following up on the activities of Judge Adams regarding allegations that she has refused to enforce many of her court orders through numerous alleged violations.
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