Thursday, April 21, 2016

Santa Clara County Judge Mary Ann Grilli Controversy: Socioeconomic, Pro Per Bias Alleged by Family Court Whistleblowers

Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria B. Henley Director CJP - California Supreme Court Judge Tani G Cantil Sakauye - Judge Erica Yew Santa Clara County Superior Court - Hon. Erica Yew Commission on Judicial Performance - Judicial Council of California =udge Mary Ann Grilli Santa Clara County Superior Court - Hon. Mary Ann S. Grilli Santa Clara Family Court - Judge Rise Jones Pichon Santa Clara County Superior Court Hon. Rise Jones Pichon Santa Clara Superior Court Presiding Judge
Santa Clara County Superior Court whistleblowers allege that many wealthy judges convey explicit socioeconomic and pro per bias against indigent, disabled and financially disadvantaged litigants. 

A Santa Clara County government whistleblower has leaked the Statement of Economic Interests financial disclosure data for controversial family law Judge Mary Ann Grilli. The records reveal that Grilli enjoys a net worth substantially above seven figures. The 30-page document, embedded at the end of this article, shows a well diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as an IRA and a revocable trust. 

Indigent, disabled and financially disadvantaged "pro per" litigants who can't afford counsel report that Grilli routinely exhibits socioeconomic and pro per bias, and favoritism towards lawyers. Court dockets and records from cases reviewed by the Family Court Accountability Coalition indicate that Grilli also often disregards "level-playing field" laws that mandate both parties in a divorce be represented by counsel where community property and assets are sufficient.

Santa Clara County Superior Court reform advocates allege that Grilli exemplifies what one law review article refers to as institutionalized socioeconomic bias in the judiciary. Three separate subsections of canon 3 of the California Code of Judicial Ethics - the state laws governing judge conduct - prohibit judges from exhibiting bias based on the socioeconomic status of a litigant. 

"[E]ven those judges who believe their wealthy backgrounds play no role in their judicial deliberations may be influenced by implicit socioeconomic bias. The Article verifies the existence of implicit socioeconomic bias on the part of judges through the examination recent Fourth Amendment and child custody cases. These cases reveal that judges can and do favor wealthy litigants over those living in poverty, with significant negative consequences for low-income people," according to the article by Golden Gate University School of Law Professor Michele Benedetto Neitz
A group of pro per litigants reportedly are preparing a multi-case compilation of court records for submission to the state Commission on Judicial Performance, which they allege show repeated acts of misconduct by Grilli against indigent court users without attorneys. 

The CJP is the state agency responsible for oversight and accountability of judges in California. The complaint against Grilli will allege a variety of violations of the Code of Judicial Ethics, according to the group. FCAC will provide updates as they become available. 

1 comment:

  1. Judge Grilli has been terrorizing children and the poor for decades. Santa Clara County Courts boost of her tenure. that just means more Grilli victims. It is time to demand her cases be reopened and the disgorgement of billons in community property Grilli is responsible for bleeding out to custody experts, CPAs , vocational examiners and nefarious lawyers like Brad Baugh.