Full Text of Zed McLarnon 'Complaint' in Federal Court
1. This is a complaint for relief under 42 U.S.C. §1983, with pendant state claims, against certain current and past officials, workers, and judges in the Massachusetts court system, along with other institutions, agencies, social workers and conspirators:
A. For declaratory and injunctive relief - Defendants, in conspiracy with David Douglas and each other, violated Mr. McLarnon's protected due process rights by a pattern and practice of criminally editing, falsifying, and manipulating official court hearing tapes, docket records, case files, and impounded files in his Probate and Family Court restraining order case, and used the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP law to deprive him of any meaningful remedy.
B For damages - Defendants, in conspiracy with each other, deprived Mr. McLarnon of due process and equal protection of the law in the Massachusetts State Courts for seven years, resulting in the "kidnapping" of his son under color of state law.
C. For Pendant State Claim - Defendants, by their actions intentionally interfered with Mr. McLarnon's parent-child relationship, by their fraudulent and deceitful actions in his restraining order case.
2. Jurisdiction for this action is
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331, as it deals with
a civil complaint arising under the Constitution
and laws of the United States, more specifically,
42 U.S.C. §1983, and the 5th and 14th Amendments
to the United States Constitution.
4. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of Articles V and XI of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, has made itself accountable for suit in Federal Court, precluding immunity under the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution.
5. Plaintiff Edward S. McLarnon (Mr. McLarnon) is a natural person domiciled at 49 Hanover Street, Malden, Massachusetts.
6. Defendant Sean M. Dunphy ("Judge Dunphy") is the chief justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, located at 24 New Chardon Street, Boston, Massachusetts. He is sued in his individual and official capacities.
7. Defendant Middlesex Probate and Family Court is a unit of the Massachusetts Trial Court, located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
8. Defendant Sheila E. McGovern ("Judge McGovern") is the chief justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is sued in her official and individual capacities.
9. Defendant William Highgas ("Judge Highgas") was, at all pertinent times, a justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is sued in his official and individual capacities.
0. Defendant Beverly Weinger Boorstein
("Judge Boorstein") is a justice of the
Middlesex Probate and Family Court, located at 208
Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She
is sued in her official and individual capacities.
12. Defendant John Buonomo ("Register Buonomo") is Register of Probate in Middlesex County, whose office is located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is sued in his official capacity.
13. Defendant Lee G. Johnson ("Johnson") is a former Register of Probate in Middlesex County. He is sued in his individual capacity.
14. Defendant Marie A. Gardin ("Gardin") is a former acting Register of Probate in Middlesex County, and a current assistant Register of Probate, located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is sued in her individual capacity.
5. Defendant Donna Lambert ("Lambert") is a former Register of Probate in Middlesex County. She is sued in her individual capacity.
16. Defendant Arthur W. Havey ("Havey") is an assistant register at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, located at 208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is sued in his official and individual capacities.
17. Defendant George Briggs ("Briggs")
is the audio tape coordinator at the Middlesex Probate
and Family Court, located at 208 Cambridge Street,
Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is sued in his official
and individual capacities.
19. Defendant Barbara Beardslee LICSW, ("Beardslee") is a licensed social worker, an agent or employee of MGH, and was the primary provider of GAL services to the plaintiff. She is sued in her official and individual capacities.
20. Defendant Kenneth Herman Ph.D. ("Herman") is an agent or employee of MGH and is the director of the Children and the Law Program there, and directed the provision of guardian ad litem (GAL) services for the Plaintiff. He is sued in his official and individual capacities.
21. Defendant Massachusetts Department of Social Services ("DSS") is an executive agency of the Massachusetts State government.
22. Defendant David Douglas LICSW, ("Douglas") is a licensed independent clinical social worker, and the new husband of Plaintiff's ex-wife. He has controlled, colluded with, and manipulated many of the other defendants to bring about the violations complained of herein. He is sued in his individual capacity.
23. Defendant Lisa Steckler ("Steckler") is a duly licensed Massachusetts attorney, and served as a guardian ad litem for the Middlesex Probate and Family case, as set forth herein. She is sued in her individual capacity.
24. Defendants John Doe ONE and TWO are unidentified agents of one or some of the defendants who assaulted Mr. McLarnon, requiring hospitalization, and threatened that he would never see his son again if he went back to court, after a hearing in the matter.
25. The Plaintiff was married in May of 1974 to Virginia Jokisch ("Jokisch"), and divorced in June of 1986, in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, Docket No. 148360. Their son Ian McLarnon ("Ian") was born on March 13, 1981.
26. Between 1986 and 1994, Mr. McLarnon was a custodial parent sharing joint physical custody of his son Ian with his former wife, by virtue of a divorce decree in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, dated June 11, 1986.
27. On September 1, 1994, Virginia Jokisch obtained an ex parte restraining order pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) Chapter 209A, at Concord District Court, on behalf of herself and Ian, where Jokisch falsely alleged that Mr. McLarnon abused her, and that he "abused" his son by asking him to write an essay about his bad behavior. The order was returnable on September 9, 1994.
28. Mr McLarnon had not, as M.G.L. Chapter 209A requires, physically abused the petitioner or placed the petitioner in "fear of imminent serious physical harm."
29. On September 9, 1994, both parties were present at the return hearing, with Ian. Ian testified to no fear of imminent serious physical harm. The only "fear" he vocalized was, "fear of the disrespect that a relationship should have", implying that he was coached.
30. Although the plaintiff asked for a one year order, the District Court judge issued an order for a duration of two hours only, and referred the matter to Middlesex Probate and Family Court.
31. Later, in October of 1995, the
court adjudicated a CHINS proceeding for the child
Ian, where custody was granted to DSS, without any
notice to Mr. McLarnon.
33. Later that same day, September 9, 1994, Jokisch made an ex parte application to the Middlesex Probate and Family Court for a new restraining order, on behalf of herself and Ian, in which she again used the same false allegations of abuse. No evidence was presented which conformed to the legal standard required to issue an order under the law.
34. Nonetheless, Defendant Judge Dilday issued an ex parte restraining order, returnable on September 23, 1994, Middlesex Probate and Family Court Docket No. 84D 3694 AB-1.
35. At a hearing on September 16, 1994, Mr. McLarnon having moved the return day up, Jokisch presented a motion for custody of Ian, and for extension of the restraining order, in front of Defendant Judge Highgas.
36. At that hearing, Jokisch and Defendant
Douglas, Jokisch's husband, each presented a false
affidavit to support their motions. Douglas, a licenced
independent clinical social worker, (LICSW) made
allegations, in a professional capacity, that Mr.
McLarnon abused Jokisch in 1984, years before Douglas
even met Jokisch or Mr. McLarnon. Douglas also made
a clinical diagnosis of Mr. McLarnon as an abuser
without any basis, having barely known him in passing.
38. At the hearing, Judge Highgas read a letter submitted from Mr. McLarnon's therapist, Bruce Jason, assuring the court that he and Doctor Norman Zinberg of Harvard Medical School, Mr. McLarnon's psychiatrist, found no history of abuse by Mr. McLarnon. After being reassured by these mental health professionals, Judge Highgas questioned whether there was a need for a restraining order, and looked straight at Mr. Douglas, who shook his head.
39. Then Judge Highgas extended the restraining order until November 30, 1994.
40. Mr. McLarnon later discovered that the tape of this hearing was edited to excise both the reading of Mr. Jason's letter, and the subsequent discussion of having no need for a restraining order. Mr. Jason's letter was not placed in the case file.
41. At that hearing, Judge Highgas allowed Mr. McLarnon's motion for a psychiatric evaluation of the parties. After the hearing, he then appointed an attorney, defendant Lisa Steckler, a lawyer with no psychological training or credentials, to be the evaluator.
42. Defendant Steckler did an "investigation" and produced a report, dated October 28, 1994, which falsely accused Mr. McLarnon of abuse. It contained evaluations of Mr. McLarnon from David Adams, EdD, and Lisa Gary, LICSW, both of whom are friends of Defendant Douglas, and who had both worked with Douglas at the same employer.
43. The evaluations of Adams and Gary
condemned Mr. McLarnon, and accused him of abuse,
although neither Adams or Gary had ever met with,
spoken with, or evaluated Mr. McLarnon. Steckler
used these evaluations as a basis for accusing Mr.
McLarnon of abuse in her report, at the urging of
45. In 1996, Mr. McLarnon retained new counsel to deal with the aftermath of the September 16, 1994 Highgas hearing. This attorney made ex parte contact with Judge Highgas, who communicated to counsel that he would never win another case in Highgas's court if that attorney took Mr. McLarnon's case to Superior Court. He stated that he had to quit representing McLarnon because Highgas has "his n*** in a vise"
46. At a hearing on November 30, 1994 at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, Judge Boorstein struck Steckler's report due to: a) Bias, and; b) Steckler was not qualified to make clinical judgments.
47. Judge Boorstein then ordered that the Judge Baker Clinic perform an investigation as Guardian ad Litem for Ian McLarnon.
48. At that hearing, Defendant clerk Havey loudly argued with the judge to not strike the GAL report, lest she have nothing upon which to base the restraining order. This colloquy was edited from the hearing tape.
49. At that hearing, the complainant Jokisch testified for about 15 minutes, repeating the same false allegations that are in her affidavit. Her entire testimony is edited from the hearing tape.
50. At that hearing, Judge Boorstein
ordered that Mr. McLarnon have an evidentiary hearing
after the guardian ad litem report was produced,
and extended the restraining order against Mr. McLarnon
until November 30, 1995.
52. At a hearing in March of 1995, Judge Dilday transferred the responsibility for the evaluation to the Law and Psychiatry Service program at Massachusetts General Hospital, ("MGH") via an order issued March 27, 1995.
53. Judge Dilday also required Mr. McLarnon to pay a fee for that service, in violation of M.G.L. Chapter 215 §56A.
54. Judge Dilday did not have the power and/or authority or the discretion under 215:56A, to shift the burden of payment from the Commonwealth to the parties.
55. Defendant Barbara Beardslee, a social worker at MGH, was assigned as GAL.
56. No report was ever produced, nor did Mr. McLarnon get an evidentiary hearing.
57. Despite Mr. McLarnon's request at further hearings to complete the report, neither Judge Boorstein or Judge Dilday ordered the report to be produced, so that he could get his evidentiary hearing.
58. Neither Judge Boorstein or Dilday held MGH, Beardslee or Herman in contempt of court, despite their direct and continued refusal to produce the GAL report ordered by the court.
59. On November 30, 1995, a restraining
order extension hearing took place in front of Judge
McGovern. At the hearing, the judge reviewed a letter
from GAL Beardslee which stated that Ian was "fragile",
and that Douglas and Jokisch were actually abusing
Ian. No evidence was presented of abuse by Mr. McLarnon.
Nonetheless, Judge McGovern extended the order against
Mr. McLarnon, until May of 1996, allowing Ian to
stay in an abusive household.
61. The judge also threatened Mr. McLarnon several times with jail if he could not prove his assertion that Defendant Register Lambert was suppressing a key medical report from Domingo Pagan, M.D., which is now missing from the impounded file.
62. Mr. McLarnon produced paperwork which satisfied the judge, and was not put in jail.
63. All of these threats from Judge McGovern were edited out of the tape.
64. At this same hearing, Judge McGovern granted a restraining order against McLarnon to one Jennifer Marino, whom Mr. McLarnon had never met or threatened.
65. Miss Marino admitted that she was the mother of 14 year old Ian's son, whom she had raped.
66. Although social worker Douglas and Judge McGovern were mandated reporters under the child abuse laws of Massachusetts, they made no statutorily required report to the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, and did not make a referral to the district attorney for criminal prosecution.
67. Judge McGovern extended the order
until June 26, 1996, without hearing evidence of
abuse by Mr. McLarnon, and did not take into account
the information previously presented about the abuse
from his Mother and David Douglas.
69. At that hearing , Judge Dilday coached the plaintiff's attorney to request a removal of an exception from the restraining order allowing Ian McLarnon to contact his father, which is outside the judge's jurisdictional power.
70. At that hearing, Defendant Clerk Havey would not give McLarnon his case file after being asked, and told that his former lawyer would not relinquish it to Mr. McLarnon.
71. At the hearing, Judge Dilday completely ignored Mr. McLarnon's repeated protestations, and did not even answer or acknowledge that he said anything.
72. Judge Dilday extended the order until May 30, 1997, without evidence that Mr. McLarnon was "placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm". Upon query of Mr. McLarnon, the judge could not supply any instance of abuse to justify the order, again leaving Ian in an abusive home.
73. On July 1, 1996, Mr. McLarnon was summonsed to Cambridge District Court for an alleged violation of the restraining order, which was dismissed when it was shown that the version of the order presented by Douglas and Jokisch to the court had been altered, and was not valid.
74. On May 30, 1997, the Court yet again extended the order, until June 18, 1997, again leaving Ian in an abusive home.
75. On June 18, 1997, in front of Judge Highgas, the parties testified briefly.
76. At that hearing, Judge Highgas
"misplaced" Mr. McLarnon's motions to
drop the restraining order and modify custody, and
deliberately misstated the facts in the case record,
in order to cover up Douglas' and Jokisch's previous
78. Mr. McLarnon asked the judge upon what abuse or threat of harm a restraining order was based. The judge could cite no instance, but stated that to Mr. McLarnon, "You've been overbearing with Ian. Take my word for it, you've been a little bit overbearing with him."
79. During the hearing, Judge Highgas mocked and ridiculed Mr. McLarnon in front of his son Ian, to his shame and embarrassment, and undermined his son's parental respect.
80. At a hearing on June 30, 1998, Jokisch sought only to renew the order on behalf of Ian, then 17 years old. She did not seek to renew her own order. The only material presented to the court for that hearing concerned the child.
81. After a brief hearing where only the parties testified, only one order was issued, pertaining to the child. Mr. McLarnon was only served with an order on behalf of the child, and was never served with an order pertaining to Jokisch, the Mother.
82. At that hearing, most of the testimony of Virginia Jokisch was edited from the hearing tape.
83. At a hearing held June 30, 1999, on whether to extend the restraining order, the attorney for Jokisch asked to renew Jokisch's non-existent order.
84. Inexplicably, Jokisch's non-existent order was "renewed", without testimony of abuse.
85. At a hearing on September 22,
1999, in front of Judge Dilday, Ian, now age 18,
requested a 209A order in his own right. No evidence
of abuse, or fear of imminent, serious, physical
harm was presented. He had not seen his father in
several years. The most recent evidence of "abuse"
which Ian could evince was that his father had allegedly
thrown his guitar in the grass many years ago. The
order was issued anyway by Judge Dilday.
87. On March 9, 2000, Judge Boorstein heard motions by the plaintiff to correct the record and obtain the evidentiary hearing that had been promised to him in November of 1994. To this date, Mr. McLarnon had not had an evidentiary hearing, nor is one noted on the docket.
88. One of the many attachments to the Motion to Correct the Record was a meticulously documented scientific report with computer wave form analysis of several of the hearing tapes in this case, prepared by several forensic audio consultants, showing conclusively that the tapes were severely edited. There were also eyewitness affidavits, which stated that material matters which they had heard at the hearings were removed from the tapes.
89. Without even looking at or ruling on the motions, Judge Boorstein assessed Mr. McLarnon $3,500.00 in attorneys fees, pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 231 §6F. The motions were not docketed for months, so the fee award could not be appealed.
90. Months later, Judge Boorstein and McGovern allowed two of Mr. McLarnon's motions, showing that they were not frivolous, but long after any possibility of appeal of the attorney fee sanction.
91. On June 30, 2000, a hearing was
held on renewal of Jokisch's improperly issued 209A
restraining order before Judge Boorstein, against
whom Mr. McLarnon had an open complaint at the Judicial
Conduct Commission. Although counsel requested the
judge to recuse herself, she nevertheless proceeded
with the hearing.
93. In July of 2000, Jokisch's attorney filed a Complaint for contempt for payment of the $3,500.00 in attorneys fees, which was heard on July 24, 2000.
94. At the time of the filing of the complaint, there were still no findings from the court on most of Plaintiff's motions, no docketing of the motions, and Defendants Havey and Maxine Doe had repeatedly denied Mr. McLarnon and his counsel access to his case file.
95. On July 24, 2000, Judge Dilday found Mr. McLarnon in contempt, and jailed him, without allowing him to be sworn, give testimony, or present witnesses.
96. Mr. McLarnon was handcuffed and shackled by order of the judge while his counsel was literally in the middle of the first paragraph of his defense to the court on the matter, without any opportunity to present a case, witnesses, or testimony, and was summarily jailed for non-payment of $3,500.00 in fees to an attorney.
97. At the time of the contempt hearing, most of the motions for which Mr. McLarnon had been assessed attorneys fees had not been decided. Of the two motions of Mr. McLarnon that had been decided, one was allowed, and one was denied.
98. On August 2, 2000, five months
after the March 9 motion hearing, and over a week
after Mr. McLarnon was jailed, Judge McGovern denied
Mr. McLarnon's Motion to Correct the Record. Judge
McGovern was not present at the motion hearing.
100. The only incident Ian testified to at the hearing allegedly occurred in 1985, when Ian was four years old, when his mother brought him to the doctor falsely stating that his father had bruised him. However, the medical record from that visit showed "no bruising."
101. On June 22, 2000, Mr. McLarnon filed a petition for superintendence to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, under M.G.L. Chapter 211 §3, alleging essentially the same facts in this complaint, including the falsified court tapes, files, dockets, and improperly issued orders.
102. After a hearing before Judge Francis X. Spina, on December 13, 2000, the Judge dismissed the petition, stating that the claims should be addressed by the Chief Judge of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, Judge Sean Dunphy. He would not address the substantive claims of falsified records, edited hearing tapes, diverted files, and visible corruption of officials.
103. Mr. McLarnon had no other legal remedy, since there was no mandated administrative remedy to exhaust prior to seeking SJC intervention for these criminal and judicial violations, and any legal remedy was thwarted by failure to docket orders, and an appeals record that was tainted and unusable because of the editing of the hearing tapes..
104. Mr. McLarnon did not appeal earlier issued restraining orders, because he was waiting for the promised evidentiary hearing, which he believed would set the matter aright, and dismiss the restraining order.
105. Due to false allegations in Jokisch's and Douglas's affidavits which they used to obtain the restraining orders, Mr. McLarnon filed a malicious prosecution and civil rights complaint against Jokisch and Douglas in Middlesex Superior Court in January of 1998.
106. The defendants filed a special motion to dismiss under the so-called anti-SLAPP law, M.G.L. Chapter 231 §59H, which protects petitioning activities from suit, when the suit is based solely on those petitioning activities.
107. The Superior Court dismissed Mr. McLarnon's suit against both defendants, even though Mr. Douglas was not a petitioner, and not covered by the law.
108. Mr. McLarnon appealed the dismissal, which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court took up for review on its own, based on the fact that false claims in petitioning should not be protected under the anti-SLAPP law.
109. On May 4, 2000, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the dismissal in favor of both Jokisch and Douglas, even though Mr. Douglas was not a petitioner.
110. This dismissal established that false claims of abuse in restraining orders are now protected from suits for malicious prosecution and civil rights, in essence establishing a "perjury protection law", and eliminating a remedy for redress, in violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
111. The judges of the SJC acted in a nonadjudicatory fashion and, in effect, rewrote the anti-SLAPP statute in such a manner that they suspended it and usurped a legislative function in violation of the constitutionally guaranteed separation of powers, and thereby violated Arts. XX and XXX of the Mass. Declaration of Rights.
112. In early March of 2001, Counsel presented the Tape Report, and voluminous material proving the facts set forth in this complaint, to Defendant Judge Dunphy, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, after the SJC would not intervene.
113. Judge Dunphy wrote back requesting more information, which counsel provided, but avoided addressing the substantive issues set forth in Mr. McLarnon's submission, namely the falsified master tapes and court record in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, and the actions of its corrupt officials.
114. In an attempt to justify destruction of certain of the falsely edited tapes, Judge Dunphy refused to acknowledge the application of Massachusetts Supplemental Probate Court Rule 201, which requires tapes to be saved as long as the matter is pending in any court.
115. To date, Judge Dunphy has not admitted to, or taken action to correct the pervasive wrongdoing in his Courts, which has obstructed and delayed Mr. McLarnon's due process even further.
116. Judge Dunphy has failed to train the defendant judges in the proper procedure and administration of the Massachusetts restraining order law, Chapter 209A.
117. Judge Dunphy has covered up the illegal tampering with the court record, hearing tapes, dockets, case files, and other official records of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court.
118. Judge Dunphy has failed to require the Middlesex Probate and Family Court to correct the false docket entries in Mr. McLarnon's file.
119. Judge Dunphy has failed to require
the Register to replace the report of Dr. Domingo
Pagan, which he or his agents removed from the impounded
121. Judge Dunphy has failed to propound appropriate standards and requirements for guardians ad litem in the Probate Court, so that MGH, Beardslee and Herman were not constrained to obey any requirement to file their report, as ordered by the court.
122. Judge Dunphy has failed to instruct the Middlesex Probate and Family Court judges to obey Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 215 §56A, requiring the Commonwealth to pay for all court ordered guardian ad litem reports.
123. The hearing tapes of at least four of the hearings in the above referenced 209A restraining order case have been materially edited, and a substantial amount of material has been removed from them. The edits are not random; They are carefully crafted to remove material that was damaging to defendants and helpful to plaintiff.
124. The tape of the November 30, 1994 hearing in front of Judge Boorstein was edited in several critical places. For example:
125. The tape of the June 30, 1998
hearing in front of Judge Dorothy M. Gibson was
edited to remove about four minutes of the perjured
testimony of Virginia Jokisch.
127. The tape of the May 31, 1996 hearing in front of Judge McGovern was edited to remove the record of the judge asking opposing counsel whether Mr. McLarnon was the person they had discussed "the other night", several threats to jail Mr. McLarnon, as well as all references to the medical report of Domingo Pagan, M.D.
128. Mr. McLarnon, who is a forensic audio specialist by trade, prepared the thesis for a lengthy report (the "Tape Report"), consisting of computer wave form analysis showing at least 10 improper edits in two of the hearing tapes, as well as edits in many others. The report also contains corroboration by two other independent and experienced audio consultants verifying the edits, as well as reconstructed transcripts and affidavits of witnesses who were at the hearings, verifying the material that was missing from the edited tapes.
129. At a hearing on December 15,
1999, after reviewing the Tape Report, the Court
issued an order requiring the Register of Probate
at the time, Defendant Lee G. Johnson, to impound
nine hearing tapes for this case, in anticipation
of a motion from Mr. McLarnon to investigate.
131. On November 7th and 8th, 2000, Edward Oliver, a reporter for the Massachusetts News, was able to observe the tape duplication office at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, and speak to Defendant George Briggs, the employee who supervises that office. Mr. Oliver discovered an unusual recording setup that would allow Mr. Briggs to edit the hearing tapes as alleged, and that would not be used or needed for tape duplication in a court.
132. On information and belief, Defendant Briggs, at the direction of defendants Havey, Douglas, and the Defendant judges, edited the tapes of Mr. McLarnon's hearings.
133. After Mr. McLarnon discovered the tapes were edited and complained about it, one or more of the Defendants destroyed several of the master hearing tapes.
134. In her ruling on Mr. McLarnon's Motion to Correct the Record, Judge McGovern deliberately misquoted the Massachusetts rule requiring the preservation of tapes, Supplemental Probate Court Rule 201, which requires tapes to be saved as long as the matter is pending in any court, and justified their destruction.
135. Judge McGovern also summarily refused to address the issue of the tape editing, with a statement that she had confidence in the tapes, and did not respond to the specific scientific proof of their editing, thereby covering for the wrongdoing of her fellow defendants.
136. To date, none of the defendants
have addressed or disproved a single allegation
in the Tape Report. No one has provided proof to
refute any of the edits or changes alleged by Mr.
McLarnon, or his allegations that the defendants
were responsible for them.
138. Any appeal using the falsified written record and edited audio tapes would be unfair and invalid, since the Appeals Court would not have a true record of the proceedings below.
139. In March or April of 2001, McLarnon requested that Defendant Briggs provide him with an audio tape of the September 22, 2000 hearing in Ian's restraining order case, which was docketed under a different case number than all the other restraining orders.
140. Mr. Briggs stated that the tapes were impounded by Judge McGovern. However, only the tapes in the divorce case were impounded.
141. Mr. Briggs consulted with Judge McGovern, and stated that she would not allow him to give the tape to Mr. McLarnon.
142. The Middlesex Register's office has extensively manipulated the case file (including an impounded part of the file) in Mr. McLarnon's Case.
143. Mr. McLarnon has rarely been
allowed to see his case file, or its impounded portion,
since 1994, when the first restraining order was
issued. Mr. McLarnon has attempted to see the Impounded
File dozens of times during this case. He is usually
told that it cannot be found. Counsel was finally
able to see it briefly in December of 1999, but,
despite repeated requests, has not seen it since
145. Documents from Mr. McLarnon's active case file, Docket No. 84D 3694, had the docket numbers crossed out, and were improperly diverted to an earlier closed 1984 divorce file, stamped 'inactive', Docket No. 148360, by defendants Maxine Doe and/or Havey.
146. A letter presented to Judge Highgas from therapist Bruce Jason, dated September 14, 1994, and made part of the evidence of a hearing on September 16th of that year, has simply disappeared from the file, along with the entire discussion of it on the audio tape.
147. On June 26, 1996, at a hearing at which Mr. McLarnon appeared pro se, he attempted to obtain his case file to take into court. Defendant Havey handed Mr. McLarnon his file, which contained only the Steckler GAL report and the current restraining order, and was missing the rest of the more than 70 documents shown on the docket.
148. Present counsel first attempted to review the case file on September 22, 1999, but it wasn't there. After many calls to the Register's office, they found the file on October 8, 1999.
149. On December 15, 1999 and January 10, 2000, counsel again attempted to see the file. It was not there either time.
150. At the September 22, 1999 hearing,
a letter from the Mass. Dept. of Social Services
condemning Mr. McLarnon had been secretly placed
in the file. It was not placed in evidence, nor
shown to counsel or the defendant. Counsel observed
the Judge reading something during the hearing,
without knowing it was the letter, until later inspection
of the file.
152. At that same March 9, 2000 hearing, GAL Beardslee from MGH was allowed to present a secret affidavit, which counsel could only briefly look at, and was not allowed to have. A request to Judge Boorstein for a copy of the affidavit was denied.
153. On November 7, 2000, Mr. McLarnon again attempted to obtain his case file. Defendant Maxine "Doe" told him it was not there, and he would have to come back another day. Mr. McLarnon continued to request the file during a four hour period from about 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
154. About 2:00 PM, almost immediately after Mr. McLarnon's last request, Edward Oliver, a Massachusetts News reporter, went to the counter and asked Defendant Maxine "Doe" for Mr. McLarnon's public case file. Defendant Havey then got it for him to see, even though it was "not there."
155. On November 8, 2000, at approximately 11:00 A.M., Mr. McLarnon, asked defendant Maxine Doe to see his impounded file. Again, it could not be found, until about 2:30 P.M., after much wrangling with Defendant "Doe."
156. Petitioner has appealed several rulings in this case, as far back as September 22, 1999. Not one has been acknowledged, to counsel's knowledge, negating any appeal remedy.
157. The defendant and his counsel have repeatedly been denied access to Mr. McLarnon's impounded file for years by defendant Havey, by each of the defendant Registers of Probate, and by defendant Maxine Doe.
158. A 1985 report by Domingo Pagan,
M.D. (The "Pagan Report") has been removed
from the impounded court file, which condemned Jokisch's
allegations of domestic abuse as unfounded, and
said that false allegations of abuse should not
be brought up again.
160. On June 26, 1999, Judge Edward Donnelly of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court ordered the then Register of Probate Marie Gardin, the Middlesex Family Service Clinic, MGH, and three attorneys to search their files for the report, and to respond to the Register's office as to whether they were able to find it.
161. Everyone who had the Pagan Report responded that it was gone.
162. In September of 2000, Jokisch's attorney sent counsel and the Register a redacted copy of the "missing" Pagan Report, "found" by Virginia Jokisch in her files. However, it was missing a signature and much of the conclusion.
163. Even though the copy sent to the court is not accurate, has come from a party rather than the doctor, and lacks any signature of the doctor, the Register's office placed it in the public case file. Any medical report about a minor child must be placed in the impounded file.
164. Other documents in the impounded
file have also been tampered with. The impounded
GAL report by Defendant Steckler, described above,
which was struck by Judge Boorstein at a hearing
on November 30, 1994, was placed in the public file
rather than the impounded file where it belongs.
There is no notation that the report had been struck.
166. Similarly, a medical report of Dr. Arne Korsvedt, favorable to Mr. McLarnon, was removed from the impounded case file, and never returned.
167. Between September 22, 1999 and June of 2000, not one hearing in the McLarnon case was docketed by defendants, even though several took place The Register's office stated that they were behind in docketing, but a check of other docket sheets showed motions docketed within one or two weeks after hearings.
168. On June 28, 2000, one day after serving a superintendence petition to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, the court docketed all the motions which they had refused to docket up until then.
169. The docket of the McLarnon case does not contain notations listing most of the documents which are or should be impounded.
170. Recently, the court began to docket more various public and impounded documents which it had long withheld, "lost", or refused to docket. Many entries are placed in formerly empty spots on the page, and some are squeezed in between the lines of others, including the Steckler GAL report, which was inserted in the year 2000, and backdated to 1994.
171. At a hearing on Plaintiff's Motion to Correct the Record in the Probate and Family Court on July 31, 2000, Judge Boorstein, when confronted with evidence of blatant revisions and fabrications in the docket, admitted that "the docket is no good".
172. On June 12, 1996, Mr. McLarnon was summonsed to Cambridge District Court for a criminal complaint for violation of his restraining order before the judge, rather than being given a statutorily required show cause hearing. After much wrangling, one was scheduled.
173. On July 1, 1996, Mr. McLarnon returned to Cambridge District Court for the show cause hearing on whether to issue a complaint for violation of the restraining order in this case. Jokisch presented a doctored copy of the restraining order to the Magistrate, alleging Mr. McLarnon had violated it. However, Mr. McLarnon had a copy of the genuine order, which he had not violated, and was able to refute Jokisch's allegations. The magistrate, rather than ask Jokisch about this, turned to Defendant Douglas, a non-complainant, for an explanation.
174. Mr. McLarnon requested a copy of the restraining order submitted to the court, and a copy of the tape of the hearing. Both requests were refused.
175. Three days later, while Mr. McLarnon was stopped at an intersection near his house in Malden, Massachusetts, two large men, John Does One and Two, yanked him out of his vehicle, beat him severely, and told him that he better not go back to court if he ever wanted to see his son again. The beating was severe enough that he had to seek emergency room treatment.
176. When counsel later attempted to check the criminal file at the Cambridge District Court, most of the documents had been removed.
177. On March 27, 1995, Judge Dilday ordered that an evaluation of Mr. McLarnon, his former wife Virginia Jokisch ("Jokisch"), and their son Ian McLarnon, take place at the Law and Psychiatry Service of MGH.
178. This evaluation was to fulfill an November 30, 1994 order of Judge Boorstein that there be an evidentiary hearing on visitation, to be scheduled upon completion of the evaluation.
179. Defendant Judge Dilday ordered Mr. McLarnon to pay for the difference between the cost of the original evaluation and the new one, despite M.G.L. Ch. 231 §56A, which requires the Commonwealth to pay the entire cost for all court ordered GAL evaluations.
180. Defendant MGH required $3000.00 in advance for the evaluation, and MGH accepted such payment, despite the law requiring the Commonwealth to pay such costs.
181. In August or early September of 1995, GAL Beardslee told Mr. McLarnon's therapist that they were going to reunite Ian with his father, in time for the beginning of the school year.
182. Two months later, on October 31, 1995, Beardslee unilaterally decided to discontinue the court ordered evaluation, ostensibly because Jokisch and her new husband David Douglas were having trouble with Ian. Beardslee sent a letter to that effect to the Register of Probate, without seeking permission of the court, notifying Mr. McLarnon, or requesting any hearing at the court.
183. In another seven months, on May 24, 1996, Beardslee sent a letter to the court falsely blaming Mr. McLarnon for wanting to stop the evaluation in October.
184. At hearings on May 29, and May
31, 1996, Judge McGovern ordered that the evaluation
187. Dr. Kenneth Herman, Beardslee's supervisor at MGH, threatened Mr. McLarnon that he would not see his son unless he contracted for up to two years of therapy services with them, at a huge additional cost. There was no order for therapy.
188. Mr. McLarnon was forced to defend himself at a number of court hearings during and after the pendency of the evaluation, which could have been avoided had the court ordered the GAL to perform its duties, and produce a report.
189. Mr. McLarnon did not appeal the underlying restraining orders, pending the production of the GAL report, after which he anticipated the court-mandated evidentiary hearing to overturn to the order, once the false allegations were exposed.
190. During the time in which the guardian ad litem was controlling the therapy of Mr. McLarnon's son Ian, aged 14 through 15, Mr. McLarnon shared joint legal custody with the mother. However, the court and the GAL hid the facts from Mr. McLarnon that his son was criminally prosecuted twice, was the subject of three CHINS petitions, and that the GAL allowed Ian to live with a 21 year old woman who plied him with drugs and alcohol, and with whom he had a child at age 14.
191. Herman and Beardslee knew that
the child was living in an abusive and dangerous
situation, not only failing to do anything to stop
it, but allowing and encouraging it, thus becoming
complicit in Ian's abuse.
193. Ian came to Mr. McLarnon in mid May of 1996 and begged for help, stating "I'm caught in a plot and I can't get out". By this, he was referring to the manipulations of his mother, stepfather defendant Douglas, the GAL, juvenile probation personnel who were friends of his stepfather, and their lawyers.
194. After coming to his father for help, Ian was hounded by the "plotters", and defendant Douglas pushed Jokisch to make a false criminal complaint against Mr. McLarnon.
196. Beardslee of MGH presented a secret updated affidavit to the Court on March 9, 2000, but the court would not let counsel or Mr. McLarnon have a copy of it.
197. Beardslee ordered Ruth Kirschbaum, of the special education department of the Town of Lexington, to not notify Mr. McLarnon that Ian was undergoing a CORE evaluation, which requires parental notification. Thus, Mr. McLarnon was removed from another aspect of his son's life.
198. The Defendant Massachusetts Department of Social Services ("DSS") took custody of Ian on October 13, 1995, after a CHINS complaint was filed by Jokisch and Douglas.
199. Mr. McLarnon was never notified
by the Court or DSS of any of the proceedings. They
took custody without informing Mr. McLarnon, who
found out for the first time almost a year later.
201. David Douglas had a friend in Cambridge Juvenile Probation manipulate the contents of the files which were used by DSS, in order to show no fault to Douglas.
202. DSS has to this day refused to produce its records to Mr. McLarnon or to his counsel.
203. The defendants' actions in issuing illegal restraining orders on perjured testimony, and covering up with falsified records, has damaged Mr. McLarnon by loss of consortium with his son for seven years.
204. The Defendants' actions in kidnapping his son under color of law has caused Mr. McLarnon substantial emotional and physical distress. He has been harmed and has been suffering from worry about the welfare of his son, grief from the loss of a meaningful relationship with him and watching him be raped and abused, induced into drugs and alcohol and recycled through the system with arrests, abuse clinics, etc. He has felt stress, humiliation, anxiety, fear for his son's safety and well?being, loss of trust, loss of confidence in and feelings of betrayal by the justice system, shock, and emotional scarring, all compensable as emotional distress, and other damages.
205. Mr. McLarnon was injured physically
and emotionally by agents of the defendants, when
he was dragged from his car, beaten, and threatened
to stop his legal proceedings, or he would not see
his son again.
207. The Defendants damaged Mr. McLarnon by hampering his ability to engage in his profession of music composer/arranger, due to the emotional stress, humiliation, fraud, stonewalling, collusion, and corruption, and the amount of time spent defending himself against the false allegations, which has resulted in a drastic loss of earning capacity and income.
208. Since the defendants' false allegations of abuse, Mr. McLarnon has been put on a registry of alleged abusers, which has virtually destroyed his ability to find work in the electronics or forensics fields in which he has experience.
209. Mr. McLarnon has been damaged by substantial legal fees to defend himself in several hearings held during the pendency of the GAL evaluation, which would have been unneeded had the defendant judges and GAL defendants performed their contractual duties.
210. Mr. McLarnon has been damaged in the amount of $3000.00 in illegally extracted GAL fees, and liability for $2,190.00 more, in violation of Massachusetts law.
211. Mr. McLarnon has been damaged by the assessment of $3,500.00 in attorneys fees for bringing motions to the Court to seek to correct the record that the defendants falsified, prior to rulings on those motions.
212. Mr. McLarnon has been damaged by being falsely incarcerated in the Middlesex House of Correction for non-payment of attorneys fees.
213. Mr. McLarnon has been damaged
by repeated deprivation of his due process rights
to an appeal, since there is no accurate record
from which to appeal.
215. The defendants' failure to act in a timely fashion both administratively and judicially, and continue to ignore the evidence, refer the matter the others, or blame Mr. McLarnon, have led to inexcusable delays, and violate Mr. McLarnon's right to due process.
216. The financial pressure caused by the defendants forced Mr. McLarnon to file for protection under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy code, incurring further financial stress.
217. Plaintiff reasserts and incorporates all averments set forth above into this count.
218. The judges and Register officials in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court have engaged in a pattern and practice of violating Mr. McLarnon's due process rights as protected under the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution, as follows:
A. The right to appeal adverse decisions in his restraining order hearings, due to falsified hearing tapes, concealment of the case record, manipulation of the case file, falsification of the case docket, refusal to docket hearings, and the removal of key documents from the record;
B. The right to a fair, unbiased tribunal;
C. The right to timely justice, rather than continual delays.
D. The right to an accurate, truthful,
complete written and audio record of the case;
F. The right to tapes of hearings, rather than their destruction by the court in a case that is open.
G. The right to an evidentiary hearing in this matter, with an accurate, truthful record;
H. The right to be heard before being incarcerated;
I. The right to be free from unjust incarceration over non-payment of attorney's fees to an opponent's lawyer;
J. The right to enjoy the companionship and direct the upbringing of his son.
219. All the actions of the defendants set forth above were done under color of law.
220. No effective remedy at law is available. The court from which Mr. McLarnon has sought a remedy is corrupt and is thwarting every attempt to obtain a remedy, withholding the case file, falsifying the record, making any appeal impossible by failing to docket hearings, denying the falsified record after being shown irrefutable scientific proof, making appeal impossible because any record on appeal would be materially tainted, refusing to allow an evidentiary hearing where these issues could be addressed, and incarcerating Mr. McLarnon without an opportunity to be heard.
221. The plaintiff has been damaged in numerous ways by the defendants' actions and failure to act, as set forth in the "Damages" section above.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff requests
the following equitable relief:
B. Issue a temporary and permanent injunction, enjoining the Middlesex Register of Probate, all Middlesex Probate and Family Court judges, and their agents, from editing, falsifying, destroying, and concealing tapes of hearings in this case;
C. Issue an order to the Chief Judge and Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, requiring them to provide Mr. McLarnon with any available unedited copies of tapes of all hearings in this case, as well as transcripts of such tapes, at the expense of the Commonwealth;
D. Issue an injunction to the Middlesex Register of Probate, enjoining him from failing to Docket all motions, orders, documents, and hearings in this matter in a timely manner;
E. Issue an injunction to the Middlesex Register of Probate, enjoining him or his agents from withholding the case file, including the impounded file, in this case, from inspection by Mr. McLarnon and his counsel at any time upon reasonable request and notice;
F. Issue an injunction to the Middlesex Register of Probate, enjoining him or his agents from withholding or removing any documents that should be properly contained in Mr. McLarnon's case file, past or future;
G. Issue an order to require a full accounting by the GAL appointed in this matter, as to why it has never produced a report ordered by the judge in November of 1994;
H. Issue an order to Judge Dunphy, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, to fully investigate the wrongdoing in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court;
I. Issue an order to Chief Judge
McGovern requiring her to hold a full evidentiary
hearing in this restraining order matter, after
all the fraud and false documentation by the court
K. Issue an order for attorneys fees and costs against the defendants necessary to prosecute this action.
L. Issue an order to remove Mr. McLarnon's name from the abuser registry;
M. Any other relief that is just, in order to redress the harm that these actions have done to Mr. McLarnon and his son Ian.
222. Plaintiff reasserts and incorporates all averments set forth above into this count.
223. The defendants, in their individual capacity, engaged in a pattern and practice of depriving Mr. McLarnon of his protected due process rights under the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution, as set forth above.
224. John Does One and Two beat and threatened Mr. McLarnon to not exercise his due process rights in court.
225. All of the actions by the defendants set forth above were done under color of law.
226. Defendant Douglas, acting in collusion with an uncertain number of the state defendants, helped these state defendants to violate Mr. McLarnon's due process rights.
227. The plaintiff was damaged by the defendants' actions, as set forth above.
WHEREFORE, the plaintiff requests the following relief:
A. A judgment in the plaintiff's favor that the all of the defendants, individually and in concert, violated Mr. McLarnon's protected 5th and 14th Amendment due process rights;
B. An award of money damages against all the defendants for violation of his civil rights;
C. An award of money damages against all the defendants for loss of consortium with his son;
D. An award of money damages against all of the defendants for emotional distress;
E. An award of money damages against John Does One and Two, for medical expenses and pain and suffering from the beating at their hands;
F. An award for previously expended attorneys fees for defense against the defendants' improper actions in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court;
G. An award of attorneys fees and costs for prosecuting this action;
H. Any other relief which seems just;
228. Plaintiff reasserts and incorporates all averments set forth above into this count.
229. The Massachusetts anti-SLAPP
law, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 231 59H,
as applied, deprives persons of a remedy at law,
in violation of the due process requirement in the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,
and Article XI of the Massachusetts Declaration
WHEREFORE, plaintiff requests that the court declare that Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 231 §59H is unconstitutional, as applied.
231. The individual and corporate defendants, as well as the DSS, individually, and in conspiracy with each other, intentionally interfered with Mr. McLarnon's parent- child relationship with his son Ian, resulting in a loss of filial consortium.
232. The defendants, in essence, abducted, enticed, harbored and secreted Ian from a Father who had legal custody.
233. Through an active and wrongful effort, knowing that Mr. McLarnon did not consent, the defendants induced Ian to leave his Father's home.
234. The defendants further encouraged the child, once away from Mr. McLarnon's home without consent, harbored him and continued to keep him away from the parent.
235. While away, the defendants placed Ian in a damaging relationship which further interfered with his relationship with his father.
236. While away, the defendants enticed Ian to quit school, depriving him of an education.
237. Ian has been, and continues to
be substantially damaged by the disruption of this
WHEREFORE, Mr. McLarnon requests the following relief:
A. Damages for the loss of more than seven years with his son.
B. Damages for the emotional harm done to Mr. McLarnon, as he daily grieves his loss.
C. Damages for cost of recovering the child;
D. Expenses for Mr. McLarnon to obtain treatment for the child's drug and alcohol addiction, therapy, and recovery from the emotional and psychological abuse which he suffered because of the actions of the defendants in keeping him from his Father.
Plaintiff requests a jury trial on all issues so triable.
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