Stand Up Against New Jersey Family Court Injustice

We need action and we need action now. Thank you to Susan Miller for her braveness in coming forward publicly. Thank you to StopFamilyViolence for your involvement and pursuit of justice.


April 23,2009 Contact: Irene Weiser 607-435-3010


Activists Say Courts Ignoring Abuse A National Crisis

Newark, NJ---A protest against an Essex County family court judge’s treatment of a mother trying to protect her children from alleged abuse at the hands of their father will take place Monday, April 27th, 2009, 12:00pm, at the Essex County Family Courthouse (212 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102). Activists and experts say there is a crisis across the country wherein family courts are ordering children to visit or live with pedophiles and abusers, while punishing, silencing and even jailing the parents who try to protect the children from harm.

Susan Miller says the family court judge in her case demonstrated bias and discrimination against her and her children when he ruled to eliminate all evidence of child sexual abuse and domestic violence, and declared that no child abuse or domestic violence occurred. This despite 6 child abuse experts in the case (including the child welfare and court-appointed experts and Guardian Ad Litum) concluding that the children were sexually abused, and a court appointed expert and Guardian Ad Litum finding that Susan was a victim of domestic violence. Additionally, the expert consensus was that Susan Miller is a good, loving parent and primary attachment figure to her young daughters, and that she did not engage in any coaching or fabrication of the allegations. Nonetheless, the judge contends that she was trying to "alienate" the children from their father.

According to many experts, Miller’s allegations represent a national trend of judges putting children in the unsupervised care of abusers, while punishing their protective mothers and labeling them as “alienators.” Irene Weiser, Executive Director of Stop Family Violence, spoke to what she says is a crisis in family court: “When abusive men contest and fight for custody, too often they get it. Judges ignore evidence of family violence and sexual abuse, decide mothers are lying and order children into the hands of an abuser. It defies all logic and any semblance of justice.” A recent murder-suicide case in Illinois involved an abusive man who then killed his children after a judge granted him unsupervised visitation despite the mother’s pleas to the court to protect them. That tragedy came during a horrendous streak in past weeks of men killing their children and/or spouses. The protest Monday is to expose one judge’s behavior, but also to bring attention to a pattern of sex bias in family courts, particularly where allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse has occurred, leaving women and children at extreme risk to be more seriously hurt or even killed, and little or no judicial accountability.

Miller says, “this judge has a documented history of ethics violations by the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, and was ranked the 6th worst judge out of 366 judges in the state of New Jersey in two categories of bias and how he treats litigants and lawyers according to the New Jersey Law Journal Survey of 2005. How can he be allowed to preside over cases such as mine, where the lives of two minor children hang in the balance? She believes that Convery will soon give full custody of the children to the father, putting them in danger of further abuse. Additionally, three attorneys involved in this case officially certified to the bias and discrimination by this judge against Miller, and attempted to file an emergent order to show cause for his recusal from the case. Convery denied the request for his recusal, and fined Miller over $12,000.

New Jersey NOW, Stop Family Violence, Voices of Women and other organizations and members will be at the protest, Press kits at the event will outline Miller’s case, and provide background information on domestic violence and the family courts, PAS, and the systematic failure to address evidence of abuse.

0 advocates for peace: