TIMELINE OF EVENTS RELATED TO THE KEVIN THOMPSON BOOK BAN
March 2, 2006 Kathleen Moran and her attorney go to Salem Courthouse and file ex parte motions to impound content from my book and restrain me from distributing it.
Rather than have their motions heard in Lawrence, where all previous hearings had taken place, Miss Moran and her attorney go "judge shopping" in Salem for Judge Peter C. Digangi, who proved to them at the trial that he was wildly corrupt and biased in their favor.
Judge Digangi allows Miss Moran's motions in defiance of the following facts:
(1) Miss Moran's attorney showed up in court with "motions" not the "complaint" required by law to properly open up a new equity court case or reopen a case that had been closed.
(2) There was a clear conflict of interest for Judge Digangi to rule on a book in which his misconduct and specific crimes against me are exposed.
(3) Contrary to Attorney Dow's lies, the book was not submitted into evidence by the moving party.
(4) There was no urgency to rule on the book absent my presence in the courtroom.
(5) And any restraint on speech, no matter how temporary, without specific written findings, is a violation of the First Amendment.
At approximately 8 PM that night, a Methuen police officer, Officer Matt Bistany, serves me with two "orders" on legal size paper notifying me that I am temporarily restrained from distributing my book and informing me that a hearing has been scheduled on the matter for March 10, 2006.
These were the only two documents served on me and they did not include either a time or place for the hearing. I had to call the court to find out.
The first clerk who I spoke with told me that the hearing would be in Lawrence. When I called back to confirm this information with a second clerk, she told me it was in Salem.
Both Officer Bistany and Alda Ferreira, my roommate at the time, are witnesses to what was served on me.
The reason for the detail regarding what was served is that Miss Moran's attorney, Debra Dow, is falsely claiming that I was served with a Complaint in Equity on this date to cover up for her own incompetence. If that is the case, then she should be able to show me a copy of the proof of service.
A handwritten "Complaint in Equity" is now contained in the case file, time stamped and listed in the docket record as filed on March 2, 2006. The first time that I saw this document was on June 16, 2006, when I went to the Salem courthouse to review my file.
The Docket Record also lists the following entries on March 2, 2006
(1) Under case number 02W1000CA1, nothing is listed as
having been filed on March 2, 2006.
(2) Under case number 02W1000CA2, the docket record lists
"Kathleen Moran's Ex Parte Motion to Impound" and "Affidavit of Kathleen Moran."
(3) Under the equity court case number 06E0016GC1, in addition to the handwritten "Complaint in Equity" that I never saw until June 16, 2006, the docket record also lists the "Ex Parte Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order."
Either the handwritten "complaint" was filed after the fact and fraudulently dated and inputted into the docket record to cover up the Court and Attorney Dow's incompetence or Judge Digangi informed Attorney Dow at the ex parte hearing that her motions were not properly worded and gave her the time to rewrite the motion as a "complaint" so that he could rule on the matter.
March 10, 2006 At approximately 9 AM, Attorney Dow approaches me in the courtroom to hand me the following:
1. Mother's Ex Parte Motion to Impound - dated March 2, 2006
2. Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order - dated March 2, 2006
3. Proposed Order - dated March 10, 2006
4. Exhibit titled, "References to DSS and Mother and Child's Medical and Psychiatric Information"
5. Affadavit of Kathleen Moran - dated March 2, 2006
6. Affadavit of Debra P. Dow, Esq - dated March 10, 2006
I hand her at this time my Motion to Recuse Judge Digangi from the case.
None of the items submitted by Attorney Dow were signed. This transfer of documents was witnessed by Amir Sanjari and Alda Ferreira.
Not even on this date, eight days after Attorney Dow claims to have filed a Complaint in Equity, did I receive such a document.
It is for this reason that I believe that the "Complaint" was fraudulently filed after the fact. If Attorney Dow had improperly filed motions instead of a complaint on March 2, 2006, that required her to write up a complaint while in the courthouse to get her case heard, I would think that such an event would be memorable enough for Attorney Dow to remember to serve me with a copy of that handwritten complaint.
At this hearing, Judge Digangi informs us that he is not the judge assigned to our case and therefore has no jurisdiction to make a ruling. He explains that he was only the trial judge for our custody case because he was administratively assigned to substitute in for Judge Manzi on that particular day.
After informing us that he does not have jurisdiction, he contradicts that statement by extending his temporary restraining order twelve more days to March 22, 2006, and marking the case for hearing before Judge Manzi on that date.
March 22, 2006 Attorney Dow lies to the Court with the claim that our case and the report and testimony shared by a DSS investigator at our trial had been impounded.
The fact is that if the case had been legally impounded at our trial, Attorney Dow could have simply filed a contempt complaint of that prior order.
The only "evidence" that Attorney Dow submits is Miss Moran's Affadavit and a list of pages in my book that reference Miss Moran, our son, and the DSS report.
I bring to Court a "revised" copy of the book in the event that Miss Moran challenges my claim that the book had already been revised to eliminate the names and addresses that Miss Moran did not want in the book.
After hearing, Judge Manzi ignores her clear conflict of interest, her professional duty to provide specific written findings to justify any restraint on speech, and the fact that the book itself was not submitted into evidence by the moving party to "ban" my book with the unsubstantiated claim that the book would cause "irreparable injury" to Miss Moran and our son.
Judge Manzi claims in her incorrectly labeled "temporary restraining order," which is in fact a permanent injunction, that she reached her conclusions after considering the "Complaint" and the Affadavit submitted by Miss Moran.
Since neither of these documents contains any evidence or detail to justify a banning of my book, Judge Manzi's orders substantiate the claim made in my book that mothers have no burden of proof to overcome in her courtroom.
Judge Manzi does not reference the book at all or claim that she reviewed the book prior to her ruling because, contrary to the lies expressed by Attorney Dow at a later time, the book had NOT been submitted into evidence.
Judge Manzi refuses to hear Miss Moran's motion for attorney fees on this date without financial statements and marks April 19, 2006, for a hearing on this matter.
The need for financial statements baffles me since the financial situation of the parties IS irrelevant in the determination of whether or not Judge Manzi can extort from me the attorney fees incurred by the moving party to deny me my First Amendment right to free speech.
The fact that Judge Manzi did not deny this frivolous motion immediately made it clear to me at that moment that she planned to defy the law and ban my book.
To "cool off" the media attention on the matter, Judge Manzi waits two days before releasing her orders. Her orders include a permanent injunction, which she labels a "Temporary Restraining Order" and an Impoundment Order, which impounds content from my book until the year 2021.
April 19, 2006 This was the date of the first hearing following Judge Manzi's law-defying ruling. Her "book ban "order was reported by the Boston Herald, the Lowell Sun, Lawyers Weekly, and Mass News. National columnists wrote about the case. Fox News, WNDS with Emily Rooney, My TV out of Derry, NH, and MSNBC with Tucker Carlson interviewed me on the topic.
Consequently, there was a lot of media attention connected to this hearing including a protest outside the courthouse. Protesters were carrying signs that read "Ban Judges, Not Books."
Judge Manzi was going to do everything in her power to avoid hearing my motion for relief from her orders on this day before so many witnesses - a motion that detailed her incompetence.
Both parties arrive in court and are not listed on the schedule of motions to be heard. Although it was Manzi herself who marked this date for hearing, she feigns confusion with our presence in the courtroom.
In the orders that she issues on this date, Judge Manzi blames her error on the litigants in the case by implying that we scheduled our own hearing without notifying the court.
Judge Manzi refuses to hear my Motion for Relief from the Orders (filed on April 10, 2006) with the claim that Rule 60(b) applies to judgments not orders. I argue that Rule 60(b) does in fact apply to orders, but she will not check the rule herself or allow me to present my proof.
Judge Manzi also claims that my Motion for Relief is also not in compliance with Standing Order 2-99. Rather than share with me the specific reasons why the motion is not compliant, she hands me a copy of Standing Order 2-99.
Judge Manzi apparently solicited the help of a law clerk, Nan Sauer, to provide her with some excuses that she could use in court to avoid hearing my motion. I know this only because an email message from Nan Sauer to Judge Manzi, dated April 19, 2006, was mistakenly left in my file.
Among the trivial reasons provided by this law clerk, which would have been overlooked if committed by the mother's attorney, was that copies of Judge Manzi's orders, issued three weeks earlier, were not attached to the motion and that the title of the motion did not include Judge Manzi by name, but instead referred to her by name in the first sentence of the motion.
It has been stated in numerous cases that pro se pleadings are to be liberally construed and are not to be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers. In Haines v. Kerner, it was stated that a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and can only be dismissed if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.
In Judge Manzi and Judge Digangi's courtroom, this rule is reversed. Perfection of pleadings is ONLY demanded of the pro se litigant. Errors made by attorneys and judges, which have been significantly more numerous than my errors in this case, are ALWAYS ignored.
After hearing, Judge Manzi again waits two days before releasing her ruling. She defers Miss Moran's "request" for attorney fees pendente lite and denies my Motion for Relief from the Orders.
On this same day, I file "Notices of Appeal" on Judge Manzi's Order of Impoundment and Restraining Order.
April 21, 2006 For some wildly illogical reason, Judge Manzi schedules a June 20, 2006 pretrial conference on this matter in defiance of the fact that she issued her final orders and denied my motion for relief from those orders.
The notice includes an order that requires Attorney Dow and I to meet prior to the pretrial conference to work on the pretrial memorandum.
I contend that the reason why Judge Manzi ordered a pretrial was to manufacture billable litigation that she intended to extort from me at the conclusion of the trial. It was also the reason why Judge Manzi deferred, but did not deny, Miss Moran's request for attorney fees.
April 24, 2006 According to the docket record, the pretrial conference was cancelled "PER JUDGE" four days later on April 24, 2006. Neither party was given notice of this cancellation.
April 27, 2006 I hand deliver to the Lawrence Courthouse my revised "motions for relief" that now comply with Standing Order 2-99. A copy of these motions is mailed to Attorney Dow on this date. These motions are titled "Motion for Relief from Judge Manzi's Order of Impoundment Dated March 22, 2006 Pursuant to Rule 60" and "Motion for Relief from Judge Manzi's Restraining Order Dated March 22, 2006 Pursuant to Rule 60."
These two motions are not in my case file as of June 23, 2006, when I last went to the Salem Courthouse to review my file and they are not listed in the docket record as having been filed.
May 15, 2006 The parties are in court to respond to Attorney Dow's Complaint for Contempt because I had not paid the attorney fees ordered by the Appeals Court. Attorney Dow claims contempt despite the fact that a deadline had not been given for compliance with this order.
The order was issued by a three-judge panel of the appeals court, who fraudulently called my appeal "frivolous with no basis in law of fact" to extort from me double Miss Moran's attorney fees.
Per her usual modus operandi, Attorney Dow opens up the hearing with a lie about me, claiming that I have been in contempt of court orders on numerous occasions.
When I call her on this lie and request that she provide a single example of contempt in the three years that our case has dragged on, Judge Manzi interrupts me and says that my question is irrelevant.
It was relevant for Attorney Dow to further prejudice the court against me (if that is even possible) with slanderous lies, but it was irrelevant for me to call her on her lies.
Since I plan on filing a federal lawsuit against the three-judge panel of the appeals court, who ruled on my appeal, I chose to pay the extortion fee in court by personal check that day and fight to have it overturned later in federal court.
Although I paid the amount in front of her, Judge Manzi schedules a frivolous return trip to court to apparently confirm that my check was cashed and did not bounce.
Judge Manzi schedules this "contempt continuance" for the previously scheduled June 20, 2006 pretrial conference date, which she had cancelled herself according to the docket record, three weeks earlier.
June 14, 2006 Since Judge Manzi never informed us that the pretrial conference had been cancelled either by mail or in her courtroom on May 15, 2006, Attorney Dow and I meet at Haverhill City Hall for the meeting that had been ordered.
At this meeting, I hand Attorney Dow the following documents that I filed and marked for hearing earlier in the day at the Lawrence courthouse.
(1) Cover sheet requesting that the enclosed motions be marked for hearing at the already scheduled June 20, 2006 pretrial conference;
(2) Kevin Thompson's Motion to Recuse Judge Manzi;
(3) Kevin Thompson's Objection to Kathleen Moran's Motion for Allowance of Counsel Fees Pendente Lite;
(4) Complaint for Modification of the Final Orders Regarding Custody and Child Support;
(5) Affadavit of Kevin Thompson;
(6) Proposed Orders;
(7) (After Hearing) Orders.
It was at this time that I learned of the lies that Attorney Dow intended to communicate at the trial to conceal her incompetence.
Attorney Dow reveals to me at this meeting that she now intends to claim that a "Complaint" was filed and served on me on March 2, 2006, and that the book was submitted into evidence at the ex parte hearing before Judge Digangi.
Attorney Dow communicates these same two lies in an email to the Boston law firm representing me in the appeal of this case.
When I inform Attorney Dow at this meeting that I would be calling her to the stand as a witness, she claims that I cannot do that. I respond that she can object in court, but that I will be calling her to the stand, where any lies that she chooses to communicate under oath will be punishable as crimes of perjury.
Attorney Dow's pretrial memorandum produced from our meeting contains additional lies, which include the following:
(1) "Father informed Mother's counsel he has no outstanding
I never said any such thing. In fact, I plan on requesting that Miss Moran identify the specific passages in my book that Miss Moran claims are either damaging to my son or not truthful.
(2) Attorney Dow writes in her pretrial memorandum under "Stipulation of Facts" that I agree that the book contains identifying information including names and addresses.
I agreed to no such thing and removed the names prior to the initial hearing before Judge Manzi. Attorney Dow was aware that the book had been revised prior to the initial hearing because I shared this information with her outside the courtroom in front of witnesses.
Below are some of the verbatim lies and ignorant editorial comments expressed by Attorney Dow to the law firm of Foley Hoag LLP, who are representing me pro bono with the ACLU in the appeal of the book ban
(1) I am unclear how you can state that Judge Manzi did not review the book, as the Court has had a copy of the book since the initial ex parte hearing;
That is a LIE! If the book is now in the exhibit file then it
was ILLEGALLY put in there after the Court's book ban ruling. I intend to confirm this with the court-recorded tape of this ex parte hearing.
(2) Your Motion makes it appear that this "revised" version was the subject of the Orders and is misleading;
The revised version WAS the subject of the Orders since the Court knew that the book had been revised through my testimony. It was also the only book that was, in any way, referenced at the hearing when I held it up.
(3) I have to question whether you or your co-counsel have actually read this book and the court's orders. Mr. Thompson uses references to Ms. Moran, her address, her employer, her salary, etc;
As previously stated, Miss Moran's name and address had been removed from the book prior to the hearing and Attorney Dow was well aware that the book had been revised.
(4) Your Motion fails to mention that the DSS 51A and 51B reports were impounded at Trial and only released to the parties in redacted form--again, this is misleading;
The DSS report WAS NOT impounded at the trial. Absolutely nothing was impounded at the trial and neither party made such a request.
If the DSS reports had been impounded, then Attorney Dow should be able to reference that communication from the trial transcripts. If the DSS report was released to the parties in redacted form, then my book contains the redacted form of the report since that is the only report that I had available to me to cite.
(5) Mr. Thompson's book also speaks favorably of Judge Manzi.
Favorably?! The only judge in the case that I speak of favorably in my book is Judge Sahagian. An entire chapter is dedicated to Judge Manzi's incompetence and bias. The only judge more heavily criticized in the book than Judge Manzi is Judge Digangi.
(6) If every Judge or Court for which Mr. Thompson espoused his court corruption theories were forced to recuse themselves, there would be no court which would have any jurisdiction to hear this matter;
That would only be the case if every judge in the state is as corrupt and/or incompetent as Judge Manzi and Judge Digangi.
All I require is what every citizen of this state should demand - a court that respects Constitutional law, a court that is honorable and impartial, a court which recognizes that litigants have a burden of proof to overcome, and a court that protects a father's due process rights to be heard, to confront witnesses against him, and to present evidence favorable to his case.
Regarding Attorney Dow's "no court would have jurisdiction" comment: If Judge Manzi can call any criticism of a child custody case "irreparably harmful" to the children to restrain free speech, then no family court would have to respect a litigant's First Amendment rights because they all involve children.
June 16, 2006 I go to the Salem courthouse to review my case file to see if it has been "altered" to now support Attorney Dow's lies and cover up the incompetence committed by Attorney Dow and Judge Manzi, who both have a motive to tamper with the docket record. I request all files and exhibits connected to my case including anything that may have been impounded.
Specifically, I am there to see if a "complaint" and the book itself, which Attorney Dow claimed to have submitted into evidence at the ex parte hearing, are now contained in the case file.
It takes a full hour to find my case file. "Erica" cannot find it where it should be located so she sends me to a couple other counters to see if the file is there. "Matt" and "Beth" at the second and third counters cannot find the file either and claim that the file must be in Lawrence since a hearing is scheduled there for June 20, 2006.
I can only provide first names because these people will not give me their last names. One particular clerk would not reveal her name at all.
Since these clerks have played the "it's not here, it must be there" game with me in the past to get rid of me, I demand that they call Lawrence to confirm that my file is there before I drive the forty minutes to Lawrence.
Lawrence informs them that they do not have the file or any exhibits. "Matt" disappears and shows up ten minutes later with my file, which for some suspicious reason, was on the desk of Judge Digangi, who should be the last person going through my case file.
As stated earlier, I discover at this time that the file now contains a "Complaint in Equity," but it does not contain the book, which Attorney Dow claims was submitted into evidence on March 2, 2006. The file also does not contain the motions that I filed and marked for hearing two days earlier.
I ask "Matt" whether there are any exhibit files or impounded files that he has not given me and he says that he gave me everything that they had. I also ask him about the missing motions and he suggests that I check with Lawrence to see if they are there.
I drive to Lawrence where "Eileen" informs me that the missing motions are not there. She also calls Ralph Finck in Salem, who left a message for her to call him if I showed up in Lawrence. He confirms over the phone from Salem, relayed to me via Eileen, that the book has never been part of the file sent to Lawrence from Salem.
Also on this date, I am notified that the appeal of the "book ban" case filed on my behalf by the ACLU and Foley Hoag has been denied with the claim that the case was still "live" in the lower court with a reference to the June 20, 2006 scheduled pretrial conference.
June 20, 2006 Both parties arrive in court and are told by Ralph Finck that the pretrial conference has been cancelled. He tells us that the only thing involving us that is still scheduled is the continuance on the contempt, which Attorney Dow confirms has been satisfied.
I ask Ralph Finck about the motions that I filed the previous week and he claims to know nothing about them. I ask to see my file and he claims that the file is not in Lawrence. I respond, "How could the file not be in Lawrence? Even if the pretrial was cancelled, you still had us scheduled on the contempt matter." He has no response. I also ask him why we did not receive notice that the pretrial conference had been cancelled and again he has no response.
June 23, 2006 I go back to the Salem courthouse to review my file to see if the motions that I filed on June 14, 2006, were in there. For a second week in a row, "Erica" cannot find my file and directs me to another counter. "Matt" tells me that he thinks he knows where the file is and comes back within five minutes with my file. I ask him where it was and he tells me that it was again with Judge Digangi.
In my review of the file, I discover that the motions are not in the file nor recorded as filed in the docket record.
I demand some answers since this is now nine days after I filed them by hand delivery in Lawrence and three days after the marked hearing date. After an extensive search, "Lynn" eventually finds these motions and promises to take care of them that day.
June 27, 2006 Foley Hoag files a Motion for Reconsideration citing among other things the facts that the pretrial conference was cancelled and that prompt appellate review of a prior restraint is mandated by the decisions of the United States Supreme Court.
The case of Nebraska Press II is cited, where it is expressed that "even a one-week delay in entertaining an application for relief from a prior restraint may exceed tolerable limits."
They further point out:
To say the least, the Probate and Family Court has exhibited no urgency whatsoever in this matter. The court initially imposed a prior restraint on Thompson's speech almost four months ago. The court then failed to convene a hearing on the matter for twenty days thereafter, summarily denied Thompson's motion for relief almost two weeks after its filing, and scheduled a pretrial on the matter to occur two months after that. Now it is apparent that the court cancelled the pretrial hearing as early as April 24, 2006, but neither notified the parties nor made a corresponding entry to the docket. It is presently unclear if and when further proceedings will ever occur.
June 28, 2006 I receive notice without an explanation that First Justice Mary Anne Sahagian has reassigned the case from Judge Manzi to Judge Peter C. Digangi.
A more jaw-dropping, outrageous decision could not possibly be made. The specific crimes committed by Judge Digangi against me are described in detail in my book and are used to substantiate my claims of family court corruption. The conflict of interest is off the charts.
Judge Digangi, who I describe as a "jackass" and a dangerous combination of arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence in my book, who lied about me, fabricated evidence to slander me, plagiarized the Mother's lies as his own to produce his "findings of fact" in the appeal of the case, misdirected me during the trial, overestimated the evidential value of slanderous third hand hearsay, and precluded me from presenting every one of the 55 exhibits that I had pre-marked for the trial. The Mother and her "witnesses" did not communicate a SINGLE negative thing about me at the trial that was truthful.
The only reason why the Mother got away with this fraud is because Judge Digangi denied me my due process rights to be heard, to present evidence favorable to my case, and to confront witnesses against me so that he could preserve his predetermined ruling of custody to the mother.
June 29, 2006 Judge Digangi's first ruling on the case is to delay it for four more months. He sends out a notice that he has scheduled a pretrial conference for October 10, 2006, in Salem, more than seven months after he initially banned my book at the March 2, 2006 ex parte hearing.