4. A Hoax Hearing at Malden District Court
Author: Gang Xu, Ph.D. Posted on 12/16/2019
My next hearing was on November 15, 2016, at Malden District Court. In Part I of this series, I mentioned that I learned the restraining order (RO) against me at Malden from Middlesex County Probate and Family Court. So I went to Malden to find out what was there exactly and filed a motion for a hearing that was owed to me. In my inquiry, I was told that Malden District Court did not have my phone number on file.
It turned out Malden District Court soon crisply confirmed my concerns and illustrated perfectly how powerful a court staffer, not necessary a judge, could be in manipulating a court decision through judge assignment, as I suggested in Part II, and how easily a court could be converted into an instrument of false incrimination against an innocent individual.
I was accused there by now-ex-wife of sending “an email to me on 6/4/16, stating that he is thinking of killing my daughter and me,” as hand-written by her attorney. In preparing my hearing, I went to Malden District Court again about a week before the hearing date and ordered a Mandarin interpreter for the ex-wife. I was received by a neat and fit young clerk who wore a creamy dress shirt. When asked who would be the judge for my hearing, he checked into something in my folder and told me that the judge would be Michael Pattern.
But Judge William Fitzpatrick instead heard my motion. In the hearing, with the aid of the court-appointed interpreter, ex-wife denied that she had ever accused me of having said “thinking of killing my daughter and me.” When examined on another allegation, her answer again contradicted the written statement on the Affidavit.
Somehow I got a weird feeling: Either she and her attorney had some communication problems or her attorney didn’t even bother to coach her with sufficient details. It was found out later that her attorney indeed was unable to communicate in Mandarin, a finding that opens up many interesting questions.
Her attorney continued to make up in front of Judge William Fitzpatrick, claiming that “Judge Monks already ruled on this issue, heard all the evidence in an open court, held evidentiary hearing on various issues from this email,” referring to the RO on behalf of ex-wife’s daughter, issued on August 17 and based on the same email.
I explained Judge Maureen Monks’ ruling and pointed to the notes she entered on the RO for ex-wife’s daughter, including her directive to order a Mandarin interpreter for the next hearing. Judge William Fitzpatrick read out Judge Monks’ note word for word: “The court credit plaintiff’s reasonable fear of the defendant based on her translation of the email sent in Mandarin language.”
Then, something quite dramatic happened: Judge William Fitzpatrick picked up a sheet, assumably the RO against me at Malden, and held it as far as possible in my direction. He suddenly bent his entire body to the document, as if he was sniffing at the sheet. “Who issued the order?”* He whispered to himself in a playful and exaggerated manner. Quickly, he resumed his position.
I could not recover this moment from the reproduced hearing tape. Did Judge William Fitzpatrick deliberately avoid the microphone and send me an “off-the-record” message?
After getting the confirmation that there was an ongoing divorce proceeding in the probate and family court, the judge soon announced his ruling: Maintaining the RO, as “the court is taking note of the fact that the RO was issued by Judge Pattern of this court and also there is an existing RO that was issued by probate court with respect to the Plaintiff’s daughter against this defendant... Obviously there is a lot of dispute I can see that between the parties at this point and I think the status quo with RO in place is a very important component of hopefully having the parties resolving their difference and move on with their lives.”
In the scheduled extension hearing at Malden District Court, on January 11, 2017, Judge Cesar Archilla made a frank comment specifically on Judge William Fitzpatrick’s ruling, “But you want a different result from a different judge. That is not going to happen.”
Clearly it was a common knowledge within the court, either to a front desk court clerk or to a judge, that Judge Michael Pattern should have been the judge for my hearing when his ruling was challenged. My November 15, 2016 hearing was purely a hoax to begin with.
I am not going to accuse Judge William Fitzpatrick of anything. It was the system and the judge-assigning person that put him in that position.
There was one thing I was grateful to Judge William Fitzpatrick during the hearing. At 3:11:28 pm, he asked to see the ex-wife’s complaint for RO that I was holding. Traumatized by my experience in Judge Maureen Monks’ courtroom at the end of the October 5, 2016 hearing, I looked around uncertainly for any clue about how to submit the exhibit. Judge William Fitzpatrick motioned to someone and a court staffer came and took the sheet. All happened in a split second, swiftly and smoothly.
* It might not be the exact words, but words to that effect.
Other parts of the series