8. I Was “Raped” by Judge Maureen Monks
By Gang Xu, Ph.D.
December 6, 2019 | Updated May 26, 2020
December 6, 2019 | Updated May 26, 2020
In February 2017, I filed a motion, asking Judge Maureen Monks to recuse herself. She refused to do so and released her decision on the 27th. A day later, her Discovery Master Victor J. Tagliaferros produced a Discovery Master Report. Not only did he deny my discovery request, he also defamed me in two places, by selectively assembling the statements from both parties and by manipulating the critical wordings.
I filed an emergency contest. During the hearing on 03/13/2017, Judge Maureen H. Monks played a trick on me: She asked me, in the context of a financial issue, “so you are saying basically that you are withdrawing your motion for the review of the discovery master’s report that you no longer disagree with that, but that there are other issues about other documents?“
I tried to avoid direct confrontation so I would not be penalized, harassed, or retaliated again. I thought I resisted diplomatically, “I would put this way: I contest that report because it is not complete, it is oversimplified,” referring to the critical phrase and information that Victor J. Tagliaferros had deliberately deleted from my statements in cooking his defamatory discovery report. I further added, “It is not on that particular thing [the financial issue].”
She stopped me and downplayed the significance of the report, “you know (how sweet!) the court still make separate determination on the issues that you raised” and “Whatever other issue you are going to bring the Discovery Master Report does not bind the court. It is not a final determination if that is what you are concerned with.” A few days later I received her written ruling on the motion, saying that “Defendant has withdrawn his objection.”
One of the first legal principles that I had learned since I stepped onto the land of America was the right to silence. She knew I disagreed with the report. She took my silence, after she trivialized the report, equal to my consent to withdrawal. She just pushed the envelope too far: if the Discovery Master Report were really insignificant, why she bothered to enter, for the record, a specific note “Defendant has withdrawn his objection”?
If “the Discovery Master Report does not bind the court,” why she ordered me to pay the initial retainer fee to Discovery Master for such an unnecessary work? Why she wasted me so much time in meeting and preparing for the meetings with the Discovery Master? Why she wasted Middlesex County Probate and Family Court, from a senior supervisor, to general court staffers, and to her courtroom assistants, so much time in activating an emergency contest response?
Just when you thought it couldn’t go any lower, Judge Maureen Monks had another “gift” for me.
When I married ex-wife, I converted my bank account to a joint family account; she kept her own bank account, which I respectfully treated as her private space. In Part VI, I mentioned that Ex-wife’s attorney had fabricated her financial statement and claimed that she had no bank account. For my defense, I initiated subpoena for her bank statements after my first divorce hearing on 08/17/2016. On 10/05/2016, Judge Maureen Monks blocked my subpoena upon ex-wife’s attorney’s motion; she ruled to assign a Discovery Master to oversee the discovery and gave me some hope to reopen my subpoena.
Judge Maureen Monks’ Discovery Master turned out to be her hatchet man; he was definitely not “neutral,” as claimed by the judge; he manipulated the process and denied my discovery request for ex-wife’s bank statements.
But bank statements fell within the documents that must be disclosed to the other party in a contested divorce, under MA mandatory disclosure law. In the 03/13/2017 hearing, Judge Maureen Monks had to grant my request after she blamed me, falsely, for the problem created by her hatchet man and ex-wife’s attorney. She ruled that I went to ex-wife’s attorney’s office at Quincy to exchange the bank statements.
Going to Quincy, physically? In her earlier ruling for exchanging evidence for the trial, Judge Maureen Monks did not specify the method. It turned out that ex-wife’s attorney and I had no problem at all exchanging evidence in digital format by email. It was year 2017; almost all bank statements could be downloaded in or processed into digital format.
Why to his office?
Over my concern about the location, the judge again played her signature trick when writing her ruling: “If you end up agreeing on a different place, that is fine. But this seemed to make the most sense having that in his office.”
Enough, it was not worth spending another few hours fighting back and forth another time.
But my gut feeling told me that something nasty was going to happen. My memory of Victor J. Tagliaferro flexing his muscular shoulders and arms on 11/22/2016 at 92 Montvale Avenue, Suite 2600, Stoneham was still fresh.
So I hired a notary public, both as a counter-bullying gesture and a witness, to go with me to ex-wife’s attorney’s office in Quincy.
On 04/10/2017, after driving more than two hours across the entire Boston City diagonally through afternoon traffic jam, I arrived at Quincy and met with my notary public, who had been anxiously waiting for me and kept updated about my position on the road.
We entered ex-wife’s attorney’s law office. Soon the attorney came out and handed me a thick stack of documents in a big brown envelope. When I opened the envelope, I felt like being slapped in the face: the thick stack contained the statements of my joint bank account with the ex-wife, to which I had 100% online access. The attorney refused to produce the statements of ex-wife's own bank account.
Since the first day of the contested divorce, the attorney had played various tactics to conceal her bank account. I spent tremendous efforts and involved many people—including Judge Maureen Monks, her Discovery Master, her assistants, two Middlesex County Probate and Family Court administrative staffers and their manager, a notary public, and a constable—but I was never able to obtain the statements of her bank statements.
It was on 04/10/2017 that I understood why our founding fathers included the following denunciation in The Declaration of Independence: “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”
What is the difference between Judge Maureen Monks and British colonies' government? Which is worse?
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