Sunday, March 7, 2010

Community organizes protest against court, Judge Robert Lemkau (San Bernadino, California)

I can't tell you how much it warms my heart to see some old-fashioned, grassrooots community organizing against judicial incompetence and arrogance. Seems that residents in Victorville--and in fact people across the country--have been outraged by Judge Lemkau's behavior. His unwillingness to EVEN LOOK at this mother's evidence before smearing her as a liar lead to the murder of her 9-month-old son by his father, STEPHEN GARCIA, during court-ordered visitation. The more you look, the more we're hearing from other people who've been subjected to Judge Lemkau's high-handed and cavallier attitude, especially towards women.


Message from Judicial Candidate James Hosking: "I am a Deputy District Attorney in San Bernardino County, and am now running for Superior Court Judge against Judge Bob Lemkau based in part upon being outraged by his ruling that allowed this baby to be murdered by his psychotic father."
909-800-4401 cell phone

Hat tip to Annie for finding this article.

Community organizes court protest

By Courtney Vaughn
Hi-Desert Star
Published: Saturday, March 6, 2010 2:11 AM CST

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY — Residents in Victorville and all over the county are calling for Judge Robert Lemkau to step down because he denied a restraining order to Katie Tagle, 23, of Yucca Valley, against her ex-boyfriend, Stephen Garcia, 25, who had threatened to kill their 9-month-old son, Wyatt. On Jan. 31, Garcia shot and killed his son before taking his own life during a court-ordered unsupervised visit.

Members of the public voiced opposition to Lemkau after reading news reports told of Tagle’s pleas to the judge, which he claimed were false.

“I’m going to deny it, ma’am. My suspicion is that you’re lying, but I’m going to keep the custody orders in full force and effect,” Lemkau told Tagle in a Victorville court Jan. 21.

Tagle’s case caught the attention of Orange County resident and San Bernardino County entrepreneur Alan Boinus, who felt compelled to establish an advocacy group in response to Lemkau’s actions at the hearing.

“I read about it and became outraged. I do a lot of community activist work. I’m one of those types of guys,” Boinus said over the telephone Thursday.

Just last week, Boinus organized the Web site, and a Twitter account with the same name. He is using the Web to inform the public about Lemkau and rally people to participate in a protest march set to take place in front of the Victorville courthouse Monday morning.

Boinus said within just a few days, he had an overwhelming response to the sites.

“It’s like instant protest … this thing has just gone viral. The Internet has become a great tool for social activism and community activism,” Boinus said.

Boinus wasn’t the only one harnessing the power of the Web.

Around the same time that Boinus set up his sites, Heather Allgood established a group on the social networking site Facebook, hoping to garner support for the protest march.

Allgood said the group had 304 members as of Friday afternoon.

She and her mother, Pat Sophy, will host a sign-painting session so marchers will have something to display Monday morning.

“Were going to put together some signs so we can carry them,” Sophy said over the telephone Friday, adding she had purchased most of the supplies.

Sophy and Allgood began denouncing Lemkau after hearing about Tagle’s son’s death, but Allgood claims she soon realized Lemkau was the same judge who had thrown her out of night traffic court in Victorville a few weeks before, while she was 30 weeks pregnant.

Allgood said she went to court Jan. 7 to request an extension of a traffic-school date; she had missed the class because she had spent a month in the hospital due to an infection in her skull.

“He hardly let me speak. I tried to explain, I brought all of my medical records; he kept interrupting me and told me there was nothing he could do for me,” Allgood said.

She recalls the judge asked her why she couldn’t have completed the traffic school in the hospital. Allgood said after she tearfully tried to explain her circumstances, Lemkau ordered a bailiff to remove her from the courtroom.

Although she’s still furious over how she was treated, the expectant mother says her involvement in the protest is solely on behalf of Wyatt Garcia.

“It’s not about what happened to me, it’s about what happened to baby Wyatt. You feel so hurt, because you’re supposed to trust your court system,” she said.

The organizers say they hope the community’s effort will cause the judge to resign.

“The judge needs to realize that the community is the ultimate jury and the community has decided that they no longer have confidence in this judge …. We’re calling for his immediate resignation,” Boinus said, adding that after talking to family law advocacy organizations, he believes that what is happening with Lemkau is “endemic in the family law courts.”

In addition to collaborating with Allgood and Sophy, Boinus said he’s talked to Tagle and her family. “They’re 100 percent behind this effort,” he said.