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Cross-Country Child Custody Case Gives Rare View of Mayor Beverly Johnson’s Law Practice

A participant in a cross-country child custody battle over an Alameda child is going public with details of his fight, giving Alameda residents a glimpse of the Mayor of Alameda’s practice as a family law attorney. What they see may not be pretty.

Cheaper to Keep Her

Beverly Jean Johnson, a.k.a. City of Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson, was admitted to the bar in 1986, and practices family law from her Oak Street, Alameda office, under the name Johnson Family Law. Johnson currently represents an Alameda woman, Bailey [Not her real name. For the privacy of the child, we have changed the names of the three family members in the case] in a divorce and child custody tussle with Bailey’s ex-husband, Carl, who works in Washington D.C. for the federal government. Carl says he has spent over $150,000 on the case, and hasn’t seen his daughter since 2006.

Carl contacted Action Alameda News to ask for help in publicizing his situation. He believes that Mayor Johnson and his ex-wife, Bailey, are abusing the court system to deny him his rights to have contact with his daughter. Both his ex-wife and Mayor Johnson declined to be interviewed for this article, with Johnson threatening to resort to “appropriate remedies available through the court system” should Action Alameda News try to further contact either herself or Carl’s ex-wife on the matter.

Carl asserts that Beverly Johnson has lied, and lies in court about facts of the case, cites non-existent court prohibitions against Carl having certain kinds of contact with his daughter, and that Johnson repeatedly cites in court restraining orders that Bailey obtained against Carl through false affidavits – restraining orders which have subsequently been lifted – as reasons for preventing Carl from having contact with his daughter. Carl makes a compelling case with the materials he shared with Action Alameda News.


Carl and Bailey were granted a divorce decree in Duval County, Florida in January, 2002. Court documents provided by Carl to Action Alameda News show that the parents were to have shared parental responsibility for their child, and that “the child has a right spend substantial time with both parents.”

By Memorial Day weekend, 2002, Bailey had moved from Florida to Alameda, California with their daughter, in violation of the divorce settlement and custody agreement, according to Carl. Carl and his parents – his daughters’ paternal grandparents – found out about the move in a letter from Bailey that arrived in the mail. In August, 2005 court documents shared with Action Alameda News show, the Duval County, Florida Circuit Judge for the case in Florida wrote that “the relocation is obviously inconsistent with the visitation terms of the Final Judgment. No doubt this relocation has had a substantial consequence on [Carl’s] ability to exercise his visitation with [his daughter.]”

The Circuit Judge continues: “Of a greater concern is the evidence of parental alienation which has been demonstrated in the recorded tapes submitted into evidence. This must stop. However, having considered all of the evidence presented, the court is of the opinion that it would not be in the best interest of the child to require her to return to Florida.

“Since [Bailey] is the protagonist in the situation that we currently find the parties, she must necessarily bear the greater expense that will be required to afford [Carl] an opportunity have a meaningful relationship with his daughter.”

Carl asserts that his ex-wife moved and took his daughter from Florida to Alameda in violation of court orders, to keep him separated from his daughter. In Alameda, Carl’s ex-wife retained Beverly Johnson as her attorney. After his ex-wife took his daughter to California, Carl moved to the Washington, D.C. area where he currently lives. The case is now under the jurisdiction of the family law court of the Superior Court of California for Alameda County. To Carl’s knowledge, Beverly Johnson has been his ex-wife’s family law attorney exclusively since she moved to Alameda.

Restraining Orders

Alameda County court documents that Carl shared with Action Alameda News seem to confirm his allegations that his ex-wife has repeatedly, falsely, obtained temporary restraining orders against him which have subsequently been relaxed. Johnson, Carl says, repeatedly refers to these past, falsely obtained, restraining orders in court as a means to keep him separated from his daughter.

In an October 2009 filing in Alameda County family law court, Judge Wynne Carvill wrote in a ruling on the case that “From what can be determined from this record, it appears that the restraining order fits a pattern that resembles what evidently happened in Florida. Mother apparently made serious allegations there but after a lengthy evidentiary hearing backed down and settled for an order that is clearly inconsistent with the prior history she alleged” and “For all of these reasons, the court is inclined to credit the father’s account of the current situation.”

The order notes that in December, 2006, Bailey had filed for, and obtained a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Carl, and that previously, in 2005, in the Florida court, she had obtained a similar restraining order which she had subsequently agreed to vacate. Carl writes that “In the first case in Florida where Bailey was found in contempt and made to go remove the restraining order because she lied.” He provided us with contact information for a former elected official in Florida who he said testified for him in court to get the Florida restraining order removed. However, this man had not responded to Action Alameda News by press time.

Otherwise, the court records, including a September 2006 order from the Duval County Circuit Judge ordering that “The former wife shall request that the Court dismiss the Injunction for Protection entered against the former husband” seem to support Carl’s claim that the restraining orders were obtained on the basis of false claims by his ex-wife.

Carl, in e-mails to Action Alameda News, and to his ex-wife and her attorney Beverly Johnson and which he shared with us, writes that Johnson regularly cites “a history of domestic violence” on his part in court proceedings. Further, he asserts that Johnson used the baseless restraining orders to support a child support claim against him for money that he would have otherwise expended for travel to see his daughter. Carl’s ex-wife, presumably, would use that money to offset Johnson’s legal fees.

A Bad Deal For Fathers

Tom Deal, of Hayward, California, has been in a custody battle with his wife through the Alameda County courts for the past nine years, and estimates that he has spent about $250,000 on legal and other fees. His children are now 13 years old. We couldn’t possibly repeat here everything that Mr. Deal told us about his family court experiences by telephone or shares through his website And, he was cautious about making any statements for publication about the “powerful people” that run the family court system.

However, Mr. Deal did tell Action Alameda News this: “Presiding Judge Family Law, Alameda County, Stephen (Mark) Pulido, when he was an attorney in my case, simply lied to the court that I had been banned from my childrens’ elementary school by the Hayward Unified School District. After six months of investigation, I was able to show that this wasn’t true. I reported him to the State Bar Association who investigated and said they can’t prove that he intended to lie and therefore wouldn’t take any action against him.”

Deal points out section 6068(d) of the California Business and Professions Code which reads (emphasis added):

6068. It is the duty of an attorney to do all of the following:
(a) To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state.
(b) To maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers.
(c) To counsel or maintain those actions, proceedings, or defenses only as appear to him or her legal or just, except the defense of a person charged with a public offense.
(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him or her those means only as are consistent with truth, and never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.

Both Carl and Tom Deal assert that their ex-wives’ attorneys made false statements in court about them, and both men point out the overwhelming challenge of proving to the courts “a negative” – how can a parent prove that a ban or a prohibition against him or her does not exist?

A Raw Deal

Carl told Action Alameda News that his ex-wife’s attorney, Johnson, repeatedly encouraged him and gave him direction on how to maintain contact with his daughter. Now, Carl says, Johnson asserts falsely that the court has prohibited him from speaking with his daughter, or sending her gifts, or asking his ex-wife anything but a limited number of questions about his daughter. Carl believes that Johnson deliberately gives his former wife bad legal advice with a view to drawing out the custody battle as long as possible in order to tap Bailey’s “generous” income as a scientist.

Carl concedes, and court documents show, that the courts have ordered a reunification therapist – a common practice – to facilitate the reintroduction in-person of the daughter to the father. Carl claims that when his ex-wife moved to California, it was to frustrate a reunification process ordered by the Florida court through Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center in Jacksonville, and that both his ex-wife and her attorney, Johnson, have continued to deliberately obstruct the reunification process – to the tune of at least two additional therapists – and that it is currently at a standstill.

According to Carl, Beverly Johnson stood in an Alameda court in June 2009 and claimed that he hadn’t tried to see his daughter in over a year. This came, Carl says, after his ex-wife moved from Florida to California in violation of their divorce settlement, after she falsely obtained two restraining orders against him, both of which were ordered by the Florida and Alameda courts to be removed, and after he had spent well over $100,000 in legal and other expenses to try to reunite himself with his daughter. Carl says that he has traveled from Maryland to California three times to attend court hearings.

Carl referred Action Alameda News to Oakland attorney Hannah Sims, who has represented him in Alameda County family law court on the case. As other sources have suggested to us, the family court system is a tight-knit community – Ms. Sims was very careful to say that while she would be happy to comment for this article, she wanted to “ensure that what I say is accurate” because of her need to get along with colleagues in the family court system. She did write, by e-mail, that “It’s an interesting story from the perspective of how fathers can be stripped of their legal rights” and that Carl “is a really good person and has gotten a raw deal.” Action Alameda News called and e-mailed Ms. Sims with very specific questions about the case and she had not responded by press time.


Carl’s e-mails to his ex-wife and Beverly Johnson, which he has shared with Action Alameda News, are forlorn and reflect frustration, and frankly, a bewilderment at his predicament. In the e-mails, he repeatedly asks for an explanation as to why he is being kept from contact with his daughter who he says he loves and he expresses a desire and willingness to work through the court-appointed process to maintain contact with her and ultimately return to regular in-person visitations with her.

On his website, Tom Deal encourages fathers to stand up for their children and their own rights, but to reject violence and seek therapy for help in dealing with the frustration of child custody cases. He closes with the statement “These people who earn their livings by tormenting children must be stopped. Please visit [this website] often, tell your story, and remember that whatever you post can and will be used against you.”

19 comments to Cross-Country Child Custody Case Gives Rare View of Mayor Beverly Johnson’s Law Practice

  • As a resident of Alameda this is really disturbing as it seems as if the reporter went to great lengths to verify all of this. After Mayor Johnson flip flopped on Sun Cal this should come as no surprise to any of us. The woman is totally classless.

  • (d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him or her those means only as are consistent with truth, and never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.

    If lawyer’s were held to this standard, they’d all be in jail!!! I know Tom Deal and he is a good man. My heart can only go out to “Carl.” I’ve always heard bad things about Bev Johnson, so much so that it makes you wonder how the woman ever made it into public office. Not only the sleaze factor, but the not being too bright. It’s common knowledge in most professional circles around town that she was dismissed from at least one law firm for incompetence.

  • We have heard that rumor too, but couldn’t find anyone to go on the record saying it.

  • Joyce Garvey

    What disturbs me is that Mayor Johnson refused to answer any questions. I’m sorry, and I recognize there are two sides to every story. But her failing to respond and then threatening the writer with legal action simply for doing good journalism makes her look more than guilty.

    We can only pray for the children who are the victims of this legal mischief.

  • Carl’s source in Florida, the former elected official, followed-up this morning confirming Carl’s account about the Florida restraining order.

  • Jill Saunders

    Is your paper going to give Mayor Johnson a chance to respond?

    if this Carl fellow is trying to tell the truth, why is he afraid of giving his real name. I understand wanting to protect the child from all of this, but if he was telling the truth he should give his name and stand by it.

    Mayor Johnson has a lot of powerful friends in this town. I wouldn’t want to be on her enemy’s list!!!

  • Christopher

    Hi everyone. I’m Carl, but my real name is Christopher. With the only reason I haven’t released my last name publicly is because I do not want there to be any negative externalities for either our daughter or my ex-wife. Mayor Johnson, on the other hand, is very much aware of who I am. As I wrote her this morning explaining the necessity of going to the press so as to help ensure, in the future – and hopefully – that everyone is afforded a fair and factual hearing in the Alameda Courthouse.

    Frankly, too, I find it somewhat interesting that Mayor Johnson chose not to respond while at the same time saying that she would take “appropriate remedies available through the court system” if the writer of this article contacted her again. Why, if someone had nothing to hide, would they be so upset with a journalist asking questions and trying to be totally fair in getting both sides of the story? Especially as the journalist was giving Mayor Johnson equal time? That’s disturbing to me as those words seem to have been said for the purposes of intimidation, I would imagine, in the hopes that perhaps the story would have never run.

    Of course, who knows what will happen now… But hopefully, as the truth is now out, I will be somewhat insulated from anymore false or erroneous attacks upon my reputation. Although, as I believe it was said in a comment above, someone said they would hate to be on Mayor Johnson’s enemy’s list. I’m not afraid, but then again perhaps I am naive and that person knows far more about Ms. Johnson than I do. But anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think the town of Alameda is great and that I really do admire this paper for standing up for the citizens of Alameda and taking on issues that other paper’s do not.

  • Johnson was expressly invited to participate in the article, but declined, and threatened legal action if we contacted her or her client about this matter again. This is noted at the beginning of the article. “Carl” asked that we not use real names to protect his daughter. Carl’s ex-wife was invited too, but declined, and told us not to contact her again.

  • Anonymous


  • Tatum Moss

    Wow, The conduct of this mayor is absolutely disgusting. It just goes to show what some people will do to gain another win on their records and thousands in their bank account. To do so towards a father who is fighting tooth and nail to be a part of his child’s life is disgraceful. To think that there are scores of children in this country who would love to have a good father in their lives and here this poor man is being screwed by our legal system and kept from his. I found myself aching for this man. The child is really the person who suffers in this case. Years down the drain and yet another girl in this country growing up without her father. The mother for abusing the system that is designed to protect victims is repugnant!! The mayor is beyond words for her roles in this. Shame on you both!!!!!!!!!

  • J.A. Thompson

    Yeah, this reminds me of that case with the father who fought for his child over in Brazil. Took the guy years and just like “Carl” here, the mother’s side (eventhough in that case she had died and the guy was fighting the step-dad in court) had friends in high places.

  • Tatum Moss

    yes, I saw something on that. and that dad did win custody but after wrangling the courts for many years. Talk about a raw deal. it’s a sad situation when people like our fine mayor here will throw away ethics for, i don’t know, money and power. oh, but i guess the woman has no intergrity anyway so that fits her m.o.

  • JK

    Regarding the beautiful young child in question, I’m her paternal Grandmother. As the story couldn’t cover everything, one thing it didn’t cover of significant note, is that aside from the situation with my Son, both myself, the child’s Grandfather and the child’s cousins, who adore her so much and so often ask about her, have been kept from seeing and talking to her since December of 2005. (4 years and two months ago) While Christopher and I were last with her in September of 2006 (3 years and 5 months ago), and it was in California, as that’s the only way Bailey would finally come around to let Christopher see their child.

    The baby was at our house over the Christmas holidays of 2005, but even that was not without a fight. As Bailey, having a Ms. Chris Holmes testify for her, filed a motion in Florida to stop that visitation with Ms. Holmes testifying that to allow that visitation would be a “disaster,” or similar words to that effect.

    With this motion to stop the visitation, coming AMAZINGLY, right after Judge Haldane Taylor had found Bailey to be in contempt of court; the protagonist as it related to problems in the family and responsible for teaching the child bad things about her Dad.

    Judge Taylor, of course, allowed the visitation to go on and it went wonderful, even as Bailey later admitted in court under oath. But come time for Christmas visitation, again in 2006, almost a carbon copy motion was filed to stop it. With Bailey then going and procuring the services of a Dr. Lisa Hardy, who she hoped to use as an expert witness at trial. The points as to Dr. Hardy, however, are threefold:

    For one, she was retained in clear violation of the law since, as my Son had shared legal custody, all important decisions – especially medical ones – needed to be jointly discussed and decided upon. Dr. Hardy was obtained secretly.

    Secondly, and perhaps even more horrifying, is the fact that neither Bailey, or Chris Holmes (supposedly a child care specialist), when each contacting Dr. Hardy to obtain her services never told her that the baby (now 10) had been the lifelong victim of parental alienation and would most likely present as such. With this really being amazing to me inasmuch as anyone knows, even someone without a medical degree, that when you are going to consider putting a child on psychotropic medications (as sadly, my granddaughter is now on) the doctor prescribing those drugs needs the most accurate information he or she can obtain so as to make the most correct, accurate and safest plan of action possible. Not only didn’t Dr. Hardy have that in this case, but as she later learned, she was clearly deceived. With her bring brought on board, I can only imagine, because Ms. Holmes’ credibility, in my opinion, had been so devalued based upon her previous and debunked testimony.

    But even though she knew the child was the victim of parental alienation and that was the problem at hand, I do not believe that Chris Holmes has ever put forth a plan of action to treat her for precisely that. While Dr. Debra Day, during the trial in Florida, also had a field day in assessing Chris Holmes, as Chris Holmes – believe it or not – and even though warned by legal counsel that it was improper and unlawful, while against the tentants of her professional ethics, nonetheless kept making both visitation and custody recommendations WITHOUT EVER HAVING MET WITH FATHER AND CHILD.

    This is and was OUTLANDISH as any basic reading of the ethical tentants of a child care professional clearly states that in order to be in the position of making an accurate and fair custody and/or visitation recommendation, the practitioner needs to spend time with both the adult and child in question. Something still to this day, nearly ten (10) years later, that Chris Holmes has refused to do. I’ve called and actually tried to make appointments for Christopher to meet with her, but each and everytime – somehow – she ends up not being available while at the same time she refuses to answer the written queries Christopher sends her.

    It truly, truly, boggles the mind.

    However, we unfortunately never got to the point of having another hearing in Florida as once Bailey realized the hearing would only come after the baby had already come home to be with her Dad and his side of the family, she unfortunately, in my opinion and as is borne out by both the evidence and Judge Carvill’s ruling, filed for a false affidavit which has currently kept us from my granddaughter for nearly four (4) heartbreakingly long and sad years as we are such a close knit family. The restraining order was pretty much thrown out from the start, but the damage was done. As instead of just having a nice Christmas, we have instead waited around for court dates that are often times, quite literally, six months or more apart.

    Then, when there finally was a court hearing, a reunification specialist was ordered to oversee the reunification, but just as she had secretly left Florida for California and dodged, for quite a long time, the reunification process there, Bailey unilaterally walked out of the reunification process soon after the reunification specialist told my son to call the couple’s daughter and had both my Son and I send her letters. Asking us both to send the letters certified as the therapist wanted to see if the parental alienation of the past was still in place. Sadly, the answer was yes, as neither of our letters were received. Although my Son, through sheer luck I believe, did at one point talk to his daughter; told her he loved her and that he would see her soon.

    With one letter he wrote, too, getting through to her we are told. But now that there is no reunification specialist in place, because Bailey pulled out of the process, it is Ms. Johnson’s contention, even after she personally told my Son how to contact his daughter, that he can not have any contact with her, whatsoever, and he wasn’t even allowed to send her Christmas gifts and neither was I.

    With him talking to her and writing to her, prior to that, and telling her “Daddy will see you soon,” I know he is so so worried as to what she must think of him. As why would a Dad not send Christmas gifts or contact her if he loved her, she must think? But more ashamedly, how can Mayor Johnson justify allowing contact, then cutting it off, knowing the tremendous amount of damage that can do to a child?

    Please know, too, that there was then another reunification specialist put in place, and when doing so, Judge Carvill specifically stated that the “propriety of reunification was not in question.” Yet do you know what Bailey did? Instead of going in and supporting the reunification as one would certainly hope for by that time, she instead went in and presented the same information and reports which were already litigated in Florida and found to not be credible. In other words, rather than support the process, she went in and did everything in her power to delay it as long as she could. As why else in the world, after such issues had already been litigated and dealt with nearly a decade ago, would she do such a thing? Personally, I’m of the belief that while Bailey and Mayor Johnson publicly support reunification, that behind the scenes Mayor Johnson told Bailey to take those heretofore discredited reports to the reunification specialist so as to “poison the well” with the new therapist, so to speak, before my Son even had a chance to meet with her.

    Of course, when he did, the die had been cast and this individual refused to investigate the court found parental alienation of the past, and as Bailey had requested, wanted to relitigate every issue out of Florida even though the State of California, by law, has to and has given those findings full faith and credit.

    At this point, as you can see, it’s just a shell game or a two card monty. Publicly saying one thing; then doing another behind the scenes, while there are no negative consequences whatsoever.

    But hopefully, as my Son has requested that Dr. Jay Skelton of Novato, California be used to oversee reunification, this nightmare may one day come to an end. Since Dr. Skelton, you see, was actually picked by Bailey one of the many other times a reunification specialist was required because of her actions. Hence, because Bailey picked Dr. Skelton, it’s going to be extremely hard – legitimately – for Mayor Johnson and Bailey to now make the argument that he is not qualified. Especially as Bailey chose him and Dr. Skelton is the only person who has been able to do what Judge Carvill wants done. Ie. Reunification of Father and Daughter as quickly and as safely as possible.

    Yet, if I know Mayor Johnson as well as I think I do, I think we can nonetheless expect there to be opposition to Dr. Skelton despite his outstanding qualifications and the fact that he is the only doctor and professional in California who has seen both my Son and his daughter (for 12+ hours over the course of several months) prior to the latest interference in their relationship. Logically, therefore, you can’t find anyone better to assess their relationship now as compared to what it was before.


    We had such a wonderful time with her, however, as she swam with her Dad and road on all the rides with him at Great Adventure. With my never seeing Christopher happier or more content in his entire life. Of course, it came as no surprise to me that he was good with children since he had won innumerable awards for being a role model for kids in the past… But to see him and my grandchild together is one of the fondest memories I will ever have.

    One of the saddest things I’ve ever heard, though, is when my granddaughter one day told her cousin Allison, “I know my Dad is big and strong and really cool, but I could never tell my Mom I love him.” Which gets to the crux of the problem right then and there. As all too sadly, children who are the victim’s of parental alienation, and who grow to depend on and lean on one parent, are very much prone to playing two sides against the middle as well as saying whatever they believe the dominant parent wants to here.

    But when she is with her Dad, she is just as happy as can be and then totally converts when it’s time again to go back to her Mom. You know, we love Bailey, too, and have to think that she’s sorry now for early on making allegations out of anger that, now – for legal reasons – she feels as if she can not turn around and go back and tell the truth. With the truth being that the marriage didn’t end amicably and my son did things which were wrong and hurtful. As in hurting Bailey’s feelings and not being there for her as much as he should. He certainly, however, never engaged in violent behavior of any sort as I’ll be the first to tell you, if he had, I would have knocked him into next week and he’d have been cooling off in the slammer. As my children have been taught to respect women, and that’s precisely what they have always done. And as they know all too well, too, I’ll defend them when they’re right and they’ll get no sympathy from Mom and Dad when they’re wrong.

    But this really isn’t so much about my Son or even the heartbreak I feel everynight when I goto bed and pray that tomorrow will bring a new and brighter day. This is about a beautiful, smart, lovely and extremely talented child who both needs and desires to have both the love and support of both her Mom and Dad, as well as all of her Cousins and Grandparents on both sides.

    I’m not sure how much good it does, but thanks for listening.

    Yet unfortunately, and in spite of her grandparent’s promise on the other side to never stand in the way of my relationship with her, I can’t say that they have been at all honest. Though, in their possible defense, I don’t know either if they are familiar with the one ruling after another which has gone against Bailey and shown that the things she initially told her Parents, in the heat of the moment, have been found by a court of law, now in two separate states, to be false.

    As to Mayor Johnson, all I can do is put forth my opinions of her based upon what I have read and know. Since, each and everyone of my comments about her is an opinion, albeit, based upon things which I know are facts. I just wish she would truly do the right thing. As it’s sad to see… Well never mind, but I just hope our granddaughter somehow knows truly how much we so love and miss her.

  • t.h.

    i AGREE WITH TOM DEAL. People have to realize that in these types of cases that its the child’s welfare which should come first. There is a ethical responsibility a lawyer has to tell their client to do the right thing which doesn’t look like it has happened in here. We all know that playing fast and loose with the facts and making a mockery of what is straightforward and plain language is the order of the day. Johnson’s a small d democrat isnt she.

    What’s that guy’s name that said it all depends on what the definition of is is lol

    I dont know who wrote this article but maybe it will help clean up our court system around here as if were her i’d take copies of this story and post it at every library and the courthouse door

  • You can e-mail the link to the story around too…. ;-)

  • Pat

    I don’t know if Johnson got fired from the local law firm due to incompetence but, speaking from personal experience, she is incompetent. Several years ago she represented me for injuries from an auto accident. She lost my file. Thanks to her I have medical bills I can’t pay that should have been covered by the settlement.

  • Phil

    Typical, I am sorry to say, of Alameda county “family” court. I have been jerked around in much the same way as the father in this story. My “ex” used Child Protective Services report, false statements to family court “mediators” claiming she called the police that I “abused” her during our short, sorry marriage. Now she is attempting again to use false police reports to take what little remaining custody time I have away from me. She has already managed to dupe Judge Grimmer (horrible DO NOT reappoint him, VOTE HIM DOWN) into giving her fully custody. There are too many issues to go into here and it would take a short novel for me to tell about all the garbage I’ve put up with in “family court” – which it is NOT.

    NOTE family court should be staffed by judges trained in family law and who stay in the courts for extended time. California rotates judges at least every 2 years, and in my case some judges didn’t even last 1 year. This forces you to rehash your entire case every 2 years when you go through the judge-go-round.

    I would also like to point out how HORRIBLE Judge Wynne Carvill is – this man shouldn’t even be on traffic court. AGAIN DO NOT VOTE TO REAPPOINT THIS FOOL. He is lazy, has a bias against any man accused of domestic violence – as do many of the judges. I also agree with the comment about “proving a negative” because all it takes is “DV” to be thrown at you and you are done for in CA “family court.” Whether “proven” or not, it does not matter, all judges react by taking your custody away. Every sleazy lawyer knows this and uses it to gain advantage in court – the first one who sinks to level of sleazy accusations and mud-slinging wins.

    I also know Tom Deal, and I see how he has been smeared for simply standing up to the lazy judges and draconian bureaucracy of Alameda “family court” simply for trying to have some custody time of his children.

  • Christopher

    Gentleman, my name is Christopher and I am the individual named in the story. For obvious reasons, I think we should talk. Also, the only reason I haven’t provided my last name is simply because I don’t want my daughter to in anyway be looked up. Please, however, email me at

  • Christopher


    Judge Petrou

    Just as an update to the above story I finally got a chance in court to present the facts of the case before Judge Petrou. Presenting the facts, which of course are laid out in the story above. And, as many or all familiar with the family law system in Alameda know, if one gets the mediator reviewing the case before it goes to the judge to side with you, it’s a done deal as the judges rely on the mediators to such a large extent, perhaps – I suppose – because the dockets are overloaded, but I don’t know.

    So, because my case was so black and white and factually outlined above I decided to handle things myself as I had already shown the history of how falsely using the restraining orders to keep our daughter and I apart, wherein Judge Carvill agreed with me, was how the parental alienation was implemented (also commented on by Judge Taylor in the above story) and the court mediator agreed with me as well. As the court mediator cited the continual problems of parental alienation in the past and the need for that to be addressed first because of the year’s long history of parental alienation.

    Keep in mind, too, that during all of this time I have always had shared custody and shared parental responsibility wherein I am to be consulted on all the important things one would expect a parent to be consulted on and I was never provided any of that information either so I sought a contempt motion while I sought to garner my attorney’s fees which Judge Carvill essentially wrote that I was due because of the parental alienation.

    So, we goto court, and one would think this would be rather easy. But Ms. Johnson, whose legal work is beyond terrible if one looks at it, simply stood up in court and repeated her typical trite and banal mantras, citing under oath that my ex-wife had never engaged in parental alienation while – because I prefer to deal with facts rather than empty rhetoric – I read from the previous court rulings which clearly showed she was repeatedly lying. While asking Judge Petrou repeatedly to please do something about Ms. Johnson repeatedly lying, but she refused. Then when I asked Judge Petrou to be able to question my ex-wife as a few very simple questions under oath could have wrapped this up rather easily, she denied me that right as well.

    Now I’m not a lawyer, but that would seem to be a bit of a violation of the Sixth Amendment so if anyone wants to weigh in I would greatly appreciate it. It should also be noted that Ms. Johnson again brought up the restraining orders, which in quite actuality with a logical audience play to my favor as Judge Carvill had already talked of their use related to the parental alienation.

    So what happens? I’m denied my right to see our daughter at all; the legal fees which Judge Carvill had all but said were already mine were denied; I was stripped of custody and Judge Petrou in her ruling mentions nothing of the illegal parental alienation which Judge Carvill found that caused me to be standing there to begin with. As if a Judge finds that one parent used a false restraining order to separate the other parent from a child, is that not prima facie evidence in and of itself of parental alienation which makes me wonder why I had to even mention it to begin with?

    And then this one takes the cake as after standing there and repeating all the ridiculousness about my being threatening, etc. – Beverly Johnson and I get in the car and ride around Alameda for half an hour so I can sign a VISA for our daughter to go to France with her Mom. Because at this time Judge Petrou, as it was clear she didn’t want to say anything from the bench because of her relationship with Ms. Johnson and the mediator’s findings, didn’t rule from the bench.

    Of course, having done my research prior on the judge and then of course because of her courtroom deportment, it was quite easy to tell which way things were going to go. While, of course too,
    I had to stand there and listen to how I have a temper and other such garbage even though none of it is or was backed up with significant facts. Unless, of course, fighting for the health and welfare of one’s child counts as having a temper as I said it there and it I will say here again. There’s a special place for anyone who would ever injure a child.

    So I ask you? If you were me, how would you feel about Beverly Johnson? Also, keep in mind that I didn’t have to go with her to sign that VISA nor ride in the car with her. As this woman has lied repeatedly, which we can demonstrate plainly and easily via the transcript as soon as I am able to obtain it. Yet I’m the one who suggested we drive together to obtain the VISA as I didn’t want to stand in the way of depriving our child a chance for great cultural experiences.

    Yet how many among us can honestly say they would have the impulse control to maintain their composure and be polite as can be riding around Alameda with a person, who is actually endangering our child, because they have put her on pyschotropic and anti-psychotic medications trying to make the relation to them and me even though the last time I was with our child she was happy as can be and on no medication.

    The answer is few to no people could have taken that car ride and been as professional as me given all that I have been through as there is no doubt the system is evil as the former Mayor certainly doesn’t win any of her cases on the strength of her verbal or written arguments which is certainly attested to by the story above as well as the transcript that will come out, hopefully, if they don’t somehow mysteriously lose it which would not surprise me in the least.

    And then of course on the flip side, if you honestly felt I was somehow a threatening person and you had also, rightfully or wrongfully spent a half a decade of your life doing things that you know were going to absolutely – at a bare minimum upset me – would you go joy riding around town with me? I did what I did for the good of our daughter but who in their right mind would ride in a car with someone who others say is their mortal enemy?

    No one in their right mind would do that as if there was ever an Alice in Wonderland this has to be it. As it really is quite honestly true, none of your children are safe as both California law and Constitutional law (which I also properly cited at the case) are either totally ignored or not understood. As even the most elemental legal matters such as lying under oath; perjury; the sixth amendment; collateral estoppel; res adjudicata; issue preclusion, etc., are and were ignored with impugnity.

    And as Mr. Howard does his absolute best to bring about the truth to you in your community, I actually wanted to write this – not only to warn you – but also to thank him and ask you to thank him as he truly is looking out for your best interests. But this has to be one of the most absolutely insidious contraventions of the law and I have done my best, to this date in time, avoiding a larger audience which may become absolutely necessary as I ween through the various and sundry media requests deciding upon what to do next. Sincerely, Chris