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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Deep State in Missouri Reveals Itself: "This threatens to take down the entire system," one says.

(Elaine Pudlowski from her law firm's website)

The St. Louis County Deep State

The pressure has ratcheted up against the Deep State which occupies levers of power within the St. Louis County family court system.

In November 2020, I wrote about how St. Louis County was not a safe place, particularly if you are a female domestic violence victim. 

The November article primarily focused on Elaine Pudlowski, a powerful guardian ad litem (GAL) in St. Louis County. 

A GAL is appointed by the court in custody issues and is supposed to be a third party to represent the best interest of the child, which is actually already supposed to be the judge's job. 

Not only did I interview nearly ten women who stated she ignored or covered up abuse in their cases, but she was the defendant, along with four others, in an explosive new lawsuit, which also alleged that Pudlowski and others engaged in a conspiratorial cover-up of physical and other abuse and steered the case to force the child to live exclusively with the alleged abuser. I received the statement below from the Plaintiff in that case. 

Tolu Personal Statement 10-... by mikekvolpe

Pudlowski's go to weapon in most of these cases; generally, when a child reports on abuse, Pudlowski will claim that the mother is mentally ill or is making up lies. 

In some cases, she and her colleagues claim the mother has borderline personality disorder, in order to explain away the abuse. 

"My sons reported to Pudlowski and Reid that their father was physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive." stated Evita Tolu, who filed suit against Pudlowski, "Reid issued his report in which he diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder; he said that I was a narcissist and a sociopath."

Reid is James Reid, a colleague who often winds up on cases with Pudlowski. 

The Updates

Since my article, there has been progress on several matters and it seems this has raised the ire not only of Pudlowski but of many GALs who operate in St. Louis County. 

First, Tolu has filed an amended complaint in which several new cases have been added; the lawsuit now looks much more like a class action lawsuit and it alleges widespread abuse, particularly in falsely diagnosing mothers with borderline personality disorder. 

The amended complaint is below. 

20SL-CC04680 Tolu v Reid - Amended Petition Filed December 4 2020 by mikekvolpe on Scribd

Secondly, an emailed newsletter called Daily Docket News (DDN) has emerged. In my November article, I quoted from one newsletter I had received, here is part of that.

Daily Docket News is investigating the allegations raised by Tolu vs. James D. Reid, Ph.D., Elaine Pudlowski, Esq. & Jennifer Webbe Van Luven, LCSW, et al.Case No. 20SL-CC04680 filed in the Saint Louis County Circuit Court. A scandal appears to be brewing in this case, where Tolu, a former child custody litigant, is suing the court appointed forensic evaluator, James D. Reid, Ph.D. with the firm of James D. Reid, Ph.D., LLC, the court appointed guardian ad litem, Elaine Pudlowski, Esq. with the law firm of Frankel, Rubin, Klein, Siegel, Payne & Pudlowski, P.C. and the court appointed therapist, Jennifer Webbe Van Luven, LCSW with West County Psychological Associates. It is alleged that all three are involved in a horrific scheme, “Kids for Cash”, that benefited a predatory parent and exploited vulnerable minor children.

At the time, DDN had only come out once or twice. It is being sent to the network which surrounds Pudlowski. I recently received a document which appears to be a comprehensive compilation of all that DDN published. 

Daily Docket News by mikekvolpe

Finally, another case has emerged, the Van Den Bergh Case, which also involves Pudlowski as a GAL and it too involves Pudlowski covering up sexual abuse and forcing the child to live with the abuser. 

This new case was featured in DDN.

Daily Docket News’ investigative team has an explosive update on a case we reported on last month as well as November and December of last year. Van Den Bergh vs. Van Den BerghCase 15SL-DR05021-01 filed in the Saint Louis County Family Court on 10/10/2016. Elaine Pudlowski, Esq., with the law firm of FrankelRubinKleinSiegelPayne & PudlowskiP.C., who was the court appointed guardian ad litem, was fired by Plaintiffs new attorney on November 5, 2020. We previously reported that the Petitioner’s minor child disclosed to a therapist that she was molested by the Respondent, but Pudlowski, with the court’s blessing and having the best interest of something other than the molested minor child in mind, reunified the molested minor child with their molester. Petitioner filed an Emergency Motion for Recusal of Judge Bruce F. Hilton, who was the presiding Judge in this case, and had been allegedly accused of BiasPrejudiceHarassmentDiscriminationThreatsIntimidationDenigration and Hostile Acts, to name a few, toward Petitioner.  Our legal team reports that Judge Bruce F. Hilton has in fact recused himself on January 12, 2021, with no explanation for his outrageous behavior, in a family court. Why do you think Judge Bruce F. Hilton recused himself? Do you think Judge Bruce F. Hilton and Pudlowski sleep at night knowing that this child is being molested every day on their recommendation? Do you think either Judge Bruce F. Hilton or Pudlowski really cares about what you think? You be the Judge.
I spoke with Ann McGuire of Wings for Justice, an advocacy group. She has been advocating on behalf of the mother in the Van Den Bergh case; she told me Wings for Justice advocates for protective mothers, who are abused by courts after their children disclose abuse.

She said her organization has advocated for approximately three hundred women around the country. 

She said Pudlowski's behavior in the Van Den Bergh case fits a pattern in which judges and those assigned to cases cover up for abuse in an attempt to steer cases so that the abuser gets custody. She described the Van Den Bergh case below

My Name is Ann Maguire by mikekvolpe

That case has had a recent interesting update. The judge, Bruce Hilton, recently recused himself, but in his recusal, he spoke glowingly of Elaine Pudlowski. 

"This Court finds that Ms. Pudlowski has tirelessly served the Family Court of St. Louis County as a Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem for over two decades with the utmost integrity, professionalism and numerous instances without compensation," Judge Hilton stated in his recusal. 

The full recusal is below. 

Recusal - Judge Hilton - January 12 2021 (1) by mikekvolpe on Scribd

The problem is that Ms. Pudlowski was never mentioned in the motion to recuse himself. That is below.

Emergency Motion to Force R... by mikekvolpe

Judge Hilton did not respond to an email for comment.   

The Deep State Reveals Itself: The Zoom Call on January 27, 2021

All of this seems to have put not only Pudlowski but other prominent GALs into a siege. Thirty eight, according to one, recently participated in a Zoom conference which was surreptitiously recorded and given to me, in which they all schemed and strategized about Pudlowski's case; they appeared to discuss a potentially tax evasive scheme to help Pudlowski fund for a forensic examiner to determine who is behind DDN.

"This threatens to take down the entire system," said Sarah Pleban, another St. Louis GAL in the Zoom, "Judges are in on it."

The video is below, and this conference occurred on January 27, 2021. 

Pudlowski talks about the lawsuit; while she said it was meritless, she is initially asking to have it dismissed through the quasi-immunity she enjoys as a GAL. 

I talked about the corrosive effect of near total immunity that judges enjoy and this is similar though not as sweeping.

"They made up a whole bunch of things in the lawsuit against Elaine {Pudlowski}," said Sharon Remis, another St. Louis County GAL on the Zoom call. "Some of the allegations aren't even legal theory, but they still said it." 

Remis did not respond to my message for comment. 

Pleban also jokes that the supposed scheme dubbed "Kids for Cash" by DDN which Pudlowski, Pleban, and others are accused of participating in, does not exist.

"I have taken Elaine to task for this original Kids for Kash scheme that I was named in; I haven't received a penny." Pleban stated.

Pleban was highlighted by DDN in a case.

Daily Docket News’ investigative team just discovered another sickening story that has a terrible ending like so many others. Vandenbroucke v. Pilipenko, Case No. 16SL-DR05904, filed in the Saint Louis County Circuit Court on 10/27/2016. Sarah Pleban, Esq., with the law firm of Grant, Miller & Smith, LLC, was the court appointed guardian ad litem. James D. Reid, Ph.D., was the court appointed forensic psychology evaluator. Respondent’s child, who was sexually abused at the hands of Petitioner according to Respondent and her child, was handed over to the alleged abuser, by Judge John N. Borbonus, on the recommendation of Pleban and Reid, with full custody rights. Why did the County Prosecutor refuse to file charges? The Respondent was left with only the shirt on her back, after spending her last dime in family court to save her daughter failed. Currently, Respondent is court ordered to visit with her daughter for only forty-five minutes, once a month under strict supervision, at a cost to the Respondent of nearly two hundred dollars per visit. The court appointed supervisor sits on a bench between Respondent and her child, as they are forbidden to touch. Respondent is court ordered to not speak to her child in Respondent’s native language of Russian. Respondent’s child, who is currently nine years old, tells Respondent that Petitioner continues to sleep in the same bed with her every nigh  How can Judge John N. Borbonus, Pleban and Reid sleep at night? 

In general, this Kids for Cash scheme involves Pudlowski, Pleban and others ignoring abuse in order to get favored status and be chosen prodigiously to be a GAL.

Indeed, most if not all of the thirty-eight who participated in the call have received favorable status with the court. 

Judge Michael Burton

Shortly before this Zoom conference, Judge Michael Burton sent Pleban an email which she forwarded to a GAL group. That email is below. 

Judge Burton's Email Exhibit by mikekvolpe on Scribd

In it, he states, "As judges, we cannot comment to the public about pending litigation that is pending on our docket," but then proceeds to do just that by talking about litigation to these GALs.

(Judge Michael Burton)

Pleban mentions this email in the Zoom conference.

I reached out to Pleban, Judge Burton, Pudlowski, and Christine Bertelson, a spokesperson for the court, but received no response. 

Patty Fish was featured in the original November 2020 article; she was defrauded by St. Louis civil courts and then crimes were not prosecuted by St. Louis law enforcement. 

She told me Burton was recently assigned to her case, "that should be interesting," she said. 

The Interviews

I was able to speak with three of the GALs on the call- Kelly Chevalier, Venus Jackson, and Mary Davidson.

All acknowledged being on the call and GALs in St. Louis County. Full conversation with Chevalier is 

(Kelly Chevalier)
Davidson laughed when I asked if she was participating in a scheme to target a member of the media. 

Chevalier said that rather than targeting media, the group was concerned that personal information from cases involving may be being released by lawyers or other court officers illegally. 

"There was private undisclosed information that was in the newsletter," Chevalier said, "I work in juvenile court. That's all confidential, and all the GAL stuff is confidential." My interview with Mary Davidson is below. 


 Venus Jackson Targets a Protective Mom

"I wasn't scheming to do no such thing," Jackson told me, "I haven't contributed to anything."

Jackson said she has not given any money to the pool which was discussed to hire a forensic investigator. 

My conversation with Jackson took place on Thursday February 11, 2021.

The day before she did appear to participate in a scheme to jail a mother because her daughter refused to see her father who her daughter accused of abusing her. 

The mother's name is Angela Freiner, and she told me that in a hearing on Wednesday February 10, 2021, she was jailed for criminal contempt after her daughter refused to see her father. 

She was released on Friday, Freiner told me. 

But her daughter had plenty of reason to avoid her seeing her father. Here is Jackson telling the court about the abuse Freiner's daughter told to Jackson; Jackson also mentions the father hadn't been in any contact with his daughter since the previous March. 

But the judge, Nicole Zellweger, with the recommendation of Jackson insisted on reunifying father and daughter, leading to the confrontation in court February 2021. 

Indeed a GAL report filed in November 2020, portended this situation.

"Mother alleges Domestic Violence, but did not present any evidence of said violence...Father does have disorderly conduct for an incident that occurred at his home...Mother has repeatedly violated the Court’s orders she failed to do drug drops, has interfered with custody exchanges, the Court had to threaten jail time just so she would comply. Mother has not encouraged the child to speak to her Father, I do believe that she has actively alienated the daughter towards her Father."

Parental Alienation

As with many cases around the world, when there is abuse alleged, court officers like Jackson will spin the abuse and say it's all part of a campaign of alienation. 

I recently wrote about Barbara Burkhard of Suffolk County New York, who runs a similar scheme there: accusing the protective parent of being an alienator.

In Dakota County, Minnesota, Julie Friedrich, another corrupt GAL, has done something similar in many cases: primarily the Rucki case. 

I did not get a chance to ask Jackson about parental alienation, but Ms. Chevalier did respond, "There's no diagnosis to it, but there's a lot of reference to it," she said. 

Parental alienation has been rejected repeatedly from inclusion in both the American Psychological Association's Diagnostic Statistics Manual (DSM) for Diseases and Disorders and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Disorders (ICD)

WHO recently stated, "Parental alienation has been removed from the ICD-11 classification as it is a judicial term and issue. Its inclusion for coding purposes in the ICD-11 will not contribute to valid or meaningful health statistics."

As I've documented, starting primarily with the article "Making Divorce Pay", this has not stopped corrupt court professionals from labeling parents, primarily the mother, with parental alienation, particularly when a child discloses abuse. 

The article, "Making Divorce Pay", was about the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), which led the way in the last four decades and more in pushing forward the perverted use of parental alienation. I stated in part. 

By the time the AFCC had begun promoting PAS, the group had dropped the descriptor “syndrome” and merely referred to the problem as parental alienation—a group of behaviors by one parent designed to alienate the child from the other parent—which is far less controversial. Gardner had originally based his research on prior research done by longtime AFCC member Joan Kelly and psychologist Judith Wallerstein, and in 2001, Kelly published, along with AFCC member Janet Johnston, “The alienated child: A reformulation of parental alienation syndrome” in the Family Court Review, the AFCC’s newsletter

The AFCC is named in DDN and that is because several members of the Zoom conference are members of the local Missouri Chapter, referred to as MO-AFCC.

Those tied to MO-AFCC who were on the call include: Art Nissenbaum {a past president}, Bruce Hilton {who spoke at a conference}, Pudlowski {lists her membership in her biography}, Cynthia Albin {hosted an event}, Michael Burton {received an award}, Hank Miller {presented on a panel with Pudlowski}, and Patricia Susi {panelist at 2018 conference}.

I was unaware of the Freiner case when I spoke with Ms. Jackson, but she and Judge Zellweger did not respond to a follow up email for comment. Here is my interview with Ms. Jackson


In the teleconference, Amy Diemer, asked rhetorically if this- meaning the campaign by DDN- is connected to former State Senator Doug Libla, "He's the one that constantly introduced bills that were taking away powers of guardian ad litem, or adversely affecting our ability to do our work."

Diemer noted that Senate Bill 623, which can be found here, did pass. Diemer did not respond to a message for comment. 

Libla is no longer in the State legislature.

I favor the total elimination of GALs, but laws which limit their power also help. 

It's clear that these GALs don't like anything which limits their power, be it a law, media attention, or the email campaign by DDN. 

The DDN campaign is reminiscent of Los Pepes, the drug traffickers who turned the tables on Pablo Escobar: fighting as dirty as he did- killing his lawyers, business partners, and others close to him.

Los Pepes fought as dirty as Escobar.

Pudlowski also fights dirty, using her power and influence to sway court cases by making sure any evidence contrary to her narrative never gets into court, DDN is fighting dirty, using email lists which target her friends, family, work colleagues, and members of the media. 

Pudlowski called it, "cyber-stalking."

This has turned into a unique threat to their power base and one they've never faced before. 

Other GALs who were on the call who I reached out to but did not receive a response include: Luke Stobie, Greg Brough, Leigh Carson, Sarah Wittrock, Cynthia Albin, Deborah Henry, Rachna Lien, , Shevon Harris, Ann Bauer, Dave Betz, Jennifer Piper, Justin Ruth, and Mark Kieseweter. 


If you believe there should be more articles like this, please support a new endeavor I have started.


Anonymous said...

My daughter and granddaughter experienced the exact same treatment from Elaine, the focal point of this author. Reading this article I now understand she was essentially essentially reading from a script, because our interaction was exactly the same; same phrases, same narrative, same accusations about the mother and a strong aversion to seeing the abusive father as anything but the victim. Our granddaughter was not even an afterthought.
What did she care deeply about? Three things: 1. Connecting us with her favorite psychologist(s), part of her network; 2. Accusing the mother when the father was diagnosed as a sociopath; 3. Assuring us the judge agreed with her 93% of the time. Just like the article said, she spent one hour at our home, setting clearly the expectation that no matter what the father had done, he would get 50% of the custody. Although he married our daughter in a ceremony we funded, he was currently married to another woman at that very time. It is also interesting to note that he is 22 years older than our daughter. Elaine, nor the court, cared about bigamy. She spent 15 minutes at the father's home and declared the hovel suitable. The one thing we came to rely on is if Elaine was speaking, she was lying.

Anonymous said...

Sharon Remis was my abusive ex's attorney in a recent child custody battle. She is extremely corrupt, and I'm not surprised she's defending Elaine.

Anonymous said...

This is not journalism, it's accusations and slander. Do you think the parents involved in these cases are unbiased? Unbelievable!!

mike volpe said...

You're right. Video, lawsuits, and interviews with the parties are slander and accusations.

Anonymous said...

You are an obviously uneducated doldrum who Can't accept that their fleecing of the blood, sweat, incomes and Tears off the suffering( WITH EVIDENCE ) of Children and the backs of families is FINALLY GETTING EXPOSED and that You're all going to Prison for a very long time because WE THE PEOPLE OF MISSOURI want our Children Back and All the MONEY YOU EXTORTED from us and WE ALL ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE that you are made an example of so that the MIDDLE CLASS can sustain itself and MAYBE....JUST MAYBE the Mayor won't have such an insurmountable task of bringing your Economy and City back to life!! You all are disgusting and THERE'S a special place in Hell for those who cause suffering to Children..


We have a big similar problem also here in Shannon County Missouri. The judges are corrupt. In juvenile court the judges deny mothers attorneys. They send no notices only after you had court. Clerks aren't allowed to give mothers copies of court files. They alienate parents and children. Make false arrest so to testify in court. Attorneys giving evidence to the court. No due process. My niecesjuvenile case went from summons and petition on May 27, 2020 to permanency on May 12, 2021. No adjudication hearing no disposition hearing and no attorney. Please contact me. There is alot more. Children's division is involved, juvenile division is involved, GAL is involved, court appointed attorneys involved. They have stolen 9 of my nieces and nephews so they can fraudently collect federal funding, child support, children's death benefits. This needs exposed. I was falsely put in jail on a 24 hour hold. I was told it was because of a Facebook post which I shared of someone else's. My whole family is being harassed and retaliated against for trying to expose this corruption.they all do "FAVORS" for each other in all 4 counties. I have alot of proof if someone wants to see and help expose. 3 of my nieces and nephews were taken without one piece of paperwork given saying why they were taken or who took them. 1 nephew the petition and amended petition state he is not in judicial custody but yet he is being held hostage in fostercare and federal funding taken for him. You cannot be in fostercare or collect federal funding unless you are in judicial custody. The judges still allow.

Anonymous said...

How do we contact about the corruption in and around stl?

Anonymous said...

More on Judge Hilton: