Report: #563315

Complaint Review: Judge Linda Hallmark, Steven Z. Cohen, Shaindle Braunstein

  • Submitted: Mon, February 01, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, February 01, 2010
  • Reported By: anonymous — Oakland County Michigan USA
  • Judge Linda Hallmark, Steven Z. Cohen, Shaindle Braunstein
    1200 North Telegraph Pontiac, and 26862 Woodward
    Pontiac and royal oak, Michigan
    United States of America

Judge Linda Hallmark, Steven Z. Cohen, Shaindle Braunstein Oakland County Family Court, Cohen Lerner Rabinowitz knowingly commited and accepted fabricated evidence/fraud to keep children from loving Mother Pontiac and royal oak Michigan

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 (WXYZ) - Two women from a local religious community that doesnt usually open its doors to the media are coming forward.

They are members of the Orthodox Jewish community, and they say that their divorces have landed them with one of the worst possible fates a mother can imagine losing custody of her children.


The women you are about to hear from say they knew that seeking a divorce would make waves in the Orthodox Jewish community.

But they say they never thought that the ex-husbands would be able to control them after the divorce... through the Oakland County court system and by restricting access to their children.

Tonya and Kayla are praying that some day they will re-gain full custody of their children.

We are not using their last names in order to protect their children.

But Kayla and Tonya share similar stories they both say they were in controlling marriages, they both say defending themselves in court ruined them financially, and they both feel theyve been  treated unfairly by an Oakland County Judge.

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son] Im reminded of it constantly, in my sleep, at home, at my work.

Tonya converted to Orthodox Judaism after she met her husband, who is both a Doctor and a Lawyer.  She says during their 2 years of dating, despite the strict religion, they ate out at non-Kosher restaurants, went to movies, and did what they wanted to.  After the wedding, Tonya says everything changed.

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son] We couldnt eat out all of a sudden, he wanted me to cover my hair, which was fine, I was going along with the practices, but it didnt match who he presented himself to be.

But Tonya says her husband did often work and drive on the Sabbath the time period of Sundown Friday night, until Sundown Saturday night -- which Orthodox Jews are not supposed to do.

After their son was born, Tonya says her husband made her go back to work.  That meant not only did Tonya have to work on Saturdays, she often had to drive her son on Saturdays.

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son] He had been driven in the past on holidays, and on the Sabbath, to take him to my mothers for child care.

Tonya says the relationship was abusive, which her ex-husband denies. 

In 2001, she left him and obtained this Personal Protection Order.

In the PPO Tonya details being kicked and punched. Because her husband thought she brought germs into the house.

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son] He told me if I left him, he would try to destroy me, that he would bankrupt me, and he would take my child away.

And that did happen.  

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son]  He had, I would say, 13 different attorneys after me, so he was like suing me in different court rooms for different things at the same time.

Tonya says she had so many legal fees, she had to file for bankruptcy.

Finally, in order to grant the divorce, which gave Tonya physical and legal custody of her son she says her ex and his attorney insisted that she sign this:  the Orthodox Upbringing document.  It details how the boy will be raised, fed, schooled, and that he will not be driven on the Sabbath or on Jewish holidays.

Tonya signed it, but says she told her attorney and Judge Linda Hallmark that she disputed the document, and that because of her job, she could not keep to the rules.

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son] The judge then said, she would not hold me in contempt if I didnt keep this document, so at that time I thought I was free and clear.

But Tonyas ex hired a private investigator to follow her.  He videotaped her driving her son on a Jewish holiday.  Judge Hallmark ruled that her son suffered from stress and anxiety from his parents conflicting views about Orthodox practices. 

The judge said Tonya was attempting to hide the fact that she was driving, and decided it was in the best interest of the child, quote to strictly follow the religious upbringing document his parents agreed upon. 

The judges decision was upheld by the Appeals Court.

Tonyas ex-husband did not want to appear on camera, but his attorney told the Action News Investigators that Tonya also lost custody because she falsely accused her ex of abusing her son.

The judge called her allegations unfounded.

But the judge did back Tonyas claims that her ex-husbands court actions against her were extreme,  saying Tonyas ex played into [Tonyas] fears by filing expensive and exhausting court actions.

Now Tonya only gets to see her son 3 times a month from after Sundown Saturday until Monday morning, and for most of the summer. 

And Tonya says shes working 4 jobs to pay child support and legal fees.

[Tonya/Lost Custody of Son] Its shocking, its heartbreaking, disturbing, and I wouldnt want anyone else to go through what Ive gone through.

Kayla is another Orthodox Jewish woman who says she too is having a hard time in Judge Hallmarks courtroom.

Listen to what the judge said to he during a hearing last month:

[Judge Linda Hallmark/Oakland County Family Court] Hearing video: He married your friend, you cant get over it.  Thats all there is to it.  Its pretty easy to see whats going on.  You need to get a grip.

Kayla also alleges her husband was controlling which his attorney denies. 

[Kayla/Fighting For Custody] They want to take away the one thing that matters the most to us.  And thats our kids.

After Kayla filed for divorce, the parents shared custody of their 3 children, but it was always messy.

Finally, Kayla violated a judges order about getting therapy for the children, and the judge ordered Kayla to have only supervised visits with her children for 2 years.

[Kayla/Fighting for Custody] No mother should have to go through this.

Kayla now gets more parenting time, but for her, its not enough. 

[Kayla/Fighting for Custody]  Especially in a community that is completely about family.  Im a non-person without my kids.

Kayla says shes also facing financial ruin from having to defend herself in court for 6 years.

And this drug store clerk says shes paying her ex husband whos a builder -- about $580 a month in child support.

Her ex-husband also did not want to speak on camera, but his attorney told the Investigators that the change in custody was because of Kaylas out of control, angry behavior, not due to religion.

A spokesperson for Judge Hallmark says she cant comment on Kaylas case because its currently being appealed.  But in Tonyas case, the spokesperson said the judge looked at the overall picture of the case, not just religion, and says she made her ruling in the best interest of the child.

 ***The above article did not mention this but it is important to know that NOT ONLY WAS JUDGE LINDA HALLMARK THE JUDGE ON BOTH CASES---but BOTH EX HUSBANDS HAD ATTORNEY STEVEN Z. COHEN AT SOME POINT!  The fact that children are NOT SUPPOSED TO BE RIPPED FROM THEIR LOVING PARENTS UNLESS THERE IS CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS NECESSARY and that Hallmark destroyed both these Mothers and their children's lives in violation of custody laws and it so happens that STEVEN Z. COHEN WAS THE UNETHICAL AND CORRUPT ATTTORNEY ON BOTH THESE CASES ---CAN NOT BE A COINCIDENCE!!!


***Attorney Steven Z. Cohen is horrifically unethical and will do anything -including committing fraud-to win his case.  He is not a good attorney--he is an evil liar who destroys peoples lives--childrens lives!!!  EVEN WHEN the Judges FINALLY SEE THE TRUTH, THEY continue to ignore Steven Z. Cohens crimes, violations of court rules and statutes, and outright LYING ON THE RECORD- and BLATANT lack of ethics so that they will NEVER HAVE TO ADMIT THEY WERE MISTAKEN TO GIVE INTO HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.  Steven Z. Cohen knowingly submitted an incident report fabricated by his client's wife-Ms. Shaindle Braunstein(former "friend" of Mother who set out to take over her life)-as evidence to support his false allegations that Mother was "out of control." Ms. Shaindle Braunstein created this incident report at her place of work-as director of the Ort Center in West Bloomfield, Mi. and FORGED the name of 4 witnesses-and Steven Z. Cohen knowingly submitted this fabricated document to support his false allegations and DESTROYED THE LIVES OF A MOTHER AND HER THREE CHILDREN.  He knew this and therefore did not bring the 4 "witnesses" in to back the document up---because he knew it was a falsified document.  Despite this, the Judge, referee, and psychologist RELIED HEAVILY ON THE FABRICATED DOCUMENT. An affidavit from 1 of the witnesses was brought to court stating that the handwriting was not hers and she never saw the document---but the Judge did not want to admit she was wrong--and therefore the wrong was never made right.


***What the court should have looked at -was the mental instability-possible personality disorder- of Ms. SHAINDLE BRAUNSTEIN. Why did Ms. Braunstein go to the lengths of committing a crime--FRAUD AND FORGERY-in order to take away ANOTHER WOMAN'S CHILDREN?! Ms. Braunstein also taped and listened into the phone calls of Mother and her children and then transcribed-and falsified transcripts in order to submit those to court. Taping and listening-eavesdropping- into other people's phone calls is illegal in Michigan.  There is definitely something wrong-EVIL and VINDICTIVE- with MS. BRAUNSTEIN -former "friend" of Mother--who went to such great lengths to set Mother up-commit the crimes of fraud -forgery-and eavesdropping-and then spent all that time transcribing phone calls--just to rip 3 children from their own LOVING mother! If the Judge wasn't so worried about her ego and would not have a problem admitting she made a mistake--she would have taken the time to think about this and correct her wrong and allow the Mother and her children to move forward with their lives and not make the children spend anymore time with someone as UNSTABLE AS MS. SHAINDLE BRAUNSTEIN!


***Why is it ok for Judge Hallmark to ignore the fact that the evidence that was submitted to back the allegations against this mother-was fabricated???? Since when has fraud been a crime that is ok and allowed in courts??? It seems the Judge's ego is more important than the relationship of a mother and her 3 children.  Steven z. Cohen, his client, and Ms. Braunstein-those who actually committed the crime-are allowed to go unpunished but the innocent mother who was set up with this fabricated document continues to be treated like the criminal-even though evidence of the fraud was produced-because making sure the Judge looks good seems to be a lot more important than Justice for this Mother and her 3 children.  There needs to be a checks and balance system for these unethical attorneys and judges---because without one these Judges and lawyers are so power hungry and they are being allowed to unilaterally destroy peoples lives!!!!  Where is the Justice in all this??

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