This is part #15 of the Ambrose papers, the story of Hollywood screenwriter, Chris Ambrose, who seems to have managed to get Connecticut Family Court Judge Gerald Adelman to rule that his three children be taken from their mother and placed into isolation with him.
The children are 14, 14 and 11, and have cried that they want to live with their mother and that their father abuses them.
This series is about harm caused to these children and their mother, Karen Riordan, as result of Judge Adelman’s orders and rulings during a trial he conducted, and for which he is now under judicial review for alleged violations of judicial canon, which requires a judge to “perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.”
During proceedings in the Ambrose-Riordan’s custody/divorce trial, Adelman essentially terminated the mother’s parental rights because he has allowed a questionable “no-contact” order from the bench of Judge Jane Grossman to linger for 19 months.
Consider, that their mother was the primary caregiver, living in Connecticut, while the father was away in Los Angeles and New York for most of their lives. He lost his TV screenwriting career because of a bizarre act of plagiarizing which made him unemployable.
Before this, he had been gainfully employed writing for TV shows such as Law and Order, Family Court, Judging Amy, Harry’s Law, NCIS New Orleans, Instinct and Bones. Ambrose is also a lawyer, but does not practice law.
After losing his writing career, he came back to Connecticut to move back with his family, without telling his wife why he suddenly returned [until after the news broke in the media]. He quietly diverted their marital assets into his name, as his wife, unaware, continued as a stay at home mother taking care of the children as she had done for 13 years.
Karen left her $90,000 per year teaching job as a special education teacher when the children were infants to devote her life to being a mother. All three children are Hispanic and adopted at infancy, one of them the day after birth.
After secreting the marital assets, which amounted to more than $2 million, including Karen’s six figure inheritance from her mother, which was hers alone, Ambrose filed for divorce.
Ambrose hired top gun lawyer, Nancy Aldrich, and the fierce battle – of Karen trying to protect her children, without money, and Ambrose trying to protect the money he had taken – began.
Karen had to cash in her retirement fund [she had worked as a teacher for 17 years and was honored with teacher of the year in the Greenwich School District, before leaving her work to be a stay at home mother. She has two masters’ degrees – in psychology and special education] to pay for lawyers. She was easily outspent and ran out of money.
Ambrose had millions to work with.
As the dispute continued, the court appointed a guardian ad litem, an attorney from the law firm of Cohen and Wolf, Jocelyn Hurwitz, and since Ambrose had all the marital money, he paid her. They agreed to supersede state law which provided that the judge should determine the guardian’s scope of work. Ambrose green lit almost $200,000 in billings for Hurwitz, which he paid.
The guardian ad litem is supposed to be a neutral party that protects the interests of the children and reports to the judge. But Ambrose alone pays her and has supported hundreds of hours of work not mandated by the court. In turn, she has told the court that the children should be deprived of their mother.
On April 24, 2020, the children were taken from their mother by order of the court. It should be noted this was done in a hearing where Karen was not permitted to speak.
The next thing the shocked children and mother knew was that the children were ordered out of their home.
It has been 19 months since they lost the home they knew and loved all their lives.
Connecticut Family Court Judge Gerald Adelman
The mother has been forbidden by Judge Adelman to see the children or have any contact with them whatsoever.
To be clear, there was never any allegation of abuse lodged against the mother. She has no criminal record and no diagnosis of mental or physical unfitness. Ambrose had the backing of Hurwitz and the backing of a psychologist, Dr. Jessica Biren Caverly, whom he hired to do a custody evaluation.
Dr. Caverly, who was, like Hurwitz, paid by the father, and who, without being a psychiatrist, and without being Karen’s therapist, or knowing Karen at all, other than meeting her for a couple of hours as part of the custody evaluation, wrote in that report that Karen had an unspecified personality disorder and recommended she should be denied contact with her children.
Karen never had a chance to provide evidence to contradict Caverly, Hurwitz or Ambrose, before she lost her children.
With the no-contact ruling, the children lost not only their mother who raised them but her extended family and friends, the network of people they knew all their lives. They barely knew their father.
Guardian Hurwitz, of course, has another view. She wrote to Karen on October 3, 2021, after billing the father some $187,000, “The children are actually doing quite well, despite the fact that I’m sure they were initially understandably upset about being separated from you. I’m aware that there are videos and other media posted online suggesting otherwise…. I saw the children quite recently and personally verified that they are doing well.”
This assessment flies in the face of the children’s statements. They posted on social media, expressing sorrow at separation from their mother and how their dad abuses them.
Mia, the eldest child, wrote poems about being with her father since the guardian’s letter about how well they are doing.
There is nothing here for us
I would love to go anywhere but here
The boys they hate it here
we all do
I miss my mother so much
I think we all would feel safe and happy anywhere
away from my dad
and with her.
I miss and love my mother
Or this one
to get through the school day
with everything going on
I have to leave class
to go to the bathroom
because I have panic attacks
I relapsed three times already on cutting
everything keeps getting worse
Matthew, 14, and Sawyer, 11, have also expressed the ardent wish to be with their mother and their letters and texts can be read in previous posts.
Today, the children live in isolation with their father in a rural setting, with the man they disdainfully refer to as “P”, for Pinocchio and whom they accuse of abusing them. There have been reports to outside agencies of sexual abuse by two of his children. However, the guardian ad litem was able to skirt recommendations of Yale New Haven Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Connecticut, and the Dept. of Children and Families, by going directly to the judge and getting the children ordered back to their father without the recommended forensic examinations or the required 96 hour hold keeping them from an alleged abuser – their father.
They were punished by their father for making the reports and the children are terrified that if they report abuse that they will they be protected, but that the court will order them back to the abuser who will punish them severely.
They have good reason to be fearful. Their father punished them by taking away their internet and cell phones. He has no land line. He took the doorknobs off the doors one Christmas, and, at one time, added bells to their doors so they jingle when they come and in of their rooms.
He planted hidden devices in the house to secretly record them, which the children discovered.
It has been a tense and ugly time at the house and a lonely time, but the power of Judge Adelmen held the children hostage there.
This has been reported in the Frank Report in a series of 14 stories and by others as well, including a video by investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino, in Stop Probate Fraud, and in the controversial Family Court Circus.
On August 23, 2021, Karen’s attorney Nickola Cunha filed an application for injunctive relief, alleging the need for intervention due to the serious failures of multiple state agencies to act to protect the children and the mother’s rights.
October 20, 2021, there was to be the 36th day of trial, which, like the other dates, was held remotely.
Judge Adelman was told that Karen was unable to attend remotely due to nonpayment of court ordered payments by Ambrose to her, resulting in loss of phone service.
Judge Adelman berated Cunha, challenging her credibility. Then he told her she could have picked Karen up at her home and brought her to her law office to appear for the remote hearing. He did not address the fact that Ambrose was in violation of his order that he must pay Karen monthly payments [out of her share of the marital assets that Ambrose exclusively controls].
Judge Adelman said to Cunha that, since she could drive all the way to Hartford to file an injunction against him, she could have driven fe miles to pick up Karen.
The court reporter was so surprised about this outrageous conduct of the judge that the reporter asked Judge Adelman if this was actually supposed to be on the record.
Cunha explained she could not have picked up Karen as she had literally just arrived back in Connecticut from California that morning.
Judge Adelman then angrily entered a series of orders, based on Ambrose’s motions, without giving Cunha an opportunity to file papers in response, or make any oral argument. He then canceled all future trial dates and exited the proceedings by hanging up the phone.
The following day, (October 21, 2021) Judge Adelman entered orders on the record which included ordering Karen to execute Federal and State Tax Returns prepared solely by Ambrose, and absent the ability to verify the financial information contained in the returns, exposing Karen to federal and state tax fraud. Adelman also ordered Karen to be accountable for alleged acts of third parties, particularly the media, including the Frank Report. He also ordered her to sign off on the one remaining joint account, and have that money turned over to Ambrose. Karen refused.
The stories continued on the Frank Report.
On November 9, 2021 Judge Adelman held a status conference where he told Cunha that her concerns about his bias have never been raised by any other litigants before. Cunha reminded him that taking away children from their mothers was raised by mothers at his reappointment hearing.
Judge Adelman then entered an order of mistrial.
Ambrose’s attorney, Aldrich, asked to be heard. She did not want to lose Judge Adelman, who always ruled in her favor.
Following her argument, Judge Adelman changed his mind about the mistrial and requested new trial dates.
Later that day, however Judge Adelman, once again changed his mind. He issued a sua sponte order seeking a hearing before Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher for consideration of recusing him from the case.
Judge Moukawsher, the presiding judge of the Regional Family Trial Docket, requested that Cunha file a formal motion on the disqualification of Judge Adelman and will hear arguments on December 1.
Ambrose’s attorney, Aldrich, said she plans to file a motion that Adelman should not be recused.
Mia, Sawyer and Matthew have repeatedly cried out to be with their mother but exclusive custody has been given to the father with a no-contact order for the mother.
If Adelman is recused, a mistrial will be declared and the trial – which has been conducted intermittently and remotely since March 2021, with over 30 days of remote testimony – will start from the beginning and the children may have their wishes heard – which is to be with their mother.