The Frank Report has previously covered the tragic story of Dr. Luigi DiRubba, a chiropractor and father from Cheshire, Connecticut, who lost his six children to the “RICO conspiracy” he calls the Connecticut Family Court. DiRubba believes the court destroyed his family for profit.
Frank Parlato extensively interviewed Luigi DiRubba:
Atty Marianne Charles Screams, ‘I Want My Fucking Bill Paid!’, at CT Family Court Judge James Kenefick
DiRubba received a costly education on how the game was played in family court, where lawyers, therapists, guardians ad litem, and custody evaluators conspire to strip the assets of a family and, in so doing, separate, divide and conquer and destroy the lives of children and usually one or both of the parents.
DiRubba could never have expected what would happen next. The Connecticut Family Court has a long reputation for brazen actors, many of whom have been covered by FR. But neither Luigi DiRubba nor anyone else could have expected the Family Court to totally and thoroughly ignore the law. And that is exactly what has happened.
How Did This Start?
Luigi DiRubba’s troubles began when his wife, Anna Maria, served him with divorce papers coupled with false criminal accusations of physical abuse, emotional neglect, and child abuse. The charges were unfounded. After his wife’s claims to the police department, he had to stay in a hotel for three nights and attend court.
When he finally got to court, his wife’s attorney filed motions and froze Luigi’s assets and accounts, leaving him with no access.
DiRubba found out his wife was having an affair. His attorney hired a private investigator to find out who it was with. For another eight or nine months, the investigator came up with evidence. DiRubba didn’t see any of it. That’s because the person having the affair with DiRubba’s ex-wife was a gym buddy of Luigi’s lawyer.
DiRubba faced obstruction and injustice from his ex-wife throughout the trial, which lasted 14 days. The opposing side insulted and degraded him with irrelevant questions, including questioning his sexuality.
Despite presenting surmounting evidence of his ex-wife’s poor, parentally-alienating behavior to the judge, Luigi was ignored and hammered with financial issues instead. Judge James G. Kenefick, Jr. fell asleep three times on the bench, and the opposing side’s attorney went into chambers with the judge and cursed him out.
Once awake, the ex-wife’s attorney, Marianne Charles’ screams probably still echoed in Judge Kenefick’s skull. The red-eyed judge forced DiRubba to pay Attorney Charles’ bill, his legal fees, $100,000 to the Guardian ad Litem, and the $250,000 lien on his building. Most importantly, the ex-wife was awarded primary physical custody of the six children, while Luigi DiRubba still retained joint legal custody by a 2018 court order, one that was not to be ignored.
DiRubba attempted to appeal his case, including a 2020 modification of his parental rights. He tried to hire appellate attorneys, but two walked away on him citing “professional suicide.” The case was dismissed, and he had to represent himself pro se.
But the latest developments in his struggle rise to new levels of corruption. Luigi DiRubba has seen his six children fall victim to custodial interference, court-sanctioned kidnapping, psychological abuse, obstruction in reunification, and no one in the Connecticut Family Courts is lifting a finger. In fact, court-ordered delays made all these things possible.
In the last few months, Anna DeRubba took all six children and moved them with her to Florida and didn’t even bother to tell him or the Connecticut Family Court. And it appears, without a hearing, a note, or any additional scrutiny, the courts have ignored their own prior orders and all but sanctioned the kidnapping. Luigi only found out about the move when he called his children’s school and found out they were no longer enrolled, subsequently locating them through their registration with a Florida school district.
What is Supposed To Happen When Parents Want to Relocate After Divorce?
Parental and child relocation is pretty common. After a divorce decree, it usually requires parental consent or a court order to move children out of state.
Family law attorney Debrina Washington regularly assists single parents with legal issues. With respect to the relocation of a child, she reminds parents that the court’s primary intention should always be to support the best interests of the child. “[T]he parent who plans to relocate with the child will have to convince the court why a move would benefit the child, while the parent who is not relocating will have to prove that relocation is not ideal,” she says.
Attorney Washington continues, “The relocating parent should anticipate having a very difficult burden of proof in court.”
And this appears to be the legal standard in the State of Connecticut:
“When the custodial parent desires to relocate and such relocation would have a significant impact on an existing parenting plan, the party wishing to relocate bears the burden of showing that the relocation is for a legitimate purpose, the proposed relocation is reasonable in light of that purpose, and the relocation is in the best interests of the child(ren). CT Gen Stat § 46b-56.” Hazizaj v. Vllahu, Connecticut Superior Court.
The courts consider factors like consistency in a child’s environment and routine, the child’s health and safety, family bonds, and what the child wants. The courts also look at whether a move is made in “good faith” or “bad faith.”
A “good faith” move would put the parent and children closer to extended family members, would allow better job and/or housing opportunities, allows the parent and/or children educational advantages, and regular visitation with the non-custodial parent would still be possible.
A “bad faith” move takes the children away from their other parent as a form of revenge and/or limits parental access.
Anna Maria DiRubba: As Bad Faith As It Gets, But Is the Connecticut Family Court Complicit?
The actions and tactics of Anna Maria DiRubba are as bad faith as you can get. She left the State of Connecticut under the cover of darkness, having failed to alert the Connecticut Family Cout or her children’s father, who has custodial rights. She packed her children and her bags and took the midnight train down to Georgia – and then kept going to the Sunshine State.
Once he realized what had happened, Luigi DiRubba filed motions asking his wife to bring his children back to Connecticut. She didn’t. Emergency hearings were delayed for months by Connecticut Family Court Judge Jane K. Grossman.
At the eventual hearing, Attorney Marianne Charles used financial attack to divert from the Court’s consideration of the best interests of the children and her clients conduct, smacking of criminality.
Attorney Charles also claimed DiRubba was Anti-Semitic and part of an “Internet conspiracy” to malign the Connecticut Family Court and it’s judges.
That’s all Judge Grossman needed to look the other way on Anna Maria DiRubbia’s conduct and tell Luigi “nothing can be done” now that the children were out of state, a situation created by Anna Marie, Attorney Charles, and Judge Grossman.
Luigi DiRubbia claims that his ex-wife, her attorney, and the Connecticut Family Court acted in concert to allow custodial interference and kidnapping of his six children.
Connecticut law says custodial interference in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor:
“(a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree when: (1) Being a relative of a child who is less than sixteen years old and intending to hold such child permanently or for a protracted period and knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices such child from his lawful custodian; (2) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or any person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution; or (3) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he holds, keeps or otherwise refuses to return a child who is less than sixteen years old to such child’s lawful custodian after a request by such custodian for the return of such child. (b) Custodial interference in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-98.
How hasn’t Anna DiRubba broken the law? She took her under-sixteen-year-old children from Connecticut to Florida with the intent to remain there permanently. She didn’t have the right to do so. The children’s father didn’t consent, and neither Judge Kenefick nor any other Connecticut judge allowed it. Luigi has done everything by the book and asked for his children’s return, but his efforts are falling upon deaf ears.
But it could get worse for Anna DiRubba than a class A misdemeanor. In Connecticut, custodial interference in the first degree in a Class D felony:
“(a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree when he commits custodial interference in the second degree as provided in section 53a-98: (1) Under circumstances which expose the child or person taken or enticed from lawful custody or the child held after a request by the lawful custodian for his return to a risk that his safety will be endangered or his health materially impaired; or (2) by taking, enticing or detaining the child or person out of this state.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-97.
Anna DiRubba took the children out of state. She thumbed her nose at the legal process to do so and brazenly broke the law. She also violated court orders. The Connecticut Family Court’s 2018 Order contained this standard provision:
Each party shall keep the other party informed of the general whereabouts of the children when they are with him or her and, if either party has any knowledge of any illness or accident or other circumstance affecting the health or welfare of the children, he or she shall,promptly notify the other party by any reasonable and available means intended to provide the other party with this information as expeditiously as possible and shall notify the other party as to any changes in the children’s condition or circumstance.
Anna DiRubba is allowed to violate multiple laws and clear and unequivocal court orders with impunity. Is this because she has the right lawyers? Or is there some other reason she receives special treatment?
“If the shoe was on the other foot and I was the one who took my kids, there would be Amber Alerts up and down the Eastern seaboard,” DiRubba said.
And he has a point. One can imagine Attorney Marianne Charles barging into Judge Kenefick’s chambers, interrupting his afternoon nap just long enough to scream to high Heaven that Luigi DiRubba was a kidnapper of the worst kind. Within minutes, an Order would have been signed and a task force probably assembled. Luigi DiRubba would instantly have become Public Enemy #1.
Where is Luigi DiRubba’s recourse? When will he be able to see his children? And why doesn’t anyone in the Connecticut Family Court seem to care?
Has the Connecticut Family Court Lost its Legitimacy?
Luigi DiRubba long believed the Connecticut Family Court’s corrupt practices destroyed his family and robbed him of his money, leaving him with nothing. But he could never have fathomed that the same court could sanction his ex-wife robbing him of his family.
The game is played in family court in Connecticut, where attorneys often tell judges how things will go, and the judges follow orders pretty well. After all, every one of these “court actors” needs to stick their snouts into the feeding trough. But when it comes to justice, these same court actors are bankrupt because there is no slop for the hogs to feed on.
In Ford v. Kentucky, the US Supreme Court said: “Law is not a process by which a society actually arrives at objective truth, but rather a means for structuring the truth-seeking process so that the answers it yields will be accepted as morally legitimate by the community.”
How can anyone accept Luigi DiRubba’s case as morally legitimate? Corruption, greed, and exploitation in Connecticut Family Court give way to willful ignorance and apathy when the money runs out, and there is no meat left for the carrion birds to pick from the carcass.
When the litigants are still flush with green, the laws ensure parents are separated from their children, and lives are destroyed for the benefit of attorneys, therapists, guardians ad litem, and custody evaluators. All of them conspire to strip the assets of a family and, in so doing, separate, divide and conquer and destroy the lives of children and usually one or both of the parents.
But when the money runs out, the law matters not. These same attorneys, therapists, guardians ad litem, and custody evaluators cannot be bothered with such trifling things as the law and obeisance to the Orders of the Court.
It appears Luigi DiRubba learned his next costly lesson in his Connecticut Family Court education. When there is no money involved, the law doesn’t matter, and the courts don’t care. The real question always is: How much justice can you afford?
Richard Luthmann is a writer, commentator, satirist, and investigative journalist with degrees from Columbia University and the University of Miami. Once a fixture in New York City and State politics, Luthmann is a recovering attorney who lives in Southwest Florida and a proud member of the National Writers Union.
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