Connecticut Judge Thomas J. O’Neill, a former corporate litigation partner at Day Pitney LLP, has delivered a shocking ruling in the case of one-time Hollywood writer Christopher Ambrose.
The decision resulted in Ambrose’s ex-wife, Karen Riordan, being served with restraining orders preventing her from interacting with her children – Mia (16), Matthew (16), and Sawyer (13) – for an entire year.
This ruling has left the three children, who were under Riordan’s care, without a stable home. Seeking refuge, they sought temporary shelter at the residence of their maternal grandfather in Rhode Island.
Ambrose is seeking their forced return to his home, where he previously kept them in isolation for three years, until they ran away from him earlier this year.
Ambrose also seeks the arrest of Riordan for custodial interference.
The teenagers are adamant they will not return to their father, whom they claim abuses them.
Ambrose claims Matthew is so tiny brained that he cannot think for himself, and that his mother controls his thoughts and makes him say his father abuses him. Matthew, on the other hand, told Frank Report his father has abused him for years and gave gripping details of the abuse he suffered. He also provided photographs, videos and audios – none of which Judge O’Neill was willing to accept as evidence.
After a two-day hearing, Judge O’Neill ruled that Riordan subjected her teenage children to abuse under Jennifer’s Law, a new CT legislative measure to combat domestic abuse.
In this case, the allegations revolve around Ambrose’s claims that Riordan coerced her teenage children into making false accusations against him.
Despite the seriousness of the allegations, Judge O’Neill chose not to have the teenagers testify.
O’Neill’s application of Jennifer’s Law has triggered a debate about the law’s purpose. The CT legislature designed the law to protect women and children from domestic abuse. But Judge O’Neill surprisingly invoked the law exactly the opposite to its intended purpose, with a male judge using it to shield an alleged male abuser.
Judge O’Neill’s novel interpretation of the law ignited concerns about its potential misuse. Critics argue that his application of Jennifer’s Law empowers the CT Family Court to continue to misuse the controversial theory of parental alienation to take children away from protective mothers.
While this happens sometimes, and perhaps often with younger children – the three Ambrose children are teenagers, and during a three year period when they did not see their mother – they continued to claim their father abused them.
Parental alienation is based on the belief that children’s claims of abuse against their father during custody disputes are almost always a lie.
The parental alienation theory is that the mother prompted the children to lie so that she can gain advantage in custody battles.
In CT Family Court, the prescribed remedy for parental alienation is to hand custody to the father, and bar the mother from contact with her children. This remedy often renders the mother homeless and the children traumatized – as it did in the Ambrose vs. Riordan custody case.
It is surprising how often the findings of parental alienation come where the father is affluent and the mother is not. In most of these cases, the father pays large sums to family court professionals, some of whom are supposed to be neutral, but somehow always manage to side with the man who pays them.
It is a national scandal, and CT Family Court is the epicenter of parental alienation abuse.
In Judge O’Neill’s case, using Jennifer’s Law to align with parental alienation raises concerns that the law’s real intent is now compromised. Some observers have drawn parallels between Judge O’Neill’s decision to remove the protective mother from the teens’ lives, leaving them vulnerable to the abusive father, with the tactics of the late Dr. Richard Gardner.
Dr. Richard Gardner wrote that the modern-day hysteria against pedophile fathers is similar to the hysteria against witches in the 17th century.
Dr. Gardner invented parental alienation as a method to defend affluent fathers accused of pedophilia – something Gardner believed was a natural human experience and a right that fathers deserve.
As family court professionals found out how much pedophile fathers will pay to exclude mothers and have free rein with their children, the professionals began adopting Gardner’s theories.
They posit that parental alienation is worse than pedophilia.
Following Gardner’s lead, American family courts have handed thousands of children into the hands of molesters.
Due to O’Neill’s shocking ruling, some are now calling Jennifer’s Law – Judge O’Neill’s “Pedophile Law.”
Critics also raise questions about Judge O’Neill’s impartiality and connections with Ambrose’s attorney, Alexander Cuda, and the judge’s former law firm, Day Pitney.
What favors if any Judge O’Neill extracted in return for his bizarre ruling is a matter of speculation. Stay tuned.
Is there a connection between Judge Thomas J. O’Neill, Chris Ambrose and attorney Alexander Cuda that runs deeper than the mere surface injustice of greed driven family court results?
Quite possibly not, but it bears exploration – for things are not always what they appear.