The voters of Kent County will not have a choice when they go to the ballot booth this fall to vote for circuit court judge. Brian Downs was planning to run for the family court slot but the incumbent, Judge Daniel Zemaitis, has prevented Mr. Downs from being on the ballot. Judge Zemaitis suspended Mr. Downs' law license and since a candidate for judge must have a valid law license, Mr. Downs could not get on the ballot. Mr. Downs previously ran against Judge Zemaitis in his last election in November, 2008. "It appears that Judge Zemaitis did not want to take the chance of loosing the election" chided Mr. Downs.Judge Zemaitis can look forward to another six year term on the bench since he is unopposed for his seat on the judicial bench.
Mr. Downs explained the facts. Judge Zemaitis was able to revoke his law license for contempt of court in his 12 year old divorce case. Judge Zemaitis allowed himself to be assigned to the case against Mr. Downs' opposition.
Mr. Downs commented that he felt it was unethical for a political opponent to be assigned to an opponent's case. This brings up the "appearance" of bias that may erode the public's confidence in the courts said Mr. Downs.
The Michigan Canons of Judicial Ethics, Canon 2 states "Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct by judges. A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety." Mr. Downs said that this clearly applies to this case.
Rockford resident and legal activist Brian Downs is investigating running for a Kent County Circuit Court Judge position this Fall. Mr. Downs would most likely run against three incumbent judges since the the election process precludes running against only one judge. Mr. Downs stated that his reason for running for Judge are the numerous complaints concerning the two incumbent family court judges: Judge Daniel Zemaitis and Judge Kathleen Feeney. Both Judges are on the family court bench and are responsible for issues such as divorce, child custody, parenting time, adoptions, child removal, CPS actions and the like.
The election is November 4th, 2014. Mr. Downs must collect over 2,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot. Those interested in family court reform are encouraged to support Mr. Downs' campaign.
Another example where the incumbent family court judge(Judge Patricia Gardner) ignored the law and caused extensive harm to a child, parent, and adoptive parents. The Michigan Supreme Court had to step in to reverse the judge and clean up this case. The brief facts are this: the incumbent judge terminated the parental rights of the parents to the young child. This was determined to be improper by the Michigan Supreme Court. However, it gets worse. The incumbent judge again ignored the law and common sense and allowed the child to be adopted while the case was being appealed.
How many other parents have had their parental rights wrongly terminated by this incumbent judge?
Read the case at:
Or the PDF file can be downloaded by clicking on the down arrow to the right of the link at the bottom of the page.
An Grand Rapids Press article on this case was available to be read at:
(Note: the link below has been removed by Mlive. However, portions of the article can be read by downloading the file at the bottom of the page) (download file by clicking on the arrow to the right of the link below)
Here is another case where the incumbent judge (Judge Patricia Gardner) disregarded the law and affected children here in Kent County. The Court of Appeals (COA) decision states that the:
"trial court committed two errors in modifying the custody order in this case."
The COA further points out that:
"We note that this Court has in several previous cases reversed the trial judge in this case" for "failure to conduct
requisite hearings, to properly apply the law"
Here is the link to read the 3 page decision for yourself:
You can download the opinion by clicking on the down pointing arrow on the right side of the link below:
The Kent County Commissioners paid $115,000.00 of your tax dollars to settle this abusive case of my opponent. When the incumbent judge (my opponent judge Patricia Gardner) fabricated the law, violated parent's constitutional rights, and violated court rules and procedures the Kent County Commissioners paid a financial settlement for the damages. What is more of a concern is the irreversible damage done to the children and family involved. How many more children and families have been harmed by my this judge? More news to come... download the Minutes from the County Commissioners by clicking on the downward pointing arrow to the right side of the link below.
Consider what the Court of Appeals(COA) said about my opponent (the incumbent judge) in this family court case.
In the conclusion the COA states:
"We are deeply troubled that this matter was allowed to proceed in the trial court for as long as it did and in the manner in which it did. On the basis of improperly filed documents that were filed by an attorney without authority to act on plaintiff 's behalf, the trial court, in a fundamental misunderstanding or disregard of its proper role, stripped defendants of their basic constitutional rights to manage and care for their child without state interference. The trial court completely ignored the principle that, absent a showing of parental unfitness, the state may not interfere with an intact family.
We reverse and remand this case"
Read the entire decision at:
(Or download the file by clicking on the downward pointing arrow on the right side of the link below)
1-7 of 7