Friday, May 20, 2016

Commissioner Martin's Letter to Local Judge Attacking Friend of the Court, Affects Local Court Case

Read the letter sent by Dickinson County (Michigan) Commissioner Ann M. Martin addressed to the local Judge Celello but included (CC'd) Judge Barglind and Slagle, also included Sheriff Celello and State Rep Ed McBroom concerning our local FOC.

The letter begins, "I am writing you to update on the situation of my niece and her children so that you are fully aware of what happened." - It goes on to tell details about the case and evidence about it, before it even goes to court.

On the second page Ann states things like, "I deeply question the judgement and actions of the Friend of the Court Heidi VanSlooten.", "It seems that Ms. VanSlooten has consistently ignored the very threats to these children." and  "I believe that her appointment as Friend of the Court must be re-evaluated."

Names have been removed, read the letter Ann sent below.

The following letter was the reply sent to Ann Martin on March 2, 2016 and was signed by all 3 judges. Not only did they notify her that they had no intention of re-evaluating Heidi, but also informed her that her actions of sending this letter with facts on a case (not yet heard), is resulting in this case being sent to another county. All 3 judges had to disqualify themselves from hearing the case because of the letter Commissioner Martin sent!

It also states, "In our opinion, the letter was not only improper as an ex-parte communication about a pending case, it also has the appearance of impropriety given the fact you are a county commissioner who sets the budget for the court, including the Friends of the Court Office."

If what you read above pissed you off, it should! This elected official took it upon herself to send this letter to 3 judges, the local sheriff and a state representative that attacked our local Friend of the Court Manager Heidi Van Slooten. In doing so, she also sent detailed facts in a case to the judges, resulting in a civil child custody/ divorce case being moved to another county.   

If she did this as a 'commissioner' and not a citizen her actions would be criminal.

During Thursday's County Finance Meeting, Dickinson County Friend of the Court Heidi Van Slooten spoke out about this letter and requested that Ann Martin refrain from any votes relating to the FOC. 

Watch the video below:



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