Martin Wolmark, a 57 year old Orthodox Rabbi from Monesy,NY, was sentenced to 38 months in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to coerce a Jewish man to grant his wife a “get”, a religious divorce, through violence and threats of violence, a according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
Wolmark pleaded guilty in February.
On Aug. 7, 2013, Wolmark spoke with a woman and her brother about obtaining a Jewish divorce from the woman’s recalcitrant husband. A get is a divorce document which, according to Jewish Law, must be presented by a husband to his wife to effect their divorce. Unbeknownst to Wolmark, the woman and the brother were actually undercover FBI agents.
Five women whose divorce cases were heard by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon are petitioning the New Jersey General Assembly to impeach the Judge they say violated their rights of due process and equal protection.
WABC-NY first reported the story of the impeachment petition.
Under the New Jersey Constitution, the General Assembly has the sole power to impeach judges by majority vote of the members. Should a judge be impeached by the Assembly, a trial is held in the Senate. A conviction and removal from office requires the vote of two-thirds of the Senate members.
Patricia Madison aka Patricia Pisciotti, Rachel Alintoff, Tameka Hunt, Paula Diaz Antonopoulos Wolfe, and Kristen Williams are represented by Robert A. Tandy, Esq., a Woodcliff Lake civil rights and employment attorney.
The women argue that they have no recourse against Escandon, other than impeachment and removal from office, for violating their civil rights due to the broad immunities granted Judges. They make the following allegations in their petition:
Multiple divorce litigants with cases before Judge Paul X. Escandon have told MMM that they have been informed by Monmouth County Court personnel that Escandon will no longer be hearing their cases.
Judge Lawrence M. Lawson, the Assignment Judge of the Monmouth County Vicinage, confirmed the change in Escandon’s assignment.
Escandon will be hearing non-matrimonial cases, those of unmarried couples with children and/or property who need the Court’s involvement to resolve their differences and post-divorce cases that he currently has, according to Lawson. All family court judges will hear post divorce matters that are 12 months old or more.
A group of thirty women lead by former Long Branch resident Rachel Alintoff have been fighting get to Escandon recused from their cases and removed from the bench for several months due to what they say is a pattern of improper and illegal rulings regarding custody and support in favor of their wealthy estranged husbands. There complaints have ranged from revoking custody without a hearing to emanicipating a disabled teenager in order to void child support.