California courts ‘sealed my case to hide their corruption’

By Around the Web

Jeffrey Younger and his son, James

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by The Daily Signal.]

By Tyler O’Neil
The Daily Signal

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—A Texas father is fighting in court to prevent his ex-wife from subjecting their son to experimental transgender medical interventions after she moved to California, seemingly taking advantage of the Golden State’s “transgender sanctuary” law.

A California judge has taken the extraordinary step of hiding the entire case from the public in the lead-up to trial, and even preventing lawyers from accessing case documents.

“My ex-wife, Anne Georgulas, wants to castrate my son, James,” Jeff Younger, the father, told The Daily Signal in a statement Wednesday. James is 12 years old. “Judge Michelle Kazadi denied me access to my own case records. She illegally sealed my case with no public access.”

He also blamed Presiding Judge Shelley Kaufman and Judge Mark Juhas of abusing the system against his claims.

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“Judge Shelley Kaufman’s court has misrouted orders to the wrong address,” he added. “Judge Mark Juhas denied me access to crucial evidence by setting a too-early trial date. I can’t even get an independent medical exam of my son.”

“The corrupt Los Angeles courts sealed my case to hide their corruption as they castrate my son,” Younger concluded.

Jeff Younger has been fighting to preserve the bodily integrity of his son, James, since 2018. That year, Georgulas filed a restraining order seeking to prevent Younger from entering James’ school and referring to James as male. A jury declined to give Younger or Georgulas full custody and required Younger’s consent for any medical procedures.

Younger’s legal case drew wide attention, and the father ran for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives, advancing to a primary runoff, which he lost in 2022.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an official opinion on Feb. 18, 2022, stating that performing any sterilizing medical procedure on a child constitutes felony child abuse. Georgulas later described Texas as having a “dangerous political climate,” and she moved to California in November 2022. Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., had signed state Senate Bill 107, turning California into a “sanctuary state” for “gender-affirming care.”

Younger appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, warning that Georgulas intended to subject his son to irreversible transgender interventions. The court rejected Younger’s case after Georgulas told the court she did not intend to subject her son to those “treatments.” However, in February, she filed a motion in Los Angeles County Superior Court, aiming to dissolve the protective order preventing her from subjecting James to “gender-affirming care.” Georgulas’ motion cites the opinions of psychologist Brigid Mariko Conn, who stated that James “is interested” in “puberty blockers,” estrogen, and “bottom surgery,” i.e. the removal of his penis and testicles.

In April, Younger filed a conflicting expert report from Dr. Miriam Grossman, who stated her opinion that James is not suffering from “gender dysphoria” and that “gender-affirming care” is not effective to treat such a psychological condition, even if he had it.

According to court documents obtained by The Daily Signal, Kazadi filed a motion on May 30 to “deem the case confidential and seal all court records” and to “close all hearings in this matter to the public.”

Juhas subsequently filed a motion on June 5 to modify the case to “confidential,” rather than sealed, but Younger’s attorney, Tracy Henderson, told The Daily Signal that Juhas’ order has not been carried out.

Henderson formally urged the court to reverse the order in a June 28 filing.

“Judge Michelle Kazadi violated the constitutional rights of Respondent Jeffrey Younger, and of the public at large, by issuing the Star Chamber Order — a blatantly illegal decree ‘sealing’ the entire case (both retroactively and going forward), while deeming the entire case “confidential” (closing the courtroom to the public and the news media),” Henderson wrote in a memorandum. “Within hours, an unknown person or persons in this court’s administration caused the entire public-facing record of the case (‘Case Access’) to be deleted, disappeared, and blocked the ability of the public to download any documents from ‘Case Document Images.’”

Younger “has not been able to access the docket to even learn when the civil clerks are setting motion hearings or obtain copies of court orders” and the court sent documents to an address Henderson “has not used in years.”

Henderson’s court filing claims that the sealing of Younger’s case resembles the “top-secret, closed-to-the-public tribunal” in medieval England that became known as the “Star Chamber.” This “Star Chamber helped to maintain tyranny by dispensing with established court procedure,” and this abuse of justice inspired the Anglo-American distrust for secret trials.

“Any argument supporting sealing the entire matter and closing the courtroom fails, as the entire history of American jurisprudence teaches us that a courtroom open to the public is a fundamental component of the justice system itself,” Henderson wrote. She also cited the California Supreme Court’s stringent rules for closed proceedings, adding that “none of these standards were articulated by petitioner, nor found by the ruling court.”

Furthermore, Henderson notes the public interest in the controversy around “gender-affirming care,” noting that Younger’s 8-year-old legal case has received broad attention and media coverage, including on Tucker Carlson’s former Fox News show. “A more clear-cut violation of the First Amendment freedom of the press is difficult to imagine.”

Henderson admitted that Kazadi “may have deemed the case confidential and sealed the records based on a finding that this [is] a parentage case involving in vitro fertilization. If that were true, then under [California Family Code], the case may be deemed confidential. However, since neither party ever challenged parentage, and neither party even alleges to have done so at any time, the court lacked any basis to conclude that this is a parentage case.”

Alexander Baker, a lawyer on Henderson’s team, told The Daily Signal that his team has filed five pending pretrial motions, all of which are “necessary” to resolve before the trial, which has been set for Aug. 2.

The legal team has filed motions to set aside the “Star Chamber Order,” to request an independent medical exam of the child in order to determine his stage of puberty, to obtain attorney’s fees to balance out the “great disparity” between Younger’s ability to pay and Georgulas’ ability to pay, to compel discovery (to obtain relevant documents from Georgulas, based on an initial court order tracing back to April), and a motion for a jury trial.

“The trial cannot go forward unless all of those are ruled upon,” Baker said in a phone call Tuesday. “Today, we filed this emergency motion to shorten time because they set the hearing dates for all of our motions out after trial. The judge denied our motion.”

“There is no question Jeff is being railroaded into an illegal trial,” Baker added in a follow-up email.

Judges Kazadi, Juhas, and Kaufman declined to comment. Georgulas’ attorney, Alana Chazan, did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Kazadi’s “Star Chamber Order” appears reminiscent of Presiding Judge Benjamin T. Reyes II’s orders in a similar custody case involving transgender medical interventions of a child in a custody battle, the case of Ted Hudacko. As The Christian Post’s Brandon Showalter reported, Reyes has stricken Hudacko’s filings from the record as Hudacko urged the court to hold people in contempt for violating a court order prohibiting any transgender surgery on his son.

Younger’s “Save James” crowdfunding campaign on the site GiveSendGo has raised $20,000 for his legal fees, as of Wednesday.

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