This complaint is in regard to Blackhawk County Courthouse case number DRCV103369.
On March 14, 2007 I, Patrick Neill Moreno, Petitioner, was scheduled for a hearing at Blackhawk County Courthouse on two different matters in a family court case. A Resistence to Ex Parte Injunction and an Order to Show Cause hearing as Respondent was in Contempt. My case number is DRCV103369 involving the Patrick Moreno, Petitioner, Sara Jane Ackles, Respondent involving our minor child, Domanic Allan Ackles. I am a Pro Se Petitioner in this case.
On 1/29/2008 Petitioner filed a Resistence to Ex Parte Injunction which was to be heard on 3/14/2008 along with an Order to Show Cause for Respondent in relation to a Contempt charge filed against Respondent 2/1/2008. Contempt was for an Order issued 12/14/2007 for all parties to cooperate in genetic testing. Respondent failed to comply with the court order.
A Notice of Appearance was filed with the court by Iowa Legal Aid, Amy Rene Dollash, on 11/14/2007 on behalf of the Respondent, Sara Jane Ackles. Ms. Dollash made false allegations and statements to obtain an unlawful Ex Parte Injunction against the Petitioner. A previous complaint is on file against Ms. Dollash for that matter. An Application for Ex Parte Injunction was made and granted on 12/03/2008 without scheduling a hearing. This Ex Parte Injunction was granted without consideration, service, or an opportunity to be heard by the Petitioner. This is in violation of Iowa Court Rules of Civil Procedure Rules to wit:
RULE 32:8.4: MISCONDUCT
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration
With regards to the Ex Parte Injunction, it can be shown that it was obtained without Due Process and proper procedure by Iowa Legal Aid and Ms. Dollash as follows:
Rule 1.1507 Notice.
Before granting a temporary injunction, the court may require reasonable notice of the time and place of hearing therefor to be given the party tobe enjoined. When the applicant is requesting that a temporary injunction be issued without notice, applicant’s attorney must certify to the court in writing either the efforts which have been made to give notice to the adverse party or that party’s attorney or the reason supporting the claim that notice should not be required. Such notice and hearing must be had for a temporary injunction or stay of agency action pursuant to Iowa Code section 17A.19(5), to stop the general and ordinary business of a corporation, or action of an agency of the state of Iowa, or the operations of a railway or of a municipal corporation, or the erection of a building or other work, or the board of supervisors of a county, or to restrain a nuisance. [Report 1943; amended October 9, 1984, effective December 8, 1984; October 31, 1997, effective January 24, 1998; November 9, 2001, effective February 15, 2002]
and Iowa Court Rules of Civil Procedure Rule
Rule 1.1509 Hearing to dissolve temporary injunction.
A party against whom a temporary injunction is issued without notice may, at any time, move the court where the action is pending to dissolve, vacate or modify it. Such motion shall be submitted to that court. A hearing shall be held within ten days after the filing of the motion. [Report 1943; amendment 1984; October 31, 1997, effective January 24, 1998; November 9, 2001, effective February 15, 2002]
COMMENT ON AMENDMENTS TO RULES 1.1505,
1.1506, 1.1507, AND 1.1509: Concern has been raised regarding the issuance of temporary injunctions without a hearing or notice to the adverse party, and the subsequent difficulty in scheduling a hearing to dissolve, vacate or modify the injunction. The amendment to rule 1.1507 puts the burden upon the applicant to certify that he or she has either made an attempt to provide notice or has legitimate reasons for not providing notice. The amendment to rule 1.1509 provides once the temporary injunction has been issued, the adverse party may then file a motion to dissolve, vacate or modify the injunction, which shall be heard within ten days. This puts the burden upon the adverse party to request the hearing.
Without knowledge or any communication, Iowa Legal Aid, Amy Rene Dollash, the Attorney on Record, severed from Iowa Legal Aid failing to file a request for Withdrawal and put on the file record. It is not known whether Ms. Dollash’ severance was voluntary or involuntary. I am Pro Se and have been ordered to communicate with Iowa Legal Aid and Amy Rene Dollash “in writing only” due to this illegally obtained Ex Parte Injunction Order. Ms. Dollash filed for an Ex Parte Injunction which was granted without Due Process. Ms. Dollash and Legal Aid made frivolous allegations that I was “harassing” her. Petitioner’s phone records indicate Petitioner made 2 phone calls to her in regards to a failure on Iowa Legal Aid to properly serve documents according to Iowa Procedure on a Motion to Dismiss which was later denied. Ms. Dollash called Petitioner back and was disrespectful to Petitioner telling Petitioner he was “not a good father” and proceeded to hang up on Petitioner in mid-sentence. Ms. Dollash didn’t want to deal with Petitioner so it is apparent it was easier to file an injunction which states that Petitioner is to communicate with Counsel for Respondent and Respondent in writing only. This clearly inhibits the communication between a Pro Se Litigant and Counsel for Respondent and gives Respondent an unfair advantage, keeping in mind that Petitioner lives in Arizona. Petitioner can prove that He has been active in Establishment for Paternity and in communication with CSRU, Cheri Cummings, Attorney for CSRU. Petitioner has kept her up to date and wants to be a father to his son. Petitioner promptly paid for and collected samples for DNA to establish Paternity. Petitioner has obeyed all of the court orders and cooperated to the fullest extent to parent his child. Respondent waited until 3/7/08, a week prior to scheduled hearing to comply with the court order issued on 12/14/07. When Iowa Legal Aid filed an Ex Parte Injunction prohibiting communication between Petitioner and Respondent, His son, Amy Rene Dollash, and Iowa Legal Aid it brought to light the intention of Iowa Legal Aid, Amy Rene Dollash and the immediate Supervisors of Ms. Dollash that the motive was to assist the Respondent in Parental Alienation, a condition that Governor Vilsack and the State of Iowa recognize as a form of child abuse and neglect.
The Court has advised that there is NO record for Appearance filed with Blackhawk County Courthouse for Vivian Betts and NO withdrawal filed for Amy Rene Dollash. Again, negligence involving a failure to communicate according to the Rules and Procedures is evident and Iowa Law is ignored by Iowa Legal Aid and Supervisory Attorney, Vivian Betts. According to Court records Vivian Betts did NOT have the authority to file ANY documents with Blackhawk County Courthouse and the Motion to Continue was filed AND granted illegally without Due Process. Petitioner, acting Pro Se, did NOT receive notification of change of counsel by Iowa Legal Aid. Iowa Legal Aid, Amy Rene Dollash, and Vivian Betts have documentation filed by Petitioner that show Name, Address, City, State, Zip, a mobile phone and a home phone. Petitioner has his cell phone with him at all times along with voice mail. NO attempts to contact have EVER been made.
Amy Rene Dollash has violated Iowa Court Rules of Civil Procedure:
RULE 32:1.16: DECLINING OR TERMINATING REPRESENTATION
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:
(1) the representation will result in violation
of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(2) the lawyer’s physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer’s ability to represent
the client; or
(3) the lawyer is discharged.
Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts began representation without proper notification on the court file and Petitioner was not aware of a change of Counsel on record. Judge Stigler confirmed that there was no Notice of Appearance or Application to Withdraw in the court file.
On March 10, 2007 Vivian Betts filed a Motion to Continue which was Ex Parte and not heard by the Petitioner prior to an issuance of an Order to Continue. Petitioner travelled to Iowa from Arizona with the understanding that a hearing was scheduled.
At Order Hour on 3/14/2008, after noting that hearing had been scratched on the Docket, Petitioner was informed by Judge Stigler that Ms. Dollash was no longer with Iowa Legal Aid but now working with an independent law firm. No information was rendered as to whether this was a voluntary or involuntary severence on the behalf of Ms. Dollash and Legal Aid.
Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts, failed to comply with the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure specifically Service of Documents and her Motion. Petitioner was not present nor did Petitioner agree with the continuance and did not receive sufficient time to cancel previous reservations for travel and accommodations for employment. Petitioner is a Commissioned Salesperson in the State of Arizona.
Iowa Legal Aid and Counsel Vivian Betts has also violated Civil Procedure Rule 1.911 Causes for continuance.
1.911(1) A continuance may be allowed for any cause not growing out of the fault or negligence of the movant, which satisfies the court that substantial justice will be more nearly obtained. It shall be allowed if all parties agree and the court approves.
1.911(2) All such motions based on absence of evidence must be supported by affidavit of the party, the party’s agent or attorney, and must show the following:
a. The name and residence of the absent witness, or, if unknown, that affiant has used diligence to ascertain them.
Iowa Legal Aid and Counsel for Respondent also failed to comply with Iowa Civil Procedure 1.910(2)
No case assigned for trial shall be continued ex parte. All motions for continuance in a case set for trial shall be signed for by counsel, if any, and approved in writing by the party represented, unless such approval is waived by court order. [Report 1943; February 13, 1986, effective July 1, 1986; November 9, 2001, effective February 15, 2002]
Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts and Dennis Gronenboom hold supervisory positions and accountability for violations under Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct apply:
LAW FIRMS AND ASSOCIATIONS
RULE 32:5.1: RESPONSIBILITIES OF
PARTNERS, MANAGERS, AND SUPERVISORY
(a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct.
(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct.
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer’s violation of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved;
(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the
other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
 Paragraph (a) applies to lawyers who have managerial authority over the professional work of a firm. See rule 32:1.0(c). This includes members of a partnership, the shareholders in a law firm organized as a professional corporation, and members of other associations authorized to practice law; lawyers having comparable managerial authority in a legal services organization or a law department of an enterprise or government agency; and lawyers who have intermediate managerial responsibilities in a firm. Paragraph (b) applies to lawyers who have supervisory authority over the work of other lawyers in a firm.
 Paragraph (a) requires lawyers with managerial authority within a firm to make reasonable efforts to establish internal policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm will conform to the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct. Such policies and procedures include those designed to detect and resolve conflicts of interest, identify dates by which actions must be taken in pending matters, account for client funds and property, and ensure that inexperienced lawyers are properly supervised.
 Other measures that may be required to fulfill the responsibility prescribed in paragraph (a) can depend on the firm’s structure and the nature of its practice. In a small firm of experienced lawyers, informal supervision and periodic review of compliance with the required systems ordinarily will suffice. In a large firm, or in practice situations in which difficult ethical problems frequently arise, more elaborate measures may be necessary. Some firms, for example, have a procedure whereby junior lawyers can make confidential referral of ethical problems directly to a designated senior partner or special committee.
See rule 32:5.2. Firms, whether large or small, may also rely on continuing legal education in professional ethics. In any event, the ethical atmosphere of a firm can influence the conduct of all its members, and the partners may not assume that all lawyers associated with the firm will inevitably conform to the rules.
 Paragraph (c) expresses a general principle of personal responsibility for acts of another. See also rule 32:8.4(a).
 Paragraph (c)(2) defines the duty of a partner or other lawyer having comparable managerial authority in a law firm, as well as a lawyer who has direct supervisory authority over performance of specific legal work by another lawyer. Whether a lawyer has supervisory authority in particular circumstances is a question of fact. Partners and lawyers with comparable authority have at least indirect responsibility for all work being done by the firm, while a partner or manager in charge of a particular matter ordinarily also has supervisory responsibility for the work of other firm lawyers engaged in the matter. Appropriate
remedial action by a partner or managing lawyer would depend on the immediacy of that lawyer’s involvement and the seriousness of the misconduct. A supervisor is required to intervene to prevent avoidable consequences of misconduct if the supervisor knows that the misconduct occurred. Thus, if a supervising lawyer knows that a subordinate misrepresented a matter to an opposing party in negotiation, the supervisor as well as the subordinate has a duty to correct the resulting misapprehension.
 Professional misconduct by a lawyer under supervision could reveal a violation of paragraph (b) on the part of the supervisory lawyer even though it does not entail a violation of paragraph (c) because there was no direction, ratification, or knowledge of the violation.
 Apart from this rule and rule 32:8.4(a), a lawyer does not have disciplinary liability for the conduct of a partner, associate, or subordinate. Whether a lawyer may be liable civilly or criminally for another lawyer’s conduct is a question of law beyond the scope of these rules.
In regards to notification, Ms. Betts has violated Iowa Civil Procedure Civil Conduct Standards Rules 33.2(14-20)
33.2(14) We will not time the filing or service of motions or pleadings in any way that unfairly limits another party’s opportunity to respond.
33.2(15) We will not request an extension of time solely for the purpose of unjustified delay or to obtain a tactical advantage.
33.2(16) We will consult other counsel regarding scheduling matters in a good faith effort to avoid scheduling conflicts.
33.2(17) We will endeavor to accommodate previously scheduled dates for hearings, depositions,
meetings, conferences, vacations, seminars or other functions that produce good faith calendar conflicts on the part of other counsel. If we have been given an accommodation because of a calendar conflict, we will notify those who have accommodated us as soon as the conflict has been removed.
33.2(18) We will notify other counsel and, if appropriate, the court or other persons, at the earliest possible time when hearings, depositions, meetings or conferences are to be canceled or postponed. Early notice avoids unnecessary travel and expense of counsel and may enable the court to use the previously reserved time for other matters.
33.2(19) We will agree to reasonable requests for extensions of time and for waiver of procedural formalities, provided our clients’ legitimate rights will not be materially
or adversely affected.
33.2(20) We will not cause any default or dismissal to be entered without first notifying opposing counsel, when we know the opposing counsel’s identity.
Petitioner appeared at Blackhawk County Courthouse on 3/14/2008 as scheduled without knowledge this hearing had been continued Ex Parte to find out the date was changed by a Motion that was granted Ex Parte by Judge Stigler filed by Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts, not the attorney on record. Upon finding the facts, Petitioner then filed a Motion to Reconsider Motion to Dismiss. Judge Stigler was the presiding Judge at Order Hour. Judge Stigler said he couldn’t rule on the Motion right now and I could try to come back Monday although I lived in Arizona and was planning on returning on Saturday, March 15, 2008.
It was indicated by Judge Stigler, it should be noted, that the Continuance was Ordered due to a surgery that Counsel Betts had on March 7, 2008. Again, Ms. Betts was NOT the counsel on record for the Respondent. Furthermore, when presenting a Motion to Reconsider Continuance, Judge Sigler raised his voice, told the Petitioner that he had a bad week, and told him he was not familiar with this case and that he needed time to collect his thoughts. Petitioner is willing to submit sworn affidavit’s of witnesses to this. This in itself creates the following concerns: 1) It is unethical and violates Iowa Canon for Judges for Judge Stigler to act in a demeaning manner, several people witnessed his behavior in the courtroom . 2) If Judge Stigler was not familiar with the case then he never should have granted to continuance in this case in the first place. 3) Vivian Betts never filed an appearance for Respondent and Motion to Continue was granted contrary to stated law 4) Amy Rene Dollash, Counsel for Respondent, never filed a withdrawal as Counsel for Respondent 5) Judge Stigler’s conduct calls into question his personal bias against a member of IowaFathers.com, the Petitioner’s Hispanic Heritage, indicating discrimination, combined with the fact that Petitioner is from out of State. This brings into question judicial conspiracy may exist. It is unclear as to why counsel is permitted to obtain an Order without hearing or consideration. Petitioner discussed at Order Hour with Judge Stigler as to whether it was okay to avoid procedural law and ignore the rules and regulations. Judge Stigler told Petitioner that it was not okay, yet deliberately violated Iowa Procedure by that by granting Vivian Betts an Ex Parte Continuance Order.
On March 17, 2008 at 8:00 AM, Petitioner returned to the courthouse to again have his case heard as instructed by Judge Stigler. Petitioner notified Sandy, Clerk of Court, of his presence and intention as instructed by Judge Stigler. At 8:20 Sandy advised Petitioner that it would be approximately 30 more minutes before he could call Vivian Betts to schedule a hearing this day. Petitioner entered Order Hour where Judge Stigler was presiding in Courtroom 1. Petitioner indicated that in addition to a Motion Granted Ex Parte that Vivian Betts was NOT the counsel on file. Judge Stigler’s response was “I wouldn’t know” as he walked through the doors. Judge Stigler entered the bench absent of his black robe and began to hear cases. Judge Stigler called Iowa Legal Aid at 8:40 after Petitioner advised him that Petitioner just called Legal Aid and they were now in the office. Judge Stigler left a message for Ms. Betts. Petitioner waited in the hall and entered the courtroom approximately 9:15. Judge Stigler then called Petitioner to the stand and had Ms. Betts on the phone. Judge Stigler stated to Petitioner that Ms. Betts was still ill from her surgery. Petitioner indicated that this was not his problem as he was not properly notified according to due process and procedure. Judge Stigler indicated that Respondent, Ms. Ackles, deserved to be heard as well in this matter. Petitioner indicated that Iowa Legal Aid was negligent in their notice of motion and failed any type of service to Petitioner. Filing was made on March 10, 2008 and Petitioner arrived in Des Moines on March 12th. There is clearly no urgency to notify the Petitioner of a change so to avoid unnecessary travel. Judge Stigler asked Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts, when she had her surgery. Her response was Friday, March 7, 2008. I noted to Judge Stigler that the Motion for Continuance that he granted without Due Process was filed on March 10, 2008. Petitioner’s concern was that two days later Iowa Legal Aid Counsel was well enough to file a Motion to Continue but a week later was more ill than previously????? Judge Stigler stated that the date would remain as he had granted on the continuance for 4/1/2008 at 1:30 PM. Petitioner also noted with Judge Stigler that arrangements should have been made for Respondent to have a backup or fill-in attorney present for this hearing as Petitioner deserves a right to be heard. This went ignored. Ms. Betts advised Judge Stigler that there one new attorney that only had 6 months experience that was in the office and he was the only other available attorney. Petitioner was informed by Judy Smith, who answered the phone for Iowa Legal Aid that there were three active attorneys for Waterloo Division. The names mentioned were Steven Norby, Andrew Nordstrom, and Vivian Betts, who was the Managing Attorney. Also mentioned was Hattie Holmes, Legal Assistant and Nancy Thorn as the receptionistMs. Betts said that he had a full case load and couldn’t handle another case.
This complaint brings to light the negligence of Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts, Amy Dollash, Dennis Groenenboom, and Judge Stigler, creating a major inconvenience for the Petitioner in travel costs, time from work, mental anguish not to mention frustration. Due to this negligence Petitioner has again been alienated from his child for another few weeks. Petitioner will show in evidence that there is no reason why Petitioner’s 14th Amendment Rights and the 5th Amendment Rights of the minor child have been grossly violated and abuse due to neglect and incompetence. Judge Stigler has granted a Motion without finding the facts in regards to Iowa Civil Procedure and a withdrawal by Amy Rene Dollash and gross failure to communicate from Iowa Legal Aid, Vivian Betts.
Petitioner was informed by Judge Stigler that attorney for Respondent, Vivian Betts appeared on 3/10/2008 at Order Hour and requested the Motion to Continue due to a surgery. It appears to Petitioner that negligence was the key factor on the part of Ms. Betts to schedule her surgery at a later time or to assign another attorney to the case for representation. Iowa Legal Aid, the State of Iowa, and Ms. Betts, along with the Respondent have insulted the system and the definition of the “best interest of the child” by violating Petitioner’s 14th Amendment Rights and the childs 5th Amendment Rights. This behavior is unethical and will not be tolerated. Petitioner has been denied his Parenting Time with his child due to this incident and this too is admonishable.
In conclusion on 3/14/2008 in a previous case heard prior to Petitioner’s, a Motion to Continue was requested by a Pro Se party and the Motion to Continue was DENIED. There was no justification or reasoning as to why an Iowa Legal Aid Attorney can obtain an Ex Parte Injunction have it granted
Respondent has alienated Petitioner with the assistance of Amy Rene Dollash, Vivian Betts, both attorneys for Iowa Legal Aid. It is my understanding in contacting Iowa Legal Aid that there are several attorneys on staff and these attorneys assist each other. Several attempts on 3/17/2008 to reach Dennis Gronenboom, the Executive Director of Legal Aid were made on 3/17/2008 in regards to the nature of this matter. Petitioner was advised that Mr. Gronenboom knew of the nature of my call and would return the call however, failed to return any of Petitioner’s calls in regards to this matter. This is not acceptable.
I appreciate your cooperation in seeking resolution to this matter and look forward to your response.