The video below is a highly disturbing scene from the courtroom of Clark County Hearings Master Patricia Doninger (right) in a family court case. The video shows Monica Contreras, 28, who complains that she was assaulted by a marshal in the room next to the courtroom under a pretext of a spontaneous drug search. Doninger entirely ignores her and does nothing as the marshals arrest her on the clearly abusive charge of “making false allegations about a police officer.” Doninger is shown playing with Contreras’ daughter. Internal Affairs is reportedly investigating a host of such allegations in the courthouse. Contreras is now suing the officer Ron Fox, a second officer, James Kenyon, and Doninger in a civil rights action. She has also named Clark County, Nevada, as a defendant.
Contreras was called into a room where she says that the officer ordered her to lift her shirt and groped her. When she demanded a female officer, both the marshal and the judge ignored her.
She later pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. This required some prosecutor to look at the evidence and, rather than act to stop this abuse of the system, alter the charges to shed to overtly unsupportable false information charge. I am not sure if she had counsel, but the role of the prosecution needs also to be examined. There appears no independent judgment or action from the prosecutor in participating in this sham. Then there is the absence of a criminal charge against Fox if in fact this “search” was a ruse for groping this woman. Prosecutors seemed to have no problem with the criminal charges against Contreras but there is no record of any charge against Fox.
Later, Fox was fired after an investigation. In a decision upholding the termination, Assistant County Manager Ed Finger found “Fox, and to some degree Kenyon, simply intimidated and bullied the complainant in a way that is shocking and almost incomprehensible, using the complainant’s own freedom and custody of her three-year-old child as threats.” It is not clear if Kenyon was also fired.
The Internal Affairs investigation reportedly confirmed her account from the room and there is no need for confirmation of what occurred before Doninger. I cannot imagine keeping Doninger on the bench after such a complete failure to protect individuals in her courtroom or perform even a modicum of the responsibilities of a judge. As for the officers, these allegations, if true, would constitute crimes.
What is astonishing is that Doninger is a “domestic violence commissioner” and has worked as a domestic violence commissioner since late 1998. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. There is no evidence of such experience or even concern over this victim’s pleas on the videotape. As the presiding judicial officer in this court, she must bear the ultimate responsibility for the abuse.
The question is whether that accountability can take the form of civil liability over what could be viewed as a discretionary act on her part in allowing the arrest to occur. She will have some strong legal arguments. However, that does not relieve her of responsibility. There remains the question of her suitability to continue on the bench.
58 thoughts on “Nevada Woman Arrested After Being Reportedly Assaulted By Marshal As Judge Ignores Her Pleas”
“That’s a great fish there doc, you didn’t weigh the chain did ya?”
“we’re going to watch the World Series, Nurse Ratchet”
Wait a minute, you’re part Rain Man and part Nurse Ratchet..it just came to me.
Let me know how many demerits I have, I’m going to read my wife’s book, Taken For Granted, a psychological thriller, available on Amazon. I’ll check back tomorrow. You’ve not yet disparaged my wife or son yet. Kudos
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
“Luke, you got your mind right now?”
Hey Luke ole boy, you were planning this all along.”
Hell man, I ain’t never planned planned nothin’ in my life.”
“Calling it your job boss don’t make it right.”
Is you digging yourself a deeper hole by violating the very known rules against the rules?
No. It’s not.
Just quoting a great Oscar winning flick. Is that against secret rules?
“One for bad, two for good.”
“She was very sparkly.”
“Of course I have to have toothpicks to eat my pancakes.”
“Do you take any prescription medications”
“I only buy my underwear @ KMart”
Continue digging your own hole. I think it’s funny.
are you charting your vile attacks involving my family? They’re part of the record.
Will I be able to represent myself @ this proceeding or is it secret rules, secret star chamber, and secret sentencing. “Entry on a spreadsheet”, don’t you realize how ludicrous you are. Rain Man kept a spreadsheet of “violations”, that’s what I’m picturing here. Are you an “excellent driver?” “Five minutes till Wapner!” You’re a self parody but don’t have the self awareness to see it. Where’s all your support on this crusade? Is that also secret? Is there a secret handshake? Give it up and just move on, private.
“Will I be able to represent myself @ this proceeding or is it secret rules, secret star chamber, and secret sentencing.”
You are representing yourself via your comments, whose nature is the best testimony against you.
No, you didn’t say anything to me. However, you’ve continued your ad hominem attacks against others – which is still unacceptable. As I said, noticed and noted. Your targets of choice are immaterial to your rule violation.
So here’s what’s going to happen.
I’ve already got a substantial log of such attacks made by you stretching back months. I’m going to keep building it. Every time you act this way, an entry is made on the spreadsheet. When this community has finally had enough of your flaunting the rules? We’ll collectively make the case to have you banned from this site. In short, you can learn to keep the ad hominem gibberish to yourself or you’ll be gone. Is that clear enough for you to understand, nick?
Or . . . you could realize it’s just better for you if you follow the rules.
One day, you’ll just be gone. It may not be this week. It may be in a couple of months. But it will happen unless you learn to control yourself.
It’s pretty obvious at this point though that you are incapable of controlling yourself for even 24 hours after receiving a substantive warning about your bad behavior.
That’s the very definition of pathological.
Thanks for making this task easier. Well. Maybe thanks isn’t the right word since you really don’t seem to be able to help yourself.
I didn’t think the judgmental statement pertained to me. I expressed my outrage earlier. Read for chrissake! I was just saying it is NOBODY’S business to tell others how they should feel. Psych 101! And that’s exactly what you did, and I called you on it. When you or your buddy are called on horseshit you cry foul. I would hate to play a pickup b-ball game w/ you guys. It would be all fouls. The truth does often hurt. Deal w/ it.
And of course, it’s the double team. I said nothing to you, Gene. Don’t you think MikeS can handle himself? Or are you the self appointed sgt. @ arms. The patroller of violators of “secret rules” that carry “double secret” monitoring and deletions from the Chief of Stasi. Basta!
“I expressed my outrage earlier. Read for chrissake! I was just saying it is NOBODY’S business to tell others how they should feel. Psych 101! And that’s exactly what you did, and I called you on it.”
That is nonsense and if you don’t know it then you are seriously deluding yourself. Here is the source of your outrage when I wrote in my first comment above:
“Obviously though, maintaining a fair legal system is a very hard thing to do. some may think that I’ve strayed too far from this case to a macro-cosmic view of a police state in action. I would answer by saying yous look at that video again and if in your gut you don’t feel anger and outrage at this vile human being, then perhaps you are part of the problem.”
I was expressing my opinion, not telling anyone how to feel, but stating again my opinion that if someone wasn’t moved by the video then they were part of the problem. You can disagree with that opinion, you can even explain why you think I am wrong, but using the term “outrage” seems a deep and phony overreaction. Especially by this exchange before I even commented:
From Balanced at 9:52am:
“Ugh, this makes me ill, and quite frankly makes me exceptionally discouraged with our legal system and government in general.”
From Nick at 10:01am:
“Balanced, Find your balance, these are not the norm.”
So Nick aren’t you telling Balance what to feel? Should he feel “outraged” by your comment? Should we feel “outraged” by his comment? The difference is that in your usual fashion you were trying to continue your “fight” against me.
The reason I have called you deceitful in the past and call you deceitful now is for actions such as this which are ad hominem. The reason they are so is that if you disagree with me than disagree with my arguments, rather than simply classifying them with such terms as “outrage”. Now it is possible that you are unaware of the dishonesty of your techniques of comment here, but to believe that I would have to assume you are stupid and you are clearly not stupid.
Your MO is quite obvious to anybody knowing the rudiments and it was obvious that you were again attacking me by using ad hominem arguments. You simply can’t comprehend that it doesn’t bother me when people disagree with my opinions and in many instances I have changed my opinions based on the logic of their arguments. While I hate to be categorical, in your case it is true that you have never once disagreed with me by refuting my position. From you it has always been ad hominem attack. Gene and others here know me well enough to know that I’m quite capable of defending myself in any debate. Gene is not protecting me, Gene is protecting this blog, which despite your protestations to the contrary, is being purposely disrupted by you.
Darren has patiently explained to you what you are doing that causes Gene and I to react and you haven’t responded to him, even though there was nothing vituperative in what he said. That is also your habit here. You never answer an argument by responding to the argument without ad hominem attacks.
So you understand clearly I am not writing this because I believe you will get the message, but because I feel the need to fully explain (what you try to avoid by making short, enigmatic, passive-aggressive comments)
your technique here.
Nick @7:33 – well said.
Seamus – you are spot on. Bad faith needs darkness;
the truth needs the light (camera – ACTION).
This happens EVERY DAY in the legal system. Police routinely grope, molest, and assault women, whether they are in court, in jail, in prison, or just someone on the street. They do so with impunity because they KNOW they will almost always get away with it.
The very rare case here, of someone getting caught, only shows how bad it is. Even when they are caught in the act, they still abuse their power and can abuse the victim, only paying the price in the very end when a stubborn victim refuses to cower in fear.
Yeah, one finally got fired, but just think how many victims he did that to before getting caught, how many lives he ruined, how many people are in jail or have a record because they didn’t give in to his sexual demands.
It’s disgusting, and it’s criminal, but the cops, judges, and everyone involved get away with this every single day.
Some people either don’t learn lessons very well or they simply don’t think the rules apply to them.
Such things are both noticed and noted.
“There remains the question of her suitability to continue on the bench.”
There remains the question of her suitability to live in society. Prison would be a better place for her.
I don’t think we should tell people how they should feel. That’s presumptuous, judgmental, and pompous. Particularly from a person from a helping profession. But, the First Amendment’s got you covered.
Some people talk big, but in the end are gutless, passive aggressive personalities with no self control. Worse, they might read a comment and think it pertains to them, when in fact it has nothing to do with them. However, being passive aggressive, they wrongly assume that everyone shares their dementia. I’m stating this as a general proposition on the human race please understand and not directing it at anyone on these pages.
UPDATE — Federal Suit filed by vicim Monica Contreras http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2013/04/08/woman-sues-clark-county-over-alleged-groping-during-drug-search/
Hearing Master Doninger’s non-response to an event that SCREAMS FOR A RESPONSE from Justice is symptomatic of the deeply dysfunctional state of Nevada justice, most notable in the Family Court arena. Remember the contemporary context Doninger’s professional life is embedded in and judicial/justice issues (several) that have spilled out into the public arena for review over the past 2 years: (1) Family Court Judge Steve Jones current 20-count Federal Indictment for financial fraud dating back over a decade (he’s been on the bench for just as long too — believe he heard all the ‘juvenile emancipation cases’). (2) Judge Steve Jones is also facing the Judicial Commission on Conduct in the upcoming two weeks for violations in conduct due to the former Assistant DA Lisa Willardson waltz (she is now suing Clark County for defamation). (3) The Federal case of VIctoria Giampa, originated out of 8th District Family Court, now in the hands of the 9th Circuit Court on appeal (we know many others with same Civil Rights violation issues over the past decade).
(4) Criminal side of justice has the current Attorney Bloomfield + court-contracted counseling agency Brox + juvenile probation officer Chiodini + ex-felons, et al court certification fraud. Here we have an instance of state-empowered agents (on the taxpayer’s dime) who see their role as getting sexually exploited minors back into the hands of their human traffickers ASAP, so as to minimize impact of law enforcement upon human trafficking profits. (5) Ongoing, with some indictments already handed down, is the Housing Board Racketeering and Fraud game, accompanied by numerous lawyer-related suicides in Clark County, reminiscent of the mass suicide migration of lemmings. (6) Just for good measure, let’s not forget the case of Maurice Carroll (False Service Processing cases — numerous), now serving time for the crime, a former LVMPD officer of the law. The numbers of cases Maurice Carroll potentially impacted has been quoted in news media reports to be astronomical.
Now for the finale folks — Take a look at some of the reasons people have been removed from the judicial bench over the last decade in Clark County Nevada. Our favorite is the de-benchment of Family Court Judge Nicholas DelVecchio — who literally treated the Judicial Chambers as a “Family Affair”. Then there was Frances Fine, who gives away custody of children in ex-parte hearings. Who could forget Halverson — she believed feet pedicures given by Court Bailiffs were part of the benefit package (among other judicial infractions).
I’ll leave you to your own intelligent devices and methods to research these issues, that are real, and have adversely effected the lives of many people over the past decade.
Anyone ever get an answer to the question why was Ron Titus fired from his position of Chief Admin Officer overseeing all Informational and Technical Services state-wide courts Nevada in January 2011? We know that answer and here it is: People (attorneys and their paralegals) have been digitally changing adjudicated records for the past decade, for the purposes of future litigation. For the past two years we have been trying to get this message out to We The People so some real changes can happen.
Thank you for helping to put a spotlight on justice issues in Nevada and for the intelligent discussion that can always be found on this blog.
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