Complaint Filed With Missouri Attorney General's Office Against Judge Matthew Thornhill of St. Charles County - 11th Judicial
We filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General's Office against Judge Matthew Thornhill of St. Charles County - 11th Judicial Circuit (Small Claims) in Mid-April. The complaint is under investigation at this time and we are awaiting an answer from the Missouri Attorney General's Office. The complaint reads as follows:
Our home was damaged by an independent contractor that was installing a new roof on our home. The contractor did not have the necessary tools available to protect our exposed roof area from a storm that had been forcasted for three days. The contractor deceived us in information provided to get the contract. He carried no liability insurance, however stated he did when asked and in the appeal hearing in court, he is not a registered business in the State of Missouri, and is a felon - Sex Offender. After the incident, the contractor continued to pry us for more and more money, without finishing the work originally contracted or fixing the damages his actions caused to our home.
Because of the saturated roof insulation from the storm, our living room and bedroom ceiling fell into our home. Days later, the contractor and his wife entered our home without notice and started to demand more money that was not stipulated as due in our contract, I told them to leave and speak to my husband about it later. They claimed that by asking them to leave my home, it released them from any liability to complete or repair the damages caused to our home.
We took the contractor to small claims court and asked we be rewarded the cost to repair the situation ($4900.00). We presented the Judge with a binder of information, affadavits, invoices and testimonials from people involved in the case. During the hearing, both parties provided their "evidence" to Judge Thornhill. We were never privy to the evidence that the defendant gave the Judge. One week later, we read online that we were found guilty of slander, issued a cease and desist order and ordered to pay over $2K in damages to the defendant. (The only communication we used to update family and friends on the disaster was posting on Facebook, however, prior to this hearing becoming public information, we never stated the name of the contractor, his address or ANY personal information about the contractor. This enabled us to communicate with people who cared about us, without having to talk to each individually.) Neither party ever asked for a ruling like the findings prior to the hearing, so the entire hearing was a complete, unprofessional fiasco.
We immediately filed an appeal. After the filing of the appeal, but before the appeal hearing, all our postings on Facebook disappeared. However, before this happened, a friend copied all the posts to a flash drive. The defendants family owns a TV and computer repair store so we became very suspicious and asked Facebook management if they removed the postings. They did not. This was also presented to the Judge at the appeal hearing.
The appeal Judge dropped slander charges, the Cease and Desist order and damage amount, however the Judge became very irritated that we verbally insisted a finding on these charges. Still, he clearly stated there was no slander committed in the case. The contractor again walked away from the damages caused to our home after that hearing.
We feel that the evidence produced at the first small claims hearing set a negative tone in the outcome of the entire two cases. My husband contacted Judge Thornhill's office three times and asked for a copy of the original evidence and the reasoning he gave for the decision from the first hearing. During the third call he was told he had to write a letter to the Judge and ask for this information. We did so over one month ago and never received an answer.
We feel strongly that Judge Thornhill was given false information and believe we should have the right to see any evidence used against us in a court of law. We also feel that the defendant has the same rights. A complete copy of all our evidence presented in the case can be found at http://www.thescoopnewspaper.com/story/jayne-voss-robinson-consumer-plai... or on the front page at www.TheScoopNewspaper.com .
Your office is familiar with our newspaper, as you send press releases to our newspaper often. On our site, we have posted every piece of our evidence, affadavits, testimonials and the actual Judge finding documents, as well as the complete story of what happened. We ask for your assistance in obtaining the evidence that the Judge used to formulate his opinion. We also ask that you forward any law that allows the Judge the discretion to not provide evidence to all parties involved in a lawsuit.
It has always been my belief that providing evidence used in a hearing was a American's civil right. If this is not my right, I would like a copy of the law that states otherwise. Additionally, we are not the first victim of this contractor irreputable business practices. He needs to be stopped before he hurts other consumers.
Thank you for your assistance!