AN ADDRESS for the removal of Lucinda Sadler, district court judge, from her said office.

SPONSORS: Rep. Itse, Rock 9; Rep. Ingbretson, Graf 5; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock 3; Rep. Hinkle, Hills 19; Rep. Seidel, Hills 20

COMMITTEE: Joint Legislative Committee on Address


This address seeks the removal by address of Lucinda Sadler, Derry district court judge, from her said office.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ADDRESS for the removal of Lucinda Sadler, district court judge, from her said office.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

The House of Representatives and Senate in General Court convened, under Part 2, Article 73 of the New Hampshire Constitution, satisfied that the public good requires that Lucinda Sadler, Derry District Court Judge, should no longer hold and retain her judicial office and that there is reasonable cause for her removal, respectfully address and request the governor, with the consent of the council, to remove said Judge Lucinda Sadler from office. 

The cause for removal of the said Lucinda Sadler is stated fully and substantially as follows:

1. Judge Sadler either abused her discretion in, or was negligent or incompetent in the performance of her duties either by failing to make due inquiry before approving recommended orders or by in fact knowingly approving the recommended orders of Marital Master Philip Cross when he:

(a) Recommended an order holding a father in criminal contempt following a hearing that had been noticed as a civil contempt hearing, which order resulted in that father, who was representing himself and was the primary custodian of the parties’ minor child, to be incarcerated for 10 weeks, in contravention of his right not to be deprived of liberty but by the judgment of his peers, as guaranteed by Part 1, Article 15 of the New Hampshire Constitution.

(b) Recommended a child support order in the absence of submission of the affidavits and child support guidelines worksheets necessary to its lawful determination under RSA 458-C, thereby basing said recommendation neither upon the guidelines set forth in RSA 458-C:4 nor upon some other basis supported by written findings pursuant to RSA 458-C:5; recommended in said proposed order that child support be paid by the father even though the father had primary physical custody of the parties’ minor child and the mother’s income was at least as great as that of the father; recommended an order denying a motion to reconsider that support order when presented with evidence of these defects; and subsequently recommended an order requiring the sale of the father's home in order to pay the arrearage in the child support determined on the basis of the support order so generated, resulting in the father and the minor child becoming homeless.

(c) Recommended an order transferring parental medical decision-making authority respecting a minor child in the absence of any evidence of changed circumstances so justifying, and subsequently recommended an order holding the father in contempt of court for seeking appropriate emergency medical attention for said minor child in circumstances in which it was clear that the father had no reasonable alternative.

(d) Following entry of an order precluding a father from taking his minor child out of school early and a subsequent order requiring the parties’ minor child to undergo counseling, recommended an order holding the father in contempt for violating the second order in circumstances in which his doing so would have caused him to violate the first order.

(e) Recommended an order relating to parenting issues following a hearing that had been noticed as one to consider financial issues, but which on the day of the hearing, over the objection of one parent, had been changed to parenting issues raised at the hearing by the other parent, thereby depriving the objecting parent in general of adequate opportunity to prepare, and in particular of advance disclosure of the identity and expected testimony of the expert witnesses brought and called to testify by the other parent.

(f) Recommended an order, without opportunity for objection or hearing, approving payment of guardian ad litem fees of $44,000 that encompassed activities beyond the scope of the guardian’s legitimate duties and responsibilities and in disregard of the retainer agreement that had limited fees to $4,000.

2. Judge Sadler either abused her discretion, or was negligent or incompetent in the performance of her duties by failing to make due inquiry before approving a recommended order of Marital Master Michael Garner removing a child from an educational setting on the basis of religious prejudice, contrary to Articles 4 and 5 of Part 1 of the New Hampshire Constitution.

3. In summary, according to the testimony of and supporting documentation in the records of the Derry District Court Family Division submitted by parties who had appeared therein, it is evident to the general court that Derry District Court Judge Lucinda Sadler has established a pattern of incompetence and/or neglect of duty in the review of recommended orders of marital masters serving in the Family Division, thereby condoning and/or enabling retaliatory, arbitrary, capricious and/or prejudiced adjudication, disregard of governing law and rules, disregard of the evidentiary record, and the issuance of conflicting orders, orders disregarding the best interests, safety and health of minor children concerned, and orders incorporating religious prejudice.