Putnam man attacks family judge in complaint

By Chris Dickerson | May 24, 2012


WINFIELD – The publisher of a Putnam County news site wants the Putnam Circuit Court to vacate the order of a Kanawha County Family Court Judge in his divorce case.

Mark V. Halburn filed a writ of prohibition May 23 in Putnam Circuit Court against Kanawha Family Court Judge Michael J. Kelly and Dolores J. Halburn. In his pro se complaint, Halburn says Kelly made "a number of critical errors" in a Feb. 23 temporary order. Those errors included improperly ordering Mark Halburn out of the marital home, restricting his parenting custody of his son to "less than 30 percent of the time (without any reason)," refusing him to take his son to his new home in South Carolina and restricting him from taking his son on out-of-state trips to zoos and other locations.

"Judge Kelly has had numerous opportunities to correct his errors but is letting his hot-air balloon sized ego overrule his pin-sized brain," Mark Halburn wrote in his complaint. "Judge Kelly has refused to recuse his sorry self from this case and has refused to step down from the bench as he is incompetent and an embarrassment to the legal profession."

Halburn also says Kelly has allowed attorney Henry Glass to "tell numerous lies about Mark Halburn," such as saying he was thrown off airplanes in the Atlanta and Charlotte airports.

"Neither took place," Halburn wrote. "In fact, Halburn has never been in the Charlotte airport. Kelly has cited these false airport allegations in his orders."

Halburn alleges Kelly allowed Glass to introduce two reports without providing them to Halburn's attorney.

"Kelly ignores reality," Halburn wrote. "Kelly is anti-children, anti-fathers, anti-reality."

Halburn seeks a May 25 hearing to vacate Kelly's temporary orders, remove him from the case and permanently remove him from the bench.

"Kelly must also be heavily financially sanctioned for the damages that he has caused," Halburn wrote.

Halburn also asks the Court to appoint him legal counsel in the divorce case.

In addition, he asks that Glass be sanctioned $10 million to be paid to him and that Glass be removed from this case and permanently disbarred and banned from practicing law in the state of West Virginia.

Halburn also asks the Court to rule that documents may be emailed in this case and any other case in West Virginia. He also says the $2 fax fee for outgoing faxes should be vacated, being a violation of the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Halburn, who operates PutnamLive.com, also says Putnam Circuit Clerk Ronnie Matthews should be ordered to take a technology class to "eliminate his ignorance."

In an interview Thursday, Halburn elaborated on the case.

"The Supreme Court has known about Judge Kelly's troubles for years," Halburn said Thursday. "He's the poster child for impeachment. He should be removed from the bench immediately.

"And the Supreme Court is responsible for allowing his misconduct to continue. Judge Kelly should be removed from the bench. It's a shame no law to put him in prison. He's a family court judge who has a hair up his backside, and he destroys a family because he can.

"They should take every penny he's earned since he's been on the bench and start a fathers' rights group with that money.

"It's a sad commentary that someone should have to go through the process just to continue to be a good father to their son. The Supreme Court should be ashamed of itself for allowing this to happen."

Halburn even volunteered to help fix the state's family court system.

"I'd be willing to serve the state in a position to come in and clean up the family court system in West Virginia," he said. "For one thing, custody decisions should be made by a jury."

He also again criticized Kelly.

"He should be recused from the planet, let alone the case," Halburn said. "He listens to evidence, goes in one ear and out the other and doesn't hit a brain cell in between."

The civil case has been assigned to Judge Phillip M. Stowers.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 12-C-163

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