For Immediate Release

Lyons Nominated For Meanest Judge

Release No. 02/01-111

Springfield, MA. February 28Fathers’ rights activists recently nominated Judge Marie E. Lyons for "meanest judge" in a process which at least 20 Massachusetts Probate and Family Court judges made the list.

"There is no contest," said one Springfield father. "Far and away, it’s Marie Lyons in Hampden (County)."

A case that supports her nomination among fathers is one in which she sent a terminally ill man to jail with "pieces of his insides coming out." Apparently, the man was charged with failure to pay child support but argued that he could not maintain a regular work schedule due to his illness and that he had exhausted all of his sick leave.

Many fathers’ rights supporters contend that Judge Lyons mercilessly applies the child support guidelines, throwing literally hundreds of fathers in jail -- on a civil contempt -- for failure to pay, and ignoring any evidence of an inability to pay the amount ordered.

In fact, the pre-release center at the Hampden County House of Corrections is nicknamed the "Lyon’s Den" because of the number of men she sends there, according to Mike Franco, Western Massachusetts Coordinator for The Fatherhood Coalition. If given a chance to talk to some of these men, one begins to grasp the myths of the popular wisdom about "deadbeat dads" and the grim injustice going on every day in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts.

"There appears to be major human rights violations going on in our family courts," Franco said. Many people, men and women alike, wonder whether Judge Lyons even belongs on the bench since her orders are not only contrary to law but seem to be made willfully so.

"Perhaps she should spend a few months in jail to better understand what she’s been doing to our fathers," he said.

The Fatherhood Coalition, a nonprofit all-volunteer organization founded in 1994, supports shared parenting and seeks to promote fairness in the adjudication of family law. For more information, call the Fathers' Rights Hotline at 1-413-295-DADS or visit web site at


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A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994

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