Somangshu Mukherji And The Little Boy Who Wasn’t There

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Stephen Ames Berry

Avram Mukherji Exploring
Herkimer 2/19 Avram Exploring His First-Ever Toys

 Latest in the series A Herkimer Kidnapping

Overview

After winning sole custody of our 4-year-old grandson, University of Michigan Professor Somangshu Mukherji had Avram’s mother stripped of visitation rights. Stealthily depositing Avram 740 miles away, Mukherji returned to his solitary life in Ann Arbor. 

He’d successfully shucked himself of his mentally ill American wife–the ticket to his green card–and of her son, who was not his blood relative. Free of the double-edged threat of child and spousal support, Somangshu Mukherji lay back to enjoy the prospect of lifetime tenure and a six-figure income. The good life was at hand.

Alas! The best-laid plans…

In April of 2019, our grandson Avram was taken from his mother here in our home in Herkimer, New York. He was taken by Herkimer County Sheriff’s deputies without a New York court order, at the behest of our wife’s husband, University of Michigan music professor Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national. 

4.11.19 University of Michigan musicologist Somangshu Mukherji braving the "seedy reek" of his "trailer trash" American family's' neighborhood.
4.11.19 Braving the “seedy sad street” of his “trailer trash” American family’s’ neighborhood, University of Michigan musicologist Somangshu Mukherji advances on his wife’s “self-loathing”… “pedophile father”. In my opinion, he was going to try to snatch our grandson without a custody order and nip back to Michigan with him, in the guise of a parental visit. It would have saved him money.

Mukhjeri, who is not Avram’s blood relative, had just won a Michigan custody battle for sole custody of Avram. I’ve documented that travesty of justice separately in “A Herkimer Kidnapping.”

Somangshu Mukherji sent these warrantless Herkimer sheriff's deputies to take our grandson from our daughter and give him to us. He promptly shipped the kid to Rhode Island.
4/2019 Somangshu Mukherji sent these Herkimer sheriff’s officers, acting under the color of law, to take our grandson Aram from our daughter at our home. Loving father Somangshu shipped the kid to Rhode Island and got back to his life in Ann Arbor, unencumbered by child support payments and the stress of dodging spousal support actions.

Spiriting Avram back to Ann Arbor, Mukerji quickly oversaw the crafting and rubber-stamping of a court order essentially preventing our daughter Alex from seeing her son again. The order freshly in hand, Mukherji sent our daughter an obscene and sadistic email, vowing “you will never see your son again!” Based on that email, she was granted an order of protection (restraining order) to stop Mukherji’s cyberstalking. 

True to his word, Mukherji prevented our daughter or anyone in our family from speaking with or seeing Avram. Mukherji wouldn’t answer Alex’s phone calls, or immediately hang up, sometimes with a terse “Go see a psychiatrist!” No photos of Avram were sent or offered. Somangshu Mukherji’s only interaction with his American family was to retain a “reputation protection” law firm to sue me for defamation by documenting his treatment of our daughter and grandson.  His child custody and defamation litigation against us measures 6 inches and weighs 14.1 lbs and growing.  Our failed attempts to have him pay spousal support and accept service for a New York order of protection are as light as they were futile.

UMich Professor Somangshu Mukherji sues his "white trash" American wife and her "pedophile" father.
11.14.20 Weighing in 14.1lbs and growing: UMich Professor Somangshu Mukerji’s largest body of work: litigation against his “white trash” American wife and her “pedophile” dad. Top layer’s defamation, middle layer’s child custody. (His restraining order, our failed attempts to have him served for spousal support and miscellaneous forms lie at the bottom.) 

Somangshu Mukherji’s actions made a mockery of his glib custody testimony. Our daughter had no lawyer.

Somangshu Mukherji's, love, redux: Mother must be part of son's life, Mukherji testifies

Somangshu Mukherji's, love, redux: Mother must be part of son's life, Mukherji testifies

Absent from his email was the deep and abiding love of her that Somangshu swore to during Avram’s custody hearing:  

Somangshu Mukherji Relents

Suddenly, on August 12th, 2020  Mukherji called our daughter. It was Avram’s 4th birthday. Mukherji was civil–my son-in-law can be winsome when he wants something. He let Alex speak with her son, who was overjoyed to talk with his mother for the first time in 16 months. Mukherji told Alex how much he and Avram missed her. He shared with her that Avram had made a dance video entitled “Where’s My Mommy?” and invited her to return to them in Ann Arbor, to see how things went, and offered her a train ticket.

Avram’s Mom Goes to Ann Arbor with Hope, Fear And Trepidation

Somangshu told Alex that his mother, who’d allegedly been Avram’s principal caregiver since he’d taken Avram from Herkimer, was returning to India on August 18th, 2020 and he couldn’t care for Avram alone.  With much hesitancy and great trepidation, given Mukherji’s alleged long abusive treatment of her, Alex agreed. Only after four tries and four changes of schedule was she able to overcome her fears and board the train from Utica to Ann Arbor. Her mother Linda argued that she really had to go, as her son needed her. If it didn’t work out, she was welcome to return to us in New York.

I’ve know Somangshu Mukherji since 2003. Skeptical that he’d had an epiphany, I waited for the other shoe to drop.

Somangshu Springs A Surprise 

2767 Barclay Way Ann Arbor MI Somangshu Mukherji's townhouse condo
Somangshu Mukherji’s imposing professorial townhouse at 2767 Barclay Way, Ann Arbor. 

On September 10th, After an exhausting eight-hour train and bus ride, Alex arrived via local bus at Somangshu’s capacious upscale Ann Arbor townhouse condo, eager to be reunited with her son. “He’s not here,” said Somangshu, opening the door. “I just took him to Rhode Island.” As he surely anticipated, she was crushed.  

Watch For the Flying Pig!

Somangshu had left our grandson with my sister-in-law, Alex’s mother’s estranged sister, and her husband in Providence. “But he says he’s going to pick him up on Friday,” Alex told her mother on the phone, still hopeful. That call from Somangshu to Alex on Avram’s birthday must have come from Providence, we surmised.

How Somangshu Mukherji would have returned his son to Ann Arbor.
I thought there was a greater chance the famed flying pigs would return to the kid to Ann Arbor than would Somangshu.

I thought there was a better chance of a flying pig returning the kid to Ann Arbor than Somangshu. In her custody hearing Answer, (page 9) Alex alleged Somangshu often called Avram “the little bastard” which  would belie his honeyed “my beloved son” custody testimony:

Love of His Son -Somangshu Mukherji's Custody Testimony


And of course, he loves his wife:

Somangshu testifying to his love for his wife.

That evening,  Somangshu ordered takeout. He even shared it with Alex. In a touching attempt at reconciliation, she gave Somangshu her new tablet. 

Somangshu Mukherji Judges And Diagnoses

Somangshu Mukherji Sitting In Judgment
Somangshu Mukherji Judges. (Shani Dev, Hindu God of Justice)

A few days later, Somangshu allegedly told her it would be a few more days–he hadn’t completed his judgment of her mental fitness to be near her son. Somangshu has a doctorate in music theory and worked with primates at Harvard.  Disagree with him, oppose his will, you risk being diagnosed:

Wife's wanting to divorce him symptomatic of delusion, testifies Somangshu Mukherji

Father-in-law's dislike of him symptomatic of self-destructive personality, testifies Somangshu Mukherji.

Father-in-law's dislike of him symptomatic of self-destructive personality, testifies Somangshu Mukherji.

Although he wouldn’t let her speak with Avram on the phone, he did supposedly play Alex an audio of Avram speaking with Somangshu at her aunt’s in Providence.  Alex tried calling her aunt directly, but her Aunt Janice didn’t pick up or respond to a voicemail.

Alex told her mother that Somangshu’s townhouse was mostly empty of furniture with little indication a 2 to 4-year-old child had lived there.

Alex and Avram, Somangshu Mukherji’s Apartment, Ann Arbor November 2019

Somangshu Mukherji's wife in the sackcloth garment he allegedly provided her, a major part of her wardrobe.
11.2019 Ann Arbor. Daughter Alex and grandson Avram at the apartment of her husband, Somangshu Mukherji. Photo taken by Alex’s mom during a covert visit from NY. Visits had to be while the good professor was out of town, and arranged via email accounts Alex would create then delete to avoid detection, she noted in the custody case. As she also alleged, Somangshu monitored her phone call history to ensure she wasn’t communicating with her family. Violation =  confiscation.  The alcohol bottles and cat palace are Somangshu’s. Mom, as always bought clothes for Alex and Avram while visiting. Stuff we mailed them rarely made it past Mukherji’s front door.

Alex Before Somangshu Mukherji

Alex (right) Before Becoming Somangshu Mukherji Bride
Alex (right) with sister Shelly, before her absorption by Somangshu Mukherji.

“Mukherji quickly moved to strip Avram’s mother of visitation rights, then surreptitiously deposited him far away and returned to his life in Ann Arbor.”

Bare ruined choirs: Interior of Somangshu Mukherji's capacious 2767 Barclay Way Ann Arbor MI
Bare ruined choirs: Interior of Somangshu Mukherji’s capacious 2767 Barclay Way Ann Arbor MI

The three of us were skeptical as to how long ago Avram had really been shipped off to Providence, or if Somangshu’s elderly mother had ever been in Ann Arbor. It seemed unlikely he’d stashed mom on the sofa for 14 months in a house mostly devoid of furniture.  Avram’s grandparents speculated that if our grandson was in Rhode Island, he’d been there since Somangshu had him taken from his mother in April 2019.

As with his wife, so with his son; Mukherji’s words were in sharp contrast to his deeds. He’d won custody of our grandson with these heartrending words of love and anguish at being separated from Avram for the three months Avram was with his mother and us in New York:
 

Somangshu Mukherji testifying to emotional "anguish" caused him by 3 month separation from his “son”. Here’s where he  stashed him after regaining custody 20 months ago: Rosenfield-Kaidan Home, 13 Elmway St., Providence RI. Mukherji’s gotten on with his life in Ann Arbor, unencumbered.

Somangshu Mukherji testifying to emotional "anguish" caused him by 3 month separation from his “son”. Here’s where he stashed him after regaining custody 20 months ago: Rosenfield-Kaidan Home, 13 Elmway St., Providence RI. Mukherji’s gotten on with his life in Ann Arbor, unencumbered.

Yet after winning sole physical custody of Avram, Mukherji quickly moved to strip Avram’s mother of visitation rights, then surreptitiously deposited him far away and returned to his life in Ann Arbor. The specter of child support payments no longer loomed. As for his cast off and penniless American wife, Mukherji capitalized again on the lack of a unified national family court system. He shrugged off New York spousal support hearings, dodged service of an order of protection, and left his mentally ill wife dependent on her retired parents and the State of New York.

Somangshu Mukherji no longer had need of his American family. His money was safe, his academic future bright. He would be granted a sinecure at the University of Michigan through tenure, his salary jumping into the six figures. He was also anticipating the publication of some books. He shared his achievements, real and envisioned, with the court:

Somangshu Mukherji testifies to his bright future.

Somangshu Mukherji testifies to his bright future.

Grandma Sends The Cops  

Meanwhile, back in New York… Told that her grandson had been stashed at her sister Janice Kaidan’s house in Providence for god knows how long, the scales fell from my wife’s eyes. Only a few weeks before, she and Alex had briefly visited with Janice en route to overnight camping in Rhode Island. Janice and her husband Norman Rosenfield met only briefly with Linda in an empty first-floor room of their house. It wasn’t unusual–the two sisters’ relationship has been strained for decades. And Alex had long felt spurned by her Aunt and Uncle because of her bipolarism, and more so since she’d had Avram. Linda gathered Alex and left after an awkward and brief visit. 

Norman Rosenfield House Providence RI
The home of Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan, 13 Elmway St., Providence RI. Janice is my wife’s estranged sister.

After speaking with Alex in Michigan,  my wife immediately called her sister. Not unusually, Janice didn’t answer that or subsequent calls, nor would she respond to voice or emails. 

Has Somangshu Been Fired?

Somangshu allegedly confided to Alex that he was losing his academic teaching post at UMich’s School of Music. Just when was not clear to her or us.  It was Mukherji’s eighth year at UMich and he’d again failed to make tenure or publish those books he’d mentioned in his custody testimony. He assured Alex that “your idiotic Dad’s” blogging about him had nothing to do with it. (Though maybe my emails reporting him to his Dean and the UMich President served as a catalyst–the good professor was using his university email account to harass our family.)

Was Mukherji losing his academic teaching post? Not the sort of thing you say if it’s untrue. 

Relations became strained, Alex commenting to her mother on the phone, “He can never be nice for more than seven days.” Alarmed at her husband’s alleged increasing attempts at micromanagement and growing hostility, she went out for a walk and didn’t go back.  Calling her mother from the Ann Arbor Amtrak station, Alex got herself booked on the next Amtrak bus to the Toledo OH train station, the pickup point for the eastbound train to New York. There was the usual three-hour layover in Toledo waiting for her train.

Somangshu Mukherji In Pursuit

Toledo Amtrak Station Passenger Waiting Area
Toledo Amtrak Station Passenger Waiting Area

 At 1215 am on 9/20, Alex called her mother from the Toledo Amtrak Station. She reported that Mukherji had followed her from Ann Arbor MI to Toledo OH via Uber. (He does not drive.)  From what she said then and later, it was a harrowing experience involving Mukherji, the Toledo police, and Alex fleeing to the Women’s Room, Mukherji in pursuit. It would be her word against his. Though if what she said is true, it would under Federal law qualify as Interstate Stalking. 

My wife and I can attest to an overheard portion of the incident, in which Mukerji approached Alex and threatened to have my wife, Avram’s grandmother, arrested for “potential kidnapping” and “contempt of court” if she tried to visit her grandson at her sister’s home in Rhode Island. (My wife is not a party to any of Somangshu’s voluminous serial litigation.) 

Somangshu Mukherji sneering
Mukherji told the court that my dislike of him was driven by envy, racism, and self-destructive self-loathing.

It was awesome awakening at midnight to that familiar voice.  I hadn’t heard Somangshu speak since his custody hearing testimony. There he decried me for everything but saving his ass from deportation in 2003–No Good Deed Goes Unpunished–and at great financial risk to our family, when he was allegedly ousted from Harvard. We did it because it seemed the right thing to do.

My wife asked Alex to tell her husband that if he followed her on to the New York train, she would meet the train with the Utica police and a copy of his New York Order of Protection.

Alex reported from her train that Mukherji eventually left the Toledo Amtrak Station, presumably for the echoing emptiness of his townhouse. She returned home safe but shaken and very depressed.

Knowing where Avram probably was, the action shifted south to Providence Rhode Island and the home of his secret keepers, Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan. 

So Far Away -Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan’s – Where Somangshu Mukherji Stashes His Beloved Son

13 Elmway St., Providence RI - Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan
Where the trail of our grandson led–13 Elmway St. Providence, RI. Home of our relatives, Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan. Somangshu Mukherji could have surreptitiously stashed his beloved son there as long as a year and a half ago, after gaining sole custody of him. When my wife, Avram’s grandmother tried to visit him at her sister’s, Mukherji responded with a torrent of bizarre and threatening emails.

Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan have always been Somangshu Mukherji’s go-to for stashing our grandson. Janice is my wife’s estranged sister, Norman is her husband. In our experience, Norman makes the decisions. We assume Mukherji pays them for Avram’s upkeep, and that it’s less he’d pay in child support.

Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan
Norman Rosenfield and Janice Kaidan of Providence RI – circa 1992 Sadly, the last time we were close.

Following Alex’s difficult delivery of Avram, Alex needed help caring for him and herself while she recovered from her C-section and postpartum depression. Rather than allowing her mother to come and stay with her, Somangshu traveled with his wife’s infant son to Rhode Island and left him there with Norman and Janice. FOR SIX MONTHS. Alex was coerced into being separated from her son – cut off from direct or indirect contact with her child by her husband- no photos, no status reports – a cruel pattern of behavior still in place.

During Aram’s custody hearing in April 2019, Alex, unrepresented, questioned Somangshu about this–allegedly he’d never before deigned to offer her an explanation for taking her son. Under oath, he finally did, shrugging it off:

Somangshu Mukherji Took His Wife's Son From Her At Birth, Sending Him Out Of State for 6 Months. Under Oath, He Finally Explains To Her.

Somangshu Mukherji Took His Wife's Son From Her At Birth, Sending Him Out Of State for 6 Months. Under Oath, He Finally Explains To Her.

  

Unable to inspire a response from her sister, Linda took Alex and on 9/17/29, drove the 500 roundtrip miles from upstate New York to her sister’s home in Rhode Island. Linda rang the bell and knocked on the front and side doors of her sister’s home. Two men working next door said hadn’t seen a four-year-old within the last 2 days. Her sister’s neighbors ignoring her when she knocked on their doors, Linda walked the neighborhood, decrying that a grandmother wasn’t allowed to see her grandson and on a high holiday. (Rosh Hashanah)  Her cellphone video is below. (As per YouTube requirements, the identifying attributes of the guilty have been edited out.)

Somangshu Mukherji And The  Little Boy Who Wasn’t There – Where The Trail Led

 

“You don’t have an appointment.”

Linda called the police and waited for them across the street from Norman and Janice’s. At this point, when she was no longer videoing, her brother-in-law Norman opened his front door a crack and peered out. When Linda approached, she said “Norman, Alex went all the way to Michigan because Somangshu said she could see Avram, but he wasn’t there. He said he was here. I just wanted to see if he’s here. I just want to see him, I don’t need to talk with him. I’m very very concerned. Especially as Somangshu told Alex that his teaching contract isn’t being renewed.”

At that news, the color drained from Norman’s face. “You can’t come in,” he said. “Why not?” asked Linda. “You don’t have an appointment,” said Norman, slamming the door in her face.  

Shortly after that, the Providence police arrived in response to Linda’s call. Told what was happening, they advised her to ask for a wellness check. She said she’d done that a few weeks ago. She wanted to see her grandson, but her sister wouldn’t let her. She was advised to file in Michigan for grandparents’ rights. The police left.

Somangshu Mukherji Rages And Threatens Again

His grandmother’s attempt to see Avram triggered a torrent of email threats and abuse from the real Somangshu Mukherji to his wife, the honeyed words of his court testimony long behind him. They lend further credence to her calling him out as abusive and controlling:

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Somangshu Mukherji Michigan State Police

Soon after Somangshu’s tirade, an email from Aunt Janice told Alex that Avram had returned to Ann Arbor.  On 10/29, Alex called the Michigan State Police and asked for a wellness check of Avram at Somangshu’s townhouse.  They reported at 8 p.m.on a cold night there was no answer to their knocks, no lights visible, no furniture on the first floor, and that the window glass was cold. Avram’s grandmother then emailed her sister, reporting what the state police had said, and asked for a photo of Avram. There was an unsigned reply: “The last time I saw him he was fine.” No photo was attached.

Your Own Family May Not Care, But Their Neighbors May 

An admirable quality of Orthodox Judaism is its sense of community and mutual responsibility; not all of my in-laws’ co-religionists approve of Norman and Janice’s behavior. Following Linda’s public appeal to their Elmway Street neighbors, we were able to confirm that Avram is still there and looks ok. 

We’ll be applying for grandparents’ rights in the appropriate family court, continue proxy-watching our grandson, and waiting to see where Professor Mukherji lights if he moves on from Michigan. I’ll continue opposing his legal machinations to take down my posts about him, and I’ll continue calling out his heinous conduct.  I suspect more people have now read my articles about Somangshu Mukherji than all he’s ever written. Of course, that may change when those two books of his are published.

Audio recordings in this post were excerpted from the official audio transcript of Somangshu Mukherji v. Alexandra Kaidan-Berry, 19-352-DC, provided by the Office of the Clerk, Washtenaw County Trial Court. All Michigan family court records are public unless pertaining to cases of child abuse and neglect.

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Somangshu Mukherji’s Vile Email & Restraining Order

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Stephen Ames Berry

Authored by Somagnshu Mukherji U.Mich Music

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit, Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.–Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Publication of a recent writing by Ann Arbor Professor Somangshu Mukherji of the University of Michigan School of Music.  Shortly after sending that email  to our daughter, Professor Mukherji sued me for defamation through attorney Peter M. Hobaica of Utica New York.  Suit is in demand of $500k.

Somangshu Mukherji’s vile email to his American wife, our daughter Alexandra, heinously celebrates the success of his cruel vendetta to have her stripped of visitation rights with her son, three year-old Avram–rights she had so briefly that she never once used them. Avram’s not Mukherji’s blood relative. Mukherji as of last Spring, was, according to his court filings, an Indian national. Our daughter reported to the Herkimer police that Mukherji sends her abusive emails about once every two weeks. 

The custody hearing of Mukherji v. Kaidan-Berry in Ann Arbor Family Court was as obscene as Mukherji’s email: a  sickening spectacle of an unrepresented mentally ill defendant bullied by an attorney before a seemingly soporific judge. Mukherji’s oral testimony with it’s touching avowal of enduring love for his wife, despite her mental illness, was especially nauseating, given his alleged abuse and its probable exacerbation of our daughter’s bipolarism. His true feelings for her and her family are on display in his email to her. 

Here are our daughter’s court filings in that judicial proceeding:

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U. Mich's Somangshu Mukherji sneering at his father-in-law
A Trespassing Somangshu Mukherji Sneering At Wife’s “Trailer Trash” Father. Herkimer NY 4/11/19
Avram Mukherji Exploring his first-ever toys
Avram Mukherji Exploring His First-Ever Toys–Trailer Trash Grandparent’s Home, Herkimer 2/19

Fitbit’s James Park, our daughter and Somangshu Mukherji

Mukherji’s attorney intimated in her questioning of Alexandra that a symptom of her “psychosis” was her belief that she had dated James Park, the cofounder of Fitbit. Here’s Alexandra with sister Shelly and James in Myakka State Park in Florida in 2002, when James was post-Harvard, pre-Fitbit. We’d recently moved to Sarasota. (Like James I was also recently post-Harvard.)  These were our family’s blessed days before Alexandra met Somangshu Mukherji. James was also a frequent visitor to our home in Boston’s Charlestown.  We liked James, and to his credit, he plunged right into those alligator-rich waters with our daughters to free their canoe from the mud, even as he lamented his lack of a pistol. Solid husband material, I thought. Alas!

FitBit's James Park in alligator country
James Park, Alexandra and youngest daughter Shelly . Myakka, Florida 2002

“Mukherji alleged … that her false memory of his abuse was another sad symptom of the “psychosis” that made her a danger to her son.”

Immediately after Mukherji won custody of our grandson Avram in Michigan, he had him illegally taken from our home in Herkimer NY, where our daughter had fled with Avram after what she alleged in her court filings were years of abuse and neglect. (Mukherji later alleged Stalinesque-like, that her false memory of his abuse was another sad symptom of the “psychosis” that made her a danger to her son.)  As our daughter alleged in her Michigan court custody proceedings, Mukherji’s exploitation of her mental health issues led to her tragic marriage to him and the issuance of the Green Card he needed for his academic appointment.

Perfidy’s Prize – Somangshu Mukherji’s Green Card

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What Sparked Somangshu Mukherji’s Vile Email?

Alexandra received no notice of the hearing that stripped her of visitation rights. (These notices come from Somangshu’s attorney, Honest Deb.) Coincidentally, she was with her mother Linda when the court called for her to appear telephonically.  Alexandra told the judge she’d received no notice and turned the phone over to her mother, who politely told the judge that “many untruths were told” at the custody hearing, and hung up. The reliable Judge Owdziej then again rubber stamped another of Somangshu Mukherji’s grandiose and expensively contrived pleadings, indefinitely ending Avram’s mom’s visitation rights.

“The malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate.[2]

Was it the unexpected sound of his wife’s voice that triggered Somangshu Mukherji’s rage? Or his alleged lies being denounced as such by Avram’s grandmother? Both? I don’t know. But his love note to his wife soon followed, as did a restraining order (Order of Protection).

Somangshu Mukherji’s Restraining  Order

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Avoiding the Black Spot -Paying Spousal Support Is For Other Husbands

Mukherji’s been toadholed in his Ann Arbor condo, avoiding process servers. To date he’s avoided service of the Order of Protection and a Spousal Support Summons.  Service of Process is not the same as the giving of the Black Spot–alternate service is available. He’ll eventually be served. Then he too will have his day in court–a New York court.

mukherji refusal of service

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Somangshu Mukherji’s Cruel Vendetta

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Stephen Ames Berry

Somangshu Mukherji’s Cruel Vendetta is the latest in an ongoing series exposing the exploitation of a mentally ill American citizen by a foreign national to obtain US residency, and from that, a professorship at a prestigious US university. 

As this series sadly illustrates, it’s easy for a well-credentialed and unscrupulous Green Card seeker to exploit America’s mental health crisis and its overwhelmed clinics and courts to cunningly take advantage of a mentally ill American’s desire for love, marriage and a family to secure a good life for himself. This marital chicanery can grow even more heinous when a child becomes involved and when the victimizer is abusive. It’s especially poignant when the victims are one’s own daughter and grandson. Sadly, we don’t believe their plight is unique, just underreported. The mentally ill are easily played by the unscrupulous. People tend to shun them and shrug off their complaints.

Somangshu Mukherji – The Story So Far

Somangshu Mukherji and Herkimer’s Rogue CPS Workers tells how our daughter Alexandra with our grandson Avram escaped her allegedly abusive and neglectful husband, University of Michigan Music Professor Somangshu Mukherji, fleeing in the dead of winter to our home in Herkimer, New York, with Mukherji soon in pursuit of Avram, who is not his blood relative.  It details the obvious malfeasant collusion of two Herkimer County Child Protection Workers, Sara Riente and Lisa Bates, in aiding Mukherji in his Michigan court custody case.  Our daughter Alexandra’s court filings in the custody matter clearly state her alleged abuse and forced social isolation by Mukherji, and his alleged neglect of Avram.

Somangshu Mukherji and Herkimer’s Rogue CPS Workers

Somangshu Mukherji’s Raid details the happenings during Somangshu Mukherji’s supposed parental visit to Herkimer and why I believe that visit was just a foiled attempt to grab Avram and head back to Michigan. Our daughter’s certified Michigan court filings, which I rely upon for much of this series’ narrative, are embedded in that post.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Raid

Having won custody of our grandson in the Ann Arbor Family Court, Mukherji came to Herkimer to collect the lad, on the cheap. How that was done and why it was illegal was captured on video and is told in A Herkimer Kidnapping – Somangshu Mukherji and the Herkimer Sheriff.

A Herkimer Kidnapping – Somangshu Mukherji and the Herkimer Sheriff

“His victory secured, Somangshu Mukherji set out on a cruel vendetta to prevent his American wife from ever again seeing the son he’d taken from her.”

Somangshu Mukherji’s Cruel Vendetta Begins

With our grandson son safely recaptured and recloistered, and the two of them living in new, nicer digs near U. Mich Ann Arbor, you’d think Professor Mukherji would settle back, get to know his wife’s son, and savor the fruits of his victory. He’d certainly earned it, given the amount of billable legal hours he must have racked up winning his case. (He filed about 130 pages of legal briefs with the Michigan court, plus all the attendant hearings, consultations, motions and consultant expenses.) But no. His victory secured, Somangshu Mukherji set out on a cruel vendetta to prevent his American wife from ever again seeing the son he’d taken from her.  

Buying A Friend – The Friend of the Court 

Mukherji met with his attorney and a social worker certified as a Friend of the Court (FOC) Evaluator and Mediator, most likely recommended by his attorney and paid for by Somangshu.  Out of their meeting came a convenient official document, a Michigan Friend of the Court Proposed Recommendation and Final Order. Our daughter was notified to attend telephonically, but skipped the event, believing that any gathering of her husband and his hirelings is inevitably the Somangshu Mukherji Hour. She was right.

“A process…designed to fulfill the child visitation wishes of affluent parents who can afford to pay their way to a fast and favorable ruling.”

The FOC document has the brassy ring of Mukherji’s previous court custody filings, which our daughter in her own Michigan custody filings characterized as “self-aggrandizing twaddle.” The  proposed visitation change order marshalled a host of unfounded allegations, cited them as facts and drew the desired conclusions from them.

The Recommendation and Final Order is key to a process seemingly designed to fulfill the child visitation wishes of affluent parents who can afford to pay their way to a fast and favorable ruling. It spares a busy family court judge the tedium of having to weigh competing arguments by accepting and rubber stamping a monied parent’s Proposed Order.  It’s especially effective when the other parent has no attorney and so refuses to participate in the charade.

The Admirable Somangshu Mukherji and His Tainted American Wife

Here are some of the more outrageous portions of the Friend of the Court mediator’s basis for the Proposed Order:  (The document follows below)

  • “[Our daughter] is driven by false beliefs against Somangshu’s treatment of her and other delusions.” (page 4)
  • Her son’s “main bond [of love and affection] is through Somangshu.” (page 4)
  • “Recent text messages from Alexandra to [Somangshu] which appeared delusional” (Page 8) (More correctly: text messages from Alexandra’s account to which Somangshu allegedly has access.)
  • Our grandson lost weight loss while with us in New York;  (He gained weight.) p. 7
  • “Maltreatment is not an issue while Avram resides with his father.” p.8 (Why?)
  • “New York CPS finding…spoke to physical and medical neglect [of Avram]” CPS found all of Mukherji’s heinous allegations against our daughter and us “unfounded.” p. 9  And we called out the malfeasant child protection workers who colluded with him.
  • If our daughter were to return to Somangshu, court-ordered supervision of her with her son should be replaced by supervision by Somangshu and his mother. (page 3) [Really]
  • “Interactions between Somangshu and Alex are tainted by the products of her mental illness.” (“Tainted,” like meat? Not a clinical term, but Victorian English of the sort one might hear at Oxford.)
  • “…false beliefs she carries when symptomatic [are] delusions which accuse Somangshu of harm against her.” p.7 (“Professor Mukherji argued that his wife fled him because she was psychotic and a danger to his son. He offered as proof the fact that she had left him.” My perspective on the gist of Mukherji’s voluminous child custody pleadings.)
  • Domestic Violence Category- “Not raised as relevant…”p. 7  [Of course not.] The social worker’s evaluation extolled Somangshu Mukherji’s selfless conduct throughout his marital ordeals as “admirable…admirable… admirable…” (p. 9) It goes on and on. Here’s a copy. I’ve highlighted its most egregious bits.
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Loving Mother Stripped of Visitation Rights

The Friend of the Court evaluation argued that “the product”of our daughter’s mental illness, other than the delusion that her husband was abusive, was abuse and neglect of her son, to whom it implied she posed an inherent danger, as attested to solely by husband Somangshu Mukherji . It’s Proposed Order recommended therefore that she be stripped of all visitation rights with her son, until she presented herself to the Friend of the Court in Ann Arbor for psychiatric evaluation, with evidence of ongoing psychiatric care to include her treatment plan.  Following its assessment,  The Friend of the Court would, if merited, support an order to modify the visitation order. (p.9) More hearings might be required, of course. With Somangshu and his lawyer notified.

Here’s the order, signed as always for Mukherji by reliable Ann Arbor Judge Julia B. Owdziej:

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  • Cruel, Malicious and Transparently Contrived

Following on the heels of his child custody victory, Somangshu Mukherji moved to crush any hopes Avram’s mother had of ever seeing her son again. It was a gratuitously cruel act, accomplished through the transparently contrived device of a tainted document. It reeks of malice. 

Mukherji’s false avowals of concern and love for his wife, scattered throughout his judicial proceedings, are especially odious, given the lie by his own recent vile actions and a restraining order:

Authored by Somagnshu Mukherji U.Mich Music
The “admirable” Somangshu Mukherji’s email to his wife. It earned him a restraining order.

As for our daughter, she’s understandably bereft. She and Avram had been together, virtually alone, for the three years since his birth. Somangshu gave the kid even less attention than he did resources, alleges our daughter in her court filings: “not a dime.”

Mukherji’s spiteful behavior continues. He won’t even let Avram’s mother talk to her son on the phone. Discouraged, she doesn’t try that often. Yesterday’s attempt was typical. “Can I speak to Avram?” “See a doctor,” snarled Mukherji, hanging up.

Avram Mukherji goes into the storm
Avram Into the storm

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Somangshu Mukherji and Herkimer’s Rogue CPS Workers

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Stephen Ames Berry

In March of 2018, in an outrageous violation of New York law, two rogue Herkimer CPS workers, Sara Riente and Lisa Bates, abused their positions and took a malicious hand in a child custody court battle in another state. They acted so brazenly, so unprofessionally and so illegally under the color of authority that we think this sort of malfeasance has long been tolerated in Herkimer County.  

“Herkimer! Protect My Precious $on!”

In January of this year, we were subjected to false allegations of child abuse by our son-in-law, Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national, as he tried to gain sole custody of our two-year-old  grandson Avram. Custody of Avram would preclude his having to pay  child support. 

Our daughter fled to our home with our grandson to escape the alleged abuse and neglect of the two of them by Somangshu, a very glib professor of music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Avram’s not his natural son. According to our daughter’s Ann Arbor MI family court filings, (Case 19-352-DC), in which she alleged spousal abuse and neglect, Somangshu never bought the child clothes or toys, and called him “the little bastard.”   Our daughter alleged Somangshu disposed of everything we ever sent her and Avram, and held her incommunicado, not permitting her to speak to us. Here’s our grandson Avram in our home last January, with his first-ever new clothes and toys:

Somangshu Mukherji son's first toys everHad our grandson remained here with his mother, the good professor might have ended up paying $1,000+ a month in child support until the child was 21. He seems to have done the math, as his feet barely touched the ground on his way to his attorney’s office to file for sole custody. To protect his “son”. 

“Somangshu …reported me to CPS as a pedophile and my wife as dysfunctionally  bipolar…Mukherji’s unrelenting use of the canard “pedophile” makes one wonder about his own childhood.”

Our daughter had barely filed her child support payment application before husband Somangshu reported her and us for child neglect and abuse with New York.  Herkimer Child Protection Worker Sara Riente promptly came to our house and advised us that Somangshu had reported me to CPS as a pedophile and my wife as severely bipolar. Mukherji’s frequent use of the canard “pedophile” make one wonder about his own childhood.

CPS worker Riente then spent fifteen minutes investigating our grandson’s safety, offered no criticism and left. She made one even shorter followup visit a month or so later.

In March, we received letters from from New York Child Welfare exonerating us of our son-in-law’s baseless accusations: “Unfounded” was the official finding.  Yet this was not the end of the matter.  Sara Riente and her colleague Lisa Bates then came to our son-in-law’s Somangshu’s aid in his Michigan custody case, providing him with a document that was as defamatory of our family as it was illegal:

“At this time Avram does not meet the [standards of abuse or neglect]. [However] it does appear that it would be in the child’s best interest to be in the care of the parent who can provide access to regular medical care, a stable and sufficient and living environment and age appropriate supervision and care for a young child. Based on the evidence gathered during this investigation, this Department’s decision would be that [the mother] is not providing the above-mentioned care.”

Herkimer CPS Workers Riente and Bates Go Rogue

Apparently dismayed at finding our grandchild healthy, well-fed, well-clothed and safe with family of whom they seemingly disapproved, Herkimer CPS workers Riente and Bates went rogue, colluding with our son-in-law: at his request, they wrote him an “official”Herkimer County Social Services letter, falsely stating that “it is the opinion of this Department” that our grandchild would be better off with his father. Our daughter only became aware of their poisonous letter when she received a copy of her husband’s public court filing, in which their illegal letter was offered as evidence of our daughter’s unfitness as a mother and of our home as” [not] stable and  [in]sufficient.”

Bogus Herkimer Social Services’ Letter Key Exhibit

In their venomous and illegal letter supporting our daughter’s husband, Herkimer CPS workers Riente and Bates threw aside any pretense of impartiality and professionalism. They miscast their libelous opinions as “the finding of this Department.”

Seemingly not liking the “Unfounded” decision they were required to render under NY law as child protection workers, they magically morphed into Herkimer county workers to express a different “official” finding,  malfeasantly subverting the law they were supposed to uphold. 

Our son-in-law’s attorney cited their letter as key evidence that our daughter was an unfit mother and ours “not a loving home, Your Honor.”  Their treachery  helped allegedly abusive and neglectful “dad” Somangshu Mukherji retain custody of “the little bastard.”

Herkimer CPS Workers’ Riente and Bates Defamatory Letter In Support Of Plaintiff Somangshu Mukhjeri

Somangshu Mukherji sneering
Somangshu Mukherji Sneering

Here’s Riente and Bates’ letter to my son-in-law, Somangshu Mukherji. I’ve redacted just about all the confidential information they malfeasantly  revealed, except for their conclusion on page 2, in which they dispute the lawful conclusion New York law compelled them to reach. They falsely present their scurrilous opinion as an official finding of Herkimer County Social Services. 

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Despite our daughter’s request that the Ann Arbor Family Court disregard the Herkimer CPS’ workers letter as a violation of New York law, the court did not exclude it.

After several court appearances, our daughter lost custody of her son and he was returned to Somangshu Mukherji in Michigan–a process that was yet another instance of Herkimer County employees playing fast and loose with the law.   Mukherji later successfully moved to have the Ann Arbor Family Court strip our daughter of the right it had granted her to visit her son in Michigan, arguing she was danger to the child. The order, crafted by his attorney and hired social worker and rubber stamped by the court, bristles with an array of absurd preconditions which can only be met in Michigan.

Somagnshu Mukherji’s Craftily-Won Green Card
Mukherji Green Card Cropped

Reporting New York Child Protection Workers’ Malfeasance

New York law enforces the right to confidentiality by those investigated by social services workers. It is one of the strongest in the nation. CPS workers Riente and Bates’ letter is a violation  of confidentiality under 18 NYCRR 432.7 and Social Service Law §§422(4)(A) & 427- a(5)(d)], and the New York’s Child Protective Services Manual. It’s a Class A Misdemeanor. The only information that should have been released to the father was whether his complaint was “indicated” or “unfounded”.  Anything beyond that is a breech of confidentiality under New York law. New York has an excellent and concise guide to the procedure.

Filing Complaints About Herkimer CPS Workers’ Illegalities

If we tolerate outrageous and lawless conduct, it will continue.  Complaints about Herkimer Child Protection Workers’ actions should be sent to:

Sara Simon, Director
Syracuse Regional Office
NYS Office of Children and Family 
The Atrium, 100 S. Salina Street, Suite 350
Syracuse, NY 13202

New York Attorney General,  Bureau of Public Integrity

New York Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad St., 19th Fl., New York,
NY 10004. Telephone: 212-607-3300

Sue Them

You can also sue.  In a case like our daughter’s, where the evidence of malfeasance is low-hanging fruit, an attorney might take the case for damages on a contingency fee basis. Herkimer CPS workers are probably not worth suing. New York State is a sovereign entity and can rarely be sued. But Herkimer County can be sued.

This is New York, not Alabama. We have laws to protect us from illegal actions such as those of Herkimer’s rogue CPS workers. Make the law work for you. 

Child protection workers who engage in lawless vendettas against struggling parents and families simply because they disapprove of them should find another vocation. 

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Somangshu Mukherji’s Raid

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Stephen Ames Berry

Somangshu Mukherji’s Raid occurred on April 11, 2019. It was cunningly planned and brazenly executed. It could have succeeded but for the grandfather standing in the doorway. And the Herkimer Police.  

Above is my sneering son-in-law, Music Professor Somangshu Mukherji of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, lying  derisively as he tries to make off with our two-year-old grandson under the guise of a court approved visitation. (Video below.) 

Our Grandson’s Not His Blood Relative
At time of his raid, Somangshu Mukherji was a nontenured professor of Music and an Indian national. Our grandson’s not his blood relative.  As our severely bipolar daughter’s Ann Arbor Family court filings make clear, Somanghsu’s Mukherji’s marriage to her enabled him to obtain his Green Card, the gateway to his professorship at a prestigious US  university:

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Court Judges Abusive Spouse Better Parent Than Loving Mom
In January, after years of what our daughter in her court filings alleged were years of forced isolation, neglect and abuse by Somangshu Mukherji,  she fled with our grandson Avram, escaping by subterfuge to our home in Herkimer New York. Mukherji was soon in pursuit, alleging in his later custody filing that she had “absconded” with her son. He and our daughter had joint physical custody of the child at the time of his visit.  Over our daughter’s strenuous objections, the Ann Arbor Michigan Family Court (Case 19-352-DC), granted Somangshu an unsupervised visit here in New York.

Prior to his visitation, written request to he and his attorney for a firm visitation schedule and Mukherji’s new address in Ann Arbor were rebuffed. We made clear that without that information, the child would not be released for a visit.  The Ann Arbor Family court had removed all safeguards to Somangshu Mukherji’s heading right back to Ann Arbor with little Avram, address unknown.

Ann Arbor Michigan’s a university town. Many residents are dependent on the University of Michigan for their income. Its family court judges are elected officials and appear to accord any U.Mich professor entering an appearance the status of divine right. Ann Arbor’s family court opened the way for Somangshu Mukherji to try to snatch our grandson Avram and take him back to Michigan with no legal consequences and no additional legal fees. Most importantly, he’d avoid paying child support of at least $1,000 a month for Avram. Getting the kid into that waiting taxi and heading back for the airport would be Somangshu’s Mission Accomplished.  

Rude and Demanding and At Our Door – Video

Somangshu Mukherji's Raid

Somangshu Mukherji's Raid

Timeline of Somangshu Mukherji’s Raid
 0:01 – 0:30 Green Card Dad Somangshu Mukherji [SM] arrives via cab at our home from the airport. Storms the house. I open the door.
0:31 – 0:55 SM “Give me my son.” Avram’s his son on paper only, a Green Card son. His wife believes he signed the birth certificate to enhance his immigration status.
0:56 SM “I’m calling the police.” I remind him that he doesn’t have a lawful New York visitation order.
1:03 – 1:22 I advise SM that he is trespassing.
1:22 – 1:56 SM Refuses to let me step out onto my porch. I do anyway. SM again demands “my son.” I order him from our property. He refuses to leave. As you can see, he’d rather be outed lying on camera than do anything I ask.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Litany of Lies Begins
2:06 – 2:20 SM, still refusing to leave, calls Herkimer Police: “This is about a custody order I’m here to fulfill.” He has a Michigan court visitation order. Had he a custody order, he would have no authority to serve it: Somangshu Mukherji is a Michigan resident and per his custody court filings, an Indian national Legally, he could serve me a cup of tea.
2:22- 2:58 SM complains to Herkimer Police that I am threatening him, and violating his locally-unenforceable Michigan court order, which he now says is a visitation order.
2:59 SM complains to police that I am “harassing [him] openly.”
3:04  SM tells Herkimer police that I am “violating a standing custody order.” (He does not have a custody order from anywhere). Miscellaneous verbal abuse from SM.
3:55 – 4:21 BRIEF MOMENT OF TRUTH: SM gives police his name and cellphone number (908-705-5616).
4:24 SM falsely states that his taxi driver is a witness to my “harassing” him. The taxi is out of sight around the corner, the driver in the cab, as my videos attests.
4:30 SM tells Herkimer Police that he’s spoken with Herkimer County Undersheriff Scott Scherer. 
05:01 SM at last leaves our property to await the police. (Note: no taxi in sight.)

“…his Michigan court order is a visitation order, not a custody order, and not lawful in New York unless registered with a New York court”

Herkimer Sheriff Scott Sherer
Herkimer County Sheriff Scott Scherer, cited by Somangshu Muhkerjhi in his first attempt to take our grandchild to MI without a NY court order. Scherer was then Undersheriff. He was later elected Herkimer Sheriff, running unopposed. (As folks here say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”

Herkimer Police Arrive
5:04 – 5:44 Herkimer Police arrive. (Officers Carbone and Holt.) SM meets them. I follow and point out that his Michigan court order is a visitation order, not a custody order, and not lawful in New York unless registered with a New York court, which expense SM has avoided.
06:00 – 06:25 I repeat same to Herkimer officers when they interview me. I note that SM was trespassing and harassing me and refused to leave when ordered. They send him on his way, directing him  to not return.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Retreat

06:27 – 06:57 SM leaves the area afoot. (Later spotted around the corner, presumably awaiting a cab to airport.)
06:58 – 08:27 SM complained to responding officers police that he fears his “son” is being abused by his pedophile grandfather, crazy grandmother and neglected by his psychotic mother. (It’s in their report.) They’re obligated to follow up. Which they do and leave. It’s the same toxic twaddle Somangshu Mukherji  previously filed with New York Child Protection Services. They closed the matter as “unfounded”.
08:28 – End  Before leaving the area, SM has friendly chat with the Barton Gang’s Joyce Barton, who delightedly spreads tales of our troubles to the neighbors. SM in his custody filings has already cited the Bartons’ criminal activities captured on our videos as evidence that ours is too dangerous a neighborhood for our grandchild.

Somangshu Mukherji – a Scourge of God on Our Family
I’ve known Somangshu Mukherji for 16 years. He’s gone from the seemingly  nice kid we saved from deportation when he was at Harvard (allegedly “academic dishonesty”) to a scourge of God on our family.  Our daughter, his wife, is terrified of him. Obviously he lies a lot. He may even believe what he’s saying because he’s saying it, classic behavior of a malignant narcissist.

Somangshu’s already established a working relationship with the Herkimer County Sheriff’s Department, whose deputies later illegally took our grandchild from our home and handed him over to him. On this day Herkimer Police sent Somangshu packing.  “Somangshu Mukherji’s Raid” is an chilling example of how easily a biased judge can empower a malevolent personality to rip a child from a loving parent.

Here’s Avram with his first-ever toys. He was almost three then. We bought them for him when he arrived in Herkimer. Somangshu, our daughter attested in her court filings, never once bought his beloved “son” clothes, shoes or toys. “Never a dime,” she said. Smartphones, clothes, toys, shoes sent our grandchild and our daughter he allegedly sold on eBay, pocketing the proceeds. His wife and son he dressed in castoff clothing, except for the nice winter coat her bought our daughter, so she could food shop for him, on foot. (She was required to wear shoes that were too large, she reported, hobbling her.) 

Somangshu Mukherji's Green Card son
2,1,19 Our grandson Avram at our home in Herkimer, NY, with his first toys ever. This is shortly after he and his mother’s at last escaped Avram’s allegedly abusive and neglectful Green Card dad.

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A Herkimer Kidnapping – Somangshu Mukherji and the Herkimer Sheriff

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The author of this work hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain.

Stephen Ames Berry

“A child is not a dog. No matter whose child. It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer.”  Look no further than Herkimer, New York, USA, to see the illegal taking of a child from his family.  On 4/24/19, Herkimer County sheriff’s deputies entered our home and took our two-year-old grandson Avram from his mother. They didn’t have a warrant. They didn’t have a valid court order. They said they had “verbal permission.” 

A Herkimer Kidnapping – In The Tradition of Schindler’s List

It  was kidnapping under the color of law. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. We’ve seen Herkimer Child Protection Workers violate state law as they go the extra mile to denounce parents and families they don’t approve of. And Herkimer long shrugged off poison gas attacks on us, our pets and our home. So why not, also in the tradition of Schindler’s List, an armed, uniformed squad taking a child from his bed? They even wore brown. What made it especially heinous was their acting for an out-of-state foreign national seemingly desperate to avoid paying child support. 

Even In Herkimer A Child Is Not A Dog

It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer. No matter how inconvenient. No matter whose child. New York’s Domestic Relations Law  governs the return of  a child to a parent in another state. It incorporates the provisions of the federal Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The law requires registration of an out-of-state custody order with the local family court, due notice and a hearing. Then the custody order can be legally enforced. It only takes a few days. Apparently too cumbersome for scofflaw Herkimer.

Herkimer Family Court Involvement?

The deputies said they had “verbal authorization” [Video, below: 1:56] from Judge John Brennan of the Herkimer Family Court to take our grandson. If so, Brennan played fast and loose with the law. New York’s family courts are notoriously packed and dysfunctional. Scooping up a kid without a warrant for an out-of-state return and whisking him to the waiting parent avoids further clogging the court calendar with the tedium of due process. Especially when the outcome appears predetermined. In an extrajudicial kidnapping like this–in legalese, “an illegal taking”– speed is of the essence: Not much a parent can do when the kid’s back in the other state. It seems a cynical practice encourage by long success. Had our daughter been known to have an attorney, and lived at a better Herkimer address, the law might have been followed.  

Anonymous Herkimer Sheriff's Officer during extrajudicial kidnapping
4/24/19 “We have verbal authority [to take the child.”] Intentionally anonymous Herkimer Sheriff’s officer during extrajudicial kidnapping. Refused repeated demands to identify himself. WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS? Herkimer, apparently.

“2:41: Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer.”

HERKIMER KIDNAPPING – VIDEO
A Herkimer Kidnapping

A Herkimer Kidnapping

Video Timeline 001-1:05 Herkimer County Sheriff’s deputies, accompanied by Herkimer police officer, arrive at our house. (Police here to protect deputies from us.)
1:06-1:14 I foolishly let them in without asking for a warrant or court order. I assumed they were acting lawfully. Never assume this in Herkimer County.
1:15-1:15 One deputy identifies himself as Sgt. George. The other merely says “Herkimer County Sheriff.” (He’s not the sheriff.)
1:20 – 1:55 Sgt. George reads the order to our daughter. It’s quickly apparent it’s a Michigan court order. George states it authorizes them to take our grandson for return to his father in Michigan. It doesn’t. I  object, citing New York law and the procedure necessary to lawfully execute an out-of-state custody order in New York. Sgt. George says they have verbal permission from Herkimer County Family Court to enforce the Michigan court order. I continue to dispute their authority. 2:41 – 2:54 Deputy(?) Nameless tells me to “go argue the order” with Herkimer County Family Court Judge John Brennan if I don’t like it. I point out that I can’t, it’s a Michigan court order. Judge Brennan is a New York judge. He has not issued an order in this matter. Nameless Deputy repeats that they have verbal authority from Judge Brennan to take our grandchild. Seems hostile.
3:14 – 3:20 “Where is the child?” they demand.
3:21 – 3:45 Little Avram taken. Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer. She hesitatingly does so.  May know we’d recently reported Herkimer CPS workers Sara Riente and Lisa Bates to NY authorities for malfeasance.
3:46 – 4:36 Avram passed to unidentified woman wearing unviewable badge driving unmarked car. 
4:37 – 4:56 Grandma gives kindly Herkimer Police Officer Holt clothes and shoes for shoeless Avram, who takes them to the sheriff’s deputies.
End: Unknown woman in unmarked car makes good her escape with our grandson. 

“Sometime after regaining our grandson, Mukherji surreptitiously placed him with a couple in Providence, Rhode Island and got on with his life back in Ann Arbor.”

A Herkimer Kidnapping Finale

A gloating email later that evening from Mukherji to our daughter saying he was at a Herkimer motel and that Avram had been returned to him. He’s refused all attempts at contact by our daughter.

Sometime after regaining our grandson, Mukherji surreptitiously placed him with a couple in Providence, Rhode Island and got on with his life back in Ann Arbor. Neither we nor our daughter have been allowed to see our grandson or speak with him since he was taken. 

A Herkimer Kidnapping – Backstory

In late January 2018, our daughter escaped with our grandson from her allegedly abusive and neglectful husband, Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national. As she attests in her custody case court filings, he’d allowed her no contact with us for years and kept her in almost complete social and physical isolation.  Mukherji’s a nontenured assistant professor of Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He’s not the child’s birth father. Our daughter alleges in her custody case filings that Mukherji signed Avram’s birth certificate to enhance his status with US Immigration. 

The trigger for our daughter’s flight to Herkimer was Mukherji’s announcing the three of them were going on a trip with him to Turkey, along with his equally abusive mother. The US State Department advises against travel to Turkey: “terrorism, kidnappings and arbitrary detentions.” Anything could happen, especially to a toddler. Sounded like it might be a one-way trip for the “son” our daughter alleges Somangshu calls “the little bastard.” Somangshu’s vigilance slipped for a moment and our daughter and grandchild bolted for here. Penniless, she took a cab across several states, paying with the Uber account Somangshu kept on her phone for his convenience. 

Somangshu Mukherji – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Somangshu Mukherji raiding
Somangshu Mukherji sneering at me as he trespasses on our porch.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Green Card and his well-paid professorship were made possible by his marriage to our severely bipolar American-born daughter.

And we took a hand, too, having earlier and foolishly helped him stay in the US. In 2003, we sponsored Mukherji after Harvard dropped their sponsorship of him as  grad student, alleging “academic dishonesty,” according to our daughter’s court filings. (Mukherji had earlier been a research assistant to Harvard evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser, who was found guilty of scientific misconduct and served a sentence on federal charges.)

At our daughter’s pleading, we posted a $40k bond for Mukherji with the U.S. Department of State so that he could remain in the US. (17% of our total assets at the time.)  Mukherji’s repaid us by allegedly exploiting and abusing our daughter, misusing his medical guardianship of her and denying our grandchild clothes, shoes and toys. “Never a dime,” alleges our daughter in her Ann Arbor MI Family Court custody defense filings. (Case 19-352-DC )

“Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as one proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.”

Somangshu Mukherji in Pursuit

Upon their arrival at our home, I texted Mukherji that his missing wife and her two-year old son were safe with us in Herkimer. No reply, but his feet must not have touched the ground as he raced to his attorney’s office to file for sole custody of the son he’d always allegedly neglected—the son of his wife and another man–and for the child’s immediate return to him in Ann Arbor. Doing the math he may have suddenly realized his love for the boy and wanted him back: child support would cost him over $1,000 a month.

After a long court battle in Ann Arbor, Somangshu Mukherji was awarded sole custody. (He had a lawyer, our daughter didn’t. Ann Arbor Legal Aid, which is partially supported by U. Mich Law School, wouldn’t represent her.) My summary of his lengthy case and filings: Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as one proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.

Here’s our daughter’s Michigan court filings in the case. It’s the sad and probably all too common tale of how an unscrupulous foreign national can exploit a mentally ill American to jump the Green Card queue and secure a good job.  And then escaped unscathed by taking advantage of America’s patchwork of child custody laws and fragmented family court structure. 

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Somangshu Mukherji Schmoozes the Sheriff

Mukherji apparently established a cordial relationship with Herkimer  County Sheriff’s personnel during his 4/11/19 trip to Herkimer, likely through then Herkimer Undersheriff Scott Scherer. His Michigan court approved visitation of that date seemed to me a transparent attempt to nab our grandson on the cheap. He may have convinced the sheriff’s staff that his “son” was in grave danger from the psychotic mother, loony grandmother and pedophile grandfather. (From his slanderous Child Protection reports, since dismissed.)  The day before the kidnapping, Mukherji won sole custody of Avram in an Ann Arbor court.  Victorious at last, he immediately flew to Herkimer to take possession.

Michigan court order in hand, Somangshu was but one step from obtaining a lawful custody order, one issued by a New York court, which the Herkimer county sheriff could legally enforce. He needed only to register his Michigan order with the Herkimer Family Court, which could, after a hearing for all parties, issue a New York order mandating the return of the child to Michigan, all  required by New York law. Of course, it would have cost Mukherji more money. Instead, Herkimer County cut him a break him by skipping past New York law and sending its deputies right over to take Avram from his nap. I’ve known Somangshu since 2003–he can be very charming when he wants something.

Preventing A Herkimer Kidnapping: “Get A Warrant”

I suspect the  Herkimer Family Court and the Herkimer County Sheriff get away with this all the time, possibly by saying that the parent voluntarily consented to accept service of the out-of-state custody order. As the video of this illegal taking shows, our daughter did not do that. The Herkimer sheriff’s officers presented her with the Michigan court order, which without a New York order had all the validity of a Post-It-Note. I contested their authority and cited the UCCJEA and applicable New York law. They didn’t care. Told me to “get a lawyer.” [video-2:41] “We will now take the child” said they. And they did. This extrajudicial kidnapping spared Professor Mukherji the bother and expense of obtaining a legal New York custody order.

What country is this?

Avram Mukherji's first toys everReporting Malfeasance by New York Public Officers 

New York Attorney General, Bureau of Public Integrity

Reporting Civil Rights Violations in New York

New York Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
125 Broad St., 19th Fl.
New York,  NY 10004.
Telephone: 212-607-3300

“Unlawful discrimination that reflects a policy or practice of discrimination:”
The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office

Is a judge involved? Allegedly involved?

New York – Reporting Judicial Misconduct

New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct Corning Tower, Suite 2301 Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12223 If you videoed the incident, as we did in A Herkimer Kidnapping, either upload it to the agencies or send it in with your complaint on a thumb-drive.  Publish it on social media. It’s New York.  It’s your right. Use it or lose it.

How to Report Immigration Marriage Fraud

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