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 6th, 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 young  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 9/15, 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

Video of 9/17/20 Trip to Providence

“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.

Christmas 2020 — A Sad  Update

Our daughter Alex has had no contact with her son Avram since he was taken from her in April 2019. Her mental health declined steadily following Somangshu Mukherji’s sadistic bait-and-switch hoax during her August visit to him, and the cruel collusion of his creatures, her Aunt Janice and Uncle Norman. She’s now hospitalized for suicidal ideation and will be for a while. Wouldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, kept saying she just wanted “to be in heaven with my son.”

2.1.21 Postscript

Alex returned from the hospital at Christmastime, much improved and stable on her meds.

On 1/8/21, she reported that Somangshu called her, allegedly saying that her son was back in Michigan. He let Alex speak with Avram for “about 15 seconds,” adding “Don’t you care about your son?! Your son needs you. Come home!” He also supposedly told her that at four and half years, Avram is not potty trained but attending preschool.

This was the first time Alex was allowed to speak with her son since he was taken from our home in April of 2019. She reported that in this recent conversation, Somangshu offered her a plane ticket from Syracuse to Detroit, changed his mind, then said he’d send a cab to take her to the Amtrak station in Utica. She said sure, but no cab ever appeared.

There’s no proof our grandson is back in Michigan. Somangshu didn’t offer to put Avram on video chat to speak with his mom. He could have called from Providence, where he says his word holds sway. Obviously, there’s no reason to trust anything he said. And no reason for Alex to again rush off to Michigan to again be tormented.

Oh. Somangshu’s upped his demand in his defamation suit against me to a million dollars and is demanding a trial by jury. The Herkimer Post will be there. Stay tuned.

A Herkimer Kidnapping – Somangshu Mukherji and the Herkimer Sheriff

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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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