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Hillsborough County Judge Christine Vogel

 We received this email about a citizens experience with Hillsborough County Judge Christine Vogel. 
Click the link above, and you can share your opinion of Judge Vogel, good or bad.

I just got out of Hillsborough County Judge Christine Vogel's courtroom at about 7 p.m tonight, 11/1/10.  Here is my my UNBELIEVABLE experience . . .

I was trying to get a Hillsborough County restraining order to protect my daughter from my ex-wife's boyfriend.  I have 1 daughter.  My ex and I have 50% rotating custody.  My daughter spends 1/2 of her time with my ex.  Over the last 5+ years, I have had many experiences with my ex's boyfriend initiating verbal and physical assaults against me, in my daughter's presence.  There has also been several instances where my daughter would come to my house with burns, scratches, and bruises for which her explanations did not make sense.  I have suspected abuse for 5+ years, especially considering my many run-ins with this man.  HCSO, DCF and the courts never do anything - I've tried many times.  For the rest of this account, I will refer to my ex as M and her boyfriend as J.

M and J have 2 children in common and M has my daughter every other week.  Some time around March or April of this year (2010) M broke up with J because he was abusing her.  She claimed he even threatened to bury her in the yard.  M filed several court documents in April and May, including an Injunction for Protection, in which she repeatedly claimed abuse against herself and the children.  She very clearly stated, multiple times, that she feared for the lives of herself and the children.  She also stated that she was too scared (of J) to tell HCSO and DCF the truth about the abuses when they came to investigate (multiple times).  She had a domestic violence hearing in front of Hillsborough County Judge Vogel in which she testified to these abuses.  Her case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

This September, out of the blue, M emailed me that she was back together with J again (I'm sure it is for financial reasons as M refuses to work and can't live the lifestyle she wants just from welfare money), and that he was going to be around her sons AND my daughter again.  She told me that if I don't like it, that's too bad.  I warned her that if she brought him back into my daughter's life that I would have to take legal action - notify DCF, Injunction for Protection & attempt to get FULL custody of my daughter with M having as little part in her life as possible.  We went back and forth arguing via email and I continued to warn her that I would take legal action.  All of this email traffic occurred after 9/3/10.

Today in court, Hillsborough County Judge Vogel refused to consider the many verbal and physical assaults by J against me, in my daughter's presence, dating back to 2005, as legitimate acts of domestic violence against my daughter.  I read to her verbatim from the statute that the state of florida considers domestic violence to include acts against a family member or household member.  She also said my daughter's statements of abuse and intimidation against her, by J, made to me on 9/13/10 were pretty much irrelevant as she (7 years old) was not there to testify.  I've sat in her courtroom for 3 days (including today) and listened to her accept and consider many parents' (mothers) testimony of their children's statements, even after hearsay objections.  Yet for some reason, it wasn't OK for me.  She then refused to allow me to complete my testimony.  She didn't even allow me to establish a timeline for the most current events that led to the injunction.  Judge Vogel called my witness as I objected, pleaded with her to allow me to finish my testimony.

My witness was a hostile witness that I had to subpoena to appear.  My witness was M.  I had subpoenaed her to appear on 10/7/10 and again on 10/20/10.  She avoided HCSO and Mercuryserve for 8 combined attempts to serve her.  I had to get 2 continuances.  Finally, she was served for the hearing today.   That is why I sat in the Hillsborough County courtroom for 3 days.

So, M testifies, in contradiction with her previous allegations made in 3 court documents and in her court appearance against J that J has never abused her nor any of the children.  I read, verbatim, many of the allegations of abuse and she denied all of them.  I asked M if those allegations, documents and previous testimony were made honestly and truthfully because her testimony today was quite contrary.  M then claimed that I coerced her to do all of that by threatening the legal action stated above.  Then J started testifying IN FRONT OF THE WITNESS, during my examination of the witness, about my motivations and that I was making her do things and he offered the emails mentioned above.  M, a witness actively being questioned, then reiterated what J said.  Judge Vogel read the emails, one of them aloud.  During all of this I was trying to object repeatedly for hearsay, speculation, speaking out of turn, testifying in front of the witness, not being afforded reasonable time to review the emails being presented and for both M and J making allegations about me and calling to question my character.  Judge Vogel repeatedly told me to shut up.  Judge Vogel then admonished me for the emails and stated that she was going to accept M's testimony from today because she believed that I coerced M into making the allegations, filing the documents and testifying against J previously.  The emails that supposedly "coerced" M began on 9/3/10.  All of M's previous allegations, court documents and testimony were from APRIL and MAY . . . 4+ months before my emails.  I had no idea about those things at the time they were occurring.  Furthermore, Judge Vogel refused to allow me to sufficiently review the emails that were not previously entered as evidence, stating that I could take as much time to read them as I wanted when I got home!  It was only on the way home that I realized the time disparity and that those emails could have in no way possibly effected M's actions from MONTHS before.  And apparently as a Father having 50% custody of my daughter, I cannot tell M that I will take legal action if she allows my daughter to be around a person that abuses her . . . at least not in Hillsborough County Judge Vogel's courtroom!  

So basically, Judge Vogel refused to allow me to complete my testimony, had different rules for me than for other petitioners, allowed a witness to perjure herself with no repercussion, allowed a defendant to testify in front of the witness and in the middle of the witness' testimony (allowing the witness to testify further afterwards), refused to allow me sufficient time to review newly presented "evidence" and threw out my petition because somehow my emails coerced a key witness' actions 4+ months before they were ever written!  Judge Vogel said she didn't like the "tone" of my emails . . . well, I wasn't on trial here and that should have no bearing on this matter.  I was well within my legal rights to inform M that I would take LEGAL action.  And my "tone" is specific to the relationship between M and I and has nothing to do with what the hearing was about.  M was a WITNESS, not a PARTY.  She also didn't consider the entire string of email traffic between the 2 of us that those emails were part of and the gravity and context of the situation in which they were written.  She may not like my personality or the relationship I have with M, but it is entirely unprofessional to base her judgment on this!  She is supposed to judge whether my daughter is in danger, not what kind of person I am based on a few emails with a person who I feel is endangering my daughter.

I will stop short of making certain charges here, but I will say that I went through hell to just be a part of my daughter's life.  I rarely saw her for the first 2 years of her life because her mother made many (false) allegations against me and the family law judge just accepted them as gospel without a shred of proof.  It took me 2 years to PROVE MY INNOCENCE in Hillsborough County.  Today's fiasco is just more of what I, as a FATHER in "The Great State of Florida", have been dealing with continuously since 2003.  

So, my daughter gets to continue to spend time with J because I had a negative tone while threatening LEGAL action against M for allowing a person she swore, under oath, is a child abuser to come back into my daughter's life and that "threat" of LEGAL action time traveled 4 months into the past and forced M to make allegations very similar to my own and my daughter's!  UNBELIEVABLE ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !  

I am a disabled Marine Corps veteran.  It's nice to know that this is the kind of legal system in Hillsborough County Florida I defended and sacrificed for!


  1. Good day, sir:

    I am a female disabled Army veteran, I read your blog prior to seeing Judge Vogel this morning (02/23/11 @ 9am). I was the plaintiff and once the defendants questioned my military background and my DC trip to the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor Rally, I had the sinking feeling that the case was over. A restraining order was in effect, but this was a hearing to determine whether or not to continue the injunction orders. The case was dismissed.
    The defendants were my ex-fiance and his cousin/brother-in-law. My witness (my roommate) was never called and she permitted a statement from the ex's psych doctor as evidence as to his well-being and not any of mine. I was badgered and interrogated. She did ask the defendants to ask me one question at a time, but I was literally getting hit from all sides. I was threatened by the ex and his cousin that they would take my car (which was agreed to remain with me because I had the children ages 2, 4 and 7) and burn my home down with me and the children in it. The ex sold the car to his cousin; the two youngest children were in the middle of medical treatment (Judge said it didn't apply to the case). Isn't it illegal to interrupt ones medical care and treatments? The judge told me that because I have not permitted the defendant to see the children since November 2010 that he could get custody because he was unemployed. She told him he could get free legal aid through Bay Area Legal Services. FYI: There will be no, nor has there been a child support order because the father is disabled and collecting social security due to a traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord injury. He admitted that he had been Baker Acted and this apparently was not an issue. She said there was not enough evidence to prove a threat. They said they would take the car and they did. They've said they would burn the house down and I believe they will, but the Judge didn't. There's more to tell, but I've got to prepare for Family Court before someone grants a psych patient custody of my children.
    God bless American and true patriots.
    Yvette Smith
    US Army Veteran

  2. Thank You Yvette for posting your experiences with Hillsborough County Judge Christine Vogel.
    I have been before Hillsborough County Judge Christine Vogel twice, with mixed results. Once when I felt she granted a restraining order she shouldn't have, and once on a review for the same restraining order she allowed to stay in place. I have just suffered a major heart attack from all the recent stress I have been through. I have chosen to let it all go, and move on with my life.

  3. After my own personal court hearing, I lost custody of my daughter over false domestic violence papers filed and this judge (Christine K Vogel) approved after hearing my side of the story. (I was able to prove that the petitioner lied on the DV paper filing and lied in court) No prior history of DV between me and my ex. - (Granted a 2 year injunction against me and strip me of my parental rights without any evidence of ANY domestic violence). Great legal system, Keep up the great work of wasting our tax dollars and ruining peoples lives. is the outcome of your mistakes Judge Vogel of Hillsborough County Florida.

  4. My Mother took care of Christine and Chris Vogel's children. She really liked the Vogels and their children. She told me all about the rabbit the Vogel children had. I felt good going in front of her. Maybe in retrospect, I should have had my Mom talk to her first. But then she may have had to recuse herself as a judge in my case. She granted my ex girlfriends restraining order despite no proof of violence.
    I violated that restraining order by my ex girlfriend and I seeing each other in spite of it. I trusted my ex girlfriend not to betray me, since we were both seeing each other, but she caved into pressure from her friends and family to put me away. It almost sent me to Prison, ruined my business, and put me on Probation for 2 years! I recently suffered a Heart Attack because of all the stress. Because of Hillsborough County Judge Christine Vogel, Restraining Order Blog was born. It was her rubber stamping of the original unneeded restraining order that caused me all my problems. It is good to find out there are others besides me Judge Vogel effected.

  5. Judge Christian K. Vogel - Granted a two year injunction claim from my ex whom I have a seven year old daughter with four teen days after we had reached a settlement agreement for 50/50 time sharing. There was no facts, documents or reports of the alleged allegations that was stated in the filing of the injunction. The petitioner claimed that in incident took place two weeks prior to filing for the protection order.

    I was accused of calling my ex foul names via text message on certain date which could not even be produced in the court hearing. - She claimed to fear for her life due to the text message name calling.

    When I questioned and proved that the allegations were in fact fabricated Judge Vogel was with her head down already writing up the paper to grant the injunction for 2 years with no contact with my ex and stripped my parental rights from having my child 50% of the time to only 4 days a month with no phone call contact whatsoever.

    To add the icing to the cake of the fantastic legal system we have in the Sunshine State of Florida I have filed now over 2 motions for a rehearing, motion of contempt for the mother not showing up for the child exchange and both have been denied by Judge Christian K. Vogel without reason. Just a big BOLD "DENIED".

    1. you should contact attorney Johnnie Byrd in Plant City and request for him to "APPEAL" your case to the Second Court of Appeal. He did this for me and the Appeal Court reversed Judge Vogel's ruling and ordered her to VACATE her DVI ruling against me.

  6. I KNOW the feeling of being in Judge Vogel's Hillsborough County Courtroom in Plant City Florida. She basically rubber stamped a restraining order my ex filed against me w/o even listening to my side of the he said, she said "evidence". My ex even made a motion to DROP the restraining order, then changed her mind when we went to court. That motion alone should have made her question her original decision. Yet Judge Vogel merely asked my ex if she wanted to go ahead with dropping the restraining order. When my ex said No, she denied the motion. Now, how can a person be "In Fear", then ask to drop the order ? Just the fact she asked the order be dropped at all is evidence she was NEVER in any fear. Christine Vogel allowed my mentally ill ex to manipulate her courtroom at will, with no regard to justice.
    Judge Vogel caused my legal problems to start, and it is because of her that Restraining Order Blog was born.
    My Mother took care of her children, and knew her and her ex husband Chris Vogel well.
    My Mom said she is a nice person, maybe so ?
    But from my experiences in front of her, she is a terrible Judge.

  7. Update - Now a 2nd injunction has been filed against me from my EX on behalf of my 7 year old daughter. Same judge, Judge Christian K. Vogel.

    Amazing how people can follow the law 100% and get rail-roaded and at the end of the day be standing out in the cold. Where does it end? When someone has ruined your life? Taken a child from you and lives solely off your wages because they choose not to work?

    This 2nd injunction was ignited because I filed another motion for contempt of court for my EX not showing up for the child exchange or allow my legal phone calls. (Same DAY)

    Now DCF has an investigation for me on claims that 4 months ago I FORCED my 7 year old daughter to drink beer.. Which has NEVER ever happened. This is how far people will go to defer the blow.

    * Keep in mind - the DCF report was made within an hour of my EX being served with the notice of the motion for contempt.

  8. To all of us that have had Judge Vogal misuse her power. Please file a complaint with Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. (850)488-1581. We can only file a complaint, It will not change any dissions made by her until she is removed from her position. She allowed false testamony from my drug using abusive wife and restricted me from seeing my 2 year old son. I was told that she was having a bad day! Well that bad day has now put my son in danger and there is nothing I can do about it unless I was rich enough to pay tons of legal fees to lawyers. We all need to stand for misuse of power to us commoners.

  9. Do not even get me started on judge Vogel..... my ex-boyfriend that we share a 3yr old with accused me of domestic violence when in turn i was abused by him and then after a simple testimony by him and his girlfriend out right lying he was granted a restraining order against me and i was forced to do a child exchange every other weekend even though on the night the cops were called out he attacked me while i was holding my 2yr old daughter at the time this occurred causing her to get a scratch on her face. none the less i abided by all the rules and allowed him to see her and stayed away from him. he then lied to the state attorney saying that i was stalking him but the date and time in question, i was in class learning. i was arrested and forced to sit in jail for 21 days, i choose to fight the charges, i filed a motion to modify the injunction with Christine vogel because my ex was smoking and drinking while my daughter was in the car with him and he didn't have her in a car seat, she denied my motion and continued letting him be around her. two months later he accused me of violating the injunction again because i missed 2 scheduled child exchanges but in my defense my car was impounded while i was in jail and i had no transportation, i texted him the day he was suppose to get her if he wanted his mother to pick up my daughter from my house so he can still see her, he text me back "thanks for contacting me and violating the injunction order" and the other time i missed the exchange was the day of my daughters birthday, clearly i wasn't going to miss that day with her. during all of this fiasco i was involved in a criminal case of DV with him and i was fighting it, i was facing 2 years in prison for something i didn't do and my ex was fully aware of what he was doing, he just didn't care. i then won my case and found not guilty but that was after serving another month in jail because i know had 4 allegations of violating the order but they were based on no evidence what so ever. I then lost custody of my daughter because he filed a motion to modify the injunction while i was incarcerated and the judge granted it to him but she stated when i was released from jail i could file a motion and regain custody. after i was released following a not guilty verdict i immediately filed the paperwork, waited 3 weeks to go in front of Christine and at that point it had been 2 months of not being able to see or speak to my daughter, when the time came i requested to get custody back, mind you i have never been away from my daughter for more than 3 days because my ex was never a part of her life until February of this year and it still doesn't count because he is only using my daughter to get back at me for leaving him 2 years ago. we went in front of Vogel and he told the judge that i called cps on him (which i did because i wanted to make sure my daughter was okay and she wasn't in danger) she told me no i can not get custody back and instead of giving me visitation like she did with him, she made me set up visitation at a damn visitation center like i was some sort of danger to my child, these visitations are monitored and an hour in length once a week, plus it was 40 miles from my house and i had no car. Regardless i set it up so i can see my child, but heres the kicker, the center wont set up visitation times until my ex initiates the setup and pays his part. Needless to say he never did do it. so we are going on 3 months and i have not spoken or heard from my daughter and Christine Vogel could careless. Aren't judges suppose to act in a child's best interest? How can this possibly benefit her, being away from the one person that birthed her and raised her by herself with no help and suddenly 3 years later being forced to live with her daddy after being vacant from her life and choosing to be with random girls over his own daughter? sad to say that this system does more harm than good when it comes to children:/

  10. This Judge is extremely DISHONORABLE I hear she now works as a volunteer for free which is BS she is being punished for her ridiculous careless irresponsible decision making helping the Hillsborough County cause to destroy families and children.

  11. Judge Vogel in my opinion is the most dishonest and corrupt judge in Hillsborough County. Law enforcement needs to investigate her relationship with attorney Eileen Griffin, an attorney who appears before Vogel often ... God prevented this judge from breaking our family.

    State and federal law enforcement seriously needs to investigate Vogel's connection and dealing with Eileen and Herman Griffin.

  12. Well thank God she's gone. Karma comes one way or another.