Mark V.H., by counsel Christopher S. Butch, appeals
the January 26, 2018, order of the Circuit Court of Putnam
County that affirmed the November 7, 2017, order of the
Family Court of Putnam County. The family court precluded
petitioner from having any contact with his minor son
"until such time as [petitioner] has undertaken eighteen
months of continuous progress in mental health treatment
without getting involved in legal altercations with third
parties." Respondent Delores J.M., appearing pro se,
filed a response in support of the circuit court's order.
Petitioner, although represented by counsel, also filed three
pro se responses.
Court has considered the parties' briefs and the record
on appeal. The facts and legal arguments are adequately
presented, and the decisional process would not be aided by
oral argument. Upon consideration of the standard of review,
the briefs, and the record presented, the Court finds no
substantial question of law and no prejudicial error. For
these reasons, a memorandum decision affirming the circuit
court's order is appropriate under Rule 21 of the Rules
of Appellate Procedure.
Mark V.H and his ex-wife, respondent Delores J.M., have one
child together, a son, who was born in 2007. Respondent filed
this divorce and custody matter in the Putman County Family
Court. However, then-Kanawha County Family Court Judge Mike
Kelly was appointed to the case because the Putnam County
family court judge was disqualified. Judge Kelly then entered
a temporary order in the case.
on April 27, 2012, petitioner submitted a fraudulent letter
to the Clerk of this Court in which he impersonated Judge
Kelly and claimed that, as Judge Kelly, he had violated
petitioner's rights, embarrassed the legal profession,
and was vacating the temporary order and resigning his family
court judge seat. Also during the spring of 2012, petitioner
contacted members of this Court via e-mail, text messages,
and phone calls, some of which petitioner made to the
justices' home phones. In response, on May 11, 2012, the
Chief Justice entered an administrative order that prohibited
petitioner "from having any contact with the Court or
its staff" and required that "[a]ll filings and
other communications from [petitioner] shall be in writing
and filed with the Clerk and not directly with the
Court." Nevertheless, petitioner continued to send
e-mails and to make phone calls to the members of the Court.
In response, the Chief Justice entered a June 18, 2012,
administrative order regarding petitioner's
"VEXATIOUS AND FRIVOLOUS CONTACTS WITH COURT
OFFICIALS." The order provided any further such
communications would be "referred to the appropriate
authorities for possible criminal prosecution."
Nevertheless, petitioner thereafter sent an e-mail to the
Court's administrative director.
September 21, 2012, petitioner filed a "Motion for
Recusal, Reversal of Temporary Order and Sanctions" in
which petitioner claimed Judge Kelly "sat back and
allowed [petitioner's mother] to die without seeing [the
parties' son]." Petitioner demanded that Judge Kelly
should be required to enter an "order to revive [his
mother] and pay for [the parties' son's] trip to
California to see [petitioner's mother] at [Judge]
Kelly's personal expense."
extensive litigation, Judge Kelly entered the parties'
January 22, 2013, final divorce order in which he concluded
that petitioner's documented personality disorder
necessitated that respondent have sole and exclusive
decision-making authority for the parties' son. However,
Judge Kelly awarded petitioner parenting time with the
parties' son every other Saturday and Sunday from 9:00
a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Judge Kelly precluded petitioner from
having overnight visitation with the parties' son, and
prohibited petitioner from taking the child out of state. The
family court found that allowing the child to spend any more
time with petitioner would subject the son to danger due to
petitioner's propensity to initiate conflict with other
people. The family court also found that petitioner has
"serious mental health issues that include a personality
disorder (not otherwise specified) with narcissistic and
paranoid and chronic impairment due to personality
disorder." That said, the family court ruled that
may return to Court when the [parties'] child reaches the
age of ten and is better able to protect himself from
[petitioner's] tirades (e.g., by using a phone to call
his mother) and/or [petitioner] has completed a regimen of
psychotherapy . . . designed to augment his ability to
control himself and avoid the conflicts which he currently
creates and revels in.
Kelly also noted the following: Petitioner repeatedly made
derogatory remarks to Judge Kelly, such as calling him
"wacky" and "an idiot." Petitioner
accused Judge Kelly of running a "Kangaroo Court"
and opined that Judge Kelly "should be imprisoned and
impeached" or committed to a mental institution
"until he does society [a] favor and passes."
Petitioner also demanded that respondent's lawyer be
"disbarred" and sanctioned "the sum of $10
million" for "bizarre, anti-social and malicious
[conduct]." Petitioner then demanded that
respondent's lawyer pay him "$10 Billion in punitive
damages" and be sent to a "mental ward" for
the remainder of his life. Petitioner described his own
lawyer as a "documented liar" and "a lying
sack of crap."
appealed the January 22, 2013, divorce order to the circuit
court, which, on May 7, 2013, affirmed the family court's
order in part and reversed in part. Petitioner appealed the
circuit court's order to this Court.
petitioner's appeal of the circuit court's May 7,
2013, order was pending, the family court entered a September
26, 2013, order in which it made the following findings: (1)
"petitioner will bully, degrade and infuriate every
person with whom he disagrees or who has refused to
accommodate his odious and malicious conduct"; (2)
petitioner "will harass any and all of [his] child's
service providers, generating complaints to legal officials
and causing an innocent facility to increase their security
and expend scarce additional funds because of
[petitioner's] behavior"; (3) petitioner continues
to harass respondent by making unannounced and unwelcome
visits to her home or workplace or by e-mail, text, or social
media; and (4) petitioner repeatedly files frivolous
pleadings, often with the goal of harassment or delay. The
family court found it "could pick out scores of
[petitioner's] nonsensical filings" that were
"vitriolic rehashings of rulings adverse to
[petitioner]" and "filed for a vexatious, wanton
and oppressive purpose or were intentionally designed to
harass [respondent] or the [family court] and cause
unnecessary delay to these proceedings."
November 14, 2013, this Court, in Mark V.H. v. Dolores
J.M., 232 W.Va. 378, 752 S.E.2d 409 (2013), reversed the
circuit court's May 7, 2013, order and reinstated the
family court's divorce order, including the family
court's decision to limit petitioner's contact with
the parties' minor son. We found that the evidence in the
record showed petitioner engaged in "sustained
harassment of private individuals and companies as well as
various public officials and entities." Id. at
382, 752 S.E.2d at 413. We also made the following findings
with regard to petitioner's conduct:
The disdain and rage of [petitioner] toward this Court, the
entire court system and especially toward Judge Kelly, has
permeated a majority of his self-filed pleadings.
[Petitioner] has made a number of impossible-to-achieve and
nonsensical requests and demands of the Family Court and this
Court during the course of these proceedings. The following
is not an exhaustive list, but illustrative of
[petitioner's] conduct: (1) that Judge Kelly reincarnate
his deceased mother so that she, [petitioner] and the child
may have a final visit; (2) that after Judge Kelly
reincarnates [petitioner's] deceased mother, that he pay
for a trip for [petitioner] and his son to visit with her;
(3) that Judge Kelly build a zoo in West Virginia and move
the Atlantic Ocean to the State of West Virginia; and (4)
that Judge Kelly pay for trips to amusement parks and other
attractions for [petitioner], his child, the child's
classmates and his teachers.
Id. at 384, 752 S.E.2d at 415.
order entered November 27, 2013, Judge Kelly (1) reinstated
the parties' January 22, 2013, final divorce order except
as modified by subsequent orders of the family court, and (2)
granted parenting time to petitioner every other Saturday and
Sunday commencing at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. each
day with no overnights.
April 10, 2014, the Circuit Court of Kanawha County (Judge
Kelly's home county) entered an administrative order
finding that petitioner filed three "wholly frivolous
and completely vexatious" actions in the circuit court.
The order found that petitioner was "abusing the
judicial system, costing the expenditure of significant
amounts of money for attorney fees, and aggravating and
annoying persons . . . without any justification or
legitimate reason." In the exercise of its inherent
authority, the circuit court precluded the circuit clerk from
accepting any pro se civil action filed by petitioner.
However, the circuit court allowed the circuit clerk to
accept any pleading filed by a lawyer on petitioner's
the April 10, 2014, administrative order, petitioner, in
December of 2014, filed various pro se pleadings including
his tenth petition to have Judge Kelly recused from this
case, which, like the other nine petitions, was denied.
Petitioner also filed a pleading in which he stated that
Judge Kelly was "a judicial thug" and "a
MENTALLY ILL PATHOLOGICAL LIAR." Petitioner then
repeated his demand that Judge Kelly revive his deceased
mother and that he be awarded "$1 Billion" and $100
Trillion" in punitive damages. At the same time,
petitioner filed an "Emergency Motion to Have Judge 
Kelly Undergo Mental Evaluation." Shortly thereafter,
petitioner filed a "Motion for Reversal" of the
circuit court's order denying petitioner's motion for
a mental evaluation of Judge Kelly. Petitioner then claimed
he had "impeached" the circuit court and the Chief
Justice of this Court in a "Citizen's Order"
and, therefore, neither the circuit court nor this Court had
legal standing to issue any orders.
January 2, 2015, the family court cautiously granted
petitioner additional parenting time due to petitioner's
"ongoing relationship with a qualified mental health
professional." Specifically, the family court ordered
that petitioner be afforded parenting time every Wednesday
evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. However, the family court
eliminated petitioner's telephone visitation with his
son. In a second order, entered February 18, 2015, the family
court sanctioned petitioner $1, 000 for his filing of
frivolous motions. In a third order, entered February 20,
2015, the family court denied a series of motions filed by
petitioner that essentially sought to overturn its January 2,
2015, order. On March 20, 2015, the circuit court denied
petitioner's appeal of all three orders. Petitioner then
appealed the circuit court's order to this Court. We
affirmed the circuit court's March 20, 2015, order.
See Mark V.H. v. Dolores J.M., No. 15-0350, 2015 WL
7199002 (W.Va. Nov. 13, 2015)(memorandum decision).
April of 2015, petitioner filed a pleading directed to Putnam
County Circuit Court Judge Phillip M. Stowers in which he (1)
claimed Judge Stowers's orders were "evil,
incompetent, arrogant and prove [Judge Stowers is] unfit to
hold office; (2) reversed "all" of Judge
Stowers's orders and sanctioned Judge Stowers "$100
Trillion in damages"; (3) wrongfully informed Judge
Stowers that he had been impeached; (4) demanded Judge
Stowers revive his mother and pay for petitioner and his son
"to fly to California to visit with [his mother] within
one hour of this [pleading] being filed"; (5) claimed
Judge Stowers must "take responsibility for [his]
incredible evil misconduct and make this visit happen
today"; (6) ordered Judge Stowers to "roll back
time" so that petitioner could have the time he lost
with his son; and, (7) ordered Judge Stowers to
"immediately report to the mental ward of the nearest
prison where you are to stay for the remainder of your
life." Due in part to this filing, Judge Stowers and the
other Putnam County circuit court judge advised the Chief
Justice that they were voluntarily recusing themselves from
petitioner's case. The Chief Justice of this Court then
appointed Special Circuit Court Judge John W. Hatcher, Jr. to
hear any appeals from the family court in this case.
thereafter, petitioner filed an "emergency appeal"
to the circuit court of the family court order denying him a
"Father's Day Trip." By order entered in June
8, 2015, Judge Hatcher found petitioner's appeal to be
"quite disturbing," "vexatious" and
"a rambling, nonsensical, erratic, irrational and absurd
writing which makes absolutely no sense at all, even when
read and considered in a light most favorable to
[petitioner]." Judge Hatcher affirmed the family
court's order and then ordered that,
[i]n consideration of the inherent authority vested in the
[court] by virtue of the . . . appointment order of the Chief
Justice, it is ORDERED that the Circuit
Clerk of Putnam County, West Virginia, shall not,
effective immediately, accept for filing, any pro se
pleadings of any kind form or nature from [petitioner]. . . .
It is further ordered that the aforementioned Clerk shall
only accept pleadings for filings in the name of [petitioner]
which are prepared and offered for filing by a lawyer
licensed to practice law in the State of West Virginia and
whose license is in good standing. . . .
6, 2015, petitioner, appearing pro se, appealed the circuit
court's June 8, 2015, order to this Court. We found that
the June 8, 2015, order was not a final appealable order and,
therefore, the Clerk of this Court did not docket the appeal.
On July 29, 2015, petitioner sought a writ of prohibition
from this Court to halt enforcement of the circuit
court's June 8, 2015, order. In a final order entered
November 17, 2015, the Court refused that petition.
March 30, 2016, this Court granted Judge Kelly's motion
to be relieved from this case and appointed Special Family
Court Judge Sabrina Deskins in his stead.
order entered June 3, 2016, Judge Deskins appointed Donna
Pratt as the guardian ad litem for the parties' son. Ms.
Pratt later testified regarding her August 24, 2016, report
to the court, and her motion to be relieved from this case.
Specifically, Ms. Pratt testified to e-mails sent or copied
to her by petitioner in which petitioner (1) accused Ms.
Pratt of displaying "incompetent behavior and
unprofessional tactics"; (2) asked his counsel to seek a
restraining order against Ms. Pratt that would preclude her
from having contact with the parties' son; (3) asked his
counsel to file a complaint against Ms. Pratt with the West
Virginia State Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel; (4)
stated that Ms. Pratt's report to the court was libelous,
rude, obnoxious, demanding, and incompetent; (5) accused Ms.
Pratt of retaliatory conduct; (6) asked his counsel to file a
defamation lawsuit against Ms. Pratt seeking
"major" damages; (7) called Ms. Pratt an
"obnoxious princess" and a "lunatic"; and
(8) asked his counsel to have Ms. Pratt admitted to a mental
health facility. Ms. Pratt further testified that petitioner
"berated and screamed" at her; accused her of
covering up misconduct; avoided meeting with her; and then
sent multiple e-mails to her in which he demanded an
immediate court order allowing petitioner to move with his
son to the beach.
order dated August 29, 2016, Judge Deskins ordered the
parties "to refrain from posting information with regard
to this case or legal action or the minor child on social
media while this case is ongoing[.]" Petitioner did not
appeal or otherwise challenge this order.
petitioner sought overnight visits and permission to travel
out of state with his son. In a November 30, 2016, order,
Judge Deskins noted that (1) a criminal complaint had been
filed against petitioner that alleged he made harassing
telephone calls to a local radio station owner; (2) a
restraining order was entered against petitioner due to his
violation of an order not to harass a local doctor or the
doctor's family; (3) petitioner made multiple internet
postings that involved allegations and complaints against
Judge Kelly, respondent's attorney, respondent, Judge
Deskins, Guardian ad Litem Donna Pratt, and Putnam County
Prosecutor Mark A. Sorsaia; and (4) petitioner filed a
complaint against Ms. Pratt with the West Virginia State
Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and then sent Ms.
Pratt a Facebook "friend" request (which she
the November 30, 2016, order, Judge Deskins noted that Ms.
Pratt testified that (1) petitioner claimed on Facebook that
Ms. Pratt was "man bashing"; and (2) she was
contacted by a radio station operator who said petitioner
wanted to run an "attack news story" about her.
Judge Deskins highlighted that, in open court, petitioner
acknowledged his abusive internet postings about Ms. Pratt.
Judge Deskins also highlighted that petitioner admitted to
(1) posting comments and photos of Judge Deskins and her
children on social media sites; (2) entering a guilty
plea to a charge of trespassing; and (3) being banned from a
state office building after making insulting and abusive
phone calls to a state agency. Judge Deskins also noted that
security at Yeager Airport had designated petitioner as a
"potential disruptive visitor." Judge Deskins then
found petitioner violated the August 29, 2016, order that
prohibited the parties from posting information online
regarding this case when he posted "false and
inaccurate" information regarding counsel and Judge
Deskins on his website. Judge Deskins ordered petitioner to
remove any social media regarding herself, the parties, the
parties' child, and counsel within twenty-four hours.
Judge Deskins then denied petitioner's petition for
additional parenting time on the following grounds:
[Petitioner] has failed to evidence a substantial change in
circumstances warranting a modification pursuant to [W.Va.]
Code [§] 48-11-401 . . . . Therefore, all requests for
overnight and out of state parenting time shall be denied.
In particular, [the family court] ruled in the Final Divorce
Order that further modification of the parenting plan should
be precluded prior to the child turning [ten] years of age
and being better able to protect himself and/or [petitioner]
has completed a regimen of psychotherapy.
Further, the court FINDS that a modification as requested by
[petitioner] is not in the best interests of the minor child.
The [petitioner's] parenting time shall remain as
previously ordered, other than the de facto modification of
the Wednesday parenting time being modified to 5:15 p.m. to
8:00 p.m .....
Judge Deskins released Ms. Pratt from her guardian ad litem
duties of behalf of the parties' son. Petitioner did not
appeal or otherwise challenge the court's November 30,
March 3, 2017, petitioner, by counsel, again filed a petition
for modification seeking additional parenting time. At that
time, this case was assigned to Putnam County Family Court
Judge Richard C. Witt. However, this Court accepted Judge
Witt's voluntary recusal and appointed Cabell County
Family Court Judge Patricia Keller in Judge Witt's stead.
Judge Keller then appointed Arik Paraschos to serve as the
guardian ad litem for the parties' son. At a preliminary
hearing, the family court ruled that the parties could review
the guardian ad litem's report at the family court's