When Divorce Costs Everything
By Joseph Snook
Crook County, OR – Setting aside large corporate legal battles, family court cases (divorce) cost people more money than any other type of court case. At the top of the list, costing a whopping $2.5 billion, is the 1999 divorce between Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein of New York. Often, those involved suffer beyond the point of regaining financial stability. For all involved, the long-term effects of divorce can last a lifetime, especially for children.
One unsettled divorce out of Crook County, Oregon is a shining example of how corrupted and costly family court can be. The case, Mott vs Mott has cost an estimated $450,000.00, and according to the court, spanned a year-and-a-half in high-conflict litigation. The case went to trial in late 2018. The Presiding Judge, Daina Vitolins, submitted her opinion letter on Dec. 27, 2018. It was her opinion that, according to Casey Mott, has left him a “slave to the court” if the order stands. Judge Vitolins’ ruling has left Casey Mott scrambling to try and save his business without having to file bankruptcy. Casey now believes Judge Vitolins’ ruling could force the unexpected, leaving both Casey and his ex, Leslie, with much less than anticipated.
During an interview with the US~Observer, Casey explained how he only has a few options. First, if Judge Vitolins’ order remains, Casey will be forced to seek a bond in order to appeal her ruling. Doing this would temporarily or permanently stall disputed payouts pending that appeal. That option as Casey described is, “not good” as he’s already been told by multiple banks that he doesn’t have enough collateral for a bond “because most assets are tied up in the divorce and awarded to Leslie by Judge Vitolins.” Casey continued, “even if I could come up with the collateral, I’d be so strapped financially that there wouldn’t be enough working capital to remain in business.”
Casey’s second option, which he believes to be the most equitable for all involved is for Leslie to accept a very generous offer of $1.8 million. Casey explained, “this is the only offer that I can possibly recover from, and I mean possibly recover from. My CPA thought I was crazy for even offering that amount. It won’t be easy for me to absorb these costs and still be profitable with the company.”
“If the current order is left in place we will all
lose significantly more than if we reach an agreement.”
– Casey Mott
The last option, and the least favorable according to Casey is a forced bankruptcy. “If the current order is left in place,” Casey said, “we will all lose significantly more than if we can reach an agreement.” Nothing puts emphasis on losing more money than the Attorneys’ fees accrued by both Casey and Leslie Mott thus far. The court would have you believe that Casey should pay Leslie’s attorney’s fees because she gave up her career to raise their kids while he built up the business. Although Leslie did help raise the kids, Leslie and Casey chose that path. It was a conscious choice. Leslie could have easily pursued a career instead. The Mott’s could have chosen day care and other family resources to help with the kids. Regardless, Casey has been ordered to pay ALL of Leslie’s attorney fees which is now estimated at over $150k. According to Casey, “even though I’m ordered to pay, Leslie and I both pay in the end. It all amounts to less money we get to split” while the attorneys argue.
The Oregon Court of Appeals has repeatedly overturned such “Attorney fee awards,” however, the appellate process is very costly to all litigants.
Leslie Loses Her Eldest Son
Leslie’s biological son, Chris, who is now 23-years-old has disowned Leslie partly because of this divorce. Chris now lives with Casey at the business address, even though their primary home sits empty while Leslie stays with her new boyfriend. Casey and Chris have not lived in their primary home or had access to their personal belongings for almost two years because of Judge Vitolins.
Chris further voiced why he’s disowned his mother. He stated his mom traveled around the U.S. with him while he raced dirt bikes until the age of 16. He was sponsored and expected to go pro, before a career changing injury. Chris was markedly upset while recalling traveling with his mother years ago. Chris discovered, while out of town with his mother, that she was having an affair with his “mechanic.” According to Chris, one of his team members saw Leslie’s travel trailer while only she and the mechanic were inside “rocking back and forth.” “Moans” were also reported as being heard.
Several individuals who didn’t want their last names used, also offered interesting information about Leslie Mott. Geoff, who was part of Chris’ team, shared strong information pertaining to Leslie’s reported infidelity. Steve and Dave were also interesting contacts pertaining to Leslie’s reported infidelity while “helping to raise” Chris instead of pursuing her career, as described by Judge Vitolins’ opinion letter.
Chris fought to recover from his career-altering injury, eventually getting his shot in the pro ranks at age 17. This time, Leslie was not traveling with Chris. He was no longer interested in having her reportedly promiscuous actions around him while he competed.
Chris continued, “when I was younger, I thought Casey was the bad guy because that’s what she (Leslie) always told me. As I got older, I realized it was never Casey.” Leslie threatened to divorce Casey more than once according to Chris, also threatening to take everything, including the kids. According to Chris, it was always Casey who refrained from arguing in front of Chris and his brother.
Thinking Chris may be influenced by Casey, I pressed harder with my line of questioning. I asked him if he ever witnessed Casey getting physical with Leslie. Chris quickly responded, “oh God no! I witnessed her getting physical with him all the time. She would get angry and she would swing, and he would duck. The only time I ever witnessed anything from Casey is when he would raise his voice at her for lying.” Chris admitted that Casey drank sometimes to cope with Leslie. Chris also stated, which is supported by court documents, that Casey has been sober going on two years.“She would yell at him to hit her,” according to Chris. “Now that I’m old enough I go ‘wow,’ she was trying to make him hit her so she could go to the police and she could take everything…”
“…If she could kill Casey, she would.”
– Leslie’s son, Chris
Chris also stated that Leslie kept him from his biological father during his childhood based upon lies, just like she tried to do with Casey. Chris said, “before the divorce, I sat in the office with her. Basically, what she told me was, if she could kill Casey, she would.” Chris said he was deeply bothered by this statement.
“My own blood (Leslie) is the absolute problem…
I’m really thankful that I saw it and was able to move on.”
– Leslie’s son, Chris
Chris said he knows that Leslie is using his younger brother against Casey, something that Chris is adamant that he will not let happen. Chris continued, “She tried for years to turn me against Casey (step-father) and it won’t work.” When pressed further, Chris said Casey won’t even talk to him about the divorce. He said, “Casey told me early on that he would never use his kids as a tool for the divorce.” Chris continued, “My own blood is the absolute problem… I’m really thankful that I saw it and was able to move on.” Chis was very concerned about his younger brother and the impact Leslie has on him. Chris said, “this roller coaster of a ride he’s (younger brother) gonna go on, you have to be so mentally strong or it just, it eats you up. Dude it is gnarly.” Chris claimed he’d witnessed Leslie threaten Casey either physically or mentally on many different occasions. I couldn’t help but feel bad for Chris. If anyone is to be believed, I would consider Chris to be that person. Chris lived with both Leslie and Casey his entire childhood and is now an adult.
Before ending my interview, Chris also claimed he’d recently heard from reliable sources that Leslie was now cheating on her new boyfriend, Dan Wescott. He said, “She doesn’t always go to the gym, when she, ‘goes to the gym.’”
After listening to Chris’ horrific statements about his own mother, I asked, ‘has the court heard these statements?’ That’s when Chris went off on the “expert” who was chosen by Leslie’s attorneys to question him and to help determine custody of his younger brother. Leslie’s attorneys chose Dr. Linda Luther-Starbird. It should be noted that Casey reportedly objected, but Judge Vitolins shut him down, allowing Starbird to be the expert. According to Chris, Starbird NEVER asked him about his mother, step-father (Casey) or brother. Instead, Chris said Dr. Starbird only talked to him one time, for “maybe 10 minutes by phone.” Although he stated he’s never read it, Chris believes Dr. Starbird’s report is full of lies. If Starbird did her job correctly, then Chris believes his brother would be with him and Casey more often. Having experience reporting on high-conflict cases, I decided to look into Starbird. If she was as bad as Chris explained, there would certainly be others who she’s wronged. Then it happened. Calls and emails were sent to this writer that were derived from a previous article written about the Mott vs Mott case. Some who reached out used choice words while describing Dr. Linda Luther-Starbird. None of those who contacted this writer had anything good to say about her. Still questioning the validity of these statements, I looked up Dr. Linda Luther-Starbird online.
Online Reviews of Dr. Luther-Starbird:
• (ONE STAR RATING)
– Cmcatee in Molalla , OR – 07/06/2018
“Do not let this woman into your life! Linda Starbird can be bought! The first parent to pay her will have a great custody report. She has the degree to make the important rulings but is completely biased. My boys and I call her the devil lady! It is very sad that she can determine a child’s future.”
• (ONE STAR RATING)
“Beware!!! She’s a convicted felon. In 2008 she was charged with 19 counts of tax evasion and forgery in Colorado. Somehow she slipped through the cracks and got her license in Oregon.”
• (ONE STAR RATING)
“Biased, one sided, did not do her job, concluded her report without even speaking or collecting evidence from both parties equally!! She will rip your heart out and spit out the pieces and her totally incorrect report stands against you in a court of law!! Plus you have to pay her for this!!”
• (ONE STAR RATING)
“Dr jailbird was convicted for forgery and tax evasion in 2008. She is a crooked woman …It’s not every day an average Joe gets the best of psychologist.”
Ruling According to Association
Judge Vitolins used hearsay statements against Casey Mott. There are several people associated with the Mott case who believe Leslie could have been employed all along instead of being unemployed for almost two years. Her testimony at trial was that she couldn’t work, as she was in fear of her life. Her credit card receipts arguably paint a different picture as she reportedly spent several hundreds of dollars at liquor stores during that period. Judge Daina Vitolins “opinion letter” would have you believe that Casey threatened Leslie’s life (to a mutual friend while intoxicated), which is why Leslie couldn’t work for so long. The allegation used against Casey was hearsay because it was not stated directly to Leslie, nor was it definitively confirmed by Casey. Casey did say, “if that witness said I said it, then I probably did.” He then followed up with a hypothetical question to this writer, “Have you ever said anything that wasn’t literally meant while you are upset?” Considering how Judge Vitolins has ruled against Casey every step of the way, and how much money Casey has been forced to pay thus far, I couldn’t help but feel bad for him that a statement he may have made, but doesn’t remember, could be used against him so much so, that the Judge even used it against him in her opinion letter. Even if Casey made that statement as alleged, it would seem to be a statement taken out of context, at most, especially considering that 44-year-old Casey Mott has NEVER been convicted of a crime.
Court Order Forces Bankruptcy?
In all, Casey doesn’t get the land the businesses sit on, estimated at around 1.7-2.5 million. Casey doesn’t get the home which he lived in, valued at over $330k. Again, this is the same home that Leslie admittedly hasn’t lived in for one and a half years as she’s been staying with her new boyfriend, Dan Wescott. Casey was also court-ordered to pay Leslie over $12k per month to rent the buildings where the businesses are located. Casey was ordered to pay for a property management company through the duration of his “forced lease” which he’s ordered to pay for 6 years. Casey was also ordered to pay spousal support at $7k per month, for 8 years. Casey is court-ordered to pay child support (which he never opposed) per Oregon administrative rules. Casey was ordered to maintain and pay all insurance costs (which he never opposed) for his youngest son, including life insurance for both himself and his son. He was further ordered to make Leslie the beneficiary. Casey was ordered to give Leslie three of their four retirement accounts. Leslie was given custody of their youngest son, including claiming the child for tax purposes. Casey was court ordered to pay all of Leslie’s attorney’s fees. As if it couldn’t get any worse, Judge Vitolins drove the dagger further into Casey’s back, ordering Casey to pay an “equalizing judgment” of over $547k. If he does not pay by June 1, 2019, the judgment will start accruing 9% per annum interest.
As Casey explained, “this case was never about getting myself out of paying for what I should.” In fact, he clearly said he wants to help as much as possible. He’s offered $1.8 million which he finds nearly impossible to pay at this point while also keeping CR Fabrication and CLM Industries open for business. He wants to move forward in a way that allows all involved to begin to rebuild. Sadly, Casey is court ordered to pay so many expenses, it would make a normal person’s head spin.
Offers to Settle Continue
Casey recently had his attorney, James Leuenberger, send Leslie a letter through her attorneys, Joel Kent and Kyle Piro. It was in this letter where Casey again attempted to settle for an amount that will allow him to possibly stay in business. Casey received a response that left little hope. Knowing there is little to no way out, Casey provided one more attempt to settle. He offered to give almost everything to Leslie. His recent offer gives all businesses and the land to Leslie. He only wants the few personal possessions that were awarded to him and $700k – and he walks away from everything. This offer overwhelmingly favors Leslie and further supports Casey’s analysis that the business will cease to exist, leaving nothing to split if the order stands as is.
Judge Vitolins’ Egregious Errors
The court estimated Casey’s income at over $75k per month. Using the same three years that Judge Vitolins used, Casey’s average monthly income as reported to the IRS was $8,066.00 – FAR from $75k. Judge Vitolins counted adjusted gross income from the corporations as Casey’s wages. Judge Vitolins exact words in her opinion letter were, “Husband’s gross monthly wage is $75,982.” That figure is the driving point for Casey to pursue further negotiations as it is “not accurate.” The court failed to understand that the corporation’s income and Casey’s are much different as the corporation requires reinvestment to stay competitive in the market place. “Without working capital” as Casey explained, “the businesses will shut down.” Judge Vitolins’ understanding of the law in this case deviates from reality about as much as her ability to understand that businesses, especially like Casey’s, do not run without costs. Casey made a great point when he said, “investing that money so business can adapt and grow and not spending it is the difference between being a successful businessman and a failure.”
Casey further described the necessity of purchasing new equipment to allow the businesses to stay open and competitive. “It’s really not rocket science” said Casey. CR Fabrication, one of the companies in dispute, relies on much more intricate factors for survival. Casey continued, “I’ve been putting off ordering a new machine that costs over $200k because of this divorce. If business profits are counted as my monthly wage, I won’t be able to keep operating. I’ll be forced to pay so much that I can’t fund future jobs. It’s that simple.”
Another cost of doing business for Casey is funding orders before receiving payment, which is standard practice according to him. He said, “Boeing, which accounts for nearly 70% of the funds received by CR Fabrication could cease doing business with me if I can’t fund their orders up front and receive payment upon completion.” Funding orders before receiving payment takes working capital. Casey said, “giving Leslie over $20k per month is not only insanity, it is suicide for the businesses. Combined, we didn’t spend that amount on ourselves per month during our marriage. Now I’m supposed to give that amount to Leslie each month? Through professional testimony and evidence provided, we only use around $12,500.00 per month, combined, in our personal lives.”
Casey believes the excess of over $20k per month he’s ordered to pay Leslie, combined with the back log of working capital needed to update machinery, etc., will force his businesses to go bankrupt. “There’s hundreds of thousands needed to update machinery which I haven’t spent due to the ongoing legal battle for over 2 years now,” according to Casey.
Judge Vitolins Puts Other Families in Limbo
The court also failed to realize the costs of a potential CR Fabrication closure. Casey, who built CR Fabrication with the help of his employees faces the potential of losing them all. On average, 20 employees rely on CR Fabrication as a means of income. That means twenty families are employed by and dependent upon CR Fabrication’s success in order to survive. If CR Fabrication fails, then 20 families are jobless.
“My final decision is much closer to Wife’s position at trial than it was Husband’s.”
-Judge Daina Vitolins
In her opinion letter, Judge Vitolins showed herself to be quite biased. She used hearsay statements against Casey that were unrelated to assets. Proving bias, Judge Vitolins stated in her opinion letter that, “My final decision is much closer to Wife’s position at trial than it was Husband’s.” This is important to note because custody of their only minor child was resolved shortly before trial, leaving only the division of assets to litigate.
Further proving Judge Vitolins bias was testimony offered about a loan that Leslie gave her new boyfriend while she was reportedly unable to work. With Casey forced to pay for nearly all of Leslie’s expenses, one can only wonder how Leslie was able to give her new boyfriend a loan for thousands of dollars without being held accountable by Judge Vitolins. Issues like these really drive home Judge Vitolins’ inability to be fair and impartial.
Causing more concern, Judge Vitolins had at least one meeting with legal counsel, wherein it was alleged that Casey had “slashed” the opposing attorney’s tires. This was done shortly before Judge Vitolins ruled against Casey in which she upheld a restraining order and temporary spousal support. This unfounded allegation was reportedly taken as truth by Judge Vitolins, especially considering her next ruling was in favor of Leslie. According to Casey, “Judge Vitolins, nor Leslie’s attorney ever provided me an opportunity to refute these completely false claims of slashing his tire. I would never slash someone’s tires, nor would any of my friends, as alleged.” This is simply another example of Judge Vitolins bias.
Near the end of trial, Casey was verbally accosted by Leslie’s attorney, Mr. Kent. Casey was accused of having hired the US~Observer Newspaper. After answering that he had not, he was accosted again under suspicion that he had lied. The only reason Leslie’s attorneys likely knew about the US~Observer was because we had previously published an article regarding this case and Judge Vitolins. That article clearly stated Casey would not talk to us, as he thought it would be used against him. Nonetheless, Mr. Kent felt the need to inquire further. Casey has openly talked to us since the end of trial. As he sees it, “what does he have to lose at this point?” Further, he wants everyone to know the truth. Casey also asked that we publish Judge Vitolins opinion so there’s NOTHING taken out of context.
Despite Casey’s efforts to do the right thing, especially concerning costs, he’s been ruled against every step of the way. Proving he is concerned with costs, Casey told one of his attorneys to stay home and not attend the recent trial which would have cost him an additional $50k. Leslie, on the other hand, had two attorneys present. Both of which Casey is paying for. Attorney Joel Kent conducted all litigation, with attorney Kyle Piro shuffling paperwork on the side. Kent and Piro have yet to produce a bill since trial, which they should have done long ago, according to court documents. I’m anxious to see if Piro charged his regular hourly fee as I couldn’t help but notice at one point during trial, Piro picked his nose then rolled what appeared to be a booger on the tips of his fingers while staring at it.
According to the Head of Investigations for the US~Observer, Edward Snook, “This isn’t the first time Vitolins has ruined lives. When she was a prosecutor in Crook County, she attempted to send numerous innocent individuals to prison. She has absolutely no conscience whatsoever; she is a despicable human being and she is the very reason that people distrust and often despise the legal system today.”
A Sad Reality
It’s no wonder several reports attribute millennials toward the DECLINE in divorces across the U.S. Millennials, by and large are a product of the heightened 50% divorce rates of the 90’s. Perhaps they know all too well what a broken family court household looks like? As for Casey and Leslie, and their children, it is this writer’s hope that Leslie can settle, move on, and work to get along with Casey and her son Chris. If for nothing else, Leslie should do so for the sake of their only minor child, who has many years left before reaching adulthood.
Editor’s Note: While reading this article I found myself shaking my head in disbelief. Daina Vitolins should never serve in any public office. In fact, Vitolins should be removed from the bench for her insane ruling on this case!
The US~Observer would highly recommend that anyone in Crook County, Oregon recuse Vitolins if they are unfortunate enough to get this ignorant, biased and crooked judge. A person must usually recuse a judge before the appointed judge makes a ruling in their case.
Citizens of Crook County or wherever Vitolins sits as a judge can consider themselves forewarned!
She might be a nice lady in public but as a judge she ruins innocent lives. If you have any information regarding anyone named in this article, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 541-474-7885.