Kansas Judge Charged with Felony for violating on Father’s Rights, Facing Two Lawsuits

The Johnson County District Court in Kansas is currently dealing with a second lawsuit filed against Judge Paul Will Burmaster. This lawsuit accuses him of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, which is a federal statute that criminalizes the intentional deprivation of an individual’s constitutional or legal rights by someone acting under the authority of the law.

The plaintiff, Matthew Aaron Escalante, previously filed a federal lawsuit against Judge Burmaster two months ago in the U.S. District Court in the District of Kansas. The suit has progressed, and hearings are scheduled to be held in January at the Robert J Dole courthouse. In the most recent filing on December 12, 2023 (Case No. 2:23-CV0559 Escalante v. Burmaster), Mr. Escalante claims that on April 27, 2023, Judge Burmaster acted without jurisdiction and retaliated against him in the Johnson County family court. He alleges that the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department was involved in this retaliation, leading to his unlawful detainment.

Mr. Escalante argues that Judge Burmaster did not have the proper jurisdiction to hold him in indirect civil contempt on April 27, 2023. He points to Kansas statute KSA 20-1204a, which outlines the procedures for indirect contempt hearings, stating that a show cause motion and supporting affidavit are necessary. However, Mr. Escalante presents court transcripts that reveal the show cause order issued by Judge Burmaster was incomplete and did not include any factual allegations.

During the April 27th hearing, Mr. Escalante brought up the Kansas case Meigs v. Black to Judge Burmaster, highlighting the flaws of the show cause order under KSA 20-1204a and the lack of jurisdiction. However, despite this, Judge Burmaster reportedly instructed the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department to detain and handcuff Mr. Escalante.

If the allegations are proven true, the federal complaint suggests that Judge Burmaster intentionally provided false information to the deputy regarding his authority to detain Mr. Escalante, despite knowing that he did not have the proper jurisdiction over the contempt proceedings. This alleged action would be considered a violation of Title 18 U.S.C. 242, as it would involve depriving Mr. Escalante of his legal rights under the guise of legal authority. Additionally, it could potentially violate the Kansas statute KSA 21-5411, which prohibits unlawful restraint.


The federal magistrate is currently reviewing the court transcripts and evidence presented by the plaintiff to support his allegations against Judge Burmaster. The plaintiff is seeking to hold the judge accountable for alleged misconduct and unlawful actions during the family court proceedings. It is worth noting that the father has been unable to see his 14-year-old daughter for over two years and his youngest daughter for 17 months now, as stated by the plaintiff. Janelle Leigh Escalante, the mother of the children from Kansas, is also a defendant in her own federal lawsuit, 2:23-CV02491. These three lawsuits are accompanied by two others. The first, 2:23-CV02536, is against the Chief Judge of the district court, who is accused of enabling these circumstances to persist for an extended period. This lawsuit further alleges a crime committed by the chief judge, as the jurisdiction to hold him accountable is argued to override his immunity. The final lawsuit, 2:23-CV02529, is filed against the Gardner KS police department for civil rights interferences. These interferences include the alleged negligence of the police in addressing custody interference reports made by the father over the years against the mother, which the police allegedly ignored.

In the 10th Judicial District, there is a disturbing breakdown of conduct in the family court.

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