How Judge Viscovich Shamelessly Dangled Child As “Hostage” to Coerce Father In Divorce Case 

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Screenshot from NBC Television website showing image of Judge Viscovich after the station’s Sarah Wallace on March 22, 2022 featured my story about the judge’s egregious rulings.

(This article was originally published in 2022) 

It’s obnoxious and cruel that a State Supreme Court Judge, in Queens county, is dangling a seven-year-old child as hostage until her father pays $82,728 to his wife’s lawyer even though the couple has a prenuptial agreement.

The prenuptial agreement precludes Dr. Robby Mahadeo from paying for his wife Priya Mahadeo’s legal fees in a divorce proceeding. Yet, for the last five years, two judges have been arm-twisting Dr. Mahadeo, threatening him with jail time, to force him to pay his wife’s lawyer, Alyssa Eisner. The lawyer was aware of the existence of the prenuptial agreement when she was retained. 

The judge currently handling the case, William Viscovich, has issued a warrant for Dr. Mahadeo’s arrest unless he pays the fees. He’s also suspended Dr. Mahadeo’s twice-a-month visit with his seven-year-old daughter. Dr. Mahadeo hasn’t seen two of his older children for five years, based on a lie that could have been quickly exposed and which, Viscovich—so focused on getting Eisner paid—could address in one day.

I’ve been writing about Dr. Mahadeo’s plight since 2019, but in recent months, Viscovich has kept me out of his courtroom, fearing scrutiny. 

On Jan. 4, 2022, Judge Viscovich sent me an e-mail message at 12:58 p.m. stating: “Canceled: Mahadeo v Mahadeo 712027/2021. This event has been canceled.” On that date, Viscovich was supposed to rule on an emergency motion filed by Eisner, to be relieved as counsel. Dr. Mahadeo had filed a motion for Eisner to be sanctioned for allegedly filing false fraudulent affidavit of personal service. Yet, the proceedings went on as scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Viscovich didn’t relieve Eisner as Mrs. Mahadeo’s counsel. Instead, he ordered Dr. Mahadeo to pay her the $82,728 in legal fees or face jail time. 

Judge Viscovich seemed to resent Dr. Mahadeo’s professional success. “I suspect, if I asked the gentleman what kind of car he drives today, it is, would not be a Datsun, okay?” Viscovich said, referring to Dr. Mahadeo, according to the transcript. “By the way, it would not be a 2007 Hyundai like the one I have, okay?” 

At one point Viscovich asked Eisner how much money she’d received out of attorney fees that Mahadeo says he’s already paid, she responded: “Zero.” Mahadeo says he has canceled checks to show he’s paid Eisner at least $18,000 in fees when the case was previously handled by another judge, Margaret McGowan, who’d also threatened to throw him in jail. Viscovich, at the hearing also said he would consider Eisner’s request to have Dr. Mahadeo’s passport suspended; he also said he would consider suspending his driver’s license and license to practice medicine. 

Dr. Mahadeo appealed Viscovich’s order for the payment to Eisner and deposited a bank check of $153,978 with the clerk, to cover the amount awarded to Eisner with the balance going to Mrs. Mahadeo. Dr. Mahadeo got an automatic stay on Jan. 13, at 4:45 p.m. However, Judge Viscovich decided to work overtime. He issued a sua sponte order—this is when a judge takes action without a motion by either party—at 5:30 p.m., lifting the stay. The court date for the payment to Eisner was Jan. 14, at 9:30 a.m., giving Dr. Mahadeo no time to take any action. What’s more, on Jan. 4, 2022, Judge Viscovich had issued an order barring Dr. Mahadeo’s lawyer from filing any motions without his permission. Judge Viscovich ordered the clerk to reissue the $153,978 check to Eisner and ordered Dr. Mahadeo to come up with an additional $106,000. He also issued a warrant for Dr. Mahadeo’s arrest. 

Judge Viscovich previously blocked me from covering an earlier hearing involving Eisner, on Nov. 16, 2021. On that occasion, his law clerk sent me an e-mail message stating: “At a virtual conference today on the record with the attorneys and the parties, J. Viscovich denied the application on the basis of the best interests of the children.” 

Best interest of the children? More like in the best interest of Eisner.

The purpose of that conference was for the judge to decide on a motion by Dr. Mahadeo through his attorney, Ioannis P. Sipsas, for a traverse hearing to determine whether Eisner had lied about properly serving Dr. Mahadeo with a contempt motion. Eisner claimed her process server Mark Wasserman, had served Dr. Mahadeo on July 27, 2021; Dr. Mahadeo says he was at a doctor’s appointment. The judge denied a hearing on Dr. Mahadeo’s motion. Had it been established on the record that she’d lied, It would have vacated Viscovich’s entire order, including Eisner’s fees.

Subsequently, Mahadeo claims Eisner filed another false affidavit, claiming her process server Brian Hamid, personally served him on November 30, at 6:17 p.m. with Judge Viscovich’s order granting her fees. Mahadeo says this was a lie, unless Hamid had been aboard TAP Portugal Airlines, Flight TP 209 from Portugal to the U.S.; Dr. Mahadeo was on that flight, which didn’t land at JFK until 8 p.m. 

Sipsas had filed a motion of perjury on Dec 20, 2021, stating, if it was proven Eisner lied, then “… all involved must be held in contempt.” Sanction against attorneys who file false affidavits include disbarment. So Viscovich has decided to turn two blind eyes. 

Readers can’t understand Judge Viscovich’s vendetta against Dr. Mahadeo without some history about this case. 

The campaign against Dr. Mahadeo started five years ago when the case was assigned to Judge Margaret McGowan, also in Queens county. The judges, it appears, always side with the Attorneys For the Children (AFC), even when they blatantly lie, Dr. Mahadeo says. On Dec. 15, 2017, Mrs. Priya Mahadeo and AFC Rayaaz Khan, alleged, without any proof, that Dr. Mahadeo had fed peanuts to their youngest child—who was then three years old—even though he knew she was allergic, leading to a medical reaction. 

Doctors at the hospital where the child was treated provided Dr. Mahadeo with a letter stating the child had suffered from a strep infection and not an allergic reaction to peanuts. McGowan rejected the letters and, according to Dr. Mahadeo, said “all doctors lie.” She scheduled a trial to determine the truth of the allegations but then canceled it at the request of the AFC Khan, who clearly feared the hoax would be exposed, Dr. Mahadeo says. Yet, on the basis of the peanuts allegations, McGowan stripped Dr. Mahadeo of his parental rights. As a result, since 2017, he hasn’t seen a daughter who was 14 and is now 18, and a son who was 12 and is now 17. 

McGowan was also determined to get Eisner—who was already Mrs. Mahadeo’s lawyer—paid. She held a trial to determine the validity of the prenuptial agreement and upheld it. Then Khan and Mrs. Mahadeo came up with a ruse, Dr. Mahadeo says. Judge McGowan went along with it. She vacated her order upholding the prenuptial agreement, claiming a “confidential informant” came forward and told her Dr. Mahadeo had bribed a witness to testify on his behalf. Khan took the “informant” to the Queens county DA’s office to be interviewed and McGowan even testified before a grand jury in an attempt to get Dr. Mahadeo indicted for the alleged crime of bribery. The grand jury did not indict. 

Guess who the “confidential informant” was? It was Mahadeo’s own son, who was then 12 years old. When the grand jury rejected the attempt by Khan, Mrs. Mahadeo, and Judge McGowan to railroad Dr. Mahadeo and have him indicted for a phantom crime, the judge had no option but to uphold the validity of the prenuptial agreement. 

Even after demonstrating her clear bias against Dr. Mahadeo, McGowan continued presiding over the case as if she were an impartial judge. After I 

published a series of articles about McGowan’s biased rulings against Dr. Mahadeo, the judge finally recused herself. Yet, in essence she merely made a lateral pass to her friend and colleague in Queens county, Judge Viscovich. He’s also presiding over another contentious case previously handled by McGowan, where she also recused herself–and ruled on the same case after her recusal–following a series of articles I wrote. 

(McGowan vacated one of her biased rulings after I reported the matter to the office of the governor and the attorney general). 

If Viscovich was truly interested in justice, he would have started off with a trial to determine the validity of the peanuts allegation, which was the basis on which McGowan stripped Dr. Mahadeo of parental rights. Instead, he threw some crumbs on the table for Dr. Mahadeo, allowing him to start seeing his youngest daughter, who’s now seven years old, two times a month. 

But he’s very determined to get Eisner the money, so he’s set a May 9, 2022 trial date to determine—yet again—the validity of the prenuptial agreement. Yet, even though he knows the prenuptial is valid as of now, he’s already ordered Dr. Mahadeo to pay Eisner the fees. He’s clearly revealed that he’s already made up his mind about the agreement. 

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the New York unified courts system, Lucian Chalfen, didn’t respond to a question I sent about the payment ordered by Judge Viscovich. The question was resubmitted today and copied to the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Lawrence Marks, and the Administrative Law Judge, Marguerite Gray.

On Jan. 10, 2022, I sent Viscovich a letter asking for an explanation for ordering Mahadeo to pay Eisner the fees when there’s an existing prenuptial agreement. I also asked why he hadn’t held a trial to determine the truth behind the peanuts allegations, and whether he intended to permanently block me from covering the Mahadeos’ case and other matters before him. Previously, his colleague, McGowan had also barred me from her court room “in the interest of the children.” 

The interest of the children? 

On Jan. 14, 2022, Judge Viscovich suspended Dr. Mahadeo’s bi-monthly visits with his daughter to force him into paying Eisner’s fees. The tyrannical out-of-control judge is penalizing a seven-year-old girl and depriving her of the joy of spending a few hours a month with her father, and eating ice cream and pizza, due to his personal animus toward Dr. Mahadeo.

This is beyond cruelty.

Where are the adults in State Supreme Court, Queens county?

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