For years we have been critical of the family court, especially the rulings of District Judge Michelle Thomason. Complaints lit Facebook up like a Christmas tree.

They were so plentiful and consistent that it was obvious to anyone that the good Judges’ court was a malfunction junction in the legal system. Her 50/50 decisions on custody were an easy way out of tough decisions and caused many a family unnecessary hardships.
Thomason has had as many as 6 complaints filed against her in the last 18 months; all were dismissed by the Judiciary. Guess they were busy with Judge Roy Moore.

One complaint centered on Judge Thomasonโ€™s position with the Eastern Shore Republican Women and the Judicial Canons of Alabama, specifically number 5 and 7.

Add to the mix half dozen attorneys who have turned the whole process of divorce and child custody into a cottage industry. Divorces in Baldwin County can take up to 12 years and drain all the resources of both parents while bouncing the children around like rubber balls.

The Ripp Report is pleased to inform you some changes have been recently made involving DR/Family Court. These changes came from presiding Judge Floyd and are intended to assist the parties in court and to hear final trials more expeditiously.

1) All answer and waiver divorces will be assigned by the clerks and handled by the four general jurisdiction circuit judges on a rotating basis.

2) All pendente lite/temporary motions for cases assigned to Judge Thomason and Judge Bosch will be heard by the other four circuit judges on dates as they schedule. Judge Floyd and Judge Bishop will hear Judge Thomasonโ€™s motions and Judge Norton and Judge Taylor will hear Judge Boschโ€™s motions. It is anticipated that most of these will be heard on the afternoon of motion docket in Bay Minette.

3) Specially assigned judges will hear Judge Thomasonโ€™s domestic violence dockets in 2017.

In a nutshell, the importance of this is that Thomason is now prevented from inflicting her bad judgment at temporary custody and support hearings. The temporary orders issued by Thomason would often remain in place for years โ€” until the final hearing. In Judge Thomason’s status quo orders which are issued in all of the cases assigned to her at the beginning of the case โ€” joint physical custody is immediately forced when often there was never a 50/50 relationship between the parents and children.

Will her status quo order be out the window too?

It’s too soon to know, but if not at least the judges who have the first “bite” at these cases will have an opportunity to use common sense.

This should also be interesting for appeals process. It is really hard to win on appeal as “affirmed” and judge’s discretion seem to be a blanket response. With this process, if the two judges rule in two varying and different ways, then perhaps more scrutiny will be given to the screwy custody arrangements coming out of Thomason’s courtroom.

As far as the domestic violence docket being removed from her control this is huge. Itโ€™s been long recognized that Thomason favors the pro se litigant, and often asks questions on their behalf. Lawyers all over the County would joke that they would give the other party $500 to hire an attorney rather than go into Thomason’s Court with a pro se litigant on the other side.

What is not mentioned is will she still be solely over the veteran’s court?

This is a huge shake upโ€” and would likely not have occurred without those brave enough to voice their disgust.

The way to get rid of Judge Thomason is vote her out in the next primary, unless she fixes it like the last time. The way to eliminate to cottage industry attorneys is stop doing business with them; you can start by avoiding Attorney Steven Johnson and his mentor, Buddy Brackin.
It would also be nice to see the Baldwin County Bar start to clean the roaches out of their judicial house.

Thank You Baldwin County Bar Association, this is a start.

Read the latest ๐ŸŽ‰ Terrific Tuesday ๐ŸŽ‰!


  1. Tip the Rippster: Paul hope you are well. Just wanted to let you know that judge Floyd is retiring in about a month and a half. He has stepped down as presiding judge. Carmen Bosch is the new presiding circuit judge. After reading your latest report just thought I would let you in on what is going on.

  2. Thomason seems to be in cahoots with Dassinger as they share interest in the whole drug court money making machine.. I begged him to change judges and (told him that the judge who tried to sentence me to 30 days in orange beaches jail for a fist fight where no one got hurt and I had no prior anythings) (Bracken)) who was a supporter of the musician of my now ex husbands lover… (wrap ur head around that oh and the musician was another dude). Bracken swore in the very police officers that held me at gunpoint while robbing me. These judges know people and need their friends and friends of friends to stay happy for some reason…Oba is a small community and it shows in a courtroom on that island of misfits ???? For a better detail, here’s the video And the subject that was stolen in the chair ????

  3. Gene Bouchillon | October 29, 2016 at 6:22 am |

    Paul, I applaud Judge Thomason’s work with the Veterans’ Court. This venue provides needed guidance to our troubled veterans through the utilization of mentors for each veteran in the court. Regards, Gene Bouchillon

  4. My experience with that judge is totally different. She did let my ex continue to drag the divorce out costing me everything I had, but when I wanted shared custody, because they are my children also, it was never considered. Seems to me that maybe people should start seeing the father as a parent as much as the bank!!!!

    • Exactly! My husband is in the same situation. He had crazy Bosch as a judge. She is a man hater. All she cares about is the father paying.

  5. Judge Thomason and Bosch work unfairly with Brackin and Johnson to help Brackin and Johnson clients. There is obviously still much work to do. Thanks for you continued efforts.

  6. Unfortunately both judges need to be held accountable for their screwy decisions, but no one seems to care. Instead children are being used as pawns in a sick and twisted game

  7. Something very similar to this happpend in Jefferson County as well. Stewart Speinger was in bed (maybe not literally but bragged about taking his boats off in her chambers more than a dozen times) with Judge Childers. Not only was his parental rights limited for abusing his daughter, he was also a paying member on Ashley Madison. Needless to say, he was exposed and she was not reflected. Karma is a b. Eventually, they all get what is coming to them.

  8. Wow! I have been thinking we are the only people slammed by Judge Thomasson!!! I want to hear more!

  9. I was a victim of this process too. Steven Johnson was my ex-husbands attorney. We had a different judge assigned to our case, not Michelle Thomason, until Steven Johnson hired another attorney to be part of my ex-husbans legal team. This new attorney was a consultant to our judge, so the judge was taken off the case, and the new Judge, Michelle Thomason, was assigned. Bullies with power!

  10. Thomason needs to be voted out. She dose. Or care about the kids. She has no clue

  11. So Michelle will not be our judge when we court to family Court in a couple of weeks?

  12. I know a quite a number of the mentors in the Veteran’s court and they have nothing but high praise for Michelle’s dedication and passion to helping our local veterans stay out of jail and get their problems turned around.

    I have never appeared in any Baldwin Court, but I have 3 friends who had Michelle as their presiding judge for divorce and their experiences differ greatly from what is described here. I think there are few jobs more dangerous or more thankless than being a family court judge. My experience, even with good friends, is that it is usually the parents whose behavior puts their children at risk. We are a community property state and it is the law. Divorcing parents often go to war, at the expense of their children.

    • Becky, why don’t you go to the Court where she will be presiding over and sit there a couple of hours for a couple times and it become very clear what a pathetic job Judge Michelle Thomason has done from day one!!! You seem to know 3 friends (geez I am glad I’m not one of them) that had experiences that differ with what is written about Michelle and that You say that that you have never appeared in front of a Baldwin Co Court? Sounds like you might need to.

  13. Anonymous | May 11, 2017 at 9:40 am |

    My experience has been that Michelle Thomason consistently harms the children, despite the few commentators here blaming the parents. Many of her decisions bypass rationality. She consistently wait months and years to make a decision as she is intent on never having her ruling overturned by upper courts. Thus, the need to drag divorce judgements out until both parties are financially drained. An appeal costs 40,000 to hundreds of thousands. If you have no money, you cannot appeal.
    One couple has been waiting nine years, hearing after hearing, to just have this judge grant the divorce. And the entire time, the parent with the children receives no child support from the other parent because Thomason won’t rule. It is not complicated…this judge has a real problem…cannot put it any other way.
    And concerning politics…she is president of the eastern shore women’s republican group…definitely should not be doing this when she is judge.

  14. Anonymous | May 11, 2017 at 10:31 am |

    Alabama -Baldwin County (Foley) Satellite Courthouse Judge Thomason has decreed not only that a young mother must take her children on a one hour drive to visit with the man who molested them, but that SHE will spend five days in jail if she refuses! To make matters even more chilling, when the children begged and cried not to go into the same room with him, she was fined $5.00 for every minute they were not in the room! Visitation was ordered to be held in Mobile at a place called The Exchange Club, where the little girls must spend two hours with their biological father, who molested both during overnight stays at his home, as documened by an examinig physician and Alabama’s DHR Department in signed documents, but this man has not spent a minute in jail and now has been given parental visitation rights!

  15. Judge Thomason does not follow the laws of Alabama in my divorce she made my ex in charge of region and she gave him joint custody when he was living and still lives in another county. I followed her every command and then found me in contempt of court for doing what she said. She will not grant me a copy of the court recordings.

  16. Tonya Etheridge | July 21, 2018 at 10:59 am |

    On June 28th i received an email from my ex husband it was a final order awarding him sole custody of our 2 boys and me zero parenting rights and no visitation at all. His attorney Brackin used me moving and not yet changing address to schedule the next hearing to which i didn’t know about court at all never received any kind of letter letting me know. Judge was well aware of our custody fight going on since 2013 and I’ve never missed a date . Since I didn’t come to court he racked up its like he won lottery she took all my rights away and no visitation me pay insurance pay child support and pay his 5000 lawyer fees . This is truly devastating to my. Me and my kids . My 14 yr old wrote alerted to judge Thompson asking to speck to her in chambers so his dad lawyer didn’t hear any of what he said and tell his father. Well judge told lawyer about letter and did not speck to my son . When my son got back to his dad’s he grounded him. What do I do to get this changed i have no lawyer at this time due to finance. How long do I have to appeal?

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