by Virginia McCullough


Reporters meet many people personally in the course of their career if they are truly investigating stories and not just simply regurgitating their editor's and/or publisher's pabulum.  One of the strangest individuals this writer has ever met is a man who goes by the name of Richard Harry Peterson.  By all accounts he is the manipulator and controller in the Kelli Nunez/Jr. Manning case where a custody dispute led to two little girls being placed "underground" where strangers cared for them for six months.

Finally, the two precious children, were delivered to the offices of ABC-TV, Channel 7 and Dan Noyce, head of Channel 7's I-Team.  Noyce benefited by promoting himself as the hero who rescued the girls.  The man who orchestrated the placement of the children and orchestrated their return for publicity was Richard Harry Peterson.  The desperate mother, Kelli Nunez, had fallen under the spell of Peterson's militia law and was convinced that her children would be "underground" for only a few weeks until Peterson wove his magic on the courts and filed a UCC-1 filing that would finally make her children her property.

This writer has researched this master manipulator and finds that Rich Peterson might not be this individual's real name.  He allegedly came to California from Denver, Colorado and perhaps to Colorado from Mexico.  Sources who wish to remain unidentified say that while in Colorado he changed his name.  Yet he has all the trappings of a legitimate citizen, a social security number, a residence, a long time marriage and an interest he says in the welfare of other people's children.  However, other sources say that he owes $300,000 in back taxes and several hundred dollars to California's Franchise Tax Board and yet, he is not pursued by these government agencies.

Who, then, is Rich Peterson, this individual that possesses such charisma that he can weave his web and entrap a mother to surrender her children to a stranger at an international airport.  A 66-year old man, small in stature with dark skin wearing his graying hair in a tight pony tail, he is not the handsome charmer one might expect could sweep a single mother off her feet.  Yet this person also enchanted a major reporter in a sophisticated city like San Francisco and that reporter, in turn, convinced his station to co-operate with this user so that the reporting team could attend meetings of parental activists under false pretences to manufacturer their television story.

Rich Peterson describes himself as "a semi-retired financial consultant" who owns absolutely nothing in his own name.  He is, in effect judgment proof, a state of bliss enjoyed by most militia men who practice law without a license blessed with impunity by the very courts that make judgments on their legal motions.  Even though Peterson states, in his deposition of May 17, 2002, that he has been employed as a self employed financial consultant for the past "17 to 20 years", he owns nothing.

He has been married to his wife, Helen, for at least 20 years and all real estate and vehicles are held in the Helen Peterson Trust.  In looking at Rich Peterson we are not looking at a faithful, dedicated husband.  We are seeing a person who, in the early 1980's, use to run a collection agency out of his Walnut Creek home that he shared with wife Helen.  In his capacity as an employer, Peterson employed a young married woman with whom he had an affair that produced two children, a boy and a girl.  The husband of Peterson's paramour assumed his wife's off spring were his.  It was a bad assumption.  Peterson's manhood cried out to prove he could produce children, so he filed a suit in San Mateo County demanding a paternity test.  The tests showed Peterson fathered the children but that did not mean that he wanted to pay for their upbringing.  During the long life of Peterson's San Mateo County lawsuits he went through five attorneys and failed to pay all of them, according to the parties directly involved in the life draining experience.  Peterson visited his children for less than a year but would call every Tuesday and harass the paternal grandparents who raised the boy and girl to be the fine young adults they are today.  Five years ago San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Taylor awarded the grandparents child support of $150.00 per month and Peterson made only one payment of $250.00 in July of 2002,   just before the children turned eighteen.  So Rich Peterson, who repeatedly claims to be deeply concerned for children, cared so much for his own that his total contribution to their upbringing was a lousy $250.00.

Now this con man enters the life of mother Kelli Nunez and begins to file legal documents on her behalf with the full knowledge and support of Paula Lorentzen, Judge Pro-Tempore for the Contra Costa County Superior Court and the attorney for Danny Nunez.  Also fully aware of Rich Peterson's ability to practice law without a license is the sitting judge in the Nunez case, Judy Craddick, and the Contra Costa County district attorney's office.  Each and every one of these players in the legal circus hears no evil, sees no evil, and speaks no evil, essentially sanctioning Peterson's role in the circus.

On May 14, 2002 Rich Peterson addresses a letter to California state Attorney General Bill Lockyer and he titles it NOTICE AND DEMAND FOR ACTION in the nature of Petition for Redress of Grievance.  

Dear Mr. Lockyer:

I bring to you a very serious problem that must have your immediate attention!  I bring this matter as a petition for you to take action upon, in the form of a Redress of Grievance pursuant to Article 1 Section 3 of the California Constitution.

This matter concerns the fact that on May 14th, A.D. 2002 in good faith I appeared in court to have heard, a Next Best Friend of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum that was filed in behalf of my friend Kelly Nunez: Ms. Nunez who has been:

1.  Unlawfully distrained (sic) of her freedom for better than one week by the juristic entity known as Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa, a Public Agency established under Government Code 53050-53051.l  See Attachment A - Statement of Facts of Public Agency attached herein and made a part of this petition.

2.  I have been informed and therefore allege that my friend has been denied medical care while in control of the Jail division of the Sheriff's Office, for an accident that occurred prior to her arrest and for ongoing medical treatment that she requires.

3.  My effort to have the great writ heard was denied on May 14th, A.D.. 2002 by Judy Craddick, employee judge of the Public Agency, Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa.

4.  Subsequent to May 14th, A.D. 2002, the Original Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum was filed with the clerk of the court, who assigned me the Hearing Date May 14, 2002, Time, 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 9, which is the Department of employee Judge Craddick.

5.  I further served copies of the great writ upon the Public Agency, Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa; employee Judge Craddick; Contra Costa Sheriff Warren E. Rupf and the Contra Costa District Attorney, of the same Public Agency, to alert these gentlemen of the apparent miscarriage of justice that has occurred against my friend.

6.  May 14, 2002 I appeared in Dept. 9 at 8:30 and Judge Craddick, an employee pursuant to GC 810.2 and Election Code 327, of the public agency, Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa, refused to hear my writ which was scheduled to be heard at the stated place and time.

7.  In light of the foregoing, my petition for redress of grievance goes to the issue of whether or not the great writ has been suspended as a result of an emergency in the form of rebellion or insurrection to justify first the denial of the right to file the Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum and secondly the delay in having the matters contained in the great writ heard expeditiously.

As a matter of law this petition and action is to be given precedence over all other civil actions you are involved in other than similar actions which were filed prior to this petition.

The charges alleged against the County of Contra Costa and the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa consist of the following but are not limited to:

My friend's three daughters were physically abused by her ex-husband David (sic, he means Daniel) Nunez.  There were pictures, a report by a Child Custody Evaluator and statements/validation by the children to identify her ex-husband as the person responsible for the abuse.  To date, employee Judge Craddick has refused all support for the mother regarding this matter.  Instead, employee Judge Craddick has given full custody to the ex-husband who abused the children and refused all visitation to the mother.

Under the doctrine of necessity, in order to protect her three daughters from further harm three weeks ago, my friend Kelli Nunez, the children's mother, took her children away and refuses to tell this court where the children are.

Employee Judge Craddick ordered the arrest of my friend Kelli Nunez who turned herself in to this court.  My friend, Kelli Nunez has been held in the Contra Costa jail since Wednesday, May 8th, 2002.  Employee Judge Craddick has denied any bail.

A more detailed statement of facts are part of the Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum which a courtesy copy is attached for your review.

This action is in the interest of the People of California and America as well in light of Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees to every state in the union a republican form of government.

I am horrified at the actions of these persons who call themselves public servants.  I have been contacted by several others of the People of California, and against the dignity of the public institutions established under the Constitution of the United States of America and the California Constitution.

My friend must be compensation (sic)  for the damages sustained by the foregoing public servants.

My friend, Kelli Nunez, her mother and family must be told where they can go in order to protect their own children.  Employee Judge Craddick has to date, refused this serious responsibility.

The three daughters of my friend Kelli Nunez must be told they can expect (sic) to be protected from abuse.

I must be notified immediately about your decision, whether you are going to prosecute this case or not.

This issue must be placed to the top of your actions and you must respond to me, now.  I will have handed this Notice and Demand for Action in the nature of Petition for Redress of Grievance to your personnel and I will be awaiting your response in your office for a limited time of seventy-two (72) hours only.

If you, or your assigns (sic), decline to take action in this matter I will proceed according to law and therefore I need your response immediately.

Any delay in your response will be considered to be a decline of bringing this action and thus a waiver now and forever of any rights that you have had in this case.

If you have any reasonable requirement for additional time to make your decision you may request that time from me in writing immediately.  Failure to do so constitutes decline of your options in this matter as heretofore mentioned.

Please take notice that a courtesy copy of my writ and this direct Notice and Demand for Action is being served concurrently upon the Governor of California, His Excellency, The Honorable Gray Davis.

Please further (sic) advised that if no action is taken on your part, my next step will be with the Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding the suspension of the Great Writ without just cause, a violation of the guarantee of a republican form of government.

If you perceive that any part of this Notice and Demand for Action in the nature of Petition for Redress of Grievance implies any kind of crime whatsoever you must notify me immediately or forever waive your rights to prosecute me or anyone else for their part in this action.

Caveat:  Any collusion discovered by way of any means between you and your office with the alleged public servants of County of Contra Costa and the Public Agency, Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa will be followed up with whatever actions are necessary and available to exact all remedies necessary.

    Respectfully submitted.

Richard H. Peterson

cc:    employee Judge Craddick
         Presiding employee Judge, Contra Costa
         Chief Justice, Ronald M. George
         Ken Torre, Court Executive Officer

Three days after this letter was written, May 17, 2002, attorney Paula Lorentzen deposed Rich Peterson regarding his participation in the Kelli Nunez case.  Lorentzen asked the questions and Peterson responded.   During this deposition on page 5 of the transcript, the following exchange took place:

Q.    Okay.  Have you acted in any capacity as an advisor to Ms. Nunez while she has been incarcerated?

A.    What does "advisor" mean?

Q.    Have you been providing her with any information, including documents of advice as to her current status or her currently pending litigation?

A.    I just don't understand the question.

Q.    Okay.  Did you file any documents with the Contra Costa County Superior Court on behalf of Ms. Nunez?

A.    Yes.

Q.    What document did you file?

A.    I filed a writ on Tuesday of this -- let's see -- this is Friday -- Tuesday of this week.  And I filed a motion to set aside previous to that.

Q.    Okay.  And did you file these with Mrs. Nunez's knowledge and consent?

A.    Yes.

Q.    Did Mrs. Nunez review these documents before you filed them?

A.    Yes.

Q.    Okay.  And did Mrs. Nunez review these documents prior to the time that she was incarcerated?

A.    Yes.

Q.    Okay.  In addition to the two documents that you have identified, have you filed any other documents with the Contra Costa County Superior Court on behalf of Mrs. Nunez?

A.    Hmmm, do you want me to go over each piece?

There you have it.  Peterson, finally sworn in by the shorthand reporter on page 4 of the transcript, admits to practicing law without a license.  He make this admission to Danny Nunez's attorney and officer of the court, Paula Lorentzen.  Is he ever charged with practicing law without a license?  The answer is no.  The question is why not?

Could the answer lay in Peterson's flouting of judges' names in the same transcript?  Again, on page 5:

Q.    Okay.  What is your relationship, if any, at present with an organization called "Clout for Kids"?

A.    I'm the treasurer for that organization.

Q.    And how long have you acted in that capacity?

A.    Probably seven years, six, seven years.

Q.    Okay.  And what is Clout for Kids?

A.    Clout for Kids is an organization to improve the quality of education and safety in the public school system.

        Judge Minne is an honorable member of that group, I might point out.

Q.    Okay.

A.    It is well regarded within the county, within the counties, I might add.

Q.    Okay.  Other then -- oh, and is that agency or organization designated as a children's support network?

A.    Absolutely, the Clout for Kids, the name itself, what does that mean?

So the circus continues.  Here is a man that does not care for his own children, pretending to be the treasurer of a children's support network and an officer of the court is buying his tale - hook, line and sinker.  Tomorrow we will explore why men, like Rich Peterson, align themselves with organizations that give them access to other people's children.

Virginia McCullough © 7-1-03

THE KELLI NUNEZ STORY:  Click.  [Part 9]  Click. [Part 8] CLICK. [Part 7] CLICK. [Part 6] CLICK. [Part 5] CLICK.
[Part 4] CLICK.  [Part 3] CLICK.  [Part 2] CLICK  [Part 1]