Iowa Open Records Request – City of Ames, IA – The Elimination of The Fog of War

18 March 2022

MEMORANDUM

From: Michael J. Merritt, USN Retired/Writer
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208
(515)-446-8993

To:  Geoff Huff, Ames, IA Police Department, Chief of Police
515 Clark Avenue
Ames, IA 50010
(515)-239-5130

John Haila, Mayor, City of Ames, IA
PO Box 811
515 Clark Avenue
Ames, IA 50010
(515)-290-5436

Timothy C. Meals, Story County Attorney
1315 South B Ave.
Nevada, IA 50201
(515)-382-7255

Ames Community School District
2005 24th St.
Ames, Iowa 50010
(515)-268-6600

Story County, IA Department of Human Services
126 S Kellogg Ave
Suite 101
Ames, IA 50010
(515)-292-2035

Story County, IA Sheriff’s Office
1315 South B Ave
Nevada, IA 50201

Info:  U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

U.S. Department of Education
Student Privacy Policy Office
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520

Kim Reynolds, Governor, State of Iowa
State Capitol
1007 East Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515)-281-5211

Iowa Senate, General Assembly 89 (2021-2023)
Districts 2-50
(Electronic Service)

Iowa House of Representatives, General Assembly 89 (2021-2023)
Districts 1-100
(Electronic Service)

Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Hoover State Office Building
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515)-281-5164

Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 E 14th St
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146

Beate Schmittmann, Dean, Iowa State University
207 Catt Hall
515 Morrill Road
Ames, IA 50011-210
515-294-3220

Monic Behnken, Associate Dean, Iowa State University
213 Catt Hall
515 Morrill Road
Ames, IA 50011-2103
515-294-8379

Arne Hallam, Associate Dean, Iowa State University
239 Catt Hall
515 Morrill Road
Ames, IA 50011-2103
515-294-5861

Ted Conferences, LLC
250 Hudson St Suite 1002
New York, NY 10013 United States

Iowa Public Information Board
Wallace Building, Third Floor
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Office of Auditor of State
Room 111
State Capitol Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Office of Ombudsman
Ola Babcock Miller Building
1112 East Grand
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Chief Burdess, Newton, IA Police Department
101 W 4th St S
Newton, IA 50208
(641)-791-0850

Chief Tupper, Marshalltown, IA Police Department
909 S 2nd St
Marshalltown, IA 50158
(641)-754-5725

Judicial Council of California
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
(415)-865-4200

The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-538-2000

Subj:  IOWA OPEN RECORDS REQUEST – THE CITY OF AMES, IA – THE ELIMINATION OF THE FOG OF WAR

Ref: 1.  Iowa Code Title I State Sovereignty and Management, Chapter 22 Examination of Public Records (Open Records)
2.  Iowa Code Title I – State Sovereignty and Management, Chapter 23 Public Access to Government Information (Iowa Public Information Board Act)
3.  Electronic Mail from Claudia J. Bergman to the Executive Officer of NCTS Bahrain, 10 JUN 2017
4.  Department of the Navy, 29 MAR 2018
5.  Department of the Navy, 08 MAY 2018
6.  Claudia J. Bergman’s Public Facebook Posts (Late Spring 2018 – December 2018)
7.  San Diego East County Court, Order, 08 APR 2019
8.  San Diego East County Court, DV-116, 05 JUN 2019
9.  Voluntary Sworn Statement – Newton, IA Police Department, 26 AUG 2019
10.  Ames, IA Community School District Registration Documents signed by Sara N. Merritt of Ames, IA, 28 AUG 2019
11.  Newton, IA Police Department Iowa Incident Report 19-26175, 30 AUG 2019
12.  California Safe at Home Program Documentation, 18 SEP 2019
13.  San Diego East County Court, Appointment of Minor’s Counsel, 31 OCT 2019
14.  Voluntary Sworn Statement – Ames Police Department/Guthrie County Sheriff, 21 DEC 2020
15.  San Diego East County Court – Judgment, 16 SEP 2021
16.  Freedom of Information Request – Use of City of Ames, Iowa Information System Assets #001, 29 NOV 2021
17.  Freedom of Information Request – Use of Iowa State University Information System Assets, 05 DEC 2021
18.  Freedom of Information Request – Ames Community School District #001, 07 DEC 2021
19.  Iowa State University – Iowa Open Records Response, 17 DEC 2021
20.  Ames Community School District – Iowa Open Records Response, 22 DEC 2021
21.  Freedom of Information Request – Use of Iowa State University Information System Assets #001, 03 JAN 2022
22.  Freedom of Information Request – Use of Iowa State University Information System Assets #002, 03 JAN 2022
23.  Freedom of Information Request – Use of Iowa State University Information System Assets #003, 03 JAN 2022
24.  Freedom of Information Status Request to the City of Ames, IA – #001, 14 FEB 2022
25.  Iowa State University Iowa Open Records Request Response, 01 MAR 2022
26.  City of Ames Iowa Open Records Response, No Date – Postmarked 09 MAR 2022

Enc: 1. Merritt, ***** *. – Birth Certificate/** *** **** (Age of Majority)
Merritt, ******* *. – Birth Certificate/** *** ****

1.  Introduction

An Iowa Open Records Request was sent to the Ames, IA Police Department requesting records in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22 in December 2021.  A status request along with the original records request was electronically served to the Ames, IA Police Department Chief of Police, on 15 FEB 2022 in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22.4 with a directed deadline of 28 FEB 2022.

Evidence of this is available at the following link:

Public Records Request Log

A voluntary sworn statement was submitted to the Ames, IA Police Department by Michael J. Merritt on 21 DEC 2020 reporting child concealment in Ames, IA from their Father and San Diego, CA East County Superior Court, which had jurisdiction over these children in accordance with The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) from January 2017 to August 2021.  The State of Iowa recognizes and adheres to The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) as stipulated in Iowa Code Chapter 598B.

Ames, IA Police Department case:  Officer Rohland – 858/Case:  20-005368

“And this, O men of Athens, is the truth; I have concealed nothing, I have dissembled nothing. And yet I know that this plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred but a proof that I am speaking the truth?—this is the occasion and reason of their slander of me, as you will find out either in this or in any future inquiry.”

Plato, The Apology of Socrates

2.  Ethics and Operational Analysis of the City of Ames, IA

1.  What gives the City of Ames, IA specifically Chief of Police Huff, the right to enforce the law when evidence in this situation supports the conclusion that they cannot adhere to it or provide a timely response to a citizen of the State of Iowa in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22 concerning their responsibility:

“…to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against abuse or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.”

2.  Is the City of Ames, IA jurisdiction a sanctuary for interstate child concealment for those that maliciously choose to conceal children from court-ordered appearances and the court having jurisdiction?   While at the same time utilizing false allegations of sexual abuse as a family court strategy to profit off of child support.  This question is referencing direct end-to-end evidence provided to the Ames, IA Police Department on 21 December 2020 showing child concealment occurred in the City of Ames, IA, while law enforcement in this jurisdiction did nothing.  Is this not what the result of Reference (14.) and the records requested in Reference (16.)?

3.  How is children’s emotional and psychological development impacted while concealed from a loving parent.  Furthermore, how are children emotionally and psychologically damaged when the vehicle of concealment utilized by their guardians (living in Ames, IA) is false allegations of sexual abuse?  Why is this behavior tolerated in the City of Ames, IA, and Story County, IA?

4.  How many more Iowa Incident Reports does the Ames, IA Police Department Chief of Police have in his desk from parents reporting child concealment in the City of Ames, IA jurisdiction with no action taken?  How many Iowa Open Records Requests in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22 requesting evidence of this department’s historical actions/inaction has the City of Ames, IA, and its Police Department ignored or failed to respond to in a timely manner?

5.  Why did Ames, IA Community School District, allow Sara N. Merritt to register children to attend school in their district when she was not on their birth certificates, and she did not have a custody decree, divorce decree, or other court document establishing her as a legal guardian or custodial parent.  Ames, IA Community School District requested these documents in their 22 DEC 2021 Iowa Open Records Request Response regarding records requested for students Sara N. Merritt claimed to be the custodial parent/legal guardian on Ames, IA Community School District registration documents(Reference 10).  Sara N. Merritt was never a custodial parent/legal guardian authorized by San Diego, CA East County Superior Court, nor was she a party to court case ED100465 while San Diego, CA East County Superior Court had jurisdiction over these children from January 2017 to August 2021.  The evidence in this situation regarding Ames, IA Community School District suggests that anyone with custody of children not authorized by the court can conceal children while they are educated within this district.  While the employees of this district possibly fail to execute their responsibilities as mandatory reporters as articulated in Iowa Code Section 232.67, 232.68, 232.69, and 232.70.

3.  Evidence of Child Concealment

Ames, IA Community School District, communicated in their 22 DEC 2021 correspondence they have no record of Michael J. Merritt being a legal guardian or custodial parent for any of their students. Yet, registration and attendance records show his children attended Ames, IA High School (Reference 10).

4.  Evidence of Unauthorized Transfer of Custody 

Sara N. Merritt signed school registration documents at Ames, IA Community School District on 28 AUG 2019 for children, court-ordered on 05 JUN 2019 to appear for FCS Child Interviews in San Diego, CA on 21 AUG 2019 and 30 AUG 2019.  San Diego, CA East County Superior Court had not ordered, mediated, or authorized this custody transfer or permanent removal of these children from the state of California.  San Diego, CA East County Superior Court ordered FCS Child interviews for these children to provide testimony regarding false allegations of sexual abuse Claudia J. Bergman (formerly Claudia J. Merritt) utilized to acquire a temporary restraining order issued on 17 MAY 2019.  Ultimately as the court documented on 16 SEP 2021, Claudia J. Bergman failed to provide any evidence supporting allegations she began communicating immediately after separating on 25 DEC 2016 during this nearly five-year-long California Family Court case ending in August 2021.  Claudia J. Bergman failed to mention anything regarding her allegations to San Diego, CA East County Superior Court until 03 DEC 2018 while requesting child support.  Claudia J. Bergman retracted her 17 MAY 2019 temporary restraining order on 31 OCT 2019 under legal guidance provided by Maria Kraus (The State Bar of California #243115) after providing no evidence to support allegations she utilized on her 17 MAY 2019 DV-100 temporary restraining order request and 03 DEC 2018 FL-300 requesting child support.  During the issuance of this temporary restraining order based on zero evidence issued by Honorable Judge Martin

1.  Claudia J. Bergman concealed the transfer of the children in San Diego, CA East County Superior Court Case ED100465 to Matthew E. Merritt/Sara N. Merritt of Ames, IA.

2.  Sara N. Merritt registered these children on 28 AUG 2019 with Ames, IA Community School District.

3.  The children involved in San Diego, CA East County Superior Court case ED100465 failed to appear to FCS Child Interviews on 21 AUG 2019 and 30 AUG 2019 as court-ordered on DV-116 issued on 05 JUN 2019.

4.  Claudia J. Bergman acquired a concealment address through the California Safe at Home program under the direction of the California Secretary of State for herself and both children on 18 SEP 2019.  According to attendance records available from Ames, IA Community School District, the California Secretary of State and the California Safe at Home Program provided a concealment address in California for children living in Iowa.  Providing Claudia J. Bergman documents issued by the State of California indicating these children were living in California. At the same time, she had them concealed in the State of Iowa, residing with Matthew E. Merritt and Sara N. Merritt of Ames, IA.

5.  Evidence of Judicial Misconduct by San Diego East County Superior Court Department 5

Honorable Judge Martin (formerly of San Diego, CA East County Superior Court Department 5) issued Claudia J. Bergman a temporary restraining order on 17 MAY 2019 without evidence supporting the allegations Claudia J. Bergman documented on her 17 MAY 2019 DV-100 request(spousal rape/child molestation).  The San Diego County Sheriff had already investigated the allegation of child molestation in 2017 case: 17136819 finding no evidence of abuse and filing no charges.  As the evidence shows, Honorable Judge Martin allegedly violated California Family Code 6320/6320.5 by issuing a temporary restraining order based on allegations not supported by evidence.  Honorable Judge Miller of San Diego, CA East County Superior Court Department 5 documented in court documents filed on 16 SEP 2021 that there was no evidence supporting any of the allegations utilized by Claudia J. Bergman in court case ED100465.  Additionally, as the evidence supports, Honorable Judge Martin allegedly violated California Family Code 7602 with the issuance of a temporary restraining order not supported by evidence while halting a parent-child relationship. California Family Code 7602 states:  “The parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents.”  This conspiracy executed by Claudia J. Bergman, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt violated Michael J. Merritt’s parental rights under California Family Code 7602 as these children were at that time under the jurisdiction of San Diego, CA East County Superior Court.  Claudia J. Bergman, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt jointly executed actions that prevented these children (witnesses) from appearing for court-ordered FCS Child Interviews in August of 2019 to provide testimony regarding the allegations utilized for their concealment.  Claudia J. Bergman, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt had no legal right to conceal these children from Michael J. Merritt upon Claudia J. Bergman’s withdrawal of her restraining order request on 31 OCT 2019 after providing no evidence to support the allegations utilized on her restraining order request.  Claudia J. Merritt, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt at no time had a legal right to conceal the child not included in her temporary restraining order.  Claudia J. Merritt, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt at no time had any evidence or moral justification for any of the actions they executed against the healthy development of the children in their care and their right in accordance with California Family Code 7602 to have a healthy relationship with their Father.

On 31 OCT 2019, Honorable Judge Martin (a woman of color) failed to hold Claudia J. Bergman (a woman of color) accountable for her failure to appear with the children in her custody as ordered on 05 JUN 2019 to FCS Child Interviews scheduled on 21 AUG 2019 and 30 AUG 2019.  This action by Honorable Judge Martin suggests a level of judicial bias regarding the orders she issued to both parties in this court case and her inconsistent expectations for adherence and actions executed to ensure enforcement.  

During a scheduled court date in San Diego, CA East County Superior Court Department 5 for case:  ED100465 during the spring of 2021, Michael J. Merritt described the operation of this court (and her predecessor Honorable Judge Tilisha Martin) to Honorable Judge Laura H. Miller as an “Abortion of Justice.”  This description was arrived at logically; like an unwanted birth, the execution of San Diego East County Superior Court Department 5 was performed by a group of women failing to take ownership of their previous actions and decisions while destroying the lives of others to escape taking responsibility for what their decisions produced.

If there are any questions regarding legal custody of these children from August of 2019 to February 2020; it is encouraged to contact Meredith Levin (The State Bar of California #226437), the Minor’s Counsel for these children appointed by San Diego, CA East County Superior Court on 31 OCT 2019 and relieved from her responsibilities as Minor’s Counsel in February 2020.  Minor’s Counsel Levin failed to inform San Diego, CA East County Superior Court or any party to court case ED100465 her clients were not living in the state of California while in the custody of Matthew E. Merritt/Sara N. Merritt of Ames, IA during her tenure as Minor’s Counsel.  How can a Minor’s Counsel protect the best interest of their clients in accordance with California Rules of the Court 5.242 when they are unaware of what state they are living in or who has custody?

University of San Diego School of Law
5998 Alcala Park, Barcelona 305
San Diego, CA 92110
(619)-260-4600

6.  Requested Information

While the Iowa Public Information Board processes the complaint filed against the City of Ames, IA, this municipality and its police department are requested to forward all Ames, IA Police Department Iowa Incident Reports, including the following names to PO BOX 187, Newton, IA 50208, in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22.7(5.):

Michael James Merritt, DOB:  25 DEC 1978, *** *** ** *, Newton, IA 50208
Matthew Edward Merritt, DOB:  30 NOV 1981, **** ******** ***, Ames, IA 50010
Sara Nicole Merritt, DOB:  19 NOV 1980, **** ******** ***, Ames, IA 50010

7.  Conclusion

The City of Ames, IA’s delay has damaged the timeline of this investigation regarding interstate child concealment.  A heinous malicious act the Newton, IA Police Department, enabled with their failure to properly investigate a restraining order violation reported to them on 30 AUG 2019 (Case: 19-26175).  While the restrained party of Michael J. Merritt’s temporary restraining order issued on 30 APR 2019 – 31 OCT 2019 coordinated this unauthorized transfer of custody of his children from San Diego, California to the City of Ames, Iowa while they were concealed from court-ordered FCS Child Interviews and prevented from providing their testimony by Claudia J. Bergman, Matthew E. Merritt, and Sara N. Merritt.

It should be a reasonable expectation that the City of Ames, IA, treat requests under Iowa Code Chapter 22 with the same respect and timely response as the City of Ames, IA expects citizens to respond in a timely manner to the flashing lights on its law enforcement vehicles.  If those who create and enforce the law fail to adhere to the law, our state and republic will quickly descend a slippery slope into tyranny.

The originator of this memorandum respectfully submits the following:  

I have not seen my children since June of 2017, and San Diego East County Superior Court documented on 16 SEP 2021 there is no evidence to support the actions of those involved in this malicious conspiracy.

How do you think I feel after serving the freedoms and sovereignty of the families living in the country I love for twenty years to retire and come home to invest in my children while finding that everyone I have reported this situation shows only evidence of no concern or simply failing to respond. 

I do not see The City of Ames, IA as my enemy. I see us as possible productive partners in providing lessons learned and fixing holes that have enabled the concealment of children in your jurisdiction from court appearances 1800 miles away and a loving father while attending public school in your community.

The only way I can fix this situation is to help improve the system that produced my children’s childhood and the pain I feel now.  Devastating pain caused by the actions of others that Jesus Christ compels me to forgive because all of us during every day of our life know not what we do.  All we can do is move forward and forgive and love the people around us as they do their best to move forward in life.

Everything I have learned about forgiveness is because of the first person I ever loved in my life and the first person that made me feel loved.  If we cannot find within ourselves to forgive those who have hurt us, how can we expect those we have hurt to forgive us?  When we truly love someone, forgiving them for the pain they have caused us is the only true path forward. Any other path while seeking justice, validation, or any other personal motive will only perpetuate more pain.  What fuels the work I do is my choice to love those that have hurt me and forgive them for the pain they have caused me, as I hope that someday they are able to forgive me for the pain that I have caused them.  Only then will we all find peace in this life.

If we cannot perpetuate our faith through our acts during the darkest moments in our lives.  We have learned nothing if we cannot live our lives and perpetuate actions that stand righteously in that light.

I stand by to work with the City of Ames, IA, not to criminalize any private citizen, the City of Ames, IA, or any organizations within its jurisdiction.  I stand by to work with the City of Ames, IA, to provide evidence and solutions that hopefully will help the children of tomorrow have better childhoods while having the ability to see and grow up with their parents.  I stand by to work with the City of Ames, IA, to promote a better place for returning veterans that only want to make up for the time they have lost with their families while serving the freedom and liberties of others.

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”

Luke 23:34

Respectfully,

Michael J. Merritt
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208
(515)-446-8993
https://phoenixofinformation.com

“The study of Ethics is a pursuit of understanding the philosophical nature of right and wrong in its most perfect form.

A society’s justice system is an ever-evolving pursuit of that perfection.

Corruption is the cultural, political, or personal bias that overrules and interferes with that system.”


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