Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974) – Iowa Open Records Request – Ames, IA Community School District – #002

21 March 2022

MEMORANDUM

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

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

Info:  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

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

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

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

Alex Padilla, US Senator for California
501 I Street
Suite 7-800
Sacramento, CA 95814

California Safe at Home
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Subj: FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA 1974) – IOWA OPEN RECORDS REQUEST – AMES, IA COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT – #002

Ref: 1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)
2.  Iowa Code Title I State Sovereignty and Management, Chapter 22 Examination of Public Records (Open Records)
3. San Diego East County Court – Claudia J. Merritt – Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) – 04 JAN 2017
4. San Diego East County Court – Michael J. Merritt – Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) – 09 MAY 2017
5. San Diego East County Court – Claudia J. Merritt – FL-300 – 03 DEC 2018
6. San Diego East County Court, Order, 08 APR 2019
7. San Diego East County Court, DV-116, 05 JUN 2019
8. Voluntary Sworn Statement – Newton, IA Police Department, 26 AUG 2019
9. Electronic Mail – Mke Ernst – Ramona, CA High School, 28 AUG 2019
10. Ames, IA Community School District Registration Documents signed by Sara N. Merritt of Ames, IA, 28 AUG 2019
11. California Safe at Home Program Documentation, 18 SEP 2019
12. San Diego East County Court – Judgment, 16 SEP 2021
13. Freedom of Information Request – Ames Community School District #001, 07 DEC 2021
14. Ames Community School District Iowa Open Records Response, 22 DEC 2021
15. Iowa Open Records Request – City of Ames, IA – The Elimination of the Fog of War, 18 MAR 2022
16.  Iowa Code Title XVI – Criminal Law and Procedure, Chapter 720 – Interference with Judicial Process, Section 720.4
17.  Iowa Code Title XVI – Criminal Law and Procedure, Chapter 706 – Conspiracy, Section 706.1
18.  Iowa Code Title XV – Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Chapter 598B – Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement
19.  Iowa Code Title VII – Education and Cultural Affairs, Chapter 282 – School Attendance and Tuition, Section 282.1 – School age – nonresidents
20.  Ames, IA Community School District 501.1
21.  Ames, IA Community School District 501.2
22.  Ames, IA Community School District 501.4
23.  California Family Code – FAM, Division 8. Custody of Children [3000 – 3465], Part 3. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act [3400-3465], Section 3400
24.  California Family Code – FAM, Division 8. Custody of Children [3000 – 3465], Part 2. Right to Custody of Minor Child [3020 – 3204], Chapter 2.  Matters to Be Considered in Granting Custody, Section 3040
25.  California Family Code – FAM, Division 6. Nullity, Dissolution, and Legal Separation [2000 – 2452], Part 1. General Provisions [2000 – 2129], Chapter 4. Protective and Restraining Orders [2040 – 2049], Article 1. Orders in Summons, Section 2040
26.  California Penal Code – PEN, Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments [25 – 680.4], Title 7. Of Crimes Against Public Justice [92 – 186.36], Chapter 8 Conspiracy, Section 182
27.  California Penal Code – PEN, Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments [25 – 680.4], Title 7. Of Crimes Against Public Justice [92 – 186.36], Chapter 7 Other Offenses Against Public Justice [142-181], Section 166
28.  California Penal Code – PEN, Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments [25 – 680.4], Title 7. Of Crimes Against Public Justice [92 – 186.36], Chapter 6 Falsifying Evidence, and Bribing, Influencing, Intimidating or Threatening Witnesses, Section 136.1

Enc: 1.  Merritt, ***** *. – Birth Certificate
2.  Merritt, ******* *. – Birth Certificate
3.  Merritt, Michael J. – State of Iowa Driver’s License
4.  Merritt, Michael J. – DOD Retiree Identification Card

1.  Student Information

Custodial Parent:  Claudia J. Bergman (formerly known as Claudia J. Merritt) – Reference (6.)
State with Jurisdiction:  California – in accordance with References (3.), (4.), and (23.) – 04 JAN 2017 through 13 August 2021.

a. ***** ****** Merritt ** *** **** (Age of Majority)
b. ******* ****** Merritt ** *** ****

2. Requested Information in accordance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)

(a.) The student in paragraph (1.)(a.) has reached the age of majority and is entitled to privacy of his records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974)(20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99).  The originator of this correspondence will be submitting a subpoena originating from San Diego, CA East County Superior Court to Ames, IA Community School District.  The purpose of this subpoena will be to gain access to records no longer accessible to the originator of this correspondence in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974)(20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) for an FL-410 court hearing request that will be submitted to San Diego, CA East County Superior Court Department 5 regarding Minor’s Counsel Meredith Levin’s (The State Bar of California #226437) failure to track her client’s location, custody status, and report this information to the court and all parties to the court case:  ED100465.  Ames, IA Community School District’s cooperation with this subpoena is encouraged to help improve the integrity of the family court process in The State of California.  While at the same time ensuring Minor’s Counselors licensed by The State Bar of California are protecting the best interests of future children in accordance with California Rules of the Court 5.242.

(b.) All educational records for the student in Paragraph (1.)(b.)

(c.) Documentation provided by Sara N. Merritt indicating she was the legal custodial parent/legal guardian concerning Reference (19.), Reference (20.), Reference (21.), Reference (22.), Reference (23.), and Reference (24.) as she documented she was on Reference (10.).

(d.) Documentation showing the Ames, IA Community School District Superintendent gave authorization in accordance with Reference (19.), Reference (20.), Reference (21.), Reference (22.) for this non-resident student in Paragraph (1.)(b.) to attend public school in the City of Ames, IA while: 

1. San Diego, CA East County Superior Court had jurisdiction over this child – References (3.) and (4.).
2. The California Secretary of State issued a mailing address for this child in the State of California – Reference (11.).
3. This student of Ames, IA Community School District registered on 28 AUG 2019 was court-ordered to appear for an FCS Child Interview on 05 JUN 2019 at San Diego, CA East County Superior Court that was scheduled for 21 AUG 2019 and 30 AUG 2019 – Reference (7.).

(.e) Records showing tuition payments made for the non-resident student in paragraph (1.)(b.).

3. Requested Information in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22

(a.) All Ames, IA Community School District (including Ames High School) end-user electronic mail/attachments including the names ***** Merritt, ***** * Merritt, ***** *. Merritt, ***** ****** Merritt, ******* Merritt, ******* * Merritt, ******* *. Merritt, ******* ****** Merritt, Claudia Merritt, Claudia J Merritt, Claudia J. Merritt, Claudia Julissa Merritt, Claudia Bergman, Claudia J Bergman, Claudia J. Bergman, Claudia Julissa Bergman, Claudia Alatorre, Claudia J Alatorre, Claudia J. Alatorre, Claudia Julissa Alatorre, Shawn Bergman, Shawn J Bergman, Shawn J. Bergman, Shawn Jason Bergman, Matthew Merritt, Matthew E Merritt, Matthew E. Merritt, Matthew Edward Merritt, Matt Merritt, Matt E Merritt, Matt E. Merritt, Matt Edward Merritt, Sara Merritt, Sara N Merritt, Sara N. Merritt, or Sara Nicole Merritt from 01 JAN 2019 at 0001 Local Time through 31 December 2020 at 2359 Local Time.

(b.) Electronic mail correspondence between Ames, IA Community School District, and its subordinate schools with smerritt@iastate.edu (Sara N. Merritt) regarding children listed in Paragraph (1.).

(c.) Record of correspondence with Iowa State University/Reiman Gardens phone number 515-294-1318 documented on the student’s in Paragraph (1.) Ames, IA Community School District 2019-2020 school registration documents.

(d.) The desired format of requested data: Portable Document Format/Thumb drive (at City of Ames published rate):

(e.) The originator of this request is not responsible for any costs generated by the production or organization of this data if the clerical, professional, clerical staff, legal fees, or any other required actions or cost exceed 10 hours or $1000 (whichever comes first) without prior coordination and approval from the originator of this request.

(f.) Distribution of Requested Data: Priority Mail sent to the originator of this request.

4.  Proof of Residency of ***** *. Merritt/******* *. Merritt

The residency of ***** *. Merritt and ******* *. Merritt being residents of the state of California from 04 January 2017 – February 2020 are supported by the following documents:

1.  Reference (3.) – San Diego, CA East County Court – Claudia J. Merritt – Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) – 04 JAN 2017
2.  Reference (4.) – San Diego, CA East County Court – Michael J. Merritt – Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) – 09 MAY 2017
3.  Reference (6.) – San Diego, CA East County Court, Order, 08 APR 2019
4.  Reference (7.) – San Diego, CA East County Court, DV-116, 05 JUN 2019
5.  Reference (11.) – California Safe at Home Program Documentation, 18 SEP 2019 
6.  San Diego, CA East County Superior Court never mediated, authorized, or issued court documents regarding this transfer of custody that was concealed from the court until Claudia J. Bergman’s 01 MAY 2020 DV-120 response to Michael J. Merritt’s 24 FEB 2020 DV-100.
7.  Sara N. Merritt/Matthew E. Merritt was never a party to San Diego, CA East County Superior Court case:  ED100465 or given custody in accordance with Reference (24.).

Reference (3.) and (4.) establish San Diego, CA East County Superior Court as having jurisdiction over ***** *. Merritt and ******* *. Merritt from 04 JAN 2017 – 13 August 2021 in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).  San Diego, CA East County Superior Court in Reference (6.) that Claudia J. Bergman (California resident 04 JAN 2017 through February 2020/formerly known as Claudia J. Merritt) as the primary caregiver on 08 APR 2019 pending trial and recipient of monthly child support from Michael J. Merritt. Reference (7.) established that ***** *. Merritt and ******* *. Merritt were ordered on 05 JUN 2019 DV-116 to appear in court for FCS Child Interviews regarding allegations of sexual abuse Claudia J. Bergman utilized on her 17 MAY 2019 DV-100 temporary restraining order request and 03 DEC 2018 FL-300 requesting child support.  Reference (11.) establishes that former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, through his office’s California Safe at Home program, established addresses for Claudia J. Merritt, ***** *. Merritt, and ******* *. Merritt within the State of California from 18 SEP 2019 – 18 SEP 2023.

5.  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).

6.  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.

7.  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

8.  Conclusion

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.

If Ames, IA Community School District failed to charge tuition for these non-resident students while concealed by Matthew E. Merritt and Sara N. Merritt, let the record show that Ames, IA Community School District and the taxpayers of the City of Ames, IA, provided free public education for two California resident students. During the time of enrollment, these two children were court-ordered to appear for FCS Child Interviews at San Diego, CA East County Superior Court regarding allegations of sexual abuse.  Allegations Claudia J. Bergman first documented on court documents filed on 03 DEC 2018 requesting child support while failing to provide any evidence to support her allegations from 04 JAN 2017 to 13 AUG 2021 as documented by the court on 16 SEP 2021.

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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