Petition 2: The Katz-Grodman Petition

Additional commentary by Timothy Horrigan
(member of the House Petitions & Redress Committee)

See also:

This is a very complicated case, and I often don't understand Elena Katz's testimony at all. And not because she's originally from Russia. She speaks English with near native fluency.

The gist of her story is that she and her husband (or maybe her longtime unmarried partner) Arnold Grodman have a developmentally disabled daughter who has been the subject of litigation literally her whole life.

It turns out that they were not charged with kidnapping under the divorce statutes: they were in fact prosecuted for Interference with Custody after the state took custody of their daughter. Ms. Katz actually accepted a plea bargain on lesser charges, which makes me wonder how "specious" the prosecution could have been. (I know this from a letter the Rockingham County Attorney sent us.) Mr. Grodman's criminal case continued throughout the time the committee had the petition. However the Interference with Custody charge was thrown out after Superior Court Justice Tina Nadeau ruled that the relevant statute (RSA 633:4) didn't apply to this particular case (since the Division of Children, Youth and Families is not a person.)



TO: The Honorable House of Representatives

FROM: Petitioner Representative Daniel Itse, Rock. 9

DATE: March 31, 2011

SUBJECT: Grievance of Elena Katz, Arnold Grodman, and Their Daughter

[note: Mr. Grodman's last name is shown as "Goodman" in the original petition. This was merely a drafting error. I am correcting this error here.]

Your Petitioner, Representative Itse on behalf of Elena Katz, Arnold Grodman, and their daughter, hereinafter presents the following summary of their grievance against the State of New Hampshire, Rockingham County Attorneys Office and invokes the constitutional authority and duty of the Honorable House of Representatives pursuant to Articles 31 and 32 of the New Hampshire Constitution to bring about redress:

Elena Katz (Elena) and Arnold Grodman (Arnold) were accused of child abuse by Timberlane School District after reporting that Timberlane had continued to receive special education funding for their daughter while Elena and Arnold were homeschooling their daughter. The case was determined unfounded by the division of children, youth, and families (DCYF) and Elena and Arnold moved to Massachusetts with their daughter. Rockingham County has since made kidnapping charges against Elena Katz and Arnold Grodman using the divorce statutes despite the fact that Elena and Arnold have never been married. In the process of Rockingham County pursuing these charges, the State of New Hampshire took guardianship of their daughter. These charges have been refused by the Rockingham County Superior Court several times, after which they have been altered and pursued again repeatedly. Their daughter has been held in Crotched Mountain Nursing Home where, as a consequence of her medications, she has since suffered permanent kidney failure.

Wherefore, your Petitioner prays that the House of Representatives consider this proposed remedy: Elena and Arnold will be made whole if they are compensated for the cost of defending themselves against the specious charges of kidnapping their own daughter. Their daughter will be made as whole as practically possible if the State of New Hampshire provides all of her medical care regarding treatment for kidney failure including kidney transplant should it be available.

Respectfully submitted by Petitioner Representative Itse on Behalf of Elena Katz, Arnold Grodman, and their daughter.

Co-Petitioner: Rep. Comerford, Rock. 9

[September 16, 2012] The Katz-Grodmans presented us with not one but two narrative summaries. The spelling was atrocious but otherwise the narratives did a good job of summarizing the Katz-Grodman's side of the story.

In October 2011, we also received 30 attachments with one or more documents in them. This was a pretty complete set of documents, even though they came in the form of some extraordinarily illegible photocopies. October was also the last time we actually saw Elena Katz or Arnold Grodman in our hearing room. We scheduled at least a half-dozen work sessions and/or hearings for them between November 2011 and July 2012. Even those committee members who supported the Katz-Grodmans' cause had unanswered questions which were well worth asking (even though we had no good reason to expect the answers to be particularly enlightening.) Each time some unexpected circumstance arose which prevented both Katz and Grodman from showing up.

In the interests of protecting the privacy and reputation of everyone involved (Elena Katz & Arnold Grodman included), I have reluctantly and belatedly decided to take the documents down from my website, with the exception of three attachments which shed some light on the Katz-Grodmans' recent criminal cases.


It took the committee a long time to dispose of this petition, and it took the minority even longer to get its opinion approved. Basically, the Speaker and the Chair took a very heroic view of the Katz-Grodman's activities, as can be seen in Al Baldasaro's opinion. The Minority thought the Katz-Grodmans were severely misguided.

PETITION # 2 grievance of Elena Katz, Arnold Grodman, and Their Daughter.  (Report filed 8/21/12)


Grievance Founded with Recommendations.

Committee Majority Findings:

The Redress of Grievances Committee after listening to testimony and seeing supporting documentation finds that in the course of a long and protracted confrontation with the Timberlane Regional School District that began when the Petitioners sued the district in federal court for taking federal funds for a child being home schooled. First were unfounded allegations of child abuse by the school district which led the Petitioners to move to Massachusetts.  In the ensuing years, the Committee finds that the Petitioners suffered from a remarkable series of unacceptable actions from the office of the Rockingham County Attorney and the courts: 

  1. Prosecution under Interference with Custody (RSA 633:4) regarding a guardianship that arose out of the Child Protection Act (RSA 169-C) when RSA 633:4 was created specifically to enforce parenting plans under Parental Rights and Responsibilities (RSA 461-A) in the area of Annulment, Divorce and Separation (RSA 458); 

  2. Revisiting by county attorney of the same essential charges multiple times against Petitioners using only slight changes in the wording;

  3. The use of an unfiled criminal complaint as evidence of an actual judgment in New Hampshire;

  4. Use by the court of a nonexistent "felony judgment" claim to extradite family from Massachusetts;

  5. Follow up arrest using a document whose numbers fail to correspond with New Hampshire's numbering systems;

  6. Contempt charges filed without specifying the nature of the contempt;

  7. Dismissal by judge of the lawyers of Petitioners;

  8. Knowing denial of counsel for Petitioners on false groundsthat counsel had been refused when, in fact, they recused themselves; and

  9. Disallowing of exculpatory evidence because "it did not prove his innocence."  The Committee also found the wrongful filing of a criminal complaint by a police chief who subsequently admitted under oath that he had no direct knowledge of the facts of the "crime."  Furthermore, the Committee finds that in placing the Petitioners' daughter in the Crotched Mountain facility that their daughter was physically injured with broken bones and a torn earlobe, and that for the purpose of behavior management, the department in cooperation with Crotched Mountain increased their daughter's dosage of the psychotropic drug, Abilify, from 5 mg/d to 30 mg/d when it is clearly contraindicated for her gender, age and medical condition (diabetes).  To effect this change, the department claimed medical decision-making authority by guardianship pursuant to a 170-C termination of parental rights in a sworn document committing sworn falsification (RSA 641:2).  Finally, as a consequence of the dosage of Abilify, their daughter suffered permanent kidney failure.


The Committee recommends introduction of legislation to: 

  1. Investigate what went wrong in this case leading to home schooling parents being so insistently and curiously hounded by a prosecutor on the flimsiest of grounds;

  2. Clarify in any related RSAs the original intent that "parents" in RSA 461-A apply to divorce only and shall not include the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) issues; and

  3. Request that the Attorney General investigate the involved police chief for false swearing.  

The Committee also recommends that the State provide Petitioners' daughter with health insurance under the State Group plan in compensation for injuries suffered while in State custody and as a consequence of the actions of employees of the State.  The Committee further recommends that the Attorney General be directed to investigate sworn falsification by employees of the Department of Health and Human Services, and wrongful filing of a criminal complaint by a police officer. 

Vote 7-3.

Rep. Alfred P. Baldasaro for the Majority of the Committee



Committee Minority Findings:

The Petitioners, Elena Katz and Arnold Grodman, have a fragile and medically disabled daughter who is now a young woman in her early 20s. The Petitioners have been together as a couple throughout their daughter's life.  Throughout her  life, the Petitioners have been involved in a variety of legal battles over their daughter's medical care and education, in both state and federal court. 

This Petition deals primarily with events which occurred between 2006 and 2011, following a dispute with the DCYF and the Timberlane Regional School District.  It is the opinion of the Minority that the Petitioners may have engaged in some unwise conduct during that time. For example, in 2007 they suddenly moved with their severely disabled daughter to Massachusetts just after, according to the State, she had been placed under DCYF guardianship.  This move kept the Petitioners' daughter out of a court-ordered placement in a residential program at the Crotched Mountain School.  The Petitioners were eventually arrested in Massachusetts and extradited to New Hampshire, where they were charged with Interference with Custody and Contempt of Court. (The daughter was unharmed.)  

Ms. Katz accepted a plea bargain in May 2010 and pled guilty to Contempt of Court. Mr. Grodman's similar case is still pending.  The Interference with Custody charge against him was dismissed, after the Rockingham Superior Court ruled that RSA 633:4 did not apply to this case where the DCYF (which is not a person) had guardianship. He still faces charges of Contempt of Court.

The Minority failed to see any pattern of official malfeasance by the DCYF, the Rockingham County District Attorney's Office, or the various law-enforcement agencies who worked on this case.  Also, the Minority does not believe that it was improper to bring the Interference with Custody charge: the judge's ruling was based on a technical issue which was not necessarily obvious to the various officials involved in this case.  Indeed, the Minority recommends that a future legislature consider amending the Interference with Custody statute (RSA 633:4) to address cases of this sort.

Rep. Timothy Horrigan for the Minority of the Committee

2011 House Petitions:

See Also:


The Forgotten Liars

2011 Petitions