News-Journal: Rep. Atkins Ordered to Stay Away From His Wife and Kids

Filed in Delaware by on June 4, 2014

No snark here. Just gotta hope for the safety of the wife and kids. Here are two key grafs from the News Journal story:

““His temper is getting worse and I fear that if something is not done it will effect my safety,” Heather Atkins wrote in her petition for emergency protection. “I feel that he is not able to take the best interest of our children and put that first. I am afraid that the children are at risk due to his temper and erratic behavior.”

And this:

“Court documents show Atkins relinquished 17 firearms, most of them shotguns, to Millsboro police officers Monday evening after they took a court order requiring he do so to his home.”

Scary stuff from an unstable dude.


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  1. Xstryker says:

    17 firearms, mostly shotguns? Does he not know how to reload? Seriously, what kind of crazy infects these people? Are most of them historical antiques or something?

  2. kavips says:

    I hope this is solved peacefully. In cases mixing political and personal nature, it is very wise to step back, take a long time to sort through all aspects and shoot down those spouting off the mouth who have no inside knowledge…..

    What’s wrong with politics is that we forget that people are people…. I know that being a public figure creates horrendous personal pressure… There will be enough of that internally on both sides. Adding more just to watch the fire burn, is not what any of us should be doing….

    (This is just a casual observation on my part and not directed at anyone in particular.) There were no comments when I originally posted.

  3. AustinA says:

    I think it’s evil of the NJ to share this, let him and his family alone with this private matter. Shame on them.

  4. When a publicly-elected official is served with a restraining order, it is news.

    Reporters report news.

    End of story.

  5. AustinA says:

    I understand that, I am not defending his actions but there must be a line in which you respect a personal matter

  6. No, what you said is that a news organization is ‘evil’ for reporting this.

    It’s not. It’s news. Feel free to read it or to not read it.

  7. AustinA says:

    It is evil, I don’t think personal situations like this should be plastered on the papers and news, let him and his family deal with this.

  8. We both agree that you think it’s evil.

    However, once it becomes a court proceeding, it’s public and beyond the point of letting ‘him and his family deal with this’.

    The failure of that approach is why it ended up in court.

    And, whether he likes it or not, Atkins is a public figure.

  9. AQC says:

    Atkins is perfectly content to use his position to get perks and privileges, let him suffer the negative side of that position too. That being said, I hope it all just ends safely for everyone involved.

  10. JJ Anon says:

    @AustinA: Domestic violence and threats of violence should disqualify anyone from office. Sorry, this isn’t a family squabble or even an extramarital affair. A judge looked at this and said, you are not safe to be around your kids.

    You can have anger issues and manage it. You can have marital issues and manage it. You can have mental health issues and manage it. But when you become a threat to others, you shouldn’t be in a position of power.

    Our society should not tolerate a man’s clear abuse (verbal, if not physical yet) of women and vulnerable children.

  11. SussexAnon says:

    Whatever happened to the Richard Korn case?

  12. Aint's Taking it Any More says:


    Spot on.

  13. Aoine says:

    Correction EL SOM….

    Family court proceeding are NOT open to the public
    And certainly not ex parte PFA ORDERS

    this was put out there somehow – family court records and proceeding are generally CLOSED.

    And a family court commissioner issued the PFA. SO THERE IS SOMEONE that wants this out there

    I in NO WAY defend Atkins. But like I said this is unusual that it has been released – someone spilled the beans

  14. Dan Harvey says:

    I find it curious that someone who in the past has been so critical of our criminal justice system could find it so easy to throw away it’s first tenet, that innocence is assumed until guilt is proven. You seem to present this in a way that comes from an assumption of guilt already, which is quite disappointing.

  15. Are you talking about me, Dan? I haven’t said a word about the merits of the proceeding. All I’ve said is that Atkins is a public figure, and the press is well within its bounds to report this. It’s no longer a private matter when someone seeks a restraining order from the courts against a public figure.

  16. Aoine says:

    Crickets on the confidentiality of Family Court Proceedings…. Really?

  17. Dan Harvey says:

    I am absolutely talking to you El Som. You present the story by saying “Just gotta hope for the safety of the wife and kids.”, then continue to talk about Atkins being “and unstable dude”. The only quotes from the story you reference are those detailing the assertions by his wife and the 17 guns. No mention of the fact that an ex parte PFA is enacted without a hearing from the defendant (understandably so). No supposition to his innocence as due process would dictate that he deserves IMHO.

    By not even giving merit to the possibility of innocence (you may have said, “Have to hope for the safety of the wife and kids if this turns out to be true”, or presented some of the opposing quotes disputing the claims in the PFA, etc) I believe you have done yourself a disservice. Seems to me like you are picking and choosing when to apply certain standards you hold at other times, seeming to assign guilt here before the development of the case has dictated that it has been determined.

  18. Liberal Elite says:

    @DH “By not even giving merit to the possibility of innocence…”

    Huh?? He’s not accused of a crime.

    But the simple fact that he had 17 firearms to collect puts him squarely in the gun nut category. If the data were available, I believe you would find a high correlation between gun nuttery and family violence. Certainly it’s true for suicide.

  19. Dan Harvey says:

    I understand that he is not accused of a crime, but there seems to be an assumption that the story must be true before Atkins has even had his day in court.

  20. Dan Harvey says:

    Furthermore LE, I’d like to add that your comment about “squarely in the gun nut category,” is nothing more than blatant stereotyping. I’m in favor of gun control as much as the next guy, but I do find it curious that someone who probably would be quick to call out someone for stereotypes of other sorts could so casually throw one out there when it comes to “gun nuts”.

  21. Liberal Elite says:

    17 guns == gun nut

    It’s not a stereotype, it’s a definition. Anyone who has far more guns than needed for any legitimate use (e.g. hunting, self defense,..) is a gun nut.

    As for the stereotype… Yea. I’ll own the following:
    These are the type of people you hope your daughters never date.

  22. Geezer says:

    Oh, noes. Blatant stereotyping. Won’t someone think of the children?

    Perhaps some people missed that the post started with a link to the News Journal story, which contains all of the caveats y’all are so worried about.

  23. Geezer says:

    There are crickets on the confidentiality of family court proceedings because nobody really cares. In most states they aren’t confidential; a group in Delaware is working to open up Family Court because keeping it closed is actually against the Delaware Constitution, or so it would appear by an actual reading of the Constitution; I’m sure that if it’s ever adjudicated, the state Supremes will find it doesn’t mean what it actually says.

    John Atkins has, in addition to a past record of problematic contact with legal authorities, a lot of enemies down there. Are we really saying that less information is preferable to more information? Anyone who feels that way is free to not read the stories or, if they want to get strident about it, to go fuck themselves.

  24. fightingbluehen says:

    It’s not out of the ordinary for someone who hunts to have seventeen guns.

    For deer hunting alone he could have several shotguns maybe a muzzle loader or two, and a black powder muzzle loader.

    If he’s hunting ducks he could have a range of shotguns from 20 ga on up.

    For quail hunting to have a nice cylinder bore 20 ga is a plus.

    Maybe a 10 ga for goose hunting.

    Plus if he travels to hunt he may have a rifle or two.

    His kids probably hunt so their guns were probably included too, and then there may be collectible guns as well.

    It’s really not that many guns for an avid hunter.

    That being said, I don’t really know how much the guy hunts.

  25. fightingbluehen says:

    Another thing to remember is that it’s not unheard of for a born and raised Sussex County girl to get a little worked up at times.

    I was told from a reliable source, that Atkins’ kids were dragged, holding on for dear life ,kicking and screaming out of his house.

  26. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Just saying: I hunt everything that moves.

    I can’t begin to imagine ever needing 17 shot guns. I have three. One for myself, one for my son and a third for trap and skeet. For 40 plus years hunting, I ever saw the need for more than that.

    Not saying that owning 17 shotguns is some indicia of gun nutness but it’s well beyond the number necessary for hunting and defense.

  27. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    “Another thing to remember is that it’s not unheard of for a born and raised Sussex county girl to get a little worked up at times.”

    I can’t wait to see the responses to this piece go insight. I can only hope the moonshine feel into your Wheaties.

  28. fightingbluehen says:

    Well, I just explained above how you could have seventeen guns, and that’s a pretty conservative estimate based on my observation of many different households.
    I didn’t even include trap, skeet and sporting clay guns, not to mention BB guns.

  29. fightingbluehen says:

    “I can’t wait to see the responses to this piece go insight. I can only hope the moonshine feel into your Wheaties.”

    Just saying that there are two sides to be told about this story.

  30. Delaware Dem says:

    My thoughts:

    This is news. But I’m not interested in reading or discussing Mr. Atkins’s marital problems. But I will say this: allegations of tempers being lost and feeling threatened are to be taken with a massive rock of salt, given the nature of this proceeding. Divorces are ALWAYS ugly, and people often lie in court records to get their way and to get vengence. (I can’t believe I am kinda defending Atkins here, ugh. Unclean, must clean).

  31. cassandra_m says:

    Another thing to remember is that it’s not unheard of for a born and raised Sussex county girl to get a little worked up at times.

    Which is why the sorry ass known as FBH still lives in Sussex. His neanderthal view of civilization means he fits right in there.

    Whether or not Family Court proceedings are meant to be confidential certainly won’t matter much when a public official is a party to the proceedings. Accusations of misbehavior are going to get public, and for a public official, that is news. It isn’t as though he hasn’t had more than his fair share of high profile run ins with the system anyway. This is just one more.

  32. Aoine says:

    @Geezer. – do yourself a favor and go back and see what I wrote – the first time
    El Som chose to say at 720pm that “once it becomes a court matter…….”

    NOt all court matters are open to the public- and certainly not Family Court matters.

    In El Soms rush to jump on a personal vendetta he is also hurting children and other non-combatants.

    For the record Atkins is a sniveling mysognistic ass and deserves whatever he gets. He has blown chance after chance and is incredibly immature .

    However his kids and family don’t need this hassle- unless SHE released the ex parte PFA then game on

    There are reasons family court proceeding are private and the publics need to know salacious details or the medias need to profit from misery do not outweigh a child’s right to privacy

    If the case goes criminal (see Bodenweiser) or civil (see Vance Phillips) the game on

    Amazing – for a bunch of smart people that are generally compassionate. The pack mentality to hurt and tear down someone you don’t. Like – regardless of who you hurt in the process – is really shameful. And something the Sussex Tea Baggers are known for . I would expect more from this crowd

  33. Jason330 says:

    I’m shocked that his (or ANYONE’S!)2nd Amendment rights are being stripped away simple because he is alleged to be increasingly violent and unstable. What is this country coming to? #Obama=tyranny #cometakeit #youknowwhoelsewasagungrabber…?Hitler!! #NRA

  34. fightingbluehen says:

    Neanderthal? I am short and stocky Cassandra, but I’m thinking “enlightened” is more of an accurate description of my view of civilization.

  35. Aoine says:

    Jason330- don’t worry. He can buy more at any gun show

    No check. No problem

  36. Jason330 says:

    Phew #UnitedNationsWorldGovernmentPlotToTakeOverTheWorldUndoneByPatriotGunshows!

  37. Aoine: You’re playing semantics here, but you’re right. What I MEANT to say at 7:20 last night is that, once something like this becomes public, well, it’s news.

    Sure it looks like somebody leaked it. Perhaps they leaked it to make Atkins look bad.

    But once it’s out there, and the paper verifies that such a restraining order was granted, they’re totally within their rights to publish this story.

    As to this:

    “In El Soms rush to jump on a personal vendetta he is also hurting children and other non-combatants…”, you’re full of shit.

  38. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Family court proceedings are not public. No doubt about that.

    I have to believe that, outside the actions of a derelict court employee, this had to be released by Mrs. Adkins. Anyone fighting a politically prominent/powerful person has absolutely nothing to gain by keeping the process closed. She gains by broadening the conflict to draw more into it. Pure Machiavellian means of correcting power imbalances.

  39. Aoine says:

    @el som- re: you’re full of shit

    My response- your hatred is clouding your judgement .

    Peace out

  40. Xstryker says:

    Thanks for the explanation, FBH, I didn’t know one needed so many different gauges for different game. I assumed shotguns = protection, rifles = hunting. I have no desire for either, so these gun threads often teach me something.

  41. cassandra m says:

    The pack mentality to hurt and tear down someone you don’t.

    For the right person, you’ve been more than willing to join in (and even instigate) plenty of pack mentality here. While his family may not need this hassle, the Original Sin here isn’t ours. It isn’t even the New Journal’s. And again, it isn’t as though this is the first time that Atkins has a major run in with the legal system. At some point it is fair to ask if there are patterns here that people should be concerned about.

  42. Aoine says:

    Well Cass. – as have you………I never said I didn’t and was without culpability In other situations, given the right person. I’m not sanctimonious like that. I do something, generally I will own it. But in fairness, not when children were involved UNLESS the other party brought that up or into the conversation themselves.

    The Original sin could and should have stayed with the sinner. No real need to compound it in here, especially given that we all know there are two sides to a domestic situation….yours and the shitheads. ( old joke)

    Would we have been so quick to jump on the Mrs had HE filed a PFA against HER. I think that is worth considering. as well that the children have been living with HIM. IF HE WAS SUCH A THREAT WHY DIDNT SHE FILE IN APRIL OR BEFORE. There is a lot here that needs to be objectively looked at.

    And thank you for illustrating my exact point about the pack mentality itself in here.

    Maybe we should ALL go back and read the #yesallwomen thread.

    This has been made all about Atkins ……and his family not even considered.

    Deldem had the best response- and by all means, enjoy your feeding frenzy.

    Knowing the sad situation these issues involve , I will reserve any judgement on either side, my personal dislike for HIM, not withstanding.

  43. Geezer says:

    @Aoine: OK, El Som was technically wrong in the language that he used.

    If you’re saying that the public has no right to know this, well, good luck. If Atkins were my representative I would consider this important to know, just as if Vance Phillips represented me I would have considered it wrong to keep his “personal” problems private.

    The day people run for office by saying, “I’m not going to tell you whether I’m a husband and father, because it’s not important to my ability to govern” is the day I’ll agree that their personal lives are off-limits.

    “In El Soms rush to jump on a personal vendetta he is also hurting children and other non-combatants.”

    Nonsense. This site is read by a couple of thousand news junkies. The News Journal is read by more than 100,000 people daily. This is a site for political news, and John Atkins is a politician.

    If this site chose not to write about it while others did, I’d be reading those sites, not this one. News organizations write about secrets, even illegally obtained secrets, all the time. Perhaps you’ve heard of Edward Snowden?


    I believe she addresses that in the court papers quoted by the News Journal. Or does your distaste for the story prevent you from reading it?

  44. Dave says:

    I think there are legitimate discussion topics regarding this individual.
    >Behavior patterns displayed by the public official
    >What information should and should not be in the public domain (blogging or journalistic paparazzi) (i.e. what are the boundaries of good taste or responsible ‘journalism’ when it comes to this type of information)?
    >How many guns constitute a personal armory?
    >Stability of the individual and a possible correlation to the number of firearms
    >How do we really know who is or is not mentally ill?
    >Releasing information by those who are responsible for protecting such information as function of their position
    >Releasing information for political gain

    I do not think the relationship between the individual and members of his family ought to be a topic or target. Yet, scum like paparazzi exist because there is a market for what they sell. There is a market for what they sell because people want to see, hear, and know this stuff. I sometimes think it is a result of the tedium in their own lives (living vicariously) or an attempt to validate their lives (there but for the grace of God go I).

  45. Aoine says:

    @Geezer- I didn’t think I needed to interpret my words – but here goes

    1- as to the publics right to know or not know- not my call. I never alluded to that either way. What I DID SAY is that someone leaked a confidential document and issue- whom and to what end? Remains to be seen. AINT has an interesting theory- John Atkins is a public figure – and his peccadillos make for better copy than say John Doe on the street.

    2 – Vance allegedly committed a CRIME…. Not something alleged in a closed confidential hearing. Apples and oranges. But now that it is public- well too bad for him. Crimes against a person, crimes against property and inchoate crimes are all public access

    3. You are using the – ” well THEY did it first argument”. Just coz TNJ reports something doesn’t mean DL MUST…. This site certainly has a higher standard that say a Pat Fish.

    4- as to her filing. She also claims 30 calls a day. EASILY proven or disproven . There IS a STALKING statute- one unwanted call and a report to LE WOULD HAVE ENDED THAT.

    5- again- my point is NOT to defend either one of them – there are always two sides. But to please remember there are three children involved here and this IS the internet

    6-so far we have lots of allegations and one side SOMEHOW mysteriously released to the press. To further complicate the matter there are two ways to file a ex-parte PFA thru the cops (criminally)and civilly .

    And to answer your question about reading the story. Why bother? It’s only going to be patently one sided

    If the judge issues the PFA I am sure that will be made public too. That will then tell us if the evidence supports the allegations.

    Then it gets interesting …. Until then? Selling papers and ads sea to be the focus – not caring for or protecting adversely affected non-combatants

    That is my focus.

    See- KORN, RICHARD to see what I mean

  46. anon says:

    While I would normally enjoy a good John Atkins pile on, in this case I must abstain.

    I’ve known Atkins for years, and while he and I disagree on virtually everything, the one thing I cannot deny is that he loves his sons with all of his heart and they love him. The other thing I cannot deny is that Atkins wife is basically Atkins with girl parts and rich and powerful parents, (her family invented the “good old boy” system in Sussex).

    I’m keeping my powder dry on this one.

  47. ben says:

    HOw exactly does one go about reporting that a person has been served with a restraining order from his family (something that the consensus seems to agree with), without mentioning his family (something the consensus seems to not agree with)?

    If the problem is that Atkins, a public official, is an accused violent abuser of his family, there is no way to point that out without at least saying “his family”. We dont (and shouldnt) press his wife and kids, no need to mention names of minors, no need to get into the need to any member of the press to ever contact his kids at all.. but a general rule against bringing up an elected official’s family is a little over the top. especially if a member of that family initiated public proceedings in any way.

  48. SussexWatcher says:

    Aoine is incorrect in her claim that all Family Court records are closed. PFAs hearings and records are specifically open.

    Family Court Rule 401: “All records of Protection from Abuse proceedings shall be open, unless in the Court’s discretion there is sufficient reason to close the records.”


    There was nothing “leaked” here.

  49. Geezer says:

    You are using the – ” well THEY did it first argument”.

    No, I’m using the “they reach far more people” argument. “More than 100,000” is bigger than “fewer than 10,000.” The News Journal story was referenced and a link was provided. Minimal commentary accompanied the posting — nothing, really, beyond “scary stuff from a scary dude.” The “scary dude” part can be supported by lots of stuff he did before this story. I believe the guns are what El Som considers “scary,” but that might be just my interpretation.

    “Vance allegedly committed a CRIME…. Not something alleged in a closed confidential hearing. Apples and oranges.”

    But he was not charged. We all still knew about it, just not the lurid details. Indeed, the civil suit was filed only because no criminal charges were. By the way, some of what Mrs. Atkins alleged would be considered a crime, too. Which you would know had you read the story.

    “to answer your question about reading the story. Why bother? It’s only going to be patently one sided”

    So you never read a crime story in the paper, either, I take it, since the only part reported is what you’ll find in police reports. Incredibly one-sided. How admirable of you to pontificate without knowing the basics of the story.

    If reading the news is going to give you the vapors, I suggest you stay near your fainting couch.

    As for his kids, there’s nothing anything any of us could do that will fuck them up nearly so much as being born to and raised by John Atkins.

  50. SussexWatcher says:

    To clarify, all PFA hearings are open, as well. Rule 400: “All Protection from Abuse hearings and trials shall be conducted publicly unless in the Court’s discretion there is sufficient reason to close the hearing.”

    Source is same link as above.

  51. Geezer says:

    @Aoine: If I read you correctly, you are dismissing Mrs. Atkins’ story because she did not file the PFA fast enough, in your judgment.

    Do you apply that standard when women delay reporting rapes? When child victims of abuse don’t come forward until they are adults? I don’t care about the legality — I”m talking about your apparent judgment of her motives.

    Of course she might be lying. But her delay in asking for the PFA does not strike me as evidence of it.

  52. Aoine says:

    Ahhhhhhhhh sussex watcher – all PFA HEARINGS

    there has been no HEARING as of yet – there has been a TEMPORARY ex-parte PFA order requested and granted.

    But by all means. – show up- we all know the date….

    geezer. Don’t you think you “vapors and fainting couch comment” is a little sexist?

    I’m being very polite .. What up wid dat?

  53. Aoine says:

    Not my job to speculate. I’m with anon- some of us in the area know a little more about the whole story

    And again out of respect keeping judgement reserved.

    I’m done – there are more important things to do that speculate on something that most in here don’t know that much about

  54. SussexWatcher says:

    I will repeat for Aoine’s benefit: Both records and hearings of PFAs are open. Says so right there in the court rules.

    Family Court Rule 401: “All records of Protection from Abuse proceedings shall be open, unless in the Court’s discretion there is sufficient reason to close the records.”

    I’m not responsible for your inability to click around on a website (which was how I found it) or comprehend what you read. You, however, are responsible for your words, which included multiple and repeated inaccuracies, not least of which was the claim that confidential court records were leaked to the press.

    What’s that I hear? Crickets?

  55. cassandra m says:

    Aoine, this is sanctimonious:

    Amazing – for a bunch of smart people that are generally compassionate. The pack mentality to hurt and tear down someone you don’t. Like – regardless of who you hurt in the process – is really shameful. And something the Sussex Tea Baggers are known for . I would expect more from this crowd

    And was what I was responding to. Your response to this is in the category of People Who Live In Glass Houses.

  56. ben says:

    It isnt worth it asking for a civil discussion. Not here. Especially not form SOME people.
    They dont want that. They want to bully people and to lay the “smak down”. For some, their entire day is winning arguments on the internet. How can we EVER hope to compete?
    Better to just descend into the viper pit, and save quality human interaction for in-person discussions .
    It sucks… but I guess “welcome to the Internet” Right?

  57. Jason330 says:

    For the record, my comment was supporting Patriot John during his time of need while Obama ass rapes him with a rolled up copy of the constitution. So I am in the high horse brigade with you.


  58. cassandra m says:

    Delighted to see ben keeping up his tradition of adding nothing to the conversation!

  59. ben says:

    delighted to see Cassandra is still so predictable and easy.

  60. cassandra m says:

    So your motto is going to be Content Free Forever, huh? Oh well, welcome to the internets!

  61. pandora says:

    Wait a minute… is the problem here that Delaware Liberal shouldn’t have posted about, or linked to, a story published in the News Journal? Since when? Seriously, when has this ever been a problem – especially since we held off on another Sussex story (a while ago) until it was published in the News Journal. And I bet if Don Ayotte was charged with something certain people would be wallowing in pack mentality.

    Look, I have no idea what happened in that family. What I do know is that someone leaked it and the News Journal wrote about it. And do you really want to set the public (non-jury) bar at everyone is innocent until proven guilty and we cannot discuss it until the verdict comes in… if so, I’ll be happy to hold you to that.

    And this is just priceless: “Another thing to remember is that it’s not unheard of for a born and raised Sussex County girl to get a little worked up at times.” You are a prince among men! And FYI, your follow up comment: “Just saying that there are two sides to be told about this story.” isn’t close to what you originally said.

  62. Geezer says:

    @Aoine: I don’t know whether getting the vapors is sexist or not. I don’t even know what gender you are. All I know is that you present as a woman here.

    Someone, not sure if it was you, said Mrs. Atkins is from a prominent Sussex family. What’s her maiden name, provided use of that term isn’t too sexist for you?

    I would also like to point out that nobody has said anything truly judgmental about the case, and your notion that discussion of it here will harm the Atkins children is preposterous considering that the print and broadcast media are much more likely to be the source of anyone’s knowledge of the story.

  63. Aoine says:

    Ben- I see you point and I have to agree- this has become about beating me up now

    Sussex watcher – maybe you should have clicked around a little more – it is IMPORTANT to read ALL the rules and take them in context – not pick and choose what suits you.

    From the link YOU provided

    Protective orders. — Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the Court or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition taken outside the State of Delaware, a court in the state where the deposition is to be taken may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following: (1) That the discovery not be had; (2) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place; (3) that the discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery; (4) that certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of the discovery be limited to certain matters; (5) that discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the Court; (6) that a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the Court; (7) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; (8) that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the Court.

    Ok everyone. Ready set go

    Start bashing. – have a nice time doing it

    Ben- I’ll see ya on the flip side- this place is turning into delaware politics

  64. Jason330 says:

    …this place is turning into delaware politics…

    lol. I’d be piling on Atkins now (making me Don Ayotte?), if not for the TYRANNY !!!!


  65. Geezer says:

    I asked a couple of questions. My “beating you up” is questioning your position on this story — that it shouldn’t be discussed because it will hurt the Atkins children. Other than saying this has “given you the vapors” — a common phrase to use when someone expresses shock, shock! at something not all that shocking — and pointing out that you are calling for self-censorship out of a surfeit of concern, I don’t see how you’re being attacked, at least by me.

  66. pandora says:

    I’m sorry, who was it calling out Joanne Christian the other night? I didn’t notice concern over bashing then.

    And I still can’t get over the idea that blogging about, and linking to, an article in the News Journal is now something we shouldn’t do. I mean, if that’s the bar, then who can we link to and what can we write about?

  67. Geezer says:

    Sorry, don’t see what in the rule you quoted in full added to the discussion. Nothing in this order was under seal.

    Stop hiding behind the law and explain yourself. Or is calling yourself a victim your only defense? If so, and this is now Delaware Politics, that makes you Fay Voshell.

  68. cassandra m says:

    I don’t see it, either. Only that if there is a violation of law here, none of us are part of the violation.

  69. liberalgeek says:

    Does that make DelawareDem Mosely since he is the lawyer on the thread?

    But seriously, DL has printed stories about Richard Korn and John Atkins. Both were previously printed in the New Journal.

    When Richard Korn was accused, lots of people weighed in with much worse than “scary stuff from a scary dude”.

    And if Heather Atkins is the one that gave the complaint to the News Journal, Aoine has nothing to stand on. And if someone from family court leaked it, take it up with them. This is a story. It is in the wild. The kids are already aware of whatever the hell is going on.

  70. AQC says:

    I doubt the kids are reading this, but I do feel badly for them. Whatever is going on has to be bad for the kids. I don’t think this blog is going to make it any worse.

  71. Aoine says:

    Sigh. At least I won’t tell you to click around this will clear it up

    Have a nice day

    Rule 90.1. Records; privacy.
    (a) Without the permission of the Court, no complaint or other paper instituting an action and no paper ordered to be served shall be released for examination or publication by the Clerk or by the sheriff until a return showing service on all designated parties is made to the Clerk.
    (b) If service is to be made on a nonresident, the material shall not be released, without the permission of the Court, until at least 10 days after any required mailing.
    (c) Unless otherwise required by statute or rule, all records of proceedings before the Court shall be private and shall not be open or available to anyone except (1) the Court and its staff, or (2) the parties and their attorneys, or (3) other courts and public agencies, or (4) persons specifically approved by the Court because they have a legitimate interest in the records, subject in all events to such reasonable restrictions, conditions or limitations as the Court may impose.
    (d) Examination of court records is also governed by instructions to the Clerk from the Court.

  72. liberalgeek says:

    I assume that section (e) covers the prohibition of publishing court orders that fall under the above and (f) covers the hyperlinking of other places to the prohibited publisher?

    Is that right?

  73. Aoine says:

    cass- I don’t know how you might interpret C above – but it seems pretty clear to me.

    The Rule specifically states ALL proceedings before the Court shall be private

    Korn was criminal. Atkins was also criminal.

    Family Court is a different animal all together

    I didn’t make the rules – and I can’t understand what the issue is .

    I simply come in here – say judgement should be reserved – ask for a little calm instead if a feeding frenzy and all heck breaks loose

    I can’t help it if a bunch of folks don’t know Family Court rules and procedure- seems there is more deflecting than actually addressing the issue

    So instead of beating up up on Atkins – I DARED TO PRESUME so now I’m the target

    Take a wander thru- see where it turned.

  74. liberalgeek says:

    Such is the price to be payed for being the blog police.

  75. Aoine says:

    Geek- I am certainly not the blog police – I just said that family court proceedings were closed and this was leaked .

    So to answer your above question about (e) and (f) I suggest you take Sussex Watcher advice – click around and see for yourself .

    Because no one should take my word for it.

  76. cassandra m says:

    I DARED TO PRESUME so now I’m the target

    As LG notes, when you show up to be the blog police here, you should be prepared for some blowback. It isn’t as if you haven’t seen this before. And the only reason you are a TARGET (way to get your victim on) is because you are trying to be the blog police.

    For me personally, my issue had to do with you calling us out as sanctimonious while pointing your sanctimoniousness at us and having a pretty fair track record of sanctimoniousness yourself on selected issues/people. Seriously? If you had a point to make here, then you can make it without accusing us of some release that we had nothing to do with.

  77. Aoine says:

    Please show me where I accused anyone of anything

    Because Id like to see what that exact ” accusatory “comment was .


  78. SussexWatcher says:

    “Unless otherwise required by statute or rule …”


    “… may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense …”

    Are the relevant portions of the excerpts Aoine provides from the Family Court rules.

    The first clearly says that the rules can have exceptions if laid out in the rules. Rules 400-401 is such an exception, explicitly making PFA records and hearings public. The second item only says that the courts “may” make records private if certain conditions apply.

    Neither says that PFAs are confidential. Neither overrides rules 400 and 401.

    Aoine, what is your experience with Family Court that gives you such deep insight?

  79. Aoine says:

    “Are the relevant portions of the excerpts Aoine provides from the Family Court rules.”

    Well Sussex watcher maybe you should go in and click around- link provided – take your own advice and read all 88 pages of rules

    And frankly- my experience with Family Court rules is not really relevant now is it- I didn’t ask you yours- nor do I care .

  80. Jason330 says:

    You guys know who else is nuts…? Bodenweiser.

  81. Geezer says:

    @Aoine: I get your point about this being leaked, and I’ll concede that it’s far more likely that someone placed it in a reporter’s hands than that an alert reporter ferreted it out. You already pointed out that it might well be Mrs. Atkins who released it, but there are probably plenty of suspects — no doubt Atkins has lots of influential enemies.

    Or maybe they’re connected. anon said something about her family inventing the good ol’ boy network down there. Who is she related to?

  82. SussexWatcher says:


    I posted two rules that explicitly say that PFAs are public. You posted two rules that don’t have anything to do with that. Until you show something that explicitly says PFAs are closed, I think I’ll stick with the plain English, crystal clear, utterly unambiguous statements that they are open instead. Thanks for playing.

  83. SussexWatcher says:

    G – Her father is David Allan Baker. Fairly common last name.

  84. Geezer says:

    He’s enough of a somebody to get prisoners to burn his tires, right?

  85. Aoine says:

    @Geezer- Baker family


    Family politics

    Should satisfy your curiosity

    As for Sussex Watcher- you provided a link that the rules seemingly contradict each other- and you picked what you liked and treated it like the word of God- literally and Inviolate.

    You must NOT get the published family court memos from the Chief Judge- and the Family Court Attorney- (there is one you know)

    So- while rule 400 says one thing rule 90 says another

    The reality is – go on down the Family Court, any county you like -make sure you go on PFA day- there is a day set aside for this actually – pick a hearing that suits your fancy and walk in an sit down

    Tell us what happens ….

    Most Judicial Officers, Masters, Comissioner or Judges will have you leave . Not all MOST,

    What I don’t get is how angry and righteous you got – to what end .? hell I’m wrong all the time- I just happen to know this like I know about NARCAN and receptor cells.

    It’s obvious you don’t deal with the system – so go on down there and prove me a liar if it makes you feel better.

  86. Geezer says:

    interesting. Thanks for the links.

  87. Jim McGiffin says:

    I am in Family Court every week on PFA day. Those hearings are open to the public. While it is possible for a party to make a motion to close a hearing, that type of motion is rare. This openness is not presumed for the majority of civil matters in Family Court, but as SussexWatcher has pointed out, the law and the rules for PFAs are very specific.

    And spending a PFA day in Family Court can be enlightening. A lot of good people acting badly.

  88. Jason330 says:

    Another petition has been filed. This time Atkins seeking protection from his wife.

    apologies if this is old news. (It wasn’t to me)