Federal Representatives to State Courts: Improve Adjudications

From The Center for Judicial Excellence:

Guess what?

It’s August Recess — and federal lawmakers are home in their Districts until Labor Day!

Now is your chance to get your House Rep signed on
as a co-sponsor of H Con Res 72 to prioritize child safety in family courts!

Join us for a one-hour advocacy training with Kathleen Russell, Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence, and Connie Valentine, the Founder of the California Protective Parents Association to learn:

  • What does H Con Res 72 say?
  • What happens when it passes the House of Representatives?
  • How do I schedule a meeting, and with whom? house concurrent res 72 8 2018
  • Who and what should I bring to the meeting?
  • What should I say there?
  • How should I follow up?
  • What is most effective? (hint: good legislators supporting good laws!)

To RSVP for the ZOOM call, send your: name, county, state, phone number and email address to: gettraining@yahoo.com

You will receive a personal invitation via email after speaking with us to ensure that this call is a good fit for you! Together, we will do this!!

child safety days dc september 9 to 12 2018

Also, join us this September 9, 10, 11 and 12 in Washington DC! We will train protective parents on Sunday afternoon to lobby for child safety in family courts and then fan out for three days of meetings to seek even more H Con Res 72 co-sponsors and supporters.

If you can get yourselves to DC, we can put you to work for child safety!

Let’s Do This!

 

Current list: Cosponsors: H.Con.Res.72 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

 

“… all lined up in cahoots …”

 

"This is the doctor that took my kids away from me."

“This is the doctor that took my kids away from me.”

Interview: Carolyn Conrad with Bill Windsor of Lawless America:

There was no accountability in my case whatsoever. Files were lost. OSCs that were filed were never heard in the courtroom. They were buried. Evidence was buried and supressed — and it seemed to be very biased into one direction. And it seemed to me that every hearing that I went to was in chambers. And then they came out and said, “This is what we’re ruling.” 

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America. We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them.

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

For more information, see:

The Lawless America website

Lawless America YouTube Channel

Lawless America Facebook Page

Lawless America The Movie

To reach Bill Windsor, email: Nobodies@att.net

Congressional Testimony: Karen Kestrel to Bill Windsor of Lawless America.

“The rule of law in lawless America is a myth.”

From Lawless America:

Congressional Testimony: Karen Kestrel to Bill Windsor of Lawless America.

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America. We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them. 

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

In addition, videos will be produced for each state and for each type of corruption. Everyone interviewed for the film recorded a three-minute segment that will be done as testimony before Congress as well as a 30-60 minute on-camera interview with Bill Windsor, founder of LawlessAmerica.com and the Revolutionary Party. The legislators in each state are receiving the testimony from those in their state, and the members of the U.S. House and Senate will receive all of the testimony nationwide.

Over 750 people were scheduled to be interviewed for the movie.

For more information, see:

The Lawless America website:  www.LawlessAmerica.com 

Lawless America YouTube Channel:  www.YouTube.com/lawlessamerica

Lawless America Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/lawlessamerica

Lawless America The Movie:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2337260/

 

 

“Barbaric” Courts on Both Sides of the Pond

From The Daily Mail Online:        

                

Scandal of ‘unqualified’ experts who advise our family courts:

Decisions about the care of thousands of children routinely flawed

 

By Katherine Faulkner

Life-changing decisions about the care of thousands of children are routinely being made on flawed evidence from poorly qualified ‘experts’ in the family courts, a damning study reveals.

More than a fifth of these vital reports are being produced by people who are completely unqualified, the Channel 4 News investigation found.

‘Experts’ used in hundreds of family court proceedings are frequently unqualified or unreliable, the study reveals. In some cases, reports on parents or children are being given to courts by doctors who have not even seen the individuals concerned.  Until now, these ‘expert witnesses’ – often psychologists or psychiatrists – have largely escaped scrutiny due to the draconian secrecy surrounding the family courts.

But in a unique study for the Family Justice Council, Professor Jane Ireland – a forensic psychologist who has herself been an expert witness – examined over 100 expert witness reports used in family court cases. Incredibly, she found that 20 per cent had been produced by people who were not qualified at all. A further fifth had been carried out by people who were writing reports in areas entirely beyond their knowledge and qualifications.

In addition, as many as 90 per cent of the reports had been produced by ‘expert’ witnesses who were no longer in current practice at all, but were simply working as ‘professional expert witnesses’. Often, these professional experts – who rake in thousands of pounds in fees from the chaotic family courts system – have not practised for years, leaving them out of touch with developments in their field.

They are often appointed to assess the suitability of a parent or parents to continue to look after their child in care proceedings brought by local councils. They can also be used in access cases following the separation of a child’s parents. Thousands of children have their futures decided in the family courts every year and because of strict rules on what can be reported, often little is revealed about what happens once the court doors are closed.

In the past, parents have bitterly complained that they have not even been allowed to know the names of the paid expert witnesses who testified against them.

That has now changed but Professor Ireland, of the University of Central Lancashire, said 65 of the 100 reports she examined were ‘poorly’ or ‘very poorly’ carried out.

Some reports were found to ‘cite opinion without conducting a formal assessment’ or show a complete lack of understanding of the conditions discussed. One was even found to have ‘completed an assessment on the mother without actually seeing her’.

Professor Ireland said an ‘urgent review’ of expert witnesses in the family courts was needed. ‘I think we were very concerned and perturbed by some of the reports that we read,’ she told Channel 4 News.

‘Some of the most startling results were the sheer number of expert psychologists . . . who are reporting that their entire job is the production of assessment reports for courts.

‘I think the results from the research are enough to suggest that we do need an urgent review across the range of expert witnesses that the courts are employing.’

The Family Justice Council is an independent public body set up in 2004 and funded by the Ministry of Justice. It is charged with monitoring the family justice system and advising the Government and the courts on how the system can be improved.

One mother involved in family court proceedings told how a psychiatrist who had never seen her wrote a 14-page report on her and her family. The day after the psychiatrist signed off his report he was suspended by the General Medical Council for a separate offence. Despite this, his report was still used by the courts.

‘He’s never seen us, never spoken to us,’ she said, ‘and yet he’s ended up writing 14 pages, with recommendations, that he could not possibly have made if he had spoken to any of us or had he read through the court papers.’

She said her custody case dragged on for five years because of the competing testimonies of no fewer than eight expert witnesses.

‘The court system in England is barbaric,’ she said. ‘It does not allow parents to be given a voice, it doesn’t allow their children to be given a voice.

‘But what it does instead is it focuses on employing expert witnesses – at huge expense.’

Nigel Priestley, a family solicitor in Huddersfield, said: ‘If the statistics are that 20 per cent are unqualified, that is not just a mess, that is staggering.’

Good News From The California Protective Parents Association

Dear Friends,

 

Save the Dates.  2012 is an action-packed year…

 

March 1 :

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) will hold a Congressional Briefing to share results of evidenced-based programs and practices.

Court Practices and Programs to Improve Justice and Safety for Children and Families from 10:00 to 11:00 am, 2226 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

RSVP to Sarah Grabowska at sgrabowska@ncjfcj.org or 775-784-6711.

You may send in your written testimony, if you cannot attend.

March 16-17 :

Conference in Phoenix, Arizona –  Our Broken Family Court System 

March 19-21 :

The U.S. Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence – The “Defending Childhood Task Force” – will hold the third public hearing in Miami, Florida focused on children’s exposure to violence in their communities and at school.

If you cannot attend, you can e-mail comments by April 24 to defendingchildhoodtaskforce@nccdcrc.org or send to NCCD, Attn: Defending Childhood Task Force, 1970 Broadway, Suite 500, Oakland, California, 94612.

 

April 28:

 Eighteenth Annual Child Sexual Abuse Conference at the Veterans Memorial Center, 203 East 14th Street, Davis, California from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Healing from Trauma: Clergy Abuse with Keynote Speaker Jaime Romo. There is no cost for the conference.

May 6-8:

Fourth Annual Mothers of Lost Children Mothers Day demonstration/lobbying in Washington, DC.

We are holding this event the week before Mothers Day this year.

 

Sunday, May 6:

Time: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm for a silent vigil and march around the White House.

6:30 – 7:30 pm for a silent candlelight vigil.

Place: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW in front of the White House.

 

Monday, May 7 :

Time: 10:30 am to 3:30 pm for our first formal coalition meeting and lobbying workshop.

Place: Sewall Belmont House Suffragists’ Headquarters, 144 Constitution Ave, NE

Contact cppa001@aol.com right away to sign up for the workshop (seating is limited).

A small fee of $40 is needed due to high cost of the historic space.

 

Tuesday, May 8:

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to lobby at the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives

  • Most of us stay at the inexpensive International Hostel, 1009 11th St NW, Washington (202) 737-2333
  • Be sure to bring your Mothers of Lost Children T-shirts! We will bring more in case you don’t have one. We wear white like the Liberian women .
  • We follow in the footsteps of the mothers who demonstrated every Thursday afternoon at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina to protest government torture and murder of their adult children. In Sacramento we demonstrate on Thursday afternoon at the family court to protest the legalized beatings, rape and murder of children.
  • For information on previous Washington DC demonstrations, go to the Mothers of Lost Children website.

The 9th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference Happening Now: Be There or Be Here :)

Or you can watch the conference on USTREAM and join us in the chat room 🙂

THE NINTH BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE BMCC IX: IS WHAT WE’RE DOING WORKING?

FRIDAY EVENING, JANUARY 6TH, 2012

Registration beginning at 4:00 p.m.

6:00 Angela Shelton: Humorous Healing: You Could Use a Laugh Right Now! Angela shares funny stories along the healing path to inspire us all to laugh as we continue our fight for freedom and justice.

7:30 Lundy Bancroft: WHERE DO WE FIND STRENGTH TO FIGHT BACK? How does the human spirit keep itself alive? How do people who have suffered tragedies — or atrocities — get back up on their feet and move forward again? Lundy is going to look at what makes it possible for some people to rise up out circumstances where their defeat seems total, and fight their way back to thriving. These are the individuals who become the greatest thorns in the side of the powerful and the oppressive. He will suggest a road map for how all of us can become those Phoenixes.

Saturday Morning, January 7th 8:30 – 9:30

Plenary 1: Wendy Murphy: Rethinking Reform: New ideas and strategies for when the rules don’t work

9:30 – 10:30 Panel: Barry Goldstein, Moderator; Joan Zorza, Kathleen Russell, Rita Smith, Connie Valentine, Karen Anderson, Gabby Davis, & Eileen King: News from the Protective Mothers Movement You May Not Have Heard

Many exciting events have taken place in the last year which we hope will make a difference in changing the broken system. A panel of activists who have been involved in these events will discuss this news. It includes a roundtable discussion for OVW at the Justice Department, training in custody issues for the National DV Hotline, a new consortium that is in the process of forming to support our goals, marches and meetings in DC, new publications coming out and other events. The discussion should give our movement hope and opportunity.

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 11:45 Plenary 2: Dr. Phyllis Chesler: Mothers STILL on Trial

Saturday Afternoon, January 7th 11:45 – 1:45 Working Lunch: BMCC Premier of Garland Waller’s New Documentary No Way Out But One This feature length (1 hr and 35 minutes) documentary looks at family court injustice by telling the story of Holly Collins, the first American woman to get asylum from the Dutch government on grounds of domestic violence. In 1994, Holly Collins became an international fugitive wanted by the FBI for kidnapping her own children. Ordered by a family court to turn her two children over to live with the father who had been abusing them all, Holly felt she had no way out but one. Only by kidnapping her children and running was Holly able to protect her children.

1:45– 2:00 Break

2:00 – 2:30 Gabby Davis and Loretta Frederick: Developing and Implementing a Conceptual Framework for Identifying, Understanding and Accounting for the Implications of Intimate Partner Abuse in Contested Child Custody Cases. Ample research, local practice, and lived experience collectively inform us that the safety and wellbeing of battered mothers and their children are not adequately accounted for in contested child custody cases where domestic violence is alleged. Very little systematic attention is paid to whether there is a history of abuse, whether the abuse is ongoing, who is abusing whom, what the abuse looks like, and how the abuse impacts the children, the abused parent, and the parenting capacities of both the abusive and the abused parent. Consequently, from an institutional standpoint, the family court system is often poorly organized to accurately identify and describe what is actually happening in people’s everyday lives so that it can respond in ways that are helpful, or at least not harmful, to the safety and wellbeing of battered mothers and their children. This presentation describes a collaborative effort by the Battered Women’s Justice Project, Praxis International, and a local jurisdiction in NW Ohio to develop and implement a concrete framework to help family court professionals better identify, understand and account for the context and implications of domestic violence in contested child custody cases.

2:30 – 3:00 Connie Valentine and Karen Anderson: Good News from the California Protective Parent Association As a growing coalition of 99% protective mothers groups, we are moving forward toward the common goal of keeping abused children safe when their parents separate and divorce. This workshop will review the movement’s accomplishments during the past year. Accurate definition is important: this is a civil and human rights movement. Come to the workshop, hear how far we have come, and share your accomplishments.

3:00 – 4:00 Karin Huffer: Is What We Are Doing Working? Yes…But Not Fast Enough –An Overlooked Powerful Focus for 2012 This presentation will discuss how mothers can learn to re-image themselves and their cases in a positive light. Women and children can take control of “impression management,” thus wiping out damage caused by their opponents. Effective but often unused laws and tools exist in the standard legal setting. Due to the wrong impression being sold to the court, mothers are beaten down, traumatized, marginalized by the batterer. However, through combining the ADA law with trauma treatment and political savvy, mothers are winning their cases.

4:00 – 4:15 Break

SATURDAY AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS

4:15 – 5:15 Workshop Session 1

LEGAL ISSUES TRACK 1. Renee Beeker & Joshua Pampreen: Findings from the National Family Court Watch: Prelude to Publishing. We are so excited to be sharing with the BMCC our latest news and some inside information on the project. We also will provide copies of our abbreviated form for use for supportive court watch and will teach participants how to use it in conducting court watches.

2. Linda Marie Sacks: Strength in Numbers One day Linda Marie Sacks heard a mother being interviewed on television about the court taking away her children. It was a familiar tale and Sacks knew immediately that she too was a “Dr. Deborah O. Day Mom”. Now, Sacks works with “Day mothers” all over Florida. Combining forces with other mothers who have lost their children due to same court professionals is an important step. Teaming up to write complaints, comparing experiences and the emotional support offered by these partnerships are invaluable but finding these other parents can be difficult. RecordChronicle.com is seeking to identify these clusters.

PERSONAL HEALING TRACK

1. Michele Jeker: MST, PTSD and Domestic Violence in military life and after discharge Military Domestic Violence/Military Sexual Trauma This workshop will address the negative impacts of military life on the family, including the extreme pervasiveness of DV regardless of assignment, and the magnitude of the problems facing the military family. The military’s response to DV and the lack of judicial relief are among other topics we will be covering.

2. Raquel Singh: Healing Within and Without: How community and political activism are an essential part of the healing process This workshop examines how community-organizing benefits the healing process of survivors of domestic violence both individually and collectively. It will explore questions such as: • How does internalized oppression impact how a survivor interprets her abuse and others who have similar experiences? • Does this create a false separation between women who have been abused and those who experience sexism in other ways? • Does simply replacing the term “victim” with “survivor” really empower women to reclaim their lives? • How can we skillfully craft and integrate our personal stories into a wider social-political context as part of our organizing?

3. Maralee Mclean: Prosecuted But Not Silenced

 5:15 – 6:15 Workshop Session 2

LEGAL ISSUES TRACK

1. Wendy Murphy

2. Holly, Jennifer, & Zachary Collins: A Life on the Run In 1994 Holly Collins was determined to protect her children from a life of abuse. So she grabbed her own children and went on the run. She became an international fugitive, hunted by the FBI. Eventually, she and the kids became first American citizens to be granted asylum by the government of Netherlands. 17 years later, all charges have been dropped and Holly and her children have returned to the United States.

3. Sandy Bromley, DV-LEAP: Improving Outcomes for Battered Women and their Children: DV LEAP’s Custody & Abuse Project DV LEAP has recently entered in to a cooperative agreement with the federal Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), an agency of the US Department of Justice. Through specialized training and technical assistance, DV LEAP works to reduce the number of battered women losing custody of their children or being required by courts to turn over their children for unsafe visitation with an abusive parent. This presentation will review the goals and strategies of this cooperative agreement and allow participants an opportunity to provide feedback and ideas to the project manager. PERSONAL HEALING TRACK

4. Karin Huffer, Justin Huffer, & Crystal Huffer: Your Looking Glass Self: Making Sense of Court Rulings and Correcting Defeating Perceptions to Unlock Protective Mothers Justice in Your Case From being a nationally know expert and DV/ADA Advocate in court with battered mothers, I observe a common disastrous pattern that is rectifiable. • Lies damage mother dominating the case; • A correctable fundamental attribution error fills the record with false negatives toward mother making her a target; • Court appointees are influenced by coercive controlling, abusive mechanisms; • Mothers suffer diagnosable traumatic stress. Participants will learn to: • Re-image from fear to using properly postured emotion to achieve systems power; • Correct the court record with authority; • Counter lies without lying; • Engage legal help without going broke; • Influence the legal process.

5. Tammy Gagnon: No Longer Silent: From the Scars of Survival, We Reclaim Our Lives Those who have never experienced an abusive or violent relationship often believe that upon finding a way out, victim difficulties are solved: their life is good, they are safe, and recovery will be swift. However, survivors know that leaving is not the end of the nightmare — it is the beginning of an often difficult and challenging journey toward healing and happiness. They need practical guidance, emotional reassurance, and psychological awareness that survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence need to heal and reclaim their lives after leaving their abusers.

SATURDAY EVENING, JANUARY 7TH

6:15 – 7:30 p.m. (Optional) Dinner at a special rate will be available in the hotel restaurant, so feel free to carry it out to attend the Organizing Session with Connie Valentine, Karen Anderson, & Kathleen Russell

7:30 – ? Welcome Home Party for Jennifer, Holly, & Zach Collins

SPECIAL SAT. EVENING WORKSHOP

8:00 – 9: 15 p.m. Nancy Erickson, J.D.: Filing an Ethical Complaint Against a Custody Evaluator: Do It Yourself Many battered women have lost custody of their children because a “custody evaluator” (sometimes called a “forensic”) has recommended that custody be given to the abusive father. Yet, in many cases, the custody evaluator was incompetent, unprofessional, or unethical – perhaps even taking bribes from the other side. A common example is a custody evaluator who believes all mothers try to alienate the children from the fathers. This will be a do-it-yourself workshop where participants will be guided through the process of filing licensing board complaints against these evaluators. If successful, it could have an effect on your case, and it might lead toward another valuable result — that the evaluator would never ruin the lives of more protective parents and their children.

SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 8TH

9:00 – 10:00 Plenary 3: Toby Kleinman

10:00 – 10:45 Barry Goldstein: From Poughkeepsie to Quincy: How to Save Thousands of Lives, Trillions of Dollars and Reform the Custody System. Barry Goldstein has written a new chapter based upon studying responses to domestic violence. He looked at the failure in Poughkeepsie that has resulted in ten deaths in a year and the success of the Quincy Model that led to no domestic violence homicide for many years. His investigation plus current research establishes that practices that could eliminate most domestic violence crime, a lot of other crime and save at least $500 Billion every year. In order to obtain these benefits the custody system will have to be reformed. He believes the huge financial savings and other benefits can be the incentive to create a different discussion about domestic violence custody issues.

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:00 Workshop Session 3

LEGAL ISSUES TRACK

1. Michael Bassett, J.D. and Carol Pennington: Turning Around The Titanic Without Hitting an Iceberg: Battered Moms and Turnaround Cases Much like turning around a ship, turning around a custody case can be time-consuming, dangerous and draining. This presentation will discuss strategies that have been successful in past cases. Other topics that will be discussed include working with your attorney, changing attitudes through practicing law, the use of psychological experts, and the use of evidence of acts that may seem like it occurred “too far in the past.”

2. Liora Farkovitz: The Electronic Advantage: Understanding Technological Evidence This workshop is a companion to a technology guide, “Understanding Technological Evidence for the Legal Professional: 101 the Basics” which highlights the murder/suicide case of Katie Tagle of San Bernardino County, California in 2009/2010. Highlighting how the judiciary often ignores electronic evidence in domestic violence cases, the last 2/3 of the guide provides a step by step “basic” guide of current technology.

3. Dara Carlin, M.S.: Coloring Outside The Lines: Potential Solutions When The Ones In Place Aren’t Working If you have found your way to the BMCC, chances are the system that was designed to protect you and your children has failed you. Despite “coloring within the lines” (having followed all of the instructions and all the professional directions) you’re in a bad place and stuck with nowhere else to turn – NOT SO! This workshop will illustrate and explore some of the more creative things survivors and their allies have done when all solutions were exhausted and “acceptance” became the only one left.

PERSONAL HEALING TRACK

1. Louise Monroe: “WHEW”: Women Helping Empower Women This is the story of one family’s five year journey through that black hole known as “family court.” The evolution of this journey through the support and caring of others also traveling through this blackness and how all the negative in their lives was used is such a positive way that the journey has ended and the sun is shining brightly.

2. Chrys Ballerano: Nurturing Rhythms for Self Care- Experiencing the Healing Power of the Drum This is primarily an experiential workshop and interactive experience. An atmosphere of gentle safety will be maintained and modeled as Chrys provides participants with an opportunity to connect with themselves and their own innate sense of play. Therapeutic benefits of rhythmic drumming will briefly be discussed. Participants are welcome to bring their own percussive instrument. Sufficient instruments (enough for 40- 50 people) will be provided. This isn’t a workshop about “beating” drums but about connecting with our own heartbeat, and our own abilities to play in community and find ways to respond to the natural world. Come enjoy a circle of rhythm that is fun for all- no experience necessary!

12 Noon: Sunday Lunch with Jennifer Collins and Carly Singer: Abused Children to Children’s Advocates

2:00 p.m. Close

St. Louis Misery: A Mother Fights for Return of Abducted Child

From HealthFreedoms.org:

St. Louis Misery – A mother fights for return of abducted child

The Court System of Missouri has had their brutal shackles coldly gripping the lives of Sonja De Vivo and her severed family for over a decade. This is no run-of-the-mill ten year prison sentence; that would be far easier to stomach. It has been a savage court-ordered, daily regiment of emotional and psychological torture. The storm troopers of the 21st Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, have been administering the torture upon Sonja De Vivo for 3,500 some-odd days and counting, without fail, and in true Nazi fashion.

Sonja’s daughter was taken from her ten years ago by the Missouri court. The ruling was given based upon false accusations by Sonja’s ex-husband amid a tumultuous divorce. The court found no “abuse”, however, they refused to return her daughter. Read more about the baffling and sadistic tale of state sponsored abduction in “Child Abduction By The State.” They have blatantly neglected to even glance back on their decision since, despite the fact that she still has custody of two other healthy happy children who long for their little sister. The only abuse being implemented is the torture by the Missouri court system against a defenseless family.

The gavel fell hard in 2001, like a guillotine, severing the bond between a loving mother and her daughter. The piercing sound of that blade slicing down to the chopping block reverberates in Sonja’s ears every day of her life, and the Missouri court room has done everything they can to make sure she cannot forget that piercing sound. To condition and intimidate her into submission to these high crimes of the state. The most recent activities of the 21st Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, are a grim testament to that.

On April 30, 2009, Sonja received a restraining order, further restricting her relationship with her daughter. De Vivo’s daughter made an attempt to contact Sonja. After punishing Sonja’s daughter (now 15) for attempting to reach out to her biological mother, the court ordered foster ‘father’ filed a restraining order against Sonja! The state of Missouri had officially, and wrongfully, terminated all of Sonja’s parental rights six years ago. Sonja and her daughter have been out of contact for this time due the foster parents neglect to establish further allowed visitations. Now that her daughter is desperately trying to contact her, the state of Missouri feels that even more brute force must be brought down upon the already fragile situation.

The request was granted with no questions asked. No word was given to the fact that her daughter was the one trying to contact her natural mother, or that the adoptive parent had punished her for doing so. No proof was needed to validate the perjured allegations “justifying” the request, and, in an effort to not break the precedent already set by the court, Sonja has been denied the ability to present evidence against the accusations in front of a judge. In fact, all of her previous court-appointed attorneys have refused to represent her if she wished to have any evidence-backed response be presented in front of a judge. The appointed Washington University
interns have been defending her under “free” representation. Apparently, representation that caters towards the benefit of the defendant is not included when you get it for free. Apparently, the right to a fair and speedy trial is only a right for those who can afford it.

For the entire duration of De Vivo’s case, none of the proven false allegations made against her have even been addressed in front of the Judge, and submission of any evidence defending her case has been refused. The chips are stacked against her, and every time she has a decent hand to play, the state of Missouri always finds a way to have a better one.

A Guardian Ad Litem was appointed to the case. This appointee is supposed to interview the child, as well as represent her. The Guardian Ad Litem was just another winning card stashed up the long, snide sleeves of the court. No interview was ever conducted with the daughter. The Guardian Ad Litem’s excuse for not interviewing her was based on the hearsay of the adoptive parent, who claimed she was just a liar. It is clear at this point that the state does not want it on record that the adopted child has been trying to reach out to her natural mother.

The 21st Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, has been playing the same game for the past decade, gambling with the lives and futures of a mother and her daughter, and cheating all the while long. Despite all of the savage proceedings of the court, Sonja has not given up, and is continuing to tirelessly fight through the ruthless, unwarranted, emotional torture that she has withstood.

She is to the point, however, where she is unable to keep fighting on her own. Please help her to obtain her own lawyer, one that has not been appointed by the crooked court of the state of Missouri, and help ensure that she stands a fighting chance against this evil that has been wrongfully keeping her from her child. The unjust state court system has inflicted far too much emotional pain upon this mother and daughter for nearly ten years…

Click here to: Sign Sonja’s Petition

Where’s the FBI?

Here is a recording of a protective mother’s meeting with her lawyer and two representatives from DHHS Maine this past August.

In this recording, the mother asks those present to communicate honestly in order to discuss very specific issues about her daughter’s case. 

Mom says the Spurwink Clinic substantiated that her child was abused and that the clinic ruled out “coaching”.

The DHHS supervisor’s response?  He protects himself and defends his actions in this case. He talks about which words he used to decribe “coaching”.

Mom says she’s not talking about which words were used to describe coaching. She says the reports say the abuse was substantiated. 

The DHHS supervisor says mom is difficult to communicate with.

The tape goes on. 

Did a DHHS worker in Maine lie to this mother? Did a worker in the Maine DHHS office say that office had “secret information” about the case and, as a result, decided there was no abuse?

Apparently, there was no “secret information” and it sounds like that DHHS worker was fired.

At 17:00, you can hear discussion of the DHHS’s interpretation of The Spurwink Clinic’s reports.

Two years have past since those reports were written. If the Maine DHHS offce is still looking for a clarification from the Spurwink Clinic, here it is:

December 15th: No Representation, No Evidence, No Witnesses Allowed?

by Julia Fletcher

Let’s give the judge in this case the benefit of the doubt.

Is he saying “all evidence of child abuse neglect or misconduct” will not be allowed at this trial as stated in his order?

If you look at the memorandum following his order, you can see a clarification that “unsubstantiated allegations” are not allowed as evidence.

Okay. That’s reasonable. But why would any judge need to clarify, with an order, that “unsubstantiated allegations” are not admissible evidence? Isn’t that what objections are for? If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s this:

The cottage industry that some have built around our family courts is one industry we won’t miss.

See Carver County Corruption for more information about this case.

Caroline Rice on Trial Today for “Aiding and Abetting”

by Julia Fletcher
 
 
Does anyone know of any good investigative reporters who might be willing and able to look into this case and publish what they find?
 
Please share this with friends in and around Minnesota today. Thank you.
 
 
“Wednesday, December 14th Caroline Rice is on trial for aiding and abetting a minor, A. Rice, her 13 year old daughter. There is a 45 minute DVD of Carole Cole (unlicensed CPS worker) interrogating and badgering …A. Rice into making false claims about her mother and why she ran away – of which A. Rice (who is used to the abuse from Carver County) never allowed Carole Cole to force her into any such false claims.
 
This DVD exonerates Caroline Rice of all charges. Judge Richard Perkins berated Caroline Rice for entering the DVD into evidence.
 
Perkins also appointed a public defender, Steve Walburg. Perkins stated on the record that he wanted to `speak` to Steve Walburg personally before he represents Caroline Rice. Steve Walburg has not been representing his client at all, Steve Walburg is only there to represent the courts, he has made that very obvious in emails and treatment of Caroline Rice.
 
This is typical in these rigged cases.Carver County court held Caroline Rice for 53 days because her daughter ran away and desperately wanted to find and see her own mother. Bail for Caroline Rice was set at $15,000 – this is an insane amount for the charge she was being held on.
 
Bail was paid by a kind older man wanting to help Caroline and her kids. When the man stood in court and offered to bail Caroline out of jail the courts tried talking him out of it right in the courtroom, calling Caroline a `criminal` and asking why he wanted to help. The man refused to be talked out of the decision and insisted on bailing Caroline out. The county made it near impossible for the man to make her bail, upping her bail $700 and taking 8 hours to process the payment and release Caroline. This kind man will lose his savings if the courts refuse to drop the charges, as they should be dropped.

A. Rice and her brother (two youngest Rice children) are still living with their father. Caroline has not had contact with the two kids in over three years – other than when A. Rice ran to her mother last year.

Trial Wed, December 14th, 2011 at 8:30 am. We will keep you updated as to what Judge Perkins does and rules during the proceedings. Legally, all charges should be dropped against Caroline Rice. But we know this Judge does not abide by law – in any way shape or form.”

See related posts: Letter to Caroline from Annie and You Always Stand for the Truth

“Justice Department Sides with Child Molesters and Pedophiles…”

From ChildLaw Blog :

Justice Department Sides with Child Molesters and Pedophiles AGAIN

By James R. Marsh

When Justice Department attorneys refused to even sit with the child sex abuse victim at last year’s oral argument before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Chief Judge Edith Jones proclaimed:

“What I don’t understand is why the government has switched sides. They were on Amy’s side in the trial court, were they not? I’m not sure how they can switch sides now and say that the statute doesn’t entitle her to relief. That seems very—if not duplicitous—very strange to me. And it’s also in derogation of the obvious intent of that provision of the statute.”

Now, over a year later, the Justice Department has done the exact same thing again in the Sixth Circuit. Only this time they are asking the Court of Appeals to nullify a court-ordered million dollar award to a child sex abuse victim.

Why is the Obama Justice Department siding with convicted child molesters and pedophiles instead of child sex abuse victims?

In response to this shameful position, the Marsh Law Firm has joined forces with lawyers for the victim in this case and requested immediate intervention in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the million dollar judgment which was abandoned by the government on appeal.

The child sex abuse victim in this case, Vicky, is represented by Seattle attorney Carol Hepburn, who declared:

“It’s bad enough that we so often have to fight child molesters and pedophiles all over the country just to get some measure of restitution for the victim. Now we have to fight the government too. Unfortunately the government has turned on us in one of the few cases where we won something significant which would really make a difference in my client’s life. I just don’t understand why the government is deciding to flip-flop and now go against the victim in these cases.”

According to crime victims’ rights advocate Paul Cassell, a former federal judge who is currently a law professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at University of Utah (and who also represents Vicky on appeal on a pro bono basis):

“It is unconscionable that the government would abandon a child victim on appeal without any notice or a chance to respond. We only found out about this appeal by accident. If we hadn’t intervened, no one would have protected this substantial award before the Court of Appeals. Who could have imagined that the government—which worked so hard at the trial court to obtain this award—would suddenly and without warning switch sides before the Sixth Circuit? The Justice Department simply forgot about the child victim when it filed its appeal pleadings.”

Marsh Law Firm partner, James R. Marsh, emphasized that the legal fight for child sex abuse victims will continue whenever and wherever necessary:

“The Department of Justice has fought against us in the Fifth Circuit, the District of Columbia Circuit, the Supreme Court and now the Sixth Circuit. Apparently the decision to abandon child sex abuse victims is being made by lifelong apparatchiks who haven’t left Washington in a long, long time. This kind of stupidity is one reason why the American people have such distrust and cynicism in our government right now. It defies any sense of common decency that some government lawyer in Washington, DC would think it’s a good idea to expend taxpayer dollars to fight against the interests of child sex abuse victims everywhere in the country.”

Marsh exclaimed:

“At a time when Penn State has incited international indignity, it’s outrageous that the federal government is marshaling every effort to deny child sex abuse victims criminal restitution which was a central part of the law championed by the Administration’s own Vice President Biden as part of his landmark 1994 Violence Against Women’s Act. Now that the Senate is holding hearings on how well the nation is protecting children from abuse and neglect, they should start by asking why their own Justice Department is siding with convicted child molesters and pedophiles against the interests of child sex abuse victims.”

Click here to Take Action on this issue!

Parents Target Family Court -> Taxpayers should too.

From The Times Leader:

Parents target family court

By Christopher J. Hughes

SCRANTON – A group of parents demonstrating on Courthouse Square Friday morning across from the Lackawanna County Administration Building at 200 Adams Ave., Scranton, said they feel the county’s family court and guardian ad litem are the focus of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts defines a guardian ad litem as a “person appointed by a court to look after interests of a minor or incapacitated person involved in legal proceedings.”

But parents holding signs suggesting county officials “Toss Ross” and handing out literature about the county’s guardian ad litem system said that was not the case.

Olyphant resident Cherie Matassa said guardian ad litem Danielle Ross, who is supposed to represent her two children in a custody battle that began in March 2010, has not listened to their own wishes.

Matassa claimed that Ross forced her to provide visitation rights to her ex-husband, who she did not name but claimed is employed in Lackawanna County government, despite the children’s expressed wishes.

“I paid her to be their voice… She didn’t care what they said,” she said.

Matassa fears that she could eventually lose custody of her children because of the actions in family court, but a visit by the FBI to the Lackawanna County court administrator’s office on Monday gives her hope that such issues could begin to be resolved.

Efforts to reach Ross for comment at her office in the county administration building and by phone Friday afternoon were not successful.

When contacted earlier this week regarding the FBI’s search at the Lackawanna County Courthouse, Court Administrator Ron Mackay, FBI Special Agent J.J. Klaver, and spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Officer Heidi Havens each declined comment on the nature of the ongoing investigation.

Dawn Lewis of Scranton claimed that her father-in-law’s working relationship with a current county judge prevented her from keeping full custody of her now-7-year-old son after his father died from cancer in 2010.

Lewis said the Ross is also her child’s appointed guardian ad litem.

“My son was seen twice for a total of 22 minutes,” Lewis said. “During this 22 minutes, Ms. Ross came to her own conclusions and figured out what was best for my (then-) 5-year-old son who was grieving the loss of his father. She decided he needed to spend three out of five days with his grandparents. Custody? Visitation? No. That’s co-parenting, and that is not right.”

Lewis said she’s working to get a new court date after more than 18 months of legal battles. She believes that the FBI is looking into the finances of family court and that it “is only the tip of the iceberg.”

Another woman from Blakely also feels she was treated unfairly by the county’s family court system. She said Ross, her children’s court guardian, gave custody of her children to a man with whom she had a prior relationship.

That man, Maurice Wayne Hunting III, was charged Sept. 28 with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual assault of a child, indecent assault of a person under age 13, corruption of minors, and contact with minors involving sexual offenses, according to court records.

Charges were held for county court after an Oct. 5 preliminary hearing, and a formal arraignment was set for Nov. 18.

The woman, who is not being named to protect the identity of the alleged victims, said she hopes that an investigation by the FBI will end troubles in the Lackawanna County court system.

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

For the past 30 years, protective parents have begged family court judges to protect their abused children in child custody cases.  Unfortunately, according to family law in America, abusive parents have a more of a “right” to see their children then children have a “right” to be protected from parental abuse. 

Today, our family court judges force approximately 58,000 children  into unsupervised contact with their identified abusers every year. And most people have no idea this is happening. 

The mainstream media covered the “Catholic Church scandal” but not the family court scandal – which is bigger than the “Catholic Church scandal” ever was.

We protective parents have tried to figure out how to protect our children in a corrupt family court system. We’ve tried to figure out why the mainstream media is ignoring the family court crisis. We’ve tried to figure out how to gain our legislators’ attention. We’ve petitioned the United States Supreme Court. We’ve tried to figure out how to ask for the help from the general public at a time when the mainstream media won’t tell the public about the failure of our family courts to protect children.  

Now, many protective parents are thinking of another way to gain the attention of the public and the attention of our legislators: Through the wallet. Money talks.

Where there’s an abused child, most people turn away. No one wants to talk about child abuse. No one wants to think that our family court system doesn’t protect children. The subject matter is too embarrassing for an every-day-kind-of- conversation. 

However, where there’s money – people listen. People want to talk about saving money. Especially in this economy. 

The FBI is now investigating the court in Pennsylvania. They’re investigating courts in Georgia and courts in a couple of other states too. Protective parents are using the words “tip of the iceberg” to describe these investigations and 21% of Lackawanna County’s budget is no small change. 

Do the taxpayers in Pennsylvania care about children? Of course they do. But not enough people have been talking about saving children in Lakawanna County – or in any other state county in the nation. 

Let’s hope and pray the FBI finds the rest of the iceberg in Pennsylvania, Georgia and in all the other states too. 

Let’s also hope the public starts to talk about how the family courts waste taxdollars. Maybe we’ll save the lives of a few children in the process.

Chehalis, Washington

 

June 23, 2010

The Associated Press

Chehalis woman sentenced in child custody case 

CHEHALIS, Wash. — A Chehalis woman who had been charged with custodial interference for taking her 5-year-old son out of the country was sentenced to three months in jail. Karen Sudderth had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a plea bargain with Lewis County prosecutors who recommended a 30-day sentence. But KELA reports Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt rejected the recommendation Wednesday and sentenced her to 180 days with credit for timed served, leaving 88 days. Sudderth said she fled the country with her son in 1996 because of her husband’s threats and abuse. He denies the allegations. She lived in Senegal and Thailand and returned last October with her son after he turned 18.

Looks like a beautiful place to grow up and 18 is still young enough to enjoy it…

When the federal investigation begins, which newspaper or newscast will be the first to tell the public?

Our guess?

National Public Radio (NPR) and  Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). PBS already has a head start with the Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories documentary they produced and aired in 2005.  

When the federal investigation does begin:

We’d like someone to find out exactly how many men, women and children are emotionally and physically hurt each year – and how many lose their lives each year – as a direct result of family court proceedings.

We’d like to know how much state and federal money is spent each year to pay for the processing of abuse cases in family courts and in related cases and proceedings.

We’d also like to know when family courts will be a safe place for victims of abuse.

Let us know what you think!

 

WATCH System Accountability Webinar 7-20-10

 

Court Monitoring Makes a Difference

Since 1993, WATCH has trained 760 volunteers who have donated

32,000 hours and monitored over 61,000 hearings.

 

WATCH’s mission is to make the justice system more effective and responsive in handling cases of violence against women and children, and to create a more informed and involved public.

Every day trained WATCH volunteers observe court and report on what they see. WATCH follows up with court staff and committees to recommend improvements. Our experience shows that when the public is present in court, everyone does a better job.

  • WATCH was founded in 1992 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Trained WATCH volunteers monitor over 5,000 hearings each year in several Hennepin County courts
  • Court personnel and advocates for women agree that public scrutiny of the courts leads to improvements
  • WATCH trains court monitoring groups cross the U. S. with manuals, site visits, and web-based training

WATCH is committed to ending racial, cultural, and gender bias in the courts and to reflecting that commitment at all levels of our organization.

 

 

Click on link below to join our July 20th webinar:

Monitoring Sexual Assault Cases

July 20th from 11:30-12:30pm (CST)

System Accountability for Sexual Assault Cases

Special Guest:
Attorney Laura Jones, CourtWatch Manager
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center in Seattle, WA

 

Through monitoring, research, and feedback, court watch programs promote system accountability by examining and reporting on court procedures, policies, and practices. But with so few cases of sexual violence getting reported to the police and even fewer going to trial, how can court monitoring help? This one-hour presentation will provide an overview of court monitoring and address ways sexual assault programs and advocates can highlight flaws in the system and advocate for change. Special guest Laura Jones will discuss her programs project using court monitors to examine their Sexual Assault Protection Order process.

These additional topics provide in-depth, practical advice and information on specific monitoring issues. 

Can’t make the date? Contact us to schedule a one-on-one session.

September 29th
Managing Court Monitor Volunteers
November 16th
Providing Feedback to Your Courts
 
All WATCH webinars run for one hour and are scheduled for 9:30am PST, 10:30am MST, 11:30am CST, and 12:30pm EST. Payment information above. Webinar descriptions and FAQ can be found here.
 
 
  
Click here to view a brief PowerPoint presentation on the basics of court monitoring.
 

 

No Way to Live: Women’s experiences of negotiating the family law system in the context of domestic violence

Even though Australia is on the other side of the world, the following report could easily serve to explain many dilemmas also found in family court system in America.  

If it weren’t for a few differences, one could run a word search through this report to look for “Australia” and replace it with “America” to have in one’s hands an excellent report of the experiences of women and children in domestic abuse cases in the family courts of America.