Attention: Protective Parents in Family Courts

photo: dwinslow

photo: dwinslow

December 20, 2013

by Diana Winslow 

Concerned parents were elated this week when a much awaited segue for them to speak came forward as an invitation from the federal government, asking for clarifications on identified problems with child human rights in court, family rights in court and the lack of a uniform structure to respond to child sex abuse investigations, child abuse investigations and placement of children with a parent who is not known to them, has committed crimes against the other parent or is convicted of crimes that put the child at risk in their care.

Following a march on Washington DC and a Congressional Briefing this Summer members of Congress heard and were concerned about the severity and frequency with which child custody issues are mishandled, to the point of injury to the child or protesting parent.  It is remarkable that BOTH events happened despite the sequester, AND that these actions generated interest and an invitation.

Some cases are so problematic, as with the classic case illustrated in the October 2012 Documentary of Holly Collins, called “No Way Out But One“, that the parent is forced to flee the situation, due to deafness in authorities, investigators, systems system law and policy, court law and policy, and court systems. Succinctly, the definition of being run into the ground by such system based problems is called “Systems Induced Trauma.” Beyond victimization in a specific social or family situation, the family, one or all members are further agitated, abused or traumatized by the applied services and policies of systems that interlock without oversight, basically trapping the persons perpetuating a complaint without safety and resolutions.

The US Department of Justice is ready now to consider cases of chaos caused by State child and family courts. USDOJ is calling for child custody outlines in a format. The purpose of providing the outline is for the writer to simply and systematically give structured information regarding the problem case in question.

The US Department of Justice wants timelines of these outrageous cases.

Just complete and send your case in this format to: Mary Seguin by January 15, 2014 so she can provide them to the DOJ. The USDOJ invitation was issued to the representing group at the Summer March and Congressional Briefing: The California Protective Parents Association.

(Update 1/6/14: The original notice regarding requested timelines is from the California Protective Parents Association November 2013 Newsletter  which says: “Please send the timeline to so we can forward them in a group to DOJ.” Some parents are sending copies of the case timelines – first received and time stamped at local DOJ offices – via certified mail to: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001.

The email address “” noted in the Examiner article above is for those interested in joining a complaint filed in United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. Please see the CPPA November 2013 newsletter for more information. –  Julia )


Format for the Letter to the USDOJ

Who you are

 1. Contact information:

 2. Background:

3. Education:

4. Former employment:

5. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):


Who your former partner/husband/wife is

1. Background:

2. Education:

3. Former employment:

4. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):


Reports of physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest

1.  Law enforcement (give name of office and address):

Date, Name and title of officer, Outcome of investigation and report:Child Protective Services (give name of office and address):

2. Social worker/Counselor/Other:

Date, Name and title of worker, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

 3. Court personnel (give title and address):

Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome(including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

4. Other offices/individuals:

Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):


Intimidation against you that deterred you from reporting

1. Who intimidated you:

2. How were you intimidated:


Gag orders

1. Who gave you a gag order (name, title, date, place):

2. Rationale given for gag order to not talk about these recurring crimes of incest and assault and battery:

3. Removal of child(ren) from you after you reported criminal physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest:


Response from Social Services

1. Name and title of person(s), recommendations for investigation/ removal/ supervision:

2. Date of recommendation and where recommendation was filed:

3. Name and title of person ordering removal of children (if removal was ordered) :

4. Date of order and where order was filed:


Supervised visitation

1. Name and title of person recommending supervised visits:

2. Reason given for recommendation:

3. Name and title of person who ordered supervised visits:

4. Date and place order was made:

5. Name of specific visitation center you were ordered to attend:

6. Amount of fees:

7. Dates and times you were ordered to attend:

8. If you were not ordered to a specific visitation center, name of visitation center you chose:

9. Was this center paid by the county:


Motions you filed for relief

1. Date and place filed:

2. Who filed the motion:

3. What lawyers were involved:

4. Outcome of the motion:

*At the end of the time line, please provide note: Supporting evidence is being compiled in exhibits.”

Parents in and out of CPS courts and family/divorce courts face a hamster wheel of demands, which beyond the direct trauma to the family, often exhaust financial and emotional resources, cost jobs and personal assets. Most everyone knows at least ONE case like this. Please pass this article along to others who might be affected.

To See The State’s Legal System Reformed…

Update 5/6/11:

The $15,000 bail was posted yesterday. Next court date: Thursday, May 12th.

See related posts, Letter to Caroline from Annie, You Always Stand for the Truth and Where’s the FBI?   

Given the mainstream media blackout of the family court crisis, it’s encouraging to read the following article. I’m still looking forward to the day when the mainstream media finally begins to investigate and report the family court crisis in the same way the Catholic Church scandal was investigated and reported.

There were not 58,000 victims of the Catholic Church scandal. In the family court crisis, that’s the estimated number of victims each year.




May 5, 2011


Daughter Says She’s Prepared to Swap Jail Cell With Mother

Despite a plea to reconsider, First District Court Judge Kevin Eide on Monday morning denied a request to lower a woman’s bail.

In doing so, he had the support of the Carver County Attorney’s Office but left the woman’s daughter in tears.

Caroline Marie Rice, 46, has been held in Carver County Jail since April 4. The Carver County Attorney’s Office has charged her with committing a felony in 2010 of depriving custody/parental rights and causing a child to be a runaway, and the city of Chanhassen has charged her with violating orders for protection in 2009.

The felony offense carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $4,000 fine, or both. The misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

The county alleges that on Oct. 31, 2010, Caroline, who divorced her husband in Hennepin County in 2004, encouraged their 13-year-old daughter, identified in court documents as “A.C.R.,” to run from Chanhassen to live with her in Michigan.

Carver County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a missing/runaway complaint on Oct. 31. For the next two weeks, law enforcement agencies coordinated their efforts to return the child to Chanhassen. It was “a coordinated investigation with the FBI, the United States Diplomatic Security Service, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Carver County Sheriff’s Office,” according to court documents. The court document further states A.C.R. “wanted to run away from Minnesota to be with her mother.”

According to the official county complaint, A.C.R. met up with a woman in Excelsior who drove her for two days to Michigan and eventually met up with her mother inside Canada. In November 2010, Caroline and two daughters were apprehended when they crossed the border back into the United States.

The city alleges Rice violated an order for protection that prevented her from contacting her children. The order for protection (OFP) was requested by Caroline’s estranged ex-husband as a means of limiting her interactions with their children, who live with him in Chanhassen. The city alleges that each time Rice violated the OFP, she was ordered to appear in court but failed to show up.

“She appears to be a habitual offender, which is troubling to this office,” said Alina Schwartz, the city’s assistant prosecuting attorney.

Bail for Caroline Rice is set at $15,000.

Eide’s decision on Monday not to lower that amount was nothing new, as this was the fifth time since Rice was taken into custody that the judge declined a similar request by Rice’s pro-bono attorney, Rachel Nelson.

“She is not a threat to public safety. She does not have the money for bail,” Nelson told the judge during Monday’s hearing.

The county’s assistant attorney, Peter Ivy, disagreed.

“I don’t believe she can be trusted,” he said in response.


Several individuals have rallied behind Caroline Rice, alleging she is the victim of a “broken” legal system. Caroline’s most vocal advocate is her own daughter, 19-year-old Lauren, the second-oldest of five children. Lauren vehemently disputes the charges against her mother and claims her younger sister ran away from her father on her own.

Among those who have put themselves in place to help Lauren and Caroline is a man named Dale Nathan, a 77-year-old retired attorney from Eagan. Nathan said it’s his desire to see the state’s legal system reformed, and he wants to see justice served for Lauren.

“Since 2003 I have dedicated myself to trying to fix our legal system,” he said. “I’m involved with other cases, but Lauren is a unique kid. She is for real. She is everything she says she is.”

In an affidavit Nathan helped her write, Lauren offers to take her mother’s place in jail if the judge sets Caroline free on a promise to return for future court dates, and she fails to appear. To bolster her credibility, Lauren included in the affidavit a copy of her certificate of appointment to the class of 2013 at West Point, and a copy of the dean’s list certificate she received during the fall 2009 while studying in North Dakota State University College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences.

“I gave it up to help my mom. I believe without her love and support, I would not have had that opportunity in the first place,” she states in the affidavit.

A pre-trial omnibus hearing in State of Minnesota vs. Caroline Marie Rice is on the docket in First District Court for this Friday.