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Archive for the ‘family court corruption’ Category

Domestic Abuse by Proxy – Family Court Abuse Video

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“The mother has to comply with a court order and send her child to be alone with an abusive, violent man.

This is torture for her, and for the child, when they find themselves in a frightening situation, taken from their protector and forced into contact with a man, whom they may have witnessed seeing him beat their mother or who has been abusive to them.

This is abuse by Family Court.”

Domestic Abuse by Proxy, Family Court Abuse: Failing to Protect Children and Mothers” is a powerful and informative video released on Youtube by Family Court Abuse (UK). 

This video describes how abusive ex partners will use the family court system, and manipulate the legal process, to gain control, and inflict further harm of their victims. Abusers also seek custody to cause the most damage to a former partner; by attacking her love, and maternal bond, with her child. An abuser attacks by taking a child away from their mother, and destroying their relationship. Children are also used as pawns by an abuser in other ways designed to terrorize, hurt and harass their victim.

The legal system is a minefield for an abused woman.The process of how the family court system can perpetrate and enable domestic violence to continue is also described in this video.  Family court judges and professionals often lack training in domestic violence, and do not recognize the abuse. Or, the judge and professionals have been so indoctrinated in parental alienation theories, and other prejudices, that they mistake signs of abuse for parental alienation syndrome and discredit legitimate concerns. Or see the mother’s attempts to get help as a sign that something is “wrong” with her. Domestic abuse advocates and experts are rarely consulted by the court system, and a judge has the discretion to disallow or ignore evidence presented by a mother (evidence of abuse, and expert testimony is commonly discredited by judges after a mother has been falsely labelled). Obtaining legal representation is also difficult, most women go to court without an attorney because they can not afford one. An abuser with an attorney has a powerful advantage over her, and gains an ally in the legal system.

Unresolved Trauma

The lives of children are also endangered when Courts work to give an identified abuse custody and/or unsupervised visits. The video mentions that the Courts order “more contact than would be usual, to enable the child and father to ‘quickly establish a relationship’“. This means there is less scrutiny, and less care given to how these decisions are being made, and the effect on the child involved. 

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This video will be familiar to those who have experienced family court, and offers validation to what you have endured. It is also a powerful teaching tool to educate, and raise awareness, of how the family court process fails to protect victims of domestic violence and their children.

 

Note: The end of the video offers suggestions on how to raise awareness of family court injustices by using social media as a platform. PMA International does not offer legal advice or professional services. Reposting this video does not constitute advice or suggestion of any kind. Please use discretion, and take reasonable care, when making decisions. If you need help or legal assistance, please contact a qualified professional and/or organization.

 

 

Protective Mothers are Being Re Victimized./ PMA International

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As we travel down this path together – advocating for family court reform, we have seen an alarming trend. Protective Mothers are being re victimized.

Protective Mothers are being re victimized , not just by family court, but by the very people in which they reach out for help.

As an organization we are amazed at the number of requests for help with personal cases that we receive. Not just because we have posted everywhere that we do not get involved in personal custody cases, but because we are simply puzzled by such requests.

We are an organization of fellow Protective Moms. How can we help with a personal custody case ?

We are not a group of legal professionals or licensed educated therapists. We understand the desperation, but when we see where protective mothers are putting their trust – we cringe.

Some Protective Moms are putting their trust in people simply not qualified, educated or  licensed to help in their custody case.

So with that in mind, PMA International Administrators, and Leaders put together some categories of assistance a Protective Mom would need and – in our opinion and experience – where best to go for help.

Legal:

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Family court is a legal forum. So unless you are going to represent yourself, you need a legal professional. These are just the facts.

It is illegal for a judge to communicate to anyone other then yourself or your legal representative about your case.

You need a good Family Court attorney who specializes in DV.

If money is an issue find legal aid in your community, University law schools or paralegal organizations.

But the point is – you need a legal professional.

Emotional Support:

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If you are looking for emotional support it is best to find a qualified , licensed highly trained therapist for help. Preferably one trained in trauma and/or PTSD. Going to a fellow protective mother for emotional support is not effective, in our experience.

Trauma survivors are rarely helpful in helping other trauma survivors as they get triggered themselves hearing the other person’s  story.This is simply unavoidable. A few of the consequences of the above – more often than not- is an unhealthy role reversal, or sudden withdrawal of support leading to resentment, anger and more trauma.

Do yourself a favor and avoid the above by simply finding a good highly trained trauma therapist to get the support you need and deserve.

If money is an issue, research low cost alternatives in your community. Most communities have this option. Utilize local churches for your preferred spiritual support.

Research-

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If you are looking for research , best to go to a professional liscensed trusted Private Investigator. A P.I is trained and educated in what they do and has the emotional distance necessary to do a good job with a clear head.

 

Others may mean well when they offer their help, and they might even share a similar experience , but when you are dealing with Family Court abuse and corruption the stakes are so high and the trauma so deep that hiring a professional, highly trained, educated and licensed expert are some of the ways to limit the chances of being re victimized.

Understand, we clearly know Protective Mothers who have had bad experiences with professionals. This saddens us , but is unavoidable as in life there are no guarantees .

Also , we are not talking about professionals ordered by Family Court, but ones you research yourself, in addition to getting referrals  from a trusted person.

If by chance you still get re victimized by a professional,( it happens) their governing body has a complaint process and we highly recommend you access it.

This is not the case if you are depending on a non- professional for help.

For these reasons and many others PMA International has made the decision to not get involved in personal custody cases as we are a large group of international Protective Mothers- not legal experts.

So if you are a Protective Mother, reaching out for help and your 2 choices are either a trained, educated professional, or a non professional , we suggest – take your chances with the trained professional, per our collective experience.

We understand your desperation, as we have been there. But utilizing professionals for help will give you and your children a fighting chance and may help to avoid re victimization in the process.

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I am the alienator

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Karen Woodall

I am an alientor. You know me well. You lived with me once and you witnessed my behaviour patterns but you did not spend time studying and internalising them. I know your behaviour patterns better than you know them yourself. I know how to measure you, test you and control you. I know what your hooks are and I know that the depth of the love for your children is a weakness I can exploit. I am an emotional terrorist. I will terrify you into submission. You will do as I tell you to do, if you do not, I will take your children away.

I am an alienator, you didn’t notice that when we lived together but I began my work long before we went our separate ways. I created fissures and fractures within our family and I managed and manipulated reality, though for a long time you did…

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

April 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Separated From Their Kids, Parents Unite Against One Court Guardian/ citypages.com

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http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/02/separated_from_their_kids_parents_unite_against_one_court_guardian.php

It’s a bleak Wednesday morning as E.J. sits at her kitchen table, poring over boxes of court documents. She lives in a three-bedroom apartment just north of the metro, where the walls are covered with her children’s crayon drawings. The table is spread with toys and picture books; overhead, a Thomas the Tank Engine poster spells “Happy Birthday” in bright blue.

She hoists a slender cat onto her lap as she points out the pictures on the fridge. There’s her son, a brown-eyed boy smiling in a pressed shirt. There’s her daughter with a missing tooth.

The children live about 25 miles away with their father now. They visit only once a month.

The exact location of E.J.’s apartment is a secret. Her driver’s license lists her address as a P.O. box because she’s enrolled in the secretary of state’s Safe at Home program for victims of domestic violence. The names of all the families in this story have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.

Shrunken behind her files and slow to make eye contact, E.J. struggles to recount a mind-boggling 180-degree shift in custody arrangements that played out over eight years in family court. She recounts brutal physical abuse at the hands of her ex-partner, of getting picked up and slammed down repeatedly in front of their son. Her ex admits to a history of crack cocaine and alcohol abuse, and his criminal record includes burglary, check-forging, and defrauding a St. Paul food bank of $24,000. His abuse eventually forced her out onto the streets, their two children in tow, E.J. says. They were homeless for 18 months.

E.J. says she fought to keep her kids out of their dad’s reach, but over time his improved behavior began to win him unsupervised visitation rights. He got joint custody of their son, and eventually sole custody of both children. E.J.’s access dwindled. She went from full custody of her children to monthly visits.

That the tables turned so radically is a testament to the up-and-down nature of custody battles. But E.J. says there’s more to it. She accuses the courts of ignoring her children’s reports of abuse while in their father’s care. (E.J.’s ex-boyfriend declined to comment through his lawyer.)

Asked where her case went wrong, E.J. points to a single woman, Jamie Manning, the court-appointed guardian ad litem. She is not alone.

The Guardian ad Litem
In high-conflict custody cases, parents accuse each other of every sin under the sun, from domestic violence and child abuse to drug and sex addiction. They call each other crazy, depraved. Cutthroat lawyers tell stories so wildly incongruous that they seem to be describing different families.

The kids can get lost in the madness.

That’s where a guardian ad litem comes in. The state may appoint a guardian to advocate for the children in family court. Families shoulder the cost: $1,500 from each parent every six months the guardian works their case. It’s the guardian’s job to weigh what the children want against their interactions with both parents. Guardians interview teachers and therapists, collect medical and criminal records, and sift through acrimonious family accounts. They place competing parents’ mental and physical health, criminal background, family history, their every action and comment under microscopic scrutiny. Ultimately, the judge decides whether to adopt a guardian’s recommendations. But in practice, guardians have major influence over whether parents get to see — and have a relationship with — their kids.

There are 21 state-employed guardians in Hennepin County and seven in Ramsey. A full-time guardian might juggle up to 40 cases at a time. There are also part-time and volunteer guardians.

Jamie Manning started as a guardian ad litem for Carver County in 1996. She completed her guardian ad litem training two years later, and began working full-time in Hennepin County in 2001. She has a bachelor’s in education from University of Minnesota, though there are no degree requirements to become a guardian.

Suzanne Alliegro, the director of the state guardian ad litem program, says when it comes to family court, rarely are both parties happy with the judge’s ruling, and the parent who loses out invariably starts raging against the system. That’s why guardians, who are tasked to make independent recommendations, receive judicial immunity.

“In family court we do try as much as possible to point out the strengths of the parents instead of just the weaknesses because I know it’s very difficult for parents to see that in print,” Alliegro says. Guardians attract undue criticism when people assume they’re the ones making the decisions, she adds.

At the same time, says Alliegro, she’s never seen so much collective hatred toward a single guardian.

Click on the link above to continue.

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

February 22, 2015 at 5:46 am

California Appellate Court Judge Vance Raye Implicated in Alleged Federal Racketeering Scheme

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This article was originally posted by Legal News on CNN i report ( link below)
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1202054

A Sacramento Superior Court watchdog group has posted online court records and other documents which they allege detail a racketeering enterprise operating in the local court system. Using court filings, court reporter transcripts, public records and other documentary evidence, members of the group say they have reverse engineered the structure and players of the scheme.

“This package of evidence was compiled over four years, and includes records dating back ten years,” said Ulf Carlsson, the spokesperson for the group. “Judges, court employees and lawyers involved in this criminal enterprise have been able to conceal it for a long time.”

The group asserts that the documents show the scheme began in 1991 when two judges, Peter McBrien and Vance Raye, restructured the family court system with attorneys from the Sacramento Bar Association Family Law Section. The conspiracy has expanded and been ongoing since that time, according to the whistleblowers. Judge Vance Raye has since been elevated to the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, and continues to assist the organization when cases involving the enterprise reach the appellate court level.

The goal of the judge-attorney partnership is to significantly reduce the caseload and administrative duties of full-time judges by effectively privatizing the Sacramento Family Court settlement conference program, according to the whistleblowers. The attorneys agreed to take over and run the program in exchange for kickbacks in the form of preferential treatment from judges when they appear in court representing clients.

“The attorneys ostensibly act as volunteers,” said Carlsson. “But we have documented that the lawyers are in fact compensated with illegal kickbacks in the form of ‘rubber-stamped’ rulings and court orders for their clients, in addition to other perks.”

In order to run the settlement conference program, the attorneys are designated as “judge pro tems,” or temporary judges. In operating the settlement program, the lawyers reportedly use heavy-handed, unethical tactics to coerce couples going through a divorce to reach a settlement. When they do, the case is terminated and no further court hearings are required, significantly reducing the workload of full-time, state employed judges.

“The coerced settlements often result in an unequal division of community property, one-sided child custody arrangements, and unfair child and spousal support payment terms that don’t comply with state law,” Carlsson explained.

“In many cases, only one side has an attorney – who is a member of what we refer to as the ‘cartel’ – while the other side can’t afford a lawyer and is self-represented. These cases are where the one-sided outcomes are the most severe,” Carlsson said. “You have someone going through a traumatic divorce without a lawyer facing off against a spouse represented by a veteran family law attorney. On top of that, the party without a lawyer is forced into a settlement conference run by a judge pro tem lawyer who often is a personal friend of the other attorney. As we’ve now documented, the outcome of these rigged settlement conferences is not fair, ethical, or legal. The conflicts of interest are required by state law to be disclosed, but never are.”

The alleged criminal enterprise deprives the public of the federally protected right to honest government services, a crime under 18 USC 1346, includes predicate acts of mail and wire fraud, and thereby constitutes a RICO racketeering enterprise under federal criminal law (18 USC 1962), according to the watchdog group.

Carlsson said the judge-attorney collusion also violates a number of state laws as well. “The scheme results in unjust enrichment for the judge pro tem attorneys, constitutes unfair business practices, and implicates antitrust laws,” Carlsson asserted. “Due to their consistent, virtually perfect success rate in obtaining favorable outcomes in court proceedings, the temporary judge lawyers have achieved a significant monopoly on the family law and divorce business in the greater-Sacramento area.”

The 43-page set of documents compiled by the group is posted online at Scribd, and can be viewed at this URL: http://www.scribd.com/doc/251282897/Justice-Vance-W-Raye-Charged-in-Color-of-Law-Conspiracy-RICO-Racketeering-Scheme-in-3rd-District-Court-of-Appeal-Sacramento-Superior-Court-Sacramen

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

January 7, 2015 at 7:51 am

Building a Broad-Based Movement for Family Justice / Lundy Bancroft

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Originally posted on Lundy Bancroft’s Prevention, Response, and Healing for Domestic Abuse and Child Maltreatment blog ( link below).
FYI ; this was written before PMA became international ( PMA International)

As always Thank you for your involvement, and support, Lundy. We love and support you back.

http://www.lundybancroft.com/child-custody-justice/building-a-broad-based-movement-for-family-justice?fb_action_ids=558939527570999&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=feed_opengraph&action_object_map=%7B%22558939527570999%22%3A525395174249000%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22558939527570999%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

In the long term, the only reliable way to keep children safe is to bring about a revolutionary change in how family law courts across the continent respond to child custody and visitation disputes, especially those containing reports of domestic violence or severe psychological abuse, child physical abuse, and child sexual abuse. These reforms need to require the courts to follow rules of evidence and operate in an unbiased way, and need to involve better oversight of courts by administrators and by appeals courts. We probably also need to move away from the single-judge system, which gives an unreasonable amount of power to one individual over decisions that can harm children (and parents) for the rest of their lives. These reforms also need to specifically address gender bias in the child custody system, because mothers are being targeted for especially horrible treatment in the courts. Finally, the system by which attorneys, custody evaluators, guardians, and psychological evaluators are paid need dramatic reformation, so that a family’s resources go primarily to the children’s future, not into the pockets of professionals.
The key to building a successful movement for family justice is to have protective mothers themselves occupying the key positions of leadership within the movement. Allies also have an important role to play. For example, there are many men who are interested in being active in building this movement, especially the brothers, fathers, and new partners (new husbands and boyfriends) of protective mothers, who have witnessed up close what happens when a woman attempts to protect her children from a violent father post-separation.
There are many organizations nationally working for custody justice for protective mothers, and for protective parents of both sexes. A national organization that I am part of, the Protective Mothers Alliance, is committed to promoting the leadership of protective mothers themselves and to helping build a coordinated national movement of mothers and their allies.

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Putnam County, WV, Family Law Judge, William Watkins, May 23, 2012 MELTDOWN!!!!!/ ABA Journal

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http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/judge_who_shouted_shut_up_at_litigants_is_removed_top_state_court_cites_soc/

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An admittedly intemperate family court judge has been suspended without pay for the remaining years of his term by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

In one angry rant from the bench that has been viewed on YouTube more than 200,000 times, Putnam County Circuit Court Family Law Judge William M. Watkins III repeatedly told a pastor appearing before him to “shut up.” And this was far from the only time he spoke to parties using inappropriate language, according to the opinion (PDF) filed Tuesday by the supreme court.

In one hearing, the opinion says, when speaking to a woman who was seeking an order of protection against her then-husband in a domestic violence case, Watkins blamed the woman for “shooting off your fat mouth about what happened,” told her to “Shut up!” and then continued:

“Shut up! You stupid woman. Can’t even act properly. One more word out of you that you aren’t asked a question you’re out of here, and you will be found in direct contempt of court and I will fine you appropriately. So, shut your mouth.You know I hate it when people are just acting out of sheer spite and stupidity.”

The court also criticized Watkins for failing to make timely rulings, failing to comply with court orders to do so and failing to see that his staff timely completed required tasks, such as entering protective orders into the state’s domestic violence registry.

The Charleston Gazette says Watkins did not respond to a Tuesday phone call seeking comment and notes that the court entered an order that retains Deloris Nibert, a former Mason County family court judge who was appointed by the court in December to handle Watkins’ caseload after he took an emergency medical leave.

Watkins did not contest the conduct cited by a hearing board of the Judicial Investigation Commission when it recommended that he be suspended without pay for the remainder of his term in office, which concludes on Dec. 31, 2016.

However, he argued that the sanction amounted to removal from office, which the state constitution allows only the West Virginia legislature to do, by impeachment. Hence, the judge said, the supreme court didn’t have the power to suspend him for the rest of his term.

The court disagreed, distinguishing impeachment, which would also have stripped Watkins of his pension and prohibited him from serving in office again, from a suspension and saying that public policy requires that the court use its inherent powers to protect lawyers and litigants from a judge who is unable or unwilling to do his job properly.

It also censured Watkins for 24 violations of nine canons of the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct, which are printed in full in the opinion.

“Socrates said, ‘Four things belong to a judge: to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly, and to decide impartially,’” the court wrote. “We recognize that regulating the demeanor of a judge is a difficult task, because judges are human and may occasionally display anger or annoyance, and lawyers and litigants sometimes incite judges. Judges must also be allowed some flexibility in criticizing the performance of lawyers who appear before them. But a judge owes a duty to treat lawyers and litigants courteously, to hear them patiently, to study their arguments and evidence conscientiously, and to decide their cases promptly.”

In a concurring opinion (PDF), Chief Justice Brent Benjamin agreed that Watkins should be suspended without pay for the rest of his term but disagreed about the manner in which the court imposed this sanction.

Instead of using inherent judicial powers, which opens the door to potential misuse in the future for political reasons, the court should have simply imposed consecutively the one-year suspensions it is clearly authorized to impose under the state constitution, he wrote.

“While I have the utmost respect for my colleagues and the professionalism of our current court and share their belief that the admittedly harsh sanction in this case is fully justified, I fear how a highly partisan or polarized future court might misuse this expansive new precedent.”

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

August 20, 2014 at 10:38 pm

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