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Common Misconception: Officers of the Court Do Not Lie

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If most lawyers and other Whores of the Court were puppets made of wood, they’d all have six foot long noses.  The general public who don’t have many dealings with family court officials don’t realize this, hence the main reason for many family court victims losing their main support system…their family.  They think “these are court officials, they don’t lie” and they are sorely mistaken.  The following is from a Washington State publication, but it could be from any part of the country.  If you click the link on the title “GAL Power”, it will take you to the complete article at the Vancouver Voice.

GAL Power

Marcus Griffith

June 22, 2011

Divorced parents with minor children often fight over custody and visitation rights, producing courtroom decisions that are complex and often heartbreaking for at least one parent. This story takes a rare public look into that system for two reasons:

First, it involves the kind of complicated, personal and family situations that make these cases so difficult to adjudicate. Secondly, there is the additional drama of conflict combined with allegations of questionable performances among the justice system officials themselves.

Clark County Court Commissioner Carin Schienberg recently removed two children from their mother’s home, even though no petition for such action was before the court. Schienberg based her temporary decision on an allegedly flawed report prepared by a court-appointed guardian ad litem (GAL).

When the mother’s attorney criticized the GAL report and refused to apologize for her comments, the commissioner held the attorney in contempt and fined her $500.

The commissioner’s ruling is under appeal, with a hearing pending. Meanwhile, the two minor children have been moved to the custody of their father. He has issued multiple threats of legal action against the writer and any publication who would publish a story about this case.

In Washington State, court commissioners are appointed by superior court judges. They are not elected by the public, but they have many of the same responsibilities and authorities as a superior court judge.

A family law guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child, often during divorce or custody proceedings. In addition to family law matters, a GAL can be appointed to assist anyone a court deems legally incapacitated. Clark County commissioners and judges appointed GALs 396 times in 2010, according to Superior Court Administrator Jeffrey Amram.

GAL reports are confidential. However, the author obtained a copy of the GAL report from an undisclosed source after concerns were raised about contents of the report and the commissioner’s ruling.

Case didn’t seek custody

In August 2008, the mother received “primary residential placement” of the two minor children as part of a court-approved parenting plan. After more than two years of continuing conflict between the parents, the father filed an October 2010 contempt motion against the mother for violation of visitation rights.

The commissioner, in early December, held the mother in contempt for certain violations. At the same time, she approved a motion to require that transfer of the children for visitation times take place at the Vancouver police station due to conflict between the parties.

In November, the mother filed a petition to modify the parenting plan, asking for restricted visitation time with the father until he received counseling for anger management. The father, responding in December, said there was insufficient proof for a major modification of that plan.
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Written by mothersoflostchildren

June 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Other States are Starting to Realize the Full Impact of Domestic Violence, Indiana Needs to Also

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This is from another friend and fellow advocate Dara Carlin from Hawaii. Sorry for the short notice, but this is happening today. It will be televised at 5:35 pm Eastern Daylight Time today, and you can watch it on the internet at the link below. Many Indiana state legislators fail to realize the full impact of domestic violence in this state, including courts giving child custody to abusers. We need to have an event like this also in Indiana.

 

 

Media AdvisoryHawaii House of Representatives

June 20, 2011 – For Immediate Release

Contact: Office of Rep. John Mizuno, Telephone: 808-586-6050, Cell: 808-741-0639

 

LAWMAKERS TO HOLD BRIEFING ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HEAR CONCERNS FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS AND DISCUSS THE NEED FOR POLICY CHANGE

 

Several domestic violence survivors will share their story of how they lost custody of their child(ren) to the abuser, even after a finding of domestic violence by the abuser

 

WHAT:            The House Human Services Chairman, Rep. John Mizuno, will hold a legislative briefing to address domestic violence in Hawaii.  Rep. Mizuno will identify certain concerns involving specific failures of the current “system” in adequately addressing domestic violence.  Rep. Mizuno will also be hearing from domestic violence victims, survivor advocates, and agencies working directly with domestic violence victims, issuing protective orders and temporary restraining orders.

The briefing will:

• Identify and address concerns regarding domestic violence in Hawaii

• Explain the reason for the various bills which seek to provide greater protection for domestic violence victims

• Explain the difficulties in passing measures which seek to improve the state’s system in handling domestic violence cases

WHEN:            Tuesday, June 21, 2011 – 11:35 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (Televised in Hawaii on Ch. 53, for Neighbor Island residents and nationwide go to the internet www.olelo.org – click NATV Ch. 53 for online live stream coverage)

WHERE:           Hawaii State Capitol, Room 329

WHY:               Rep. Mizuno was contacted by several survivors of domestic violence who will be sharing their stories with lawmakers during the briefing. According to Rep. Mizuno, “It is extremely concerning to hear that time after time the abusers who beat our victims, many times end up gaining custody of the children.  Based on our victims’ testimonies and information provided by organizations and advocates for domestic violence victims, I believe our current system has many major flaws in properly addressing domestic violence issues.  Therefore, I am looking for solid solutions to better address domestic violence statewide at the conclusion of this briefing.”

For Kid’s Sake, SOME Dads Need to be Discouraged

From Dastardly Dads:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For kids’ sake, SOME dads need to be discouraged from involvment (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Stuart Showalter, a well-known white supremacist/fathers rights advocate in Indiana, has published a piece at indystar.com called “For kids’ sake, don’t discourage dad’s involvement.”

It’s a rather stupid argument. Nobody discourages the involvement of a dad who has been loving and committed from the beginning. Most of these dads are still in happy marriages with the mothers of their children. A few had more-or-less amicable separations or divorces, but continue to play an active role because everybody desires it and sees it as a good thing.

That doesn’t mean that “shared parenting” should be forced down the throat of every mother and child, or that every dad’s involvement is always a good thing. There’s no reason to get dogmatic and rigid, and ignore the individual dad’s track record.

That’s saying all dads are equally the same and equally as good. Think about that. The unemployed druggie who beat his wife and kids is just as good as they guy who was a steady worker, stayed married to the same mom for 30 years, read to the kids every night, and coached Little League? Give me a break.

Want ten quick examples–just from Indiana–of dads where the kids might have been better off if Dad hadn’t been “involved”?

1) Katron Walker of Vigo County: Abducted his two kids, killed 4-year-old son in June 2006.

2) Joshua Todd Hildebrand of Williamsburg: Smashed windshield of car with gun, hit 3-month-old daughter in head. Baby has serious brain injuries.

3) Donald Medsker of Fort Wayne: Fathered 7 kids with his own sister. He had custody of the sister from age 11.

4) Ronald Bonahannon of Midland: Shot and killed his 16-month-old son; tried to blame a “stranger.”

5) John A. Jeffers of Bloomfield: Accused of homicide in death of 5-month-old son.

6) Terry Bethel of Gary: Accused in murder of 13-month-old son.

7) Michael Stayer of Whitestown: Beat wife to death with 5-year-old son as witness.

8) William Foster of Beech Grove: Killed 4-month-old son.

9) Joseph Warnock of Brownsburg: Killed wife in front of 2 daughters.

10) Matthew D. Schutz of Lafayette: Accused of killing 15-week-old daughter.

Yes, very good argument.  We present facts and all Showalter does is whine that we attack him.  Why does he chose to protect abusers?  Why does he fail children?  Why is he calling us radicals? 

 

Thanks for your post dear.

Attention Indiana Lawmakers: Child Protective Services STILL Mishandling Cases

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Well, CPS is totally ate up.  Take children from parents who have experienced a horrible accident and lost their loved one.  And leave children with abusers because “it is in the middle of a custody battle.”   When are the lawmakers in this state going to realize CPS personnel STILL are not doing their jobs right!

From TheIndyChannel.com:

Toddler’s Canoe Death Prompts CPS Investigation

DNR: Girl’s Father Had Been Drinking

POSTED: 6:40 am EDT August 13, 2009 

INDIANAPOLIS — Child Protective Services has stepped into the investigation of the death of a 2-year-old girl during a canoeing accident on the Driftwood River over the weekend.  Megan McNair died when the canoe she and her family was riding in capsized in northern Bartholomew County on Saturday. 

McNair’s father, Patrick McNair, mother and 5-year-old sister were also in the canoe, but all were able to get to shore. A spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources said Patrick had been drinking.  The Department of Natural Resources said McNair was swept under a log jam, where she became trapped.

CPS Director James Payne said the department wants to ensure that the 5-year-old girl is safe in her home environment.   “We are assessing the issue of safety,” Payne said. “We’ll look at the family structure, the family dynamics, the allegations, prior history if any, what is going on in the family.”  6News’ Sarah Cornell went to the McNair’s home in Indianapolis Wednesday, but the family did not want to comment. 

No charges have been filed in the case, and Indianapolis police said the couple has no record of abuse or neglect in Marion County.  “Our effort is to try to get parents to understand their role and responsibility of keeping children safe and taking care of children,” Payne said.   The state’s assessment will also attempt to determine whether the child was wearing a life jacket and if her parents were properly supervising her. The investigation could take weeks or months, Cornell reported.  

It was unclear if the 5-year-old girl was still living with the family. A neighbor told 6News that she saw police come to the home on Monday and hasn’t seen the girl since. Under state law, CPS officials are not allowed to release that information.  Megan McNair’s body was recovered on Tuesday. She would have turned age 3 on Monday.  

Previous Stories:

Our condolences go to the McNair family.  Rest in peace, dear little Megan.

Insanity? Nope, Family Court in Indiana

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yaaaImagine that your home was broken into, vandalized and burglarized one night. You were roughed up and tied up while he ransacked your home. Fortunately, he left you shaken and hurt, but not seriously injured such as to require hospitalization. You were successfully able to identify him and his vehicle as he sped away.

Upon your call to the police, the offender is apprehended with the goods in his possession and brought to court to stand trial for his crimes against you.

You arrive in court and the first thing the judge asks you is if you are willing to go to mediation with the burglar. When you refuse, the judge labels you ‘uncooperative’ and ‘hostile’ to the burglar’s continued relationship with you. Even though the burglar was caught red-handed with your goods, and you were an eye witness to the crime, the judge now decides that he can’t possibly decide the case without first appointing a social worker termed a “burglary evaluator” to assess yours and the burglar’s relationship.

When the social worker/evaluator can not determine what is best for your relationship or your stolen goods, they ask the judge to have both you and the burglar psychologically evaluated, because you seem “anxious”, “angry” and “uncooperative” with the burglar. The court-appointed psychologist, who has no experience in being the victim of violent crime and has not studied the effects of such trauma, also determines that you are uncooperative, hostile, anxious, and you have a negative opinion of the burglar that can’t be healthy. After all, the burglar had nothing but good things to say about you, your home and your belongings during his evaluation.

The psychologist recommends that you be restricted from access to your belongings until you can accept the burglar’s rightful relationship to continued access to your home and personal effects. He further recommends you attend weekly conjoint therapy with the burglar to work on being more cooperative with him in the future.

All at your expense of course.

The judge decides to wait a year or so to see how you work through your relationship with the burglar before he can decide upon the burglary conviction. He chastises you that you had better really work at the relationship or he may just grant the burglar’s request to maintain sole ownership of your property. None of these “experts” can be sued civilly for their negligence and incompetence because they have judicial or quasi-judicial immunity.

Insanity? Nope. Family court in Indiana.

Domestic violence victims walk into family court to ask a judge to protect their children from a known abuser. Instead, they face the above-described nightmare that can span years and put them into financial ruin, mental and emotional exhaustion, not to mention directly back into the path of the abuser. Judges pressure them to mediate, assign a custody evaluator who pressures them to accept 50/50 joint physical and legal custody with theirs and their children’s abuser.

They and their children are put through psychological evaluations by persons with little to no training in domestic violence, and some judges force co-parenting therapy and reunification therapy upon mother and child with their perpetrators. If they can not fit into the mold of cooperative “co-parenting” and the children continue to be reluctant to visit with the man that abused them, they face losing custody to him.

We have spent millions of dollars printing brochures and making public service announcements to victims of domestic violence encouraging them to leave violent relationships and telling them of the harmful effects on their children.

But when they do get the courage to leave, the same system tells them they are wrong to try to protect their children once they have divorced their abuser, and that they should now fully and freely support unsupervised visitation with the same dangerous person. Contrary to popular belief, children of batterers can be at just as much risk psychologically, sexually, and even physically after the couple splits up as they were when the family was still together. In fact, many children experience the most damaging victimization from the abuser at this point.

Most people assume that a fit mother never loses custody. If only that were true. The American Judges Association reports that “Studies show that batterers have been able to convince authorities that the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases.” Unfortunately, the State of Indiana’s current laws also says that none of these people can be held accountable, either.

And so we go on, handing down family violence from one generation to the next…

[a special thanks to Indiana Mothers for Custodial Justice, Alaska Mothers For Custodial Justice and Kansas Mothers for Custodial Justice]

Leading Lambs to the Slaughter…

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…or being court-ordered to be seen by a biased counselor.

Jeremiah 11:19:

But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; And I did not know that they had devised plots against me, {saying,} “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, And let us cut him off from the land of the living, That his name be remembered no more.”

How about local Indianapolis “stepfamily” counselor Kela Price?

“My name is Kela Price. I am currently working towards a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a special emphasis on blended families and have experienced my own blended family issues.”

It is disastrous to go to a professional that already has issues with exwives/mothers (she is a second wife):

“Most men are naïve and think it is their responsibility to keep the ex-wife happy in order to keep their child happy and therefore, remain in the child’s life. This is the second reason men feel as if they are caught in the middle. I have three words for you gentlemen, “forsaken all others.” Do you remember those words? This is what you vowed to do once you married your second wife. That vow includes ex-wives and even children.”

Kela’s views on dealing with mothers (in particular, her husband’s exwife):

“Before I start giving you examples of her childish behavior, I should mention that we live in separate states (about 3 hours away from each other).  In the beginning my husband and I would sign both of our children up for extra curricular activities (basketball, baseball, tae kwon do, etc). Well when she found out she started complaining that she was not invited. She said that she is his mother, and should be invited to all of her child’s activities. Keep in mind that her child (we’ll call him K from now on) does the same sort of activities where they live, and she and her husband attend those activities. So, she is not missing out on K’s extra curricular activities. Furthermore, we can’t be in the same room with each other without arguing, mean mugging or just good old fashioned tension, and lots of it. So why would she want to come to the activities that we plan for him? Why – because she wants to be difficult, and that’s the only reason why.  Trust me when I say she is not that in love with her child. She wasn’t concerned about these things before I came along. We attended several activities, without her, prior to her finding out that I was here to stay. However, she threw a temper tantrum, and took us to court demanding that she receive a schedule of all of his activities that we sign him up for. I should also mention that she’s an attorney so it’s easy for her to draw up a legal document, call one of her friends and have the Judge rule in her favor. The justice system is not as just as you think it is, but that’s another story. As a result, we just stopped signing K up for extra curricular activities. She thought she was hurting us, but in the end, as you can see, she only hurt her child. Now he watches my son (we’ll call him M) while he participates.”

She believes that by refusing to let her stepson play sports, it is really the boy’s mother that is causing this and hurting him.  Wow.  These are from her own websites.  Be careful out there…there are people like this all over ready to sink you.  Know something about the people you are seeing.  Look on www.123people, www.pipl.com, and www.google.com and research your counselor before going…before you get led to the slaughter.

Also see: Local “Stepfamily” Counselor Celebrates Baby’s Death

 

 

Free Legal Help Events Planned by the Indianapolis Bar Association

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Bankruptcy Legal Help Line   It’s free! Need an answer to a bankruptcy legal question? Call the IBA’s Bankruptcy Legal Help Line at (317) 269-1910 on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from noon to 1 p.m. Staff will immediately connect callers with a bankruptcy attorney. It’s free! Call (317) 269-1910!     (317) 269-1910 for Bankruptcy Legal Help Line. Noon to 1 p.m. on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.
Attorneys – to volunteer, please email cchopp@indybar.org

Legal Line August 11, 2009   

Offered the second Tuesday of each month (except December), Legal Line is an opportunity for those in need of basic legal advice to speak to a qualified attorney by telephone. It’s quick and easy!

    
Call 269-2000 to talk with a lawyer     6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attorneys – to volunteer, please email cchopp@indybar.org

Legal Line September 8, 2009   

Offered the second Tuesday of each month (except December), Legal Line is an opportunity for those in need of basic legal advice to speak to a qualified attorney by telephone. It’s quick and easy!

    
Call 269-2000 to talk with a lawyer     6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attorneys – to volunteer, please email cchopp@indybar.org

Ask A Lawyer October 13, 2009

Ask A Lawyer, a free legal advice program in which the public can talk face-to-face with an attorney to get answers to basic legal questions from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Attorneys are also available by telephone at (317) 269-2000 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.    

We are excited to be offering Ask A Lawyer at two Indianapolis Public Schools this year, in addition to library branches. The schools are:

George Washington Community High School
2215 W. Washington St., Community Room #2

Shortridge High School
3401 N. Meridian St.
Use Meridian Street entrances

For directions to the schools, click here.

Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library branches:

Brightwood
2435 N. Sherman Drive
    2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Attorneys – to volunteer, please email cchopp@indybar.org

Central Library
40 E. St. Clair St.

College
4180 N. College Ave.

Eagle
3325 Lowry Road

East 38th Street
5420 E. 38th St.

East Washington
2822 East Washington St.

Glendale
6101 N. Keystone Avenue

Haughville
2121 W. Michigan St.

Shelby
2502 Shelby St.

Southport
2630 E. Stop 11 Road

For directions to library locations, click here.