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Archive for May 13th, 2009

Alanna

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Though this is a well-known case, the real problem is that it is NOT so atypical.  

Below Alanna’s own story is a hyperlinked glossary to the players — in her case. The glossary links are active on the original site.

 

These are powerful people, who know how to pull strings.  This brave and independent young woman had to flee to Los Angeles (Southern Cal.) to protect herself from her well-connected father in Northern California.  It is approaching 10 YEARS since the publication of this story.  The stories haven’t changed much in severity, destruction, wasted lives, transfers of wealth, cronyism, and injustices imposed upon minors, and typically ONE of their parents more than the other.  

In my area, last year as I recall, another teen (boy) ran away from a foster care situation, was captured by some other adults, imprisoned, shackled, beaten, starved and tortured until he finally showed up, in boxer shorts and as I recall smudged with blood and feces, and curled up into a fetal position at a local gym, behind the counter.  And that’s one that ESCAPED. . . . .  

And then our government wants to spend money on WHAT??, while vital services, like public transit, housing, etc., tighten their belts????? 

Let’s review basic math.  Two negatives = a positive.  Nix the Kickbacks, and you have moved closer to solvency.

Direct dollars instead at investigating some of the rampant fraud in high circles that results in destruction in lower (less politically connected) ones?  As another site (habeascorpus.freeservers.com) points out, the courts are primed for criminally-minded attorneys; where no ethical person would tread, there is always someone who will, instead.

Minimize all professional fields that have authority over others, ESPECIALLY over minors — they attract predators, perverts, and borderline personalities.  You can’t get justice around that.  

Abusing, raping, or stealing minors, while a parent or relative must watch helplessly is a technique used in war.

When will this stop?  

What treats and middle-class privileges are you willing to give up to do something about this?  A few fewer visits to the spa, maybe?  Your illusions about all the experts having it handled?  I personally think parents that actually have to raise their own kids, and teach them, too, might be less detached, and less likely to treat them as property, let alone traffick in them.   Suppose the government was deprived of ALL opportunities to blame the parents, and the parents were deprived of ALL opportunities to blame the government — which would mean, getting off the teat for basic services — maybe then we could all grow up and stay that way.

Meanwhile,

Here’s Alanna’s story, in her own words.

 

 

As posted on:  http://www.familylawcourts.com/countymarintvc.html

From the San Francisco Daily Journal

Youth in Court Need Attorneys Who Represent Their Interests Fairly, Strongly

Monday, July 17, 2000

By Alanna Krause

Hundreds of years of legal history have lead the United States to implement a system that ensures that every party in a legal proceeding gets a voice. We rest assured that, unlike in other nations, we can not be incarcerated without our day in court, lawyer by our side. What a country we live in: so civilized, so well thought out. God bless America.

But there is a forgotten minority that is not afforded these basic rights. They are not criminals or foreign aliens. In contrast, they are a group we all hold dear – one innocent and well meaning, with no hidden agendas or twisted motives – children.

Instead of actually being represented, children get their “best interests” represented by adults. We children have no choice and no recourse when those adults have their own agendas.

A case in point? Mine.

My parents separated when I was 5-years-old, sparking a custody battle that lasted nine years. I never doubted that I wanted to be with my mother. My father Marshall Krause, is an abuser, and living with him was a mental and physical hell and definitely not in my best interests. Yet, In Marin Family Court, that seemed to be irrelevant. My family court experience consisted of lawyers, judges, evaluators and social workers who turned their backs on their consciences and their professional oaths. They’re worked contrary to not only my best interests, but to my health and safety.

My father, a wealthy and well-connected lawyer, used his influence and money to manipulate the system. And he didn’t work alone. The court-appointed evaluator, Edward Oklan, M.D., fell under his spell and ignored my reports of my father’s abuse of drugs and of me. The lawyer appointed to represent my “best interests,” Sandra Acevedo, spent her allotted time with me parroting my father’s words, attempting to convince me that I really wanted to live with him. She ignored my reports of abuse. And the therapist my father made me see, Lana Clark, LCSW, was far from objective – she was sleeping with him.

The judge, Sylvia Shapiro-Pritchard, an admitted long-time friend of my father’s, rubber stamped any order my father requested. I wrote the judge letters, called her office and did everything I could to make myself heard. She ignored my pleas. I had no rights. I couldn’t replace my lawyer with one who would speak for me nor could I speak for myself in court. I couldn’t cross examine the court evaluators or therapists and their claims were thus untouchable. I felt like I was witnessing the proceedings from the wrong side of soundproof glass.

My mother tried her best, but she was a David facing Goliath – except in my story, she didn’t even have a sling. After years of valiant struggle gaining nothing but legal fees, she had to let go and put her life back together in the hopes that someday I could get out on my own.

While living with my father, I did what I could to survive. I made nine reports to Child Protective Services and several calls to the police over the years, to no avail. They would always tell me that unless I had witnesses or bruises, they couldn’t substantiate my claims of abuse. Finally, one day my father threw me into a stone wall at school and a teacher called Child Protective Services.

He’s never said as much, but my father panicked. He had worked so hard to build a delicate set of lies and twisted truths to present himself as the well-meaning parent whose “unstable” ex-wife had given his troubled daughter “alienating parent syndrome,” resulting in abuse “delusions.” The truth was his worst fear.

Acting quickly, he had my therapist, his lover, suddenly decide I was dangerously troubled and needed to be locked up. So I, an 11-year-old straight-A student who had never tried sex, drugs or alcohol, nor ever been in a fight, found myself in an out-of-state lock down facility with 17-year-old drug-dealing gang-banging street kids. I was beaten up, taunted and was blocked from communicating with the outside world. I was forced into therapy where they tried to brainwash me into believing my mother was insane, that my father’s drug use didn’t exist and that the abuse my father inflicted on me was all in my head.

When I realized the truth was getting me nowhere, I lied and parroted back their words. It took me 6 months to convince them I was “cured.” Holding onto the truth was the hardest thing I have ever done.

After my release, my father, thankfully, shipped me out to a nice boarding school. My two years there were my best years since my mother and I were separated. When I went back to live with him at age 13, I couldn’t take it anymore. Knowing I’d never find justice in Marin, I ran away, hoping to find a judicious jurisdiction elsewhere. I ended up in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Juvenile Court took my case and placed me in a safe home. Court investigators and evaluators found my mother to be a fit parent and my father to be dangerous. My father hired an expensive lawyer and tried to play his old tricks, but the judge had none of it. Full custody was awarded to my mother, and visitation with my father was left at my discretion.

In Los Angeles, I was a party in my case, whereas in Marin, I was only leverage in my parent’s battle. Los Angeles was heaven.

The practice of trying to ascertain what is in a child’s best interest exists because minors supposedly cannot speak for themselves. Yet at 11, I could speak for myself. I had a mind and a set of opinions, but no one seemed to care. The judge denied my right to legal representation, especially when the court-appointed lawyer wouldn’t speak my truth. Granted, there is no guarantee that hearing me would have inspired the judge to untwist her motives and unclench her hold on personal allegiances and biases, but who knows? At least it would have been in the court record.

My right as an American is to have legal representation in court proceedings, but when my lawyer wouldn’t speak for me, I was allowed no voice.

No American should be locked up without a trial in front of a jury of peers, or some sort of legal equivalent, but it happens to minors all the time. We have an elaborate system to keep innocent adults out of jail, but no system to prevent the false imprisonment of youth in mental hospitals and discipline institutions.

Children are not parties in divorce proceedings – we are property to be divided. Yet children are people too. As citizens, we must be afforded ourhuman and legal rights. And when those adults who are supposed to speakfor us fail, we need some recourse.

Alanna Krause is now in college, doing well.

 

Footnotes Added: (ACTIVE IN ORIGINAL LINK, ABOVE, and of note:)

Marshall Krause, Alanna’s father is the former counsel, board member and fundraiser for the ACLU of Northern California. He is the former president of the Marin County Bar Association and a partner (of counsel) in the firm of Krause and Baskin. His long time partner, Larry Baskin, is president elect of the Marin County Bar Association and on the current Board of Directors.

In 1998 Mr. Krause pled “No Contest” to WIC Section 300 (a) & (b) charges child abuse and endangerment in Los Angeles Juvenile Court. There is also a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against Mr. Krause, issued by Ventura County Superior court.

Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro-Pritchard, has known Krause for over thirty years. As noted in the Karen Winner Report, she refused to admit the evidence, findings and rulings of Los Angeles Juvenile Court in her courtroom or have any reference of it put into the transcript records. She is the daughter of lawyers Carl & Helen Shapiro. Carl Shapiro is the former head of the Marin County Chapter of the ACLU. Carl Shaprio and his law firm, Shapiro, Shapiro & Shapiro and Marshall Krause worked on cases together.

Sandra Acevedo, then working for the firm of Diamond, Bennington & Simborg was the lawyer appointed by Shapiro-Pritchard that Alanna notes worked contrary to her interests. She is now part of a team of family court lawyer trying discredit the Karen Winner Report, which notes Acevedo’s role in Alanna’s case.

Edward Oklan, M.D., was the Shapiro-Pritchard appointed evaluator to whom Alanna raised the issue of Krause’s abuse but was ignored.

Oklan was also cited in the Karen Winner Report, for his role in the Irish/Planet case.

Lana Clark, LCSW was the social worker who was, according to Alanna, sleeping with Mr. Krause.

Though never appointed by the court, Shapiro-Pritchard and others accepted her reports without question.

John McCall, Judith H. B. Cohen, and Link Schwartz were the lawyers who represented Mr. Krause.

Despite his representation of Krause, McCall was later named by Judge John Sutro Jr. to a panel which is supposed to look into the practices of Family Court.

Sandra Acevedo, Marshall Krause and Judith H. B. Cohenwho apparently still represent Krause, have been among the most recent and vocal critics of the Karen Winner Report. which has tried to expose the practices so well cited by Alanna Krause.

Their effort has been joined by other lawyers mentioned in the Winner Report:Scott Lueders, Mauna Berkov and Terrence Colyer.

Written by Let's Get Honest

May 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm

British Voice on International Problem: Family Courts

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From 
PLEASE NOTE:  This is not my post or writing!  I post it here to get your attention.  Unlike most of my posts, this one has none of my commentary.
Please view it in its original context at:
June 17, 2006

Guilty until proved innocent: the grotesque reality of family courts

Will we be able to report if a mother kills herself through the grief of loss?

THERE IS SOMETHING I wanted to write about today. But I cannot. I cannot even tell you that I cannot tell you, because to do so might be to imply what it was I wanted to write about. And that might lead you to infer that I was referring to a situation that I should not refer to. Get it? No?

I am beginning to understand why so few journalists write about cases in the family courts. The lawyers are patiently diminishing my file of potential cases week by week. But at least I am learning about the armoury of secrecy that social services can deploy which prevents scrutiny of the removal of children from their parents. 

John Sweeney, an investigative reporter and presenter on the BBC’s Real Story, describes reporting on the family courts as being as difficult as reporting from Zimbabwe. Of the seven child abuse cases he has covered in the criminal courts over the past few years, all have ended in the quashing of convictions. Some of the defendants — Angela Cannings and Sally Clark — have become household names. But of the five cases he has covered in the family courts, all have ended in the parents losing their children for ever. You will probably never know the names of those people. Their names must be changed and their faces blocked out, to “protect” the children. It is hard to expose miscarriages of justice when the stories are drained of human content. 

What I have found extraordinary is how often highly able lawyers are uncertain about what we can and cannot write. Despite the issuing of a model order last year by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, then head of the Family Division, the court orders that limit press coverage are still often so badly drafted as to be completely unclear. Sometimes the order that is drawn up by the court bears no relation to the draft that the press was sent in advance of the hearing. Sometimes we are notified of the order too late to make representations against it. It costs money to fight these orders. Local papers in particular cannot afford to consult lawyers all the time. The result is self-censorship: one errs on the side of caution. We end up conspiring to silence families. 

The irony is that the injunctions are becoming more draconian just as a door is opening in Whitehall. Harriet Harman, the Minister for Constitutional Affairs, has announced that she will consult this year on opening up the family courts to greater scrutiny. This is a positive step. But make no mistake: the same old authorities are gearing up to argue that openness is inappropriate where children are involved. 

Even if that particular battle is won, there will still be miscarriages of justice. For the Government’s consultation will not deal with some fundamental unfairnesses at the heart of the system. The first is the threshold for conviction. In a criminal court, you are innocent until proved guilty, and you can only be convicted if your guilt is beyond reasonable doubt. 

A family court, because it cannot imprison you — only condemn you to serve a different kind of life sentence by taking away your child — “convicts” on a balance of probabilities. You cannot plead not guilty. In fact you are often penalised for not showing “remorse”. The assumption of guilt starts with the first referral to social services and continues into the courtroom, where few judges allow parents to call experts in their defence. New medical research is slowly demolishing the textbooks on child abuse: including various new and innocent explanations for certain types of fracture that are currently thought by social workers to be diagnostic of abuse. But this new thinking is rarely permitted into the family courtroom. 

Wrongs are compounded by the irreversible nature of the judgments. It is generally accepted that once a child has been adopted, the parents cannot see that child again even if they have managed to prove their innocence. They cannot even refer in public to that child by name. Yet this is utterly wicked. Yes, it will be desperately tricky to reunite innocent parents with children who have been adopted by other loving families. But it is a challenge that society must rise to. It is just not good enough to use the manifest difficulties as an excuse for not even trying. Lorraine Harris, who was cleared after serving a jail sentence for shaking her baby to death, when it was proved that he had a blood disorder, has little hope of ever seeing her other child again. We only know of her because her case went through the criminal court. How can this be? How can we pile wrong upon wrong? 

The more I study this area, the more unanswered questions appear. Will we be able to report if a mother kills herself through the grief of loss? Or will they say that this, too, would not be in the interests of the child? Will we be able to report if an adopted child continues to suffer from precisely the complaints that were originally taken to be evidence of abuse? If the family courts are opened up, will there be any redress for parents who protest their innocence, who were convicted in secret? A little more light, please, into the dark corners.

Written by Let's Get Honest

May 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Darwin in the Dept. of Health and Human Services. . ..

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Good morning, some of you.

This morning, I looked up “Camilla Cavendish,” who I know covers some Family Law in the UK, and doing so ran across “The Heretical Sex” — which seems to be an Australian men’s rights blog, but has enough pro and con commentary that I decided to let them speak for me today.  

Why?

Because:

LetsGetHonest is busy following the Money Trail, by phone and URL.  

I spent about a half hour on hold today attempting to communicate with the local child support agency about what’s up, and again get coherent instructions on how to log into their new, improved, statewide site. And the status of my case.  Because of their previous failures, in large part, I was at a bus stop (not in my car) anyhow, so I was just redeeming some time, or so I thought.  I’ll spare you the commentary on that conversation.  But not on this URL:

 

http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/CE09-002.htm#SectionIII

Title:

Adaptations of Evidence-Based Parenting Programs to Engage Fathers in Child Maltreatment Prevention (U01)

 

 United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

 

Issuing Organization

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NCIPC/CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/

Background

Parent Training programs are the most promising approach to date to prevent the two most common forms of child maltreatment (neglect and physical abuse).

And the purpose of Child Protection Services was, then . . . . ?  Passing, but failing to consistently enforce laws against child abuse and neglect, or punish people already caught with their pants down sufficiently as a deterrent (see my last post on the judge — OR, Google “Stephen J. Thompson,” a NJ judge.  Former) was . . . . ??

 

“Specific parenting programs {which ones?} have shown {to WHOM?} efficacy for reducing re-occurrence of maltreatment (Chaffin, Silovsky, Funderburk, Valle, Brestan, Balachova, Jackson, Lensgraf, & Bonner, 2004; Lutzker & Rice, 1987), and for preventing abuse in families where it has not occurred (Bugental, Ellerson, Lin, Rainey, Kokotovic, & O’Hara, 2002; Daro & Harding, 1999; Olds, Kitzman, Cole, & Robinson, 1997). 

Trust my government to solicit people to prevent abuse in families where it has NOT occurred, while ignoring abuse in families where it HAS –and all under the same Federal Agency Umbrella.  This is a current grant.  They also acknowledge that:

“prevention strategies specifically targeting fathers or male caregivers have not been developed or evaluated  (that’s debatable…) . . .

This is problematic because research has shown that the role of fathers in child maltreatment perpetration is substantial; studies have reported that as many as 48% of maltreatment cases involve fathers as perpetrators. Furthermore, almost two-thirds of male perpetrators were reported as being the only perpetrators, indicating that prevention efforts involving mothers in these cases would not address the areas of need in these families (US Dept of Health and Human Services, 2005).

Note the specific and recent (4 yrs old) cite, buried somewhere in THE largest federal agency in the U.S., 50%+ of the annual outlay, by its own admission.  If the HHS truly believed this, then why are they so liberally funding “promoting responsible fatherhood” programs which end up mom-blaming and child-support reducing, etc.?

My assertion is that if you adopt the right tone of voice (speak like an expert) and can cite at least one publication which has multiple authors (making it appear to have more credence than a single author, say, “Gardner”??), you can shake loose dollars without being noticed.  Those were MY KIDS’ DOLLARS, and my own, and my friends that supported me while the legal system didn’t!  

Never mess with a Mom who has figured this out and whose children are still minors.  That’s unwise!

I plan to remedy the “WITHOUT BEING NOTICED” part.  NO ONE should be able to put forth this rhetoric and be paid for it.  

Again, let’s consider:

“Adaptations of Evidence-Based Parenting Programs to Engage Fathers in Child Maltreatment Prevention “

If your ten-year old can’t make sense of this, then it shouldn’t get funding.

No one should be allowed anywhere near children that thinks, OR talks, like this.  No talk like this should be heard — I allow that there is an Amendment covering the right talk this way — but without a resounding round of laughter.  And dismissal of grant-status.  Good grief:  get real!  Would you trust your life to these theoreticians?  (well, your money has already been entrusted to them, and other similar).

It seems only appropriate to expose details, ridicule if possible, and question how any of us could’ve taken these systems seriously to start with.  

So, I’ll be back (once I actually LEAVE….).  Here are today’s substitute teachers; they are basically following the same scent, totalitarianism:

They  offer in better writing a foreign flavor (to the U.S.) take on the same old, same old problems of  what in the US we call, at least in some states:

Family Law, Child Support Enforcement, Parent Education, Responsible Fatherhood, Healthy Marriages, Early Head Start, Violence Against Women, Mediation,** and (a recent one entitled approximately), “Explicating Domestic Violence in the Context of Custody,” (a joint project funded from Office of  Violence Against Women through the “Battered Women’s Justice Project” (BWJP) and a group called “AFCC,” which makes for REALLY odd bedmates if you have reviewed their sites, as I did. The trained family law bloodhound sets to baying, and pointers (like me) set to pointing, on alert when they sniff that stuff…)

**MEDIATION:  The fact that individuals recently the target of sufficient physical abuse, and other kinds, to merit an actual restraining order, have to then go bargain for their own children with the perpetrator, simply because one of them got knocked up earlier, seems singularly ridiculous — except in these venues.  No wonder so many mental health practitioners are making a financial “killing around the place, at least so long as their clients both (with kids) shall live.    

***the AFCC: I say has helped more battered MOTHERS stay trapped in battering relationships, and prolonged the tragedy, trauma, and public waste by keeping more KIDS such as Aliyah, or Alanna (Krause, now grown, you may google the name) in their respective places (of torture) — by “explicating” to such decision-making professionals how families (the new subject matter and market niche, along with children) must be behaviorally modified to understand that what they formerly believed (based on what they were just told by a different branch of the same justice system) is hereby and in THIS venue declared hogwash.  

And that if they both refuse to kneel down, in august respect — and, say, train the kids to believe they were not abused when they were, act like they don’t have post-traumatic stress (hint:  returning soldiers have this) when they really do, and for the matter, dealing with hostility and disbelief when reporting abuse triggers it  — and confess the friendly neighborhood “parenting education” classes will actually make all well again, well, alternately, there’s always jail, or custody-switch followed by no-contact orders, or supervised visitation only, and a variety of Spanish-inquisition-like techniques (emotional/ financial) are all here to teach these incompetents a lesson about who’s in charge.  Kind of like the original abuse was intended to also do. . . .  

and all at their cost (or, alternately, if one is already  broke), taxpayer cost.)

The key words here are “Kneel Down.”  Anything else is jargon, which can be discovered by the scientific method (control experiment) of refusing to kneel.  If you don’t yet properly understand, like little Aliyah, what this action is for, when NOT voluntary, see my last post about the Judge in Texas and the Mom in jail.  

Now, I realize that was a breathless paragraph (not including footnotes).  As a singer, I have pretty good lung capacity, but my run-on style is intentional; intent to convey a taste — just a taste — of the dazzling array of claims, institutions, agencies, and hopemongers that inhabit the courts of distress.

NO WONDER !! this is an arena populated by LOTS of mental health professionals.  I have totally ceased taking words and labels at their face value — there are actually very FEW people I know whose word is good, and next to no actually government agencies whose funding titles actually describe their functional effects.  When in doubt, assume the opposite and you are close to the mark.  We have “degraded” from a literate, literal interpretation of the world by assuming that “words” accurately describe “things,” (or people) to a far more instinctive, contextual, and in fact jungle-style way of life.  Words shift and flex in meaning by a bewildering host of dichotomies:  Us/Them, Expert/Plebian, Fathers/Mothers, (add in a few religions, shake til done, and swallow whole?)

If you read the above quote and think I’m speaking in tongues, drunk, or mad, that means you just ain’t been  baptized (been drenched, quenched, and hung out to dry) by by the tax-payer funded institutions, and not a few nonprofit charities as well.   This is not an experience from which retreat to innocence is possible.  It has all the intensity of a close-up encounter with true religion –and not one’s own, or not at least of the mythical America you innocently thought was minding its own business while you were minding yours.

Well, enough of my glossalalia — I’m not praising anyone here, just putting out the signposts of sound.

 Camilla, and Heretical 

(Click, Hunt, Gather, Examine & Sort for yourselves…)

 

Written by Let's Get Honest

May 13, 2009 at 1:42 pm

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