Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

The ACES study — Bridging apparent Skipped Synapses in Family Court thinking….

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Happy Labor Day post.  I give you one study I refer to often on this blog, that dates back to 1998, and one (more) inane/insane custody discussion from Australia, case dating 1999-2003, and topic, joint legal custody and visitation with a young girl and the father who crushed her baby brother’s skull with his bare hands, baby being 3 weeks old and in his father’s arms at the time.  The court is less concerned with that behavior than the mother’s “phobia” (odd label, eh?) about that behavior.  Nothing much new for Family Law Arena — this is its speciality, in fact, stigmatizing parents that actually seek to protect their kids from trauma, abuse, and possible (in that case) death.

 

ACES (below):  Bridging the Gap between Childhood Trauma and . . . . .Negative consequences later in life.

 

Or should I call this bridging the gap between theory and reality?  Which results in the ever-widening “Chasm,” the Court public Credibility Gap.

So, how does one talk with mad engineer at the helm of a runaway train with one’s kids on it?  How get one’s kids safely OFF the train?  because in this venue, it doesn’t seem possible.  If they spend the duration of their childhood on this train, perhaps this will become their new “normal” and then another generation of trainsters and railway-hoppers will grow up, have kids, and provide new cargo for this Trip to Nowhere (except the trips to the bank for the railroad and its employees).  Like the formerly renowned rail system in the U.S., it took a lot of subsidy to keep the thing operational.

There are basically two types of conversations going through the courts:  

1.  IN open court — in open, and 

2.  Behind closed doors — in private.

The heart of the matter is in the 2nd arena.  Best interests of the child is static, sound-fluff and media-bytes.  It’s not reality, and I don’t any longer believe that any one who makes a living in this arena seriously, seriously believes in this paradigm — or if they do, their eyes are simply closed, because the cat is out of the bag.  

I believe the language the speak, as any good employee or business person truly does, is that of who is paying their bills. One reason I know this is that I actually experienced leaving an abusive marriage, and how vital a part finances was in getting free.  I also watched systematic economic abuse (mismangement, comandeering of access to basic funds/cash flow/steady jobs that would make this possible, and so forth), which restricted and delayed the exit.   

Which would you be more accountable to as a secretary whose family’s food and rent (lifestyle) depends on your pleasing that employer?  Up to your own personal level of moral/social tolerance (and ability to choose), a disgruntled customer in the waiting room or on the phone?  Or your employer?    . . . . Well, what about judges and other professionals, some of whose salary (US$) is well over $100,000 and lifestyles and associates to match?  Along with judgeships go political influence and possibly later activity — it’s a career path.  It took a lot of convincing in California (and publicity) for these judges to give up (statewide) their almost $20 million in SUPPLEMENTAL pay, but not until one of their own, an attorney in Los Angeles, was firmly intimidated and jailed for reporting financial corruption (Richard Fine case), which was his actual job to do in this city, as I understood it.  He was put in punitive solitary conffinement, moreover, and I heard, disbarred, for actually bucking this system.

However, these articles ARE about “best interests of the child” and whose head is where in being unable to figure that out in a given case involving infanticide! Or other horrors to any growing child, or the parent of any such child.

 

I am going to start grading the Family Law systems in my country, and in any country that imitates policies that I give an “F” in my country:

 

1998 THIS study is also old, and underestimated.  Probably because of its common sense, like the 1989 and 1992 ones I quoted earlier, from NOMAS, talking about why the HECK have we got to continue exposing each new generation of children to more and more parents who batter, and then posing STUPID questions like, why is the next generation ending up in jail, or beating THEIR women, or taking the assaults, either.

WHY is business as usual, THAT’s why.  A case came to light today where an Australian court (dealing with similar issues down under) is ordering psychiatric evaluation for the mother of a two-year old because the two-year-old’s father, quickly knocking up another woman, had just crushed to death the newborn (3 weeks old) infant with his bare hands, in response to the baby’s crying.  The man is in jail, and the court is trying to tell the mother that she needs to have her head examined for wanting to make sure this doesn’t happen to the one that came out of HER womb.  No, I am not kidding!

 

FAMILY LAW – Children – parenting orders – contact in prison – father incarcerated for killing child of another relationship – specific phobic anxiety of the primary carer and compromised capacity to care for the child – no significant contact ordered.

At what point do we get to have the COURT’s “head”  – and values — examined?   ???

 

O & C [2005] FMCAfam 200 (29 April 2005)

Last Updated: 6 June 2005

FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT OF AUSTRALIA

REASONS FOR JUDGMENTIntroduction – the proceedings

1. This matter comes before me as the final hearing of the competing applications of the various parties concerning B M C born 9 March 1999. Final parenting orders were made in relation to B on 20 February 2002 whereby B lived with the mother and the father had regular contact. However, on 11 March 2003, the father killed his newborn child of another relationship, Z, and the father is now incarcerated until approximately February 2006.

Yes you read that right.  Infanticide:  3 years.  3 hots and a cot.  Wonder if he’ll get out on parole early, like Garrido did, in time for a repeat performance.  Sounds like it didn’t affect his entitlement much, being incarcerated for baby-killing; he still wants to assert his shared parenting responsibilities and rights.  Where’s KING SOLOMON (of the Bible) when you need him?   Where’s the anti-abortion pro-lifers when you need them?  This mother, of child “B” is a pro-lifer.  She doesn’t want HER kid to suffer the same fate.  For expressing and acting on this protective, motherly sentiment, she may be sentenced to a lifetime — or at least for the duration of B’s childhood — of having her “head examined” over this “phobia.”

“Phobia” being, I guess, being afraid of something the Court isn’t afraid of, probably because it’s not the Court’s offspring involved or at risk.


2. The proceedings were initiated by the mother filing an application on 1 July 2003 in which she sought that previous parenting orders made by this court on 20 February 2002 be suspended and that she have sole responsibility for making decisions about the long term and day to day care, welfare and development of B. Effectively, she sought that there be no contact between B and the father.

3. On 21 November 2003 a Form 3 response was filed and served on behalf of the father  {{BEING AS HE WAS INCARCERATED??}}. Relevantly, the father sought joint responsibility for long term decisions affecting B and contact in prison 

 

RELEVANT:  What the jailed Dad wants.

IRRELEVANT:  what the killed 3-week old baby wanted before his Daddy crushed his skull together:  probably either some cuddling, a diaper change, some milk, or to be held differently.  Or his Mama.

IRRELEVANT:  What the mother wants, safety for HER kid, and her concerns taken seriously.

YES, this WAS 2006, “DOWN UNDER,” and a term well-earned from what I can see of this decision, at least.

As to his paternal grandparents:  Well, their son was an adult at the time, but still, they raised this guy.  PERHAPS this should be considered “relevant” in allowing unsupervised contact of child “B” with them.  (Not mentioned are her parents. . . . or mother of the deceased newborn.    )

===============================

I give you one more reason (not including Phillip Garrido, Jaycee Dugard, and any woman who opts to marry a convicted kidnapper and raper) to take domestic violence seriously:  The children:

   

 

What is the ACE Study?

The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.  Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD, 
MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study 
of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma 
(ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.

 What’s an ACE?

Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:

 

  1. Recurrent physical abuse
  2. Recurrent emotional abuse
  3. Contact sexual abuse
  4. An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the 
    household
  5. An incarcerated household member
  6. Someone who is chronically depressed, 
    mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
  7. Mother is treated violently
  8. One or no parents
  9. Emotional or physical neglect

 

Origins and Essence of the Study (2003)

 

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES AND STRESS:  PAYING THE PIPER (2004?)

 

The findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, an ongoing collaboration between Co-Principal 

Investigators Vincent J. Felitti, MD, of Kaiser Permanente, and Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, of the Centers for 

Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

 

Because the two links above are in multi-column format, I can’t copy and paste.  I exhort you to take a look at some of this.

 

Please note that “one or no parents” was NOT on the top of the list, as it is on current “fatherhood.gov” policy, or HHS/ACF grants prioritization in the Designer Family mode it appears to be stuck in.

 

Women, including women like me, whose children have been exposed to from 1 to all of the factors above, are after removing their children FROM such factors, having the courts force them back in through shared parenting considerations.  IN this case the theoretical ideal is held over the head, and clubbing protective parents, of the practical reality that Batterers do NOT make Good parents until they thoroughly address the battering behavior, and what drives it.  Moreover, men have graduated with flying colors from programs allegedly adjusting their attitudes, and gone right out to murder that bitch who forced them to sit through it (McAlpin is one case that comes to mind, Bay Area, 2005.  Within just a few days, her body was discovered in a trunk).

 

 

 

 

Again, the issue becomes who gets to rig the test and give the grades?  I give any policy that lacks common sense — protect the kids! — and ignores the golden rule and “F.”

 

Golden Rule in Family Law:  Do unto OTHERS as you would have them do unto YOU (i.e., if it were YOUR kid, whose father just killed a newborn, would you as a judge order the woman who was alarmed at said murder to have her head examined, and the child ordered into contact with the parents of the killer, OR would you yourself be alarmed, and rule accordingly?)

 

If it’s not good enough for YOUR kid, it’s not good enough for HER kid.  That’s the golden rule in the courtroom, I say.

 

This of course presumes that a judge cares about his or her own kids, which may be a presumption indeed; some judges have been convicted of collecting child pornography and making some of it (Thompson, NJ), another of sexual harassment of female employees (Fed. District judge in Texas).

 

 

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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