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Archive for February 2010

When Judges Ignore Evidence, and Women’s Gut Instincts, Again…

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I don’t know that reporting problems is going to change them.  Our society is becoming immune, rapidly, but there is clearly a VIEWPOINT divide between the potential victims and those charged — at public expense — with protecting them.

MY common sense says, don’t lean on the broken posts to protect onesself.  What the other legal options are is clearly up to each individual — or relative/friend of someone being stalked — to figure out. 

WOMEN TARGETED BY STALKERS NEED MORE SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING AND EMPOWERMENT, if not some EQUIPMENT, too, and LESS  TRAINING IN RISK-TAKING BEHAVIORS, SUCH AS SEEKING HELP THROUGH PROTECTION ORDERS

Among the SELF-DEFENSE measures available — sometimes — can include, if possible — LEAVING THE AREA.  Is it better to be totally uprooted, even poor — but alive?  Or well-grounded and respected in the community, hoping the powers that be will do what they are supposed to do,  and staying, until caught by a stalker who went over the edge, or got tired of playing cat and mouse, and went to endgame mode…  Like in the incident reported below.

Again, an “ORDER” is a piece of paper issued by the judge.  It does not possess magical powers. 

When a piece of paper comes up against a person intent on stalking and making sure no one else gets a woman, no matter what, that person is going to get what (he) wants unless he is behind bars.  Even from then, there’s the potential to incite others of similar mentality. 

There’s a real backlash against assertive women in religious circles, at a minimum.  Well, if we can’t be assertive in these situations, what is the option?

From the site Anne Caroline Drake.com

This site has organized commentary and detailed summaries on news events.  These posts are worth checking regularly, particularly if my lack of spell-checking is a hard read. 

 Teacher Murdered by Stalker while Legislature Bickers

Friday morning, February 26, Jed Ryan Waits waited two hours outside Birney Elementary for Ms. Paulson to come to work at 7:30 AM.  She was with a colleague.  Without saying a word, he fired three shots and killed Ms. Paulson.  The fire department arrived within seven minutes to find Ms. Paulson bleeding profusely, but there was nothing they could do to save her life.

Within a half hour, a deputy spotted Waits’ car and pulled him over.  Ironically, it was at a day care parking lot in Frederickson.  When Waits fired at the officer, the deputy returned fire and killed him.

Four hundred children go to Birney Elementary.  The newspapers didn’t say how many kids were already at the daycare center.

What were the options?

Get her a bullet proof vest, and wear it daily?

MOVE, and change her identity, including name and social security #?  Her stalker had military training, and was persistent.  He’d met her in college!!

 This isn’t even an intimate partner relationship.  However, the theme of stalking IS  family court matter, and so I find it relevant.  Continuing, from this website:

Pierce County and Olympia:  What if Jennifer Had Been YOUR Daughter?

Pierce County has a very long history of callous disregard toward domestic violence.  They didn’t lock up domestic violence perpetrators Tacoma Chief of Police David Brame or the DC Sniper or Isaiah M.K. Kalebu or Maurice Clemmons or Darrel Street or David E. Crable or dozens of other people they knew or should have known would kill.

Judge Thomas Felnagle refused to grant bail to a couple of punks who savagely murdered a stray dog, but he let Maurice Clemmons go home to further terrorize his 12-year-old step-daughter, who he allegedly raped.  Maurice Clemmons assassinated four cops in Lakewood while out on bail.

The legislature got all excited when David E. Crable, who had been abusing his 16-year-old daughter for years, killed a deputy sheriff and wounded his partner.  Crable’s daughter Bryona had to rescue the cops {{SEE BELOW}} who were supposed to be protecting her.

Legislature Bickers and Keeps the Status Quo Firmly Entrenched

Did the legislators in Olympia focus on the domestic violence underlying these killing sprees?  Hell, no!  Did they try to pass a law to deny bail to domestic violence perpetrators?  Hell no!

The law enforcement task force focused on protecting the cops rather than people experiencing domestic violence.  Gov. Christine Gregoire, who perpetually evidences callous disregard for domestic violence, according to the Seattle Times:

The original bill proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire would have let judges deny bail if they determined that the suspect posed a public safety risk, but in order to get enough support in the House, the criteria was narrowed to those who would face a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole and if the suspect is considered dangerous.

By the time the bill got to the state senate, Judiciary Committee Chairman Adam Kline, who also has his head up his ass, said:

A prediction of violence is a shot in the dark right now.  We’re not going to have judges deny a consititutional right on a hunch.

(HERE”s MY rant on that).    He happens to be right on the matter of PREDICTING violence.  That’s what the experts do, and want us to participate in helping them do.  Here’s a new one from Michigan I became aware of recently:

 

 http://www.biscmi.org/thelethalityequation/index.html

And here’s the sales plug.  Notice:  WHO (to “whom”) is it addressed?

  • Do you feel like there is more to evaluation than current assessment tools provide, but you’re not sure where to turn?
    Are your current lethality assessments and abuse histories enough to adequately understand and predict future intimate partner violence and sexual assault?
    Would you like to learn more about what to assess with individual perpetrators within your community?
  • If so, join us at this training and learn more about personality issues among those who are violent and abusive to others.

Not to minimize the research and expertise that went into exploring this, but WHY should I want to know more about personality issues among those who are violent and abusive to others.  Isn’t this information already available by listening to their victims?  What benefit will a new set of vocabulary to describe what we already know “dangerous” is?  HUH?

What does a large cat predator do before the kill?  It stalks!

So how much more does one need to fine-tune that, rather than get that woman protection, including if necessary OUT of there?

Yeah, Anne Caroline is right to be on a rant (and I’m out of time, also). 

However, since constitutional rights aren’t going to be infringed upon (when it comes to certain profiles of people), we’ll just have to go back a little further than this Constitution, I guess, and remember some INALIENABLE RIGHTS, the FIRST one of which is to LIFE.  That’s physical, breathing and not having that breathing stopped violently or suddenly by force.  Then LIBERTY.  Being stalked compromises one’s freedom to wander about at will, freedom that people NOT being stalked may take for granted but we (yes, I said “we”) can’t. 

In this country, women attempting to leave violent relationships involving children for the most part CAN’T.  They have to show up again and again and fork over either more funds for court-appointed professionals, or court-associated professionals, OR if they can’t afford this, they too often have to fork over their children to the batterer, or the state.

Just like the anti-harrassment orders in This case (resulting in one dead woman), that too is regardless of court orders.

This is where the “cult of the experts” leads to, logically speaking.  IF “we” (collectively) are going to farm out the basic things of life:

  • Thinking
  • Self-Defense training for ALL
  • Knowing how our legal and economic systems really work, for ALL (male & female, rich and poor)
  • Raising our young and educating them
  • Governing ourselves.
  • Restraining people close to us from violence
  • Also entertaining ourselves without pornography, excesses of drugs, alcohol, violence, or simply mind-numbing idiocy (sometimes I’m not sure which is worse)
  • Respecting people of other faiths or no faith, by which I mean, not trying to press OUR views onto OTHERS’ kids — and this is going to require a hard look at the school system also.  The message is in the system, not just the supposed content of it.  These schools are war zones, and the response is too often to blame the parents.  Parents then blame the schools.  Well, come on folks, it’s an interactive system!
  • Living moderately and requiring that our politicians and leaders ALSO do.
  • Health, Welfare, and things pertaining to general HUMANITY

Then what kind of country is this? 

Rep. Mike Hope and Rep. Chris Hurst, who are former cops, went ballistic.  Rep. Hurst told the Seattle Times:

I can’t remember a time when a couple folks sat down behind closed doors and didn’t talk to their colleagues, didn’t talk to the law-enforcement community.

We will not leave this session without this legislation.  This is the most important piece of criminal-justice legislation in decades.

Amen.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing a half hour after Ms. Paulson was gunned down.  I’m willing to bet they still didn’t get it.

We the People get it.  And, we’re mad as hell at your callous disregard for our safety and welfare.

 Click on her links and learn how the abused daughter protected the cop.

Here’s a sample, as summarized on same website:

Deborah Horne onKIRO7 has just reported that Pierce County deputy sheriff Walter “Kent” Mundell passed away this evening at 5:04 p.m. 

He had been on life support at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle since being gunned down during a domestic violence call near Eatonville in Pierce County, WA on December 21. 

NOTE:  shortly before the holidays…

Police officers had been keeping a 24/7 vigil at the hospital. 

Last night there was a candlelight vigil at the LA Fitness outlet in Puyallup, WA where deputy Mundell worked out. 

His partner, Sgt. Nick Hausner, visited him at Harborview after he was released last week from Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis, WA.

Sgt. Hausner credited Bryona Crable, the 16 year-old daughter of David E. Crable (the perpetrator who gunned down the deputies), with saving his life

Apparently, she courageously jumped her father during the close-range shoot-out and took his gun away before he was fatally wounded by deputy MundellHer aunt and uncle pulled Sgt. Hausner to safety. 

HERE is a SEATTLE TIMES account of this incident, in which a pro-active teenager saved what could easily have been more lives, although her own father and eventually a police officer died.  THIS FAMILY knew more about the “danger assessment” of their relative David Crable than, apparently, a Pierce County Superior Court judge, which shows up in prior sentencing to “parenting classes.”  When in doubt, a parenting class will stop bullets, abuse, and change behavior for sure.  Do you think the policy of assigning parenting classes to men who are terrorizing their family is going to change just because it resulted in deaths of a cop, and in essence, Suicide by cop, this time?

Bryona Crable, 16, whose dad shot 2 deputies, is a heroine, possibly saving Sgt. Nick Hausner’s life

December 27, 10:35 AMSeattle Family ExaminerIsabelle Zehnder

December 27, 2009 – 16-year old Bryona Crable is being called a ‘herione’, {spelled like that?] according to The Seattle Times. She didn’t just stand by and watch as her father opened fire on two unsuspecting Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies who were at her home responding to a family violence call. Instead she grabbed her father, pushed him to the floor, possibly avoiding additional gunshots from being fired, and possibly saving Sgt. Nick Hausner’s life.

Deputy Kent Mundell, 44, was shot multiple times by Bryona’s father, David E. Crable, 35. Mundell was able to fire back and kill David Crable. According to Ed Troyer, Spokesman for Pierce County Sheriff’s, Mundell now remains in ‘grave’ critical condition. He is on life support at Harborview Medical Center.

During the shoot-out David Crable was hit. His daughter, Bryona, “jumped on her dad and fought him for his gun,” Troyer said. “He went down and never got up again.”

Bryona ran outside to get help from neighbors and to call 911. She and Jason’s girlfriend, Bridget Warren, protected Hausner by dragging him to another room, barring the door, and administering first aid, “while Bryona went for help.”

She’s absolutely a hero, but she’s also a victim. She witnessed her dad being shot,” Troyer said. “She’s had a bad life at her dad’s hands. She saw her dad shoot two deputies and she stood up and did the right thing and tried to help our guys.”

The Seattle Times reported that Bryona has been in the middle of family fights involving her father whose life, according to court records, was plagued by alcohol and violence.

After the shooting Edward, David’s brother, Bryona, and Warren, were forced to leave their Eatonville home with ‘little more than their clothes’. The property has been ‘torn to pieces’ during the criminal investigation. According to Warren, it took more than two days for them to even retrieve their cell phones.

We’re going minute by minute,” Warren said Thursday morning. “Obviously, we can’t go back to our house, so at this point, everything’s up in the air.”

The three have been staying with friends due to a lack of relatives in the area. They are trying to figure out what to do about a funeral for their troubled relative, David E. Crable.

Background of sentencing? (Maroon print, below, from HERE):

Callous Indifference to Domestic Violence Reigns in Pierce County    

Gimme a break.  Let’s review the myriad opportunities various government officials had to stop Crable:    

  • Spring, 2007:  Crable was hospitalized after threatening suicide.  He was arrested on domestic violence charges against his mother and daughter.
  • June or July, 2007:  Crable’s brother Jason sought a protection order against David because he had threatened “to kill my dogs and damage my car. .We started talking and he started to get upset then started yelling. . .he was going to ruin my life and do anything to possible to mess up my move.”  This was a clear indication that Crable was a pit bull abuser.
  • February, 2008:  Crable was charged with DUI, fined $966, and sentenced to 24 hours of community service.
  • May 18, 2009:  Patsy Jo Crable (his 71 year-old mother) asked for a restraining order against her son David:  “I am afraid in my own home with  him because of the many guns he owns. . .before I left home, he was always threating suicide, and told his daughter he wanted to die. . .The altercations have escalated.  This constant threat of what he’s going to do has caused me great stress.  I have a heart condition, and he constantly gets in my face and tells me he wants me to die.”  She described him as armed, suicidal, violent, and abusing drugs.
  • May 28, 2009:  Crable was arrested at his mother’s home after getting into a fight with his brother, choking his daughter, threatening to punch her in the face, and pointing a knife at her.  All four of the tires on his brother’s car were slashed.  This was the first police standoff.
  • June 25, 2009:  Crable pleaded guilty to a third-degree malicious mischief, to unlawful display of a weapon, and to unlawful carrying of weapons in Pierce County Superior Court.  Judge Vicki Hogan suspended his sentence, put him on two years of probation, and ordered him to pay $800 in fines and court costs, to have no hostile contact with his brother Jason, and to take parenting classes.

OK — did you GET THAT?  They finally arrest the suicidal, assaulting people, threatening people, property damage people who is totally out of control, and escalating, has access to weapons (which kill people, right?) and a (female, but that may not really be as relevant as the system that spawned judges that come up with “solutions” like this) says “be a good boy now, and take some nice, friendly, parenting classes.”

Should we fast forward to the latest AFCC conference about the REAL CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER is not enough funds for court-associated professionals to do MORE parenting classes and behavioral modification programs ???  Sure, yeah…

  • June, 2009:  Child Protective Services (CPS) received a complaint that Crable had assaulted his 15 year old daughter.  The allegations were deemed to be “founded,” but nobody at CPS did anything to protect his daughter.
  • November 14, 2009:  Crable was arrested for a DUI.
  • Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said multiple protection orders were issued against Crable:  “They are a result of people saying this guy is a danger to me.  I think you can reasonably infer from his history, he had an alcohol problem.”

Crable obviously had more than a problem with alcohol.  But, Lindquist, Troyer, and the judges in Pierce County minimize and trivialize evidence in domestic violence cases.  Perpetrators get a slap on the wrist.  Crable, for example, was never charged with a felony despite abundant evidence that his long history of terrorizing his family was escalating.  He was, therefore, allowed to own guns.  His victims survived the best they could with nothing but a piece of paper to protect them.    

Crable’s daughter wasn’t the only terrified teenager in Pierce County in 2009.  Maurice Clemmons’ daughter was similarly left unprotected after her daddy raped her until her daddy assasinated four Lakewood cops.  Then, the system pulled out all the stops to arrest him.  The people who allegedly aided and abetted him before he was murdered by a Seattle cop are facing serious jail time.    

THE QUESTION IS NOT, IS THIS NOW ROUTINE?  THE QUESTION IS, WHAT ARE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT THOSE CLOSE TO THEM GOING TO DO, IN LIGHT OF THIS INFORMATION?

Here’s from the Pierce County, WA, website (I went there and searched on “domestic violence.”)  They have a Domestic  Violence Diversion Coordinator . . . .  This is about their Domestic Violence Unit Image of DV unit

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Domestic Violence Unit was established in 1995 in order to more effectively stem the tide of what is a very serious and harmful crime to society.

That’s apparently why, when it occurs, the perpetrator can get “parenting classes and probation…”

The Unit is comprised of detectives and deputies whose responsibility it is to investigate domestic violence related crimes including assaults, property damage, court order violations, rapes, threats, custodial interference, and others. Additionally, Unit members serve as liaison to health care providers, advocacy groups and social agencies to improve identification and reporting of existing instances of domestic violence and develop prevention strategies linking law enforcement and community efforts. We review cases to more quickly identify high rate offenders and high rate victims and direct coordinated intervention efforts toward these groups. We identify high rate locations for domestic violence, especially multi-family housing units. We work with patrol, crime-free multi-unit housing coordinators and social service agencies to focus on early, comprehensive attention to cases of domestic violence.

The Unit also serves arrest warrants and develops new, innovative programs to help deal with domestic violence.

Should you have any questions about the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Domestic Violence Unit or wish to contact us for any reason, please call us at (253) 798-6516.

?? ??? ???

They also have one of those “family justice centers” that are now becoming commonplace. 

Sunburst Header 

 
The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center will work collaboratively to achieve the following objectives:

  • Coordinate and consolidate existing resources to better serve victims of domestic violence.
  • Ensure that services and support provided to victims will address the initial crisis, as well as, the long term needs of victims and their children beyond the crisis.
  • Reduce the number of domestic violence cases that go unaddressed in Tacoma and Pierce County.
  • Ensure domestic violence perpetrators are prosecuted.
  • In working toward these objectives, the FJC seeks to realize the following goals:
  • Provide victims and their children with the tools they need to live a life free of family violence.
  • Reduce domestic violence incidents, recidivism and homicides in Pierce County and the incorporated cities within its boundaries.

 

 

The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (FJC) opened in December, 2005. Over 800 clients were served the first year of operation. Many of these clients have been to the FJC more than once. Our service providers handled 1200 client visits to the FJC during this time period.

The FJC was created as a result of an interlocal agreement between the City of Tacoma and Pierce County. The City and the County jointly fund the FJC. An Executive Board oversees the operation of the FJC and is comprised of two County Council members and two City Council members and a fifth person of their choosing. The FJC was named in honor of Crystal Judson Brame.

In addition to funding from the City and the County, the FJC has received financial contributions from the City of Lakewood, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department, the City of University Place, the City of Gig Harbor, and the Federal Government.

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

Oh well . . . .

Hazards of (reporting) Intimate Partner Violence — Chicago, New York

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Here’s a woman who got the man out, and then the place she rented tried to put HER out.  USUALLY, the matter is economics, not altruism.

For this one, check out the lively comments following the post.  It dates back to October, 2009. 

(1) In CHICAGO:

Get him out, and risk getting thrown out yourself…  Guilty by association…

The Perils Of Reporting Domestic Abuse

We’ve already written about domestic violence as a pre-existing condition for health insurance {{So have I, on this blog…}}. Now recent cases show that victims who report abuse lose their homes — but people who don’t report it face jail time.

Sara Olkon of the LA Times tells the story of Kathy Cleaves-Milan, who called the police when her boyfriend threatened her and her daughter with a gun. Soon she’d been evicted from her Chicago apartment because a crime was committed there, even though she was the victim and not the perpetrator. She’s now suing Aimco, the company that owned her complex, for discrimination. Aimco spokeswoman Cindy Duffy says, “As the safety of our residents is our top priority, we have a zero-tolerance policy for any criminal activity at our communities.” She adds that “if there is an arrest or a violation, all of the occupants on that lease are subject to eviction,” and that “the basis for that eviction was the fact the violence had occurred.” But, somewhat inconsistently, she also claims that the reason Cleaves-Milan left was that she couldn’t pay her rent without her boyfriend’s help, an allegation Cleaves-Milan denies. Duffy said, “it certainly wasn’t our attempt to penalize her in any way for her situation,” but that’s exactly what the company did.

According to Olkon, federal law protects public housing residents from being evicted because of violence, and some states have enacted laws to protect the housing of domestic abuse victims, but no across-the-board protection for these victims exists — yet another reason for them not to speak out. Complicating the abuse picture further is the status of people who know about it but don’t speak up. Feministe pointed us to the story of Fannie Schwartz, an Amish woman charged with failing to report her husband Johnny’s sexual abuse of two teenage girls. Coverage of the case is a little confusing — prosecutor Danette Padgett says that though Schwartz didn’t go to the police, she “did, at different points in time, report it to the church and the church took care of that situation, in their opinion.” But according to another statement in the case, she “said it wasn’t bothering her like it should have been.” If convicted, she could serve several years in prison.

Feministe links Schwartz’s case to a recent Times article on sexual abuse within Orthodox Jewish communities. In that article, some members of these communities expressed the fear that trying to handle abuse accusations internally protected criminals and allowed them to hurt more victims. And the fact that Fannie Schwartz had to go to church elders “at different points in time” suggests that they weren’t effective at stopping the abuse the first time. Clearly religious communities aren’t always capable of protecting their own, and those who conceal an abuser’s actions deserve to face consequences. But Jill of Feministe handily sums up the complexities of Schwartz’s case:

[I]t’s rare to see criminal charges brought against non-abusers who knew about the abuse and didn’t interfere. Again, I don’t think it’s wrong to prosecute those who aid and abet abuse; I just wonder where we draw the line when it comes to knowing about and ignoring abuse, and how much we factor in obligation to the abused (i.e., in my opinion, it matters more if the person doing the ignoring had some degree of responsibility for the abused – a teacher, a doctor, a parent, etc), and the relative power of the abuser over the person who knew and did nothing.

The power of the abuser is an important concern here — someone who molests two teenage girls might well be capable of severely threatening his wife. And, says Sheriff Roye Cole, there are cultural issues at play in cases of abuse within the Amish community:

Do they even know they need to report it? Who’s going to report it? And how do they report it? I don’t think the Amish community’s going to have a list of phone numbers so they know to call the hotline. They need to know how to help children when they need it.

This last line applies not just to the Amish, but to Orthodox Jewish communities as well, and really to anyone who’s in a position to learn about child and domestic abuse. Both Schwartz’s story and the Times piece reveal the need for better relationships between law enforcement and religious groups, and for these groups to create an atmosphere where it’s easier for victims and those who know about abuse to come forward. As Cleaves-Milan’s case makes clear, this remains difficult, whether you’re a member of a religious minority or not. Many obstacles remain between reporting abuse and actually getting justice, and if our legal system is serious about reducing domestic violence and sexual assault, it needs to eliminate these obstacles.

Image via LA Times.

Domestic-Abuse Victim Says She Was Evicted For Reporting Crime [LA Times]
Amish Wife Is Accused Of Not Reporting Husband’s Sexual Abuse Of Girls [KY3.com]
Amish Wife Accused Of Not Reporting Sex Abuse [Feministe]
Orthodox Jews Rely More On Sex Abuse Prosecution [NYT]

Send an email to Anna North, the author of this post, at annanorth@jezebel.com.

NOTE:  Let’s Get Honest has not checked any subsidiary links on this one.  Others report the Aimco Fiasco, too:

MORE LINKS:

  • Evicted Over Boyfriend’s Alleged Abuse, Woman Files Sex

    Oct 13, 2009 A representative of Aimco, the defendant company that owns and they evicted her, the 36-year-old tells the Chicago Tribune. Although some states have clear laws against evicting women due to domestic violence,
    http://www.abajournal.com/…/evicted_over_boyfriends_alleged_abuse_woman_sues_landlord_for_sex_discrimin/ – Cached
  • Management Company Sued For Evicting Victim of Domestic Violence

    Dec 18, 2009 that they violated the Fair Housing Act when they evicted a tenant as a result of domestic violence against her in her AIMCO apartment.
    shareinc.wordpress.com/…/management-company-sued-for-evicting-victim-of-domesticviolence/ – Cached
  • Clipmarks – Chicago tribune Clipmarks

    Luckily Aimco dropped this fee, but only after the Chicago Tribune inquired. While the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 protects domestic abuse victims housing from eviction, the law concerning private landlords is unclear.
    clipmarks.com/tags/chicago+tribune/ – Cached
  • Clipmarks – Domesticviolence Clipmarks

    POPSEvicted for Reporting Domestic Abuse. ljsdesign Luckily Aimco dropped this fee, but only after the Chicago Tribune inquired.
    clipmarks.com/tags/domesticviolence/ – Cached
  • Los Angeles Apartments 16 thru 25 for Rent – Los Angeles

    She was upset about being evicted. She soaked her mattress in gasoline and set it Do your homework before leasing an AIMCO Apartment – Hello People of
    http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/CA-Los-Angeles-2.htmlCached
  • News

    January 1, 2010. Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Get New Legal Protections Chicago Tribune article by Megan Twohey Domestic-abuse victim says she was evicted for reporting crime She is now filing a lawsuit against Aimco, the company that owns and operates the apartment complex.
    bessconsortium.org/?option=com_content&view… – Cached
  • Domestic abuse call leads to help, then eviction for caller

    A day after the Chicago Tribune asked about this fee, Aimco officials decided to For victims of domestic violence, a call for help can lead to eviction
    http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/legal-services…/13247933-1.htmlCached
  • Family News

    Three weeks ago in family court, reviewing a domestic violence order for protection, the managers of her Elmhurst apartment complex served her with eviction papers for Attorneys for Cleaves-Milan have filed a lawsuit against Aimco, ….. Norberto Rodriguez was fired as a Chicago Police officer in 1997 for
    victimsoflaw.net/Motherhood.htm – CachedSimilar
  •  By the way, this last blog (victims of law.net/motherhood) is worth some serious perusal . . . .

    And here, “HOT OFF THE PRESS” is Page A1, New York Times: . . . . .Remember especially not to report if your abusers is highly placed….(said, tongue in cheek)

    (2) NEW YORK:

    (Not commenting on this here, just posting it.  I have to still digest..  …. My question:  WHAT was that violent situation doing in “FAMILY” court?  Because of a 4-year relationship, the woman had a 13 year old son; but he was not stepdad or anything approaching it, apparently.  This is a criminal matter, and like most criminal matter, it ends up in FAMILY court when a child is even within shouting distance.

    WHY?  That’s a good question.  Maybe the last post (California) has a clue….)
      Click here: Question of Influence in Abuse Case of Paterson Aide – NYTimes.com 
    “Last fall, a woman went to court in the Bronx to testify that she had been violently assaulted by a top aide to Gov. David A. Paterson, and to seek a protective order against the man.

    In the ensuing months, she returned to court twice to press her case, complaining that the State Police had been harassing her to drop it. The State Police, which had no jurisdiction in the matter, confirmed that the woman was visited by a member of the governor’s personal security detail.

    Then, just before she was due to return to court to seek a final protective order, the woman got a phone call from the governor, according to her lawyer. She failed to appear for her next hearing on Feb. 8, and as a result her case was dismissed.

    Many details of the governor’s role in this episode are unclear, but the accounts presented in court and police records and interviews with the woman’s lawyer and others portray a brutal encounter, a frightened woman and an effort to make a potential political embarrassment go away.

    The case involved David W. Johnson, 37, who had risen from working as Mr. Paterson’s driver and scheduler to serving in the most senior ranks of the administration, but who also had a history of altercations with women.

    On Wednesday night, in response to inquiries from The New York Times, Mr. Paterson said in a statement that he would request that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo investigate his administration’s handling of the matter. The governor also said he would suspend Mr. Johnson without pay.

    Through a spokesman, Mr. Paterson said the call actually took place the day before the scheduled court hearing and maintained that the woman had initiated it. He declined to answer further questions about his role in the matter.

    The woman’s lawyer, Lawrence B. Saftler, said that the conversation lasted about a minute and that the governor asked how she was doing and if there was anything he could do for her. “If you need me,” he said, according to Mr. Saftler, “I’m here for you.”

    Mr. Saftler said the governor never mentioned the court case, but he would not say if the call had influenced her decision not to return to court.

    The call also came as The Times was examining the background of Mr. Johnson, whose increasing influence with the governor had disturbed some current and former senior aides to Mr. Paterson.

    Further on in the main article, Gov. Paterson notes he “fessed up” about extramarital affairs up front, lest he become, I guess, a Hot Mike Duvall or a Gov. Sanford. . . . But, us poor folk still get the abstinence education fer sure…

    The governor said he had met the woman only three or four times.

    Mr. Paterson, who has championed the cause of battered women, then made extended remarks on the case of Hiram Monserrate, the former state senator who was convicted of misdemeanor assault against his companion and ousted from the Legislature. Mr. Paterson said he was offended that while the woman had been granted an order of protection against Mr. Monserrate, the senator’s aides had continued to have contact with her and assist her.

    “The order of protection is designed to allow for independence of the victim,” he said. “This victim apparently had no independence.”

    He said the conduct of the aides warranted a criminal investigation, perhaps for witness intimidation.

    “There have got to be some issues or some questioning of this woman not on the witness stand about how she was handled,” the governor said. “Because that’s the whole essence of what domestic violence is. It’s control.”

    One of Mr. Paterson’s earliest steps after becoming governor in March 2008 was insisting that the State Police end any meddling in political matters.

    Mr. Paterson called on Mr. Cuomo to investigate the State Police, saying he believed there was a unit within the agency collecting information on public figures. He said such concerns led him to admit publicly, on his first full day in office, to having had extramarital affairs.

    Mr. Cuomo’s report, issued in September 2009, did not find a rogue political unit per se but did find evidence of political interference by senior police officials, including an episode in which a police superintendent ordered changes to a domestic violence report involving a Republican congressman, John E. Sweeney, to make it less damaging. Mr. Paterson and his superintendent, Mr. Corbitt, had pledged to overhaul the agency.

     

    ALSO IN NEW YORK (12/2009)

    NEW YORK  

    Outrage over convicted divorce judge

    By Thomas Tracy, YourNabe.com

    12-10-09 — The fact that disgraced judge Gerald Garson will be home for the holidays is “reprehensible” and a “mockery of justice,” a group of divorced mothers and domestic violence survivors claimed Monday as they protested the convicted septuagenarian’s early release from prison. . . . “Money talks and Garson walks,” screamed Karlene Gordon as she and a handful of protestors from the Voices of Women Organizing Project (VOW) stood across the street of Brooklyn Family Court on Jay Street Monday afternoon. “Gerald Garson and his partner in crime Paul Siminovsky deceived, corrupted and destroyed lives with judicial immunity and protection. Sentenced to a county club, resort-like prison, then allowed to escape his judicial slap on the wrist, Garson’s early release from jail is a slap in the faces of those lives he irreparably destroyed,” she added. “He will complete his sentence, yet the families he injured, on so many different levels, are still serving the sentence this felon imposed on them. His victims continue to suffer in silence without justice or recourse.” . . . Gordon said she knows about suffering in silence all too well.

    {{Garson case involved a pro-active woman helping get the evidence of bribery in case-fixing.  It’s fairly high-profile.  This response is not over-blown,a t all…}}}

     

    And lastly, California (FYI), from that victimsoflaw.org/motherhood site:

    CALIFORNIA

    You be the judge: A prayer for relief from court sanctioned child abuse

    LA Family Courts Examiner Laura Lynn

    This is the last in a series of the text of a Petition for Writ of Mandate to change venue of a family law case and other relief. You may want to read parts one, two and three first.

    VII. PRAYER
    8-30-09 — The Petitioner has no expectation that justice will be done here. She asked for justice May 27, 2008 from this court, and this court denied her request summarily. The Court is acting criminally and is making a concerted effort to ruin the Petitioner emotionally, physically and economically. . . . The Petitioner is not trained in the law, yet she is held to a standard that is far higher than the standard of the Court itself. . . . I pray that the Court will reconsider its ruling of May 29, 2008 and see that Commissioner Alan Friedenthal should have been disqualified from presiding over this case from the start. . . . Criminal charges should be filed against the parties who altered, falsified, and destroyed court documents. Criminal charges should be filed against the officers of the Court who held these corruptions in their hand and did nothing to further the cause of justice. Criminal charges should be filed in Federal Court against the Officers of the Court who perverted justice.

    Well, my friend, that just isn’t likely to happen.  Do like the woman did in Simonovsky/Garson — follow the money.  It got a slap on the wrist, at least.

    Fort Bragg tries to redeem itself — McNeill/Vargas families reeling…

    with one comment

     

    (See yesterday’s post):

    Today, this is all over the internet.  I’d like to post a few links:  again, as you read, remember that there are certain venues where this IS taken seriously, and others where it is NOT. 

    Save Aaron Vargas

    Target:
    Mendocino County District Attorney, Ukiah, California
    Sponsored by: 

    Please go to http://www.saveaaron.com/ to read more about Aaron’s story and child sexual abuse.

    Aaron endured decades of sexual and psychological abuse by Darrell McNeill. Many others in the small community of Fort Bragg, California were also abused by McNeill.  Victims, as well as McNeill’s former wife, went to the police but no investigation was ever done. Aaron was stalked and harassed continually by McNeill. Aaron was arrested on 2/8/09 and is being charged with killing McNeill. I don’t believe that Aaron had the . . .

    http://www.saveaaron.com/

    Please E-mail the District Attorney and ask for leniency. She is seeking a sentence of 50-years-to-life

    This has a link on the difficult topic of child rape:

    Most perpetrators don’t molest only one child if they are not reported and stopped.

    • At least 20% of child sex offenders have 10 to 40 victims.
    • An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

    Point in case: 

    Delaware crime: Grand jury indicts Dr. Earl Bradley in sexual abuse of 103 child patients

    Lewes pediatrician faces 471 counts

    By CRIS BARRISH • The News Journal • February 23, 2010

    For nearly two months prosecutors have suggested Dr. Earl B. Bradley, the alleged pedophile pediatrician from Lewes, had molested an unknown number of girls, far more than the nine patients he was charged in December with raping.

     

    On Monday, the Attorney General’s Office made its suspicions official, with a grand jury indictment accusing Bradley of sexually assaulting 102 girls and one boy he treated – a more than tenfold increase in the number of victims originally alleged.

     

    Attorney General Beau Biden expects even more victims to be found.

    The vast majority of the crimes occurred since 2007, the indictment said. One victim, Jane Doe No. 39, was raped 15 times over 13 months, prosecutors allege.

    The case against Bradley could be the worst child sexual abuse by a pediatrician in American history, some abuse experts have said. Biden called it “unique” in Delaware history. Nationally, he said, “I know of no other [case] that has this many victims.”

     

    The case now moves toward a trial that would be held late this year at the earliest. Unless he posts $2.9 million cash bail, Bradley, 56, will await his day in court at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

     

    Investigators from the state police and the FBI have completed their analysis of 13 hours of videotapes, computer hard drives and digital files seized from Bradley’s home and office, Biden said

    That is ONE caught pediatrician…  Back to the other link:

    Vulnerability Factors: 

    Children are vulnerable to sexual abuse because of their age, size and innocence. When a child or youth is molested, she/he learns that adults cannot be trusted for care and protection: well-being is disregarded, and there is a lack of support and protection. These lead to grief, depression, extreme dependency, inability to judge trustworthiness in others, mistrust, anger and hostility. And as if all that isn’t enough, children’s bodies often respond to the sexual abuse, bringing on shame and guilt.

    Points to consider:

    »  Children/youth are unable to protect themselves and stop the abuse
    »  Children/youth are susceptible to force
    »  Children/youth are susceptible to the use of trickery by offenders
    »  Often times, children/youth have no control over their own bodies
    »  All too often, children/youth are unable to make others believe them

    The above factors lead to:

    »  anxiety
    »  fear
    »  shame
    »  a sense of inadequacy
    »  the need to control situations and others
    »  a perception of self as victim
    »  identification with the aggressor

     This link (related) talks about Stockholm Syndrome in terms of survival for the person experiencing abuse.  It is NEVER right to condemn them for staying in it, or failing to break loose.  For some, it is an assessment of life or death; the weight is to NOT speak out.  If society further dismisses, or suspends belief, or (case in point, Vargas) when police don’t act (or can’t for some reason), the person is in worse shape than before he/she started to report, and the doors may shut even more tightly. 

    This can affect family systems, when they become rigidly defined, and outsiders who rock the assigned roles (or secrets) are then perceived as enemies.

    While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:

    • Abused Children
    • Battered/Abused Women
    • Prisoners of War
    • Cult Members
    • Incest Victims
    • Criminal Hostage Situations
    • Concentration Camp Prisoners
    • Controlling/Intimidating Relationships

    In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages.

    Here, from the SF Examiner:

    However, not all of McNeill’s victims were silent about his abuse.

    In 2001, a young man who wishes to remain anonymous to the public, filed a police report detailing the molestation he alleges McNeill committed.

    The family of Jamie Specie also went to police and reported that McNeill had molested their son. Depressed, and apparently unable to cope with what had happened to him, Jamie committed suicide in January 2006.

    Aaron‘s sister, Mindy Gallani, told me that McNeill’s first wife had also reported her husband to the police, after discovering that her oldest son had been molested.

    Not once, after any of those reports did the Fort Bragg Police Department act on the complaints. There was never an investigation conducted into the allegations against McNeill.

    Fort Bragg City Attorney Mike Gogna said of the 2001 complaint filed against McNeill: “nothing ever happened with that report.”

    In July, the Press Democrat spoke to one of McNeill‘s alleged victims, who said: “In a small town you save face. You keep your mouth shut because it’s embarrassing and you don’t want anyone to know.”

    He continued: “Aaron may have made a bad choice, but he did what he thought was right.”

    Why would the police simply ignore these reports? Was Darrell McNeill so adept at hiding his deviant behavior that he was viewed as beyond reproach?

    Darrell McNeill worked as a realtor, and owned the American Home Store in Fort Bragg, selling appliances and mattresses. He was also a Boy Scout troop leader, and a mentor in the Big Brother Big sister program, both of which placed him in regular contact with many young boys.

    Aaron’s attorney Tom Hudson has reported that several young men have given him detailed accounts of the years of abuse that McNeill inflicted upon them. Many of them have said that the Boy scout leader gave them drugs and alcohol before molesting them.

    Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but in this case, it may be safe to say that if the police had acted against McNeill, Aaron Vargas would probably not be sitting in a jail cell today, separated from his family.

    This article relates viewpoints from some other victims.  It turns out that McNeill’s son, here was possibly his STEPson.  Consider:

    . . . Richard Masingale, whose younger brother, James Specie, killed himself in 2006, four days after confiding that he had been sexually abused by Darrell McNeill from the ages of nine to 14-years-old, while in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

    “I attribute the loss of my brother’s life to that,” said Masingale. “Until he was nine he was a good kid. But after [the abuse], he took another path. He didn’t trust nobody in life…My little brother became addicted to cocaine, methamphetamines. He didn’t do well with the pressures of everyday life after that.” (Neither Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Boy Scouts were able to confirm McNeill’s involvement in their organizations. Neither maintains records that go back to the 1980s. But Dr. Guy Grenny, who has been involved with the Fort Bragg Boy Scout troop for decades, confirms that McNeill was involved sometime before 1986 and members of the McNeill family have said that Darrell McNeill was Species’ Big Brother.)

    McNeill, meanwhile, found other boys to abuse.

    His former stepson, John Clemons, said that McNeill sexually abused him from when he was 11 until Clemons “got big enough to where I told him if he ever touched me again, I was going to beat the hell out of him.” Clemons’s mother, Jenny, divorced McNeill when Clemons was about 14. Then, Clemons said, “when my brother got big enough, he started using my brother to get to my brother’s friends. Me, I just stopped bringing my friends around.”

    See also, a comment from McNeill’s Daughter on 

    http://www.sonomacountygazette.com/blog/2010/01/aaron-vargas-murder-trial-examines.html

    http://theava.com/archives/2113

    In Vargas Case, Prosecutors Bring Out the Big Guns

    by Freda Moon on Jan 26th, 2010

    It’s official. The Aaron Vargas murder trial has entered the realm of theabsurd. Facing a tough trial in a county known for its independent, anti-authoritarian impulse, the District Attorney’s office, lead by ADA Beth Norman, has brought in the big guns.

    Norman has solicited Emily Keram to bolster the case against Aaron Vargas. Keram is a nationally-known psychiatrist—and famous for her 120-hour Gitmo interview with Osama Bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan. She later testified as a defense witness at Hamdan’s trial. With Vargas’s trial set to begin on March 1, Norman filed a motion last week that would allow Keram, the prosecutor’s ace psychiatric witness, to evaluate—and possibly interview—Vargas without his lawyer….

    AND SO ON. . . . .

    Intergenerational Impact of Ongoing Molestation…McNeill/Vargas case

    with one comment

     

    Sunday, the SF Chronicle (print edition) had a front page article on a young man who, after years of molestation by a certain older man (from the time he was ELVEN [11] into his TWENTIES [20s]) took matters — and a gun — into his own hand, and calmly shot the guy, to death, in front of his wife.  The young man was Vargas, the older one, McNeill.

    There are lessons to be learned in the article, and in how the press handled it.

    Mr. Vargas has a young daughter, per the account I’m linking to today, and the older one, McNeill, apparently having finished his run of molesting the young adult, was seeking contact with this granddaughter.

    Let’s think about the Grandparent Visitation issues, as well as the ACCESS/Visitation issues, acknowledging that where abuse HAS occurred, either of beating a parent in front of a child, or of using a child for one’s personal gratification (either one is illegal, inappropriate, and consists of USING a person, whether an adult person, or a young person, to satisfy one’s primal instincts, rather than finding a creative — and LEGAL — outlet for expression of them.

    I too, searched on-line for this, and it was NOT featured under front page links to the same newspaper.  Our society is so communally stressed, I think they just cannot handle the hard truths until they hit home.  Even then (collectively), only temporarily. 

    So here are some High School Seniors from San Mateo (per blogsite) commenting on this event.  The blog is:  “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to National Affairs.” As I have found personally, the younger people are, typically the more honest they are going to be in general on some of the deep issues of life. 

    The focus of the article had been what the TOWN thought about how to punish this young man, as well as the surviving widow.  My paragraphing is probably different than on their site..

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Cold-blooded murder. Town says it was justified?

    I read this very interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle today. Unfortunately, there is no link for it online (SFGate says the article is only available in print). The article was titled “Town says abuse drove man to kill,” and it was on the front page of the newspaper.
    Don’t you think that rather interesting?  I’m glad someone else noticed and commented on it.
    The article discussed the trial of 32-year-old Aaron Vargas who is accused of murdering his 63-year-old former neighbor, Darrell McNeill. On February 8th of last year, Vargas went to visit McNeill. After exchanging a few words with the man, Vargas proceeded to shoot McNeill in the chest with “a .44-caliber round from a Civil War-style cap-and-ball revolver.” McNeill died slowly, and Vargas stayed and watched as he took apart his weapon.
    McNeill’s wife, Liz, was present during the entire event. According to Liz, “Vargas told McNeill ‘he was lucky’ his wife was there.” After shooting McNeill, Vargas told the dying man “you’re not going to hurt anyone again.” He then revealed to Liz that McNeill had molested him as a child.
    Vargas returned home and told his mother, Robin Vargas, that he’d shot McNeill. He also revealed that McNeill had abused him during his childhood.
    Apparently, the abuse began when Vargas was 11-years-old and went on a fishing trip which McNeill also attended. Robin recalls that following this particular trip, Vargas’s grades plummeted and he became very withdrawn.
    Apparently, the abuse continued until about 4 years ago, when Vargas finally stood up to McNeill.
    But, McNeill did not back down easily. He continued to call Vargas and drop by his house, even offering to babysit his young daughter.
    Did you get that?  This man, after (probably) sodomizing a man from puberty until shortly before (or after — how young was the daughter?) now offers to babysit said daughter.  Do you think this was a factor in Mr. Vargas finally taking matters into his own hands, in the form of a gun?
     
    Vargas was arrested later that night. However, over the course of the past year, support for Vargas has grown. Quite a few other men have come forward and revealed that they were also victims of McNeill’s abuse. In fact, several people had filed reports against McNeill over a decade ago. None of the reports were ever followed up on.
    Many within the community, including McNeill’s wife, Liz, think that it would be inappropriate to sentence Vargas to a life in prison. Liz has said that she would prefer Vargas to “receive counseling instead of a lengthy prison term.”
    In fact, it seems that the only people pushing for a harsh sentence are the detectives investigating the case and the district attorney.
    In this case, I have to say that I feel it would be inappropriate to sentence Aaron Vargas to a life in prison. He was abused by McNeill for 17 years!! I cannot even imagine the emotional pain Vargas must be experiencing. While I think he does deserve some prison time, I feel the focus should be on providing Vargas with the counseling and support he needs to move on.
    While we cannot condone murder, I think there needs to be proper attention paid to the fact that Vargas was clearly not in his right mind. He had been abused for so many years, he just wanted the pain to end. What really irritates me is that there had been previous allegations against McNeill, but nothing had been investigated or followed up on.
    If McNeill had been prosecuted a decade ago, so much abuse could have been prevented.
    There is one point in the story that I find slightly confusing. Liz McNeill was present during the entire murder. She saw Vargas shoot her husband, and was there during the half hour in which Vargas waited for McNeill to die. I do not know the exact circumstances, but wouldn’t it have made sense for her to call the police? Vargas’s gun only had one bullet, which he used on McNeill.
    It seems like McNeill’s death could have been prevented.

     

     I searched on this same site for “Domestic Violence” and found a link to a huffington post article.  A “Tip O’ the Hat” to the blogsters….\

    When Getting Beaten By Your Husband is a Pre-Existing Condition

    Abuse

    With the White House zeroing in on the insurance-industry practice of discriminating against clients based on pre-existing conditions, administration allies are calling attention to how broadly insurers interpret the term to maximize profits.

    It turns out that in eight states, plus the District of Columbia, getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.

    Under the cold logic of the insurance industry, it makes perfect sense: If you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you’re more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure.

    In human terms, it’s a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence.

    My personal experience, both in marriage, and in court, is that when human terms clash with economic terms, the economic terms, in general, prevail.  However, economically-motivated practices — like endless attempts to TEACH judges and others that woman-beating and child-molesting is wrong, but NOT wrong enough to deprive the woman-beater or child-molester of ongoing contact (supervised — at someone’s expense — or Unsupervised, with eventual consequences to society) — or even of contact PERMANENTLY (as a deterrent to OTHER woman-beaters or child-molesters) – – are often sold with a human-terms window-dressing.

    That’s how Bush sold Abstinence AND marriage education.  We can see who is and who isn’t supposed to abide by those standards by reading the headlines involving political, sports, and celebrity headlines.  Or by taking a typical look at one’s local high school.

    In 2006, Democrats tried to end the practice. An amendment introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), now a member of leadership, split the Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee 10-10. The tie meant that the measure failed.

    All ten no votes were Republicans, including Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), a member of the “Gang of Six” on the Finance Committee who are hashing out a bipartisan bill. A spokesman for Enzi didn’t immediately return a call from Huffington Post.

    At the time, Enzi defended his vote by saying that such regulations could increase the price of insurance and make it out of reach for more people. “If you have no insurance, it doesn’t matter what services are mandated by the state,” he said, according to a CQ Today item from March 15th, 2006.

    [[THIS article is from 09/14/2009)

    The fact is, economies are BUILT around allowing abuse to continue — but just to certain populations.  And other economies are BUILT around, supposedly, handling it.

    Here’s a link to the fact that the SF Chronicle’s PRINT-ONLY policy (and the 9 headline stories it did NOT have on-line.  May be on-line Tuesday?).

    Worth The $3? Today’s Print Only Chronicle With Bonus Video!

    by Eve Batey  [[Thank you, Eve]] February 21, 2010 3:00 PM

    chron2.21.jpg

     February 21, 2010 3:00 PM

    As you might recall, the recently Chron announced that, in an effort “to provide a better reading experience for Sunday print subscribers and to differentiate it from our website,” certain items that appear in the print and e-edition Sunday Chronicle would not appear on their website until the following Tuesday.

    Not that folks who buy their Sunday print Chron as a single copy would necessarily know that! because, as you can see from the video below*, this week the Chron modestly chose to hide their print only content from the casual browser:Oh, Chronicle. Anyway, our print only stuff this week’s the 4 front page stories, and 5 columns: Native Son, Matier & Ross, Willie’s World, Scott Ostler, and Ray Ratto.  What are these 9 “news” stories the Chronicle didn’t consider imperatively newsy enough to make available to SFGate readers for a few days? Let’s see:

    Critics blast real estate reform Some people who are selling their houses are pissed because year-old changes to the appraisal system seem to be causing their homes to be valued at less than what they feel they’re worth. Worth the $3? If it’s been a year, it can probably wait until Tuesday. 

    Town says abuse drove man to kill A Fort Bragg guy admits he killed another man (with a Civil War era gun!), says he did it because they guy had been molesting him since he was 11, then “badgering and pursuing” him for several years thereafter. And everyone in Fort Bragg seems to believe him, and doesn’t think he should do time. It’s odd that a story based in Fort Bragg, a town so far from San Francisco that the Chronicle includes a handy map in the story, should so dominate the front page. That said, it’s an interesting story, in a magazine sort of way. Worth the $3? Get a cup of coffee and read it on Tuesday.

     (for the other 7, click on link…)

    Anyone able (today) to find more about that McNeill/Vargas story on-line, than what I just posted here — the high school student’s blog, and this person commenting on it NOT being on-line, let me know — comment today, send a link today.  Or tomorrow. 

    Let’s take a moment and think about the IMPACT on someone’s failure to prosecute for this man’s molestation, upon:

    • Himself
    • His daughter, and her future without a natural father in the home.
    • The mother of his daughter
    • The widow (she became a widow; imagine handling that truth about your own husband…)
    • The molester (he died)

    There is indeed a STORY behind those failures (think “Garrido/Dugard”) as there is behind the Town that didn’t know this was going on. 

    Other people came forward after this homicide, and spoke their truths.

    Here’s a blog on this from July, 2009, The Press Democrat:

    By LAURA NORTON
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

    Published: Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 4:05 a.m.
    Last Modified: Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 4:05 a.m.

    ( page of 7 )

    The winding mountain road that twists out of Fort Bragg and east into redwood forests was dark and deserted the night last February when Aaron Vargas drove to the home of a man he had known since boyhood.

    This was not a social visit.

    Vargas, 31, carried an antique black powder revolver, one that requires the loading of primer, wadding and a projectile before cocking the weapon, details that would become important months later.

    Pause to digest this age.  Another story says the abuse stopped only 4 years earlier, making Vargas 27 years old when it stopped.  I really suspect that Vargas’ awareness of what might be his daughter’s fate was a factor in the action he took to make sure it wouldn’t.

    On this night the gun was made ready to fire. Vargas approached, and now stands accused of pointing the gun and firing a single shot into Darrell McNeill’s chest while McNeill’s stunned wife, Liz, looked on.

    As the 63-year-old man lay dying, according to court testimony, Vargas disassembled the gun, placed it on the kitchen counter, and told McNeill’s wife why he was there: The man he shot was his molester.

    McNeill, Vargas later told family, first molested him when he was 11 years old. He said he was just one of many boys who fell victim to McNeill, a man long seen in the community as a loyal husband, community volunteer and friendly salesman.

    Darrell McNeill settled in Fort Bragg while working for the old Union Lumber Co. He led the local Mormon Church’s Boy Scout troop in the 1980s and mentored youth in the Big Brother Big Sister program before that.

    Parents.  PLEASE!  Understand that there is more than one motivation running through people who want unmonitored access to your kids.  I know that’s hard to handle, but be alert, OK?  Know what’s up behind closed doors (figuratively speaking).  Do the McNeill’s have kids?

    He sold families their refrigerators and washing machines from the store he established. That he could lead a secret life molesting child after child was unimaginable, yet even his widow now believes the allegations to be true.

    She now wonders if she ever really knew the man she was married to for 25 years, the man who fell on hard times when his business went bankrupt and he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

    There were no clues, no signs to the abuse, she said.

    The men who have come forward to Vargas’ attorney to say they, too, were abused, are men Liz McNeill calls her “boys.”

    Like Vargas, they were kids that hung around the house to play, kids with whom her husband had a good rapport.

    “What I learned that night, I didn’t know had happened,” said Liz McNeill, whose eyewitness account of the shooting likely will be pivotal in the jury trial set to start in September.

    She has asked prosecutors to reduce the charges against Vargas.

    The community is struggling with questions of justice — for a homicide victim now branded a child molester, and for an accused killer who claims to be a sexual abuse victim. One is buried, the other in jail.

    Prosecutors, however, say vengeance is no excuse for murder and the crime deserves 50 years to life in prison. A pretrial hearing will take place this month.

    Supportive words

    As the trial date nears, more than 1,000 comments asking the District Attorney’s Office not to prosecute the case have been posted on a Web page set up by Vargas’ family. Some of the comments are from victims of sexual abuse. Most are from current or former Fort Bragg residents. Many are coming to terms with a dark secret they may have lived with for decades.

    Since the shooting, at least eight alleged victims have come forward to Vargas’ attorney, Tom Hudson, revealing stories of widespread sexual abuse spanning more than a decade, some of them detailed in written statements.. . …

    The motive, Vargas’ attorney says, was the bottled-up rage from years of abuse.

    Fort Bragg in the 1980s was a town of just over 5,000 people. It was a quiet, idyllic place to raise a family, said Jere Mello, a Fort Bragg resident since 1966 and a current City Council member.

     ——–

    WHY NO NEWS ABOUT AARON VARGAS — JAILED FOR KILLING HIS ABUSE (Fort Bragg forum, Sept, 2009)

    [[THIS COMMENTATOR — from UK — wonders, also…]

    I have scoured the web but have been unable to find much information about the case of Aaron Vargas, jailed for killing the man that abused him and others in the community sexually and psychologically for over 20 years.

    The abuser, Darrell McNeill, abused many children in the small community of Fort Bragg, California. The abuse was reported to the police by victims, and by a former wife of McNeill. Photographic evidence was even produced but no investigation was done. McNeill was never even questioned.

    The relevant factoid I just picked up — Mrs. Liz McNeill is a second wife — the former wife reported his abuse.  A lot of “next women,” will need to overlook prior abuse, or naturally discredit it, in the interests of their new relationship.

    Don’t think men don’t know this.  I’m glad Liz McNeill is doing the right thing — thank you.  I’m sorry for HER loss as well — including the loss of the illusion of who was that man she was married to.  And maybe a better understanding of his former wife. 

    I feel required to say, from experience, that men like McNeill know where to find their next women, and how to charm them.  If we are society that undervalues women and over-values men, this is a partial consequence.  People will NOT NOTICE things they otherwise would, in interest of relationship #2. 

    I do not doubt Mrs. McNeill when she says, there was NO evidence of the abuse.  Child molesters can’t keep it up without secrecy.  Vargas’ own mother didn’t know, either, til her told her.

    Earlier this week Aaron appeared in court in a bid to get his bail reduced to allow him to return to his family and baby son. The application was denied and the bail was too much for the family to manage. No report in the press about this?

    I understand the jury trial is due to begin Sept 28st 9am ~ Ukiah Courthouse.

    From a blog on myspace. linked to the saveaaron.com website.

    The Anderson Valley Advertiser – June 3, 2009
    By Freda Moon

    ‘At the end of June, Aaron Vargas will stand trial for a crime that would normally be seen as inexcusable: He is accused of driving to Darrell McNeill’s trailer home on Fort Bragg’s Farrer Lane, shooting his former neighbor with a .44 caliber black powder revolver and then waiting nearly a half-hour for the man to die—all while McNeill’s wife, Liz, waited nearby.
    But very little about Vargas’s case—neither the story of his life nor public reaction to his crime—is normal. Following the February shooting, McNeill’s death has had the unusual effect of eliciting empathy for a murderer and revulsion for his victim. That’s because, in this case, the dead man’s sins weigh heavy on the community’s conscience. They are sins that are only now surfacing, one after the next, revealing child abuse that appears to span decades and includes the sexual molestation of not only Aaron Vargas, but McNeill’s own sons and a growing list of other local boys—now adult men—with whom Darrell McNeill crossed paths during his 63 years.’

    http://bit.ly/10G8Uh

    Why no coverage, surely this is a case worthy of international attention but nothing in the local press or online?

    Why no outrage?

    Aaron supporters have set up a number of sites and groups and are desperate to raise awareness about this case but nothing else in the media.

    Why no investigation into Mcneill after all the initial complaints and explicit photographs. Is someone trying to cover up the failures of the justice system?

    Aaron needs rehabilitation and counselling, not jail. Don’t let the justice system just let him down again.

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/fort-bragg-ca/TBO24P8KKUVNS4JE2

    [[Back to my commentary, here…]]

    PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT THEY CAN GET JUSTICE IF THEY ARE GOING TO REPORT THEIR OWN ABUSE AND TRUTHS ABOUT IT.

    This is not that hard a crime to prosecute from evidence of who shot whom, and as such, the prosecutors went right for it.  Abuse is harder, because abusers have to maintain secrecy, lies, and so forth.  It’s HARD to speak up.

    I have been repeatedly, repeatedly, citing this SITE:

    Bridging the gap between childhood trauma and negative consequences later in life

    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?

    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
    The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study:
    Bridging the gap between childhood trauma and negative consequences later in life.

    {{GREEN ITALICS HERE = MY COMMENTS}} I no longer associate with the people who retain denial of the domestic violence I endured.  It has required building an entirely different life.  I also am in a professional switch, because the events surrounding it (I’m not talking sexual abuse, but battering within the home, and the patterns of control, intimidation, and so forth involved), for reasons relating to ongoing safety and past reminders of jobs lost during the FREQUENT, COURT-ORDERED, CONTACT with no safeguards for me, or my kids, during them.  Safeguards not just from abduction, physical harm, but also repeated emotional trauma.

     

    As a mature adult, it took all I had to handle it, and deal with this.  I do not know how resilient my children are going to have been  until they are adult.  I do know that there is a high price to be paid for denial, and that it does go intergenerationally until stopped.  Trauma just doesn’t “go away” without an outlet.

    When courts allow the PARENTS or RELATIVES of an abuser (domestic) of child molester to be the household or adult supervising exchanges, they are insane.  It makes no sense that a family that raised a person who can’t restrain him or herself, should then be overseeing the consequences of their lack of restraint.  Go figure….

     

     

    But, We have a different “Clear and Present Danger” according to the professional organization basically running the family court system:

    Is clear and present danger to the physical and mental health of the citizens of the State of California, a spousal batterer?  (like the California code says, at least last time I read it, and it’s on this blog, too).

    Is clear and present danger the economic crisis?  Here’s a search result from last April, as this man says?

    Commentary: Budget a ‘clear and present danger’ to our kids

    To put it into perspective, the president’s budget would double the national debt in five years, increasing it from last year’s $5.8 trillion to $11.7 trillion in 2013, and would almost triple the debt in 10 years, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. At the end of the president’s budget, an average household in this country will owe $130,000 in debt just to support the government.

    The burden of this debt will be borne by our children, and they will bear the cost of this through a dollar that is diminished in value or through higher taxes. So the money they might use to send their children to college, or buy a house, or live a better lifestyle will be eliminated or significantly reduced.

    Sen. Judd Gregg says the president's budget could saddle the next generation with too much debt.

    Editor’s note: U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, represents New Hampshire. He withdrew his nomination for Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration in February.

    Article:  Judd Gregg “Special to CNN”

    The president’s proposal adds, on average, almost $1 trillion a year to the debt to dramatically increase the size of the government. This rate of spending is not sustainable and this course of action will put our country on the road to bankruptcy.

    As families sit at their kitchen tables to assess their own budgets and priorities, they know they will have to make hard choices about how they spend their money and what they sacrifice to grow their savings. Yet the president’s budget neglects to make its own hard choices. It has zero savings for major entitlement programs which are on track to cost the nation more than $67 trillion in the next 75 years.

    Sen. Gregg wrote: 

    we may be the first generation to pass on to our children a country they cannot afford.

    I have been reporting on this blog that we ought to track spending for the Designer Family Programs as they course through the courts.  WHO IS GOING TO DO THIS?  Some of the professionals profiting from that?  Judges?  Mental Health professionals?

    Is altruism really the motive throughout this system?

    Let’s see what the AFCC conference has to say.  I already blogged twice on this

    First time:

    Clear and Present Danger”…fuzzy usage by AFCC « Let’sGetHonestBlog

    Second time:

    AFCC Feb. 2010 Presenters — Family Law Vocabulary 101… « Let

    What’s below is a re-paste (verbatim) of the same speaker bios from the upcoming 2010 AFCC conference stating that the CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER in our
    These were the first & second results when I simply searched “Clear and Present Danger AFCC”
     
    The 3rd result was this:
     

    AFCC – The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

    Court Resources: A Clear and Present Danger to Our Children Sheraton Delfina Hotel Phone 608.664.3750 Fax 608.664.3751 afcc@afccnet.org http://www.afccnet.org
    www.afccnet.org/conferences/chapter_conferences.asp
    “NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR THE COURTS” is the word from the (court-related professionals, in conference) on the true danger for our kids.
    WHOSE kids?  Rosa Vargas’???
    This organization began, basically (in its own “history” page) in Southern California — L.A. area:

    A Legacy of Innovation and Collaboration

    The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) took root in California in the spring of 1963 with the creation of the California Conciliation Courts Quarterly, the first publication to promote the interchange of ideas between California’s conciliation courts. Judge Roger Alton Pfaff, presiding judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles, wrote:

    California has become a model for conciliation services as a part of the judicial function for other states to emulate and each year we find jurisdictions creating such services. It may well be that in the not too distant future this little publication may have a wider dissemination with similar courts in other states.

    Judge Pfaff’s words proved truly prophetic.  The publication, which now goes by the name Family Court Review, is presently read by thousands of subscribers around the world in countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  Meanwhile, AFCC has grown from a handful of California counselors and judges to an international association of judges, lawyers, mediators, custody evaluators, parenting coordinators, parent educators, court administrators, counselors, researchers, academics, and other professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.

    For more on that, see JohnnyPumphandle site and “free Richard Fine” sites!

    Grandparent Visitation, Father/mother visitation — 2 links

    leave a comment »

     

    Here are two links, one showing (in considerable detail) that, whether father or mother has visitation issues, the bottom line is, at least one parent’s $$ bottom line is going to drop — as evaluators, therapists, case managers, and mental health professionals are called into make their expert opinions known.

    This first link discusses a case where the father first brought up parental alienation, asked for an immediate custody switch on that basis, and called upon the powers that be — including the (now deceased) Richard Gardner, M.D.  — whose theme song and swan song was parental alienation. 

    This time, Gardner did NOT support the father, which obviously upset him.  A special case manager (a former judge) resigned after being threatened by the father, and so forth.  Sooner or later, the final of 3 children aged out of this childhood, or almost.

    (1) Kansas Opinions   | Finding Aids: Case Name » Supreme Court or Court of Appeals | Docket Number | Release Date |  

    No. 93,450

    IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF KANSAS

    In the Matter of the Marriage of

    JANET BOULEY, f/k/a KIMBRELL,

    Appellee,

    and

    WILLIAM DAVID KIMBRELL,

    Appellant.

    [[LINK TO:]]  SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

    This is just a sampling.  If you’re familiar with how some of these cases go (where there is some money in the family), you’ll recognize a few patterns, namely, that no matter what, SOMEONE is going to be in therapy, generally both parents AND the children.  SOMETIMES I think this need for therapy is directly generated by the court procedures, not the parents….

    Also note (last sentence of expcerpt here), that the father does make some good points, regarding questionable reliance on expert opinion, and due process.  He is RIGHT about this.  However, let us all note who started bringing on the experts to discredit his wife….

    I think this link is appropriate in that this is AFCC Conference month (one of many), which I have blogged on earlier.  This is a sampling of some experts that might get involved.  Remember what the JohnnyPumphandle post (Marv Bryer overview) reminds us: the court respects those opinions more than sworn facts or statements under penalty of perjury from non-experts who may be more familiar with the facts of the case.  That’s the nature of the beast.  Excuse me, system.

    In July 2001, David moved to modify the 1996 divorce decree and for an emergency change of placement for Dylan and Evan. In his motion, David asked that he be given residential custody of Dylan and Evan, that the trial court order strict supervision of Janet’s contact with the boys, and that the trial court order a psychological evaluation of Janet, Dylan, and Evan to determine whether Janet was alienating the children from him. David maintained that Janet had “commenced a program and concerted effort to alienate the three children” from him and that she had interfered with his visitations and the parenting time and visitation schedule. At David’s request, these motions were dismissed in March 2002.

    For summer 2001, the parties agreed to a split parenting arrangement where the children would essentially spend alternating weeks with each parent. In addition, the parties agreed to participate in psychological evaluations and testing. The agreed parenting plan was to continue until psychological evaluations and reports were completed.

    Upon agreement by the parties, the trial court appointed Susan Vorhees, Ph.D., to conduct evaluation and testing of the parties and their minor children.

    Who is Dr. Vorhees?  Well, here’s a Google result:

    {NOTE:  I didn’t read of any accusations of abuse or Domestic Violence in the case at hand in this link, .i.e., the parents of Dylan, Anna, and Evan…  I am simply curious about Dr. Vorhees…as the trial court recommended her to evaluate}:

    Quoting Dr. Vorhees:  (NOTE:  court syllabus spells last name “vorhees”.  This summary below is from Shawnee, KS area…)

    Put another way, people minimize boys as victims of sexual assault when the perpetrator is an older woman, said Susan Voorhees, a doctor of clinical psychology whose patients include child victims. People smirk when word gets out an underage boy had sex with an older woman.

    “Everyone has their fantasies,” Voorhees said, as in, ” ‘It would have been nice to have had some older woman teach me the ways of the world.”

    n sentencing Liskey to probation, Shawnee County District Court Judge Jan Leuenberger said there was no evidence the victim suffered in the relationship. The judge also said the youth is “dealing with the situation fine,” and concerns by his parents that he might “crash” in the next four to six years are “speculative.”

    Sexual abuse haIs lifelong implications for the mental health of both victims and their families,” Voorhees said in a letter dated Sept. 14 to Chief Judge Nancy Parrish to express her “grave concern” about the Liskey sentencing.

    “I’ve never heard in my 30 years working with sexual abuse victims of a victim doing fine,” Voorhees said. Noting Liskey was psychologically evaluated, Voorhees questioned why the judge didn’t seek evaluation of the boy.

    Boys don’t just fly right through the aftermath of abuse, Voorhees and Stultz-Lindsay said.

    “The impact may not hit him until he is able to move away from the relationship,” Voorhees said.

    “These boys feel like they’re in love with their perpetrator,” Stultz-Lindsay said.

    Often the perpetrator is a member of the family or someone trusted by the family, and for the child, the abuser “may be one of the kindest people in their lives.” In the Liskey case, there was a double whammy because she was a paraprofessional in the victim’s gifted education program at Robinson Middle School and the best friend of the boy’s mother, Voorhees said.

    “It’s not the face of evil,” the psychologist said of abusers. “It’s the actions of evil.”

    It is to bad the judge did not see it that way.
     

     

    BACK TO THE KANSAS CASE, LINK (1)….

    Although David later moved for a protective order to prohibit the dissemination of Dr. Vorhees’ proposed report, the trial court ordered that Dr. Vorhees’ evaluation be provided to the court. Dr. Vorhees’ report, which was filed in December 2002, indicated that David was alienated from his children due to his own behavior. According to Dr. Vorhees, “[David] is alienated from them by his own inability to accept that they and their mother are independent individuals, that they need and want a relationship with both parents, and that he cannot be in control of either of these relationships.” Dr. Vorhees indicated that David’s alienation from the children could be resolved by David trying to accept his children for who they are and by listening to his children.

    The trial court, on its own motion, appointed retired District Court Judge James Buchele as the case manager in January 2002. The trial court’s decision in this case indicates that the parties had been voluntarily working with Judge Buchele since October 2001. Judge Buchele recommended in January 2002 that the children reside with Janet and that David’s parenting time be “as approved by the Case Manager or as ordered by the Court.” David moved for review of these recommendations and also for an order for family therapy and other relief.

    In February 2002, Judge Buchele made additional recommendations, including that Dylan and Evan be with David on Wednesdays after school until 8 p.m. and on alternating Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Judge Buchele again made recommendations in March 2002. Judge Buchele recommended that David spend a week during spring break with Evan and that the parties participate in family counseling with Michael Lubbers, Ph.D. At that time, Dylan and Evan were seeing Dale Barnum, Ph.D., and Janet and David were each working with a mental health professional. David objected to both the February 2002 and March 2002 recommendations.

    Brief search on Michael Lubbers, Ph.D. shows that a Michael Lubbers got his Ph.D. in 2005-2006 year from the

    GREATER KANSAS CITY PSYCHOANALYTIC INSTITUTE
     
    Dale Barnum, on the other hand, appears to have been around a little longer:

    January 16, 2001
    – SRS Secretary Schalansky appoints Dale Barnum, for 20 years area director in Garden City, as new director of Rehabilitation Services.
    banner for Kansas department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
    Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) Secretary Janet Schalansky today announced the appointment of Dale Barnum as state director of Rehabilitation Services, effective February 4, 2001.

    Mr. Barnum has been the area director of the SRS Garden City office for the last 20 years, where he was responsible for program and resource management in the 25-county area. He oversaw a $10 million administrative budget and all SRS programs in the Garden City area, including services for children and families, adult services, rehabilitation services, child support enforcement, medical services, and economic and employment support services.

      

     

     

     

    On June 12, 2002, Judge Buchele submitted his report and recommendations and also responded to David’s objections. In his report, Judge Buchele addressed David’s allegations that Janet had alienated Dylan and Evan. Judge Buchele’s opinion was that Dylan’s and Evan’s alienation from David was caused by David’s own conduct. Nevertheless, Judge Buchele was encouraged by the fact that David had spoken with Dr. Barnum and had agreed to work on a new approach to communicating with Evan.

    In his report, Judge Buchele recommended modification of the existing parenting plan. Judge Buchele expanded David’s parenting time with Evan, setting forth specific times that Evan would spend with David. Judge Buchele’s recommendations assumed there would be some change in the status quo. Judge Buchele recommended that David’s parenting time with Dylan be “as they may agree.”

    After David and Janet separately filed objections to Judge Buchele’s recommendations, Judge Buchele issued a supplemental report on June 27, 2002. Judge Buchele indicated that the brief attempt to expand David’s parenting time with Evan had been disastrous. Judge Buchele concluded that the problems in this case could not be resolved by additional time being spent between Evan and his father. Judge Buchele recommended that Evan be with David on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and for one 24-hour period every weekend. Both David and Janet objected to Judge Buchele’s June 27, 2002, supplemental report and recommendations.

    In November 2002, upon David’s motion, the trial court appointed Dr. Richard Gardner, M.D., to conduct a parental alienation syndrome (PAS) evaluation of the family. [[FOLKS< this is 2002!!  Still going on!!]] The trial court terminated its order for counseling with Dr. Lubbers but ordered Dylan and Evan to continue therapy with Dr. Barnum.   Moreover, the trial court ordered that the contact between Evan and David continue under the current arrangement and that the contact between Dylan and David be as Dylan desired.

    Dr. Gardner completed the PAS evaluation and filed a written report in January 2003. Dr. Gardner found no evidence that the children were suffering from PAS or that Janet was a PAS alienator. Instead, Dr. Gardner indicated that the primary source of the children’s alienation from David was David’s own psychiatric problems, especially his obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and paranoid trends.

    [[In which we see that this diagnosing one’s spouse in order to get even is a two-edged sword.  Names can be called either way…  And will…  Name-calling by experts are far more damaging to the situation than names called by mere parents, or children…]]

     

    Dr. Gardner recommended that Janet continue to have primary parenting time with Dylan and Evan, that Janet have primary legal custody, and that the court rescind the order requiring Dylan and Evan to participate in therapy. Dr. Gardner indicated that the family could be helped with appropriate treatment given to David, Dylan, and Evan, but that such treatment should be on a voluntary basis.

    [[UNDETERRED…]] In September 2003, David moved for the appointment of another case manager, for an order for the parties and children to participate in therapy, and for an order enforcing the joint decision making required under the parties’ joint custody agreement. Attached to David’s motion were letters from Nancy Hughes, Ph.D., LSCSW, who had conducted an adoption home study with David and his [[his NEW??]] wife, and from John Spiridigliozzi, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist who had been working with David for approximately 3 years. [[FYI:  Spiridigliozzi appears to work with people with addictions…]]  Both Dr. Hughes and Dr. Spiridigliozzi recommended the appointment of a case manager.

    Obviously, both of them are working with David, not Nancy….

    Moreover, Dr. Hughes indicated that she had read some of the file that David had compiled in this case and that it did not fit with her impression of David.

    How comforting that expert professionals are brought in to give their “impressions.”

    In November 2003, the trial court appointed William F. Ebert, III, as special master, whose duties included recommending therapy for the parties and their children as well as preparing findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial court to review if the parties could not agree on child-rearing decisions or therapy.

    Now who is William F. Ebert, III?   Any relationship to THIS one? (I do see an attorney in the Topeka, KS area…)  (THIS one is in Nebraska, and I note, no “III,” AND there are a lot of William Eberts around.  Kind of makes you wonder, though…)

    William F. Ebert, appellant, v. Nebraska Department
    of Correctional Services et al., appellees.Ebert v. Nebraska Dept. of Corr. Servs.,
    11 Neb. App. 553

    Filed February 11, 2003.   No. A-01-906.

    INTRODUCTION    William F. Ebert was sentenced in July 1997 to serve 10 years on each of three convictions of second degree forgery and being a habitual criminal. Ebert brought a declaratory judgment action in the district court for Lancaster County against the Department of Correctional Services (DCS); Harold W. Clarke, the director of DCS; and Ronald Riethmuller, the records manager of DCS (collectively the defendants), alleging that his sentences were improperly calculated in that he had not been given good time credit. The trial court found that the defendants were entitled to summary judgment, based on statutory language mandating a minimum 10-year sentence on a habitual criminal conviction. The trial court further found that DCS was entitled to sovereign immunity and that the parties sued in their official capacities were entitled to immunity from Ebert’s request to compel them to credit him with good time. For the following reasons, we affirm.

    BACKGROUND

        Ebert was originally sentenced on March 26, 1996, to a term of 4 to 6 years’ imprisonment. The nature of Ebert’s original offense is not clear from the record in the present case. On July 1, 1997, Ebert received sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment on each of three separate convictions of second degree forgery and being a habitual criminal. The offenses for which Ebert received these sentences occurred in January and February 1996. These sentences were to run concurrently with one another but consecutively to Ebert’s previous sentence. Ebert has not received any good time credit toward the service of his 1997 sentences.

        Ebert filed a petition on December 28, 2000, initiating an action under the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act, see Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21,149 et seq. (Reissue 1995 & Cum. Supp. 2002), to determine his rights and legal interests in relation to the calculation of his 1997 sentences.

    WELL, no, must be this one:

    Phil Lewis Medal of Distinction

    1995

    J. Nick Badgerow, Martin W. Bauer, Patricia Macke Dick, William F. Ebert III, Hon. Jerry G. Elliott, and Carol G. Green

    After meeting with the parties, reviewing the court file, which included the reports issued by the various professionals, reviewing email communication, contacting individuals identified by the parties, and discussing the case with the parties’ attorneys, the special master issued his written report in January 2004. In an order issued in February 2004, the trial court adopted the following proposed conclusions of law of the special master:

    “1. If David Kimbrell genuinely desires to re-establish meaningful relationships with his children, it will be necessary for him to participate in individual therapy with a therapist who is knowledgeable about parental alienation syndrome and knowledgeable about parents who are emotionally abusive, especially those with significant psychiatric problems.

    “2. If the individual therapy process with David is successful (i.e. if David can be helped to . . . appreciate . . . how he has contributed to the damaged relationships with his children and helped to understand how to modify his expectations and behavior accordingly) then the door should be opened to including Evan and/or Dylan in the therapy process, if they choose to participate (as per Dr. Gardner’s recommendations, §6, Pages 117, 118, Gardner Report).”

    David moved for reconsideration of the trial court’s decision or, alternatively, to modify its previous orders. In his motion, David requested specific orders relating to the following: parenting time and visitation, exchanging information regarding the children, counseling, and terminating the special master’s appointment. In his motion, David argued that there could not be a therapy precondition to his contact with his children. In addition, David argued that the special master’s report was unreliable because it was factually flawed, placed undue reliance on questionable expert opinions, and did not comport with due process.

    If so, those are legitimate complaints and concerns.  How can one have justice with factual flaws, undue reliance on questionable expert opinions, and violation of due process?  On the other hand, it does seem that he started that ball rolling to start with. 

    In a memorandum decision filed in September 2004, the trial court granted in part and denied in part David’s motion. The trial court concluded:

    “1. Based upon the case history, recommendations filed with the court, and the lack of any success with court-ordered therapy, the court will not order any of the parties in this case to participate in therapy. However, the court concurs with the special master’s recommendation that Respondent participate in therapy to attempt to gain some insight into his relationship with his biological children and that any of his children participate in that therapy as they would like.

    “2. Dylan, DOB 09/05/86, is now eighteen. His parenting time is no longer under the jurisdiction of this court.

     

    This one above, I actually read in detail, fine print and all.  I wish I’d been a fly on the wall on the case in point.  While readers are told of the various professionals involved, one wonders whether abuse was or was not, given the degree of control, and bittter anger.  s might do well to go through the case (as I did some months ago on the Oconto, Wisconsin case, listing the staggering amount of “players” involved).

    (2)

     NEWMAN-13-1-A2-PV 3/15/2004 9:55 AM 

    (PUBLIC INTEREST LAW JOURNAL…)

    The second link (I confess — a referral) is a lengthy discussion about using the assumption of a model, functioning family as the basis for families going through the family law system, when in fact these are typically NOT the functional ones.  It comes from Boston University, and deals with the Troxel case.  I have only glanced at this link, not read it.

     

    GRANDPARENT VISITATION CLAIMS:

    ASSESSING THE MULTIPLE HARMS OF LITIGATION TO FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

      

    S

     

     

     

    TEPHEN A. NEWMAN*

      

    “In fairness, how much confrontation and litigation should a child be expected to bear?”

     

     

     

    1

     

     

    [[Or a parent, particularly a single custodial parent…]] [[note:  the quote below is a little scrambled — technical cut & paste issues on my part — but gives an idea of the issues raised. ]

     

      

    I

     

    NTRODUCTION
     

    Family law has made significant progress in the last several decades by gradually
    discarding two models of “family” for legal decision making purposes: the
    “conventional” family and the “well-functioning” family. In constitutional terms,
    the conventional family’s monopoly on legal rights loosened considerably in 1972
    when the Supreme Court, in Stanley v. Illinois, to maintain custody of his “illegitimate” children when the children’s mother died.
    be unfit and made his children wards of the state. In subsequent years, a wide array
    of state decisions conferred family recognition and benefits, in varying degrees,
    upon families headed by single mothers, gay and lesbian couples, unmarried
    cohabitants, and others who failed to fit the conventional mold.
     
    In Stanley, The Court stuck down an Illinois law that presumed the unwed father to5
    
    Grandparent visitation laws, the subject of this article, provide an example of the
    law’s ill-advised use of the model of well-functioning family relationships

       

     

    visitation with a child “at any time” if visits would “serve the best interest of the
    child.” In Troxel, the Supreme Court confronted one of the most sweeping visitation15 Tommie Granville and Brad Troxel lived together and had two children.16
    
    They separated in 1991, and two years later Brad committed suicide.
    Tommie allowed Brad’s parents to continue seeing the children following the
    suicide, but five months later she decided to adjust the visitation schedule, limiting
    the Troxels to one visit per month.
    Tommie for increased visitation, pursuing their claim through six and a half years
    of litigation to the United States Supreme Court.

       

    17 At first,18 Two months afterward, the Troxels sued19
    
    The case generated six opinions from the Supreme Court. Despite the
    controversial nature of the substantive due process doctrine, a clear majority of the
    justices agreed that parents possess a due process liberty right to the care, custody,
    and control of their own children.
    Scalia would deny the existence of such a right.
    Washington statute, as applied, violated the mother’s constitutional rights.
    justice, David Souter, would have gone further and declared the statute
    unconstitutional on its face, effectively making the plurality opinion the operative
    constitutional ruling.
    parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children resolved the
    case.
    existence of the right to parent.

    20 From the opinions, it appears that only Justice21 A four-justice plurality found the22 A fifth23 Justice Thomas agreed that the Court’s recognition of24 Justices Stevens and Kennedy, though dissenting, also acknowledged the25

     

    The plurality started its analysis by noting that the conventional family is only
    one of many modern family forms. “While many children may have two married
    parents and grandparents who visit regularly, many other children are raised in
    single-parent households.”

    26

    According to cited census figures, some four million children reside in the household of grandparents, and a substantial minority of
    grandparents act in a parental role, assisting single parents in performing the

    “everyday tasks of child rearing.”

    27

    The opinion also made clear that it would not rely upon an idealized version of
    family relationships:

    In an ideal world, parents might always seek to cultivate the bonds between

    grandparents and their grandchildren. Needless to say, however, our world is

    far from perfect, and in it the decision whether such an intergenerational

    relationship would be beneficial in any specific case is for the parent to make

    in the first instance.

    28

    Tactfully, but unfortunately, the justices did not identify the realities that
    contradict the classic stereotype of the well-functioning grandparent in the family

    life of children. A more realistic picture of these grandparent visitation cases

    would have emerged had the opinion acknowledged some of the ways in which

    stereotypes involving grandparents sometimes fail. A mention, for example, of

    situations in which grandparents are not doting, loving and helpful, but abusive,

    demeaning, controlling, meddlesome or belligerent, would have placed these cases

    in a more realistic light. In fact, the cases in the nation’s family courts regularly

    feature such untraditional grandparents.

    29 The only hint of such realities in the

    Troxel
    “recognition of an independent third-party interest in a child can place a substantial

    burden on the traditional parent-child relationship.”

    plurality opinion is a possible inference from the Court’s observation that30

     
     

     


     

     

    Again, my main purpose is to provide the two links, and a little commentary for those who are interested in the topic, and a sampling (as ever) of who ARE some of those professionals involved here (although, this time, I didn’t get much background on that…)

    Judicial Issues in Pennsylvania… since Luzerne Co.

    with 2 comments

     

    I browsed, and thought it appropriate to my recent topics.  This is called a fly-by post.  Read at your own risk.

    http://annecarolinedrake.com/2010/02/16/corruption-in-pa-courts-you-cant-make-this-stuff-up/

    Good Golly Grief, here’s ONE judge of the 40% in Luzerne County, PA who have had to resign or stepped down, or been PUT OUT, some of them for fraud.  When you consider the cases they are ruling on…  This link is from Ms. Drake’s site, above….

    Supreme Court suspends judge serving in Luzerne County

    By Michael R. Sisak (Staff Writer msisak@citizensvoice.com)
    Published: January 21, 2010

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    WILKES-BARRE – A senior judge accused of attacking his wife at their Plymouth Township home Saturday night was suspended by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, hours after the wife shared details of the alleged altercation in her petition for a Protection From Abuse order.

    C. Joseph Rehkamp, the former president judge of Perry and Juniata counties, will not be permitted to handle any matters, including two capital homicide cases in Luzerne County, at least until his own case is resolved, state courts spokesman Art Heinz said.

    Luzerne County President Judge Thomas F. Burke said he and his colleagues would implement a contingency plan Thursday for the reassignment of Rehkamp’s cases.

    Rehkamp, 61, turned himself in Sunday on charges he assaulted his wife Valerie, 50, after they returned home from celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary Saturday night. Police said Rehkamp pushed his wife down, slammed her into a chair, placed both hands on her neck and choked her, leaving red marks on her neck.

    Senior Judge Carson V. Brown issued a temporary protection from abuse order Wednesday, barring Rehkamp from contact with Valerie or her sons, ages 16 and 18. Brown said he would determine whether to extend or end the order at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 28 in Luzerne County Court.

    In her petition, Valerie Rehkamp described her husband as an obnoxious drunk whose verbal assaults – shouting obscenities in a restaurant and harassing the bartender and waitress – devolved into a physical attack when they arrived home.

    Rehkamp, who Valerie said was staying in Harrisburg with a daughter from his first marriage, could not be reached Wednesday. A voice mailbox connected to his telephone line was said to be full.

    State court administrators originally assigned Rehkamp to Luzerne County in November as a stopgap to handle pending cases left by Michael T. Toole, the latest of the three former county judges snared in an ongoing federal corruption probe.

    The corruption charges and a lingering misconduct dispute have left the court four shy of its normal complement of 10 judges.

    Rehkamp had been scheduled to preside over the capital homicide trials of Donnell Buckner, 35, of Wilkes-Barre, who allegedly gunned down his estranged wife while her three children looked on, and Hugo Selenski, who is accused of strangling a pharmacist and his girlfriend and burying their bodies behind his Kingston Township home.

    Quick commentary — I immediately (first read) noticed the age difference between judge and his wife.  Reading further, she’s a second wife.    The drunkenness and verbal assaults are inappropriate for those in judicial offices.  Do they store up bitterness in court and let loose at home (kick the dog, kick the wife), or is this just normal behavior, daytimes too?  What kind of personality does the role of JUDGE attract these days?  Will the system tolerate HONEST ones?  (I’m sure there are some, who are not as such getting the same coverage….).

    And for some of the rest, per same site:

    40% of the judges as well as the former presiding judge in Luzerne County, PA have left the bench amid corruption scandals:  

    • Judge Ann H. Lokuta was removed on December 9, 2008 by the state Supreme Court.
    • Judge Peter Paul Olszewski was kicked off the bench by the voters in November, 2009.
    • Judge Michael T. Toole resigned after pleading guilty on December 28, 2009 to federal corruption charges for concealing his free use of a beach house owned by an attorney who represented plaintffs in an underinsured motorist case as well as failing to report a $30,000 bribe from another attorney on his tax return.
    • Judge Mark A. Civarella, Jr. and former presiding Judge Michael T. Conahan plead guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks.  They will serve 87 months in prison.

    The New York Times reported:    

    Judge Conahan, 56, secured contracts for [two privately run youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care] to house juvenile offenders, Judge Ciavarella, 58, was the one who carried out the sentencing to keep the centers filled. . .estimated 5,000 juveniles who have been sentenced by Judge Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2003.  Many of them were first-time offenders and some remain in detention.    

    I’m not sure if I remember the Luzerne case in detail, but it seems to me that one straw that broke that camel’s back was when a young woman, A-student, was strip searched by a school for supposedly having not one, but two Motrins.  The school was unrepentant, and she went to one of these wilderness schools.  And then started talking.. . . . . .  Makes you kind of wonder about the schools systems, too. ….Is this where we learn, along with ABOUT civil rights, that if you’re a minor, yours don’t count?

    NEVERTHELESS, the nonprofit groups are SURE that it’s not financial corruption, but lack of “education” which is why those judges “just don’t understand” that domestic violence is a danger sign, and that mandated court-ordered visitation of a disgruntled father, whether young or middle-aged, after abuse, is just plain damn RISKY.  How much innate intelligence does it take to figure that one out?

    How much money does it take to NOT figure it out? 

    The groups reproducing on-line, and teaching teachers how to teach prosecutors, judges, and almost everyone else, including batterers, what kind of water to drink forgot the old proverb about the horse — you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

    If in addition (see last post) the same water is paid for and considered mandatory legal education (MCLE), will it STILL be drunk by the attending officials?

    Cobblers see shoes, and people with programs to proliferate on-line (maybe THEY need some “abstinence” education of a different sort) will see a lack of education. 

    Here’s what seems to me to be a new one.  This comes from a StopAbuse link.  Right away, I know the word “violence” just got downgraded.

    The title?

    “Addressing Fatherhood with Men Who Batter.”

    Say, Whah????

    OK class, here’s your question:

    To Whom is this addressed?  WHO is going to “address fatherhood”?

    You just got taught a standard.  Fathers (evidently) who batter still get to keep fathering, so professionals need to guide them into how to do it better.

    Here’s what I’d recommend.  First of all, PRIORITIZE.  STOP — either the battering, or the fathering.  They are NOT compatible.  Firmly tell that ONE or the OTHER is going to stop — and make it clear, permanently — NOW.

    No, we have to try to reconcile that “irreconciliable difference.”

    Me, I wish someone had just told me about Mace or something long ago — might have been an effective intervention and stopped that hitting thing cold.  (Then again, it might not have.  )

    LOOK — speak the language of the people you are addressing.  That’s called multicultural sensitivity, right?  Whether gender, race, rural/urban, or Native American (for the uninitiated, I just spoke some subgrant language)

    Is this current enough? 

    Report details history of “Crook County” corruption

    • By Alex Parker
    • February 18, 2010 @ 1:40 PM

    A report issued today by the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Better Government Association chronicles corruption in Cook County, calling the county “infested with conflicts of interest.”

     In addition to naming about 150 convicted county politicians and employees, it outlines a five-point plan for curing the county of corruption.

    “Cook County has become Crook County,” said UIC professor Dick Simpson, one of the report’s authors, at a press conference today outside County Board President Todd Stroger’s office. “This pervasive pattern of corruption must be changed if county government is to provide honest, effective, efficient and transparent government that taxpayers can afford.”

    The report, the third in an ongoing series published by UIC, includes a lengthy list of offenses, ranging from decades-long corruption in the assessor’s office to the offenses in the 1980s and 1990s in the sheriff’s office and more recent instances in the offices of the president and the clerk of court.

    Simpson, flanked by Congressman Mike Quigley, a former county commissioner, and Andy Shaw, executive director of the Better Government Association, said the county should take steps to eliminate corruption.

    Recommendations include barring officials from collecting multiple pensions, auditing the county’s operations, and preventing elected officials from working as lobbyists A report issued today by the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Better Government Association chronicles corruption in Cook County, calling the county “infested with conflicts of interest.”

     In addition to naming about 150 convicted county politicians and employees, it outlines a five-point plan for curing the county of corruption.

    “Cook County has become Crook County,” said UIC professor Dick Simpson, one of the report’s authors, at a press conference today outside County Board President Todd Stroger’s office. “This pervasive pattern of corruption must be changed if county government is to provide honest, effective, efficient and transparent government that taxpayers can afford.”

    The report, the third in an ongoing series published by UIC, includes a lengthy list of offenses, ranging from decades-long corruption in the assessor’s office to the offenses in the 1980s and 1990s in the sheriff’s office and more recent instances in the offices of the president and the clerk of court.

    Simpson, flanked by Congressman Mike Quigley, a former county commissioner, and Andy Shaw, executive director of the Better Government Association, said the county should take steps to eliminate corruption.

    Recommendations include barring officials from collecting multiple pensions, auditing the county’s operations, and preventing elected officials from working as lobbyists

    Did you read that word “AUDIT”?  . . . I did.

    Some people know that fathers’ rights activisit Jeffrey Leving, Esq. hails (or, last I heard, works from) this area.  Then again, so does our current President.  Geography isn’t everything.  Then again, neither is gender, or race, or being (or not being) from a “female-headed household.”  Ah well….

    Well, some of these judges (male and female) speak MONEY.  Sorry to put it bluntly, but too many do.  Batterers speak POWER and CONTROL (which also includes money).  No wonder it’s an empathy thing. ….

    That’s all I have time for today.

    Nothing funded by a GRANT will tell you this..

    leave a comment »

     

    Words of wisdom from “JohnnyPumphandle“:

    It is no longer ‘Our‘ Legal system. The legal system no longer represents Truth and Justice, Fairness, Equity or Principle. Ask any lawyer.

    Today’s legal system is a big (BIG) business that involves a myriad of professionals and nonprofessionals that are strictly in it for the money. The outcome of a legal issue has little bearing on righteous justice, but is strongly influenced by our laws, some of which conflict. The outcome of a legal issue is also influenced by the players in a case and their relationships which corrupt the legal system even more. Yet, no matter how poorly these players perform, they cannot lose. Only you have something at stake.

    The Family Court provides the greatest latitude for Corruption – case decisions can be made ex parte, the courts are given extreme latitude, perjury is not recognized or enforced, psychological opinion is highly regarded, facts are often suppressed, sealed testimony is common, gag orders and cleared courtrooms prevail, etc.

    Unfortunately, bias does exist in our legal system. And it cannot be swayed by you (unless you know someone). Statistically, depending on the locality, the bias can be documented in every direction – some 180 degrees apart. The losers are the litigants.The winners are the professionals that control what goes on but are unaffected by the outcome. The fact that you may have evidence, truth, and right on your side means that you have half a chance of winning in court.

    As distasteful as it may be, working out a settlement is the best solution for a family that is breaking up. The Court must become involved to rule on Divorce and Custody, but the family will be far better off if an agreement can be reached before involving the law. Even in cases where there is violent disagreement at the beginning, compromise must eventually be reached. Attorneys will be more interested in your family’s money than helping you reach an agreement. If each side of the family has an attorney, then the attorneys will be able to ‘protect your interest’ by fostering disagreement.

    There are a number of written guides available at Libraries and Bookstores that provide an outline for reaching an equitable family agreement. (Here’s one).

    Family Court Cannot Punish the Guilty

    The Family Court is not a forum for exposing wrongdoing! If you suspect that a family member has committed a crime, take your evidence to the police. You will have a much better chance of success in prosecuting the wrongdoer. If the police fail to act, it is because the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt – which has been constitutionally established. Trying to punish a spouse or other family member in Family Court is a complete crapshoot. The Family Court Legal System is rigged and the outcome of a case is totally political. The courts have absolute immunity regardless of whether or not ‘justice’ has been rendered or corruption has been uncovered and brought to light. This example shows that other judges may decide to punish a wayward judge but emphatically make the point that all judges are above the law.

    famgrp.gif (6745 bytes)

    (see the rest at the link.  I believe author is Marv Bryer, who discovered L.A. County slush fund through audits, IRS, etc.  )

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    February 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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