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Archive for August 2010

Funny, and Not so Funny . . . Bad, and a BIT Better: in Bahrain, Arizona and Rhode Island

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(1) Funny

(especially if you’ve experienced what they’re talking about)

Welcome to caught.net’s
BLACK IS WHITE LAW DICTIONARY

Tongue in cheek but pathetically true!

Copyright 2009 – All Rights Reserved

(2) Not Funny: Broke in Bahrain

(A)

Breezy Globalsapiens Travelogue perspective: narrative

The Arabian Peninsula for an “infidel” traveller

It took me almost one month to get my Saudi Arabian visa in Egypt. I decided to visit all the Arabian Peninsula countries in a row (except Yemen, where I had already been in the past): Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Oman. I succeed!

//
//

Mosque of the Prophet in Medina
Mosque of the Prophet in Medina

In the Arabian Consulate in Cairo I was told that they only issue visas to enter their country under three conditions: if you are a muslim pilgrim, if you are a businessman with invitation from a commercial company in Arabia, and if you are in transit. Immediately I requested a transit visa. First I had to go to my Embassy to request a letter stating that I had no pending trials in my country, and therefore was a bona fide citizen. Then I obtained my Kuwait visa (after me one more week), and finally the Arabs gave me a three days transit visa. From Cairo I travelled to Nweiba, in the Sinai Peninsula, then by boat I reached Aqaba, in Jordan, and the next day I boarded a bus to Kuwait together with emigrants from Turkey, Sudan, Syria and Egypt. We crossed the town Tabuk, wholly militarized because of the proximity to Israel. Five times a day we stopped for the muslim prayers (except me, being a Christian. I just waited for them sitting in a Buddha position under the shadow of a palm tree drinking a cup of tea). We ate in some small restaurants in several oasis and small villages, where the waiters were from India or Philippines, and the Arabs, almost all fat, dressed with immaculate cleaned white clothes, where sitting indolently, smoking in their nargils, and only raised slowly from their cushions when they had to cash the consumptions. We stopped for a full day in a restaurant open 24 hours a day, called Almuhaya, in the town of Hafar al Batin, which I visited during a few hours. Then some of my companions invited me to go with them to Ryad and afterwards to Mecca and Medina. But although I dreamed to visit these holy places, I knew that it was not possible because of the controls of the Religious Police along the way (these policemen watch that you observe the Sharia, with the Ramadan and all the muslim rules, otherwise they can punish you or expel you from Arabia), where they ask for the muslim documents to visit these places. The third day I arrived to Kuwait.

Favourite spots:
Historical dhow in Bahrain
Historical dhow in Bahrain

Everybody that conversed with me in Kuwait was surprised to see me, being an individual traveller, no a businessman or an Asiatic worker (in Kuwait, most of the population are immigrants from Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc). I was invited several times to drink tea or to have dinner by the astounded rich Kuwaitis. They even offered me a ride around their country in their Mercedes. They were bored and for them talking with a European was something unusual. There is practically nothing to see or to do in Kuwait apart from admiring the futurist forms of the skyscrapers with exotic and original designs. I used to eat in the Filipinos restaurants (chicken prepared in the style of Cebu city is delicious!), or in the cheap Indian restaurants smelling at curry from the street. I slept in a hostel for Filipinos in the Catholic Mission, besides the Cathedral, because in the communal dormitories for Indians I was refused. After Kuwait I flew to Bahrain.

What’s really great:
map of Qatar
map of Qatar

Bahrain is one of the most authentic Arabian countries. It is a small archipelago with a population of about 700.000 people. There are three main islands united by bridges with Saudi Arabia, which are claimed by Qatar. Be careful! If your next destination is Qatar, get the visa beforehand. There is no Qatari consulate in Bahrain because of the lack of diplomatic relation between the two countries owing to the islands claims. I did not know this, and suffered a lot with immigration while arriving in Qatar. In Manama, the capital of Bahrain, I saw people playing n’tchuva, a game very popular in Africa. Almost everybody dress like in ancient times, and there are many chaikhanas to drink tea in the streets, and I even saw beggars, very hard to find in Arabia or Kuwait or in the Emirates. After Bahrain I flew to Qatar, not so interesting country for a traveller, half deserted, but people are friendly and it is very easy to get rides hitch hiking. After two days I flew to Dubai.

The Peninsula above is not Bahrain, but Qatar.  Bahrain is between Peninsula and mainland, as following images show:

The 25 miles between Qatar and Bahrain “Friendship Bridge,” the longest bridge IN THE WORLD,

has not yet been built (@ 2008 article).

The contract to construct the $3 billion causeway was signed on Tuesday
by Ahmad Hasan Al Hammadi, director of the legal affairs department at
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, and Pierre Berger, chairman of Vinci Group.

The
transport link between the two Gulf states will reduce the travel time
from one to the other from approximately five hours to around 30
minutes.

Location

Where is Bahrain?

Bahrain is an island

located in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. http://www.redorbit.com/modules/imglib/download.php?Url=/modules/imagegallery/gallery_images/0_784ddcaaa0c71692a6f64ff689e2d89a.jpg

Can you see BAHRAIN in this NASA photo of a Dust Storm over Bahrain and Qatar, posted at “redorbit.com

[Credit: Jeff Schmaltz; MODIS team; NASA, Posted on: 26 September 2007, 06:45 CDT ]”?

To the East
lies Qatar, to South Saudi Arabia and to the North, across the Gulf,
looms Iran.

Next to these Bahrain is a midget, making even tiny Qatar appear large
in size.

History:

Early History

Bahrain was not always as dry as it is now – in the last 40 years development
has dried up much of the natural springs that used to lure the Qatari
bedouin to its shores in the hot summers – and there has even been speculation
that it was once the Garden of Eden.

There is evidence that the country has been inhabited for 7000 years,
and it was also a major part of Dilmun, a Bronze Age trading empire
which lasted for 2000 years. Later on there was a strong Greek influence
and the country was renamed Tylos – itself a Greek name. Trading was
once again its main activity for 600 years.

In 629, much of Bahrain accepted an invitation from the Prophet Mohammed
to accept Islam, and Bahrain was ruled by Mohammed through a governor.
However, Bahrain was later taken over by the Qarmatians, who used Bahrain
as a base to sack many of Islam’s holiest cities, and desecrated the
Zam Zam well with the bodies of Hajj pilgrims.

The Qarmatians were in turn replaced by a series of invaders, including Genghis Khan.

Modern History

In the 16th century Bahrain was invaded by the Portuguese, who defeated and
beheaded the local king, but they were kicked out by a revolt in 1602.
The Portuguese were replaced by the Persian empire until the Persians
themselves were replaced by the Khalifa family. The Khalifas eventually
fell under the influence of the British, who flexed their muscles after
the Khalifas laid waste to Doha and Al Wakra. Bahrain remained a protectorate
of the British until 1971, when the British left the Gulf and Bahrain
declared its independence.

After oil was discovered in the 1930s Bahrain boomed,

(B)

The Nightmare Gets Worse for An American Woman and Her Child Trapped In Bahrain

by Phyllis Chesler
Fox News
August 27, 2010

On Thursday, August 26 in Bahrain, the country’s police stormed into the home where Yazmin Maribel Bautista was hiding her five-year-old daughter, Fatima, an American citizen. She was hiding her child to keep her from being handed over to her Bahraini father for weekend visitation as ordered by a local court. Yazmin, an American citizen from Arizona, was helpless to prevent this from happening.

Her lawyer, Majid Shehab, who nobly took on the case pro bono, was arrested for trying to report the police and keep them from taking the child away. The lawyer has since been bailed out. Yazmin does not know whether her daughter, Fatima, will be returned to her. She also does not know whether it is safe for her to remain in the country. Yazmin has no money, no job, no financial resources, and no powerful relatives who can help her fight for her daughter.

Fatima is terrified of her father’s family and once hid under a café table when she saw relatives approaching. She said: “I don’t want to see my father. He will take me so that I will never see you (my mother) again.”

. . .

In 2003, Yazmin met Sadiq Jaffar Al-Saffar, a college student, and in 2004 Yazmin was born. Sadiq was a deadbeat dad who seemed more interested in getting a green card than in being with his family in Arizona, spending most of his time back in Bahrain. In four years, he visited only three times.

In January of 2009, Yazmin divorced him and received custody in Arizona.

Later, however, Yazmin went to Bahrain because she got laid off from her job in Arizona and because she chose to believe Sadiq’s promises: that he would get her a good job, an apartment of her own, a car, a cell phone, and that both she and/or Fatima would be part of a loving, extended family.

Major mistake. Unemployment and compromised circumstances can tempt someone to make poor decisions. This makes me think that Yazmin’s own extended family / support system were not able to step up, or involved at this time.

He lied.

Even as I write, her advocate, Beth X, who must remain anonymous, is meeting with Senator John McCain, who represents Yazmin’s state of Arizona in Congress and who previously had written a letter to Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States urging her to “allow Ms. Bautista and her daughter to return home peacefully.”

Arizona’s got its own issues also, about letting women divorce safely. Or mothers relocate after they have, for safety reasons.


Her ex-husband’s lawyers, Fatima Abdullah and Majd Ramadan, both women, who found Yazmin’s address where she has been hiding ever since the court ordered her to turn over her daughter every week for the Muslim weekend. Yazmin initially complied with the court order but she stopped doing so when her daughter made it increasingly clear that she did not want to be with her father, her father’s new wife, and her father’s extended family. Yazmin called the American embassy, which dispatched consul Nausher Ali, who observed what was happening but did nothing.

This behavior continues the shameful inactivity of the American embassy in this matter. In fact, it was an American consul who prevented Yazmin from escaping with Fatima in the first place. At one point the two had cleared customs before boarding a plane bound for the United States, but the consul convinced them to cross back over to Bahraini-controlled territory, telling Yazmin that this was just a formality and that they would soon be free to go, at which point the Bahraini government apprehended them and put a hold on Fatima from leaving the country.

Yazmin remains dependent on the kindness of strangers and at the mercy of the American government.

She told me: “We’ve been here over a year and I’ve gone to court hearing after court hearing, and it’s not going anywhere

Aspects of this sound like someone stuck in the courts in the USA for years. I can’t imagine it in a foreign company.

I’m sure the embassy has done everything it can, but at the end of the day we’re still stuck in Bahrain. I was told that I’ll be getting her back on Saturday, but who’s to say that I’ll be getting her back? I feel like even though she’s an American citizen no one is looking after her rights…I feel like there’s no more hope…I’m just hoping that someone somewhere can help us…”

I wonder whether a new foreign policy in the Middle East will be able to bring these two American citizens home or whether it is another tragic tale like Betty Mahmoody’s, the American author of “Not Without My Daughter” who was similarly trapped in Iran with her young American citizen daughter.

. . .


= They’ve Got to be Kiddin’, but Aren’t . . . .

Now, in RHODE ISLAND, our SMALLEST U.S. STATE:

VERY BAD DECISION:

Judge imposes gag order on mother in R.I. custody case

01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, August 14, 2010 [don’t miss the comments submitted]

JUST A BIT BETTER

Judge lifts gag order in Torres custody battle

August 18, 2010 [don’t miss the comments submitted]

By Tatiana Pina

Journal Staff Writer PROVIDENCE — Faith Torres left her credit card and other valuables at home Tuesday when she went to Family Court. She didn’t know how her hearing was going to go, and she might be spending time in jail.

Torres is in a custody battle to get her children. On July 29, Family Court Judge Debra E. DiSegna had ordered her not to talk about her case with anyone, including the media, or post anything about it on the Internet. Torres feared DiSegna would find her in contempt of court because she had contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, and a story had appeared in Saturday’s Journal.

But after conferring with lawyers for about an hour Tuesday, Judge DiSegna lifted the gag order, though she forbade Torres and her lawyers from identifying her children or giving out confidential information about them in regard to the case.

“I was hoping for the best,” Torres said after she got out of court. “I was prepared for the worst.

Preparing for the worst is GOOD advice for anyone going anywhere near a family law courtroom.

I wouldn’t hang our hopes on consistent respect for the First Amendment, or any of the others, in places like this, though. The price of freedom is Vigilance (NOT “vigilante, which is a better description of where our civil rights went, and some of the DCFS groups around the country who prefer operating “behind closed doors,” like most abusers, not to mention child molesters, do).

“I thought I might have violated the order. … I was happy she kind of lifted it.”

But Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU’s Rhode Island affiliate, said DiSegna’s new order is still too broad, and still violates the First Amendment.

THANK YOU, The Providence Journal, Steve Brown of the ACLU, and Faith Torres for persistence!

On Tuesday, DiSegna allowed a reporter in the courtroom for Torres’ hearing, where Torres told the judge that the court visits were financially draining for both her and Fernandez.”

Ya THINK!? — read the articles!

QUESTION: Why is it a “domestic dispute” (per the agency that requested the gag order, referring to the violence between the parents) but a “custody battle” (per the headlines — referring not to her battle primarily with her ex, but with the STATE, who has retained, apparently, legal custody of 3 children that actually live with Ms. Torres. This is odd — unless one understands the implicit “Kids for Kash” concept behind being American, giving birth, not living off 100%non-taxable income, and seeking any form of help from the courts, or social services.

Formerly, the recruiting poster read:

Wikipedia informs us that the first concept of “Uncle Sam” as the U.S. comes from:

“The first use of the term in literature is seen in an 1816 allegorical book, The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honor by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq.”

What else might one expect from a “Fidfaddy.” (Esq.)?

and that

The female personification “Columbia” has seldom been seen since the 1920s.” The word “Columbia” supposedly combines “Columbus” (as in, Christopher) and “Britannia” (the colonizer), hence, “Columbia.” Despite the civil war and westward expansion, it still appears, at least as to national symbols, that this country was basically uninhabited except by people of this pale color.

Not suprisingly, around the 1920s women were (FINALLY) getting the vote, so I guess this wasn’t a great image to publicize. While Uncle Sam is an older, paternal figure, this one is certainly not very Maternal (or of similar age)

Not much has changed in the meantime. Ms. Torres is to be gagged, and those speaking for her, then partially ungagged, as a mother, and fork her kids over to Uncle Sam (Rhode Island) on behalf of, not the war on poverty (which was Part 1 of “welfare reform”) but the war on “Fatherlessness” (which is Part 2 of “welfare reform”).

In Bahrain, Ms. Bautista, totally stranded, had her attorney actually jailed, not just threatened with it, bailed out, and what appears to be a very uneven custody battle.

Maybe Arizona can redeem some of its tarnished image by helping out!

NOT FUNNY:

Blogger (that’s me) Just Got Jilted by Slow/Interrupted Internet time, lost my commentary on this case. But I did get a comment in on the second news site under “StillTalksBack” (cf. “StandsWithaFist” from “Dances with Wolves”)

and referred to explanatory comments here:

RIGHTSFORMOTHERS.com 08-07-2010 post

“Alarm Failed, Burglars Broke In, Burnt it down”– Why property SEEMS to count more than lives…

with 2 comments

Legal Remedies that won’t work in Family Law, and why….from Law.com

This might be parallel to the desensitization of “the system” to increasing alarm about domestic violence issues. An incident happens, and here come the attorneys (if any). A food distributor got its damages — but when live are lost through negligence, and the “failed alarm” of the family law system — no such damages, even. WHY? Well, let’s look at two from law.com today….the 2nd isn’t family law case, but the Kids for Cash racket. However, it relates to family law issues…

So how does the case go, and who’s going to be punished by paying for such disasters? The insurance companies already paid the warehouse owners over $10 million.

I’m putting in this post (and article) to point out one thing: Negligence is one thing, and Breach of Contract (which is a tort) another. The question of WHO IS RESPONSIBLE is often moot, but we ought to know.

From Law.com, today:

Pa., N.J. Insurers Win $10.9 Million in Colorado Jury Trial

The Legal Intelligencer

August 27, 2010

PARTIES (not incl. attorneys):

Warehouse owner, a food distributor:

  • food distributor Core-Mark Midcontinent Inc [Attorney Letofsky, from Newport Beach, CA]

Warehouse’s 2 insurers [Attorney “Dunford, from Denver, CO]

  • PA-based Insurer
  • NJ-based Fire insurer

Alarm Company

  • Sonitrol Corp.

LOCATION: The trial (and warehouse?) was in Colorado, as were the winning attorneys.

They definitely won:

The two insurance companies, represented by Thomas M. Dunford of Cozen O’Connor in Denver, were suing for the claims they already paid to Core-Mark in the amount of $10.96 million.Core-Mark, represented by Brian Letofsky of Watkins & Letofsky in Newport Beach, Calif., was suing for the amount of damages not covered by insurance, or $7.34 million.

The seven-member jury in Adams County District Court awarded those exact figures on Aug. 18, for a total award among the three companies of $18.3 million. Pre-judgment interest of 8 percent per year in Colorado could add millions to the jury award, Cozen O’Connor said.”

That’s definitely a win — let’s look at it, a bit;

This case, Core-Mark Midcontinent v. Sonitrol Corp. , has been going on since December 2003, a year after the Dec. 21, 2002, fire. About three weeks before the scheduled trial date in October 2006, the Adams County, Colo., trial judge ruled in favor of Sonitrol’s summary judgment motions. The alarm company argued there were exculpatory provisions in the contract that greatly limited their liability to be only $500 or six-months’ monitoring, whichever was cheaper, Dunford said.

The trial judge agreed and ruled the plaintiffs could only be awarded $500 under the terms of the contract.

3 years in the mix, and set for trial. At the last moment, the trial judge blows it out of the water. I’m sure 3 years of legal work wasn’t a $500 deal — these guys kept going.

However, in a family law case involving domestic violence, such a “blowing it out of the water” by a trial judge (if a trial even happens) could result in a deathh (cf. Lemkau/Tagle….) It could send a single mother — or father’s — life into an economic tailspin. They might have to drop issues to survive, or to stay safe, or lest a child be harmed (further). But here, both sides were corporations. Both sides had attorney FIRMS, not a pro bono setup.

They appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which ultimately threw out the plaintiffs’ negligence claim

From what I can deduce, NEGLIGENCE is harder to prove. Appeals courts can’t handle causes of action not alleged in the original matter.

but allowed the breach of contract claim to move forward.

Good thing — for them — the attorneys had alleged more than one thing: negligence and breach of contract. Breach of contract is a TORT (a “wrong” ) in civil matters.

Here’s where family law comes in — again, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m deducing from what I’ve read / seen — Is the marriage a civil contract? Don’t go all “Prop 8” on me here, I’m talking about no-fault divorces. No fault means no fault.

UNIV of PITTSBURGH LAW REVIEW (vol 68:835) has an article by Margaret M. Mahoney, a Univ. Pittsburgh Law Professor (I don’t have the year handy)a printout I looked at, becaus of its title: “The Enforcement of Child Custody Orders by Contempt Remedies.” [lawreview.law.pitt.edu/issues/68/68.4/Mahoney.pdf ] She discusses this, (recommended reading, MOms & Dads, FYI): among the issues: “The Distinction between Civil and Criminal Contempt” and under the section, ‘The Nature of Parenting Plan Orders (Part I of II) this major point:

CUSTODY ORDERS ARE NOT PREMISED ON A DETERMINATION OF WRONGDOING

IF WE UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ABOUT FAMILY LAW (OR AFCC) — FROM MY BLOG — UNDERSTAND THAT THE “THEME” IS THE PARENT JUST HAVE A DIFFICULTY GETTING ALONG. THE STATE IS HEAR TO FIX THAT, FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR KIDS (OSTENSIBLY).

THIS PUTS IT IN A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALLPARK FROM CIVIL OR CRIMINAL LAW, AND LIMITS WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT ENFORCING ANYTHING.

Punishment for Civil Contempt of Court vs. Criminal Contempt of Court

Unlike criminal contempt sentences, which aim to punish the act of contempt, c iviivil contempt sanctions aim to either: (1) restore the rights of the party who was wronged by the failure to satisfy the court’s order; or (2) simply move an underlying proceeding along. [for example, if they refuse to produce documents requested in discovery] Civil contempt sanctions typically end when the party in contempt complies with the court order, or when the underlying case is resolved.

Like those charged with criminal contempt, the court may order incarceration of people held in civil contempt. However, unlike individuals charged with criminal contempt, people held in civil contempt are generally not given the same constitutional rights that are guaranteed to criminal contempt defendants.


Those held in civil contempt generally must be given notice of the contempt sanctions and an opportunity to be heard, but usually are not guaranteed a jury trial. Also, their contempt does not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, while criminal contempt charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Finally, criminal contempt involves a specified sentence (jail and/or fine), while civil contempt sanctions can be more indefinite, lasting until either the underlying case is resolved or the party in contempt complies with the court order.

Sometimes these basics can be forgotten when in the mix of a family law case.

MANY MOMS GET INTO FAMILY COURT AS A CONSEQUENCE OF HAVING GONE TO SOMEONE TO GET A CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDER, 0r are brought there upon foolishly requesting child support. (LITTLE DID WE KNOW ABOUT THAT LANDMINE…!) AND IN THE AFTERMATH OF THIS, VOILA — SEPARATION, AND PARENTING ORDERS. And those parenting orders can produce civil contempt that, if not obeyed, can get a parent punished.

There’s a legal, principle AND principal difference. That difference affects remedies. Family law is not that new a beast (no-fault divorce is, relatively), but it is a beast of a certain intrinsic nature. It seems (I’m not an attorney!) that divorce itself, or the need to resolve parenting, does not represent EITHER a crime (putting it in criminal), or a TORT (putting it in plain civil court). This, it ain’t a crime, no one did anything wrong (per se, by going to court) puts it in a very swooshy field when it comes to the courtroom. Not so in other venues, which is what I’m pointing out here, when a company recouped its losses, as did the companies insuring it, and too bad for the alarm company whose product didn’t work.

That FL nature can produce situations like a Dombrowski — whose ex-husband’s recent 67 alleged contempts were most likely wilful — and “nothing” for consequence, or a ruling where if she calls the police, to stop the bleeding, she’s in contempt!

A battered Mom, an abducted, battered or raped chid, and a burnt-down warehouse are different scenarios. The alarm company had a specific contract to protect. The spectacular destruction (but no known loss of life or physical injury to a person) was remedied through million-$$ award (how/whether it will be collected is another matter, but at lesat the cause was vindicated by a ruling). Distraught mothers, children, have few remedies if the destrcution is much more spectacular. Some domestic violence fatalities have involved fire and property destruction, too. (Offhand, I can think of a car and a house and a bashed-out window in a place of business — that’s just offhand I also cannot think of a single DV case that got a Victim Compensation Fund award.

Maybe it’s just not really a “crime” or a breach of contract?

In remanding the case to the trial court, the appeals court said damages could be recovered only if it could be proved Sonitrol’s conduct in breaching the contract was done willfully and wantonly. Dunford said the court found that was a question for the jury.

During trial, Dunford and co-counsel Letofsky demonstrated a number of ways they alleged Sonitrol willfully and wantonly breached the contract with Core-Mark. The alarm system was having a number of false activations starting in the years right before the fire. The warehouse was equipped with several microphones that were supposed to send an alert and connect the alarm company to the warehouse when noise 75 decibels over ambient sound was detected. The alarm company would then be able to hear remotely what was happening in the warehouse, Dunford said.

A technician was twice sent out to the warehouse to make the microphones less sensitive to noise after the false activations. Dunford said he argued these changes “essentially disabled” the system. He had one of the burglars who had since been released from jail testify at trial that he used a battery-powered saw to cut down a door 18 feet from one of the microphones. He then kicked at the door, at which point it fell onto the concrete floor, Dunford said, recalling the testimony. The microphone was never activated, he said.

Suppose some law enforcement, judge, or mediator/custody evaluator, or supervised visitation monitor showed truly wilfull and wanton behavior that resulted in death or injury, let alone severe emotional distress?

Could you sue ’em? Where was the contract? The parenting-personnel are often under contract with federal grants systems based in Washington, one down to the states, to sub-grantees, etc. There’s damn little monitoring of those (some of us have been enquiring for years). They are required to “serve” families. Define “service.” They can’t — ever read some of the broad-based, grandiose descriptions on some of these sites that provide “access visitation” or “supervised therapeutic visitation” help to parent?

Same with many nonprofits. The nonprofit status is based on “serving” their clients. If the clients are harmed, or don’t like it, they can stop receiving “services” or go find another provider. Many times the government and foundations are the ones these groups are accountable to. I learned that one the (very) hard way, was just innocent. The real contract is with the government, because they are having taxes abated.

The genius of the (family law system) beast is that these extra professionals are hard to get to. They hide behind the judge, and the judge halfway spreads his responsibility with them. Want to try their accrediting organization? sometimes this may work or does

What about the judges? Well — absolute judicial immunity. It takes a lot to oust a judge, part of which is intentional.

WHAT ABOUT KIDS-FOR-CASH IN LUZERNE?

I posted this link in my own comment on one of the Luzerne posts on this blog.

All I can say is — the players are many, and the remedies narrowing, though not gone. Anyone in family court system ought to listen up, because it’s talking about RICO, fraud and racketeering, and what happens when some are tossed to the crowds. I gather this will be precedent-setting.

Federal Judge’s Ruling Sets Landscape for ‘Kids-for-Cash’ Civil Suits

The Legal Intelligencer

August 27, 2010

  • Reprints & Permissions {my use here is within copyright law, as I understand it. I’m if anything helping direct some more traffic to the original site, and recommending some of my non-attorney readers consider the case.}
  • Post a Comment //

A federal court judge this week dismissed three defendants from civil suits related to the “kids-for-cash” scandal in Luzerne County, Pa., effectively clearing the way for the case to move forward.

Judge A. Richard Caputo of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted motions filed by the wives of former Luzerne County Common Pleas Court Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan, as well as one filed by Conahan’s brother-in-law, who served as a psychologist for the county’s probation department. {Fancy that — a psychologist for the probation department…}

“for the case to move forward — granting motions” — sounds like he’s bouncing potential defendants off the case. Further on, Luzerne County itself is also bounced off as a potential defendant.

It had not been proven by the plaintiffs in the cases, Caputo wrote in Wallace, et al. v. Powell, et al., that either Ciavarella’s wife, Cindy Ciavarella, or Conahan’s wife, Barbara Conahan, knew of or were involved in any conspiracy among their husbands and others to send juveniles to a pair of private, for-profit juvenile detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million.

Likewise, ruled Caputo, it could not be proved by the plaintiffs* that Michael Conahan’s brother-in-law, Frank Vita,** knew his contract with the county would allow for the creation of a case backlog that would require juveniles to spend more time in the juvenile detention centers*** while awaiting evaluations.

**Where, exactly, does nepotism start and end? If we don’t in this country, allow brother to marry sister and produce babies together, because of inbreeding and reproducing some recessive (and weakening) traits, which would affect the rest of the populace if it were practice — what about this type of inbreeding within government. I mean, think about it! This is beginning to sound like the Hapsburgs. And, within the land of Healthy Marriage, too. Look at all those married people involved here. . . . well, at least the kids if any probably weren’t hurting financially.

*Well, the burden of proof IS on the plaintiff, and it must be hard to prove what people knew, and intended or conspired to do. The smart defendants (and/or their attorneys or legal advisors) I suspect knew, and took advantage of this legal princple, maybe filed motions to dismiss alleging the plaintiff’s motions hadn’t met the burden of proof for facts alleged.

ATTORNEYS FOR THE PLAINTIFFS, IN FACT, CONCEDED SOME CLAIMS:

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, which is representing many of the plaintiffs in the case, said the plaintiffs had conceded the claims against the recently dismissed defendants.

The decision, she said, sets the path for the case to move forward.

A settlement conference is scheduled for Sept. 15. Levick said the fact Caputo’s ruling came in advance of that conference was important because “we know what the landscape of the case is.”

“This, really, was a tremendous victory, I think,” Levick said. “We’re very gratified.”

I don’t know law enough to understand why conceding claims would be a victory. It may have to do with, the points wouldn’t have been won, the limits of what it might take to prove, and possibly an intent to go for the bigger fry, not the smaller fry (see below).

I say “bigger” not “big” because it’s quite possible (and likely) that Conahan and Ciavorella are themselves some small fry tossed out (caught by US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE INVESTIGATING THE RICO / fraud CHARGES). I don’t believe the “few bad apples” theory, i.e., that the remaining applies in the bushel are actualy good. One post said 40% of the judges in Luzerne County had problems. Locking up kids (and adults) IS a business, and the U.S. is not the world’s largest per-capita jailor by accident.

More Moms or protective Dads should try this motion to dismiss before filing ANY response to any insane accusation; it might discourage further ones. Your motions are going to get dismissed sooner or later anyhow if you go forward, and besides, it might send the FIRST judge on the case a message you’re not wet under the ears.

But YOU NAME ME one — even one — family justice center, pro bono attorney advocate working in a domestic violence center, or almost anyone(including her own family law attorney)
that will tell a woman this up front. I say “her” here, because (see NAFCJ.net, and this site) men are getting that helpful information in certain circles, through fatherhood programs reaching out to them.

***Habeas corpus? Smacks of Guantanamo?

The next paragraphs I’m including just so we can see “how many professionals it takes to screw in a lightbulb,” or screw up a youngster’s life by locking him or her up without due process or with it for that matter).

Wonder, of youngsters who were sent their for crimes, one of their parents was stuck in family law system previously… and/or impoverished, homeless, or absent from either an unfair child support order, or an unenforced fair one… I’m adding the bullet format:

The rulings mean the plaintiffs in the cases may proceed with claims against:

  • Mark Ciavarella;
  • Michael Conahan;
  • Robert Powell, the former co-owner of the juvenile detention facilities; and
  • Robert Mericle, the builder of the juvenile detention facilities.

Also remaining as defendants in the cases are:

  • Mericle’s company, Mericle Construction;
  • a company owned by Powell to allegedly help funnel money to the judges,Vision Holdings;
  • the company that operated the juvenile detention facilities, Mid-Atlantic Youth Services;
  • and the juvenile detention facilities themselves, PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.

Two judges, a former Co-OWNER OF DETENTION FACILITIES, a BUILDER, his CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, the HOLDING TANK COMPANY getting money TO judges, and (above), the DESTINATION COMPANY (to take the funds: “Pinnacle,” above — owned by judges’ wives), the
SERVICE COMPANY, that operated the detention facilities, and finally — the Dentention Facilities themselves (the buildings only?)

Someone knows a lot about business and distribution networks: The Product (cf. “human trafficking”), the supply line personnel, you name it — it’s downright visionary.

Hence, names, like “Vision Holdings” “Pinnacle”
“Mid-Atlantic Youth Services”
and of course, it wasn’t really detention, it was “Child Care.” Buyer beware..

But the judges have partial judicial immunity, as judges, and Luzerne County — well, as the article says, it’s a matter of who is the FINAL policymaker, and it can’t be sued. Sounds like a foolproof plan, and what are the chances this was an isolated situation?

Written by Let's Get Honest

August 28, 2010 at 8:55 am

2 from 2002 and the Kitchen Sink: Why Sociologists (are hired) to Rule America

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Bifurcating Parenthood (Georgetown), 2-Pronged Fatherhood (Progressive Policythink), Ridiculous Rulings (in Kansas) and Who Rules America (UC sociologist)

Today’s post (extended and updated from yesterdays, which I published in short form) has 4 (FOUR) parts:

1,

2,

3,

4.

As is usual for me, the “juice” that inspired the post is in the middle, [2-3] the Intro, and the kicker [4] at the end, and the Intro [1] sometimes gets so extended, I never actually publish the middle.  So we have:

1, Symbolizing Judicial Tyranny (dombrowski)

2, Parental Bifurcation (2002 Georgetown article)

3, The 2nd prong of Fatherhood (2002 Progressive Policy-think)

4.  Jobs ain’t Wealth & Who Rules America (since we just saw how).

As is usual for me, the “juice” that inspired the post is in the middle, [2-3] the Intro, and the kicker [4] at the end, and the Intro [1] sometimes gets so extended, I never actually publish the middle.

4 was simply me mentioning the theme of “income v. wealth” that I know by now is critical in the social engine called these courts. It’s basically workforce development, and US/Them paradigm. There are several links and quotes. I could’ve chosen any. But it will hold together, I trust. At the top, I’m going to post a QUOTE from a Professor Dumoff, a sociologist at UC Santa Cruz. It’s from his site “WHO RULES AMERICA?” which is a good question. More below, at the banner.

In my last year of research and reflection (including on my own experience) of who’s doing WHAT in the courts an WHY those dang nonprofits have been useless, basically, I had to get to foundations, who support the nonprofits doing nothing. Then I began to understand the forces that are driving America into materialistic chaos, to sustain a global economy based on permanent debt. I feel this ain’t too bad work, considering what have also been through in the “decade of the courts” in my adult life.

Who Rules America?  By G. William Domhoff, University of California at Santa Cruz

I suggest we read this site THROUGH.

I am burnt out on reporting on outrageous family law cases, also beseeching noncustodial parents I know to take a little more critical look at organizations — not just good/cop  bad/cop individuals.  I have . . . . .   I also have repeatedly encouraged people to take a very illuminating glance at some of the IRS 990s on some of the “helkping” organizations who continue to pay CEOs over $100,000 year to report on the carnage or insults to personhood.

Losers in the family law situation who don’t end up physically and emotionally dysfunctional might definitely end up homeless may definitely end up homeless, male or female.  Yet there’s a real reluctance among litigants to not just look at the role of the child support system (federal) as a planned move to socialism for most of us based on policies set by the foundations hiring the nonprofits selecting what will (and will not) get talked about in the arena.   They may blog or acknowledge it briefly, then go back to collaborating with the closest nonprofit that makes a big noise.

Battered women who’ve gone into the family law court after leaving the relationship are in a UNIQUE position to understand and speak to the power structure from underneath, analytically and as to attitude.

Once I began looking at organizational structures (it helps to have a model  of a virtual “gang” in one’s own family for reference) I never stopped looking.  Here’s a diagram for the more visually organized:

This is how such an inane policy as “fatherhood” could actually go through Congress, and get enacted.  It’s a form of psychological warfare, basically, to frame the conversation nationally, yet fail to inform have the litigants in court that the conversation is taking place.

ANYHOW, this represents my post for today, and welcome to it.  Do your own homework!

Here’s from Part 4, to think about in 1, 2, and 3:

  • “The rich” coalesce into a social upper class that has developed institutions by which the children of its members are socialized into an upper-class worldview, and newly wealthy people are assimilated.
  • Members of this upper class control corporations, which have been the primary mechanisms for generating and holding wealth in the United States for upwards of 150 years now.
  • There exists a network of nonprofit organizations through which members of the upper class and hired corporate leaders not yet in the upper class shape policy debates in the United States.

This I can attest to. See (for a starter) “shady shaky foundations of family law” and some of the organizational geneaology. IN good part, that’s what this blog is for — to show the connections. This tells me also why the “Coalitions Against Domestic Violence” simply “cannot” hear our truths.

  • Members of the upper class, with the help of their high-level employees in profit and nonprofit institutions, are able to dominate the federal government in Washington.
  • The rich, and corporate leaders, nonetheless claim to be relatively powerless.
  • Working people have less power than in many other democratic countries.

1, Symbolizing Judicial Tyranny (dombrowski)

If I don’t post something more “detached” today, I’m going to post the entire docket for Hal Richardson v. Claudine Dombrowski in the “Third Judicial Court of Public Access,” Kansas. Claudine has been in this system for 14 + years, and isn’t broken yet, though it’s making a good effort to do so to her. Her case also illustrates the cognitive dissonance between criminal and family law, and between family law as stated and as practiced. Not to mention what the U.S. is doing to the half of parenthood in the United States who are female. We are still fighting for recognition as human beings and thus covered under civil rights, due process, etc.

Even though I know so much about this case, it’s still possible to be entirely shocked at the behavior of the court and court personnel in it.

As summarized in a blog, August 1, this year

Judge James P. Buchele, who refused to permit adequate testimony at trial, shortening it to benefit his docket, and also ordered Claudine to move back to Topeka to live near Richardson, for the sake of their “co-parenting.” WHAT?! Richardson is a man with multiple criminal convictions for violent behavior (Battery, Attempted Battery, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Legal Process, Possession of Marijuana and violation of Open Container law), a man who has beaten and raped Claudine multiple times before and after her divorce from him, a man who has threatened to kill her and her child.
Worse, Judge Buchele also ordered Claudine not to call the police any more without the permission of her case manager. When Judge James Buchele retired, Judge Richard D. Anderson
affirmed Buchele’s previous orders, including the illegal prohibition on Claudine’s being able to call the police.

As reported in Manhattan (KS) Free press, July 9 years ago (also see blog):

The divorce proceedings were extended for eighteen months. Throughout the proceedings Claudine’s attorneys filed numerous reports claiming violations of the restraining order and requesting an order to sever contact between Hal, Claudine and daughter Rikki.

The first involved an incident that both parties agreed in court happened, they just could not agree what happened. Claudine said she was hit in the head with a crow bar and Hal said it was a piece of wood. What ever he hit her with it took 24 stitches to close the head wounds.

At a hearing on June 17, 1996 Shawnee County District Court Judge Jan W. Leuenberger signed order giving custody of Rikki to Claudine and authorizing her to move to the Great Bend area so that “Ms. Dombrowski could avoid the history of physical and verbal abuse she had suffered from Mr. Richardson.”

In other words, were she not a mother, she would have the right to flee to protect her unalienable right to LIFE. However, unknown to her, other things had already been cooking in Congress around this time, which are mentioned below. In 1994 a little National Fatherhood Initiative had been formed. In 1995, then-President Clinton had issued his (in)famous Executive Order about Fathers. In 1996, we have Welfare Reform, some of the Congressional Testimony of which I posted recently and which is summarized below on a site calling itself “Progressive Policy.” I call it Regressive, because it results in cases like this. You can track the REgression in individual cases, and how it happened, through adding personnel besides the judge.


Hal was given supervised visitation

Why this Supervision shouldn’t have been done with him inside a jail cell, I just don’t “get.” Rikki must’ve seen her mother’s stitches — what message does that send to a young girl? It’s OK for fathers to beat up mothers, right? A family court judge will sweep up the evidence . Whistleblowers will be punished.

Reading on in the case, he WILL get even for even that restriction. A GAL will help, Scott MacKenzie (if I can keep the narrative straight who did what when….) In time — that’s how these things go — Supervised visitation will be switched to the mother. Then, her fight will be to get that UNsupervised. She will win that “privilege,” but apparently wasn’t docile enough, because she then loses all contact entirely for a while. It’s all in the record. Meanwhile, the various parties are REAL serious about getting the money she owes absolutely everyone for these types of “services.”

In Judge Buchele’s Orders after the trial he made it clear that he wanted more from this couple than what was possible. Here is what he wrote: “Mutual parental involvement with this child has been made worse by Ms. Dombrowski’s unilateral decision to move to Larned, Kansas in May of 1996. The distance between Topeka and Larned makes it virtually impossible for an individual treater to work with the family; for Mr. Richardson to have regular and frequent contact with this child; to establish any reasonable dialogue between the parents toward resolving their conflicts. The move from Topeka to Larned, due to the proximity of the parties, has lessened the physical violence. It has, however, done violence to the relationship of Rikki and her father. If long distance visitation is continued, in the Court’s view, will take its toll not only on Rikki but each of the parties. The Court specifically finds that separation of the child from either parent for long periods of time is harmful for a child of about three years of age.”

And THERE, “in a nutshell,” you have how a family law judge skillfully Re-frames the conversation and Re-Prioritizes it from safety to reconciliation. Better Claudine maybe die the next time than a father’s rights be conditioned upon not abusing them — or her. Sounds “squirrelly” to me. A woman gets temporary reprieve and safety, then this is reversed, and made worse. The decisions become more and more authoritative.

He then went on to require Claudine to move back to the Topeka area.

And then Judge Buchele made a judgment that some Manhattan attorneys say is not legal. Judge Buchele ordered: “Further, respondent (Claudine) is directed to not call law enforcement authorities to investigate the petitioner (Hal) without first consulting with the case manager.”

On December 14, 2000 after returning her daughter to her fathers home Claudine alleges that she was battered and raped by Hal. Under order not to call law enforcement authorities and with bleeding that would not stop, she drove to St. Marys, Kansas to get treatment. Claudine knew that if she had gone to a Topeka Hospital they would have called the police.

In St. Marys hospital officials did contact the Pottawatomie Sheriff and a report was made. She was advised that because the alleged event occurred in Shawnee County she would have to file there.

RIGHT THERE — is a typical “between a rock and a hard place” situation. I have experienced a modified situation, where I was so frightened, I drove, fast, to a police station in another city. They told me to go back to practically the scene of a stalking incident that had terrified me. There, I was treated abominably by officers, who refused to report, though dispatched to do so by the intake person who heard my voice; the incident was also witnessed by others, and signed letters are in the file.

Claudine had a choice of, NOT REPORTING, saving her own skin (to hell with her daughter) and just dealing with it. Supposed the injuries had been different and the bleeding faster, and she didn’t TRY to appease an outright vicious court order, but reported right in Topeka at first, and going straight from having wounds tended to, to jail (or soon thereafter) in contempt. She did what any mother would in a crisis — stop the bleeding, let the mandatory reporters (probably ) report, and go save her daughter.

Claudine said that because of the battery and rape she picked up Rikki the next day and did not return her.

Now, does that “revise” your opinion of what Sherriff’s Departments are in the business of?

The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department was called and took Rikki back to Topeka. The court gave Hal custody and orders for her to attend Topeka schools.

As it stands now, [2001] Rikki is with her father in Topeka. Claudine gets two one-hour visits per week

Here is a link to that ex parte, JUDGE-initiated order (Neither party initiated it. The judge in this matter totally redefined his own role in the courtroom. This judge ain’t the only one around doing this.). Can you read it? The link is “scribd” and take a while to load. My computer is too slow today to load its 11 pp. Also, I’m curtailing my own commentary because even keystrokes are coming out one at a time, slowly. I can only fill up a short “buffer” zone, about 4 words, and then have to just wait for it to catch up.

Shawnee County District Court– Topeka, Kansas, 200 SE 7th Street 66603 Div 2 – Hon. Richard D. Anderson (785) 233-8200 Ext. 4350

Order without motion from either party WITHOUT Hearing on his OWN—I REPEAT on his own

Took my daughter and gave her to a KNOWN AND convicted Batterer and drug abuser AND CHILD RAPIST

Fast-forward 9 years or so. ..

By way of a 2007 Petition before the “Inter American Commission on HUMAN Rights” On Item 17 Courageous Kids personal stories, please read “Letter to IACHR by siblings” (#3 )here. These are 4 siblings now aged out of the system, detailing what happened when they called the cops, or ran away, what happened to their mother; how one girl was thrown out by her father and forced to live in a car for a while in retaliation. It’s only 3 pages. These are the types of fathers getting custody in this system.

THIS site has links to more details:

https://i0.wp.com/rightsformothers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/POTUS.png

Claudine Dombrowski:  An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts

People are outraged everywhere. The last time 15 year old Rikki called to cancel her two hour Sunday visit she is allowed each week with her mother, she was crying on the phone and said she couldn’t come. Abuser WOS (waste of skin) Hal Richardson was yelling in the background, and Rikki cried more. Dear Claudine told her daughter it was okay, that everything would be okay. That was it. After that, not even a phone call to cancel, Hal Richardson failed to produce Rikki at the Topeka Police Station as he was ordered to do. Nothing. And the court let him get away with all 67 violations of this court order on August 20th when they went to court.

(the woman who writes this, above, herself lost contact with her own mother, a generation earlier).

(Compare, above, when Claudine “messed up” by going to a hospital, even though she attempted to go to the politically correct one, in 2000. I believe this was when she was punished for bleeding and trying to regain her child, by losing custody of her child then about-5-year-old daughter.)

Contrast this case history and pattern of bad ethics and decision-making with the more detached narratives, below.

2, Parental Bifurcation (2002 Georgetown article)

I decided to post two pieces (first — long / second – short) that talk openly about the social agenda in the family court/ family law arena. That SOCIAL AGENDA is what most offends me about the Family Law Process. Not its equally destructive consequences. What’s most offensive is how the process eradicates precious civil rights, that are encased in the documents foundational to our country. An elitist attitude and practice, that disdains these, needs to be dismantled. Instead, they have become increasingly blatant and oppressive (similar case, CA 2000/StopFamilyViolence.org site reporting).

[Criminal jury exonerates mother, after she was jailed, fleeing to protect her children. Ignoring this family law judge STILL leaves custody with the abusers, and mother has to pay to see her own children. This is how “supervised visitation” — marketed and sold to the public as protecting children from violent FATHERS, is being used to punish protective MOTHERS),]

even after people are dying as a consequence of bad custody calls (2 women and a man dead, Maricopa Co., AZ, 2009/StopFamilyViolence.org site reporting).

I hope the people I network with as well as visitors will download and read these. The first one may explain why so many of us are being treated dismissively and as silly putty to be stretched, bounced, and reformed in amusing or comical distortions that please the manipulators rather than acknowledging that they are of the same substance as us, as human beings, just occupying different seats in the room.

(1) BIFURCATION

in the Legal Regulation of Parenthood

This is 44+ screens long and from GeorgetownLaw; popped up under a search for “The Origin of Family Law.”

I look forward to reading the rest of it. The “bifurcation” around gender. You will see…

There are some misspellings on the website. Font changes are (most likely) mine. I am not indenting for the quote, and will put any comments in bullet form

Parenthood divided: A legal history of the bifurcated law of parental relations

INTRODUCTION

The American law of parent and child is conventionally understood to be extremely deferential to parental prerogatives and highly reluctant to intervene.1 But this picture, endorsed by legal authorities and popular commentators from the nineteenth century to the present day, reflects only one tradition in the law’s regulation of parenthood. Since the last quarter of the nineteenth century, {{1875-1900}}there has also been massive legal intervention into the parental relation. This second legal tradition, moreover, has been guided by norms wholly different from those conventionally associated with family law, often evincing a radical suspicion of parental autonomy and an eager willingness to reshape family relations.

.

A STARK DIVIDE IN THE LEGAL REGUALTION OF PARENTHOOD EMERGES IN LATE NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA

The founding of the first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children marks a pivotal moment in the bifurcation of the law’s treatment of parental relations. The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was established in New York City in 1874 by two elite reformers, Henry Bergh and Elbridge Gerry, who used the occasion of a celebrated case of physical violence against a child to create the first organization designed to combat “child cruelty” in the United States.7 Common law courts of the period staunchly protected the rights that parents in general and fathers in particular exercised over the custody and control of their children.

  • SPCC formed by two elite reformers
  • “the rights that parents in general and fathers in particular exercised. . . .”

8 But the New York society accorded almost no weight to the prerogatives of the parents it was concerned about, characterizing their connection to their children as little stronger than the ties of happenstance. Gerry explained at an organizational meeting in December 1874, for instance, that the society would “seek out and rescue from the dens and slums of the City the little unfortunates whose lives were rendered miserable by the system of cruelty and abuse which was constantly practiced upon them by the human brutes [their parents] who happened to possess the custody or control of them.”9 Describing the homes of cruel parents as “dens and slums” offered a key clue, of course, to the limits the New York society placed on its jurisdiction. From the start, it focused on families that had not been successful in the wage labor economy, operating on the principle that this economic failure had been caused by some crucial moral or character flaw.10

3, The 2nd prong of Fatherhood (2002 Progressive Policy-think)

(2) COMPLETION

of the Critical Job of Welfare Reform

And — what else — “promoting responsible fatherhood

AND THIS from Progressive Policy Institute. BOTH of them let us know clearly that family law is a social engineering project. Too bad it says “law” on the outside which has other connotations to the unwary.

PPI | Policy Report | March 19, 2002
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
Some Promising Strategies
By Megan Burns
One of the key successes of welfare reform has been in the increase of low-income single mothers in the labor force. Due in part to a strong economy and the 1996 welfare reform law, 16 percent more poor moms entered the labor force over the past six years. However, evidence suggests poor men did not fare as well. Because the first round of welfare reform required mothers to work, this next round should issue a similar challenge to fathers in order to help them become current and continue to pay child support.

According to the Urban Institute, about two-thirds of the nearly 11 million American fathers who do not live with their children fail to pay child support.1 Therefore it is no surprise that children who grow up fatherless are five times more likely to be poor.2

This reasoning assumes that women who have left an abuser (which are among those numbers) cannot do better financially afterwards, or that women in general cannot do well alone — in short, it assumes a stable working wage. In 2002, I had tripled my working wage, and was doing better. But I had to use a nontraditional model of employment. This was not the model that welfare funnels women onto.

This 2002 report was also six years into welfare reform, and fails to account for cases like Dombrowski/Richardson, above, where (thanks go fathers’ rights movements and encouragements) cases STAY in the family law venue for years, impoverishing the family through ongoing litigation, and removing protection for the protective parents.

Social researchers also note that while women flooded the labor market, poor men did not. For example, during the 1990s, the labor force participation of young black women rose 18 percent, whereas the participation rate among low-income, non-college-educated black men actually fell by almost 10 percent.3

Well, now we have it clearly who welfare policies affecting all populations are aimed at. Supposedly.

In recent months, policymakers have increasingly begun to recognize that bringing fathers into the work-based system created by the 1996 law will be the next critical step in finishing the job of welfare reform. While “responsible fatherhood” programs have sprouted across the country, fatherhood and family formation promise to be central issues in the reauthorization of welfare reform legislation this year.

This type of discussion defines where income comes from — labor. However, that’s not at all where it comes from all the time. People who set policies KNOW this and they are not the chief laborers in question.

4.  Jobs ain’t Wealth & Who Rules America (since we just saw how).

MOST people can find out the difference between wealth and income, or understand it (I believe) if someone engages in a discussion of it. The policymakers and the child support enforcement system are here to make sure that discussion never happens in any significant way. Here are a few links:

2003

http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

May 2003 – VOLUME 24 – NUMBER 5


The Wealth Divide
The Growing Gap in the United States
Between the Rich and the Rest


An Interview with Edward Wolff

Edward Wolff is a professor of economics at New York University. He is the author of Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It, as well as many other books and articles on economic and tax policy. He is managing editor of the Review of Income and Wealth.

In the United States, the richest 1 percent of households owns 38 percent of all wealth. Multinational Monitor: What is wealth?
Edward Wolff:
Wealth is the stuff that people own. The main items are your home, other real estate, any small business you own, liquid assets like savings accounts, CDs and money market funds, bonds, other securities, stocks, and the cash surrender value of any life insurance you have. Those are the total assets someone owns. From that, you subtract debts. The main debt is mortgage debt on your home. Other kinds of debt include consumer loans, auto debt and the like. That difference is referred to as net worth, or just wealth.

MM: Why is it important to think about wealth, as opposed just to income?
Wolff:
Wealth provides another dimension of well-being. Two people who have the same income may not be as well off if one person has more wealth. If one person owns his home, for example, and the other person doesn’t, then he is better off.

Who Rules America?  By G. William Domhoff, University of California at Santa Cruz

2005

Power in America

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html

Wealth, Income, and Power

by G. William Domhoff

September 2005 (updated July 2010)

This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators.

This sociologist actually quotes Wolff, above.


The Wealth Distribution

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010).

http://www.halfsigma.com/2005/05/class_vs_income.html

May 17, 2005

Class vs. income vs. wealth

Wealth is how much money you have, income is how much you earn, and class is how much other people think you have based on how you behave.

People often don’t realize class exists because most people only associate with people of their own class. They don’t comprehend that people from other classes behave and think in ways totally alien to them.

If people are aware of class, it’s only of the class directly below them whom they feel superior to. Yes, class has a lot to do with looking down at people, which is why it’s a topic that’s seldom talked about. It’s not politically correct to admit that you look down at people.

2008

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9611

Confusing Wealth and Income

by Richard W. Rahn

This article appeared in the Washington Times on August 27, 2008.

Which of the following families is “richer”? The first family consists of a wife who has recently become a medical doctor, and she makes $160,000 per year. Her husband is a small business entrepreneur who makes $110,000 per year, giving them a total family income of $270,000 per year. However, they are still paying off the loans the wife took out for medical school and the loans the husband took out to start his business, amounting to debts of $300,000. Their total assets are valued at $450,000; hence, their real net worth or wealth (the difference between gross assets and liabilities) is only $150,000.

The second family consists of a trial lawyer who took early retirement and his non-working wife. They have an annual income of $230,000, all of it derived from interest on tax-free municipal bonds they own. However, their net worth is $7 million, consisting of $5 million in bonds, a million-dollar home with no mortgage, and a million dollars in art work, home furnishings, automobiles and personal items

Are Californians Dreaming? There’s no Duty to protect — see Appellate Decisions..

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Writing the Luzerne, PA post brought this home (not to mention all the blood on the streets and in the home after protection from abuse orders get issued.”

Ignorance is not bliss. People were told recently that Knowledge is power to Demand Change.

I have recently acquired (belatedly) some knowledge, on which basis I SUGGEST that people thinking police have a duty to enforce anything or protect (though often they do, we are speaking legally, if they don’t). …Can you slap ’em with a lawsuit and demand consequences?

I doubt it. This post came up “automatically generated” —

Suggested reading! Think about Castle Rock v. Gonzales (plus hosts of Family Law cases — Dawn Axsom, in AZ, Joyce Murphy, etc.

http://libertyfight.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/california-dreaming-police-have-no-obligation-to-protect-any-individual-from-harm/#comment-50

“CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Police have no obligation to protect any individual from harm
By libertyfight

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it”. -Daniel Webster

Note: [Many thanks to the great website OUTLAW’S LEGAL, which sadly now appears to be defunct. I saved this information from them several years ago.]

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Police have no obligation to protect any individual from harm

http://www.outlawslegal.com/G00/G07.htm

“Do you believe that law enforcement officers have a duty to protect you from harm?” Ask yourself that question, and, your answer is . . . . ?

That is a question I have frequently asked. The overwhelming majority of answers have been affirmative; ranging from “Yes.” to “That’s what they are paid to do!” The next logical question is “How can we be certain we know the correct answer?”

The correct answer is found in appellate court decisions. The following summaries of a few appellate court decisions will provide some insight into this area of the law. These example cases are from California – but understand that the police are not responsible for your individual safety in any state.”

“The administrator of the estate of Ruth Bunnell who had been killed by her estranged husband brought a wrongful death action against the city whose police department refused to respond to her call for protection some 45 minutes before her death. Mrs. Bunnell had called the police to report that Mack Bunnell had called saying he was on his way to her home to kill her. She was told to call back when Mack Bunnell arrived. The police had responded 20 times to her calls in the past year, and on one occasion, arrested her estranged husband for assaulting her. The Court of Appeal held that the police department and its employees enjoyed absolute immunity for failure to provide sufficient police protection. The allegations that the police had responded 20 times to her calls did not indicate that the police department had assumed any special relationship or duty toward her such as would remove its immunity. Hartzler v. City of San Jose (1975) 46 Cal.App.3d 6, 120 Cal.Rptr. 5”

“California Penal Code, section 693 provides:

Resistance to prevent the offense may be made by the party about to be injured: 1. To prevent an offense against his person, or his family, or some member thereof. 2. To prevent an illegal attempt by force to take or injure property in his lawful possession. (Enacted in 1872.)

California Penal Code, section 694 provides:

Any other person, in aid or defense of the person about to be injured, may make resistance sufficient to prevent that offense. (Enacted in 1872.)

Civil Code section 50, and Penal Code sections 692, 693 and 694 as quoted above are still in effect. I find those code sections, enacted in the early 1870′s, to be straight forward and easy to understand. They recognize the realities of life. Not all people are law abiding; and, law abiding people have the right to protect themselves and their property, and to come to the aid of others in need of assistance and protection from individuals committing the public offenses.

Today, unfortunately, that is not the current state of the law. Thousands of laws have been enacted since 1872 that have effectively denied any truly effective means of exercising the “inalienable rights” recognized in Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of California, outside of the persons home, with only a few exceptions. The identified “need” for those laws has been “crime control”, but we have a much larger percentage of our population in jails and prisons now than ever before. A vastly larger percentage than in 1872, which is evidence that as government makes it more difficult for the law abiding individuals to protect themselves, they become victims of crime.

There are some people who are unwilling to accept the responsibility for protecting themselves from harm or injury, and advocate the philosophy of pacifism. However. pacifism has never been shown to deter crime. Exercise of your inalienable rights in Article I, Section 1, is not mandatory. You may refuse to defend yourself and exercise your right to be a victim.

I believe the correct answer to my original question is: Law enforcement officers do not have a duty to protect an individual from harm. That raises more questions that should be considered.

Why is the public so misinformed about such a fundamental issue involving public safety? What can be done to educate the public to the true facts on this issue to enable them to make informed decisions about their personal protection?

OUTLAWS LEGAL SERVICE invites ideas regarding solving this problem”

(I have no idea who they are)…

GET THIS ONE from DC:

http://www.users.fast.net/~behanna/kasler.html

“Warren v. District of Columbia is one of the leading cases of this type. Two women were upstairs in a townhouse when they heard their roommate, a third woman, being attacked downstairs by intruders. They phoned the police several times and were assured that officers were on the way. After about 30 minutes, when their roommate’s screams had stopped, they assumed the police had finally arrived. When the two women went downstairs they saw that in fact the police never came, but the intruders were still there. As the Warren court graphically states in the opinion: “For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers.” The three women sued the District of Columbia for failing to protect them, but D.C.’s highest court exonerated the District and its police, saying that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.”[4] There are many similar cases with results to the same effect.[5] ” “The seminal case establishing the general rule that police have no duty under federal law to protect citizens is DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services[6]”

Per ALL these and MANY, MANY articles agrees with that LEO’s does NOT have to play nice and ALL your $$$ goes to Expensive Donuts.

Written by Let's Get Honest

August 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

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Written by Let's Get Honest

August 16, 2010 at 11:49 am

Reader Quiz — What Decade Were These Stories? About Fathers..

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My last post (Luzerne County) was at least a triple-header, ending with some emotion over a mother of three who has taken her case to the international level in disgrace at the U.S. treatment of her civil rights.

I am changed as I blog also. Maybe it’s just another bunch of incidents to you, but to me, I learn and expand the context of this system, look at its history, reflect when compared with my immediate reality and acquired readings.

What I learned — yesterday — is this: Restraining orders are not enforceable, and probably never were. IF a police officer wishes to arrest, or needs to, the RO may make his job easier. But if he or she witnessed a violation of it, and does NOT wish to arrest, the protected person has no entitlement to that arrest, no matter whose life is at risk. Now that “Castle Rock v. Gonzales” has gone to the Supreme Court and been turned back, it is being quoted in similar cases to protect the officers (not the women or children). While most of government’s operations are self-justified on providing services and protection to the populace, who they are diligently training to expect this from them (and not from within or their local communities). This is closer to feudalism, serfdom, and monarchy.

U.S., Rome, or the British Empire?

It’s time to expose the truths that in the United States of America, and have moved from being “the colonies” (with the colonized populations that came along, or were removed from their lands during westward expansion) to being colonized (if not virtually cannibalized) by our own elected leaders, many who have some real “bad attitudes” towards those they are supposed to represent and serve. Power tends to congregate with power, and unless it’s kept in check, will simply continue to do so, justifying it with manipulation and manufactured “needs.”

  • (#1) we are closer to monarchy then ever before, and willingly/passively in more denial of it also, and
  • (#2) that this emperor has no clothes has been known for a long time; but the tacit “Bread-and-circuses” agreement to pretend we don’t know, is wearing as thin as the “social services” provided by the superstructure. and
  • (#3) in a country such as the U.S., with this Constitution elected officials are sworn with an oath to uphold, the pretense that in practice we are actually OPERATING as a republic (not democracy) is even more deceptive.

Who has the bread, the weapons, and the supply lines to the decision-makers? Who’s issuing the propaganda? That’s the power base. As of about 1980, 1991 (creation of the Health & Human Services/Administration for Children and Families Dept./Operational Div. in the Executive Branch of Government of which the CEO is our President), the fields of propagation (family design) and the downward to Head Start & Home Visitation (education) up through university (foundations sponsoring studies and institutes, often regarding fatherhood and marriage, and the entire work force) have gone from idolizing motherhood (while tolerating beating mothers) and, in response to mothers getting OUT of some of that (feminism/violence against women movement, battered shelters, etc.) to scapegoating single mothers on welfare (for being on welfare), (see bottom of my post), to simply eliminating the word mother from association with the word “family” or “children.”

This is starting to resemble the planned production of human beings from womb to tomb, with the aide of pharmaceutics, apparently, and mental health professionals to categorize and drug the dissidents, which any mother in her right mind would be when she’s been beaten in the home, or terrorized there (or for attempting to leave it) and has noticed — which is what mothers do — the effect of this on her children. They are educated to subjugation and only to the level of their intended place in a fully managed society.

When I say “womb” to “tomb,” I do mean just that . . . . It’s being studied and categorized, and one major database is at ICPSR below. Fertility, lethality, and population studies in 3 urban centers (Chicago, Boston, San Antonia, TX).

Those “in” and cooperate on the planning and distribution of this will prosper, while the supply lasts, and receive government grants and contracts in abundance, which will then compromise them from informing the subject matter (human beings) what the overall plan is. For example

  • HQ in Denver: PSI (“policy-studies.com” is the URL, “Performance, Services, Integrity” is the motto)
    • Under Child Support Enforcement (one of the 3 major “solutions” area they outsource):
      • Noncustodial Parent Programs (“Through our innovative approach, PSI can help increase your collections and improve results for families. Our NCP program expertise extends across the following areas”)
        • Case management and community resource referrals
        • Enhanced child support services
        • Employment and training assistance
        • Peer support for NCPs
        • Parenting and conflict resolution classes
        • Access and visitation services
        • Mediation services
        • Mental health and substance abuse referrals
        • Legal referrals
  • HQ in Los Angeles: AFCC (“Association of Family & Conciliation Courts“)
    • AFCC brings together members of multiple disciplines in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, from all over the world. As a nonprofit professional association, AFCC is unique because members do not share a common profession. Instead, AFCC members share a strong commitment to education, innovation and collaboration in order to benefit communities, empower families and promote a healthy future for children.
    • “History of Innovation and Positive Change”For more than 45 years, AFCC and its members have served as a catalyst for generating major reforms. Dispute resolution processes such as child custody mediation, parenting coordination, and divorce education are just a few of the innovative ideas developed by AFCC members. AFCC developed Models Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediators, Child Custody Evaluators and Parenting Coordinators. Task forces and special projects address the ongoing challenges faced by AFCC members and the families they serve. AFCC actively disseminates innovations and ideas {“Parental Alienation, anyone? Mandatory mediation, anyone? Shared parenting, presumption anyone?”} to its members. The ripple effect can be seen in courts and communities throughout the world. {ONE of those stories I copy at length, below, in blue. The ripple effect was most definitely felt, and you can read about it, below.}
  • HQ in Denver: what I call “CPR” (Center or Policy Research) [Since 1981, 6 women, only!]


Did I mention that Jessica Pearson is also (per some sources) a founding member of the AFCC, if not also CRC?

  • In fact AFCC, CRC, CPR, PSI, HHS funded studies, and conclusions that MOST of our nation’s real poverty, inner-city, crime & juvenile delinquency problems is simply the ration of sex/conception/marriage, i.e., too few fathers (as opposed to, poor-quality fathers) in the home, and that the solution to this is through seamlessly blending mental health services with child support services, with the legal process — tend to congregate around similar key players.
  • Don’t believe me? See RandiJames’ “The List or Liz Richards pointing this out in 1993 “Fathers Rights and corrupt judicial cronies,” or again, in 2010, to the House Ways & Means Committee (found at House.gov, this committee, June 17, 2010 hearings, on left side), or an indignant “Fathers Battling Injustice” 2001 complaint “Liz Richards Hates Fathers with a Passion, which provides (if you scroll down) a good listing of key players and their interrelationships — including those on the CRC (Children’s Rights Council) 501(c)3 incorporation papers, and tying into others pushing mediation and Gardner’s “PAS” philosophies through the courts. I’ll try to upload that listing….

Around 1998, a disgruntled grandfather — and CPA — started tracking some of the founding documents of this AFCC, and has something to say about the money trail related to Jessica Pearson of CPR, and AFCC, who weems to be (with others) women of some real foresight and planning, and ingenuity in desgining systems — and evading tax accountability. THIS is listed UNDER “Is Justice for sale in L.A.” a.k.a. at “johnnypumphandle.com”

    • :Mr. Bryer’s Tort Claim of 1998. You can hear his tone of indignation and upset, and he flat-out calls this Mafia, RICO, money-laundering, etc. The people he is talking about are listed in part, above. I doubt if he ever got justice, or compensation (let alone more discovery), but at least me blew the whistle!. People who want to “reform” the courts ought to at least read the material. OR, they could go back and try to reason more with a professional that may or may not be one of these type of conspirators from long ago. The system remains, I’m pretty well deducing at this point.
  • Another take on AFCC et al.: He’s not talking psychology or sociology, but money, IRS, EIN#s and incorporations…
    • DESCRIPTION: The ACCUSED ( by this complaint) are part of an underground of white collar criminals who are involved in the theft of CITY, COUNTY, STATE, and FEDERAL money. The scheme started before their time as an organization known as the CONFERENCE OF CONCILIATION COURTS. That organization changed its identity and assumed the name ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY CONCILIATION COURTS. Using various identity changes, the organization was listed in the LOS ANGELES SUPERVISORS DIRECTORY in 1993 as JUDGES TRUST FUND ACCOUNTING.The crime ring is an underground Mafia that posed as the COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES – by using the FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER 95-6000927. In recent dramatic announcements, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has informed me that the EIN or FEIN number assigned to the latest version of the organization – the – LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES ASSOCIATION – is an EIN that was not assigned to the organization. It Is a COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES EIN!

      I previously attempted to get this discovery – in the lawsuit BRYER vs PENTONEY – but 298 judges and commissioners in LOS ANGELES were disqualified on a ruse orchestrated by JUDGE GARY KLAUSNER – a ring leader of the scheme. JUDGE GARY KLAUSNER’S name is on the signature card of BANK OF AMERICA account listed under the name LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES ASSOCIATION EIN 95-6000927.

      I was forced into the corrupt county – ORANGE COUNTY – where a co-conspirator named JAMES P. GRAY told me he would throw me in jail if I tried to make any more discoveries. FEARING FOR MY LIFE in a county that is FOREIGN to me – I dismissed my case without prejudice and continued to seek discovery away from the strength of ORANGE COUNTYCONCLUSION: My family and myself have been robbed of our money and our rights by a conspiracy that has operated since 1962. In 1962 a JUDGE NAMED ROGER ALTON PFAFF and his cohort – MEYER ELKIN. The association was called the CONFERENCE OF CONCILIATION COURTS. This association routed money through the LOS ANGELES COUNTY CONCILIATION COURT -111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles California, 90012, ROOM 241. In 1969 – the association incorporated and has NEVER PAID taxes. Assuming they used EIN 95-6000927 – then duping the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT was easy. In 1979 the corporation was suspended. There is no record that they surrendered their bank account or the EIN. In California – the organization filed as a CIVIC LEAGUE – Revenue and Tax Code 23701g. A CONCILIATION COURT is NOT A CIVIC LEAGUE. The exemption certificate was mailed to a lawyer named Michael Aaronson at P.O. Box 1055, San Carlos California 94070. The STATE 3500 papers states the organization was to improve marriage counseling. However, conciliation court is a STATUTORILY mandated function of the COURT – not a private corporation for lying and thieving judges and their court staff. The income was alleged to be derived from dues and contributions. In reality, the funds came from laundering legal education money through the COURT CONCILIATION DEPARTMENT through the FINANCE DEPARTMENT.

      In an incredible BREACH – a Judge from Detroit Michigan was listed as the Second Vice President His name is Victor J. Baum. The corporation number is 576876. I have no record of what EIN they used.

      In 1981 – I presume their bank account was still open and they created a new identity called the Association of Family Conciliation Courts. [CPR, above, dates to 1981 also as a nonprofit] This time – Margaret Little – FAMILY COURT SERVICES for LOS ANGELES, and a Colorado individual named Jessica Pearson orchestrated yet another version of the LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURTHOUSE SCHEME. Pearson borrowed the EIN of the WISCONSIN AFCC and claimed her office was in Colorado as an ILLINOIS corporation. The LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURTHOUSE became PEARSON’S and Dr MARGARET LITTLE’S California – FOREIGN – CORPORATION.

    • (WI, Colorado, L.A. and IL if you can keep up with that…)
    • I just found a strange, but possibly corroborating 1986 document, the “February 1986 Newsletter of the Alabama Court News, “Newsletter of the Alabama Judicial System” On page 3, it reads, under headline: “Federal Grant funds Sexual Abuse Study:
    • The Research Unit of the …(AFCC) and the American Bar Association have been awarded a grant from the federal dept. of Human Development Services* to study sexual abuse allegations in divorce cases. The goal of the study is to find how court officials [such as…?] are presently handling such matters, identify preferred procedures, and develop educational materials on the subject.” “Court officials [sic] desiring to participate in the study should contact AFCC at the following address:

    • [Wow… Preferred procedures for handling sexual abuse allegations in divorce cases, such as — Gardner’s theories? They want to educate judges how to rule?] Also – it says since 1981 — at that address:]
    • [*Note: the HUGE “HHS that now dispenses welfare, child support, medicare, head start funds, and sometimes is the largest (as to expenses) Exec Branch Dept — was formed in 1991, as I recall. This is 5 years earlier).

  • In fact the information arm is one of the most important, to quell rebellion before it gets going.

Maybe Rome went down because of lead in the pipes, or maybe some “karma” (or god) just got sick of all the slaughter for entertainment. Ever read about what happened in that Colosseum?

Back to this millennium — and the last decades

of the last one (1980-2010). In re: marriage, abuse, divorce, custody..

And the concept of “protection from abuse” or “restraining orders” as if they were NOT certifiably insane, as to fulfilling their supposed purpose of protecting or restraining.

While the literature tends to focus on, “it’s just a piece of paper and can’t stop a bullet,” the ones we REALLY can’t count on are the arresting officers. It’s an additional component of Russian Roulette that a woman can’t afford. And suing for any sort of damages on the basis of, they had a duty to protect, a procedural due process right to the victim, a substantive due process right to the victim, or in short, any consequences that “absolute judicial immunity” or the 11th amendment wouldn’t make LEGALLY protected (let alone the practical aspects) — they don’t, and probably never did.

Some judges are crooked — I don’t know how many. Some attorneys are also, and get nailed on RICO like the Luzerne judges did, RICO (“Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations“) being a criminal enterprise. There’s a case I may post out of suburban Chicago (older) where the husband (an attorney) did murder for hire, but not until he’d conspired in advance to wire-tap (jealous), someone had been prepared to dispose of the body (i.e., of his wife) and someone had been prepared to obstruct the investigation. (Alan & Dianne G. Masters, West Suburban Chicago, 1982 she disappears~ 1988 RICO charges)

As RICO does require some organizational skills, and Masters had already been engaged in other forms of crime, all the players to add murder-for-hire to this were in place, and he didn’t resist the temptation to engage, showing us to drop our illusions that every person in public office, or in positions of power, influence, and with access to streams of $$ isn’t per se there for service. Some are, some aren’t. And the ones that aren’t would be normally attracted to people in compromised situations (like a troublesome traffic ticket, an illegal enterprise of their own, or divorcing with children from a frighteningly dangerous spouse who’s already committed some crimes against your body, or your child’s). This attorney was acting more like a pimp with a stable, and some affiliate marekting reps in uniform. Maybe he liked the thrill of the danger and risk (one sees definite business skills that migh twork just as well in legal activities) or maybe it was simple greed.

It didn’t save her life, and no one was ever charged for murder, but the three “perps” got caught on racketeering and put away for a good many years, and fined. Oh yeah, and he had a $100,000 life insurance policy on his wife also.

So are some officers. And some are good. – – – – that’s just life. Why, then, (though) when women come for help, were they then (1990s) and now (2000s) doling out protection from abuse orders as if they were reliably enforceable? They aren’t. They’re real good at getting men angry though.

~ ~ ~ ~I can’t put my story up (or too much of it). But it’s been so many years in this system here. My infrastructure is repeatedly broken down, year after year, and access to things like transportation, (sometimes food), internet, health care (uninsured presently) just shouldn’t be.

~ ~ ~ ~If you have not been in a situation similar to the one I’m about to post (the part below is summary of her judicial proceedings after deciding to leave– having gotten a real severe beating (while naked), a threat for another, having had a young daughter molested by a visiting stepson, her husband was no inner city young black male, but a nasty computer analyst who’d (it turned out) abused his first wife, too.

~ ~ ~ ~Sleep deprivation is a factor and technique of weakening someone (I know). Attack on personal private parts (ditto). Rules almost uniformly designed to remove one’s humanity, with severe punishment for falling short (and they’re impossible to fulfil) with no rule for him. . . . .Having to choose which child you can do more to protect, potentially sacrificing something important for the other. Having your strength or skills as a professional work against you post-divorce. Historic revisionism (no remorse or acknowledgement of injury, and of course the father was the real caretaker all those years). Health care professionals treating injuries and not really asking questions. Your kids watching the assaults.

I’ll pick up this story mid-stream. See if you recognize the characters: judge, psychologists, attorneys (#1, 2, and 3), theme of supervised visitation, and her knowledge that if she requested it, he’d go for custody, professionals continually minimizing the situation and playing their own games . . . all too familiar.

I want to say something about “stories.” THEY HELPED ME while I was in the abusive relationship. One of the cruelest things is the isolation and dealing with the man’s anger when he perceives you may be connecting with someone who might validate or connect with you, and to whom you might report. You might get out, but there also may (or may not) be retaliation for doing so. Or you might be put through hell beforehand, so you get out, in public, in trauma, shaking, or in shock. One trick pulled frequently in our home (with kids) was I’d have enough gas in the car to get there (when a car was available) but not enough to get back. Hearing of women who got out HELPED me. If nothing else, to feel less guilty.

I pick up the story mid-stream, and admit that I am exhausted today.

Overall, I found the lawyers and psychologists very self–promoting and egotistical. It seemed as if everyone was having a good time, playing the game of litigation and psychology. All the while, my life was on the line. My children and I did not matter. I also felt like the lawyers and psychologists were running a cash register business at my expense. They were a lot more interested in my money than my welfare. The first two years of my divorce proceedings cost me more than twenty–five thousand dollars.

As incredible as it might sound, the judge who heard my custody case had an outstanding protective order against him by his ex–wife. I also sensed very strongly that the judge did not like me. For these reasons, I told my lawyer I wanted to seek the judge’s recusal. My lawyer dismissed me, saying, “You’ll just get someone worse.”

@ @ @ @ @Z

I probably never would have gotten Daniel back, except that Russ’s live–in girlfriend (with whom he is still living) contacted the children’s psychologist to report that he was abusing Daniel. This was four or five months after Russ had gained custody of Daniel. I think the girlfriend made her revelation partly because I had told her that Russ was planning to seek full custody of Elizabeth, too. Russ was not really taking care of the kids; the girlfriend was. When she learned that he would be going after Elizabeth too, she said, “WHAT???!!!” I think she cared about the children and knew that Russ’s having custody would be harmful and dangerous for them, plus, I doubt she was interested in being the caretaker for both kids.

After learning about Russ’s abuse of Daniel, I immediately went to my lawyer (Lawyer #3), demanding an immediate petition for a change of custody. He said we could not seek a modification of custody because it was too soon. He said, “Let the ink dry on the judge’s custody order.” That was the last straw and I fired him.

I got a new lawyer and a new psychologist. I recorded a telephone conversation with Russ’s girlfriend about the abuse of Daniel. Russ’s girlfriend was subpoenaed, and because of the recording, I knew––and Russ knew––that the abuse of Daniel would come out. Even if Russ intimidated her into changing her testimony, I think he knew that the tape was credible.

Faced with a situation he could not win, Russ folded. He agreed to a modification and I regained custody of Daniel. I grabbed at the chance to get custody back, even though I had to agree that Russ could have unsupervised visitation with the children. I knew Russ would never agree to supervised visitation. I did not want, and could not pay for, another long, drawn–out battle in court. Besides, based on what I had seen, I did not want to risk what a judge might do.

As far as I am concerned, Russ agreed to the change of custody to save face. No one in authority ever held him accountable for his abuse. People in authority, like the judge and the psychologists, always supported him and held a good opinion of him. Russ wanted to maintain his good image at all costs. By giving up custody of Daniel without a fight, he could avoid the public humiliation of being outed as an abuser.

He portrayed the custody change to the children as a sacrifice he was making because he loved them so much. “This is what’s best for you,” he said. Once again, he took no responsibility for doing anything wrong in abusing Daniel. He showed no remorse.

Even after I had custody of both kids, Russ continued to engage in repeated violations of my protective order through phone harassment and stalking. Additionally, his son, Chip, was there unsupervised when the kids visited Russ. Apparently, though, Chip did not abuse either child further.

@ @ @ @

C. Attitudes Need to Change More than the Law

Domestic violence law is certainly far better than it has been in the past. We have seen progress in the legislative, [77] judicial, [78] and executive [79] arenas. Positive legislative reform is on–going, though there is a backlash as well, driven primarily by the Fathers’ Rights movement. [80]

Changes in the law are important. With better law, good people (judges, police, etc.) can do more and bad ones are limited in the harm they can cause. Law can also have an educational effect. A judge or police officer who initially resists laws and policies that are appropriate for domestic violence cases may ultimately come to see their value.

Mary’s story shows, however, that the primary problem is not with the law but with the human beings who interpret and administer it. The legal system betrayed Mary, but not because it lacked the power to act differently. The judges, psychologists, and lawyers could have protected Mary and her children. They could have understood woman battering, or made a point of educating themselves about it. They could have let go of their stereotypes about what batterers and their victims “look like” and how they act. They could have reexamined their values, under which abuse of Mom is irrelevant to Dad’s fitness as a parent. The list continues indefinitely.

Mary’s custody judge easily had the power to find that full custody with Mary was in the children’s “best interest” [81] and that Russ’s visitation had to be supervised. [82] The judge could have warned Russ, not Mary, that he had to be on his best behavior or he would lose even supervised visitation. The judge could have ordered Russ to undergo batterers’ counseling as a precondition for even supervised visitation. [83]

My point is simple: this did not have to happen. Without in any way ignoring or bending the law, Mary, the children––and Russ––could have been dealt with appropriately. Mary and her children, especially Daniel, may pay for the system’s sexism, ignorance, and indifference for a lifetime. And, as Mary says, society pays too when the aftermath of abuse spills out, as it often will, beyond the family.

@ @ @ @

F. Any “Solution” Not Based on Battered Women’s Experiences
Is Doomed to Failure

We cannot know what to do about domestic violence unless we listen to survivors’ stories. In them are the keys to solutions. Battered women and formerly battered women are telling us what works and what does not. People with professional training can help, but only if their actions and recommendations are based on what battered women and formerly battered women say. [116]

Women like Mary tell us that mediation, joint custody, and couples counseling can be terrible for battered women, [117] yet certain professionals continue to advocate for these things in domestic violence cases. [118] Their arguments, however, are from the viewpoint of the mediator or the system, not the battered woman and her children. [119] Women’s safety concerns are either not addressed or minimized. [120]

Proponents of mediation in domestic violence cases express a near–magical belief in mediation and mediators. They believe that the mediator can tell when mediation is not appropriate or when it should be stopped [121] (another example of the helper’s ego surfacing). Sadly, the only expertise that seems to count is the mediator’s. Battered women’s expertise does not seem to matter. [122]

Sometimes, it seems that battered women’s voices are getting more and more lost. The field has become professionalized, [123] semi–respectable, [124] and partially funded. [125] There has been a parallel tendency to turn the focus away from the victims and toward the professionals. [126]

I do not want to be misunderstood here. I have absolutely no nostalgia for the “good old days” when shelters did not exist or led threadbare existences, and when a professor who wanted to teach Domestic Violence would have been laughed off campus. I have been doing domestic violence work far too long for such foolishness. I relish the voice, the power, and even the respectability that our movement has achieved. But people who really care about battered women must remain ever vigilant against those whose solutions come from their own professional experience and not from victims’ lives.

@ @ @

As a mother and wife, I absolutely agree that families need rules. Nothing is sadder than a house where “anything goes” and there are no rules; everyone is unhappy, especially the children. [131] Nor do I think that every rule, even if somewhat imposed by one family member over others, is abusive.

But rules are different in a batterer’s house. They are never negotiated; they are always imposed. [132] And rulemaking is a one–way street: the batterer sets rules for other family members, while he does exactly as he pleases. [133] Russ ordered Mary not to watch comedies on television, just as he announced that he was quitting his job. Mary knew that even suggesting alternatives might result in violence. But Russ could be away for days at a time, and Mary was not to question his actions.

The rules in a batterer’s house are not just for his comfort and enjoyment. They are an integral part of his plan to control and isolate his partner. [134] As Mary said, the rule about no comedies on television meant she could not exercise her sense of humor, an important part of her self–image. Batterer’s rules also control matters such as whether and when she can leave the house, and how she can spend money. [135] Many rules reinforce the victim’s isolation, such as rules about not having any of her friends over or going out with other people after work. [136][137] She might hear something that made her feel good while listening to the radio, or she might hear a description of domestic violence and recognize herself and start planning her escape. Looking out at the world from her kitchen window (or having someone else look in and see what was going on) might decrease her isolation. Even “little” rules, like “don’t play the radio when I’m gone” and “keep the curtain in the kitchen down” are part of an overall pattern of isolation.

In the functional family, rules are negotiated and renegotiated. [138] One partner may give in to the other, but both partners engage in some give and take. The rules may not fulfill everyone’s needs, but they do not destroy family members’ self–esteem either. [139] In functional families, people are basically satisfied with the rules. [140]

Second, the batterer’s list of rules is ridiculously long and ever expanding and changing. [141] While his partner and children are struggling to comply with his existing demands, new and often contradictory rules are added. [142] This again is in marked contrast with the non–abusive “dinner at six” dad. We have all known non–abusive families where one member (usually, but not always, the father) must be catered to, but his demands are limited and stable. Further, the demanding but non–abusive family member is capable of being satisfied. “Just feed him on time and he’s a happy man” is not something an abused wife would say.

Finally, there is the punishment imposed for non–compliance with rules. [143] The non–abusive man does not beat or rape his wife or children if dinner is not on the table at six. He may pout for a while, or whine, he may even occasionally yell. His reaction may be unhealthy, but the other family members do not live in terror of what will happen if the rules are not met.

Identification protocols for battered women should include questions about rulemaking. [144] Something like this would be good: “Every household has rules under which it operates. Tell me about the ones in your house. What are the rules? How are they established? What happens when they’re not met?” With a sympathetic ear and a little prodding, a battered woman may quickly identify a long list of onerous and changing rules, imposed by the abuser and ruthlessly enforced by him. [145] If she is still in the relationship, or just getting out, she may describe the rules matter–of–factly, and may consider them normal. [146] One advantage of asking about the rules is that she may talk about them much more readily and with less shame than about the violence she has experienced. [147]

H. How Physical and Non–Physical Abuse Work Together:
Why Do We See It as Torture When [XxxxxXxxx] Generals Do It,
But Not When It’s the Guy Next Door?

People are still very ignorant about domestic violence and how it works. If you talk to people and read news reports, the emphasis is always on physical violence. [148] Mary encountered this ignorance when the psychologists, judges, and lawyers minimized her danger because the last severe beating occurred a year and a half before Mary left Russ for good.

~ ~ ~ ~

In other settings, we are well aware of how torturers combine physical and mental abuse to get and keep power over their victims. [154] Appendix B is one of my favorite charts, adapted from Ann Jones’s book Next Time, She’ll Be Dead. [155] In the left–hand column are non–physical torture methods that Amnesty International has recognized and cata

logued. [156] Totalitarian regimes often use these techniques against political prisoners. [157] In the right–hand column are battered women’s descriptions of how their batterers used these same techniques to control them. [158] I have added some examples from Mary’s story to what appears in Jones’s book.

Those who work with battered women must understand the interplay of physical and non–physical abuse. When seen in context, a “slap” is not just a “slap”; it is a warning that the victim must comply with the batterer’s demands “or else.” Repeated phone calls to her at work are not just a sign of a little insecurity. They are part of an overall scheme of isolation and control. Busting up the furniture at home, or throwing the cat against the wall are not unfortunate temper tantrums; they say, “you could be next.” [159]

We should recognize domestic violence as the human rights violation it is. [160] We should draw analogies between domestic violence and torture, [161] to kidnappers and hostages. [162]

READER QUIZ: WHAT YEAR WAS THAT STORY ?

(hover cursor above to find the copyright and which attorney related the story).

Hover over THIS and I’ll tell you when this woman married & got her RO.

It could’ve been a decade later, and wouldn’t have read much different. I found this story after, with curiosity, searching on the man who wrote the article below. I hope readers may go back (click on this link, the “READER QUIZ” link) and actually read Mary’s Story, which was an actual case (name changed), and too damn typical. I doubt a person who has experienced abuse would respond the same as one who hasn’t.

NOW, for comic relief, of the monotous drone of fatherlessness being the nation’s crisis (and we have JUST the solution to fix it . . . . ).

Fall of marriage seen linked to decline in domestic murders Drop in homicides called ‘ironic benefit’ of change

The decline of marriage and the breakdown of stable relationships have produced a paradoxical benefit: Domestic murders have declined, with the most dramatic reductions among African- Americans, a University of Missouri criminologist reported yesterday.

“We’re living at a time of dramatic changes in marriage, intimate relationships and family structure,” said Richard Rosenfeld, speaking in Baltimore at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Those changes have had an ironic benefit in reducing the number of intimate-partner homicides.”

Dr. Rosenfeld’s findings are the flip side of the much-reported increase in young men killing young men, which he said may be attributed in part to similar factors — family instability and lack of supervision by harried single parents

READER QUIZ — WHAT YEAR WAS THIS ARTICLE (ABOVE)?

(author date & cite show when cursor hovers over link)

OK, now that you know when Dr. Rosenfled (a criminologist, not a PSYchologist) found out that the decline in marriage rates among African Americans meant reduced DV homicides among African Americans (although young men were killing each other more, they weren’t apparently killing so many wives or “intimate partners.” )

Let’s say what the head-honcho elected mostly white men were saying about the same year:

I searched the 104th Congress (1995-1996) for the word “fatherless.”

As we know, fatherlessness has been for so long blamed on the nation’s troubles that you can barely walk somewhere in a government agency, or any social service community agency (after you come back from either a Catholic church, where the (celibate?) priests are called “Father” in direct disobedience to Jesus’s command in the gospels, “call no man Father.” Or, an evangelical Protestant, not quite mainline (or, megachurch) where, after the ranks were being drained to women, they are adding testosterone to the doctrine, and teaching men to be more sensitive (in men’s groups, of course).

If you want to go without the straight-up religious variety, there’s always “The Mankind Project” and one can get a seminar of the Robert Bly type. There are fatherhood practitioners everywhere one looks, practically.

All I really wanted was the conversation where a legislator expresses shock and dismay that African American boys and girls are waking up on homes without their fathers. (NOTE: The “Mary” story above happened in the late 1980s, and HER 3 kids were waking up with their father in the home. In fact, her little girl Elizabeth, at age 3, had gotten an early introduction to sex when her stepbrother came there for the summer and molested her, after which her mother had another job of making sure they weren’t left alone together. (That couple were white and suburban, so maybe they didn’t count in this topic).

I got a little more than I expected in this 104th Congressional record:
Beginning
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND WORK OPPORTUNITY RECONCILIATION ACT OF 1996–CONFERENCE REPORT

 

I met a man who was an administrator of one of the hospitals in my community in the 15th District of Florida, and this gentleman told me that, before he had moved to Florida, he had lived in Oklahoma, and he had taken part in a program where he would go into inner city housing projects and read to young children in those projects. This program started because it has been shown in research studies that, if you read to a child, you can improve their reading score. Actually there are some studies that show that, if you read to a child, you may actually be able to raise their IQ slightly, {{Noble cause. Some Oklahoman going to raise inner city kids’ IQs}} and he told me something that I will never forget.

So this anecdotal evidence of an unnamed Florida Hospital Administrator, about (how many years previous?) that administrator going into the projects (hence, he wasn’t from them) was not 2nd-hand but 3rd-hand hearsay — if the event ever indeed happened. The impassioned delivery is to state how Welfare is Cruel — listen up how this is done:

He was going into those projects and reading to those kids, and those children were, by and large, children of single parents on welfare, and he would ask, many of them 5, 6 and 7-year-old children, `What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And, yes, some of them would say I want to be a fireman or a nurse, but some of them would say:

`I don’t want to work. I want to collect a check.’

Not all of them wanted to be firemen or nurses (separate by gender; I don’t know how many female fire”men” there are these days, but we know there are lots of male nurses… And probably were in 1996, too..)

Mr. Speaker, a program that does that to millions of children is not a program of compassion and caring to children. It is a program that is cruel and mean spirited to children.

Here’s the process — a man in Florida heard a man in Florida talk about his experience trying to improve the iQ of little kids in the projects (did he talk to their Mamas?) in Oklahoma, and concludes that (although even in the story some WANTED a profession, others wanted a check) FEEDING such children was mean-spirited and cruel…

Today a young male being born to a mother, a single mother on welfare in the United States, has a greater likelihood of ending up on drugs or in the penitentiary than graduating from high school.

I showed in “Luzerne County” that you don’t have to be poor or (presumable here) black to be a crook. There’s a difference between being a crook and actually being jailed for it. It should be common knowledge now, and I bet then (1996) that America, being the largest jailor (per capita) has those jails disproportionately filled with black males. Some of them got their assaulting their mother’s attacker, too. He’s taking two statistics (if that) and creating a CASUAL connection rather than a CAUSAL one. Of course, how many poor black males — or females of any social status or color — were there in Congress in 1996 to comment on his reasoning process?

And the young females, (single mothers have both boys and girls, right?) — are THEY ending up on drugs or in jail?

The problem that we have with illegitimacy in our Nation today is a problem that has been created by the program that we are trying to change, and you cannot fix this problem by tinkering around the edges. The illegitimacy rate in this country has gone up from 5 percent to almost 25 percent in the white community. In the black community it has gone from less than 25 percent to, in some areas, as high as 70 percent.

If you look at what correlates best, what correlates in communities with problems like teenage pregnancy, drug use, illiteracy, juvenile crime, the thing that correlates best in those problems in those communities, Mr. Speaker, is the amount of illegitimacy, the amount of fatherlessness in those communities. A program that perpetuates and cultivates things like this is a cruel and mean-spirited program, and that program needs to be changed, and our bill makes a serious attempt at doing that.

We are not talking about tinkering around the edges. We are talking about promoting family unity, discouraging teen-age pregnancy and illegitimacy.

The fact that this program perpetuates it, Mr. Speaker, was driven home to me when I was a medical student working in an inner-city obstetrics clinic, and I had a 15-year-old girl come in to see me who was pregnant, and I had never seen this before, and I was so upset. I was grieved to see this. I looked at her and said her life is ruined, she cannot go to college, and I said to her, `How did this happen, why did this happen,’ and she looked up to me and told me that she did it deliberately because she wanted to get out from under her mother in the project, and she wanted her own place and her own welfare check.

Again, on the outside looking in, and one anecdote.

This program needs to stop. The people have asked for it; we are trying to deliver.

WHICH people? I mean, these are elected representatives, are they really speaking for their constituents?

Mr. Speaker, I encourage the Members of the minority to stop their partisan rhetoric and join with us in reforming welfare and creating a program for the poor and the needy that strengthens family, does not undermine them, that strengthens the bonds of marriage, because it is strong families that make strong communities that makes strong nations, and our Nation cannot survive with a perpetuation of a program like this.

Is it the lack of marriage, or the lack of fathers that counts? Because I tell you one thing that makes lack of fathers — WARS. Another thing that previously, broke up families in a callous manner is called slavery.

Who created ghettoes? Who created the two-tier school system, good for some lousy for others (a factor to this date). Who directed one populace into “jobs” and the others (elite ones) into how to run businesses and understand investments, political connections, foundations, and skills that would go along with that goal?

So if you want to know how much we (we WHO???) have invested in the old welfare program over the past 30 years, it is roughly the equivalent of the value of all buildings, all plants and equipment, and all of the tools of all the workers in the United States of America. No society in history has ever invested more money trying to help needy people than the United States of America has invested.

Yet, what has been the result of all of those good intentions? What has been the result of that investment? The result of that investment, 30 years later, is that we have as many poor people today as we had 30 years ago. They are poorer today, they are more dependent on the Government today, and by any definition of quality of life, fulfillment, or happiness, people are worse off today than they were when we started the current welfare system.

When we started the War on Poverty {{and another war in Southeast Asia to follow up on the Korean war I guess}} in the mid-1960s, two-parent families were the norm in poor families in America. Today, two-parent families are the exception. Since 1965, the illegitimacy rate has tripled.

I know that we have colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are going to lament the passage of this new welfare reform bill. But I do not see how anybody with a straight face, or a clear conscience, can defend the status quo in welfare. Our current welfare program has failed. It has driven fathers out of the household. It has made mothers dependent. It has taken away people’s dignity. It has bred child abuse and neglect, and filled the streets of our cities with crime. And we are here today to change it.

Grammar: Is this guy going to “own” the welfare program, or objectify it? First it was guilt trip, “we have created” and net thing it’s got an independent life, like a disease, perpetuating itself of its own accord, where it can be separated from the rhetorical bosom of the speaker, and be viewed running around tearing up the place. As an “it” it can now have stones thrown at IT first. And after the vivid picture of 5, 6 , 7 year olds wanting to collect a welfare check (“millions of them”) (Seriously, that’s the subliminal message — guilt trip first, it’s ours” and then relieve the guilt by blaming the same thing “we” created, and QUICK, call to action.….) Some action is needed to take away

Let me outline what our program does. I think if each of us looks back to a period when our ancestors first came to America, or back to a time when those who have gone before us found themselves poor, we are going to find that there are two things that get individuals and nations out of poverty. Those two things are work and family. I think it is instructive to note that those are the two things that we have never applied to the current welfare program of the United States of America.

This man seems totally unconscious of the fact that SOME ancestors came to America in the bottom of a slave ship; that a lot of wealth, including likely some of the wealth that helped put people in Congress, came from came from businesses that included plantation labor, sweat shops, and some very, very hard work. When he says “us” as to doling out benefits, he also seems to have forgotten that those taxes came from employees’ wages, courtesy a few reforms dating back to 1939. He seems to have forgotten everything about “Jim Crow” and era of attempting to turn back the clock on some serious industriousness by freed slaves.

The bill before us asks people to work. It says that able-bodied men and women will be required to work in order to receive benefits. It sets a time limit so that people cannot make welfare a way of life. It seeks to change the incentives within the welfare system. And I believe the time has come to change those incentives within the welfare system.

I admit I’m maybe sensitive to this because I know HOW HARD I worked over the years, and none harder than while in a battering relationship that could’ve been a variety of the one above (but a decade later). This relationship, within marriage shouldn’t be happening any more in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s, but it is.

Family Court Systems Purposefully Mask Abuse and Abusers

(SEPARATE TOPIC, above)) just saving the link).

Luzerne County, PA: “Doctrine of absolute judicial immunity” vs “Racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations,” and more…

with 4 comments

In Lovely Luzerne, PA, two judges were, ah, moonlighting? (maybe their salaries didn’t support their lifestyles?) — well, you can google the background story, of judges indulging themselves in the Kids for Cash business. Several parallels apply to the family law arena

For Kids Caught in PA Scandal, Trials not Over

It is slow going for about 4,500 juvenile defendants who were caught up in the Luzerne County, Pa. “cash-for-kids” scandal and who want to get their records cleared.

It has been more than a year since state courts first ordered that verdicts handed down by Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. be thrown out. But the price of judicial misconduct has been steep, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article:

“[F]ewer than 10 percent of the records have been expunged. Luzerne County is hiring staff to finish the job. But even then, thanks to the mounds of paperwork and multiple agencies involved, officials say it will take another year to erase all the records.

“That leaves young people who are trying to enlist in the military, obtain student loans, win teacher certification, or apply for certain jobs entangled in red tape.”

A panel that investigated the scandal listed 43 reform recommendations in May. Its report (see Gavel Grab) detailed a scandal that involved two judges who later were charged with receiving more than $2.8 million in payoffs; they were accused of taking kickbacks to send juveniles to private detention centers

{“Gavel Grab” leads to the “Justice at Stake” campaign & its partners}

About this post:

In the Law.com report on a defendant’s attempt to receive damages under the RICO charges, we learn about judicial immunity, standing, causes of action in these cases (emotional trauma doesn’t count / financial loss does).

When I looked up a single point raised therein, “11th Amendment,” a riveting, mind-numbing PA case, from the late 1990s surfaced — the wife of an abusive police officer repeatedly seeks intervention. I narrate and discuss it, too.

  • As the situation escalates (starting with a suicide attempt, threats to kill (mostly her, but once, their son], private & public assaults [not of her only] and beatings, stalkings, and useless 911 calls, the husband/officer, who was never (that I can see) locked up once, finally is served a restraining order. Actually, 3 (all of which he basically ignores, and its witnessed violating by officers), after which he (predictably) finally succeeds in killing himself — after he shoots his wife point-blank in the chest.
  • In the same timeframe, in PA, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (or at least Barbara J. Hart) has been publishing lethality assessments, lists of warning signs, and indicators, ALL of which this man met, plus-some. One begins to wonder where the communication gap was, between the DV people and the officers, although certainly it’s a tough situation for them also.
  • Finally, the wife attempts to regroup damages, to sue for negligence by the officers. does so on the wrong basis, and a Court of Appeals overturns this. That section is in mostly green font.

I inserted this account, which illustrates the parallel worlds of DV literature and street reality, the graphic reality of living with an abuser (and regretfully, that no one apparently insisted on utter and complete separation when these things began; she almost was killed, was seriously injured, and for years the children and others associated with her were at risk from this father/husband/police officer who never received whatever help or intervention might have put a stop to his behaviors.) AND I include it for us to understand that being assaulted, injured, or feeling betrayed, and having sought and failed to find help doesn’t always qualify a person for compensation for losses, however much common “logic” may feel it is due, when public servants are negligent.

The Jessica Gonzales case in Colorado, in which this also mother-of-three warned the officers, who didn’t take her seriously, and her children were murdered. This is where a case could go AFTER they separated because of violence — it could get worse. In 2005, Chicago attorney/professor Joan Meier, Washington Post/published in StopFamilyViolence.org, summarizes the critical issue in Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, itslef a response to Ms. (then) Gonzales’ suit against the town. My post is getting long, but I suggest reading a few paragraphs of this one. Her incident was in 1999 (Ms. Burella’s, 1996-1998). Years later, after the deaths, the cases are still in the courts. My take on the issues at this point — issuing restraining orders has become in too many cases, “certifiably insane.” Why not make self-defense training a marriage requirement? Or, incorporate it into high school curricula, as a requirement, along with learning some basics of our legal system? They become simply red flags, whether the initial violence was from psychiatric disorder, or a simply overentitled person, or some of both. If police canNOT be held to enforce them (and after the police, a judge has to sentence; if the judges repeatedly release criminals, and so forth) — we need to find another way.

Published March 19, 2005 by The Washington Post

Battered Justice For Battered Women

by Joan Meier [Prof. of Clinical Law, George Washington Univ, Washington, D.C.,1983 U. Chicago Law School, cum laude, Exec. Dir. of DVLEAP]

It is common for the public and the courts to criticize women who are victims of domestic abuse for staying in an abusive relationship and tolerating it. But what happens when women do try to end the abuse? Jessica Gonzales’s story provides one horrifying answer.

In May 1999 Gonzales received a protection order from her suicidal and frightening husband, Simon Gonzales, whom she was divorcing. The order limited his access to the home and the children. On June 22 the three girls disappeared near their house. But when Jessica Gonzales called the Castle Rock, Colo., police department, she received no assistance. Over a period of eight hours, the police refused to take action, repeatedly telling her that there was nothing they could do and that she should call back later — even after she had located her husband and daughters by cell phone. The three young girls, ages 7, 9 and 10, were not to survive the night. At 3 a.m. on June 23, Simon Gonzales arrived at the police station in his truck, opened fire and was killed by return fire. The bodies of Leslie, Katheryn and Rebecca were found in the back of his truck.

Perhaps his life might have been saved also. “serve and protect” I guess.

Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, which stems from Gonzales’s lawsuit against the police. The question before the court is whether the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process was violated by the police department’s dismissal of the protection order, in clear violation of the state statute, which required them to use “every reasonable means” to enforce it. If procedural due process — required by the 14th Amendment — means anything, then it must be found that it was violated here, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has so ruled

While no justice for this mother or her three daughters, there’s a diligent pursuit of justice to prevent any consequences for the prior injustice. To the Supreme Court.

The doctrine of procedural due process derives from the principle that when a state chooses to establish a benefit or right for citizens, it may not deny such benefits in an arbitrary or unfair way. In this case, the state established a benefit of mandated police enforcement of protection orders. Aware that police discretion too often fails, the Colorado legislation required the police to make arrests or otherwise to enforce domestic violence restraining orders of the sort issued to Jessica Gonzales. Police discretion was limited to determining whether a violation of an order had occurred. Yet in this case the police did nothing; they simply ignored the complaint, a clear example of “arbitrary” conduct

(Joan S. Meier)

Joan S. Meier

Luzerne County Judges Racketeering and

“Julie Burella (et al.) v. City of Philadelphia” [Court of Appeals]

What these two cases taught me:

Individuals and relatives/friends of women targeted by these kinds of beatings assaults, making life hell situations — as well as the improperly locked up juveniles in Luzerne County — need to understand some legal basic, including <>standing (jurisdiction), <>legitimate causes of action, <> what is or is not a legitmate tort, or breach of contract (etc.) and<> who is and is not going to be immune from damages. These are often forgotten in the emotional drama of survival, and dealing with the emotions around the case. This kind of understanding is not generally handed to one by one’s attorney, and I guarantee you it’s not by most “justice centers.” It needs to be sought and obtained.

Rights cannot be protected if one doesn’t know what they are. Moreover, the credibility gap between mainstream domestic violence law, and applied practice, remain. Women need to protect themselves adn their children, when possible (if intervention fails and the situation continues to escalate) by leaving.

Permanently. George Bush, Bill Clinton, and President Obama’s policies aside, our right to LIFE is unalienable. hence, women must be able to act on that. The parent who has engaged in threatening or trying to eradicate that right in others, based on wife as property, husband as property, or children as property, and has repeatedly demonstrated this in private OR public, should lose subsidiary rights, such as contact with their children. The family law arena appears to exist in order to subvert that principle. Though I am no attorney, I can read, and have. The no-fault divorce situation creates a different kind of court as to divorce, and limits remedies in some sense, just as a “civil” restraining order implies that the violence, or causes of action justifying it, were not criminal in nature, which quite often they are.

(from the FBI Philadelphia Sept. 2009 bulletin:)

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2009
United States Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Contact: (717) 221-4482

Two Former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judges Indicted on Racketeering, Fraud, Money Laundering, Tax, and Related Charges

Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Janice Fedaryck, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Don Fort, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Harrisburg has returned a 48-count indictment charging former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. with racketeering and related charges in connection with alleged improper actions of the former judges to facilitate the construction and operation of juvenile detention facilities owned by PA Child Care, LLC and Western PA Child Care, LLC.

The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery, and federal tax violations and that they received millions of dollars in illegal payments. Along with the criminal charges, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of at least $2,819,500 which is alleged to be the proceeds of the charged criminal activity. . . .

An indictment or information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.**

(the youth/juveniles that came in front of these judges didn’t have that standard applied…)

That these two got caught doesn’t mean there were no others…
and here’s LAW.Com’s comments that, at least THIS time, sometimes, ya’ get caught… whether or not this indicates compensation for the problems caused

For any future youngsters, or their parents, hoping that a RICO suit might help compensate for years lost, or other damages — emotional trauma ain’t enough. I’ll bold the wording here. As posted in “Law.com” (link included):

Disgraced Former Judges Lose Immunity Battle in ‘Kids for Cash’ Scandal

Ruling also includes some setbacks for the plaintiff, who claims he was one of the victims of the alleged kickback scheme when he was sentenced to the juvenile facility in 2005

The Legal Intelligencer

August 11, 2010

Even the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity proved to be too weak a defense for the two disgraced former Luzerne County judges who are the leading figures in Pennsylvania’s “kids-for-cash” scandal.

A federal judge has ruled that the pair — Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. — are immune only for actions they took in court or while ruling on cases, but that they can still be sued for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to take kickbacks from the owner and builder of a privately run juvenile prison. Conahan had also asserted a defense of legislative immunity, arguing that some of the allegations lodged against him stemmed from the funding decisions he made in his role as president judge.

But U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo rejected that argument, saying: “It does not appear that Conahan had the type of general policy-making power that would cloak his actions with legislative immunity.

Meaning, if he HAD been a general policy-maker, he would have legislative immunity, I guess….

The ruling means that Conahan and Ciavarella face possible liability for their roles as the alleged architects of the larger alleged conspiracy to cut off all funding for the then-existing county-owned juvenile facility and to take kickbacks in return for ensuring a steady stream of incarcerated youths so that the new, privately run facility would be profitable.

I am not blogging about juvenile justice systems. This blog is about FAMILY court matters, more dealing with parental relationships, which, unfortunately brings us into the realms of violence, kidnapping, child abusee, child molestation, and the fathers-rights-womens-rights-childrens-rights debate. The Pennsylvania case is different in application (violating kids’ due process in order to provide warm bodies for supposed crimes they had committed), as opposed to violating one set of parents’ due process in order to provide referral business for the court professionals and the professions flocking around the courts. It’s somewhat of a technicality, when you grasp “steady stream of .(warm bodies) . . . so that . . . would be profitable.” and the criminal nature of a business racket. And what kind of personalities would choose judgeships to engage in them. What an ethical violation — to go to a judge fo justice, and that judge is himself a criminal, with cohorts.

The two former judges were hit by federal prosecutors in September 2009 with a 48-count indictment containing charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations in connection with allegedly accepting more that $2.8 million from the builder and former co-owner of a private juvenile detention facility. Conahan agreed in April to plead guilty to one RICO count.

Caputo’s 12-page opinion in Dawn v. Ciavarella, handed down on Monday, also included a few setbacks for the plaintiff, Wayne Dawn, who claims he was one of the victims of the scheme when he was sentenced to the juvenile facility in 2005.

First, Caputo found that Dawn’s RICO claims must be dismissed because he lacks standing to pursue such a claim.

Any Plaintiff’s comPlaint should establish standing up front. The fact that in the family law business, it’s not unusual for judges to issues orders where they have no standing doesn’t change the fact that individual FAMILIES or PARENTS had better make sure they do!

Under RICO, a plaintiff must plead an injury to “business or property,” Caputo noted, and the courts have consistently rejected the notion that personal injury or mental distress can satisfy that requirement.

Injury for RICO purposes requires proof of concrete financial loss, not mere injury to an intangible property interest,” Caputo wrote.

From what I now understand of the court process, I’m of the opinion that parents might as well face that reforming these courts stands a better chance in pointing out the fraud, racketeering type activity within them (and sometimes involving other parts of the system, i.e., the criminal law elements) than running the conferences about how it’s hurting our kids. On what basis do we think the people involved actually care?

Dawn’s claim fell short of that test, Caputo found, because he “has not alleged sufficient injury to business or property to confer standing to bring a claim pursuant to RICO. Plaintiff’s claims for loss of sense of well-being, emotional trauma and stigma are not the type of concrete financial loss that is envisioned by the phrase ‘injury to business or property.'”

If Dawn was the youth (I didn’t read this complaint, am just familiar with the case generally), probably that well-being, emotional trauma and stigma are going to hurt him/her very badly — in fact we know from acestudy.org and common sense that this would. However, RICO is a business-type charge involving cheating, stealing, and financial loss or damages. Many people caught up in the drama and passion of this, offended by the betrayal, forget the context in trying to get heard (I know I did and have).

Caputo also ruled that Dawn cannot pursue any claims against the Luzerne County Juvenile Probation Department or Sandra Brulo, the probation department’s former deputy director of forensic programs.

“Because Juvenile Probation is an arm of the state that is immune to suit pursuant to the 11th Amendment and Pennsylvania has not waived its immunity to suit, its motion to dismiss will be granted,” Caputo wrote.

I searched for 11th amendment, this county and found several cases (in PA, different counties):

Debra Haybarger v. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole,e t al.
State governments and their subsidiary units are immune from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment.

AND:

Date: 09-24-2007

Case Style: Jill Burella, individually and as parent and guardian of Beth Ann Burella, Danielle Burella and Nicholas Burella v. City of Philadelphia, et al.

Case Number: 04-1157/2495

Judge: Fuentes

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on appeal from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County).


Here’s a REAL egregious case, a living nightmare where a police officer’s wife tries, repeatedly and HARD, to get the 911 calls, help for her husband through his employers, the police department, and finally /too late, that “certifiably insane restraining order” system to work — against her police officer husband, who is off the chart dangerous, and eventually seriously injured her (shot her in the chest) and killed himself. She tries to sue, among others, the officers who kept releasing the guy or refusing to arrest him, even when they witnessed the violations immediately. Multiple threats to kill, beating her at home, she calls repeatedly, etc. The officers, responded, we have immunity. The District court ruled — no you don’t. THIS is the Appeals court ruling, well, actually, yes they did.

This BURELLA case is late 1990s, (somewhat off the post’s RICO topic but ON the blog’s topic) and 34pages long.

Please READ parts of it if you are among the innocent (or ignorant/apathetic/too busy to process til it hits you, or your family) who doesn’t yet grasp “why don’t she leave?,” or that a restraining order ain’t the end of the process and may increase the risk for many of us! What about the enforcement that backs it up? What about if the attacker KNOWS enforcement is lax?

Well, then logically, she’d better get the heck out of there…. But – – — what about their kids? But — joint shared parenting presumptions and court orders make that nigh impossible! Ask Dawn Axsom, from Arizona, and her mother, Oct. 2009.

Oh, I forgot — you can’t — they’re dead. Fox news blamed it on “the Custody Battle” and calls them ALL (3) victims, not the man who shot his wife, mother in law and then himself, orphaning their baby. My blog was only one of many on this incident. There are so many such incidents, I even forgot I blogged that one…

That, in a nutshell, seems to be how our country STILL views Fathers killing Mothers (and/or others, and/or themselves). Being a mother and a woman, this woman (like Burella, below) knew danger whne she experienced or sensed it, and tried to reconcile being a law-abiding citizen with being a LIVING citizen. She went to her death complying with a court order, apparently. How was the judicial immunity in that case? (As it’s in Maricopa County, I recommend reviewing the top page in this blog, and “National Association of Marriage Enhancement” nonprofit, based in Phoenix and possibly also having its contract steered to it in ia not-quite-above-the-board manner. NAME started (as I recall) in 2006. Axsom’s case relates to this refusal to allow women to leave violent relationships because there is a crisis in fatherlessness in this country, which is detrimental to the health of the children. That policy was in full effect also during the Burella years, per 1995 Executive Order from then-President Bill Clinton, to re-arrange and review HIS branch of government, at least, to accommodate “fatherhood” and address the nation’s crisis in kids not waking up in homes with their biological fathers.

At what point does the law of reverse efforts set in, and the failure of ROI cause a policy change?

JILL BURELLA – US COURT OF APPEALS 04-1157/2495

Description:

In January 1999, George Burella, a ten-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, shot and seriously injured his wife, Jill Burella, and then shot and killed himself.1 George Burella had emotionally and physically abused Jill Burella for years prior to the shooting. Although she reported numerous incidents of abuse to the police over the years, obtained several restraining orders just days before the shooting, and told police that her husband continued threatening her despite the orders, police failed to arrest him. This appeal concerns whether the police officers had a constitutional obligation to protect Jill Burella from her husband’s abuse. {(make that “violence” please!)} Despite our grave concerns about the Philadelphia Police Department’s alleged conduct in this case, we hold that the officers did not have such an obligation. Accordingly, we will reverse the District Court’s denial of qualified immunity and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. Background

We set forth in some detail the long and protracted history of physical and emotional abuse in this case because it is central to Jill Burella’s claim that Philadelphia police officers knew about the abuse, but nevertheless failed to act, thereby violating her due process and equal protection rights.

. . .

The abuse began around February 1996, when George Burella was convicted of disorderly conduct for stalking his wife at her workplace and assaulting her male co-worker who he suspected was having an affair with her. One month later, in the face of marital troubles and a severe gambling problem, George Burella attempted suicide. He survived and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he was diagnosed with depression.

After her husband was released from the hospital, Jill Burella contacted the Philadelphia Police Department’s Employee Assistance Program (“EAP“), which is designed to assist officers in obtaining help with personal problems. The EAP notified the City Medical Department, which placed George Burella on restricted duty and referred him to City doctors for psychological treatment.

There’s an old movie, a comic parody of Robin Hood, called “Men in Tights.” What follows here (in green) describes what surely was HELL, in living with this “Man with Gun.” His wife and mother tries to get them help, sounds like every way possible. Who knows if or what threats she might’ve received about trying to leave, or if she tried to. It’s hard enough to get away from abusers when you are in their social/personal networks sometimes — can you imagine that when the personal/social network includes fellow officers? ONLOOKERS should notice — what she did, the police and EAP responses. This man was a problem waiting to happen, and happening. Suicide attempts, stalking, depression, assaulting others (jealousy), threatening to kill her, beating her, using his official privilege to defuse an incident, and he had 3 children… I’ll color-code the red flag incidents RED, her or others’ attempts to help or stop it bold and the responses, BLUE. Then you can ask, what century , and country, do we live in? Is this a 3rd world country? In certain ways, USA-style, for women, YES.

George Burella’s violence towards his wife continued over the next several years and, in early June 1998, she contacted the Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division to report the abuse. Internal Affairs referred the matter to the EAP, which assigned George Burella a peer counselor.

Later that month, on June 26, 1998, George Burella assaulted his wife and another man at a local bar. Witnesses called 911, but George Burella left the bar before police officers arrived. When he got home, he phoned his wife and threatened to shoot their son Nicholas if she did not immediately return to the house. After calling 911, Jill Burella rushed home, where her husband, who was armed with a gun, threatened to shoot her. Before the matter worsened, police officers arrived. George Burella initially refused the officers’ order to surrender, but did so after the officer in charge agreed to report the incident as a domestic disturbance, rather than a more serious offense. {{bargaining it down is common}} Officer Robert Reamer, who is named as a defendant in this lawsuit, was one of the officers who arrived at the scene.

They could probably throw a person in jail for being drunk and disorderly in public, or resisting arrest after being confronted with jaywalking. Or for too many parking tickets (?).

This man had already — on this night alone, and after some years of assault & battery: assaulted his wife AND another man in public, threatened to kill their SON by phone, threatened her, with a gun, in person, and resisted arrest. And that was a “domestic disturbance” ??? Even the part in public and involving a non-relative being assaulted? Sounds to me like her reporting and seeking help had made the situation worse; jealousy plus maybe his perceived public humiliation (i.e. some witnesses called 911) followed by public retaliation…

After the police officers left, George Burella began beating his wife on their front lawn. Her parents arrived and took her to their house, but George Burella followed them there. Once at her parents’ house, she tried to call 911, but her husband wrestled the phone from her and told the operator that he was a police officer and that everything was under control. As a result, the operator did not instruct police to respond to the situation. Three days later, Jill Burella contacted the EAP to report the incident, but because the EAP failed to notify Internal Affairs, the incident was never investigated.

I’m going to speculate that her life at this point was a combination of walking on eggshells and trying to consider her options, plus work, plus being a Mom. I can only imagine what it might be like after years of assaults by an officer who knew he could bargain down and schmooze off some of his violence under the authority of his uniform. Some men are maybe attracted to that uniform to serve & protect, but some also for the authority. That one night, the first 911 hadn’t helped. At her parents, now they AND her kids were at risk. Again, 911 was called. What were her genuine options and wishes here? (I’m not going to continue with the font changes — but can readers mentally separate, 1, 2, 3: 1. Incident, 2. attempts to call for help or get safe, 3. system responses.)

In July 1998, George Burella called his wife at work in Upper Southampton Township and threatened to kill her. After Upper Southampton police officers arrived at her workplace, she received several more threatening phone calls from her husband. The officers called Captain Charles Bloom, George Burella’s commanding officer, and a defendant in this lawsuit, to inform him about the incident.

I’m starting to wonder about any meds for depression from that 1996 hospital visit….READ THIS, a report about possible links to “atypical anti-psychotics” being pushed, since 1999, in a Tacoma Mental Hospital…

Captain Bloom became directly involved in the situation on August 13, 1998, when Northampton police officers arrested George Burella for assaulting Jill Burella in Bucks County. The officers released George Burella into the custody of Captain Bloom, who escorted him home. {{What, the jails were full near home? Didn’t want to embarass the guy?}}

Three days later, on August 16, George Burella called his wife while she was visiting his parents with the children and again threatened to kill her. When he went to his parents’ house, Northampton police officers responding to an emergency call escorted him to his car, unloaded his firearm, and placed it in the trunk of the car.{{did not lock him up, maybe following Cap. Bloom’s lead?}} Shortly thereafter, officers found him driving in the vicinity of the house with his gun re-loaded and placed on the backseat of his car. Officers took him to a local hospital, but he was released shortly thereafter.3 After being notified of the incident, Captain Bloom ordered George Burella to submit to a psychiatric evaluation.

Later that month, George Burella admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital, but left after four days of treatment. {{one wonders, of what sort? How could he just “leave”?}} Several days later, City psychologists examined him and concluded that he should be monitored for the next two years. After one follow-up appointment with City doctors in September 1998, he did not return for treatment.

Without consequences, apparently, for this. Was it a city order, or a personal recommendation from Capt. Bloom?

On December 24, 1998, George Burella again assaulted his wife, this time while she was visiting a friend. (CHRISTMAS EVE….)

Philadelphia really isn’t that far from Washington, D.C. In 1994, VAWA passed. News travels slowly, it seems. From my perspective (I was being assaulted in those years, and didn’t know about VAWA, or my options, either) it’s now clear that this woman is being punished for engaging in normal activities outside home & work. He is also sending a clear message to anyone in her social support system that they, too, might be at risk, at the least being affected by witnessing the violence to her.

Mothers caught in the court system after abuse also experience the escalation. Even well-meaning people have their own lives to live. It becomes nearly impossible to be a staunch supporter and ally, because the trauma is ongoing and repetitive, and never fully resolved — court orders aren’t enforced, crises can be generated by any accusation, practically IN the courts, plus the incidents outside of them also. That’s why I often liken the family law system to the abuse I knew, in these 1990s (another part of the country…). Same effects, same system deafness to the dangers.

When Philadelphia police officers arrived, they allowed him to leave with the couple’s youngest daughter (a twin, if I recall), and then took Jill Burella and her two other children home, where her husband resumed beating her. {{HOW does one spell “insane”??}}


Jill Burella — she’s been beaten, with kids watching it, for years now, threatened with guns, assaulted/stalked, and/or threatened to kill her (or her son): at her workplace, at a bar, at her parent’s house, at a friend’s house, on her front lawn, at home, at her work place, in Bucks County. IHe has (1996) actually attempted to commit suicide. The man, a cop, and the situation, is a walking /stalking time bomb in need of some serious intervention.

In response, he has NOT been locked up once, but HAS been:

  • (1996) Admitted to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with depression
  • place on restricted duty and referred to City doctors (?) for psychological treatment (was it received?)
  • (1998) Assigned a peer counselor
  • After a night of multiple incidents and threats to kill (including his son), the responding officer downgrades this to “domestic disturbance” and does not arrest.
  • The same night, he simply resumes beating her. Her PARENTS try to rescue her (evidently no policeman is going to) by taking her away. He follows them there. She tries to call 911, he interferes with the phone and talks the situation down — and so far that dispatch operator was not brought up to speed on the evenings’ developments. Perhaps nothing further happened that night because all parties were just exhausted…
  • 3 days later, she calls EAP again, who does not notify Internal Affairs, and nothing is investigated. (Way to go!)
  • July, 1998, more threats to kill (at her workplace). The responding officers tell his commanding officer, Captain Bloom. No record of anything being done.
  • August, 1998 more assaults and/or threats. Captain Bloom drives him home…Tells him to go to a psychiatric hospital . . He goes, but quits. City psychologist then say he needs 2 years of monitoring (not exactly a sensible decisions, in light of the past). He goes once, and no mention of follow up by them. I think we get the picture that Mr. B. doesn’t appreciate that he is breaking the law, nor has anyone to date apparently attempted to communicate this to him by locking him up even overnight!

So now, she is going to try a restraining order. I wonder how well THAT is going to work after all this. Is the guy showing restraint? Is any part of this system going to back her up if he violates it? Because if not, then (I now ssay) they shouldn’t issue it. Better to give her and the kids some self-defense training, or another place to live, like witness protection. 1998, people….

Over the course of the next few weeks, Jill Burella obtained the three protection from abuse orders relevant to this lawsuit. On January 2, 1999, {{NB: last recorded assault — and Philadelphia police officers blowing it off — Dec. 24, 1998 in Philadelphia}} she obtained an emergency ex parte protection from abuse order from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas that prohibited her husband from “abusing, harassing, stalking and/or threatening” her, and from “living at, entering, attempting to enter or visiting” the couple’s home. {{the KICKOUT}} The order further provided that officers “shall . . . arrest the defendant if he/she fails to comply with this Order.” (App. at 110-11.) The next day, Officer Reamer served the order on George Burella, who, according to Jill Burella, immediately violated it by shouting at and threatening her. Despite witnessing the alleged violation, Officer Reamer permitted George Burella to enter the house.

These officers have forgotten their responsibilities and become a public health hazard. THEY don’t respect protection from abuse (say what? in PA they don’t call it “VIOLENCE”? Did they ever?). Obviously neither does the husband in question. If they refuse to enforce the law (is a court order an order? or a suggestion? If they refused to arrest without an order, now, they had an order and it even specified they SHALL arrest if he fails to comply. So THEY are in contempt of that order, as I see it.) So, what are they doing in office and pulling a salary? Directing traffic? CYA-ing? Whom are they serving and what are they protecting?

There’s a site for law enforcement called “behind the blue line.” There’s also a blog for officer-involved violence, called, “Behind the Blue WALL.”

Not all officers try to “blow off” domestic violence.

In 1999, an officer sued his bosses, the mayor, and others in federal court over retaliation against him for his trying to do his job!, also involving an officer and domestic violence against his wife (also an officer):

Same dynamics, same timeframe (1996-1999), same state – Pittsburgh, PA area

Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 4, 1999

A Pittsburgh police officer has sued his bosses in federal court, charging that they have retaliated against him for doing his job, which he said has included filing complaints against other officers. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Edmond N. Gaudelli Jr. names as defendants Mayor Murphy, Deputy Mayor Sal Sirabella, police Chief Robert McNeilly, Deputy Chief Charles Moffatt, several assistant chiefs, commanders and sergeants, a doctor at the training academy and an internal investigator, among others. Gaudelli, 32, a police officer since 1990, says in the suit the defendants had conspired to retaliate against him since 1996, when he filed a grievance against several officers, including a complaint that opposed the appointment of McNeilly as police chief… The marks against Gaudelli began to mount when, as an officer at the West End station, he said he responded to a domestic violence call at the home of McNeilly and his wife, police Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly. Gaudelli said in the complaint that McNeilly had told him to phone his supervisor and have records of the call removed from the running sheetOn assignment at a store in Waterworks Mall, Gaudelli said, he was disciplined again because he tried to arrest Officer Cindy Harper for shoplifting. Gaudelli said Harper’s husband, Assistant Chief Nate Harper, intervened and then was part of a conspiracy to have him fired…

McNeilly was the George Burella (at least in that incident), and Gaudelli was the responding Captain Bloom. But Gaudelli tried to file the repoet. McNeilly pulled a “Burella” and said, basically, to clear his name, pulling rank to do so. Domestic violence victims should be aware this can happen. Officer Gaudelli, assigned to a mall to stop troublemakers (including presumably shoplifting), couldn’t even do that, when the person doing it was an officer. And the US doesn’t have a caste system or grant titles of nobility? ?? Sounds like some public servants aren’t aware of this.

So, back to the Burella situation —

The next day, Jill Burella obtained {where? Criminal or Civil? HOW?} another temporary protection from abuse order, which essentially repeated the terms set forth in the January 2 order. In addition, the court awarded her temporary custody of the couple’s three children, prohibited George Burella from having “any contact” with her, and ordered him to relinquish all guns other than his service weapon, which he was required to turn over to his commanding officer at the end of every shift. The order also stated that “[t]his Order shall be enforced by any law enforcement agency in a county where a violation of this Order occurs.” (App. at 121-22.) {{either that was standard, or it was accommodating all the other places he followed his wife and assaulted or threatened her)}}.

Later that day, Jill Burella called 911 after she received threatening phone calls from her husband. After officers arrived, and while in their presence, she received several more calls from her husband. The officers told her they could not do anything unless her husband was physically present {is that word “threatening” in the RO too vague to comprehened?} .4 When Jill Burella called the police the next day, again they told her that nothing could be done unless her husband was physically present at her house.

On January 8, 1999, Jill Burella obtained a final order of protection.5 Four days later, following an appointment with a psychiatrist at the City Medical Department, George Burella went to the house he formerly shared with his wife and shot her in the chest. He then immediately shot and killed himself. Although she suffered serious injuries, Jill Burella survived the shooting.

I cannot help noticing (2nd or 3rd reading of this case) that troubles escalated after visits to a psychiatric hospital.

The newer, more expensive drugs have been heavily promoted at the hospital by drugmakers. Sales reps have logged about 1,200 visits to Western since late 2003, when administrators began tracking their activity. Concerned about their influence on prescribing patterns, the hospital in March banned all reps from visiting the campus to meet with docs.

The newer atypicals are promoted as safer and more effective than older meds, and are widely used at Western – along with ongoing use of older drugs, there’s been an increase since 1999 of about 30 percent in the amount of anti-psychotic meds given to patients at Western, The News Tribune found.

Many patients now receive two or more anti-psychotic drugs at once, a doubling of medication unheard of just eight years ago, when the older drugs were more prevalent.

OR, another article on schizophrenia, violence, with substance abuse (which Burella had) and atypical antipsychotis — if the guys take ’em:

Management of Violence in Schizophrenia The public perception of people with schizophrenia often is, unfortunately, of uncontrollable–possibly murderous–criminals. While mental health providers know this stereotype is almost always wrong, they do have real concerns about controlling violent tendencies in some patients with schizophrenia–especially people with co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Treatment of schizophrenia has become more effective with the introduction of the atypical antipsychotics, but getting patients to take their medications still proves to be a problem and is related to their potential for violence.

Before I comment on the LEGAL issues of this, let’s look at a document from Pennsylvania dating to 1990, which is why I include its contents here. Lethality Assessment by Barbara J. Hart is well-known in this field of DV. I wonder what happened that — same State — the message didn’t get through, somehow, that this guy was going to shoot somebody, possibly her. Nowadays, they are still selling “risk assessments” to the courts, as similar incidents continue.

The dispatcher and responding officer can utilize the indicators described below in making an assessment of the batterer’s potential to kill. Considering these factors may or may not reveal actual potential for homicidal assault. But, the likelihood of a homicide is greater when these factors are present. The greater the number of indicators that the batterer demonstrates or the greater the intensity of indicators, the greater the likelihood of a life-threatening attack.

Use all of the information you have about the batterer, current as well as past incident information. A thorough investigation at the scene will provide much of the information necessary to make this assessment. However, law enforcement will not obtain reliable information from an interview conducted with the victim and perpetrator together or from the batterer alone.

  1. Threats of homicide or suicide.The batterer who has threatened to kill himself, his partner, the children or her relatives must be considered extremely dangerous.
  2. Fantasies of homicide or suicide.The more the batterer has developed a fantasy about who, how, when, and/or where to kill, the more dangerous he may be. The batterer who has previously acted out part of a homicide or suicide fantasy may be invested in killing as a viable “solution” to his problems. As in suicide assessment, the more detailed the plan and the more available the method, the greater the risk.
  3. Weapons.Where a batterer possesses weapons and has used them or has threatened to use them in the past in his assaults on the battered woman, the children or himself, his access to those weapons increases his potential for lethal assault. The use of guns is a strong predictor of homicide. If a batterer has a history of arson or the threat of arson, fire should be considered a weapon.
  4. “Ownership” of the battered partner. The batterer who says “Death before Divorce!” or “You belong to me and will never belong to another!” may be stating his fundamental belief that the woman has no right to life separate from him. A batterer who believes he is absolutely entitled to his female partner, her services, her obedience and her loyalty, no matter what, is likely to be life-endangering.
  5. Centrality of the partner.A man who idolizes his female partner, or who depends heavily on her to organize and sustain his life, or who has isolated himself from all other community, may retaliate against a partner who decides to end the relationship. He rationalizes that her “betrayal” justifies his lethal retaliation.
  6. Separation Violence. When a batterer believes that he is about to lose his partner, if he can’t envision life without her or if the separation causes him great despair or rage, he may choose to kill.
  7. Depression.Where a batterer has been acutely depressed and sees little hope for moving beyond the depression, he may be a candidate for homicide and suicide. Research shows that many men who are hospitalized for depression have homicidal fantasies directed at family members.
  8. Access to the battered woman and/or to family members.If the batterer cannot find her, he cannot kill her. If he does not have access to the children, he cannot use them as a means of access to the battered woman. Careful safety planning and police assistance are required for those times when contact is required, e.g. court appearances and custody exchanges.
  9. Repeated outreach to law enforcement.Partner or spousal homicide almost always occurs in a context of historical violence. Prior calls to the police indicate elevated risk of life-threatening conduct. The more calls, the greater the potential danger.
  10. Escalation of batterer risk.A less obvious indicator of increasing danger may be the sharp escalation of personal risk undertaken by a batterer; when a batterer begins to act without regard to the legal or social consequences that previously constrained his violence, chances of lethal assault increase significantly.
  11. Hostage-taking. A hostage-taker is at high risk of inflicting homicide. Between 75% and 90% of all hostage takings in the US are related to domestic violence situations.

If an intervention worker concludes that a batterer is likely to kill or commit life-endangering violence, extraordinary measures should be taken to protect the victim and her children. This may include notifying the victim and law enforcement of risk, as well as seeking a mental health commitment, where appropriate. The victim should be advised that the presence of these indicators may mean that the batterer is contemplating homicide and that she should immediately take action to protect herself and should contact the local battered woman’s program to further assess lethality and develop safety plans.

Hart, B.“Assessing Whether Batters Will Kill” PCADV, 1990.


In February 2000, Jill Burella filed a complaint in Pennsylvania state court against Officer Reamer, Captain Bloom, and Captain Bloom’s successor, Francis Gramlich, along with the City of Philadelphia and Dr. Warren Zalut, the City psychiatrist who saw George Burella on the day of the shooting. After the case was removed to federal district court, she filed an eight-count amended complaint asserting various federal constitutional and state law claims. The officers and the City moved for summary judgment on all counts asserted against them.6 This appeal concerns solely the District Court’s summary judgment ruling that the officers are not entitled to qualified immunity with respect to Jill Burella’s due process (Count I) and equal protection (Count IV) claims.


This case cites the Castle Rock case. The opinion is worth understanding. People receiving restraining orders need to understand what they are and what they are not. As residents of a rain forest understand the rain forest, or those who live in monsoon territory have to understand the ramifications of the deluge, residents of the United States, though a Constitution, Bill of Rights, and legal systems exist, they exist in a context — on paper and arguments about them have created a deluge of paperwork over the 2+centuries since we started. They are only as good as interpreted by those who read act on this paperwork.

So, the deluge of paperwork can lead to life, IF one is prepared to understand its contexts, and shifting contexts, too., or death if one places false or misguided hope in them alone. Whether to stake one’s life on the force of that paperwork is personal, like a decision to stake one’s life on a God, or sacred writings describing that God. Whatever one chooses, chances are that sooner or later and like it or not, one is going to come face to face with someone who reads it differently, or thinks it’s a joke, and be forced to deal with him or her. This could include one’s own marriage certificate, obviously.

This is what Judge Fuentes, in the Burella appeal, wrote (any emphases are mine…):

[as above…United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on appeal from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County)]

As discussed above, however, the Court in Castle Rock
unambiguously stated that absent a “clear indication” of legislative
intent, a statute’s mandatory arrest language should not be read to
strip law enforcement of the discretion they have traditionally had
in deciding whether to make an arrest
. 545 U.S. at 761. Although
the Supreme Court did not specify what language would suffice to
strip the police of such discretion, it is clear after Castle Rock that
the phrase “shall arrest” is insufficient.
As previously noted, the
Supreme Court explicitly stated that “a true mandate of police
action would require some stronger indication from the Colorado
Legislature than . . . �shall arrest
.'” Id.

To the average person, “shall arrest” means “shall arrest.” But, the Supreme Court kept in mind that police discretion (discussed in more detail in the document). The word “shall” means “shall,” or at least we hope so, in something as official as a court order signed by a judge. GOOD, we think, NOW I finally have some protection. But the law doesn’t always think like that (logically), nor courts, and obviously not police. So, the safe understanding would be to understand the bottom line. It doesn’t mean ‘squat,’ really. Maybe to you, but not to others.

Thus, a restraining order is only as good as SOMEONE has respect for it and will act on it as if it were unilaterally true.

In addition, we note that Jill Burella’s argument fails to
address the Supreme Court’s observation in Castle Rock that even
if the Colorado domestic violence statute mandated an arrest, it
would not necessarily mean the victim would have an “entitlement”
to an arrest. That is, although the Pennsylvania statute allows a
victim of domestic violence to “file a private criminal complaint
against a defendant, alleging indirect criminal contempt” for
violation of a protective order, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. � 6113.1(a), or
“petition for civil contempt” against the violator, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.
� 6114.1(a), like the Colorado statute, it is silent as to whether a
victim can request, much less demand, an arrest.14 See 23 Pa.
Cons. Stat. Ann. � 6113:1(a). In fact, “[w]hen an individual files
a private criminal complaint [under � 6113.1], the district attorney
has the discretion to refrain from proceeding for policy reasons.”
Starr v. Price, 385 F. Supp. 2d 502, 511 (M.D. Pa. 2005); Pa. R.
Crim. P. 506.

. . .

Finally, we cannot ignore that despite framing the issue as
one of procedural due process, what Jill Burella appears to seek is
a substantive due process remedy: that is, the right to an arrest
itself, and not the pre-deprivation notice and hearing that are the
hallmarks of a procedural due process claim.

In short, whether framed as a substantive due process right
under DeShaney, or a procedural due process right under Roth, Jill
Burella does not have a cognizable claim that the officers’ failure
to enforce the orders of protection violated her due process rights.15
Therefore, we need not determine whether her entitlement to police
protection was “clearly established” at the time of the alleged
violation before concluding that the officers are entitled to
qualified immunity.

* * *

Outcome: The facts Jill Burella alleges, if true, reveal a terrible
deficiency on the part of the Philadelphia Police Department in
responding to her complaints of domestic abuse. Binding precedent
nevertheless compels our conclusion that the officers� failure to
arrest her husband, or to handle her complaints more competently,
did not violate her constitutional right to due process or equal
protection of the law. Accordingly, we hold that the officers are
entitled to qualified immunity on her constitutional claims.

We will reverse and remand to the District Court for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.

BACK TO THE LUZERNE COUNTY CASE,

Juvenile WAYNE DAWN’s COMPLAINT and CAPUTO’s ruling

As for Brulo, the judge concluded that the allegations in Dawn’s lawsuit were too thin to justify allowing the claims to proceed to the discovery stage. “There are no specific factual allegations made against Brulo. Instead, there are blanket assertions about what all defendants did collectively, many of them consisting of legal conclusions, such as defendants aiding and abetting each other in this conspiracy,” Caputo wrote.

Sounds like a poorly-written high school composition, starting with the conclusion, rather than starting with a thesis and systematically showing the reader the process and facts that led to it. In other words, sloppy writing.

(Again, I didn’t read Dawn, just the comments on it here).

Dawn’s complaint, Caputo said, “is littered with the type of bald assertions and legal conclusions warned against by the Supreme Court” in its recent decisions in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.

“Plaintiff has not alleged any actions taken by Brulo specifically and, therefore, has failed to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence that Brulo violated plaintiff’s rights,” Caputo wrote.

The main focus of Caputo’s opinion was tackling the arguments lodged by Conahan and Ciavarella, both of whom are acting as their own lawyers and had sought a dismissal of all claims.

Caputo concluded that while the former judges are entitled to assert absolute judicial immunity, it was not enough to end the case because Dawn’s suit accuses the judges of taking steps in the alleged conspiracy that went beyond their roles as judges.

According to the suit, Conahan and Ciavarella struck an agreement with attorney Robert Powell and Robert K. Mericle, the owner of a local construction company, to build a new, privately owned juvenile detention center in Luzerne County as a replacement for the adequate, publicly owned juvenile detention center already in existence.

For the new facility to be financially viable, the suit alleges, it would require a regular stream of juvenile defendants, and Conahan and Ciavarella agreed to divert large numbers of juveniles into the new facility in order to gain more than $2.8 million in kickbacks.

To hide these ill-gotten proceeds, the suit alleges, Conahan and Ciavarella transferred the money via wire transfer to various corporations controlled by them. Their cooperation in the conspiracy allegedly included removing all funding from the publicly run detention center, having juveniles moved to the new privately owned facilities built by Mericle and operated by Powell, agreeing to guarantee placement of juvenile defendants in the new facilities, ordering juveniles to be placed at the private facilities and assisting the new juvenile detention centers in securing agreements with Luzerne County.

Caputo ruled that, under the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity, Dawn cannot pursue any claim that is premised on a theory that Conahan and Ciavarella did not act as impartial judges, failed to advise juveniles of their right to counsel or failed to determine whether guilty pleas were knowing and voluntary. But Caputo also found that “many of the actions taken by Conahan were not of a judicial nature.”

The alleged agreements entered into by Conahan with Mericle and Powell, as well as any budget decisions make by Conahan as president judge, or any advocacy for building a new detention center are “non-judicial acts that are not subject to absolute judicial immunity,” Caputo wrote.

Likewise, Caputo found that “some of Ciavarella’s alleged actions are covered by judicial immunity, while others are not.”

Ciavarella’s courtroom actions in sentencing juveniles, including his sentencing of Dawn, are protected by judicial immunity, Caputo found.

“As for to the other allegations,” Caputo wrote, “such as Ciavarella’s role in the conspiracy to build the juvenile detention centers and receive kickbacks, those allegations are extra-judicial activity that is not protected by absolute judicial immunity.”

Dawn’s lawyer, Timothy R. Hough of Jaffe & Hough in Philadelphia, could not be reached for comment. Brulo’s lawyer, Scott D. McCarroll of Thomas Thomas & Hafer in Harrisburg, also could not be reached.

I have lost some editing in the last few “saves” and am for now “abandoning ship” on this post which began to usurp my free time for the last two days. My equipment has a (vey) slow processor, which challenges my ability to retain the train of thought while it is completing a save (or even dribbling out keystrokes several seconds after input — I’m a fast typist), and I have miles to go before I sleep. Hopefully this post was not a “sleeper” and may have awakened us out of some rhetoric-induced slumber in these matters. If you hang around some circles too long, you begging to believe and accept their theories, without critical analysis and distancing, as a lifestyle, too. It’s laborious, but better.

JESSICA (GONZALES) LENAHAN’S STATEMENT

FOR THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

MARCH 2007

ACLU WEBSITE — SHE HAS NOT GIVEN UP SEEKING ANSWERS

  • Hello, my name is Jessica Lenahan. My former married name was Jessica Gonzales. I am grateful to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for allowing me this opportunity to tell my story. It is a courtesy I was not granted by the judicial system of my home country, the United States. I brought this petition because I want to prevent the kind of tragedy my little girls and my entire family suffered from happening to other families.

    Let me start from the beginning. I am a Latina and Native American woman from Pueblo, Colorado. I met my previous husband, Simon Gonzales, while still in high school. I married Simon in 1990 and we moved to Castle Rock, Colorado in 1998. We lived together with our three children – Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie – and my son Jessie, from a previous relationship.

  • Throughout our relationship, Simon was erratic and abusive toward me and our children. By 1994, he was distancing himself from us and becoming more and more controlling, unpredictable, and violent. He would break the children’s toys and other belongings, harshly discipline the children, threaten to kidnap them, drive recklessly, exhibit suicidal behavior, and verbally, physically, and sexually abuse me. He was heavily involved with drugs.

    Simon’s frightening and destructive behavior got worse and worse as the years went by. One time I walked into the garage, and he was hanging there with a noose around his neck, with the children watching. I had to hold the rope away from his neck while my daughter Leslie called the police.

    Simon and I separated in 1999 when my daughters were 9, 8, and 6. But he continued scaring us. He would stalk me inside and outside my house, at my job, and on the phone at all hours of the day and night.

    On May 21, 1999, a Colorado court granted me a temporary restraining order that required Simon to stay at least 100 yards away from me, my home, and the children. The judge told me to keep the order with me at all times, and that the order and Colorado law required the police to arrest Simon if he violated the order. Having this court order relieved some of my anxiety.

  • But Simon continued to terrorize me and the children even after I got the restraining order. He broke into my house, stole my jewelry, changed the locks on my doors, and loosened my house’s water valves, flooding the entire street. I called the Castle Rock Police Department to report these and other violations of the restraining order. The police ignored most of my calls. And when they did respond, they were dismissive of me, and even scolded me for calling them. This concerned me and made me wonder how the police might respond if I had an emergency in the future.
  • Simon had at least seven run-ins with the police between March and June of 1999. He was ticketed for “road rage” while the girls were in the truck and for trespassing in a private section of the Castle Rock police station and then trying to flee after officers served him with the restraining order.On June 4, Simon and I appeared in court, and the judge made the restraining order permanent. The new order granted me full custody of Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie, and said that Simon could only be with our daughters on alternate weekends and one prearranged dinner visit during the week.

File under “split personality court orders”  THANK you, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Pres. Barack Obama (not much changed), formerly and til now, Wade Horn, Ron Haskins, Jessica Pearson (Center Policy Research, AFCC founder, I heard, Gardner fan), and anyone and everyone who really can say with a straight face that the nation’s true crisis is when children do NOT wake up with their biodad in the home.  Thank you, multi-million$$ Healthy marriage/REsponsible Fatherhood funding, and any legislator with ties to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, but not open about it.  Thank you, for your overt subversion of the United States of America founding principles and documents, and being AWARE of this enough to be secretive about it, as evidenced by failing to tell protective MOTHERS (like this one) while recruiting Dads behind our backs, to give them advice adn sometimes free legal help to get our kids away from us.

Thank you about 3 major organizations in the Denver area driving this policy, and thank you for being smart enough to know that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” really wouldn’t hold sway legally, so it had to be practiced through another Branch of Government, voila, (1991) Health and Human Services department, and the things I’ve been blogging about.

Thank you for police officers that back each other up, but not women seeking protection via the restraining order system.  I also know of officers that gave their lives to save others, in domestic violence incidents. I’m not talking about them, but the others.  You know which you are..  Some men wear the uniform, and others live it — just like some men fit the fatherhood shoes, and others need to put theirs on and just keep walking…..


Yeah, I’m moved .  . .  Was Jessica a real Mom?  Was she a person?  Were her daughters?

The father had attempted suicide, and he gets a typical custody situation, alternate weekends. What’s THAT?  an attempt to use the kids to make him a better man?

  • (her children are kidnapped.  She repeatedly asks the police to help… Here are some of the responses):
  • Less than 3 weeks later, Simon violated the restraining order by kidnapping my three daughters from our yard on a day that he wasn’t supposed to see the girls. When I discovered they were missing, I immediately called the police, told them that the girls were missing and that I thought Simon had abducted them in violation of a restraining order, and asked them to find my daughters. The dispatcher told me she would send an officer to my house, but no one came.

    I waited almost two hours for the police, and then called the station again. Finally two officers came to my house. I showed them the restraining order and explained that it was not Simon’s night to see the girls, but that I suspected he had taken them. The officers said, “Well he’s their father, it’s okay for them to be with him.” And I said, “No, it’s not okay. There was no prearranged visit for him to have the children tonight.” The officers said there was nothing they could do, and told me to call back at 10pm if the children were still not home. I was flustered and scared. Unsure of what else I could say or do to make the officers take me seriously, I agreed to do what they suggested.

  • THAT JUDGE’S STANDARDIZED ORDER SET HER UP FOR THIS.  THERE WAS NOTHING SHE COULD’VE DONE, WITHOUT HERSELF BREAKING IT, TO CHANGE THE SITUATION.
  • Soon afterwards, Simon’s girlfriend called me and told me that Simon called her and was threatening to drive off a cliff. She asked me if he had a gun and whether or not he would hurt the children. I began to panic.

    I finally reached Simon on his cell phone around 8:30 pm. He told me he was with the girls at an amusement park in Denver, 40 minutes from Castle Rock. I immediately communicated this information to the police. I was shocked when they responded that there was nothing they could do, because Denver was outside of their jurisdiction. I called back and begged them to put out a missing child alert or contact the Denver police, but they refused. The officer told me I needed to take this matter to divorce court, and told me to call back if the children were not home in a few hours. The officer said to me, “At least you know the children are with their father.” I felt totally confused and humiliated.

  • {{My children did not die.  But, despite any court order (and there’s one to this date ordering weekly contact — with me — it’s not safely enforceable.  I haven’t seen either one in a long time.  Prior to that situation, I was in this situation with officers, and got a similar response, in a context of escalating threats to take them, and troubles.  AFTER they were taken, I was given the same line, even though at this time their address was unknown and they weren’t attending school.  The story almost never changes, much….}}
  • I called the police again and again that night. When I called at 10pm, the dispatcher said to me that I was being “a little ridiculous making us freak out and thinking the kids are gone.” Even at that late hour, the police were still scolding me and not acknowledging that three children were missing, not recognizing my repeated descriptions of the girls and the truck.
  • NOW, her children are dead — through their negligence and ignoring her pleas — and here is how she is treated:
  • After hearing about the shooting, I drove to the police station. As I attempted to approach Simon’s truck, I was taken away by the police and then to the local sheriff’s office. Officials refused to give me any information about whether the girls were alive. They ignored my pleas to see my girls. {{I have been in this situation, very similar, requests ignored}}  The experience revictimized me all over again. They detained me in a room for 12 hours and interrogated me throughout the early morning hours, as if I had a role in the children’s deaths. They refused to let me see or call my family. It was absolutely the most traumatic, horrific, and exhausting experience of my life!
  • I have noticed over time, that if a woman is persistent in reporting violations of court orders, stalking, threats, or missing children in particular, the anger will be turned on her; she will not be heard.  We might as well accept and prepare ourselves for this emotionally, though it’s wrong.  Police officers’ roles includes dominating others, and situations.  They’re REAL good at dominating traumatized women….This includes verbal abuse as well, mocking, sarcasm, belittling, questioning, interrupting when one is asking legitimate questions, — in fact, practically everything an abusive partner might do, with this kicker:  they are authorized to use force in certain situations, and they carry sidearms.

  • The media knew my girls were dead before my family or I did. I was finally told by state officials around 8am that Simon had murdered the girls before he arrived at the police station. However, I never learned any other details about how, when, and where the girls died. I continue to seek this information to this day. I need to know the truth.

    Several family members and I asked the authorities to identify the girls’ bodies, but we were not permitted to view their bodies until six days later – when they lay in their caskets. My daughters’ death certificates and the coroners’ reports state no place, date, or time of death. It saddened me not to be able to put this information on their gravestones.

  • Today, nearly eight years after my tragedy, I continue to seek a thorough investigation into my babies’ deaths. I see nothing being done in Castle Rock or nationwide to make police accountable to domestic violence victims. It’s like rubbing salt in my wounds.

    So why did the police ignore my calls for help? Was it because I was a woman? A victim of domestic violence? A Latina? Because the police were just plain lazy? I continue to seek answers to these questions.

    We rely on the courts and the police for protection against violence. But I learned from my tragedy that the police have no accountability. The safety of my children was of such little consequence that the police took no action to protect my babies. If our government won’t protect us, we should know that. We should know that we are on our own when our lives are at risk.

    Had I known that the police would do nothing to locate Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie or enforce my restraining order, I would have taken the situation into my own hands by looking for my children with my family and friends. I might have even bought a gun to protect us from Simon’s terror. Perhaps if I had taken these measures, I would have averted this tragedy. But then I might be imprisoned right now. That is the dilemma for abused women in the United States.

    • I am blogging.  I am telling people.  This woman has told people.  You read it in the late 1990s and you’ve now read two statements from the year 2007 (Burella’s appeal, denied, citing Gonzales’s failed Castle Rock case).  Remember what I said about the ‘deluge” of paperwork.   If we are going to go the “paperwork” route, the due diligence is necessary to understand the REAL contexts of it.  The REAL context of it is that one cannot count on enforcement.
    • Moreover, I also assert (and have discussed this more among my friends than on the blog) that the fatherhood and the domestic violence advocates are in bed together, and care more about their conferences and grants than our lives, and probably always have.  I don’t say this with anger (well, not TOO much anger), but so we who don’t have another year to waste won’t waste anther year looking for help, rather than helping ourselves in the most moral, legal, and humane way possible.

There are consequences to the U.S. when women have to go to the international level to ask for protection.  I’ve read about globalism and am aware of NGOs, and so forth, but the gol-dang Tea Party folk, and libertarians, if they will not recognize woman’s humanity as equal to theirs, even when not bound to a husband, they are going to cost us this country.  Show me an honest faith-based organization that’s involved in government, and I’ll work with it.  Til then, no thank you!  Where are woman who have some faith to hang out?  In some mega church that has less respect for women than the Castle Rock police Dept? ???

This IACHR link will be put on the front page.

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