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Kicking salesmanship up a notch: the nonprofit “Kids’ Turn” & my California Legislature

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I was just casually searching on “Kids’ Turn Affiliates” and even I was surprised at how far proponents would go to push this judge-originated nonprofit.

To the California Legislature?

Yep.   The original version was written specifically to this one organization that is probably something of a slush fund to start with.

Makes you wonder about some of our legislators.  (posted below).

It was already mentioned 2001-2002 (at a minimum) in the Calif. Judicial Council’s Report to the Legislature on Access and Visitation Fundings, as a sub-grantee.  In fact, looks like it was the first one that popped to their mind:

The following are some of the parent education programs funded by the grants that help promote and encourage healthy parent-and-child relationships.

  • Kids’ Turn (San Diego, Napa, and Shasta Counties): This is a nationally recognized educational program that offers workshops and counseling for families with separated or divorced parents. Kids’ Turn teaches family members the skills that can improve communication between children and parents and help parents understand their children’s experience during and after divorce.21

The San Francisco (founding org.) Kids’ Turn apparently gets some direct help from the City & County, and wants more:

We submitted our first grant to the Administrative Office (AOC) of the Court in November, 2011. This grant was submitted in a partnership with the Rally Project. If awarded, the AOC will fund low-income, noncustodial parents and their children to attend Kids’ Turn services.

6. The City and County of San Francisco initially reduced our 1011 grant award by 10%, but the amount was re-instated in September, 2010 raising our contract award to the original $50,000. This funding is for our very specialized, Nonviolent Family Skills Program for Juveniles.

If you’re actually still earning money, while in the custody process, the Sliding fee  Scale does not seem to have an upper limit (?):

FEE TABLE

Pre-Tax Income Tuition with 1 Child 2 Children or More
0 — $14k $50 $60
$15k — $19k $65 $80
$20k — $24k $90 $120
$25k — $29k $175 $225
$30k — $39k $250 $300
$40k — $49k $325* $375*
$50k — $59k $450* $500*
$60k — $74k $625* $725*
$75k — $99k $750* $850*
$100k — $124k $900* $1000*
$125k — $250k $1075* $1175*
$251k — $500k $1400* $1550*
$500k+ $1700* $1900*

For parents receiving child support (often the mother), this is counted in the “pre-tax” income to determine fees.

(I wonder if this includes child support that’s not being paid……)

Parents paying child support, however, can deduct that from the “pre-tax” income to determine fees….

WHO & WHAT IS KIDS’ TURN?

(well, see my recent post on this)…(or figure it out yourself):

  • What is “Kids Turn?”  —  it’s a nonprofit started by a family law judge in about 1987, with help later from some family law attorneys, one of who was called a Northern California “Super attorney.”

Kids’ Turn

THE HISTORY OF KIDS’ TURN

From 1987 to 1990, Judge Ina Levin Gyemant presided over the family law department of the domestic relations court, noting that while lawyers filed motions and parents sought orders regarding custody, visitation and other diputes,[sic] children and their needs were almost completely ignored. Mediation services were mandated for parents in California in 1980, but no educational program was available for children, who are often the people most vulnerable and confused during separation or divorce.

  • It’s perhaps a training ground on how to promote parental alienation and get paid for it.
  • It’s a debtor to the San Francisco Superior Court (figure that one out — because somehow, we found that the “SFTC” has a lien on this group).
  • It has tons of donors on its roster (many of them judges or attorneys), gets apparently some of California’s share of the Access/Visitation funding (which is $10 million per year, nationwide, and California, being so large, gets close to $1 million/year for this source of funding).
  • Foundations & Associations help it continue & expand:

Foundations

2009

Linda Brandes Foundation                                                                                                           CFLS
California Bar Foundation
Boys & Girls Foundation

Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
The Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation at Union Bank
Sempra Energy
Lions Club of San Diego
Stensrud Foundation
JAMS Foundation
Lawyers Club- Fund for Justice
Leroy and Claire Hughes Family Fund
Mary and John Grant Foundation
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers- National
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
2010
Ellen G. & Edward G. Wong Family Foundation
JAMS Foundation (This is a foundation of Mediators.  Pushing Mediation is central to Family Law….)
Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
Price Charities
Qualcomm
Linda Brandes Foundation  (This wealthy couple never had any children….)(See photo of her 67 yr old ex, “Charles Brandes” with new 42 yr old wife — and Bill Clinton in between.. . )
Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation
Fieldstone Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation
WD-40 Company
Comerica Bank
The Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation at Union Bank
2011
Leichtag Foundation
Linda Brandes Foundation
HD Supply
CFLS **
Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
AAML- Southern California Chapter
  • {{** {{CFLS, 2011 donor:  Why isn’t this ACRONYM (not found on the web) specified?  It apparently stands for “{Association of} Certified Family Law Specialists,” such as Linda Pabst de Leon here, speaking at a CFLS seminar and listing herself as a Kids’ Turn Board of Director (& Event Committee 2006) and  “Featured guest speaker at CFLS’ Spring Seminar, “Nov-DV Restraining Orders” (2005))}  “CFLS” is not an organization (I think) but a Designation that individuals can reach:   }}
  • {{At least 2 of the “Corporate Donors” listed on same page are the firms that a Kids Turn Board of Directors member works on…  meaning, not that the project is so great, but that someone already at the firm managed to finaigle, or sell, a donation ….}}
  • San Diego Foundation, 2010:
  • Kids’ Turn San Diego, Expansion of Kids’ Turn Workshops into Carlsbad      $20,000Kids’ Turn San Diego plans to bring no less than four, 4-week psycho-educational workshops into Carlsbad, serving 100-120 families who are divorcing or fighting over custody of their children. The workshops will show families how their conflict is negatively impacting their children and teach them to communicate more effectively, manage their anger, focus on their children and create a healthy two household environment for all involved. Furthermore, Kids’ Turn San Diego will help children make a successful adjustment to challenging family changes.
  • 2008 Donations
    The Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer supports the following organizations: . . . 

    • Kids’ Turn – San Diego – This is the only program in San Diego County working for te whole family to achieve a child centered and healthy divorce. It provides a low cost solution for families experiencing the pain of divorce or separation no matter how great the conflict.
  • A former Pro Tem Judge, Attorney Alan Edmunds,  promotes Kids Turn through a link, at “SanDiegoDivorceCenter.” (services provided by The Edmunds law Firm).
Report 1234a
Data As Of : 05/15/2011
City and County of San Francisco
Vendor Payment Summaries Website
Page 1 of 1
Search Results by Vendor, Department, Type of Goods and Services and Document
Payments
Vendor Names
Non
Profit
Departments
Types of Goods and Services
Documents
FY 2008-09
FY 2009-10
FY 2010-11
In
Process
Remaining Balance
KIDS’ TURN
x
CHILDREN; YOUTH & THEIR F
CITY GRANT PROGRAMS
DPCH1000014101
$0
$10,063
$937
$0
$0
DPCH1000014102
$0
$35,679
$3,321
$0
$0
DPCH1100003001
$0
$0
$34,926
$0
$9,574
DPCH1100003002
$0
$0
$5,500
$0
$0
Totals:
$0
$45,742
$44,684
$0
$9,574
Far more than, say, “Fathers and Families Coalition” which only got a pittance (recorded here, at least) under “child Support” department. Wonder what for, though:
Search Results by Vendor
Payments
Vendor Names
Non Profit
FY 2008-09
FY 2009-10
FY 2010-11
In
Process
Remaining Balance
x
$470
$865
$740
$0
$0
Totals:
$470
$865
$740
$0
$0
  • It’s apparently a model judges and attorneys love, because a spinoff “Kids Turn” is in San Diego; in fact a group called “Kids First” (There are a number of “kids’ Firsts” around, but indeed there was one which claims to be  modeled after Kids Turn).      The beauty of these programs is that the curriculum/curricula is designed, perhaps ONCE (with maybe occasional updates) — and can be marketed endlessly to families going through divorce court who can’t agree on the custody of their children.  Which is usually what brings them to divorce court to start with, so obviously the market is right.
  • Everybody who’s anybody in the family law fields (whether attorney, judge, or psychologist/family therapist, etc.) should take a turn at running Kids’ Turn.  Some of these people did and at least one is a Super-Attorney.  Some even go on to create look-alike programs for other client sectors, such as Dr. Delisle…. PLUS, you can work there, if you have a BA (recent job listing, $35-38K/year.  (Can a person who survived divorce court and a custody battle apply?  Because such people include those with BA’s who are probably hurting financially…  Of course, you’d have to buy parental alienation theory, which this group promotes.…)
  • The Founder of Kids’ Turn San Diego in 1996, Dr. Delisle received the 2001 Peacemaker of the Year Award from the National Conflict Resolution Center. In 2005, She was honored by Channel 10 news for its Leadership Award. She was also recognized by the San Diego County Bar Association for the “Distinguished Organization Award”. In 2008, Dr. Delisle transferred responsibility for Kids’ Turn to new leadership

  • In the Spring of 2010, Ms. Kalemkiarian was Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, teaching a full semester course in Family Law. From 1993 to 1996, she served as the Supervising Attorney of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of San Diego School of Law. An active community leader, she has served as the President of the Kids’ Turn San Diego Board for over ten years, and is a longtime Board Member of the Environmental health Coalition.  (Ms. Kalemkiarian is also an AFCC presenter)    As a leading voice for children in San Diego County, she oversaw the design and implementation of a new system of care for children’s mental health, as the Director of Project Heartbeat. She is a frequent author of opinion editorial pieces regarding public policy and children. …  {{CHILDREN MUST BE SPEECHLESS & NEED LOTS OF INTERPRETERS}}Honors 2007-2010 San Diego Super Lawyers®
  • Alexandra M. Kwoka – Attorney at Law

    Alexandra M. Kwoka has been practicing law since 1974, and Family Law for 20 years.  She is not only certified as a Family Law Specialist but also holds a LLM/Masters in Tax Law….Association; Certified Family Law Specialists – San Diego & North County; founding member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego; SDCBA – Carmel Valley; Kids’ Turn – Board Member.  She has published a number of articles and has been nominated and selected for a number of awards, including the Ten Top Attorneys in Family Law by the Daily Transcript, San Diego in 2006 and was listed as one of the top Family Law attorneys in San Diego Super Lawyers, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

  • Barbara is president of the board of directors of the Legal Marketing Association, Southern California Chapter. She is also a former member of the boards of directors of Kids Turn, San Diego, the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and the Professional Women’s Roundtable.  Barbara is a graduate of Coach University and has a BS in business Management with an emphasis in marketing
  • Ms. Milligan is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Foothills Bar Association. Ms. Milligan is also on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Turn, San Diego, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the well-being of children who are experiencing the challenges of family separation….Ms. Milligan dedicates her practice to the area of Family Law. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization.
  • Specialties

    Mr. Renkin has focused his practice in Family Law since 1991 and is a Certified Family Law Specialist.  He has expertly handled all phases of Trials, Mediation, and Negotiation in areas including Marriage Dissolution, Property Division, Spousal Support, Child Support, Child Custody & Visitation, along with the complex issues of mental health and drug and alcohol dependency.     High-asset and high-conflict cases have been settled both through negotiation and litigation.  Mr. Renkin has the honor of acting as a Settlement Conference Judge Pro Tem for Family Courts.   Member Board of Directors Kids Turn (Present)  Fundraising for Hannah’s House and Kids’ Turn

    Oh Yeah — Hannah’s House, Supervised visitation place, I remember.  The founder was caught operating without a license., there were unsanitary situations, and the owner is having to pay back contracts…

  • Hannah’s House faces trouble
  • San Diego Area Licensed Psychologist / Marriage Family Therapist Dr. Simon lists this among his professional associations:
  • Professional AffiliationsMember, American Psychological Association Member, American Psi-Law Society Member, California Psychological Association Member, Ethics Committee of the California Psychological Association Editorial Board, Journal of Child Custody Member, Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego,Board of Directors, Kid’s Turn San Diego Founding Member, San Diego Family Law Council for ChildrenMember, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (“AFCC”)Member, Program Committee, Association of Family & Conciliation Courts Member, Awards Committee, Association of Family & Conciliation Courts Member, International Association of Collaborative Professionals Associate Member, San Diego County Bar Association; Associate Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association

You noticed that many are AFCC members?  So did I.  Here’s another person, a judge, being honored posthumously and Board of Directors, Kids’ Turn is among her accolades:

Judge Grant’s many years as a family law judge and a probate judge during her tenure on the San Francisco Superior Court gave her ample opportunity to pioneer judicial change.  Most importantly, Judge Grant became an icon for young female externs, paralegals, attorneys and judges for nearly the entirety of her long career. …

Following her appointment to the San Francisco Municipal Court in 1979, Judge Grant dedicated her life to public service.  She was appointed to the Superior Court in 1982, serving as the Presiding Judge in the Family Law Department and later as the Presiding Judge of the Probate Department.  She retired from Superior Court in 1996 but continued to work with the American Arbitration Association.  She is a past President of the California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.   (AAML Southern chapter donated to Kids’ Turn San Diego)…

She served on the Board of Kids’ Turn Honorary Committee for many years, an organization offering assistance for children impacted by divorce, including psycho-educational workshops for children being raised in two households.  She also pioneered the first Guardian Mentorship Program for children being raised in alternative homes.

JUDGES, JUDGES, JUDGES are on the Boards of this organization:

Barbara W. Moser, SF Attorney, AFCC member, (in fact, a presenter at one COlorado conference), Judge Pro Tem, Family Law Bench Bar Program, Marin County Superior Court… SEttlement Judge Pro Tem, SF Superior Court — was “former secretary, Kids Turn”

IT’s NOT NECESSARY TO EVEN BE IN THE FAMILY LAW FIELD TO BE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Mr. Semmer is also actively involved in the San Diego community. As a Board Member of the Cornell Club of San Diego, he has organized charity fundraisers to endow the Willie Jones Jr. Scholarship. He has volunteered for and assisted with fundraising efforts for Kid’s Turn San Diego, a San Diego non-profit organization helping children and parents whose lives are impacted by parental separation. He serves on the programming committee of the San Diego Receiver’s Forum and is a member of the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum.

(CLICK ON THE LINK.  HE DEALS WITH COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, ETC.)

So what IS it, anyhow?

It’s not quite Avon, Amway, or McDonalds, but basically the same idea only using legislative loopholes and opportunities to promote it, and charging clients to consume the services (court-ordered), for people to be trained to run the courses, and taking federal grants to states money (and foundational support also) — in fact, where DOES all that money go, anyhow?   ….?

Such a great organization obviously deserves some extra, extra legislative help…

I searched “Kids Turn affiliates” and came up with real interesting California Assembly Bill 2263.  Other than it cuts down our fresh-air exercise activity, ya gotta love this Internet, sometimes….

http://www.metnews.com/endmomay02.html   (This is 2002)

AB 2263, by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, which would require the Judicial Council to study the effectiveness of expanding the Kids’ Turn program, which assists children while their parents are in family court obtaining a divorce or legal separation. The bill was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on a 23-0 vote May 15, passed the Assembly on a 72-2 vote May 23 and was sent to the Senate.

Wow, the Assembly sure loved the concept of funneling divorce education to ONE nonprofit started by a family law judge…..

 BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                    Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary

                                           2263 (Kehoe)

          Hearing Date:  8/22/02          Amended: 5/8/02
          Consultant:  Karen French           Policy Vote: Judiciary
          4-2
          ____________________________________________________________
          _
          BILL SUMMARY:   AB 2263 requires the Judicial Council to
          allocate, from funds appropriated to it in the annual
          Budget Act, the amount necessary to study the Kids' Turn
          projects.  The bill also states that up to $50,000 shall be
          allocated only if the Judicial Council receives non-state
          source matching funds.   The bill requires the Judicial
          Council to report to the Legislature by January 12, 2004,
          on the results of the study and propose guidelines for 
project expansion, if Kids' Turn is found to be effective.
                              Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions        2002-03             2003-04               2004-05 
           Fund 
          Judicial Council
            Study              --          $100                   --General &
                                                            Other
            Court funding                 --       ---Significant, cost
          pressure---              General    

          STAFF COMMENTS:  SUSPENSE FILE.

          Kids' Turn is a private non-profit organization that
          provides workshops for children and their parents that are
          intended to teach skills to cope with the difficulty of
          divorce and separation.  Workshops are six weeks long with
          one 90-minute meeting per week.  Fees for workshops range
          from $75 to $600 (on a sliding scale).  Kids Turn conducts
          programs in San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa
          County.  The organization has sold its curriculum and
          licensed affiliates located in Sonoma, Napa, San Diego,
          Shasta, and Yolo Counties (in addition to Dayton, Ohio and Hillsboro, 
Oregon.  Although sold only to nonprofitsthe program effectively operates as a franchise.  Kids' Turn
          currently is conducting its own study, in consultation with
          the California School of Professional Psychology.  This
          bill would require the Judicial Council to duplicate, at
          least in part, the current study.

          According to the Judiciary Committee analysis, the author
          states that the bill is needed so that Kids' Turn will 
have state approval as evidence of credibility 
and will allow courts to "recommend Kids' Turn 
as a resource to the community." On its website, the organization states that
          this Fall, its Board of Directors will be planning a
          five-year strategy to determine course direction of the
          organization.  Specifically targeted for consideration is:
          "Enhanced marketing strategies in order to increase the number of Kids' Turn affiliates and sales of Kids' Turn Curriculum."  This bill may create the appearance that a State study and Judicial Council recommendations are part of a marketing strategy.

(WHICH THEY ARE..... Better amend the bill so this is less obvious....)

          Author's amendments:  The author proposes amendments (LCR#
          0216385), which (1) delete the specific reference to Kids' Turn and,
           instead, study projects or programs that provide
          services to parents and children undergoing divorce, 2) to
          delete reference to program expansion; and 3) to delete the
          language requiring the Judicial Council to allocate the
          amount "necessary" to conduct the study, to limit the
          State's obligation to $50,000. 

          The third staff recommendation to authorize, but not require the study, was rejected by the author.
          .

HERE’s an AMENDED VERSION (attempting to conceal the blatant effort to legislate parents to consume this product in particular to “help” their kids deal with divorce):

AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 22, 2002 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 8, 2002 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 1, 2002

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE—2001–02 REGULAR SESSION

ASSEMBLY BILL No. 2263

Introduced by Assembly Member Kehoe

February 20, 2002

An act relating to family courts.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST AB 2263, as amended, Kehoe. Family courts: Kids’ Turn family assistance. Existing law governs the procedures for obtaining a dissolution of

marriage or a legal separation. This bill would require the Judicial Council to allocate, from funds appropriated to the Judicial Council in the annual Budget Act, the an amount necessary not to exceed $50,000 to conduct a study regarding the effectiveness of the Kids’ Turn projects, which projects or programs that provide services to assist children and their families while the parents are in the process of obtaining a divorce or a legal separation, as specified. The bill would provide require that an amount not to exceed $50,000 shall these funds be allocated only if the Judicial Council receives matching funds appropriated from sources other than the state.**  The bill would require the Judicial Council to report to the Legislature by January 12, 2004, the results of the study and to recommend guidelines for expanding the projects if the study indicates that the projects were effective.

**The California Judicial Council just so happens to be the single designated state agency receiving the access and visitation federal funds (“SAVP”) to enable programs such as (but not exclusively!) this one, as I have reported before here.     Check it out at TAGG.hhs.gov — there’s a CFDA number referring exclusively to this grant series (“93597,” or similar)(marriage/fatherhood promotion is 93086)( and related ones).

In fact, a great exercise would be to go HERE:   http://taggs.hhs.gov/AwardsList.cfm

You’ll have to redo the search — search by “CFDA Program Numbers” (take 2011 year) and get the 50-state list of all 93597’s.  Then you’ll have a panorama of which agency, in every state, gets these funds, and can click on the other funding they get.  I recommend clicking on Texas (after all, the President who put some of these policies into full swing came from there).  You can see that OCSE (collecting child support) is a major expense.  Then learn how to do advanced searches (with more fields) and figure out which way the wind is blowing.

Again, TAGGS is your friend, in part.  Especially if you are an employee these are your taxes, right?  part of each hour you work …  it’s collected, assembled, and distributed later by the IRS, along with distributing favors called “tax-exempt status” to certain corporations, and of course foundations….

KIDS TURN:

It is ever so important that everyone (parents, federal government, City and State of San Francisco (I guess for the SF Kids’ Turn….) and foundational donors, plus of course individual donors focus on THIS one program to help, to measure levels of conflict, mental health and attitude change on parents . . . .  well, let me just quote the leginfo record.  Our state was then and is now in budget crisis, so obviously measuring parental stress levels is an urgent public need:

2)Requires that JC's study include an assessment of all of the
            following:

             a)   Any decrease in conflict between the parents regarding
               custody issues, as reported by the parents;

             b)   The mental health of the children, as measured by their
               attitudes before and after participating in the project or
               program;

             c)   Any change in the attitude of the parents who
               participate in the project or program;

And of course, who better to help children navigate the difficult shoals of divorce than:

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was limited in its scope to the Kids' Turn project.

Apparently these entities supported it ( Senate Floor link on “leginfo” site):

SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/23/02)

          Kids' Turn (This link lists San Diego Bd of Dirs./SF, Here)
          Cope Family Center  (See Kids Turn "Affiliates" list....)
          California Coalition for Youth
          Private Dispute Resolution of San Diego** (=Judge Geary D. Cortes)
          California Judges Association
          CARE Children's Counseling Center
          Gregory M. Caskey, Supervising Judge, Superior Court,(SEE **)
          County of Shasta (There's a Kids' Turn in Shasta County)
          Thomas Ashworth, Judge of the Superior Court
          San Diego County Office of Education
          Professor Janet Weinstein, California Western School of Law (Kids' Turn donor)

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author, this bill
          is needed because it is imperative for organizations to
          have state approval in order to provide evidence of
          credibility and efficacy to the community.
**I had no idea who Judge Caskey is, but linked to his 1998 Admonishment by the Commission on Judicial
Performance!   So he got this slap on a wrist, in part for:

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND REASONS

In November 1997, Judge Gregory M. Caskey was regularly assigned to handle juvenile dependency matters. On the morning of November 6, 1997, Judge Caskey sent a message by electronic mail to an attorney who regularly appeared before him on those matters. The e-mail message concerned a case then pending before the judge, in which the attorney was appearing. The message read in part:

I am considering summarily rejecting [the father’s attorney’s] requests. Do you want me to let [the father’s attorney] have a hearing on this, or do we cut [the attorney] off summarily and run the risk the third DCA reverses? . . . . I say screw [the father] and let’s cut [the attorney] off without a hearing. O.K.? By the way, this message will self- destruct in five seconds…

Later that morning, the attorney sent the following e-mail reply:

Your honor, I don’t feel comfortable responding ex-parte on how you should rule on a pending case.

Two hours later, the judge sent an e-mail response which read: “chicken.”

 
"Private Dispute Resolution" appears to be one retired San Diego Judge, although obviously
working (in dispute resolution) in Southern Calif (3 offices, so I guess he still has a license).
The site "noethics.com" says he made the cut of the top Judicial Misfits under this title:

Judge Geary D. Cortes – San Diego

“She deserved it! – Pugilists – p. 281

 
I don't know much about this Judge, although he's mentioned as being overturned on appeal
on First Amendment issues here:  He was overturned on appeal (I think) in an elder abuse case,
and was involved in the high-profile Prop 21, trying juveniles as adults, matter, described in
The Adult Boys of Rancho Penasquitos  (hover cursor for relevance)...Same case as the First
Amendment Issue...  More likely, he's probably been on that KT Board during some of its years.

Assuming I have the right Judge Thomas Ashworth, he doesn't sound much better:

Case Against Judge Should Remain in San Diego, Court Rules

January 23, 1990|ALAN ABRAHAMSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A lawsuit that claims a San Diego family-court judge committed fraud and legal malpractice before he took the bench should be heard in San Diego County, a state appellate court ruled Monday.

The 4th District Court of Appeal ordered the case against Judge Thomas Ashworth III returned to San Diego Superior Court, saying it was improperly ordered out of the county

 
Judge Ashworth also ordered a mother living in Utah, whose child was born after separation,
to send the 5-year old to her paternal grandparents for four, week-long visits (to San Diego).
Report is from 2002:

In Harris, the Court of Appeal held that substantive due process limits a court’s authority under the state’s grandparent visitation statue to cases in which there is clear and convincing evidence that the child will suffer harm if visitation were not granted.

The panel reversed a 1999 order requiring Karen Butler, a remarried Utah resident, to send her daughter Emily, then 5 years old, to San Diego for four week-long visits with the child’s paternal grandparents. Emily was the product of Butler’s brief and stormy marriage to Charles Erik Harris and was born after the couple separated.

The order by San Diego Superior Court Judge Thomas Ashworth III was based on Family Code Sec. 3104, which allows a court to order grandparent visitation when the parents are living separate and apart or the child is not living with a parent. The statute applies a best-interest-of-the-child standard, with a rebuttable presumption that grandparent visitation is not in the child’s best interests if the custodial parent objects.

Here’s another one reversed on appeal, where the paternal grandparents of a father who died after divorce took the mother to court to force more visitation (in San Diego).  Ashworth granted them (and got the girl a counsel of her own), but was reversed on appeal, citing Troxel v. Granville:

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION (Punsly v. Ho, No. D036025 (Cal.App. Dist.4 03/16/2001)
APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Thomas Ashworth, III, Judge. Petition for writ of supersedeas. Judgment reversed. Petition granted.
Manwah Ho, the mother of Kathryn Punsly, appeals an order granting visitation to Kathryn’s paternal grandparents, Marilyn and Bernard Punsly under Family Code *fn1 section 3102. *fn2 Manwah contends section 3102 is unconstitutional, as applied to her, in light of the recent United States Supreme Court case of Troxel v. Granville (2000) 530 U.S. 57 [120 S.Ct. 2054] (Troxel), a case concerning the constitutionality of a nonparental visitation statute, and Troxel’s appellate progeny. Manwah also contends the court’s ancillary orders attached to the visitation order, independently, violated her constitutional due process rights. We conclude section 3102, as applied in this case, unconstitutionally infringed on Manwah’s fundamental rights. Accordingly, we reverse the order in its entirety.
There was a "Day" named after Judge Ashworth:

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • City of San Diego Proclamation of January 31st as “Thomas Ashworth III Day
  • Judicial Lifetime Achievement Award, San Diego County Bar Association’s Certified Family Law Specialists, November 2002
  • Family Law Person of the Year, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Southern California Chapter, 2001**
 (**who donated to Kids' Turn.....)
Then again, The Ashworths themselves also donated to Kids' Turn. Wish I had a year on this
brochure, but readers should check out the judges & attorneys on the INdividual Donors lists.
(Found at California Men's Center website...)

WITH REPUTABLE PROMOTERS SUCH AS THESE, WHO COULD FORBID SIMPLY LEGISLATING A STUDY
TO GIVE IT STATE CERTIFICATION AS JUST THE BEST-EST PARENTING EDUCATION COURSE (COURT-ORDERED)
AROUND, IN FACT, WHY NOT HAVE IT BRANCH OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY, JUST IN CASE THEY ARE
THINKING ABOUT DIVORCE?  (On the other hand, with all those supporters, why does it need
more promotion???? SOmething doesn't look right about this....)

THANKFULLY GRAY DAVIS VETO’ed it with this message:

BILL NUMBER:  AB 2263
  VETOED	DATE: 09/29/2002

SEP 28 2002

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 2263 without my signature.

This bill would require a study of projects or programs that serve
children and their families while the parents are in the process of
obtaining a divorce or legal separation.

Under this study, the Judicial Council would be required to assess
the results of, among other things, changes in the mental health of
children and any change in the attitude of parents.  The Judicial
Council, however, may not be well suited to conduct this type of
study.

For this reason, I must return this bill without my signature.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS
In 2003, the same assemblywoman comes up with a Gay Fathers' Day proposal, which met some resistance.

What normally is a legislative slam-dunk – a resolution honoring dads for Father’s Day – turned into a debate on “alternative lifestyles” in the California state Assembly.

According to a report in the Stockton Record, Republicans this week either withheld their support or voted against the resolution because it focused on “nontraditional” dads, including families with two fathers.

“It didn’t belong on the floor,” said GOP Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi. “It was a homosexual bill in the sense that they wanted to make a point out of two fathers” in a single household.

The resolution, sponsored by lesbian Democratic Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, mentions stepfathers, foster fathers, single fathers and families headed by two fathers, the paper reports. However, it fails to cite traditional fathers who are married to the mother of their children.

Republican Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, as a traditional father, noticed he wasn’t represented in the proposal.

” Where is the (part) talking about a husband and a wife who have kids?” he said, according to the Record. “I mean, where is the love?”

“CRISPE,” A group for Shared Parenting was pretty upset about her also, although for different reasons and supplied a photo:

Senator Kehoe Plans if she has her way, will steal the SD Fairgrounds for HER greedy self interests!

However, it’s primarily a simple affiliate marketing operation — only with governmental connections.

Did I mention, “NONPROFIT”?   Because of the public service it provides, obviously.

I just missed a March, 2011 conference — that’s what I get for falling behind on my FaceBook operations:

Gerard

Kids’ Turn Spring, 2011 Retreat and Training Conference

Theme: Welcome to the Future (of Kids’ Turn)

Dates: March 4-6, 2011 Location: Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California

Take a deep breath and settle in for a time of serene relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. Celebrated as Monterey Peninsula’s “Refuge by the Sea” – Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds is a breathtakingly gorgeous 107 acres of ecologically diverse beachfront land. www.visitasilomar.com

Who should attend: Kids’ Turn Leaders, Staff, Board Members, Volunteers, Affiliate
Representatives

Conference Goals:

1. Familiarize participants with the future direction of Kids’ Turn
2. Broaden exposure to contemporary issues affecting Kids’ Turn families
3. Refine skills to deliver The Kids’ Turn Way
4. Eight CEU’s awarded
5. R & R in a beautiful, tranquil setting
6. Enjoy camaraderie with Kids’ Turn colleagues
7. Explore the communities of Pacific Grove and Monterey (on your own)

Dr. Gladys Ato, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Argosy University
San Francisco Bay Area
Communicating the Kids’ Turn Message

Dr. Allison Thorson, University of San Francisco
The Impact of Marital Infidelity on Children

COST:  (Must be why they need all the donors, and access to the “Access/Visitation” federal support).
Single Occupancy:
$350* (two nights, six meals, training, ECU’s, taxes, all inclusive)
$400 single occupancy AFTER 2/15/11
Double Occupancy (participants must self-select roommate):
$250* (two nights, six meals, training, ECU’s, taxes, all inclusive)
$300 double occupancy AFTER 2/15/11

Kids’ Turn is also an arts supporter, in fact partnered with an upcoming San Diego show, don’t miss:

26 MILES

by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Sept 29 – Oct 23, 2011
The time is 1986. Olivia is a half-Cuban, half-Jewish ‘zine-writing teen. Join us for our next full production written by award-winning Quiara Alegria Hudes (In the Heights), and in partnership with Kids’ Turn San Diego.  (“Eight years after a Cuban mother looses [sic] custody of her Jewish daughter, she gets a second chance. At 4:30 in the morning she kidnaps the sick teenage girl and the two drive west in search of a remedy and their divergent American dreams.”)

In Washington County, Oregon, a nonprofit called YOUTH CONTACT features Kids’ Turn (and a pop-up indicates that Kids’ Turn is supporting their work also:  See for yourself:  )

Registration form shows it’s $230 per parent per 4-session class:

The enrollment fee for Kids’ Turn is $230.00 per adult.  Children (ages 5-16) are free with a paying adult.  The fee must be paid in full before a spot in the workshop can be reserved.  This is done on a first-come, first served basis until each workshop is full. Acceptable methods of payment are Visa, MasterCard, debit card (with a Visa or MasterCard logo), or money order.  We do NOT accept checks.

YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL FOUR SESSIONS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION.  IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND ALL FOUR SESSIONS YOU WILL HAVE TO RE-REGISTER FOR ANOTHER WORKSHOP AND RE-PAY THE $230.00 ENROLLMENT FEE.  THERE ARE NO MAKE-UP SESSIONS AND THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!

Serves the parents rights for divorcing in the first place, eh?  Domestic violence survivor parent concerned for your life?  what kind of excuse is that!?

In fact, generally speaking, REALLY FAMOUS PEOPLE SEEM TO JUST LOVE “Kids’ Turn” — for example, Halsey Minor, founder of CNET:

Community programs for Children and Parents

experiencing separation or divorce. Featuring The Kids’ Turn Way© Curriculum

“Kids’ Turn has leveraged its resources*** and the progressive nature of San Francisco to become a global leader in addressing the problems children face when their parents separate.” Halsey M. Minor, Kids’ Turn Board Member; Founder, CNET  

Oh, I forgot — he was on 2010 list for tax evasion, found auctioning off his art collection.

Found via LA Observed, the California Franchise Tax Board has released its list of the state’s biggest delinquent taxpayers. This year, the honor goes to Cnet co-founder Halsey Minor and his wife Shannon, who owe a whopping $13,120,479.39 in personal income tax.

They also maintained the #1 California ranking for tax evasion,  for 2011 .

***resources such as connections to the legal/judicial community…..

I would love to see an audit of this organization’s books, all California operations.

The nonprofit directory “Guidestar.org” notes that Kids’ Turn San Diego started in 1996 with a grant from the “Seuss Foundation”….   2009 form 990 lists only $151K net revenues, and Expenses include $124,424 salaries, plus $30,452 professional fees, and that they are running about one salaried position ($38K) in the hole.  They ran a $50K ARt & Wine auction, but donated $36K of that, leaving revenue of $12K.  Expenses, however, were $18K, so That event was a deficit, I guess…..

Lots of Directors (which my “select-copy” tool worked on the PDF) including what appears to be the infamous (or honorable) Honorable Thomas Ashworth’s wife? (also an attorney), Kathryn — in fact, eighteen (18) individuals listed, none drawing a salary.  The Executive Director, however, is taking applications for a FT program director

One of these 18, “Patty Chavez-Fallon” just so happens to be (or have been) Director of Family Court Services at San Diego per this article (critical of) Supervised Visitation:

Patricia Chavez-Fallon, the director of the Superior Court’s Family Court Services in San Diego County, said people who want to be paid monitors submit documentation to the court showing they have attended a training class and meet the other state standards, which essentially require that monitors be 21 or older and free of any legal trouble in the previous 10 years. Chavez-Fallon then adds them to an alphabetical list of supervised visitation monitors that the court provides.

and she’s been there a good while (1991-2008): Kids Turn San Diego started in 1996.  So did the Access Visitation Funds that help facilitate things like this (with PRWORA Welfare Reform).  Must’ve been a coincidence, that timing.    It was a very busy time, after all….

Patti Chavez-Fallon is an expert in alternative dispute resolution. Both as a counselor and Director of Family Court Services, she has served parents and children going through the process of defining and developing a cooperative sharing plan that benefits everyone involved. Her background includes:

  • Seventeen years as Director: Family Court Services, San Diego Superior Court
  • Four years as a mediator of Custody and Visitation disputes
  • Ten years of other child related social work services

She is also listed on the Federal HHS/ACF site for “Access and Visitation” grants as a California “State Access Program Contact:”

9. Superior Court of California , San Diego County
Contact: Patti Chavez-Fallon (619) 557-2100
Services: counseling, parent education

Subcontractor:
Kids’ Turn, San Diego
2136 Newcastle Avenue, suite 150
Cardiff, CA 92007
(760) 634-0280

Remind me again how this is NOT a conflict of interest?  She is the program contact — on behalf of the Superior Court — for the federal funds, and a nonprofit where she sits on the board of the directors is the listed subcontractor….  There’s another one in Shasta County…..

. Northern California Center for Family Awareness
Kids’ Turn Shasta Cascade PO Box 991473
Redding, CA 96099-1473
(530) 244-5749

What’s in it for them, altruism?  The art & wine auction factor?

Ms. Chavez-Fallon is even quoted in a “johnnypumphandle” review of a high-profile San Diego case (Morse v. Morse) where the papers featured the abducting ex-wife, the court had transferred custody to the father after finding allegations of abuse “inclusive” and Stephen Doyne (Note:  also a Kids’ Turn donor, see link to their brochure, above) played a factor.   It noted:

Robert and Eugia Morse divorced in 1994 after 10 years of stormy marriage.
Robert Morse remarried almost immediately and shared custody of his three
children with his ex-wife.

The battle over the children was contentious, McIntyre told jurors. In
January 1996, Robert Morse spent a night in jail after his former wife
accused him of hitting her when she came to pick up the children after a
visit. He was not allowed to see his children for two months.

After a psychological evaluation, Robert Morse received full custody in
October 1996. On their children’s first weekend visit with their mother,
the older girl contended that her father had molested her.

The Corruption Exposed

Before the custody battle even took place, we have learned that Eugia Morse was in the Family Violence Program sponsored by Children’s Hospital. Her records show a multitude of evidence of violence in the form of photos and documents detailing injuries at the hand of Robert Morse. In addition, the children had records of therapy for abuse alleged to be perpetrated  by Robert Morse as well as records documenting the abuse. When the custody case went to court, this evidence was suppressed in favor of the court assigned evaluation team which recommended that custody of the children be transferred to Robert Morse.

Apparently Family COurt Services had a role in this case, one that ended up with the mother feeling she had to flee.  YOu can read for yourself.  While Chavez-Fallon was incidental (in this report), she was director of the same family court services that pushed a certain evaluator and psychologist on the family.  Responding to the news article someone wrote:

I saw the news report about  Morse v. Morse on T.V., we recognized the modus operandi, and in unison wesaid “LINDA HIRSHBERG.” Next time I was in court, I looked at the file. We
were right. It was LINDA HIRSHBERG and STEPHEN DOYNE working together again.
Later, I heard from the “victims of Family Court underground” that Eugia was
networking with others who had been exploited by these two. She was desperate
to get the evaluator changed. She was not successful. No doubt, this
evaluation was arranged by Family Court Services, because that is what FCS
does. They are brokers, not mediators.

The “Cope Family Center” (APparently = ‘Kids’ Turn Napa County) (found supporting the Legislative Action in 2002) states (falsely) that:

Kids’ Turn is supported entirely by generous contributions from individuals and foundations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Workshops are held in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa and Marin counties. Kids’ Turn requests that each participating parent contribute a sliding scale fee to help cover the cost of the program. Any family wanting to help support the program to a greater extent is encouraged to make a tax-deductible contribution at any time.

This “Cope Family Center” also runs Supervised Visitation:

Cope Family Center provides

  • Supervised Visitation
  • Monitored Exchange
  • Parent Education, including Kids’ Turn and Cooperative Co-Parenting

Coincidentally(?), the legislative purpose of the Access Visitation funding (in California), is:

Assembly Bill 673 expressed the Legislature’s intent that funding for the state of California be further limited to the following three types of programs:

  • Supervised visitation and exchange services;
  • Education about protecting children during family disruption; and
  • Group counseling services for parents and children.
This family center has an Assembly member, a State Senator, and a District Attorney among its honorary board members.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, MUCH?

Courthouse Forum (a place one can bellyache about court players) writers also noticed the phenomenon of family law judges referring business to nonprofits they sit on the board of.  THis one notices a judge who was even Treasurer of Kids’ Turn.  These 2006 entries are web-cached:

Contra Costa County KIDS TURN & Berkow

If this J Berkow is a Corporate Treasure of Kids Turn  Inc. a organization that is often court ordered by Contra Costa County Family Law. This appears very improper to me doesn’t this violate the judicial standard to “avoid appearance of impropriety” I know in my business this would be considerd a conflict of interest, and the SEC would have a field day with a trader who was conducting there business like this judge

This is appalling I live in Contra Costa County and this judge is notoriously bad she has raped more fathers in this county then I can even list. Calling her the Monster of Martinez is not a understatement. It is common for father to be so severely financially raped by this women that they do actually end up living in a car with there children. Now she is runningKids Turn!(i.e., this is not my own comment!)

Below is the link to Kids Turn is you scroll down you will that Berkow is a Director. This is not a proper postion for Berkow she is ordering people from the bench to keep her company going. What a way to capitalize your company!

Apparently, they rotate membership in and out (of Judges, Attorneys, etc.).  Here’s a 2010 new President, Greg Abel, who has been on the board a few years, and is quite active in family, appellate and other courts:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 11, 2010 – Kids’ Turn, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization today announced the election of Greg Abel as president and CEO succeeding Steven Kinney, who remains on the board of directors of Kids’ Turn. Mr. Abel is a Partner with Whiting Fallon Ross & Abel, LLP, Walnut Creek, Calif., which represents parties in complex family law and matrimonial matters.

In making the announcement, Steve Kinney, outgoing president of Kids’ Turn said, “We are pleased that Greg Abel has agreed to assume the leadership mantel of Kids’ Turn. He has been a very proactive member of the board since 2008. Greg will provide important leadership as Kids’ Turn moves to the next level of service to customers in the five county region of the San Francisco Bay Area and extends Kids’ Turn curriculum reach to other parts of the U.S. and around the globe.”

Well, since they are going global, I suppose it was worth a try to get the California Legislature to pass a law standardizing this judge-initiated project, just in cases judges who sit (or sat) on the Board previously, or the Director(s?) of Family Court Services, etc. who donate to it (and sit on its board) aren’t drumming up enough business, or foundational support.  As a little reminder, this has been operating IN THE HOLE according to its own 990, at least the San Diego One.

What a lesbian State Senator (in 2002, State Assemblyperson) is doing promoting that bill, Lord only knows. Guess it’s politically advantageous (do they donate to her, too?)

How can any organization with so much foundation support, a ton of volunteer Directors (with judicial, therapy, and attorney association connections)  AND a guaranteed source of court-ordered referrals end up with a negative cash flow?

And what about that $45K in vendor services to the City of San Francisco, recently?

And what about that Lien that the San Francisco Superior Court has (or had) on this group?

. . . . This isn’t THE major question of the family law system, but it sure does make one go “Huh???”

10 Responses

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  1. Looking up the founder of Kids’ Turn (SF), a judge with a feminist daughter (attorney) and widow of a very articulate what looks like compassionate father/ husband (and author, etc.) — I found another link to Cal State Fresno and this nonprofit.

    Truly it must be God’s gift to society. ( Can i get a commission if I just go door to door with brochures for the classes?)

    http://cfcs.jcast.csufresno.edu/degrees_and_programs/department_programs/kids_turn.aspx

    Kids’ Turn for the Children of Fresno!
    Through a grant and help from various sponsor organizations, the Child, Family, and Consumer Sciences Department at California State University, Fresno has become an affiliate of the Kids’ Turn program with the objective of bringing these outstanding and effective workshops to the children and parents in Fresno County. Kids’ Turn is coordinating with the Family Court of the Superior Court of Fresno County, the Family Law Section of the Fresno County Bar Association and Family Court Services.

    For information on Kids’ Turn of Fresno County, please call 559-451-1558.

    ©2010 California State University, Fresno

    familycourtmatters

    May 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    • Or, perhaps I could publish a retraction of all this negative press, and work up to a position as a volunteer Board of Directors member (which is probably financially a better deal)……

      familycourtmatters

      May 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  2. (This project is getting obnoxiously long — but curiouser and curiouser. When you get the California Municipal Financial Authority’s charitable foundation channeling money to Kids’ Turn (among other nonprofits) you definitely have my attention. Add to this the #1 state tax evader (Halsey Minor & wife, not his first one or the mother of their children — ) is on Kids Turn board, Kids Turn is itself an AFCC member (an association that appears to have gotten a jumpstart itself with tax evasion: google “Beware AFCC” if you don’t get this — or read my blog)

    And now it’s not enough to have foundational support, have courts order parents to them, and being able to charge on a sliding scale (including it seems counting child support towards counting “pre-tax income” although child support is not taxable — this seems tantamount to forcing a parent to take from child support funds and pay for this class) . . . . .

    No, and they also are a SUBGRANTEE for Access Visitation funding, which comes through the CA Judicial Council/ Adm. Office of the COurts/Center for Families & Children in the Courts (“CFCC”) — it helps to have AFCC members on there, and one list I saw had several of them — NO. Kids’ Turn is so convinced of its true greatness that it wants to get paid better. Why not apply with another Supervised Visitation Center — “the Rally Center” at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in SF…. (see early in post ref. to “the Rally Project”).

    http://www.svnetwork.net/standards.asp

    http://www.afcc-ca.org/images/2011_conference/2011_Presenter_Bios.pdf
    “Dana Iscoff, M.A., LMFT
    Dana Iscoff, M.A., LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in private Practice in San Francisco. She provides brief, problem focused and long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy for adults, couple and adolescents. She provides a variety of dissolution and separation services which include co-parent counseling, mediation, reunification, child custody evaluations and acts as court appointed special master/parent coordinator. She provides consultation for ~ ~ the Rally Project, ~ ~ attorneys and other community agencies. She wrote the first Parent Orientation Handbook for the San Francisco Superior Court and currently consulted with the court in helping develop the current rules addendum for Brief Focused Assessments.”

    (is this same project?)
    Why not ask Mrs. (the former) Linda Brandes for some more help. Sounds like she might have some to spare… (see detail in the post), and she’s local.

    * * *SVN Standards and Guidelines Committee Co-chairs:

    Shelly La Botte, J.D., California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program, Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, and Nadine Blaschak-Brown, former Program Manager, Rally Family Visitation Services of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco, CA.

    SVN is “Supervised Visitation Network” which I tell women is definitely a compromise concept from the Fathers’ Rights groups (this =/= necess. all fathers, but a certain group promoting FR funding). Well look here:

    SVN Board of Directors (Fiscal Years 2004-2006):
    Jody Bittrich, Rainbow Bridge Safe Exchange/Visitation Center, Moorhead, MN, Barbara Flory (see above), Nancy Fallows (see above), Jane Grafton, (see above), Ona Foster, Faith and Liberty’s Place, Dallas, TX, David Levy, Children’s Rights Council, ***(that’s CRC)*** Hyattsville, MD, Teri Walker McLaughlin (President),…

    Rally — negative father review 2009
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/rally-family-visitation-services-san-francisco

    familycourtmatters

    May 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

  3. I’m trying to help a friend and I googled Judge Alber’s name and it led me here. The father of her children lied and so did the kids opened a cps case accused her of doing drugs. She passed the drug tests and the cps case was dismissed in writing as unfounded. When she went to court he would not let her speak in her own defense he said he’d made up his mind. She can’t even see her children any more at all, she did not actually do anything wrong and now her kids want to come back to her. They are in danger with their father, they’ve run away twice from him this year and been both locked up in mental institution overnight for being suicidal. The father is neglecting them. What does this kid’s turn have to do with – judge not letting her even speak? She lost custody of her children she is not even allowed visitation? Its like he did not read the fact that the report said unfounded dismissed or he did not understand it or he was paid to overlook it. She is totally being alienated from her children by the father who does have and extensive criminal record and she does not she has a job she’s never been in trouble. The judge looks like mr perfect in everything i read on the net but there must be something very corrupt happening. I’m reading through all this trying to understand how he might benefit from destroying her family. Her ex has tons of cash he could have paid, donated to something i guess.
    help?

    Marilynn

    May 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    • You mean this Judge Albers?

      Law & Order
      California’s First Openly Gay Superior Court Judge Hopes To Avoid Being ‘Cubbyholed’
      By Joe Eskenazi, Fri., Jun. 19 2009 at 1:30 PM Comments (5)
      http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2009/06/californias_first_openly_gay_s.php

      (Read the article — he wasn’t the first openly gay sup. ct. judge, apparently — there are comments. This is California, among other things….)

      Schwarzenneger appointmt, prior history listed:
      http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1481

      (7/18/2009 article here….).
      SAN FRANCISCO – Ron Albers, a San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner since 2002, has been appointed to a San Francisco Superior Court judgeship. Judge Albers was sworn in this week.

      Positive press on his work in the Community Justice Center (2009): http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2420

      He understands (at least per SFWeekly article) about conflicts of interest in general:

      http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2009/06/californias_first_openly_gay_s.php

      San Francisco Superior Court
      Just as Albers couldn’t rule on a matter involving Chevron if he was a major shareholder in the company or on a case in which he personally witnessed the event in question, the judge admitted that cases involving same-sex marriage are too near and dear for him to be an impartial arbitrator.

      “I think it’d be improper for me to sit on [such a case] because of my vested interest in it.”

      Albers, who lives in Bernal Heights, has served as a commissioner of the Superior Court since 2002 — and has presided over the controversial Community Justice Center since it opened this year. ”

      I will think about this one. I do say that if it’s in the SF Court system, there is definitely going to be a potential for some problems —

      Look to see if there is any conflict of interest. Judge Albers has a Form 700 Statement re his own (any judge, we should obtain these, and then CHECK ’em! ) I also looked at CRIIS.com, Recorded Documents, SF, yr 2000ff — and while Ron Albers is a common name, most likely, there are many entries..I’d assume the doct details with his partner’s name on them are the same man…. This doesn’t mean finds are illegal (at all) — it means they are recorded documents. Also, judges, being wealthy, often own real estate. These records are very busy..

      http://www.criis.com/webtemp/216.70.156.228/doc_detail.html

      Here’s one:
      Search Results
      Document Details
      Record GrantoR
      Year Document Date Document Type GranteE Name

      2009 I828935-02 09/03/2009 RECONVEYANCE R J P MORGAN CHASE CUSTODY SVCS INC
      E ALBERS RONALD
      E ALEXANDER COLIN

      http://dockets.justia.com/docket/kentucky/kyedce/5:2009cv00127/60391/
      (someone sued — and lost, the company JPMorgan Chase, etc. on civil rights violation….).

      What’s CRIIS? [“access to public records for county government”] Well, it records documents, such as liens, for at least some CA counties. Like this set of 4 liens:

      Show Detail 12/14/2010 J099605-00 NOTICE LIEN R KIDS TURN
      Show Detail 12/14/2010 J098917-00 NOTICE LIEN R KIDS TURN
      Show Detail 12/11/2009 I887047-00 NOTICE LIEN R KIDS TURN
      Show Detail 01/27/2004 H647258-00 NOTICE LIEN R KIDS TURN

      All 4 of them show SFTC as the Grantee of the Lien, meaning Kids’ Turn OWES the courts somehow, and the courts have a “lien” on the to collect?

      And, meanwhile, SF city and county is paying Kids Turn for some services…..

      As you can see, I simply snoop around different areas. CRIIS came up after an individual found her name (improperly) on some property — the access to her name had been compromised during the family or child support court process, obviously…
      (in other words, it appears to have been fraud….)

      DNK if this is helpful, but you must do legwork as well, and doing that helps one acquire some more skills and awareness(es). Let me know if you find something helpful….

      If child support was a factor in the case, that’s also a clue, I’ll be writing more on this soon.

      familycourtmatters

      May 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    • (written after the replies below). It took a while to sink in that the judge you mention (same one?) shares a family law position with Judge Marjorie Slabach. I was looking to see if either was sitting on some program taking private (or even federal incentive) funding which, if the ex donated to, might affect the custody case, more than in a general manner — your case is common enough, sad to say (the type) —

      Check out comment from “farce” on this one:
      http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/03/jane_kim_jerry_brown.php

      (It’s sarcastic, but makes a point about conflicts of interests — judges sitting in positions to refer business to nonprofits run or owned by — judges, sometimes the same ones….) THis is not Albers, it’s who he shares/d position with (I’m not always current on which judge is where):

      “Dissolve the Domestic Violence Task Force. SF Superior Court Commissioner Marjorie Slabach heads that up, and she sits on the executive board of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC). AFCC is cross affilliated with the Children’s Rights Council (CRC), which coincidentally runs most of the programs in the family court and “recommended” by the task force. The CRC is a militant father’s rights organization which embraces pedophiles and actually has had pedophile advocates like Warren Farrell on their executive board.

      One of these programs is Rally Visitation Center, where Commissioner Slabach, the superior court, and the DV task force participants send children who are victims of DV. There is no accountability for these DHHS A/V grant funds, they are used to promote custody switching scams which, and I am sure the city could use these grants right now to do things like…Hire teachers?

      The April 2010 notes indicate that assault against children have increased, and perhaps there is a correllation between the city’s contracts with pro-pedophile and pro-abuser nonprofits like CRC we should be looking at.

      It seems to me that perhaps the supervisors should consider giving up the false bravado of an autonomous task force which “helps” mothers and victims of violence, and instead dissolve the task force and hire Commissioner Slabach as their AFCC/CRC consultant.”

      http://www.courtinnovation.org/research/judge-ron-albers-san-francisco-community-justice-center?mode=4&url=research%2F4%2Finterview

      He sounds like a good guy, true:

      But always look up the conflicts of interest statements during the years in question:
      http://www.fppc.ca.gov/forms/700-09-10/Form700-09-10.pdf

      http://09conferencecd.nadcp.org/Speaker%20Bios.pdf

      ALBERS, Ron
      Ron Albers has presided over criminal court operations at the San Francisco Community Justice Center since its opening in March 2009. He was appointed a Commissioner of the San Francisco Superior Court in 2002. For the past seven years he has handled felony and misdemeanor cases at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. For the last five years he has presided over the San Francisco Drug Court, Back on Track program, and Proposition 36 program. He served as a member of the California Judicial Council. Currently, he is a member of the Judicial Council’s Collaborative Justice Court’s Advisory Committee. He also chairs the San Francisco Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee.

      = = = =
      RE:
      “They are in danger with their father, they’ve run away twice from him this year and been both locked up in mental institution overnight for being suicidal. ”

      I don’t do legal advice, I advise people to look outside the 9 dots for a reason for the season. Right now, in family law, it’s fatherhood season. You can find the connection, most likely, if you follow financial data and who’s on which boards of what.

      I’m not in your shoes. And FYI, the presence or absence of a criminal record – don’t get too distracted — there are programs there to make those moot points when it comes to custody. If your friend is divorced or dealing with a well to do father, and lost custody, then possibly child support was a motive, or possibly the child support programs themselves had a vested motive to get custody issues going (or, get the ex’s money).

      I was not allowed to speak when my RO case was consolidated with a divorce case, at the hearing to renew it. THere is an assembly line in the courts; the thing is to figure out where your friend is on it, and which workers are on that part of it.

      familycourtmatters

      May 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    • My advice to you is to have your friend watch this video:
      http://fulldisclosure.net/Blogs/96.php

      Judge Albers is taking payments from the county in the amount of $364 bi-weekly according to the SF controller’s office. However, it will take your friend about 10 minutes to whip off a FOIA request for those records from SF Court CEO and creative director of pleadings Michael T. Yuen. Something along the lines of “Please forward me a copy of the ledger showing all payments, compensation, or benefits made to Judge Albers. This is pursant to the state open records act.”

      You start the hearing by asking judge albers if he is taking payments from the county other than from the State, as proscribed to him by the CA legislature under the constitution. Then you watch his face turn red while he pretends to be outraged and angry. And then you ask your friend to raise the point to Albers that his employer, the county, is a party to the case because DCF/CPS and DCSS are county agencies. Under Canon 3, would he like to disclose his conflict under 170.1?

      You might also want to mention that he is the transcriptionist’s direct supervisor, and her employment is “at the will and pleasure of the court.” The transcriptionist is a county employee as well. TOTAL CONFLICT.

      So basically, if she plays her cards right, she can have the judgments set aside and get her kids back.

      * * * *If he does not recuse, you report his ass to the judicial council and he can be removed from the bench. You get the transcripts and he is DONE. * * * * Usually, the creative artists in Yuen’s office will make sure the transcripts are festive, so you must be sure that you have a witness stand in the back and scream out “YOU ARE A CROOK” and run out of the room.

      He will rule in father’s favor anyways because he is paid to ignore her evidence. The family court is a business, however, these judges don’t want people to know what they are doing, which is ripping off the tax payers.

      Family Court Crock

      May 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      • After picking myself off the floor (I love pointed humor like this — esp. when it’s no laughing matter….), I looked up Canon 3.

        For you, and other readers, here’s an excerpt and a link, worth a read, and ALSO — having a functional legal system in our country is part of the responsibility of being a Citizen. Payment of taxes doesn’t exempt one from some responsibility to do something when its off-the-wall corrupt. I’m doing my part, and I see you are trying to help a friend.

        This blog is to alert its readers (including some in high places searching for what I’ve been writing on them, per “Statcounter.” This morning, one from Soc. Sec. Admin. in a certain state. Some people are really concerned about what I wrote on Judge Robert A. Ross (who did the “PAS” ruling in Nassau County, NY recently –wife sentenced for alienating, and “don’t alienate” was written, unbeiievably, into the divorce decree. You know someone had some coaching in that one!) . . .

        So here’s your quote, and link:
        http://www.lectlaw.com/files/jud32.htm

        “REAMBLE

        Our legal system is based on the principle that an independent, fair, and competent judiciary will interpret and apply the laws that govern us. The role of the judiciary is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of law. Intrinsic to this code are the precepts that judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system. The judge is an arbiter of facts and law for the resolution of disputes and a highly visible member of government under the rule of law.”

        I’d also like to mention that it’s clear Judge Ron Albers used to be Commissioner Ron Albers. While i”m on that topic, Commissioners ARE paid from the county (I hear) and as such, shouldn’t really be hearing child support cases (which are also with county payments), esp. given how many federal incentives there are to keep the case going..
        But I’d suggest getting payments from those years also.

        Adopted by the Supreme Court of California effective January 15, 1996

        Preface
        Preamble
        Terminology

        Canon 1: A Judge Shall Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary

        Canon 2: A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All of the Judge’s Activities
        A. Promoting Public Confidence
        B. Use of the Prestige of Judicial Office
        C. Membership in Organizations

        Canon 3: A Judge Shall Perform the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially and Diligently
        A. Judicial Duties in General
        B. Adjudicative Responsibilities
        C. Administrative Responsibilities
        D. Disciplinary Responsibilities
        E. Disqualification

        Canon 4: A Judge Shall So Conduct the Judge’s Quasi-Judicial and Extrajudicial Activities as to Minimize the Risk of Conflict with Judicial Obligations
        A. Extrajudicial Activities in General
        B. Quasi-judicial and Avocational Activities
        C. Governmental, Civic, or Charitable Activities
        D. Financial Activities
        E. Fiduciary Activities
        F. Service as Arbitrator or Mediator
        G. Practice of Law
        H. Compensation and Reimbursement

        My next comment, I’m looking up a nonprofit I heard Judge Albers was on the board of (not confirmed yet, but the project is pretty interesting — SF Pre-Trial Diversion Program…

        familycourtmatters

        May 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

      • Don’t forget to watch that video. If you want to understand government, including the courts (esp. in California), don’t neglect the Richard Fine story — it seems to be rather a parable of how things go down if you come at it expecting Constitution, and whatnot…

        Getting disbarred seems to a badge of honor (although disbarred Barry Goldstein (Genia Shockome case) would’ve done well to listen to Richard Fine, also disbarred, earlier in the game. )

        Here’s a YELP review of that nonprofit project I referred to in previous comment (on SF Pretrial Diversion Project). The writers were participants, and it’s pretty funny; they tell you how it works… including how easy it is to get traffic tickets in SF (and, accordingly, how easy it is for various other approved nonprofits to get virtual slave labor, although whether labor actually happens or not appears to be very much discretionary on assignments. Nevertheless, I’m sure the public was sold on this as a way to reduce clogged courts and rescue fatherless youth who’d otherwise be dating their daughters. . . . . . But the truth sounds like, you could end up here for failing to be able to afford parking tickets in one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. — San Francisco itself….

        http://www.yelp.com/biz/san-francisco-pretrial-diversion-project-san-francisco

        “Category: Public Services & Government [Edit]
        567 7th St
        (between Bryant St & Brannan St)
        San Francisco, CA 94103
        Neighborhood: SOMA
        (415) 626-4995
        http://www.sfpretrial.com/home.html

        This South of Market (“SOMA”) is near the jail, traffic court, public defender’s office, and apparently a place where it’s real easy to get issued a traffic ticket – more ‘yelp” reviews on this matter…. Note there’s always going to be some income to the city, somehow, some way, and your time will be taken, costing you, too….

        http://www.yelp.com/biz/traffic-court-san-francisco
        “11/4/2009
        If you say ‘not guilty’ to your moving violation, and the officer appears for the court date, you’ll get another $55 if you go to court instead of just paying your ticket, and an additional $52 tacked on to your ticket if you decide to take traffic school. I was pulled over by the CHP on the Caesar Chavez onramp going to I-80 (don’t make an illegal U-turn there) and their office is close by on Bryant, so the officer showed up.

        Also, watch for a CHP officer on the southbound Mariposa onramp to 280.”

        or,

        ” got a ticket for crossing a street against a red light.

        While in a crosswalk, a cop driving too fast didn’t see me and thought he had nearly hit me. I had seen him and so stopped walking and had been waiting for him to go by, but he was angry so he stopped to write me a ticket.

        In court, he lied and said I ran in front of his car! The magistrate believed every word he said and told me I was lucky I didn’t get hit and found me guilty.

        Still it was worth going because the ticket was inexplicably reduced from $295.93 to $120. ”

        I searched its EIN#:

        942333038 San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project $3,948,170 $466,382 (yr) 2009
        (the “$4 mil” figure is “Expenses” and the second # “assets.”)

        National Center for Charitable Statistics (“NCSSDATAWEB.URBAN.ORG”) says:
        rganization Details
        EIN: 942333038
        Name: San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project — Google
        Location: 567 7th St
        San Francisco, CA 94103 Report Address Change
        County: San Francisco County
        Ruling Date: 1978 (Approximate year when founded)
        IRS Type: 501(c)(3) – Public charity: Religious, educational, charitable, scientific, and literary organizations…
        Legal basis for public charity or private foundation status (FNDNCD): 15 – Organization with a substantial portion of support from a governmental unit or the general public
        NTEE: T22 – Private Independent Foundations
        Most recently completed fiscal year (TAXPER) 06/2009
        Total Revenue $3,959,457
        Total Assets: $466,382
        AND you can load their 990s in form of PDFs.

        I SUGGEST READERS START DOING THIS IN GENERAL.
        This 2008 one shows $3.3 mil in “Public contributions & grants,” $605K” in Program Service Revenue, and for Expenses: $2.06 mil in salaries, and $1.98 mil in fundraising. You do the math — nonprofits are expected to spend most of their stuff, right? Rev – Expenses = $11K (not much for all those millions….) and Net Assets, ($15K) in the hole. Previous year, $78K assets in the hole.
        GET THIS:

        100% public support.
        Exec Dir. (2008) Wm. Leong.
        Management Committee:

        All, obviously, public employees….

        “Judge Herbert Donaldson Judge Kay Tsenin Judge Teri Jackson Judge Loretta Giorgi ***Commissioner Ron Albers ***District Attorney Kamala Harris represented by Greg Barge Public Defender Jeff Adachi represented by Kwixuan Maloof Patrick Boyd,Chief Adult Probation Officer”

        4 Judges, and a Commissioner (who is now a judge who is “in the family (law) way,” Albers — a D.A., a Public Defender, and a Probation Officer — all doing business (nonprofit of course) together.

        Judge, Prosecutor function (DA), Defense function (Public Defender) and Prob. Officer (Executive Function). I believe this is called “separation of powers” — or used to be…. I’d look into this one…

        (I looked at the 2001 Form 990 and a different set of personnel, as follows — one of who is on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Turn (I think presently, though should check) and is the presiding judge of the SFTC as well. I guess maybe these nonprofits definitely help build one’s resume for public service……

        All had moderate salaries for nonprofits ($64K+) and it mentions 2 others paid over $50K.

        “Michael Shaw
        Dee Dee Rodnquez
        StanYee
        Victor Lee ”

        And a different set of judges on the Management Committee:

        Sheriff Michael Hennessy (chair), Judge Ellen Chaitin, Judge Herbert Donaldson, Judge Patrick Mahoney & Judge Peter Busch (at various courthouses), Public Defender’s Office Kimiko Burton, Adult Probation Office Arturo Faro, District Attorney’s, Linda Allen — and an attorney, Sarah Rubenstein.

        Here is a 2001 Sheriff’s Dept. meeting on a MIO (Mentally Ill Offenders) Crime Reduction Grant, with (SF Pre-Trial Board Members) RON ALBERS, Dee Dee Rodriguez [who is SF Pre-Trial Program Dir.], the same? Faro and Wm. Leong (Exec Dir.) on it:
        http://www.sfsheriff.com/mio/m022101.htm

        “MIO Executive Strategy Committee [“ESC”] Quarterly Meeting Minutes
        Wednesday, February 21, 2001
        12:00 – 1:00 P.M.
        Sheriff’s Training Unit, 555 – 7th Street, Room 200″

        They are looking into mental health court option: “. MIO Project

        · Mental Health Court Visits

        The ESC members researched the feasibility and desirability of a mental health court in San Francisco based on a recommendation from the first Local Plan. In January 2001, a small group of ESC members made site visits to mental health courts in San Bernardino and Santa Barbara. The site visits gave the group a good sense on how these model programs operate. However, because of the lower functioning clients San Francisco serves, they felt a mental health court for San Francisco would not be feasible. Instead, the group recommended a higher priority program involving training criminal justice agency staff to more successfully work with mentally ill offenders in their court interactions, rather than establishing a formal mental health court at this time.

        · Updated Local Plan . . .

        “Considering the legislative mandate, the current MIO program has not enabled us to address a large number of individuals who have a serious mental illness and are frequently in and out of jail. Their stay in jail is usually short in duration, which makes it impossible to engage them in mental health treatment, let alone to refer them to appropriate community-based treatment. Many of these individuals are released from jail through Sheriff’s programs aimed at reducing jail overcrowding, while remaining in the constructive custody of the Sheriff.

        The proposed program, “Connections,” would integrate the Sheriff’s jail alternative programs with an extensive array of services that address this population’s stabilization and mental health needs. Adding mental health professionals to the Sheriff’s programs, funding dedicated staff for vocational services and benefits counseling, and leasing rooms in supportive hotels will accomplish such objectives.

        “Connections” will involve the Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice (CJCJ), ~ ~ ~ San Francisco Pretrial Diversion (Pretrial),~ ~ ~ San Francisco “O.R.” Project, Progress Foundation, and possibly Community Vocational Enterprises (CVE), and Lutheran Social Services (LSS). The Sheriff’s Department, Jail Psychiatric Services (JPS), Jail Aftercare Services (JAS) and Community Mental Health Services will continue to provide daily collaboration to the program.”

        KINDA interesting, because right now I”m working on a post about how many mental health professionals is it possible to squeeze into a single divorce case (and how AFCC coaches its professionals to require as many as possible, plus others to coordinate all these professionals, also AFCC-trained, preferably. I’m wondering now about why the SF area has “lower-functioning” individuals, perhaps it’s the combination of family court severe stress, economic decimation (through the family law process) and the usual urban issues people have to deal with, including public corruption and too many cooks in the kitchen. (Not meaning to minimize these board members’ intent to help, just to encourage accountability that there’s not a conflict of interest in who’s providing it….)

        familycourtmatters

        May 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

  4. And I should mention that I am not a lawyer, this is not meant to be legal advice, and your friend should seek legal advice from an actual lawyer.

    Just don’t pay one in SF because you know what? They will not defend her properly. The case will get dragged out and when everyone has been totally shaken down, they will rule in father’s favor.

    At least if you stop trying to prove your own worth as a parent and instead disprove Alber’s suitability for the bench she has a shot.

    ***And don’t ever tell Albers or anyone else in that crooked court what evidence you have or show your hand. They will erase the evidence. Just drop the hint in the form of a question.***

    You think he will throw her in jail for doing it, but he won’t.

    What does kidsturn have to do with it? Because the point is to steer everyone in the family court to high conflict litigation so that the court’s officer’s “preferred” nonprofits recieve copious amounts of untracable public funds. So Slabach sits on the board of the SF County domestic violence council and pushes kidsturn and Rally funding there, and then Judge Mahoney is on the board at kidsturn itself, and then you have kids turn and rally applying for grants from the san francisco court.

    Lest we forget that all of these court officers are CREATING high conflict cases, then steering parents to services at Rally and Kidsturn.

    So really, all funds lead back to Judge Mahoney’s pockets and “charitable” causes. He gets payments from the county too…He should be removed because he has no control over the court, and if I were your friend I would report judge mahoney’s failure to manage it to the judicial council.

    Did you know there is an open Commission on Judicial Performance investigation into Mahoney? There is, and so now would be a great time for your friend to pull up the info on Canon 3 and submit a complaint about how judge mahoney has all these conflicts of interest and has no business steering this public funding, taking payments from the county, and then supervising judges who work for that county when he knows damn well DCSS and CPS are county agencies presiding over cases.

    Family Court Crock

    May 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm


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martinplaut

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