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

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

Why Court-Connected Nonprofits must Reproduce like Rabbits, and Invent New Fields of Practice…

leave a comment »


Well, one great reason might be that they are continuing to lose their business licenses for minor details like failing to file, filing incomplete tax returns, or failing to pay the huge filing fees (like $50).  Or perhaps they just got on the wrong side of the Office of Attorney General or Secretary of State by doing this so often the public started to notice. . .. who knows.  I just noticed this recently — and then a few closer looks showed so much of this that I’ve had to sort them into generalized “court-connected nonprofit” categories.   These samples are from California only, and show approximately that when one category of service is closed down, the AFCC-inspired conferences make sure that the sails are set with different names (but all heading approximately the same direction) — expanding problem-solving courts.

  • SUPERVISED VISITATION FIELD

— CALIFORNIA (casual search on the words “supervised visitation.”):

Business licenses:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3283419 02/08/2010 ACTIVE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF SUPERVISED VISITATION SERVICE PROVIDERS BOBBI JONES RICHARDS
C2497170 01/17/2003 SUSPENDED INLAND ASSOCIATION OF SUPERVISED VISITATION MONITORS, INC. SUZETTE MOHAMMED
C3274277 01/25/2010 ACTIVE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUPERVISED VISITATION CHAPTER MARIE FISHER
C2967452 02/08/2007 SUSPENDED SUPERVISED VISITATION SERVICES, INC. JUSTIAN RISSO
C2726276 02/03/2005 SUSPENDED SUPERVISED VISITATION, INC. MICHELLE CHRISTINA FULLER
C1978892 09/13/1996 SUSPENDED THE FAMILY TREE – A SUPERVISED VISITATION PROGRAM ANNEMARIE CIVELLO

Modify Search New Search

Charitable Status, same word search:


Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
SUPERVISED VISITATION, INC. Charity Not Registered VAN NUYS CA Charity Registration Charity
1

  • Family Resource Centers (81 listed in California):

(These are often functioning as supervised visitation centers too, so I thought I’d look.  They seem to have a hard time staying in business):

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3047952 09/13/2007 ACTIVE AMERICAN CANYON FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER SHERRY TENNYSON
C2114197 07/03/1998 SUSPENDED AZUSA FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER, INC. LARRY FETTERS
C2868331 03/01/2006 SUSPENDED CALIFORNIA FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER LEGALZOOM.COM, INC.
C1813639 01/06/1992 ACTIVE CHALLENGED FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER JUDITH REHLING
C2651993 05/19/2004 ACTIVE CHRISTIAN FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER MIRIAM GUDINO
C2648602 03/24/2004 SUSPENDED COACHELLA VALLEY FAMILY & BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER, INC. WILLIAM PROUTY
C1940548 05/18/1995 SUSPENDED COMFORT CONNECTION FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER HEDY S HANSON
C2234740 04/28/2000 ACTIVE COMMUNITY AND FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER JOHN BENAVIDES
C3360561 02/18/2011 ACTIVE CUYAMA VALLEY FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER KIM EICHERT
C2749315 05/27/2005 ACTIVE DEL NORTE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER JENNIFER ENGLAND
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

(those little#s at the bottom are how many pages of listings….)

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2727755 03/25/2005 SUSPENDED DR. NEIL SCHMIDT FILLMORE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER, INCORPORATED NORMA PEREZ-SANDFORD
C2223865 02/18/2000 SUSPENDED EASTERN SIERRA FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER DEANNA JOHNSON
C1570162 09/24/1990 SUSPENDED EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER LORA A. KELLER
C1843672 07/26/1993 ACTIVE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER, INC. DIANNE K LOVELL
C1916314 11/07/1994 DISSOLVED FAMILY COMPUTER RESOURCE CENTER LINDA CROSSMAN
C3353924 03/01/2011 ACTIVE FAMILY DYNAMICS RESOURCE CENTER SANDRA A WILSON
C2506557 04/14/2003 ACTIVE FAMILY EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER KENNETH F. PATTERSON
C2442161 07/05/2002 SUSPENDED FAMILY FINANCIAL RESOURCE CENTER, INC. DIANA V KARRINGTON CEDENO
C1951037 10/03/1995 SUSPENDED FAMILY FOCUS RESOURCE CENTER LORI WALKER
C2505515 04/15/2003 SUSPENDED FAMILY ONE STOP RESOURCE COMMUNITY CENTER INC. AVIS MCGURT
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C1865515 08/25/1993 SUSPENDED FAMILY OPTIONS RESOURCE CENTER, INC. DAVID F ELLISOR
C0540249 02/05/1968 ACTIVE FAMILY RESOURCE & REFERRAL CENTER OF SAN JOAQUIN KAY RUHSTALER
C2126626 11/20/1998 ACTIVE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER COLLABORATIVE OF THE EAST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY BRUCE W WADDELL
C2972452 03/12/2007 ACTIVE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER OF TRUCKEE ADELA M. GONZALEZ DEL VALLE
C2512983 04/14/2003 ACTIVE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER, INC. ELIZABETH KOZELL
C2496174 02/03/2003 SUSPENDED FAMILY RESOURCE LIBRARY AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY CENTER YVETTE ONEIDA BAPTISTE
C3079894 03/19/2008 SUSPENDED FAMILY RESOURCE NETWORK CENTER INC. MARIA GARCIA
C2580838 01/29/2004 SUSPENDED FAMILY RESOURCE NETWORK CENTER, INC. GERALDINE VORIS
C2773889 10/03/2005 DISSOLVED FAMILY RESOURCE PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING CENTER INCORPORATED LEXI WELANETZ BURSIN
C2121332 09/24/1998 SUSPENDED FAMILY SENIOR RESOURCE CENTER INC. ROBERT BAKER

And even in the up and coming field of:

  • COLLABORATIVE LAW:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2233795 04/24/2000 ACTIVE COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAWYERS** MARK A. NELSON
C2897092 06/14/2006 DISSOLVED COLLABORATIVE WELLNESS MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY INC GEORGE FREDERICK CENKNER
C2126626 11/20/1998 ACTIVE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER COLLABORATIVE OF THE EAST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY BRUCE W WADDELL
C3241857 02/01/2010 ACTIVE KERN COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW SOLUTIONS STEPHEN C KLINK
C2507710 03/21/2003 ACTIVE LOS ANGELES COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW ASSOCIATION (LACFLA) FREDERICK J. GLASSMAN

(more on this later, because what’s advertised on various individuals’ websites often isn’t found here, or under “dba” either, i.e. “doing business as.”)

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
***COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAWYERS Charity Not Registered OXNARD CA Charity Registration Charity
1

If this is a non-profit, when is it planning to get registered as one, so we can appreciate the articles of incorporation and  “program service accomplishments” from the IRS 990s it’s going to file?

 

Entity Name:

COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAWYERS
Entity Number: C2233795
Date Filed: 04/24/2000
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 300 ESPLANADE DRIVE, SUITE 1170
Entity City, State, Zip: OXNARD CA 93036
Agent for Service of Process: MARK A. NELSON
Agent Address: 1170 ESPLANADE DRIVE, SUITE 1170
Agent City, State, Zip: OXNARD CA 93036

 

The address 300 Esplanade, Suite 1170, Oxnard, CA leads to Mr. Nelson and 5 other attorneys listed on his site (4 other man and one woman).   He lists among his professional accomplishments what I think is intended to be this nonprofit — only under a different name:

Mark Nelson
– Nelson Comis Kahn & Sepulveda LLPState Bar Association, Board Certified Specialist in family law, with strong background in business and real estate. Twenty-nine years experience practicing in Litigation, Collaborative and Mediation Models.

Web Site www.calattys.com
  Member Since 6/1998

 

300 Esplanade Drive
Oxnard, CA  93030-0238

Memberships / Noteworthy Activities

  • Collaborative Family Law Professionals, Inc.    Co-foundlnq Director of non-adversarial alternative dispute resolution
    group involving specially trained lawyers, mental health professionals and accountants working with selected clients; President 2003,
    Director and Treasurer 2000-present

Nothing by this specific name seems to show up, presently, perhaps I’m missing it.  I think that the registered agent for a company probably ought to use that company’s name (or a fictitious name / dba) on the site, right?

How many of this bunch of “Collaborative Law Professionals” (Marin County site) stopped collaborating long enough to file THEIR incorporations and nonprofit statements?  As people at least dealing with attorneys (if they’re themselves attorneys, they are most likely AFCC members, and at least rub shoulders regularly with such), surely they know about these basic protocol:

 

California Collaborative Practice Groups

Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire
Collaborative Practice Group of Contra Costa
East Bay Alliance of Collaborative Professionals
Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group
Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley
Collaborative Practice of San Mateo County
Collaborative Practice of Santa Cruz County
San Francisco Bay Area Collaborative Practice Group
Collaborative Divorce
Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association
Coalition for Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Divorce Solutions
A Better Divorce
Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego

U

 

 

Anyhow (actually, I looked up several of these), moving on to my favorite category of court-associated nonprofits to poke fun at, perhaps because they’re such a model for others, the same phenomena is happening, I gather, with:

  • PARENT EDUCATION FIELD:

Business License status:

Results of search for ” KIDS TURN ” returned 2 entity records.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C1657442 12/29/1989 SUSPENDED KID’S TURN CLAIRE BARNES
C1970774 06/05/1996 ACTIVE KID’S TURN, SAN DIEGO JAMES REYNOLDS DAVIS
How does an organization whose Board includes the current supervising judge of the SF Unified Family COurts — get its business license suspended?    Or are they intentionally shutting down the doors now by letting it lapse?
Talk about a power-packed board of directors here:  Anything “LLP” or “Esq.” represents the legal profession, you’ve also got Ph.D.’s and business people, plus we have already covered that millionaire Halsey Minor, although painfully dinged during a divorce, as I recall, probably has plenty left.

Board of Directors

Jeffrey Abadie — Partner, Sand Hill Advisors LLC
Gregory C. Abel, Esq. — Family Law Attorney, Whiting, Fallon, Ross & Abel, LLP
Gladys Ato, Psy.D. — Argosy University
Claire N. Barnes, MA — Executive Director, Kids’ Turn
Gerard F. Corbett — CEO, Redphlag LLC.
Leslie O. Dawson — Glenn & Dawson, LLP
Dr. Tara Fields — Therapist; Media
Raymond Jones, Ph.D — Retired from Notre Dame de Namur University
Steven Kinney — Pacific-West Regional Director; National Consortium for Academics and Sports
The Hon. Patrick Mahoney, Supervising Judge — San Francisco Unified Family Court
Halsey M. Minor — Principal, Minor Ventures
Ellen Winick Stross, Esq. — Family Law Attorney
Suzie S. Thorn, Esq. — Parliamentarian (nonvoting member) Family Law Attorney

Allison Thorson, Ph.D. – University of San Francisco
Stacey Welsh —  Wealth Adviser, United Capital Financial Advisers

Allison Thorson (I just looked her up) is UCSF Faculty, fresh out of a communications Ph.D. from Nebraska.  She speaks enthusiastically about connecting with an existing Kids Turn Board Member (Corbett) and voila — I guess it’s good to have a UCSF faculty contact to promote Kid’s Turn, and here she is:

Faculty Feats: Professor Allison Thorson (early 2011)

Our second “Faculty Feats” focuses on Professor Allison Thorson and her work with Kids Turn, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping families dealing with separation or divorce.  Professor Thorson is currently serving on their Board of Directors and is leading a support group for parents going through divorce.

Professor Allison Thorson

I asked Professor Thorson how she became involved with Kids Turn:

“I first learned about Kids’ Turn (www.kidsturn.org) at a USF mentoring event.  I was at the event to meet with students and connect them with members of the San Francisco community.  Little did I know that I would be the person making connections that evening.  It was at this function where I met Gerard Corbett, Founder and CEO of Redphlag LLC, who is also a member of the Kids’ Turn Board of Directors.  As Gerry and I made small talk, I happened to share that my research generally focuses on family communication surrounding hurtful and or unexpected events.  Before I knew it we were exchanging business cards and making plans to connect again.  After learning more about Kids’ Turn, their programs, their mission, and meeting individuals associated with the organization in the weeks following my initial encounter with Gerry – I just knew I had to be involved.  I had never met a group of individuals this passionate about helping children and families in times of transition.”

You can read more about Professor Thorson’s research in an article for USF News here:http://www.usfca.edu/newsroom/Research/After_Infidelity__Trouble_for_Parent-Child_Relationship/

Congratulations to Professor Thorson for her service to this important organization.  It is great to have our faculty involved in the local community in this way!

Mr. Corbett has been a technical writer and scientific programmer for NASA, and besides, is CEO of a company himself.  I’m sure he could comprehend the importance of maintaining a business license for an organization he lists on his “About us” page.   Redphlag delivers

“Consulting, Coaching, Counsel & Communication”

At least as of 2008:
Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
200815210101 05/30/2008 ACTIVE REDPHLAG LLC LEGALZOOM.COM, INC. (C2967349)
The top row represents the original Kid’s Turn from San Francisco, as we see at 1242 Market Street, 2nd Floor:
Entity Name: KID’S TURN
Entity Number: C1657442
Date Filed: 12/29/1989
Status: SUSPENDED
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 1242 MARKET ST 2ND FLR
Entity City, State, Zip: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94102
Agent for Service of Process: CLAIRE BARNES
Agent Address: 1242 MARKET ST 2ND FLR
Agent City, State, Zip: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94102
Claire Barnes is very well known, and in some of the same circles as Suzie Thorn, whose law firm sits on the 5th floor of 1242 Market Street here.  Photo below after I explain a bit.
This gets interesting, because on the 5th floor of the building is a prominent family law firm, Schapiro & Thorn, who are helping guide families (especially well-heeled families) through the maze of the family law system, with a very professional web design and close connections to Kid’s Turn — in fact, the founding paperwork detailed that this organization’s physical site would be the 2nd floor of this building.  Which it appears the Thorn family have majority ownership** in:
(**simplified description of some information from a 1986 ABA article interviewing Ms. Thorn, including on the purchase of the building and the decision to focus on family law, not to mention staff member Joe Thorn is “Managing Partner for 1242 Market Street Limited“) and of course the Calif. Secretary of State also lists this business:
Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
198501800044 01/18/1985 ACTIVE 1242 MARKET STREET, LTD. SUZIE S. THORN
Firm Location
Schapiro • Thorn • Inc.
1242 Market Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
1240 - 1242 Market Street, San Francisco (built 1908)

Guidance Through the Family Law Maze

Schapiro-Thorn is a firm that resolves challenging family law problems and guides clients through the divorce process in the most positive manner possible.

We place particular emphasis on cases involving high-value assets. We also handle mid-level cases that present complex property division issues, as well as those which involve interstate and international child custody disputes.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in the family law area. They are assertive litigators and astute negotiators who are dedicated to achieving our clients’ goals and protecting their rights.

…here to help you through the legal maze of divorce and related family law issues…

They are very professional and have been around a long time; in fact when a SF examiner author wanted to interview a family attorney on the impact the closure of three SF family courthouses (article is below), a Thorn & Schapiro attorney’s opinion was solicited — Ms. Mehmet.  Ms. Thorn is a Board Member of Kids’ Turn, among a lot of other international experience, and Ms. Mehmet certainly promotes it as well.

A Team of Advocates and Professionals

Attorney Suzie S. Thorn, was one of the first female family law attorneys in California. For over forty years, she has represented clients with dedication and professionalism. She leads a team of attorneys and professionals who are committed to protecting the rights, families, and assets of clients during and after the divorce process.

(from individual page on Ms. Thorn):   Currently, Ms. Thorn is a Trustee of the International Commission on Couple and Family Relations Trust, a United Kingdom Registered Charity, as well as a Member of the Board of Kids’ Turn, San Francisco, a charitable organization which endeavors to assist families and especially children through the rigors of the divorce process. …

Ms. Thorn has served on the Executive Committee and as Chair and Treasurer of the Family Law Section of the California State Bar. She has served as Judge pro tempore and Section Law Judge pro tempore for the San Francisco Superior Court.

Or (from the ICCFR pages):

Suzie S Thorn (USA) is a prominent matrimonial lawyer in San Francisco. She is President  of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, of the Suzie S Thorn Family Foundation, and of Schapiro-Thorn Inc. Her initial contact with ICCFR resulted from liaison between the Commission and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts in 1993. She became a Board member in 1995. She was the innovative founder of the ICCFR Trust of which she is now a trustee.

photo

As a matter of fact, Ms. Thorn helped set up this ICCFR Trust to start with, it says:

Suzie S. THORN Esq. (USA) is a prominent matrimonial lawyer in San Francisco. She is President the San Francisco firm of attorneys Schapiro Thorn Inc. and of the S.S.Thorn Family Foundation, and from 2006 to 2008 was President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Foundation, She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She has been a Board Member of ICCFR since 1995 and was instrumental in setting up the Trust. Suzie is one of the three Founder Trustees of ICCFR Trust

The ICCFR is about Family Relations and Couples — and under its international listing “useful links” if one scrolls down to see “US” — it is well-represented by three (3) organizations (for all 50 states):

I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, though.  As is Claire Barnes’ (of Kid’s Turn) presence in the ICCFR as a Commission Board member:

Claire Barnes

photoClaire Barnes (USA) has been the Executive Director of Kids’ Turn, San Francisco, for the past seven years. That organisation helps children made vulnerable by family breakdown. She is also Chair of the Volunteer Council of the San Francisco Symphony. Claire and husband Alan have participated in ICCFR conferences for some years and she joined the Board in 2005, taking on the position of Treasurer in June 2008.

Also found reviewing Isolina Ricci’s famous book, Mom’s House, Dad’s House(.com) see scrolling testimonials.  This of course would be wise; Dr. Ricci has been  “Statewide Coordinator and Administrator of the CaliforniaStatewide Office of Family Court Services, Administrative Ofice of the Courts,  (“AOC”) Judicial Council of California.”  As they administer the funds that go to Kid’s Turn, I”d have to assume they are in some agreement on both its function and mandating mediation for California divorcing separating couples:  @ 1992:   “California is now in its 11th year of mandatory child custody mediation, with a current yearly case volume statewide estimated at 65,494. This article (by Ricci + 2, in Family Court Review) profiles the variations in programs and mediation styles in 56 of the state’s 58 Superior Courts. Two research studies provide the basis for the information on program structures, case activity, procedures, agreement formats, recommendations, facilities, security, and fees.”

Or, for another illustration of Isolina Ricci’s positioning with the family law situation, ”

  1. Isolina Ricci

    Issue

    Family Court Review

    Family Court Review

    Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 169–184, April 1992

(Not published on-line til 2005, and only people who know this publication exists, and could afford to subscribe, may have realized the strategic planning that went into expanding the concilliation code into extra, add-on, “problem-solving”  services — like Kids’ Turn represents perhaps the heart — but certainly not the entirety of.  This becomes relevant as now both the nonprofit organizations AND even courthouses are getting shut down through budget crises.)  As the abstract says:

This article describes the implementation of landmark legislation in California that provided for services and statewide coordination of family mediation and conciliation courts in California. The article describes the overall management design and its underlying principles, projects, and the five major statewide areas of services.

And in case I haven’t made my point yet, this is also classic AFCC — and here Dr. Ricci was presenting last October (2010), in anticipation of an audio book and workbook for “Moms House Dad’s House” — at the Texas AFCC / University of Houston Law Center conference, on “Children in the Middle.”  “(Children in the Middle being another prosperous nonprofit benefitting no doubt from the same federal grants programs), Texas Chapter of AFCC being of also in the nonprofit business.

ANYHOW:

Obviously, Ms. Thorn is well-acquainted with forming foundations, charities, and trusts – at home and abroad.

Ms. Thorn, Brent Seymour and Yasmine Mehmet have earned designation as specialists in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Ms. Mehmet came to San Francisco from Canada in 1996, and is a decorated, tri-lingual family law specialist.  Either she works out of two offices (including 1242 Market, here), or one of the websites is more current than the other, however it’s clear she is endorses Kid’s Turn; it’s listed under “Resources” on the Sansome Street law practice’s site: (for photo to the right).

Law Office of Yasmine S. Mehmet

505 Sansome Street,
6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

And under “resources” just a few are listed — the most important ones, presumably:

Below is a list of resources related to family law matters. Please be aware that the Law Office of Yasmine S. Mehmet is not responsible for any information or advice received on or through these sites and will not be held liable for their content.

Thank goodness the Volunteer Legal Services Program still has its business license & nonprofit status!
C1179677 02/16/1984 ACTIVE SAN FRANCISCO BAR ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEER LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM TIELA CHALMERS
Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
SAN FRANCISCO BAR ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEER LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM 054598 Charity Current SAN FRANCISCO CA Charity Registration Charity
(Note:  these links won’t be active — the search expires; one has to search the name from main page again to find them).


and they’re not running out of money, I think, although I’m sure not of customers, either.
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-09
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-09
Total Assets: $1,997,655.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $3,741,592.00
RRF Received: 16-NOV-10
And as required (at least to my knowledge) it’s stated who it’s getting its government funding from:
Quite a few courts are supporting this cause.
Description of Mission (missing from the California site, available on the 990s at the NCCSDataweb.urban.org, which apparently gets them from the IRS):

Briefly describe the organization’s mission or significant activities:

V LSP’s mission is to enhance income, self-sufficiency, and general quality of life for economically marginalized persons by ensuring they have access to the legal and related social services available to help them.  Program Service Accomplishments, helping with restraining orders is listed first:

FAMILY LAW PROJECT ASSIST INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN INCLUDING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WITH LEGAL MATTERS INCLUDING MARITAL DISSOLUTIONS, CHILD CUSTODY, CHILD SUPPORT, RESTRAINING ORDERS, GUARDIANSHIPS, CONSERVATORSHIPS, WILLS, POWERS OF ATTORNEY AND PROBATE ISSUES ASSISTANCE WITH APPLICATIONS FOR RESTRAINING ORDERS INCLUDES A RESTRAINING ORDER CLINIC WHICH ASSISTS IN PRO PER LITIGANTS IN GETTING RESTRAINING ORDERS AGAINST THEIR ABUSERS 2,372 CLIENTS SERVED IN 2009  (Cost, $619,655); EVICTION DEFENSE ($267,525) and HOMELESS ADVOCACY ($!,307,774)

and “OTHER” expenses ($175,322).
Their Executive Director (Tiela Chalmers in the year I’m looking at) is paid $106K from this organization & $16K”other” ), and the CFO Jonathan Bond got $159K  from this and about $27K “other”…  The reporting seems very detailed and observant of tax codes.
They apparently are doing better than a few other Legal Aid Societies (i.e., concept of pro bono help) around the state:
Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2099226 01/04/1999 SUSPENDED COMPOSERS AND LYRICISTS LEGAL AID SOCIETY, INC. JEFFREY GRAUBART
C0338301 05/16/1957 MERGED OUT LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF ALAMEDA COUNTY CLIFFORD SWEET
C0367310 01/21/1959 SUSPENDED LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF FRESNO COUNTY
C0353376 04/18/1958 SUSPENDED LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF MONTEREY COUNTY KATHERINE E STONER
C0354322 05/09/1958 ACTIVE LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF ORANGE COUNTY ROBERT J COHEN
C0239653 10/14/1949 SUSPENDED LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF PASADENA LAURALEA T SADDICK
C0354863 05/21/1958 ACTIVE LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SAN BERNARDINO ROBERTA SHOUSE
C0281422 12/28/1953 ACTIVE LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO GREGORY E KNOLL
C0403086 09/28/1960 ACTIVE LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY ANTONIO ESTREMERA
C0347936 12/19/1957 SUSPENDED LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SANTA MONICA DAVID M DURST
Maybe all these busy volunteer lawyers (or their leaders) forgot to register as a charity, or didn’t report completely who their donors were, like Kids’ Turn San Diego
Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF MONTEREY COUNTY Charity Not Registered PACIFIC GROVE CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF ORANGE COUNTY 006611 Charity Current SANTA ANA CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF PASADENA Charity Not Registered EL MONTE CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SAN BERNARDINO 006478 Charity Current SAN BERNARDINO CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO 004078 Charity Current SAN DIEGO CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 004401 Charity Current SAN JOSE CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF SANTA MONICA Charity Not Registered SANTA MONICA CA Charity Registration Charity
LEGAL AID SOCIETY PASADENA 004488 Charity Delinquent CLAREMONT CA Charity Registration Charity
1
(Which calls into question, perhaps, what type of legal aid might be coming one’s way for free, although I don’t want to undermine the concept. I just question what the family law arena is doing handling criminal matters).  Alameda County still has “Legal Aid Society of Alameda County” as a referral # so hopefully they’ll figure out sooner or later that it “merged out.”
A national listing site I like to use:   “NCCSDATAWEB.URBAN.ORG” shows yet a different set, including a new one (to us) — of San Mateo; although I searched active and inactive, ti didn’t pull up the Alameda County one.
Most Recent Tax Period EIN Name State Rule Date IRS Sub- section $$Total Revenue Total Assets 990 Image
2011  951994337 Legal Aid Society of Orange County CA 1960 03 8,919,391 7,176,615 990
2010  951869806 Legal Aid Society of San Diego CA 1957 03 7,311,311 3,825,027 990
2009  941534842 Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County CA 1965 03 4,320,684 1,942,380 990
2010  942783401 The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center CA** 1982 03 4,243,438 7,245,740 990
2010  951997024 Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino CA 1960 03 2,112,591 493,138 990
2010  941451894 Legal Aid Society of San Mateo Co CA 1960 03 1,686,585 3,489,676 990
2008  951621026 Legal Aid Society of Pasadena CA 1951 03 0 0
**the 4th one here happens to be in San Francisco, incorporated in 1982: @ 180 Montgomery St Ste 600 San Francisco, CA 94104.
I don’t mean to fixate on legal aid societies, but for someone who’s spent as much time on 990s and vendor payment records and other county websites, sometimes a detail will stay in my mind, without the reference.  I am looking for (haven’t found yet) the particular pro bono legal service (SF area or East Bay) which closed down, transferring ALL its assets to a different nonprofit, which had two “Program service accomplishments” (purposes) only:   1.  to help indigent clients (nonspecific) and the other, 2., to help noncustodial parents with access to their kids.  Hmm, I was thinking, was this why women sometimes can’t get pro bono legitimate help with child support enforcement, or to defend themselves against a custody challenge by someone who they formerly had a restraining order on?   This is a 990 I read recently, and possibly with ties to either Oakland or San Francisco.
ANYHOW —
So I am wondering what caused this longstanding and famous nonprofit Kid’s Turn (San Francisco), also recognized for some years as a nonprofit vendor to the City and County of San Francisco, and a sub-grantee to the famous access & visitation grants system (through California Judicial Council),  to lose its business license, and how come the copycat organization further south in California, Kids’ Turn San Diego — got dinged for not filing properly? — read on:

Charity Status (all nonprofits orgs. are required to as well register with the Office of Attorney General when they are doing business in the state — which I assure you this one has been — as are commercial or nonprofit fundraisers.  ON that front, things aren’t going quite so well):

In California, I just searched for “California Office of Attorney General Charitable Trusts” (or similar term), the “Registry,” to get to this:

http://rct.doj.ca.gov/MyLicenseVerification/Search.aspx?facility=Y  A search page with many fields pops up (this varies from state to state):

Record Type:   –All–  Charity  Fundraising Professional  Raffle
Registration Type:   –All–  Charity Registration  Commercial Coventurer  Commercial Fundraiser  Fundraising Counsel  Fundraising Event  Raffle Registration  Raffle Report
Secretary of State or Franchise Tax Board Number (numbers only):
Organization Name:
State Charity Registration Number:
DBA:
FEIN (numbers only):
Registration Status:   –All–  Awaiting Reporting  Closed  Closed – Inactive  Complete  Confidential Trust – Terminated  Current  Delinquent  Dissolution Pending  Dissolved  Exempt – Active  Exempt – Dissolution Pending  Exempt – Dissolved  Exempt – Form 990-PF Required  Exempt – Inactive  Expired  Extension  Inactive  Incomplete  Incomplete Financial Report  Merged Out  Never Registered – Dissolution Pending  Never Registered-Dissolved  No Raffles  Not Registered  Public Financing  Registered  Registered – Bank Trust  Rejected  Revoked  Suspended – Bond Canceled
County:
City:
State:   –All–  AA  AE  AK  AL  AP  AR  AS  AZ  CA  CO  CT  DC  DE  FL  FM  GA  GU  HI  IA  ID  IL  IN  KS  KY  LA  MA  MD  ME  MH  MI  MN  MO  MP  MS  MT  NA  NC  ND  NE  NH  NJ  NM  NV  NY  OH  OK  OR  PA  PR  PW  RI  SC  SD  TN  TX  UT  VA  VI  VT  WA  WI  WV  WY
ZIP Code:

and according to this page, the San Diego Kids Turn isn’t doing quite so well with its filings and compliance:

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type RegiRegstration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
KID’S TURN 075606 Charity Current SAN FRANCISCO CA Charity Registration Charity
KID’S TURN, SAN DIEGO 102902 Charity Delinquent SAN DIEGO CA Charity Registration Charity
1

The incorporating articles for both organizations read identical except for the words “San Diego” in the latter one.  Details here show:

Below is the detailed data for the registrant you selected.
You may CLOSE this window to return to the Search Results and choose another registrant.Registrant Information
Full Name: KID’S TURN, SAN DIEGO FEIN: 330724932
Type: Public Benefit Corporate or Organization Number: 1970774
Registration Number: 102902
Record Type: Charity Registration Type: Charity Registration
Issue Date: 12/31/2005 Renewal Due Date: 5/15/2012
Registration Status: Delinquent Date This Status: 3/12/2010
Date of Last Renewal: 3/28/2011
Address Information
Address Line 1: 16935 WEST BERNARDO DR. Phone:
Address Line 2:
Address Line 3:
Address Line 4: SAN DIEGO CA 92127

They are filing their 990s, at least did as of 2010, but apparently there was an issue with actual listing their donors, paying the $50 filing fee, and in short complying with what charities have to do in California, resulting in what would seem comical communications from the Attorney General’s Office to a nonprofit founded by people already doing LOTS of business with the courts, and full of judges (etc.) on their boards over the years:  Please send us the COMPLETE list, and also how about the registration fee?


This is happening in so many fields I’m going to have to categorize them by whatever the latest terminology fad happens to be.  Supervised Visitation was easier, so I’ll start there and in California.  Why not — after all, the state is nuts!

almonds-vitamin-e-lg

California is Just Nuts!

(but, with the USDA, forces farmers to treat “raw” almonds with PPO,

a carcinogen rejected by both the EU and the American Motorcycle Racing Association as unsafe

if they refuse to steam, irradiate, roast or blanch the life out of them before selling them as “raw” anyhow….)

AND, while it’s clear that California LOSES (or hoards) millions of $$ of child support and reportedly fails to collect $1 billion more, give or take some, and doesn’t know what its own vendors are doing, really, in some jurisdictions — (two letters:  “SF”) it has no trouble going after the real threats to society and miscreants — raw milk enthusiasts and organic gardeners.

This is a link to a 2011 raid; I already blogged on part of the 2010 raid (?) on my “Milk Sucks” posts.  Where’s a SWAT team when you really need it?

Raw Food Raid: Armed Agents Bust Raw Milk & Cheese Sellers 

Assault on independent health accelerates as retailers charged with conspiracy, ‘mislabeling cheese

CONSOLIDATED UPDATE: Multiple sources have confirmed the fact that all three individuals arrested– James Stewart, Victoria Bloch and Sharon Palmer– are being charged with ‘conspiracy’ related to the sell of unpasteurized raw milk products.

This reportedly includes sections of the California Penal Code Section 182a. Additional charges may also be pending, including a charge of ‘mislabeling cheese’ for Sharon Palmer, was arrested during a raid of Healthy Family Farms. As video of the raid on Rawesome Foods (also raided in 2010) demonstrates, Feds not only seized cash and raw milk supplies (much of which was also dumped out) but also mangos and other fresh, organic produce. Activists have planned a protest tomorrowoutside the L.A. County Courthouse to demand the release of the raw food retailers, each held on bonds reportedly exceeding $120,000.

————-

VIDEO OF RAID: Police Seize Cash, Produce, Dump Raw Milk

Moreover,  seems like we are always trying to create new disciples (fill in the blank)  — and try, contrary to the independent spirit that supposedly marks the U.S. — make sure no one teaches a contradictory one.  Yeah, sure! It looks like both Prop 8 and Stop SB 48 may be on the ballot next fall:

PROP 8

We (so to speak) passed Prop 8 banning same-sex Marriage.  Calif. has a reputation to uphold, and naturally protested it, then of course the “pro-family” (whatever that means anymore) protested the protest (see “protectmarriage.com”)

Not quite off-topic as the marriage/fatherhood promotion grants I’ve been blogging we’ve seen go to anti-gay groups that take their message to Africa…

The next stage in California’s Proposition 8 court case is set for September 6 when the Supreme Court of California will hear arguments on whether Prop. 8 supporters have legal standing under state law to appeal the overturning of California’s gay marriage ban.

Following federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s August 2010 ruling that California’s 2008 voter enacted ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, proponents quickly filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit. However, Vaughn Walker’s original ruling raised serious doubts as to whether Prop. 8 supporters, due to the particulars of how they came to defend the same-sex marriage ban, have the right to appeal.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/next-stage-in-prop-8-case-set-for-sept-6.html#ixzz1VWtjLYH9

Next Stage in Prop. 8 Case Set for Sept. 6

SB 48 and “Stop48” and “FAIR”

Now there’s SB48 (Leno) which reads in part:

Pupil Instruction Prohibition of Discriminatory Content

Existing law prohibits a governing board of a school district from adopting instructional materials that contain any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, handicap, or occupation, or that contain any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law.

This bill would revise the list of characteristics included in this provision to include race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and occupation, or other characteristic listed as specified.

Existing law requires that when adopting instructional materials for use in the schools, governing boards of school districts shall include materials that accurately portray the role and contributions of culturally and racially diverse groups including Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups to the total development of California and the United States.

That’s only 6 designations.  I’m sure there are students from almost every continent and culture stuck in California schools — have we got all basis covered yet?   What about Muslim-Americans?  Isn’t failing to name that as a protected category discriminatory?  President Obama didn’t forget this category, nor has the mainstream press — but no mention in to protect in the textbooks?  What about Middle-Eastern Americans?  In 2007 the Governor of Maryland “Executive-Ordered” into being a Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs.   There is a “middleeastern.maryland.gov” just like at the federal level there is a “fatherhood.gov” (speaking of “executive-ordering into being,” 1995….). what’s with California — behind the times?  What about Latin-Americans?  And there were even some (around the time of the last census) demanding space as “Southern-Americans, as in Confederate  (per Washington Post, 2010):

Federal Eye – Eye Opener: Group wants southerners to put ‘Confederate Southern American’ on the Census:

Happy Friday! With roughly one week until census forms are due, a group of Confederate rights activists is urging southerners with Confederate ancestors to declare themselves “Confederate Southern Americans” on census forms in order to qualify for national origin protection under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate because of a person’s birthplace, ancestry, culture or language. The South North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center believes that people with ancestors who were citizens {{as opposed to noncitizen slaves?…}} of the Confederate States of America should be entitled to ethnic identity and protection since the country no longer exists.

Talk about nostalgia!  However, if people want to believe that fatherlessness causes abuse, or that the U.S. was better cut off below the Mason-Dixon line, fine (well, sort of) just don’t waste my tax dollars teaching all kids this — especially if I have no kids.   I mean, the California textbook industry has already so denuded the texts of colorful language that one can’t speak in anything but an affected tone — already!  Per Dianne Ravitch, in The Language Police, i.e.
 

Sins of Omission

Diane Ravitch explains why textbooks are tedious.

  Now “bias” is used to mean the appearance of any idea or term that references a specific aspect of a non-utopian society in any educational material. Under this bloated definition, anything that could potentially offend anyone must be excised from textbooks and standardized tests.
and she points out that California and Texas being the largest states, all it takes to eradicate a word is lobby the Board of Education in either state — which we all know is “so” apolitical — in a particularly vocal manner.
 
Because most states require statewide adoption of textbooks, there is intense competition among the major textbook companies for the business of the states with the largest education systems, especially California and Texas. However, this competition only occurs among the four major publishing houses, each of which has taken over many smaller companies, and only one of which is American-owned. Because of the high cost of developing textbooks that meet the guidelines of the market (large sums have to be spent marketing textbooks to state Boards of Education), there is an effective barrier to entry in the textbook market. Furthermore, since California and Texas are the largest markets for which books are chosen by the state, only publishers who consistently win their approval can remain on the market. Thus, all it takes to forever banish a word or image from schools across the nation is a well-placed, vocal group to lobby the Board of Education in either of these states.
 
Apparently it offended the makers of plastic bags that the environmental curriculum in California disses plastic bags.  No discriminating against the American Chemistry Council in California Textbooks.  AFter all, that bag made in 19xx is going to be around for a LONG time . . .like around 1,000 years before it decomposes.
See “Plastics Industry Edited Environmental Textbook”  from the Center for Investigative Reporting.  (Entering reading if you live out of state, if not, well that’s our California, and yes, they ARE serious, alas…).   
 
So here we go with SB 48 ……

This bill would revise the list of culturally and racially diverse groups to also include Pacific Islanders, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and persons with disabilities.

I must be disabled — because no matter how hard I try, I cannot comprehend what makes California legislators, educators, or textbook manufacturers (oh — I forgot, the only North-American one is probably Scholastic from New York anyhow) think that children and youth can be completely immunized from racism, sexism, sexual-orientation-ism or religious bias OUTside the school system by sitting through artificially-engineered prose inside it.  Even if use of cell phones on-campus is banned, which some places, it is.

Anyhow, pick your team:  STOP 48 the California “FAIR Education Act” because it costs to much,

or STOP “STOP48.”  It could be overwhelming, EQUALITY CALIFORNIA (LAWeekly last month), if:

Some critics think it’s the wrong time to push for such an expensive ballot measure since a Prop. 8 lawsuit, in which a federal judge found the 2008 initiative to be unconstitutional, is still working its way through the appeals courts.

Gays and lesbians in California could be overwhelmed on the political front lines and financially if both the anti-gay history ballot measure and the pro-gay marriage initiative are placed on a 2012 ballot.

In 2008, gays and lesbians spent more than $40 million in trying to defeat Proposition 8, the successful ballot measure that banned legalized same-sex marriage.

Talk about conflicted!

California Schools 49th out of 50 in 2009

By WIRE SERVICES

Story Created: Jan 15, 2009 at 4:11 PM PDT

California ranks next to last in states where the adult population has at least a high school education, according to a report released by the California Faculty Association at Cal State Los Angeles.

Ranking 49th out of 50 states is an indication of the state’s deteriorating educational status in recent decades, according to “California at the Edge of a Cliff,” by Thomas G. Mortenson.

Mortenson is an independent analyst living in Iowa and a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, D.C.

As of 2007, California ranked 14th in the nation in terms of college educated members of the workforce over 25 years of age, a drop from eighth place in 1981, according to the report.

“Other states have made greater gains in building a college educated workforce and moved past California,” Mortenson stated. “California is slipping toward educational and economic mediocrity among states on this critical measure of state competitiveness, prosperity and success.”

State tax fund investment in higher education has declined by 40 percent since 1980, according to the report.

Possibly because to say anything in a textbook is going to offend someone else who will start a referendum about it.  And of course we all know, the more money your pour into something — like the schools, or child support centralization and expansion, or the courts — the better off it is for everyone.

Take for example, San Francisco’s Superior Court system:  Obviously either someone hasn’t been pouring enough into it (where are Kid’s Turns profits when you need them, hey?) — either that or there are some holes in the accounting somewhere, and what’s been poured in doesn’t equal what’s coming out the other end…

But in the press, it is of course failing because, and only because, of a budget crisis:


By: Ari Burack | Examiner Staff Writer | 07/19/11 4:00 AM
Meredith Grier
Buried: The Superior Court’s Meredith Grier goes through paperwork from open cases. The court will have a larger backlog thanks to cuts in state funding. (Examiner file photo)

It takes at least six months to get a divorce in San Francisco, and now unhappy couples can add at least a year to that, thanks to planned budget cuts to the Superior Court.

Katherine Feinstein, the Superior Court’s presiding judge, gave a dire outlook to reporters at a Monday news conference, reiterating the court’s plan to lay off 200 employees and close 25 courtrooms in late September.

The budget recently approved by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature sliced hundreds of millions of dollars from state courts. San Francisco is facing a $13.75 million deficit, or 15.6 percent of its operating budget.

“We’re left with one painful, unprecedented option, which is a reduction in service that is so severe that it will, for all practical purposes, dismantle our court,” Feinstein said.

OUR court?

WHOSE court is it, precisely?  Because I was looking at the payroll recently:  Not the vendor payments (see last post) but the salaried, public employees.

This is the Job Descriptions list & chart.  FOr salary, click on the Salary link, I have it above and below this list of positions:

Click on any Job Code number to view the Job Description. The documents are in PDF format. You may print and save any description that you desire.

JOB CODE

CLASS TITLE

144

Traffic Hearing Officer

148

Court Manager

155

Court Reporter Coordinator

165

Director, Probate

176

Director, Training

185

Director, Information Technology Group

192

Court Administrator

195

Executive Assistant to the Presiding Judge

201

Court Supervisor I

202

Court Supervisor II

245

Drug Court Coordinator

261

Mental Health Coordinator

265

Assistant Director, Probate

268

Supervising Family Court Counselor/Mediator

272

Fiscal Services Supervisor

274

Fiscal Systems and Services Manager

285

Court Computer Systems Manager

291

Supervising Court Administrative Secretary

310

Court Legal Research Assistant

311

Court Staff Attorney I

312

Court Staff Attorney II

316

Senior Court Staff Attorney

362

Probate Investigator

365

Probate Examiner

366

Dependency Mediation Assistant

368

Family Court Counselor/Mediator

370

Administrative Analyst I

372

Administrative Analyst II

375

Court Training Specialist

351

Court Computer Systems Engineer I

352

Court Computer Systems Engineer II

353

Court Computer Applications Analyst

354

Court Computer Applications Programmer

355

Court Computer Facilities Coordinator

410

Deputy Court Clerk I

420

Deputy Court Clerk II

430

Deputy Court Clerk III

432

Trial Delay Reduction Coordinator

441

Court Paralegal

442

Executive Assistant, Juvenile Justice Commission

444

Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator

450

Building Services Technician

470

Administrative Services Technician

472

Fiscal Technician

474

Senior Fiscal Technician

475

Training Technician

476

Personnel/Payroll Representative

491

Court Administrative Secretary

495

Secretary to the Presiding Judge

500

Court Reporter

876

Director, Human Resources

879

Director, Fiscal Services

899

Court Executive Officer

985

Court Commissioner

990

Superior Court Judge

Current Superior Court Salary Schedule  (find Job # on list below, click here for Salary ranges for that particular #)

Feinstein continues:

Most of the effects will be felt in civil cases, where litigants can anticipate years of delays, according to Feinstein. Reduced office hours for court clerks will make filing and obtaining information more difficult. Feinstein warned of long hours waiting in line just to pay a traffic ticket, and months to get a copy of a criminal or civil court record.**

**And that’s IF you are lucky and well-connected… and if you can afford it, or have a fee-waiver if you can’t .  When you finally get it, it may or may not be an accurate record, according to a Joseph Zernik, DDS — with the implementation of PACER (electronic docketing) there is now a dual system in place anyhow.  See:

Dual Electronic Docketing Systems of the United States courts examined with focus on application at the Central District of California

By installing PACER AND CM/ECF, the US courts introduced a sea change in operations of the courts, with no legal foundation.” In a paper entitled “Notice of Electronic Filing,” Joseph Zernik writes, “The authority for implementation of CM/ECF is often cited as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allow Local Rules of Court. However, the implementation….was not via Local Rules of Court.” Zernik goes on to note that “the detailed rules of implementation of PACER and CM/ECF at the Central District of California, for example, were only provided in an ‘Unofficial Manual’…”

“This is the biggest shell-game fraud in the history of the legal process,” states Zernik.

In other words, alleges Zernik, there are now two separate systems in place – one for the public and one for the elite tier of lawyers and officers of the court. In so doing, the public right to inspect public documents was severely mitigated. Specific court records, which used to be standard part of the public docket, were subject to restrictions, and public access is now denied to such records. The courts created two docketing and access systems, separate and unequal, and asserted the right to segregate persons into one system or the other. The spokesperson for PACER stated that while there were indeed two systems in place, one was for public access and one was for filing.

Apart from the obvious issues raised by such two separate systems Zernik uncovered further cause for alarm. When the court systems became computerized, the common law practices also altered, subtly and nearly undetectably. The prior procedure, which required that an authorized Deputy Clerk of the court stamp each paper “Entered” and endorse it with his hand signature to attest to the entering of documents into a given case docket, was altered with no legal authority.

If that’s a little complicated to understand, understand this:  within one week of a certain reporter translating it into more basic concepts (see “California public schools, above”) Zernik was pulled over and arrested — a story she then told August, 2010, in “The Prisoner” (remind anyone of Richard Fine yet?).

Dr. Joseph Zernik had become very persistent. The fifty four year old former college professor had been accumulating a large amount of data supporting his perceptions that the US federal courts and the Los Angeles court system were involved in systematic fraud upon those accessing those courts. Zernik alleges the fraud appears to be linked to the digitalization of court records, when the new computer systems introduced layers of obfuscation to previously transparent processes.

Dr. Zernik, who has a PhD in molecular biology and a holds a doctor of dentistry degree and had taught at both the University of Connecticut and the University of Southern California, decided to make his findings public. He launched a campaign to get this information into the hands of the media, and began emailing and calling various publications and reporters. The information was technical and fairly complex and met with a somewhat puzzled but polite response from reporters. Zernik had become adamant that the impact of this fraud decimated many of the constitutional protections that our justice system promises. In the face of an unresponsive press, he went ahead and registered at examiner.com and was attempting to master the journalistic skills to write his findings as news reports, himself.

On January 31, 2010, this reporter, having toiled over pages of Zernik’s evidence, agreed to write an article summarizing his findings. Within a week, Joseph Zernik was arrested and jailed at Twin Towers in Los Angeles. Joseph Zernik had never been jailed before.

Zernik reports being pulled over on February 6, 2010 by the LaVerne police. Zernik relates that the police did not inform him he had broken a traffic law nor did they write him a ticket. Instead, he states that he was asked if he were indeed Joseph Zernik. When he replied affirmatively, he was told that there were two outstanding bench warrants for his arrest and that he was being taken into custody. The warrants, as it turned out, were for minor vehicle related infractions that were about two years old and which Zernik believed had been resolved. Zernik, who drives an unusual and easily distinguishable make and model of car, thinks he may have been under surveillance.

What happened then and in a subsequent arrest on February 19th is tantamount to a Disneyland “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” littered with court documents issued from non-existent courts, finessed records and computer irregularities of the type which Zernik had previously pigeonholed as fraudulent in other cases.

Well, part of the court records include transcripts.  Let’s look at COURT REPORTERS, who are paid by the County as are most court employees except the Judges:

Court Reporter Coordinators (a court transcript is of course a witness to the proceedings in any trial or hearing) earn from $107K to $130K annually, and is a highly qualified position:

to provide verbatim official records of all testimony and court proceedings in cases heard before the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, and during Grand Jury proceedings; and to do related work as required.

which reports to:

REPORTS TO

Court Judges, Court Commissioners, and Assistant Chief Executive Officer.

That gets interesting, because a JUDGE (I learned – after the fact) is quite different from a COMMISSIONER.  For example, in who pays the salaries:

985C  Court Commissioner = PAID BY THE COUNTY.

(Last Changed:  7/1/07)  $72.7830/hour  $5,823/biweekly 12,664/month $151,971/year

BUT the CCSF (City and County of SF) pays apparently benefits, @   $4.5498   $ 364  $ 792    $ 9,500/year

990C Superior Court Judge = PAID BY THE STATE (as opposed to all the others, above – – on the schedule)

(last changed 7/1/07)  STATE  $85.6269/hour,  $6,850/biweekly   $14,899/month   $178,789/year

XXXX

Presiding Judge . last changed 1/1/07. . . . (etc.) = $185,941/year)

This data from “SUPERIOR COURT SALARY SCHEDULE As of 9-4-10″

We have already, I believe, established that the citizens are paying through the nose almost everywhere, including paying public employees, allowing public employees to separately collaborate and form nonprofits with high membership dues, and then letting these nonprofits directly bill the local county (and/or city) to pay those huge membership dues, AND training fees.

The training conferences are great expeditions away from the noise and din of the local, irate, taxpayers or people protesting social service cutbacks, to collaborate on the next shapeshift and new name for their field of practice.

I became aware of this recently when I got bored with looking at who got the grants and tried to take a better look at what they were doing with them.  When one goes to the local comptrollers website and starts searching vendor payments (see last post) or, what gets even MORE interesting, vendor reports.  Like what the City’s own auditor has to say about the city’s processes, or lack thereof.

To basically summarize it, San Francisco basically doesn’t know what’s up with its own expenditures — but several reports are rather disturbing – in fact so disturbing that they will be published here, to place alongside the cries about  budget cuts.

Written by Let's Get Honest

August 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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

iakovos alhadeff

Anti-Propaganda

Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

The American Spring Network

News. by the people, for the people. The #1 source for independent investigative journalism in the Show-Me State, serving Missouri since 2011.

Family Court Injustice

It Takes "Just Us" to Fight Family Court Injustice

The Espresso Stalinist

Wake Up to the Smell of Class Struggle ☭

Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence

Finally! The Truth About Domestic Violence and The Church

%d bloggers like this: