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.

For BMCC Day 1: Why VAWA, DV Groups Basically Can’t (Won’t?) Stop [Terroristic Threats, Murder, Assault, Battery, Stalking, False Imprisonment, Harrassment– Child Molestation–or other Crimes]

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Why?

Well, I have one line of reasoning — that there is a family court around basically creates an immense loophole; any police officer anywhere can just about get out of arresting domestic violence perpetrators (they could anyway) by, when children exist, simply failing to arrest, and letting it land in the family venue.  Ditto with CPS.  But even if they didn’t, they still have immense discretion to simply not arrest.  If they DO arrest, the DA’s have immense discretion not to prosecute also.

WOMEN’s JUSTICE CENTER /CENTRO de JUSTICIA PARA MUJERES

Santa Rosa, California

(a site I quote below, and refer to often enough) I see has written an October 2011 letter to:

Dear Feminist Law Professors:

I’m a women’s rights advocate who has been working for the last 20 years in the exasperating struggle to end violence against women. I’m writing because we’re stumped, and we need your help.

My opinion:  these feminist law professors and women, in many respects,  have for over a decade completely ignored the role of the family courts, and their relationship to the criminal prosecution of (see title) real-time crimes play in simply invalidating domestic violence law, child abuse law, in fact most criminal laws of any sort for women who have given birth.   And women who give birth, aka MOTHERS, represents a significant portion of women against whom violence is routine.

In this current climate, and while that off-ramp from the criminal justice system (if the reporting and prosecution even gets there), it is next to impossible for these women to get free from an abuser – with children — and stay free unless HE simply chooses not to sue for custody or further bother her.  And, if there’s a Title IV-D child support order around, even if he doesn’t want to bother her, the county can and will go after that family and those kids anyhow.   That’s My take on it.  So I would not be asking a feminist law professor for help, based on the track record and under-reporting of this scandal.  And I’ve talked to some of them (including in my area).  However, this writer has a point:

The problem is this: Modern violence-against-women laws are in place throughout most of the U.S., as are crisis centers, hotlines, counselors, and shelters. But a critical piece is missing. We don’t have anywhere near adequate enforcement of the laws. Nor do women have any legal right to enforcement of the laws, nor any legal remedy or redress when police and prosecutors fail to enforce the laws.

As such, the laws are meaningless to us.  However, it takes a while — and sometimes costs a life — to recognize this.

. . . But the daunting and particular problem for women is that these absolute discretionary powers are in the hands of law enforcement agencies that are rife with anti-women biases, structures, and traditions. Violence-against-women cases are the cases these officials are most overwhelmingly prone to ignore, ditch, dismiss, under-investigate, under-prosecute, and give sundry other forms of disregard. This disparate impact and denial of equal protection is undermining all the other monumental efforts to end violence against women.

Despite all the high flying official rhetoric to the contrary, way too many police and prosecutors don’t want to do these cases. They know they don’t have to do these cases. They know a million ways to get rid of these cases. They know nobody can hold them to account. And the Supreme Court keeps driving this impunity deeper into the heart of American law. Not surprisingly, the violence against women rages on.

We can social work these cases endlessly, but when police and prosecutors don’t do their part and put the violent perpetrators in check, the perpetrators easily turn around and undo any stability and safety we and the women have attempted to secureThe freer she gets, the angrier he becomes. Without adequate law enforcement, victims of violence against women are doomed. And then they are double doomed by the void of any legal cause to hold unresponsive police and prosecutors to account. And then, all too often, she is dead

Notice that at the end of this eloquent (and I believe, truthful) letter, she refers to the “Judicial Ghetto of Family Law.”  It is this Ghetto that has to be addressed if “violence against women” is to stop.  To date, we are still the gender that produces children, gives birth to them, no matter how nurturing Dad is.  As such, this arena, that ghetto, ALSO has to be addressed, or as an obstacle to life itself for those in it, removed:

We urgently need your help. Not in the judicial ghetto of family law where victims of violence against women are too often shunted to fend for themselves.

Why NOT?  Why should women have to fend for themselves in a biased system  — because thats where it typically goes after any civil restraining order (see VAWA, below) is put in place.   Perhaps if there’d been more “feminist law professors” who’d gone through leaving DV AS MOTHERS, this might have been handled by now.  Not saying that it wasn’t a tough uphill battle to start with.  But we mothers are certainly not ballast in this journey; just treated like it in these circles!

But in criminal law where the state itself must take responsibility for securing justice for these heinous crimes. We can’t solve this problem without you.

As a first step, please pass this on to colleagues you think would most fervently fight to create a women’s right to justice. And then consider joining in yourself.

Thank you for your concern.

Marie De Santis, Director Women’s Justice Center Centro de Justicia para Mujeres

mariecdesantis@gmail.com www.justicewomen.org

We like to believe that criminal law always applies when crimes are committed (the title lists some of the crimes which comprise “Domestic violence” and “Child abuse” and characterize the lives of people who sometimes, after years enduring these things, end up dead, or paying their abuser, which is a form of institutionalized extortion).

BUT — when a case is labeled “high-conflict” or “custody dispute” of any sort, BY LAW (apparently) it comes under the jurisdiction of a different court — which is not a real court, it’s a business enterprise.  (See this blog.  See other NON-federally-supported blogs or articles.

For example get this (“johnnypumphandle, re:  Los Angeles “Public Benefit Corporations Supported by Taxpayers”   Not only ALL the people walking through the halls — but the real estate — the halls themselves, apparently are often part of this enterprise!  Why this never occurred to me before reading these matters, I don’t know.   The family court is in a separate building from the main (Criminal) courthouse in MANY towns and cities across the county.  That alone should have caught our attention.  Now (same general idea), they are building, sometimes, “Family Justice Centers” as part of a National Alliance movement (see “One-Stop Justice Shop” posts, mine).

I reviewed this material carefully before, it takes a while to sink in.  It will NOT sink in if all you see mentally is the visual of the building and its inhabitants.  In order to “See” straight, one needs to see and be willing to think in terms of corporations, tax returns, and cash flow.  And something relating the words “taxpayer” with “tax-exempt.”  As the site says:

 We have again reminded the IRS of the same scheme being perpetrated by the Private Corporation – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation – with the same bond guarantees by the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. Taxpayers are still getting stiffed by this scam, since there is no accountability for the money and NO TAX FORMS HAVE EVER BEEN FILED!

Key in this EIN#

470942805

to This Charitable Search Site (for California) — and tell me why the Relationship Training Institute — which does business with and takes business FROM the court, evidently — is still marked “current” when no (zero, nada, zilch, nothing at all) has been filed (and uploaded) by this organization for the state of California as a charity -EVER; even though it’s filed with the IRS?  Is that cheating the citizens of California, or what?   Here they are (and here goes continuity in my post today):

Relationship Development and Domestic Violence Prevention, Training, and Consultation

The Relationship Training Institute (RTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1986* by David B. Wexler, Ph.D. to provide training, consultation, treatment, and research in the field of relationship development and relationship enhancement.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2583174 05/17/2004* ACTIVE RELATIONSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE DAVID B WEXLER

Because — in the 7 years (at least) it’s been operating in California, David B. Wexler, Ph.D.’s group has not bothered to file it’s (by law) annually required tax return with the state (NOTE — which provides the California Attorney General with a Schedule B showing names and addresses of contributors, and has to list government funding) and because the CA Corporations search site is so limited, I can’t see  from there OR its founding articles if this is a domestic (Ca originated) or “foreign” (out of state) corporation.   

On the other hand, the group California Coalition for Families and Children which incorporated in 2010 (per same site) — and is critical of the San Diego Family Court Practices — has twice received a “file your dues” letter, which you can search at the same charities link, above.  It has no EIN# because it hasn’t registered yet.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3284403 03/09/2010 ACTIVE CALIFORNIA COALITION FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY WHICH WILL DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AS CSC – LAWYERS INCORPORATING SERVICE

I believe any group that calls itself a 501(c)3 (or “4”) should fulfil the requirements of it.  However, there seems a bit of favoritism (OR, This group has no bribe to pay — below the table — for the regulatory agencies, including the OAG?); Emad G. Tadros, Ph.D., checked out the suspicious credentials of a custody evaluator, discovered a custody Mill (plus that a house cat got a diploma from the same place) and put up a website about all this, plus filed a suit, which was simply the right thing to do.  In retaliation for challenging the right of the courts to continue their fraud up on the public he was fined $86K in fees, and an attempt has been made at obtaining interest, too.   Apparently, this group has not cut a deal with anyone, and so the OAG WILL go after their nonprofit status.  Here’s the link to “San Diego Court Corruption.”

So, as to The Relationship Training Institute, I guess not filing with the state is “close enough for jazz The Office of Attorney General.”  And also close enough for an NIMH sponsored grant on Domestic Violence in the Navy, too.  If our Navy was run this waywe’d be losing a lot more wars.

RTI offers an on-going series of informative workshops and state-of-the-art training programs for mental health professionals and for the public, bringing innovative leaders and teachers to the San Diego community. RTI staff also travel throughout the world training professionals in the treatment models that we have been developing and publishing for over 25 years

So, don’t try to tell me the courts and attorney general are unaware — see its website, and see the detail on its charitable registration.  A letter has been sent to this charity, and its site claims it’s approved by the Judicial Council of California to provide CLE credits for its trainings!

(the logos of approving organizations).

Approving Organizations

APA American Psychological AssociationWDCA Board of Behavioral SciencesBRN Board of Registered Nursing     CATC Certified Addictions Treatment CounselorJudicial Council of California Administrative Office of the CourtsNAADAC Association for Addiction ProfessionalsNBCC National Board for Certified CounselorsNevada Attorney General

By the way, Dr. Wexler is listed under another one, IABMCP or something:

David B. Wexler , Ph.D., Diplomate IABMCP
Director, Relationship Training Institute, San Diego, California

International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy  (group registered in Dallas, TX in 1979, EIN has 11 numbers # 17523304719.  Usually it’s 9 or 12):

Name Taxpayer ID# Zip
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE COUNS 17523304719 75225

The actual EIN# is 751726710 and it’s registered in Colorado as a 501(c)6 ” Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc. formed to improve conditions..”  It has a tiny budget and apparently exists to distribute a newsletter, per 990 (2010 ruling.), registered as a foreign nonprofit (citing the Texas org.) since 1999 and apparently is filing its reports in Colorado OK.

2010  751726710 International Academy of Behavioral Medicine Counseling and Psychother CO 1980 06 31,455 1,402 990

Dr. Wexler anyhow, is on its Advisory Council, along with a long list of mostly but not all male personages, including Deepak Chopra…

I also note that this domestic violence training is very man-friendly…  But RTI is apparently the group that does the trainings OUTSIDE the courthouse, which makes them part of the personnel bill.  The earlier article was about who pays rents on the real estate, who owns the real estate, of the courthouses themselves?  Reading on:

August 25, 2001 – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation and others. e.g. Los Angeles County Law Enforcement-Public Facilities Corporation and (too many to name or to discover). The Crusaders think that there are over a dozen of these ‘Public Benefit’ Corporations hiding in LA County. If you are aware of any of the others, drop us a line.

These companies are established as Tax exempt ‘charitable trusts’ under the Federal Statute – 501(c)(4)They direct millions of dollars but are basically unaudited. The Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation (LACCC), for example, controls projects for $632 million, but as yet has not registered with the California Department of Corporations even though they have issued outstanding securities for this amount.

They have established trust agreements with banks, lease and leaseback agreements with developers, securities agreements with underwriters, legal assistance from high powered law firms, yet they have no employees. All work is done ‘outside’ on authorization from an officer of the Company. e.g. bills are paid, rents are collected, legal services are performed by outsiders through agreements. As an exampleO’Melveny & Myers pays the fees for this Corporation.

Is this a donation? Somehow, I think O’Melveny & Myers are not providing legal services for free.

The company has offices in the LA County facilities, claims no employees, but has all of its utilities, telephone, rent, etc. paid by the County.

Who answers the phone? A county employee, doing ‘part time’ work but receiving no pay. At least the Corporation claims to have no employees.

How are bills paid? We have a letter to Henry P. Eng, an auditor , who is told that he will receive a check for $4,730 and a like amount will be charged to the rent due to the corporation in order to balance the books. You see, the Corporation has issued bonds (Certificates of Participation) recently for $115 Million to build the Antelope Valley Courthouse. The Banc of America and four other underwriters have guaranteed the purchase of all of these certificates.

So WHY do I make those claims in the Title of this post today?   Well, for one, I research TAGGS grants, and read conference brochures, and pay attention to what groups do – -and don’t — report on, including the various elephants in the room…  

I’m not the only one, either, questioning what VAWA is for, except to inspire a lot of anti-feminist backlash, give Fathers & Families (GlennSacks hounds) something to complain about, and a source of funds to set up websites and conferences (ad nauseam) to perpetuate the illusion that whatever a civil — or even criminal — domestic violence action DOES, Family Courts will not quickly UNDO, even if neither parent  asks them to!

You might want to look at this article:

VAWA Critique
In Which a Little-Known Legal Brief Plows into Hallowed Terrain

I almost felt like a traitor (though I was sure in my opinion) with this round of requests I write someone to reauthorize VAWA.  WHY? I thought.  I already know who’s collaborating with these other courts.  Well, another (non-federally funded, intentionally so) site – I like this site, too — explains:

Ever since the U.S. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in 1994, women’s advocates have rallied again and again to assure that VAWA stays authorized and funded. The steady torrent of threats against the act from antagonist men’s groups has left advocates with little inclination to question whether VAWA is truly delivering what’s needed to end the violence and secure justice for women. But a little-disseminated legal brief we came across recently rips along the fault lines and suggests that giving VAWA a thorough critique may be one of the most important steps we should be taking to advance the struggle.

“The legal brief, signed by a dozen domestic violence scholars from around the country and submitted in 2007 to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, emphatically makes the case that VAWA not only is failing to protect women, but that this failure is rooted in fundamental flaws in VAWA’s structure and administration. “VAWA is a limited remedy,” the document states, “That fails to protect women or to discharge the United State’s obligations under international law.”

(it’s going to talk about the Jessica Gonzales case, and the IACHR. However, NO — I say that these DV scholars have simply fallen asleep at the switch, or decided to look the other way, to keep their publications, etc. coming.   )

In summarizing their analysis, the brief states, “VAWA fails to accomplish four crucial things: 1) It does not provide any remedy when abuser’s or police officer’s violate victims’ rights, 2) it does not require participation of all states or monitor their progress, 3) it does not fully or adequately fund all the services that are needed, 4) it does not require states to pass or strengthen legislation around civil protective orders or the housing rights of domestic violence victims.” . . .

VAWA: “primarily a source of grants” which has not reduced domestic violence

The brief goes on to characterize VAWA as “primarily a source of grants” with non-binding terms, voluntary participation, unmonitored compliance, and which mandates nothing. And the funding is paltry. According to the brief, in 2007, the median total of VAWA grants to individual states was 4.5 million dollars. That’s less than the cost of one wing of a fighter jet allotted per state to combat violence against women.

If the core of this brief is accurate, despite the services VAWA has provided to tens of thousands of women, the message VAWA delivers to law enforcement and other public officials throughout America is disastrous. ‘You can prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women – if you feel like it. But if you’d rather not, don’t worry about it. VAWA doesn’t mandate that you do anything. And if women are upset by that, rest assured, VAWA and the courts have also made sure there’s not a darn thing women can do about it to hold you to account.

Most troubling of all, the brief finds that in the time from VAWA’s passage in 1994 to 2007 when the brief was filed, VAWA has not reduced domestic violence in the U.S., despite the U.S. government’s claims to the contrary. As stated in the brief, “Since the passage of VAWA, domestic violence rates have not been reduced in proportion to other violent crimes

This site writes their rationale:

And perhaps worse, these fundamental flaws in VAWA are not even a matter of discussion, debate, or protest among frontline women’s advocates. It’s critical for progress in ending violence against women that that discussion begin.

which they analyze as, and I can see this:

The Tie that Binds

VAWA requires that shelters and rape crisis centers that receive VAWA funding must demonstrate their cooperation with their local law enforcement agencies.

Individual states that administer the VAWA grants have implemented this requirement in various ways. But typically the shelters and crisis centers seeking VAWA grants must obtain signed operational agreements with their local law enforcement agencies. This has given law enforcement veto power over the survival of the violence against women centers, a controlling power law enforcement has not hesitated to use.

People should read this article — and a lot of this site, based in Sonoma County, California (wine country north of SF).  I notice that the Family Justice Alliance Center made sure to get a center into Sonoma County — and if I were going to donate to somewhere to stop violence (other than the time I’ve donated, here, and off-blog) it’d be to this group, responsible for the website:
Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center,
www.justicewomen.com 

rdjustice@monitor.net

VAWA is a Federal Act of Congress first passed in 1994.  By Contrast (and to oppose its premises), the National Fatherhood Initiative is a NONPROFIT started by someone with close connections to HHS, and Washington, and now many legislators — and is not only still funded, but has permeated the structure and purpose of violence prevention, child welfare, and child abuse prevention  areas of goverment.  While VAWA (which at least went past Congress initially — the NFI did not) promotes one kind of training, NFI promotes the opposite theories.

Then the two groups get together, for example, The Greenbook Initiative and congratulation their federally-paid-behinds for being able to get along, while women continue to die after breeding and leaving abuse.  And etc.

The DOJ Defending Children Initiative:  even has an “Engaging Fathers” link:

The ILLUSION that there is protection for women and children through groups such as “Child Protection Services” is fatuous.  That’s not what they’re there for, apparently.  Nor, apparently, are the civil restraining order issuers (typically a domestic violence nonprofit of some sort, or possibly a parent might get one on his/her own) there to prosecute or punish any crime.

I heard this from a woman (grandparent) in an unidentified urban area, regarding her grandchildren’s being in the sole custody of an abusing father AFTER CPS and police had confirmed sodomy and forced copulation with the (young boy):

Hearsay #1:

There are no laws or penal codes against child abuse by a parent.  Child abuse by a parent comes under the Welfare and Institution Code (WIC).

The welfare and institution code does ONE thing — offers reunification services to the abuser.  The one and ony law mandated by legislators (in such cases) is reunification.

Since the theme is “reunification” (and really, let’s get honest — “supervised visitation” concept comes from this field, reunification), no family court has any interest in re-unifying a protective mother with her child once that child has been completely (and physically) “reunified” with the abuser father.  There are no fatherhood-promotion services for this (access/visitation concept is actually a fatherhood concept).  Supervised visitation with a sex offender (young) father and mother has resulted in child-rape INSIDE a supervised visitation facility in Trumbull County, Ohio, recently.  It has resulted in financial fraud on East and West Coast both (Genia Shockome/Karen Anderson of Amador County, PA), it has resulted in a child literally being supervised by a woman who had criminally sexually assaulted a DOG in Contra Costa County California courts (Welch v. Tippe), and — the commissioner? who made that order, as recommended by her court-crony, is I believe still on the bench — and has been, while we’re at it, on the Board of Kids’ Turn, too.  After all, it’s all about the “Kids” and what’s best for them, right?  How often do women whose children have been abused get put on supervised visitation for “alienating” the father by reporting — or allowing their kids to even report to someone else unsolicited, like a schoolteacher — real live criminal activity upon themselves?

Hearsay #2:

Child Protective Services labeled our case high-conflict which put it in custody court.  Neither the father or I had even mentioned divorce at the time.

This mother says she saw it on their report.  I’d like to see that report.  Assuming it’s true, this means that CPS knows quite well that they don’t have to prosecute anything against a parent when it comes to abuse of children; they can shunt it off to family court.

Hearsay #3 (to you — this is my case):

When my children were being stolen (abducted), and I was protesting on the basis of a valid court order giving me physical custody, an attempt was made to bring CPS in — although no abuse was being alleged!  When I pointed this out, the officers supervising the exchange — which I’d requested for personal safety — refused to enforce the court order, mocked me, and when I realized there was no recourse from this crew, I had to let my “ex-batterer” and the children’s father, drive off into the sunset with children I’d raised, and from this point forward (til today) not ONE single court order was consistently obeyed for more than a month, including visitation or phone contact with me, alternating holidays, or the children with the mother on mother’s day, all of which remained in the CUSTODY order.

In short, if I wasn’t going to voluntarily justify bringing on more (paid, public employee) professionals AFTER existing paid, public employee professionals simply refused to do their job (which I later learned — they don’t have to, even if not doing their job results in someone’s, or even three children’s, deaths.  See Castle Rock v. Gonzales).

Talk about “interlocking directorate” – – – – I also heard from a savvy investigator (mother) (noncustodial) in another state how that, literally, when a father is accused AND found guilty of abuse in one sector (for example, criminally, or child support services) this literally causes the father to be declared “incapacitated” or incompetent — making the child a “dependency” case.  The court that the mother then walks into is, in effect, a “dependency court.”  The state owns her child, and if she can’t ransom it back, too bad.  The ransom process is simply this:  the hearings go on, and on, and on and as much money is extracted from the mother, who WILL fight back, until she’s broke too, if not in spirit.  That’s the plan.  That’s not an anomaly or “burp” of the system — that IS the plan.

We have heard also of horrendous situations, and I’ve reported this, of dual electronic docketing.  (“Computerized or Con-puterized?”  Janet Phelan on Joseph Zernik reporting.  One week after she published the layperson’s explanation of this, he was picked up by police without cause and held).   We’ve heard of collected but intentionally not distributed child supportin the millions of $$ (Silva v. Garcetti (who was Los Angeles D.A., involving Richard Fine).    Even a brief look at what happened to Mr. Fine (besides getting incarcerated and disbarred) and how the California Legislature handled the fact that the entire judiciary was subject to bribery at the county level by payments to judges — from the county — in cases where — the county — was a party.  It retroactively granted immunity, and did this quickly, lest the entire judicial system get shut down.  (SBX-211) — that brief look should say, what we are dealing with is XX % crooks, and X% enablers or people who can’t themselves get out of the system because by participation, they’d be prosecuted too.  Talk about “gangs” . . . that’s a Gang.  Sometimes deals go between one jurisdiction and another, making them a little harder to catch (Gregory Pentoney)

Two other things which I’ve heard of from a non-BMCC “let’s ask the expert source” in recent times — and again, I present this as Hearsay, but it’s entirely in character for the venue — of more than one physical case file being kept.  One is shown to the litigant when she can afford it (which ain’t always), or qualifies as low-income enough to be shown it.  The other is shown and hauled out when it comes to justifying program billing — that one or both parents may be totally unaware of, occurring in their case, under their or their kids’ social security #s, and in their name.

Again, my plan is to curtail posting on this blog (I believe I’ve “said my piece” on most major points) at the end of January, and get about other aspects of life.  Oh yes, and I signed the blog up for Twitter, which should curtail the length some, like by ca. (10,000 to 14,000) – 140 characters!

I realize that conversational style isn’t communication, yet the information is urgent to present and get out.  The “end of January” date was in honor of the BMCC conference, which I plan to comment on every day it’s in session.  Ideally, you will see one post a day from here til 1/31, however, some of the material does cause vicarious trauma to report, which may affect quality of post, or my getting one out on a certain day.  While I know what I know, from study, research observation, reflection, and synthesis, expressing it is another matter.

Also, the conversing with the material style is laborious, and takes hours.  Whereas in a personal conversation, say, by phone, with interaction, I know I could convey the key FAQs, overall, in 10 minutes or less, and tell people where to find more information, should they be motivated.

So here we go:

Some people I know are headed up again to the Battered Mothers Custody Conference IX in Albany, New York again this year, where the same basic information will be presented by experts, while mothers are welcome to participate from the floor and by adding their square to the quilt, by buying books which the presenters will be selling (last year’s hot-off-the-press available in softcover and at a discount – only $59 — for conference attendees) and donate, too.   This is addressed to mothers who are probably being fleeced in the courts, have tortuous situations to handle, and some are paying child support to their child’s or their abuser, which is why they pull it together to come to this conference, seeking help and answers — from the experts.

One difference — a positive one — THIS year is the attendance of Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who also will be selling her newly revised “Mothers on Trial”  which I know incorporates some new stories, and I plan to order it on-line.

However, I also know that it’s not about to contain the information on this blog, on NAFCJ.net, or much on the AFCC, Welfare Reform (1996), and the role of the Child Support $4 billion industry in prolonging custody conflicts, for profit.  However, it will be a new presenter, and an experienced feminist who I’ll bet is not afraid to address some of the issues of Gender Apartheid (which also results in “Battered Mothers”) in front of this audience, and on which she is an expert.  Perhaps she will — as I don’t think others have — bring up the impact of religion on this situation in the family courts.  It’s there – -not talking about it would hardly make sense.

At the  bottom of this post, I am going to list the Presenters, and brief comments or links on the ones I know.  The ones I don’t, I’ll look up.  Perhaps in the next post (as this one expanded into handling a few other items).

And in this post, I’m going to charge pretty hard into the entire concept behind this conference, as I did last January, afterwards.

NB:  I attended one conference in all its years, but primarily to meet mothers I’d been blogging with; I’d already realized that it was a marketing conference.  That’s responsible behavior for people shelling out travel, hotel, and conference fees, not to mention in general.  You find out who’s saying what and evaluate it.

The Title of this year’s conference is apparently “IS WHAT WE’RE DOING WORKING”?

HUH?

 

  • We who?  (Mo Hannah, Barry Goldstein, et al.?)

  • Working for whom?*

  • Define “working” — what’s the goal here?  (Sales, Self-Promotion, Shaping Distressed Mothers’ Perceptions?)

Ask a foolish question, you will get a very foolish answer.  Act on those answers and you become a fool.  A sucker is born every minute, and I regret every minute of my own “suckerhood” which listened to domestic violence rhetoric for too long, and didn’t think to GO CHECK TAX RETURNS AND NONPROFIT FILINGS FIRST, which might’ve had a different result.  

That’s why I believe that it’s the “experts” that should be sitting around the tables in the conference and taking notes, and the women themselves that should be up on stage giving testimony, ideas — and controlling the microphones.  Then some of the questions they have might get some answers, through collective wisdom, as women tend to do — when not co-opted into the hierarchical model of relating to each other which is more characteristic of males, and of this society we live in.

The structure of this type of conference is didactic — from presenter to participant.  They are the dispensers of wisdom, women & mothers attending, the recipients.  Go forth and deliver the expert wisdom to your areas, (seek to hire us as expert witnesses in your court cases) and if it doesn’t work — next year we are going to do the same basic routine anyhow, and your feedback will NOT be front and center, if it is allowed at all.

Seriously — that’s how it goes.  And anyone with a child in a custody case has a ticking clock, if not time bomb, which is running.  We do not have time to beat around the bush and fail to address things in PRIORITY order.

So anyhow, “is what we (?) are doing working?”

Somehow this is going to be stretched out into a weekend’s worth of material?  Is there a better question to ask, such as — what can we do to either clean up or shut down the family law courts if they refuse to clean themselves out, which is unlikely?  How many experts does it take to distract a mother’s attention from who is paying her abuser and the judges that gave that kid to the abuser?  Why doesn’t this conference ever bring up child support, welfare reform, or mathematical issues, such as economics?

Or, for that matters, why are not the people who experienced abuse considered THE experts, and why are the true experts (the battered mothers) not as informed as the presenting experts on things that others figured out over 15 years ago in this field?

This is, among other things, a marketing conference, and a chance for women to sit with each other and have company in their distress.  It is NOT a place for them to actually reform the courts, or learn the most direct possible ways (if any ways are possible) to get their children back, or a crooked judge off their case.  That I can tell.

*A comment on the site says women can contribute to a quilt for missing children.   (Which somehow reminds me of a church situation — you may attend, women:  Here — serve some cookies,  greet perhaps, and of course work child care, the sermon and other important things will be piped in from our (male) minister).  . . . . now, there are presenters who are mothers on the platform, some of who I know by name, and I know those mothers are not about to rock the boat — by reporting on what you’ll find here, NAFCJ.net, Cindy Ross, Richard Fine (Emil Tadros either, for that matter) and other places.   Somehow that information isn’t worth informing Moms of, which results in Uninformed Moms, wondering why things aren’t changing.

You see, professionals (and I was one in one or two fields) know they’re not expert in other fields and so tend to defer to people presenting as the experts in a different field.  This works REAL well when mothers in panic, danger, or serious trauma go for help to DV experts who are hired (or volunteered) with agencies which do not themselves see fit to look at the larger picture AND TELL THE MOMS ABOUT IT.

Moreover, once a case — or person — moves out of their area of “expertise” — meaning, case in point for mothers, into the family law system — it becomes “not my problem” and they can, I suppose, somehow sleep with themselves at night (those who actually have functional consciences) without drugs or sedatives, by saying – it’s out of my hands now, I did my part!

Ay, there’s the rub.  It’s a win-win for the civil restraining order (DV agency) field AND for the Family Law Field, because no one “out-ed” either field’s collaboration and centralization over the years.  No one has done this much to date  because so few people follow the funding, particularly experts protesting “Child abuse, Domestic Violence” and so forth.

RE:  “IS What We’re Doing Working”

Here’s a short answer:   “ExcUUse me?   You  * #$!- ing (kidding) me, right?”

Slightly Longer answer, Fresh kill, two children (10 & 14) into someone else’s care (foster?  relatives?)  this week in California.  The woman showed up, obediently, for a family court hearing, and was murdered in cold blood, in her car.

Authorities say the man shot his wife, gave chase to police, then shot himself; they were scheduled to appear in family court for a hearing

BY JOHN ASBURY AND KEVIN PEARSON

STAFF WRITERS

kpearson@pe.com | jasbury@pe.com

Published: 04 January 2012 08:42 AM

A man at the Hemet courthouse for a child-support hearing calmly walked up to his wife’s car and fired two fatal shots, then led police on a car chase before killing himself Wednesday morning, according to witnesses and police

. . . .

Costales had no criminal record in Riverside County, and the couple had no history of domestic violence with each other, nor was there a restraining order in the case. However, Costales was accused of domestic violence in a previous divorce.

The two children now aged 10 and 14, we don’t know who their biological mother was –whether the woman slumped over in her car that day, or the former Ms. Costales:  However, they were born (do the math, see article) prior to this marriage:  2012 January minus ten, minus fourteen years.  Mr. Costales prior marriage had mutual restraining orders as of the year 2000.

‘A HORRIBLE SIGHT’

Kimberly Jones, 45, of Hemet, said she was in her car when she heard the first gunshot, which she thought was a firecracker. She looked back to see Schulz back away quickly.

Jones ducked as additional shots were fired, then ran over to find Schulz bleeding and slumped over in the driver’s seat. Jones, who is a nurse, said she tried to resuscitate the woman in the parking lot as Costales casually walked back to his car.

. . . She moved out, not him….

Schulz told the court in September that she was unemployed and receiving $550 in monthly aid. She asked for Costales to be required to make child and spousal payments and to make payments on their Honda Pilot until she could afford to get her own vehicle.

“I need hearing because of no income but aid,” Schulz wrote in court documents. “Living on my brother’s couch, looking for work daily, been unsuccessful. Children need their own home and stability.”

The age difference:  Him vs. Her — was 17 years.  We don’t know this situation, but here’s a woman who never apparently even SAID “domestic violence” — and yet still died asking for something reasonable.  Did she bring children into the relationship (was he their father?).  Did he seek a needy woman with children to make up for loss of his first wife and two sons (now adults)?

Do second wives EVER believe the record on the first wives’ court docket?

I went to look this one up at the Riverside Court, but found out that it’s not even free to view the images, and in doing so, they will know who is looking.  So much for public oversight from a safe distance!

Police closed off a portion of the courthouse parking lot, stranding about 50 people who were unable to get to their cars to leave, but the courthouse remained open. The Hemet branch of the Riverside County courts handles family law cases in addition to civil, small claims and traffic issues.

Why did she leave?  Who knows?  Was this unreported violence, nonsupport, or what?  Where are the children going to live now?  Who HAS them now?

This was a TANF case.  She was on aid — that means that only if there has been violence, or some severe extenuating systems, is she allowed some sort of diversion away from seeking child support from the father.  The county wants its programs funded.  If “aid” goes out, the County controls the collection of child support.  This was likely an administrative hearing — there seems not to be any discussion over custody or visitation.    This woman didn’t know, and now never will, what receiving welfare from anywhere in California puts one at risk of.  Had it not ended this way, it might have stretched out for years in the courts as well.

Suppose this man had not been just Mr. Costales, but Mr. DeKraii, and been in a real bad mood that day?  Who else might have died?

Hence, we have to re-think this phrase:  “Clear and Present Danger.”  It has 3 usages.

1.  In the law, unless it’s been rescinded by now — in California, a Batterer is a “Clear and present danger to the mental and physical health of the citizens of California.”  If one continues reading the law, they then talk about something like a task force at the District Attorney level.

2.  In Usage by AFCC,  “Lack of Resources” to the family courts is the “Clear and Present Danger.”

3.  I feel it’s safe to say now, clearly, and quite presently, that “the family courts are a clear and present danger to the citizens (not just parents) of the state of California.”

So much for the domestic violence industry.  It doesn’t hold water once it’s in “conciliation court.”  They just forgot to tell the mothers this, evidently.

I fully realize that’s “heresy” (but the courts themselves are based on psychological theory and clear intent to undermine the meaning of criminal law and drive business to therapists, etc.) but anyone concerned about my POST-battering relationship, POST-family law custody matters (like we say, it goes, so long as minors and two parties are all alive, until the children reach majority) — I have no criminal record and no criminal intents either.  I showed up to court hearings no matter how scared I was, and was forced to sit at the table with my ex, and from this close range, somehow “negotiate.”

People want to “reform” Family Court.  That’s crazy thinking.  It doesn’t account for the roadkill.

Although I can’t blame the average citizen, who thinks that his /her taxes are going to support something noble or good when it pays these salaries for family courts throughout the land, and more.  When the situation hits them, personally (evidence is that not all close relatives or friends figure it out, either), perhaps the 2 + 2 will = 4.    Who has it helped, and what’s the ratio of helped to roadkill, to children being tortured, children sent into foster care, parents experiencing MIA children, etc.?   That’s a system someone can supposedly MANAGE?

Here’s a summary, a post from long ago (about 1.5 years ago) which I’m amazed it still gets attention, and was today:

Toms River NJ femicide/suicide post-mortem concludes strangled DYFS worker should’ve hooked up with “agencies such as ourselves

I posted this on August 17, 2009

This detailed a murder/suicide which occurred FIVE HOURS after the man posted $1,500 bail and was released.  The woman did everything right — almost.  She didn’t leave her job and the area, she didn’t evidently know to insist that if this man was released, she be notified (nor was she, apparently) in fact, perhaps she didn’t have a fast enough learning curve to understand that once provoked by resistance, some men become extremely dangerous, at which point in time, it is imperative to stay alive — and anything short of ENSURING that is risky, even putting job retention ahead of it.
I then in the blog talk back to the various circus of people saying “it spiraled out of control” and so forth, essentially failing to analyze.  THEN I go back approximately 10 years and look at DV murders in that area and in NJ, compare it to the money spent to stop domestic violence, and have to ask, HUH?
There are a few things I noticed on the re-read of my older post, which I may get out later.  For example — that the Prosecutor quoted had been Presiding Family Law Judge, and it had been a civil restraining order.
Is it possible that this very system of civil restraining orders, although they jumpstart safety, are themselves a fail-safe, which still end up with dead bodies afterwards?  How sad – in that this young? woman wasn’t a mother yet, either- – she really could’ve possibly relocated.  It is easier for a single person who doesn’t have to deal with ongoing visitation, custody orders, the children’s change of schools, etc. — to locate, than a woman with children attached.  Not that it’s easy, but it would seem LEGALLY easier.  If she wants to go, they were not married, have no property in common — what could LEGALLY prevent her from leaving?
But it’s not that way when there is a family around, in the eyes of the state.
Meanwhile:  We have a 7500 word post here, and below are the listed (possibly not the latest list, but from the website) PRESENTERS at BMCC IX.
I have to go now, but will comment another time on those that I know of.   It is not an alpha list and I notice that Jennifer Collins (who is a young woman and associated with or running “Courageous Kids” — daughter of HOlly Collins) is on their twice.
Several of these people, I have personally and sometimes several times, talked to about why there is so little tracking of AFCC, fatherhood funding and other things, in their advocacy.
2012 PRESENTERS   Bios to be added shortly

Jennifer Collins

Carly Singer

Michael Bassett, J.D.

Carol Pennington

Liora Farkovitz

Lundy Bancroft- author

Barry Goldstein – author, former attorney

Joan Zorza  – DVLeap, doesn’t blog family law matters

Kathleen Russell*

— *of Center for Judicial Excellence.  Won’t report on AFCC, barely reports on fatherhood funding, but loves high profiles.  Not a mother.

Connie Valentine  (CPPA)

Karen Anderson  (CPPA and her case is detailed in Johnnypumpandle — but this crowd simply ain’t interested.)

Phyllis Chesler  

(if there were better company I’d try and get there this year, to meet her)

Gabby Davis

Loretta Fredericks

Loretta Fredericks in my opinion should not be allowed to present.  She should be put on the spot and have women fire questions about her.  Unfortunately, so few women know ANYTHING about MPDI, Duluth Abuse Intervention Programs, Battered Women’s Justice Project, how much TAGGS says the MPDI (etc.) got (HHS funding) — or the infamous collaboration with the AFCC in “Explicating Domestic Abuse in Custody” (or similar title) which was also public funding.   She also is featured in AFCC as a presenter, i.e., on the conference circuit?   Has she influenced them to understand abuse — or vice versa.  This situation (not her personally — we’ve never spoken) PERFECTLy represents what Liz Richards of NAFCJnet has correctly (my research validates this) calls a DV expert functioning as a “heat shield” for fatherhood providers.  They lend legitimacy where there is non.

Michele Jeker

Maralee Mclean

Angela Shelton

Wendy Murphy

Jennifer Hoult

Sandy Bromley

Renee Beeker  (advocates court watch)

Joshua Pampreen

Nancy Erickson

Karin Huffer

Jason Huffer

Crystal Huffer*

*Huffers talk about and help women deal with Legal Abuse Syndrome).

Holly Collins

Jennifer Collins

Zachary Collins

Garland Waller

**Collins and Waller are central to the conference and high-profile, I believe people know about them.

 

Dara Carlin*

*Formerly DV advocate from Hawaii, then it happened to her.  Didn’t notice that the legislator she was sure was on women’s side actually had close ties to a Fatherhood Commission in Hawaii (a What?).  This was how I learned about Fatherhood Commissions, actually.  She didn’t “Get” it.  Also hadn’t noticed that AFCC was presenting — in Hawaii — on PAS, etc.

Toby Kleinman

Linda Marie Sacks

(mentioned in my 2nd “About This Blog” — how to get to the Supreme COurt citing Dr. Phil, Oprah, and a Radio show onesself was interviewed on, thereby giving the rest of mothers protesting abuse a nice reputation for not being too bright.  Seriously!)

Rita Smith*  

(NCADV Leadership.  NCADV is atop the pile of statewide Coalitions Against Domestic Violence which are state-funded, although not too much funding.  It takes fees from these organizations and sells things, has conferences, etc. Was cited positively by Women in Fatherhood, Inc. which I find interesting …..)

Eileen King  (“Justice for Children” also I think on Linda Marie Sacks case, which Supreme Court refused to hear).

Mo Therese Hannah

(self-explanatory — and running the conference, with help It says from Ms. Miller.  I don’t recoqnize the other names).

Liliane Miller

Raquel Singh

Tammy Gagnon

Louise Monroe

Chrys Ballerano


Hopefully publishing this post won’t cost me what friends or colleagues remain (which is few anyhow), but I always am favorable to truth over friendship, when the latter compromises it and so much is at stake.  This conference, unless it exposes the operational structure, financing, and purposes of the entire family law business enterprise, can probably not help mothers win their court cases, u9nderstand the situation, and will redirect their activism towards asking for more task forces.  We just got this — and not one family law spokesperson on the last one (for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence).
Perhaps they all need a year off, and to go take a starter course from H&R Block, spend some time on their state corporate and charity websites, learn how to write a FOIA, WRITE some, and look at what comes up.  NOTE:  That’s not Rocket science, doesn’t require a Ph.D. and they won’t perish if they actually learn from sources, in tead of as interpreted through people who have things to sell.
I reserve judgment (any further judgment) until I find out who the other presenters are.  Meanwhile, say some prayers for the two children of Mr. Costales and his “estranged wife” he just murdered, while she was complying with a court order in order to have enough to live on after leaving him, this past week in Hemet California — which is in Southern, CA, Riverside County.

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  1. (Arggh!) This post lost paragraphing (as ever) — which I could fix if I were willing to type in HTML mode or go through and replace it.

    It also lost justification during a “save” and everything went to centered, only some of which I have corrected.

    Plus some. It illustrates why, if I’m not willing to address all of this — another format of getting this message out is necessary.

    If i sound angry, it’s because I am. Another innocent woman was MURDERED outside a family law courthouse this morning, and she was there to get some help from her former husband. I do think that if there were ways for mothers to be able to support themselves OUTSIDE the family law system, even starting from scratch, there’d be more alive women around, and men, and less crime. However, that’s simply not how our culture is structured. It is structured to ensure that most people run their lives around wages, and those making sure this is the standard, do not. Wages is essentially renting onesself out to an employer.

    Why should it surprise us that then this same mentality is also applied towards minor children — their presence in one household or the other is a factor of property rental, basically, with credits or debits in the currency called the Child Support System!

    Women can multi-task, if they are allowed to, and get various things done more efficiently when life requires them to. They also can network. I saw a mother this morning — she had a baby on one side, a laptop in the middle, and a little boy coloring happily, standing on a chair right next to her — and all seemed peaceful. When they were done, she collected them, and walked out, no problem.

    I also saw a father, bright-eyed and smiling, healthy, who often comes in here with a little boy. The little boy, by contrast, looked quite puzzled, serious (and silent –odd for a little boy) and with his truck, after greeting one of the (usuals), and elderly grizzled (but friendly) man of different ethnicity — a man that appears to have AIDS, or some other weakening health issue — and the boy sat down with the man — not his Dad or caretaker with his truck, at the father’s instruction (perhaps they’d met before, or this had happened before in the same place). I guess I’d just call it passive, but more attached to the stranger than to the person who walked him in the door.

    The young boy looked like he had something else on his mind, and was subdued, not energetic or conversational. The father (presumably) called the boy to come with him, and the little boy waved goodbye to him! causing some embarrassment. Then, on further encouragement, he obediently slipped off the chair, and looking me in the eye too, went off without his truck; was reminded of it, got it and walked out the door. I am going to keep my eye on this one, as they often come. The man said, “there’s Mommy across the street” but the little boy (under 2?) didn’t look like he had a Mommy in his life at the time and I have never seen her to my recall.

    When it comes to child support matters — this is my point — the Administration assumes that needs are to be supplied in this manner, or at least claims that it does:

    Dad Provides + Mom Provides — expenses = no one needs welfare.
    Even mathematically it just doesn’t make sense to figure a one-size basically fits ALL when it comes to providing. I have seen amazing networking in some communities when there was a crisis, including where hot meals were brought — for months! — for a mother with several children whose father was dying of cancer. And he did die later, too. She would work tutoring in the library. She had great kids.

    But no support network should be asked to stick around for from 5 to perhaps 15 years of court-related drama, income disruption, and unsolved problems that this family law struggle to GET THOSE KIDS AWAY FROM THE PROTECTIVE PARENT and EXTRACT ALL ASSETS BEFORE KIDS MATURE system. It’s unfair to the general public; moreover, some parents really ARE dangerous; the court won’t admit this (unilaterally) and a genuine protective parent would not expect nonrelatives and supporters to regularly put themselves as a potential target of that ex by supporting her.

    That’s why I say it really is, overall, a clear and present dangers. Ah, well . . . ..

    familycourtmatters

    January 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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

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