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

Identify the Entities, Find the Funding, Talk Sense!

“Center for Judicial Accountability” (reStrain) versus “Center for Judicial Excellence” (reTrain) Theories.

leave a comment »

NOTE:  in this post, I’m going to use [QUOTE:] and [/ENDQUOTE] rather than mess with wordpress’s fickle built-in quote function, which looks like this, and the “WYSIWYG” (what you see is what you get) doesn’t function on the input screen.


When judges round up citizens without known business before the courts — simply because they are in the courthouse that day — or send them off to jail for SPEAKING at a public hearing! — then it seems there’s a little struggle about who gets to train whom.  In an era when the Catholic Church extremists (one who MIGHT become US President, for what that’s worth) are complaining that someone is restraining their right to restrain women (i.e., about contraception) — then it’s clear too many have already been trained, like dogs, to submit to the ridiculous.

Let me talk about how I heard about the Sassower Mother/Daughter combo. . . .   and the answer is, probably by coincidence.   A friend of mine was looking for an attorney to help her file a federal case — and she’s got a GOOD one — out of state, as the state is obviously a goner when it comes to several civil rights issues.  MOST states are goners in the family law arena already, but this had some extra flavors to it.

As things go, the woman is originally from California, home of “Let’s Incarcerate Taxpayer Advocates” and “how DARE you imply that payments by the county to a judge affect the judge’s decisions when ruling on a case involving the County’ Richard Fine.   Home of a whole lot of interesting creations, including retroactive immunity for judges, the AFCC (it seems) and the concept of One-Stop-Justice-Shops, which they want to take international, and are:


How to Start a Family Justice Center  

Across the country and around the world community leaders, advocates, law- enforcement agencies, service providers, shelters, and concerned community leaders are exploring the possibility of starting a Family Justice Center in their own community. A Family Justice Center is a co-located, multi-disciplinary approach to services for victims of family violence and their children.  The goal is simple:  To provide one safe place where victims and their children can go to get all their services under one roof.***  The model seeks to wrap victims in support and services and end the frustrating journey for victims of having to go from agency to agency, telling their story over the over again in order to get the help they need.*** . . .

The first step for interested communities is to attend the International Family Justice Center Conference and buy “Dream Big: A Simple, Complicated Idea to Stop Family Violence” (Wheatmark 2010) and the Alliance’s “how to” manual entitled “How To Start A Family Justice Center in Your Community”, both authored by Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack. . . . .
…The Alliance also hosts a FJC Directors’ Leadership Training Institute for new Directors and new Directors are strongly encouraged to participate in this Institute.  For more information and a description of the services available to help you start a Family Justice Center in your community, contact the Assistant Director of Technical Assistance at (888) 511-3522 or email the Alliance at info@nfjca.org .
copyright © 2009 Family Justice Center Alliance. All rights reserved. 

got that?  The first step is to patronize our Conference (DVD of the plenary sessions only $99) and BUY!  Sponsored by NCADV, who also is real good at selling things.   THIS group is all about TRAINING — and that TRAINING is an increasingly self-referential closed set of informations that actual victims of the FAMILY courts cannot get a word in edgewise into the PR material.  Especially not with Denise Gamache of BWJP sitting on the board, or Oliver Williams (also fatherhood promoter), etc. (see below):

But, the concept is a ONE-STOP-SHOP . . . . .

**This version is much simpler.  THey only have to go ONE place to not get the help/truths that they need.

***Question.  Sometimes Police are corrupt.  How helpful is it when a teenager who’s been raped by a police officer when she reports?  What about when police simply choose not to arrest and D.A.’s choose not to prosecute — which they CERTAINLY have the right not to (not that women seeking protective orders are generally told this, or other relevant information)???


She Dialed 911. The Cop Who Came to Help Raped Her.”  This is a 2012 report; a 19-year-old Milwaukee mother of two …”had returned to high school as a mother of two and after graduation she had continued on to the University of Wisconsin, where she was studying criminal justice with the thought of becoming police officer or a lawyer.”  She calls 911 when a brick was thrown through the window and was sodomized and raped by the responding officer …

[QUOTE:]”Her revulsion in the aftermath was so visceral that she vomited as she ran outside. The cop’s partner had become concerned when he did not immediately see Cates and called for back-up. Other cops began arriving and saw a woman screaming incoherently about being raped.

Cates {officer} appeared and grabbed her by the waist, spinning her around. Her swinging feet may or may not have struck the partner. She was handcuffed and taken in, told at the stationhouse that she was being charged with assaulting a police officer.   She became more coherent but no less outraged and vocal as she continued cry out from a holding cell that she had been raped. She also continued to vomit. The other cops dismissed her as a liar.

After 12 hours, she was interviewed by internal affairs and taken to a hospital, where a rape kit was used to collect evidence. She was then taken to the county jail and held for four days before being released without actually being charged.    She took her story to the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office. A prosecutor subsequently wrote, “While I did find the victim’s version of events credible, I did not believe that her testimony would be strong enough to successfully prosecute Officer Cates.”

In other words, Cates was still a cop and she was still an inner-city teenage single mom. She stopped going to school as she fell into a deep depression, making two serious suicide attempts.

Article by Michael Daley in “The Daily Beast” US News — and it’s ONLY from January 29, 2012….  Though it ended with justice, the criminal justice system lost what would’ve been a good woman — she changed majors ….

Many things in this system are soul-killers . . . . .


National Advisory Board (of the Family Justice Center National Alliance)

Saran Buel Yvonne Carrasco Sue Else
Sarah Buel, J.D.
Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Diane Halle Center for Family Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
Yvonne Carrasco
Consultant to Foundations & the Non-Profit Sector
Sue Else 
National Network to End Domestic Violence
Denise Gamache Dean M. Hawley, MD Michael Mason
Denise Gamache
Battered Women’s Justice Project
Dean M. Hawley, MD
Indiana University School of Medicine
Clarian Pathology Laboratory
Michael Mason
Chief Security Officer
Verizon Communications
Nancy E. O'Malley Kim Wells Oliver J. Williams
Nancy E. O’Malley
District Attorney
Office of the District Attorney Alameda County * * *
Kim Wells
Executive Director
Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence
Oliver J. Williams, Ph.D.,
Executive Director
Institute on DV in the African American Community
Professor, School of Social Work
University of Minnesota
Others have different opinions on both this initiative // alliance, and on District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, as I’ve seen before.  Commenter “Steve White” (“boatbrain” user name) tells his story from 2006-2007 – -and he seems to be quite the investigator.  hover cursor — I pasted all the comments into link in case the link becomes extinct…”    I note he was arrested and talked about “spurious harrassments.”  This “justice center” is a jobs perk for those in the circle, a retirement plan for Casey Gwinn, and an attempt is being made to standardize the model in California just now.  It’s the LAST thing citizens actually need who are seeking justice!  — combo.  I’m also thinking of starting a boycott Verizon move, knowing how it’s sharing the reputation for helping victims by funding stuff like this.  From the Steve White link, comments date to 2007, and relate to this same topic:
The hiring of Nadia Lockyer seems to violate state law. Under California Government Code Section 87100, an elected official is not allowed to “influence” a decision which will benefit a member of his immediate family financially. 

Under the California Constitution, Tom Orloff is subordinate to Bill Lockyer. How can any subordinate not be “influenced” by the fact that one applicant is his boss’ wife? 

Also, the Family Justice Center Nadia Lockyer was hired to receives Federal grant money. It appears the rules for spending that money may also have been violated. The applicable rule is one which requires any decision made by a state official which will effect him or his immediate family financially shall be “an arm’s length transaction” where he does not have any direct influence over it.

But again, Bill Lockyer is Tom Orloff’s boss, so how can Tom Orloff be at “arm’s length” from Lockyer? 

Anyone wishing to contact me for updates should email boatbrain@aol.com

THAT was all an aside.  After some years looking at these groups (and knowing that none have provided any significant help to women challenged AFTER filing for their protection, from losing their children improperly later, anyhow) –it’s a sorry situation.

/ / / / / / / / / /

ANYHOW, in the process of simply networking locally (that’s called paying attention to people that cross my path in the course of daily life, and sometimes hearing their stories….) . . . . . we were looking for a certain attorney who was defending yet ANOTHER individual improperly arrested during an unrelated trial — when the apparent issue was complaining about police brutality, then complaining about the destruction of his complaint about police brutality, and so forth.

That information can be found at The Badger Flats Gazette which appears to be this man’s on-line blogging of police brutality and coverup, starting approximately like this:


I am Gene Forte, publisher of the Badger Flats Gazette, that has been exposing public official corruption in Merced and Monterey County.

Since July 2009, I have provided evidence  to the Fresno FBI Office that Merced County law enforcement are covering-up that they falsely arrested and assaulted me at the Los Banos Courthouse and the Merced Courthouse.

They did it to intimidate me.  I was not a criminal defendant going to the courthouses for an arraignment, or to start trouble.

I was arrested at the Merced Courthouse when attending a Case Management Conference as the plaintiff  in the lawsuit I had against Merced County DA Larry Morse.

When I was arrested at the Los Banos Courthouse, I was about to attend a traffic hearing with my minor son.

During the past two years, I have provided the Fresno FBI with approximately 65 pages of evidence of:

1.  Information and audio recordings proving that I was falsely arrested and assaulted by the deputies.

2.  Grand Jury Tampering by Merced County Counsel James Fincher of the investigation of my arrest.

3.  Proof that the Merced County Sheriff’s Department Citizen Complaint about the  false arrest had not been investigated and disappeared.

4.  Confirming that the FBI Was Ordered Not to Investigate Color of Law Abuses by Merced County 

Fresno FBI Agent Robinson,  referred to the above as  a ” stack of information.”

There is no voluminous stack as you can see from the fax cover indicating the number of pages.

Agent Robinson was saying that just to be insulting and demeaning.

I am currently scheduled to go to trial in March to defend against the charges of my arrest.

 – – –

Merced County DA Morse told me that no charges would be filed against me provided I didn’t file litigation against them for police brutality.

I told him in polite terms to go to hell.


While I pick up the tone of the blog (it’s full of graphics and illustrations), this is not my case, except that it’s clear that a real habit of rounding up whistleblowers and doing things to silence them and just “lose” their complaints is becoming just too routine.
So here’s another one — which is how I learned about “Sassowers” and the Center for Judicial Accountability
HERE is a November 17, 2004 letter from a Southern California Attorney on behalf of “Elena Sassower” who apparently was incarcerated for speaking these 23 words in a Public Hearing.   The letter describes the situation, as the attorney writes “President Bush” and “Sen. Orrin Hatch” about the situation and asks them to release her before Thanksgiving.  The letter also summarize his previous, 11/8/2004 letter.
It is self-explanatory, and short enough . . .  On 5/22/2003, in a PUBLIC HEARING on the Judicial Confirmation, she said these 23 words, from the back of the room, and respectfully:

Mr. Chairman, there’s Citizen’s Opposition to confirmation of Judge Wesley based on his documented corruption as a New York State of Appeals Judge. May I testify?

see the link for more details, or look up on-line yourself.
Here’s the opening comments from her 2004 “trial” posted at http://www.tulanelink.com/tulanelink/sassower_04a.htm

Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech … or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

First Amendment,  U.S. Constitution

Having failed to elicit any response from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with whom she corresponded concerning her opposition to the confirmation of Judge Richard Wesley to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Elena Ruth Sassower journeyed to Washington to attend the Committee’s hearings on May 22, 2003.  The Committee was ready for her.  Denied the opportunity to participate in the “public hearing,” Sassower rose from her seat upon adjournment and requested permission to make a statement, whereupon she was handcuffed, jailed, and eventually put on trial for “Disruption of Congress.”  Her trial commenced on April 14, 2004 in D.C. Superior Court in front of a jury, Judge Brian F. Holeman presiding.  Sassower’s prepared opening statement to the jury is reprinted below.

My name is Elena Ruth Sassower, and I am the criminal defendant charged with “Disruption of Congress.” As you know, I am acting pro se, which means I am representing myself. Since I am not a lawyer, Mr. Goldstone is assisting me as my attorney-advisor. The reason I am representing myself is because this is a case about fundamental citizen rights — and, in such a case, I felt it appropriate that one citizen speak directly to other citizens.
You are not here because you have nothing else to do. You all have busy lives, and you have taken time from your work responsibilities and family obligations to be here. It is, after all, your civic responsibility, living in a country whose founding document — our U.S. Constitution — begins with words which our Founding Fathers wrote large, “We the People.” So, too, I am here because of my civic responsibility. Not because I had nothing else to do on May 22, 2003 — or because it was easy for me to travel from New York to Washington to be at the Senate Judiciary Committee on that date.
Nothing that is said in these opening statements is evidence. The evidence comes from the witness stand. I promise you that this criminal defendant will be embracing her right to take the stand in her own defense. Therefore, it would be wasteful and disrespectful of your time and that of the Court to make a lengthy opening statement — which is not evidence. Better to reserve it to when I can speak under oath.
However, I will tell you — and will prove to you over the course of the next few days — that the criminal charge against me is not just bogus, but malicious.

Apart from everything else, the evidence will show that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s public hearing to confirm New York Court of Appeals Judge Richard Wesley to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was already over when, as coordinator and co-founder of the Center for Judicial Accountability, I rose on behalf of the citizens of New York State and the Second Circuit to respectfully request to testify with “citizen opposition” to Judge Wesley’s confirmation to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. This, based on his documented corruption as a judge on New York’s highest state court — our New York Court of Appeals.

The evidence will also show that at the Senate Judiciary Committee — if not at every other committee of the Senate and House — it is unprecedented to arrest a citizen for respectfully requesting to testify at a public committee hearing, even when it is not over.

This is how I came to learn about CJA (although it turns out I’d breezed past some of the related websites over time, seeking help for my own case):  here’s an After and Before photo of Ms. Sassower, in which we learn she was a 48 yr old Brown graduate and Hebrew School teacher, for Pete’s sake!
Judicial Watch
Citizen Activist & CJA Founder is released
from D.C. jail after serving 179 days for respectfully
requesting to testify at a U.S. Senate Judiciary
Committee Public Hearing.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
Contact: Harold Somer, 212 541 4838
or cell phone 646 236 6492
CJA: 914: 997-8105
email:  judgewatch@aol.com

Washington D.C. —   Prisoner of Conscience Elena Ruth Sassower, who has been called “the Rosa Parks of the judicial reform movement” for her efforts to get rid of “back of the bus” justice, was released today from the DC Jail in Washington DC 20003.   48-year old Brown University graduate, Hebrew School teacher, and youth leader, has served an unprecedented six month sentence for a “Disruption of Congress” charge in violation of First Amendment rights.
. . . .
Judge Wesley was one of five judicial nominees of President Bush, whose nominations were before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Wesley’s was a lifetime appointment to a federal judgeship on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews federal district court appeals, including from New York. All five were confirmed after a two hour “rubber stamp” hearing, with politically pre-arranged guaranteed confirmation, Ms. Sassower’s was the lone voice to express intended opposition at the Public Hearing.
{{Apparently no one else was paying attention, or they were too busy?  or too afraid?}}

In a statement issued by Doris L. Sassower, Cofounder and Director of the Center,** which has been documenting judicial corruption for years, she says: “I am very proud of my daughter’s triumph of endurance to withstand the heinous conditions to which she was wrongfully subjected in Jail. We should honor her heroism and courage in standing up to governmental tyranny for all Americans, performing their duty as citizens to defend our Constitution and Bill of Rights here at home. Our First Amendment was designed to protect Americans from abusive police state tactics employed to suppress legitimate and properly expressed dissent. On the law and the facts, the government had no criminal case. What it had was a judge who was a political puppet and showed his bias from start to sentence.
And this is how I learned where Elena got some of her courage (and knowledge) from — her mother is an attorney as well.  Er, WAS….
READ ON, from the “OUR HISTORY” section of “CENTER FOR JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY,” (inc. in 1994 in New York — and I checked).  They were tired of the party politics of tradeoffs which included Judge-ships as part of party politics:
From  CENTER FOR JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY  (color-coding is mine, to help keep the parties & issues straight)

What began as a local effort by a group of citizens to fight political manipulation and dishonesty in local judicial elections has become the impetus for a national organization.  

In 1989, the Ninth Judicial Committee, a grass-roots group in the Ninth Judicial District of New York State, just north of New York City, was formed to do something about written Deal between the Democratic and Republican parties trading seven judgeships over a three-year period. By the Deal, the parties agreed to “cross-endorse” the same judicial candidates, effectively disenfranchising voters of their constitutional right of election — the major party slates being identical.

The Deal, which also provided for contracted-for resignations to create new judicial vacancies and a split of patronage, was thereafter implemented at judicial nominating conventions that violated the most basic Election Law safeguards. The Governor, the State Board of Elections, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and bar associations refused to investigate.

Consequently, in 1990, the Ninth Judicial Committee spearheaded litigation to challenge the Deal and the judicial nominating conventions. The litigation was dumped by the courts in decisions which violated fundamental legal standards and falsified the factual record.   

In the ensuing years, the Ninth Judicial Committee worked tirelessly to expose the political corruption of judicial elections in New York, as well as of the so-called “merit selection” of judges to New York’s highest court.  In that connection, in 1993, we twice testified before the State Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The Ninth Judicial Committee also undertook a ground-breaking six-month investigation of the federal judicial nominations process. Our fully-documented study, submitted to the U.S. Senate in 1992, established the deficiencies of the screening process upon which the President makes his nominations of our lifetime federal judges. In 1993, we presented that study and other documentary evidence to the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal to refute its methodologically-flawed report as to the adequacy of existing mechanisms for disciplining federal judges.

By 1993, the Ninth Judicial Committee, having far transcended its local origins, inspired the formation of the Center for Judicial Accountability (CJA), which became formally incorporated in 1994.


If the screening process for the US President to nominate LIFETIME federal judges is deficient — and how many parents, others, with serious issues — hope to present them at the FEDERAL level which deals with serious issues, like civil rights violations, or other violations of FEDERAL (US) law — then what hope remains for justice?   We have hoped to get beyond cronyism in local counties –sometimes even states — but if the FED judge-ships are gone, then what hope is there for the entire system?
In 2003 & 2004, the Judiciary Committee then in session made it clear EXACTLY what it felt about women (these WERE women…) speaking “out of turn” even if they had every right to speak.  Perhaps their insistence on their First Amendment Right might be contagious and others might catch it — so Lock Her Up it was (this happens to Hims as well, we know).  She was also asked as condition of her (Elena’s) release to sign some totally unacceptable conditions, including “anger management classes” which the attorney writing out then-President Bush (in a  footnote) likened to Soviet indoctrination camps.
WHICH is basically the same idea, and where this is — FYI — headed, unless PEOPLE (as in “we, the…”) stop it!    This was in Bush’s FIRST administration, and he’d already set up that faith-based office, too.
ANYHOW — here comes CJA and they are speaking up.  They have FIRST-hand experience of retaliation by judges upon their lives, and so mince no words in dealing with the problem.  Here’s Elena’s mothers prior experience (also overlaps with the timeframe of the Ninth Judicial Committee).
Much of the material re:  DORIS L. SASSOWER is posted right on the CJA site.  Here’s a 1989 letter stating she’s a member in good standing of the American Bar Foundation (Exhibit B-2)  She has been concerned about JUDICIAL SELECTION PANELS since 1971 (funny how many of us even think about that?  Are we that involved in our local government?) .  Here’s a Letter to the Editor (June, 1991 — 20 years later) on Cross-Endorsements .

This shows how her law license was suspended:


indefinitely, and


. . .with no notice of charges,

no hearing,

no findings of professional conduct,

and no reasons.

The op ed, written three years AFTER, updates us, that there has been allowed:

no hearing on the basis of suspension, and

no appellate review.

And then she asks:  “CAN THIS HAPPEN IN AMERICA?”
Because obviously it did.   At the time her license to practice was suspended, she was pro bono in a voting rights case about this cross-endorsement practice.   It also said she had a career history of family law reform and equal rights.
And we wonder why some family law attorneys tend to sell us short on their demands.  They want to keep practicing!
(October 26, 1994 — what a Halloween Nightmare for her.  This is also the year the the Violence Against Women Act was passed in Congress….)
. . . . . . . . . Doris Sassower was honored as an early feminist, too, in fact among “Feminists Who Changed America:   1963-1975
I imagine Rick Santorum would call her “radical” even now, about 40 years later…..  But then again, isn’t he IN his forties?
(Please do click on it and see the photo of Ms. Sassower with Gloria Steinem.  For a reminder, in 2005, or so, Gloria Steinem also had a letter demanding some accountability on the HHS spending towards fatherhood funding, IF I remember it right….)

WPCNR LEGACIES OF WHITE PLAINS. From Center for Judicial Accountability. December 7, 2006: Doris L. Sassower, of White Plains, NY, a leading feminist lawyer who, at 35, was the youngest President of the New York Women’s Bar Association, is profiled in the just- published book, Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975. “The women’s movement was, apart from the civil rights upheaval, the major social revolution of the 20th century,” says Sassower.

White Plains’ Doris Sassower, right, with the feminist icon, Gloria Steinem at a reception at Columbia University, celebrating the publication of Feminists Who Changed America. Photo, Courtesy Center for Judicial Accountability.

The book, edited by Barbara J. Love, was released on November 13. Publication was celebrated with an all-day gala event at Columbia University and Barnard College in NYC, sponsored by the Veteran Feminists of America. The program included a symposium on the women’s movement at Columbia Faculty House, followed by a reception hosted by Barnard President, Dr. Judith Shapiro, and dinner honoring Sassower and feminists such as Gloria Steinem.

Sassower battled her own profession for years, and galvanized bar leaders into action that won greater equality between the sexes in and outside the legal profession. In 1993, {{actually, 1994}} she co-founded the Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc., a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, based in White Plains, NY, which she describes as “documenting the corruption of our federal, state, and local judicial nominating processes for appointment, as well as for election, and of all remedies for redress of judicial abuse and other misconduct.” Find out more at http://www.judgewatch.org

Her articles, speeches, and legal cases challenging sexism, as well as other papers, are archived at the Schlesinger Library of Harvard University.


Here’s some of her credits (from same link).  I’ll use the quotation mark:

Sassower, Doris L. (1932 – ) It was her “second-class citi- zen” experience at NYU Law School as one of six women in the 1955 class that turned Sassower into a future leader of the women’s movement. By 1968, at age 35, Sassower was elected president of the New York Women’s Bar Association. Her 1968 Trial Magazine article, “What’s Wrong with Women Lawyers?” concluded that nothing whatever was wrong with women lawyers but the discrimination against them in the legal profession, reflecting the societal sexism of the time.

In February 1969, Sassower presented these “radical” views to the National Conference of Bar Presidents, the first woman ever invited to do so.

In that same year, four years prior to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, Sassower led the New York Women’s Bar Association to become the first bar association to endorse repeal of New York’s abortion law. In April 1970, Sassower co-convened a national conference on Breaking Down the Barriers in the Professions. More than 500 professional and academic women from across the country and abroad listened to documented reports on the unequal status of women in America. This, she says, led to the formation of the Professional W omen’s Caucus, the first respected professional support for what became known as the women’s movement. In 1971, as head of PWC’s legal arm, Sassower filed a class action complaint against every American law school receiving federal funds, based on their identified discrimination against women.

Sassower brought a test case under NYC’s human rights law and made new law for women by expanding city and state jurisdiction to include financial institutions and credit houses under the rubric “public accommodations.” In 1972, she became the first woman practitioner nominated at a judicial convention for the New York Court of Appeals. She also became the first woman named to the New York State Bar Association’s judiciary committee, serving for eight years. Sassower’s advocacy skills transformed the world for women and men, particularly in family law.

It’s in this arena of family law it gets interesting:

By the early 1970s, she had become known as “the mother of joint custody,” also arguing-well before the U.S. Supreme Court so ruled that statutory denial of alimony to men was unconstitutional sex- stereotyping. In 1977, Harvard Law School hung her portrait as part of its 25th anniversary celebration of its admission of women. Her pioneering efforts have been recognized nationally. In 1981, NY State NOW honored her with a Special Award for “outstanding achievements on behalf of women and children in the area of family law.” Since her retirement from law practice, Sassower has worked, pro bono, as co-founder and director of the Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc. In 1997, she won a national Giraffe Award, given to those who “stick their necks out for the Common Good.” In addition to her J.D. from NYU Law School (1955), Sassower holds a BA from Brooklyn College (1954). She has three children. Archives: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge, MA. (ABS)

Love, Barbara, ed. Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006

This is where it becomes interesting, where this Equal Custody cuts across domestic violence protections, and harms situations where one parent is abusive, particularly notable in marriages or partnership which are in either a backwater or a backlash to feminism, and so even more restrictive on the women during marriage, including their ability to work.   In this circumstance, the “Equal Parenting” theme — shared by men’s rights groups and fatherhood promotion, and now ensconced into welfare policy under “access/visitation” has created another type of divide between certain feminists and mothers struggling to protect their children in the same family law courts. ..      The reasoning here simply didn’t take into account that the family law arena would absorb criminal matters, and treat them (again) as PRIVATE matters, which they are not.
So I found THIS link (1970s) very interesting, part of an interview of Doris Sassover, from 1977:

“By and large [the women’s movement]

has hurt women in divorce court more than it has helped them.”

Why? Because there is still an ingrained male chauvinism in our court system resulting from judges who punish women for not conforming to their own standards of behavior—wives who have asserted themselves in order to have careers or more than one role. Women on the bench are often of the same generation and no different. Aren’t things better for women in states with no-fault divorce laws?

One must differentiate between no-fault divorce, where fault is not a factor in a separation, and fault as a factor in the award of alimony. No-fault divorce, of which I am in favor, is a humane approach, but in some states it has been adopted without sufficient thought. The new laws simply permit husbands and wives to terminate a marriage unilaterally without providing for financial security or property rights for the wife.What about the stereotype of the divorced man who complains about being “taken to the cleaners”?That is a popular idea, but it’s a myth…

NOTE:  this was 20 years before welfare reform, and we can see a dollar went further in those days — average attorney cost $100/hour ???

Who Should Pay Alimony?  Divorce Lawyer Doris Sassower Offers a Surprising Answer

By Sally Moore, Dick Friedman

Currently, one out of three American marriages fails. When it happens, lawyers—at fees averaging $100 an hour—try to untangle the two knottiest and frequently bitterest problems divorce brings: child custody and alimony. In the case of alimony, both men and women charge that the present laws are economically and socially unjust, and many states have enacted or are pondering changes in legislation. According to New York attorney Doris Sassower, 44, even the best-meaning proposals are often based on myths and sometimes make the aftermath of a divorce worse—especially for women. Past president of the New York State Women’s Bar Association, Sassower has been a lobbyist for women’s rights legislation, but because in her legal practice she represents both sexes, she prefers to be called a “human rights attorney.” She is married to a lawyer and is the mother of three girls. {{who are the others, I wonder now, in 2012!}} In her Park Avenue office, Sassower discussed alimony with Sally Moore and Dick Friedman of PEOPLE.
What are the changes you see in alimony law? Most states are catching up with the idea that divorce laws should be de-sexed—that sex should not be the criterion for an award of alimony, nor should the award be based on fault but on the economics of the situation. How do new trends in alimony affect child custody? 

More and more men are assuming the child-rearing roles and asking for exclusive or joint custody of children. In such cases, it is justifiable for a man to ask for alimony and child support. 

Are women taking a greater initiative in seeking divorce? 

Yes. An increasing number of women want a divorce, particularly in marriages of long standing, and their husbands not only don’t want divorce but fight desperately to prevent it. I have handled any number of cases where the men will not let go to the point where women are so wretched they are willing to forget what the law entitles them to. 

Why are men resisting divorce? 

It’s a blow to their male egos. It isn’t possible for them to think their wives no longer want to live with them. They rationalize by saying they can’t afford two households. That’s a valid argument, but often not the true issue. 

Why have these changes been so long in coming? 

Because there is a legal tradition of divorce being a battleground. For example, in New York State, until 1966 adultery was the only grounds for divorce. **This set up the ugliest situations, all unnecessary because inevitably there were other reasons to dissolve the marriage. 

{{**only reason allowed in the Bible, that I’m aware of, either..  Then again, at the time, the penalty for adultery was death by stoning..}}
How often is alimony awarded? A recent national report concluded that alimony is awarded in only 14 percent of divorce cases. Moreover, the bulk of alimony awards are totally inadequate, and enforcement is a travesty. The same study concluded that only 46 percent of women awarded alimony collect it regularly. The process of collection is like rolling stones up a hill. Why are women unjustly treated? 

Quite simply, in many states the laws are an obscenity. In some states, there are no provisions for an equitable division of marital assets. They are distributed basically in accordance with whoever owns the title to the property—usually the husband. In New York still, if a husband can prove his wife guilty of one act of misconduct—regardless of his actions or what provoked her—she loses all chances of alimony. And if the case has to be litigated, a woman often can’t find a lawyer to represent her. She has no money, and all the marital assets are in the husband’s name. I have seen millionaires’ wives in that situation. 

Don’t husbands have to pay their wives’ attorneys’ fees? 

Counsel fees are awarded at the discretion of the court. That usually takes months, and often the amount is so small it deters a worthwhile attorney. 

Has the women’s movement helped? 

By and large, it has hurt women in the divorce court more than it has helped them. 

SO, interesting, huh?  I see two things — that the domestic violence advocates appear not to have been talking too diligently to these feminists, and the latter may have not understood that by the 1990s (if not late 1980s) we (the US) were in a definite “Jim Crow” era as to women’s rights as actually having merit.  Also recall that by the 1980s, the Internet boom had not yet taken off (far as I know).  The country had only recently been taken off the gold standard, etc.    As of the 1990s fatherhood and the fatherlessness crisis was up and running.  I didn’t notice because was in my own abusive marriage by then, but I sure did notice that there was a serious backlash to anything smacking of independent thought or action, based on my gender and talked about as such.  It took YEARS to get free, and now I have to turn the TV on and listen to a male-dominated religion, with a Republican Primary figurehead, spouting off about how forcing religious groups to violate their “conscience” by allowing women contraception (see top issue, where the 19 year old mother of two was raped by the police officer.  Under Santorum, she’d have to bear that guy’s child too, no doubt….).
What a situation, for this person to then witness her own daughter incarcerated for about six months primarily for SPEAKING and for STANDING ON HER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS (first amendment) in a PUBLIC HEARING!
People who have been through such things –as both Sassowers have, it seems — do not go for “train the judge” theory as do the Center for Judicial Excellence groups and friends, which is the general theme in their conferences, and publications — that experts such as ourselves have to train others to detect domestic violence in a custody matter (OH?) . . ..   Not that the judges actually might be dishonest, corrupt, or even on the take . . . . .
HERE (from the site) is a partial (the top) list of what the CJA actually does — they focus on the JUDICIARY which I think is appropriate — they do more  than complain about “Battered Mothers Losing Custody” (even though battered mothers do lose custody) — they focus about process and actually have sensible (to me) solutions:
They do not, as CJE seems to recommend, seem interested in forming more task forces and commissions, and actually think this will change something.

A national, nonpartisan,
nonprofit citizens’ organization
documenting how judges break the law
and get away with it.

Our Mission . . .

To improve the quality of our judiciary by removing political considerations from the judicial selection process and by ensuring that the process of disciplining and removing judges is effective and meaningful.

What We Do . . .

  • Educate the public about the paramount importance of the judiciary and its role in protecting our constitutional form of government.

  • Document the nature and extent of judicial incompetence, abuse, and dishonesty and the failure of judicial conduct commissions and screening panels to protect the public.

  • Network judicial activists and legal reform groups around the country to promote citizen involvement, concerted action, and protection for judicial “whistleblowers”.

(etc.  /ENDQUOTE]
ALSO, a seemingly related (or, working along the same lines) group, explains why GRAND JURIES DO NOT WORK and what is the real purpose of COMMISSIONS FOR JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE (whose function is to whitewash complaints the public, including even police officers, and insulate the judiciary from the effect of any CITIZEN-controlled, versus JUDICIARY-controlled, Grand Jury).
J.A.I.L. recognizes this can be achieved only through making the Judicial Branch of government answerable and accountable to an entity other than itself. At this time it isn’t, resulting in the judiciary’s arbitrary abuse of the doctrine of judicial immunity, leaving the People without recourse when their inherent rights are violated by judges.
Why Grand Juries Do Not Work
(By Ron Branson – J.A.I.L. Founder & CIC)
The other day, while sitting in a restaurant, Barbie said to me, “Look, someone left a newspaper,” and she handed me the Sunday Los Angeles Times. As I took it, out fell a center section entitled, “Civil Grand Jury – Los Angeles County 2003-2004. Final Report – June 24, 2004.” Ironically, this “Final Report” is only published once a year, and here it was in my hand as if the Lord wanted me to see it. I left the entire paper at the restaurant and took only this report. I already knew I had in my hands the makin’s for a very good J.A.I.L. News Journal.
. . . .{{so we deduce Mr. Branson is a believer.  however, that’s not why I’m posting this here.  I’m posting it because it answers MANY questions I’ve had about where should (what’s left of life energies) focus be put, when it comes to reform? Because it’s increasingly clear that too many judges KNOW they are totally out of control, and don’t seem to care much about it, either.  More upcoming on that topic soon…}}
Ah, we now have learned that the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury is hand-picked by the judges, their foreperson is selected by the presiding judge, and the Supervising Judge oversees the Grand Jury. Yes, folks, it is judges both coming and going when it comes to the Grand Jury. It is virtually a hand-picked committee by the judges, for the judges, and of the judges, and they even oversee it. But hang on to your hats, there is more shocking news forthcoming about these judges before I lower the boom in this Report.) I’m saving the best for last.
We all know that Grand Jurors are autonomous, that is, they can think for themselves, act for themselves, and they can follow corruption no matter where it goes – right?  There is no one within their territorial jurisdiction that is beyond their reach. At least that is what we have thought. But wait a minute. We are told in this report, “The Civil Grand Jury cannot investigate the Judiciary.” What’s that? Judges are the only branch of government within its territorial jurisdiction that is off-limits to them. Let me quote that again, “The Civil Grand Jury cannot investigate the Judiciary.” Notwithstanding anything these judges do, this Grand Jury cannot investigate them, for they have no jurisdiction, and these judges enjoy immunity regardless of how corrupt they become.
This will take some reading and thinking — and I’m not going to spoonfeed it a lot more to readers.  Chew your own meat!    But it’s clear situations are beyond “out of control” — we are heading towards what a friend of mine recently called, becoming in the US, a “Banana Republic”  (look it up!).
Based on the power — currently being freely exercised — by judges to terrorize individuals not just IN their courtrooms on some cause, but even those that are NOT engaged in litigation presently — and to attempt to seriously silence whistleblowers with incarceration, including young or old, and male or female — (that goes for the judges, too) — and to totally take justice into their own hands, and conference nationally about HOW TO KEEP IT THERE — I think that things have to change.  Fast.
By the grace of God (and if I get the work done!) — within the next week I intend to post some sites outlining the development of “judicial commissions” statewide, as well as the gradual implementation across the US of the Department of Children and Family Services in various executive departments of the states.  I have been seeing how the offices are being used by interests outside the state to standardize justice according to a Corporate/Foundation/Government (i.e. ,Federal Government) wide statute, and really, truly prepare the US as a country to blend in with other countries who do not have bills of rights, who DO have national churches or religions, some of them horribly abusive towards women, and in general remove the concept of individual rights from the face of the planet, except when it pleases those who have the power to call up on that tune to keep it.
J.A.I.L. acronym is not saying, go around jailing judges.  it’s reminding us that we have this power to put them in jail should it become necessary to criminal behavior (and failing to get in line with the Constitution).  It also is a reminder that this is what judges are doing to people, without cause — especially people critiquing them, or speaking out against serious taxpayer fraud and violations of their own state constitutions.  Which brings us to Richard Fine case too — and he spent 18 months, not 180 days — in coercive solitary confinement, got disbarred also, and was economically hurt (he was married, they lost their house, I heard) — for being “vexatious” litigant.
By the way (I didn’t post the link, but found it on Justia) this was also leveled against Ms. Sassower (at the time divorced) and Ms. Sassower (Brown grad) also — but that’s another day.   I can see they were definitely a thorn in the flesh, which is as it should be.  Often our so-called short suits are really our best fighting points…..
[QUOTE, from the J.A.I.L. site:]

Lives and finances are being ruined, properties are being lost, innocent people are going to jail, and families are being torn apart and destroyed.

Attorney Richard Fine was in for jail for fifteen months beginning March 4, 2009 because of his discovery of illegal payoffs by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges as annual salary bonuses. These payoffs began in the late 1980’s. Because of Richard Fine a hurried attempt to make these payments retroactively legal was made with the passage of California Senate BillSBx2-11


Here he is, apparently, being led off:

Please Sign Petition – Free Richard Fine // Por favor, Firme la petición – Liberar a Richard Fine

RICHARD FINE was arrested on March 4, 2009 and is held since then in solitary confinement in Twin Tower Jail in Los Angeles, California, with no records,  conforming with the fundamentals of the law, as the basis for his arrest and jailing. 

Richard Fine – 70 year old, former US prosecutor, had shown that judges in Los Angeles County had taken “not permitted” payments (called by media “bribes”). On February 20, 2009, the Governor of California signed “retroactive immunities” (pardons) for all judges in Los Angeles. Less than two weeks later, on March 4, 2009 Richard Fine was arrested in open court, with no warrant. He is held ever since in solitary confinement in Los Angeles, California. No judgment, conviction, or sentencing was ever entered in his case.

Please sign the petition: Free Richard Fine –


SPEAKING OF UPCOMING PRESIDENT’S DAY — a NJ MOTHER, desperately trying to get a restraining order because boyfriend had threatened to kill her if she terminated the relationship, choking her, was told no cops available, it was a holiday — “take it to family court.”

NOTE:  The Domestic Violence and for the most part, the Professionalized “protective parent” industry treated Mr. Fine’s case like dirt — basically ignoring it.  While people all over the country, men and women, are going to jail over child support, or reporting abuse — certain entities ,year after year, picked certain poster child (or adults, as the case may be) they wanted everyone to free, including “FREE ELSA NEWMAN.”   I find this odd….  What about the person who caught California withholding millions of collected child support distributions from needy families?  Doesn’t he merit a little protest?

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”
~Thomas Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence.”

Ron Branson explains how his experience of being tasered by LAPD relates to his formation of J.A.I.L. — no decision was rendered in his suit, so he could not appeal (it’s starting to sound familiar)  Link also has video of man with (it says) pregnant wife and baby in car being tasered painfully for asking what he was being stopped for.
The Police are there to serve and protect.  Here’s what happened in 2010 when a young mother, of a young daughter (not yet 4 months old) pleaded for help, to save her child’s life — when the father had, after she fled him (which he threatened to kill her for doing, allegedly) begun to include the child in his threats.  She knew about protective orders and BEGGED for one — but it was a holiday:
[QUOTE:]Courthouse News Service
Cops’ Day Off May Have Been a Fatal Mistake


NEWARK (CN) – A grieving mother says in Federal Court that an abusive ex-boyfriend threw their infant daughter over a bridge and into the icy Raritan River after police officers refused to intercede because of the Presidents Day holiday.
Venetta Benjamin claims that her relationship with Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem became physically and verbally abusive about one month after she learned she was pregnant.
{{which is often when such abuse begins}}
Benjamin says she fled to her mother and then to the East Orange Police Department (EOPD) when the threats became more frequent and started to involve her daughter.
     Benjamin says she tried to get a domestic violence temporary restraining order (DV-TRO) against Abdur-Raheem on Feb. 15, 2010, but the attempt failed because it was Presidents Day.
“Despite entreaties by Venetta for protection for herself and Zara, EOPD personnel attending the front desk turned her away,” the complaint states. “They claimed due to the President’s Day holiday they could not help her and directed Venetta to report to the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Division-Essex County on February 16, 2010, to seek a DV-TRO.”
East Orange personnel “failed to contact the on-duty judge assigned to handle application for DV-TROs,” Benjamin claims.
But when Venetta went to the courthouse the next day, leaving her mother to look after Zara, Abdur-Raheem “forcefully kidnapped Zara,” according to the complaint.
“While on the Garden State Parkway, Shamsiddin stopped his car on the Driscoll Bridge and tossed Zara off the bridge into the frigid water of the Raritan River below which resulted in Zara’s death,” the complaint states.
     At the time of her death, Zara was three days shy of turning 3 months old.
The American writer: O. Henry (William Sydney Porter, 1862–1910),
coined the phrase banana republic.



banana republic is a politically unstable country that depends heavily on exports of a limited resource (e.g. fruits or minerals), typically having a heavily impoverished lower class ruled by a much smaller wealthy elite. In political science it is more precisely defined as being dependent upon limited primary productions, and being ruled by a plutocracy that exploits the country by means of a politico-economic oligarchy.[1]

The term banana republic originally denoted the fictional “Republic of Anchuria”, a “servile dictatorship” that abetted (or supported for kickbacks) the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture, especially banana cultivation.[1] In U.S. politics, the term banana republic was a political descriptor first used by the American writer O. Henry in Cabbages and Kings (1904), a book of thematically related short stories derived from his 1896–97 residence in Honduras, where he was hiding from U.S. law for bank embezzlement.[2] It is generally considered pejorative.

In practice, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by the collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, whereby the profits derived from private exploitation of public lands is private property, and the debts incurred are public responsibility. Such an imbalanced economy reduces the national currency to devalued paper-money, hence, the country is ineligible for international development credit and remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country.Kleptocracy, government by thieves, features influential government employees exploiting their posts for personal gain (embezzlement, fraud, bribery, etc.), with the resultant deficit repaid by the native working people who “earn money”, rather than “make money”. Because of foreign (corporate) manipulation, the government is unaccountable to its nation, the country’s private sector–public sector corruption operates the banana republic, thus, the national legislature usually are for sale, and function mostly as ceremonial government.[3]

Do we need much more evidence than that the “RARITAN RIVER BABY-TOSS INCIDENT”  the presence of the Family Courts enables police, who are to arrest for criminal behavior to then be prosecuted by district attorneys, provides them an “easy out”???  Or an indicator that the police and family law elements are indeed as coordinated as the Family Justice Center Alliance wishes them to be, resulting in more dead kids?
Or that restraining orders are no better than the paper they are — or are not — written on, signed by a judge or not signed by a judge?
This was how criminal elements of my case were handled, from the onset of family law case, until TODAY.  Police refused to enforce, and got upset with me when I asked them to, as well.   This includes attempts to REclaim my children after the father had abandoned them, too!   It was Criminal Law + Family Law AGAINST the individual parent, particularly female parents.
We (parents) don’t want to spend our lifetimes trying to sue for damages — we want to spend them with our ALIVE children!

This is a serious problem — and not even mentioned in the Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence!

There IS no alternative when justice is in a chokehold (or tasered, or bought out) than “We, The People” addressing this ourselves, in our proper stance — this is where the power to govern came from, and this is where it can be taken back from, should it turn to tyranny.
However, thanks to the power of media, distraction, confusion, ignorance of our legal rights, and most of all, the power of SILENCE on issues, is creating an increasingly passive population (except when it offends some religious sensibilities, it seems).

This has to change. Or, I suppose the alternative is to give it up and attempt a reverse immigration to a safer country for women, infants, and people who simply hold jobs, support themselves or their families, and are not trying to run the world or establish some universal utopia . . . . a “future without violence” — and without the conflict that comes from protecting one’s rights and confronting fraud, dishonesty, and myths.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: