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“Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut,” the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse?

with 13 comments

[THIS POST has been expanded and revised to about 6,000 words, much of it quotes, and has a feedback form. It links to two groundbreaking “Washington Times/Communities” articles on very disturbing custody cases; what’s groundbreaking is the angle of approach, and type of evidence posted. This post begins referencing TANF, because “TANF” funding is often operative in such cases. And it posts a comment on one of them I couldn’t get posted over at the WT.

My post explains “AFCC Courthouse” (my generic term) in some detail. In this Connecticut case, “AFCC Courthouse” refers to the “Regional Family Trial Docket” in Middletown Connecticut presided over by a certain judge. However the term in general refers to the nonprofit organization (AFCC) started in Los Angeles County [at least, they claim exactly, i.e., 1963] five decades ago, which has a tendency to set up specialized courts, once its judges (membership) are in charge of a family division, or in positions of influence to do so. I forgot to mention, that in its early years, it also incorporated in a variety of states, changed its corporate name (and EIN#) several times, and probably is not properly registered as a nonprofit to this day in all states and territories where it operates (most likely, all 50 + territories). See early newsletters at bottom of my blog. AFCC runs conferences, trains its membership and others, and lobbies for legislative and administrative changes in the way divorce, custody, and dependency law works. Hence calling a certain docket an “AFCC Courthouse” is often very accurate shorthand for that particular courthouse, or docket.

This post was, however, to also publish my comment which didn’t make it onto the Washington Times comments field, for unknown reasons, and for further reference to interested readers. Last I looked, only one of my very generic (nothing specific) comments was cleared. AFter technical difficulties and over three days, I decided to bring my response over here to the blog.

Although I believe the blog makes this plain, FYI I am a survivor of not this type of case (mine involved DV not identified or reported child molestation) and know how devastating it is. I also network with people who believe that the key to this is the money trail, not the harm done the children, which we believe is more likely just collateral involved in extracting the maximum $$ (public and private) through this abusive system of handling such matters. If this subject matter interests you, a contact and feedback form is on the post. (I would’ve added them earlier, had I noticed the widget available on wordpress!)]]

The Time is NOW to Speak Out regarding TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) Extension!

This frees up the federal $$ which draw down through a single-statewide agency (different for each state) to fund Access and Visitation Funds which seem central to many complaints about the court’s handling of abuse cases. Without this block of money diverted FROM needy families to “SERVICE” the same families (and no longer limited to low-income, as it was initially sold as helping) — probably many nonprofit contractors with family courthouses wouldn’t have bothered to incorporate. Involvement of the Federal Funding drawdown is the Golden Nugget, possibly the motherlode, in doing business with the courts.

It carries a big stick felt locally for anyone in a contested custody matter, or (in some jurisdictions with “conciliation” courts) even domestic violence cases without children! Apparently this group wants to set the standard on how to treat such cases. Given that a reason for many contested custody cases may (or can) involve sexual abuse of children (or, as AFCC tends to phrase it, “ALLEGATIONS” of sexual abuse of children // child molestation, etc.), that’s a big caseload. Then, as it goes, the large caseload of such types of cases (some of which might otherwise be handled, logically, through the criminal courts most properly) they complain about lack of resources, overcrowded courtrooms, and why they need to streamline the process by outsourcing services to professionals to inform the judge’s decision.

A lot of my blog, and blogging, deals with the issue of the federal funding, and the nature and related organizations comprising the “AFCC.” (Association of Family & Conciliation Courts) which should be understood as a nonprofit trade association blending the purposes of the ABA (Lawyers, which includes judges) with the APA (Psychologists and mental health component) to bill the public at large AND private parties for forced consumption of therapeutic jurisprudence. This is done through through lobbying (Task Forces, Commissions, Training Seminars, sometimes Administrative Orders from the State Supreme Court or Presiding Judge level)
and direct court order in individual cases, and through positions of influence within the judiciary, Administrative Offices of the Courts (in certain states) and sometimes at Law Schools as professors, or running certain “centers” (CFCCs) — to change the operations and purposes of the legislative and judiciary functions of the country towards a mutually-preferred model — therapeutic jurisprudence.

Key to the success of establishing a mental health archipelago (international and definitely nationwide in the US) is the ability to draw down federal funding or bill upwards for it without transparency and accountability for the funds. A large portion of this funding seems to come from either the Access/Visitation programming (initally $10 million/year) to set up ongoing programs, and the Marriage/Fatherhood promotion programming (far larger) which in turn both affect the culture and purposes of the OCSE (Office of Child Support Enforcement/National to local), which affects not just things like child support, foster care, etc. — but also the state/federal balance and budgets. In other words, at $4 billion a year, the OCSE is a major player.

It’s hard to know whether, collectively, the influence of a judge’s ability to order a parent out of their home overnight, or to sell real estate, turn the profits of business over to the courts (which has happened), and forget ever seeing their kids again (unless someone can pay up) — OR, the federal funding TO the States to enable programs like this, is doing more damage. However, I suspect that were it not for the federal involvement, many professionals contracting with the courts and highlighting their concerns for children, would be far less interested in setting up corporations, treatment plans, and curricula to “save” them, through reunification with a damaging parent, or through removal from a supportive and non-criminal parent.


Parents and others traumatized or exploited by these abusive court programs can speak up NOW as the House Ways and Means Committee is getting ready to re-authorize TANF (extend it).  It was supposed to expire last Sept., they keep extending it.  Two Press Releases March 6th:  At least let ’em know someone is watching! http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentquery.aspx?DocumentTypeID=1496

(last few press releases):

Previous  Next
Camp Statement on February Jobs Report
March 8, 2013 – Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released the following statement in reaction to the February jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor. A net total of 236,000 jobs were created, and the unemployment rate for February decreased to 7.7 percent. “Despite this month’… More

Ways and Means Committee Acts to Protect Welfare Work Requirements
March 6, 2013 – Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement after the Committee approved, by a vote of 21 to 14, H.R. 890, the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act of 2013. “Ways and Means Committee passage of the Preserving Work Requirements for… More
Reichert Introduces TANF Extension Act

March 6, 2013 – Washington, DC – Today, Committee on Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Extension Act of 2013. Under current law, the TANF program is authorized through March 27, 2013. The TANF Extension Act would … More
Reed and Doggett Lead Subcommittee in Introducing the Standard DATA Act of 2013

Washington, DC – Today, Committee on Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Member Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and Human Resources Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), along with Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Members of the Human Resources Subcommittee introduced H.R. 948, the Standard Data and Technology Advancement Act, or the “Standard DATA Act.”  This legislation establishes consistent requirements for the electronic content and format of data used in the administration of all of the key human services programs under the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child care, child support enforcement, foster care and adoption, Supplemental Security Income, and unemployment insurance.

“This bill improves our federal human services programs by increasing efficiency and transparency, a positive move for both the program recipient and taxpayer,” said Congressman Reed.  “Increased communication using consistent data standards means those eligible for benefit programs are able to access them in a more timely manner while increased efficiency means taxpayer dollars are used in the most cost effective way.”  

[[Yes, if we are going to eliminate the basic distinction of State // Federal, it helps to nationalize the electronic data. I wonder if we will still continue to have the unwieldly, inaccurate, and minimal sort-and-select “Advanced Search” options, as members of the public, on THE primary citizen-access public data base, “taggs.hhs.gov,” i.e., one can look up by EIN#, but cannot search by EIN# in advanced search, spellings are off (strategically), inconsistent use of “NAME” field throughout, and the continued NONdifference between “Fatherhood” and “Marriage” at the CFDA level (both are under “CFDA 93.086.” etc.]


In Connecticut, an investigative writer takes a different approach to the “same old” story of a molested child, a distressed and financially devasted mother, a VERY prosperous Superved Visitation setup, and the professionals involved. The writer posted the invoices and described how many professionals billed what, and whether or not it seems they actually listened to, or even met, the boy in question. Ever wonder how people get onto “TANF” (welfare) to start with, sometimes?
Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut! AND “Immunity for Guardian ad Litem Destroys Connecticut Family”

This is a “Burning Bush” situation. Been on the backside of a mountain wondering what to do about the chained to the courthouse masses? When you get signals like this, and feel called to actually deliver people (adult and young) from this type of long-term bondage (as opposed to just document it, complain about it, and wonder where justice went), wake up. Is this just a phenomena, or a regular occurrence in the courts?

Or, if we choose to go back to sleep, I’d say the “Handwriting [is already] on the Wall.” We need to get serious about exactly who has been shifting these paradigms artificially towards a certain model — someone else should be in control of the lever.

“Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut,” the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse?

“AFCC courthouse?” Yep. AFCC judges and the organization are continually figuring out how to set up more specialized courts, which one of them will control, and can refer services to, ah, other people in the same businesses characterized by this group.

The next table explains why I basically call the courthouse in this case (another) “AFCC Courthouse.”

As it stands:
Current website:
State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch Website,
Special Sessions of the Superior Court” page lists the following specialized dockets:

Child Protection Session
Complex Litigation Docket
Land Use Litigation Docket
Community Court in Hartford
Domestic Violence Dockets
Housing Session
Regional Family Trial Docket
Tax Session


Regional Family Trial Docket. A special docket in the Middlesex Judicial District; 1 Court Street, Middletown, which handles contested custody and visitation matters referred to it from any Judicial District in the state. ONE JUDGE [caps mine] presides over and manages the docket. The goal is to handle contested cases involving children quickly and without interruption. Cases are referred to the Regional Family Trial Docket by the family presiding judge when they meet the program criteria: child focused issue; ready for trial; family relations case study completed and not more than nine months old; and an attorney has been appointed for the children.

Significance: The existence (formation) of this judicial district (ca. 1994? on a small scale, then expanded?) makes it possible to “grab” cases (jurisdiction over cases) by subject matter. Hence, a case might start (as I understand it now) out of Middletown Judicial District, but get sent there. I.e., centralization of control of certain kinds of cases. Same general idea as the presence of “Unified Family Courts” (which I’ve written about elsewhere on the blog, including recently).

How did it happen, generally speaking?

1997 Publish in a Family Law Journal
19 Fam. Advoc. 43 (1996-1997)
Connecticut’s Child Custody Court; Bernham, Christina P.
(Ms. Bernham works in this docket).

a little history of how this court started with two judicial districts and expanded to statewide where it’s “hotly contested” custody (translation: high-conflict, an AFCC term) and the idea is to “avoid pain” for the children in being fought over. Is that working?

2004 Continue to Train the Bar Association: (run CLE classes, for fees & PR)
Flyer: A January 2004 “Continuing Legal Education” (CLE) on the “Regional Family Trial Docket” (RFTD), New Haven County Bar Association, run by Judge Linda Munro, introduces the court and how to refer business (parents, cases), to it. The two-hour seminar, by the NH Bar Associationis $40 members, $75, non-members, $15 students, etc. and is of course training and preparing for, and publicizing the docket.

Get an AFCC Presiding Judge to Preside over the Special Docket

Quick Links
Latest Press Releases
PRESS ADVISORY: Judge Lynda B. Munro Named Chief Administrative Judge of Family Matters
Chief Court Administrator Barbara M. Quinn announced today that Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro has been appointed as chief administrative judge of family matters, effective Sept. 1, 2008.

Judge Munro succeeds Judge Julia DiCocco Dewey. Judge Dewey decided to leave the position so that she can spend more time with her children, who recently returned home from overseas duty with the military.

Family Division cases involve dissolution of marriages and civil unions, child custody, support and visitation, appeals from probate, and relief from abuse. During fiscal year 2007-08, 33,253 famil`y cases were disposed of statewide, and 32,810 cases came in. As chief administrative judge, Judge Munro will represent the chd2 cv `ief court administrator on matters of policy affecting the Family Division; solicit advice and suggestions from judges and others on matters affecting the division; and advise and assist judges in the implementation of new laws, policies and caseflow programs.
. . .
Judge Munro received her B.A. in 1976 from Connecticut College and her juris doctor in 1979 from the Case Western Reserve University Law School, in Cleveland, . . . She also has served as presiding judge for family matters in the New Haven and Stamford-Norwalk judicial districts.

Starting Sept. 1, 2008, and in addition to her duties as chief administrative judge, Judge Munro will serve as the presiding judge of the Regional Family Trial Docket in the Middlesex Judicial District. She held that same position from August 1999 to September 2000, and from September 2003 to August 2004.

Continue to Publicize in Legal Journals requiring special access and seek to establish it as a National Model:
Parental Relocation Cases Pose Challenge For Special Family Court Docket
The Connecticut Law Tribune
September 4, 2012

Back-to-school season looms as a harsh deadline for one of the most difficult types of family court cases – relocations. When a custodial parent is petitioning to leave the family’s hometown, to pursue job opportunities or life with a new partner in a distant city, it can rip aparty a family that’s already tattered. And by August, the kids need to know where they’re going to school. In this challenging type of case, Connecticut courts have tools that make it a national model. One is a specialized docket ? the Regional Family Trial Docket (RFTD) in Middletown ? for the hardest cases. The other is an innovative special masters program for mediating such cases before trial.

June, 2012 article from CT lawyer. Attorney Maya Murphy warns parents not to take a chance, cites Judge Munro on the Regional Family Trial Docket among cases where parental alienation was considered in a custody decision:

Typically these Dockets will be taking “parental alienation” very seriously, as opposed to, allegations of abuse of minors…

Parental Alienation “Syndrome” – Real or Not, a Real Consideration During Custody”(also hover cursor)

JUNE 2012, found on “MAYALAW.com”:

Like other jurisdictions, Connecticut has not affirmatively adjudicated the issue of whether “parental alienation syndrome” is a scientifically reliable theory. See, e.g., In re Marriage of Rosenfeld, 524 N.W.2d 212, 215 (Iowa App. 1994). Connecticut courts have, however, expressly referred to and discussed the syndrome in numerous decisions, including Ruggiero v. Ruggiero, 76 Conn.App. 338, 339 fn.1, 819 A.2d 864 (2003), where the Appellate Court distinguished between the trial court’s FACTUAL FINDING OF [[CAPS mine]] parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome, an alleged psychiatric disorder not listed or set forth in the American Psychiatric Association’s current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (“DSM-IV”), stating: “As we will discuss, the court made a finding that the plaintiff HAD ENGAGED IN [[CAPS mine]]parental alienation”.

The plaintiff’s claim concerning parental alienation dealt with the issue of the validity of a finding of parental alienation syndrome.[**] The court did not address any potential mental health condition. This opinion utilizes the court’s factual conclusion that the plaintiff’s activity as a parent alienated the defendant, and this court makes no decision concerning the validity of such a syndrome.” See also Snyder v. Cedar, 2006 Ct.Sup. 3216, No. NNH CV01 0454296, Superior Court, Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven, 2006 Conn. Super. LEXIS 520 (Pittman, J., February 16, 2006); Coleman v. Coleman, 2004 Ct.Sup. 11232-a, No. FA 02-0174562, Superior Court, Judicial District of Middlesex, Regional Family Trial Docket at Middletown, 2004 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2147 (Munro, J., August 5, 2004); In re Katherine W., 2000 Ct.Sup. 13285, Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, Child Protection Session at Middletown (Quinn, J., October 26, 2000).

[**]Interesting — because a lot of “protective parent” material seems to have focused on that this theory (PAS) was not valid. Possibly this plaintiff had run acorss the type of coaching which talks about PAS without mentioning who has been popularizing the language and how, i.e., the organizations running the courts!) Certain courts don’t care whether or not it’s valid. If you alienate, you lose. The article concludes recommending getting a good family lawyer (??).

. . . Even without any explicitly universal acceptance of a “syndrome” of parental alienation, courts in Connecticut routinely examine parental alienation claims in the context of whether a parent has, in fact, fostered the relationship with the other parent or whether he or she has undermined or restricted that relationship

[Para order may be diff’t]”For these reasons and for many others, litigants in custody disputes are forewarned to cautiously limit from a minor child any communications that relate to the underlying custody dispute and the court proceedings.  Some (but not all) parents who try to be “helpful” or even simply “truthful” with their children in custody actions may find that A) their actions and communications may do more harm than good; and B) their statements may be seized or acted upon by counsel for the opposing parent and/or the Guardian ad Litem as patently damaging examples of parental alienation.

In the alternative, parents are best served by either diverting communications with their minor children away from the issues relating to pending custody proceedings (while instead accentuating the positives and love that both parents have and will continue to have for the child), or in the alternative, by consulting with a mental healthcare professional who would advise the proper forum and method for communicating essential information to the child at the appropriate time and in manageable doses.
In contested custody cases concerning issues of parental alienation, litigants are best served by engaging an experienced family law attorney;”

I.e., the standard is, how well do you co-parent? Not, are you abusing a child….My point? This is an AFCC court.

So, is Judge Munro an “AFCC” judge?

Well, she’s presenting at an AFCC conference in 2013….

Everyone is recommended to browse the brochure of AFCC planning the NEXT 50 years (til 2063) for our kids and family relationships when they have custody disputes.

” MAY/JUNE 2013 in Los Angeles. (Notice who is sponsoring the conference, and which nonprofit professional associations are participating, opening pages). Note the wonderful graphics, even a child couldn’t miss the message..

ANYHOW, in this AFCC 2013 Conference Brochure, p. 14 Bottom, Judge Munro presenting on the Mandatory Training for CT courts:

WORKSHOP 53 “IMPROVING CONNECTICUT’S CHILD ADVOCATES an upcoming conference; her co-presenters (some of who figure in the “Ground Zero” case) include Sidney S. Horowitz [read blurb carefully], and Howard Krieger, both PhD’s [also read blurb carefully] from Waterbury Connecticut, and a J.D. Sharon Wicks Dornfield from Danbury. [in2011 Ms. Dornfield was “Vice-Chair of the Family Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.” (and an AFCC presenter). The topic includes showcasing the RECENT, MANDATORY TRAINING** for ‘NEW AND EXPERIENCED CHILD ADVOCATES” involving (this is typical AFCC policy and among its lifetime goals as an organization) partnership of “the bench, bar, mental health professionals, and a law school.” And, how they plan to get support to take it statewide. Another case (Toomey v. Toomey) were Dornfield came in later as minors counsel (not GAL) and recommended sole custody to the father after there’d been initially supervised visitation on the father, son alleged the father hurt him and locked him in the closet, etc. (I’ve not read it thoroughly, just skimmed. Simply looked for Ms. Dornfield through normal google search).

Krieger and Horowitz both cite their contact on this AFCC brochure as “CT Resource Group” [[Note last three bullets of services offered]] and are presenting with this judge, yet in a separate case, apparently they are providing expert testimony of some sort before the same judge? Were they reimbursed for their workshop, and hence in business together at the conference, or upcoming conference, I should say?

**{{translation, probably: “FEES-BASED INDOCTRINATION”}}

Other workshops (upcoming, 2013) include:

WORKSHOP #1: “WHEN A CHILD IS RESISTING CONTACT WITH A PARENT POST-SEPARATION.” (3-day intensive in-home intervention recommended; three presenters from Toronto. Mentions “alienation.”
{{i.e., kids like Max Liberti might be resisting contact with a parent post-separation…]]

WORKSHOP #2: How to establish a Pro Bono Parenting Coordination Program (Parenting Coordination being a field invented by AFCC and a means to call out “alienation” in a family case; I have blogged this (herein) in a 4-part series and seen the handbooks, and how an association in one state will copy the standards from another state. Here, one of presenters (from San Diego) is program director @ Calif. School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International Univ. He also is Vice-chair of Board of CAPIC, a board which trains clinical psychology interns). AFCC membership is in, or seeks to get in, positions of influence and of training & mentoring developing professionals in their fields. Ergo, these interns are likely to be coached in parental alienation, etc.)

He’s’ apparently well-qualified to present, I found he just (Dec. 2012) got a $60,000 grant to promote parent coordination in San Diego!(hover cursor) {{What a great way to end 2012 and kick off the new year!  Dr. Neil Ribner, CSPP – San Diego, received a $60,000 grant in December from the Claire Rose Foundation to develop a Parenting Coordination program in San Diego and to begin to collect data on its effectiveness. … Alliant International University in San Diego has created a pro bono/low fee PC Program in San Diego under the direction of Dr. Ribner. Interns will be providing  PC services. Initial funds will go toward hiring a supervisor, buying PC manuals, training interns, and administrative costs. (co)Incidentally? This Clare Rose Foundation is private, and while a “San Diego Grantmaker) is based in Fairfield, CONNECTICUT:
“Anne Vincent
55 Walls Dr.
Fairfield, CT 06824 [Phone, email, see link]

“The Clare Rose Foundation donates to organizations which challenge the violent way of the running world. [[“running the world”?]] Because the Clare Rose Foundation is small [income ca. $2+mil] and our fund are limited, we focus on the causes of violence and the need to alleviate the effects of violence. A project which brings new strength to the victims of violence or attacks the root cause of violent behavior towards others comes within our guidelines and may be considered.}}

WORKSHOP #4: TRIAGE OF FAMILY LAW CASES INVOLVING INTIIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE (such cases don’t merit intensive in-home or other interventions, just triage. Participants include a Battered Women’s Justice Project, a project of a prominent, HHS-funded Abuse-Prevention group from Minnesota, and an AFCC /Law Professor from Wm. Mitchell College of Law, Nancy Ver Steegh). Nonprofit started from Wm. Mitchell College (i studied earlier) has a woman founder but seems typically fathers’ rights on closer examination, “Center for Parental Responsibility

WORKSHOP #14: USING A PSYCHOSEXUAL EVALUATOR (One of the presenters is Pres. of the Washington Chapter of ASTA, a 1984-formed society for the treatment of sexual offenders).
WORKSHOP #20: RISK ASSESSMENT FOR FAMILY COURT (the only other one I could see referencing any danger actually admits that “tragic events … have become almost commonplace.) but only one presenter assigned…and Frank R. Ezzo, ABPP, directs Family Conciliation Services in Cuyahoga County, Ohio; he is a psychologist; said dept. (typically) described as: (And on that site, as typical, Domestic Violence has very little elaboration. It is at the very, very bottom on the webpage and only lists a coordinator.) DR. FRANK EZZO is also on the Board of the “Council of Specialities in Professional Psychology” “Family Psychology.”
That’s pretty amazing, as Professional Psychology itself is only at most a century old (but had certain high-profile people promoting it, see Nicholas Cummings…)

Browse the brochure to get an idea of the scope and agenda of this organization. Then compare to where they were in 1983 newsletter (typewritten?) below, in my blogroll. Shows what positioning, leverage, planning, and of course early on obtaining the funding, can do. I have to admit it helps if your organization has plenty of judges and attorneys in it…. and psychologists. A recent study (last year or so) found that among the top ten highest paid professions (per hour) around were; Judges, and psychologists (at the doctoral level, Psy.D., Ph.D. etc.) Doctors and lawyers earn a lot too, but really put in the hours.



From the Washington Times Communities an investigative “guest author” reconstructs a case that involves a GAL who later became a judge, eliciting protests at the confirmation over the minor issue that a little boy under her care was getting literally (and his mother, financially) screwed. The medical testimony and urgent appeals from, for example, a prominent doctor, and others in the case, fell on deaf ears. Let’s see, now that the billings and contracts are starting to surface in a major publication, if this “on deaf ears” continues. It’s definitely one of those teaching moments for us all — and for the general public.

I don’t want this material lost or buried; if my comments are being bounced (again, it could be a simple technical issue), how many others are? Whether it’s a problem with my device, a problem with the formats of my comments, or a problem with the contents, of the same, I don’t know. However after a few frustrating days of losing comment after comment while submitting, or in draft, I have a sense I’m not welcome at the Washington Times Communities.

Here’s the article, and below it my informal (but informative) comment. I am actually working on different projects (in draft) here — but on seeing this excellent article, I stayed on it. Unfortunately, much time was wasted on dropped comments.
Anyone who has researched and paid attention to this field, over time, is a resource. The angle of “how the money flows” is such an under-reported issue (certainly all the “train the trainer” programs, whether fatherhood, domestic violence, or protective parents (Crisis in the Courts advocacy groups) don’t pay much attention to that aspect — which is, in my opinion, the primary aspect.

When articles like this are posted, with their supporting evidence, we don’t know how long it’s going to be on-line. I recommend people get it while they can, complying with copyrights of course, or the Washington Times is pretty clear, it may go after you!! And although the former owner has died (or is it passed on), it’s not the type of outfit whose resources I’d personally want coming after me!

The post would’ve displayed differently as an article comment. I’m leaving the informal style anyway. It’s here for reference and encouragement.

The following post is by guest author, Aine Nistiophain [from “A Heart without Compromise, Advocating for Children,” Jerome Elam).Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut

This is the first of a two-part article.  Reach part two, Immunity for Guardian Ad Litem destroys Connecticut family.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Document trail available at Scribd

[LGH first instance of a feedback form. Hey, I’d wondered what that tiny icon was for in the formatting bar!]

What is your response to the article? Did you look at any of the supporting documents (footnoted)?
Do you have another website relevant to the issues it raises?

Well-written and well-documented article. If you’ve had enough of “Family Court in America<" (a.k.a. "Lawless America” these days?/anecdote after anecdote) or other types of blogs focusing on custody disasters (which are, at this point, innumerable) — anecdote + rhetoric MINUS the invoices, grants, contracts, and billings — this is a refreshing break. One look will also show you, a lot of effort went into gathering the evidence!

This particular case was also profiled and publicized when the GAL in question was nominated for judiciary while functioning as the GAL who refused to help this young boy. Over $1.5 million in fees spent on this — and the mother, having run out of money, can no longer see her son; a DIRECT consequence, it appears, of having expected someone in authority to respond to his trauma. Some of us do network around certain cases, and many were on this one. The GAL in question was nominated over objections, and is now a judge. I also blogged it at the time by adding a page and a post over at the Family Court Franchise System” (Connect-i-cut) however that blog is so slow to load, I took to blogging back here again, overall.

Here’s my response to a “Disgusted!” who said, who is going to redress their injuries?

[[beginning of comment that didn’t pass muster at the WT, or was lost on a technicality:]]
Who?  You.  People who are looking for someone else to do it, well….

(Long email.  This gripping article has my attention! I’m writing as a mother who’s been through some of the gauntlet (west coast)).

What we can do: Talk about it, like Aine Nistiophain here, in terms of the economics.  Any mother in this situation has her Ground Zero (I do.) Home goes from being a place of joy to a place which reminds you of the events.  I can say, it doesn’t seem to end.  We just get stronger. We develop resources inside didn’t know we had.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
One thing to do — read this article to get a grasp of how the federal funding is enabling Max’s trauma.  And tweet, or point others to it (I often do, it gets the basics!)

Top 5 HHS Programs Endangering Women and Children (May, 2012, Huffington Post, Anne Stevenson)

Great summary showing that HHS grants (it’s about the largest federal agency) programs hurt women and children.  They also hurt good Dads that don’t need bribes to want to see their kids, or threats of incarceration to help support them. It also robs men, women and children when millions of $$ from block grants to the states and “discretionary” social science projects gets “lost in the cracks.”  

A lot of this is just using one word to mean something else; for example, “Children’s Rights” or “Family” means something more specific (like, fathers’ rights and its supportive industries).

Here’s highlights from the Children’s Rights Council “CRC” (link broken in above article) history page. See 1994, 1997, 2002.  http://www.crckids.org/about-us/history-and-accomplishments/.  You can see the lobbying. In Reverse order:

2002: “David L. Levy met with President Bush following his signing a bill providing for the ~~mentoring of children of prisoners, and to offer support for the Bush Administration’s Fatherhood Bill~~, which would provide $64 million for each of the next five years.”

1997: Sponsored by the National Parents Day Coalition,**[closely related to the Unification Church]  CRC received the “Legislative Achievement” award from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House in recognition of David Levy’s outstanding contributions toward child advocacy” and 

“CRC of California co-hosted a Fathers Symposium with guests including the Chief Judge of the Superior Court Family Law Section; ***Speaker of the California Senate; Director of Family Court Services;*** and President of the American Fathers Coalition.
CRC hosted 11th National Conference “Strengthening Families – Building Communities” in Arlington, VA with special guest speakers ***Richard Gardner, M.D., Sanford L. Braver, Ph.D.,** and Elizabeth Hickey.”  [wonder how “parental alienation” became standard fare?]
[this is a gender-neutral organization?…]

1994: “The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement published CRC Economist Don Bieniewicz’s “Child Support Guidelines: The Next Generation” as a model for child support guidelines.
CRC advocated for the introduction of welfare reform, which would authorize $10 million in access program funding for the states. ” 

[[Access/Visitation funds:  cf. Supervised Visitation, Parent Counseling, Parent Education, etc.]] 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

After reading and following up on enough marriage/fatherhood (same diff at the grants level) grants (through taggs.hhs.gov the database, which is inaccurate but at least an indicator, through corporate fillings and 990 tax returns, etc.) I had to ask:  OK, where did that missing money go?  This is more than accidental!  

Others that asked this include Richard Fine, John Silva (parent).  Fine got disbarred and tossed in jail (Silva v. Garcetti, Los Angeles); I think overlapping this time (in the 1990s) another grandfather got some check copies (front and back), like this reporter did — and wrote about it, he also (elsewhere) wrote about the origins of AFCC and how the county courthouse was used as a cover for private corporations.  

Exposing and Prosecuting Judicial Corruption through Common Law Discovery (ca. 1997?)  (Bryer, short & clear, what’s going on).
He showed the role that the many training programs play..I keep coming back to his analyses, it makes more and more sense over time: He got 3 years of bank checks (had to subpoena the backs/impt!) under common law discovery (not FOIA) and found the fronts were made out to aliases (funds that didn’t exist) but the backs showed where it was going (i.e., fraud).  Also points out that while gov’t actors on the bench (case in point) ARE immune, the nonprofit associations are not.  Maybe there’s potential there….

What else can one person do?

TANF is up for extension or re-authorization by March 27, 2013.  TANF was passed in 1996, and radically altered the concept of welfare, helped shift purpose I (help families with needy children) back and purpose IV forward (promote marriage and two-parent families).   This was supposedly to reduce poverty.  It did — for those in the marriage promotion business.  

The revision of welfare from by the family to “block grants to the states” has attracted, I think, carpetbaggers to this industry.  

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is a real business plan, and it can’t be understood, I think, without understanding the economy.  However, look in the mirror — because apparently, the judges, GALs, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Supervised Visitation Monitor (how about the emergency room people), “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” aren’t going to. Their suppers are from “the king.”  

The public mentality, throughout society, is “the cult of the experts” — let the professionals handle it.   Well, this is how the professionals are handling it:  to maximize billing and minimize accountability.  I’m speaking from experience and observation (networking).   We have to be curious enough to say, “OK, Who did this, and why didn’t we know earlier?” 

Letting our work efforts (wages/  income tax) go into a centralized pool of discretionary funding, and then simply not following how it’s used as if it was our own bank account, lets government increase profits by moving kids around, and grabbing more and more wealth.   If someone goes to jails, jails are a business (private prisons do have investors).  If they need therapy, therapy is a business.  Business is business, and the purpose of business is profits.  

The pace of this change accelerated with the internet, and if we don’t catch up in our understanding of who government (collectively speaking) is, then in general, there is going to be ever-increasing human sacrifice.

(use the scrollbar, it’s not only specific to family courts…)

Lime-green inset table near the top (C.A. Fitts) and the very last quote at the bottom, summarize “what time of day it is.”  IN between another person writes about how gov’t control is being transferred to private hands (by nonprofit associations).  To understand government, understand those associations (AFCC, ABA, APA, etc.) and their private, philanthropic funders.  These conference together setting policy for federal funds, and keeping the states dependent on the feds for their own economies…. For example, this last week in San Francisco (http://fathersandfamiliescoalition.org, see conf. page bottom right.  Where HHS & OCSE meet fatherhood affiliates, trawling for grants, etc.) Jeffrey Leving supports, David L. Levy spoke at this one… 70pp brochure, faculty from all over the country (and some international).

The child abuse is intentional, and it’s for profit, and about profit


Nebraska senator John DeCamp who wrote up “The Franklin Coverup” (Nebraska, Franklin Credit Union, $40 million went missing, horrific child abuse (getting kids from foster care and/or Boys Town; 8 people died mysteriously during the investigation, finally the ringleader did time for tax evasion — but nothing for the abuse of Paul Bonacci -and – Sen. John DeCamp later commented, “We missed it.  It wasn’t about the child abuse — it was about the money-laundering.”  Children were being used for drug mules and blackmailing, among other things.  The investigation was shut down (as I recall) when an announcement was made, they were going to follow the money.


(this pale-blue-background segment, of course, I wasn’t attempting to submit to the comments field on the Connecticut “Finding Ground Zero” article. Added later)

>Photographer for White House child sex ring arrested after Thompson suicideTom Flocco, March 13, 2005

The Justice Department, acting through the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Omaha, emerges from the record of the Franklin investigations not so much as a party to the cover-up, but as its coordinator. Rigging grand juries, harassment of witnesses, incitement to perjury and tampering with evidence -federal personnel were seen to apply all of those techniques in the Franklin case. (John W. DeCamp, Esq., The Franklin Cover-up, Second Edition, January 2005)

WASHINGTON—March 13, 2005—TomFlocco.com—Photographer Russell E. “Rusty” Nelson was recently arrested two days after journalist Hunter Thompson reportedly committed suicide four weeks ago on February 10, according to two phone interviews with attorney John DeCamp last week.

Nelson was allegedly employed by a former Republican Party activist to take pictures of current or retired U.S. House-Senate members and other prominent government officials engaging in sexual criminality by receiving or committing sodomy and other sex acts on children during the Reagan-Bush 41 administrations.

Hunter Thompson’s death and the news blackout of Rusty Nelson’s simultaneous arrest raise questions that someone may be attempting to limit Nelson’s freedom or threaten him, since according to testimony, both men had allegedly witnessed homosexual prostitution and pedophile criminal acts in a suppressed but far-reaching child sex-ring probe closely linked to Senate and House members–but also former President George H. W. Bush. [In U.S. District Court testimony, Rusty Nelson told Judge Warren Urbom he took 20,000 to 30,000 pictures, 2-5-1999, p.52]

Pedophile victim Paul Bonacci–kidnapped and forced into sex slavery between the ages of 6 and 17–told U.S. District Court Judge Warren Urbom in sworn testimony [pp.105, 124-126] on February 5, 1999: “Where were the parties?…down in Washington, DC…and that was for sex…There was sex between adult men and other adult men but most of it had to do with young boys and young girls with the older folks…specifically for sex with minors

. . .John DeCamp told us last week that “Larry King was released from prison on April 11, 2001 after serving about five years,” adding “he’s back in Washington, DC and now involved in this story again.”  [DeCamp’s book also said “King went to prison for embezzlement, conspiracy and making false financial record entries…there was no trial on any other charges, and the evidence of child prostitution and abuse perpetrated by King was never presented in any court.”  Franklin Cover-up, p. 224] 
. . .

DeCamp, a former Nebraska state senator and decorated Vietnam War vet, told TomFlocco.com “there are tons of pictures still left; law enforcement is currently looking for them,” adding, “you can also assume there are senators and congressmen implicated; otherwise this would not be such a big issue.”  But no federal official has stepped forward to protect Rusty Nelson’s life, as Congress would be reluctant to hold hearings or force a federal prosecutor to probe its own members for sex acts with children–still punishable by law.

[(Paul Bonacci testimony)]:
“I threatened to go to the police in California, thought maybe they would listen whereas in Omaha they were in his pocketbook…he had me hung out of an airplane with a rope by my ankles…If they wanted to get something passed through the legislature, he would put some people that were against it in a compromising position. By using us boys and girls…Judge Urbom: Was this by your being the sexual partner of that person?…Yes…Judge Urbom: …Any estimates of how often you participated as the sexual partner of one of these persons that he wanted to get some kind of control over?…There were times when it would be four or five in a night…on probably a couple thousand times…sometimes dozens of times with the same person…” [U.S. District Court testimony, 2-5-1999, pp. 146-151]

IF TRUE, this indicates, besides that Congresspeople and other high-ranking officials, have certain addictions of the criminal sort, a.k.a. USING children for their own pleasure, or sense of power, which leave them vulnerable to being blackmailed, which is happening. Rather than get help for their addictions, this is enabling gov’t by blackmail using vulnerable children. It ALSO tells us that someone is more likely to prosecute for financial crimes than for unconscionable acts against children. It also tells us that Congress & the DOJ / FBI combined are not about to hold each other accountable, really, for what is done to children, not if it is too politically costly. They may need some of those addicted individuals to help pass another act of Congress….

https://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/domestic-violence-more-poverty-more-seeking-help-from-tanf-more-fatherhood-marriage-programming/  [very detailed, but shows which large grantees just can’t seem to stay registered as charities!  This is actually typical, it seems.  Why would HHS be so eager to dump millions into corporations which any fool can see, regularly break state corporate & charity registration laws?  I found one the other week involving a prominent L.A. woman judge, pushing fatherhood; same theme, similar behavior — just wasn’t filing for YEARS!!!]

If we want to stop the child abuse, stop the systems that allow for money-laundering


To do that, we have to re-examine our own relationship to government, and quit participating in the parts that centralize wealth.  No one said this was going to be easy.  The systems have been accumulating momentum [and assets] for several decades..

Parents and others traumatized or exploited by these abusive court programs can speak up NOW as the House Ways and Means Committee is getting ready to re-authorize TANF (extend it).  It was supposed to expire last Sept., they keep extending it.  Two Press Releases March 6th:  At least let ’em know someone is watching! http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentquery.aspx?DocumentTypeID=1496

TANF frees up the diversion of money intended previously to help the children, into the same kinds of programs which are experiencing the overbillings, above (“Access/Visitation” style).

[[= the end of my comment that didn’t pass muster over at the Washington Times.]]

13 Responses

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  1. Considering you rarely have comments and your outlandish views it seems no one really reads your posts. Maybe instead of blogging, get a job and stop relying on child support and other social programs. I agree family law needs reform but you are 180 degrees off base as to why. I would stop wasting valuable Internet space for midget porn or something else way more interesting than this ridiculousness


    April 3, 2013 at 8:23 am

  2. […] the other hand, if you’re able to pull off reporting like the author of a recent “Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut” (that was actually my blog post on it) and talk about a custody case from the point of view […]

  3. Thank you for your brilliant compilations. A profound source of information. Thank you for preserving my sanity and for filling up my arsenal- Im in the field and fully committed to strategically throwing a legal wrench in the cog and even if in a small, perhaps a statical way, busting up- if not stopping this demoralizing terrifying machine.


    November 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

  4. Responding to a FEEDBACK FORM received in the wee hours of mid-morning, the other day (Jan. 2014). Meanwhile, I have continued learning curve (see recent posts) and have not retreated from the position that the family courts need to be dismantled, as they create a place where criminal activity (under one law) can be reframed as psychological/relational problems (under family law), beyond which conciliation code in many states creates a further jurisdiction grab of “disputed” (high-conflict, conflicted, etc.) cases into these venues which otherwise would fall under criminal felony or misdemeanor situations. The conflict is guaranteed to be ongoing, which is where the profits come in, and the courts were structured (and laws changed to accommodate them) with a view towards ordering more services for parents — and involving federal funds (i.e., the public at large) to further help establish professions dedicated to pretending that violence, isn’t, and that everyone (almost) should be able to co-parent, UNLESS one parent refuses to, in which co-parenting becomes a thing of the past.

    GALs play a strategic role in this, and help, when parents don’t cooperate and pay up enough, have the ability to help facilitate getting children instead into the foster care system, which is a very real threat to any decent parent. I encourage people to do their corporate lookups and get to understand the federal grants system affecting the courts and custody, which has been said often and plain enough on this blog.

    I also believe the supervised visitation system should be shut down, not because some people might not need it, but because the structure itself facilitates fraud. Despite this long comment on an older post, I’ve simply taken the time to re-read the case I got feedback on, note that the GAL on the case not only was AFCC, but was behaving in a typical manner to such, and followed upon one of the services ordered, as below, which brings further profit to family lawyers who are already in the business as attorneys.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    To clarify (in case there’s any confusion) I’m not “Aini Nistiophain” or the person who has been publishing on Ground Zero. I supported this blogging primarily because so few writers are actually exposing not just the billings, but the organizations that also are associated with the billings in divorce courts.

    I’m not a technical wiz, and it’s taken a while to realize that Feedback forms of this sort go to me, but how are they made public — and how to check for which people in their feedback forms want to have it made public. However, on Jan. 27, 2014 (about 2:40am PST), I got this feedback from the father who received full custody in the Toomey v. Toomey case, referenced above. Although this post is almost a year old now, and although there’s no indication (whatsoever) that the post was read at all, other than to notice his case referenced in it, I want to re-affirm the title of the post. That courthouse, and many other courthouses in various states, could be appropriately labeled “AFCC courthouses” which feed (off the parents’ incomes) an underground economy (barely underground — and really not hard to identify). Parents are ordered to consumer services from businesses owned or run by others in the network.

    The feedback poll (Mr. Toomey, if you want your email published, reply with it here, otherwise I felt it was confidential). From the feedback form:

    I am the father of Brandon Toomey who has received full custody in the above mentioned case toomey vs.toomey. As noted you state you have not read the case ” just skimmed thru it “. Maybe you should read before you write. Feel free to contact me if it is the truth you truly seek

    Response: See title of the post for what the post, and this blog is about. The connection of a certain trade association (AFCC in particular) with utilizing the family courthouses nationwide for private business promotion and referrals, at parental and public expense.

    I again looked at the one link to your case posted above, and stand with my assertion that this seems typical: First, one parent (often the father) is given some sort of restraint, possibly for domestic violence — as Mr. Toomey initially was on supervised visitation. Thereafter the theme becomes access/visitation and child support modification, as enabled further by GALs (who are also often AFCC members and/or associated with another related organization, “NACC”). The first “Finding of Facts” consisted of discrediting the “bright articulate” boy’s feelings, and focused throughout on the strategy of the alienating mother, eventually leading to custody-switch to the formerly restrained parent.

    Parents and child were all in therapy.
    Parents were both ordered to access for and obtain an account at OurFamilyWizard.com. Let’s take a QUICK look at that. (See Look It Up website if this is still “complex” to anyone — it’s not. Just look!).

    The website showed a Minnesota Address. “Our Family Wizard” is an expired (as of 7/12/2012) trade name registered to the street address of a family law firm (hint: look up street addresses of registered agents or business entities, as a rule). The trade name was registered in 2002. This is the lawfirm at that address, which shows clear signs of being “AFCC”:

    http://www.ldbfamilylaw.com/attorney_profiles.html. This includes super lawyers who have made their fame in the family law arena:
    ~ Lindner: “Ms. Linder was also a member of the Advisory Task Force on the Guardian Ad Litem System for the Minnesota Supreme Court.” [[MN has its own civil rights violation issue — an attorney attempting to defend blatant violation of a mother’s rights (she was evicted from her own household under threat of arrest, being the mother of five children, with only 2 hours notice; the attorney attempted to file (did, actually) a civil rights violation, which changed jurisdiction and found HERSELF instead attacked by bailiffs or sheriffs during a break in the hearing stripped of belongings, glasses, jewelry (and of course boxes of evidence) and handcuffed to a wheelchair, after which she was rolled back into the courtroom to witness the rest of that sham hearing. In context, I’ve been telling people to watch the various task forces, particular GAL task forces, including the one in Minnesota. There is a hostility towards mothers…]

    ~Mr. Winter is a trained mediator and qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice. In addition, he is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.** Mr. Winter has been named a Minnesota Family Law Super Lawyer since 2004. He is a graduate of University of Colorado, Boulder and William Mitchell College of Law. ***

    **this is a nonprofit (trade) association set up to push themes developed and strategized previously at AFCC.
    ***William Mitchell College of Law has an AFCC professor (or adjunct) on it, for a long time now, Nancy ver Steegh, and has helped support and spearhead a nonprofit “Center for Parental Responsibility” (run by Molly Olson) which is pushing a shared parenting law. Apparently Ms. Olson is married and without children, how appropriate.

    The Our Family Wizard fictitious business name is now inactive (expired) although its website is still up and running. The business name is owned by Avirat, Inc., filed for incorporation in 2001 (also in MN and also street address and CEO is a family lawyer, Kathleen Kissoon.

    In 2003, a press release announced that “Our Family Wizard” (a software enabled service) had cut a distribution deal with National Mediation Centers.
    http://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw/index.cfm/about-us/press-releases/ourfamilywizardcom-signs-marketing-and-distribution-agreement-with-national-mediation-centers/. Notice the idea is described as the brainchild of an airline mechanic (man, presumably father) going through a difficult divorce.


    Ourfamilywizard.com, a Web-based resource for divorced and separated families, and industry leader National Mediation Centers (“National”) today announced an agreement under which
    National will market and distribute Ourfamilywizard.com across the U.S.

    The agreement, effective immediately, calls for National to make Ourfamilywizard.com available through National’s website (www.nationalmediation.com) and nearly 3,000 mediators in 50 states. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Ourfamilywizard.com began with Executive Vice President Paul Volker, an airline mechanic who was going through a difficult divorce. …

    (read link to see the plan to get courts to order this particular service, and using a pilot project in Minnesota to start to demonstrate it:)

    …In November 2002, Hennepin County District Court, whose jurisdiction includes Minneapolis, began a pilot project to evaluate the impact of Ourfamilywizard.com at reducing conflict, improving communication and keeping families out of the court system. The pilot project is intended as the model for a national program administered through the court system. Judge James T. Swenson, head of the pilot project, said, “Ourfamilywizard.com is an effective tool that allows parents to plan and implement the kind of schedules and transportation demands faced by working parents with busy children.”

    “our people” page of this software business (tradename expired 2/12, but almost as immediately as it was formed, found a Minnesota Judge willing to sponsor it, oddly) include three “Kissoons” and apparently Mr. Volker has re-married, so it appears to be quite the family // family-law business.

    For people with such technical software/engineering background, the actual website interfacing with the public looks low-cost, (cheap), and doesn’t tell the users much.

    The website’s banner phrase contains at least two AFCC keywords: “conflict” and “children (out of) the middle.” ” Keeping the children out of the middle of divorce conflict.”

    “About National Mediation Centers

    National Mediation Centers (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), formerly Mosten Mediation and Mediator Network, is dedicated to helping parties resolve conflict and move forward in their lives by providing caring, accurate, thorough and creative mediation services. For more information, see http://www.nationalmediation.com

    (that domain name is now invalid (up for grabs). I”m going to look again at California Incorporation pages. Although certainly corporations change names with time (which is completely legal) certain groups do it far too often. Please note: One of the first major initiatives AFCC was pushing early on was mandatory mediation, which then got federal funding as of about 1988 under “Access visitation” and is now entrenched in the psyche and federal budget as “normal.” Even though it endangers people (such as myself) and their children (such as mine) who separated initially because of domestic violence, or in some other cases, child abuse. That’s the point — it’s an economic strategy using psychological rhetoric (in my opinion).

    I will see what I can find about the feedback form and whether it’s intended to be a public platform or not, there has to be a better way than back and forth in comments fields. Happy New Year, etc.

    Let's Get Honest

    January 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

    • How can identical issues be in several cases in CT- attorney fees, GAL fraud, $$$$$$$$, abuse of mother, supervised visitation, repressing adept child communication, custody switch to restrained abuser father- identical misconduct, unlawful acts- check stamford case- Perrouna v Perrouna- how can this be? Governmental abuse of authority for financial gain- are we in America? We can’t do anything? Really?


      January 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

  5. There are some typos affecting dates in the above post. To verify about the MN businesses, look them up by name (you have to adjust between “Begins with” and “Contains” & Active and Inactive” choices, and get the combo right, it may take more than one “search”), at Minnesota Secretary of State Business & Lien System. Essentially, Avirat Inc. filed in 2001, a for-profit business with 1,000,000 shares (price not shown). I wonder who are the shareholders…check Judge Swenson, above (who chose to sponsor the pilot project).

    Business Type
    Business Corporation (Domestic)
    MN Statute
    File Number
    Home Jurisdiction
    Filing Date
    Active / In Good Standing
    Renewal Due Date:
    Registered Office Address
    1302 2nd Str NE #200
    Mpls MN 55413
    Number of Shares
    Registered Agent(s)
    (Optional) None provided
    Principal Executive Office Address
    1302 2nd Street NE, Suite 200
    Saint Louis Park MN 55413
    United States
    Chief Executive Officer
    Kathleen Kissoon
    1302 2nd Street NE, Suite 200
    Saint Louis Park MN 55413
    United States

    Our Family Wizard (fictitious business name, aka I call it trade name) filed in 2002, same year the Judge announced pilot project:

    Business Type
    Assumed Name
    MN Statute
    File Number
    Home Jurisdiction
    Filing Date
    Renewal Due Date:
    Registered Agent(s)
    (Optional) None provided
    Principal Place of Business Address
    3205 W 76th Str
    Edina MN 55435
    Nameholder Nameholder Address
    Avirat Inc 3205 W 76th Str, Edina, MN 55435

    Street address matches law firm “Linder, Dittberner & Bryant, Ltd. (for better formatting, do the searches yourself):
    Business Type
    Business Corporation (Domestic)
    MN Statute
    File Number
    Home Jurisdiction
    Filing Date
    Active / In Good Standing
    Renewal Due Date:
    Registered Office Address
    3205 W 76th Str
    Edina MN 55435
    Number of Shares
    Registered Agent(s)
    (Optional) None provided
    Principal Executive Office Address
    3205 W 76th Str
    Edina MN 55435
    United States
    Chief Executive Officer
    Karen Linder
    3205 W 76th Str
    Edina MN 55435
    United States
    (Karen Linder at a minimum appears to be AFCC, attendee at 2008, 45th Annual Conference) (not, I’d save this scribd document to disk, it’s 25 pages alpha by last names only, and may clarify a lot of interrelationships among court connected professionals in more than one country, i.e., specifically many also from Canada).

    Searching Judge James T. Swenson — he’s passionate about family court. Another judge refused to serve in an insecure courtroom and so was transferred to family court, which they are smart enough to equip with weapons screening procedures! (BUT, it’s just a family dispute, really…..). The judge who was transferred considered this punishment….http://www.startribune.com/local/136980213.html (dated January 2012)..

    Swenson presenting at AFCC conference in Chicago, 2012. Note his government website makes no mention of AFCC: Here’s the presentation:

    71. The Use of Social Science Research in Dissolution Relocation Cases
    What are some of the challenges facing attorneys trying to use social science research in dissolution relocation cases, either in motion, practice or trial? What are the challenges the expert faces on direct- and cross-examination? Join this workshop to better understand what judges want to know and how social science research can be helpful to judicial decision making.

    Mindy F. Mitnick, EdM, MA, Uptown Mental Health Center, Edina, MN
    Hon. James T. Swenson, Minneapolis, MN.

    “Collaborating Organizations” for the conference:

    American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers • American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution American Bar Association Section of Family Law • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals ** International Society of Family Law • National Association of Counsel for Children [NACC] National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges {NCJFCJ}

    Also check out the “sponsoring” organizations for the same conference includes “OURFAMILYWIZARD.COM”

    Complete Equity Markets, Inc. • Berger � Schatz • http://www.OurFamilyWizard.com SILVER SPONSORS
    Feinberg & Barry, PC • National Cooperative Parenting Center • The Fieldstone Family
    Judge Karen G. Shields (Ret.) Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois Loyola Civitas ChildLaw Center Mediation Council of Illinois Resolution Systems Institute/Center for Conflict Resolution

    Searching simply “MN” on this conference, there are 14 occurrences, including from the group whose street address was used to represent the tradename of “Our Family Wizard” which was allowed to expire the same month of this conference, and AFTER it:

    5. Representing Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse: Meeting Your Ethical Obligations While Preventing Future Violence and Damage to Children

    Best practice for family lawyers requires screening for and attention to domestic abuse and coercive control. However, knowing the client has been abusive complicates representation as attorneys struggle to meet their ethical obligation to represent their clients, to comply with the prohibition against perpetrating a fraud on the court, the need to keep client confidences and uphold attorney- client privilege and, for some attorneys, an interest in preventing harm to the children. The dilemmas these cases present are com- pounded when the attorney believes the client presents a real threat to the other party or the children. This workshop will explore how lawyers can best address these issues.
    Loretta M. Frederick, JD, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Winona, MN
    Hon. Maureen McKnight, Portland, OR *>**>**Michael Dittberner, JD, Linder, Dittberner & Bryant, Ltd.,
    Edina, MN…**<**<*

    Nancy ver Steegh (see above, Wm. Mitchell College of Law) led a plenary session:

    “10:30am-12:00pm Plenary Session
    Welcome: Nancy Ver Steegh, JD, MSW, AFCC Vice President, St. Paul, MN
    Attachment, Brain Science and Development: Challenges in Applying Science in a Socio-Legal Context”

    One more appearance from someone under the name “OurFamilyWizard” which was about to be relinquished (while keeping the website up, $99 per parent pe year….fees):

    36. The Perils of Virtual Venom: Latest Issues in Electronic Discovery
    The internet is fraught with peril for parents and practitioners alike. Parents’ online communications are often unhelpful, vague, emo- tional and harmful to good parenting. Parents engage in inappro- priate use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media, not realizing that the use of social media is now fair game in the court- room. This workshop will help attorneys, mediators, parenting coordinators, mental health professionals and judges learn strate- gies for online discovery, use of electronic records and social media in the courtroom, and online assistance for proactive interventions to parents’ communications. The use of the OurFamilyWizard web- site as a tool for communicating and exchanging child information will be explored.
    Annette T. Burns, JD, Phoenix, AZ Bryan Altman, http://www.OurFamilyWizard.com, Minneapolis, MN

    And what would AFCC be without the pre-requisite workshop on fathering?

    35. Fathering and Father Involvement after Divorce: Current Social Science Research
    Discussions of parenting and parenting time following separation and divorce benefit from the inclusion of methodologically sound social science research. In particular, the documented contributions of fathers to their children’s social, emotional and cognitive devel- opment and new research on the positive impacts of significant father involvement in children’s lives following separation and divorce are critical information for practitioners to understand in their work with parents, evaluation and decision making about par- enting time.
    Joan B. Kelly, PhD, Corte Madera, CA Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, MSL, Smith College for Social Work,
    Northampton, MA Laura Backen Jones, PhD, Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR

    (Joan B. Kelly of Northern California Mediation Center, one of the “originals” often quoted by the membership; both Pruetts (Marsha Kline Pruett and her husband) being fatherhood specialists….

    AFCC members publish together and sell together. This conference brochure is typical — see about 4pp from the end under “advertisements,” the publication by Oxford University Press, notice the authors. Many of the organizations advertised are nonprofits formed in one state or another who take business from the courts. The conferences and publications help them get their philosophies together without interference from the public, who may not be as aware of just who is, and who is not, affiliated with this organizational group in particular.

    The workshops can then also be sold on-line afterwards (see #71 for Swenson, here @ “dcproviders.com” website

    This handout to a 2012 AFCC conference (see link above) is quoting a 1995 article (!!!) year right before welfare reform of 1996, encouraging judicial activism, and citing works (notice the years cited! many predate no-fault divorce….). AFTER that there’s an attachment referring to the 1963 Arizona law establishing the Family Center of the Conciliation Court in Pima County (I will quote), footer confirms this reference by a chief presiding judge who has concealed (from the general public) his AFCC affiliation, is dated to the conference.

    BOTEIN, B. (1952). Trial Judge: The Candid, Behind-the-Bench Story of Justice Bernard Botein. New York: Simon and Schuster.
    BROWNE, C. G., and T. S. COHN, eds. (1958). The Study of Leadership. Danville, IL: Interstate Publishers. CARTWRIGHT, D. (1965). “Influence, Leadership, and Control, in J. March, ed., The Handbook of Organizations. Chicago:
    Rand McNally. CATTELL, R. B., and G. F. STICE (1958). “Four Formulae for Selecting Leaders on the Basis of Personality,” in C. G.
    Brown and T. Cohn (eds.), The Study of Leadership. Danville, IL: Interstate Publishers. COFFIN, F. M. (1980). The Ways of a Judge. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
    DEXTER, L. A. (1965). “Some Strategic Considerations in Innovating Leadership,” in A. Gouldner (ed.), Studies in Leadership. New York: Russell and Russell.
    DOWNIE, L. (1971). Justice Denied: The Case for Reform in the Courts. New York: *320 Praeger Publishers. ELLICKSON, P. (1983). Implementing New Ideas in Criminal Justice. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation. ETZIONI, A. (1965). “Dual Leadership in Complex Organizations,” 30 American Sociological Review 688. FILLEY, A. C., and R. J. HOUSE (1969). Managerial Process and Organizational Behavior. Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman. GALLAS, G. (1987). “Judicial Leadership Excellence—A Research Prospectus,” 12 Justice System Journal 39.
    GIBB, C. A. (1968). International Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan, Inc. ___ (1958). “The Principles and Traits of Leadership,” in C. G. Brown and T. Cohn (eds.), The Study of Leadership.
    Danville, IL: Interstate Publishers.
    GOULDNER, A. (1965). “The Problem of Succession and Bureaucracy,” in A. W. Gouldner, ed., Studies in Leadership. New York: Russell and Russell.
    ___ (1954). Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
    HALL, R. H. (1991). Organizations: Structure, Process, and Change, 5th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    GUEST, R. H. (1962). “Managerial Succession in Complex Organizations,” 68 American Journal of Sociology 47.
    JAMES, H. (1971). Crisis in the Courts. New York: David McKay Company, Inc.
    MAHONEY, B. (1988). Changing Times in Trial Courts. Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts.
    MURPHY, W. F. (1964). Elements of Judicial Strategy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    *321 SAARI, D. (1987). “Comments on Judicial Leadership Excellence,” 12 Justice System Journal 61.
    SHIENTAG, B. (1944). “The Personality of the Judge.” Address delivered to the Association of the Bar of the City of New Y ork.
    WICE, P. B. (1987). “The Speedy-Trial Dilemma: A Handbook for Reform,” 23 Criminal Law Bulletin 323. ___(1985). Chaos in the Courthouse: The Inner Workings of the Urban Criminal courts. New York: Praeger Publishers. YUKL, G. A. (1989). Leadership in Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Footnotes

    Here’s the intro to the reference to the Pima County, AZ conciliation court (FCCC). Notice where it was funded from — divorce and paternity filing fees, and county general funds. This even pre-dates the federal law establishing child support (under the family support act), I THINK, which was about 1975.

    The Family Center of the Conciliation Court (FCCC) was established in 1963 by Arizona Law and is under the jurisdiction of the Pima County Superior Court. The professional staff members of the Conciliation Court have advanced degrees in the behavioral sciences and post-graduate experience in marriage and family therapy, mediation, and child custody evaluations.
    The services of the Conciliation Court are available to any resident of Pima County and are available in English and Spanish. Other than the Mandatory Parent Education Class fee, there are no fees charged for services. We are funded from Divorce and Paternity filing fees and county general fund money.
    Mandatory Parent Education

    This pre-dates the Civil Rights Act, almost or just about and absolutely predates a lot of feminism (1970s) and laws against domestic violence or battering in the home. Sounds like some sectors were prepared in advance, lest women of ALL colors picking up on the idea of civil rights as applying to them too….

    One more reference — Mosten Mediation Center in California (National Mediation Center which signed a distribution deal with OurFamilyWizard in 2003, remember above?) corporate filing in California shows “DISSOLVED.” I’ll bet it was also a nonprofit….

    Here’s Forrest (“Woody”) Mosten, Los Angeles area mediator, collaborative family law person, etc.
    http://www.mostenmediation.com/ (see training site, a lot of effort poured into training (and money made doing it), including CLE training for professionals.

    Heres’ the California Sec. of State Business registration -formed in 1999, dissolved (means, deliberately versus “suspended” meaning, the stopped filing and got caught. It doesn’t tell us when). Possibly “National Mediation Center” was then incorporated in a different state, who knows?

    Entity Number: C2129651
    Date Filed: 01/06/1999
    Status: DISSOLVED
    Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
    Entity Address: 15250 VENTURA BLVD STE 1010
    Entity City, State, Zip: SHERMAN OAKS CA 91403
    Agent for Service of Process: FORREST S MOSTEN
    Agent Address: 11661 SAN VICENTE BLVD STE 1010
    Agent City, State, Zip: LOS ANGELES CA 90049

    California Registry of Charitable Trusts (search page, use the Entity# minus the intial “C” in first available field to see if it was a charity under CALIF law. Many court-connected groups are:

    Let's Get Honest

    January 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm

  6. Mosten Mediation Centers is not showing as a California nonprofit (shouldn’t be, either given what business it’s in) — However Mosten is next presenting for AFCC at the California chapter in 2014 February, per his site:


    There’s an international competition with his name on it, per that list: Pls. explore this website:

    and this EIN# 95-4291235, which is about undergo another name change (removing Mosten’s name):

    “The Louis M. Brown and Forrest S. Mosten International Client Consultation Competition is incorporated in California as a qualified private foundation as defined under Internal Revenue Code Section 509. Its IRS Tax ID # is 95-4291235 (currently on file as Louis M. Brown International Client Counseling Competition, official name change pending)*** . Any donations to the Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition are tax deductible as permitted by law in your jurisdiction”

    In 1969, Louis M Brown established a Client Counselling Competition for law students which was adopted by The American Bar Association in 1972. The International Competition was inaugurated in 1985 with three teams: Canada, the USA and the UK. By 2011, 24 countries took part with law students from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, China, England and Wales, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Irish Republic, Jamaica, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United States.

    The International Competition was named after Louis M Brown in 1993 in recognition of the inspiration he provided as originator of the competition. In 2010, the name was changed to acknowledge the immense contribution of Californian lawyer Forrest S. Mosten who has been the president of the competition for over 25 years.”

    Frequent namechanges is a Hallmark of AFCC nonprofit corporations. This one is now:”International Client Consultation Competition” and is worth another post… Good grief…

    Let's Get Honest

    January 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm

  7. The FTC should investigate these unfair trade practices that are financially destabalizing and bankrupting parents with this for profit “family justice system” designed to allow the flow of cash to a cottage industry filled with corruption. This seems to be exactly the type of situation they take complaints about. Why hasn’t anyone pursued this course of action? Why haven’t the people demanded that the legislature investigate pursuant to it power to do so provided for by statute?


    October 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm

  8. […] was then the involved GAL. I’d posted (a number of times, but also) June 6, 2013 on “Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut — the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse.” A link to the related story and financial drill-down at the bottom of that post (it was in […]

  9. […] was then the involved GAL. I’d posted (a number of times, but also) June 6, 2013 on “Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut — the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse.” A link to the related story and financial drill-down at the bottom of that post (it was in […]

  10. […] was then the involved GAL. I’d posted (a number of times, but also) June 6, 2013 on “Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut — the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse.” A link to the related story and financial drill-down at the bottom of that post (it was in […]

  11. […] was then the involved GAL. I’d posted (a number of times, but also) June 6, 2013 on “Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut — the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse.” A link to the related story and financial drill-down at the bottom of that post (it was in […]

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