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

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

Bypassing the Legal Process in Baltimore: HOW and for WHOM Maryland got its “Family Divisions” in 1998.

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Note:

This blog is published as-is, both formatting and editing. In my own defense (from its embarrassing look) — I have to type in half HTML, half “Visual” mode, with frequent “Preview” mode to check and correct… WordPress “Visual” mode is NOTHING like actual — as to paragraph breaks, spacing, and even font and line-height, unless I manually (copy & paste, or type in) controlling HTML style codes.

Meanwhile, I am engrossed in the subject matter, and this work is neither contracted nor hourly. It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m posting anyhow.

Major lesson? Want justice? It has to be economic justice, and through self-education (that means, put one’s time into something else), unless the country gets out of the business of war, which basically causes business contracting with the US Government to wage it, which then with this wealth (and while soldiers die on both side, and landscapes are blown up, new drugs are used for warfare and then to repair the injuries and trauma from war) foundations enable the wealth from war to be used for PR and — as it actually turned out, probably, in this case — a certain foundation wants the nation to function differently, which it has been.  (Oh, the benefits of Billionaire BIG).   

Also whatever illness one of the fortune-family’s kids have, that’s the disease that gets the research for the cure (how about healthier lifestyles and less poisoned food supplies, and fewer drugs for us all?)

Generation IV of the exact same heir’s name, ALL of them knowing they have enough wealth to throw it around and make the rules, is behaving badly, pays off the ABA to set up a center to create Unified Family Courts (including this one in Baltimore), the ABA keeps up the good work, and eventually a judge concedes.  [Read the whole article for another take on how wealth is acquired; the word “strangulation” was used in this one, coercion, under duress signing over businesses one helped develop, etc.]  Bullies into Healthcare, Health Research and Family Justice….

The wealth has also probably affected the family line, which contains a number of high-profile (that’s the level they exist at) celebrity disasters, reported in 2010 when one of the daughters died of drug overdose in squalid conditions.   Family members cut themselves in or out of the business, or wealth, affecting future generations of their own, only larger-league.

The courts also order families into therapy they don’t need; sometimes involving drugs (i.e. anti-psychotics). The foundation just so happened to be a major pharmaceutical, one of the world’s largest. And from 1988ff a major contributor to Republican party, causes, and candidates, particularly future President Bush.

And we expect JUSTICE from this model?Merry Christmas indeed, and for my NEXT Christmas, I’d like a website with an embedded style chart I don’t have to do manually, my children to understand some of these truths, AND I’d like to see them again too, would be nice…. might even re-instated the practice of observing or participating in holidays, MAYBE.  If you’re not up for the narratives, just look at the links….


Expanding and supplementing the theme from the last post; links to documents gave me more understanding of WHY we have family divisions, by looking at their backers.
The setting up of new, and different subject matter jurisdictions in America has been going on for a long time — problem-solving courts, drug courts, mental health courts, etc.  The “Genius” of the Unified Family Courts (or of Family Courts themselves, unified or not) is that now ANY adults with children, i.e., about half the population of the United States perhaps — can now be funneled through the courthouses, being economically dinged for services on the way.    It’s a way to substitute the decriminalization of (crimes) and replace it with behavioral health/service-based language in the name of helping “The FAMILY” (versus, individual rights, due process, etc.).

RE:  Barbara Babb, Judge Bell, and Baltimore — a convocation of “Bs,” apparently helped pull off a Big Stunt in the creation of the Family Division, by Judicial Administrative Rule, in only 1998.

Ms. Babb, a truly committed Therapeutic Jurisprudence Law (Associate) Professor,  proselytizing on the first 15 years, let me in on how yet another state got its family divisions, subject matter grabs, and dminishing of the concept of “domestic violence” or “domestic abuse” as a non-legal matter.

Sometimes it takes a while of focusing on things that catch your attention, then coming back later, with more understanding on your part (from having continued to read, look, see more data) and sometimes, changes on the website’s part as well.
That’s been true with this particular UBaltimore School of Law’s relentless promotion of the (ridiculous) “CFCC” which I’ve blogged from time to time here.  I already (sep. posts) noted that Kentucky created its family courts also in the 1990s.  This is history in the making; it happened within the last two generations.  UNDER_reporting of this in the national news gave a certain range of motion to get the systems entrenched and “normalized” before the public realized the problems involved, or could organize any resistance.  …. This history again shows me we are being more ADMINISTERED as a country,  than “governed” by laws, while being led to believe that laws rule the day, or should and could.
If I were following this blog, I’d bookmark or note the links, and go back to review; what conclusions would you draw here?

To create the Maryland Family Divisions underneath Circuit Court, first, two Task Forces were created to study the laws (who appointed, why?), mysteriously coming to the same conclusion about what was needed (which happened to almost exactly match what the organization “Association of Family and Conciliation Courts had announced they want, and are about, in the 1970s).  Finally, overcoming apparently years of objections from the legislative body of the State of Maryland– a “handful of advocates” cut a deal with the respected judge. Literally, they were promised that if it didn’t pass THIS time (1997), he’d write their precious family divisions into law for Maryland.  See next link.  (Don’t forget the input from one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations around, or rather its foundation.)

Justice reform in Maryland was formally launched in January of 1998 when the judges of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, headed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, signed Rule 16-204.  Babb, Barbara A., Maryland’s Family Divisions: Sensible Justice for Families and Children, 72 Md. L. Rev. 1124 (2013).  <=<=BOOKMARK, READ

This document footnotes other writings (1992, 1997, for example) by Ms. Babb on the push to form the Family Division with its unique jurisdiction grabs, as mentioned last post.  in THIS post (written most of it the same day), I am going through the opening pages of “Maryland’s Family Divisions,” and also setting the larger context of Foundation backing, and of funky financial accountability in Baltimore, as (I) discovered in 2012 looking for its CAFRs.
When creators of certain justice-transformations wax eloquent, boasting, or blessing each other’s many launched, spearheaded, or initiated reforms, it’s time to pay attention.   While, I’d prefer to have advance notice, later at least is some insight.
What we have here is actually host of collaboration experts privately strategizing, pilot-testing, then publicizing their ongoing  national models “for the public welfare,” when the public doesn’t show a serious interest in the model, and the legislature is opposing it, rams it through anyhow.  And then, as I said, particularly among LAWYERS (and often also lawyers by former trade), JUDGES,  showing excessive interest in setting up courts which can call-down the public-welfare funding through Centralized Jurisdiction for Efficiency of Services, etc.  — this is obviously getting out of hand.

“I am not your mother” and you’re welcome for pointing this out.  Follow-up is an individual decision, yes, no, or “I’m busy.”
But I want to point out one quote from Ms. Fitts formerly of HUD,which came up, in putting this post together,  I cited it in “Why Baltimore’s recent CAFRs are MIA — “Audit Baltimore” tells us.”  See lime-green section there, toned down for this post…  This is what I was yelling about when TAGGS.hhs.gov went down — truth is, we don’t know where the money is flowing, for the most part, how many holes, etc.  The corporations that keep track of them, with the most high-tech electronic capacities and server capacities, etc. — tend to be military or defense contractors.  Among other things, she’s talking about the resources it takes to keep track of all this data, and about financial institutions, the currency.
Read this woman’s writings! and, in fact study them.  Maybe start with “Dillon & Read:  The Aristocracy of Stock Profits”  Hover cursor for a few choice paragraphs from the intro– VERY relevant here.  In fact, here’s a MINIATURE print version of the same, it’s that important.  Dated 2006-2007 by C.A. Fitts, as linked above.

We are so financially entangled in the federal government and large corporations and banks that we cannot see our complicity in everything we say we abhor. Our social networks are so interwoven with the institutional leadership — government officials, bankers, lawyers, professors, foundation heads, corporate executives, investors, fellow alumni — that we dare not hold our own families, friends, colleagues and neighbors accountable for our very real financial and operational complicity. While we hate “the system,” we keep honoring and supporting the people and institutions that are implementing the system when we interact and transact with them in our day-to-day lives. Enjoying the financial benefits and other perks that come from that intimate support ensures our continued complicity and contribution to fueling that which we say we hate.

Standing among the beautiful vegetables and flowers that Montana summer day, I was facing the futility of trying to craft investment solutions without some basic consensus about the economic tapeworm that is killing us and all living things — while we blindly feed the worm. In a world of economic warfare, we have to see the strategy behind each play in the game. We have to see the economic tapeworm and how it works parasitically in our lives. A tapeworm injects chemicals into a host that causes the host to crave what is good for the tapeworm. In America, we despair over our deterioration, but we crave the next injection of chemicals from the tapeworm.

With this in mind, I decided to write Dillon Read & Co Inc. and the Aristocracy of Stock Profits” as a case study designed to help illuminate the deeper system. It details the story of two teams with two competing visions for America.

The first was a vision shared by my old firm on Wall Street — Dillon Read — and the Clinton Administration with the full support of a bipartisan Congress. In this vision, America’s aristocracy makes money and finances the building of a global empire one neighborhood at a time by ensnaring our youth in a pincer movement of drugs and prisons. Middle class support for these policies is created through a steady and growing stream of government funding and contracts for War on Drugs activities at federal, state and local levels. This consensus is made all the more powerful by the gush of growing debt and derivatives used to bubble the housing and mortgage markets, manipulate the stock and precious metals markets and finance trillions missing from the US government in the largest pump and dump in history — the pump and dump of the entire American economy. This is more than a process designed to wipe out the middle class. This is genocide — a much more subtle and lethal version than ever before perpetrated by the scoundrels of our history texts.

This case study provides a detailed example of the financial kickback machinery that makes the process go.

I’m trying to point out facets of this for people who are concerned about Justice, concerned about the Courts, want to protect their kids, don’t see why they can’t get economically stabilized, why the courts don’t respect due process, the law enforcement often don’t enforce the law; why is America seemingly becoming more and more unsafe for the vulnerable, despite technological advances never seen before in history (internet, nanotechnology, commercialization of the possibility of space travel, who knows to what extent, weather modification; genetically modified crops, and the CREATION of viruses (like, the AIDS virus??), etc.    — we should WANT to see the larger picture, and get the tools to check, is that picture anywhere close? If not, what’s missing?  SO, while I’m still going to show the creation of the Family Divisions (of Maryland, case in point), I also am pointing out what private philanthropic money was behind it, and what business was behind that private money and speculate, WHY they might want such justice systems to be the norm…..  Hopefully some lights will go on.
 (from Nov. 11, 2012 post over at my other blog: http://economicbrain.wordpress.com
Straight Talk with Catherine Fitts:  We are Victims of a Financial Coup D’Etat

1. Despite (or perhaps because of) your time as Assistant Secretary of Housing under Bush Sr., you are extremely critical of the government’s financial stewardship. What, if anything, changes with administrations and how much is institutionally baked into the cake?   [Answer:]The federal financial model is institutional, and its ultimate governance is outside of the government.

…the federal government lacks sovereignty. It lacks financial sovereignty – it is financially dependent on the banks that control its depository and slush funds, create the currency through the Federal Reserve and manage the accumulated capital of the same syndicates outside the government.

It lacks information sovereignty as its data, information, and payments systems are controlled and operated by private corporations, primarily defense contractors. If we could dig out the true ownership of both banks and defense contractors, my guess is that it would look identical.

[LGH:  See also THIS page on “Dillon & Read:  The Aristocracy,” which is “Brady, Bush, Bechtel & the Boys. . .

So, Looking Back on 15 yrs of Maryland’s Family Courts.

 
1998, referenced in 2013

Justice reform in Maryland was formally launched in January of 1998 when the judges of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, headed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, signed Rule 16-204.  Babb, Barbara A., Maryland’s Family Divisions: Sensible Justice for Families and Children, 72 Md. L. Rev. 1124 (2013).  <=<=BOOKMARK, READ
This only published January 1, 2013, and is copyright to the author (who has been basically running the Indoctrination Center CFCC I’m reporting on), and is likely AFCC without listing it particularly on the bio.  Maybe not, but I bet so:
Again — look and learn how it’s done.  Once they start waxing eloquent, take notes, look it up, and of course in this one, there turns out to be another source of information not mentioned in the “Maryland’s Family Divisions,” namely that a certain foundation was also behind the spearheading of UFC’s.
 LOOK WHO ELSE WAS INTERESTED IN THIS MODEL:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Factor: Who is RWJF?

(This link and quote expanded, cited again below):

Please attempt to “GET” the pre-planning and private funding of this justice model, and who RWJ foundation chose to push the foundation through:  The impoverished (?) ABA….

Unified Family Courts:  Treating the Whole Family, Not Just the Young Offender

From November 1996 through June 1999, the American Bar Association (ABA) developed six Unified Family Court (UFC) systems in three U.S. states and one territory and created a network of national groups to help educate the public about Unified Family Courts.

UFCs combine the functions of family and juvenile courts to provide a comprehensive approach to treating and educating young drug offenders and their families. This approach recognizes that substance abuse results from a combination of problems related to health, family structure, economics and community support. UFCs offer an effective alternative to a justice system that frequently treats substance abuse solely as a legal problem.. . . .

Funding

RWJF provided a $481,605 grant to the ABA for its work on UCF systems.

****The next quote is a (November 2000) summary, showing us just HOW the “UFC’s” were pushed, again focusing primarily on Substance (Drug) Abuse problems:  prevention and education interventions through these other courts.  The scope of the push (AFCC is mentioned.  Again, many people mentioned may BE AFCC members, but not so labeled).  From “listserv.kent.edu”  It seems that Ms. Danziger may have been the project (grant) manager?
GRANT RESULTS REPORT Last Updated November 2000

RWJF Goal:  Substance Abuse

Development of Unified Family Courts to Assist Families with Substance Abuse Problems ID# 029319
American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education (Washington, DC)
$481,605 (32 months from 11/01/96 to 06/30/99)
Gloria H. Danziger
(202) 662-1784                   
[log in to unmask]
www.abanet.org

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funded the American Bar Association (ABA) to develop six Unified Family Court (UFC) systems in three US states and one territory, and to create a network of national groups to help educate the public about UFCs. UFCs combine the functions of family and juvenile courts to provide a comprehensive approach to treating and educating young drug offenders and their families. This approach recognizes that substance abuse results from a combination of problems related to health, family structure, economics, and community support. UFCs offer an effective alternative to a justice system that frequently treats substance abuse solely as a legal problem. From November 1996 through June 1999

. . . . [repeats material in the quote above.  Notice, the strategizing of HOW to push this]:

Project Lessons

  1. Projects involving changes in the legal system around dealing with substance abuse will be most effectively advanced if a grantee institution identifies and works with judges who have the energy and commitment to push a concept such as Unified Family Courts forward. Working with bar associations is important, but with the backing of committed judges “it was virtually a guaranteed success,” the project director [“who shall remain nameless,” sounds like….] said. To further these relationships, it is necessary to translate substance abuse research findings and terminology into language that is meaningful to judges. It is also important to build more opportunities for collaboration between treatment programs and judges into the program.

COMMUNICATIONS
Project results were disseminated in two dozen articles in legal journals, including special issues devoted to UFCs in the journals Family Law Quarterly and Journal of Health Care Law & Policy. Eight articles were also published in the mass media (including The Atlanta Constitution and The New Day [Puerto Rico]). Six issues of the ABA’s newsletter Unified Family Court Chronicle were published, and one report, Unified Family Courts: A Progress Report, was distributed to 400 judges, lawyers, and justice system leaders. A chapter of the forthcoming book, America’s Children at Risk: An Update, published by the ABA, will be devoted to UFCs.

The ABA sponsored two major conferences to convey the strategies and lessons learned in this project to other states.### Presentations also were made at the Children’s Law Institute and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Information about UFCs is posted on the ABA’s Web site www.abanet.org, which includes a discussion group on UFCs. (See the Bibliography for complete details.)

###In case we don’t yet understand that the ABA wishes to structure the courts without significant input from the public….who probably weren’t notified diligently and if so, many could not attend, typically the ones stuck in the courts at that time.


NEXT STEPS

The ABA continues to provide technical assistance to the six UFC sites, providing its own funds for this work. The ABA has also provided technical assistance on establishing UFCs to Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah. In addition, it is discussing the joint establishment of a UFC center with the University of Baltimore Law School; this center would collaborate with other national organizations to hold workshops and conferences offering technical assistance and education involving UFCs.

I think, there you have it.  Robert Wood Johnson kickstarted the motion with the ABA, and the American Bar Association, continued pouring its funds (obtained FROM WHOM?  Lawyers’ membership fees?  Who pays their fees — clients, the public, the US government when it gets grants, who else???) into this “UFC” center.

UBaltimore School of Law’s Center, then — is that production.  It would be interesting to see if its budget were viewable separately.

In February 2000, the ABA began a one-year project, funded by the Scripps-Howard Foundation, to examine literacy as a way to address substance abuse in four family courts: Baltimore, MD, Memphis, TN, Phoenix, AZ, and Covington, KY/Cincinnati, OH.

RWJF recently launched a national program, called Youth Intervention Networks, which is designed to develop comprehensive and coordinated systems within the juvenile justice system for the treatment of substance abusing juvenile offenders. It, therefore, did not renew funding to this project. The ABA may apply for a grant under Youth Intervention Networks.

Report Prepared by:  Lori DeMilto.  Reviewed by:  Robert Crum and Richard Camer.  Program Officers:  Elize M. Brown and Rush Russell.

 
Back to ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION talk.
 The “Robert Wood Johnson Foundation boasts that in 2012 it awarded $359 million of grants in 12 program areas to help Health and Healthcare for Americans.  [[They even have an interactive map for how much and where — see the Washington/Baltimore corridor (or, proximity)?]]
    •  Childhood Obesity
    •  Coverage
    •  Global Health
    •  Human Capital
    •  Pioneer
    •  Public Health
    •  Quality/Equality
    •  Vulnerable Populations

The question behind any foundation (especially such nice large ones) is what, and whose, business(es) was the wealth founded on?  Here, that’s Johnson & Johnson stock.

“JOHNSON & JOHNSON” had three brothers.  Here’s “Robert Wood Johnson,” whose foundation has been attempting to restructure (multi-state) U.S. Justice systems for families: Parents, juveniles, and kids…  By funding, for example, the American Bar Association to do so (teal-background quotes).

Wikipedia on Robert Wood Johnson I shows (b.1845-d.1910), three brothers involved, and they were working hard with the recent discovery of the importance of Sterile Surgery.  Perhaps you’ve heard of “Listerine”?  You can imagine how between the Civil War and the explosion of railroads (people would get injured; how to treat them) and some good business sense on RWJ’s part and less than so good on Seabury’s, his first partner, Seabury lost a very profitable firm to Johnson.  Hover cursor (or just read) for a fragment of the history.  Johnson & Johnson baby powder (talc), surgical dressings, etc.

Also, it helps that the corporation was started so VERY long ago, including before the income tax…. After the income tax, to preserve their wealth, such corporations can pour it into FOUNDATIONS, which serve two purposes (at least):  1. Tax Exemption (preserves wealth); 2.  Public Relationship through philanthropy and with it, a third 3. Influence on law and politics to favor further wealth acquisition and preservation.

[Tales of the Wacko and often simply Corrupt Rich and How Universities, Institutions (Courts, cities — whatever…) are to be Restructured to help Heal Their Families Insane Addictions — Separately.  This corporation has shadowed my blogging (in other words, when I’m looking some issue up, they are frequently showing in the shadows).  It is one of the LARGEST foundations around, as is the underlying company, Johnson & Johnson (If you’ve ever heard of:  Baby Powder, Tylenol, Neutragena, or, say, Rispderdal — or adhesive bandages.  Or Paris Hilton (companion of the fourth generation named after the founder’s granddaughters, found in squalor at age 30, Los Angeles dead of?  failure to take her insulin injection, or drugs).  Reading this (offensive) history, and of the wealth then poured into Republican causes (pre-welfare) now attempting to turn the family courts into treatment centers, gives it an ENTIRELY different flavor than viewing these courts without the philanthropic (which is to say, here the J&J commercial) influence.

This company ripped off the iconic Red Cross from Clara Barton, and managed to keep it through World Wars.  She was paid $1 for the right to use it.   Just reading about it makes me tired…!!.

[Section added, then moved, after initial post was published….]

Johnson & Johnson is large enough to attract bids from another giant, Carlyle: (under “Look it Up” page, is a subsidiary page that talks about Carlyle).  From “MERGERS&ACQUISITIONS” “dealbook.NYTimes.Com” — this article is, well, from today (Dec. 23, 2013):

Carlyle Said in Talks for Johnson & Johnson Unit

BY MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED

The Carlyle Group is in exclusive talks to buy Johnson & Johnson‘s blood-testing unit, in what could lead to a transaction worth about $4 billion, a person briefed on the matter said on Monday.  Talks were ongoing and could still fall apart, this person cautioned.

Carlyle emerged as the lead bidder after an auction process that Johnson & Johnson has run for the division, which had drawn both private equity bidders and corporate suitors. The health-care titan has been looking to sell slower-growing businesses as it focuses on higher-growth opportunities.

Carlyle has struck a number of healthcare deals in recent years, including a $3.9 billion takeover, with Hellman & Friedman, of the clinical drug testing companyPharmaceutical Product Development more than two years ago, and a $6.3 billion acquisition of the nursing home operator ManorCare in 2007. (The latter hasgenerated controversy for the investment giant.)

Just one more quote to demonstrate the size of giant influence we are talking of, from Northern New Jersey/Princeton area:

[This was a link from the above article].
From “DEALB%K” with Founder Andrew Russ Sourkin

Johnson & Johnson

JNJ: NYSE HEALTHCARE / BIOTECHNOLOGY & DRUGS

Johnson & Johnson, with a market capitalization of $259.83 billion, is the largest company in the Pharmaceuticals sector. It has shown strong growth relative to its peers, with a three-year annualized change of 19.01% in its operating profit margin, compared to the sector average of -257.95%. The company has outperformed the S.&P. 500 over the last 52 weeks, gaining 30.97%.


About Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is a holding company. The Company is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a broad range of products in the health care field. The business of Johnson & Johnson is conducted by more than 275 operating companies located in 60 countries, including the United States, which sell products in virtually all countries throughout the world.


In March 2013, Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis Corporation announced the acquisition of Flexible Stenting Solutions, Inc. In June 2013, Johnson & Johnson announced the opening of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation center in Boston.


In August 2013, Johnson & Johnson announced it has completed its acquisition of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical discovery and development company focused on drugs to treat hormonally driven cancers.


Baltimore is an interesting political jurisdiction; and many wonderful, or funky, things have been emanating from the area.  It’s near D.C., it’s urban — and politically it reminds me of San Francisco, which is “City and County of San Francisco” in many capacities.

The City of Baltimore is excluded from the County of Baltimore, meaning it apparently exists right underneath the State of Maryland, unlike other cities. The (U.S.) Census of Governments, dated Sept. 2013, pp. 135-136:

[Individual State Descriptions – Maryland)

COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (23)
The entire state is encompassed by county government, with the exception of the area of the city of Baltimore. Baltimore City is an independent city outside the area of any county and is counted as a municipal government, rather than a county government. Baltimore County is a county government, but excludes the area of Baltimore City. A number of counties operate under home-rule charters. These counties are governed by county councils.

In counties without home-rule charters, the county governing body is known as the board of county commissioners. In addition, some counties operate under a special code option, but their governing bodies are still designated as boards of county commissioners.

This would seem to make the City of Baltimore less inter-dependent on other counties, or any counties, for its policies.  Also of interest — I don’t see any INdependent school districts, as in some states.  They are all subsidiary to some other form of government.

UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE SCHOOL OF LAW — BEGAN 1925, BECAME PUBLIC IN 1975, BRAND NEW BUILDING 2013; ONE-THIRD OF MARYLAND’S JUDGES ARE ITS GRADUATES.

A Tradition of Excellence Since 1925
Our History:

The School of Law was founded in 1925 as a part of the then-private, nonprofitUniversity of Baltimore, with the first class of 38 students receiving their diplomas in 1928. Created to serve the working population of the Baltimore area with a part-time evening program, the school added a
full-time day division in 1969.

In September 1970, the University of Baltimore School of Law merged with Eastern College and its Mount Vernon School of Law, which was founded in 1935. On Jan. 1, 1975, the school became a public institution when the University of Baltimore joined the State of Maryland’s system for public higher education.

Our Future:

The new John and Frances Angelos Law Center opened April 30, 2013, and began hosting classes in the summer 2013 session. This 12-story facility, at the northeast corner of North Charles Street and West Mount Royal Avenue, houses all of the school’s clinics, centers and classrooms, and provides many options for indoor and outdoor study. An effort is under way for the building to be designated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Our Legacy:

An alumni network of approximately 13,000 graduates includes many prominent figures, such as Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles; Maryland’s first lady, Judge Catherine Curran O’MalleyThomas Condon, considered the most powerful agent in professional football; and U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger III. Nearly a third of Maryland’s sitting judges are UB School of Law graduates.

And, re: UBaltimore, note its beginning emphasis: Not a Harvard or Yale, but aimed at working adults, and not the aristocracy either:

UBaltimore:

The University of Baltimore was founded in 1925 as a private institution. Its founders were a group of Baltimore civic leaders who wanted to provide low-cost, part-time evening study in business and law for working adults. Its first site was at the southeast corner of St. Paul and Mt. Vernon Place with a class of 62 law students and 114 business students.

A Continuing Heritage

UB became a state institution in 1975 and then part of the University of Maryland System (now known as the University System of Maryland) in 1988. The current campus includes numerous buildings (the former Baltimore Athletic Club is now Charles Hall, and the former home of Kelly Buick is now the Academic Center) in the Mt. Royal area. The newest facilities house the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences and the Student Center. We continue to educate business and law students, but we’ve added many full-time day programs

One of the Student Fellows blogging for the cause is enrolled apparently at the UBaltimore Law School and (per LinkedIn) also interning? at Baltimore Social Services.  Another cause which came out of the Social Services arena was, of course, Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood, and I provided links to some of the more well-known (or well-publicized) fatherhood leaders in the area, whose website is currently “CFUF”  – Center For Urban Families”  — in association with the D.C. group, National Fatherhood Leaders Group.

Then there’s this UBaltimore School of Law,  and its wonderful new building.   I’d also like to bring up that one year ago, when I began enthusiastically posting statewide “CAFRs” over at Cold Hard Facts blog — and, if a state had a well-known major city, some of their CAFRs also — I simply couldn’t find one for Baltimore.  So, what-up, I blogged that, after learning that they were having problems passing their basic audits.  Here’s a sample — and please click on the attached link mentioning a certain HHS grant — which illustrates some of the issues:  Changing the grantee- name, mid-stream.  My point is — a Center for Families and Children in the Courts could’ve been set up in any number of different law schools — why Baltimore’s?

Why Baltimore’s Recent CAFRs are MIA, “Audit Baltimore” Tells Us.

I had been posting statewide CAFRs, and decided to pop in a few major city’s CAFRs — Boston, Baltimore’s.  I couldn’t find Baltimore’s, though!  2009 was the most recent I could find, and I found it on the city’s Audits page:

CITY OF BALTIMORE COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FY 2008 1/7/09

and the Single-Audit:

SINGLE AUDIT OF CITY OF BALTIMORE FY ENDED 6/30/09 10/20/10

This led into a long, and informative, digression on my part on what I DID find on Baltimore’s Audits page, which was (to put it mildly) a little overwhelming in scope of outright fraud and chutzpah, a mess.

MENTORING CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS GRANT PROGRAM NUMBER 90CV0215 AWARDED TO THE MAYOR’S OFFICE FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES (BALTIMORE RISING, INC.) FROM THE U.S. DEPT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

FY PERIOD 6/30/04 – 12/31/07 4/16/09

Click on some of the blue, or olive-green images and read for yourself.

More quotes from, again about one year and two months ago, my other blog — this time the link is to a commentary on THIS blog on the same issue, Baltimore, and particularly in these “Children Youth & Families fields (which the Family Divisions would, naturally have some subject matter jurisdiction over) just has a problem tracking its money.  Maybe it’s something in the water…

This you can read (it being off-topic here) on my (somewhat recent) post:

IS Baltimore Rising (Inc)? City CPA audits HHS “Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents” Grant, again.   [There was a follow-up review as well, in which it was determined that the HHS wasn’t (at this point) too intertested in reclaiming a three- year, $900,000 grant on the basis that most of its handling was, er, ah, not very well supported, there’d been double-billing and many more questionable practices.  I also looked at the vendor who was double billed and caught in the act, “only” $25,000″ (a pop), which itself turns out to be (in my opinion, and from what I can tell) an exceedingly questionable — which seems to be typical of the field — fatherhood-style organization, allegedly a nonprofit, but not per IRS records and not per the State of Maryland records, although they DID show some aborted attempts?? for the group (Urban Leadership Institute) on the map, at least as a corporation.  

See last post, “Eavesdropping on an Indoctrination Center” (meaning, UBaltimore’s School of Law Neil and Sayra Meyerhoff Center for Children and Families in the Courts) which has been heartily promoting Unified Family Courts (UFCs).

As recently as only the 1990s, we are talking.  These courts were deliberately created, to change the justice system into a service-referral gateway, they don’t have to be here on a permanent basis.  Our courts.  Let’s talk about it:  The family court model was based on expanding the drug treatment court to treat the whole family.  I’m not just saying this, just quoting those who claimed responsibility — in this post.

Innocent people, particularly mothers, have opted sometimes to flee the country rather than go through this.  They are being punished for sticking up for their own kids, and many times for what’s right — the system doesn’t care what’s right — it cares about system expansion, infinitely, until no one is left untreated and unsupervised in the entire country.  In my opinion.

If the problem is drugs — why not shut down the money-laundering loopholes, particularly in HUD and HHS, instead of leaving them in place to let our own country engage in this?

And, don’t forget 9/11 and the Bush Faith-Based Connections….

In talking about our COURTS, it’s not just who’s running them — but who is creating them to start with, and how?
I am simply reading some of the material describing how the family divisions were created, this time, in MARYLAND.  As I believe they need to be dismantled, for the very reasons they were set up, and as dangerous to the common man (among other things) — it’s helpful to look at how this happened.

When we see the private interests AND private money (foundation wealth) determining how to restructure our justice system — rather than the people themselves who live in these places — we have GOT to start accepting the truth of “Follow the Money” and from there, educating more of us on where the United States (and other) government have been keeping their various stockpiles

In January 1998, the judges of the Court of Appeals of Maryland signed Rule 16-2041 and formally launched the process of family justice system reform in Maryland. During the ensuing fifteen years, Maryland became a national model in this area. These changes and improvements occurred largely because of the inspirational leader- ship of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, a man owed a debt of gratitude by everyone involved in family law proceedings, including families, children, attorneys, judges, court personnel, and services providers, among others.

This Tribute honors Chief Judge Bell by contextualizing the enormity of the process and outcomes resulting from his guidance and oversight.** It will begin in Part I by identifying the causes underlying the impetus and need for family justice system reform in Maryland. Part II will explain what Maryland Rule 16-204 does, the process surrounding implementation of the rule, and the mechanism for con- tinued oversight of the state’s family justice system. Part III will then describe the impact of the reform effort. The Tribute will conclude with a glimpse into the future and likely evolutions affecting Maryland’s family justice system.

I. WHY DID MARYLAND NEED FAMILY JUSTICE SYSTEM REFORM?

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, two formal study groups— the Governor’s Task Force on Family Law and the Advisory Council on Family Legal Needs of Low Income Persons***—analyzed Maryland’s body of family law and the legal system within which it operated. In their final reports, each group identified problems with Maryland’s existing family justice system and endorsed the creation of a unified  family court2 for Maryland, or a single state tribunal with comprehensive subject-matter jurisdiction over cases arising from family breakups and those involving the status of children. Statistical data about family law case filings in Maryland confirmed the critical importance and dominance of this area of law. . . .

Representatives from both study groups conducted exhaustive background research about and made site visits to several states with unified family courts.5

As a result of these efforts, both study groups recommended changes to Maryland’s family justice system. They advocated for the creation of a single court with independent facilities and staff and empowered with comprehensive subject-matter jurisdiction over the full range of family law cases, including delinquency and dependency.6 They also urged that case management techniques assign a judge with expertise in domestic matters to remain on a case from start to finish.7

Finally, representatives of the study groups [[not the groups as whole??]] recommended that a family court offer certain services, such as mediation, and coordinate with other service providers within the community to address litigants’ non-legal needs, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues, among others.8 In states with family courts, this system reduced duplicative proceedings and inconsistent orders, saved time and money for the parties and the state, resulted in greater litigant satisfaction, and enabled a holistic approach to family legal problems.9


[Footnotes from p.2:]

2. For a comprehensive explanation of the unified family court concept, see Barbara A. Babb, Fashioning an Interdisciplinary Framework for Court Reform in Family Law: A Blueprint to Construct a Unified Family Court, 71 S. CAL. L. REV. 469 (1998).
3. MD. JUDICIARY ANNUAL REPORT 47 (1989–90).
4. See generally Barbara A. Babb, Family Court for Maryland: The Time Has Come, 25 MD. B.J.16 (1992).
Footnotes 5.,6,7.,8., and 9. all read “Id.”
FOOTNOTES:  Notice, how cute that almost ALL the references are to her own work. I know I do this– but my pages are also filled with links to outside sources.  NOT SO with more than you’d think in family court writings.  If you track down who’s who, often they are members of the same association, or frequently publishing together.  Here, Babb doesn’t even bother — she just quotes her own previous writeups:  1992, 1997, etc. (check out the rest of the Tribute, too.  I’m up to footnote 28 (browsing) before anything other than:  Babb, the rule itself and listing the bills (footnote 11) attempting to create this court.
She is a classic, I’ve got a cause” leader — and this is reflected in the obedient parroting of the students at the CFCCs ,from what I can tell, as late as 2013.  Perhaps they’ve been brainwashed, which appears to be easier than one might think when there’s no active, and moderated, public debate (ongoing) on the pros and cons.
**I’m into tributes.  But I don’t think a single judge should be given enough clout through related publications, and fans, to change a national system of courts.  That’s what we need to discuss — how come this is possible?  What if such changes are NOT in the best interests of an entire class of citizens, or are foundationally wrong — and this wasn’t hotly debated at the time?
***During the late 1980s and 1990s also, Access/Visitation grants had been set up, child support enforcement had been kicked in (since the 1975ff) and I think certain people were also starting to realize that after civil rights, women wanted some civil rights too (i.e., feminism).  ALWAYS keep an eye to the decade, the time-frame.  Other economic/currency/tax reform laws taking place, I’m not qualified to pull all the strands together.
Someone determined, appointed, those Task Forces and Advisory Councils.  Watch out for these.  They’re needed, sure — but they are powerful tools. Question:  “How can citizens struggling to make ends meet ever responsibly keep up with who’s on which one?”  Answer:  “Who said they were supposed to?..”


NOTE How a Judge agreed to, if the legislation was NOT passed by the representative body designated constitutionally (Maryland) to pass such radical laws — he would bypass that, and ake it happen, as a judge, through an Administrative Rule. This was planned in advance as a deliberate way to bypass the will of the people expressed through their Legislature, as the assembled (self-selecting? Governor-appointed?) Task Forces and their associated professions, knew what’s best for the people of the state.

Great judges don’t seek to over-ride the law; aren’t they supposed to be presiding over what’s legal and not? So how is deliberate intent to undermine the legislative process a good thing? (see also history of Judge Bell, which is itself remarkable….. I can see why he would be the ideal person to approach with such an agenda):

MORE, from the same publication (date: 1-1-2013, Barbara Babb quoting, mostly, herself…see footnotes!);

For the better part of the 1990s, family court advocates, including concerned citizens, family law attorneys, bar leaders, mediators, services providers, legislators, legal scholars, and the Maryland Attorney General,* appeared annually before the Maryland General Assembly, including both the House of Delegates and the Senate, to testify in favor of proposed family court legislation and the recommendations for reform discussed above.11 While the proposed legislation often passed by an overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates, it never was called to a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee; thus, it never was introduced on the Senate floor. Nonetheless, in 1996, the General Assembly passed legislation funding a pilot program family division in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.12

Shortly after Chief Judge Bell’s appointment in 1996, a handful of advocates supporting the creation of a family court met with him to explain the need for family justice system reform, the proposed legis- lative solution, and obstacles interfering with the passage of the legislation. After devoting a few weeks to study and understand the issues, Chief Judge Bell called the advocates together. He said the concepts in the proposed legislation made sense and that implementing this type of family justice system reform was the right thing to do. He gave the advocates his word that, if the proposed legislation failed, he would work to create a court rule to accomplish the same or similar results.


Indeed, due to some minor issues [SUCH AS??], the proposed legislation failed during the 1997 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

. . . .

*not worth actually naming the Maryland Attorney General?

I want us to see that, this (Associate) Professor of Law is not even ashamed to publish in a law journal that “a handful of advocates” (names withheld) had a private meeting with a top judge, CUT A DEAL WITH HIM, on an issue he’d only studied for a few weeks, which the General Assembly was about to NOT pass again, and, take the law into his Administrative-Ruling capacity hands as a top judge hired to respect the laws, not write them, and not play favorites in which laws are administered into existence and are not.

Were there minutes to that meeting?  Notes?  Did they get special privileges for simply trying hard year after year (and failing) go get the legislative vote, and then, aw, what the heck, we’ll do a bypass of that process…

Apparently so!

Wonder what the minor issues were.

In fact, they were so minor, don’t trouble your pretty heads about them, and the author is too busy to reference, footnote, link, or even name what they were. In her judgment, it was a MINOR issue, so be it. You don’t even need to know the bill number (which might facilitate lookups and finding out just how “minor” it was?  Although, for some reason, the ones that passed WERE worth footnoting and naming.  Footnotes 12 and 13…

. . . .True to his word, Chief Judge Bell that summer directed the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, along with a few individuals specially appointed to the committee, to begin work crafting a court rule designed to create a family division as part of the circuit court system. The Rules Committee’s efforts resulted in the proposed Maryland Rule 16-204, signed by the judges of the Court of Appeals in January 1998, creating Maryland’s family divisions.13

Chief Judge Bell has earned his position, without question.  I would like to point out that his parents separated early, his mother relocated (something mothers nowadays will have to fight out in family courts, most likely) to Baltimore, and he ended up, well wouldn’t you say in pretty darned good shape?  Here’s an interview; from my July 2012 archive on this particular center, on how Fatherlessness obviously (except in Judge Bell’s and, inexplicably, many other notables’ lives) leads to a life of crime.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to know here, what “specific individuals” were appointed? ….

One more quote, which serves to demonstrate that the Rule basically created in 1998, a setup which was, to put it mildly an AFCC membership’s dream work environment — and some domestic violence victims, such as myself’s nightmare (and the rest of us, confusion over what is and is not domestic violence). I think the next quote should illustrate, the idea is to order parents (and kids) into services, mandate mediation where possible, and incorporate cases with DV under them, if possible to ONE Judge….

II. WHAT ARE MARYLAND’S FAMILY DIVISIONS?


Maryland Rule 16-204 authorizes the creation of a separate family division of the circuit court in jurisdictions with more than seven resi-dent judges.14 Those jurisdictions presently include Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County. The rule grants the family divisions comprehensive subject-matter jurisdiction over the following types of cases: divorce, annulment, and property division; custody and visitation; alimony, spousal support, and child support; paternity, adoption, termination of parental rights, and emancipation; criminal nonsupport and desertion; name changes; guardianship of minors and disabled persons; involuntary admission to state facilities and emergency evaluations; family legal medical issues; domestic violence actions; juvenile causes, including delinquency and dependency; and civil and criminal contempt.15


Critical to the effective resolution of most family legal proceedings is an attempt to address any related underlying non-legal issues by providing or connecting the parties with supportive services.16
Rule 16-204 addresses these services in two ways. First, it mandates that the family divisions provide certain services, including mediation, custody investigations, emergency response personnel, mental health and substance abuse evaluations, information services with assistance for unrepresented litigants, lawyer referral services, and parenting seminars.17
[[Notice how parenting seminars got slipped in there…]]


Second, the rule requires the appointment of a family support services coordinator by the County Administrative Judge in each family division to compile available community-based support services, coordinate those services with the family division, and report to the County Administrative Judge on the need for additional services.18

For each family division, the County Administrative Judge also has the responsibility to ensure that cases are heard expeditiously, meaning that appropriate judicial resources must be assigned to the family division.19 To support this process, the County Administrative Judge also must identify cases within the family division that should be assigned to one judge for the entire case.20 Finally, the County Administrative Judge annually must prepare and submit to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals a written report describing the family support services needed by the family division, an estimate of the cost of these services, and an estimate of the jurisdiction’s financial need relative to the services.21

 (hindsight from 2013.  RECOMMENDED READING — first, the division was created (looks like, for certain counties) as a SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION within the circuit courts.   Then procedures were set up, to handle such things as:  child abuse and domestic violence, WITHIN these courts.
to be fair — Babb wasn’t operating in a Vacuum, “spearheading” (are we allowed to use this term referencing a woman, still?) the Unified Family Courts.  It appears they were based on the DRUG COURT model, “Treating the Whole Family, Not Just the Offender.”  And there’s definitely private foundation money behind it (Robert Wood Johnson, for one). This foundation, however, was working through the ABA (note:  Obviously a law professor is probably a Bar member….)
Please read and notice that it started with handling substance abuse by juveniles — then substance abuse by adults — and moving it to “civil family court” by association, assuming ALL families need to be treated like drug-abusers and having preventative treatment ordered early on.  Notice the personnel brought in, etc:
1992-1999 (in two chunks:  1992-1996, and 1996-1999) referenced November 2000.
Please attempt to “GET” the pre-planning and private funding of this justice model, and who RWJ foundation chose to push the foundation through:  The impoverished (?) ABA….

From 1992 to 1996, RWJF funded the ABA Standing Committee on Substance Abuse’sCommunity Anti-Drug Coalition Initiativeto mobilize lawyers, judges, and justice system leaders to help create new justice systems and structures to solve the substance abuse problem (seeGrant Results on ID#s 019838 and 023195).

The ABA was also instrumental in persuading legal community leaders to support drug courts for juveniles, which link juvenile justice and community treatment resources to juvenile drug offenders and their legal caretakers. The ABA then helped cities nationwide set up drug courts for adult offenders, which offer defendants who have been charged with a drug offense (typically first-time, non-violent offenders) court supervised substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration. Drug courts can motivate drug users to enter rehabilitation programs and reestablish productive lifestyles. These courts have dramatically decreased recidivism rates and drug use among participants.

UFC’s complement the work of the drug courts. UFCs combine the functions of family courts (which handle family-related legal issues) and juvenile courts (which handle cases in which minors are involved) into one entity and provide a comprehensive approach to helping families in crisis. UFCs incorporate treatment for young substance abuse offenders into the wide range of cases heard in civil court involving family matters.

According to the project director, UFCs can produce better results than other court systems by intervening earlier in a child’s exposure to substance abuse, and treating and educating a defendant’s entire family.The family is assigned to one judge and one social services team throughout its relationship with the court. Judges coordinate treatment for the family with mediators, social workers, court personnel, case managers, and attorneys. In addition, administrative, legal, counseling, and enforcement services are available in or near the court building.

In 1994, ABA adopted a resolution calling for the promotion and implementation of UFC systems to make the courts more responsive to family problems. By 1996, six states had established versions of UFCs statewide, and four states had some UFCs operating on the county level

BALTIMORE’s, of these six:
  • In Baltimore, Md., a pilot UFC was established in September 1998. The state legislature approved $1 million for the Baltimore pilot UFC project and $4 million to create Family Divisions in four other judicial districts. For each case, judges can order social services, including substance abuse and mental health counseling, and diversion programs. The Baltimore Family Court has also developed an assessment/evaluation procedure that the project director believes provides a replicable model for evaluation at other UFC sites.
  • (OVERCOMING RESISTANCE TO THIS in Washington, D.C. –as of Nov. 2000 anyhow):
  • In Washington, D.C., the ABA worked on a strategy to establish a UFC. Judicial opposition to family court reform, based chiefly on economic concerns, blocked significant progress toward the UFC model. The ABA met with the Chief Judge, the primary opponent, and worked with UFC proponents in the District. Family and Child Services, a branch of the District of Columbia’s Child Protection Agency, and an ad hoc group of representatives from the judicial leadership and social service providers, have assumed the lead in efforts to explore the feasibility of a UFC approach in the District.[SIC:  ‘explore the feasibilty of = “to push.”]
  • The ABA developed a network of national organizations to support UFCs. The American Judges Association, the Conference of Chief Justices, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and Join Together* (a national organization created by RWJF that provides technical assistance and information to communities on issues involving substance abuse and gun violence) distributed information and/or collaborated with the ABA on UFC programs.
ANOTHER POST UPCOMING SOON ON THE NCJFCJ — IN FACT, THIS POST WAS PULLED OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF IT, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE OF THIS TOPIC OF DIVERSION SERVICES.
*links to a case where California rehab programs that had their contracts cancelled because of fraud, continued to receive (about $1.5 million).  The website no longer bears an RWF footprint, you can’t readily tell.


MY SUMMARY COMMENTS:

I’ve known for a while to watch this particular “CFCC” in Baltimore, particularly as word travels fast, and there’s already a nice big fat one in California (only, under the Administrative Office of the Courts of the California Judicial Council — rather than at a law school, as in Baltimore).

I am simply reading some of the material describing how the family divisions were created. As I believe they need to be dismantled, for the very reasons they were set up, and as dangerous to the common man (among other things) — it’s helpful to look at how this happened.

When we see the private interests AND private money (foundation wealth) determining how to restructure our justice system — rather than the people themselves who live in these places — we have GOT to start accepting the truth of “Follow the Money” and from there, educating more of us on where the United States (and other) government have been keeping their various stockpiles.

Catherine A. Fitts explained it well enough for me — the profits from running drugs and arms, generally speaking, gets put into a lot of real estate (see “HUD”) after which it makes sense to drain the Americans further (after selling drugs to their inner cities, suburbs, etc.) by ordering them to support expensive treatment facilities, which may JUST come in real handy when people start catching onto this. “The Drugging and Treatment of America.”

I have never met any of the individuals involved in this. But I had no option to stay married. There should be a safe option for for leaving the abusive relationship. So long as these courts are around, that option will be a very rare option… As any extraordinary powers granted them to (so it’s said) HELP everyone, can be just as readily — and are — used to HURT people, why not just limit the authority by keeping civil and criminal matters separate?

3 Responses

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  1. Call me
    (570) 815-7423

    Bruce Levine

    December 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm

  2. […] last post….ByPassing the Legal Process:  How and for WHOM Maryland got its Family Divisions in 1998 to understand it wasn’t JUST a handful of advocates cutting a deal with a well-known Judge […]

  3. […] Bypassing the Legal Process in Baltimore: HOW and for WHOM Maryland got its “Family Divisions” i…  December 24, 2013 […]


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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