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Archive for the ‘History of Family Court’ Category

AFCC — A Users’ Manual (Intro).. and (for now), some of “Arizona”

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Speaking of Engaging in Lookups:

Just a reminder — I’m not an attorney, and if you need one, go get one. However, at this point in time I don’t personally advise going to get any family law attorney before ascertaining membership or non-membership in this organization, and finding out whether the local Presiding Judge is also a member. Also, are you in a family court (are there actually some left?) or one that has been declared “Conciliation” and comes under a different section of the state code, by jurisdiction. Like they did in California….

That membership information would also be good to get on opposing attorneys, judges, GALs, and others not just currently in any case (heck, people can drop in and out of a case on a dime these days) — but also in the courthouses. In other words, most courts operate as fiefdoms, so who’s (singular, but more likely plural, a group of people) lord of the current one?

Above and beyond that, given how frequent radical jurisdiction switches (between states, I’m talking) can be, I believe it’s wise to get a systemic view of these family courts. As the AFCC is personally taking credit for their primary substance, one great way to do so is to take a good look at two things.

~ ~ How AFCC characterizes itself in its own publications, the public face.

~ ~ The “back office” viewpoint– which is the incorporation records (including withdrawals, suspensions, name changes, state changes, etc., the tax returns, and when-and-where public officials are (as from the beginning) running private associations out of the local courthouse.

~ ~ [added 12/2013. I forgot to mention, who’s paying the piper, apart from the obvious: Us, the public, through salaries and other means. See corporation newsletters and the mother ship’s site, for some clues; not all of them. ]

When ensconced in a position of power and control, which is where the organization’s leadership gravitates strategically to, and FYI it’s not just the courthouse (it’s also the law school and other places close to HHS funding) — and, when there, what they do. I mean, this is not rocket science, it just takes a little sustained attention to pick up on the basic patterns — including language patterns.

Power is multiplied when it’s unified, and when it’s system-wide. So, what’s the system?

Please notice below at which “URL” the May, 2013 “50th Anniversary Conference” has been advertised: It’s at a website that ends “*.gov,” at the “national responsible fatherhood clearinghouse.” It is funded through the repeated extensions of what was originally “TANF” (1996) welfare, but is variously the Deficit Reduction Act (2005), or the Claims Resolution Act (2010), and this is through the OFA (Office of Family Assistance).

Active link. Notice the domain name ends *.gov:
http://www.fatherhood.gov/about-us/events/afcc-50th-anniversary-conference

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ 50th Anniversary Conference, “Riding the Wave of the Future: Global Voices, Expanding Choices” will be held in Los Angeles, CA. Since 1963, AFCC members have spearheaded major reforms in the family law community, including no-fault divorce, joint custody, mediation, collaborative law, unified family courts, parenting coordination, differentiated case management, parent education and myriad hybrid dispute resolution processes. Even with these advances, professionals face growing changes and challenges. What does the future hold? How will the AFCC community influence the constantly
evolving family law system? Join us in Los Angeles, the birthplace of AFCC, as we begin to chart the course for the next 50 years.

Moreover, among its own, AFCC also celebrated and narrated its accomplishments 50th anniversary (1963-2013) and was planning the next 50 years. This was designed for professional consumption, not really the public. It was published in California Conciliation Quarterly and on-line access to the same, starting January 2013. In other words, building momentum for the cause. “Modestly” (and inaccurately) described as:

REFLECTIONS ON LEADERSHIP: FIFTY YEARS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY AND CONCILIATION COURTS

.
(This title is also a link to the publication, see its first page by Peter Salem).

Here, they take credit for developing fields of practice. In that part, it’s honest. I’ve been talking about this as well (i.e., parenting coordination) and highlighting it’s time to stop letting this group create professional niches for themselves at our (the public’s) expense and on the taxpayer dollar. Also, the organization networks with other nonprofit organizations (big ones — ABA, APA — and other well-connected nationwide ones (National Center on State Courts, etc.) which underneath themselves also have other nonprofits of public officials. While obviously there needs to be planning and coordination when MAJOR technological innovations (such as the development of the internet!) are in place, it still remains a nationwide nonprofit suggested in 1978 by a US Supreme Court Judge. As of 1983 AFCC newsletter, marketing all kinds of trainings, the statement was made that AFCC (whoever that was in that year) had decided to have this NCSC be their “secretariat.” Typewritten blurb mentions:

AFCC Publications: All publications are payable in US Currency payable to AFCC c/o National Center for the State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185– unless another address & payee is shown

(???)

Truly that is an informative publication; for example how individuals from Los Angeles and Connecticut helped get a NJ Governor to sign legislation to form a unified family court for juvenile and other matters. The conference schedule (for 1984) is also very informative — but only if one notices names, plades, and subject matter. For example, the heading of the newspaper has a different version of the group’s name than the logo on the banner. (Look carefully, you’ll see it’s a single-word difference). For example that at this point in time, what they’re primarily pushing is mediation as a profession (one thing at a time!); however the “unified family court” theme is lurking in the background, c/o Toronto’s “Unified Family Court.”

In case you’re thinking this is starting to resemble an Amway MLM marketing scheme, only with civil servants, I’d have to say, you’re probably right. (cf. the DeVos family). From a “Boycott Amway (for other reasons)” site:

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“On the Road to Emmaeus,” When Life Demands a Major Shift in Understanding

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[[Speaking of “Easter” and all that…]]

Phew, what a hard post to complete! I am still not at all happy with it, but posting the information for future reference, while figuring out better ways to communicate it. We are in the realm of public direct payments to evangelical (faith-based) organizations — from HHS — for the primary purpose of evangelizing. It just so happens that these days many faith-based (Christian) organizations are evangelizing throught adoption, as they’ve been trained to. They have been social service organizations for many years as all, but the more I look at the tax exemption angle — and what churches are, meanwhile, doing to men, women and children in the name of God — I’m starting to understand this as every bit as much “PR” to make up for the damages as I also understand that the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Fords, MacArthurs, (Rhodes), Guggenheim, (Annie E. Casey) and etc. tremendous philanthropic organizations — donating millions (if not billions) to build libraries, concert halls, and other monumental institutions, are doing it (a) with taxes they didn’t pay and (b) with the profits from cartels, monopolies, and in general treating their menials like dirt, if not quite slave labor, and (c) for PR.

What do they have that wasn’t donated to them, or that the followers weren’t talked, or bullied (forced) into handing over? I mean, how many of us really have a say (agreed) to the special tax status churches enjoy and with which to expand infinitely (see internet) without having to file tax returns like regular nonprofits. And then how many nonprofits are simply situated right in church buildings? They cannot really stand independently of government while taking privileges from the same (collectively) to even exist. Meanwhile, government these days is using church-based networks for its own purpose and in my opinion, both have specialized in the hiding assets and money-laundering aspects (while covering up other kinds of abuse) from their followers.

This may not be universally true, but it is institutionally (and in general) true.

~ ~ ~ I was genuinely surprised to realize how blatantly this is happening as we speak.

I would love some morally justifiable excuse NOT to deliver this message, or to sugar-coat it, but see none… I would cut out entire sections, and more would grow in their place, as I continued simply telling what I see — and from government sources (databases, tax returns, corporate registrations, charitable registrations, and public websites advertising the same groups). Finally, it is just getting posted. The substance of it shows up in tables — if you do nothing else, scroll down to them and bypass narrative; AFTER running a search!

So, this post got its start an “Adoption Opportunities” grant series I found (foster care and adoption has been on my mind a while — see page in Children’s Law Centers (NCLN) which thrive off this — and this industry has affected family courts also, by way of promoting the use of GALs for custody cases with even a smidgen of conflict (or domestic violence). To better understand it, please read the comments thread at the bottom of the March 30, 2013 post.
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National Top Domestic Violence/Child Custody Experts continue trying to Dumb Down Moms

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This has been a long time coming.

I barely tapped the tip of the iceberg in January 2011 in asking “What Rhetoric Are You: Mother, Father, or Mediator?” after a recent Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference in which to my awareness, no one explained how the Health and Human Services (HHS) has been diverting welfare funds to marriage promotion, that things called “fatherhood practitioners” exist, or that Access/Visitation funding exists.

This post also barely taps the tip of the iceberg in how much lies BELOW THE SURFACE in the Coalition of Conferencing Nonprofit Professional (Leadership) among what I am summarizing as the “Crisis in the Courts” Crowd. Or, I may sarcastically refer to as the “Our Broken Family Courts Initiative.” Instead, this initiative is (my opinion, here) USING the emotional distress of mothers (which is genuine) and people who have been indeed assaulted and battered — by a partner, and/or thereafter the courts in association with the same battering partner, and/or ditched by their religious groups (where applicable) — to follow a certain blueprint which highlights the leadership organizations – not, impartially — the actual cause, effect, and potential solutions to the issues they raise.

Women — mothers — are highly motivated, intelligent, and have tremendous energy, commitment, and leadership potential. The movement encouraging them to wear loss and victimhood like a badge and tell their stories — has diverted a tremendous energy from the real story behind this — which is Who Altered the Courts, How, and Why? Instead, they are to rally, report, trust, and follow according to the blueprint laid down for them by simply another set of experts. Proper skepticism and critical thinking — outside the platform being fed — is always in order in situations of this magnitude.


[[Comments welcome; the matter I’m raising here IS a matter for debate! Make up a name if you want… but let’s talk about this! See form…]]]
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“Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut,” the Underground Economy in an AFCC Courthouse?

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[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!

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How a 1952 Divorce Opinion was Leveraged into Pushing the Conciliation Court Model and No-Fault Divorce

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Previously, there were seven causes for divorce; a plaintiff requested and was, or was not, granted it if any one of those causes was proved. 1. Adultery; 2. Extreme Cruelty; 3. Conviction of felony; 4. Willful desertion; 5. Willful neglect; 6. Habitual intemperance, and 7. Incurable insanity. When divorce was granted, one party was innocent and the other at fault. Only a single instance (with witness) of causes 1,2 and 3 was needed, a single year for causes 4, 5, and 6, but for the 7th, three years of the situation. Apparently the 7th cause was added because you can’t really fault an insane person..

We have been led to believe there is something noble and feminist about No-Fault Divorce, and indeed some highly placed feminist law professors are involved in its passage?

But I believe that it was more likely damage control, a strategic response to trial-court-confirmed evidence of severe physical brutality and extreme cruelty acknowledged in the 1952 Opinion, above. It appears to me a “bad” trial court and appellate decision, allowing counter-filing and denying both husband and wife the divorce, was a pivotal moment used to spearhead system change, a la “Hegelian Dialectic.” (Unfreeze/Change/Refreeze. Provoke Conflict to drive a situation in a desired direction, etc.). However, the powers in motion at the time were apparently waiting for just such an opportunity, and jumped on it, particularly a certain progressive judge, who (as it turns out) had influence on certain leading women law professors, at a time when even being a female law professor was rare.

Did this change to no-fault solve the problem and improve the status of divorce and custody issues?

Now, even despite potentially the presence of one, several, or even possibly all seven causes, even longstanding over years pre and/or post-separation, the courts can continue to force-order indoctrination services allegedly to reconcile or coach one (or both) parents into better co-parenting, or for example, may try to turn a convicted felon into a wonderful father through training and mentoring.

However, for the “cause” of parental alienation, now that fault and identified causes associated in the common ethics as “bad” (extreme cruelty, infidelity, abandonment, criminal convictions, etc.) are removed, in the discretion of any court judge, the punishment of completely breaking the relationship with the “alienating” parent is possible.

When fault for extremely cruel, even felonious behavior was removed as a legal grounds for divorce, it also seems to have evaporated from the cause for removal of children from the same extremely cruel, even felonious behavior. In realty, the new “fault” seems to be resisting the forced therapy, in practice, resisting the equivalent of extortion, or psychological reprogramming, and so we can have long, coercive incarcerations as “cure.” Antitrust attorney Richard Fine got 18 months coercive solitary confinement in Los Angeles (2009ff). A Georgia mother also got a total of around 18 months also and has scanned her paperwork to show the how truly collaborative this therapy (which involved funneling profits of her business into the Registry of the Court under two similar, but not identical case docket#s, was).

When law and courts are in coordinated movement towards the therapeutic model we have today, we can, and should, observe, and note that movement. The attorneys of the day most certainly did, in their law journals. Were we all reading law journals? No! Should lawyers and judges — versus people who have elected representatives — be writing the laws? Probably not! how can we stop it? For one, watch their private associations in motion, and speak up next time! Part of this next time is March 2013 (welfare reauthorization). Obviously (or it should be by now if you read this blog), the Social Security Act contributes to the cause by funding the exact types of services that the transformation away from fault-divorce to no-fault divorce anticipated, wanted, and got.

I used to think this situation began around the late 1980s and kicked into high gear with welfare reform 1996. I now am seeing it’s been a VERY long time coming, such as almost immediately after World War II (around the time the last state ratified the right of women to vote).

Recent finds, probably lawyers know about these, but I’ll bet most parents aren’t thinking about the significance.


In my continuing quest for where conciliation courts [not just the “Conference of Conciliation Courts” but the courts themselves set up by various judges] got started, and conciliation law passed, I found, and began reading:
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FUND-a-Mentals of Conciliation Court: Who Holds the Keys to the Vault / See the Matrix

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Continued from “There is in the State Treasury a Family Law Trust Fund. (Cal. Family Conciliation Code Section 1852)

In a dutiful effort to shorten my posts, I split this one in half. Because, it’s time to review How Federal Law Grants matches previously-pushed-through Conciliation Law. Federal Money, County-State money (through fees) + Rights to Judge the Case (State Conciliation Codes enable by-county, in-the-opinion-of-the-presiding-judge set up of these specialized courts).

We have already established that “There is in the State Treasury a Family Law Trust Fund,” and that under Public Health and other “fees-for-service” (marriage certficates, dissolution certificates, etc.) certain of those fees get deposited into this fund. Brilliant advance planning to set this up.

As in California, I imagine this is true for most 50 states. I also now know where to look this specific fund in California (hence also in other states) up, and how much was in it for a specific year. The same source also details what types of funds (including plenty relating to the courts, and child support etc.) are held in bank accounts OUTSIDE the State Treasury.

But this post is about how CONCILIATION LAW was crafted to grab jurisdiction of cases to order the exact things which Access and Visitation Funding Federal Grants (under the Social Security Act, PRWORA) as of 1996 set in place funding for, and the exact situation that groups like the Children’s Rights Council, the (eventual) National Fatherhood Initiative, and others were already wanting — mandatory mediation, joint custody, order services — we’ll standardize and regulate the services, too…

“See the Matrix.”

Many distraught parents love to, with their leadership as they have been taught, complain (endlessly) about the family courts promoting “parental alienation” and recommend, hire some professionals to train the bad judges out of believing in parental alienation (Barry Goldstein, BMCC, The Leadership Council, CPPA, MOLC, and others).

Simultaneously, “to the contrary” are those who believe parental alienation is so bad it should be punished by completely removing the child/ren from the offending (alienating) parent. How that is not itself alienation beats me — but either way, I can prove (and have on this blog, will again on this post) that a primary organization pushing parental alienation theory through the courts is indeed AFCC (see the early newsletters in my Vital Links at bottom of page), and that this was planned as far back as the 1980s, if not further. In the next post, we can connect the dots easily through a federal site.

ALWAYS Note the Nonprofits!!

Remember: people belong to more than one nonprofit at a time. Using Nonprofits is a key technique.

When you have one nonprofit that contains people running courts (administrative), judges over the courts, including specialized conciliation courts, attorneys, and psychologists — and that one ALSO has nonprofits of judges, nonprofits of psychologists, and the all-pervasive nonprofits of attorneys (State, county, local bar associations), and even (see 1983/84 newsletters) a nonprofit called “The National Center for State Courts” which itself manages several subsidiary nonprofits — and NCSC became “Secretariat” (they decided to help support the systems and administration) of the AFCC — I think we have a rather powerful network of organizations, and we have a collaborative agenda. For the most part, John Q and Jane Doe are not in on the collaboration; they will be either subject to it, or funding it through income taxes, etc. and through filing for certificates of marriage, divorce, court fees etc.

Behind the nonprofits — and this needs to be stated LOUD and CLEAR, are The Rockefeller, the Carnegie, the Rhodes, or the Ford Foundation (although some of their personnel are funded by those, and other foundations) but they still should be scrutinized as they are getting laws passed that affect (hurt) all of us. In order of influence, the Foundations drive, the matrix of nonprofits enable (both need each other) and help muddy the picture for the public such that we think we still have moderately representative government, or the potential for it without confronting the private funding.

Why Can’t Some “See the Matrix”?

For one, it requires conceptual thinking, a REAL challenge when your kids are about to be stolen, or just have been (or molested, or are being), or your life is at risk. For another, certain groups of professionals whose kids and lives are NOT at risk, or at such great and immediate risk, and who are not at risk of being homeless from month to month if something goes south on a court case — make sure to self-censor key elements of the picture that might make US less dependent on THEM for insight, for finances, and for a voice (i.e., a press presence).
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A Stunning Validation by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson: The Assault on Truth, The Origins of Psychoanalysis

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(Originally published 2/5/2013) A key issue in the courts includes sexual assault and violence towards women and children. This has also been a key issue with psychoanalysis. 

Below the introduction, most of the post is about the Stunning Validation, but I keep it current and relevant –because it is! — to the subject matter of this blog.  

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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

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