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

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Posts Tagged ‘AFCC proclivities

‘From The Beginning, March 2009, FCM Has Been More About This Organization Than Me’ (FrontPage Sept. 2019 Subsection #1, Published/Expanded Sept. 9).

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This Post Is: ‘From The Beginning, March 2009, FCM Has Been More About This Organization Than Me’ (FrontPage Sept. 2019 Subsection #1, Published/Expanded Sept. 9). (Short-link ends “-aUu,” as off-ramped, only about 1,500 words, with a mini-preview, about 2,500 words only and at the end of the day [9/9/2019] just over 6,000).

(“FCM” meaning, this blog. FrontPage on this blog meaning “FamilyCourtMatters.org).

ANY post may be further edited (as in, condensed, or expanded, or both) after publishing. Blogger’s privilege!  

(This one was edited so much before, it’s unlike to have major changes soon after, though).


The writing and images posted below (where clearly marked) were previously published on the long front page to the blog and probably written in December 2018.  Originally, just meant to show a few images from my existing media library for a few key points of reference.

It’s not intended to be a full drill-down with a developed argument and many kinds of connecting points of reference to support it, but just a call-out —  an alert, not an expose.

However it still exposes many things.  The images are either annotated or captioned or both, providing along with the few quotes plenty of details.  The organization referenced in post title here to me symbolizes a key part of the larger system, even though it also is literally (not just symbolically) a major part of my blogging and I believe source of the ongoing problems “in” the family courts in more than one country.

However, those family courts exists within systems, not vacuums.  Bottom line, they employe judges, the judges are paid by governments:  a major part of those systems IS government itself (yours, mine, others’…).  To understand government includes understanding its financing and who it hires (contracts with and grants to, employs etc.) to do its various businesses.  That’d be a great place to start.  BUT if one wants to focus, first, solely on the family courts, each one, and collectively (by jurisdiction) they still exist within an immediate level of government, and surrounding components, and encompassing (higher levels of government).

Those systems must be seen and discussed in public.  Complaints about system outputs should be tied to documentation of system blueprints (original design intended). (See my next, “impassioned” inset):

Complaints about system outputs should be tied to and premised (BUILT logically) upon

documentation of system blueprints (original design purposes).”

(//LGH 9/9/2019, NOT my first time saying this)

Some premises, if true, would preclude ANY consideration of certain corrections. These ones should be disproved (if UNtrue) first, before designing a solution to the problems occurring “in” the courts and claiming a cause-effect relationship between those courts and the problems.

If they were designed, for example, to resolve conflict through ongoing compromise of basic boundaries as exemplified in the criminal codes because ongoing conflict is psychologically worse for all (especially kids, RIGHT?) than criminal behaviorthen criticism that they are failing to protect from criminal behavior is ridiculous.

This seems to be one premise behind “no-fault divorce” [First in the USA:  California, 1970]. No one is “at fault” — grounds for divorce can now be just “irreconcilable differences.”  The other spouse person wasn’t the problem, only the relationship: forget the past, move forward, crimes or no crimes.  Funny how this mentality should have, it now seems, facilitated even more ways to punish and attempt to shame (or just plain old extort) people divorcing as though divorce, (or failure to marry) WERE a crime and inspired (?) or enabled the establishment of “conciliation” courts.  Whether or not they’ve engaged in anything criminal towards the other person, society, or their own children (or anyone else’s) … 

If on the other hand family courts originally were designed to divert too many argumentative, annoying, obstreperous or otherwise “recalcitrant” (searchable on this blog) parents (and their kids) into behavioral modification and education/therapy-based or attitude-adjustment court-connected (local community or on-line) psycho-educational classes and treatments — to the benefit and profiting those so involved, and for the overall social good of society — then saying they’ve failed or are broken is likewise ridiculous.

OR, if they were designed not with a view to (despite all the talk) what’s best for the children, but what’s best for those in quasi-judicial, immunity-prone fields involving the social-science and psycho-based (particularly psychologists) fields (and those who compile and annotate data on effects — as in, consultants and those with database and data analysis services), as a career path looking good because courts can order it, governments MIGHT help support it, and parents will HAVE to pay it if they want to see their kids again (or, get out of jail sooner) — then I’d have to say the family court systems seem to be a resounding success.  Just not for everyone run through them.

There are no doubt several other “if they were designed for, …. then ….” possibilities.  I think they should be listed, together, and the most illogical ones rejected, and reasons why, noted.  

However what to me is equally ridiculous is failure to look into WHEN they were designed, BY WHOM they were designed, READ what those who designed said at the time, and HOW they persuaded (on what basis of public benefit) those in power to make it happen. (Administrative ruling of a chief judge (Maryland, 1990s) it took years to effect; in another (by popular vote to re-organize the courts, Kentucky, 1990s), and I recently ran across a (1998) feasibility study for Ohio mentioning who commissioned it, who provided the study, and whose ideas they were referencing. I will be posting on this, I HOPE, soon.  (Partially written draft as I write).

Failing to even reference or admit this when complaining about the family court output and demanding change to alter that output — whether the complained about output (‘outcome’) is framed as” xx children murdered, or xx children ordered into “unsupervised” custody or visitation with batterers, or convicted child-molesters/rapists, etc. — AND whether complaint is publicized (typically, on-line) by way of:

one’s nonprofit organization’s website,

or mainstream media (independent journalists),

or independent journalists to whom nonprofits are pitching a story line working mainstream, free-lance, or freelance for other nonprofit investigative media (<~~you know who you are…), all of who stand to personally gain from the branding, name recognition, and further consultancies, reputation, and access to power.

or online petitions (Change.org, etc.).  Or even lobbying legislators — successfully — to get resolutions passed which fail the above “common sense — not ridiculous” test above.


The original intent of my Dec. 2018 section from the Front Page being just a call-out makes this post a shorter and easier read, unless your mind works like mine, looking constantly for supporting arguments and proof when some assertion or assumption seems questionable but is unsupported.

Being so short, it doesn’t really need much of an introduction or guide to its layout (!), but as I had to make some introduction, I chose to re-emphasize those points and add a very short (informal, not in-depth) update referring to a different, participant in the larger system, illustrating the “Across-the-Pond”flavor of the family courts.*

Which family courts (or at least their preceding and their judges’ decisions) have upset so much of America, and which from time to time, many say and I have to agree, end up getting people killed in the context of divorce and/or in the context of separating from abuses in order to NOT, with their children get killed, or allow the children to be abused. Sometimes we know there’s collateral damage (bystanders, extended family, responding officers, too).  Hard to disagree that there are such problems, while assigning blame for them is still under debate**

*While doing this (summary/intro/lead-in) I as always had to deal with my tendency towards sarcasm and mouthing off.  Sometimes sarcasm makes the point quicker, whether or not it proves a point…

** Family courts + professionalizing all the ancillary services they exist to order (whether by a mass-mandate or as individually, but often, court-ordered — relationship education for all… education for parents that divorce impacts kids … behavioral modification for dangerous or alleged dangerous parents…) + then professionalizing, certifying or licensing anyone hoping to become a “new-kid-on-the-block” provider apparently is expected or desirable to lessen the governmental burden of too many people seeking justice (or protection from dangerous people) in the criminal courts, so the sacrifice of life must be worth it…

(“Why can’t you all just get along??“)(with our dangerous exes, the other parents to our children). 

The next footnote has a long title, but  not footnoting it would make the post top-heavy. (it also pushes the total word-count just over 5,000 words).

See FOOTNOTE “FAMILY COURTS OFF-RAMPED FROM THE CRIMINAL TO RELIEVE DEMAND ON RESOURCES.  IT’S NOT WORKING.  SO NOW WE SHOULD ON-RAMP CRIMINAL STANDARDS INTO THE VEHICLE/VENUE/”NEW VESSELS” INTENDED TO EXCLUDE THAT “OLD” (I.e., not “behavioral science”) LANGUAGE IN  THE FIRST PLACE?


Originally, the December 2018 section had only two basic topics. On it you’ll see large annotated images, some related quotes and these two headings:

  • From the Beginning, More about This Organization Than Me (i.e., “thanks for all the stories, but Let’s talk about these systems!)** “Who am I and Why Does This Blog Look and Talk So Different Than Others on “Family Court” matters?), and
  • Who am I and Why Does This Blog Look and Talk So Different Than Others on “Family Court” matters?

** See  Footnote “Why Talk Systems more than Our Experiential Stories“?


Having now moved it here, September, 2019, there are more additions than changes:

~~>I added this summary above (and you’re still reading it), part of which I footnoted below, necessary because of my sarcastic commentary and opportunistic tendency to emphasize main points..(so, I ran my mouth and wouldn’t just delete the content..). This summary came after

~~>I added a Mini-Preview to include two short articles about a British parallel organization (so to speak) which has now become “BFF“[Best Friends oFFicially] with “this organization,” both of them in 2018/2019 are more open about it than ever, although some of us detected this basic cross-Atlantic dyad of public policy romance, perhaps based in beliefs about how family court systems — and families — should be run (and, by whom)…

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“By Now We Should Know!” (Impromptu Re-cap of Key Players addressing [how to handle] Domestic Violence especially as it impacts Family Courts) (Apr 28 ~> June 22, 2019).

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“By Now We Should Know!” (Impromptu Re-cap of Key Players addressing [how to handle] Domestic Violence especially as it impacts Family Courts) (Apr 28 ~> June 22, 2019).  (short-link ending “-9NU,” post drafted as insert to “More Perspectives” in late April, under 4,000 words, for starters…). (now exactly 6,000 words; latest revisions for clarity and extra links, 6/23/2019).


re: ‘TWO HELPFUL LINKS’ — Image from TopRightSidebar, ‘GO TO POSTS’ widget, shows TOC 2019 & 2018 + ‘Key Posts 2012-2017’ (LGH, @ Sept. 1, 2019)

TWO HELPFUL LINKS added Sept. 1, 2019 (for recent subject matter overview):

 Table of Contents 2019, Family Court Matters’ Posts + Pages: January 1 – August 31 (so far). (Shortlink ends “-ayV.”  About 6,300 words,posted August 5, updated Aug. 31) (You can also link to this TOC post any time from the top right sidebar, under”GO TO: All Posts, incl. Sticky, Tables of Contents..” widget, which holds several boxes for navigating to specific important places (posts or pages, incl. the home page), and, 

(Table of Contents 2018, Posts and Pages.. (publ. 24Mar2019, short-link ends ‘9y7’)


This post (that you’re reading now) prepares people for another post, already written, which asks a hard, “what-if” rhetorical question.  I hope readers on considering that (coming post’s) rhetorical question have the integrity to consider where they may have been radically mis-led about the real purposes of family court reform/fix/correct movements.  Even though it may be embarrassing, confronting, or disturbing.

(WAS FINALLY PUBLISHED LAST WEEK OF AUGUST, 2019).


IF I COULD FIGURE THIS OUT 2006-2010, especially (and subsequently)…

If I could figure this out with what I was going through 2006 through 2010 especially (and subsequently) under the related conditions post-DV, post-overnight-custody-switch and all kinds of family betrayal, amid professional livelihood destruction, repeated stalking over the years, and at this point it seems about every other year, another lawsuit of some sort — when I don’t have the ongoing income to predict a future at times more than a half year, or a quarter-year in advance — then I know other, more consistently employed and less family-court-plagued individuals, including professionals such as lawyers, psychologists, law professors, psychology professors, state court administrators, and politicians could have chosen, IF not in on it, to figure it out and, for mutual public benefit and “out of the goodness in their hearts” share it.

And share it not just among the mutual professional circles within court-connected and cause-related [abuse prevention, etc.] fields, but also with the people they are charged to help, while dealing with the issues named and as reflected in the respective organization’s business names (i.e., “Family” or “Battered Women” or “Violence Prevention” etc.)…

What’s more, outside the professionals, there are plenty of women (and men) who have been in my situation who could’ve figured out and reported (blogged! spoken consistently) about the same things I did as just a human being with (I admit) at most times — some times a lot harder to access than others — access to the internet and (eventually) a laptop so that access wasn’t limited to library hours and time limits (where I lived, generally maximum 1 to 2 hours at a stretch)… And common sense enough to pay attention! 

“BY NOW, WE SHOULD KNOW!”

In fact (looking for a certain reference to include just before publishing this post), about a year ago, I see I went through it again last spring (May, 2018), even though at that time I was being gradually pushed out of temporary housing, and within just two or three months of having to flee the state:

Post title: How Relevant is AFCC — and Who, UNLIKE many ‘Crisis in (or ‘Enhance/Reform’) the Courts’ groups and associated professionals who won’t, in public or on-line — Acknowledges Its Existence and Significance? (started May 7, 2018) (Case-sensitive shortlink ending “-91l”; that’s two numbers, as in the year “1991” and a lower-case “L”) (Posting “as-is” about 5,680 words on Mothers’ Day (USA) May 13.  Subject to later updates for clarity and/or towards bottom of the post).

(I was also active on Twitter today with more links, documentation and as ever, reminder of terms in use in current fatherhood policy, particularly as involves Temple University-housed, Center for Policy Research-organized “FRPN.org” (also previously posted herein).  http://bitl.ly/2KVQHOi) {{<~~may be multi-Tweet/ a thread; see the whole thread if so and I tend to have attachments (media) to Tweets to explain them}}

This post will illustrate both those who won’t (while talking on the same topics) and those who, obviously do acknowledge AFCC when presenting at its conferences or listed among its ongoing board of directors or other activist members (i.e., on individual C.V.s)

That post has has some typos I see but its contents are still relevant.  Some emphases added.

I even found a post written almost exactly EIGHT years ago, featuring the general operations and co-operations among key organizations.  It doesn’t drill-down tax returns so much, but it does show tendencies and business relationships among them (reference, background, cream-colored, inside green borders added one day post-publication here);


Post Title with shortlink and enclosed comments added June, 2019. Post written eight years earlier.(This post came up in a search and I needed to add a “Read-More” link anyway).

OVW + BWJP-FVPF + PRAXIS + NCADV(s) + AFCC = same old, same old (with new names on the grant systems) Here’s why: [Publ. July 6, 2011]

[WordPress-generated, case-sensitive short-link here ends in just two characters, probably because it’s so early in this blog:  “-K7”].  As first published, about 10,800 words, incl. any & all quotes, image captions, tables, etc. //LGH June 23, 2019]

On review of this post, I see that perhaps the final ⅓ is quoting (at length) three sources on Irish Slavery, including “Tangled Roots’ “Barbadosed: Africans and Irish in Barbados” (2008, I think) from GLC.Yale.Edu, a center originally inspired when businessmen/history buffs G&L heard lectures by a Yale history professor David Brion Davis, who I now see died this past April after a long, productive life:”Prizewinning Historian of Slavery Dies at 92” NYT April, 2019.

Professor Davis wrote or edited 16 books, but paramount were the three that examined the moral challenges and contradictions of slavery and their centrality in American and Atlantic history. ~~|~~The first, “The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture” (1966), won a Pulitzer Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. The second, “The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823” (1975), won the National Book Award as well as the Bancroft Prize, one of the most prestigious in the study of American history. ~~|~~The last book of the trilogy, “The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation,” was published in 2014 as Professor Davis approached 90. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award…~~|~~President Barack Obama presented Professor Davis with a National Humanities Medal in 2014 for “reshaping our understanding of history,” as the citation said. ~~|~~The fundamental problem of slavery, Professor Davis wrote, “lay not in its cruelty or exploitation, but in the underlying conception of man as a conveyable possession with no more autonomy of will and consciousness than a domestic animal.”                                                          [ “~~|~~” = para. break omitted]

I was (and still am) pretty irritated at the exclusionary practices of the above-named groups in deciding how to solve “family” problems involving abuse; see concluding paragraph.  And there are many parallels between abuse and slavery.


Most of the July, 2011, post deals with and quotes the entities its title names (starting with the OVW as part of the US DOJ, the associated “entity” here is the U.S. federal government (with DOJ under its Executive, not Legal or Judicial Branch, despite the word “Justice” in the Department name); all other “entities” referenced are either nonprofits, or projects of them)..

I don’t know how many “re-caps” and reminders it’s going to take to sink in….or what it’ll take, but I write (in part) because I know for some, it’s not reminder — it’s news.  On hearing this news, some decisions might need to be made (unless you’re OK continuing to “float” and becoming a “floater” when it comes to effective strategy, or even figuring out what’s going on…. “just go with the closest flow that sounds friendly…  or go against the closest hostile currents around, and hope that’s got some real impact, makes a splash, makes a difference (etc.)….).


(Impromptu re-cap, with attention to the key players addressing “DV” aspect hitting family courts.)

By now people should also be aware of to what extent and HOW the “sleeper organization” Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (“AFCC”), working often in tandem with the better-known “National Council of Juvenile and Family Courts (“NCJFCJ”)## all but runs the family court system as we know it today …  

(I’m referring to in the USA, while aware of a longstanding intention to align practices across country lines, not to mention through private association influence as has already been taking place, across state lines.)

This Impromptu Recap isn’t going to post tax returns or extensive documentation, which are spread throughout the blog and searchable on it (or search even post titles throughout the blog). For the most part here, although there are some links and images, I’m going to just say it.
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My response to Wayne County, MI issues: Behind many issues is often an AFCC judge…. (and what “AFCC” entails)

with 4 comments

 

Review Time – who/what is the “AFCC”?:

“AFCC JUDGE” — Briefly, by this, it means all that AFCC believes, entails and habitually DOES.

  • What is AFCC?

AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.

This is not necessarily what the US Court systems are in place for, nor civil codes of procedure, nor the bill of rights, nor the criminal law.  AFCC views “conflict” as bad — seemingly worse than criminal behaviors by individuals in families towards others in the families.   I can’t think of any field of human endeavor or growth that doesn’t have some built-in conflict, which can be resolved either by reference to an agreed-upon-standard, or by separation.  However, in AFCC language, whoever has conflict (including with these dedicated professionals) is the bad guy, and court-ordered punishment can be meted out.

In this system, parents are required / forced to work it out being treated and viewed as a “family” whether or not they are one any more.  Even if one has threatened to kill the other, to kidnap the kids, has caused serious injury to the other partner and/or their children, or has interfered with court-ordered visitation, the problem is viewed of conflict PER SE as being wrong, rather than there being an identifiable position of truth (and from it, some justice) on various matters.

Naturally it also sees its membership as an association of dedicated professionals who are going to resolve family problems.

  • Who are AFCC members? – WHICH dedicated professionals, in what fields?

AFCC Members are:

Judges Lawyers
Mediators Psychologists
Researchers Academics
Counselors Court Commissioners
Custody Evaluators Parenting Coordinators
Court Administrators Social Workers
Parent Educators Financial Planners

It seems to me this list of professions keeps expanding, which is another thing AFCC as an association does.  We note that while there are some people as direct public employees/ servants who work in the justice system (judges, mediators, court administrators, court commissioners, and some categories of attorneys — i.e., child support attorneys, county-paid GALs, etc.) — some are not.  The category “researchers” & “Academics” is definitely broad.  Although many of these people certainly have been through divorce or custody issues, or are themselves parents please notice that “parents” is not a category.

In this worldview, then, the “PARENT” (regardless of what profession(s) any parent is in, including sometimes even some of the above categories) is the plebian, the novice, the uninstructed, the person that the professionals must handle.  One thing many parents are definitely “uninstructed” in is that this organization exists and runs conferences to strategize how to handle THEM and their flawed selves.

AFCC personnel, when judges, are often highly placed (including state supreme courts) and activist.  A look at the membership in this 2007 conference brochure shows an opening PLENARY session hearing;

The Presumption for Equal Shared Parenting: Pros and Cons There seems to be increasing support throughout the United States for a rebuttable presumption for equal shared parenting. Proponents say that such a presumption brings the best interest standard into comportment with parents’ protected and privileged status under the Constitution and will apply only to those situa- tions in which 1) parents cannot reach agreement; 2) both parents can present realistic parenting plans for the responsibility they seek; and 3) neither parent can present convincing evidence that the other parent is unfit. They say that this presumption will change litigants’ and practitioners’ expectation that gains are produced by proceeding to adversarial judicial hearings, will decrease post divorce conflict, and will uphold each parent’s fundamental liberty interest in the care and custody of his/her children. Opponents, while often sympathetic to shared parenting, argue that the presumption would seriously impede the Court’s ability to tailor custody determinations to the needs of each particular child.** Presenters: Michael McCormick; Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D.; Honorable Robert Schnider

 

[The 2003 link points to an article from a Journal of CFCC (Center for Families & Children in the Courts, put out by Ca. Judicial Council:    

Effective Intervention With High-Conflict Families / How Judges Can Promote and Recognize Competent Treatment in Family Court “The emotional and psychological risks to children resulting from conflicted custody disputes and the varied needs of separated families have led to the increased involvement of mental health professionals in child custody cases. …But though treatment services can be expensive, high-quality treatment may be a more cost-effective intervention than continued litigation. …   Courts can also maximize resources by appointing a forensically sophisticated therapist to fill a child- centered role (e.g., to provide the child’s treatment or child-centered conjoint or family therapy) and by allowing the therapist to confer with other therapists about the case. “

Sorry, but actually AFCC was founded to bring on the mental health professionals.  It’s typical to talk in passive terms of needs that arose and demanded their services, however, this is a very aggressive organization that lobbies for constant expansion of the involvement of its professionals, as does this particular article.  Some of the topics of conflict include economic depletion by constant involvement of custody evaluators and therapists to start with …

The Hon. Robert Schnider apparently one of the originals in Los Angeles area, born into a family law practitioner family — or at least working in his father’s practice.  Purely for entertainment purposes, here’s a 2004 article in which this judge was going to possibly unseal (unsavory) parts of a divorce record affecting an Illinois Republican Senatorial race — Jack Ryan against . . ..  Barack Obama.   The author questions why any judge would be allowed to do this for high-celebrity cases, and notes that “To Unseal or Not to Unseal” (My terms) would either affect a political race, and might be called “child endangerment.”  Jack Ryan was being compared to Bill Clinton as to his sexual habits at the time….]

((**including totally eliminating contact with the mother, in “interventions” when she has alienated the children — which would mean sole legal & physical custody to the father, i.e., “Tailored custody determinations” The fact that no opponents UNsympathetic to shared parenting (presumptions) are mentioned tells us how unlikely that either feminists or people advocating for domestic violence victims’ viewpoints were considered).

Many of the conflicts within marriages and sometimes causes of separation actually can come from violence by one partner towards another; it can be a dealbreaker in any relationship (and can and does sometimes turn lethal).  AFCC positions itself at the crossroads and in this little paragraph above, has borrowed? the phrase “rebuttable presumption for equal shared parenting” from the rebuttable presumption AGAINST custody going to a batter” legislative language in many states.

 

“Rebuttable Presumption” talk:

For example, a quick search comes up with Delaware Code.  Even this Delaware Code, as strong as it is, has several loopholes to allow joint or sole custody of a child to go to a perpetrator of domestic violence — but even so, AFCC and others wish to change this to presumption for equal shared parenting (see above):

DEL CODE § 705A : Delaware Code – Section 705A: REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION AGAINST CUSTODY OR RESIDENCE OF MINOR CHILD TO PERPETRATOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Search DEL CODE § 705A : Delaware Code – Section 705A: REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION AGAINST CUSTODY OR RESIDENCE OF MINOR CHILD TO PERPETRATOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(a) Notwithstanding other provisions of this title, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that no perpetrator of domestic violence shall be awarded sole or joint custody of any child.

(b) Notwithstanding other provisions of this title, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that no child shall primarily reside with a perpetrator of domestic violence.

(c) The above presumptions shall be overcome if there have been no further acts of domestic violence and the perpetrator of domestic violence has: (1) successfully completed a program of evaluation and counselling designed specifically for perpetrators of family violence {{aka “Batterers Intervention Program” — a thing marketed by the Duluthmodel.org philosophy}} and conducted by a public or private agency or a certified mental health professional; and (2) successfully completed a program of alcohol or drug abuse counselling if the Court determines that such counselling is appropriate; and (3) demonstrated that giving custodial or residential responsibilities to the perpetrator of domestic violence is in the best interests of the child. The presumption may otherwise be overcome only if a judicial officer finds extraordinary circumstances that warrant the rejection of the presumption, such as evidence demonstrating that there exists no significant risk of future violence against any adult or minor child living in the home or any other family member, including any ex-spouse.

(i.e., RISK ASSESSMENT PROPHETIC UTTERANCES.  How can anyone demonstrate no significant risk fo future violence when people have walked out of batterers intervention programs, with flying colors, and gone on to murder the same person that got them in there?)

Along with “best interests” is of course if the other parent might “alienate” the child, allegedly.

An AFCC judge is going to oppose anything “high-conflict” and be favorably inclined towards shared parenting.  Note presenter Mike McCormick, whose bio is:

Michael McCormick. Mr. McCormick is Executive Director of the American Coalition of Fathers and Children and has written exten- sively and spoken throughout the United States on family law reform.

No presentations by NOW members or feminists in this association, that I’ve seen.  Mr. McCormick is MORE than active in fatherhood issues, and complained that even Obama’s and Evan Bayh (Indiana) fatherhood and healthy marriage promotion just didn’t go far enough.  It was too little carrot and too big a stick.  He hangs out with Glenn Sacks and friends.  I note that the acronym “ACFC” (below) is “AFCC” re-arranged.  Coincidence?

 I (Glenn Sacks) co-authored the column, which appears below, with Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.Obama’s Responsible Fatherhood Bill–Not Enough Carrot, Too Much Stick
By Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks
Wisconsin State JournalBuffalo News, 6/30/07

U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) recently introduced the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2007, which they say will address our “national epidemic of absentee fathers.” Obama and Bayh are correct that fatherless children are dramatically more likely to commit crimes, drop out of school, use drugs, or get pregnant than children who have fathers in their homes. The Responsible Fatherhood Act is explicitly a carrot and stick approach. The problem is that the carrot is too small and the stick is already too big.

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(Note he’s not complaining about fathers being treated like animals & mules, which is where the “carrot & stick” reference comes from.  He wants the bribe, the incentive, and less regulation.  Personally, being a mother, I’d be offended — and have been — when anyone came to me implying or saying that I needed federal intervention to attempt to maintain work to support my kids.  This article was written 5 months after his presentation at AFCC, same year, or published then.

So one factor to remember about AFCC — they have no problem with conference presentations run by activities fathers’ rights leaders.  They are definitely a father-friendly organization, at least certain kinds of fathers.   They are also typically influential within the courts they preside over, when judges:

Another factor is that they are quite interested if not obsessed with redefining (and narrowing the definition) of domestic violence; they are going to discredit domestic violence as having primarily male perpetrators upon females, even though homicide data consistently shows this is who kills the most.  This is consistent with Mr. McCormick (above)’s membership on a group called ‘RADAR’ who pushes this theory.  Read on, same conference:

PLENARY

Rethinking Domestic Violence

This presentation will review research studies on the relationship between domestic violence and custody assessments. The domestic violence paradigm presented in many studies consistently suggests one model of domestic violence, that of male perpetrator and female victim; the argument is then made that this male-abuser model will extend to child abuse.

In other words, let’s consider a different paradigm, the “theory” (“argument”) that male abusers often extend to child abuse is just theory ……just an argument…

The data on gender differences in both intimate personal violence and threats to children indicate, however, that the male-perpetrator model is only one of several models of domestic violence, and that risk to children occurs equally from mothers and fathers. The ethics of presenting a gender biased perspective for custody assessors are discussed.

Presenter: Donald G. Dutton, Ph.D.

I have posted on the Dueling Duttons (just for fun — there is a Donald Dutton, of this premise, and a Mary Ann Dutton also Ph.D., who deals more with the resultant trauma from abuse).

FINALLY as to “AFCC JUDGES” , AFCC is a very activist organization seeking to reform family law and lobbying for changes in laws, practices etc.  They also have foundation sponsorship for conferences on “Domestic Violence and the Courts” as below:

Task Forces and Initiatives

Child Custody Consultant Task Force

Child Custody Evaluation Standards Task Force

Family Law Education Reform Project

Parenting Coordination Standards Task Force

Domestic Violence and Family Courts Project

Child Welfare Collaborative Decision Making Network

Brief Focused Assessment Task Force

Court-Involved Therapist Task Force

And, of course, I believe I have made the case that many AFCC members are actively promoting their own products, curricula, and nonprofits are not at all above utilizing their positions as judges to direct traffic (through court-ORDERED participation into the programs, for example, see posts on Kids’ Turn. Questionable financial practice appears to be part of the territory..  See Johnnypumphandle on some of the Nonprofit Organizations:

Many non-governmental organizations exist to reap profit from the Family Law system. Most are identified as Non-Profit and are exempt from taxation. You may have contacted some of these organizations for help, only to discover that help is not available – particularly if you are seeking justice.

Many organizations have been established by professionals in the Family Law system for conspiracy and protection of these professionals. Thus we have many Bar Associations, whose members are lawyers and judges; Psychological Associations for classifying family members syndromes, so that none will be overlooked; and other associations established merely to act as a conduit for family member’s money collected in the process.

The Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association is a good example of one of the latter Non-Profit organizations whose stated purpose is “promotion of judicial profession pursuant to section 501(c)(6)”. (see form 3500 – Exemption application). The Association boasts a budget of over $100,000 – none of which will be received from members dues – and most of which will be funded by “Professional Education programs for the legal community“. Unlike most professional organizations, this organization was granted(?) the use of County premises, complete with facilities for it’s office space and management of it’s business within the County Court facilities at 111 North Hill Street.

He is talking about private and/or nonprofit associations with judges as members using public buildings and premises to run their own businesses.

It appears that this “Los Angeles Superior Court judges Association” is quite likely the predecessor of the AFCC. See this:

Update 4/11/99Published in Washington, D.C.. . . . Vol. 15, No. 16 — May 3, 1999 . . . .
http://www.insightmag.com

Insight Magazine

Is Justice for Sale in L.A.?

By Kelly Patricia O’Meara

An alleged slush fund for the L.A. Superior Court Judges Association {“LASCJA”} is at the heart of a scandal involving possible income-tax evasion and gifts that may affect judges’ rulings.

Dozens of checks, obtained by Insight, deposited in the LASCJA account were made out to several other institutions, including the Judges Miscellaneous Expense Fund, the Judges Trust Fund, the Family Court Services Special Fund and the Family Court Services.These organizations are not registered with the IRS or the California State Franchise Tax Board, and if the Bank of America has accounts for any of them, the checks were not deposited in those accounts.

So, what was up with that?
. . . . Not only were attorneys who argue cases before the family court making payments to the judges’ fund, but so were the court monitors — appointed by the judges and paid a professional fee of as much as $240 a day as observers during child visitations.
 Bringing in the topic of supervised visitation, and what’s up with tracking usage of those funds.
These monitors qualify for their jobs by paying to take a training and certification course from the judges, with the check going to the fund, whereupon they are placed on the exclusive list the judges use when assigning monitors.
Sounds like kickbacks to me.  That’s definite conflict of interest.  The supervised visitation monitors paying the judges’ account  and those judges funneling them business from the courtroom, from the bench….

“. . . . The Los Angeles County Bar Association’s contributions to the fund were payments to the judges run through a joint partnership with the court on MCLE classes. They split the proceeds from legal and professional seminars. . . . . So, in addition to the ethical issues involved in how the bank account has been maintained, its funding also raises numerous legal issues, according to attorney Richard I. Fine, a taxpayers’ advocate. “If a private group [the LASCJA] is using a public building and everything associated with that private group is being paid for with taxpayers’ dollars, then it is clearly fraudulent,” Fine contends. He adds that “unless the public entity has passed an ordinance specifically allowing the private group to exist and specifically stating that the public will bear the costs — separate phones, leasing office space, furniture, computers, etc. — then it should be paid for by the private organization.”. . . . According to Fine, “If the judges have provided false information on official financial statements submitted to government agencies or financial institutions [the Bank of America account], then they have defrauded the Internal Revenue Service and the county and the people of Los Angeles by receiving tax-free status under fraudulent means. … This would be the same as if a person lied on their tax return. It is incredulous to me that something like this could have happened and the IRS, state attorney general, county district attorney and auditor have not acted over all these years.”

Unless they, too, were in on it somehow.

OK, now I think we’re ready to consider why, when a judge that Wayne County, MI child support workers want OUT goes to privatize child support contracting — although I realize this issue is larger, and different (child support collections is multi-million$$ business within most states) the behavior of doing this is common to AFCC personnel from the outset.  “BEWARE AFCC” “Court Cancer Metastasizes” summarizes it in this timeline (to review):

History of the AFCC – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

COURT CANCER METASTASIZES Metamorphosis of the Conference of Conciliation Courts into the Association of Family Conciliation Courts (“AFCC”)

A Guide to Destroying Children BY MARV BRYER

1939 Judges, lawyers and mental health professionals got State law passed (SB 737).

The 53rd Session of Legislature. The court became a lobby group. Each and every county {the public} would pay for marital counseling to help unclog the court system from divorce cases. The Family Law code • Section 1740 et seq formed The Children’s Courts of Conciliation, which was later repealed. • Section 1760 Article III Whenever any controversy exists, disruption of household with a minor child, the Court of Conciliation takes jurisdiction: to create a reconciliation. Evidence: Senate Bill and Family Law Code Lukewarm reception

1955 A Los Angeles judge formed the first Conciliation Court as per this law in Los Angeles.

1958 The Los Angeles County courthouse at 111 Hill Street was dedicated.

1962

The Conference of Conciliation Courts (CCC) established a bank account at Security First National Bank (which later became Security Pacific Bank)

Evidence: CCC 1968 Financial Statement. A balance from 5th Annual Conference is described. This indicates the account probably began 6 years before in 1962.

1963

Conference of Conciliation Courts, a private organization, was formed. The address of record was 111 N Hill Street, Room 241, which is the LA County public courthouse. 

No incorporation documents on file, and no registration with Secretary of State, Franchise Tax Board or IRS. Evidence: Statement from IRS that there is no such entity and corporation papers in 1969. The founders of CCC were Los Angeles judge Roger Pfaff and Meyer Elkin.

(Meyer Elkin awards and memorabilia are all over AFCC entitities and spinoff organizations).

(NOTE:  Visit “AFCCnet.org” History page and you’ll see it claims to have begun in 1963.)

I continue to be amazed how little reported this powerful lobbying group is even spoken about. It’s like talking about the air — taken for granted, you inhale and exhale it, with little consciousness of the content.

OK, NOW — My RESPONSE TO THE MICHIGAN POST:


My last post:   Privatizing Child Support (and the courts) in Michigan; County Workers picket.  Judge was AFCC

Showed county workers picketing against the privatization and outsourcing of Child Support Enforcement, particularly as the companies bidding on the contract already had a history of fraud and other legal issues.  Particularly as it would reduce workers’ salaries to $8 to $9 per hour, and more.  People in Wayne County MI picketed to remove the judge (Marybeth Kelly) that did this.

This response shows how simple it can be to look up some basic data on a court situation.   I’m simply pasting what amounts to a fast-track search of some information on the judge in question.  I did not handle the issue of grants systems possibly going to county workers to bring marriage, fatherhood, or other program funding to them rather than the custodial parents, which may have been involved in part.  This is an “off-the-cuff” response, minor phrasing perhaps re-arranged for this different format.

I wrote:

I’m not a Michigan native, and came to this posting because I am investigating some of the privateering in the child support industry, particularly Maximus, but in the course of this, Lockheed-Martin and Tier Technologies do come up.

RE:

 As Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor noted in a statement thanking Kelly for her service, “What about the children whom the Wayne County Friend of the Court is supposed to serve? What about the families for whom a timely child support check makes the difference between survival and not being able to buy groceries?” ***
Excellent questions. 
{{** this reply doesn’t address what the picketing and rally did– that at least one of the firms bidding for the contract had a known history of corruption, including fraud and conflicts of interest. }}
Actually nice appeal, but wrong questions.  The child support system probably needs to be shut down at this point, because it is so corrupt whether done through public agencies OR farmed out.  I have been blogging at http://familycourtmatters/wordpress.com, and if you search OCSE (or read 06/29/11 posts), it’s clear that Federal Funding (HHS — and OCSE is under it) has been co-opted by special interest groups, and is a $4 billion-a-year industry.  
In California, where I live, a respected attorney (Richard Fine, Esq. at the time) with a record of confronting fraud and taxpayer waste, took on “Silva v. Garcetti” where the L.A. District Attorney was sitting on $14 million undistributed, collected child support.   In return for exposing this, and other financial corruption, Mr. Fine was tossed into coercive solitary confinement (age, 69) and of course disbarred, and his settlement monies compromised, his family had to foreclose on the home, etc.   
Whether it’s done through the Friend of the Court, Administrative Office of the Courts, or otherwise, these grants carry incentives to the states, which impacts custody outcomes, and also provides a wide range of action for various money-laundering and other corrupt practices.  
Tier Technologies is (I think) run out of a Northern California area where the local child support agency  literally advertises and recruits commuters  (targeting at the noncustodial parent) to open a child support case.  Title IV-D child support cases are handled differently than others, and the entire system is I believe more of a public burden than a public waste.  It has undermined the family law process entirely, and introduced outside agents into play, which only ONE party is informed of.   
PRIMETIME AFCC BEHAVIOR IS TO PRIVATIZE AND DIRECT BUSINESS TO CRONIES:
I note that Judge Kelly (Whether she be good, or not so good, I hold no opinion — don’t know her.  I know systems) — reduced the budget by $30 million and added family law judges.  Just check which of these judges are AFCC members.  If so, this is going to expand, not contract, services needed ,and introduce more players into individual court cases.
Maximus sounds horrific, and I REALLY thing anyone else who lands on this page should check out my blog in it.  I am a DV survivor and custody wars survivor.  I am sure there are hardworking, honest, decent office and administrative people throughout the child support system — but when it injected promoting marriage and fatherhood into divorce court, or social science demonstration projects, etc. — it has created a system parallel to the IRS (and working alongside it), and it’s polarizing our society.  I KNOW that without the influence of this group, my court case could’ve closed much sooner, and I could’ve as a single mother handled life without child support and allowing the father regular contact.
Because of these incentives our case, and many other moms cases (I now advocate and report) went south; the children were switched to the non-caretaking parent, many times an identified abuser or molester — and thereafter there is no “Shared parent” or anything close to it.  Child Support gets immediately eliminated if the switch was after a considerable arrears ran up (in my case it was about $10K).  Everyone BUT the children literally gets a piece of the action, and some of the grant moneys.  Double-billing exists.  Like the national debt, one cannot forever support a nationwide infrastructure this large — who will be left to pay the IRS to pay them?  Or are the poor just going to be starved out, or left to kill each other over money from the pressure. 
My judges are on this courthouse forum too, but I’m not commenting on them.  I comment for example, HERE:  
https://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/lets-talk-child-support-hhs-series-90fd-grants-to-states-research-and-demonstrate/
Plenty of links and data on the blogroll to others who follow this.
Judge Marybeth Kelly I see (at least 2002) was on the child support leadership council appointed by a governor, and is AFCC — meaning, she has an agenda.  Mothers (=/= 2nd wives stepmothers) should be alert to this.   There are fathers’ activities on that council too it seems.    
Even a brief look, 2010 article about her run for Supreme Court, shows AFCC tendencies (read article, pls):
http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/10/judge_mary_beth_kelly_family_l.html

Judge Mary Beth Kelly: Family law bench stint aids high court bid

Published: Sunday, October 03, 2010, 3:13 AM 
As she is Republican & Right-To-Life, she is probably not too sympathetic to women leaving violence, few religious groups are.  While she’s boasting about dealing with runaways, including from kids in foster care, a lot of those children I bet were inappropriately placed there (bet MI gets incentives like others states, see Georgia, Nancy Schaefer).  Notice:

She came under fire for acting too independently and trying to privatize the Friend of the Court.

That privatization effort was among the issues that prompted a labor-led coalition in 2007 to call for her resignation. Lawyers representing children under the supervision of the county’s juvenile court sued her the same year.

The lawsuit alleged Kelly violated the children’s right to counsel and effective representation when she removed hundreds of individual attorneys and replaced them with hand-picked “attorney groups.” **The lawsuit argued she created a “fixed-fee” system that resulted in far fewer attorneys for a growing number of children.

(**hand-picked, aka sounds like cronies to me. Association of Family & Conciliation Courts (AFCC) is a PRIVATE trade association of judges, mediators, evaluators and the type of personnel who mean courthouseforum sites have plenty of horror stories to post.  They get positioned in high places, including state supreme courts, or Friends of the Court associations, and then influence policy, try to and do get laws passed to direct more business to themselves, meaning it’s harder for people to conclude their own court cases.     PRIVATIZING — the complaint is that the courts are jammed, overwhelmed, but the logic behind that fails to say why.  Privatizing removes protections including oaths that Judges are under as to not having conflict of interest, and their required statements to disclosure that have to be filed. )

The suit was filed in April 2007, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case three months later.  (Who is on the Supreme Court?)

Julie Hurwitz, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said changing the system was politically motivated and leaves her concerned if Kelly is elected to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t think that political ambition has any place on the bench,” she says. “One has to look at the history.”

Kelly says she wanted to reduce deficits and improve services and wasn’t motivated by politics. And even as a conservative endorsed by Right to Life, she says she aims to keep partisanship off the bench.

{{ANYTHING BELOW HERE NOT IN “{{…..}}’s” is quoted material:}}
Article from Aug 2010, from RIGHTMICHIGAN (note: this isn’t a left/right political issue when it comes to this venue):

Judge Mary Beth Kelly a Rule of Law Judge? Obviously not.

By Maryland Farmer, Section News
Posted on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:28:35 PM EST
Tags: Judge Mary Beth KellySupreme Court (all tags)

~ Brought out front, as it is good debate. ~

I believe that the rule of law requires judges to be impartial and not decide cases based on their own personal, social or political views. Judges must take the law as it is written: we should neither add to it nor subtract from it, and apply it equally to everyone alike.

When the State of Michigan seeks to terminate parental rights, it is more than a mere temporary disruption of relationships: it is the forced, irretrievable, destruction of family life. It is an awesome power. “When the State moves to destroy weakened familial bonds, it must provide the parents with fundamentally fair procedures.” The Constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection apply with full force to parental termination cases. See Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 758-759, 102 S. Ct. 1388, 1397, 71 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1982)

The Role of A Judge in A Parental Termination Hearing

A parental termination case is essentially no different from any other kind of case. Both the parent and the State are entitled to a “rule of law” judge who faithfully applies the Constitution and the plain language of the statute, one who is unbiased, impartial, fair minded, and principled. The judge must give each party a fair opportunity to present his evidence. The judge should consider the evidence with an open mind. The judge must render a decision that is just, according to the evidence viewed against the plain language of the law.

In the Matter of Felicia Alicia Clemons, Minor – a Chilling Story of Abuse of Judicial Power

When Tamara Alicia Clemons appeared before Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Kelly in August of 2007, Judge Kelly was no rookie; she had been on the bench for eight years.

The Court of Appeals opinion details a chilling abuse of power, an abuse that conservative Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan later labeled, “disturbing.” See In re Hudson, 483 Mich. 928, 938, 763 N.W.2d 618, 627 (2009) (Corrigan, concurring)

A Petitioner had requested that the Court terminate Tamara Clemons’s parental rights to her daughter, Felicia. The Petitioner, that is, the person who filed the complaint against Ms Clemons, did not appear for the hearing. Neither did an attorney for the State of Michigan. Although Tamara appeared, she did so without a lawyer to represent her. Astonishingly, Judge Kelly did not dismiss, or even adjourn the case. Instead, she decided to abandon her role as an unbiased judge and take on the role of accuser.

Judge Kelly called witnesses to the stand. Instead of being fair minded, her questions displayed, according to the Court of Appeals, “an accusatory or prosecutorial bent.” Judge Kelly only elicited information that could be used to support termination. She assiduously avoided obtaining information that might help Tamara’s case.

After compiling the one-sided evidence, Judge Kelly refused to allow Tamara to introduce any evidence of her own. Judge Kelly used her power as a judge to deny Tamara the right to even defend herself!

At the conclusion of this inquisition, Judge Kelly wrongfully terminated Tamara’s parental rights to her daughter.

The Court of Appeals naturally reversed the decision. But the Court went one step further: the Court of Appeals, appalled by Judge Kelly’s lawless conduct, actually removed her from the case:

Given the egregious violations of respondent’s constitutional rights that occurred in this case, this case shall be assigned to a different judge on remand to preserve the appearance of justice.

This action by the Court of Appeals, removing a trial judge from a case, is extraordinary. It is reserved for conspicuously bad conduct on the bench.

These are not the actions of a Rule of Law judge. 
Here is the case:http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/caselaw/freecaselaw?action=OCLGetCaseDetail&format=FULL&sourceID=bcehb&searchTerm=eUiQ.GeLa.UYGU.IbTY&searchFlag=y&l1loc=FCLOW

2008 Mich. App. LEXIS 1652,*

In the Matter of FELICIA ALICIA CLEMONS, Minor. CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES OF OAKLAND COUNTY, Petitioner-Appellee, and LATRECHA ADELL FOX, Guardian, Appellee, v TAMARA ALICIA CLEMONS, Respondent-Appellant.

No. 281004

COURT OF APPEALS OF MICHIGAN

2008 Mich. App. LEXIS 1652

August 19, 2008, Decided

– – – – – 

[ENDQUOTE / start LGH comments]:

Again, the thing is the systems; get a grasp of that, and how individual judges act will be clearer.  California, alas, is responsible for spawning that AFCC organization decades ago, and a lot of the trauma now going, plus excessive removal of kids from one parent or both parent is going to include 2nd and 3rd generations of people affected by policies run through the child support & welfare system, and pushed by AFCC judges in their conferences.  This is privatizing not just the Friends of the Court, but in effect, the entire family court system (and associated ones), court proceedings are seen as problem-solving rather than being subject to justice, and new generations of law students are being coached and trained into this line of thinking, but highly placed AFCC judges, as in UBaltimore School of Law’s “Center for Children & Families in the Court.” (“CFCC”).   Just check out their conference agenda and materials, under-reported situation.

I’d have to side with the county workers in the Wayne County issue because, their being public employees, I can do FOIAs and get payroll information, have a shot at any money trail in individual cases (if I were living in Michigan).  Besides, no low-paid FT employee should lack benefits – if they didn’t have benefits, what’s the motivation for FT employment?  It’d be better to work somewhere else…..

No charge for this PSA.  If you read it, please pass it on, I doubt this is a high-traffic post!

I attach 2008? Annual report (from IN) of a private nonprofit group entrenched in the court system:  Fathers & Families.  Scrutinize who is on corporate donors (Indiana Dept. of Child Support services).  Look at how many court officials and public employees are on the board of this group — which is focused on ONE out of TWO sides of the parents in most custody issues.  Conflicts of interest, much?

Other states (Ohio, PA) have noted copying practices from Indiana.  I even found Ontario, Canada, copying some US practices — the link was AFCC membership (international).

The courthouse forum where I found this had a “reply” button, but my reply has not shown up yet (that I can see), so here it is:

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