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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Posts Tagged ‘social commentary

Federal Designer Families: How Californians got their “CFCC,” CRS Year 2000 Report on Access Visitation

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This post is about 10,000 words.  Enjoy!

I have about six posts in the pipeline, all of them timely to some recent indicators (developments) in the “protective mothers” field. All of them, as usual continuing to emphasize a functional vocabulary in discussing the family courts, and pointing out a few significant historical developments affecting them that those IN them rarely point out to clients, which I find strange.

By contrast, the developments in the “responsible fatherhood” field seem to be moving ahead with the usual momentum, and under-reported among “the commoners,” i.e., the general public and most family-court reform groups, who, apparently, don’t consider worthy of notice that this network even exists, or is a priority to understand.

However, it does.  In fact, if you check some of the post-PRWORA-propped up nonprofits, centers, institutes, programming and the “same old, same old” hotshots, there is apparently nothing more important to talk about than what they have done, are doing, and how much HHS is going to pay them this time (sometimes that refers to a five-year, multi-million-dollar grant) to further strengthen and extend their communications, technical support, outreach/ recruiting and funding pipelines already set up in the “Fatherhood” network. (Recent example) Using federal funding to a university. One of team members historically associated with AFCC, another thing family court advocacy groups are averse to talking about.

There are also certain chronic weaknesses and vulnerabilities within this “HMRF” field (but also present, to a degree, in the domestic violence prevention field also), which would be excellent leverage to address some of the problems protective mothers are having in the courts, and I have yet to hear any legitimate (if indeed any) explanation why no significant protective mothers organization, or their featured professionals, has seen fit to raise the topic seriously with a view to DOING something about it, for at least the past dozen years, even when after a certain point, the leadership surely became aware that “outside” information on the responsible fatherhood field, HHS grants and AFCC was somehow “leaking” into the field of vision of some of the “fix the courts” promoters.  One whitepaper did come out over a year after I, literally, did several posts (on two blogs) naming names of the “Let’s JUST not talk about it!” groups and proving which personnel at least knew the whole time.


Nearly two days of technical (keystroke processing speed almost at a standstill) problems with my computer slowed getting them published.  Meanwhile, working out that situation, and concerned about output at this time, I decided to re-publish a 12/5/2009 FamilyCourtMatters post which is STILL more relevant than the average conversation I see on the family court reform in 2016, original title While You Were Sleeping,… How Congress got into the Family Law Business.”  

I have not yet extended the “Table of Contents” back to 2009, so “While You Were Sleeping” was probably missed by most people who may read or follow this blog.  It is not the kind of information one tends to stumble across in general search terms on the family courts or its handling of situations and allegations of criminal behavior such as domestic violence or child abuse. Last month, I felt this post was important enough to clean up (formatting) and link to it, now I am actually re-posting.

It references by name key elements in networks I am blogging consistently on — public/private partnerships, and HOW does the federal government got its hand in into the state-level cookie jar without quite getting caught at it, and vice versa, while the courts themselves contribute to an ever-expanding and increasingly dependent on social services population.

**Mostly, these posts-in-the-pipeline again review some basic vocabulary with which we can talk about things which both the protective mothers’ perspective, and definitely in the fathers’ rights perspective have for years resisted discussing on-line in anything approaching a coherent manner, using accurate and relevant terms to describe the infrastructure and how it networks to promote either their own perspective, or the perspective for which they want “systemic changes” or “a paradigm” change for [divorce law, family courts, child support] because it’s:  unfair to fathers, unfair to mothers, dangerous to children, or gender-biased against men (or women), is destroying the American family, human rights,civil rights, etc.

We who are concerned, afflicted by, or discussing the problems in the family courts, should ALL know and talk what top-level state institutions (such as the California Judicial Council), federal deliberations courtesy of CRS (Congressional Research Service) (“Should the Federal Government get involved in Family Matters which are under State law jurisdiction?”) (unsaid: “HOW can we get our fingers into family and divorce courts without getting caught on it, or held responsible for any negative effects after we have?”) ….. (And “WHO will help us do this?” some of which this post shows who actually did) are actually involved, or, for example, just how one state ends up copying the court (privatization and outsourcing) practices in another.

For example, I had years of personal encounters through the courts before I became aware of the information in just this excerpt from that 2009 post below.  The publication talking about it came out in the context of a state-level, state-wide evaluation of the ruling body of the courts published around May, 2012.  Take a look at this excerpt, which will be repeated below, without the olive-green background:


THE REPORT on the AOC, with its section on the CFCC Division IS RECOMMENDED READING for understanding many things which may relate to complaints about the family courts nationwide. Information on the AOC’s/CFCC begins on page 81:

(from a 2012 “SEC” CALIFORNIA-SPECIFIC REVIEW Of the Administrative Office of the Courts)

Division Description

The Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) was established in February 2000 through the merger of the Statewide Office of Family Court Services and the Center for Children and the Courts.

Statewide Office on Families was merged with a Center on Children and the Courts.  Consolidation, Year 2000

The Statewide Office of Family Court Services was created by a 1984 legislative mandate to provide leadership, development, assistance, research, grants, education, and technical support to the state’s family court services programs through direct services and community partnerships.

 …

(Report on the California AOC/CFCC Division, p. 81ff, cont’d.  Link above…)
The Center for Children and the Courts was created by the AOC in 1997 in response to the results of a state-wide needs assessment of California juvenile dependency proceedings conducted by the National Center for State Courts.

Notice input from the National Center for State Courts [NCSC] in 1997, a “needs assessment” and that it was first aimed at JUVENILE DEPENDENCY — not the entire family law system.  Notice the title in 1997 didn’t yet include the words “Family.”  Anyone that is running (sponsoring, calling for) a “needs assessment” may very well already have an intended “solution/fix” in mind.  These are rarely 100% neutral.  [[The National Center for State Courts is a 501©3], technically speaking, in the private sector, despite its name.  It files a Form 990]]

From its inception, the CFCC’s mission has been to improve the quality of justice and services to meet the diverse needs of children, youth, parents, families, and other users of the California courts. The division provides a wide range of services to family, juvenile, and collaborative justice courts.

Collaborative Divorce has been an ongoing theme promoted by AFCC members.  This can be seen in some of the nonprofits formed, by looking at who formed them.  Not the topic of this post….

Did you know that in apparently about Year 1983 (but not continuing, I think), the NCSC also served as the “Secretariat” for the organization AFCC?  I believe it’s on my sidebar in one of the AFCC newsletters of that year.

The formation of a specialized center within AOC’s administrative structure institutionalized judicial branch commitment to improving outcomes for children and families. The CFCC is the only division of the AOC that is dedicated to a substantive area of the law. The multidisciplinary model has since been recommended to other states.

If you’ve gotten this far in this dense post –and are even reading my blog — do I need to spell this out further?…

SUMMARY:  The Courts in the State of California have increasingly centralized control and operations over time, other parts of the report also show.  The timing of some of the special divisions seems to correlate to increased federal funding for programming that these divisions seem to control — from the administrative sector…. Good to keep in mind


But notice, they first set up two separate elements — a division within the AOC, and a Statewide Office.  Then, they combined them.  Then within the State-level office are links to the private, tax-exempt sector encouraging business with it. Any entity (which is to say anyone running an entity) which wants excellent, authoritative, advertising then is helped by connection to a state-level promoter within (here, as an example) the CFCC section of the Administrative Office of the Courts.   “Coincidentally,” it appears that key members of the CFCC (such as Charlene Depner, and I believe, Shelly LaBotte as to the Access Visitation grants management) are also long-time, loyal members of AFCC.  AFCC as an organization has certain interests that not all Californians, or Americans, may necessarily agree with, and in its own website claims responsibility for many so-called positive innovations in the family court field.

They are also pretty good at setting the stage for creating new professions at the expense of the courts (the public) and parents (also, the public), one of the earlier ones pushed was mediation, one of the later, “parent coordination.”

Another reason I would question any advocacy group who, knowing about this organization, didn’t talk — and keep talking — about it.
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About the Blog, Cont’d from Gravatar Text

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[If you are receiving this post as a follower, it’s simply a function of housecleaning on the right sidebar, and not new material…][well, some was added extemporaneous, in transit from there to here)…..

[August 2013, removed from “There’s No Excuse” Gravatar widget (text))
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Written by Let's Get Honest

August 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

“Comment Submitted To:” (Supervised Visitation, Interlocking Nonprofits, in Minnesota)

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I submitted today to:
Carver County (MN) Corruption // AFCC chart page

COMMENTARY ON THE COMMENT:

Conceptual Thinking (understanding systems) is Essential to Freedom.
Networking for mutual self-support groups is wonderful, but failure by support groups to scout why one needed them to start with, is suicidal, in the long run. Support groups simply go form their silos of information and shun information which doesn’t fit with the status quo.

This is a great way to overspecialize and become an extinct species. We HAVE to be able to speak a language that incorporates understanding of the systems that structure our lives. We aren’t. There are crackups, domestic violence, gang violence, and various kinds of “roadkill,” to which people have conveniently (for those who DO understand systems, and own them) self-separated into their groups by label: Protective Mothers, Battered Mothers, Fathers’ Rights, Family Values vs. Pro Choice, etc.

Have you ever seen skilled sheepdogs in action? Consider what they do — they face off with the sheep; one dog can control a sizeable clump. Now — who does the sheepdog answer to and who feeds and trains him?

Now, who pays the man (or woman, I suppose) who trains, feeds, and runs the sheepdogs?

The real question is, who owns the ranch. And that’s what family court reform groups (male or female) simply forget to specialize in, and train each other to respond to signals from, that is, to respond as the owner of the ranch might — not as the sheep might.

I don’t know if you can get a visual on this — but picture sheepdog trials, and a batch is let out at time, and the canine “middle mangement” of this operation called a ranch, who do a lot of the running around, but appear to be innately designed for this — they LOVE running the sheep — are running one clumped together focused on the sheepdog (not the farm owners) and facing it, either face-off and freeze, or running. Eventually they ARE going to be run into the pen, where after a long (Or short) and domesticated life, during which they will be sheared and produce more lambs — eventually they will be possibly eaten. Such a life!

Divide, shepherd, shear, and eventually eat. Control reproduction. Sort for desired qualities.
That’s for sheep, but it’s been applied on people. And the sheepdogs bark and posture. The sheep don’t even have a language to talk back with that means anything other than what sounds they are making on the way back into the fold (pen).

As human beings, if we want freedom, we need to speak more than one language, and understand which language one is hearing at a given point of time. We also had better get a lid on understanding systems, AND becoming a better judge of character.

I read tax returns and look up corporations not because it’s profitable, or inherently more interesting than other things I could do with an immediate (though very transient, in my situation) profit. I read tax returns and look up corporations (and ask others to) because it tells me about who is doing what in the commercial landscape. I think the basics are clear, and a lot of the continued lookups I may (and am) still doing, are part for personal insight — but moreso for demonstrating to others.

This kind of data (even as poorly sourced as the free databases are, and as unwieldy as they are to produce any kind of report from) — givesi us a headsup on which way the economy has been going, is going and on WHY certain groups and talk like they do. It is one way of standing a little aprt from the clump of sheep to consider the patterns of frantic running around.

As a domestic violence survivor, I have also believed that the middle of pack of sheep frozen in certain language patterns and dashing around the internet to bond with their own kind, producing more of the same kind of (outdated though still valid in parts) information is producing inbreeding –and doesn’t increase the defensive or safety position one iota.

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Join or Start a Conversation on Family Court Matters. Jump in Somewhere!

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[Looks like this one started around May 16, 2013; it was then left “pending” for a long while, and now being re-published along with original comments on November 16, 2013 (after some days of adding too much, then splitting off the added insight from later months after all). I apologize for the inconvenience and for not having figured out what the Contact Form was earlier in the blog!

Believe it or not, I do want feedback.  Comments have always been open, and some of my ongoing network comes from people who commented; we are continuing to compare practices across jurisdictions and problemsolve, support, etc.  

The “contact” form here raises general topics and asks for feedback for any post (or link) on the entire blog. Don’t miss the “drop-down” menu on one of the fields below.  I have participated in “forums” before, but they are time-intensive and not usually set up for problem-solving.  I’m looking for people who perceive issues, can state them, and want to do something about it.  

Usually this is people who are already stuck in, or have been devastated by (current or past) the courts.  Of those people, who else is ready to frame the discussion and can actually handle the existence and relevance of the material I blog?

If disagree — what’s the basis?  If agree…..

I’m looking for better ways to organize and communicate the material, as well as better understanding of what does, or doesn’t communicate to people IN custody situations.   I have a lot of personal feedback through networking, and from some people who took time to comment and I can tell from other groups who formerly resisted talking about some of these essentials who now, have had to — because their followers also read this blog. Word is getting out.

I can show which direction human beings are driving this entire system (the Titanic ship of state, including the courts) based in a common language of economics and evolving corporate structures. Whether or not that’s a good or desired direction, matters.   Wouldn’t this knowledge be helpful for whether to start “fixing the broken courts” (tinkering with their settings) or dismantling them for other, different options?

In 2016 this blog (and my life) are at different states of awareness, and urgency. A significant 2016 insert follows because I’m going to either make this post “sticky” or re-post it, showing that three years ago, I was responding to the symptoms of what can now be better documented and defined — in part because I found documentation in the course of continuing to read, and in part because in the past three years, the means to continue changing the public perception of what “Paradigms” ought to reflect government itself, continue their expansive momentum, and showing more of their true character.


But First, As usual, “In My Opinion.”   Please argue it if you disagree, or state your own elsewhere, including in the contact form!  Bulleted commentary on, essentially, the conference circuit and its publications, may be helpful insight.

In my opinion, some of those who set this up maybe foresaw this day and have carved out other professional niches involving fewer judges, called “collaborative Justice.”

In other words, perhaps planning was made for the eventuality that the public catches on…. and shuts it down by simply refusing to feed the system, particularly as more of (us) start exposing how the system is actually fed, the funding… Read the rest of this entry »

“Mother Says” — Words to the Wise for Women in Custody Challenges

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[Intro paragraphs — some of underlines below are hyperlinks. Publ. 12/27/2012; Rev. 2-19-2013, split in half 06-06-2013, putting Michigan Material in a separate post.]

NOTE: OVERALL THIS BLOG IS FOR BOTH GENDERS, AND TO THE WIDER PUBLIC WHO MAY NOT EVEN BE STRUNG OUT HANDLING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR SEXUAL ABUSE (OR SIMPLY FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION) CASES IN THE COURT.

Truth, however framed, is offensive, and my blog certainly will offend plenty. However, I am still more interested in systems, and perhaps the mentality of the people that designed them, tolerate them, staff them, and fund them. Society has to have some labels, and designations, to work as do systems. I think different personalities gravitate to certain portions of certain systems — but there are SOME systems which affect almost everyone. So like it or not, their damages have to be discussed; there is no other way to mitigate them.

Overall, it is an appeal for the public to wake up.  To identify and find ways to quit financing institutions within America that undermine justice (as defined in terms of due process, representative government of ANY sort, and oppose over-centralization of power).  Doing this requires identifying and letting go of significant myths on which the economy** — and from there, most social relationships (in fact, from which society) — is based.

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Written by Let's Get Honest

December 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Technical Assistance and Training = Silencing Mothers’ Voices, Taking their Money…

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[post is about 11,000 words long.
I am showing many TA&T [Technical Assistance and Training] programs and their relationships, although my interest in Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) stems from their recent collaborations with (instead of confrontation of) “AFCC” and drawing upon public funding (HHS grants) to do their analyses.  It’s pretty obvious that the organizations writing up the projects/situation/subject matter are not going to BE the subject matter — and if so, it will be self-description.
My takeaway is, the better way to describe “the situation” is corporate economic viewpoint.   I use corporate lookups, tax return lookups, sometimes grants lookups to describe (and compare to) any organization’s self-description on its colorful, hyperlinked, “Donate Here” websites.  
I also  try to remember which nonprofits have spun off earlier ones that made a name and got the grants.
In that regard, Technical Assistance =  Propaganda Promotion, even if the topic they are writing about is or was indeed legitimate; to dominate the field by the internet, conferences, training, federal funding, and nonprofit status — is to exclude the clientele’s voices as an equally relevant viewpoint.
It should be remembered that several of these organizations got their start in the 1980s, before (really) the Internet Revolution got underway.  However now that it is, business just got easier, and for individual victims of (for example) battering or abusive control — who are often fighting for sheer access to an internet (i.e., isolation is a factor in controlling others) — to expect to keep up with the rapid expansion of certain viewpoints (which are good for sales, if not necessarily good for actually stopping violence against women, or promoting responsible fatherhood EITHER) — is, well unreal.
The only way to even the playing field (being outnumbered and out financed, and less well organized) is to, I hope others also will, EXPOSE the circumstances, and then demand that certain programs be DEFUNDED (they are not reducing “roadkill” they are simply spawning more proselytes and building professional conferencer-careers) –and the organizations pay their own way through life.
When it comes to ECONOMIC control, the United States (obviously) has collective wealth beyond individuals — but I suggest addressing this issue sooner rather than later, anyhow.  TAKE A LOOK!  No matter where one digs in, similar behaviors will prevail; this is as good an entry point as any….]

SOCIAL CHANGE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN:  

HOME OF THE DULUTH, MODEL

This website has changed, and no longer openly lists certain projects that are underneath it (an older version may be on my blog)…  Which I seem to recall included groups like PRAXIS International:  “integrating theory & practice,” which like DAIP, had close ties to Ellen Pence (who actually was Praxis “founding director.”  Their home page still holds a eulogy, as Ellen Pence died recently:

Praxis believes in social change through advocacy & training “since 1996”.

  •  “Since 1996, we have worked with advocacy organizations, intervention agencies, and inter-agency collaborations to create a clear and cooperative agenda for social change in their communities.

Like others, they endorsed the “SUPERVISED VISITATION & EXCHANGE” (USDOJ Safe-Havens grant series support):

 Since 1996, we have worked with advocacy organizations, intervention agencies, and inter-agency collaborations to create a clear and cooperative agenda for social change in their communities.

Interesting year — startup year coincided with welfare reform…  Like OH SO MANY helpful nonprofit groups getting significant HHS and/or DOJ grants (although I DNR what Praxis got) — they are really “into” technical assistance and training” and quite willing to help grantees — from a safe distance from ongoing, shall we say, volatile, situations at the street level.  Maybe the founders had this experience initially but after all, people age out, and it’s safer to teach than to confront in a group setting — or dispense studies on-line.

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Independence Entails Investigation (links-only version of last post)

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Well, ALMOST only . . . .

This should be a more useful format:

PEOPLE/BLOGGERS I QUOTED.  Some are notables, others are notable simply for what they noticed:

  • vidrebel.wordpress.com,blogger is “horse237”
    • “The bankers want America to lose World War III so the soon to be impoverished citizens cannot demand both the arrest of the bankers and the return of the tens of trillions they stole. They also want to fold a weakened America as a destroyed and failed state into the New World Order with all power securely in the hands of multi-billionaires.”
      (horse237’s signature block:) I have decided to share two of the visions I had as a child. When I was eight, I had a vision of a future war that killed 99.5% of the world’s population. When I was 16 and living in the projects, I had a vision of my future. I was to live in complete obscurity until it came time to stop WW III. When I was about ten, I had read a bio of Nikita Khrushchev which said he survived Stalin by playing the bumbling fool an old Russian peasant trick. I decided to do the same as I had already learned that we did not live in a democracy. The other vision I had when I was in third grade was of the Mind of God and how it interacted in the creation of the world we see. I believe you and I were born at this time precisely so we would have an opportunity to stop this war. As for my personal info, I grew up on military bases and in housing projects. My legs atrophied from starvation as a child. My second step-father died in prison. I used to have to rub my skin to simulate human contact. They did not feed me when I was a child. I do not fight in their wars as an adult.

 

Over the years, I have gradually come to understand that some of the wisest people, and real fighters for the truth, are those who endured significant child abuse, including not being fed enough.   Long-term child abuse will turn a person either into a coward, or a fighter.  I have two in my personal acquaintance (presently), and either of them alone is worth three on-line support groups and those who support during abuse — but will not or cannot do anything to stop it.

Writers that come to mind in this category (in my book), include Viktor Frankl, and Richard Rhodes.  You’d be surprised.

the comments on “vidrebel” are also interesting. Which led to some of this:

  • Michael Hudson, economist (Wikipedia) An author cited by a blogger
  • http://www.wanttoknow.info/(this site was from a comment on the vidrebel.**chart below.
  • Catherine Austin Fitts.  Now, her name is all over the internet, so google it. (and a comment to previous post has a video link of her).
  • Johnnypumphandle.com” re: the 1999 Child Support issue.  Link to face-sheet and summary of Silva v. Garcetti; excerpt:

. . .4. In fiscal year 1997-98 the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office collected approximately $257 million in child support payments. The cost to the public for such collections in fiscal year 1997-98 was approximately $104,809,000.00, or approximately $.40 for every dollar collected.

5. As of the present time, neither the United States government, the state of California, nor the County of Los Angeles have taken any action requiring the District Attorney to disburse the monies on “hold”. This failure is causing the taxpayers, the recipients of the child support, the welfare system, and the payors of child support to suffer hardship on a daily basis.

I also hadn’t known this about the John Silva Case, but apparently his child support order pre-dates welfare reform (of 1996) and the block grants to the states — which allowed for huge diversions from the actual children into programming based on social science (marriage/fatherhood/abstinence, etc.) theory:

6. Plaintiff JOHN R. SILVA is a citizen of California and a resident of the County of Los Angeles. Plaintiff has filed state tax returns and has paid taxes in the County of Los Angeles for the past five years. Plaintiff has paid child support payments to the Court Trustee pursuant to a court order dated November 29, 1989, commencing at such tine as his former wife received Aid for Dependent children (“AFDC”} payments for the six-month period of time from August 1989 through February 1990. Such child support payments by Plaintiff were $135.00 per month, plus a 2% service charge of $2.70, for a total monthly payment of $137.70.

7. plaintiff brings this suit as a party acting for the interests of himself and all taxpayer contributors to the County of Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Family Support, child Support Collections Fund, as paid to the Court Trustee or such other person ordered by the court.

Interesting, that this major Silva case comes from a father who let his wife go on AFDC briefly — and for such a minimal (even in 1989) monthly amount — $137?  She was working FT, or what?  So, around 1999, California was (belatedly) switching over to state-wide centralized agency from the DA’s offices, which hasn’t done much better, from what I can tell. they did, however, contract out with Iron Mountain (data storage) who claims it (or one of it’s partners) somehow lost in transit from Denver (what was it doing in Denver to start with?) 800,000 records’ privacy…

(On reading this account, I”m going to post it next; if one multiplies HOW MANY fathers (and mothers) are being treated this way by the same system, I believe it will add up to justify my proposal that OCSE be eliminated.  Clearly, when money OR services are transmitted from one party to another by way of government of various levels (county, state, federal) — “a lot gets lost” in the translation!

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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