September 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
Who’s connected to whom and how in the lawmaker pay lawsuit
Sometimes you need a flowchart to understand all the connections between public figures in Illinois. That certainly could be useful in the case of the suit filed by Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan against Gov. Pat Quinn that seeks to restore sooner rather than later, lawmakers’ pay.
All of the above are Democrats, of course. And Quinn vetoed the line item that funds lawmakers’ pay, essentially saying he wasn’t paying them until they did their jobs and produced pension reform.
An unusual case to start, but the connections among the various parties make it all the more intriguing.
Quinn dismissed the option of having Madigan’s daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, represent him and instead took the alternative of hiring outside lawyers. (Wonder how much that will cost us?) But Madigan (or more pointedly, her staff) is representing Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who also was named in the Cullerton-Madigan suit because her office physically processes all the checks the state writes.
When the suit first was filed, some in the media took note of the fact that Madigan and Cullerton chose to file it not in more Republican-oriented Sangamon County, the count seat of Springfield, but in Cook County Circuit Court, where there are many more Democratic judges, many of whom owe the Speaker and Senate President their gratitude for a great deal of help in getting their bench appointments.
The case was assigned to Associate Judge Neil Cohen, who last week did not grant Madigan and Cullerton’s side the temporary injunction and immediate relief they sought, but in fact pushed the case to Sept. 18 as the next hearing, thereby ensuring lawmakers would miss another check at the start of September.
Still, there are some connections between Cohen and the parties in this lawsuit, as there likely could be with any Cook County judge. Cohen is married to Susan Sher. Sher is a close friend of First Lady Michelle Obama. She formerly served as the first lady’s chief of staff and as associate counsel to President Obama.
In a 2009 profile, the Chicago Tribune called Sher Michelle Obama’s “confidant-in-chief.” Her speaking agent’s website says about Sher: “A former labor lawyer, Sher previously served the city of Chicago as corporation counsel, the city’s top legal officer, making her a senior adviser to Mayor Daley. She was then vice president for legal and government affairs at University of Chicago’s Medical Center before moving to Washington to act as an advisor for both of the Obamas.”
Sher has donated a little more than $18,000 to Illinois candidates since 1999. And Sher has consistently donated some money to both Mike Madigan and Lisa Madigan over the years.
She donated a total of $3,500 to Citizens for Lisa Madigan on nine different June and December dates from 2002 to 2007. She gave Mike Madigan a total of $400 with two $200 contributions in 1999 and 2001, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections’ disclosure reports.
Sher also gave Citizens for John Cullerton $250 in March 2012. She has contributed to a few Republicans but Topinka isn’t one of them. There are no donations to Quinn on Sher’s donor list.
Cohen also has contributed a total of nearly $30,000 to candidates for judge and other offices since 1996. He has not contributed to either of the Madigans.
Associate judges like Cohen are appointed and do not run for election. He makes just under $172,000 as an associate judge in Cook County. According to the Illinois Courts website, “Circuit Judges are elected for a term of six years; Associate Judges are appointed by the Circuit Judges in accordance with Supreme Court rules for a four-year term.”
Clearly, if you’re appointed and approved by full circuit judges, connections do matter.
And it’s long been known that two of the most powerful people in Illinois when it comes to judicial positions are Democratic state party chair Michael Madigan and Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, whose wife, Anne, sits on the Illinois Supreme Court.
None of this is meant to imply Cohen is doing anything other than deciding the case on the merits.
A veteran former campaign operative who works with judges said recently Cohen’s connections to the Obamas might make him “bulletproof,” meaning he can and will handle the politically white-hot case as he believes it should be without being affected by outside pressure.
The fact that Cohen didn’t immediately grant the injunction Madigan and Cullerton sought would seem to illustrate that. On the other hand, lots of intelligent people seem to think the two Democratic legislative leaders have the stronger case anyway.
Which, of course, would mean Lisa Madigan and her office would come out on the losing end against her father in public, just as she seems to have when he told reporters last week she knew for a long time he wasn’t going anywhere while she toyed with a governor’s candidacy and collected donations.
Do any of the parties involved in this case have conflicts of interest? Do any of their connections to one another cause concern?
We can’t make up our own minds about all of that unless we know the connections and possible conflicts in the first place. If nothing else, this case certainly demonstrates yet again that, when it comes to the intersection of legislative, executive, judicial and political activities in Illinois, it’s a small world after all.
My hand-drawn look at the connections in the lawmaker pay lawsuit being considered by Associate Judge Neil Cohen:
Fed up with corruption, waste and fraud? Sign up to say “I’m in” to end corruption here.
– See more at: http://www.rebootillinois.com/?opinion=5003&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=reboot-opinion-government-9/22/2013&utm_campaign=who’s-connected-to-whom-and-how-in-the-lawmaker-pay-lawsuit-9/22/2013#sthash.Le8TZDM9.dpuf
September 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
(( EXPOSE, EXPOSE EXPOSE VIOLENCE BY WOMEN )) Today we have VAWA related groups abusing federal funding for lobby efforts, that claim women are not violent. The media, Men, Women and children need to report and EXPOSE VIOLENCE BY WOMEN to the public. CREATE PUBLIC AWARENESS, create positive solutions to stop the cycles of violence, HEAL TRANSITION, EMPLOY at risk families. No matter what form the family takes, it is the CHILD’S human right to have all loving family members involve in their lives. Protect The children from systemic abusers. Remember Hitler used the media, corrupt judges and corrupt Doctors to impose his will and destroy families by creating a gender war. VAWA and unethical lawyers in congress are doing the very same thing under color of laws they create for their “collective groups” PROFIT. The night before the sequestration vote, lawyers in congress past budget increases to the justice department via VAWA votes, this will destroy more at risk families for GAY Women’s agendas. Expose the truth, be silent no more.
The Child Representative statute is unconstitutional IN IL. BUT WE USURPED THE LAW WE NOW HAVE a “custody czar.”
September 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Child Representative statute is unconstitutional
By Scott Colky
The members of the Special Subcommittee of the Illinois State Bar Association who wrote and lobbied for the “Child’s Representative” statute were well-intentioned, hardworking attorneys and judges who cared deeply for children. The statute has had a positive impact on attorneys who represent children by requiring mandatory education and training.
The goal of the Subcommittee was to create a Guardian ad Litem who could investigate the
child’s situation and report to the court regarding their conclusions. In addition, they wanted the same individual to be able to subpoena witnesses, call witnesses at trial and advocate what the Child’s Representative believed was in the child’s best interest. In light of the fact the Child’s Representative would have the powers of both the Guardian ad Litem and the Attorney for the Child, a prohibition against cross-examining the Child’s Representative was included in the statute.
Prior practice BUSINESS as usual
Prior to the enactment of the Child Representative statute, the court could appoint either a Guardian ad Litem or an Attorney for the Child. When an attorney was appointed to represent young children, the appointment was usually as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). The GAL would interview the children and advocate what that attorney believed was in the children’s best interest. However, in situations where the children were older and voiced strong preferences, the appointment was usually as an Attorney for the Child (AFC). The AFC was bound by his traditional role of advocating his client’s wishes even if the attorney believed those preferences were not in the children’s best interests. In those cases, the AFC would request that the court appoint a GAL to investigate the situation and to report what she felt was in the child’s best interest. This created a problem. The court had to appoint two attorneys to do the job now performed by the Child’s Representative, thereby increasing the cost of the litigation.
Prior to the enactment of the Child’s Representative statute, the ethical requirements of an attorney appointed to represent children were easily defined. The AFC had a fiduciary relationship to her client and functioned in the traditional role of an attorney. The GAL, however,
stood in the shoes of the children and was a party to the litigation. In re the Parentage of Ryan Griesmeyer, 302 Ill.App.3d 905, 707 N. E. 2d 72 (1st Dist. 1998). The guardian investigated, created a report for the court and was subject to cross-examination. In re the Marriage of Karonis, 296 Ill.App.3d 86, 693 N.E.2d 1282 (2nd Dist. 1998).
Section 506 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines the role of a Child’s Representative, stating that…”[t]he child’s representative shall have the same power and authority
to take part in the conduct of the litigation as does an attorney for a party and shall possess all the powers of investigation and recommendation as does a guardian ad litem. The child’s representative shall consider, but not be bound by, the expressed wishes of the child…” “The child’s representative shall not be called as a witness regarding the issues set forth in this subsection.” 750 ILCS 5/506.
A Child’s Representative owes a duty to whom? Certainly not the child, because it is the Child’s Representative’s sole discretion to determine what they believe is in the child’s best interest and to advocate that position. If the position she takes is not in the child’s best interest, where is the accountability? The statute gives the Child’s Representative unfettered discretion to determine best interest. And, by virtue of their appointment, the Child’s Representative has enormous
credibility and influence with the court, who is relying on this individual to be the court’s eyes and ears. The Child’s Representative’s most dangerous tool is that he or she is able to convey hearsay information to the court.
Hearsay information does not usually come into evidence as it is considered unreliable. The basis of the unreliability is that the declarant cannot be cross-examined. Entire statutes have been created such as “The Dead Man’s Act” to prevent hearsay from coming into evidence. While there is an established body of law regarding exceptions to the hearsay rule, the most important factor in those exceptions is the reliability of the statement.
Courts have traditionally required that doctors, psychologists, and witnesses come to court and testify, so that the truth finding process, highlighted by cross-examination, could take place. Only in the situation where an expert testifies that they relied on hearsay information does that hearsay information come into evidence. However, the information is admitted not for the truth of what the expert was told by the declarant, but to serve as the basis of what the expert relied on in forming that opinion, Wilson v. Clark, 84 Ill.2d 186, 417 N.E.2d 322 (1981). Further, those hearsay sources could then be called as witnesses and other evidence attacking what the expert relied on could be introduced at trial.
This is not the case with our “custody czar.” For example, the Child’s Representative has the ability to speak to mental health treaters who have a confidential relationship with the children. The Child’s Representative is able to incorporate that information into their recommendation and reports to the court. Since neither the Child’s Representative nor the mental health treater can be
cross-examined, the court receives hearsay information that cannot be challenged.
The child’s representative statute is unconstitutional
The Supreme Court of Illinois in Lulay v. Lulay, 193 Ill.2d 455, 739 N.E.2d 521 (2000) held that grandparent’s visitation was unconstitutional because parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody and control of their children. The Illinois Supreme Court reiterated this position two years later in Schweigert v. Schweigert, 201 Ill.2d 42, 772 N.E.2d 229 (2002).
Because raising children is considered a fundamental liberty interest, it receives heightened protection under the due process clauses of both the State and Federal constitutions. Article 1, section 2 of the Illinois Constitution provides that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor be denied equal protection of the laws.” See In re M.H, et al., 196 Ill.2d 356, 751 N.E.2d 1134 (2001); In the Interest of J.B. and T.B., 328 Ill.App.3d 175, 765 N.E.2d 1093, (1st Dist. 2002); and Lulay v. Lulay, 193 Ill.2d 455, 739 N.E.2d 51 (2000). Due process in its most basic form requires that a litigant have the right to appear and present evidence. The litigant also has the right to cross-examine witnesses.
It is a well-established principle that a public hearing before any tribunal or public body means the right to appear and give evidence and also the right to hear and examine the witnesses whose testimony is presented by opposing parties. See E. and E. Hauling v. County of DuPage, 77 Ill.App.3d 1017, 396 N.E.2d 1260 (2nd Dist. 1979) and People ex. rel. Robert J. Klaeren II
v. Village of Lisle, 316 Ill.App.3d 770, 737 N.E.2d 1099 (2nd Dist. 2000).
right to cross-examination:
“Due process is not a technical concept unrelated to time, place, and circumstances; rather, it is flexible and calls for such procedural protections as a particular situation demands. Procedural aspects of due process require that a person be given notice and an opportunity to be heard and to defend in an orderly proceeding adapted to the case. Due process is not denied when a party fails to avail himself of the opportunity to be heard after it is offered to him. [citation omitted] While section 1-20 of the Juvenile Court Act (Ill.Rev.Stat. 1981, ch 37, par 701-20(1)) entitles respondents to certain rights including the right to be present [and represented by counsel] and to cross-examine witnesses, the proceedings are not intended to be adversary in character. The primary concern is the best interests and welfare of the child.” [citation omitted]. In re D.L., Jr., 226 Ill.App.3d 177, 589 N.E.2d 680 (1st Dist. 1992).
Even cases involving child support arrearages recognize the right to cross examination:
“The rights to cross-examine and to present evidence are so basic as to be grounded in due process. Collectively, they constitute the litigant’s day in court. Illinois Constitution, Art II, §2; [cites omitted] Defendant’s citations to the effect that the scope and extent of cross-examination are matters for the trial court’s discretion do, of course, express sound principles of law but are not applicable to a situation of complete denial. We conclude that the procedure followed in the instant case effectively denied the plaintiff her day in court, and the resulting order must
therefore be reversed and remanded for a proper hearing.” In re the Marriage of Jamal, 98 Ill.App.2d 180, 240 N.E.2d 246 (1st Dist. 1968).
Based on the foregoing, 750 ILCS 5/506 violates procedural due process by creating an individual who can report evidence to the court and not be subject to cross examination. As a result, litigants are denied due process and “their day in court.”
Unfortunately, courts have become comfortable relying on the “custody czar” to help them make very difficult decisions regarding children. However, the statute is so fundamentally flawed that it not only violates due process, but equal protection as well.
The protection provided by the equal protection clauses in the Constitutions of the United States and Illinois is identical. The government is required to treat similarly situated individuals in a similar manner. The government, therefore, may not treat different classes of persons on the basis of criteria wholly unrelated to the purpose of legislation. In re R.C., 195 Ill.2d 291, 745 N.E.2d 1233 (2001).
Under the equal protection clause, courts are required to treat similarly situated individuals in a
similar manner. Nonetheless, parents who are going through custody, removal, visitation and parentage cases are all treated differently depending on whether the court appoints a GAL, AFC or a Child’s Representative for the children.
Under 750 ILCS 5/506, the decision as to the type of child’s advocate is completely left up to the court’s discretion. There is no criteria or guidance given to the court to help them determine which type of child’s advocate should be appointed. Therefore, although individual litigants may be similarly situated, they may have the right to cross-examination if a GAL is appointed but will not have the right to cross-examination if a Child’s Representative is appointed.
Courts apply strict scrutiny to classifications affecting fundamental rights. In re A.A., 181 Ill.2d 32, 690 N.E.2d 980 (1998). “To survive strict scrutiny in the equal protection context, as in due process analysis, the means employed by the Legislature must be necessary to advance a compelling state interest, and the statute must be narrowly tailored to the attainment of the legislative goal.” [cite omitted] In re R.C., 195 Ill.2d 291, 745 N.E.2d 1233 (2001).
There is no compelling reason why litigants in custody cases should receive such disparate treatment. No rational basis exists for the court to hear unchallenged hearsay in some cases, and to allow the truth finding process to take place in others.
It is understandable that judges want to receive as much information as is available in cases involving children. These are tough cases and the consequences are great. However, in the Legislature’s desire to protect children, it has enacted a statute that rejects concepts of basic fundamental fairness and has replaced these concepts with a “custody czar.” Thanks David
September 9, 2013 § Leave a comment
Family Court is the nation’s largest court. It’s the one court most used most often, media nearly wholly ignores. Occasionally, one breaks through. Such as Rupert Murdoch filing for divorce from his very supportive, wife Wendi. Who once protected Rupert from a pie attack.
September 1, 2013; Two basic tips for divorcing a crackhead. (Listen up Kloe Kardashian)
1. Ignore anything the individual says,
2. But pay very close attention to what the crackhead does.
We offer this as family court – long completely dysfunctional, has now turned for want of a better word, lunatic. How else could a child rapist Jamie Melendez,demand visitation rights?
The problem is partly, media.
September 1, 2013.Reporters used to describe Familylawcourt litigants as “disgruntled.” No more. Judges accused of plotting to kill their ex-wives, help end that practice. Thanks Judge Christopher Dupuy! Now. if only officials would be as concerned with talk of killing his ex as they are with the eight counts of retaliation against attorneys representing ex, things would be better. (In fairness, it is Texas.)
May 22: 2013 – DATELINE Update
May 20, 2013:GO DAD! Producer Brian Grazer asks Court for less nanny, more Dad, afterstating nanny fed her racist views to kids, along with meals. Ex-wife Gigi has yet to respond.
May – 2013: DATELINEto air this feature the last week in May. (As with all things, schedule subject to change.)
For the short version, click here.But in a nutshell, Government has essentially abandoned women, who continue paying taxes for police services, the police refuse to provide. Non-profits are involved, but only in a self-serving kind of way.
Moving along. The documentary “Don’t Divorce the Kids” doesn’t cover a key aspect to family court: That therapists or the threat of therapists is generally a game changer. See Katie Holmes divorce, or the brilliant report by the California appellate court opinion in Tharp vs. Tharp….which echoes what various litigants have been reporting for decades.
But wait there’s more!
The con of “domestic violence.”
Familylawcourts.com exposes non-profits purporting to “address” Domestic violence, are in fact, secretly lobbying against the solution empowering women to save their own life. That is real-time GPS that would warn potential ahead of time, and in time to vacate an area. See two videos here.
The dirty secret of non-profits is this: crime pays. California’s largest non-profit, “The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence knows this. Which is why they threatened legislators they would pull their support of Kathy’s Law if Family Court was included in the law. See the Non-profit section for details. We encourage legislators to resist their grant requests, and others to resist their seemingly endless fundraisers and donation requests.
Also see the Predictive policing section.The police are keen on predictive policing software as long as it is used for property. Lives? Not so much. But then, the police have their own issues with women. They don’t want to take reports involving Family assaults. See graph here. The upshot being women pay taxes for police services the police refuse to provide. This is not a secret to government officials. Which is why the killings continue.
But wait there’s more!
Breaking: Double murderer Jeremy Peoples wins custody of his two kids upon release from prison. Colorado Magistrate Magistrate Ruben Hernandez said the parental bond was “sacrosanct.” The kids aren’t interested, but no one is listening them them.
But wait there’s more!
Also, for the five people in America who didn’t know Fox’s Bill O’Reilly care nothing for family, please review the lengths O’Reilly went to alienate his kids from their mom, at the Parental Alienation section of this site.
Feb. 3, 2013: Indiana’s Stephen Perry asks black co-worker to find him a hit man so he doesn’t have to go through a divorce. Perry’s thinking was his black co-worker would know who would get the job done. “I just want this to be over and done with,” Perry said, according to a five-minute recording described in the affidavit. “So if she dies, I can drop the divorce lawsuit, she’s dead and I’m free.”
November 13, 2012: Generals David Petraeus and Allen Wood implicated in custody action of Jill Kelly’s sister.
Recent: November 2, 2012: In an age of “Super Lawyers” consider this Dallas and Plano group from Texas. It kinda makes one wonder about what exactly makes a group of seemingly sexist attorneys, “Super Lawyers.”
Mitt Romney involved in divorce action isn’t as surprising as people might think, given his position as church elder. As reported by TMZ, Mitt committed perjury in an earlier deposition in the very protracted, very messy divorce of Staples’ Tom Stemberg. Supposedly Mitt claimed Staples stock was overvalued.
Problems with the police and the utter failure of the courts, including up to the 9th Circuit are demonstrated at the Bad Cop section, under “From bad to Incomprehensible.”
Seldom reported by media is the men who choose murder over divorce, because DAs seldom prosecute family crimes, until the after the fact, murder. Also problematic, the long history of abusive-to-criminal, police officers, and their failure to investigate family crimes. This is a top-down, problem.
As Family Court is typically devoid of media attention, Familylawcourts.com explains why the Family Court system isn’t broken, but one which morphed into an out-of-control, unregulated, litigation machine benefiting those employed in the divorce and custody industry. Family court litigants (and reporters) learn Family Court is no longer a forum to resolve issues, but a platform for continued litigation until the children age out. However as an income-producing fuel source, it can’t be beat.
Gov. Brown signs Kathy’s Law on September 24, 2012. But women are not safe in family court because the California “Partnership” to End Domestic Violence, lobbied hard against protecting women via GPS.
See video on the Restraining Orderpage to understand how real-time GPS works.(We especially like the siren.)
Meanwhile, Montana Judge Richard Cebull demonstrates why, since misogyny is our national culture so many women wind up dead after simply trying to leave a relationship. He’s retiring and the 9th Circuit has shelved the investigation into Cebull’s conduct.
Meanwhile, lack of competent reporting remains significant in the nation’s largest, most used most often court.. And now this:
Call us flabbergasted: Kate Elizabeth Queram writing for theWisconsin Reporter, writes of a bill co-sponsored by Rich Zipperer, RD-Pewaukee, and supported by the Sheriff’s Association, which would allow criminals who repeatedly violate restraining orders toeventually be put on GPS. No explanation why these criminals are awarded so many freebies before the courts decide they should be held accountable.
Unfortunately, media disinterest in the lack of police protection which both standard, remains world-wide.Judges can end relationship murders, but they need encouragement. PleaseSign this encouragement.
The materials on this site demonstrate the perfect failure of individuals, media, government, and non-profits claiming their goal is to end “domestic violence.” Meanwhile the murder rate continues to climb although the solution, GPS with Victim Notification is available.
Cost-effective while empowering victims to save their own lives, the lack of wide-spread use of GPS with Victim Notification instead demonstrates government’s lack of regard for individuals and the family.
However, one must always be hopeful the solution will be embraced soon so lives will not continue to be needlessly be lost.
Always keep your eye on the judge.
The Charlie Sheen – Brooke Mueller custody case provided an excellent demonstration of terrible coverage when it could have ramped up public awareness of the reality of Family Court. (Ex-parte restraining orders being a standard-issue strategic tactic.)
The early advantage to Brooke for using Charlie’s Porn Love Goddesses….and “violent love” to change the visitation time.
Counter went to Sheen for taking advantage of Mueller’s repeatedly choosing to use drugs, although as long as Brooke’s mother steps in, Brooke has (at least in her mind) no reason to stop. Unfortunately, competent reporting was not a result.
One concern was Judge Hank Goldberg never, on his own motion, called for supervised visitation of the children although clearly aware there is much drug abuse on both sides of the case.
As the Sheen-Mueller pattern seemed lost on Judge Goldberg our secondconcern was that Judge Goldberg put the children at risk by not appointing counsel for either child.
A third concern was Judge Goldberg did not order mental health evaluations for either party.
But our fourth and deepest concern was once Judge Goldberg suspected abuse, short-hand for criminal activity, he kicked media out of the court…anddidn’t refer the matter to the police or CPS.
Why did not one media outlet not report that?
This ongoing lack of action on the part of Judge Goldberg does not appear to be in the best interests of the children, which is supposed to be the standard Judge Goldberg bases all orders.
Didn’t work. Bernie Madeoff victim and real estate attorney Steven Simkinwanted a “Do Over” in his 2006 divorce settlement.
Simkin and his wife of 33 years agreed to distribute their assets more or less equally; with Laura Blank taking hers in cash, and Simkin investing his with Madeoff. Guess who wants the do-over?
The Sub-title in this NY Times piece should have been, “It’s a win for attorneys either way.”
Simkin lost. There are no do-overs in a divorce.
Returning to the need for competent reporting, the question in need of an answer remains the same:
Never mind Kelsey Grammer’s custody ploy, keep your eyes on the activities of the judge.
Less known, is the courts routinely compel so-called Mental Health experts to weigh in – at significant cost. Or that ultimately, these so-called experts, control the case.
The attorneys are essentially out of it. (This information generally comes as news to the client.) In some family court they are identified as Custody Evaluatorsand should be avoided at all costs. Sometimes they’re just referred to as therapists. Although as these cases reveal, these so called “professionals” are seldom vetted.
Although we looked forward to Judge Goldberg applying the best interests of the children in his rulings, it never happened.
Currently, it appears Judge Goldberg gave in to the attorneys for both. Judge Goldberg at the very least, could have included Supervised visitation for both parents. Instead, the children remain, at risk.
We are mindful however, that Supervised Visitation is the very first step in the process of Courts facilitating parental alienation.
We are also mindful Supervised Visitation is also the process used to adjudicate family related crimes, in the form of dumbing down language.
(How else could kidnapping be described as “parental abduction?”)
Sadly, Judge Goldberg invoked no standard of behavior for either parent.
and without any media attention.
Also, and fyi…31 states don’t have lawsprohibiting rapists from asking for custody. As such women should be aware it’s a stacked deck. And then there’s government. From Law Enforcement, to the courts; and too cozy relationships with so-called special master “therapists” children simply aren’t safe.California Family Code Section 7507, states:
“The abuse of parental authority is the subject of judicial cognizance in a civil action brought by the child, or by the child’s relative within the third degree, or by the supervisors of the county where the child resides; and when the abuse is established, the child may be freed from the dominion of the parent, and the duty of support and education enforced.” This code is largely, useless; as the County, at least in San Diego, refuses to act. Please advise if County supervisors in your county are better.
NY: No media unless a judge like Judge Gerald Garson comes along. Match Judge Garson with the extremely unlikelyoccurrence of a DA’s office that actually listens, and pretty soon the judge and other court officials are arrested. The Judge for accepting bribes. (Note: Family Court judges not being different than other judges.)
However, for the most part, the non-criminal part, judges demonstrated a propensity to rubber stamping reports from unqualified “experts.”
Click here for a State Audit of Marin and Sacramento which revealed the courts continue to appoint unqualified (and in some cases, unlicensed) attorneys and therapists. Check out Seattle for how one “highly respected” therapist fought his way back in the system, to continue shredding lives with the help of State officials and various Psychology Boards.
Crooks are not just in family Court. Consider Federal Court. Richard John Schwalbe, a court Appointed consultant in Bankruptcy cases just pleaded guilty to embezzling 1.4 million from a tech firm. Schwalbe is on house arrest until sentencing with the home he shares withCheryl Clarke. Clarke works as a fundraiser for non-profits.
Separately, media labors under the false assumption because Family Court is a civil venue, family court judges aren’t ordering litigants to jail.
New York’s Saratoga County Family Court judge, Gilbert L. Abramson who was finally thrown off the bench himself, demonstrated that fallacy. Also see the Child Support section for the latest Supreme Court (June, 2011) ruling on unpaid child support and jail.
Separately, we remain hopeful Family Court judges will soon display the kind of integrity Criminal Court judges do when they order GPS with Victim Notification for victims of crimes. Currently Family Court judges do nothing to protect vitims of crimes ranging from assault, to attempted murder. As the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the police aren’t madated to to enforce Civilrestraining orders. Ergo, women need a level playing field.
(Also, seemingly only reporters are unaware criminal matters are heard in family court. Check the form forSupervised visitation.)
Practice Hint: Due to the increased number of custody exchange murders, we recommend attorneys request judges order any custody exchange to be made at the local police department. Should a murder occur, not only is it likely the crime will be recorded on a number of video cameras in an around the area, but any number of police officers would already on hand to effect a quick arrest. The video could later be used as part of a plea deal, which would save the state trial costs.
2. That after filing for divorce – people often do not realize that unless they can come to some kind of basic agreement, they are inviting a judge to wholesale order services, for the purpose of micro-managing their lives and the lives of their children – including vacations, until the children reach the age of majorit. There is also the matter of couples setting each other up, with “Dirty DUIs.”
3. This is due to the failure of people to realize business of government is:business. As such, family court judges “outsource” much like sales reps; ordering a variety of “services” designed to interpret – instead of speaking to all involved, especially the children.
Who would prefer to be heard.
4. Lobbyists hired by the National Association of Marriage and Family Services, continue lobbying for more involvement in the divorce and custody industry. As such, Children remain the marketing cog which turns the litigation wheel that fuels the entire industry.
Changing this basic, outsourcing court dynamic, is in the best interests of the child. Once a judge has direct contact with children, the need for the variety of other services often falls away. This is why those in the divorce and custody industry hire lobbyists. Change does not bode well for their bottom line.
5. In the event of family crime, police officers will often encourage victims to “take it to family court and get a restraining order” instead of providing actual, police services.
6. And don’t take it personally. San Diego Director of Emergency Service,Dr. Bruce Hadley hired former deputy Jesse Thrush, a convicted felon, as an EMT. Thrush had been convicted of killing his girlfriend’s daughter, a toddler with Downs Syndrome. He applied for the job and was certified after his release from prison.
7. Sometimes things get really bizarre. Such was the case with Catherine Scott Gonzalez, whose two prior requests for a restraining were denied. Paul Gonzalez felt okay about beating Catherine to a pulp in the judge’s chambers.
No bailiff was present at the time. This case was out of Florida, and Scott-Gonzalez’s attorney restrained Paul Gonzalez, who was finally arrested after the bailiffs appeared. The reason for the beating was Gonzalez was unhappy about paying child support and visitation time.
But judges denying restraining orders is what’s getting women killed, although the solution, Victim Notification GPS would be easily implemented…if judges cared enough about safety.
Update: Citing fear of Paul Gonzalez violating any restraining order he might issue, Broward County Circuit JudgeGeoffrey D. Cohen, denied bail for Paul Gonzalez. Interestingly, neithter Catherine or Paul Gonzalez has any memory of his attack. Catherine Gonzalez because of her head injury. Paul Gonzalez, we do not know. Effects of the taser? On his attorney’s advice? Either way, Gonzalez wound up with 15 years.
August 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
Federal and State Laws
Below are the main, most comprehensive statutes and regulations in Illinois which relate to the below categories, and are not indicative of the totality of laws regarding the selected categories.
- Illinois School Code – 105 ILCS
- Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 1
- Vocational Education Act – 105 ILCS 435
- Vocational Education Regulations – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 254
- Private Business and Vocational Schools Act – 105 ILCS 425
- Private Business and Vocational Schools Regulations – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 451
- Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act – 115 ILCS 5
- Higher Education Statutes (various) – 110 ILCS 5-1020
- Private College Act – 110 ILCS 1005
- Program Review Regulations (Private Colleges and Universities) – 23 Ill. Admin Code 1030
- Truants’ Alternative and Optional Education Programs – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 205
- Alternative Learning Opportunities Program – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 240
- Charter Schools Regulations – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 650
- Federal IDEA Statute – 20 U.S.C. 1400
- Federal IDEA Regulations – 34 C.F.R. 300
- Illinois School Code – special education section – 105 ILCS 5/14
- Illinois Special Education Regulations – 23 Ill. Admin Code 226
- Special Education Facilities Under Section 14-7.02 of the School Code – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 401
- Federal FERPA Statute – 20 U.S.C. 1232g
- Federal FERPA Regulations – 34 C.F.R. 99
- Illinois School Student Records Act – 105 ILCS 10/1
- Student Records Regulations – 23 Ill. Admin. Code 375
Mental Health and Confidentiality:
- Federal HIPAA Statute – 42 U.S.C. 1301
- Federal HIPAA Regulations – 45 CFR 160 and 164
- Federal Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Act – 21 U.S.C. Chapter 16
- Federal Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Records – 42 CFR Part 2
- Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act – 740 ILCS 110/1
- Illinois Alcoholism and other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act – 20 ILCS 301/1
- Illinois Early Intervention Services System Act – 325 ILCS 20/1
- Illinois Early Intervention Confidentiality/Privacy Regulations – 89 Ill. Adm. Code 500.150
- Illinois Hospital Licensing Act – 210 ILCS 85/6.17
- Illinois Hospital Licensing Medical Records Regulations – 77 Ill. Admin Code 250.1510
- Illinois Managed Care Reform and Illinois Patient’s Rights Act – 215 ILCS 134/1
- Illinois Medical Patient Rights Act – 410 ILCS 50
- Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, Physician and Patient Privilege – 735 ILCS 5/8-802
- Community Mental Health Act – 405 ILCS 20
- Protection and Advocacy for Developmentally Disabled Persons Act – 405 ILCS 40
- Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Persons Act – 405 ILCS 45
- Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 – 501 ILCS 49
- Developmental Disability and Mental Disability Services Act – 405 ILCS 80
- Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act – 325 ILCS 5
- Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect Regulations – 89 Ill. Admin. Code 300
- Labor Dispute Act – 820 ILCS 5
- Collective Bargaining Successor Employment Act – 820 ILCS 10
- Employee Arbitration Act – 820 ILCS 35
- Arbitration Policies, Functions and Procedures – 56 Ill. Admin. Code 110
- Personnel Record Review Act – 820 ILCS 40
- Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act – 820 ILCS 55
- Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act Regulations – 56 Ill. Admin. Code 360
- Union Employee Health and Benefits Protection Act – 820 ILCS 60
- School Visitation Rights Act – 820 ILCS 147
August 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
Courts Start Demanding Actual Answers From Team Prenda
from the and-on-and-on dept
Of course, the main reason for making this filing isn’t to reopen the cases, or to make laughable claims about Alan Cooper, but rather this:
However, Plaintiff has reached the outer-limits of what it can learn without the coercive power of formal discovery. As such, Plaintiff respectfully requests the Court to issue an order scheduling a Rule 26(f) conference so it resolve this matter as quickly as possible.
Basically, it’s Paul Hansmeier asking the court for a fishing expedition against Cooper and his lawyer Paul Godfread. It’s hard to see this as anything more than an attempt to be a nuisance.
However, it seems highly unlikely that magistrate judge Noel is buying anything that Hansmeier is selling. Instead, his latest order shows that he’s getting pretty damn tired of Team Prenda’s runaround. It makes no mention of Hansmeier’s filing, denies the local counsel Michael Dugas’ request to be dropped from the case (noting that he signed the forged papers), repeats the findings of Judge Wright in California, and then orders AF Holdings/Team Prenda to explain why Judge Wright’s findings shouldn’t apply equally to these cases:
The plaintiff shall file a memorandum of law on or before August 26, 2013 showing cause as to why Judge Wright’s factual findings are not binding against it in these cases under the common law doctrine of issue preclusion. See, e.g., Bechtold v. City of Rosemount, 104 F.3d 1062, 1066-67 (8th Cir. 1997) (issue preclusion appropriate under Minnesota law if (1) the issues are identical; (2) the prior adjudication ended with a final judgment on the merits; (3) the plaintiff was a party to the prior adjudication; and (4) the plaintiff was given a full and fair opportunity to be heard on the adjudicated issue).
The Clerk of Court shall correct the docket to reflect that Mr. Michael K. Dugas remains counsel of record for the plaintiff. Although he filed a notice of withdrawal and substitution, his withdrawal was not effective upon filing under Local Rule 83.7(b) because it would delay the progress of this case. He signed the complaint to which the forged documents were attached. If Mr. Dugas wishes to withdraw as counsel of record for the plaintiff, he must proceed in accordance with Local Rule 83.7(c) and establish good cause to do so.
In other words, Team Prenda’s can’t just ignore Judge Wright’s ruling here, and it certainly sounds like Judge Noel has no time for Hansmeier’s plans to play discovery games.
Meanwhile, back in the Navasca case in Northern California, it appears that the recent sanctionsagainst Team Prenda that Judge Edward Chen awarded have been ignored by Team Prenda, and a magistrate judge in that court, Nador Vadas, would like to know why. Oh, that’s not all Judge Vadas would like to know. It appears that Judge Vadas is now taking a special interest in the now-infamous Paul Hansmeier deposition from this case, which was one of the key documents that convinced Judge Wright that Prenda was up to no good. Judge Vadas has some questions he’d like AF Holdings to answer, and they are the kinds of questions that Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, John Steele and Mark Lutz probably don’t want to answer about who actually is behind AF Holdings and the various “trusts” such as Salt Marsh:
Hansmeier testified that AF Holdings was owned by a trust, but he could not testify about the name of the trust…. In a May 2, 2013 filing, Mark Lutz, who identifies himself as someone who “manage[s] various adult content related companies, including AF Holdings LLC,” declared that “Salt Marsh is the name of the trust that owns AF Holdings”…. At the hearing, AF Holdings should be prepared to identify the name of its owner and any entity or person having a financial interest in the outcome of this case, beyond Salt Marsh.
AF Holdings should be prepared to explain why it represented that there were “no known persons, associations of persons, firms, partnerships, corporations (including parent corporations), or other entities (other than the parties themselves) that may have personal or affiliated financial interest in the subject matter in controversy, or any other kind of interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding other than the parties.” Doc. No. 2 (Certificate of Interested Entities).
AF Holdings should be prepared to explain why Paul Hansmeier was designated as its 30(b)(6) deponent instead of Mark Lutz.
Paul Hansmeier was unable to testify about “the exact mechanisms by which the money goes from” to AF Holdings from the law firms that represent it…. AF Holdings should be prepared to explain these “exact mechanisms” at the hearing, and also should be prepared to provide an accounting of the funds it has received from persons it has sued or threatened to sue for copyright violation based on allegedly illegal downloading of its adult titles.
Those all seem like important questions. Questions that would be easy to answer if there were nothing nefarious going on, but which Team Prenda has avoided answering in any meaningful way for months. The hearing at which they need to have such answers ready will be on August 28th. I imagine it will be quite interesting.
- When Even Totally Bogus Copyright Threats Over Court Documents Comes Close To Shutting Down A Site, Something’s Broken
- Comcast Confirms That Steele-Hansmeier Controlled IP Address Used To Seed Content
- GoDaddy Support Recordings Show Same Caller Claimed To Be ‘Alan Cooper,’ ‘Mark Lutz’ & ‘John Steele’
- Prenda Lawyer Would Like Future Documents Sealed Because Techdirt Commenters Said Mean Stuff About Him
- Team Prenda Ordered To Pay Yet Another $64k In Yet Another Case
Research shows that most small business retailers know so little about Point of Sale, they’d rather do things the hard way than make a purchasing decision they might regret. In fact, as of May 30,…
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Andrew Norton (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:41pm
Lutz depositionAnd to go with the ‘AF Holdings should be prepared to explain why Paul Hansmeier was designated as its 30(b)(6) deponent instead of Mark Lutz.’ Mark Lutz was due to be deposed at 9am this morning at the state bar of Georgia (http://ia801600.us.archive.org/7/items/gov.uscourts.gand.188990/gov.uscourts.gand.188990.44.2.pdf)
He didn’t show. Judge O’Kelley’s not going to look favorably on it. Of course, maybe the reason he didn’t show was because the deposition order was worded to specifically name Lutz, and state that 30(b)(6) substitutions are not acceptable as he is the material witness, not ‘the company’.
That One Guy (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:54pm
Re: Lutz depositionOh please tell me the judge is as we speak writing out a bench warrant, having even one of those scumbags dragged to court in cuffs would be awesome, and give at least some evidence that lawyers or no they still have to follow the rules or suffer the consequences(something that has been sorely lacking to date).
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Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 12:04am
Re: Manning got 35 yearsYou need to check your time machine. That was posted some hours agohttp://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130821/07423624269/bradley-manning-sentenced-to-35-years.shtml.
Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 12:09amHow does our system let something like this go so far? Why do our courts give such leniency in the face of such shenanigans? If I was on trial, why do I think I would be severely punished for [not showing up to depositions, committing fraud, ignoring court orders, etc…] but it seems like these people get a slap on the wrist, a continuance, and another chance? I will let my lawyer friends know they don’t have to wear pants to court next time…
Lurker Keith, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 12:11am
another go aroundLooks like it’s time for another chorus of “we Plead the Fifth.”
I have a feeling this time will be worse than last time… & last time they were targeted for various investigations, including RICO suspicions. Those investigations may pick up steam if another judge throws some more facts at them.
Anon E. Mous (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 1:37am
Re: Lutz depositionI think we all know why Lutz didn’t show, there is no way Lutz will make it through a Q&A session.
The Prenda gang will go into damage control mode here and deny, appeal and make motions to dismiss this Judge from re-opening this.
We have all sen how Team Prenda works and the usual tactics they employ when they are in trouble. That being said can anyone here see Steele letting Lutz answer any question regarding anything to do with these trusts and entities that were set up.
Now way is Steele going to let Lutz answer anything, especially after Lutz Q&A session with the Judge in the Sunlust case where Lutz bumbled his way through and Steele had to feed him answers from the gallery before he got caught.
It is the same reason Hansmeier went and answered the questions in the deposition and not Lutz, they know Lutz will get trapped and it will be entered as a matter of record with the court.
I find it highly amazing that Hansmeier who claims to no nothing of these cases much like Steele keeps popping into them and submitting documents to the court about them, now why would that be?
The Prenda gang will do everything they can to keep Lutz away from this, look for Lutz to be unable to be reached for the next while (I am sure John is running out and buying Lutz an airline ticket to Mexico right now).
Lutz will never be able to keep all the stories straight about who and how he owns this and all these different entities and who Salt Marsh and what type of trust these are.
Lutz plain and simple isn’t smart enough, and neither is the Prenda gang apparently for a bunch of guys who know nothing about any of this, but yet are submitting documents to the court on it…lol
Should be interesting to say the least, don’t sell those popcorn stocks just yet people.
Anon E. Mous (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 1:47am
Re:That is because the Prenda gang for so long has used the gaps in the system to take advantage of it. These guys have looked for antiquated pieces of legislation and statutes to sue people.
They have done this time and time again, and when it is lucrative and that easy cash is coming in, it is easy to forget your oath to uphold the laws as an officer of the court.
Judges calendar are usually so full they don’t notice stuff like this, and the Prenda gang when they faced a Judge that did simply withdrew the cases from that court and re-filed elsewhere.
The Prenda gang Judge Shopped as part of it’s strategy and loves to file in states that are overburdened and is troll friendly.
It is only because of opposing counsel and the internet community that started to get word out to the people and the courts that there was something very wrong going on here that Prenda is now finding it self accountable to a degree.
It’s just Judges are now turning a skeptical eye to how these guys have played the justice system for ill gotten gains.
Postulator (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 1:52amThese Prenda assclowns may find themselves locked up and facing contempt charges if they continue on their current course. You can’t get to live it up in the Caribbean with your hard-earned (I mean, fraudulently earned) money if you’re doing time.
Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 5:54am
Re:Maybe because they aren’t on trial? First, Prenda has only been involved in civil suits, not criminal ones. Second, they have been the plaintiff’s lawyers, though maybe also the plaintiff – okay, almost certainly the plaintiff. But this whole thing is not a trial, nor does it involve a participant in a trial (maybe, sort of). It is effectively a administrative investigation – and they may not have actually broken any laws (as opposed to some lawyering rules) Now, we follow it obsessively, but this is deep weeds administrative stuff. Sending law enforcement to wrangle up their children so that said children can be raped to death by super-max inmates as an object lesson is considered just a wee bit overkill at this point (even for the bizarrity of this situation). When – and I really do believe that “if” is not on the table at this point – they are actually charged with a crime, then yes, their children can be served up to the Blood God. But we’re still at the point of a meter maid watching a car to see if the meter dings; they generally do not send SAT out to round you up so you can watch her wait for you to be in violation (though I apologize if I just gave some city’s SWAT team ideas).
JohnnyRotten (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 10:12am
Re: Re:John Steele, is that you?
Seriously – pretending that the whole Prenda saga is about them forgetting to dot an “i” or cross a “t” is ludicrous in the extreme.
A bench warrant for missing a deposition without cause isn’t some sacrifice to a “Blood God” or inviting “rape” by “super-max inmates”, nor is it unusual or exceptional.
Wait – are you OOTB in disguise?
August 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
By BETH HUNDSDORFER — News-Democrat
Douglas W. Oliver, one of the defendants linked to the St. Clair County courthouse drug scandal, pleaded guilty to federal distribution of heroin charges on Wednesday.
Oliver, 47, formerly of Fairview Heights, entered the plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford J. Proud.
Oliver was charged along with his mother, Deborah Perkins, in a three-count indictment of the federal charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin and maintaining a drug involved premises.
“How do you feel today?” Proud asked Oliver before accepting his plea.
“Nervous,” he responded.
“Outside of that?” Proud asked.
“Great. Great. Wonderful,” Oliver responded.
Oliver could face up to life in prison on the federal charges. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend the low end of the sentencing range, 30 years.
Oliver also agreed to forfeit any interest in a home at 20 Kassing Drive in Fairview Heights.
Oliver’s sentencing is set for Dec. 13 before U.S. District Judge David Herndon.
Perkins traveled to Chicago to purchase heroin with Oliver occasionally putting in some money, according to court documents. Perkins would give Oliver heroin to sell, then have him repay her.
“(Oliver) would deliver heroin for Perkins to others, such as Sean McGilvery in Belleville, IL,” the court document stated. “McGilvery was one of Perkins’ principal subdealers.”
Sometimes, Oliver would deliver messages for Perkins to those subdealers about prospective heroin sales, the documents stated.
Former Circuit Judge Mike Cook, 43, was arrested outside McGilvery’s home on North 38th Street in Belleville in May. He was later charged in federal court with misdemeanor heroin possession and a felony weapons charge. His trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 1.
Perkins, 65, pleaded guilty earlier this month. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8. She could receive 27 years in prison if the conspiracy can be linked to the overdose deaths of 30-year-old Jessica Williams, whose body was found in Washington Park, or 20-year-old Jennifer Herling, who died from an overdose at Perkins’ and Oliver’s home on Kassing Drive in Fairview Heights.
Oliver is facing more time than his mother due to previous drug convictions. Oliver was convicted in 2002 of possession with intent to deliver cocaine. He was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison on the charge, where he had to spend at least 85 percent of his sentence before he was eligible for release. In 2006, a petition to revoke his parole was filed because Oliver was arrested on cocaine and heroin possession.
Both Perkins and Oliver face state charges for concealing the body of Williams. Those charges are pending.
In a court document filed in federal court on Wednesday, it stated that in March 2012, Oliver gave Williams a small amount of heroin. It further stated that on Sept. 28 or 29, he gave Herling a small amount of heroin.
Both women later died.
“(Oliver) did not sell the heroin in question …. and never intended to harm (them),” the document stated.
Despite the lengthy sentences Oliver and Perkins are expected to receive in federal court, relatives of Herling and Williams who attended Thursday’s hearing encouraged St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly to continue prosecution on the state case.
“Doug and his mom aren’t the only heroin dealers in St. Clair County,” said Cindy Farris, Herling’s older sister. “He needs to make an example of them.”
Charges against Perkins and Oliver are still being pursued, Kelly said. State prosecutors were working hand in hand with federal prosecutors so that they didn’t interfere with the federal prosecution strategy.
“Five defendants were charged last week on heroin-dealing and related charges,” Kelly said. “So the fight goes on.”
Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2570.