Nebraska high court again rules father’s consent necessary for adoption

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nebraska high court again rules father’s consent necessary for adoption

23 hours ago  •  By MARGERY A. BECK / The Associated Press

For a second time, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a father who was intentionally misled about the birth of his child can stop the baby’s adoption.

In a ruling Friday, the state’s high court said the consent of the father, listed in court documents as Jeremiah J., is required by state law for the child to be put up for adoption. Further, the high court said the child’s mother, identified as Dakota D., failed to prove Jeremiah met any of the exceptions for consent because she did not show he had abandoned her or the child or that he would be an unfit parent.

Jeremiah learned in June 2011 that Dakota, his ex-girlfriend, was pregnant. Five months later, he was contacted by an adoption agency caseworker who told him he had been identified as the baby’s father and that Dakota planned to put the baby, due Feb. 18, 2012, up for adoption, according to court documents. Jeremiah told the caseworker he did not want that, then tried many times to reach Dakota, but she did not return his calls, records say.

The child was born Feb. 9, but Jeremiah was not told of the birth. He contacted Dakota on Feb. 13, but she did not tell him the baby had been born. Jeremiah also repeatedly called the hospital and caseworker to try to learn of the birth, but they refused to tell him, citing privacy policies. The adoption was put on hold after Jeremiah filed his appeal.

Dakota later testified in court that she did not tell Jeremiah of the child’s birth because she did not want him to know about it during the five days he had to object to the adoption.

A Hall County court ruled in the mother’s favor, saying Jeremiah could have hired an attorney sooner, but the Nebraska Supreme Court reversed that ruling last year, noting the mother’s deception. The lower court then ruled in Jeremiah’s favor, and Dakota appealed, arguing he is not a fit parent because he has an unstable work history, has used drugs and has a criminal record, among other things.

She also argued that Jeremiah neglected the child after she was born, and did not provide financial support for her or the child.

But the state’s high court rejected those arguments Friday, saying Jeremiah’s criminal record consisted of misdemeanor convictions as a teen. The court also noted that Jeremiah has denied any drug use, and that he has a stable job paying more than $12 an hour.

“And in any event, low income or an unstable job history does not alone establish parental unfitness,” Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Michael McCormack wrote for the court.

The high court also rejected arguments that Jeremiah did not provide financial support.

“Dakota clearly does not want to have Jeremiah in the life of the child, and she chose to not provide Jeremiah with a fair opportunity to offer financial support,” McCormack wrote.

Jeremiah’s attorney, Mark Porto of Grand Island, said the next step will be to file a paternity action in an effort to establish custody and visitation issues.

“He’s thrilled that he’ll be able to be a part of his daughter’s life,” Porto said.

An attorney for Dakota did not immediately return a message left Friday.

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Weller children file lawsuit against state DSHS look for scrib link great pleading to educate for future ….

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Weller children file lawsuit against state DSHS

Attorney says agency was told of peril many times before acting

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published: March 7, 2014, 1:50 PM

Updated: March 7, 2014, 7:28 PM

  • Buy this photoSandra and Jeffrey Weller enter Judge Barbara Johnson’s courtroom for sentencing in Clark County Superior Court March 20, 2013. The Wellers were convicted of imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. Sandra received a sentence of 20 years, and Jeffrey received 21 years. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Five children who were abused by their parents in Vancouver have filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the state, alleging that the Department of Social and Health Services failed to adequately respond to dozens of complaints about their welfare over an eight-year period.

Jeffrey and Sandra Weller of Vancouver each were sentenced March 20, 2013, to two decades in prison for imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. A Clark County jury found Sandra Weller guilty of nine separate counts related to the twins’ abuse; Jeffrey Weller was found guilty of 13, related to both the twins’ abuse and assaults against the couple’s biological children.

The children’s Seattle attorney, David Moody, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the children Friday in Clark Superior Court.

One of the children’s teachers alone warned the DSHS a dozen times about possible abuse of the children and urged that they be removed from the Weller home, Moody said.

“He has documents he kept,” Moody said Friday. “He has voice-mail messages. There are a number of educators from the local school district who voiced serious warnings to DSHS over a period of years.”

“Those concerns were ignored every time,” he said.

The lawsuit follows a $54 million tort claim the children filed Dec. 18 with the DSHS. Tort claims give public agencies a 60-day notice of a lawsuit and allows them an opportunity to settle a case before litigation.

In this case, the children received no response, Moody said.

John Wiley, a DSHS spokesman, said the agency often does respond to and resolve tort claims prior to litigation.

“However, this case is complex, involving numerous plaintiffs alleging negligence based on activities that occurred over a number of years. As such, it requires more than the statutory 60 days to analyze and investigate the merits of the plaintiffs’ claim,” Wiley said. “It would not be in the taxpayers’ best interest to quickly make a settlement offer on a $54 million claim without a reasonable and diligent investigation into that claim by the state.”

Wiley said the agency has no other comment on the lawsuit at this time.

“We’ll let the court decide the merits of the case,” he said. “We don’t comment on the merits of the case.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the DSHS failed to obtain Sandra Weller’s Child Protective Services history in California, where she adopted the twins with her ex-husband. There were seven referrals about Sandra Weller’s possibly abusing and neglecting the twins and some other foster children who were in her care between 1998 and 2002, the lawsuit states. At one point, the state of California revoked her foster care license and took the twins into protective custody, according to the lawsuit.

Some of the complaints that Washington caseworkers allegedly ignored included allegations of threats against one of the twins’ lives and withholding food as punishment, according to the lawsuit.

For example, in April 2004, the DSHS received a complaint that Sandra Weller had told the 8-year-old female twin that, “If I had a knife right now, you would be gone,” according to the lawsuit. A month later, the agency received another complaint that the twins were “so stressed they are literally pulling their hair out,” the lawsuit states.

In September 2004, there was a complaint that the Wellers locked food cabinets in the house and locked the children in their room, which had an alarm on the door, the lawsuit says.

DSHS social workers visited the Weller home in October 2004. On Nov. 1, 2004, the social worker concluded that the allegations of negligent treatment or maltreatment were “unfounded,” according to the lawsuit.

The DSHS finally removed the children from the Weller home Oct. 7, 2011, after one of the twins left a note about their abuse at her therapist’s office.

“Please, help,” the twin wrote. “Behind the laundry room door is a big wooden stick covered in blood. They use it on me and (my brother) … If you leave without us, we’ll all ran (sic) away.”

The twins were substantially underweight and malnourished when they were taken into state custody, according to testimony at the Wellers’ trial.

They also testified at trial that Jeffrey Weller, often at the instruction of Sandra, regularly beat them with a 42-inch-long piece of scrap lumber. Police investigators found it stained with blood.

Moody, the children’s attorney, specializes in civil litigation against the DSHS related to the abuse of children or vulnerable adults. He said he won the largest jury verdict award against the DSHS — $17.8 million — in February 2000 in a vulnerable adult abuse case in Pierce County in which he demonstrated that the DSHS was negligent by inadequately investigating abuse allegations.

prenda at it again

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Copyright, Child Custody and Cocaine in the County Courts

June 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Copyright, Child Custody and Cocaine in the County Courts

Once upon a time there was  The Steele Law Firm LLC, IL SOS records show it was formed by  a 2006 University of Minnesota Law school graduate, John Lawrence Steele Jr. Esq.  Billed as a family law firm in 2008 -2011, the Chicago, IL practice, the Steele Law Firm LLC was fighting custody battles and purported pornography pirates. Yes, budding family law attorney, John Steele was devoted to saving children and the tranny porn industry! He started filing suits against 1000′s of John Does, dubbed himself the “pirate slayer” and set out to make cool millions! Despite John Steele having a fine ring to it for a porn name, perhaps the Steele Law Firm wasn’t catchy enough for copyright trolling; seems Steele decided to try on some other names: Media Copyright Group, Steele Hansmeier, Prenda, Anti-Piracy Law Group and the Chicago Family Law Group LLC.  Maybe it still wasn’t quite the right fit because in a rather complex web of “stories”, Steele claims to have retired, sold his family law firm to Peter R. Olson of the Peter Olson Law Firm and blogger extraordinaire Solo in Chicago.

Craigslist, where the finest lawyers come to but and sell law firms!

Now, according to a Solo in Chicago  blog post by Glenview,  IL native and Domestic Relations attorney, Peter R. Olson Esq. – in October 2008 he was checking out Craigslist,  looking for God knows what; and he found a law firm for sale.  By golly, it just happened to belong to his buddy, John the Pirate Slayer Steele! Despite the fact that Peter Olson had his own law firm and his Des Plaines condo was being foreclosed on and he was being sued by multiple creditors the purchase of a family law firm associated with pornography must have struck him as a solid investment.

No offense to Craigslist! Craigslist is great! Everyone knows that you can get some wonderful and affordable items on Craigslist: intimate encounters, a dorm fridge, slightly used slipcovers, re-homed lawn gnome, law firms – you know, really important stuff!  A quick look at the Cook County docket shows that Mr. Steele seems to have dropped all but one or two of his special  family clients in the summer / fall of 2011. But who needs clients when you’ve got a *found it on Craigslist* law firm to control! There is still no clarity about who actually owns the Steele Law Firm turned Chicago Family Law Group. Court documents show over a year of changing names, attorney, and firms numbers and stories with no end or truth in sight. Surely, NO ONE has ANY suspicion that they are laundering copyright money through that family law firm. No, doubt the Criminal Investigations Unit of the IRS won’t have any questions about Steele or Olson’s explanation about THAT firm. <cough*cough> Especially after that deposition about not paying any taxes! Nevis? St. Kitts? Offshore accounts? Trusts? Really? Come on guys who owns the CFLG?

So what happens when lawyers go rogue? 

Despite Steele’s claims of retirement and the Prenda was solely owned by attorney, Paul A Duffy, Steele seemed to be popping up all over the country at all sorts of court dates. As Steele showed up in court room after court room, some other things seemed to follow.  Yes, it was an outcry from many of extortion, lies, belligerent pleadings, threats in the hallway, improper service, questionable rulings in questionable places, and altered states.  Claims of identity theft, forgeries, and out and out lies.  It seems everyone affiliated with Steele stands accused of being involved with fraud. In time it seems most of the country caught on to the tricks and were no longer going to be fooled by troll games. On May 6th 2013, the Honorable Otis D Wright II issued an order for sanctions against Steele and some his minions in the form of 81k, a referral to the IRS criminal investigations unit and United States Attorney Office and the state and federal bar associations. Further, Judge Wright used words like “moral turpitude” as he described Steele, his minions and their business model. Still Cook County and St. Claire County seemed to be very willing to indulge the same behaviors that other federal court judges felt to be possibly criminal in nature.   Oh the men of Prenda fought hard to sue the internet or anyone that dared to speak out about their experiences with Prenda or Steele and they fought to do it in St. Claire County. Gosh, hate much?

Rut-Ro-Raggy! The Feds want to talk to ya!

But it seems that there is a little problem, the Feds are in St. Clair County. Moreover, it seems that a buddy of Steele, James Fogarty was dealing some coke to some judges, Cook and Christ. Christ  died of an overdose of cocaine allegedly provided to him by Fogarty. It looks that the drugs and mess don’t begin or end there or with those three people or that court system.

Bloomberg News and fightcopyrighttrolls.com both touched on the Steele  – Forgarty connection or at least what they knew about at the time. But is there more to that story? Read the news of the impact that cocaine had in the St. Clair court cases, is it any different in Will County or Cook County?

There were a lot of questionable rulings and the cocaine / dealer connection now explains much of how those rulings came to be in St. Clair Co. but what about the other counties?

Great! We’ve got judges on drugs making rulings for their dealer and Steele is sending dealers to do his dirty work.

How can the average litigant stand a chance of receiving any sort of justice when they are up against attorneys that are allowed to practice despite the overwhelming evidence of their abuse and misuse of the legal process. Seriously, what sort of world do we live in where it’s okay for a lawyer to send a drug dealer to someones home to “serve them” legal papers. Papers which are now really under-fire because a tsunami of evidence has surfaced to show that the “pirate slayer” is really the honeypot pusher. Could it get anymore disgusting?

How can anyone get a shot at justice when the judge is indebted to their dealer; to keep them supplied with cocaine and heroine and to keep their drug problem a secret?   It’s an environment where blackmail and extortion flourish and the innocent suffer the worst consequences. St. Clair news has already reported on how rulings were made in favor of the dealer. If you look at Cook County and Will County, is any different? When judges and lawyers get caught up in child porn, trafficking, drugs and dirty money – it’s clear that rulings are made based on vices, not the law.

What about the children in family court? Is this why so many rulings appear to defy both man and God’s law? If it’s not because of a vice, why are so many people crying out with nearly identical stories about their children being sent to live with their abuser? How does the court justify cutting off all contact with the protective parent? Now that the court has embarrassed “Parental  Alienation”, how come they always seem to accuse the non-alienating parent of alienation?  What is seen frequently is that the alienating parent pretends to be the “friendly parent” and accuses the other parent of PAS. The court then places the child with the REAL PA parent on the grounds that that parent will foster a relationship with the child and the other parent and then the REAL PA parent joins the court in cutting  off all contact with the other parent akin to a termination of parental rights. Why isn’t THAT parental alienation?  Why are children so frequently turned over to abusers despite the overwhelming evidence?  There are cases where the parent is clearly involved in drugs, child pornography, sexual abuse, and other harmful behaviors and the judges punish the parent that offers the court proof. It almost seems like the more evidence the protective parent has, the worse the ruling. The parents with no evidence of abuse and false allegations win.  The parents with pictures of the other parent watching child porn on the computer and witnesses of physical abuse lose. Good parents are disposable. Unlike coke and porn, good people and good parents just don’t seem to have much value anymore.

Looking at the fall out in St. Clair, the news lists some rulings that were not made because of the law or the merits of the case, the rulings were made based on vices and personal issues. This has to be eradicated. The very purpose of the legal system is to enforce the law for the betterment of society.  When lawyers are allowed to use forged  documents, extortion and break the law   – justice is denied. Evil prevails. When judges are beholden to their dealers, the law becomes useless. The best pleading or the most skilled lawyer won’t help the case, because it’s decided on a drug deal, not the law. We might as just cancel court and send the judges home, because noting good comes of this situation.

It’s great that the FBI is investigating St. Clair, but they need to come take a look at why Judge Pornlito was allowed to sit on the bench in Will County watching porn on the county computer on the tax payer dollars while making decisions about the futures of children and families. They need to look at why the Cook County Judge(s) in the Lucy Vega case doesn’t want to see the evidence of the father allegedly watching child porn. They need to look at why so many complaints about Due Process and abusive and erratic behavior are posted on the Robing Room about Judge Raul Vega in room 3001 at the Daley Center. They need to look at why Child Representative Jerry S. Goldberg used someone with a history of domestic violence to provide “professional supervision” between alleged abusers and their children. How about the DOJ coming in to take a look at the blatant ADA violations?

It wouldn’t take a big fancy sting. It just takes sitting in a few court rooms for a few days and taking a look at the records. (The complete record)

A check on the ARDC web site shows that John Steele, Peter Olson, and Paul Duffy are still free to practice law today. The judges of Will and Cook County go unchecked.

WHERE ARE THE CHARGES?

We need more Judge Wright’s – to judge right. We need eyes on the court and people to speak out about it and not shut up until the problems are fixed. We need the FBI to look at the similarities in judgments in Will, Cook and St. Clair Co. – maybe that won’t be the only similarity they find.  The common threads might be right in front of their eyes. Really, right in front of your eyes.

Thank you for visiting today’s blog posting Willcountyprose @ https://willcountyprose.wordpress.com/

Be sure to come back and read the extra special mid week blog post.

 

Special thanks to the good guys – doing good work. I like your suit.  You do this country proud.

 

Thanks to the judges and attorneys that are doing a stellar job. Your services are deeply appreciated. 

 

Justice will out!

 

Read more about Judge Otis D. Wright II and his outstanding command of the law and justice: 

 

http://www.popehat.com/2013/05/06/does-prenda-believe-in-no-win-scenarios-because-judge-wright-just-gave-them-one/

Read more about Lucy Vega’s battle to save her son:

 

http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-alexander-we-the-people-ask-the-illinois-cook-county-chief-judge-not-to-place-an-innocent-child-back-in-the-hands-of-a-sex-abuser

 

Read more about Prenda and his purported porn piracy shakedown: 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenda_Law

 

Read more about the man child rep, Jerry Goldberg used to provide professional supervision between parents and children: 

 

http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2011/02/bernadette-avila-wife-of-chicago-police.html

 

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/officers-in-trouble/Content?oid=873519

 

Read more about the rulings St. Clair Co, IL judges made in favor of their drug dealer:

 

http://madisonrecord.com/news/256358-traffic-charges-against-alleged-heroin-dealer-dropped-by-christ-day-before-becoming-judge-cook-approves

 

Read more about the suspected collusion between Prenda attorneys and opposing counsel in Cook co and St. Clair co.:

 

http://madisonrecord.com/news/254907-more-john-does-ask-judge-to-quash-subpoenas-in-lw-systems-suit

 

http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2013/04/23/lw-system-v-hubbard-from-adam-urbanczyks-signed-agreed-order-to-the-new-breed-of-demand-letters/

 

*Be sure to read the “Agreed Orders” linked in the FCT web site. Look familiar?

 

Read more about what happened to The Steele Law Firm LLC and Chicago Family Law Group LLC: 

 

http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/05/25/who-and-where-is-prenda-law-what-happened-to-john-steele/

 

Read more about how “SJD” (Sophisticated Jane Doe) and Die Troll Die successfully kicked off a movement to fight back against abuse of the legal process: 

 

http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com

 

http://dietrolldie.com

 

View the interactive timeline, map and cartoons of the evolution of IMHO fraud:

http://johnhenrydocreview.wordpress.com/

 

The timeline has some links to some documents that you might not have expected. Over 360 & growing!

Ohai DHS! Come back soon!

 

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Who’s connected to whom and how in the lawmaker pay lawsuit SHARE!!!!!!

September 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

09/18/2013
Madeleine Doubek
Reboot Illinois

Who’s connected to whom and how in the lawmaker pay lawsuit

SHARE

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.”

Here is a picture of Neil Cohen and Susan Sher sharing a Passover Seder at the White House from Lynn Sweet’s blog at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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

End Victimisation & Abuse are a women’s collective. As survivors of stalking and domestic abuse, they prefer to remain anonymous. Find out more at everydayvictimblaming.com.

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

The ‘stranger danger’ message isn’t protecting our children from abuse

We need to teach children how to differentiate between threatening situations and threatening people, whether those people are familiar or not.

BY @EVB_NOW PUBLISHED 09 SEPTEMBER 2013 15:35

New Statesman
A girl screams as police officer Mike Fuller demonstrates how quickly a child can be kidnapped on Kid’s Safety Day in California. Image: Getty

Recently, Daybreak performed an ‘experiment’ to see if children would leave a public park with someone they don’t know. We have a clean link to the Daily Mail piece here. We have removed photographs from this link, as we are concerned about the ethical nature of an experiment that pixelates the adult ‘stranger’ but not the children who were involved.

Some of the children offered to help the ‘stranger’ in finding his lost dog – he was no doubt plausible, and will have been able to relate to the children in order to engage them in this experiment. Some of the children went with him, some started to and then changed their minds, and some were called back by their mothers before they were out of sight.

Children are compliant by nature.  We tell children that they should listen to adults, that they must do what adults tell them to do, and they must respond promptly to instructions.

Unless they are a ‘stranger’.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I taught my child about stranger danger when she was quite small. When she was three years old, we went to see Father Christmas, and when he asked, “Have you been good this year?”, she responded by looking at me and whispering, “You said I shouldn’t talk to strangers.” Cue much embarrassment by the jolly man in the red suit, and motherly pride that my teaching was having an impact.

How wrong I was.

Not long after that, I attended some training for my job called Protective Behaviours (PB). Now, as far as I’m concerned, PB should form the basis of all supportive work with children. Unfortunately, although schools teach about safety, not all of them discuss the intricacies of those physiological responses that can alert us; not just to danger, but to something ‘not quite right’.

Protective Behaviours has two themes, both simple and self-explanatory but needing a little expansion:

● We all have the right to feel safe, all of the time.

Do most children know what feeling ‘safe’ feels like? Not in my experience. I’ve worked with many children (schools, children’s services, women’s services) and often, they have no idea what feeling safe means, as no-one taught them.

Children don’t know what it means to feel safe. Have we absolved ourselves of the responsibility for teaching our children what it is to feel safe?

Children need to be taught about risk, managing risk and being safe. Teaching them about safety means talking about feelings and emotions, and how those affect our physiological responses – something as simple as ‘tummy butterflies’ indicating that we are excited, nervous or anxious, for instance. Indeed, ignoring our physiological responses when we are unsafe is an issue for both children and adults. We ignore those ‘early warning signs’ for many reasons, one of them being mistrust in our body responses because we don’t understand them. We don’t understand them, in turn, because nobody teaches us to.

Once a child understands what it is to feel safe, we can then talk about what to do when they don’t.

 

● Nothing is too awful, or too small, that we cannot talk to someone about it.

We all understand the ‘awful’. We know that children are physically, sexually and emotionally abused (most often by those close to them) and neglected by adults who should care for them.

The ‘too small’ relates to minor issues that adults often dismiss: name-calling in the playground, feeling that they haven’t got any friends, worrying about homework – all of which can cause children to feel anxious, worried or scared and therefore unsafe.

Protective Behaviours works on the basis that a child can talk to someone who makes them feel safe. Because without knowing what ‘safe’ is, children may not talk to anyone.

Once children understand how their physiology helps them understand their emotions, they can get help to be safe. Arbitrary decisions based on ‘strangers’ or people close to them are useless – in fact, they could be dangerous. This is because strangers are often those people who can help: a voice on a helpline, a social worker, a police officer, a support worker. How do we teach children to differentiate between ‘adults who will help keep them safe’ and ‘strangers’? Without giving them the skills to understand their own right to safety and what it feels like, we can’t.

 

This post isn’t to say that we shouldn’t teach children about stranger danger because the risk is low. Teaching children to differentiate between ‘unsafe’ and ‘safe’ adults gives them a space to talk, to be believed, and protects them more than any blanket ‘don’t talk to strangers’ message ever will.

Children are not responsible for keeping themselves safe; that is the job of adults. Persisting with the notion that we can keep children safe by repeating the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ line is misleading and unhelpful.

We need to be having open and honest conversations with our children about their ‘early warning signs’, what it means to feel safe, who they can trust and where to get help from – and at the same time, we should be talking about those who do abuse children, as that is our responsibility too.

The biggest concern is that those conversations seem curiously lacking.

End Victimisation & Abuse are a women’s collective. As survivors of stalking and domestic abuse, they prefer to remain anonymous. Find out more at everydayvictimblaming.com.

FamilyLawCourts.com

September 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

FamilyLawCourts.com   –  A Wiki-like resource for reporters and family court litigants.  California judges information now available online.

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:  DATELINE to 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.

San Ramon family law attorney Mary Nolan pleads “Not Guilty” to a variety of charges, although others have already plead guilty.  Nolan practiced in a few areas of law, not just Family Law.

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.

Since 2001, and with over 12,000 records on file…

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.)

Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook reveal why, in addition to Facebook, ex’s should never fight by email.

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 the Wisconsin 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.

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.

Greed

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.


“Oh no – I hired Ron Lais!”

Bogus lawyer Lais to be released from prison.

Familylawcourts

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FamilyLawCourts.com explains:
1.  How absent any oversight, Family Court became the one court most used most often, and for the longest period of time, in the nation; and as many cases prove, the most deadly.
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.

Content copyright 2013. Family Law Courts. All rights reserved.

There is more than an appearance that this is the agenda of all courts to redistribute your wealth to the attorn and others for their enrichment and to the state for federal title enrichment fraud .

July 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

For years I fought against secret courts breaking up families. At last there’s hope

By SUE REID

PUBLISHED: 17:49 EST, 24 July 2013 | UPDATED: 03:34 EST, 26 July 2013

For a long time now, thousands of British families of every class and background have been secretly torn apart by this country's child protection system in one of the biggest scandals of our age (posed by model)For a long time now, thousands of British families of every class and background have been secretly torn apart by this country’s child protection system in one of the biggest scandals of our age (posed by model)

For a long time now, thousands of British families of every class and background have been secretly torn apart by this country’s child protection system in one of the biggest scandals of our age.

Children have been dragged off by the State into the care system and, despite the pleas of their parents, often given to adoptive families.

This has been happening increasingly frequently in a process overseen by a network of Family Courts, which operate in secrecy in every town and city in the land, violating the principle of openness which has underpinned British justice for centuries.

As a result of the decisions of these courts, as many as 12,000 children and babies are forcibly taken into care in England each year, the equivalent of 230 or so every single week.

Some are newborns seized by social workers (invariably, flanked by police) in the hospital ward while the mother is breast-feeding or having her first cuddle with her baby.

Many children are removed on the basis of flimsy accusations by social workers: that the parent might shout at the child when he or she becomes a teenager (potential emotional abuse); that the mother has taken a sickly child to the doctor too often (fabricated illness syndrome); or — extraordinarily — simply because the mother has been in the care system herself or suffered depression as a teenager.

In one appalling case in a quiet corner of England, a middle-class mother is currently being threatened with having her children forcibly adopted after she was raped by her husband, who was imprisoned for his crime a few weeks ago.

Social workers say that, despite the fact that her husband has been sentenced to six years and the couple are about to divorce, the wife allowed herself to be raped and therefore cannot protect their children in the family’s home.

It is bad enough that such cruel decisions are being made at all. The fact they are happening in courts where rulings are made in secret is chilling.

 

Of course, the family courts have an unenviable job — often asked to rule on the most challenging of cases. And some of the parents appearing before them are certainly cruel to their children and ill-equipped to raise a family.

Equally, too many mistakes have been made in a system which can be stacked against the innocent. And the reality is that without transparency, no one will know the truth.

A parent who publicly talks about the hearings (even to a neighbour over the garden fence) or gives documents from the case to their MP, risks prison for contempt — and many have been incarcerated for such ‘crimes’.

And it is not just British parents who have suffered at the hands of secret family courts.

Two weeks ago, representatives of 34 countries, including four ambassadors, gathered at the House of Commons to voice their grave concern to a sympathetic MP, John Hemming, over the astonishing rate that children of foreign families living in the UK are being taken into foster care or sent for adoption.

Representatives of 34 countries have gathered at the House of Commons to voice their concerns to MP John Hemming over the rate that children of foreign families living in the UK are being taken into foster careRepresentatives of 34 countries have gathered at the House of Commons to voice their concerns to MP John Hemming over the rate that children of foreign families living in the UK are being taken into foster care

And last Friday, foreign parents marched to Downing Street to protest about the 6,500 children born here to overseas families who have been taken into care.

Now, after a decade-long campaign against the secrecy of the family courts by this newspaper, there has been a landmark decision by Lord Justice Munby, the most senior family judge in England and Wales.

The veil is to be lifted and light shone onto the 95,000 hearings held each year which decide the lives of so many children.

For the first time, judges’ written reports (or judgments) on custody battles, care orders and the question of whether a child should be re-homed will be published after each hearing — though not including the families’ names — unless there are ‘compelling reasons’ not to do so.

Parents found innocent (or even those who believe their children have been wrongly removed) will be able to apply to speak publicly and tell their story when the hearing is over.

Local councils running the child protection teams forcibly adopting or putting children in care will have to be named in the published judgments.

Also, the medical ‘experts’ hired at a cost of many thousands of pounds by the councils to produce psychological or health reports on the families, will lose their anonymity.

Now, after a decade-long campaign against the secrecy of the family courts by this newspaper, there has been a landmark decision by Lord Justice Munby, the most senior family judge in England and WalesNow, after a decade-long campaign against the secrecy of the family courts by this newspaper, there has been a landmark decision by Lord Justice Munby, the most senior family judge in England and Wales

Many of these experts have long ago given up their ‘day jobs’ in the NHS or private practice to live off their lucrative court work. Sometimes, they produce a report on a family  without even meeting them.

And what of the social workers? They are accused by campaigners of distorting evidence against parents to make a stronger case to take children for adoption, thereby winning brownie points with their council bosses. With more openness in the courts, it will be harder for a rogue social worker to push his or her own agenda based on fiction or fabrication.

The new guidance will also extend to cases which affect the welfare of vulnerable adults in the equally shadowy Court of Protection.

Here, life-or-death decisions such as whether to turn off a life-support machine or whether a woman should be forced to take contraception, are also made by a judge in closed hearings. And those who speak publicly about the case are also threatened  with imprisonment.

The UK is the only country in Europe to allow adoption against the will of parents — except ‘possibly Portugal’, according to Baroness Hale, Britain’s most senior female judge, who spoke on the issue in the House of Lords.

Lord Justice Munby's changes are long overdue. Too many innocent parents are still being dragged through these closed trials with no one to hear their voices (picture posed by model)Lord Justice Munby’s changes are long overdue. Too many innocent parents are still being dragged through these closed trials with no one to hear their voices (picture posed by model)

In extreme cases of abuse on the Continent, children are given to long-term foster carers or placed in a specialist children’s unit, but the whole ethos is to support troubled families and try to keep them together.

In contrast, parents in Britain — most of whom are never convicted of a crime — are punished with what amounts  to a life sentence by losing  their children.

Yet despite the huge number of children seized here, a fifth never go to an adoptive family — there are simply not enough to go round. They spend their childhoods inside the care system, living either in children’s homes or with frequently changing foster parents.

While this new guidance is an important step in helping to redress some of these wrongs, there is one crucial area it does not address. In the criminal courts, the accused is presumed innocent until found guilty by a jury. In the family courts, this cornerstone of justice does not exist. Guilt is decided on the balance of probabilities.

Campaigners want to see this changed. As one family court lawyer told me recently: ‘Parents accused of harming their children would rather face a criminal trial with a jury, and have their guilt or otherwise decided on proper evidence given under oath, than take their chances in the family court, where it is a complete lottery as to whether you lose your child or not.’

Jean Robinson, a director of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services, who has witnessed scores of babies being taken from their mothers by social workers at birth, says the system is stacked against the innocent.

‘This same group of child protection “professionals” go round the courts,’ she explained. ‘The council social workers know the so-called medical experts and are paying them to give evidence to bolster their case. The judges know them all. It is far too cosy and secretive.’

Lord Justice Munby has rightly declared his determination to alter the public’s view that these family hearings are ‘a system of unaccountable justice’.

His changes — currently in draft but expected to be implemented imminently — are long overdue.

Too many innocent parents are still  being dragged through these closed trials with no one to hear their voices.

But the truth is that nothing will turn back the clock for the generations of children who will never know, or have long ago forgotten, what a happy family life means.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2377084/SUE-REID-For-years-I-fought-secret-courts-breaking-families-At-theres-hope.html#ixzz2a9pwvC00
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