contact each member of the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB5425 here are the facts.

March 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Dear Group:

I contacted each member of the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB5425.  This is basically what I told them:

It is well understood that the driving factor informing Illinois statutes on custody and visitation is the best interest of the child. The pertinent question for us is whether or not “Best Interest of Child” is fully realized with current practice? HB5425 addresses the issue in the area of parenting time or visitation.

The statutes call for reasonable visitation. The Illinois Supreme Court defined a reasonable visitation schedule as one that will preserve and foster the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent(Collingbourne, 2003). Does current practice realize the intent of statute as defined by the Illinois Supreme Court?

From a review of the studies performed over the last 30 years it is generally agreed by researchers that parenting time based on current standard visitation schedules are typically insufficient to achieve desired benefits of contact.  So, how much parenting time is necessary or sufficient to achieve any benefits from contact with the non-custodial parent?

A statement was made that summarized the consensus of 18 expert researchers:

To maintain high-quality relationships with their children, parents need to have sufficiently extensive and regular interactions with them. Time distribution arrangements that ensure the involvement of both parents in important aspects of their children’s everyday lives and routines – including bedtime and waking rituals, transitions to and from school, extracurricular and recreational activities — are likely to keep nonresidential parents playing psychologically important and central roles in the lives of their children (Lamb M. S., 1997).

Experts are saying that we must get away from typical contact arrangements as characterized by a sampling of Illinois legal websites and the Protocols or Rules of Court from various jurisdictions.  Parenting time must extend to times other than weekends, holidays and vacations.  It must include significant time during the regular school week.

Parental involvement in providing direct caretaking has significantly increased over the last decade.  A growing consensus among researchers suggests that to maintain roughly the same proportion of parenting time, an annual average of 120 overnights should be awarded to non-custodial parents with school-age children; roughly one-third parenting time (Fabricius, Braver, Diaz & Schenck, 2009; Emery, 2007). Professor Richard Warshak and 110 of his eminent colleagues worldwide have recently reported in a comprehensive review of the social science literature, when parenting time drops below that 35% threshold, the benefits of parental contact to children start to diminish (Warshak, 2014).

HB5425 requires parents to file a parenting plan with the family court within 90 days of the divorce filing. If the parents don’t do so, the judge would be required to issue a parenting order.  A carefully crafted parenting plan providing the non-custodial parent ample age-appropriate parenting time as suggested by HB5425 offers many benefits in addition to greater engagement of non-custodial parents in their children’s lives:

·         Encourage greater payment of child support (Amato, Meyers & Emery, 2009).

·         Promote the development of a secure attachment between the child and both parents for very young children as advocated by child development experts (Lamb, 2005)

·         Support the maintenance of the attachment between child and both parents for older children.

·         Minimize the potential for conflict by the reduction of transitions between parents for older children(Kelly, 2005).

A parenting plan or order can be fashioned that fosters meaningful contact between the non-custodial parent and the child.  In this iterative process of refining Illinois statutes we hope to reach the goal of truly realizing the Best Interest of Child.

I encourage you to support HB5425 at the upcoming House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for March 20, 2014 starting at 8:30AM CDT.


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.

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 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.


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 @

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:

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


Read more about Prenda and his purported porn piracy shakedown:


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


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


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


*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:


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:


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


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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lets fight the (ISBA) illinois state bar assoc. that does not care anything about our children they are a profit center for them just a meal ticket.

March 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Side note the Illinois State Bar assoc. are greedy scumbags and only care about themselves not our children or if we get exploited by them . The appearance they try to portray is they are  righteus  in every intent.  Which is so far misrepresenting the simple fact they are by most part scumbags in family court this is the biggest profit center and is a cottage industry in our Illinois courts.
Our biggest concern is they(Illinois bar assoc.) has an appearance that they  do not give a shit about our children and most of them that represent them As (GAL,r Child rep.) commit fraud on a daily basis and the bar assoc. is supporting this kind of conduct and has utter disregard for 8.1 8.3 8.4 or any codes of ethical or professional conduct as well as statutory responsibility to follow the legislative intent.
Thanks Illinois Fathers for fighting against this tyrant thats duping the legislature and destroying and abusing children and families in Illinois.
Illinois Fathers
It was Martin Luther King who said, “We begin to die the day we begin to be silent on issues that matter.” IT WILL TAKE YOU LESS THEN 2 MINUTES PER PHONE CALL TO SAVE A CHILD’S LIFETIME BOND WITH THEIR PARENT. REPRESENTATIVES DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO BE AN EXPERT ON THE BILLS…THEY JUST NEED THE PHONE CALLS TO KNOW YOU WANT THEM TO SUPPORT HB 5425, HB 4459 AND HB 4458 and that you want the representative to make a special request that all 3 bills be passed out of rules committee immediately.

TOTAL success now depends on what YOU DO or not do in the next 48 hours. Countless volunteer hours at the capitol have carried the ball down to the current goal line but if you don’t pick up the phone then our 2014 legislative agenda may very well die. The DEADLINE to get our bills out of committee is March 28th.

We have worked very hard to this point and we have strong bi-partisan sponsors signed on to our bills so it is a BIG “mystery” as to why our bills are still waiting in the 5 person Rules Committee(the first committee for all bills which almost always passes on bills for further consideration – 3 Democrats, 2 Republicans) to be passed on for full consideration. We need our bills out of Rules Committee NOW to have time to make the March 28th deadline.

Priority Number 1: Call Rep. Monique Davis (217) 782-0010 AND CALL AT (773) 445-9700 and thank her for taking on the role of Chief Sponsor in SUPPORT of HB 5425, HB 4459 and HB 4458. If you say, “I heard Rep. Davis met with Richard Thomas yesterday(3/5/2014) and you agreed to take on bills HB 5425, HB 4459 and HB 4458, THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting our bills and please do what you can to get our bills passed out of Rules Committee.” If you say these words to Rep. Davis or her secretary, they will know exactly what and who you mean. Be friendly but firm in your support of these 3 bills because your fair share of democracy is on the line.

Priority Number 2: Please call Representative Michael J. Madigan (D) at (217) 782-5350 or Secretary “April” at (773) 581-8000 and simply say “Children need BOTH parents now more than ever – Please SUPPORT HB 5425.” HB 5425 has strong bi-partisan support, but will die if Rep. Madigan doesn’t allow it to a vote. What is HB 5425? If the court determines that both parents are fit and good, then the non-custodial parent will be allotted/offered 35 percent minimum parenting time weekly to facilitate EVEN bonding. Parentlessness is killing this nation, please call today. Take the target off the backs of children, TODAY! BE a hero…CALL, CALL, CALL TODAY. Please also ask that HB 4459 and HB 4458 be special requested passed the Rules Committee. All 3 bills have bi-partisan support signed on.

Priority Number 3:
Please Contact These Members ASAP to SUPPORT HB 5425, HB 4458 and HB 4459 being passed into the next appropriate committee;

House Rules Committee:
Chairperson: Barbara Flynn Currie…D…phone: (217) 782-8121
Spokesperson: Ed Sullivan, Jr….R… phone: (217) 782-3696
Member: Lou Lang…D…(217) 782-1252
Member: David R. Leitch…R…(217) 782-8108
Member: Frank J. Mautino…D…(217) 782-0140

Priority Number 4: If you have time, please email me any responses you get on the above at

I spoke with NAACP President Lloyd Johnston recently and he was very excited in favor of our bills. I’ve been informed that the NAACP is drafting its letter of support due within a day or so. But will that come in time to get our bills out of Rules Committee? Let’s not depend on it…make your calls today.
Spent all day at the capitol yesterday. We met with over 30 representatives, many high-ranking ones. Thanks to Brian Caldwell and Shane Bouvet who showed a lot of promise at the capitol yesterday. They will represent family law reform well in the very near future.
Democracy is now in yours hands…please print this off and call today!!! In Solidarity, Richard Thomas, Loves Park, (815) 690-5034.

Explanation of Bills:
HB 5425: Divorce in this country all too often means that children lose sufficient contact with at least one of their parents. Most people don’t know that the standard “visitation” schedule for non-custodial parents in the State of Illinois is 4 hours a week and every other weekend. No matter how good and participatory a parent has been this is the standard time allotted to almost all non-custodial parents. This makes bonding, especially even bonding, next to impossible, over the course of a child’s first 18 years of development. HB 5425 is a quantum leap forward towards a remedy. This bill takes the target off the backs of Illinois children going through divorce and custody. If a judge determines that both parents are good and fit, the non-custodial parent will be allotted at least 35 percent minimum parenting time weekly to facilitate, enable EVEN bonding with both parents. The bill has strong bi-partisan support and will die unless people call in support. I co-wrote HB 5425 along with Attorney Mick Gerhardt(then filtered through the Legislative Reference Bureau). So, if you have any further questions please contact us.

HB 4459: The bill basically states that if a court finds you innocent during an Order of Protection hearing, you can have that court proven false accusation expunged off your record so it doesn’t ruin your life and career. Innocent is innocent, so there is zero reason why you shouldn’t be able to expunge that proven false accusation. Even convicted criminals get to expunge their records if they keep their record clean for a certain period of time, so why shouldn’t the innocent get expunged? Furthermore, the threshold to obtain an Order of Protection is so low, if can’t get one there is extreme certainty there was no evidence in the first place.

HB 4458: This bill basically states that if a court finds that you have lied under oath while attempting to obtain an Order of Protection, you can receive a penalty for that false accusation. It’s only right and fair.

Special Note: NONE of these bills make ANY changes to the Order of Protection pursuit process for alleged victims of domestic violence.


Richard Thomas
(our guy in Springfield)
Illinois Fathers

Progress –

State Representative Josh Harms last year introduced a Right of First Refusal Bill and thanks to your efforts, Right of First Refusal is now law. We are pleased to report that the new law IS having an impact. We are hearing from at least one father that he gained significantly more time with his child when the father informed his lawyer about the new Right of First Refusal law. Subsequently, the lawyer informed the Judge, who at the time had not heard of the new law, however the Judge granted the father every Thursday visitation beginning after school and continuing overnight, in addition to the typical every other weekend schedule. In another case, a lawyer is using the Right of First Refusal law as leverage for an Illinois Father’s member who is pursuing more visitation time, and in this case, the member did not have to inform the lawyer about the new law. We hope their are more success stories out there for the new Right of First Refusal law. If you have a story of your own to share with us,

Another positive is that our membership numbers are climbing. We believe this is due primarily to the efforts of numerous members to display the Illinois Father’s tri-fold brochure in public places. Our overall membership recently surpassed 400. If things continue at current pace, we hope to reach 1,000 members possibly before the end of 2014. Having a larger membership base makes the group more powerful and credible. Places to display the tri-folds are police stations, DCFS offices, court houses, offices of State Representatives and Senators, libraries, churches and other public locations. If you would like a box of approximately 250
pre-printed and pre-folded tri-folds to display in your part of the state, please e-mail

Mr. Prentice Powell is a young father dealing with the courts who was recently featured on the Arsenio Hall show.
As you can see, he delivers a powerful and emotional presentation. It is also a huge positive for the movement
that his presentation is featured on a mainstream media outlet like the Arsenio Hall show. Currently, Illinois
Fathers is attempting to book Mr. Powell for upcoming April 7th rally in Springfield to support our bills, specifically
HB5425 which is in essence the 35 percent minumum time bill.

Dr. Baskerville’s latest article regarding the divorce industry can be viewed here

With Illinois Fathers being founded in 2008, the group is now into its seventh calander year. Slowly but surely,
more and more people are learning about Illinois Fathers. All of these successes and efforts take alot of time and
a little bit of money. We would urge everyone reading this to consider taking on a more active role with Illinois
Fathers. If you can donate some money to help pay for printing costs, and costs associated with booking Mr.
Powell, that would be huge. If you can distribute tri-folds, you will probably help us grow our membership. If you
can volunteer in another capacity, please let us know.

Thank you for being a part of Illinois Fathers

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Negotiations have begun between Baby Veronica’s biological father and adoptive parents, attorney says

August 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Negotiations have begun between Baby Veronica’s biological father and adoptive parents, attorney says

By MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer on Aug 14, 2013, at 8:42 AM  Updated on 8/14/13 at 10:56 PM

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 Learn more about the custody battle of Baby Veronica.

 From The Post and Courier: Capobiancos in Oklahoma on quest to bring Veronica home, press conference set for today


Opposing sides in ‘Baby Veronica’ case talk compromise

UPDATE: As negotiations continue between attorneys, Baby Veronica’s adoptive parents hope to visit the 3-year-old girl today, according to a statement from their spokeswoman.

 From The Post and Courier: As governor issues ultimatum, Capobiancos see early results of Oklahoma trip to retrieve Veronica

Opposing sides in ‘Baby Veronica’ case talk compromise

Earlier this week in South Carolina, Baby Veronica’s adoptive parents described her as being “kidnapped” and “held captive,” demanding that law enforcement officials find her immediately. From The Post and Courier: Capobiancos in Oklahoma on quest to bring Veronica home, press conference set for today


Michael Overall


Negotiations between Baby Veronica’s biological father and her adoptive parents have begun, defense attorney Clark Brewster confirmed Wednesday evening.

Brewster said he had a “lengthy conversation” earlier Wednesday with an attorney for Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who have been locked in a custody dispute with his client, Dusten Brown of Nowata, for nearly four years.

He was waiting to hear back from the Capobianco camp, Brewster said. But he suggested that the discussion could eventually move from phone conversations between attorneys to a face-to-face meeting between the two families.

“The real issue,” he said, “is Veronica and her best interests.”

Earlier in the day, Brewster had suggested that a possible compromise could involve agreeing to have a “best interest” hearing here in Oklahoma to decide on the terms of custody.

The Capobiancos want to take 3-year-old Veronica back to South Carolina, where they raised her for the first two years of her life.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin warned Wednesday morning that if Brown didn’t negotiate with the Capobiancos, she would speed up the extradition process and send him to South Carolina to face a charge of “custodial interference.”

But Brown had already made at least one offer to compromise in recent weeks, and “he has always had a desire to reach out and do what is best for Veronica,” Brewster said.

Brown has committed no crime and will not let the criminal case filed against him in South Carolina affect any decisions about the custody of his daughter, Brewster said.

The Capobiancos said during a news conference in downtown Tulsa on Wednesday morning that Brown turned down their request to visit Veronica after they arrived in Oklahoma late Tuesday.

“Mr. and Mrs. Capobianco deserve an opportunity to meet with their adopted daughter,” Fallin said later in the day. “They also deserve the chance to meet with Mr. Brown and put an end to this conflict.”

On Tuesday, the governor had said she would delay a decision on extraditing Brown to South Carolina. He faces a complaint of “custodial interference,” which carries up to five years in prison. He was arrested and posted bond Monday. The next day Fallin said she would allow Brown time to challenge the extradition in court on Sept. 12.

Baby Veronica’s adoptive parents talk with the media from Tulsa World on Vimeo

After the morning press conference — in which the Capobiancos said they’ve never been allowed to visit their daughter and were told it wasn’t in Veronica’s best interests for a visit now — the governor issued a statement:

“It is important for Veronica’s sake that Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family resolve this matter quickly and grant closure to all parties. If Mr. Brown is unwilling to cooperate with these reasonable expectations, then I will be forced to expedite his extradition request and let the issue be settled in court.”

Brown’s defense attorney, Clark Brewster, told the Tulsa World that the governor shouldn’t mix the criminal case with the civil dispute over custody.

“They’re two completely separate legal issues,” Brewster said. “One involves a criminal allegation and one involves what is in the best interests of Veronica.”

Brewster said he would be in contact with the governor’s office.

South Carolina granted custody back to the Capobiancos this summer based on testimony given more than two years ago, Brewster said.

“There needs to be present-day determination of that,” he said. “What is in her best interests now? That would be the overture best made by both sides.”

In an emailed statement, Brewster said an attempt would be made to quickly break the impasse between the families.

“We will reach out to counsel for the Capobiancos to see if a resolution in Veronica’s best interest can be reached by the parties,” Brewster said in the statement.

During the press conference this morning, the Capobianco family said they sought a quick resolution and didn’t want a confrontation in an attempt to retrieve Veronica during their visit.

“We are determined to bring our daughter home, but please know that we don’t seek victory,” Melanie Capobianco said. “There is none in this type of situation. What we seek is peace for our daughter. For everyone involved, we need closure.”

But, the Capobiancos said, the legal fight wouldn’t end if a compromise couldn’t be reached.

“If it takes another week, another month another decade, we’re not going anywhere,” Matt Capobianco said. He said prolonging the process is not in Veronica’s best interests.

The morning press conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tulsa preceded an afternoon court hearing in Charleston, S.C. The hearing is another step in the nearly four-year battle for custody of the girl whose biological father will challenge a judge’s demand that they reveal Veronica’s location.

At the two-hour hearing, a Charleston County family court judge reiterated that he wanted Veronica returned to the Capobiancos “forthwith,” the Charleston Post and Courier reported.

According to the paper, Dusten Brown’s attorney asked for some modifications to Family Court Judge Daniel Martin’s order, which he agreed to take under advisement. Neither side would discuss what those modifications were. However, Martin made it clear that he wants the transfer to take place quickly.

Brown’s attorney in South Carolina, John Nichols, would not say whether the judge required their legal team to reveal Veronica’s whereabouts. Nichols also would not discuss where Veronica is, the Post and Courier reported.

Authorities in Oklahoma have so far refused to help the Capobiancos retrieve Veronica. The sheriff in Nowata County, which is the home of Veronica’s birth father about an hour north of Tulsa, has said he didn’t agree with the South Carolina courts’ action against Brown or their demand that he immediately hand over Veronica. Sheriff James Hallett also said that without a warrant, he would arrest Matt Capobianco if he were to take Veronica.

The Capobiancos vowed earlier this week to come find their daughter themselves if law enforcement didn’t take physical custody away from her Cherokee family. Cherokee officials and Brown have not revealed Veronica’s location.

The Capobiancos said they didn’t seek a confrontation during this trip in a quest to retrieve Veronica.

“We’re certainly not looking to do anything to upset anyone, certainly not public officials or law enforcement,” Matt Capobianco said. “Obviously, we don’t want to scare our daughter in some kind of confrontation. That’s not in her best interests.”

The 35-minute press conference included a family spokeswoman and Troy Dunn, a television personality who specializes in locating and reuniting birth families and adopted children.

The family said they would meet a senator – they didn’t name whom – and Veronica’s birth mother, Christy Maldonado, later today. They left the press conference with a television crew in the back of a black SUV.

During the press conference, a family spokeswoman said that the courts had ruled on the issue, and it was time for Brown to give up custody of Veronica. A South Carolina court has ordered that she be returned to her adoptive parents. But the custody order hasn’t been confirmed in an Oklahoma court, as state law dictates.

Raw video of protest after Capobianco press conference from Tulsa World on Vimeo

“The Capobiancos have requested the Cherokee Nation and Dusten Brown to follow the South Carolina court’s order, but they forget that Dusten Brown has the same rights to have his arguments heard before our Oklahoma courts and Cherokee Nation Tribal Court,” Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement issued after the press conference. “We respectfully ask the Capobiancos to allow that due process.”

All who spoke at the press conference had a common theme: A quick resolution would be best for Veronica and compromise could be the best way to do it. The Capobiancos said they would allow visitation for Brown and his family.

Dunn challenged Brown to meet with him personally, with no lawyers, no tribal representatives, no friends. Dunn said it was time to “hit the pause button” in the legal battle until the child’s situation is settled.

Melanie Capobianco said “she never imagined four years ago anything like this could have ever happened.”


September 2009: Baby Veronica born in Oklahoma, taken to South Carolina for adoption.

January 2010: Father, Dusten Brown, signs away custody but files an appeal a few days later.

December 2011: Baby Veronica returns to Oklahoma after a family court in South Carolina grants custody to the father.

July 2012: South Carolina Supreme Court upholds the custody decision.

January: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear an appeal from the adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco.

April: U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the case.

June 25: U.S. Supreme Court rules that federal law doesn’t require that Veronica be given to her biological father. The court did not clear her adoptive parents to immediately regain custody.

July 9: Cherokee Nation District Court officials confirm that Dusten Brown’s mother and father, Tommy and Alice Brown, have filed for adoption of Veronica – in line with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion.

July 17: Cherokee Nation courts name three of Dusten Brown’s family members as joint guardians, giving them the power to make legal and medical decisions for Veronica and complicating the issue for South Carolina courts. Later that day, the South Carolina Supreme Court terminates Brown’s parental rights and gives full custody to the adoptive parents.

July 24: Christy Maldonado, Veronica’s birth mother, files a lawsuit with several other women who have placed children for adoption, seeking to have part of the Indian Child Welfare Act declared unconstitutional.

July 26: Dusten Brown files a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and require South Carolina courts to hold a best-interest hearing for Veronica.

July 31: Prior to a hearing on transition details for Veronica, a Cherokee Nation attorney appointed for Veronica files a federal lawsuit in South Carolina seeking to temporarily stop the hearing and hold a best-interest hearing. It is denied.

Aug. 2: The U.S. Supreme Court denies Brown’s July 26 petition. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the only dissenters.

Aug. 5: A South Carolina judge orders Brown to surrender custody “immediately” after he didn’t bring Veronica to a court-ordered visitation with the adoptive parents in South Carolina.

Aug. 9: South Carolina officials issue an arrest warrant for Brown. He is expected to be taken into custody in Iowa, where he is training with the Oklahoma National Guard.

Aug. 10: National Guard officials grant Brown requested leave from training after he is subpoenaed to appear in Cherokee Nation tribal court for an emergency hearing in Tahlequah.

Aug. 12: Brown does not appear at the emergency hearing. He turns himself in to authorities in Sequoyah County and is released after posting $10,000 bond. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs a warrant for Brown’s extradition and sends it to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.

Aug. 13: Fallin declines to sign off on the warrant, saying Brown has a right to contest extradition in court. She says she will not act upon the warrant until after Brown’s next extradition hearing on Sept. 12. Capobiancos arrive in Tulsa that night.

Aug. 14: Capobiancos hold news conference in downtown Tulsa saying they had been denied a chance to see Veronica and meet with Brown. Fallin says she will speed up Brown’s extradition to South Carolina if he does not allow the Capobiancos to see Veronica. A South Carolina family court judge reiterates that he wanted Veronica returned to the Capobiancos “forthwith.”

Upcoming court action

Aug. 23: Deadline for Brown to contest South Carolina’s custody order in Oklahoma court.

Sept. 4: A Cherokee tribal court will consider extending a temporary guardianship for Veronica’s stepmother and grandparents, potentially claiming jurisdiction over the case.

Sept. 12: Brown to return to Sequoyah County Court for a hearing on his extradition.

lawyers loosing out on to much greed spending cut?

June 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

Legal aid cuts ”overwhelm” family courts

11 June 2013

There has been a massive increase in the number of couples holding child custody cases in family courts after legal aid for such action has been cut, it has been claimed. Since this April, around 200,000 people a year no longer qualify for state aid in divorce and child contact cases.
The government has insisted that legal aid should be restricted in its application and claimed that taxpayers’ money was being spent on cases that people should pay for themselves. However, a spin-off of this policy has been greater use of the family court system which is said to be at risk of collapsing under the pressure.
Last month there was a 27 per cent increase in the number of child custody cases, which have virtually doubled in two years – although this is obviously not connected to the current cuts.
Christina Blacklaws of the Law Society council told the BBC: “The whole system is really creaking at seams and could collapse in on itself. This points to some quite difficult times in the future. It could mean that there would not be proper access to justice for those facing family breakdown because they would have to wait so long.”
Cambridge lawyer Adam Moghadas, a spokesperson for the Resolution association of family lawyers, was quoted in Cambridge News as saying that cutting family legal aid was an attack on childhood and the family.
“We’re talking about the health and wellbeing of families at a time when teenagers are supposed to be running amok and with the riots less than two years ago,” he said. “It’s hypocrisy at a time when you’re lambasting absent fathers and you’re making it harder for them to access justice and have contact with their children.”

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