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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The appearance of how to go about is free for the asking with educational materials?

September 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

“How To Fight CPS”

Step by Step Condensed

 

#1  No matter what stage your “case” is in, the Number One (#1) thing YOU MUST DO-

Document, Document, Document

This costs nothing and is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do in your defense.  

CPS agents “make mistakes”, LIE, and TWIST your words.  Don’t let them get away with it- DOCUMENT IT.

Keep detailed records of who said what, when.  Keep copies of EVERYTHING you send to them or receive from them.

ESPECIALLY document face-to-face and conversations on the phone.  Record or video tape if you have it.

Washington State Extended Families has a nice essay on how to do Documentation.
Linda Downs at Iowa Family Rights also has some great advice to Document all Interactions

This is a war fought with PAPER,  paper FILED ON THE RECORD in court.

Insist on LETTERS to and from the agencies.

They can’t alter their words printed on paper that have been mailed to you.   Nor can they alter your words either.  KEEP COPIES of your letters to them. 

 

#2  SIGN NOTHING, AGREE TO NOTHING

If you are innocent or falsely accused, Do NOT agree to anything a CPS agent says.  ABSOLUTELY do NOT sign anything a CPS agent shoves under your nose until you talk it over with your LAWYER or a trusted friend who has some legal savvy. 

Anything they FORCE you to sign, you can add “Under Duress” before your signature if you don’t agree with it.

If you already have agreed or signed something that you felt coercion to do, upon advice from your lawyer or knowledgeable friend, you can RESCIND your previous agreement or signature.  Be forewarned- this will really, REALLY piss off the CPS witch and she WILL undertake to punish you every way possible.  But she probably planned on “doing their worst”, hurting you every way possible, eventually.  When I was going through this, I figured we might just as well go straight to WAR and leave out the phony negotiations and manipulations phase.  I won.

 

# SHUT UP— SHUT UP— SHUT UP!

Quit talking with the CPS monsters.  You are waiving your FIFTH AMENDMENT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT and Miranda Rights every time you answer a question.

 

“The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.” — Miller v. U.S. Source: 230 F 2d 486, 489

Personal and phone conversations are where “mistakes” (inventions and fabrications) happen when THEY write their report about the conversations. Words you say float up into the rafters and come back twisted against you.  If you feel you have to talk with them, record it or videotape it.  You can then transcribe it into your DOCUMENT.

A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C.

CPS is NOT your friend! 

Women especially fall into this trap.  Especially in cases where a child is ALLEGEDLY abused or molested by a family member.  

DO NOT pour your heart out to a CPS worker or CPS contractor Mental Illness clinician.

Do that, and you will join the ranks of “co-perpetrator” lamenting “I was so, so foolish.  I was an IDIOT. I thought they were there to HELP  me.  I thought the CPS worker CARED.  I thought I had PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY with the psych shithead.”

CPS will use every word you say to make your child a Legal Orphan, because THAT’S what they are being PAID for.
Ignore or forget this at your and your children’s EXTREME PERIL.

“Communists are to be ready to cheat, lie, perjure and do everything possible to gain their ends.” –Vladimir Lenin

 

BE POLITE!  The highest crime you can commit is Contempt of Social Worker”.

We have reports of POLICEMEN telling people that the Constitutional Rights and Miranda Rights are only for TV, and what they are doing is “The Real World”.
See The Oath of Office
EVERY OATH of OFFICE in the USA includes “support the Constitution”

Since many of them seem like childish morons, SOCIOPATHIC, and plainly nasty with no discernable social “skills”, this can be a difficult task. 

“I would love to answer your question, but I cannot do that without violating my Fifth Amendment Rights and my Miranda Rights

“I would love to let you in my house to look around without a Search Warrant.  But I cannot do that without violating my Fourth Amendment Rights

“There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual,
but you cannot make him respect you.” 
William Hazlitt

NEW CASELAW August 21, 2008 

Case Name: U.S. v. CraigheadDistrict: 9 Cir , Case #: 07-1-135
Opinion Date: 8/21/2008 , DAR #: 13245
Case Holding:
Interrogations occurring inside the home are custodial, requiring Miranda advisements under the Fifth Amendment, if the circumstances turn it into one of a “police-dominated” atmosphere.

Speaking personally, if there was no cop there, I would darn sure turn it into a “police dominated atmosphere”, by calling 911 and report that my home was being trespassed under the Color of Law with no Warrant.  If they DO have a warrant, SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP.

NEW CASELAW June 1, 2010 

Court: Suspects must say they want to be silent
By Jesse J. Holland ASSOCIATED PRESS
11:27 a.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects must tell police explicitly that they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting justice said turns defendants’ rights “upside down.”

A right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer are the first of the Miranda rights warnings, which police recite to suspects during arrests and interrogations. But the justices said in a 5-4 decision that suspects must tell police they are going to remain silent to stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.  FULL STORY

Print one of these up to hand to the CPS agent when she wants to force her way in your house or threaten you-
Violation_Warning-Denial_Rights_under_Color_Law.pdf

About Psych Evals

We believe the court-ordered psych exam is a violation of your 5th Amendment rights.
Don’t entertain the folly that psychiatrists are your friend.
No, you 
do not enjoy professional “confidentiality” with them. 
They are the foremost tool of character assassination
.

Also see AFRA Dress Codes.
How you dress and conduct yourself in interviews, at court, or with the Mental Illness Clinicians- matters.

 

You Have The Right To Remain Silent: Fifth Amendment Explained
by Bill Rounds
December 9, 2010
Copyright © 2010 How to Vanish

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” ~ Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution

The right to remain silent is a fundamental principle of liberty. It gives American citizens better privacy. The burden falls on the accuser to build a case against a person. If the accuser does not meet that burden, the accused is free to go. The accused never, ever, is required to furnish any evidence or testimony against himself.1 In other words, liberty requires that you have the right to remain silent.

If the accused were forced to produce evidence that they did not commit an act, innocent people would be forced to prove a negative.2 Proving a negative is usually far more difficult, if not impossible to do. Anyone without an alibi would be convicted. No one could afford to spend even one minute alone in that kind of world.3 The right to remain silent preserves a functioning system of justice and a functioning society.  FULL STORYBill Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and financial freedom and civil liberties. This is merely one article of 73 by Bill Rounds J.D.

1- Which is why you should NEVER pour your heart out to a CPS agent or psych

2- Which is what an allegation and prosecution by CPS is.  The accusation is the PROOF NOT innocent until proven guilty

3- Which is exactly where falsely accused parents find themselves.

Mission Critical Need-to-know info- On June 1, 2010 the Supreme Court gutted Miranda.  
   You have to SAY “I want to remain silent, and I want a lawyer”

#4

**CAVEAT**   The following gray paragraph is merely OBLIGATORY so I don’t appear too radical.
I don’t really believe you are going to find a lawyer in your area who gives a shit.
I really believe YOU are going to have to learn DIY Law and fight your OWN battles.
 BUT, the advice in the gray paragraph below HAS actually HELPED a couple of people I have heard back from.
 

If there is a lawyer in your area who HATES CPS and knows how to put up a DEFENSE, hire him now and help him defend you.   If you have to sell the car, mortgage the house, clean out your retirement fund, borrow from relatives- pay his retainer.  (No, you shouldn’t have to do this to receive “justice”, but this is the way the new progressive “sustainable government” works.)

Not just any lawyer will do. Get the Yellow Pages, open it to “Attorneys”. 

Start  at A and go through Z until you find one that hates CPS as much as you do

If you get a court-appointed attorney, you may or may not receive a “vigorous defense“.  About the standard pay they receive is $500 total, so the pay is no motivation to them.  You might get a young, idealistic one fresh from law school, and he may be pretty aggressive.  Some older ones who are not calloused may also really go to bat for you and the children and provide Competent Counsel.  

If the lawyer you are considering does NOT agree with THIS CREED in defending you, walk away.

“Lack of counsel of choice can be conceivably even worse than no counsel at all, or having to accept counsel beholden to one’s adversary.” Burgett v Texas, 389 US 109

In all cases, Help your lawyer defend you

Be aware that some “courts” may be so “unencumbered by the Constitution” that a lawyer “may” risk his Bar License by providing a “vigorous defense”.  (See What Happens in the FOG)

There are also stories about CPS KIDNAPPING THE LAWYER’S CHILDREN AND ASSASSINATING HIS CHARACTER TOO.  We have heard of CPS doing the same thing to JUDGES, Doctors, Police officers, other CPS people (Whistle-Blowers), and even State Representatives who challenge CPS’ lies and fascist activities.

Also see Make Your Court-Appointed Attorney Work For YOU at fightcps.com

NEW! August 8, 2008 How I Found Attorney Who “Hates” CPS

If there is NO such lawyer (there’s not very many), or you are penniless,
~you are going to have to learn how to DO IT YOURSELF in pro per or pro se~

“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner 

NOTE- If you ARE a LAWYER who wants to learn HOW, see-
Legal Information

TELL YOUR LAWYER about-
The National Project to Improve Representation
for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System

Sponsored by-

Preparing a Vigorous Defense
Stuckle and Ferguson, PLLC
When facing false allegations, the accused must be prepared to fight for their life. 

Because of the special nature of child sexual abuse cases, erosion of constitutional rights, determination of the child savers that you are guilty- you must vigorously defend yourself and prove your innocence!

If an attorney says to “wait and see if you are indicted”…WALK AWAY IMMEDIATELY! The best time to get a dismissal is before a formal charge. LOTS MORE

#5 

Write your own version of history in a Sworn Declaration
and FILE IT with the Court, the CPS, the DA, and whoever else that has ANYTHING to do with your case.
You are SWEARING to the truthfulness of your statements.  The CPS witches aren’t swearing to ANYTHING (what is SACRED to them that they COULD swear on? TheCommunist Manifesto or the Humanist Manifesto II?)

You had better be telling THE TRUTH with no “embellishments” and citing FACTS you can back up with evidence or witnesses’ sworn statements.  Say NOTHING self-incriminating.  If you have something to hide, you aren’t going to lie your way out of it.

Grammar Quick Help Class 101 How your papers LOOK matters!

The importance of your Sworn Declaration cannot be over- emphasized! 

THE ONLY WAY you have appealable “issues” in the future is to get your facts ON THE RECORD in court.

Just filing your papers yourself with the court clerk may be the ONLY way to
GET THE TRUTH ON THE RECORD

If you don’t get anything ON THE RECORD, you will likely have NO appealable issues in the future.
See this and ESPECIALLY THIS

NEW! 7-25-2011

Brand new proof that our recommendation to PUT THE TRUTH ON THE RECORD in court is good advice-

JurisDictionary- Using On-Line Legal Research

If you want to win in court, you must make it crystal clear on the court’s official record that the judge will be reversed on appeal if he rules against you! Nothing else matters!  

See Full Story at AFRA Front Page News

How to Write a Declaration of Facts to Submit to the Court
Linda Martin
FightCPS.com
December 22, 2010
When parents appear in Juvenile Court they are handed a report written by a CPS social worker. It states the county’s side of the court case.

Who writes a similar report explaining the parents’ side of the case to the judge?

Usually, nobody.

Legal documents explaining the parents’ side aren’t written because they have court-appointed attorneys that in general, often don’t care enough to take the time to produce legal documents. Many of these attorneys receive a flat fee per case so there’s no financial motivation for providing an aggressive defense for the parents.

Most often, court appointed attorneys in Juvenile Court simply guide the parents through the hearings and advise them to sign a plea or stipulation of some kind, which implicates them as being guilty. If the parents sign (most do because their court-appointed attorneys are advising it) there will be no trial – no opportunity for them to protest their innocence or defend themselves. Without a trial there’s never going to be a time when the CPS social worker has to prove the county’s case.

So what should CPS victim-parents do to counteract the problem of having a court-appointed attorney who won’t aggressively defend them?  FULL STORY

#6  Get your records from the agency- 

GET YOUR RECORDS

 

 

#

Clean up your house and your life.Obviously, if your house is a mess or your life is a mess, your CPS worker is going to use every bit of it against you.  There is (so far as we know) absolutely NO LAW about “dirty house”, but they make a big deal out of it.

Shacking up with a boyfriend is the path to hell.  Boyfriends have NO “natural affection” for your children, and they are the #1 baby rapists and child abusers and killers, at the TOP of any statistical data.

 

The appearance Organized Crime Hidden Within the Government supports Child Abuse Financially ?

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

 

Child Abuse Financially Supports Organized Crime Hidden Within the Government

Added by Lisa Graziano on September 11, 2013.
Saved under Child AbuseConspiracy TheoriesCrimeDrugs and AlcoholLisa Grazianosex offenseU.S.
Tags: 

Child Abuse Financially Supports Organized Crime Hidden Within the Government

With the recent chemical weapon attack in Syria, stories of Foster Homes around the world torturing children, child trafficking and the epidemic number of child abuse cases anointing the system our children are in danger.

But while the upcoming generation suffers at the hands of their abusive caregivers and society alike, child abuse is financially benefiting organized crime hidden within the government system.

The U.S. statistics on child abuse show that the every five hours a child dies from abuse with America having the worst child abuse record in the world. In the U.S., 66 children under the age of 15 die every week because of abuse. And more horrifying is that 80 percent of these fatalities are kids under the age of four.

In this intelligent, industrial time, the United States has the highest rate of abuse around the world with the State of Texas having the worst child abuse record in the nation.

These statistics only provide figures for the children who have died due to abuse and neglect and does not account for the children who still living each day of their tortured lives with more abusive horrors to come.

Although Dallas Children Hospital cares for a range of illnesses from cancer to kids with heart defects, child abuse accounts for 37 percent of hospital deaths, and this statistic is continuing to rise. The hospital sees about five abused patients a day.

What a dismal light this sheds on America’s future generation. And unlike diseases such as cancer or heart disease, the worst part of this growing epidemic is that it can be prevented.

These innocent, trusting children are put into the hands of people to care of them. What is happening in America and who is to blame for breeding this army of future abusers?

Firstly, the blame lies with the perpetrator who is responsible for caring for our children. But once the abuse is identified Child Protective Services (CPS) steps in, and hidden within the government’s financial bureaucracy organized crime raises its ugly head.

James Brown director of Sociological Center in Little Rock Arkansas advises that in 1973 the social work and mental health professions devised an organized crime operation exploiting children through the secrecy of the Child Protection Service, Juvenile court and mental health systems. The result being employees within the judicial system such as judges, attorneys, CPS caseworkers and mediators would supply fraud-based evaluations, falsifying testimony and records. If these deceptive methods were not adopted by the employees, they would be terminated from their position.

In Arkansas it was discovered that an Arkansas bill was drafted that required DHS employees, if subpoenaed, to lie about facts and records. Which is what happened in the Florida case wherein CPS  falsified records in the Rilya Wilson case, wherein the little girl has never been found. The story can be found at www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/wilson_rilya.html

To maintain organized crime within the child protection system, policies and procedures were written and put in place so that the components of criminal activity would not be detected within the system.

This truth is detected in the bureaucracy’s financial statistics. The number of children taken into the system will be enough to generate agency payroll. Also, everyone in the agency system will stay employed if the numbers of child abuse cases and children taken in always increases. Federal funding and blind political support is fashioning the criminal activity by means of financial gain.

Although Health and Human Services (HHS) stated in a press release that there will be no toleration for the abuse of even one child. HHS’s budget depends on abused children and the Federal Government is a major funder for child abuse.

In the State of Kentucky the quick trigger adoption method a great financial gain for the state. The non-profit organization Kentucky Youth Advocates noticed a spike in complaints against CPS and did some investigation. The caseworkers were said to be rude and hostile to the families they were working with. Adoptions were expedited too quickly with premature removal of children from their homes. The CPS caseworkers were setting unrealistic goal plans for the families to meet in order to keep their child.

Adoption proceedings were on a 17-day fast track wherein without substantial evidence or witnesses and based only on the caseworkers falsified testimony, the adoption of the child was authorized by the judge. And when defendant family appealed the decision, CPS removed the other children from the home along with removing the attorney who filed the appeal’s children. The more children being brought into the system, the more financial aid to be had. In 2004, the State of Kentucky received from the federal government $1,074,000 for adopting out children compared to the previous year’s government payout of $57,052. The more children being adopted, the more money is given to the state.

And not only is the government using adoption methods to increase its state revenue, child trafficking is another option for added income. As such the case in Austin, Texas where a Department of Human Services (DHS) supervisor, James Bunch committed suicide after being caught running a foster care prostitution ring from his office computer for two-years. Police confirmed that a state legislator was among the 400 clients listed.

But criminal financial gain does not just end at the physical and sexual abuse levels. The pharmaceutical and medical industries are also involved in the exploitation of children. At an alarming rate, children in foster care custody are being prescribed an enormous amount of medications.

A report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) states that children in foster care are 4.5 times more likely in being given multiple psychotropic drugs. And worse yet, doctors who are not specialized in the care of children are prescribing these drugs. As in the case of a radiologist prescribing the drugs Prozac, Thorazine, Paxil and Xanax to a 15-year old child who was taking up to 13 pills a day.

67 percent of foster care children are taking at least one prescription drug. Foster care parents receive $17 per day for caring for the child, but if the foster child is on any type of psychotropic drug, the foster care parent receives $1,000 per day per child. And social security pays for these prescriptions.

Everyone is hopping on the criminal money train, the temporary caregivers, the doctors and pharmaceutical industry while the taxpayer is footing the bill.

Psychologist Dr. John Breeding warns this practice is “institutionalized child abuse.” Medicating our children as such is damaging their minds, personalities and souls.

Activists are calling for change. And in Texas along with a few other states, legal changes regarding the medication of children has begun to decline.

But true change will not happen unless the practice of saving our children from abuse is placed in the forefront of America’s priorities and organized crime is extinguished within the financial means controlling our governmental laws.

Written by Lisa Graziano

Our favorite porn Judge pornlito i mean judge Polito…….

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I still believe that restitution should have been repaid to the state as we payed him to self gratify on state time at least the time he was on the computor surfing for porn ?

This is miss appropriation of state and county funds.

 

 

 

(No. 12-CC-1 Respondent suspended.)

In re ASSOCIATE JUDGE JOSEPH C. POLITO,
of the Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Respondent

Order entered February 1, 2013.

SYLLABUS

On July 13, 2012, the Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint with the Courts Commission, charging respondent with conduct that brought the judicial office into disrepute in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Illinois Supreme Court Rules 61 and 62. In summary form, the complaint alleged that beginning in 2010 and periodically until August 2011, respondent frequently used his Will County issued work computer to access pornographic websites during work hours in his chambers. The complaint further alleged that Will County’s policies prohibited its employees from using Will County’s electronic communication systems for accessing sexually explicit material.

Held: Respondent suspended.
Sidley Austin LLP, of Chicago, for Judicial Inquiry Board.

William J. Martin, of Oak Park, for Respondent.

Before the COURTS COMMISSION: GARMAN, Chair, APPLETON, FRANKS, McBRIDE, SPENCE1, WEBBER, and WOLFF, commissioners, ALL CONCUR.

ORDER

In a complaint filed on July 13, 2012, the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board (Board) charged Joseph C. Polito, an associate judge in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, with “conduct that brought the judicial office into disrepute” in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Illinois Supreme Court Rules 61, Canon 1, and 62, Canon 2, which provide as follows:

“An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing, and should personally observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved. The provisions of this Code should be construed and applied to further that objective.

(A) A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself or herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

1At the time of the hearing and consideration of this case, Commissioner Robert B. Spence was an alternate member of the Commission appointed to serve on this case.

page1image18832

In support of the charge, the complaint stated that beginning in 2010 and periodically until August 2011, respondent used his Will County issued work computer to access pornographic websites during work hours in his chambers. During the relevant time period, respondent usually accessed pornographic websites multiple times a week.

Will County uses an internet blocking system, which prevents employees and users of the Will County computer network from accessing certain restricted websites. The internet blocking system used software that, when triggered, caused a blocking message to appear on the computer screen. When respondent was blocked from viewing a pornographic website and encountered these blocking screens, he typically returned to internet search engines and clicked on search results until he succeeded in bypassing the computer blocking software and, ultimately, accessed a pornographic website in violation of Will County’s written policies that prohibit employees from using the computers provided to them to access sexually explicit material. Respondent admitted that he was aware of this prohibition. It is also noted that respondent’s Chief Judge Stephen White specifically told him that such work computer usage was prohibited.

Respondent has further admitted the alleged conduct and his knowledge of the computer usage policy of Will County.

The Illinois Courts Commission (Commission) has heard not only the testimony presented before it but also has had the benefit of the report of proceedings before the Board.

It is uncontroverted that respondent suffers from an addiction to pornography and following a meeting with Chief Judge Gerald Kinney, who apparently had been alerted to respondent’s misuse of his computer, respondent entered into a program for treatment of his addiction to pornography. The treatment providers have filed statements concerning respondent’s progress in treatment, which disclose he is not only compliant with his treatment regimen but has made progress in his recovery.

The Commission recognizes that persons may become addicted to pornography as well as to alcohol or drugs. Such addictive behavior may manifest itself both during and outside of work hours, taking advantage of the temporal opportunity to do so.

In In re Associate Judge Francis P. Butler (2-CC-62), respondent was charged with consuming alcohol during working hours in the State’s Attorney’s Office. That behavior was compounded by respondent’s interference with a young female complainant and her family who had come to the prosecutor’s office to seek to have charges filed against another individual. There was no evidence concerning Judge Butler’s addiction to alcohol but his behavior directly interfered with the operation of the prosecutor’s office and the treatment of the alleged victim. He was suspended without pay for 30 days.

Here, there is no evidence that Judge Polito’s behavior in court or his association with his coworkers was directly impacted by his addictive behavior. To the contrary, Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes testified that he was a valued mentor to both judges and lawyers and treated all

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litigants with all the respect due them. However, his highly inappropriate behavior and the violation of the Will County regulations regarding computer usage did cause disrespect to his office as Associate Judge.

While there is no evidence that Judge Polito’s conduct affected his ability to perform his judicial duties, the Commission considers it to be an aggravating factor that Judge Polito used his work computer, during normal working hours at the courthouse, to access pornographic websites. Not only was this known by him to be in violation of the County’s regulation, but also in an era of declining judicial resources, many judges carry heavy caseloads, and Judge Polito’s conduct was an inexcusable waste of judicial time that should have been spent on available judicial duties.

SANCTION

The parties have brought to the Commission’s attention several decisions from sister jurisdictions where judicial officers were disciplined for behavior similar to that engaged in by Judge Polito. The Commission can find no common pattern of discipline from these cases by which to guide us in the imposition of an appropriate level of discipline here.

Turning to the judicial discipline jurisprudence of Illinois, we note In re Spurlock, 4 Ill. Cts. Com. 74 (2001) describes similar but albeit more egregious conduct by that respondent. Judge Spurlock was removed from the bench because of his treatment of female staff of both the court system and ancillary offices. In Spurlock, the Commission referenced with approval several factors used to determine an appropriate sanction for judicial misconduct: (a) whether the misconduct is an isolated instance or evidenced a pattern of conduct; (b) the nature, extent and frequency of occurrence of the acts or misconduct; (c) whether the misconduct occurred in or out of the courtroom; (d) whether the misconduct occurred in the judge’s official capacity or in his private life; (e) whether the judge has acknowledged or recognized that the acts occurred; (f) whether the judge has evidenced an effort to change or modify his conduct; (g) the length of service on the bench; (h) whether there have been prior complaints about this judge; (i) the effect the misconduct has upon the integrity of and respect for the judiciary; and (j) the extent to which the judge exploited his position to satisfy his personal desires. In re Deming, 736 P.2d 639, 659 (1987).

In this case, the Commission finds that Judge Polito’s conduct relates to these factors: (a) the misconduct was not an isolated instance; (b) it was frequent; (c) the acts occurred out of the courtroom but, importantly, used court resources; (d) it occurred in his personal capacity; (e) the judge has acknowledged the misconduct; (f) the judge is receiving treatment; (g) the judge has served for six years; (h) there were no prior complaints of which the Commission is aware; (i) the judge acknowledges that his conduct has brought the office into disrepute; and (j) the judge did not use his official position, other than access to official computers against regulations, to satisfy his personal desires.

We note as well that Judge Polito has testified under oath that he will not apply for reappointment as an associate judge at the expiration of his current term, a circumstance which

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ameliorates the necessity for the imposition of a more onerous sanction here.

It is the order of the Commission that respondent, Joseph C. Polito, be suspended without pay from his judicial duties for a period of 60 days.

Respondent suspended for 60 days commencing on February 16, 2013.

The Child Representative statute is unconstitutional IN IL. BUT WE USURPED THE LAW WE NOW HAVE a “custody czar.”

September 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Child Representative statute is unconstitutional

By Scott Colky

The members of the Special Subcommittee of the Illinois State Bar Association who wrote and lobbied for the “Child’s Representative” statute were well-intentioned, hardworking attorneys and judges who cared deeply for children. The statute has had a positive impact on attorneys who represent children by requiring mandatory education and training.

The goal of the Subcommittee was to create a Guardian ad Litem who could investigate the

child’s situation and report to the court regarding their conclusions. In addition, they wanted the same individual to be able to subpoena witnesses, call witnesses at trial and advocate what the Child’s Representative believed was in the child’s best interest. In light of the fact the Child’s Representative would have the powers of both the Guardian ad Litem and the Attorney for the Child, a prohibition against cross-examining the Child’s Representative was included in the statute.

Prior practice BUSINESS as usual

Prior to the enactment of the Child Representative statute, the court could appoint either a Guardian ad Litem or an Attorney for the Child. When an attorney was appointed to represent young children, the appointment was usually as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). The GAL would interview the children and advocate what that attorney believed was in the children’s best interest. However, in situations where the children were older and voiced strong preferences, the appointment was usually as an Attorney for the Child (AFC). The AFC was bound by his traditional role of advocating his client’s wishes even if the attorney believed those preferences were not in the children’s best interests. In those cases, the AFC would request that the court appoint a GAL to investigate the situation and to report what she felt was in the child’s best interest. This created a problem. The court had to appoint two attorneys to do the job now performed by the Child’s Representative, thereby increasing the cost of the litigation.

Prior to the enactment of the Child’s Representative statute, the ethical requirements of an attorney appointed to represent children were easily defined. The AFC had a fiduciary relationship to her client and functioned in the traditional role of an attorney. The GAL, however,

stood in the shoes of the children and was a party to the litigation. In re the Parentage of Ryan Griesmeyer, 302 Ill.App.3d 905, 707 N. E. 2d 72 (1st Dist. 1998). The guardian investigated, created a report for the court and was subject to cross-examination. In re the Marriage of Karonis, 296 Ill.App.3d 86, 693 N.E.2d 1282 (2nd Dist. 1998).

Current statute

Section 506 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines the role of a Child’s Representative, stating that…”[t]he child’s representative shall have the same power and authority

to take part in the conduct of the litigation as does an attorney for a party and shall possess all the powers of investigation and recommendation as does a guardian ad litem. The child’s representative shall consider, but not be bound by, the expressed wishes of the child…” “The child’s representative shall not be called as a witness regarding the issues set forth in this subsection.” 750 ILCS 5/506.

Custody czar?

A Child’s Representative owes a duty to whom? Certainly not the child, because it is the Child’s Representative’s sole discretion to determine what they believe is in the child’s best interest and to advocate that position. If the position she takes is not in the child’s best interest, where is the accountability? The statute gives the Child’s Representative unfettered discretion to determine best interest. And, by virtue of their appointment, the Child’s Representative has enormous

credibility and influence with the court, who is relying on this individual to be the court’s eyes and ears. The Child’s Representative’s most dangerous tool is that he or she is able to convey hearsay information to the court.

Hearsay information does not usually come into evidence as it is considered unreliable. The basis of the unreliability is that the declarant cannot be cross-examined. Entire statutes have been created such as “The Dead Man’s Act” to prevent hearsay from coming into evidence. While there is an established body of law regarding exceptions to the hearsay rule, the most important factor in those exceptions is the reliability of the statement.

Courts have traditionally required that doctors, psychologists, and witnesses come to court and testify, so that the truth finding process, highlighted by cross-examination, could take place. Only in the situation where an expert testifies that they relied on hearsay information does that hearsay information come into evidence. However, the information is admitted not for the truth of what the expert was told by the declarant, but to serve as the basis of what the expert relied on in forming that opinion, Wilson v. Clark, 84 Ill.2d 186, 417 N.E.2d 322 (1981). Further, those hearsay sources could then be called as witnesses and other evidence attacking what the expert relied on could be introduced at trial.

This is not the case with our “custody czar.” For example, the Child’s Representative has the ability to speak to mental health treaters who have a confidential relationship with the children. The Child’s Representative is able to incorporate that information into their recommendation and reports to the court. Since neither the Child’s Representative nor the mental health treater can be

cross-examined, the court receives hearsay information that cannot be challenged.

The child’s representative statute is unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Illinois in Lulay v. Lulay, 193 Ill.2d 455, 739 N.E.2d 521 (2000) held that grandparent’s visitation was unconstitutional because parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody and control of their children. The Illinois Supreme Court reiterated this position two years later in Schweigert v. Schweigert, 201 Ill.2d 42, 772 N.E.2d 229 (2002).

Because raising children is considered a fundamental liberty interest, it receives heightened protection under the due process clauses of both the State and Federal constitutions. Article 1, section 2 of the Illinois Constitution provides that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor be denied equal protection of the laws.” See In re M.H, et al., 196 Ill.2d 356, 751 N.E.2d 1134 (2001); In the Interest of J.B. and T.B., 328 Ill.App.3d 175, 765 N.E.2d 1093, (1st Dist. 2002); and Lulay v. Lulay, 193 Ill.2d 455, 739 N.E.2d 51 (2000). Due process in its most basic form requires that a litigant have the right to appear and present evidence. The litigant also has the right to cross-examine witnesses.

It is a well-established principle that a public hearing before any tribunal or public body means the right to appear and give evidence and also the right to hear and examine the witnesses whose testimony is presented by opposing parties. See E. and E. Hauling v. County of DuPage, 77 Ill.App.3d 1017, 396 N.E.2d 1260 (2nd Dist. 1979) and People ex. rel. Robert J. Klaeren II

v. Village of Lisle, 316 Ill.App.3d 770, 737 N.E.2d 1099 (2nd Dist. 2000).
The Juvenile Court Act recognizes that issues involving loss of custody entitle parents to the

right to cross-examination:

“Due process is not a technical concept unrelated to time, place, and circumstances; rather, it is flexible and calls for such procedural protections as a particular situation demands. Procedural aspects of due process require that a person be given notice and an opportunity to be heard and to defend in an orderly proceeding adapted to the case. Due process is not denied when a party fails to avail himself of the opportunity to be heard after it is offered to him. [citation omitted] While section 1-20 of the Juvenile Court Act (Ill.Rev.Stat. 1981, ch 37, par 701-20(1)) entitles respondents to certain rights including the right to be present [and represented by counsel] and to cross-examine witnesses, the proceedings are not intended to be adversary in character. The primary concern is the best interests and welfare of the child.” [citation omitted]. In re D.L., Jr., 226 Ill.App.3d 177, 589 N.E.2d 680 (1st Dist. 1992).

Even cases involving child support arrearages recognize the right to cross examination:

“The rights to cross-examine and to present evidence are so basic as to be grounded in due process. Collectively, they constitute the litigant’s day in court. Illinois Constitution, Art II, §2; [cites omitted] Defendant’s citations to the effect that the scope and extent of cross-examination are matters for the trial court’s discretion do, of course, express sound principles of law but are not applicable to a situation of complete denial. We conclude that the procedure followed in the instant case effectively denied the plaintiff her day in court, and the resulting order must

therefore be reversed and remanded for a proper hearing.” In re the Marriage of Jamal, 98 Ill.App.2d 180, 240 N.E.2d 246 (1st Dist. 1968).

Based on the foregoing, 750 ILCS 5/506 violates procedural due process by creating an individual who can report evidence to the court and not be subject to cross examination. As a result, litigants are denied due process and “their day in court.”

Unfortunately, courts have become comfortable relying on the “custody czar” to help them make very difficult decisions regarding children. However, the statute is so fundamentally flawed that it not only violates due process, but equal protection as well.

Equal protection

The protection provided by the equal protection clauses in the Constitutions of the United States and Illinois is identical. The government is required to treat similarly situated individuals in a similar manner. The government, therefore, may not treat different classes of persons on the basis of criteria wholly unrelated to the purpose of legislation. In re R.C., 195 Ill.2d 291, 745 N.E.2d 1233 (2001).

Under the equal protection clause, courts are required to treat similarly situated individuals in a

similar manner. Nonetheless, parents who are going through custody, removal, visitation and parentage cases are all treated differently depending on whether the court appoints a GAL, AFC or a Child’s Representative for the children.

Under 750 ILCS 5/506, the decision as to the type of child’s advocate is completely left up to the court’s discretion. There is no criteria or guidance given to the court to help them determine which type of child’s advocate should be appointed. Therefore, although individual litigants may be similarly situated, they may have the right to cross-examination if a GAL is appointed but will not have the right to cross-examination if a Child’s Representative is appointed.

Courts apply strict scrutiny to classifications affecting fundamental rights. In re A.A., 181 Ill.2d 32, 690 N.E.2d 980 (1998). “To survive strict scrutiny in the equal protection context, as in due process analysis, the means employed by the Legislature must be necessary to advance a compelling state interest, and the statute must be narrowly tailored to the attainment of the legislative goal.” [cite omitted] In re R.C., 195 Ill.2d 291, 745 N.E.2d 1233 (2001).

There is no compelling reason why litigants in custody cases should receive such disparate treatment. No rational basis exists for the court to hear unchallenged hearsay in some cases, and to allow the truth finding process to take place in others.

It is understandable that judges want to receive as much information as is available in cases involving children. These are tough cases and the consequences are great. However, in the Legislature’s desire to protect children, it has enacted a statute that rejects concepts of basic fundamental fairness and has replaced these concepts with a “custody czar.” Thanks David

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