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28 November 2009

Ten Things I Found Interesting

 

Dear Friends,

1. Dec. 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm – Please come to the oral arguments before the CA Commission on Judicial Performance the penalty for judicial misconduct by Sacramento Family Court Judge Peter McBrien, in Courtroom One at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 95 Seventh Street in San Francisco, California. Please check http://cjp.ca.gov/ that morning to be sure the hearing is going forward.

2. Dec. 4, 2009 is the deadline for comments about Elkins Family Law Task Force recommendations. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/tflists/elkins.htm. This is most important! See below for our ideas and feel free to use them all or in part.

3. Evaluators/Psychologists:

Does anyone know of court-appointed psychologist Sydney Horowitz, PhD of Waterbury, CT. and court-appointed psychiatrist Kenneth Robson, MD?

See Rand, Randy, Ed.D. (PSY 12137) Mill Valley, CA Licensed revoked, stayed, 5 years probation, effective June 28, 2009.This means that if he violates the terms of probation (does anything else wrong) for the five years,  the revokation for the original violation will be imposed.   It is a sword hanging over his head making him very vulnerable to any new complaints. http://www.psychboard.ca.gov/consumers/complaints.shtml

Name

Type

#

Status

Address

City

Zip

County

RAND RANDY PSY 12137 Inactive, Probation PO BOX 569 MILL VALLEY 94942 MARIN
RAND RANDY PSB 14392 Cancelled 1422 HOWE AVE SUITE 22 SACRAMENTO 95825 UNK

4. If you want to be part of a podcast about being stalked through the courts, contact John MacLaughlin jmclaughlin@bmaa.com 1-888-621-1900 at Borders and MacLaughlin www.bmaa.com.

5. Please consider contacting www.distinctioninfamilycourts.org to add your state and county court actors to the growing list of people who refuse to protect children. You information is confidential. (We know there are many protective parents from Illinois, but few are listed!)

6. Dec.1, 2009 is the deadline to submit poetry and prose poems about the loss of a mother to a U.S. anthology. Maybe your children have writings to submit. Poetry: 100 lines max. Short prose: 750 words max. Send up to 5 submissions and brief bio in a 12-point, double spaced Word doc. to motherlosspoetry@gmail.com or Mother Loss/Details, 8663 River Crossing Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46240.

7. Please consider signing a really great petition: http://www.petition2congress.com/2/2386/stop-court-ordered-child-abuse/.

8. Dec 10, 2009 4:30-6:00 pm – Assembly Member Curt Hagman’s Christmas Open House at the Shoppes of Chino Hills Retail Center, 13920 City Center Drive, Ste. 260, Chino Hills, CA. If you are from

his district (Anaheim, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Industry, La Habra, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Orange, Rowland Heights, San Dimas, Villa Park, Walnut, Whittier, and Yorba Linda), this is a great way to meet him and tell him about family court issues.

9. Jan 8-10, 2010 is the Battered Mothers Custody Conference in Albany, NY. Please go to http://www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org/ for more information on this great conference.

10. August 6-8, 2010 in Connecticut - a conference to educate professionals and help survivors of ritual abuse and torture. http://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/ or smartnews@aol.com.

Ritual Abuse and related wiki websites:

http://naffoundation.org

http://childabusewiki.org

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Dissociative_Identity_Disorder

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=False_Memory_Syndrome

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Extreme_Abuse_Surveys

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Hell_Minus_One

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse_Torture

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Cult_and_Ritual_Abuse

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse_in_the_Twenty-First_Century

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Treating_Survivors_of_Satanist_Abuse

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Breaking_the_Circle_of_Satanic_Ritual_Abuse

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Forensic_Aspects_of_Dissociative_Identity_Disorder

Please send your comments regarding the Elkins Family Law Task Force recommendations to elkinstaskforce@jud.ca.gov before December 4, 2009.

The recommendations are likely to drive California and perhaps national policy for years to come. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/tflists/documents/draft-finalrec.pdf.

Feel free to use any or all of the ideas below. Let me know if you need a Word attachment for better formatting.

Connie Valentine

COMMENTS ON ELKINS FAMILY LAW TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS

Guiding principles for Elkins Family Law Task Force recommendations are to provide consistent and timely access to equal justice, procedural fairness and the due process rights of parties; increase efficiency, effectiveness, consistency, and understandability; and increase the public’s trust and confidence. The draft recommendations are generally very good; however, several represent the exact opposite of the Elkins principles as stated. Others need to be augmented to fulfill the intent of the guiding principles. The following suggestions are offered to ensure the recommendations meet guidelines and needs of the public, particularly citizens who enter family court seeking safety and justice.

PART I. INCREASING PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN FAMILY COURT

21. Leadership, Accountability, and Resources (Elkins recommendations pages 69-75)

Increasing the accountability of family court professionals is the single most important change needed and would produce far-reaching, positive changes in all aspects of family law. Current oversight of family court is inadequate and ineffective. Appeals are priced out of the ordinary litigant’s range and trial court decisions are rarely overruled. The Elkins recommendations would be greatly strengthened by including the following suggestions:

  • Equipping each and every family law courtroom with automated videotaping equipment to ensure that each and every family law proceeding is video-recorded, including in-chambers communications, would ensure access to justice and an affordable record. This is the most efficient, streamlined and effective method to ensure fairness, due process, transparency and intact (non-tampered), reasonably-priced documentation of hearings. Videotaping is already done in some California courts and in several other states such as in Hawaii which provides the videotape to the litigants at the end of the hearing for $25 within 2 weeks and can then pay a court reporter to transcribe the tape. (Elkins recommendations page 73 #8).
  • A no-cost court ombudsman program (Elkins recommendations page 74) would be effective only if it consisted of an independent state-level administrative law judge panel.
  • An ongoing volunteer citizen review panel selected at random from the jury pool is needed to review and remand for review to a new judge cases in which decisions have been made to place children with parents whom the child has disclosed are batterers or sex abusers, to ensure child safety.
  • Family court judges should be rotated out of the family court entirely every 2-4 years to prevent burnout and cronyism (Elkins recommendations page 73 #C).
  • Supervised visitation should be only for parents who have physically or sexually abused their partners or children (Elkins recommendations page 73 #E)
  • To assure long-term functionality of an improved family court:
    • The immunity of judges and court-appointees needs to be limited, particularly when judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted within the scope of their employment and they act maliciously or without probable cause. See Government Code 821.6 regarding their current broad immunity.
    • A Judicial Performance Evaluation process should be established as exists in at least one-third of other states.

3. Case Flow Management (Elkins recommendations pages 17-22)

The concept of an individual (court-appointee, court-employee or judicial officer) with extra powers of case manager and ability to appoint court-related professionals without the stipulation of parties would result in gross injustice, unfairness and violations of due process rights. This is because the amount of power given to that individual would very likely be abused. Such abuses of power are often already observed among case managers (Special Masters, parenting coordinators, etc.) to whom the parties have stipulated. The paragraph titled Caseflow Management (Elkins recommendations page 20 under No. 11. Case Management) should be deleted, and any other similar concept should be eliminated from the Elkins recommendations. This concept is not in line with the Elkins guiding principles.

Clerical calendaring and electronic tracking of cases is entirely different and would likely benefit parties and the court. All information from hearings and case flow should be posted electronically on the court website as exists in some counties and many other states such as Hawaii.

Increased sanctions (Elkins recommendations page 21), particularly against litigants, would certainly not increase the public’s confidence nor resolve the problems in family courts.

12. Expanding Services to Assist Litigants (Elkins recommendations pages 46-47)

Litigants do not come to family court for services; they need access to justice, due process and fairness.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution should be a service available in the community, just like Legal Documents Assistances services, with information on how to access such services available at the courthouse.
  • Family court is a court of law and should not be providing services, nor requiring parties to use them.

2. Expanding Legal Representation and Providing a Continuum of Legal Services (Elkins recommendations page 14-16)

The Elkins recommendations should note that Family Code Section 2030(a) and 3121(a) already assure that both parties must be represented and provides for attorney fees. Self-represented litigants report that courts ignore their requests for equal representation. It is clear that oversight to ensure compliance with laws and rules of court and a method for continuous improvement through ongoing public feedback must be the first order of business to restore confidence in family court.

PART II. KEEPING CHILDREN PHYSICALLY AND SEXUALLY SAFE IN CUSTODY DECISIONS

Suggestions for Elkins recommendation sections 5. Children’s Voices; 6. Domestic Violence; 7. Enhancing Safety; 8. Contested Child Custody; 9. Minor’s Counsel; and 19. Family Law Research Agenda are listed separately but overlap in content. All focus on keeping children safe.

5. Children’s Voices (Elkins recommendations pages 25-28)

The recommendation that children’s voices continue to be interpreted by adults such as mediators and evaluators would result in exactly the same endemic problems as currently exist. In fact, children would have fewer opportunities to speak with the judge directly. This is contrary to the Elkins guidelines of fairness and due process. Hearsay and distortion of children’s voices would be reduced by direct testimony, just as with adult testimony. In all other court circumstances, witnesses speak directly to the court or jury.

  • The choice of appearing at a hearing and speaking to the judge must belong to the child, not to the judicial officer. Every parent whose custodial rights are at issue must be given the opportunity to examine/cross examine on the witness stand, the child/children who are the subject of the custody litigation as a matter of fundamental due process.
  • Children’s wishes are supposed to be given due weight by the court (Family Code Section 3042); however, in practice. family court currently treats children as property.
  • Children in family court must be afforded the same civil and human rights as children in juvenile court (W&I Code Section 349): to be given notice of hearings affecting them, a choice of attorneys if one is appointed, and the ability to speak directly to the court.
  • To preserve due process, there should always be a court reporter present when a child testifies or speaks directly to the judge, or such communication or testimony must be captured on videotape and the record of such testimony shall be readily available to every party.
  • Parties or their attorneys should be able to submit questions to the judge for the child to answer (to ensure the child is not traumatized by an aggressive parent or attorney).
  • The facilities at a multi-disciplinary interview center (MDIC) could be used to interview younger children and the MDIT videotape could be provided to the court. See #8 herein (Contested Child Custody).

6. Domestic Violence (Elkins recommendations pages 29-30)

All family court judges should make written findings on the record of whether or not there is evidence of domestic violence as defined in Family Code Section 6203 or child physical or sexual abuse as defined in Penal Code Sections 11165.1, 11165.3 and 11165.4, when those crimes are alleged, to ensure that Family Code Section 3044 is usable.

CPS substantiation of physical or sexual child abuse must be a sufficient basis for a finding of such by the family court, and enough to require the family court to protect the child from unsupervised contact with the abuser until the child both 1. reaches age fourteen (14) and 2. makes a formal request of the court that the visitation become unsupervised.

  • If CPS does not substantiate abuse, cases involving allegations of domestic violence, including child abuse, should be investigated thoroughly by a well-trained court investigator who is not to provide recommendations on parenting and custody. See #8 herein (Contested Child Custody).
  • The investigator should carefully follow the protocol of Family Code Section 3118, using a uniform prepared format (template) to ensure that all steps of the investigation are followed properly. The parties should review the investigator’s report for accuracy prior to submission and should have the opportunity to cross examine the investigator.
  • Children suffer greatly when placed with abusive parents and this outcome should be avoided whenever possible. Therefore, children who report that they are physically or sexually abused, or that one parent or household member is a domestic violence dominant aggressor, need the opportunity to design a parenting plan for themselves that would meet their needs. That plan should be endorsed by the court if it provides for the child’s physical and sexual safety. Since there are usually no witnesses to child abuse or domestic violence besides the perpetrator and the victim, the child victim’s disclosure should be considered prima facie evidence that such protection is required.
  • Alternative dispute resolution and mediation should not be required for any cases in which a power imbalance exists between the parties, such as in domestic violence cases.
  • Family Code Sections 1800 et seq must be brought up to date to reflect current realities of domestic violence, child physical and sexual abuse and substance abuse.
  • A full investigation must be commenced by the Bureau of State Audits of the Family Law Trust Fund (Family Code Section 1852).

7. Enhancing Safety (Elkins recommendations pages 31-32)

Clear recommendations should be made that family court must always err on the side of caution to protect the child from physical or sexual abuse when a child has reported such abuse. The court should not consider concepts such as alienation when there is any evidence of violence or abuse.

If CPS is involved:

  • CPS must not remove children from a fit parent.
  • CPS must remove children from a parent who is abusive and unfit according to W&I Code Section 300.
  • If used, CASA volunteers must be independent from the court and not connected in any way with either party. The child must be able to dismiss the CASA volunteer if she or he does not represent their wishes to the court.

8. Contested Child Custody (Elkins recommendations pages 33-35)

There is far too much confusion among court-employed, court-related and court-appointed professionals in contested custody cases. Elkins is urged to provide even more clarification, which would lead to streamlining and solid decisions that would prevent ongoing litigation and reduce costs for both the court and the parties.

a) When there are no allegations of domestic violence, child physical or sexual abuse, or substance abuse:

1. Mediators, including Family Courts Services mediators, are trained to conduct mediation. By definition, mediation is a confidential alternative dispute resolution method that assists parties to come to a voluntary agreement. The Elkins recommendations are very good, but need to expand on this point. Mediators should never provide recommendations to the court, nor should they mediate cases with allegations of domestic violence, child physical or sexual abuse, or substance abuse. These are issues far beyond their role, training and expertise.

2. Custody evaluators are to be used rarely and only in cases with no allegations of domestic violence, child physical or sexual abuse, or substance abuse. The role of custody evaluator has been problematic for decades, even after Senators Deborah Ortiz and Ross Johnson passed legislation to set standards for evaluator training, education and protocol.

· Custody evaluators must be under contract through a proper public contracting process, as in other state agencies.

· The appointment of an evaluator must always comply with Code of Civil Procedure 2032.310.

· Existing information should be used, such as existing medical, therapist and investigation reports.

· Psychological testing should be discouraged due to expense, intrusiveness and invalidity (tests are not normed on this population).

· Unproven theories such as parental alienation theories are not to be used or considered.

· Evaluators are paid by the court pursuant to Family Code Section 3112.

· Parties must first stipulate to the evaluator’s report prior to submission to the court as required by Family Code 3111(c). “The report may be received in evidence on stipulation of all interested parties and is competent evidence as to all matters contained in the report”.

· The court must provide a clear, effective complaint and oversight process for parties, especially self-represented litigants, who allege that evaluators have not complied with statute and rules of court.

· The use Evidence Code 730 appointments must be reevaluated, since custody evaluators are usually not experts in a particular specialized area.

3. For cases with no allegations of domestic violence, child physical or sexual abuse, or substance abuse, parenting time should mirror as closely as possible the pre-separation caregiving (feeding, bathing, clothing, putting to bed, taking to school/ doctor/activities, etc.) arrangement for the past three to five years. If previous caregiving was equal in time and quality, the child’s primary parent (principal attachment figure with whom the child has a bond) can be determined by asking the child which parent he or she goes to under stressful conditions such as when injured or afraid. A secure, supportive and safe primary parent is crucial for a child’s healthy development and interruption of that bond is likely to result in later developmental and psychological problems for the child. http://www.childtrauma.org/CTAMATERIALS/AttCar4_03_v2.pdf and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory.

4. Child support should not be based on time share of the child, to prevent parents from attempting to get custody in order to avoid paying child support.

5. An independent and effective complaint process must exist and information on how to access and use it must be provided in writing to all parties, including to children over 10 years of age.

6. There must be an effective means of protection from retaliation against the complainant by court officials who are the subject of the complaint.

b) When there are allegations of domestic violence, child physical or sexual abuse or substance abuse:

1. Violence is epidemic in contested custody cases. www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc/pdffiles/onepgDV99.pdf.

  • In 76% of cases referred to mediation in California, at least one parent reported that interparental violence had occurred in the relationship.
  • In 97% of cases that reported threats of violence had occurred, at least one parent also reported that one or more violent behaviors had occurred.
  • In 41% of all cases, at least one parent reported that their child(ren) had witnessed violence between the parents.

2. Protocol for investigating such cases needs to be even further clarified by the Elkins recommendations. This will result in streamlining, uniformity statewide, cost effectiveness and, most importantly, increased physical and sexual safety for children.

A. If CPS substantiates physical or sexual abuse, no further investigation is necessary by family court. The child must be protected from further abuse or retaliation through placement with the non-offending parent and no contact with or only professionally supervised visitation with the named perpetrator until the child both 1. reaches age fourteen (14) and 2. makes a formal request of the court that the visitation become unsupervised.

B. If CPS has not substantiated physical or sexual abuse, a family court investigation must be ordered. The child must be protected from further abuse or retaliation through placement with the non-offending parent and no contact with the named perpetrator during the pending investigation.

· Only qualified investigators trained by a multi-disciplinary team in conducting criminal investigations in civil matters may conduct investigations when allegations of domestic violence or child physical/sexual abuse arise.

· Investigators must follow Family Code 3118 protocols and all relevant statutes and rules of court.

· A uniform, statewide template is required to ensure investigators comply with the complex laws and rules.

· If investigators are not public employees, they must be under contract through a proper contract process.

· All investigators are paid directly by the court pursuant to Family Code Section 3112.

· The qualified investigator interviews witnesses and gathers facts and information pursuant to Family Code Section 3118, including previous law enforcement and child protective services investigations, criminal background check on both parents, medical personnel interviews and records, interviews and written statements of prior or currently treating therapists, forensic examinations of the child, Victims of Crime eligibility, etc.

· Children under 10 years of age are to be interviewed at a Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center (MDIC) on videotape. Children ages 10 and older are to be given the option of being interviewed at the MDIC or interviewed on videotape by a investigator trained and qualified to conduct forensic interviews.

· The multi-disciplinary team must consist of the investigator, child protective services, local domestic violence center staff, a substance abuse specialist, a child advocate, a clinical mental health professional with a specialty in treating child trauma and abuse, and a law enforcement professional.

· The domestic violence agency and law enforcement determine if domestic violence occurred in the past 5 years, and identify the dominant aggressor and primary victim(s) of that violence. Standard lethality instruments are to be used to predict the likelihood of future violence by the dominant aggressor.

· A certified substance abuse specialist http://www.caadac.org/pages/certification/approved-schools.php must investigates allegations of substance abuse and provide random drug and alcohol testing.

· Team members independently complete the portion of the investigator template relative to their specialty.

· The team is reminded that family court is a civil court and the preponderance of evidence standard (50.1% likelihood) is used.

· Recommendations are limited only to child safety and protection needs.

· No parenting or custody recommendations are made by the investigator or the team.

C. All cases must have a timely evidentiary hearing on the facts/evidence gathered by investigator.

· The child must have all the opportunities afforded by Welfare and Institutions Code Section 349, including notice of the hearing (and determination if the notice is done properly if the child is not at the hearing) and ability to speak directly to the court. This could also be done remotely on webcam with a support person.

· The parents or their attorneys must be given the opportunity to cross examine the investigator and team members, along with any witnesses who submitted declarations.

· If there is evidence of physical or sexual abuse, the child must be protected through no contact or professionally supervised visitation with the person whom the child named as perpetrator until the child both 1. reaches age fourteen (14) and 2. makes a formal request of the court that that visitation become unsupervised.

· If a parent or household member has habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol (Family Code Section 3011(d) and 3041.5), children are not to be alone with that person. No parenting or custody recommendations are made by the investigator or the team.

· The court must make written findings of fact and rulings of law on the record regarding domestic violence, dominant aggressor, child physical abuse, child sexual abuse, substance abuse, and the parent to whom the child is primarily attached and who provided the primary pre-separation caregiving (Family Code Section 3011).

· The court must err on the side of caution regarding child safety and protection from physical/sexual abuse.

9. Minor’s Counsel (Elkins recommendations pages 36-39)

Minor’s counsel must represent the child’s wishes and provide a standard duty of care. (Representating the child’s “best interests” has led to attorney bias and minor’s counsel becoming a de facto attorney for one parent or the other.) Elkins recommendations are very good, but need to go farther to rein in this very problematic appointee category.

  • If input is provided to the family court by a minor’s counsel regarding the child’s custody, such counsel must be subject to examination and cross examination by the parties regarding such input, as a matter of fundamental due process
  • Minor’s counsel must be paid by the court if the court appoints the attorney.
  • Children must have choice over an appointed attorney, as in juvenile court. They must be able to fire an attorney who is not representing them appropriately.
  • With the previously described safeguards in place, there should be very little need for minor’s counsel.

19. Family Law Research Agenda (Elkins recommendations pages 62-65)

Data are needed about cases in which children are ordered into custody or unsupervised contact with sexual or physical abusers identified by the children or with domestic violence dominant aggressors. Additionally, there needs to be data on individuals in the California Safe at Home program through the Secretary of State’s office in which children are placed with the identified batterer and are not allowed to see the victim unless the confidential address is provided to the batterer. These are by far the most important statistics needed. Collecting these data would greatly increase public confidence that the courts are treating child safety with the seriousness it requires.

The only coordination with juvenile court should be for cases in which CPS has substantiated child physical or sexual abuse. Family court should honor substantiated findings and protect the child from further harm by the named perpetrator (Elkins recommendations page 64). If CPS does not substantiate child physical or sexual abuse, a proper family court investigation should be conducted. See #8 herein (Contested Child Custody).




27 November 2009

The Growing Power of Men’s Rights Movement

 

"Men's Rights" Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective

They’re changing custody rights and domestic violence laws.

At the end of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, members of the men’s movement group RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) gathered on the steps of Congress to lobby against what they say are the suppressed truths about domestic violence: that false allegations are rampant, that a feminist-run court system fraudulently separates innocent fathers from children, that battered women’s shelters are running a racket that funnels federal dollars to feminists, that domestic-violence laws give cover to cagey mail-order brides seeking Green Cards, and finally, that men are victims of an unrecognized epidemic of violence at the hands of abusive wives.

“It’s now reached the point,” reads a statement from RADAR, “that domestic violence laws represent the largest roll-back in Americans’ civil rights since the Jim Crow era!”

RADAR’s rhetoric may seem overblown, but lately the group and its many partners have been racking up very real accomplishments. In 2008, the organization claimed to have blocked passage of four federal domestic-violence bills, among them an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to international scope and a grant to support lawyers in pro bono domestic-violence work. Members of this coalition have gotten themselves onto drafting committees for VAWA’s 2011 reauthorization. Local groups in West Virginia and California have also had important successes, criminalizing false claims of domestic violence in custody cases, and winning rulings that women-only shelters are discriminatory.

Groups like RADAR fall under the broader umbrella of the men’s rights movement, a loose coalition of anti-feminist groups. These men’s rights activists, or MRAs, have long been written off by domestic-violence advocates as a bombastic and fringe group of angry white men, and for good reason. Bernard Chapin, a popular men’s rights blogger, told me over e-mail that he will refer to me as “Feminist E,” since he never uses real names for feminists, who are wicked and who men “must verbally oppose … until our flesh oxidizes into dust.” In the United Kingdom, a father’s rights group scaled Buckingham Palace in superhero costumes. In Australia, they wore paramilitary uniforms and demonstrated outside the houses of female divorcees.

But lately they’ve become far more polished and savvy about advancing their views. In their early days of lobbying, “these guys would show up and have this looming body language that was very off-putting,” says Ben Atherton-Zeman, author of Voices of Men, a one-man play about domestic violence and sexual assault. “But that’s all changed. A lot of the leaders are still convicted batterers, but they’re well-organized, they speak in complete sentences, they sound much more reasonable: All we want is equal custody, for fathers not to be ignored.”

One of the respectable new faces of the movement is Glenn Sacks, a fathers' rights columnist and radio host with 50,000 e-mail followers, and a pragmatist in a world of angry dreamers. Sacks is a former feminist and abortion-clinic defender who disavows what he calls “the not-insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers’ rights movement.” He recently merged his successful media group with the shared-parenting organization Fathers and Families in a bid to build a mainstream fathers' rights organ on par with the National Organization for Women. Many of Sacks’ arguments—for a court assumption of shared parenting in the case of divorce, or against child-support rigidity in the midst of recession—can sound reasonable.

But do any of their arguments hold up? Many of the men for whom Sacks advocates are involved in extreme cases, says Joanie Dawson, a writer and domestic-violence advocate who has covered the fathers’ rights movement. The great majority of custody cases, in which shared parenting is a legitimate option, are settled or resolved privately. But of the 15 percent that go to family court—the cases that fathers’ rights groups target—at least half include alleged domestic abuse.

Unsurprisingly, this argument is missing from MRA discussions of custody inequality and recruitment ads, which cast all men as potentially innocent victims “just one 911 call away” from losing everything they have earned and loved. These rallying calls, and the divorce attorneys hawking men’s rights expertise on MRA sites, promising to “teach her a lesson,” serve as what Dawson sees as a powerful draw for men in the midst of painful divorces.

This is a four page article, I have only posted the first page here...to read the rest of the article please visit the original article:  "Men's Rights" Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective

26 November 2009

A Look at Judicial Corruption

Here we have a judge who received a gift of a time share, then ruled in the favor of the party who gave him the time share.  The gift was given to JUDGE JAMES ALLEN from a friend, who had received it from S. MICHAEL LOVE.

LOVE is the attorney representing Mr. Rogozienski's ex-wife in the divorce case.  The judge voided a prenuptial agreement that cost Rogozienski $20 million, among other things.

Apparently this judge is not going to be held accountable for his actions because judicial immunity protects him from a personal lawsuit. 

We all need to be aware that judges can be corrupt and will do take bribes all the time.  So, if you feel that you are constantly being given the short end of the stick in family court, then look into the lawyers and the judge.  Find out if someone is greasing the skids of justice for the other party.

For information on Fighting Judicial Corruption.

Lawyer's Gift To Judge Turns Tide In Divorce Case

http://www.10news.com/news/21717516/detail.html

SAN DIEGO -- In the middle of an ugly, high-stakes divorce, Frank Rogozienski lost his chance at a fair day in court, according to a verdict from a civil jury. Jurors ruled that a San Diego lawyer was negligent when he gave a presiding judge a stake in a timeshare.

In 2003, Rogozienski was in the middle of divorcing his wife, Shirley, and attorney James Allen became the temporary judge presiding over the case.

Rogozienski was bothered by a string of rulings, including a voided prenuptial agreement that cost him more than $20 million in stocks.

When Allen refused to disclose any conflicts of interest, Rogozienski started digging and discovered Allen had received a timeshare at Warner Springs Ranch -- in the middle of the divorce proceedings.

Rogozienski learned Allen received the timeshare from a friend, who had received it from S. Michael Love. Love is the attorney representing Rogozienski's ex-wife in the divorce case.

Allen disqualified himself, but it was too late, according to a civil jury. Last week, jurors said Love was "negligent" and awarded Rogozienski nearly $800,000 in attorney fees.

Legal experts said it is a clear victory for Rogozienski. "He was vindicated by this verdict. The jury said, 'You're right, sir, your case wasn't decided fairly,'" said defense attorney Gretchen von Helms.

Rogozienski, who is out of the country, told 10News, "I’m pleased the jury's message is: you can't undermine the faith in the legal system."

"You can't have the public saying, 'These judges are getting gifts and being bought off by their friends, this can't happen.' Not only does the justice system have to be fair, it has to appear fair to all parties," said von Helms.

Steve Amundson, Love's attorney, said, "Despite the amount of the verdict, Frank Rogozienski was not sympathetic to the jury, who only awarded $1 for emotional distress. The jury further determined by unanimous verdict that Mr. Love acted without malice." Amundson said they're still trying to decide if they will appeal.

A judge ruled judicial immunity protected Allen from the lawsuit, but the verdict could hurt both him and Love as both face possible sanctions in a State Bar investigation.

So far, criminal charges have not been filed in the case.

A re-trial to determine the division of assets is expected in the divorce case after Rogozienski's victory in court. Rogozienski didn't want to disclose the financial details of the first trial, other than to mention the $20 million in stocks his ex-wife was awarded in a ruling he didn't agree with for a voided prenuptial agreement.




More Victim Blaming but This Time the Victims are Kids

Gee, when I read this, I thought WOW, great they caught jackass pedophile!   This man is 21, as an adult he KNOWS that he should not be texting with 12,13, & 14 year olds; much less convincing them to meet with him for sex.

Please be sure to read the comments by readers that I have picked out and placed below the article along with my comments to them....

Cedar City man arrested on child rape, sodomy charges

BY NUR KAUSAR • nkausar@thespectrum.com • November 25, 2009

CEDAR CITY-Police arrested a Cedar City man Monday on multiple sex-related charges related to reports made by two female middle school students in September.

Cedar City police booked Andrew Wayne Jensen, 21, 293 N. 1500 West, into Iron County Jail on three counts of sodomy on a child, one count of rape of a child and one count of forcible sexual abuse after interviews and a confession from Jensen that the incidents occurred, according to a CCPD report.

Invest-igators became aware of the alleged incidents in September when officials at Canyon View Middle School noted two girls were not in their scheduled classes, according to the report.

Later that day, the two students returned and were questioned as to their whereabouts, according to the report.

During questioning, police learned of an alleged meeting between Jensen and the two girls, ages 13 and 14 years old.

Canyon View Middle School Principal Conrad Aitken said Tuesday that teachers take roll every hour during school, and if a student is missing during the day, an attendance secretary notifies administrators and a resource officer is called for a search.

CCPD Sgt. J.R. Robinson said he could not confirm who initially questioned the two students, but that both told officers about their involvement with Jensen, leading to his interview.

Jensen confirmed the original information given to officers by the girls, and confessed to an additional unreported incident of sexual abuse involving another 12-year-old girl, Robinson said.

Robinson could not confirm if the third girl also attends Canyon View Middle School, but noted that the incident between her and Jensen occurred just days before the reported incidents with the other two students.

Police also interviewed the third girl to corroborate information before making the arrest, Robinson said.

Robinson noted that Jensen is not involved with Canyon View Middle and does not live near the school, but CCPD has information that the girls knew Jensen from social gatherings and through text messaging.

"They had been text messaging back and forth prior to this - it wasn't just happenstance that he picked these girls," Robinson said. "Clearly, he was in place he shouldn't have been with people he shouldn't have been with."

Jensen has no prior sex offenses and could face 15 years to life for the first-degree felony rape and sodomy charges and one to 15 years for sexual abuse if found guilty.

Cedar City man arrested on child rape, sodomy charges | thespectrum.com | The Spectrum

The comments from readers of this article are what I am referring to in the title of this post.  Here are a couple examples:

Deist wrote:

This is so very, very sad, on every side of the issue.

11/25/2009 9:48:38 A

How is this sad on every side?  This is only sad for the victims!! 

And, then later the same person writes:

Deist wrote:

If parents aren't educating them about sex and the consequences who will? Did any of these kids know the seriousness of their actions? Did they have any clue this is a federal offense and punishable by a whole lifetime? I'm trying to imagine who I would rather be the parent of. The victims or the perpatrator?
11/25/2009 12:14:42 PM

How would these children know this was a federal offense?  Or, better yet why should they have to know this?  A grown man spent time grooming them through texting and then took advantage of their ages and their innocence!  It was HIS responsibility to know this was wrong!!  I think most pedophiles do actually know what they are doing is wrong...they just don’t care and think that they will never get caught because their victims are too young to know the complete ‘wrongness’ of what is going on...or in some cases they are threatened so that they won’t tell anyone.

Oh and this one just made me laugh:

christtempleministry081210031212 wrote:

This is what the Satanic hard rock groups music is promoting, “Do what you will.”
11/25/2009 10:16:56 AM

Are you still in the 80’s?  Rock music, nor any other kind of music, makes a pedophile be a pedophile!  Plain and simple!

25 November 2009

Police 'sceptical of rape victims from poor areas'

My comments and thought below in red...emphasis is mine as well.

Police are less likely to believe a rape victim if she lives in a deprived area, according to a report.

So, we don’t believe poor women....WHY not??

The report, "Rape: The Victim Experience Review", used interviews and focus groups with victims, police officers and prosecutors.

Read the report Rape:  The Victim Experience Review

Campaigner and report author Sara Payne found victims who had been drinking, had criminal histories or previously made allegations could face scepticism.

She concluded that "effective" policies are "not being universally adhered to".

The review of how the criminal justice system deals with rape complaints identified a number of inconsistencies.

It found victims were often made to feel "ashamed and responsible" when they came into contact with official agencies and called for a campaign to change attitudes and educate the public about rape.

I think we see this attitude towards rape in the US also.  The victims of rape and sexual assault are generally shunned by friends and family.  People need to be educated on the fact that it is not the victims fault!  Only rapists can stop rape!!

Victims of any crime need to feel that they are taken seriously and that they are supported to overcome the impact a crime has had on them . ~Sara Payne

 

It also said women who do not appear visibly upset by their ordeal may also have their rape allegations questioned.

For a good explanation of how victims of sexual assault process in their minds what has just happened to them read:  “How the brain regulates emotion after experiencing violent assault”.  Some are in such shock they may not display any emotion right afterwards and some may have experienced similar traumas and become numb to it to protect themselves from further mental anguish.

Some serving police officers said some of their colleagues did not deal with allegations in the way they should.

The report stated: "Officers... can be sceptical of victims for numerous reasons, such as when the victim had been drinking, had made previous allegations, were from a certain area, had an offending history themselves, or simply because they did not behave in the way they would expect a victim to behave."

This just re-victimizes the victim in a whole new way and is akin to victim blaming.

Mrs Payne urged senior officers and prosecutors to crack down on "poor attitudes", and said there was a need for adequate training on how to deal with victims.

More training may help some; however making officers personally responsible for their individual decisions would go a long way in preventing this type of behavior from the officers.

Victim support

The report's author called for funding for rape help centres and for schools to encourage "healthy relationships".

Mrs Payne said: "There is inconsistent treatment of victims of rape by criminal justice agencies.

"Everyone who contributed to the review broadly agreed that effective policy and procedures were in place but that they are not being universally adhered to.

"Victims of any crime need to feel that they are taken seriously and that they are supported to overcome the impact a crime has had on them."

In January Mrs Payne was appointed to the one-year post of Victims' Champion to provide an independent voice to the more than 1.5 million victims and witnesses of crime each year.

Mrs Payne's daughter Sarah, eight, was murdered by a paedophile.

BBC News - Police 'sceptical of rape victims from poor areas'




Prank Caller Convinces McDonald’s Manager to Detain and Remove Clothes of an Employee

What in the world is wrong with people????

McDonald's liable in employee's sexual assault case: Court

Posted On: Nov. 24, 2009 2:25 PM CENTRAL

Roberto Ceniceros

FRANKFORT, Ky.—McDonald’s Corp. is liable in the sexual assault case of an employee detained by supervisors who were following the instructions of a prank caller pretending to be a police officer, a Kentucky appeals court has ruled.

Friday’s ruling in McDonald’s Corp. vs. Louise Ogborn upholds a jury award of $1.1 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages for the plaintiff’s sexual harassment, false imprisonment, premise liability and negligence claims.

The ruling stems from a 2004 incident in which an unknown individual telephoned the Mount Washington, Ky., restaurant where Ms. Ogborn worked. He claimed to be a police officer investigating a purse or wallet theft.

During the three-hour ordeal, the caller convinced an assistant manager to take Ms. Ogborn’s clothes while she was held in a back office. The caller also convinced the assistant manager to recruit her fiancĂ© to watch over Ms. Ogborn.

While the assistant manager left the room, the fiancé sexually assaulted Ms. Ogborn, court records state.

McDonald’s appealed the jury award. It argued, among other factors, that the exclusive remedy under workers compensation barred Ms. Ogborn’s lawsuit.

The appeals court disagreed. It found that McDonald’s knew of 30 hoax telephone calls placed to its restaurants between 1994 and 2004, including several calls to Kentucky restaurants, in which the caller convinced managers and employees to conduct strip searches and sexual assaults.

The evidence supports a reasonable conclusion that McDonald’s corporate management consciously decided not to warn and train store managers and employees about the calls, the appeals court found.

Original found here:  McDonald's liable in employee's sexual assault case: Court | Business Insurance




23 November 2009

Human Trafficking in the U.S.

 

For many Americans, human trafficking seems like a foreign, remote problem, hard to fully comprehend. But the fact is, buying and selling of humans is very real. Worldwide, the International Labor Organization, estimates there are about 2.5 million people forced to work in human trafficking at any one time and that 56 percent of forced labor victims are women and girls. According to HumanTrafficking.org, the United States is primarily a transit and destination country. The organization estimates 14,500 to 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the U.S. annually.  Read the rest of the article here:  One Child of How Many? Human Trafficking in the U.S.



Child abuse rife in Afghanistan

 

Afghan member of parliament Fawzia Kofi accused the authorities of doing little about child abuse, partly due to political expediency as the authorities appeased combatants from past military conflicts who were involved in abuse.

"Today Afghanistan is the worst place for children. ... The worst kind of child abuse has been sexual abuse, for which unfortunately Afghanistan has had some of the highest figures in recent years," she said.  Read the whole article here:  Child abuse rife in Afghanistan: UN - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)