League of Women Voters Boston Chapter Hosts: Spring Speaker Anne Stevenson

March 20, 2014 . . .

From The League of Women Voters, Boston Chapter:

You are cordially invited to meet and listen to Pulitzer Prize contender author and Huffington Post columnist Anne Stevenson. The League of Women Voters Boston Chapter Hosts: Spring Speaker Anne Stevenson on March 20 2014, Thursday evening 6:30-7:30pm, Brighton Public Library, MA

Anne Stevenson is a Boston based political analyst and freelance journalist whose Washington Times series on the Connecticut courts is an accepted contender for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. Stevenson is a graduate of Tufts University who attended Suffolk University School of Law. For over a decade, Stevenson has worked on various social justice initiatives, helping to facilitate constructive and productive communication between government and everyday families using media and policy directives. This work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Times, Boston Globe, Community News, NECN and other media outlets.

Read Anne’s Articles: 

Connecticut Courts Impose Outrageous Costs on Disabled Families.  Communities Digital News,  March 11, 2014.

Connecticut Task Force Hears Accounts of Victimization by Family Court.  Communities Digital News, March 1, 2014.

Connecticut Court failure: The deadly rebranding of Joshua Komisarjevsky.  Communities Digital News,  February 25, 2014.

CT Task Force Spars with Parents Over Billing Fraud in Family Court. The Washington Times, December 26, 2013.

CT Court Employees Face Tough Questions Over Conflicts of Interest. The Washington Times,  May 20, 2013.

Top 5 HHS Programs Endangering Women and Children. The Huffington Post, May 14, 2012.

Is Judicial Activism the Panacea for Legislative Inaction?.  The Huffington Post, May 9, 2013.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. A grassroots organization, the League’s enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure that works at the local, state, and national levels. LWV Boston is committed to opening the doors of government to all of Boston’s citizens. We strive for a representative system of government that is accountable, responsive, and supportive of citizen participation, with membership open to both men and women. Throughout each year, the League provides objective information on critical public policy issues and candidates seeking office, promotes voter service programs, and works to keep the public well-informed on government and social policy issues.

“Women need to know the strategies that are implemented by lawyers such as myself who represent alleged perpetrators." Attorney Herb Viergutz

Q: Do Family Courts Use a Controversial Theory? A: Yes.

by Julia Fletcher

This past January, Al Jazeera America published the article entitled,

Do Courts Use a Controversial Theory to Punish Mothers who Allege Abuse?” 

The answer is: “Yes!” And, here’s an even more important question:

“Where’s the United States of America’s

mainstream media’s investigation and coverage of the family court crisis?”

(Refresh the page if the video clip doesn’t load right away.)

Domestic Violence Continued: Contested Child Custody. Producer Dr. Sharon K. Araji, University of Colorado Denver, 2010, DVD.

Wendy Murphy. (2007) And Justice For Some: An Expose of the Lawyers and Judges who Let Dangerous Criminals Go Free.

BEFORE YOU STEP ONE FOOT INTO FAMILY COURT …

Wendy Murphy. (2007) And Justice For Some: An Expose of the Lawyers and Judges who Let Dangerous Criminals Go Free.

Wendy Murphy, And Justice for Some. (2007).

From Wendy Murphy, JD :

 

“A colleague of mine, Anne Stevenson, recently testified before the Connecticut legislature on behalf of good parents and ethical court employees who feared retribution if they spoke up themselves against the corruption, fraud and shady deals in Connecticut’s family court system.

 

 The content of her testimony is critically important, and not widely understood, so I agreed to post it here to provide folks with a better understanding of how the “divorce industry” in Connecticut is ruining families financially, and subjecting children to dangerous custody arrangements.

 

 Her proposed changes for reform, set forth below, were provided to the Connecticut legislature but are applicable to other states as well because the problems in Connecticut are systemic in American family courts.”

 

To find an upcoming screening, visit: divorcecorp.com

Dr. Drew: Get This Conversation Going

“What bothers me more than anything as a physician,

if this sort of chummy relationship existed

between doctors

and any other providers of services, 

there would be outrage.”

                                                                                                                        – Dr. Drew Pinsky

And so, the public conversation begins.  . . . 

**********
@Sbuden1Buden Outrageous lack of accountability in the family court system, “the players” ie judges, appointees know it! #divorcecorpchat
— Kathleen Russell (@MarinKat) January 8, 2014 
**********
#divorcecorpchat#divorcecorpchat CT AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation of Courts) chapter is headed by 3 Superior Court Judges
— Scott Buden (@Sbuden1Buden) January 8, 2014 
**********
@drdrew@DoctorKarin Fulton court is asked to consider the needs of a child making outcries #DivorceCorpChatpic.twitter.com/s77YR4ibI1
— My Advocate Center (@MyAdvocateCentr) January 8, 2014 
**********
#divorcecorpchat Fooling yourselves. Nothing can be done. Judges in league w/ guardians and lawyers, all about $. Ex parte de rigueur.
— stacey_hudson (@stacey_hudson) January 8, 2014 
**********
IN AMERICA!! “@drdrew: .@divorcecorp one father ended up in prison for 5 yrs for simply criticizing the judge on his blog. #divorcecorpchat
— Michael Brigante (@MichaelBrigante) January 8, 2014 
**********
@divorcecorp anyone thinking about marriage or divorce needs to educate themselves about the realities of family courts #divorcecorpchat
— Dr Drew (@drdrew) January 8, 2014 
 **********

#DivorceCorpChat on Twitter . . . 

Attention: Protective Parents in Family Courts

photo: dwinslow

photo: dwinslow

December 20, 2013

by Diana Winslow 

Concerned parents were elated this week when a much awaited segue for them to speak came forward as an invitation from the federal government, asking for clarifications on identified problems with child human rights in court, family rights in court and the lack of a uniform structure to respond to child sex abuse investigations, child abuse investigations and placement of children with a parent who is not known to them, has committed crimes against the other parent or is convicted of crimes that put the child at risk in their care.

Following a march on Washington DC and a Congressional Briefing this Summer members of Congress heard and were concerned about the severity and frequency with which child custody issues are mishandled, to the point of injury to the child or protesting parent.  It is remarkable that BOTH events happened despite the sequester, AND that these actions generated interest and an invitation.

Some cases are so problematic, as with the classic case illustrated in the October 2012 Documentary of Holly Collins, called “No Way Out But One“, that the parent is forced to flee the situation, due to deafness in authorities, investigators, systems system law and policy, court law and policy, and court systems. Succinctly, the definition of being run into the ground by such system based problems is called “Systems Induced Trauma.” Beyond victimization in a specific social or family situation, the family, one or all members are further agitated, abused or traumatized by the applied services and policies of systems that interlock without oversight, basically trapping the persons perpetuating a complaint without safety and resolutions.

The US Department of Justice is ready now to consider cases of chaos caused by State child and family courts. USDOJ is calling for child custody outlines in a format. The purpose of providing the outline is for the writer to simply and systematically give structured information regarding the problem case in question.

The US Department of Justice wants timelines of these outrageous cases.

Just complete and send your case in this format to: Mary Seguin atricourtcon@gmail.com by January 15, 2014 so she can provide them to the DOJ. The USDOJ invitation was issued to the representing group at the Summer March and Congressional Briefing: The California Protective Parents Association.

(Update 1/6/14: The original notice regarding requested timelines is from the California Protective Parents Association November 2013 Newsletter  which says: “Please send the timeline to cppa001@aol.com so we can forward them in a group to DOJ.” Some parents are sending copies of the case timelines – first received and time stamped at local DOJ offices – via certified mail to: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001.

The email address “atricourtcon@gmail.com” noted in the Examiner article above is for those interested in joining a complaint filed in United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. Please see the CPPA November 2013 newsletter for more information. –  Julia )

___________________________________________________________________________

Format for the Letter to the USDOJ

Who you are

 1. Contact information:

 2. Background:

3. Education:

4. Former employment:

5. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):

 

Who your former partner/husband/wife is

1. Background:

2. Education:

3. Former employment:

4. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):

 

Reports of physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest

1.  Law enforcement (give name of office and address):

Date, Name and title of officer, Outcome of investigation and report:Child Protective Services (give name of office and address):

2. Social worker/Counselor/Other:

Date, Name and title of worker, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

 3. Court personnel (give title and address):

Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome(including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

4. Other offices/individuals:

Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

 

Intimidation against you that deterred you from reporting

1. Who intimidated you:

2. How were you intimidated:

 

Gag orders

1. Who gave you a gag order (name, title, date, place):

2. Rationale given for gag order to not talk about these recurring crimes of incest and assault and battery:

3. Removal of child(ren) from you after you reported criminal physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest:

 

Response from Social Services

1. Name and title of person(s), recommendations for investigation/ removal/ supervision:

2. Date of recommendation and where recommendation was filed:

3. Name and title of person ordering removal of children (if removal was ordered) :

4. Date of order and where order was filed:

 

Supervised visitation

1. Name and title of person recommending supervised visits:

2. Reason given for recommendation:

3. Name and title of person who ordered supervised visits:

4. Date and place order was made:

5. Name of specific visitation center you were ordered to attend:

6. Amount of fees:

7. Dates and times you were ordered to attend:

8. If you were not ordered to a specific visitation center, name of visitation center you chose:

9. Was this center paid by the county:

 

Motions you filed for relief

1. Date and place filed:

2. Who filed the motion:

3. What lawyers were involved:

4. Outcome of the motion:

*At the end of the time line, please provide note: Supporting evidence is being compiled in exhibits.”

Parents in and out of CPS courts and family/divorce courts face a hamster wheel of demands, which beyond the direct trauma to the family, often exhaust financial and emotional resources, cost jobs and personal assets. Most everyone knows at least ONE case like this. Please pass this article along to others who might be affected.

Task Force Member: Might be a Year-Long Thing

Connecticut Task Force 12 10 13

Click on above link for Connecticut Task Force December 10, 2013 video

For the last two months, Connecticut has held open meetings to find better ways protect children in that state’s family courts.

Although the original plan was to have the study done by January, task force member Ms. Jennifer Verraneault says, “It might be a year-long thing.” 

As Ms. Verraneault spoke those words, most task force members probably dreaded the thought of volunteering their time for an extended period. Yet every few weeks, the task force meets, and another can of worms opens – with reasons to continue the study for as long as it takes. 

According to Connecticut Special Act No. 13-24, the task force is to study: 

(1) the role of a guardian ad litem and the attorney for a minor child in any action involving parenting responsibilities and the custody and care of a child,

(2) the extent of noncompliance with the provisions of subdivision (6) of subsection (c) of section 46b-56 of the general statutes and the role of the court in enforcing compliance with said subdivision, and

(3) whether the state should adopt a presumption that shared custody is in the best interest of a minor child in any action involving the custody, care and upbringing of a child.

Such study shall include, but not be limited to, an examination of state statutes applicable to an action involving the custody, care and upbringing of a child, and the costs associated with contested divorce actions, including, but not limited to, expert witness fees and attorneys’ fees including the fees of guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor children. Such study may include recommendations for legislation on matters studied by the task force.

Another can opened this past Tuesday, when Co-Chair Sharon Wicks Dornfeld spoke about her knowledge of  the use of “Private Special Masters” to hide tax fraud in Connecticut family courts.

She told the group:

 “There are some individuals — I can think of several retired judges — who are, make themselves available to serve as private Special Masters, but it is not a volunteer thing. It is a program in which the parties pay them and whatever their agreed upon hourly rate is.

Uh, there have also been circumstances in which I can recall that there are lawyers who will say that, for whatever reason — and I will give you a classic example of a reason — where it becomes apparent that one or both of the parties have been engaged in essentially tax fraud that would be very adverse to their clients’ interest if it were to come  before a judge who would be required to make a referral to the state’s attorney or to the IRS for example. There are circumstances in which the attorneys will say, “Let’s try and get this out of the judicial system. Let’s hire a Special Master — not necessarily a retired judge, sometimes it’s very experienced family attorneys — and see if we can, you know, make it happen that way.”

Since the filmed meetings are available for public viewing online, there’s now public knowledge of a credible witness who knows about Connecticut’s attorneys and retired judges hiding tax fraud in child custody cases.

Judgments in those cases will need to be set aside, federal authorities will need to investigate, and Ms. Verraneault will have been proven right about how long all of this is going to take.

An  AP article in the Wall Street Journal last May might explain why Ms. Wicks Dornfeld speaks so comfortably about her colleagues hiding tax fraud.

According to the author of the article, Connecticut lawyers:

are shielded from fraud lawsuits under absolute immunity, a doctrine dating back to medieval England. The doctrine was intended to promote people speaking freely at judicial proceedings without fear of being sued and to avoid hindering an attorney’s advocacy for his or her client.” 

The task force is obliged to take its time – and as many task forces and committees it takes – to protect Connecticut’s children and families from what looks like a lawless system. Considering the disclosure noted above, Connecticut legislators should form another task force or allow the current task force to form an ad hoc committee. The new task force or ad hoc committee can be called something like, “Committee to Study Types of Fraud Currently Allowed in Legal Disputes Involving the Care and Custody of Minor Children in Connecticut”.

Thousands of victims of various kinds of fraud in Connecticut’s family court system would appreciate the opportunity to participate in such a study.