My experiences with Judge Robben in Hennepin County Family Court
“Judge Bobo” aka Judge Patrick D. Robben (Hennepin County, 4th Judicial District, Minnesota) has been featured in a new article in City Pages title “Gary Schumacher Choosing Jail Over Allowing the Biological Mom to See Their Daughter“. http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/05/garry_schumacher_chooses_jail_over_letting_the_biological_mom_see_his_daughter.php
The article is about a contested custody dispute, that seems rather complex for a one page article. I am reading it with an open mind, it seems like City Pages did not tell a complete story.
In any case, I thought the article did open for a door for me to share my own experiences with Judge Robben. I am re-posting my comments, and some additional thoughts, here. All of my allegations are fully documented, and I have evidence to support everything I say. Also note, Judge Robben is the most recent judge on my case, I had 3 other Hennepin County judges on my case (that started in June 2006) before him. So some of the actions mentioned are NOT a result of Judge Robben, I will do my best to note what he is responsible for.
“I have personal experience with Judge Robben – who has endangered my children by giving an alleged abuser sole custody, and Robben’s custody order in my case amounts to legalized parental alienation because I get only one visit a month with my children.
My daughter wrote me this note that says, “I love you that the world would turn into a heart. So that’s how much! Love you Mom Love.”
I am fit, loving parent with a squeaky clean background. I have been the children’s primary caregiver, and all reports about our relationship are positive. I volunteer in my community with people with disabilities and at-risk populations. I work in the healthcare field. I have taken over 2 years worth of parenting classes, and education relating to children, and parenting kids with special needs. I am more than able to provide proper care for my children. I am also raising another child at home, with no problems.
I lost custody to a man who, at the time of the court order, was a wanted fugitive with a long criminal and civil history, including a state commitment order.
(Note: This is a partial record not the complete)
He was diagnosed by the court ordered psych eval as having a serious mental illness that is almost impossible to treat, and is characterized by anti-social behavior. He has been addicted to almost everything — gambling, street drugs, alcohol, pain pills. My child came home recently, and was yelling about “Stupid Walgreen’s won’t give Dad his pills for his back! They said he already has some.“ How does a child know that?!?
There are over a dozen child abuse allegations against this man, with both of my children suffering from PTSD due to abuse.
Since being given sole custody, my children have been repeatedly harmed both physically and emotionally. The father states my son needs to be physically controlled because he has Aspberger’s – and when I report this to Judge Robben, I am told that I need counseling or that I am arguing old issues. Since when is the safety of a vulnerable child, who has physical marks on their body, a sign of a mental health issues?
An injury to my child dismissed by Judge Robben. This is a bite mark, the red circle is a set of teeth impressions. The person who caused this injury is a live-in cousin who has a strange relationship with my ex. She is also a PCA for my son. When I filed a motion and asked for a new PCA, Judge Robben refused.
I have been forced into mental health counseling for over two years due to the recommendations of Jamie Manning, GAL, and rubber stamped by the Hennepin County judges. I was forced into therapy that was not needed, while the ex abuser, who is diagnosed with a personality disorder, was given sole custody and was required to attend treatment. When my counselor reported that she thought domestic violence occurred in my relationship, I was told that I needed more counseling. And threatened that if I did not stop talking about abuse, I would not be able to see my children. So I went to counseling, did not talk or express my true feelings, and parroted what the Judge and the GAL wanted to hear. In the meanwhile, my kids are falling apart in their father’s home, and continuing to make allegations of abuse.
My child also began to act out violently, and told his therapists (direct quote), “I learned my tantrums from Dad” and “I want to be the boss like Dad”.
Another incident documenting abuse. The daycare called CPS and reported that the children are playing “Call 911! Daddy’s here”.
My daughter stopped speaking at age 3 and was severely speech delayed. To this day, she is withdrawn, has trouble socializing and therapist notes say she does not communicate with her father.
My son has severe psychological and behavioral issues, to the point the school called the police on him 4 times in one year. The teachers said they are afraid for my child’s future, and that he needs help before he seriously hurts himself or someone else. The school recommended a psychological assessment, specializing in child trauma, and my abusive ex will not take my child to therapist. I have asked Judge Robben, in a motion, to order the assessment and he refuses. Judge Robben instead orders me into mediation and tells me to “stop bringing up issues from the past”. In the meanwhile, my ex has pulled my child out of school.
Thanks to Judge Robben, I get only one visit a month with my children. And Judge Robben told me that if I want more time I have to ask my ex abuser! It is humiliating, and frightening to beg my abuser to see my kids. He continues to emotionally abuse me. I do not get any holiday visits, no birthdays, no overnight visits, no school release days. I did not get to see or talk to my children on Mother’s Day.
My children are multi-racial and have lost their connection to their identity and culture as well. I took my children to church and they just stood there like statues– they forgot the words to the worship songs we once enjoyed, they did not remember how to pray, and felt like strangers in the church I am try to raise them in. My children do not identify with their African American heritage, and my child told me that he thinks all Indian people are dead because he does not see any. My children talk about Black History month in school but have no idea how it relates to them, and my family is from the South and has experienced many of these historical events, and participated in the Civil Rights movement. My children do not remember the names of cousins they once played with. And do not like many of the family recipes I prepare for them, because they are not familiar with the food anymore. I reported the alienation and Maternal Deprivation to Judge Robben and he completely ignored me.
According to A Judge’s Guide to Making Child-Centered Decisions in Custody Cases Second Edition (American Bar Association), “There is no social science research to support the contention that the child will be harmed or unduly confused by exposure to different religions, ethnic, or cultural practices. Indeed, such exposure to their parents’ diverse backgrounds may have a positive effect on their development and may be critical to their sense of identity.”
I have submitted a mountain of evidence and even an expert forensic report – it does no good. Judge Robben has already made up his mind. He relied on the word of the Guardian ad Litem, Jamie L. Manning, even when there is no evidence to support anything she says (hearsay is not admissible as evidence in court).
Thank you City Pages for exposing the failures of family court in your two articles, please keep investigating and reporting. So many families and children are being harmed. We need to raise awareness and then to demand reform. ”
Also read the comments about Judge Robbens on this City Pages article “Separated from their Kids, Parents Unite Against One Court Guardian” by Susan Du 2/18/2015: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/02/separated_from_their_kids_parents_unite_against_one_court_guardian.php
Children Play Call 911, Daddy’s Here! https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/children-play-call-911-2/
Ex Has Strange Relationship with First Cousin (Another issue Jamie Manning ignores, and when I bring up concerns she says that “I am just making Mr. X look bad”. Judge Robben refused to protect my child after he was injured, and when I filed a motion asking for a different PCA because the cousin is the PCA who hurt my child – Judge Robben refused.) https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/ex-strange-relationship-cousin/
Family Court Awards Custody to Dad who Choked Child: https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/dad-choke-child-win-custody/
Family Court Robs Children of Their Identity: https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/family-court-robs-kids-identity/
Fugitive Dad Arrested on Vacation – Where are the Children? https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/fugitive-dad-arrested-on-vacation/
Homeless Guy Moves in to Nanny Kids (when I brought this information to GAL Jamie Manning, she ignored my concerns and did not interview the homeless guy. Judge Robben also dismissed my concerns) https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/homeless-nanny-family-court/