I just have to wonder.. will this become a cover up or will the truth about injustice and corruption in Hennepin County 4th Judicial District Family Court be exposed?? And what will be done to help families who lives have been destroyed by the actions of Hennepin County Family Court?
The National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges reports that Hennepin County Family Court has been chosen to participate in the “Family Court Enhancement Project” (FCEP): http://www.ncjfcj.org/FCEP
The FCEP is a Federal project that studies how family court responds to families that have experienced or are at risk for domestic violence. The FCEP is a joint effort of the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), the National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) and the National Institute for Justice (NIJ).
The Family Court Enhancement Project (NCEP) will work over the next 24 months in the following four jurisdictions: Cook County, IL; the State of Delaware, Hennepin County, MN; and Multnomah County, ORE.
(My note) Recent scandals involving bias, corruption and failure to protect battered women and their children in Hennepin County 4th Judicial Family Court include:
* Judge Stephen C. Aldrich (who was once on my case, and I can attest to his unprofessionalism) making disparaging remarks about litigants and battered women in his courtroom. Judge Aldrich retired in 2010 is enjoying a plush benefits package.
*Susan DeVries (one on my case, and the case of Holly Collins) family court psychologist has a previous complaint of bungling a sexual abuse case and false accusing a colleague of abuse. Due to the confusion and incompetence, it has been determined that the officials will never be able to correctly identify the true perpetrator.
*The Holly Collins case– a battered woman, Holly Collins, battles injustice in Hennepin County, and failures to protect her children from abuse. Holly lost custody of her children to an alleged abuser in 1992, after which the children continued to report abuse. For the safety of the children, Holly flees to the Netherlands with her children, where she is given asylum in 1997. A documentary movie was made about Holly’s experiences called “No Way But One”: http://nowayoutbutone.com/
The Hennepin County Family Court is on 4th Street ih Downtown Minneapolis, right across the street from a strip bar: “Minneapolis, Minn.—Hennepin County Family Justice Center, Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota (Minneapolis) has a distinct Family Court with 9 District Judges, 6 referees, and 8 child support magistrates; they handle approximately 11,000 cases each year. The Court, presided over by Judge Anne McKeig, partners with the Department of Family Court Services, which offers mediation, early neutral evaluations, and full custody/parenting time evaluations.
HENNEPIN COUNTY FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER:
- develop and implement comprehensive judicial training on domestic violence;
- identify and bridge philosophical differences regarding domestic violence as it appears in the family court;
- improve consistency in the handling of cases among judicial officers; and
- assess whether victims experience pressure in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) processes to reach agreements that are not in their best interest. ” (NCJFCJ)
The purpose of the Family Court Enhancement Project is to, “Since 2008, when they announced the National Child Custody Differentiation Project, OVW has supported inquiry into concerns from domestic violence survivors, advocates, and court staff that family courts are struggling to adequately consider the physical and emotional safety of children (and their parents) in child custody cases where domestic violence is present. Judges too have expressed concern about the balance between child safety and parental rights, and victim safety and batterer rehabilitation, but have not had access to Best Practices or Model Courts through which to imagine significant change…”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women will adminster the program. The department’s National Institute of Justice will collect data from all four courts to assess the effects of any changes in the approach to custody and visitation orders.
“Holly Collins Returns After 14 Years in Hiding”. September 24, 2008. By Beth Walton, City Pages: http://www.citypages.com/2008-09-24/news/holly-collins-returns-after-14-years-in-hiding/ (When this article was released, Susan DeVries was working on my case, and she suddenly quit and went into private practise. Susan DeVries ignored concerns about abuse, even my children were making disclosures. Susan DeVries pressured me into staying silent about my concerns, and told me “it happened in the past” and “you can’t prove it”.)
Formal Statement of Complaint Judge Stephen C. Aldrich: http://www.bjs.state.mn.us/Aldrich%20FORMAL%20COMPLAINT%20FNL.pdf
“Judge Stephen Aldrich Sent Out to Pasture” October 28, 2010. By Hart Van Denburg, City Pages: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2010/10/judge_stephen_a.php
“OVW and NCJFCJ Announce Four Court to Pioneer New Approaches in Custody-Decision Making” . November 8, 2013. By National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges: http://www.ncjfcj.org/FCEP
“Minnesota Court Chosen for Federal Project”. November 12, 2013. By MinnLawyerBlog: http://minnlawyer.com/minnlawyerblog/2013/11/12/minnesota-court-chosen-for-federal-project/comment-page-1/#comment-39832
“Should Judges Make Jokes?” By J. Trout Lowen. Minnesota Law & Politics: http://www.lawandpolitics.com/minnesota/should-judges-make-jokes/943c9d5b-31a5-4f7b-9d1c-153028cb2111.html