A Cry for Justice: Siblings Separated, Unjust Family Court Ruling

Even a baby knows injustice… the heart breaking separation of my children due to an unjust family court ruling. This happens almost every time the visits with my older children end, and they are returned to a home of alleged abuse and dysfunction…

A shrill, desperate scream tore through the night – causing owls to take flight from their perch, watchful eyes swept across dark skies. A shiver raced through my body. My pulse quickened and with another cry, my heart broke into a thousand pieces that could never be put right. I hold my son, a toddler, in my arms as he screamed for his sister—his chubby hands tore at my neck as he struggled to break away, to run to her bright pink jacket disappearing into the night. “Sissy!” he screamed over and over again.

My son cried and fought as I struggled to carry him back into the house. Once inside, we collapsed onto the couch. I held his wriggling body against me as he cried, stroking his golden curls.

Finally he said, “Sissy, I love you” then fell into an exhausted sleep.

Sisababy2

 

**************************

Though I was conditioned to remain silent through the threat of abuse, and then legal intimidation from family court, I felt the same…my beautiful little girl was leaving again, after a wonderful visit home, to be returned to an alleged abuser, his dysfunctional living situation, that I believe is not safe.

This heartbreaking scene is repeated each month, a result of family court injustice. Without justification, and blatantly breaking the laws meant to protect, Family Court gave full custody of my two older children to an alleged abuser and wanted fugitive, “Mr. X”.

The injustice I have experienced is beyond comprehension—the Guardian ad Litem Jamie Manning refused to interview witnesses or consider medical evidence and instead began to make up stories, which she reported to the judge, who blindly believed her. The bias and preferential treatment Jamie showed the Mr. X included offering him legal advise, overlooking instances of child abuse that occurred in his home, and refusing to contact me when I reported concerns.

Jamie Manning

Jamie Manning

State laws regarding custody and parenting time were not followed, and hearsay relied on when evidence was ignored or dismissed. When I raised concerns, even with real evidence, I was punished by the Court—intimidated by it’s officers, and told in numerous ways to be silent even as abuse was happening. When I filed for a change of custody due to endangerment, Judge Robben simply decided he would not consider the evidence I presented, and awarded attorney’s to Mr. X stating my suit was “frivolous”. I was never allowed an evidenciary hearing.

Another time, I could not attend a hearing due to a medical emergency and Judge Robben went forward with the hearing anyway; which meant I was not privilege to what was occurring inside the courtroom. I could not respond to arguments. I had no knowledge of what was said. And no ability to defend my case.

Not to mention the absolute horror of losing custody because I could not afford legal help, and was forced to fight this case on my own without any legal training, any knowledge of the law or having the means to provide an adequate defense. I was re-traumatized, and forced to confront my abuser who continued to exert controlling and emotionally abusive behavior throughout the legal proceedings, and now was using my own children as a pawn in his war against me. All of this—and much worse—was happening in a so called “court of law” and a “family justice center”.

Now my children are being emotionally tortured and their love for each other put to the test, as my family is forcibly separated. Even worse, Judge Robben had given sole discretion to “Mr. X”—the man who had stolen years of my life with threats, intimidation, severe controlling behavior at times physical abuse—to decide when and if I would be allowed additional visits. The efforts I took to escape the abuse had resulted in Family Court sanctioning Mr. X to continue his controlling and abusive behavior—the children, suffering the worst, from not only abuse but having their loving mother and baby brother forcibly removed from their lives, and legally prevented from having a meaningful relationship with their family, a relationship they had enjoyed all of their lives until the custody dispute began.

In those few visits with my children… We laugh. Grow close again. Go to church. Visit relatives. Play games. Visit museums and parks. Learn about their multi-racial heritage and other family history. And begin to sever broken bonds…only to be separated again, with little or no contact for another month. This is traumatic and inhumane. Every time it happens, my children suffer.  So we are left with this.. tears, lingering memories, a cry for justice that goes unheard.

Emily Court/M21, Jan 2014

One Mom out of countless forcibly separated from her children due to family court injustice…

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About Emily Court

It takes "Just Us" To Fight Injustice in Family Court. I blog to raise awareness about problems existing in the family court system, and use my own story as a personal example of how the systemic failures in family court, and the Guardian ad Litem Program, affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform. "Emily Court" is a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness working to create a better life for her children, in a stable home free of violence. In her efforts to rebuild her life, she has not only encountered harassment and intimidation from her alleged abuser but faced systematic failures in family court that have empowered her alleged abuser and put her children at risk. Emily is fighting to keep her kids safe, and bring them home. Through writing and blogging, Emily is working to raise awareness about domestic violence, and the urgent need for family court reform. She is currently working on a memoir titled "'Til Prayers Are Answered".
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8 Responses to A Cry for Justice: Siblings Separated, Unjust Family Court Ruling

  1. Diane says:

    To M21- reading what has happened to you and your children is like reading the story of my own, and my kids’, lives! My case was started in 1993 and is a Humboldt County, CA. Twenty one years ago. And I’m just now learning how often this happens in USA, yet have not learned what I can do, or where to go, to do anything about it.
    Prayers to you and your kids.
    Diane

  2. Jennifer F says:

    O.m.g. I lived this nightnare, only my childrens respective fathers pitched in on high dollar lawyer, whilst I had none. Attn. Ad litenm for my kids was a partner in my daughters dads attrny. It was like tjhe taillights zone. I have college degree, had AlWAYS HAD TOTAL CUSTODY OF BOTH. BOTH STOOD TALL AND MADE THEIR DESIRE TO STAY WITH ME, TOGETHER CLEAR. 8 AND 14 YRS. RESPECTIVELY, BUT COMPLETE DISREGARD OF THEIR WISHES WAS RECOMMENDED, AND SHOWN. I WORKED AT JUVENILE PROBATION, CRYSTAL CREEK BOYS HONOR CAMP, HAHS IN NAPA County, My children went to private catholic school. I lived in Huge rental in Brownsvally in Napa Ca.
    THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS WERE SPENT LIVING IN SHASTA COUNTY. MY SOMS DAD HAD BEEN STRIPPED OF RIGHTS, ALLOWED TO VISIT AT MY DISCRETION. I DROVE BOTH KIDS TO THEIR DADS EVERY OTHER WEEKEND HOLIDAYS SUMMER VACA. I DROVE!! BOTH WAYS. NEVER ONCE DID THEY BOTHER TO COME. ONCE IN THEIR CUSTODY, I WAS ALLOWED 1 VISIT A MONTH SUPERVISED, AN HOUR A MONTU WITH THESE ANGELS THAT WERE MY WHOLE LIFE. I DID DRUG TESTING atbmy expense AND AA mtgs. For alcohol problem I didnt have. Therepy and parenting classes. 8 total. Returnedbto court as often as allowed, then was denied,, unheard, amd reprimanded for wasting their time. $ sanctions etc. They are grown now, never being allowed home, not even to get ANY ITEMS OF COMFORT. my daughter 8) was not allowed to say my name unless she follwed it with ” Who chose drugs and men over me* She was converted to johova witness, neve again given xmas or nirthday. Her straight a’s went to D’s and her smiling heart was lost in her pain somewhere forever. My son enlisted day after graduation, went to boot at 17. Celebrated his 18 th in Iraq. His 23; in Afganistan. I now know they will never return to my home, ass they have their own places now, and the hope for that and constant pursuit of that end was ONLY reason I kept getting out of bed fir five plus years. I am lost. She dropped out of 12th at her dads insistence, punishment for a pregnancy, miscarrage. They removed her broom door, took phone, computer mattress only. NO CONTACT ALLOWED WITH HERBOYFRIEND OF 8 MONTHS, WHO WAS NEVER ALLOWED TO SPEAK TO HER AGAIN. SHE WAS finally sent here to mothers house, with a gutair. She Iis a cutter, poor student. She sleeps around casually, without shame, other girls boyfriends, older men, nothing Is off the menu. We trued to gat her EVERYTHING qe had been unable to, and nobody else botherd to all the lost years, nails clothes hair galsses dentist, convertable v.w. room at jr. Collage dormsss

  3. Jennifer f says:

    Happened to me. Worked in law enforcement, no less. Did everything they required to remain custodial parent
    Facilitated daily contact, did all driving,,200 miles, every other wknd. Holidays etc. VERY CLOSE TO MY KIDS. THEY LIED, GOT ADLITEM WHO WAS SO CROOKED. I HAD NO lawyer, they split one. What can be done to change this? I have been contacted by writers, but articles never published. Told I sshould write a book. Id march, lobby my reps. Pickett, tell my story, release records, what can I do? This needs to be stopped. Please email me.

    • Emily Court says:

      Hi Jennifer, My heart goes out to you and your children. It’s hard to know where to go for help because the system is biased (those receiving complaints often work with or support the court officers), unresponsive or does not have a system of accountability. It’s also hard to know who to trust. Wish I had a better answer or a more positive response. Am up for ideas! xo

      • JENNIFER says:

        what can anyone say? this gal still practices. He is mediator in Santa Rosa. He is still damaging families. My life was ruined. Can’t something be done to save others? How does this monster continue to lie mis quote and keep mothers for their children? Who can he be reported to?

  4. Jennifer f says:

    Please contact me if I can help. These issues need to change.

  5. Reblogged this on pandora3k's Blog and commented:
    Wow I see my situation, this is so not a trend or is it? No justice!

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