Absolute Power and Sexual Abuse: A Survivor Comments on the Kidnapping of Elizabeth Thomas

The sexual abuse of children is just one part of a system of trickery and abuse created to maintain secrecy, isolation and the offender’s absolute power over the child and all others in the child’s life. The offender sets up a web-like structure of traps, lies and distortions to isolate the victim…” ~ Laurel House

Kidnapping does not always involve a stranger or a man with a gun…a predator who knows how to groom, and manipulate can gain the trust of the victim, and lure them away…

After reading news reports about the teen, Elizabeth Thomas, who went missing from her home after being groomed and manipulated by her perverted teacher, Tad Cummins, my first reaction was: this reminds me of the abuse I have survived. My second reaction was somehow wanting to scream across the distance to Elizabeth that no matter what was said or done to you, no matter what you were made to believe.. it is not your fault. As an adult survivor, and a mother, I speak from experience… you may not understand now, but trust me, it was not your fault…and it never was.

My Story of Survival: When I graduated from high school, I was given a laptop as a gift. My family meant the laptop to encourage my love of writing, and to help me in college. Unfortunately, I discovered chat rooms, where I met the man who would become my abuser and tormentor, Martin.

It started out innocently enough, in my online profile I put a fake name but included my age and the city where I lived. Martin was online searching for a young girl of my description and that was enough for him to find me, chatting in a room with an audience of young people, talking and laughing about random subjects. It would have been obvious to someone much older, as Martin was at age 31, how immature we all were. Martin was online with the handle “Shadoobee”, a reference to a song by the Rolling Stones, and began to entrap me.. though I was not aware of what grooming was at the time.

Eventually, I met Martin in person, and was surprised at how much older he was. I had absolutely no attraction to Martin but he seemed nice enough. Martin adapted all his interests to match mine so it seemed like we had everything in common (later he hated everything about me). Martin read my poetry and writing, and had me so convinced that he understood me so well that it was like he could read my mind.  He vented frustrations against his own mother, his work, his life..and told me I was the only one he could confide in, that it was us against the world. There were also signs of Martin’s controlling behavior, and at times anger and violence erupted. One time I rejected Martin’s advances towards me and he got so angry that he nearly ran the car off the road. As he was yelling and swearing at me, I could not even defend myself.. over and over a jumbled voice ran through my mind like a broken record, “itsallmyfaultitsallmyfaultitsallmyfault….

When I look back it is amazing how many adults did nothing to intervene. I feel so protective of children now, I think I would claw somebody’s eyes out if I saw them harm a child or approach a child in an inappropriate way. When I first met Martin’s parents I was so young – it must have been so obvious that this was wrong..their grown adult son with someone who had not even taken a step in the adult world.. and yet they acted like this was normal. Martin told everybody that we were “just friends”. I desperately wished it was so, that I could stop the pain and abuse he was inflicting on me but by then I ceased to exist, and was being totally brainwashed and controlled. It was not until I became pregnant with my son that the truth was exposed and by then I didn’t have the strength to see the truth, let alone escape.

It took 8 long years to finally escape this horrible, abusive relationship and by then Martin was becoming more aggressive, and openly hostile towards me. My two small children were being physically and mentally abused, tormented in their own home. Martin even abused our pets – and after I fled our home, had my cat euthanized just to hurt me. I left Martin for good after an incident where he physically attacked me. My son was injured after he kicked in the door, and when it swung open, he was hit in the face with the brass door knob, causing a black eye. By then Martin was done with me – he had a new victim, his vulnerable teenage cousin, with her own history of abuse, Lisa whom he calls “Baby Lisa”.

Martin, now 42 years old was preying on his first cousin Lisa and actually assisted her in running away from home so they could have a relationship together. Martin told me, and also told my father, that because I was not pleasing him that he needed to turn to Lisa… that somehow it is my fault that he is now exploiting and abusing someone else. In turn, Lisa has become abusive towards my own children. Each time the children disclosed abuse, each time a bruise was reported, each time the children showed behaviors consistent with abuse.. the family court, CPS, and authorities failed to protect them but instead returned them to the abuser to be re-victimized all over again.

My story does not have a happy ending.. Martin obtained a sleazy attorney and filed a motion for sole custody, and won, in a Hennepin County courtroom. My children were handed over to an abuser…and 11 years later we are still involved with family court. 

It troubles me that recently.. my daughter came home with her favorite backpack, which she decorates with colorful metal buttons. Martin made a special button for her backpack. It is a picture of a Rolling Stones tongue and underneath was the name “Shadobee”.. the exact name he used when he met me online, as a teen, so long ago.

In another disturbing incident, my daughter was looking for a favorite shirt that was missing. She found the shirt.. and Lisa was wearing it. My daughter was confused and upset that not only was Lisa wearing the shirt put she was making sexy poses and taking selfies… My daughter wore that shirt as an innocent child, who loves pink and sparkles. It was never meant for a grown woman trying to seduce a man by acting like a teen girl. Makes me sick.. yet the family court protects the abuser, and continues to issue rulings that put my children at risk. 

The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Thomas (Maury County, Tennessee):  Elizabeth Thomas, 15 years old, is safely back home with her family after being taken across the country by her 50 year old teacher, Tad Cummins. Thomas was missing for more than a month, and found in a remote cabin in the mountains of Northern California.

The cabin’s care taker initially allowed the pair to stay at the hotel but grew concerned by what he described as “red flags” which led him to discover that an Amber Alert had been issued for Thomas. The caretaker then notified police. In my eyes, the caretaker is a hero. So many people look away when there are signs of abuse or have the attitude of “not my business” or “don’t get involved” and as a result, children are harmed. But he paid attention to the warning signs and made a report, and a child’s life was saved. 

Cummins allegedly groomed Thomas from inside the classroom, gaining her trust and even initiating a kiss. Thomas was especially vulnerable to the manipulation of Cummins as she had a history of being bullied by classmates, and because this was her first year in the public school system after being home schooled until 8th grade.

Grooming is the term used to describe the deliberate tactics that predators use to select their victim and then engage in sexual abuse. Grooming is done in such a way that the child may not even realize that they are being abuse because they are conditioned to believe something else that reinforce the predator’s control over them. According to former FBI agent Kenneth Lanning, there are five stages in the grooming process (source NAASCA):

1) Identify the possible victim;
2) Collect information about the intended victim;
3) Fill a need;
4) Lower inhibitions; and
5) Initiate abuse.

Predators not only groom victims but con, manipulate and groom friends, family, neighbors, professionals – anyone – to gain the trust needed to get access to a victim or to avoid detection. Despite what the predator tries to project, the inappropriate sexual relationship a predator has with a victim is not romantic or consensual – it is abusive, exploitative and causes severe trauma to the victim. 

After a 12 year old student made a report about Cummin’s inapropriate behavior, the school launched an investigation and ordered him to have no contact with Thomas. However, on March 13, the pair disappeared. While on the run, Cummins called Thomas by the name “Joanna” and told people that she was his wife, and that she is 24 years old.

Cummins since has been charged on counts of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor and remains in custody.

Anthony Thomas, father, claims that Cummins has “brainwashed” his daughter and “built up a system where she was dependent on him.”

In America today, there are an estimated 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse. 

Read More About the Elizabeth Thomas Kidnapping: 

Ex-Teacher Accused of Kidnapping Student, 15, Rubbed Her Back When They First Met: Teen’s Sister

Missing Tennessee teen’s father: I think my daughter was brainwashed

Missing Tenn. student Elizabeth Thomas is ‘resting’ after reuniting with her family

Tad Cummins bought disturbing items at Walmart, booked single-bed hotel room while on the run with kidnap teen: Report

Sexual Abuse and Grooming:

A Profile of the Child Molester

NAASCA: Grooming: How Child Molesters Create Willing Victim

No More: Help End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Sexual Offender Tactics and Grooming (Laurel House)

Posted in Abuse Allegations & Documentation, Child Abuse, Crime, Domestic Violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Teen Wrongfully Taken From Loving Parents, Placed in Foster Care & Abused (Essex County, UK)

Aimee Gardiner with Carrie and Chris Stevens. Picture: Jim Bennett. Source: Metro, http://metro.co.uk

Essex County, England: Aimee Gardiner is plagued by nightmares as she struggles to rebuild her life…. she is a survivor of systemic abuse in social services, who was wrongfully taken from the family who loved her and placed into a foster care home where she was horribly abused, assaulted and neglected. 

In a written statement, read by aunt Carrie Stevens, who broke down in tears and could not continue, Aimee says,”When they took me away, I didn’t want to stay there. I felt really horrible and hurt when they took me away from you guys. I just wanted to come home…”  Source: Fostered girl ‘lost smile’ after being removed from family (BBC News)

The Daily Mail is reporting on this case as a “legal abduction”: “The legal abduction of the teenager has now been condemned by an official inquiry which found that social workers took her from a safe and loving home without good reason, and sent her to a new family where she was exposed to genuine harm.” Source: ‘They snatched our girl because they fell out with us’: Council ripped teenager, 15, from loving family into foster home where she was abused and left to eat CAT FOOD, inquiry finds

Aimee had lived with aunt and uncle, Carrie and Chris Stevens, and their other two children since she was 2 years old – she was loved, cherished, and considered a part of the family. When Aimee was 15 years old, in July 2011, without warning, the Stevens family was called by Foster Link workers to say that Aimee was removed from her school and taken into state care that same day. Aimee was not allowed to say good-bye to the only family she’d ever known, and not allowed to take any of her belongings.

The Stevens family was falsely accused of child abuse and neglect by the social worker, and not allowed contact with Aimee, whom they considered their daughter. The Stevens’ believe the social worker took these actions to retaliate against them because they were not satisfied with her work, and had requested a new worker in the days prior to Aimee being taken into placement.

After six weeks of hell, Aimee ran away from foster care and made her way back home, to Carrie and Chris Stevens, where she has remained ever since.

The Stevens family demanded answers and filed complaints and for years were ignored by Essex County. Essex County stalled in investigating the complaint, and protected the social worker who wrongfully took Aimee from their home. Finally the Local Government Ombudsman got involved, not an easy task considering the challenges raised by Essex County, which including blocking the officer investigating the case from access to the social services file.

The results of the Ombudman’s official inquiry determined there were no grounds to take Aimee into state care, and criticized the actions of Essex County. Essex County has since issued a formal letter to offer a apology but Carrie and Chris Stevens said they never received the apology.

MORE needs to be done – the foster family should be investigated and brought up on criminal charges for child abuse and cruelty. Second, Essex County needs to be investigated as well. HOW MANY MORE CHILDREN were placed into this abusive foster home – and others – by Essex County? These crimes can not go ignored! 

It should be noted the ONLY reason Aimee’s story has reached the public, and gained media attention, is because her case is exempted from the rules that require secrecy on family court proceedings in the UK. There has to be more openness and transparency in the court system; parents who speak out about their cases should not face contempt or punishment. 

 

Could the legal kidnapping of Aimee Gardiner also have been motivated by racial prejudice??

In July 2015, the Irish Times reported that members of a campaign and support group called Mixed Race Irish believe they are victims of institutional racism and taken into state care because they are mixed race. The group, “…believe they were taken into care because they were mixed race, that there was a different unspoken “policy” for them and that they suffered an “extra layer of abuse” because of their racial identity. They say racism was endemic, systemic and systematic, in the care system and in Irish society, and that their experiences were particular to them. Source: Mixed Race Irish: ‘We were the dust to be swept away’ by Kitty Holland

Members of the group live in Britain, Ireland, China and the U.S; with the earliest known cases dating back to the 1940’s.  It’s members are adults but recall horrific experiences in their childhood where they taken into state care where they were horribly abused, neglected and often sexually abused and/or sexually exploited. An untold number of children were murdered, or died, as a result of abuse and neglect. A majority of Mixed Race children were never offered for adoption because they were considered un-adoptable, and not considered human due to prevailing racist attitudes. Mixed-race children were often placed in foster care, boarded out or institutionalized in state or church run facilities. Care providers were not properly screened, and given payments for taking in children – meaning children were used as a cash commodity. The government also conspired to keep social services records secrets, and to cover up evidence of abuse committed against Mixed Race Irish children taken into state care.

Mixed Race Irish is working to raise awareness of institutional abuses committed  against children taken into state care and give voice to adult survivors. Mixed Race Irish is also seeking official recognition of their experiences, along with an official inquiry. And asking for access to personal records.

In 2016, the #IamIrish exhibition in north London featured photographs of Mixed Race Irish people to celebrate the diversity of Irish people, and offer a way for Mixed Race people to share their stories and experiences. The exhibition, which features the images of 25 mixed race Irish people, was launched in accordance with Black History Month. The photographs were taken by Tracey Anderson.

Certainly more needs to be done to protect children from wrongfully being taken by the government, CPS or family court… and to protect children who are taken into state care.

Read More:

AIMEE GARDINER STORY

Girl, 15, was removed from school and ‘abused’ in new foster home (The Sun)

MIXED RACE IRISH

The Association of Mixed Race Irish (AMRI)

Mixed Race Irish Twitter

Ireland’s Forgotten Mixed Race Children (Facebook video)

Multiple Survivors Groups of Mother & Baby Homes will protest at inaction and exclusion from Inquiry

MISC

Irish Survivors in Britain: Adults who are former residents of Institutions in the Irish Republic, News, Events and Support

 

 

Posted in Children Stolen by the Government, Legal News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mother Hayley Gascoigne Collapses During Family Court Ruling, Dies “Because of Stress”

The biggest challenge Hayley had to face in her life was her battle for her children. That battle took her from you.” ~ Statement from Hayley’s funeral

Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England (Jan 26, 2017): A loving young mother abruptly began convulsing and then collapsed in family court while awaiting a ruling concerning her children. Hayley Gascoigne suffered a cardiac arrest – literally dying of a broken heart. Hayley died in the arms of her sister, whom she called “my best friend“. Devastated family members said she died as a result of the stress inflicted on her by the family court. Mr. Gascoigne, father, said,”My daughter died in my other daughter’s arms. She died because of the stress.”

Hayley Gascoigne is described as “the most loving and caring person anyone could have ever met” and a “lovely, warm. kind person.”  She was affectionately given the nickname “Goldilocks” for her beautiful blond hair. Hayley was 32 years old, the mother of four children. According to family, “her children were her world.” That is certainly evident on Hayley’s Facebook profile, a dedication to her children – depicting her recent pregnancy, the children’s milestones, their smiling faces, and time spent playing together. This close, loving family is now joined together in an unfathomable grief.

The hearing held the day Hayley died was presided over by Judge Jessica Pemberton, the purpose of the hearing included an explanation of why the court used its powers to ban public reporting of the case. The case is also described as a “non-criminal matter”. The family court system in the UK operates in secret, very little – if any – details are released to the public on proceedings. Parents who speak out are faced with contempt of court and may be subjected to fines, jail or loss of visitation and/or custody of children.  According to current law, details of family proceedings can not be reported for legal reasons.

Judge Richardson QC has expressed his condolences on behalf of the legal community, saying, in part,”…the court is deeply saddened by the news…

 

Hayley’s funeral was held on February 28th at Woodlands Crematorium. Colorful balloons, vibrant as Hayley’s smile, led the funeral procession leading to her graveside. Her white coffin was decorated with butterflies.

She fought with every breath for her children.” her sister remembers.

Hayley Gascoigne, facebook

Read More:  

Devastated father tells how mother died in court ‘because of stress’ … @MailOnline

Heartbroken family and friends of Hayley Gascoigne pay tribute at funeral

Judge’s ‘deep sadness’ over death of Hayley Gascoigne at Hull Crown Court

Over 100 mourners attend funeral of Hayley Gascoigne

 

Posted in CPS/DHS, Family Court News, Legal News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

(Mississippi) Bill Passed: Abuse is Grounds for Divorce, Provides Guidance to Judges on Abusive Behavior

(Mississippi, March 2017) – Should domestic violence be considered as grounds for divorce? A bill recently passed in Mississippi includes domestic violence in the definition of “habitual cruel and inhumane treatment” and legally considers abuse as a reason for granting a divorce.

Under the previous law, divorce in Mississippi could be granted under 12 grounds but filing on grounds of domestic abuse was difficult, especially if a spouse contested the divorce.  Changes in the current law include abuse as the 13th ground for divorce. The Amendment to Senate Bill 2680 (Miss.) defines abuse as: physical abuse, threats of harm, emotional and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, isolation and financial abuse in its definition of abusive conduct. The bill also includes a provision that a victimized spouse can testify in court and be considered a credible witness ; under the old law an additional witness was required to corroborate testimony 

Mississippi divorce attorney Matthew Thompson comments, “This is a good change. It goes further than the original proposed bill. It addresses one of the biggest obstacles in obtaining a divorce on Cruelty, which is the corroboration requirement. Prior to this Bill the complaining party had to have a witness or such other corroboration of physical abuse, in addition to their own testimony.  The problem with that is that in domestic violence situations it is routinely behind closed doors, in secret and it is all too common for the abused to not tell anyone. Routinely the abused does not seek help, either medical or otherwise, due to fear, shame, guilt and threats of it happening again…

The passing of the bill did not come easy, Mississippi has one of the strictest set of divorce laws in the country. Senate Bill 2680 was authored by Sen. Sally Doty (R-Brookhaven), who fought for a way for victims of domestic violence to get out of an abusive marriage. Before the amendment passed, if one spouse were to contest the divorce, the person seeking to end the marriage must come to an agreement with the spouse or seek a divorce based on the existing grounds. The final decision to grant the divorce would be left to the court. The divorce process was especially challenging for abuse victims, and created obstacles that posed a risk to their safety and well-being.

The original bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the Senate but faced opposition in the House when Chairman Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) objected. When the bill died, without receiving a vote, concerned citizens and advocates refused to let it go – and continued to show an outpouring of support, flooding the Legislature with letters and keeping the issue in the forefront of media attention. Rep. Gipson then proposed an amendment to the bill, which passed in March 2017. ::Applause::

Personal Note: What encourages me about this story is that it shows that citizens and groups of people really can make a difference in working to raise awareness about issues important to them and working toward changes in laws or changes in the government.

I have talked with parents all over the U.S. and heard horrific stories about domestic violence, abusive spouses and the failures of family court (and CPS). After going through such hardship, I am always so amazed by the strength of parents to not only keep fighting for their children, and for justice.

I know it seems like an uphill battle.. and that change will never come… but after hearing about the struggles to pass Senate Bill 2680 and that even after this bill had died, it was revived and passed, gives me immense hope.

I want to say to all parents, concerned citizens, advocates and professionals, lawmakers… look to what was accomplished in Mississippi. Take a look at the problems happening in the family court system, and what the court failures are doing to families, to children, to society. Listen to the stories of victims, read the letters or petitions being sent to you with an open mind. And have the courage to fight for needed change…your efforts will save lives.

~ “Emily Court” © 2017

For More Information:

Abusers Get Another Divorce Pass from #MSLeg, But Senator Pushes Back by Jackson Free Press

Lawmaker Flips to Support Domestic Abuse as Divorce Reason by Jackson Free Press

Mississippi advocates fear abuse ‘epidemic’ after senate kills divorce bill by The Guardian

MISSISSIPPI DIVORCE: “A CHANGE OF HEART” ON CRUELTY. By Matthew Thompson

 

 

Posted in Domestic Violence, Family Court News, Legal News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“His Rage Was Like an Oncoming Train…” Abuse Survivor Recalls Frightening Incident

A frightening memory .. sharing to raise awareness about domestic violence…

_________________

“I thought I saw the devil, this morning…I never meant to start a fire, I never meant to make you bleed, I’ll be a better man today..” Jaymes Young, “I’ll Be Good”

Remembering… 

I was hugely pregnant with my first child, and working part-time to help pay the bills… the months of my pregnancy had been tumultuous due to Martin (aka the “Martinizer”) Hegland’s legal troubles, and his gambling addiction caused devastation on what little income was coming in. 

I found a clerical job through a temp agency, and enjoyed the hours spent at the office.. a reprieve from the cloud hanging over our home. I had my first job at age 11 as a babysitter; and by age 16 was working a part-time job during the school year and two jobs during the summer. After such a long work history, it would be different to be a stay-at-home mom. I honestly had no idea what lie ahead but was excited about the new baby, and hopefully, a fresh start. 

To be honest, Martin was not the person I would chose to spend my life with – or even have children with. But if I closed my eyes, and shoved the pain down as far as it would go, I could avoid the horrific events that led me to to him… I met Martin when I was a high school senior, he was then 31 years old. I was chatting online, as teens do, when approached by Martin. He ignored the other people in the chat room and focused all of his attention on me, quickly asking to go into private messaging. The internet was new then. The fun and excitement of the internet swept over nation like one giant party; with no thought of safety. When I met Martin in person, I was  shocked to discover that he was so much older but he seemed nice enough. I hung out with friends – even boys – all the time without dating them, I just thought of Martin as another friend. I didn’t realize that I was being preyed upon until it was too late. By then my sense of self was so utterly broken that, that to this day, I still struggle to comprehend with what has happened.  This was not a relationship based on love or mutual respect, it was a relationship based on power and control. And Martin had all the power and control. 

I stood at the door, waiting for Martin to give me a ride to work. I am not sure what made him so angry… I remember the yelling.. the feeling of guilt afterwards… Martin always made it seem like it was my fault when things went wrong…I made him angry… I deserved whatever I got… 

Public Domain: https://www.pexels.com

Public Domain: https://www.pexels.com

I walked to the car in silence, my head hung low like a dog that had been kicked one too many times. I was hugely pregnant and the seat belt barely stretched over my abdomen. I turned by body toward the window, avoiding Martin. The car lurched forward as Martin zoomed down the driveway. 

Behind our house is a set of train tracks. Martin turned out of the driveway toward the train tracks. He rolled down his window as we approached the tracks… the loud ding-dong of the crossing signal warned that a train was coming. Martin stepped on the gas just as the wooden crossing arms began to descend. The red lights of the crossing signal flashed before my eyes. The tires hit the metal rails with a jolt. I looked to the left to see an approaching train. The clamor of the train horn filled the car. My hands clutched my abdomen. The baby kicked in protest as I squeezed too hard. The horn sounded insistently. The car bumped across the tracks, nudging the second set of crossing rails as tires hit the street. The train rumbled past, just seconds behind us. 

Public Domain: http://eskipaper.com

Public Domain: http://eskipaper.com

I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think.. cold air slapped against my face from the open window. The sound of laughter jolted me back into the present. Laughter? My eyes slowly turned toward Martin. He was laughing hysterically. He got a thrill from our narrow escape. 

What?“, Martin said as my eyes met his,”You didn’t really think the train would hit us, did you?” He picked up his coffee mug and took a long drink.

I couldn’t respond…I did not want to provoke his anger. Then there was the shame. I didn’t really think the train would hit the car, did I? How stupid!

We drove the rest of the way to work in silence. Though I was hugely pregnant, and dealing with health problems, I vowed never to ask Martin for a ride to work again. I would get up early and make the trek by city bus – which involved two transfers, a 45 minute trip one way. My back ached, my feet had swollen to the size of watermelons, but I would not complain.

Martin’s rage was like an oncoming train – coming on quickly with a deafening roar and then disappearing. There was never an apology because no matter what happened, it was always my fault.

And it would be my fault 8 years later when we entered family court, and Martin sought sole custody of our 2 children. The insults I had endured for years would become grounds to take the children from me… by then there was no stopping the train. The crossing signal sounded a warning of impending disaster… when my hands sought my womb it would be empty, my life now empty of my children. When I crossed to the other side, I would be alone because family court gave sole custody to Martin.

Just as I had found the strength to take the bus to work, and against incredible odds maintained employment until it was time to give birth…I will find a way to rescue my children, and bring them home. On that day Martin’s laughter will finally be silenced.

~ “Emily Court”, © 2017

“For all of the light that I shut out
For all of the innocent things that I’ve doubt
For all of the bruises that I’ve caused and the tears
For all of the things that I’ve done all these years
Yeah, for all of the sparks that I’ve stomped out
For all of the perfect things that I doubt

I’ll be good, I’ll be good
And I’ll love the world, like I should
Yeah, I’ll be good, I’ll be good
For all of the times I never could…”

Jaymes Young, “I’ll Be Good”

 

Posted in Domestic Violence, Music, Our Family Albulm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Judge Timothy Philpot Reprimanded: Used Families As Guinea Pigs for “Independent Research”

 Judge Tim Philpot of Fayette County Family Court (Source: http://www.kentucky.com)

Judge Tim Philpot of Fayette County Family Court (Source: http://www.kentucky.com)

(Fayette County, Kentucky: 1/06/2017): Controversial Judge Timothy N. Philpot, 22nd Judicial Circuit, who admits,”I was Mr. 2.9 GPA. I barely made it into law school...”  is given a public reprimand by the Judicial Conduct Commission.

The complaint resulted after Judge Philpot required that divorcing couples with children “participate in special hearings to determine if their marriage is irretrievably broken“; while couples without children were not subjected to hearings.  Public Reprimand Judge Philpot – KY

Judge Philpot was also found to have given confidential information about family court cases, which were not public record, to 3rd parties for “independent research and teaching duties“. Findings from the Judicial Conduct Commission did not include whether Judge Philpot received any financial or other benefit from providing this sensitive information to still unnamed sources.

The Judicial Conduct Commission has determined that Judge Philpot has engaged in misconduct and violated judicial conduct codes in the following ways:

  • Abused his judgeship to advance the private interests of others
  • Failed to act fairly and impartially
  • Used or disclosed non-public information, gathered in a judicial capacity, for purposes unrelated to judicial duties

The Judicial Conduct Commission had the option to suspend Judge Philpot without pay, and to remove him from the bench. They chose to give him a public reprimand.

In layman’s terms, Judge Philpot used his family court as a lab and experimented on families appearing before him, like guinea pigs. 

Clearly Judge Philpot is using human lives to advance his own agenda: When divorcing couples appeared before Judge Philpot, the merits of the case, and the facts, were not made a priority. Instead, Judge Philpot evaluated families, who without their knowledge or consent, became part of a social experiment. Families with children were forced to attend “special hearings“. The information gathered from the court cases were then sold or given to 3rd parties for “independent research and teaching duties“.

Questions That Need to Be Answered:

  • Did Judge Philpot receive any payment or other benefit for providing information to 3rd parties?
  • Who are the 3rd parties to which the information was released?
  • How was the information used?
  • What is being done to secure the privacy of the litigants involved?
  • What is the court doing to protect the privacy of litigants, and prevent this from happening again?
  • Has the Judicial Commission made any effort to contact the families involved?
  • Is the Judicial Commission investigating other complaints and/or concerns against Judge Philpot?
  • Why did the Judicial Commission only issue a reprimand and not consider a more severe form of discipline?

Since Judge Philpot was acting outside the functions of his judicial duties, he does not have immunity, and could be subject to civil action. 

In my opinion, a public reprimand does little to address the severity of these offenses, Judge Philpot should have been dealt with more harshly. Think about it – the information that Judge Philpot handed to “researchers” could later be used in studies about divorce or family court, and could affect public policy. Or be used in expert testimony.The research could even shape the outcomes of divorce and custody proceedings in the future.

That Judge Philpot, a family court judge, is involved in unethical human experimentation conducted through proceedings he presided over should result in immediate disbarment. 

Think about it – how many rulings were affected by this “research”? How many parents lost custody? How many parents had visitation with a child restricted? Not to mention possible violations of Constitutional rights…. Does the Judicial Committee have an understanding of how serious this is? To give Judge Philpot just a reprimand does NOTHING to address the toll his misconduct has had on human lives, on the futures of children. 

This is not the only instance that Judge Philpot has used court cases that appeared before him for a personal advantage – he also “started having fun” and wrote a tell-all book based on his experiences as a family court judgeJudge copies plot from his novel in some divorce cases before his court by Tom Eblen

Judge Philpot also publicly states that he believes that he is a on a mission from “god” and was divinely appointed to be a family court judge:

Sue and I prayed this prayer: “Lord, put me in the middle of the mess.” Let me tell you, Family Court is as messy as it gets

Families should not be there, but of course, they are there every day. A lot of poor people with serious issues, a lot of rich people spending their last dollars to fight with each other over who gets what, a lot of families with children being taken away and going into foster homes. Termination of parental rights, nasty, nasty, nasty divorces, domestic violence—stuff that would shock most people if they walked in to witness it just one time.

And there I am. No jury. Just me and the mess.

One hundred years from now, I truly believe I’ll be in heaven.” My Life as a Loser by Tim Philpot

To let Judge Philpot off with a “reprimand” does not assure the public safety. Nor does it address the violations of privacy that were inflicted on the families who were victimized by this out of control judge. The families involved certainly deserve to be notified that their information was stolen and used in research. Judge Philpot should also recuse himself from cases in which he was found to have engaged in misconduct.

Judge Philpot has drawn widespread criticism … you only need to do an internet search on his name to find other areas for concern. 

Judge Philpot has been accused of discrimination after making negative comments about homosexuals and gay marriage including, their relationships are “sterile” and “just entertainment“:Family court judge says gay relationships are ‘just entertainment’ by Debra Cassens Weiss

Concerned citizens have taken to social media to expose Judge Philpot on the following blog:  A site to discuss judicial misconduct by Timothy N Philpot a judge in Fayette Family Court/

In this video, Judge Philpot threatens a father “I’ll issue an order that he’s never gonna see his kid again as long as you live. A little 5 year old child, he’s never see his 5 year old ever again as long as he lives…”  This is just unacceptable!

 

In this video Judge Philpot makes a joke about having sex with a judge, that turns into a joke about incest, stating “you’re not allowed to have children with your father, that is still a crime in Kentucky..” 

 

In this video Judge Philpot ADMITS that “more than once” the murder of a child resulted after a custody order he issued … WHY is this happening? In several states, CPS has been investigated after a child was murdered in state care, with lawmakers working to address the system’s failures. Yet Judge Philpot ADMITS a child was murdered “more than once” after a custody ruling, and no one in Fayette County is investigating what went wrong???

 

Posted in Family Court Injustice, Family Court News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“The failures of family court are creating a human rights crisis…” Letter Submitted to Info Wars E-Mail Campaign

info

My letter to Lee Ann McAdoo of Info Wars

Hello Lee Ann,

I am writing to ask you to please do a weekly segment on the subject of systemic failures, and Constitutional violations occurring in family court (and CPS).

I am writing to ask you this as a mother who has been affected by family court injustice, and because there is a great need to raise awareness. I have been involved in family court litigation for 11 years with an abusive, personality-disordered (confirmed by court psych eval) ex. I fled the relationship after an act of domestic violence left me, and my two children, homeless. Incredibly the abuser later filed for sole custody.. and through a series of illegal, unethical and Unconstitutional court actions I not only lost custody of my children but serious allegations of child abuse have also been covered up.

At the time of the court order, my ex had over a dozen documented child abuse allegations against him, with therapists filing reports to CPS. Both children suffer from PTSD and related problems. My ex was also a wanted fugitive at the time of the court order, had a history of substance abuse, and admitted in court that he “will not co-parent”. The judge (Ivy Bernhardson) issuing the court ruling stated her reasoning in part is that my fear of the abuser is not healthy for my children. I was also told that being in an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence is “keeping secrets” from my abuser, and is harmful to my children. This is how a loving mother, and primary caregiver, was forcibly separated from her children and alienated by court order. The abuse continues after he was awarded custody. Every time I file court motions, I lose more and more. All I want is to be a mother to my children, and to share our lives together as family. I want my children to have a normal, happy childhood free of abuse. Their childhood has been stolen from them by the family court, and with it, their mother and cultural identity has also been stolen. But I keep fighting to protect my children.

The failures of family court are creating a human rights crisis that is affecting an untold number of families across America destroying families and the futures of children. I say an “untold number” of families because the lack of transparency, and lack of accountability, in the system has served to cover up the corruption and criminal actions of judges, Guardian ad Litems and other professionals involved in what has become a money-making industry that profits from the suffering of children, and families.

In my home state of Minnesota there documentation showing problems in family court (and by extension, the Guardian ad Litem program) have existed for over 20 years… imagine how many families have been affected in all that time. It is widely known, and accepted, among Minnesota’s elected officials, that serious problems exist in family court and that children have been harmed as a result. CPS reform has begun in Minnesota. However, the problems existing in family court (and the GAL program) continue to go ignored – or otherwise not dealt with. And with it, the voices of victims go unheard.

Below I will include in more detail what some of the problems are, and some related statistics to illustrate systemic problems, and corruption occurring in family court. I will be happy to provide more information, or documentation on my own case, upon request. I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter, and hope you will consider doing a segment on family court and CPS failures.

____________________________________

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Common complaints of from parents who have suffered injustices in family court include:

Failure to protect the victims of domestic violence, and their children from ongoing abuse and threat of harm. Failure to recognize abuse that continues post separation, and manifests in the court setting.

Allegations of abuse are ignored or minimized, putting children’s lives at risk. Even when children come forward to bravely reveal abuse, they are ignored or suppressed. Children who report abuse are often accused of being brainwashed and often sent to de-programming, threat therapy and re-unification therapy which are tools used to ultimately strip the protective parent of custody, and grant custody to an abusive or unfit parent.

Children taken from fit, loving parents without just cause and given into the custody of abusive or unfit parents (who often have a criminal history, positive for substance abuse, history of abuse allegations, OFPs filed against them etc)

Inability to afford legal help, lack of resources for legal help or legal clinics. Many parents go to court pro se, not knowing their rights and unable to effectively represent themselves. Yet these parents are held to the same standards as attorneys. Further, the court will grant an attorney to a Guardian ad Litem, paid for by the tax payers, if a complaint is raised. Parents not given the same opportunity.

Without legal help or limited resources, parents face great challenges appealing an unjust court ruling.

Significant due process violations.

Courts stripping parents of children, property, assets and income without due process or in proceedings that violate their rights.

Use of materials, mental health labels, submissions that does not meet evidentiary standards by court professionals. This material is used to justify the court’s own illegal and Unconstitutional actions.. or used to justify taking children from parents.

Guardian ad Litems and family court professionals making medical opinions, diagnosis, recommending treatment without proper licensure and without any valid credentials. The recommendations made are then used to take custody of children, limit or deny parenting time, force parents into supervised visitation etc

Denial or restriction of parenting time without justification, and without remedy to restore parenting time and/or parental rights. Many parents linger in supervised visitation for years, at great cost to them because they actually have to pay to see their children. Other parents are forcibly removed from their children’s lives never to see them again.

Jailing parents

Unconstitutional gag orders. This often happens when parents speak out or complain against the court. Or, alternately, against parents who speak out about abuse.

Judge entering false or erroneous information into the findings of fact. Once this happens it is virtually impossible to overcome, and the family court case will become prejudiced against one parent.

Bias

Lack of proper training or experience in family law.

Lack of proper training or experience in related subjects such as: domestic violence, child development, diversity, etc

Lack of accountability in court system, and lack of oversight.

Lack of complaint procedure. Judges and court professionals often hide behind a veil of immunity. Immunity does not exist when acting outside mandated duties.

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Some sobering statistics:

Studies show that batterers have been able to convince authorities that the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases.” American Judges Association “Domestic Violence Publication”

The vast majority of these mothers (97%) reported that court personnel ignored or minimized reports of abuse. They reported feeling that they were punished for trying to protect their children and 65% said they were threatened with sanctions if the “talked publicly” about the case. In all, 45% of the mothers say they were labeled as having Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The protective parents reported that the average cost of the court proceedings was over $80,000.Over a quarter of the protective parents say they were forced to file bankruptcy as a result of filing for custody of their children. Eighty-five percent of the protective parents surveyed believe that their children are still being abused; however, 63% say they stopped reporting the abuse for fear that contact with their children will be terminated. Eleven percent of the children were reported to have attempted suicide.Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation”. Dallam. S. J., & Silberg, J. L. (Jan/Feb 2006). Leadership Council.

According to a judge for the Sacramento Superior Court, more than 92,500 family law cases were filed with the family court during the four-year period under review. However, the judge stated that the family court does not capture data on the types of cases for which it is more likely to require court appointees, such as cases with contested child custody and visitation, because the family court can think of no reason, legal or otherwise, for the use of such data.” – Sacramento and Marion Superior Courts Audit, 2011 

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Posted in Children Stolen by the Government, Family Court Injustice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lesson Learned from Ciara’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Future: Avoid Bad Mouthing Your Ex

This world can put a hole in your soul sometimes, Put you at the end of your road,  Sometimes you just break down, When this world tries to end you, I defend you..
I’ll be there to stop the bleeding, I’ll be there to start the healing…” Ciara, “I Got You

Fulton County, Georgia (Jan 6, 2017): Singer, songwriter and actress, Ciara, has dropped a $15 million defamation law suit filed against her ex-fiancee, rapper, Future. 

Ciara accused Future of making public comments that portrayed her in a “false light” and spoke negatively about her parenting ability. Future also characterized Ciara as greedy for seeking child support for their son. The lawsuit resulted after Future blasted Ciara in social media posts, and called her names  like “bitch” and “punk ass ho”. Journalist Stereo Williams criticized the disrespect in which Future addressed Ciara and stated (excerpt, link to full article posted below), “A disagreement over child support doesn’t have to devolve into a famous man publicly calling the also-famous mother of his child a “bitch “” and “...men must be held accountable for their behavior and to the women with whom they have a child…” 

The couple’s relationship ended shortly after the birth of their son, in 2014.  I agree with Stereo Williams – the end of a relationship with another person should not mean that your child is dragged into your drama, and made a part of the break-up. It is wrong to bad mouth an ex, especially in a public way, because what you are saying – and doing – will hurt your child. And hurt your child even more than it would hurt your ex. Adults have the ability to deal with their issues or seek legal recourse; the same can’t be said for children who are caught in the middle. A parent’s words and actions create the environment in which  child lives, and ultimately shapes who the child grows into. Parents need to be mindful, and protective, that they do not project their own issues onto a child. You don’t have to agree with your ex or even like your ex but for the sake of the child, it is best to remain polite and respectful.

Side note: I do realize there are cases (like mine) where parents find themselves in situations where they do go public with certain issues involving their family – this happens a lot in cases involving domestic abuse, extreme custody disputes, and with other serious issues that impact the family or society. I think there is a fine line between exposing  a problem and outright bad mouthing an ex (or anyone else). For me, personally, I balance that line by checking my motivations – i.e. does speaking out serve a greater purpose or is about me? Sometimes you do need to speak out to right a wrong or address a problem or raise awareness…. but when doing so, it is also important to be professional and respectful when addressing those issues (stick to facts!). Avoid personal digs or disclosing information to embarrass or hurt someone. Also, continue to educate yourself and seek other avenues for networking, and raising awareness. Working with other people on a common goal or issue is how you make a difference (and is not the same as carrying out a personal vendetta against someone).

Ciara previously released a heartfelt song and video title “I Got You” dedicated her son. “I Got You” is about her love for her son, and her efforts to protect him when the world/life becomes tough. The video includes home videos beginning when Ciara announces her pregnancy, and continuing through the first year of her son’s life.

Even though dismissed, Ciara’s lawsuit raises awareness that bad mouthing, and speaking negative about the other parent, is harmful to children and makes co-parenting more difficult.

Because children share a bond with both parents, and relate to each parent in a special way, children will internalize negative talk made about a parent as if it were said to them personally. Judge Ann Kass (2nd Judicial District, New Mexico) wrote Don’t Bad-Mouth Divorcing Parents In Front of Children; Criticizing a Parent Also Hurts Kids and says,”Children see themselves as half of each parent. When children hear bad things about one parent, they hear bad things about half of themselves. If they hear bad things about both their parents, they feel that both halves of themselves must be of little worth.”  Negative comments about the other parent also cause anxiety, fear and increase stress in children.

Tips On How to Avoid Bad Mouthing/Negative Talk About the Other Parent:

*Avoid talking about adult issues (such as the divorce/separation) where children can overhear, or when children are present.

*Similarly, instruct family and friends to avoid talking negative about the other parent in front of the child, or talking about adult issues in front of the child

*Do not tell a child about the other parent’s short comings or give the child your opinion of the other parent

*If you personally are struggling with the end of a relationship, or with your ex – seek appropriate help or support. Do not shift the blame or dump issues onto children. Places of support may include: family, friends, spiritual support, support group, therapist, etc

*Similarly – it’s okay to apologize!

*If you have a problem with your ex, or need to communicate, take it directly to them – not to the child. If communication is a problem you may consider additional help or support such as: spiritual council, community support, therapy, mediation, family, friends, legal help, parenting/family coach etc

ADDITIONAL TIPS/ADVICE: 

How to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce by Jennifer Wolf

Post-Divorce Parenting: Bashing Your Ex is Bad for Your Children by Rosalind Sedacca

Positive Parenting Through Divorce by Lina Guillen

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CIARA’S LAWSUIT:

Ciara Drops Defamation Suit Against Future (Rolling Stone)

Ciara ‘decides to drop $15 million defamation lawsuit against ex Future’ (DailyMail.com)

Ciara and Future’s Baby Drama and the Black Mother Double Standard (The Daily Beast, Stereo Williams)

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting Tips and Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another Step Forward… Exposing Abuse, Family Court Injustice Hennepin County, Minn

Public Domain: Pixaby.com - Makamuki0

Public Domain: Pixaby.com – Makamuki0

Dear Blog Readers:

Thank you for your continued support as I discuss my experience surviving domestic violence, and a horrific experience in Hennepin County where the identified abuser was given sole custody of my two children – who are also victims to abuse.

Thank you for raising your voice to share your own experiences, and your thoughts. You have all inspired me. Your efforts to raise and effect needed change in family court and/or CPS is courageous. Your continued fight for the protection of your children and struggle to remain in their lives against incredible odds is heroic. I hope and pray that one day, justice will prevail and that no family, no child will ever have to endure this family court and/or CPS nightmare that has become a constant source of pain, and grief, in our lives. 

In my own journey of healing from abuse, and dealing with being re-victimized by the injustices of family court, I am taking another step forward in my advocacy for victims, and in my fight for justice… You know me as “Emily Court”. That is a nickname (think “family court“) that I used when beginning this blog. I have used other names as well. There were a number of reasons that I chose to use a pen name… of them the strongest being the strong sense of shame, and guilt, that I felt as a victim of domestic violence. Along with it, the false accusations thrown at me in family court seared my heart, and fear held me back… I am here to say I will no longer be abused. I refused to live in fear. And I refuse to remain silent because in silence, those perpetrating abuse, injustice and corruption hide. Silence only serves to keep the secrets that bind us in shame, fear and guilt. Only in speaking out, and bearing witness to the truth, can we be free from those chains.

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In 2006, a crisis caused me to flee my abuser, in which I became homeless with two children. We were able to enter transitional housing, and secured permanent housing after 18 months. My children were never able to come home, and begin their lives, free of abuse, enjoying what most children take for granted because the family court awarded sole custody to their abusive father, and in doing so, has forcibly and unjustly separated me from my children. Allegations of abuse, and concerning incidents continued after the children were given to their abusive father – which the family court continued to ignore, and cover up.

Another crisis has caused me to shed anonymity, and stand unashamed, in truth. Since I fled our home, I have been dealing with ongoing emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of my abusive ex. The events of the past months are troubling. I have been forced to return my child my abusive ex after she disclosed a concerning incident, knowing no one would protect her from harm. My ex admitted that something had happened to my child but refused to tell me what, and refuses to communicate with me in any way. After disclosure, my child has been drugged with psychiatric medicines while the underlying trauma, and source of her problems, remains untreated.  I have had to watch month after month as my beautiful child has slipped away under a haze of medication that she does not need… what needs to be addressed is the source of her pain. 

For the last months, I have had to witness both of my children grieve the loss of a mother (who lives within driving distance) simply because their father will not allow visits home. And I have to witness my abusive ex lie, manipulate, and play mind games in which the children are used as pawns. His behaviors escalate when I try to be involved in the lives of my children. His efforts only serve to hurt the children more. My children do not deserve any of this. They deserve to be happy, safe and loved. They deserve a real childhood. They deserve a mother in their lives, and along with it the care and love I can provide.

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The Hennepin County Family Justice Center, Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Program, GALs and family court judges (4 have been assigned to my case) are complicit in all of this because they have not only covered up serious allegations of child abuse, but have enabled and empowered my abuser at great risk to the safety and well-being of my children and I. 

The system has failed at every level … the only recourse I believe that exists now is to go public, expose the problems and join efforts for reform. With no place to hide, those in family court who have aided and abetted an abuser, and profited at the expense of my children’s lives, will be held accountable in the public eye.

Let me introduce myself to you again… my name is Lynn Mari… and here is an excerpt of my story, as told to Bill Windsor of “Lawless America“.

I have told my abuser in a very blunt message that I am going public with my story, and he is fully aware that this will all be exposed. He will no longer be able to hide behind the name “Mr. X” as I am disclosing his real name, Martin Hegland.

That being said, I do not carry any negative feelings towards you Martin, I pity you that you spent so many years hating me that you have totally destroyed your own life.

As for the children – I love them with all of my heart. And despite what you have done to me, and to them, I allow the children to have whatever relationship with you that want, without interference or judgement. I support my children. And encourage their growth. And pray for the day that they are able to seek therapy or help, and begin the courageous journey of healing from the damage you have caused.

Martin you can take my children from me for only so long because one day they will age out of the system, and they will come home. On that day, they will be greeted with hugs and celebration. And our lives will begin, together, as a family. That is why I do not carry negativity in my heart – because my children need a positive example that the cycle of abuse can be broken. My children need to be able to come to a home that is safe, loving and offers them opportunities to grow. I provide that home.

My children need to see that love is greater than anything against us, even the deepest darkness, is just a pinprick because, as the Bible says (1 John 4:18),”There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

With that I step forward, shedding my pen name “Emily Court” and going forward in my real name, Lynn Mari… May justice prevail.

Posted in Abuse Allegations & Documentation, Domestic Violence, Family Court Injustice, Jamie Manning Guardian ad Litem, Judge Robben, Legal News, Parental Alienation/DV by Proxy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Guardian ad Litem Who Stole Christmas, and then the Children (Jamie L. Manning, Hennepin County)

Public Domain: http://img1.goodfon.su

Public Domain: http://img1.goodfon.su

As the New Year begins, 2017 will mark 11 years that I have spent battling in family court with an abusive, personality disordered ex partner. 11 years – that is the entire length of my children’s lives.

The family court proceedings have now exceeded the entire length of my relationship with “Mr. X”. It is pretty pathetic to say I have a longer relationship with the Family Justice Center than a relationship that resulted in two children being born and pretty pathetic to say the halls of the cold, dark courthouse are as familiar as home. 

This poem is a rewrite of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas“. It is based on a true event from my family court case.

Before he won sole custody, Mr. X was court-ordered into supervised visitation after a therapist wrote a letter disclosing that my son had been choked by his father, and described in detail hands being placed around his neck. The therapist believed abuse had occurred, and attributed my son’s fragile emotional state and behaviors to abuse, and trauma.

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Despite this, Guardian ad Litem Jamie L. Manning sympathized with Mr. X and used supervised visitation as a platform to eventually recommend sole custody. Jamie was aggressively pushing unsupervised visits  before the children had been stabilized, or were even comfortable with their father. Jamie’s recommendations were based solely on her own opinion, and completely disregarded other sources of information. She also bullied those who opposed her. I lost count over the total sum of documented abuse allegations that had been documented in therapy, in CPS reports, in police reports, witnesses, medical reports etc.. and that number does not include private disclosures and drawings made by the children. And it was not just that allegations of abuse were raised but my children’s behaviors, and emotional state showed clear indicators of abuse, and severe trauma. To this day, my children have never fully recovered…and how could they, living in an abusive, dysfunctional home? To Jamie, none of that mattered – she simply did not believe abuse had happened, and any evidence saying otherwise was disregarded.

In fact, one visitation facility would not accept my family into its program because when my son was told he was going to visit his father, during intake, he had a severe meltdown and displayed violent behavior. Despite even this, Jamie worked hard to give Mr. X unsupervised visits. This meant Jamie first had to go through a supervised facility and prove things were working.

How? Jamie personally recommended and made efforts to get my family into a visitation center that has  a long relationship with the court system; a facility known for following the direction of the courts. A facility that also receives funding to get parents into its programs through a family court program. The facility is staffed by young, inexperienced interns who have little understanding of abuse and child trauma, and who were not able to meet the needs of my children during visits. Supervised visitations had been extremely difficult and not going well because both children suffered from PTSD, trauma and showed visible fear of their father during the visits (and after). The children displayed acting out behaviors, emotional problems and showed inappropriate play during supervised visits with Mr. X. The staff never intervened and never took any steps to alleviate the suffering my children surely experienced. Incredibly, it was considered a “success” by Jamie Manning that my children attended visits, and their behaviors and emotional state were totally ignored.

Since Jamie refused to admit abuse happened, she needed another way to explain my children’s troubling behaviors, their poor emotional state.. and a way to silence abuse allegations forever.. So Jamie lied and said I am the problem, and if my children were taken from the mother (me) they would better adjust to living with their father (translation – children have no choice, and are forced to accept this horrific situation for their own survival). My experience is NOT unique, Jamie has done this to countless other mothers, and fathers as well. All across the State of Minnesota, other families have been victimized by Jamie L. Manning. I have also talked to several children who have since aged out of the system, but were appointed Jamie Manning as their GAL. ALL of these aged out children described Jamie’s behavior towards them as being abusive, toxic and that she put her own agenda before their own needs and wants. ALL of these aged-out children were forced into abusive or unsafe custody situations due to the recommendations of Jamie. Who, in my **opinion** is a dangerous sociopath.

Some of these parents have come forward to talk about their horrific experience with Jamie Manning, that can be read in this City Pages Article: Separated From Their Kids, Parents Unite Against One Court Guardian by Susan Du

Jamie Manning, Guardian ad Litem

Jamie Manning, Guardian ad Litem

During this specific incident, it was Christmas time, and Mr. X was allowed supervised visits only.The facility did offer a festive holiday visit for families, that was a specially planned party. However, Jamie L. Manning decided that was not good enough, and contacted my attorney and myself demanding that I hand over the children to attend an unsupervised visit in the home of Mr. X. Immediately. When I objected, citing the court order, Jamie said if I did not comply that she would recommend to the court that custody be reversed and that sole custody go to Mr. X. My attorney was out of town, on vacation, and called me on behalf of Jamie. I will never forget the panic in his voice, he begged me to comply saying there was no other choice. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, I complied. I complied because my attorney was not available to meet with me or advise me of my rights. I was ambushed. In truth – Jamie was going to recommend custody to Mr. X anyways.

After being forced to visit his father, and return to the home that held so many painful memories, my son – who was diagnosed with trauma and PTSD, had a severe “meltdown”. This pain was inflicted on my child – along with flashbacks of abuse – was directly caused by Jamie Manning forcing him into a sudden, unsupervised visit and without any preparation in therapy. In Minnesota, a GAL does not have immunity if acting outside her mandated duties. As such, Jamie should be held accountable for her actions – but that will probably never happen due to collusive, corrupt nature of family court.

Numerous complaints have been filed against Jamie Manning with the Minnesota State Guardian ad Litem Board, with Suzanne Allegrio and with Laurie Kusek (program manager 4th District Court). Complaints have been filed by both fathers and by mothers, all whose children were wrongly taken from them and put into abusive or unsafe custody and/or visitation arrangements by Jamie Manning. And as I write, parents are still coming forward with horrific, real-life stories about Jamie Manning. And other parents are sharing stories from family courts across Minnesota, and other states. The State Guardian ad Litem Board refuses to acknowledge there is a problem with Jamie Manning, or any of its guardians. The State GAL Board will not investigate complaints about Jamie Manning; instead they engage in “victim blaming” and find fault with parents even when presented with evidence, witness statements and other collateral documentation that demonstrates misconduct on part of their GALs.

The devastating result is stories like mine…

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Twas the night before Christmas, in a cold, dark house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Gifts were wrapped, and set under the tree with care,
Alone, a mother folded her hands in prayer.

After the father had choked his son,
He was ordered into supervised visits, where he could hurt no one.
On Christmas, the children were abruptly taken from bed,
By GAL Jamie Manning, while visions of $$ danced in her head

Court order violated, the phone buzzed with  a clatter
Attorneys pulled from their vacation to see what was the matter.
Damn the children, Jamie made a decision in a flash
If she kept the litigation going, she’d be paid a lot of cash!

Tears fell on new-fallen snow
The children were frightened as they were forced to go
Back into the house they fled nearly a year before
Son got a black eye when he was hit with the door,
Trying to hold back Dad, who dragged mom across the floor.

Son learned that day to “be the boss just like dad
He raised his fists, and swore when he got mad
At age 5 diagnosed with trauma, PTSD
Underneath a child is really what he wanted to be.

The mother, now homeless, with two children to care for
Was served with custody papers, and assaulted once more
As her abusive ex fought for custody in Hennepin County
He wanted to make her pay, the children became bounty.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So too this mother gathered reserves of strength
Not understanding his abuse would go to any length.

And then, in a twinkling, Jamie Manning was appointed
Though just a Guardian ad Litem, she acts as if she is anointed.
Called the mother a liar, the children too, when they spoke about abuse
For every red flag Jamie had an excuse.

The judge was dressed in black, from head to his foot
And justice was tarnished, with ashes and soot
In courtroom 535, a family was destroyed
When corruption was deployed.

Jamie’s eyes – how they twinkled! Her dimples so merry!
Laws easily broken, children’s lives put at risk – how scary!
Jamie threatened to reverse custody if mother said no,
So unsupervised visit with abuser on Christmas, they must go.

The children know how to pretend – as abuse victims do
They put on fake smiles as they buttoned their coat, tied their shoe.
And tried to forget last Christmas – when Dad flew into a rage
He disappeared at the casino, and was upset when he got a page
Santa was waiting, with cookies and cheer,
Mommy just needed the car to take the kids to see him this year,
Dad was on a roll playing Texas Hold ‘Em
And not ready to throw in the chips, and fold ’em.
He came home angry and not very lucky
Child would forever remember “Daddy called me stupey”
And “Daddy call me fuckey”.

Children buckled inside, the car sped away
The snow fell silently this Christmas Day
Jamie was triumphant as she got her way.

The cycle of abuse spins its crazy wheel
Today rage will come to heel
He will buy expensive gifts, and demand their love
And for the rest of
The day things will seem fine
Until he becomes angry again, and crosses a line.

Son tried to be brave
But when he came home, he did cave
He ran into his room, fell on his bed
Shouted that he “wished he were dead”!
The “meltdown” lasted 20 minutes or more…
Jamie continued to keep score.

Jamie will write a report and say the visit went well
Ignoring that the children have been put through hell.
Jamie will lie and manipulate to protect the abuser,
To him, sole custody she will refer.
A devastated mother will now spend Christmas alone
Children taken from a safe, loving home.

The abuse will continue, and the litigation too
For the family court racket this is nothing new.

Twas the night before Christmas, in a cold, dark house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Gifts were wrapped, and set under the tree with care,
Alone, a mother folded her hands in prayer.

~ Emily Court, December 2016.

9b539-christmas-fireplace-and-stockings

 

Posted in Children Stolen by the Government, Domestic Violence, Family Court Injustice, Jamie Manning Guardian ad Litem | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments