The Players Involved in the Case

THE PLAYERS INVOLVED IN THIS FAMILY COURT CASE

Note: This is based on my own personal experiences, and supported by documentation posted. This blog, and all contents, are for informational and educational purposes only.

There is documentation to support that the history of failures and complaints from Minnesota’s family court , CPS, and Guardian ad Litem program spans over 20 years. There is pervasive injustice and abuses of power occurring within Minnesota’s family court and CPS system, and it’s related branches and professionals. Family Court injustice is not just happening in Minnesota but occurring in every state of the U.S. and internationally. 

I have been involved in litigation on/off in the Hennepin County family court as well as working with the Guardian ad Litem program and CPS for the past 14 years (2006-2020). I am a mother, and a whistle blower.

I entered the family court system as a victim of domestic abuse who was homeless with two children after being attacked by the ex partner, Martin, and forced to flee the home for safety. It should be noted that I had been victimized by Martin since I was a teenager, who was groomed and taken advantage of after being approachedon the internet. Martin sought full custody as a way to get revenge, and also to discredit me should I expose his secret that he was now engaging in a strange relationship with a teen girl, his own cousin. Martin and the cousin made elaborate plans to hide their relationship from the family. She then ran away from home to live with Martin, and graduated from high school in the midst of family court proceedings. NONE of the family court professionals were concerned that a 42 year old man was engaging in a strange and secretative relationships with a 17 year old girl, who had run away from home, and would now be responsible for caring for my own children.

The abuse continued through the legal system where, incredibly, the Hennepin County Family Court gave sole custody of two children to this dangerous individual. My children escaped abuse only to be put back into the custody of the identified perpetrator, and to be further harmed.

Being involved in Minnesota’s family court system I experienced abuses of power from judges, Guardian ad Litem and court professionals. My rights were violated. The safety and protection of my children was not respected, let alone considered when the court was making it’s ruling. I witnessed judges inserting bias and opinion into the record and blatantly ignoring evidence and law. There was even an incident where Judge Robben told me that he would not consider my evidence and was just going to rule against me anyways. I told over and over again by the judges, Guardian ad Litem and court professionals do not talk about abuse or safety concerns; and was punished when I did. As a person of color, I was told by judges that my cultural background is not relevent or is not important to the best interest of my children. There were many incidents of racial prejudice. At every turn, I was held to a different standard or set of expectations than the other party. These details, and more, will be revealed on this blog.

ALLEGED ABUSER

Mugshot Martin Hegland after swindling money from a food shelf. He lost his contractor’s license as a result and now conducts business without a license; telling customers you can “be your own contractor”.

Martin aka the “Martinizer” aka the “Tile Con Artisan”- At age 17, author was talking with other teens in an online chat room when approached by Martin using the handle “Shadobee”. She was lured to meet offline, at a local zoo/park, when she discovered Martin was not a teen but, in fact was 33 year old man! She fell victim to grooming/manipulation that resulted in a relationship abuse and control lasting 8  years. The relationship ended in April 2006 when Martin physically assaulted author, an incident where the child was injured, causing her to flee the home with two small children.

Martin then began a relationship with 1st cousin Lisa who ran away from home age 17 to pursue a relationship with him, who was 42 years old at the time. Martin lies and says that Lisa is the “PCA” to cover up the fact that she is, in fact, something more. There has never been any doctor’s orders that two perfectly healthy children need a live-in PCA. Martin also lies and says Lisa is the “guardian” of the children, also not true. The entire family was aware of what was happening to Lisa and refused to do anything to help or protect her. CPS was also notified and refused to act. — This may be because the family was enabling the abuse to continue. Martin’s own parents Marian (a foster mother!) and George have gone so far to protect this secret that they have bankrolled Martin’s legal bills, while looking the other way as their own grandchildren are put in harm’s way.

At the time Martin was awarded custody in Hennepin County, he had a lengthy criminal history (beginning as a juvenile) with an active arrest warrant against him in Wisconsin. There was also a civil commitment order issued against Martin in Wisconsin, and he did spend some time in a mental health facility. His previous conviction of theft by swindle affirms that he uses manipulation and lies to his advantage – a pattern occurring now, in family court.  There were over a dozen allegations of child abuse raised against Martin, with both children reporting abuse, and several CPS calls made as well by various professionals or caregivers involved. The court ordered psych eval also was not favorable and indicates he has “personality disorder”(his history supports this) and is a “master manipulator”. Martin also has a lengthy history of addictive behavior – drugs, alcohol, prescription pills and gambling (“the Martinizer”).

Martin has not been charged with any criminal act involving a minor child; and has not been charged with domestic violence. He does have a prior criminal history for misc offenses.

Information About Grooming and Manipulation:

The Stages of Online Grooming: Inside the Mind of a Predator

Grooming: What It Is & Examples

THE PLAYERS 

Hennepin County, 4th Judicial District, Judges:

Stephen Aldrich – Former Hennepin County judge. Judge Aldrich has served as a Hennepin County judge since 1997, working in civil, criminal and family court until 2010.

While appointed to this case, Judge Aldrich displayed erratic and unprofessional behavior. He was biased against Author, a victim of domestic violence living in a shelter with two children after escaping an incident of assault, and showed preferential treatment towards the identified perpetrator.

Including: during a hearing where documentation of physical abuse against child was raised, Judge Aldrich called a recess; he then personally stepped off the bench, went into the hallway and approached the mother/blog author and pressured her to accept a custody arrangement stating “it’s better if you settle this now because you won’t like a decision I make.” Judge Aldrich yelled at Author’s attorney in court from the bench and threw an ink pen at her. During another hearing, Judge Aldrich was handling two cases at one time and running back and forth between two separate court rooms.

Judge Aldrich became the subject of controversy after he was witnessed to have made inappropriate comments in court, including joking about a case involving domestic abuse.

Judge Stephen Aldrich sent out to pasture

Group calls for judge to resign over inappropriate remarks

In September, 2010, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards issued a public reprimand to Judge Aldrich, he resigned shortly after. According to the agreement, a public reprimand was issued to Judge Aldrich due to improper personal conduct engaged in by him in court while presiding in the case of State v. Lessley, 4th District Case No. 27-CR-08-13855. Read the complaint here: PUBLIC REPRIMAND OF JUDGE STEPHEN ALDRICH

Judge Aldrich retired from the bench in 2010 with $129,000 judicial salary for a year and full pension benefits following. Aldrich currently works as a family court mediator and arbitrator.

Former Hennepin County Judge Stephen Aldrich

Ivy Bernhardson – Serving as family court judge January 2009 until November 2011.

Awarded sole custody to alleged perpetrator, a litigant with an active arrest warrant against him, and was identified as a perpetrator of over a dozen documented allegations of abuse against children. Judge Bernhardson cited mother’s enrollment in the Safe at Home Program as evidence that she is unable to co-parent because she participates in an address program to help protect victims of abuse and stalking maintain a confidential address.

Judge Bernhardson’s custody order stated the identified perpetrator would be better able to co-parent and meet the needs of the children. The protective mother not only lost custody but was forced into supervised visitation (no concerns noted) for over 2 years. Supervised visits only ended after mother got qualified therapists involved to conduct the visits, who could attest that she posed no risk to the children and in, fact, shared a close and loving relationship with them.

The allegations and reports of abuse from the children continued after Judge Bernhardson’s custody order. 

The Hennepin County family court system has failed to take domestic abuse seriously, and in doing so has created an environment where abuse continues through the legal system, spreading injustice, corruption and further abuse like rampant weeds obscuring justice. 

Judge Ivy Bernhardson

Jeannice Redding – Serving as family Court judge in Hennepin County from 2006 to December 2008, and again in November 2010 to February 2015.

Ignored abuse allegations and safety concerns with the children. Dismissed a complaint against GAL Jamie Manning, despite ample documentation. Showed preferential treatment to one party.

Judge Jeannice Redding – Minnesota Judicial Branch

Patrick Robben aka “Robbing Kids”. Serving in family court from June 2016 to April 2019. Appointed to family court with no prior experience in family law. Minnesota Judicial Branch Bio – Judge Patrick D Robben

While appointed to this case, Judge Robben ignored multiple concerns of abuse against children, punished litigant for reporting safety concerns with children, ignored evidence that litigant was lying in court and then accepted the lies as fact, was biased, and promoted/enabled parental alienation to occur. Judge Robben issued an order allowing the mother only one visit a month with the children AND stated that if she wanted more time with the children, she will have to ask the ex partner who abused her. The mother is now currently being alienated from the children, and has been subjected to further emotional abuse and humiliation due to this order.

Judge Robben has also ignored, and refused to acknowledge, that the impact of his rulings and actions have resulted in the children losing their cultural identity and family relationships. These children have been not only removed from their family, but the estrangement resulted in a loss of their identity and understanding of their unique history. What Judge Robben has done has the same impact and trauma as the policies inflicted on Black and Native people in previous generations due to the unjust and racist policies of the U.S. government. My children have been stolen in this generation in a similar manner as what happened to my ancestors – this could had been prevented had Judge Robben allowed regular visitation and contact, and recognized that parenting time is also a time for children to develop a relationship, and understanding, of their familial and cultural background. 

Judge Patrick D. Robben – Hennepin County

 

Margaret A. Daly the lastest judge on my case displayed bias, racial prejudice, and has shown no regard for the safety and well-being of a child. Daly is campaigning on a platform of “integrity” and “fairness” – from my experience, she has shown none of those qualities. Judge Daly also is campaigning that she “treats every person with respect” which also is not the case and, in fact, as a person of color I was offended by her callous attitude towards my culture and family history. Updates coming soon.

Judge Margaret A. Daly

Judge Margaret A Daly, Hennepin County

Minnesota Guardian ad Litems Appointed to this Family Court Case:

Christine “Chris” Davis – Removed herself from the case after caught lying in a GAL report(there is documentation of this).

Chris Davis is a former member of the Minnesota Association of Custody Resolution Specialists (MACRS) – an organization co-founded by Jamie Manning, a GAL appointed to my case.

Jamie Manning –  Appointed to case after Chris Davis removed herself. Numerous complaints with her conduct and unprofessional behavior noted on this blog.

In brief – Jamie Manning ignored multiple complaints of physical and emotional abuse against children, pressured a victim of domestic abuse to recant abuse allegations, lied in GAL reports and under oath in court, testified in court that participation the Safe at Home program indicates that an abuse victim is unfit to parent her children, interfered in an ongoing CPS investigation and gave false information, and advocated that an alleged abuser and wanted fugitive be granted sole custody of the child victims. Documentation and evidence will be provided on this blog for all allegations.

A City Pages article on Jamie Manning includes testimony from both parents and children who have been appointed Manning as GAL in family court. If you take anything from this article, read what the children have to say.: Separated From Their Kids, Parents Unite Against One Court Guardian

Jamie Manning, Source AFCC

Laurie Kusek – Ignored a complaint against Jamie Manning filed by blog author, and refused to address concerns raised; basically covering up GAL misconduct and program failures.

President of CASA Minnesota. Guardian ad Litem Program Manager in 4th Judicial District, Hennepin County.

Court Appointed Therapist/Reunification Therapist: 

Susan DeVries conducted “therapy” with the children and reunification at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center in Minneapolis.

Susan was called in after the recommendations from Jamie Manning and evaluator Rachel Lipkin to facilitate widely discredited reunification therapy.

Susan DeVries is a friend of Manning and served on the board of the Minnesota Association of Custody Resolution Specialists (MACRS, now defunct), co-founded by Manning and fellow GAL Angie Banga.

DeVries abruptly quit her job in Hennepin County, and dropped my case, after City Pages wrote an article exposing her role in the Holly Collins case – another case in which DeVries ignored allegations of child abuse and recommended custody to the identified abuser. Battered woman becomes American refugee in Amsterdam

Holly Collins documentary film: No Way Out But One Trailer

Court Evaluator: Rachel Lipkin – Part of the family court racket. One of the worst things I recall about Ms. Lipkin is that I was homeless, and living in transitional housing. Ms. Lipkin told me that if I wanted to gain custody of my child that I needed to move to one of the wealthiest suburbs in Minnesota. An area that lacked diversity, did not have public transportation available and was over 40 minutes away from my community (family, church, cultural events, etc). I remember begging and pleading with Ms. Lipkin that I could not afford to move to the wealthy suburb. Even a hotel in that city, I could not afford. Ms. Lipkin did not relent and recommeded that Martin be given  sole custody.

Supervised Visititation Facility: GF (referred by Jamie Manning) Horrible – could write pages of what I witnessed there 😦

THE FLYING MONKEYS

“Flying Monkeys” refers to the flying monkeys that surrounded and enabled the Wicked Witch in the “Wizard of Oz” in her evil schemes. Flying Monkeys are people that surround, enable, defend and otherwise conspire with abusive people and dysfunctional systems/organizations.

Minnesota Child Protection System: Ignored several serious allegations of abuse with physical injury. Defended the biting of a child as “self defense” despite documented injury to the child.  Ignored evidence of abuse after GAL Jamie Manning inappropriately interfered in a CPS investigation.

Minnesota’s Child Protection System and its Guardian ad Litems/CASA Guardian ad Litems have been the subject of complaints and lawsuits due to failures to protect children in state care, and complaints involving improper removal of children from parents.

2015: Task force recommends 93 reforms to child protection system

2017: TEN MINNESOTA CHILDREN BRING FEDERAL CLASS ACTION AGAINST HENNEPIN COUNTY AND STATE FOR FAILING TO KEEP THEM SAFE

2018: Thousands of parents show support of child protective services lawsuit against Minnesota

The Paternal Grand Parents George and Marian: Tried to sue for custody of the children using a grandparent’s rights attorney “Peter Banning”. When that didn’t work, funded 10+ years of legal assault vs blog author. These “grandparents” actively work to make sure their own grandchildren grow up without a mother.

Lisa: Cousin and ??? Ran away from home at age 17 years old, a senior in high school, to pursue a relationship with 42 year old cousin, Martin. Martin wrote in letters to Lisa that he quote “wants to live in love, together, forever”.

She has physically and mentally abused at least one of my children.

Therapist: Rachael  – Ignored allegations of abuse that were disclosed in therapy by child, Recommended custody to identified perpetrator,  Made biased comments against mom (generally seemed to either be biased or have very little knowledge on domestic abuse) that were included in court record, Ignored incidents of emotional/verbal abuse occurring on site at clinic, Negated mom’s safety plan implemented by a DV counselor, Recommended reducing parenting time for protective mom and said it was in best interest of the child. Also featured speaker at AFCC events.

Family Court Injustice Hennepin County, Minnesota