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.
Martin – At age 17, author was talking with other teens in an online chatroom 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 years old! She fell victim to grooming/manipulation that resulted in a relationship abuse and control lasting 8 years. The relationship ended when Martin physically assaulted author, an incident where the child was injured, causing her to flee the home with two small children.
Prior to this incident, in 2006, following an illness and death of an uncle known for abuse of several family members, Martin traveled out of state to visit family. He then began to pursue a relationship with 17 year old first cousin, Lisa. Lisa ran away from family in Milwaukee to live with Martin in Minnesota, who was then 42 years old at the time. Author discovered extensive letters written between Martin and Lisa that included comments like “you make the me luckiest man in the world” (Martin) and “you are so sexy” (Lisa) and “I want to live together, in love, with you, forever”. Martin says their relationship is just “emotional”. He also told the blog author that she forced him to turn to Lisa because she did not appreciate him or give him the affection he wanted.
Martin admitted to seeking custody in order to hurt blog author. And stated if he could not gain custody he would “call social workers to put the children in foster care” so she would suffer the loss of the children she loves. Martin also had the family cat killed in order to hurt the blog author. Child 2 has grieved the loss of her cat for her entire childhood and carries around a stuffed animal named after him to keep her pet close.
At the time Martin was awarded custody in Hennepin County, he had a lengthy criminal history with an active arrest warrant against him in Wisconsin. He had a history of alcohol and drug abuse, including prescription drug abuse. There is also a history of gambling addiction. He uses the name “The Martinizer” when playing poker at local casinos. There were over a dozen allegations of child abuse raised against him, with both children reporting abuse, and several CPS calls made as well. The court ordered psych eval also revealed Martin has a “personality disorder” and is a “master manipulator”.
Martin has made comments, and I found photographs, suggesting he has a prior history of forming relationships with “barely legal” teen girls who are vulnerable to his manipulation. There are also similarities in the behavior Martin has shown towards me, and towards Lisa that suggest a pattern – upon further research I discovered these behaviors are common among child predators. I do have concerns.
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 drug and alcohol related offenses in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He was also convicted of swindling money from a food shelf – this history of behavior is consistent with someone who has a personality disorder.
Martin is currently self-employed, and works in home remodeling setting tile and doing misc projects. Since Martin cannot obtain a contractor’s license, he contracts jobs by using the business of a friend as a front or by soliciting to the homeowner to “be your own contractor”.
Information About Grooming and Manipulation:
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.
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.
Ivy Bernhardson – Serving as family court judge January 2009 until November 2011.
Awarded sole custody to Martin, 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 (both children also suffered from PTSD and anxiety consistent with abuse). 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, including an incident where the child was found wandering down a highway, seeking help, after reporting another incident of abuse. The children have suffered tremendously due to Judge Bernhardson’s order, and the court’s failure to protect them from abuse. Judge Bernhardson, and the Hennepin County family court system, has made these children orphans by removing a fit, loving mother from their lives and by making reunification impossible. The remaining parent in the home is dysfunctional and abusive; and continues to undermine their relationship with mother.
Despite Judge Bernhardson’s assertions, Martin is not willing to co-parent or share custody, and has openly stated so in court. 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.
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.
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 physical and emotional abuse against children, punished litigant for reporting safety concerns with children, ignored evidence that litigant Martin 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 Martin – 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.
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
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 reunite the children with father in supervised visitation failed – causing both children anxiety, fear and escalated behaviors that made visits even in a supervised setting difficult. Both children are survivors of abuse, and homeless that was caused when we fled the home for our safety. Both children were already receiving outside therapy and support, and did not need Susan’s involvement. Susan was ONLY called into “de-program” the children and then reunite them with their father. During one session, my child disclosed to Susan the incident where he witnessed father assault me, and drew a picture of what happened. Susan told my child that he should not talk about abuse that happened in the past, and she wasn’t concerned unless he could prove something was happening now. Susan basically coached my children to recant abuse allegations under the guise of “therapy” because reunification could only occur if their memories and past experiences are erased, and they are programmed to behave like model children.
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
Supervised Visititation Facility: Genesis For Families/Family Wise (referred by Jamie Manning)
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.
Lisa: Ran away from home at age 17, a senior in high school, to live with her first cousin Martin. There are previous allegations of alcoholism and abuse in the family that demonstrate the high level of dysfunction in their family. Lisa has been involved in several incidents of neglect and physical abuse against Child 1. At one time, she was court ordered not to be alone with either children. The ordered was changed at Martin’s request because he said he could not parent the children without her help. After the family court allowed Lisa to care for the children, she was involved in more incidents of emotional and physical abuse, and neglect.
During one incident Lisa bit Child 1, leaving her teeth marks imprinted in his skin. CPS closed the investigation on the bite mark stating it is “self defense” for an adult to bite a child. It should be noted that Lisa also stated she is a live in caregiver for the child – meaning she should have had the experience and training to handle a child without resorting to actually biting the child to gain control When I petitioned Judge Robben to remove Lisa as the caregiver and if needed, appoint one from a professional health agency, he refused.
At times Lisa has either pretended or allowed others to believe she is the mother of the children. She also asserts that she is the “guardian” of the children which is not true. Lisa continues to live with Martin, is currently working as a nurse.
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.
Martin’s 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, hired the attorney to represent Martin in court in his lawsuit against author. Filed motions in court with false allegations and blatant lies in order to help Martin gain custody, and alienate the children from their mother. These “grandparents” actively work to make sure their own grandchildren grow up without a mother.
George (insurance agent): Admitted that something is wrong with Martin yet continues to enable his stepson in order to cover up the family secrets. Stated to author that Martin plays life like a poker game, and uses people like gambling chips.
Marian (former nurse, foster mother in St. Louis County): Martin has previously raised allegations of emotional abuse and cruelty at her hands. Martin compares his mother Marian to Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest”.
Just like Lisa ran away from home as a teenager, Martin also ran away from home due to conflicts with his mother. Both Martin and Lisa sought shelter with an alcoholic uncle who is rumored to have abused family members. Martin’s tactic for grooming involves talking about his troubled relationship with his mother in order to gain sympathy and make the victim feel like she is the only one he can confide in. The “only one” tactic then becomes a foothold to isolate the victim and gain control over her.
Both children have raised complaints that Marian has scared them and mistreated them, and will not stay overnight at her house during visits. Both children have also raised concerns with how Marian has treated her foster child; including an incident where Marian left the children in the care of her boyfriend who was inappropriate with the foster child as well as my own child.
Therapist: Rachael Krahn, Washburn Center for Children – 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 Washburn, 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.