Below are more stories of families unjustly separated by the “system” without representation of counsel and/or a Jury of their peers (our goals for reform). The starting page, with an index, is here. These people have volunteered their stories so that everyone can understand the true damage being done, and also, so those who may be experiencing your own personal “nightmare” may realize — you are not alone! We want you to hear them in their own words. We can’t vouch for the accuracy of these tales and we hope you’ll understand the bitterness and frustration you’ll read. The anger is directed at people involved, but the real source of all these issues is a system that has failed to recognize and protect fundamental Family Rights. Many times it encourages & rewards needless conflict between parents.
Name: Stephanie Rowin Location: Browns Valley, MN
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Cutter Christian Lindquist 1998
Date Separated: July 19, 2004
My name is Stephanie Rowin, I am the mother of three happy, healthy and very much loved sons. In July of 2004 my youngest son, Cutter, age 6 was ripped from our home. I live in MN and his father (if you can call him that) lives in WA. There was a default judgment against me and they gave him custody of Cutter.
If I had known that this was even possible I would have walked all the way to Washington. I do not have money for an attorney so when I received the notice of the hearing in WA I presented it to the child support worker at DHS and she told me that MN had jurisdiction so if he wanted to get custody he would have to come to MN and go to court here. I believed her.
The hearing was held in WA and I lost by default. The sheriff came to my home to take my little boy. It was a major scene. Everyone was freaking out, my 8 year old son was hiding because he thought they might kidnap him too. My 9 year old son was out riding his bike. Cutter, my 6 year old was clinging ! to me, crying and shaking. They had to literally pry him from my neck. Then they tell me not only are they taking my son but I am also charged with a felony! “Parental alienation”
I never alienated anyone. He never even visited Cutter and rarely paid child support. I also found out as part of the judgment, I was to pay for all travel, hotel, attorney and court fees for his father to carry this out. I lost everything in just one day, I lost my child, I am on my way to being a convicted felon and financially destitute and the only “crime” I actually committed was being misinformed and not being able to afford an attorney.
Legal aid in WA won’t help me because I live in MN.
They never even asked what was in child’s best interest. I have proof that everything he claimed in court is a lie and no one will even look at it. My other two children are traumatized by this whole thing and no longer feel safe.
We haven’t been allowed contact with Cutter. There is no set visitation or parenting plan. I don’t know if I will ever see my Cutterbear again.
I have letters from his father demanding that I have someone adopt Cutter so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. Letters calling me terrible names and demanding That I repay all the support that the state had collected if I wanted him to stay out of our lives.
Can missing one hearing really give the courts a right to destroy families like this? If anyone has any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it.
Name: Cindy Gallaher Location: Roanoke, VA
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Daniel Lawrence Rosecrans
Date Separated: Sep. 2001
I fought the system, and won even though for two more months I’m still under Child Protective Services control and supervision from ANOTHER STATE.
If a stranger on the street came up to me and my child with a package of cocaine and offered to give my child a free month’s supply, I’d have him arrested. AFTER I beat the living mess out of him. How DARE someone I don’t know offer dangerous, mind altering drugs to my child with me standing right there? Yet I sat there in that school psychologist’s office when my son was a mere five years old listening to this woman I’d never met before tell me my son had Attention Deficit Disorder and needed to be put on Ritalin so that he could concentrate more in class, stop fidgeting and disrupting.
I sat forward in my seat, a confused look on my face. Fidgeting? Disrupting? Lack of concentration? I voiced my concern to the psychologist that there was a health problem with my son, that two years earlier he and our family had suffered through a severe toxic poisoning of carbon monoxide for almost three months that left everyone dazed for some time afterwards. Perhaps, I told her, he was simply having after effects of the poisoning and wasn’t quite himself yet. I’d already heard from a neurologist that toxic poisoning can cause possible brain damage, concentration difficulties and irritability.
Could that not be a possibility? Definitely not, she stated. She had observed Daniel in class many times and he had all the classic signs of ADHD, and was certain it was Daniel’s difficulty. She said that she had spoken with the teacher and the teacher agreed with her. No, she said, Daniel needed to be put on Ritalin to control his outbursts and concentration problems.
She gave me a form she had filled out showing a long list of symptoms, each with a nasty little checkmark beside it that she had filled out and signed while observing Daniel, and I was to give it to the pediatrician when asking for my son to be put on the medication.
Still skeptical, I didn’t make an appointment for my son right away. I saw no signs of ADHD at home. Yes, he had a temper, but what child doesn’t? Yes, he fought with his brother and sisters. But what child doesn’t? He could sit and watch an entire thirty minutes of cartoons on Sunday, he could sit and look at a comic book about Spiderman for over twenty minutes and not make a peep. My son? ADHD?? Not in this lifetime, I remember thinking.
Two weeks later, the school psychologist called me at home asking me if I’d had a chance to get to the pediatrician. I told her I was still thinking about my options.
To this day, I can remember the chill down the back of my neck when the next words out of her mouth were a stern “Now, Mrs Rosecrans, refusing to cooperate with the school system is not benefiting you or your son. We may have to move him to a Special Education class if you’re not willing to put his education first, and in some states that’s considered child abuse.” I gripped the phone hard. The mere words “child abuse” brought on visuals of social service workers poking through my house, asking me millions of questions about how I fed the children, how I disciplined the children, forcing me and my husband to take parenting classes, and the possibility that they could even yank my child out of my home. I’d seen it happen to others. I’d heard the horror stories at Head Start a year earlier from other parents who dared go against the school. I was TERRIFIED. Just the mere thought of my little boy’s face laying on a bed in some foster home crying because Mommy wasn’t there filled my eyes with tears instantly.
I choked out quietly that I would speak to the pediatrician as soon as possible. Satisfied, the psychologist let me go. I sent a letter to the school the very next morning confirming that I would do as I was asked and take Daniel to the pediatrician for a checkup and possible medication.
Once again, though, a few days later, the horrors of pumping my child with medications without a full research into other possibilities scared me worse. So I began my own research into brain injury due to toxic poisonings, near drownings and asphyxiation. Sure enough, my son had symptoms related to brain injury, and we already suspected his father had possible brain injury as well.
Not even two weeks after the call, I got a letter from my son’s teacher, stating that she had received my note about taking my son to the doctor and seeking advice on medications, and that she had not heard anything about it yet and needed to know more. I felt pushed again. I called my son’s teacher, who told me that since the school psychologist who was trained to recognize ADHD stated Daniel was definitely an ADHD child, he simply had to be placed on medication that would CERTAINLY help him and help his grades or be placed in a special education class.
Again, I felt severely pressured, the undertones being “OR WE”RE GOING TO REPORT YOU”. So I made an appointment with my son’s pediatrician. Without so much as five minutes alone with my son, she handed me a prescription for Ritalin, smiled, and told me to contact her in two weeks to give an update on his progress. Then she simply left the room.
Fearing reprisal by Child Protective, and after an assurance from my son’s pediatrician that Ritalin was prescribed daily for thousands of children all over the United States, I reluctantly asked my baby to put medication in his mouth and tiny body that was made from a derivative of cocaine. No information from the doctor about side effects, nor from the pharmacist. Just a cold piece of paper that read like scientific reports not meant for lay people to understand. Well..that and the words “Effectiveness in children under the age of 18 has not been established”.
Yeah, that one got me scared, but not as scared as having my son yanked from me. The first two weeks, my son was a zombie. Just what they wanted, a quiet, compliant child. But there was no warmth there anymore. No heart. No fire. He didn’t even seem like my son anymore. After that, the symptoms came back, this time with a vengeance. Another drug, Adderal, was added. Then another, Clonadine. Then the Ritalin was discontinued, and Wellbutrin added. Adderal removed, Xyprexa added.
It seemed that the more medicine they used, the worse he got. OH he’d be fine for a few weeks. But then it was like uncaging a monster. He started screaming. Waking up in the middle of the night hearing “voices”. Psychotic episodes began to get more frequent. He had intense rage episodes brought on by nothing, destroying furniture and trying to kill himself and others.
Finally, I removed my son from all medications. During the withdrawal, my son got worse. His father was going through the same thing, and suddenly I have a knock on my door from Social Services, stating my son has reported being belted by his father and that my son is not on medications as he is supposed to be. OH MY LORD, I thought, I”VE BEEN REPORTED FOR CHILD ABUSE!!!
A check of everything from our bedrooms, our bathrooms, even to our closets and refrigerators left them satisfied that my kids were at least healthy and happy, but they were concerned about the medicine situation. I told the workers that I felt my son was being harmed by it. They said I needed counseling and that they would be back in touch.
Fearing the worse, I packed up my two boys and left the state. Situations had already gotten so bad between their father and I we could no longer hold a decent conversation without either him or our son losing their temper and going into a rage. There was no more marriage. All my energy had been focused on a child who was threatening death and a husband that fed off my son’s anger with his own.
Once I got to New Mexico, and my son off the drugs, he seemed to calm some. Even start showing signs of the sweet, funny, delightful little boy I knew I’d given birth to. After a month or so, it became obvious to me that my marriage was over. I wanted my two girls who I had left in New York with their father and grandmother to be with me. So a nasty custody battle ensued, with Child Protective, this time in New Mexico, combing every inch of my house to assure the children were safe.
Daniel again started having difficulties in school, unable to concentrate, and fidgety. Again, the same nightmare. Yet this school system was contacted by Child Protective in NY who advised them that my son should have been on medications, and again I was immediately pushed into drugging my son.
The strain was simply too much for the little fellow and he ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a few weeks to gain control of his emotions, brought on I suspected, by the new drug they had him on. SEREQUEL, a wonder drug, I was told.
Since my son was in the hospital and I was unable to attend the child custody hearing in New York, I lost custody of my precious babies. Their father, accused of child abuse by me and by Child Protective, was given custody of my children simply because I could not be there due to my son’s emergency hospitalization by a judge who never met me, never heard my side, and never gave me a chance to reschedule.
Five agonizing months later, I was given custody back of my children due to their father’s inability to control Daniel and happily took them back to New Mexico. Once I got my son back to New Mexico, I found out another psychiatrist had agreed my son was ADHD and had put him on Tegretol and Clonipine. I immediately removed the medicine and it brought out rage episodes while my son was detoxing from its effects. By this time, my son had several “labels” by different doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. The main one being ADHD. They added Bipolar, ODD, IDS, and even Learning Disorder, completely ignoring my pleas that the child be checking for brain injury due to the carbon monoxide poisoning. They all seemed certain that my son was indeed ADHD and no one wanted to buck the trend.
Finally worn out from fighting Child Protective and school systems in two states, I felt myself wearing down, near to collapse. I moved me and my four children across country to Atlanta, Georgia to be with my mom and get her help. I had figured that if I said NOTHING to the schools, simply put my son in the age appropriate classes and show him security, love and affection, he’d do much better. I’d also made a promise to myself to find the best neurologist in the area and get his brain checked for damage.
When the records arrived from the other state, my son was instantly labeled “ADHD” by the school system, yanked from his normal class and put in Special Education. Once again Child Protective from THIS state came out to the house to demand I let them investigate to make sure the family was safe. They demanded I follow the instructions of the school psychiatrist and put my son on Zoloft, Risperdal and Adderal to control his outbursts, lack of concentration and his ADHD. I felt so defeated. So abused by three states and their systems put in place to PROTECT families and children.
Despite everything I had to go through in the last three years, losing my home, losing my security, having to support four children on my own financially and emotionally, despite having no social life and no one to turn to, I was still considering an unfit mother and under Child Protection once again in a third state, pushing me to medicate my son.
After three more emergency hospitalizations, four different medications including Depakote, Clonadine and Neurontin, trying to convince dozens of teachers, psychiatrists and psychologists that my son had possible brain injury and NOT ADHD, after losing every dime I had taking care of four children with no child support, after months of research into brain injured children, I gave up. I knew I had to move my children back to the State of New York where my ex husband would be forced to help me take care of their financial needs, their health needs, and their emotional needs. So back to NY we went.
Immediately, I was placed back on Child Protective with the local county. Almost as fast, my son again started having psychotic episodes that forced hospitalizations, one in a hospital over 80 miles away due to, I was convinced, OVERMEDICATION.
I continued my research into brain injury and made my thoughts known to the psychiatrist on staff at the hospital my son was taken to, who dismissed it as ridiculous. At that center, he was abused, forced to wipe with shower curtains, locked in time out rooms until he wet his pants, given shots of Thorazaine along with doses of Benedryl by an under trained staff to shut him up. After my complaints went unnoticed, I complained to the Office of Mental Health, who did a surprise inspection on the site, and found all the atrocities I and other parents had complained about and immediately forced the center to stop accepting children until the difficulties were resolved.
Three weeks of living hell for my baby, who by this time had been poked, prodded, examined and stolen from his mommy and siblings over seven times. A child who now longer trusted or wanted to comply with staff. Placed on Serequel and Neurontin, he became a zombie again.
Seeing my son on a visit that day suddenly made me ANGRY. AND I MEAN I GOT MAD. I suddenly found myself demanding my son be given more attention. Demanding I get to talk to my son more often. Demanding to see his records, to which I was denied three times by the staff. Demanding that he be given a brain scan to test for injury before upping the dosage on his medication. To this day, I still have a recording of the doctor telling me that a brain scan would never be done at that facility and I should check into another venue for that, yet refused to decrease my son’s medication for it. I was even told by the staff social worker that Daniel’s problems were EMOTIONAL, caused by parents that were divorced, a mother that drug them across country three times, and a dysfunctional family life. I sure chewed her butt out that day, let me tell you. It felt GOOD.
Then the hospital threw my son out after three weeks because I was getting PUSHY. They claim the insurance company refused to pay for any further treatment, but the insurance company denied their statements, saying their own social worker had called to cancel Daniel’s treatment.
Three weeks after I weaned my son of yet another drug cocktail, he began symptoms of withdrawal, became violent. He was taken from me again and put in a hospital over 3 hours away. My heart still breaks everytime I imagine that boy’s horror in that long ambulance drive taking him away from mommy again.
There, the doctor listened to what I had to say about possible brain damage causing difficulties and medications causing symptoms to worsen. I even mentioned Dr. Gary Sach’s report concerning the “kindling effect” of medications being stronger and stronger until a raging fire spewed that was nearly uncontrollable.
He was sympathetic, but uninterested. He placed my son on Zoloft and a week later, I had him back. And again, the same pattern. Once again, back in my arms, I knew that medication was not working for my son. Yet this time I was under Social Services scrutiny almost daily, demanding to know whether or not I was giving my son the medication the doctor had prescribed. By this time, though, years of overmedication had brought on psychotic episodes and dangerous outbursts.
I contacted KidsPeace in Romulus, NY, who agreed to accept the child to help me straighten out the medication difficulties, help me get a brain scan to determine if it was medical or emotional, and give my son needed counseling and assistance in controlling himself. Seemed like a WONDERFUL setup. Finally, somebody willing to help me. A facility willing to listen to ME. The only difficulty was that all entrants had to be under foster care through Social Services. Breaking my heart badly, I broke down and asked the local Social Services to temporarily take custody of my son so that he could be placed in this residential treatment center to help him detoxify and learn the real cause of his troubles.
Over 80 miles away, we drove with our son, all of us crying, and placed our baby in these people’s 24 hour care. At first, everything was great. For three weeks he liked being secure, but the psychiatrist took him off all other medications and immediately put him on Zoloft and Risperdal. I spoke with the psychiatrist about my concerns of medications and why we couldn’t try brain scans and therapy.
What a SEVERELY different attitude I got from the day I signed my son over to these people. Suddenly once again I was told to mind my own business. That I was a mere mother, not educated in medicine or children’s therapies. I was told that they needed to stabilize him first, then brain scans would come later.
Heartbroken, and basically told “dont call us, we’ll call you”, cut off from my son except for two fifteen minute calls a week and two visits for a few hours twice a month, I became determined to find out for myself my rights. I put my full soul and heart into research.
For four months, I spent hours on the computer reading anything I could about medications, ADHD, Bipolar, therapy, brain injury and even parental rights. I started getting MADDER. The fight came back. The determination to be a part of my son’s therapy and treatment went to front burner.
Again, I was met with extreme prejudice. Met with barriers and statements to stop being so pushy and let them do their jobs. My son got physically abused and sexually abused at the site. The psychiatrist REFUSED to remove the Risperdal from my son, but reluctantly removed the Zoloft after I threatened to drive to the site, find him in his office and sit on him and force him to read pamphlets stating Zoloft was NOT meant for children. I was SERIOUS, too, lemme tell you. That tone came through the phone CLEARLY. After all, THIS IS MY son. NOT Child Protective’s. NOT KidsPeace.
After the Zoloft was removed, he showed a remarkable difference. It was like night and day. He was suddenly able to participate in groups more often, enjoying things like reading and TV again, and even laughing more. To further enforce my rights, I demanded more visitation rights. Demanded more phone calls. I refused to back down. Daniel started getting Excellents and Goods instead of Poor and Failing’s. I also arranged for my son to be taken to Syracuse for a proper brain scan thanks to my ex husband’s insurance on my son.
HALLELUIAH, we finally had the proof we needed. My son was INDEED brain injured as I’d been SCREAMING about to Child Protective, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nosy social workers, undertrained overworked teachers, neighbors and bus monitors. I was yelling it to ANYONE that would listen. He was NOT ADHD, OR Bipolar.
I IMMEDIATELY demanded my son be taken OFF all medications and rely only on therapy and ways to help him. The new staff psychiatrist refused, stating she needed a full neuropsychiatric workup to prove he didn’t have ADHD. So I set up a full battery of tests through Dr. Thomas Griffiths of Syracuse, an expert in brain injury.
Sure enough, my son’s tests proved that he simply could not ingest information as quickly as other children due to brain injury, could not retain that information as easily, and would get frustrated because he was a gifted child who knew something was wrong.
BINGO. THE PROOF I NEEDED. MY SON WAS NOT ADHD, or BIPOLAR. I HAPPILY and personally presented that proof to Child Protective, the staff at KidsPeace (who by now resented my interference with their program, resented my pushiness to be involved with my son’s treatment, and resented my stern warnings that I would no longer be treated like a second class citizen.) to neighbors, to anyone in three states that had EVER given me static about being a lowly mother. I was certain that now I would finally get the right treatment for my son.
You’d think so, right?: WRONG. The psychiatrist STILL refused to take my son off the Risperdal, even after a full team meeting I had to sit through and listen to her tell me and the full staff that what was WRONG with my son was emotional, that his parent’s difficulties and divorce and instabilities were driving Daniel’s emotions, listen to her state the ‘wonderful benefits” of the Risperdal and how Daniel was doing SO much better on it. With Child Protective listening in on the phone, I firmly and angrily stated that not only did we have PROOF that Daniel was a brain injured child and NOT ADHD, we had PROOF that I’d downloaded and printed out showing the facts that certain medications actually bring ON psychotic episodes in children. CAUSED aggravations. I had PROOF that the medicine he was on wasn’t even supposed to be USED by children under 18 and PROOF from Daniel’s neuropsych reports that he simply couldn’t function in a regular class and needed more one on one, and circumstancial proof that by removing the Zoloft, Daniel was responding better, not that the Risperdal was working better.
I layed in to each and every member on that staff that had given me a stone wall before I got that proof. The last six years of pain and feeling of uselessness came pouring out and I asserted my rights as my son’s mother. THIS TIME, I knew, I would NOT BACK DOWN.
The psychiatrist held her ground. Risperdal was simply doing him good. The next thing I have to listen to is her psychologist partner, a Sigmund Freud wannabe who obviously did not have the research and background experience I had on the topics of toxic poisoning, brain injury and ADHD tell me that it was his professional opinion that my son’s brain injury had nothing to do with his outburst, that he’d “studied” carbon poisoning online and found nothing to tie in Daniel’s symptoms with the actual disease, and that he agreed with the psychiatrist, it was simply us as parents who failed our son by divorcing, by child abuse and by moving cross country and that he was going to turn over all the information to a doctor he knew in Upstate NY that was an expert.
I looked at this Bugs Bunny figure of a staff psychologist and smirked “Well..you know what? His DOCTOR seems to think he DOES have brain injury, and those little dark specks on his SPEC scan sure AIN”T SPIDERWEBS, are they.”
Child Protective suddenly became compliant. They backed me at that meeting. So the psychiatrist agreed reluctantly to remove one milligram of the four my son was on for a month to see if it made a difference. Then she had the nerve to tell me that my son would defiantly show signs of withdrawal and was I prepared to increase the dosage to keep him from hurting himself or others? I looked at this woman with a disbelief in my eyes I’m sure she saw, shook my head sadly and said “Hun, what do you think WITHDRAWAL of drugs IS? OF COURSE he’s going to have symptoms. Like ANY addiction, whether it’s alcohol, nicotine or drugs. How ridiculous can you be?????”
With that, the meeting ended, and once I got home and had time to think, I called the psychiatrist who REFUSED to read medical reports, look at proof of brain injury or heed advice from another psychiatrist who specialized in brain injured children and left a rather harsh message, stating she had SIX WEEKS to wean my son from the Risperdal or I was coming in full barrel with a lawyer and a malpractice suit.
The very next day, I was called by Child Protective, who has now agreed to give me my son back, stating they agreed with me that I was right all along on my son’s actual diagnosis. On that day, I sat on the floor, unable to answer, phone still in my hand, years of fighting, years of severe anger outbursts from a child overmedicated and not knowing why his little body was hurting so bad, missed weeks and weeks of not being able to hold my baby boy, and years of battling for my rights as the child’s parent, nights and nights of holding a crying child because he didn’t know what was happening, years of struggling just to make ends meet and constantly worrying about rent, utilities, food, years of research to finally prove my point all came flooding out, silent tears flowing down my cheeks as I’d finally, I’d FINALLY won. Or HAD I?
Just earlier that week, I had a note from my youngest boy’s teacher, who stated my little clown could not and would not sit still in class, and perhaps could benefit from a drug like Ritalin. I busted out laughing, still holding the phone, not caring if Child Protective heard or not, and FRANKLY, my dear, I didn’t give a damn .
Two years later, now, I’m STILL under Child Protective orders from the State of New York even though I live in Roanoke and have for two years for supervision for another two months, they refused to let go. My son is a year and a half OFF the forced drugging and is doing wonderful. My husband and I have a website dedicated to giving parents their rights back. http://www.aparentschoice.com
Name: Stefanie Silver Location:Lindenhurst, NY
Email Addr: JNS400@yahoo.com
Children/Birth Date: Kristofer (1993)
Date Separated: Dec 9, 1999
I was hoping to find SOMEONE who is going through the same torment as I am. I don’t think I’ll succeed. I am a mother who left an abusive husband to save my life and my sanity. The horror is that I left my babies WITH him… I am incapable of taking care of them. I am psychologically unable to care for MYSELF, much less WORK. I can’t even get my own mail from my mailbox; I have to wait for my friend to return from work to bring it in to me. PLEASE, please, if anyone is out there who can tell me I’m not the basest of human beings… I’d really love to hear it.
BTW, I do not fear for my children’s safety. Their father is a WONDERFUL FATHER, just a horrible HUSBAND.
Name: Kevin Tewey Location:Lakeside, MT
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Sean(1993) &Matthew(1996)
Date Separated: Jan 21, 1997
This personal web page is an overview of the struggle of my children and I for over three years. We have been inappropriately separated for most of this time because of the gross failure of the Montana family court system and the fears thus generated in both parents.
Hello, I am Kevin Tewey, the father of two sons, ages 4 and 6. In January 1997 the state of Montana’s justice system, along with the Montana Child and Family services Division. became involved in this custody case. These children have suffered as a result, all in the name of their “best interests”.
“It is psychologically harmful to children to be deprived of a healthy relationship with one parent.” This fact has been ignored by the above mentioned system.
These facts are also being ignored:
- There is substantial research that indicates that children need contact with adults of both sexes for balanced development.
- A loving, capable father is necessary to raise boys into strong men
- All children have a right to have sufficient parenting time with their father.
Instead of facilitating the excursus of those rights this court (through Child and Family Services Division in Montana) has abated them for periods and severely infringed on said rights over the course of it’s 3 1/2 year involvement. (Family Court Services, a division of the eleventh district court in Montana has been involved in over 1 year and a half effecting the separation over that period)
Read about Children’s rights: Kids Right :
False and damaging statements have been made against me and entered as record in court. Their mother has given false witness to Family Court Services (FCS). In turn, FCS hammered the lies into stone and sent them on to the court as “a report”. This was her method for obtaining “security” in the sole custody of our children and total control over visitation. Although no order ever came from the court my prospects of successful trial was dimmed. Their mother’s lies and her status as a “mental health professional” has FCS (a branch of the 11th district court in Montana) doubting whether I am a fit parent. I am thus accused; however I am not afforded the right, by law, to a true trial. In their reports to the court Family Court Service has taken my open honest comments in interviews, out of context. Sometimes they have completely misquoted me. In July ’99 the results of an independent parenting evaluation ordered by FCS completely contradicted the recommendations of FCS made in May. ’99.
A very biased and incorrect report from family services is sitting in the office of the Judge who has been assigned this case. Fortunately, now, a very favorable report sits there also. Despite that undeniable, unbiased evidence in my favor the mother still resists; and with the considerable advantage of a Lawyer who used to get paid to represent her by the state.
Their mother has wrongly interfered with visitation and otherwise encouraged alienation from me. This alone is considered in Montana law as NOT “in the best interests of the children”. I was the primary care provider for the children in the long marital period preceding the separation.
This mother has frankly dictated supervision for visits. She has convinced Family Court that I require supervision for visits.
This supervision has been an unnecessary financial burden and a great encumbrance (due to its restriction on visits) to the maintenance of the relationship between my children and I.
“While alienating messages and behavior affect a child negatively and impact upon the child’s growth and development, the impact on the child may not vary with the parent’s intentions. The effect will be to place the child in a severe loyalty bind, a position wherein the child believes she\he must chose which of her two parents she\he will “love” more. To have to choose between parents is itself damaging to the child, and, if the end result is the exclusion of a parent from the child’s life, the injury is irreparable.”1
The justice and social service systems as well as other “professionals” (Lawyers and Psychologists) are largely responsible for the irreparable damage being done these children. If necessary these individuals will be publicly addressed for their misjudgment. Hopefully this will give them the motivation to redress this problem.
Our children have never had a problem with me. I maintain this composure despite the harm done my children and the injustice done both them and I.
My son’s have the right to sufficient parenting time with their fit father and by having meaningful influence in major decisions affecting their lives.
“With the exception of abuse, there is no good reason why a child should not want to spend some time with each of her parents, and, even with abuse, most children still want to maintain some relationship with the abusive parent. It is the job of the parents, the professionals and the courts to see that such contact is possible under safe circumstances.”
MONTANA; A SHARED CUSTODY STATE? Montana is a shared custody state, and I am a law-abiding citizen. Why is this matter still not settled after 2 1/2 years, $3400.00 in my legal fees and evaluations alone? Commonly, a contested custody case will run over $10,000. I presume this was where FCS was to step in and help those who couldn’t afford Lawyers this get “a fair and speedy trial”. Thanks, but, I really didn’t get helped here, for three years. And that time lost is lost to the only truly innocent ones, my beloved children. The efforts of FCS were made with bias and were feeble at best. At worst they were neglectful and harmful.
I can no longer afford an attorney, and Montana Legal Services currently denies me assistance although they gave free and liberal assistance to my ex. The local ACLU has turned down the opportunity to help but wouldn’t mind fighting for a minorities right to equal employment. The legal advisor for our Governor has brushed me aside stating that this is a “local matter”. Even the office of our great Senator Max Baccus has been slow to respond (over 2 months and no further word). I am left wondering if some politician’s photo opportunities are more important than these children are at this moment.
“Unless a separating family can change its own rules and boundaries (divorce) without outside intervention, the divorce process itself may reach an impasse, the term applied when the divorce process itself becomes “stuck” and the family system falls to appropriately restructure itself. When there is an impasse, any move by anyone, family member, attorney, spouse, is met with a counter move resulting in no forward progress.”1
“The impasse creates a system of its own, with its own membership, rules and boundaries. Although little recognized by professionals, membership in the divorce impasse system will include all members of the family living together and all professionals involved in “helping,” the family get a divorce, i.e. the lawyers, mediators, therapists and even the judge”1
The latest development is a recommendation by Family Court services to seek a parenting evaluation. This evaluation turned out to be not much more than fodder for my “legal cannon” as this matter is still not settled after March 4, 2000.
I wrote letter to Representative Rick Hill of Montana, Friday November 19, 1999. His reply was to ask Chuck Hunter, Administrator, Child and Family Services Division of Montana to call me in December of ’99 (3 months ago). I have not heard from Chuck hunter.
I have sent a letter on to Rob Natelson in February hopping to draw his attention to this national issue and sent along the link to the Parents Rights Act sponsored by kids-right.org
Second appeal for help and response by the ACLU in Montana
This page is an educational process for me; Address comments, criticism (constructive and non) and suggestions for page, (and case, if you can) to; firstname.lastname@example.org I can often be reached immediately via ICQ (if you have it) my number is 36924245 My ICQ link
Name:Beth Sandidge Location:Virginia Beach, VA
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Meghan 1985 and Kyle 1989
Date Separated: May 31, 1997
My x asked me for a divorce in Oct, 1995. At the beginning, the courts granted me temporary physical custody, and they also told me I had to find a job, when I didn’t work the whole time I was married. That was fine, I never expected my x to support me my whole life, but the way it worked out was basically I lost custody because I worked. Which is not a legal ground to take away children from their mother.
From the very beginning, he, my x, moved a woman in with him, claiming she was the “nanny” to be there to help when the kids were over. He works at night, midnight to morning, and I work during the day, so instead of a babysitter with them during the day, I had the children stay with him after school, and I would pick them up after work every night. We also had every other weekend, one with him and one with me. The decision for them to stay with him during the day was not the courts, it was mine and his, they love their father and he is good to them.
That was when he became superdad, doing everything for them, homework and all, when he never did that when we were married. So that was his arguement in court. He did everything for them and I did nothing, all my home was to the children was a “hotel stay” according to him. The first step was a commissioner hearing, where the commissioner granted us both physical custody, he had them during the day and I had them at night, and we only lived a mile apart, so it wasnt shuffling them around at all.
He contested that hearing and it went to circuit court. That judge didn’t even hear any testimony, he just read what happened at the commissioners hearing, and based on that he gave my x custody. All he said was that he felt like the kids would be better off with him and told my lawyer to tell me this was better until I get my life together. How dare him, when my x was the one who asked me for a divorce to begin with (because he met the “nanny” 6 months prior), and the courts were the ones who told me to get a job to begin with. If it was up to me, I would have stayed home with them until things were settled, to help the kids through such a hard time.
I appealed that judges decision, and it took a year in the appellate court for them to decide that the judge had no legal grounds in taking my children from me. So you are thinking, victory, she won. No, that isn’t what happened. Even though the appealate court decided the judge was wrong, they don’t decide at that point who gets custody, because life circumstances change in a year (they were the ones that took a year, not me), and they send it back to circuit court to hear testimony about what has been going on for the last year. And guess who the judge was?
Yep, the same one, because in my state, when a judge hears a particular case, it goes back to him any time you are in court. So at that point, he took away overnight visitation from me, and I get to see my children every other weekend, for one day. That is two days a month, or 26 days a year. Since then, my x married the “nanny” and they have two children together, so they have 4 living with them, and he is about to! ! move an hour away from me. I am out of money to fight anymore, every time I do I lose anyway. And not because I am unfit, because I would be a single working mother. My children are my life, and it has been hard to go on without them.
Name: Lacey Location: Chocowinity, NC
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Loni(1982), Lacey(1984), BJ(1988), JR(1989), Rebecca(1991)
Date Separated: July 1995
D.S.S has custody over Lacey, but she lives in a foster home. Loni has aged out. BJ and rebecca and JR are adopted.
My parents were split up, we moved from Ky to NC, we lost our home here. While in despair and looking for another home, we contacted D.S.S for help. They agreed to help. Little did we know they were going to take us to foster homes. They showed up with an off duty police officer and threated my father. They then placed us in homes.
In Jan of 1997 Lacey and Loni were put in Kennedy Home. Over some time the older two and younger 3 lost contact with one another as the younger three were adopted. The legal stuff, I am not for sure on b/c I was not kept informed. In fact D.S.S rarly tells me anything. I am not allowed to go to court. I don’t even know when my case is being reviewed. This is really lousy. The main thing I want is to see my younger brothers and sisters. The system has treated my family and myself like dirt under the rug. I have never felt comfortable or safe with the system. I am afaid of getting used to a place b/c they always jerk you up when you get comfortable.
They have hurt my family more than help.
Name: Rebecca Location: Macedon, NY
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Brittnie (1990), Allina (1994), Alexis (1997)
Date Separated: Sep 15, 1999
Waiting on court of appeals to try and overturn the trial court decision to give my kids to their father who lives with his mother.
In January of 99′ I left my kids with my x to move 2 hours away, there I was suppose to get an apartment and get myself together before my kids would join me after they got out of school in June. All this was agreed to by me and my x. Little into April before I was suppose to get the kids my x decides to change his mind to fight for custody of my kids. The girls came and stayed with me for summer break and until we went to court which wasn’t until Sept. ( Now these have been my life and what has keep me going, their father never wanted anything to do with being a father thats what broke up our marriage.)
Any way Sept came around and we went to court with no jury just me, my x, our lawyers, and some witness’s for both sides. After everything was said and done they gave legal custody to both of us and physical custody to him because, I moved out of the area was the only reason they gave him custody. I now have my 10 year old living with me because she told her father that she hated him for taking the girls away from me and he let her come live with me. I miss my other daughters like you wouldn’t believe. I feel a though a part of myself is gone and cant be replaced without them. I see them every other weekend thanks again to the courts I went to court to ask that I get to have them every other week and the court told me I was being selfish, can you believe that a mother to be selfish for wanting her kids as much as possible and to a mother who all she knows is her childern thats just not enough and to top it all off my x their father lives with his mother and she’s the one who takes care of my childern.
He’s 30 years old and lives with his parents with my kids. His mother is slowly taking the place of me. No one I mean no one can know how it feels when your own childern come to visit you and they mistakely call you grandmom instead of mom. My x has never been a father and sure is not doing that now. The system let him take my kids away from me and let his mother raise them. How can some like the system decide what is right for a child when they have no idea what went on in the past or now. How can the say the best interest of the childern when that would have been to keep the kids with a good hard working mother who has always been there with her childern.
I can provide for them better fianical and emotional. I cry myself to sleep every night waiting for an answer from the appeals court and you dont want to get me started on them, it’s been 5 months and not a word from them yet. It’s horrible and I’m at the point where I don’t know how much longer I can wait.
Name: Jo Shue Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Charity (1995), Caleb (1996), Promise (1998)
Date Separated: March 12, 2000
I am considering filing an appeal, but the final divorce decree is being held up by my ex’s lawyer who can’t seem to put in it ONLY what the judge ordered and nothing extraneous.
story:: After years of emotional and mental abuse at the hands of my ex, I filed for divorce from him and moved over the state line in July of 1999. In August of 1999 I filed a motion for a Temporary Custody hearing, that was delayed because his lawyer asked the judge for a 4 hour hearing (temp custody hearings are scheduled for a 1/2 hour). My ex and I ‘settled’ out of court a few days later. He drew up a document that gave me primary physical custody of the children in exchange for him getting 3 weekends a month visitation and paying no child support. I agreed because I thought it was best for my children to live with me.
This arrangement was fine with my ex as long as I was living about an hour away from him. I was offered a job (not one I looked for) about 125 miles away making twice the money (I had been working 3 jobs to make ends meet). So in November of 1999 I moved further away from my ex, this time taking the kids with me (as they were in my custody per our agreement). I still abided by the agreement we’d signed giving him three weekends a month visitation and not asking for child support. It continued on this way until December of 1999, when I asked my lawyer to put our case back on the docket so we could get the divorce finalized and I could get on with my life (try to buy a house etc etc).
The hearing was scheduled for January 31, 2000. Just prior to that hearing, my ex tried to get a continuance based on the fact that he had dismissed his lawyer. I filed a response saying that he was just determined to drag this process out for as long as possible and that his motion for a continuance should be denied. The continuance was denied and we went to court on January 31. In that hearing, I was on the witness stand for over 3 hours. It was the end of the day, and my ex hadn’t had a chance to present his case, so the judge gave a temporary order giving me custody of the kids, ordering my ex to pay child support, and implementing a more ‘standard’ visitation schedule (which reduced my ex’s visitation and increased my weekend time with the kids).
The continuation was held on March 8, 2000. At this hearing, my ex had the chance to pick apart my testimony as well as trying to explain why he had attempted to discharge his lawyer before the first hearing. He said that people were telling him he’d have a better chance of getting custody of the kids if he had a female lawyer. The judge turned to him and asked him if he thought the court was biased, and he said that the mom usually gets the kids. I believe that the judges’ decision was made right then and he never heard another word that was said for the next 4 hours. In order to not appear ‘biased’ this judge, who was up for re-election did not act as the law dictates he should.. in the ‘best’ interest of the children.
In the end, the judge granted primary physical custody of my three pre-schoolers to their abusive father. The judge is supposed to act in the ‘best interest’ of the children. I work in “corporate america’ full time 40 hours a week. My ex-husband is a school teacher and thus, has the summers off. By the judge granting primary physical custody of the children to my ex husband he is giving my ex husband the children during the school year and me the children during the summer. So, my children will be in daycare all school year and in daycare all summer when they could be spending all summer playing with their dad who has the summer off.
Did the judge act in the ‘best interest’ of the children? Is being brought up by daycare workers ‘best’ for my children? I don’t think so. I have considered an appeal, but have been told it will be costly and that appeals are usually not fruitful.
Name: Leslie Wooldridge Location: Newport, KY
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Steven Les Lee Wooldridge, 1989; Robert Joseph (B.J.) Miller, 1990; Victor Lynn
Wooldridge, 1991; Dustin Richard Miller, 1993
Date Separated: 1995
Hello, I’m Lesley Wooldridge, a single mother of four boys. For the past five years I have been battling the Hamilton County Department of Children’s Services and Pro-Kids for custody of my children. They were placed in foster care for the third time in two years, so the agencies decided to go for permanent custody.
This should have never happened. I do take the blame for my actions. But, I was never a bad mother. I am a victim of domestic violence. More mental, than physical. My ex (the father of my youngest three children) began to stalk me when he was released from prison. I called the police on several occasions, but they just took him two blocks away and dropped him off. I became extremely overwhelmed and went to UC Hospital to receive treatment from their psychiatric ward. I begged DHS and Pro-Kids to help me get rid of him. No one did anything. I couldn’t take it anymore. I allowed DHS to remove my children one more time. It was only so that I could move out of state and get my life together.
Within the year I had a four bedroom house and a steady job, I had completed parenting classes and was in therapy. Magistrate Kamine decided to reunify my family. The DHS and Pro-Kids appealed. It then went in front of Judge Grossman. Before he made a decision he went on an extended vacation, when he returned he made his decision without reviewing the case, its transcripts or its tapes. He ruled against me and I went to the Court of Appeals. After waiting a year for a court date, the CA reprimanded the case back to the Magistrate. By this time, Magistrate had retired.
So the case was sent to Judge Grossman. But, he also had retired. Judge Lipps took over his cases, so he reviewed the case and made another decision after reading the transcripts and listening to the tapes. He ruled against me as well. Now I have appealed this case again.
I love my children more than life itself. I’m going around in circles and no one can seem to help me. When Judge Lipps made his ruling he stated that I had previously been in a psychiatric institution. I don’t know where this came from, but he could never be farther from the truth. Just because I’ve went through therapy does not give him the right to make accusations. This case has been contradictory from the get go. I need someone to review every aspect of this case. They took away my visitation, yet they take my children to a state prison to see their father on a regular basis. They won’t even let my family see them. His family gets them for holidays.
I don’t want to say anything bad about anyone, I’m not like that. But, he (my ex) comes from a family full of drug abusers and alcoholics. I come from a very reputable family in Norwood. My grandfather is a 32nd degree Mason. I should have never became involved with Robert Miller (my ex). I was 19 and very immature. My father had passed away and I clung to Bobby for comfort. Aside from all of this, I am now in a great career in Human Resources. I work for the largest manufacturer of conveyor systems in the United States.
I have a fully furnished four bedroom home in Newport where I live with my two dogs. I work forty or more hours a week and help my mother on the weekends with my elderly grandparents. I am drug free and I have no warrants against me. I’ve been this way a little over two years. I wish someone would give me the benefit of the doubt. I’m not a bad person and I love my little boys. They want to come home very badly. They’re happy in their foster homes, but they dream of coming home. I wish I knew of someone who could help me get an investigation going. I’m currently using a public defender, but that’s not getting me anywhere fast. My son B.J. will be 10 on Easter. It makes my heart break knowing that his one wish will be to see his mother.
Will return to sue the State of Ohio and all associated with the case when eldest son turns 18. Seeking televised apology and prosecution against case workers, etc.
Name: Thomas Dunning Location: Kearneysville, WV
Email Addr: WerGWTW@aol.com
Children/Birth Date: Seth (1990) and Sabrina (1991)
Date Separated: April 1996
I was given visitation at the time of my divorce every Saturday from 3-6 pm. I changed jobs and moved to West Virgina, My children live in New York. When my ex-wife found out I was remarried, she denied me seeing my children at all. We went to court, and after being tested, and evaluated, in court for almost 1 year, my wife and I were allowed once a month visitations in WV when school holidays allowed, and any time in NY and holidays where both parties could agree. Well no matter what we ask for, it is denied by my exwife.
Both children are seeing a phsycologist weekly and we have had to contact her several times to arrange visitations for us. Both children are below average in school, and last year Sabrina failed every subject in second grade. Her mother fought the school system and had her promoted and sent her to another school this year away from her brothers school. I gave her the house in the divorce because I knew it was affordable for her and her 5 children(3 from a previous marriage). She never paid the mortgage or taxes and was evicted this year. They have moved twice since then.
The children are having behavior problems so we are told, but we do not have a problem with them during our visits. We are in touch with the schools and especially Seth’s teacher. She sends us report cards. He sometimes does not do homework assignments and we asked him about that, seems Mom writes notes to the teacher telling her that Seth did not have time to do homework because of swim practice or he was too tired.
Neither child knows what soap is, they shower and bathe in just WATER! except when they are with us. Sabrina has started bedwetting and wears pullups at night. My ex has hung up on me, refused to return phone calls when calling about visitation dates, does not want me to be in my childrens lives. She lied in court about the children not wanting to see me and being hostile when they did, however we had pictures showing otherwise!, and she also told them that I did not contact them in a year, I showed phone bill statements also showing otherwise.
She has a protection order against me and threatens to use it if I visit the children. Our court order shows no dates, therefore I have been told, she can have me arrested. Is this right for our children. Last summer both children had flea bites on their legs so bad, I thought they had measles. Their older step brother gets them ready for school and takes care of them, even brushes Sabrinas hair every day. Their mother does not work, but lives on child support. She calls me whenever they need something, yet she gets her nails done, and her hair permed, and wears reboks, while my wife has none of that done and works 3 jobs and shops at thrift stores, and Walmart. I pay $500 a month in child support to her. When we were married I have come home (I am a truck driver) and found her in jail for writing bad checks. Yet, she paints me as the “bad” parent. !
I love my children, and I want what is best for them. They love their mother, I do not want to upset them by trying to get custody, but I know they would far better off with my wife and I. My wife has raised 2 children who are now 25 and 26 . Her daughter has a degree in phsycology with a minor in social work, and her son works full time and is married with a 2 year old daughter. They both are stable, and good kids. My kids do not have manners, respect, or any type of discipline. Their mother told me “that she does not tell her children what to do, they have minds of their own”. Both children are very immature for their age, even the teachers have expressed that to us. We feel she is trying to keep them dependent on her, because she lost custody of 2 of her 3 children from a previous marriage in the summer of 1996.
My children told me that “mom told us that Stepanie and Scott moved in with their dad because of you dad”. They were angry with me. I asked them who moved out first, me or Stephanie and Scott. They both answered you did dad. Suddenly they knew I was not the reason, and since that time our relationship has really grown. I have also been told by them that Mommy still talks about daddy. (not good things)We paid our lawyer to get us visitation and he did, but we still have the same problems.She still can say no and there is nothing we can do. We called our lawyer and told him that and his answer was, you have to learn to get along, because the court frowns if you go back for petty stuff like this over and over. So what do we do? We want to see the children, and if she says no and our court order states no precise dates, just once a month in WV when school holidays or long weekends allow, how can we fight back? We cannot afford to keep hiring lawyers, I pay $900 a month in child support,I have a set of twins by my first wife. We would love to try for custody, but we do not have the money to fight in court. Any suggestions!
I feel that kids need more than just financial child support, I feel they need their parents love and support on a daily basis, not just once a month, or whenever the custodial parent allows them. Children need both parents, and just because their parents cannot live together any longer, should not be a burdon on the child.
Name: Michelle Location:
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
I just read your Parent’s Rights Acts 1999 and that is all good for those who are not being accused by the system for abusing ones child. My children were taken from me seven years ago. The social worker stated that because I was abused as a child that I would abuse my children. I never even spanked my girls I was a VIP mom also went as far as becoming PTA President for one school year.Both of my girls were born with no drugs natural child birth and I gave them what ever I could and we did not have a lot of money. Now my daughters will not even speak to me. My girl’s father recently died and we were still married although not together and I was not even invited to the cermony for my husband his mother felt that it would be to much for my girls to handle seeing me and loosing their father also.
That was my last hope of us becoming a family once again now I feel as though there is no hope my oldest daughter is gradurating from high school in the summer of 2000 and I can not even be there it hurts so bad at times all I can do is remember the memories of them.
If there was a way to save some of these children that are being taken from parents by the state without any proof of anything on the parent they accused me of taking drugs around my kids having drug related people around my kids leaving them with no means of shelter or food — when infact they were living with their grandmother and father and when I would go over to see them they said they had put a restraining order against me so I was damed if I did and Damed if I didn’t. What is a mother to do?
It seems as though we work so hard to be good parents and to raise our children as good as we can and even to break that family curse that some of us have held on to but we are onloy shot down and abused by the system they told me that I could not be stable if I needed my children to survive. Well why in the heck do we have kids? If it is not to make them your whole life while they are little.
Name: Wayne Kuran Location: Atlanta, GA
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Charles (DOB) 1991,
Rave (DOB) 1992
Date Separated: Jan 1993
In the month of Janury 1993 I came home to find my kids Chalres and Raven gone. I tried legel action got a order for vist, but everytime I would try to vist, She would not let me see them, I would call the local police and would be told that I need to go back to court. I did and was told that I did have a right to vist, so it was off to vist again, again, again and again was told she would not let me.
Again the police and the court, time after time, All I’ve find in a legal circle with no help, I found out that there has been 4, I say 4, reports of abuse on my kids by their mother and still I can’t get the court to help.
Name: David Borg Location: Madison Coutnty, IL
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Eric (DOB) March 11, 1992,
Annelise(DOB) December 3, 1993
Date Separated: 1998
The attached is a real story that has occurred in Madison County, Illinois, between two people who have been married for 7 1/2 years, with three children being born to the marriage.
It is the story of a young man who had thrived with building his life with his wife and children, and within 2 years after the start of divorce proceedings, has now lost the majority of his material possessions and his two children.
It is a story of adultery by the wife.
It is a story that reflects that there must be changes to the Illinois law and to a court system that punishes defenseless children of a marriage.
It is a story that reflects that there must be changes to the Illinois law and to a court system that prevents a father the right to assist in raising his children.
Eric and Michelle Borg (now Michelle Johnson) were married on October 12, 1991. Michelle was pregnant with their first child (Eric Braden Borg) when they were married and gave birth on March 11, 1992. The second child born to the marriage (Annelise Michelle Borg) was born on December 3, 1993. The third child born to the marriage (Halen Rae Borg) was born on December 29, 1997.
Eric Borg, in September, 1997, informed Michelle that he would be filing for divorce because he had found evidence that she was dating other men, in particular, a Michael Johnson from Bridge City, Texas. Michelle, by this time in their marriage, had established a reputation of not being able to tell the truth. In fact, it appeared to be that she was a “habitual liar”. A “habitual liar” is a person who finds it easier to live life, by making up stories to their advantage, no matter what the subject. Most individuals grow out of this habit as they turn into adults. Michelle had not changed.
Considering that Michelle was six months pregnant with the third child in September, 1997, when Eric found solid evidence of her adultery activities, he began to have doubts as to if this third child could be his. Michelle stated to Eric in September, 1997, that she would not allow Eric to divorce her before the baby was born, because she did not want to have a “bastard” child. Eric asked Michelle repeatedly what she meant by this desire and asked her if the baby was his, and she would not answer his question. Before Eric could file for divorce, Michelle beat him to the punch and filed for divorce on grounds of “mental cruelty” which was in the end changed to “irreconcilable differences”. Thus, Michelle became the Petitioner and Eric became the Respondent. Later, Eric’s lawyer in September, 1998, refused to allow Eric to insist upon “adultery” as the reason for the divorce. Eric’s lawyer insisted that pushing for “adultery” would just upset the judge and all the other people involved. Michelle’s first petition was to ask for the moon and the stars. She asked for sole custody of all the children, child support, and spouse maintenance. The first hearing in the Third Judicial Court was held in February, 1998. Judge Bono, listened attentively to the reasons for the breakup of the marriage and filed temporary orders that Eric should pay child support for the three children. At the first hearing, Michelle repeatedly perjured herself in court by saying that she had never had extra-marital affairs. Eric’s lawyer produced DNA results on the third child (Halen Borg), which stated that Eric was not the biological father of the child. The judge asked that the formal DNA evidence be presented at a later hearing (in 30 days), that the two determine the extent of their financial problems, and Eric determine if he wanted to accept this third child as his. The bulk of the determination of their outstanding marital bills turned out to be Eric’s job, as Michelle had moved out of the family home and was not interested in helping. She also refused to work with Eric and GE Capital on developing a “workout” plan that would allow him to keep the marital home.
Three months after Halen’s birth, Eric chose to not support this third child born to the marriage. Michelle refused to identify who the real father was and stated that she would never tell.
The financial problems were beginning to build at this time and only Eric’s income from his two jobs was available;
for daily expenses,
to pay the loan on the house,
to pay for back debts that had built up over the previous several months, and now to pay his lawyer’s fees and child support.
He did not have enough income to maintain the home. He was advised by his lawyer that it did not make any sense to try and pay the back house payments nor to continue trying to make monthly payments, because he was destined to lose the house in the end. He continued to live in the marital home, taking care of his children at the time in the marital home (when he was not working). In September, 1998, the lending company foreclosed on his home and Eric moved in with his parents on a temporarily basis.
Eric was unable to continue payments to Alhambra National Bank on another outstanding loan, thus he lost his truck to the bank.
To recap to this point, Eric has lost his wife to unfaithfulness, lost his home, lost his truck, was responsible for debts that he could not pay, burdened with new expenses for child support and was facing the possibility of losing his children forever.
In order to understand and to know the truth, considering Annelise’s medical problems, Eric in April of 1998, had the second child (Annelise) DNA tested for paternity. Prior to scheduling this DNA test on Annelise, Eric had received advise from the DNA Testing facility in Columbia, MO, and his current lawyer, that there was a statute of limitations on the time that a child could be taken away from a presumptive parent. He was informed that some states are 3 years and some are 5 years. Eric had also at this time received input from a past friend of Michelle’s that Michelle had told her that Eric was not Annelise’s biological father. The results of the DNA tests showed that Eric was in fact not the biological father of his second child. With further testing the DNA lab also discovered that both Halen and Annelise have the same biological father. This proved that Michelle had been unfaithful, at least, beginning from as early as April, 1993. Eric was assured by the DNA testing company and his lawyer that no family court judge would remove him as the father of Annelise, due to the relationship that had been built between the two for 5 years.
Eric continued to aggressively fight for the right of his two children, Braden and Annelise to be raised by their one and only father. He quit one of his jobs, which resulted in less income, but provided him more opportunity to take care of his children. He continued to pay the child support based on his original 2 incomes.
After several petitions by Michelle, one in July, 1998, one in September, 1998, and one in November, 1998, to obtain a settlement that would allow her to get married again and leave Illinois with her children, Eric still refused to give her a divorce and to accept her terms. He continued to fight for the right of his children to remain with their father and his right to raise his them, although, Michelle’s petitions became decreasingly less and less severe on Eric.
As a next attempt, after the December, 1998 conference, Michelle stated that she would take Annelise away from Eric, thus increasing her chances of getting a trial judge to rule in her favor, in order to not break up the two closely bonded children Annelise and Braden. In the meantime, Michelle also stated that she was pregnant again, her forth child, and she needed the divorce so she could move to Texas to be with the father of her unborn child although there has not been any DNA tests performed on the 4th child, Keegan, to determine if her boyfriend Michael Johnson is in fact the biological father of this child. Michelle has had at least four children by at least 3 different men from the time Michelle and Eric were married to the present. The total number of pregnancies is not known for sure.
All of this finally led to a trial on March 8th and 9th, 1999, with Judge Ellar Duff presiding in Madison County, Illinois.
Trial Judge’s Order
After two days of witnesses, one day for Michelle’s side and one for Eric’s side, the trial judge ordered that Michelle should have custody of Braden. The trial judge did not say anything in the order concerning the custody of Annelise. The judge awarded Eric visitation with Braden for approximately 71 days a year (mostly in the summer time), which is about 20% of the child’s life versus the 50% that had been the norm during the most recent 12 months.
The judge’s order also allowed Michelle to move to Texas, putting the two children, Braden and Annelise, and her two babies in a new environment with a husband that she admitted in court she had met him on the internet, and had only been with 30 days in her life.
The decision of the judge to allow the defenseless children to be removed from their current environment in Madison County, Illinois, was and is not in the “best interest of the children”.
Michelle did marry her boyfriend 3 days after the divorce, March 12, 1999, who supposedly does not have any children, except this fourth child, Keegan. Michael Johnson will be required to help raise 4 young children, for which he has no experience and 3 of which are not his. Of strange note here, Michelle and her boyfriend were married in the same church that Eric and Michelle were married at and Michelle purposely scheduled on a day when Eric had Braden and Annelise. This does not seem to reflect that Michelle is interested in including Braden and Annelise in her new life. Braden and Annelise did not find out about Michelle’s new marriage for a couple of weeks after it occurred.
After the final order, Michelle offered to Eric some visitation with Annelise, but only if he would not file an appeal.
In final recap, the trial judge has taken a wrong by a wife and mother and compounded the problem by punishing the children by removing them from their father and their environment in Illinois.
A father of an unfaithful wife is also being punished by the loss of the right to help raise his two children.
What did these defenseless children do wrong in the eyes of Illinois law to deserve this punishment?
What did Eric do wrong in the eyes of Illinois law to lose the right to raise his children?
According to Judge Bono, in February, 1998, Eric should be given praise for wanting to work so hard to pay off his bills, but he needs to learn how to control their marital spending, so that he would not have to work so much.
Has Eric’s desire to work for his family, given Michelle the right to be unfaithful?
Has the Illinois court system punished the wrong persons?
What can be done to correct this injustice to the defenseless children?
What can be done to correct this injustice to a father who wants to take care of his children, but is refused to do so by the Illinois laws and court system?
Our plea is not only for you to take some action to correct this wrong, but also, a plea to you to assist in modifying the laws that will prevent this from happening in the future.
Thank you once again for your time in listening to my story.
Name: Diane Booth
Email Addr: SheLaw2000@aol.com
Children/Birth Date: VINCENT B. BOOTH 6/19/93
Date Separated: September 10, 2000
I am an Mother Seeking Refugee Status in Canada. There is a holocaust going on in America. Please help me and thousands of other Americans who had their children kidnapped by Child Protective Services. I have been wrongfully convicted and am being maliciously prosecuted by the FBI. The Violence Against Women Act is being used in Santa Clara County, California to persecute women and children by greedy psychologists and power hungry social workers who prosecute phony domestic violence cases to get federal funds. Child Protective Services is experimenting on my little boy with all kinds of dangerous drugs. Please see below my response to the article in the Mercury News below………
Published Wednesday, September 13, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News
Boy allegedly abducted by mom returned to U.S.
By the Mercury News
A 6-year-old boy allegedly abducted from a Los Gatos care facility by his mother and taken to Canada in July was returned to the United States on Tuesday.
Diane Booth of San Jose, who is charged with child abduction and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, remains in Vancouver, British Columbia, after filing a petition for political asylum to delay her return to the United States.
Booth’s son had been a ward of the court and removed from her care and placed at Eastfield Ming Quong before the alleged abduction, according to Los Gatos police. Eastfield is a residential facility for troubled youngsters.
Police said they do not know why Booth lost custody of her son, which they believe happened last January. The boy’s father has not been involved in his life.
Booth was apprehended on Sunday by Vancouver police after a routine traffic stop. A background check revealed that she was sought by the FBI. Police said Booth had been aided in her flight by family members from New York. A formal asylum hearing is pending in Vancouver.
***** Please see below***
This is Diane Booth, the woman the article refers to above. Please allow me to inform your audience of what Santa Clara County did to me and my family. Let this also serve as a warning to anyone with small children considering leaving their home state to make those big Silicon Valley bucks. My little boy, age 7, (not 6) was diagnosed with ADHD, and I insisted that the Sunnyvale School District comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and make reasonable accommodations for my son. The school district retaliated against me, along with their partners in crime, the Santa Clara Co. Social Services, and the Santa Clara Co. District Attorneys Office, and the Public Safety Dept. by concocting malicious lies against me and my boyfirend. I came home from work one day at 5:15 p.m. to find my son had been kidnapped by Santa Clara County. I was beaten up by a police officer, thrown in jail, my boyfriend was thrown in jail. The week before, SCC had frozen my boyfriend’s bank account, causing our rent check to bounce, causing us to be evicted from our apartment.
My son ended up at EMQ where he was experimented on with all kinds of dangerous drugs and was abused and neglected physically, emotionally and mentally at this facility. He was hospitalized at least 5 times while under their so-called care for injuries sustained at that facility. Santa Clara County added insult to injury by claiming that I was a victim of domestic violence. (The only violence was the police officer who beat me up and the facility who abused my son) They even had the audacity to file a child support enforcement claim against me as ransom. My refusal to testify against my boyfriend who was innocent angered the same DA who maliciously prosecuted me for a phony trumpted-up charge of child endangerment. The social services refused to send my beloved son to his loving family in New York even though my mom begged for temporary custody. I have an appeal and a multi-million dollar lawsuit pending against the County of Santa Clara.
I have refugee status here in Canada, a process which will take many months. In the meantime, I am out of prison and will work full time getting the word out to all the people of the world about the holocaust going right here in America.
It is patently ridiculous that I should be charged with criminality for trying to claim and protect what is already mine!!! It is my child, my son, born of my womb, nurtured and raised into a fine young, intelligent boy, until the witches and demons of Silicon Valley destroyed his life, my life and my family’s lives. It is ironic that I am expected to go to prison and do the time those criminals should be doing because I rescued my beautiful son from the abuse he suffered at the hands of the gangsters who call themselves police, social workers and court officials. The FBI is wasting the taxpayers money to hunt down old ladies and their children, instead of going after real criminals (who run the County government). The FBI put $500,000 on my head. Canadians shake their heads in disbelief. It is the right of Americans to know what is being done with their tax money, and that little children are being stolen from their mommies so that the County can adopt them to the highest bidders who are unable to have children of their own. The FBI is now harassing and threatening my aging mother. Please help our family. Email me at SheLaw2000@aol.com or call at 604-454-1774 – Diane Booth
Name: Virginia Taber
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Michael Elijah Barbieri (02/11/00)
Date Separated: April 15, 2000
While I am not the parent, but the maternal grandparent, I can tell you this is just as painful not only watching my daughter go through this, but having my grandchild withheld, and used like a trophy. I believe that in the end all things will come out in the wash so to speak.
Michael was born with cancer, and so I invited the parents to move in with me so I could help by absorbing most if not all of their expenses. Since they didn’t have transportation, I took them to and from the hospital, while they were at the hospital I took them food, clean clothes, cigarettes, games and I was there for them, his parents never showed up period.
I couldn’t get along very well with the son in law. He kept on about how great “his” family was, but they never seemed to help out, or show any kind of interest in Michael.
Last resort with son in law I told him if they were so terrific maybe he should move in with them, two days later his dad was at my home picking up my daughter, grandson, son in law and their belongings.
Well, I thought they will be back. A week later I found out his parents had let Michael move in, but not them…They brought Michael to my house to visit with me, get this, while they painted Michael’s bedroom! I told them that it looked to me like his parents were planning on keeping their baby, and son in law said no his parents would never do that.
Daughter said they were only allowed to visit with Michael, and that son in laws father told them not to bring baby to my home or else they would take the baby away faster than their heads could spin.
His father found out they had brought baby to my house, and called childrens services to report parents had abandoned the baby, medically neglected him, and were doing drugs.
Childrens Services imediatly placed Michael in you probably guest it, the paternal grandparents custody!
Oops, although they done an inspection of their home, they forgot to check out their past.
Seems the paternal grandparents forgot to tell childrens services that 1. They had just got their own children out of foster care, and harbored animosity toward son in law, they blame him for their having lost custody of their children. 2. They are known drug users (they ceremoniosly dropped all drug related items in the river), although childrens services were told about this, they did no drug test on them. 3. All members on the paternal side take frequent trips to charter by the sea. 4. Of the 3 children that came back from foster two had dropped out of school at 14 years old after they had returned.
So just what did childrens service do? they made a bad placement. When I told the caseworker this, she started yelling at me and no I didn’t expect this behavior. She ask me if I had ever had a case against me, well I have indeed, someone called the 800 number, I was investigated and the cases (3)were closed. There was never any legal action, but apparently this is much worse than actually having had your children removed.
Son in law told me his dad had just purchased a gernade lancher, do you think anybody cared? No!
So I guess some people can get away with anything, even stealing children.
I was given every other weekend visitation, however that was suspended because at a court hearing, the caseworker who told the parents she was no longer involved in the case was chit chatting with my daughter and son in law, of course I couldn’t help but over hear, son in law was telling case worker I was planning on making trouble for his parents. Yes I was steamed, and felt out of place, I ask to speak to my daughter and the case worker said she wasn’t finished talking to my daughter and I said oh yes you are, and she said I could wait, well no “you” can wait, you are nothing to me, I started to take my daughter by the wrist, and caseworker grabbed my hand and said I had just assualted my daughter and told my son in law to run and get a bailiff and the @$%%#@ just about broke his neck to find one, I called the caseworker a mother dog, several times, my brain just couldn’t think of another word at that moment.
When she saw the bailiff just talking to me, not arresting me, she marched in and spoke to the judge who suspended my visitation with my grandson.
I called her about a month later to apologize thinking I’ll try to mend some fences, but it didn’t do any good. I wrote the judge a letter, and I apologized to him, my daughter got a letter from the court house saying I had a no contact order. My childrens bus stop is right at the paternal grandparents corner, and son in law has been seen visiting unbeknownst to my daughter with my grandson, she was not allowed by them to visit her own son. Son in law not completing case plan, told daughter he plans on doing whatever to keep Michael in his parents custody, is not completing case plan, seems to have lost his mind. Recently paternal grandparents have become nice to my daughter, saying after childrens services are no longer involved in January she can have unlimited access to her child, and that I can also see Michael whenever I want. I believe they have a hidden agenda. I was never allowed a voice in court. The judge didn’t know Michael was terminal, I don’t know how this was made known to him.