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Sunday, October 21, 2018


Mary Lee A. Kieman, YMCA
"Domestic violence is a crime that affects people of all races, genders, religions and income levels. It is also a crime that often doesn’t end when the victim leaves the abuser. Taking the step to leave an abuser is monumental for a victim, and leaving is when violence is likely to escalate. The reasons for staying are complicated, which is why it often takes many tries before a victim can leave.
A cruel turn of events often happens after the victim leaves the has had the courage to leaves the abuser: Abusers often continue to assert power over victims by using civil and criminal court systems to their advantage through threats, intimidation, and using legal maneuvers to maintain control. Legal abuse happens whenever an abuser misuses the legal system to re-victimize his or her partner.
Victims quickly discover the complexities and challenges of the legal system. While the system is set up to be impartial, receiving the best representation is often based on the ability to pay for a lawyer. Since abusers often control the family finances, they are often able to obtain experienced legal representation, while the victim is self-represented or less well-represented by legal counsel.
In addition, the abuser continues to assert power and control over the victim by manipulating the court system in their favor using tactics like:
Refusing to agree to reasonable custody agreements or dragging out court battles. Abusers can suddenly show interest in parenting when they had not been involved with the children in the past.
Abusing the right to file motions to keep the victim tied up in court and exhaust the victim’s financial resources with legal fees.
Applying for restraining orders without the threat of violence from the victim.
Refusing to comply with court orders, forcing victims to spend time and money enforcing the orders.
Portraying the victim as an unfit parent and/or making false reports to Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Claiming the victim abuses drugs or alcohol and using this claim against the victim.
“Shopping around” for attorneys, thereby creating a conflict of interest for attorneys and preventing these attorneys from representing the victim.
Requesting continuances to prolong proceedings and/or not showing up to court for scheduled appearances, when the victim has had to arrange child care, call out of work, or pay her attorney.
Not only are these tactics costly, but they also cause additional emotional stress for the victim. In fact, according to Dr. Karin P. Huffer, a marriage and family therapist, the consequence of being abused through the legal system can cause a condition known as Legal Abuse Syndrome, a form of post traumatic stress disorder caused by the continued abuse of power, betrayal, or fraud within the legal system.
What can we do to address legal abuse?
First, we need to continue to raise awareness that abuse of the legal system is a powerful form of domestic abuse that enables an abuser to retain power and control over the victim.
Second, better education and training about how abusers use the legal system to continue to victimize their partners must be provided to judges, lawyers, court advocates, police officers and other professionals who treat victims of domestic violence.
Third, victims of domestic abuse also need advice and counsel on how to determine the best representation for themselves, including interviewing multiple lawyers, finding a lawyer who has experience in litigating domestic violence cases, and finding a lawyer who will take the time to deeply understand the full history of the victim’s abuse, so they can best represent the victim’s interests.
Earlier this year, YWCA Greenwich announced the opening of the YWCA Greenwich Civil Legal Clinic. The clinic, run by two YWCA volunteers who are attorneys, is providing consultations for YWCA Greenwich domestic abuse clients who need help filling out legal paperwork; help with court documents; assistance creating financial affidavits; advice on motions that they need to file; and educational consultation advice on what to look for in a lawyer.
Abuse of the legal system is another “hoop” that victims of domestic abuse often go through to be free of the abuser. Join YWCA Greenwich in raising awareness about this powerful form of abuse and supporting victims of domestic abuse in our community. To provide financial support for the Civil Legal Clinic and the work of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services, donate to the Purple Purse Challenge at All of all funds raised this month will go to support the work of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services.
If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive situation, contact YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services at 203-622-0003. All services are free and confidential. You don’t have to fight abuse alone."
Mary Lee A. Kiernan is president and CEO of YWCA Greenwich.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


I have to say that as a mother I didn’t trust my ex to care for my children properly. (Ok, Ok, OUR children!)  I had that instinct right from the beginning.  I think it came from the fact that my ex was a bit of a mixed bag; in many things my ex was quite competent, but in others he was grossly foolish, if not dangerous to the kids at times.  This might be all right in the conduct of a business, but in the care and upbringing of children, I felt his behavior totally unacceptable.  Given this situation, it must seem amazing to anyone that I agreed to co-parent with my ex once we divorced.

Of course, I will admit that my opinions in this area could be rather unreasonable.  In fact, at one point, when my son was perhaps 4 years old, I even took it upon myself to spy on my ex when he was on his own taking care of our son, to see if he was doing a proper job.  Much to my amazement, as I peeked through the door I was hiding behind, my ex had my son set up in front of some goal posts and was playing hockey with him.  Both were enjoying each other immensely. 

Unfortunately, there were the other things he did that left me breathless with fear, like leaving the kids in the car without supervision with the keys in the ignition, crossing a street ahead of the kids just before the light turned red so that he would be on the other side of the street, while my son had to drag the younger kids back so they didn’t get run over by the cars. 

What could you say about a guy with such a spotty history, with the ability to challenge the kids to greater achievements on the one hand, and to endanger them in the next?  As a mother it wasn’t easy for me to navigate those waters, and the situation became even more difficult once I filed for divorce. 

I suppose I could have fought for sole custody, or sued for joint custody and then made it so difficult for him to see the kids that he gave up. Instead, I did my very best to include my ex in all aspects of my children’s lives, and I went out of my way to drive out of state so that he would have parenting time.  I did this even though, in many respects, as the title of this article states, I believe him to be an absolute psychopath. 


There are two reasons.

One reason is that, as a single individual, I just did not have everything necessary to raise a child. I was geared towards protecting my children, making sure they had all the resources that they needed to nourish and grow them as individuals.  What I did not have was the ability to challenge them with adventure because adventure made me nervous.

In contrast, my ex was ready to take the kids off to climb mountains, to explore caves, to try out new skills that they’d never considered attempting before.  He would take them off to the science museum, herd them onto boats for cruises around the little islands of Boston, take them fishing (horrors) insist they try out what it was like to go skiing, try going down that big slide at the water park. 

Returning to my son as an example, I can recall when he was 4 ½ and was in the developmental clinic for the Farmington, Canton, Avon Youth Hockey League.  My ex and I took my son to the rink for the first day.  For those who are unaware, that first day of skating simply means you see a bunch of little boys out on the ice falling, getting up, falling, getting up and on and on.  For a mother it is an absolute nightmare and my immediate reaction was to just grab my child, run home, and save him from this ice fueled apocalypse.  I was just about to do that when my ex took me by the shoulders, turned me around and said, “Just go home.” 

And he was right, because when I returned a few hours later, my son was skating around like he was born on a hockey rink, and has remained that way ever since. 

My ex endowed my children with an independent, confident spirit.  As a result, when they were knocked out of the nest into the world (or rather took off, because they were quite ready to go), my children flew with strength in their wings. And why was that?  A good deal because of their Dad, I have no doubt. 

The second reason why I did not push to get rid of my ex in the lives of our children is a little more complicated. 

I will again say that I was not thrilled with my ex’s character and this is the reason why I divorced him.  He was and is a pathological liar. He was a very difficult and problematic individual who was not really capable of the kind of closeness that a marriage requires. Yet he was charming, outgoing, and pretty much able to get people to do all sorts of things for him, even when those things were illegal.  Here it is probably not a great idea to continue on because I don’t want anyone to get into trouble. 

During the divorce, it was very frustrating for me to see my ex lie and lie and lie again and get away with it.  For the better part, the Court was completely sympathetic towards him and pretty much gave him tremendous leeway to torture and harm me, and by extension my children.  The fact that I was consistently truthful and that I supported everything I said with evidence didn’t matter to the Court at all.  Of course, some of that was the family court policy of favoring fathers.  But some of it was just, as you know, psychopaths get ahead in family court and elsewhere.

This is what I learned from the experience.  Liars win a lot.  Bad people often succeed—somehow they push and bully their way to the top, and nothing can stop them.  In my own life, my brother and sister are both fairly criminal, and yet they have succeeded well beyond me.  Being tough, heartless, if not fairly ruthless, has its perks.

Of course, I consider being a good person a considerable value.  If I didn’t have children who understood how to tell the difference between right and wrong, it would deeply disappoint me.  If I had children who did not understand the important role they play in doing what is right, in giving back to the poor and needy and the disadvantaged, in participating in our political life so as to play their part in improving the world we live in, I would be broken hearted.  In the future, I want to hear that my kids participated in fundraising for charities, that they participated in town beautification projects, that they promoted policies in their workplaces that were humane and fair. 

On the other hand, I realize that surviving as a human being who is flawed among other human beings who are similarly flawed, sometimes requires dishonesty, deception, thievery, nerves steady enough to destroy an enemy when you have to, and the ability to act in ways that are sneaky and shady if necessary.  My ex learned these skills because he had to deal with the corporate world and scrabble his way to success in a way that I did not.  He had his back to the wall knowing he had bills to pay with an immediacy that I did not. 

Now I don’t want to go overboard here.  It is not as though I wanted my kids to have an apprenticeship with the devil.  On the other hand, toughen them up in the face of life’s inevitable indignities, empower them to fight back with far greater strength and persistence than their enemies have?  Sure, I could go for that. 

Of course, we had an 80/20 custody split.  I might have been considerably more nervous if my ex had more time to twist them with.  But a little bit of twisting?  I’m not sure that’s all that bad in a world full of all sorts of criminals, general pettiness, and unfairness. 

Ultimately, my hope is that in growing up, my kids have seen reality.  I hope they can tap us both for the skills and abilities they need to survive and flourish, both good, bad, and the range inbetween. That way they can make the best possible choices in life given a world that is often difficult, chaotic, and imperfect, despite its many rewards.  Skewing their world to make my children believe evil isn't out there, I believed would be to their detriment.  Was  I right or wrong about that?  Time will tell.  

Monday, October 8, 2018


Andy Thibault
Andy Thibault, a highly regarded freelance writer, teacher, investigator, and author, has recently been appointed as a member of the CT Judicial Branch's Judicial-Media Committee. As such, Mr. Thibault joins the esteemed company, not only of judges and attorneys, but also of colleagues such as Lauren Sellew of the Meriden Record-Journal, Alaine Griffin of The Hartford Courant, Lucy Nalpathanchil of WNPR, Eric Parker of WFSB, Channel 3, Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer, and Thomas Scheffey of the CT Law Tribune Editorial Board.  

If you are interested in more of the details of this membership, please see the link below:  

Andy Thibault attended Boston University and has been in the field of journalism for approximately 30 years.  He has done a considerable amount of work in the area of the court system.  In fact, he probably could teach the members of the Committee a thing or two himself, even the judges and attorneys.  For instance, Mr. Thibault worked as a columnist for the "CT Law Tribune" for six years between June 2000 and May 2006.  

He is also the founder of the website "Cool Justice" where, for many years, he has challenged audiences regarding matters related to the law and how justice is or is not served.  See the link: 

In that regard, he is the author of two books:  "Law and Justice in Everyday Life: Featuring the Cool Justice Columns of Law Tribune Newspapers" (2002). This book included an introduction by Howard Zinn and a foreword by F. Lee Bailey; "More Cool Justice" (2014).   

Andy Thibault has always fought for the underdog in his work and has been a major voice for justice in the State of Connecticut.  His Goodreads biography mentions that the novelist Chandra Prasad called him "Connecticut's premiere journalistic warrior." Wally Lamb, according to this bio, states that "Thibault is a junkyard dog for justice who bares his teeth at pomposity and institutional unfairness and only bites the truly deserving."  

Some of Andy Thibault's most outstanding work in this regard was his effective championship of Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, a victim of domestic violence who was wrongly convicted of premeditated murder. Subsequently, she was sentenced to a lengthy sentence of 45 years which was unprecedented in the history of CT jurisprudence. In 1994, the story of Bonnie Foreshaw was featured by Yale University student, Ondi Timoner, in a film entitled "Nature of the Beast." Mr. Thibault also partnered with CT author Wally Lamb in working hard for Ms. Foreshaw's release. Wally Lamb worked with Ms. Foreshaw and eventually included stories of her life in his two books of stories by prison inmates. Bonnie Foreshaw was eventually released in 2013, after serving 27 years of her sentence.  

Another of Andy Thibault's achievements was the central role he played in reporting on the Woody Allen case here in CT.   In this case, the celebrity filmmaker Woody Allen was accused of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow.  Andy Thibault wrote a pivotal article on that case which appeared in the April 1997 issue of "Connecticut Magazine".  This article has played a central role in clarifying the pressures that were placed on then prosecutor Frank Maco to put aside Dylan Farrow's accusations. In the years since the article came out, Mr. Thibault's work has played a central role in assuring that the truth gets told about that case despite subsequent pressure to misrepresent and distort the events that took place.  

In 2014, family court victims were extremely grateful when Andy Thibault played a central role in publishing an article in "The Register Citizen" which clearly and accurately informed the public of the many concerns they had about corrupt legal practices in family court. He was fearless in naming the legislators who sought to rig the family court task force as a means of silencing victims. He was also very clear about the unethical practices of the Association of family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) which had spread its tentacles through the CT Family Court System.  

Of course, upon hearing about Andy Thibault's appointment to the Judicial-Media Committee, several family court advocates have expressed concern that he could be made a tool of the Judicial System.  However, upon inquiry, Andy Thibault has expressed the view that he will be able to assess issues fairly and impartially, despite the fact that he is on the Committee. He does not anticipate that his membership will in any way undermine his ethical integrity.  

As a point of interest, Andy Thibault has recently been hired as the City Editor of the "Republican-American" in Waterbury, CT, a position that should start for him on October 24, 2018.  We certainly wish him luck in this new enterprise.  

For more information on the concerns family court victims have expressed about the Judicial-Media Committee, see the link below:

Thursday, September 20, 2018


In recent decades, claiming that fathers are endangered, and claiming to defend family values as embodied in The Natural Family, the religious right have attacked and sought to reverse the civil rights gains of the feminist movement of the 1970s. These groups blame feminism for the rising divorce rate, the plethora of single family households, and many social ills such as crime, poverty, mental illness and homelessness.  In doing so, they deny the existence of racism and the role of economic injustice.  

Put another way, they have waged a crafty, well financed, and highly organized war against women throughout America using Family Court as a backdrop.  This war has been documented partially in the book "Backlash" by Susan Fahludi published in 1991.  

The primary method Conservative politicians and the Evangelical right have used to attack women is by creating a false narrative of father absence, claiming that it has led to many social ills which require remedial action on behalf of men.  This is a complete lie.

For an example of their ideology, just look at the May 11, 2010 Multi-Agency Memorandum of Agreement for the State of Connecticut.  In the preamble, this document lists a broad range of areas in which the authors claim that fatherlessness has caused the breakdown of American society.  Has any of this been proven? Creating a body of flawed, misleading, if not outright fake research, i.e. The Regulus Study, funded by and conducted by the religious right wing, has been a primary tactic in this battle. While there may be a correllation between fatherlessness and social problems, this is far from showing evidence of cause and effect. What we do know is that the primary factor in outcomes for young people is financial stability, not fatherlessness.  Nonetheless, the State of Connecticut has used these detailed and unproven conclusions regarding father absence to justify treating fathers preferentially when providing services, despite Connecticut statutes that clearly prohibit gender discrimination. 

This is how easily such ideas have penetrated into the mainstream.  

Added to this, Conservatives have decried the marginalization of what they call The Natural Family. In a 2016 article entitled, "The Family Courts Are Killing Our Children", right wing politician, Dr. Mario Jimenez, stated that the loss of The Natural Family is also responsible for the high rate of both homicide and suicide in American society.  What they really want to do is restrict divorce and trap women in abusive marriages.

So what is this "Natural Family" that he is referring to?  According to Allan Carlson and Paul Mero, authors of the book "The Natural Family" (2005), the term properly refers to "the natural arrangement of husband and wife, plus their offspring, as the most identifiable and important family unit for protection, nurture, and social stability."  Within The Natural Family "the conjugal bond built on fidelity, mutual duty, and respect allow [their members] to fulfill their potential as human beings."  In short, "The Natural Family is the first and fundamental unit of human society."  Most of all, it is biblical and, according to right wing evangelicals, God has endorsed it, and therefore government should insist upon it for the welfare of all.

According to Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Natural Family stands opposed to The Contractual Family, which Conservatives state has improperly replaced The Natural Family in modern society. Dougherty states that The Contractual Family occurs when marital and parental relationships are determined as a matter of choice, and not biology.  For instance, it can include same sex parents, grandparents with their grandchildren, extended family, as well as unrelated persons who consider themselves family.  Conservatives and the Evangelical right condemn The Contractual Family and consider The Natural Family essential to liberty, freedom, as well as mental, physical, and economic health of American citizens.  This is what they mean when they talk about family values.  

In an attempt to restore The Natural Family, to restore fathers to their positions as heads of households, and to restore the patriarchy to its status of privilege, Conservatives have pushed an agenda to support fathers within Family Court so that they have greater access to their children, frequently replacing and eliminating Mothers.  Sure, go ahead and assert your civil rights if you wish, Conservatives appear to be saying.  Fight back against domestic violence, and leave marriages with abusers, but if you do so, you will risk the possibility that you will lose all access to your children and end up penniless and homeless.  This phenomenon was carefully documented and exposed in Phylis Chesler's book, "Mothers on Trial:  The Battle For Children and Custody" (1986) and the situation has only continued on to get worse.

It would be foolish to underestimate the extent of the misogyny behind the Christian right's movement to restore The Natural Family.  The very idea of The Natural Family is closely allied with the quiverful movement to which the Duggar Family belong, which is famous for being in TLC's reality show "Nineteen and Counting."  If these religious conservatives had their way, women would end up being walking baby factories just like Michelle Duggar.  Essentially, the religious right wants an end to birth control, and an increase in large families with accompanying homeschooling.  They look back fondly on pre-industrial society and look forward to restoring a kind of agrarian idyll centered around large families.  In the words of one writer, The Natural Family flourishes best in "the small home economy which should act as the vital center of daily economy."  

Central to the success of this vision of family life is the idea that women should stop earning a living outside the home and go back to being housewives, leaving their men to support the family.  The movement opposes equal pay for equal work, and they oppose the market wage, i.e. a wage determined by the market, and support giving men a living wage which a man can use to support a wife, and one presumes his very large brood of children.  One such article entitled, "The Death of Our Family Wage Culture" by Dusty Gates quotes both Pope Pius and Pope John Paul II as stating that pushing mothers to leave their household duties in order to engage in work outside the home is a form of abuse.  

Who are the enemies of this brave new, or rather old, vision of the world?  The Gay Rights Movement, The Pro-Choice Movement, Advocates for Contraception, Advocates for Sex Education, Children's Rights Advocates, Industrialism, No-fault divorce,  Sexual Liberation, Secularists, Intellectuals and Scholars, i.e. anyone with brains, Liberals, and most particularly relevant in connection to this blog, Feminists. 

If you think the Conservatives and the Religious Right who are pursuing this movement are a small, powerless minority, who couldn't possibly seize the reins of power and impose this sexist vision on American Society, don't kid yourselves.  Who is it that is behind the millions and millions of dollars that goes into The Fatherhood Iniatiative which is present in every state of the Union right now? Who is it that is behind all the millions and millions of dollars that goes into the Marriage and Responsible Parenthood programs? What about the billions that goes into these faith based initiatives?

In fact, in her four part series on homophobia in Russia, Amanda Blue Keating of "Right Wing Watch" reports that in 2013, through the World Congress of Families, these Christian Evangelical right groups developed a major political network throughout Russia and were directly involved, along with France, in passing anti LGBT legislation that, among other things, criminalized advocacy for LGBT equality. Apparently, the Christian right views Russia as the last bastion of defense in preserving the rights of the family

All of this is the brain child of the religious right, and all of the money and effort involved is poured into programs whose fundamental intention is to destroy Women's Liberation which they consider inimical to Christianity and Western Civilization.  How are they going to destroy Women's Liberation? By seizing control of children and making it clear that if women don't learn their place, they will never see them again.  

Still, the plot goes deeper.  According to Amanda Blue, when the Russian, Konstantin Malofeev spoke at the 2012 World Congress of Families, he held out Russia as the model for the world saying, "Now Christian Russia can help liberate the West from the new liberal anti-Christian, totalitarianism of political correctness, gender ideology, mass-media censorship and neo-Marxist dogma."  Is it surprising, then, that they showed up in the 2016 elections to put Donald Trump in power to promote just that agenda! 

While I was pursing this project, I wrote down the names of the organizations that make up this Conservative, Religious movement, and I will list them below. The majority of them are members of the World Congress of Families. It is by no means a complete list, but it gives you a sense of how extensive it is.

Alliance Defense Fund
Americans United For Life
Alliance Defending Freedom
American Family Association
Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
American United For Life
Bradley Foundation
Catholic family and Human Rights Institute
Concerned Women For America
Focus on the Family
Family Research Council
International Organization For the Family
National Organization For Marriage
The Heritage Foundation
The Howard Center For Family Religion, and Society
The Rockland Institute
The Ruth Institute
The Sutherland Institute
The Witherspoon Institute
United Families International
World Congress of Families

Friday, September 7, 2018


As many people know, the charges of abduction against Karin Wolf are totally absurd.  Below is a picture of Karin Wolf and her daughter at a police station in Virginia where the two went to confirm the child's well being.  As you can see, both are perfectly well and enjoying each others company. The question is, why does a corrupt judge and family court in New Jersey seek to interfere in their relationship in violation of the law.  Another picture below shows Karin's daughter perfectly happy and excited to spend time with her mother.  



Thursday, September 6, 2018


Karin Wolf, Director of WCLU

By Elizabeth A. Richter

Before I proceed, I just wanted to mention that I grew up in New Jersey and that I lived in Princeton, NJ for most of my life.  I am also a graduate of Princeton High School, Class of 1974.  So I have deep ties to New Jersey which have led me to see fit to respond today regarding the charges against Karin Wolf.

To be upfront, I also do wish to mention that I am on the Board of Directors of the Women's Civil Liberties Union, an organization Karin Wolf founded.  

According to a recent article, Karin Wolf was arrested a few days ago and charged with "abducting" her 14 year old daughter from Glen Rock, New Jersey.  I don't know why the authorities call this abduction since it is pretty clear to me that the child involved came along voluntarily.  After all, Karin Wolf is her mother.  

The article continues on to state that Ms. Wolf is currently being held in a correctional facility--York Correctional Institution in Niantic, CT.  From what I have heard, she is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, which I consider an absurd amount of money.  That's enough money to secure the appearance of a murderer, and Karin Wolf is far from being that.  On the contrary, she is a loving mother, a victim of family court injustice, who simply wanted to be with her daughter; she is absolutely, by no means, guilty of child abduction.

It troubles me, therefore, to see that so many articles on Karin Wolf and her child published in New Jersey newspapers fail to mention essential facts pertinent to the story which would clear her of these charges. For instance, none of them mention anything in regard to the background when it comes to Ms. Wolf's case.  Let me take this opportunity now to fill you in.

Like many who are victims of domestic violence, in Family Court Karin Wolf lost custody of her children in a rigged court proceeding where she was denied the funds to pursue her legal case, denied the representation of an attorney, and denied the due process right to present evidence to the Court and have sufficient opportunity to prepare her case.  Further, like many Family Court victims, when Karin Wolf attempted to obtain relief from the Federal Court system, her case was dismissed on shaky and illegal grounds.  

Some articles mention that Karin Wolf was accused of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a quack theory developed by one of New Jersey's own--the late Dr. Richard Gardener.  PAS is widely disregarded by the vast majority of mental health professionals, and is a standard response abusers provide when they are caught in their wrong doing.  In short, there has been no commonsense basis ever for denying Karin Wolf access to her children, and yet she was denied access simply because she didn't have the financing, the influence, or the ability to rig the system that her ex had.  

In addition, Family Court systems across the country, including that in New Jersey, have a mandate to show preference to fathers in cases where custody is in dispute.  That is the context within which I think it is important for you to understand Karin Wolf's case.  It is also important for you to note that today the problem of injustice and corruption in America's Family Court system is a widespread issue and that millions of people throughout the country have been protesting and speaking out against the wrongdoing they have experienced in Family Court, particularly abused women, including Karin. This is why the rights of women and enforcing laws against discrimination play such an important role in the mission of the Women's Civil Liberties Union.

I also note that articles on Karin Wolf did not mention that the father of the children involved in this case is dead. They don't disclose that the children were placed in the custody of the non biologically related step-mother in a hearing Karin Wolf was never informed about, and where she never had an opportunity to present her case for taking custody of her children.  

When Family Courts act illegally and seize children from fit parents, it is a travesty for them to subsequently jail these parents when they attempt to defend themselves and their children. The corruption, injustice and--let's face it--outright misogyny towards women cannot be cloaked by terms as misleading as "abduction."  Karin Wolf didn't abduct anyone; she restored her daughter to her rightful place in her mother's arms.  

Friday, June 29, 2018



"ANNAPOLIS, Md.  — Robert Hiaasen walked into the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper convinced that his community had the right to know the news. He had a unique way of telling stories and enjoyed mentoring young reporters.
“He was a coach, and he was a mentor. He wanted to teach young journalists to be better,” Tina Reed, a former Capital reporter, told The Baltimore Sun.
His brother, best-selling author and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen, confirmed Robert’s death in a Facebook post and later told CNN that his sibling was a generous, gentle man and “such a gifted writer and editor” who believed deeply in keeping the public informed.
The longtime editor and columnist was among five people killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire through the glass door of the newsroom at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, said William Krampf, acting chief of the Anne Arundel County police. Together, the victims had more than 75 years of experience at the paper..."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Hundreds Of U.S. Children Taken From Home
Paul Chill
"It has been heartening to see such widespread revulsion and opposition, seemingly across the political spectrum, to the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border. But this is also a potential teaching moment, when it may be possible for people to see through some of the myths and false assumptions that still surround much child welfare practice in the United States.
Contrast the condemnation and outrage over the Trump administration’s policy of removing children from parents who enter the country illegally with the silence over the 700 to 800 forced child removals that occur daily in American cities and towns, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Government agencies take these children from their parents, often in sudden and chaotic circumstances, and the children suffer at least as much damage as those separated from their parents at the border..."

Sunday, May 13, 2018


To this day, I still remember the struggles I endured surrounding the first Mother's Day after I filed for divorce.  It is striking that I filed in July, and as we approached Mother's Day the following year, we had no Parental Responsibility Plan in place and so it was unclear how that holiday was going to be handled.  You might think that it would be automatic that the kids would spend Mother's Day with me, but not so.  

Friday, May 11, 2018


In May 9, 2018's Op-Ed "Legislature Fails Judge Subjected To Abuse" by Kevin Rennie, a long time "Hartford Courant" opinion leader, we could get the idea that the Family Court Reform movement here in CT is full of anti-semites and wackos. However, this simply makes no sense considering that a good many of the victims of Family Court injustice are either Jewish themselves or of Jewish origin. My own grandfather was incarcerated in the Marienkirche  Concentration Camp in Berlin, Germany. Further, Judge Jane B. Emons was not subjected to abuse. Judge Emons competence was called into question when numerous litigants reported that she had violated the judicial code of ethics.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


As Michael Skakel exits the CT Judicial System after years of persecution, it is interesting to see family court victims succeed in their efforts after similarly fighting years of persecution.  When it comes to Michael Skakel, the press is beginning to understand that there might have been a miscarriage of justice.  Unfortunately, when it comes to family court victims the media still lacks any insight.  

Saturday, May 5, 2018


by Mark Pazniokas
The House of Representatives stripped Superior Court Judge Jane B. Emons of her job Friday. There was no debate, no vote, no fingerprints. Her eight-year term expired at midnight, when Emons became the first judge in recent history — perhaps ever — forced from the bench in Connecticut by legislative inaction.
Emons lost her job without the legislature’s reaching a formal conclusion about her fitness. Critics who testified against Emons, whose judicial career was spent presiding over divorces and child custody cases in family courts, initially were unpersuasive: The legislature’s Judiciary Committee endorsed her confirmation in February on a vote of 30 to 3."

Ms. Mary Puzone speaks out agains Judge Jane B. Emons!

Thursday, May 3, 2018


A Concerned Citizen speaks up against Judge Jane B. Emons 
Dear Legislators, 
In considering how to cast your vote on the re-nomination of Judge Jane B. Emons, I ask that you bring your attention to the following summaries and attached cases.
Friends and families are concerned about Judge Emons who has displayed unprofessional conduct, especially to minorities who represent themselves in front of her. We are hopeful that you will protect the public interest and VOTE NO on Judge Emons.
In an effort to assist you in making an informed decision, I have summarized 3 of the cases for your convenience and also attached the cases themselves. Even the appellate court has hinted at some underlying problems that exist with Judge Emons, including comments from the appellate court in the Jordan M. v Darric M (2016) case  attached:

-“The record in this case is confusing at best and certain portions of the file appear to have been entered under incorrect docket numbers. “[Appellate Court] -   [Appellate Court] -  Jordan M. v Darric M case

- “The court's reasoning for granting the application for the restraining order is not clear, . . . There was no evidence that there was violent or physically threatening conduct on the night of August 21, 2015, and there was no evidence that the defendant presented a threat of physical pain or injury to Jordan. “The plain language of § 46b–15 clearly requires a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury before a court can grant a domestic violence restraining order.” [Appellate Court]  -  Jordan M. v Darric M case

- The Appellate Court noted they were unable to review a claim due to Emons’ failure to provide adequate “findings of facts.”  This seems to be a recurrent theme with other cases in which Emons was overturned where she fails to make adequate findings of facts as she is required to do -  perhaps to further insulate her decisions from being overturned on appeal.  The Appellate Court stated:

“Due to a lack of an adequate record, we are unable to review this claim.” [Appellate Court]

In another  line of appellate cases, there is a disturbing trend by Judge Emons to violate the well known "American Rule" where all litigants pay for their own representation. However, Judge Emons has decided to make it onerous for litigants to bring their cases up for appeal by ordering them to pay the opposing side's attorney fees as was done in the Rinfret (appellate court reversing Emons' order to pay $90,000 in attorney fees) and the Lederle case (reversing  Emons' order to pay $30,000 in attorney fees) which are attached.  By doing so, Judge Emons is less likely to see these cases go to appeal and have her decisions overturned.  

In Clark v. Clark, Judge Emons ordered - without motion of either parent - that the parents have their children evaluated at their expense and then, after she reviewed the resulting report, ordered that the report NOT be released to the parents and then made further orders in connection with the children based on the report which she had ordered not be provided to the parents. She did this when in a post-judgment proceeding when one parent had already been awarded custody of the children. How can Emons's acts be constitutional?
In another matter (Sargent v Sargent), when a parent sought to remove the GAL, Judge Emons appointed a lawyer, AT THE PARENT'S EXPENSE and with no legal precedent or authority to do so, to defend the GAL (who has complete immunity) against the allegations of misconduct. This attorney for the GAL then charged $850/hr to defend the GAL. Judge Emons has threatened to remove legal custody of children from a parent as a "judicial sanction" when the parent challenged the conduct of the GAL .

I have also included transcript excerpts that demonstrate the following:
-          Judge Emons' disregard for Rules of Evidence
-          Judge Emons' disrespect for how hearsay evidence is to be considered
-          Judge Emons' steering testimony – perhaps wrongly to achieve the outcome she desires
-          Judge Emons' disrespect for other lawyers and litigants

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this very important matter whereas she impacts the lives of  many families and friends and her reappointment should not be taken lightly.  Another 8 years of Judge Emons is almost another decade of her continued abuse. The public is owed a duty of respect and well considered decisions in accord with the rule of law.