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Showing posts with label OPINION. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OPINION. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Today, activists went to the State Capitol to speak before the Law Committee about the legalization of marijuana.  This issue is not really that interesting to me as much as the issue of freedom of speech.  I am wondering whether people who spoke regarding this issue were required to remove all their pro or con marijuana political statements before providing their testimony.  Does anyone have an idea?

Were they made to feel like they were bad people for having their own opinions on a subject that mattered to them?  It sure would be interesting to know.  

I saw pictures of people walking around with pro-marijuana capes, and I saw folks with very colorful clothing promoting marijuana. Were they at any point required to take that clothing off the way family court reform activists were told to remove their anti-Judge Emons T-shirts?  See the article below for pictures on the law committee audience today:

Please note the videos from the hearings on judicial reappointments where Judiciary Committee leaders forced citizens to remove their T-shirts.  Why do you think there was a difference in treatment?  Is it possible they love Judge Emons more than they love marijuana? That's pretty hard to believe!

See links:

Shouldn't these two groups be treated equally?  What's up?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


"How can they call this due process?"  This has been my question from my early experiences of Family Court setups.  

I have always had the impression that within the first few months of my case, the attorney and the judge had essentially arrived at an understanding.  It appeared to me that no matter what I did, that understanding drove the case from the beginning to the end.  So what does that mean for attorneys?  If everything is arranged beforehand, can they truly be thought of as exercising their professional expertise and advocating for their clients diligently as they are required to do?

Friday, February 9, 2018


By Valerie K. Lazarus,
B.A., race and gender studies, M.S., mass-media & education
BlogTalk personality, in propria persona U.S. family court custody litigant and researcher,
social networking engineer, former-mother, true sister and advocate
It is getting easier to walk away from the people I love.
I quit another church last week. When a power hierarchy impedes honest communication, it's time to go. It wasn't just the knucklehead who wouldn't keep his hands to himself, it's the paid choir director who expected me to carry the choir for free every Sunday. It's also the White pastor's Black husband who gave me the stink eye, silently labeling me a Bigot, trashing me to his biracial children who made it a point after that to look past me like I didn't exist. All because I wouldn't hug him one day after the choir sang.
How can you refuse a hug in a world where “the rules” only apply to women? I'm speaking as someone who once wouldn't hug my favorite film school professor who knew I was in a vulnerable situation, being ganged up on by other teachers. He was my only advocate, but after I rebuffed him, he became my worst enemy, denouncing me weeks later at a public screening.
You might wonder why I even give church a chance. Church has long been sanctuary to outlaws and outcasts. I'm both, and not just because I won't hug random men in random situations.
I was recently amputated from my family. It wasn't a one-and-done thing: imagine getting your toe torn off in a horrible accident and gangrene setting in. Twice. My daughter's father divorced me more than ten years ago and I was getting along without him just fine. Then he needed free childcare, and knowing family court would NEVER make him pay child support, he brought her to live with me for kindergarten, then kidnapped her out of school when she was in sixth grade.
There is no such thing as a single mother, unfortunately. Everyone needs to leave the house sometime. A trusted friend of the family moved in to help out several years after I'd been struggling alone and my health was declining, and once my baby was taken away, he grew gangrenous and had to be removed with two restraining orders and an eviction. To be honest, he was one of those men who's on his best behavior until he's in your house. Then you make do with someone who's irritable and verbally abusive most times because he's all you have when you need some alone time, help around the house and maybe an extra income. We've all been there.
And I had it better than many women I know of with multiple children, often having multiple opportunistic fathers using family court to gang up on the mothers of their children, who fight like Hell to protect one child, only to have the others taken away. You'd think these men would show more gratitude for all the free childcare they're getting. But I've heard Hell is full of people who don't know how to say Thank You, which is another reason I go to church.
Getting back to the man who recently left my life a year ago in early November, he was the final amputation. After that, I was truly alone. Some men don't want you to have ANY friends, and they gradually isolate you from every social situation, so I was starting at Ground Zero. I had absolutely no one, and I had to start over from scratch.
I found a new church to sing at because, being a woman alone, I've learned that if I find a place to do something I'm good at, nobody will ask why I'm there. Singing is one of those careers I've worked on for decades that I enjoy, and it's in that gray area of volunteer work that the people running the place are happy to get for free. So I sing and I hide and I put on a happy face, and everybody loves me because nobody knows anything about me.
So here are the rules for someone newly-liberated from domestic abuse: You show up regularly. You sit and listen to other people's conversations without being obvious. Now and then, you toss in a funny remark. If people make eye contact and laugh, you bring that little treat home for later. A week or two goes by, and people get used to seeing you. Maybe they confuse you with someone else and you play along to be part of things. They start involving you in superficial ways which feels like progress. Maybe they ask you a question about your life, so you tease a benign gem out of the wreckage like a wedding photo that somehow survived the fire that killed everyone in the house but you. You learn not to talk about your abducted child. If you slip, and she comes up by accident, you pretend she's old enough that people will think she grew up and left home on her own. Being with new people is a heady feeling and gives you that sugar rush. You hear how lucky they are to have you at their church because you sing so beautifully. You want to bottle up the compliments and joyous laughter and take it all home to drink when you're alone. Like most lies that come in bottles, they get you through tough times, but when the tingle wears off you're going to want to reach for something else.
That's when you get THE HUG. Most people really haven't stopped to consider how fraught this is for women. Think about it: men aren't expected to hug strangers.
When you're established as a woman in your little clique, you take for granted relationships you've forged over years of living up to other people's expectations. A hug is not an emotional thing, it's a greeting. Social shorthand for, “oh, it's YOU again. Well, hello. Goodbye.” When you're new, it's like dogs are coming up to sniff your butt.
THE HUG works one of two ways for a woman who is freshly liberated from an abusive relationship. Maybe you really DON'T want the hug and you want it to stop. You probably didn't feel yucky about it right away, but men are like vampires reading you to find out whether you're lonely and desperate. A married man who's feeling dissatisfied or pissed off at his wife will be thinking about that hug later. Or it could be some jerk who decides after a few weeks pass and he's gotten to know you better to grab you a second time during the passing-of-the-peace because he liked how it felt. Or he'll hold you too long. Or he'll wait and back into you as you're leaving the church kitchen, making some joke like, “We've got to stop meeting like THIS,” or “You're flirting with me!” And you're not, but like a good Christian woman you'll laugh it off and hurry away. Every church has at least one village idiot.
The other way it works is, you really DO want the hug, but you know it has to stop. It probably felt so right, you didn't even realize it the first time or the second time or even the fourth or fifth time it happened, but the man is unavailable. He could be married or gay or both. You weren't expecting these feelings to creep up on you, but they did, and now you can't tell anyone because YOU will be the church Harlot. Only naughty women like sex.
The fact is, we all need the human touch, but as a newcomer you find yourself making an odd tradeoff. To be part of civilized society and to live up to these ridiculous rules made only for women, you forego physical contact. You find a way to set up that ground rule that people mustn't touch you, which up until last October meant branding yourself as having a strange mental illness, because women aren't allowed to say No to a hug.
You may be a woman who refuses to set foot in a church. That doesn't mean The Rules don't apply to YOU.
You may be in a church that suffers from low attendance and bankruptcy. If you're clergy, maybe you should look at “the rules” of your church and admit there's a huge double standard. Garden-variety Protestant churches all over the United States would gain a lot from acknowledging and making responsible human sexual behavior a part of their curriculum and start by correcting the patriarchal adultery factory that has maligned, isolated and destroyed women and single mothers for centuries.
I mentioned I have numerous skills that people get comfortable, steady salaries doing for a living. As a single woman nobody would dream of paying me for something I volunteer at, like singing. At the church I just quit, I was left out of the Christmas program by my resentful choir director. Meanwhile, a male choir director at a different church where I sang at a later service paid a young woman nobody knew to sing descant instead of paying me to do it, even though I had been singing there for special events for months. It was obvious he did this so he wouldn't wake up in an empty bed on Christmas morning. Because I never got paid for singing, I didn't have money for gas to go to some event where the pastor's Black husband was performing, let alone a drink and the mandatory cover charge. Being social in church means spending money people don't realize you don't have because you're always forced to volunteer. A choir director at a Black church around the corner from my house asked me what I do for a living, and when I told him I'm on disability, his eyebrow went up. I told him if I didn't get disability, I'd starve because people expect me to work for free. My disability was being born without a penis.
So the village idiot who hugs me without my permission is really just a foil. It's like a diagnosis of halitosis when your real problem is that all your teeth are rotting out, and that's the condition of the Church today. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The chicken, dummy: the egg can't raise itself.

Here is the writing on the wall: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. Until the Church starts treating women and mothers like sacred vessels of God instead of filthy harlots, the human race is doomed.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Today, I was at Barnes and Noble ordering my usual cup of tea when I noticed that the two female baristas serving me both wore fit bits. When I commented on the fit bits and made a link from the high tech gadgets to the Connie Dabate case, each one flashed their fit bit at me and announced, "best investment I ever made."  

In a sense now, wearing a fit bit is becoming somewhat of a radical statement, i.e. One: I'm going to be the fittest woman out there, just watch me with my fitbit, and Two: If you try and kill me and lie afterwards, you're going to be in a whole heck of a lot of trouble.  

This is, I guess, what Richard Dabate should have thought of before he killed his wife.  

Seriously, guys, what was he thinking of?

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Do some white men just not get it?

I think it is particularly typical of some self-centered, upper class, white men that they often think of their wives as spoiled and pampered because they have absolutely zero clue regarding what is involved in growing successful, well rounded, ethical human beings.

Doing so is an incredibly demanding task both spiritually, intellectually, and physically, and it is an occupation that does not merely cease once these young people hit 18. As any hands on Mom knows, we are continuing to support, bolster, craft, mold, engage, facilitate and enhance these young people as human beings and as contributing members of society well into their 20s if not 30s and on.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


On March 16, 2017, Ms. Jane Doe, the mother of five children, was sentenced to 1 year in jail, execution suspended after 30 days, plus 3 years probation in addition to $1,500.00 in fines.  Her crime? Custodial Interference.  Yesterday, she was again on trial for another charge of custodial interference. I am not sure what the outcome of that trial has been.

Friday, February 17, 2017


"[Family Court corruption] is happening on a massive scale and everyone involved knows it."

"We live in a country where kids are for sale and being traded for dollars in a multi billion dollar a year industry."


Stories of family court abuse and corruption are so sad, and yet I know, as far fetched as they sound and as far as our imaginations have to reach to believe them, they are not only possible but actually very common in family court; in short, they are the truth. 

Monday, November 28, 2016


There are two things that happened to me recently which set off an important chain of thought.  The first is that I was contacted by a person I'd met in the course of writing my blog.  She told me that when her children are at their father's home he is often drunk and violent towards them.  Unfortunately, there is nothing she can do because, in her divorce, she was designated the bad parent and had to go through multiple hoops to retain custody.  

The testimony of the children, the documentary evidence of the father's abuse didn't matter.  What mattered was that the court had decided to favor the abuser who was again the father, and the mother was left in a position where she could do little to protect her children.  

The second situation is that a close friend of one of my children committed suicide.  This friend was in his or her early 20s, just graduated from College practically.  I don't want to provide identifying details regarding who this person is just for reasons of privacy and respect. However, what I did want to say is that doctors suspect that the reason why this person committed suicide had to do with sports related injuries which led to serious depression. I then asked my child if she had sustained similar type injuries and she said "yes", in fact she had.  

Her response completely shocked me because it never occurred to me that she'd gone through this without my knowing.  Apparently, because my child didn't want to trouble me with information about a situation she knew I couldn't protect her from given the ongoing indifference of family court, she decided not to tell me. The concussions my child was newly reporting to me were over and above the other injuries I knew about, i.e. two broken shoulders, two broken noses, and irreversible nerve damage.  

Some of these injuries occurred because my ex husband failed to provide my child with the kind of proper equipment that is essential when you play the kind of sports my child played.  I only found this out when other parents pulled me aside during games to ask me what was going on and why didn't my child have the proper gear.  Unfortunately, unlike my ex, who is highly sports oriented, I was unfamiliar with what was necessary. Thankfully, once these concerned parents had clued me in, I was able to stay on top of the problem.  But not before the damage had been done.

Another reason these injuries occurred is simply because my child was a very slight and fragile young person who should not have been engaged in these kinds of activities because he simply didn't have the necessary bulk to participate safely.  

However, when I brought these issues up with my own attorney and with the guardian ad litem in my case, they made light of my concerns and laughed them off.  The guardian ad litem sneered and made comments that led me to believe that he thought I was bringing up my safety concerns regarding my child's sports activities simply as a means to get an edge in the custody battle.  My own attorney went on about how team sports would toughen my kid up and prepare her properly for the cruel world she'd face in the years to come.

Even though I repeatedly brought to the attention of my attorney and the GAL medical reports indicating that my child was sustaining more injuries than was healthy at his age, they both dismissed and mocked my concerns.  What gets me even now is that it wasn't the opposing attorney who amused himself at my expense and that of my child, it was my own attorney. This tells you how difficult it can be for protective mothers.  

As mothers, we are well aware that our children are being injured in ways that will affect them for their entire lives and yet the family court system and its associated attorneys make light of the situation and act like mothers who express their worry must have Munchausen's by Proxy, or something similar.  

In fact, as a consequence of the fact that I expressed such concern regarding my child's well being related to her sports activities, the GAL and the attorneys in my case insisted upon including an additional provision in our parenting agreement specifically giving my ex husband sole authority when it came to signing my child up for sports. This gave my ex permanent free rein to expose my child to potentially life threatening conditions within the sports arena.  

I have already spoken about this problem in a previous blog on this website which I entitled "The Kids Are Not All Right." What I am writing about now is just a reaffirmation of the ongoing existence of this problem.  

I am also saying that little did I know that the problem was much more severe than I had earlier thought.  

As mothers, when we hand our children over to their fathers for parenting time, we simply have to trust that father's behavior will be responsible.  What can you do about what you don't know about because you aren't there? In my situation, my child was sustaining even more severe injuries than I knew about in his father's care.  As I said earlier, it is only now that my child feels free enough to tell me about the concussions and the nerve damage he endured. Those injuries are for life.  

The loss of a friend through suicide is also an injury for life.  This is a friend my child grew up with from Kindergarten.

That friend who died was also a child of divorce.  I can only hope that my child will not end up the same way, but there is no guarantee.  

Bottom line, however, is we have a family court system that is thoroughly irresponsible about the way in which they are handling the physical and psychological health of our children. In its rush to whitewash the behavior of fathers merely because they are fathers, particularly the abusive ones, they have put at risk thousands of children, placing them in situations that are completely unacceptable, and then demonizing their mothers who try to protect them.  

I continue to be appalled by the fact that the media doesn't report on this situation, that our representatives haven't addressed this issue about which they were well informed in 2014, and that our CT Judicial Branch continues to stonewall any attempt to hold them to account regarding how it treats vulnerable children.  This situation is and remains a disgrace.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016



"Criminal sentencings are a decidedly dismal affair, but rarely do they frighten me. The sentencing of Edward "Ted" Taupier in Middletown the other day did scare me. I had the sense that the center really did not hold any longer, and that warring worlds had converged without hope of doing anything other than colliding.

I attended the sentencing because I have been retained to take an appeal in Taupier's case. After a court trial, he was convicted of threatening and related offenses.

The underlying facts were essentially undisputed: Taupier sent an email to several others in which he described the physical layout of a judge's home, the distance from her bedroom window to a vantage point from which a sniper's shot could be fired, the type of weapon and ammunition it would take to penetrate the bedroom window, and the fact that he possessed such a weapon..."

Read more:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Yesterday, Mr. Ted Taupier, a father and a good citizen of the State of CT was sentenced to 18 months in jail based upon intemperate comments he made regarding his family court judge in a private email he sent to friends.  I am here to say to the CT Judicial Branch and to Judge Gold who handed out this sentence that none of us are fooled.  

Since dozens of individuals approached the CT State Legislature starting in 2014, and since the Task Force was established to investigate the wrongdoing of GALs in family courts throughout Connecticut, the CT Judicial Branch has been going out of its way to retaliate against CT citizens who have complained about its ill treatment.  I am aware of one prominent family court advocate who had DCF remove his children from his care based upon no adequate justification subsequent to the task force hearings on GALs.  I know of many litigants who complained of ill treatment from judges and family court attorneys who are now subject to gag orders.  

I myself was subjected to more than one threat that I might be put in jail if I refused to reveal the sources of an article I published on this website.   As a result, I had to pay significant attorneys fees and appear in court which was very traumatic for me given my past  experiences.  

I know of one specific individual who was particularly outspoken about CT Judicial Branch wrongdoing who had the local police station file false documents which compromised this person's case in family court.  The stories have been coming in from all over this state reporting that Judges have been retaliating against family court activists, and this ruling in the Taupier case is just one more.  

Judge Gold's harsh ruling is simply another attempt to intimidate and silence family court litigants who have legitimate complaints about the corruption and wrongdoing of family court in CT.  

Things have gotten to be so bad in our State's family courts that the term "Corrupticut" is actually an entry in the free internet encyclopedia known as Wikipedia.  How much more of a joke can CT's judicial system continue on being?  This is the question that we are left with.  

The bottom line is that in the email for which he was convicted, Ted Taupier was exercising his Constitutional right to freedom of speech along with a group of his compatriots in a private email.  He never directly addressed the person he is charged with threatening, i.e. Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto.  

It is interesting that The CT Law Tribune, the mouthpiece of the CT Judicial branch, reported how Judge Gold described Mr. Taupier's email as "frightening in its specificity" but did not mention another aspect of Mr. Taupier's email such as its obvious hyperbole, and its joking, exaggerated references to Charlton Heston's vastly hyperbolic encomium to machine guns in a widely circulated, and widely laughed at speech he made to NRA supporters.  Taking Mr. Taupier's comments out of context and then awfulizing them for your own retaliatory purposes does not make a crime, much as my saying so may disappoint members of the CT Judicial Branch and Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers.  

However, we can debate this extensively, if we'd like.  But this is the bottom line.  For several years, the CT Judicial Branch has colluded with certain profit minded attorneys and judges to develop a system within the family courts of this state which is intended to rip off citizens of this state who seek to obtain a divorce and establish custody arrangements for their children.  

With the cooperation of many of their members, the Judicial Branch has allowed GALs, unscrupulous attorneys, and corrupt mental health professionals to charge families thousands and thousands of dollars for dubious services which have not benefited children, and instead have bankrupted families and emptied college tuition funds intended to give these children a future.  

With the cooperation of their members, this Judicial Branch has subverted the due process of the law, repeatedly violated our constitution, flaunted its refusal to obey ADA law in the faces of vulnerable litigants with disabilities, and insulted their victims, the unsuspecting parents who have entered the family court system, and chewed up and spit them out onto the streets, homeless and childless, calling them "disgruntled" and "angry".  

Are we angry?  You bet we are angry.  We are angry when Judges hide documentary evidence.  We are angry when Judges refuse to allow us to put the witnesses on the stand whom we paid thousands of dollars to appear in court and conduct studies.  We are angry when judges refuse to rule on the motions they are hired to rule on. We are angry when attorneys flout The Practice Book rules and the law, and judges let them get away with doing so. We are angry when GALs who are supposed to be neutral give one or the other party legal advice and inside information regarding how the judge will rule or how family relations will draw its conclusions.  We are angry when attorneys sworn to facilitate discovery hand in documentation by piece meal over a period of years.  We are angry when judges lie, when attorneys lie, when family relations officers lie, when mental health professionals lie, when clerks of the court lie, and on and on.  

We have all walked in Mr. Ted Taupier's shoes.  We all know what it means to become heartbroken and distraught about how we are treated in family court.  Like many, I have worked hard all my life to earn a living.  I can recall my first babysitting job at the age of 10 when I was paid $.47 an hour.  I fought my way through my undergraduate years fighting against severe depression, worked my way through a master's degree and teaching program that took me five years because I worked full time also.  I could continue on with the challenges of bringing up children--mine are in college now--and running a home business.  Yet, I can recall having to stand before a judge for extended periods of time, keeping my mouth shut while the judge went on and on about what a poor character I had.  

How did that happen that after decades of hard work and showing an honorable character, and obeying the law, and bringing up three children who are good citizens, how did I get to be as much of a piece of shit as the judges on those days described me, as the GAL on those days described me, as the opposing attorney in those days described me?  Such things only happen in a CT Family Court system that is drunk on its power and that has lost its compass such that it can only work under the influence of the almighty dollar and has totally lost  any comprehension that it actually has a responsibility to the citizens of this State, the taxpayers who pay their salaries.  

I also want to return today to what this should all be about, what is justice about in situations like this related to family court.  We are told that we should shut up and put up, that we should stop complaining, that we should stop holding court personnel to account in regard to proper legal practices because the only thing that matters is the best interests of the children, and attorneys and judges are always excusing their rotten deeds by saying they are doing everything in the best interests of the children, parents are of no account, apparently, in such an equation.  However, if there was any one particular point many of the friends of Ted Taupier spoke of yesterday it was how putting Mr. Taupier in jail would harm the Taupier children.  

Did that make a bit of difference to this court?  


Judge Gold had no hesitation directly harming Ted Taupier's children by giving him a lengthy jail sentence.  The only time, really, that it appears that the CT Family Court System starts mouthing off about the best interests of the children is when they are using it as an excuse to defraud family court victims.  

Finally, it has always been the better part of wisdom to temper justice with mercy.  Anyone who knows Ted Taupier knows how much he loves his children, knows how much they mean to him, and how he would go to the ends of the earth for their benefit.  Instead of giving Mr. Taupier the opportunity to be the great father he is, family court ripped him to shreds.  There is something beneath the dignity of a person in power, at least as far as I am concerned, to take a beaten father and beat him further.  When is enough enough?  

The CT Judicial Branch had an opportunity here with the Taupier case to build bridges and to bring healing to a situation where, through its own fault, it has caused considerably more damage to the citizens of the State of CT than ever Ted Taupier did, damage that goes well beyond the minor distress which Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto experienced, as unfortunate as that was.  

Regrettably, in a haze of selfish, self defensive, arrogant shortsightedness, the CT Judicial Branch allowed that opportunity to slip through its hands.  In doing so, the CT Judicial Branch has grievously failed in living up its responsibilities to the people of the State of CT and it will find, as a consequence, that rebuilding its reputation and rebuilding the trust and respect it once had before the family court fiasco will be a long hard road.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


On November 14, 1996, police in Canton, CT received a phone call from a Jean Eichelman of South Windsor.  She was worried about her parents who had called her earlier stating that their son, Neil Cretney, and Jean's brother had been threatening them.  Neil, who was 44 years old at the time, had an extensive history of schizophrenia and had not been taking his medication.  

Eventually, Neil Cretney barricaded himself in his room with an axe and refused to come out.  Canton Police who had already managed two earlier violent incidents with Mr. Cretney, instead of doing something personally, decided to hand the situation over to the North Central Regional Emergency Services Team--a 20 member SWAT team--that stormed Cretney's room and shot him dead after he swung at one officer with the axe, cutting through his bullet proof vest.  

Subsequent to Neil Cretney's death there was a lot of soul searching.  Why did Canton police decide to call the SWAT team?  Would it have been better if the Canton police had tried to talk Neil Cretney down before storming his room?  Could anything have been done to prevent the tragic outcome?  I can recall feeling very saddened by this situation at the time and I am aware that everyone concerned--the police, Mr. Cretney's family, members of the community--felt devastated by what happened.  I believe that after that incident, the Canton police voluntarily participated in additional training to learn how to deal more effectively with people who have mental illness who are in crisis.

Why I am telling this story now is to say that when Jean Eichelman, Neil Cretney's sister, called up the police in order to safeguard her parents, it was never her intention to get her brother killed.  She was in an impossible situation where if she did nothing, her parents could end up being injured.  However, if she made a phone call to police, there was a considerable risk that her brother could end up manhandled, handcuffed, and carted off to a psychiatric hospital as had happened before.  

I'm sure it never crossed her mind that Neil Cretney would end up dead, but that is always a possibility in any encounter that a person with a disability has with police.  According to statistics, over half of the incidents of deadly violence that take place between police and civilians occurs in cases where people with disabilities, particularly individuals with mental illness, are involved.  As soon as you pick up the phone to call for assistance from police, the fire department, or ambulance services, etc., pretty much the situation is out of your hands and there is nothing you could do about it.  

Should we blame Ms. Eichelman and call her a murderer?  No, she was in an absolutely difficult position where anything she did had the potential for harm.  In the end, she chose the better of the two evils which was to safeguard the wellbeing of her elderly parents.  

Likewise, with Jennifer Verraneault, who made the difficult decision to report Ted Taupier to authorities, she was similarly in a very difficult position trying to decide between the better of two evils, and with no absolutely fool proof way of determining which was better.  

There were aspects of Ted Taupier's statements in the email for which he was arrested that were laughable, i.e. the quotations from Charlton Heston and the comments about the space station on the moon, or whatever that was.  On the other hand, Mr. Taupier's other remarks were very intense and potentially very upsetting to anyone who didn't know him that well.  

Thus, Jennifer Verraneault's concern about Ted Taupier and his wellbeing and the Judge's safety, from her perspective, made absolute sense.  

It also made sense within the heated and intense debate that has been going on in the state legislature, in the streets, and in our court houses regarding the corruption of CT Family Court.  

As Jennifer stated, "Try to put yourself in my situation and understand how scared I was for this family and for others."  

believe Jennifer's expression of concern is absolutely genuine.  The problem is that once Jennifer reported her concern to other people and the situation snowballed, she had no control over the outcome and no control over the outrageous and excessive manner in which the State of CT chose to handle the situation, any more than Jean Eichelman did when that SWAT team went after her brother. 

Jennifer had real fears regarding Ted Taupier and his wellbeing and that of Judge Bozzuto that should be taken seriously.  As she states, "At the time I was alarmed and felt a tremendous amount of sadness for a father trapped in this unjust system.  I immediately replied to his email prior to contacting anyone.  I sent him an email to say I am worried about you.  Do you have your children this weekend?  The goal I had at the time was for Jerry and I to meet him on our way back from Mass. But he didn't reply to me at all.  I felt so sad for him, his children and his family.  For anyone to write what he wrote was extremely alarming to me.  I am not used to having anyone share that type of information with me."  

That is the thing.  Some people, depending on their background and experience, would find what Ted Taupier said alarming, but many would not have found it alarming.  I read that email and read all that stuff about Charlton Heston and I was like, don't be silly.  In my own life, I've spent a good deal of time with people who have mental health challenges or who have dealt with extremely difficult life circumstances, so my radar for violence has a much higher threshold than for most people.  

So there is this continuum in terms of how people assess situations of this kind and when it comes to understanding how Jennifer responded, we should be charitable and keep that in mind. She just saw things differently than other people did who were copied on the email. As Jennifer stated, "I was torn about what to do with the email from day one."  And she states further, "When I saw the video where Ted's kids were taken out of school.  I didn't know all the details.  I was unaware that Ted had taken the video himself and it was only a month later I found that out. I thought OMG a judge ordered the police to take the kids out of school? I didn't know it was the ex-wife who had brought in the police.  I thought how horrible!  I thought, if I was disturbed by this image, how will Ted feel?  His kids are crying and being taken out by police...I thought in the light of the email he sent five days earlier, he might possibly carry out what he put in the email...You see reaching out to let others know what was going on with Ted was not a calculated and evil thing that I did.  I was sincerely worried about everyone."  

I believe Jennifer 100 percent when she says this.  

As with Jean Eichelman, once the report had gone out, there was nothing Jennifer could do to prevent what happened with Ted.  Who could anticipate the kind of vicious, vengeful and excessive response to Ted Taupier on the part of law enforcement and on the part of Judge Gold.  At the most, I would have thought that Ted would have been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and to cooperate with a treatment program to address his anger issues.  But six years of jail, fines, house arrest, major legal expenses, etc., etc.  That would be far beyond my ability to imagine, and I'm sure the same is true for Jennifer.  

When it comes to the Family Court Reform movement here in Connecticut, everyone brings something different to the table.  It is remarkable the broad range of economic, cultural, religious, ethnic, gender, and disability based backgrounds we all have.  It seems as though the Family Court Abuse has been an open opportunity for pretty much everyone--it's a very democratic experience!  In my earlier blog regarding the Ted Taupier Case, I spoke about Jennifer as having mixed motives, and I'm sure people were like, "Yes, we know, she's such a terrible person!" 

This, actually, was not on my mind.  

In our movement, because of her experience on the Task Force last year regarding child custody, Jennifer has the unique perspective of understanding not only how we feel as victims of the corrupt family court system, Jennifer has also heard extensively from people who work within that system in regard to the frustrations they experience from their perspective.  I know everyone wants to say, yeah, from their criminal perspective, but that would not be fair.  There are many good people within the CT Family Court System who are working hard to ensure just and proper outcomes for the litigants who make their way through Family Court.  These are the people we need to learn to connect with and work with in a productive way.  

I am sure that with this recent situation, those who are responsible for the criminal activities within the CT Judicial Branch are feeling overjoyed.  First of all, they are probably really thrilled they finally nailed Ted Taupier who was such a pain with his honest and incisive testimony regarding the abuses he and his family endured in family court.  But most of all, they are probably as delighted as can be that Jennifer Verraneault, who has been such a dynamic part of the Family Court Reform movement, is now crippled and undercut by these attacks on her character and on her motivations for working in the Family Court Reform movement.  

Ha ha, all the corrupt attorneys, GALS, judges, and court personnel are probably saying--we've killed two birds with one stone!  

I have to say that I do not agree with Jennifer in a lot of areas, particularly in regard to her support of theories of Parental Alienation.  I think everyone knows that I'm not everyone's favorite player in the battle for Family Court Reform.  As a general rule, it is true that my focus is considerably more on supporting the welfare of women than men.

But if there is one thing I want to say emphatically, it is that we need to stop fighting among ourselves and stand together shoulder to shoulder to fight for justice within the Family Court system.  Let's focus on what really matters.

Of course, we are not going to agree on everything, but if there is one thing I constantly hear about from pretty much everyone it is that we all believe in fairness, we believe in justice, we believe in due process; we protest lying, cheating, and stealing, and we all believe that we need to get the children out of the line of fire so that they can live happy and fulfilling lives devoid of trauma and heartbreak.  

We cannot allow ourselves to succumb to the temptation that our opponents in the corrupt CT Judicial Branch dangle before us to fight among ourselves, to backstab one another, or to smear each other's reputations.  

I also want to say that I personally saw members of the that task force attack Jennifer and attempt to undercut her success.  There is no doubt that she suffered a lot and gave a lot while she was in that role.  If she stumbles and falls.  If she is not perfect all the time.  If she makes mistakes, in that, I believe, that she is no different than any one of us.  

Under the pressure of the abuse of family court, who cannot say that they haven't said or done things that they regret.  So what I'm urging everyone to consider is that we need to support one another, no matter how flawed we are, and reserve our challenges, our criticisms, and our calls to arms for the real enemies, those within the Family Court System who have exploited and harmed family court victims.  United we stand.  Divided we fall.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Kathy's words are eloquent and strike to the heart of the matter.  Thank you, Kathy, for speaking up as a lone citizen for the rights of this little boy and his mother when big money newspapers like "The Hartford Courant" and "The Waterbury Republican American" won't. Shame on these two newspapers for courting privilege and abandoning the rights of two vulnerable CT citizens, one an innocent child.

Superior court Judge Barry Pinkus denied the request for a restraining order for the mother of baby Moreno. He stated the couple had a chaotic relationship but he was not convinced that there was a continuous threat of physical injury to the child. I would ask Judge Pinkus if the death of this poor innocent infant is proof enough for him? He could have saved this child’s life but he failed to do the right thing and protect this child. I would ask him if he’s happy now. Was the death of this baby enough proof? What right did he have to deny this request? His incompetence cost this baby his life! The father has mental issues and the judge knew this, yet he denied the right to the mother to be free from his threats and as a result the judge caused this baby’s death. Even though he wasn’t on that bridge, he is still responsible because he could have prevented this horrible tragedy from happening. He needs to resign his position as judge. I don’t blame the father, he is a sick man, I blame the judge; he had the power to stop it yet he didn’t, how is he going to live with himself now? This poor baby never had a chance at life, never saw it coming, this sickens me to death, just to even think about this tragedy. I hope the mother sues the judge and the State of Connecticut for damages in her baby’s death. Pinkus had a duty to protect the life of this baby and he failed this mother, this infant and this family all because he didn’t think the father was a threat. Hope he’s satisfied.
Kathy Castello, Meriden

For the link to this comment, see below:

Saturday, July 11, 2015


See below:

Another helpless victim of domestic violence has slipped through the cracks of an imperfect system for protecting the helpless.

The victim was 7-month-old Aaden Moreno, whose body was found in the Connecticut River Tuesday night after a three-day search.

The infant boy may* have been thrown from the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown by his father, Tony, 21, who jumped from the bridge Sunday but survived.

Judge Unfairly Condemned In Baby's Death

On the surface, the baby's death is even more tragic and poignant in light of the fact that Superior Court Judge Barry C. Pinkus decided not to grant a restraining order to the child's mother, Adrianne Oyola, 19, because he was not convinced that Mr. Moreno posed a continuous physical threat to his girlfriend and their child as required by statute.

Ms. Oyola told the court that she feared for her and her child's safety. The judge observed that she and Mr. Moreno had a chaotic relationship and should not live together.

But, he said in refusing to grant the restraining order to Ms. Oyola, "I'm just not convinced that there's a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury."

It should also be noted that later on the day the restraining order was denied, Ms. Oyala and Mr. Moreno followed Judge Pinkus' advice and worked out a custody agreement. They agreed to joint custody of Aaden.

Would little Aaden be alive today if Judge Pinkus had issued the restraining order? Perhaps. But judges can't predict the future with certainty, as Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III observed Wednesday.

It would be too easy to blame Judge Pinkus, an experienced family jurist, for Aaden's death. He followed the law. More than nine times out of 10 such a decision would not have produced such a ghastly result.

State Sen. Dante Bartolomeo of Meriden said the judge's failure to issue a restraining order represents a "horrendous failure of the system."

Well, it was a horrendous result. Does the statute need to be loosened to make it easier for judges to grant such orders?

*IS THERE SOME DOUBT WHO THREW THE CHILD OFF THE BRIDGE? [divorce in connection question]

Copyright © 2015, Hartford Courant


Here is the response of the CCADV on this particular question of whether Judge Pinkus considered the law in the Aaden Moreno case:

“I’m just not convinced that there’s a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury,” Judge Pinkus said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “I think the two of you don’t have a good relationship.”
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Director of Public Policy Liza Andrews says the classic warning signs of domestic violence were present in this case.
“There were very clear indications of both present physical violence as well as threats of physical violence,” she said.
Oyola claimed Moreno “has shoved me, pushed me, forcefully poked my chest and forehead.”
See the link below for the full story and transcript of the hearing:

Saturday, June 6, 2015


According to "The Hartford Courant",

"EAST HARTFORD [May 12, 2015] — Although Connecticut has room for improvement, it's rich in culture, thick with intellectual capital and offers tremendous opportunity for residents and businesses alike, panelists said at a Key Issues Forum at Goodwin College Tuesday night.

"There are some issues. There are some budget woes, income inequality … and things to be changed, but I love living here and it's the place I want to be," said Alissa DeJonge, a panelist and vice president of research at the Connecticut Economic Resource Center..."

For more on this topic, please click on the link below: