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Showing posts with label TESTIMONY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TESTIMONY. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2019

HOW FATHER'S RIGHTS PEOPLE HAVE IT ALL WRONG WHEN IT COMES TO FAMILY COURT REFORM!

In a recent hearing at the CT State Legislature, father's rights activists demanded that legislators and citizens define the problem with family court as one of parental alienation.  They are wrong, and I will tell you why. 

My introduction to the CT family court reform movement was around 2011 when Keith Harmon Snow, author of "The Worst Interests of the Child", contacted me to discuss the ways in which victims of domestic violence were losing custody to their abusers. Next, on or around 2013, father's rights advocates seized control of the family court reform movement and reframed its agenda.  

Instead of demonstrating concern regarding protective mothers, they insisted that the problem of family court could only be traced back to the celebrated [or debunked, depending upon your perspective,] theory of parental alienation (PA), or parental alienation syndrome (PAS).  This recently culminated in the raised House Bill 7393 [now withdrawn] which proposed either jail or fines for those whom the Court determines have committed it. 

The Bill also included two separate "friendly parent" provisions which would have guaranteed that anyone who reported domestic violence or child sexual abuse would promptly lose custody.  After all, it is most unfriendly to assert that you or your child are the victims of abuse.  [Ok, I know, not funny.  I'm just joking.]

To begin, for those who do not know, what is parental alienation, or parental alienation syndrome?  

For a definition, I'm taking the easy route, and I will simply quote wikipedia. Parental alienation syndrome is, "a term introduced by child psychiatrist Richard Gardner in 1985 to describe a distinctive suite of behaviors in children that includes showing extreme but unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent. Observed repeatedly in families involved in child custody litigation, these behaviors result from manipulation or undue influence, typically by the other parent who may be attempting to prevent an ongoing relationship between a child and other family members after family separation or divorce." 

The clincher in this discussion is the statement that comes next, "The syndrome has not been accepted by either the medical or legal communities and Gardner's theory has been criticized by legal and mental health scholars for lacking scientific validity and reliability."  

Yet despite the fact that this syndrome has no scientific validity, father's rights people insist upon embedding it in our laws here in CT and making it a central factor in all custody determinations.  

Again, in doing this, I believe that fathers' rights people have it all wrong.  

Why?  

If you have a problem, then you need to look for solutions.  However, these solutions will not work as long as the problems haven't been defined properly.  When it comes to the broken family court system here in CT, I have been increasingly disgusted with the incapacity of many advocates -- father's rights advocates in particular, the Task Force to Study Legal Disputes Involving the Care and Custody of Minor Children (2013 - 2014), members of the legislature and the CT Judicial Branch -- to define the problem in an intelligent manner.  

How can you begin to think of developing policies or crafting bills when you have no idea what is going on?  For me personally, as an advocate, I don't get that approach. 

For instance, blaming the victims. For too long now, starting with the "Report of the Governor's Commission on Divorce, Custody and Children" of December 2002, experts on family court, i.e. attorneys, judges, mental health professionals -- have placed the blame for the problems of family court on the litigants themselves. In the words of the Governor's report, which were again quoted in the report of the Task Force on the Care and Custody of Minor Children (2014), the problem arises from "a small minority of parents [which] engages in persistent conflict because of anger, characterological or mental health problems, or the force of personality."  

The theory that character flaw or mental illness repeats itself in fathers' rights advocates insistence that the problem can be understood almost solely within the context of parental alienation syndrome.  Also, that the solution should be strict punishments for PAS, i.e. jail and hefty financial fines, as well as forced shared parenting.  But is this true?

For a closer look at this phenomenon, take a look at the hearing which took place earlier this month on February 5, 2019. I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday reviewing the entire video which is a little over 9 hours long.  For at least the first three hours of this testimony, viewers were subjected to lengthy lectures on parental alienation theory.  First came Dr. William Bernat, a parental alienation expert, who broke down the theory to its 17 recognized behaviors and 8 symptoms.  After he had completed his testimony, we were forced to listen to Dr. Steve Miller, a frequent flyer at the CT Legislature, who talked about parental alienation syndrome as an epidemic plaguing our nation.  Once he was done, then we were bombarded with more lectures on parental alienation from Linda Gottlieb, who I've been informed is not a psychologist. She talked more about planting false memories and false allegations in the light of parental alienation. 

Then after that, we were required to hear the testimony of Ms. Joan Kloth-Zenard who runs the organization "PAS Intervention"--she apparently is qualified by an MFT, whatever that is, as opposed to an LMFT which is what we would ordinarily be looking for.  What is interesting about Joan's testimony is that, for an example, she described a case where the mother was stabbed in the abdomen and labia by the father, and yet the father still got custody.  To me, this looked to be a case of domestic violence.  However, this is the very interesting twist on the parental alienation movement in that father's rights people have couched this theory in the language of the domestic violence movement and so many people, including women, have come to believe that parental alienation theory is just another word for domestic violence.  That, in itself, is an entirely, different, but interesting story that I will hopefully touch upon in another blog.  

Let me get back to my point. This is the dilemma that arises when folks define the problem of family court as a mental health problem among litigants, whether you want to define it as parental alienation or some other ailment.  It simply isn't true.  

If you look at the Governor's Report of December 2002, there is one paragraph in that report on that nasty, chronic, minority of litigators who they said cause all the trouble.  After that, you get the 65 page detailed report regarding all the systems malfunctions within the family court system itself which actually cause the problems in family court.  

Likewise, once you plow through the insistent litany in regard to PA or PAS in the first 3 hours of the video of the February 5, 2019 day of testimony, which father's rights people provided as the ideological context for the later citizen testimony, you will find 6 additional hours of testimony from at least 30 victims of family court detailing the many systems breakdowns within the CT Family Court system itself.  In other words, the problem is not PA or PAS.  The problem is a broken family court system.  

One person spoke about the fact that there are no consequences for disobeying orders, a failure to obey the ADA, and judges would not listen to her testimony or look at her evidence. She lost everything, her job, her home, her income.  Here is another person who spoke of the collusion between court actors, the failure to obey the constitution, in chambers hearings where parents are not included, impacts including alcohol and drug addiction, homelessness, bankruptcy, trauma, and PTSD.  Another person spoke of the denial of due process, attorneys hiding exculpatory evidence, having to be in court so often it was like a full time job, his case discussed behind closed doors without the parties present, financial costs of up to $300,000 - $500,000 and even more.  

Again, corruption, collusion, racketeering, slander, perjury, lack of ethics, no checks and balances, absolute immunity for negligent and incompetent GALs and other vendors, failure to adhere to the rules of court or case law, financial and emotional blackmail, hired guns, perverted custody evaluations and psychological evaluations, no oversight, no accountability, false allegations, inexperienced and unqualified court personnel, unnecessary continuances, documents that disappear from the court files, transcripts that are tampered with, and on and on.  This is exactly the same testimony we heard during the daylong testimony on February 9, 2014 and the breakdown of family court here in CT.

Forced shared parenting, punishments for so-called alienation, and for not being "friendly", will not correct engrained and deliberately engineered systems failures which are kept in place for profit.  In fact, given the introduction of harsh punishments, settling disputes over whether one parent did or did not alienate the other, will invite additional corrupt vendors into the courtroom, and exacerbate already existing problems within the system.

These systems problems were originally detailed in the Governor's Commission report of 2002 and, for the better part, they have gotten worse, and not better.  

Parental Alienation theories are about the gender wars taking place in America.  Forced shared parenting is about the Men's Rights movement and the backlash against the Women's Rights movement of the 1970s. It is about ideology, and it is about indoctrination. If you talk to the people who promote PAS theory, you quickly get the idea that these are people who act as though they are in a cult reciting their treasured mantras.  

Ideology is like religion.  If you try to enshrine it in your statutes and laws, it will lead to endless confusion. Thinking we can solve the problem of family court by sprinkling holy water on it in the form of the ideology of parental alienation, I think is a recipe for disaster.  

Instead, if we are serious about resolving the problems of family court, we have to do the hard work of looking again at the system itself.  In other words, we have to investigate the machinery of the CT Family Court system which is operating on a daily basis. We have to examine what works, and what does not. It is a difficult and painstaking job, one which often does not have any easy answers, but it is at least a fairly concrete task from which we can garner measurable results. 

In 2002, every member of the Governor's Commission is notable for being at the center of the corruption and malfeasance in family court which we are looking at today.  The membership list is literally a who's who of legal and mental health professionals who later became famous for exploiting and taking advantage of family court victims.  It is paramount that we make sure nothing like that happens again.  When these kinds of criminal court actors take advantage of Moms and Dads, those parents are not mentally ill, they are victims of corrupt family court practices. 

This doesn't mean that the Commission didn't do a good job of laying the groundwork for future reform in its examination of the family court system. It's just that they immediately ignored the outcome of the report and used the network they estalished doing the work to exploit and harm family court victims.  I  simply believe we need to retrieve that work and use it to continue to make progress here and now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

ELIZABETH A. RICHTER TESTIMONY TO THE CT JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON BILL #505!

Dear Sir/Madame:

While I support the intent of Bill #505 in terms of cutting back on inappropriate judicial activism--i.e. taking on the role of the legislature in creating law--I have serious concerns about Section 3 (a) of the bill as follows:

(a) The Superior Court shall be the sole court of original jurisdiction for all causes of action, except such actions over which the courts of probate have original jurisdiction, as provided by statute. The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in cases at law and equity and in all criminal matters originating before it to determine credibility and find facts based upon the evidence submitted.

Unfortunately, on the superior court level, because there is a widespread failure to obey the Rules of Evidence or The Practice Book, incorrect facts end up in the record all the time, particularly when it comes to litigants with disabilities or with self represented parties.  Unless protocols were put into place on the superior court level to safeguard litigants' right to correct any errors of fact that enter into the record, the inability to appeal decisions made based upon factual error would lead to injustice in a great many cases, particularly in regard to the most vulnerable. Therefore, I would either rewrite this section to address the concerns I've raised or simply vote down this bill.

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter and your careful consideration of the concerns that I've raised. 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth A. Richter

Monday, January 4, 2016

ELIZABETH A. RICHTER PUBLIC TESTIMONY TO THE TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE STATEWIDE RESPONSE TO MINORS EXPOSED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

To the Honorable Members of This Committee:

To start, I would like to share that as a child I was present during many incidents of domestic violence in my home, which explains my current intense interest in the subject matter of this task force.  One of the most vivid memories I have at age 12 is of being in the emergency room when a doctor approached me and asked me to explain what had happened to my mother because he didn't believe that the injuries she had sustained came from falling against a door knob. Since I'd had my parents drill me on how I'd be punished if I ever spoke of what went on in my home, I refused to answer at the time, which left me feeling very guilty and traumatized.  So I personally know what it is like to be in the shoes of these children about whom we are speaking and I believe that the interests of children are central to any discussion in regard to domestic violence.
  
I want to thank each and every one of you individually for your service on this task force and also thank the various presenters who took the time to share their insights with the task force.  The current focus of this task force is very timely and welcome to members of the community who have long endured the damage that results from domestic violence, particularly those who are struggling with custody issues in family court.  As one expert stated, "Domestic Violence puts millions of women and children at risk each year and it is one of the single greatest social ills impacting the nation."  The impact on children can be profound.  As the task force report states, in 11% of DV incidents in 2012 children were present and involved in the these incidents, while in 20% of the incidents children were not involved or present.   However, I assume we can expect that on one level or another, children experience the shock waves of these DV incidents even when they are not present.  It is worth noting that other studies report that an even greater cohort of children are exposed to DV than the task force has indicated. Further, as the task force report indicated the impact on children as the result of this exposure to DV is extremely damaging, i.e., "children exposed to domestic violence may show increased aggression, persistent sleep problems, increased anxiety, difficulty with peer relationships and diminished capacity to concentrate in school" as well as a core loss of a sense of security in the world around them.

My interest regarding this Task Force is in connection to the inadequate response of the CT Judicial Branch to regard to the issue of domestic violence.  These areas are as follows:

Description of Victims of DV Acts as a Barrier:  On a personal level, my primary exposure to the issue of DV occurred during my time in family court when I filed for divorce, an experience which lasted from 2006 up until 2012.  During the time that I was in family court, attorneys, judges and court personnel refused to acknowledge my experience of DV.  In particular, when I reported the abuse to the GAL in my case, she responded, "All women claim abuse."  This was a former head of the Family Relations Division in New Britain.  Since that time, I have seen many cases where legal professionals and judges have responded to DV cases with indifference and disregard.  It is my view that some of this puzzling response is related to how these legal professionals define a victim of DV.  The definition they have received from DV professionals is that a DV victim is the passive recipient of batterer violence who would not fight back.  They also presume that a victim would deny the abuse and would be reluctant to speak of it, and that such a victim would necessarily wish to return to her abuser, not divorce him or her.  While some victims of domestic violence meet this definition, not all of them do.  Unfortunately, if you do not meet this widely disseminated description of a DV victim, if you actually assertively engage in defending yourself from DV and seek to divorce your abuser, legal professionals are unlikely to believe your reports of abuse.  This means that if you speak up and state that you are a victim of DV in family court, you are unlikely to be believed simply by virtue of your ability to speak of it. 

I believe this characterization of the DV victim as passive victims has undercut the ability of the legal profession and the CT Judicial Branch to identify DV victims properly.  The problem arises from the fact that while time has marched on and our understanding of who the victims of DV are has become more complex and enriched, task forces such as this one continue to depend on DV literature that is at least ten or more years old, particularly when it comes to how they characteristize DV victims. Since DV became such a significant issue in the 70s and 80s, a new generation has grown up which, through extensive education and the widespread availability of PSAs and movies regarding DV, has become considerably educated on what DV is.  This means that the victims of domestic violence are not as afraid of the stigma of DV as a previous generation has been.  This is a culture where in literature and within the film industries taboo subjects that few people used to speak of out loud are now the subject of living room conversation--pretty much there are no holds barred.  This means that while the more traditional intimidated and silenced DV victim continues to exist, there are many more victims who are willing to speak up and who feel it is their duty to speak up.  Many victims fight back in the face of batterer violence, but doing so does not make them any less victims.  These individuals' experiences should not be denied and ignored as they have been in connection to family court matters, and victims should not be revictimized and retraumatized by ignorant denials, simply because they break the mold of a past, more traditional, conservative generation.  Why is this important to children?  This is important to children because when they observe their parents being subjected to ongoing, unhindered abuse through the actions of a batterer, and an indifferent family court system, such children endure the trauma which has been reported in this task force as being so harmful to their young minds and bodies.

Psychological, as well as Physical Abuse:  Not only is there a problem with defining who is a victim, there is an additional problem when it comes to defining what DV is.  Currently, our CT statutes solely define DV in terms of physical injury or a threat of physical injury between members of a household or family.  Yet, the June 2015 report on DV presented by the CT Academy of Science and Engineering specifically states that the issue of DV goes beyond physical violence.  On page 4, that report states, "Although the literature primarily focuses on physical and/or sexual abuse, research suggests that psychological abuse appears to have as great a negative impact, if not more, on mental health and physical health."  The report continues on to state that "an additional 14-17% of women have experienced psychological abuse alone."  While work on DV in this task force thus far has solely focused on physical violence, the evidence is clear that psychological abuse is equally, if not more, damaging.  These results concur with the discussion found in Dr. Evan Stark's book "Coercive Control" published on March 1, 2009.  Furthermore, the Academy's report points out that "psychological abuse often precedes physical abuse" which indicates that taking decisive steps to intervene in the presence of psychological abuse could prevent harm that could occur from later physical violence.  Ignoring psychological abuse, which is the current approach taken now, particularly in family court in connection to custody issues, is simply irresponsible and inhumane.  We need to have specific legislation attached to CT DV statutes that directly addresses psychological abuse as well as physical abuse in order to protect both DV victims and their children.  

Even without statutory changes, in family court, Judges and attorneys can go a long way towards eliminating much of this psychological abuse simply by insisting that perpetrators obey court orders. Unfortunately, Judges repeatedly see abusers violating court orders and yet fail to hold them in contempt, despite knowing very well what is going on. Examples of such wrongdoing would be refusing to pay child support as court ordered, refusing to pay for heat and hot water--particularly in the middle of winter--as court ordered, refusing to pay for electricity as court ordered, refusing to pay for telephone services as court ordered, refusing to pay rent or mortgage as court ordered, or refusing to obey access plans regarding the children as court ordered.  Perpetrators have indulged in this kind of nonsense for years with judges allowing them to avoid the consequences.  It is time to put a stop to such behavior because it ultimately leaves children insecure and at risk in their own homes where they live on a daily basis and puts the parent who is being victimized under stress such that attention that by rights belongs to taking care of the children ends up being diverted to issues of survival.

An Unacceptably High Dual Arrest Rate:  Closely allied to the issue of identifying the victims of DV is the problem of CT's unusually high dual arrest rate. Again, the CT Judicial Branch comes across as the wrongdoer in this situation since it has blocked attempts to resolve this matter.  I personally consider the Judicial Branch's actions in this matter extremely outrageous and typical of a Judicial System which has shown great insensitivity to the issue of DV on an ongoing basis.  The facts are as follows.  According to a 2011 study, CT "has the unwelcome distinction of having the highest domestic violence dual arrest rate in the nation."  The article reports CT's dual arrest rate as ranging "between 20% to 40% from 1988 to the present."  As a point of comparison, the article indicated that the nearby state of  Rhode Island has a rate between 2-5% and the national rate is around 3.8%.  Apparently, the reason why CT has such a high dual arrest rate, according to this report, is because CT is pretty much the last State in the nation that has a "mandatory arrest law without a companion primary aggressor provision."  However, in 2004 when the Judiciary Committee attempted to insert a primary aggressor provision in the CT Statutes on DV, according to journalist Chase Wright of  "The Hour" the CT Judicial Branch intervened and had the provision removed.  Just to inform you of how this problem has continued to fester as the result of the Judicial Branch's irresponsible actions, according to the Family Violence Arrests Annual Report of 2013, published by Commissioner Dora B. Schriro of the CT Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the dual arrest rate in CT for the year 2013 was 39% indicating that the rate has shown no signs of slowing down.  In the last few years, large numbers of family court victims, many including DV victims, have stepped forward to state that the CT Judicial Branch has treated them harshly and unfairly. This extremely high dual arrest rate, and the CT Judicial Branch's gratuitous intervention in 2004 which has kept it high, indicate that the Branch has an unacceptable attitude of indifference towards family violence and the children who suffer from the consequences of this violence. This must change.   

Final Issues:  I have also spoken many times in other contexts in regard to the multiple cases in the State of CT where victims of DV who reported abuse were subsequently accused of PAS for speaking of the abuse and denied all access to their children.  I would again like to draw your attention to this issue. Furthermore, many family court victims have spoken about the fact that the CT Judicial Branch does not comply with Federal ADA law.  It is essential that victims of DV and their affected children who have thereby become disabled, or who have been disabled ongoing, have the necessary modifications they need in order to access the legal proceedings in their cases.  Thus far, the CT Judicial Branch has failed to do this.  Not only is the CT Judicial Branch's refusal to comply with ADA law a violation of federal ADA law and a violation of the constitutional and human rights of our most vulnerable, it is also foolish, short sighted, and bottom line negligent.  I would urge this task force to address this issue as well.  

I do apologize here that, to a certain extent, I am focusing more the CT Judicial Branch's weaknesses rather than its strengths.  The Judicial Branch's call for more information sharing within its own departments and with other agencies are well taken.  It is my belief that there is a pressing need for additional advocates in family court to assist victims in filling out forms to obtain restraining orders and in articulating their experiences of DV to the judge.  I also agree with the CT Judicial Branch that it would be helpful to have the Family Relations Division screen applicants for restraining orders for DV in advance of court proceedings.  I appreciate the CT Judicial Branch for taking the positive step of self scrutiny in this area.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth A. Richter



Elizabeth A. Richter, M.L.A.
Certified ADA Advocate
P.O. Box 5
Canton, CT 06019

earichter@aol.com
860-751-4668

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

LINK TO SUBMITTED TESTIMONY RE HOUSE BILL #5505 UNDER CONSIDERATION BEFORE THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2015!

For those of you who are interested, below is the link to testimony that has already been submitted regarding House Bill #5505:

http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CommDocTmyBill.asp?comm_code=jud&bill=HB-05505&doc_year=2015

I would consider the individuals and organizations whose names are on this list some of the worst liars, scammers, and defrauders in the Family Court System.  For anyone who was considering the names of professionals to work with you in your current divorce, as a quick rule of thumb be sure you do not choose anyone whose name is on the above list.  Making a good decision to avoid anyone on that list will save you considerable money and heartache and your children permanent mental health damage.  As one exception, I will say Dr. Susan Berry is a decent individual, so personally, I would continue to recommend her if you need a competent professional.  I am always prepared to give credit where credit is due. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

MICHAEL NOWACKI TESTIFIES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT REGARDING RULES AND FORMS, APRIL 14, 2014!


Annual Public Hearing
 Testimony
 Michael Nowacki
   April 14, 2014

             Connecticut General Statute 51-14 (b) (Exhibit 1) states specific protocols be followed by the judiciary when recommending proposed modifications to the Connecticut Practice Book Rules:

 “The Chief Justice shall report any such rules to the General Assembly for study at the beginning of each regular session.  Such rules shall be referred by the speaker of the House or the president of the Senate to the judiciary committee for its consideration and such committee shall schedule hearings thereon.”

            Evidence provided in the appendix to my remarks today provide factual proof, that Supreme Court Chief Justices, since 1969 (Exhibit 2), have failed to provide to the legislature the proposed “Practice Book Rules” at the beginning of the legislative sessions as the law requires.

Furthermore, factual proof exists, that the Connecticut legislature’s judiciary committee has failed in its duties to conduct hearings on the Practice Book Rules since 1968 (Exhibit 3), thus denying the “electorate” the opportunity to “provide input” into the process (as required by law) to ensure that the following constraints were enforced in the “study” of Practice Book Rules, as defined in C.G.S. 51-14 (a) (Exhibit 1):

“Such rules shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right or the jurisdiction of any of the courts.”

            The Connecticut Practice Book has been used unlawfully since 1969 by the judiciary’s Rules Committee to engage in self-empowerment unintended by the legislative restraints articulated in 1957 in C.G.S. 51-14 (b).

At this public hearing, we will focus on current Practice Book Rules which are unlawful abridgments of fundamental constitutional rights, rules which are discriminatory in their construction to self-represented parties and those who claim disabilities under provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Factual proof is also provided in the appendix to these remarks that on June 29, 2007, Justice Peter Zarella, as captured on page 32-33 of the annual judges meeting minutes (Exhibit 4), proposed a “six pronged resolution” which sanctioned “non-public meetings” with ranking members of the legislative judiciary committee to discuss the proposed Practice Book Rules in a direct abridgment of the protocols set forth in C.G.S. 51-14 (b). 

The following year, Practice Book Rule 9a (Exhibit 5) was created, in a brazen circumvention of the public’s rights to “hearings” to be conducted in the legislature, as required by C.G.S. 51-14 (b) (Exhibit 6).

Upon appointment as a judicial officer, each judge in the State of Connecticut, pursuant Article VI of the United States Constitution, and defined in C.G.S. Chapter 4 Oaths,  §1-25 takes the following oath or affirmation:

“You do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the state of Connecticut, so long as you continue a citizen thereof, and that you will faithfully discharge, according to the law, the duties of the office of…to the best of your abilities, so help you God.”

            Note that unlike other oaths of office in the State of Connecticut, a judicial officer who takes this oath (Exhibit 7) is not required to do so under the penalty of perjury.

The Connecticut Constitution states in Article XX (Exhibit 8):

“Section 1 of article fifth of the constitution is amended to read as follows:  The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a supreme court, an appellate court, a superior court, and such lower courts as the general assembly shall, from time to time, ordain and establish.  The powers and jurisdiction of these courts are defined by law.”

            Inasmuch as the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, including the present Chief Justice Chase Rogers, Justices Peter Zarella, and Dennis Eveleigh and Senator Andrew McDonald as chair of the judiciary committee prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court have failed to uphold the tenets of C.G.S. 51-14 (b), I am seeking the repeal of Practice Book Rule 9 (a) because it is directly contradictory to the clear and unambiguous protocols for introducing modifications to the Connecticut Practice Book Rules set forth in C.G.S. 51-14 (b). 
            Based upon factual presentation today of the “wanton, reckless and malicious” misuse of the Connecticut Practice Book to “self-empower” the judiciary in violation of C.G.S. §4-165, we seek the resignations of four members of the Supreme Court and the co-chairs of the judiciary committee, Representative Gerald Fox Jr. and Senator Eric Coleman for their roles in a “seditious” abridgment of the powers of separation of government defined in the U.S. Constitution and  in the failure to conduct “hearings” on proposed Practice Book Rules in the legislature again in 2014.                                                  

JANE DOE TESTIFIES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT REGARDING RULES AND FORMS, APRIL 14, 2014!


Written Testimony
From Jane Doe

April 14, 2014

 

            I am choosing to speak today anonymously as my litigation issues are still active in the State of Connecticut.

            There isn’t a person who chooses self-representation as a first option and the continuing involvement of GALs and AMCs in post judgment matters continue to be a financial drain on the families in the State of Connecticut who have no ability to be able to remove a GAL once a dissolution of a marriage is entered as an order of the court.

            This practice of open ended assignments for court appointees as GALs and AMCs must be eliminated because it does not serve the best interests of our children.

            The party with more financial resources post judgment should not be able to force payments to court appointees and then have a Court apportion fee payments once a dissolution decree is finalized. 

            It is quite often apparent that when “extended family” financial resources are available to “torture” an ex-spouse in litigation, the courts do not account for such “financial support” from third parties from being considered in a post judgment financial affidavit in JD FM 6-Long Form which is to be used effective January 1, 2014 for all parties who have income or assets in excess of $75,000.

            As already suggested today, it is long overdue that attorneys co-sign financial affidavits in Connecticut under the same threat of sanctions and incarcerations, which is required of all self-represented litigants (who are reportedly encompassing 85% of all family court dockets) when signing financial affidavit JD FM 6 Long or Short Form.  It is time for the gavel of justice to be applied to attorneys and to remind all so registered with a juris number of their obligations defined in the Attorney’s Oath as subject to the criminal penalties of perjury.

            Furthermore, the filing of JD FM 6 must be more closely connected to compliance with the mandatory discovery and compliance with Connecticut Practice Book §25-32.  Providing validation for the claims made in a financial affidavit can be easily accomplished by adding a section to JD FM 6 which indicates:

“ Within thirty days of the filing of this financial affidavit mandatory discovery and compliance with provisions of Connecticut Practice Book §25-32 upon dating and signing of JD FM 6.”

            In post judgment cases, if a party is receiving subsidies from a third party to pay for legal fees, whether paid to legal counsel or an AMC or GAL, the amounts of such third party contributions must be added to the JD FM 6.

This form must also be amended to indicate whether the business interests of a litigant involve the full and complete disclosure of “cash” payments to a business partnership.

            In addition, JD FM 6 must be amended to add questions in regards to assets or income which may be located in foreign banks or in any foreign country or U.S. territory with specific directions as to whether “foreign dividend income” is declared on Form 1116 of the federal tax returns or income declared in Federal IRS FBAR TD F 09-22.1.

This requirement for disclosure of foreign assets is also a required disclosure in the PATRIOT Act.

In any post judgment action, the subject of inheritance assets received must be disclosed but not necessarily considered as income if such assets were acquired after the dissolution of a marriage.

            In 2009, the United States reached a treaty agreement with the government of Switzerland, concerning the disclosure of assets being held in foreign countries.  In Wall Street Journal articles it was detailed that the top reasons for use of Swiss banks was to hide assets from disclosure during divorce action and from U.S. based inheritance taxes.

            Certainly, the courts of Connecticut should have a zero tolerance stance on tax avoidance schemes such as these in family court matters.  There are long overdue reforms needed in our family courts.  We look forward to the implementation of these modifications to JD FM 6 Long and Short forms that are proposed today in the true best interests of our children.

            A GAL in a case in Fairfield County has billed over $200,000.00 at $575 an hour.  She has never once seen the child with the father.  In playing the system and fanning the flames of this divorce, this attorney is the equivalent of a car mechanic causing a problem in your car which can then be fixed to make more money.  For the next ten years at her whim she can make a phone call and proceed to charge the parties $575 an hour.  There are no checks and balances and nothing to stop her from billing thousands upon thousands of dollars in the years ahead for absolutely no reason.  This also is a case whereby the open ended assignment of a GAL warrants elimination when there is even a renowned psychologist serving as parenting coordinator in this very same case.

            These walls surrounding us were built to embrace and ensure that justice is carried out by those within serving in such capacities.  That is not what is happening in family court room’s across this state.

            We urge that an end be put to the rape and pillage of our financial resources by ceasing the practice of open ended appointments of GALs and AMCs.  Thank you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MARISA RINGEL'S TESTIMONY REGARDING RULES AND FORMS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT, APRIL 14, 2014!


Supreme Court in Hartford
Public Hearing on Rules and Forms

Written Testimony of Marisa Ringel


April 14, 2014

 

Justices of the Supreme Court and/or Committee of Justices members:

            I am hear today to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

            The 14th Amendment clearly states:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

            In Stanley V. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651; 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1992), the U.S. Supreme Court stressed:

“The parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection. ..A parent’s interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children rises to a constitutionally secured right, given the centrality of family life as the focus for personal meaning and responsibility.”

            It is my suggestion that the Connecticut Practice Book incorporate these two quotes to open Section 25.

            Every parent, absent abuse or neglect, in the Constitution State should have a fundamental equal right to parent their children without the interference of government.

            While there is legislative authority granted to provide for various awards of custody in the State of Connecticut, there does not appear to be any specific legislative authority for a judge in the State of Connecticut to force a parent into “supervised visitation” absent abuse or neglect.

            Yet, in the family courts of the State of Connecticut, “supervised visitation” is often ordered without any justification that a “child’s welfare” is in danger.

            Therefore, I am proposing a new Practice Book Rule 25-70:

“No judicial authority shall have the right to issue an order of supervised visitation without conducting an evidentiary hearing to establish whether there are grounds for an order to show cause that “clear and present danger to the physical/psychological well-being of a child” exists that requires an limited time order of supervised visitation.

No order of supervised visitation shall remain in place for more than three months, without conducting another evidentiary hearing at which any party can call witnesses, including those supervising the visitation, to report to the court on their observations of the parent-child interactions.”

            There are reports in Fairfield County of supervised visitation which have been in place for more than two years, in which fees in excess of $20,000 have been paid by a parent to conduct a once a week four hour visitation.

            Supervised visitation cannot be seen as a “first option” response from a judicial authority to make parenting time “unaffordable” or a “punitive measure”.

            The 1886 Supreme Court decision in Yick Wo v. Hopkins 118 U.S. 356 stated:

“Law and court proceedings that are ‘fair on their faces’ but administered ‘with an evil eye or heavy hand’ was discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

            Family courts must provide divorced parent the same rights and obligations of their children as if still married.  Otherwise, the court is administrating a criteria in a manner which discriminates against a class of citizens based on “un-married status”.

            Such discrimination by the family court judges against any class of citizens who are no longer married would constitute a violation of Title 42, Section 1983.

            Each of us who is speaking today, is a victim of orders of “supervised visitation” at the current time or in some past order issued in the family court system in Connecticut. 

            Each of us has been and has always aspired to be a “fit parent” and have been “humiliated” and “degraded” by a family court judge who has abused their powers in administering family court justice through ordering “supervised visitation” without an order to show cause.

            This authority to order supervised visitation has no statutory authority and is therefore an abuse of discretion and must be curtailed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SALLY'S TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT ON APRIL 14, 2014 REGARDING FORECLOSURES!


YOUR HONORS, I AM HERE TODAY TO SUGGEST A CHANGE TO THE PRACTICE BOOK THAT WOULD FAIRLY EXPEDITE FORECLOSURES IN CONNECTICUT.  AS CHIEF JUSTICE ROGERS, HERSELF, HAS NOTICED MOST FORECLOSURE DEFENDANTS ARE SELF-REPRESENTED AND MOST HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRACTICE BOOK, NOR OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE.
HOWEVER, MAY I SUBMIT TO THIS HONORABLE COMPANY THAT THE “CLOGGING” OF THE FORECLOSURE DOCKET IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE UNREPRESENTED FORECLOSURE DEFENDANTS, BUT, INSTEAD, THE FAULT OF THE FORECLOSURE MILLS?  CURRENTLY, HUNT LIEBERT & JACOBSON AND BENDETT & McHUGH HAVE ON THE DOCKET A GRAND TOTAL OF 68,054 PENDING AND DISPOSED CASES ON THE CIVIL DOCKET, OF WHICH (AS OF 13 APRIL 2014) A GRAND TOTAL OF 24,122 ARE PENDING CASES; THE MAJORITY OF WHICH ARE FORECLOSURES.  (ALSO, I WOULD SUBMIT THAT THE MAJORITY ARE NOT PROSECUTED BEYOND A CERTAIN POINT, LEAVING THE CASES OPEN FOR YEARS AND THE FORECLOSURE MILLS RAKING IN THE FEES).   DISPOSED IS A LOVELY WORD, IT IS WHAT YOU DO WITH TOILET PAPER, AND THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE FORECLOSURE DOCKET – HOMEOWNERS ARE BEING FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET IN THE NAME OF EXPEDIENCE AND PROFIT FOR THE FORECLOSURE MILLS AND NOT JUSTICE.
ROBO-SIGNING IS PERPORTED TO BE NOTHING BUT SHODDY PAPER WORK BY THE BANKS.  HOWEVER, IN LIGHT OF THE RECENTLY PUBLISHED WELLS FARGO “NEED A NOTE, NEED A MORTGAGE, NEED AN ASSIGNMENT, NEED AN ALLONGE, ANY THING YOU NEED” 150 PAGE MANUAL, IT IS LUDICROUS THAT JUDGES ON THE FORECLOSURE DOCKET ARE ACTING AS FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXPERTS, WITH NO EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE, AND ARE ACCEPTING NOTES AND MORTGAGES WHISKED UNDER THEIR NOSES AS ORIGINALS AND CONSISTENTLY FINDING FOR THE PLAINTIFF.
IF YOU WISH TO SEE A CHANGE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE FORECLOSURE DOCKET IN THIS STATE, MAY I SUGGEST THAT YOU PROPOSE THE FOLLOWING RULE IN THE PRACTICE BOOK: 
ANY BANK WISHING TO FORECLOSE IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT HAS TO FILE THE ORIGINAL NOTE, ORIGINAL MORTGAGE, ANY AND ALL ORIGINAL ASSIGNMENTS AND ALLONGES, AND ANY OTHER PIECE OF ORIGINAL PAPERWORK, WITH THE LIS PENDENS AND COMPLAINT TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN AFFIDAVIT FROM THE PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS VERIFYING THE VALIDITY OF THE DOCUMENTS.  ADDITIONALLY, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO ENSURE THE VERITY OF FORECLOSURES IN CORRUPTICUT, MAY I SUGGEST THE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT THAT EACH ALLEGED ORIGINAL DOCUMENT IS SUBMITTED FOR A FORENSIC EXAM BY AN INDEPENDENT, FBI-APPROVED, FORENSIC LABORATORY AT THE PLAINTIFF’S COST; WHICH COST TO BE RE-COUPED AT JUDGEMENT IF THE DOCUMENTS ARE FORENSICALLY CERTIFIED ORIGINALS.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, AND FOR THE SAKE OF JUSTICE, I HOPE YOU WILL GIVE THOROUGH THOUGHT TO MY PROPOSED RULE(S).

VIDEO OF SUPREME COURT HEARING ON RULES AND FORMS!