Friday, September 30, 2005

Lawyer goes on vacation

I just got this from my ex-wife's lawyer:
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on October 6 and continuing through and including October 10, 2005, JENNIFER J. GRAY will be on vacation and unavailable for all purposes including, but not limited to, receiving notice of any kind, appearing in court, responding to ex parte applications, or attending depositions.

Purposefully scheduling a conflicting proceeding without good cause is sanctionable conduct pursuant to Tenderloin Housing Clinic v. Sparks (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 299.

Dated: September 26, 2005 BOSSO WILLIAMS, APC
By: Jennifer J. Gray
I was one of 22 recipients. If Miss Gray is making $40,000 a year on each of 22 cases, then she is making a lot of money.

Update: A reader suggests that if the judge says that I can file a brief with the court on the 6th, and if the lawyer is refusing to accept any papers on the 6th, then there is one logical solution. I can file the brief with the court on the 6th, and not give a copy to my ex-wife's lawyer until she returns from her vacation and I see her in court on the 11th. Yes, I guess that is the most logical way to comply with her silly demands. If she insists on not getting advance notice of what I submit to the judge, then I can accommodate her.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dr. Laura supports fathers

A reader saw my item below on Dr. Laura, and points out that Dr. Laura does take a very good stand on fathers and fathers' rights:
In the face of enormous opposition, California Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) has decided to withdraw a bill which would have granted custodial parents an almost unlimited right to move children far way from their noncustodial parents. ...

Popular outrage--including over 2,000 calls, letters and faxes to Sacramento as well as wide media coverage--was generated by radio talk show hosts Glenn Sacks and Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Sacks, who launched the campaign against SB 730 on his July 11 broadcast, said:
Everybody told us that, given the political landscape in Sacramento today, we couldn't win. I guess everybody was wrong. The proponents of this anti-child legislation portray those who value the bonds between children and their noncustodial parents as fringe elements with little support. But could their groups generate over 2,000 calls and letters? I doubt it. They're not the mainstream, we're the mainstream.
Here is Dr. Laura's 1996 rant about the California court decision that let mother move the children away from fathers for the most frivolous reasons. The page is maintained by a Laura-hating feminist, but Dr. Laura is correct in what she says about that decision. It was a terrible decision, and we are fortunate that it is not good law anymore. There are kids today who only get to see their fathers because of the good work of Glenn Sacks and Dr. Laura.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Judge waits for the report

I just got out of court. The court was supposed to have received the Dr. Inkblot report, but the judge said that he had not yet seen it. My ex-wife's lawyer asked for 10 extra days in her papers, but asked for 2 extra weeks orally. She had received the report, but said that she didn't know whether they wanted to file a written brief commenting on it.

So the judge ordered us to come back on Oct. 11, with briefs to be filed by the 6th. The judge had apparently already read my comments on the report. I said that I'd like an opportunity to respond to any brief that she files on the 6th. The judge said that he'd rather just have one document from each of us, but that I could supplement my remarks if necessary.

Then my ex-wife's lawyer tried to get the judge to promise that no custody change would take place on the 11th. She acted as if there was no need for her to say anything, except for my outrageous demand for 50-50 custody. The judge said that no, he probably would order a change to 50-50 custody if the report recommends it. Then she quickly tried to argue that the report does not recommend 50-50 custody and that it says we cannot co-parent. The judge said that he'd have to read it for himself.

So now we'll have a judge trying to interpret a psychologist's interpretations of how my ex-wife and I interpreted some inkblots, and we'll get a custody ruling based on that. Anyone who is unhappy with the outcome can demand a trial with live witnesses, as I understand the law.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I got the psychology report

I got the report from Dr. Inkblot. More on that later.

A reader told me a story about some poor father whose custody case is 1000 miles away in New Jersey. The court there got an expert report, and refused to release it to him because their policy is to only give reports to lawyers!

After some discussion, the court clerk said that he could fly out to New Jersey, visit the courthouse, and copy the documents in his court file for 50 cents a page. So he made the trip to New Jersey, and he still could not get the report.

Amazing. I thought that it was an elementary part of American justice that a party to a legal case gets to see the evidence against him.

My report consists largely of personality profiles generated by psychometric tests. If you want to save the $220 per hour, you can visit this astrology site. It will give you similar info free, and all you have to do is to enter your birth date and place.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Waiting for the report

My ex-wife's lawyer just filed this with the court:
On June 29, 2005, the Court ordered a full psychological evaluation to be completed. Igor Inkblot, Ph.D. was selected to conduct the examination. He has advised both parties that he intends to provide all parties with his final written report early next week, but no later than the afternoon of September 27.

Parties have been participating in psychological evaluation pursuant to court order.

It is anticipated that the parties may receive the written report from Dr. Inkblot only a few hours before the review hearing on September 28. Petitioner requests that the Court acknowledge receipt of the report, but continue a Review Hearing on its content for approximately ten (10) days in order to allow the parties and counsel to fully review the report and prepare any comments to the Court regarding same.
In other words, she wants time to think up of new reasons for preventing me from seeing my kids.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Inkblot results

I just had another meeting with Dr. Inkblot. The main purpose was to discuss the results of my psychological tests.

One test had me scoring unusually high on "compulsiveness" and unusually low on "antisocial". He admitted that the test looked inaccurate as some of the conclusions did not sound like me at all. I am not very compulsive.

He took the inkblot test very seriously. I figured that he was just using it as a screening device for schizophrenia and other serious conditions. He seemed to have a lot of confidence in the test for identifying personality types and modes of thinking. He patiently explained to me how some people see people, animals, plants, things, actions, etc. Some people think more analytically, and some people more emotionally, and this is reflected in what they see in the inkblot. He runs the data on a computer program which prints out a detailed report. The analysis depends not just on what I see, but how I see it and what importance I attach to various aspects of the inkblots.

I felt a little bit like I was getting a psychic reading.

He said that the report is confidential. I guess he doesn't want me posting my ex-wife's psychological analysis on this blog. I have no interest in personally embarrassing her. I just say what I have to say in order to defend myself against charges that ex-wife has publicly brought against me in court.

He promised to have his report finished by next Monday. Our next court appearance is Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Goofy court referees

In connection with comments about goofy court experts, I got this email:
When I served as a Juvenile Court Referee in North Dakota, I could predict the diagnosis and prescription for a juvenile case just by checking to see what psychologist or psychiatrist had been assigned to the case. One psychologist, whether the case involved anything from truancy to murder, diagnosed every problem as stemming from vitamin deficiency, and his recommendation was massive doses of vitamins (which he sold out of his office). Another was a Freudian who viewed every juvenile problem as rooted in parental conflicts or sexual conflicts; others had other leanings.
The writer is now a state appellate court judge.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dr. Laura on fathers

I just listened to Dr. Laura on someone else's radio show. When asked for some typical advice, she mimicked a caller and said in response:
It is a horrible thing to do to a human being to intentionally rob a child of a father. ... The polarity of the masculine and the feminine is necessary for healthy psychological development.
Now here is what puzzles me. My ex-wife used to listen to Dr. Laura every day. She said that she agreed with everything that Dr. Laura says. That is unusual, because most people find Dr. Laura to be an over-opinionated know-it-all.

Now my ex-wife is doing everything that she can to rob our kids out of having a father. She has betrayed all of her professed beliefs.

The judges, psychologists, and lawyers are also guilty of participating in this "horrible thing". Dr. Laura is correct about the value of fathers. Her opinion is not radical. It has been conventional wisdom for thousands of years, and it is confirmed by the latest psychological research.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Parental rights recognized

A reader sends this 1994 article by Robert P. George and Jana V.T. Baldwin on parental rights. There is also a copy here.

He says that the NY case Alfonso v. Fernandez (1993) illustrates that the principles of parents rights (as laid out in the string of Supreme Court cases from Meyer and Prince to Troxel) are recognized as a matter of state law as well.

The US Supreme Court case Troxel v. Granville was in 2000, after the above article. It unanimously upheld parental rights as being guaranteed under the US Constitution.

Unfortunately, the family courts deny these fundamental parental rights on a regular basis.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Letter to the judge

I just sent the following letter to the judge, with copies to my ex-wife and her lawyer.

Dear Judge Kelly:

This is in response to Ms. Gray's Sept. 12 letter. I have paid her the $20,000, and I do not believe that I owe her any more. I complied with the order as I understood it, and I would like to make these points:

1. I specifically asked you during the May 13 hearing whether the $20,000 includes the $6,500 that I already paid. My recollection is that you nodded your head and said yes. I am sorry that I didn't make the record clearer, but it seemed clear to me at the time.

2. Ms. Gray is attempting to double-bill me. She went into court on May 13 with a last-minute and poorly documented claim that she had accumulated $40,452.01 in billings so far in the case. I believe that the $40,000 included everything, including billings that she had previously presented, of which I was ordered to pay (and did pay) $6,500.

3. Her argument doesn't even make any sense. If she had gotten the entire $40,000 that she was requesting, then surely I would have been credited with the $6,500 that I already paid towards those bills. It appears that you just divided her request in half, and it seems logical that I would still get credit for what I paid.

4. My ex-wife is a lawyer. I am not even using a lawyer, except for a couple of minor out-of-court consultations. I do not believe that there is any precedent for an unrepresented non-lawyer paying the legal fees of a licensed attorney in a routine divorce.

5. Ms. Gray should be happy to get the $20,000, when all she has accomplished has been to cause misery to our kids and to separate them from a perfectly fit father for a year.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Gag orders and free speech

UCLA law prof. Eugene Volokh is a free speech expert, and he has written an article on Child Custody Speech Restrictions. Apparently family courts commonly place restrictions on what parents can say to their own kids, and it is doubtful whether the orders are constitutional.

In my case, Judge Kelsay issued these orders:
17. Derogatory Remarks: Parents shall not make, nor permit others to make, derogatory remarks regarding the other parent or the other parent's friends and loved ones to the children nor within the hearing range of the children.
18. Fighting: Parents shall not argue with, threaten, or insult one another nor allow others to argue with, threaten, or insult the other parent in the children's presence.
19. Discussion of Court Matters: Neither parent shall, or allow anyone else to, discuss or allow the children to read information regarding Court matters of custody, visitation, or support, in the presence of the children.
He had no evidentiary or legal basis for the orders; he cited nothing and just said that they were "common sense". After reading Prof. Volokh's article, I believe the orders are unconstitutional, null, and void.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Extracting attorney fees

There is one thing that my ex-wife's lawyer will pursue more doggedly than depriving children of their fathers, and that is attorney fees. I just got a 46-page filing from Miss Jennifer J. Gray which attempts to ask the judge to reconsider an attorney fee order, and to order more attorney fees.

It is 46 pages! Her motion for sole legal custody wasn't even that long. I've now paid her $20,000, and that is not enough for her. She now claims that the judge made a mistake in only ordering me to pay $20,000.

On page 2 of her papers, she credits me with already having paid her $65000! She says that her motion for me to pay $40,000 was after my payment for $6,5000, and separate from that. In reality, I had paid her $6,500, and I had to pay her another $13,500, in order to comply with the order. The precise wording of the order was:
3. Attorney's Fees:
A. Respondent is ordered to pay Petitioner's attorney's fees in the amount of $20,000.00. Said amount may be made in installments of $5,000.00 per month beginning June 1, 2005. Payment shall be made to Bosso Williams, APC, P. 0. Box 1822, Santa Cruz, CA
Respondent is credited with $6500 in attorney's fees.
The wording is a little awkward because Miss Gray wrote the first 3 sentences in an attempt to get me to pay $20,000 over an above the $6,500 that I already paid. The judge wrote in the last sentence to make it clear that the $20,000 includes the $6,500 that I already paid.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Court bias

Somebody told me that I am risking court punishment by posting opinions here. She claimed to have inside knowledge about how the family court works, and she said that the court personnel have an unwritten rule that they retaliate against anyone who advocates fathers' rights. She said that they don't like anyone who criticizes the biases of the court, and that they will invent phony reasons for taking my kids away from me in order to teach me a lesson.

I find it hard to believe that they are so petty and vindictive that they would make a child suffer just to promote their own ideological biases. The ones that I have met just don't seem to be that cruel. But my ex-wife and her lawyer apparently believe that the court personel can be influenced in this way. They have gone out of their way to try to prove to Dr. Inkblot that I had been critical of the family courts, even to the point of claiming that I secretly ghost-wrote articles that they knew that I did not write. I don't know why they would do this, unless they think that they can provoke him into writing a bad report which they will use to prevent the kids from seeing me.

It seems to me that my ex-wife and lawyer are tacitly admitting that they think that the family court personnel are willing to punish the kids in order to carry out their own petty personal grudges against those who have a difference of opinion.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A feminist lawyer's view

I just talked to a feminist lawyer, and she disagreed with almost everything I had to say about the family court. She was not a divorce lawyer, and did not know how family court really works, but she seems to have some divorce lawyer friends, and her mind was made up regardless of the facts.

She said that she believed that a woman should be able to walk out of any marriage at any time for any reason; that she should get generous awards from her husband's assets and income; and that she should be able to take the kids with her.

She claimed that mothers have had an advantage for 100 years in American child custody cases. She justified the court use of bogus experts as a way for the courts to get around the gender-neutrality of the custody statutes. Before the 1970s, she said, there was a legal presumption of mother custody. Now, judges have to back up their decisions with evidence. There is no real evidence that primary mother custody is good for the kids, so they use sham reports from court-approved experts. The end results are about the same: 85% mother custody.

I might understand if she subscribed to the "tender years doctrine" that said that mothers are better for very young kids (toddlers). But she doesn't even believe that, as she hired a nanny and worked full time when her kids were toddlers. (She retired and became a housewife when her kids went away to college.)

I find her views baffling. She is fairly conservative politically, and is not usually one to babble feminist slogans. She is an advocate for parental rights in the schools and elsewhere. She was once falsely accused by CPS, so I would think that she would be suspicious of such govt do-gooders wanting to speak for children.

I tried to get her to concede that fathers have some rights, but she refused to say that they had any. About the closest she came was to say that fathers are usually awarded some visitation privileges if they can be shown to be fit. But even in that case, she adamantly asserted that the mother has the right to move the kids to another state if she finds a better paying job there or has some other reason to move. If the father gets cut off from his kids, then that is just his tough luck. Maybe if he had treated her better during the marriage, then she might be nicer to him.

She cited an example of a woman she knows who is an heir to a $100 million fortune. She kicked out her husband because he wasn't clean enough for her, whatever that means. Even in that case, she argued that the husband should be paying her child support after the divorce.

I tried to explain to her that joint custody works better than mother custody. I cited both my personal experience and the academic literature. She apparently consulted with her divorce lawyer friends, and sent me a link to a silly anti-father rant.

I had been assuming that most reasonable people were capable of being rational on this subject, and that they were amenable to facts and arguments about what is good for the kids and what respects peoples' rights. I am forced to conclude that there are a lot of people whose brains are infected with a feminist disease. You just cannot reason with such people. They are ideologically committed to a truly evil cause, and nothing will sway them.

Friday, September 09, 2005

48 million Americans under court supervision

I found this US Census data:
* In 2002, an estimated 13.4 million parents had custody of 21.5 million children under 21 years of age whose other parent lived somewhere else. About 5 of every 6 custodial parents were mothers (84.4 percent) and 1 in 6 were fathers (15.6 percent).

* In 2002, 27.6 percent of all children under 21 living in families had a parent not living in the home.
I figure that there must be another 13.4M noncustodial parents to match those custodial parents. Adding the numbers of custodial parents, noncustodial parents, and children, I deduce that there are 48.3 million Americans who are under the supervision of the family courts. That is an astoundingly large number.

A Woman on Men's Rights

Eva Ellsworth writes:
Supporting men’s rights is in the best interests of women. False accusations of rape, abuse and harassment undermine the credibility of real ones. Making divorce and custody settlements more equitable helps women who want families because punitive settlements discourage men from marrying and becoming fathers. However, as some of the articles and forum comments came to resemble classic feminism, my empathy has begun to wane.

I believe men often get raw deals in divorce court and family courts. I also believe our court system has made it too easy for women to file false charges of paternity, rape, abuse and sexual harassment. ...

While over-represented in the media and academia, feminists represent a small minority of women. I’ve never heard any woman in real life speak of "patriarchal oppressors" or of all men as rapists. I do not know any women who have made accusations of rape, abuse or sexual harassment, (To be fair, I have met one man whose ex wife made such accusations). I’ve only met one woman who believes women are paid less for equal work. The married women I know do not speak ill of their husbands.

Men rightly point out that the media portrays men as dolts. ...

Despite "preferential treatment," feminism has probably hurt women more than it helped them. Many women like myself wanted to be housewives and mothers, but did not pursue that option because we were told that was for losers and women are defined by their careers. Once we had careers, our achievements were attributed to affirmative action rather than to career skills and hard work. Many women don’t even bother to date because of the male hostility wrought by feminism. Dates are a Catch-22 anyway: If a woman pays her share, she’s a "feminist;" If she lets the man pay, she’s a "princess." If a relationship does work out, men don’t want to marry because feminism made divorce so unfavorable to men.

If the MRM [Men's Rights Movement] concentrates on legislation and court system reform, society can become more equitable.
She needn't worry. The MRM will never be like feminism.

Egg Donor Has Parental Rights

Ohio story:
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A woman who sold her eggs has parental rights to the resulting triplets, an Ohio appeals court said in the latest twist to a three-state custody battle.

The court ordered a new custody hearing in Ohio for the now-22-month-old boys, overturning a Summit County judge's decision against parental rights for Jennifer Michelle Rice of Arlington, Texas.

It also contradicted a Pennsylvania court, which in January awarded primary custody to the surrogate mother, a rarity in such cases, and weekend visitation to the father.
This is amazing. Two women got parental rights while the father just got weekend visitation! There is something seriously wrong with our family courts.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Foreign women make much better wives

I just stumbled across this advice:
Foreign women from South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia make much better wives than American women.

An American woman has several fundamental problems that will never go away and that will get much worse a few years after she is married:

1. Her inherent anti-male bias and pre-occupation with fairness that was drilled into her at high school, college, and through the media. Her constant confrontations and trying to prove herself and to make a point.
2. Her self-centeredness, her ridiculously high expectations, her sense of entitlement, her high-maintenance, superficial, and stuck up attitude, her snootiness and her sense of superiority. This "princess" syndrome means that she will always think that she is better than you, and that she deserves and she is entitled to whatever she wants from you.
3. Her general mental instability and psychological disorders.
4. Her using sex as a weapon and reward to get things.

Foreign women generally don't have any of these problems. Marrying an American woman simply does not make sense. The ONLY reason men stay with American women is because they did not have enough exposure to foreign women. Any man who spent a few months in Brazil or Russia will not even look at American women again.

Dating or being married to an American woman is like driving a beat-up Ford Escort. If you are only used to driving a beat-up Ford Escort, then you have no idea what it feels like when you drive a Bentley or Ferrari.
This is a gross exaggeration. There are lots of wonderful American wives.

A reader writes:
I really doubt foreign woman are that much different than American woman on average. I've talked with Mexican men (living here) who say that Mexican woman will leave you for someone with a better car!
Hmmm. I think that we do have a lot more feminists here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Lesbians trying to raise boys

A Glenn Sacks column says:
Peggy Drexler's highly publicized new book, "Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men," contends that father-absent homes -- particularly "single mother by choice" and lesbian homes -- are the best environments for boys. Drexler recently told "Good Morning America" that boys do great without dads, and her "maverick moms" always seem to have a better way of handling their sons than a dad would. ...

Drexler contends that sons from fatherless families "grow up emotionally stronger," "have a wider range of interests and friendships," and "appear more at ease in situations of conflict" than boys from "traditional" (i.e., father-present) households. Her research, however, is flawed.

For one, the families she studied were those who volunteered to have their lives intimately examined over a multi-year period -- a self-selected sample not representative of the average fatherless family. Also, Drexler's research suffers from confirmatory bias. Drexler is a passionate advocate for single and lesbian mothers. She personally conducted interviews of several dozen single and lesbian mothers and their sons in order to examine their family lives and -- no surprise -- found them to her liking. ...

The rates of the four major youth pathologies -- juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, teen drug abuse and school dropouts -- are more tightly correlated with fatherlessness than with any other socioeconomic factor, including income and race. While Drexler waxes poetic about fatherless parenting, she makes little attempt to explain why it results in bad outcomes for so many kids.
All of the actual scientific research has shown mother-headed households are the worst for both boys and girls. This book has no control group, no objective measure, and nothing scientific. It is mainly based on some interviews of lesbians about what is good for boys, and they are the least likely to have a valid opinion.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Congress should abolish VAWA

I found this comment on a mailing list:
I realized that the whole purpose and function of VAWA [federal Violence Against Women Act] is to redefine "violence" in order to bootstrap garden-variety domestic disputes and relations into claims of so-called violence, thereby giving women extremely powerful legal tools to punish men for failing to pick up their socks or take out the garbage.
I had assumed that domestic violence shelters served a legitimate purpose until my ex-wife showed up in court with an advocate from the Walnut Avenue Women's Center. The whole thing was a sham.

I have since learned how it works. When a women goes to a divorce lawyer like Jennifer J. Gray, she immediately gets the hard sell on how to make domestic violence allegations. Miss Gray told my ex-wife that her lame and phony allegations would be taken more seriously if they bribed the local Women's Center to stick up for her. Promoting phony accusations is bread and butter for these women's centers, and the lawyers exploit them.

The federal VAWA law is up for renewal, and most people don't realize how the law funds spiteful divorce actions and phony accusations. Congress should kill it. In my case, the domestic violence accusations where not even what any normal person would call domestic violence. They were just petty and trivial gripes that no sane woman would ever utter in public.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Getting blamed for co-parenting

I had another session with Dr. Inkblot, the court-appointed psychologist, and I am beginning to have serious doubts about him. It seems that my ex-wife has been convincing him that we cannot co-parent.

He said that she told him the story of how she was going to take the kids on a Caribbean cruise, but she canceled it when she found out that I was going to get the kids for an equivalent amount of time.

Somehow he thought that I was at fault for this. He said that the problem was that the trip interfered with the time that I was scheduled to have the kids, and that I wanted a balanced adjustment. He said that maybe if I had only explained to her that it was equitable and reasonable for me to also have an opportunity to take the kids on a trip, then maybe she would have agreed and gone on her trip.

He cited a couple of other examples of supposedly failed co-parenting. When I pointed out that I did exactly what my ex-wife requested in each case, he said, "That is capitulation, not co-parenting."

It is amazing how these family court folks can concoct reasons for blaming fathers. My ex-wife can be crazy and intransigent, and even willing to punish the kids in order to spite me, and somehow it is all my fault for not persuading her to be reasonable. Her lawyer then tells the judge that she must have custody because some supposed expert says that we cannot co-parent. Sigh.