Saturday, May 31, 2008

Nevada governor divorce goes public

Gov. Jim Gibbons of Nevada complains that his wife won't move out of the governor's mansion, and now his wife presents a strong legal argument for the court records being public. She also says:
It is so well accepted, and so well known that Judicial Notice can easily be taken of the fact that Mr. Gibbons’ wife has been his greatest asset. She has worked relentlessly and tirelessly to advance his career, and had stood by his side, at the most critical time in his quest to be elected Governor.

For just one example, even when, after consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and under the cover of darkness, in a garage in Las Vegas, the Plaintiff was accused of assaulting a young woman, bearing a striking resemblance, to the “other woman” referenced, below, that woman, too, like his wife now, was trashed and the Public was, again, misled.
I am sure we'll hear more of this.

Friday, May 30, 2008

How supervised visitation works

The current Best Life magazine (June/July 2008 issue) has an article court-ordered supervised visitation. It is not online, but I have a pdf copy here. It is amazingly corrupt system.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free speech and family court

I looked at the case that Comm. Joseph cited, Evans v Evans. It ruled:
Thomas Evans (Thomas), a deputy sheriff, sued his former wife, Linda Evans (Linda), and Linda's mother, alleging numerous causes of action, including harassment, {Slip Opn. Page 2} defamation, and breach of privacy. The court then granted Thomas's motion for preliminary injunction, and entered an order enjoining Linda and her mother from: (1) publishing "false and defamatory statements" about Thomas on the Internet; (2) publishing "confidential personal information" about Thomas on the Internet; and (3) contacting Thomas's employer (the San Diego County Sheriff's Department) "regarding [Thomas]" except to call "911 to report criminal conduct."

Linda appeals from the order, raising numerous contentions. We conclude the preliminary injunction was overbroad and constituted an invalid prior restraint before trial. We thus reverse the order and remand for further hearing.
Yes, the order was directly contrary to the First Amendment. A prior restraint on free speech is almost never allowed.

But I don't do that stuff anyway. I do not publish false and defamatory statements, and I do not publish confidential personal information. On this blog, I mainly comment on what happens in open court, and on various news stories.

The Evans opinion is also available as a .doc or .pdf file.

The only contraint that I am under is that Comm. Irwin Joseph ordered me not to publish the report or transcript of the CPS social worker, Sally Mitchell. I had already posted excerpts and summaries on this blog. Perhaps he is now conceding that his order is unconstitutional. I will post the whole report and transcript when I get the chance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's status conference in court

I just wasted another morning in the courtroom of Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph.

This time we were in Watsonville. They moved the family court to Watsonville. I don't know why. Maybe it was for the convenience of the interpreters for the spanish-speaking Watsonville residents.

The first case was a couple that appeared to have been married a long time. He had an after-tax income of $9k per month, and was paying $6k per month in alimony. She did not work. They had a million dollar house, but they could not find a buyer. They were represented by lawyers, but they seemed incompetent. They told contradictory stories about several monetary matters. Finally Comm. Joseph swore the husband and wife in, and it looked like he was going to resolve the contradiction. But he failed to ask the wife the pertinent question, and Comm. Joseph couldn't figure out what to do. At one point, Comm. Joseph seemed confused about how income tax withholding works. He never did figure out what to do, and told the lawyers to work it out among themselves.

The next case was a Mexican dad and a black mom. The dad had lost all custody and visitation because he had flunked an alcohol test. The mom gave him a surprise test one evening. He had a lame story about how he had just used mouthwash. She said that she videotaped it, but thought that he had eaten ice cream, not used mouthwash. He asked Comm. Joseph to at least tell the mom to take the boy to school. Then the mom went into a rant about how the dad's father (ie, the boy's grandfather) volunteers at the school, and she thinks that he could say things to the teacher without her knowing about it. So she has only taken the boy to school one or two days in the last month.

Even Comm. Joseph was appalled that the mom would keep the boy out of school for such a paranoid and vindictive reason. He told her to take the kid to school. But he let her continue to have sole custody, and only let the dad talk to his boy on the phone.

Then my case was called. Comm. Joseph announced that a recent court case just decided that blogs were legal. The case is Evans v Evans. I guess he just learned about free speech.

Julie asked for a trial on her community property claim, and Comm. Joseph set a Sept. 15 court date. She reserved a date for next month on another monetary matter, but she did not mention it in court. Since I don't have any papers on that yet, I suspect that she will delay it.

Comm. Joseph asked about the psychological evaluation, and I explained again how it was impossible for anyone to carry out his order. He asked if I knew what a psychological evaluation was. I explained that we already had two such court-ordered evaluations already, including one that Comm. Joseph ordered himself. Comm. Joseph said that he thought that we saw those psychologists on our own. I said that the evaluation has no explained purpose, and he said that the purpose was to give a recommendation. Then he claimed to be able to deduce from the expressions on the faces of the lawyers in the courtroom that we should be able to find a psychologist to do an evaluation.

Afterwards, Julie told me that Comm. Joseph had finally signed the written order for his Jan. 11 oral order and had sent her a copy, but had not sent me a copy.

The children's lawyer, Jim Ritchey, was present in court for another case. He did not appear in behalf of the kids today. He talked to us briefly in front of the court building afterwords, but obviously had not followed the case.

It has now been over six months since my kids were seized, and there is no likelihood of me seeing them anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Australian court orders sex swap for 12-year-old girl

Here is a story from Australia about a judge who overruled the father for the sake of th supposed best interest of the child:
A judge has allowed a 12-year-old Victorian girl to start a taxpayer-funded sex swap, despite objections from the child's father.

The girl has begun court-approved hormone treatment in the first step toward a complete gender switch.

The Family Court orders also permit the girl, who cannot be named, to apply for a new birth certificate, passport and Medicare card in a boy's name.

The application to allow the hormone treatment was lodged by the girl's mother.

A state government observer, an endocrinologist, a psychiatrist, a family counsellor and a lawyer acting on the child's behalf all supported the plan.

Only her father, who lives interstate, opposed the proposed sex change, though he did not attend the final court hearing and could not afford to send a lawyer on his behalf.

The court was told he could not accept that his daughter had always seen herself as a boy and considered her too young to make such a decision. ...

The child's lawyer told the court she considered the girl capable of making an informed decision.
I do not think that a 12-year-old is ever mature enough to make such a decision, and I do not thing that a judge is ever capable of deciding the best interest of the child (BIOTCH) in such a situation.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ex-wife files status statement

My ex-wife just file this, for a court appearance on Friday:
B. Since our last status conference the following has occurred:


I am not aware of any efforts on George's part to contact a supervisor for supervised visitation.

Trial Date Setting

I respectfully request the court to set a trial date in July or September regarding the division of community property. I estimate that the time will take, at most, will be 2 hours. I have not been able to obtain my last set of financial records which I subpoenaed months ago. However, I have decided that George's financial disclosures in response to repeated requests, as he has testified are complete, are enough to show that certain assets obtained during marriage, are in fact community property and not separate property as he claims.

Back Child and Spousal Support

I have a hearing date set for next month for a motion to compel payment of back child and spousal support totaling close to $30,000, including interest accrued.

Child Custody Evaluation

Of all of the appropriate evaluators whom I had contacted regarding a child custody evaluation, for most of them, the only reason why each one did not want to perform the evaluation was George's blogsite, in which he projects a negative image of people with whom he has issues.

George writes about various reasons (other than because of himself) in his status conference statement why the dozens of evaluators whom he contacted do not want to become involved in our case. I respectfully submit to the court that, like any other situation that George wants to sabotage, George probably purposely argued non stop over inane petty details and made outrageous statements, until whomever he spoke with disclaimed any interest in getting involved with him.

I also respectfully submit to the court that if George really wanted to move the case along, he would and could cooperate at least only to the extent that he does not drive people away.

Julie Travers
I don't see how she could claim that I owe her $30k, but I guess I'll find out.

It would be interesting if the shrinks actually had to testify under oath as to why they are refusing. Otherwise, they may be lying.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Status statement on visitation

I had to file a status statement for a court appearance next week. Here is what I said about the evaluation that Comm. Joseph urged us to get:

Julie has still refused to let me visit my kids.

I cannot find a psychologist to replace Elizabeth Lee. I do not believe that it is even possible for one to satisfy this court and to meet legal and professional ethical requirements. I have called dozens of psychologists, and they all refuse for various reasons.

First, this court’s order appears to be contrary to Family Code 3111(a) and Court Rule 5.220(d)(1)(B)(ii), and no psychologist is willing to carry it out without the protection of a lawyer.

Second, the order is asking for something that is beyond professional ethics, and any psychologist would be likely to violate ethical norms by doing the evaluation. See, for example, Custody Disputed, by Robert E. Emery, Randy K. Otto and William O'Donohue, Scientific American Mind, Oct. 2005, p. 65-67, for an explanation of some of the ethical problems.

Third, Comm. Irwin Joseph has a reputation that scares away psychologists. They just don’t want to be part of a court case with such poor prospects of a reasonable judicial outcome.

This court has prevented me from seeing my kids. I have a right to see my kids. There is no legitimate reason for preventing me from seeing my kids.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Illinois falsely accused 3000 parents

The Belleville Illinois newspaper reports:
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wrongly placed more than 3,000 people on the state's official list of child abusers over a five-year period, a News-Democrat investigation found.

That's an error rate of one in four, based on more than 11,000 cases where people appealed to have their names removed from the list.

Parents and foster parents accused of child abuse or neglect can lose their reputations, their jobs, even their children.
There is no "due process" on these lists, so I am not surprised that there are errors, but this is really bad.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Docket update - still no transcript

Checking the court docket for my case, I find that a court date had been reserved for last Thursday. No one filed papers for it, and nothing happened. Now, another hearing has been reserved for June 18. I have received no notice. I can only guess that my ex-wife is itching to file some more papers against me, but cannot figure out what to claim.

It also says that my ex-wife submitted a "FINDINGS & ORDER AFTER HEARING OF 01/11/08" on May 1. I don't know why she would do that, as the docket shows that she already did it on Feb. 14. She did not send me a copy either time, as is required. Comm. Irwin Joseph was supposed to have issued the written order months ago, but he has not. I wonder how he can even get paid, when he is so many months late signing an order.

Meanwhile the appellate court docket says that the local court clerk promised on Wednesday that "the transcript will be turned in today". But it also says that court reporters Jordan and Parks have not completed their required transcripts, and are subject to being found in contempt of court for their failure.

So I guess that my appeal will be further delayed while my ex-wife continues to make trouble in the lower court. I don't think that I even need the transcripts that are delayed, but I don't have a choice. The whole system seems designed just to make appeals difficult.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Father serves 22 years for false accusation

Wil Hetherington has been in a Michigan prison for 22 years, based on an accusation resulting from a divorce and a child custody dispute. Here is a news video about him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How judges cover for cops

The NY Times reports on how judges are reluctant to accuse cops of lying:
Yet for all his disapproval of what the police had done, the judge said he hated to make negative rulings about officers’ credibility. “I don’t like to jeopardize their career and all the rest of it,” he said.

He need not have worried. The Police Department never learned of his criticism, and the officers — like many others whose word has been called into question — faced no disciplinary action or inquiry.
I found that the family court is similarly reluctant to find fault with CPS and other govt workers. In my case, Comm. Irwin H. Joseph did eventually find that the testimony of CPS social worker Sally Mitchell was not truthful, but he was reluctant to say so directly.

I don't think that it even mattered. Ms. Mitchell's career in harassing parents and seizing kids does not seem to have been hindered at all by her false testimony in my case.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Site rates courts and judges

The site has a page on Judge Irwin H. Joseph. The first comment says:
This guy is really a Commissioner

Irwin Joseph is a Commissioner currently serving in Family Court. Passed over for Judge. Paul Burdick got the Judgeship instead.

Commissioner Joseph has been reversed in 1 non-published opinion regarding an estate/inheritance case where he erred in substituting one property for another, less valuable property and at least 1 published family law case where he erred in attributing rental income to a litigant when the property was not rented out.

Commissioner Joseph is also known as the Commissioner that gave sentences to some protestors for making marks on a sidewalk and forcing homeless people out of a county park. He's not popular and has been called "Junk Justice Joseph".
On this page, the title gets abbreviating as "This guy is really a Commi". I thought someone was going to say that he is a Commie!"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Britney gets to see her kids

USA Today and AP report:
LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears will have expanded visits with her two sons following a low-key child-custody hearing in Los Angeles.
She has done just about everything to discredit herself and her parenting abilities. And yet she sees her kids more than I see mine.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Why court shrinks like lawyers

I asked around about why the court shrinks prefer parents to have lawyers, and I got several explanations. The main reason is that the lawyers provide cover for various unethical practices.

The mainstream psychologists refuse to do child custody evaluations for the court because there is really no way to do them that complies with both court rules and professional ethics. The typical parent in divorce court does not realize this until he gets the final report and sees how bogus it is.

That is where the shrink can pass the buck to the lawyer. When the parent complains, the shrink can just say that he did what the lawyers hired him to do, and point to the lawyer for an explanation.

The lawyers, to my surprise, don't even know what the child custody evaluators are supposed to do. To the lawyers, the shrinks just make up another part of the system that the parents have to deal with.

Maybe I should be glad when a shrink rejects me because I don't have a lawyer. He is essentially admitting that he had unethical practices, and it is better to know that in advance.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Another shrink insists on lawyers

I just got turned down by another psychologist. He came highly recommended from a neutral source. I could not confirm that he had taken the required domestic violence course, but he said that he had been doing court-ordered child custody evaluations for many years, so I assume that he has the qualifications to do them.

He suggested that I have the attorneys contact him. I told him that neither my ex-wife or I are represented by attorneys. He said that was a deal-breaker; that he always refuses to do an evaluation unless both parents have attorneys.

I asked him why, and he responded that the parents may not be objective. I said that the rules of the court prohibit the attorneys from talking to the evaluators. He said that he talks to them anyway. He also said that he likes just giving his report to the attorneys and the court. If he had his way, the parents would not see the report. He knows that the attorneys give the reports to their clients anyway, but at least he does not have to explain or justify the report to them.

I am flabbergasted. Some of his comments don't even make sense. Yes, of course the parents are not objective but the lawyers are even less objective. I am tempted to post his name, but he was courteous enough to return my call and he just reflects views that are common in his business.

He was not telling me the truth about why these court shrinks prefer lawyers. There are biggers reasons, and I'll post about those later.