Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Demands that evidence be sealed

My ex-wife just filed two motions to the appeals court to seal the testimony of the CPS social sorker Sally Mitchell. She testified in open court at our child custody trial in January, and the case is currently under appeal. This is the first time that my ex-wife has expressed any interest in sealing the testimony.

I also just got this letter from James M. Ritchey:
It has been brought to my attention that you have posted on the web portions of a court transcript which had been ordered sealed by the court and which are confidential. California Government Code Section 69954(d) also provides that this information cannot be posted.

Please immediately remove that material. The improperly posted information is not beneficial to you or to your children. I assume that you posted this information innocently and did not know that it was improper.

Respectfully submitted,

Attorney at Law

cc: Santa Cruz County Superior Court
Shannon M. Sullivan, Assistant Santa Cruz County Counsel
Susan Leland, Court Reporter
Janice Scott, Court Reporter
Julie Travers
Mr. Ritchey had been a court-appointed lawyer for my kids. I had thought that he was dismissed for incompetence six months ago, but he appears to be looking to cause trouble again.

I will answer them as soon as I can. In the mean time, I'll just point out that none of the testimony is really confidential. It was given in open court. Nobody said anything about it being confidential at the time. It is only being suppressed in order to cover up the weakness of the case against me.

I have written about the CPS investigation previously on this blog. Here is the summary of testimony that I am filing with the court:
There is a list of unverified allegations from unidentified reporting party. Sally Mitchell’s investigation consisted of three interviews of the kids at school. She could not find any single act that she regarded as abuse. She collected an assortment of kid stories about doing homework and household chores. Only one thing had any adult confirmation (but that was refuted by a letter from the school principal). The worst thing I ever did, according to her, was to reset the alarm clock for 7:00 am. Her report said that the alarm clock setting made the kids late for school, but she admitted in oral testimony that the kids had never been late for school. The only other notable bad thing, that she alleged that I did, was to run over a dog. (But the dog owner testified that it never happened.) She disapproves of the “sum total” of my parenting style, but did not say that it was actionable in court. She did not say that I need counseling or that the kids should not be with me. She did not make a child custody recommendation to the court.
Confidentiality of the testimony serves mainly to protect Ms. Mitchell and Commissioner Irwin Joseph from having their bogus procedures exposed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why don't you contact the ACLU?