Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Divorce courts need armed guards

Today's San Jose paper has this letter to the editor:
Don't scrimp on court security

Scott Herhold (Page 1B, March 29) suggests that the county can save money by using lower-paid staff than sheriff's deputies as courthouse security. While it may seem that five deputies aren't needed at once at the metal detector, when they're needed, they're really needed. If Herhold thinks courthouses are so safe, I invite him to do two things: First, research the number of killings that have occurred in divorce courtrooms in this country, and second, spend a couple of days observing domestic violence calendars at family court. Those of us who frequently pass through doors and metal detectors at family court in San Jose are very grateful to the security provided to us by the well-trained and, yes, well-paid deputies.

Robin Yeamans
Family Law Specialist Attorney Los Gatos
The reason for these armed guards is not so well known. It is not because of all the murdered, gangsters, and other felon who go on trial there. It is because of the family court!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Canada discovers parental alienation

The Canadian National Post reports:
More than ever before, Canada's judges are recognizing that some children of divorced and warring parents are not simply living an unfortunate predicament, but rather are victims of child abuse and suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Though debate swirls as to whether the occurrence should be termed a syndrome, a disorder, or simply ‘parental alienation,' Canadian and American judges, lawyers, and psychologists are increasingly buying into a view that sees programming a child to despise a non-custodial parent as grounds for removing the "brainwashed" child from the alienating parent's custody - or what is known in the extreme as a court-ordered "parentectomy."
The Totonto newspaper reports:
A study of alienated children has found that mothers were significantly more likely to be the parent who emotionally poisoned their children than were fathers.

Toronto family lawyer Gene Colman told a Toronto symposium yesterday that of 74 court rulings that found parental alienation since 1987, the mother was the alienator in 50 cases. The father was the alienating parent in 24.

"I'm not trying to dump on moms," Mr. Colman told about 150 psychologists, family lawyers, mediators and activist parents. "I'm just saying, that is what the data reveal."

In parental alienation syndrome, an estranged parent systematically brainwashes a child into hating the other parent. The profile of the syndrome escalated over the past year, after three Ontario judges ordered that children be removed from an alienating parent and taken to U.S. clinics for deprogramming therapy.
Yes, of course most of the alienators. That should have been obvious.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Showing the cruel judges

Here are the judges who ruled against me and my kids: Nathan D. Mihara, Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, and Wendy Clark Duffy.

These judges are the most evil that I have encountered. The first two used to be family court judges, so they know what they are doing. They have been entrusted with great responsibility, and yet they abuse it in a way that causes children to suffer. Their opinion is indefensible, but they issue it anyway.

In juvenile court news, the San Jose paper had a story about 10-year-old foster kids being thrown in jail, and ABC TV 20/20 ran a story about crooked juvenile court judges who got kickbacks for jailing kids. New Jersey Pennsylvania has to reverse hundreds of juvenile convictions. It has now been one year since Texas authorities seized 439 kids from the FLDS YRZ Ranch, and after $15M spent, just one child remains in state custody. All of the rest were improperly seized and had to be returned. Yes, I think that the system is evil. The more I hear about these judges, the worse I think that they are.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Petition for rehearing dening

The California appeals court just denied my petition for rehearing, without comment.

I am not surprised. Their opinion was filled with misstatements, such as attributing statements to the kids which are not on the record anywhere. It claimed that there was a change of circumstances when no one even argued that there was such a change. It even contradicted its own opinion from a couple of years ago.

I had to point out the errors because otherwise someone would probably later say that I waived my rights by not filing a paper on the subject when I could. That is how these courts work sometimes. Rather than addressing the merits of an issue, they would rather say that someone lost his rights by not filing a timely objection to losing his rights. That way they can say that it is all your own fault that you lost your rights.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Treating anger by smashing plates

NPR reported today on a service for angry moms:
The Woman Who Throws Plates For A Living

The story of Sarah Lavely's business began shortly after her husband of 12 years left her cold, alone in a house in New Hampshire. After her husband's departure, Lavely took up an unusual hobby. Every morning, she would go out her front door and smash his belongings in her long, asphalt driveway.

"It was fabulous," says Lavely. "I was picking stuff up and holding it up over my head and smashing it straight down on my driveway … really good."

Lavely enjoyed the cathartic anger, though some psychologists are now saying that this isn't the most effective approach.

Lavely decided to move back to California and stay temporarily with her mother. But a couple of days after the move, she woke up one morning yearning again for destruction. Realizing she no longer had a forum for her impulses, she had a Field of Dreams moment: She decided that she would build a small store — a refuge for frustrated people old and young who wanted an outlet for their aggression. Today, about 200 customers a week carry their anger to Sarah's Smash Shack in downtown San Diego. For around $25 a head, Lavely provides dishware, protective gear and the felt-tipped pens that people use to write on the plates they then violently fling at the walls.
Some claim that it is an ancient Greek tradition:
Greeks smashing plates to accompany musicians is a mental image of Greece practically as common as the sight of the Parthenon. ... In its earliest form, plate smashing may be a survival of the ancient custom of ritually "killing" the ceramic vessels used for feasts commemorating the dead.

Some Greek restaurants even cater to the need of clients to break plates by designating a special "smashing area". Many countries, including Britain and Greece, are regulating the ritualized breaking of plates - though clumsy wait staff still are apparently exempt.
She enjoys the carthartic anger? Weird. A lot of women see shrinks and take pills for their anger. I don't know if any of that stuff really works.

Keeping kids off welfare

A reader writes:
Family code is driven by the desire that parties and children do not wind up on welfare. I don't want to pay for your kids when you can.
You should not have to pay for my kids.

If you were correct, a couple of things would be different. For one, there would be no child support when both parents are rich. But the child support guidelines require multi-millionares to pay big support checks to other multi-millionares.

Single motherhood is the biggest source of kids on welfare, by far. If the family courts really wanted to get kids off welfare, then it would start by stopping giving child custody to single moms.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Response to readers

A reader writes:
Women should be free to leave unhappy marriages without fear that they will be left destitute. ... I feel that in most cases alimony and child support should continue even if the ex wife remarries. Women don't just leave on a whim.
My ex-wife is not destitute. She makes a good salary as an attorney, and her husband makes a good salary also. She demanded and gets 55% of my income every month. She doesn't actually need any of it for the kids, as I am willing to take care of them half time.

Most divorces are indeed initiated by women. Whether they are unhappy, bored, or
just want more money, the law allows them to walk out of any marriage at any time
and for any reason.

Another reader writes, about the appellate opinion:
Maybe you are just wrong.
I guess that I was wrong to expect the appellate court to do a meaningful review of my case.

Whether you agree with what the court does or not, I hope that this blog is informative about how the court works.

Monday, March 23, 2009

California law bans unwarranted disclosure

I just learned that the California legislature unanimously passed a Family Code amendment AB 1877 in July 2008:
At least 10 days before any hearing regarding custody of the child, the report shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which the custody hearing will be conducted and served on the parties or their attorneys, and any other counsel appointed for the child pursuant to Section 3150. The report may be considered by the court. ...

(b) The report shall not be made available other than as provided in subdivision (a), or as described in Section 204 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 1514.5 of the Probate Code. Any information obtained from access to a juvenile court case file, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is confidential and shall only be disseminated as provided by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. ...

(d) If the court determines that an unwarranted disclosure of a written confidential report has been made, the court may impose a monetary sanction against the disclosing party.
The legislative summary is here (in pdf). The California lawyers opposed the bill.

I have no idea what an "unwarranted disclosure" would be. Does this law make this blog illegal? I think that this law is a First Amendment violation.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The ruling against me

The principal findings of the appellate court against me were:
To change a final child custody determination, the law requires that the judge find some significant change of circumstances. However, it is not necessary to find any circumstance that has actually changed.

To make a finding of abuse, the judge does not have to actually use the definitions of abuse that are in the law.

The judge must have substantial evidence for his conclusions, but that evidence can be unidentified morcels of hearsay that are not even on the record.

If a judge quotes extensively from a report in support of his final decision, it does not necessarily mean that he is relying on the report.

If a CPS witness testifies against a dad in open court, then the dad can be refused a rebuttal witness on the grounds that the rebuttal witness might not have had a right to access juvenile court case records. There was no related case in juvenile court.

If the mom remarries a man with a $3,600 per month mortgage, then then dad can be required to pay the mom an extra $1,000 per month over regular child support in order to compensate her for the possibility that some of her income might be used to help pay that mortgage.
I've been meaning to post some messages explaining what is wrong with this ruling, but I'm not sure where to start. It is outrageous from beginning to end.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Filed for rehearing

I just filed a petition for rehearing with the California appellate court. It seems that every time I file something, the clerk has to go ask a supervisor as to whether my filing is acceptable. The way I read the rules, I had 15 days from the decision to file, and I only needed to serve 5 copies on the appellate court and 1 copy on the other party. But the clerk said that today (the 14th day) was the last day, and I also had to serve copies on the state supreme court and the superior court. Fortunately, the state supreme court now accepts service online, so I did that.

In a motion for rehearing, I did not try to repeat any arguments that had already been briefed and rejected. I just listed the factual and legal errors in the appellate opinion. That took 18 pages!

My motion will probably be ignored, and the appellate decision will become final in two more weeks. If the court is at all interested in correcting its own brief, it will ask my ex-wife to submit a response. The court would then have to do something quickly, as it loses jurisdiction after its decision becomes final 30 days after issuance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dealing with the appeal opinion

I am still trying to figure out what to do with the appellate opinion against. It was written by judge Mihara, and also signed by Bamattre-Manoukian and Duffy. A lawyer told me that these are three of the worst appellate judges in California, and they hardly ever reverse anything. They just rubber-stamp what the court does.

According to the rules, I have 15 days to request a rehearing. The opinion has a number of factual and legal errors, so I'll probably do that.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Lost my appeal

The California appeals court just affirmed everything that Junk Justice Joseph did in my case. Amazing. He can take away my kids because of a CPS complaint about an alarm clock and a math contest, and some bogus issues. He can make me pay child support for not having a mortgage. He can refuse to let me have a rebuttal witness. He can delegate to a psychologist who never does the job. And the appellate court won't do a thing about it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Uproar over using DV as a gimmick

Glenn Sacks is writing about the uproar caused by a politician saying that women use domestic violence as a gimmick in divorce proceedings, as I remarked on below.

Yes, of course women use domestic violence as a gimmick. It is the main purpose of domestic violence proceedings. I don't think that I've ever seen a domestic violence complaint that was not used as a gimmick.

Meanwhile, People mag reports:
Rihanna and Chris Brown are back together, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

The pair have reunited almost three weeks after Brown, 19, allegedly battered the "Umbrella" singer on Feb. 8, a source tells PEOPLE.

"They're together again. They care for each other," says the source. The on-again couple are currently spending time together at one of Sean "Diddy" Combs's homes, on Miami Beach's Star Island.
Brown still faces criminal charges.