Call to Action: Investigate Child Custody Cases

Now we know… So, what is the next step?

Professional misconduct is leading to bad outcomes on child custody cases.  

More questions are coming about the appointments and management of certain professionals on these cases.  

Even bigger questions are being asked about whether or not child custody cases were “fixed” and whether good parents and children were harmed as a result.

Our attention this week is on a trial that should not be happening. The child custody experts in this Augusta case decided to restrict and punish an innocent parent, he fought back by doing what he believed was the right thing – using our Court system – and is now facing a jury trial on false allegations. It is clear the Court tends to convict him and put him away so that he and his daughter cannot recover from this.

Please ask how this case relates to the news stories about the misconduct of the GAL operating in this same district who has been guiding case outcomes according to what served his needs.

Specific to the now resigned former GAL and local magistrate judge Doug Nelson, help us ask, “Who knew what and when did they know it?”  That question is asked in all seriousness, as it is becoming apparent that court officials stood by as this abuse occurred.

Thanks to this report in Augusta on a growing number of cases, the justification for opening up these cases is clear. http://www.wfxg.com/story/25437114/advocacy-group-calls-for-re-opening-of-custody-cases  

Please keep in mind that the women in these news reports, the ones harassed, manipulated and intimidated by this GAL, are not the only ones to lose in these situations and they are not the only ones injured in the underlying cases.  

Some women have lost their children because they would not comply with the demands for sexual favors.  These cases need to be reopened and children returned to the mothers they miss and need. Other women have been traumatized in different ways, which includes some being threatened with jail or going to jail when they tried to fight back for their children.

Good fathers have also been harmed because certain officials stood by while cases were mismanaged and evidence ignored that would have allowed these fathers to have better outcomes, and a better life with their children.  

This story and these issues are affecting everyone. Including the father who is on trial in the Augusta area this week – for what started as FALSE allegations around one of these custody cases in this court district.  Just like the court officials knew that Doug Nelson was causing injury to mothers and to their child custody cases, related officials and custody experts knew that this father is innocent and that evidence and testimony that could exonerate him is being disregarded.

Where there is smoke there is fire…and this case has overlapping issues, meaning this case needs to be halted and this father exonerated due to the professional misconduct involved.  

Get involved, and tells these professionals and court officials and local law enforcement that children, parents and grandparents deserve better than this.  

What will it take to start revisiting the rulings made based on custody reports by this GAL and his associates in Augusta, Georgia?

 

WFXG FOX54 Augusta – Your News One Hour Earlier

Judge Rules: States “Something Wrong with You” for Molesting a Child

It is a good day in Georgia when evidence and testimony are allowed into Court, and allowed onto the record, showing that a crime was committed against a child.  

This is the lead-in to this story in The Daily Report, crediting Oprah Winfrey’s show with giving a teen girl the courage to report the crime committed against her when she was younger:

“A man who was convicted of child molestation after an Oprah show prodded a teenage girl to report him received a 20-year prison sentence and some stern words from a Cobb County judge.”

This should not be such a surprise that this happened, but based on large numbers of cases we have seen this is not happening as often as you would hope given the evidence and testimony available to the Court.

We posted about this story recently because the Court so clearly stated, “You have a hole in your soul…” for molesting a child.

The Court found this man guilty and it will be a long time before he is out of prison. There is more in his history that supports keeping him in jail, but our focus here is not on his time being served, but on the fact that the Court did not shy away from the damages to the child, to the egregious nature of the crime and did not help to deflect the evidence and testimony, or to explain it away.  

The Court in this situation did not act to allow a crime against a child to be covered up, rewarding the criminal and highly-paid court professionals to help “deal” with the crime by denying the evidence.  

This is quite the contrast from what is happening in many Superior Court cases when profits are driving the conduct of family law attorneys and court-appointed child custody experts.  It is one thing for a criminal defense team to use laws and due process to help protect a client against charges.  But what is happening on child custody cases in Georgia, where attorneys and Guardian Ad Litems are choosing not to advocate for children, or attorneys for their own clients, is something completely different. (Please note the emphasis online in comparing Augusta “Outside The Gates” to our Atlanta news stories.)

If there is money to be made from helping to keep evidence off the record in a criminal matter, while denying a child protection in a child custody case, there is much that can go wrong.  My Advocate Center is working with news media and local and State leaders to show that much IS going wrong on these cases in Georgia.  

Sadly, there is repeated interference with rulings that should lead to larger investigations and, most importantly, to the protection of children. 

There are pending cases in Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Forsyth County, Columbia County and Richmond County where My Advocate Center has seen enough evidence and heard enough testimony to know that teams of investigators are needed to correct these situations.  Law enforcement and ethical attorneys have a different opinion of this situation, and are not the problem.

Our hope is that real investigations can happen before more children die, and before more parents commit suicide due to the trauma of seeing their children suffer and having their rights removed on top of the loss of all of their property and income.  Parents are in dire straits, and it’s time for our State to take action.  This cannot continue being swept under the so-called “rug” as it is a filthy, soaking-wet, and thread-bare “rug” at this point.

Below are some examples of coverage on the story in which the Court properly recognizes the nature of the criminal and rules to protect children:

 

Cobb County is waking up to the fact that children are being left unprotected even in light of clear evidence and substantiated reports of abuse.  WHY?

One Judge Properly Calls a Crime Against Children what it is…TERRIBLE.   We are asking that more Cobb County Judges wake up to the fact that children are being left unprotected even in light of clear evidence and substantiated reports of abuse. Why not allow investigations based on the evidence & testimony available?

 

In other sections of this website you will see reports about good parents who are falsely accused and even imprisoned when evidence exists to exonerate them.  It is the same problem in those cases, that for some reason certain professionals do not want evidence and testimony heard that would lead to proper rulings based on our laws – and based on common sense and what would serve the needs of children.  

If you have not seen the Divorce Corp. or No Way Out But One documentaries, now would be a good time to get up to speed by watching those.  The Kids for Cash documentary is also being screened in Atlanta in June, so you will not want to miss that if you care about what certain judges are doing — abusing power while exploiting those who fall under their power.

 

 

 

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Center for Judicial Excellence: Coalition for Judicial Reform

Watch the videos on this page and when you are done understanding what is happening in Georgia, please visit the Center for Judicial Excellence to see how our cases and talking points mirror each other.

We have been supporting many groups across the country, and recently premiered the Divorce Corp. documentary so that our audience, including our legislators, could see that this is not just happening in Georgia, but that because of our reform initiatives, case studies and actions being taken here, we are positioned to help demonstrate to other states that it is possible to correct this situation and restore balance for families and children.

http://mac2014.wpengine.com/news/media-gallery/center-for-judicial-excellence/

Then visit: http://centerforjudicialexcellence.org

What CJE, Divorce Corp., Fix Family Courts, and My Advocate Center and other groups are doing is sharing information and helping each other leverage resources that we would not all have access to otherwise. This national coalition to bring Judicial and Family Court reform is gaining momentum. Get on board!

Learning about Our Right to Protest

What happens on the Courthouse Steps when you aren’t wanted there?

Concerned citizens around the country who are planning to demonstrate at the US Supreme Court are watching to see how this issue is handled.

Excerpt from this story:

The media stakeout on the U.S. Supreme Court plaza is a familiar part of argument day in high-profile cases. Lawyers and advocates go before cameras and microphones outside the court as soon as they finish arguing before the justices inside.

Now, that aspect of Supreme Court life is garnering attention itself, in connection with litigation over the constitutionality of a federal law that bans protests on the same marble plaza where the press conferences take place.

In a case challenging that law on First Amendment grounds, the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital is pointing to media gaggles or stakeouts as a fatal sign of inconsistency. The question posed: How can protests be banned, when court officials allow the plaza to be used for other clearly expressive activities protected by the First Amendment?

“Litigants and their advocates gather on the plaza to make their case to the public via the media,” the ACLU’s brief, filed Jan. 31 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, states. “Rather than seeing the court grounds as a sacred place of silent neutrality, the public is accustomed to images of the court grounds serving as an open forum, featuring this expressive activity.”

 

The Daily Report article can be found here.

The Price of Bug Repellant

A father asked us recently, “What is a good way to explain to others what this family court trap is like?”

He asked for the best way to explain to his cousin what is happening with certain Georgia family law practices.  His cousin is interested in being supportive but he doesn’t “get” the legal world, let alone this divorce business.

Cousin Joe, however, lives in a big neighborhood and can’t stand the power-hungry HOA president:

You and your neighbors are going about your yard projects, and you get into an argument about a fence.  You go to the head of your HOA to help resolve the situation.  (You can’t stand your neighbor’s bad comb-over or his beer breath, but that’s besides the point.  He doesn’t want you to paint your fence!)

What you don’t realize is that “HOA Guy” has started selling products to deal with mosquitos.  “So what?” you say.

While trying to make your very important point about your RIGHT to paint your fence, with HOA Guy calmly listening, swarms of mosquitos start circling your head and attacking every body part.  Now you’re REALLY annoyed.  And really distracted, and you can’t function let alone work out an agreement with beer-breath.  …and to make things worse, beer-breath and HOA Guy are asking you what YOU did to bring on these nasty bugs.

Thankfully HOA Guy has a solution!

He rolls out the repellant and zapper equipment, and you quickly shell out $350.00 since that’s what he charges and you don’t see any other options at that moment. (These are BIG mosquitos & they feel like they are shredding your skin and going for your dog next.)

What you can’t see at this point is that he is growing those mosquitoes in tubs around the corner and turning them loose on you every time it appears your argument might be winding down.

This conversation is not only going nowhere fast, you and your disgruntled neighbor grow increasingly agitated – with each other.  You both give up in a huff and leave, but are told to come back the next morning (when the mosquitos probably won’t be so bad, HOA Guy calmly says.)

You’re so emotional and worried that you don’t realize the mosquitos are only going after you and your “difficult” neighbor…  The next morning you are relieved to learn there is a stronger version of the repellant you can now buy that he didn’t have the day before.  Another check is written, this time for $650.00, but you have hope you’ll get through the discussion this time.

And so on.

Before too long you’ve turned over your nice watch and your bank account is empty.  (So there is no money left for you to paint that fence you were fighting over!  Problem…solved.)

This is a silly and somewhat harmless picture, right?  Just bugs, an opportunist HOA president, a fight over a fence and a few bucks.

You get it now, right?

Or…not on board yet?  Not enough to go confront and oust HOA Guy and turn his tubs of mosquitos on him?

What if this were a true high-stakes game, and it involved losing your children, your home and your health?

If this were happening to YOU, could you explain that to someone?  Or would you be too ashamed to admit you couldn’t see it coming to be able to stop it?

Right now I bet you’re thinking that you would not shell out money like that for bug repellant?  No, we wouldn’t either, but we’re really talking about people who are told to fear they will lose their children and everything they’ve worked hard for…if they don’t “buy” and “just do what I tell you…”

When you’re under attack, and someone with authority – whom you voted for and therefore TRUST – lies to you and takes everything from you…you react and comply with what you’re told, because you are READY to be delivered from what is attacking you.

Yes, it is that simple.  If you get the wrong attorney, and they do not advocate for you with the Judge like you believe they will, and they tell you to hire the WRONG custody expert, there’s basically nothing you can do…

Or is there?  And is there something we can do together to help those who are being subjected to this?

If you understand this, then you can help us act on it:  this is the reality many parents around you are facing.

Imagine you are a loving parent who just wants to do right by your kids and your soon-to-be-Ex.  You hear about a “good attorney” from a friend, so you go ask for help and write a $4,000.00 check.

While promising to “help you through this tough time” this attorney, and then his preferred child custody “expert,” take a position of authority over you.  Now the judge, the attorneys and the custody expert are all selling you repellant to fight off the bugs they didn’t tell you about.   They will keep taking from you while putting you in a worse position, but you had no way to know this was coming.

This is the easiest explanation for why this continues, because it is so hard to believe…and it is happening in plain site.  As easily as the HOA guy who happens to have bug repellant handy when you come to him for help.  As easily as the guy who sells you the solution to the problem that he created.

Divorce is tough enough, without feeling the need to stay quiet because others know you are just going through an “ugly divorce.”  Can you see how this might be hard to explain, or to know where to turn and how to ask for help?

This is why we are asking you to learn and to offer support.

This is happening to so many around your community, and just like it is hard to avoid mosquitos, it is virtually impossible to stop what is happening to anyone faced with a legal conflict like this.  It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, or what kind of neighborhood you live in.  And, it can happen to you.

Some parents are in much worse shape, and are not allowed to nurture and provide for their own children.   This is the really tough part of this — that children are often a price or the “collateral damage” that you can’t even fathom.  Those situations require a higher level of support and commitment, but these cases range from simple to the extreme.

What is happening to good mothers is also happening to good fathers, and vice versa.  There have been enough tragedies coming from this scenario to wake us up and move us into action, as a state, as parents, grandparents and community leaders or professionals.

We just need to know what YOU can handle, and what you believe is right for you to do.

Whatever your comfort level is, just do something to help us get HOA Guy where he belongs?

 

Social Media on Divorce Corp.

Sometimes people just make sense, including bloggers!

Diana Mercer, co-author of Divorce Works, shared this perfect example on HuffPost:  Link to full article here.

“You don’t have to opt into the litigation system. You don’t have to roll the dice on the judge you’re assigned to, the custody evaluator appointed, and having to pay fees upon fees. You can opt out. And it’s not difficult to opt out. There are lots of choices.

But divorcing people are scared. They’re scared of the future, of the unknown, of the things that their spouse might do.

What most don’t realize is that they really have nothing to fear but fear itself (and maybe litigation lawyers). When a gladiator lawyer says,“I’ll protect you”, the temptation is to believe it. And while I still believe most lawyers really mean that, the truth is that divorce is a business, and lawyers can’t keep their offices open when clients can’t pay. And almost every client runs out of money eventually. Even the wealthy McCourts ended up in bankruptcy after their LA Dodgers-centered divorce fight.”

Another excerpt:

“I finally saw Divorce Corp. Finally. After much banter on Facebook, a barrage of emails, aNew York Times article, and the Huffington Post’s own Paul Raeburn’s review of the film, I finally saw what all the fuss is about.

Finally someone is shaking the snow globe.

Is everything in Divorce Corp. indicative of how litigation works in every case? Of course not. But it does illustrate that when you go to court you take your chances. Are the judges biased? Are they corrupt? Probably not, but you never know. Is your child custody evaluator an extortionist? Probably not, but maybe. And you won’t find out until after the fact.

Economic Impact: Reform Makes Business Sense

Business leaders and business press:

My Advocate Center has been tracking for several years the impact on each community, and on our state.

You’ve seen it in your firms and corporations: the lost time from work, lost productivity, higher levels of stress and inability to focus.  You’ve seen the increase in healthcare costs, and the time lost to moving to smaller homes and dealing with children who are not coping well.

Now it is possible to see how the bad practices in Family Court are feeding and escalating these issues, and on a larger scale than you might imagine.  You know the divorce rate in Georgia?  Across the country?  You also are aware of the foreclosure rates here as well.

There is a direct correlation between what we are measuring and reporting on, and the economic impact felt by both our business community and our citizens.  When you see the data it will be an easy decision to make.  Backing reform over how our families and children are treated as they work through legal conflict will become a priority.

If the economic impact is not a concern to you or your business, then think about what is happening that could also happen to your children and grandchildren.  As we are proving now, no one is immune.

On Twitter:

#ReformMakesGoodBusinessSense #AtlantaNews

#BusinessofDivorce #FamilyCourtReform

#LostRealEstate #EconomicImpact

LinkedIn:

Discussions are developing around the country between professionals, professionals and parents, and in the business and healthcare communities regarding why we should collectively address these bad practices, and how to help our families and communities recover. The numbers are too staggering to ignore any longer.  And now we have the data and the solutions.

http://www.linkedin.com/company/my-advocate-center-llc