Hall of Shame (page 10)
Below are more stories of families unjustly separated by the "system" without representation of counsel and/or a Jury of their peers. The starting page, with an index, is here. These people have volunteered their stories so that everyone can understand the true damage being done, and also, so those who may be experiencing your own personal "nightmare" may realize -- you are not alone! We want you to here them in their own words. We can't vouch for the accuracy of these tales and we hope you will understand the bitterness and frustration you will hear in some of these.
Name: James Williams Location: Travis County, TX
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Nathan Ghar Williams 1990
Date Separated: Feb 1992
My case is in the Illinois Appellate Courts
On or about the first week of November 1989, in Travis County, Texas, James
Name: Kathy Clayton Location: San Antonio, TX
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Michelle (1993)
Date Separated: April 1998
I live in another state because of work. My ex will not let them come visit and because I can't afford to go visit them, he will not let me talk to them on the phone.
He split the children up when we divorced. Because I could not afford a lawyer he has not done his part in the visitation agreement by paying his half of the travel expenses. He has gotten child support for three kids and never sent any of it back. He will not let me speak to the children. He won't let me send them Christmas presents. He won't let their brother (who lives with me) talk to them. He has no right to do this, and because I can't afford a lawyer, he won't even talk to me unless it is to send me hateful emails to my work email address
Name: Laura Lane Location: Manteca, CA
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Amanda (1990), Robert (1992), Jacob (1999), Thomas (2001)
Date Separated: March 2003
Unable to see or have any connact with children until they, themselves want to allow contact.
When my ex abused our daughter he was arrested and I had to prove my self fit to regain custody of the oldest two children that were placed in foster care. I did all their classes and counseling and in five short months they were home with me. I then had to deal with filing for divorce, selling our home, moving all four children into a two bedroom, and finding some way to support them on my own.
I did very well for about a year. I used the money from the house and then started to max out credit cards to feed and clothe them all. I had no help from government agencies and/ or their fathers family. Things finally started to get to me and I went into depression.
Still, not receiving the help I should have, CPS came into my home and exaggerated on our living conditions. Deeming me unfit to care for them at all. I agreed that it would be best to stay with family until I was better and on my feet. There I was left to myself to fight just for visitation with my children. After about 6 to 8 months, the court told me that I would no longer be given the opportunity to have any contact or rights to my children. I was lost in the system.
I still am lost and I feel my only hope is that my children seek out and demand to see me. And all this due to an other persons act of abuse and neglect.
Name: Angela Moss Location: Meherrin, VA
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Marie Hartman, July 27,1999
Date Separated: October 2003
My story is that of a great aunt who is watching her great niece be tortured and pulled apart by a system that just doesn't care. It is a story of a child who has a mother who is 30 years old and disabled, a father who is in his mid 50's with multiple personalities, gender identity crisis and previously desiring to obtain the sex change operation. It is the story of a little girl and innocence lost.
She has told the DSS on several occasions of being sexually molested, she has told MCV hospital on 2 different occasions that she is being sexually molested. Does sexual abuse occur in this country???? YES it does...Do both fathers and mothers commit sexual abuse? Yes, they do. Are fathers and mothers wrongfully accused of sexual abuse? YES, it happens. I am not here to say that every time a child claims he/she were sexually abused that they truthfully were. However, I am saying that in Baby Maries case there is not a doubt in my mind that the molestation is occurring and that it is her father molesting her.
I am not however saying that I believe it is HIS personality doing the abusing because her last words to me were that he keeps on changing his name over and over and I don't know what I am going to call him when it is all over with. Then when asked what does this person look like, she says daddy. Her story is a long one and it is reported briefly in her website. I have read so many stories at so many sites and while I do not believe everything I read until I email the people and get more information I do believe a lot of what I read and it breaks my heart.
Please view her website at http://www.angelfire.com/ultra/acm563/marie.html
This whole thing with Senator Clinton is ridiculous. What would it hurt her to just hear you out??? It doesn't mean she has to believe you ro do anything but as a taxpayer she is your public servant and as such she should hear your concerns and address them. Personally I think she is a very cold hearted individual and unless she felt like she had something to gain from a meeting with you she will continue to ignore your requests. I pray for the safe return of all children who are wrongfully separated from loving homes and I pay for swift and extreme punishment for any adult who abuses a child in any way, shape or form.
Name: Heather Anderson Location: Buffalo, KY
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Hope R. Hiller--Daughter 2/2000
Date Separated: Aug 18, 2000
Currently scheduled for hearing on January 31, 2005 (if I don't lose my attorney for lack of retainer fee) While married and living in Washington D.C., I met Stephen Dustin "Dusty" Hiller. Although, I was married "Dusty" and I hit it off with great ease and eventually shared one very fateful night together. This of course led to my divorce, and the beginning of a teetering relationship with Dusty. We in one evening had become pregnant.
He was discharged from the Army for our actions generally under honorable conditions I think that is how they put it. So, after being thrown out of base housing with two children from my high school sweetheart who is really a sweetheart at all, I moved back to Kentucky with my oldest children Chance and Faith, to live with my mother, awaiting Dusty's 30 day hold in Washington D.C..
I re-enrolled into college and began before they even let him go. As things continued Dusty became very jealous of the fact that I was pursing the eldest children's father so that he may have some contact or something that remotely resembled a relationship with our children. We were good together other than that. After Hope was born, about 6 months after she was born Dusty and I called our relationship to an end, and instead of taking away from him the one thing that my oldest two children never had with their father I agreed to let Hope live with him in Alabama.
Oh, if you could see the way he loved her, his eyes sparkled and his smile could have lit the whole world ablaze when he looked at her. I myself never having that kind of love from my father didn't want to take that away from my little Hope either. We had agreed to joint custody at that time but neither of us with any ability to afford a lawyer hand wrote out a document and had it notarized to the effect that we both had joint custody of the child with agreed visitation. Well, as generous as I was Dusty never returned the gratitude, I believe with both of his parents feeding him stories he stopped trusting me.
They say they never received my letters or cards, and then when I would call it started out great he would let me talk to her, soon they stopped answering the phone, next they stopped returning my calls. All this time he has had our baby and never let me have the summertime or Christmas visitation that we originally agreed to.
In October or so of 2001, he calls me and tells me that they have reactivated him to active duty in the U.S. Army, and to receive certain benefits that he has to have sole custody of her, so without any legal advice and without the financial means for any legal advice, I believe him and sign the papers. Well, thanks to our War on Terror, I can honestly say that War is hell on the home front too. As I mentioned just a few moments ago, he was reactivated into active duty status sometime after being so, he received his orders to go Iraq; and on April 4, of 2004 the father of my youngest child was killed in action.
Now, his father and step-mother and his mother too, are keeping me from bring my child home, and the only thing I have left to do is pray that I don't get home fried (that ! is the exact terminology that was used by counsel), by a conservative southern baptist judge who sides with the family of the hero, because he is an elected official and they are in his voting zone.
They have both parties filed for custody of my child and now instead of my natural rights as her biological mother (even though they were never signed away or taken away) are being violated legally. I don't have the money for the lawyers retainer fee by January 21, 2005; he has already informed me that he will have to withdrawal from my case leaving me to stand in front Judge Richard Lane of Lee County Alabama all by myself. All I ask for is maybe this could be printed and those that read it could say a multitude of prayers and that everyone who reads it, shares it with someone else.
Name: Terri Phillips Location: Richton Park, IL
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Courteney 1996 and Imani 2000
Date Separated: December 2002
I need an attorney and can't afford it. I left my abusive husband in Florida in 2002. I went to Chicago with my children. He filed for a divorce and an emergency hearing and Judge Garrison ordered the girls back to Florida. Due to insistence on having inappropriate conversations, "If you love your daughters you would come back, etc.", it is necessary to refrain from conversations with Mr. Randle.
I have an order of protection in place and I have not had ANY communication with my daughters since January 2004, after the final divorce hearing in which I represented myself (pro se).
Name: Christopher Feerer Location: Albuquerque, NM
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Zachary (1999)
Date Separated: October 1999
An adoption case, which I am contesting, as well as a guardianship suit filed by the grandparents of my son, who are trying to adopt him. And also I have filed for custody.
The Meaning of Life -- I don’t know how to start. It’s almost impossible to explain the way I feel. My name is Christopher Aaron Feerer, and I am 25 years old. I work hard and believe that fate will never let you down. You will always get back what you put in, or if the case may be, you get what you deserve. I’ve always thought that if you try your best, then the result could never be bad, but if you don’t try at all, you have the dissatisfaction of knowing it’s nobody’s fault but your own. I almost gave up on my belief, ‘if you give a little, you get a lot’.
I almost forgot that if you truly try your best then it won’t go unnoticed. I’ve been struggling with this pain for what seems like an eternity, but has actually been 4 ½ years. Pain that is indescribable. For what reason, I don’t really know. I have always been a fair and honest person. I am caring and understanding, and I’ve always tried to do what I believe is right. This is why I can’t understand why someone would want to hurt me so badly! . I can’t understand why anyone would cause such pain for another person. It is hard for me to cope with on an everyday basis.
When I was 18, I was in a relationship unlike any other. Everyday for us was perfect, even when she got pregnant; our life together was still perfect. I worked full time, (and still do), and did everything I thought was right to support the two of the baby and us. We went by the book (literally) through the entire pregnancy and were always there for one another. On January 8, 1999, my son was born. My life couldn’t have gotten any better. I made sure we had everything we needed and we tried our best to do everything we could for ourselves. No matter what obstacles we faced everything would eventually work out. We were soon able to get our own apartment. We were responsible, and held our own, despite being so young. Eight months after my son was born, in Sept. 1999, that all changed.
When the three of us moved out, her mother instantly began hating me saying I was trying to take her daughter away from her and trying to convince my girlfriend that I was no good for her. Before this, we had never fought, believe it or not. We never really even argued before. But almost suddenly, our relationship was over. We still got along with each other, and she would bring my son over during the day when she was at school and I took him back over to her in the evening when I went to work. Despite her and I not getting back together, everything was still going well between us.
Until one day I went to pick him up and she wouldn’t let me see my son. (I still, to this day, cannot understand how this could happen.) She said she didn’t want me to take him and not let her see him, so she did it to me instead. She told me we had to go to court for custody hearings first. Soon they moved and changed their telephone number. I was able to get their new number once and they changed it almost immediately. I don’t understand how someone could put another person through so much pain for his or her own selfish reasons, without any feelings of remorse.
After trying desperately to get some help with the situation, I slowly stopped believing that everything would workout. I couldn’t afford a lawyer; I couldn’t get anywhere, no matter what direction I went in. My best didn’t cut it anymore. Completely losing contact with them, I gave up. Frustrated and completely destroyed inside I didn’t know what to do anymore. Fate had let me down. About a year passed and I had since regained my desire to keep on pushing in life and not give up, still with out knowing where my son was. All this time I’ve lived with a void, a hole, which my son once filled. I think about him constantly.
In February 2004, my boss told me to look in the Weekly Alibi, a free local newspaper, in Albuquerque, NM. Saying there was something about my son in back of the paper. I got the paper and on page 60, in a small corner add, there was a summons to me, stating "In the matter of adoption of a minor child in which you are named biological father, you are hereby required to appear in Lincoln County, Oregon to defend your parental rights from petition to adopt. If you do not respond with in 30 days from first publication of this notice, January 28,2004, petitioners will file for default judgment and be granted the relief stated herein. You should obtain a lawyer immediately." What it didn’t say was ‘you are lucky to have even seen this tiny ad, let alone have enough time left to get a lawyer in Oregon.’
With someone, or something on my side I was able to get a lawyer with one-day left to respond. All this was done over the phone, since I am in New Mexico and they are in Oregon. But I did it. This could only be fate. I had no Idea that my son was even in a different state, or who was trying to adopt him, where his mother was or who he was with. I had a million questions, and nobody to answer them. Once I got a lawyer I found out that my ex’s mother was trying to adopt my son. I also found out what had happened in the time I had lost contact with them, come to find out, was that my ex’s mom had kicked her out, telling her that she couldn’t raise a child on the streets, also saying it was in our sons’ best interest to stay with her mother.
It was at this time that I found out that my ex had moved
to Arkansas for a while leaving our son here with her mom. She moved back to
sign over her rights. After that, they moved around with my son numerous times,
eventually leaving the state of New Mexico. I also found out that my son
refers to his mom, as his sister, and refers to his grandmother and grandfather
as his mom and dad. They were intending to completely abolish my parental
rights, change my son’s name, and never tell him that I exist! Thanks to fate
not letting me down, this will not happen. I will not give up. I’ve given almost
all I have so far and everything is going in the right direction. But I now need
to travel to Oregon for a hearing with in the next two weeks. The people trying
to keep my son from me have also filed a separate motion for guardianship. My
resources have run out and my parents’ and family have helped me about as much
as they can. Despite all efforts I am coming up $5000.00 dollars short to pay my
lawyer, and I don’t know what to do at this point. Plus with my regular bills
and rent it’s all becoming overwhelming. But I cannot and will not lose my son
again. Fate brought me this far for a reason and I’ll always trust in it. Please
help a father to be with his son, and a son to know his father. I am running out
of time, and am trying everything I can possibly do…
P.S. I have given my lawyer $2,000 to represent me in the adoption proceedings regarding my son, however I wish not only to contest the adoption, but also file for custody. My lawyer has informed me that this will be a separate suit, and he will represent me, for $5,000. This is money that I have been desperately trying to come up with. My lawyer also informed me, I am needed in Oregon for hearings with in the next 3 weeks. I work full time and my paycheck is enough to cover my bills here at home, but nowhere close to being able to cover travel expenses, legal expenses and the other costs of fighting a custody case several states away. And there is a possibility that I may have to be in Oregon for quite awhile, and I don’t want to lose my home in Albuquerque. My job will be here for me when I return, but I am worried about the mean time. If you can help me, in any way, please do not hesitate. I don’t know what to do, and am asking for some kind of help with expenses. I am asking for a donation, or loan, or some type of assistance that can help with me to be with my son. Anything you can do that will put me one step closer to getting to see my son is appreciated more than you will ever know. Christopher A. Feerer
Name: Gordon Bray Location: Crested Butte, CO
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Olivia Bray 5/8/94 & Christian Bray 10/8/98
Date Separated: January, 2001
This is my story. Starting in 2001… A woman that would not marry me divorced me. She did have my children but she would not marry me. She was able to, and did, divorce me. This was done under “common law” yet the court has refused any other common law proceedings.
She is the petitioner and I am the respondent. That is, I never wanted her to leave in the beginning as I was deeply in love with her. She never stated any reason other than irreconcilable differences. She did have an affair. She accused me of physical abuse when she was poking me in the chest with her fingernail and I held her wrist to get her to stop. This was verified by a councilor in my early attempts to keep the relationship.
When she insisted on leaving me I agreed to refinance the house and give her what I could. I gave her $130,000 of equity in a lump sum and paid more money during the year. My children are not with me a lot of the time but I have no choice or say in this matter either. I did pay child support while I actually could (I even borrowed from credit cards to do so) and all the while I averaged a lot more time with the two children than she did. I averaged having the children (overnights only counted here) 64% of the time in 2002. For the year 2003 I still had the children more often. She is counted as the custodial parent and I am not, according to the head of Social Services.
I had some good years as a builder and I had been honest and upfront with all of my financial data. The last few years, particularly after September 11th have been hard financially. My income dropped by more than 65% and in 2002 I operated in the negative numbers to more than $20,000 in losses for the first 5 months alone. Only by refinancing the family house, twice more, since paying the first lump sum was I able to survive. The house has been for sale for two years under its appraised value.
I had received a court order to pay an amount exponentially more than I was actually earning. All under the guise of ‘for the children’ or ‘child support’. Fact is, she had more than $13,000 in savings and I had and have nothing. I have been ordered to pay her.
I have been paying my children’s health insurance, my ex’s health insurance for the first year and 3 months and day care costs as always. My ex and the court have all had free range to my financial data plainly showing that I do not have the resources to pay and when the laws are properly applied she should be paying me but I am still sentenced.
My attorney had dropped me as I could not pay the close to $20,000 that I owe him and my ex now has social services helping her collect ‘child support’ despite the illogical and reckless harm this will do to my children. I had actually approached social services before her and they were going to help me but the tables were turned and social services now uses that as a permission slip for jurisdiction – not help but total desecration of a family.
I cannot avoid bankruptcy, destitution and contempt of court, as I cannot do what the judge has ordered me to do. Nobody in my situation could do what the court has ordered. Trying to find a remedy for this has already cost me many thousands of dollars that I do not have. I do not know enough about law to do an appeal to the appellate court myself and there is absolutely no help from any government source for a person in my position and I have asked every state senator and house representative along with every group that I could find.
I simply do not have the money that my ex, her attorney and the court say I do, despite the irrefutable proof I have given. I simply do not have it and did not have it. I am now counted as a criminal and have been served papers with my children at my side. I have been labeled a deadbeat dad.
My children do not want to be with their mother but there has never been a custody management, guardian ad litem, psychological evaluations or parenting classes. I have no attorney and none will take this case as first, there is no money in it for them and secondly, because the ruling seems to be so obscure to many. The court refuses to help with an attorney and the prosecutors refuse to return phone calls or talk to me about any of this. At this point I don’t know – and I can’t get an answer - whether this case is civil, domestic or criminal. I know that I face jail soon but the court and human services refuse to acknowledge anything about the children. I dearly love and care for my children and they are going to be left with a mother that has stated that she doesn’t want them. Monday, March 22nd at about 4:00pm I was pulled over after picking up my daughter from school. The police told me after I asked why, that he knew I didn't have a driver’s license and that there was no traffic violation.
I was fined for driving on a foreign license issued by the United Nations. I was also fined for not having insurance. I was told that I could not drive the truck anywhere at all until I had a driver’s license and insurance. If I could afford insurance then it wouldn’t do any good, as I can’t drive.
My Colorado driver’s license was suspended after I could not pay child support. Child support was calculated on an income averaging method which simply put was an income that was derived from past years that happen to be very good years but were not achievable by me any longer. The income that was imputed onto me is over twice that of reality. The court would not consider the fact that I earned nowhere near that amount afterwards or now. The fact that I have tried to sell the house and had to carry a massive mortgage would not be considered by the court. The fact that I had and have the children the majority of the time would not be considered by the court.
My situation now is this. I have no income - non-whatsoever and I am stopped from earning a basic living. I had begun to do all the work involved for bankruptcy but I can't get to a post office to even mail it - let alone get to court. I cannot take my son to day care but my daughter can catch the bus to and from school. I have been working on bids but that is a moot point, as I cannot get to work when I do get some. I cannot get my mail nor get to the post office to mail anything. Public transport does not exist here. I am essentially a prisoner in a house that I can stay in until the electricity gets cut off. Then from there the house will be foreclosed on and I can't stay in my truck because I can't drive it anywhere. Ironically - I have my children!
The court date for the drivers license is not until late May. I have filed a set date with the court to rehear the child support issue but there is no date set as yet.
The situation that I face currently - jail for 5 days. Loss of my house. No Drivers license for a year after release from jail. No home. No Vehicle. Homelessness. No access to my children. A bum on the streets for no committed crime. Two wonderful children that lose the loving support of their father. Through all this I have sought council from Pastors, councilors, legal experts, politicians, the media and anyone that might have a solution - and yes, I have prayed. I have sought legal aid, which has been denied each time. I have sought help pro bono, which has been denied each time. I have been doing all that I can pro se.
This situation is reality and not embellished or exaggerated. I have been put in an impossible position without any regard to the well being of my children.
Thank you for reading!
Name: Madeline Davidson Location: Lambertville, NJ
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: IMO Sean Miller 7/4/82-2/5/2002; Jacob Miller 2/18/1991
Date Separated: September 6, 1996
In November of 1995 I received a sizable personal injury settlement resulting from injuries I sustained in a rear end collision with a box truck which left me permanently disabled. In August of 1996 I found my ex at the bank converting the funds into accounts with just his name. His response to my discovery was to change the locks on the house, and to ask an attorney friend (now disbarred) to bring an emergent Order to Show Cause before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division/Family Part, ex parte, to freeze my remaining bank accounts and to obtain custody of my children (born out of wed lock) by claiming that he was my "husband" (married on a specific date no less) and that I was dissipating family assets, and that I was "mentally ill and drug addicted". Although the court entered the OTSC to freeze my accounts and deliver my children to the ex, it never saw fit to require him to file or serve a complaint against me (there is a judicial finding to this effect)
Hoping to break me, the court appointed my seized funds into an attorney's trust fund and an attorney spent 30K to help me not get due process.
My children were thrust into an alien situation where the father they knew as any children know and love their fathers embarked upon an 8 year campaign to separate me from my sons, to whom I was very close.
Not having the best parenting skills, the ex left the older boy (a gifted child with an IQ of 148) completely unsupervised and allowed him to entertain anyone he met at the former marital home. My son was 14 years old at the time and when I left was an engaged honor roll student in advanced classes.
My baby, only 5 at the time, was left in the care of various day care institutions while the ex continually sought to have me put into supervised visitation and sought child support claiming that the "funds" that I was allegedly dissipating and needed for my medical care were now fair game for a $400/week child support order. Sadly, the children suffered immensely while the years passed by and the ex continued to deny court ordered parenting time.
Two years ago I discovered that the older boy had been addicted to heroin since he was 15 years old. His notes from rehab list the main reason that he felt drawn to drugs was that he missed his mother.
He died of a heroin overdose in the ex's house on 2/5/2002 and at that time I found out that the younger son had been smoking pot with the older boy's friends, in the ex's house. He was in full rigor mortis by the time the ex noticed that he wasn't coming out of his room on February 6.(which was pad locked from the inside)
In March of 2002 I brought an OTSC seeking to gain temporary custody of the surviving child which resulted in DYFS showing up at the hearing and demanding that I (who they "knew" was mentally ill because the ex said so) demanded that I see their shrink which I did; she found no chronic mental illness but found that I was suffering from anxiety and PTSD. Although DYFS held up the disposition of that hearing, once the report came back without what they had expected, they summarily closed the case.
The following XMas (the first since my older son had died) was met with a note from the ex informing me that I could not see my only son on the scheduled holiday visit because he was taking the child out of state. I filed and OTSC to stop him, and the court granted my request. If the ex left the state, he was to leave the child with me. On Christmas Eve his father put my son on a plane to the Bahamas and I spent that XMas alone, in despair. I was now aware that my younger son had kept these facts hidden from me and that his father had enlisted him to lie to me and assist this cruelty.
When my baby returned from the Bahamas I asked him why (that was a mistake) which led to the child being so upset and defensive that I thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown.
At that time my Jake was and is still recovering from the shock of finding his 19 year old brother dead in the bedroom next to his own. On the day my older son died the ex refused to let him stay with me because he said I would "imprint grief" upon my younger son (like he needed me to imprint the grief of losing his brother upon him!) At the funeral the ex and his new wife refused to give up control of the funeral or allow any to attend that they did not approve of. It was a very sick situation that shall hurt my younger son for many years.
Seeing that this strife was about to carry the youngest into the same despair that drove the older boy to kill himself, I surrendered all parental rights in order to ensure that Jake had no more strife in his sad young life. Like the story in Solomon I figured, I would give my son up to preserve his life. I regret ever having fought so hard and damaging my children with my misguided idea that if I fought for them they would understand my love and devotion for them. The strife killed the oldest and the youngest emails me everyday, but we don't see each other anymore. It is not an ideal situation for Jake, but he is off the hotseat and out of the middle.
Name: Jerry and Joanne Nichols Location: Chicago, IL
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Christopher, 9/18/85 - Princess,12/9/86 - Jerry,12/86 - Prentice,4/12/88 - Carolyn, 4/12/88- Wendy,12/21/91
Date Separated: July 27, 1993
No legal help yet still fighting. Our six children were taken without a court order by dcfs in Illinois nor did we have legal counsel appointed to stop such action. We did not have a right to a jury to decide custody and also we have not a right to see our children for the last 10 years.
Name: Renee Jacques Location: Winter Garden, FL
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Brandon (1989), Alex (1997)
Date Separated: March 27, 2003
A Mother's Fight for Justice
Try to imagine the emotional state I was in when the ruling was made. I lost custody of my six year old little boy. I am the proud mother of two boys, Brandon, 15 and Alex, 6. A new Doctor I sought out, who was referred to me on my new Insurance Plan, misdiagnosed me with BiPolar2 disorder. Approximately one year later, changing Doctors in the mean time; my actual diagnosis is Depression triggered by Post Traumatic Stress. The initial Doctor put me on five different medications. He kept piling meds on top of meds knowing I was a social drinker and failing to advise me not to consume alcoholic beverages, until I ended up in the Intensive Care Unit after having drinks with my coworkers.
During my hospitalization, Alex's father filed an Exparte Motion for custody of our son accusing me of attempting suicide and stating that I was an unfit mother, to my dismay. With no proof of his accusations against me, Judge Raymond T. McNeal, Ocala, Florida granted the Motion in a matter of hours, without my knowledge. I fought in court over a period of nine months. It was proven in court that it was not an attempted suicide. My toxicology reports show it was a medication error and my meds were taken as prescribed by my attending physician. Two Psychiatrists, one testified in court, the other via medical records and an assessment of me, that I am not suicidal and am more than able to parent my children. The Doctor even admitted on the stand that he failed to advise me not to consume alcohol when he handed me a sample pack of medication and sent me on my way.
During these grueling hearings, the Doctor who prescribed the medication fell under investigation for eleven deaths of his patients for over medicating them. "Hmm, imagine that." Just a tad bit of a coincidence? That fact was also presented in court along with the news articles published in a variety of Florida Newspapers regarding this Doctor, being hand delivered to Judge McNeal during one of our many hearings. It was also proven that the father of my son is abusive both physically and mentally in the presence of our son. His current wife testified against him regarding his violent behavior and his jealous rages in the presence of our child, as well as her own. An all too familiar story to me. I lived it just as she described it on the stand, during my four years spent with him.
My Fiancée and I also taped his violent behavior, with his knowledge, when he came to our home to pick up our son after my weekend visitation. That tape was submitted to the court as well. During court proceedings the Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) of Florida investigated the alleged suicide attempt and my inability to mother my children as the father of my child accused. After a lengthy investigation, D.C.F. found that it was not a suicide attempt and I was more than able to parent my children. A report from DCF stating those found facts was also submitted to the court, and hand delivered, once again, to Judge Raymond T. McNeal. The Judge ignored those issues.
But as we all know custody battles can get ugly. My own father and sister, whom I have been estranged from for years, testified against me, with a hidden agenda. The children. When I made "my great escape" from my dysfunctional family, it was my children they targeted to get to me. They jumped on the bandwagon with Alex's father, whom they despised, up until my poor judgment day that landed me in the Intensive Care Unit. We had never been a family. Our family did not function in a healthy manner. We had a volatile relationship for many years. Here was their window of opportunity to muck rake the dysfunctional past in a court of law and use it against me. I found myself asking, "Why are we all made to swear on a bible to tell the "whole truth" and nothing but the "truth" when everyone, including the judge suppresses the "whole" truth? You are not permitted to tell the whole truth in a court of law. "Just answer the questions you are asked, Mam." Nah, you can't go into detai! l with your answers to the questions asked. A simple yes or no! . No ex planation allowed. Such as, what made you use profanity against your mother? Answer: after your thirteen year old son comes running home crying and begging you to stop "Grammy" from picking him up from the bus stop because she tells him what a whore his mother is. A drug abuser. An alcoholic and that you, his own mother doesn't love him and he'd be better off without you. (She must have stayed up late at night, racking her brain to come up with that.) Nah, you can't say that in a court of law. They don't let you state the "whole" truth. They cut you off so it can be twisted to something that wasn't and is made to look like their version on the stand. The lies that swarmed that courtroom were beyond belief. And worse yet, allowed to be told.
In the end, Judge Raymond T. McNeal ruled against me. With all of the facts in place, the Judge took my child away from me and gave him to a known abuser. This is the same judge who ordered an injunction for protection for me against the father of my son three years prior to these hearings. I immediately filed an Appeal to his ruling. What this judge did to me is a miscarriage of Justice. He need not be on the bench calling himself ?Honorable.? There is nothing honorable about him. Judges are not "above the law." The lives of my children have been invaded. And as my honored job as a mother, it is up to me to fight for what is right. For what others are attempting to take away from me for their own selfish reasons and satisfaction. Doesn't anyone realize it is the children who are hurt? I have too much fight in me to be plowed down with hate and vengeance. I am a competent, caring, good providing, loving parent. All who are negatively involved in this case, including the lawyer who represented Alex's father, Rollin "Rick" Tomberlin, behave as if I had absolutely nothing to do with bringing this precious child into this world. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Alex's mother. I am "Mommy." That is something that Judge Raymond T. McNeal can not take away from me. As long as there is breath in my body, I will continue to fight for justice and the return of my child. I will make a difference.
We love and miss you Alex.
Mommy, Paul, Brother, Max, Abbey, Storm and Chunkers.
Name: Nicole Majewski Location: Joliet, IL
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Ethan Washburn - 1/12/01
Date Separated: March 6, 2004
Just as recently as of march 6th 2004, I became the non custodial parent. My name is Nicole and I am 24 yrs old, the mother of two beautiful little boys, ages 2 and 3. I have been fighting for custody of my two children for 20 months. The first battle is lost but certainly not over, I am appealing it to the appellate court.
Like I said this started over 20 months ago back in the end of 2002, things between my ex and myself were not going well. We lived together in Florida with our two children and after much erratic behavior on his end, I decided to take a visit back to Chicago where I am from. This sounds crazy but after two incidents where the police were called, days later after calming down and talking w/ him he persuaded me along w/ the help of his mother to let him keep the younger boy. At this time I was going thru some postpartum issues. My boys are 13 months apart, I became pregnant w/ my second son only 4 months after my first son was born. I was tired and stressed and my youngest was colic. I needed a short break to breath.
This to me sounded reasonable, I trusted him as the father of my children and the man I loved. This trip was to be for a short period of time 3 or 4 weeks. In that time he was going to be visiting some friends in St. Louis, MO and bring our son up to me. My family had not seen the baby yet. All sounded good and we both agreed. So May 26th of 2002 I left Florida w/ my oldest son and left my 4 month old son w/ him and the assurance that his mother would be there to help him.
For the first few days things were ok I called home and talked to him and things were ok until he left on his trip to st. Louis. The calls from him were 1 every few days for the first few days and then they stopped. He called one final time in the first few days of June 2002. I was out and my brother in law took the call. My ex said that he had tried to come to Chicago but his friends car broke down and could not make it so my brother in law offered to come and meet him or my father would. He said he would see about getting another ride and Call me back later that day. Sadly to say that was the last phone call.
I desperately after a day or so called Chicago police and made a missing persons report on my son. I was scared at this time because my ex has bi-polar / major depression and prior to me leaving Florida he was off his medication and all hell broke loose.
I was in fear that he was going to do something erratic and endanger my sons life.
Come to find out thru a friend in Florida and the landlord of our house, he moved "his friend"a female, into our home the day after I left and was on a road trip to Montana w/ her, his new girlfriend. I GOT DUPED.
Anyways after calling his mom and police and filing a restrain order against him and no help from his mom I came to Florida to find him because my friend said she went past the house and he was back. This was June 16th or 17th 2002. I in the mean time contacted police in Florida and an attorney. W/ no help from police and not being able to find him I retained the lawyer and went home. He in the mean time had done the same, ( his mother works for a family law attorney). I received custody papers stating that he wanted full custody and that I was a threat to our younger son and him and I threatened to kill them both. Here the lies began and haven't stopped.
He has preceded to drag this case out and I was not allowed to see my son until November of 2002 for the first time 6 months later, he was now 10 months old. While still having temporary custody of my older child and him having temporary custody of my youngest until recently this has gone on for 20 months w/ the boys being apart.
He has primary residential care and I have secondary. I live in Chicago and am remarried now and am mad as hell. This cannot be happening to me. I kept all evidence of my effort to keep in contact, emails, phone logs and sent tons of pictures , what did I receive in return from him nothing. It was like he only has one son, our youngest. The family judge ruled after not considering any evidence and going on his ( my ex ) mothers testimony that he is the better parent and he got both. He didn't even ask for our older son thru this whole process and the judge gave him both boys. I am absolutely devastated and am now 5 months pregnant w/ my and my husbands first child. This has been the hardest time for me and it as only just begun. I will not stop fighting for the truth to be heard. MY children's rights are being ignored and the court system has failed them.
I need some advise on how to proceed w/ this. I am doing all i can by writing the papers and asking other judges that I know and lawyers there opinion on how to make this right. I am young and determined to get my children back home to me where they belong.
The court system feels that if a father is fighting for custody he must be a good person, but what the court fails to see is all their pettiness that goes on outside the court room. This to them is a control game, there is no real concern to the children's well being.
Name: Carol Vargo Location: Phillipsburg, NJ
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Jonathan Vargo --1989
Date Separated: Nov 5, 1999
I have every other weekend visitation. Even though the judge we were in front of in Nov. of 2003 talked to my son, Jonathan, and Jon said he wanted to come home, even though my daughter testified to the beatings she received from my ex husband and the judge believed her, the judge said that my youngest son should stay with his father until June, and possibly in June after school is out, we could revisit court.
We were married in 1988. I have two children from my previous marriage. They never saw their real dad, he took off. I wanted a father for my kids. Mickey and I were married, and it started. The screaming, name calling, slapping, degrading. I became pregnant and in Nov. of 1989 Jon was born. While I was pregnant, my husband kept telling me I was fat, ugly, worthless, etc. I wanted to die. I was a useless woman. After several months, I came home from cleaning houses to find him dressed in my underwear.
I wanted this marriage to work. I tried to look past the clothing. It got too bad, and he became obsessed with wearing my undergarments, to have sex. I asked him not to do this, but he would not stop. He became very angry with me, all of the time, because I would not do what he wanted me to do sexually, he would scream, rage, push, kick, hit, choke. After Jonathan was born, my husband refused to sleep with me. He was cold and controlling. I cleaned houses and took Jonathan with me all of the time. His father did not ever change one diaper. Finally, in 1995, he choked me with intent to harm. After holding me down, laughing at me, calling me sick, while I screamed for help, he grabbed our son, Jon, then 4 years old, and ran out of the house, to my girlfriends home. I called the police. I had no idea where he went with our son. My other two children were in school and I called me girlfriend to pick them up for me, as I was at the police station, and that is when I found out my husband was there with our son. I later found out he had been calling my girlfriend.
He immediately hired a lawyer, and we went to court. I did not want him to come back to the house. The judge ordered him to pay the mortgage in lieu of child support. He did not pay the mortgage, or child support. The courts then ordered us to sell the house. I had no where to live. I lost the house to foreclosure. I searched all over for a place to live. I found a house, 50 miles away which I could afford. The courts order me to give up our old Chevy station wagon to him. My husband had our phone shut off, canceled my credit cards, called DYFS on me, accused me of child molestation because I nursed my children. He called the police when I had a yard sale, he came around the house in the middle of the night, (I saw him). I tried to get a restraining order, It was denied.
We went to court again and we were ordered to pay for and attend a court appointed child custody evaluator expert on domestic violence. The evaluator believed me,and gave me a favorable report saying that my husband was out to win, and not even thinking about the welfare of the family. My husband filed for custody of our one son. He said he only wanted his biological son, which hurt my other son, Josh. My husband wanted his own evaluator and the court said okay. I was ordered to go to His evaluator, who had no domestic violence training, was paid for by my husband. I was threatened with "If you do not go, the courts will take away your son." His evaluator had a completely opposite report. We went back to court.
My husband kept saying that he did not get telephone contact, which was a lie. He complained and complained that he was being denied visitation which he was not. The judge we had believed him, without any proof. My husband made several false police reports, one saying that I had him beat up. The officer who wrote the report, stated that he smelled alcohol on my husband, that my husband had not bruises or broken glasses, and it took him 4 hours to write the report. I got a copy of the report from the police department and tried to enter it in court, the judge would not see it.
In November of 1999 she ordered my son to be removed from my custody. I was screaming, and pleading. I was told to shut-up, or else. I was handcuffed and carried out by six armed guards to a holding cell. My son was grabbed by a guard and carried out as I could hear him screaming "No dad, ! please don't take me, no Dad, no!!!". It was so very terrible! , and I relive it many times. I was denied the right to see my son for two weeks, and than only for 5 hours on Sunday with supervision. We had to go back to court again, and again, and the judge kept saying she did not want to make a decision on this case, (after she had already done such a terrible thing to my family) and she said to my lawyer that she wants it settled and we should settle it.
Her advice was that I agree that my son should stay with his father, or she would make it worse for me. I agreed in court, because I felt pressured and unsure, but I could never sign the agreement. The next judge, made it an order, and my son had to stay with his abusive dad. This judge also allowed my ex-husbands lawyer to call me "crazy, insane, I should be locked up in a looney bin or in jail or something, and I cry out to be assaulted." My lawyer tried to stop the onslaught of words, but the judge wanted to hear it. (this is all on the record). I was advised by my attorney to make an Attorney Ethics complaint, which I did. A hearing was held, and the answer came back that the lawyer did not do anything unethical. I appealed the decision, and waited many months.
I did not expect anything to happen with this appeal. I finally got a letter in the mail that another hearing was scheduled, this February 2004, and I would be informed of the decision by mail. I have heard nothing to date. I was also denied my right to a fair hearing and a guardian ad litem for my son. I had to appeal the decision, which I did, and won. I was given a guardian ad litem for my son, chosen by the judge, as a favor to the court, which we had to pay for. In 2003, a hearing was scheduled and my son talked to the judge. My son told the judge (a new judge) that his father punches walls, throws things, screams at the child for nothing, and Jon said that he wanted to come home with me, (my son is now 13 at this time).
My daughter testified (she is now 21), about how my ex-husband used to beat her and her brother with a stick on her back, and he broke the stick on her. This judge finally believed her, but nothing happened to change anything. The judge did not want to take Jon out of school. Even though my ex-husband committed perjury in court, nothing happened. My visitation is now every other weekend. My son has been there for four years now, and has made friends. He spends more time at his friends house, than with his father, and says that his friends father talks more to him in one day than his father does in a week. I have also been ordered to pay child support since 2002, The last time we were in court, my ex-husband wanted my pay garnished, which the judge allowed, even though I was paying weekly. When I read the Guardian ad litems report, he did not tell the truth in the report. We were ordered to pay $750 each for his report. I wrote the judge a letter saying that I was not satisfied with the report as I know it is not true. The lawyer made a motion to have me pay him $1500, as I don't think he was very happy that I called him a liar. The judge ordered that I pay $600 more dollars by the end of December 2003, and if I do not, the lawyer can motion for a bench warrant for my arrest. I started to pay, as I did not want to get arrested, but I did not have all of the money. I sent $100. I recently received another threatening letter from the lawyer saying that if I do not send him $500 within 10 days, he will get a warrant for my arrest. I don't think he needs the money. I could only send him another $100.
I was ordered to maintain a telephone in the one bedroom apartment that my son lives in for telephone contact with my son. My ex-husband was ordered to have a two bedroom apartment. My son runs the streets, is doing poorly in school, misses many days of school. In 2002 he was out of school for 40 days. The courts did nothing. He does not eat properly, and is on his own more than he is with his father. So, here we are. I have been denied my rights to be an involve mother. I have been accused and convicted by One judge of something that I have not done. I and my children, have been punished and separated by a court system that is political and corrupt. I started with a legal aid attorney, then I borrowed money from a friend to pay for an attorney. I have had several lawyers, all who took the money, and now I am in debt for over $8000 to my previous lawyer, $400 to my present lawyer, who I can no longer afford. I now have no legal representation and no money to fight, thanks to a unjust court system in Middlesex County, NJ. Some days are better, some days are worse.
It has been so long and drawn out, that I really have not much power left in me to fight. I can only pray for my children.
Name: Carol Phillips Location: De Soto, KS
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Jacob born 1990 and Jenna born 1992
Date Separated: June 1999
Supreme Court in Kansas upheld lower courts
decision October 2001. Pending new case not yet given date to try to change
residency as per judges agreement.
I am the biological mother of two children, a son who will be 14 in a few weeks and an 11 year old daughter. My ex-husband who is NOT the biological father of either child....and not the adoptive father of either child to quote him “because I don’t have to”....has primary residency over my children. In the state of Kansas there is a law that states a man shall have “presumptive parentage rights” to any children that has been living with them during a marriage. These “rights” have been extended to allow him to be the primary guardian of my children. “His rights” now far exceeds my rights as the biological mother, my “children’s rights”, and the rights of their biological father.
I am not a felon. I have never been convicted
of any crimes. In fact, I don’t even have a speeding ticket on my record. I am
not a “bad” parent....in fact I’ve been given awards from my children’s schools
for being nominated not only by my children but their friends, teachers, and
other administrative personnel as “parent of the month”! So why do I have
limited time with my children? To recap....because there are judges that are
“allowed” to make decisions which are NOT in the best interests of the child.
Name: Regina M Rider-Wade Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Email Addr: Ceratitis@aol.com
Children/Birth Date: Brandon May-Rider 1/21/1998 and Darcia Veta Ann Bronson
Date Separated: May 2001
Legal action still pending on Darcia her father parentally abducted our daughter out of state. Currently I am requesting court appoint Guardian Ad Litem for my son.
Jan 27, 2004 I go to court with Matthew
Schlicher case number 02-DR-1469 in regard to my daughter Darcia Bronson. (DCF/CPS
violated my right to contest to Mr. Schlicher leaving the State of Florida with
our daughter. (I have to refile as a Petition as I filed as a motion in error.
As Far as I am concerned he is guilty of Parentally Abducting our daughter out
Name: Cindy Trombetta Location: Manteno, IL
Email Addr: email@example.com
Children/Birth Date: Daniel, 1988
Date Separated: Nov. 2000
Had final hearing Jan. 2004 lost custody.
Well the day we were supposed to have our
final hearing the courts scheduled other cases before ours. We didn't walk in
that courtroom till after 1:00. we had to rush through this hearing and the
judge did not get to hear all my very important evidence. Which now I am
wondering why attorney just didn't tell the judge we had more. She didn't. The
judge heard some of my evidence as to Dan Sr. admitting having a child molester
stay in his home but my ex lied and told the judge he never left my son alone
with him, My ex denied me a lot of my visitation, and so forth. My ex had left
me and my son on several occasions, one time he
My ex had all the utilities turned off in the house. It was raining and cold out and our basement flooded and it was a disaster. The courts never got to hear a lot of this. I never got to ever have a fair hearing or with a jury. My ex also admitted in court that he takes him to work when he can't get a sitter. He has a so called landscape business he runs out of his rental home which he made it sound so successful plus he delivers pizza's. He has left my child alone in the car and lets him fool around on lawn equipment. All my ex is doing is using my son to try and hurt me. He never ever paid a single dime when we were together to pay the needs of my son, he went to jail for non-support from a non-custodial daughter he has and I bailed him out. The courts don't know of this. There is just so much to this.
Well my little boy tells me all the time how he misses me and his older sisters and wants to live with me. We all just cry and don't know what to do. My heart aches so much for my little one. He is the world to me. How can this system be so cruel? The judge knew he was splitting up siblings. Where was ever my maternal rights to have my son and most of all where are my son's rights to having mom to care from him? This all happened in Crown Point Indiana in this so called family court. Well I am not giving up on my son.
Can someone help me out and tell me what else I can do? Do I write to judge? Do I protest in front of court? Do I report this to the Judicial committee (which is useless)? please, any suggestions? Danny, Mommy loves you and I promise to keep fighting for you all the truth will come out sweety.
Name: Karen Natoli Location: Bloomfield, NY
Email Addr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children/Birth Date: Haley, 1994
Date Separated: n/a
My stepdaughter has been ordered by a Family Court Judge to be co-parented by a CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER!! This started when she was 4, now she is 9. We have been to court too many times to recall.
Our last court appearance landed the mother, who married the sex offender AFTER he was released from jail, SOLE custody. We brought this issue to court to try and protect the innocence of this little girl and the courts have taken away time from my husband and as I said, awarded the Mom Sole custody.
The Judge threatens my husband, through "our" attorney, while conferencing "in chambers" that if he doesn't "back down" and "drop this issue" he (the Judge) will take more time away from him and "make life Hell." Our "system" is power hungry and doesn't care about our children or who their caretakers are. I'm appalled and "non-violent" action is hard to continue with when the stakes are this high.