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From: Webmaster (kids-right) (
Date: Tue Mar 05 2002 - 10:46:54 EST

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Good People,

This message (a bit long!) contains information on:
1. Your FEEDBACK - to our Valentine's greeting.
2. State Legislative Activity - Colorado, Mass, New York, & Tennessee
   you may want to know.  Very strong bill proposed in Tennessee.
3. More meetings planned - Syracuse, NY, Plymouth, Mass, & DC
4. Letter to Senator Clinton.
5. HELP WANTED - we can use an assistant webmaster.

1. Your FEEDBACK - to our Valentine's greeting.
Thanks for your response to our Valentine's Day Message, these
messages should  help us all appreciate what we have (and have lost!).

----- Jesse Nunez (

> Love your messages, I am in the same boat, Non-custodial parent, and
> have gone through the ringer, by the system that has alienated me
> from my child, I also wished that I can be with you at the Federal
> blgd, but I am in Los Angeles, CA. Let us never give up on these
> important issue's and our commitment to our children, no matter the
> obstacles in our way. GOD Bless America, and you, my dear friend.

----- Lisa (

> Hi Happy belated valentines day! Anyway I have heard it all. Many
> people told me oh just don't worry when your kids are older they
> will find you, they will come back to you! well from my experience
> its all bull***t as many may know ..and as far as the name calling,
> my kids 8 and now 7 call me a liar, they say i dont love them, i
> have left them, they tell me that dad says im bad .. I have heard it
> time and time again, but ya know what helps me .. I know that even
> though my x husband is rotten like that along with his new wife, I
> know I never say anything bad about him , I never talk any bad
> things in front of my children and I think that makes me a better
> person... well just a note .. Lisa

----- Doug Heffley (

> I am a really unique kind of guy!  When I divorced for the second &
> third times I was a custodial & non-custodial parent at the same
> time!  My oldest son from my first marriage was ALWAYS with me (my
> next two wives divorced him as well as me!).  My two daughters are
> now both adults!  My oldest probably hates my guts!  We haven't
> talked since Christmas of 1994 when my younger daughter and I tried
> to set up a visit.  My youngest is now on her own at 19!  She would
> like to live with me now, but years of abuse from the divorce
> industry and our present economy have placed me in a position where
> I can't keep a roof over my own head!  So now that that opportunity
> is knocking at my door I haven't the means to take advantage of the
> situation!  Nothing makes a father feel lower than to have a child
> in need and not be able to be there for them!  Is there any doubt as
> to why I align myself with the views of ANARCHISTS?  Until "Big
> Brother" got involved in my life I was able to pay my bills on time
> and with each marriage I had a beautiful home.  Today I live with my
> 86 year old aunt, because without her help I would be just another
> homeless "Dad Beat Dead"!

---- John Graboski (

> I traveled all over the world (except for the former USSR), and did
> my assignments in 4 different languages.  I actually saw someone get
> stabbed in a Columbian restaurant.

> But nothing, absolutely nothing shocked me more than to watch a
> child of 4 years, SCREAM at his father, "I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I
> HATE YOU", in a California restaurant some 10 years ago.

> The sadness of the father was something I understood perfectly well.
> My children's mother had taught them to hate me too.  Eventually,
> she alleged "child abuse" in court, and then I suddenly I was an
> ex-father.

> They were in their 20's when they found me, but trust me, it was
> more like being interviewed by perfect strangers.  Yes, they
> apologized for their perjury in the judge's chambers ..... Dolores
> had suborned her own children to perjury to get rid of me, and she
> succeeded.

> My ex-wife laments that she will never have grandchildren.  I CANNOT
> imagine why ?  Do you think that they don't want the kind of misery
> that their parents suffered ?  John and Maria are now in their 30's.
> Smart kiddies !!!

2. State Legislative Activity - you may want to know.
Here is a "brief" summary of what is going on in several states
regarding reform (Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, & Tennesee).  We
can't post all items. They are welcome from any groups working toward
equal parenting. If you know of something upcoming please send to:

Colorado -- from
February 15, 2002 - Colorado House of Representatives Health,
Environment, Welfare and Institutions Committee hearing on House Bill
1275 - Concerning Dependent and Neglected Children.

In a blatant application of viewpoint discrimination, HEWI committee
chairwoman, Laurie Clapp, adjourned the hearing HB1275 after hearing
testimony from all attendees who were opposed to the bill (numbering
approx. 5) and then pulled the bill without hearing testimony from those
favoring the bill. Over 80 people had appeared to testify in favor of
the bill, some traveling from as far away as Texas.

The pretext for the viewpoint discrimination was an allegation that
Suzanne Shell had disrupted the meeting. Shell attended the meeting for
the purposes of video taping the proceedings for possible inclusion in
her documentary film project. She possess a valid press pass issued by
the Rocky Mountain Media Collective. State and local governments may not
limit or deny the public or the media access to public forums.

Ms. Shell had set up her camera against a wall, well out of the way of
any traffic, and had video taped the first hour of the session
unobtrusively and with complete decorum, and without comment from the
committee. As soon as the first witness attempted to testify in favor
of the bill, without justifiable reason or provocation, Chairwoman
Clapp sent the Sergeant at Arms to demand that Shell move her camera
to the back of the room. Because Ms. Shell's video camera is not
equipped with remote microphones, if she was moved to the back of the
room, she would only be able to photograph the backs of people's heads
and would not able to record any audio. She was essentially being told
to turn off her camera.

Ms. Shell refused to move, citing first amendment freedom of the press

The audience began to shout out "Leave her alone," and "Let her stay."
A recess was called and Chairwoman Clapp confirmed that Shell was
allowed to remain.  When the hearing resumed, Ms. Shell was subjected
to repeated harassment by the Vice Chair, Betty Boyd and other staff
members. Shell continued to quietly video record in spite of the
harassment and unprovoked disruptions until Chairman Clapp abruptly
called a recess in the middle of the second witness's testimony in
favor of the bill.

Ms. Shell's press pass was confiscated by one of the representatives
on the committee. The committee then held a secret meeting in an
adjoining room, apparently without their attorney present, and without
announcing it to public. A secret decision was subsequently made to
postpone, and then changed to pulling, the bill. There is no record of
the discussions leading up to those decisions or what the
corresponding committee member votes were.  Witnesses have reported
that certain members of the committee approached them privately
immediately after the hearing was adjourned and offered to hear their
testimony secretly at a later date, possibly via telephone.

Ms. Shell has received many calls from the public who were present
with offers to testify on her behalf; that she had done nothing to
disrupt the meeting.  Ms. Shell has confirmed with the Director of the
Rocky Mountain Media Collective that nobody had attempted to verify
the validity of her press pass with him. Despite the fact that
Chairman Clapp had publicly declared her press pass to be fraudulent,
Ms. Shell's press pass was eventually returned to her when she
demanded it.

Ms. Shell was subsequently informed that she was banned from future
hearings. It is unclear as to the nature or extent of that ban. Since
1931, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated repeatedly that government
attempts to censor the media are presumed unconstitutional. This ban
also constitutes a prior restraint on Ms. Shell's ability to publish
subsequent General Assembly proceedings. The Court has said that "any
prior restraint on expression comes to this Court with a 'heavy
presumption' against its constitutional validity."  Ms. Shell has been
subjected to a systematic pattern of intimidation and harassment where
ever she goes for two years. While sitting silently in courtroom
galleries, judges will address her, interrogate her and issue orders
to her. When attending public meetings and press conferences, they
will assign security personnel to follow her around.

Ms. Shell is the publisher and owner of Sage Wisdom Press (book
publishing), the publisher of an internet website
(, a freelance journalist and editorial
columnist, and a documentary film producer for Diogene's Quest
Productions. She covers issues of public interest relating to child
protection.  Ms. Shell will be seeing appropriate legal
remedies. Other persons attending the meeting have also stated their
intentions to seek legal remedies.

Contact Information:
Suzanne Shell
Director, American Family Advocacy Center
Founder Committee for Pro-Family Public Policy
719-749-2971 fax 719-749-2972

Massachusetts (March 9) -- from
State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg to Speak About Shared Parenting

State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg will be speaking before the
Fatherhood Coalition on Saturday, March 9, 2002 at 2:00 p.m., in the
Amherst Public Library.  The subject will be shared parenting as an
alternative to sole custody in child custody determinations. The event
will be open to the public.  Come and speak to Senator Stanley C.
Rosenberg regarding your Probate Court experiences.

The Fatherhood Coalition is an organization dedicated to fostering the
father/child relationship and promoting gender equality in family law.

To contact Rinaldo Del Gallo, call 413-443-3150 or e-mail him at

To learn more about the Fatherhood Coalition go

New York --
Albany - The Fathers' Rights Ass'n. [an equal parenting group] has
scheduled Tue., 19 Mar., from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. as Legislative
Education and Awareness Day (L.E.A.D.)

A press conference is scheduled from 11:00 a.m., and a rally will take
place on the Capitol steps at 12:00 noon.  The location will be the
Well of the Legislative Office Building in downtown Albany.  This
event is arguably the most important event of the year for fathers and
their families.  It is an opportunity to show strength in numbers and
to speak directly with elected representatives and policy makers.
Anyone and everyone is invited to join us, along with friends, other
family members, including children, and business associates.  Please
plan to join us and make this notice available to your readers.

Tennessee -- from
Tennessee Shared Parenting Bill Could  Help Children, Reduce Divorce

      When Angeliek Green sang lullabies to her baby girls, she
caressed their foreheads and told them "mommy will always be there for
her little angels.  Always."  She was wrong.

       "I cry every night over my children," she says. "Every time I
see kids in a park with their parents, or playing in a yard as I drive
home from work, the wound is opened all over again." Fifteen years
ago, under pressure because of finances and personal problems, Green
ceded custody of her two daughters to her ex-husband. She says:

       "I thought that as a noncustodial parent [NCP] I would still
have the right to be a part of their lives. It was the worst mistake
of my life."  The last decade and a half has been a nightmare for
Green as she has been at the mercy of an ex-husband who has
disappeared with the girls for years at a time, and a vindictive
stepmother who has successfully turned the girls against their mother.

       Green's anguish is experienced by hundreds of thousands of NCPs
across the country.  Their grievances include: blocked visitation and
unenforced visitation orders; "move away" spouses who use geography as
a method of driving NCPs out of their children's lives; acceptance by
the courts of false and/or uncorroborated accusations as a basis for
denying custody or even contact between parent and child; rigid,
excessive, and often punitive child support awards; a "win/lose"
system which pits ex-spouses against one another by designating a
custodial and a noncustodial parent; courts which in determining
custody tilt heavily towards the parent who initiates the divorce,
thus encouraging each parent to "strike first"; burdensome legal
costs; and judicial preference for mothers over fathers as custodial

       The solution to the problem now lies before the Tennessee State
legislature. Tennessee HB2338 / SB2406, known as the "Shared Parenting
Bill," abolishes the concept of child custody and gives equal standing
to both parents in a divorce.  In the event that divorcing parents are
unable to agree on a shared parenting plan, the bill would instruct
the courts to "order a custody arrangement with the primary
residential designation alternating between parents" and would require
that the residential designation "reflect a substantially equal
schedule" between the mother and the father.  The legislation,
sponsored by sponsored by state Rep. Kathryn Bowers (D-Memphis) and
state Sen. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville), allows judges to deviate from
this equal arrangement only if one of the parents has committed acts
which render he or she unfit, such as child abuse or domestic

       According to Dianna Thompson, Executive Director of the
American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC), the bill "will
ensure that children continue to have an ongoing emotional, physical,
and financial relationship with both of their parents following a
divorce or separation."  She says:

       "Currently, we have a very adversarial court system, and
destructive custody battles are largely driven by the parents' fear
that they will be expelled from their children's lives.  By replacing
winners and losers with equals, the Shared Parenting legislation takes
a lot of the anger and conflict out of divorce."

       Advocates of the bill emphasize that it will lower the divorce
rate, since parents won't be rewarded by the courts for being the
first one to terminate a struggling relationship. In addition, they
say, it encourages cooperation and even reconciliation because each
parent knows that, barring proof of abuse, they will not be able to
drive the other parent out of their children's lives. In fact, studies
have shown that states with egalitarian custody laws have lower
divorce rates than "win/lose" states like Tennessee.  And because the
bill leaves few legal issues for parents to fight over, instead of
spending thousands of dollars on court and legal fees, divorcing
parents can spend the money on their children.

3. More meetings planned - Syracuse, NY and Plymouth, Mass.
There are a couple of more upcoming meetings:
March 2 in Syracuse, NY and April 6th in Plymouth, Mass

Check the site for details: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/meeting.htm

ALSO -- if you want to get involved in events for Mother's Day
and Father's Day, visiting our Members of Congress in Washington,
check the site: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/mom2002

4. Letter to Senator Clinton.
Sent by Tanya Harper ( To learn more:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
c/o Aprill Springfield, Legislative Aid
476 Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

RE:  Family Rights Act

Dear Senator Clinton:

I greatly appreciate you taking time to read this letter.  There is a
major breakdown in the governmental agencies that handle child custody
and support.  Following is a brief history of our situation and what
problems has faced the biological father, even though he has just as
much right to raise his child as the custodial parent.  I do feel that
reform is needed to help protect the children of divorce who are
victimized by custody disputes.

I have a 9-year-old stepdaughter.  When she was 7, we took the mother
to court to try and obtain custody.  The child has been moved 18 times
since she has been born (that's every six months, and there are no
reasons why the mother should be moving. only because she doesn't pay
the landlord, or she moves out from the boyfriend's house, etc.).  The
child was in 8 schools within 2 years.  We have lost count of the
number of jobs the mother has had.  The mother was living with a man
to whom she was going to marry in December 1999.  We had discovered a
restraining order placed on this man by the mother dated November 1999
together with pictures of where he had beat her black and blue.  Upon
discovery of this information, in combination of the factual evidence
of the unstable history of the mother, we took her to court.
Unfortunately, we made the mistake of hiring an attorney.  He never
filed the modification of custody that we asked him to.  We are still
awaiting another perfect opportunity such as this one to go after
custody again.  Funny thing, the mother still sees this man off and
on, but since there has been no altercations lately, we can't do a

The father has lived in just two places since the child's birth, he
has held his current job for the past 8 years, and we just moved into
a wonderful, family neighborhood with Class A schools within a mile of
our house.  I also am very stable, holding my current job for the past
7 years, attending college to finish my Bachelor's degree and running
a real estate investment business of my own.

The child was born in August 1992.  The mother took the father to
court for custody orders and child support in 1994.  Basically, the
mother had been receiving state assistance claiming she did not know
who the father was.  No father had been listed on the birth
certificate.  After two years of paying her support, buying
necessities such as food, diapers, etc., he even has a family
photograph of the three of them in December 1992; he refused to pay
her any more money until he was listed as the father.  By this time,
the State had started probing her to find out who would pay them back.
This is why they went to court.  However, not realizing how the system
was at the time, the father ended up paying back the State as well as
back child support, EVEN THOUGH he had receipts, cancelled checks,
etc. for the two years.  The State did NOT WANT TO HEAR FROM THIS
FATHER.  And he paid for it just so his life would not be ruined.

Currently the child has attended the same school over the last year.
However, because of the situation with the after school community
center that happened in 1999, the child goes home at 3:00 PM after
school.  The community center was going to testify on our behalf
during our custody hearing.  Our attorney never called the first
witness, even though we had about 15 witnesses that had known the
mother for some time and were excellent character witnesses of just
how unstable the mother was.  The child now stays at home from 3:00 PM
to at least 6:00 PM, and sometimes even as late as 8:30 PM by herself,
Monday through Friday.  If they are ever on a break from school, she
stays with us because the father works out of the house.  There are no
child care costs occurred for day care, and if she is put into
programs such as soccer, or summer camp, we generally pay for that as

Since we live in Florida, the Florida Department of Children and
Family has been contacted on numerous occasions by me to see if there
is anything at all that can be done to save the life of this child.
As it is now, the child has real difficulty getting along with other
children (she's never in one place long enough to make friends), her
school grades are not as good as a properly raised 4th grader's should
be, she so desperately craves attention that she does not get from her
mother at home (and this is going to cause serious problems when the
wrong crowd gives her the attention she needs), and she does not get
the proper medical care.  She has been to the dentist twice since I've
been in her life, and has not seen a medical doctor during this time
(that has been 3.5 years).  I took her to that first dentist visit.
As far as her staying home by herself, the Department says they can do
nothing unless she is 8 or under.  I'm sorry, but 9 years old is WAY
TOO YOUNG to be staying home alone.

Our latest issue that we have dealt with is child support.  The mother
and father signed an agreement that was recorded in the court system
in March 2001 stating that the father would pay the mother directly.
This document basically removed the State from further overseeing of
this case.  The father and I are getting married March 23rd, and are
traveling internationally for our honeymoon.  When we applied for our
passports, my fiance received a letter from the Passport Agency that
he had been denied, as he owed over $5,000.00 in back child support.
Thankfully, this situation has been resolved and he should receive his
passport any day now.

As mentioned above, this father paid for monies that he did not owe to save
his credit because no one wanted to hear HIS SIDE.  It's about time the
system starts hearing BOTH SIDES of the story before they determine who will
be the custodial parent.  Clearly, my fianc=E9 is a father who loves his
and would die for her if need be.  Yet, since 1994, he has dealt with
governmental agencies who has affected his credit, has kept him from getting
a home, has kept him from getting refinancing, and almost kept him from
going on his honeymoon because the State did not forward the necessary
information to the Federal level.  He has bent over backwards, not to
mention paid thousands he did not owe, just so he could live his life and
see his daughter every other weekend.  But, every time he turns around,
there is another problem with the system.

Yet, the custodial parent is anything but stable, and the government
won't do a thing to help us.  And he continues to pay her because that
is the obligation.  While physical abuse is terrible, we are being
forced to watch his child suffer with emotional abuse and neglect, and
we're not able to step in and save her.  The emotional scars that this
child has are so deep, and I'm afraid it is too late to turn the
direction of her life.  While the father chooses to raise his daughter
and make our house a happy place that she can feel comfortable at, I
can see the outsider view of the damage this child is suffering.  I
could not imagine what I would actually do if this child were my flesh
and blood.  That is why it is easier for him to not think about how
his daughter lives 80% of the time.  He knows there is nothing he can
do but be there for her, because if he fretted about his daughter the
80% of the time she isn't with us, he could not live.

It is so frustrating to see that the courts do not, for the most part,
take the well being of the child before anything else.  It's about
time we started putting the CHILDREN FIRST.  They cannot take care of
themselves, and sometimes, the "non-custodial" parent cannot even take
care of their own children because the system is impossible to conquer
if there is not absolute proof of physical abuse (where it is visible)
or the custodial parent gets put in jail, etc.  In our situation,
emotional scars run deeper than any physical scars could.  I beg you,
any support that can be given by your team for family rights reform.

5. HELP WANTED - we can use an assistant webmaster.
Our web site and activity continues to grow.  We have had some offers
of help, but so far no one has been able to follow through.  If you
are familiar with HTML, Microsoft FrontPage, and especially if you
know CGI scripting -- and would like to help, please contact John
Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org). Please include any background you
have in web design and also the URL's of any sites you have worked on.
If you can contribute 2-4 hours of week of your time, that would be

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