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Your FEEDBACK - good stuff! Thanks for the comments.

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Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 12:02:36 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

This message contains info on:

1. Your FEEDBACK - Some focused messages.
2. Your FEEDBACK - Know that we "know', how do we help others "know."
3. Your FEEDBACK - Who's on the team? Maybe more or less than you think.

This is a LONG message, but we hope you will find it very useful in
understanding the attitudes that are out there. Hopefully we can all learn
to respond without questioning the integrity of the author. 
Much of what follows was in response to two recent list messages, 
you can see the messages at: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/archive/archive2002

--- Dr. Weiss  --- Some GOOD thoughts to keep in mind as you read the rest!
                   [Sorry, we lost his email address. Ed.]

Dissension in the ranks and attrition is not unique to any particular
group.  It seems most rabid amongst father's rights and children's
rights groups.

I don't have a specific answer, but what about this: Individuals in
these groups disproportionately are humans ... fighting so long and so
hard, under such targeted attack, usually without any positive results
short term or even long term, so chronically stressed, often so
emotionally devastated and paranoid (remember that book or old saying,
"I've been down so long everything is looking up"?), without much if
any funds,and often in overwhelming debt (sound familiar?), suffering
severe chronic stress disorders, unemployed or trying to keep a job
while fighting the family court system full-time, chronically
alienated and separated from their children, hounded by DHR or other
bureaucratic police, violated in court every time without much
recourse to prevail or successfully appeal atrocious decisions,
constantly suing or being sued, confused and disoriented in life, some
of us dependent on other forms of sensory pleasures (drug and alcohol
or tobacco abuse, gambling, promiscuous sex, etc) to offset our daily
nightmares, terminally frustrated trying to motivate others to act en
bloc when they would rather complain and cry around each other.

Hard-working activists attack other hard-working activists when they
slip off the edge. I've done it, you've done it, and just about anyone
who has invested most of their sentient parental life fighting for
justice and their children, predominantly unsuccessfully, has done
it. It's called being human. We don't want to do it, really, but it
happens. Too many large pieces of our neural matter have been scorched
and too many large chunks of heart tissue ripped out. We do the best
we can, at any time, and do what we feel we must do to succeed even
with few body parts remaining but our wonderful large spirits intact,
but ducking under shelter as needed.

1.  Your FEEDBACK - Some focused messages

--- Alison <> - Kids need at least one good parent.

 > The one that comes to my mind is the fact that women had no rights
 > at all to their children for many thousands of years, should they
 > wish to leave their husbands. In fact, women and children were the
 > property of their husbands, literally.  It has only been in the
 > past few decades that women have had any custodial rights at all.
 > Now, it appears that men are attempting to go to the other extreme
 > (again).  It is very unfortunate, and alarming for the women and
 > children of this country.  This shared parenting situation is a
 > nightmare for many children and is unhealthy.  The truth is, many
 > situations call for a primary custodial parent, because that parent
 > has spent much more time and made much more of a commitment to
 > raising the children in the first place.  That parent is often the
 > better parent, as a result.  And that is what the children need:
 > one good parent, at least.  Not being shuffled back and forth
 > because the other parent wants to assert his or her property rights
 > on that child.  Let's think about children's rights for a change,
 > for real.

--- - Kids have a right to the best.

 > In your discussion you use the phrase "the right to be with our
 > kids".  I certainly agree that parents should have rights to see
 > their kids- independent of anything else. But as parents, are we
 > not in fact mostly concerned NOT with our own rights, but with the
 > rights of the children?  Should not the emphasis in our discussions
 > be on the right of the children to the best 'raising' possible,
 > which inherently involves having the input and modeling and
 > influence of more than one person, more than one gender, and
 > presumably more than one parent?  If we want to talk about OUR
 > rights, should we not talk about our rights, as parents, to provide
 > that influence and modeling and input?  It seems to me we would get
 > more sympathy and more attention if we use the studies and the
 > arguments that children prosper and grow up with fewer problems
 > when they have had the influence and support of both parents,
 > divorced or not, and that they have a right to such influence and
 > support, and those rights should be enforced.  We as fathers (or
 > where applicable, mothers) would do better to act as advocates for
 > our children, rather than as advocates for daddy's right to bounce
 > Susie on his knee.  Otherwise, keep up the good work.

   Thanks for the message and I would appreciate your feedback on this.
Right now the "best interest of the child" seems to be an attempt to
capture what you are talking about, but do children have the "right to
the best raising?" possible.  How do we ever decide best?

Perhaps we are saying, all a child really has a "right" to is equal
contact with both parents. Your spouse may be quite above average as a
parent, and you personally (in my opinion as a Judge), may be quite
below the average.  But as long as you are not a demonstrated threat
to your child -- who is above/below average does not matter.

Regarding the studies.  I have a very serious question to ask. If
science was able to really prove that in 80% of the cases, children do
not do well under the care of "bald headed - bearded men" -- me.  Do
not I still have the "right" of being an equal parent until that state
can prove otherwise (prior paragraph)?  Or do we have just an
administrative processing of children based on "the law of averages"
-- as maybe some would say we have now?

And I guess, "Yes", I do have a right to bounce my child on my knee.
What you talk about above is the "crux" of the issues we are about.  I
look forward to your response.

  --- (Robert Stevens) - We need a solid goal.

 > It is hard to know who's on our side?  Some would say every divorced
 > person who got the "bad end" of the deal, would be on our side!
 > Not true!  Many people who went through the ordeal do not support
 > reform.  And many people who have never went through it support us.

 > I get very frustrated when I get blank looks from people, when I
 > call it " The Family Law Reform Movement" I got some angry
 > responses from people, not just women, when I call it a " fathers
 > rights movement" , both from those who support the way it currently
 > is and from noncustodial mothers, who quite correctly, state that
 > it is a parents rights movement.

 > I believe the movement needs a set goal, something that is
 > distinctly defined.  I believe that goal should be making the right
 > to remain a parent ,a civil right and we should have equal
 > protection under the law.  I believe the " Noncustodial Parents
 > Bill of Rights " would make a good start.( see attachment).

 > A whole lot of different groups could rally behind such a broad
 > goal. ( it could simply be called " The Parents Bill Of Rights") If
 > we do the PR properly it could, from a moral stand point, be hard
 > for anyone to oppose us, after all who could be against equal rights
 > to all parents.  Who could oppose every child having both a father
 > and a mother!
 > Keep up the faith and continue the struggle!  ( We are going to
 > win!!!) 

Thanks for the message.  I quite agree with you.  I went to the site
above and I agree with what you have to say. I think we express
similar sentiments in the Family Rights Act,

In your site you mention "rebuttable presumption" and "clear and
convincing evidence" -- have you considered replacing that with the
protection of a Jury verdict?

You have helped me think about this more.  Perhaps the answer is not
some "new" court system or jury procedures in Family Law.  Perhaps the
answer is just to see, unless in our present criminal system you can
achieve a conviction against the parent for a Felony, being an
intentional threat to their own child -- the Family Law system/Social
Services has NO right to interfere with this parents equal
participation in the lives of their child?

Given that basis, you want to argue about who gets Christmas this year
in Family Court with just a Judge to decide -- fine.  But with regards
to that fundamental right to participate equally in your child's life
-- that is never up to a single Judge to decide.  It is our most
valued freedom.

--- "Dennis McKee" <> - The laws ARE fair now.

 > I see you are still at it in your quest for justice. I admire your
 > persistence. I have looked over everything you are asking for such
 > as federal protection and everything you want is already there. I
 > have stacks of federal case law as well as the laws. Be more than
 > happy to send them if you want. I would submit to you that even if
 > you got Hillary's complete support she couldn't do a thing. She
 > could introduce the laws you want but for what, they are already
 > there. The problem is with the judiciary following the laws we
 > have. I help people constantly and assert these laws but mostly the
 > courts pay no attention.  I know there was a big push in Pa. for
 > shared custody but that happened in a case from 1977. Spriggs
 > vs. Carson. I have studied this for the past 6 years and all the
 > laws are fair and in place with the possible exception of a
 > fairness problem with PFA's Protection from Abuse. Other than this
 > I cannot find an unfair law or anything that needs added or
 > changed....

I guess I'm a little skeptical?  Her in New York the Family Court law
specifically prohibits "trial by jury."  It also specifically gives
the Judges the latitude to decide the "best interest of the child".
If you looked at the Family Rights Act at the site, that is not all
what we want. http://www.AKidsRight.Org/act.htm

Perhaps you are referring to a collection of case law that would point
in that direction, but is not being followed?  Just as a point of
reference would you have said in the 1950's that all the laws are in
place to protect blacks, and a Civil Rights Act was not necessary?

Regarding Senator Clinton, the Senate is one half on passing any
legislation like a Family Rights Act.  It is also part of a getting a
Constitutional Amendment enacted.  It is the "direct track" to get the
reform we desire without hoping for a home run Judicial decision from
the Supreme Court.

I think many people see the protection of a Civil Jury as crucial in
these cases and we certainly can never expect that type of decision to
come from a Judge.  I welcome your continued feedback.

--- NOTE: we got the following follow up from Dennis in response:

 >             We do have a right to trial by jury in a divorce case but you
 > must ask for it and attorneys won't do them. Attorneys won't tell you this.
 > If everyone did this it would shut down the country because of the amount of
 > divorces we have. Your trial by jury is a federal statute if the amount in
 > question is more than 25.00. If NY has a law preventing this it should be
 > challenged as it is unconstitutional. You are correct we would receive
 > better decisions from juries.

       [In NY, you have a jury on grounds for divorce, but not on Custody.
In Family Court, there is no jury on custody. Ed]

 >         Your point is well taken on the Civil Rights Act but you must
 > remember that for a hundred years minorities tried to gain relief in the
 > state courts but the first case they took to the feds they won. To inagrate
 > the Alabama schools. But you are right we needed the civil rights act to
 > enforce the laws we did have on the books in the 50's. The Civil Rights Act
 > already covers us in divorce but no one uses it. If you are treated
 > differently in divorce because of your race, sex, age, religion or national
 > origin you have a 1983 Civil Rights action. What goes on in the courts today
 > is based on our sex.
 >         The problem is we get tied up in the rhetoric and the best interest of
 > the child by law should not be an issue unless either parent is unfit. Based
 > on the best interest of the child if I am a better parent than you I get
 > your kids. Shared custody is the premise we start from as a matter of law.
 > Its not an issue if one parent is better than the other one. One only need
 > be adequate being better than adequate does not grant one "more" rights.
 > Judges use this silliness to give the kids to who they want.  This is
 > covered in federal law and it is the equal treatment premise. 
> Dennis

2. Your FEEDBACK - Now that we "know", what do we "do?"

---  John Graboski <> - Start doing.

 > John, Philosphise as much as you want; it not going to get you
 > anywhere soon.  Remember how the British dealt with the suggested
 > "poll tax" in the 1990's ?
 > Go and do thou likewise.

 [For those of you unfamiliar with what the British did, which
 included us.  We looked it up -- they just stopped paying the
 tax. -Ed.]
---  - 

 > You are so right... my husband and I were just discussing this very
 > same thing last evening.  The reason certain groups get results is
 > because they actually DO something, instead of just talking big.
 > We were discussing this from the stand point that immigrants come
 > to our country, live in the same communities and work together to
 > have their little Italy's or China Towns, Mosques, etc.  Why?
 > Because groups can get things accomplished.  They were bold enough
 > to come over to America, and they are bold enough to stand up and
 > try and get their ways (i.e., flying of the flag banned because it
 > offends them).  Yet, we as pure blooded Americans just sit back and
 > watch as our freedoms are taken away because our government wants
 > to please EVERYONE.
 > It's the same choice we have as parents.  You don't know how many
 > times my husband and I have fought over what should be done about
 > his daughter.  She is 10 and resides with her mother.  Fortunately,
 > we do get to see her just about any time we want.  Unfortunately,
 > this kid has been moved around, been witness to violent
 > relationships, has seen her mom bounce from job to job.  When we
 > took her to court 2.5 years ago, our attorney blew it for us.  If
 > we ever are handed another golden opportunity before she gets to
 > the age where she can decide herself where she wants to be, we will
 > go to court again and represent ourselves.  No child should have to
 > live with an unstable CP when there is another option available to
 > them.  But, the courts don't see it that way.  As long as it's not
 > life or death, they don't want to change custody.
 > My husband and I argue because I feel things with the mother should
 > be handled differently.  He should have handled this years ago,
 > when this woman was trying to run him off the road with his child
 > in the car.  He was single back then, and could not have raised the
 > child 24-7.  He never says anything to her about the child's care
 > because it will only cause her to blow up.  Believe me, he could
 > handle her blowing up, but might not be able to handle his
 > response.  I can completely understand that.  This woman beats
 > anything I've ever seen.  BUT... it's his child too, and he has
 > every right to ask questions if he wants to.  But, when it comes to
 > letting his anger out, then I get the brunt of it.
 > If there is not a group effort of individuals that can argue
 > intelligently about a certain stance they are taking, nothing will
 > get done.  If people will band together for a common goal, things
 > will happen.  I admit, I do talk about things I want to do, or
 > arguments I would like to make, and I don't take action.  I blame
 > it on working full time, going to school part time and investing in
 > real estate... which really leaves a small amount of time to live,
 > much less take up a fight with the government.  But I also know if
 > there is something I am unhappy about, and I don't try and do
 > something about it, then it's my own fault.  We sit back far too
 > often.

3. Your FEEDBACK - Who's on the team?

--- Ken Wiebe <> - mostly a fathers problem.

>> A few months ago I talked with a leader in a Father's group. I told
>> him that about half our membership were moms who had also been
>> beaten up by the system -- that we needed to talk about parents,
>> not just mothers or fathers.  He told me, very seriously ... "Men
>> don't get the kids because of societal prejudices, but when a women
>> doesn't get the kids, it means something is wrong with her.  How
>> could you lose with the deck stacked in your favor unless something
>> is wrong with you?"  I really thought he was kidding, but he was
>> dead serious.  I had to laugh when I asked him didn't almost all
>> the men in his group have "Court Decisions" that documented
>> something was wrong with them -- weren't they all in denial?

> We cannot be naive about this. The laws are the way they are (at
> least where I live) because mothers (feminists really, but let's not
> split hairs) lobbied for things to be this way, to advantage
> mothers. It is absolutely true that mothers who have lost custody in
> divorce are either seriously unfit, or gave up the kids voluntarily.

> There are a very few mothers who have lost their kids to government
> ministry workers, but they are extremely rare and nowhere near the
> "half" you mention. *Some* of those mothers have been unjustly
> deprived of their children, but I do not think they lost them
> through Family Law motions and Family Law reform will not help them.

> Father's groups, as a general rule, are about Family Law
> reform. There are precious few women (much less mothers) who would
> want to reform family law and relinquish their significant legal
> advantages. Whatever you might gain by working with women, you will
> lose even more by bringing in women and the potential for
> cross-purposes, conflicting goals, and the resulting strife.

> Because of this problem, I proposed an amendment to the constitution
> of the Victoria Men's Center, disallowing women from voting
> membership in the organization. The motion passed with the necessary
> majority, thanks to the affirmative vote of the female
> members. Those ladies knew that what I say is true, even when many
> of the men chose to deny it. Think about that.

---  "Charlie Hall" <> - Doesn't matter the state...

> I know that you have been trying to get a meeting with H. Clinton
> but she (the last I heard) has not met with you yet. I thought that
> it was crazy that she will not meet on Fathers Rights but she is
> sticking her nose in Tulia Texas over a drug bust. We are a small
> town in the panhandle of Texas. That had a Drug bust that they are
> now saying was racially motivated. Why would a Senator in New York
> and not even a native of Texas be worried about this? I feel she
> should be more interested in her state, family values and who
> (Mr. Clinton is seeing) than a bunch of Drug users.
>                                  Charles Hall
>                                  Tulia Texas

--- Erin Hisaw

> This type of thing has happened to me so I feel very strongly about
> it.  I go to court today about the dependency case for my two
> children.  Kennedy is 6 (a Boy) and Orion is 4 today ( a Boy also)
> Sincerely Erin Hisaw

> PS -- court is in Prineville, Oregon Crook County at 11 am with Judge
> Thompson in case any one wants to throw a fit for me too.  I have
> worked diligently to get these kids back home for the past 4 months
> and I just can not take the emotional pain any longer as well as for
> my children.

---  L&T Bentz 

 > Excellent reasoning John.  I always appreciate your messages and
 > pass them on.

--- Jeff Workman  <>

> Hello John. Like your self I have been dealing with this system for
> a long time now. All though I am not heading an campaign in the
> direction you are at some point I will become an active part in
> it. I am approaching it from a different angle. I am going to work
> from with in the system to bring about change within my community
> first, state second and then I hope national. Right now I am one
> year away from my BA in social work. I was abused of child abuse,
> and it is part of my permanent record even though I was never
> convicted. I lost my children and got custody back after a five year
> battle(89-94). I made every court date in that time. Never missed a
> one, and it still took me five years. These children are out on
> their own now, but I do have a 3 year old from another relationship.
> ...  I will at some point be an active part in our cause in changing
> these unfair family court laws.

> I appreciate your persistence in this matter. If there is anything I
> can do from this end let me know. If I can do it I will. If I can't,
> let me know how and I will. Sometimes all I need is a little
> guidance.

> Once again thanks.


 > Isn't it almost ironic?  It's difficult to believe that the system
 > can ruin a parent's life that is perfectly capable of raising their
 > children, but they make one stupid mistake... yet, when you call in
 > a complaint of having a 9 year old child left home alone from 3:00
 > pm to almost 8:30 pm on numerous occasions, they won't do anything
 > at all.  I don't know what state your example came from, but it
 > certainly wasn't Florida.  In the times that we've called and
 > stated our case that this child has other "better" alternatives,
 > not once have they ever interviewed us face to face.  Oh sure, they
 > visit the CP (the mother in this case), and stayed for 15 minutes
 > or so, but never have they ventured into what other options are
 > available.  Never have they looked to see that this child has a
 > better environment available to her. 

 > You see this all the time, and not just in family law.  You see
 > people who have been proven guilty, yet they are still allowed to
 > carry on as if nothing has happened -- in anything... teaching,
 > raising their children, criminal activity.  But, let me or you do
 > something even remotely breaking the law, or in your case, trying
 > to get answers and actions from your government officials, and
 > we'll get the book thrown at us.  

 > I don't understand it.  Never have and never will.  Our justice
 > system... it's a mystery to me.  And child protective
 > services... what do they really do?  From what I've seen, they
 > either do nothing or they judge without looking at all facts.  It's
 > a ridiculous, never-ending circle.  And our children are the ones
 > caught in the whirlwind.

--- "Addison Tollen" <> - Don't forget support.

> I agree! Nice job! However, on your point about support. I want both
> changed. The right to be with my kids and the support. My question:
> Recently, someone put out information that effective October 1st, a
> new law goes into affect that allows people that feel they are being
> wronged by a gov't agency to challenge that agency and for the
> agency to specifically show why a policy or procedure is in effect
> and how they came up with it...specifically.  This applies to child
> support collection. How do we file a class action suit that
> challenges the numbers of the support guidelines? We all know their
> wrong. So does the gov't. NOW is the time to possibly challenge HOW
> they came up with the guidelines, and HOW we are being wronged by
> the policy. For example: The formula figures what it would cost for
> an intact!!! we are NOT an intact family, therefore
> costs are different and what we would spend on our kids would be
> different. How about guidelines that take into consideration what
> the dad has to spend on housing, food, entertainment for the kids
> etc...  HOW CAN IT NOT???? The policy and the guidelines are WRONG!!
> It must be challenged.  How can we do that???  Is anybody planning
> on doing it??

Yes, there is a lot of common sense to what you say.  Perhaps someone
on the list will contact you to pursue this further.

--- "Tom"  - Needs some help.

 > Well From one father to another I would like to ask you for your
 > help.  Attached is my ReachOut Piece... I filed a formal Judicial
 > Misconduct Complaint with the New York State Commission.  Please
 > help me drum up some support, I am asking for e-mails to the Chief
 > of the Commission Mr. Gerald Stern JD LLM to help set my complaint
 > apart.  Please read the attached you will know what to do.  Thank
 > you!  I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you anytime.
 > Please call 845-454-0006/845-282-0801.

Read the article, it seemed to indicate some pretty horendous conduct,
but not a lot of detail.  You are welcome to submit your story and
details to our Hall of Shame page,
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/shame.htm, where it will get more exposure.

On Sep 19th I will again be outside Senator Clinton's office.  We
would have some time to talk, and if you wish you are welcome to join
me in carrying a picture of your child and sacrificing for what you
believe is true.  It might make a bigger impact than the email?

---  MONTANA ROMANS <> - A small price to pay.

 > It saddens me to say, "You're right;" but, you're right.  When push
 > comes to shove, many people these days definitely avoid getting
 > involved, no matter how "just" the cause.

 > For me, when it comes to my children, jail time is a small price to
 > pay for their future and the future of their children.  Maybe these
 > people don't quite realize that, not only are they missing out on
 > their children's lives; but if we don't get things changed, our
 > sons are going to suffer the same way we are.  Whether or not we
 > manage to improve the family law system in time for us is pretty
 > much going to take miracles.  But if we continue our fight, we can
 > keep our sons from the same agony in their future.

 > My infant son needs me right now, so I'll stop here and write more
 > later.  Good luck with all your efforts, John

----  "Roger Martin" <> - Sorry, it's mostly B.S.

> >
> >If we think about Civil Right's movements of the past it was fairly
> >clear.  You could look at any woman and know -- she's not going to
> >vote in the next election.  You could look at any black and know -
> >he's riding in the back of the bus in Birmingham.
> >
> >One unique problem we as parents face is identifying people who are
> >"with us."  You just can't walk down the street and "know" who's on
> >the team.  Maybe someday as the movement grows, it will become popular
> >to wear a ribbon that lets people know, "I'm a parent unjustly without
> >my child."
> +++I think that you should CORRECT your ribbon; to make it more accurate:
> "I am the STUPID ASS who abrogated my rights as a parent, and LET my
> child(ren???) be taken away from me".
>  If you really want to make it accurate, you could add:
> "What is more, I have NOT taken the steps to get my child(ren???) back".
> >Also, what is our attitude about having other people help us?  Martin
> >Luther King was happy to have "whites" join in their efforts and march
> >beside him (and we hope to follow his example as a group), but I think
> >we all know history is full of groups that wanted to "go it alone."
> >That doing it themselves was part of the effort.
> +++And what, John, are you doing???
> >So, how do you feel? Who do you want on your "team" to reform the
> >system?  Here are a few thoughts below.
> >
> >Most of us lost contact with our kids through divorce/separation.  Oh,
> >we might have been accused by our former spouse of being mean to the
> >kids, or a bad parent -- but everyone knew that was just "pro forma"
> >divorce stuff.
> +++This last paragraph is a crock.  If you allowed that to happen, then

> >But how do you feel about the real "accused child abusers?" You know,
> >the people who get turned into social services and the kids are taken
> >from the home?  I saw a commercial on TV that said thanks to new laws
> >and more money for enforcement they were now able to take kids from
> >abusive parents in only a day -- when it used to take weeks -- now
> >there's progress!  Or is it?
> +++This is an ABSOLUTE LIE!!!  They can onlly take the children " one
> day"; ONLY if you let them!!!  But, then again, I forgot; you DID let them
> take the chld(ren)...
> ><snip> - Note: my failure to respond to crap should NOT be taken as any
> >agreement or admission.  I am only refusing to waste my time on
> >
> >It hit home when a good friend of mine, who is an attorney, got a
> >phone call from his wife saying she'd almost been arrested by the
> >police and was accused of "endangering the welfare of a child."  She
> >had left one of their children in the car when running into a
> >Mini-Mart for milk.  All of a few minutes.  It just happened that
> >someone with a cell phone was parked right next to her and called the
> >police the moment she left the car.  They responded quickly and the
> >officer actually threatened to cuff her and take her to jail.  Imagine
> >that!  That ought to teach her a lesson!
> +++Contrary to what you said above, just THINK about what happened.  This
> M-O-T-H-E-R did, in fact, leave the child in the car.  To me, even with my
> jaded experience; is WRONG.  I am NOT going to respond on the police
> intervention; since - in this case - the child may actually be better off
> than staying with this STUPID woman who placed her child at risk...
> >Now, was that most brilliant thing for his wife to do -- probably not.
> +++To repeat, it was a DUMB thing to do; and - by itself - is NOT
> defensible.  Obviously, if this woman learned to defend herself against
> what you see as govt abuse, she would NEVER have left the child in the
> first place...
> ><snip>
> >
> >But this is not even the point of the story.  There is still more.
> >When you are an "accused child abuser" (he and his wife both fell
> >into that category now), a Social Worker can knock on the door of
> >your home at any time and ask to come in and have a look around.
> >Oh, you have the "right" to say no, but as any child abuse lawyer
> >will tell you, that will get you labeled as "noncooperative", after
> >all, if you've got nothing to hide -- what don't you let them in.
> +++This is FLAT not true!!!  We regularly REFUSE to let DYFS (Our Division
> of Youth and Family Services) employees anywhere on our property; and
> is NEVER any negative results...  Again, your "noncooperative" is another
> crock.  If you were one of us, you would simply ASK anyone who brought the
> subject up (authority or next door neighbor)," WHY should I be
> >Not to mention, if they really wanted to, they can go to a Judge and
> >get an order to take your kids away.  It is just that easy!
> +++This last is a flat out LIE!!!  If you are teaching this to your
> membership, you are doing even more harm than I thought.  John, you have
> been "promoted" from the truly incompetent to the truly dangerous.  Just
> how many people are you going to continue to harm with your "brilliant
> advice"; no matter how wrong it is?
> >Now my friend and his wife let the social worker in, but it was an
> >indignity.  They eventually appeared in front of a Judge and they
> >received a "6 Months ACD", which is a 6 month adjournment of your case
> >contemplating dismissal, e.g. keep your nose clean and we forget the
> >whole thing -- at least on the criminal side.
> +++Okay, John, WHAT did you do to STOP this abuse???  It goes without
> saying that we would NEVER have permitted this to occur...
> >But it gets even better.  Just because his spouse was an "accused
> >child abuser" there names both went on New York State's public
> >"abuser" list. His wife had wanted to get a job as a school teacher,
> >that will never happen in NY.  He told me he would have a problem
> >getting that kind of job now -- because some employers check the list.
> >Imagine that!
> +++Okay, John; what are you going to do to rehabilitate this?
> >Now, here a few other things I was surprised to find out.  Social
> >services can take your kids, and even if you are cleared of the
> >criminal charges -- guess what -- that doesn't mean you get your kids
> >back at all.  That is an entirely different manner for Family Court to
> >decide.  Imagine that!
> +++You are flat out wrong - again.  Remember, John; that I have given up
> on you; but I am still very concerned for the people who read your
> crap.  Don't you have any conscience?
> >Probably the most amazing thing I have heard repeatedly is that if you
> >are accused of a "bad temper", or "sex abuse", etc....  The Social
> >Workers and Psychologists are going to recommend you attend classes
> >and "admit your problem."  If you don't say you did it, you are in
> >"denial."  Of course, people who are not guilty are also in denial!
> +++This is even more stupid than what is said above.  Need I remind you
> about due process, and the rest of the constitutional protections???
> >They can often pressure parents into pleading "guilty" and not
> >fighting the charges, because if you do, "we will take your kids."
> >And they can.  And they do.
> +++John, you are transforming this into a greek tragedy.  If it weren't so
> harmful, it would actually be funny.
> >But you know what is really scary.  I asked my friend if he wanted to
> >attend one of our meetings with Congressional staff to tell his story
> >- he said no.  I asked him if I could use his name - he said no. If
> >you make "waves", they come after you.  You see, once you are an
> >"accused child abuser" you are on very thin ice if anything happens in
> >the future.  Imagine that!
> +++WHAT did you tell him you could do, if he DID come to your
> meeting?  Would you get his kid(s) back???  Oh, I forgot; you couldn't get
> your own back, so why should anyone believe you could help them???
> >I think we meant well with the "child abuse" laws.  In the same way I
> >think people meant well when they let judges decided "the best
> >interest of the child" in divorce.  But we forgot about protecting our
> >rights.
> +++Surprise, surprise; so you did remember something.  But, let me ask
> John; HOW would  you  "...protect your rights"???

> >
> >I get a lot of list messages, and probably half of them have to do
> >with child support.  Parents cut off from their kids, mostly men, and
> >laboring under an unfair support burden (and I know what that is
> >like!).  The messages are full of legal arguments and financial
> >formulas, it is rare to see in a message, "I want to get back into my
> >kid's lives..."  It used to bother me more, until I could appreciate
> >what they'd been through: children alienated from them, many haven't
> >seen them in months or years, all the "system" considers them to be is
> >a "bank" where it can make withdrawals -- and they don't like it.
> +++Just a thought, John: WHERE did anybody gain the power to CHOOSE to
> benefit someone by abrogating your rights???
> >But, what would you say if they stuck a camera in your face and asked
> >you what you wanted to see happen as part of Family Law reform?
> +++I have told you the answer to that question, but you did NOT listen...
> >If you talk about wanting to see the kids again.  I think you are on
> >the team.  If you talk about reforming support laws, I think you may
> >be on another team. You?
> +++I would NOT be on your team!!!  I  would GET the kids back...
> >-------
> >
> >Many of us talk about the right to be with our kids.  But I guess what
> >we are really saying is there ought to be a "significant barrier" the
> >system has to cross before they can interfere with my family life
> +++There are many significant barriers already in place.  You are just to
> blind to see them...
> >.
> >
> >We are not looking for MORE laws, but protection.  That before the
> >"system" can interfere with you and your children you have:
> +++You already have all the protections you need.  It is just a shame that
> you REFUSE to use them...
> >1) The right to counsel.
> >2) The right to be presumed innocent and deserving of an equal
> >with your kids.
> >3) The right to protection of a jury.  The "state" needs to prove you
> >were a demonstrated serious and intentional threat to your child.
> +++Okay, I can agree with these enumerated rights.  Now, John; how are you
> going to enforce them???
> >If this type of barrier was in place, "we" would all be a lot happier!
> >It is hopefully a goal "we" can all work toward.
> +++I don't want you happy; John; I want you to enjoy the rights granted to
> you by our Creator; and recognized by the Constitution and founding laws
> your state and this nation.  Why would you want anything else?

Thank you for the comments, they are right on point again.

Do you know anyone else (beside the CCJ ... Robert Muchnick and Wayne
Stillman) that are asserting constitutional rights when family law judges
are seperating parents from kids? I scan the web often but there aren't
many who talk about what they've done.

Obviously, you know that what's happening isn't lawful. John did fight his
ex when she petitioned the court to move his son out of state. The judge
awarded "equitable relief" and granted his ex the authority to remove his
son from him. The judge violated the law and John was powerless to change
it ... so he believes, and most of us believe as well.

John, did appeal the ruling. His effort is on the web-site. I'm sure it
wasn't done correctly. I tried the same thing. I pleaded against the facts
established in a court of equity. The appeal was dismissed. I should have
filed a suit at law. I have been learning, but I don't believe the
knowledge is available to parents yet. Where is it?

Take care, Rich

PS. How much of the following do you agree with, Roger?


> Understanding the 7th and 14th amendments is a prerequisite, in any

Robert Muchnick
Center for Children's Justice
Denver, CO

The Seventh states:

Seventh Amendment - Civil Trials

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no
fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of
the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

However, much as we would like this to apply to state civil actions such
as dissolution and post-decree proceedings, it doesn't ordinarily.
However, one can *make* it apply by invoking federally created rights very
early on.

First, an analysis of the Seventh from's web site. Footnotes
are inserted just below.

Courts in Which the Guarantee Applies .--The Amendment governs only
courts which sit under the authority of the United States, 16
including courts in the territories 17 and the District of Columbia,
18 and does not apply generally to state courts. 19 But when a state
court is enforcing a federally created right, of which the right to
trial by jury is a substantial part, the States may not eliminate
trial by jury as to one or more elements. 20 Ordinarily, a federal
court enforcing a state-created right will follow its own rules with
regard to the allocation of functions between judge and jury, a rule
the Court based on the ''interests'' of the federal court system,
eschewing reliance on the Seventh Amendment but noting its influence.

[Footnote 16] Pearson v. Yewdall, 95 U.S. 294, 296 (1877); Edwards v.
Elliott, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 532, 557 (1874); The Justices v. Murray,
76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 274, 277 (1870); Walker v. Sauvinet, 92 U.S. 90
(1876); St. Louis & K.C. Land Co. v. Kansas City, 241 U.S. 419 (1916).

[Footnote 17] Webster v. Reid, 52 U.S. (11 How.) 437, 460 (1851);
Kennon v. Gilmer, 131 U.S. 22, 28 (1889).

[Footnote 18] Capital Traction Co. v. Hof, 174 U.S. 1, 5 (1899).

[Footnote 19] Minneapolis & St. Louis R.R. v. Bombolis, 241 U.S. 211
(1916). See also Melancon v. McKeithen, 345 F. Supp. 105 (E.D.La.)
(three-judge court), aff'd. per curiam, 409 U.S. 943 (1972); Alexander
v. Virginia, 413 U.S. 836 (1973).

[Footnote 20] Dice v. Akron, C. & Y. R.R., 342 U.S. 359 (1952). Four
dissenters contended that the ruling was contrary to the unanimous
decision in Bombolis.

[Footnote 21] Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Elec. Coop., 356 U.S. 525
(1958) (citing Herron v. Southern Pacific Co., 283 U.S. 91 (1931)).

Here's the way you make this work in your child custody or visitation
action as part of a dissolution or an action de novo out of wedlock.

First, you establish what I call "a minimal set of facts," evincing that
you have done nothing to trigger a compelling state interest in the
disposition of your non-intact family relationship with your children
(your "liberty interest"). That is, that you have committed no proven
abuse, neglect or abandonment of your children, have not committed a crime
of violence, and the like. That's all you need to establish the minimal
set of facts.

Then, you invoke your FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL rights to Equal Protection
and Substantive Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment, to wit: absent
a state's "compelling interest" -- triggered when you've done something
really bad which affected your children or spouse -- when fundamental
liberty interests are at stake, a state CANNOT impair, infringe upon or
abridge those interests. This means that a family court's ONLY authority
extends to protecting the fundamental rights of BOTH parents EQUALLY. And
the ONLY way to achieve that narrow judicial function is to declare -- not
"award," DECLARE -- that the parents are to have equal parenting rights
and responsibilities for and equal parenting time with their children.

Now, "a state court is enforcing a federally created right" and, pursuant
to Dice v. Akron, C. & Y. R.R., 342 U.S. 359 (1952), the state "may not
eliminate trial by jury as to one or more elements," of which one is your
Fourteenth Amendment liberty interest in family.

It's called a "gotcha, Judge!" However, this must be done at the very
beginning of the game, otherwise you will be deemed to have implicitly
waived your Seventh Amendment rights. The demand for a jury trial, since
federal rights are at stake, is best made when answering the petition for
dissolution of marriage or for child custody and visitation.


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