What do Fulton County families and children need most?
If you ask parents caught in legal conflict, you’ll likely hear the word transparency.
Georgia news media, parents, advocates and legal professionals attended a press conference on April 24th that covered in detail the danger experienced by safe, loving parents and their children in family court cases.
The allegations are serious and a plea was made to Fulton County’s District Attorney Paul Howard to investigate the claims.
The press conference featured Georgia expert William Perry who is known for his news reports on ethics failures in government. Perry, who goes by Georgia Ethics Watchdog in his reports, learned just how dangerous the legal environment is for families, and decided to do something about it. Several tragic stories were shared and family law attorneys weighed in, agreeing that something needs to be done. Atlanta’s Fox5 News aired the story that evening, doing a remarkable job at laying out what is complicated and challenging to explain.
The news report explained that for these parents who are being victimized, nothing is more important to them than their children. Children are reportedly being taken from them without any regard for the law.
Perry addressed needed policy changes and spoke about his challenge to law enforcement and other authorities to investigate cases where good parents are wrongfully accused, torn from their children and set up to fail.
Outcomes make no sense given our laws and the facts in such cases. The real needs of children are thrown by the wayside. Does it need to be this way?
The image here was taken by a news team at the Fulton County courthouse in recent years, when custody experts were paid to suppress evidence of child abuse that was substantiated by forensic evaluations and law enforcement. The litigation resulted in protection and proper medical treatment being withheld from the child.
Young adults are coming forward now to speak about their experiences such as what this child experienced when outcries for help were ignored and silenced. There is no need to wait in beginning investigations and working to remove danger by closing loopholes in state policies.
When families are exploited there is often a lack of transparency and due process in the management of the litigation, so Perry emphasized the need for parties to be allowed to record their own court proceedings.
Superior Court Rules on Recording Court Hearings
This issue was addressed by Georgia’s Supreme Court and Superior Court judges and includes recommendations from stakeholders in the press, My Advocate Center and other advocacy groups.
The new rule changes take effect in May of 2018, benefitting the public, professionals who are ethical and committed to protecting clients and children, and also benefitting the courts in creating more efficiency and positive outcomes.
Parents, grandparents, professionals and even children are speaking up about experiences and the need to take action. Contact My Advocate Center’s founder Deb Beacham here to report details to My Advocate Center or to ask for assistance.
Investigations and News Reports Matter
Learn more about what is happening across Georgia and how investigations can make all the difference in improving safety, family stability, and the ability for parents and children to recover from trauma.
Contact My Advocate Center to review case studies and data on these issues. Investigators will discover that the problems described here are wide-spread and found nationwide, but with Fulton County’s large population and high rates of domestic violence and child abuse, there is a special need for a concentrated review of cases in this area.
Background material for news reports and investigations can also be found in reports such as this story by an Augusta news station about glaring misconduct by a Guardian ad Litem who manipulated cases based upon whether vulnerable women would comply with his demands, or not.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PARENTS GATHER TO PROTEST ENTRENCHED CORRUPTION IN THE FAMILY COURTS AND CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES. THEY SAY THE GOVERNMENT IS KIDNAPPING THEIR CHILDREN. STARVING FOR JUSTICE – A MARCH TO REFORM
NEW ORLEANS, LA – October 20, 2015 – On October 21, aggrieved parents from across Louisiana are gathering in New Orleans, at the corner of Chatres and St. Peter in the French Quarter, to express their frustration and anger at a justice system they say, is unjust, largely because of the failure of judges and other court professionals to afford due process or respect fundamental rights of parents in cases involving custody and the safety of children. The group will begin gathering at noon at the northwest corner of Jackson Square. At 1:00 PM, they will walk with signs 3.5 blocks to the steps of the Louisiana Supreme Court, where the group will briefly gather to hear speakers and personal accounts from some brave parents of what many often refer to as “family court abuse.”
“The family court is the gatekeeper of [children’s] safety,” says Richard Ducote, Esq., a nationally renowned attorney who has dedicated his 34 plus career to representing victims of domestic violence and abused children in contested custody cases. “[We must have] accountability and scrutiny for those judges, custody evaluators, guardians ad litem, and lawyers whose misguided and often misogynistic nonsense jeopardizes generations of children and compounds their misery.”
Richard Ducote will briefly address the group at the event. There will also be an open microphone for other parents who, among other abuses, claim that they were bullied and coerced by their own attorneys and judges into “agreements’ that were unfair and did not reflect the facts or evidence in the case, upon threat of being jailed, fined, or worst of all, losing all custody and contact with their children, simply because they were trying to protect them.
Many of those parents point to the popular theory sometimes referred to as “Parental Alienation Syndrome” or simply “Parental Alienation” as the excuse judges and psychologists rely upon to discount a parent’s claims that the child is being abused by the other parent or step-parent. The theory, they say, is “junk science” and reflects the teachings of discredited Richard Gardner, M.D., who wrote in support of pedophilia, which he characterized as “a natural phenomenon that likely enhanced the survival of the species.” To diagnose a parent with “parental alienation” or “parental alienation syndrome” requires that first the possibility that the child is actually being abused be ruled out. Once that is done, all of the evidence that would otherwise support a finding of abuse is used as evidence that the protective parent – usually the mother – is lying about the abuse in order to gain an advantage in custody proceedings.
Parents and other experts point to the fact that the first step in the diagnostic process is flawed – and many parents say – rigged. According to many experts there is no definitive way to “rule out” sexual or physical abuse without a confession, something that is unlikely to occur in a custody proceeding. At best, trained professionals can look for different behavioral and emotional clues that may or may not support a finding of abuse, but there is no way to say for certain. However, once alienation is diagnosed in a custody proceeding, all the evidence a parent has that the child is being abused becomes evidence that the parent is “alienating” the child.
The march is being sponsored by Bridge to Justice Foundation, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2014 by recently disbarred Nanine McCool. The LA Supreme Court disbarred Ms. McCool on June 30, 2015, finding that she had engaged in ex parte communications and made false misleading statements about two judges. Ms. McCool says that she exercised her 1st Amendment Rights to expose corruption and abuse of power in the judiciary and merely publicly charged the judges to “look at the evidence and apply the law before they made a decision.” She says her disbarment was retaliation for being critical of the judiciary and refusing to apologize for it. “I naively thought when I first spoke out that my fellow attorneys and other judges would be horrified by the abuse of power and denial of due process that these two judges were engaging in. But instead of being concerned about the judges’ transgressions, the Judiciary and the State Bar came after my license.”
Ms. McCool has been on a hunger strike during the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness month, to raise awareness about the trap domestic violence coalitions are setting for mothers who are victims of abuse. “The set up this big expensive campaigns and assure battered moms that there is help out there, but the reality is, that’s a lie. The courts might let the mom get away, but she isn’t going to get away with her kids. “
For more information, contact Nanine McCool at Bridge to Justice Foundation, 985-231-0036, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org