CA Assembly Passes “Piqui’s Law” by Senator Rubio, Family Court Bill Heads to Senate Judiciary

SACRAMENTO, CA – In a unanimous, bipartisan vote, the State Assembly today passed Piqui’s Law, by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), which mandates judges take training on domestic violence and child abuse to prioritize child safety in custody proceedings and clarifies California’s ban on the use of dangerous reunification programs in family court.

Senate Bill 616, Piqui’s Law: Keeping Children Safe from Family Violence, is named for a 5-year-old murdered by his father. The boy’s mother, Ana Estevez, fought in family court to protect her son against her ex-husband before Piqui’s death. The bill will align with federal provisions within the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in order to receive funding to reform family court. The Assembly passed the bill in a 64-0.

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Someone is Mentally Ill, an Addict, or an Abuser: The Vastly Different Response in Family Court and in Life: Essay by Barry Goldstein

“Shared Parenting” Places Ideology Over Children

by Barry Goldstein

Just as custody courts developed responses for domestic violence at a time when no research was available, early proponents of shared parenting sought to experiment when there was no research about shared parenting. Initially, parents seeking shared parenting did so voluntarily, in situations where they were able to communicate and cooperate. There is now legitimate research that found co-parenting benefits children only under the best circumstances. This requires the arrangement to be voluntary; an ability to communicate; neither parent is afraid of the other; and they live nearby. There is other legitimate research that found shared parenting is harmful to children because of the constant disruptions. There is no valid research supporting shared parenting without the necessary favorable circumstances. Unfortunately, this is a mistake courts frequently make.

Most custody cases, like other litigation, are settled more or less amicably. The problem is the 3.8% of cases that require trial and often much more. Court professionals have been taught to use a high conflict approach that assumes the parents are angry with each other and acting out in ways that harm the children. The research found 75-90% of these cases are really domestic violence cases that involve the most dangerous abusers. These are men who believe she has no right to leave, and who seek to use custody disputes to regain control. These are the last cases where shared parenting should be considered, but courts that have been slow to integrate important scientific research or use a multi-disciplinary approach, have trouble recognizing abuse in these cases. The use of shared parenting increases the bias to minimize or deny abuse in order for the case to be eligible for co-parenting.

The use of shared parenting has been encouraged and promoted by three groups based on their preferences and personal benefits, divorced from the well-being of children. Male supremacist groups support shared parenting because otherwise the safe, protective mother would have a strong advantage. Court professionals promote shared parenting because it creates the need for lucrative services, particularly to help hostile parties communicate. Court officials like shared parenting because they must respond to overcrowded dockets, and believe shared parenting is the only compromise both parties can be pressured to accept. In domestic violence cases, the abuser would never agree to anything reasonable, so they need to pressure and sometimes threaten the victim to settle cases. In my articles, I often need to explain problems that occurred after victims were pressured to accept co-parenting with their abuser.

Shared Parenting was Never Intended for Domestic Violence Cases

Most people, including court professionals, are unaware custody courts are having severe problems trying to respond to cases involving domestic violence or child abuse. Many protective mothers believe the courts are corrupt because the decisions and process are so unfair and catastrophic. While there is corruption with the cottage industry, courts are making harmful decisions because of their failure to use evidence-based research and unintended bias. Court officials would vehemently deny the system works poorly, but the factors that influence courts demonstrate their denials are wrong.

There is something undeniably wrong with a system in which a theory based on no research; but only the belief that sex between adults and children can be acceptable; and twice rejected by the American Psychiatric Association because of the lack of supporting research; has more influence over courts than two studies from the most credible sources, that go to the essence of what courts need to decide in custody cases involving possible domestic violence or child abuse.

Domestic violence is about control, including financial control. This means that in most contested cases the abuser controls most of the financial assets. Unscientific alienation theories were concocted and continue to be used to help cottage industry professionals make large incomes helping abusive fathers. The cottage industry lobbied to include alienation in the DSM which is the compendium of all valid mental health diagnoses. I am not aware of any other court that continues to consider a theory twice rejected by the leading professional association.

The ACE (adverse childhood experiences) Studies are peer-reviewed medical research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ACE found that children exposed to domestic violence, child abuse and other traumas will live shorter lives and face a lifetime of health and social problems. Most of the harm is not from any immediate physical injuries, but from living with the fear and stress abusers cause. Clearly, this knowledge goes to the essence of the well-being of children.

The Saunders Study is peer-reviewed scientific research from the National Institute of Justice in the US Justice Department. Saunders found court professionals need knowledge of specific subjects that include screening for domestic violence, risk assessment, post-separation violence and the impact of DV on children. Professionals without this knowledge tend to focus on the myth that mothers frequently make false reports and unscientific alienation theories. These mistaken approaches lead to recommendations and decisions that harm children. Saunders recommends a multi-disciplinary approach that would include experts in domestic violence and child abuse when those subjects are important to the custody decision.

I think it is significant that ACE is used by medical doctors to diagnose and treat patients, by therapists to treat patients, by schools to help traumatized students, and by health officials to improve public health. In contrast, the only purpose of alienation theories is to help abusive fathers gain custody. Without ACE, courts inevitably minimize domestic violence and child abuse and without Saunders, courts rely on the wrong experts and so disbelieve true reports of abuse. ACE and Saunders demonstrate that many standard court practices are mistaken. This is not neutral in the sense it applies to both parents. All the mistakes from failing to consider ACE and Saunders tilt courts in favor of abusive fathers and towards risking children. Significantly, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges seeks to train other judges about ACE and Saunders.

The research differs on whether shared parenting is helpful or harmful in cases involving two good and loving parents. Decisions in these cases are less consequential because either parent or both parents will do their best for their children. Cases involving possible domestic violence or child abuse are very different. I interviewed medical doctors working with the ACE Research for my Quincy book. I asked them the most important question for courts to consider in these cases. When a child has been exposed to multiple ACEs, is there something we can do to save the child from the awful consequences? We can save these children, but standard court practices, particularly when promoting shared parenting prevent the responses the doctors said are necessary to save children from the awful consequences. Saunders found abusers use decision-making to block needed treatment and especially therapy because they are afraid the child will reveal his abuse. When courts require unprotected visitation without requiring the abuser to change his behavior, the child cannot heal and is doomed to a shorter, less healthy life. These contested cases are often the last chance to save the child.

Stop Using Shared Parenting in Abuse Cases

The combination of high conflict approaches and shared parenting is dangerous and too often deadly. High conflict creates a false equivalency between victims and abusers. Courts typically immediately demand co-parenting and take risks before they have time to consider the evidence of abuse or the critical context. Many court professionals immediately start promoting and pressuring for shared parenting. Victims are routinely punished if they object to cooperating with their abusers. Victim’s lawyers often tell clients not to raise abuse issues and not to object to dangerous arrangements. This results in courts making harmful decisions without ever learning about the history of abuse. This approach also serves to silence children who are exposed to the abuser. In the process, the importance of primary attachment is minimized and in some cases breast feeding is short-circuited to make sure the abuser has a “fair” amount of the child’s time.

Court professionals have repeatedly been told that children do better with both parents in their lives. This is true but is based on having two safe and loving parents. This is often not true in contested custody cases. Children need their primary attachment figure more than the other parent and the safe parent more than the abuser. When children have two good parents, they certainly benefit from a relationship with both parents. There is no valid research that children do better with 50-50 than say 70-30 or some other division.

The original idea behind shared parenting was made in total good faith. Unfortunately, it is often used for harmful purposes that bad-faith actors seek to hide. Male supremacist groups promote shared parenting as a first step towards taking children from their best parent. This is based on the ideology of “father’s rights” and a strong desire to avoid child support. The use of shared parenting often limits the needed inquiry about the history of abuse.

The biggest problem with shared parenting is that it is routinely used in inappropriate cases. Saunders found it should never be used in domestic violence cases. Even in the rare instances that a mother makes a false report, this is not the kind of case where parties are able to communicate effectively. Shared parenting was never meant for abuse cases, but with present outdated practices, courts are destroying children’s lives to promote an ideology and sense of entitlement.

Courts and legislatures need to address the failure of custody courts to integrate evidence-based research and consider the specialized expertise about domestic violence and child abuse that would help courts avoid dangerous mistakes. Until the present problems with the courts’ approach to the most consequential cases can be fixed, the last thing legislatures should focus on is expanding co-parenting arrangements that are already dangerously overused.

Some legislatures have recognized the serious problems discussed in this article. They have passed piecemeal solutions that would help children if they were properly implemented. The problem is that judges are often comfortable with familiar outdated practices and defensive about their mistakes. Repeatedly, we have seen courts work around instead of with the piecemeal reforms. Legislatures that want to protect the children in their states must support comprehensive legislation to create needed reforms. The legislation should specifically tell courts to stop using the outdated practices that harm children. The legislation must make the health and safety of children the first priority. The use of the word health requires courts to use the ACE Research because otherwise judges cannot recognize the full range of health risks. The legislation must promote the integration of important research like ACE and Saunders. The legislation must promote a multi-disciplinary approach that Saunders recommends. The legislation should provide for an early hearing limited to abuse issues to avoid distraction with less important issues and tactics. The legislation must also provide training in domestic violence as recommended in Saunders for judges and preferably other court professionals. The legislative solution is called the Safe Child Act. It is the comprehensive solution to court decisions that too often take away our children’s last chance for a full and healthy life. When legislators are ready to respond to the custody court crisis, it is much better for them to finally solve the problem rather than make it worse by further expanding shared parenting that is already overused.

Barry Goldstein is a domestic violence author, speaker, advocate and expert witness. He is the author of six books concerning domestic violence and child custody. Barry is the author of the Safe Child Act which is a comprehensive plan based on current scientific research that can fix the broken court system and make family courts safe for children.

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Project Hopeline

In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I wanted to let you know about Project Hopeline. This valuable service helps domestic violence victims get a much-needed cell phone, while also supporting numerous shelters and services throughout the country through recycling and refurbishing of wireless phones in an environmentally friendly. Find out more about the program…

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Santa Clara Minor's Counsel, GAL, Scam Moves to Alameda , Orange and LA  Counties

          Elise Mitchell Real Estate Bribery Scheme 

Caliornia’s State Auditor issued a report on lawyers appointed for children during their parent’s divorce after complaints from Marin and Sacramento Counties showed lawyers padding thier bills and gouging parents and taxpayers for work that did little for the best interests of children. 

Minor’s counsel appointments are the gateway appointment to scams lawyers run in connection with family law matters. A divorce or cusotdy case where lawyers claim ” high conflict ” between parents will see a judge quickly appoint a favored lawyer as Minor’s Counsel in a case. The appointment provides lawyers with immunituy to issue reports and advocate for children. In  reality the appointments serve as permission to bill and bill families until there is no money left in a community property estate subject to division. 

Parents are forced to go into debt in order to pay lawyers to tell them how to feed, cloth, educate and support thier children. Minor’s counsel are not required to make financial or other disclosures so they often sit in cases where they own businesses with other lawyers, or the judge. 

It was said that the auditor uncovered the scheme in Marin and Sacramento that had been running as designed by Tani Cantil Sakauye  who sat in family court before the Third District Court of Appeal . She was  appointed as the California Supreme Court Judge in 2011, where she not only did nothing to curb the appointments, she moved thorugh local bar associations and clubs in San Jose , Monterey, LA and Orange County to expand them.

​ In Santa Clara she worked directly with former stte bar Chief Trial Counsel Jim Towery and his wife Karyn Sinunu to expand the corrupt practice of profiting from harming kids and robbing families. 

Minor’s Counsel Bring in Funding for Foster Care and CPS 

In Santa Clara, Monerey, LA and Orange County , the small group of lawyers acting as minor’s counsel stand as look out for lawyers involved in real estate schemes, charity fraud and the lucrative practice of private judging. 

Lawyers are vetted by how well they will be team players. Then with a few hours of training, they are appointment ready, If they incite conflict suffienctly, they can remain in a case for a decade until the children age out of the court’s jurisdciton. 

Elise Mitchell is a Black female attorney in Santa Clara, When the court got pressure for the lack of diversity on the Minor’s Counsel pandel, Mitchell was brougth in my Jim Towery and groomed for appointments after she drew in a case where she represented a NFL football player. 

Mitchell then got conencted to the domestic violence scam connected to charties including Women SV, and Judge Cindy Hendrickson who replaced Judge Persky on the bench. Hendrickson and Mitchell’s ties to local Catholic Schools saw them grooming cases to send kids to foster care to earn the county more money and net them kickbacks in real estate and dark money. 

As Mitchell suceeeded she was appointed in cases where lawyers playing for the private judge team would defend her minconduct and criminality., Mitchell was awarded a secret real estate deal in Alameda County where she was charged with expanding the enterprise and rewarded with kickbacks for getting Heather Allan, Jessica Huey , BJ Fadem  Eva Martel or Nicole Ford appointed in a case where she represents a client seeking to use the courts to abuse a former spouse or parent of a child shared in common. 

Accounting records accidentially leaked by Mitchell’s office, run by her children. show such payments from a grandma, Rosalie Black Baker , and others and how those payments  used to bribe judges in Santa Clara and Alameda. The payments also bribe cops, CPS workers and therapists  who will recommend children are placed in foster care for the right pay off price. 

Mitchell has also assured payments to lawyers appointed in LA and Orange County as an escalation of minor’s counsel and cusotdy experts appointments see  judges sending  kids to foster care or charity reunificaiton camps that kick back referral fees to minor’s counsel, district attoney election campaigns and judges through real estate schemes.  

Payments  documented between Mitchell and Orange County mnior’s counsel Cherly Edgar and Tracy Willis show a pattern that reveals  judges who are in on the bribery scam and benefit from real esate kickbacks.

Payments to Orange County Minor’s Counsel Steve Dragna  and Kelly Irwin along with payments to Anaheim police officer Mark Irwin connect the dots of minor’s counsel and Disney lawyers who paid off Judge Cowan in the probate case linked to Walt Disney’s grandson where Judge Cowan victim shamed Bradford Lund for having Down Syndrome after conserving Lund and denying him the ability to manage the money left to him by his grandfather, Walt Disney.  Like Britney Spears Lund has been locked deep inside LA probate court in a horrifically corrupt  conservatorship. The unhappiest place on earth and just down the street from Disneyland where Disney’s wealth was built. 

Minor’s Counsel Appointments Force Parents to  Lucrative Private Judge Cases at JAMS 

Attorney Ed Navarro has been dubbed the children’s assasssin in Los Angeles County. Ed is regualrly appointed in cases with Dennis Wasser , Lisa Meyer , Christopher Melcher and Ron Brot. . Navarro brings in custody experts and therapists associated with Family Bridges and Overcoming Barriers.. He is also linked to psycologists from UCLA and UC Irvine to  discredit the mental health and sobreity of parents and their children. 

Navarro is known for making the pressure so great, and billing hundreds of thousands of dollars to apply pressure to get parents to agree to use a private judge, with no questions asked. 

Los Angeles County District Attonrey George Gascon  has been seen getting payments in crytocurrency and real estate kickbacks to look the other way when middle class and high asset family law litigants use private judging to cover up fraud and child abuse. 

Noise from parents losing cusotdy of their children has grown louder and has been linked to the noise in the Lund and Spears Conservartorships. As a result reporters from the Los Anegeles Times, NBC, Pro Publica and Wall Street Journal have begun asking questions and making records requests about California’s family courts.

​These media requests are said to be reponsible for Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye’s sudden annoucement to resign  as the minor’s counsel and private judge scams in California’s family courts begin to be revealed. 

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Santa Clara Court Attorneys Lisa Herrick & Fariba Soroosh Exposed by Tik Tok Lawyer Brian Pakpour

Invitation To Sacrmento Inns Of Court

When Yolo County Tik Tok Divorce Attorney Brian Pakpour accepted an invitation to attend a Sacramento America’s Inns of Court meeting, he connected to  the inner circles of the Sacramento court corruption  with area judges and lawyers. That  one evening linked the Tik Tok lawyer to Santa Clara County prosecutor Jay Boyarasky who assured the invitation in order to  scrape Geo  Tags  and phone data that connects Pakpour to the largest public court corruption investigation in California’s history. 

The scrapping of Pakpour’s data footprint linked him to a money laundering scheme operating in  Santa Clara and Sacramento courts  through a domestic violence charities  known as WEAVE  and WOMENSV. 

At the forefront of the scheme are Santa Clara court attorneys Lisa Herrick and Fariba Soroosh who have been working pocket probate, custody and divorce cases with private  lawyers Nicole Ford, Elise Mitchell, Heather Allan, Jim Hoover,  Walter Hammon and BJ Fadem, for over a decade. 

Data Footprints of Ms. Soroosh and Ms. Herrick appear to indicate  how dark  money has moved in and aroound  divorce, probate and custody matters in California for the past 20 years and in secret accounts not controlled by regulated banks.

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Family Court Corruption & CPS Child Trafficking

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Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and his Wife , Judge Amber Rosen, join Karyn Sinunu Towery and Judge Towery in Summer 2021 for a BBQ. The Towery – Rosen power is connects Silicon Valley court corruption to Los Angeles and Orange County through court bailiffs, court CEOs and lawyers appointed as GALS or private judges in divorce and probate cases.

 
Cryptocurrency accounts linked to Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon,  show money laundering  schemes for a human trafficking  connected to the family courts where Rosen’s wife is a family court judge overseeing custody, adoption and CPS cases out of public view. 

In 2017 as DA Jeff Rosen’s office was wrapped up the prosecution  of Brock Turner in the sexual assault case that occured in early 2015 on the Stanford University campus. . During that same time, Jeff Rosen began assisting Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber and San Jose Women’s March founder  Jennifer Higging Bradanini in the recall campaign of Judge Aaron Persky. As Rosen provided the assistance that angered the #Metoo movement mob in the San Francisco Bay Area,  Rosen’s own daughter’s show a  data footprint that incidates while attending college in Wisconsin, they  collected  money on accounts for  sex , gas and large amounts of alcohol provided to campus fraternities.  

By early 2018 Bradanini’s personal divorce case landed before Judge Towery consistent with a case rigging scheme in Santa Clara County. That scheme is linked to  Christopher Melcher, Dennis and Laura Wasser in  Los Angeles County and Orange County lawyers Keith Dolnick and David Erza where  secret courtrooms in the  private business known as JAMS , is stripping custody for wealthy parents with counterfeit  CLETS DVRO orders and fradulent accountings are  run through corrupt 730 witness reports of CPAs Sally White, James  Butera, and Andrew ” Drew” Hunt.   

Melcher , a ” volunteer” member of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department,  is reportedly running the fake domestic violence scam through JAMS such that CLETS  domestic violence restraining orders do not get put into the law enforcement data base system. Melcher is reportedly being assisted by Santa Clara County probate lawyer Temmerman , as Melcher represents Temmerman in his own divorce. In that case, Robert Redding now of the McManis Faulkner law firm,  reportedly agreed to throw the case as he represents the wife. 

Temmerman was reportedly a ghost lawyer for  Jamie Spears  while his daughter, Britney Spears, was conserved in LA County during her divorce with Kevin Federline. Britney Spears was conserved by Commissioner Reva Goetz. Working for JAMS, Goetz is connected to the  private business handling the Temmerman divorce.

Catherine Gallagher of JAMS presided over the Temmerman divorce. She was  reportedly paid over $1 millon through shadow  cryptocurrency accounts as part of a scheme to rig the case and assure the former Mrs. Temmerman did not get access to the finanicial records and case files of Mr. Temmerman’s thriving probate law firm. 

Karyn Sinunu Towery , wife of former state bar executive Jim Towery, is said to be arranging payments for kickbacks in a case rigging scheme where her husband is deeply rooted. Her husband is Judge James Towery. He sat in Silicon Valley family courts for over a decade after his employment at the state bar where he was known to be paid kickbacks from Thomas Girardi  and Jack Trotter , the founder of JAMS. 

JAMS is the largest arbitration, mediation and private judging business in the world. By 2010 the business began working with divorce lawyers to expand from employment arbitration cases into family law matters where their associates are appointed as private judges  in middle class and high asset divorce cases. 

Sinunu Towery,  who resigned from the Santa Clara County DAs office  in 2011 after reportedly taking payoffs not to prosecute Silicon Valley executives and 49er football players,   has reportedly  been  arranging kickbacks to area judges and reporters with the San Jose Mercury News.

Sinunu reportedly had an affair with San Jose Mercury reporter Ric Tulsky  in 2005, as they worked on a Trainted Trial story related to prosecutorial misconduct cases as Silicon Valley’s criminal matters. That award winning article has now been scrubbed from the internet in an effort to conceal patterns of public corruption l linked to both California’s family and criminal courts.  

San Jose Mercury reporter Ric Tulsky reportedly taught Sinunu Towery how  to kill stories about county and court corruption.  Sininu Towery and her husband Judge James Towery were recently connected to payments made  to SAn Jose Mercury News reporters Grace Hase, Robert Salonga,  Julia Sulek and Tracey Kaplan. The  San Jose Mercury is  owned by the Bay Area News Group, and Alden Capital investiment,  which operates similar schemes in Orange County. 

Collectively it appears these San Jose Mercury reporters and associates made  over $1 million  in cryptopayment kickbacks to kill stories about family court cases and pedo  rings operating from  the Stanford University and Santa Clara University campuses. Payments were also made to former reporters who have gone on to work for local government attorneys and voting offices as Public Information Officers. In those positions they are able to keep the public and competing news organzations from information that would expose  the corruption infecting the courts. 

Jeff Rosen, who again otained the Mercury endorsement to win his 2022 re- election for district attorney, reportedly arranged for $1 billion in “advertising”  and “investment”  dollars through shell companies, real estate transfers  and bogus LLCs  to Alden Capital along with pocket immunity for shareholders as the money was exchanged through cruptocurency accounts and transactions arranged by Jeannie Webby , the wife of Sean Webby. Mr. Webby has acted as Rosen’s Public Information Officer since  2011. Webby is a former Mercury reporter who has maintained ties with Stanford University Law Professor Michele Dauber to keep his boss, Jeff Rosen,  in office .

Rosen has refused to invesitgate or prosecute public corruption cases tied to the courts where his wife is now a superior court judge.  

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Mitchell Papers Show Dark Money Divorce Lawyer Retainer Payments Linked to Minor's Counsel "GAL"

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Over the past decade family law attorney Elise Mitchell was awarded court appointments to represent children as the county courts sought to provide the public with an appearance of diversity in divorce and custody cases. Mitchell is Black. 

Now Mitchell’s own adult  child, Ogechi Ajawara, has linked social media and  digital footprints that  expose what appears to be his mother’s involment in a California divorce case rigging and tax evasion scheme. 

The scheme has operated for over a decade and is  centered around Silicon Valley judges James Towery and Stuart Scott with links  to Los Angeles and Orange County Courts. The target, California  real estate and high asset community property estates  subject to  division in a divorce  or probate case.

Mitchell’s emails and dark payment transactions are linked to family law attorneys Stefan Kennedy, BJ Fadem, Constance Carpenter, Jessica Huey, Christina Adames and Nicole Myers , all operating in high asset divorce cases in  Silcon Valley. These lawyers, like their Southern California counterparts obtain immunity from their court appointments and as such are able to pad their bills with impunity. 

In  2018,  confidential files were reportedly left  at the San Jose Catholic School where Mitchell’s  daughter attended with the daughter of now Judge Cindy Hendrickson. After the leak, Mitchell  was shadowbanned and only given cases predetermined to be on the losing end of a real estate – private judge scheme operating in family court probate and divorce cases. 

More recently leaked files show that during the 2020-2022 pandemic, as courthouses were closed, Mitchell  nudged into private judging cases, representing the wives who were set up to lose due to case rigging involving California’s public court judges.  

Payments Mitchell collected in  cryptocurrency,  cash gift cards, and fradulent real estate titles  keeps Mitchell  funded as ineffective counsel in rigged divorce cases, while giving an appearance that Santa Clara County offers ” diversity ” in court appointments. 

Mitchell’s data footprint has revealed payments consistent with tax evasion and money laundering linked to the accounts of Pala Psychotherapy,  and cases of litigants in secret custody  matters, or divorce cases,  including  Gracie Razo, Abigail Portillo,  Juan Macias, Irene Medoza and Gary Ibarra.

More recently Mitchell has been  linked to a fraudulent CLETS DVRO scheme that began when she was paid by the NFL for a former San Francisco 49er in a custody / Domestic Violence case.  That case later saw Mark Erickson take over, after it was determined Mitchell stood to expose the case rigging scheme connected to Judge Towery’s courtroom and the Santa Clara County DA’s office through judge Towery’s wife, Karyn Sinunu Towery. 


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Transgender Divorce Attorney Connected to Family Court Funded Pedophile Ring Linked to Santa Clara University  and California's Family and Criminal Cases

During the pandemic as California Courts were shuttered, a facilites worker at Santa Clara University was caught with sex toys and Kiddie porn linked to  transgender divorce attoney BJ Fadem. Mr. Fadem works in Santa Clara County family court where he is regularly  appointed as Minor’s Counsel while also working as an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University. 

More recently Fadem has been working in California’s lucrative private judging industry , where he is required to disclose his conflcits of interest before accpeting appointment and given immunity such that he is  elevated to the bench without vote or appointment of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Investigation of Faden’s “wife” Dawn  finds Fadem’s private juding disclosures vastly defective and ommitting income and connections to cyrptocurrency accounts used in sex trafficking and child porn rings  operating in the backdrop of  confidential court proceedings. where  by law school volunteer Karyn Sinunu Towery acts as link between cases in Northern and Southern California Courts. 

Since  “retiring ” from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in 2011, Sinunu Towery, wife of family court Judge Towery,  has worked as a ” volunteer” for the Santa Clara University  Law School ‘s charity operating as the Northern California Innocence Project. The charity purports to exonerate those wrongfully convicted in Criminal Cases Sinunu Towery herself was once linked to while employed in the DAO. 

According the the cryptocurrency and data footprint of Fadem’s wife and Santa Clara County DDA Steve Lowney, Sininu Towery has continued to use her power and connections in the DA”s office and at the University, to deflect criminal investigations that would expose  child trafficking rings funded and fueled by the criminal and family law matters involving minor children that are largely confidential. 

BJ FADEM CRYPTO ACCOUNTS LINKED ELISE MITCHELL. NICOLE FORD AND JESSICA HUEY PAY FOR JUDGES TO SIGN BLANK COURT ORDERS 

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California’s family law cases involving unmarried parents , or criminal defendants who are minor children  are largely confidential. Case files and the court proceedings in these matters are not made public. This allows for lawyers involved in the custody and criminal cases linked to children to operated in secret. 

Digital scrapes  of the social media and cryptocurrency accounts linked to  criminal defense and divorce attorneys  was made possible by BJ Fadem, and his close associates Stefan Kennedy, Nicole Ford , Jessica Huey and Elise Mitchell show  hundreds of million dollars of unreported payments to court reporters, ” nannies ” ,” babysitters”, private investigators and IT experts moving around  the state’s divorce, probate, custody and conseratorship  cases. out of the court record, and view of the taxing authorties. 

The accounts of Northern California lawyers operating in private judge, custody and domestic violence cases where cusotdy or children is terminated for one of both parents,  link to Christopher Melcher, Dennis Wassner, Lisa Meyers, Laura Wasser   and Gregory Jessner who is married to an LA Superior Court Judge. 

LA Superior Court judges are regularly paid kickbacks for moving cases into the  private judge scam operating throughout the state where community property estates are used to fund systemic corruption in real estate and private businesses including JAMS and Siganture Reslutions. 

Venture Capitalists, lawyers, doctors, tech executives and Hollywood celebrities wanting to conceal their own criminality during a divorce, are retaining these lawyers during divorce or domestic violence cases are retaining these lwayers and then using private judges paid far more than agreed upon fees to cover up information and crimes that could be exposed during a family law or criminal court matter involing minor children. 


Paid to Change Gender of Children 

While acting as a private judge,  or appointed as minor’s counsel, BJ Fadem , an attorney celebrated in the judicary as openly representing the transgender community, has been linked to payments made to underground doctors used by child trafficking rings. The payments , revealed through datascrapes, are  linked to family law cases and to California Assembly member Evan Low, a proud member of the LGBTQ political landscape in California. Fadem also appears to have usd his assignment as a professor at Santa Clara University to advance a corrupt motive linked to his family law private judge business where he seeks to attract clients from the LGBQT community.  

Low, who has close ties to the Santa Clara County DA’s office,  and Karyn Sinunu Towery, is also linked to UC Irvine and Stanford University Title IX funding issues  that are being  exposed as the state bar reopens investigations related to lawyers Joe Dunn and Tom Girardi. 

Weaknesses  in BJ Fadem and Elise Mitchell’s cryptocurrency and client files have linked Northren California divorce attorneys loyal to Judge Jim Towery and   Thomas Girardi’s personal divorce with Real Housewives star Erica Jayne.  

State bar investigations into Girardi , and now former state bar director Joe Dunn, are now being expanded  to former state bar employee Jim Towery,  based on the data footprint and cryptocurrency accounts exposed by the sloppy handling of financial information,  misuse of client information,  and social media accounts used by Calfiornia divorce lawyers including BJ Fadem, Elise Mitchell, Nicole Ford, Lisa Meyers , Laura Wasser, Rob Brot, Christpher Melcher, Brian Pakpour, Jessica Huey , Stefan Kennedy, and Gregory Jassner.  All these private attorneys appear  to have benefited from selling client information, and rigging cases in public and private judging,  while handling some of the state’s largest divorce, cusotdy, probate and conservatorship cases  where lawyers are  regularly appointed as minor’s counsel or private judges in the state’s family law cases. 

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California Judges Able to Renew Domestic Violence Protection Orders Under New Law

In November 2021, a California judge determined the woman before him had demonstrated a reasonable case of fear of continued physical abuse and threats to her life with a firearm. However, the judge wasn’t sure if state law actually gave him the authority to renew her domestic violence restraining order.

California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act allowed for protection orders to be renewed for “either” five years or permanently, begging the question: Could domestic violence restraining orders be re-upped multiple times?

It wasn’t a unique conundrum posed by the judge, but rather one heard by attorneys and advocates across the state.

That lack of judicial consistency — and a legislative recommendation from the UC Irvine School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic — led to a recent change in the law.

Read more here.

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Someone is Mentally Ill, an Addict, or an Abuser: The Vastly Different Response in Family Court and in Life: Essay by Barry Goldstein

Dear Judge Responding to DV Custody Cases

by Barry Goldstein

Dear Judge,
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges seeks to train other judges about important scientific research like ACE (adverse childhood experiences) and Saunders. We now have a specialized body of research and knowledge about domestic violence and child abuse that can help courts recognize true reports of abuse and craft responses that help protect children.

The purpose of this letter is to ask the court to be open to considering the research and avoid standard approaches the research demonstrates work poorly in domestic violence custody cases. Most custody cases are settled more or less amicably. The problem is the 3.8% of all cases that require trial and often much more. The research shows that 75-90% of contested custody are really domestic violence cases. These cases involve abusers who believe she has no right to leave, and they are often willing to hurt the child to protect their “rights.”

Many present practices were developed over 40 years ago at a time when little research about DV was available. It was based on the assumption that DV is caused by mental illness or substance abuse. The research demonstrates these assumptions were wrong, but courts have been slow to modify the practices. Mental health professionals are experts in psychology and mental illness but not DV or child abuse. Every year, 58,000 children are sent for custody or unprotected visitation with dangerous abusers and since 2008, The Center for Judicial Excellence found over 850 children involved in contested custody have been murdered, mostly by abusive fathers.

ACE is peer-reviewed medical research from the CDC. ACE found that children exposed to DV, child abuse and other traumas will live shorter lives and face a lifetime of health and social problems. Most of the harm is not from any immediate physical injuries, but from the fear and stress abusers cause. This means practices that minimize older abuse; limit inquiries to physical abuse; assume the end of the relationship ends the risk; or ask children to just get over it have no chance to work.

Contested custody cases are usually the last chance to save children from the awful consequences. Medical doctors say children exposed to multiple ACEs can avoid the harm, but it requires two responses standard court practices prevent. The children will need medical treatment and therapy to respond to problems as they develop and to reduce the fear and stress. This means the safe parent must control health decisions because abusers use decision-making to block anything the mother wants and particularly to prevent or undermine therapy because the child might reveal his abuse. Shared parenting in these cases ends the child’s chance for a full and healthy life.

The second response the doctors say is needed is that the children cannot be exposed to more abuse or situations that renew the fear and stress. This means any visitation must be supervised until the abuser changes his behavior. When courts rush to resume or continue normal visitation without requiring fundamental changes by the abuser, courts take away the child’s chance for a full and healthy life. Fundamentally, without ACE, courts inevitably minimize the harm from DV and child abuse and err on the side of risking children.

The Saunders Study is peer-reviewed scientific research from the National Institute of Justice in the US Justice Department. The purpose was to review the domestic violence knowledge of judges, lawyers and especially evaluators. Saunders found court professionals need more than generalized knowledge about DV. They need knowledge about specific subjects that include screening for DV, risk assessment, post-separation violence and the impact of DV on children. Professionals without this specific knowledge tend to focus on the myth that mothers frequently make false reports and unscientific alienation theories. This leads to recommendations and decisions that harm children. Most evaluators fail to screen for domestic violence in an effective way and judges and lawyers have spent their careers influenced by evaluator’s misinformation about DV and child abuse. As a result, Saunders found most court professionals do not have the specific DV information they need for DV custody cases. DV advocates have more of the specific DV information courts need than judges, lawyers, or evaluators. This makes sense because they are the only profession to work full time on domestic violence prevention and safety. Saunders recommends courts use a multi-disciplinary approach that would include DV and child abuse experts when this is important to the case. Without Saunders, courts routinely rely on the wrong professionals for DV cases and so often disbelieve true reports of abuse.

The first part of screening for DV is to avoid discrediting true reports based on non-probative factors. Common examples include: the mother left an alleged abuser, but returned; she sought a protective order, but didn’t follow-up; she has no police or medical reports; the professional failed to differentiate between an abuser’s public and private behavior; the child appears to be doing well on the surface; and a child shows no fear interacting with the alleged abuser in front of a professional. These are all common responses for safety and other reasons and tell us nothing about the validity of reports about abuse.

Instead, courts should consider which parent is afraid of the other parent. Courts should consider the motives of the alleged abuser. Is there evidence that the purpose of his tactics is to maintain power and control; coerce the victim to do what the abuser wants and based on the belief that the man has the right to make the decisions? The court should then look for the pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors. Most DV is neither physical nor illegal. This means there is much more evidence of DV available when we know what to look for. Common tactics include emotional, psychological, economic, litigation and physical abuse, plus stalking, monitoring, isolating and similar tactics.

Risk assessment refers to the fact that there are many common DV tactics that are associated with increased risk of lethality. These tactics should be taken even more seriously. Examples include strangulation, assaulting a woman while pregnant; hurting animals; forced or pressured sex; threats of murder, suicide, or kidnapping; stalking; access to guns; and the belief she has no right to leave. I have reviewed over 1000 evaluations and have never seen an evaluator report something like, “the mother alleges the father strangled her, and if this is true it raises serious concerns of potential lethality.” This failure is a common example of minimizing the risk from an abuser.

There are two parts to post-separation violence and neither have to involve physical violence. DV custody cases usually involve abusers using custody to regain control over the victim and punish her for leaving. Saunders found abusers sometimes use exchanges to harass or even assault their victims. More commonly, we see economic and litigation abuse as part of the cases. Courts often dismiss the issue as typical to litigation, but it means the abuser has not changed.

Significantly, abusers do not hurt their victims because of anything she said or did. This means they are likely to abuse future partners. If they already have a new partner, he is likely to treat her well because he needs her testimony, but eventually will resume his abusive tactics. This means children will witness more DV and therefore cannot heal.

At least 40 states and many judicial districts have created court-sponsored studies of gender bias. They have used a variety of methods over four decades but have found widespread bias against women litigants. Common examples include holding women to a higher standard of proof, giving mothers less credibility, and blaming the victim for her normal reaction to the father’s abuse. This is a difficult problem to overcome because gender bias is usually unintentional and subconscious. At the same time the needed discussions are discouraged because of the risk that reporting gender bias may result in defensiveness or even retaliation. The Meier Study from the National Institute of Justice found courts have made little progress in overcoming gender bias. A good way to check for gender bias is to ask how a situation would have played out if the genders were reversed.

Sexist alienation theories were deliberately developed to help abusive fathers gain custody. Richard Gardner and the cottage industry of lawyers and mental health professionals needed an approach to justify changing custody from safe, protective mothers who are the primary attachment figures to abusive fathers who often had little involvement in childcare during the relationship. Gardner concocted Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) for this purpose based on no research, but only his personal experience, beliefs, and bias. This included many public statements that sex between adults and children can be acceptable. I don’t believe judges would have wanted to be associated with this theory if they were aware of the heinous basis for its creation. DV is about control, including financial control. This means in most contested custody cases, the abusive father controls most of the financial resources. The cottage industry developed for these financial reasons and the financial incentive has contributed to custody courts receiving frequent and aggressive misinformation, particularly about alienation.

Gardner sought to include PAS in the DSM-IV which is the compendium of all valid mental health diagnoses. The American Psychiatric Association rejected it because there is no scientific research to support alienation. PAS developed a deserved bad reputation, particularly that it clearly is not a syndrome, and Gardner committed suicide. The cottage industry sought to continue using PAS but wrote articles offering a slightly milder version and used different names such as alienation, parental alienation, or gatekeeping. The cottage industry and male supremacist groups lobbied aggressively to include unscientific alienation theories in the DSM-V which is the present compendium. It was again rejected because there is still no valid research to support the theory. I am not aware of any other court that continues to rely on a theory that has been twice rejected by the leading professional association.

There is an interesting finding in the Meier Study. They found that when courts believe a father is being alienated, this provides a strong boost for the father and helps them gain custody. When the court believes the mother is alienated, it has no effect on the outcome. This means unscientific alienation theories are being applied in a gender biased manner that violates due process and equal protection. What is really happening is that in our still sexist society, mothers continue to provide most of the childcare and therefore have a stronger relationship with their children. Court professionals are less worried about the mothers’ relationship and so pay less attention to alienating behavior by fathers. This is another example of unintentional gender bias.

Some judges have suggested they don’t need research because common sense tells us that parents do make negative statements about each other. This is true, even in intact families. This approach would be acceptable if the courts didn’t then accept the rest of unscientific alienation theories. These theories assume a bad relationship with the father could only be caused by alienating behavior. More likely causes include DV, child abuse, limited involvement, or other bad parenting practices. The theories seek to ASSUME alienation based on speculation about what the mother must be saying. The father rarely has personal knowledge of what is said in the privacy of the mother’s home but are often allowed to speculate. The findings rejecting unscientific alienation theories from the DSM-V means it is caused by bad behavior rather than mental illness. This means that mental health professionals, and especially the cottage industry have no special expertise to inform the court. The alienation theories assume alienation creates the worst possible harm to children. In intact families, negative statements rarely have long-lasting effects. A false statement against one parent is more likely to hurt the relationship with the parent making the false statement. ACE demonstrates that domestic violence and child abuse have far more harmful consequences. There is no valid research that demonstrates the harm from alienation because there is no standard definition of alienation. The purported research, based on the original bogus PAS finds harm to children that is more likely caused by DV and child abuse. Indeed, Gardner assumed that almost all reports of abuse by mothers or children are false. Objective research like the Bala Study found mothers in contested custody cases make deliberate false reports less than 2% of the time.

A recent decision by the Oregon Psychology Board is particularly helpful in understanding the use of unscientific alienation theories in custody courts. A custody evaluator used other language in the DSM-V to claim alienation is supported in the DSM-V. This is false because it was specifically rejected despite aggressive lobbying. The evaluator was disciplined for diagnosing something that doesn’t exist (in the DSM-V). Hopefully more cottage industry professionals will face accountability and stop poisoning custody courts with their biased theories.

The reliance on unscientific alienation theories has done enormous harm to children, but also to the reputation of family courts. It is outrageous that an unscientific theory, twice rejected by the American Psychiatric Association has more influence in the courts than ACE and Saunders that are peer-reviewed scientific research from highly credible sources. ACE is used in many areas of society to benefit individuals. It is used by medical doctors to diagnose and treat patients; therapists to treat patients; schools to help traumatized students and public health officials to support reductions in diseases and social problems. ACE is often compared to the Surgeon General’s Report linking smoking and cancer. Both studies can be used to discourage harmful behavior (smoking, DV and child abuse) and in doing so save millions of lives and trillions of dollars. In contrast, unscientific alienation theories are only used to help abusive fathers gain custody.

The parent who provides most of the childcare in the first two years of a child’s life is and always will be the primary attachment figure. In most cases this parent is the one the children turn to when they need assistance; the primary parent is usually the better parent based on more practice and knows the children’s providers as well as their needs and strengths. Denying children, a normal relationship with their primary attachment figures increases the risk of depression, low self-esteem, and suicide. The importance of primary attachment is often minimized by custody courts in part because of gender bias.

There is a section in the Saunders Study about harmful outcome cases. These are extreme decisions in which the alleged abuser receives custody and a safe, protective mother who is the primary attachment figure is limited to supervised or no visitation. Saunders found harmful outcome cases are ALWAYS wrong and based on the use of flawed practices. The reason they are always wrong is the harm from denying children a normal relationship with their primary parent is greater than any benefit the court thought it was providing. In most cases, the flaws used by the court resulted in an arrangement that is the opposite of what works best for children.

Context is critically important in recognizing domestic violence. Courts often miss the context in an attempt to save time because of crowded dockets. Decontextualizing is a common abuser tactic. They seek to start the story immediately after their abuse and simply describe the victim’s response. At early hearings, courts often limit the discussion to the immediate issue and in doing so miss the long history of abuse. Arbitrary time limits for presenting a case are not neutral as they are intended. Victims need more time to explain the context and explain (as in this letter) that many standard practices favor abusers. The alleged abuser need only deny the alleged abuse and encourage courts to maintain the biased practices.

In the typical DV custody case, the father wanted the mother to provide most of the childcare during the relationship. In any other court, this would properly be understood as an admission by the father that the mother is a good parent, or else he would have sought a different arrangement. When the mother seeks to leave her abuser and report his abuse, fathers often retaliate by seeking custody and claiming the mother is suddenly unfit. They often claim the mother is mentally ill and/or alienating. What are the chances a mother suddenly becomes unfit because the relationship ended, and she reported his abuse? In the real world the chances are close to zero, but custody courts that fail to use current scientific research, rely on professionals without the needed DV expertise and miss the context often make this unlikely finding.

Conclusion

The use of shared parenting has pushed the court towards an ideological approach and away from the best interests of children. This was one of the purposes of the male supremacist groups that have pushed for equal parenting. There is a legitimate argument for shared parenting in cases with two good and safe parents. This was never intended for use in DV custody cases. The most favorable research for shared parenting says it can be beneficial for children when both parents want shared parenting; the parents can communicate effectively; neither parent is afraid of the other and they live nearby. This does not apply to DV custody cases. Saunders found shared parenting is never appropriate in DV custody cases.

One of the problems with “high conflict” approaches is that it immediately pushes the parents for co-parenting even though in most cases it would be a mistake. High conflict creates a false equivalency between a safe, protective mother who is the primary attachment figure and an abusive father. In many cases, victims are punished for trying to protect their children and the desire to save court time is substituted for the desire to keep children safe.

ACE and Saunders demonstrate that many standard court practices and many standard evaluation practices are harmful to children. The resultant mistakes are not neutral in the sense that they apply equally to both parents. All the mistakes caused by a failure to use current scientific research help abusive fathers and place children in additional risk. Practices that minimize the harm from DV and child abuse and make it harder for courts to recognize true reports of abuse are harmful to children.

Expert witnesses are the only witnesses allowed to give their opinions. Family courts rarely differentiate between subjective and objective opinions. Subjective opinions work great for the experts, particularly from the cottage industry because they just have to say what they believe or what supports their client. Cottage industry professionals do not have the specific knowledge Saunders says is needed and are biased in favor of abusive fathers. They should never be permitted to serve as neutral professionals. The subjective opinions are often contradicted by the research the experts fail to consider. Objective opinions are much more useful for courts because it is evidence-based information that focuses on what works best for children.

Dr. Vincent Felitti, lead author of the original ACE Study believes prevention is the most important use for his research, especially in Family Court. This research is so exciting because it can be used to reduce cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, substance abuse, suicide, crime and many other health and social problems. It is especially important for courts to use this knowledge in cases that are likely to be the last chance to save children from the awful consequences of exposure to multiple ACEs.

Barry Goldstein is a domestic violence author, speaker, advocate and expert witness. He is the author of six books concerning domestic violence and child custody. Barry is the author of the Safe Child Act which is a comprehensive plan based on current scientific research that can fix the broken court system and make family courts safe for children.

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