I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Family-law makeover ~ California

I wish Michael Newdow well with his law suit. The reason it is necessary is to give these legislators a wake up call. One wants to ban Parental Alienation Syndrome from courts even though it passes all North American scientific tests for evidence in courts. He is a stooge for Victim Feminists and these so called protective parents who are a front for victim feminists. They clearly indicate their lack of truthfulness in this article by denying Domestic Violence initiation is equal between both genders. In one CDC study it was found 71% of initiators were women. They have an agenda and it is to ensure the current inequality carries on whereby judges currently award custody in the vast majority of cases to moms marginalizing dads to 4 day a month visitors. A parental bond is impossible to maintain with 14% visitation. It is pretty clear they have Jim Beall in their back pocket. Parental Alienation is largely used by a custodial parent to teach children to hate the non-custodial parent. This pretty much guarantees them custody and if a child was brought into the dispute to choose - guess who they would pick. Beall is a very misdirected man who represents a clear danger to dads. His campaign finances should be investigated to see who may be providing undue influence.MJM

By Ted Cox More stories by this author... Read 1 reader submitted comment
Michael Newdow thinks California’s family-law courts are broken. He’s not alone.
PHOTO BY KYLE MONK

Michael Newdow is no stranger to controversy. First, in 2000, he filed a lawsuit against the Elk Grove Unified School District in an attempt to ban the Pledge of Allegiance, arguing that the phrase “under God” was an endorsement of religion. Then, in 2006, he attempted to have “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency. At the end of 2008, Newdow filed a suit to keep Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. from uttering “so help me God” at the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s inaugural oath.

For various reasons, all three lawsuits were dismissed. But that hasn’t kept him from focusing on a new target: the family-law system.

“The entire family-law system is unconstitutional,” Newdow told SN&R. “It deprives people of their rights to their relationships with their children.”

In 2005, 2006 and 2007 Newdow informed the speaker of the Assembly of his intent to file suit under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 526(a), which allows taxpayers to file grievances against government waste.

“You waste incredible amounts of money,” said Newdow. “People spend millions of dollars—literally—on individual cases that should be going towards the family.”

The complaint names as defendants California Superior Court Judge James Mize, Presiding Judge Eugene Balanon, State Attorney General Edmund Brown, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Controller John Chiang.

But when Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s office responded to his notice, suggesting that Newdow send his complaint to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he decided to hold off. In the meantime, he’s looking for additional plaintiffs.

“Maybe I’ll file it anyway,” Newdow said. “I doubt the Legislature will do what I want.”

Newdow believes that pitting two parents against each other from the outset of custody cases just sets the stage for trouble.

“My argument is that that’s why we have custody battles and custody wars, because we set things up to be that way,” he said.

Like Newdow’s previous cases, the chance that he could revamp the family-court system by way of a taxpayer complaint is a long shot. But reform is needed; ask just about anyone who’s trudged through the legal muck of child-custody disputes, and you’re certain to hear a horror story.

Connie Valentine is a founding member and current policy director of the Sacramento-based California Protective Parents Association. CPPA was formed 10 years ago partly to deal with what she calls abuses in the family-court system. In those 10 years, Valentine’s organization has assisted with thousands of cases. She said that the biggest problem in family-law court is a lack of oversight.

“When there’s no effective oversight, things fester and abuse of power can occur without any ability to change it,” she said. “The reason that there is no effective oversight is that most of the people who are involved in family court do not have lawyers. And if you do not have a lawyer, that means you don’t have money.”

Having no money in the family-court system, explained Valentine, means you can’t file costly appeals to challenge court rulings.

Valentine said that a second pressing problem is the unregulated cottage industry of mediators and other professionals who hold enormous sway over court rulings.

“The court has, in good faith, decided that they need assistance,” Valentine noted. “One judge is not enough to handle all the problems that they’re seeing.” The solution has been to hire mediators that hear cases and make recommendations to the court. “Now if it’s a good mediator, that may not be such a bad thing if they’re balanced and unbiased,” she continued. “But if you happen to have a bad mediator who’s biased and decides they like one person over the other—because of their looks or their gender or their persuasiveness—then you’ve got big problems, because the judges rely tremendously on their mediators.”

Another problem, said Valentine, is that children often don’t have a direct say in custody cases. Instead, attorneys report on behalf of minors. Oftentimes what the attorneys report conflicts with what the children themselves say. The solution is to let children speak directly with the judge.

“A 4-year-old in criminal court can testify against their abusers,” Valentine said. “We can certainly take children and talk to them in family court.”

Family-law attorney Barbara Kauffman feels another problem is a lack of uniform training in domestic-violence and child-abuse issues among judges and court appointees. “There are theories being taught that are all over the map,” she said.

Kauffman recounted one instance where she sat in on a training session taught by a fathers’ rights advocate. Judges and mediators were in attendance. “He was spouting off about how most domestic violence is mutual. And [the judges and mediators] were just sitting there raptly listening to this.”

Efforts are underway to fix these and many other problems.

State Sen. Mark Leno has asked the Legislature’s Joint Legal Audit Committee to investigate Sacramento and several other counties’ family courts. The audit will look at, among other things, the criteria used to assign mediators to cases.

Assembly Bill 612, sponsored by Jim Beall, would eliminate the use of controversial theories—namely Parental Alienation Syndrome—from family-court proceedings. Adherents of PAS argue that one parent alienates their child against the other. PAS opponents argue the theory is unscientific and is often used to place children into the hands of abusers.

A.B. 375 would prohibit courts from using last-minute ex parte hearings to determine child custody, except in cases where the child is in immediate danger.

A.B. 1050 “would require the family court to consider and give due weight to the wishes of a child in making an order granting or modifying custody, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation.”

Of course, reforming the system itself isn’t the only problem. As Kauffman, puts it, “In family law, everybody’s on their worst behavior. There is an incentive to lie about finances, about children.”

With attorneys, mediators and child psychologists collectively raking in millions of dollars in fees for their services, there’s an invested interest in making custody cases as nasty as possible.

Newdow’s case, even if it seems far-fetched, may simply be effective in the way it calls attention to a broken court system.

“The things that happen to these people are absolutely horrific, but it’s such a typical thing. That’s what’s so amazing,” said Newdow.

At stake here is more than just winning legal battles.

“Every parent, if you gave them the choice of being paraded around naked on a leash or losing their right to be a parent to their kid, all of [them] would say, ‘Hey, take my clothes off right now,’” said Newdow.

Comments:

Follow up by Mike Murphy on June 26, 2009

Posted 06/25/2009 12:26PM by BKLAW: You are a lawyer and know full well PAS has passed both the Frye and Mohan tests for scientific veracity in North American courts. In Bates v. Bates 18th Judicial Circuit, Dupage County, IL Case No. 99D958, Jan 17, 2002. * Court ruling that the Parental Alienation Syndrome has gained general acceptance in the scientific community and thereby satisfies Frye Test criteria for admissibility.[excerpt] There are many more in the USA and dozens in Canada that passed the Mohan Test which states "Expert evidence must be necessary in order to allow the fact finder: (1) to appropriate the facts due to their technical nature, or; (2) to for a correct judgment on a matter if ordinary persons are unlikely to do so without the assistance of persons with special knowledge." R. v. Mohan [2 S.C.R. 9] 1994 Admission of expert evidence depends on the application of the following criteria: * relevance; * necessity in assisting the trier of fact; * the absence of any exclusionary rule; * a properly qualified expert It is true both genders alienate children but most studies show about a 2-1 ratio tipping toward mothers. As it is largely a function of custodial parents and mothers are by far the custodial parent, this makes both scientific and logical sense. Feminists, if you care to read their blogs, do not believe in PAS at all and are particularly loud when a mother loses custody due to her abuse of children. Many of your feminist colleagues in law schools call it junk science. Those of us who are targets will clearly tell you it is not. You also don't have to be a rocket scientist to discern the difference between real abuse and PA. If a child has a realistic estrangement from a parent through abuse this can be determined by intelligent questioning. Even abused children want a relationship with their parents and often wonder why this parent strikes them. They sometimes develop a "pleasing" response to it and will do most anything to stay in the good graces of the abuser. Not so with PAS. What I haven't heard from anyone is a legal presumption of shared and equal parenting with co-residency of the children. If you want to reduce divorce, increase positive social outcomes for children, get rid of wasteful tax funded collection agencies for support and save taxes, enact this legislation. Where does your so called protective parent organization stand on this? They are against it for the same reasons they deny PAS exists. It will give dads equality and they will lose their entitlements. @Posted 06/25/2009 5:51PM by tloff You need to do more research as you are just plain wrong with respect to the science. Since when did Wikepedia pass legal tests for validity. See above for the real tests. An alienator is not a loving parent. They have lost impulse control and let their hate for their ex over ride their love of a child. There is no such thing as deprogramming. Read the literature. In most cases the alienating parent, male or female has one or more serious personality disorders.

Posted 06/25/2009 7:11AM by MikeMurphy
I wish Michael Newdow well with his law suit. The reason it is necessary is to give these legislators a wake up call. One wants to ban Parental Alienation Syndrome from courts even though it passes all North American scientific tests for evidence in courts. He is a stooge for Victim Feminists and these so called protective parents who are a front for victim feminists. They clearly indicate their lack of truthfulness in this article by denying Domestic Violence initiation is equal between both genders. In one CDC study it was found 71% of initiators were women. They have an agenda and it is to ensure the current inequality carries on whereby judges currently award custody in the vast majority of cases to moms marginalizing dads to 4 day a month visitors. A parental bond is impossible to maintain with 14% visitation. It is pretty clear they have Jim Beall in their back pocket. Parental Alienation is largely used by a custodial parent to teach children to hate the non-custodial parent. This pretty much guarantees them custody and if a child was brought into the dispute to choose - guess who they would pick. Beall is a very misdirected man who represents a clear danger to dads. His campaign finances should be investigated to see who may be providing undue influence. LESS
Posted 06/25/2009 9:10AM by RobertGartner
I wish Michael Newdow well too and for the same reasons as mentioned by Mr. Murphy above. Parental Alienation is real and is actually facilitated by lengthy court involvements. Children bond to their abusers; hence their input may be flawed. Courts certainly need reform but not for the reasons the victim feminists would have you believe. Men are not the only perpetrators of child abuse as they would have everyone believe. Domestic violence does run equally and to attach gender to these matters just confuses them. Resolving custody issues should begin with removing bias and myth. For too long fathers have been treated as less than able to care for and love their child. A child needs each and both parents and on an equal basis. LESS
Posted 06/25/2009 12:26PM by BKLAW
I think Mr. Murphy and Mr. Gartner are making erroneous assumptions about PAS – about its validity as scientific evidence, and about their apparent conclusion that only mothers or “feminists” object to the use of PAS in child custody cases. The American Prosecutor’s Research Institute has long been critical of PAS–check out the following link: http://www.ndaa.org/publications/newsletters/update_volume_16_number_6_2003.html I represent both fathers and mothers, and “PAS” is used against both. In fact, the clearest “PAS” language I have encountered was this (in general substance): “If the child returns from a visit with his father, and is disrespectful to his mother, this will be taken as evidence that the father is alienating the child” Or, another common PAS concept is something like this: “If the child resists going on visits with the father, this is evidence that the mother is alienating the child against the father.” Obviously, there are many, many reasons a child may be disrespectful to a mother, and there are many, many reasons a child may resist going on visits with a father. Old-school PAS is a dangerously simplistic and convenient non-scientific theoretical concoction that can be used in ANY case against EITHER parent–and parents routinely lose custody, and end up in supervised visits with their children, over this. Unfortunately, PAS is often used in domestic violence and abuse cases, to explain away a child’s antipathy to a genuinely abusive parent, and cause a protective parent to lose custody. With respect to the training of judges and mediators mentioned in this article, wherein the trainer told them that most domestic violence is “mutual"–the punchline is this: when asked, the trainer in question admitted that if a victim tries to move past an abuser to get away, or touches the abuser in any way – even defensively, to ward off blows–that is considered “mutual”. While this is patently ridiculous, the judges and mediators would not have known this had that question not been asked. That is why there must be mandatory, uniform, statewide training on domestic violence and child abuse, for judges and court appointees. The fact of the matter is, all around the state fathers and mothers, and fathers’ rights groups and mothers advocacy groups, are showing up to testify about the rampant problems in the family court system, and the fact that they are losing their children, while being bankrupted paying court appointees and professionals who feed on custody conflicts. Mothers and fathers need to unite in their demand for change. It will benefit everyone, especially the children. LESS
Posted 06/25/2009 5:51PM by tloff
I can’t thank you enough for this timely article. Parental Alienation Syndrome, promoted by the family court system, is not a recognized disorder by scientific and medical comunities because it “lacks validity and reliablity” (wikipedia.com). Furthermore pas deprograming techniques divide relationships rather than unite. It is in the best interest for the child when parents work together. Children want this! A close friend lost her eight year old daughter when she was labeled an alienator by a reunification therapist. She didn’t get to see, hear, or talk to her daughter for sixty days and thereafter allowed one hour visits once a week. Many parents would be angry if this happened to them. One hour once a week visit, how does this mantain the parental bond. Sounds like reversal alienation to me! Ripping a child out of a loving family enviornment with the family courts blessing is child abuse! Children should have the right to decide who they want to live with, and mental health professionals should be held accountable for peddling false information. LESS
Posted 06/26/2009 11:47AM by MikeMurphy
Posted 06/25/2009 12:26PM by BKLAW: You are a lawyer and know full well PAS has passed both the Frye and Mohan tests for scientific veracity in North American courts. In Bates v. Bates 18th Judicial Circuit, Dupage County, IL Case No. 99D958, Jan 17, 2002. * Court ruling that the Parental Alienation Syndrome has gained general acceptance in the scientific community and thereby satisfies Frye Test criteria for admissibility.[excerpt] There are many more in the USA and dozens in Canada that passed the Mohan Test which states “Expert evidence must be necessary in order to allow the fact finder: (1) to appropriate the facts due to their technical nature, or; (2) to for a correct judgment on a matter if ordinary persons are unlikely to do so without the assistance of persons with special knowledge.” R. v. Mohan [2 S.C.R. 9] 1994; Admission of expert evidence depends on the application of the following criteria: relevance; necessity in assisting the trier of fact; the absence of any exclusionary rule; a properly qualified expert. It is true both genders alienate children but most studies show about a 2-1 ratio tipping toward mothers. As it is largely a function of custodial parents and mothers are by far the custodial parent, this makes both scientific and logical sense. Feminists, if you care to read their blogs, do not believe in PAS at all and are particularly loud when a mother loses custody due to her abuse of children. Many of your feminist colleagues in law schools call it junk science. Those of us who are targets will clearly tell you it is not. You also don’t have to be a rocket scientist to discern the difference between real abuse and PA. If a child has a realistic estrangement from a parent through abuse this can be determined by intelligent questioning. Even abused children want a relationship with their parents and often wonder why this parent strikes them. They sometimes develop a “pleasing” response to it and will do most anything to stay in the good graces of the abuser. Not so with PAS. What I haven’t heard from anyone is a legal presumption of shared and equal parenting with co-residency of the children. If you want to reduce divorce, increase positive social outcomes for children, get rid of wasteful tax funded collection agencies for support and save taxes, enact this legislation. Where does your so called protective parent organization stand on this? They are against it for the same reasons they deny PAS exists. It will give dads equality and they will lose their entitlements. Posted 06/25/2009 5:51PM by tloff: You need to do more research as you are just plain wrong with respect to the science. Since when did Wikepedia pass legal tests for validity. See above for the real tests. An alienator is not a loving parent. They have lost impulse control and let their hate for their ex over ride their love of a child. There is no such thing as deprogramming. Read the literature. In most cases the alienating parent, male or female has one or more serious personality disorders. LESS
Posted 06/26/2009 7:00PM by tloff
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/leg.html “Justice for Children. (2001). Amicus Curiae Brief of Justice For Children in Linville v. Linville (PDF) . Brief filed by Justice for Children in a custody case heard by Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The brief provides a Frye-analysis asking whether evidence of PAS is reliable and relevant in child custody cases and discusses the lack of scientific support for PAS rendering it inadmissible under Frye.” Does this shed light on the frye test Mr. Murphy is talking about? Get your facts straight! Many experts in several different fields are speaking out against PAS because it is sometimes used to forcefully remove children from established loving supportive families, against the request and wishes of (sometimes) all family members, to the tragic detriment of an innocent and cheated child. Financial gain of the PAS advocate is obvious in some cases and an indescribable mind numbing shock to those aware of this injustice to children and families. These woefully inappropriate decisions, done in the name of PAS, are torture to innocent parents and children who understandably may lose faith in a previously trusted justice system. PAS injustices have spawned misery, heartache, fear, anger and a loss of faith in the current justice system. An honest and compehensive look into some of these cases will easily show the tragic results of misguided court decisions that families have been forced to abide by. Look at the case of Ali. This seems to me, an example of “Justice for Sale”. The father paid a naïve and/or corrupt PAS author/advocate/therapist to submit a 20 page recommendation to a naïve and/or corrupt evaluator, who makes the excepted recommendation to a naïve and/or corrupt judge. The child has been forced live with a father who previously didn’t want o see her and didn’t want or request 100% custody. The child is only allowed to see her loving mother 1 hour a week –supervised. What’s especially troubling is that the PAS therapist has a bias as she is trying to sell her recently released book on PAS. This is so wrong, in so many ways. Hopefully the court will open its eyes soon and this and other family tragedies caused by misguide efforts will end. The child was taken away three months ago, no contact whatsoever for sixty days. Now, she can only see her daughter once a week for one hour. She must also pay to see her daughter as well. Ali divorced because her husband had a child by another woman. He now has 5 children, by 3 women. The father had nothing to do with the daughter for 2 whole years, only asked for 50% custody and now is not allowed to let the mother have any custody at all. This is ridiculous. If or when the general public becomes aware of this, there will be a strong backlash against a corrupt and broken system. She would at least like to have 50 % custody. Her daughter was well adjusted, full of life and energy, trusting, considerate and always thinking of others. I have a degree, and have worked with children in the field of child development for nearly twenty years. I know many experts in this field and others who strongly believe that PAS has been used wrongly for profit and has caused judicial embarrassment and tragedy. In Ali’s case the child is 8 years old. She wants and needs to be with her mother. These parents will never give up. Therapists, evaluators, mediators, judges and lawyers profit from their legal battle for justice to the shame of the system and pain of families. LESS
Posted 06/27/2009 9:07AM by MikeMurphy
Posted 06/26/2009 7:00PM by tloff I’m not certain what your point is. PAS passes the Frye test. There is no debate on it! In Canada it passes the Mohan test. Their is no debate on it. Who are these experts you claim cast doubt on it? Are they scientists or victim feminist supporters. Name names. Could it be the Victim Feminists in NOW or some of the female law professors so wrapped up in victim feminist ideology they cannot logically discern the real truth? They have a number of them, one in particular at Georgetown U, who have been discredited and debunked for arguing against PAS on PBS. Gee are they experts on PAS. Are they scientists. The argument it is not Science is premised on it not being in the DSM. That is not a valid argument. If you recall homosexuality was in it as a syndrome but then removed. Was that good science to remove it? Was it good science to have it in there? It took Tourettes syndrome over 50 years to get in. Was it not a disorder before it appeared in the pages of this manual? If the courts, as you described, removed an abuser from a child good for them. It is done far too seldom. Was she one of the so called protective parents which is nothing but a front for abusers under the guise of protecting children. How many men are considered protective parents in this group? It sounds to me like, in the case you are discussing, all the right things were done. Are you the abuser? If so you need help. Most PA abusers have personality disorders and cannot discriminate their feelings. Their hate for the ex is so distorted it out weighs the love for the child. It is tragic and shameful. If you are not the abuser in question you are not unlike the enablers of alcoholics. By denying it exists you are complicit in its impacts on children. You also get hung up on the word syndrome. This is not rocket science. When you denigrate the parent of a child teaching that child to hate it is wrong and you are playing with the mental health of that child. That is not a syndrome that is bad behaviour. Are you saying this does not exist or that there is nothing wrong with it? You seem to lack a broad base of understanding with respect to what is appropriate to teach a child. Teaching hatred of 50% of their genetic heritage has nothing but negative outcomes. You are very naive and you need to do more research. LESS
Posted 06/27/2009 5:50PM by tloff
http://www.apa.org/releases/passyndrome.html Statement on Parental Alienation Syndrome The American Psychological Association (APA) believes that all mental health practitioners as well as law enforcement officials and the courts must take any reports of domestic violence in divorce and child custody cases seriously. An APA 1996 Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family noted the lack of data to support so-called “parental alienation syndrome”, and raised concern about the term’s use. However, we have no official position... MORE
Posted 06/27/2009 6:55PM by BKLAW
Dear Mr. Murphy: You are right when you say the following: “When you denigrate the parent of a child teaching that child to hate it is wrong and you are playing with the mental health of that child. That is not a syndrome that is bad behaviour.” No one disputes that some parents –mothers and fathers– badmouth each other to their children, and that this is a factor that should be considered along with all... MORE
Posted 06/27/2009 10:32PM by MikeMurphy
Posted 06/27/2009 6:55PM by BKLAW. I am very familiar with the work of Dr. Gardner and have waded through countless mental health studies and rebuttals. You are promoting the view of the Victim Feminists in NOW, and of discredited law luminaries like Professor of Clinical Law Joan Meier at George Washington U. Meier is so wrapped up in the ideology of feminist victimization she often can’t see the forest for the trees. She would agree with you on Gardner as it is part of the mythology created by other non-scientists and one phD in Michigan who was discredited on appeal by friends and colleagues of Gardner’s. The whole story of Gardner’s personality is designed to discredit his professional work just as the religious zealots of old did it to Galileo. You have fallen for it hook, line and sinker, You must be a visitor to the Liz Library, the Internets largest repository of Victim Feminist propaganda. Many of his statements have been taken out of context and are the stuff of urban legend. They are also Canards and red herrings designed with one purpose in mind. To destroy a dead man’s reputation and by inference his body of work designed to help identify children being manipulated. Initially Gardner found mostly females doing the manipulation and this got the hackles of the feminists who also described him as a misogynist. That is one of the most over used words in the arsenal of gender and victim feminism. Since then it has been proven men, with similar personality disorders, also abuse children in the same fashion, albeit less proportionately. These abusers of children who use them as pawns in a tragic war, promoted by lawyers who make money, billions nationally each year, through the adversarial process of pitting parent against parent further acerbating the problem. Lawyers are by far the greatest profiteers in the Divorce Industry. Insofar as the science goes and the American Psychological Association (APA) this is what they recommend. If you look you will find all of this on their web site. The APA has well-known guidelines for child-custody evaluations in divorce proceedings. These are the guidelines the APA proposes examiners use when conducting such evaluations. The guidelines refer to three books of Dr. Gardner’s (who created the term PAS) as “pertinent literature.” One book is completely devoted to the PAS and two make significant reference to the disorder: Gardner, R.A. (1989), Family Evaluation in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc. Gardner, R. A. (1992), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc. Gardner, R. A. (1992), True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc. Furthermore, the APA has provided a workshop for its member psychologists in recent years that has included a definition and identification of Parental Alienation Syndrome. In addition, the APA publishes a book (Divorce Wars: Interventions with Families in Conflict by Elizabeth Ellis, PhD, May, 2000) with a chapter specifically devoted to Parental Alienation Syndrome (Chapter 8: A New Challenge for Family Courts).” You are on the wrong side of this argument as more cases are decided by the courts. You, as do others, get too hung up on the term syndrome. Those of us who have seen this affect children who do not have any other reason to be estranged from a parent know from practice it is real, it is harmful and can last a lifetime. LESS
Posted 06/29/2009 5:18PM by crljones
BKLAW you are mouthing so much of Liz’s material that it is certain you are fem troll. 1) You are so 1996. Get with it girl Why spend time discrediting Dr. Richard Gardner when Dr. Richard WARSHUK, Dr. Micheal BONE, Dr. Richard SAUBER, Dr. Terence CAMPBELL, Dr. Doug DARNELL, Dr. Demosthenes LORANDOS, Dr. Abraham WORENKLE and Dr. Amy BAKER among countless others - come to much the same conclusions about Parental Alienation (PA) Behaviours (which, by the way no-one refutes - APA included). The appellation “Syndrome” is the contentious part of PAS. In other words, does it legitimately deserve a label “syndrome” to describe a distinct group of related psychopathololgies? i.e as Guillame Barre Syndrome was first postulated as a unique series of related symptoms, not all of which were present in every case. So, throw out Dr. Richard GARDNER and you have a significant amount of learned professional opinion who firmly advocate that PA is a corrosive behaviour which effects BOTH Men and WOMEN. [Amy BAKER claims in her research experience the breakdown of mothers/fathers suffering PA is 50/50 - so in the extreme it is not a gender issue. And as a female friend of mine put it “Bad Behaviour is Gender Neutral”.) 2) You make the unsupported statement that “often PAS is used in domestic violence and abuse cases, to explain away a child’s antipathy to a genuinely abusive parent, and cause a protective parent to lose custody”. Please refer me to State Research that has tabulated and proven these claims? Taking isolated anecdotes and extrapolating them to serve your own purpose does not classify it as “Research”. What you are speaking about is called “Realistic Estrangement” (RE) - and it is a well recognized circumstance within Child Psychology circles. There are many “tells” that differentiate RE from PA. However in so many cases a vindictive parent makes a false claim in order to gain the upper hand during child custody battles. Putting one’s child through such an difficult assessment knowing it’s untrue is as much emotional child abuse and any other kind of abuse - especially when directed at a formerly devoted parent. Amy BAKER’s recent clinical study has done an excellent job in documenting the huge burden upon now-adult children of Parental Alienation. It is a depressing litany of relationship failure. 3) I have just begun reading “A Families Heartbreak: A parents introduction to PA” by Micheal JEFFRIES and in the Introduction he says this: “I’ve learned that Parental Alienation (PA) is not just a single crime against the other parent, but three crimes against the child.” “The first is that the Alienating Parent (AP) doesn’t acknowledge that every child is one half of each parent. [So,] every time the AP tells the child how horrible the other parent is, they are telling the child that half of him (or her) is horrible. The second crime is that the AP teaches the child that cutting off contact with people is an acceptable way to handle anger, hurt and disappointment. This child will grow up without appropriate coping skills to have normal, healthy relationships with other adults. The third crime is that one day, the child will look back on the AP’s behavior from an adult perspective and will realize that the AP robbed him (or her) of something very precious - the love and attention of the other parent. The child-turned-adult will realize that his/her trust was misplaced. He or she will fell betrayed. At that point the child will have not have only one damaged relationship with a parent but damaged relationships with both. This third crime is the worst of all.” Amen LESS
Posted 06/30/2009 7:44AM by BKLAW
"Victim Feminist"? “Fem Troll"? “So 1996"? Why is the name calling necessary in these discussions? Is the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute, which warned of the dangers of the use of PAS in abuse cases, all of these things? Is the American Judges Association, which reportedly found that approximately 70 percent of batterers succeed in convincing authorities that the victims of their abuse are unfit or undeserving of sole custody, all of these things? But we don’t need to argue. We can agree to disagree. Here is the good news. A legislative audit of the Sacramento and Marin courts will go a very long way in ascertaining whether this is actually happening–and whether state laws and procedures enacted by our legislature for the protection of California children are being followed by the family courts, and family court employee/appointees. The files are right there, ready for review. LESS
Posted 06/30/2009 1:33PM by Anonymous
There is no such thing as a “victim feminist”. it’s as much of a made up nonsense term as PAS. National Association of Family and Juvenile Judges have stated that PAS is junk science, and not to be used in the courtroom. If you think your child is being harmed by someone, surely there will be myriad ways to demonstrate that without the use of some absurd, and utterly bogus legal defense . If that’s all you’ve got to hang your hat on, then you have no case. LESS
Posted 07/02/2009 7:53AM by MikeMurphy
Anonymous: And just who are the National Association of Family and Juvenile Judges. Would you give me the name of the person within this organization who quoted this, the location of the quote and where it can be looked up. What is the purpose of this organization and who are its members? Do you truly think a real judge would prejudice a case and have mistrials because of a predetermined prejudice. It passes the Frye test for science in all American courts. BKLAW is a lawyer and previously didn’t seem aware of this. HMMM… What is it you don’t get? What grade did you pass in school? That you observe there is no such thing as Victim Feminist is interesting. Is there such a thing as a Protective Parent? Are these PP’s all female? Did you know mothers are the greatest predators and killers of their children in the USA and Australia. Did you know mother’s are the greatest abusers of children in the USA. Are these the protective parents. Victim Feminists are in NOW and every other organization affiliated with them They are in all DV coalitions. They believe, as it appears the lawyer BKLAW, that all women are oppressed by a patriarchy made up by all men. This oppression, of course, makes them victims. They are also sometimes referred to as “Lifeboat Feminists” and “Gender Feminists.” A Lifeboat Feminist is one who wants to jump in the lifeboat with the children but wants all the benefits and entitlements (to hell with equality) when things get tough - such as the ship is going down. BKLAW - do you think men can be alienators of children? There is certainly case law to support this. You haven’t answered my questions about how many dads are involved in these so called PP Associations. You also state you have male clients. I truly don’t think you are able to serve them well given your focus. Anonymous: You have no credibility by denying something exists because you read about it in Liz’s Library or some other victim feminist propaganda site. Read the previous comments. The evidence is there. You are indeed an anonymous troll with an ideology rather than the truth. I note Tomas Loft has written a letter to the editor. using his post. Now there is a man on a mission, however misguided. I always wonder what the agenda is of these deniers. By denying certain things one can enable the very thing denied to happen. You get far to hung up on the term syndrome. Why is that? What is your agenda? Do you abuse your children in this way and are looking for any excuse to support your behaviour. LESS
Posted 07/02/2009 1:59PM by Don, the 14%er
Michael Newdow is a saint! Regardless of how one feels about the inclusion of God in a pledge of allegiance, he is spot on with his opinions of family law. Children of divorce would be better off with equal access to both parents!
Posted 07/02/2009 4:24PM by tosh2000
GREAT NEWS!! JLAC audit of these Family Law Misscarriages of justice is approved by the legislature.. Also the child attorney for Blair helps expose PAS as A junk cover (Burrell as desrving to have her license pulled) and Blair will be allowed to be with her family. – More To follow, espiecilly adressing Mr Murpheys ridiculous and obsence rants against women, From A concerned father, husband, brother,
Posted 07/02/2009 5:01PM by tloff
Obviously, Murphy doesn’t believe in 50/50 % custody, which is in the best interest of children according to APA. Children fair better when they have both parents in their life as apposed to sole custody which pas supporters advocate. Again, this happened to a friend and many I know (including male) are opposed to PAS being tragically used to hurt children.
Posted 07/03/2009 8:22AM by MikeMurphy
tosh2000 and tloff: You can read but you don’t comprehend very well which is often the case with ideologically motivated people. Please re-read my posts with respect to shared/equal parenting. The best parent is both parents. If you want to verify my notes on mother child abuse and killing check the government web site here. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm This is the opposition to the Beall bill as proposed: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter, Association of Certified Family Law Specialists Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, California California Judges Association, California Psychological Association, Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association,Family Law Section of the Santa Monica Bar Association, Family Law Section of the State Bar. The final bill will include much better standards for allegations of abuse by so called protective parents. Hopefully criminal charges will be laid against the parent who was found to make these allegations falsely. You need to also understand that PAS has already passed the Frye test for admissibility through Case Law. Better yet though, rather than get hung up on the term syndrome, think logically about the set of behaviours used by both men and women who would teach a child to hate the other parent. This isn’t rocket science. It is egregious child abuse. I find it interesting how ideologues locked into a position cannot often see the damage done by abusive parents who force a child to take sides. LESS
BKLAW stated: "Is the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute, which warned of the dangers of the use of PAS in abuse cases, all of these things? Is the American Judges Association, which reportedly found that approximately 70 percent of batterers succeed in convincing authorities that the victims of their abuse are unfit or undeserving of sole custody, all of these things?" Would you provide the location, citations and the signators of these quotes. Given PAS arises in civil disputes I am surprised prosecutors would want to wade in on this. I can't recall seeing a prosecutor in any Family Law case ever. Perhaps you do it differently in your county! I would like to see and read the American Judges Association study you quote. Please provide references where it can be found and scrutinized.
Posted 07/03/2009 9:54AM by tosh2000
Murphy continually dodges the true issue by clouding it with inaccuracies and false accusations -for what reason? “Syndrome” means nothing to me, so why continue a ridiculous preoccupation with making this “the” issue. My main issue is that children are currently being sexually/physically/mentally abused because PAS is currently being used as a tool to give 100% custody to a known abusive (sometime pediphile) parent. Its ridiculous and obscene! Especially when therapists, lawyers, mediators, judges and whoever are making loads of money off it, -they know loving parents will never give up trying to save their kids, so it goes on for years - to their financial gain. Why does Murphy not address these cases? People aware of this will not relent. Few people realize the scope of the problem and Murphys lame rants against women will hopefully expose what agenga he really has and not distract people from these tragic judicial failures. LESS
Posted 07/03/2009 10:50AM by crljones
If you repeat it enough it doesn’t become true. Please direct me to 1 court-approved research paper that validates your claim that “PAS is currently being used as a tool to give 100% custody to a known abusive (sometime pediphile) parent.” THERE IS NO SUCH STUDY OR RELIABLE EVIDENCE TO PROVE THIS AT ALL. IT IS MERELY MUD SLINGING AGAINST NC PARENTS.
Posted 07/03/2009 3:36PM by tosh2000
HaHa crjones,, you speak of mudslinging but you call women bloggers “fem-trolls”. Like murphy, your true agenda is revealed by your nasty blogs to women. I am a male friend of the family who is astonished to see the horrible things happening in California family court sysytems today. I wish the solution (people being more serious about vows of marriage and havine a child)precluded these sad debates. I am curious CR, do you have any good relationships with women? LESS
Posted 07/03/2009 5:51PM by tosh2000
Again.. Great News for Marin and Sacramento Family courts. Its interesting that Canadians Murphy and CR are so interested in hampering progress in California. You guys should get over it and devote more time to being good examples to your kids.
Posted 07/09/2009 10:25AM by BKLAW
I have been away for awhile, and also unable at times to post on this cite for some reason. Many thanks to Senator Leno and all those who worked so hard to ensure that the Marin and Sacramento family law courts will be audited. Mr. Murphy/crljones, since you asked, I graduated from Stanford University, and then graduated from law school with honors (top 5% of the class). I won three American Jurisprudence Awards (top grade in the class)at law school. And I have practiced family law exclusively for almost 15 years. I represent both men and women. From reading your comments I do not believe you have any interest at all in encouraging parents to unite in seeking improvement of the California family court system. It appears that as name-calling Canadian residents and bloggers, you are far more interested in attacking U.S. citizens and residents –especially women–in American newspapers, and encouraging conflict between mothers and fathers, men and women. That is not productive, constructive, or good for families, especially children. If you want to spew venom, perhaps you should do it in your own backyard. LESS
Posted 07/17/2009 3:41PM by MikeMurphy
BkLaw- You should know better as an officer of the court - but you don’t. That is unfortunate for any man you might represent while you carry around non-scientific, unreliable and down right false statements relating to the child abuse known as Parental Alienation. You pretend PAS is not scientific but yet it, as previously stated to you, already passed the Frye test for science a very long time ago. That you appear to not be aware of this is telling. I am an advocate for children to be free of the abuse of a parent who would coerce a child into taking sides. It has no borders and California is but one small corner of the world of this kind of child abuse. You, and your acolyte Tosh2000 have used information pulled out of the Liz Library, a victim feminist wasteland of propaganda against men and fathers. The drive by smears are typical of this brand of feminism and I encounter them frequently. When logic and reason fail pull out the smears and then throw them at any one who disagrees to see if they stick. Tsk tsk. Such childishness. It says far more about the person doing the smearing than anyone else. I do have great regard for women but not the victim feminist type. They are children in adult bodies and many of them are in these so called protective parent associations and have personality disorders. You still haven’t answered my question on how many custodial fathers are in your branch - or any branch for that matter. I understand a man was just released from prison in Vancouver, WA because one of your protective parents alienated his children to lie about abuse. What a waste of a man’s life. I feel great pity for people who would do this kind of damage to children and other human beings simply out of revenge. I will conclude by saying the deniers that PA is not child abuse are enablers of it in the same manner as if the person was an addict. Don’t ever forget its about the children. Shared and equal parenting needs to be the presumption with co-residency on termination of a marriage. Perhaps that will reduce the abuse you say doesn’t exist. LESS

2 comments:

C. R. Jones said...

Mike, EXCELLENT critique of the fem-troll. I added my comments as well to assist with the beatdown - here they are:

BKLAW you are mouthing so much of Liz's material that it is certain you are fem troll. 1) You are so 1996. Get with it girl Why spend time discrediting Dr. Richard Gardner when Dr. Richard WARSHUK, Dr. Micheal BONE, Dr. Richard SAUBER, Dr. Terence CAMPBELL, Dr. Doug DARNELL, Dr. Demosthenes LORANDOS, Dr. Abraham WORENKLE and Dr. Amy BAKER among countless others - come to much the same conclusions about Parental Alienation (PA) Behaviours (which, by the way no-one refutes - APA included). The appellation "Syndrome" is the contentious part of PAS. In other words, does it legitimately deserve a label "syndrome" to describe a distinct group of related psychopathololgies? i.e as Guillame Barre Syndrome was first postulated as a unique series of related symptoms, not all of which were present in every case. So, throw out Dr. Richard GARDNER and you have a significant amount of learned professional opinion who firmly advocate that PA is a corrosive behaviour which effects BOTH Men and WOMEN. [Amy BAKER claims in her research experience the breakdown of mothers/fathers suffering PA is 50/50 - so in the extreme it is not a gender issue. And as a female friend of mine put it "Bad Behaviour is Gender Neutral".)
2) You make the unsupported statement that "often PAS is used in domestic violence and abuse cases, to explain away a child’s antipathy to a genuinely abusive parent, and cause a protective parent to lose custody". Please refer me to State Research that has tabulated and proven these claims? Taking isolated anecdotes and extrapolating them to serve your own purpose does not classify it as "Research". What you are speaking about is called "Realistic Estrangement" (RE) - and it is a well recognized circumstance within Child Psychology circles. There are many "tells" that differentiate RE from PA. However in so many cases a vindictive parent makes a false claim in order to gain the upper hand during child custody battles. Putting one's child through such an difficult assessment knowing it's untrue is as much emotional child abuse and any other kind of abuse - especially when directed at a formerly devoted parent. Amy BAKER's recent clinical study has done an excellent job in documenting the huge burden upon now-adult children of Parental Alienation. It is a depressing litany of relationship failure.
3) I have just begun reading "A Families Heartbreak: A parents introduction to PA" by Micheal JEFFRIES and in the Introduction he says this: "I've learned that Parental Alienation (PA) is not just a single crime against the other parent, but three crimes against the child."
"The first is that the Alienating Parent (AP) doesn't acknowledge that every child is one half of each parent. [So,] every time the AP tells the child how horrible the other parent is, they are telling the child that half of him (or her) is horrible. The second crime is that the AP teaches the child that cutting off contact with people is an acceptable way to handle anger, hurt and disappointment. This child will grow up without appropriate coping skills to have normal, healthy relationships with other adults. The third crime is that one day, the child will look back on the AP's behavior from an adult perspective and will realize that the AP robbed him (or her) of something very precious - the love and attention of the other parent. The child-turned-adult will realize that his/her trust was misplaced. He or she will fell betrayed. At that point the child will have not have only one damaged relationship with a parent but damaged relationships with both. This third crime is the worst of all."
Amen

Michael J. Murphy said...

CRJ:

A most clear, effective and highly logical explanation. It is good information I will use myself in articulating responses down the road. Mr. Jeffries has hit on the heartbreak to the child and I might add one more as the AP may well see the whole process backfire, as in his 3rd point, making the whole process self destructive for the AP who gets locked out of the Alienated Child's or Adults life.

I have had these debates with lawyers before on comment boards and once they enter my (our) arena of public debate they lose big time. They are fish out of water when they leave their cloister of family law inside court rooms.