My name is Dan Brewington and I lost all visitation rights to my children. No evidence, no criminal record, no protective orders, no violent history; yet the “Honorable” Judge James D. Humphrey deemed me an unfit parent. How can a court of law take away a parent's right to see his children? Better question is how can a court take away a child’s right to see their parent? When people hear stories about a judge taking children away from a parent they wonder what the parent did to be so dangerous to the children. Do you know what I did to lose my parenting rights? I picked my girls (ages 3 and 5) up every Wednesday, Friday, and every third Monday at 6:25 AM. A majority of the time I started my mornings before five AM because it was over an 80 mile round trip to and from the meeting spot. I had the girls nearly half the time for two and a half years. My parenting time was not “supervised” by anyone. We went hiking, camping, built tree houses, went fishing, sewed, did arts and crafts, worked with digital cameras, and they used their computers. We played with our animals and spent a lot of time with family. We cooked food on the campfire in the backyard and we baked in the oven. I could watch my oldest picking vegetables in the garden and she would bring them to the house to eat. I got a letter from my ex who expressed concerns about my oldest eating too much zucchini. I had told my daughter that zucchini made her jump higher on the trampoline. She wouldn’t stop eating it. I explained to the girls that Indians did not have Wal-Mart and told them how the Indians survived. We looked for flint and arrowheads on our farm and discussed how they were used as tools. We worked on the house and yard together. Instead of telling the girls they could not do some things because it was dangerous, I explained safety, responsibility, and the importance of safety glasses and gloves. I also challenged Dr. Edward J. Connor. Dr. Connor stated in his child custody evaluation report that minimizing the amount of time I had with my girls will in fact sustain our existing bond. My girls were one and three at the time of Dr. Connor’s statement. It was when I challenged this nonsense that Dr. Connor and “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey deemed me dangerous.
My ex wife worked nights when we were married so I always cared for the children while she was at work. After she filed for divorce, I had the girls every Wednesday, Friday, every third Monday, and half the weekends for two and a half years. I have always shared an equal role in caring for the girls; but in a blink of an eye, “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey took everything away from me.
I am posting this information to inform people of the horrors of the family court and trying to bring public scrutiny on Judge James Humphrey, Dr. Edward J. Connor Psy. D., and some of the other professionals working with the family court system. My girls have never gone more than four days without seeing their father. Reducing the amount of time children have with a parent is emotionally trying. Eliminating the children’s right to see a perfectly capable parent is child abuse. I want people to understand how Judge James Humphrey has abused my children. [Disclaimer: As there is a likely probability that this will appear in court at some point, “Your Honor, my right to warn the public of the injustice of your court should not be confused with any threat to release confidential information or information that is hazardous to my children. If you do not want to protect my rights and the rights of my children, then I will let the First Amendment and the Public help me to protect the rights of families. I have never and will never release any confidential medical information about any party other than my own.”]
Why do I always have to defend myself? In 2005 my ex called 911 on me and the responding officer told her it appeared that she was trying to use our child against me and made her leave. She accused me of being Bipolar. She accused me of being addicted to my Ritalin prescription. I was accused of teaching the children how to use the computer and accessing the internet. During a February 9, 2007 court hearing I was accused of letting a 3 year old operate a laptop computer, digital camera and a DVD player. I am a monster, allegedly, because I let the children watch the Austin Powers Trilogy. One of the characters in the Austin Powers movie is “Fat Bastard.” I told my oldest that we cannot say his name and she asked why. I told her it was a dumb joke for adults and so we decided to call him “Flowerhead.” I was accused of having bagged food on my kitchen counter. Let’s see, did I leaving anything out… child abuse, no… domestic violence, no… sexual misconduct, no… drug abuse, no… adultery, no… alcoholism, no… restraining orders, no… protective orders, no… golfing too much, no… fishing too much, no… I wasn’t accused of any of these things. Dr. Connor said that I suffered from all kind of things and that I could barely communicate due to my crippling ADHD. Of course, I was not permitted to get a copy of the case file from the evaluation because they were concerned about me releasing confidential information. The more I attempted to obtain a copy of Dr. Connor’s case file, the more “dangerous” I became. The “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey wrote, “His words and actions show that he is, at least presently, unable to conduct himself with the level of maturity necessary to be a parent.” There must be a plethora of very mature teenagers in the State of Indiana. I know there is a problem with teenage pregnancy in this country, yet I do not think the government takes babies away from teenage parents because they fail the Indiana Maturity Test.
There is no “other side” of this story. I’m not talking about the divorce because it takes two to tango. We weren’t as compatible as she wanted us to be. When it comes to matters involving terminating parent rights, it only takes one to tango; either a parent has to have a very troubled history with the law, violence, substance abuse, etc… or a person or group of people irresponsibly represents an innocent person to be a danger to the children. Indiana Code 31-17-2-8.3 states that if a court finds that a noncustodial parent has been convicted of a crime involving domestic or family violence that was heard by the child, the court shall order supervised parenting time for the period of one year and not more than two years. I would have been better off to commit a crime because I would have had more parenting time. I have to be careful that I do not say that there are people out to get me because then they will call me paranoid, but that’s how the system works. First Judge Humphrey took away my children. Then he orders that we are not allowed to discuss any matters involving the dissolution with the children without the help of a therapist. Then Judge Humphrey prohibits me from “interfering” with the mother’s attempts to find counseling for the children. So now, the person who initiated the dangerous father debate is in charge of putting our children in therapy to help them deal with the loss of their father. This would be the equivalent to a kidnapper taking a child to a psychologist to help the child cope with being kidnapped. The longer the child is in therapy to cope with being kidnapped; the longer the child will be in therapy after the kidnapper is arrested and the child is returned to the child’s parents. In the meantime, I have to go through a mental health evaluation with a “Mental Health Care Provider approved by the Court.” If the Mental Health Care Provider determines that I am not a danger, I may have two, two hour visits a week with the children in a supervised therapeutic setting. Of course, this visitation begins after the “Honorable Judge James Humphrey reviews and approves the evaluation of the Mental Health Care Provider and I must give at least two weeks’ notice to the girls’ mother, of my intended scheduled supervised visitation. Of course, I am responsible for all costs involved. Then, I may motion the court for unsupervised visitation and if the “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey determines that I am not “dangerous” anymore, then I may commence unsupervised visitation... after I comply with the following: 1.) “Because of the potential danger to the children, Husband must remove all postings created by him from the internet concerning the children before an unsupervised visitation may commence and/or continue.” 2.) “No overnight visitation shall occur between Husband and the minor children unless they are provided a room of their own.” I’m sorry… does anyone else believe this seems to insinuate that I suffer from some kind of perversion or something? At the beginning of the divorce, I was accused of letting the children sleep unattended in other parts of the house without a monitor so I essentially barricaded all three of our beds in my 15’ x 25’ bedroom. The girls’ pediatrician gave us some important medical advice a long time ago. She said the biggest problem attributed to kids crawling in bed and sleeping with their parents is an increased risk of lack of sleep for the parents. I can tell you from experience that she was right.
I respect the court system; I just do not respect some of the people who operate in that system. I am in this mess because I represented myself. I do not regret anything I have done. My children were not taken away because I argued the wrong case; they were taken away for arguing the right case. The custody evaluator, Dr. Edward J. Connor Psy D, stated I was hard to understand because I could not communicate. He said that he found my writings confusing and difficult to follow. The “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey wrote, “According to Dr. Connor’s testimony, Husband’s writings are similar to those of individuals who have committed horrendous crimes against their families.” Dr. Connor failed to provide the Court with any examples of these letters and Dr. Connor refused to give me a copy of the case file. Dr. Connor stated many strange things in the evaluation about me but he never mentioned that I was dangerous until I started asking for the case file from the evaluation. The first Judge in my case, Judge Carl H. Taul, said he would not order the release of the file because he was not familiar with Kentucky law. The divorce hearing is in Ripley County, Indiana and Dr. Connor operates out of Kentucky. Dr. Connor was not licensed to practice psychology in the State of Indiana. Doctors, lawyers, plumbers, teachers, electricians, and even restaurant workers who serve alcohol, are required to be licensed and/or certified by the state. Judge Taul recused himself upon my motion for a change of judge following Dr. Connor and Judge Taul’s communication outside the presence of the parties. The “Honorable” Judge James D. Humphrey took over the case in the Dearborn County Circuit Court. Judge James Humphrey stated that he was not going to release the file because he thought that I might release confidential information. I was punished for holding a dangerous psychologist accountable for his actions. People tip toe around evaluators and judges out of fear of retaliation. I was retaliated against for sticking up for my rights to inspect the evidence against me. I could have gotten another expert to refute Dr. Connor but then Dr. Connor would have gone on to hurt again. Now it is time for me to turn a bad experience into a good one and work to make sure that this does not happen again.
I am going to appeal and I am confident it will go back for a new trial. This is not a situation where you just let the courts decide. We are not arguing law; we are talking about a perfectly capable parent being ripped of his right to see his children. This is a grass roots movement and I want to inform the public of my experiences in dealing with the Courts. There are men and women in the United States Armed Forces fighting and dying for freedom across the world, only to come home to a country that can terminate a parent’s relationship with their children without cause. My oldest daughter fell a little behind on speech and balance because she had problems with inner ear infections around the age of one. A speech therapist came to our house to work with her. My ex worked three days a week. I never met the therapist because I was at work. The “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey wrote, “Wife is and has been the primary caretaker of the children.” “Wife was present for all of [daughter’s] speech therapy sessions and Husband was not present for any of said sessions.” I hate to think how this line of thought could be used against a member of the military who is away from their family for months or years.
I never got in trouble as a kid. I never bounced off the walls. I was a camp counselor at the YMCA. I received an associate’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. I am a very respectful human being and I am lucky to have many friends and family who are very close to me. I was a productive member of society before I sought treatment for ADHD. Almost eight years ago, I went to The Affinity Center because I wanted to look into ADHD. The Affinity Center specializes in diagnosing and treating people with ADHD and I went through IQ tests, visual memory tests, psychological tests and testing specific to ADHD. I take 50 mgs of Ritalin 3 – 4 times a day. This particular dosage was reached by carefully increasing the dosage while under the supervision of a medical doctor and a treating therapist. I have never stopped taking my Ritalin prescription. I live an hour and ten minutes away from The Affinity Center. Since Ritalin is heavily regulated due to abuse, I can only get a month’s prescription at a time. Sometimes there are problems with the insurance company when filling the prescription. Sometimes I get aggravated when I have to jump through hoops to get my prescription but it’s worth it. I am more focused, organized, relaxed and confident. I feel smarter because my mind absorbs and retains information more efficiently. At the age of 35, this is the best I have felt in my entire life. I never imagined that trying to improve my mental health would be used as a reason to terminate my parental rights.
There is nothing about this situation that would ever encourage anyone to get help for ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc… I would have been better off never trying to improve my mental health. If you do not get help then you have a problem. If you do get help then you have a diagnosable disorder and a possible drug dependency. The “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey wrote, “Joint custody is inappropriate given the findings of the custodial evaluation, the addendum, the testimony of the parties and Dr. Edward J. Connor, the Court’s file in this action, and the Respondent’s actions in Court. Husband has severe Attention Deficit Disorder that affects his ability to focus and concentrate, he rambles and forgets, and is given to impulsive and incoherent thought. Husband could not communicate with mother with the skill necessary to conduct joint custody.” Dr. Connor refused my medical records. Dr. Connor did not use any testing specific to ADHD. My therapist told me that she spoke with Dr. Connor on the phone but Dr. Connor failed to remember the conversation. Dr. Connor reported that I get anxious if I do not take my medication. Before I knew it, I found that I would have been better off having multiple personalities then having ADHD. People don’t understand the dramatic consequences of me not taking my Ritalin prescription. Without my Ritalin, I would probably be out on the trampoline with the girls instead of doing the dishes. I’m still trying to figure out what ADHD has to do with anything.
Do you think the “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey said to himself, “Well Mr. Brewington’s severe ADHD rules out joint custody, so I guess he should have no right to see his children?” My final hearings in the divorce were on May 27 and June 2 and 3, 2009. I had to submit a final decree by June 17, 2009. I was so dangerous; the “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey released the Final Orders that terminated my parental rights nearly three months after the final hearing. I guess it is just good fortune that nothing happened to the children during that period of time.
Why? Let us ponder the question. Being honest is like smiling; it is a lot easier to smile than it is to frown, so why do people go to such extreme measures to be dishonest? I will not waste a minute of my time trying to figure out what makes mean people mean. The “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey stated, “The Court is most concerned about Husband’s irrational behavior and attacks on Dr. Connor. Franky, it appears that these attacks have been an attempt at revenge for taking a position regarding custody contrary to Husband.” Judge Humphrey complains about my websites, my numerous long legal pleadings, and other written material yet nowhere in any of my writings do I question Dr. Connor’s custody decision. It does not matter what Dr. Connor’s decision was because by law the evaluation is inadmissible unless I have a copy of the case file. At least that is the law in every Indiana courtroom besides the courtroom of the “Honorable” Judge James Humphrey. Why should he get a free pass? Why should my family have to feel like there has been a death in the family because we lost our little girls? All of my family gatherings revolved around the girls. Now it’s depressing to get together as a family because we grieve about losing our precious little angels. My job is to hold people accountable for doing mean things to my children and my family and to make sure that these people do not have the opportunity to hurt others. Please pass my message on to everyone that you can. Tell people to go to www.danbrewington.blogspot.com and www.dadsfamilycourtexperience.com for more information. Copy this letter and send the letter along with your own personal comments and opinions to the Ethics & Professionalism Committee Advisor located in Dearborn County, Indiana. Please save a copy of the letters for future use if necessary. Send the information to
1406 Indian Woods Trail
Lawrenceburg, Indiana 47025
Feel free to contact me. The time for bullying is over. Please help me take a stand. Pass it on. firstname.lastname@example.org