Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Using Technological Warfare to Battle the Family Court System

I wrote this post in response to a post on The Angry Dad, a blog by another father who is trying to bring awareness to the problems of the family court system but it was too long to post as a response.

One of the most frightening things in the world is public scrutiny. If you conduct yourself in an honest and dignified manner, you should not have anything to worry about. Divorce is bad for children. False accusations against parents are even worse. How many parents would rethink false accusations if they knew the public would have the evidence, or lack thereof, to debunk the accusations?

You want to talk public record? Let's talk public record. Final Decrees in divorces are public record. The final decree in my divorce says that I am potentially dangerous to my children so I need seek a psychological evaluation to determine if I am a safe parent. I cared for my children for half the time during a 2.5 year divorce. There were no allegations of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, the children not loving me, etc... My Ex never tried to modify parenting time. Judge James D. Humphrey terminated my parenting time with my children based mainly on the psychological testing and child custody evaluation performed by an unlicensed psychologist. When I requested the case file, which I am entitled to per the evaluator's contract, AND because it's my health record, AND because the evaluation is considered hearsay if the parties are not provided the evaluator's case file per Indiana Code 31-17-2-12. The first Judge, Carl H Taul, said he wasn't going to order the release of the file because he was not aware of Kentucky law. Dr. Edward J Connor Psy D is licensed in Kentucky. After Judge Taul recused himself following several ex parte communications with Dr. Connor, Judge Humphrey would not order the release of the case file citing that he felt that I would release confidential information. They denied my access to the evidence against me because I presented some kind of "potential risk." They did not even seal the file because it would have been an appealable matter. Then they built on the "potential risk" argument in the final hearing to the point that it might be dangerous to the children. Judge Humphrey wrote, "The Court is most concerned about Husband’s irrational behavior and attacks on Dr. Connor." Ironically, there is no evidence of any this "irrational" behavior on record despite all of my correspondence with Dr. Connor being in writing. The language of the state law uses the word "attack" in describing the process of discrediting a witness. If Judge Humphrey felt that I was such a risk, why did he deny my motion for a GAL? Why did he wait 2.5 months after the final hearing to terminate my parenting time?

Judge Humphrey wrote in the Final Decree, "Husband has posted information about the dissolution proceeding on his website, on his blog, and on various other sites, and continued to post information even after the hearing for a temporary restraining order wherein the Court's Order stated that the "Court may also consider evidence presented at this hearing regarding the temporary restraining order in regard to the Court's decision as to visitation and custody and how Respondent's actions my affect the best interest of the children now and in the future." What the Judge fails to mention was my Ex filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to have me take down my internet content because she claimed it was harmful to the children and the Judge denied it. The Court denied her request for the Court to force me to take down my internet content because it was not harmful to the children yet Judge Humphrey used my "non-harmful" actions against me in taking away my children.

The main point that gets lost in the argument is that if the judges would do their jobs, there would be no reason to publicize the issue. I would much rather be spending time with my children than sitting behind a computer but I feel I am setting a positive example for my children. Rather than resigning to being an estranged father, I am taking positive public measures to address the problem.

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” -Frederick Douglass. The British Army thought the colonial "rebels" were barbaric because they hid in trees with their coonskin caps and shot at the British Army marching in formation. England was mad because they never face a foe like that before. The Courts cannot fight a battle on the internet; they can only try to keep us away from it. "To Keyboards!" (I would yell "to arms" but someone would make the argument in court that I was encouraging militant action. That's an example of fine line we have to walk.)

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