I want to dedicate this blog post to Dearborn County Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey. A year ago today, Judge Humphrey delivered a devastating blow to two precious little girls; Judge Humphrey took away their daddy out of vengeance and spite for their father. Judge Humphrey punished the three and five year old girls because their dad questioned the ethics of the courts and the illegal actions of their expert, Dr. Edward J. Connor. Unfortunately for many families in the Southeastern Indiana area, one of the biggest child abusers is wearing a black robe and holding the gavel.
I have written and rewritten about almost every detail of my divorce hearings leading up to Judge Humphrey’s actions. The first judge in my case, Ripley Circuit Judge Carl H. Taul, recused himself because he violated the Indiana Judicial Code of Conduct by participating in ex parte communications with child custody evaluator, Dr. Edward J. Connor. Dr. Connor gave a variety of false statements and policies in an effort to obstruct my access to the case file from his child custody evaluation. When I publicized the conduct of Dr. Connor and the Court, Judge James D. Humphrey terminated my children’s ability to have a father in their lives.
The one thing that cannot be overstated enough is that throughout the course of a two and a half year divorce, I cared for my children every Wednesday, Friday, every third Monday, and half of the weekends in the year. During the course of that time, there were no injuries, reports of abuse or neglect, no intervention by police or social services, no petitions to modify custody, etc… During the course of that time, I never refused to pick up my children nor did I ask to trade days with their mother to “accommodate” any social life outside of being a father. When their mother filed for divorce, my daughters were only one and three so I dealt with diapers, bottles, potty training, and everything that goes along with being a parent. When the children’s mother changed her work schedule where she had to be at work at 7 A.M., I began waking up before 5 A.M. two or three times a week in order to drive over forty miles to pick up the girls by 6:25. There were many mornings where I drove ninety miles before 7:30 A.M. in the round trip from picking up my girls and returning home in Indiana. My three year old was adamant about my house being her house. When she said “I want to go home”, “her home” was my house. When my oldest started pre-school, I would pick up the girls at 6:25 A.M. and we would find ways to entertain ourselves until we had to drop her off at school. Sometimes we would go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. If the weather was good, we would go to a park or go to the Ohio River to skip rocks and explore. Occasionally we would go out for breakfast. After dropping off her older sister for preschool, my youngest and I would have time to spend together. She was my sidekick when my oldest was at school. We would work together, go shopping together, play together, etc… I lived on a farm by myself. I did most of these things by myself. I didn’t pawn my children off on other people so I could have “me time” because my favorite thing to do with my “me time” was spend it with my daughters.
Judge Humphrey terminated my ability to see my children even though no one even mentioned terminating my parenting time. I didn’t have an opportunity to defend my ability to keep the children safe because there was no evidence that demonstrated that I was dangerous. Dr. Connor and the children’s mother made allegations of what they believed were my “true” intentions and offered speculation of what I “may” be capable of doing. Dr. Connor said that I may begin to manipulate my children if I did not get my way, despite there being no evidence of such behavior during the course of a two and a half year divorce. The children’s mother accused me of teaching the children how to use a computer. Dr. Connor’s report claimed my daughters’ aunt stated she thought that I wanted custody just to hurt the girls’ mother. The only thing I ever requested was equal time. The children’s mother claimed that I needed supervised visitation because I let the girls watch Austin Powers and because there were ants in my kitchen. Surprisingly enough, no one claimed that my daughters were afraid of me and even Dr. Connor reported that the children loved me very much.
What did my children and I do? Most of the time we did what kids are supposed to do; be kids. We built club houses, went fishing, went hiking, dug fossils, and learned about the Native Americans that use to live around the farm. We had many “informal” classes. We talked about how the Indians would hunt deer and turkey for food. When my oldest said it was mean to kill deer and turkey, I told her that the Indians did not have Wal-Mart so they had to find their food. We found flint rocks and discussed how the Indians made arrowheads and tools. We grew vegetables in our garden and the girls developed an understanding of how people can feed themselves. My oldest understood that our friend raised cattle for people to eat. We camped in the backyard and cooked over an open fire. They learned fire safety while they were cooking their hotdogs and marshmallows. We pushed the limit on open fire cooking as we cooked pizzas, soup, bread, and pork. I pushed the limit on my back as I often heard, “one more night” of camping out where I would sleep on the ground in the tent while the girls slept on the mattress next to me. I would find myself waking up throughout the night to feel hands and toes to see if anyone was cold or needed covering up. We took trips around the farm on the four wheeler and bounced on the trampoline. We caught insects and snakes and rough housed with our big dogs. My five year old began rollerblading and skateboarding. My three year old learned how to climb door frames using the strength of her arms and legs. When there was a snow storm, my oldest would get bundled up and walk around in the wind and snow as if she was climbing Mt. Everest. At night we would look at Venus through our telescope and discuss how Venus was a goddess, a planet, and a Frankie Avalon song. If we weren’t having fun on the farm, we were having fun at Grandma Sue’s house in Cincinnati. They loved Grandma Sue. They loved seeing her, but I had a hard time leaving the girls with grandma even for a short trip to the store. They always wanted daddy. It didn’t matter where we went or what we did; we always were learning and having fun. If I told my daughters to jump, they would jump because they knew that daddy would always catch them and keep them safe. One thing that no one could every accuse me of was allowing the children to get injured. Even when I was married, the girls would come to me if they were sick or bruised. It wasn’t because they loved me more; I guess they just felt more comfortable in daddy’s arms. The only danger that I could not protect my children from was Judge James D. Humphrey.
I don’t have to go into what a vial and despicable man that Judge Humphrey is because the fact that he deprived my children of the above life experiences speaks for itself. Judge Humphrey left my children and me defenseless to refute their mother’s and Dr. Connor’s claims because Judge Humphrey refused to provide me with access to the evidence against me. I figured that the court system in the great state of Indiana would protect my rights as a parent and recognize that I have always played an equal and positive role in raising my children. For some reason, Judge Humphrey didn’t think that having a spotless record in caring for my children counted for anything. Judge Humphrey, the children’s mother, and Dr. Connor speculated and made up stories to justify their actions. Rather than believe that I was protecting my daughters’ right to grow up spending equal time with both parents, they claimed that I was out to get everyone. I was out to get the evidence that I was entitled to by Dr. Connor’s contract and by law. The record demonstrates that I never lied about my ex-wife’s parenting ability. I didn’t viciously attack her credibility or make up stories about mental illness. I wouldn’t do that to the children, even after my Ex continued to accuse me of suffering from bipolar disorder when even Dr. Connor said her accusations were unfounded. Humphrey’s hatred for me was so great, he did to me what he thought would drive me over the edge. Judge Humphrey wanted me to hurt someone or do something illegal just so he could say “we were right about him.” Unfortunately for Humphrey, I believe that way down deep inside, he understood the real me. The reason Judge Humphrey went to extremes to hurt me and my children is because he thought that it was his only chance at making me snap because he knew I wasn’t unstable or dangerous. Now Judge Humphrey is finding out that he can’t bait me into doing something illegal. I am fueled by my passion and love for my children; Judge Humphrey is fueled by his anger and hatred of someone who isn’t afraid to stand up to the injustices of his court.
Judge Humphrey is no longer involved in my case. Humphrey wrote in the final decree that I had to undergo a mental health evaluation by a mental health professional that had to be approved by the court. For a while after the final decree, he claimed that he didn’t have jurisdiction to enforce the decree because the case was in the appellate court. When I retained an attorney, Humphrey suddenly remembered that he did have jurisdiction. If Humphrey was actually aware that he had jurisdiction during the appeal, then he lied. If he truly believed that he did not have the jurisdiction to enforce his rulings while they were being appealed, then Judge Humphrey knew that his order would keep my children fatherless during the pending appeal. When my lawyer filed a motion to approve a psychiatrist to evaluate me so I could see the children, on March 17, 2010, Humphrey finally set the matter for a hearing on June 14, 2010. On June 9, 2010, Judge James D. Humphrey recused himself because he claimed that there was an investigation of me that pertained to him. Humphrey is just a cowardly little man who was afraid to take responsibility for his actions.
A year is a long time to be away from your own children and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my girls with all of my heart. Writing helps me deal with the emotions associated with losing my girls. I find helping other parents to be therapeutic. People think that I am “going after” Judge James D. Humphrey because I am out for revenge. I am going after Judge Humphrey because it is the right thing to do. Child abusers should play no role in deciding what is best for children. Irony and oxymoron can’t even begin to describe the fact that Judge Humphrey is in a position to decide what is “best” for children when he is willing to punish innocent children by seeking vengeance on their parents. Many of you who are reading this are probably wondering if Judge James D. Humphrey can sue me for slander. He can; all he has to do is prove that what I am saying is false. For some reason Humphrey isn’t coming forward.
I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers over the past year. People like Judge Humphrey like to believe that I do not take responsibility for my actions. I do take responsibility and my responsibility grows every day. I owe it to my children to keep fighting to be their father but I also owe it to an ever growing number of family and friends that put their faith and trust in me and my efforts. I can’t afford to take a night off from being responsible. I can’t afford to let down my children, my family, or my friends. My efforts have helped to bring attention to the broken domestic courts in Dearborn County, Indiana and have shed light on the criminal actions of Dr. Edward J Connor. Greater Cincinnati Lawyer/700WLW radio personality Eric Deters recently publicized the unethical and perverted actions of psychologist Dr. Edward J. Connor on his radio show. (Click here for the link to the podcast of Eric Deters’ 8/04/2010 show. See hours 1 & 2) Public awareness is the only way to combat this kind of corruption. I’m not afraid to fail; only afraid of not trying. I hope for my children’s sake that this is all over soon. If it isn’t, I hope that the Indiana Court System understands that there is no way that they can outlast this father’s fight to see his children.
For more information on Judge Humphrey's conduct, go to www.danhelpskids.com.