SF Weekly Letters

Editor's Note
Following last week's publication of the feature "Illegal Guardians" [Feature, Peter Jamison, 3/2], we received a large number of comments and letters. We are dedicating a full page to readers' response to the story.

Seeking Justice
Thank you for this article: The scandal in family courts that leads to the tragic outcomes reported by Peter Jamison is a larger and more insidious problem than the Catholic priest scandal. The research of the Leadership Council, our nonprofit clearinghouse for research on child abuse, suggests that 58,000 children a year in the United States are placed in the unsupervised care of abusive parents.

Congratulations to SF Weekly and Peter Jamison for this fine reporting. Only when public outrage reaches a tipping point will the necessary system reforms occur.

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Joyanna Silberg
Executive Vice President
Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence

Fathers are often wrongly accused: This article sounds the alarm about a rare problem — abusive fathers winning child custody — and ignores a huge one: Tens of thousands of decent, loving California fathers have been driven to the margins of the lives of the children who love them and need them because of false accusations of abuse.

Many prominent California family law professionals are cautioning that the system is being widely misused by false accusers, and that there are scant protections for the falsely accused. In an article in the Family Law News, the official publication of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California, family law attorneys Lynette Berg Robe and Melvyn Jay Ross explain: "[Domestic violence] protective orders are increasingly being used in family law cases to help one side jockey for an advantage in child custody. ... [The orders are] almost routinely issued by the court in family law proceedings even when there is relatively meager evidence..."

It is common for the radical groups the article quotes to claim that mothers are losing custody to abusers who employ parental alienation [syndrome] as a courtroom strategy. However, when one actually examines the evidence in the cases, most of these groups' claims are demonstrably false.

In reality, courts switch custody from mothers to fathers in parental alienation cases very slowly, usually only after the mother has violated numerous court orders and outright refused to allow children to see their fathers.

Glenn Sacks
National Executive Director
Fathers and Families

Public awareness is key: Thank you for the informative article about the tragedies that are affecting so many children. It is time we need to respect children and the innocent parents who are asking for protection under the law. This abuse of innocent children has to stop. Thank you for sharing the information so others can be aware of the violence occurring in family law courts every day.

Jane Miller
Menlo Park

This is not a gender issue: It is childish and ignorant to assume that all allegations of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are valid, while allegations of the very damaging abuse of parental alienation are invalid. Jamison is grinding an ax, and is not shedding light on this horrible situation. False allegations are made on both sides. Nor is it a gender issue, as he implies. Many women have been hurt by parental alienation, just as have many men. In the very flawed, adversarial system of the family courts, the parties are polarized to opposite extremes, and false allegations fly from both sides.

Michael J. Muller
San Antonio, TeXas

Thanks to the writer: Thanks to Jamison for writing a truthful piece. This is one of the best media pieces I have seen in 30 years. Cases where severe abuses of the mother and/or the children have been reported and documented (by doctors, police, and hospitals, etc.) often end with the perpetrator of crimes receiving custody of his small victims. I still believe that if more of the public knew of these travesties of "justice," fewer children would be mangled or killed.

My favorite sentence from this article is a quote from Geraldine Stahly: "I would like to see judges relying a lot less on psychological evaluations and a lot more on the facts of a case." If the crimes were treated as crimes, fewer children would be destroyed. It is peculiar that crimes against humans are suddenly not crimes if committed by a family member.

Persist
Web Comment

Writer needs to address the presence of parental alienation: Jamison downplays parental alienation and false domestic accusations. I am a victim of parental alienation. I was forced to tell therapists, doctors, and even a California mediator, and countless others that my father had been abusive. Professionals don't take parental alienation seriously, otherwise I would have been given the opportunity to give my own account without the presence of my alienating mother. The court system, social service system, and health system needs to be aware of this. Make sure one gives a child the opportunity to tell the real truth without the parent involved. I was threatened by my mother and told that the "system" would never listen to me. If Jamison doesn't address the importance of the presence of parental alienation, then that would make my mother right.

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White247
White247

The YWCA webpage in Northwest Georgia states it is the only social service provider to partner with law enforcement, the DA office, and 25 state funded rape crisis. The problem is the YWCA is corrupt. The DA will not help, because of their ties. So, this is a huge problem for being falsely accussed of DV. They have free lawyers, and getting more by Governor's approving tax funds to them. I have personally been harrassed and threaten by a lawyer from this establishment. I am a witness to this corruption. Please bring this to your attention of the biggest pro women establishment corruption against families.

nila
nila

There is absolutely a gender genocide against men. There are thousands of great fathers out there that have to pay for the very few bad ones. I see and know of so many fathers that have lost their beloved children from false allegations or these insidious move-away cases. Just because a mother is a mother does not mean she is the better parent. There are far too many children out there that adore their fathers and are missing a once in a chance time in life to experience the joys of what a fathers adds to their young lives. And I truly recent what the government and the so called experts that implement these henious laws - the final unfair and biased rulings placed on these fathers is flat out egregious. Our own innocent children are not even safe from the governments systems. (Family)

I get so much joy watching children after school play with their fathers outside or where ever - it makes you smile. And then I think back of all my wonderful childhood memiors of my own Fatherwho was my hero.nila

Athein
Athein

Parasitic spouses (preponderantly women) and their equally parasitic governmental collaborators (lawyers, judges and unemployable psychologists) have used this propaganda to extort their livelihood from hapless husbands and our enslaved American taxpayers. Once we throw the government out of our domestic affairs their destruction of our family life will go away. When people mention government’s invasive intrusiveness into our everyday lives this is exactly what they are talking about. The taxpayer revolt will remain until these ordeals end.

quest
quest

Yes, but this is like fighting City Hall and that is not going to happen. These people as they mentioned in the article are worse than the priests involved in the Vatican scandals. We desparately need to inundate them with endless complaints,i.e., your legislatures the governors....... Hopefully, they will finally listen - if not, they will continue to fracture the childrens chances of a half-way normal life. I don't see how they can live with themselves if they keep doing this. Shared-Parenting should be Mandatory!!!

q

Shakieaayla
Shakieaayla

Cps needs to be dismantelled DSHS/CPS has gone to far. The agency ignores thousands of cases were it is clear who the abuser is and attacts good families. To parents with a child each from prior situations were they and their child were abused. Decide to get married and the second the state finds out they have any children together they CPS rips the children out of the home. Stating that the fatality rates of children in cps custody/dependancy requires all children to be removed from all families even when the only one child that has medical handycaps and possible mental handy caps gets hurt falling down when playing. CPS will go so far to bribe kids to say their parents are hurting them, CPS will even go so far to incourage a child to act out, and punish a child or family if the child fights to get home. CPS workers will even go so far as to threaten the children.

quest
quest

The "crying" of the big Bad Wolf has been allowed for many.....years by alot of narcissistic mothers -that think they are doing what is best for their children and themselves. But it is only being inimicalto the innocent children and their very innocent fathers. The infamous Judicial System and it's cohorts in crime just NOW, automatically assume the father is a BA father. Or he is just a Dead BeatDad. So..........the courts continue to crucify the innocent fathers in court. The courts are inherentlymother-friendly along with the very bad evaluators. And again, all these people are doing is victimizing the poor children. What happen to what is in the best interest of a child people.These so called writers that right these inane articles are truly in it to stir up news to start trouble.And the majority of the time they do not have their facts straight and they do not care which side they hurt. They're in it, because thats their business. As the saying goes, "don't believe everything you read and hear........" And also you can't trust a woman - I'm a woman and this is true. (Not all woman of course) I do think the majority of them, if they have strong and centered family values and some morals - they do want the best for their children. And this is where PAS comes into play Mr. Jamison,it does exist more than you no..................IT's LEGIT!!! And those narcissistic mothers do allienate the fathers from their own children (flesh and blood). It is not just abuse, it comes in different forms.I have seen it hundreds of times and it is heartwrenching for the child and the father.Yes, I believe more people seriously need to focus on changing the Family Legal System for the better. None of this will go away until it changes. If they would make co-parenting mandatory - that would be a tremedous jump. (No Abuse Allowed of any kind).

guest

BM
BM

I just now saw this sight, and thought I would see what it was all about. I can not tell you how painful it is to lose a dearly beloved child because someone just fell out of love with me - she was having an affair with another man for several years. And was granted a move away thousands of miles away, just because she thought SHE would have a better life with this other man. My whole family, friends and every other professional person that I have talked to -read about are beside themselves. Let alone me! This is the most insidious and egregious thing that the courts and other professionals involved (so-called) could do to an innocent child and a parent. You don't take a child away from a perfectly good father just because a very selfish mother wanted to move with her boyfriend. This is beyond words and belief. But, from what I experienced and understand the Family Legal System is broken and corrupt. They do NOT care about what is in the best interest of children. Biases just flow thru the system............They have these bad evauators that are either incompetent or biased - they don't tell you what they are doing, but they bate you to think they're your friend. But in the long run they are making this case against you full of lies and inconsistencies. It does not matter if your a good father or husband you are going to lose if the mother wants it..........They don't care and they don't want to hear what you or attorneys have to say. The end - the descision was made before I walked in the door.

The divorce and move away decision was over 8 months ago and they have been gone that long.My 5 year daughter still cries every time I call to talk - she can't understand why I can't just come and pick her up. It's truly devastating to me. I have only been able to see her 5 times since they movedbecause of work or it does not seem to be convienient for my selfish ex to have her avaliable for me.See, this is another problem with move aways - once the child is gone out of state, it is very difficult to have any control of the situation. Even though I still have joint custody. The laws especially, in California are tragically pernicious to children and their parents. They do not have a clue what the ramifications on children they p lace. It is life changing in a very negative way....And this horrific abuse needs to stop sooner than later. It happens everyday and these are travesties of true justice.Rather NO justice!!

nf
nf

Sorry, actually the above comment was done by my brother who just went thru a very tragic situation. He was in town using my computer and it posted as nf. Should be Bob. Thank you

nf
nf

I do not understand why fathers and families and other groups and government people are not trying to band these insidious move-away cases from the Family Legal System. This is a henious law in Ca. and a few other states that is definitely crucifying fathers in our court sytems. I know this is not exactly what this article is talking about, but this is a form of abuse on children and the innocent parent left behind. And unfortunately, it is usually the father that is left without a child. Why because she lives thousands of miles away. The child thinks they have been abandoned, they feel reponsible, they are angry and confused. It also effects child support issues - why should a father have to pay this incredible amount of child support when the very narcissitic mother takes the child to live with another man. But not only that, the mother starts to alienate the child from the father. It is always too inconvienent for the mother. This is egregious! This is a no win situation for the innocent father and the child that cries for her Daddy. I experienced one case as a witness and no of many other casesthat involve move-aways and it is heartwrenching. Nobody cares what is in the best interest of the child.............Fewer childrens lives would be fractured if these horrific laws were band and the so called experts they allow to implement them. i.e.,attorneys, evaluators, pyschs and the judges.

Corruption, greed,biases and incompetence flows thru the whole system. Geez, what happen to Close, Consistent and Frequent Contact with both parents is in the childs best interest. This is proven. With of course, the absence of abuse children thrive with both parents in their lives - why take that away from them. It's irreparable people. But I know your yacht payments are more important than a childs' future.

nf

Hblaf
Hblaf

Yes, a California Family Court sanctioned move away - to Hawaii ! As a joint custodial parent I fought it, lost it, lived it and survived it, as did my daughter. Tens of thousands of air miles over the 7 years. Today, this father and daughter (now college student) are living quietly back in California healing and mending and growing back together. And what of the the move away parent? ... she divorced and moved back to California less than a year after her daughter left the islands. The daughters reaction is telling..."Why was I flying back and forth to Hawaii all those years if she really didn't want to stay there?" How many more court mandated move-away cases put the child and family through needless hardship? See LaMusga v. LaMusga.

nmf
nmf

Thank you, and this is so typical of what happens in these tragic situations. The chances of a mother who runs off with the child to be with another man thous. of miles away, especially a man that has been divorced previously usually fails. The percentage of that kind of relationship working is about 10%. So, then what happens is the poor child has to go thru another move because the mother either does not want to stay there or can't afford to. And the child goes thru another harmful situation. It is truly inimical for the mother and the court system to continually put children in these situations and the laws are egregious.....If the laws are not changed for the benefit of children and they do not clean out all the bad so called professionals that implement these henious laws it will never change for the better.

nmf

Concerned & Annoyed
Concerned & Annoyed

Should read: "Peter Jamison airs personal opinon:" *sigh* so it is propaganda. This entire response would fail philosophy 101 and/or logic 101. Your assertions do not defend your argument, nor do they defend your act of ignoring the assertions that the false allegations are used to discredit very good and loving fathers.

"In specific, documented cases, California's family courts have awarded child custody to parents criminally convicted of abusing their children or former spouses."

"In specific, documented cases, California's criminal courts have allowed people who murdered others to go free."

What difference is there between the statements?, both state something awful, but neither constitute an epidemic. You make no case for the "widespread" problem. You do make a good an argument for a few serious problem cases. Yet you continue to ignore the elephant in the room.

nf
nf

This is all truly a national tragedy and goes on everyday. And I believe the Family Legal System is way past do for a complete overhaul from the top to the so called experts that implement them. It is time that the system makes the child's lives more important than theirs and the parents. The Legal system is full of biases, greed and incompetence and it needs to stop sooner than later.I know when your in a severe custody battle people will say all kinds of untruths about the other to get what they want and sometime they unfortunately are true, but most importantly-most are not. The so called experts that are hired for these tragic situations are either incompetent or so biased they can not see thru the truths. And unfortunately ,of all people so are the infamous Judges. You have the very narsisstic parent and the so called experts again, but nobody cares what is in the best interest of the child. Children thrive with both parents active in thier lives- this is proven. Children and parents should be encouraged to spend substantial time with each other regardless of the parents' present marital status. And of course without abuse or neglect present. The laws should be structured in such away that it is policy for them to promote and maximize the opportunity of all parents to contribute to the social, emotional, intellectual, physical,moral and spiritual development of their children. They need to have a specially trained Task Force expert in each court and trial situations involving custody cases. The emotional impact on children in these horrible situations are irreparable and the Legal System needs to correct their insidious laws and mistakes. You don't just assume in these kinds of situations that a father is bad or mother. And you DON't just take an innocent child away from an innocent loving and bonded parent. This is egregious!!!nila

Ecmdellccj
Ecmdellccj

I am so tire of people alway bad mouthing men. How many women out there have boys. Do you really think your boys are monster and daughters are perfect?

Cooky
Cooky

I recently completed a custody dispute with my ex spouse whom I had trusted with the custody of our children as I was in the military and felt that I would do better for them by being able to provide the financial support that they would need. Upon my children coming to visit me, I found evidence of dental neglect, medical neglect and the children spoke of things that came out to a counsel as being physical abuse. I battled my ex spouse in court for almost two years until I finally got a partial win. The courts gave my daughter back to her mother and gave me custody of my son, the kicker was that I had hard evidence that was not coaxed out of the children, but from dentists and doctors. The family court in the county I was fighting my ex spouse in took all of this with a whim and because she lived there and I lived on the east coast, she was able to physically be there and meet these people with her crocodile tears and play the part of the "wronged" mother. So I was made to look like, and treated like I was some crule inhumane father who was tearing his children from their good mother out of spite, when I was doing what I could to protect them from the abuses of their mother.The courts look badly upon a father still, and choose to follow the "tender years" doctrine that is now illegal, since the civil rights movement.

upset father

quest
quest

What you say is so...........true. It happens everyday in our awful family court systems. They still have that antiquated view point that all fathers are just deadbeats. And that is so tragic - sure their are some bad seeds in every group- everything, but overall fathers are mostly good and loving fathers. They would do anything for their children and beyond and they play such a vital role in the childs growth. Anybody, that would take a child away from a perfectly "good" father needs their head examined. And they obviously do not have strong family values or morals. Not that I am some purity rep - but, this is fundamentally wrong!!! The family courts just assume because a mother is a mother she is the better parent. You can't assume anything in a child custody case when your talking about a childs future. They do not consider what is in the best interest of the child. It is what is in the best interest of the mothers. I am a woman and unfortunately, this is the case most of the time. I have seen heartwrenching situations where the fathers are just in a daze- they are so torn up and at a loss. I don't know what it is going to take before this insidious crime stops in our courts!!! They have created a whold new culture out there of children without fathers or taught to hate their fathers. And these children are so prone to severe emotional problems.G

TLC
TLC

Given Mr. Jamison's views about fathers, I wonder how he feels about two men raising a child together, especially in light of the recent controversy over Proposition 8. I'm sure he has no problem with two women raising a child, but two men--they'd beat each other and molest the child.

Interestingly enough, a recent UCLA study indicates lesbian couples report twice as much DV as straight couples.

It's so hard to get this down to a nice black-and-white issue in which women are the good guys and men are the bad guys. But Jamison certainly gave it a shot. Problem is, the world consists of many dimensions while Jamison considers but one. He's a Newtonian in a quantum physics world.

Dr-Samsa
Dr-Samsa

As long as radical misandrist feminists rule the Child "Protective" Services and, at the same time, rule the Family Court Judges (the Judges get reassigned to unpleasant venues if the CPS Social Workers don't like their rulings), child and father relationships will be destroyed.The reason American men and a few (very few) women are fighting and dying in Arab Countries is because Arab men have become aware of what feminists have done to relationships between men and women and within families. They know what their lives and the lives of their families will become like if they allow their countries to become westernized. They would rather die than allow that kind of destruction to take place near them.So, as Americans, we are wasting money and lives, to do what?... Defend feminism and the crazy women who devised it (although many women who helped devise it now despise it). Do the feminists and the radical misandrist State-supported Social Workers realize that they are the ones perpetuating the misery suffered by women in Muslim Countries? If freedom and equality results in crazy feminists and the victimization of men like in the U.S., why let women be free? -so think Arab and Muslim men.The only semi-adequate defense western men have nowadays is to videotape every moment they are in the vicinity of any woman or girl - especially when alone with one (but don't share the video; you'll get screwed for that) - or when they are around children (false accusations are almost impossible to defend against when children are involved). Yes, it's sad. But true.

Logical Being
Logical Being

"This theory — invented by the late Richard Gardner, a psychiatrist who believed adult-child incest was normal and that American society punished pedophiles too harshly" - how on earth can you call yourself a journalist? Stating this inflamatory "rumor" without any facts is extremely unprofessional. I'll take Wikipedia's info over yours any day. You might as well have said "After the mob kill JFK...". Unbelievable.

Count me out
Count me out

You haven't read much Gardner, have you....

Kastlemont
Kastlemont

Mr Jamison's claim to be truthful is again deceiving. One can be absolutely truthful yet at the same time only tell one side of the story, thus painting a radically different picture than the complete set of facts suggests. This is commonly referred to as 'spin." Mr. Jamison, a half-truth is a half-lie..

Michael Conzachi
Michael Conzachi

False Accusations of Domestic Violence & Temporary Restraining Orders

As a father of two children who recently turned 18, I too became one of many in the State of California who fell victim to the falsification and misuse of the Temporary Restraining Order Process as a "de-facto" eviction notice. This came about of an extremely psychologically disturbed ex-spouse, Suzanne Elaine Trucks, and was made worse by the solicitation by Anaheim California Police Department Family Crimes Detective Laura Lomelli, and additional complicity by Anaheim California Police Lieutenant Randy West and his wife Kathllen West. That one act, set forth in motion a disasterous state of affairs including the severe emotional and psychological abuse of my children, commonly known as Parental Alienation escalating to Hostile Aggressive Parenting. Anaheim Police Department Internal Affairs ignored the major issue involving the misconduct on the part of several members of their department including the spouse of one member.

One positive note, after more than a year and a half, hundreds of pages of documents, nearly a dozen various Declarations and subpoenas, and approximately 25K in legal fees, for just that one issue, all records of the TRO were ordered sealed by Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald P. Kreber. The following is a link to the Orange County Divorce Lawyer Blog describing this scenario,

http://www.orangecountydivorce...

Sadly, the Parental Alienation seed has been well planted, but it is still not over. I have filed a complaint with the United States Attorneys Office requesting an investigation and prosecution for violations of federal child abuse sections as well as various civil rights violations concerning the especially egregious misconduct on a few members of the Anaheim Police Department. Absolute proof is contained within the public record divorce file.

For additional details, please feel free to contact me via email, mconzachi@yahoo.com.

God Bless all those alienated parents out there, men and women alike. There is nothing more troubling to see the abuse of your children sanctioned by the incredibly inept family law system.

The nightmare of the divorce is over, but I face a lifetime of dealing with this alienation.

Michael ConzachiAnaheim Hills, California

Mike
Mike

This article contained so much false and inaccurate information it is impossible to know where to start. What's really needed is fewer one-sided articles like this and more education about parental alienation so legal and mental health professionals can tell the difference between false allegations of abuse and real parental alienation and vice versa. Only then will these professionals be able to make good recommendations to the courts and help children avoid both types of abuse.

For more accurate information on parental alienation you can visit http://www.afamilysheartbreak.....

 
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