Sunday, April 12, 2009

Action: Tell Your Governors To REJECT Declaration of Parental Alienation Awareness Day

Please copy, paste, edit the italicised words, and send this letter to your state’s Governor.

For contact information for your state, please click here: State Government Contacts

Dear Governor:

Your office may receive or has already received a request to sign a proclamation declaring April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Parental Alienation Fraud Blog is writing to urge you to reject that request.

Proponents of Parental Alienation Awareness Day attempt to portray parental alienation as a destructive family dynamic in which one parent turns the child against the other, usually during custody proceedings.

Parental Alienation Syndrome, however, is not based in empirical evidence and has been widely discredited by legal and mental health experts. Three leading professional organizations—the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the American Psychological Association—have state unequivocally in their publications that Parental Alienation Syndrome is neither a scientifically valid nor a professionally recognized psychological syndrome, and as such, should not be admissible as evidence in a court of law.

Youth and domestic violence advocates point out that a child may have legitimate reasons for having negative feelings toward one of his or her parents, particularly when a parent is abusive. Rather than investigating allegations of abuse, the concocted notion of parental alienation can wrongly turn the court's focus to the victims' motives.

Many abusers are invoking Parental Alienation Syndrome and parental alienation to convince family courts to ignore children's allegations of abuse. They wrongly claim that the protective parent is behind a child's claims of abuse and should be punished by not getting custody of the children.

When courts award visitation or custody to the parent to whom the child has an aversion, in many instances, the courts are awarding custody to a violent abuser. The consequences could be dire.

Some children placed in the custody of their abusers have committed suicide; others have run away, and countless others have endured the abuse and are permanently traumatized. In recent years, children placed in custody of their abusers have been coming forward to tell their stories and to warn of the danger surrounding the fictitious syndrome.

Parental Alienation Fraud Blog urges you to reject the proclamation for Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Instead, take actions to ensure that abuse allegations are thoroughly investigated before custody decisions are made. Your leadership will help some of the most vulnerable children stay safe.


Parental Alienation Fraud Blog

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Psychological Torture of Children by PAS Evaluators

Some of the following blog is excerpted from Criminal Rewards: The Impact of Parent Alienation Syndrome on Families By Andraé L. Brown, Lewis and Clark College

Since 1985, the claim of parent alienation syndrome (PAS) has represented the extreme collusion of male entitlement, the mental health profession, and family courts. PAS is a pseudo scientific theory used to prevent battered women from protecting their children from exposure to violent and abusive fathers. It asserts that children who resist parents’ visits are not legitimately seeking protection from their fathers but have been “alienated” from their fathers by their mothers. This article examines the impact of PAS on families, its admissibility in courts, and the role of social workers and other mental health practitioners in custody cases through the lens of a social worker, a social justice activist, and a mother who is involved in a PAS custody case.

Brown: How have you seen PAS have an impact on children?
Dressner: Many of the children I work with have seen several therapists and psychologists and have participated in multiple court-ordered evaluations. Initially, much of my work focuses on addressing and trying to undo some of the damage from their negative experiences with therapists and court systems. In family therapy, especially when dealing with a volatile divorce, you must assess for domestic violence. When people use PAS as the overarching framework, the domestic violence gets hidden beneath it. It then becomes difficult for children to understand their place and role in the context of what is happening around them. So, they [children] become defensive, angry, and standoffish because they feel pressure from the courts to rebuild the relationship with the person who has harmed them, without the acknowledgment that any wrongdoing has occurred. It leaves them thinking that there’s something wrong with them. The children feel helpless. PAS [accusations] definitely affects their ability to function in school, act age appropriately in relationships, and seek support. I think that most children do not feel that it’s something that they can explain easily to other people because their experience is different from children of “normal divorces.” They also feel guilty that they somehow caused the problems between their parents.
Brown: How have you seen therapeutic communities respond to PAS?
Meckeler: In my case, I filed a complaint with the board of psychological examiners, which found neither concern nor reason to put a psychologist on notice for using this unethical diagnosis.… Now, I sit on a state mental health board, and I can say that, in general, the profession is clueless about this damaging “diagnosis” and trend. Some find it valid just because they are poorly trained and easily jump on labeling families in crisis as just going through “nasty divorces.” Some critics still seem to believe that PAS could and does happen. That’s why I think Gardner didn’t need much credibility and valid research to gain popularity and cultivate this PAS culture. All state professional boards get regular updates on legislative measures in the pipeline. In the 2 years that I’ve been [on the board], I have yet to see a representative or state assembly member bring the PAS danger to light in terms of safety to consumers.…The therapeutic communities that I have seen handle PAS as a social justice issue have responded by empowering families and communities to recognize systemic oppression, mobilize, and demand reform. Thomas: It is powerful when therapists at least acknowledge that an abusive situation is occurring.… It is also extremely supportive when a therapist commits to providing ongoing support because anyone who fights for women and children in these cases gets attacked in some manner. The therapist may be threatened with lawsuits and get dragged into court. I know that’s hard for therapists to deal with, but that’s the type of support I have received from my therapeutic community. They (therapists) wrote letters to the court regarding the whole flawed PAS diagnosis and about my experiences throughout the whole process. It didn’t change the judge’s mind, but it was important to have on the record. It is really important psychologically, if you will, for me to keep doing what I need to do to get through this situation. That level of commitment has been important to my kids and me. Dressner: Many times, the PAS therapists (therapists who claim to specialize in diagnosing and treating women who suffer from PAS) provide testimony, evaluations, and recommendations that put the responsibility not on the offending parent but on the children. The children sometimes feel like they’re not being listened to and are misunderstood because they’ll provide information, and it may be interpreted differently by evaluators and judges. The responsibility is misplaced, and the children feel set up. So when I see families for therapy, I have to redefine the problem and validate their experiences in context. I focus on healing the past trauma and holding the parents accountable for negotiating or repairing the relationships. I always take the position of advocating for the well-being and safety of the children, even when there is great pressure to sacrifice them. Brown: How would you respond to the statement that PAS is not about custody and children—it is about destroying women?
Meckeler: I don’t think it’s about destroying women. It is certainly about misogyny and subordinating women and putting them at a disadvantage. I think it’s about destroying any hope for violence prevention and accountability on the individual and institutional levels and derailing any movement toward awareness and accountability about White male privilege. Thomas: I absolutely agree with that. I think that if my ex-husband really wanted custody and a relationship with the kids, he would acknowledge that he has abused them, try to take some responsibility, and work on healing their relationship. I don’t see that at all. He never has.…Second, if you want custody of your children, then you take advantage of the time you have. He shows up late for visits. There’s been a couple times he hasn’t shown up at all. He never asks them what is going on in their lives.…I was suspicious that he was looking through school records to see if he could get confidential information about me. It became obvious when he tried to use it for his advantage in court.…My lawyer, trying to keep a sense of humor in the midst of all the stress, calls it “courting.” You know, my ex-husband is court-dating me because he keeps this thing going, and that’s how he’s able to see and interact with me despite the restraining order. He’s actually able to speak, harass, question, and name-call me in court. He would not be allowed to do so in the community, but it is allowed in the courts.
Brown: What has been the economic effect on the families?
Meckeler: The cost is exponential. Forensic psychologists and other professionals who use PAS have seriously cashed in on all of us to the tune of at least $7,000 per family. And because of the psychological damage to the family, it keeps these and other members in the pipeline for future psychological and legal services. There is so much verbiage, writing, and opinion about the effect of divorce, family “discord,” and domestic violence. What’s never talked about are all the professionals for whom keeping the status quo has been extremely profitable. Now we can add unethical parent coordinators with complete discretion to the mix. I don’t think we can easure the cost of this unnatural disaster.
Thomas: I told the judge in my divorce case, “I might lose my job; I can’t just be here day after day.” He said “Well, lots of people lose their jobs when they get divorced.”…Money that may otherwise go for child support by either parent is taken up by legal fees, traveling to court, paying for attorneys, and paying for filings and expert witnesses—not to mention the therapy that I am mandated to pay for. For example, I have been ordered into reunification therapy. I was mandated to use a psychologist who wants a $2,500 retainer and $12,000 from each of us for a year. And that’s just to have a session probably once a week to “reunify” my daughter with her dad, not realizing that the reason that they don’t have a good relationship is a function largely of what he does and doesn’t do and what he did. I have over $100,000 in legal bills right now that I have not paid. I have a gracious attorney who continues to represent me even though I can’t pay. I’ve probably paid out to the attorney in excess of about $6,000.…And I’ve got about a $30,000 judgment against me, which, of course, affects my credit and ability to buy. Let’s say that at some point I was able to buy a house instead of rent, which, of course, would be more stable.…I can’t do that because he could put a lien on the house and take it away or make me lose money if I were ever to sell it.


Children are forced under duress to see these monsters [PAS evaluators] whose sole purpose is to speak with them and discredit the children. It is a sick setup to force any child to have to go to a PAS evaluator. They can pour their heart out over painful memories thinking that the person is there to help them, only to be forced to spend more time, or have custody changed to the person who abused them. After the child goes to one of these evaluations with a therapist, or an interview with a GAL, etc. who discusses the family situation with them, and then the result is forced reunification with abuser, these children certainly don't EVER want to see that evaluator, therapist, GAL ever again.

Anyone reading this whose child is being subjected to this torture by a mental health professional, DO NOT HESITATE to report that person for ethical violations. Most of these people will fail to follow the ethics codes, billing regulations, disclosure requirements, confidentiality clauses, requirements to corroborate information, discussion with treating therapists and doctors, etc. One very prominent PAS accusing Doctor who has written large amounts of literature on the subject, has lost their license, but continues to advertise PAS services. J. Michael Bone appears to have voluntarily relinquished his license after multiple complaints. Click here to view: disciplinary proceedings and relinquishment documents Contact your state licensing board to report these unethical professionals. Even if they are not disciplined in your case, it is important to document the complaint. There seems to be some of these people who are not getting disciplined, so it is important to just keep piling on the complaints!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In battles for custody, children often pawns

Two psychologists claimed that this man was not a danger to his children. The mother's credibility was questioned and she was not listened to.

This blogger does NOT agree with David L. Levy, more professionals and more facilities are not needed as they cannot judge things accurately anyway. Mothers need to be listened to in court. No one likes to be in court and the myths of false allegations is a load of crap. These fatalities are an epidemic because mothers and children are not being protected. In these situations, sole custody and protection are the answer, not years of re-victimization in court.

Experts say case of death of three youths exhibits familiar patterns
by Agnes Jasinski Staff Writer

As police and the courts attempt to determine whether anything could have been done to prevent Mark Castillo from allegedly drowning his three young children in a Baltimore hotel bathtub a little more than a week ago, child and domestic violence experts disagree on where blame, if any, falls in the tragedy.

‘‘We know many victims are frustrated, and feel they’re not being heard. ... People didn’t listen to this woman,” said Michaele Cohen, the executive director of the Maryland Network Against Domestic Abuse.

Castillo, 41, of Rockville was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and a series of first-degree child abuse and assault charges in the March 29 deaths of his children Anthony, 6, Austin, 4, and Athena, 2. His preliminary hearing in Baltimore is set for April 29.

The children, who lived with their mother, Amy Castillo, in Silver Spring, were victims of a lengthy custody battle that some say showed patterns of behavior found in domestic violence cases.

‘‘Power and control are the issues in domestic violence. ... In this case, [Mark Castillo] did say ... that if he just kills the children and not her, it would be harder on her,” said Hannah Sassoon, the county’s domestic violence coordinator with the sheriff’s office, referring to a protective order petition filed in court by Amy Castillo. The sheriff’s office serves protective orders.

‘‘When people leave a relationship, the children become another way to control the partner,” Sassoon said.

A fatality review team of social workers and representatives from police and the courts is looking at whether the incident was foreseeable, Sassoon said. The process is standard in cases in which children or adults who are the victims of domestic violence are killed.

The Montgomery County team, chaired by Laura Chase, also supervisor of the Family Violence Unit in the county state’s attorney’s office, has reviewed eight cases dating back to 2000 since its inception about a year ago. The group meets monthly to look at whether there were any gaps in response, Chase said, and to work out ways of keeping victims of domestic violence ‘‘from ultimately becoming another statistic.”

Chase said she did not know how long a review of the Castillo case would take.

Lt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for Montgomery County Police, said the department was acting ‘‘beyond our own protocol” when officers visited Mark Castillo’s home after Amy Castillo called police to report her husband was late in returning the children after his scheduled visitation. Starks said the officer who responded was new and also contacted his sergeant. ‘‘He wanted to make sure he was doing everything he should.”

Police are limited to enforcing orders from the court, Starks said, and children may be kept up to 48 hours past visitation times before parents are fined or found to be in contempt of court.

‘‘They were allowed to be with him that day. ... Two hours late, it’s hard for us to write a missing person’s report,” Starks said. ‘‘But [Amy Castillo] knew a lot more than the police did. ... As it turns out, she was absolutely right in being concerned.”

The value, flaws of protective orders

Amy Castillo was given a temporary protective order against her husband in December 2006. In that petition, she wrote that Mark Castillo had threatened that ‘‘the worst thing he could do to me would be to kill the children and not me, so I could live without them.”

But her request for a permanent order, which would have been valid for up to a year, was rejected Jan. 10, 2007, by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr., who according to court documents cited a lack of evidence of abuses alleged by Amy Castillo. Such orders, specific to each case, can forbid the person charged with abuse from contacting victims or visiting their home or work.

First-time violators of protective orders are given up to 90 days in jail, fined $1,000, or both, Chase said. The state’s attorney’s office has two legal assistants who work primarily on cases involving protective order violations, she said.

Judges who issue protective orders must be prepared to defend that action with evidence of an imminent fear of abuse, often measured by prior physical abuse, said retired Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Femia, who still serves part-time.

In the Castillo case, Dugan’s decision was weighted heavily on findings by social workers and psychologists that Mark Castillo was not a threat to his children, despite his wife’s claims. Psychotherapist Mark Hirschfeld evaluated Mark Castillo in June 2007, and agreed with a report by psychologist C. David Missar earlier that year that Mark Castillo posed no threat to his children, court papers say. Mark Castillo had received visitation rights following the couple’s divorce in February.

Femia said every judge has been in a situation in which facts presented are insufficient to rule on the side of the petitioner. ‘‘The truth of the matter is, even if we give you a protective order, it’s a piece of paper,” Femia said.

Thomas DeGonia, a former county assistant state’s attorney who now works for Washington, D.C.-based Venable Law Firm, said cases without ‘‘independent evidence to corroborate,” such as witnesses, make judges’ decisions even more difficult.

Cohen of the Maryland Network Against Domestic Abuse said legislation that would lower the standard for proving an ‘‘imminent threat” in the issuance of the orders would make them more effective. But the argument that they did little to dissuade domestic violence is inappropriate, she said.

‘‘Nothing is a guarantee, no matter what you do,” she said.

Steps toward prevention

David L. Levy, the chief executive of the Children’s Rights Council, a Landover-based nonprofit that works to assure continuing contact between children and both parents in divorces, said in cases of alleged abuse, centers providing supervised visitation can ease some of the tension in custody battles.

Such centers currently operate in Clinton and Hyattsville, both run by the Children’s Rights Council, and in Kensington, run by the county’s Family Trauma Services. Judges must order supervised visitation, Levy said.

Cohen said taking all threats more seriously, both through legislation and court action, is important.

‘‘We’d like to see more training of the judges, the core personnel and the evaluators to look for the subtleties, and to recognize power and control, which is what this is all about,” she said. ‘‘Abusers can be very calculating, charming, likeable. ... It’s not always recognized as domestic violence by anybody.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Mother's Struggle Las Vegas-woman perseveres in a lengthy custody fight to protect her daughter

Oct. 19, 2008 Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal


December 1998: Tiffany Barney and Malakai "Sonny" Kaufusi marry in Las Vegas.

August 1999: Barney files for divorce.

October 1999: The estranged couple's daughter is born.

October 2001: Barney and Kaufusi are legally divorced; Barney is granted primary physical custody.

July 2002: Barney's 2-year-old daughter makes what family members interpret as a sexual gesture and comment. Barney contacts police.

August 2002: Kaufusi passes a polygraph exam administered by Ron Slay.

March 2003: Kaufusi files a motion seeking an increase in his visitation time.

May 2003: Family Court Judge Jennifer Elliott hears the case for the first time, orders Barney to take a polygraph exam with Slay.

June 2003: Barney fails the polygraph exam administered by Slay.

August 2003: At a settlement conference in Elliott's courtroom, Barney agrees to share custody equally with Kaufusi.

February 2004: Elliott removes the child, now 4, from both parents and sends her to live with the Evans family.

April 2004 to October 2005: Child lives with Evans family part time and Barney's parents part time.

February 2005: Barney spends 48 hours in jail after denying Kaufusi a visit with his daughter.

October 2005: Elliott removes the child from the Evans home and places her full time with Barney's parents.

March 2006: Barney regains custody.

May 2006: Kaufusi sees his daughter for the last time.

January 2007: Elliott terminates Kaufusi's parental rights.


Tiffany Barney sits with her daughter in September at their northwest Las Vegas home as the girl, who is now 9, shows off her collection of stuffed animals. Barney claims various professionals’ bias and negligence exposed her daughter to years of sexual abuse.
Photo by John Gurzinski.

Family Court Judge Jennifer Elliott hears a case in September.
She presided over the custody dispute between Tiffany Barney and Malakai Kaufusi for nearly five years. “This is probably one of the longest cases I’ve ever heard in my almost six-year career,” she said.
Photo by John Gurzinski.

Tiffany Barney is shown in a 2005 mug shot taken at the Clark County Detention Center after Judge Jennifer Elliott sentenced her to 48 hours in jail for contempt of court. Tiffany Barney’s daughter plays piano in September at their northwest Las Vegas home. Photo by John Gurzinski.

Ron Slay displays the results of a polygraph exam in September at his Las Vegas business. “You’ll get to know people better in two hours of polygraph than in five years of friendship,” he said. Photo by John Gurzinski.

Campaign signs, including a sign for Judge Jennifer Elliott, appear in September in front of the Maryland Parkway business where Ron Slay conducted polygraph exams on Malakai Kaufusi and Tiffany Barney. Barney claims Slay had a conflict of interest when he tested her after having tested Kaufusi, an allegation Slay denies. Photo by John Gurzinski.

Tiffany Barney found this photo of her ex-husband, Malakai “Sonny” Kaufusi, on the Web site in 2007. According to the Web site, it is the largest online community for Tongans and other Pacific Islanders. The image can be found by clicking here.

The 4-year-old girl pleaded with her mother as they headed to her father's home, even saying she wanted to hit him with a baseball bat.
"I want to go to your house," she whimpered, in a secretly recorded 2004 conversation. "I'm scared. I want Mama. Mama. Mama. I'm tired of Sonny's house."
"Why are you scared to go to Sonny's?" her mom, Tiffany Barney, asked.
"I don't want him to touch my cootie," the child replied, using the last word to describe her genitals.
For 18 months, Barney had tried to convince authorities that her ex-husband, Malakai "Sonny" Kaufusi, was sexually abusing their daughter. They had joint custody at the time, but on that January evening, Barney refused to turn her daughter over. Three weeks later, a judge removed the girl from both parents and placed her with relatives of Kaufusi's who had seven other children.
The bitter and fractured situation would only get worse. Before the Family Court case finally ended, there would be 71 different hearings. Was Kaufusi molesting his daughter or, as he contended, was Barney simply using the charges to alienate his daughter from him?
For two years after losing custody, Barney was not allowed to spend time alone with her daughter. The UNLV law student would even go to jail in connection with the case, which involved allegations of substandard performance against a polygraph examiner, a psychologist and a court-appointed attorney who went almost 16 months without seeing his client -- the young girl.
Charges of bias were leveled against the judge, Jennifer Elliott, who heard the case between May 2003 and February, and a complaint was filed three years ago with the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission. Elliott denies any favoritism and says the case was one of the longest and most difficult she has heard in six years on the Family Court bench. However, at one hearing late in the proceedings, she concluded that Kaufusi had fooled her.
When Barney lost custody of her daughter in 2004, she made plans to take the child, head north and go underground. She got an oil change in preparation for the trip and returned home, where she found her mother in tears.
A friend was there, too, telling her, "If you're in jail, you're no use to your daughter."
So Barney stayed, and fought. But first she had to surrender her daughter to strangers.
"I had to pack her bags to go to a place I didn't want her to go," Barney now recalls. "To try to explain that to her was horrible."
And in the end, it would be Kaufusi who would run.


Tiffany Barney met Sonny Kaufusi in April 1998 and married him eight months later.
They shared an interest in music: She played piano; he sang and played guitar. Both belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and both wanted to start a family.
"I thought we had a lot in common," said Barney, now 33.
She said relatives initially tried to dissuade her from marrying Kaufusi, whom they considered selfish.
"They warned me not to, but I was so stubborn," she said.
She had cold feet before the wedding, but a church bishop told the couple they were meant to be together. Barney also said Kaufusi had a "silver tongue" and knew how to use church doctrine to sway her.
Kaufusi, whose parents emigrated from Tonga, was 10 years her senior. He had been married before but had no children.
He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and was working as a child development specialist when Barney met him. A spokesman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas said Kaufusi took graduate courses in social work between 1995 and 2000 but did not earn a degree.
Barney, one of seven children, was born and raised in Las Vegas. She received a bachelor's degree in zoology from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
She and her brother Tony, the children of a stay-at-home mother and longtime Las Vegas dentist, are the only lawyers in the family.
Barney said Kaufusi, one of 10 children, wanted to establish a rehabilitation center in Tonga for troubled teens and often asked her to give money for the project. She refused.
But she did help him pay off his debts, which she discovered after their marriage. She said she soon realized she didn't know her husband. And she said he made her feel "ugly" and "stupid."
In June 1999, shortly after learning she was pregnant, Barney left Kaufusi.
"I was dying," she said. "I was not me."
The couple's divorce was final in October 2001, and Barney was granted primary physical custody of their 1-year-old daughter, whose name is not being used in this story at the request of her mother. Kaufusi was allowed to have visitation with the girl each week from Friday evening until Sunday morning.
For several months after the divorce, Tony Barney recalled, "There was a period of peace."
But it didn't last.


Everything changed in July 2002.
Barney was at her parents' home, and her father was wearing a swimsuit. Barney watched as her 2-year-old daughter reached toward his penis, prompting him to ask his grandchild what she was doing.
The girl then gave this shocking answer: "I want to see if milk comes out."
Barney said she and her younger sister both heard the remark.
"It was just very concerning," Barney said.
Barney called a friend who was a private investigator, who in turn gave her the name of a Metropolitan Police Department detective.
The detective interviewed the child and told Barney not to return her to Kaufusi. The child also underwent a medical exam, which showed no evidence of sexual abuse.
Child Protective Services then took over the investigation and asked Kaufusi to submit to a polygraph exam. Examiner Ron Slay tested Kaufusi and found him truthful, supporting the father's statement that he had not sexually abused his daughter.
After about a month, a CPS worker told Barney to resume the visitation.
Barney said her daughter then started telling her, as well as Barney's sisters and mother, about incidents of sexual abuse. Barney began hiding a recorder in her bra to capture her daughter's words, and she began taking the child to a therapist.
In March 2003, Kaufusi filed a motion seeking increased visitation time with his daughter. As a result, the case landed in Elliott's courtroom two months later.
Things quickly went Kaufusi's way.
At the first hearing Elliott conducted, she ordered Barney to submit to a polygraph exam with Slay regarding the allegation that Kaufusi was molesting his child, and the judge referred the family to psychologist Stephanie Holland for an evaluation.
The next month, Barney took the polygraph exam and failed, though she would later find experts who challenged that result.
Holland prepared her report for Elliott in August 2003. The psychologist's report noted that she had discussed the results of both parents' polygraph exams with Slay.
"With that information, she was already biased in her head," Barney now contends.
Among those who supported Kaufusi during Holland's evaluation was longtime Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury.
In a July 2003 letter to Elliott, Woodbury gave his assurances that Kaufusi was "a young man of the highest character and integrity with strong personal values."
"I believe he will always be a loving, caring father who will do what is right for his child," Woodbury wrote on Board of County Commissioners letterhead.
When asked about the letter recently, Woodbury said he wouldn't have gotten involved in the court case if he had known about the allegations of sexual abuse against Kaufusi.
"If he is guilty of these accusations, that would come as a great shock to me, since he was a friend of my daughter and seemed like a kind, caring individual," Woodbury said.
The commissioner said he hasn't seen Kaufusi in many years and didn't know the outcome of the Family Court case.
Holland met with Barney and Kaufusi before preparing her report.
According to the report, Kaufusi felt that Barney's family disliked him. "He reports that for the past sixteen years he has worked as a social worker with children of abuse and adds that Tiffany's family has 'found a road they could take to destroy me.'"
Holland asked Kaufusi to complete a sexual interest assessment, which revealed that he did "not appear to have a persistent sexual attraction to preschool children" but did "appear to have persistent sexual attraction to grade school children."
The Abel assessment referenced in Holland's report typically attempts to gauge a person's interest in various images he views on a computer screen.
"Note that this assessment has questionable validity," Holland wrote. "Therefore the results have to be interpreted with caution."
Holland suggested that the child had a hard time going to and from Kaufusi's home because she knew her mother would "interrogate" her when she returned.
The report indicated Holland met with the child once individually, but that the child gave inconsistent information. According to the report, the girl told Holland "that her father touched her private parts inappropriately."
"This examiner feels moderately strongly that there has not been any inappropriate interaction of a sexual nature between Mr. Kaufusi and his daughter," Holland wrote. "Of course, there is always the possibility that Mr. Kaufusi has strong sociopathic tendencies and is able to present favorably, but this is felt to be doubtful."
According to the report, Holland "strongly felt" that Barney "wholeheartedly" believed that Kaufusi had sexually abused their daughter.
But the psychologist added that "the situation is ripe for false allegations and fabrications to be made to gain attention, but more likely and more importantly, to gain her mother's approval."
Holland concluded that the child was not at risk when in the presence of her father and added, "If Tiffany does not stop seeking unnecessary medical attention she will continue to send the message that Sonny is dangerous."
The child's relationship with her father "will not be able to withstand this and it will deteriorate rapidly," the psychologist wrote.


A pivotal event in the Family Court case occurred in August 2003, when Elliott conducted a settlement conference after receiving Holland's report.
Barney said the meeting left her fearing that Kaufusi would receive full custody if she continued to fight. Rather than take that risk, she settled for joint custody.
But, Barney said, her daughter continued to tell her and others she was being abused. So on Jan. 22, 2004, Barney recorded her daughter's haunting words as the girl resisted returning to Kaufusi's home.
Barney turned the tape over to police and refused to take the child to Kaufusi, prompting him to file a motion for full custody.
Back in court three weeks later, Elliott appointed attorney Christopher Tilman to serve as the child's guardian ad litem and represent her interests.
Although the judge denied Kaufusi's motion, she granted his request to remove the girl from Barney's custody and place her in the home of Roy and Lela Evans, distant relatives of Kaufusi's.
Barney had to give up her child that day. She said she knew nothing about the Evans family, and neither did Elliott, who limited both parents to supervised visits with their daughter.
The mother said she soon learned that Roy and Lela Evans both worked and that they had seven children. She also learned that her daughter slept on a couch in the family's Henderson home.
Barney hired a private investigator, who conducted surveillance at the Evans home for three days in mid-February 2004. In an affidavit, the investigator offered his opinion that Kaufusi had spent those days at the Evans home "in the company of his daughter."
In an emergency motion to protect the child's safety, Barney claimed her ex-husband had unrestricted and unlimited access to his daughter at the Evans home, "while denying this right to her mother."
In an interview last week, Roy Evans said the girl and her father never were alone at his home.
"If I wasn't around, my mom was around," he said.
Barney said Tilman never went to the home to visit the child.
Tilman could not be reached for comment on this story. Last year, Tilman was named in a Review-Journal story that called into question the billing practices of court-appointed attorneys.
The newspaper reported that Tilman had billed the county for more hours than a day contains on numerous occasions in 2006. In interviews, Tilman said he did not know he had overbilled and speculated that the work he reported doing might have included other attorneys helping him.
Between April 2004 and October 2005, as a result of a new court order, Barney's daughter spent half of each week with the Evanses and the other half with Barney's parents.
The girl's mother and father were to continue having only supervised visits with her.


Barney said her attorney sought Tilman's assistance in early December 2004 when it appeared Kaufusi was planning to have an unsupervised visit with the child, but Tilman failed to respond to numerous phone calls from Barney's attorney.
On her lawyer's advice, Barney and her mother refused to turn the child over to Kaufusi on Dec. 4, 2004.
At a February 2005 hearing, Elliott held Barney in contempt of court for doing so and sentenced her to 48 hours in jail.
"It was just unbelievable," Barney recalled. "I was in shock."
Barney said Tilman met with her daughter for the first time in nearly 16 months on July 22, 2005. Four days later, Barney filed a motion seeking his removal from the case.
Tilman was allowed to withdraw at a September 2005 hearing, and Elliott appointed attorney Jeanne Winkler as his replacement.
According to a lawsuit Barney would later file against Tilman and others, Winkler met with the child at both homes and reported at an October 2005 hearing that the Evans home was an unsuitable placement for the girl. Winkler also said the child had "disclosed details relating to instances of sexual abuse perpetrated by Kaufusi while she was staying" at the Evans home, according to the lawsuit.
Elliott then placed the child full time in the home of Barney's parents.
In the interview last week, Roy Evans adamantly defended Kaufusi and said he still believes the man never abused his child. He accused Barney of coaching her daughter to make incriminating statements about Kaufusi, and added, "It's a racial thing."
"The only reason she married Sonny was to spite her family," he said.
Winkler's law license was suspended earlier this year amid allegations that she misappropriated funds from her attorney-client trust account.
Despite those allegations, Barney said she will always be grateful to Winkler for her efforts to ensure her daughter's safety.


Elliott appointed another psychologist, Louis Mortillaro, to evaluate the allegations that Kaufusi was sexually abusing his daughter, and his testing was completed in March 2006. After receiving his report, which remains confidential, Elliott ordered Kaufusi to undergo counseling with an expert in pedophile issues and returned the child to her mother's custody.
Mortillaro previously had instructed that the child be seen by psychologist Melissa Kalodner. In May 2006, Kalodner wrote Elliott a letter in which she urged the judge to end Kaufusi's visitation with his daughter. Kalodner had been treating the child for 16 months.
"The bottom line and the main reason for my writing of this letter is to let you know that this six-year-old girl's mental disorders will not be mended any time soon if she is continuously forced to visit the man who violently raped her and threatened to kill her mother and herself," the psychologist wrote.
According to the letter, the girl had "begged" Kalodner to make the visits with her father stop "because she is scared of him."
Elliott heeded the psychologist's warning. The next day, the judge put an end to Kaufusi's visitation and ordered him to remain 12 feet away from all children.
At a deposition in June 2006, Kaufusi was questioned by Barney's lawyers about the sexual abuse allegations, and he repeatedly denied molesting his daughter. He also denied that he had threatened to kill her and her mother if the child told anyone that he had abused her.
"The sexual abuse that you guys made lies about is very offensive," said Kaufusi, who also expressed his belief that Barney was "coaching" their daughter to make the allegations.
The next day, Elliott had an emergency hearing after receiving evidence indicating that Kaufusi had been intercepting e-mail messages between Barney and her lawyers.
Elliott ordered Kaufusi to turn over his computer by 5 p.m. He did, but he never returned to court, and the judge issued a warrant for his arrest for contempt of court. The warrant remains active, and Barney has evidence that Kaufusi fled to Tonga, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean.
Review-Journal records show that Kaufusi worked part time for the newspaper's circulation department from late March 2006 until he resigned in mid-June 2006.
At the May 2006 hearing, Kaufusi was served in court with a legal document known as "requests for admission."
The document, prepared on Barney's behalf in preparation for the custody trial, asked Kaufusi to admit that he had committed various sexual acts with his daughter. It also asked him to admit that two other men had sexually molested the girl at his Las Vegas apartment.
Kaufusi, the defendant in the Family Court case, was advised in court that his responses were due in 30 days and that his failure to respond would mean that the statements would be considered admissions.
In July 2006, after Kaufusi failed to respond, a court order was entered declaring that Barney's requests "shall be deemed admissions by defendant."
Requests for admission are used during the discovery process in civil cases, and experts said it is unlikely that the court order based on Kaufusi's failure to respond could be used in the prosecution of a criminal case. Kaufusi has never faced criminal charges related to the sexual assault allegations.
In January 2007, Elliott terminated his parental rights, almost five years after Barney first raised the sexual abuse allegations.
Roy Evans, who now has eight children, said Kaufusi will speak with his daughter again after she turns 18.
"He doesn't have money to fight it in court," Roy Evans said.
He said he e-mails Kaufusi "once in a while." Asked whether he knows the man's whereabouts, he replied, "I do, but I'm not going to tell you."


Lt. Ray Steiber, who heads the Metropolitan Police Department's special victims unit, said records show that detectives conducted three investigations of Kaufusi, and all were closed because of insufficient evidence.
"There was no probable cause to believe a crime had been committed by the father against this little girl," said Steiber, who was not involved in the investigations.
None of the detectives involved in those investigations remains in his unit, and Steiber said he knew nothing about the investigations before the Review-Journal asked him to review the records.
He said police have received no new information since the last investigation was closed in July 2005, and he was not aware of Kalodner's May 2006 letter, which said the child had told the psychologist that her father had "brutally vaginally and anally raped her on many different occasions."
With those types of allegations, Steiber said, "it's fair to say that there would be physical evidence."
Barney said her daughter underwent two medical exams that revealed no evidence of sexual assault, but she did not take the child for any exams during the 16-month period when Kalodner was treating her.
"I was afraid of getting in trouble, because they crucified me in court for having done the two exams," said Barney, noting that a police detective had requested the first exam.
A 2004 officer's report indicates that police had been informed about the results of the polygraph exams Slay had conducted.


Elliott said she still doesn't know the truth behind the sexual abuse allegations because the Family Court custody case never went to trial and "was never decided on the merits."
The judge said she can draw no conclusions from Kaufusi's disappearance. He could have left because he was guilty or because he was tired of the litigation, she said.
"Conflict is painful for people," said the judge, who referred to Barney as a "disgruntled litigant."
Elliott said litigants often attack "neutrals" in a case when they can't punish their opponents: "It's human nature to feel that there are loose ends."
However, Elliott had a different tone in court on July 6, 2006, when she said Kaufusi had fooled everybody involved in the case and that she, as a judge, had "been played."
"I'm not saying that he's a guilty man in terms of the allegations in a criminal manner, but they have a right to pursue that," Elliott said from the bench. "But what he isn't is he is not here, and if he's not here, why not? If he is so innocent, why is he not here in court?"
"Because he believes the tide has turned against him and now he is being railroaded," answered his attorney, Phil Beuth. "And that's what he's expressed to me."
Elliott unsealed the case at that hearing and lifted a gag order she had placed on the parties.
Neither Beuth nor attorney Carol Menninger, who previously represented Kaufusi, responded to messages seeking comment for this story.


Barney and her lawyers, brother Tony and Lisa Rasmussen, filed an ethics complaint against Elliott with the Judicial Discipline Commission in June 2005. The complaint, which is confidential, is still pending.
"I think when the court fails to protect the child, it's really unforgiveable," Rasmussen said.
She said Elliott made a "snap decision" early in the case and refused to back down from it. The lawyer argued that Elliott "believed everything Kaufusi said, and she didn't ever believe anything that Tiffany said."
Elliott said no one from the discipline commission has interviewed her about the ethics complaint.
Barney argues that Elliott wanted to believe she was lying about the sexual abuse and, in turn, alienating her daughter from Kaufusi.
"It's easier to say it's not happening than to do a thorough investigation and find out that it is," Barney said.
She said Elliott "almost made it seem like parental alienation was worse than sexual abuse."
Elliott, who also is a licensed marriage and family therapist, said she doesn't think the two can be compared. "They each can uniquely damage a child very, very badly," she said.
Last year, Barney filed a lawsuit on her daughter's behalf against Slay, Holland and Tilman. Barney claims their negligence, combined with Elliott's bias in favor of Kaufusi, exposed her daughter to years of sexual assault.
Earlier this year, Barney filed a separate lawsuit against Kaufusi and Tilman. Judicial immunity prevented Barney from suing Elliott.
"Change has got to be made to protect the children in this court system," Barney said.
Holland declined to comment on Barney's lawsuit, which accused the psychologist of conducting a "substandard and invalid evaluation."
District Judge David Barker has dismissed the claims against Holland and Slay. Although Barney is appealing the judge's ruling regarding Slay, she dropped her claims against Holland in January.
Barney said the Nevada Supreme Court previously has ruled that court-appointed psychologists are immune from liability, but the high court never has granted that protection to polygraph examiners.


In her lawsuit, Barney claims Slay had a conflict of interest when he tested her after having tested Kaufusi "concerning the same legal issue." She also claims Slay's "compound and complex questions" caused her to fail the exam.
During a recent interview at Slay's Maryland Parkway office, where he has conducted thousands of polygraph exams over the past three decades, he discussed the first lawsuit he has faced in connection with his lie-detection work.
Slay said Barney seemed to understand the questions he asked, and he denied that his exams of both parents amounted to a conflict of interest.
"I've done both sides many times," he said.
Sometimes both sides pass their tests, Slay said, and sometimes they both fail.
"It doesn't occur to me even remotely that having done the first test and reached a decision should in any way influence the decision of the test I'm about to do," he said.
Nevertheless, Slay said, when Barney arrived for her polygraph, he did not know about her connection to Kaufusi. Slay said Barney informed him that he had tested her ex-husband.
"She told me the outcome of his test," said Slay, who defended the validity of the results from both exams.
Barney said she had no idea Slay had previously tested Kaufusi.
According to the lawsuit, Kaufusi was ordered to take another polygraph exam with a different examiner in July 2005, and he failed that test.


Barney said her daughter, who recently turned 9, is doing "remarkably well" now but still fears her father will return.
"I think she thinks I can't protect her, and that's her fear, her big fear," Barney said. "And maybe I can't."
The two live in a guest house behind the home of Barney's parents in northwest Las Vegas.
Barney gives credit to God for the "little miracles" that happened in her case. "I think the Lord was watching out for my daughter," she said. "I think he wanted her to have a good life."
Barney, who still carries the guilt of forcing her daughter to visit Kaufusi for so many years, said everyone has their trials to endure. She believes the hardships she and her daughter have faced will make both of them appreciate goodness.
Barney also believes her daughter's experience will make her a positive force for other abused children.
"I truly believe that, and I think that's why she was saved," Barney said.
On a recent afternoon, Barney's daughter chomped on bubble gum while showing a visitor her collection of Webkinz stuffed animals. She also played some of the songs she has mastered on the piano. She told stories and frequently laughed.
Asked how she felt about her father, she paused and answered softly:
"I'm happy that he's gone. I feel more safe."

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at or 702-380-8135.

Ruling debunks custody diagnosis

Despite the fact that Parental Alienation Syndrome is not a valid syndrome or a valid psychiatric diagnosis, unethical mental health professionals attempt to circumvent this fact by using the same theory, yet call it by other names such as "subtle", "covert" or "overt" alienation, or malicious mother syndrome, or lying litigant syndrome or hostile aggressive parenting, etc. The fancy names are only limited by the unethical psychologist's imagination. As the only thing these so-called professionals spout is baseless rhetoric, an effort needs to be made to expose this fraud. The only information that should effect decision making is REAL evidence, not made up hypothesis that are not scientifically valid. Making up a fictitious syndrome or type of disorder is a form of disease mongering. This is a favorite activity of the pharmaceutical and mental health industry. Check out the disease mongering engine and you too can make up your own syndrome. It sounds real, but is a load of crap.

Article from: The Australian
Tony Koch April 07, 2008

CHILD custody determinations in scores of Family Court decisions could be challenged following a ruling debunking parental alienation syndrome, a controversial diagnosis of the effects on a child when one parent denigrates the other.
The Psychologists Board of Queensland last month disciplined prominent Brisbane clinical psychologist William Wrigley, saying he had acted unprofessionally in giving evidence about parental alienation syndrome to the court.
An investigation found that Dr Wrigley's evidence three years ago, which had led to a mother losing custody of her two children, constituted "professional conduct that demonstrates incompetence or a lack of adequate knowledge, skill, judgment or care".
The Australian understands that Dr Wrigley has identified the syndrome as a factor in other cases to the Family Court. So have psychologists and psychiatrists throughout Australia.
The syndrome was diagnosed in 1985 by US clinical psychiatrist Richard Gardner, an advocate of a father's right to custody, even in cases where he had been accused of abuse. He argued that some parents who criticise other parents or step-parents in front of children were guilty of psychological abuse. Dr Gardner's theories remain highly controversial among psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists, who claim they are simplistic or erroneous.
The complaint was lodged by the Brisbane mother who lost custody of her two children in 2005 when Family Court judge Neil Buckley determined, acknowledging the evidence of Dr Wrigley, that she had affected the children with the syndrome.
Justice Buckley said Dr Wrigley's reports provided a "comprehensive and balanced assessment" of all relevant issues.
"It has to be said that in terms of objectivity, professionalism, fairness and balance, his reports are in stark contrast to those provided by (other professionals)," he said.
The board advised Dr Wrigley on March 3 of its unanimous decision that he had "acted in a way that constituted unsatisfactory conduct" for "referring to an unrecognised syndrome in his reports".
"It was inappropriate for the registrant (Dr Wrigley) to either diagnose the children or state there was a likelihood the children could develop parental alienation syndrome, as it is not a recognised syndrome," it said.
"To diagnose a patient as suffering from or demonstrating a potential to develop an unrecognised syndrome is contrary to the code of ethics."
However, the board advised that details of the disciplinary action not be recorded on the public register because it was "not within the public interest".
The board told The Australian it was precluded by law from commenting on the disciplinary action taken against Dr Wrigley.
Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant last year posted on the family law court website a "fact sheet" about the syndrome, which said the malady was used in evidence, but warned that it was not accepted as "a psychiatric disease".
Chief Justice Bryant's notice cited several cases "where PAS has been rejected or not accepted as a concept".
The cited cases, with names excluded, included the controversial matter for which Dr Wrigley was disciplined by the psychologists board.

Profiteering at the Rhode Island Family Court

Monday, January 14, 2008

Profiteering at the Rhode Island Family Court
The original version of this op-ed by Anne Grant appeared in the Providence Journal on Friday, March 9, 2007.

RHODE ISLAND’S chief justice, Frank Williams, objected to Governor Carcieri’s recent but since-dropped proposal to balance the budget by shutting down the courts and other state operations on four generally slow days. Williams cites a section of the Rhode Island Constitution that guarantees the right to a speedy trial, insisting this “cannot and should not be abrogated by monetary interests” (“Top judge balks at days off,” Feb. 14, 2007, p. A-1 ff.).Tell this to families devastated from decades of looting by Family Court lawyers, guardians ad litem, and mental-health professionals who drag out domestic cases that promise them a stream of income through frivolous litigation and strategic delays. While the majority of those in Family Court may not be looters, few would deny that some of their colleagues unethically exploit human crises to enrich themselves. Among the many children I’ve followed are three whose 18th birthdays are finally emancipating them. Family Court had removed all three from protective mothers who were victims of domestic violence or rape. These children endured years of abuse by fathers intent on punishing women who had rejected them. One youth was abandoned by the abusive parent; the other two rebelled. Feelings of rage overwhelm them like a riptide. Family Court subjected them to endless crises and false charges. Judges labeled them “manipulative” before returning them, damaged, to their mothers. The first time I asked Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah Jeremiah in 1993 about problems that battered mothers encountered while trying to protect their children in his court, he said amiably that it’s all political anyway. He saw no problem in the fact that psychologists favor whichever parent pays them. Am I naïve to think this system should rely on rules of evidence and merits of a case rather than money? Are these children not entitled to speedy justice?Chief Jeremiah’s direct involvement in many of these cases along with his former tenants and political associates suggest significant conflicts of interest. His assistant David Tassoni, mediating one of the cases, determined that the father should pay only $200 a month child support. This locked the man’s two teenagers in poverty while their mother worked menial jobs day and night. Cranston records for 2004 show the same father, a licensed real-estate agent, giving his house to an older son by his first wife. She had been director of counseling at a Rhode Island college 25 years ago when she called campus security and police, saying that he had taken their baby and threatened to kill her. According to her affidavit, he menaced her colleagues, too, telling her: “When I get through with you, you won’t have a job and neither will they, if you live that long.” When a judge found him in contempt for failure to pay her child support in 1995, he had already faced abuse charges and three years of litigation with his second wife. The second case dragged through 11 Family Court judges by 2002, when Judge Howard Lipsey said: “I feel [this father] is abusing the court system for his own purposes . . . taking advantage of his children . . . of his oldest son . . . of his former wife. I think he is really devious. I think he has no desire to really look into the best interest of the . . . children. And if anyone is causing pain to these children and not allowing them to re-establish a relationship . . . it is he who is doing it.”Judge Lipsey returned the children to their mother after they had been psychologically devastated by twenty-nine months with this abusive father. Then Lipsey did something astonishing that revealed the unrelenting cat-and-mouse game at Family Court. Saying he was no longer unbiased, he recused himself from any further decisions on it, including child support, and sent the case to a 12th judge, where Tassoni weighed in as mediator.Many younger children have already replaced the three who are turning 18. People in Little Compton packed their community center last year after the court removed two young sisters from their mother when the girls complained about things they said their father had done to them.The father paid for a psychological evaluation blaming the mother. The court ordered her to pay tens of thousands of dollars for mental-health professionals and a guardian ad litem, while she seldom sees her daughters. Elderly grandparents and friends struggled to raise a six-digit sum for an out-of-state lawyer, who has fought similar cases in 44 states. If he gets to argue this case, it could set a historic precedent for Rhode Island children.The General Assembly has dodged this problem. One-quarter of its members are lawyers, many of whom practice in Family Court. Lawyers dominate both chambers’ Judiciary Committees. The U.S. attorney says he cannot step in: This is a state matter. The real question is not whether we should close court for four days, but whether we will continue to deny justice for 18 years while professionals in Family Court profiteer off children in crisis.

Posted by Parenting Project at Monday, January 14, 2008

Unlicensed Practice of Psychology by J. Michael Bone

Besides Richard Gardner, J. Michael Bone has done immeasurable harm to parents and children victimized by the fraudulent intentional custody change theories that lie at the core of the hypothetical theory of Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome. The non-custodial parent is favored in every way. Any demand, any complaint by a non-custodial parent can be recast by these unethical psychologists as parental alienation. Just have a child who is abused who refused to visit the abuser, and the protective parent and victimized child will be patholized and vilified by these unethical so-called experts. Research published by both Bone and Gardner reflect their own viewpoints and own ideas. Others may have jumped on this money train to make endless amounts of highly profitable work to the detriment of the victims, but the ideas behind the theories lack evidence to substantiate them. This "lack of evidence" is the official statement by the APA on Parental Alienation Syndrome. But the APA does not seem to want to ever restrain any research and appears to do nothing in the way of discipline regarding far fetched theories, no matter how offensive. Just as in the Rind Study which required an act of congress to denounce it, Parental Alienation is based on pro-pedophilia ideas. One wonders why anyone would condone these studies unless they agreed with them.

J. Michael Bone advertises extensively, offering training, lecturing, consulting and has multiple websites pushing his parental alienation ideas. Upon further investigation though, J. Michael Bone is not a licensed mental health professional. It appears that his license was relinquished after multiple complaints regarding his evaluations. Disciplinary hearings were held in February of 2007. His license was relinquished after complaints were filed regarding failure to consider other theories or to follow ethical regulations.

Anyone forced to undergo parental alienation evaluations is forced under duress by court order to go to these crackpot psychologists who everyone knows repeatedly "diagnose" or more accurately stated, ACCUSE parental alienation. No custodial parent forced into any of these evaluations will ever be the same after having to fend off these phony accusations of hypothetical theories. Especially when the psychologist is able to just make this stuff up. These sham exams have no more validity than witchcraft accusations. They can claim that a behavior of a child is the result of something the custodial parent has done, but in REALITY there is no scientific way of ever proving this correlation with the accuracy required to make it provable by scientific standards. The theory summarily rejects any other possible causes for a child's behavior, other than it's always the fault of the custodial parent.

Children who complain of abuse and refuse visitation should be listened to as to what the problem is. Histories of domestic abuse and child abuse are very valid reasons for not wanting to endure forced relationships with the offending party!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The PAS Racket

Networks of lawyers, GALs, mediators, psychologists, therapists, parenting coordinators, et. al. collude and conspire in these Parental Alienation Fraud cases. The mother and children are attacked every step of the way. The GAL may ask to speak with the children. The GAL then calls in a child abuse report, intentionally, or this may be done in response to a domestic violence injunction. The GAL then calls in one or more of this network of therapists and evaluators to attack the mother and children from every angle. All accusing the victims while exonerating the perpetrator who pays hefty "legal bills" and "evaluation bills", basically buying visitation and/or custody in this racketeering fraud. It's like black market human trafficking with the appearance of legitimacy, all done with virtual immunity through the court system.

Here is one such brutal example that was overturned on appeal to Florida's 4th DCA. The guardian ad litem, Vicki Plant, has been involved in multiple cases using the same psychologists and same strategy to further victimize abused women and children. The therapist, Dahlia Biller has also worked with Vicki Plant on other cases using the same strategy. Vicki Plant racks up exorbitant bills and frequently files liens against her unfortunate victims as shown in Broward County Records. Also, involved in this vicious attack on the mother and children was Martha Jacobson as evaluator, and Jan Faust as undisclosed expert. Interestingly, Jan Faust owns a home with the judge on the case, Susan Greenhawt per Broward County Public Records book 44956, page 1035. This fraudulent custody change caused severe trauma to mother and children with one of the children having to be hospitalized. This sadistic group continued to inflict harm by blaming the mother and depriving the child of the mother's love and support.

The family continues to suffer as the children are under 18 and litigation continues.

S.S. Appellant, v. P.S. Appellee.
CASE NO. 4D04-455
Opinion filed January 19, 2005

Appeal of a non-final order from the Circuit
Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Susan F. Greenhawt, Judge;
L.T. Case No. FMCE 03-15749 3793.

Lynn G. Waxman of Lynn G. Waxman, P.A.,
West Palm Beach, Sari Teichman Addicott and
Michael L. Addicott of Addicott & Addicott,
P.A., Hollywood, for appellant.

Nancy W. Gregoire and Joel L. Kirschbaum of
Bunnell, Woulfe, Kirschbaum, Keller, McIntyre
& Gregoire, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, for appellee.


We grant the motion for rehearing, withdraw
the opinion issued on November 10, 2004, and
substitute the following.

Appellant, S.S., appeals from
the non-final Order on Temporary Injunction for
Protection Against Domestic Violence and Other
Temporary Relief. She argues that she was
deprived of due process at the hearing because,
contrary to Florida Family Law Rule of
Procedure 12.363(b)(1) (2003), the trial court
permitted the use of the custody evaluation
psychological report which was completed and
delivered to appellant’s counsel the day before
the hearing. We agree and reverse.
Pursuant to section 741.30, Florida Statutes
(2003), the trial court held a hearing on the
temporary injunction for protection against
domestic violence issued against appellee and
considered the issue of custody of the children
of the parties. Two months before the hearing a
custody evaluator was appointed. On Sunday,
the day before the hearing, which had been
continued twice, the report was completed and
delivered to the parties’ attorneys. The report
was thirty-five pages single-spaced and
recommended that the children be removed from
appellant’s custody due to the severe alienation
of the children by their mother (appellant) from
their father. Finding that the circumstances
amounted to an emergency, the trial court, over
the repeated objections of appellant that she
needed more time to prepare, permitted the
testimony of the psychologist, which was based
upon the report.

We find that the circumstances of this case do
not rise to the level of the extraordinary
circumstances required to find a true emergency
as held in Stanley-Baker v. Baker, 789 So. 2d
353, 355 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001). Thus, the trial
court’s decision to permit the testimony of the
psychologist that was based upon her report,
which was received by appellant the day before
the hearing, was an abuse of discretion and
deprived appe llant of procedural due process.
See Crifaci v. Crifaci, 626 So. 2d 287, 288 (Fla.
4th DCA 1993).


Catchphrase that convicts overanxious mothers

Parental Alienation is the current scam of the times in family court. A similar fraud occurs when mothers are falsely accused of Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy. This article originally published in November of 2006 in the Times Online of the UK illustrates how accusing a mother of a syndrome with a fancy sounding name can be so devastating. Just like with the parental alienation fraud, no evidence is needed, just an unethical mental health professional making the pronouncement is enough to cost a mother her children. Generally in family court, these false accusations of fictitious syndromes are used to facilitate a fraudulent custody change. The world need to be aware of the unethical people working in the mental health professions who use these made up names to take children away from fit parents to give to abusive ones who generally pay large amounts of money to pull off this custody scam in collusion with lawyers, GALs, mediators, and other bottomfeeders.

Originally posted November 7, 2006

Catchphrase that convicts overanxious mothers
By John Batt
Parents are being destroyed by a syndrome that does not existTHE presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of the rule of law. You cannot be convicted without trial. Or can you?A denial can never be a confession, can it? Without a trial you can’t be dragged from your home before dawn, in 21st-century Britain, never to be seen again — or can you?

Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy (MSbP, but now called fabricated or induced illness) is diagnosed when an adult — usually the mother — fabricates symptoms of sickness in a child to draw attention to herself. One can imagine a woman with mental problems doing it, but the idea that thousands of mothers are at it is surely barking mad. In America 1,200 cases are officially recorded every year. If it is a proper diagnosis why is it not listed in the World Health Organisation’s international statistical classification of diseases and related health problems?

Munchausen’s began life in 1951 as a catchphrase for an overanxious mother, phantom-suffering her child’s pain. In 1977 a clever paediatrician, Dr — now Professor Sir Roy — Meadow mutated it to describe two healthy children whose mothers had fabricated their illnesses. It made his name. He thought it rare. It provoked controversy, not least because a mother’s denial was proof of MSbP. Two questions demanded answers: what exactly was it and how prevalent? The Government’s Griffiths inquiry recommended “an expert and multidisciplinary panel to review methods of identification”. A working party with only two doctors on it, neither a paediatrician, focused not on identification, but on how to translate suspicion of it into proof. Confirmation duly came to pass. The guidelines of the working party were validated.

Since then, hundreds have claimed irreparable damage to their families by false allegations of MSbP For years the incidence of violent abuse of children has fallen consistently; by more than 50 per cent since 1996. Yet in response to just one case — the horrifying killing of Victoria Climbié, who was let down by social and medical services — the Government is creating the Children’s Index containing explicit details of every child from every source. Such a pharmacy of intimate information could provide many more MSbP prescriptions with tragic outcomes.

Any of the following may put a mother in the MSbP “frame”: if the doctor can find nothing wrong with the child; if tests are negative; if mum demands other opinions; if she has an “unhealthy” interest in things medical; if she exaggerates the child’s condition; and, of course, if she denies making it all up. For the health service, MSbP is a cheap solution to difficult cases. Some doctors call it a sexy diagnosis.

In Medical Hypotheses, a respected American journal, Dr Virginia Sherr reports many cases of Lyme disease — notoriously difficult to diagnose — treated as MSbP, with, sometimes, fatal consequences for the child. In the BMJ, Charles Pragnell, a former social worker, cites many stigmatised parents refusing to seek treatment for their sick children for fear of child abuse allegations; one doctor diagnosed MSbP 258 times.

The medical establishment justifies MSbP because many mothers have confessed to it. Would any innocent mother say that she had abused her child when she hadn’t? Commonly, a social worker, psychologist or paediatrician will say: “If you deny it you will never see Sandra again; if you admit it, you will keep her and receive treatment for your condition.” Mother and her partner may agonise but the loss of their daughter is unthinkable. So “Sandra’s” mum “confesses”. And that probably guarantees that they will never be a family again. And the “confession” goes into the statistics; another “joker” in the MSbP house of cards.

Accused, a BBC Two documentary, told the shocking story of a mob-handed, dawn raid in the Scottish island of South Ronaldsay, in 1988, when nine terrified children were forcibly torn from their parents on a social services’ fantasy that they had been subjected to ritual satanic abuse. A family court judge quickly rubbished the “prosecution” and sent the children home. The social workers involved are, 17 years later, unrepentant, convinced that the denials — by all the children and their parents — prove the abuse took place. Welcome to the witches’ drowning pool.

What should be done? The Children’s Index should be scrapped. Such a police state measure could multiply miscarriages of justice. Judges should throw out expert evidence based on MSbP, citing the judgment of the Queensland (Australia) Court of Appeal, in 2004, that “it does not form part of a recognised reliable body of medical knowledge”. The medical establishment should tell all doctors that MSbP is not a medical condition. When a doctor or social worker is convinced that a mother is pretending that her child is ill when it is not, she should be charged with child abuse in a court of law. If the evidence warrants it she will be “convicted” and any children considered for a care order. If the evidence is not there, the mother is presumed innocent.

The author is a solicitor and writer. Stolen Innocence, his story of Sally Clark, is published by Ebury Press