Family Court Stories


The Court System has become a terrifying and treacherous place for the ex-partner
of the abuser. Facts show that the majority of Custody Evaluators recommendations
have been against the mother, in favor of the abusing fathers. We also recognize that
not all abusers are fathers. Our primary goal is to protect the child/children. We
understand there are many cases where abusive mothers gain custody of their child/
children. We want to hear from fathers who have been let down by the legal system
 also. 
One party usually has greater financial resources and almost always has the Court
Evaluator on their side. The Protective Parents allegations and complaints, as well as
those of the child/children, fall on deaf ears. All personal information is kept private,
although we do ask that some substantiation is included with your story before your
story will be posted on the site. Here are some of the actual cases on this page. Of
course we will not use the names for the parent involved to protect them from
harassment and harm.

Joshua's Story
Update October 2007



LETTERS

I am a single working mother of 2 boys (15 & 8 years old). I was in a very emotionally and
physically abusive relationship with my secondís son father for 7 years. We divorced in 2003 and
I have been tied up with family court since 2005. I feel like I am being abusive all over again. My
ex-husband has been allowed to harass me through the court system and no one seems to care.
Family court allows my ex-husband to harass and bully me just because I have a child by him.
I have had to spend thousands of dollar trying to defend myself and keep custody of my son and
now I am in debt.  Family court seems to side with the parent that has the most money
and not with the parent that has the childís best interest in mind. I have been sent to collections for
unpaid attorneys fees and I still owe family court almost $1000.00 for a custody evaluation that really
didnít resolve any of my issues.  Now my ex-husband is taking me back to court for mediation and
that is going to cost me another $500.00.  Because I make about $2.00 more an hour them my
ex-husband family court feels that I should be responsible for most of the expense that we
occur going back and forth through the family court system, even thought I have 2 children that I am
financially responsible for.

My ex-husband has threatened to drive by my house and shoot though my window. He has
trapped me in my apartment and the only reason he let me go is because a friend knock on my door.
I have received close to 100 emails from him accusing me of neglecting my son. He has called my
son school and had him dis-enrolled.  He had harassed my daycare provider to the point that I almost
had to put my son in another daycare. He has called my job, called my insurance carrier, got the
insurance information for my son and used my insurance without my knowledge. I am unable to
file my 2006 tax return because my ex-husband claimed my daycare expense that I pay and my
2006 taxes were kicked back from the IRS.

My ex-husband continues to try and brain wash our son in believing that he is being neglected
and he doesnít want to live with me anymore. During our custody evaluation my ex-husbandís wife
told the evaluation that they wanted to take my son from me but since I didnít have a needle hanging
out of my arm she knew it would be hard, but she does tell my son that one day he will live with them.

The experience with family court has been horrible. The process has taken a physical, mental
and financial toll on my family and my self. I always thought that once I left my ex-husband I would be
able to start the healing process on all the emotional and physical abusive that I suffered for may year,
but family court has proven that that will never happen because since I made the choice to have a
son by my ex-husband that have given him the rights to continue his abuse towards me.

Someone really needs to do something about the Family Court System.  It allows abusers to
continue their abuse on their victims and the child or the children involved.

There is no doubt in my mind that if my ex-husband could harm me and get away with it he would.
Family Court has made my ex-husband feel like because I have a child by him he can bully and harass
me and that itís acceptable. I pray that I will not become another Family Court statistic and that one-day
people will read about me in the news and wish that something had been done to protect me.
 
Thank you,
Family court victim




A story of a little girl named Zoe

January 1998 my daughter (age 19) told me that she was pregnant with her boyfriend's
(age 20) child. Although we were dismayed that she had a pregnancy outside of marriage,
we accepted her decision to keep the child and see if the relationship would work.
Throughout the relationship, however, my daughter had come home with bruises and
when asked about them, stated "oh, nothing. I'm just clumsy" August 1998 my granddaughter,
Zoe H. was born after my daughter went thru 36 hours of labor. I became a grandmother and
was glad that there was this new little bundle of joy added to our family. Zoe returned with my
 daughter to our home in Lockport. It was shortly thereafter in October 1998 that I had
witnessed my daughter being physically hit by MG, the father/boyfriend. It upset me to see
this happen in my home and I had informed him that he should leave until he cools down and
to think about what he did. This is when the nightmare began.

In November 1998 MG had filed for his "paternal rights". He had never paid a dime of
support during the pregnancy or to the child until he had spoken to an attorney. Only then
did he sporadically pay monies toward the raising of my only grandchild.

In January 1999, my daughter was given sole custody with supervised visitation to the father
and an order for him to pay child support. Between his stalking, an order of protection the
child continued to visit with her father.

In May 2000, Zoe had returned from a visit with her father and screamed when my daughter
went to change Zoe's diaper. Zoe yelled, NO NO It hurts, daddy put fingers in me... My
daughter was distraught and went to the hospital. The hospital called DCFS and the
nightmare became worse. It was then that the father and his family called my daughter
"crazy". But the question remains, why did a 1 1/2 year old say this?

In 2001, Zoe had medical issues that required her to be hospitalized on and off for
3 months. It was discovered that she had a rare birth defect, pancreas divisum. In
December 2001, Zoe returned from a visit with her father with bruises on her bottom and
stated that "Daddy hit me with a green stick". Again, my daughter brought her to the
hospital in which the bruises were documented and suggested that she go to the police
to file charges and that the hospital would call DCFS.

The Crestwood police department called my home at approx 10:00pm stating that the
father was in custody and that the mother and her child need to come in right now. Trusting
police, I had told my daughter to wake up Zoe and that we needed to get them to the
police department. After questioning my granddaughter (without her mother present) for
approx one hour, they then pulled my daughter in for questioning. This took approx
2 hours. Nothing was ever done with the charges and the custody judge, Fe Fernandez
in Cook County did not care to see the photos or have a hearing.

In February 2002 my daughter took my granddaughter to the hospital due to severe
vomiting which indicated that Zoe's pancreas was acting up again. It was then that
a court-appointed 215 evaluator, who never having met with my daughter (but was paid
the fee), called DCFS. It took DCFS 5+ months to decide to indicate my daughter for
charges and proceeded to call the judge in Cook County (ex parte.. with no attorneys
present to witness the call). Judge Fe Fernandez removed my granddaughter from the
only home that she knew for almost 4 years of her life...away from her maternal
grandparents, the uncles that lived in the home and from her mother.

All DCFS charges were thrown out against my daughter, but the Cook County judge,
Fe Fernandez never returned the child to her mother. 2 1/2 years later she awarded sole
custody to the father subjecting the mother to ONLY 2-3 HOURS WEEKLY SUPERVISED
 VISITATION. It was after the DCFS hearing that we realized that the hospital records
received by DCFS were altered and forged...they were received by the GAL who
received them from the father.

My first granddaughter is now kept away from her maternal family by the father. Just
recently this year the father "allowed" other members of the family to attend the visits
with Zoe's mother. Zoe still states that she wants to come "home, to her real family". She
has also stated that she feels like she was "kidnapped". Zoe had also stated to the
visitation supervisor that she is afraid to come and live with her mommy "because
daddy might start hurting me again like he used to".

Hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent between attorneys, GAL,
evaluators...for what?

My husband and I decided to become foster parents and are licensed, with my
daughter living in my home, to help children to not suffer the loss that my grandchild
did when she was removed from the only home that she knew for 4 years.

Thank you and God bless!

Jane



My story in a nutshell...

I married a man that I thought was charming, good with my four year old son, financially secure, and said he
wanted a family. After dating a year we decided to get married and I quit my job to be home with him and
my son. I wanted more children and was willing to give up my career to be a full time mommy. We lived
in my home, however he kept his home and used it for all of his paperwork and would leave every morning
like he was going to work. Later I would find out bit by bit that he had a son who was nine at the time and
and the courts in Washington had recommended no visitation.  My ex was very secretive and became
more and more controlling. He was very needed and would do all kinds of crazy stuff including walking
around exposing his genitals while eating breakfast. Once late at night when I was in our bathroom.
I screamed when I saw a man peering into the bathroom window. As soon as I screamed I realized it was
my husband.  He became increasingly violent with my son after our daughter was born. Later Dr Glassman
confirmed in his evaluation that my son had been "MANHANDLED". When I got up the courage to finally
leave him...thinking the law would protect me, I realize now how naive I was. He had went to the local police
station and filed a complaint that he was scared of me and I was abusive...He is 6'2" 225 Ibs and I am 5'4"
115 Ibs. I did not know this until he attacked me one day and the police came. He was arrested and later
convicted of DV. He had always told me if I ever left him, he would get our daughter because he didn't
have to work and I would. By now we had moved to Arizona and had a 1.5 million dollar home and still had
our winter home here that we had purchased a few years earlier. Judge Udal ruled that I could pick which
house I wanted to live in...but would have to make the house payment. I had requested that I stay there to
finish out the school year for my son who had just changed schools the year before. I could not come up with
8k per month so we moved to the other house. Once there, I discovered my ex who had been living there
after he was released from jail, had not paid any of the utilities as we woke one morning to find no electricity.
Every utility had not been paid even though it was ordered by the Judge. I spent over $500 getting them up
to date. Within the first week, someone had bought the home we were staying in and we had less than 30
days to move again. I was charged with contempt for not paying the house payment on time, even though it
was paid by the 15th and given a $500 contempt fee, nothing was addressed as to the $500 I paid in past
due bills, even though it was court ordered. I had money from the sale of my house in Seattle and wanted
to use it at this time to purchase a house here for me and my children. It was denied and we moved into a
2 bedroom apartment with mattress on the floor and a kitchen table as our only furniture. My husband was
living in a 1.5 million dollar home and here we were. Dr Glassman had recommended a 2 days with my
husband and 3 days with me exchange. This was brutal for the kids it was a hour to hour and 1/2 commute
one way, making it 2 to 3 hours of traveling in the car every few days for my daughter and I could not seek
employment during this schedule. After a 2 1/2 day trial for a four year marriage, The Judge gave me 1/4
of the community assets and 1/2 of the debt. We had hired accountants that we both paid a retainer of $850,
however they never spoke to me and in trial testified on my husbands behalf. In cross examination they
did admit to my husband being worth over 14 million at one time and also they could not account for at least
4 million! I had my ex husband testify on my behalf that I was not abusive in our marriage, I had my husbands
3rd wife testify about the restraining orders she had and the courts in Washington stating that there should
be no contact.  Even the psychiatric evaluation from both marriage concluded that my husband
was a pathological liar. My husband could afford top legal counsel, I had to let my first attorney go and hire
an attorney that was NO MATCH for his. In the end I owed him over 100k and had spent over 60k on attorneys.
Before I met this man, I had a beautiful home overlooking the lake, house full of furniture and most of all I
had my life. The judge had me make 2 list and let my husband pick which list...I put our beds and a
few other items 17 total and put 2 pages full of furniture, so we could keep the things that meant the most.
Even though my ex had made between 250k to 600k per year he assigned him 100k as far as income
and then reduced it by 1/2 because he had moved from Washington. I moved too, but was not given the
same reduction, therefore my ex who claims he is BROKE but has not worked for the last year doesn't even
pay enough child support to cover preschool. My ex has seized my child support, not only from my daughter
but my sons too, he has tried to have us evicted from our home because I have a judgment against me. He
has joint custody even though the state of Arizona says a person who has been convicted should not...Why
have laws if they are not enforced? The third wife is still in court with him 10 years after their divorce and
why should the laws change...It is a great way to generate REVENUE! There are so many parts of this
divorce I don't understand and I am amazed at the strength one must have to leave a situation like mine.



I'll try to keep this as short as possible, although like all of us this is only a small
part of the ongoing story.

After our second trial, my ex-husband and I were ordered to see a Custody Evaluator.
By the time I had my visit, it was to late, it was clear that the Evaluator was not on my
side.  My current husband also had an appointment with the Evaluator.  He could
also tell by her demeanor that her mind was already made up and he told her so.
She stood up, opened the door and ordered my husband out of her office.
Of course the Evaluator went against me, in spite the fact that my ex-husband
had been found guilty of sexually and physically abusing my two oldest daughters
in our first trial.  She recommended that
over night supervision be removed
She also recommended that my 8 year old son have visitation on Friday nights
with my ex-husband alone.  Of course my ex-husband had to promise not to sleep
with the children, which he violated immediately.  When I pointed this out to our
NEW Family Court Advisor (FCA) he ignored it and increased Wednesday evening
visitation.  I don't understand how the system can allow this injustice.
                                                                                                                                   
Concerned Mother




First of all I would like to thank ~~~~ for being present in the court room yesterday
for my hearing.  It was most appreciated and comforting.  Next I would like to thank
all of you who prayed and had your thoughts with me and my children yesterday. 
The hearing started around 10AM yesterday morning.  Much testimony was heard
from the GAL, the police officers, CPS worker as I took the stand before Noon time,
Judge called recess until 1:30PM. During lunch, things weren't looking so good in my
opinion.  It didn't seem to matter that this incident happened and that I have been
continually blamed for the previous CPS reports made on my ex for his behavior!
Now Because of an incident between my ex and our son that elevated into a terrible
situation, CPS and the Police were called for a welfare check.  This was not done by
me but by my current husband.  (Please note that I was hesitant to call anyone
because of the previous allegations and conflict it brought the situation, I call my
attorney and then documented events down in my office.  Now the court seems to
claim that I am responsible for others calling.  Since he is my husband the court
seemed to conclude that I had my current husband make the call as well as put
up to it the Nurse from past reports and the School Counselor and maybe even
had some friends call for the two anonymous reports.  I can't believe what I heard.
They were pushing for supervised visitation.  Even though my ex cut off the first 2/3
of recorded tape which we tried to prove in which he not only threatened our 7 yr. old
son but became violent with him to include slamming the car door and throwing 7 yr.
old son in car.  Ex wasn't even recommended for so much as parenting class.  I was
looking like supervised visits for me then the Judge called unto his chambers to talk.
Without much choice, feeling like I was ready to lose more parenting time or be
subjected to supervised visitation, I agreed to a new temp. access schedule. I will
be able to pick my three children up from school (3PM) and have them until 7PM
 on each Monday and Tuesday afternoon / evening time.  I will get every other
weekend from after school Friday until 7PM. on Sunday. We have already scheduled
a review hearing on ~~~ 2004, which also happens to be my birthday!  I have
agreed to counseling withex and can only hope that somehow when all is said
and done, I will not lose more time with my children.  Ex request for suspension
of parenting time is still under advisement pending the audio recordings that
have been provided the court.  One in which plays the 1/3 of incident with ~~~~
on ~~~ 2004 and their drive home where ~~~~ does nothing but slam his father
and demand to be returned to me.  The other is current husband making calls
on audio which was caught on tape by pure surprise as well as f/u calls.  Then
there is a few calls made to ex on there in which he refuses to answer phone,
calls me crazy and psycho when he does answer the phone and his blatant hang
ups when I call his cell phone in an attempt to reach the children.  I don't know what
else to say at this point.  I am so drained from all of this.  Until next time, I hope to
see you all again soon.  It was nice to put faces with names and hear your stories. 
I hope together we can make a difference!

Take care and God Bless,




I went through a 1 1/2 year long custody evaluation done by one of the top custody
evaluators in Maricopa County.  Despite the extensive evidence of the other parent's
domestic violence (a criminal conviction for a crime against me; a prior criminal
conviction for an assault against the mother of his son; an Order of Protection
for me against the other parent, upheld after hearing; numerous emails from the other
parent to me berating and belittling me; attempts at extortion by the other parent; etc.),
the custody evaluator breathed not a word about the other parent's domestic violence
in his reports. The custody evaluator did note, however, that he felt that the
other parent was attempting to make him (the custody evaluator) do things he didn't think
were necessarily appropriate. If only the custody evaluator had recognized that victims
of domestic abuse deal with this situation every day! What is most bothersome to me
about this situation is that the evaluator ALSO overlooked the MOST important
aspect of the other parent's domestic violence: its impact on the child.  A year after
the custody evaluation, my child is beginning to show the effects of continuing exposure
to the controlling and manipulative behaviors which typify a domestic abuser. In
fact, only recently, when I picked up my child from her preschool, I had two of her
teachers immediately approach me to report that my child had become visibly
upset and crying during school because of statements the abusive parent has been
making to the child. I myself almost cried in front of these two teachers, as I tried to
explain to them that I have attempted repeatedly to shield the child from this
psychological violence being perpetrated on her, but have been unable to. This
situation simply wouldn't be occurring had my custody evaluator AND the family
court recognized and considered important the domestic violence of the abusive
parent, and had the custody evaluator AND the family court followed statutory
provisions designed to safeguard the child. It is imperative that situations like this
do not happen again. Not even ONE child should suffer from exposure to domestic
violence or other types of abuse.
 
A Concerned Parent




Copies of this Letter are being sent to the following individuals:

Governor James McGreevey Governor of New Jersey
James Davy DHS Commissioner, New Jersey
Robert Notigan Chairman Burlington County Board of Social Services
Arthur Spell Vice Chairman Burlington County Board of Social Services
Edward E. Cotton Director New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services
Francine Scott Burlington County District Office Manager DYFS
Vernita Blocker Camden County District Office Manager, DYFS
Betty Dickens Camden County District Office Manager, DYFS
  National Headquarters, Children*s Defense Fund
D. Hoffman Child Welfare Division, Children*s Defense Fund
Cecilia Zalkind Exec. Director, Association for Children of NJ
Mary Coogan Asst. Director, Association for Children of NJ National CASA
Nancy Chandler Exec. Director National Child Advocacy Center
Helen Archantou Director NJ Chapter National Child Advocacy Center
Mary Anne Wisniewski Director Burlington County Child Advocacy Center
  Philadelphia Children*s Alliance
Janet Rosenzweig Exec. Director, Prevent Child Abuse NJ
Marvin Ventrell Exec. Director National Association of Counsel for Children
Professor Gerard Glynn Board of Directors, National Assoc. of Counsel for Children

To Whom it May Concern:


Attached you will find a letter that was mailed via USPS Priority Mail to Judge John Sweeney, Assignment
Judge, Burlington County, NJ.  I have confirmed that his office received this letter, however, I have yet to
learn that he has reacted to it.  In an attempt not to be redundant, I will give you a brief synopsis of the
situation.  Please read the attached letter for detailed information.  Forgive me if I appear to be impatient,
however, as August 20 gets closer, my impatience grows.  The letter to Judge Sweeney was also copied
and sent via E mail, certified mail return receipt requested, or priority mail to a number of New Jersey
legislators.  I did receive an immediate response from Senator Diane Allen*s Chief of Staff stating
that her involvement in this case would be illegal.  However, nobody else has yet replied, and I assume
that their responses will be similar.  We hear so many stories in the news of children who are harmed
by those people who are supposed to love and protect them.  Often after the fact, people close to the
situation say that they were not surprised, had tried to help, knew this would happen, etc.  After seeing
and hearing these things, I would always find myself wondering why, if they knew and were concerned,
they didn*t do anything to protect the child or children.  Now I find myself in the unenviable position of
having great concern for the welfare of my four young cousins, however, I don*t know where to begin to
help them.  I know that I don*t have the power to do so, but I am trying desperately to find somebody
that can and will.  Everyday, I hope that neither myself nor any member of my family will be the person
saying *I knew something like this would happen*.* after it is too late.  For the life of me, I cannot
understand how, after so many documented allegations of abuse, not by the mother, but by the
children, the courts can justify turning these four children over to their father.  The
children have told teachers, private counselors, representatives of  NJ Division of Youth and Family
Services, doctors, relatives, friends, and a host of other people of the physical and mental torment
they have suffered at the hands of their father.  The majority of the professionals involved have believed
the children.  How does a judge spend  15 minutes in a courthouse with a 9, 7, and 5 year old and
determine that three years worth of abuse allegations are untrue?  How can the courts allow the
testimony of an obviously biased court appointed social worker?  A social worker who allowed the
children to be coached and intimidated by their father during her meetings with them.  How can they
not investigate and discover that the biased social worker is related to the Forensic Psychologist
recommended by the judge?  How does the judge find it irrelevant that the father is diagnosed as
mentally ill and is currently under orders from his employer to seek psychiatric counseling?  How does
the judge discount sexual abuse allegations and why did DYFS wait several weeks to examine
the child who claimed to be abused?  How can the father of a child suffering from a genetic disorder
(a form of Muscular Dystrophy, see attached) refuse to acknowledge that there is anything wrong , act
against the advisement of neurologists, not make his child wear doctor prescribed ankle braces and still
be awarded custody of his children?  How can a father avoid facing charges of child abuse by simply
refusing to speak with DYFS?  If I were an outsider I would assume that the mother must be extremely
unfit.  As far as I know, she is not.  For the last three years, she has been an emotional mess.  The
relentless attacks and mission that the father undertook to destroy her financially as well as
psychologically has definitely taken it*s toll.  He has managed to have her harassed by neighbors,
followed and stalked by strangers, her trash has been stolen and searched, her children have been
completely and probably irreparably damaged, and several of her oldest and closest friends have
been accused of various misdeeds and are afraid to speak to her.  She has had calls from her children's
school because bruises have been found on the kids.  She has had DYFS and Family Service caseworkers
regularly visit her home.  She has had her children come home from visiting with their father and write
on the walls and urinate on her furniture because their father told them to.  She has had to comfort
her daughter when!  She told her that her father was rubbing her privates.  She then had to seek help
for that daughter, only to be put off by DYFS because they had another fire to put out.  Through all of this
she has managed to keep her children active and busy and remain a very involved mother.  She volunteers
at their school and summer camp.  They are all involved in extracurricular activities including dance,
sports, art classes and religious instruction.  She goes to church every week, has taken her kids to
different counselors and therapists consistently, takes her son to therapy a few times a week, runs the
five year old to and from nursery school, chases a two year old, and keeps all four children fed, clean,
and as safe as possible.  All as a single mother.  And when it*s bed time does she get any peace?  No,
because their father told them that monsters live in their house and they are afraid to sleep by themselves.
So not only are her waking hours devoted to these children, her sleeping hours and bed are as well.
And did I mention that she was disa bled in a car accident over 10 years ago and still manages to live
such a hectic life?  After Judge Lihotz* ruling, I asked her what she was going to do.  She feels like
there is no hope for her to keep her kids, especially in front of that judge.  She has spent tens of
thousands of dollars on attorneys, always confident that the courts would eventually provide her justice.
After the three years of hell that she has lived, I cannot blame her.  I would probably give up as well. 
However, that*s where family becomes important.  I am uncertain as to what allegations have been made
against her in court.  She has lived in the same community her entire life.  At 46 years old, she still
counts many of her childhood friends as close ones.  Her family is supportive and loves the kids.  They
regularly visit with their extended family including Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.  My purpose
in writing this letter is not to ask for you to believe that my Aunt is a good person and a great mother.
Since I wasn't in court, I don*t know what was said to make the Judge determine that the children will
be better with their father.  As is stated in my letter to Judge Sweeney, due to my living in Florida, I was
not in court and received most of the information from my aunt or from family members.  If the courts
have determined that she is an unfit mother, I can accept that.  However, if the issues listed above and in
the letter to Judge Sweeney don*t raise issues about the fitness of their father to raise them, I don*t
know what does.  If any of you are in a position to demand an investigation into this situation, please
do so.  I don*t want any of my cousins to become statistics. Thank you for your time and feel free to
contact me.

Kendall Clark

ATTACHMENT
78 Ethan Allen Drive
Palm Coast, FL  32164
(386) 586-5666
July 25, 2004

Honorable John A. Sweeney
Assignment Judge
Burlington County Vincinage
49 Rancocas Road
Mt. Holly, NJ  08060

Dear Judge Sweeney,

          This letter is intended to bring to your attention an issue that has occurred within the Family Court of
 Burlington County.  Let me first express that I do not claim to know everything about this case, however, the
 welfare of four young children is at risk, and as a relative who loves these children I cannot sit idle while
the wheels of justice spin out of control.  Over the past several months, Judge Marie Lihotz has presided
over a child custody case involving Wayne and Annemarie Myers of Chesterfield, NJ, and their four children,
Amy age 9, Collin age 7, Jenna age 5 and Paige age 2.  I apologize for my inability to provide case and/or
docket numbers, however, I am not in New Jersey and due to the time constraints imposed by Judge Lihotz, I
 wanted to mail this letter as quickly as possible.  Annemarie Myers is my mother*s sister and therefore my
aunt.  Approximately three years ago, Mr. Myers made the choice to abandon his marriage in the middle of my
 aunt's pregnancy with their youngest child, Paige.  After the divorce, he decided to seek custody of the
children.  After several weeks of testimony in the case, Mrs. Myers was notified on July 15 via a written
ruling that Mr. Myers had been awarded permanent custody the four children effective August 20, 2004.
          Based upon the knowledge that I have of the situation, I believe that this is a gross error in judgment that
 desperately needs to be investigated.  As I stated earlier, I do not know everything, and have only heard
one side of the story, however, the knowledge that I do have has compelled me to write to you in an effort to
 preserve the well being of my four young cousins.  If after your review of the case and the
information that I have provided you believe that the children are better off with their father, I can accept that,
 however, I strongly believe that a review is imperative.  Following are issues that did not appear to concern the
 court, however, in my opinion raise red flags as to the fitness of Mr. Myers and the validity of the Judge*s ruling:
 Mr. Myers was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder during his marriage to my Aunt.  I understand that during the
 testimony of Shelley Stall, the Social Worker appointed to the case by Judge Lihotz, she stated that she would
not recommend placement of children with a bi-polar parent.  As Ms. Stall was the court appointed Social
Worker in this case, both Mr. and Mrs. Myers were required to meet with her, both alone and with the children.
I understand that during Ms. Stall*s testimony it was determined that the meetings she had with the children
were not conducted fairly.  Apparently, when Mrs. Myers brought the children to see her, she was not permitted
to remain in the room while the children spoke with Ms. Stall.  During these visits, the children told Ms. Stall that
 they had been abused at the hands of their father.  However, when the children were brought to see Ms. Stall by
 their father, he was permitted to remain in the room and prompt the children to allege that their mother was
 mistreating them.  In my opinion, this obvious bias should have compelled the court to assign a new Social
Worker to the case, however that did not happen.  There have been at least 2 reports filed to DYFS on behalf
of the children by their school.  On one occasion, Amy had a bruise and her teacher questioned her about it.
She informed the teacher that her father had hit her in the bathroom of a restaurant during her visit with him the
prior evening.  DYFS was called and began to investigate the situation.  Mrs. Myers allowed DYFS/Family
Services into her home and let them question the three older children about the incident.  From what I understand,
they all concurred as to the incident in the restaurant bathroom.  When Mr. Myers was contacted by DYFS/
Family Services, he refused to speak with the caseworker and nothing further was pursued in this matter.  In
2003 Jenna (then age 4) returned home from a visit with her father complaining that her privates hurt because
 "Daddy was rubbing there."  This was during the time that DYFS/Family Services was visiting the
home due to the calls made by the school and later that day a caseworker was scheduled to visit.  Mrs. Myers
told the caseworker of Jenna's complaint.  Unfortunately, it was around this time that the case of the starving
foster children in Collingswood broke.  DYFS/Family Services was unable to schedule an examination of
Jenna for approximately six weeks and at that time the results were inconclusive.  It was uncovered during
the custody proceedings that Mr. Myers is being made to seek psychiatric treatment by his employer.  This
 situation was never investigated.  Collin, age 7 has been diagnosed by a Neurologist to have Charcot-Marie-
tooth Disease (aka Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy, aka Peroneal Muscular Atrophy), a hereditary disease
that falls under the umbrella of Muscular Dystrophy.  Due to his condition, Collin must wear specially
made ankle braces and attend Physical therapy twice per week.  In spite of a professional diagnosis, Mr. Myers
 refuses to acknowledge that Collin has anything wrong with him and does not make him wear his ankle braces. 
 This disease progresses with age and repetitive motion and/or injury can cause paralysis.  The abuse that the
 children have reportedly suffered at the hands of their father can and will prove devastating to Collin if it
 continues. 
          For further information on this condition, please refer to the Muscular Dystrophy website at
 
http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-cmt.html.

At the recommendation of her attorney, Mrs. Myers hired a private investigator to follow Mr. Myers with the
children in November or December of 2003.  She has video of Mr. Myers in the mall with the four children,
and of him leaving Paige (barely two years old at the time) alone in a store in the mall in spite of Amy's
expressed concerns about leaving her alone.  A Forensic Psychological examination of both Mr. & Mrs.
Myers was ordered by the courts early in the case.  Dr. Andrew Musetto of Haddonfield was recommended
by the judge.  My family has discovered that Dr. Musetto is somehow related to Shelley Stall, the Social Worker
 who showed bias in her evaluation of the children.  I am uncertain as to the accuracy of this information,
however, it is alarming if it is true.  Since the divorce proceedings started, Mr. Myers has caused great distress
to the children as well as to Mrs. Myers.  He has told the children to write on walls at home, told Collin to
urinate on furniture, and told them that there are monsters in their house.  The children are scared to sleep
alone and usually end up in bed with their mother.  When he calls them between visitations, they don*t want to
speak to him and often have to be forced to visit with him.  The children also state that he continually
tells them to lie to doctors and the court or he will hurt them.  As I*m sure you can understand, this entire
situation is alarming to me.  I am not aware of what allegations were made against Mrs. Myers, however,
my main concern is for the physical safety and psychological well being of my four young cousins.  I understand
 that Judge Lihotz finalized her decision based upon a visit that she had with the three older children at the
 courthouse in June.  If that is the case, I cannot fathom how a decision could be made without further
investigation.  There has not been one professionally credentialed person who has spent sufficient time with
these children to judge what is true/untrue, right/wrong, good/bad.  It is my belief that a certain level of
comfort and familiarity needs to be established before any person can determine what is best for these children.
That has not happened and I am afraid that these children will be permanently scarred psychologically as
well as physically if this case proceeds  according to Judge Lihotz*s ruling.  M! y intention is not to discredit or
 indict any person involved in this case.  As a relative who loves these children, I simply want to make certain
that they are protected from harm, as all children should be.  Once again, I will state that the information
I am providing to you has come to me second and third hand.  I do not know what is true, exaggerated, or
untrue.  I do not know what allegations have surfaced as to the fitness of my Aunt to continue mothering her
 children.  I can tell you that my Aunt has been put through the ringer psychologically, physically and financially.
 After learning that she lost her children to their father despite her efforts to provide them with a safe and balanced
 home life, she has decided that she has no hope of winning an appeal with Judge Lihotz and does not intend to
 fight. Please
understand that I do not disrespect the decision of Judge Lihotz and hope that as an officer of the court she was
 unbiased in her ruling.  However, if half of the information above is true, I don*t think that Mr. Myers is fit to be a
 parent either and perhaps the court needs to investigate the possibility of another relative taking the children or
 perhaps foster care.

Thank you for your time.

Kendall M. Clark

cc: Mr. Peter C. Harvey, NJ Attorney General
Ms. Mariellen Dugan, First Assistant Attorney General
Senator Diane Allen
Senator Robert W. Singer
Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer
Assemblyman Joseph R. Malone
Congressman Jim Saxton
Congressman Chris Smith

> ----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Muchnick" <
director@childrensjustice.org>
 To: "Kendall Clark" <
lladnek@cfl.rr.com>
 Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: Please help if possible  I don't decode Word, as I detest Microsoft. If you want to converse with me,
 write in your email program.
On Mon, 9 Aug 2004, Kendall Clark wrote:

Please read the attached and comment/help if possible.
Robert Muchnick
Center for Children's Justice
Denver, Colorado
http://www.childrensjustice.org



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