Color of Law Custody Cases

Color of Law Custody Cases
Rhode Island and other states often violate civil rights in civil courts when officials threaten to separate children from protective parents who are their lifeline. These cases may include "color of law" abuses that push the boundaries of law. Judges who allow color of law abuse in their courtrooms are guilty of "color of office."

In Family Court, we give judges ultimate power over people’s lives while taking away their curiosity, concern, and even their ability to inquire about what is really happening in these cases. This transfers the power to guardians ad litem and lawyers. These officers of the court can convince a judge--through false allegations that are frequently off the record--to remove children, imprison innocent parents, then bankrupt them through years of frivolous motions, and forbid them to talk about it--all under color of law.

In domestic abuse custody cases, this enables the abusive parent to gain extraordinary power and control over the protective parent and the children.

Here is more information about color of law:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FLASH 1: A breakdown and a stoning

I need to briefly interrupt Vincent's case to report what happened in another courtroom today.

I watched an excellent parent have a breakdown on the witness stand, while the other parent sat cool and collected. I have seen this happen too often in other cases and courtrooms.

I went because I know their daughter. I know her former school and her violin teachers. She has made no secret of her intense longing to be with the parent who was having the breakdown.

I once asked the girl if she could talk to her court-appointed guardian ad litem, a psychologist. She said despondently: No. She never listens.

Tonight, Phil and I watched a superb movie on DVD. The Stoning of Soraya M. is based on a true story reported by the French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam.

The Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile in 1979 and established the Islamic Republic of Iran, bringing a resurgence of Sharia law.

In 1986, an abusive husband plotted to have his wife falsely accused of adultery, so she would be stoned. This would leave their four children without a mother, but it would free their father to marry the 14-year-old girl he lusted for.

The husband persuaded the village mayor and mullah to go along with his false charges, to help set up the rumor mill, and to coerce a frightened man to testify against his wife.

The lies, the legal games, the venomous force behind those jagged stones reminded me of what I had witnessed in court. But these were not a band of men screaming Allah Akbar! as they relished killing an innocent woman.

The scene I witnessed today is being waged by women against a woman with false rumors and legal stratagems as deadly as rocks--intended to destroy the reputation of a vulnerable parent, falsely accused, who was crumbling before our eyes.

No matter how often I witness this kind of legal assault, I find it chilling. Family Court clarifies nothing: It is no safer for children and the parents they love than Sharia law is for women.