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:

Friday, February 24, 2012

10.H. My $11 ticket to the courtroom

(Click once to enlarge.)

As expected yesterday I finally got my subpoena, accompanied by the usual $11.00 witness fee. (Someone in our Family Court industry--that scarfs up 20.8 million taxpayer dollars in Rhode Island's 2012 budget--has a sweet sense of humor.)

The subpoena forced me to sit outside the room yesterday, so that Gifford and Perkins did not have to read my courtroom observations on this blog today. It gave us both some breathing room, more time for me to research the cabal that has been feeding off this child.

On February 29th, they will devour my documents in a fishing expedition to vilify Tracy, Jenny's lifeline Mom. Gifford will ask me questions, slowly and painstakingly, to stretch out her billable hours.

I want to cut the cost to Barbara's family by providing a few answers here:

Q: What is your name?

A: Anne (with an e) Grant

Q: What do you do?

A: I'm a retired minister and a writer.

Q: Is "Tracy" a friend of yours?

A: She is friendly. But we focus only on the Court. We do not socialize.

Q: When did you meet Tracy?

A: In 2009. Someone referred her to me after reading my book review in the Providence Journal that described narcissism in Family Court hearings. Tracy came to talk with me at the Mathewson Street Church.

Q: What did you talk about?

A: About their family history and what was happening in this case.

Q: Did you offer to help her?

A: I told her how I research cases.

Q: And what did you tell her?

A: First, I'm not a lawyer and I cannot offer any legal advice.

Q: And what else?

A: Second, I accept no money.

Q: Who pays you?

A: No one.

Q: What else did you tell her?

A: Third, I do not represent any litigant, but I try to see what the child's needs and concerns are. If Tracy wants me to do that, she must give me all the documents she can, including photographs, drawings, letters, anything that will help me understand how the Court is handling this case. Then I will access the public file at court.

Q: Anything else?

A: I will attend hearings, but not on either party's side. I will focus on the court process and how it seems to help or hurt the child. If I consider the process harmful or legally abusive, I may challenge it in my writing.

My purpose is to stop Family Court from harming children and families, to make it accountable for its actions, to end abuses by officers of the Court.

Q: What else did you tell her?

A: That I will keep what she tells me in confidence. I will not write about the case unless I believe it is in her child's best interest to expose what is happening. I will use false names. She may not agree with some of my conclusions. I will always welcome corrections from her or anyone else.

Q: Did you ever meet Jenny?

A: Yes. Whenever possible, I want to meet the children I write about.

Q: When?

A: 2009.

Q: Where? At the Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park. At Goddard Park.

A: What did you talk about?

Q: Mostly we played--some games with a ball, something like hacky sack in a sock. Jenny taught me to find crabs at the beach.

A: Did you talk with her about court?

Q: Very briefly. I told her that I research custody cases to find ways that might improve the Court's work with children. I said her ideas are important.

A: Was Tracy part of that conversation?

Q: No. I asked her to watch from a distance, said I needed to hear from Jenny in private.

A: What else did you ask Jenny?

Q: I encouraged her to talk to the court-ordered psychologist, Dr. Judith Lubiner. She said it didn't help. No one listened to her.

At this point Attorney Gifford will ask the judge to strike my answer: Hearsay! and change the subject.

Q: Why did you post old photos of Jenny online?

A: Because it helps readers understand the importance of this relationship.

Q: What about the photo from 2009? People will recognize them.

A: Anyone who recognizes them already knows that horrible rumors have been spread like slander in our community about Tracy. Somebody needs to let people know there is more to this story than what they have been told.

Q: And you think that's your job?

A: I think it's everyone's job. This Court operates with our money and in our name. If we do not speak up, then we share the shame.

Q: What about the other children in the picture? Did their parents give you permission to use that picture?

A: Yes, their mother took the picture. She said Tracy would let me use it, too.

Q: Did you take pictures of Jenny at her concerts?

A: Yes.

Q: And you gave them to Tracy?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: Because it's wrong for you to keep Tracy away from Jenny's concerts, her graduation, her track meets. At her concerts, I've seen how Jenny stands alone and searches the audience. She's looking for Tracy.

Q: When did you take this picture?

A: May 21st, 2011.

Q: Did Jenny know you were taking her picture for Tracy?

A: Yes, I told her, and her whole face lit up. She's a beautiful young woman. She deserves to live at peace with each of her mothers.