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The Provocateur

Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Livestream

 
 Topics include Brenda Bryant, Judge Edward Miller, guardianship, Babcock Center, Cynthia Buckley, Judge David Knutson, Judge Tim Wermager, parental alienation, Judge Donna Scott Davenport, and Mooresville Police Department. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New Livestream

 
 Topics include: Burkhart V Adkins, Judge Gary Henderson, Davidson County, Council on Children's Rights, John Bryan, and Wendy Smith. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Anastasia Garcia Doesn't Like that Pesky Hearsay Rule

 Anastasia Garcia, the Guardian Ad Litem for Gabe Shapiro, believes that hearsay should not apply to people in her profession. She even proposed the idea in a lawyer's journal. 

Unshackling Guardians Ad Li... by mikekvolpe

"Commentators courts, and state legislators have reached an almost universal consensus recognizing the pivotal role played by Guardian ad Litem (GALs) in the administration of justice by protecting the vulnerable," Garcia begins in an essay from 2016.

Garcia, in the essay recognized the role of the hearsay rule but believed that GALs are so critical they should be exempt. 

"The interests served by the hearsay rule, ensuring that inherently unreliable statements do not come into evidence, is critically important. However, this needs to be weighed against the necessity of the Guardian to bring to light for the Court, details of an investigation from collateral sources who are (sic) available to testify. This factor has been considered by some Courts."

She continues, "Moreover, in balancing these competing interests the fact that family cases are always heard by a Judge militates heavily in favor of admitting the GAL reports."

These GAL reports, produced by people like Garcia, are often a collection of interviews by people close to both the mother and father. 

Often times, those interviewed for these reports have complained that their interviews were mischaracterized or otherwise twisted. 

Chris Mackney is the subject of my book "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce."

In that case, the custody evaluator, Stanton Samenow, who took on a similar role to a GAL claimed Mackney had no friends despite interviewing at least three of Mackney's friends. Mackney was in his 40s at time, and these friends, including Rich Ware, had been his friends since college. 

But Garcia, like many court actors, has the full faith and confidence in the court. 

"During a non-jury trial, it is presumed that the court is able to sift the wheat from the chaff and select only the legal evidence." Garcia quotes from a court decision. 

Indeed, Garcia, like this decision, believe that the reason for the hearsay rule is to protect the simpletons who normally make up a jury. Since judges, who Garcia thinks are much smarter than juries, preside over custody issues, they will be able to spot the good hearsay from the bad. 

She continues, "There is a way to address concerns about admitting potentially 'unreliable' statements through Guardian reports. As the current GAL statute requires the filing of a Guardian report 20 days before a final hearing if the time required for the filing of a report is extended to lets say 60 days, any lingering concerns about unreliable statements unduly influencing the court's decision-making process can be conclusively laid to rest."

In other words, give the lawyers enough times and they can re-interview every witness and make sure to challenge all the unreliable statements. Except, this means the lawyers are spending all their time figuring out if the GAL report has improper hearsay statements, rather than making sure to prepare for the case. 

Ms. Garcia and I have wildly differing philosophies on GALs; I think GALs should be eliminated, while she thinks they should be given even more power. 

Please find the interview with Gabe Shapiro below. Starts at approximately 38 minutes. 


Post Script

Please check out the previous parts of this Miami-Dade series: Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Child on Brink of Living With Alleged Child Molester in Missouri

 

Melissa Hagemeier is facing an impossible choice. 

I've featured Hagemeier's story several times before. She lost custody of her twins- she has other children- in November 2020, after a Guardian ad litem- Molly Murphy- accused her of parental alienation. 

In the TRO, it states, "The Guardian ad Litem and the Court finds that the children will suffer immediate and  irreparable harm as set forth in the Application in the absence of the Temporary Restraining Order."

Upon being forced to live with her father, Hagemeier's daughter disclosed that her father had been molesting her

"He fucked me," the fourteen year old said referring to her father. "He literally put his dick inside of me."

"She then stated that she then lost her virginity but at least he wore a condom," the girl states in this portion, "{The girl} stated that she recalled that her night gown was pulled up and her underwear was pulled down. She disclosed that she had been laying on her back and her father crawled on top of her. {Her father} struck her in the left side of her face with his fist causing her to get dizzy. He then pushed her legs up pinning them against her chest when he put his penis into her vagina."

The Jefferson County- where dad lives- Sheriff's Office began investigating the claims, but that's when dad's attorney, Ryan Munro, and the GAL, Molly Murphy, sprung into action. 

Munro and Murphy schemed and forced this girl to sit for a deposition, which often last for hours and force those being question to answer nearly every question asked. 

At this deposition, Hagemeier told me, her daughter recanted the disclosures. 

"They did depo my daughter who recanted, which clearly was setup. We knew she would recant based off the email my daughter sent back in March after a conversation with her father."

In that March conversation, Hagemeier told me, her daughter said her father told her if she recanted she would go back to living with her mom. 

According to a recording, Hagemeier was despondent in her father's care. 

 
 In the recording, the girl is heard saying, "I just want to go home."

Now, the system is setting up to force this girl to spend half her time with the man she said molested her. 

According to a proposed consent order, Melissa and her ex will share 50/50 custody. 

Munro and Murphy did not response to messages for comment. 

Hagemeier is currently being represented by Julia O'Connor; shockingly, Hagemeier told me that O'Connor has been threatening for Hagemeier to accept this deal or O'Connor is threatening to withdraw. 

O'Connor did respond by text, telling me my facts were wrong. 

"I can't discuss any active cases with you, Mike. But can say that do not appreciate the name calling from someone who has wildly inactive facts." (This was in response to a voicemail where I said she would not be hired to be a dog catcher, after this is over)

"Mulvaney {she misunderstood my last name} sounds Irish. I don't know what county (sic) your people are from. But I do know they're disappointed in you. And your 'investigative journalistic' skills. Because leaving slanderous and aggressive messages from a conversation that's one sided instead of asking questions is a pathetic example of an 'investigator'. Such a shame."

(I was born in Russia, for the record)

This 50/50 arrangement was telegraphed. According to a recording from the Spring 2021, Murphy was planning this all along. 

 

 "Our ultimate goal is I would think- mine has been- is for the kids to share equal time and be happy, healthy, mentally healthy, okay in school. All that kind of stuff," Murphy states.

Post Script:

Find the previous articles in this series here:  Article 1Article 2Article 3Article 4Article 5Article 6Article 7Article 8Article 9, Article 10, Article 11, and Article 12



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Livestream

 
 Topics include: Elaine Pudlowski, St. Louis County, Evita Tolu, Kristen Rash Davie County Social Worker, Wendy Smith, Judge David Siprell, Judge Carol Hicks,

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Supreme Court Writ in Case Involving Family Bridges May Break 1st Amendment Ground

(Part of an order by Judge Kim Berkeley Clark)

 

A writ which waits for US Supreme Court acceptance or denial seeks to challenge the near unfettered ability of judges in family law cases to gag litigants. 

The writ filed by Richard Ducote, who has been involved in numerous high profile cases, cannot even identify his client by name, rather using SS, but says his client is not even allowed to say their own name publicly.

Petitioners Richard Ducote and Victoria McIntyre are attorneys representing Petitioner S.S., the mother of a now 14-year-old son, in a Pennsylvania child custody case. After S.S. lost custody to the father, Respondent S.B., and the ruling was affirmed on appeal, at S.B.’s urging the trial court issued a “gag order” against all three Petitioners forbidding them to: “speak publicly or communicate about this case including, but not limited to print and broadcast media, on-line or web-based communications, or inviting the public to view existing on-line or web-based publications”; and “direct or encourage third parties to speak publicly about this case including, but not limited to, print and broadcast media, on-line or web-based communications…”

The writ continues.  

S.B.’s counsel sought a gag order on Petitioners, plus $200,000 in sanctions, and $10,000 for each future violation of the proposed order. No evidence whatsoever concerning the child was presented at the hearing which resulted in the gag order. It is important to note that Petitioners have never publicly stated F’s name or otherwise publicly identified him. On April 19, 2018, over S.S.’s strenuous constitutional objections, Judge Clark first signed an interim gag order preventing all parties and their counsel from publicly speaking or communicating about the case. App. 80a. However, on April 27, 2018, Judge Clark entered a final gag order prohibiting only S.S., Mr. Ducote, and Ms. McIntyre—and not S.B., his counsel, or S.S.’s former trial counsel who presented the child’s testimony—from speaking about this case in any manner:

Ducote's writ of ceteriorari is below.

5-19-2021 Final Cert Petition by mikekvolpe

In the writ, Ducote states that the unusual action, taken by Judge Kim Berkeley Clark, the President Judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, was in response to an article in the Pittsburgh City Times and a press conference which followed. Ducote continues in the writ. 

Petitioners, together with other professionals, parents, and a now grown child sharing common concerns and experiences, participated in a February 7, 2018, Pittsburgh press conference discussing child abuse victims and the courts’ failure to protect them.1 Mr. Ducote mentioned only S.S. by name, as a mother who lost custody of her un-named son, despite his testimony, to his un-named father. 

Independent of the conference, on February 28, 2018, the PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER published Parental Inequity: Children’s Advocates Say Family Courts Unfairly Favor Fathers, Even When They’re the Abusers (App. 114a). The article, which included comments from a Pennsylvania legislator and a George Washington University law school professor, highlighted proposed legal reforms to address custody cases with abuse allegations. F’s graphic testimony was anonymously quoted to illustrate the alarming nature of this problem. App. 114a.

Ducote alleged that this case involved the cover-up of child molestation. Here is what SS's son allegedly said during a judge's questioning of the boy.

Well, sometimes he would lay on top of me. He would like pull my pajamas down. He had these like shorty shorts that he would go running in. They didn’t need underwear. Well, the first thing is that I was—I acted asleep, but I was really awake when it all happened. He would stick his penis in my butt crack. Into what I call my poop hole. He would do that many times. When under my body he would be squeezing my penis. Sometimes I get really angry with myself because I always say that I could have stopped him 

The Pittsburgh City Paper article suggested that the bogus label of "parental alienation" was used as a response to the sexual molestation allegations, a common use for the parental alienation scheme. 

(From the Pittsburgh City Paper)

"At the heart of the problems surrounding custody cases," the Pittsburgh City Paper article states, "is the concept of parental alienation syndrome....Ducote has worked on hundreds of cases and says abusive parents often claim parental alienation to refute abuse allegations. He says the child custody case he's currently working in is a clear example."

Family Bridges appears to be a part of the scheme to cover-up the abuse.  According to an order in the case, Family Bridges was used for reunification, "Following the completion of the Family Bridges workshop, and before returning home with , Father shall take on a vacation of no less than five days in duration. The Court expects that will apply what he has learned during the Family Bridges workshop to improve their interactions with his Father during and following their vacation."

Family Bridges has received a great deal of scrutiny; Randy Rand, its principle, has problems with his license and many former children who have gone through the program say it destroyed their childhoods. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the gag order. That opinion is below.

Penn Supreme Court Opinion on Gag Order by mikekvolpe on Scribd

Appellants contend that the Superior Court’s affirmance of the gag order violates their constitutional rights to free speech as the order constitutes “freewheeling censorship” that prohibits them indefinitely from speaking about the case in any manner, while imposing no restrictions on Father’s speech. Brief for Appellants at 9. Categorizing the gag order as both a content-based restriction and a prior restraint on speech, Appellants posit that the heightened constitutional standard of strict scrutiny must apply. They maintain that because there is no compelling state interest supporting the imposition of an indefinite and total restraint upon their speech, the gag order cannot stand. 

Relating to the claim that the gag order constitutes a content-based restriction on speech, Appellants’ position begins with the premise that content-based restrictions require the government to satisfy the strict scrutiny standard to pass constitutional muster. Brief for Appellant at 10 (citing Turner Broad. Sys. Inc. v. F.C.C., 512 U.S. 622, 642 (1994) (internal citation omitted) (holding that “[o]ur precedents thus apply the most exacting scrutiny to regulations that suppress, disadvantage, or impose differential burdens upon speech because of its content”)). They contend that the gag order’s plain language constitutes a total prohibition against speaking publicly about the custody case in any manner, not only in a manner that identifies Child, as held by the Superior Court. 

In support of this contention, Appellants rely exclusively upon the following sentence in the order: “It is hereby ORDERED that [Mother]; Richard Ducote, Esquire; and Victoria McIntyre, Esquire shall NOT speak publicly or communicate about this case including, but not limited to, print and broadcast media, on-line or web-based communications, or inviting the public to view existing on-line or web-based publications.” Trial Court Order, 4/27/2018, at 1. Ignoring the remaining text of the gag order, Appellants view the speech restriction as constituting a total ban on speech of a particular topic, i.e., Child’s custody proceeding, which, they argue, renders the regulation of speech content based. 


The US Supreme Court will decide later this month if it will accept the case. 

Post Script: 

Find the previous Family Bridges story here and go to the fundraiser. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Newest Livestream

 
 Topics include Shannon Moreau, Burkhard V Adkins, Haynes V Haynes, Wendy Smith, Davidson County North Carolina, and Mecklenburg County North Carolina.