Tuesday, October 30, 2018

U.S. House passed family court child safety resolution. All states must pass own version, CA did.

Received in Senate (09/26/2018)

2d Session

H. CON. RES. 72

September 26, 2018

Expressing the sense of Congress that child safety is the first priority of custody and visitation adjudications, and that State courts should improve adjudications of custody where family violence is alleged.
    Whereas approximately 15 million children are exposed each year to domestic violence and/or child abuse, which are often linked;
    Whereas child sexual abuse is significantly under-documented, and under-addressed in the legal system;
    Whereas child abuse is a major public health issue in the United States, with total lifetime estimated financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (including physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) amounting to approximately $124 billion;
    Whereas according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, federally launched, funded and tracked longitudinal research into “adverse childhood experiences” (the ACEs study) has shown that “children who experience abuse and neglect are also at increased risk for adverse health effects and certain chronic diseases as adults, including heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, liver disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high levels of C-reactive protein”;
    Whereas research confirms that allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, and child sexual abuse are often discounted when raised in child custody litigation;
    Whereas research shows that abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by courts, placing children at ongoing risk;
    Whereas research confirms that a child’s risk of abuse increases after a perpetrator of domestic violence separates from a domestic partner, even when the perpetrator has not previously abused the child;
    Whereas researchers have documented a minimum of 653 children murdered in the United States since 2008 by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support proceeding, often after access was provided by family courts over the objections of a protective parent;
    Whereas scientifically unsound theories are frequently applied to reject parents’ and children’s reports of abuse;
    Whereas in cases involving allegations of family violence courts should rely on the assistance of third-party professionals only when they possess the proper experience or expertise for assessing family violence and trauma, and apply scientifically sound and evidence-based theories;
    Whereas most States lack standards defining required expertise and experience for court-affiliated or appointed fee-paid professionals in custody litigation or the required contents of custody-related expert reports; and
    Whereas custody litigation involving abuse allegations is sometimes prohibitively expensive, resulting in parental bankruptcy, as a result of court-mandated payments to appointed fee-paid professionals, in addition to attorneys’ fees: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that—
(1) child safety is the first priority of custody and parenting adjudications, and courts should resolve safety risks and claims of family violence first, as a fundamental consideration, before assessing other best interest factors;
(2) all evidence admitted in custody and parenting adjudications should be subject to evidentiary admissibility standards;
(3) evidence from court-affiliated or appointed fee-paid professionals regarding adult or child abuse allegations in custody cases should be admitted only when the professional possesses documented expertise and experience in the relevant types of abuse, trauma, and the behaviors of victims and perpetrators;
(4) States should define required standards of expertise and experience for appointed fee-paid professionals who provide evidence to the court on abuse, trauma and behaviors of victims and perpetrators, should specify requirements for the contents of such professional reports, and should require courts to find that any appointed professionals meet those standards;
(5) States should consider models under which court-appointed professionals are paid directly by the courts, with potential reimbursement by the parties after due consideration of the parties’ financial circumstances; and
(6) Congress should schedule hearings on family courts’ practices with regard to the objective, fair, and unbiased adjudication of children’s safety and civil rights.
Passed the House of Representatives September 25, 2018.



    House Resolution No. 113

    Introduced by Assembly Member Rubio
    (Coauthors: Assembly Members Calderon and Lackey) Calderon, Lackey, Acosta, Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Baker, Berman, Bigelow, Bloom, Bonta, Brough, Burke, Caballero, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chávez, Chen, Chiu, Choi, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Cunningham, Dahle, Daly, Eggman, Flora, Fong, Frazier, Friedman, Gabriel, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez Fletcher, Gray, Grayson, Harper, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kiley, Levine, Limón, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Patterson, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Reyes, Rivas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Voepel, Waldron, Weber, and Wood)

    June 13, 2018

    Relative to Piqui’s Resolution.


    HR 113, as amended, Rubio.

    WHEREAS, According to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, one-half of the approximately 15,000 victims sheltered in California’s state-funded domestic violence programs each year are children and 75 percent of domestic violence victims have children; and
    WHEREAS, The United States Department of Justice estimates that in 30 to 60 percent of families where either domestic violence or child maltreatment is identified, children experience both forms of abuse within the home; and
    WHEREAS, According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), child abuse is a major public health issue, with a lifetime cost of over $200,000 for each victim; and
    WHEREAS, According to the CDC, children who experience adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs, including abuse, are at an increased risk for chronic, adverse physical health effects as adults; and
    WHEREAS, According to the UCLA Women’s Law Journal, research shows that victims of domestic violence are at a great disadvantage in child custody disputes and mediations when there is an allegation of domestic violence; and
    WHEREAS, According to the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, abusive parents, including those who are accused and adjudicated batterers, tend to be granted sole custody or joint custody by the courts, placing children at risk; and
    WHEREAS, Article I of the California Constitution declares that all people have the inalienable right to pursue and obtain safety. A child’s safety should be a priority over all other considerations; and
    WHEREAS, In family courts, there is great need for an increased presence of court reporters to create records and legal representation for those who are unrepresented during custody litigation cases; now, therefore, be it
    WHEREAS, Court reporters should be present to create records in all family law matters, particularly in domestic violence and contested custody cases; now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That all court-related professionals should be trauma-informed and trained in recognizing, evaluating, and understanding evidence and the impacts of domestic violence and child abuse; and be it further
    Resolved, That a court reporter should record all hearings in domestic violence and contested custody cases, and all litigants should have access to the court records; and be it further
    Resolved, That when a child witnesses domestic violence or reports being is injured or abused, or when there is substantial evidence of child injury, family courts should ensure that the safety of the child has priority over all other considerations in any custody or visitation decision; and be it further
    Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the California Supreme Court, the Judicial Council, and the author for appropriate distribution.

    Heading—Line 2.
    Revised  August 23, 2018
    Amended  IN  Assembly  August 06, 2018


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Judicial Forum, 10/26/14, sponsored by Nat'l Coalition for Family Justice- Questions by Susan Titus
Glascoff, Advisory Bd. Director of NCFJ & longtime nat'l public advocate

Two pertinent fairly recent books inspire useful questions- The Death of Common Sense, by Philip K. Howard, Esq. & HOW- How We Do Anything Means Everything in Business & in Life, by Dov Seidman

  1. What can be done to insure judicial orders get followed? Aren't judges being demeaned & our legal system mocked when some judges enforce contempt orders while others don't (some don't even issue them) & victims must turn to Appellate, costly in time & money (for victims & taxpayers, including those denied timely access), if Appellate even accepts the case?
  2. How can COMMON SENSE be enforceably applied re ALL types of cases, but especially when harms children? With regard to custody, why aren't moms & kids being believed when studies show fabrications of abuse run about 2%? In 3 recent prominent statistics relating to male violence- 70 out of 71 were men arrested for child pornography, 5% of males are born with greater tendency for violence, 1% of males seem to have predisposition for pedophilia.
  3. HOW can we create compassionate, constructive legal remedies that don't favor those with most power but recognize inherent gender differences & fact that it is in everyone's best interest to create checks & balances versus cycling abusive behaviors?
  4. Since judges are just as human as everyone else, HOW can enforceable sanctions be established when orders violate common sense & obviously fairness?
PS- A few proposed remedies & stark examples why needed: (some not new but still ignored)

I- a) Pay incentives for judges getting fewest filed complaints. b) Additional training required when receive serious complaints or over established min. #; removal if too many. c) Review boards, & include public posting of orders issued but not enforced & by whom.
II- a) Ex.-9+yr ongoing Brooklyn Taub divorce/bankruptcy ETC case- start of bankruptcy of wife, judge said husband still worth $41 million (result of many judges not enforcing orders)
b) oldest daughter's estranged husband allowed to get passport for minors without mom signing & tho husband rarely pd child support & earlier had criminal court order- supervised visitation, & he's now seeking custody. LAW needed- barred from custody if ever credible abuse alleged.
c) Columbia U. 9/21/14- Forensic conf. re custody. Etc.- key judge speaker – issued settlement order (Taub) at least 1 1/2yrs ago, enforced virtually nothing, bnkrptcy & legal costs increasing.
III- LAW needed- settlement agreements MUST include enforceable comparable lifestyles, incl. a “look-see” whenever credibly requested after & fines imposed for violations.

IV- a)Find ways to close loopholes, issue escalating fines for delaying tactics plus set fees for required items. b) To avoid high cost of transcripts & tampering, record- 1 taped copy for each party + judge.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Need+ Sample Ideas re Legal Reforms, All Topics, Esp.re Kids, Oct.2,2014 St. John'sUniv. SusanTitusGlascoff  
                           (Please- google documentary, NoWayOutButOne, & also my name; see PS pg3)-10/5 minor edits+PPS pg4
I have one goal, RESULTS, meaning we must create enforceable checks & balances on our entire legal system that maximize fairness!! WHY do most feel it is often NOT fair? Because the goal has become Who CAN Win Versus What Is Fair, no matter the topic!! WHAT are the driving forces? Greed &/or punishment &/or Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde behavior. Isn't greed to varying degrees part of everyone's self-preservation instinct? When you are involved in a lawsuit, don't you hire a lawyer to win? Isn't the winner often who can find the most loopholes & drag suit longest, meaning who has the most power & control, often decided by money &/or influence? Thomas Jefferson said, “The germ of the destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary... it needs more checks & balances... the only remedy is to inform public discretion.” Everything is interrelated, hence compounding. Jefferson's germ is a cancer about to metastasize since it's been ~200 yrs. Compounding builds long dense flat base, then explodes!

What's the worst problem? How it affects kids. Why? Since how they turn out determines everything. Judges, lawyers, those in child protective services, teachers, CEOs, ETC. each have the same percent of dysfunction as the rest of us- influenced by childhood. A 1996-2006 study of just federal judges found ZERO sanctions given to ~843 judges in 29 states, despite 1000s of filed complaints! CA sanctioned 1, so not in the 29. No states yielded credible results. Advocates have long requested better training re abuse for family court issues. Judges ( Some have specialty in corporate law, etc. since family courts are deemed less prestigious.)must also rely on data provided, sometimes skewed by *GALs, by Dr.Jekyl /Mr. Hydes, case overload, politics, by money paid, etc. People fear criticizing judges & lawyers- result might worsen. Lawyers criticizing judges have lost license. To win appeals requires appellate judges to overturn colleagues' decisions- versus self-preservation! Tons of research, conferences etc have yielded little. Legal abuse has multiple facets. Increasing polarization of pay hurts families, hence kids. All contracts are legal documents. One CEO paid $400,000 to a lawyer to guarantee him $12 million severance pay if he was fired! Isn't that legalized thievery? Doesn't outrageous pay squeeze everyone?          *Guardian ad Litems- lawyers appointed to supposedly represent kids' best interest
Since fact our health system needed better care at lower cost finally sparked enough discussion to begin getting results, why can't we insist on a similar dialogue re establishing legal accountability? Can't a compassionate, constructive approach help by emphasizing power of indoctrination & cycling abuse? NYT had recent article noting problem of pedophiles who'd served their time finding it impossible to find lodging since they had to remain 1000 ft from schools, etc. I wrote NYT that media in general, by failure to expose abusive custody & visitation, help create pedophiles & other dysfunction by ignoring court abuse. People are outraged when I say there's data supporting 58,000/yr abusive custody & visits!

HOW can we (YOU at this conference) halt this cancer, acting as catalysts to get media dialogue going to create sustained public demand for enforceable checks & balances on our legal SYSTEM? ANY IDEAS YOU HAVE ARE WELCOME! But consider theme- every court decision must pass fairness groundrules- every state must create an enforceable plan or have one imposed. Suggest contests with incentives for creative constructive ideas since resistance to change often hardens with accusations, even when well-documented & presented compassionately. HOW about we each agree to contact ONE influential source, state goal -must include broad coordination? Some ideas for contacts-
  1. former Mayor Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (deBlasio joined)- since one key focus is how gun violence hurts kids; suggest extension to include how to stop courts hurting kids via excess incarceration, abusive custody & visitation & unfair equitable distribution that impoverishes one parent relative to other, & other insensitive & unfair practices, etc.,
  2. enlist major media such as 60 MIN, major newpapers, etc,(60MIN ignored July'12 request thru contact)
  3. investigative reporters- ex. 3x pulitzer prize winner, Walt Bogdanich-July 12,'14 NYT article, Reporting Rape &Wishing She Hadn't, describing known reluctance to expose rapists mostly since it hurts sports & college reputation. Again- protecting one's own/self preservation wins. Suggest sample pg2 statistics be combined re a few legal abuse issues.[STG will try, too-interviewed by him '98 re hlth advocacy topic]
  4. contact authors of existing school programs that foster good relationships such as Atty. Lynn Gold-Bikin's Partners where HS kids use charades to act out relationship issues; suggest adapting to pre-k-12 & also coordinating with other programs to have something required in all schools; include improving help for kids of divorcing families & better coordinating with social services especially GALs is needed to help insure judges don't award abusive custody or unsupervised visitation. Media & many schools focus almost exclusively on problems of poor, omitting similar problems for most kids of divorce.
I will digress from my focus on kids to briefly highlight other legal excess & show (to enlist interest) interrelationships. In 2011 Atty. Philip Howard wrote the book, The Death of Common Sense, which analizes studies showing how excess suing adds huge costs to business, health care, education, individuals, & families via suit, passing many costs to all taxpayers. He estimated ~30cents per health care dollar due to defensive practices & suits. In 2008 to help with another speech I was giving, a retired judge prepared a “guestimate” that it cost ~$4500 to operate one courtroom for one day in NYC. That's taxpayer expense which hurts families. (Much has been written about kids, esp.non-whites being incarcerated too easily & long, promoting cycling abuse;huge cost) NYT just published that legal costs for capital cases across U.S. are overwhelming state budgets since getting execution dates takes average of 16 yrs & can take 25 yrs! (Added 10/5- NYT editorial bd 9/27-A Group Shout on Climate Change giving verdict on UN Climate Wk- Sec. Gen, presidents, mayors noted alarming changes, U.S./China possible cooperation; “trick might be bottom-up movement”as 300,000 marchers. STG-might counter lots legal resistance

In 1995, our esteemed panelist, Karen Huffer, established international recognition via her book, Legal Abuse Syndrome, describing a public health menace -PTSD caused by varied legal abuse. A 1993 Reader's Digest reported lg % of kids of divorce do far more poorly in school, yet few yrs ago a google legal abuse site said abuse of legal system ranks divorce as biggest civil court money maker. Since I'm the director of the National Advisory Board to the National Coalition for Family Justice (501C3 since 1988), I was asked to start attending the Brooklyn Taub divorce case Feb. 5, 2007 since legal abuse had already been suspected from outset, June 2005. Case ongoing 9+yrs, & I'm still attending- its the worst case of the over 10,000 the coalition has tried to help. Some highlights are, even though the husband had federal fraud convictions in 1998, judges keep doubting wife. He stole custody of youngest son at 14 & mother never saw him since. Father got mere 3 months probation for extortion re covering up sex abuse of that son by a rabbi. When wife declared bankruptcy in July 2008, female judge said she'd done her homework & estimated Mr. Taub was worth at least $41 million, yet same judge & other judges ignoring he had been ordered to pay wife maintence & mortgage! He's currently claiming he must reduce the already low maintenance -he often doesn't pay- because he can't afford it due to retiring. The settlement also said neither allowed to disparage other or kids from first marriages. Yet now it seems husband will be allowed to testify in favor of oldest daughter's estranged husband getting custody even though he had criminal court order for supervised visitation for indicated finding of sexually touching 10yr old daughter. He has rarely paid child support, yet judge waived mother's right to sign passport so husband could take kids to Israel (with what money?). 
       Aspects of above case are rampant across the U.S. The American Tort Foundation ranks areas they label Judicial Hellholes, & NYC was recently ranked 3rd in the U.S. A RICO suit (federal racketeering for money-laundering, etc) was filed in Taub case but judge (who gets accolades in the news) denied it as “frivolous!” A new book, The Robert's Court, merely puts custody issues in a string of problems but doesn't elaborate, & briefly notes excessive legal bills make representation out of middle class reach.
    I've been doing public advocacy my entire adult life. I'm in WWho in Amer, Business &Finance, etc, have masters in Health Advocacy & Math, 5 sons-2 step, 8 grndkds,1st married 23yrs to high-level atty.

PS-I'm clueless what's best wording, what samples to include, etc! As others have said, Democracy pg3 is a team sport!” We are in danger of doing too little too late re many serious issues, with excess & outright abuse of legal system usually a factor, often controlling. Data overwhelms- decades of books, conferences, research papers, judicial forums, articles- ??results??- even though well-presented plus detailed appeals made to judges, lawyers, Att. Gen'ls, gov't, media.....I've contacted 100s, written tons!

WHAT'S the ELEPHANT in the ROOM? Failure to personalize- connect all the interrelated dots back significantly to YOUR doorstep. Sept/Oct 2014 Audubon mag.- climate change(& how it imperils over ½ of NAmer. Bird species by 2080) - biggest public myth is belief many scientists disagree... 97% agree! We're not good at recognizing incremental changes that could pose potentially calamitous risks...
We need a new relationship with energy to go with our evolving new relationship with climate....Major university studies show intentional strategy to sow doubt, but aerial pics of Miami show moon tides now pushing water on streets through storm drains...23 of 25 densely populated counties border coast... Lots analyses here & abroad- global transition to clean energy is technically & economically feasible. Barriers to achieving it are social/political.“Political” includes legal barriers & increasingly apply to everything. 9/23NYT-Watchdog for Police is Accepting Complaints-let's bombard them, expand nat'lly.

WHAT'S ANOTHER ELEPHANT in ROOM? Not requiring only WIN/WIN ideas since greed, self-
preservation, & power of indoctrination are strong. Sept. 2014 Readers' Digest, pg 80- “Ancestors had to get 'carrots,' meaning food & mates. If don't get carrot today, get another chance tomorrow. But if fail to avoid predator- whap! Our brains became wired to hyper-focus on bad news.” Lots of studies show emotional brain damage from abuse, yet even when we get evaluation including mostly good, studies show tendency to focus on criticism. Cliché applies-“catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
How about incentives for judges to get fewest filed complaints, all issues, but esp. re kids? How can we constructively expose contradictions- Megan's Law- keep pedophiles away from kids but abusive custody or unsupervised visitation- judges order kids to live with pedophile? AMEND-if doubt, err on caution, etc.Military, sports, colleges, police promote rape by not constructively handle abusers/ note cycling. Re lots issues-scrutinize plea bargains, rethink sealed records, citizen review bds, rewards.
Need to elevate prestige of family court judges, require better training(all court actors) & increase pay.

Team up with someone when you approach a source. Do your homework- appeal to their self-interest. Maybe google reviews of hopeful or helpful plus troubling books, etc. such as Animal Madness- How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots.... Help Us Understand Ourselves; HOW- How We Do Anything Means Everything in Business & in Life; Perfect Match (novel accurately portraying how courts fail kids & protective parents when sex abuse occurs); The Death of Common Sense (by lawyer re courts) Beyond Outrage- What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy & Our Democracy & How to Fix It; Border Patrol Nation & also The Divide-each re how we are becoming police state, but esp. vs poor & esp. vs people of color- policies keep them poor; Positive Parenting for a Peaceful World (great short easy read); yr 2000 movie, Pay It Forward (challenge-make them entertaining enough to draw crowds).

Support & request entertaining, constructive media such as described on front page NYT Arts 9/23, A Marriage in Trouble in Triplicate, theater acting out- “This is the way we were, way we are, & way we will be. And we are fools if we think we can separate any of these versions from the others...3 sets of couples play same couple at different stages.” It was taken from 6-part TV series of 4 decades ago when marriage rates began decline. Since people want to be happy, I'm hoping re-evaluation ensues, to increase marriage & keep together or deal more constructively with divorce, esp. for sake of kids.

NYT, 9/23, America Out of Whack- growing doubts free market can distribute growth rewards to those making it possible. STG- Isn't that because legal SYSTEM is used as weapon vs those who seek fairness?
PPS 10/5- I ran out of time to get this pg ready for Oct.2 conference. Some ex's also came afterwards/pg4

1) Since my theme is since we often fail to interrelate things (connect dots), they compound (ex-deferred maintenance of roof leak), I had page explaining Butterfly Effect- “small change in one place can result in large changes later.” On back of page I had a graph of compounding-long flat base, finally abruptly rises, then skyrockets. Since kids learn what they live, the more bad experiences they have (worse earlier it starts), the more they compound. To sense compounding double penny daily for one month-
 1, 2, 4, 8.... Even I, a former math teacher, am always astounded by final amount! 

2) NYT 9/27/14- a) Nicholas Kristof, Stranger Danger & Guns- reports extremely disturbing statistics- 92% of Americans & 75% of N.R.A. members favor universal background checks before gun purchases since other statistics show what we've often heard- homes with guns have lots more suicides, murders, accidental gun deaths, etc.     b) Frank Bruni, The Wilds of Education, REMINDS us that education is supposed to challenge & expand young minds (How else would all sorts of inventions occurred?). He cites several examples where some parents have objected to books (that refer to rape, civil disobedience, etc, even though they're full of life lessons about responsibility,etc), commencement speakers, etc. despite many students protesting. 
DO WE STILL HAVE DEMOCRACY IF less than 50% of voters DETERMINE LAWS, etc. FOR rest of us?
  1. NYT 10/3/14, Jim Dwyer, Bureaucracy Turns Hero into a Rogue, states “by omitting essential context suggested a therapist was acting in self-interest in fund-raising, when in fact principal & others were using it to enable a disabled kid to write a creative book.” The legal system VERY regularly allows cases to be determined via “omitting essential context!”
  2. NYT 5/21/14- Joseph Berger, 71 Are Accused in Child Pornography Case, Officials Say, noting 70 men & 1 woman, & said “we can no longer assume people who prey on children are drifters as they included a police chief, nurses, boy scout leader, etc.” THAT'S NOT NEW NEWS! Nor is fact most sexual abusers are male. So why do judges, etc continue to doubt mothers' claims?
  3. Phyllis Chesler's 2001 book, Women's Inhumanity to Women-“a peculiar silence surrounds woman's inhumanity to woman.” I agree. She says “women love & depend on each other, but can't change cruelty to each other till admit it. They often choose peace over conflict which often means accepting status quo & punishing anyone challenging it. More need to choose justice.”I've noted cruelty of some female judges.
  4. 4/11/14- Mothers' Day in Washington DC- 4-day conf. (?5th) re safe mothers who lost custody of kids to batterers & molesters. ALL-DAY SEMINARS TO TEACH MOTHERS HOW TO TRY TO HELP KIDS LIVING WITH ABUSERS!! Is this Iraq? When several studies have long shown fabrication of abuse is ~2%, WHY can't we focus on the kids, not fathers' rights? BUT NOT WITHOUT COMPASSION as many were 1st abused themselves, which is why we must do everything to stop cycling abuse of all sorts! 98% of divorces are not about abuse, but can't ignore ~58,000 divorce cases/yr have judges order kids to abusive custody/unsupervised visits!!
  5. NYT letters to editor, 2/10 re 2/3/14, “The Middle Class Is Steadily Dwindling. Just Ask the Business World,” virtually all indicate belief capitalism can't survive when too few can buy what capitalists make; such wealth hasn't been seen since Gilded Age. I AGAIN EMPHASIZE THAT ALL CONTRACTS are LEGAL DOCUMENTS, henceVIA LEGAL SYSTEM we must ESTABLISH CHECKS & BALANCES FOR FAIRER PAY TOP TO BOTTOM. Note continued exploitation of parttime workers (Part-Time Schedules, Full-Time Headaches, 7/18- & there was flurry of too few efforts to “limit harshest effects,”
  6. NYT 9/21 Kristof- Alicia Keys Asks: Why Are We Here? Picture of nude (covering essentials) pregnant Alicia with peace sign on belly-to finally get attention,“galvanize infantry of fans from feeling frustrated to improving world.” She asks support for 12 groups; next steps -petitions, rallies, protests, fundraising...

Monday, June 23, 2014

request to sign petition for legal accountability - link below

democracy for america legal accountability petition

Linking U.S. Falling Rankings in Gender Equity, Education, Health Care, Extremes in Compensation, etc. to Need for Legal Accountability, Nov. 27, 20133

Posted by susan titus glascoff at 11/27/2013 9:58 AM

Why have I waited 9 months to add to my blog? I write regularly to diverse sources about the need for national dialogue to express compassionate, constructive ideas for checks & balances on our legal system, abuse of which increasingly affects bottom line of everything! Much is too long for a blog or is to a specific key source where some is best kept confidential. I often write a letter-to-editor of NYT, with a PS of several pages about several articles, not all from NYT. I'm often out of time and finish well past midnight. Data I present is always from a credible source, but nothing is error proof. How it's expressed always involve my opinion, too, but I agonize over fairest and most diplomatic presentation.

WHY am I so persistent? I'm gender neutral (I have 5 sons-2 step), but I believe the Nov. 24 NYT Sunday Dialogue expresses my fears succinctly. First letter notes- “The United States does not even appear in top 20 countries ranked for gender equality in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap report for 2013.” Also, haven't we all read how we keep slipping further down the ranking list re education, health care relative to quality and cost, and even horrendous things such as sex trafficking? Several years ago NYT reported about 60,000 are trafficked annually through Atlanta. We've long been ranked poorly for excessive suing- also costs and awards plus excessive incarcerations- both in number and duration. We top the list for excessive compensation. ETC! WHY?

I believe our decrease in rankings is failure to interrelate- failure to connect the dots, AND failure to participate enough in democracy. Anything not checked gradually compounds. Anything which compounds, slowly builds a base like a coiled spring, then starts abruptly rising, soon to skyrocket out of control. Hasn't unchecked capitalism led to excess profit seeking affecting business, health care (including drug prices), excess compensation, excess cost of higher education (some college presidents make over a million, sports & other facilities are over-the-top, etc), all a sense of entitlement including ease of suing, hence fear of it and way too many defensive practices (often subtle) built into everything (including divorce issues in court for years)? Aren't ALL contracts legal documents? NYT reported a CEO paid $400,000 to a lawyer for his contract to guarantee $12M severance pay even if he was fired!

Consider the Brooklyn, NY Taub case which I keep reporting about because in my opinion it is an example of about every kind of legal abuse you could imagine. I want YOU to zero in on how dysfunctional our legal SYSTEM has become. The case began June 2005. In its 8 ½ yrs (ongoing, so huge taxpayer expense and loss of court availability, loss to creditors, ETC., to say nothing of lots of abuse testimony, millions in legal fees) it includes divorce, multiple foreclosures, bankruptcy, mail fraud, money laundering (documents re illegal property transfers and lots unpaid taxes and forged signatures, ETC) , scads of ignoring of judicial orders ignored by the system as well, including higher level judges and politicians and the FBI and media (who twisted data presented), a mere 3 months probation for extortion- wiretapped evidence of husband receiving 1st $75,000 of 2-300,00 to keep quiet about sex abuse of son (whom he stole custody of and judges ignored), ETC! A Global Settlement was signed by both sides last April, to be finalized in ~45days. I guess somebody can't read the calendar! Update- Nov. 21 a new document reduces settlement by $100,000 in side deal with Simon”-(THAT is illegal Ex Parte- both parties MUST be present). BUT at bottom it says-Statement of Confidentiality and notes the material may only be read by intended recipient(wife- Chana Taub) and any distribution (to anyone) is prohibited. WHAT DOES THAT SAY TO YOU?? IT SAYS TO ME THAT EVEN IF THE LAW IS BEING VIOLATED, VICTIMS CAN'T TELL ANYONE, AND IF THEY DO, THAT SOURCE (IN THIS CASE ME) CAN'T TELL ANYONE- EXCEPT PERHAPS A LAWYER OR JUDGE- BUT THEY'VE ALREADY BEEN TOLD ABOUT ABUSE AND IT ONLY GETS WORSE! Also, wife was asked (and this OFTEN happens in lots of different legal cases) to sign away her right to ever sue her husband for anything (except to enforce maintenance, but courts have already ignored that vast majority of the time), and see above- that includes any past illegal acts!

Don't such restrictions violate civil rights, freedom of speech, intent of Constitution in general?

In my local theater I just watched a documentary I hope many see- Inequality For All, by Robert Reich (former advisor to presidents and Secretary of Labor, author, professor at Berkeley). He says “widening inequality in income, wealth, and opportunity is rapidly getting out of control...It's systemic- it has to do with how we've organized society....The economy can't function when the vast middle class doesn't have the purchasing power to keep the economy going....We elect people we assume will make fundamental changes, and then go home and do what we were doing before without realizing that an election is just the beginning of the challenge. They need all our help and support to succeed.” I agree but it must also include insisting that our media properly inform the public, including the need to establish constructive, compassionate enforceable checks and balances on our legal system, as well as fostering a fairer and more balanced society – partly by requiring enhancing ability to learn in schools via programs such as what NYT just reported about K-12 programs to teach emotional intelligence.

In a new book, “Informing the News,” by Thomas Patterson (Harvard professor of politics and public policy), he says “Sensationalism is the hallmark of soft news, and controversy increasingly defines hard news. Unless something feels like a crisis, most journalists can't be bothered with it....Few attributes in a news story are more highly prized by a journalist than novelty.... need to attract an audience....errors go uncorrected....power rather than truthfulness is the operative word....too often profit and convenience are placed ahead of duty to inform....during the health care debate, flash points like the “death panel” dominated, so cost containment escaped public attention....Journalists are vulnerable to manipulation by their sources... NYT Op-Ed writer, Maureen Dowd- 'never before has so much information been available to us (noting web), yet never have we had greater need for information grounded in facts rather than spin and speculation.'....Patterson quotes Yale Law School's Bruce Ackerman- “Journalists will falter and ultimately fail if their set of 'facts' is seen by the public as little better than those offered up by talk show hosts.....” Patterson calls for an overhaul of journalism practice and education (need more scientific method, etc) since our democracy depends on accurate information. He quotes others who predict disaster for our democracy if facts are denied the public.
Let's "connect more dots" re our children.  Kent Keith (Harvard, Oxford, famed author of "Anyway,"- The Paradoxical Commandments, Finding Meaning in a Crazy World) -"There is nothing more important than what happens to the children. If there is no hope for our children, there is no hope at all.  The future of the world depends on the kinds of people today's children turn out to be."  Though repeatedly informed, consider that major media including NYT, Yale Divinity School (I hand-delivered a copy and other data asking they alone or with other divinity schools expose that our family courts need review, but got no response even though I went with a recommendation from YDS alum) and Congress (given copies fall 2012) have not publicized fact reported in multiple award-winning documentary, No Way Out But One (please google it), that in ~58,000 cases per year U.S. judges give custody or unsupervised visitation to an abusive parent. NWOBO is true story of mom/kids getting asylum in Netherlands FROM U.S. Mom had hospital evidence father hitting son caused brain damage.  Another of our lousy rankings- media have finally been publishing we have highest incarceration rate, including kids, in the developed world and that Europe has highly successful rehabilitation rate instead.  Isn't it common sense that abusive custody or high incarceration will promote cycling abuse hurting ALL society?
ALL the above point to fact that democracy only works when it is a team sport. PLEASE insist and discuss ideas with friends, family AND media and your representatives making democracy work better!

NYT letter to editor, A Call for Drastic Changes in Educating Lawyers

Posted by susan titus glascoff at 2/16/2013 10:37 AM 
NYT letter to editor, A Call for Drastic Changes in Educating Lawyers, Ethan Bronner, Feb. 11, 2013

It was a relief to read that there is almost universal agreement that the current system is broken. A focus is needed to create more skill levels to reduce education expenses & taylor training & consumer cost for non-court matters. However, I am disappointed that no mention was made re need for more practical training re lots of specific issues, one key one being anything relating to family courts (including raising the prestige level), another being excessive hourly billing re anything likely to head to court, a third being addressing loophole issues (such as scads of delaying tactics), & a monumental fourth one being establishing enforceable checks & balances on unfair (or worse) behavior by any court actors, but especially judges.

A task force member noting “The house is on fire” is right on target! How about making an educational project in lawschool to address closing loopholes (students could choose specialties)?

Susan Titus Glascoff

(WWho in Amer, etc, masters Health Advocacy & Math....)

PS-Commentary-other articles,(next blog entry 2 pg questionnaire on web re “YOU Be Judge- 10 questions about legal accountability, & disturbing facts.” [Taub case-legal abuse grows- proposed settlement very convoluted, trying to hide fact it subtracts out all it 1st gives, awards abuse!!]
  1. 2/11/13- “Measure to Protect Women Stuck on Tribal Land Issue,”- the fact that the horrors of what has been happening have long been ignored is despicable & again makes us not much better than how India & many countries with third-world areas treat females. Note Mr. Udall said, “Native women should not be abandoned to a jurisdictional loophole.” Choose any topic- you'll find a crying need to close legal loopholes!

  2. 2/6/13- “A Death Penalty Fight Comes Home to Maryland,” - it notes that prosecutors & jurors ignored glaring problems with witnesses. WHY? HOW? Mr. Bloodstone only managed to win his release after 9 years in the state's most decrepid & violent prison. How about those who don't possess such willpower or intelligence or get lucky enough to snag some lawyer's interest? Then he was merely awarded $300,000 in compensation, yet the legal system awards plaintiffs millions for lesser suffering! What about victims in civil court, especially the excruciating pain for protective parents when custody is awarded to abusers, even in the face of documented evidence (& many of course can't produce that, but the testimony is usually searing when it is the truth- credible studies put lying about this very low- I think less than 5%). How about those impoverished by the system? What about the intangible costs to society from cycling abuse?

  3. 2/5/13- “In 2 Trailers, The Neighbors Nobody Wants,”- hmmmm.......society doesn't want released sexual predators near where they live, but how about fact the media keeps ignoring that for thousands (The award-winning documentary, NoWayOutButOne, notes ~58,000 cases per yr reported where child is awarded into custody of an abuser) the abuser is in the house?

  4. 2/11/13- “The Ignorance Caucus,” Paul Krugman- his sarcasm is excellent noting Mr. Cantor calling for an end to federal funding of social science research is “Because it's surely a waste of money seeking to understand the society we're trying to change.” And Mr. Krugman also correctly directs his anger at the NRA bullying fed. agencies into ceasing nearly all research about firearms & violence. How about another research project for law students & professors as well- how can we establish laws & regulations that prevent minority views blocking the majority, esp. when it is over 60%?

  5. 2/12/13- “Carpe Diem Nation,” David Brooks- “we forget- most our ancestors were immigrants who left everything to establish a new life, working hard for better future for their kids... We've become so greedy we sacrifice our kids' future!” How about legal research: curbing right to sue, insisting on reasonable awards &malpractice premiums, fair treatment non-whites long abused?

YOU BE the JUDGE- answer questions about legal accountability

Posted by susan titus glascoff at 2/11/2013 2:22 PM
YOU BE the JUDGE- answer questions about Legal Accountability, Feb. 2013, S.Titus Glascoff                                                                                                                                         
Definitions: 1st read 1-10 top- pair exactly with questions 1-10 bottom- answer YES or NO for each.    [Note- #7-10, are criminal offenses, except #8 + tax evasion- part of #9- can be criminal or civil]

           1) purpose of court- where justice is administered,
    2) justice- happens when result is based on legal or moral principles,

    3) job description- Judges must ensure all proceedings are fair, protect rights of all involved,

    4) Judicial Complaint Commission-to protect public(can file complaint), promote confidence in integrity, independence, & impartiality of judiciary, including encouraging high standards,

    5) abuse of judicial discretion- violation of due process(gov't.fairness), reason, facts of case,

    6) contempt of court- willfully disobeying court orders & regulations; judges are not required to enforce own orders; victims can file contempt motion -judges may dismiss it, order fines or jail,

    7) extortion- undue exercise of power (ex.- bribery) to get money from people,

    8) fraud- deceit to gain advantage, especially (not necessarily) if financial responsibility,

    9) obstruction of justice & money laundering overlap-ex: interfering by actions or words with court actions, tax evasion, illegal property transfers, using courts as weapon of retaliation, etc,

    10) RICO (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act), Congress- guilty- individual or Mob-violated at least 2 federal & 8 state statutes showing pattern, enterprise/conspiracy.


1.  Can the purpose of courts be met if : a) loopholes & other delaying tactics deny timely access?              b) Medical services are denied since malpractice premiums high(awards too high, easy to sue)?

2.  Is justice denied if opposing side has more money to drag case on longer than you can afford?

3.  Have judges fulfilled their job description if they rule for one side versus opposing facts given?

4.  Judicial Complaint Commission is not allowed to correct judges' orders that even violate laws. Appellate judges do that. Both groups rarely rule vs other judgesIsn't outside review needed? (1996-2006 study-all federal judges in 50 states, 1000s complaints, in 29 none got sanctioned.) (Documented 58,000 cases/yr -courts give custody to abuser when clear evidence abuse given.)

5.  Would you consider it an
abuse of judicial discretion if in a 7yr bankruptcy/divorce case wife is forced to Chap.11 bankruptcy/foreclosure, judges saying- husband wealthy/still ignoring orders, including taking or interfering with wife's rent collections, not paying home mortgage, ETC?
6.  Contempt of court
motions (for not obeying judge orders), & related required “motions” - lots are often filed by victims (taking lots time & money from them + taxpayer expense + other cases delayed, etc).    Is it fair to require victims to repeatedly try to get judges to enforce their orders? 7. If a father was found guilty of extortion (wire-tapped evidence given re recipt of 1st $75,000 of $2-300,000 requested) for agreeing to cover up sex abuse of son, is 3 months probation enough?

8. Would you call it
fraud-someone often filed taxes yrs late,spent lots more than income declared, ignored judges' orders to make many kinds of payments & this forced a person into bankruptcy?

9. a) Would you consider it
obstructing justice & money laundering if apartment bldg. ownership transferred for $10 (to foreign citizen) against judge orders?  b) If judges ignore that, including if victim filed contempt motions, would you consider that using courts as a weapon of retaliation?

10. Some of approx. 35 violations on
RICO list are: “if it relates to sexual exploitation of children, wire fraud, extortion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, fraud connected with a chap.11 case, enterprise-“including individual, partnership, association, or other legal entity OR group of individuals associated in fact though not a legal entity.”  a)  If someone claimed as income rent from several bldgs (he transferred his ownership against judge's orders), would you agree that meets RICO requirement for enterprise or conspiracy since they could not do it alone?  b)  If yes, & they did all things listed (>2 fed, 8 state) in this paragraph, would you judge them guilty of RICO?

  PLEASE forward this widely- friends, politicians, media.  Cost of suits + defensive practices are built into everything, & abusive practices are well known to have high recycling rates- a costly spiral!!
                           Don't judges, etc need checks/balances just like us?

                                  Our Kids 'Kant' Wait So Neither Can We!

Disturbing facts- A) Google- “Judicial Hellhole.” The American Tort Foundation ranks many across the U.S. & lists several criteria such as “impossible to get a fair trial.” Isn't that a Third World Tactic??[Google award-winning documentary, NoWayOutButOne- given Congress inside book, Our Broken Family Courts, 10/12]

Quotes from 3 lawyers, 2 male, from case- #10- partly described - a) Court must enforce orders to maintain respect for the judicial system & prevent breakdown & respect for laws. Not enforcing orders causes lots more legal fees & contributes to anarchy. Find this man in contempt & fine or jail him.”  b)  Lawyer is former nun & U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee- Failure to stop abuse in this case is a challenge & affront to the credibility of your honor (female). You have authority to stop fraud here. U.S. Bankruptcy Court is not a playground for foul & offensive practices.”    c)  “I've worked in matrimonial court 14yrs, 100s of cases, some high profile. Hold this man in contempt since he often misrepresented facts.”  The case is in Brooklyn, N.Y.   NYTimes Feb. 8, 2013 - “Prosecutor's Appeal for 7th Term: 'We're Not Done' ” - agree,Dist.Atty.Hynes has made some good progress recently.   Many know he's long had to battle Mob influence, ETC., but too many victims continue to suffer, including children.   If he & feds “stepped up to the plate” in above case, which will make prominent news, don't you think he could then retire setting a good example that could act as catalyst to force national discussion that abuse in our courts must stop?

C)  An article recently stated that our legal system has increasingly become far more about profit than justice. A google legal abuse site reported that divorce issues have become the biggest money maker for the non-criminal (civil) legal system.  Wouldn't helping stressed families help society?  Regardless of the topic, is stressing loopholes & who can afford the most aggressive lawyer, etc, etc. healthy for our society? 1-2 decades ago it was reported that we litigated 10 TIMES more per person than England.         Read book, The Death of Common Sense, by lawyer, Philip. K. Howard..
D) In 2008 a retired judge (agrees system broken) prepared a “guestimate” for me that in the NYCity area it cost about $4500 to operate one courtroom for one day.   THAT is taxpayer expense!   Some areas have been cutting hours courts are open, etc, etc. to balance budgets. That only increases backlogs.   How about cutting loopholes?!  Also, doesn't  failure to sanction unfair judges tarnish many good ones?!