Crisis In The Family Courts

Claudine Dombrowski–Insanity? Nope. Family Court in Kansas

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on April 15, 2011

http://www.helpmomsprotect.com/id12.html

Help Moms Protect

Help MOMS Protect—Claudine Dombrowski

Open Letter

High Profile Mothers

***Claudine Dombrowski

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Please carefully view these pictures.  Notice the bruises on her arms above her wrists on both arms.  Do they look like this was a mutual fight or are those marks of trying to defend herself against the brutality inflicted on her?

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Insanity? Nope. Family court in Kansas

Imagine that your home was broken into, vandalized and burglarized one night. You were roughed up and tied up while he ransacked your home. Fortunately, he left you shaken and hurt, but not seriously injured such as to require hospitalization. You were successfully able to identify him and his vehicle as he sped away.
Upon your call to the police, the offender is apprehended with the goods in his possession and brought to court to stand trial for his crimes against you.
You arrive in court and the first thing the judge asks you is if you are willing to go to mediation with the burglar. When you refuse, the judge labels you ‘uncooperative’ and ‘hostile’ to the burglar’s continued relationship with you. Even though the burglar was caught red-handed with your goods, and you were an eye witness to the crime, the judge now decides that he can’t possibly decide the case without first appointing a social worker termed a "burglary evaluator"
to assess yours and the burglar’s relationship.

When the social worker/evaluator can not determine what is best for your relationship or your stolen goods, they ask the judge to have both you and the burglar psychologically evaluated, because you seem "anxious", "angry" and "uncooperative" with the burglar. The court-appointed psychologist, who has no experience in being the victim of violent crime and has not studied the effects of such trauma, also determines that you are uncooperative, hostile, anxious, and you
have a negative opinion of the burglar that can’t be healthy. After all, the burglar had nothing but good things to say about you, your home and your belongings during his evaluation.

The psychologist recommends that you be restricted from access to your belongings until you can accept the burglar’s rightful relationship to continued access to your home and personal effects. He further recommends you attend weekly conjoint therapy with the burglar to work on being more cooperative with him in the future.
All at your expense of course.

The judge decides to wait a year or so to see how you work through your relationship with the burglar before he can decide upon the burglary conviction. He chastises you that you had better really work at the relationship or he may just grant the burglar’s request to maintain sole ownership of your property. None of these "experts" can be sued civilly for their negligence and incompetence because they have judicial or quasi-judicial immunity.
Insanity? Nope. Family court in Kansas.

Domestic violence victims walk into family court to ask a judge to protect their children from a known abuser. Instead, they face the above-described nightmare that can span years and put them into financial ruin, mental and emotional exhaustion, not to mention directly back into the path of the abuser. Judges pressure them to mediate, assign a custody evaluator who pressures them to accept 50/50 joint physical and legal custody with theirs and their children’s abuser.
They and their children are put through psychological evaluations by persons with little to no training in domestic violence, and some judges force co-parenting therapy and reunification therapy upon mother and child with their perpetrators. If they can not fit into the mold of cooperative "co-parenting" and the children continue to be reluctant to visit with the man that abused them, they face losing custody to him.

We have spent millions of dollars printing brochures and making public service announcements to victims of domestic violence encouraging them to leave violent relationships and telling them of the harmful effects on their children.

But when they do get the courage to leave, the same system tells them they are wrong to try to protect their children once they have divorced their abuser, and that they should now fully and freely support unsupervised visitation with the same dangerous person. Contrary to popular belief, children of batterers can be at just as much risk psychologically, sexually, and even physically after the couple splits up as they were when the family was still together. In fact, many children experience the most damaging victimization from the abuser at this point.

Most people assume that a fit mother never loses custody. If only that were true. The American Judges Association reports that "Studies show that batterers have been able to convince authorities that the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases." Unfortunately, the state of Kansas’s current laws also says that none of these people can be held accountable, either.
And so we go on, handing down family violence from one generation to the
next…

KMFCJ-founded by Claudine Dombrowski,a Protective Parent and survivor of Domestic Violence and systemic abuse. The goals of KMFCJ is to publish informed news releases, links and commentaries relating to protective parents and their children who continue to be victimized by the abuser and or the court system.
www.AngelFury.org

Kansas Mothers For Custodial Justice BLOG|Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories-Abusers getting custody

‘An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.”-Gandhi – All rights reserved

KANSAS

CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI CASE, Shawnee County, Kansas. Claudine lost custody of her baby daughter  to  the man who did this, thanks to Judge James P. Buchele, who refused to permit adequate testimony at trial, shortening it to benefit his docket, and also ordered Claudine to move back to Topeka to live near the man who did this, for the sake of their "co-parenting." WHAT?! He is a man with multiple criminal convictions for violent behavior (Battery, Attempted Battery, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Legal Process, Possession of Marijuana and violation of Open Container law), a man who has beaten and raped Claudine multiple times before and after her divorce from him, a man who has threatened to kill her and her child.
            Worse, Judge Buchele also ordered Claudine not to call the police any more without the permission of her case manager. When Judge James Buchele retired, Judge Richard D. Andersonaffirmed Buchele’s previous orders, including the illegal prohibition on Claudine’s being able to call the police. 
Guardian ad litem Scott McKenzie deserves a substantial portion of the credit for this travesty. I ask, how in hell can this happen in the United States of America?

The following is from  Stopfamilyviolence.org   Please visit there site.

Claudine Dombrowski – Kansas

Claudine was a psychiatric LPN. Now she is disabled and though a cane is medically indicated, she continues to be mobile on her own. The father owns his own business in Topeka. The abuse started when she was four months pregnant when she found out he was married to another woman. The child was already 11 months old before they were married in late 1995. Four months after marrying, the father filed for divorce in March 1996. In May 1996, mother asked for permission to move with the child to another city in Kansas because of the closing of a hospital where she worked. She had obtained employment in the other city and it would help her escape from his unremitting violence. Permission to move was granted. Four days later, father filed to change custody of the child to him.

During the course of the litigation, he admitted hitting Claudine and that it was a reason for her to leave the home but claimed it was not the reason she left every time. He admitted he told her to leave, pushed her out of the home, and paid no child support. He admitted to twisting her leg and scratching her face. According to her, he beat her 2 – 3 times a week. He pointed and cocked a shot gun at her while she was feeding the baby. He cut up her military uniform. He beat her when the baby dirtied the house. She was kicked out, locked out and would leave 3-4 times a week to escape the violence. Often she was gone for 2-3 weeks to maintain her safety and that of the child. Though she had a perfectly valid reason to leave and was in fact protecting the child, court personnel later used that to claim she would hide the child and therefore he should have custody.

In one incident, he hit her in the head so severely she required 14 internal stitches and 14 external stitches. When the court questioned the parties about this on the stand, the judge was far more worried about where it happened and who was telling the truth than the admitted and verifiable fact that he did hit her in the head with an object that left that much damage. Whether he hit her in the head with a big stick in his driveway or he hit her in the head with a tire iron in her apartment – he hit her in the head resulting in severe injury. The judge however lectured both parties about lying. See Exhibit 1 for photos of the petitioner after beatings by the child’s father.

While the father admitted the abuse, he claimed it was mutual combat. However not only did she have a protection order against him, but the man has eight criminal convictions – three convictions for domestic violence against her, a conviction for a bar fight, a conviction for assaulting a police officer, a conviction for obstruction of justice, one for possession of marijuana and one for driving under the influence. Pursuant to his various convictions, he was ordered to attend alcohol treatment – he didn’t. He was ordered to a psychiatric evaluation – he didn’t go. He was ordered to anger management classes but was asked to leave because of his inappropriate behavior. Domestic violence professionals know that anger management is not a suggested treatment modality for domestic violence perpetrators.

Court personnel not only were blind to the violence, they were completely ignorant of safety issues for the mother and child. Dr. Bernie Nobo, a licensed social worker, testified that it was a volatile situation. He actually had to stop the father from assaulting the mother in a meeting. Still he said there was no danger to the child but suggested she might hide to protect herself. In fact, that would be a very sensible thing to do. He diagnosed her as primarily depressed and the father as adjustment disorder with mixed emotional features (depression or anxiety). Not only is depression a reasonable response to the situation, but as a social worker, he is not qualified to make such diagnosis. Nobo did say her parenting was fine and he recommended supervised visitation to father.

The court services officer knew of the domestic violence and in fact listed it as the biggest concern. But rather than deal with the perpetrator, she suggested that the child should be put into foster care – thereby punishing the child who would lose a perfectly good loving and protective mother and would punish the mother for being a victim of abuse. The officer claimed the mother was a risk to run though she admitted she had never had any trouble contacting her. The officer was more concerned that the father have access to the child than the safety of the child or the mother.

Kansas statutes require joint custody unless there is a reason for sole and the GAL recommended custody to father because he lived near the court while mother had moved out of town (with the court’s permission) and he wanted to keep this child near the other three step-children from other marriages of the father. The GAL never talked to the mother or child, to the day care or the child’s physician nor did he do a home study. The GAL said the violence was so far fetched he didn’t believe it though he only knew of one conviction for DUI and never talked to the battered women’s shelter. Astonishingly, the GAL recommended the mother go to anger management classes.

On April 17, 1997 during a settlement conference, the mother was stunned by her own attorney suggesting she agree to a joint custody arrangement with a man she knew to be extremely dangerous. Her lawyer and the judge threatened the mother that he would grant sole custody to the father because allegedly she would not work together with him. This of course completely discounts the impossibility of working with a man as violent as this perpetrator. Though admitting that the violence lessened when she moved away, the judge said he would give shared custody only if she moved back to Topeka where the father lived and where the violence occurred. Forcing her to resettle in Topeka near the perpetrator, a routine practice of family courts, is the state forcing her directly into danger. It is a violation of the fundamental rights of life, safety and to be free from torture and other maltreatment. Essentially the court required the mother to give up her right to life and safety for custody of child. She did. Only to lose custody as well. She agreed to the settlement only to change attorneys and file a motion to set aside four days later.

In 1998, the child’s doctor reported the child had very poor hygiene when staying with father. The day care provider reported a change in her behavior after being with the father. She became either withdrawn or aggressive. A nurse requested an investigation of psychological abuse because of his treatment of the child.

On 31 July 2000, without any motion from either party and without a hearing, the judge simply issued an order that the mother had to relocate to Topeka if she wanted any possibility of obtaining custody. She did so but then in August, the judge ordered the child to remain with the father. In December 2000, supervised visitation was ordered for mother because she had allegedly returned the child late to the fathers over Christmas. They suspended all contact for several months and then she was allowed two hours a week supervised. The bizarre behavior of the courts was evident from as early as 1998 when they granted a divorce twice as evidenced by their own records – April 17 and October 28, 1998.

At the time of this filing, the mother had supervised visits once a week after having had no contact for 10 months based on an ex parte order without an evidentiary hearing issued 3 February 2004. At time of this filing, the mother had last seen the child on 15 April 2007 for one hour.

Over these 11 years of litigation, the judge was changed several times. One judge limited each side to five witnesses at trial and then continued to call them liars when they could not prove what they had said or disprove what the other had said because they were prohibited from calling witnesses. While the judge chastised the father for game playing in the court, he then berated the mother for not coming to agreement with the father. He could see how unreasonable the father was and the judge was not subject to violence from the man but yet he blamed the mother for not reaching an agreement. He said any child in this situation would grow up damaged but then blamed the mother rather than the father who was the one committing the violence. The judged focused on the mother’s move to escape the violence rather than the harm of the violence itself. The court excluded evidence of his extensive criminal record, medical records and other records of violence. In addition to mother, other witnesses knew of the violence and that the child witnessed it. But still the court saw no danger to the child.

In spite of an order of protection against the father and his eight criminal convictions, three against her, one judge said it was mutual violence and besides she provoked it. He said there was no evidence that the father mistreated the children and ordered joint custody and both parties to anger management. She was ordered not to call law enforcement about the father without getting permission of the case manager. In other words, he could assault her freely and she was not allowed to even call the police. She was told to stop gathering evidence against the father. In March 2005, she was ordered not to file any more motions in the court without permission from the case manager – she had filed a motion to remove that case manager. In other words, she was even denied access to the court.

ex parte order without an evidentiary hearing issued 3 February 2004. At time of this filing, the mother had last seen the child on 15 April 2007 for one hour.

Over these 11 years of litigation, the judge was changed several times. One judge limited each side to five witnesses at trial and then continued to call them liars when they could not prove what they had said or disprove what the other had said because they were prohibited from calling witnesses. While the judge chastised the father for game playing in the court, he then berated the mother for not coming to agreement with the father. He could see how unreasonable the father was and the judge was not subject to violence from the man but yet he blamed the mother for not reaching an agreement. He said any child in this situation would grow up damaged but then blamed the mother rather than the father who was the one committing the violence. The judged focused on the mother’s move to escape the violence rather than the harm of the violence itself. The court excluded evidence of his extensive criminal record, medical records and other records of violence. In addition to mother, other witnesses knew of the violence and that the child witnessed it. But still the court saw no danger to the child.

In spite of an order of protection against the father and his eight criminal convictions, three against her, one judge said it was mutual violence and besides she provoked it. He said there was no evidence that the father mistreated the children and ordered joint custody and both parties to anger management. She was ordered not to call law enforcement about the father without getting permission of the case manager. In other words, he could assault her freely and she was not allowed to even call the police. She was told to stop gathering evidence against the father. In March 2005, she was ordered not to file any more motions in the court without permission from the case manager – she had filed a motion to remove that case manager. In other words, she was even denied access to the court.

The complete failure of the court to protect the victim continued after father received custody. When she complained that the father forced her to have sex if she wanted to see the child, the case manager said that it was just part of co-parenting so deal with it.

She appealed twice to the Supreme Court of Kansas. In the appeal, she alleged not just for herself but that the policies and procedures of the Kansas courts denied the right to a full and fair hearing, denied equal protection and due process, and violated fundamental rights. She first filed in 1997, the appellate court affirmed the lower court in 1998 and the Supreme Court rejected review in 1999. She appealed again in 1999 and again the appellate court affirmed the lower court in 2000.

In July 2002, mother again regained unsupervised visitation.

On 25 August 2003, Claudine was attacked with a hammer and her arm broken by Kathleen Sales. Sales later admitted she was paid by the father who assured her no charges would be filed. They weren’t.

On 3 February 2004, false allegations were made against mother that she sought to have harm done to the father. The mother objected to the order and asked for an evidentiary hearing. The request was never even heard. By March 2005, mother had only supervised visitation that has remained to this day.

In March 2002, Dr. Dale did an evaluation for unsupervised visits with mother and recommendation for therapy. The evaluation cost $5,000 and father admitted violence and the mother was found not to be any danger to the father or child. She was however ordered to shut down her web site that she had constructed. On the website she expressed her opinion and her facts about the case and the danger the child was being put into by the court. In a second order later, she was ordered to remove the child’s photo from another website. After this evaluation, she had unsupervised visitation from May 2002 until 3 February 2004.

Repeatedly when father files motions, they are heard with negative consequences for mother and child based on the flimsiest of evidence or none at all. But when mother files motions, they are never even heard. A home study ordered into the father’s home in February 2006 was never done. On 14 April 2006, the court held a conference in chambers and refused to allow the mother to attend. The court changed the orders from a home study of father to a study of mother to assess her risk to the child. The evaluation found no risk and was positive for mother. Still supervised visitation was not changed.

In a hearing on 10 April 2007, the mother has asked yet again that the child be protected from abuse and at least she have unsupervised visitation. Again the court refused. The child spoke out in 2003 and three CPS reports have been filed but in all three, they claimed that the mother coached the child who is now 12 and certainly able to speak for herself and punished both mother and child by restricting visitation time further. The lesson is clear – don’t report abuse.

The latest in Claudine’s own words except we remove the child’s name per court order.

 

The written testimony that you have was filed at the inter American commission human rights known as Dombrowski v us 2007 For the Policy and procedure of Family/Juvenile Courts routinely placing battered mothers children with abuser and pedophiles. The Court’s record is complete, as well as a simple Google search of my name for any more information and court records on this case alone are available as they are to massive to even begin to present.

My name is Claudine Dombrowski, I am a US Army Veteran. I was a psychiatric nurse for thirteen years with the state of Kansas and the VA. Until December 2000 when I was placed on 100% physical disability related to violence inflicted by the batterer.

In May of 1996 I was given permission to relocate to western Kansas to avoid the unremitting violence that I and my daughter suffered at the hands of the batterer, this was after I had been beaten with a crow bar, by an admitted and convicted batterer.

In July 200o without any motion from any party the Judge simply on his own issued a 11 page Order by ‘snail mail’ giving complete custody of my 6 year old daughter to a man known to have a violent drug and alcohol addiction past.

In a hearing on 10 April 2007, the mother has asked yet again that the child be protected from abuse and at least she have unsupervised visitation. Again the court refused. The child spoke out in 2003 and three CPS reports have been filed but in all three, they claimed that the mother coached the child who is now 12 and certainlyable to speak for herself and punished both mother and child by restricting visitation time further. The lesson is clear – don’t report abuse.

In May 2007, I was enrolled automatically into the states Address confidentiality program Safe at home- a program administered by the secretary of state for victims of Domestic Violence-thereby protecting at least my address from the Abuser and the Courts by proxy.

In June 2007 the courts denied my daughter to see her grandmother for the last time (in supervised vists) related to her terminal illness- Grandmother had made her last trip to Kansas with child’s dog to say good bye to all her grandchildren- all except child ; however they did allow the dog to visit child.


November 4th 2008 The courts denied child to go to her grandmothers funeral. And further gave the batterer complete control in allowing mother to see child under the strict supervised visitation that had been implemented this past 11 years.


October 2009 Claudine spoke on a local television station regarding Domestic Violence. The next day, she was held in contempt of the court and her rights to see her daughter have been suspended.

I have never been shown to be a threat or harm to my daughter- yet for the last 11 years I have not been able to see her past the confines of extremely structured supervised visits at best when I have been allowed to see her. There are numerous psychiatric reports on the courts file that state that I am not a threat or harm to my daughter quite contrary to that of the well documented violence and substance abuse of the perpetrator.

Then points to add in: to the written testimony are the illegal 2000 custody switch after a 6 year litigation.

Keeping in mind that the this man had 8 criminal convictions of violence

· 2000 custody switch

· My mother was denied to see her granddaughter for her last visit as her health would preclude any future visits- my child in 2007- they did let the dog however

· In fall 2008 my mother died Rikki was not allowed to go to funeral

· Last week attys called DC iachr

· Abusers has 8 criminal convictions et el

· Ten years in SUPERVISED visits

Current order of the Courts and my sentence for contempt Dec 16th reads.

11/13/2009

MISC. Petitioner in person and by Don Hoffman. Respondent in person and by Robert E. Duncan, II. G.A.L., Jill Dykes, in person. Court Reporter: Digital Div. 13. Matter comes before Court on Respondent’s motion for unsupervised visitation and Petitioner’s motion for contempt. Parties have agreed that motion for contempt will be deferred pending Petitioner’s locating and removing all referenced items to the minor child on the internet. Matter to be reset if disagreement between the parties about removal of items referring to minor child and her likeness from internet. Court interview minor child – no record per agreement of the parties. Court suspends parenting time of Respondent due to Respondent’s continued use of her website and the internet to publish photographs of minor child and statements reference minor child. Court will entertain motion to reinstate parenting time once Respondent deletes all photographs and likenesses of minor child, any reference to minor child on her website and the internet, agree not to discuss Court proceedings with minor child and not to discuss divorce with minor child. Review set for December 16, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. T. Duncan to do JE. DBD

Click for court documents

Click for Breaking the Silence

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