Experience Makes You an Expert- The Overlooked Problem of Family Courts

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by James Carter

Americans who still believe that the U.S. Constitution protects them, have not yet dealt with the family law system. It’s no secret that the system is broken but unfortunately most people do not realize how serious the problem is until they experience it first hand. This corrupt system is the most destructive force operating on American families today. The greed and abuse of power is out of control, children’s lives are being destroyed and fit parents are being deprived of their basic human rights without notice or a chance to be heard.

We desperately need family law reform however the issue has been ignored because the American public is in denial. Most citizens are under the illusion that it’s impossible for courts to ignore the law. They think there’s government agencies that hold the courts accountable. What the public fails to realize is that the courts they see on t.v. are usually criminal courts or courts at law. Where family courts are courts in equity which operate completely different.

In courts of equity, juries are unavailable and litigants are at the mercy of a single person’s subjective opinion. Since these family court judges have absolute discretion and immunity they cannot be held accountable. So they routinely violate due process and equal protection rights. They’re supposed to be limited by substantive and procedural rules but there’s not a single agency that has the authority to intervene with their decisions. Due to this lack of oversight and no current routes of redress, the abuse of judicial discretion often goes beyond constraints set down by legislation, precedent, and the U.S. Constitution.

This unrestrained power has resulted in the suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent American families. Some people think that these are arbitrary decisions. However, the fact that these judges NEVER prosecute for perjury and do not require allegations to be proven is direct evidence that they do not base their decisions on the merits of a case. I believe it’s painfully obvious that greed is the motivating factor driving their decisions.

Because we are conditioned to believe that judges have high levels of integrity it’s hard for most people to imagine why they would ignore their oaths of office. But if you follow the money you’ll see that family courts and child protective agencies have been kidnapping children under “color of law” for decades so they can collect federal incentives. You see family law is a 50 billion dollar a year business. It was created to extort your family’s life savings through deliberately prolonged litigation. So federal incentive programs have been set up to encourage the courts and cps to intentionally instigate conflict. Here are just a few of the programs, the Federal Social Security Act Title IV-D which pays states $.71 for every dollar they collect in child support and Title IV-E which pays states to separate children from their parents altogether. Yeah that money comes from the FICA section of your pay stub.

As if this wasn’t devious enough, manifesto groups have discovered a malicious way to take advantage of the billions through a scheme which involves targeting “high conflict” divorces and using the children as pawns. These groups use predatory lawyers and collusive judges to further perpetuate the conflict by intentionally shifting custody to abusers. The reason for making this custody shift is because abusers are twice as likely to seek sole custody, and good parents never give up fighting to protect their children. So it creates very long litigation.

Here’s how it works, Family court judges will use “the best interest of the child” standard as an excuse to shift custody from the safe parent to abusive parent. In cases where the safe parent has allowed the abusive parent to be around the child, the judge will say: “If the allegations are true, then I have to question your ability to make good decisions regarding the safety of your child.” In cases where the safe parent hasn’t allowed the abusive parent to be around the child, the judge will say: “You are committing child abuse by alienating the child.” They ensure that, either way, they can shift custody. Because the more conflict they can create, the more profit they will generate.

According to a conservative estimate by experts at the Leadership Council on Child Abuse, more than 58,000 children a year are taken from safe parents and ordered into the custody of physically or sexually abusive parents. A study by the American Judges Association states that in domestic violence related divorces, the perpetrator gets custody 70% of the time even when there is evidence of child sexual assault. Thirty-one states in the U.S. allow rapists to gain custody of children, while a growing number of states enable pedophiles to win custody over safe parents.

The courts are not only enabling this abuse, they are profiting off the suffering. These criminal acts are barbaric and inhumane.
Unfortunately, even though this scandal has been carefully documented for over 30 years, most people still don’t believe that it really happens. Prior to seeing it with my own eyes, I didn’t believe it either. Anytime someone claimed the court ignored the law or violated their rights, I automatically assumed that they were bad parents or they were exaggerating and there had to be more to the story. Whether you want to believe it or not, it is very real. When it happens to you, you quickly realize you are all alone. The protections you thought you had, you find no one will enforce. Everywhere you turn for help, you will hear: “We can’t interfere with family courts.”

I have personally experienced this abuse of power twice the first time was about 15 years ago when a judge ignored the child support guidelines and set my obligation way above the legal limit. I was left with $400 a month to live on, and it caused me major financial problems. I spent most of my 20’s in court-ordered poverty. It took me a very long time to climb out of the hole. But this issue pales in comparison to what happened to my wife.

In the summer of 2014, my wife let her 4-year-old daughter go to Newport, Washington for a few weeks to visit her grandmother. One week before she was supposed to pick her up, my wife got a call from an attorney saying he’d filed a restraining order against her and the court transferred custody over to her ex. As you can imagine, we were in shock. At first we didn’t even think it was true because there weren’t any grounds for a restraining order.

Our family is non-violent. We rarely drink and we don’t drugs. We both had good jobs and had a nice four-bedroom house in Colorado. Why would a court–without any notice– take a little girl away from her safe and stable mother who raised her for four years on her own, and give her to a documented abusive father who has never paid child support and has been voluntarily absent for the majority of the child’s life? So my wife called the Spokane County Courthouse and found out that he claimed she abandoned her daughter. That very same night, she got on a plane to Washington.

When she got to Washington, she found that there were already two restraining orders against her. One was an automatic order which are illegal in custody cases, and the other was an ex parte restraining order which are only legal in bona fide emergencies. Both orders violated her due process rights. My wife had tons of evidence proving the accusations were false including texts from her ex from two days prior asking what day she was picking her up. In my wife’s attorney’s mind, there were so many obvious constitutional violations, and it was abundantly clear the case was nothing more than an attempt to continue harassing her. So we expected that the case would be over quickly. Now it’s been over a year and a half, and my wife is still in Washington fighting to get her daughter back.

During this past year and a half, I studied the law inside and out and found there were literally dozens of blatant local, state, federal and Constitutional violations going on here. So I tried to get help from the agencies that are supposed to protect us. I started with the state bar association. They claimed flat-out there hadn’t been any wrong doing and refused to discuss it any further. Then I tried the commission on judicial conduct. They also denied there’d been any wrong doing. I next wrote to every elected official in Washington and Colorado; the Department of Justice; the FBI; the ACLU; and so many others that I can’t even remember. I either didn’t get a response, or they would say, “We’d like to help you but we can’t intervene with family court decisions.”

The reason this has gone on for so long is due to a long list of co-conspirators, ambiguous laws, and two main loopholes: the doctrine of judicial immunity, and the “best interest of the child” standard. The doctrine of judicial immunity allows judges to ignore laws under the excuse that they are using “their discretion.” This literally makes them untouchable for any act preformed while on the bench, no matter how wrong or malicious it is. The only times that this immunity does not apply is when judges act outside of their jurisdiction, or when they violate constitutional rights. However, these judges have interpreted that the best interest of the child standard allows them to trump constitutional rights. This is treason because fundamental liberty interests are unalienable rights.

If we expect to remain a free and democratic society we must reform the family law system to be based upon the rule of law. For only through such law does the dignity of the individual retain respect and protection. Without it, individual rights become subject to unrestrained power, and respect for law is destroyed.

From the time I was a kid, I was proud to be an American. I heard amazing stories of courageous men making the ultimate sacrifices to gain the people’s freedom from tyrannical governments. Fighting to protect our innate rights as human beings is the very cornerstone of what our country was founded on. I am disgusted by how the family court system has insulted and made a mockery of all the lives given in the name of freedom. This total disregard of our natural rights has me seriously considering finding a new home country.

As a member of the United States military, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC. Currently I am deployed in Afghanistan and, sadly, I think our family court system is a bigger threat to our freedom, families, and American way of life than what we’re facing overseas.

It’s time to wake up and realize that the whole “father’s rights vs. mother’s rights thing needs to stop. The rights of some should not be secured by the denial of rights to others. The cold hard truth is that there really isn’t a gender bias in family courts. Those who suggest this are perpetuating the fraud. The courts only care about one thing, and that is getting the most federal incentives they can from your case. It is an evil, greedy, and corrupt system.

The good news there is a way we can solve this problem and that is through the United States Supreme Court. Currently there is a parental rights and child abduction case on the desk of the U.S. Supreme Court that could be the key to family law reform. On February 19th 2016 the justices will decide if they are going to hear the case. So I feel it’s imperative that not only mothers and fathers but ALL American citizens should support the U.S. Supreme Court Case Adkins v. Adkins, Docket #15-754. It’s time for American citizens to tell the U.S. Supreme Court to enforce their authority over the states and protect our freedom

James Carter

Pennsylvania