Category Archive: Tarrant County

Nov 23 2014

Tarrant County Can’t Handle the Truth

Tarrant County Can’t Handle the Truth

OPINION  – PPC

November 23, 2014

Surprising to see what seems to be the entire Tarrant County Family Court System engaging in the next Title IV-D Associate Judge appointment discussion on the November 21, 2014 PPC Facebook post.  Everyone from private attorneys, county attorneys, county executive directors to district judges supported comments suggesting PPC’s only purpose is to “hate”.  Isn’t it ironic that the victims of the broken family court system are called ‘bullies’ and ‘haters’ when it is the legal community harassing the litigants inside and outside the court?  TruthThe opposing respondents posted comments as if people who felt they were denied due process were making unprecedented statements.

Just yesterday, the Fort Worth Police Department was in the news because they are under a federal investigation for falsifying traffic tickets under a ticket quota system that violates Texas state laws.   Nine officers and the police chief have either resigned or were fired for the accusations of falsifying the documents in order for the officers to earn overtime pay.

Fort Worth Weekly has been reporting regularly the Tarrant County probate courts have been abusing their discretion.  Eighty-five year old Dorothy Luck has been fighting the probate court’s 2008 decision to appoint her a guardian and remove her of all of her rights because the court found her mentally unstable.  While she was a ward of the state, the courthouse appointees decided Luck’s living conditions, and more importantly the court cronies drained her of her assets.  Dorothy Luck has been working with state wide organizations advocating guardianship reform in Texas. In this article, she states she believes the reason the Tarrant County District Judge King decided to release the guardianship ruling was due to the media exposure and led to public awareness.

Ten days ago the Dallas Morning News wrote an article questioning why there is no public outrage when men are victims of domestic violence.  A father in the article was quoted stating the Tarrant County court ‘refused to believe’ the assaults, even with photographs, videotapes of assault and police reports.  His comments substantiate the complaint so many other people report.  Tarrant County is refusing any and all evidence and making rulings based on a belief system instead of the law.

Is this why members of the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association mobbed the PPC website in the last few days?  Some comments from attorneys appeared to be pure psychological projection. (Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others.  For example, a person who is rude may constantly call other people rude.) 

Embedded in the posts, lawyers are attacking individuals for their opinions, which are protected under the first amendment of the Constitution.  Victims of the family court might find it hard to believe the Constitution also guarantees the right to be free from intrusion by the government.  If you saw these same lawyers in court, you might see them advocating first amendment rights when they defame and slander individuals before the honorable judge.  Custody and divorce evaluators will call people names in open court without proof such as: “pathetic”, “disgusting”, “alcoholic”, “liar”, “vindictive bitch”, “drug addict”, “mentally unstable”,  “diagnosed with munchausen by proxy syndrome” , “cheater”, “prostitute”, “sleezy”, “criminal”, “low life”, “abusive”, “crazy”, or “lunatic” .

Do the lawyers opposing the PPC post feel their first amendment rights to free speech precede the general public’s rights due to the lawyers elevated position of power?  Unconstitutional intimidation has been a method for some time now in Tarrant County and that behavior needs to end.

 

Is the Tarrant County legal community in denial of the truth,

or are they just trying to bully their critics into silence?

 

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your competent attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site is not legal advice. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not be viewed as legal advice.

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Nov 17 2014

Misinterpretation of the Law or Ego?

Misinterpretation of the Law or Ego?

COURT WATCHER REPORT:  November 11, 2014
–click blue text to open embedded documents in another window–

Court Watchers have observed District Judge Judith Wells of the 325th Tarrant County court for several years.   During this period, the court watchers have been entertained with the pattern of theatrics displayed in the 325th associate and district courts.  Attorneys walk into the 325th District Court Judge Judith Wellscourtroom and are usually able to predict exactly what motions the judge wants filed on the case.  Are the attorneys mind-readers? Or, are attorneys and court appointments given instructions by the judge in advance?

Years ago a court watcher asked a local attorney their opinion of Judge Wells.  The answer from the attorney suggested she had gotten really good at screwing people over and making it look legal. Wells has been on the bench since 1991,  so if this is true, imagine the number of families she has devastated with her adverse rulings.

On November 11, 2014, only one court watcher observed a scheduled hearing for a case that has been mishandled since May 2013.  This case is one of the greatest examples of denial of due process, parental right violations and denial of constitutional rights the court watchers have witnessed. Some outsiders have even described the case as criminal.

 

She has gotten really good at screwing people over.

A married couple was sued separately by their ex-spouses for custody at the same time.  One case was assigned to the 325th and the other to the 231st District court.   District Judge Jesse Nevarez of the 231st court and Judge Wells decided to consolidate the two cases into one instead of having two separate cases heard in two different district courts.   The 325th District court is hearing both cases at the same time with all of the same court appointments.  During hearings, the couple’s ex-spouses sit together on one side of the courtroom with their attorneys while the married couple sits on the other without legal representation.

The judge’s hypocrisy suggesting ‘justice for all’ in a court where parents who are represented by attorneys with personal relationships with the judge triumph and those without counsel or obtain attorneys without favor in her court, are denied all guaranteed constitutional rights.  Today the judge was an obvious hypocrite. Usually Judge Wells tries to appear impartial, but on this date she did not suggest any impartiality.  Attorneys were excused from the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 21a but yet the parents (without attorneys) were challenged and forced to prove compliance. 

Judith Wells Bumper Sticker copy

The attorneys and the parents filed motions for this hearing,  just three weeks before the jury trial the first week of December.   All motions filed by the attorneys were granted, however; every single motion introduced by the parents was denied.  She wanted to let the jury decide the parents’ motions since the trial was only a few weeks away.

Judge Wells hand-picked a faith-based amicus attorney for the children just four weeks before the final trial. Brooks Harrington is a minister and the Legal Director with The Methodist Justice Ministry.  Harrington had to be convinced by Judge Wells to take this case pro bono.  Other PPC members have applied for pro bono representation by Mr. Harrington’s organization and have been turned away.  This is why we are even more curious as to the reason Mr. Harrington has agreed to  represent four children in a complicated jury trial last minute.

The judge and Harrington are trying (in open court, emails and private meetings) to convince the parents that the amicus attorney is there to represent the children’s best interest. So far, the amicus has been a devise tool filing motions with the court that the trial court can’t legally file.

The parents have really done a great job representing themselves in court. The parents filed motions to remove the amicus and an explanation as to what the amicus could possibly accomplish just weeks before the jury trial. The opposing attorneys, Harrington and Judge Wells are all advocating for the amicus to remain on the case. When the mother questioned the court as to why the amicus was needed, they all struggled to convey a  convincing reason.

Judge Wells really showed her hand when this dialogue transpired about the mother’s Motion to Vacate the Amicus Appointment.

JUDGE WELLS: Do you want to argue?

HARRINGTON: Well, I am concerned.

JUDGE WELLS: Well, I’ll ask you the same question that I asked you in the last hearing.  Have you had time to meet with the child?

HARRINGTON:  I have.

JUDGE WELLS: Have you had time to get a brief overview of the case?

HARRINGTON:  More than that your Honor. 

JUDGE WELLS:  Is it your opinion, that the child needs representation independent of the parent parties?

HARRINGTON: yes.

JUDGE WELLS:  Is their anything else you want to say?

THE MOTHER: Yes, an amicus doesn’t represent the child.  An amicus represents the court.

JUDGE WELLS:  I disagree.

THE MOTHER  But an ad litem represents the child.

JUDGE WELLS: I disagree.  But anyway, the Motion to Vacate the Appointment of Amicus Attorney is denied.

Harrington’s first motion filed was a Motion of Limine, an order to deny the jury information pertinent in deciding the custody for 4 children.  The parents would like the opportunity to point out the differences in the hearsay allowed into evidence and lack of convincing evidence that has been excluded into the case.   If given the chance, the parents would be able to demonstrate the fraud that has occurred to an impartial jury and maybe they too would see the parents’ parental rights terminated with (extreme) prejudice.

The Motion of Limine would only benefit one party and that is the court. But wait, the court isn’t a party, so this motion must benefit the children.  Since the amicus attorney was recently appointed to represent four children in a terribly complicated case, one might wonder how this attorney could represent their best interests’.

Per Texas Family Code statute 107.001, (1) “Amicus attorney” means an attorney appointed by the court in a suit, other than a suit filed by a governmental entity, whose role is to provide legal services necessary to assist the court in protecting a child’s best interests rather than to provide legal services to the child. (2) “Attorney ad litem” means an attorney who provides legal services to a person, including a child, and who owes to the person the duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation. And, according to O’Connor v. O’Connor (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] May 17, 2007), the court is the amicus attorney’s client. The amicus is going to cooperate with their client, the court.

“Because the amicus attorney is “to provide legal services to assist the court,” the trial court is, in effect, the amicus attorney’s client for a limited purpose.   But the trial court is not a party either to the underlying case or in this appeal.   Therefore it is as inappropriate for the amicus attorney to file a brief as it would be for the trial court to file one.”

It would appear the appellate court and the statute seem to have an opinion that the amicus attorney represents the court and not the children, unlike what Judge Wells suggested.

Apparently Harrington’s Motion of Limine had some loopholes and the father’s attorney, Matt Riek, decided to file another Motion of Limine on the same case protecting his client and the court’s amicus attorney.  Riek’s Motion of Limine is asking the court to consider contempt of court upon the mother if she, as her own attorney, brings up any issues that prevent his client from a fair and impartial trial. 

Since history has a way of repeating itself, particularly in this case, Judge Wells will sign this order too; thus preventing the parents from seeking justice for themselves and preserving their rights to their children.

If the judge appointed Harrington to represent the children’s best interests, why does Harrington appear to only be protecting the court and Riek’s client’s best interests?

 

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.ppcforchange.com/judith-wells-ego/

Nov 07 2014

You Decide: Can the new Tarrant County Associate Judge (AJ) be impartial?

imagesYou Decide:   Can the new Tarrant County Associate Judge (AJ) be impartial?

Before the AJ was appointed in her position, a modification case between a mother and father had already begun.  PPC has been following the case for a couple of years and ‘politics’ has been an issue. The father is a Fort Worth police officer and Republican candidates in the 2014 local elections made phone calls on the father’s behalf earlier this year.  After the coercive calls, the new AJ  was appointed to the bench.  Her husband works for the Fort Worth Police Department, just like the father in this case.

This month the parents scheduled a hearing before the AJ.  The mother walked into the courtroom and witnessed the judge and police officer father speaking up at the bench without her.  Both parents do not have attorneys so this conversation could be classified as an ‘ex parte’ meeting.  When the mother asked if they started without her, the response from the AJ was she wasn’t sure if she would come or not.  The mother has attended all hearings in the past.

Do you think the AJ’s spouse working for the same department as one of her litigants is a conflict of interest?

 

Grounds for Recusal in Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 18b

Grounds for Recusal. A judge must recuse in any proceeding in which:
(1) the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned;
(2) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning the subject matter or a party;
(3) the judge has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;
(4) the judge or a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law has been a material
witness concerning the proceeding;
(5) the judge participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness in the matter in controversy, or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of it, while acting as an attorney in government service;
(6) the judge knows that the judge, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse or minor
child residing in the judge’s household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding;
(7) the judge or the judge’s spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person:
(A) is a party to the proceeding or an officer, director, or trustee of a party;
(B) is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding; or
(C) is to the judge’s knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.
(8) the judge or the judge’s spouse, or a person within the first degree of relationship to either of
them, or the spouse of such a person, is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding.

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Oct 23 2014

CPS fights to reunite kids with mother but kids’ attorney supports foster parents

COURT WATCH REPORT OCTOBER 15, 2014

Associate District Court 325th in Tarrant County, Texas

CPS fights in court to do the right thing, but child’s ad litem fighting against reunification with mother

CPS-Tarrant

 

Two court watchers observed CPS argue to Judge Terri White, the biological mother is fit to care for her two children removed from her home 15 months ago and placed in a foster home.   CPS attorney, Melissa Paschall, called witnesses and reiterated CPS’ purpose is to reunify parents with their children.  The mother has completed all of her services,  is not accepting any welfare or government aid, is currently raising a 5 month old baby and is living with her parents in a nice four bedroom home.  
Last year, the father of the two children committed family violence and injured one of the children.  Luckily the child’s injury is not permanent, however the father was booked, charged, did time in jail  and currently is on probation.  Court watchers did not hear any testimony supporting why CPS took the children from the mother in the first place.  Court watchers have observed other victims of domestic violence lose their children in other cases too.

 

 

 

The children have been in foster care since June 2013.  The mother has taken many classes including:
1.  A drug program through CPS because she admitted to CPS that she had done drugs as one time in the past.
2.  Individual counseling sessions.
3.  Parenting classes.
4.  10 week FOCUS classes with NewDay Services.
5.  Attended drug and alcohol classes with Safe Haven because she tested positive for marijuana.
6.  Has assessments at the Recovery Resource Council in Fort Worth.

The mother’s  drug test results are negative, she has a job, a stable home with the support of her parents, no longer in a relationship with the abusive father of her children; so, what’s the problem?  The problem is the court appointed ad litem attorney representing the two children is objecting to the reunification.  Attorney Laurie Robinson objected constantly to any information offered to the court suggesting the mother was a positive role model.  The children are under the age of 5 and they have an attorney actively working to keep them in the foster care program.  Robinson’s focus to the court was who the father was of the 5 month old baby the mother has had since her children were removed last year.  The baby is not included in this suit, nor is Robinson representing the baby as the ad litem attorney.

The mother, who resides in Arlington, is only allowed a visit every 2 weeks in the Dallas CPS office.  This arrangement seems to be very inconvenient for the mother and her attorney, Sonya Carillo argued this point as well.  Arlington does not have public transportation and  on a couple of occasions the mother has missed visits with her kids due to problems with her vehicle.  

Robinson did not find this excusable and doggedly wanted the CPS caseworker to testify to the court that the mother was lying about her transportation problems.  Instead, the CPS caseworker testified that CPS seeks to reunify children with their parents but this case has taken longer because the department wanted to be satisfied with the care the mother would give her new baby and the foster parents of her 2 children didn’t agree with the return of the children.  CPS also said under oath, the 5 month old was not removed because their were no grounds, there are no services left for the mother to complete, the mother has done an excellent job with services and her new baby, she has never committed domestic violence on her kids, and the children’s therapist has only worked with the foster parents and has never worked with the mother.  

This case will be dismissed in two months and the foster parents hired attorney Greg Housewirth to intervene in this case two days ago. Housewirth filed a Petition to Intervene for Termination and Adoption of Child on behalf of his clients.  Interestingly, Mr. Housewirth appeared at this hearing when his clients were not part of the motion.  The judge allowed him to sit with counsel and he attempted to ask questions and make objections.  The mother’s court appointed attorney, Carillo, continuously reminded the court the inappropriateness for his behavior and presence, but the judge only made exceptions for him.  Judge White allowed him to cross examine witnesses on the stand through the ad litem attorney.  Attorneys Paschall and Carrillo throughout the hearing were visibly irritated with the many exceptions the judge was allowing.  

Even worse, Judge White and attorney Robinson would interrupt attorney Carrillo’s line of questioning of the CPS caseworker.  CPS was answering questions related to findings and investigations of the mother by their department.   Judge White and Robinson both interrupted and discussed together what they remembered was different than what was being offered in testimony.  CPS attorney Paschall was able to validate the caseworker’s testimony.

The therapist, Andrea M. Davis LPC.,  in this case was clearly biased.  She had never met the mother, but was able to make recommendations and opinions of the mother’s ability to parent based on other therapist’s progress notes and CPS’s  records.  The mother’s attorney obviously objected and asked how she could offer an opinion based on someone else’s opinion.  The therapist has weekly counseling sessions at the foster parent’s home or in her office (total of 24 times) but is not willing to hold any sessions in the mother’s home.  I believe at one time while the therapist was testifying, the ad litem offered to the court the older child has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  CPS and the mother’s attorney kept objecting, but the judge would side with the ad litem.  Attorney Robinson may be a nurse, but she not licensed as a psychiatrist or psychologist who can diagnose mental illnesses.

The judge was to rule on CPS’ motion to allow the mother to have 4 hour unsupervised visitations with her boys to start a process of a rapid return of permanency in their mother’s home.  CPS reiterated in the hearing their desire to reunite the children with their mother as this is always their goal. The judge’s ruling is unknown at this time, however, she did rule the mother is court ordered to take a paternity DNA test to determine who the father of her 5 month old baby is, who is not a part of this suit.

On this day, PPC Court Watcher’s witnessed CPS fighting to do what is in the child’s best interest of the children, while the court appointed attorney fought to keep the children from their mother.

In this case, there are 4 court appointed attorneys paid by Tarrant County.  So far a total of $4683.54 has been spent on the case just in attorney fees.  In CPS cases, attorneys are paid $100 an hour.  According to invoices submitted to the court, the ad litem attorney, Laurie Robinson, has been paid a disproportionate amount in this case.  Robinson has made $3600  (76%)  and the mother’s attorney, Sonya Carrillo, has been paid $613.54 (13%) of the total fees expenditures.  The percentages actually represent the number of hours the attorneys have worked on the case and according to the invoices.  Robinson has worked 36 hours representing the two toddler children versus Carrillo who was just as prepared for court, has worked 6 hours representing the mother.

This case begs the question, whose interest’s is the court protecting?

 

 

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Aug 13 2014

Tarrant County 360th District Court Reversed For Not Providing a Record

 

Another recent appeal from a Tarrant County family court ruling resulted in a reversal and remanded family case. The 360th District Judge, Mike Sinha, failed to ensure that a reporter’s record was taken at trial even though Section 105.003 of the Texas Family Code says a record SHALL be made unless waived by the parties.

See the full appeal here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2SxgmLebjiLb3BCazgzOVdZNmM/edit?usp=sharing

The statute says:
§ 105.003. Procedure for Contested Hearing
(c) A record shall be made as in civil cases generally unless waived by the parties with the consent of the court. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 105.003 (West).
 

Texas courts say:

“This provision places a duty on the court to make a record of the proceedings.” Rogers v. Rogers, 561 S.W.2d 172, 173 (Tex. 1978).

A “record refers to the recording of oral testimony. Thus, the pleadings, motions and orders here—which do not record oral testimony—are not section [105.003(c)] records.”  Ramirez v. Sanchez, 871 S.W.2d 534, 535 (Tex. App. 1994)

“The court has a duty to make a record in all suits affecting the parent-child relationship, unless such record is waived by the parties with the consent of the court. A party may waive the making of a record by express written agreement, or by not objecting to the lack of record during the hearing. However, if the “appellant was not present and was not represented by counsel when the testimony was taken, and he later discovers no record was made, the lack of record cannot easily be waived.”  O’Connell v. O’Connell, 661 S.W.2d 261, 263 (Tex. Civ. App. 1983)

“When a party is present before the court, due diligence must be exercised in seeking a record… The appellate record reflects that Marks was present and represented by counsel at the final hearing, that Marks entered an agreed order authorizing the associate judge to conduct the final hearing, that the parties waived the making of a record and that the associate judge, while neglecting to include an affirmative statement of waiver in his report, proceeded to conduct the final hearing without a court reporter or other means of recordation. The actions of the associate judge, viewed together with the recitation of waiver in the final order and Marks’s failure to show or even allege that he actually objected to the lack of a court reporter, support the conclusion that Marks waived the making of a record in the final hearing before the associate judge.” In re D.J.M., 114 S.W.3d 637, 639-40 (Tex. App. 2003)

 

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your competent attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site is not legal advice. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not be viewed as legal advice.

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Aug 01 2014

District Judge Nevarez sanctions wife for jury request

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COURT WATCHER REPORT- 231st District Court -Tarrant County
AUGUST 1, 2014

On February 19, 2013  a motion was brought before the court for a Post Divorce Division of Property.  The husband is represented by attorney Mark Cochran and the wife currently by attorney Robert Widner.  The records suggest the father’s salary is close to $1 million a year. The wife alleges fraud and perjury by her ex-husband because he intentionally was deceitful to the court by hiding $850,000 worth of assets at the time of the divorce.

On April 21, 2014, Judge Nevarez ordered the wife to pay $30,000 into the ‘court registry’. The 231st District Judge (Nevarez) ordered her to pay the court the full amount within 10 days of the ruling.  She works part-time and was forced to empty her IRA account and take out a home equity loan in order to comply with the judge’s order.  Court watchers have been reporting ‘conditional rulings’ by the 360th District Judge (Sinha) and it would appear the newly elected 231st District Judge is doing the same.  This $30,000 was ordered after the mother requested a trial by jury.  The transcript images attached are from the April 28, 2014 hearing.  Could the conditional sanction by the court be because the mother requested a jury to hear the case?

After today’s hearing, a witness reported to PPC the husband’s attorney, Mark Cochran, was overheard stating “if I don’t get all of the $30,000 then I will get $15,000 or something”.  

When the hearing was over, the PPC Court Watcher asked Judge Nevarez what a ‘court registry’ was and he explained it as an account held and controlled by the judge when parties cannot be trusted with money.  

PPC’s question is:  Why does the wife have to provide the court $30,000 when the husband is hiding close to a million dollars in assets?

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Jul 29 2014

Tarrant County 360th Court offers a victim a deal if drops charges against the father

Tarrant County 360th Court offers a victim a deal if drops charges against the father

 

360th offers victim a dealCourt watchers have been following a case in Tarrant County Family Courts. 360th District Court (Judge Sinha and Judge Mendoza) used it’s ‘judicial discretion’ to punish a sexual and physical assault victim by forcing the victim to pay all court appointment fees. The judge(s) normally split the fees, but this court has offered the victim a deal. If she drops her motion to terminate parental rights, the judge(s) will reconsider the order forcing her to pay the entire social study fee ($800) and all amicus fees. The 360th Court appointed an attorney, Lori DeAngelis, to be paid at a rate of $300 an hour to protect the interests of an infant as an amicus attorney. Amicus attorneys are actually arms of the court and do not represent children.

When CPS use ad litem attorneys (who actually represent the children and not the court) at the rate is $100 an hour, how can this court justify an amicus attorney making $300 an hour who simply assists the court? The court has already appointed a case worker to conduct a social study who is also an arm of the court. Keep in mind, the mother will be paying all these costs and not taxpayers.

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May 30 2014

Conspiracy in the 360th District Court

COURT WATCHER REPORT in Tarrant County, Texas:  MAY 27, 2014

MendozaVaughn Bailey copyA group of court watchers showed up at Tarrant County Family Courthouse to observe a case.  Before the case began, the father’s attorney, client  and client’s current wife were giggling in the lobby and looking at the groups of court watchers.  We thought this was unusual but ignored it.  The case began at 1:32pm with Judge Mendoza coming out of her chambers with a big smile on her face.  Mendoza asks the mother’s attorney, Chris Nickelson, where the Domestic Relations Attorney Anne Smith is and where the opposing attorney Vaughn Bailey were. Then joked with Nickelson that he didn’t know where anyone was.  Mendoza’s behavior appeared to be a nervous reaction because she appeared inappropriately jovial.

At 1:36 p.m. Ms. Smith and Mr. Bailey come in the courtroom and the judge is ready to proceed.  Judge calls the case number and she was hearing a Motion to Revoke Community Supervision.  The mother was being charged with contempt today.  In the past hearing she proved to the court that she was indigent and was court appointed an attorney, Chris Nickelson.

At 1:40 p.m. Vaughn Bailey asks Judge Mendoza  to ask all the witnesses in the courtroom to identify themselves to the court.  He followed his request with asking all observers to be sworn in.  The judge then asked the court watchers to stand up and be sworn in.  Only 4 of the 7 court watchers stood up and were sworn in.  Vaughn Bailey was not satisfied.  He requested the other 3 stand up and be sworn in as well.  Two of the three announced they were not witnesses – they were observers.  The judge still asked them to stand up and be sworn in.  Mr. Bailey then said, now he wanted everyone to identify themselves by name and their reason in the courtroom.  Everyone stated their name and five said “court watcher”, one said “observer” and one said “author” as their position.  Then, Mr. Bailey invoked “the rule” in which excluded all witnesses to be in the courtroom and to sit outside until called in as a witness to the case.  The bailiff walked over to us and said we need to leave the courtroom.  All the observers were shocked and some touted this was unconstitutional.  We were ordered to leave and the bailiff shut the outside doors not permitting anyone to even view inside the courtroom.

This was an obvious premeditated strategy to prevent the mother to have any witnesses of the attacks she would receive throughout her court hearing.  She reported that she was on the stand and Mr. Bailey asked her to identify each observer in the courtroom and how she knew them.  I am not sure how this information would be relevant when the Domestic Relation’s Office has filed a motion to revoke community supervision, but Mr. Bailey thought it was important.

This case drew much attention as court coordinators, court reporters and other attorneys were drawn in to observe the closed courtroom.  Mr. Bailey did not see it fit to call them as witnesses and have them removed.  The ‘witnesses’ were detained outside the court for 5 hours.  Throughout this period of time I would ask Mr. Bailey why we were considered witnesses to the case.  I also asked for a witness list in which no one could provide.  Mr. Bailey stated it wasn’t his turn to call witnesses and did not know at this time if we would be needed.  As you can probably guess, no one was called on as a witness.  This was just one of many corroborated sharp practices that Tarrant County is repeatedly guilty of.

The outcome was that the mother was charged with 180 days to be served on the weekends until all time is served.  She was already illegally arrested two months ago by the court and she served 3 days in February so she has 177 days left to serve only on the weekends.  She is the primary health care giver of her terminally ill father and the court on this day heard his deposition of his health condition.  The court found that it was in the best interest of the mother’s child and the mother’s father that she spend the next 88 weekends in jail despite all the testimony heard.

What is interesting is that the mother has not been given the opportunity to see or speak to her daughter for a year a half.  Mr. Vaughn Bailey did make an offer that many parents would find troubling…..if she would give up her parental rights then he would drop the suit.  I think we all know what her response was.  At this time she is checking herself into the Tarrant County Correctional facility to fulfill her second weekend in jail.  The court deemed her indigent but yet Judge Mendoza has ordered her the maximum amount of time Mendoza can legally hold someone in jail because she intentionally avoided paying her child support obligation.  How ironic.

(Images of attorney Vaughn Bailey and Associate Judge Cynthia Mendoza)

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May 06 2014

Newly appointed Tarrant County Judge makes $16,000 a year from taxpayers

Newly appointed Tarrant County Judge makes $16,000 a year from taxpayers

 

imagesIt pays BIG to be court appointed in Tarrant County.

The Office of Court Administration reports taxpayers paid Lindsay Devos, the newly appointed 231st associate judge in Tarrant County, over $50,000 during the 3 months prior to her appointment on the bench. Private fees paid to Devos are not included in this amount.

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Apr 15 2014

Racketeering in Texas

Racketeering leads to child abuse in Texas

By a PPC Member

Judges, Child Support Enforcement, Family Court Services, Child Protective Services and court appointed professionals are disregarding and proactively working against mothers who make legitimate sexual abuse complaints against fathers. Instead of protecting the child from the perpetrator, the judges are giving the father more access to the child(ren) by giving them more visitation and custody than before the allegations as a measure to sanction the mother for asking the court to protect her child(ren).

In my situation, I observed physical and behavioral evidence of sexual abuse on my own child after her father and I divorced 5 years ago.  After further research of the father’s past, I obtained documents that showed substantiated abuse of another biological child and he relinquished all parental rights to this child.  After the court appointed amicus attorney reviewed the police reports, Social Service’s report, child’s interview,  outcry to a doctor, and mother’s affidavit the amicus chose to believe that all of this information was discredited and the judge agreed. The temporary restraining order was terminated. My child’s prior therapist wrote to the court out of concern for my daughter but was ordered to never be in another session with my child.  The judge appointed a new therapist and increased the father’s visitation while denying me future holidays.

The judge wanted to speak to my seven year old alone and would not allow anyone in the chambers other than the amicus attorney.  She refused to make the meeting a matter of record by a court reporter or by having the meeting heard over a speakerphone. I learn later that this is the moment that the judge in other cases has claimed Parent Alienation Syndrome (P.A.S.) and walks your child out the back door of her office and into the hands of the abusive father.   She then calls you in chambers and you are told, “This is the worst case of Parent Alienation I have ever seen and you have lost custody of your child(ren)”.

After six trips to the court house with the attorneys and judge writing  temporary orders behind closed doors, I am finally before the judge and she is sitting on the bench.  The father’s attorney, who was referred to the father by the amicus attorney, asked the judge to order me to take a psychological evaluation.  The Judge obliged but refused  to order the father to take an  ABEL test or polygraph because she “didn’t want to put him through all that”.  The judge also states that even if the child out cried at this point she would not even believe it.

The District Attorney’s Office in another state, offered the Tarrant County  Texas case worker two other criminal documents that the father had civilly sealed years ago.  Instead of the case worker acccepting the documents she told my attorney that the D.A’s Office in the other state would not cooperate with her requests.  In our court hearing the judge, amicus attorney, and father’s attorney all agreed that these documents were sealed and not only could we not get them, but that they would not be willing to release them.  As we found out later, the District Attorney’s Office in the other state only needed a letterhead from Tarrant County requesting the documents and they would pick off the civil seal and provide the court the documents.

This organized case-rigging is to ensure that the mothers that complain of abuse are discredited.   These  judges that are facilitated by secret judicial groups and are cross-affiliated to father’s rights groups are contributing  to the corruption of our Family Court System.  Knowledge of this pattern has come from sources such as father’s rights literature, HHS-ACF (Health and Human Services Department- Administration for Children and Families) Access and Visitation program funds and AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) documentation.

Judges and parent coordinators handling these pro-father rigged cases are leaving trails of evidence simply because they feel they are protected by judicial immunity and regulation.  Examples of such evidence:

  • Refusing to hear witnesses brought by mother.
  • Terminating child support to mother and redirecting to pay amicus attorney.
  •  Ignoring statutes that protect children from parents with credible evidence of past sexual abuse.
  • Amicus attorneys setting up meetings with school without ad litem.
  • Lying about the content of conversations amicus’ had with children and using the same therapists, amicus’, psychiatrists, county case worker, therapists and mediators in abuse cases.
  • Allowing and promoting the father to not abide by court orders yet will find mother in contempt if she behaved as such.
  • Instead of following the Attorney General’s Guidelines to set up child support, the court appoints by name the Director of Child Support Enforcement to decide if the father should pay the thousands of dollars in  arrearages and what amount (if any) support should be paid by father.

The National Quality Improvement Center on Nonresident Fathers and the Child Welfare System, National Fatherhood Initiative, American Humane Association and American Bar Association on Children and the Law created the Father Friendly Check-Up (FFCU).  This is a tool to encourage more non-resident  father involvement in the courtroom through the court administrative functions.  The checklist defines a non-resident father as “a father who did not live with his child at the time the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.”

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