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Byline: Troy Anderson Staff Writer

The family court system in California is ``crippled, incompetent and corrupt'' and enriches judges, attorneys and mental-health professionals at the expense of children, according to a new report to be released today by the California branch of the National Organization for Women.

After a three-year inquiry, the report's authors concluded that the state's family law courts have developed into ``full employment programs'' for private court mediators, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, educators and attorneys.

``What we are seeing is a lack of ethics and proper courtroom codes in the family law system,'' said Rachel Allen, public relations director for NOW. ``As a result, judges, attorneys and other personnel are lining each other's pockets instead of acting in the best interest of the child.''

Family courts, part of the Superior Court, are devoted to cases involving divorce, child custody, paternity and similar issues.

Los Angeles Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said the inquiry was an interesting project, but that family court judges would like to see the report before making comments.

``We have some questions about the methodology in terms of how the data was developed and to what extent this is randomized data,'' Parachini said. ``Our position would be that our system does the best job it can, that it obviously can be improved, but we do not feel we are complicit with ... money grubbing.''

The report was based partly on court files, interviews with people involved in child-custody cases and data from 300 parents who filled out an extensive Internet questionnaire. In nearly one-fourth of the 300 cases, judges awarded custody of children to fathers with criminal records who were accused of abusing them, according to the report.

``The findings suggest that women who are victims of domestic violence, whose children make allegations of abuse against their fathers, are particularly at risk of losing custody of their children to the perpetrator,'' NOW Executive Director Helen Grieco wrote. ``In the most egregious cases, perfectly fit mothers who were primary caretakers are stripped of custody to release fathers from child-support obligations.''

David L. Levy, president of the Children's Rights Council in Hyattsville, Md., said the NOW report makes a ``preposterous charge.''

``I would not imagine there is one shred of documented, supported and reliable evidence that California routinely gives custody to abusers and has a financial incentive in doing so,'' Levy said.

Ronald Isaacs, a Baton Rouge, La., attorney and founder of The Fathers Rights Foundation, said women's groups and family law attorneys encourage women to make false allegations of domestic violence and child abuse.

``Eighty percent of the accusations of domestic violence that are filed while a divorce is pending have proven to be false allegations made solely to gain an advantage in the custody cases,'' Isaacs said.

Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist who conducts psychological evaluations of parents and children in custody cases, said the system is biased against women, and that abused children often end up in the custody of their abusive fathers.

``On the whole, the system is corrupt and does favor fathers in a lot of different ways,'' she said. ``Judges abuse their power and discretion and make rulings based upon their unconscious identification with the fathers.''

Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, called the report very alarming. ``Does it bother me that people with criminal convictions are getting access to children? Yes. It would bother anyone,'' Levenson said.

Neal Tenen, a Sherman Oaks attorney and former chairman of the family law section of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, said it might appear there are some financial incentives built into the system, but that ethical attorneys and judges don't abuse the system.

``Sometimes an attorney, not meaning to, can cause an action to go a little further along than it should and cost more, but there are other times clients don't want to follow the attorney's advice,'' Tenen said. ``You get parties - whether a man or woman - who are very vindictive against the other spouse, and they just want to go to court and battle, even though their attorney can advise them otherwise.''

Authors of the report charge that organizations purporting to provide nonprofit continuing education and support services for family law attorneys are a form of corporate fraud with an ulterior motive for perpetuating a corrupt system.

The report follows the April release of an audit by the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association that found judges treated themselves to golf tournaments, ocean dinner cruises and other outings with money from an obscure fund, started in 1960, partly supported by child-custody and support cases.

The association found that judges were not improperly influenced in legal cases by funds contributed by attorneys and clients involved in child custody and support cases, but the association's board voted in December to end the practice of accepting contributions from lawyers and others and to use only dues paid by judges for group events.

NOW will release the report today and, along with the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch, will hold a press conference in Los Angeles. The conference is scheduled after a hearing in the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal involving a Sierra Madre resident who lost custody of her daughter in 1998 after alleging that the father had abused the girl.
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Craig S (Member): Family Law Judges Must be Held Accountable 2/21/2009 6:31 PM
This report misses a lot of important points.

One of the biggest problems with family law is that perjury is not punished. This encourages lying litigants to keep lying. Every lie they tell is like a free spin on the family law slot machine. Judges who fail to punish perjury are co-conspirators with liars.

see "Holding Family Law Judges Accountable" at

In particular, judges have to severely punish false abuse allegations. These are stunts that are used so frequently to distract from real abuse and/or to terminate joint custody with 100% custody going to the liar. False abuse allegations are part of the pattern of parental alienation behaviors in which a vindictive parent trashes their child's other parent and goes to great effort to block access. This is emotional abuse against the child, and should be recognized as such.

see "False Sexual Abuse Allegations in Child Custody Disputes" at

Judges also lack training in psychology. A lot of the worst liars in family law cases are suffering from personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These people can come across as being highly credible for months or years. Their opponents who are telling the truth about what these people do often come across as nuts because they are describing behaviors by the liars that are so bizarre that they are hard to believe. But people who have lived with somebody suffering from BPD or NPD know that these hellish behaviors are very real and very damaging.

1 complaint(s) reported. Report abuse
helidad (Member): LA Family Court is corrupt... 7/16/2009 2:31 PM
I had a 730 evaluation done through this court. 3 years ago it was deemed in this report that my son was subjected for years to parental alienation and that if mom doesn't adhere to the 730 recommendations custody would be changed and she would lose any and all visits. That's how serious her issues were. The last time I saw my kid for a visitation was May 10, 2005. With the help of my attorney, the biggest crook on earth Kenneth Burgi of Newport Beach, the judge has never even seen the final report. Between my attorney, the ex's and minor's council they found more ways to delay the report going to the judge so that a end to my son's unnecessary drama and grief could end.

In 11 years I never missed a visit due to me. I coached his teams and went to any and all school functions I was told of. Everybody is shocked because we were so very very close. My son was the most affectionate kid you could imagine. Now he is a shell of himself. Grades went from B average to a 1.2 gpa. He no longer plays sports and doesn't hang out with the same friends. Its really really sad.

The lies that were told in court were of legendary standards. My son suffered headaches on occasion. I even suggested to my ex that he should maybe have a CAT scan done to eliminate something serious. I was told "the headache are his fault because he won't wear his glasses" But when we got to court her declaration stated that the headaches are due to the stress that dad causes. Never mind that my son called me on few occasions to come get him from school because his headaches were bothering him.

The other lies are of standard BS. Alcoholic (6 pack last me 3 months) drug abuser ( I take a occasional muscle relaxer due to having back issues) and that I push my son to move in with me. (when my son would want to hit a few more balls at the range or spend an extra hour here and there I would have him ask her, he was 12 when I started this) This practice should be a problem, its only a problem if a parent makes it one. I have a step son who is now 14 and he has always had the comfort level to ask for more time with either of his parents. We get how to handle this and its a shame that all situations can't be like this. My step son has ZERO stress in his life.

Family Court in LA is corrupt in a sense that it chooses to ignore the truth that in every case one person is lying at a minimum. The court is set up to allow the attorneys to get rich and to allow for children to be subjected to so much undue drama and life long damage.

I had to walk from my son, I simply couldn't afford it no longer. So once my son turns 18 I'll be allowed to frame on my wall that states that I should have been given full custody in the first place.

This all came to a head when my ex found out that I was finally able to get my girlfriend of 10 years pregnant. She then informed me that my son was very angry at me for this and felt like he had been replaced. Should have been an easy fix, but mom refused me any and all opportunities to re assure my boy.. That in of itself should have been proof enough she was incapable of being a fit parent. And she has another kid, younger, whom she pulls the gatekeeper routine with that father as well.

And before any of you not familiar to Parental Alienation Syndrome. In most cases, a boy will likely never seek his father out due to fear of loosing his mother's love.
Extra Mile Family Media (Member): NOW Twisted the facts - BEWARE OF NOW! 11/20/2009 8:51 PM
NOW claims the system is corrupt. In that they are correct. NOW says the system is biased against women. This is where they start twisting the facts. The fact is that most men never get a fighting chance. The free legal services provided by the government are teaching the women (long before they leave the house or file for divorce) to taunt the men in order to get them to lose it and hit the wife. Or make up false sexual abuse allegations, commonly backing them by slowly coercing the children to believe that daddy wants to molest them. This gives them an instant restraining order against the father who is then immediately evicted from his home, forced to continue to pay the rent / mortgage for that home, forbidden to contact anyone listed in the restraining order, and presumed guilty until proven innocent. This all happens without a hearing or a trial. The hearing and or trial comes far later. This is a blatant violation of the father’s rights too. This results in the mother establishing a long period of time where the child is kept from the father. In court the women are then perpetrating false allegations and slander (at the advice of these free lawyers AKA slimy snakes). This all serves to divide the family unit ensuring a long term income from child support which is collected from the father's pay checks by force through wage garnishment. The father simply gets blindsided and the system gets rich off his paycheck and all the others that have hoodwinked. Child support enforcement is given award money usually approximately between $2.00 to $4.00 for every $1.00 they force out of the dad's pockets. This funnels literally BILLIONS of Federal dollars into the state's coffers. There is so much more corruption that this going on and this is only the tip of the iceberg. NOW is just trying to twist the facts to make what is true look like it is bent against the women so they can help perpetuate the corruption and confuse the public and the investigators NOW is as corrupt an organization as you can find. I urge much caution when listening to what this organization has to say because they are very good spin doctors. BEWARE OF NOW! If you want to find out more about the TRUTH of this matter I urge you to Google “Title IV funding government run marketing scam” and “Lancaster Children and Youth Fathers rights”. These two search terms alone will get you started by producing many sites that reveal the REAL TRUTH about this ugly corruption scenario. Also Google “Rip OFF Reports CYS” and “Rip OFF Reports Lancaster Children and youth” Lastly the most informative search you can perform is “Carol Rhodes Friend of the Courts enemy of the family” or just search for Carol Rhodes on you tube. You will be astonished by what%2

 Reader Opinion




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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 25, 2002

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