“One parents story. That parent is me. I speak for all parents who have endured the lack of oversight, malpractice and malfeasance in family court across the country”. -- Brook Altman
I recently had the pleasure speaking with Jill Jones Soderman, who is the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Child Victims of the Family Courts. Jill is representing a case involving Brook Altman and her ex over the welfare of Brook’s daughter, Brook is the biological mother.
Here's what Jill had say about Brook’s case that's clearly going to shed light on the injustice the courts have done to Brook, her daughter and what they've had to endure for the last 7 years.
One week ago today Brook Altman declared independence of her licensed attorney and did something that no licensed attorney in the State of New York had (and probably none would have, either) advised her to do: She removed her daughter’s custody case from the Family Law Courts of The State of New York at 60 Lafayette Street in Manhattan to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street. There the case was assigned to Judge Andrew L. Carter at 40 Foley Square. She couldn’t have done this without the support of the Foundation for the Child Victims of the Family Courts (FCFCV).
Brook did this because she lost trust, faith, and confidence in a system that is put in place to protect the family. A Judge (whose name is removed), has been presiding over her daughter’s case for about the past year and a half, and has taken a bad situation (7 years prior) and made it worse, for the simple fact that she was trying to make it better for her daughter. She thought the Family Law Courts, in this state at least, amount to an extremely unnatural disaster, and she has decided to try to change them.
She is gay, and is her daughter’s biological birth mother. She has never been found to be an unfit mother. She has never even been accused of any acts which would render her an unfit mother. What she has been is libeled and defamed under color of law with regard to things that have no possible relationship to parental fitness.
There are a constellation of related reasons why she wanted to remove her case and she did so utilizing a little known and rarely invoked procedure authorized by Congress in 28 U.S.C. §1443:
Any of the following civil actions or criminal prosecutions, commenced in a State court may be removed by the defendant to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place wherein it is pending:
(1) Against any person who is denied or cannot enforce in the courts of such State a right under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United States, or of all persons within the jurisdiction thereof;
(2) For any act under colour of authority derived from any law providing for equal rights, or for refusing to do any act on the ground that it would be inconsistent with such law.
These reasons of hers mostly arise from a New York Family Law procedure known as “Forensic Evaluation” and the appointment of a “Forensic Evaluator.”
If you have ever had any contact with the New York Family Courts in any matter relating to child custody or have known anyone who has, you’ve probably heard of how “invaluable” or “indispensible” the Forensic Evaluation Procedure and the role of the Forensic Psychologist is to a child’s well-being and future happiness.
After one long negative experience wherein she was exposed to a lot of lies and abuse, by a certain Dr. (whose name is removed), and after some serious thinking, she decided to call “BS” on all of this.
For one thing, it’s all a total invention of the Family Courts. Neither the role of Forensic Evaluator nor the need for a Forensic Evaluation in Custody cases arise out of anything so quaintly old fashioned as a “statute” (or constitutional amendment) enacted or adopted by the people of New York or our elected Assemblymen in Albany. In fact, all efforts to reform or modify this judge-created monstrosity of “Forensic Evaluation” have been utterly and totally defeated by legislative fear and inaction in the face of the State Judiciary.
American Judges, in general, appear rapidly to be acquiring the absolute power and unquestioned status of Divine Monarchs, transported to our “modern” world direct from the Seventeenth Century. [You remember from history? The Seventeenth Century was the one that began with James I who claimed to be “King by Divine Right of the House of Stuart” in England, and ended with “the Sun King” Louis XIV in France, who built Versailles out of pure modesty.]
But a New York Forensic Evaluation, like King James I’s Infamous Court of Star Chamber, is conducted entirely privately and in secret, with no protections of due process of law whatsoever: no lawyer allowed at any examination, no formal record of investigative proceedings, no automatic of reasons for decision. The Forensic Evaluator herself will wear the clothes of absolute judicial immunity without ever having to be elected or confirmed by any legislative hearings.
But for all practical purposes, a Forensic Evaluator takes on both the function and role, in Family Court Cases, of judge and jury. She gets to set, demand, and have the full power of the Court behind her collection of fees. She gets to hire and appoint other experts to work for her. And the judge orders the parties to pay the costs of all this “expert time” at Manhattan psychologists’ hourly fees (five hundred and hour), and the collection of these fees becomes enforceable by contempt as a court order, as is compliance with every one of the Forensic Evaluator’s directions.
Because the Judge has found that her former partner, now her opponent, is wealthier, with greater income, the Judge has ordered her to pay a disproportionate share of these fees, which may make life slightly easier for her (but impossible is still impossible). She contended that the obligation to pay one’s real judge and jury, together with her inability to pay as much as her opponent, creates a bias against her, which amounts to an abominable “sale of justice” .
She quoted the statute passed by Congress above. The language of 28 U.S.C. §1443 refers to “any person” and “all persons” but it doesn’t say anything about race, creed, colour, sex, or gender identity. Some lawyers say that there’s still a “domestic relations exception” to Federal Court Jurisdiction over Family Law cases.
As a gay American woman, she asks what part of that “domestic relations exception” can possibly have survived the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, decided exactly two months ago this June 2015?
She plans to challenge the New York Family Court’s obsessive dependence on secret proceedings with unelected, unconfirmed, absolutely extra-legal but totally unconstitutional forensic evaluations and forensic evaluators. She says we should return power to the people, and that the LGBT community has been leading the struggle for Civil Rights betterment in this country for the past twenty years now. We would invite you to join us.
In recent weeks Jill has written about Brook Altman, under the heading of “Biology Is Irrelevant”. The biological parent was removed from the life of her child, without cause or foundation, placed into the hands of the non-biological parent, who was judged to be “the more responsible parent”. A major element of this case has been the use of the Forensic Evaluator to act as a “mini me” to the judge who extends immunity to the evaluator to confirm unconscionable decisions. More will be revealed as this case unfolds.
To read more about the history of the case - click uswhistleblower.org. PARENTHOOD RE-DESIGNED & RE-DEFINED BY FAMILY COURT JUDGE GLORIA SOSA LINTNER FACES OFF AGAINST GOD & SCIENCE - The question is...has family court “Discretion Standard” become the ruling principle transferring custody of children based on power and pecuniary distribution based on the red herring rationale “biology is irrelevant”.
Jill Jones-Soderman, PhD, MSW, MSHS is the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Child Victims of the Family Courts, to be referred to as the FCVFC. The FCVFC is an organization that deals with Forensic evaluation, expert witness consultation toward macro case analysis, evaluation and intervention to protect vulnerable children from transfer of children from protective parents into the hands of accused abusers. The FCVFC in its mission and practice is colorblind, gender neutral and acts without prejudice to race color, or creed. They deal with clients from all regions of the United States as well as dealing with international abduction, of children taken from the United States to other parts of the world, or vice versa.
The FCFCV is expressly interested in the Liberty Rights of Protective parents to fend against incursions of special interest groups, whether they be men or women, whom interfere with the duty and right of a parent to protect the physical, emotional, medical, educational, religious welfare of a child/their children. Their interest is to maintain a reasonable dynamic between parents, despite instances of malignant Judicial discretionary interference, whether based on outright malfeasance of practice, exercise of undue influence, over reaching, conflict of interest, unconscious bias (counter transference – unconscious) or conscious bias, ignorance of areas of expertise that should be consulted – but is not (the trier of fact knows better – The Ipse Dixit conundrum).