Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some men kill their wives, others steal the children


Source: Autism Custody Battles

Statistics show that abusive men who kill their wives do so after they have been separated or divorce. What about statistics of men who emotionally kill their wives off by robbing them of the very children they carried and nurtured since birth? There must be a special name for this type of murderers and this morning I set out to find out just what they are called.

Post-separation violence can take many forms, including physical or sexual assault, threats of physical abuse, stalking, harassment, and threats related to taking custody of the children or refusing child support.

Wikipedia on Domestic Violence: “Clinicians should not relax their vigilance after a battered wife leaves her husband, because some data suggest that the period immediately following a marital separation is the period of greatest risk for the women. Many men will stalk and batter their wives in an effort to get them to return or punish them for leaving. Initial assessments of the potential for violence in a marriage can be supplemented by standardized interviews and questionnaires, which have been reliable and valid aids in exploring marital violence more systematically.”

Then there is the case of The Obsessed Abuser, Family Violence Prevention Fund “He may make threats to kill himself or her if she leaves him, asks for a separation or divorce. He often says, “If I can’t have you, no one will.” This behavior may persevere months or years after a separation. His criminal record can include violations of protective orders or situations where he has disturbed the peace as he pursues or harasses his partner. However, some of these men have clean records – only the partner knows about his jealousy and possessiveness.”

Spouse Murder and Separation Violence – Finally, I found the official terms for these behaviors.

Men like O.J. Simpson, think they are the abused spouses are very dangerous during separation and divorce. In one study of spousal homicide, over half of the male defendants were separated from their victims. G.W. Bernard, H. Vera, M.I. Vera, and G. Newman, “Till Death Do Us Part: A Study of Spouse Murder,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 10 (1982).

Bristol, CT Police Department  has compiled some data:
Men, who believe they are entitled to relationship with battered women or that they “own” their female partner, view women’s departure as an ultimate betrayal which justifies retaliation. (Saudners & Browne, 1990; Dutton, 1988; Bernard el at, 1982)

Evidence of the gravity of separation violence is overwhelming.

Husband threatening to declare wife insane and threatening to take the children away:

In the book  The batterer as parent: addressing the impact of domestic violence on familyIt is common for batterers to threaten to take children away from the battered woman by proving her to be an unfit mother (Doyne et al., 1999). Threatened or actual litigation regarding custody or visitation can become a critical avenue for the batterer to maintain control after separation (Shepard, cited in Straus 1995).

For this reason, some lawyers advise women not to tell courts or mediators about child abuse or domestic abuse because, by doing so, they risk losing custody to the alleged abuser (“Custody Litigation,” 1988; Saccuzzo & Johnson, 2004).

Message to Victims that you will often see posted says:


Really? What can I do to get out this situation? You can only get out of it if you do something before this situation has exploded in your face.

In the News: Kimberly Smith was murdered in her Oconomowoc home Oct. 1 2009 during a custody battle.

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American Mothers Political Party- The Thunder Rolls Today 7/29/2010 at 5 PM Central

American Mothers Political Party BlogTalkRadio Show

The Thunder Rolls

American Mothers Political Party

Date / Time: 7/29/2010 5:00 PM Central  6:00 PM EST

Call-in Number: (347) 205-9977

Do you think that an abuser would never get custody of a child? Think again! Thousands of Mothers each year are losing custody to former abusers that also abuse children. How could this happen? Government funding in the form of Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives is part of it. This show we will continue to expose the criminals of the family court system, the federal government that funds it and the court whores that run it. Tune in for lively discussion, information and resources on how you can avoid the family court snake pit. If you are a Mother who is facing any of these challenges against your former abuser..this show is for YOU!


Hosted by: Lorraine Tipton and Claudine Dombrowski, Bloggers, Activists/Advocates for Mothers Rights, experts in domestic violence, family court corruption and custody disputes.

Two of the Founding Mothers of AMPP and soldiers in the trenches

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Disciplining the Judge

The Crime Report in May told the story of a nine-month old infant murdered in the midst of a bitter California custody battle.  Last month, the presiding judge in the case lost his battle for re-election.

Could the death of little Wyatt Garcia have been prevented?  Supporters of the boy’s mother, Katie Tagle, have charged that a San Bernardino, CA family court judge who refused to accept her plea for custody was indirectly responsible for the chain of events that ended when her estranged husband shot the boy and then turned the gun on himself last year. (See “Failure to Protect“, The Crime Report, May 26, 2010)

California Superior Court Judge Robert Lemkau vehemently defended his actions. But last month, local voters came to their own conclusions about his judgment on the bench.

He lost his position after an election swept him out of office with just 35 percent of the vote, in favor of his opponent, a local deputy assistant district attorney named James Hosking.

Lemkau had refused to sign a protective order against the boy’s father, 25-year-old Stephen Garcia, even though his ex-girlfriend supplied evidence of Garcia’s threats to harm the boy and herself, including e-mails, text messages and voice messages. Although no extenuating circumstances were raised in court transcripts of the case, Lemkau simply accused Tagle of lying, and ordered that she turn Wyatt over to his father—with fatal results.  “I was treated like a criminal, like a complaining woman,” Tagle told The Crime Report.

Following the tragedy, the judge expressed some remorse for Wyatt’s death, but refused to acknowledge that he had made a wrong decision instead saying on his re-election Web site, “ I ruled the way I did because there wasn’t enough substantiated evidence to support the request.”

While it’s unclear whether the election results had any specific relationship to the Wyatt Garcia case, Lemkau’s defeat underscores one of the most difficult issues in U.S. jurisprudence: the difficulty of calling judges to account for their actions  While in theory, elected judges are held accountable to voters, narrowly contested elections are rare in most jurisdictions around the U.S. Few local voters pay attention to such races, and even fewer feel competent to decide on a candidate’s judicial qualifications. .

At the same time, as an investigation by The Crime Report shows, censuring or recusing a judge through official channels is extremely rare, if not impossible.

Both Sides Need Judicial Safeguards

It’s one reason court experts argue that having powerful safeguards in place for judicial protection is extremely important.  Such safeguards are needed not just for the injured parties in a case― but for the judges themselves.

Disgruntled litigants can file complaints over and over again tying up the judge in an endless process. Furthermore, judges can be unfairly targeted in acrimonious cases when so much is at stake.

That was the case, for example, in the 2006 shooting of Nevada Family Court Judge Chuck Weller by a man he decided against in a divorce case. The suspect, Darren Mack, shot Weller because he was unhappy with the judge’s rulings, and he later stabbed his wife, Charla Mack, to death.

“In terms of checks and balances there is (only) the appeal process and the right to ask for a recusal,” said Bill Raftery, Knowledge and Information Services Office Research and Communications Specialist at National Center for State Courts, a national not-for profit that seeks to improve the administration of justice.

Litigants have few options.  They can try to reverse a decision on appeal, have the judge removed from an ongoing trial with a disqualification motion, move to impeach a judge through the legislative body or file an ethics complaint. However since 1991, only one state judge has been removed through the impeachment process, the American Judicature Society found in 2006. In that year, the latest in which numbers are available, 12 judges were removed from office as a result of state judicial proceedings.

But while appeals are public record, in many states ethics complaints and recusals for individual judges rates are not available, making it hard for litigants to track a judge’s record.

And in the murky and chaotic world of family court, where parents can remain locked for years in volatile custody battles over their children, a judge can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

If Lemkau had not been up for election in June, it is quite possible he could have remained a sitting judge in family court―leaving the family of baby Wyatt without any recourse―and continuing to render decisions on other custody cases.

And though it may seem that this case is highly unusual, in the U.S. family court system, sadly, it is not.

Kids Are The Victims

Previous articles by The Crime Report found that children are the victims in the contested custody cases that fill the family court dockets. Not only can they be killed, more often than not the children are left in the custody of an abuser who can continue to sexually or physically assault them.

Another article looked at the systemic issues behind the chaotic and overburdened courtrooms that manage these emotional cases.  The contributing factors include: a dearth of judges caused by budget constraints; parents that represent themselves, thus backlogging the system with procedural mistakes; the explosion of custody disputes in cases with adoptive gay parents; and the high percentage of children born to single parents who are requesting child support. Together these have narrowed the average time a judge spends on a family court case to 3.5 minutes, according to a report by the New York State Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges with the Office on Violence Against Women started the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence over a decade ago to address these problems and train judges to recognize and handle domestic violence. Together these non-profit organizations provided recommendations to judges who hear family court cases on how to recognize high-risk abuse situations.

Advocates contend that many family court judges are not properly trained or ignore abuse guidelines.  And such judges tend to view protective mothers as not trustworthy and overwrought, making biased decisions on which they have no true recourse, according to Darby Mangen , chapter president of the San Bernardino National Organization of Women (NOW). “No matter how exiguous the case there is no help for the victim,” added Mangen, who was active in the campaign to remove Judge Lemkau.

Furthermore, since so much of the decision making in custody cases relies on the judge’s discretion, litigants are fearful of bringing any motions against the judge.

“Family judges have so much power over cases that you can not afford to challenge the judge,” says Tony Tanke, a former senior judicial staff attorney for the Chief  Justice of the California Supreme Court, who advises on family court cases pro-bono.

Moreover, the often tight relationships between local bar associations and judges make it difficult to find an attorney who wants to take on a complaint against a powerful judge, according to Tanke. Indeed, in the Lemkau v. Hoskings election, Lemkau received endorsements from the local Family Law Bar association and other area attorneys, who supported his decision in baby Wyatt’s case

The result:  parties who feel victimized by a judge’s biased decision are left with nowhere to turn.

Appeals Get Nowhere

Things are further complicated by the appeals process,. A main point of contention in contested custody cases is the judge’s discretion on deciding whether abuse exists and whether it will be allowed into the legal record. If a mother makes an accusation of abuse in a lower court, but the judge dismisses it under their discretion, as happened in the Garcia case, the judgment will not be overturned at the appellate level. Technically, the judges are not doing anything wrong, they are just making a decision based on their evidence.  But that, advocates say, strikes at the heart of the issue.

In fact, almost always the higher court will defer to lower courts on the question of whether or not an abuse claim is unfounded, leaving an enormous amount of power in the hands of the family court judge.

These claims are buttressed by a 2008 report, “Fair Courts: Setting Recusal Standards,” issued by Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, a national think tank focusing on justice matters. The authors found, “On appeal, odds of success are even worse. Nearly every appellate court, state and federal, will overturn a lower court’s disqualification or recusal decision only for an “abuse of discretion.”

Sometimes advocates try to apply some unsubtle pressure, such as attending family court hearings wearing NOW stickers, said Magen.  But there have been more formal attempts to establish a watchdog presence in the courtoom.

A national court watch project has established pilot programs in five states that involves sending a team of students and volunteers to sit in on family court cases and report any abuses.  So far this year, observers sat in on 560 family court rooms, according to Renee Beeker, Executive Director of National Family Court Watch Project. Although they are still evaluating the watchers’ results, volunteers have found that courtrooms take note of the outside set of eyes on them.

“The court can change their behavior just because they know people are there,” reports Beeker. “And that is a win for us.”

Cara Tabachnick is News Editor of The Crime Report

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Audio Recording of Meeting with Drex Flott, Kara Haney of Odyssey Group, Topeka Kansas (Staff’s admissions of knowledge of abuse by father) en re:allowing granddaughter to go to funeral.

 Parental Alienation Syndrome
In my last post the audio failed to upload to bean pod do the size of file- but in looking around I found that some ones else had it uploaded! Thx Anonymoms
10-29-2008 Meeting with Drex Flott, Kara Haney of odyssey en re: allowing granddaughter to go to funeral.
So much for ‘mandated reporting’ huh?- they would loose $$$ if they told the truth.. so the lesson is clear- Abuse for Profit! Thanks Odyssey Kara and Drex and your co-conspirators…

“All it takes for evil to succeed is that could be- good men –do nothing”-Edmond Burke
10-29-2008 Meeting with Drex Flott, Kara Haney of odyssey en re: allowing granddaughter to go to funeral.

10-29-2008 1h 50m
8:5010:28 begins
13:2914:13 Kara petition what do you want and the court hearing set
16:07 -what is our involvement
17:00- contact with rikki
17:50- they let lacey [the dog] see rikki
18:43- motion 4 hearing asking for normalcy in visits
20:19 -about the motion being filed rikki not on the kid more convenient for dad?
21:45 -dependent upon her peers give her money
22.35- $20.00 to e
22.53 -denied braces no phone-denied contact with her phone
23.55 -it is not up to rikki
25.00 -dad broke my mouth but don’t place psych eval.
26:12- power struggle with courts (I acted out)
27:00 -we deserve this trip together
29:00- I drove twice week I worked at LSH
30:10- rikki –‘granny won’t let dad hurt mom’
30:00 -(15 years)
32:00 KsJudicialperformance act (liz samora
33.00 drex more than we know.
34.00 try loosing a child to an abuser I thought- I had the right to be safe
36:00 my mom my pain not going to let that happen to my daughter.
          BMCC two years’ courageous kids
38:00 not a part of my life
41:00- how come dad don’t love me (rikki)
43:00- rikki is awesome drex says ‘I am in her’ ag 's office- rikki early years 4 or 5 years old
46:50 - when they took my daughter they took my soul
47:00- letter from hospital
48:50 -contact with GAL braces Aug 6th en re braces
51:58 Rikki says ‘dad is in charge (dont write this down)
53:33- kara a couple of issues 1. Funeral 2. Unsupervised
1:15:30 does rikki want to go en re the court
1:17:15 rikkis voice well rikki says
1:19:50 Kara- ‘rikki does have a very controlled home a lot of   external Control
1:21:50 for rikkis safety- choose to disengage as I am not safe for her- this is how are lives are-
1:23:25- admissions of abuse
1:26:40 -how rikki survives- Julie- takes a lot for rikki
1:28:28  Julie is in fear too states Drex-rikki is the best judge
1:30:00 – mother and daughter visits are very empowering very balanced positive strength based
1:33:20  sv is not there gives us freedom rikki and I freedom? to monitor at discretion we don’t need help to  
             nurture our relationship states kara
1:37:23 visits don’t cut my visits drex reintegration reunification
1:38:36 visits went back because julie and rikki to cancel the visit so they just set them back temporary
             football season-Rikki in a double binder-
1:41:13 - kara -rikki struggled with telling mom no more weekends. drex-  national zone
1:48:40  end
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[scribd id=24777873 key=key-2c349tvwpn6n2g92dw1v]

10-16-2008 Odyssey Report RE: Dombrowski Case 96D217

Read actual Document here:

The Odyssey Group, LLC 2914 SW Plass Court Suite B Topeka, Kansas 66611 (785) 266-7980

December 16,2008 Supervised Visitation

Re: Rikki Dombrowski Case #: 96-D-217 Progress Report:

I was assigned as the worker to this case in August of 2008. I began supervising visits in mid August for 2 hours, one time weekly between Rikki Dombrowski and her mother, Claudine Dombrowski. These visits were scaled back from weekly to bi-weekly, per Rikki's request in approximately September of 2008. Visits have remained 2 hours, every other week since that time. This worker staffs visit progress with her clinical supervisor, Drex Flott, LSCSW one time weekly and as needed.

During visitation this worker has had no concerns in reference to Rikki's safety. In addition, this worker must commend Claudine Dombrowski for progress made in not referring to Rikki's father, Hal Richardson, in a negative manner during any visitation in front of her daughter. It is very apparent when arriving at each visitation that both mother and daughter are excited to see one another.

This worker has spoken with Rikki at length about visitation and it's progress and limitations. On several occasions Rikki has made her wishes in terms of visitation and her relationship with her mother, very clear to this worker. There have been many times during visitation that Rikki has expressed embarrassment in reference to her mother's behavior. Rikki has also expressed that she wants visits to remain every other week for 2 hours and does not want them unsupervised at this time. Rikki has expressed much frustration to this worker in relationship to this case and her relationship with her mother. Rikki is a bright teenager with a normal teenage life and an ability to express her wishes and desires clearly. It would be the recommendation of the agency and this worker that visits remain status quo until Rikki indicates that she would like something otherwise. It would also be the recommendation of the agency and this worker that before and during any lengthened or unsupervised visitation there shall be weekly therapeutic work between Rikki and her mother. Rikki states that she loves her mother but is content with the relationship as it stands. This worker supports Rikki's opinion and trusts that when she is ready Rikki will express a desire for change.

Respectfully Submitted,
Kara Haney, LBSW, MSW Student Intern
Drex Flott, LSCSW

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