Stop Michigan Family Courts From Enabling Child Abuse
Stop Michigan Family Courts From Enabling Child Abuse
In over 58,000 cases per year a child is removed from a safe parent and given to an abuser.
Courts overwhelmingly favor fathers who’ve been accused of or proven to be abusers and who counter with “alienation” claims over mothers who do the same, according to a study by George Washington University Law School professor Joan Meier.
The study found that mothers in this situation still lost custody in 84 percent of cases. That means more than 8 out of 10 times, when the Court agreed a father was abusive, they nevertheless took custody away from the mother. Yet, in the reverse situation, fathers lost custody just 4 percent of the time.
When mothers in domestic violence/child sexual abuse situations are punished for reporting abuse to the courts, it leaves these most vulnerable mothers and children with nowhere to turn. Let’s take a look at a few cases (out of thousands reviewed with the similar results just in Oakland County, Michigan. Oakland County has a history of acting badly against children) that illustrate Court bias against mothers in custody cases involving domestic abuse and/or sexual abuse—and their heartbreaking results:
· In Danielle Tha vs. Maximiliano Orecchia, there were 2 substantiated cases of child abuse by the father. Yet, in the custody case, Judge Lisa Langton threatened the mother with loss of custody if the children were to call 911 on father. Criminal child abuse charges are now pending against the father from an adjacent County of Wayne.
· In Lillian Song Moore vs. William Patrick Moore, the mother had obtained a restraining order against the father for domestic abuse, which was approved or extended by five separate judges, and police records documented the abuse. Still, the parents received joint custody of their child. Subsequently, the father sought 100 percent custody and the mother provided evidence to the Court that she believed showed abuse or neglect by the father. Judge Lisa Langton responded by taking custody away from the mother, telling the mother to destroy the evidences and never to inform the child of the reason for being removed from her care. The mother was only allowed to see her child under supervision, for which she had to pay by the hour since February of 2015.
· In Michigan Department of Health and Human Services vs. Monica Combs, the father was investigated by Child Protective Services and convicted of child sexual abuse by a Prosecutor, Jessica Cooper. When the mother entered family court to seek a divorce Judge Lisa Langton, as in the Stephanie Quigley, Lillian Song Moore, Emilia Delena, and Danielle Tha cases, took custody away from the mother for "failure to protect."
· In Vita Shannon vs. Aron Ralston, a report was made to CPS upon the suspicion of abuse. The father made a counter claim of "parental alienation." Judge Victoria Valentine removed custody from the mother, awarding physical custody of the child to the father whereby transporting the child from California to Colorado during the Pandemic Lock-Down. The court also ordered the mother to pay the father’s legal fees, as well as child support, despite the father being two and a half years behind on child support to the mother. Kurt Schnelz, arbitrator in the case, based his recommendation to deprive the mother and child's time partially on a personal financial dispute he had with the mother (using non-payment of his bill against her). The arbitrator is now being sued for ethics violations in a separate case, in Jody Polhman vs. Kurt Schnelz.
· In Nada Huranieh v Bassel Altantawi, the father was accused of a history of domestic abuse and was banned from unsupervised visits with the children during divorce proceedings. The mother was then murdered, and police charged the couple’s teenage son with her murder. Judge Victoria Valentine who oversaw the custody case, awarded the couple’s two daughters to their father after their mother’s death. The Judge Valentine's decision was reversed by a higher court for errors that included not considering the prior domestic violence incidents.
· In Joseph D Walker vs. Nikita G Landrum, the father was a documented abuser, who had a restraining order against him. Nevertheless, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan awarded both parents joint custody. The mother subsequently filed motions asserting the father was violating their custody schedule, but was denied. Later, the mother went to the court for relief, claiming unpaid child support. A hearing was scheduled, but the mother and two young children were found shot to death, three days before the hearing. The mother’s personal notes, discovered by police after her death, showed that she suspected the father of abusing the children when they were with him, having found injuries on them when they returned to her. Judge Mary Ellen Brennan is also the one who sent a teen, Grace, to jail, during the Pandemic, over online school work.
· In Emilia Delena v Stefano Giolitto, the mother, who was living with her daughter in Italy, was never notified of father's petition to take full custody of their child. Judge Lisa Langton held a trial without the mother and removed custody from the her and asserted that Italian Court was subservient to her Orders. Italian Court blasted Judge Lisa Langton's action and counter-ordered that mother and child can remain in Italy.
· In Stephanie Quigley v Michael J. Quigley, the mother requested a restraining order with the Court against Michael Quigley, but was denied by Judge Lisa Langton. A few days later, the father shot the mother and another adult in their faces, while a toddler was in the same room.
** The facts and numbers don’t lie. The biased application of “parental alienation” and ignoring Best Interest Of The Child Act to punish mothers who are victims of domestic violence and who report abuse during custody arrangements - must stop. Therefore, we demand that Michigan Attorney General, Senate leaders, the ACLU, and the FBI establish an independent review process to examine claims of bias or corruption during custody cases. **
In the UPDATES section, at the top of the page, there are videos of additional testimonies and expert findings, and judicial events where judges make fun of terrified mothers.
If you feel like your rights have been violated, please write to WomensVoicesMatterFamilyCourt@gmail.com (a federal civil rights suit is currently being formed). All donations will go to promoting this campaign. Thank you for your support.