Justice in Family Court Stop Parental Alienation
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"In 2009, the State Senate began a report on court financing with the quote, "Family Court is perhaps the saddest place in New York." The quote is unattributed. But when you step off the elevator into the 8th floor waiting room of the Bronx Family Court building, its truth becomes self-evident. Here and on the floor below are where people wait to be heard in cases against parents and guardians accused of neglecting or abusing their children.
When waiting-room occupants are finally called into courtrooms, their family tragedies play out in 30-minute episodes, strangely leached of drama by the florescent lights and the business-as-usual nature of a bureaucracy that deals in crisis every day.
New York City’s Family Courts are charged with deciding nearly all legal matters involving children and families—from juvenile delinquency arrests to custody battles to paternity suits.
In child protective courtrooms, judges hear petitions filed by the City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) seeking that kids be sent into foster care or—as is now far more often the case—remain with their families under the court-ordered supervision of ACS and its preventive service agencies, which monitor children’s safety at home.
For parents and kids, the stakes couldn’t be much higher. Yet the city’s Family Courts are chronically overburdened and under-resourced, plagued by high caseloads, overworked staff, and a stubborn legacy of dysfunction and delay.
Once a case lands in court, allegations tend to cascade. Unlike in criminal courts, where it’s the burden of the State to prove a specific accusation, a Family Court case might start with the investigation of a parent who leaves her child unsupervised in a homeless shelter, and pick up allegations of educational neglect or drug use along the way. Cases often last for months, or even years, as parents attempt to demonstrate that they’ve resolved the circumstances that brought them to the attention of child welfare in the first place—usually by participating in a range of prescribed social service programs like parenting classes or psychotherapy.
Even then, the notion of ‘resolution’ can be tenuous. Child protective courtrooms deal in people’s most profound and intimate failings—parents failing their kids; spouses and partners failing each other—entangled in all the ways that public systems fail poor families. Their daily fare is homelessness, addiction, unemployment, mental illness, domestic violence, and grinding, intergenerational poverty.
Judges are required to make supremely important decisions ("Will you ever go home to your mother?") under extraordinarily difficult conditions: According to data reported by the court, child protective judges carry average pending caseloads ranging from 409 at any given time in the Bronx to 520 in Staten Island. In the busiest boroughs, judges frequently have two or three hearings scheduled for the same half-hour time slot.
Inevitably, untenable caseloads lead to inefficient hearings, held in brief increments spaced by months of delay. Judges and lawyers waste hours reviewing old testimony. Facts get forgotten and must be repeated. City and foster care caseworkers quit, taking their knowledge of cases with them. Meanwhile, families are dragged through a prolonged and terrifying process, and kids are left in limbo, with no certain way to know where they'll sleep after the next decision is made. Critics call the process “trial by teaspoon.”
“We have taken delay to a new level that other courts don’t have,” says Chris Gottlieb, co-director of the Family Defense Clinic at the New York University School of Law, which represents parents in Family Court. “This level of delay would never happen if the litigants were people who garnered respect.”
-A project of The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School©️2018
My name is Shayna, I want to take the time to express my deepest appreciation to everyone that has supported me over the years. For those that have had the unfortunate experience of parental alienation and can relate to my story I commend you for all your strength.
In late 2009 my life took a downward spiral for the worse. It was just the beginning of the most dehumanizing experiences of my life as a parent. How could one unintentional mistake be dissected and depicted into the most grossly exaggerated dishonest lie for those with an evil agenda? This is a question parents have all asked across the globe. My family became just another statistic for the Bronx Family Court within a 24 hour period, that's all it took for two selfish and senseless grandparents and fathers whom knowingly and willingly provided false testimonies to a social worker which started a neglect case against me for an alleged intentional suicide attempt over an overnight hospitalization. Talk about devious vindictiveness to the core.
To add insult to injury one of the grandmother's (Irma) premeditated a plan to break into my apartment during my hospitalization. After providing her false testimony that I was an unfit, irresponsible mother whom never kept my newborn kempt she pretended to show my family concern for my eldest daughter's well-being at the hospital by asking to take her (then 8 yrs old) to get some food during which she manipulated my daughter to hold her jacket while she ate the pizza she had bought her. To remove my apartment keys from my daughters jacket. Afterwards she returned my daughter to my family that was in the waiting area and left the hospital. She took my keys to break into my apartment to steal my newborns social security card. Her only concern while I was in the hospital was to find a way to help her abusive narcissistic son get custody and claim our 4 month old daughter that he never supported on his income taxes. Yet they claim I have a mental illness? After she broke into my apartment she called back to the hospital and said some very demeaning things to me. "My son doesn't want you.. If you want dick so badly I will go out and get you all the dick in the world."
The other grandmother's (Glenis) testimony to the social worker was just as conniving. The "Christian" woman I had known for over 10 years had claimed I was an unfit mother as well as stated I had no relationship with her sons daughter. She concocted a story that I had given my daughter to her to raise from birth and had no interest in her. This came from a woman whom is a teacher and by law is mandated to report any signs of abuse. If I was this mother she claimed in my report why did she wait until I was most vulnerable to attack my character? Why did she deny all the years her son neglected his daughter to be apart of a cult? Why did she deny his attempt to molest my oldest daughter? Instead of reporting the abuse and negligence of her son to protect her name and reputation in the community she covered it up. Then she tried to punish me by providing false statements because I never covered up for her son. He has been arrested for assaulting me so he has a history of violence. He has been reported for attempting to kidnap our daughter. He had no interest in raising or supporting our daughter and as a result of his poor decisions he was arrested and plastered on the news papers as a deadbeat father with a bench warrant for non payment of child support. She tried to have me banned because she paid for her son's child support. My kindness to allow these sociopaths free liberal access to my children while I had custody was the first mistake I ever made because they twisted my kindness by saying outrageous lies such as me not wanting my daughter, she was too much for me to handle and I didn't love her. I don't know what God this woman served but I know right from wrong and I know that I have no right to withhold my children from anyone unless there is a major concern for safety. Molestation is a major safety concern and it is not something that should ever be made up as a means to withhold a child. It should also never be covered up as a means to protect one's reputation.
The problem in my situation that dragged our family continuously through the system over the years was never my hospitalization. The problem was never my functioning capabilities on a daily basis, my parenting skills, my integrity or any other capacity that would limit any person to the degree to make parental alienation justifiable. Because if the truth about any one individual were exposed there would be a lot more children in foster homes and a lot more imprisonments. Because that would mean the Justice system is actually working for all and the process would be holding all accountable. The problem was and always will fall back to the professionals that fail families in the judicial system. Their are loopholes in the system that only lawyers, law guardians, judges police officers know that criminals get away with. And those that hold the most power on the scale of justice fail.
My children's paternal family members could not succeed in court with the truth. So they used the only means they had to achieve an outcome that would only benefit themselves not the children they claimed they love so much. These tactics caused the actual abuse and negligence in my case not my hospitalization. All my hospitalization did was open a door for my family to receive the assistance we needed. Devious tactics, pathological lying, narcissism, control, gaslighting, perjury, professional misconduct, deceit, and all premeditated affliction are ways that society are served injustice, this is the source of the problem. And any injustice done to anyone we love is a war worth fighting for but it's a war that is impossible to win when the cost to expose the truth is more of a liability than your freedom.
There are many families that are clueless to the long term effects of parental alienation until they personally experience it. I do believe PA is a form of abuse, one that is in some cases more aggressive and damaging than physical abuse because it can go on for so long undetected. Duplicitous individuals are master manipulators that can easily hide this kind of abuse. Parental alienation (PA) is an emotional disturbance in which a child sees one parent as good and the other as bad. PA happens in children whose parents are going through a divorce or custody battle. When the primary parent brainwashes the child, the case becomes known as parental alienation syndrome (PAS). The child begins showing extreme hostility toward the "bad" parent, verbally vilifying him or her and refusing to do anything with that parent. Children with the syndrome are known to be deceptive, and finding evidence is not easy.
Proving that someone is or has been manipulating your children for years can be difficult. As a parent I can maintain a "log" of how my children act around other people and provide witnesses who can testify about denigrating things my children say. PAS children often contort stories to make alienated parents look bad its a behavior promoted by the alienating parent. A PAS child will often repeat lies and misinformation. PAS parents often directly interfere with custody and visitation rights, for example not keeping gifts or prevent the noncustodial parent from attending school or family functions. Parental alienation destroys a child's relationship with the other parent, particularly when a parent intentionally undermines a child's relationship with the other parent. Parental alienation is a form of child abuse because it creates confused emotions, damaged relationships, loss of family, adopted hatred, and withdrawal symptoms.
The history of my childrens PA abuse has lasted now for 9 years. When I'm in court fighting for visitation or custody, the real problem is never assessed which is PA. Instead of focusing and eliminating the problem of PA. The custodial parents and paternal grandmothers focus on my hospitalization from 2009 and drag a non-existent issue of mental illness on my part. At this point it's become an issue of discrimination for those with mental illnesses. Because after all the abuse from the family, corrupt lawyers and judges I don't know what human cannot gain depression due to a long period of stress or what human cannot gain anxiety after enduring a corrupt process of what these judges call justice. By the time a contentious divorce or custody case is over there are some illnesses that may be born out of the situation over time due to an underlying issue that had never been resolved.
It is truly disappointing how a narcissists or sociopath can get away with gas-lighting and parental alienation however I can be persecuted for a mental illness that has never been founded or proven. Since my hospitalization I haven been studied, tested, and tried by several social workers, psychiatrist and counselors. Judge Karen Lupuloff was so inclined with discernment that she needed a forensic psychologist to investigate each party of my case and provide a recommendation for custody. After the forensic psychologist provided his findings it was dismissed like all the others. Because all seven doctors stated the truth, there was no mental illness, I was not abusive, violent, suicidal or unfit nor did they recommend custody to these men that were transparent wolves in sheep's clothing. Talk about immunity for corrupted judges.
My testimony is out of this world, I don't like speaking about it because it truly is a dark experience I am still fighting to overcome. But I have never made a single detail up of my truth. My daughter Nadelynn is now 13 and Jaylina is now 8, they have spent the majority of the past 9 years without their extended family and I. I am not a victim, my children are. I am just a Survivor telling their story. They have been alienated and the reason behind it is inexcusable. My parental rights have not been legally terminated however these fathers and grandparents have taken advantage of a legal loophole in our system and haven taken away all my parental rights illegally. For every opportunity I take to repair our relationship which they have made all efforts to destroy and nearly impossible to restore they go on and use duplicitous tactics to push me down every time I rise up against them. For years my social media accounts have been stalked and my photos have been placed under the most ridiculous scrutiny. Dispite my efforts to pick up the pieces of my life and enjoy the most of it without the other two halfs of me. They make every effort to portray me negatively, if only they learned to used the energy they fuel for their hate to actually understand what being a loving parent is about maybe my children's lives would of had a better outcome. Maybe if they discontinued playing the victim and using the resources meant for victims of domestic violence as a ploy to keep my children from me, my children would know just how much their mother loves them.
For example, in 2012 a photo of me garnishing a gun on my social media account was distributed from one of the fathers to the other. They both went to court and asked for an emergency order of protection. Their sworn testimony in court was that they feared for their lives and the safety of their children. The order of protection was granted. My 3 year battle for over night visitation was taken away just like that without evidence of a threat, history of violence or due process. Judge Karen Lupuloff always overlooked these men's behavior. I always wondered if she received a monetary gain for being so biased to me. How was it the best interest of my children to take me away without explanation and disrupt their hope and happiness of being together over a photo?
It is hard to go over a 9 year experience of hell in a petition. One day this story will exceed a petition and will hopefully be the answer to all parents who have endured such turmoil as I have. If you have taken the time to read this much and continue to the end I owe you my deepest gratitude for your time. As well as your support.
The next part of this petition will be actually events that occurred chronologically but every detail cannot be expressed however these are but few of the most painful parts of my journey that I am proud to share as a Survivor.
To make a 9 year story of hell short I have been fighting for visitation to regain joint custody of my kids for years now. Judge Karen lupuloff awarded sole custody of my daughters to their fathers after an insurmountable amount of evidence was provided that should have discredit all the allegations of abuse, neglect and mental illness in my case. I was given one stipulation to follow after another. One inhumane demand after another and I completed everything with grace and humility because my love for my children has always been greater than these individuals hate for me.
In the past 9 years I've completed 7 mental health evaulations, parenting classes, anger management classes, volunteer work, graduated programs for women groups, invested my education in Human Services to help those with mental illnesses, and have voluntarily been in active therapy for 9 years.
Because I was dealing with individuals that enjoyed dilberately causing affliction and pain on me, stalked me on social media to use any bit of my personality or lifestyle against me to portray me in the most negative way.
Mr. Perez and Mr. Fernandez have both simultaneously sabotaged my relationship with my children and their extended family. Their eldest sister who is now 16 has been denied visits and phone calls from each of these families for the past 9 years. Enough is enough!
Karen Lupuloff granted an order of protection thats meant to protect actual victims of abuse to two men that undoubtedly tormented me for years. She dismissed every unexcused failure to appear in court, dismissed pornographic photos posted on one of the parties social media including his death threats directed to me and his need to obsessively degrade me on social networks. Posting freestyle raps of his plans to one day kill me while his older brother whom follows him works for the NYPD yet his YouTube videos degrade women and cops. She dismissed the acts of purjury in her court room. She also banned my father that wasnt a party to the case and had little to no involvememt with my children and I because he was accused of sexual molestation.
The true sexual predator in this case was Mr. Fernandez, he called his sexual addictions, homosexual lifestyle and double life "secret society". While my father and I were humiliated of false allegations of sexual abuse, rape and a multitude of demented lies this party got away with defaming our character.
The ones that caused domestic violence, psychological abuse and mental anguish were protected by lies and a corrupt judicial system. I was the prisoner fighting for my freedom as Karen lupuloff stripped me of all parental rights. Then she made it so it would be nearly impossible to regain a normal life by encouraging the abuse and stipulating ridiculous orders, one after the other she requested another psych and mental evaluation adding an intelligence test. How intelligent was it for her to grant custody to me for one of the three children I have? So I am a threat to the two not in my care but not the one that's been in my care for the past 16 years? Yes, proving my intelligence will provide adequate and substantial proof that I am incapable of caring for all my children.
After years of me trying everything humanly possible to come to a resolution for this matter that includes peace, I am beating a dead horse at this point. The individuals involved in my case need to be held accountable for the atrocity and failures repeatedly done to three innocent children that only asked for a normal life, never asked to be born into such a horrible situation. I only ask for justice because I want to move on with my life but cannot without them.
I could never understand how I could be deemed unfit for two daughters that have been removed from my care that were tied into a case by relationship to their sibling. They were not at the hospital, they were not present during the incident that occurred December 2009. My eldest daughter was returned to me after all stipulations were completed. ACS closed the case, they forced me to give temporary custody to the fathers to not have an abuse charge on my record and dispite me saying I don't care what I am charged with there's no validity in anyones testimony I do not agree to temporary custody I want my kids back they still did what they wanted with me anyway. I had no control over the situation. No one protected my rights, all four of my lawyers at the Bronx Defenders failed me and covered up for Karen Lupuloff to protect their own position.
One of my children resided in another state at the time which NY had no jurisdiction to award sole custody to. And now for 7+ years were still fighting for basic visitation. Every case I pursue continues to be dismissed without prejudice. And the cycle has to be repeated again without any resolve while the true abusers get away unscathed?
Please sign this petition so that my children can finally have a voice and so that all the parents and children that are under the unmericiful hands of the family court system can have the respect, justice and resolution they deserve. I know I'm just one person but I don't mind being that one person that can begin the desperately needed change for someone else that can relate to my horrible experience with the New York Family Court system.
Expose these judges and lawyers that abuse their power for political gain, that violate their duty of professional conduct, have no regard for the best interest of the children they make decisions for as well as have no remorse about their influence to participate in destroying the lives of families that cannot afford true freedom. Narcissistic parents that blatantly refuse to co-parent and get away with years of aggressive parental alienation.
Thank you, You have our deepest gratitude.
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