Friday my friend had her children taken away because she attended a picnic in Mosswood Park in support of the Occupy movement here in Oakland, California.
I read the “emergency protective order” myself, minus the actual declaration which they did not include, and she is not allowed to see her children and will not even get a day in court until April 23rd.
There was no warning, no proper filing of papers, nothing. Her ex just filed like a thief in the dark and snuck the kids out of the school. She arrived to find them gone. The school had seen the restraining order, but she had not, nobody was there to serve her or explain anything. The only cause written on the paper was that she had attended this event at Mosswood Park, which was a picnic in a nice family park with a playground near my house. We take my kid and her kids to this park all the time.
First things first, she has no money and she now needs money to hire an experience family law specialist. So send her some cash to “KC”. C/O Don Macleay, P.O. Box 20299, Oakland CA, 94620. I will give her the letters unopened. If each of us gives a small amount, we can get her legal fees quickly. If you can give a larger amount, please do so. If you need more information to donate you can contact me.
I know a lot about this case and I know the children. It is for them that I am not naming names. They have been having a hard enough time as it is. Being snatched away from their mom is probably the most hurtful thing anyone could have done to them. She has been their principle caregiver all their lives and they are too old not to be deeply hurt by what their father has just done to them.
My father was a court officer. When my own divorce nightmare was unfolding he told me that “the system is vulnerable to those willing to perjure themselves” My father was an honorable man who would never perjure himself and I do not think he understood that many do not have those ethics.
Translation? Alameda Family Court is a liar’s paradise. Every document you sign says “under penalty of perjury” on it. I have yet to hear of one case, or an instance in a case, where that was enforced.
In this case, we have a person who has no qualms telling lies in court or anywhere else. I first met him as somebody else’s boyfriend BEFORE the younger of these two children was fathered. Since I have watched this case I have seen him run the kind of marijuana grow that gives medical grows a bad name. He has told every kind of contradictory story in court and he has tried to attack this woman by distorting her medical history and her sexuality. I also know his other two ex’s and their children. One is trying to get him to pay his support and the other has recently stopped doing their custody exchange in the police stations.
Not only does lying work well in Alameda Family Court, so does slander and smear campaigns. This is now the third time he is slandering this woman to take the kids for himself and this time he is using her politics.
Let us be very clear about something. The kids were not ever in any danger at the picnic at Mosswood Park or at any other Occupy support action. Despite how it is getting spun in the press, most of Occupy Oakland was more like a street fair than a protest movement. For a while there was a Children’s Village with a play tent. The children were separated from any confrontations in both space and time.
Our family courts and family services are a disgrace. Just speaking for myself and not about this case, I have no faith in the system. It urgently needs an outside audit of the judgments, the mediation, Child Protective Services and the outside contractors who are the “evaluators” and “counseling services”.
For this reason alone we should be helping my friend out. No woman should become the victim of an abusive husband who can game the system to abuse her again in Family Court.
In this case he is using her politics against her to take her children away. If you do not feel personally threatened by that, then I would suggest that there is something you did not understand.
– Don Macleay firstname.lastname@example.org 510 290-1200