Friday, 29 January 2010
My second of two mini blogs in the series, which started Solicitors and Barristers....,
now it is the turn of the Judge!
One thing I learned very quickly in this process was the inconsistency between judges, few showed great empathy with the genuine spirit of the law and showed impartiality between parents others were unapologetically biased either way it makes little difference as these courts continue, (in spite of Jack Straws whoop and grunt attempt to open courts last April) to be shrouded in secrecy and the judges claim this will expose sensitive cases involving children to risk! This is total nonsense and a white wash as just like the open criminal courts that are under press and public scrutiny, Family Judges could say Child 'A', Child 'B' or Family 'XYZ' or just put an identification number on a case which the press have to refer too. This they claim is too much additional administration for them, oh dear too much work to protect a child? more like they are covering their own backs and trying to maintain the authority they, in my opinion no longer deserve!
I spent from March to October of 2004 in family court (above) and in spite of all the smoke and mirrors and obstacles they throw at a father, whilst making it plain sailing for the mother, I still reached 20th October 2004 and with a CAFCASS officer ready to make 'adendments' to her previous report and subsequently spending the whole day in the court office with my ex (so much for impartiality once more) I was granted a joint residency order and 50/50 contact and the wily old judge, now retired and a little like Mr Waverly in 'Man from Uncle' said "Right that is my judgement and now I am going to offer some fatherly advice to you both, that is is down to you to make this work" I acknowledged the judges sentiments whilst my ex offered her hallmark stony poker face and in the time it took me to travel home (under 25 miles) I received 50+ text messages telling me all the reasons why it will never work (She only had to send one really, with her name on it, as that was the only reason why!)
Even by the Christmas holidays she was trying to disrupt the contact and by March 2005 we were back in court this time in front of a district judge now an HHJ who looked like she could have been Anne Robinson's twin sister and who decided to reserve that case for her own and systematically unraveled all that was fought for the previous year at a cost of £32,000 to me and I guess the equivalent legal aid for her. I even had this appalling judge's lacky stand in for one sitting who then promptly placed a penal notice on me for not allowing my children to phone their mother whilst in my care, yet it was me who supplied them with mobiles (ordinarily I considered them too young) so they could stay in touch with either parent at alternative times!
The next time I arrived in court my ex's barrister approached my McKenzie friend, the late Ian Mackay (The first guy to speak in the embedded video on my first blog) and asked " Could you ask your client to stop getting his children to phone their mother so often? this is now a cause of annoyance to her!! You could not make it up!
This disruption went on from March 2005 to September 2007 when as you will know by now she has withheld my children from contacting me in any way yet they only live 1/2 a mile down the road and their schools lay between the two homes. I did return to court one final time in August 2008 this time to a more conciliatory judge but even though, I was told I would have to start the process all over again and involve CAFCASS! I asked why can't you simply enforce the order that exists . She said she was unable to do that (Court orders are not worth the paper they are written on as Lord Justice Ward has recognised!) and suggested I went and sought the CAFCASS officers in the court that day and she would return after a recess to offer my findings, I simply walked out of court telling the usher I will not return!
In all this the children never get their say, just a 'snap-shot' account by some erroneous court reporter from CSF or CAFCASS who do not know you from Adam yet are able to assassinate your character at the stroke of a pen . Why can't the judges get reports from the family GP (doctor) or children's schools who have a more intimate knowledge as the schools often have more contact then the parents. (click title)
At the end of the summer holiday's of 2007 my youngest then aged 8 said " I have had such a great time can I see you as often as my older son?" (She had been with holding him on many previous occasions) I said this was how it was always meant to be, but you have to ask your mum, since then she has with held both my sons now 28 months to date !
Parental Alienation Syndrome is child abuse and should be outlawed !!
Solicitors can make a mistake but don't count on being able to do anything about it, the law society that is supposed to regulate mal-practice are a toothless regulator as they have no power to enforce regulations on the lawyers, yet the solicitor can sue the law society if THEY get it wrong! All in all what comes out of all of this industry is the lack of accountability the judge, solicitor, barrister even the social services account to nobody and this leaves a danger that failure is going unregulated and the upshot is disenfranchised families, children wrongly put into irreversible care and our societies continuing to be broken by this 'professional incompetence', I for one will go on making everyone aware of this until those in the position to fix these failing laws, the Law Lords, do something about and NOW!