“Reunification Therapy” Is Torture by Infliction of Acute, Overwhelming Emotional Distress

Here is that concept in action as a court-appointed therapist attempts to intimidate a client who rejects the pursuit of their rejected provider.

Angeline Schuller, MSW, LCSW, “Reunification Therapist,” demonstrates the tactics and techniques of threats, coercion, and intimidation, accompanied by attorneys whose courtroom tactics include lying, cheating, and stealing money, property, and children via false allegations of “Parental Alienation,” Child Abuse, threats, and intimidation as court-appointed proxies for abuser.

“Domestic violence by proxy” is not legal, ethical or moral. It will not be tolerated by those whose professions involve protection of children. Action will be taken on the part of subjects of such litigation / court actor abuse.

Ms. Schuller’s words in the letter copied below are an attempt to bully and intimidate a protective parent who has gone through hell and high water to mover her 4 children out from under the massively controlling influence of a psych ill alcohol addicted individual who has conducted a reign of terror over the family for years. The children have lived their lives and functioned  in an atmosphere of abuse, particularly to the girls and their mother. They have documented their experiences intensively over the years in private diaries and private drawings.

The mother’s decision to leave for her own and her children’s protection was then thwarted by family court intrusion, showing arrogance and ignorance in their adherence to the conviction that all men have a right to access (abuse) their children.

Below is the aforementioned letter sent by Angeline Schuller to our client.

*****

In court yesterday, you mentioned that your oldest daughter intended to file a lawsuit against her Father for the “abuse” she endured in infancy. I am concerned that you may have been provided with misinformation. Here are some things to consider and discuss with a licensed attorney in the state of Indiana.

Jurisdiction

Let’s assume the jurisdiction is in the State of Indiana, although, an argument can be made that some abuse may have occurred in Illinois.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)

IIED is the legal action that would be brought when a person alleges emotional damages as a result of an act of another.

Statute of Limitations

Is the period of time in which a person has to file a lawsuit in court. The statute of Limitations for an IIED claim in Indiana is three years. If the events occurred in Illinois, the Statute of Limitations to bring suit is two years. In both cases, the timeline for the statute usually begins at the age of majority, which is 18. Again, please consult with a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana.

The Reality of the Courts in Indiana

Indiana is an incredibly conservative state. Arguably, many of the laws here are about 50 years behind the times. The Republicans that run the state do not like issuing judgments for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Indiana has a reputation for siding heavily with the defendant, making the burden of proof difficult for the plaintiff.

Defense: Parental Immunity Doctrine

Parental immunity doctrine refers to a principle that children cannot sue their parents for tort claims.

Exceptions to the Parental Immunity Doctrine

There are three exceptions to the parental immunity doctrine, and the third could be argued in your case. However, reaching the standard of the third exception is incredibly difficult.

Here, Father has not been tried and convicted for child abuse, and the Department of Child Services has not substantiated abuse allegations. There has been no indication that Father has engaged in physical or sexual abuse of the children. Therefore, an IIED case for childhood trauma is unlikely to prevail. Again, please consult with a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana.

Anticipated Counter Arguments

Any case brought for (IIED) against a parent is likely to be dismissed on summary judgment. However, if this case made it before a jury, the following arguments could be anticipated:

  1. From a developmental perspective, teenagers often act out and even rebel against their parents to develop their own identities. In other words, it is not uncommon for parents and teenagers to get into heated verbal altercations. It is not uncommon for words to be exchanged in the heat of such altercations that the parent or child may regret.
      1. In Lake County, we have psychologists who can testify to this. Ones which the courts rely on regularly for expert testimony. Ones with mental health licenses and no disciplinary actions against them. Ones who do not have a $100,000 judgment against them for defamation upheld on appeal. In other words, the ones in which the courts would find creditable.
  2. The emotional distress your children have suffered could be from a prolonged custody battle that has consumed your children’s lives for the past five years. The effects of co-parenting conflict on child development are well documented.
  3. If Father’s actions were so egregious, to rise to the level of the third exception, and you knew about them, then you were an accomplice to the actions and have failed to protect your children.
    1. For example, if a mother knew the father was sexually abusing their daughter and did not take steps to protect the daughter, she would also be liable for the acts of the Father.
      1. As outlined in my Brief Focused Assessment, you have admitted that you engaged in frequent arguments with Father. Father identified that you would frequently instigate arguments with him, usually about money. Your oldest daughter indicated that she had to take on the parenting role of shielding the children from the frequent conflict between you and Father. In other words, both you and Father failed to protect your children from the ongoing conflict. Therefore, you could be found to have contributory liability.
      2. You reported that Father was never physically abusive towards you or the children, and father reported that you were physically abusive towards him and the oldest child. During the trial with the late Magistrate Rudenz, you admitted on the stand, under oath, that you had been physically abusive towards Father.
      3. Since your divorce, you have continued to involve your children in the co-parenting conflict. It can be argued that you leaned heavily on your oldest daughter at times for emotional support. You have made disparaging comments about Father to the children, all of which can be considered psychological abuse.

Conclusion

  1. As outlined in my Brief Focused Assessment, you and Father were abusive towards each other. Just because you played the victim does not mean you were actually the victim. Your engagement in intense arguments with Father about the children caused them harm. Putting your oldest daughter in the role of protecting the younger children from the immature behaviors of both you and Father was psychological abuse. The only victims in your situation are your children.
  2. You played a part in the emotional harm done to your oldest daughter, and you continue to play a part by using her as a pawn in your current custody case. The psychological damage that your daughter will likely endure when she testified against her father is subject to cross-examination and absolutely unconscionable.
  3. The idealism of the person(s) you have chosen to associate with is inconsistent with the realities of the family court system.

Recommendations

  1. In doing some research, it appears Attorney Burton Padove has some experience working with IIED in the family law context. He is a very reputable attorney and a straight shooter, which is honestly what your family needs right now.
  2. Please, stop the litigation.
    1. What you are doing will not bring healing to your family.
    2. The game you are playing is dangerous
      1. You are being accused of custodial kidnapping
      2. There is a petition pending for reverse custody
      3. You are not following court orders
      4. As the Judge stated, the consequences of not complying with court orders include monetary sanctions and possible jail time
        1. I have seen parents go to jail for not following court orders
      5. Your expert witness will be shot down quickly as not being credible
      6. Your daughter’s testimony will be limited by statute
      7. At this point, you have no attorney
    3. Let’s pretend that the outcome of your efforts is no contact. What is the cost to your children?
      1. Your youngest child adores his Father. Their relationship is truly beautiful
        1. He would likely feel abandoned by Father
      2. Before the most recent events, your daughters all endorsed a desire to have a positive relationship with their Father.
        1. The opportunity to establish a healthy relationship will be denied.
      3. Your children will carry emotional baggage into adulthood, impacting every aspect of their lives
        1. Baggage that could have been unpacked, processed, and overcome with the help of Father under the direction of caring mental health professionals.
  1. Good News! It is not too late…..
    1. You can still turn this around
    2. We can meet to discuss your issues with our therapy approach, and I will be happy to implement changes, if appropriate
    3. All of us at New Vista want your family to heal and move forward
    4. If you are not happy with the present providers, we can change them, provided you sign an agreement not to make false claims against their professional licenses
    5. As I have said from the stand, I have said it to your children, and I will say it again here. The goal of “Reunification Counseling” is to strengthen the parent-child bond.
      1. Through the counseling, the children are allowed to discuss the past events, and interventions can be put in place so that Father can aid in the healing process.
      2. Through co-parenting counseling, you can address your concerns, and the counselor can help both of you focus on solutions so your family can move forward.
    6. Please reconsider your present legal strategy and choose the path of peace
    7. Let’s stop litigation and work together to bring healing for your children

Final Remarks

In closing, it appeared that a third party was advising you during the Zoom hearing. You kept looking at something on our left screen. You were also on mute for some time before you answered the judge if the girls were being presented for February parenting time. This looked suspicious. You may want to consult with a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana about the potential consequences of carrying on such behaviors.

As a reminder, Father’s parenting time and the counseling services are two separate issues. Father has the right to his parenting time, even if he does not participate in the counseling services.

*****Disclaimer*****

The information contained in this document is not intended to constitute legal advice. Please consult with a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana if you have any questions.

*****

Adhering to the lie that there is no child abuse or domestic violence is tantamount to believing that the naked emperor is actually clothed.

The Foundation for Child Victims of the Family Courts exposes naked lies, naked truth, naked abuse of power, and naked racketeering. We are very clear about seriously addressing the constitutional protections of free speech and the right of children to live in an environment that protects their health and welfare.

Our legal team of experts is committed to supporting the rights of protective parents and vulnerable children.

Jill Jones Soderman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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