The story of how we began, reporting criminal, heinous brutality.
These are two articles from the now-defunct website lawisnotjustice.com, before the days of the Foundation for Child Victims of the Family Courts.
Origins of The Foundation of the Child Victims of the Family Courts
Before 12-year-old Islam Elkaryoney committed suicide by strangling himself with a belt tied to his bedpost, placed around his neck, by his own hand… before I heard the screaming and crying from the emergency room where this child lay dying…
Before I heard the account of the death of a child at her mother’s hands ? a mother who would have been afforded the privilege of contact with a still live sibling…
The Coroner stated, “She used her ears as a handle… fortunately she lost consciousness quickly” The words of the coroner who chronicled the series of injuries inflicted on 22-month-old Madi of Kentucky…
The murderess was not immediately charged and we had to fight to have the jealous murderess charged with a crime – the father loved his child more than wishing to marry the girlfriend the child never liked. She was charged with manslaughter – not the crime. She should have been charged with first degree murder….. She served five years in prison….. But Madi’s memory lives on….. “An angel took my hand” is the grandmother’s ode of love for her granddaughter.
Before I heard the words of a mother recount the events leading to the transfer of custody from her loving hands… “The judge brought me into chambers after my child was injured again…
The Judge said “I will give you full custody but you must give him unsupervised visitation every other weekend.”… “I said no! She gave my ex full physical and legal custody and I got supervised visitation!… I never thought by not doing what the judge requested that it would result in her turning the wrath of her power on me.”
Before I came to know first-hand, I never knew…
Those who hold the power of life and death are Family Court Judges who rule on the basis of their own discretion… not on the basis of law, not according to the rules of evidence. Judicial discretion is so broad that the lower court rulings are rarely overturned in Appeal. Family Court Judges may act with or without, and sometimes in spite of, the recommendations of mental health professionals. But even these recommendations are often critically flawed and, within the profession itself, the custody evaluation process is subject to controversy.
A major flaw in the custody evaluation process is a lack of an evaluator’s strict adherence to the role of evaluator. The evaluator’s adoption of multiple roles confuses clients. The client can be seen in a Court ordered evaluation by an evaluator who can switch from family therapist to mediator, arbitrator, parent coordinator, etc., all for the same family.
Once the evaluation is completed, the same evaluator can be permitted by the Court to “treat” one member of the family, despite the fact that the same evaluator determined that that a client-parent was removed from custody of that child.
Additional flaws include a lack of sufficient scrutiny, blatant investigative oversights, and the pact of silence sealed by the veil of secrecy, sanctioned by the evaluators, judges, and attorneys.
Why does this happen? Because they can!
The litigation process itself forever fractures the relationship between already hostile parents, and compounds insult with injury with words hurled in a public forum that will never be forgotten. These words often doom the litigation to a never-ending pursuit of the last word.
Islam Elkaryoney’s fate was sealed when testimony and evidence was suppressed, witness tampering was allowed, bias and misconduct from both judge and evaluator was tolerated, and, as a result, the family’s history was rewritten by those who sought to impose their version of reality on the facts of the case.
The Foundation wishes to honor the child victims of such circumstances by writing about their lives, and fighting in Court for those who can still be saved.
Instead of preaching to the choir in the form of peer-reviewed articles, we seek to raise public consciousness and to appeal to the morality and integrity envisioned in the spirit of the Constitution of the United States.
A Grandfather’s Story
My grandson is 12 years old and came to live with his aunt, my daughter, in January of this year. When he came to live with them, he had not been to school since November. His mother had signed him over to my daughter and son-in-law before she left for another state with her other children.
Intensively over the last year they have been trying to gain custody of our grandson. My daughter and son-in-law had retained an attorney, and a file had been actively added to about his mother and her activities. But early on, the attorney said that their chances of winning were not very good, that the courts generally sided with the mother.
Prior to living with his aunt and uncle, he has bounced around with his mother living here much of the time or in a couple other states. His mother has two other children by a different man. My son, unfortunately is in prison for a second time. He is in favor of my grandson living with his aunt and uncle.
My grandson’s mother is bi-polar, needs to be on medication, but is not much of the time. She, like my son, has used drugs in the past, writes bad checks, etc. but always seems to stay one step away from going to jail. Every time something gets hard, she flees the area. Her relatives have all kicked her out of their homes several times. Hence, my grandson’s life has been up and down and very unstable.
Most of his living conditions before coming to live with my daughter has been deplorable, sleeping on the floor or a couch, not going to school for months at a time, not getting proper medical care or food, and putting up with his mother’s boyfriends.
What amazes us all is the fact that through all of this in his life he has remained a very bright, talented, caring, and special boy.
His mother has called and plans to pick him up in June when school is out. With that, if you are not in tears, please read on.
My daughter and son-in-law arranged for counseling for my grandson while he was living with them. During one of the sessions after he found out his mother would be returning for him after school was over for the year, the counselor asked him how he felt about it. He said he did not want to go. She pressed him to say why and he started crying.
He said he knows he won’t have a house and his own room or bed, that he’ll be living in an apartment with a bunch of people or living with other people that he doesn’t even know. He said his mom won’t have a boyfriend or she might (I didn’t understand that totally). He kind of said that there wouldn’t be a man around. He said he won’t have his own stuff. He said his mom won’t put his sister on medication for ADHD and she’s wild and he hates dealing with that. His mom borrows money from him and never pays him back. He even said, “My mom won’t take me to the dentist or doctor if I need to go. Or school”.
Needless to say everyone in the room was crying too.
Where We Are Now
We began to see a progression of judicial discretion driving custody decisions that were devoid of focus on the interests and feelings of the children and the actual experience of children as they reported life with the parent to which they were assigned.
It was as if the experience of the children was inconsequential. They had no voice, no power, and no impact on the direction of the course of their lives from whatever age they were to the age of majority.
We began to see the treatment of children as chattel, as nothing more than property that could be shifted around by court order, with complete indifference to the evidence presented of acute harm and suffering to children.
The pattern of indifference and callousness appeared to be driven by an attitude that the children’s expressed feelings were inauthentic, that their communications were driven by an overweening authority, that of a parent who was seeking to control and manipulate the child’s feelings based on being able to receive some benefit for themselves, even when that benefit didn’t exist.
The very idea that the child had been influenced seemed to ignite a hostility toward the child and an assertion that the child should not have influence over a court’s decision.
The direction providing power and authority to judges as per discretion over custody transfers, along with a penchant to disregard evidence of abuse and multiple forms of harm, has also increased.
Evidence increasingly became accepted only through sources specifically designated by the courts: chosen attorneys and chosen evaluators.
This narrowing of the source of information and growth of autocratic control focused on judicial authority, increasingly bowed to by those who had the legal skill to counter those decisions, have created a mass migration of children into the custody of physical, sexual, and emotional abusers.
This has led to the growth of an autocratic trend that can only be described as a conveyor belt system of custody decisions more associated with the kangaroo courts of dictators across the world.
This pattern has developed over the years, and as of 2023 we are seeing a court system that has become not only increasingly divorced from the interests of protective parents and children, but totally under the control of a money and greed driven autocracy, transferring children into the hands of the most lucrative source of funds to the state, as driven by incentives for child support secured by the state from federal funding into the coffers of judicial and state interests.