Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Did Child Advocates Inc. conspire to violate court orders?

Child Advocates Inc, a private corporation providing service to the Marion County Courts, employs Guardian Ad Litems [GAL] and attorneys to represent children in custody actions. These advocates are supposed to be independent third parties representing the best interest of children when their parents are embattled in a custody fight. But what if an attorney for Child Advocates was colluding with counsel for one parent against an unrepresented parent?

Today I bring to you the first in a five part series about a recent case which demonstrates how this private corporation can perpetuate conflict and litigation to boost their own bottom line. When I make an accusation against a professional in the child custody arena I do so with great trepidation as I must ensure that I am absolutely accurate and do not tarnish my reputation in the child custody policy, law and litigation arenas where I am well respected.

So with that in mind I present this summary of what I will disclose in explicit detail over the next four postings about the case of Kristy L Moore, Petitioner v. Brian S Moore, Respondent [49D12-0810-DR-44790] which is being heard by the Honorable Heather Welch.

Before proceeding I will provide some background on the case that gives you a foundation by which to measure all the forthcoming evidence. The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement on 10 December 2009 which resolved all issues including: that the school the children would attend would be decided upon with the assistance of the parenting coordinator, John Ehrmann; and, limitations upon the access to the children that Kristy's mother, Pat, would have due to her parental alienation tactics and the harm that the Court thought she may inflict onto the children. Less than a year later, on 21 July 2010 Kristy filed a Verified Motion to Modify Custody seeking sole legal and physical custody of the children. For purposes of the IPTG the Parenting Coordination process designated Kristy as the custodian but otherwise the parties shared legal custody and 50/50 parenting time. Throughout the time this matter has been pending Kristy has been represented by Jonathan Deenik [26335-49] of Cross, Pennamped, Woolsey & Glazier, P.C. Brian is currently representing himself but had counsel at the time the Settlement Agreement was adopted by the Court.

The matter came on for hearing on 19 September 2011. The parties appeared in person and by counsel where the Petitioner presented her case-in-chief and then rested. I attended that hearing. The trial had been scheduled for a full day but after Deenik rested counsel for Respondent, Brian Moore, moved to dismiss. Judge Welch denied that motion but then indicated that she wanted a GAL and the DRCB to advise on this matter before Mr Moore presented his case. Mr Moore offered no objection to that plan.

Del Anderson was appointed as the GAL. As of this writing he has not issued a report. The DRCB issued its' report on 14 February 2012 in which sole legal and physical custody was recommended in Kristy's favour. A significant amount of time passed while awaiting the input of the GAL and the DRCB.

A major point of contention in this case is whether the children would continue their formal education at the school the parties had selected, Cornerstone Baptist Academy. Another issue facing the parents was Summer parenting time and if they should alternate their week-on, week-off alternating parenting time schedule. Brian raised this issue with Kristy through an email dated 17 May 2012. The parties appeared for a status conference on 22 May 2012 for the purpose of determining the remaining issues and getting updated on the progress of the DRCB and the GAL. At that hearing Deenik stated something like, "We had an entire day scheduled September 19, 2011, and used most of that day.  Most of the issues were covered that day, so we only need about an hour or so to cover some remaining/housekeeping issues." However, my recollection and the court record indicate that the hearing terminated for the day when Deenik rested at lunch time, around 12:30, and Brian did not begin his case-in-chief based upon the wishes of Judge Welch.

A hearing was then scheduled for 13 June 2012 to determine Summer parenting time. Petitioner's attorney, Deenik, also raised the issue of a selection of the children's school for the 2012-2013 school year which Petitioner wanted to change from being Cornerstone. The Court had not allotted time to hear that matter so it was not heard.

Trial was then scheduled to occur in August. Brian sought to have a mediator appointed to the case so that the issues of schooling and Kristy's mother watching the children could be resolved. Chris Barrows was appointed as a mediator and mediation was scheduled for 09 August 2012, the day before school was to resume. On 07 August though, Deenik informed the parties that he had a conflict on 09 August and mediation that day would be unlikely.

Brian, foreseeing problems, filed a motion on 02 August 2012 to have the Court determine the children's school. As of the start date of school, 10 August 2012, the Court had not ruled. Brian resumed the children's formal education at Cornerstone. On Kristy's week beginning with Monday 13 August 2012 she refused to allow the children to attend school and made her wishes known to Brian who immediately filed a Motion to Compel School Attendance. On 16 August 2012 the Court ordered that the parties were to continue the children's attendance at Cornerstone.

The Cynthia Dean wrote the lie to Brian in an email in an attempt to get him to violate that order. My next posting will get you into the minds of Brian and Kristy so you can see why there is difficulty in co-parenting here.

If you are having difficulty with enforcing a child custody order or are experiencing parental alienation then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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