Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cynthia Dean names in me Motion to the Court to Seal Record

It's generally a positive indication that your efforts are moving in the proper direction when someone contracted through the state seeks to deny your access to public records prepared by him or her. Quite concisely Cynthia Dean an attorney for Child Advocates, Inc. has claimed that the safety of the Moore children will be jeopardized once their identities are put into the Court record through the yet to be written Guardian ad Litem report.

She has not indicated on what basis that she believes that Kristy Moore, Brian Moore or the South Madison School Corporation will ultimately fail to protect these children once the Guardian ad Litem report containing identifying information such as the children's names, gender and date of birth is submitted to the Court and made part of the public record. In Dean's petition to seal the record she alleges, "Showalter publishes detailed information including the names of the schools the children have attended, names of the parties and professionals that have been involved with Brian Moore."

There is one glaring omission by Dean. She fails to mention that the parent whom she favours to have custody of the children -- Kristy Dean -- already made a request that the names, gender and date of birth of the Moore children be placed into the public record. Such information was added in October 2008.

Now I will highlight from Dean's list of the "detailed information" that I published which is available to any person who was to go to the Marion County Clerk of the Court and request to see the court file in Moore v Moore [49D12-0810-DR-44790]: "the names of the schools the children have attended, names of the parties and professionals that have been involved with Brian Moore." If you are like any person that possesses at least minimal intellectual and logical thinking capabilities then you are likely seeing the logical disconnect here. The relief that Dean is requesting to protect the "safety" of the children -- sealing the Guardian ad Litem report -- will do nothing to prevent the public from having access to the information that Kristy Moore has put into the public domain or which is already in the Court file from where I gathered that information.

What this motion is truly all about is Dean's latest volley in now what appears to be a distinct and decisive demarcation between two persons interested in child custody matters. On the one side is the important public interest being served by exposing the actions of third-party professionals that impact what the United States Supreme Court has called -- "perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court" which is the "interest of parents in the care, custody and control of their children." When such a "fundamental liberty" is being entrusted to a state actor with the assistance of these third-party professionals like Dean then we all have a vested interest in ensuring that we know what type of people are associated with making custody decisions.

On the other side of this effort to protect children is Cynthia Dean the attorney for Del Anderson, who are both employed by Child Advocates, Inc. I have previously commented on the qualifications of Anderson by saying that "I just don't feel that he ranks above average in intellect and has some difficulty in making logical conclusions." Anderson, I believe, is more of a right brain person who relies upon feeling which is necessary in this field but must also be balanced by a logical perspective that is suitable to provide a rationale for custody recommendations. As for Dean she is simply incompetent and a liar as I demonstrated to you by showing to you the email she sent to Brian Moore telling him to change the children's school the day after the Court issued an order specifically stating not to do so. Dean was also in court on 13 June when Judge Welch informed her and the other parties that the children's school was not to be changed.

Indiana Administrative Rule 9 includes in its purpose, promoting accessibility to court records, supporting the role of the judiciary, and promoting governmental accountability among other reasons. To ensure public confidence in the judiciary and that decisions involving child custody -- that fundamental liberty interest -- the public must be availed of the evidentiary basis for these decisions. Denying the public access to reports such as the one Dean wishes to seal can lead to speculation of bias, collusion, prejudice or other factors, real or imagined, which undermine the integrity and confidence in the judicial system. Dean's Motion is nothing less than a charade put forth to shield Child Advocates, Inc. from taxpayer and state policy maker scrutiny. Dean has not demonstrated a compelling interest supported by any evidence as to why the presumptive public policy of open access to the court's has been overcome nor that "dissemination of the information will create a significant risk of substantial harm" to the Moore children. Therefore her motion should be denied in its entirety.

Quite contrary to Dean's position I have nothing to hide about who I am or what I have done. I always stand behind what I say. I put my integrity in your hands. Thus, the information that Dean obtained about me came from, as she admitted in her motion, my website.

This week I will be filing with the Court my Objection to Verified Motion to Seal Guardian ad Litem Report which details much of the reasoning I have given in the preceding paragraphs as well as the caselaw supporting the public's right of access to court records. Beyond all the semantics surrounding the reasoning for Dean's request is what will be the demise of her motion from a strictly legal perspective: it is overly broad. Any restriction by government on the right of free speech must be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling governmental interest in the least restrictive mode.

Dean's motion seeks as relief "Protective Orders concerning any future documents or reports filed by the Guardian ad Litem said Order directing all counsel and parties to the litigation to not disseminate, show, provide or in any other way allow a non-party or counsel not of record from receiving or having access to any of the information contained in said filings or reports." [emphasis added]. As an example Mrs. Moore may be ordering some periwinkle blue towels from her Land's End catalogue when she is asked to provide the shipping address. The Report may describe Mrs. Moore's home and include her address. Thus, complying with Dean's requested order barring parties from "disseminating in any . . . way . . . any of the information contained within the report" would prevent her from providing [disseminating] her mailing address to that retailer needing to dispatch goods to her residence. Such is the flaw of an unskilled attorney.

If Judge Welch does not grant my requested relief by denying Dean's motion to seal then it will be on to a full blown hearing where I and my public access advocates will argue for the established public policy and Dean will argue against disclosure. I doubt that it will make it to that point as Judge Welch has demonstrated a keen sense of observing attempts at forging a hidden unscrupulous agenda through ulterior means.

In conclusion I leave you with this thought and one question. The safety of the Moore's children is not in jeopardy based upon what Dean has alleged but her job may be. Here's your question: Can you provide the names, years of age and gender(s) of the Moore children and the source of that information? [Hint: Look at the first pleading filed in this cause].

If you have ever had a Parenting Time Coordinator, GAL, Custody Evaluator or other third-party professional advising the Court in your child custody case and you felt the recommendations were biased then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

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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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