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Class Action Dismissed: Evaluators Can Lie about Mothers with Impunity
On the front page of the Denver Gazette in large, bold letters, the headline reads: “Judge rules parenting evaluators get immunity”.
Well, not exactly. The judge just dismissed a class action lawsuit filed by a group of mothers against one evaluator. He based his ruling on a law that grants quasi-judicial immunity to court-appointed officials. But, yes, by dismissing the lawsuit, he is affirming that all evaluators get immunity. This lawsuit appeared destined for higher courts because the law seems to be quite clear about that, whether it is an individual filing or a class-action suit.
The Gazette reported on the filing of this lawsuit in March: Class-action suit filed against parental evaluator who said he disbelieves 90% of domestic violence allegations, but that apparently did not merit front page status. The dismissal did—a very clear, public message to mothers (and their attorneys) from the OBN (Old Boy Network) via MSM (mainstream media) to not truck with that foolishness anymore! After all, reports by biased evaluators play an important role in keeping fathers empowered in the family: they give the judges something to hang their hat on when switching custody.
With this glaring, front-page defeat, women are driven back into their powerless place in the family, the Old Boys laughing all the way to their clubs.
LAWSUIT FOLLOWING MSM
The lawsuit is well written. It contains pages and pages of unethical and biased behavior by the evaluator towards the mothers. The causes of action center around the evaluator covering up negative evidence about the fathers, including physical and sexual abuse, fabricating negative evidence about the mothers and deeming them liars.
You know, the same thing judges have done for the last half century, with or without the aid of an evaluator—ever since women gained the ability to leave husbands without becoming impoverished.
The most high profile case featured in the lawsuit is Lauren’s.
The class-action lawsuit followed a lot of media attention that apparently gave the mothers hope. The Gazette had done an in-depth investigation last year: Colorado's parenting evaluation industry profits as bitter child custody cases thrown into chaos. ProPublica reported on the evaluator who is the defendant in the class action lawsuit: A Custody Evaluator Who Disbelieves 90% of Abuse Allegations Recommended a Teen Stay Under Her Abusive Father’s Control.
UK MSM has also taken on this issue, but mostly blaming the problem on evaluators being “unregulated” or “unqualified”: New guidance aims to restrict use of unregulated psychologists as expert witnesses in court and UK woman whose children were removed against their wishes loses appeal.
Most, if not all, of the articles include, if not highlight, the fact that evaluators are reporting that mothers are alienating kids from the father. There has been a rash of MSM articles in many countries focusing on parental alienation as the problem. This is in part due to a UN Rapporteur calling attention to it (but getting it wrong by calling for a ban), making it an international issue.
However, as covered in previous WCN&V columns, MSM is misleading the public, inadvertently or not. By placing the focus and blame on untrained, biased, and greedy evaluators, it diverts the public from understanding what’s really going on in family courts: judges deliberately falsely deeming mothers liars and mentally ill as grounds for giving custody to, i.e. empowering, fathers, with or without an evaluator’s (or any other “expert’s”) report.
IMMUNITY: PART OF THE RIGGED SYSTEM
Immunity is part and parcel of the rigged, sexist system. Of course the OBN is going to ensure immunity for anyone who helps keep men empowered in the family. Evaluators would be useless if they were able to be held accountable for their lies about mothers and concealment of abuse by fathers. That is their purpose. That is their job.
So, virtually everywhere there are family courts, there are laws that give investigators and evaluators performing court-ordered services immunity as surrogates for the court. Quasi-judicial immunity supposedly exists to protect the public by ensuring independent investigations by neutral individuals tasked with making judicial determinations. But, like other court-appointed officials, they are most often appointed precisely because they can be counted on to spin the case to the father.
This quasi-judicial immunity is not merely a defense to liability. It is an entitlement to not have to stand trial or face any other burdens of litigation. Thus they can pull in the big bucks without any accountability whatsoever. A patriarchal perk for those who go along to get along.
Our “History of the Crisis” series demonstrates that women have been losing custody and unable to protect their children as early as the ‘70’s. We just discovered a case from 1972, the earliest documented, which we will be profiling next.
These early cases do not involve experts with immunity, such as evaluators, minor’s counsels, or reunification therapists. And the divorce/cottage industry did not yet exist. This indicates that neither experts’ immunity nor their profiteering is the cause of the crisis. It goes much deeper. The system is sexist to the core.
This court-appointed-experts-immunity problem is eliminated with the Coalition’s proposed solution to end the Post-Separation Crisis: cases heard in a regular civil court. In regular civil courts, judges do not have the power to appoint anyone, precisely because judges are supposed to be neutral arbiters without extra-judicial powers. Experts will only be hired by the parties to educate the jury regarding parenting, child abuse, or DV. Join Women’s Coalition International where we are fighting for this new system.
Lastly, there is some good news! The evaluator in this class-action lawsuit was suspended: Colorado custody evaluator suspended amid criticism of evaluation industry. One down, thousands to go. Unfortunately, there will always be more to take their place…
SISTERS IN SOLIDARITY
We had a great Sisters in Solidarity forum yesterday with zoom pages full of moms from around the world. Many stayed as long as three hours to engage in our active discussion.
So nice to have so many mothers passionate about raising awareness about the true cause of the Post-Separation Crisis—systemic oppressive sexism—and ending it once and for all. We are over 500 Sisters already—a force to be reckoned with and we are building an army that cannot be ignored.
Kudos to all the moms who have the strength and determination to engage in activism after being traumatized by Family Court. That’s what it’s going to take to stop the nightmare from happening to our Sisters in the future.
NOTE: The forums are not being recorded for the sake of privacy for the participants.
Watch this page for the announcement of the next forum…
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