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Archive for June, 2011

For a week now, I have been reading about Thomas James Ball, who self immolated on June 15 in front of the Cheshire county

Cheshire County Courthouse, Keene, N.H.

courthouse (New Hampshire). I cannot totally grasp the total desperation of a man who sets himself on fire; moreover, with three kids he loves. There is not even the hope that one’s sacrifice will serve a purpose.  Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor who self immolated himself,  sparked the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring (now the Arab Year), did not know what the consequences of his immolation would be.

What is clear is that Thomas James Ball’s story is too reminiscent of that of many fathers fighting family laws and family court justice in this country. What broke the camel back in Thomas’ case was that he had it all, whereas most of us do not drink the chalice of the insanity of U.S. family justice all at once.

It starts with Ball’s wife accusing her husband of domestic violence. That was unfounded but in Cheshire County House, Keene, New Hamsphire, like in most U.S. family courts, it does not matter;   What family courts care about, is to give women the impression that they are treated seriously, even if their accusations don’t fly. Ball has in front of him the typical gutless family court judge, judge Sullivan, who denies him to see his two girls unsupervised until the Monadnock Family Services say so.  Obviously, the family justice system of the great State of New Hampshire, like that of the great State of New York, heavily counts on these private, for-profit, unregulated,  “Fully-Committed-To-Screw-Your” Family Services to sort out the wheat from the chaff. It happens that Ball cannot stand the do-gooders of Monadnock Family Services and refuses its transitory family “guidance”.

Last blow for Ball: he became unemployed. He soon found out that while men were on pot, family-loving lawmakers have reenacted debt prison for failure to pay child support. He faced the prospect of unlimited time in jail.

Rest in peace, Thomas.

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I live  at a 40 minute-subway ride from my girls and I have not seen them for almost six years. That ‘s why, I guess, I pay special attention to teenagers when I see them, in public means of transportation for instance.  There are strange creatures busy with smart phones. Every time I see them, I think that my girls don’t have one. Or rather that’s what ex answered my lawyer when I asked for their personal cell numbers. Phone communication with my girls has to go through mum’s landline phone number. Therefore mum has total control over it and there is just no free communication.

How ironical! As I was deep into my phony trial for child abuse a few years ago, the girls were still little. Yet  the  law guardian appointed by the court was giving credence to the idea that my girls were  able to make independent decisions like adults. They said  they were not  comfortable seeing dad at his home, that’s all there was to it. At some point though, when mum’s interference in supervised visitations became fully documented, the judge decided to make a step. I was ranting that I wanted my unsupervised visitations back. I got one shot at it.

May 26, 2007. I have gotten rid of sloppy Spitzer and Comprehensive Family Services. “Family Matters” director is supposed to pick up the girls at their place and bring them to “Le Monde” on Broadway and 112 street. On Friday evening, you cannot go more public and safe. The place was indeed packed. The supervisor was to leave us alone an hour.

I had waited fourty five minutes at Le Monde when I finally received a call from Family matters. Same old story: she has tried to convince the girls to come to see me, at no avail. Why? No reason. Mum must have trumpeted her encouragement to the girls. One full year after that last try, no question asked to mum by the law guardian came the verdict: therapeutic visitations. The Court believes that the girls have to have a relationship with their dad, bla, bla, bla…but after having left mum derailed my relationship wit the girls and alienate them from me, the Court has no choice but to repeat the recipes that have consistently failed. Manhattan Family Court does not apologize for miscarriage of justice.

Girls, in case you were wondering, I am on Facebook.

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