Wednesday, October 31, 2012

THE TRUTH COMES OUT IN ANN M.'s CASE



[Here is an amazing update on Ann M.'s case, written by Ann herself. The names of all of the children have been altered, but the names of professionals have not been changed.]

Hi Lundy, 

            I want to thank you again for blogging about my case earlier this year. 

            Here are the latest events: My ex took me to court saying he should have full custody of the last minor child, Emma, age 16. Ezra and Will are at college and the three oldest are out of the house. Five days before the trial my attorney told me he would need an additional fifteen thousand dollars to represent me in court saying he had already used up the other five thousand I gave him just reading up on my case. 

            So I represented myself, knowing God would be my defense! We did great! My ex's first witness was Dr. Douglas Darnall, a "Parental Alienation Syndrome" expert from Ohio. He made lots of outrageous statements about my alleged alienating behavior but stated that the "Parent Alienation" conclusion doesn't "work" if there was domestic violence. So when I cross-examined my ex I went through more than 20 incidents on the restraining orders and police reports, asking him if on such and such a date he remembers picking me up and throwing me out of the bedroom and locking the door, etc., etc. He admitted to some of the violence and the suicide threats. He admitted knowing the 15 and 17 year-olds were afraid to drive with him because of a previous incident that happened while we were still married. He also admitted to texting Will, who was 17 at the time, from the scene of two accidents (six months and three months prior to when I was put in jail) telling them he had just totaled his vehicle. Then he admitted insisting later that they drive with him to parenting time.

        (I was put in jail because the kids refused to drive with him to his house. They wanted to drive their own car. When I got out of jail they were told by their father's attorney that they could now drive themselves to parenting time.)

            I also had an opportunity to cross examine Ben Burgess, the Friend of the Court investigator who wrote in the investigative report that it appears that domestic violence did occur in the home, but that he believed from his investigation that there was severe parent alienation going on by Ann M.. On that basis, he had recommended that parenting time for the father start, progressing over time to unsupervised overnights at their father's house. When I asked him who were the "experts" that he said he had interviewed during his investigation, he said that was confidential information. When I pressed him, Judge Hulsing asked him who it was. Hulsing said, "Who was it?" three times before Mr. Burgess said, "Mariel Silverman." Mariel is my daughter, which means that he had lied the last time he was on the stand, saying he had interviewed "experts" to confirm the parental alienation conclusion.

            Mr. Burgess admitted on the stand that my kids had all said there should be no parenting time. Then he admitted that once supervised parenting time with their father began, he was only present the first two sessions. (Ezra and Emma were to meet their father once a week at a restaurant.) Then he admitted never contacting them after that to see how it was going. He admitted that he didn't know it had stopped after 8 weeks. He admitted that four months went by and he still did not know the parenting time had stopped even though he was the supervisor. Then he admitted to texting their older sister Mariel, age 27, to see how parenting time was going. She told him that the kids were doing great now with their father out of their lives.

            Then I asked him why he was texting Mariel pictures of his kids fishing.  He said he only sent one. (That's not what Mariel told me. She felt like he was "hitting" on her.) Then I asked Mr. Burgess why he texted Mariel last week asking her to find out about some letter "this Wendi person" mailed. I asked him what was that all about and why was he asking Mariel to find out about some other case. I said, "Mariel feels like you are hitting on her!" At that point, Judge Hulsing interrupted and changed the subject.

            All in all, these witnesses had revealed that Judge Hulsing falsely put me in jail and that it wasn't parental alienation, it was domestic violence. Mariel told me later that Ben Burgess texted her ten times from the courtroom saying negative things about how I was doing. She said she responded a couple of times to try to get information on how it was going. Then he texted her, "Do you really think I'm hitting on you?"

            Judge Hulsing gave me full legal and physical custody of Emma. God delivered me of my fear of my ex and Judge Hulsing that day. I am still rejoicing!

9 comments:

  1. Wonderful to hear of a triumph like this!

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  2. This is the best court story I have ever heard. Rejoicing with you. Reblogging a short excerpt and a link to this post on A Cry For Justice and hoping you get lots more comments here.
    I take my hat off to you, Ann! You are a champion, and God indeed was your defense and he gave you such wonderful words to say in that court room. I am still swimming with euphoria, just thinking about it.

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  3. Justice is done! Now if the judge would apologize, then throw the liars in jail for perjury!

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  4. Such a wonderful report! Ann, thank you for you faith and trust in the Lord. Your situation although painful and exhausting for you and your children beyond comprehension, will be able to heal, restore and thrive because of your confidence in the Savior to take you through each step of the process.

    I am unaware of your entire story and this recent court decision may not be the only or final battle you have or will face in your exodus from oppression but my prayers are with you as you fight the GOOD fight of faith with Jesus going ahead of you and behind you. May He open doors that no man can shut and shut doors that no man can open on behalf of you and your family.

    You are inspiring and encouraging so many!

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  5. There needs to be a shift in the cultural perception of battered mothers: they need to be regarded as the heroes that they are.

    In Ann's case, she took heroism to a new level (congratulations, Ann!); still, we need to remember that battered mothers engage in compelling acts of valor on a daily basis. Abused women who are baking the Christmas cookies and decorating the tree, planning the birthdays and tucking their children in - and are doing so with a heart that is broken by betrayal - are living lives of indescribable strength and courage.

    God bless them all, and may He keep them safe.

    And Ann, you're a true inspiration.

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  6. Mr. Bancroft, thank you so much for all you do to shed light on DV. My horror story is similar to Ann M's, and in August, I will also represent myself in court. My ex-husband has sued me twice in the last nine years, and I've spent close to $100,000 on the current lawsuit. To make matters worse, we had a custody evaluation and, in hoping to heal our co-parent relationship, I didn't say bad things about my abusive ex. My ex said horrible things about me that weren't true, and actually said I had been arrested for assaulting him! Had the evaluator asked me about this (or even checked into our criminal records), she would have seen that I have no criminal history and that he was arrested for Assault on Female when he assaulted me (among 4 pages of other criminal history). I'm completely shocked and can't afford more legal fees, so I'm hoping the evidence I have will be enough. It's unbelievable but I'm more optimistic after having read this blog. Thanks again for all you do!

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  7. Praise God, I am hoping for the same in my case. I have lost faith in the local law enforcement. My 15 month old son and I are up against his abusive father who has several other children as well. Problem is he is a deputy sheriff in the town i live in and gets away with everything. I'm praying God wraps his loving arms around my baby and keeps him safe. Reading your story gives me such hope......thank you

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