DivorceCORP–an insider’s view

For most people who see DivorceCORP – Joe Sorge’s shockingly eye opening documentary on Family Court; the real villain won’t be immediately apparent.

For some — in reflection, the real villain still might not emerge at all.

The real villain has always been painfully clear to me.

The real villain is the press. As mentioned in this 2009 interview, I say the press is the huge, elephant in the living room, problem.

Family Courts can best be described as “the scene of the crime.”

Family Courts can best be described as “the scene of the crime.”

This concern centers around a dedicated press refusal to investigate the underpinnings of our nation’s largest court.

When every person, and corporation in America claims a “family values” or at least a “family friendly” bedrock principle, press disinterest in the reality of Family Court, artfully depicted by DivorceCORP is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. Some time lethally so.

How else to explain why the one court most used most often, and for the longest period of time, is also the one court San Diego press staunchly refuses to examine?

Including when the San Diego Court of Appeal affirms a Local Rule that states San Diego Family Court judges don’t have to actually read pleadings submitted to them.

Darn those pesky litigants! Who do they think they are? See the clip here.

More interesting? I learned about this Appellate Court’s decision from the San Francisco Recorder.

San Diego media? Please. San Diego media does not, has not, and will not upset the apple cart. Thus, this incredible decision was wholly ignored by San Diego media. But San Diego has always been weird that way.

Spoiler Alert: For the past 14 years San Diego assignment editors in television and print answered these questions with

1. “Oh it’s so complicated.” Or,
2. “It’s a, ‘He said, she said’ deal.”

My reply also remained the same.

“Nope. Not complicated. It’s about money. Easy peasy.”

Not mentioned in DivorceCORP is “No Fault” divorce began with a California legislator getting divorced and losing custody. “No Fault” was written and glommed by the State Bar as the the quicker, less expensive journey to divorce.

DivorceCORP doesn’t mention Family Court judges are largely, former District Attorneys – whose prior specialty is placing blame. But in Family Court these former DAs don’t have to bother with criminal court rules of evidence – they can and do assign blame at will.

Thus, only in Family Court can a parent be sentenced to a life without their child by a Family Court judge.
As such, “No fault” divorce – trilled by the State Bar as a faster, less expensive way to divorce, has always been a lie.

DivorceCORP clearly demonstrates how the money chain is yanked…and how important children truly are. Not for their own precious selves. I mean as funding source and marketing tool for attorneys, custody evaluators, Supervised Visitation monitors (a little shop of no oversight horror dreamed up by the AOC).

Thomas Jefferson was wrong.

Thomas Jefferson was wrong.

My fear is while DivorceCORP shocks the conscience, the villainous press might escape notice once again. Which is a shame given regular citizens are going to jail for their First Amendment rights in child custody battles the press trills about incessantly in civil and criminal court. If that’s not journalistic malpractice, what is?

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.” –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787.

As so often is the case of a family crime — say a murder – as reporters interview attorneys for the now deceased – and you be sure those attorneys don’t mention the reality of family court is it sets up murder. Thus, appropriately sad faced anchors will report, nothing behind the surface. It’s lazy, its lethal, and the public remains ill-informed.

Logistics also plays a role. San Diego family court litigants are shuffled off to this specialty court miles from the bustling civil and criminal court building, not to mention a curious public and disinterested press.

Thus, Family Court remains safely out-of-sight, and scrutiny.

It’s worth mentioning, no less than four San Diego on-air reporters, two men, two women, told me they would do an expose on family court – right after their own case was litigated.

Never happened.

Thomas Jefferson was wrong.

Thomas Jefferson was wrong.

So it turns out, those whose job it is to be vigilant, whose job it is to educate and inform the public, aren’t going to rock the boat – ever. Their message couldn’t be more clear:

My kid is more important than your kid – and don’t expect me to do my job. Thomas Jefferson was wrong.

“The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.

So it’s no surprise San Diego was the basis of Joe Sorge’s and my own efforts. Me with the 2001 debut of www.FamilyLawCourts.com – now 90 documented pages, I mistakenly thought reporters would jump to investigate once they were provided basic information; and Joe with the harder hitting, DivorceCORP which also documents a determinedly, out-of-control, judiciary and every other non-functioning “oversight board” on record.

Yes, “oversight” is a con. Don’t expect an investigative follow up. “Film at eleven” will not be crawling across your screen as a televised tease in near or far future.

Yet we continue. Me with SanDiegoJudges.com, Losangelesjudges.com and OCjudges.com. The court visits to read profile updates, as do law firms. My coverage sure beats those slobbery puff pieces featuring judges the Los Angeles Daily Journal or the San Diego Business Journal puts out.

As for insider stuff…I spoke with the Indiana warden who was determined to not let Dan speak. I wrote about it here. Dan’s mostly useless Public Defender sent me a nasty note. Threatened to sue me. The usual.

Mike_NewdowI also recommended the wonderful Mike Newdow be interviewed. He was great.

Once an ER doc, Mike went to the Supreme Court with his first attempt.

Attorneys mocked him. Well. Until he won. Reporting mostly missed the basis of Mike’s claim stemmed from family court.

My back story also was not typical.

My ex-husband’s neighbors heard our then six year old daughter screaming for her father to stop hurting her, and called the police. He told the police it was an accident. Unfortunately, these “accidents” kept happening. and a second investigation more things came out. Such as him pouring cold water on her face in the morning to get her out of bed. My daughter had told me nothing of her weekends with Daddy. I only learned of his assaults when the police called me to ask about any other incidents.

(Talk about feeling like a bad parent.)

However, my daughter’s father is an attorney, so as a professional courtesy, the DA cut him slack. He went to counseling, expressed remorse and said it would never happen again.

Fast forward, move to San Diego – and his attacks started up again.

So I was filmed describing my shock at calling San Diego Police after new bruises began appearing and my now eleven year old daughter, older and urgently pleading I help her. School response not at all helpful. (Thanks Torrey Pines!) San Diego police response?

“Are you involved in a custody case?”

Mirroring San Diego media, San Diego police were hugely disinterested. Turns out I am paying taxes for police services the police are refusing to provide. I am not alone.

Thus, I wasn’t happy to see the most horrible period of my life edited into the “false allegations” segment, but, so entered another reality.

Not my film.

I said as much after the San Diego screening when Joe invited me to participate in Q&A panel for the audience. Also gave credit where credit was due, so audience members also heard me say,

“When you have an out-of-control family court judge, and a completely disinterested press, you’re doomed. There is no recourse. So I have to thank Joe for making the movie that is igniting a national discourse.”

Unsaid?I fully expect the press to react dismissively towards Joe for their own failings.

Where is this going?
Joe is planning a reform movement. I wish Joe every success and will help him as much as possible with information. However, I have lived through several “reform” attempts – so my goal is to get a ballot initiative rolling to end family court by returning divorce and custody to civil courts with all the rights business owners enjoy. Things like Due Process and Juries. This is needed as DivorceCORP clearly demonstrates judges can’t handle the power and the Commission on Judicial Performance is inept.

To that end, Endfamilycourt.com – is up and ready to rock and roll. Looking forward to receiving funding donations Here.

I am thankful DivorceCORP stamped the reality of Family Court, on the public conscience.

Now it’s up to the public to change what attorneys, legislators, and the courts don’t want.

Act now or stop complaining. The family you save could be your own.

View more of Bonnie Russell’s writings here

©Bonnie Russell medium.com/@Rockmedia
January 11, 2014
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: