How you hurt your kids when you don’t share custody – Kidspot
While it might seem completely justified, it’s important to be aware of the potential ramifications on the long-term health and well being of your child.
While it might seem completely justified, it’s important to be aware of the potential ramifications on the long-term health and well being of your child.
…and the “liberty” it protects includes more than the absence of physical restraint. (citations omitted). (Due Process Clause “protects individual liberty against ‘certain government actions regardless of the fairness of the procedures used to implement them’ ”) (quoting *720 Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 331, 106 S.Ct. 662, 665, 88 L.Ed.2d 662 (1986)). The Clause also provides heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests. Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 301-302, 113 S.Ct. 1439, 1446-1447, 123 L.Ed.2d 1 (1993); Casey, 505 U.S., at 851, 112 S.Ct., at 2806-2807. In a long line of cases, we have held that, in addition to the specific freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, the “liberty” specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the rights to… to have children, Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 86 L.Ed. 1655 (1942); [and] to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children, Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 43 S.Ct. 625, 67 L.Ed. 1042 (1923); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 45 S.Ct. 571, 69 L.Ed. 1070 (1925);…
Our established method of substantive-due-process analysis has two primary features: First, we have regularly observed that the Due Process Clause specially protects those fundamental rights and liberties which are, objectively, *721 “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” id., at 503, 97 S.Ct., at 1938 (plurality opinion); Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105, 54 S.Ct. 330, 332, 78 L.Ed. 674 (1934) (“so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental”), and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” such that “neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed,”(citations omitted).
Ask any civil trial lawyer in Florida how many days one has to move for rehearing of an order simply granting a motion for summary judgment, and the odds are good the lawyer will respond, “Ten days.” Pursue the matter further with the lawyer, and ask where this 10-day period is set forth in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and the lawyer will invariably point to Rule 1.530, which by its title governs motions for new trial and rehearing.
Rule 1.530, however, provides that a motion for rehearing must be served no later than 10 days after “the date of filing of the judgment in a non-jury action.”1 An order simply granting a motion for summary judgment is not a final judgment; rather, it is a nonfinal order.2 So, too, are myriad other orders entered by a trial court before final judgment. Attorneys in Florida nevertheless regularly file “motions for rehearing” directed to such nonfinal orders. Often they believe they must do so within 10 days. Sometimes they also believe that such a motion tolls the time to seek appellate review of the nonfinal order.
Motions for rehearing of nonfinal orders are not authorized by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.3 Noting that motions for rehearing are exclusively governed by Rule 1.530, the Florida Supreme Court has observed that “[u]nless the filing of a motion for rehearing to an interlocutory order is authorized by a rule of court promulgated by the rule-making authority, then its filing is improper.”4 Indeed, it is not unheard of for an attorney to file a motion for “rehearing” of a nonfinal order and subsequently be confronted with a response from the other side echoing the court’s language and declaring that such motions are unauthorized and improper.
Yet while the rules of civil procedure themselves do not authorize motions for rehearing directed to nonfinal orders, a trial court does have the inherent authority to reconsider and alter or retract such orders prior to the entry of final judgment.5 Rather than constituting a motion for rehearing under Rule 1.530, a motion directed to a nonfinal order is actually a “motion for reconsideration” based upon this inherent and discretionary authority of the trial court.6 Despite this distinct and well-established basis for reconsideration of interlocutory orders, there still exists confusion among many practitioners about the differences between reconsideration and rehearing.
Much of the confusion stems from the fact that parties and the courts frequently use the terms interchangeably, at least in the context of motions directed at nonfinal orders. This is perhaps understandable given the lack of any rule-based authority for reconsideration of nonfinal orders; the articulation of the trial court’s inherent authority has of necessity come through the development of the common law. An attorney will, therefore, only be aware of the basis for reconsideration — as well as its effect on any subsequent appeal — from the case law.
Common Law Origin of Motions for Reconsideration
We are parents, grandparents and children forced into a corrupt family court system that functions to drain our money, time and future.
When we speak up we are retaliated against by a system of lawyers and judges who take our children, our property and our dignity in an effort to silence us.
We are not fighting the fight they want anymore. We will not have moms fight against dads. We will not force children in the middle to broker solutions for adults. We are not asking. Expect Us.
For every good judge and lawyer, who helped, you will be praised. For every Anonymous whistle blower or Ghost Squad Hacker who helps us speak up and protect families and children, you will be thanked by the success you help create.
Re-blogged from ~ Parenting Together….Living Apart
I am not alone in this, of course.
Today’s post is from a Division of Child Support case worker in a neighboring state who has contacted me several times concerning South Dakota’s unfair custody laws. She asked to post anonymously as she believes she could lose her job if her superiors knew of her stance. So I post this, humbled she would take that risk and grateful for her insights. I believe you will be too.
This is from the front lines of child support and custody in South Dakota and neighboring states. Our anonymous writer today works with custody and child support on a daily basis.
Here is her unedited letter:
“I am a Division of Child Support Caseworker in a state bordering South Dakota. As such, I speak with other caseworkers in SD and nearly all other states in the US every day, and know there are very few options for “non-custodial” parents who are being denied equal access to their children, unless they are fortunate enough to be able to afford a long and expensive custody battle, which is extremely rare, especially in cases where the parents were never married.
While your group needs to pursue one issue at a time, your particular issue being custody and visitation arrangements after a divorce, I hope that you will also pursue shared parenting and child support arrangements for parents who were never married, as this is an issue that definitely needs to be addressed and rectified.
Before continuing, I will say that I, and all DCS caseworkers, recognize that the “non-custodial” (and we don’t like that term) parent may be the mother rather than the father. In most cases, however, the NCP is dad and the CP is mom, so please forgive my use of general terms such as “she” and “he”. I use them for the sake of simplicity, not out of a lack of respect or understanding that mothers do sometimes get the raw end of the deal, along with their children.
In every state in this country, the child support system is not only broken, but is in desperate need of repair. It is unbalanced and very often unfair. The child support calculation is based on the income of both parents, in every state, although I will admit there could be a state or two that does not do it this way and I am just not aware.
In most states, if either parent is unemployed but not disabled, they are presumed to be capable of working 40 hours a week at minimum wage, so their income is imputed at $1275 per month. Following this calculation, if mom is willingly unemployed and dad is employed full time, making a mere $10 an hour, dad has a child support obligation of $357 per month for one child. (I got this number from SD’s child support calculator website and it is accurate.)
Every parent, regardless of the relationship (or lack of one) that existed at the time the child was conceived, has a responsibility to provide financial support for their child.
That is a fact. But, should dad, making $10 an hour really be forced to pay $357 to someone who is not willing to work? Where is mom’s responsibility in this? In these situations, mom (unless she is actually working 40 hours a week for minimum wage, which is rare), is receiving food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance, so she is sitting back, living a meager life and doing nothing to improve the lives of her children, and not having to lift a finger to do it. In the meantime, dad is working hard and still can’t afford to keep the lights on in his own home.
Most of the dads I speak to are willing to pay the child support, despite the financial stress. They understand that there is a little person out there who needs their help, and they are okay with that. In many of these cases, dad has not seen his child even once since the relationship with his child’s mother demised, and he has no recourse other than to hire a lawyer to get a visitation order. The first problem with this is that dad, making $10 an hour and paying $357 a month in child support has no money left over for to hire a lawyer. The second problem with this is that, even when he does and gets the order, mom can still deny the visitation and there will be no consequences to her for doing so. Sure, dad can take her back to court again, and the judge will tell her to behave, but if she doesn’t, nothing will happen in SD. Dad and the kids are still denied access to one another.
Approximately 2 years ago, the state of Illinois passed legislation that actually puts repercussions in place for CPs that refuse to follow the Illinois State Visitation Guidelines. If the CP denies access to the children to the NCP, her driver’s license can be restricted, and not be reinstated until she complies. What a novel idea. I am beside myself, wondering why every state has not enacted this legislation. We restrict, suspend, or revoke the driver’s licenses (and other licenses) of NCPs when they don’t pay the child support, even when they are unwillingly unemployed, yet we allow CPs to use their children as weapons against NCP, regardless of whether he is paying.
I had two office visits today, both from dads who are doing the best they can and still are being denied access to their children, simply because mom decided she doesn’t like them anymore. The first has a 5 year old daughter that he desperately wants to have a relationship with, but hasn’t been allowed to see since she was 1 year old. At least in that situation, the poor child doesn’t know what she’s missing in not being able to see her dad. The second is much more sad, and it honestly makes me very angry. Dad raised mom’s first child as his own from an infant to 4 years old. In the meantime, they had a child together. They were together for another year or two. For the next several years, dad had BOTH kids – even the one that was not his – for weekend visitation. Not enough, but at least it’s something. Then, mom decided to pull the rug out from underneath dad, with no consideration for her children. Dad has now not seen either child for a year and a half. He and mom were not married, so mom has all the power, unless he can afford an attorney, which he can not possibly afford to do.
As we sat and talked, there were several times that I could see he was struggling not to cry. Ever since mom decided (for what crazy reason no one knows) to withhold visitation, both children, and especially his biological child, have been acting out in school. They’ve been bullying other kids and being defiant to authority. His biological son was finally allowed to see his half sister (that dad had from another relationship) after being denied access to her for a long time.
According to his sister, all he talked about was how much he missed his dad and how he is so happy he has all these things that his dad gave him, because it helps him remember his dad. Mom has the kid in therapy, that dad is paying for, and she is apparently oblivious to the reason why the kid needs therapy. I could tell her, but it would probably result in me being fired. Mom has 3 kids by 3 different dads and I would like to talk to her about that as well. Bottom line is mom is sitting back, collecting child support and state benefits, and not doing a damn thing to support her children, but she will be the first to call if a payment is a day late. This is just one case I am telling you about, and it’s not even the worst one; it’s just the one at the top of my mind.
The bottom line is this. We need to have state agencies that provide free services for NCPs to have fair and equal access to their children. We already have state agencies that help people who make no contribution themselves collect child support, and we are screwing kids and NCPs in the process. That is not acceptable in any state. I hope your legislature – and mine – will figure that out. Good luck and God Bless to you and your children.
All that being said, I hope all the NCPs (I really hate that term) understand that your CS case worker is not against you. We are forced to support the order, whatever that may entail. We have no power to help you with anything else, but we really would like to. God bless and God speed to you and your children.”
The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” – Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)
“It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder…. It is in recognition of this that these decisions have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” – Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944)
“The Due Process Clause does not permit a State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make childrearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a ‘better’ decision could be made.” – Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)
Every year, millions of parents and children in America are negatively affected by “family” courts and the Departments of Children and Families (DCF) all across this nation, government institutions that actively participate in custody interference for profit at a massive scale.
As a family physician who deals with children, and adults on a daily basis, I am very concerned because I believe that these federal incentives are being misused to cause great harm to the American family, actually leading to a mental health crisis of pandemic proportions.
Every 3 minute that passes a youth in America is attempting suicide, and 1 of them actually dies in the attempt every 2 hours. Nearly 2 out of 3 of these suicides are associated with these federal incentives, misused to intentionally interfere with the custody of children for profit. Custodial interference in the past year is associated with an increased risk for suicidal ideation of up to 4.5 times the norm, a 350% increase vs children without this history.
Making custodial interference, a.k.a. Parental Alienation, one of the most important preventable factors to decrease suicides in our youths. “Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2013 CDC WISQARS). More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.”
A similar picture presents with our veterans, who are committing suicide at an incredibly alarming rate of almost 1 suicide every hour. Some studies estimate that anywhere between 1 to 2 of every 3 of these suicides are associated with custodial interference which are motivated by these financial Federal incentives. Many of these victims have not even seen active combat, so they can not be attributed to war.
According to the USA Today, “suicide surpassed war as the military’s leading cause of death…suicide outranked war, cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents and other causes as the leading killer, accounting for about three in 10 military deaths” in 2013 and 2014.Suicide Research
This is a totally preventable mental health crisis, which is costing Americans at least $444 billion a year, and which is the 4th leading cause of death among 10 to 54 years old in America as of 2016.
Please, join us in rallies all over this nation on July 22, 2016, Parents’ Day Weekend. We need your help putting a stop to state-sponsored custodial interference incentives known as Title IV-D and Title IV-E of the social security, which are behind the destruction of our families today:
Thanks for your time and attention!
Mario Jimenez, M.D., B.S.E.E.
The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
Ethics and practicing law have a fascinating relationship. I posted last week about how it’s silly to suggest that ethics requires lawyers (or anyone) to always tell the truth. In the comments, I wrote the following in a reply to a comment by Scott Greenfield:
I think the lawyer’s biggest moral (as opposed to “ethical” re the rules) conundrum is the question of whether the lawyer is lying to himself that what’s good for the lawyer is good for the client. Self-deception is the real problem, because it makes our lies to others feel like the truth.
Lawyering, despite the efforts of those who write the ethics rules, has a conflict of interest built in: what’s good for the client is often the exact opposite of what’s good for the lawyer. And lawyers, being mere mortals, are morally fallible, and they know it.
They have to get past that knowledge if they are going to at least sometimes choose to do what’s best for themselves instead of what’s best for the client. To cope with making that choice, they lie to themselves in order to believe that what’s good for themselves is in fact what’s best for the client.
Lori Handrahan, ex-wife of Igor Malenko, has been ordered by a federal court to pay her former husband $450,000 and her daughter $300,000. Federal District Judge George Z. Singal ordered the damages to be paid for Handrahan’s outrageous conduct throughout her custody battle over their daughter, Mila. Handrahan’s repeated false allegations against Malenko were so obviously at odds with the truth and her behavior so immune to judicial control that a Maine family judge eventually gave Malenko sole custody of his daughter. Handrahan’s visitation is conditioned on her seeking, receiving and benefiting from intensive psychotherapy. Since custody was transferred to Malenko in 2011, Handrahan has apparently neither seen nor spoken to her daughter, despite the fact that telephone contact is permitted her under the court’s order. Apparently, she’s paid no child support either, although that may be old news. The current state of her child support obligation, I haven’t been able to ascertain.
In keeping with her apparent desire to simply ignore everything having to do with her daughter and former husband, Handrahan refused to attend the trial in Judge Singal’s courtroom. Handrahan, it must be emphasized, is a highly educated, highly paid and highly functioning individual. She holds a Ph.D from the London School of Economics, speaks English, French and Russian and is employed as a lecturer at American University. Her articles appear regularly in various mainstream publications such as the Washington Times, the Huffington Post, and the like. Her last representation to a court indicated that she earns $105,000 per year.
So her refusal to appear in court and defend Malenko’s claims against her cannot be attributed to ignorance or lack of funds. If she had a defense to the charges, she could easily have made it, but she didn’t. That strongly suggests that she has none, and the findings of fact made by Judge Singal strongly indicate exactly that.
In his lawsuit, Igor Malenko sued his ex-wife for a variety of things including intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation. He also sued on behalf of their daughter Mila for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court found that he had proven all those claims, although it declined to find sufficient proof of others. Damages were awarded in the amounts of $450,000 to Igor and $300,000 to Mila who is now six.
Judge George Singal Enters Damage Award Against Lori Handrahan
Here are Judge Singal’s Findings of Fact, in their entirety.
1. Plaintiff Igor Malenko (“Malenko”) is an individual who resides in the city of South Portland, County of Cumberland, State of Maine. Malenko is the father, and court determined custodial parent of one minor child (“M.M.”), whose date of birth is xx/yy/2006.
2. Defendant Lori Handrahan (“Handrahan”) is an individual who resides in Washington, D.C., County of Washington, District of Columbia.
3. Malenko and Handrahan were married on May 30, 2006 in Bar Harbor, Maine.
4. A child, M.M., was born to Malenko and Handrahan on xx/yy/2006.
5. On May 16, 2008, Malenko filed a Divorce Complaint against Handrahan.
6. On May 23, 2008, Malenko served the Divorce Complaint against Handrahan.
7. Immediately after being served with the Divorce Complaint, Handrahan filed a Protection from Abuse Complaint (“PFA”) against Malenko on May 23, 2008, making false claims that Malenko suffered from mental illness.
8. As a direct result of this retaliatory and false PFA Complaint, Malenko’s fundamental and constitutionally-protected interests in the nurture, upbringing, companionship, care, and custody of his child were substantially infringed upon.
9. After the guardian ad litem appointed by the Court and the Court-appointed doctorate level forensic psychologist indicated that they did not believe Malenko was suffering from mental illness or any other defect that would prohibit him from having unsupervised contact with his child, Handrahan then began making false claims that he was a homicidal abuser, as part of her effort to destroy the father/daughter bond.
10. The court hearing the divorce case ultimately rejected Handrahan’s claims of abuse and mental illness and granted Malenko significant rights of unsupervised visitation with his child.
11. Handrahan repeatedly violated provisions of the Divorce Judgment, made unilateral decisions regarding the child’s welfare, and continued to do everything in her power to damage or destroy the father/daughter bond.
12. Finally, Malenko filed several Motions to Modify, asking the Court to grant him custody of the child.
13. Days after the Court sent out Notices of Hearing on the several Motions to Modify, Defendant forced her child to repeat false statements about Malenko sexually abusing her.
14. Defendant even forced her two year old child to make these false, rehearsed statements while Defendant recorded them on a video recorder.
15. Defendant persuaded her friend and advocate to listen to the false, coached statements, and then to contact the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) and claim that the child had made a disclosure of sexual abuse.
16. Defendant also persuaded her friend and advocate to make completely unsubstantiated claims that Malenko had child pornography on his computers.
17. As a result of these claims, DHHS launched an investigation.
18. As a result of these claims, Malenko’s rights to as a parent of M.M. were substantially infringed upon.
19. Defendant continued to coach and force her then two year old child to make false statements to others including Spurwink Child Abuse Program (“Spurwink”) investigators regarding
20. As a result of similar false claims by Handrahan’s friend, and as a result of more false claims that Handrahan made to Spurwink, the minor child was subjected to an invasive medical exam by Spurwink’s medical team as it looked for evidence of sexual trauma,which Handrahan knew did not exist.
21. Thus, as a direct result of the claims caused to be made by Handrahan and with Handrahan’s consent, her two year old child was examined by various medical professionals.
22. As a direct result of the false claims by Handrahan and her friend and advocate, the two (2) year old child underwent at least 8 separate interviews regarding alleged sexual abuse by her father.
23. The examination of the child’s genitals and the numerous interviews regarding false allegations of sexual abuse caused direct harm to the child.
24. The Portland office of DHHS unsubstantiated the claims on August 20, 2009.
25. Handrahan immediately demanded that DHHS at the highest levels reconsider this determination of “unsubstantiation.”
26. Dan Despard, the Director, Division of Child Welfare, then conducted a de novo review of the file and affirmed the decision made regarding unsubstantiation, by letter dated August 25, 2009.
27. On or about August 14, 2009, understanding that her and her friend’s false claims were about to be discredited by DHHS, Handrahan unilaterally took the child four hours north of her home in South Portland, to her vacation home in Sorrento, Maine.
28. On August 14, 2009, Handrahan then filed yet another PFA, this time in Ellsworth District Court, making more false claims that Malenko had sexually abused their child, and also making false allegations that “he was discharged from the [Yugoslavian] Army for pointing a gun at an officer’s head.”
29. Handrahan filed this PFA in Ellsworth District Court specifically to avoid Judge Jeff Moskowitz, the Portland District Court Judge who had presided over the divorce trial.
30. Handrahan wrote an article, published on June 2, 2009 in the Bangor Daily News, entitled “American courts have never been kind to women, kids,” in which she was critical of Judge Moskowitz’s decisions in the divorce trial.
31. As a direct result of this false PFA in the Ellsworth District Court, Handrahan stripped Malenko of his parental rights and ability to see M.M. for a period of time.
32. The PFA case was transferred back to Portland District Court, where Handrahan was provided a full opportunity for a hearing before Judge Jeff Moskowitz, on October 26, 2009.
33. Handrahan decided not to appear at this final hearing on her PFA, because, as she later testified under oath, it was “inconvenient.”
34. On October 26, 2009, after a full hearing, Judge Moskowitz dismissed the PFA from the bench, finding that Handrahan had presented “extremely precarious evidence of an extremely serious charge.”
35. On November 2, 2009, the parties entered into a Stipulated Order giving Malenko unsupervised visits with his child every single weekend, from Thursday through Sunday one week and Friday through Sunday the next week.
36. Malenko enjoyed the 2009 Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend with his child for the first time in over a year.
37. Malenko and his attorney, Michael Waxman, became friends through this ordeal, and Waxman invited Malenko and his child to spend Thanksgiving with his children, his ex-wife (Carol Amoroso), her husband and friends, at Amoroso’s house.
38. Malenko and his child also spent the following weekend with Waxman and his children and his parents at the family’s vacation home in New Hampshire.
39. Upon hearing of the visits Malenko and his child enjoyed with Waxman, Handrahan filed a Protection from Harassment Complaint (“PFH”) against Waxman in Ellsworth District Court.
40. The PFH claimed that Waxman had harassed and threatened and harmed Malenko and Handrahan’s child.
41. Handrahan had no basis upon which to make these claims.
42. These were false claims made in an effort to prevent Waxman from continuing to represent Malenko.
43. Handrahan’s goal was to strip Malenko of legal representation so that he would have no way to defend himself in ongoing proceedings.
44. Handrahan knew that Waxman was not charging Malenko for his legal representation.
45. Handrahan filed this PFH in Ellsworth, once again, in order to avoid Portland judges, whom she believed had been conscripted by Waxman into a conspiracy to harm her and deny her justice.
46. On February 12, 2010, Waxman had a hearing on his Motion to Dismiss the temporary PFH before Portland District Court Judge, Honorable Roland Beaudoin, who dismissed the temporary order.
47. On March 4 and March 5, Portland District Court Judge, Honorable Jane Bradley, presided over Handrahan’s PFH Complaint against Waxman.
48. On April 7, 2010, Judge Bradley dismissed Handrahan’s PFH case against Waxman.
49. Handrahan also began filing numerous grievances against Waxman in the fall of 2009 and continuing into 2010. These grievances were part of Handrahan’s effort to prevent Waxman from continuing to represent Malenko
50. On December 2, 2010, Justice Alexander, of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, filed a 65 page decision exonerating Waxman of the 14 counts of unethical conduct alleged by Handrahan.
51. Handrahan also contacted DHHS Child Support Enforcement beginning in November 2009 and falsely claimed that Malenko owed in excess of $7,000 in child support.
52. These false claims caused DHHS to withhold Malenko’s tax return in 2010 for months, causing a tremendous financial hardship for Malenko.
53. DHHS finally discovered Handrahan’s representations were false and turned the tax return monies over to Malenko.
54. In January 2011, Malenko finally was granted a hearing on his multiple motions to modify before Portland District Court Judge Jeff Moskowitz.
55. Handrahan attended this hearing and was represented by counsel.
56. By Order dated February, 1, 2011, Judge Moskowitz stripped Handrahan of custody of the minor child and transferred custody to Malenko.
57. By that same order, Judge Moskowitz also allocated decision-making authority regarding the minor child’s welfare to Malenko, if the parties could not reach agreement.
58. Judge Moskowitz also stated as follows: “the Defendant [Handrahan] has simply resisted Plaintiff’s [Malenko’s] efforts to be [the minor child’s] father at nearly every turn.”
59. Before and after this Order, Handrahan made repeated false claims to DHHS and to medicalproviders that Malenko was poisoning the minor child with methamphetamines and sexuallyabusing his daughter.
60. Just after this Order entered, Handrahan contacted DHHS and made claims that Malenkohad hit the child in the head with a frying pan.
61. These claims were all false.
62. As a result of these false claims, the then four year old child had an invasive medical exam conducted at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital with Handrahan’s consent.
63. Also, Handrahan herself took urine and fecal samples from her child and presented them to medical providers to be tested for drugs.
64. Handrahan also froze several samples of her daughter’s urine for later testing.
65. Handrahan also forced her child to state into a recording device that Malenko had hit her in the head with a frying pan.
66. Handrahan presented this false, coached, audio tape to DHHS.
67. As a direct result, the Ellsworth office of DHHS launched another investigation into Malenko, and interviewed the child on at least two occasions regarding the frying pan.
68. The child clearly and forthrightly stated that her father never hit her in the head with a frying pan, and that she knew Handrahan was saying this happened, but it was not true.
69. DHHS issued another letter unsubstantiating these false allegations on April 29, 2011.
70. On or about the week of June 13, 2011, Handrahan made yet another false claim with DHHS, claiming that Malenko was poisoning the minor child with methamphetamines and that Malenko possessed child pornography on his computers.
71. DHHS opened a file in the Biddeford office because Handrahan claimed that Waxman had “connections” with the Portland and Ellsworth offices, each of which had unsubstantiated previous claims.
72. Mark Dalton, DHHS Regional Manager for York County, has stated that there is no evidence supporting these claims by Handrahan. In a letter dated June 27, 2011, DHHS again found the allegations of neglect and sexual abuse against Malenko to be unsubstantiated. See Pl. Ex. 8b
73. Handrahan has also reached out to the administration of Governor LePage in order to try and destroy Malenko’s fundamental rights as a parent. These communications included false statements about Malenko in order to persuade Governor LePage to act on her behalf.
74. As a result of Handrahan’s behavior, M.M. was required to stop attending a day care center where she had become attached to friends and caregivers. M.M. has experienced social isolation as a result of Handrahan’s actions and threats.
75. Even though she testified in January that she makes $105,000 per year and even though the February 1, 2011 Order obligates her to pay Malenko $368.80 per week, Handrahan has repeatedly withheld child support payments. See Pl. Ex. 26.
76. Handrahan has evaded service of process and refused to accept service of process in connection with this case and other related legal proceedings.
77. On June 21, 2011, Handrahan arrived at Malenko’s residence and pounded on his front door screaming “give me my child!!!” “where is my child?” “I am here to take my child!!” “Why are you hiding my child??”
78. Handrahan proceeded to run around the house, peering into windows and screaming.
79. The child was in Malenko’s arms and traumatized, not wanting to go to her mother.
80. Malenko called the police and they escorted her off Malenko’s property.
81. Malenko obtained a PFH on his own behalf and on behalf of his minor child the next day, June 22, 2011.
82. On June 23, 2011, Handrahan sent her private investigator, Stephen Pickering, a former Maine State Trooper, to the home of attorney Waxman’s children and his children’s mother, Carol Amoroso.
83. The private investigator, Stephen Pickering, banged on the front door, walked around the property, and called Ms. Amoroso on the phone, demanding to speak with her.
84. Ms. Amoroso declined to be interviewed and was very shaken up by this conduct. As a result, she contacted the Yarmouth Police about this incident.
85. None of Waxman’s four children were at Ms. Amoroso’s house when Mr. Pickering approached the premises.
86. Waxman’s four children have been warned that there is a private investigator hired by Handrahan, trying to intimidate Waxman’s loved ones, and that if he makes contact with them, they are to refuse to cooperate and that they should contact the police.
87. By sending her private investigator to the home of Malenko’s attorney’s children, Handrahan intended to intimidate attorney Waxman and to deprive Malenko of further legalservices.
88. Beginning in the Fall of 2011 and following Malenko’s filing of this action, Handrahan initiated broad dissemination of defamatory material regarding Malenko on the internet.
89. Handrahan launched a site called “Saving M.M.” on which she placed a great deal of material, including many claims that Malenko has abused his child, has raped his child, has poisoned her with methamphetamines, has sold her to obtain money for a green card, has “trafficked” her, has been visiting child pornography sites on the internet, has placed M.M. in a pedophile ring, has conspired with others including his attorney, judges, district attorneys, DHHS workers and others. See Pl. Exs. 10-19.
90. Handrahan has made significant efforts to ensure that the material on her “Saving M.M.” website is viewed by many others and disseminated worldwide. See, e.g., Pl. Ex. 16.
91. Handrahan has sent these same false claims to multiple people by email, including multiple government officials. See Pls. Exs. 1-5.
92. Handrahan has posted many audio tapes on various sites also, which contain similar false statements regarding Malenko.
93. Handrahan also posted a picture of M.M.’s genitals on her “Saving M.M.” website. See Pl. Ex. 6.
94. Handrahan has also posted personal information regarding Malenko and M.M., including their addresses, Malenko’s social security number and employment information.
95. Handrahan coached her child (at age 2 ½) to make false statements about Malenko sexually abusing her into a video camera and she has posted that video on the internet. See Pl. Ex.27.
96. As a direct result of Handrahan’s defamation, Malenko has received threats from followers of Handrahan. Malenko has also been warned by local police regarding threats against him that they considered serious.
97. As a direct result of Handrahan’s defamation, Malenko’s life has been significantly and negatively impacted in many ways.
98. Malenko, normally an outgoing, friendly person, now lives in many ways like a recluse, refusing to initiate new relationships and anxious about his present relationships because he is well aware that the staggering quantity and disgusting quality of the online defamation could convince others that he is some kind of monster.
99. Malenko carries with him at all times numerous court documents and decisions from DHHS, just in case Handrahan makes new, false claims against him.
100. Malenko testified that M.M. has been negatively impacted by the vast quantity and malicious quality of defamatory material in that Malenko has been very, very concerned about permitting other children into his home without the parents in attendance. He has been so shaken up by the heinous defamation published by Handrahan that he feels completely on the defensive at all times around all children.
101. Malenko testified that he has been trained in and received certifications as a swimming instructor, that he formerly derived income and a great deal of enjoyment from coaching and teaching children to swim. As a direct result of the defamation all over the internet, Malenko no longer teaches any children swimming skills other than his own, and is unlikely ever to do so again.
102. Malenko testified that the defamation has negatively impacted his performance at his job, prompting him to lose concentration and make mistakes he would not otherwise have made.
103. Malenko wishes to pursue a career as a pharmacist but is concerned that Handrahan’s repeated, false claims that he has poisoned M.M. with methamphetamines could negatively impact that goal of his as well.
104. Malenko testified that he is seriously considering changing his and M.M.’s last names in order to avoid the stigma now associated with those names as a result of Handrahan’s internet postings.
105. As a direct result of Handrahan’s false representations, Malenko has been deprived of the love and companionship of his child for long periods of time.
106. As a direct result of Handrahan’s false representations, M.M. has been deprived of the love and companionship of her father for long periods of time.
107. As a direct result of Handrahan’s actions and false representations, M.M. has suffered physical and emotional harm.
108. In March 2012, Maine DDHS concluded that Handrahan’s actions on January 27, 2012 inflicted “high severity emotional abuse” on M.M. See Pl. Exs. 8a & 18.
You’ll notice that Finding #93 states that Handrahan posted photographs of her five-year-old daughter’s genitals on her website. (She’s since taken them down.) You’ll also notice that Finding #70 states that she accused Malenko of possessing child pornography. A brief Google search of Handrahan’s published articles demonstrates a preoccupation with pornography, specifically child pornography. Amazingly, Handrahan seems to have no concept that she herself has posted images on the Internet of her own daughter that could easily be described as child pornography. Needless to say, neither she nor the publications for which she writes ever disclose the fact.
The Findings of Fact made by Judge Singal show the extent to which a mother can go to abuse not only a father, but a child, the judicial system and opposing counsel. Up until Judge Singal’s order, the only price Lori Handrahan has been made to pay for her many years of utterly outrageous, malicious behavior is losing custody of Mila. Had the family court acted as soon as it became obvious the type of litigant Handrahan was, much of this grief could have been avoided.
As I’ve said before, Michael Waxman is nothing if not a tenacious lawyer. This man has represented Igor Malenko virtually free of charge through every imaginable hardship imposed by Handrahan. He now comes armed with a judgment against her and my guess is that he’ll collect at least a large part of it. After all, Handrahan is not poor. His civil suit on behalf of Malenko and Mila should serve as a template for other fathers who suffer the slings and arrows of false claims leveled against them by mothers who think that family court is an open forum for slander, libel and defamation.
Just a mom- trying to make it in a hectic world!
Law, nonsense, and the nonsense of law
Walter Singleton's blog, dedicated to Aiden Singleton and Seth Singleton living near Chattanooga, TN.
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