What was expected to just be a change to Rule 102 of the California Constitution, the lawsuit filed by the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) ended on September 18, 2018 with a joint Application for Stipulated Reversal filed on September 17, 2018 being granted in the case of Commission on Judicial Performance vs. Howle et al (the CA Auditor).
Where did it go in our family courts?
The truth about abuse rarely survives or is even heard in family court anymore. It is pummeled and trampled upon. Lies fly through the halls and rooms made for justice, all while the courts do not seem to care any longer. But it matters. It all matters. And it has always mattered.
When the #MeToo movement went viral almost a year ago, some people stated sexual harassment was no longer OK in the work place. Victims knew though it was never OK.
Is it only not OK if you will be held accountable? Is it OK because you can get away with it?
Living in a world with no accountability for sexual abuse allows abusers to dig a deeper hole. Those who dismiss abuse permit the abuse to continue, even to the point it hurts the abuser and increases the rate of abuse, most likely even enabling an abuser to have more victims. We need not go any further than to look at the Catholic abuse grand jury investigation from PA to understand what happens when abuse is systematically covered up and dismissed. Lives are shattered.
We are at a breaking point though. And it is not just the fact that we are closer to a Federal Resolution for child safety with H. Con. Res. 72, that CA passed HR 113 – Piqui’s Resolution and that the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) is about to change a rule to allow the CA State Auditor to have the confidential complaints to review after two years of declaring them “confidential” even to the auditor.
No, there is a breaking point for those who cover up abuse. The abuse does not “go away” when a lawyer convinces a judge that abuse did not happen or the judge just ignored the abuse. Anyone who defends an abuser is allowed to give them a good defense. A good defense though does not include lying, cheating nor illegally manipulating a system designed to allow the truth to bring justice. Anyone who sits on the bench, does not allow evidence of abuse to be entered, and dismisses the abuse presented is also an abuser.
All those who do not follow their oath and honor of the practice of law, not only hurt the system, but they hurt themselves. They carry with them all the harm caused to children when the abuse is dismissed and no safety is given. While we all make mistakes and may be conned by a classic manipulator who abuses, we are at a point where malice has taken over in our courts.
Every lawyer and professional who has dismissed abuse, and even perjured themselves to allow an abuser to have custody of a child for they are just doing their “best” for their client, is on call. To say your actions will catch up with you and stay with you, regardless of how much you dismiss your own responsibility in the corruption of the legal system, is true.
Advocates are demanding the truth to be known. How many valid complaints did our courts watchdog, the CJP, dismiss and allow for abuse to continue? How many family court evaluators dismissed abuse and blamed the protective parent to allow for the abuser to retain or get custody? Why is the Board of Psychology and the Board of Behavioral Sciences not disciplining their licensees when abuse was dismissed and false statements are used against a protective parent? Why are DA’s not prosecuting for perjury? Why have we allowed abuse to children that happens in homes be covered up?
The systematic abuse coverup in family court and by agencies paid to protect children must end. It must end and all those responsible need to be held accountable.
This past week though, we saw justice on an upswing. August 23 is being seen as a day of justice.
On this day in 2018, Piqui’s Resolution, HR 113, was adopted into the CA Legislation to ensure child safety is a first priority and includes other safeguards: court reporters, proper trauma informed training, and knowledge of this resolution to the Judicial Council of CA.
On this day in 2017, justice also came by way of Piqui’s own father being convicted of murdering Piqui and ordered to 25 years to life in prison. Piqui’s mother, Ana Estevez, heard her son declare abuse by his father. The courts dismissed it regardless of the evidence presented, and on the first week following the courts dismissing the abuse, the father suffocated his only child to death.
And on this day in 2018, Piqui’s father’s lawyer, Rebecca Lizarraga, became involved in a two-hour standoff after she was randomly firing a weapon and may have been suicidal. One could speculate living with the guilt of being part of a team that allowed this murdering father to have custody must have been eating away at this lawyer. Within hours of the CA Assembly passing Piqui’s Resolution, the woman who presented lie after lie to the court went to the place Piqui’s body was found more than 70 days after he went missing in 2017. How did she know where Piqui’s body lay decaying? Detectives wanted to know more and were scheduled to speak with Ms. Lizarraga over the weekend in the hospital.
Ms. Lizarraga is on call. Abusers are on call.
All are on call to rise up against abuse.
We understand hurt people hurt people. If you were abused, you can break an abuse cycle instead of abusing others. Get help, instead of abusing others. If you are unable to control yourself, remove yourself from your position as a lawyer, judge, evaluator, counselor or even a parental role. Help is available. Accountability is required. Be accountable to yourself. Require others to be accountable.
There is little to no decency in family court for the abused. That is changing now.
By CPPA Website•28 Aug, 2018