Thursday, May 30, 2013
Corruption in the Courtroom
I am going to tell you a story of arrogance, bullying, bias and self-serving agendas. And for a change it is not about big business, banks or political candidates. It is far worse than any of those things. And the saddest part is that it involves people charged with protecting the best interests of children. I am talking about judges and custody evaluators in the family court system. Now many people tell a story “changing names to protect the innocent”. Well there is no innocence in this story. That is except for the belief in justice and its ability to prevail in spite of socio economic status.
Maybe I am naïve but I want to believe in the idea that in our self-proclaimed “greatest country in the world” we wouldn’t have to worry about the “haves” getting the benefit of the doubt and the “have-nots” being bullied into submission in our court system. Unfortunately that is exactly what is going on in Multnomah County and I will not protect the names of anyone who believes that they have the right to destroy families based on a personal whim, vendetta or personality conflict with the people involved.
This isn’t the Wild West and it surely isn’t some third world country with an evil dictator, yet no one is held accountable anymore. Have we become so complacent that we believe that we do not have the right or duty to hold people accountable for the decisions they make, especially those that are in “public service”? Interesting that as an educator no one seems to hesitate to tell me what I need to do better. Last time I checked the duty of the judicial system is to remain impartial and avoid becoming self-serving. Someone needs to let Multnomah County Judge Paula J. Kurshner and custody evaluator Lori A. Bonnevier know that they are not above accountability. The way these two conduct themselves is a travesty.
Why are we so quick as a society to reach out to places around the globe in need and yet turn a blind eye to the injustice right here in our own backyards? In a country that preaches about rights for all, those who question these two are met with hostility and threats. Bonnevier is blatant about choosing sides before completing an evaluation and from my understanding that is usually whichever side is paying her fee. Little hint Ms. Bonnevier- usually the person who needs to enlist you and pay you doesn’t have custody for a reason. This isn’t the “good ole boy’s club” and yet scratching each other’s back seems common place for these people.
That fact that I personally know two people who have had negative experiences with Bonnevier and neither of which have any knowledge of each other is a red flag. When both have told me independently that she has accused them of being angry and difficult to work with (among more appalling things) and both happen to be strong mothers who will not cower to pressure, I have to wonder what self inadequacies are haunting her.
In a recent case that was tried by Kurshner, one side was allowed to introduce evidence based on hearsay of a five year old. Yet when the mother intended to call the twelve year-old brother of the child to refute accusations Judge Kurshner told her that if she insisted on putting her child on the stand that it would reflect negatively on her. Yet Kurshner who was opposed to putting a child in the witness chair would not talk to the child in chambers one on one. What is her agenda? How is it just to allow one child’s words to be used and another’s not even to be heard? I am appalled that this woman would even be allowed to rule on a traffic ticket, let alone decide the fate of a family. She shouldn’t be judging a chili competition and she is appointed to sit in family court. I wish that was the worst thing she had done and sadly it might not make the top five idiocies of this story.
The custody evaluator on this case was none other than Lori Bonnevier. When the mother asked for a new evaluator to be assigned the judge refused. After the mother filed a complaint with board for bias on her part Bonnevier actually recused herself for in her own words a “conflict of interest” and somehow still managed to testify in the trial. Bonnevier was even so arrogant as to state that mother had a mental illness. A statement which had no foundation and for which she had about as much authority to make as I have to perform a heart surgery. When questioned about the credential of Bonnevier to make such a statement, Kurshner replied that she was quite aware of Bonnevier’s credentials and allowed her to continue. She went on to say that the mother lived in a home of chaotic disorganization. Which by the way she had never set foot in. The arrogance of both these women to not even try to hide their inability to remain impartial is one of the most sickening things I have ever seen.
In the end a good person and great mother had her kids removed from her custody without one shred of evidence that the children were in danger from anything. As I watched a ten-year old boy and his twelve-year old brother forced in tears to leave with a father they didn’t want to be with, searching for answers to the question “why”, I couldn’t help but wonder where was Judge Kurshner? Why wasn’t she required to watch the result of her decision? Why wasn’t she being held accountable?
As I search for my own answers to these questions I can’t help but wonder what Kurshner’s agenda is. Is she out to prove that she will not rule in favor of mothers? Does she just hate them? I can’t help but think of the children who are left in situations they shouldn’t be in for lack of evidence, yet this Judge based on no substantial evidence of any kind removes children from the care of a loving and compassionate mother who puts nothing before the welfare of her children.
Webster’s defines corruption as…
- impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle
- a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct
Take your pick of either, but both describe Judge Paula J. Kurshner and custody evaluator Lori A. Bonnevier. It is time to take a stand against abuse of power by those we trust with protecting us.
- b06b5234-dd5f-11e2-990a-000bcdcb2996June 24, 2013 at 11:23 PMReply
- I’ve had a similar experience, can you please e-mail me at email@example.com and we can talk further
- Kim MosesJuly 24, 2013 at 1:37 AMReply
- Oh my she was the judge that gave my children over to there father that was abusive to me in front of my children and while I was pregnant they have been gone since October 31st my five and 8 year old . She said the father had to repair my children from damage that I have caused them . Mind you I have never been to jail nore been on drugs hold a job and a home .I see my children once a week and every other weekend and 4 weeks out of the summer no phone calls and my children plead to me to that they want to come home . He has no job has not worked in 6 years almost lives in his moms basement criminal background and so much more he was acquitted for domestic violence please email me firstname.lastname@example.org I can tell u my story . Something has got to be done
- VikingGailMarch 8, 2014 at 2:22 PMReply
- Most of the judges are bullies and so are the lawyers and evaluators. They always rule against the good guys. They use the guardianship program to steal property from the elderly and won’t let their families visit. Funny she said that about mental illness-she’s talking about herself. See bullyonline. You might be able to get her removed for that.
- angkillamMarch 8, 2014 at 5:59 PMReply
- I know exactly what you are talking about, my life was destroyed by Judge Kurshner. I cant even began to express the pain, heart ache and loss she put my family and I through. She took all faith I once had in our family court system away from me. She denied me of my constitutional right among plenty of other things
- HeatherRSeptember 4, 2014 at 1:13 PM
- Did you use any resources to bring this to light? I have a similar story and am desperate to shed light on her and expose the corruption and unjust rulings she imposes on innocent people
- angkillamMarch 8, 2014 at 6:02 PMReply
- Mothers Against Biased Custody EvaluatorsMarch 25, 2014 at 2:32 PMReply
- This comment has been removed by the author.
- YouknowbetterApril 13, 2014 at 12:09 PMReply
- I have been in Kurshner’s courtroom. All she wants are quick, easy dockets. She doesn’t care if the kid is going to a home where there is no violence or abuse. She wants to slam the gavel down and compliment both parties for not fighting in court. My grandchild was given to the wrong parent, and suffered horrible abuse. Janice Garceau, head of the custody evaluators, is a huge mistake. She doesn’t care about the safety of children. The system is broken. My grandchild suffered abuse after abuse with a drug addict parent until finally set free. But it took years, and none of us know if the counseling will ever be fully freeing from the pain inflicted. Kurshner, the attorney’s who care more about billable hours than a child’s safety, it’s a joke. I used to believe the truth would set a person free…..but not in front of Kurshner, not in front of Janice Garceau, and certainly not in Multnomah County court system.
- HeatherRSeptember 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM
- I understand exactly what your saying. She just made an unfair judgement against me yesterday it which appeared she was having a bad day and didn’t even care that there’s an open investigation on abuse allegations against my ex husband from my son she sent him back to live with him. I’m desperate I need help. My son is in danger and I’m stuck with this judge. Do have any insight for me?
- HeatherRSeptember 4, 2014 at 1:07 PM
- I have just experienced a similar situation with her. Would you be willing to talk to me about how you were able to overcome her?