I oppose SB 435 on the grounds that any extension of foster care services should be coupled with badly needed reforms
necessary to protect the rights of children and their parents,
especially fathers, and also coupled with reforms to help stop illicit
and potentially criminal activities at the Friend of the Court which can
harm both children and parents, and which can promote unnecessary
foster care placement for children who have a fit and willing parent who
is ready to care for them.
In Michigan, as in many other states, unmarried men are automatically
noncustodial when a child is born, solely by virtue of their gender. Then
they and their children are further harmed by being forced to deal with
a Friend of the Court where there is evidence of illicit and
activities. This evidence includes evidence
of theft of child support, evidence of child custody fraud, evidence of
tampering with witnesses, evidence of child support calculation fraud,
evidence of obstructing a federal audit, evidence of conspiracy against
rights, and evidence of federal felony gender discrimination. See scr
dot bi slash kQHvC9 for more information.
enforcement specialist Carol
Rhodes explained: "I came to the 32nd circuit family court to make a
difference, ... but early on I realized ... it was all about money ...
My director would say regularly, 'We aren't the friend of the family,
we're the Friend of the Court!' ... In the years I worked for the system
I witnessed regular deception to clients that was mandated by office
policy. I saw gender bias and discrimination. I saw records destroyed.
... I saw hundreds of pleas for parenting time or enforcement get buried
because there is no money in enforcing custody or visitation issues.
... We were rated according to how much money we would bring in"
(there is a link to the youtube video at scr dot bi slash kQHvC9 )
Please note that In 2000 the US Supreme Court held in Troxel V Granville
that parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care in custody
of their children, that children are not mere creatures of the state,
and that parents have a fourteenth amendment due process right to a more
than fair process before their rights are abridged.
since that time, the Michigan Supreme Court has never directly
recognized the fundamental liberty interests of parents, or that parents
have a right to a more than fair process before their rights to care
for their child are abridged. Instead, they have held that their rights
to care for their child are lesser substantial interests, and they
can be abridged at any time by any procedure so long as it does not
"shock the conscience."
We need to change the law to respect the
rights of parents like to protect them, and to remove
the financial conflicts of interest for decision-makers, particularly
referees and judges. Until we do that, more children will be needlessly
Just ask the father of Robert Byrd, a 4 year old boy
who died from starvation and neglect at the hands of his aunt and
uncle. ("Charges expected today in Highland Park boy's starvation
death: Aunt, uncle to be arraigned; boy was abused, starved, Wayne Co.
medical examiner says", Detroit News, May 11, 2011). The father could
not get custody of his child.
Or ask Shane
Hinojosa, father of Naveah Buchanan, a five year old living with her
grandmother along with a known sex offender "father figure", before she
was later murdered, "I went to court, and the judge looked at me and said well you have no rights to your daughter at all. ... I don't know why I didn't get custody. I guess in the State of Michigan, it's grandmother, after something went wrong."
Or ask Mubuarak
Hakim, whose daughter was taken from her mother (Maryanne Godboldo)
using literally a rubber stamp procedure, and who was never given a
chance to speak and his lawyer was not even allowed to speak or present
motions before the judge in the case ruled that his
daughter must be placed in care of the state, and not in his care.
Having never even been accused of any wrongdoing, this apparently fit
willing father could not be trusted to care for his own daughter
based on what appeared to be absolutely no evidence or due process of