Mother Charged With Kidnapping Stemming From Medical Treatment Disagreement

The mother of a nine month old baby has been charged with kidnapping.

The baby had been placed in the custody of social services because the baby’s doctors recommended he have surgery and the mother wanted to exhaust all possible natural remedies for his problems before resorting to surgery.

The baby’s condition was not imminently life-threatening and the mother reportedly feared that the operation would be lethal.

In a last-ditch effort to avoid the procedure, the mother sneaked the baby out of the hospital.

The boy was recovered and returned to the hospital in good condition.

Read more in this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article.

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Blogs Threatened – Save the Internet Before It’s Too Late

I’ve previously posted about the defending campaign to Save the Internet Now: Act to Preserve Free Speech and Equal Access.

Blogs are under imminent threat.

By pending legislative telecom reforms that may end the net neutrality the public has benefited from since the beginning of the world wide web.

But Congress can still end that threat – and see to it that the various weblogs you read for valuable, free information, are here to stay.

Blogs like this one. And the ones we link to. And countless others.

If you want to protect the blogs you read, you owe it to yourself to read more about the threat to blogs in this informative article, Digital Gatekeepers, written by the the host of a weekly radio show on WHPK, the radio station of the University of Chicago, who is also a contributor to Chicago Indymedia and Third Coast Press, and an organizer with Chicago Media Action.

The time to Save the Internet is just about up.

Learn more at:

And if you want to Save the Internet and support blogs (like this one, the ones we link to and countless others), act right now. Call, fax or e-mail your Senators – today.

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Scheme to Finally Collect Child Support Backfires on Custodial Parents in Texas

For many custodial parents, collecting their child support is a never-ending challenge.

Some custodial parents in Texas recently came up with a way to finally beat the system – or so they thought.

According to news reports, some thirteen custodial parents opened new accounts in their ex’s name and then forged child support checks on those accounts payable to the state’s child support agency.

How did that help the custodial parents?

It seems that the child support agency is known not to wait for the non-custodial parents’ checks to clear before issuing their own state checks to the custodial parents.

Therefore, by the time the forged checks bounced, the custodial parents had already deposited the state’s good child support checks.

The custodial parents allegedly collected, collectively, approximately $40,000 in payments not funded by non-custodial parents.

Their “accomplishment” is tempered by the fact that they are now all facing felony charges for their trouble.

Read more in:

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South Florida Super-Sealing: Secret Dockets Filled with Hidden, Secret Cases

I’ve blogged previously about Florida being a “sunshine state”, with a strong policy favoring open, public records. See Public Right to Know Vs. Individual Privacy.

I’ve also blogged previously about a nationwide trend making it more and more difficult to seal divorce cases or even parts of them. See Private Finances and Corporate Records: Should They Go Public in Divorce?.

More recently, a political firestorm has been touched off by local media’s discovery of secret dockets filled with totally hidden, secret cases, right here in Palm Beach County, in neighboring Broward County and also in counties which are part of the Tampa Bay area.

The Chief Judge of this Circuit has promptly reviewed all such cases, released case numbers for them and affirmed the propriety of the sealing of the cases (except for two which appear to have been products of clerical errors).

The Chief Judge also reported that the majority of the hidden cases were family court cases.

Read more in this Palm Beach Post article: Lawyers chafe at secret docket of files.

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Amber Alert Delayed Because Parents Still Married and No Custody Order – and 4 Year Old Dies

Two boys, 2 and 4 years old, were forcibly taken from their grandfather at knifepoint. Before the incident ended, the 4 year old was dead and the 2 year old was wounded.

Because of Indiana guidelines, an Amber Alert was not issued for 7 hours.

Because the person who took the boys was allegedly their father, and he was still married to their mother.

It was irrelevant to the Indiana guidelines that the abductor was armed and had threatened the boys’ caretaker.

It is unclear whether the father’s reported criminal record or the order of protection the mother had just gotten were given any consideration either.

Read more in this Ft. Wayne [IN] Journal Gazette article: Late Amber Alert.

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Number of Father’s With Primary Residential Status Reportedly Skyrocketing

According to this [LI] Newsday article, divorced fathers are increasingly becoming primary residential parents.

In Long Island, the number of single fathers rose 221% between 1970 and 2000, compared to the 65% increase in the number of single mothers there for the same period.

According to the article, single fathers face the same challenges at home and in the workplace as single mothers, and they have the same interests and concerns as single mothers.

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FL Grandparents Awarded Temporary Custody Pending Outcome of Investigation Into Mother’s Death in Shootout Involving the Father

A young mother died in a motel room in nearby Hollywood (Florida). Her boyfriend was shot and wounded there. Miraculously, their four month old baby daughter was present, but not injured.

What happened?

The police concluded that the mother committed suicide. The father is reportedly blaming the mother for shooting him.

The young woman’s family insist she would not have killed herself, and characterize the couple’s relationship as very stormy.

At stake is custody of the baby.

Typically in Florida, a surviving parent would be the baby’s sole guardian and custodian. That’s what the baby’s reported father is fighting for – but it was not reported that any court order has ever legally established paternity of the baby.

Under the uncertain circumstances of the case, a Broward County court awarded temporary custody of the baby to her grandparents, pending outcome of the police and coroner’s investigation into her mother’s death.

Read more in this NBC 6 news article: Grandparents Get Temporary Custody Of Baby In Motel Incident.

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Computer Wiretapping Doesn’t Pay in Divorce Cases

A recent New Jersey case serves as a reminder that “getting the goods on your spouse” via their computer may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

In this New Jersey case, the spied-on wife walked away from their divorce with an extra $7,500 because of it. That’s bad enough.

But unauthorized interception of real-time electronic communications is illegal in some states, including Florida. This parallels non-consensual phone-tapping, which is also illegal in many states, including Florida.

The “goods” probably won’t be allowed in family court – and you may go to jail for your trouble.

And even if the goods are admissible, the risks may all have been for nothing.

Real-time communications, such as in chatrooms and instant-messaging, are likely to show only infidelity. In no-fault states, such as Florida, one spouse’s infidelity often has no impact on their divorce case.

Read more about the consequences of interception of real-time electronic communications in this ZDNet article, Police blotter: Husband spies on wife’s computer and this other ZDNet article, Court: Wife broke law with spyware on a Florida case.

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Mother of Abducted Irish Child Prepares for Custody Battle in Non-Hague Convention Algeria

Ten weeks. That’s how long it’s been since an Irish woman has seen or spoken to her seven year old daughter.

The daughter is reported to be with her father in Algeria, his homeland.

The father allegedly decided to remain in Algeria after taking his daughter for what was supposed to be a visit with extended family members.

Algeria is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The missing child has since been made a ward of the courts in Ireland, the child’ s home or habitual residence – but the mother fears she may nonetheless have to litigate custody in Algeria, where mothers reportedly don’t have many custodial rights.

Read more in this BBC news article.

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One Father’s Perspective on Divorce and It’s Aftermath

For father’s day, it’s sobering to see one divorced father’s musings on divorce and it’s aftermath in this New York Times piece called Keeping Divorced Dads at a Distance.

Sadly, this father seems to feel on the outs from his own kids.

He apparently attributes that feeling to perceived flaws in the legal system and a pact (nearly conspiracy) between his kids that he views as a consequence of those flaws in the legal system.

Right or wrong, it may be enlightening to know how many divorced parents share the author’s view of the non-custodial parent’s life after divorce?

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