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Main Forums => General Issues => Topic started by: gertler on Sep 01, 2008, 10:17:30 PM

Title: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: gertler on Sep 01, 2008, 10:17:30 PM
I don't know where to begin with this. I'm new to computers and forums and such and desperately need help!
I'll explain my situation as honestly and accurately as possible. It will seem unbelievable and you'll say, "There's got to be more to it" but this is basically it:
My wife and I have lived a very conservative Christian life much like the Amish/Mennonites. We both entered into this life style and beliefs by our own desire just before our first child was born over 8 years ago( we now have four). Suddenly-and I mean this- without any warning, any problems, without any prior discussions my wife filled for divorce and left. Everyone that knew us said we were like to peas in a pod. The perfect marriage. My wife was a stay at home mom and I worked part time. We were debt free and doing well in almost every area of our lives. I never would have dreamed this would happen.
But it gets worse:
The first attorney(local) I went to said that I didn't have a chance. He said that the judge will not give joint custody with joint time each even though my wife and I at the time agreed to it. He said most of the time the women gets the children and the man get's to "visit" his children every other weekend. He said that he "doesn't like you type of people" and is going to give her sole custody. He said that he is "bias and does what ever he wants". He warned me that he will base child support on a job I had just gotten at my wife's request. A job I had for four weeks! He refused to represent me.
I didn't believe him and found another attorney and went to trial. Over forty people came to support me. My wife had four. The evidence brought forth seemed overwhelming in my favor. My attorney argued that my wife and I entered into this lifestyle before the children were born and this is the only life the children have known. He argued that I live in a payed for home right in the religious community that has all my childrens friends and loved ones in it. That through out the childrens lives we have not been in need of anything. The children were all healthy and happy. There was nothing ever mentioned about me being unfit or a problem in any way even by her witnesses. Testimony was brought in that I have always been with my children. I even delivered one myself. I was part time so I could be home with my children. Her witnesses had no problems testifying, but my witness were yelled at and made fun of(some on tape). He said he didn't understand a children being disciplined and that children should be free to do what they want. He said that they should have TV and internet and live "normal" lives. He constantly tried to keep "religion" out of it saying it has nothing to do with what's in the best interest in the children(yet he uses religion against me in his descision).
Several days after the trial the court recorder ran into one of my witnesses and told him that the judge is biased against your people and often isn't even mainstream in his views. He said he makes his decisions on his own biases. Several weeks after that the judges cousin who often works for the Mennonites in our area told some of them that the judge was angry that they dared to show up at his courtroom since they don't do anything for society. He also said that the judge doesn't like them.
Finally after 4 months of waiting the judge made his descision. I couldn't believe it. In fact my wife's attorney was suprised. The judge went completely beyond what even my wife was asking for. He gave her everything he possibly could. She got sole custody. He split a large non marital money gift from my parents. He gave me several things I have never owned and gave her all the farm stuff. In no way was the property divided equally. He took a seperate paragraph and told me I "need to understand" some things and called my beliefs "deplorable". He said my shedding of tears was a "sham". He said that my dad's and my testimony was "factually incorrect"(I guess I lie). And yes he did end up basing my child support payment on a job I had for four weeks. He said that he understands that I don't have a job and that I live off the land but said that I am capable of making that kind of money so he's basing it on that.
Now more bad news:
My state has no laws keeping my wife here. She is allowed to move wherever she wants to. The local judges are given much power. This is a no fault state. It is a back woods area(once the judges nephew who is a sherrif deputy served me a notice that the local family services was sueing me for child support and medical insurance. This was signed by the prosecuter who is the judge,s cousin not to be confussed with the cousin who works for the local wildlife division or the other nephew who is the dog warden or another nephew who is also a deputy.)I have appealed this but my new attorney says that he as no doubts that the judges will see that this is a bad desicsion but they don't like to over turn the local judge's descision. They want them to have the power. No attorney I've  talked with doubts that the judge was biased and stepped on my constitutional rights but said that's just the way it is here. My attorney said my wife is in the driver's seat and I need to listen to her because if she goes before this judge she is likely to get whatever she wants. Both attorney's of mine say they have never seen anything like this. One of those attorneys has been working for 44 years.
I seem to have exausted all my options. Absollutely any suggestions would be welcome.
Title: You've been railroaded..............
Post by: Kitty C. on Sep 02, 2008, 12:34:35 PM
I totally understand where you are coming from.  I happen to live in the heart of the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi in the US and I have Mennonite family on my mother's side.

Can you go back to the court reporter and both the attys. and ask them if they would make statements to what they told you?  Now, there's a very good possibility that they won't, if this judge has a strangle hold on the legal community there, no one would dare go against him if they still have to continue to work with him.

But the ONLY way you 'might' get some relief on this is to file an appeal.  If the court reporter and the attys. refuse to help you willingly, you can have them subpoenaed...basically an order telling them they have to appear to testify.  But if this judge's religious bias is that well known, he has no business presiding in a court in that area.  Which means he needs to be reported to the state bar assoc. and the state atty. general's office.

Recently, there was a custody case near here involving an Amish woman and 'English' man (she had a baby out of wedlock, if you can believe it and if you know Amish, you know what 'English' means).  The father asked for joint legal and visitation and the mother wanted to cut the father completely out.  The court ruled in favor of the father.

You have an uphill battle against you.  There's no question about that.  And it will cost you plenty.  Talk to your atty. and see if you can get the ball rolling on an appeal.  I know of an atty. here in my area who comes to mind who has done high profile cases, but I don't know if they have any contacts in your area.  And feel free to send me a personal message through this website if you want to discuss this privately.  Just click on my name and go the the e-mail link.  I may not answer immediately (it's my home e-mail and I'm currently at work) but I will answer as quickly as I can.
Title: RE: You've been railroaded..............
Post by: gertler on Sep 02, 2008, 08:18:01 PM
Yes, I've been hurt badly.
I greatly appreciate your sympathy and your thoughts.
I have filled for an appeal. But under my state's laws you can only appeal on what was brought forward during the trial. Nothing new can be admitted. And here is what my attorney has said: The judge has to have made a clear legal error. And it goes someting like this. If during the trial my wife or one of her witnesses made one little comment about
our situation and I had 10 witnesses and letters that showed otherwise. The judge can choose to believe that one little comment and ignore the overwhelming evidence that disputed that. I was a police officer. This isn't like a criminal case where evidence is weighed out and you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge can choose who he wants to believe. This is what has happened. I had 15 witnesses and 10 letters that my wife had wrote that clearly showed our situation. My wife only had four witnesses and two letters I wrote to her. None of her witnesses said anything bad about me. The evidence, if it was honestly weighed out, would be in my favor. The judge tipped the scales to the way he sees it. I can appeal this but my attorney said it's an uphill battle. He said that the appeal's panel will probably see the bias and the evidence but that they don't like to step on the local judges toes. They want them to make their own decsisions. This judge had his mind made up before the trial. He told my wife's attorney right at the beginning of the trial that he's not giving joint custody but only sole custody. This was before the trial and before any evidence. I didn't have a chance and it appears like I still don't.
Thank you for your thought and I would appreciate anything else you or anyone else might be able to add!
Title: RE: You've been railroaded..............
Post by: Davy on Sep 03, 2008, 12:02:33 PM
Let's hope for the best !  It appears you have a chance of prevailing on appeal without even considering the apparent 'deployable' bias and prejudice concerning your lifestyle and the life you provided your children.

It appears there are numerous issues the attorney can use to perfect an appeal.... and I have seen a 3 judge appellate court unnamiously overturn the local yocal followed by a unnamious ruling from the state supremes.  You probably already know that subsequent filings cease until the appeal process is completed.

In addition, there is a 'recusal'  process whereby a judge is forced off a case normally for being 'bias and prejudice against the family ... namely the children and the father.  It worked brillantly for my children and me and is especially prone to corrupt courts.  Attorneys that 'practice law' in the local jurisdiction often become part of the good ole boy network and simply recuritate the wishes of of the local yocal.  I overturned 'sin city'' by quietly retaining a 'rule of law' type attorney from outside the I said 'my children MOSTLY prevailed'.  Let me know if you want me to expound.

Moreover, I hope you don't make any drastic changes in your life at this time.  You have a foundation for the return of your children. Focus on the well being of the children and continue to try to rid the government  involvement from your family.  Most of society is for ya and not against ya.

Best of everything.......
Title: RE: You've been railroaded..............
Post by: gertler on Sep 03, 2008, 01:42:26 PM
Thank you very much for your support and encouragement!

What did you mean by, "subsequent filings cease until the appeal process is completed.coi"

Also please tell me more about a "recusal process". I have gotten an attorney from outside the area. But he has told me that I need to listen to my wife because if she takes me to court- she'll win. This has already happened once. Back before the final ruling, when we had joint custody, my wife complained that I wouldn't take my son to baseball practice on the Sat. I have the children. I don't have a problem with baseball. I play with my son all the time, but I am religiously opposed to competition in the public arena. Also, I only get every other weekend with my children and I didn't want to spend time taking all my children to town to play when even my son told me he didn't want to play. All this didn't matter. The judge ordered me to take them.

Yes! I will continue steadfast in the beliefs I have become convinced of. I told my children that if their mama leaves I will quite my job and be there 100% for them. Although I have had to make many compromises I am doing my best to hold on to my Faith and do what is right. I said at court that my wife wants a new life, but that I will lay my life down for my children. And yes I would love to rid the government involvement from my family.

Thank you again for your kind words!
Title: RE: You've been railroaded..............
Post by: Davy on Sep 03, 2008, 08:32:47 PM
I apologize for not being clear.  Please understand that I'm not an attorney but from being involved/study in TX and IL and from past postings on this site ... once a case is filed in the appellate court then one can not file in the lower court until the apellate court makes a judgement and I also understood the entire case would be on hold if only a few issues were being appealed.  I only hoped to post useful info.
and that info. may not apply in Ky.

Generally speaking, a recusal process is in place to allow a judge to bow out of a case for apparent conflicts .. ie judge has a close relationship with a participant in the case. In legaleze, the judge orders his own recusal.  I discovered that in some situations one could force a recusal and began to interview attorneys with that in mind knowing full well what was going to happen when my children ended up in the mother's hometown (ie parents back yard).

I had reluntantly retained a good ole boy (on the advise of 3 other attys)and once he refused communication numerous times before a critical hearing he was replaced at the hearing with the out of town atty. He did not expect to use a recusal action but once the hearing got underway, he stopped the hearing, called me ( I lived in the home state)  and per our discussion he entered a recusal motion based on a bias and prejudice agains the family namely .  The judge has to sign the order and the next day refused to do so ... the attorney (a former supreme ct clerk) told the judge he was entering the exact same motion and if refused to sign it his rear end  would be in front of the supremes the same day...he signed it.  After that the process is for a new judge to be assigned from that judical circuit....then time marches on hopefully with a fair and balance jurist (that is basically on alert)..

It would be my hope that any mother and father... husband and wife would decide all matters involving their children.  If you would have had my wife then the judge would be ordering you to take your sons to dance classes...sorry I still don't dance.

Look, you probably know your family is not alone in this dilemma.  Everybody absolutely must come to terms that children need both parents and government must take a back seat instead of being in the driver's  seat.  

Keep posting ...there are others willing to help.
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: iceclimber on Sep 04, 2008, 06:38:18 AM
i have successfully had a judge removed from my case.

i don't know what state you live in, but i was told that usually the first request doesn't take much as you can ask one time. my attorney called it a 'freebee'.
i did not have a court reporter, so i did not have hard evidence. the prejudicial statements were made in chambers with both attorneys present.
the judge in my case admitted (not in a nice way) his prejudice.

however, if you ask for another judge to be removed, you must have evidence to back it up.

i am not sure if it is possible now, but it is important, since this is the judge that will handle every situation that needs litigation between you and your wife. you may have to wait until another issue is brought before him. wait until he makes a prejudicial comment and then file the request.

his decision is evidence of prejudice.

ask your attorney about removing him.
it is great that you have an attorney out of the area.
my attorney knew right away that our judge needed to be recused, but did not want to do it because of what it would do to his career.

best of wishes.
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: gertler on Sep 04, 2008, 07:03:16 AM
Thanks for the information. I'll talk with my attorney about it. I'm in KY and he originally told me that there wasn't a way to do this here. He said that the judge would have to be voted out or die or they would have to change to a family court here and then they would have a seperate judge for this.
Thanks again
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: Davy on Sep 04, 2008, 09:46:24 PM
I did some google internet searches for Kentucky, recusal, religious, etc.  I'm afraid your attoeney appears to be correct.  There may be a Federal challenge in the works concerning money contributions impacting judges decisions but it pretty ends there.  

Do folks from your community normally use the secular courts to resolve disputes ?

My oldest son is a missionary in South America with dual citizenship ... he now has 2 infant children with no plans to return to the USA ... he knows first hand all about government interference.
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: Davy on Sep 04, 2008, 10:38:18 PM
Could you please elaborate the reason a judge was removed from your case.  

The recusal I'm referring to is by force ... subsequently (in my case) a Federal court had to order the particular state jurisdiction to stop all proceedings and never again have anything to do with my family.

My rule of law type (not divorce) attorney was tough and certainly was not concerned about his career or me.  I phoned him (still out of state) several months later to thank him, over and over, and to let him know I realized he had gone beyond what most attorneys would do.......he said he couldn't stand what was happening to my kids (he didn't elaborate)..and started crying......his 7 year old was terminal

I thought it was normal divorce trauma but it wasn't.
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: gertler on Sep 05, 2008, 09:11:28 AM
It is not normal for anyone of similiar beliefs as I have to use the secular system for help. I was dragged into this by my wife. I was told at the beginning that if I didn't get an attorney that the judge would grant her absolutely everything. So I got an attorney. But when I tried to work it out with my wife out of court and we agreed to split everything down the center with both of us having the children equall time, The attorneys told us the judge would not allow this. So then my wife's attorney told my wife to not speak with me anymore and told her to take as much visitation away as possible. Of course this is the same attorney that after he won he asked my wife out. I came to find out he was working for her for free. My wife said that they had become close through the divorce. Just another ugly twist in an absolute horror scene.

But back to why I used the courts; I felt like I either had to submit to my wife, which is contrary to my beliefs, or go before the "ungodly". Either way didn't seem right but in the meantime my wife's morrallity had gone down. She had left my son by himself several times. She passed out at a park with the children from taking some sort of a drug and had to have someone pick her up. She was spending time with a child molester in the area, etc. But before anyone thinks I can get custody because of this: My attorney told me that she has to consistantly put the children in "serious physical harm". Which is to say they have to nearly die first.

But again back to the secular court thing: If you are familiar with the scriptures you may know that Paul was dragged into court and defended himself against the accusation of the Jews. I felt like I shoud do likewise and give it a chance. I was a police officer before a came to God. I was a boy scout and was conservative and patriotic. I had a certain amount of confidence in the system. Now I am ashamed of it. I hope you understand.

Is your son divorced? Did he flee America? What problems has he run into if you want to tell me? You can email me privately if you want.
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: gertler on Sep 05, 2008, 09:28:04 AM
I need an attorney like this! The first attorney did end up believing in me and felt horrible when it was over with. He said he has never lost so bad. He felt like it was persecution. But your attorney did well and had compassion for you. I hope things change for him.

And it was good for him to cry. I've done it everyday since my wife left. Not for my own pain which is bad but for the pain of my innocent children which is far worse. They have been thrown into a totally different life and their once cute innocent soles are being crushed by everything my wife is exposing them to. My oldest son is so confused and is begining to lash out with the typical punky attitude and dress and rebelous ways. May God help me! I see that this is where there is hope! It's the only place.
Title: recusal
Post by: iceclimber on Sep 07, 2008, 07:18:45 AM
yes, i am talking about recusal. and it was by force, however the judge did respond.

he made prejudicial statements about the outcome of our case in chambers during ex parte.

he stated that if the medical reasons is all i had for my case, then that wasn't going to get a modification. my attorney pointed out that no evidence had been presented and that we had many expert witnesses to testify to the detriment of the child. the judge just repeated that it wasn't going to happen.

i found out later why my attorney did not wish to pursue the recusal himself. he had intentions of running for a seat on the bench. he did and lost

like i said, my attorney told me that this recusal request would not be difficult, even though we did not have proof of what he said. there was no court reporter. he called it a 'freebie'. he even said it didn't matter the reason. but that if we ever wanted to recuse another judge, it would be very difficult.

the judge we recused only responded by saying that the party just didn't like the decision (prejudicial decision that is).
Title: RE: recusal
Post by: Davy on Sep 07, 2008, 03:56:28 PM
In the first place, the two states I was aware would not allow a recusal during ex-parte.  Secondly, and more importantly, the disagreement you described is for the appeal process (I'm not sure if ex-parte issues are appealable).  Moreover the issue described certainly does not rise to the level of a recusal for BIAS or PREJUDICE which is considered very serious ... the attorney and the judge knew the state supreme ct would hear the matter in short order.  This process could happen in IL but never in TX even though the statues appeared to allow it. Had something to do with a tall tree and a short piece of rope.

Sounds to me like your attorney is related to your pastor that told you to file for divorce and the judge use to drive a taxi cab.

Floriduh... come on vacation ... leave on probation !!!

Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: Davy on Sep 07, 2008, 05:19:26 PM
Initially, I interviewed and hired him over the phone long distance.  I met with him for approx. 20 minutes when I delivered and went over my case file...there had already been numerous hearings in both TX and another IL jurisdiction where I prevailed ... I was the temporary custodial parent in TX (wouldn't order the kids returned) and another IL judge had reluntantly ruled IL had no jurisdiction over the case (kids) and me, but in the same breath, would not release the case until I filed for divorce in TX I to filed for divorce in TX saying I didn't believe in divorce. (hope ya got that)  I complied with all statues .. the opposing party did not comply with anything.  I had no idea that she would allow the the kids to be abused or mistreated ... not in 1000 years or be living with another man.

I'm getting away from what I want to say... you're probably familiar ... my teaching is we may be called upon to be persecuted in order to make us stronger .. I can hang with that but definitely not (read that never) .. the kids.  

Several years later, the kids (2 oldest) started figting back then the system .. read the people in the community said NO MORE) called me to get the CHILDREN out of their county adult jail.  

Fortunately all three kids are tough (tougher than me) and are overcoming... they have seen, heard and felt things I can only imagine.

As bad as it was, God not only watched over them but protected them ... pray for the kids ... all kids and both parents as well.  I will.

Grace be with us !!
Title: RE: Constitutional Religious Rights Violation- Where do I go?
Post by: gertler on Sep 07, 2008, 08:47:43 PM
I agree! If this is persecution I can deal with it. Infact it would be good. For then God would be with me. And He only knows I want to be stronger and always do what is right.
But the Children! My heart aches endlessly. I pray for them constantly. If you truely believe in God then pray for me and I will for you. May God have mercy on us.
Title: RE: recusal
Post by: iceclimber on Sep 08, 2008, 07:31:28 AM
i was incorrect about ex parte.
both attorneys were present. it was a hearing to admit a modified peading, since my previous attorney died.  sorry about that. it happened so long ago.

i can see how you would feel the way you do.
however, i feel it was a prejudicial statement. saying if this is what you have, you will not win, without hearing any evidence is prejudice.  making a decision on the outcome of the case prior to hearing the relevant facts.
i said nothing of BIAS.

i do not understand your one liners.
i don't know if it was an insult, but will go on as if it wasn't.
Title: RE: not a recusal
Post by: Davy on Sep 08, 2008, 10:51:26 PM

Here's the thing !  Many people that post here do so because they hope they can have a positive impact on a situation.  Gertler case is on appeal and I was only pointing out the possibility of the "recusal" process which is seldom if ever utilized because it normally requires an outlandish set of circumstances along with legal counsel with the credentials/guts to shake up jurispurdence and the establishment.

The appeal process is designed to deal with judgement errors, procedural errors, etc.

Since mothers and females are so heavily favored in the judicial system it is balistic to even suggest a female would have a recusal issue and by claiming such is a huge slap in the face to men and their children.  Moreover it is convulting to these threads and this board.

This is not a condensending personal attack so please don't interpret as such and this is not law school..
Title: my what a distorted perception....nm
Post by: iceclimber on Sep 09, 2008, 01:39:50 PM
Title: RE: my what a distorted perception....nm
Post by: Davy on Sep 09, 2008, 02:23:57 PM
Just what I thought.  You start your posts with manipulative and exxagerated statements  and then when presented kindly with the TRUTH you have nothing to say except more smart mouth that offers nothing ... absolutely nothing.
Title: RE: my what a distorted perception....nm
Post by: iceclimber on Sep 09, 2008, 03:13:01 PM
i find no kindness and very little truth in your statements. it is your OPINION. and i believe i have a great deal to offer... fathers and mothers, thru my experience. that which will not be hindered by your false perceptions of me or my intentions.

you appear to be a very cynical person.  bitterness makes a person biased. which is not helpful or productive.

have a great day.

Title: what is convulting?
Post by: brwneyedmom on Sep 09, 2008, 04:08:36 PM
Can't find it in a dictionary...

one thing that I've learned in the last 12 years of hell is that both fathers and mothers have their place at this forum.  To suggest otherwise is a mystophyllyes action.  And if you don't know who that was, you're lucky.  I did misspell his/her posting name.
Title: what is
Post by: Davy on Sep 09, 2008, 05:31:19 PM

use your imagination...convulsive  

>> that both fathers and mothers have their place at this forum.<<

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.  Both are valued.  I have no idea where this comment came from but I'm certainly not trembling over the accusation.   Just so you know .. I have many more ......
>> To suggest otherwise is a mystophyllyes action. And if you don't know who that was, you're lucky. I did misspell his/her posting name.<<

I certainly know.  I hope you don't have any reservations that I'm a father.

Sorry that you were offended !!  I really thought I was being nice under the circumstances.
Title: RE: my what a distorted perception....nm
Post by: Davy on Sep 09, 2008, 07:56:51 PM

Just because you say something does not make it right or just.

What's up with all the labels and personal attacks ... I already know but I want to know if you know.

Do you agree or disagree with the statement ??  :
Since mothers and females are so heavily favored in the judicial system it is balistic to even suggest a female would have a recusal issue and by claiming such is a huge slap in the face to men and their children. Moreover it is convulting to these threads and this board.

Do you still think you had a recusal action just because you disagreed with the court's ruling ?

The poster has a very very bad set of circumstances for the children. Do you  have assistance you can offer ??

Title: RE: what is
Post by: gertler on Sep 09, 2008, 08:02:15 PM
Hello...I'm still here reading all this. I didn't want to start a fight. I'm about to get out the water and throw it on all of you! It's comical to me. I hope it is to you all as well. Can we get back to the original problem? Can anyone give me any other advice? Where else Might I seek assistance?
Title: i'm sorry
Post by: iceclimber on Sep 10, 2008, 06:30:03 AM
i should have remained focused on your problem.

i feel terrible for you and your children. i have been praying for you all (and crying a little too).

i wish i had more to offer you.

i certainly hope that you will fight to appeal this decision for the sake of the children. never give up.
Title: RE: i'm sorry
Post by: gertler on Sep 10, 2008, 09:01:36 AM
Thank you. I appreciate your sympathiy and thoughts.
Title: MISTO!
Post by: Ref on Sep 10, 2008, 11:37:28 AM
Man that guy had a gift for posting a lot and saying nothing. Threads would go on FOREVER when he was involved. I think I am having a little flashback of those days here lately.


If a thread is going on a little longer and not sticking to the point, SPARC in their wisdom put on an Open Discussion board. I suggest going over to that board if things are starting to ramble.

Just a suggestion.
Title: Exactly !!
Post by: Davy on Sep 10, 2008, 11:48:29 PM

>>I think I am having a little flashback of those days here lately<<.

Exactly !  I agree.  Your post is a great example.  

Do you have anything, anything at all, that may assist gertler in any way.