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Made a criminal by the State of Florida

Started by Capt Lake, Mar 03, 2005, 09:36:43 PM

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Capt Lake

This is a letter I sent to Jeb Bush the only response I got was a renewed effort to arrest me.
Dear Governor Bush,
I have waited months to write you, with the hurricane's and the election I know you have been swamped working for the people of Florida. I hope after viewing the devastation of the Tsunamis and seeing the plight of so many children that it doesn't numb your heart to the dilemma that surrounds one little girl and her father. I have been made a criminal by Judge Ken Williams, Family Court of Dist 1, State of Florida. For all of my life I have been a law abiding citizen and now I have been sentenced to 180 days in jail for the crime of being "unemployed." Yet the real crime is being committed against my daughter, Mary Victoria Lake and myself  by the so-called Family Court and the pontificating hypocrite Judge Kenneth Williams. I have no regret for refusing to obey Judge Williams, for it is he that is in contempt. Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of humanity. Respect for the human person, whether adult or child, entails respect for the rights that flow from our dignity as creatures of God. These rights are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by disregarding or refusing to recognize them with positive legislation or judicial action a society undermines its legitimacy.  My rights as a good father have been vacated to satisfy the excessive financial demands and bad judgment of Judge Kenneth Williams' court.
I am a U.S. Merchant Seaman. In September of 2003 I was laid off. It became apparent in Dec. 03, that the only job's available were in dangerous locations overseas. I filed a new financial statement and notice of my layoff with the court early Jan 04', but Judge Williams has chosen to ignore my filing, despite giving evidence of a nationwide slow down in shipping and offshore exploration. He has refused to over turn the fraudulent Restraining Order or recognize the result's of my ex's false domestic violence claim.
Two weeks prior to our divorce hearing, my soon to be ex spouse staged a domestic violence incident. I was the party that called the police, in fact I made a tape recording of the entire incident. When the police arrived my ex claimed that I had hit her in the face and chipped her teeth. The police arrested me. When I tried to get them to listen to the tape they said I should "save it for my lawyer". No pictures of my ex's supposed injuries where taken and the report said chipped teeth, "No Marks". The arresting officer was in cell phone communication with the Chief of Police both before and after my arrest. (At the time of my arrest I was leading a citizens group that was fighting City hall over a 70 million dollar waste of taxpayers money.) Immediately after my arrest my spouse got into a taxi and flew off for a week of skiing in Vermont. At our divorce hearing we showed Judge Williams my ex's dental record showing that her teeth were already damaged. Judge Williams asked each of us to stand and compared our height and weight, he then granted my ex a Permanent Restraining Order based on his observations and made a finding in his judgment that she had not committed false domestic violence charges.
At my Domestic Violence trial, the jury heard my ex's extravagant lies of how, (with my back to her and without leaving a mark), I hit her in the face so hard that I broke her teeth and sent her flying. Then the Prosecutor had her get up and show her teeth to the jury, one juror at a time. One of the jurors was a retired dentist, Dr Richard Morrison, he examined her teeth. The look on his face made the prosecutor call the incident to the Judge's attention. It was then that the prosecutor found out that the juror was a dentist and he asked that he be excused even though he was the one that sat him on the jury. When the police officer testified, he said it was the first time in his 20 year career that he had seen someone tape an incident. However the reason he give for not listening to the tape was Nadya's chipped teeth. The trial continued, the jury heard from me and listened to the tape, which clearly identified Nadya as the aggressor.  At the end of the trial when the case was handed to the jury,  Judge White called the dentist aside without the others. It was then that the juror, Dr. Richard Morrison, told the judge that her testimony and her injures didn't match and her teeth couldn't have been damaged the way she claimed and that "she was lying." The prosecutor objected and asked for the juror to be excused. The Judge excused him from deliberation. Despite this it took the jury just 28 minutes (which included a bathroom break) to find me, " Not Guilty." When I tried to have my ex-wife charged with making a False Domestic Violence Claim I was told by the Pensacola Police that they don't do "Tit for Tat," this despite my tape and the name of the dentist who was willing to testify to Nadya lying. Cost to defend myself, approx. $3,800.
The court of Judge Ken Williams has robbed me of one of the most valuable gifts that God has granted me, being a Father to Mary Lake. Time lost with my daughter can never be replaced.  I have been there for my daughter from the start. I was active in her delivery, April 11,1997, I cut her umbilical cord and changed her very first diaper (the green one). I was the first to see her smiling face every morning for her first year, as I took her from her crib and changed her before taking her to her mother to nurse. As she grew I would keep her home from daycare so that we could spend the day together, we fondly called it playing hookie. This was used to portray me as a bad parent instead of a caring father that didn't want to dump his child on someone else to raise. Many times I would come home and be handed Mary as her mother walked out the door to disappear for a deserved weekend as she called it. Since October 1999, when Joe Scarborough's office notified us that Nadya's citizenship problems had been ironed out and that she would get her citizenship within 60 to 90 days, we with have lived apart. After our separation Nadya even tried to bill me 100 dollars a day to watch Mary when I worked offshore. The family courts should not be a dumping ground for bad criminal court judges like Ken Williams. It should be a single division where the judges are held to the highest standards and be required to take courses in families and children to supplement their law degree. Only a coercive, delirious, demigod like Judge Williams would think that a black robe and a law degree grant's the wearer the knowledge and wisdom of Solomon. Judges should care more for the needs of the children rather than the omnipotent sound of there own voice.  
Within 24 hours of the end of my D.V. trial we filed to remove the injunction. It took Judge Williams over 90 days to respond with a hearing date.  Three times over a 8 month period our hearing was canceled and rescheduled. Twice we showed up with witness's, the Dentist and Mary's school councilor to testify before the Judge and twice he refused to hear them. (Mary's councilor was there to report on Nadya's violent tendencies to Mary). At the Jan 04 hearing, Judge Williams made the comment that as things were working as they were they could stay that way until he had time to hear them at a later time. My ex currently has two different lawyer's representing her. Judge Williams granted one of them, John B. Carr, a private hearing of which my Lawyer of record was not informed.  Without me having any representation, Judge Williams issued a contempt citation ordering me to be jailed for 90days.  Judge Williams has violated my rights on numerous occasions. During the Divorce trial he ordered my attorney to go to her office and bring my file to him for his examination. He then shared the contents with my wife's attorney. This is a clear violation of Canon 3, 7b. He voided the separation agreement, without proper grounds, taking away my rotational custody despite testimony from teachers and Mary's guidance councilor as to my exceptional parenting skills. He doubled my child support payments from $285 to $600 a month based on less visitation with my daughter. He ignored and exceeded state guidelines with excessive and punitive financial awards to my ex in both alimony and lawyers fee. Under his outrageous ruling I have been demoted to an auxiliary parent with only 9 days a month visitation and allowed no contact outside visitation due to the Injunction. Since the divorce in Jan/2003 I have had 2 phone calls from my daughter one Jan 16,2003 and the other April 27, 2004. During the April call I was quizzed by my daughter about my plans for the next day and where I would be. The next day I was served with the contempt citation. In July 04 he revoked my visitation because I won't serve his jail time.
My ex was raised in Russia without a father. Nadya has used the restraining order to build a wall between Mary and me, as well as the rest of my family.  None of Mary's cousin's, Aunts, Uncles, or Grandfather has had any contact with Mary since the divorce. Mary's Aunt Kathleen called Nadya at work and asked if she could see Mary for just 15minutes. Nadya said NO! When members of my family called Mary's school to see about having lunch with her they were told that Nadya had left orders that they  were to call the police if any of them tried to see Mary at school. One of Nadya's lawyers sent an unsigned letter to my father trying to extort money for Nadya.  Nadya has forced my daughter to be her reluctant surrogate and made her threaten me with arrest if I attend school functions or events.  Nadya has deprived me of visitation at her whim by calling my daughter on my cell phone and have her threaten me with jail if don't return her as her mother demands.   When I tried to get Mary for my summer visitation in June 04', I was told by the daycare center that Nadya had forbidden them to give me Mary for any reason. This has taken its toll on Mary. Nadya began physically hurting her soon after the divorce. Hitting her with a very hard and wide leather belt. Every Friday regardless of her citizenship grade Mary is belted for each mark she receives at school. Mary has also complained of being slapped and hit in the head on a regular basis. Mary's mother acknowledged during the divorce trial that she felt I was not necessary to raise Mary. Yet despite this and the testimony from almost all the witnesses about my fitness as a parent Judge Williams found her to be the parent most likely to foster a relationship with the other parent.
My job has been used as a weapon against me by the Florida Court and I will not let it happen any more. In 1992 when You visited Pensacola to stump for your Dad, I talked to you about the lack of rights and recognition of U.S. Merchant Seaman who served on American ships during the Persian Gulf. I served on the old Zapata Patriot during P.G.1 for seven months.  In early Feb 03, I left to serve on a ship that was carrying military equipment for Iraq, as a result I was out of communication with family, friends and my Lawyer. I knew from the moment the divorce trial ended, Jan.03, that I was going to appeal, yet Florida law "prohibits" filing before the Final Judgment is signed and issued by the high and mighty Judge. I returned to the U.S. April 12th , 2003, a Saturday, and received the Final Judgment for the first time that day. On Monday April 14th, I filed an appeal asking D.C. A. 1  to accept my case. They said yes and accepted my appeal as a child custody case and ordered that the appeal be expedited as such.  For over five months I prepared and filed my appeal spending almost $4,000., on transcripts, books, and pleadings. After all that work and cost, the 1st DCA said, " Opp's !!! we made a mistake" and dismissed my appeal at the last minute on the technicality of my missing the 30 day filing deadline.  Governor Bush, if the Florida Uniform Service members Protection Act had covered me, a Merchant Seaman, like it does every other Florida Citizen even remotely connected to the Military I would have had extra days to file an appeal or ask for an extension. I lost my daughter not because my appeal lacked merit and substance, but because of a time technicality. That is something that shouldn't happen to any parent. Even as I write thousands of Merchant Seaman are working on Military Sealift Command vessels shuttling necessary supplies to our troops in Iraq. Could you look any one of them in the face when they return home and tell them they have lost custody to their children because they missed a time deadline while at Sea. My license expires 2006 and I will not renew it, if having it means that the State of Florida can use it to force me to work thousands of miles away from my daughter without any contact or communication and receive only 9 isolated days a month visitation for the 3 months I'm at home. I will never allow Judge Williams to make me just a wallet in Mary's life.
Why is the Father's rights always put last? Why is the health and the well being of a child pushed aside for the financial benefits of lawyers? How do you put a value on the loss of just one stolen day away from your children? How do you replace the theft of the touch of your child's hand as you walk together to class or the park? What treasure can replace the last moments of the day as the two of you say your prays, and then get that last hug and kiss, as you tuck them in and hear the most priceless words ever spoken, "I Love You, Poppa."?   Mary's childhood is being ripped from my life. Everyday Mary's life is changed one hit or hurtful word at a time and I am held helpless by a corrupt system.  Governor Bush, the Judiciary of The State of Florida gives more rights to heinous criminals on death row than it does to divorced Fathers.  Little girls become women so fast and it takes the love and guidance of a father to help them get there.  I beg you, I plead with you, protect the rights of a loving father that's trying to stay a vital part of his child's life.
Protect Mary.
Please help me.
William Joseph Lake
Pensacola, Florida
[email protected]



Your story is truly heart-breaking... I hope and pray that your situation gets better for the sake of Mary.  It sounds that she loves you despite of her mother, of everything else.  So, please don't lose hope and continue the fight.

God bless you and your daughter!