A federal judge Tuesday combined a series of civil lawsuits filed in the wake of the Luzerne County juvenile justice scandal into a unified class-action case.
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo's decision cleared a path for resolving the cases, which have languished in the federal court system for more than four years. Judge Caputo previously scheduled jury selection in the cases for December 2013 and January 2014.
The civil-rights claims seek damages from former judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan, who are serving lengthy sentences for racketeering; PA Child Care LLC, Western PA Child Care LLC and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., which own and operate the centers in Pittston Twp. and Butler County, and the former co-owner of those companies, Robert J. Powell, a Drums attorney who paid the judges $770,000.
Judge Caputo, in his ruling, found that each of the lawsuits involved a common set of facts and legal questions and that the number of plaintiffs - more than 4,000 - made individual cases and trials "impracticable."
Judge Caputo divided the plaintiffs into two groups, one of which he subdivided.
Wealthy developer Robert K. Mericle, who paid $2.1 million to two former Luzerne County judges who placed juveniles in two for-profit detention centers built by his construction firm, is no longer a defendant in the lawsuits. He won court approval last year for a $17.75 million settlement with more than 1,000 former offenders who appeared in the county juvenile court in 2004-2008.Lawsuit classes
-‚Class A: 2,421 juveniles who claimed Mr. Ciavarella violated their right to an impartial hearing during the time of the scheme, between 2003 and May 2008. Those convictions, known in juvenile court as adjudications, were vacated, expunged and dismissed by the state Supreme Court in two waves, in October 2009 and March 2010.
-‚Subclass A1: Of those in Class A, 1,855 juveniles who said they were adjudicated delinquent or sent to a detention facility by Mr. Ciavarella without attorney representation and/or without being told in court of their rights and the consequences of waiving those rights.
-‚Subclass A2: Of those in Class A, 1,442 juveniles who were sent by Mr. Ciavarella to the PA Child Care or Western PA Child Care detention facilities.
-‚Class B: More than 2,400 juveniles and parents, according to the plaintiffs' attorneys, who paid fees, costs, fines, restitution or any other monetary charges associated with the Ciavarella-ordered adjudications and placements.
They've been choked, slapped, raped and molested by friends, loved ones and strangers.
They've been called "sluts," told to dress less provocatively and blamed for what happened to them.
But at Thursday night's 23rd annual Take Back the Night rally at Courthouse Square, they were more than just survivors of sexual and domestic violence - they were courageous, brave and encouraging symbols of hope for the crowd of more than 400 people gathered there to support them.
The rally directly addressed an issue many people feel uncomfortable talking about, said Justine Johnson, director of the Jane Kopas Women's Center at the University of Scranton.
"I think sexual assault is an issue we rarely talk about," she said. "And when we have an event with a crowd of more than 400 people, that says this is an issue."
The event was a partnership between the Women's Resource Center and the University of Scranton. Countless women stood in a line of survivors more than 20 people deep, telling their stories and urging their fellow abused to speak out and ask for help.
"We want to inspire you to take an active role in your community," said Anna Faramelli of the Women's Resource Center. "We need to hold each other accountable for the language we use and the actions we take."
Colorful T-shirts were hung on clotheslines around Courthouse Square with positive messages of perseverance and hope, hand painted by those who were victimized.
Emily Miko, a student at the University of Scranton, told the crowd how an older man at the restaurant she worked at as a teenager sexually assaulted her in their workplace. For years, she struggled to deal with her feelings and the repercussions of the assault. She found solace when she finally opened up.
"I discovered my vulnerability makes me beautiful," Ms. Miko said.
Contact the writer: ksullivan@ timesshamrock.com, @ksullivanTT on Twitter
Danielle Ross's parents have a sign for Jim Gibbons on their property.†
The plea deal is being worked out? Sounds that way to me.
The trial was continued. †Both sides have until Friday to submit pretrial motions. †A trial will be scheduled after that.
If Ross escapes the tax charges shame on them for filing them in the first place. The hearing date is still on. Too bad Corbett's term isn't up for re-election. She'd be gone. When does airhead Moyle's term end?
Wait!† What?† Danielle Ross back at her job?†† Please tell me your heard wrong Batman?† These judges have learned nothing from all of this?
Danielle Ross's trial date had been set for April 15 at her preliminary hearing. Does anyone know the† status? Is the trial still on? Did she make a deal?† I heard Judge Corbett believes Danielle will be back next week.†
For many women, having a child is a joyous, albeit life-changing, occasion. But for 57-year-old Isabella Dutton of Britain, it was her biggest mistake.
Dutton, a typist, wrote a first-hand account for the UKs Daily Mail in which she details her regrets about having her two children, Stuart and Jo.
My son Stuart was five days old when the realisation hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life, she wrote. I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.
Dutton said that despite her indifference, she invested all of her time and energy into caring for her children. But she soon came to resent their neediness and the time spent doting on them that could have been used to reflect, read and enjoy her own company.
She described her own family life as happy and conventional as one of five siblings.
I know there are millions who will consider me heinously cold-blooded and unnatural, but I believe there will also be those who secretly feel the same, Dutton wrote.
Universally, it's more common to hear of women who regret the decision not to have children, and according to a recent UK survey, its the same for most men.
The small study, conducted at Keele University, found that men are as likely as women to regret not having children. More than half the men surveyed said they felt jealous of people with kids, compared to under half of the women.
But Dutton is not most women. She never got over the peace and simplicity that she loved about her life before her kids came along.
"It's just that I have been honest - some may contend brutally so - and admitted to my true feelings," she wrote. "In doing so I have broken a supposedly inviolable law of nature. What kind of mother, after all, wishes she hadn't had children?"
A little honesty goes a long way in preventing the wrath that follows†having kids, but this woman didn't have the pre-pregnancy courage to share that honesty with whoever Daddy is. So, why not?†Is the anwer manipulation? When kids are the weapons of manipulation used to†get the fish into the pan (more often than by choice) the love that develops is compromised right out of the womb. Unnatural love is the love of debt, obligation, sympathy or theater, and never the natural love of desire. Today's kids†dominate the domicile with their silver-platter delived control†over the quality of family life because they are not the children of choice, but of manipulation. Failed manipulation imports enough of its own anger-driven regret, but when it includes having to take†care of kids, losing freedoms, a change or loss†in bodily assets†and the loss of many of life's comforts, guilt becomes the silent killer of the patience needed to raise kids with the right combination of guiding love and tough love. Fittingly, it's a guilt most mothers cannot share. They often take it to their graves with them, because it's the guilt companioned with having children born of deceit and manipulation. How many mothers look at their kids and think, "If this kid only knew†the false maternal strength I have to summon to take care of him." and the kid is still in diapers.†They're a brave class of people in society, but they're also the most miserable, disgusted and lonely people in society. It's an all-give and no-get, guilt-laden†relationship with another†human being that comes with no options to get out, thus so many Moms on medication. So, what does a Mom do with kids she doesn't want when†the†shock sets in that she only manipulated herself? What else is there for her to do? She lives the life of denial ever-careful not to let that†appetite-less guilt show around either Grandma. They wouldn't want Grandma to think they were as stupid as Grandma. Grandmas call that payback.†It's the prison cell that keeps on depriving. No lock. No key. Just a few little†Wardens making sure the sentence is carried out. †††††††
Wolf pack wrote:Castille is one of the strongest proponents of keeping things status quo, i.e., dirty and corrupt.†Nothing will change with this bullshyt report. It's no different than that disasterous AOPC report.† Just theater - nothing more and nothing less.† Blah, blah, blah.
Castille is one of the strongest proponents of keeping things status quo, i.e., dirty and corrupt.†Nothing will change with this bullshyt report. It's no different than that disasterous AOPC report.† Just theater - nothing more and nothing less.† Blah, blah, blah.
The five-page report,†(†http://www.thelegalintel.com/report/final_report.pdf†) penned by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, was released Monday and reviews, among other things, each of the procedural rule amendments the high court has adopted since the ICJJ issued its recommendations in May 2010, as well as those the court is either still considering or has declined to implement.
ELois P. Clayton
April 10, 2013 01:16 PM
ALERT!I think it's a BAD idea, to holt the courts from submitting monthly reports, for that relaxes the responsibility of the courts and converst right BACK to the OLD way of doing things.
Rust Belt Rob
April 09, 2013 08:40 AM
I don't believe that the report mentions that the "Money Man," the Briber in this case, and partner of the son of the Supreme Court Justice mentioned by Mr. Hohol in his comment above, has not been sentenced yet although he pleaded guilty a while back. He remains in business and he has been able to settle numerous lawsuits against his actions during this period amounting to several million dollars.This would make a good column for "The Legal Intelligencer."
By†Zack Needles†Contact†All Articles†
The Legal Intelligencer
April 8, 2013
Pa. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille
The state Supreme Court has issued its final progress report on the implementation of changes recommended by the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which was convened in response to the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal.
The five-page report, penned by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, was released Monday and reviews, among other things, each of the procedural rule amendments the high court has adopted since the ICJJ issued its recommendations in May 2010, as well as those the court is either still considering or has declined to implement.
The ICJJ was established to investigate the Luzerne County juvenile justice system in the wake of a scandal that eventually led to a conviction by jury for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and a guilty plea for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael T. Conahan on racketeering charges.
In Monday's final report, Castille said that, despite the scandal, "Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system has long been considered one of the best systems in the United States."
"Unfortunately, two judges in Luzerne County have caused unimaginable taint to the laudable efforts of many dedicated individuals, conduct for which those two judges presently are paying dearly," Castille said.
Conahan pleaded guilty in 2010 to one count of racketeering and is currently serving a 17-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence.
In February 2011, a federal jury in Scranton found Ciavarella guilty of 12 of the 39 counts of corruption filed against him, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, honest services mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy and a host of tax fraud charges. He is now serving a 28-year sentence in federal prison.
Since April 2011, according to Monday's report, the Supreme Court has adopted nearly 60 procedural rule amendments, ranging from a prohibition on the use of restraints on juveniles during court proceedings to a requirement that juvenile court judges issue findings of fact and conclusions of law before ordering a juvenile to be removed from his or her home.
The Supreme Court has also adopted amendments requiring extensive colloquies of juveniles before allowing them to waive counsel or admit guilt and requiring judges who are notified that they are a target of an investigation by law enforcement to notify the chief justice within five days, according to the report.
Castille said in the report that the court is still considering proposed rule amendments mandating continuing legal education for juvenile court masters and hearing officers but noted that the court declined to adopt the ICJJ's recommendations regarding mandatory education for judges assigned to juvenile cases and expedited appeals for certain orders transferring juvenile delinquency cases to and from criminal court.
Castille said there are already a number of judicial education opportunities available in Pennsylvania, which many juvenile court judges voluntarily take advantage of.
Castille said the court declined to adopt the ICJJ's recommendation regarding expedited appeals "because of the small volume of such appeals, the arguable availability of other vehicles of review, and the opposition registered in response to a proposed procedure that was published for public comment."
But Castille said that while the court has done all it can with regard to the ICJJ's recommendations, its job is not finished.
"While other recommendations made by the ICJJ are beyond the jurisdiction of this court and involve actions specific to the executive or legislative branches, the Supreme Court and the judicial branch will continue to improve Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system in order to ensure that its reputation is restored and that justice is dispensed fairly and impartially," Castille said.
In addition to the rule amendments the Supreme Court adopted, Castille noted that the court has established a Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees, which, similar to the state's Whistleblower Law, protects from retaliation employees who report wrongdoing in the court system.
The Code of Conduct also protects those employees who participate in any investigation that stems from that reporting, according to Castille.
Castille also mentioned in Monday's report the Supreme Court's decision to expunge the criminal records of 2,401 juveniles based on the recommendation of Supreme Court Special Master and Berks County Senior Judge Arthur Grim, who reviewed every juvenile delinquency case handled by Ciavarella and Conahan.
"The Supreme Court also assigned Judge Grim to review all victim restitution claims by those individuals affected by the delinquent conduct of those juveniles," Castille said. "That process has now been completed and victims have now been compensated by means of a special fund appropriated by the state legislature for this purpose."
In addition, according to Castille, the Supreme Court had ordered monthly progress reports from former Luzerne County President Judge Chester Muroski and current President Judge Thomas Burke.
Castille said the high court has since commended the two judges on their efforts to improve the county's justice system, which were laid out in the Luzerne County Juvenile Justice Task Force's October 2010 report.
"The report stands as a model for positively addressing almost every aspect of the treatment of juvenile offenders by each agency in Luzerne County having responsibility in this area," Castille said, adding that the Supreme Court has since stopped requiring the Luzerne County courts to file progress reports.
Zack Needles†can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or†firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@ZNeedlesTLI.
April 08, 2013 05:39 PM
Power and money are all that counts today. Character, right and wrong, and balls are a distant memory. Thought a guy like Bob Surrick, leading the charge aganst corruption, would wake some people up. Guess not.
April 08, 2013 05:05 PM
A complete and thorough cover-up by Castille and Company. Does his final report include the fact that the Supreme Court itself was petitioned (King's Bench) by a juvenile advocacy group from Phila. and joined by the State Attorney General begging the Supreme Court to intervene in Luzerne County long before the feds stepped in? Does he discuss the fact that the son of a retired Chief Justice of this very court owned half of the kiddie prison that paid some of the bribes and is at the heart of this issue? Does Castille discuss how the Judicial Conduct Board shelved a detailed complaint about this very matter in order to prosecute the judge (Lokuta) who was suspected of submitting an anonymous but detailed complaint on this matter? Everyone wring your hands at the same time and tell the Chief Justice what a great job he did and how lucky we are that he is in charge. Every one of you deserve being lead by this man as not one amongst you dare question this insanity. And to think we have thousands of brave heroes dying on foreign soil to protect this joke of a system. God bless their souls..........if they only knew. Sign me: Larry Hohol Youtube/Worse Than Rodney King
Read more about it in Tuesdays†Legal. ///EDITED AT 757PM WHEN UPDATED FOR TUESDAY'S EDITION /// READER COMMENTS INCLUDED ABOVE WERE POSTED WITH THE ABBREVIATED ARTICLE EARLIER APRIL 8TH///-- Edited by scrantonianna on Monday 8th of April 2013 07:39:06 PM
Bonnie Shelp has been around a long time. She managed to stay under the radar most of the time. The judges like her, so do many lawyers.† She's no Danielle Ross.† She doesn't have that greed factor at all, as you'll all see.† Give her a shot.†
HAZLETON - Two-year-old Emanuel Gonzalez was beaten to death in December 2007, a victim of domestic violence.
The case shocked many in Luzerne County, and a Hazleton investigator said it was one of the worst cases of domestic violence this area witnessed in recent years.
Paula Triano, executive director of the Domestic Violence Service Center, which serves Luzerne and Carbon counties, said Luzerne County had the third-highest number of domestic violence homicides in Pennsylvania in 2009 and 2011. There were nine deaths in 2009 and 11 deaths in 2011 in Luzerne County, ranking it behind only Philadelphia and Allegheny County.
According to records kept by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Lackawanna County had four domestic violence deaths in 2011, tying six other counties for 11th place among the 36 counties that had domestic violence deaths that year; and two in 2009, tying five other counties for 21st place in the state out of the 41 that had domestic violence deaths.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects information on extreme cases of domestic violence from local media accounts and compiles an annual fatality report. The list is meant to raise awareness of domestic violence in the hope of preventing it, to remember the victims and to hold perpetrators accountable, said Peg Dierkers, executive director of the coalition, which works with 60 domestic violence centers in the state.
Ms. Dierkers called domestic violence a "silent epidemic," because people are embarrassed to talk about it. That illustrates a point well-known to those who deal with domestic violence - not every case is reported, but by reaching out to the public with information, perhaps the next one can be avoided.
Emanuel was unresponsive and covered in vomit inside the Hazleton apartment he shared with his mother, Lillian Torres, and her then-boyfriend, Alexander Garcia, when an ambulance crew responded to a 911 call for a fall victim.
An autopsy showed the boy had more than 100 injuries and died from multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force trauma. Prosecutors said Mr. Garcia caused those injuries, and Ms. Torres didn't do enough to stop it.
Domestic violence is not just between a man and a woman, according to Jenny Roberts, head of the Luzerne County district attorney's Special Victims Unit. She said an adult abuse victim often will say their abuser would never hit a child, but in Emanuel's case, the abuser did - repeatedly.
Mr. Garcia was physically abusing his girlfriend and she was scared of him, but the abuse "trickled down to her son," Ms. Roberts said. Had Ms. Torres done something about her own abuse, the toddler may have not died, she said.
Hazleton Detective Lt. Ken Zipovsky said Mr. Garcia controlled Ms. Torres. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole, court papers state. Ms. Torres pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children. She was sentenced to nine to 23 months in prison.
Talking in general terms, Ms. Triano said she often will hear people ask about a domestic violence victim, "Why didn't she just leave?" But the truth, she said, is outsiders don't know the victim's circumstances. Only the victim knows when it's safe to leave, Ms. Triano said.
Ms. Roberts said fear, love, extreme life changes, embarrassment and an economic necessity sometimes make a person stay in an abusive relationship. Lt. Zipovsky said some victims feel that if they keep the abuser around, at least they can watch what they are doing.
Physical abuse is only part of domestic violence, he said. Abusers know their victims intimately, they know their fears and they know how to prey on them, Lt. Zipovsky said.
"They know how to get power and control," he said.
Leaving, he said, is one of the most dangerous times.
Ms. Triano said the aggressor displays power and control and when the victim decides to leave, the abuser is starting to lose that power and control.
Typically, Ms. Triano said her center sees a victim nine to 10 times before they permanently leave the abuser.
The agency offers options counseling, she said, never telling the victim what to do but providing enough knowledge to empower them to make the right decision when they know it's safe to make a move.
"We can tell them to leave, but it may be the time he kills her," Ms. Triano said.
Though a domestic violence conviction will not keep a perpetrator in jail for life, by leaving and pressing charges, the victim is regaining power; it shows a "great deal" of strength to testify against the abuser and admit being a victim, Ms. Roberts said.
"It's also showing the abuser you are strong, that you can do that, that you will do it," she said.
Lt. Zipovsky said many victims are ashamed to admit violence in their home, but they shouldn't be. The victim hasn't done anything wrong, he said, and police and domestic violence agencies are there to help.
While some cases are reported to police and some victims find a way out, others do neither.
Sugarloaf Twp. Police Chief Josh Winters believes there are more cases of domestic violence than police are aware of.
Hand on a trigger
Domestic violence often starts with yelling and screaming, and sometimes it gets worse, leaving one of those involved fearing they will be injured. Chief Winters said a person should call police at the point they fear things may turn physically violent.
Ms. Roberts said domestic violence affects all types of people from different races, socio-economic backgrounds, ages and educational levels. It can be related to alcohol and drugs or mental health issues, she said, though they are not always the reason.
Alcohol and drugs play a big role in domestic violence because they change people's perception, as they cannot think as clearly as they would if sober. "How many people get the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome?" Chief Winters said.
Ms. Triano said the economy causes stress that exacerbates domestic violence.
Butler Twp. Police Chief David Pavelko added infidelity, loss of a job or end of a relationship to the list of triggers for domestic violence. Cases seem to rise during holidays, he said, possibly due to financial stress and alcohol consumption.
Chief Pavelko also said if the abuser was exposed to domestic violence as a child, it could make the person more likely to turn into an abuser as an adult.
"And the cycle continues," he said.
Over the past few decades, state laws have been changed to provide police and victims a safer outcome, Lt. Zipovsky said.
Ms. Roberts said in domestic violence cases, law enforcement has a legal right to make an arrest if they see visible signs of an assault, unlike other cases where they need a witness.
If a victim refuses to file charges against the abuser or get police involved, they can still obtain a protection-from-abuse order, which is a civil document available in county court, Ms. Roberts said.
Often an officer will file charges in domestic cases and the victim refuses to testify. In other cases, the victim backs out once it gets to court because they have "mended their fences," Chief Winters said. In a lot of those cases, he said, police will return to the address.
Though that outcome is "unsettling" to police, Lt. Zipovsky said, it's not a failure because the officer removed the victim from further harm. It also gave the victims a chance to get away from the abuse and decide if they want help, he said.
Chief Winters said domestic violence victims are handed information by police about the crime, but they have to decide to follow that advice.
Even without a victim, Lt. Zipovsky said police can still proceed with charges if there is enough evidence.
The detective said domestic violence emergency calls are among the most dangerous for law enforcement to handle because an officer is entering a person's home during a turbulent time where weapons can be used against police.
There also are times where a victim stands up for the abuser and impedes the arrest, becoming violent toward police.
Chief Pavelko said officers go into a domestic violence case expecting the worst.
Ms. Triano said she has seen "horrible things" - women with bruises and cigarette burns, for instance, "things you can't imagine" - through her work at the Domestic Violence Service Center.
She has seen success stories, too, such as an unnamed woman who finally left her abuser permanently before coming to the center. She went back to school, became a registered nurse and now helps people in need.
Ms. Roberts said victims often are referred to the center, which provides shelter in addition to counseling and information.
Domestic violence centers are anonymous, not marked with a sign. "It's a safe haven where they can go," Ms. Roberts said, adding that not even district attorneys know where they are.
Ms. Triano said the center offers transitional housing, counseling, support groups, advocacy with other agencies, accompaniment to protection-from-abuse hearings, children's programs and training programs.
Abusers also are encouraged to call the center to help themselves, as it has contacts for aggressor counseling.
The Luzerne County district attorney's office has a victim/witness unit that provides information on victim compensation for medical bills and property damage and on counseling.
"I think they should know that there is help and this is not something they have to keep living with," Chief Winters said. "Stop suppressing it, thinking it will cure itself, and make a move to make it better."
Contact the writer: email@example.comWarning signs
Local police, the Domestic Violence Service Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence offer these warning signs of being in an abusive relationship:
-‚Being isolated from family and friends.
-‚The abuser frequently embarrasses or makes fun of someone in front of others.
-‚Intimidation is used to make the victim do what the abuser wants.
-‚The victim feels there is no way out of the relationship.
-‚The person is forced to perform sex acts they don't enjoy.
-‚Threats of force, with words or weapons involved.
-‚Uses drugs or alcohol as an excuse for the abuse.
-‚Gets angry frequently with no reason why.
-‚Blaming the victim for the pain they have caused.
More information and education materials can be found at www.pcadv.org. It is confidential and free.
In Lackwanna and Susquehanna counties, call the Women's Resource Center 24-hour crisis line at 346-4671 (Lackawanna County) or 800-257-5765 (Susquehanna County). In Luzerne and Carbon counties, call the Domestic Violence Service Center at 823-6799 (daytime) or the hotline at 823-7312 or 800-424-5600.
Cops: Loose python, unsupervised kids
HANOVER TWP. - Police responding to a report of seven unsupervised children arrived at a First Street home to find filthy conditions and a sleeping 12-year-old boy in charge of watching a 1-year-old baby.
The house had no heat, and the unsupervised baby, who was wandering the kitchen in soiled pajamas, had been burned by a space heater, police said. Somewhere in the house, a pet python was on the loose.
The children's mother, Ajajoy Kathryn Slater, 33, of 411 First St., is charged with a count of endangering the welfare of her children. She remains free on her own recognizance. She is due in court for an arraignment at 9:30 a.m. May 31.
The health officer condemned the house and children's services took the children into protective custody.
Ross does not have judicial immunity. She's vulnerable. Go get her. She had duties to many people and breached them repeatedly. That's all it takes is to show the breach. Done deal.
What about the emotional and financial damage that has affected†all of the†families who've had to endure Danielle Ross and the entire Family court system over there?†(She's not the only one who has knowingly wronged families BTW!)† Merely taking her off of our cases is not enough!† Damage has already been done and I sincerely don't think that that much will change yet.† Is there anybody out there who may have researched or started a class action suit?† Please let me know as I have zero legal knowledge or legal experience before this nightmare, but I think that this situation is worthy of a class action.
If Shelp is like Ross it should not take long before she gets
her cases all backed up and ends up in the same trouble as Ross.
Money is not everything Shelp better realize this,I pray
for all of you that Shelp will perform like a professional and do the job
if she is appointed.
If youi're the patient you get them from your doctor. If you're not you can't get them.
Three friends of mine have Bonnie Shelp as their GAL. None of them are impressed at all.†Like Ross, she doesn't return phone calls and like Ross she works for the one with the heavier hand.†
How does one go about getting very old Dr. reports? OMFG!
Child pornography charges have been filed against a 24-year-old Gary, Ind., mother who is accused of selling her infant daughter to a man who allegedly recorded the girl being sexually abused between the ages of 4 months and 18 months old.(Photo: Brett T. Roseman for USA TODAY)
An Indiana mother has been indicted for allegedly selling her infant daughter to a man who used the girl to make child pornography.
The abuse began when the infant was 4 months old and lasted until she was 18 months old, the FBI said.
Natisha Hillard, 24, and Christopher M. Bour, 39, both of Gary, Ind., were indicted Wednesday and are being held without bail. They are to be arraigned on child pornography charges Monday in federal court in Hammond.
In the indictments, Hillard was charged with one count of sale of a child by a parent for production of child pornography and one count of permitting a child by a parent to participate in the production of child pornography.
Bour was charged with one count of purchase of a child for production of child pornography, one count of production of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography featuring a minor under the age of 12.
The FBI began investigating Feb. 13 after being alerted by a unnamed masseuse who said Bour had texted her about his intentions to sexually abuse the child, according to the criminal complaint.
Two of Bour's messages read:
U wanna watch me play with a baby tomorrow a real one ;)
I get a chance once in a while I was just seeing if you would hold the camera
The woman said that she had seen child porn movies on Bour's laptop during previous visits to houses he lived in while renovating them. He also said he had expressed interest in "animal love."
Later on Feb. 13, the masseuse allowed an FBI agent to assume her identity, and he then texted Bour about what he planned to do with the infant. Bour responded with graphic descriptions, said he had done it before and that the mother approved.
Yeah ive done it several times its cool she not coming just so u know u turned on by it?
On Feb. 14, FBI agents obtained a search warrant, seized a computer and arrested Bour at home.
Bour told investigators that the text messages were just "fantasy" or "role playing" and that he had never had sexual contact with any minor.
A week later, a Michigan City, Ind., police investigator found "numerous images depicting Bour engaged in various sexual acts with an infant female who appears to be between 6 months and 18 months old," the criminal complaint states.
Investigators then found a text from Bour to a number traced to Hillard asking for "Pic of the baby."
On Feb. 22, Bour told investigators he had met her through a dating service and knew her as "Lakita" or "Lakisha."
The court documents don't say how much Bour allegedly paid Hillard to abuse the child.
Comments can be added to the document by any reader. †If one has g-mail credentials to sign in, then the user may add to the files and folders /collaborate.
Nice score there, Scrantonianna.† That is a treasure trove of information and all of it is pretty eyebrow raising stuff.† I had no idea there was so much staff in the judiciary.†
In this folder ---†
(Judicial) Financial Records Reports †& Judicial Expenditure (Pennsylvania) †
there is a†subfolder†entitled†
NBHCC - Northeast Behavioral Healthcare Consortium†
This subfolder contains a few Form 990s. †e.g. 2008 Gross Receipts of†$ 111,334,783.
So who is investigating AOPC?
BTW: I guess the whole state might soon be deemed in need of nut treatment?
Two weeks after a court-appointed family court lawyer was indicted by a federal grand jury for alleged tax evasion, Lackawanna County President Judge Thomas M. Munley testified before the same grand jury.
Even though grand jury witnesses are free to discuss their testimony, Judge Munley said after his appearance that he was ordered to remain silent by the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts, the bureaucratic arm of the state Supreme Court.
That is highly unfortunate because there is very much for the courts to disclose to the people of Lackawanna County.
The indicted court official is Danielle Ross Pietralczyk, who as guardian ad litem represents children in some custody disputes. According to the indictment, she allegedly failed to report payments she had received from parents.
Those charges are not the only alleged irregularities regarding the family court. In October 2011 court administrator Ronald Mackay fired former President Judge Chester Harhut's law clerks, Judith Lettieri and Patricia Rieder, days after they were subpoenaed to testify before the same grand jury that later indicted Ms. Ross Pietralczyk.
Judge Munley, who succeeded Judge Harhut as president judge, reinstated both clerks a few weeks later. The AOPC, the same agency that instructed Judge Munley to be silent, agreed in May to pay $29,855 to Ms. Rieder and $22,000 to Ms. Lettieri, all without explanation.
All of these developments require public explanation from the AOPC and the local court, not the silence that has been draped over the matter. As it stands, this is just another case in which federal investigators are left to unravel a local mess.
How many normal people can be made into nut cases by the family court systematic forced treatment and/or contact process, while good parents are stripped of every dime? 700 families? Thats at least 2100 money makers. Who is making the most on that?
With Ross out of the picture, what guardians are being used.† At least with Ross gone there won't be so many families forced in the whole system of evaluations and crap like that. I could see an evaluation if a parent showed they really were nuts, but there can't be that many nutty parents to send them all for one. Let's hope that the cases left in Ross' wake get fair treatment now.