Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AFC = All For Cash

Actually, AFC stands for "Attorney for Child", and is a person appointed by the court to represent the "best interests" of the child.

Unfortunately, some of them make an entire legal career out of their paycheck as AFC, and develop inappropriate relationships with other Family Court attorneys and CPS.

Two of my children were adults at the time of the false allegations which precipitated this case, and so weren't even a party to the case or in need of or eligible for an AFC.

The only complaints that I have against my middle child's AFC are the following:

  • Although she met often enough with my daughter, she failed to express my daughter's wishes to the court until my daughter sent an advocate into court also.
  • Once my daughter turned 18, she quit the case and returned my daughter's file to her with the directive that my daughter had to find her own attorney. (That lead to a bill of over $20K because of how long they dragged out the case - it should have been tuition money for my daughter for a year.) Given that by that point in time a year had passed and it was VERY apparent that the case was a trainwreck, I really don't blame her in that respect.

The AFC for my youngest daughter was a downright disgrace. I'm not sure if she felt that as a supermodel's sister (and therefore related to a community icon) she had immunity from competence, but her conduct during the course of the case was a blot on the legal profession.

  • Apart from a meeting with my youngest daughter within a few weeks of the false allegations, she did not meet or talk with my daughter again until December - almost five months later.
  • When one of my family members requested visitation arrangements for Thanksgiving, the AFC stated "the father is not interested". This is called "ex parte" communication - representing the father's interest is in direct violation of her appointment and should be punishable by the ethics committee.
  • By her own admission, the AFC was in frequent contact with Ken and Mary Shaw, and represented their interests and advocated for their position, not that of my daughter.
  • The AFC sat in the CPS office consulting with them prior to most of our court dates.
  • The AFC stated on at least one occasion that my youngest daughter was "her child".
  • Most bizarre of all was that the AFC stated that ****** ******* was not my father to the judge and the other attorneys. By now you should know that I have a penchant for writing, and it prompted this response on my Facebook page - which I was aware was being monitored by CPS, the DA, the AFCs, and others.

  • Unfortunately, because of that "public" admonishment of her, the AFC stated to the judge that she was "scared" of me and requested heightened security in the courtroom. (Sorry my dear, I am a firm believer that the pen IS mightier than the sword. I am also a practitioner of non-violence - my airsoft forays are with a camera and not a gun.)
  • Finally, after those last three outbursts, she suffered some sort of "medical issue" and was no longer available for the dispositional hearing. I'm sorry, but incompetence is NOT a medical issue.
And finally there is the AFC for Ruby.  How shall I begin? 
  • During the second year of our ordeal, Ruby's AFC announced her campaign for Family Court Judge. I'm sure she was thinking that she would ride the coattails of a false conviction to a landslide victory. Sorry, it didn't work out that way - most of the county knows that the allegations were false, and when you represent false allegations, you don't have much of a chance.
  • It would be interesting to see if she billed Jefferson County for the time she spent sitting in the courtroom for Jon Massey's trial, because she was there for almost the entire five day 9-5 proceeding.
  • The AFC lied to the judge on at least one occasion regarding Ruby's activities while in foster care.
  • Ruby's AFC presented to the judge from almost the beginning of the case that RUBY wanted an Order of Protection against me and that RUBY wanted no contact with me. But then when convenient,  she repeatedly presented that I was the one who requested no contact. Honey, transcripts don't lie - so you shouldn't either. And we have all the transcripts.
  • Ruby's AFC also repeatedly claimed that Ruby was "heartbroken" that she had lost all contact with her sisters - but her two older sisters repeatedly tried to call her at her foster home, and the CPS notes indicate that Ruby wanted no contact with them.
  • Ruby's AFC wrongfully acted to unseal a Youthful Offender record, with full knowledge that it was sealed - but she portrayed to the judge that "she didn't know".
  • This same AFC also was unable to correctly submit evidence to the court, and had to be taught step by step BY MY ATTORNEY how to do so. Such a wonderful skill set to be lacking while running for the position of judge (yes, that is sarcasm).
So, pardon me if I am cynical, but I think there needs to be a massive overhaul of the AFC program. Too many of these attorneys are only in the program for the cash and have no regard for appropriate legal practices. They treat their job as though their employer is Family Court and CPS, rather than the child for whom they should be vigorously advocating.

It is time for SWEEPING reform of the entire Family Court system, including CPS and the AFC program.

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