Saturday, April 4, 2015

PA - Connect the Dots

At the time of the false allegations against Jon Massey, my youngest daughter was on visitation with her father in Canada (he is a Canadian citizen, we only live 30 minutes from a border crossing).

My daughter was born here in the US, had lived with me her entire life (she was almost eight), and I had been granted full custody by NYS Family Court, a United States court. This was reaffirmed when she was three years old due to some issues that had arisen.

Ken Shaw had only asked for visitation every third weekend, two weeks during the summer, and half of her Christmas vacation (beginning on Boxing Day - December 26th), and recently he had dropped off even some of his summer visitation time on weekends - despite the fact that he repeatedly claimed that he wanted her more and that I was keeping him from having her more. We have the court transcripts to confirm the true version, not the line of revisionist history that Ken Shaw was giving to CPS, Family Court, and his family members.

Additionally, at the time of the false allegationsKen Shaw was 17 months in arrears in child support - he had failed to make any payments since March of 2011. The amount owed was over $3000, more on that later.

At the onset, Ken Shaw repeatedly stated to: my neighbors, myself, Jon Massey, my attorney, Jon's attorney, the CPS caseworker, and even my youngest daughter's AFC that he did NOT believe the allegations against Jon, that Ruby was a "liar and a troublemaker" and had been even when he knew her while we were dating, and that she had "told lies about his sons".

He and his wife were reasonably cooperative, allowing my middle child and I to spend extended amounts of time with my youngest daughter, unsupervised at my house while he and his wife went shopping or ran errands. This continued for almost two weeks. And then his attorney, who had been on vacation, came back into town.

I have since gotten multiple reports from local attorneys, as well as several attorneys from other surrounding locales, that they have all had personal experiences in court, similar to what appears next, when they have opposed this particular attorney in a divorce/custody battle. Some of this attorney's former clients have even come forward to document similar behaviors.

My middle daughter was due to graduate from high school, a full year early with a college level math course already under her belt, and Ken Shaw agreed to bring my youngest daughter down to go to dinner and then the graduation, as he already had an appointment with his attorney. But on the day they were due to arrive, Ken informed us that they wouldn't arrive in time for us to go to dinner, and then eventually they arrived barely in time to accompany us to graduation. Afterwards they whisked my youngest daughter away immediately.

Additionally, Ken had taken the time that day to file for custody of my daughter, simply on the grounds that there was an order of protection against me.

Things went downhill from there.  We were going to court at least once a month at this point, and so there was opportunity to address issues fairly frequently. (And I have the transcripts of these proceedings to document what I am reporting here.)

At the next court date Ken and his attorney insisted that all visitations now needed to occur in Canada. They claimed that it was "too far to drive" and "unfair". So visitation now occurred in Canada.

Understandably, my middle daughter and I wanted to see my little girl as much as possible since she had lived continuously with us since birth, but Ken expressed that he didn't want to let us see her every weekend. And the next time we were in court, Ken and his attorney claimed that we were "stalking" him and my youngest daughter using her iPod touch that I had bought for her and let her take to his house - with his permission. (For those of you not familiar with the iPod touch, it can only connect to the internet using wi-fi, and there is no GPS chip in an iPod.) Now I was pleasantly surprised that even my youngest daughter's AFC realized that his claim was a little bit bizarre, to say the least.

So the judge ordered him to return the iPod to me - but for some reason he refused to do so, despite email requests and reminders at visitation, for another four months. When we got it back, there was documentation that someone in his household, other than my daughter, had been using it for a variety of things.

Additionally, at this point, the judge clarified that I was to get visitation with my youngest daughter every other weekend, since Ken had been less than cooperative in allowing us to see her. Other than that there was to be "a supervisor" (not necessarily Ken) specified in the paperwork, there were no other restrictions.

At this point in time, a matter of serious concern came to our attention - my youngest daughter reported that "they" were putting "stuff" on her thumbs to keep her from sucking her thumbs, and both Ken and his wife bragged that they would go into her bedroom at night and "pull her thumb out of her mouth" while she was sleeping. The conversation took place on two consecutive visits, and my middle daughter and I witnessed that my youngest daughter's thumbs were red and raw. My youngest daughter actually named the "stuff" as "Stop and Go", and we researched thumb sucking substances on the internet to get an idea of what was being used. (Sidebar: although we couldn't find "stop and go", we did learn that thumb sucking liquids contained either propylene glycol - antifreeze; acetone - nail polish remover; or capsaicin - extract from hot chili peppers...none of which should be used on a child.) Ignoring the issue that my daughter was obviously under stress from what had been done to her by CPS, use of force or chemicals is not appropriate on a child. So my daughter and I reported this to the CPS caseworker.

And at the next court date, Ken and his attorney claimed that we were trying to avoid his supervision and were "whispering" to my youngest daughter and telling her "inappropriate things". (Apparently in their eyes it was inappropriate to tell her that we loved her and missed her and that her best friends that she had known for three or more years had been asking about her.) We explained that Ken and his wife had been less than cooperative in scheduling visitations, and that they would sometimes cut the visits short because they "had shopping" or "had to visit Mary's mother".

The judge then specified that visitations were to occur for four hours every other weekend. So at least we got a little more specificity that we could hold them to. Meanwhile, during visits Ken and his wife would walk away, and do their own shopping - or on one occasion even got into an argument in a public location. Ken would repeatedly tell my youngest daughter that she was a "spoiled little girl" if we bought her things - books, dolls, puzzles, toys - somthing that we would do every other weekend when she lived with us. My youngest daughter reported that Ken and Mary had started telling her that she was NOT allowed to have us buy her anything. I had to explain that during visitation time it was her time to spend with me and that she was allowed to pick out items and I would tell her whether or not she could have them based on appropriateness or cost. (Yes, there were several times that I told her no based on those criteria.)

Additionally during this time period one of our attorney's approached my daughter's AFC to inform her about the thumb-sucking issue and to request Thanksgiving visitation.

So at the next court date was ANOTHER set of false allegations from Ken and his attorney - once again claims that we were trying to violate the supervised visitation guidelines. And again we presented to the judge that this wasn't the case and that we were getting the runaround on visitation being scheduled, and that we had attempted to schedule time at Thanksgiving and had been blocked by Ken and my youngest daughter's AFC (who had expressed Ken's opinion without ever speaking to my daughter).

The judge ordered that visitation be four hours every other weekend on Saturday, and at this point was really disgusted and kept stating that he wanted the parents to COOPERATE and jointly plan visitation with input from my youngest daughter. Additionally the judge addressed the issue of Christmas visitation and ordered that I be allowed six hours either on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after Christmas in ADDITION TO the every other Saturday four hours, and for the attorneys to work it out.

Meanwhile, my attorney submitted a petition for custody of my youngest daughter that included details of Ken's behavior over the past years, including the issue of back child support and screenshots from his Facebook page that documented some serious concerns about his mental stability.

About now is also when the nasty emails from Ken began. Every time I attempted to work with him, he would send me an email that stated "I am in charge", "I am in control", "the judge put me in charge", and all sorts of abusive language.

And at the next court date, Ken and his attorney still had not responded to repeated requests from my attorney to schedule the Christmas visitation, so the judge ordered that I not only have visitation on December 22, but also for five hours on December 26. And AGAIN the judge ordered cooperation.

At a home visit with the CPS caseworker on December 21, we informed her that the placement of my youngest daughter outside of the US was a Hague Convention violation and that we would be taking action accordingly. In order to place outside the country, there had to be proof of "imminent danger" and mere 'neglect' did NOT qualify.

Then we had visitation on December 22, which turned into a mess at the instigation of Ken and Mary Shaw. Click here to read the specific details.

So after these inappropriate and physically aggressive incidents that were demonstrated by Ken and Mary Shaw, with accompanying false allegations, we were facing Christmas vacation on December 26th.

At the time, it appeared that that visit went reasonably well, even though Ken and Mary Shaw apparently had a different agenda and later made more false allegations. Click here to read specific details.

Things didn't get any better - on or around February 5, Ken and his attorney filed a response to my custody petition that claimed, among other things, that Ken had overpaid me over $3000 in child support. (This is laughable because I have the reports from BOTH NYS support collections and Canadian support collections that demonstrate his debt and lack of payment.) He also made a number of other false allegations, but NONE of them were about me physically or sexually abusing my youngest daughter.

Since every court date and visit with the CPS caseworker resulted in new claims that my middle daughter and I were being inappropriate at visitation, I started carrying a digital audio recorder that would record the entire length of the visit.

At the beginning of February there was a nasty incident in a movie theater at visitation. We went to a kid's movie on its opening weekend, and the theater was very crowded. We finally found five seats in a row, and I went in first followed by my youngest daughter. Ken and Mary pushed past my other daughter, and I asked if they could move down a seat so that she could sit on the other side of me (which would have still meant that Ken was sitting on one side of my youngest daughter). Ken immediately, in the middle of a theater full of parents and other children, began screaming about the judge's orders and how he "had to sit by Amelia". I once again calmly told him that I just wanted him to move down one seat so that my middle daughter could sit on the other side of me, and I gestured to give him a visual at the same time. Finally, after continuing to yell and make derogatory statements, he moved down.

Within days, he went to the Kingston Police Department and filed another false report. (Note: Kingston Police have been very cooperative in providing dates of reports filed with them. They have stated that they don't believe Ken and feel that my youngest daughter has been coached and coerced.)

The nasty, controlling emails continued as well as snarky comments at visitation. Meanwhile, the automated phone line for Canadian support collections was indicating an escalating level of actions that were being taken against Ken for his lack of payment of child support. The automated system also indicated that notices had been mailed to Ken about the actions that they were taking/going to take.

On March 2 Ken and Mary were late to visitation with no reason, and we learned later that they left Canada and entered the US (Homeland Security was very helpful at that point). Despite the fact that there were no restrictions on phone contact with my youngest daughter at that point, all our attempts to contact her by phone were unsuccessful for a period of two weeks.

On March 9 the Canadian support system phone line listed that Ken Shaw was being served with a Writ of Seizure and Sale for non-payment of his child support arrears.

My daughter and I were denied our court ordered visitation on March 16 because Ken and Mary Shaw wouldn't even respond to phone calls. Later, Ken made the false allegation via email that I had been making harassing phone calls to his parents during that time period. All of our phone records document that the only calls made to any Canadian number were to his and Mary's home and cell phones.

On March 20 Ken made a report to the therapist who was seeing my youngest daughter, and on March 21 Ken made another false report to Kingston Police claiming that I had sexually molested my youngest daughter. These reports were basically dismissed by both Kingston Police and Canadian CPS, we have documentation of this in a letter from Canadian CPS.

On April 2 Ken, after realizing that he was getting nowhere with Canadian authorities, filed a false report of sexual abuse with NYS CPS - and also included that I had sexually and physically abused Ruby and my middle daughter.

We were in court on April 4, and even the judge expressed disbelief, and didn't suspend my visitation. However he also didn't appoint a different supervisor for my protection. I hired a Canadian private investigator to monitor the visitation, and the only thing that she witnessed was inappropriate physical aggression and behaviors from Mary towards my youngest daughter.

We were back in court in May, and the fact that I'd had a PI there came up. The judge blew his top but then understood that in light of the false allegations it had been for my protection. At that time he ordered that I be allowed an adult in addition to my middle daughter to accompany me on visitation. Ken and Mary Shaw and his attorney sat right there, listened to it and acknowledeged the judge's orders. The judge also ordered that there were to be NO MORE electronic recordings, NO MORE private investigators, and there was to be cooperation.

At the very next visitation, I brought an adult neighbor who had known my youngest daughter since she was born. We were already at Denny's when Ken and Mary Shaw walked in. When they saw that I had someone with me in addtion to my daughter, they grabbed my youngest daughter by the wrist and dragged her out of the restaurant without saying a word. The neighbor and I followed them out and I reminded them that the judge had ordered that I could bring another person, and they began screaming that I was I liar and that another adult was not allowed, and they left.

They also sent a fax to CPS inquiring as to when the judge had ordered that I be allowed a second person, and demanding that they have complete control over who I was allowed to bring.

At the following visit, we brought a different adult, with even worse outcome. Not only did Ken start the visitation by placing a recording device in the middle of the table at the restaurant (in direct violation of the judge's orders), his behavior went far beyond what is acceptable or right. You can read specifics of it here.

The judge ordered that an independent psychologist be brought in to evaluate the situation with my youngest daughter, and the DSS attorney ignored the judge's orders to the point that the judge sanctioned him with a $1000 fine. Yes, we have the paperwork on that too.

The outside psychologist interviewed Ken and Mary Shaw, myself, did a psychological evaluation on my middle daughter (he had been given orders to do so by the CPS caseworker - without her attorney's knowledge or consent, and the caseworker later denied it), and my youngest daughter. He then tried to arrange to be at a visitation so that he could get an accurate picture of what was going on.

He called the CPS caseworker and got permission to have Ken and Mary Shaw leave while he supervised. (The court order only specifies a "supervisor", not Ken or any other individual.)On Thursday before a visitation he attempted to call Ken - and a man answered the phone, told him "wrong number", then hung up. A few minutes later Ken called back from the same number and admitted that it had been him. The psychologist made the arrangements that Ken and Mary would leave the visitation on Saturday (with the permission and prearrangement of the CPS caseworker), and Ken agreed to it.

On Saturday I showed up at Denny's and that is when the psychologist let me know that he would be observing the visitation. He explained the arrangements he had made above - it was fine by me since someone else would finally witness the interactions and dynamics going on, someone hired by the court.

When Ken and Mary Shaw arrived, they weren't surprised to see him, but when he asked them to leave, both Ken and Mary became belligerent. Ken refused to leave claiming that he was the only supervisor allowed. When he asked Mary to leave, she insisted that she would NOT leave unless the adult I had with me left also (exceedingly inappropriate as we had ridden together about an hour and a half and crossed an international boundary and he had no transportation of his own).

The psychologist continued to observe the visitation, and Ken and Mary Shaw showed their true colors throughout the whole time. When he appeared at a hearing to testify in February, the DSS attorney refused to admit the psychologist's report, even at the judge's order. My attorney finally admitted the report, over the objections of the DSS attorney, Ken Shaw's attorney, and the AFCs on the case.

Meanwhile, I had an expungement hearing scheduled in January, and the DSS attorney called Ken Shaw to testify. At that hearing Ken admitted that he had lied to the police about at least one incident, and he also claimed that not only did he witness the alleged incidents where I "sexually molested" my daughter and he did nothing, that my youngest daughter had also told him the night of December 26 that I had molested her that day (yet not a word was said to her AFC, to CPS, to DSS attorney, to her therapist, to Kingston Police, to her therapist, or to the court).

Within a few days of the expungement hearing I received a packet in the mail from a Canadian attorney. The packet contained a petition that Ken Shaw had filed in Ontario for custody of my youngest daughter. Filing for an action in a different court while it is already an open matter in a court is known as venue shopping, and illegal in both countries as signatories to the Hague Convention. Yet despite having the signed and notarized petition with us at the Family Court hearing in February, Ken Shaw lied and said that he never filed paperwork in Canada, then changed his story and claimed that he had only filed for child support.

By the time that the trial rolled around in July, the DSS attorney not only did not call Ken Shaw as a witness (despite the fact that he was reportedly an eyewitness to me abusing my youngest daughter and the primary source for her therapist and the CPS worker regarding the abuse), he and the judge effectively blocked the ability of my attorney to call him as a witness.

Par for the course. Connect the dots on this story for yourself. We have the paperwork documentation to support all of this.

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