Angels,
You are encouraged to submit testimony for California's AB 2475.  If this law passes it will set a precedent for you.  Below, the letter AngelGroup submitted to Assemblymember Beall, who introduced this very important piece of legislation.


April 30, 2010

Honorable Jim Beall
Chair, Assembly Judiciary Committee
State Capitol P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0042

RE: In STRONG SUPPORT of AB 2475 (Beall)

Dear Assemblymember Beall,

As advocate for victims of Family Court, AngelGroup is committed to bringing accountability to the processes of divorce and custody proceedings. The public's faith, trust, and confidence in the court system are bankrupt. The passage of AB 2475 would go a long way in creating an opportunity for change. The judiciary could welcome AB 2475 as favorable circumstances towards restoration. Thank you for authoring such an important piece of legislation.

When determining custody, especially in cases of domestic violence (DV), quasi-professionals are brought in to assist the court. Their opinions are embedded in final court orders. The significance of their role in court conclusions cannot be underplayed. Proper educational requirements regarding laws and other related issues aside, these "experts" literally hold life and death matters in their hands. For this level of responsibility, there must be an equal level of accountability.

Presently, there is a nationwide epidemic of a broken family court system. Children are being given to perpetrators of DV, and the protective parent is defamed and railroaded in the family court. Laws and guidelines forbidding abusers from having custody of the children are ignored. Shady practices continue unchecked, endangering a whole generation of children. The future effects of this will oppress resources of the state and nation in years to come.

Custody Evaluators, Guardian ad Litems, counselors, therapists, etc. play a key role in forming opinions for the courts. Many have worked in "the system" for years and have formed close personal friendships and alliances that can operate in nefarious ways, should one choose to err on the shadow side. As we all know, people in 'power positions' are not all "good eggs". In this light, it must be realized in word and in law, that quasi-professionals, whether appointed by the judiciary or not, need to be held to a level of ethical proficiency on par with their contracted obligations.

Parents must be afforded recourse in instances when ethics, laws, or rules of court have been tossed to the side. The lives of children are importantly quantifiable on many, many priceless levels. Renegade quasi-professionals, who are abusive of their positions, and/or disrespectful of the court client, and/or the rule of law, cannot be allowed unbridled prerogative. The umbrella of immunity, though promoted to extend to these quasi-professionals, is a privilege that is inappropriately gifted.

Under our Constitution, parents are allowed redress of grievances and right to pursuit of happiness. Justice in allowing a protective parent the right to raise their child in safety is obvious. The understandable resistance to accept their child being handed to an abusive partner, however "official", is unquestionable.

The unwarranted inheritance of immunity needs to be quickly revised to reflect a professional level of ethics, held accountable by law. The violations thereof, need to be punishable by law. The misinformed perpetuation of immunity for these quasi-professionals is nothing short of de-criminalization of criminal behavior, and it creates an artificial control for the debate.

Thank you once again for your leadership,
AngelGroup


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