Experiences with "going public"?? UPDATE - Post 5 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-28-2010, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So....

1- DH and Ex1 have kids in their mid and late 20's (so, long out of the house). They've always co-parented well. A decade ago (maybe 2?), they got the court's permission for him to stop paying CS through the collection office, because one of his monthly payments was distributed to the wrong person, who spent it all immediately and couldn't afford to repay it. The CS collection office had no accountability, so DH either had to pay it again (which he did), or Ex1 (and their kids!) would've gone without.

2- Long, bitter odyssey with DH and Ex2, who have an 11-y-o. This included DH ticking off a prosecutor, who was friends with Ex2 and pulled out all the stops to send DH to jail for a year, over violating a protective order...but, after 6 months of crap and a full-day trial, it took less than 5 min. for DH to be found not guilty. A couple years later, DH won sole custody of the kid.

3- Ex2 tends to peruse DH's record with Ex1, when they're going to court - presumably looking for dirt (although this hasn't worked for her). Mysteriously, between DH winning the PO-violation trial and the custody modification hearing, the ENTIRE FILE on his and Ex1's divorce DISAPPEARED from the court system. There's still a court docket, listing things filed or ordered, but there's little info. beyond dates. In many cases (where pleadings have long titles, or things were dealt with verbally, in the judge's chambers), it's not clear what was filed or ordered. NO original documents remain. And their divorce wasn't contentious enough that DH and Ex1 held onto their own copies of things.

3- Immediately after the custody change, the prosecutor's office threatened to suspend DH's license over "unpaid" CS to Ex2...because it was too much trouble to check the court record and realize DH had custody and was no longer supposed to be paying her. It took a ridiculously long time (people refusing to return DH's calls, claiming they never got the paperwork he sent, etc.), but it got sorted out.

4- Now, the prosecutor's office is going after him, for unpaid support to Ex1, dating all the way back to when he stopped paying through the CS collection office. In the absence of a case file - and seeing that Ex1 never made a single complaint to the collection office, although there's no record of payment for more than 10 years - did the prosecutor's office CONTACT Ex1, to verify things, before opening a case? Of course not! Too much trouble! Let's just NAIL the bastard! After all, elections are coming up and the incumbent prosecutor brags he's "tough on deadbeat dads"!

5- DH is currently among, or close to, the "Top 10 Most Wanted" deadbeat dads in the state. Strangers can look this up about him. (Business contacts, Ex2, etc.)

6- The prosecutor's office HAS suspended his license. Whoops! They sent notice to the wrong address, so he didn't get to exercise his opportunity to contest it. Sorry!

7- Ex1 followed the instructions of the prosecutor's office, took time out of her schedule to physically go down to the CS collection office and sign an affidavit that DH had not only paid every cent of child support, but had paid significantly more, over the years (as he would often give her extra money, when she needed it, or wanted to take the kids on special vacations, etc.) She said they were extremely rude to her and that one lady yelled at her for having accepted payments directly from DH. So their system screwed up the payments; they got along just fine without government intervention; they got a judge's permission to make the change; AGAIN their system screwed up and lost the file on that...and EX-1 is the problem!?!?!?! W...T...F????

8- Now, the clerk at the prosecutor's office says they can't restore DH's license, because they "have no record" of the affidavit Ex1 signed and which the CS collections office was supposed to send over to them. And neither the prosecutor assigned to DH's case, nor that person's supervisor will return DH's calls.

When I was griping about this before (regarding the CS to Ex2), someone suggested going to the media. We didn't, partly because the problem got solved and we have busy lives, so we moved on...but we also wondered, would it lead to public airing of every "black mark" on our records? I mean, there's nothing terrible, but still - who wants the world to know that my crazy neighbor called CPS on me, or that DH has sometimes been late with CS payments, when he was out of work?

But we are so beyond irritated now, that whether this is a personal thing (after all, it's not paranoia if someone's really out to get you...); a "nail-every-deadbeat-dad-to-boost-your-figures" thing; or just everyday bureaucratic incompetence, it just seems like people should know about it. I mean, I like feeling judgmental and superior toward the Top 10 Deadbeat Dads, like anyone else. But now I have to wonder how many of them are ALSO being unfairly maligned?

So, has anyone "gone public" with something like this before? If the media actually picked it up, how bad did things get?

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#2 of 10 Old 10-28-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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I've never done it, but I wanted to say that no amount of stuff they dig up will take away from the fact that the state will HAVE to find the truth out with the media on them. I would definately do it. At least you will get all this cleared up once and for all. And of course, as you already said, if your dh is on it for his situation, how many more dad's are unjustly on that list. This will bring out any and all hidden or misplaced records, so that would be helping not only your dh but maybe others who are being pursued unjustly.

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#3 of 10 Old 10-28-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I would file suit against the agency who is in charge of this information. I would then go public regarding the lawsuit after I discussed this with my attorney. During a lawsuit you would be able to do discover on information that they may not be giving to you. Good Luck this sounds super gross.

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#4 of 10 Old 10-30-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by myra_mcgray View Post
I would file suit against the agency who is in charge of this information. I would then go public regarding the lawsuit after I discussed this with my attorney. During a lawsuit you would be able to do discover on information that they may not be giving to you. Good Luck this sounds super gross.


I wouldn't go public until you speak with a lawyer - b/c the govt will sue for slander or libel (your defense would be that you're telling the truth, nothing would come of it, but still a PITA).

What a crappy situation though.

ETA - the CPS thing won't get aired b/c those files are sealed completely, only to be re-opened if there is another case involving the same children opened within a certain amount of time, and I'm assuming the original was "unfounded" - I had a call made about me too, and this is what I learned.
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#5 of 10 Old 11-02-2010, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sooooo....

DH got through to the supervisor of the prosecutor assigned to his case, who THEN decided to call DH back. Aha! They received Ex1's affidavit from the child support collection office. But the prosecutor is pissed that DH complained to his superior. And...drumroll please...he is restoring DH's license (since they can't very well keep claiming he's behind in child support). And I guess he's also getting removed from the Top 10 Worst Deadbeat Dads list.

But they're going to press charges against him, for paying child support directly to his ex-wife and not using the publicly-funded collection system.



I continue to think I'm not paranoid, for suspecting someone at the prosecutor's office has a personal grudge against him.

We get to vote for a new prosecutor today.

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#6 of 10 Old 11-02-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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Well, I hope you vote for someone new!!!

Can they actually prosecute for that? That sounds RIDICULOUS (I'm guessing that makes 2 of us )

If they really DO press charges, and theres an actual charge for that (and they can find a judge who will HEAR it) I would very seriously consider going public. If I were you, I would be looking into defense attorney's, getting recommendations for good ones, and talking to them about how to defend against this (RIDICULOUS) charge, AND how to go public with it. If I were you, I would hire someone whos done high profile cases before and knows how to get the press on their side.
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#7 of 10 Old 11-02-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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I would go public. How can it POSSIBLY be illegal to do what you are legally required to do (and more!) despite the people who are supposed to help being worse than a man down? THEY FAILED to pass on the CS properly, and so HE MADE SURE his kids were well-provided for and he's...going to be prosecuted for it...? What?

ETA - can you counter-claim against them for theft? Since they took his money and gave it to someone random...
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#8 of 10 Old 11-02-2010, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thyra View Post
Well, I hope you vote for someone new!!!

Can they actually prosecute for that? That sounds RIDICULOUS (I'm guessing that makes 2 of us )

If they really DO press charges, and theres an actual charge for that (and they can find a judge who will HEAR it) I would very seriously consider going public. If I were you, I would be looking into defense attorney's, getting recommendations for good ones, and talking to them about how to defend against this (RIDICULOUS) charge, AND how to go public with it. If I were you, I would hire someone whos done high profile cases before and knows how to get the press on their side.
While I was ranting about this, this morning, DH pointed out that before we react, we should see if this guy actually files charges, or if he was just "puffing up" because he was angry about DH calling his supervisor.

But I agree - especially if our prosecutor is not voted out, people need to know if their tax dollars DO wind up being used to pursue such frivolous, punitive crap.

We have had a little giggle, over the (tongue-in-cheek) prospect of asking Ex2's former attorney to represent DH over this. I mean, he really was great at his job! VERY aggressive, no matter how completely unreasonable his client's position was. Imagine if he had a just cause to argue!

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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#9 of 10 Old 11-02-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
We have had a little giggle, over the (tongue-in-cheek) prospect of asking Ex2's former attorney to represent DH over this. I mean, he really was great at his job! VERY aggressive, no matter how completely unreasonable his client's position was. Imagine if he had a just cause to argue!
LOL! Hilarious. If you're going to the media though, be VERY careful about who you choose - when they speak, they are speaking for YOU, and are representing YOU (and your DH of course). People watching won't be thinking what kind of an attorney he is, they'll be thinking about what kind of people YOU and your DH are.

If you want to come across as aggressive, great, if not, choose someone who doesn't employ that strategy.

Also, just as an aside, my ex's lawyer was also VERY aggressive - my god she was AWFUL, and really MEAN. I think when lawyers don't have a case, they get really aggressive. When they DO have a good case, its better to play it safe, and not piss off the judge.
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#10 of 10 Old 11-02-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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OMG Jeannine - I was starting to think we were the only people in the world with such ridiculous problems... No advice, but so sorry for what you're going through. Headache after headache.

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