2006-06-08 - 1:15 p.m.
I came across a great site to refer back to later. It is linked to through THE US DEPT OF JUSTICE OFFICE FOR PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
This is the link to EMERGE which was the first agency in the US to offer counseling to BATTERERS
I have found another organization that offers some materials that are on my list to order once out of debt!
(Another reason I think it just SO STUPID for my EX to choose to go to COURT to clarify a legal question rather than to TALK TO ME.! I think it just SO SIMPLE.... We have an order for "not in presence" of Westley and I really didn't even HESITATE to bring my son in my house KNOWING THAT WESTELY AGREED to not come in his presence, for the few minutes to unload groceries and let Soren see where I live! HOWEVER THAT REALLY UPSET MY EX who considered that to be threatening in some way... but he could have just COMMUNICATED TO ME BY A CALL indicating he was angry about that and indicating that he doesn't want the kids to even enter foot in the house if Westely is around at all! That in fact WAS NOT COMMUNICATED, but ASSUMED SO WE HAD A CLEAR DIFFERENCE OF EXPECTATIONS which once talked about I am sure could so easily have been resolved in once phone conversation! HECK I JUST WANTED TO LET SOREN SEE MY HOUSE, and he did so-- so what would be the huge difficulty in asking me not to bring him in AGAIN when Westley is home? Its not like I even have OPPORTUNITY to bring the kids here when Westely is home EXCEPT FOR THAT DAY WHEN WESTELY WAS SO ILL HE WASN'T BUDGING FROM THAT BED! I mean its not like the conflict would likely even ARISE AGAIN Over that . In the past year it never happened before and it so difficult to forsee it being something that would even happen again so it just seems like a big fuss that could easily have been avoided. But I think the case isn't REALLY about that but rather about my EX trying to avoid the responsiblity of having the onus ON US TO DISCUSS WESTELY'S PRESENCE AROUND THE CHILDREN which was what I believed the settlement agreement stipulated "after ten months" of the order that HE NOT BE IN THEIR PRESENCE.
I finally had a talk with him YESTERDAY after having shown up to court early this week. (I did indeed have enough money to go so decided I might as well!)
In some ways it would have been infinately better had I just not shown up at all as I think then the legal question would have been ANSWERED DETERMINTATELY ALREADY and then there wouldn't be a potentially long drawn out CUSTODY/VISITATION CASE over this. THen they wouldn't have had to appoint ANOTHER LAW GUARDIAN to the kids and DRAGGED THEM INTO THIS AGAIN!!
I mean what a stupid thing to do-- To put the kids through the emotional trama of being pulled into the middle of a parental disagreement!
THe kids indeed DID Tell me they knew about the case and they didn't see what the big deal was. But I think it just SO UNFAIR TO THEM that they even have the stress of knowing that their parents have a disagreement and are incapable of functional healthy communication in relation to THEM that the court has to be a tool of mediation.
I think that no matter WHAT ANYONE SAYS TO THEM that it is unhealthy for them to even HAVE SUCH A CASE GOING ON.
So for that reason I was SO TEMPTED TO JUST NOT SHOW UP. That was my inclination except that I did indeed TELL THEM THAT I MIGHT NOT SHOW AND IF THEY HEAR THAT TO KNOW THAT IT ISN"T BECAUSE I THINK IT IS AN UNIMPORTANT MATTER, BUT BECAUSE I THINK IT A DESTRUCTIVE PROCESS OF GOING THROUGH A COURT BATTLE WHICH JUST BREEDS ANGER AND RESENTMENT AND THAT I DO NOT CHOOSE TO ENTER INTO SUCH ENVIRONMENTS OR BRING SUCH STRESS INTO MY FAMILY OR PERSONAL LIFE. I told them I would rather invest my TIME AND MONEY on them-- travel to see them or things they and their siblings all benefit from, than waste both my TIME AND MONEY on gas and legal expenses to go to court over this!
But I changed my mind as it then occurred to me that I was warned in the past that a NY COURT CAN INDEED TAKE AWAY ALL PARENTAL RIGHTS completely if you don't show up. And although I almost feel like I have SO LITTLE That they can take away, I do think it worth the fight to protect that little I have! But more importantly, EVEN IF IT ENDED UP THAT IT WAS MOST EFFECIENT AND EFFEECTIVE TO NOT SHOW UP, I WORRIED THAT NO MATTER WHAT I TOLD THE KIDS ABOUT NOT GOING TO THE COURT, THEY WOULD GET A MESSAGE THAT ITS NOT WORTH MY TIME and could possible think that means THEY ARE NOT WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT!
They may not have understood that to go to court will in fact CUT INTO the funds I use FOR THEM, and CUT INTO AND REDUCE the availability of time to see them.
So at the first hearing I did go in PRO SE. I was late as I actually FORGOT how to drive directly to the court and had to drive in circles around town until I figured it out. I also parked in what I THOUGHT Was the parking garage close to court to discover it was on the OPPOSITE side of the area I wanted to be and near the CITY COURT. The parking garage was likely built by the same builder and LOOKED like the one I intended!
I actually INTENDED to allow myself EXTRA TIME and PLANNED on arriving ONE HOUR EARLY JUST IN CASE! I also ran late as it occurred to me that I should fill up my tank and have a receipt as I intend to ask for my travel expenses to be reimbursed if it seems the climate of the court indeed ends up being that this matter is just ridiculous.
I am surmising that since he told me HE WOULD NOT ACCEPT A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT AT THIS TIME.
* NOW I know they can SAY that, but that had I ACTUALLY BEEN ALLOWED In the court TO ARGUE that motion then the judge would have HAD TO HEAR IT.
AND IF THE LEGAL QUESTION OF WHAT PRESENCE IS IN FACT ALREADY CLARIFIED IN THAT JURISDICITON AND UNEQUIVOCAL
THEN the summary judgement motion would not only have had to be heard BUT GRANTED
so I STILL THINK the petition speaks for itself and demonstrated itself THAT THIS IS NOT A MATTER THAT SHOULD BE RESOLVED IN COURT. THUS MY STOPPING TO GET A RECEIPT FOR GAS AS ON MY WAY IN I WAS SO SURE I'D GET THAT TIME AND PRESENT ORAL ARGUMENT OF THAT ONE MOTION and then the whole thing would be done!
OK... so my fantasy kick butt lawyer moment did not come into fruition.
THE REALITY was so amazingly different.
NOW THAT IS WHAT I DREAMED WOULD HAPPEN. SO I ARRIVE LATE (also late as the CHILD CARE CENTER WAS FULL! THEY THEN TOOK THE TWO OLDEST KIDS AFTER SOME DISCUSSION AND FIGURING OUT THE AGES OF WHO THEY HAD AND WHAT THEY COULD HANDLE).... So I arrived late with my two youngest IN TOW.
Talk about a disadvantage! I sign in and REQUEST TO SEE THE LAW CLERK TO ASK A PROCEDURAL QUESTION (as I wanted to make SURE that AS LONG AS I HAD ALL THE PROPER LANGUAGE ON MY MOTION it COULD NOT BE PROCEDURALLY DENIED Even if it was hand written on legal paper... heck unconvential BUT AS LONG AS THE CONTENT FOLLOWED CORRECT FORM I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WOULD BE ACCEPTED! He confirmed they would have to accept it... no odd procedural things and to "follow the rules of federal civil procedure" YEAH THAT's THE CLASS I HAD A SHITTY PROFESSOR AND MY REAL HURDLE ON THE BAR... so I took a deep breath and said "GREAT, HEY NOTHING VENTURED NITHING GAINED. IF I DO IT WRONG NO HARM, IF I GET THAT RIGHT AND I AM RIGHT THAT THERE IS NOT EVEN A REAL LEGAL QUESTION RAISED IT WILL BE WORTH TRYING"
The law clerk went away and then soon called BOTH ME AND MY EX IN as well as a law guardian appointed for kids who was introduced. I had met her already and in fact confiremed she would be around for a while AS I TOLD HER I thought there was no legal question and INTENDED to file a motion and would have to have SOMEONE serve a copy to both her and my EX who was also PRO SE at that time. IN MY FANTASY WORLD I COULD HAVE THEN WHIPPED UP WHAT IS TRULY A REALLY SIMPLE ONE TO TWO PAGE PIECE OF TYPING MOTION (but bit more in long hand), and in my FANTASY world I would have copied it (THAT WOULD BE THREE HAND WRITTEN ORIGINALS) and then Handed them off to all parties within the next 15-20 moments.
IN THE REAL WORLD WHAT HAPPENED WAS I had to entertain my kids, reading them a story, apologizing they couldn't go to the "play room" they like, and finally figuring out my photos I brought for evidence that no one ever cared to see before would be better used as entertainment and I handed them off to the kids.
The law guardian choose to sit across from me with some young lawyer she was chatting with regarding ANOTHER case so I figured that wasn't SO BAD....I figured I was going to just write the motion and hand it off to everyone and we would go into court and either it would be granted or we THEN would be going through a trial. I REALLY THOUGHT it just didn't matter that she sat there and watched me either way-- It just seemed inconsequential to me.
But my legal pad with some scrawling was not near complete when the law clerk called myself, my EX and the law guardian into a conference room
I ask, "Is this a settlement negotiation?"
I should have insisted on clarification rather than make the comment "I think that's a good idea"
THe law clerk asked my EX to clarify how he felt I had violated the visitation order of "Not in presence"
He answered that by saying that the former law guardian felt that WESTELY SHOULD NEVER EVER BE AROUND HIS KIDS AGAIN.
I added that was one expert opinion and that there was ALSO another expert opionion of an IMPARTIAL EXPERT APPOINTED BY THE COURT, BONNIE MCLAUGHLIN who wrote a report STRONGLY STATING that she believed THE CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM MY HOME.
The law clerk asked "THIS IS YOUR SETTLEMENT"
I WAS VERY CALM AT THIS POINT AND APOLOGIZED AND SAID
The law clerk said he would not accept a motion for summary judgement at this time and said he would write a referral for both of us to get assisted counsel from the assisted counsel program at this time before the case is heard. He said he felt the petitioner should have counsel before the case is heard and strongly advised me not to go pro se.
I refused the referral and told him it wouldn't be helpful as I TRIED THAT LAST TIME and they refused - but moreso I actually felt I would STILL LIKELY BE BETTER OFF REPRESENTING MYSELF (as I didn't even WANT TO ENTER INTO DISCUSSION REGARDING MY INTENT TO FILE THAT MOTION THAT AT THAT POINT I STILL FORESAW WRITING AND HANDING INTO THE COURT THAT VERY DAY!
* The thing is that the MOTION HAS TO BE PRESENTED IN THE COURT IN PERSON AND CAN NOT BE MAILED OR E-MAILED IN. THat was my FIRST PROCEDURAL QUESTION THAT I HAD ASKED THE CLERK ABOUT! I KNOW THAT HE SAID THEY CAN'T DO IT YET... however that is Not EXACTLY TRUE as I think they have it set up FOR ATTORNEY'S TO DO but haven't yet the ability for PRO SE to do . NOw I think I could in fact push that as if they have a system for attorneys (which I SWEAR I FOUND INFO ON LAST YEAR) I THINK THEY HAVE TO MAKE IT AVAILABLE PRO SE but I guess no one has done that yet TO DATE.
So the LAW CLERK SAID HE IS RESCHEDULING THE CASE
NOW IF I WERE A BIT SHARPER I WOULD HAVE QUESTIONED IF THAT WERE A REQUEST TO RESCHEDULE OR IF THAT WAS BEING DONE BY THE COURT AT THEIR DISCRETION as if I WERE SHARPER AND IT WAS A REQUEST FOR ALL PARTIES TO ASSENT TO I SHOULD HAVE THEN SAID
BUT IT REALLY DIDN'T OCCUR TO ME THAT I MAY HAVE HAD THAT RIGHT (at that moment) and that I may have been seen as ASSENTING to a re-schedule.
To which my ex said "I WANT TO ENSURE THAT WESTELY IS NEVER AROUND MY KIDS AGAIN"
and made the HUGE mistake of referring to the law clerk for the judge sitting next to my BY FIRST NAME (as he happens to also have been A CLASSMATE! UNTIL THEN I THOUGHT THIS NO ISSUE AS I WAS SURE HE HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS AND WE HAD NO INTERACTION IN LAW SCHOOL BUT I RECOGNIZED HIS NAME AND HAD SOME CLASSES WITH HIM AT SOME POINT IN LAW SCHOOL! BUT HAD WE PASSED EACH OTHER ON THE STREET WE WOUDLN"T HAVE EVEN SAID HI AS WE WOULDN"T HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER! I knew HIS NAME and only by hearing THAT did I realize he was a classmate. One of those NAMES you hear at roll call over and over, and when addressed in class etc...but that's about all the familiarity I and he had of each other. But of course in my mind I THINK OF HIM AS THE NAME I HEARD... that being the FIRST NAME...
So I said "Didn't you LISTEN to ________. HE CLARIFIED THAT AS IT NOW STANDS YOU ALREADY HAVE THAT! I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO BE TAKEN AWAY BUT THE FEW HOURS A MONTH I GET TO SEE THEM, and that is not really worth much I can call and talk and will always have a relationship with them so I really have nothing to lose in this. The only thing this could achieve is TO PUNISH ME. I DON'T SEE WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER YOU NOR DO I HAVE ANYTHING TO LOSE IN THIS. YOU ALREADY HAVE CUSTODY
WHY CAN'T WE JUST SETTLE THIS AND BE DONE WITH IT? I'LL EVEN SIGN AN ADMISSION AND GIVE ME MY SANCTION OR PUNISHEMENT OR WHATEVER! I'D RATHER GO TO JAIL THAN GO THROUGH THIS. I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS YOU WANT!"
MY EX said " I WANT TO KNOW THAT WESTELY WILL NEVER BE AROUND MY KIDS AGAIN. I WANT A BUBBLE AROUND __________PROTECTING THEM"
Now I forget if he said the bubble was around WESTLEY or the KIDS
At that point an officer came in and Escorted him out and another said to me "He won't bother you anymore."
I then sat down Indian Style on the floor with the kids who were looking at photos and started organizing my things and preparing to continue the writing of the motion that I wanted to get done AS FAST AS POSSIBLE thinking it had been A MISTAKE to be so forthcoming about that as EVERYONE IS A CHESS PLAYER and can't be gracious and NORMAL but have to think in terms of ADVERSARY so I thought darn, if I don't get it written and filed fast it will be a pain.
I was thinking how DESPITE the law clerk saying the court would not accept a motion that THEY HAVE TO IF PRESENTED IN WRITING
And then the Officer who was standing there said "You have to leave now, and don't talk to him when you do."
I said " I don't intend to, and I was taking a few moments as I thought it a good idea"
And the officer reiterated "This conference room is for attorneys to use."
And I said "I am an attorney and I am representing myself PRO SE and I HAVE COURT BUSINESS I AM CONDUCTING HERE"
To which he said "YOU ARE DONE HERE AND HAVE TO LEAVE now"
I GOT UP And gathered my things and the kids AND I REALLY HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. SO I DID SO and then thought that it just BULL THAT THEY KICK ME OUT as if a few raised voices in negotiation is UNUSUAL in a court room conference room! What really struck me is that ATTORNEYS can do that but if PARTIES TO A CASE get heated they get worried!
I was so struck by the double standard! Attorney are people who are not to be feared, but those in CUSTODY CASES are SUSPECT AND ANY DISPLAY OF EMOTION SENDS ALARM BELLS
So I sat down on the bathroom floor and handed the kids pictures and figured that would have to do for my "conference room" as I continued to work on my motion. The FORMER LAW GUARDIAN for the kids then came in to use the bathroom (of course to see what I was doing) I continued and said to the girls "This shouldn't take long to do, we'll go play as soon as I am done, I just have to write a simple motion for summary judgement which should be very short and to the point and shouldn't take long at all"
I figured I would just go ahead and TELL THAT LAW GUARDIAN as I figured rather than PRETEND that she was really going to the bathroom it made no difference ANYWAY as I ALREADY INFORMED EVERYONE I WAS INTENDING ON DOING THAT.
I worked and talked to myself like I do when focused and working REALLY FAST as it totally helps in concentration and I LONG AGO GOT OVER WORRYING WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS OF THAT LAST MOMENT PRESSURED NERVOUS TALKING TO SELF WHEN RACING AGAINST A CLOCK RUSHING TO MEET A DEADLINE OR PREPARING FOR A COMPETITION OR A PREFORMANCE OR WHATEVER THE MOMENT OF "FLOW" REALLY IS THAT I HAVE ENTERED. ITs a mechanism OF ABSOLUTELY FOCUSING FOR ME THAT I FIND REALLY HELPFUL as I AM MOST DEFINATELY SOMEONE WHO CAN ARTICULATE THINGS BEST OUT LOUD!
So to me it was very akin to preparing right before a Debate tournament, or the JESSUP MOOT COURT TOURNAMENT at which I KICKED BUTT at UB LAW.
I was writing and I KNEW THAT I COULD HAND THAT THING IN and that IT MIGHT BE DENIED and I MIGHT MESS UP THE FORM but DAMN IT I HAD TO TRY
And then a FEMALE OFFICER opened up the bathroom door and told me I had to leave. I asked her "WHY?"
She then said "You have to go. Your behaviour is very strange"
I asked "REally? Well I don't think so"
I said "Oh- you've never gotten down on the floor with kids? Its really not that unusual, and actually RECOMMENDEd as they like when adults come down to their level"
And she said "But your in a BATHROOM"
And I said "You must not have gone to college then or you wouldn't find it that unusual that before a big preformance, or paper or presentation one often needs time to PREPARE and a bathroom is at times the only available quiet and in fact suitable space" and I kept writing.
And she said "If you don't leave now it will be obstruction"
At which point she said "I really don't want to have to do this in front of your children" clearly indicating NOT THAT SHE DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO KICK ME OUT OF THE COURT BUT THAT SHE DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO ARREST ME FOR IGNORING HER ORDER TO LEAVE!
At which point I said "Well you really don't HAVE TO - you could of course choose to walk away and recognize I am really not interfering nor a threat to anyone by sitting on the floor while working on a document I intend to present to this court" As I packed up my things and got the kids up TO BE ESCORTED OUT OF THE BATHROOM AND DOWNSTAIRS OSTENSIBLEY OUT THE BUILDING
But they of course had no idea I had OTHER children. So when they followed me and said "You have to leave the building" as I headed to the Child Care Center I said "Not until I pick up my kids. The center was full so they couldn't take them all- and now you will see why sitting on a quiet bathroom floor while I wrote a motion to present to the court REALLY IS NOT AT ALL CRAZY for me as it would be MUCH easier to achieve with TWO Kids than all of them. "
They waited as I picked up the other two, and I am sure hadn't expected this to be such a lengthy project. I hope there were no REAL crazy folk in that court that day that could have REALLY used assistance. Wouldn't that stink!
The guy court officer never ever said a word and seemed to just be the support person. The lady then started giving me a hard time about it being time to leave (as I was getting ready to leave looking for my keys in my bag.) I told her "I'm not leaving with four kids in tow until I find my keys and they are in my hand and I have all the kids holding hands as well. So you can be patient while I get them." And of course I was looking all over not finding them and said "And I hope I didn't leave them in the bathroom as then I will have to go look for them"
She said they don't carry cards, but said who she was, and I looked at her name plate on her uniform which she wore.
And we were escorted out.
And the officers left. And I decided then that the girls seemed to STILL BE happy and the steps where people were sitting were sunny and inviting so we sat down and I continued to work on my motion while the girls enjoyed watching the cars go by.
I didn't get all that far when they stared to complain they were hungry and I also recalled that I had taken notes of a COPY STORE that supplied legal TEMPLATE FORMS which are helpful in ensuring you have the proper procedural format and easier to get than rifling through law books and THERE. I KNEW I HAD ONE AT HOME but had chosen TO ENJOY MY REUNION WEEKEND AND NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS LEGAL MATTER UNTIL AFTER THE WEEKEND.
I basically decided that a short motion shouldn't be that complicated and needn't be stressed over, as either there is or there is not a legal question that was brought forth. Very simple thing to assess and decide and the whole point of a motion for qummary judement is to look SOLELY at that question itelf BEFORE getting into any DETAILS of that matter.
FIRST YOU HAVE TO DETERMINE THERE IS IN FACT A LEGAL ISSUE OR NOT.
IF THERE IS NOT REALLY A LEGAL QUESTION AND THAT IS ITSELF APPARENT FROM FACTS AS PRESENTED IN THE PETITION ITSELF the whole case is determined in favor of the RESPONDENT and at times with the awarding of associated costs of the RESPENDENT who was harmed by the frivolous case filed that compelled a respondent to come to court over a non issue!
THe kids in fact have no issue and that is the most important thing! Katerina is the one who ASKED to come in my house for a drink AFTER I SAID "NO-I'll being it out" and she persisted
I am very happy with that decision EVEN THOUGH I ended up then enjoying a WONDERFUL VISIT AT the GReek restaraunt my friends run in Buffalo and spent no more time on the imagined motion!
My time that day was indeed ENJOYED with the girls and my old co-worker and her daughter and husband who were fantastic to see! I did pick up the form at the copy place first, but after lunch decided it wasn't worth trying to crank it out at that point as the main point of wanting to get that done and served and filed at the court THAT DAY was by then moot. The whole idea was to AVOID having to come back! But by then I already had another court date for Mid July.
I am still not certain it is worth it for me to show up for that. I might just file a response by affadavit. I have a few weeks to decide. For now I am also spending time on other things!
This morning I enjoyed a fun game of MOUSETRAP with the girls which is just the coolest game for little kids! You move your mice around the board while building the mousetrap. After that part is done the kids enterained themselves with it for a LONG TIME.
Funny I came on line only to bookmark that page above and not at all intending to even write of or dwell on the legal case. But something reminded me of it and I went into that which is a HUGE TANGENT!
But I am glad to have vented about it and am pleased to have the state of mind where it just is not going to become a central thing in my life. I just am unwilling to embrace entering into that alternative world and being sucked into the actual craziness of it! I swear custody battles or battles over visitation are like entering into a Twilight Zone where your self gets lost then re-created by others (OR THEY CAN BE LIKE THAT!) I want no part of the LA LA LAND projected for others' interests.as It is really hard to PROVE when a person's representations are so adrift from reality as no one knows WHO to believe. You can't PROVE when allegations are false. ANd the court clearly is not REQUIRING PROOF to assert that anything at all is true either!
Interesting I actually started searching about the legal issue of whether one state Office of FAmily SERVICES can make a determination based on applying THEIR LAWS to an event that occurred in ANOTHER JURISDICTION. That indeed is something that I DO THINK I have an obligation to investicate,and I immediatly saw the link to the batterers program and followed that first. I DO THINK THAT WESTELY WOULD BENEFIT FROM BELIEVING THAT HE INDEED WENT TO FAR WITH CORPORAL PUNISHEMENT, and regardless of whether HE BELIEVES THAT OR NOT I THINK IT VERY HELPFUL THAT HE GOT THE MESSAGE THAT I BELIEVE HE WENT TOO FAR WITH CORPORAL PUNISHEMENT AND I FOUND IT UNACCEPTABLE IN OUR FAMILY LIFE AND I FOUND IT ABUSIVE!
However THAT STABALIZING AND SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR OUR FAMILY LIFE, IDNETIFYING ABUSE AND ADDRESSING IT, ALONG WITH THE PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY WESTELY HAS HAD TO FACT, are VERY DIFFERENT THINGS from believing that it is JUSTIFIABLE for him to have a CASE that was filed and resolved in NY, and then documentation of AN ACTUAL LEGAL DETERMINATION OF "Excessive Use of Corportal Punishment" entered SURRUPTITIOUSLY BY APPLYING NY LAW TO EVENTS THAT HAPPENED IN VA AS IF THEY HAPPENED IN NY, AND BY DOING SO WITHOUT EVER NOTIFYING EITHER OF US OF THE OPENING OF A FILE IN NY!
So despite the fact an order in NY IS LIKELY ACTUALLY IN MY PERSONAL BEST INTEREST, I can't support that MANIPULATION OF SOMEONE'S LIFE by individuals and organizations who are not confident that the systems in place in VA are not as effective as their own in NY. So that issue is the one I was researching--
So the link above was bookmarked and I didn't get far at all on my research of one state applying their laws inappropriately because I started reading literature on PREVENTING ABUSE and TEACHING AND COUNSELING BATTERERS which in the end will likely be the most valuable use of my time!
Hey if I get to the other issue some day that will be great.... but if not....it just wasn't my top priority.