2007-07-09 - 3:58 p.m.
I have been busy this afternoon as I had writing needing to be done as I continue in my quest for an attorney for my litigation. I had the frustrating experience of compliling contacts for the appointed guardian ad litem to call then losing that e-mail a few weeks back. I have vowed to spend no more than a few hours each week on litigation matters to be present fully for the girls and maintain the household- and am holding to that, so to ensure I don't lost this overview of where I am at in litigaton and have to spend any more time on it I have decided just to save it here.
Heck also if something bizzare happens on the 16th when I go for my court appointed eval I will also have this documentation. I have this strange feeling that "Mommy Interruppted " is being attempted. I loved that book and movie Girl Interrupted that raised the question of whether Suzanna Kayson'd life (if I recall her name correctly) was improperly interrupted because she HONESTLY acknowledged some of the issues she faced and actually dared TALK ABOUT THEM.
I love the premise of that book that she was possibly very WELL however had a few issues an in the working out of them and in her errors and honesty others projected SO MUCH MORE was wrong with her than actually was.
Its a great work in which it demonstrates that the raw open discourse about the reality of life that many ignore is often to difficult for the world To ADMIT as the NORM. It raised the question of whether a normal healthy person would be viewed as ABNORMAL if they HONESTLY DISCUSSED ALL THEIR FEARS.
Its a wonderful question. That book showed the sharp contrast of the clearly psycotic LISA with Suzanna, and the contrast with the other clearly mentally ill characters who had moments of lucidity and moments of great pain due to the abuse they sustained in life that broke their spirits and caused their minds to snap. It was a wonderful work that revealed the most broken came from the broken familys where incest and abuse were present but ignored.
It was a testament to how if our society wants us to be all well we can't ignore those ills. We can't just shut up those who dare voice them and call them ill-- but should be less inclined to attack the messanger and seek out to understand their messages of a cry for help. It is a book which in the end demonstrates how Suzanna herself had the power to either remain well or hide from the world and allow it to shield her from growth and responsibility. I recall the nurse who let her know it was indeed a CHOICE she had to function as a healthy person or not- and that SHE INDEED was not a BROKEN MENTALLY ILL PERSON and really did not belong there unless she CHOSE to avoid the pain of growing.
What amazes me is that is my choice to be as healthy as I can and in my choice to better myself I have indeed explored to understand and overcome the limitations of my character. I indeed have placed faith in the power of psycology and medicine and overcome my fears of trusting the care of myself to others in an effort to be as healthy as I can be. In an effort to be the best I can be I have faced both ADHD and PTDS which I have clearly seen sypmtoms of. I have been honest and insited on this journey of self knowledge and self help through my writing.
I chose to share this not only as it has been a process that I think helped me, but because I think it might be helpful to others-- strangers whom I will likely never know who may be less afraid to face the fear of seeking to acknowledge their own weakness. I have written of family violence recognizing it is often a result of NOT being willing to talk about it that renders families incapable of overcoming destructive patterns. I have sought understanding with love and a belief that we can overcome even our worst flaws and traits and that we can turn the darkest sides of our human nature inside out to expose to the world for HEALING and GROWTH. I have believed that there is no growth and development if we hide those parts of ourselves, but that we need to face these dark parts of our human nature that bring out the worst in us with bravery and without fear. It is only when we are afraid that we allow our dark sides to grow and overcome us.
It is through acknoweldgement and addressing concerns - whatever they are that they can be corrected and we all become our best selves.
So it is with amazement that I heard the lawyer for my husband utter the words "YOU ARE SERIOUSLY MENTALLY ILL" and then
"EXPECT AN EMERGENCY HEARING REGARDING CUSTODY"
I don't think it any paranoid delusion on my part to hear him utter those words to me in a conference room, and then to see that he wrote a specific date and time for me to go for a court ordered Psycological EVal to think that there is an AGENDA here.
Its the AGENDA to affect "MOMMY INTERRUPTED"
I don't think it at all crazy that like all other evil parts of a system this too should be brought to light such that it can be faced and not grow quietly until it is more powerful than need be. That's the very nature of evils in ourselves and society- if no one calls them to light and challenges and questions them they can grow in strenght. Who can explain how anyone like Hitlar ever yielded such power? Who can explain how Suzanna Kayson was locked up when as a teenager she dared experiment with sex out of her insecurity? Who could explain how an outstanding mother could ever be considered unfit to parent because she take time to foster her own health and address her own human failings?
Who can explain that it possible that "Mommy Interrupted" could conceivably happen in this day and age where we have so much knowledge at our fingertips?
Who can explain why our society is still so threatened by the very concept of any mental illness that it is so stigmatizing and instills such fear in some that they are reljuctant to face it and need to try to attack a messanger who talks with compassion of our need to acknowledge this is not such the anomoly, but perhaps a norm PRECISELY BECAUSE WE AS A SOCIETY ARE SO FEARFUL OF FACING THESE ISSUES. WHEN THEY ARE NOT FACED THEY FESTER IN THEIR HIDDEN PLACES AND THEN EMERGE WITH DESTRUCTIVE FORCE.
Can anyone explain the power of ignorance?
I have tried. Yet in that effort to explain that the more we ignore issues that are difficult to face such as mental illness and family violence, the more we are under their spell- ironically there is a effort to attack me as being ill FOR THE VERY WORDS I HAVE WOVEN IN MY PROCESS OF REMAINING WELL.
There is the ongoing attack of me in an effort to label me as unfit to parent due to this process of ensuring that my children are not parented with violence. In order to be the best mother I can be, and to support a loving relationship with their father, I have taken bold steps expose the issues that needed to be brought to light.
ANd in doing so I have continued to be under attack in the courtroom.
I drafted an e-mail to an attorney seeking representation to take over my case.
I am saving it here such that it doesn't get lost as I need to tend to the girls getting up from nap, make dinner, and don't intend to have to re-write this as I continue to seek counsel.
HERE IT IS:
"I apprechiate I did receive a call back from your litigation paralegal as I am seeking a lawyer to represent me in a rather complex and sticky legal matter in Loudoun Circuit court as well as an unlawful detainer action on AUG 1 in General District Court.
I have been going Pro Se after both running out of money and a concern that truth of the case needed to be heard to protect the interest of myself and my children. My attorny attempted to argue a nuptial agreement invalid on its face when the reality was it was signed under duress and I felt it important that be presented for review before the court. As she did not raise that issue but Judge HOrne allowed further pleadings by writing I took that opportunity to go PRO Se and raise that arugment at that time. There were other concerns I flesh out in detail for you to be aware of as well as to why I went PRO SE.
After shopping for an attorney to take over what is currently my Pro Se case I am hoping you may be interested in my representation. My marriage ended as a result of domestic violence directed at me by my husband and there is now an attempt to frame me as a mentally ill person with the intent of seeking custody of my childen.
I am exceptionally vulerable as there is a bit of a bizarre procedural history in this case. A PPO was issued by Judge Pam Brooks in the Family and Juvenile court in July of 2006. My husband appealed that decision and a de novo trial was heard on Jan 10 before Judge Wisenant in Loudoun Circuit. He heard testimony of both parties only and indicated "I have heard enough. I am making a decision based on what I heard and do not need to hear any other witnesses" and sent us to try to negotiate a settlement.
He threw out the petititon for a PPO. A responding officer was present ready to testify and had in her possession to present to the court a photo of our daughter with a welt in the shape of my husband's hand print on the abdomen. That evidence did not get presented.
I have filed an Appeal to the VA COURT Of APPEALS of that Loudoun Court decision alledging that the judge violated his duty to hear all evidence of a case prior to making a decision. That is yet to be decided and currently is in the VA COURT OF APPEALS CASE 038704 Maureen Blake v. Victor R. Blake
Pam Brooks had ordered exclusive use of our home and a family vehical (GMC Yukon Denali) until July 2008 REGARDLESS of title and ownership, recognizing that is a distinctly different legal issue than that of maintaining the stability of the family home for the benefit of myself and our children after the breakdown of family due to violence.
I had hired a different attorney for the hearing regarding the PPO and as I couldn't afford his retainer for the whole divorce hired another for the divorce case which was filed in Jan in Loudoun Circuit immediately AFTER the petition for the PPO was then thrown out by Wisenant.
I am vulnerable to a significantly harmful outcome based on not meeting Procedural requirements of VA LAW, which would be impossible to overcome, unless it is demonstrated that they were not through any failure of my own and are in fact addressed. The primary one I am concerned about is that there have been a few cases in which I showed up for hearings on one case and the judge then announced the stylus of ANOTHER CASE and the decisions have been attached TO THE WRONG CASE.
THERE ARE CURRENTLY NOW TWO CASES BEFORE LOUDOUN CIRCUIT, ONE BEFORE GDC AND THE CASE IN THE VA COURT OF APPEALS
IN PARTICULAR when a hearing was held on the removal of my counsel in the divorce action, suprisingly the attorney whom I never hired in the divorce action ALSO SHOWED up and in fact then signed the motion for removal.. This results in a very shoddly odd looking document ordering removal of counsel which I would only sign with my hand written comments that that counsel never represented me in the divorce case, but was my representative in the PPO MATTER and that Judge Horne attested that the lawyer who did represent me may be removed. That messy writing in my hand of course doen't make me look good to anyone anciallary glancing at the file.
At that time the MOTION FOR REMOVAL was NOTED on the web site in relation to my divorce case, but there is a disconnect in what appears in the actual RECORD of the case in the file room. The Motion for Removal of my counsel in the divorce case was FILED IN THE PPO CASE-- which means TECHNICALLY I AM NOT PROCEDURALLY REALLY ACKNOWLEDGED ON THE RECORD OF MY DIVORCE AS HAVING THE RIGHT TO BE PRO SE - REGARDLESS OF WHAT JUDGE HORNE HAS VERBALLY SAID IN THE COURT ROOM.
I DO have a personal limitation of being a person who DOES ADMITTEDLY HAVE TROUBLE WITH TIME MANAGEMENT.... and indeed I MYSELF SOUGHT TREATMENT OF ADHD in order to improve my own organizational skills. That seeking of treatment is now being characterized as a "HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS" and there has been this grand attempt to present me as a paranoid person who is so ill to believe there is some bizarre conspiracy.... etc... against me. Which indeed if one believed such strange and unlikely things would be indicative of a mental illness! So you can see how easy it is to present me as such when in the courtroom I personally have CHOSEN TO IGNORE PROCEDURAL RULES AT MY OWN EXPENSE IN THE SHORT TERM after I requested my case file that had evidence I hoped to attempt to authenticate which was IN THE CUSTODY OF THE LOUDOUN COURT to be brought to the courtroom for a hearing and I was told "We will consider it" That I then tried to pass a note to ANYONE in the hall with the request to go try to get the file from the file room to be brought into the court myself.
While on the web site of circuit court there is an indication my former counsel has been removed from my divorce case, in reality this motion was filed on ANOTHER CASE and the RECORD ITSELF HAS NOT BEEN CORRECTED as of the last time I physically reviewed it. Therefore despite any indications on the Loudoun Circuit electrionic system-- the PAPER RECORD to my knowledge last reflected that my former attorney is still counsel of record .
To even tell others of that does make me look a bit nuts! It truly is so UNLIKELY that could occur ... yet it has.
My greatest concern is that in the past I had a child support hearing sceduled in front of Pam Brooks--- there were interrogatorys sent to my husband which were never responded to. After paying around $7000 for that so called discovery and having a child support hearing scheduled it was mysterious pulled from the docket the night before. My counsel told me the opposing counsel pulled the case yet when I went to review the file it was MY COUNSEL that pulled the case without my prior knowledge and consent. This resulted in NO DUE DILIGENCE OF INTERROGATORYS OR FINANCIALS BEING REVIEWED when a temporary support hearing was then held in circuit court. At that time also the temp award was granted only from JAN- the time of filing of divorce, and not from the AUG or Sept date which was the time of filing of support in the domestic court. I hoped to seek a support order that would have been retroactive to the time of filing. Considering that in the domestic court case PAM BROOKS TOOK JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE FACT MY HUSBAND HAD CUT ME OFF FINANCIALLY AND IGNORED HER VERBAL ORDER TO SUPPORT US ALL between the time of the initial EPO hearing and the time of the Permanant PPO hearing, it is clear why my husband did not wish the support hearing to be before Honorable Pam Brooks. What was not clear to me was why my attorney lied to me and herself removed this case from that court. What was not clear was why she failed to file the divorce action when I requested it but waited until within 21 days of that support hearing and then claimed she had to pull that case as the divorce action mandated such claiming the procedural rule of the matter only being in the one court of circuit necessitated that. What is not clear to me is why she didn't rather choose to frame that rule as meaning the circuit court could not hold jurisdiction for at least 21 days as the Juvenile court still held jurisdiction in that matter. What is not clear to me is whether it was an intentional action to move that support case knowing it would have been in my best interest to have the support issue heard by the domestic court and then honored by the circuit court, or whether the capable attorney of experience and fine reputation representing me just went about her job in the manner she ALWAYS has and that in this case it was not the best move to protect my interests. I needn't really know why the errors on her part, and frankly don't care to -- and still have respect for what effort this fine attoney gave my case, however I did know at the time that I needed to go Pro Se after a number of occasions when I requested things being done that were not done. There were procedural errors on her part such as her not responding to matters within the 21 days she had to do so, and then waiving the right to address them.
What I do recognize was that the fact of having signed a nuptial was a huge factor in what should be an equitable distribution case. What I do recognize is that my husband sold assets that were jointly owned and that when I informed BOTH attorneys about that they were not helpful in that matter.
What I do know is that there have been a number of hearings which I have shown up for and they have not been listed on the printout outside of the courtroom that they have been heard in. I do know that one attorney showed up to be heard on a case when he was not hired by me to do so.
After misfiling of motions, showing up for hearings that were announced with the stylus of a different case, having a motion to remove counsel filed on a different case, OH and having a JUDGEMENT Written in the PPO de novo hearing in Loudoun circuit with the stylus of the case "Accidently" reversed (Which I noted so filed my NOTICE of APPEAL TWICE after a clerk of the court insisted it was correct but the reciept for payment indicated otherwise. I wouldn't leave until they filed it twice and I had re-wrote the notice of appeal and cut and pasted and re-filed it. That correction turned out to be the correct notice) After all these strange happenings I DO KNOW that it would be well worth it for me to have an attorney in the court on JULY 16th to represent me SHOULD the bizarre strangeness occur yet again mysteriously as I have a strong sense that there will be YET ANOTHER error and that the fact I was now ordered to go for a PSYCOLOGICAL EVAL on that very date of JULY 16th at 10 may indeed not be coincidental.
Oppossing counsel has said to me very forcefully "YOU ARE MENTALLY ILL EXPECT AN EMERGENCY HEARING REGARDING CUSTODY"
I am indeed an exceptionally bright woman who also has ADHD
What I do know is that I have caught onto these procedural "errors" at every moment of them occurring. I find it hard to frame me as mentally ill due to the fact that I have addressed each error.
The other fact I know is that I STINK at my representation of myself PRO SE as have humility and wisdom to shut up and allow an attorney to capably represent me. When I did indeed blurt out in court during the PPO hearing "IT wil be on the record that he slapped her" in the face of the judge not wanting to allow a witness-- yes it was implulsive, but it also may have in fact secured my right to an appeal. I did follow my intuition which led me to do that-- That very moment is the one being framed to say I am erratic and ill. In preparing my appellate brief I have found clear case law in VA stipulating that an attorney raising an issue only in writing an objection in hand on the judgement is not enough to secure the right of appeal based on that issue. I do know that the very behavior of mine in the court room which is being used to attack my mental fitness may in fact be a moment that secured my right to an appeal- as it raised an issue in the course of the proceeding itself.
ANd I do know that although I am not a lawyer and in fact failed the VA BAR due to my lack of knowledge of details and procedure, I have fared OK despite that in raising issues I hope to have an attorney capable bring home.
Transcripts of my cases can be secured from MAR Reprorting which also demonstrate a reason I feel I have found it hard to find representation of my case. In a really shoddy disorganized and seeimingly crazy attempt to represent myself in arguing that the nuptial was not valid due to duress and circumstances of its creation, I did manage to cross examine counsel that drafted it and Judge Chamblin stopped the proceeding and said "I need to remove myself from this case. Ms Blake just indicated she has evidence that questions the credibiltiy of an attorney in this jurisdiction that I personally know and I therfore can not hear it."
I do know that while I did not intend on raising any issues of credibilty of attorneys, in my presentation I have dellivered arguments that do in fact pretty clearly touch on that issue. I had one attorney answer the same question two different ways. (After a few questions in between) I then indicated I was trying to "refresh his memory" and pretty clearly indicated his testimony prior was not so sound. I had another attorney then take the stand and answer questions that directly gave another story of facts....
Thus further making it clear that the so called "Fact" presented by my husband's attorney were highly questionable.
I do know that there were also a number of so called "Settlements" that were offered in the divorce proceeding TO THE WRONG ATTORNEY WHO NEVER REPRESNTED ME IN THE DIVORCE. They were sham offers that all stipulated I be kicked out of our family home (titled in my husband's name) in 30 Days. I do understand this was a bit of a show to make ME APPEAR to be the unreasonable party not willing to negotiate. I would be happy to negotiate when and if there is a level playing field and a possibility of a fair negitiation. Yet when one has nothing one has nothing to lose-- so going PRO SE made only sense to me. By doing so I have gained the benefit for my children of remaining in our family home.
ANd while I don't KNOW that the "procudural errors" and oddities of my case not showing up on the printed sheet, and attorneys who I have not hired for a case actually showing up to speak as if on my behalf will NOT CONTINUE
I HAVE A STRONG SENSE THAT ON JULY 16 this case MAY IN FACT BE CALLED TO TRIAL and that an Attorney MAY IN FACT SHOW UP ON MY BEHALF that I had indicated I fired, and that if I do not have another retained attorney to represent me on that date DESPITE THE FACT IT IS NOT INDICATED ON THE DOCKET THAT THE CASE WAS MOVED TO NOV
THAT IT IS VERY LIKELY A DIVORCE WOULD BE GRANTED WITH A SO CALLED PROPERTY SETTLEMENT that would be anything but equitable distribution.
THe case of the nuptial was heard and found to be a VALID agreement, however the visiting judge hearing it said he WOULD NOT DECIDE THE SECOND ISSUE IDENTIFIED BY HORNE who made a clear distinction between the issue of VALIDITY AND INCORPORTATION.
THE ISSUE OF INCORPORTATION PURSUANT TO AN EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION SETTLEMENT STILL NEEDS TO BE HEARD. There is still opportunity that DESPITE a court deciding that it is a VALID contract that it would be INCONSIONABLE to INCORPORTATE THAT INTO THE PROPERTY SETTLEMENT.
I have no idea what my husband's assets currently are. I do affirmatively know he sold a substantial amount of our jointly owned assets from a family farm business that he liquidated. I do know he holds two homes titled solely in his name-- one here in Loudoun valued at least between 1.8 and 2.5 million depending on the strength of the market and whether it has recovered at all or whether this maket trend means its value remained stagnant, dropped or just failed to raise over the past few years. (It is 33 acres worth 2.4 million three years ago.) It possible the hit to real estate means it only went up a smaller percentage than in the past which means 2.4 million is the starting point from three years ago.
I do know the aggressive attacking of me really is about money.
Sad but not lilkely uncommon in these cases.
There is an unlawful detainer action which was filed and is now scheduled to be heard on AUG 1 at 8:30 am before General District Court. I know that without an attorny to represent me on July 16 I COULD Be divorced then and COULD be kicked out to be homeless on AUG 1.
I have been staying home taking care of my children for the past seven years. I have six children- -four of this marriage and two others who are visiting for the summer who now live with their Dad. They lived with us until AUG 04 when they went to NY for a visit immediately AFTER my husband Victor whom I am in litigation here punched my daughter in the head. The kids never came back to live with me but are in the custody of their Father with an order they are not allowed in the presence of my husband Victor due to his abuse.
So all of this leads me to the very logical thought that it highly possible that there is an effort to tie me up in a psycological eval on Jan 16th, and that there will indeed be a trial. It may sound absolutely nuts- but I think it highly possible at this point after the other seemigly unlikely experiences I have truly had.
Once again, I don't have any desire to understand the how and why this is such a complicated case with so many glaring odd procedural errors. I don't really care. I don't feel the need to explore all of that- but DO feel the need to hire a darn good attorney who is not aftraid to take on this case and face all those factors and then decide how to proceed forward. I wil be open to following advice as recommended to ensure the best outcome for my children and I.
I hope to hear from your firm as to whether you can represent me. At least a half dozen Leesburg firms said "YEs" to meet with me for a consultation but then call back to say they can not as their is a "conflict"
I look forward to hearing back from your firm again as to whether you will consider this case and what terms you require for a retainer.