Custody catastrophes

Lesbian moms reluctant to report abuse by partner fearing child’s custody loss

and, on the subject of custody…

Child custody expert tied to lewd Web photos 

A prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist who has helped decide hundreds of child-custody disputes was thrown off one recent case and has been challenged in at least two others after posting lewd photos of himself on Facebook and allegedly promoting illegal drug use, unprotected sex and male prostitution.

Dr. Joseph Kenan, president of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, is also being investigated by the Medical Board of California on at least four complaints by parents who hired him to do custody evaluations, according to records and correspondence reviewed by The Times.

Dr. Kenan, president of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, was also mentioned in an article posted on a Fathers Rights site: Sexual Abuse Accusations Color Custody Battles  Notice the ads about female sex offenders and women who lie about paternity on the right hand side.

Kenan believes in the discredited idea of parental alienation syndrome, an idea created by Dr. Richard Gardner, who defended child molesters, and promoted by fathers rights groups:

“Parental alienation—when one parent programs a child against the other parent—is one reason for false allegations of abuse by a child: one parent encourages the child to accuse the other. The parent can be subtle in encouraging the child to make sexual allegations by not supporting the child’s relationship with the other parent and by criticizing the other parent in the child’s presence, which can cause the child to adopt one parent’s negative view of the other. However, it is important to avoid jumping to conclusions that the accused parent is guilty, or that the other parent is behind the allegations.”

He seems to think children who repeat themselves are likely to be lying:

“Review the initial statement made by the child or adolescent, if it is available as a videotape, audiotape, transcription, or police report. “The first interview done by police and CPS is often videotaped. If that is available, watch it. The more the child or adolescent repeats the statements, the less reliable the statements are. If you are able to view an older interview, it may be more truthful than your own interview with the child,” he said.”

Kenan is not just one bad apple, he’s one of many child custody evaluators who uses bias and high fees to taint the family court system. It’s nothing short of scary that family court has such little oversight of custody evaluators.

Press release

For Immediate Release:                                                         Contact: Kathleen Russell
August 4, 2010                                                                              Cell: 415-250-1180
 
Outraged Parents Take Action Against Janelle Burrill
 
Criminal Complaints Against Custody Evaluator to be Filed at 10AM Thursday, Followed By 11:30AM Picket at Her Office
 
 — PHOTO OPPORTUNITY —
 
SACRAMENTO- A number of local parents who have lost custody of their children during local divorce proceedings are seeking an official criminal investigation of the professional that they claim is responsible. Multiple parents will file criminal complaints against custody evaluator Janelle Burrillthis Thursday August 5th at 10am at the Sacramento Police Department (5770 Freeport Blvd) followed by an 11:30am picket at Burrill’s 915 University Ave office.
 
The California State Auditor is currently investigating the Sacramento Family Court’s use of court appointees such as Burrill in divorce proceedings. As we understand it, Janelle Burrill is also currently under investigation by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences because of multiple, longstanding complaints against her. We have also seen written confirmation that her board certification was revoked by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work this past Spring for failing to report an existing complaint against her.
 
Parents allege that Burrill has engaged in serious misconduct during the course of her investigations, which in one case reportedly led to the handcuffing, hospitalization and drugging of a gifted 14-year-old boy because he allegedly refused to visit with his mother.
 
Parents have also raised questions about the veracity of Ms. Burrill’s pr imary psychological and legal credentials, given the unaccredited status of some of the educational institutions she reportedly graduated from, and her non-listing with the California State Bar Association. She is reportedly also unlicensed by the California Board of Psychology.
 
“If these claims are true, then the children of Sacramento deserve a proper investigation. Appointees like Burrill make life-altering recommendations to the courts, which are often routinely accepted by the courts. The welfare of children and the rights of parents to parent their children are often literally in the hands of appointees like Burrill. We are aware of reported negative allegations about Burrill that date back years. These parents deserve to have a formal investigation of their claims, to determine whether state laws have been broken and codes of professional ethics violated,” said Kathleen Russell, the Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence.
 
“If laws have been broken, then appropriate action must be taken,” Russell said.
 
A growing frustration with family court appointees who violate state laws and codes of professional conduct around the country has led to recent arrests and lawsuits against court appointees, which is a relatively new occurrence for a once untouchable and politically powerful industry.
 
See links below for related stories on this subject:
 
Therapist’s arrest may mean a review of cases
http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Therapist-s-arrest-may-mean-a-review-of-cases-556589.php
 
Custody Evaluator’s Credentials Questioned In Lawsuit
Dr. Stephen Doyne Has Been Involved In 3,000 To 4,000 San Diego Custody Cases http://www.10news.com/news/19985926/detail.html
http://10newsblogs.com/iteam/?p=657
 
Teen sues county for placing her in custody of sex offender grandfather http://www.whas11.com/news/Teen-sues-county-for-placing-her-in-custody-of-sex-offender-grandfather-90358309.html
 
Questions surround methods, credentials of drug screener
Family Court relies on Robert Bennett’s findings to decide crucial issues of custody and divorcehttp://www.truthinjustice.org/drug-screener.htm
 
Mothers Interrupted These women entered mediation in family court thinking they would retain primary custody of their children. Mediator Janelle Burrill thought otherwise.http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=11355