I’ve been reading your blog now for almost a year. While much of what you write is interesting and keeps me reading, it’s painful to read about your battle to regain your son. It’s painful because it would be so easy for you to get more access to your son, yet you seem to do everything you can to make the situation worse.
Having had some experience with the social service and court system in Washington State (a few years back), I can tell you a few things about it. First, the courts are under no obligation, by the state or federal constitution, to appoint a lawyer for you in a civil case (child custody cases are civil cases). You are not a defendant – only defendants get a lawyer. The only exception would be if they were to consider you mentally ill enough to appoint you a guardian. A bit of searching and a call led me to a non-profit legal service that does cater to people in need of low cost legal services. Their fees are based upon need and income, meaning you would likely pay nothing to obtain legal help from them. It’s called Columbia Legal Services. Their website is http://www.columbialegal.org/ and the phone number for the office there is (509) 662-9681.
Second, the court can and will require that you undergo a psychological evaluation to regain more custody of your son. I’ve had an evaluation myself. It’s nothing to be afraid of. They will provide you a list of professionals that you can see. None are on the state payroll. They are just counselors that accept work the state sends them in addition to their normal caseload. With rare exceptions, all shrinks these days are about the same. Though they may not get every detail right, they will get the overall picture correct. This is your chance to prove to the court that you are okay. All you have to do is play their game for a little bit. You will likely be rewarded as the judge and others start to realize your desire to get your son back. Actions often speak much louder than words in court. If you show that you are willing to jump through a hoop or two, they will see that you are truly motivated and will start to work for you instead of against you.
...more next post...
I have to paste my response here because it was too long for a "comment". I'll add the original comment ahead of this in just a minute:
Thank you so much for all of the time and thought you put into this post. It is really heartfelt and I know what you're saying. But I don't know whether there is even any point to my response anymore. If you've been reading my blog for a YEAR, after all the outlines I've made of WHAT was done wrong and after I've detailed all of the very specific VIOLATIONS of rules of civil procedure, I feel you should have a different opinion.
1. Public defenders ARE a "right" under Washington state law, for dependency cases. They are not a right for normal custody, but where the state is the party and has removed children, they are a right. A right. And not only that, it goes further than that. It is not good enough to have so-so defense. The law in Washington states there must be a "reasonable" defense and that this is also a RIGHT. What does "reasonable" mean? Under Washington law, the interpretation of this law is that reasonable is, in practical terms, 1. researching various possible DEFENSES. that's just one requirement. Another would be obtaining and filing relevant EVIDENCE into the court record.
In my case, I can prove my PDs did neither of these things. They didn't listen to ME and believed the doctors instead. The whole case was decided on the basis of doctors trying to avoid malpractice claims which I was trying to bring. The Drs. told CPS I was delusional to think I had any injuries or that my son did and they said I was 'drug seeking' when I wasn''t and I was seriously injured and NEEDED painkillers for injuries they were claiming I didn't even have.
Not only that, I went in because I was having seizures and I have a past of this and the doctors refused to do diagnostics, instead choosing to ASSUME there was no problem. Just like they assumed I didn't have migraines at all, when I had had them for over 10 years and had been diagnosed by two different neurologists. I didn't pick those neurologists out and didn't know them at all.
I also had TWO different mental health professionals evaluate me and say there was nothing wrong with me. but neither PD put this into the record. In fact, one PD received a letter from a DOCTOR, from me, which stated I needed change of venue because of INJURIES FROM CHILDBIRTH and my PD, Paul Cassel, did not put this into the record. He didn't bother to obtain other evidence I told him was available either.
Then, I had the JUDGE decide, at the last minute, on the DAY of a hearing, that I had to be PRO SE. I had been sending emails to the Judge and the last PD, for a MONTH, asking for a new appointment. The Judge, if he had planned to refuse me a PD, had an entire MONTH to let me know in advance that if I didn't take the PD who wasn't doing his job I had to be pro se. But for a MONTH, the JUDGE and the PD ignored my repeated emails asking if who my new PD was and could I be appointed a new one prior to trial. They ignored all the email. I wasn't told I was going to be thrust out to be PRO SE with ZERO notice. But that's what the Judge Hotchkiss did and it's flatly illegal.
These guys purposefully left me in the dark until the hearing began and then Hotchkiss told me (Hotchkiss and Cassel were former law partners for the same small town firm before Hotchkiss became a judge by-the-way), anyway, Hotchkiss told me I had to be PRO SE on the spot. I had already fired my second PD, who emailed me HERSELF to announce she had a conflict of interest and couldn't represent me. I wanted to know what the conflict was and she wouldn't tell me. So AFTER this woman obtained all of my medical records, I found out through research, she had just left the FIRM THAT REPRESENTS THE HOSPITAL which would have been party to any lawsuit I brought out for medical malpractic for me and my son. I found this out and knew she had known who I was all along and was just using the 'PD' as an excuse to obtain medical records her pals at her still close law firm could be apprised of.
So I had every reason to NOT want her involved in my case and besides that, she also didn't even bother to contact me after her appointment to my case, until 2 weeks before the next hearing.
When I said I was telling the Bar, she suddenly claimed there was no "conflict of interest" afterall.
I had every reason to request a new PD and Judge Hotchkiss and his beer buddies knew it too.
So instead of giving me 30 days to prepare for my own defense at a time when I was still having medical problems (phsyical AND stress related bc of the forced traumatic separation of my son from me), he told me on the spot, that I was to go Pro Se. I objected and then the Judge hung up on me. I called back and politely asked if I could be readmitted to the hearing to defend myself and the juddge emailed the court clerk who read what he sent to her, "The hearing is proceeding without her."
So that hearing was the first important hearing, and I had these assholes purposefully preventing me from getting evidence into the record that proved me right. There was other evidence that could have been obtained as well.
Don't tell ME, that my "recourse" is through fucking Judge Hotchkiss, who didn't even apologize or correct himself or give me a new opportunity. He just railroaded through. And all the while, they were ALL SAYING I am MENTALLY ILL.
If I'm too mentally ill to take care of my child, you would certaintly think I'm too mentally ill to be my own attorney.
But no, they turn and twist it however they want. And some of it cannot even be twisted, it's just glaring violations of law.
I have grounds for New Trial but I can't do this myself. And then I have people like you, who well meaning though you may be, don't FUCKING PICK UP ON THE FINE PRINT.
I am so SICK of people telling me to jump through hoops that are not even hoops to begin with. These fuckers--all of them, didn't hold out "hoops" for me to jump through. They put out fucking bear traps and dug pits and threw nets and then asked me to fly, when I had the wings to begin with, but couldn't get out from under the fucking net.
I'm sorry, but the people who need mental health evaluations are Judge Hotchkiss, Paul Cassel, Jeannette Wellbaum, Michelle Erickson, and a few others. These people, if they are not mentally ill or below average intelligence, are corrupt.
And even after they did all this, I still tried to do what they asked and I was prevented from doing so at every turn.
I even tried to get a psych eval and for a MONTH I was ready to fly over but I emailed her at the very start and asked if I could tape record my sessions with her. My going with HER, was contingent on being able to tape record and she KNEW this and AGREED. Then, I was ready to nail down the dates, and fly over, and she suddenly writes and says she's CHANGED HER MIND about allowing me free access to my records and tells me she is NOW going to ask me to sign a confidentility statement to not release any of my own fucking medical records online or to the public. I have, as every citizen does, a legal RIGHT to disseminate medical records as I desire. I have had so many people misquote me, make up stories, and lie about me, that I made certain I could record the sessions so if something funny came up on her end or she wrote down I said something I didn't say, or made a judgement call that was out of order, I could release that information out to the public for my own protection, and proof I had not been fairly evaluated.
The thing is, this psych knew I had a blog and she knew my name. I even provided her with my blog address. She had plenty of time to back out on what she agreed to at the start but she didn't. She chose to screw me over by claiming, at the last minute, once again, I sign a gag order. Then Michelle Erickson tries to BLAME ME, along with their AG, who tries to claim I am the one STALLING.
If I had had notice, sufficient notice that this was their argument, I could have defended agianst it and spent time on getting all my evidence of email communications with that psych. But once again, the STATE didn't mail their "amendments" and new comments until...when? I was told by Michelle Erickson it was just LAST FRIDAY. There was a 3 day weekend since last friday, and then there's today, Tuesday, and tomorrow is the hearing.
that is not sufficient notice but I don't even have time to argue this out.
Why do I spent time on other stuff on my blog? For one thing, because over the whole fucking weekend, I didn't even know what the AG was trying to say now. So I put up other stuff which basically shows when I was being slandered by a law firm in Oregon and a newspaper, it wasn't even possible that I was the type of individual I was defamed as being. I was defamed and I can prove that too.
But since I don't have money which isnt even my fault because I've been in so many car accidents and had so many injuries, I have never been able to make the system work for me.
Guess how it works?
Money. Money, bribes, and everything that goes along with the excess and corruption brewed by shallow character and I think, plutocracy.
Any questions class?
If you do have questions, go back and read from Year 2007 to Year 2009 on the blog and after you've done your homework and checked what I've said out, to see if it's true, tell ME
to start cooperating with the state.
The state needs to be fucking hung upside down to dry out.