- Posted July 9, 2012 by
Raleigh, North Carolina
NC Grand Jury/ FATHER'S RIGHTS/ CHILDREN'S RIGHTS
Dear North Carolina Lawmakers,
I want to address a couple is issues that I have some concern with on what is allowed to take place in North Carolina. They are both related, kind of.
The first issue is the Grand Jury and just how it works / OR NOT.
Did you know that a prosecutor can present a criminal case without one ounce of EVIDENCE? Interesting concept here. Too much trust has been allowed
in the process of how a person can get indicted, tried and convicted. Trust that prosecutors are doing the right thing, legally and lawfully and of course,
in a professional manner. This is not always the case. Innocent people are being indicted, some are tried and convicted and some are intimidated into
accepting a plea deal.
Innocent people. How does this help our criminal system and North Carolina as a whole? Is the system, itself, creating their own criminals to deal with?
Criminals continue to be free to commit other crimes while innocent people are sent to prison for a crime they did not do. In the long run, what has been accomplished?
A lot of WASTEFUL SPENDING and a lot of time and effort down the drain. This is not a win win situation for anyone period. FALSE CONVICTIONS-a form of CORRUPTION.
My son's case is a prime example of just how *corruption and cover up* takes place within the North Carolina Judicial System. And it all started because he is a father and wanted to have a relationship with his daughter. This is what all fathers strive to do, to be in their children's lives. How can either party be allowed contact with their children when Protection Orders are put into place without first making important decisions about other matters first?
My son, John, has not been allowed to have any communication with his daughter, Gretchen, ( who turned 8 years old on July 8, 2012 ) in over 2 years
now. Can you imagine not being allowed to have any communciation with your only child this long? Not knowing where she is or if she is ok and being taken
care of? John has missed Grethen's past 3 birthdays that she has celebrated. I am sure Gretchen does not know what is going on and why she has not seen or heard from her daddy, who took care of her for the first 2 1/2 plus years of her life. Gretchen is her daddy's little girl.
I would like to inform you that John was falsely accused by the mother of Gretchen, of several criminal acts, which did not happen.
He was *STOPPED IN HIS TRACKS* from having any contact with his daughter, thanks to Amily McCool, Wake County ADA, and the ex wife who fooled and abused the system by with making false accusations against my son.
My son's divorce became final in 2009 and there has never been a custody hearing on their daughter, only an agreement which allowed John to have visitation with his daughter every other week-end and some additional days as well. In June, 2010 it was time for a *review of this agreement*. This agreement was drawn up by David Hough, Attorney.
Although there was a *protection order in place* John and his ex wife had been seeing each other and were *hooking up as well* since February 2010. And then *it* happened. The ex wife falsely accused my son of 2nd degree attempted rape. This was her way of putting the custody and visition agreement review to a halt. She had recently met another man of interest that she was seeing and my son was now in the way of her persuing this new relationship. So she decided ( along with her sister who helped her file the false report with the Cary Police Department ) to falsely accuse my son of something that did not even happen.
This completely caught my son by surprise when he was picked up in Forsyth County for the charges which had been reported. (My son was visiting his sister when this took place). I learned that the first Wake County magistrate refused to issue the warrant for his arrest due to them having an ongoing relationship. This did not stop there though. The Cary Police Department found another magistrate who did, although there was never an investigation made to even verify the false charges.
It took over 2 years for someone to finally address the charges and learn that there was NO EVIDENCE to support the accusations made against my son. A plea deal was offered and refused.
Amily McCool, Wake County ADA, presented the charges to the Grand Jury and was able to get 2 True Bills of indictment on separate charges against my son. She did this without having any evidence at all to back up the charges and/or indictments.
Is this really how the North Carolina *law* works? Are prosecutors really allowed to present criminals charges based on *nothing*, in order to get an indictments against people?
How does a Grand Jury hand down a TRUE BILL of indictment without any EVIDENCE (or at least an investigation) of a crime being committed? You, the lawmakers of North Carolina, need to look into this and make changes in the way indictments are processed. These kind of *shenanigans* can be quite costly for everyone. A lot of time, money and effort was wasted for over 2 years.
Due to this grand saga, my son was arrested numerous times, appeared in court multiple times and posted bond on each and every time that this happened. All of this was started due to a *consented North Carolina Domestic Violence Protection Order (approved and agreed upon by both parties, without any finding of facts in court that a DVPO was actually needed) which was used as a means to allow the ex to make false accusations and charges against my son. The DVPO being issued without cause started a vicious cycle, with many accusations and charges to follow.
For the next couple of years there were more and more charges made against my son. It became a very expensive ordeal as well.
(An easy fix for North Carolina Domestic Violence Protection Orders would be that it must *apply to both parties involved*. IF this is done, then both parties have equal responsibility of abiding by the Protection Order and following whatever the judge decides on other issues as well. IF both parties are affected, then neither party can *hold the DVPO over the other party's head*. If a Protection Order is indeed *needed* then this way BOTH PARTIES ARE PROTECTED.)
John paid several attorneys in the beginning, trying to get the court to actually address the real issues, which were only to keep Gretchen from seeing her daddy and his family.
Eventually there were state appointed attorneys involved as more and more charges were made. Many many court dates were involved in the great saga in both Wake County and Orange County and which finally came to a halt on July 5, 2012 when the last of 2 criminal charges were finally dismissed from Wake County Court System. (We had been informed that all charges would be dropped in May)
If this happened to my son, I am sure that it has happened to other people as well.
My next concern is the 2nd part I have questions about, Father's Rights in North Carolina.
North Carolina is a state who does have (or is suppose to have) Father's Rights in North Carolina. There are 5 counties who are now participating in trying to change how North Carolina views the laws which are there to allow fathers to have rights to obtain access to and visitation with their children. I do not understand though why this program can not be enforced in all North Carolina County court systems so that any and all fathers have a chance to spend time with their children. Our court systems are geared to address one item at a time in court when there are many important issues which should be addressed and more information should be required at the time a person appears before the court system, in order to make decisions which will benefit the children as well. For example, when parties come to court to request a protection order against each other, before this is issued, the judge should take in account any children and make sure their needs are taken care of before the protection order is approved. Things such as visitation, education, support, medical needs, ect should be put into place before the Protection Order is approved. The same should be applied in divorce court as well. There should be something in place on how a person is supposed to have rights to a child when the other party has a Domestic Violence Protection Order in place.
How does a parent deal with the parent who has made serious false accusations against the parent without any evidence that any crime even took place? There should be some sort of *solution* in place to address problems such as this. I am sure that my son is not the only person this has happened to.
Adults have choices and consequences, children do not. The court system should take into consideration the needs of any children *stuck in this kind of situation* before any thing is approved. If the court system does not do this, the children are the ones who get the short end of whatever deal there is.
So many times children are not taken into consideration and are left wihout seeing either the mother or the father, which is unfair to the children. Children need BOTH PARENTS. Our system is not set up to PROTECT the RIGHTS OF CHILDREN, but it should be.
Judge Michael Haas, a Minnesota Judge, has made a very important valid point which should be shared in all divorce and family courts which involve children. No truer words could be said. It is provided below:
Minnesota Judge Has 200 Blunt Words for Divorcing Parents
By Judge Michael Haas, 2001
"Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault.
No matter what you think of the other party-or what your family thinks of the other party-these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an "idiot" his father is, or what a "fool" his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad.
That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.
I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make your a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.
(the above article was provided by Terri Farrington Smith-thank you for sharing this. I think every FAMILY COURT JUDGE IN AMERICA should provide a copy of this to every parent who are getting a divorce.)
North Carolina Lawmakers you can change the laws on both the Grand Jury and Father's Rights in North Carolina and make a difference in our precious future children's lives as well.
North Carolina has a HUGE ROOM to improve the Judicial Systems and how things should be conducted. Only you, the lawmakers of North Carolina, can make the changes which will improve children's lives.
Future generations are being destroyed because the system is not providing what is good for our children. Please do the right thing and make sure that Fathers have rights too. Please do this for not only Gretchen, my granddaughter, but for all of the little boys and girls who are not allowed to have any contact with their mother or father. I want what is fair and just for all and especially for our children, the little ones who have been *forgotten in the process of separation and divorce*. This needs your IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. ONLY YOU, the lawmakers of NORTH CAROLINA can make a difference.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.