How do these arrogant, law-breaking judges get away with trampling people's constitutional rights like this? Judge Shawn L. Briese is a disgrace to the Florida judiciary.
Mother denied Emergency Hearing with Judge Shawn L. Briese
PRESS RELEASE April 21,2010
Daytona Beach - Despite a state law requiring judges to hear anyevidence of child abuse, a Volusia County Judge refused to allow the testimony of a Melbourne psychologist ready to tell the court that she believes two Ormond Beach teens are victims of child sexual abuse.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kathy Pearce was subpoenaed to court yesterdayfor a scheduled custody hearing concerning the teens before Volusia County Judge Shawn L. Briese. But the hearing, which began Monday, was again postponed after Briese ruled the mother must first submitto a deposition by opposing council. "This is the third time I'vetried to testify before this judge and he does not let me," said Pearce, who has often been an expert witness in child sexual abusecases.
The mother, pro se litigant Linda Marie Sacks, subpoenaed Pearce for ahearing, scheduled six months ago, to reunite with her children. But Judge Briese changed his mind Monday morning about allowing the hearing and instead ruled the mother must first submit to a deposition by the father's attorneys. For the past three years Sacks has had only two hours a month of supervised visitations with her daughters.
Sacks filed for a divorce in 2004 after her daughters began acting outsexually. The eldest daughter, at age 8, drew a picture of the father as an erect penis during a therapy session and made an outcry during Sunday School that she had performed a sex act on her father. Sackshas spent six years in the family court trying unsuccessfully toprotect to her daughters.
On Tuesday 4/20/10, Sacks filed a pro se emergency motion requesting the judge listen to Pearce's testimony concerning the children's safety during her originally scheduled hearing time.
Pearce planned to testify about case notes from the children's therapist's file that Pearce reviewed for the first time Monday. "I had seen the summary of her (the therapist's) files but I had never seen her actual notes," Pearce said. "There was much more there than I ever knew."
Pearce said she immediately called Florida's sexual abuse hotline."I'm required to by law," said Pearce, noting that the state officials accepted the report. "She told me a DCF investigation would begin immediately."
About four years ago, Pearce said she heard Briese say from the bench that the sexual abuse against Sacks children must not be true because none of the professionals reported the abuse. "I thought gee, he's misinformed," Pearce said. "I've been trying to set the record straight with this judge ever since without success."
Florida Custody Laws 61.13 (2)(b)1. states that all judges "shall consider evidence of domestic violence or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child" and 61.13 (3) "the best interests of the child shall include an evaluation of all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child including, but not limited to: (1) evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.
But, during the 7-minute hearing, Briese refused to hear the testimony, refused the mother's emergency motion to allow the witness to testify or to allow the scheduled hearing on the mother's motion for unsupervised visitation and total contact to minor children to take place.
Judge Briese told the mother until she is deposed, she will not be allowed to present her case on being reunited with her daughters or have any witness testify regarding documented abuse regarding her daughters and their safety. The next scheduled hearing is to continue at 8:30 a.m. April 27,2010 and Sacks plans to in the courtroom and wonders when will she ever have a fair hearing and will justice ever prevail forchildren.
For more information please contact:
KATHLEEN RUSSELL KATHLEEN RUSSELL CONSULTING
1346 4th Street San Rafael, CA 94901 Cell 415.250.1180 Main415.459.9211 Fax 415.459.9210
Telling Stories, Moving Mountains
Center for Judicial Excellence
1206 3rd Street
San Rafael, CA 94901