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  • Family Court Abuse, Denial and Discrimination
  • Survivors of Separation
  • 19/12/2003
  • Contributed by: admin ( 74 articles in 2003 )
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Articles on free speech and democracy such as the article 'Sewing shut lips of free speech' (The Australian 18/12/03) is right on the money with not only journalists being muzzled, so too are self litigants in the Family Court of Australia. Everyday people trying to protect their families, hard earned assets and livelihood through possibly the most gruelling time of their life - family breakdown.

After one passes through the stage of having your finances run dry and experiencing the realisation that your lawyers and the Family Court usually fall short of looking after your families best interests, one usually transforms into a self litigant out of necessity and a quest for what's just and fair.

Many self litigants seem to battle on a daily basis, the brutal effects of a money and power hungry Family Court empire incorporating a feeding frenzy of many unscrupulous lawyers and affiliated parasitic organisations who prey on the breakdown of families. Protecting your rights and that of your children is a constant struggle.

In September 2001 Jack purchased his brother Paul's home so Paul, a self-litigant, could settle up financially with his ex-wife after the marriage break-up three years earlier. This arrangement would allow Paul and his two children to remain living in the family home, where they had lived all their life with family, friends and attending schools.

However, in April 2002 the Family Court made orders in the absence of Paul to sell what the court believed was Paul's home, in order to settle "mystery" costs of a few thousand dollars that had been dealt with at settlement in another jurisdiction. The title of the property had not been changed into Jack's name, but was still in the names of Paul and his ex-wife.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia for some eight months after the sale, had not attempted to transfer the property into Jack's name. The bank refuses to give any reason for the delay, admit bank error or attend court dates providing valuable evidence explaining why it took so long.

Now, two years on since Jack purchased his home, despite clear evidence that Jack owns the home outright, the Family Court fails to amend orders, allowing a caveat to remain, denying Jack the right to the title of a home he has payed for and is continuing to pay for financially and emotionally.

The reason/s for the judge's error are unclear at this time, due to a denial by the Family Court to make available to Paul the Reasons of Judgement and transcript tapes to listen to.

Written transcripts are unaffordable for average Australians, at over $9000 for a four and a half day hearing. Pleading hardship won't get you anywhere either. Many people also regard the authenticity of written transcripts as not always reflecting a true account of the proceedings.

Why are transcripts edited and by who? Judges? Who else?
Paul has sought to buy the tapes however Family Court policy prohibits the sale of tapes.

This is in contrast with Supreme and Magistrates Courts who supply tapes at $40.15 and $55 per day respectively, in alignment with what Mr Humphries the Attorney-General (ACT) stated over 6 years ago on 15 May 1997.

Mr Humphries said: "It is recognised that the cost of Court transcript may have a significant impact on some litigants seeking access to the Court. It is for this reason that the fee charging regime was recently amended to provide that applicants can be given an audio cassette of proceedings at a cost of $30 and the Court has recently purchased high speed dubbing equipment, which will facilitate this service. Auscript also currently provides assistance to litigants by providing reading rooms for them to listen to sound recordings of proceedings and to read the transcript. Auscript does not charge for this service. Both facilities assist litigants to assess whether or not to proceed to an appeal."

However now, transcript providers such as Auscript and Spark & Cannon under new contracts with the Family Court, forbid the listening of transcript tapes. They say you must contact the Family Court directly.

Are the tapes refused in an attempt to deny affordability and/or avoid accountability?

Quite clearly, if a self-litigant stumbles into a courtroom thinking that if justice and fairness do not prevail he or she will appeal the judge's decision, think again.

Comments by CJ Nicholson [The Age 19 July 2002] saying "The court has an appeal system and does listen to men and women who feel decisions are unfair and wrong" quickly evaporate as an appeal process in the Family Court will almost invariably be denied for most and natural justice thrown out the window.

In addition to obtaining a full transcript of the hearing in which you dispute in order to proceed to the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia, you must also consider the intense financial and emotional burden of preparing the paperwork and arguing the technicalities of law before three judges who are not there to listen to idle chatter. Not too difficult?

Should a parent have to bear this burden?

Paul has written to Family Court's Alastair Nicholson (Chief Justice) and Richard Foster (CEO) requesting assistance with administrative and procedural issues and an investigation into matters, however his letters have been ignored. He has since subpoenaed the court to produce relevant evidence to his case however, he predicts the court will be non-compliant with this process too.

As a father and self-litigant, Paul believes the court has considerable bias toward him. He has been denied three opportunities for appeal, jailed twice without a fair and proper hearing, due process and reasons of judgement, in addition to numerous assalts on his children and family.

Although financially eligible, Legal Aid refuses to fund Paul a lawyer. He has been unable to gain employment and receives welfare as the primary carer of his two children. He owns no assets apart from a 1985 model car and has considerable debt, but none to the Legal Aid Commission. His ex pays the minium Child Support requirement of $21 per month for their two children despite the fact she is gainfully employed.

Paul is suffering ill health from over five years of Family Court abuse through vexatious and unfounded litigation by his ex-wife's lawyers to the point of "burnout". If Paul remains without legal representation much longer, he will again have no choice but to adjourn the hearing set down for early in the New Year. It's a proposition Paul doesn't wish for as he has serious concerns about the health of his brother Jack who has a disability and suffers from epilepsy.

Jack's health has deteriorated since the court orders were made causing him to lose his job of over nineteen years faithful service and be hospitalised on many occasions. Jack's rights are being ignored, as legal advocacy for him seems also unobtainable. It seems Jack, an innocent bystander is being truly victimised and discriminated against by a failing system.

In addition to the Family Court, Paul has contacted and sought help from big law firms, the Law Institute of Victoria, Victorian Bar, Legal and Banking Ombudsman, politicians, Attorney Generals right through to the Opposition leader and Prime Minister.

Although most replied it was only a Legal Assistance Scheme that was at least prepared to give some assistance in liasing with the Commonwealth Bank, however their attempts were quickly met with quietness amd disdain.

Paul believes the current Federal Government's inquiry into 'Rebuttable Presumption of Shared Parenting' should be extended to include an in depth investigation into the Family Court. It appears lawyers and judicial officers who allegedly commit crimes, such as fraud and contempt, remain immune from prosecution, while ordinary families are slaughtered.

It seems three years on, passages such as "the right to be meaningfully heard", from the Family Court 'Litigants in Person' Report August 2000 by the Family Law Council, are still negated through denial of resources and evidence by the Family Court.

"David Luban argues for universal access to the legal system as a fundamental right. Luban's arguments rely on the fundamental of legitimacy. That is, a democratic system of government rests on treating people equally, and to do so in an adversarial legal system, people need an equal right to be meaningfully heard. This right translates to a right to legal services, and can also extend to a right to alternatives to representation."

Simply, the rights of a self litigant in the Family Court of Australia are almost nil compared with lawyers, despite smoke and mirror attempts by Chief Justice Nicholson and others espousing the rights of litigants in person.

Justice Faulks who in a Family Court report [A Challenge Project Report May 2003], makes statements of "access to justice for all...the goal of justice and a fair go for all, justice and fairness, law services are provided fairly, openly, supporting, informing and helping litigants, and recognising their right to a fair go"

It would appear Family Court business and secrecy come before human rights and democracy. It also seems discrimination and hypocrisy are not only rife in the Family Court but indeed flourishing. If the governments of the day have a true desire to serve and promote positive family welfare, an inquiry into the Family Court system beyond joint parenting, must begin immediately to lift the lid on crime.

All in all, it's a disgrace! People must always be allowed the opportunity of free speech.

People need answers - People deserve the TRUTH!

For mutual support write to:
SOS - Survivors of Separation Inc.( www.sos-family.org.au )
help@sos-family.org.au

Self Litigants Unite for Rights - (S.L.U.R)

**Note: Names in article have been changed to protect people's identities in accordance with s.121 of Family Law Act 1975.

Family Court - NO Access to Justice

4 Comments:

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    By:mr primary carer from WA , Australia on September 14, 2012 @ 8:22 am
    Having read prior comments its reassuring that my experience of the family court is shared by others. In particular the previous comments referring to transcripts etc, I would like to add a brief description of the circumstances around the preparation of 'Family Reports '. A court appointed family therapist interviews each party in private. The interview is not videod or taped. The report is written, containing errors, outright lies and recommendations. To contest the report in court will likely result in a harsher outcome for the father. The family court operates on a basis of corruption, implied threats and dishonesty. It seems incredible that such a dysfunctional social institution continues to operate in this way.
    By:Bobby D from ACT, Oz on May 9, 2011 @ 8:49 pm
    Yeah Dale, it's tuff when the kids are young and ya got a hussy of an ex by the sounds of things cos you can miss out on so much valuable time with them, and of course them with you. It's always hard to give an accurate analysis without knowing the parties and situation. However, knowing the following 4 questions can help slice through the whole separation scenario quite quickly.

    Who left who and under what circumstances? The personalities of those involved? How much money is involved? and who is willing to parent properly? Simple but important questions.

    5 ways off the top of my head many people deal with mad, bad & unreasonable parents who don't put their kids first are:

    1. Treat them with love, kindness and empathy as they maybe going through pain, grief and loss. Especially if you're the asshole who left the family in the first place without an excellent reason. Yeah, and shagging that young 18yo isn't it either.

    2. Treat them with disdain. Hit them so hard they think twice about being a whore bitch whose totally unfair and unreasonable re a child/ren, (I mean with all the tactics you can muster, legal, money, emotional, psychological or whatever that is effective to stop that mad dog biting you and not wanting to let go), especially if they pissed off on you without a good reason, and now want to be or continue to be some guilt ridden scorned bitch from hell, making you pay for all their past hurts right back to the day they were born. Especially if you were a good Dad and husband/parent, you don't deserve this type of abuse. This may snap them out of their psycho frenzy state that some people get into and give them the message go take responsibility for their own past and leave you alone.

    3. Simply walk right away like MrNatural said, as hard as this is but then you have to look at yourself, fix yourself up. You can then view the welfare of your daughter from outside the box with clarity, so the best can be done for her.
    Get a new life and start again with a better partner, yes even an 18yo honey... lol

    4. Go to court cos some people need the almighty "Father Power Authority figure" known as the judge and court to make decisions for them as they can't do it for themselves for one reason or another.

    5.And finally, well, let's say God will take care of that one.

    (Not the only options mind you)
    By:MrNatural from Vic, Australia on May 9, 2011 @ 11:44 am
    As long as you and your son have an insight into the mother's personality traits etc you maybe able to play the mother so she hands over the daughter willingly without repercussions upon the 3yo. This may involve giving the mother something she wants (yes treating her like a child) in exchange for the daughter. Perhaps just pull awy completely making the mother think he's not interested in sharing the parenting load if she's gona be a so called bitch. Let the mother think she and her daughter are both losing if the father and his family support are not around. Mostly, it's about psychology, however you may have to get court orders for contact etc and more if possible/needed for the welfare of the daughter. This can be done on the cheap if it's done yourself, but be careful it court litigation doesn't blow out emotionally or financially.

    The mother is no doubt running a pattern from her childhood and possibly doesn't have an awareness of the problem let alone the maturity or desire to remedy it, both for her sake and the childs. http://www.beyondseparation.com/articles/articles.php?art=145

    Depends on the DVO complaint against your son, it's sometimes best to just ignore it, and not give any weitght to the whol;e process, or send in an email/fax saying you deny the complaint on the record but don't have the time, energy or money to waste on such vexatious and unfounded claims. A DVO can be used genuinely out of fear, or as a vindictive weapon and as a basis for a court application, and to have firearms removed if you have any.

    As for the system, I'd need about 10 pages of comments to even scratch the surface of how useless it is for many good fathers and mothers alike. Keeping out of the system is the best solution for all concerned. Getting your emotions under control and some good lateral thinking happening and there are plenty of ways to skin a cat.
    By:Dale Mendan from Queensland, Australia on May 9, 2011 @ 5:58 am
    Help! My son is being harassed by his x partner and this has been going on for the past four years. They have a 3 year old little girl whom she uses as a bargaining tool to suit her needs. She calls him and abuses him 24-7. He is not permitted to any visitation rights as far as she is concerned as his supposed to be an irresponsible farther. She herself comes from an abusive back ground. Her mother kept her from her father until she made a move to meet with him when she was 20 years of age. She is now 24 and doing exactly to her daughter what her mother did to her.
    I would like to know how this justice system of ours works as it seems to be only one sided. Someone please explain this to me as I have no idea why the mother has all the rights and the father has none... My son has a DVO against him which he has to contest in court even though all the allegations are false... How does this happen in Australia where equal opportunity is supposed to be practiced. I would like to hear from those who can offer some advice to this end.
    Desperate parent - Dale

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