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Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Could Judge Peter McBrien Have Prevented Madeline's Murder?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Anne Hart 916-715-5243
September 18, 2011

Controversial Judge at the Center of A Tragic Death: Citizens Protest

Sacramento, CA - On Thursday, September 22, 2011, community members will hold a protest from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Sacramento Superior Court, 720 9th Street, Sacramentoregarding the abject failure of Sacramento family court to protect children in custody disputes. The protest will begin on the corner of 9th and H Streets.

One judge, Sacramento Family Court Judge Peter McBrien, has been a focus of community scrutiny for over a decade for his lack of judgment and destructive decisions. He destroyed ancient oak trees on a nature preserve to obtain a better view from his home which earned him the moniker of "Chainsaw" and resulted in a felony charge that he pled down to a misdemeanor. Additionally, he received a public reprimand from the Commission on Judicial Performance. He then became personally embroiled in the divorce case of Ulf Carlsson, and went far out of his way to destroy Mr. Carlsson by ensuring he was fired from his job. Judge McBrien committed numerous ethical violations along the way and earned another reprimand. Battered mothers report that he consistently places children with substantiated molesters, batterers, violent alcoholics, and drug addicts. Now, Judge McBrien failed to protect a toddler, who was then murdered.

After a statewide AMBER Alert, two-year-old Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay was found near Placerville, CA in her father's vehicle. She and her father Mourad Samaan were both dead.

Samaan had a pattern of not returning his daughter Madeline from visits and had told her mother that he was taking the child to Oregon against the court order. Prior to the toddler's death, Judge McBrien had refused to grant an ex parte request by Madeline's mother to order law enforcement to locate the father and child, and to place Samaan on supervised visits. Judge McBrien had a perfect opportunity to prevent this tragedy, but refused to assist the mother Marcia Fay, a California Deputy Attorney General, in locating and protecting her child.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has sharply rebuked the United States for failing to protect women and children in the Gonzalez v. United States decision in August 2011, stating that the U.S. practices discrimination and violation of the right to equality.
http://www.cidh.oas.org/Comunicados/English/2011/92-11eng.htm

We can begin changing these destructive patterns by demanding that Judge McBrien be removed from family court and from any position that gives him authority over vulnerable children.

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About the mother and child pictured at the top

On February 21, 1992, Rhode Island Family Court's Chief Judge Jeremiah Jeremiah gave this two-year-old to the sole custody and possession of her father despite his history of domestic violence and failure to pay child support. The father, a police officer, brought false charges against his ex-wife, first saying she was a drug addict. (Twenty-two random tests proved she was not.) Then he had her arrested for bank fraud, then for filing a false report, then for sexual abuse, then for kidnapping. None of his charges stuck.

The child remained with her father and stepmother until 2003, when, at 14, she finally realized that her mother had not been a drug addict. The teenager persuaded Judge Stephen Capineri to let her return to her mother. There she began working on the painful issues of lifelong coercion and deception--a tangled knot of guilt and rage. Most painful has been her father’s continuing refusal to let her visit two dearly loved half-sisters, whom she has not seen since 2003.

She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.

We are using this blog to provide links to stories that will help concerned people, including government officials, become aware of this form of child abuse and legal abuse. We must work together to improve the courts' ability to recognize the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in victims of domestic abuse who are trying to protect their children.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking for the story of the removal of "Molly and Sara," please visit http://LittleHostages.blogspot.com


About the Author and the Cause

Parenting Project is a volunteer community service begun in 1996 at Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, RI, to focus on the needs of children at risk in Family Court custody cases. Our goal is to make Rhode Island's child protective system more effective, transparent, and accountable.

The Parenting Project coordinator, Anne Grant, a retired minister and former executive director of Rhode Island's largest shelter for battered women and their children, researches and writes about official actions that endanger children and the parents who try to protect them. She wrote a chapter on Rhode Island in Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues, ed. Mo Therese Hannah, PhD, and Barry Goldstein, JD (Civic Research Institute, 2010).

Comments and corrections on anything written here may be sent in an email with no attachments to parentingproject@verizon.net

Find out more about the crisis in custody courts here:

www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org/PhotoExhibit.htm
www.child-justice.org
www.leadershipcouncil.org
www.evawintl.org provides forensic resources to end violence against women

about domestic violence in hague custody cases:
www.haguedv.org

more about domestic violence in law enforcement:
http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/



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