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Crystal Harris Amicus Brief

Crystal Harris Amicus Brief

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Published by cindyjdumas

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Published by: cindyjdumas on May 15, 2013
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08/04/2014

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Court of Appeals Case No. D061388
IN THE
COURT OF APPEALFOR THESTATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICTDIVISION ONE
 CRYSTAL J. HARRIS,
Appellant,v.
SHAWN M. HARRIS,
Respondent.
 O
 N
A
PPEAL
F
ROM
 
THE
S
UPERIOR 
C
OURT
 
OF
 
THE
C
OUNTY
 
OF
S
AN
D
IEGO
T
HE
H
ONORABLE
G
REGORY
W. P
OLLACK 
, J
UDGE
C
IVIL
C
ASE
N
O
. DN106123 
 Amicus Curiae
Brief on Behalf of Justice for Children, Domestic Violence LegalEmpowerment and Appeals Project, and TheLeadership Council on Child Abuse &Interpersonal Violence
O’MELVENY & MYERS LLP
M
ICHAEL
W
ALSH
(D.C. B
AR 
#483296,
SPECIAL
 
 ADMISSION 
 
 PENDING
)A
LEC
J
OHNSON
(CA B
AR 
#270960)400 S
OUTH
H
OPE
S
TREET
L
OS
A
 NGELES
, CA 90071-2899T
ELEPHONE
:(213) 430-6000F
ACSIMILE
:(213) 430-6407
 
TABLE OF CONTENTSPage
GENERAL STATEMENT OF INTEREST OF AMICI...................viSTATEMENT OF INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE JUSTICEFOR CHILDREN............................................................................viiSTATEMENT OF INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE THEDOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGAL EMPOWERMENT ANDAPPEALS PROJECT.....................................................................viiiSTATEMENT OF INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE THELEADERSHIP COUNCIL ON CHILD ABUSE ANDINTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE.....................................................ixI.INTRODUCTION..................................................................1II.STATEMENT OF THE CASE...............................................9III.ARGUMENT.........................................................................9A.The Trial Court’s Decision Was Based on InadmissibleExpert Opinion..........................................................10B.The Court Broadly Applied the Theory of ParentalAlienation to the Facts of This Case Without Support...................................................................................161.The Trial Court Discounted the Evidence oShawn Harris’s Violence Based on theUnsupported View That His Children Had BeenAlienated Against Him by Their Mother........172.The Trial Court Failed to Recognize That EvenDr. Kelly Does Not Contend That ChildrenExposed to Domestic Violence Are Alienated203.It Is Natural for Children Who WitnessDomestic Violence to Resist Contact with theAbusive Parent................................................224.Hostile Comments from One Parent AboutAnother Do Not Cause False Abuse Allegations........................................................................235.In Viewing the Facts Through the False Lens of Parental Alienation, the Trial Court Failed toProperly Assess the Best Interests of the HarrisChildren..........................................................25
-i-
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(continued)
Page
C.This Court Should Reject the Misuse of ParentalAlienation Theories Used to Discredit Allegations of Abuse.........................................................................27IV.CONCLUSION....................................................................32
-ii-

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