Please consider contacting all members of Michigan's House of Representatives an d Governor Rick Snyder, and ask them to tie

expansion of foster care to protecti ons for children and parents, especially fathers, including protections from leg al abuses at the Friend of the Court. TO:,,, Mau,,, Ji,, shanellejackson@house.mi. gov,,, RashidaTlaib@house.mi .gov,,, GeorgeTDarany@hou,,, richardleblanc@ho,,,,,,, JimTownsend@house.mi.go v,,,, Jef,, AndreaLaFontaine@house.mi.go v,,,, P,,, Lisa,,,,, To,,, rich,,, Pau,,, DavidRutle,,, NancyJenkins@h,,, SeanMcCann@house.,,,,, Bil,,, markmeadow,,, KenYonker@,,, BrandonDillon,,, SharonTyler@h,,, JudGilbert@house,,,,, MikeCa,,, JosephHa,,, pa,,,,,,,,, PhilP,,,, ,,, SUBJECT: Oppose MI-SB 435: Foster care expansion must be tied to reforms to protect famil ies from abuses BODY:

I oppose SB 435 on the grounds that any extension of foster care services should be coupled with badly needed reforms necessary to protect the rights of childre n and their parents, especially fathers, and also coupled with reforms to help s top illicit and potentially criminal activities at the Friend of the Court which can harm both children and parents, and which can promote unnecessary foster ca re placement for children who have a fit and willing parent who is ready to care for them. In Michigan, as in many other states, unmarried men are automatically noncustodi al when a child is born, solely by virtue of their gender. Then they and their children are further harmed by being forced to deal with a Friend of the Court w here there is evidence of illicit and potentially criminal activities. This ev idence includes evidence of theft of child support, evidence of child custody fr aud, evidence of tampering with witnesses, evidence of child support calculation fraud, evidence of obstructing a federal audit, evidence of conspiracy against rights, and evidence of federal felony gender discrimination. See scr dot bi sl ash kQHvC9 for more information. Former FOC enforcement specialist Carol Rhodes explained: "I came to the 32nd ci rcuit family court to make a difference, ... but early on I realized ... it was all about money ... My director would say regularly, 'We aren't the friend of th e family, we're the Friend of the Court!' ... In the years I worked for the syst em I witnessed regular deception to clients that was mandated by office policy. I saw gender bias and discrimination. I saw records destroyed. ... I saw hundred s of pleas for parenting time or enforcement get buried because there is no mone y in enforcing custody or visitation issues. ... We were rated according to how much money we would bring in" (there is a link to the youtube video at scr dot bi slash kQHvC9 ) Please note that In 2000 the US Supreme Court held in Troxel V Granville that pa rents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care in custody of their childr en, that children are not mere creatures of the state, and that parents have a f ourteenth amendment due process right to a more than fair process before their r ights are abridged. However, since that time, the Michigan Supreme Court has never directly recogniz ed the fundamental liberty interests of parents, or that parents have a right to a more than fair process before their rights to care for their child are abridg ed. Instead, they have held that their rights to care for their child are lesse r substantial interests, and they can be abridged at any time by any procedure s o long as it does not "shock the conscience." We need to change the law to respect the rights of parents to protect both paren ts and children, and to remove the financial conflicts of interest for decisionmakers, particularly referees and judges. Until we do that, more children will be needlessly endangered. Just ask the father of Robert Byrd, a 4 year old boy who died from starvation an d neglect at the hands of his aunt and uncle. ("Charges expected today in Highl and Park boy's starvation death: Aunt, uncle to be arraigned; boy was abused, st arved, Wayne Co. medical examiner says", Detroit News, May 11, 2011). The fathe r could not get custody of his child. Or ask Shane Hinojosa, father of Naveah Buchanan, a five year old living with he r grandmother along with a known sex offender "father figure", before she was la ter murdered, "I went to court, and the judge looked at me and said well you hav e no rights to your daughter at all. ... I don't know why I didn't get custody. I guess in the State of Michigan, it's grandmother, after something went wrong."

Or ask Mubuarak Hakim, whose daughter was taken from her mother (Maryanne Godbol do) using literally a rubber stamp procedure, and who was never given a chance t o speak and his lawyer was not even allowed to speak or present motions before t he judge in the case ruled that his daughter must be placed in care of the state , and not in his care. Having never even been accused of any wrongdoing, this a pparently fit and willing father could not be trusted to care for his own daught er based on what appeared to be absolutely no evidence or due process of any kin d.

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