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How Mendocino County Stole Four Children From Their Mother

Weekend before last I received a call from a mother fighting to regain custody of her four children who'd been ordered adopted out by Judge Cindee Mayfield. The case is currently in the Court of Appeal of the State of California. The mother asked me if I would contact her appeals attorney and explain my involvement in her case and how her case actually came to be as it is now. I informed the mother that I would, but I wasn’t sure that my information would help unless she could amend her current appeal brief to include “Prosecutorial Misconduct.” She also asked me if I would write something in this newspaper so that others would know her plight.

On August 15, 2011, while working in the Willits office of County Social Services, I was summoned to [Mendocino Assistant Health and Human Services Director and Social Services Department Manager] Bryan Lowery’s office (my supervisor) regarding what appeared to be an urgent case. Lowery was on speaker phone while a newly appointed Social Worker 1 and I sat in the office for the phone conference.

The new social worker was reporting that two children on her voluntary caseload had been seriously injured over the weekend, and that their mother, Kimberly Ortwein, had not sought proper medical care for either child’s injuries. The social worker said she had contacted the mother and directed her to take the children to the Howard Memorial Emergency Room immediately.

Bryan Lowery instructed the social worker and I to call the hospital and place a medical hold on the children. He then directed me to accompany the social worker to the hospital and detain all four of the mother’s children. I told Lowery that we needed to get a warrant first. The hospital hold would be in effect for four hours and we had plenty of time to get a warrant, especially since there was no exigency. He overruled my opinion and demanded that the children be detained immediately, even without an assessment of their welfare being conducted first.

In my 10 years of experience in CPS Emergency Response I had never been told to go pick up anyone’s child “sight unseen” without obtaining a court order first. Concerned that I could be sued, I refused to accompany the social worker in detaining those children. (County Counsel Jeanine Nadel, just a few short months earlier, had given a mandatory warrant policy training and told every social worker that they could be sued and that the County would not defend any social worker who violated the policy.)

On August 16, 2011, I was then directed by Bryan Lowery to write the Petition and Detention Report for the social worker confiscating the Ortwein children. She had never written either document before and had no idea how to do it. The rookie social worker was basically just a trainee who had just been promoted to a Social Worker I after being a social worker aide for several years. Lowery informed me that I was to write the documents with the information provided from the SW I only.

I emailed him a request to be completely relieved from the case but he declined.

In both the Petition and Detention Reports I was told to allege that serious harm had come to two of the Ortwein children and that the mother had failed to access proper medical attention for them without being prompted to do so. I was also supposed to allege that the mother’s two other children were at risk of serious injury due to the mother’s inability to properly supervise them; her other two children therefore needed to be kept in protective custody as well.

On August 17, 2011, I informed Lowery and Lynch that I needed the Emergency Room Discharge Reports to attach to the detention report. I had been asking the SW I for the hospital reports for two days and had not received them. Finally, she brought me an ER report for one of the children and told me that we probably did not want to attach it to the Detention Report, as it would not support the petition already filed regarding the children’s detention.

The report clearly stated that the child had only sustained superficial wounds that did not require emergency room treatment and that the mother had properly cared for the wounds. Furthermore, the doctor checked the mandatory box regarding suspected child abuse as NO. (The mother later told me that the doctor was upset that CPS had ordered her to take her child to ER, and complained that it wasted the ER’s time and resources).

I immediately questioned the social worker as to where the other child’s medical report was and she informed me that there was a problem with that report as well. After reading that report I started explaining to my colleague that I had wasted over three hours preparing the Detention Report and that now we needed to rethink the whole process and possibly return the children to the mother immediately. I was concerned that the Agency’s reputation and credibility with the Court would become a bigger issue than it already was at the time. The case was a disaster from the very beginning.

While the social worker and I were speaking, Bryan Lowery called me into AJ Barrett’s office. [AJ Barrett is listed on the County’s Social Services Directory as one of five “Children’s Services Managers.”] I followed him into the office and I shut the door behind me before sitting down between the two of them. While seated I attempted to tell Barrett about how messed up the case was and the terrible job Lowery was doing. I also explained to him that not only was Lowery using poor judgment, that he did not meet the merit requirements to be supervising me in the first place. I informed Barrett that according to Merit System, a Social Worker Supervisor I couldn’t supervise a Social Worker V, only a Social Worker Supervisor II could do so. Lowery didn’t have a master’s degree, which prohibited him from ever being a SW Supervisor II. If anything, I should have been supervising him not the other way around.

The conversation became heated as I attempted to express my frustration with this case and the Agency in general, especially some of the agency's unusual policies and procedures that they had recently implemented. I informed them that I knew they were only being written to suppress me and were not in the best interest of the Agency.

I had made several serious allegations against the Agency to Director Stacey Cryer, CEO Carmel Angelo, and the Board of Supervisors, about irrational practices being implemented. I had also complained about staffing issues as well, especially in regards to unqualified social worker supervisors. The conversation ended and I went to lunch.

When I returned an hour later I was met by the Welfare Fraud Investigator who had been summoned from Ukiah to Willits to have me escorted out of the office. He had me wait outside in my car for another hour while a letter was written and sent up to the Willits Office from Ms. Cryer in Ukiah. The letter stated that I was placed on administrative leave and that I was not to contact anyone in the County until further notice.

I was now faced with an ethical dilemma. Should I follow the unreasonable demands of the letter, or did I report what had happened in this case and correct the Agency from making critical mistakes? I chose the latter.

After I returned home that evening, I sent an email to the fraud investigator, County Counsel, Director Cryer, and CEO Angelo relaying to them how this case was being mishandled. The next morning at the Detention Hearing (August 18, 2011) County Counsel requested a 24 hour continuance, which was granted by the judge.

On August 19, 2011, the Agency returned to Court with an amended petition without the medical neglect allegations, but they did not correct the information written in the Detention Report. Furthermore, they still did not attach any medical records with Detention Report. Instead, they attached pictures that the SW I took of the two children’s injuries on August 15, 2011.

A trained social worker would never just attach just pictures of injuries of children to a report without all corresponding medical information from a physician. Pictures of injuries on children, especially infants or tots, are extremely inflammatory and can bias the best of us, judges included. The practice is discouraged among professionals and is considered extremely unethical. To make things worse, they left in the Detention Report the following paragraph:

“The mother has failed to protect the children from serious physical harm, and when they were injured, she failed to seek immediate medical care until told to do so by a family member or Child Protective Services (CPS) staff. The mother has repeatedly failed to provide supervision appropriate to the age development of each child. The mother minimized the extent or seriousness of the injuries, rather becoming defensive, asking what more could she possibly do? The mother did not demonstrate that she grasped the extent of the injuries, or that she understood how to prevent further injuries to any of her four young children.”

There were never any serious injuries to the children for the mother to minimize in the first place, and she actually had a better grasp on the extent of the injuries than any of the professionals involved. The medical reports stated that they were superficial wounds that did not require emergency room treatment, as noted by the ER doctor, and that the mother had appropriately cared for the wounds. I read the reports myself.

Not only did the Agency bias the judge, they also biased the psychologist that they ordered the mother to for an evaluation. The psychologist quoted the above paragraph in her report as part of her findings and criticized the mother’s abilities.

Ms. Ortwein explained to me that she was unhappy with being sent to the psychologist and was not as cooperative as she should have been. She stated that she didn’t answer the questions as well as she could have either, and just marked random bubbles without really reading the questions. The mother admits that she didn’t do well with the psychologist because she didn’t want to go in the first place. Ms. Ortwein had become upset with the Agency and their attempts to vilify her.

As a result of the detention of her children without a warrant, the Detention Report and then the Psychological Report, Ms. Ortwein has endured an up and down relationship with the Agency where she has had her children returned to her and taken away again, and eventually ordered out for adoption. As I read her 99 page appeal brief I was amazed as to what she has been through. But what’s even more amazing is how my complaint about Mr. Lowery’s initial directive in this case has gone from bad to worse.

County CEO Carmel Angelo, Stacey Cryer, and County Counsel’s decision to cover-up Lowery’s unlawful detention by withholding exculpatory evidence is unlawful and they could still be personally sued for it today. The Agency has definitely targeted Ms. Ortwein and has gone out of their way to vilify her. All this just because I made Lowery look bad and embarrassed him in front of one of his favored workers, that new hire social worker.

Since this particular incident first started in August of 2011, Lowery has been promoted to the second highest position in all of Health and Human Services, and the SW I has followed him through the ranks and now holds a high position in HHSA. I don’t consider her innocent in this; she made the decision to keep her mouth shut and follow Mr. Lowery’s directive even after I warned her about the need for the warrant, and to this day the medical records have never been made part of the court’s record. Lowery has taken good care of her by seeing that she rose rapidly through the ranks.

One has to think, had Ms. Ortwein’s case been assigned to a competent and qualified social worker in the first place, and if the Emergency Response Supervisor (Lowery) had been competent and qualified as well, would this mother’s children have ever needed to be detained?

Ms. Ortwein had come to the Agency three months earlier to ask for help. The Agency opened a voluntary case after her husband had been deported to Mexico, leaving her alone with no support in the home and no financial resources. The way she has been treated is beyond terrible. She has become a victim of a dysfunctional County organization which now involves Lowery’s former employer Tapestry Childdren’s Services, which is part of the mental health system. Ms. Ortwein's children have become a big funding source for the County’s community partners and has cost the taxpayer’s thousands and thousands of dollars over the past four years and will most likely cost thousands and thousands of dollars for many more years to come — “million dollar babies.”

When the agency first got involved in this case, the children were normal; not anymore, just ask the Tapestry MFT Intern that is involved in this case and is apparently calling all the shots now.

I’m considering turning this case over to Robert Powell Esq. the famous CPS defense attorney from San Jose who handled the Baby Emerald case after I contacted him a couple of years ago. I am currently working with him on a totally different Mendocino County Case in which a complaint is forthcoming. I can’t wait to explain Mendocino County’s Katie A. program to Mr. Powell; he already has questions about it in the other case and wants a breakdown. Ms. Ortwein’s appeal is a victory for me, and as promised, I will eventually vindicate myself and why I was terminated. Hopefully it will force the County to reinstate me. Whether I accept it or not will be my decision only. The main thing for me is that I can clear my name and restore my reputation and become employable again.

As Clint Eastwood would say, “When you hang a man, you better make sure he’s dead.”

99 Comments

  1. Jim Armstrong November 11, 2015

    I am curious if the children have been under court ordered placement for the ensuing four years.
    And how old they are.

    • Kimberly Ortwein November 12, 2015

      Yes all 4 years with kinship placement and as of today 9 oldest and 5 youngest.

  2. R.Ramos November 11, 2015

    I know how corrupt the child welfare is due to my own experience. I had my baby taken. I am native and have no money, yet I did everything I was told to do but it was already set that I was never going to get him back no matter what I did or didn’t do. My baby is growing up without me and no matter what anyone says nobody could ever love a child more than his mother. They don’t realize that they are only punishing the parent but the child is being punished also especially if the parent didn’t do anything wrong as in my case.

  3. james marmon November 11, 2015

    The people running Mendocino County CPS are from the foster care system. Bryan Lowery is a long time foster parent and worked for one of the foster family agencies in 2012. At least two of the 5 CPS Program Managers came from Trinity School as did Lowery and Camille Schraeder. None of these people have any experience with working with families in their homes. CPS is so enmeshed with the Foster Family Agencies that it has become criminal in my mind.

    They think different than an educated and experienced social worker does. Keeping families together in their homes is furthest from their minds. These are foster family people, and that is why they can’t keep professional staff. Just putting children in foster care is not very rewarding to a highly trained and experienced social worker so they move on.

  4. james marmon November 12, 2015

    I’ve worked for several private foster family agencies, including RCS. Their is no doubt that the foster care system is a money driven business. It is “supply and demand” economics. Foster Family Agencies need to keep their beds full in order to cover overhead. If they want to grow, they need even more children. What is concerning to me is that our local private FFAs have moved to the supply side now. CPS has defered decisions regarding a child’s wellbeing to these ffa agencies and their therapists. Most of this is due to the agencies staffing problems, where they unable to recruit and retain qualified Social Workers. A QUALIFIED Social Worker is more likely to identify interventions that would keep children in their homes. Lesser qualified staff is cut to the chase and detain.
    Lesser qualified staff rely on the FFAS for direction.

  5. Kimberly Ortwein November 12, 2015

    Everyday my heart breaks and calls for my babies. Not a moment goes by I don’t think of them and pray that one person can help bring them home with mom and papi.

  6. james marmon November 13, 2015

    I felt that writing this story would also wake up the courts. Short of a full audit of Mendocino Katie A. Program, it is going to take Judge Mayfield to start questioning some of these reports and recommendations. The judge can order second opinions on some of these cases regarding mental health medical necessity and placement decisions. She needs to request that social workers sign legal documents identifying their social worker class and educational status as well.

    Mendocino County’s practice of protecting under educated and unqualified staff “from being torn apart on the witness stand” needs to come to an end. I always pissed them off because I would sign all my reports James Marmon MSW, SW V.

    Everyone else just signs as Social Worker.

    • Kimberly Ortwein November 13, 2015

      That judge is a cover up also. She’s just as bad as the rest.

  7. james marmon November 14, 2015

    I first reported Lowery altering and deleting CPS records to DA Ester on November 20,2011. He said that he would have his lead investgator look into it. I never heard another thing. I HAVE PROOF!

  8. james marmon November 14, 2015

    That’s EYSTER, damn tablet auto correct.

  9. Kimberly Ortwein November 17, 2015

    Nothing will ever be done until it’s taken to higher courts. It’s one cover up after another. One mistake or deception is covered up by another and people are paid a “bonus” to keep their mouths shut and look away. As a result for all of this they get promoted and all are happy as children and families suffer Andre ripped apart.

  10. james marmon November 20, 2015

    I forgot to mention that the photos of the child’s injuries were taken after the mother treated them with iodine. The iodine made them look much worse than they really were The ER doctor reported that mon had cleaned and cared for the child’s wounds appropriately.

  11. Linda Leahy November 23, 2015

    My only remark is to thank Bruce a million times over for his forum of free speech. The County of Mendocino has some dedicated and good employees, but they are drowned out by the blight of corruption and deceit that transfigures the daily workings of government into a dark place of foreboding and fear. To Bruce may you ever stand as a light house beacon of courage and free speech. To those caught up in the vortex of rings (Dantes Inferno), let it all manifest in growth and evolution towards the way out.

  12. Kimberly Ortwein November 23, 2015

    I believe that there is never ever any justification for falsifying anything to get what you want. to harm 4 innocent children and to put them through the heartache and pain of not being home. I had to sit and watch my son, the oldest cry because he misses mommy so much. It breaks me to see the pain they are having to deal with and the internal scars they will forever endure because CPS thought that it was fun to falsify documents and lie under oath each and every court date. I don’t know how any of these county workers all the way up to the judge Cindy can go to sleep at night knowing how crooked they are and how much pain and harm they cause of the poor innocent children every day. I was in discussed the day of court when Cindy said “its ok to hit a child” and DV is normal in a home in front of children which are foster children “with trauma” in a state care home. Let me remind you that in my home there was never even a argument between parents nor have the children ever experienced any time of hitting or spanking. A child can be redirected without corporal punishment. But yet the more I or anyone else reported these things going on and the children themselves crying out for help CPS ignored the matter and let the foster parents know days in advance that they had a report and would be coming out to “investigate” the report the following week so then the foster parents had time to coach and threaten the children to keep quiet about what was going on in the home. The children said that they had been getting continuously hit by foster parents even after they had signed 3 yes 3 no corporal punishment contracts with CPS on 3 different incidents. Yet in the eyes of CPS and judge Mayfield this is all “normal” and OK to cause physical harm to 4 children which I mention one is 3 at the time and has mental delay and very bad medical and breathing issues, 2 with very high level PTSD and the other is on her way to join her siblings with the PTSD if this shit continues and nobody puts there foot down. I believe these people need to open their eyes and speak up. These children have voices and express all the time they want to come home as do very many other kids in the CPS system but yet they are starved, abused, tortured and tormented on a daily bases and the states and counties allow all of this to go on and turn their heads because they need a paycheck and get “great bonuses” for adopting children out. You know there are plenty of children that don’t have loving parents who would give even the shirt on their back to have their child home. there are millions of children who need to be adopted living in orphanages and on the streets. Give them a home and CPS AND COURTS STOP BABY SNATCHING AND SELLING INNOCENT SOULS!!!!! You people make me disgusted and you ALL know who you are.

  13. Kimberly Ortwein December 19, 2015

    There’s a recent story alot like this…..hmmmm…ruthless county

  14. Linda Leahy December 20, 2015

    I have left Mendocino County and the reason was the corruption. I ran a legal aid office for four years, all free to all, no questions asked. I also started and chaired the Mendocino County ACLU, another four years. I was voted Woman of the year for these outstanding projects and their value to the local community. Still the corruption of Local County and City Government drummed me out of the area with threat to my life and loss of my home. There is no doubt in my mind, from the facts of so many cases, that the FBI should do an investigation into the County Sheriff, DA, Court, Social Services, The Senior Center and many 501c3’s that steal their own funding and belittle and use their vulnerable clients. I also have all documents and transcripts. If their is someone who wants to work with the FBI to present case and documents as well as witnesses, let them come forward to write this up and seek investigation into these practices of corruption and discrimination. You may reach me through the AVA. I asked this some months ago that people who wanted to write up a case for the FBI contact me. So far, no one has stepped forward. That offer is still valid. I am in Law school now at 74, and my motivation is what I have seen in many counties; corruption is an epidemic. Linda Leahy

    • james marmon December 20, 2015

      Linda Leahy.

      I would be more than happy to speak to the FBI. That’s what it took to run Jim Jones out of town back in the 70’s and clean up our local politics.

      I attempted to report some of the shit going on to DA Eyster in 2012, but I was ignored.

      Mr. Eyster’s decision to ignore me and protect Family and Children Services management has caused the County serious damage which may be far beyond repair.

      The warrantless removal of hundreds of Mendocino County children from their parents and the cover up of those removals by deleting official records, excluding exculpatory evidence, and down right lying, just might be of interest to the feds.

      I spent almost 5 years complaining about the County violating parent’s due process rights. During that time, I identified an unbelievable amount of these violations.

      I was a court report writer for the Agency and these cases came to my desk routinely. All I had to do is read the removing social workers notes to identify if a child was legally removed.

      The problem is, dependency courts don’t litigate whether a child was properly removed, they only decide if the child should remain detained.

      For a parent seeking remedy for their constitutional right violations, they have to go to federal court and file a Title 42, 1983 lawsuit.

      For over 4 years I tried to get the Agency to use warrants, and they resisted. County Counsel Jeanine Nadel gave trainings and threatened social workers about unlawful detentions, but FCS management disagreed with Ms. Nadel on what constituted “exigency” and ordered children removed anyway. Bryan Lowery is one of those who disagreed, and he is now the Director.

      During the years I worked at Mendocino County, there was not one warrant petition filed with the court.

      James Marmon MSW

      jamesmarmon@mchsi.com

      • Kimberly Ortwein December 28, 2015

        James I’m on board I just got 2 big boxes of court files and letters

    • Kimberly Ortwein December 28, 2015

      This is about my case and I’m here and have tried for years. Got videos recordings and photos. Kimberly.ortwein@gmail.com

    • Smith May 15, 2016

      I want to personally thank you for your integrity Linda. I hope a change can be made through your honesty and drive for the truth.

      • Smith May 15, 2016

        The same to you James, I commend you. And Kimberly I pray the rightful outcome to you. These stories anger me and I wish there was something I could do.

      • Linda Leahy May 15, 2016

        Thank you for that! May I also thank you and all of the dedicated people, who have been willing to do and share their experiences and truth about those experiences. It is dangerous to live in Mendocino County and be so brave. I, myself, had my life threatened 3 times, if I would not cease and desist. It seems, we all have that cross-road in our lives, when we choose between bravery, justice and ethics, or we choose to be silent and we extinguish the light and spirit of humanity that seeks to thrive in all of us. It is a choice and it takes courage. It exhilarates and breaths live into the human spirit. It is why we are here, to bring our own particular color to the palette of life, and then to paint with it.

  15. Linda Leahy December 20, 2015

    In my legal work, I did have a client who had her 2 children removed and adopted out. Their mother was on the slow side, but not sure of her diagnosis. The County excluded their Grandma from having opportunity to be care giver for them It was railroaded through Social Services and the Foster Home. In fact, the adopting parents worked the Foster Home, a direct violation, and had the MCSS help them push it through the court process by calling Grandma “Crazy, trouble-maker” so she was left out of the whole situation as it was done behind closed doors under the concept of protecting the children. I had another client who was developmentally disabled, married to another developmentally disabled person and both over the age of 21. Yet, her Mom and Dad had her moved to Humboldt County, excluded the baby’s Dad from participation with an Ex Parte Restraining Order. and took the baby from both without their consent or input.

  16. Linda Leahy December 20, 2015

    Start by contacting the FBI in Santa Rosa, be insistent on filing a written concern to start a file on these matters. They will accept it, no doubt reluctantly, but just getting your foot in the door is all you need. Talk to your State Senator to ask for a contact person in their agency or the FBI, or both, to start the request for investigation. The County gets Federal money so that means you can ask the FBI and it involves possible misuse of public funds at Federal level.

    • Marie May 13, 2017

      Hello there, I happen to have stumbled on this.I am so greatful to here someone is talking a stand against this a legal, extremely dysfunctional, organization called Mendocino county Justice. I would love to speak with you. Its important that others mothers that have fallen victome to this county know that they’re not alone. Thank for you’re ambition and drive to stop this misuse of our children in the Mendocino county dristect.looking forward to our chat.

  17. Shonna March 7, 2016

    I live in Willits CA mendcino and they have my 13yr please help me

  18. james marmon March 8, 2016

    I forgot to mention that the pictures that the Agency presented to the court was taken after the mother treated her daughter’s minor scrapes with iodine, the iodine takes on the color of servere bruising after it is applied.

    The court appointed attorney did a terrible job defending and she eventually able to have him removed and replaced with a more competent attorney who fought very hard for her and subsequently filed the appeal, which is still pending.

    • james marmon March 8, 2016

      presented to the court “were” taken, not “was” taken. sorry

  19. Linda Leahy March 8, 2016

    I suggest two things. First, apply to be on the Grand Jury. This is the hub of the wheels of just-us. The second is to file an on line inquiry to the FBI on how to write up and file a complaint with them, You will need the instructions on the format, and other support information, witnesses, etc. You can also request information using the Federal FOIA, look that up to discover how to request, and the State of California also has a law to request government and non profit agencies reporting statements. This will be a long road to a little house, but learn as you go and soon you will gain momentum. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. Just keep learning how to follow the process,

  20. Linda Leahy March 8, 2016

    Take the trip down the rabbit hole to the Mad Hatter’s tea party. You will be very surprised at how what you suspect to be the truth, actually is, in fact, the truth. Is there anything you can do? Yes, ask to see documents, read them, and uncover the facts, then head to any newspaper that will investigate such a story, like the AVA, SF Chronicle or the PD. Write the story for their never has been a better story than the truth.

  21. Sasha Villegas May 10, 2016

    I just came across this article and was astonished by how similar it sounds to ours,with the exception of being an entirely different state and set of circumstances.
    In our case we’ve had three of our five children illegally seized without a warrant or any judicial authorization whatsoever.
    They were taken in a supposed emergency removal over clutter.
    Literally ripped from our lives over having a full garage and clothing on the floor of one unused room.
    We had only spoken with the investigator twice over the course of three months prior to them being taken.
    We did not have an open Children’s Services case.
    The investigator who removed them told us that after visiting our home at 10 am on the day they were taken she went back to the office to discuss the visit with her supervisor who immediately told her to “get back out there and take them”.
    There was a sheriff’s deputy present when they were taken and he told myself and my husband that he didn’t see it…he said he didn’t understand why they were being taken.

    Like many other parents as didn’t know our rights or the laws that day. You never think things like this happen until it happens to you or you witness it.
    We immediately began educating ourselves and contacting every single agency we could find to complain to.
    We tried to file kidnapping charges on the investigator and demanded to know why the prosecutor wasn’t doing so.
    We tried reaching the county commissioners for six month’s since they are supposed to be oversight for the agency.
    We filed every grievance on a county and state level possible.

    In time we found out just how much lying,perjury and corruption was involved. We found out that we were dealing with far more than just a few rogue social workers, instead what we were dealing with was public corruption. The entire county adminstration was involved on some level.

    For speaking out we encountered retaliation in various forms and had to relocate out of the county for the safety of our two children they left in our home.
    They went as far as indicting me for a felony drug charge I didn’t commit,they of course used this not only to silence me but also to justify them continuing to have temporary custody of our children.

    I refused to take their plea deal for several months because I couldn’t bear the thought of saying I was guilty of a crime I didn’t commit. They only allowed minimal visitation during this time as well.
    After holding out for nine months, I was basically offered my children in exchange for a guilty plea. By this time I was so broken I could barely drag myself out of bed for my other two kids, I felt like a part of me had died.
    I agreed to take the deal because the judge told my attorney that if I didn’t I’d have a very hard time ever getting my children back.
    The other part of the deal is that I’d be placed on felony probation until the Children’s Services case plan was complete, after that the charge would disappear and it would be like it never happened.

    Within a week of pleading guilty we received a progressive visitation plan which started in home,overnight, unsupervised visits almost immediately and within three months our children would be returned full time.

    As of today we are a little over two weeks from their return date of May 26th,2016.
    I am greatful that our family will soon be reunited, but at the same time I am sickened by what we had to go through to make it possible.
    I am still in disbelief that this has really been allowed to go on and sadly happens everyday.
    The views I once had have been changed forever.
    The children we once knew have been changed forever as well.
    A year of our lives has been stolen and all the for the sake of someone getting paid.
    I can definitely feel the pain of every parent who has ever had to be involved in something such as this.
    I’m still not sure at what point healing will begin.
    What I do know is that even though our children may come home I will keep speaking out and doing whatever is necessary to push for change within the system and seek to hold those accountable who choose to involve themselves is the destruction of families.

    My heart truly goes out to you and thank you so much for sharing your story… It helps to know that we are not alone.

    • james marmon May 11, 2016

      Just goes to show how facebook can make the AVA famous, this story went viral nationwide among child welfare freedom fighters on Monday. It has been shared by thousands.

  22. Linda Leahy May 10, 2016

    The corruption in Mendocino County is staggering. You are right, at every level. I also, having been a para legal, a nurse and an advocate, for 40 plus years, head of the ACLU, Gray Panthers, my own legal aid center, Woman of the Year and hundreds of other accolades of free community service, including working with Vets, Seniors, disabled, etc. in literally thousands of cases over the years, was drummed out of the county as well. My reputation, slanders and other tactics used to discredit me, disarm me, remove my voice and so on. I am in law school now, and I thank the corruption in Mendocino County, for teaching me how precious it is to defend freedom. Thank you Mendocino County, you taught me well. I am so happy you are getting your children back and that you had the courage to do what you needed to do, so you can do what you want to do. Way to go! Linda

  23. Linda Leahy May 11, 2016

    Wow, thank you for sharing that. There is in every dark place, the light of hope and courage, as long as we carry it with a true heart. I am so very proud to know people can be heard if they never give up. Linda
    *******THANK YOU BRUCE FOR BEING THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE THROUGH TOUR NEWSPAPER.

  24. Nancy Witherell May 12, 2016

    If this were an unusual case it would be more palatable but the truth is, this is similar to a great many cases all over the planet. The’system’ is destroying a good portion of our youth and their families too. What makes this case unique is you, an ex-social worker with scruples who will not sell out. Someday, this will all be in a history book and the system will be exposed and described much like the modern day Nazi’s. Then there will be a handful of heroes and you Mr. Marmon will be one of them!
    Definately run this case by Robert Powell – it sounds right up his alley!!

    • james marmon May 12, 2016

      Bob sent me a message yesterday morning at 7:51 AM after reading this story. I am so glad that Elizabeth Freebird and Linda Chambers posted this story to all the groups out there.

  25. james marmon May 12, 2016

    Bob is already in town working on this case.

    https://www.theava.com/archives/52049#1

    He also took on the Baby Emerald case for me after the 5 month old was brutally murdered by a foster parent.

  26. james marmon May 12, 2016

    In case no one is familiar with Mr. Powell and his landmark case.

    “In January 2008 the law office of Robert Powell won its appeal to the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case finds that CPS social workers are not entitled to absolute immunity for investigatory conduct – particularly when they fabricate evidence, misrepresent evidence, and withhold exculpatory evidence.”

    http://www.rrpassociates.com/resources/images/Powell%20-%20Beltran%20Appeal%20Jan%202008.pdf

  27. Kimberly leon May 12, 2016

    These people are still messing with me, they never give up. One screw over after another. The newest was them trying to say I’m stalking my children and foster parents and tried to kidnap one of my four kids at a visit at the park right next door to cps and sheriffs office in willits CA. Yet they made no reports or evidence. Mean while put a restraining order against me and took my visit I got 1 time a month supervised for 2 hours. Then turn around and don’t go through with the full restraining order against me when the emergency one expired because it’s all lies. On top of that they had a judge on the case making decisions who is County councils husband. I mean what more sick and twisted bull shit can these people get away with!?

  28. james marmon May 15, 2016

    When the real Director of Health and Human Services, Camille Schraeder (RCS) completes her take over of Mental Health and Substance abuse programs, no natural family will be safe.

    “I’m ambivalent about kids being with their families at all costs,” Schraeder said. “In theory, that’s a beautiful thought…if we do really great, help the whole family, then that’s OK, but if we just say, ‘you are better with your family,’ are they better off?”

    http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20160506/rcs-two-decades-of-helping-children-in-mendocino-county

    Her agencies will have complete control over everyone’s behavior in the County. Her mental health people will be making referrals and recommendations to CPS and they will enforce her recommendations.

    Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, they do.

    • james marmon May 15, 2016

      Her experience is in foster care and adoptions. That’s who she is. Parents! it starts with just an IEP at school. The county and school board has given her those cases. Her people will look for any reason to remove a child.

      • BB Grace May 15, 2016

        Do County cars that transport children have cameras in the cars?

      • james marmon May 15, 2016

        All most all of Mendocino County’s child welfare cases are “risk only”, there really isn’t that many kids being abused and/or neglected. In 2010 the state quit measuring how many kids were just at risk only and started grouping them with other types of allegations, look at 2007, the year I started in Mendo, 909 at risk only cases. Kids are not really being abused folks.

        http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare/Allegations.aspx

        Mendocino is double the State average in allegations, substantiations, and entries already before Camille completes her complete take over, as the chart indicates below, you better hide your babies. They really want them.
        http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare/RefRates.aspx

    • james marmon May 15, 2016

      When did “better off” become a reason to destroy a family.

      • james marmon May 15, 2016

        Mendocino County has become better home finders, and have very little interest in real child protection. They are extremely proud of their adoption rates.

    • james marmon May 15, 2016

      Camille is not wired right people, she has no real concept of “family”. She is a damaged foster child herself.

  29. james marmon May 15, 2016

    This is what a Mendocino CPS “case conference” is going to look like in the near future. This is where all the decisions are made and which recommendations will be made to the court.

    Program manager (personal friends of Camille)
    Social worker (inexperienced and under educated.)
    Parent mental health (employed by Camille)
    Child mental health (employed by Camille)
    Substance abuse Counselor (employed by Camille)
    foster care provider (employed by Camille)
    wraparound parent partner (employed by Camille)

    Wow, what are chances mom and pop?

    • james marmon May 15, 2016

      I’d say that it is a good chance this type of team might fall to “groupthink” It will all be okay, because the inexperienced and under educated CPS social worker will be ordered to sign off on the team’s decisions and recommendations in their court reports. Not a problem at all, the judges will rubberstamp.

  30. Starr Bryan May 16, 2016

    Retaliation is rampant; but we cannot turn our backs on the precious children. Human trafficking and child abuse by a corrupt government that many people do not want to acknowledge. “No man may regard as nonexistent the suffering from which he spares himself the sight.”-Albert Schweitzer

  31. Monique September 20, 2016

    I just came across this sight and I need help! It would be great if the person who wrote this article can contact me. Or anyone else that would be able to help with an appeal. I don’t want to put too much Info on here. My email is moniquematson8902@gmail.com

    Thanks

  32. Bob Mendosa December 10, 2016

    I just came across this;

    https://casetext.com/case/marmon-v-county-of-del-norte

    Its a ruling against James Marmon for trying to hide the fact that he’s a convicted criminal. His employer, Del Norte County Social Services smelled a rat and ordered a background check on him. Marmon sued over a violation of his civil rights. The judge ruled against him. I’ve noticed that Marmon often follows his name with the letters MSW. So I looked his name up at the State’s license search here;

    https://www.breeze.ca.gov

    He’s got no Social Service license either.

    • james marmon December 11, 2016

      Mr. Mendoza, I’ve never hidden the fact that I was a convicted felon, 40 years ago me and 5 other young men stole a dirt bike and went joy riding. I always self disclose even thought my Criminal Background Checks come back clean. Mendocino County conducted a background check on me and had my letter of disclosure. I always pass background checks.

      As for Del Norte County, I sued because they did not conduct a pre-employment background check on me and after 4 years employment they decided they wanted one. I also self disclosed my felony prior to my hiring there. Under California law you can only request a pre-employment criminal background check that’s it. You can’t just ask for one because someone gets mad at you.

      At the time, Del Norte County was the only County in California that had not been authorized by the Department of Justice to even request pre-employment background checks because they had never requested the authorization. I worked closely with the Department of Justice on the Del Norte issue and got it resolved. They halted all employment criminal background checks until they received the proper authority to do so.

      http://www.triplicate.com/csp/mediapool/sites/Triplicate/News/story.csp?cid=4349684&sid=923&fid=151

      Pre-employment background checks in California can only go back 10 years, that’s the law. They can only disclose convictions not arrests. The ROI number the County of Del Norte was using was for Adoption, not pre-employment. Not only do I pass pre-employment background checks I also pass all Child Abuse Index checks.

      I have worked in schools, mental health facilities, and Child Welfare agencies for over 24 years with not one complain.

      As far as a license, I never claimed to have a license, I have a master’s degree. My claim to be a Personal Growth Consultant doesn’t require a license, so f…..you Bobby.

  33. james marmon December 11, 2016

    The federal judge ruled that my complaint did not reach the federal level, and recommended if I wanted to seek relief I should take it to the State level where it belonged. My decision to start at the federal level and bypass the State was the wrong strategy, but one I live with.

    I filed my federal suit Pro Se. It was a lot of work and a lot of money.

  34. Bob Mendosa December 11, 2016

    Where’d you get your masters degree, James?

  35. james marmon December 11, 2016

    Enjoy Bobby,

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1178889222190169&set=pb.100002073080059.-2207520000.1481482674.&type=3&theater

    I also hold a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Sac State and an Associate in Science degree, Drug and Alcohol Studies from Mendocino Community College and was the Drug and Alcohol Counselor for Mendocino Superior Court Juvenile Drug Court, worked with both Judge Brown and Mayfield on developing and implementing the program to Mendocino County.

    This was all part of my rehabilitation plan that I promised Superior Court Judge Luther in 1989. I got no get out of jail free card, even though Sue Massini thought otherwise.

    Don’t just go through it Bobby, grow through it.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant.

  36. james marmon December 11, 2016

    In 1989 I allegedly beat up the entire Ukiah Police Department and Sue Massini wanted me off the streets forever. I cooked up this plan with Judge Luther that if I rehabilitated myself my felony assault charges against UPD would be dismissed without a conviction on my record. District Attorney Sue Massini who knew me well, and herself had represented me on more than one occasion in the past just about flipped her lid when Judge Luther bought my plan.

    No arrests, no convictions since that glorious day.

    James Marmon MSW

    P.S. I smoothed things over UPD, we’re good.

  37. Bob Mendosa December 11, 2016

    On May 15, 1984 the UDJ reported a person with your name here;

    https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/33409062/

    “City police arrested James Marion Marmon, 29, of Ukiah, shortly before midnight Saturday. He allegedly refused to stop his car until several Ukiah Police units surrounded him and forced him to stop, police said.”

    Is that the arrest where you allegedly beat up the entire Ukiah Police Department?

    • james marmon December 11, 2016

      Oh yeah, that was one of my finest moments. UPD put up a roadblock at State Street and Low Gap. My girlfriend was in the floorboard, UPD held a gun at my head, I can still remember the clicks when they dared me to just move a hair. I had led UPD through town on a slow speed chase. Sheriff Tuso remembers this one too I’m sure, had to spend the hole summer in jail. I was lead cook in the kitchen, wasn’t bad at all.

      Keep looking and you might find the story where Sheriff Deputies nearly beat my brother and I “to death” out at the infamous “Branding Iron” incident. Big scandal, the sheriff’s office were exposed to altering sworn testimony in my case. Front page news in the Mendocino Grapevine. 17 other people were arrested for attacking the sheriff’s deputies after witnessing my beating. Over 50 people left the Branding Iron and immediately went to the sheriff’s office to file complaints. Jondahl was the sheriff at this time, I think it was Tuso who blew the cover-up and un seated Jondahl in the next election. Current Sheriff Allman’s buddy Richard Wiseman wields a mean flashlight, I can tell you that.

      I love you Bob.

      • james marmon December 11, 2016

        Let’s get this over with Mr. Mendosa, after burying my son and daughter in the Potter Valley Cemetery I went off the deep end. I turned to alcohol and was hell bent on killing myself, didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger, suicide by cop didn’t work either.

        Judge Luther and a man named George Sanders knew my story and did not want to give up on me. In 1989 I entered rehab at the “Transition Place” Recovery Community in Clearlake and made a decision to live.

        Judge Luther and I agreed that “I would find help and come back and help others.” Its people like you that do not allow opportunities for people like me move forward and change their lives. I’m 62 years old, Mr. Mendosa, the stuff you are digging up happened 32 and 44 years ago.

        What’s your trip?

        Do you think I don’t know this was the same mindset that cost me my career. Everyone in that Courthouse knew I had a past, that’s why it was so easy for the County to get a restraining order against me, “I scared them.” I don’t know you and you haven’t stated what your beef is with me. What, am I a bad man? Is that the point you’re trying to prove? What is it?

        I help parents who I think wrongfully lose their children because I’ve been there, the pain is real.

        I don’t know if you’re smart enough to understand this Mr. Mendosa, but I’m living proof people can be rehabilitated, I refused to break the law, legally kidnap children, lie on Court documents, or exclude exculpatory evidence just to create jobs and profit for that very sick place called Mendocino County.

        I lived up to my end of the deal.

  38. Bob Mendosa December 11, 2016

    Wow. My license plate light was out a couple of weeks ago. A County Sheriff lit me up and I pulled over within a hundred feet. He let me off with a warning, so I fixed it with a $10 bulb two days later. I’ve always wondered what’d happen if I kept going. My cooking skills aren’t that good.

    In dollar figures, what do you figure that chase cost you, James?

  39. Eric Sunswheat December 11, 2016

    Obviously Bob, a new career benefited James Marmon over a course of many years. He was enriched financially, and morally to do the right thing, whenever possible since the episode. Sure is good, you have a bright shiny new bulb, in your vehicle which does drive, to boot.

    • Bob Mendosa December 11, 2016

      So crime pays?

  40. Bob Mendosa December 11, 2016

    Here’s the way I see it, James. You spent six years getting a Masters Degree and wound up making $45,000 at the peak of your career. Bryan Lowery was infinitely less qualified (according to you), but is now making $95,000. He still has a job, and you don’t.

    Lowery never did time in County, but you did. Lowery has a license, but you don’t.

    You call Lowery a criminal. But he’s never been arrested. You have.

    Crime hasn’t paid for you, James.

    • james marmon December 11, 2016

      Lowery has no license, he doesn’t even have a degree. Seriously.

      Here is his qualifications. He started out working at Trinity Group Home, the same place most the CPS top management and Camille Schraeder all worked before taking control of County operations.

      http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/article/zz/20121101/NEWS/121106221

      He wasn’t arrested because the County is corrupt and is exploiting and/or trafficking children for financial gain. District Attorney Eyster promised me an investigation and no one ever contacted me.

      Facebook Private Message to Eyster.

      From James Marmon

      “David, sorry to bother you at home, but I need you to read this; I will be sending a copy to the Grand Jury and Attorney General’s Office, this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

      November 20, 2011 7:20 pm

      From David Eyster

      “I have forwarded your information to my chief investigator. My inclination, for the moment, is to wait and see if the Grand Jury is interested in engaging. The Attorney General’s Office is not viable.”

      November 20, 2011 8:20 pm

      I waited for someone to contact me and did not forward to Attorney General based on David’s statement.

      • james marmon December 12, 2016

        Mr. Mendosa is quite the troll, he started on me before I even woke up this morning, before I even had my first morning cup of joe.

        Now everyone knows Bobby.

        Mission Accomplished?

      • Bob Mendosa December 12, 2016

        The State of California says that Bryan Lowery has a license and no criminal record. He’s the exact opposite of James Marmon.

        Lowery is employed and making money. James Marmon isn’t.

        Crime doesn’t pay.

        • james marmon December 12, 2016

          A foster care license Bobby. He spent years double dipping the system until I complained to Carmel Angelo and she put an end to it.

          I reported to her and the Board of Supervisors that Lowery had an open Child Welfare investigation against him for abusing a child in his care. Angelo freaked out about Social Workers being foster parents and stopped it. Conflict of Interest, Bobby.

          When he became deputy director of the Agency he promised other double dipping social workers that he would do his best to get Angelo to change her mind and reinstate the practice.

          • Bob Mendosa December 12, 2016

            The only employee Carmel Angelo freaked out at was James Marmon. And she stopped him with a restraining order;

            https://www.theava.com/archives/20739

            That reportedly happened over alarmist rhetoric. Marmon had lost his job and was trying to get it back.

            Proving once again that crime doesn’t pay.

          • james marmon December 12, 2016

            I’m still against violence Bobby, I have no violent convictions. You and I should spend some time together, get to know each other better.

            Peace

            James

          • LouisBedrock December 12, 2016

            Enough already.
            Leave Mr. Marmon alone.

            In Christian mythology, the fictitious Jesus character says,
            “He that is without sin among you let him first cast a stone…”
            (John 8, KJV)

            One finds common sense even in mythology.

            I’ll bet if your life was subjected to some scrutiny, some dirty linen would turn up.

            Get a life.

          • LouisBedrock December 12, 2016

            Read Les Misérables, Mr Mendoza.

          • Bob Mendosa December 12, 2016

            Fair enough, Mr. B.

            Let me pose a question to you;

            Does crime pay for unrepentant social workers?

          • LouisBedrock December 13, 2016

            “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
            (Matthew 7:1)

            No worse bible thumper than an atheist.

            Mr. M you’ve made your point.
            However neither you nor I have been appointed judge in this case.

            Social workers have tough jobs and many suffer permanent damage. They have no reason to be “repentant”.

            James has confessed to making mistakes. I have made a lot myself, so I’m inclined to pardon him and encourage him to move on.

            And you?

          • Bob Mendosa December 13, 2016

            Have you ever spent time in prison, Mr. Bedrock?

          • LouisBedrock December 14, 2016

            2 months.

          • BB Grace December 14, 2016

            Mr. Mendosa,

            From my deplorable perspective, crime pays for Clinton and everyone working to sustain Clinton in government, like Jill Stein, and maybe even Bryan Lowery? Why else would you bring up Mr. Lowery?

            Did Mr. Lowery tell you that he feared Mr. Marmon because Mr. Marmon is an unrepentant social worker with a criminal record?

            Did Mr. Lowery drop a nickel on Mr. Marmon to Del Norte?

            Has Mr. Lowery seduced you into challenging the deplorable “rat” AKA Mr. Marmon on the AVA?

            To be honest Mr. Mendosa, I believe most readers of the AVA comments tired of Mr. Marmon’s public repentance years ago.

            Have you done something that you should be in prison for Mr. Mendosa? Is that why you are reaching out to known criminals? Is Mr. Lowery going to protect you for calling out Mr. Marmon?

            Do you have children Mr. Mendosa?

          • Bob Mendosa December 14, 2016

            BB,

            I dont like it when jail birds advertise themselves to troubled people as personal improvement consultants or tell other people what to do. Ive never contacted anyone associated with Mr. Marmon, employers or otherwise. Ive never been to prison. My family is none of anybody elses business here because Im not advertising. No offense intended.

            Bob

          • Bob Mendosa December 14, 2016

            I also dont like it when other people misspell other people’s names over and over again. Its just causing trouble. Thanks for getting it right.

  41. Rick Weddle December 12, 2016

    re: Grand jury applications…

    Ms. Leahy: As an Officer of the Court, could you please illuminate for us lay folk how a grand jury is usually convened, and by whom? And how would We, the People, in the fullness of our Sole Sovereignty, go about wielding a little grand jury action, ourselves, should the need arise? We have deeply serious problems with ‘our’ public servants, from the White House to the Court House, through both Houses of Congress, straight into the Out House, no debate, no monkey-wards catalog. In the absence of precedent, but also in the absence of any functional mechanism to rein in our derelict, feral governments, here’s our question: Where and when, this side of calling 911 right now, do we, the People, as the Only Sovereign in this particular democratic republic, issue a Public Writ of Mandate calling a Public Grand Jury to order? Issues from CPS official abductions/trafficking of children to U.S. Foreign policy piracy need our specific Mass Attention, in ways we’ve not tried before. How might we then initiate such a Public Grand Jury/Juries from among us mere villagers? My very limited understanding of these lofty legal matters suggests that Officers of the Court are all sworn (as well as Highly Rewarded) to report the breaking of any law whatever directly to the Court. I’m thinking most of us would agree that the need has most definitely already arisen…some time since. If we were called to cite written authority, we have the whole U.S. Constitution, and in particular its Amendment IX…not that we need it.

  42. james marmon December 12, 2016

    For those of you who are appalled by my behavior with local law enforcement in the 70’s and 80’s, don’t be. Ukiah was a different time and a different place. Those of you old guys like me will remember when the jail was on the fifth floor of the Courthouse (Reno’s Motel). And if ever had a chance to visit it you will remember when it was common practice for the sheriff’s deputies to take you for a famous “elevator ride”, to the basement at night for a rehabilitation session. I was a frequent flyer.

    Peace

    James.

  43. BB Grace December 14, 2016

    Mr. Mendosa: “BB,

    I dont like it when jail birds advertise themselves to troubled people as personal improvement consultants or tell other people what to do. Ive never contacted anyone associated with Mr. Marmon, employers or otherwise. Ive never been to prison. My family is none of anybody elses business here because Im not advertising. No offense intended.”

    Many times troubled people find help from another troubled person rather than a social worker. Mr. Marmon’s experience has a better chance of actually helping a troubled person than someone who has no idea what it’s like to be in prison and is proud to not have had the experience.

    The person that cares makes the difference and Mr. Marmon cares, though as you say he is troubled. He’s not alone.

    When I came to Mendocino County Social Security had me take a phone call in the social services building across from 10 mile. While I was on the phone a young Mommy, must have been around 20 at the time, burst out of a room screaming, “You will not take my children from me!”. Two men restrained her and she was taken away. I was horrified to witness that event. For whatever reason that young Mommy lost her children one thing was very clear, she owned her motherhood and loved her babies. It would not surprise me to learn that that women has spent the past decade in mental health trying to recover from losing her children.

    Mr. Marmon would do well to get a license and go indy, but the truth is Mr. Mendosa, Mr. Marmon enjoys raging against the machine he once trusted before it broke him, as it broke many good people who never hurt anyone that just didn’t agree with management at the time.

    Be well Mr. Mendosa. May you and your family never know what Mr. Marmon knows by experience.

    Sincerely

    • james marmon December 14, 2016

      Mr. Mendosa brought to surface a big issue as to why we are building more prison’s, jails, and mental health facilities. Stigma.

      Characteristics of Successful Ex-Felons: A Microanalysis

      “The stigma associated with being an ex-felon in America is unlike anything a person can comprehend unless they walk in the shoes of ex-felons. People get ill everyday but they somehow recover and are able to seek opportunity and they are made whole. Ex-felons on the other hand suffer for a lifetime for decisions that they made in the spur of the moment.”

      http://www.corrections.com/news/article/31405-characteristics-of-successful-ex-felons-a-microanalysis

      Mendosa is a very ignorant man and the one who really should repent.

      • james marmon December 14, 2016

        “There are approximately 25, million ex-felons in the U.S. and every year approximately 1,000,000 new people are convicted of a felony. Ex-felons have power that they do not realize that they have. Ex-felons can decide the outcome of many local, state and national elections. Just like gays, women and African Americans united and wielded their power at the voting booth; ex-felons in the not too distant future will resolve to use their power also. When any group unite and go to the voting booth, politicians immediately recognize them and the power that they wield.”

  44. Emma Summers May 5, 2017

    That so called Judge Mayfield took my kids from me and just handed them right over to a father that has never been in there life nor has ever paid a single penny for child support. I have proudly raised and supported my kids completely on my own while putting myself through school and GRADUATING while working full time to make sure my babies had everything they needed! One day I decided that enough was enough and I signed up for this so called “Child Support” for a little help from my kids so called “father” ONLY due to the fact that all 3 of my boys each have a different type of “struggle” that they deal with from diabetes, Autism and depression/ADHD. For 17 years I raised my babies never expecting a thing from that thing of a father just to have him get pissed off at the fact that I even dare try to “Take his money” so he filed papers for Sole Custody. Not to mention EMERGENCY Custody. I’ve never even as much spank my kids. My kids are literally MY LIFE! I had 3 days to pack there stuff up and off they went. Papers reads as Father gets Legal Physical Custody and I get physical (Visitation), phone calls if I’m lucky and he CALLS ALL THE SHOTS AND LOVES THIS POWER! Not to mention his over controlling abusive wife who hates me for a reason I’m sure God couldn’t even tell you. Has zero interest in my kids except knowing they are scared shitless of her and forced to say they hate me cuz she and my ex find it funny to call me a “Fat Bitch” to my kids and if my kids don’t agree or laugh then they get in trouble! Now I’m left in literally a black hole of depression and I have No Idea where to turn…. I may have failed to mention he has NEVER BEEN DENIED to seeing his kids, talking to them and would see them face to face MAYBE once a year or whenever he felt like playing daddy I SWEAR HE HAS NEVER BEEN DENIED ONCE!!!! When I asked Why? She said “Well let’s give him a turn, I think it’s fair to say we give him a chance” …… WTF?!?!?! Give….him….a…..chance?….. HE CHOSE TO NEVER BE INVOLVED!!! He just does not want to pay child support and has been stating how he gets to claim at least 2 of them on his taxes so now he will get money for tax time…. There you Mendocino Co. This women literally ripped up 4 people’s life’s and has not even a second thought of the damage she has done with all 3 of my kids in a depression n me in a … Lets call it a black hole of hell… When I asked what I can do to get them back, she said ” I made up my mind” and I asked what her reason for judgement was, she stated ” I already said I made up my mind, no explanation is needed”……….

    My kids were my LIFE….

    • james marmon May 5, 2017

      Mayfield is a feminist, if you presented as a victim you had no chance of prevailing. I tell every mother who go in front of her not to show any weakness. She likes mothers who are confident and in control, like herself. She uses herself as a measuring stick, I’ve known her for 20 years.

      Did you explain your case to her like you did in this comment? Is this just a temporary order or final? If it is just an emergency custody order then you have a shot at getting them back.

      James Marmon MSW
      Personal Growth Consultant

      ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

    • sohumlily May 5, 2017

      Happens *all the time*.

      Family court: where lying and deception and power and money are the rules of the game.

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

  45. Emma Summers May 5, 2017

    Final Judgement. I was too pissed to show weakness. I was in total beast mom mode. I definitely could of been too forward. I definitely appreciate the advice and kind words. Thank you James and Thank you Sohumlily.

  46. Chad October 2, 2017

    My name is chad Rodrigues this lady is to much anybody want more dirt on her call me 7076578363

  47. Linda Leahy October 3, 2017

    All I know of my court experiences in Mendocino County, and there were many, gave me a great education in how courts work. Yes, there is corruption, greed and power in agencies and court staff, but that is built into the way our government works. Seems our fore fathers knew of the darkness in the heart of “men.” Now that women are part of the system, they too can be dark in their beliefs. I would love to say there are wonderful people as well, but my experience with courts and agencies has shown that to be an exception, not the norm. God Bless the good ones for they work among co workers every day who are spiteful and dark. I have been an advocate for 45 years, a paralegal for 17, chaired the ACLU for 4, chaired the gray panthers for 12, had my own legal aid office for 5, helped in agency cases for vets, disabled, poor, people of color, seniors, rich and poor. It is all the same, a courts and administrative laws are a tough venue to seek remedy. Here is my solution for all people who really want to make the world a better place, and if you get the opportunity, put it on your bucket list, to go to law school. Comes in all prices and schedules, and with on line available now as options, it is very doable. You just have to pick the right time in your life to set aside to make your goal real. I am 76, and am working on first year law and passing the baby bar. I love it and in the doing, I have come to understand and love the law all the more. I also still do advocacy and what I learn makes those cases go smoother. All of the problems of agency and court law still are present, but I am much better at being adversarial in this life-long work.

    • james marmon October 3, 2017

      Thanks for your comment Linda, you’re the 3rd person this week who directly or indirectly suggested that I take the bar and become a lawyer now that my social work career has been destroyed.

      The former County Counsel for Del Norte County once told me that I should take the baby bar and get certified for child welfare. He said he helped another social worker do that, and to contact him if I chose the same path.

      With 10 years experience as a Court Unit Social Worker I’ve pretty much got everything down. Shouldn’t be that much of a leap for me.

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Social Worker V
      Mendocino/Del Norte Family and Children’s Services

      • BB Grace October 3, 2017

        With respects to Ms. Leahy’s fine suggestion, becoming a paralegal may not be as grand a plan, but a good attorney can appreciate the work of a good paralegal. I support Judicial Watch. Tom Fitton won me over from supporting Ralph Nader.

        And I want to know; Have you tuned into Jordan Peterson? He put up a video week or so ago, “The Disability Bureaucracy Wants Your Soul”, reminded me of you.

  48. Linda Leahy October 3, 2017

    Actually, it will be the biggest challenge of your life. No experience can prepare you for the study of law. And, the study of law is not the same as law practice. The study of law is about learning a new language, learning to recognize facts, think them into organization and put them to paper so that others can follow. New words, new ways of hearing and seeing a story. Knowing that you also have to be able to argue that issue both ways equally to present and defend. It is tough and challenging.
    My thoughts and words on law school were to encourage any reader interested or willing, to consider the possibility.

  49. Linda Leahy October 3, 2017

    Here is an additional perspective from first year law discussions of studying law and looking at facts from all views. It was suggested that a good law student can pick out A facts, B facts and C (see) facts from a fact pattern. They represent the grade a student might get from an exam, but more interesting, they represent how good a student is and later on, a lawyer, on issue spotting. Since a lawyers stock and trade is time, all work has to be done fast and every fact addressed to do their best job for their client. A C fact, can be seen by the whole class, but A and B facts are more subtle and are overlooked in presenting the case. This is a learning curve for students, but if they never learn it, when they are a lawyer and they only do a mediocre presentation with C facts, you will lose your case. A good lawyer and student, vigorously defends and presents his case, with all 3 sets of facts, otherwise, you are getting a lawyer who is just a C student, with a C student outcome. A lawyer joke is, that C students are addressed as “your honor” lol. In my opinion, the problem I encountered in the agencies reviews and lawyers in Mendocino County ( I do not know them all but I do know at least 20 very well) was that they approached matters in a C student fashion, which means with very little passion or research. It is what it is and sadly, that is what the major failure that affects the people who have to trust and use the system. You can only get a good and fair outcome with good and fair work by your advocate/attorney; good and fair passion to do that work with courage and honor for your client, and good and fair justice in a ruling by the Judge or jury. Mendocino County deserves the very best lawyers, judges, juries, mediators and staff.

  50. Chad October 5, 2017

    She stole my daughter on 12-7-16. Without investigation for what i believe is a program which she oversees AODP i believe its called. Mothers in drug court for there kids. I believe she likes to make success story’s even if there isn’t one.

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