This is rather a bizarre story of Parental Alienation, which started nearly fifteen years ago; a story of a mother, her children-Matthew and Laura-her custody battles, and a legal system that failed them over, and over.
Despite the fact that this was a highly publicized case, and that letters were being sent to the judge, and Gov. Bush at the time, by neutral people who were in the courtroom during these procedures, and who had witnessed the irregularities and the injustice which had been done to this mother and her children, to date, nothing had been done by the justice system to undo the wrong done to this family.
Her son who will be 17-yreas-old in November 2013, and her daughter who will be 16-years-old in December of 2013, might not even remember their mother as they were very young when they were taken away from her, and placed in the custody of their father.
Robin Karr (Duckworth) has contacted me via Email about her case and I agreed to interview her and run her story.
“My story is very bizarre and if I were not living this nightmare, I'm not sure I would believe it.” Robin Karr said in our interview.
“There's a lot to my story... A web of lies was spun and it took a lot for me to uncover it all - to connect the dots. The judge declared me border-line retarded in hopes that nobody would believe what I found out about her. It probably would have worked had I not been well educated and very articulate.”
She said that this is just a portion of forty pounds of evidence of corruption and threats against her and, the people who were trying to help her.
“ I was arrested and thrown in jail, when I cried in court because no one would tell me when I could see my children; the newspaper editor who took my side and wrote about my arrest was threatened by the judge and eventually his paper was shut down by her; a Rockwall constable who helped me ended up dying but I have all of my telephone conversations with him recorded and transcribed. I learned that the court-appointed social worker was not even licensed in the state of TX via a letter from the state licensing board; child Protective Services looked into my story/case and found abuse of my children by my ex-father-in-law for sure and maybe their father. Both my ex and his father were very abusive. CPS removed Matthew and Laura from the grandparents home where they were staying most of the time and placed them in a daycare where a child was found dead; my children were taken to the E.R. constantly with head injuries, black eyes, my daughter was admitted to the hospital at 18 months after going without food or water for five days. They had to inset a feeding tube. I learned this via her medical record."
Karr said that her ex-husband threatened to kill her if she tried to get in touch with her children and she knew that he would be capable.
“When you're married to an abusive cop, there's nowhere to run or hide.” she said.
She said that her former husband has garnishing 65% of her disability pension, fact which lead to her losing her home and left her without money to buy medicine.”
She said her troubles started in 1998 when her abusive husband filled for divorce. She was living in Kentucky with her three children, when her second husband had her served with divorce papers.
They were separated due to his abusive behavior towards Karr and the children, and he was living in Rockwall Texas at the time.
He filed for divorce in Rockwall Texas seeking custody of their two children of the marriage- then nine months, and twenty-one months old.
There was another divorce action already pending in Kentucky which had been filed by her ex-husband when she was pregnant with her youngest child, but with help from his lawyer he managed to have that motion dismissed, despite the fact that Robin had already filed a response to that petition.
She had no job or money at the time she was served with the Texas divorce petition, so she tried to get legal aid, but could not. She then wrote a letter to the judge requesting a continuance. The judge used her letter as an appearance, and had the motion heard, without her being present.
An order was issued for a week on, week off residency for the children, meaning that one week the children were to live in Kentucky with their mother and the following week, the children were to live in Texas with their father.
That visitation arrangement, continued as ordered for nearly eight weeks.
Karr said that during that time the children appeared to be abused; they were very ill and bruised every time she picked them up from her ex-husband. On October 25, 1998, they were badly injured, fact which lead to a call to the Kentucky State Police and Child Protective Services, by the hospital personnel.
Her daughter had a black eye and her son had a skull fracture.
“Looking back now, I should have held on to my babies and never let them go. I had no idea how corrupt the court system was at that time.” Karr said.
In February 2000, Channel 8 WFAA in Dallas Texas, aired her story.
They reported that Robin Karr (Duckworth) is a practicing Christian, and she was upset that the judge had ordered her small children to be shuttled 1,200 miles between Texas and Kentucky every week.
Among other evidence they reported an audio tape from when Karr’s ex-husband Ed, came to pick up, both children -- under the age of two -- and he had Karr secretly recorded saying:
"You're not going to get away with this, Ed. God is not going to let you. I pray God takes your life if you don't turn to Him and stop this nonsense. I'd better not find these children in the shape they were in last month. I'm tired of having to go to the emergency room, that is ridiculous."
News 8 reports that, “At no time does Robin threaten any physical violence, but she does call Ed's parents ‘demons’."
They also report that they tried to interview Rockwall Judge -Sue Pirtle- but she refused to comment on camera; she did however tell them in chambers that the "demon" comment and Robin's statement that she "prayed" Ed would die, caused her to issue a temporary restraining order restricting Robin's access to her children.
Carla Herren was appointed by the court to provide a psychological evaluation of both Ed and Robin Duckworth in their custody fight.
Herren declined to talk with News 8, citing patient confidentiality, but Robin Karr (Duckworth) told the reporter, that Herren had focused the majority of the interview on radical questions about her religious beliefs.
News 8 had contacted three American Psychology Association experts about the tests Dr. Herren gave Robin. All three stated that she had used an old version of one test that hadn't been updated since World War II. They also told reporters that Herren's use of a certain personality test could be easily misconstrued to portray a parent in a custody dispute as mentally unstable.
News 8 sates that even more disturbing was the discovery of changes made to Ed Duckworth's report. Although Dr. Herren was the court appointed psychologist, a colleague in her office actually performed a lot of the evaluation.
Herren admitted to News 8 that she misread his notes and included a serious error in the report. That statement was later retracted.
In their report News 8 states “Less than one year before Ed Duckworth filed for a divorce in Texas, he filed for divorce in Kentucky, where he volunteered to give up custody to the kids because -- as he told the court -- Robin was the ‘fit and proper parent’."
Everything spiraled down for Robin and her children after her psychological test came back;
“The report stated that I was border-line retarded -even though I graduated from college with honors; it stated that I had an over thought disorder even though I have a major in English; the report stated that I was not capable of parenting children.” Karr said.
The following week after the Hospital incident, when she went to Texas to pick up her children, for her week of court ordered visitation, she was served with a restraining order stating that she was mentally ill and she could not see the children without supervision. In addition the children could not be removed from Rockwall County Texas.
During the hearing, Karr admits she became distraught and began to cry hysterically demanding to be given a visitation date or told when she would get to see her children again. Instead, Karr says she was arrested for criminal trespassing and led from the courtroom in handcuffs .Within days, Karr said, her visits were denied at the request of a court-appointed monitor of child visitations.Trish Verde, owner of Time Together, a company that supervises court-ordered closed visitations, that she refused to participate in any Visitation between Karr and the children because she felt uncomfortable and unsafe in Karr's presence. Verde also said she feared that Karr would try to take the children back to Kentucky.
She borrowed $5,000.00 for an attorney but let him withdraw from the case after she learned that he was a part of the conspiracy against her.
She had to borrow another $5,000.00 in order to hire another attorney. Less than a week before the hearing, in March 1999, her attorney told her that unless she sends him another $5,000.00 in two days, he would not represent her at the hearing.
Karr said that the judge allowed her lawyer to withdraw at the hearing, and forced Karr to represent herself, despite the fact that the same judge found her mentally instable when she issued the restraining order against Karr.
Karr says that she was not allowed to produce any witnesses at the hearing and none of her evidence was heard, including evidence that her former father-in law was abusing her son.
Sole custody of the two children was given in favor of the children’s father and Karr was ordered supervised visits, pay child support and provide health insurance for the children.
She said she later learned, that the same judge who gave the order, was the owner of the supervising business where she was supposed to have her supervised visitations with her children.
“My final hearing lasted for eleven hours and yet, I was never allowed to have one witness testify. I was sanctioned by the court for filing the application for a protective order - even though it was never heard or signed by the judge. I was sanctioned in the amount of $10,000.00 and was ordered to write a letter of apology to my ex-in-laws. I was then ordered to see a psychiatrist and begin taking medication. The judge further ordered that any new psychiatric reports were to be sealed. In other words, any reports that would state that I'm okay were to be sealed. I was given only supervised visitation which I would have to pay for. I was ordered to pay child support and health insurance. I was permanently enjoined from ever filing any complaint against my ex-husband or any member in his family or any child abuse complaints.”
A Dallas attorney who saw her story on TV, contacted her and agreed to file an appeal on her behalf, but heard nothing about it to date. An appeal on the case, in the state of Kentucky, is also pending.
“I have tried to visit my children and I have been warned by the judge that I will be arrested if I step foot in Texas. My ex-husband has told me that I will not be allowed to see my babies for another fifteen years. He has said that he will hide them if he has to, in order to keep them away from me. I have these conversations on audio tape. I have 40 pounds of documentation and evidence, and yet, the court has managed to keep all of it out of the record,” Karr said.
“This is just a portion of my story, but I believe that anyone who reads this can realize that something is desperately wrong with the family courts in America whenever a mother can lose all rights to her children. I have lived through the most barbaric experience. In an instant, my world and my children's world was shattered. We would never be free to love or cuddle again. It is outrageous that a ‘family’ law court in America can rule on divorce and custody and all the while neglect to protect a mother's right to love and parent her children. Justice surely betrayed my children. Justice has deprived my children of their birthright -their own mother.” She said.
Karr proceeded to say, “I was only allowed 21 hours of supervised visitation. I was in labor longer than that with either of them. When I did see my children, I had to see them at the police station - as if I were some sort of criminal. There are no words to explain what that did to me.”
She said that her son was just learning to talk on their last visit and he turned to her with tears in his eyes and said "I miss you Mommy."
“I hear him in my sleep sometimes saying that. They had to pry him off of me to take him away at the end of the visit.”
I tell my story for two reasons. I want others who have had their children unjustly taken to know that they are not alone and that there are others who know the gut-wrenching pain they live with every day. I also want my children to know that I love them more than anything and that I did not abandon them. I want them to know that we were caught up in a justice system incapable of delivering justice. And most of all, I want them to know that I did not remain silent.”
Karr said that her daughter had a serious head injury at that last visit which took place on March 18, 1999.
With her voice breaking down in tears she said “Imagine having to leave her with the people who had caused the injury. My ex-husband just laughed.”
Stay tuned for more on this story.