She greeted me with a frown upon her face her eyes sternly looking at me with a nasal tone to her voice. She wore green tights and a brow top, tall, thin, wired glasses and not very happy. She looked at us and said "are you the Michael party, you were supposed to be seated over there, I had to walk down the hall looking for you." Which was about ten steps past where I was supposed to be seated.
I had prepared for months for this day to meet with her, I had child protective services reports, police reports, documentation of harassing e-mails and my precious children siting in the waiting room. It had just been winter vacation and my ex-husband had the children before mediation for eight nights, and instead of letting them see me he got to court extra early and put them in the children waiting room in which I could not go in and even hug them.
I am a mother of two children a 9 year old girl and an 11 year old boy, and the longest I have ever gone without seeing them was 6 nights. I missed them so much that the pain in my gut ached. I was told by the Ventura Court that I could not touch them, hug them, or see them. I went into that waiting room and I called their names and they ran an flew the door open and hugged me. I did not cry in front of them because I wanted to stay strong for them. After I saw them, I ran to rest room and cried my eyes out.
At this point I go into the mediator’s office, and the mediator at the Ventura county court house even has a reputation for not doing her job and granting 50/50. I wondered why she had not been fired? She starts with, "where do you live, who lives with you", no personality, no smile, nothing but a stone cold face. I start to talk and tell her that the kids are afraid of their dad, I showed her the CPS report and I asked her if she saw it, and she said yes it sad “unfounded”. I said no it did not say unfounded it said inconclusive, because at the time of the interview there were no bruises on the children’s bodies and beside the physical abuse what about the mental abuse. What about the fear? It said inconclusive meaning that there was suspected abuse but she could not prove it. My son told the case worker that his father had pushed, him, thrown water in his face, pushed him against a wall and shook him, yelled at him. He stated that when he was with mom that he would count the days until he had to see his dad not wanting to go. His sister corroborated all of this and the social worker recorded it. Then a police report was given to her showing problems that had occurred.
The evidence of abuse was so overwhelming, the children themselves stated that they did not want to be with their father and feared him. So what did this mediator come back with 50/50 as was her tract record up to date. I asked her if she had known that their dad lived at his girlfriend’s house 50 miles away from their school, and this was not even mentioned in her report. She said “oh I guess you will have to take that up with the judge?” Was that not her job, that she gets paid for to do, and we wonder why the judges are so overwhelmed!
Have you had problems with the mediators at Ventura County Court house? The system does not work and who ends up being the victims…..the children!