The September issue of the Newsletter for the Central-Ohio Fathers And Children for Equality (FACE)

The September issue of the Newsletter for the Central-Ohio Fathers And
                 Children for Equality (FACE)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore, all
progress depends on the unreasonable man."
      - George Bernard Shaw



Single Fathers

      -  A very good article that appeared in _The New York Times_
         looks at single fathers raising their children by

Dad Advocate to Head Group

      -  John Mirman, a Franklin County attorney and father's rights
         advocate, was recently elected chair of the Association of
         Trial Lawyers of America's family law section.  He is also
         our guest speaker this month.

Are Domestic Violence Suspects Being Treated Unfairly?

      -  One of several local newspaper reports on FACE member Phil
         Heer's suit against Franklin County Municipal Court for a
         local rule that violates the state constitution.  The rule
         was enacted by then Judge Deborah Pryce (now US
         Representative) when she was a Municipal Court judge almost
         six years ago.  For six years, Franklin County has been
         treating alleged misdemeanor criminals as felons for
         arraignment and bond purposes.

Court Challenged on Domestic Violence Jailing

      -  Mike Hamill writes about the on-going Supreme Court case
         brought by one of our members (Phil Heer) described above.

Child Abuse Law is Ruled Invalid

      -  A law that has been in place for several years that allows
         therapists, social workers, mothers, maternal grandmothers,
         neighbors, friends of friends, and even people just visiting
         this planet to testify on behalf of children is overturned.

In the Hands of Lawyers

      -  Woody Allen comments in his divorce with Mia Farrow a few
         months after the final ruling.

Reno's Folly

      -  US Attorney General Janet Reno has a skeleton in her
         closet.  The skeleton's name is Bobby Finje.  Read about how
         Janet handled this Dade County case when she was the
         prosecutor there.

Prosecution of False Abuse Allegations

      -  Texas puts out the word to prosecutors to start prosecuting
         people who make false allegations of child abuse as part of
         custody litigation.  Making false reports is already a
         crime, but is hardly every enforced.  At least in Texas they
         realize the great cost and devastation caused by making
         false reports just to win custody in a disputed divorce.
         State agencies know they are being used as pawns and want it

Children Extremely Susceptible to Suggestion

      -  A summary of some recent research that shows conclusively
         that children will lie about incidents and not even know
         they are lying, based on how they are questioned about the

Lawyer Talk

      -  Some very lay definitions of legal terms.

County-Fed Alliance in Pursuit of Deadbeats

      -  In what they hope is a precedent-establishing move, a county
         child support enforcement agency has formed a cooperative
         with the federal court, by hiring a US attorney as part of
         their Child Support Enforcement Task Force.  The goal is to
         work with the federal agencies in tracking deadbeat parents
         who cross state lines to avoid paying child support.

Governor Jane Campbell????

      -  Surely the most outspoken advocate of women in Ohio was
         asked by House Speaker Verne Riffe to run for the Democratic
         nominee for governor.  Rep. Campbell has quite a reputation
         in the last eight years of staunchly opposing every piece of
         legislation that would ensure that children get to maintain
         a relationship with both of their parents, grandparents and
         extended families.  She's a good pal of ACES's Geraldine
         Jensen.  If she gets the nomination, child advocacy groups
         from around the state will have to mobilize to oppose her
         candidacy, unless she does a 180.

Cop Cornered for Kidnapping Kids

      -  You'd think this mother who is also a police officer would
           know better.

Pregnancy Statistics

      -  Statistics on pregnancies, abortions, marital status of the
         women getting pregnant.

State Laws Require Dad to Take Care of His Child

      -  Helpful advice from Abby's twin.

New York's Chief Judge Imposes Strict Rules for Divorce Lawyers

      -  Rules put in place to protect WOMEN from unscrupulous
         divorce attorneys give all clients more rights.  Attorneys
         will have a much more difficult time attaching liens to
         people's homes due to lack of payment.  (An interesting
         aside:  here in Franklin County, one of the top 10 property
         owners is an elderly divorce attorney.  Most of his homes
         came from previous clients.)  Hopefully other states will
         take notice.

Divorcing Parents Say They Are Gouged by Lawyer-Guardian Fees

      -  Divorcing parents complain about the fees charged by
         domestic relations attorneys and Guardians Ad Litem,
         representatives for the children.  Are the fees a reflection
         of the cost of dispensing justice, or are these folks being
         gouged?  This is a look at the situation in Ohio.  Maybe
         strict rules like those just imposed in New York  should be
         put in place here.

The Lawyerless:  More People Represent Themselves in Court, But Is
Justice Served?

      -  Pro se or Pro per is the Latin term for representing oneself
         in a court or tribunal or law.  Often it is all some people
         can do.... the money for lawyers runs out, but the case is
         not over.  Few pro se litigants see the courts treating them
         fairly, though.

Special Report:  the cover story of the August 30, 1993 issue of
_Newsweek_ magazine:  A World Without Fathers -- The Struggle to Save
the Black Family

      -  Among African-Americans, the structures of marriage and
         family have been devastated in the last generation.  A black
         child born today has only a one-in-five chance of growing up
         with two parents until the age of 16.  How did it happen,
         what does it mean to us all, and what happens next?


Single Fathers
By Dirk Johnson, Contributed by Rama Kalra

One day not long after his divorcee, Don Merwin watched his
two-year-old daughter, Alina, waddle in diapers to the front door,
where she stood on tiptoe and strained to reach the knob.

"Where are you going" asked Mr. Merwin, who lives in Sacramento,

"Oh," replied the toddler, clutching a doll in one arm, "I go find
mommy now."

Usually the children of divorce have puzzled over why their fathers no
longer live at home.  Now a growing number of children ask the same
questions about their mothers.  The number of unmarried fathers living
with children more than doubled from 1980 to 1992, according to the
Census Bureau.  Fathers now head 14 percent of single-parent
households, up from 10 percent in 1980.

Dispelling the Image

The image of the single father has historically been that of a divorced
or widowed man, rarely poor, who has custody of older children, usually
boys.  While the research on single fathers is scant, one recent study
at the University of Wisconsin at Madison has dispelled some of these

The researchers found that about 18 percent of the families headed by a
single father live in poverty, although that is still far below the
rate for families headed by single mothers, about 43 percent.  Nearly
25 percent of single fathers have never been married and only 7.5
percent are widowed.  About 44 percent of the children in these
families are girls and one third are preschoolers.

More than four percent of all children now live with a single father.
Overall, about 22 percent of American children live with a single

"What we're seeing reflects the changing sexual ideology," said James
Levine, the director of the Fatherhood Project at the Families and Work
Institute in New York, a private research organization.  "There are two
major factors at work here:  the great increase in working mothers and
the revolution in views on fatherhood."

He noted that 30 years ago almost no fathers attended the birth of a
child.  Today, more than 90 percent are present in the delivery room.

"There is a new definition on what it means to be a man," he said.
"And part of that is being a nurturer.  In many cases the parents are
simply deciding that it is appropriate for the man to be the primary
care giver."

In an overwhelming majority of cases, the divorced parents decide who
will take the children.  In only a small number of divorces, probably
fewer than five percent, does a judge determine the custody of
dependent children.  In those cases resolved in court, judges have
increasingly awarded custody to fathers, turning away from the "tender
years doctrine" that decreed that young children should stay with their

To be sure, mothers are still far more likely to retain custody, and it
is fathers who more commonly disappear.

Disappearing Fathers

A recent University of Pennsylvania study found that five years after
divorce, about half of the children had not heard from their fathers in
the previous year.

Some feminist scholars have expressed doubts that many men are truly
interested in day-to-day child rearing.  "Given all the rhetoric about
the new father," said Martha Fineman, a professor of law at Columbia
University, "you'd think we'd see a much more significant jump" in the
number of single men raising children.

Unlike divorced or never-married mothers, who are frequently regarded
as failures, single fathers are often seen as men deserving of halos.

Howard Waitzman, a 47-year-old accountant in Skokie, Ill., said people
customarily marvel when they learn he has raised three sons alone since
his divorce 10 years ago.

Who Is Better?

"They might not know me from Adam, but when people find out I've got
the kids, they assume I'm some kind of wonderful man," he said.  Before
the divorce, Mr. Waitzman said his wife thought he should have custody
because he was a better parent.  She pays $500 a month in child support
and flies into Chicago from California once every five weeks to visit
the children, now 18, 16 and 15.

As a successful businessman, Mr. Waitzman was able to afford live-in
maids when the children were younger.

For Mr. Merwin, however, single parenthood has meant a financial
struggle.  He quit his job as manager of a pizzeria to go on welfare
and attend a junior college near his home in Sacramento.  The college
provides daycare for his three children.

The initial court decree gave custody to his former wife, but later Mr.
Merwin went to court to gain full custody, and his wife did not contest
the action.

"I'm doing the best I can," he said, "but I worry about the kids
missing their mom." He especially fears that his children will somehow
feel they are to blame for the divorce

Practical or Symbolic?

In increasing numbers of disputes courts are awarding joint legal
custody.  In most cases, the children live with one parent, but both
mother and father take part in child-rearing decisions.  In California,
joint legal custody is established in about 80 percent of all divorces
involving children.

Some experts say joint legal custody is more symbolic than practical.
"It's a way to make the noncustodial parent feel better," said Mr.
Jacob.  "In reality, the parent who lives with the children is making
the decisions." In far fewer cases, the physical custody is divided as

Fred Dean, for example, has his daughter for a stretch of 10 days.  His
wife takes her for the next 10 days.

"She loves us both very much, and we do her," said Mr. Dean, a
33-year-old driver for United Parcel Service in Longmont, Colo.  "But
it sometimes gets very confusing for her."

How the Decision Was Made

Both Mr. Dean and his former wife had sought sole custody.  The shared
arrangement was ordered by a "custodial mediator" who oversees impasses
in Boulder County Court.  The decision came after a psychologist
interviewed both parents, together and alone, and then each with the
child present.

Many experts on divorce look skeptically on shared physical custody,
warning that constant moves can leave a child feeling rootless.  It is
especially difficult when a child reaches adolescence and begins to
establish his or her own activities and social network.

But a recent study in California of the children of divorce found that
shared custody, when it lasted, was no worse than sole custody.  The
study of 1,000 divorces in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, which
was published in 1992 in the book, _Dividing the Child_, also found
that children living with fathers generally did as well as children
living with mothers.

The study, conducted by Eleanor Maccoby, a Stanford professor, and
Robert Mnookin, now a Harvard law professor, found that only 14 of the
1,000 cases had to be decided by a judge.

"Our research discovered that the welfare of kids following a divorce
did not depend a lot on who got custody," Ms. Maccoby said, "but rather
on how the household was managed and how the parents cooperated."

At Least Be Civil

Almost all experts on divorce agree on one thing.  "Parents should do
their damnedest to be civil with each other," Ms. Maccoby said.  In
fact, she said it was more harmful for divorced parents to speak
harshly of one another than parents who are married.

Mr. Dean said he makes it a point not to speak ill of his former wife
in front of his daughter, Autumn.  Mr. Dean and his former wife live
within three miles of one another and use the same baby-sitter during
work hours.  He said his supervisors had been understanding about his
duties at home.

"Sometimes after work, a supervisor will want to talk about the day,"
he said.  "And I'll say:  `I'll be happy to talk about it in the
morning.  But my daughter is waiting for me.  And this time belongs to

Mr. Dean, a former Army sergeant, said some people wonder how he could
possibly serve as a role model for a daughter.  But he attributed such
concerns to macho baloney."

He plays dolls with his daughter, helps her with her toy makeup kit and
teaches her how to paint her nails.  He recently sewed a skirt for her,
coached by his mother, a seamstress.  He prides himself on being a good
cook and a top-rate housekeeper.  He is so neat, in fact, that his
daughter has made up a song, "My Cleanest Daddy."

He is also teaching her about ball games and automobile engines.  They
even "pump iron" together.  Mr. Dean said his friends admire him but
sometimes ask why he does not take the easier route and cede
child-rearing to the girl's mother, like most fathers.

He said he replies:  "I have never had any person in my life I love as
much as my daughter.  And I would trade nothing for her."

Mr. Dean said the biggest obstacle for a single father was meeting
women.  There is not much time for bars or other social events.  And he
said women often shy away when they learn his daughter stays with him
so much.

"When I tell them, they say, `Oh that's so nice.'  But I can tell by the
tone of their voice that they've just lost interest in me."

For some men, the lack of a father in their own childhoods has inspired
them to take a greater role as parents.

"I don't really remember my father," said Troy Brown, who grew up in a
rough-edged neighborhood in Boston.  "I want it to be different for my

He was 18 years old when his 15-year-old girlfriend gave birth to a
son.  Mr. Brown, now 22, said his girlfriend was excited about being
pregnant but became overwhelmed about being a mother just days after
the birth.

"She left the baby with her mother and just took off," said Mr. Brown,
who has had custody of his son, Troy Brown Jr., in the four years since

Determined to be a good father, but unsure how to gain the skills, Mr.
Brown joined a support group at Roxbury Community College called
"Fathers Incorporated."

"I can do it," he said.  "Women have been doing it for a long time.
Why not a man?"  Mr. Brown, a $16,000-a-year data clerk at the Federal
Environmental Protection Agency in Boston, gets help from his mother,
who watches the boy during work hours.

There are days when he comes home from work so weary and downhearted he
can barely keep going "I'll start thinking about money," he said.  "And
I'll think about my son's mother.  And I'll wonder:  `Why does all this
have to happen to me?'  But, then I'll walk in the door.  And my little
boy will run around the corner and look up at me and holler, `Hey Dad.'
And then I've got a big smile all over my face."

Source:  _The New York Times_, August 31, 1993


Dad Advocate to Head Group
By William Jackson

A Columbus advocate of father's rights has been elected chairman of the
Association of Trial Lawyers of America's family law section.

Joel H.  Mirman, an attorney and partner with Benesch, Friedlander,
Coplan & Aronoff, said his primary responsibility as chairman will be
to help determine the focus of the section in the coming year.

"We want to be an activist section," which will lobby for legislation
as well as provide continuing legal education for family practice
attorneys, said Mirman.

He said he did not see his election earlier this month as a mandate to
emphasize the plight of men in divorce and custody cases, but he will
continue to champion the cause of the divorced father in his practice.

"With more and more families where both parents work outside the home,
fathers in increasing numbers are asking for and getting shared
parenting or sole custody of their children," Mirman said.  "They need
to be aware of their rights and of how to prepare for custody

Mirman, who graduated from the Ohio State University College of Law in
1966, has lectured on the challenges facing fathers in obtaining
custody of children in divorce cases and is the author of a recent
article in Trial magazine on false allegations of sexual abuse.

He has been working to draw attention to the situation he says many
divorced fathers find themselves in.  Much of the attention paid to the
male in divorce has been the cases of "deadbeat dads," the
well-publicized noncustodial fathers who do not make support payments
in time.

"This is the other half of that," Mirman said.  "There are an awful lot
of guys who are getting the short end of the stick."

It is an area of the law he has specialized in for several years.

"I had a really distressing case a few years back that highlighted how
the accusation (of sexual abuse) becomes the reality," he said.  "It
struck me as really outrageous."

Although the rights of the father have become more clearly defined in
the courts over the last decade, "It is really not a level playing
field," he said.  He still sees the inclination on the part of many
courts to favor maternal custody, although the legal basis for this
preference has been undermined.  "The law has changed, but the
application of the law has not changed as much as the letter of the

Source:  _Business First_ magazine, August 16, 1993

[As noted in the summary of Contents, Joel Mirman is our guest speaker
this month.]


Are Domestic Violence Suspects Being Treated Unfairly?
By Jeff Long

Franklin County Municipal Court is the only county court in Ohio that
routinely denies misdemeanor domestic violence suspects bail, says a
lawsuit filed this week.  The suit contends this practice is
inconsistent with Ohio law.

Phillip Heer, who filed the suit in Ohio Supreme Court, says rule
changes approved by Municipal Court judges in 1987 deny bail to
suspects in domestic violence and other selected cases who should be
eligible for immediate bond.

"The court has decided to write its own law," Heer said.  "It's costing
people in terms of freedom.  We have looked at every other municipal
court in the state and we can find no similar rules.  Essentially, they
put you in jail and don't want to let you out despite what the Supreme
Court says."

Heer's suit challenges Franklin County rules that exclude domestic
violence, menacing, stalking and prostitution from the bail schedule
that applies to other misdemeanors.

Heer believes the rules changes were spurred by a case in which a
domestic violence suspect, out on bail, killed his wife.

Heer first learned about the changes through personal experience.

"In September of `91 someone convinced my wife to file domestic
violence charges and my initial bail was denied -- since dismissed, all
expunged," Heer said.  "And she convinced the court I needed
psychiatric help.  I spent nine days in jail and 31 in a hospital.
When I looked at the law, I realized it was illegal."

Heer said the rule changes are out of line with what's permitted by the
Ohio Revised Code.  He produced minutes of a judges' meeting from
August 1987 in which then-Municipal Court Judge Deborah Pryce suggested
changing the bail schedule to exclude domestic violence "and treat it
more like a felony for bond purposes only," the minutes said.  Pryce is
now a Congresswoman.

"There is such a pattern of victim protection that they're ignoring the
law," Heer said.  "They're jailing people for one to three days when
they should have immediate bail.  You're presumed guilty when an
attorney tells a wife, `Charge your husband with domestic violence, it
will help your divorce case.'"

"Women tend to be told, if they're getting divorced, `File domestic
violence (charges) against your husband.  It'll help you get custody'"
of the children, Heer said.

Source:  _The Columbus Dispatch_, September 3, 1993

Judge Teresa Liston, administrative judge for the court, said she
responded to earlier inquiries by Heer about the legality of the

"Mr. Heer is apparently not happy with our response," Liston said.
"Mr. Heer is not an attorney.  He has his own interpretation of what
the rules are.  It's been fully reviewed.  The court is in full
compliance with the law."

[Editorial Comment:  The key words in the above article are in the last
paragraph.  Judge Liston states, "Mr. Heer is not an attorney."

If you go into a court or administrative office, you're often greeted
by, "Are you an attorney?"  It's as if there are two classes of
citizens, attorneys and all you other people who waste the court's
valuable time.  It seems as though a law degree confers a higher class
of citizenship.]

Source:  _The Other Paper_, August 26, 1993


Court Challenged on Domestic Violence Jailing
By M.J. Hamill

Two Columbus-area residents, Phillip Heer and William Neill, assert
that the Franklin County Municipal Court has been following an illegal
policy in jailing alleged domestic violence offenders.  On August 24,
1993, Mr. Heer challenged the Municipal Court in the Ohio Supreme Court
on this issue after the Municipal Court refused to review the legality
of its jailing practices to his satisfaction.

In August, 1987, a minority of Municipal Court judges voted to change
the Court's jailing policy for alleged domestic violence (DV)
offenders.  The Court instituted local rules requiring that such
alleged offenders be jailed until they appeared in an arraignment
before a judge and during which bond is set.  What the court did, in
effect, was require that DV defendants be faced with the same jailing
and bond requirements as defendants charged with felonies.  Most
domestic violence offenses are misdemeanors, and Ohio law provides that
persons charged with misdemeanors can be released from jail after
posting bond.  Because of the local rules, DV defendants in Franklin
County are frequently jailed for as long as three days, as a person
arrested on a Friday evening has to wait until the following Monday for
the Municipal Court Duty Judge to become available for the

Mr. Heer, who says he was a victim of misuse of the DV laws, researched
the law after enduring considerable personal distress during the course
of his own case.  He became convinced that the court wasn't following
the law earlier this year and wrote to Administrative Judge Teresa
Liston, expressing his concern.  Judge Liston wrote back to Mr. Heer
and stated that the court's policy complies with the law.  Mr. Heer
wrote back to Judge Liston, reiterating his position in detail, asking
that the Judge explain what was wrong with his interpretation of the
law.  Judge Liston never replied.

Messrs. Heer and Neill said that other efforts to get the court to
address this issue were unsuccessful.  Consequently, on August 24, Mr.
Heer filed a petition with the Ohio Supreme Court asking that Franklin
County Municipal Court be required to bring its domestic violence
jailing policy into compliance with the law.

Both men are also researching the outcomes of domestic violence
allegations made in Municipal Court (Criminal Court).  They are
checking court files for 1992, and their preliminary results show that
in approximately 90% of DV cases in Franklin County last year, either
the case was dismissed or the defendant was found not guilty.  They
also claim that Franklin County is the only county in Ohio which has
adopted local rules requiring that alleged misdemeanor DV offenders be
treated as felons for bond purposes.  The results of their research
will be published in this newsletter when it is completed.


Child Abuse Law is Ruled Invalid
By James Bradshaw, Dispatch Statehouse Reporter

Young children may be called on to testify in court more often in cases
of sexual or physical abuse under a ruling yesterday by the Ohio
Supreme Court.

The court said a state law enacted in 1991 concerning when others could
tell what a child told them about being abused is unconstitutional and
that the courts must follow more stringent rules of evidence before
allowing such testimony.

The ruling came in a case in which Lucas Country Children Services
alleged that a man had sexually molested his six-year-old daughter in

A school social worker first reported the allegation based on
statements the girl made during counseling about her mother, who was
comatose in a nursing home as the result of an automobile accident.

A Children's Services investigator, a police detective and a guardian
the board had appointed for the girl were allowed to testify at a
hearing before a referee in Lucas County Juvenile Court.

The investigators said the girl drew a picture of an elongated object
and told them her father touched her private parts with his fingers and
his "thing" which was located "down there" in the genital area.

The father appealed on the grounds that the hearing allowed others to
recount what someone had told them without meeting four legal
requirements on permitting hearsay testimony involving children younger
than 12.

The requirements included in a 1991 reform of domestic relations law
passed by the Ohio General Assembly, are that such statements have
"circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness," are offered as evidence
of a material fact, provide more proof than any other reasonably
available evidence and "best serve the interests of justice."

The Lucas County Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and remanded
the case for a new hearing on the grounds that the trial court made no
effort to satisfy the hearsay requirements of state law.

The Children's Services board appealed that ruling, prompting
yesterday's decision by the high court.

Justice Andrew Douglas, writing for the unanimous court, said the state
law admitting hearsay evidence of children is unconstitutional because
it is inconsistent with the court's rules of evidence.

The Ohio Constitution provides that "all laws in conflict with such
rules shall be of no further force or effect after such rules take
effect," Douglas said.

The court adopted more stringent rules effective July 1, 1991,
concerning hearsay testimony of children younger than 12.

Those rules require, for example, that there be "independent proof of
the sexual act or act of physical violence."

The justices remanded the case to Lucas County for rehearing in
accordance with the rules of evidence.

Source:  _The Columbus Dispatch_, September 2, 1993


In the Hands of Lawyers
By Marshal Fine, film critic for _Gannett Suburban Newspapers_

[Excerpts from an article in _USA Today_, August 18, 1993]

In June, a judge gave [Mia] Farrow custody of [Farrow and Woody Allen's
adopted daughter,] Dylan and biological son, Satchel.  Allen was given
limited visitation with Satchel and told to stay away from Dylan for
six months.

"The worst part is that it's been over a year since I was allowed to
see or speak with my daughter," he says.  "I've been exonerated of all
these charges, of every suspicion.  The law and the judicial system
works in a very clumsy way, and not in the best interests of children.

"It's just been a dreadful year.  Yet, in a way, it was fascinating.  I
could probably get a small legal degree at this point.  I saw how the
press works, how the legal system works.  To me, it confirms some of
the critical opinions everybody has about the press.  As for the notion
that the legal system has the best interests of the children in mind -
nothing could be further from the truth."

As a result of his problems, Allen says he has been inundated with

"I heard from hundreds of poor fathers who are in the same position:
falsely accused of molestation in a custody fight.  But they didn't
have my resources to fight it.  I spent literally millions.
Fortunately, I had saved my money.  But it was all money I had left to
my children in my will, money that's now in the hands of lawyers.

"When the smoke clears, I'll probably act as some kind of spokesperson
for these men," he adds.


Reno's Folly
From "Trial by Therapy," by Mark Sauer & Jim Okerblom

"One of the more egregious false accusations [in the US] occurred under
the direction of Janet Reno, President Clinton's Attorney General.  The
case involved a 14-year-old boy named Bobby Finje (pronounced
Feen-yea), who spent nearly two years in jail on exceedingly dubious
charges before being acquitted.  Miss Reno, who has made child-abuse
prosecutions a priority, saw to it that he was held in solitary
confinement for much of his stay at the Dade County Juvenile Detention
Center in Miami and that he was tried as an adult.

Finje's parent were Dutch civil servants who moved to Miami after
completing a 25-year posting in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.  Bobby
was five and his sister, Nanette, eight when the family joined Old
Cutler Presbyterian Church in late 1981.  His father, Bobby Sr., was a
deacon in the church for three years; his mother, Vivian, was active in
Bible classes and other church activities.

In 1988, both Finje children volunteered to mind young children in the
church daycare center.  Soon afterward, one mother complained that
Bobby was too rough with the children.  But a church investigation
found most kids thought he was the "best baby-sitter in the world."

The Finjes thought that was the end of it.  But after several mothers
in one prayer group started taking their children to therapists,
allegations of abuse began to emerge.  Children began telling of orgies
involving feces-eating and urine-drinking.  One four-year-old detailed
how Bobby had mutilated live animals; another said he was stabbed by
Bobby and forced to dance naked on the roof; children were supposedly
raped and sodomized with all sorts of objects; the FBI got involved,
believing Bobby Finje headed an international pornography ring.

Initially, he was charged with 108 counts of abuse against 17
children.  Many of the claims were so crazy, however, that he was to be
tried for only 8 counts of sexual battery against 3 girls -- each count
carrying a life sentence.  Then on the eve of the trial, Miss Reno's
office dropped one of the victims; prosecutors were uneasy with the
child's account of seeing a woman turn into a witch and fly off, and
with her insistence that she had dug up a grave with Bobby, out of
which the ubiquitous Freddy Krueger had emerged.

Before and during the trial, which cost $3 million, the Finje family
was urged by Miss Reno's office to accept a plea bargain.  "We were
told he would have AIDS within a week of entering prison," Bobby's
father later wrote in an open letter to warn the American people about
Janet Reno as her nomination was being considered by the Senate.  "We
were told what a horrible time he would have in prison.  But we knew
Bobby was innocent and refused to accept a plea bargain."

The jury found Bobby Finje not guilty.

Source:  National Review magazine, September 6, 1993


Prosecution of False Abuse Allegations

HOUSTON (UPI) -- State officials say they plan to start prosecuting
family members who make false child abuse reports so the agency that
oversees child protection can concentrate on serious cases.

Janice Caldwell, executive director of the Texas Department of
Protective Regulatory Services, said some of the false reports are
merely an effort to get Child Protective Services involved in a custody

She said some of the reports are from divorcing parents locked in a
custody battle and others come from people trying to get custody of
their grandchildren.

Caldwell said, "They use us.  And I have reason to believe attorneys
advise them of this," comparing a phony claim of child abuse to turning
in a false fire alarm.

Agency spokeswoman Linda Edwards said abuse and neglect was ruled out
in slightly more than half of the cases investigated by the agency in
1992, but said it is impossible to say how many of those cases were
false reports.


Children Extremely Susceptible to Suggestion
Contributed by Ilan Rabinowitz

The _San Jose Mercury News_ ran several articles on child abuse on
August 30, 1993, section D.

Apparently recent research indicates that children are so susceptible
to suggestions that within 11 weeks of being repeatedly questioned
about a topic, they "adapt" to the topic as if it was true even though
in reality it was false.  They started making up stories to fit the
"questions" they were asked so that the topics became all too real to

The names:  Douglas Peters, University of North Dakota.  "Stephen Ceci
and colleagues" reporting at a University of Chicago Meeting.

Ceci's review includes:

"We find nothing in a child's memory is impervious to being tainted by
an adult's repeated suggestions," Ceci said.  "We find from reading
transcripts of investigations that in many sex-abuse cases the adults
not only pursued a hypothesis about what happened, but were sometimes
even coercive in getting children to agree.  They went far beyond
anything we could do ethically as researchers."

Some statistics from this research piece:

     *        Studied ages:  4-6 years

     *  56% of kids were lying by the 11th week of questioning (they
      did not know they were lying.)

     *  70% of kids indicated the doctors touched their genitals during
      the exam, when in reality the doctors never did.  (It was the
      way the question was worded that lead the kids to make the


Lawyer Talk

These are definitions of some legal terms commonly used by lawyers:

Appeal - a request that a higher court review the trial court's

Arraignment - the court appearance where the defendant enters a plea of
"guilty" or "not guilty."

Attorney-Client Privilege - the rule of law which protects the sanctity
of private conversations between the client and attorney.

Contempt of Court - a willful violation of a court order.

Defendant - a person being sued or prosecuted for a crime.

Deposition - oral questions asked by one party of the other or of a
witness.  Conducted under oath outside the courtroom.

Due Process - guarantees written into the Constitution which everyone
must be given.

Injunction - a court order forbidding actions that have been done or
threatened.  Also called a "restraining order."

Jurisdiction - the court's authority to hear and decide a case.

Perjury - the felony of lying under oath.

Plaintiff - the person who brings a lawsuit.

Subpoena - a document which tells someone to appear in court.

Summons - a court document notifying a person or business of a lawsuit
against them.

Warrant - a writ or order authorizing an officer to make an arrest,
conduct a search, or seize property.

Writ - a formal document ordering an officer of the state to take

Source:  "Central Ohio Legal Service Guide," special advertising
supplement to _The Columbus Dispatch_, August 29, 1993


Technicality, n.  In an English court a man named Homer was tried for
slander in having accused his neighbor of murder.  His exact words
were:  "Sir Thomas Holt hath taken a cleaver and stricken his cook upon
the head, so that one side of the head fell upon one shoulder and the
other side upon the other shoulder."  The defendant was acquitted by
instruction of the court, the learned judges holding that the words did
not charge murder, for they did not affirm the death of the cook, that
being only an inference.
      - Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_


County-Fed Alliance in Pursuit of Deadbeats

(TOLEDO)-Lucas County officials say they've created the nation's first
county-federal alliance to prosecute parents who fail to pay child
support.  The appointment of an assistant US attorney to Lucas County's
Child Support Enforcement Task Force means delinquency cases in
violation of federal law can now be referred directly to the Justice

It's now a federal crime to cross state lines to avoid child support
payments totaling at least five-thousand dollars...  or back payments
are equal to one year's total payments.  Federal prosecutors will focus
on Lucas County cases in which parents move across state lines to avoid
support payments...  and then try to deceive officials by changing
Social Security numbers or concealing assets.

Source:  _UPI-Radio_, September 3, 1993


Governor Jane Campbell????

(COLUMBUS) -- State Democratic Representative Jane Campbell of
Cleveland says she is being encouraged to enter the 1944 gubernatorial
race.  Currently, state Democratic Senator Robert Burch of Dover is the
only announced gubernatorial candidate.  Governor Voinovich has not
made a formal announcement regarding his political future...  but it's
believed he will seek a second term next year.

The 40-year-old Campbell...  the majority whip in the Ohio House...
says she is honored at being asked to get into the race.  However, she
says she does not want to be...  as she puts it....  "the sacrificial
lamb." Campbell says she doesn't believe the governor has ever really
been challenged.

Source:  _UPI-Radio_, August 31, 1993


"The big mistake that men make is that when they turn thirteen or
fourteen and all of a sudden they've reached puberty, they believe that
they like women.  Actually, you're just horny.  It doesn't mean you
like women any more at twenty-one than you did at ten."
      - Jules Feiffer (cartoonist)


Cop Cornered for Kidnapping Kids

(ROCK ISLAND, Illinois) -- A former Fostoria police officer is in jail
in Rock Island, Illinois...  accused of abducting her three children in
a divorce custody dispute.  Anne Hoelze-Sayre was arrested at an
Illinois domestic violence shelter yesterday on a warrant charging her
with felony child stealing.

Her children...  ranging in age from six to 12 years...  were
unharmed.  The children disappeared Friday...  after Hoelze-Sayre
stormed out of a custody hearing in Seneca County Court.  The
children's father...  Fostoria Police Officer Stanley Sayre...  was
seeking custody of the youngsters.  After Hoelze-Sayre walked out, the
judge granted the father's request.

Source:  _UPI-Radio_, August 31, 1993


Pregnancy Statistics
Contributed by Kingsley G. Morse, Jr.

US Annual Pregnancy Statistics for 1990[?]

Total Pregnancies:                    6,250,000
      Accidental Pregnancies:         3,500,000
      Intentional Pregnancies:        2,750,000

Births:                               4,000,000
      to Married Women:               2,900,000
      to Unwed Mothers:               1,100,000

Miscarriages:                                   650,000

Abortions:                            1,600,000
      to Married Women:                 300,000
      to Unwed Mothers:               1,300,000

Source:  US Census Bureau Data? {not sure}


State Laws Require Dad to Take Care of His Child

Dear Ann Landers:  My 18-year-old niece, "Susan," became pregnant after
dating "Thomas" for a few months.

After much agonizing, Susan decided to put the baby up for adoption.
She wanted her child to have a family that could provide love, support
and stability.

Susan made the mistake of telling Thomas about the pregnancy.  He
refused to sign the adoption papers and threatened to take her to court
to prevent her from putting the baby up for adoption.

The adoption agency has just informed Susan that, according to federal
law, if the father refuses to sign the adoption papers, she will have
to raise the baby herself or give it to Thomas.

Thomas has already stated that he doesn't want to raise the child.  He
refuses to sign the papers because it is "his seed," and he told Susan
not to expect any support from him.  Thomas also plans to sue for
visitation rights.

Susan has been kicked in the teeth not only by Thomas but also by our
so-called "justice" system.  She gave up a college scholarship and is
now on welfare.

And Thomas is free to go on his merry way.  - Seeing Red in Oregon

Dear Red:  I don't know of any state where a man can father a child and
bear no financial responsibility.  Susan needs to talk to a lawyer --
and soon.  Tell her she shouldn't be so quick to let the heel off the

Gem of the Day:  Tact is the ability to close your mouth before
somebody else suggests it.

[Editorial Comment:  Funny, when I read Ann's reply to the letter
above, I thought to myself, "Oh, Ann, shut up."]

Source:  _The Columbus Dispatch_, September 2, 1993


New York's Chief Judge Imposes Strict Rules for Divorce Lawyers
By Jan Hoffman, Contributed by Rama Kalra

Looking to protect women who are taken advantage of by their divorce
lawyers, New York State's top judge yesterday imposed a sweeping new
set of rules to give clients far more rights.

The rules, believed to be the most comprehensive in the nation, provide
a sort of Miranda warning for clients while imposing new restraints on
lawyers.  For instance, clients will be entitled to a written fee
schedule and itemized bills, and lawyers will no longer be able to take
a client's home for unpaid fees.  In addition, a new disciplinary rule
explicitly prohibits sexual relations between a lawyer and a client
during a case.

Comprehensive Rules

The new rules, which take effect Nov.  1, were announced yesterday by
Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye of the Court of Appeals, who adopted most
of the recommendations made by a committee that had studied the issue
earlier this year.  But Judge Kaye went beyond that committee,
establishing another committee that would also examine whether the new
rules should be extended to other lawyers and their clients.

Many states have grappled with how best to protect the rights of
divorce clients, but the steps that Judge Kaye outlined yesterday are
the nation's most extensive, she said, because they borrow from other
states' strictest provisions and reassembles them in a tough,
comprehensive package.  In announcing the new rules, she spoke
yesterday about the need to address "public criticism and cynicism"
about lawyers and judges, particularly in matrimonial matters, which,
she said "are unequaled in stress and emotion."

She said it was because clients were so vulnerable during such
proceedings that lawyers should be prohibited from beginning sexual
relationships with them during their cases.

Lawyers who attended Judge Kaye's announcement at a news conference at
the Association of the Bar of the City of New York were tentatively
supportive of the new rules.

Deborah Schenk, who teaches ethics at New York University law school
had measured words of praise for the rules.  The new statement of a
client's rights and responsibilities, which every matrimonial lawyer
must provide, is "a good idea," she said.  But she said she was
concerned that the focus on matrimonial practice might be misplaced.

"The fear is that people will perceive these separate rules as a
statement that matrimonial lawyers are less trustworthy than other
lawyers, when many of the things these rules address should be
addressed in all areas of practice" she said.  "A client who sees a tax
lawyer should get an itemized bill, too."

The rules attempt to address sharp concerns about abusive treatment of
divorce clients by lawyers and judges.  Chief among them are high legal
fees that can take clients by surprise.  The report from the committee
said some divorce lawyers rely on pressure tactics to secure fees,
overbill their clients and keep them uninformed about their cases.

Under the new rules, a lawyer must give a client a written explanation
of what a retainer covers and issue itemized bills at least every two
months.  And lawyers can no longer insist that their retainers are

If a client and a lawyer cannot resolve their differences over a fee
the client no longer has to take the lawyer to court, a process that
can incur additional costs.  Instead, clients can request binding
arbitration by panels that will be run by local bar associations.  The
panels will include both lawyers and non-lawyers.

And to halt a tactic that client advocates regard as unscrupulous in
the extreme, the rules prohibit lawyers from foreclosing on a client's
home as a means of collecting unpaid bills.  While the practice of
attaching a lien on a mortgage or the final settlement may continue, a
lawyer must first contact the adversarial spouse and get a judge's

Barbara Handschu, a matrimonial lawyer in Buffalo who approves of many
of the new rules, said yesterday that such notification and judicial
permission would create a host of new problems.  "It will have a
terrible impact on people who are not on the monied side," she said.
"If the opposing spouse objects, that person is stuck because there's
no security to cover their lawyer.  And we can ask to withdraw from the

Included in the statement that every matrimonial lawyer must now give
clients information about how to file a grievance against the lawyer if
the client believes those rights are being violated.  Clients should
send letters to the grievance committees run by the state's appellate

But follow-up investigations of those grievances still remain closed to
the public.  The committee that recommended the rules announced
yesterday also urged that disciplinary proceedings be open, but, Judge
Kaye said, the Legislature must address that question.  Sanctions
against matrimonial lawyers can range from reprimands to disbarment.

Attending the news conference were the four women whose bitter
complaints to the city's Department of Consumer Affairs about the
handling of their own divorces in 1991 triggered two major reports and
led to the new rules.

Source:  _The New York Times_, August 17, 1993


Divorcing Parents Say They Are Gouged by Lawyer-Guardian Fees

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A growing number of divorced couples are discovering
common ground in complaining about the legal fees for attorneys
appointed to look out for their children.

Cuyahoga County's system of appointing lawyers as guardians is open to
abuse, a Cleveland newspaper reported Sunday.

"I think the use of attorneys is just a way to help them with their
practice and to make some more money," said David Skinner, who so far
has paid $13,000.

"This is something they had out -- `Here's a family that looks like
they have some money; maybe you can make some money here.'"

About 300 lawyers a year accept guardian assignments in contested
divorce cases in Cuyahoga County.  They meet with the children, assess
the situation and advise the judge on what the children need.

The lawyers are supposed to make sure the children's concerns are met
during the divorce proceedings.  They sometimes supervise visitation
and mediate disputes between parents.

In more than half the cases before the Domestic Relations Court, they
earn nothing or get a minimum $200 fee from the county if parents can't
afford to pay.

"The guardians are working at very low fees and in many cases are
volunteering their time," said Administrative Judge Timothy Flanagan.

But in cases in which the couple has assets, the guardian can bill them
rates of up to $150 an hour if the judge agrees, the paper said.

The court does not keep statistics on how much parents are charged.
But Flanagan said only a small fraction of cases end up with bills in
the $10,000 range.

He said the few complaints he had heard were from disgruntled parents
who did not like a guardian's opinion that custody should go to their

Social workers or trained volunteers are used as guardians in some Ohio
counties.  But Flanagan said the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations
Court decided to use lawyers because they know more about the legal

"This is an adversarial proceeding.  We want people representing
children who are familiar with the adversarial system," Flanagan said.

But Domestic Relations Judge James P. Celebrezze wants the court to
consider ending the use of high-priced lawyers with little background
in social work or psychology to help sort out difficult issues of
custody and visitation.  He suggests volunteers who are not lawyers.

Another judge, Christine McMonagle, said she is willing to try using
volunteers who are not lawyers in some cases.  But she said it is hard
to know ahead of time which cases will need a lawyer and which ones
just need an understanding individual.

Source:  _The Columbus Dispatch_, August 16, 1993

[Editorial Comment:  The states of Washington and Michigan use
volunteer child advocates and "Friends of the Court" for this type of
work.  Also in Washington state, GALs can charge no more than $1,200
for one case.]


The Lawyerless:  More People Represent Themselves in Court, But Is
Justice Served?
By Junda Woo, Staff Reporter of _The Wall Street Journal_, Contributed by
Rama Kalra

Attorneys Get Too Expensive in Many Family Cases; Self-Helpers Clog the
System -- The Arnie Becker Syndrome

Dressed in a white T-shirt and flouncy miniskirt, Susan McHugo-Inouye
looks flustered as she rises to speak.  She hesitates and looks around
for help like a junior-high-school student giving her first oral

But this is no classroom, it is a courtroom, and the scene of a bitter
child-custody dispute.  Although Mrs. McHugo-Inouye appears to gain
confidence part way through her presentation, her argument seems
disturbingly disorganized and short on legal reasoning, especially
compared with that of her opposing counsel.  When he interrupts her to
object, she clearly is thrown off balance.  He summarizes the case in a
memorandum to the judge; she does not.

Two weeks later, the judge issues his decision.  She loses.

They are the lawyerless, and more and more of them are demonstrating
their limited skills -- not to mention their casual dress -- in
courtrooms across the country.

Especially in family court, the numbers are exploding.  In Des Moines,
Iowa, 53% of all such cases feature litigants representing themselves.
In Washington, D.C., the figure is 88%.  As these hordes of nonlawyers
stumble along, they clog systems that aren't designed to accommodate
amateurs, creating a host of new challenges for court administrators.

The lawyerless often aren't flying solo by choice.  A family lawyer
often can collect $10,000 for a complex case, a hefty chunk of it up
front and nonrefundable.  After the economy began to slow five years
ago, the percentage of nonlawyers in such cases began increasing
sharply.  Meanwhile, divorce rates remain high.

Lawyers haven't lowered their fees to lure back the lost business,
either.  Plenty of higher-income people still are getting divorced and
paying hourly rates of $100 and higher.  "Lawyers have priced
themselves out of the middle-class market," says California Superior
Court Judge Roderic Duncan, who wrote a book on navigating the state's
municipal courts without an attorney.  "They're not interested in that
kind of work."

This, of course, raises broader questions about obtaining justice.  "A
system that presupposes the existence of two represented parties is
breaking down," contends Sara-Ann Determan, moderator of a sparsely
attended panel on middle-class legal services at the recent American
Bar Association convention.

The head of a leading attorneys' group, the American Academy of
Matrimonial Lawyers, is unapologetic.  "I wish this were a world where,
realistically, the poor could have the same justice as the people who
aren't poor, but that's not the world," says Arthur E.  Balbirer.
"It's a shame.  Justice sometimes is expensive."

If you can't afford to pay, there are few alternatives.  Legal-aid
budgets are drained as it is, with legal-assistance groups routinely
turning away all divorce and custody work.  And private lawyers,
despite much public horn-blowing about pro bono work, are showing no
inclination to fill the void.  Many attorneys consider family law
emotionally draining and excessively time-consuming.

In cases of serious injury, poor clients can get a lawyer by giving him
or her a percentage of an ultimate damage award; but such fees aren't
permitted in family law cases.

So, few volunteers step forward.  Says Mr. Balbirer:  "It's like asking
a corporate executive, `Why don't you, for two months, give your salary
to the homeless?' Not to be a wise guy, but if we're going to say that,
we should apply that standard down the line."

Another reason some litigants shun lawyers might be called the Arnie
Becker syndrome, after the unctuous attorney in TV's L.A.  Law.  Many
are leery of slippery divorce lawyers -- with some justification.  A
1992 study by the New York State Department of Consumer Affairs found a
"pattern" of certain divorce lawyers litigating excessively just to
ratchet up fees.  Others unscrupulously demanded huge payments on the
brink of trial.  Still others overcharged, then abandoned clients when
the money ran out, according to the report.  Acting on the study, the
New York court system yesterday added several new family law

Nevertheless, for some, like Mrs. McHugo-Inouye, the experience of
going without a lawyer is nightmarish.  An unemployed teacher of
English as a second language, Mrs. McHugo-Inouye says she couldn't
afford a lawyer to fight her ex-husband's demand for custody of their
twin daughters.  "I could have borrowed from my parents, but I didn't
want to," she says.  They had already lent her money during a previous
custody battle with her ex-husband.

This was either the fourth or fifth dispute for the couple -- the
parents can't even agree on that.  The girls, 12 years old at the time,
had lived temporarily with their father for almost a year.  He wanted
permanent custody and had retained an attorney to get it.  The showdown
took place at the Family Court, Fifth Circuit, in Kauai, Hawaii.

From the moment she filed papers stating that she no longer
had a lawyer, Mrs. McHugo-Inouye says, she knew she was in trouble.
She says a court clerk made her retype the entire form, because instead
of using the words pro se, she had used pro per, an equivalent Latin
phrase used in many states to describe someone representing herself.
"They will hand you a form and say nothing," Mrs. McHugo-Inouye says.
"If you ask for assistance, it's like it's really, really troublesome."
The Kauai court administrator says he doubts this occurred.

In any case, many self-represented litigants can recount similar
experiences.  In part that is because courts are so underfunded and
overloaded that it is a genuine strain to give self-help litigants the
extra attention they need.  And many of the lawyerless test the court's
patience.  They turn in briefs scrawled in longhand, present arguments
hysterically and display unrealistic expectations about just how much
the system can do for them.  Mrs. McHugo-Inouye, for instance, was
disappointed that court staff wouldn't let her borrow a typewriter to
retype filings.

Even if they want to help, court employees, judges and attorneys are
hamstrung by ethics codes that require the court to remain neutral and
refrain from coaching or helping any party.  It can be painful for
workers and judges to see litigants adrift, losing out on opportunities
they know nothing about.  But it is also improper for judges to give a
break to an unrepresented litigant just because he or she doesn't know
the law.

"You can't say, `I'm going to weigh this person's argument 60% because
they're unrepresented, and I'll weigh the attorney's argument 40%,'"
says Judge Clifford L. Nakea, who presided over Mrs. McHugo-Inouye's

Mrs. McHugo-Inouye's biggest mistake was a whopper.  On the day of
final arguments, she had been under the impression that Judge Nakea
would simply interview her daughters on the day of the court session
and announce his ruling later.  Instead, the judge finished
interviewing the girls, entered the courtroom and asked Mrs.
McHugo-Inouye and the opposing attorney to begin final arguments.
Judge Nakea explained that all sides had agreed on such a trial during
an earlier conference.  Somehow, Mrs. McHugo-Inouye didn't get the
message.  Small wonder she seemed unprepared and distracted during her
seven-minute argument.

"If you don't know what the procedures are in the court system, you get
killed," says Barbara E. Handschu, former head of the New York state
bar's family-law section.  "You get all sorts of complications that lay
people may not realize." In divorce cases, for instance, the tax and
insurance ramifications of splitting up can get extremely arcane.

Still, not every lawyerless litigant gets pummeled.  Deborah Crosby, a
high-school drawing teacher in Chappaqua, N.Y., was divorced in 1987
but is still battling her ex-husband in a messy visitation dispute.
She used lawyers for most of the fight but last October she decided she
had had enough:  "In one year, I'd spent $30,000 for nothing --
absolutely nothing.  So I said, `How could it be worse if I represented

She felt confident she could do so because she has a master's degree -
albeit in art education -- and enjoys research.  Ms. Crosby contacted a
group of legal-reform activists for tactical advice.  She discovered a
free law library at the local courthouse.  By the time a major hearing
rolled around in June, she was comfortable citing precedents and
objecting to irrelevant testimony.  "I've learned a lot," she says.

By traditional legal standards, she has made some mistakes.  She wasted
a lot of time writing up a subpoena that she never served.  She lost a
battle to avoid paying her husband's legal costs after he won an appeal
that she had initiated.  But she has also argued calmly before hearing
examiners and fended off her ex-husband's efforts to get more visiting
time with the children.  Also, in a fairly difficult maneuver, she
managed to get a new law guardian appointed for them.

Would she hire an attorney now, if she had the money?  Laughing, she
says, "I've been burned so seriously, it's like asking me if I would
ever remarry.  It would have to be an incredible attorney, with an
incredible background."

Despite Ms. Crosby's experience, most legal experts agree that people
who march into court without lawyers are at a disadvantage -- and one
that is likely to become a fixture of the new legal environment,
especially for the poor.  As of 1990, only one legal-aid worker existed
for every 7,808 people below the government's poverty line, while one
private attorney existed for every 339 U.S. citizens.

If there is any help on the way, it is likely to come in the form of
innovations by court systems to make self-representation easier and
more effective.  In Maricopa Superior Court in Phoenix, the court's new
services include a do-it-yourself divorce video, which plays almost
continuously in a courthouse waiting room, and an on-the-spot attorney
who charges $20 for a half-hour preparation session.  In one branch of
the court, there is a touch-screen computer that asks a series of
questions and prints out completed court filings.  The computer
features an on-screen legal dictionary and even plays Vivaldi when it
is idle

Most important, the court provides paralegal consultations, free of
charge.  The paralegal, David Bishop, operates out of a claustrophobic
office decorated with thank-you notes.  He hears people's tales, tells
them what forms they need and fills out the forms on a computer.

For one man who recently complained that his toddler had been snatched
by the boy's mother, Mr. Bishop completed a proposed court order, a
paper to confirm child custody, a parent-child access petition and a
petition to establish child support.  He also wrote a to-do list and
handed it over with meticulous explanations, down to where to get the
forms notarized (the bank across the street is cheaper than the
courthouse notary).

But Mr. Bishop is overwhelmed.  Litigants must vie to be one of the
first seven callers the day before an appointment, a setup that drives
some people to cheat by getting all their friends to phone, too.  And
even with the appointment system, Mr. Bishop often doesn't get to all
seven litigants.

The backup is so nerve-rattling that sheriff's deputies are summoned
about once a week to break up fistfights among the waiting.  "One
person will say, my child custody is more important than your car,
lady," says Judge Barry Silverman.  "And they'll duke it out."  More
than 700 callers are left stranded every month.

Source:  _The Wall Street Journal_.  (c) 1993 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.,
August 17, 1993


Forma Pauperis.  [Latin] In the character of a poor person -- a method
by which a litigant without money for lawyers is considerately
permitted to lose his case.
      - Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_


A World Without Fathers:  The Struggle to Save the Black Family

A black child has only a one chance in five of growing up with two

Endangered Family
Reported by Farai Chideya, Michelle Ingrassia, Vern E. Smith and Pat
Wingert.  Written by Michelle Ingrassia

For many African-Americans, marriage and childbearing do not go
together.  After decades of denial and blame, a new candor is emerging
as blacks struggle to save their families.

Late on a sultry summer morning, Dianne Caballero settles into her
porch in the New york suburb of Roosevelt, bemused by the scene playing
out across the street.  Behind electric clippers, a muscular black man
is trimming hedges with the intensity of a barber sculpting a fade;
nearby, his wife empties groceries from the car.  In most quarters,
they elicit barely a nod.  But in this largely black, working-class
community, the couple is one of the few intact families on the block.
All too common are the five young women who suddenly turn into view,
every one of them pushing a baby stroller, not one of them married.
Resigned, Caballero says with a sigh, "Where are the men?"

It's a lament she knows too well.  Like her mother before her and her
daughter after, Caballero, who is black, had a child out of wedlock at
16.  Twenty-three years later, even she is astounded at the gulf
between motherhood and marriage.  When her mother got pregnant in the
'50s, she says, she was considered unique.  When Caballero had a baby
in 1970, no one ostracized her, though it still wasn't something "nice"
girls did.  By the time her daughter had a baby seven years ago, it was
regarded as "normal."  Now, Caballero says regretfully, it's
commonplace.  "And there doesn't seem to be anything happening to
reverse it."

That prospect troubles black leaders and parents alike, those like
Caballero, who worries that her granddaughter is destined to be the
fourth generation in her family to raise a child without a man.  The
odds are perilously high:

    *  For blacks, the institution of marriage has been devastated in
       the last generation:  two out of three first births to black
       women under 35 are now out of wedlock.  In 1960, the number was
       two out of five.  And it's not likely to improve any time soon.
       A black child born today has only a one-in-five chance of
       growing up with two parents until the age of 16, according to
       University of Wisconsin demographer Larry L. Bumpass.  The
       impact, of course, is not only on black families but on all of
       society.  Fatherless homes boost crime rates, lower educational
       attainment and add dramatically to the welfare rolls.

    *  Many black leaders rush to portray out-of-wedlock birth as
       solely a problem of an entrenched underclass.  It's not.  It
       cuts across economic lines.  Among the poor, a staggering 65
       percent of never-married black women have children, double the
       number for whites.  But even among the well-to-do, the
       differences are striking: 22 percent of never-married black
       women with incomes above $75,000 have children, almost 10 times
       as many as whites.

Nearly 30 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an assistant
secretary of labor, caused a firestorm by declaring that fatherless
homes were "the fundamental source of the weakness of the Negro
Community."  At the same time, one quarter of black families were
headed by women.  Today the situation has only grown worse.  A majority
of black families with children -- 62 percent -- are now headed by one
parent.  The result is what Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew
Cherlin calls "an almost complete separation of marriage and
childbearing among African-Americans."

It was not always so.  Before 1950, black and white marriage patterns
looked remarkably similar.  And while black marriage rates have
precipitously dipped since then, the desire to marry remains potent: a
Newsweek poll of single African-American adults showed that 88 percent
said that they wanted to get married.  But the dream of marriage has
been hammered in the last 25 years.  The economic dislocations that
began in the '70s, when the nation shifted from an industrial to a
service base, were particularly devastating to black men, who had
migrated north in vast numbers to manufacturing jobs.  The civil-rights
movement may have ended legal segregation, but it hasn't erased
discrimination in the  work force and in everyday life.  "When men lose
their ability to earn bread, their sense of self declines dramatic-
ally.  They lose rapport with their children," says University of
Oklahoma historian Robert Griswold, author of "Fatherhood in America."

Some whites overlooked jobs and discrimination as factors in the
breakdown of the black family.  Back in the '60s, at the peak of the
battle over civil rights, Moynihan infuriated blacks by describing a
pattern of "pathology."  Understandably, blacks were not willing to
tolerate a public discussion that implied they were different -- less
deserving than whites.  The debated quickly turned bitter and polarized
between black and white, liberal and conservative.  Emboldened by a
cultural sea change during the Reagan-Bush era, conservatives scolded,
"It's all your fault."  Dismissively, this camp insisted that what
blacks need are mainstream American values -- read:  *white* values.
Go to school, get a job, get married, they exhorted, and the family
will be just fine.  Not so, liberals fired back.  As neoliberal
University of Chicago sociologist William Julius Wilson argued in _The
Declining Significance of Race_, the breakdown of the African-American
family resulted from rising unemployment, not falling values.  Liberals
have regarded the conservative posture as "blaming the victim," a
phrase that, not coincidentally, white psychologist William Ryan coined
in a 1965 assessment of Moynihan's study.  To this camp, any family
structure is good, as long as it's nurturing.  "Marriage is important
in the black community, just not the most important thing," says Andrew
Billingsley, the University of Maryland sociologist who wrote the
pioneering _Black Families in White America_.  "It's not an imperative
for black people who can afford it."

Who's right?  Both sides are too busy pointing fingers to find out.
"We're never going to get to where we need to be if we first have to
settle whose fault it is," says writer Nicholas Lemann, whose 1991
book, _The Promised Land_, chronicles the great migration of blacks
from the rural South to the industrialized North.  But if there is any
optimism, it is that now, after more than two decades on the defensive
and with a Democratic president in the White House for the first time
in 12 years, the African-American community is beginning to talk a
little more openly about its problems.  "Because of all the debate
about morality, social programs, individual responsibility, it became
very difficult to have an honest discussion," says Angela Glover
Blackwell, who heads the Children's Defense Fund's Black Community
Crusade for Children.  "I'd like to think we've entered an era where
we're willing to accept that there is a dual responsibility" between
government and ordinary citizens."

Without question, government must do more to help.  But increasingly,
African-Americans are unwilling to wait for White America to step in.
"During integration," says Virginia Walden, who owns a day-care center
in Washington D.C., "we kept saying that the white people did us wrong,
and they owed us.  Well, white people did us wrong, but I tell my
children, 'Don't nobody owe you anything.  You've got to work for what
you get.'"  In response, many African-American men and women have thrown
themselves into a range of grass-roots efforts from volunteer work in
their communities to adopting children -- stopgap efforts, perhaps, but
to many, also cathartic and energizing.  In many neighborhoods, the
black church has led the awakening.  Ministers began chastising
themselves for sidestepping some basic moral issues.  "We don't use
`family values' as an ax," says Wallace Smith, pastor of Shiloh Baptist
Church in Washington.  "But if someone is shacked up, we encourage them
to get married."  Smith is remarkably blunt about his own belief in the
importance of a stable marriage.  "Dan Quayle," he says, "was right."

At their kitchen tables and in their church basements every day, black
families talk to each other, as they always have, about their fears.
And part of what worries them is the growing tension between black men
and black women, who are quick to blame each other for the massive
retreat from marriage.  "Black men say black women are `Sapphires,'
trying to dominate," explains Harvard psychologist Alvin Poussaint,
referring to the wife of Kingfish in "Amos 'n' Andy," who epitomized
the bitchy, bossy black woman.  But Boston anchorwoman Liz Walker
believes that many black men mistake self-reliance for highhandedness.
"I don't think black women have thrown black men out," says Walker, who
sparked a controversy when she became pregnant out of wedlock six years
ago, long before TV's Murphy Brown knew what a home pregnancy test
was.  "I think black women have been abandoned."

More commonly, though, black women feel the fallout of the economic and
psychological battering the African-American male has taken in the last
generation.  Of course black women want love and commitment.  But not
with a man whose chief qualification for marriage is that he's, well, a
man.  The remarkable success of Terry McMillan's 1991 novel, _Waiting
to Exhale_, underscores that passion.  The book's main characters are
four strong-minded black women who can't seem to find men who measure

              Steep Rise in Out-of-Wedlock Births

Since the sexual revolution, the rate has shot up for both races.  But
the numbers are much higher for black women than white women.

Percentage of women age 15 to 34 who have their first child before
first marriage:
                              Black           White

      1960-64                  42%              9%
      1965-69                  45%             10%
      1970-74                  55%             13%
      1975-79                  63%             15%
      1980-84                  68%             16%
      1985-89                  70%             22%

up.  They clearly struck a nerve.  "When Terry McMillan wrote that
book, the reason it was so popular was because it was us," says Walker,
42.  Giddy one night from too much birthday champagne and pepperoni
pizza, McMillan's quartet -- Robin, Gloria, Bernadine and Savannah --
get to the essential question:  what's happened to all the men, they
ask.  Where are they hiding?

They're ugly.
In prison.
Too possessive...
Too goddamn old and set in their ways.

The litany drives the women to tears.  But does marriage really
matter?  Or is a family headed by a single mother just as good as the
nuclear unit?  The evidence comes down solidly on the side of
marriage.  By every measure -- economic, social, educational -- the
statistics conclude that two parents living together are better than
one.  Children of single mothers are significantly more likely to live
in poverty than children living with both parents.  The 1990 Census
figures show that 65 percent of children of black single mothers were
poor, compared with only 18 percent of children of black married
couples.  Educationally, children in one-parent homes are at greater
risk across the board -- for learning problems, for being left back,
for dropping out.  Psychiatrist James P. Comer, who teaches at Yale
University's Child Study Center, says that the exploding population of
African- American children from single-parent homes represents "the
education crisis that is going to kill us.  The crisis that we're
concerned about -- that American kids don't achieve as well as European
kids and some Asian kids -- won't kill us because [the American
students are] scoring high enough to compete.  The one that will kill
us is the large number of bright kids who fall out of the mainstream
because their families are not functioning."

Statistics tell only part of the story.  Equally important are the
intangibles of belonging to an intact family.  "Growing up in a married
family is where you learn the value of the commitments you make to each
other, rather than seeing broken promises," says Roderick Harrison,
chief of the Census Bureau's race division.  "It deals with the very
question of what kind of personal commitments people can take

Newsweek Poll - What Black Adults Think

How important are the following reasons young, unmarried black people
today are having children?

(Percent saying very important)

They don't understand sex or birth control            53%

They won't use birth control or have abortions
for personal or religious reasons                     48%

They want something all their own                     38%

They want to prove they are adults                    37%

They are following the examples of older
people they know                                      35%

Boys in particular need male role models.  Without a father, who will
help them define what it means to be a man?  Fathers do things for
their children that mothers often don't.  Though there are exceptions,
fathers typically encourage independence and a sense of adventure,
while mothers are more nurturing and protective.  It is men who teach
boys how to be fathers.  "A woman can only nourish the black male child
to a certain point," says Bob Crowder, an Atlanta lawyer and father of
four, who helped organize an informal support group for African-
American fathers.  "And then it takes a man to raise a boy into a man.
I mean a real man."  Mothers often win the job by default, and struggle
to meet the challenge.  But sometimes, even a well-intentioned single
mother can be smothering, especially if her son is the only man in her
life.  Down the road a few years, she hears erstwhile daughters-in-law
lament how she "ruined" him for every other woman.  Like the street-
smart New Yorker she is, Bisi Ruckett, who is Dianne Caballero's
daughter, says flat out that she can't "rule" her boyfriend.  And just
as quickly, she concedes she can't compete with his mom.  "If he tells
her he needs a zillion dollars, she'll get it," says Ruckett, 23.

Without a father for a role model, many boys learn about relationships
from their peers on the street.  In the inner city in particular, that
often means gangs; and the message they're selling is that women are
whores and handmaidens, not equals.  Having a father does not, of
course, guarantee that the lessons a young male learns will be
wholesome.  But research shows that, with no father, no minister, no
boss to help define responsibility, there's nothing to prevent a boy
from treating relationships perversely.  University of Pennsylvania
professor Elijah Anderson, who authored a 1990 study on street life,
says that, among the poor, boys view courting as a "game" in which the
object is to perfect a rap that seduces girls.  The goal:  to add up
one's sexual conquests, since that's the measure of "respect."

Newsweek Poll - What Black Adults Think

Which can do the most to improve the situation for black families

Black families themselves                     41%

Churches                                      25%

Community organizations                               14%

Government                                    14%

Often, for a girl, Anderson says, life revolves around the "dream," a
variation on the TV soaps in which a man will whisk her away to a life
of middle-class bliss -- even though everywhere she looks there are
only single mothers abandoned by their boyfriends.  Not surprisingly,
the two sexes often collide.  The girl dreams because she must.  "It
has to do with one's conception of oneself:  `I will prevail,'"
Anderson says.  But the boy tramples that dream because he must -- his
game is central to his vision of respect.  "One of the reasons why,
when a woman agrees to have a baby, these men think it's such a victory
is that you have to get her to go against all the stuff that says he
won't stick around."

For teenage mothers not mature enough to cope, single parenthood is not
the route to the dream, but entrapment.  They have too many frustr-
ations:  the job, the lack of a job, the absence of a man, the feeling
of being dependent on others for help, the urge to go out and dance
instead of pacing with a crying child.  Taken to its extreme, says
Poussaint, the results can be abuse or neglect.  "They'll see a child
as a piece of property or compete with the child -- calling them dumb
or stupid, damaging their growth and education to maintain superior-
ity," he says.  The middle class is not exempt from such pain.  Even
with all the cushions money could buy -- doctors and backup doctors,
nannies and backup nannies --- Liz Walker says that trying to raise her
son, Nicholas, alone was draining.  "Certainly, the best situation is
to have as many people in charge of the family as possible," says
Walker, who is now married to Harry Graham, a 41-year-old corporate-tax
lawyer; together, they're raising her son and his two children from a
previous marriage.  "I can see that now," she adds.  "Physically, you
*need* it."

More and more, black men aren't there to build marriages or to stick
around through the hard years of parenting.  The question we're too
afraid to confront is why.  The biggest culprit is an economy that has
locked them out of the mainstream through a pattern of bias and a
history of glass ceilings.  "The economic state of the African-American
community is worse in 1993 than it was in 1963," says NAACP head
Benjamin Chavis Jr.  He could be speaking, just as easily, about the
black family, since the two fell in tandem.

A man can't commit to a family without economic security, but for many
African-American men, there is none.  The seeds of modern economic
instability date back to the 1940s, when the first of 6 1/2 million
blacks began migrating form the rural South to the urban North as farm
mechanization replaced the need for their backs and hands.  At first,
black men built a solid economic niche by getting factory jobs.  But
just as the great migration ended in the '70s, the once limitless
industrial base began to cave in.  And as steel mills and factories
swept offshore, the "last hired, first fired" seniority rules dis-
proportionately pushed black men out.  During that time, says
Billingsley, unemployment for blacks became twice as high as it was for
whites, " and it has rarely dropped below that [ratio] since."
Unarguably, economic restructuring hit whites as well as blacks, but
the new service sector favored those with an education -- and there
were many more educated white men than blacks in the '70s as vast
numbers of baby boomers streamed out of the nation's colleges looking
for jobs.

Not Just an Underclass Problem

In every economic group, black women are two to seven times more likely
to have a child before marriage than white women.

Percent of never-married women ages 15 to 44 who have children:

                                      Black           White

      Under $10,000                    66%             32%
      $10,000-$20,000                  50%             19%
      $25,000-$30,000                  32%              8%
      $30,000-$35,000                  34%              7%
      $50,000-$75,000                  11%              3%
      Over 75,000                      22%              3%

Ironically, just as the job market collapsed for black men, it opened
for black women, who went to college while black men went to war.
Armed with the college degrees that black males didn't have and pushed
by the burgeoning women's movement, growing numbers of black women
found spots in corporate America.  As with white women in the '80s,
that bought them greater independence.  But the jobs of black women
came at the expense of black men.  Throughout the workplace, says
Yale's Comer, "there was a tradeoff.  The one black woman was a
two-fer:  you got a black and a woman."  Since then, the gap between
white women's income and black women's has disappeared -- black women's
salaries are the same as whites'.

But the chasm between black and white men has barely moved.  In 1969,
black men earned 61 cents for every dollar white men earned;  by 1989,
the number had increased to 69 cents.  And that's for black men who
were working; more and more, they found themselves without jobs.
During the same time, the number of black men with less than a high
school education who found jobs dropped from two thirds to barely
half.  And it's likely to worsen:  in the last 25 years, the proportion
of black men in college has steadily eroded.  "America has less use for
black men than it did during slavery," says Eugene Rivers, who helps
run computer-training programs as pastor of Boston's Azusa Christian

Though he is scarcely 11, Lugman Kolade dreams of becoming an
electrical engineer.  But he already wears the grievous pain of a man
who feels left out.  Lugman is a small, studious, Roman Catholic
schooler form Washington, D.C., who won the archdiocese science fair
with a homemade electric meter.  Unlike most boys in the Male Youth
Project he attended at Shiloh Baptist Church, his parents are married.
His mother works for the Department of Public Works; describing what
his father does doesn't come easy.  "My father used to be a [construct-
ion] engineer.  He left his job because they weren't treating him
right; they would give white men better jobs who did less work.  Now he
drives an ice-cream truck."

Black men were hurt, too, by the illegal economy.  As the legitimate
marketplace cast them aside, the drug trade took off, enlisting anyone
lured by the promise of fast money.  Ironically, says Comer. "you had
to make a supreme and extra effort to get into the legal system and no
effort to get into the illegal system."  For many on the fringes, there
was no contest.  "It overwhelmed the constructive forces in the black
mainstream," he says.  Disproportionately, too, black men are in prison
or dead.  While African-Americans represent only 12 percent of the
population, they composed 44 percent of the inmates in the state
prisons and local jails in 1991; and, in 1990, homicide was the leading
cause of death for young black men.

The economy explains only one part of what happened.  The sexual
revolution in the '70s was the second great shift that changed the
black family.  Although the social tide that erased taboos against
unwed motherhood affected all women, whites and blacks took different
paths.  White women delayed both marriage and childbearing, confident
that, down the road, there would be a pool of marriageable men.  Not so
for black women, who delayed marriage but not children because they
were less certain there would be men for them.  In what they called a
"striking shift," Census officials reported earlier this year that less
than 75 percent of black women are likely to ever marry, compared with
90 percent for whites.

|| More  dramatic  is  the  childbearing picture.   Between  1960 and ||
|| 1989,  the proportion  of young  white women  giving birth  out of ||
|| wedlock rose from nine to 22 percent,  markedly faster than it did ||
|| for blacks.   The slower  rate  of increase  for blacks  was small ||
|| comfort.  Their rate -- 42 percent --  was already so high by 1960 ||
|| that if  it had kept  pace with  the  white  rate,  it  would have ||
|| topped  100 percent  by now.   As  things stand,  it's 70 percent. ||

Traditionally, the extended family has served as a safety net.  But the
terrible irony of history is that it has also hurt the black family.
While intended as a cushion, the network, in effect, enabled more
single women to have children.  And that helps explain why not only
poor black women, but middle- and upper-class blacks as well, have had
children out of wedlock at higher rates than white women.  Historic-
ally, white women have had only themselves to rely on for child
rearing, and so marriage became more of an imperative.  For blacks, the
network of extended kin is a tradition rooted in African customs that
emphasize community over marriage.  Although historians say that most
black children grew up in two-parent households during slavery, as well
as in the 19th century and early 20th centuries, high rates of poverty,
widowhood and urban migration reinforced the need for interdependence
that continues today.  The oft-repeated African proverb "It takes a
whole village to raise a child" echoes back to that.

Now the extended family is breaking down.  Yet the black family's
expectations for it haven't diminished.  Both sides feel the strains.
With the soaring number of teenage mothers, grandparents today are
getting younger and more likely to be working themselves.  A 32-
year-old grandmother isn't necessarily eager, or able, to raise a
grandchild, especially when that child becomes a teenager and the
problems multiply.  And, after generations of no fathers, there are no
grandfathers, either.  What's more, the tradition of a real neighbor-
hood is disappearing.  "It used to be that everyone looked out for
everyone else," said community activist Claudette Burroughs-White of
Greensboro, N.C.  "Now I think people are kind of estranged.  They
don't get involved.  It's safer not to."  Many families left in the
inner city -- the ones most in need of support -- are increasingly
isolated from relatives able to flee to the suburbs.  "Not every poor
black mother is in a strong kinship network," says Cherlin.  "Many are
living alone, hiding behind double-locked doors in housing projects."

What's the solution?  Nearly 30 years after Lyndon Johnson launched the
War on Poverty, experts on the black family return again and again to
the same ideas -- better education, more jobs, discouraging teen
pregnancy, more mentoring programs.  But now the question is, who
should deliver -- government or blacks themselves?  Ever since the
government started abandoning social programs in the '70s and early
'80s, black families have been left on their own to find a way out.
Those who would argue against funneling in more government dollars say
we tried that, but "nothing works."  Lemann, who believes that most of
the positive social changes in Black America were sparked by government
intervention, dismisses the concept that spending on social welfare
failed.  The War on Poverty, he says, "threw out some untested ideas,
some of which worked" -- like Head Start, the Jobs Corps and Foster
Grandparents -- "and some of which didn't."  Beyond the all-or-nothing
extremes, there is room for solutions.  Moynihan believes the nation
has been in a collective "denial phase" about the black family for the
last 25 years.  But he says, he's encouraged.  "We're beginning to get
a useful debate on this."

Will self-help do it?  Though few African-American leaders expect what
they call "White America" to come to the rescue, they're equally
skeptical that the thousands of programs filling church rec rooms and
town-hall meeting rooms can, on their own, turn things around.  "People
who are trying to salvage a lot of the children are burnt out, they
think it's like spitting into the ocean," says Poussaint, who doesn't
dispute the pessimism.  "The problems are overwhelming.  It's like
treating lung cancer and knowing that people are still smoking."

There aren't many places left to look for answers.  When black leaders
speak with one voice, it is about the deep crisis of faith and purpose
that came with integration:  the very promise that African-Americans
would be brought into the American mainstream has left many by the
wayside.  What's the penalty for doing nothing?  "We could revert to a
caste society," says Moynihan.  Others are just as bleak.  There are
sparks of hope, says Comer, but he warns:  "It's getting late, very
late."  The problems of the black family have been apparent for
decades.  And so has our collective understanding that we must take
them on.  What we need to find now is a voice to start the dialogue.



The advice given during meetings, by members directly and in telephone
conversations, should not be taken as legal advice.  It is the opinion
of the person answering the questions at the time, and the answers are
based upon legal advice that attorneys on our board have given in
similar situations.  Consult your attorney or one of our recommended
attorneys before taking any action in your case.

The articles in the Newsletter are culled from a variety of sources,
cover many topics and reflect differing opinions.  Every article is the
expressed opinion of only the author of that article.  These articles
do not necessarily represent the collective opinion of FACE or of the
FACE directors.  Even articles written as editorials by members of this
group are not the opinion of the group itself or of leadership.  The
Newsletter attempts to present both sides on issues so readers can form
their own opinions and make informed decisions.

This group is for equality.

We are NOT against women.  Women who become noncustodial parents face
the same kinds of problems noncustodial fathers face.

We don't think that child support guidelines are fair.  We have
actively worked to help the state fix the child support guidelines so
they are fair and logical.  We want parents to pay their child support
-- on time, all the time.

We are NOT advocates of child abuse -- we are very much AGAINST child
abuse.  Yet, we want the courts and social systems to recognize that
many contentious ex-spouses make bogus allegations of abuse during
custody battles.  We are trying to help the courts and the
professionals that handle such allegations to come up with better
methods for doing so.

We are NOT in favor of the overuse of the adversarial court system for
resolving custody disputes.  We think that mediation of these disputes
is a more effective and less expensive solution and we strongly
encourage the courts to utilize this resource more often, more

We are not advocates solely for fathers.  We are advocates for
children, because too many children suffer from the consequences of the
courts tearing one parent out of the children's lives and making that
parent a "visitor" and a remote wallet.  We don't think that is right
or fair.  It hurts children and weakens our society.

We believe that children have the right to and deserve TWO parents.  We
believe in equal legal rights and equal physical access to children of
divorce for both parents and the extended families.  Hence the name --
Fathers And Children for *Equality*.


The FACE Newsletter Staff

Jack Quinn              Research, Contributing Editor
Aaron Hoffmeyer         Research, Typesetting, Contributing Editor
Paul Bokros             Research, Contributing Editor, Mailing List

The FACE Officers

Mike Driscoll           President
Doug Morrissey
Mike Hamill             Vice-Presidents
John McKinley           Treasurer
R.W.  Fowler            Secretary

The Fathers And Children for Equality Foundation is supported by the
Ohio United Way.

(c) 1993.  All copyrights are implied and applicable.

P.O. Box 18022
Columbus, Ohio 43218
(614) 275-6767


The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God's mind -- a pretty
uncomfortable thought, particularly if you've just made a down payment
on a house.
      - Woody Allen


When you're there, I sleep lengthwise.
And when you're gone, I sleep diagonal in my bed.
      - Jonathan Fishman

Aaron L. Hoffmeyer

This issue contains over 15,000 words.  In comparison, the longest
Presidential inaugural address was about 9,700 words -- delivered by
William Henry Harrison, taking about two hours in 20 degree weather.
He wasn't wearing warm clothing and he caught a severe cold and died of
pneumonia some number of weeks later.  He was the President who gave
the longest speak and he was in office for the shortest period.
Effectively, he really did not get to act as President at all.

This is the 20th month in a row that I have put this Newsletter
together and distributed it electronically.  I've been mailing it to
the White House every month -- for several months now.

The Newsletter is archived on and is accessible by
user anonymous ftp.  The files are in the face directory.
The IP number for cwgk4 is