I have several blogs but recently am posting more over at Family Court Matters, although this one looks better (by a long shot).  Please go there soon — it’s where most of my information is (and is the highest traffic blog); it also has many links to supporting information. (Since 2009, over 600 posts, investigative reporting on the court-connected corporations, operations, and history: who set it up? How long ago, and how?)

Time limits me from keeping up with multiple blogs; information tends to get posted at will on more than one of them.  The most orderly set of links (viewable from dynamic website — cursor has to be on the right side of the frame) is over at The Family Court Franchise System.

These days I am less focused on the family court system ONLY, in part because I feel I have a grasp on its dysfunction, which is designed into a larger scheme (design/context), and trying to find my own path in it, hopefully with footprints for others.   (Live and learn, right?)

Now:

I have a question:  Given this event, imagine, if you can, the setting — where (and when) did it happen?

Her daughter was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. The first blow to her head had knocked her unconscious. [Responders] had to taser [the relatively young father] twice to subdue him.

The [Florida] woman spent three days in the hospital with a broken nose, fractured cheekbone and broken jaw.

She was so badly beaten that her children, (daughter), 2, and (son), 3, didn’t recognize their mother.

“They didn’t want to come near me. … It was very emotional and upsetting, but they’re little. They didn’t understand. … It was upsetting to see them cower away from me,” [the young mother] said.

[The young mother]’s vision was so blurred that she had to withdraw from her college classes because she was unable to study for her upcoming finals, she said.

Witnesses say Catherine Scott-Gonzalez was attacked by her husband, Paul Gonzalez, in judge's chambers.

(photo credit & link at bottom of this post):

What was the setting, and what precipitated the incident?  Here’s room to imagine and speculate.  Fill out the details.

When, where, and WHY did this happen?





OK, if you’re done, here’s how I found out about it, as well as the answers (in brief).  

But first — the moral of the story:  Welfare Reform is up for re-authorization by the end of September 30, 2012.  This is not just laws — what this means is that when laws are passed that deal with money (i.e., federal money) — the United States House of Representatives is who votes (or doesn’t) vote “Appropriations” for them.  In this case, we are talking — a LOT more than Food Stamps, Cash Aid, Medicaid, Child Care, Disability Payments, help for children in Foster Care, Child Support Enforcement (so needy families can eat, right?) and much much more — under Title IV-A,-B,-C,-D,-E, of the Social Security Act

[Social Security Act (all Titles),Table of Contents @ July 24, 2015]
TITLE IV—GRANTS TO STATES FOR AID AND SERVICES TO NEEDY FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AND FOR CHILD–WELFARE SERVICES[*Footnote 1]

Part A—BLOCK GRANTS TO STATES FOR TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES
Part B—CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES:
Subpart 1—Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program
Subpart 2—Promoting Safe and Stable Families
Subpart 3—Common Provisions
Sec. 440. Data standardization for improved data matching [only Sec. there]
[Part C—Repealed.]
Part D—Child Support and Establishment of Paternity


Sec. 451. Appropriation

Sec. 452. Duties of the Secretary 

Sec452. [42 U.S.C. 652] (a) The Secretary shall establish, within the Department of Health and Human Services a separate organizational unit, under the direction of a designee of the Secretary, who shall report directly to the Secretary and who shall

(1) establish such standards for State programs for locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, and obtaining child support and support for the spouse (or former spouse) with whom the noncustodial parent’s child is living as he determines to be necessary to assure that such programs will be effective;

(2) establish minimum organizational and staffing requirements for State units engaged in carrying out such programs under plans approved under this part;

(3) review and approve State plans for such programs;

(4)(A) review data and calculations transmitted by State agencies pursuant to section 454(15)(B) on State program accomplishments with respect to performance indicators for purposes of subsection (g) of this section and section 458; [etc.]

Sec. 453. Federal parent locator service

Sec. 453A. State directory of new hires

Sec. 454. State plan for child and spousal support

Sec. 454A. Automated data processing

Sec. 454B. Collection and disbursement of support payments

Sec454B. [42 U.S.C. 654b] (a) State Disbursement Unit.—

(1) In general.—In order for a State to meet the requirements of this section, the State agency must establish and operate a unit (which shall be known as the “State disbursement unit”) for the collection and disbursement of payments under support orders—

(A) in all cases being enforced by the State pursuant to section 454(4); and

(B) in all cases not being enforced by the State under this part in which the support order is initially issued in the State on or after January 1, 1994, and in which the income of the noncustodial parent is subject to withholding pursuant to section 466(a)(8)(B).

(2) Operation.—The State disbursement unit shall be operated—

(A) directly by the State agency (or 2 or more State agencies under a regional cooperative agreement), or (to the extent appropriate) by a contractor responsible directly to the State agency; and

(B) except in cases described in paragraph (1)(B), in coordination with the automated system established by the State pursuant to section 454A.

(3) Linking of local disbursement units.—The State disbursement unit may be established by linking local disbursement units through an automated information network, subject to this section, if the Secretary agrees that the system will not costs more nor take more time to establish or operate than a centralized system. In addition, employers shall be given 1 location to which income withholding is sent.

(b) Required Procedures.—The State disbursement unit shall use automated procedures, electronic processes, and computer-driven technology to the maximum extent feasible, efficient, and economical, for the collection and disbursement of support payments, including procedures— (1,2,3,4 listed…);

(c) Timing of Disbursements.—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the State disbursement unit shall distribute all amounts payable under section 457(a) within 2 business days after receipt from the employer or other source of periodic income, if sufficient information identifying the payee is provided. …
(2) Permissive retention of arrearages.—The State disbursement unit may delay the distribution of collections toward arrearages until the resolution of any timely appeal with respect to such arrearages.

{{Interesting.  Think math, the impact of a state full of people who appeal amount of arrearages…  How often might arrearages be appealed by the noncustodial parent? If so, then the SDU gets to keep it.  Wonder how much revenue (interest income, dividends where SDU’s holdings may be pooled in larger funds for investment) accrues to the state (SDU is an agency of the state, unless contracted out) meanwhile?}}

Sec. 455. Payments to States

Sec. 456. Support obligations

Sec. 457. Distribution of collected support

Sec. 458. Incentive payments to States . . .

Sec. 459. Consent by the United States to income withholding, garnishment, and similar proceedings for enforcement of child support and alimony obligations

Sec. 459A. International support enforcement

Sec. 460. Civil actions to enforce support obligations

[Sec. 461. Repealed.][Sec. 462. Repealed.]

Sec. 463. Use of Federal Parent Locator Service in connection with the enforcement or determination of child custody and in cases of parental kidnaping of a child

Sec. 464. Collection of past-due support from Federal tax refunds …

Sec. 469B. Grants to States for access and visitation programs [ = the last Sec. under
Title IV-D).

Part E—Federal Payments for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance

Sec. 470. Purpose: appropriation

Sec. 471. State plan for foster care and adoption assistance

Sec. 472. Foster care maintenance payments program

Sec. 473. Adoption and Guardianship assistance program

Sec. 473A. Adoption incentive payments

Sec. 474. Payments to States; Allotments to States

Anything this substantial in re-organization is going to produce many more influences (seen, or unseen) in the average, divorce or family law case.  While we would love to believe that the State, and the child support agencies, SDUs (state distribution units), and any contractors, let alone professionals involved in some of the supported programs under Sec. 469b (Access and Visitation) who might JUST ALSO HAPPEN to be a public servant, would be 100% neutral and altruistic, not influenced by federal incentives to the states to alter visitation time of children with noncustodial parents…  This really does constitute an Elephant in the Room to all of us.  The family court rooms are NOT outcome-neutral environments, and they are not segregated from the weight of the child support collection apparatus.

[*Footnote 1]

[1] Title IV of the Social Security Act is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Family Assistance administers benefit payments under Title IV, Parts A and C. The Administration for Public Services, Office of Human Development Services, administers social services under Title IV, Parts B and E. The Office of Child Support Enforcement administers the child support program under Title IV, Part D.
Title IV appears in the United States Code as §§601–687, subchapter IV, chapter 7, Title 42.
Regulations of the Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to Title IV are contained in chapters II, III, and XIII, Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.** Regulations of the Secretary of Labor relating to Title IV are contained in subtitle A, Title 29, and chapter 29, Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations.]

42 U.S.C., good to remember. Title IV Social Security Act; good to remember…
45 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), esp. 45 CFR 303.109, Procedures for State monitoring, evaluation and reporting on programs funded by Grants to States for Access and Visitation Programs. (“Say, what???”). Short history of the program shows up on an HHS communication, April 28, 1999 AT-99-07 (Action Transmittal/Final Rule). If you didn’t get this on the way into family court, or as a custodial mother, specifically, signing up for a child support order after 1996 Welfare Reform, perhaps it’s because you are not the “State Agency Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV-D of Social Security Act” and forgot (not knowing about this) to get added as an “Interested Person.” Hover cursor over the link for an intro, or click through to read.


1. WHERE — this woman was cold-cocked (knocked unconscious and suffered those injuries described above) — not in her home, not in a mugging, and not in a high-crime area.

She was cold-cocked in a FAMILY COURT JUDGE’s CHAMBERS

2. WHEN — as I recall the article (and I’m not going to review it for PTSD reasons, I’m a DV survivor and have my own memories to deal with at this time), in 2011

3.  WHY — the young man had just been informed by the Judge that he was going to have to pay child support.  Suffice it to say, she had requested protection (restraining orders) before by the same judge (twice) citing violence back to 2005, and had been refused.  They were told to work it out together.  Did I mention the father was military (a vet?)?  Ages approximately 29 and 23, which to me is young..

And for extra credit, 4.  HOW I LEARNED OF IT:

  • I am extremely irritated at my government preaching to women (such as this one, myself, or any others) who have already experienced extreme suffering in marriage, which is why we separated — through federal incentives to states, about the work ethic or “working it out” with such a situation.  And, having (naturally) failed to inform us going into courtrooms (either up front, or via whatever nonprofit that helped us get a restraining order initially — and as such nonprofits are getting tax perks, perhaps there should be a requirement they fess up about the funding…), that the case was stacked against the nonabusive parent, and a lot of these in disputed custody matters are women.  And that, to counter this theory (that we imagined or highly overstate our own abuse), the fatherhood movement was necessary — and AFDC should ever have been re-tooled to promote two-parent families when in fact the President (Clinton) that signed welfare reform (and plenty of other presidents, evidently, and Congressmen) was cheating on his own wife.  At about the same time.
  • My last post shows me illustrating how large, Family Violence Prevention Funds (or “Futures without Violence” nonprofits) become so large — which includes taking lots of money from HHS and DOJ and groups which promote fatherhood, which is then reflected in their programs, policies and media campaigns.  That’s where I heard about the above “Scott-Gonzalez” case from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

So, now I guess we know approximately when a judge will actually believe a woman’s reports of domestic violence.  If he actually sees it.  In the courthouse.  And in fact, his stupidity in that matter provoked it — in my opinion.  As I recall, he signed the divorce decree – after they hauled the woman out and probably mopped up some blood — and STILL put “shared parenting,” even though obviously now the guy was in jail.

You can see links about it by reading the comments to my August 30th (last prior) post here. Link to comments is top right, near the top of the post under its title..

[On re-visiting this post — three years later — I found the news article is still up:  Florida divorce proceeding turns violent — in judge’s chambers By Kim Segal, CNN April 19, 2011 6:51 p.m. EDT It was in Broward County, Florida:

Plantation, Florida (CNN) — Being attacked in the courthouse was the last thing Catherine Scott-Gonzalez expected when she showed up for the final hearing in her divorce case.

“I just can’t believe that it happened — there are just no words for it,” Scott-Gonzalez said Tuesday, as she continued to recover from a broken nose and a fractured jaw after being beaten by her estranged husband in a judge’s chambers. …
The proceeding that took place Friday in Judge Rothschild’s chambers was the last hearing in the divorce of Scott-Gonzalez and her husband of about five years, Paul Gonzalez.

Thirty-five minutes into the hearing, when the issue of child support was brought up Gonzalez — acting as his own attorney — decided to leave the room, according to Michael Dunleavy, the attorney for Scott-Gonzalez. The couple, both former Marines, are the parents of two young children.

“He goes, ‘I’m not going to pay child support,’ and Judge Rothschild says, ‘You know all parents have to pay child support, we all have to support our children,’ and he (Gonzalez) stalked out of the room,” said Dunleavy.

“He went calmly,” remembered Judge Rothschild, “not happily, but calmly walked out of chambers, took one step out of the door, then in a blink of an eye — I mean literally one step — he came back in.”

Upon returning, Gonzalez suddenly started punching his estranged wife, according to those in the chambers. “It was from behind, I was blindsided, I was knocked out after the first punch,” said Scott-Gonzalez.

A bailiff was not in the room at the time. The judge said if he had had any indication that Gonzalez was violent, he would have had security in his chambers. Scott-Gonzalez said in the past, she had twice sought restraining orders against her estranged husband but both attempts had been denied.

Read more here


Sentencing:

Former Marine gets 15 years for vicious attack on wife in judge’s chambers (New York Daily News, Sunday March 24, 2012, Philip Caufield.
‘I couldn’t pick up my children from day care because I was frightening the other children,’



Scott at a sentencing hearing on Friday.

A South Florida former marine will spend 15 years in prison for viciously pummeling his wife in front of a judge during a divorce court hearing last spring.

Paul Gonzalez Jr., 29, had to be subdued with a stun gun after he attacked his wife, Catherine Scott, 23, choked her and repeatedly hit her in the face during an appearance in a Broward County judge’s chambers last April.

Authorities said Gonzalez was enraged that the judge had ordered him to pay child support. He pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated battery.

Scott suffered a broken nose, a broken jaw, a torn lip, a concussion and severe bruises to her face and eyes in the attack.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, a judge ignored Gonzalez’s apologies and shot down a defense psychologist’s argument that the former soldier should be spared a long sentence because he suffered from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, CBS Miami reported.

“[The attack] was in a court of law where people for hundreds of years have been coming to peaceably resolve their disputes where people have an expectation of safety — certainly where your former wife thought she would be safe,” Judge Geoffrey Cohen said.

“You chose it as a place to viciously assault her,” he said

How much chid support or food stamps is it worth, really, to risk worth being knocked unconscious, or losing one’s life, being killed on an overnight court-ordered visitation, possibly with one’s body not being discovered for a long time, having one’s kids’ killed or kidnapped (this STILL is happening …) or going homeless in the process of trying to prevent that from happening?  What’s the risk level?

And that is EXACTLY what is happening to many families, or just the woman, or just the kids — going through the system. Because family theory and collectivism just won’t let us leave to safety!!! Then with the money stolen from children (again, through TANF block grants to states enabling such diversions) they run demonstration and evaluation projects– all over the place — blended with corporate funding – to allegedly “prove” that being in a single (mother, essentially) family the children are at risk.

Obviously, factoring in WHY (like some of these insane policies) is not on the agenda. Bottom line? They don’t really care about the kids. They care about being able to say they care about the kids in order to get the grants, and maintain their own market niche.(my opinion). I say this after years of close observation, a lot of networking (i.e., not just my own case), not just dealing with mothers’ cases, and with what the earliest blog represents — researching the grants and corporations getting them, basically.

For the rest of us (working people, whether parents or not) — is it WORTH setting up MORE systems of governmental corruption, and special funds and trust accounts where money pooled from YOUR labor and invested by our government into people as corrupt as them (which this industry in particular is full of, in my opinion — the marriage programming peddlers) — or letting us go all ‘theocracy,” — by ignoring this area (which the mainstream press pretty much also ignores) — is it worth that for allocating social services to the United States Government?

The marginalized people are going to still come back to your door asking for help anyhow — when more and more money for their basic needs gets withheld, stolen, or misappropriated, and when it’s diverted to fine-tune social engineering for the masses.  And sometimes bystanders are caught in the crossfire.

But mostly, it furthers the economic stripping of ethical working people, and also compromises those ethics — when tax deductions go to pay for more government,and government obstructs both justice and accountability when confronted on the same. Look what they did to John Silva ca. 1997-1999 (see my recent blogs).

So, I just wanted to mention that here today.  Please stop enabling the proliferation of systems which extort and torture parents, and then (I believe) this really compromises the rest of us.

I have not always made the right decisions, but in a given year I know I’ve done everything within my power to find the straightest path to safety and solvency — which are related. Once in some of these systems — families are targeted for KEEPING them in the systems, because of the financial incentives to the states. Period, that’s how it is. What happened to me shouldn’t have happened in the United States of America — but I gather this country is in its final throes, before its debtors decide, time to collect. It’s a crying shame I even tried to get the child support enforcement agency to do its job, ever. That’s what comes from being somewhere between angry (at obstructions) and gullible (about the extent of systemic fraud).

By my reckoning, this could’ve been over ten years ago, if we had sound government that didn’t profile people by gender & marital status, or what program funds their current status could draw down. It is absolutely exhausting parents; and too many signs recommending a wrong turn on the path out.

(I’ve been fighting this situation since ca. 1999 when I separated — at which time, totally unknown to me, the entire system (in my area, too — but nationwide) was under a dramatic shift of priorities, from child support collection through D.A.’s office to (and because failure to do so meant the Federal Government left each state the “choice” of simply not receiving any welfare aid — at all!  Deal with your hungry masses yourself in other words, or do it our way) SDU’s (Statewide Distribution Units).

From what I can tell, whether it was mis-managed through the district attorney’s office, or through the SDU, or the local child support enforcement — if this money is lost and not collected, or if seeking to collect child support means antagonizing one’s ex — and that “conflict” will then flag the (divorce or custody) case for long-term manipulations and wealth transfer to the courts (and their cronies) — then it would be better to beg outright if one cannot support one’s children completely alone.

That doesn’t mean being trouble-free.  However, IF a collective boycott of seeking OCSE’s help could be staged, perhaps they’d understand that we’re onto them.    this would also need to be accompanied by finding out where the hidden funds are (as California did recently its Park District funds.  Supposedly they had to close all the parks and raise money.  However ACTUALLY there was $54 million sitting in two different special funds.

Read (my other blogs) bout “CAFR” reports to understand better and locate them.

If I heard it right, a friend of mine (who works in finance) stated that every county’s comptroller would have the “Comprehensive Audited Financial Report” for that county,including all the component government units, and any not covered in that report, would probably also be named so you could go look up their reports.

I blogged a high-profile (at the time) NJ Tom’s River femicide/suicide a while back (at “family court matters”) and how NJ spent $86 million or so in Domestic Violence prevention funding over the years.  The death was avoidable; but the man (a clear risk) was released, and the woman hadn’t left town soon enough — and that was one where she did everything right, and even no kids between them.  He also had a child support arrearage, as I recall.  . . . . .  it was a very, very high-traffic post for a very long time after, with government units looking at it.   I found this interesting, as Walter Burien (who is FROM NJ and started discovering the hidden funding a long time ago, and reporting on it (see “HANJ”), apparently NJ citizens didn’t follow up closely afterwards.

But, for some (myself included) it was more light in a very dark situation.

These times, FYI, are dark (including for America). Please wake up — read that account and think about the material.  One President or another will get elected, but either one is going to have to deal with the matter of Welfare Diversions — and I’ll bet neither one of them wants it a hot topic in election season.

Now would be a great time to talk about it.  Thanks for your time!

Also see Huffington Post (Anne Stevenson’s blog), she looks up HHS grants and reports on some of this hypocrisy; good investigator!
NOTE: Between September 2012 (this post) and July 2015, many personal events have developed, but I did continue researching, learning, writing (not here, obviously) and communicating with others about court-connected corporations, and the role of welfare reform in tipping the scale against individual rights, particularly of women who also happen to be mothers and have a need for protection from people who have already threatened to harm them, and sometimes, do so. In returning to this post, I added a substantial reminder (the Table of Contents of Social Security Act). Go see my main blog, go figure it out, but do not stay only wrapped up in news media. However, I do write as a survivor of such violence and I will say, that once out, boundaries provided temporarily by a restraining order WILL eventually evaporate, and one must continue to maintain intergrity as best possible in any circumstances. …. I was born in this country (USA) and except a brief time as a young child, lived ALL my life here. If this was thought to indicate that being a woman, I still had some rights (or had some previously as a human being when the gender issues came up), I have been fully informed of just how mythical was the concept. Particularly since 2001, and the addition of faith-based initiatives into this mix.


The best way to discuss and examine all this IS still economic, and to see the long-term (larger) agenda of those who pushed welfare privatization and sounded the alarm about women’s rights, and our right to be free from stalking, threats, intimidation, having lives revolving around attempts to prevent kidnapping (when the system is less than inclined to, depending on the “years left” on any minor child– they’re worth more young), or dealing with it after it happened. It did happen in my family line (2006); an older childless sister (mine) and her spouse were involved, and as it turned out a few years later — of course, control of money, not just children, was involved. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t aware of it at the time, and was focused on working; those who ARE aware of such money are prone to go after it anyhow. Again, I will repeat — ethical behavior is the best, but having ethical behavior is not enough to deal with those of criminal intent, connections, or tendencies.


In that regard, my blogging tends to follow the federal money, and that which goes from the taxable public into private hands, and make notes (and take names) where the trail of accountability (such as remains) is simply cut off from the unfunded public. Or, it is so diluted that an pack of trained bloodhounds would be needed to gather it, and then their owners have a good talk about “whassup.” As most people would rather read social media, or talk about their pet causes, (male/female; left/right politically; religious/atheist, etc.) it’s hard to have a coherent conversation without some solid, objective, and INTERESTING data to talk about.

I think it quite interesting that in the mid-1990s, a decision was made to pass “PRWORA” and that previous to this, in the 1980s, other developments within the country trended towards centralizing and privatizing the massive revenues available from the taxable public. Anyhow….[7/24/2015]…


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