I am writing to you to bring to your attention the willful
refusal at Ionia County (Michigan) Friend of the Court (FOC) to view and
properly weigh evidence of domestic violence, and the illegal religious bias which
guides Jessica K. Wierckzs (Friend of the Court & Circuit Court Referee), and her staffs, decisions.
There is a pattern of domestic violence not being
weighted correctly, or even being recognized as legitimately existing. This is heart breaking and terrifying for me personally, but
this injustice is harming the children of our entire community.
I am not the only woman to experience this unfair bias. I spent April of 2012 in a domestic violence
shelter (RAVE) where three women I met also lost custody of their children to
their abusers. We all left the marital
home, and this was factored against us, tilting the scales of justice to award
full custody of the children to whoever stayed in the home. I remember listening while one young mother spent
hours crying, before making the
wrenching decision to return to her abuser.
She was forced back home because FOC Referee was going to award full
custody of her 6 month old baby to the
man who controlled her life with violence. The same referee, Jessica K. Wierckz, Friend of the Court & Circuit Court Referee, made the decisions in all these cases.
On November 2, 2011, I fled the life
I had built - because I was afraid of further abuse from my husband. I left my home because I was afraid to stay.
My husband got to court first. I think he had been trying to drive me out to
gain the advantage of staying in the marital home. In an ex parte hearing, where I was not
present, my husband made false allegations about me, which have since been
conclusively disproved. The FOC believed
him, removed my children from me and gave full custody of my little children
(Ilsa was 3 when I left, and Soren was 6) to my husband. I was
a stay at home Mom and should have been granted physical custody of the minor
children in accordance with precident.
This decision has been upheld every
step of the way, despite testimony during which my husband told palpable lies,
and testified that I am an atheist. I am
not an atheist, and the fact that he would lie about God gives one an idea as
to how low he will stoop. The court believed
his a testimony about my religious
belief, over my own - and he was credited with the Moral Fitness
factor for his religious upbringing of the children. He was credited over me. My husband has an
OUI conviction (with 2 felony counts of fleeing and eluding and resisting
arrest that he got lawyered down to misdemeanors), a substantiated DHS report
of strangling my son, testimony was given by a Board Member of my husband's former employer about my husband's misconduct with his employees which lead to his being fired
from his job, and the childrens
therapist testified Dad seems easily
irritated and frustrated to me like he could snap but he stays under control.
I thought I would go to court and
get justice. I am shocked and appalled
to find that one full year later, my husband still has full custody of our
It appears that the FOC is unwilling
to contemplate the possibility that I am telling the truth if what I told the court is true, then the
FOC has put my children in harms way by removing them from my custody, and handing them over to my abusive husband.
I lived with my husband for 8
years. I know the man. He is enjoying this he likes strategy
games. Hearing testimony shows my
husband to be a man so driven to control others that he is willing to back it
up with physical violence, as well as the much less detectable controls that
can be used on emotions and possessions.