Report: #548625

Complaint Review: Schoharie County Family Court, New York State Police, Schoharie County CPS

  • Submitted: Sat, January 02, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, January 02, 2010
  • Reported By: Scott — Copiague New York U.S.A.
  • Schoharie County Family Court, New York State Police, Schoharie County CPS
    S. C. Courts PO Box 669
    Schoharie, New York
    United States of America

Schoharie County Family Court, New York State Police, Schoharie County CPS Judge George R Bartlett III, Investigator george Bird NYSP, Ms. Terry Borst Schoharie co, CPS. Jamie Batcher Law Guardian, Paul T. Devane ESQ. Patricia M Canfield Court Reporter Schoharie County New denied my rights to due process under USC 42, SS 1983 through Incompetence, False Accusations, Evidence tampering, Holding hearings without me being present, denying access to court records, Tampering Schoharie, New York

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Back Ground information.

I was married for six years to an extremely abusive woman who was a severe Marijuana user.  We had one child who is now ten years old.  My wife would on most days sleep until almost noon and wake up in an abusive mood on most days.   Over the years my wife became more and more unpredictable until a point when I had no idea what she was likely to do or say at any given moment.  She was prone to almost daily loud abusive outbursts from the time when our daughter was an infant until the day we parted.  In may 2006 my wife began exhibiting signs of violence toward our then six year old daughter.  on several occasions my wife had summoned the police to our home claiming that I was being abusive to her.  This was never the case.  I was never arrested, There was never any substance abuse claimed on my part, The police always left our home after filling out the report for my wife and she would literally wave it at me and smile. 

I never left my wife for six years because I was always afraid that I would lose my daughter and that she would wind up alone and unprotected with my wife.  I knew that the court system being what it is would almost certainly take her side in any litigation so I tried to hang in there as best I could.

In June of 2006 our daughter stated that my wife was hitting her when I was at work in the day time.  I knew that I could wait no longer for fear that my wife would harm our daughter.  When I confronted her on the issue my wife just blew up and became very abusive again.   She screamed that I was going to jail...  She was going to kill me etc etc....  She had thrown knives at me , attempted to run me over with a car, struck me and things of that nature many times in the past.   I decided to put an end to this and figured that If I tape recorded her behavior that I could get a court to order her to seek treatment.  I had asked my wife for years to seek help but she always just screamed that it was I who needed treatment.   It should be noted here that all the while my wife would practically chain smoke Marijuana in front of our daughter.  On two occasions my wife called the police on me for protesting her pot smoking.... 

Now most of the people who read this will say "wait a minute... You had her right where you wanted her."  But put yourself in my shoes...  The cops are in my living room... My wife has a bag of pot that she will no doubt tell them is mine... She called not me...  They always took her side and wrote up what ever she said....  I had visions of being arrested in front of my daughter or both of us being arrested....  My daughter in foster care... Get the picture?  Panicked and terrified is what I was. 

It should be noted here that I was the product of a broken home and I never wanted my daughter to suffer the things that I had to endure.  She ultimately did though...

In June of 2006 I began tape recording my wife in our home while in the middle of her outbursts and violent behavior. I also placed a voice activated recorder in a smoke detector in the ceiling of our livingroom.  This recorder picked up anything said in that room or the kitchen.  In June my wife was recorded screaming at our six year old daughter at the top of her lungs for about twenty minutes because she couldn't find the house cat.  She was cursing our six year old daughter calling her a fing idiot and to get the f out of her sight.  You can clearly hear on the tape my wife hitting our daughter. My daughter was so traumatized by this event that to this day, if she loses anything, even a pencil, my daughter completely loses her composure. She no doubt had PTSD.   I had five other tape recordings of my wife in that period June and early July 2006, hitting me. Screaming for hours at a time, threatening to kill me, and even one where she admitted that she always lied to the police when she called them to our home and that she was the violent one and I deserved what I got from her because I "Pushed Her Buttons"   At this point My daughter and I were basically living under siege.  There was no let up.  The woman would go off at any given moment and was always angry. Even waking up angry.  By July 10th I knew I had to end the marriage as my wife refused to stop and I was being accused of everything from assault to threats to infidelity on an almost daily basis.

on July 11th 2006 my wife woke up at 3:00Am and called the police to our home.  I had not slept all night as I was basically at the point afraid to.  She had five pot plants in our house down in the basement.  I decided that they had to go and was in the process of destroying them when she woke up and came down to the basement with the phone in her hand.  I knew she had called the police and that they were on the way so I threw her crap in my car and took it for a ride.  I knew that she was going to tell them it was mine and I swear that it wasn't.  Just as I returned and parked the car and closed the garage door, the police turned into our driveway.  We lived in a very rural pert of Upstate New York in Schoharie county.  I went outside to meet the police, and one of them went into the house to speak with my wife as was always the case.  My wife stated that she called the police because at 3:30PM on july 10th 2006, I had yelled at her.  This time I became livid.  I took out a tape recording of my wife and played it for the police and showed them how they were being used to win an argument.  They filled out the report stating that no offense had been committed and left.  This was the last straw.

Admittedly I snapped.  My wife had a sister and a brother in law who were Pot growers near Albany NY about fifty miles away.  My wife for years bought pot from them spending half of her salary on it most weeks ) all the while screaming at me for not bring in enough income).  at 7:30 AM I visited the State Police in Schoharie county and told an Investigator there named George Bird about the pot operation at the in-laws house near Albany,  He subsequently notified local State Police in Albany and an arrest was made at the home of my in laws according to Inv Bird.  At 9:00 Am I visited the Family court and applied for custody of our daughter and an order of protection from my wife siting numerous abuses in my initial complaint. I was instructed to return the following Monday on the 14th fpr the initial hearing in regard to my complaint.   It was Friday July 11,th 2006.  I then went to work for the day.

The next morning on Saturday after my wife had gone to work, The phone bagan ringing at 8:00AM.  The first call was my mother in law demanding to speak to my daughter or she threatened to call the police. I put my daughter on the phone and finished cooking breakfast for the two of us.  Two minutes after my daughter was off the phone mt wife called demanding to talk to our daughter or she would call the police...  I again put my daughter on the phone. To make a long story short, the calls continued frantic and frequent.  My daughter kept calling them back as instructed, and I finally had enough.  I took the phone from my daughter and told her it was time to eat.  She protested saying that her grandmother had instructed her to call her back and I said after breakfast.  I was doing the dishes after breakfast when the calls started again.  By now my daughter thought it was all great fun I guess....  Lets get daddy in some trouble.  She told her grandmother that I had taken the phone from her and her grandmother instructed her to dial 911. Which she did.  My daughter came out of her room and told me the police were on the phone.   I took the phone and explained to the 911 operator that all was OK but they came anyway.  They drove to my house at 100 miles an hour and boy they were mad when they got there.  Both cops had been to the house several times in the past to win my wife's arguments for her and they read me the riot act about letting a six year old call the police... Why didn't I grab the phone from her....  Yada yada yada....   They told my daughter that it was wrong to call the police and that charges could be filed.  I played them a tape of the incident and they left my daughter and me at the house after finding nothing wrong. 

One hour later My wife returned to the house from work.  She grabbed our daughter and put her in her car and threatened to call the police again if I intervened.  I will never forget the look on my daughters face when she cried and said Goodbye Daddy.  It still wakes me up in the middle of the night to this day.  I had no contact with my wife or daughter for the next two days.  They blew me off at the State Police office when I called.   They simply stated that she was in a safe place and that I was just wasting time calling them.

On Monday July 14th I went to the the Schoharie court building early for my hearing which was scheduled for 1:00PM.  I got to the building at 11:00AM only to find my wife and father in law in the lobby with another woman whom I had never met.  I walked buy them all and continued on my way to the biggest mistake of my adult life.

I wasn't thinking rationally at this time due to many reasons... Sleep deprivation being the main reason. I had barely slept at all since the 11th.  But my thinking at the time was to visit the CPS office and play the tapes of my wife.  I thought that with such strong evidence they would surely help my daughter and I.  WRONG!  I met with two case workers from CPS.  The one assigned to me was named Terry Borst.  I explained all of the above.  I played some tape and each woman took notes....  They asked if my wife was ever diagnosed with depression or schitsophrenea as the tapes were all of her screaming and pounding one minute and calling honey ten seconds later.  I played them part of the tape of my wife screaming at our daughter over losing the family cat...  They shook their heads and kept writing.  I told them about the Marijuana use, about the violence, about the complaints from my daughter and the fact that she used to ask me "why can't we get a new mommy?". I explained that what I wanted was to get my wife some help.  That I wasn't interested in a divorce.  The one question they had was "Why did you wait so long?".  They then informed ne that they would be investigating both of us at the same time because I waited and was negligent in doing so.  I signed a paper and said fine with me because I still believed that I was in the right.  I told them I was willing to submit to a drug screen on the spot.  In fact I asked three times for one. never got one though....  They next asked me how I could be contacted if they needed to talk to me.  I was forthcoming to a fault I guess.  I gave Ms. Borst my two phone numbers.  I explained very carefully to her the fact that I worked in Albany at GHI insurance as a Computer administrator there and the fact that if she needed to speak to me to call me on my CELL PHONE. I further explained that I rarely used the house phone and almost never check my messages on the machine.  I watched that woman write those exact words down with my own eyes and circle the cell phone number.   Both women stated that they wanted to attend the court session at 1:00PM  down stairs.

First Hearing...  Everyone entered the court room at about 1:00PM.  The two CPS workers sat behind me out of my sight as we all sat down.  The judge introduced himself as George Bartlett Schoharie County Family court Judge and the hearing began....  The judge asked everyone to introduce themselves.  The court reporter typed everything that was said the whole time...  The woman with my wife whom I had never met turned out to be a Ms. Barbra Russell of the Schoharie County Catholic Charities organization.   The judge went on to explain the process that would take place to my wife and I and the rest of the people in he room.  He stated that he had read BOTH Complaints.  He then turned to me and asked me if I wanted an attorney and I informed him that I had one but she couldn't make the hearing that day.  I gave him the information.  My wife stated that she would need an attorney provided.  The judge then stated to me that there were some very serious allegations made against me.  I asked him what they were specifically.  He didn't answer but just suggested that I come with an attorney for the next hearing for a Family Offense hearing...  I stated to the judge that I had in my immediate possession tape recordings of my abusing my daughter and that I would like to turn them over to the court as evidence of my allegations.  The judge looked right past me and said not at this time.  I then stated the fact that I was seeking custody when I was asked why I was there and explained my wife's unstable and erratic behavior and her drug use in the house in front of our daughter.  I explained to the judge that My wife had assaulted me on july 3rd with a car injuring my leg.  There was a Attorney present already for my daughter.  Her name was Ms. Jamie Gatcher.  Ms. Batcher asked me if there was an ER report and I stated that there was no visit to the ER.   My wife stated that she never smoked Marijuana in front of our daughter.  The judge then told my wife that she "Looked like a person that was at that time under the influence of some form of narcotic"  He went on to explain his experience with drug abusers and he was almost certain that she was in fact high on something. Her eyes were beet red and bulging out of her head.  I stated that she had left the house with our daughter and had taken a large bag of marijuana with her. I also stated to the judge that I had turned my wife's sister and brother in law in for growing Marijuana and that her allegations were in retaliation for that.  He again looked over at my wife and then back at me and said the following.  

"We have come to some sort of an agreement here that the child will be placed in the custody of Mr. Ronald Peterson the child's grandfather." My wife's father.  I stated that I had never been informed of that and that I never agreed to that.  The judge then stated that there were not to many options.  I protested stating again that I had tape recordings of my wife abusing my daughter and that my wife had no evidence that I had yet seen to substantiate any allegations she might have made against me.  The judge replied that the allegations were pretty serious against me...  I again asked what the specific allegations were against me and the judge told me to come back with an attorney.   During the rest of the hearing the Law Guardian assigned to my daughter requested an forensic evaluation of my wife and I and the judge granted it.  He also stated that Both my wife and I were granted an order of protection for one year. 

So the judge wrapped up the hearing stating that I would have supervised visitation to be supervised by my wife's father once a week and that I could call her on the phone.  My wife who was living with her mother and father and my daughter was also granted visitation and allowed to continue living with my daughter in the same house. The hearing was over in ten minutes.... 

As I left the room I noticed that the CPS case worker was walking out of the room and I again asked her for s drug screen and she refused at that time. 

On July 15th while on the way home from work I received a call on my cell phone from Investigator George Bird of the state police in Schoharie county.  He thanked me for helping out and informed me that my brother in law was arrested and charged with  possession of a large quantity of Marijuana plants in his home and behind his home.  I am pretty sure he stated that it was sixty plants in total.  He further explained that he had gotten a call from MS. Borst of CPS and that he wanted to hear my tapes.  I was a little suspicious about this and told him that I needed to speak with my attorney first.  I called the attorney and could not reach her for two hours.  In the mean time INV Bird was calling repeatedly on my cell phone which he had gotten from MC Borst.   Again, I hadn't slept in days because of the situation.  After the third or fourth call and with his reassurance that he was looking to help me out because I helped him with a major pot bust I went over there with six tapes.  When I got there INV Bird listened to the tapes a little bit and had one question..... "Has your wife ever ben diagnosed with Schytsophrenia or depression?"  I said she would never seek help to get diagnosed...  He explained that he was the investigator looking into my allegations for the court and that the tapes would help him get to the bottom of what was going on.   I have to say again... The tape of my wife alone in the house screaming at our six year old daughter is chilling... It is sickening to the point where anyone who would hear that would never let that woman near any child.  I noticed Bird played it down as though it was no big deal...  When he asked for the tapes I told him that I would make him copies but he wanted them then and there. 

While this conversation was going on Ms. Borst arrived and the real inquiry began.  Bird informed me that one of the tapes containing a phone conversation was illegal.  It was a recording of the speaker phone which my wife often used and also I used.   I made a call and used it and left it on then my wife used it and talked to her sister. I was charged with a felony and the tapes were taken from me though I did get a property form stating that he was taking them.   Then INV Bird asked me if I was growing Marijuana......  I said no.  I have to say here that INV Bird was sure I was... He was Certain of it.  he went on to claim that my wife had spilled the beans and that I was a major Pot grower and that he had stood on the spot on my property where my pot plants were....  I stated that he was totally wrong. 

All the while Ms. Borst is smiling, nodding her head and writing.  Again I have never grown pot in my life... But no matter what I said George Bird had one answer.... His answer was that he had gotten honesty out of my wife and that he knew for a fact that I was a drug dealer...  I explained the following to Bird and Borst... First, I grew up in the 1970's I am no Angel... I smoked pot as a kid and even occasionally as an adult but not in over three years and I certainly never grew any pot.  Bird used the one card he knew would get me to crack....  He stated that If I wanted to see my kid I better tell him where I hid the BIG POT GROWING SYSTEM I stashed in the woods.  I looked over at Ms. Borst who was nodding her head and taking notes still...    I stated the following.   I have never grown pot.  My wife who chain smokes Marijuana was growing some pot but a small amount in the basement of our house.  I destroyed it all on the 11th and that there was no Big Pot Growing System.  Bird still insisted that there was...  

At this point i was getting mad.  Bird stated that if I gave him the Big Pot Growing System that I stashed in the woods I would never be charged with a crime.  But if he had to  beat the bushes to find it I would be charged which would hurt my chances of getting my daughter back...  I remember repeating over and over "I'm never gonna see my little girl again am I."   And, Ms, Borst nodding and writing.   So I took Bird to where I threw my wife's Tiny Pot growing system in the woods...  But only if he agreed to show me the spot on my property where he stated I was growing Pot outside..... I had almost 13 acres of land. I was shocked by this allegation.  He stated that My wife gave him permission to search my property.  I stated that I had an order of protection and that she wasn't allowed on the property.  He seemed to get real quiet after I said that.  Illegal?  I don't know. I made him call the DA and I had to hear that I would not be charged.....  At this point I was out of it from a lack of sleep.  So Bird informed me that I would be required to return to the State Police and get a desk appearance ticket for the phone tapping felony charge at some point and off to the woods we went. 

I took Bird to the spot where I threw my wife's stuff and he seemed to get angry with me.  he said I was holding out on him and that that was not the system I had according to my wife...  At this point I was done with him and told him he was wrong.   We picked up the pipes and some other stuff and then Bird starts searching my car.   I knew at this point that he intended to arrest me for anything he could find.   I laughed at him at that point because it was funny to me because he was Soooooooooo sure he was right.  To me he was just a blithering Idiot at this point.  I even asked him if he thought I would drive to a police station with drugs hidden in my car....   After loading the three pipes into the police pickup truck I insisted we go to my home and he show me that spot.... 

When we got to my house he pulled out a consent form to search my house.  I signed it and we went in.  he went through the house with another trooper and of course they found nothing....  Except what Bird said were pot ashes in my WIFES Ring Box on Her Dresser in the bedroom.   He couldn't wait to get down stairs to the basement.  So I took them down there.... The other officer was calm but Bird was like a kid in a candy store.  He was sooooooooooo sure he had something....  He tried to open a locked door to the main room in the garage....  The other officer told him he could get in through another door as he had already found that entrance.  Bird ran around the wall to the other room.....  Nothing there though.... Just a bunch of dust.  Man was he annoyed with me at that point.  I heard him tell the other trooper that there was a big system in there and that I had removed it.  The other cop actually rolled his eyes as we walked out.  But Bird was visibly annoyed that he found nothing....  He kept repeating "Your a grower.... I know it."  and "You hid your stuff."  No matter what i said he doubted it.  He kept repeating that he got honesty out of my wife....  And I kept telling him that that isn't humanly possible.  

Once we were outside the house again, Bird was walking to his truck when I asked him to show me the spot where he stated that I was growing pot on my land....  He began to walk to a spot where there were very tall weeds on a downward slope on the front portion of my land.  There was a deer trail and he went in.... The deer stay on our property all year long.  They lay down in the weeds all day and come out in the open at dusk and at dawn.   We went ten feet in and Bird points to a small depression on the weeds on the side of the deer trail.  I could see the weeds there were pushed down a bit but there was no hole in the ground for a plant.....  And, The weeds were not dead.  There was no dead weeds or a bald patch where a flower pot could have been.  Just a depression in the weeds.  They were pushed down from what I remember. They were just pushed down as though a deer had laid there all day....  it wasn't a small tight bald spot or depression like a flower pot would make if you leave it on your lawn for a week.   There are dozens of spots like that on my property.  it was a 12.3 acre plot almost 3000 ft above sea level at the top of a small mountain in Summit NY Charlotteville NY mailing address. It was heavily wooded.  up the hill and down.  I had about three cleared acres of grass and wild flowers in the middle that I mowed. It was the only flat piece of land I owned and it was my back yard. The rest was wild shrubs on a north facing down slope heavily wooded with many deer trails and hard wood trees steeply sloped upward to the top of the mountain. Half was down slope. ( where Bird was looking) and then the flat with my house, then the rest was a hard wood forest of young maple trees about 60 ft high and 12 to 24 inch thick some real old ones that were over four feet thick. Heavy all shade dark wood. So Bird points at that spot and states "You had a plant there.  He points to another spot and says you had one there too."  Then at another spot.  By this time I was in total shock at the whole thing really.  The more I denied it the more he claimed it.....  He kept repeating that he had twenty years of experience and that he was sure that I was a pot grower....   That being said we walked over to his car with the other trooper and as we were shaking hands INV Bird told me "You Beat me You hid your grow.... But I'll find it..."  I said I'm sorry you feel that way and they got in their State Trooper truck and left. 

That was all on July 15th 2006.  I called George birds' office every day for the rest of the week in regard to the tapes.  He hadn't listened to 95% of them as far as I knew. He had indicated that that was what he was supposed to do for the court and the cps investigation.  He stated that He was investigating my allegations of child abuse in regard to my wife from the very start. 

On Saturday of that week after waking up I was in my home office and I hit the answering machine for the first time that week.  There was a weeks worth of messages on the machine.  But when I got to Wednesday, There was a message from Terry Borst of CPS. at 4:00PM.  She had left a message on Wednesday stating that they were coming over the next day at 8:00AM and I had to be there....    I never got the message until Saturday!!!  I couldn't possibly make this up.  I had given CPS case workers everything they needed to talk to me directly... My home number, My cell number , and I think even my work number at the main desk with my extension at GHI corp.  I gave her explicit instructions that if she needed to talk to me "CALL MY CELL."  I saw the woman write that down and circle the number...  She wrote down my work hours 9:00Am to 5:00PM.  She left me a message on my answering machine at home after I told two case workers that I mainly only use the cell phone.  Thus I missed them that Thursday. I called the CPS Weekend on call person as soon as I heard the message.  I explained that I had not gotten word of the visit and stated that they could come over at any time that day.  I never heard back from CPS again.  It's been three and one half years. 

On July 21st I fired my attorney from Albany because she failed to appear for the July 14th initial hearing and I was thinking that a local attorney could do a better job and also be easier to get in contact with.  The first attorney I attempted to hire was located in a small town just south of Schohaire, Middleberg?  Anyway, I told him almost all of the above, The tapes and everything else.  He took the receipt for the tapes that Investigator Bird had given me and told me he knew the CPS worker involved.  We agreed on him calling me after he spoke to the CPS people about the case.  I called him the next day while I was at work and he informed me that he didn't want to take the case.   He said CPS told him I was a Pot head drug dealer and that they were going to be on my back for years.  They told him that I evaded them by not being home on that Thursday and that they wanted to give me a drug test and I evaded it.   I swear to God I almost Fainted dead away....  I could not believe what I was hearing.   He then informed me that there were other serious allegations but didn't go into details because he had to get off of the phone.  I called MS. Borst at CPS and she denied the entire thing.  

The rest of the month went by and I saw my daughter on my assigned day of the week.  My father in law was in charge of supervision of the visitation.  I had just turned his favorite son law and his other daughter in for growing Marijuana and filed charges of abuse against my wife, and he was in charge of my visitation.  The first visit they brought my daughter to a park around the corner from their house and it was a hostage scene.  They stood over me like I was some sort of murderer.  I hadn't seen my daughter for over a week and they were making it very difficult to say the least.  The rest of the visits with the Father in law in charge went bad.  At one point my daughter way crying about the situation and he was standing over the two of us and just snatched her up and ran out of the store we were in.  I called my daughters Law Guardian and complained.

I finally hired an attorney who practiced locally in Schoharie County. His office was in Albany but he lived in the county and came with good recommendations from someone I knew at work.  I explained the fact that the last attorney I spoke to dropped me and the reasons as I knew them...  He told me he could help and I paid him.  I told him everything I knew about the case.  Everything that happened over the years and about The tapes.  I still believed that I could get them entered as evidence. He told me he could get them back.

I realized in the first hearing that the whole case was in reality 180 degrees out of line with reality.  So far I was the problem as far as the authorities involved were concerned.  My daughter and I were the only ones being punished as far as I could determine.   My wife was off the hook almost in total as far as I knew. Almost none of my allegations were even entertained.  I did get an order of protection from the court but one was also issued against me. I had supervised visitation and my wife got to live with our daughter.  During a phone conversation with my daughter she told me that she had gone out alone on her aunt and uncles boat that day and that she was a very good girl...  The aunt and uncle are the two I turned in for growing POT and according to George Bird they were Caught with a pretty substantial amount.  So without the courts knowledge or my knowledge for that matter MR Peterson and my wife allowed my daughter to be in the company of a known drug dealer.  I was apparently deemed too risky to take a chance with my daughter...  But the pot grower that i turned in can spend time alone with my daughter even to this day... The court has no problem with that.  

I will note here that When I went to CPS initially I had read somewhere on the internet that they were supposed to offer help to a victim of spousal abuse. If you do not believe that a man can be a victim of spousal abuse you probably havent read this far anyway. The tapes I played them were all Caught red handed Spousal abuse and child abuse on every tape they heard.  The level of screaming on the part of my wife was frightening.  The tape of her screaming at our daughter over the cat getting lost in the house was nothing short of endangering the welfare of a minor. I told them that the woman smoked pot in front of our daughter and she eventually admitted to that fact to George Bird. She was never charged with anything.  I remember subsequently reading the actual statute on the internet and I am sure it never read Women only.  I was subsequently charged 11 months later by George Bird with the felony count of recording an electronic communication.  I do agree that I admitted that I did it but I told him what he wanted to hear.  I don't deny capturing a speaker phone conversation.  

The day of the second hearing came and I appeared with my new attorney.   However, prior to entering the hearing chamber he informed me that Mr. Peterson my father in law had five pages of allegations and notes of threats I had made against him and my wife during my supervised visits.   Thus 75% of that hearing involved Mr Peterson and my wifes legal aid attorney listing he numerous new accusations against me.  I indicated to my attorney that I objected to Mr. Peterson being able to testify from the back row without being under oath.  I thought the court shouldnt entertain such things.  I couldnt in fact believe it was happening.  I kept looking at Judge Bartlette but he just allowed it all to happen.  My Attorney would not allow me to even speak in defense of myself.  He just stated to the court that I vehemently denied the accusations   Then he let it all go.  Both my wife and I were ordered to Anger management classes.  The supervised visitations were to continue but with a neutral party who was a mutual friend.   Nothing was ever mentioned as far as I know of the first hearing or my tapes or any specific allegations warranting the reason for my supervised visitation.  It was also ordered that all parties involved undergo a forensic evaluation including substance abuse screening by a Dr. Luria of Schoharie County. 

During the Evaluation Dr Luria mentioned the Screaming in the house on my part. And I did admit to arguing with my wife and explained the situation to the best of my ability.  When Judge Bartlette  ordered the evaluation he also put in the order that anyone having information in regard to this case is to inform the Dr  or turn over any and all materials or copies of such to the DR.  I mentioned this to the DR and told him about the tapes in George Birds Possession.  We discussed substance abuse.  My  Alcohol first then narcotic history.   I told the Dr that in my entire adult life I have probably consumed  less than twenty alcoholic beverages.  I never have been a drinker.  I explained an outing when I was 21 years old in the Marine Corps where I went to Mexico with other Marines and drank an excessive amount of alcohol.  I admitted that I was sick for a week but I firmly and truthfully stated that I havent consumed alcohol in any quantity since.  I simply dont like alcohol. Drugs and Pot were basically the same.  I was 46 at the time and my wife was 36.   I did dabble in Marijuana from time to time throughout my adult life but I almost always stopped after a drag.  I hadnt smoked any pot in three years as far as I knew.  I had been drug tested that year at GHI Twice.  I didnt need it nor did I miss it.  I was completely honest.  I informed the DR that my wife never made her allegations until after I made mine.  I filed first, and that I had turned her sister and brother in for growing Marijuana three days prior to her filing her allegations to the court.   I took a long test on a computer after that and then he said I could go home.  The Dr never took any type of physical sample from me for the purpose of drug screening.   I called the Drs office when I got home and questioned him as to why thinking that maybe he thought I was clean He stated that he had done the drug screening during the evaluation and physical samples would not be required.    

By this time the visits were going much better.  My Wife and I had a mutual friend who agreed to supervise the visits.  She would pick up my daughter and bring her to a park and we had fun for the first time in a couple of months.  Around October 16th 2006 we had the results hearing.  During that hearing it was apparently determined after speaking with this mutual friend that Both my wife and I would share custody and that I would be allowed unsupervised Home overnight visits with my daughter every other weekend.  I was elated. But there were several issues with my in laws.  First, my daughter was being denied access to the phone in the house.  All of my calls were cut off and hurried.  They would listen and take notes according to my daughter making sure I didnt say anything harmful or ask where my wife was.  The court never ordered this.  Mr. Peterson just took it upon himself to do so.  Just general harassment on his part.  He would threaten to leave the appointed drop off site if I was more than 15 minutes late.  And if they wanted something they would make my daughter wait in their car until I provided it at the appointed pick up point.  In the order my wife was supposed to be dropping my daughter off.   Mr. Peterson was not even mentioned.  Mr Peterson was always the one dropping my daughter off though.  He seemed to always be trying to get me into an argument.   He took it over on his own volition.   I was just glad to see my daughter.

At the time I was attending the required anger management sessions.  I sought out and hired a qualified professional. She was a wonderful woman and I have to say she helped me through the process.  I spent much of my sessions venting on the situation.  I will say this.  Once the court takes your child away from you,  and you are falsely accused of the things I was accused of, I dont care who you are, You are ANGRY.  If you have been through what I have been through You Are very ANGRY.   You vent and are depressed most of the time. 

The judge also mentioned during the October hearing that DR Luria had suggested that anger management would not be the best type of treatment for one of us.  It was all a secret though and he never stated which one of us he was referring to.   My wifes attorney quickly mentioned how well she was doing in her program and the issue was never revisited other than the judge kind of pushing for a different type of treatment for one of us  He mentioned that when the DR writes that type of comment he usually means more than anger management type help would probably be required.   Had this been in regard to me, I am more than sure that my wifes attorney would have demanded the extra whatever.  My attorney stated that I was doing well and the issue was dropped.  The Law Guardian was ordered to do a 90 report after gaining information from the respective counselors. From what I was told I knew my daughter was in some form of treatment though I was never told what it was. 

After this hearing I was talking to my attorney and he stated that I had not gone to substance screening yet. I told him DR Luria stated that he did that already.  And he told me the judge would like to see a report from the screening center in Schoharie  I told him I had no problem with that as I didnt take drugs.  Then my own attorney shocked me almost out of my chair.   He stated that There is your drinking problem.   My mother happened to be at this hearing and the subsequent meeting with Paul.  We both looked at each other and shook our heads  I stated to my attorney the fact that I absolutely never ever drink.  None.  Nothing Ever  He looked on as in disbelief.  I was totally shocked.  My own mother piped up and told him the same thing and he told her Sure Mother.   My own attorney said that.  He never asked me a thing about. It.  Apparently that must have been one of the allegations or DR Luria got it wrong.  I absolutely do not consume alcohol.  Ever.  But my own Lawyer on the advise of the court thinks I do?  I had to ask myself what the hell was going on at this point.  The man had never mentioned a specific allegation  to me other than that.  He never said they said you hit your wife. They said you did this or that.  And I asked him... He just never answered..  Nothing And now I am a drunk out of the blue.   So to me this means that he believed whatever they told him without ever asking me.  I was never allowed to see any papers other than court orders and my wifes scribbled statement that I yelled at her on several occasions and she called the cops.  And she lied and said that our daughter called her (the day after her brother was arrested with the POT) and stated that I took the phone from her and she instructed her to call 911. 

This is what they used to take my daughter away from me.  MS. Batchers 90 day report was issued and I got a copy of it.  The report stated that my wife was no longer attending anger management but was suffering from and being treated for DOMESTIC ABUSE TRAUMA instead.  Both her and our daughter were in treatment at the Saratoga County Domestic Abuse Clinic by a commercial social worker.  It further went on to describe my daughters treatment as ongoing and that she was doing well and that she enjoyed her visits with me.  It further went on to indicate that our daughter was more or less working on her behavioral issues.  As for me it stated that I was doing very well in anger management classes and that I had learned to identify triggers and was into meditation .  Also that there was NO Evidence of Substance Abuse Evident as per my Psychologist when she was asked.  So after six years of abusing our daughter and I, We were bad and my wife was good according to this report  from the Law Guardian.  

Note. I told the court about the tapes.  I told Jamie Batcher the law Guardian, CPS heard them, I told DR Luria about them. The State police confiscated them and they were never mentioned in any proceeding.  I asked MS batcher and my attorney Paul Devane several questions in regard to the 90 day report.  Mostly in regard to wording.  I never got answers.   I called George Bird for a year in regard to the tapes I even started a complaint within the State Police for case tampering.  My attorney seemed to want nothing to do with it.  He complained about it. 

In Oct 2007 over a year after starting the custody case I pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with public communications for one of the tapes.  Not all six.  I was only charged with making the one phone tape.  No discovery on the part of my attorney.  Never saw them again and to the best of my knowledge my wife got away with everything.  My attorney failed for over a year to even ask for copies for the custody case.   Again, and I mentioned this to him that according to the court order of September 06, Copies should have been made available to DR Luria. He did nothing but take my money.  After pleading guilty to the lower charge he informed me after the fact that the DA deemed the rest of the tapes GAINS AS A RESULT OF ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.   So according to the  Schoharie County DA, A tape recording of my wife horribly abusing a six year old to the point of terror is my Gain..  I was never charged with a crime for  making five of the confiscated tapes.  Just specifically the one with a phone conversation on it. 


In September of 2007 I filed a complaint with the court against my wife for various reasons.  Her fathers monitoring my phone conversations, Holding my daughter hostage in a car at the pick up point until I signed an agreement on vacation visitation.  They demanded that I sign an agreement  they wrote up and the pick up and drop off times cut my allotted court ordered two week vacation down to 11 days.  When I balked they threatened to drive away.  MR Peterson had repeatedly hung up on me and would no longer allow me to talk to my daughter unless I bought her a cell phone.  His home phone was now off limits. He actually stated in court that it costs him money when I call. The Judge and my attorney let that pass too. 

I attended that preliminary hearing some time in October of 2007 and got permission to attend remotely over the phone for the main complaint hearing.   I provided my home phone number and advised the court that I would be taking the day off to attend from home over the phone.  This was necessary because by November of 2007 I had sold the house in Schoharie county and moved home to Long Island New York.  After the hearing I was speaking to Paul Devane and mentioned the possibility of maybe dropping the complaint as I felt the court in no way was interested in my rights or the rights of my daughter.  MR. Peterson attempted to get me to argue with him every time I picked up my daughter.  I stated that I was aware of the fact that this would probably never change.  I told him that the court basically gave me the impression that MR Peterson now OWNS my daughter and that the court seemed in agreement.    He actually nodded his head in agreement.

After the preliminary hearing I applied to the court clerk for the transcripts of all hearings pertaining to the case.  I received notice two days later from the court reporter that the entire record of the first hearing on July 14th 2006 was lost as a result of a faulty memory card in the stenography Machine.  So there is no court record for the hearing where my daughter was GIVEN to MR. Peterson.  There is no record of my mentioning to the judge that I had Tape Recorded Evidence to substantiate my allegations in regard to my wife.  No record of the judge telling me that there was a deal for custody made with third parties without me being present in the court.  No record of the judge telling my wife that she looked stoned or high while at the hearing.  No record of my asking the judge what the Specific allegations were that were being made against me or his refusal to provide any answer beyond serious allegations.  All Gone.

I did receive transcripts of the second and third hearing in regard to the matter with a note from the court reporter stating the following:  Every effort was made to recover the transcript of the July 14th hearing.  It was apparently lost due to a damaged memory card.    I know for a fact that this is not a true statement.  Working in the computer industry, it took me all of five minutes to determine that this could not possibly have been the case.   Simply because from my background in digital electronic technologies I know that NO Computer or digital devise even a Steno machine will function with a bad memory card inserted into the unit if that card is being used to record the data being entered.  What she is attempting to make me believe is that a digital devise will write to a bad disc and the data will be unrecoverable without the operators knowledge  And that the machine will appear to function normally throughout the entire proceeding but will record no data.  Or record unusable data.   This goes against all principles regarding digital devices used to Record and Store data.   Especially something as sensitive as a recording device used in a legal proceeding.   I  think if you take the memory card out of a digital camera and take a picture it will tell you that it can not write to disk at some point when you attempt to save it.  Even in a case with onboard memory in the device.  It will warn you as soon as you attempt a transfer of date to a bad memory card. 

Is it typical for court reporters not to hand in their work for each litigation that they record? Apparently over a year had passed and the court doesnt require a copy?  The court has no such copy according to the clerk.   I mentioned this to my Attorney and to him it was of course no big deal. 

 Anyway, the day of the petition hearing comes and I waited at home for an hour and a half.  The court never called.  I called the court but got no information.  I finally heard from my attorney later that day and he stated that the issues were basically addressed outside of the court room.  He told me that the law guardian spoke to My daughter and that she enjoys seeing me on Long Island and generally made it sound again as if I were the one being looked into.  He did mention that My wifes attorney talked to her and told her that MR. Peterson was not the one with custody of our daughter and that it was up to her to make sure that the court orders were adhered to.  He told me that there was no phone monitoring going on and that all was more or less resolved.  That and the fact that I owed him eight hundred dollars was all he mentioned.  About a week later I received notice from the court that my petition had been withdrawn. 

So I was never allowed to attend the hearing and voice my complaint.  I was denied my right to do so by my own court and apparently my own attorney.  Judge Bartlette indicated that I could attend the hearing electronically over the phone.  Then, held the entire hearing without me present and allowed my attorney to withdraw the petition without notifying me until after the fact.   

I know I made a lot of mistakes during this entire process. From day one I made huge glaring mistakes.  But I feel I was cheated in a big way.   All that went on cant be completely attributed to me.  I will own this for the rest of my life. I started it and I screwed it up and failed my daughter in a huge way But I have no doubt that I was cheated and taken advantage of by the Schoharie County Court system and the principles involved.   It seems as though they just picked a side and went with it.  I have lost untold hours of sleep over this.  The feeling that I was accused of crimes, Abuse of some sort but never specifically,  Lied to by CPS, Lied to and cheated by the State Police, and the whole first hearing where the judge announced a deal or a solution had been arrived at prior to my arrival in the court without my knowledge.  With the judge refusing to state an additional option after I requested him to  He had stated that there were not to many other options I asked what they were and he buttoned hid lips.   The entire record of that was lost?  My tapes were suppressed?  Was anyone ever allowed to hear them?  Did George Bird in fact report the tapes to the court? He didnt state that he even listened to them until 11 months had passed and most of the damage was done  I told everyone involved about the tapes and to the best of my knowledge.  No one ever stated that they heard them. I have no idea if DR Luria ever listened to me and asked for copies.   I just feel like I was totally Cheated. It tends to wake me up at night more frequently... I am writing this just to tell someong the whole story....  maybe someone will read it and give me some advise.    

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/02/2010 02:20 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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