Report: #288203

Complaint Review: State Of Michigan Friend Of The Court - Judge Cathie B. Maher - Judge Arthur Lombard

  • Submitted: Sat, December 01, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, November 19, 2012
  • Reported By: Burton Michigan
  • State Of Michigan Friend Of The Court - Judge Cathie B. Maher - Judge Arthur Lombard
    Penobscot Building 645 Griswold Avenue
    Detroit, Michigan

State Of Michigan Friend Of The Court - Judge Cathie B. Maher - Judge Arthur Lombard I lost cusotdy of my 12 year old daughter because a magistrate said " If a little girl wants to live with her dad I don't have a problem with that". I never saw her again, I never did anything to lose her, I raised on my own for 12 years he just didn't want to pay support, but when he had custody I paid and never recieved visitation because the matter was in two differrent courts at the same time Detroit Michigan

*General Comment: BLAME, BLAME, BLAME

*Consumer Comment: This is unfortunate

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

It is a long story, but I will try to keep it short. I have documentation to support everything here, except for a complete set of court transcripts because they are so expensive. ( I can get them) I need a lawyer. My family has agreed to help me pay for one.

As I stated, I raised my daughter after her father and I seperated she was 6 weeks old. Our divorce was final one year later september 1989. My ex husband was ordered to pay child support $67.00 per week. This continued for 12 years unchanged, with no reviews by the Friend of the Court (FOC) in Petoskey Michigan.

After living in Shelby Township for 7 years I relocated with my daughter (Christina) to Clare, Michigan. Approximately 6 weeks before Chris' 12th birthday I recieved a letter from the FOC stating that they would be reducing my support to $45.00 per week because $22.00 per week was supposed to go to Child care expenses and at age 12 she would not longer require that.

I spoke with my ex-husband and told him that I would be contacting them and requesting a review because he was making about $60,000. per year and I was making about 1/2 of that.

My ex (Alec) said he was going through a second divorce and was going to be ordered to pay support for a child he had adopted from his second wife. The FOC review stated that Alec should pay approx $180.00 per week for both children with his second wife recieving $100.00 and Chris getting $80.00.

Chris was at her dad's home for her summer visit, and I recieved a notice of hearing that Alec was requesting custody of Chris (and her step brother) on the grounds that I provided an "unstable envoriment". A Social Worker came to visit Chris in my home after she returned from her summer visit with her father.

She submitted a very good report stating that Chris had been instructed by her father to say things in order to get a "PPO" so she could stay with him. The report stated that Chris recanted her statements she loved and wanted to live with both parents. The report was never provided or reviewed in court.

On Septemer 8th, 2001, a Magistrate at the Petoskey Courthouse and a representive from the FOC took my daughter from the Courtroom. When they returned the Magistrate said " a little girl wants to live with her dad I don't have a problem with that." he awarded cusotdy to Alec. I lost my daughter and from that day forward I never saw her again.

The story goes on the short version Alec kept Chris away from me she was arrested 3 times at the age of 12 hanging out with her 17 year old adopted brother. I tried to get her back she did not want to come home with me. She said she would slit my throat while I slept or she would run away.

Chris' Aunt Judy is a social worker, she went to court and told the Probate Judge she could "bridge the gap between Chris and her mother". The Judge allowed Chris to live with her Aunt. I objected later the Aunt and I had words. She knew the system and manipulated it, recieved child support from both Alec and I and never allowed visitation.

She told the Court the child wanted nothing to do with me. Once the Judge asked my daughter "why do you hate your mother"? Chris said " I don't know I just do". Judge Maher Scolded Judy but allowed Chris to stay with her anyway.

I hired a lawyer, She knew that the Guardian was recieivng $11,000 a year in child support that she no children, no husband, and that she was isolating the child from her parents and her entire extended family. My lawyer Kept telling me "Don't worry about the money let's just get visitation and get your daughter back".

The problem was that a Probate Judge had awarded Guardianship and the Child support matter was in Circuit Court. So even though both Judges knew I was paying support and not recieving visitation neither one took any responsibilty for it. In fact Judge Lombard said Juge Maher deals with visitation and I deal with the money.

I paid $8,000.00 a year in child support, and 73% of all medical and dental bills, including a second set of braces because the guardian thought the child needed them at age 17. Even though Judge Maher said they were not medically necessary and would not be charged to me, Judge Lombard felt differently and said " I decide what is medically necessary and what isn't."

I am nurse and I cannot tell you that and as far as I know only a Dr. is legally able to determine that. Makes me want to ask him where he went to medical school.

I can spend all day ciitng incidence that have occurred but my daughter is 19 years old now, And although I paid all of the ordered child support and medical bills in full and my case was clsoed at one time, the guardian continues to send "requests for medical reimbursement" she produces no actual medical bills for me to see, but the FOC bills them to me anyway. And when I request a copy they say "we don't have one."

My Ex husband never once went to court to fight to visit or regain custody of Christina I fought for 6 years. He never paid his $63.00 per week for support or the 2&% of medical bills that he was ordered to pay and he walks street a free man.

One magistrate said the reason I was charged so much was because "he is a deadbeat and he won't pay and someone has to pay."

I can assure I did pay. It broke my heart and my mind that the government took my child away , let her get lost in the system and I paid for the mistakes of the others. When I realized that CIIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS had been committed, ( no due process, no right to hearing) I conacted the ACLU and was told that there was a 6 month deadline to file a complaint.

So because I was not intelligent enough to know that my rights had been violated at the time it was going on, and my lawyer did nothing, they get away with it.

State laws were broken as well a Guardian of a minor is not supposed to receive more than $5,000.00 per year in support they must account for the money each year and medical and dental are to be included in that amount. Guardians are also supposed to provide the court with receipts for all medical care. That was never done . The Guardian was given more than twice that amount and paid no medical or dental bills from it.

If anyone can help if there is anything I can do I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. I did file a complaint with the State of Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, the sent me a letter stating "no judicial misconduct."

When I called them 2 days ago and asked if I re-submitted my complaint citing the Federal laws ( i.e 14th Amendmant) that were violated in my case would that make a difference.

A lawyer from the Tenure's office came to the phone and said that the letter said my case was closed but that just meant "it was closed to the public." He said the Tenure often deals with matters "internally and confidentially" and that just because they said they were not going to do anything doesn't mean they won't. He said they are not an appeals court and cannot change orders. I said I didn't ask you to do that, I just want you to validate what they did was wrong and illegal the Judges knew it and so does the Tenure.

2 days ago I recieved another bill for $745.00 in "medical costs" it says they will add it to the account of Debra J_____ and ALEC C______. My case was closed, in September 2006 I paid everything I owed. Alec paid nothing and now it appears they are attempting to hold me financially responsible for his debt as well.

Any good attorneys out there?

Help needed
Burton, Michigan
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#1 General Comment


AUTHOR: beentheredonethat - ()

First of all, you do have rights.  Secondly, it is your responsibility to enforce those rights. It is not the responsibility of a judge to advise you on what your rights are.  It is presumed as a matter of law that every individual knows what their rights are and when these are not exercised, they are waived.  This is true whether you are represented by counsel or not.  When a court order is entered by a referee, you can file an objection and be heard by the judge.  Don't like the judge's decision?  You can appeal it to the Court of Appeals. Don't like that decision?  There is the Michigan Supreme Court.  Don't like the family evaluator's report or child support recommendation by Friend of the Court?  You can file an objection with the referee and then an objectio of the referee's order with the judge.  Three separate opportunities.  Yes, this all costs money.  It amazes me that people involved in important matters such as child custody, support, etc. do not educate themselves on statutoy and common law, court rules, evidentiary rules and procedure, all of which can be found online either free or for a nominal fee.  You are bound by whatever your attorney does or doesn't do; likewise, bound by whatever you do or don't do if you don't have an attorney and are attempting to represent yourself.  Paperwork is king.  If FOC asks for documents, bring them.  If you have evidentiary support, get it into the court record.  Family Court is all about "he said/she said" which puts the judge in the position of having to decide who is telling the truth.  Take away that decision by having the necessary documentation - police reports, etc.  If your ex isn't paying child support, contact Friend of the Court or file a motion.  Each and every child support payment can be collected upon for a number of years, I believe 8 may still be the magic number.  Quit acting helpless and do some research.   Funny how when individuals don't obtain the desired result, they are quick to yell corruption and blame a judicial official when the fact is that they don't even understand how the court system works, what their rights are or that they, themselves, are responsible for exercising their rights, or are willing to obtain the correct information.  Quit acting like a victim. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

This is unfortunate

AUTHOR: Mrs. Hathorne - (United States of America)

I feel deeply about your story. I've posted my own under Judge Lombard. You can read it and leave a comment if you like. I to have become a victum of the system that's suppose to serve and protect and yet they've tooken what's near and dear to our hearts.

Our children are not pawns! How can they do this and get away with it? What are our rights?

May God Bless You and your family!


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