Friday, July 3, 2009

False Accusers Beware in California Divorce Court - California AB 612

False Accusers in California Divorce Courts Beware
Allegations of Abuse to Be Raised to Criminal Standards and Proceedings

For many years those who faced divorced proceedings accused a physical or sexual abuse against a child were stripped on Constitutional due process rights accorded to those accused of a crime in criminal court.

Now, for the first time, the bill that was introduced to strip the use of Parental Alienation out of the family court proceedings has gone a step further - the use of any "non-scientific" theories would not be considered in custody proceedings, but parents who falsely accuse a parent of physical or sexual abuse will be under the scrutiny of local District Attorney's offices.

The new bill reads, "This bill would provide that allegations of physical or sexual abuse against a child are to be investigated using specified methods of data collection and analysis. The bill would provide that the rules of evidence applicable in criminal proceedings shall apply whenever the court considers an allegation of physical or sexual abuse against a child in a custody proceeding."

For the section of California Evidence code, see here:

This bill would protect children from real abuse, but also protect falsely accused parents by allowing for criminal rules of evidence in court, which might also go on to include criminal rules of procedure including jury trials for those falsely accused. It would also open up malicious prosecution cases against parents and especially the attorneys for tampering with witnesses, namely children.

Accusing an individual of a felony, or enticing others (such as your children) to accuse others would subject you to criminal prosecution yourself, since most accusations are false.

For the full text of the amended bill:

California Legislation: AB 612 (Beall): Custody and visitation: nonscientific theories..

However, California Legal Codes give a free pass to false accusers, but not if "substantial evidence" is found that a false accusation was made during custody proceedings.

3027. (a) If allegations of child sexual abuse are made during a
child custody proceeding and the court has concerns regarding the
child's safety, the court may take any reasonable, temporary steps as
the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate under the
circumstances to protect the child's safety until an investigation
can be completed. Nothing in this section shall affect the
applicability of Section 16504 or 16506 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code.
(b) If allegations of child sexual abuse are made during a child
custody proceeding, the court may request that the local child
welfare services agency conduct an investigation of the allegations
pursuant to Section 328 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Upon
completion of the investigation, the agency shall report its findings
to the court.

3027.1. (a) If a court determines, based on the investigation
described in Section 3027 or other evidence presented to it, that an
accusation of child abuse or neglect made during a child custody
proceeding is false and the person making the accusation knew it to
be false at the time the accusation was made, the court may impose
reasonable money sanctions, not to exceed all costs incurred by the
party accused as a direct result of defending the accusation, and
reasonable attorney's fees incurred in recovering the sanctions,
against the person making the accusation. For the purposes of this
section, "person" includes a witness, a party, or a party's attorney.

(b) On motion by any person requesting sanctions under this
section, the court shall issue its order to show cause why the
requested sanctions should not be imposed. The order to show cause
shall be served on the person against whom the sanctions are sought
and a hearing thereon shall be scheduled by the court to be conducted
at least 15 days after the order is served.
(c) The remedy provided by this section is in addition to any
other remedy provided by law.

3027.5. (a) No parent shall be placed on supervised visitation, or
be denied custody of or visitation with his or her child, and no
custody or visitation rights shall be limited, solely because the
parent (1) lawfully reported suspected sexual abuse of the child, (2)
otherwise acted lawfully, based on a reasonable belief, to determine
if his or her child was the victim of sexual abuse, or (3) sought
treatment for the child from a licensed mental health professional
for suspected sexual abuse.
(b) The court may order supervised visitation or limit a parent's
custody or visitation if the court finds substantial evidence that
the parent, with the intent to interfere with the other parent's
lawful contact with the child, made a report of child sexual abuse,
during a child custody proceeding or at any other time, that he or
she knew was false at the time it was made. Any limitation of
custody or visitation, including an order for supervised visitation,
pursuant to this subdivision, or any statute regarding the making of
a false child abuse report, shall be imposed only after the court has
determined that the limitation is necessary to protect the health,
safety, and welfare of the child, and the court has considered the
state's policy of assuring that children have frequent and continuing
contact with both parents as declared in subdivision (b) of Section

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