Welcome

Florida Alimony Reform

The Advocates support alimony reform in Florida.  In fact, Florida is lagging in such necessary and critical reforms.  The primary organization supporting and propelling such reforms has a website at:


The Senate's webpage for the bill is at:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0718 and the House's webpage for the bill is at: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=49868&.  At this point, any law regulating alimony and spousal support is needed.

So far the Senate has voted 28 to 12 to pass the bill into law.

The House is scheduled to vote on the bill next week, the week of April 15th, 2013.

Incumbent Circuit Judge Brian Davis Challenged in Reelection

Incubent Brian J. Davis for the 4th Judicial Circuit is heavily challenged by four candidates in the next election to hold his seat on August 14, 2012.  This is a startling turn of events for the long-standing circuit judge since his appointment in 1994 by Chief Judge Donald Moran.  Out of the 15 circuit seats for reelection, only 2 are being challenged.  Judge Davis is one of those two.

There is blood in the water for our incumbent judge.  We can only speculate into the reasons that four qualified candidates are rising against Judge Davis' to challenge his seat at the next election.  Perhaps the fact that Judge Davis has publicly displayed his unhappiness as a circuit judge.  He applied for two separate federal judge positions and is currently nominated, but not yet appointed, to a federal seat in Tampa.  Perhaps he has upset a segment of the local constituency protesting his competency as a judge, creating a wind-storm of media against our incumbent judge.  Whatever the reason, it is extremely rare for a circuit judge of Brian Davis' judicial stature to be challenged in such a marked and poignant manner.

We, the Advocates for Civil Justice, have not yet chosen a challenging candidate to endorse for this next election.  The candidates are: Melina Buncome, Don Mairs, Greg Messore and Gerald Wilkerson.  We are collectively deliberating to endorse a candidate based on their individual experience in the practices of law, fairness, justice, and righteousness.  Circuit judges hold an immense power over our daily lives, especially in family and juvenile court.  It is important to appropriately vote on August 14, 2012 for the best candidate to affect our future in Nassau County.  We will update this article once we have chosen a candidate to endorse.

Protesters Challenge Circuit Judge Brian Davis

Advocates Crash ShrimpFest Parade due to Rogue Judge Brian Davis

Latest Article

Losing our Children through Court Imposed Parental Alienation

by Bebe McFadden, Director, Advocates for Civil Justice, Nassau County, Florida
published in adapted form in the Fernandina NewsLeader and Nassau County Record...

With its parades and A+ schools, Nassau County prides itself on its family values. Yet our divorce rates rival the national 50% rates and we avoid the topic. We are losing the minds of half of our children. It is time we face our problems.

Let's examine the ongoing divorce of Stephen Lukacs, local professor, home-schooling father, and provider of a healthy home for his two sons. That is, until 2007 when his wife filed for divorce and Judge Brian Davis stepped in. A responsible judge would have immediately stepped down from the case because his daughter failed Lukacs' chemistry class in 2003, but Judge Davis did not take that action. Some months later, Judge Davis removed all unsupervised contact of Lukacs' children from him based on a defrocked mental-health counselor passing herself off as an expert. Lukacs has no criminal record, is not a sex offender, and is a highly regarded member of our community. He did not see or talk to his sons for more than a year.

Being a trained scientist, Lukacs responded by gathering and presenting evidence to support his case, proving his integrity and decent character. He cooperated with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and law enforcement, three mental health counselors, and four top certified psychologists to prove his innocence in Judge Davis' court. After three years, all certified experts absolve Lukacs of any wrong-doing. They all affirm that Lukacs is a caring, available father and deserve nothing less than an equal-time arrangement with his sons and separated ex-wife. However, Judge Davis arrogantly clings to the original opinion of the defrocked counselor, ignoring evidence in Lukacs' favor, and continues to withhold his children from him. Any uninvolved person would question whether Judge Davis is retaliating against Lukacs for failing his daughter.

Experts expose parental alienation as the malicious dismissal of a parent and imparts life-long emotional conflicts on the target children. It can lead to drug and criminal activity starting in their teens. As adults, such children generally have poor self-esteem, loath themselves, and suffer from depression and anxiety, proliferating population-wide social issues. In 2008, the State responded to these serious problems by enacting new time-sharing laws and legal language, replacing the old custody/visitation standards for children of divorce.

In the seventies, as the divorce culture began to take root, parental alienation was one parent bad-mouthing the other parent to the children. Now, one parent need only bad-mouth the other in court. A biased judge can then claim they are protecting the children and remove visitation. In actuality, judges like Davis are foolishly abusing their judicial oversight, empowered to them by the State, to separate children from their parents, leading to judicial parental alienation. Judicial parental alienation crushes the target parent and their children, leaving them powerless. After decades of social studies exposing the harsh consequences of parental alienation, it is time for our judges to act responsibly by following the recommendations of its experts and the new State Laws. Judge Brian Davis must put an end to his judicial parental alienation or we must terminate his appointment. Our children and community deserve better.

Lukacs' case is just one where judges impose their own brand of judicial parental alienation. Since January, over 8,500 visitors have read the tragic dramas of loss and judicial abuse in divorce court on our website http://judicialwatchdog.com. Call Chief Judge Moran at (904) 630-2541 or email rosed@coj.net to voice your outrage at the injustices.

Mission

Thank you for visiting the Advocates for Civil Justice, Nassau County, Florida, Website. We understand and empathize with your divorce.  That your divorce has been an overwhelming ordeal, possibly to the point of losing everything. Our main purpose is to return justice to divorce suits in the county.

The problems with divorce within the County are:
  1. Parents are not allowed to see or contact their own children for months or years at a time,
  2. Child custody is overwhelmingly favored towards mothers,
  3. There is inequitable distribution of marital assets and illegal awards of non-marital assets,
  4. There are unfair payment awards of alimony, child support, or retirement,
  5. This is an overwhelming bias against men and fathers.
It is apparent that our lawmakers, judiciary, and newspapers have stopped delivering fairness in court or report the losses suffered in divorce and its effect on our economy, the next generation, and our society.

Goals

We, the Advocates for Civil Justice, plan to:
  1. Bring about public awareness of the problem of divorce in the county of Nassau, Florida (detail),
  2. Conduct and report unbiased surveys of the Judges as to their social and judicial competence and effectiveness as public servants (detail),
  3. Provide an easily navigable and detailed list of divorce cases in the County (detail),
  4. Publish the factual accounts of specific divorce cases in the County (detail),
  5. Help individuals file valid complaints against a judge with the Judicial Qualifications Commission (detail),
  6. Seek to require judges involved in divorce cases undergo extensive and yearly judicial training into not only the statutes and laws surrounding divorce, but also the psychological and society effects on families and children in divorce (detail),
  7. Guide lawmakers into passing laws for sane limits on alimony (detail),
  8. Mandate that judges follow the law more closely, especially under remand of an appellate court, with accountable oversight by the 4th Circuit Court (detail),
  9. Impose speedy trials for civil cases, as is Constitutionally mandated for criminal cases (detail),
  10. Impose a 4th Circuit judicial panel to recuse or disqualify a personally vested Judge from a case (detail),
  11. Impose term limits on appointed Judges (detail).

Explanation of Goals

Public Perception

Bring about public awareness of the problem of divorce in the county of Nassau, Florida.  Judges are public servants, sworn to uphold the law, protect the innocent, and serve their constituents.  If, in fact, our judges are not properly serving our local families, then we the people need to know.  Public perception is the only way to bring the process of acknowledgment to change our local judiciary.

This website is one of the first places to bring that acknowledgment process to the public, as a central repository, with the judicial surveys, the public record, the personal accounts, and
working to guide our state representatives and the 4th Circuit Court.  We urge everyone to join us and contribute to our primary mission of bringing change to our local judiciary.

Judicial Surveys

Conduct and report unbiased surveys of the Judges as to their social and judicial competence and effectiveness as public servants.  We conduct and monitor the Nassau County Judicial Survey.  The Judicial Survey is completely anonymous and is meant to gauge the public perception of each judge in Nassau County.  If you have spent any time before any of the Nassau County judges, then please feel free to fill out the survey.  This survey is for anyone that spent any face-time before a judge, be it in a divorce, criminal, or otherwise, and it is completely anonymous.  We collect and process these surveys to gain an understanding of how the general public gauges the competence and fairness of our judges.

Public Record

Provide an easily navigable and detailed list of divorce cases in the County.  The Nassau County Clerk of Courts Online Access (COCOA) provides public access of all court cases but it is difficult to use and is often times unreliable.  We have downloaded all of the divorces cases and provide them as an easily navigable list under our Public Records web page.  The list provides us with a starting place to investigate extreme cases and unfair rulings.

Personal Accounts

Publish the factual accounts of specific divorce cases in the County.  We encourage individuals to submit their personal accounts of their divorce for publication to this website.  Please review the Personal Accounts page for further information.  Divorce cases are a matter of public record, but obtaining and searching the public record can be a tedious process.  Publishing the personal accounts allows a central repository for the activities and reputations of our judges in Nassau County.

Please note, any grievance against your attorney, your spouse, or his/her attorney does not apply to our group or mission.

Judicial Qualifications Commission

Help individuals file valid complaints against a judge with the Judicial Qualifications CommissionWe will help you through the process of filing a state complaint against your judge.  The Florida State agency that investigates and disciplines judges is called the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) (a link is also under the Florida Supreme Court). The commission was started by the Florida legislature to ensure that judges' conduct remain beyond scrutiny and that public perception of judges remains positive.

The Florida complaint system is designed to help you identify any misconduct or prejudice of your judge.  If there is identifiable and documented evidence of misconduct and prejudice, then we will help you file a complaint with the commission.  The commission can then investigate, and then charge the judge with breaking the Code of Judicial Conduct or the Florida Rules for Judicial Administration.

If you feel you have a valid case of misconduct or prejudice against a judge, then we want you to gather any and all evidence, court documents, or rulings that are pertinent to any misconduct or prejudice of your divorce judge.  The first step is to fill out the General Information page.

Please note, any grievance against your attorney, your spouse, or his/her attorney does not apply to our group or mission.

Judicial Training

Seek to require judges involved in divorce cases undergo extensive and yearly judicial training into not only the statutes and laws surrounding divorce, but also the psychological and society effects on families and children in divorce.  We believe that our judges mean well, but we also believe that our judges do not understand the personal long-term effects of their rulings.  For example, Tampa judges undergo over 12 days of intense judicial training for divorce and custody cases when they are first appointed.  Our judges have a single day upon appointment with no continuing education.  It is practical that if a person is going to decide on the lives of spouses, parents, and children that they should understand the immediate and long term effects of their orders to those people.  A judge knowing only the legal ramifications is not qualified enough to make judgments on broken families or the psychological effects on children from these broken families.

Alimony Limits

Guide lawmakers into passing laws for sane limits on alimony.  We have heard stories of husbands ordered to pay more alimony then they earn.  In cases like these, the husband would be instantly in contempt of court, punishable by incarceration.  The Florida Statutes for child support are based on the income of both parents.  In other words, there are maximum limits to the amount paid for child support.  It make sense to also create laws that impose maximum limits on alimony.

In fact, many states are abolishing alimony altogether for the reason that it has been common place for both spouses to work together to maintain the home.  The era of the fifties and the stay at home mom is long past.  Also, alimony should not be an award to the lazy, the malicious with the appearance of indigent, or as a substitute for medical disability.

Judicial Oversight and Accountability

Mandate that judges follow the law more closely, especially under remand of an appellate court, with accountable oversight by the 4th Circuit Court.  We have heard stories of outrageous rulings from our local judges.  Stories where the judges have completely ignored the law, causing complete devastation to one or both of the parties.  Our judges should follow the laws of this State and when the law may not directly apply, apply a reasonably equitable solution.  We have also heard of judges making mistakes in rulings, and upon rehearing, refuse to change the order.  Such cases are forced into appeal, if the harmed party can afford it.  We have also heard of parties winning appeals, giving that party great hope of justice, and yet the judge extends the remand hearing out so long or finds reason to circumvent the appellate ruling.  There must exist oversight of a judge when a judge works outside the limits of the law and the appellate court.

Speedy Trials

Impose speedy trials for civil cases, as is Constitutionally mandated for criminal cases.  Browsing through Public Record, you will notice that some divorce cases drag on for 8 years.  Much of these extended cases are not only due to the litigious nature of the parties, but also the extended calendar of the judge.  If there are too few judges to handle the case load, then more must be hired.

Disqualify Trial Judge

Impose a 4th Circuit judicial panel to recuse or disqualify a personally vested Judge from a case.  As it stands now, a Motion to Disqualify Trial Judge is set before the judge for a particular case.  The judge has 30 days to grant or deny the motion.  The Rules of Judicial Administration allow the judge to self determine his or her own disqualification.  If a judge is prejudiced or biased, then a judge can not reasonably self determine his or her own recusal or disqualification from a case.

We would like to see the 4th Judicial Circuit Court impose a new administrative procedure in which, when a Motion to Disqualify Trial Judge is served, then a panel of three judges, one of which is the Chief Judge of the Circuit, convenes a hearing to determine if the Motion to Disqualify Trial Judge, who is not a member of the panel, is granted or denied.  It is in this way the judge to disqualify does not self determine his or own personal vestment, bias, or prejudice in deciding a case.

Term Limits

Impose term limits on appointed Judges.  Judges that are elected to the bench have a set limit of years before they are up for reelection.  Appointed circuit judges have no set limit and may remain on the bench indefinitely until they voluntarily retire, which can be well in their 70s or 80s.  Such conditions allow an appointed judge to become complacent and possibly arrogant in their position and career.  Such complacency or arrogance can a be a source of bias, laziness, incompetence, or ineffectiveness of the judge.  We believe that imposing term limits for appointed judges is an important first step to ensure that a judge remains a competent effective public servant.



Advocates for Civil Justice.