What we're all about...

Wake County District Court Judge Anna E. Worley, elected in 2008 and up for re-election in 2012, has been a controversial figure in Wake County family courtrooms. Parents' stories range from curious to downright shocking. As a custodial parent required to endure Worley's apparent lack of wisdom and seemingly arbitrary decisions, I am fighting back against a system whose very slowness and apathy has caused great suffering for my children. After nearly 3 years in Judge Worley's "family" court room, I have emerged with sole legal and primary physical custody of my three children. As thankful as I am for my own personal custody hell to be over, the years spent in Judge Worley's courtroom, the months spent awaiting orders rendered to be entered, the letters written to staff and the Chief Justice to force entry of a final order were nothing short of excruciating for my three children and myself. I will work tirelessly to ensure that I make the public aware of Worley's philosophy, rulings, and courtroom demeanor. Citizens must vote from a position of knowledge rather than ignorance.

26 March 2012

Facebook: Worley Speaks

     On Worley's recently created Facebook page, she writes in the Info section: "I appreciate the trust that Wake County voters have placed in me. For the past three years, I have enjoyed going to a job each day that allows me to help children and families. Now, I am readying to kick off my 2012 campaign and I hope to be allowed to give Wake County four more years."
     So, I have some commentary about her perception that Wake County voters placed trust in her.   We did not place trust in her - most voters are unaware of a new judicial candidate's position on legal issues, integrity in the courtroom or ability to fairly and appropriately decide complex issues for families in crisis.  We placed trust in her promise to apply the law correctly, to practice integrity and to have the background, wisdom and understanding to decide complex issues for families in crisis.  For many families who have endured horrific custody decisions rendered by Worley, she appears to have not delivered on that promise.
     Administratively, Worley was rated the lowest of any 10th district judge.  This is no small matter in family court.  Hearings postponed for over a year (my own husband's hearing on his motion for a parenting coordinator in his custody case with his ex-wife was postponed for over a year - he finally just voluntarily dismissed the case, as it wasn't worth missing so many work days only to have Worley continue it again at the request of attorney Steve Palme), court cancelled the morning of, cases pulled from the calendar with barely a day's notice, orders entered over 5 months late, orders NEVER entered.
     I know I keep harping on this, but Worley HAS NO CHILDREN.  She HAS NO HUSBAND.  She HAS NO EXPERIENCE BEING A PARENT RUNNING A FAMILY.  How on earth can she possibly run other people's families when she has no context?  A book does not experience make. 
     Does she know about the research which abounds on the negative implications of what appears to be her preference toward a "parallel parenting" philosophy?  Because she is not a mother, she has no experience with the damage that parallel parenting can cause to a child.  The damage is increased tenfold if one of those parents has a personality disorder (borderline or narcissistic personality disorders).  Parents with personality disorders wreak havoc in a family (both intact and divorced families), especially when a family court judge does not understand deeply how personality disorders play out in a courtroom.
     I fervently disagree with Worley's assessment of how she has helped children and families.  I am a parent that by all appearances should be glad to have been in her courtroom - I have sole legal and primary physical custody, all granted by Worley.  But on the way to that final judgment, Worley allowed so much damage to my children.  Based on false allegations leveled in an emergency custody motion filed by my ex-husband, Worley granted my ex 50-50 custody for 2 months.  In that two month period, my ex drove with my three boys with his driver's license revoked, was pulled by law enforcement and forced out of his vehicle along with my three boys, and told to surrender his license and get another ride home.  My ex called his current girlfriend, who came to pick up my children and return them home to me.  My ex also took my three boys to my husband's ex-wife's house for 8 gruelling hours while I sobbed and begged him to allow me to come pick them up. 
     That summer also included a scene in the Whole Foods parking lot during which my ex called me a "fucking cunt" in front of my three boys, told me to "get that pole out of my ass," "shut the fuck up," and reminded me as he had so many times before that I am "mentally ill and everyone knows it."  His apparent narcissistic personality disorder rage attack finally ended when my oldest son started yelling at his dad to apologize.
     That's how Worley helped my family and my children.  That's what she allowed to happen.  That's why she needs to be off the bench, in my humble opinion.  The damage to my boys from her sudden custody change (when she simply did not have the information to needed to make a decision) has taken years to undue.  The offending parent makes no effort to undue the damage done to the children.  The offending parent is apathetic.  Yet Worley empowers the offending parent seemingly out of her own lack of wisdom about family dynamics, personality problems and the underlying psychological issues that manifest as an inability to communicate and co-parent.
     Voters have a right to demand a judge who can adequately address these very complex family and custody issues.  In my experience in Worley's courtroom, I just haven't seen her handle these things in a way I think is helpful to anyone.
     Please, voters, do not allow Worley to "give" four more years to Wake County!  Fight this!

3:40 PM: Worley Cancels Hearing to Change Venue

     Once again, Worley cancels court.  This time, she discovered (close to closing time for today's court) that she will be in a 3-day hearing beginning tomorrow and is unable to hear ANY of the other cases attorneys and litigants have placed on her calendar weeks or months ago.  My own case - a Change of Venue from Wake to Orange County (where I have lived for over a year now but still can't get out of Wake County) - was scheduled for 15 minutes.  She would not handle it.
     So, now I must reschedule for late May.  I believe that Worley's unwillingness to handle and resolve custody cases is one of the causes of her overloaded calendar.  Isn't 2013 here yet?  Let's get her off that bench, voters!

22 March 2012

A Few Questions for Worley

     Over the past three years of dealing with Worley on the front lines, I have thought deeply about what I want in a judicial candidate for family court.  Below, I articulate a few questions we should all be asking ourselves about our family court judges.  Worley, I challenge to you answer these questions.  I challenge you to be transparent about your underlying mental construct which informs your judicial decision-making.  Voters have a right to know where you stand on these issues.  Your silence could belie an unwillingness on your part to allow voters to decide for themselves.  Ramblings about YWCA rallies and donating to children with autism are the politically-motivated actions to which we constituents are accustomed.  What do you have to offer regarding the following questions?
    First, in applying the best interest analysis in custody proceedings, please specifically delineate what factors you consider in determining the best interest of a child? 
     Second, is it your opinion that parents should, in the majority of cases, share 50-50 custody of the children?  If so, please explain in detail why you believe your opinion should influence a legal proceeding?  Isn't it the case that legal proceedings should be governed by our Constitution, state statute and common law?
     Third, what is your understanding, and from where did you gain this understanding, of personality disorders in adults and how those personality disorders can impact communication between parents and the success or failure of custody arrangements?
     Fourth, describe your stance on parallel parenting.  Please supply factual and statistical data to support your stance on this controversial form of parenting.
    I have lots more questions, but this is a great start.  We are waiting, Judge Worley.  We deserve answers.

Gilliam: Opposing Worley in the 2012 Election

Please read about Charles Gilliam and make an informed decision when voting in the primaries on 8 May 2012.

21 March 2012

Worley Has an Imaginary Meeting with Child in Custody Dispute

     Click below to hear Worley's actual court-recorded rendering of a judgment in a recent custody case.  Worley is "explaining" why she arrived at her custody decision, and in so explaining describes in detail a meeting with the minor child at issue in the custody dispute.  The problem is, as both parents have to explain to her in open court, Worley has never met this minor child.  Never seen her.  Never had any discussions with her in any form.  Yet she plows forward, even after realizing the memory she has is likely from some other custody case, and maintains the judgment she started with.
video

Worley's Re-Election Blog

     On her newly-minted re-election blog, Worley writes, "Elected to the District Court Bench, I have served Wake County for the past four years. I spend three out of every four weeks in Family Court. While custody, child support, spousal support and equitable distribution, are hard and emotional issues, their resolution allows families to heal and move forward. " [Emphasis added].
     While she is correct in stating that the resolution of custody and other such issues allows families to heal and move forward, I can say with absolute certainty that not one single action she has taken has brought resolution to my custody case nor allowed my family to heal and move forward.  What allowed my family to heal and move forward were two things: Woofer Davidian (our former parenting coordinator, whose term ended 27 January 2012) and my own personal commitment to working on myself, healing my family, and protecting my children from the bad choices their Dad has made.
     Worley has no children and no husband.  How can she even begin to espouse an understanding of families, parenting dynamics (much less parenting skills), children's development, and other significant issues which impact a child's experience in the world?  She has no personal understanding of what it is like to be a mother or a wife.  She studied English, Spanish and the law at Wake Forest University.  As I see it, a judge without children does not pass muster as a family court judge.
     Lastly, her assertion that custody and support are "hard and emotional issues" falls flat.  They are not hard and emotional issues.  They are devastating issues that wrench the heart.  They involve issues of mothers who set aside their careers in order to give lovingly to their children only to be told by a child judge that dad gets half the time - the very same dad who couldn't have cared less about his involvement with this children during the marriage.  It's those child support enforcement documents coming down the pike that engender the sudden onset of parental affinity.  A wise woman and judge would be able to step back and see that a mother who would give up such an important aspect of life (her career) because giving to her children is the job most valued by her is the mother that must continue to care for the children.  Anything less belies a total disrespect for the needs of the children. 
    When you go to the polls, don't buy the Worley Whitewash.  Look deeper.  Google her name - many of the results are all the same: GET RID OF WORLEY.  Some are speaking up on her behalf, but her own blog contains a lot of liberal drippings about the closing of the YWCA and a benefit for children with autism.  Voters don't care how many rallies Worley attends.  Rallies cost nothing.  Voters should care about her record.
    So, Worley, here is my challenge to you: Put your record out for the public to view.  Give us real data about the families that have ended up in front of you and just how many times they return because the issues don't get resolved. 
    We're waiting....

20 March 2012

Locke Milholland, Steve Palme, Anna Worley

Worley
Palme

Milholland

Who amongst you would want these three determining the future of your children? Seriously?






Worley Spewing: "You Two Really Don't Know How to Get Along"

     Ah, the mantra of the inexperienced, immature and ignorant!  This statement in Worley's courtroom is indicative of two things: first, Worley has no apparent experience effectively handling a parent who has a personality disorders and second, Worley has no apparent experience effectively taking charge of a custody case in such a way that the misbehaving party gets the message that not stopping his misbehavior will lead to consequences. 
     Worley doesn't seem to get personality disorders.  She doesn't seem to understand the special challenges of attempting communication with a parent who actually desires the conflict more than he desires a solution.  For example, my children's father desires conflict with me because that conflict enables him to maintain a relationship with me, which relationship he lost due to his addiction issues.  His only avenue to me is through our children, an avenue he cruises down as often as possible.  Worley looks out into the courtroom and, apparently unwilling to adequately cope with all the contentiousness, says, like an unthinking parent, "You two need to stop fighting!"  It's like telling the beach to stop interfering with the ocean's waves. 
     I have never seen Worley actually solve a custodial conflict; however, I have seen her make many conflicts a hell of a lot worse.  Her lack of organization and administrative skills creates problems in itself because orders are late (or not entered at all), hearings are begun even though she can't remember important details of a case, she imagines meeting children when, in fact, she hasn't met them at all.      
     My first experience with Worley occurred in 2009 while I watched a case between a mother of a six month old breastfeeding baby and the dad who had visited the child two times since birth.  All was fine until Mom filed for child support.  Then Dad suddenly decided that baby needs her Daddy, filed for custody, and Worley gets their case.  Now, in this hearing, Dad testifies that, yes, he has smoked pot most of his life, but he's 5 months clean now.  And no, he hasn't seen the baby much, but that's because his other Baby Mama just had another of his kids that's now two months old.  So, Dad says, Won't this be great - my six month old can come visit me and my new Baby Mama (who's taking care of 2 month old) can help me take care of Baby Mama #1's 6 month old!
     And Worley said, yes that's a good idea.  She ordered visitation to begin three days from the day of the hearing.  That Mom had to hand her precious baby over to a drug addict Dad living with Baby Mama #2 who surely had all warm and fuzzy feelings for Baby Mama #1's brood.
      Worley appears to have little or no experience with or understanding of addiction issues, personality disorders or possible hidden, underlying causes of conflict in custody cases.  As a voter, I demand that judges sitting on the bench educate themselves adequately about these issues.  Divorce rarely happens between two healthy, spiritually-minded folks.  It happens because at least one person involved is practicing some sort of marital misconduct (in my own case, my ex is a debtor, an addict and appears to have a personality disorder).  That misconduct does not end when the marriage ends; in fact, that misconduct usually intensifies.
     Worley does not seem willing to take charge and implement consequences for custody order violations.  In so apparently failing, the bad-behaving parent becomes empowered and the children suffer mightily.  My son asked me in earnest to allow him to go to Worley's courtroom and tell her what he wants.  I told him no.  I told him this: that woman will never get her eyes on you because she doesn't deserve even a moment's conversation with you.  Everything you are is beautiful and sacred and loving.  She doesn't deserve to even be in the presence of that.
     Folks who violate custody orders repeatedly must have consequences.  Repeat violations of legal decrees is an indication that the violator has no respect for authority.  Folks who have no respect for authority will not actively alter their behavior until they themselves experience discomfort, pain or deprivation from their actions.  As long as others (children and ex-spouses) experience disomfort, pain and deprivation from the violator's actions, the violator is totally, completely unmotivated to change his behavior.  His own pain is his only motivator because he lacks empathy.  Empathy for the suffering of others motivates most people to adhere to social constructs.  But those who lack empathy will NEVER adhere to social rules until they experience direct discomfort from their lack of empathy (i.e. no child support equals jail time).
     And so, in the end, maybe Worley is right - maybe we two really don't know how to get along.  And it will stay that way because I will never lie down and let that man hurt my children.  He is more than welcome to a close and loving relationship with them, but if he wants to neglect or harm them or refuse to protect them, he's got Mama Bear to face.  Once upon a time, she was a wimp.  But she ain't no more.