Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mom denied direct contact with son in 12-year-old custody dispute (Fort Worth, Texas)

Custody 4

View photos

By Melody McDonald


FORT WORTH -- Standing outside a Tarrant County courtroom with tears in her eyes, Anna Weber expressed mixed emotions Monday after hearing that the 12-year-old custody fight with her ex-husband over their son was finally over.

The judge ruled that Weber can't have direct contact with her son, now 13, but she can watch him grow up from a distance.

"If he has a school play or a band concert, or whatever, I can go as long as I don't confront him," Weber said. "... It had to come to an end. We could fight for the rest of our lives. I'm sad, so sad, but I'm also relieved."

Weber's ex-husband, Todd, was not there when the case was finalized, but his attorney, John Groce Jr., said Todd and his son are also glad that the ordeal is over.

"You can imagine that this has put a lot of stress on the child -- just knowing that this is going on," Groce said. "... And Todd is just ready to get on and live his life. ... He has paid close to $300,000 in legal fees for all of this, which has about broke his back."

The Star-Telegram first published an article about the custody fight in August to illustrate the extremes to which parents will go in cases involving children.

Neither the child nor Todd is being fully identified to protect the child's identity. Weber, however, asked that her full name -- Anna Jansen Weber -- be published so that her son will be able to contact her someday if he wants.

"I hope that, eventually, he will see that he needs me in his life and that he has another side of a family who wants to love and support him," Weber said. "I've never stopped loving him and I will always be here. ... And the main thing I want him to know is that I'm not who his father has portrayed me to be."


Since their separation in 1998, Weber and Todd, both of Grapevine, have been in and out of Judge Randy Catterton's 231st District Court, fighting over visitation, parental rights and attorney's fees. Todd has accused Weber of abusing drugs and having mental issues. Weber has accused Todd of being narcissistic and poisoning their son to think she is the enemy.

Each claims that the other has repeatedly violated the judge's orders.

According to court documents and interviews, Todd won custody of their son eight years ago and petitioned the court to allow Weber only supervised visits after she became addicted to prescription pain pills after minor surgery. Weber said the supervised visits were heart-wrenching, and she decided to stop them for a time and work on getting herself together.

In 2006 -- after undergoing therapy, remarrying and having another child -- Weber turned back to the courts in hopes of being reunited with her son.

The judge ordered everyone to undergo reintroduction therapy with a psychologist so the child could gradually be refamiliarized with his mother. But Todd was uncooperative and cancelled appointments, according to the psychologist's notes in the case file.

Meanwhile, Todd accused Weber of refusing to take court-ordered drug tests and failing to complete a court-ordered 12-step program.

Still, in the midst of all the tears and rage, Todd and Weber entered into an agreement in which they decided that, if their son, after therapy with a psychologist, didn't want to have a relationship with his mom, each side would dismiss their claims.

Todd wouldn't try to terminate her rights, and she would not pursue visitation.

But the court-ordered psychologist discontinued sessions after Todd and his son were uncooperative, and a new social worker was appointed.

In July, that social worker wrote to the judge, saying the child "feels very certain that he wishes to have no contact with his mother."

"He is calm and reasoned in this statement," the social worker wrote. "He recognizes that she is his mother, and always will be, and does not rule out the possibility of getting to know her as an adult. However, until that time he would prefer to have her 'out of my life.'"

Final order

On Monday, Groce wanted Catterton to sign a final order that would preclude Weber from receiving information about her son, access to his medical or school records, the right to attend school or extracurricular activities, or to consent to his medical treatment during an emergency.

Weber's attorney, Sam Boyd, meanwhile, asked the judge to give reintroduction therapy another shot and proposed a less-restrictive order.

In the end, Catterton signed a final order that prohibits Weber from having direct contact with her son -- unless he invites it -- but allows her access to his records and to attend his public activities, among other things.

Groce, who was hired this year after Todd's longtime attorney withdrew, said he has never seen a similar case in his 15 years of practice.

"I got in on the end of it, but just reviewing the records and the things that happened in this case, it is beyond me how this was allowed to go on," he said. "... I can't say that it's the court's fault or the attorneys' fault that it has been allowed to go for so long, but it's just been crazy how that has happened."

Boyd, who has been working pro bono since December because Weber and her family can't afford him anymore, said he hopes that the parties can move forward.

"There are some things that just have to be finished -- and this was one of them," he said.

Melody McDonald,


Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/09/27/2499134_p2/mother-denied-direct-contact-with.html#ixzz10rG7Xl7Y
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/09/27/2499134/mother-denied-direct-contact-with.html#ixzz10rFbMIJO



Tarrant County 231st District Court
Judge Randy Catterton & Associate Judge Lisa Beebe
Mother denied direct contact with son in 12-year-old custody case
Judge Catterton made the final decision; he wanted this case to go away because of the publicity. The original Rule 11 was an agreement stating that the child should go through reintroduction therapy with the mother for 6 months as needed, and after that time, if the child still did not want to see the mother, she would respect his wishes. (In the public records, Dr. Berry Norman stated that reintroduction would take 6 to 10 months.) That did not happen because Steve King, (Todd’s lawyer) filed to change the order after Todd
1. would not take the child to therapy,
2. declared bankruptcy, and
3. filed 8 grievances against Dr. Otero – the psychologist who noted PAS.
At this point the rule 11 was watered down by the judge. Now the child was not really going to do reintroduction with the fully educated PHD, because Todd ran her off. Ms. Yentis was then assigned, probable an ok gal, but not educated to the level that Otero was. Now the child is to attend 3 meetings and decided to see his mother, after 7 years of parental alienation. What a beautiful DREAM!
Mr. Kelley, the attorney ad litem, clearly knew/knows very little about parental alienation. He did not even check on the child’s process in the classroom. He had one short interview with the child after months of trying. Todd did not want the interview to happen.
Sure the mother regrets her decision about signing the Rule 11, because that decision was changed. She signed it after pressure from her lawyer, who didn’t know what else to do, the situation was almost hopeless. Todd was/is unreasonable because of his narcissistic personality disorder.
Judge Catterton, at all times, had the power to override any of this. Steve King is his friend, they don’t just fish together; they party. Steve King is the Associate Judge, in the 231st District Court, Lisa Beebe’s personal lawyer. That was a relationship established prior to the first time the couple went before her in the 231st Tarrant County Family Court. After 12 years, and now with the media attention, Catterton wanted it over.
Anna has admitted to her wrong doings. Anna did attend supervised visitation; it was hurtful to the child; unnatural and freighting. She thought that visitation would be rearranged; it was never rescheduled by her lawyer. She is still a member of a 12 step program. It is anonymous; therefore, the member’s names are not published. Anna produced documentation; the court just could not subpoena it; roll was not taken. Therefore it didn’t exist. She had drug tests done for four consecutive years, while on probation and after that the hair follicle tests were done, the last one a few months ago. (All while not being able to see the child.) Todd could have forgiven Anna and worked with the court on getting a relationship for their son with his mother, at any time. Instead, Todd did everything in his power to destroy the mother/child relationship. It really didn’t matter what Anna did. Absolutely no child should be told bad things about his or her parent. Parental Alienation is wrong, no matter what has happen in the past. This mother has been drug free for seven years. The child was never in danger by the mother. Here again, it is who has the money and who the person hires, that gets custody.

Asiatic said...

Children who have been alienated from a parent exhibit long term side effects. These are the one’s Amy Baker, parental alienation expert, has identified (1) low self-esteem, (2) de¬pression, (3) drug/alcohol abuse, (4) lack of trust, (5) alienation from own children, (6) divorce, (7) guilt from rejecting the targeted parent and (8) other. Why hasn’t the judge and the child’s attorney protected this child? We need more legal attention to a growing problem.

Lowin said...

Ok, let me see if I got this straight -
This case involves Judge Randy Catterton and Associate Judge Lisa Beebe of the 231st District Court, Family Law Center 200 East Weatherford Street Fort Worth, TX 76196-0240 5th Floor 817-884-3796.
--the father, Todd Douglas Huff
1. Reneged on almost $900,000 of debt to the banks, therefore had free money for hiring his lawyer
• Yes, Todd recently declared bankrupts owing approximately
• $55,400 worth of credit card debt
• A bank line of credit of $33,500
• A bank loan for a spec house for $559,465.00
• A bank loan for a rental house for $127,300
• His lawyer, Steve King $4,700
• David Kelley, the child’s attorney $5,000
• TXU $1,900.00 for his electrical bill and a
• Car loan of $37,475

2. Ran up the legal bills of Anna's old parents, who were helping her fight to see her baby,
3. Claims false statements against Anna, Dr. Otero, and a lawyer on the case,
4. Gave Anna no money to use in the divorce or to live,
5. Has hired 4 different lawyers to attack Anna,
6. Has had a private investigation team follow her and look in her windows,
7. Didn’t return the child on time, frequently, when they shared custody,
8. Has not followed orders for the child’s therapy,
9. Has alienated the child,
10. Destroyed the mother relationship by lack of forgiveness, besides he actually believes his fantasies,
11. Is denying two boys, who are brothers, from knowing each other,
12. Is saying opinionated mean things, “She wants attention/she is addicted/not responsible” Vicious lies!,
13. Has hired Judge Beebe’s personal lawyer, Steve King, and then Judge Beebe served as the Judge for King at most hearings,
14. Subpoenaed her OBGYN records among other personal things, that didn't involve the case,
15. Has filed extensively, and therefore
16. Stolen Anna’s first born child!

Alienated.Mom.in.Tarrant.County said...

Must be déjà-vu! My ex has alienated me from my daughter for years. Changing his phone number many times. Ignoring my emails and letters pleading to see my daughter. Moving 13 times in less than 9 years. Over and over again I fork out money to private investigators to locate my ex-husband. I've been before Lisa BeeBee too many times. Last time, she finally recommended Yentis to do reintroduction therapy. However, my daughter had been brainwashed against me since the age of 2, so naturally she told the therapist that she would not want to see me. I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall.

Candace Nash said...

hello I am having the same problem..please contact me..candacenash2@aol.com

Candace Nash said...

I am asking anyone out there who is currently or who has a closed custody case in the 231st court to contact me asap..I would also like to reach out to any reporters who I could tell my story too... Candacenash2@aol.com