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Despite more than a decade of intended reform, the nation's foster care system is still overcrowded and rife with problems. But taxpayers are spending $22 billion a year - or $40,000 a child, on foster care programs.

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Corruption in Indiana Courts

by: Roxanne (Scarlett) Varga

Roxanne writes after receiving a recent Press Release, in response to a request for help and information from the Indiana Civil Rights Counsel.

The story that was forwarded to me sounds similar to the custody situation that I am currently going through with my daughter and am finding out that many other people are experiencing the same treatment of a corrupt court system in Northern Indiana.

Forced to Move

I will be very brief, as many things have happened since the start of the mess in February. Since my husband filed for divorce we have separated and I was forced to live outside of the home that I purchased. The reasons for this are significant to the case and his ill character. A custody investigation was done in the house in which I lived with a friend from work.

The report that followed was filled with false allegations of adultery and child neglect and not a word of my concerns were presented in the report. The writer of the report recommended that my husband be awarded custody based on the current living arrangements.

Communication Break Down

From that point on I was not able to speak to the custody investigator and was told to speak to my lawyer. The Guardian Ad Litem, who was court appointed, also refused to speak to me after our initial conversation in which she informed me that there was no reason for her to involved.

It took me until July to get back in my house and that did not happen until my husband could no longer afford to live here. My husband then decided that he could agree to joint custody and it appeared to me that we would be working things out.

The second custody investigation that was supposed to be performed was then cancelled and things appeared to be ok, although I continued to have confrontations with his mother and frequently heard many disturbing things from my daughter regarding "her divorce". I discussed many of these issues with the counselor that I sought out for my daughter and felt that she was working on the issues for Emily's sake.

Emotional Abuse

In mid September I received a petition to appear in court and found that the Guardian Ad Litem was moving to take custody from me altogether, this based on the emotional state of my daughter and a report from the counselor that I was afflicting emotional distress on my Emily.

I later spoke to the counselor and she informed me that she did not state the issues to the Guardian Ad Litem that were in the report. On September 19th, half way through the brief hearing the Guardian Ad Litem spoke up that there were bruises on my daughter. This resulted in my current situation of 100% supervised visits with my daughter for an hour and a half a week.

Since the September 19th date I have tried to get my lawyer to get back in court for them to provided proof (they can't - there isn't any) of any wrong doing on my part. I have spent $2000 on lawyer fees for hearings that have been cancelled while my witnesses and I wait.

The Guardian Ad Litem and the custody investigator continue to refuse to speak to me and my lawyer cannot provide me with any hope of change. My daughter is very emotionally distressed over this and has been sick for 3 weeks now. I am completely unable to help her and am very concerned for her.

Conflict of Interest

I recently was informed that my husband's lawyer was once a law partner with the judge and that he also has a brother-in-law that is a judge in the county.

He was the prosecuting attorney for 25 years before he went into his current practice and consistently puts his cases in front of these 2 judges.

I have also encountered another gentlemen, a former Notre Dame professor who has battling a very similar situation for nearly 5 years. You can find his information on his web site - Injustice In Northern Indiana

I have much documentation to support what has happened and hope that someone will care enough, not only for my situation, but also for others who are or may be faced with this.

Roxanne (Scarlett) Varga

Posted January 8, 2004