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Anna Mae Case Update:
(Furthermore, on May 14, 2004, only two days after his final ruling, Judge Childers took the initiative to issue a well-prepared public speech to news media, trying to justify his decision. Childers encouraged the public to read his opinion off the Internet. His public statement, intending to adversely affect the outcome of our impending appeal, was quickly and widely broadcast. (See Charge No. 5 below.)
The Tennessee Code of Judicial Conduct Section 3B(9) states:
"(9) A judge shall not, while a proceeding is pending or impending in any court, make any public comment that might reasonably be expected to affect its outcome or impair its fairness or make any nonpublic comment that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. The judge shall require* similar abstention on the part of court personnel* subject to the judge's direction and control.
This Section does not prohibit judges from making public statements in the course of their official duties or from explaining for public information the procedures of the court. This Section does not apply to proceedings in which the judge is a litigant in a personal capacity.
Commentary - the requirement that judges abstain from public comment regarding a pending or impending proceeding continues during any appellate process and until final disposition."
There was absolutely no need for Childers to publish the entire opinion; he could have released just the final paragraphs of his decision for public record. But for questionable motives that we will uncover in our subsequent charges, Childers intentionally chose to publish the entire 72-page opinion all over the media and on the internet, again in direct violation of state laws and the judicial code of conduct.
The Court repeatedly told all parties of interest that the law to protect the confidentiality of the records and court reports of an adoption case is designed to protect the privacy and interest of the child in question and families involved, especially in such a highly publicized and bitterly contested adoption case that hinged on the termination of parental rights. Furthermore, the privacy of these papers serves to ensure that the child in dispute can grow up with less probability of psychological and emotional trauma regardless of the outcome. Unfortunately, what Childers did was in direct opposition to what he demanded in court. Childers's opinion is full of what he himself considered "confidential" information. Worse, Childers's opinion on Anna Mae's birth parents is savagely negative and demeaning as he portrays the Chinese couple as pathological cheats and frauds.
It seems that Childers fervently exhausted all the derogatory or negative words in his vocabulary repertoire to blast Anna Mae's birth parents. His verbal assault against the Hes included words such as "fraud," "deceitfulness," "without remorse, repentance or conscience," "dishonest," "unstable," 'unfit," "calculating," "theatrical," "self-interest," "manipulative," "hysterics," "perjury," "lie," "questionable character," "ends-justify-means-philosophy," "filthy," "foul smell," "violate societal rules," "irrational and bizarre," "irrational and erratic," "falsely accusing persons," "questionable personality," "manipulative publicity," "parental misconduct or inability to parent," "neglect," "inattentiveness," "unhealthy and unsafe," "emotional instability," and many others.
Dr. Dongxiao Yue, author of the 15-point public response to Childers's ruling, commented that in the entire US judicial history, Judge Childers's ruling is probably unmatched in emotional and verbal intensity. The abusive words Childers used against the Hes were stronger than those selected to describe even a criminal sentenced to death penalty.
After finishing and publishing his abnormally lengthy opinion, Childers appeared complacent in his unmatchable achievement (as proven by his posture on television). But was he really confident about it? It seems he was not, because only two days after his ruling, i.e. May 14, 2004, Childers made the unusual move of trying to justify his decision before the news media in some long statements from the bench:
...my reason for publishing the detailed opinion is to inspire public confidence in our judicial system by making it as transparent as possible... My decision was rendered based on facts, evidence, statute and case laws, without bias, prejudice, or sympathy...
Childers's claim that his violation of the privacy requirements was for the purpose of inspiring public confidence in the system seemed laughable. A closer study of his opinion showed that most of Childers's "findings" were simply character assassination of the Chinese couple and the whole of the document is not much more than an exhibit of emotional verbal abuse. Judge Childers was not even able to maintain the appearance of justice. Naturally, his opinion quickly drew harsh criticism from the public. One week after his ruling, an influential local newspaper, Commercial Appeal, published three articles in one day, all containing pungent words against the ruling. Clearly, Childers's ruling and the way he publicized it has damaged public confidence in the judicial system.
On the rare occasions that his accusations happen to contain filtered evidence, a rational and impartial judge in this type of case would have kept said accusations confidential, not only for the consideration of the adults' privacy, but also for the best interest of the minor child Anna Mae. It's likely that when Anna Mae grows up, she will stumble upon such hateful language on the Web; though Judge Childers decreed from his bench that parental rights were hereby terminated, the biological connection between Anna Mae and her birth parents cannot be severed by a piece of paper. Yet the probability that Anna Mae could be emotionally damaged to learn that her biological parents were labeled cheats and frauds all over the world via the internet will likely prove extremely hurtful. Childers is fully aware of this possible consequence - during the course of the ten-day trial, he specifically heard detailed testimony from cultural, behavioral, and psychological experts about the bond, reunification, and root-seeking that occurs between adopted children and their birth parents, especially among those of interracial or intercultural upbringing.
Despite Childers's repeated admonition in court that everyone involved must be sensitive to the long-term protection of the child in question, he's now created a circumstance whereby someday Anna Mae is likely to find out simply by entering her own name in an internet search engine that this supposedly honorable Tennessee judge concluded by "clear and convincing" evidence that her birth parents were the lowest category of human beings in the world. She will be hurt beyond words. She will think herself a victim of neglect or abuse. And even if she errs on the side of assuming she was an unwanted Chinese girl and ultimately shows no interest in seeking her birth parents who abandoned her as educated by the Bakers and as concluded in Judge Childers's opinion, she is still likely to have classmates and friends of curious mind who may perform such a simple search, violating her privacy regardless of her wishes. Rather than having proved that Anna Mae's birth parents are guilty of being neglectful of and insensitive to child's best interest, Judge Childers's words and deeds caused irreparable and irreversible damage to Anna Mae's self-esteem.
Childers labeled Anna Mae's mother as a woman marked by "a pattern of instability, deceitfulness and dishonesty" and ignored her successful care of her other children in the four-year battle to defend her parental rights. In the eyes of some closed-minded people, her greatest flaw is that she is being Chinese and being unable to communicate effectively in English.
When he repeatedly states in his opinion that we willfully abandoned Anna Mae, an allegedly unwanted child "rescued" by the Bakers and prevented from returning to a perceived life of poverty and gender discrimination in China, Childers effectively risks punishing the child, not the parents, by dismissing her heritage as reprehensible. She is now destined to suffer because Childers preferred to make a confidential matter public in order to bolster his own biased ruling and totally discredit the Chinese couple with slander and malice. Unequivocally, the public has felt his malice and has spoken out against it.
By his own admission, Judge Childers knew this case had attracted national and international attention-literally, "the world is watching!" said a local legal expert, Webb Brewer. The fact that Childers submitted his entire emotionally charged opinion in electronic format to public websites shows an urgent and uncontrollable impulse to have the opinion publicized as quickly and as widely as possible (with a questionable motive on his part). Yet the Tennessee Code made it a class E felony to release confidential adoption documents with malicious intent.
(According to 36-1-125d, see also TN code 17-5-304f,
(d) Unauthorized disclosure of any records, studies or information protected as confidential under this part is a Class A misdemeanor. Unauthorized disclosure of such records for personal gain or for a malicious purpose is a Class E felony.)
Hon. Robert L. Childers is a circuit court judge with twenty years of bench experience; he should have known the pertinent adoption law and its requirements better than ordinary people. Therefore, his decision to publicize the ruling was a calculated act. His motive in doing so was for a malicious purpose, i.e. to terminate the Hes' parental rights in favor of the Bakers regardless of the laws and facts.
As you consider Childers's opinion of this Chinese mother, bear in mind the following (from the court records):
Now consider Childers's opinion of Mrs. He:
Mrs. He is an impetuous person not subject to being intimidated or deterred in achieving whatever she sets as her goal. The evidence shows that she is calculating, almost theatrical, in her actions. The evidence further shows that she is dishonest and manipulative, and has a history of acting in an unstable manner when it serves her own self-interest. For example, during cross-examination, Mrs. He would begin sobbing when asked difficult questions. However, Mrs. He would immediately regain her composure when asked subsequent questions. It appears to the Court that Mrs. He's courtroom hysterics were calculated by Mrs. He in an effort to avoid answering the difficult cross-examination questions.
Although Mrs. He does not speak the English language fluently, she appears to speak and understand English better than she professes. For example, Mrs. He spoke English during some of the Hes' visits with AMH at the Bakers' home and when Mrs. He took the Hes' other children for medical treatment. She also spoke English during the incident when she was holding a sign outside of the Bakers' home, and the Bakers' neighbor, Rebecca Smith, asked Mrs. He to move her car, and she spoke English during the December 2003, incident at the Wal-Mart store. During the trial, in response to a question from attorney Linda Holmes, Mrs. He responded to the question by speaking in English, before the interpreter had begun interpreting Ms. Holmes' question to Mrs. He. Mrs. He said, "Mr. Parrish filed legal motion," then she stopped speaking English and began responding to the question in Chinese.
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
Ridiculously, Childers was asserting that Mrs. He's English ability four years ago was equivalent to her present ability. Again, Childers was twisting even someone's language skill.
With the aid of an interpreter, Mrs. He took the witness stand on the first day of the trial. In the course of her testimony, Childers kept his head low, typing notes into his laptop computer. Unbeknown to Mrs. He, Childers held extremely adverse and spiteful feelings toward Mrs. He from the very beginning and lost his control of hiding his animosity in the ruling filled with stinging humiliation. As law professor Lubet pointed out, Childers "draws every possible adverse inference against the Hes, many of them with seemingly no support at all" while not using the same reasoning with the Bakers. In fact, Lubet plans to use Childers's opinion in his classroom "to teach students how to uncover unspoken assumptions in judicial opinions. [This ruling] is just filled with unspoken assumptions."
Mrs. He sobbed when testifying about her daughter, and Childers called this "calculated" and "courtroom hysterics." But what if Mrs. He had not sobbed? Would Childers have ruled that she was cold-blooded and emotionally detached from her child?
Mrs. He, who has never taken any formal English lessons in the US, spoke a five-word sentence in her testimony - "Mr. Parrish file legal motion" - because these words had been repeated thousands of times in her presence during the last four years. It has become as common to her as "parlez-vous francais" or "si, senor" to a native English speaker. Yet Childers immediately took note of it and concluded that "she appears to speak and understand English better than she professes." Further, Childers used Mrs. He's broken English as clear and convincing evidence to prove that Mrs. He is dishonest and calculating in her alleged disguising of her language skills.
Therefore, we ask Judge Childers to address directly the following questions:
From Childers's opinion, we tried but failed to find direct answers to these questions, and we can only conclude that Judge Childers did not rule on facts and evidence but on his personal feelings against this poor Chinese mother.
Judge Childers's ruling displays an attitude of racist elitism in what he wrote in his opinion. It is obvious that Childers's assumptions about China's economic, cultural and political environment heavily influenced his opinion. Because of that he refused to accept the testimony by a Chinese cultural expert, and did not bother to conduct any independent research to verify his own assumptions. His complete disregard for the Hes' human rights and dignity shows his personal repulsion, resentment, or antipathy for the Hes' family, their country, their culture, and their race. This, combined with his complete disregard for the best interests of Anna Mae when he decided to publicize his detailed opinion to insult her birth parents and his self-serving statement in court regarding sensitivity to the "best interest" of the child, shows his deeply-rooted true intentions. In essence, Judge Childers treated each and every member of the He family (two adults and three children) as if they were undeserving of dignity or human rights. At his best, he is a xenophobe, and at his worst, a racist. After all, the only common denominator between Anna Mae and her biological parents is their shared genetics as people of Chinese origin. When dealing with these foreigners, he seemed unable to maintain a minimum level of professionalism and ethical appropriateness in his tone, his vocabulary, and his abusive statements.
Consider this: the Bakers said in their testimony that "we just feel like the culture is against little girls in China. The one-child rule in China forced abortions and IUD implants for 12 and 13-year-olds." In his ruling, Childers quickly echoed the Bakers' voices on the subject: "There is one-child-per-family policy in China." Additionally, "The death rate for children of AMH's gender is fifty (50%) percent in that country (China)." Judge Childers cited no other evidence to support this unfounded idea.
Yet he said...
"This case has generated a great deal of interest in this city, in this county, in this state, in this country, and internationally. This case has been the most difficult case this Court has been called upon to decide in the Court's 20 years on the bench. The Court has spent almost 250 hours in listening to the witnesses, the attorneys' arguments, reviewing almost 10,000 pages of trial transcripts, 79 trial exhibits, reviewing hundreds of previous court decisions and the statutory law... The Court's opinion is available for reading and the Court hopes that anyone interested will take the time to read the opinion so they will have a clearer understanding of the obligation that is imposed on the Court by the case law and statutory law. The Court made its decision in this case based on the law and the evidence presented in the case, without bias, prejudice or sympathy..."
There is more. Judge Childers claimed that he spent many hours and efforts reviewing the court record before making his decision, so he wants people to believe that he is a responsible and attentive judge. Is it really so?
One of the big surprises in the ruling is Childers misspelled Mr. He's first name! Childers wrote Shaio-Qiang He. It should have been Shaoqiang He. When taking the witness stand at trial, Mr. He was required to spell out his name. It was written correctly in numerous other documents. It was in the documents filed by attorney Siegel and attorney Gordon. It has high frequency of occurrence in the court record. It was in numerous press accounts...always spelled correctly. Not only did Judge Childers misspell it, but he also added a hyphen.
Furthermore, Judge Childers misspelled People's Republic of China throughout his 72-page opinion, writing it in every instance Peoples Republic of China (without the apostrophe).
Since Judge Childers released his ruling and advertised it widely in the press, thousands of people who were encouraged by Childers have downloaded a copy off various websites and read it carefully. News media, local or national, English or Chinese, have quoted peoples' comments on the ruling as a typical example that is full of self contradictions, strong personal emotions, unfounded assumptions, etc.
In our opinion, the presence of those misspelled names (like AMH's biological father whose parental rights at stake and China that is a well known country in the world) reflects that Childers is irresponsible in handling the case and that his claim of hard work in writing his ruling is false. Statistically speaking, few judges (if any) in the U.S. legal system have handed down a "death penalty" verdict without getting that person's name right!
As demonstrated throughout this 15-charge complaint, Childers did spend many hours and efforts writing his 72-page ruling, but his attention was focused on distortion and fabrication of facts in order to cover up his predetermined bias. In his public statement, Childers emphatically stressed that this case was extremely difficult for him to rule. Why was it so difficult for him? Now many people know the answer: it was because Childers made up his mind from the outset to terminate the Hes' parental rights against the laws and facts. To his disappointment, the court record turns out to be so unfavorable that he had to do the following:
From the very outset, Judge Childers set the tone for his conclusion by extolling the Bakers as angels who are completely honest, credible, and dignified while disparaging the Hes as devils who are completely dishonest, manipulative, and calculating.
He then selected only those testimonies from the Bakers that seem to fit this type of prejudgment and interpreted the selected testimonies in a way favorable to the Bakers.
Both statute and case law in almost every state in the United States are very clear on abandonment: Abandonment may be found only when, given the benefit of every controversial fact, an inference of abandonment follows as a matter of law (citations omitted). In the Bakers' case (Bakers created and pursued this adoption case), abandonment may be found only when the Hes (respondents) are given the benefit of every controversial fact. However, contrary to this legal guideline, in Childers's opinion, not the Hes but the Bakers were given the benefit.
On the abandonment issue, Childers listed a number of visitation events that benefit the Bakers' case if considered from this skewed perspective (based on Bakers' testimony), but he purposely excluded those events that prove Bakers' hindrance of the Hes' reasonable visitation of their child.
In his findings of "Abandonment Factors, Chronology of Events," for the period from June 4, 1999 (change of custody order) to May 3, 2000, when the Hes filed a legal petition with Juvenile Court to regain custody of their child, Judge Childers listed events on July 25, 1999; September 11, 1999; September 19, 1999; October 15, 1999; October 31, 1999; December 22, 1999; and February 28, 2000. (All these visitation events are based on Bakers' secret journal and their court testimony).
For instance, Bakers' journal alleged that during one visitation Mr. He made some comments about Anna Mae having a sibling when Mrs. Baker delivered a new baby, which implied that the Hes somehow intended to give up Anna Mae. Childers treated Bakers' journal entries as facts and even the "implications" from it as clear and convincing evidence of Hes' willful abandonment, even though they were categorically denied by the Hes. Even if Childers decided to rely exclusively on Bakers' journal as believable source of evidence to base his verdict, he should in no event omit key journal entries that do not fit his verdict. The October 3, 1999 journal entry is a good example, because this journal entry was a crucial piece of evidence repeatedly presented to the Court both in verbal and written form by Hes' attorney, David Siegel. Therefore, it is impossible for Childers to not know it. But, Childers chose to omit this October 3, 1999 journal entry.
About the October 3, 1999 visit, Mrs. Baker wrote:
"Jack and Casey came at 3:00. Anna played for a minute with them and then wanted us. The visit was very discouraging to us. They wanted to see if they could come and get Anna and keep her for a day next Sun. I told them No. She is too little to be away from us. Casey was very distraught, crying very loud. They left soon after. Jack kept telling us that they had [a] friend that kept asking about her and a Dr. at Church wanted to see her.
We told them she didn't need to see a Dr. and if anyone wanted to see her they could come to our home. We stood strong with this. I think Jack was trying to please Casey. No words were exchanged. We feel like Jack will try something now. We would like to get visits to every other week. We feel like they could wean away, but the last 2 visits we could see Casey is wanting to come more.
If Jack confronts us with the visit we are going to tell him this is the way its going to be and set rules for him. He is very pushy and overbearing. They are supposed to com[e] Thurs, 8:45 AM because Jerry is going to be out of town.
(Deposition of Louise Baker, Ex. 5, pp, 11-13)
During her sworn deposition, Louise Baker was asked whether she had a problem with Casey "wanting to come more." Her response under oath was:
Well, we did not go into this for bonding time with Casey.
(Deposition of Louise Baker, p, 165, L. 15-18)
This is clear and convincing evidence showing the Hes wanted to visit more, but the Bakers were hindering the Hes' efforts to do so. Also, it's clear that the Bakers did prohibit the Hes from taking Anna Mae out of Bakers' home for any duration of time... Obviously out of their own lips the Bakers made all possible attempts to hinder Hes' visits and planned all along to keep Anna Mae from her parents permanently from the very beginning.
The Bakers' frame of mind during that October 3, 1999 visit, as clearly documented and testified to by the Bakers themselves, offers insightful and convincing evidence that they sought to obstruct, inhibit, discourage, and interfere with the visits between the Hes and their daughter, exactly contrary to Childers's ruling.
The following quote (taken in court and interview with the Bakers) by The New York Times (March 2, 2004) may also reflect the Bakers' true intentions and actions:
...The journal entries document Mrs. Baker's distress over the bonding of mother and child and growing frustration as the birth parents demanded more time with their daughter. "We would like to get visits to every other week," she wrote when Anna Mae was 8 months old. "We feel like they would wean away, but the last two visits we could see Casey is wanting to come more..."
(It's worth noting that the writer from this highly prestigious newspaper spent two days in Childers's court and with the parties of interest)
From the facts and observations above, we may conclude that the omission of this piece of crucial evidence by Judge Childers clearly shows that he was only looking for the answers he wanted to hear to support his opinion. Even with respect to the Bakers' testimony itself, Childers painstakingly filtered and selected only the portions that supported his predetermined conclusion.
In the rest of this 46-page complaint, we shall present more facts that demonstrate this pattern of bias and prejudgment in Childers's ruling.
The American Heritage ® Dictionary defines a lie as "a false statement deliberately presented as being true." With this definition in mind, we will prove with mathematical rigor that Judge Childers was lying in his ruling.
In his opinion, Judge Childers wrote:
Hes' Visitation from June 4, 1999 to January 28, 2001
The Hes visitation and contact with AMH has been subject to the Bakers' discretion since the June 4, 1999, Consent Order Awarding Custody of AMH to the Bakers.
The Bakers did not obstruct, inhibit, discourage, or otherwise interfere with any reasonable desire on the part of either Mr. or Mrs. He to visit AMH.
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
Based on the information in Charge No. 6, it is clear that Judge Childers was making a false statement in his findings above. In his ruling, he concluded that the Hes' once-a-week visits were not enough and were therefore indicative of willful abandonment. Thus, by Childers's own standard and line of reasoning, the Hes' requests for more visitations were reasonable desires. Yet the Bakers, as documented in their own journals, completely prohibited the Hes from taking Anna Mae He out of Bakers' home for any duration of time and attempted to obstruct the Hes' frequency of visits from once a week (a reasonable desire) to once every other week in the hope of weaning away the Hes. The Bakers did this as early as October 3, 1999! And the Bakers had their intentions fully demonstrated by their own records and testimonies.
The documented intent and efforts by the Bakers to interfere with Hes' reasonable level of visitation had taken place ten months before the August 1, 2000 incident, in which Mrs. He wanted to stay with her daughter longer and refused to leave the Bakers' home, leading Mr. Baker to call the police to escort Mrs. He out. The tensions between the Hes and Bakers had escalated by this point because of the Bakers' repeated hindrance of the Hes' visitations with their daughter. The evidence (like October 3, 1999 entry) shows clearly that the Hes wanted to come visit more and the Bakers discouraged and obstructed the Hes' reasonable desire to visit more. The more the Hes wanted to exercise their reasonable visits, the more hindrance they encountered from the Bakers.
With these undisputed facts, we can conclude that Childers's statement that the "Bakers did not obstruct, inhibit, discourage, or otherwise interfere with" the Hes' reasonable desire to visit AMH is therefore false.
Next we want to further prove that Childers presented this falsehood knowingly and deliberately as being true (as a conclusion of law) with a specific motive in his mind.
The October 3, 1999 incident and other related testimonies were crucial pieces of evidence presented by the Hes' counsel in numerous court filings, including the final brief and the findings of laws & facts. It is a stipulated fact. Childers relied extensively on the events documented by Mrs. Baker's journal; he went into great detail back and forth regarding many visits by Mr. and Mrs. He. Therefore, Childers undoubtedly had had a complete knowledge of the October 3, 1999 journal entry when he was deliberating his 72-page verdict.
Moreover, by reading his opinion, it is clear that Childers was acutely aware that to prove the Hes' willful abandonment from their failure to visit AMH for four months, he must also prove such failure to visit was not caused by the Bakers' hindrances of the visits.
If Judge Childers had included the October 3, 1999 entry and related testimonies in his findings of fact, his above conclusion and subsequent conclusion of willful abandonment would not have been able to withstand any reasonable scrutiny. By knowingly omitting the October 3, 1999 entry and related testimonies out of the Bakers' own lips, Judge Childers was able to make this falsehood appear as being true in his final ruling.
Therefore, we can reach no other conclusion but that Childers deliberately presented the above false statement as a finding of fact with the purpose of establishing his willful abandonment conclusion.
Based on the American Heritage ® dictionary definition of "lie", we can conclude that Judge Childers was telling a lie in his ruling. And a person telling a lie is, by definition, dishonest.
Jack He was accused by Childers again and again in his ruling of being dishonest with respect to issues such as putting fake contact information on an application when purchasing a car. But when Jack He did that, he did not hurt or intend to hurt anyone. However, when Robert Childers, a Tennessee Circuit Court Judge, lied, he had the purpose to establish the bogus willful abandonment conclusion as his ground for termination of Hes' parental rights; he calculatedly lied to hurt each and every family member of the Hes. Judge Childers lied to abuse the law and to violate the Hes' constitutionally protected rights.
On January 28, 2001, the Hes went to see Anna Mae at the Bakers' home. The Hes wanted to take Anna Mae out for birthday portrait, but the Bakers refused. The two couples had an argument, and the Bakers called the police. Both Mr. and Mrs. He testified that they were told by two policemen (outside the house in Bakers' absence) not to come back or they may be arrested. At that time Mr. He was charged with a felony (baseless charge). Fearful of further trouble with the law, Mr. He complied.
In his original sworn statement, Mr. John Astor (one of the two policemen) testified that he told the Hes not to come back to the Bakers' home. In addition, Mr. Astor advised Mr. Jerry Baker not to let the Hes back into the Bakers' home (Deposition of Louise Baker, p 195 L 8-11). In the Bakers' original written statement (answers to interrogative questions), the Bakers made the same testimony. But later, under the urging and coaching of the Bakers and their counsel, Mr. Astor changed his testimony: interestingly, his new version and the Bakers' modified version are identical! i.e. Mr. Astor told the Hes not to come back to the Baker's home that day (implying that the Hes were permitted to come back a later day or that night), although "that day" was almost over, as the Hes left the Bakers' house at about 4:45 P.M.
When cross-examined by attorney Siegel, Astor admitted that he did not make any notes or reports of the incident, so he solely depended on his memory of the incident that had taken place more than three years before. He further admitted that he dealt with this type of situation on a daily basis, so the past three years accumulatively he had handled a large number of such incidents.
Thus, we have a discrepancy between two versions of a story, told by the Bakers and officer Astor originally and their newly modified versions. Again, the Bakers are given the benefit of the doubt of another controversial fact, and Childers chose to believe the latter modified testimony. And again, Childers intentionally took advantage of every opportunity to adopt only those testimonies that fit his frame of mind.
In spite of that, Childers's conclusion is inconsistent with his own findings of facts. In his opinion, Childers wrote:
Immediately after the January 28, 2001 disturbance, the Bakers decided that all future visits by the Hes would have to be arranged at a location other than the Bakers' home because of the August 1, 2000, and January 28, 2001, disturbances.
Immediately after January 28, 2001, in furtherance of the necessity to arrange future visitations at a site other than the Bakers' home, Mrs. Baker telephoned the Exchange Club Family Center to inquire about its ability to provide visitation services and facilities for any future visits with AMH by the Hes.
The Bakers did not respond to Mrs. He's April 2, 2001, telephone call because Mrs. He did not say anything about AMH or about wanting to visit AMH. The Bakers did not go to the Hes' apartment after Mrs. He's April 2, 2001, telephone call.
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
Based on what Childers himself considers to be the true facts as above, we can conclude that after the January 28, 2001 incident
These facts are consistent with the original testimony that the Hes were told not to come back to the Bakers' home and are inconsistent with the modified testimonies that the Hes were told not to come back that day after 4:45 p.m.
Therefore, it should be concluded that the Bakers planned not to allow the Hes to return to the Bakers' home after January 28, 2001, and the Bakers never informed the Hes that they could visit Anna Mae at the Exchange Club Family Center.
It is obvious that their new modified version of the story is a coordinated effort to give people an impression that the Hes were permitted and welcomed to the Bakers' home any other day (or even that night) for visits, but the Hes willfully failed to come back to visit their child because they willfully wanted to abandon AMH, starting on January 28, 2001, the child's 2nd birthday. If we follow Childers's reasoning of willful abandonment, then we would reach this fallacious conclusion:
The Hes came to visit their daughter on January 28, 2001 (her 2nd birthday) and were interested in taking her out of the Bakers' home for a professional family portrait because the Hes attached special meaning to that day. The Bakers, fearful that the Hes might take their child away and return to China, refused their request but the Hes insisted on it. So Mr. Baker called the police, who threatened them with arrest to stay away from the Baker home. Because of the argument, the Hes became so frustrated that they decided on that 2nd birthday to willfully abandon their daughter and never come back to see her despite the Bakers' kindness in making considerate arrangements for the Hes to visit Anna Mae at an Exchange Club. Therefore, the four-month lapse was solely caused by the Hes' willful failure to visit and became an important ground for termination of parental rights. This is exactly Childers's logic shown in his ruling.
At a previous hearing in Chancery Court, the Bakers' attorney, Larry Parrish, stated: "The thing that caused the visitation to break down a year ago was the twice-repeated insistence on the part of the respondents to take this child from the home of the Bakers." (Transcript of Feb 14, 2004 hearing, p. 40, L.3-7)
Actually, all along the Bakers were blaming the Hes for trying to take away Anna Mae from them and return to China (Bakers' counsel labeled the Hes as "flight risk" because of their overseas roots). In contrast, Childers is accusing the Hes of fighting for custody to remain in the United States (see Charge 9 and 10).
Since June 4, 1999, they have never allowed the Hes to take Anna Mae out of their home, and it was a deliberate decision by the Bakers in the hope that the Hes would be "weaned away" (Deposition of Louise Baker, Ex. 5, pp, 11-13). This was an extremely harsh restriction imposed (without official authority) by the Bakers upon the birth parents and Anna Mae, that the Hes could only meet briefly in the Bakers' home, could not go out with Anna Mae for any reason, or could not have any extended time together in the Bakers' house.
In his opinion, Childers deliberately omitted the October 3, 1999 incident and related documents and testimonies, and furthermore deliberately omitted other evidence that proved the Bakers' intentions and actions to hinder and restrict the Hes' visitation of Anna Mae. For instance, the so-called "Aug 1, 2000 disturbance" was actually due to the fact that Louise Baker told Mrs. He to leave earlier, thus reducing the visitation time between mother and child, by a false excuse that she had a lunch appointment with Mr. Baker. Actually, Mrs. Baker was trying to restrict Mrs. He's visit time and to drive her out of the house, away from Anna Mae.
Childers ruled that the Hes' weekly visits were ineffective token visits. But why did he choose to ignore the fact that the Bakers prohibited the Hes from taking Anna Mae out of Bakers' home for any period of time? Why didn't he consider other facts that showed the Bakers hindered and interfered with the Hes' visits?
It's clear that Childers interpreted the filtered testimonies in a way favorable exclusively to the Bakers. Based on his selective and inconsistent use of testimonies and his omission of crucial facts, Judge Childers concluded that
"[t]he visitation by either Mr. He or Mrs. He, or both, from June 4, 1999, to January 28, 2001, was insignificant, token visitation. Mr. He has engaged in only token visitation with AMH; the Hes have failed to maintain regular, meaningful visitation and contact with AMH. The Bakers did not obstruct, inhibit, discourage, or otherwise interfere with any reasonable desire on the part of either Mr. or Mrs. He to visit AMH."
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
This contradictory selection of testimonies shows once again that Judge Childers is not only biased and prejudiced, but also maliciously and intentionally aimed to deprive the Hes of their God-given rights regardless of solid facts shown otherwise.
Right after the January 28, 2001 incident-on February 1, 2001-the Hes wrote a letter to the Juvenile Court, in which they complained about the Bakers' calling the police to interfere with their visitation and requested the Juvenile Court to provide assistance. This letter is on record at the Juvenile Court and this was a stipulated fact during the trial in Childers's court. The Hes also took the initiatives to contact the Bakers, without success, on different occasions within the four months. For instance, on April 2, 2001, Mrs. He called the Bakers, but the Bakers neither picked up the phone (they had Caller ID), nor returned Mrs. He's message (Mrs. He left a message on their answering machine).
Two months and twelve days after they were driven out of the Bakers' home, the Hes filed the second petition with the Court on April 9, 2001 to regain the custody of their daughter. On June 20, 2001, the Bakers filed their petition to terminate the Hes' parental rights, arguing that the Hes willfully abandoned Anna Mae by failing to visit Anna Mae for a period longer than four months, from January 28, 2001 to June 20, 2001. Four months without visits is the threshold of abandonment, according to Tennessee law.
In his opinion, Judge Childers knowingly omitted the Hes' February 1, 2001 letter to Juvenile Court asking for assistance with their visits. Childers knew that to prove willful abandonment, he must also discount Hes' April 9, 2001 petition to modify custody, because that petition was filed only two months and twelve days after the last visit and two months prior to the Bakers' petition to terminate the Hes' parental rights.
The following was Childers's calculated attempt to do exactly this. On his findings on "Willful Failure to Visit," Judge Childers wrote:
"The Hes right to visit AMH was never restricted by any court until February 8, 2002, when this Court entered an order prohibiting the Hes from attempting 'to have any contact, direct or indirect, in person, or otherwise, with AMH,' until further order of the Court."
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
Further, Childers wrote:
"Mrs. He signed a second Petition to Modify the Consent Order Awarding Custody on April 9, 2001, that was subsequently filed in Juvenile Court on May 29, 2001. The Court notes that Mrs. He did not request visitation with AMH when she filed the petition to modify custody. It is well settled that a parent may always petition to have visitation reinstated upon a showing of changed circumstances. Mrs. Hes' willful failure to seek reinstatement of visitation with AMH demonstrates that her goal in filing the Petition to Modify to regain custody was for the sole purpose of remaining in the United States and avoiding deportation. Mrs. Hes' failure to ask the Court to reinstate visitation with AMH, when she could have easily done so, evinces Mrs. Hes' willful abandonment of AMH."
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
If the Hes' right to visit had never been restricted by any court until February 8, 2002, then there had never been a need for the Hes to request to have visitation rights reinstated by the Court. If there had been no need to have visitation rights to be reinstated, how could there be a willful failure to seek reinstatement of visitation? Childers's ruling cannot withstand even the simplest logic (common sense) by ordinary people.
Based on court records, what really happened was that although the Court did not restrict the Hes' visitation rights until February 8, 2002, long prior to that date the Bakers had been intentionally hindering and interfering with the Hes' visits. Such intentions were clearly documented in the Bakers' October 3, 1999 journal entry and later testimonies. They made it impossible for the Hes to have good time and effective visitation with their daughter Anna Mae, so the Hes filed another petition to regain custody on April 9, 2001. Suppose the Court had ruled expeditiously to grant their petition, Anna Mae would have been returned to her birth parents in a short period of time (with minimum harm to the child and families involved).
Furthermore, as one can see from the attached copy of the April 9, 2001 Petition to Modify Custody, the petition form had a fixed format, and there was no space anywhere in such form for Mrs. He to check mark "request visitation" or "refuse visitation". How could she willfully fail to request visitation on that form?
It seems that Childers was working backwards to establish his willful abandonment conclusion. Wherever there is indisputable evidence of the Bakers' hindrance of the Hes' visitation, he lies (see charge 6 and 7); wherever there is indisputable evidence of the Hes' efforts to regain custody, he twists.
As for Childers's so-called "gaining custody to avoid deportation" argument, it is completely void of any logic and legal basis and is another demonstration of Judge Childers's prejudgment and willful distortion of facts and law (see next proof).
As we have seen in Statement No. 9, to establish the finding that the Hes willfully failed to visit Anna Mae for four months after they were escorted out of Bakers' home on January 28, 2001, Judge Childers had to deal with two undisputed facts. One is that the Hes immediately wrote a letter to the Juvenile Court complaining about Bakers' hindrance of visitation and seeking assistance. Childers simply omitted this stipulated fact. But there is another crucial fact which Childers has no way to avoid, that is, the Hes filed a legal petition with the Court to regain custody of Anna Mae on April 9, 2001 (only two months after the January 28, 2001 visit). This evidence clearly poses an insurmountable obstacle to Childers, as any reasonable person would conclude that the Hes had no intention to abandon the child and did everything within their power to regain their child. To establish his willful abandonment conclusion, Childers had to totally discount the Hes' custody petition as fake by saying that the Hes' sole purpose for filing the petition was to avoid deportation by the INS.
Certainly, Childers knows he has the burden of proof by "clear and convincing" evidence, but where can he find the evidence?
In the previous charges, we have shown that Childers resorted to omission of crucial evidence and lies to establish his "willful abandonment" theory. When these two tactics fail to work, Childers simply employs fabrication of evidence, and then combines the fabricated evidence with his usual tactics of logical and legal distortion to reach his conclusion.
In the following, we will address the two points, i.e., fabrication and distortion, separately in two sub-charges, Statement 10.1 and Statement 10.2.
Regarding the Hes' April 9, 2001 petition with Juvenile Court, Childers wrote:
Mr. He received a second telephone call from the INS regarding the Hes' current immigration status in the United States sometime in March, April, or May, 2001, around the same time that Mrs. He filed a second Petition to modify custody in the Juvenile Court. Again, due to the close proximity of the call from the INS and the filing of the petition, the evidence shows that Mrs. He wanted to retain some parental rights for the sole purpose of avoiding deportation.
(Childers's final ruling)
Childers basically said that because the Hes received an INS call right before or after they filed the petition in April of 2001, the petition must be a fake and was motivated by deportation. We will expose the logical twisting in Childers's conclusion in Statement 10.2. For the moment, we want to question Childers the source of his evidence and the basis of his theory.
It turns out that this alleged INS call in "March, April or May of 2001" is nowhere to be found and Mr. He testified that he could not remember the date. The Bakers did not produce any INS phone call records, nor did they subpoena any INS officer for testimony.
There is no testimony or court record to corroborate Childers's information source though the ruling concludes that there is clear and convincing evidence to prove that Mrs. He filed her second petition to regain custody because of the INS call either in March, or April, or May of 2001. Childers himself was not even sure of which month, how could he label it as "clear and convincing evidence?"
In his deposition taken on December 20, 2001, Jack He testified that he received two calls from INS, one in 1999 and one in 2000, but he could not recall the specifics, such as the month or date, but the two INS phone calls were triggered by the Bakers, who all along had been trying to have the He family deported before the custody litigation was over.
In his final ruling, Childers very specifically wrote the year (2001), the months (March, April, and May), and even went so far as to write "... the second telephone call from the INS", and qualitatively made up the "cause and effect" relationship "INS call caused the Hes to file custody petition". However, the court record (Jack He's deposition) shows that the second call from INS was in the year 2000 and Mrs. He filed custody petition in April 2001. To quote the deposition:
Q. And you were contacted by the Immigration Service before that?
A. Yes. One time in '99, one time in 2000.
Q. In 2000 after February of 2000?
A. I cannot remember the month
(The video deposition of Shaoqiang He, December 20, 2001, page 70,L10-14)
We have painstakingly checked each and every detail of all the court record and found that nowhere did any witness testify that the Hes received an INS call in March, April or May of 2001. There is no paper trail that shows any verification with INS on any of the alleged call(s). We exhaustively searched all trial transcripts and testimonies, and we can not find anything that remotely resembles "March, April or May of 2001".
Childers simply fabricated the 2001 INS call "evidence" out of thin air.
We know that Childers can not provide any court record to refute this charge, but Childers might defend himself by claiming that his source of clear and convincing evidence came from divine revelations. If so, then we may allow him to contact INS now to verify the phone call record. We know with one hundred percent certainty that there was no such INS call in March, April or May of 2001.
Childers knew that it would be too farfetched to correlate an INS phone call in 2000 with Mrs. He's April 2001 custody petition. Faced with this insurmountable obstacle in reaching his goal of terminating Hes' parental rights, he had no other choice but to fabricate this false evidence of a 2001 INS call. Not only that, Childers also deliberately assigned to this fabricated event an approximate timing around the Hes' second petition to make his ruling more deceptive.
Then Childers employed a series of logical and legal twisting to establish his willful abandonment conclusion with the ultimate goal of terminating Hes' parental rights, as we will prove next.
Let's take a look at Childers's theory with respect to the relationship between the Hes' fight to gain custody of AMH and INS deportation:
- the Hes only sought custody of AMH to prevent the Hes' deportation,
- Mrs. He only seems to be interested in regaining custody of AMH when deportation seems imminent. This fact is evidenced by Mrs. He filing the two (2) petitions to modify custody in close proximity to receiving calls from the United States Immigration & Naturalization Service ("INS") regarding Mr. and Mrs. Hes' immigration status.
- Mrs. Hes' willful failure to seek reinstatement of visitation with AMH demonstrates that her goal in filing the Petition to Modify to regain custody was for the sole purpose of remaining in the United States and avoiding deportation. Mrs. Hes' failure to ask the Court to reinstate visitation with AMH, when she could have easily done so, evinces Mrs. Hes' willful abandonment of AMH.
- Mr. He received a telephone call from the INS, regarding Mr. and Mrs. Hes' immigration status, around the same time the Hes signed the May 2000 Petition to Modify in Juvenile Court. Due to the close proximity of the call from the INS and the filing of the petition, the evidence shows that the Hes wanted to retain some parental rights only for the purpose of remaining in the United States.
- Mr. He received a second telephone call from the INS regarding the Hes' current immigration status in the United States sometime in March, April, or May, 2001, around the same time that Mrs. He filed a second Petition to modify custody in the Juvenile Court. Again, due to the close proximity of the call from the INS and the filing of the petition, the evidence shows that Mrs. He wanted to retain some parental rights for the sole purpose of avoiding deportation.
- From June 4, 1999, through June 20, 2001, the frequency and duration of the Hes' visits with AMH evinced their intention to have only enough contact with AMH to serve the Hes' stated objective to avoid deportation.
On or about the times that the Hes filed a petition to modify custody, Mr. He had been contacted by the INS regarding the Hes' illegal alien status.
The United States Immigration officials have suspended the Hes' deportation proceedings until this cause is concluded.
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
Childers allows for no good will whatsoever in the Hes' actions and assigns nefarious intent to Hes' pure actions such as filing petitions to regain custody. Just as law professor Lubet pointed out, Childers "draws every possible adverse inference against the Hes, many of them with seemingly no support at all while not using the same reasoning with the Bakers."
Regarding Childers's "proximity of time" leading to "clear and convincing evidence" methodology, David Siegel, the Hes' counsel, made the following comment, "if you were doing something, and it happened to rain, would you attribute the cause of your actions to raining? Of course not!"
Childers fabricated the "March, April or May 2001" INS call evidence(see Statement 10.1), but for the benefit of our analysis, let's assume for the moment that the call did happen, what would be the possibilities in relation to Hes' filing of April 9, 2001 custody petition?
If the INS call had been before April 9 of 2001, i.e., before the filing of the petition, the possibilities would have been (but not limited to)
- The INS call and the Petition were unrelated
- The INS call caused Hes to file the Petition, because the Hes were afraid of losing the child if deported prior to the conclusion of the custody case
- The INS call caused Hes to file the petition, but because of other reasons.
If the INS call had been after April 9 of 2001 (April 10, 2001 to May 31, 2001), the possibilities would have been (but not limited to)
- The INS call and the Petition were unrelated
- The Petition caused the INS call
- The INS call which happened in the future of filing the petition caused the Hes to file petition (illogical, but Childers may rule that the Hes have supernatural powers to predict future and foresee the upcoming call, or there might be Star Trek style time shifting in which future events cause past events).
From the incomplete list of possibilities above, we see that the close proximity of time between the two events can in no way lead to "clear and convincing evidence" of anything, because the core component of "clear and convincing" evidence excludes ambiguity, multiple possibilities or inferential evidence.
However, Childers decided that the fabricated INS call, no matter whether it had been before or after the April 9, 2001 petition, led to a singular conclusion in the Hes' state of mind that they filed to avoid deportation by the INS.
Now let's look at how Childers twisted the Hes' action (Mrs. He's 2nd petition filed in April 2001 to regain custody) and how Childers "tried to divert people's attention by spewing venom at the Hes" in order to establish his willful abandonment conclusion:
Childers repeatedly stated that by retaining parental rights of Anna Mae, the Hes could remain in the U.S. (Or what else can he say?) whereas the Bakers argued that the Hes tried to take Anna Mae from them and return to China. But Childers did not give any logical or legal link between retaining parental rights of Anna Mae and avoidance of deportation. First, the fact that Anna Mae was born in the U.S. with U.S. citizenship cannot explain Childers's line of reasoning because the Hes have a second child, Andy, born in October of 2000, also on the U.S. soil. Similarly, Andy has US citizenship. The Hes have always had custodial and parental rights of Andy, which can never be explained by Childers's crooked theory.
If asylum status (or other permanent status) naturally followed from merely being a parent/guardian of a US-born child, then the Hes did not see any need to regain custody of Anna Mae to satisfy the INS. Furthermore, there was no way for the Hes to predict or estimate the cost (time and money) of such a custody battle, given the fact that the Hes took legal actions to compel return of their daughter more than four years ago. Anyway, there is no law that says that because you have children born in U.S. or that your children are U.S. citizens, you won't be deported.
Then Childers might defend his theory by arguing that the Hes thought they could avoid deportation by regaining custody of AMH. That argument, again, does not withstand any simple scrutiny: the Hes have two other children, Andy and Avita, born on the U.S. soil. Even if they thought so, they did not need to have custody of more than one US born child to avoid deportation. So, if we believe Childers's theory, there had to be something special about Anna Mae beyond her being a U.S. citizen to give her the special power to ensure that her parents, if granted custody rights of her, can remain in the U.S. Is it because of her gender? No, because the Hes have another US born daughter, or because of her name? or her race, or her age? Or the simple fact that she's in dispute?
Again, Childers twisted each instance to divert people's attention by spewing venom at the Hes. The central issue remains: termination of someone's parental rights requires a heightened burden of proof, clear and convincing evidence, not just by guessing or inferential evidence. Neither Mrs. He nor Mr. He nor any other witness ever testified that the Hes filed petitions to regain custody of AMH "for the sole purpose of remaining in the United States and avoiding deportation." Only two people said that: crusader Larry Parrish and Judge Robert Childers. My Parrish often contradicted himself on this point. Actually, the Bakers alleged that the Hes tried to take Anna Mae away from them and return to China, "Because of the one child rule was forced abortions. And that forced IUD implants for 12 and 13 years old. And she doesn't deserve to have to go through that." -- Jerry Baker on CNN.
If one backs away from Childers's distorted colored glasses and look at things as they are, objectively and realistically, he/she can explain the correlation, if any, between the INS calls and the Hes' filings of custody petitions. When people are preparing to move, the first thing they want to make sure about is that they take their children with them. The Hes never intended to give up Anna Mae, so when they feared there was a chance that they might be deported, they filed petitions to get their daughter back so that the entire family could leave the U.S. together. The petitions are just what they are: the Hes' efforts to regain their daughter. The petitions showed that the Hes never abandoned or intended to abandon Anna Mae. But Childers, through his colored glasses, concluded it was the other way around.
In order to substantiate his theory, Childers knows that he has to do one thing: totally discredit the Chinese couple's testimony. Although Childers deemed the Hes cheats and frauds, the crucial facts cannot be denied: each time in court (whether immigration, criminal, Chancery or juvenile) Mr. and Mrs. He consistently testified that they wanted to return to China with their daughter, AMH, and so they never filed any applications whatsoever with US immigration department for any type of permanency status. From April 1999 to February 2003, Mr. He was charged with a felony (a baseless charge, of which Mr. He was acquitted by a jury trial) and accordingly had to stay in Memphis to fight for a speedy trial. It is worth noting that Mr. He refused all court plea bargains and insisted on a jury trial to prove his innocence. It was the Bakers who made all possible attempts to have INS deport the Hes (exhibits will be attached) without their first daughter, Anna Mae.
In May of 2001, right after the Hes filed the second petition to regain custody of their first daughter, AMH, they sent their son, Andy, a U.S. citizen, to China, for fear of losing him if the Bakers succeeded in having Mr. He convicted (on numerous occasions Bakers sent their relatives to Mr. He's criminal court and lobbied jurors outside the courtroom. There are at least five people who witnessed their questionable activities.) The Hes' fear of losing Andy was reduced only after the Chinese Embassy in D.C. communicated with the US deportation judge, who ruled that family union is a top priority over other civil matters and the Hes could stay until the AMH case is concluded. Soon Mr. and Mrs. He arranged to have their son returned to them from China in 2003. Childers was fully aware of this fact. For example, in his ruling, he wrote:
The Hes paid someone to take their younger son, Andy, to the Peoples Republic of China during the month of May 2001.
About the Hes' April 9, 2001 petition, Childers wrote: "Again, due to the close proximity of the call from the INS and the filing of the petition, the evidence shows that Mrs. He wanted to retain some parental rights for the sole purpose of avoiding deportation."
Can Childers explain the close proximity of the INS call and the Hes' sending Andy to China? Can Childers explain the close proximity of filing the April 9, 2001 petition to regain custody of Anna Mae and sending Andy to China? Can Childers discover other "clear and convincing evidence" from the close proximities of these events?
What is Childers's definition of "clear and convincing evidence" used to terminate someone's constitutionally protected parental rights?
As understood by the Hes, U.S. law requires that children of aliens born in the U.S. live with their parents, here or abroad, but that these children can come back to U.S. when they become eighteen years old, as they are U.S. citizens. The Immigration Court held several deportation hearings regarding the Hes and noted that if they were deported, their son Andy and daughter Avita, both born in the U.S. and both U.S. citizens, would be deported along with them. This common-sense knowledge was crystal clear to the Bakers, who had been actively seeking to have the INS deport the He family (of course without Anna Mae). In October of 2002, the INS delayed the decision to deport the He family until the conclusion of the Anna Mae case, for humanitarian considerations. The INS and Federal Court's decision was not in any way controllable by the Hes, and their decision to delay deportation reflects common human conscience and respect for human rights.
Here is a quote from a national newspaper, USA TODAY, published on February 22, 2004:
Memphis immigration lawyer Lynn Susser, who also worked for the Hes free after reading the USA TODAY story, persuaded an immigration judge in December to postpone a decision on deportation until custody is decided. Zhou of the Chinese Embassy praised the decision as "strongly humanitarian." Parrish says the failure of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to deport the Hes is "mind-boggling."
The four-year-custody-battle history shows that the Hes, not the Bakers, repeatedly asked Memphis courts for a speedy trial to decide the custody and reclaim their daughter, knowing that they would be deported by the INS at the conclusion of the case regardless of the outcome. The four-year-custody-battle history also shows that the Hes never made a single attempt to gain permanent residence in the United States. China is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, with abundant job opportunities for educated people. Mr. He was a college professor prior to coming to USA and still has a college professor position waiting for him. In order to fight the well extended battle for the return of his daughter, Mr. He has been suffering all kinds of public shame and has to work as a menial table wiper in low paying Chinese restaurants, frequently being intimidated by subpoenas issued to his employers by Bakers' counsel. In comparison, the position as a college professor in China is far more decent, respectable, and appealing to Mr. He.
As is well known, there are many different ways for a Chinese immigrant to gain permanent residency in the United States, some legal and others illegal. For instance, Mr. and Mrs. He never attempted to get a green card through employment, or 425 (i) clause, or green card lottery, or political asylum, or marriage to US citizens, etc. They never attempted to remain in the US illegally and secretly. Actually they have always been open with INS about their immigration status. Unlike many other illegal aliens residing in the U.S., who simply remain secret and off the vision and scope of the US immigration radar screen, Mr. and Mrs. He turned themselves in to the INS and routinely report their address with the INS.
Despite Childers's painstaking efforts to prove that the Chinese couple's sole purpose was to avoid deportation, it turned out that such evidence was non-existent and he had to furiously rely on second guessing and fact distortion to reach his untrue conclusion:
Mr. He received a second telephone call from the INS regarding the Hes' current immigration status in the United States sometime in March, April, or May, 2001, around the same time that Mrs. He filed a second Petition to modify custody in the Juvenile Court. Again, due to the close proximity of the call from the INS and the filing of the petition, the evidence shows that Mrs. He wanted to retain some parental rights for the sole purpose of avoiding deportation.
(Childers's ruling, grounds for termination of Hes' parental rights).
Of course, Hon. Robert L. Childers is a very experienced legal expert, who understands the above laws, facts, and reasoning. His theory that the Hes fought for their parental and custodial rights of Anna Mae for the sole purpose of avoiding deportation is not the product of his ignorance, but the product of his willful distortion of facts with the purpose of reaching his predetermined judgment to terminate the Hes' parental rights.
Throughout Judge Childers's opinion, he cites numerous remarks allegedly made by the Hes. Yet he deliberatively leaves out references to the source of his quotes. To some gullible readers without any background of the case, his opinion is plausible because those words seem to be taken directly from the Hes' testimony, when in fact they are exclusively from the Bakers' hearsay testimonies. For example, the comments allegedly made by the Hes during their 80 some visits to AMH are all from the Bakers' testimony, and the Hes categorically denied them in their testimony.
The following are some other such examples in Childers's opinion:
Mr. He told Mr. Baker that the Hes were going to ship AMH to China, but he did not want to do that because the death rate of children of AMH's gender was fifty (50%) percent in the Peoples Republic of China.
Mr. He fears returning AMH to the Peoples Republic of China because the death rate for children of AMH's gender is fifty (50%) percent in that country.
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
After reading Childers's opinion, anyone who lacks the background information, even those in Chinese Embassy, D.C. would be under the misguided impression that somehow and somewhere Mr. He testified to this outright fallacy with respect to female mortality rate in China. The truth Childers does not want the public to know is that this statement is from Mr. Baker's testimony, who said he got the information from Mr. He during one of their visits of Anna Mae. Mr. Baker alleged that Mr. He told him, but Mr. Baker admitted that he could not furnish any paper trail or a third witness. Mr. He has categorically and consistently denied saying this.
As ruled by Judge Childers, Mr. He is a highly educated and intelligent person. He holds multiple masters' degrees and has a good education on subjects such as statistics. A simple mathematical calculation will show what it would mean for a country if the 50% death rate for one gender stood true: it would mean a two-to-one gender ratio in China's population, i.e., two male to one female; it also would mean a 25% death rate of all Chinese children! You may imagine the consequences if the number of Chinese males is greater than that of Chinese females by 50%!
No one who is intelligent and educated like Mr. He would make such a nonsensical statement; and no one (with some common sense and education) would believe such a statement. But by deliberately masquerading the Bakers' hearsay testimonies as the Hes' own testimonies, Judge Childers established the false finding that the intelligent Mr. He made the above idiotic statement.
Judge Childers concludes in his ruling that everything said by Mr. He has no credibility and everything said by Mr. Baker has 100% credibility. If Childers consistently adheres to this conclusion of his own, then those nonsensical statements allegedly said by Mr. He but repeated by Mr. Baker should be accordingly judged incredible, because Mr. Baker cannot turn Mr. He's lies into truth by simply repeating them. This is common sense, and Childers knows it very well.
Here is a good example to demonstrate that Judge Childers has perfect understanding of this simple logic and cleverly applied it in his ruling:
When treating the testimony by an expert witness, Dr. Yih-Jia Chang, Childers ruled:
Dr. Chang testified, as to Mr. He, that she based her opinion about Mr. He's mental health on her clinical evaluation, mental status examination, and the MMPI test results. Dr. Chang testified that her clinical evaluation and mental status examination of Mr. He were based on questions she asked of and responses given by, Mr. He. The Court finds the credibility of Mr. He to be seriously lacking; therefore, the opinions given by Dr. Chang, based on Mr. He's credibility, are entitled to no weight.
Childers's logic is straightforward, because Mr. He lacks credibility, everything said by Mr. He must be discounted. So, even for a mental-health evaluation by a qualified expert, Childers did not forget to rule that the evaluation result was useless, because it was "based on questions she asked of, and responses given by, Mr. He." Hon. Robert L. Childers is making a new case law here: if a subject in a psychological test lacks credibility, then the MMPI test is not admissible to court as a mental-health evaluation.
Yet Childers based his findings on Mr. Baker's hearsay testimony, treating Mr. He's statements as the absolute gospel truth when they were repeated by his favored witness, Mr. Baker. In other words, Childers chooses to believe Mr. He when his words bolster the Bakers' case to terminate the Hes' parental rights, and disbelieves Mr. He when his words contradict the prejudgment already planted in the back of his mind.
In the best-interest argument, Judge Childers said, "Mr. He fears returning AMH to the Peoples Republic of China because the death rate for children of AMH's gender is fifty (50%) percent in that country." As stated earlier, these words are Mr. Baker's claims about what Mr. He had allegedly told him four years earlier. If Judge Childers rules that Mr. He is a liar without any credibility, then this statement should be discounted as nonfactual, in exactly the same way that Childers gave no weight to Dr. Chang's evaluation.
All along in his ruling, Childers painstakingly tries to have it both ways.
The best interest determination should be based on facts. If Childers thinks that Mr. He is totally void of credibility, then those hearsay words, although from a 100% honest and sincere Mr. Baker, should not be found as a fact. Judge Childers should use true facts in determining whether China would be a suitable home for Anna Mae.
The fact is, according to authoritative sources such as the CIA factbook, the female infant mortality rate in China and the female infant mortality rate in U.S.A. are comparable. Yet Judge Childers did not even bother to investigate the factual accuracy of these alleged statements before using them as a basis for such a serious decision. He has easy access to a wide variety of authoritative information resources and sufficient time to verify each piece of available data. Yet, because the decision was already made in his mind, Childers deliberately adopted the bogus notion of nonsensical Chinese female mortality rate to establish his best-interest conclusion.
This is yet another clear and convincing evidence of Childers's bias, prejudice and prejudgment.
Judge Childers also ruled that "[t]he Court concludes, by clear and convincing evidence, that there is parental misconduct or inability to parent by the Hes."
"Parental misconduct" and "the inability to parent" are two different accusations. Misconduct is a deliberate wrongdoing; and inability is the lack of ability. If Judge Childers's evidence is so clear and convincing, and given the fact he spent 40 days from the day the trial was over (03/02/2004) to the day of Closing Argument (04/12/2004) and another 30 days deliberating on his verdict (4/12/2004 to 5/12/2004), can't he decide with certainty which one of the two (or both) accusations ought to be used against the Hes in his final ruling?
Can't he tell the public which one he adopts and what clear evidence he finds?
The Court-appointed guardian, attorney Kim Mullins, a credible witness by Childers's standards, under the order of the Court, went to the Hes' home and observed how the Hes parented their other two children. She then wrote a report and testified before Childers that everything she saw was okay, the parents were okay, the kids were okay, and the Hes' parenting skills were okay. This Court-appointed guardian testified under oath before Childers that the Hes do have the ability to parent.
The Hes visited their first child, AMH, about 80 times in the first two years. Even the Bakers never testified that Mr. He or Mrs. He or both were observed to have committed "parental misconduct" or showed an "inability to parent" in their interactions with AMH. Credible witnesses (again by Childers's standards) such as Elizabeth Marshall and William Webb also testified that Mr. and Mrs. He never engaged in any bad habits, like smoking, drinking, drug abuse, gambling, child abuse, etc.
The Court-appointed guardian also reported and testified that she did not see any sign of parental misconduct with respect to the Hes' other children. As for Anna Mae, there were no allegations or evidence of parental misconduct by the Hes when she lived with them, and there were no allegations or evidence of parental misconduct during the Hes' 80 times of visits before they were escorted out of the Bakers' home by the police. Therefore, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Hes ever engaged in parental misconduct with respect to any of their children.
We want this question to be directly addressed:
Hon. Robert L. Childers, would you please furnish us with a single shred of "clear and convincing evidence" to support your bogus statement that "there is parental misconduct or inability to parent by the Hes" in your final ruling?
Just as one observer commented, "Childers never proved the Hes are unfit parents. What he did prove is that his version of justice is biased." (Wendi C. Thomas).
It is clear that Childers was willfully making up false charges against the Hes.
As his grounds for Termination of Hes' Parental Rights, Childers concluded in his ruling that "The physical environment of the Hes' home is unhealthy and unsafe".
What was the evidence? Childers did not specify. The only related evidence that we could find in Childers's ruling was a testimony from Mr. Baker, who stated he found the Hes' apartment had a foul smell when he made a single trip there in 1999. In his ruling Childers cited Mr. Baker's testimony that there were fish bones left over from the Hes' cooking as evidence of their lack of cleanliness. There is nothing in the sanitation laws in Memphis that defines the presence of fish bones as being unhealthy. If Mr. Baker's brief statement is to be taken to prove that the Hes' home was unhealthy and unsafe, then the standards of health and safety should have been cited. They were not.
Furthermore, Guardian Ad Litem Kim Mullins, Linda Holmes, and Mr. Siegel visited the Hes' home in November 2003 and were apparently pleased with their living conditions and environment. As part of her duties, Ms. Mullins must have submitted a report to the Court stating her evaluation or impression of the Hes' physical home environment. During the trial presided over by Judge Childers, Ms. Mullins also testified about her visits to the Hes' home and her observations, and she basically stated that everything was fine.
Why didn't Ms. Mullins, Mrs. Holmes, or Mr. Siegel complain about the odor or other problems? Did Judge Childers make an unspoken conclusion of law that places Mr. Baker's nose at a higher level of credibility? Or is it because he finds Mr. Baker a better witness than the court's own appointed officers?
Once again, Judge Childers chose to ignore those facts that are contrary to his prejudgment.
As required by state laws, a trial judge in deciding termination of parental rights should not compare the two sets of families (birth parents and non-related adoptive parents), in terms of their cultural and financial issues. "It seemed to me that the court (Childers) was trying a case in which two people were divorcing and someone was trying to get custody," commented attorney Zawisza, a writer of state custody statutes.
However, Childers did not want to follow state laws and chose to compare the financial situation of the two families. Even so, his comparison was also based on a distorted perspective: Childers showed obvious favoritism toward the Bakers. He made a point that Mr. Baker earned $435,000 in the year 2001 working at Pinnfund USA. But he failed to mention that Pinnfund was closed that year by SEC for security fraud and embezzlement of investments by the management. Childers ignored the fact that Pinnfund management defrauded over three hundred million dollars from its investors and that Mr. Baker was then a regional manager at Pinnfund, USA.
It is also a fact (stipulated in Childers's court) that the Bakers have a history of filing bankruptcy to discharge personal credit card debts, but Judge Childers did not take note of it in his ruling. Another set of facts seem relevant. Mrs. Baker has been a full-time homemaker for about ten years. Her income has been little or nothing most of that time. The Bakers have four teenage biological children. So Mr. Baker has a large family to support. Given the fact that the Bakers filed "Chapter 7" bankruptcy a few years ago and appear to be facing another, it would appear there is no guarantee that they will be able to support Anna Mae. (Mr. Baker testified that he has recently accumulated large debts on credit cards and has to find a second job to avoid another bankruptcy. In the years 2001 and 2002 Mr. Baker had to change jobs more than three times!)
Childers never took into account the Bakers' financial irresponsibility and instability in his best-interest argument. Common sense tells us that in determining someone's financial situation, one must not only consider the dollar amount of this person's annual income, but also the number of dependents this person has to support. In contrast to the Bakers, Mr. and Mrs. He have excellent credit history and never filed any type of bankruptcy.
In his ruling, Childers discounted the Hes' cultural expert, Dr. John Copper's credibility based on his bankruptcy court's finding. Yet, Mr. Baker's credit history of filing bankruptcy and his management role in a firm that defrauded over three hundred million dollars was never a concern to Childers. In his opinion, Mr. Baker purely impressed Childers as a sincere, honest, straightforward, and, more important, high-income witness.
We can only conclude that Childers discriminated against the Chinese couple.
Regarding the February 8, 2002 no-contact order, Judge Childers wrote:
"The Court entered the February 8, 2002, no-contact' order because, on February 7, 2002, the Court had ordered the Hes to deliver AMH's passport to the Clerk & Master by 4:00 P.M. that day. At 4:00 P.M. on February 7, 2002, the Hes' counsel telephoned the Court and advised the Court that the Hes had no intention of complying with the Court's order, and the Court then entered the "no-contact" order the next day."
(Judge Childers's final opinion)
However, on March 2, 2004, Larry Parrish, the Counsel for the Bakers and co-author of the February 8, 2002 no-contact order, testified under oath before Judge Childers that the no-contact order was issued and signed during private meetings between the Court and Larry Parrish. The no-contact order was signed by Parrish and the Court only. The Hes and their counsel at the time had no knowledge whatsoever of this no-contact order and learned only later when the order was delivered to them.
The Guardian Ad Litem, Ms. Kim Mullins, also testified under oath during her cross-examinations by both David Siegel and Larry Parrish on March 1, 2004, that she had no knowledge of the no-contact order until it had become a record.
These testimonies of Parrish and Mullins were reported and posted on the Internet by WREG during the trial. The Hes have openly criticized the Court for issuing this no-contact order in private meetings between the Court and Larry Parrish, without a motion, without an open hearing, and without any proof taken.
At the hearing of February 7, 2002, there was no discussion of guardianship and visitation issues. Judge Alissandratos signed orders titled ORDERS ON MOTIONS, ON CASE MANAGEMENT AND AN INJUNCTION for that hearing almost a week later, on February 12, 2002. Unbeknown to the He family and their attorney, Alissandratos and Mr. Parrish had a meeting in private right after the hearing and decided to grant guardianship to the Bakers. On the morning of February 8, 2002, they entered orders granting the Bakers guardianship and prohibiting the Hes from having direct or indirect contact (not even supervised or written contact) with their daughter. The He family and attorney Dennis Sossaman came to know about these orders only several days later, after the ex parte orders were signed and served to the other counsels.
During the recent trial presided over by Judge Childers, the Hes and their counsel raised many questions regarding the origin (why and how) of the two court orders (guardianship and no contact) signed by Alissandratos on February 8, 2002. For example, why did Judge Alissandratos issue the "no contact" order in the first place and why did the judge bar the Hes from contacting their daughter even indirectly? And why did the judge have a private meeting with the Bakers' counsel regarding the two court orders?
On March 1, 2004, Guardian Ad Litem Kim Mullins was repeatedly questioned about these two orders, and she basically gave an "I don't know" answer. On March 2, 2004, attorney Ad Litem Linda Holmes called Parrish to testify. According to Parrish's sworn testimony, on February 7, 2002, after the hearing was over and after others, including the Hes and their counsel, had left the courtroom, Parrish and Judge Alissandratos stayed in the room and drafted the orders. Parrish claimed that Judge Alissandratos invited him to stay and dictated the orders. Both Alissandratos and Parrish wasted no time drafting the two orders and signed them the next morning!
The following are the quotes from the March 1, 2004 transcript.
Mr. Siegel: Ms. Mullins, as the guardian Ad Litem in this case, was it not important for you to determine how the No Contact order was issued?
Ms. Mullins: I guess I didn't...
Mr. Siegel: All I'm asking you is just to respond to my question. Did you do anything at all to corroborate or conduct any investigation to determine why the No Contact order was issued, since we know you don't know why it was issued, my next question is, what did you do to investigate as the guardian Ad Litem for this child why a No Contact order would be issued?
Ms. Mullins: I really don't know the answer. Sorry.
(Transcript, March 1, 2004, examination of Kim Mullins,
page 87 L5-7, L17, page 88 L7-14)
Mr. Parrish: And as far as this No Contact order was concerned, you don't have any memory of it until after it was put down after the Chancellor signed it?
Ms. Mullins: No, I really don't.
(Transcript, March 1, 2004, examination of Kim Mullins,
page 165, L9-13)
To quote Parrish's testimony:
So, the hearing ended on February 7th, and the court reporter has winding up and everybody was winding up and headed out of the court, and Mr. Alissandratos had stood up and started to leave the bench. And I can tell you exactly where I was standing in the Chancery Court, and he turned around to me and he said, draft me an order on making this Court the guardian. He didn't ask me what I thought about that or anything else. He just told me that, and he said, I want No Contact until I order otherwise. Bring me an order tomorrow. He didn't want this included in any of the other orders. I was taking instructions only.
(Transcript, March 2, 2004, examination of Parrish,
So the no-contact order was, based on Parrish's testimony before Childers, an ex-parte order; the Hes filed a formal complaint with the Tennessee Court of Judiciary against Judge Alissandratos with respect to this ex parte court order.
But, a couple of weeks later (around March 18, 2004), both Kim Mullins and Larry Parrish claimed that their under-oath testimonies regarding the no-contact order were "incorrect." They filed a motion to re-open proof and came up with a conference-call story. This made-up story could not be confirmed by the Hes' counsel, Mr. Sossaman, who recently stated to the Court of Judiciary that he does remember the conference call, but has "zero recollection of no-contact instructions being given on that conference call."
Attorney Sossaman's personal letters to his clients further indicated that he became aware of the "no contact" order on February 11 and then informed his clients, the Hes, of this harsh order in a timely manner.
From his ruling, Childers adopted the modified story by Mullins and Parrish as 100% truth, despite the colossal discrepancies between the two versions of the story. Childers, Parrish and Mullins basically rewrote the legal definition of "perjury."
Under this scheme, they the privileged few can say whatever they want under oath in Court, and then they can casually rewrite that under-oath testimony for free. (On the other hand, Jack He's deposition that he could borrow one million dollars is forever a criminal perjury, to be brought up by Parrish, Alissandratos and Childers again and again in court and in Childers's ruling.)
Even if Childers wanted to make a point about the no-contact order, there was no need for him to go into that great detail in his conclusion of law. When talking about all other events in his ruling, he never provided that depth of detail. There was no single other place where Childers mentioned clock time. For example, for the January 28, 2001 incident, clock time is vital to determine whether "that day" makes sense, but Childers did not mention at all that the time of that incident was late in the afternoon (about 4:40 when the police escorted the Hes out of the Bakers' property.)
Childers's version of the "no-contact order" story referred to the 4:00 P.M. time not once, but twice. Childers paid extraordinary attention and was extremely sensitive to the timing of the no-contact order issued by Alissandratos. Such precise timing is completely irrelevant to the decision of the termination of parental rights matter, but is of utmost value to Judge Alissandratos in his defense against misconduct charges.
The Hes' complaint against Judge Alissandratos was confidential. Childers should have had no knowledge about its details. However, Judge Alissandratos did give Childers a confidential complaint rebuttal letter written by the Hes. But in that letter there were no details of the complaint. The fact that Childers intentionally defended Judge Alissandratos's no-contact order clearly shows that he somehow knew the details of the complaint and tried to cover up Alissandratos's judicial misconduct.
If we put everything in context, then we will be able to gain a deeper insight into the style, the content, the logic, and the intentions in Childers's ruling. Childers wrote the ruling, at least in part, for Mr. Alissandratos. In fact, Judge Alissandratos intentionally delayed his response to our rebuttal in rebuking him until after he had had a copy of Childers's ruling in hand, and then hungrily quoted relevant opinions from the ruling for his own defense.
We request the Court of Judiciary fully investigate Hon. Robert L. Childers to verify all the charges listed in this 46-page complaint.
The evidence we have presented above is clear and convincing. Childers's misconduct includes omitting crucial evidence, lying, distorting facts, making up arbitrary false charges, discrimination, prejudging, violation of confidentiality & civil rights, and many other forms of misconduct.
The Hes are poor Chinese immigrants, but while they are in U.S., they should be treated equally by the U.S. legal system. Judge Childers can't be allowed to undermine the integrity of the U.S. legal system just because the Hes are Chinese. The system shouldn't allow him to do so. Otherwise, he can do much more damage to the system than the Iraqi prisoner abusers. As a U.S. judge, the damage caused by Childers will be from within the system and will crack the very foundation of this great system, this great nation, and this great civilization. If Childers is allowed to set such a dangerous precedent, its negative impact will be everlasting and beyond the State of Tennessee. What's at stake for the Hes is their family union and their civil rights; what's at stake for the Court is the integrity of the system and the public faith in that system, the very confidence that Childers pretentiously sought to inspire but was eventually undermined by issuing a biased ruling and making such ruling a matter of public record and public shame.
We request that the U.S. Department of Justice and other concerned institutions to take serious actions on the evidence, to protect the system from being corrupted by persons like Childers, and to protect the rights of those who suffer as a result of his twisted version of "justice." To safeguard the integrity of the U.S. legal system and to preserve the public faith in Tennessee judicial system, a full investigation must be expeditiously conducted into Childers's conduct before the truth is forever lost.
With all due respect, Hon. Robert L. Childers must be held accountable for what he did to the innocent people and to the great system.
The world is watching and waiting for true justice.
Shaoqiang He and wife
Casey Luo He
421 Enquiree Court, Apt. 301
Cordova, TN 38018
Robert Childers' May 12 ruling on terminating Hes' parental rights
Robert Childers's May 14 public defense before news media
Bakers' and Parrish's trial testimony under oath
Guardian Ad Litem's court testimony under oath
June 6 of 2001 hearing transcripts by Judge Horne
Finding of facts/trial brief by Mr. He's attorney, David Siegel
Anna Mae Case: A Test for the U.S. Judicial System
He Case Update - July 5, 2004
Anna Mae Case: A shaky legal case keeps family apart
He Case Update - December 28, 2003
Lawyers offer aid to Hes: 3 schools want to submit briefs
He Case Update - December 11, 2004
Update January 3, 2005