By | August 22, 2012 22 Comments

Family Court: A Psychopath’s Playground for Legally Sanctioned Abuse

As a young child, my parents always called me the “party police”.  I was the good girl who never liked to see people breaking the rules.  I never smoked, never drank underage, never did drugs, and never stole anything.  I grew up believing in justice and always believed that the courts and the police would protect me if and when I needed them.  That belief ended when I entered a custody war with Luc (my psychopath ex).

Going through a custody war with a sociopath will change the way you view the justice system.  In fact, most of my time in court with Luc felt more like an “injustice” system than anything that resembled justice.  The painful lessons I learned about how our system works rocked me to my core.

As a parent who is madly in love with her baby boy (which most parents are), my maternal instincts were telling me to fight this man with everything I had.  That being said, the very nature of our courts and what was happening throughout the trial felt like it was taking my stress to new levels.  As I became weaker emotionally, Luc became stronger.  He would file ridiculous motions to drive up my bills, sling as much mud at the walls of the court hoping that something would stick, and always find lawyers willing to represent him for free (or believing he would someday pay them back) and psychologists to make excuses for his immoral and criminal behavior.

Legal Abuse Syndrome and PTSD

Shortly after I fled Luc’s house with my son, my therapist diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  He then explained to me that he believed I had something called “Legal Abuse Syndrome”.  I had never heard this term so I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that Legal abuse refers to abuses associated with both civil and criminal legal action.  This abuse can originate from all parts of the legal system to include frivolous and vexatious litigants, abuses by law enforcement, incompetent, careless or corrupt attorneys and misconduct from the judiciary itself.  Legal abuse is a personal injury that develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud. Abuse of power and authority and a profound lack of accountability in our courts have become rampant.

Sociopaths and legal abuse

From what I have learned through both my independent research and my experiences, sociopaths enjoy chaos.  They like to inflict pain on their victims in a way that appears sadistic.  These individuals seem to flourish in Family Courts because its legally sanctioned abuse.  I fled Luc’s house with my newborn son just weeks after baby boy was born.  Even though I filed for custody a few days after leaving, Luc waited three months before he responded to my motion for custody.  During those three months I didn’t hear anything from Luc about my son – not a text, a phone call, an email – nothing.  So why did he wait so long?  He wanted to wait until the day when he believed he would inflict as much pain as possible.  He officially filed a response to the motion on my birthday.

Luc came into my life and completely destroyed my belief in law and order.  One of the most painful lessons that I had to learn throughout my court battle with Luc was that psychopaths don’t play by normal rules.  This is true in their lives and it is certainly the case in the courtroom.  The most disturbing part about this was that Luc would get away with many of his lies because it would come down to my word against his.  He knew how to play the game and what he could get away with.  It was hard for me, at first, to anticipate his next move and prepare myself for the chaos.  Laws are not always enforced and true criminals are experts at figuring out which laws they can break and which are so hard to prove that no prosecutor will bother taking the case.  Psychopaths have a reckless disregard for the law and this allows them to play the system against us.

Overcoming Legal Abuse Syndrome and “The Death of Justice”

I still struggle with panic attacks when I think of all the things Luc has been able to do to me through the legal system and what he is capable of doing next.  Sometimes it feels like Luc has stabbed me right outside of a Police Station.  Instead of arresting Luc, the police rush to put me in handcuffs and arrest me for bleeding on Luc’s boots. (While apologizing to him and letting him know that they will make me buy him a new pair of shoes)

Justice as I knew it is dead and along with it went my youth and the naive version of myself.  The small piece of little girl cappuccino queen I have left inside of me is storming around and throwing a huge fit.  She is screaming and crying and stomping her feet.  Grown up cappuccino queen, however, is constantly thinking of ways to protect her son while trying to quiet the little girl inside who is throwing a royal tantrum over the death of justice.  

In my darkest moments of despair, however, I keep fighting.  I fight because I have to and because I have no other choice.  I am baby boy’s mom, I am his only healthy parent, and I love him.

In the brave words of Martin Luther King Jr.,

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

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Cappuccino Queen,

I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us. You remind me a lot of me. Like you, I was always the good girl who did everything right. Qualities that attracted my ex husband, the spath.

We’ve been divorced over 3 years but he still had control over me for the early part of those years. Last year I started to put the pieces together and learned he was indeed a sociopath. I stopped responding to him, and when necessary I spoke up for myself without fear. He hates it! So now in the last year, he has started to use the judicial system against me and he’s dragged my innocent kids into his sick game.

I know he’s not done with the judicial system and his quest to bring me down. I continue to receive emails from him and he cc’s his law team in each one. He is trying to manipulate me in these emails. It’s so obvious he is trying to build a paper trail. Until I receive another lie-filled petition, I will continue to do what I’m doing–ignore him. I am also remaining diligent by saving everything and compiling my evidence.

Good for you for removing you and your son from an awful situation!!! So many people end up staying or stay too long as I did (10 years). I will always stand up for the truth and fight for my kids. I’ve learned a lot these past few months. I have Love Fraud to thank for a big part of my new found knowledge and my steps towards finally healing 🙂

Stay strong and please keep us posted!


Dear CappuccinoQueen ~

Thank you for another great article.

Not only did I go through most of my life believing in the justice system, lollipops and rainbows, my husband has worked in the safety/law enforcement field all his career. After going through the “legal abuse” and feeling that same “death of justice”, I watched as my husband went through a deep, dark period of depression. He had spent his whole adult life committed to protecting people, yet he could not protect his own grandson from unspeakable, court sanctioned abuse and neglect. I believe the effects of this kind of treatment is something we will never fully recover from.

Your court motion was filed on your birthday – like stabbing you with a dull knife, instead of a sharp one. Our motion, came in the mail just before we were ready to sit down to a Christmas Eve Dinner, after a 5 year period of hearing nothing. We were forced to hide it from family and friends and go forward playing Santa for our grandson who had no idea his world was about to fall apart – AGAIN

I am so sorry for what you must go through to protect your innocent child. I am sending you all the courage and determination I can possibly find.

Stay strong


2nd Chance ~

Again, so sorry you are also among the victims. Have you ever considered Our Family Wizard. It is recommended by many courts. All correspondence must go through them and they keep a VERY complete records of any and all emails, The emails are automatically time stamped, when they were sent AND when they were read.

Maybe worth a “google”. I know Donna has recommended it here on LF.

Another hint on finding an attorney – try to get one that is very familiar with and practices primarily in the particular court your case is in. Snoop around and see if they are well regarded by the magistrates and judges within that court.

Best of luck and strength to you


You sound so much like me! You are using exact wording I have used all the way to your reference to the police helping him commit the crime against you!

I told my friend I felt like I was raped while the law held me down and threw him the ropes to detain me!!! Too close to your description. This is such a sick truth but I can say it is what happened from a different angle.

I have also been told about Legal Abuse Syndrome and the first time I heard that term was when I had to have a crisis team come to my home when my little girl admitted she’d been self harming for a month due to forced reunification with this animal. PTSD is a term I am also familiar with and have earned.

One of my biggest struggles was how to even begin to parent my daughter from this new state of mind when my core beliefs of the law were destroyed. My core belief in “the truth will prevail” was showing to be bunk.

How long have you been in this? Does Luc have a criminal record? Are you familiar with any lifelong patterns of his particular spath behavior?

Regarding those attorneys willing to take his case pro bono, I have found fathers rights initiative (tax payor) federal funds are being funnelled to these lawyers through non-profit organizations they have created.

With all that said nothing makes us feel better but time will show you this is in fact crime. As much as it feels like it is, it is. So your beliefs are still true but we have all been asleep as our laws became sickenly abused.

I have been going through this for 3 and a half years. I never thought he could hold up with these lies for 6 months! But the courts empowered him and made him bigger than life. While this has been terrorizing, I am seeing him unravel FINALLY! He just had an order of protection he even fought, placed on him by a harley mechanic and he is being sued. Not to mention he exposed his spath behavior to his brother from another part of the country who came to visit and when he first arrived, the word on the street was, I was bad, withholding his child, just wanting money blah blah. After spath showed he is in fact a fraud violent vile YUCK, the brother is saying my daughter should never be near him.
Oh what sweet words.

My point being, this has taken longer than I ever dreamed. But he’s unraveling. He destroyed my business, my credit, changed my daughter for life etc etc but it’s time for him to destroy himself which he does so well…………..

What you know in your heart is true. They seem oh so powerful but I looked like a POW for 2+ years of this and I see a difference in me so healing does come. Stay strong and keep getting all the support you can. People know and you are not alone.

Love and wishes,



I am so sorry you have this in your life. I know the toll it takes on every aspect of our beings. You will get through this. When my case became a reality I remember a primal scream/cry come from me I had never heard before. It came from the depths. I have been on my knees, begging God in the shower, beside my bed on my knees praying and in the fetal position crying at times.

This type of life experience is beyond words. I can honestly say I didn’t think I would make it. Here I am and by no means unharmed but better than I expected. I am still functioning at a level unacceptable to me by far.

Does Luc use religion? There are a lot of faith based father funding going on also.

If you belong to a church, I would ask if they have any kind of help. More than anything else though I think hearing others who have gone through this, are going through this and hearing they shared my same feelings kept me sane at times to know someone understood and it wasn’t wrong that I was this messed up from it.

I am concerned about our safety with the unraveling of my spath as you never know who will be the target when things fall apart. They never seem to go down alone.

Watch for any opening in your favor and don’t ever let your guard down. No more Mrs. Nice Guy…

Good luck and hang in there and feel free to ask questions.

Remember you are a good mom and blame is the name of the court game. It’s not personal. It’s happening to all us.
Don’t let any attorney bully you. I had that too.



I agree about the hard target. What blows my mind is how they’ll live a whole decade burning everyone in their path and turn around and come after you (me) with the same vengence as years ago.

His aunt said “you’re the only that was left for him to attack at the point of being released from prison”. He was using BS to con the family so if he targetted them again, he wouldn’t get their support as it would get around he wasn’t changed.

When he sent the letter from prison we’d be together wholly and completely as God does nothing in half measures and he’d prayed for 680 days, I thought he was just grasping. I in no way thought he had any true sights on me. It had been years. He asked nothing about his daughter as usual so I responded, “just leave us alone please. All you’ve ever brought to our lives was drama, trauma, and upset.” OOOOOPS!

I didn’t know the definition until he came weilding the family court power in our lives. A letter I will always regret.

He’s definitely not having the fun he thought he would have and it’s definitely not as easy as he thought to claim rights to a now 13 year old girl with hormones and attitude. LOL Oh and that expert quack he used to write a letter on his behalf pastor (unordained) LPC (former) who said he’s a changed man while he was still in prison and I knew he wasn’t from perjured affidavits he was filing to the courts, lost his LPC license from my substantiated complaint to his regulating board.

I think he’s moved on to basic targets. Got a copy of an order of protection a man filed against him in July. I wanted to thank that man…….still might.

They always step on themselves sooner or later……….May yours step on himself sooner than later…….



cappuccinoqueen ~

I hope you don’t mind me jumping in here. I do think letting Luc know that you are still fighting him will only make him worse, it usually does. It is like sticking a needle in their eye.

With that said, I believe ANY remarks, comments and/or outright attacks made about you by a psychologist that had never met or talked to you is considered unethical.

You may want to do an internet check on your state’s medical board site to see if she has any complaints or sanctions against her. Also, sometimes “google” searches of a professional will reveal “ratings or comments” and this may be helpful.

Always try to look at what you will accomplish by filing such a complaint versus the negative impact your action could have on you down the road.

Again, best to you


cappuccinoqueen ~

I can’t tell you enough how very sorry I am for your situation. I know that doesn’t help much, but I just need to say it.

I know that you can file a complaint with your state’s medical board (mental health section) and they do take these kinds of unethical behavior seriously.

Our saint of a psychologist had a patient, a father, in a custody battle with his x-wife, a spath. In her report to the court she mentioned that she though the child would benefit from visitation with the father. She had never interviewed the child or mother, but had strong feelings that this man was an excellent, concerned father. This psychologist totally “got it”, she had the best spath radar I had ever seen. Anyway, the mother filed a complaint with the medical board and the psychologist was slapped with a sanction and punishment.

Point of my story is – I believe this would be an option for you and it has nothing to do with suing, just reporting. It certainly sounds like your situation is much more “in your face” unethical than this was.

Again, it is a matter of what such a move will do for your custody battle in the long term. Lots of pros and cons.

Hope I helped.


Listen to your “gut”. It is uncanny and very scary how we just know when something is about to go down.

Which reminds me, I have to check the court docket and see how my p/daughter managed to wiggle out of her latest trouble with the law. She had a court date today, I can smell the manipulation. lol



I have read above input and I have to tell you the guy who’s license was revoked is a situation where he wrote a letter on behalf of an incarcerated man stating he was willing to testify on his behalf as an “expert” and making claims this dangerous man was of no danger to a child in any way shape or form.

I have a professional license in a different field and do not take complaints against others lightly. I filed a complaint with his credentialling board as I had “had it” with this guy bullying me from the birth to the point of his letter and his seeming very reckless. (The first time I had met this psycho/pastor behind closed doors with spath, I had just given birth and he said as he looked at me in his church office “wow you’re a hotty!” eeewww) I asked in the complaint to please verify this professional counselor had done his job according to his license requirements as I found his claims impossible to be accurate and a childs safety was involved. I proceeded to give them the history with spath and this “pastor/psychologist” which was really really unprofessional from every angle.

Since he injected himself into this case and was not “court appointed” the board had more options for disciplinary actions and the more they looked into this case, he was found to be an out and out fraud and liar! I was literally threatened by spath if I showed up at this mans first hearing and I would be paying attorneys fees along with publicly humiliated. Never happened. My details were verified and found to be credible.

With all that said, I believe this professional did everything in his power to help spath take me down, ruin my credibility and reputation and help spath reenter society and succeed in a job making 4 times any money he’d ever made. I did not know this pastor/psychologist was anything but reckless. He turned out to be a con. My complaint looking back cost me a lot. It took a lot of energy over 2+years of investigation of my complaint to see it through. In the end, I prevailed. The truth prevailed and I had renewed faith in some part of our system. I told them so.

If this man was court appointed, I would have waited until later in my case to at least notify the powers that be that this man was unethical and dangerous in his powerful position. I would find out who if anyone your unethical court appointee answers to and I would definitely let them know your experience. There is no lawsuit necessary.
Timing is important and I feel the only reason my spath was affected by my complaint is they were in it together. Otherwise it could just be your business I would think.

Sometimes we will find our successes outside of family courts when these issues are taken to other areas of law and such.

When your unethical person can no longer affect your case would be a starting point for your complaint. Be very careful to remove the “disgruntled litigant” card from your complaint as that’s the first position taken when they read these. It would have a lot more impact stating “it makes no difference to the outcome of my situation but I write this complaint to put you on notice of the unethical actions of a professional who may affect others lives adversely” or something like that.

Hope this helps.


wow, great wording and great advice. I’m not in that situation currently, but if I ever am…I’ll remember.


I hope my words are never needed for you. It’s really been a test of strength and wills.


If I were you, I would look at the regulatory board of this professional. I would then look at the previous complaints or list of disciplinary actions for this type of professional, not just yours but all. In my state all that could be found at the board of behavioral health website. I believe what your unethical person did is very dangerous these days in reference to the best interest of the children.

Spaths are the readers of people in my opinion, so he probably hand picked her knowing full well he could pull this off. I would want this person to think twice about doing this type of work and I would be concerned about her ability to be conned and then reckless.

My best advice would be to go forward with this especially since this was not a court rostered “player” and I would express my concerns like what you shared above. But most of all………come from a place of concern for future parents and children and ability to do her job. Do not come from a place of revenge but from a place of concern. Revenge was never in my heart but stopping the idiot from harming another as he had harmed me and my daughter was my drive and the more I learned the scarier this man got.

In the end I was thanked by the Board and the Assistant State Attorney for bringing this man to their attention. It also gave me a great amount of validation. I felt a bit shocked these people found his behavior as horrible as I did. (it was 3 years later when it all came to a close so I was used to being beat up by the family courts where facts and my beliefs seemed to be from a different planet) The Assistant St Atty used many of my words in his 9 page revocation letter he had him sign.

You may help many people in the future and children if this professional isn’t following her guidelines of her license and power she has. Too many people don’t go on record and hold these people accountable which is how they continue to get away with it. You could be one of many……or the first of many to come…..

Good luck and think about what you’re comfortable with and ask yourself if you would expect to be called on the carpet for what she did. I found out about others my unethical psycho/pastor harmed.

I’ll help you in any way I can.




Can you help me. I need advice.


Thank you for sharing your story. “Legal abuse syndrome” was a term I was unfamiliar with until recently. I have been under attack by a corrupt Weld County Colorado District Court Judge for approximately 8 years. While attempting to sue my former employers for wages due upon termination of employment, I caught Judge James Francis Hartmann concealing, aiding, abetting, and compounding multiple felonies by the employers, and their criminally complicit defense attorney, Broomfield, CO based Daniel T. Goodwin. See, they had decided to swear simultaneously before BOTH the Weld County District Court, and the Colorado Division of labor, that NEITHER had jurisdiction over my wage claim, because the matter was before the OTHER. When irrefutable evidence of this Class 4 Felony Attempt to Influence a Public Servant was obtained from former Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment Director Ellen Golombek, Judge James Hartmann, in criminal conspiracy with Congressman (then Weld County DA) Ken Buck, and former Boulder County DA Stan Garnett immediately initiated a years-long campaign of harassment, retaliation, and terrorism against me, and my family. I have been subject to multiple home invasions, liens on my house, wage garnishments, property theft, repeated arrests, and “sham” convictions. The suffering brought about by psychopaths, seeking revenge and preservation of their reputations and careers, is incomprehensible. These are my stories


Therapist Sandra Brown is very aware this needs to change.

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