Portland, OR ~
On May 2nd, after a 3-week deliberation in the case of Oregon DHS v. Trisha DeLaurent, the long-anticipated jurisdictional decision that began 18 months ago was finally handed down by Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Susan Svetkey. In a 7-page diatribe in which her bias opinion was neither supported by law nor the record, Judge Svetkey continued to perpetuate the State’s false narrative that DeLaurent untruthfully reported histories and observations of her oldest son’s health condition to doctors. Because of the alleged untruthfulness, Oregon DHS abducted 2 of DeLaurent’s other 3 children claiming endangerment.
Before unpacking the disturbing aspects of Judge Svetkey’s ruling, it must be pointed out that since September of 2017 The Voices Network (TVN) has written and published 17 articles regarding the DeLaurent saga. TVN has attended 14 different hearing dates, most were all day events. During this time, numerous witnesses were contacted and interviewed. Leading medical expert witnesses, whose testimony and reports were thoroughly vetted by TVN, provided the court with a detailed medical history of DeLaurent’s oldest child, Marcus, in spite of great attempts by the State to suppress and prevent this information from getting into the court record. The State failed.
Yes, the boy had seizures, and likely still does.
With her ruling, Judge Svetkey has sustained the State’s witch-hunt against DeLaurent. The State’s feigned moral panic is predicated upon baseless assumptions made in a CARES NW report prepared by Child Abuse Pediatrician Dr. Heather McKeag. Dr. McKeag claimed that DeLaurent provided doctors with “inaccurate histories, misinformation, or straight up lies” about her son’s symptoms. All of Dr. McKeag’s false assertions have been thoroughly debunked. Judge Svetkey’s decision should be a warning to parents of medically fragile children. As lay people, you can be used as a scapegoat for medical malpractice.
Judge Svetkey ignored overwhelming medical evidence that Marcus was and still is afflicted with both grand mal and absence epileptic seizures. The manifestation of these seizures over time were seen and reported by numerous witnesses that testified to include expert medical professionals. However, since Marcus’ abduction by DHS, the seizures have gone unreported by his grandmother, Pamala Gaddis. Gaddis was granted substitute care of Marcus and his sister shortly after this ordeal began in which the State has compensated her with approximately $7,000 per month tax free to care for her 2 grandchildren (http://voicesnetwork.org/index.php/2018/02/20/munchausen-grandma-dupes-oregon-dhs-gains-temporary-placement-of-grandchildren/).
The medical records document that in January 2010 State’s witness, Dr. Marcio Sotero performed a 48-hour EEG on Marcus. The results of his 2-day medical test revealed that Marcus had electrical activity in his brain associated with epileptic seizures. This discovery led the way for other doctors to identify and surgically repair Marcus’ tethered (spinal) cord (TC). The TC had caused serious incontinence, another symptom that DeLaurent reported since Marcus was age 7 and that Svetkey ignored.
Marcus’ TC pointed to a chiari type I malformation of his cerebellar tonsils. 85% of children with TC have some form of a chiari malformation. DeLaurent reported symptoms that if doctors had properly diagnosed at age 2, they could have prevented much of the unnecessary struggles Marcus and his family have endured by the untreated chiari.
Dr. Sotero is a Harvard trained pediatric neurologist practicing out of Swedish Children’s Hospital in Seattle. He was the one who prescribed Trileptal and Zonegran to Marcus. (http://voicesnetwork.org/index.php/2018/04/18/closing-arguments-oregon-dhs-v-trisha-delaurent/). Clinical studies show that both anti-seizure medications have problematic side effects–the exact same side effects that DeLaurent reported to doctors. Marcus’ medical record clearly documents Dr. Sotero’s trained medical decisions as a renowned pediatric neurologist. It is not DeLaurent’s, or any parent’s, responsibility to diagnose or treat illness, or to prescribe medications to a child in a hospital setting. Dr. Sotero approved troublesome medications at 3 ½ times the recommended dosage for an adult. DeLaurent followed doctor’s orders.
Judge Svetkey’s ruling maintains that a high school educated mother of 4 somehow manipulated an experienced pediatric neurologist into making potentially life-threatening decisions for her son. The State could not produce one documented example in medical records that treating doctors, including Dr. Sotero, believed they were misled. Not one doctor had written any notes in Marcus’ medical files to suggest DeLaurent had provided inaccuracies, misinformation or lies.
Deceit by Omission
Aside from prolonging the State’s tortured narrative, Judge Svetkey has a much bigger problem that she has tried to ignore. In every police, prosecutorial and judicial misconduct case throughout the U.S., it’s not the opposition’s lies put into the record that are a defendant’s biggest obstacle, it’s what is omitted from the record. Unfortunately, omissions leave the lay person at a huge disadvantage when trying to navigate the shark infested waters of the judicial system.
Judge Svetkey has presided over the DeLaurent case since October of 2016 when Oregon DHS petitioned Multnomah Circuit Court for temporary emergency jurisdiction (TEJ). The granting of the TEJ petition was based upon 2 anonymous phone calls made to the CPS child abuse hotline by Pamala Gaddis in late September of 2016.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) mandates interstate child custody orders. The question of personal jurisdiction over the parties is determined by the “home state.” The UCCJA Section 201 provides:
“Home state jurisdiction continued for six months when the child had been removed by a person seeking the child’s custody or for other reasons and a parent or a person acting as a parent continues to reside in the home State. Under this Act, it is no longer necessary to determine why the child has been removed. The only inquiry relates to the status of the person left behind.”
The person left behind in Vancouver, WA was Trisha DeLaurent, a Washington resident. The “home state” with personal jurisdiction over the parties was and is Washington state. Oregon DHS had prima facie evidence of residency and should have referred the case to Clark County, WA. It is DeLaurent’s belief and those surrounding her that Clark County would have been foolish to attempt to prosecute a fabricated case such as the one that has been foisted upon her by the Multnomah County Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). With Judge Svetkey’s help, the MDT was confident they could maliciously prosecute an innocent family based on verifiably false information. The MDT is made up of members from the MultCo DA’s Office, CARES NW, and Oregon DHS.
Furthermore, the UCCJA “establishes a general principle that participation in a custody proceeding does not, by itself, give the court jurisdiction over any issue for which personal jurisdiction over the individual is required.”
Judge Svetkey has created a constitutional conflict with her ruling by imposing an over-reach of her jurisdictional authority into Clark County, WA. Fortunately, there is a plethora of case law that addresses a court’s jurisdiction over the person. Such as;
“There is no discretion to ignore lack of jurisdiction.” Joyce v. U.S. 474 2D 215.
“Court must prove on the record, all jurisdiction facts related to the jurisdiction asserted.” Latana v. Hopper, 102 F. 2d 188; Chicago v. New York, 37 F Supp. 150.
“A court cannot confer jurisdiction where none existed and cannot make a void proceeding valid. It is clear and well established law that a void order can be challenged in any court” OLD WAYNE MUT. L. ASSOC. v. McDONOUGH, 204 U. S. 8, 27 S. Ct. 236 (1907).
“Once jurisdiction is challenged, the court cannot proceed when it clearly appears that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no authority to reach merits, but, rather, should dismiss the action.” Melo v. US, 505 F2d 1026.
“The law provides that once State and Federal Jurisdiction has been challenged, it must be proven.” Main v. Thiboutot, 100 S. Ct. 2502 (1980).
DeLaurent’s failure to raise the issue of jurisdiction before final judgment does not amount to a waiver. A court may dismiss a case for lack of jurisdiction at any stage of the proceeding, including a case on appeal. It’s the State’s burden to prove jurisdiction.
How the 71-year-old Judge Svetkey unlawfully expanded Multnomah County Circuit Court’s jurisdiction on a temporary basis for 18 months is up for debate. Thankfully, she will be retiring next year. Unfortunately for the DeLaurent family, it will not be soon enough.