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Offline bringthemhome

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Please read this. Thank you.
« on: May 01, 2012, 10:17:54 AM »
In January 2011 two children, Gabriel Leonardo Makielski Rivera and Isabel Marie Makielski Rivera, where illegally taken to the Dominican Republic by their mother, Maria Rivera-Estevez.  An existing court order is in place detailing custody, visitation, travel, and the U.S. as habitual residence for the children. The mother removed the children from Virginia and took them to the Dominican Republic without the father Robert Makielski’s authorization as required by the current custody order. The Culpeper County, Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has ordered the mother to return to Virginia with the children, for which the mother has not complied. The Father has tried to contact various mediation organizations to negotiate a solution to the issue. However the mother did not respond.
Culpeper Child Protective Services was warned of the abduction in mid-January 2011. When the abduction was discovered CPS representatives (attorney and social workers) were in the courtroom for proceedings related to custody.  It was discovered a year later that CPS had no record of a complaint nor was a report written to the attorney for the Commonwealth of Virginia or the local law-enforcement agency  per Code of Virginia § 63.2-1503. The father made a report to James Mack of the Culpeper County Sheriff Department and to the FBI.  Additionally he made a report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Although child abduction cases should be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), NCMEC was unable to find the children’s records. About a month lapsed before the Commonwealth of Virginia issued an arrest warrant for Maria Rivera-Estevez (Virginia Code Section 18.2-49.1 Felony – Custody/Visitation Violation Outside of Virginia).
In February 2011, the father filed a Hague application (The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, or Hague Abduction Convention) with US State Department in which he accrued considerable expenses having all documents translated to Spanish.  Although there was a pending divorce on the Culpeper circuit court docket, Maria Rivera had filed for divorce and custody in the Dominican Republic.  In violation of article 16 Hague of the Divorce was heard without the father’s knowledge.  He had to retain counsel in the Dominican Republic to have the Dominican divorce reversed and dismissed.  For the Hague application, the first hearing took place in May 2011 where the judge ruled to allow the mother time to gather additional evidence.  Contradictory to the Hague treaty, the Dominican Judge, William Encarnación Mejia, ordered the father’s physical presence in the Dominican Republican court.  Due to threats to the father posted by parties related to Ms. Rivera, his safety and security could not be guaranteed. The father made himself available via online video conference,  for which the judge refused. The father did not travel to the country. Additionally, a representative from the US embassy was not permitted to attend the hearings. Two further hearings took place in June 2011 where the daughter Isabel was forced to testify.  The Dominican judge did not allow the parties or their attorneys to be present during the testimony of the daughter; only the Judge and the 2 Dominican psychologists were present.  In July 2011 the hearings continued. The father provided documentation (translated and apostiled) showing he had no pending charges, no criminal record and no sex offender record. On August 4, 2011, Consejo Nacional Para la Niñez y la Adolescencia (CONANI, the Dominican Central Authority) and the father’s Attorney presented closing arguments requesting the return of the children. On October 4, 2011, the Dominican court released its decision to deny the return of the children based on Article 13 of the Hague treaty (that there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation). An Appeal was filed and heard on December 14, 2011. A decision is pending.
Meanwhile in Culpeper Virginia, the father attempted to file for amended custody for his children. Additionally, the Guardian ad Litem filed for Child in need of Services (CHINS) petition in the Juvenile Court. The Mother’s attorney, Michael Sharman was successful in stalling the proceedings in the Juvenile Court by arguing that he was making a special appearance because the mother did not receive proper service. However, through testimony of a representative from the daughter’s school in Culpeper, Virginia it was discovered that Mr. Sharman had assisted with the abduction by obtaining school records for Ms. Rivera. Even with this revelation, he was still able to stall the custody proceeding by arguing that his client did not receive proper service. The Juvenile Court ruled that the children should be returned and that they were in need of services (CHINS).  In order to get past  Mr. Sharman’s tactics, the father’s attorney filed a motion to move the custody issue to the Circuit court along with the divorce. The motion was granted. In June 2011 the Culpeper divorce was granted but the issues with the children still needed to be heard. Snce this time,  Mr. Sharman has filed excessive motions in attempt to block the custody from going to trial. He also filed an appeal for the CHINs.  Finally, a hearing was held in January 2012 where Judge John G. “Jack” Berry, dismissed two of Mr. Sharman’s motions; Forum Non Conveniens and Motion for Summary judgment.  In February 2012 Judge Berry stepped down from the bench leaving Culpeper Circuit without a sitting Judge. There are still pending motions that await a ruling before the custody can heard. Mr. Sharman’s tactics have cost the father an excess of tens of thousands of dollars excluding the divorce, proceedings in the Juvenile court and the proceedings in the Dominican Republic AND without ever having a hearing on the custody his children.
The State Department Office of Children’s Issues (OCI) has only assisted by processing the father’s Hague application. In April 2011 the embassy performed a Health and Welfare visit. The mother has refused to allow any subsequent visits. The children were located in the ”Ensache Ozama” neighborhood of Santo Domingo where they are now are exposed to an extremely diminished standard of living.  At the time of the removal, the daughter Isabel was enrolled in the public schools gifted student program (The World Economic Forum ranks the Dominican Republic at 139 out of 147 for education). Compared to their home in the US, this neighborhood suffers from the social problems of high crime, lack of garbage collection, frequent blackouts and unclean water.
The Dominican Republic Government has not allowed Mr. Makielski any contact with his children. He has not seen or heard from his children since January 18, 2011. Please support Mr. Makielski's waiting children by making this issue public.  These children deserve humanitarian aid immediately and deserve to grow and develop as all children do.  Help bring these children home to the United States where their family and friends await to shower them with the love and attention they need instead of living in poverty and a life on the run. 

Offline wicasa

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Re: Please read this. Thank you.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2022, 04:23:22 PM »