The War against Fathers

Posted: Sep 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Dan Brewington is among the latest casualties in a war against fathers that is tearing our nation apart, family by family. The Ripley and Dearborn County (Indiana) court system recently stripped him of his parental rights without reason or cause. He is no longer able to see his daughters despite his history of loving care for them and their strong bond with him.

Mr. Brewington has neither a criminal history nor a Social Services history. He is loved by his children whom he has taken excellent care of their entire lives. He has also demonstrated his ability to successfully parent the children under joint custody with the mother for the past 2 ½ years. Yet his rights were violated during divorce proceedings in which Judge Humphrey of Dearborn County ordered him to have no visitation with his children.

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Ordering a man to have no contact with his children is a very serious matter. So there should be some compelling reason for such drastic intervention by the state into the life of a citizen.

As part of court documents submitted during the divorce proceedings, a custody evaluation report was, of course, submitted. In this report, a psychologist named Dr. Connor evaluated Dan Brewington’s parenting abilities. But Dr. Connor was not licensed in the state of Indiana at the time of his evaluation of Dan Brewington. So what was he doing stripping a man of his rights to see his children without proper licensure?

But nowhere in the contents of this unlicensed report was it asserted that Dan Brewington is a danger to his children or, for that matter, anyone else. Had Dan Brewington been a danger to anyone, Dr. Connor would have been required, by Indiana law, to report such danger to the Child Protective Services Department or to the police.

No actions such as the above were required because Mr. Brewington is of no danger whatsoever. The decision to withhold his children from him was based solely on whim and caprice of a judge who was not following the laws and guidelines of the State of Indiana.

The first judge involved in this custody case, Judge Taul of Ripley County, recused himself because of ex parte communications with the Custody Evaluator, Dr. Connor. The case then went to Judge Humphrey of Dearborn County. Judge Humphrey awarded the mother full custody of the children, and stripped Dan Brewington of all parental rights, including any visitation. In the divorce decree this judge awarded items, to the mother, that were not marital assets but were instead material possessions of Mr. Brewington’s family members and friends, to which neither Mr. Brewington nor his wife are entitled.

Dan Brewington has no criminal record and no CPS history. If his parental rights can be taken then anyone’s can. If his civil rights are in jeopardy then so, too, are the rights of anyone reading this column - Democrat or Republican, black or white. If we as adults cannot trust the judicial system to protect our rights then do our children stand even a chance?

Just ask Dan Brewington’ girls. They were not granted a guardian ad litum to represent their interests in this case. And, through no fault of their own, they have a mother more concerned with acquiring material possessions and control over her ex-husband than she is with protecting her children’s best interest.

In a world where so many fathers are absent or uninvolved, how can the State of Indiana deprive an exceptional, committed father the right to see his children? Is it simply because he chose to represent himself in a court of law in Dearborn, Indiana? Or is it because he questioned the authority of Dr. Connor who, in fact, was not lawfully credentialed to intervene in this case? Or did Judge Humphrey rule in malicious retaliation to this father’s attempts to exercise his legal right to advocate for himself?

Clearly, Judge Humphrey violated civil law by restricting this father’s visitation rights with his children without grounds. My efforts to have this judge impeached or disbarred will not cease until Mr. Brewington is allowed to see his children or until the Almighty State of Indiana provides reasons for not doing so.

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