C. Jacobson Custody Evaluation
Martha Jacobson Ph.D. Made it Possible for Laura Hohnecker and Cronies
Abuse a Second-Grade Child for Six Months
"This is nothing less than a travesty."
04/05/12, Palm Beach County Juvenile Court:
"...This is nothing less than a travesty... compounded in my opinion by the Court
system itself and I am saddened by it... But the only expert that I found to be
credible... I found Dr. Klass to be particularly
"The testimony of the witnesses
called by the father -- Dr. Hohnecker, Dr.
Jacobson, Ms. Lippman -- as far as this Court is
concerned, I found them to be biased, I found
them to have a lack of objectivity...
insincere and disingenuous and fueled by money...
"The way this case should have been handled... at the time the father filed
the petition was either to deny it or to do
something that would have been productive...
instead, this child at best and its
licensed psychologist [ed: Laura Hohnecker] who is supposedly the head
of this so-called team... says well, she's improving
because now she blinks at dad and will
occasionally laugh... If that's what we're reduced to, I don't
want to be a part of this... to remove a seven year old
child from the primary bonded custodial parent...
"I find... that the evidence
presented does not meet one or more of the
criteria stated in Section 39.402(1), and I am
ordering in accordance with the dictates of the
4th District Court of Appeal
...return the child to the mother's custody..."
Brief background of case:
Mother and Father divorced in 2006, with one child, a daughter then age 2. In
June 2010, Father filed for modification of custody alleging parental alienation. In October
2010, Martha C.
Jacobson, Ph.D. was
appointed by trial
judge to do a custody evaluation. In January 2011, Martha Jacobson uttered her written
findings, essentially claiming that the mother was personality disordered, "enmeshed", and a PAS perpetrator.
Jacobson recommended a custody switch to the Father with a period of no contact by the Mother, even though
she acknowledged that this would
traumatize the child.
Based on this specious and sadistic custody evaluation,
which Father then distributed widely to third parties,
such as the child's school, the
Father then filed a series of repetitive "emergency motions" over the ensuing months
claiming severe parental alienation, and all kinds of sick and disturbed behaviors by
the child when she was with him (behaviors that occurred nowhere else). To
back up his claims, the Father repeatedly called DCF and police when he had possession of the child, who (in
the Father's custody only)
was nonfunctional, crying, trembling, refusing to speak, and more. DCF as well as the Guardian ad Litem in the case,
Juliette Lippman, either actually fell for this ruse or (more likely) pretended to, and
in turn wrote up "findings" in their own "investigative reports" that
supported the Father's PAS claims. These so-called findings in fact were based on no
personal observations of anything that
would tie the child's behaviors in the presence of the Father (which otherwise would look like some kind of abuse by the Father) to
the Mother as causative agent; rather, their conclusions were based on
Martha Jacobson's baseless speculations [note] in the custody evaluation report.
In October 2011, at the beginning of a hearing on one of the Father's emergency motions, and based on DCF investigator and GAL testimony that in turn was
based on Jacobson's custody evaluation, family court
Judge Renee Goldenberg -- instead of holding an evidentiary hearing -- abruptly announced that she was
sheltering the child in the custody of the state. Then, instead of placing the child into foster care,
Judge Goldenberg circumvented the requirements of due process and
Florida's child custody statutes by "placing" the ostensibly "sheltered" child with a
"relative" -- the Father! Goldenberg ordered no contact by the Mother.
Mother's counsel appealed. A favorable decision was handed down by the 4th DCA March 7, 2012. A remanded "shelter hearing"
then was held in Palm Beach County juvenile court on April 3 and 5, 2012, resulting in the return of the child to
For six months until these decisions, the Mother was barred from all visitation and essentially all meaningful
contact by the Father and his so-called helping professionals (contrary to even the dictates of dependency proceedings).
The head of the child's
post-"shelter" "treatment team", most responsible for this atrocity, who was given authority to "treat"
the child, as well as to determine (deny) contact with the Mother,
coincidentally happened to be Martha Jacobson's good
friend Laura C. Hohnecker, Ph.D. During
the six months in question, the formerly bright, happy,
healthy straight-A second-grader apparently deteriorated or freaked out so badly
that she was drugged with Prozac to get her to calm
down and/or make her more compliant. (What child-centered therapy -- not.)
Consider: Six months is a 1/8 portion of a 7-year-old child's cognizant lifetime.
That's equivalent to SIX YEARS
in the lifetime of a 50-year-old. Ever know a little kid to get homesick during a week away at camp?
Here, six months. The child was abruptly wrenched from the parent who had lovingly raised her from
birth. Like suffering a parental death. Permanent emotional damage. All because Daddy
was resentful that the child loved Mommy more (could it possibly be his own parenting or personality?),
and instead of offering sound advice,
a bunch of professionals saw a profit-making opportunity. Evil.
Update April 17, 2013:
Some of the professionals in this action, including attorney Greg Lewen for the father, psychologist
child custody evaluator Martha
C. Jacobson, Ph.D. ("Marty Jacobson"); psychologist Laura C. Hohnecker, Ph.D.; the Florida attorney
who was Guardian ad Litem for the child, Juliette Lippman; and DCF worker
Matthew Wilcox, have been sued in Palm Beach County. The plaintiff mother and child are represented by The
Burton Firm (Richard J. Burton, Esq., in Aventura,
Florida). The 54-count complaint includes various civil torts against
one or more of the defendants, including negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress,
abuse of process, conspiracy, interference with child custody, defamation,
and medical malpractice (psychological malpractice). A jury trial is being sought.
Poliacoff review of Martha Jacobson's custody evaluation, September 6, 2011:
"Dr. Jacobson did not act in good faith... her failure to
adhere to statutory, regulatory, and aspirational requirements for the conduct of
court-ordered evaluators in child custody matters has rendered her conclusions,
opinions and recommendations inherently unreliable."
Dr. Poliacoff affidavit re Martha C. Jacobson, Ph.D.
Martha Jacobson custody evaluation
case story here.)
Broward County Judge Renee Goldenberg, October 5, 2011:
"This is just a fingers in the dyke momentary proceeding... I can
overrule the legal department of Department of Children and Families..."
Mother's brief on appeal (pet. for cert), October 24, 2011:
departure from the essential requirements of the law...
serious that it amounts to a miscarriage of justice..."
Florida Fourth DCA Appellate decision overturning Goldenberg, March 7, 2012:
Judge Renee Goldenberg, Juliette Lippman, Greg Lewen
Palm Beach County Juvenile Court decision, on remand, April 5, 2012:
"The testimony of the witnesses called by the father -- Dr. Hohnecker, Dr. Jacobson, Ms. Lippman -- as far
as this Court is concerned, I found them to be biased, I found them to
have a lack of objectivity... insincere and disingenuous and fueled by money..."
Transcript of court
comments about Laura C. Hohnecker, Ph.D. and Martha Jacobson, Ph.D.
The court's order (with redactions):
"The court listened carefully to the testimony of Drs. Jacobson and Hohnecker as well as Ms. Lippman
and considered each of their demeanors while testifing. The undersigned has been a judge for thirteen
years and a trial attorney for more than sixteen years before taking the bench. Over the last almost
thirty years, the undersigned has often witnessed expert testimony being colored in favor of the party
who is paying the expert. Never, however, has the court witnessed such a lack of objectivity, fueled by
money, where a child's very life is literally at stake...
The damage that may have been inflicted on this innocent young child may be irreversible."
[Judge Donald W. Hafele is quite possibly one of Florida's best judges. We were blessed that
he currently sits in Dependency Court.]
Many of the same players in Schmitz v. Schmitz, 2005:
Martha Jacobson in Schmitz case
Too many coincidences: Note that the Schmitz case, above, included "Marty" Jacobson with
Jan Faust, Ph.D., Vicki Plant, and
Judge Susan F. Greenhawt (who had to be disqualified because it was discovered during the case that Faust, who was the father's
spent the night at Greenhawt's house). There are a
number of other cases in which the players
just appear too similar, like a family court game $$$ going on in Broward County, Florida, in which
certain compatriots, including both psychs and lawyers,
taking turns at different roles (custody evaluator, therapist, Guardian ad Litem,
referral therapist, parenting coordinator, parties' counsel),
pull this kind of cozy thing again and again. And what is this:
Judge Renee Goldenberg, Martha Jacobson, Laura Hohnecker, Kirshbaum law firm (Juliette Lippman), Brydger law firm
A pattern: 2007 case excerpts and discussion of yet another of many of Martha C. Jacobson, Ph.D's
similar crap custody evaluations, in which she finds primary caregiving
mothers to be mentally disordered, causing "parental alienation" and/or otherwise unfit for custody.
Judges and lawyers and social networking: September 5, 2012, 4th DCA Florida
appellate opinion again confirms Facebook friending and similar as grounds
for disqualification of a judge in a case.
how therapeutic jurisprudence has poisoned the family court legal system and lawyer ethics.
Kates, 13 Domestic Violence Report 65 (2008)
Therapeutic jurisprudence index at thelizlibrary.org
NOTE: For example, during the custody evaluation, Father apparently showed Jacobson a photograph
of the child in which she had a red six-point star on her bare leg. The father suggested to Jacobson that the star had been "scratched" into the child's
leg. From this misrepresentation, based on one photograph, Jacobson imagined a scenario of a child who was "self-mutilating", beset with conflicts over
her parents' disparate religions, and deeply disturbed on account of her Mother's lack of respect for the Father's faith. This "self-mutilation" meme
and its accompanying far-fetched and irresponsible fantasy were repeated over and over by the Father's
counsel, and then credulously (or speciously) adopted by the DCF investigators, the Guardian ad Litem,
and a succession of therapists, bolstering a theory of "mental abuse" by the Mother.
All from one photograph -- and a child who was never seen to have a single self-inflicted injury on her.
At the time the photograph was taken, the child had just learned how to draw a "Jewish star"
from two triangles (easier than a 5-point star),
and had drawn one on her leg with her felt-tip marker.
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