Today’s three-separate-cases-combined-into-one hearing destroyed my life. My heart beyond broken and my spirit defeated, I am starting this blog with a numbness worse than any emotional episode and mental challenge I’ve faced in my life, hitherto. I am making NO statements about the Court itself. This is a SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND HOW I FELT AT THAT TIME! THERE IS NO CLAIM HERE OF ANY WRONGDOING. READERS CAN MAKE THEIR OWN JUDGMENTS.
Simple statement about what transpired:
- For the second hearing in a row for these three combined cases (remember: the Judge had said at last months’ hearing that he’d combined the finance cases with the new restraining order BS application case to save me time from having to go to separate case hearings, which is utter nonsense). I’d already claimed to the Judge in a document submission last week that he did not save me time and, in fact, it wasted my time because the RO focus and antics at the last hearing completely delayed the nonsensical $90,000US finance case. That $90K case was NOT addressed at all today, either, being postponed now until July 27th. Nor was the vestigial case for property separation (remaining over from my Civil Court case, whose verdict came out last fall) dealt with. Both will now take place on 7/27, with the Judge claiming that will be the verdict outcome.
Some simple dialogue, from hastily scribbled notes:
- Judge (J), to start the hearing: “Are the children here with the mother again?”
- Her Lawyer (HL), “Yes, they’re in the Courthouse.”
- J: “The ex-wife wants that Michael Brown leave the Courtroom when the children are here. Today, you will leave the Courtroom and your interpreter has to leave, too.” (WHICH COMPLETELY, IMMEDIATELY SENT ALARM BELLS INTO FRAZZLED RING MODE, SOUNDING OUT ALARMS TO ANY… INTELLIGENT PERSON!) “Does the father have anything to say?”
- Michael Brown (MB), “Sir, at the last RO case hearing last month, my interpreter was allowed to stay in the room. Why not this time? Can she stay here? I will have no idea what was said to my children, and she’ll be able to tell me.”
[OF COURSE AFTER MY INTERPRETER TOLD ME ALL THAT WAS STATED WHILE MY CHILDREN HAD ENTERED THE ROOM AT THE FIRST HEARING LAST MONTH, I IMMEDIATELY CREATED REBUTTAL DOCUMENTS TO DESTROY ALL THE FALSE ALLEGATIONS: 1) THE CHILDREN NEVER SPOKE AFTER THE JUDGE’S QUESTIONS, WITH ONLY THE MOTHER ANSWERING FOR THEM, that 2) THE MOTHER CLAIMED THE CHILDREN FEAR THE FATHER, THAT THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BE WITH HIM, AND THAT COULD VERY WELL BE WHY THE DAUGHTER CRIED, BECAUSE SHE WAS UNCOMFORTABLE HEARING MOTHER SAYING SUCH STRANGE THINGS, that 3) THE LAWYER’S CLAIMING IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN THAT THE FATHER ‘FORCES THEM TO MAKE FUN VIDEOS WITH THREATS OF VIOLENCE’ COULD HAVE ALSO PROMPTED HER TO CRY (THAT CRYING IN COURT, WHILE LITTLE BROTHER DIDN’T CRY AT ALL BECAUSE HE WAS JUST PLAYING WITH A TOY, SITTING THERE, WAS NOT DUE TO THE ALLEGED FEAR. I EVEN WROTE THAT I’VE CRIED AT MOST ALL HEARINGS BECAUSE IT IS SAD WHAT’S HAPPENING! HER EXPLANATIONS PERMITTED ME TO CREATE VALID, IRREFUTABLE REPLIES TO THE ANTICS OF THE FIRST HEARING.]
- HL: “The mother has the right to claim that the father needs to leave the room.”
- MB: “But Judge, why is the mother’s request to bring in the children happening when I wrote you and the Court in the last two weeks to allow me to ask to also bring the children into the Courtroom at the next hearing [today’s 7/3/17 hearing] so that I can ask them a few questions in front of the Judge?“
- [NO REPLY TO MY QUESTION CAME NOR ANY STATEMENT MADE ABOUT MY DOCUMENT REQUESTING TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE MY CHILDREN IN THE COURTROOM AND TO ASK QUESTIONS TO THEM (A REQUEST MADE TO SHOW THE JUDGE THAT THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF THEIR DADDY)!]
- MB: “Judge, may I see my kids face-to-face to ask them questions?”
- J: “Lawyer _______, Do you agree to let the father ask questions to the children?”
- HL: “The ex-wife has the right to claim that he needs to wait until after she brings the children in and he [and his interpreter] goes outside to wait, but we need to ask her opinion about doing that. First, she will bring the kids here and he has to leave with his interpreter.”
- MB: “Sir, can I ask my children questions? I want the Court to see that my children are not afraid of their father. If the children come in and show noticeable fear [I cowered and dramatically said something like “Oh, he’s here, Why?” to mimic how a kid who is truly afraid may act like], you’ll see that. But I would like to ask them questions.” [My request document in the last two weeks stated I’d like to, at the next hearing, ask, “Do you love Daddy? Do you like to spend time with Daddy? Are you afraid of Daddy?”]
- J: “According to the Taiwan laws about family abuse, she has the right to separate the children and not have you here.”
- MB, quite shocked and in disbelief: “Sir, why is that even being addressed here? Why would ‘abuse‘ laws be used to explain this because… if there has never been abuse and she has no proof or evidence of abuse and because abuse is not involved in this case, then why are those laws even being mentioned? They don’t apply! Again, do I have the right to see my children to ask them questions in front of the Judge? That’s my only question.”
- J, dismissively: “You need to get a Taiwanese lawyer [he actually mistakenly said “Judge” at first, in English], because you don’t have training as a lawyer. You should NOT be asking me questions. If you were in America, would you be asking the Judge about the laws? Stop asking me questions.”
- J, to her lawyer, “I want to ask the children if they want the adults in the room or not when they speak. One child is 8. She has the right to speak for herself. Is that okay?”
- J, to MB: “Do you have any other requests to ask the children?”
- MB, with REALIZATIONS ABOUT ALL THAT WAS HAPPENING BOMBARDING MY THOUGHT PROCESSES: “No.”
- J: “We will tell you what the children say. Please, all of you leave the room and wait in the waiting room across the hallway.”
[At the moment my interpreter and I were getting up from the defendant’s bench, with the ex’s lawyer leaving across the room to exit out the main door, with us soon to follow, I NOTICED THAT THE BAILIFF OPENED A SIDE-OF-THE-ROOM PANEL DOOR behind us. A LIGHTBULB FLASHED IN MY HEAD: Ahhhhhh, they won’t bring the kids down the hallway now because, the last time they did, last month, I blurted out from the waiting room across the hallway, “Hey, kids!” as the grandfather ushered the children hastily into the Courtroom with a clerk’s assistance. This time, THEY WERE ALREADY WAITING IN THE WINGS TO ENTER, i.e., IT SURELY FELT LIKE IT WAS ALREADY CHORE__________ AND WELL-ORCHE_____________________.]
The next 15-20 minutes in the waiting room were utter torture, with me suffering from cotton mouth, my mind whirling nonstop, pondering incredulously what was being ALLOWED to transpire and that the decision has already been made! My interpreter and I talked about how nobody came back out to let us know that was happening. I made these statements to my interpreter because I was feeling** assu______ of these things:
- That the decision was already made a long time ago, and this is all just being “documented” to show “that processes were followed”.
- That my ex-wife could very well still be in the room with the children, behind closed doors, that once the Judge supposedly asked, “What adults do you want in the room”, that the mother could easily say, “Oh, _____, I’ll stay here with you. Mommy’s here.”
- That my daughter, aged eight, and ANY GIRL of eight years of age might very well NOT be willing to say, “Oh, sure, I’ll stand in the middle of this courtroom by myself as a transcriptionist hastily types things in front of me and the Judge sits up above the entire room, looking down from his bench at me, while my mommy exits a side chamber.” REALLY? What 2nd grader is just going to go, “Oh, I’ll do great on my own to explain all these things in this big room.”
- That maybe, just maybe, the kids entered and didn’t even speak, or that the mother spoke again, and I WILL NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH.
- That the mother and her family may have manipulated the kids’ responses beforehand, that all was possibly staged.
- AND A THOUSAND OTHER STATEMENTS I MADE ABOUT THE SITUATION which I cannot express here.
[DISCLAIMER: Feeling** that those things may have been happening behind closed doors are NOT accusations, but rather worries and concerns that may or may not be truth nor accusations! That’s simply how I felt. I may have been wrong in my gut instincts. And countless people who are aware of the cases may all be wrong too to worry about such things happening for the wrong reasons! They can decide how they feel!]
Here follow the statements allegedly made by my children while we were waiting for the Judge to call us back in (THESE NOTES WERE WRITTEN DOWN WITH MY HAND SHAKING THE PEN WITHIN MY GRASP, WITH MY BREATH COMING IN BURSTS, WITH TEARS FLOWING LIKE NO OTHER TIME IN 3.5 YEARS OF COURT HAPPENINGS):
[All of these notes were ALREADY typed into the Court logs by the transcriptionist, who is the EXACT same clerk who handled the 2-plus year custody case and Guardian ad Litem documentation, etc., and my interpreter read them from the monitor as I jostled to get them written on scratch paper. My interpreter read the Judge’s question from the transcript shown on the computer monitor in front of us and the children’s alleged replies, but in haste I could not write down all questions, yet the answers imply what was being asked.]
FROM THE JUDGE’S AND MY 8-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER’S SUPPOSED CONVERSATION, SHE ALLEGEDLY STATED (I AM TEARING UP WRITING THIS SUMMARY ALLEGED DIALOGUE)…
- Will you be afraid when you see your father? Yes. How often do you meet your father? Every week. How do you feel when you meet your dad? I am very afraid. Why are you afraid? Because sometimes he brings strange women out. He let’s us eat things I don’t like to eat. He scolds us. He doesn’t let me see things when he is on his computer. He randomly hits my brother. How many times does he hit your bother? Many times he hits ______. He hits his hand. How hard does he hit brother? Very hard. Does he hit so hard that brother’s hand bleeds? No. Does he videotape you? He tells us how to speak. Do you like meeting your father. No, I don’t. Can I not go to Daddy’s house on Monday.
FROM THE JUDGE’S AND MY 5-YEAR-OLD SON’S SUPPOSED CONVERSATION, SHE ALLEGEDLY STATED (I AM TEARING UP WRITING THIS SUMMARY ALLEGED DIALOGUE)…
Do you want your father to be here? No, I don’t like him. Why not? Because he is very mean to me. He hits me. How many times? Four times. Where? At his house. Why? I don’t remember. How? He uses his hand to hit my hand. Does it hurt? It hurts a lot. Do you get wounds or marks? A little bit of wounds but no bleeding. Do you like seeing your father? No. Do you want an increase in the time to see your father or a decrease? I don’t want to meet him completely. Do you like him? No. Because he gets mad at me. If we ask him what he’s doing on his computer, he gets really angry and scolds us. If you could go to America with him, would you go? No. I don’t like this idea. Has Daddy ever told you he is recording with MP3s or video recording? No, he doesn’t. If there are some years that go by without you seeing your daddy, will you be sad? No. Because I don’t want to see him anymore. What would you think if you don’t ever see your father again? I’d be happy. I don’t like being with him. Does your father bring you with women? A maximum of three women. Why does he bring you with women? Daddy doesn’t explain that. He doesn’t introduce the names of the women.
[The entire time of listening to the transcript being read aloud, writing frenetically, I couldn’t keep composed. My hand was shaking. I could barely see what I was jotting down through the pools in my eyes.]
After she finished reading it (having reached out to my forearm twice to try to console me), the conversation continued with the Judge. I simultaneously put my pen down, folded up my notepaper, stacked my phone on top of the paper (I’d hoped to share my ex’s recent email exchanges and accusations).
I VERY WELL KNEW THE OUTCOME WITHOUT NEEDING TO GO FURTHER. THE OUTCOME WAS ALREADY DETERMINED.
I ASKED MY INTERPRETER TO STOP INTERPRETING.
I HAVE BASICALLY ONLY RUDIMENTARY UNDERSTANDING OF THE HAPPENINGS AND STATEMENTS MADE FOR THE NEXT TWENTY MINUTES OF THE HEARING, FOR ALL WAS OBVIOUSLY DONE IN MANDARIN.
Her lawyer rambled on for another incoherently blurry 8-10 minutes on his owned, flipping through some paperwork on his desk. I heard him say something about my having called them liars in other cases and this case. At that point, I almost injected, “Because you deserve that label,” but I didn’t. I was 99.9% tuned out, even to my basic understandings of the fast-spoken Chinese that enveloped the room.
Instead, I was enthralled by my recollections of an email from a few weeks ago, from an expat in Kaohsiung who lost custody of his child, who’d written me that he was videotaped sticking his middle finger out while going down the stairs of the same Courthouse, and him giving the bird to the Courthouse air, itself (explained to be such an innocuous expression of frustration) resulted in being detained by the police. I don’t know more about what transpired with his situation, but I sat, numbly pondering what I truly wanted to say to the lawyer across the room, to everyone present except my interpreter. I simply wanted to express my true opinions.
Earlier in the day (and for the last few weeks), I’d also considered how I could explain Red’s experience in Shawshank Redemption, that for the first, second, and third 10-year spans of going before the parole board, he’d dramatically received the “REJECTION” stamp on his application paperwork, but the forth hearing’s result was quite different.
I, TOO, WANTED TO EXCLAIM, “So you go on and stamp your forms, Sonny, and stop wasting my time.” [here] I even earlier had asked my interpreter, while waiting in the room across the hall, to be prepared to help me explain the scene, with her checking for the Chinese of “parole board” and the movie’s name in Chinese.
My Walter Mitty-ish hopes of making a dramatic statement about Red’s mindset, directly to the Judge, faded after the supposed transcript was read out. I was dumbstruck.
My life changed at that moment.
So as the lawyer spewed forth his notoriously _________ accusations, I wondered what was my next step. Surely, I have NO plans to do what my ex-wife FALSELY alleges. Such thoughts truly focused on crawling into a hole and hibernating for a while, maybe vacationing on a beach in Zihuatanejo, envisioning my children one day walking up to me on a beach, having had hope all along that one day we’d meet again.
The Judge’s queries broke my fogginess:
J: “What do you have to say?”
MB: “I have no further statements.” [I didn’t even know what 99% of the lawyer’s statements were, for, at my request, my interpreter had just sat and listened as I zoned out beside her.]
J: “Ok. Step outside again with your interpreter. The lawyer will now ask questions to the children again after they come back in.”
MB’s thought process: “Oh, I’m sure he will.”
[Another 10 minutes passed as we sat across the hallways, with my interpreter and I sharing a few tears, with me showing her a video, from my phone, of the breakfast I’d enjoyed with Isa and Derek three weeks ago. In the video, the kids were hissing like snakes, laughing, purely absorbed in the moment of fun. To my interpreter, I emphatically explained that my children would say NO SUCH THING and that I know exactly what is being perpe_______d. It’s perfectly plausible!]
The puzzle pieces have fallen into place. The picture is clear.
The bailiff called us back in.
The Judge said my interpreter could read the newest (apparently “new”) additions to the hearing’s transcript, viewable by her on the monitor in front of her, in Chinese text of course. She commenced reading, but I immediately stopped her.
“Don’t bother. It does NOT matter what was said [while were gone]. The outcome is already set.”
J: “What do you have to say, Michael?”
MB: “I have no further statements.”
J: “Blah, blah, blah…”
MB: “Wait, Sir, I do have something to say,” reminding myself to be careful of being too dramatic, “This is all fake. That’s all I want to say.”
The transcriptionist (the custody clerk who’d also seen my tearfully bemoaning the custody Judge’s usage of the FA______ AND FAB___________ report by the _______ back in 2015) stared at me momentarily as if she were Bambi and a Freightliner was barreling down on her on a lonesome Montana highway.
I wondered why she was surprised I’d say such a thing DIRECTLY to the Judge.
Naturally, I wasn’t pussy footing. Would you?
FACT: That’s all I wanted on record of my rebuttal, for I knew NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
The Judge then rattled off some logistics that there will be a 7/27 hearing for the combined two finance-related cases, asking me if that date was acceptable, not even awaiting for a reply from me, stating that the verdict would come from that final hearing.
All I recall focusing on from those waning moments was that he’d told me at the last hearing that the finance case and RO cases had been combined to save me the time from having to come to different hearings, now with the LAST TWO finance case hearings NOT EVEN BEING ADDRESSED, being postponed. But it dawned on me that I wanted a record of the transcript, having not gotten a copy of any said transcripts in more than a year or even two. Yet for this one, I NEEDED A COPY, for who knows what kind of help I can get with this case hearing–or how I can further pursue an “informational release” about what was stated and done.
The puzzle pieces had to fall into place further, perhaps, before the final chapter of the finance case.