Friday, September 16, 2011

Domestic Violence is Currently LEGAL in Topeka, Kansas

Please comment on the original article here,

 Topeka domestic abuse survivor trembling over DA's decision to pass down misdemeanors

We need outrage to stop this political game playing at the expense of women.

Right now in Topeka Kansas—Domestic violence is LEGAL.

Since last week’s decision of the County DA to stop prosecuting Domestic Violence in the city limits, there have been 35 Domestic Violence arrests that have walked with no charges. The City manager Dan Stanley is considering a repeal in the City Ordinances that Domestic Violence is not a crime within the city, so that the City Judges and Prosecutors do not have to charge, prosecute and try any Domestic Violence. The District Attorney’s Office is refusing to accept ant City Domestic Violence Crimes.

Why it would be worse for victims.

It is very dangerous for victims of DV to report the crime as the consequences from the ‘perp’ are even worse than the actual ‘incident’ being charged. BATTERER RETALIATION. So when a DV case is pursued, it’s got to be with heavy consequences to the perp, as she (the victim) is in even more danger than she was when the charge was filed.

How a victim is treated usually has little to do with the actual system, but has everything to do with the people who work in the system.
The issue is making sure the judges understand what they should be looking at for evidence in domestic violence cases. How the judge or victims’ rights advocates, police offices or city prosecutors or district attorneys or assistant district attorneys and their staff are educated, and implement those tools to aid victims and insure justice is much more important than which court should have jurisdiction.

Domestic Violence is defined as a “pattern of control’’

1. Domestic Violence tag law Effective July 1, 2011
2. DA has a DV task team that do all the DV cases.
3. It is extremely rare that a dv charge is ever held at dv usual they are reduced to ‘damage to personal property and disorderly conduct.’ Then it is still a misdemeanor, only after three such convictions does the 4th time warrant even felony status.
Perhaps with the DV tag law, which will document all the ‘disorderly conducts, damage to personal property with a tag at the bottom showing was in relation to domestic violence—will show that pattern and perhaps then they can change the ‘misdemeanor dv conviction to felony sooner than with the NON attainable 3 DV misdemeanor convictions to the 4th as a felony.

The County DA’s office needs to maintain the Domestic Violence cases—or person injury crimes. They need the money to maintain at minim mum what they have and been doing in the area DV. In fact they need more than even that . Its is the DA’s office—the people that bring the crimes to paper, to the system, of Charges, and begin the long process of getting it through the system and getting ‘justice’ and consequences for the crime.

The DA works closely with the Secretary of State’s e.g. address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, the Attorney general’s office who also has a DV task team, and the Governor’s Office that gives grant funding, specific to ensure and to continue the legal prosecution of offenders, the KCSDV that provides up to date education, and best practices of understanding, prosecuting, supporting the victims of Domestic Violence and Coercive Control. The DA’s office has made huge advancements in the past 30 years with this heinous crime.

To toss it to the city will be to throw all that to the wind, the dark ages of Domestic Violence if you will—is even darker now.

I have no problem with other misdemeanors-NON person Injury offences such as hot checks, small claims courts, Code enforcement and violations.
The Commissioners want to cut the budget, money, there are many County expenditures that are wasted. There are Court programs that can be cut without threat to public safety, Like parenting classes, Drug Classes, several of the so called CSO that do noting but ‘busy work’ that cannot be done by the City/municipal court. But of all the county cuts—the last one would be to cut the DA’s office—the only avenue to even begin to seek justice. For any crime, violent crimes, even violent crimes labeled as ‘just dv”.

Where city ordinance- codes are the main cases – to high grass, code compliance, housing buildings, traffic, parking meters.

However, of the two Judges (and only Judges at Municipal/city Court)

Lloyd C Swartz - A history to include usual district court ‘Case manager’ who blocks access to justice has a history of harming battered mothers. (I myself included)

Vic Miller – 28 findings of Fact- Court Admonishments for Violations of the Attorney Code of ethics. 1. Incompetence, injury, Mental.
At one point they were going to ‘disbar’ him, until he hired lawyer john ambrosia as defense. This hardly ever happens, I have seen attorneys make death threats, physically attack patrons in the court house, accepting bribes and shown evident biased and lack of neutrality—those actions have failed to be admonished by the Disciplinary board let alone make it to actual supreme court public admonishment.

Even Stanley the acting City manager- KNOWS how dangerous this is.