We invite you to witness firsthand how the Family Court makes decisions impacting children.
The event will take place promptly at 9:00am on Monday, September 10, 2018 in the 325th District Court located on the 5th floor at 200 E. Weatherford St, Fort Worth, TX 76196.
To understand the elements involved, you’ll need a few details about a certain attorney named Charla Moore (pictured) and the timeline of events. Yes, this information is a few pages long. We believe Judge Judith Wells is hoping that you see the number of pages involved and think, “I don’t have the time.”
Or maybe you’ll stop here thinking the “details” of a Family Court case are just one litigant airing dirty laundry. Let us clarify — the details are about Charla Moore’s behavior and the timeline of events leading up to September 10, 2018. We have edited this blog numerous times to remove any details about the individuals involved.
And it only takes about 6 minutes to read. That’s it.
On April 5, 2018 a mom and a dad signed a non-revocable Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) that changed the holiday schedule for their children (among other things). The net effect would be that the mom would have them 2 Christmas’ in a row and the dad would have them 2 Thanksgiving’s in a row. After that initial double-up, they’d go back to alternating each year. The upcoming Christmas is probably the last Christmas the youngest will believe in Santa Clause… so it’s kind of a big deal.
The MSA also stipulated that “11. any dispute in the interpretation, performance, or drafting of the order resulting from the MSA…” be resolved by the mediator, G. Thomas Vick, Jr, at a cost of $750 plus legal fees.
Charla Moore signed the MSA. We’re not lawyers, but we’re pretty sure the provision for dispute resolution is legally binding upon her.
The dad’s attorney drafted the order with holidays defined according to the Standard Possession schedule of the Texas Family Code 153.314 and 153.317 and sent it to Charla Moore. Charla replied with corrections and disagreements on wording on April 30, 2018. She made no mention of disagreeing with the holidays.
Because there wasn’t a disagreement – the MSA referenced the Standard schedule and the drafted order reflected the standard schedule stated in the Texas Family code.
On May 11th Charla Moore sent a letter to the dad’s attorney now wanting a change to the holiday schedule.
The dad thought, “Well if they want to change the agreement…” The “…” was that if they were going to change the holiday agreement he simply wanted language for summer that would allow the kids to be able to pick a few summer camps before the mom picked any 30 days to have them in summer. (For clarification, the dad is the custodial parent.)
The dad wasn’t changing the amount of time the mom would have the kids for summer and he wasn’t infringing in any way, shape, or form on the kids’ time with her. The dad simply felt mom’s request to change holidays provided an opportunity to fix some existing language that had already failed miserably in the planning for the summer of 2018. M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-Y.
But first let us recap the proposed summer wording again… The mom would get 30 days of her choosing plus 1/3/5 weekends but the kids would be allowed to pick a couple of summer camps first and those summer camps would occur on the dad’s time, at his expense, and could not infringe upon the mom’s 30 days or her weekends. The dad suggested wording of, “[Dad] shall not designate a number of camp days which makes it impossible for [Mom] to have possession of the children for thirty days plus the weekend time provided herein for [Mom].”
How many non-custodial parents would like the complete flexibility to pick their summer schedule?
Keep in mind, Charla Moore’s request to change the holidays on May 11th set all of this in motion. If Charla Moore had not requested a change to the holiday schedule, the dad would not have asked to change the summer language.
On June 5, 2018 the dad’s attorney sent Charla a letter stating, “The order I previously sent to you contained the correct language regarding the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays pursuant to an expanded Standard Possession order.”
In other words, we now have a “dispute in the interpretation, performance, or drafting of the order resulting from the MSA” that is going to cost each party $750 plus attorney fees required to participate in a telephonic conference and then submit a concise written summary.
So in the June 5, 2018 letter the dad’s attorney made the offer described above to resolve that dispute without needing any further involvement from anyone and without incurring any major costs. The dad even offered to completely concede on 1 of the 3 disputed items (To clarify, the concession was not because his position on the issue was bogus. In fact, it’s our understanding the language of the Texas Family Code is pretty clearly in his favor on the issue.)
Instead of negotiating these disputed points expeditiously and at minimal extra cost, Charla Moore simply took an editable copy of the order (e.g., MS Word) that the dad’s attorney had provided to her and changed the 3 things in dispute.
Then Charla Moore submitted her version to the court under a Motion to Sign.
No arbitration. No real negotiation. Just a “take it or I’ll force you to take it” position.
On Sep 10th at 9:00am no real evidence is going to be introduced to the judge on this matter. None. In fact, Charla Moore’s Motion to Sign includes material misstatements of fact – which I’m sure Judge Wells will simply accept without question. For example, Charla Moore asserts it was the dad who on June 5, 2018 “now wanted” to change one the agreements within the MSA… and somehow Judge Wells is going to determine that the dad’s letter written on June 5, 2018 came before Charla’s letter written on May 11, 2018.
On Sep 10th Judge Judith Wells is going to ignore the language of the MSA and the Texas Family code, she is going to ignore the dispute clause of the MSA, she is even going to distort time itself… and she is going to rule in Charla Moore’s favor.
On that note, one of our advocates has decided to discontinue his home renovation business so he can spend more time court‑watching. Our goal is to document more of these instances so you can see, over time, it isn’t about the details of a particular case… it’s about a system that is fatally flawed and in need of massive reform.
Thank you for reading this far. I’m going to circle back to the beginning of the letter and invite you again to witness the corruption of Judge Judith Wells firsthand.
Time: Promptly at 9:00am
Date: Monday, September 10, 2018
Location: The 325th District Court located on the 5th floor at 200 E. Weatherford St, Fort Worth, TX 76196.
Parking: There are all day parking lots scattered throughout downtown.
You’ll need to invest more than 6 minutes. Finding a parking location and getting through security could take 15 minutes by themselves. Please understand the hearing is NOT about the specific facts of this case. It’s our understanding that no witnesses will even be called — not even the mom and dad.
- If Charla Moore is opposing counsel in your case or if your case is being heard in the 325th, please email the date of your next hearing to us. WE WILL SHOW UP.
“…we need you on the bench…” Notice how Donna Smiedt-Kerr didn’t say “…the children of Tarrant County need you on the bench…”
Lawyers need Judith Wells and Lori DeAngelis on the bench.
Kids would be better off with a chicken pecking X’s and O’s.
But that’s a topic for another blog.