A central issue in California Coalition’s racketeering lawsuit–as with any lawsuit alleging complex collaboration between criminal elements–is the existence of “enterprise” and “conspiracy”-type collaborations between the defendants we’ve named. Not just everyday “how-do-ya-do” interaction qualifies as “enterprise” or “conspiracy” under federal law.
But it turns out this isn’t going to be half as hard as we thought. Federal conspiracy law is straightforward–an agreement to violate the law, and an act in furtherance toward that end. “Enterprise” and “racketeering” are more challenging–racketeering requires a “pattern”; repeated actions by one or more persons or entities to achieve one or more criminal purposes.
Of course in bringing California Coalition’s racketeering and civil rights lawsuit we did our due diligence, investigating various operative elements we believed to at the root of the suffering of Family Court litigants, including the Family Justice Center Alliance, the San Diego City Attorney, the City of San Diego and its in-house Family Justice Center, the County Courts which operate domestic violence restraining order clinics, and the lawyers, social workers, and judges themselves. In our July 24, 2013 cease and desist letters and recently-filed amended complaint we alleged, as we must, that these defendants collaborate to violate the law in “enterprise” and “conspiracy.” Because of the technical requirements of pleading under these extraordinarily complex statutes, the lawsuit reads as smoothly as a neurology textbook.
Defendants responded as if we’d accused them of growing a tail. They claim not to operate in collaboration, but entirely independently, and always according to law. Since we’ve heard the “who, me?” explanation from California public officials before, we set out to prove our conspiracy and enterprise case in baby-step fashion.
But something stopped us. Defendants, it turns out, beat us to it. Graphically, repeatedly, proudly, and blast over the Internet to millions of eager minds.
Our July 24, 2013 letter sets out the evidence of what we discovered: extensive ongoing behind-the-scenes collaboration between the Alliance and cops, prosecutors, social workers, and courts. We didn’t have to dig–Defendants offered the info freely on websites, presentations, live seminars and webinars. In graphic detail. We wish we could claim that we had to deploy professional skill to unearth rare archival treasures, but to be fair, defendants deserve all the credit. To satisfy our attribution obligations under the copyright laws, we hereby disclaim: All graphics in this post are taken directly from Family Justice Center Alliance materials.
But we’re not all hater. We have visions of Hope ourselves, and it turns out, when the Alliance comes down from it’s ideological habituation to re-create order in its own ranks–we actually have almost everything in common. From the July 24 letter:
In presenting this demand we convey our agreement that domestic violence is a very real social malady which in some cases if ignored can precede more harmful consequences. We support your and others’ intent to address this social issue.
Yet we consistently observe enormously harmful and even dangerous consequences to parents and children which the Alliance appears to ignore. Because of the uniquely sensitive interpersonal nature of domestic disputes, dogmatic, unbalanced, or clumsy law enforcement intervention can and often does exacerbate, prolong, and effectively institutionalize conflict and its fallout. See Table B.1.
Further, reflexive mandatory police intervention seems to us to directly contradict the expressed goals of the Alliance—to foster individual empowerment and autonomy, heal families and support those in need.  While incarceration is a sure “quick fix” to a tense domestic confrontation, prolonged insertion of state actors into decision-making roles within the family represent a dramatic shift from a history of national respect for individual rights and family autonomy. See, e.g., Troxel v. Granville, Ex. J. Moreover, promoting a long-term criminal justice role in the day-to-day life of a family is untested in free western countries, and the consequences for its failure potentially grave. To deny any family member autonomy is not only to disrespect the very values of independence and self-worth; it is also simply illegal, and in many cases we have observed, morally despicable.
Nor do we intend to suggest that we have exhaustively and accurately described the extent to which the Alliance and its partners have achieved in deploying the integration and social welfare agenda set forth in their exhibits. Regardless of how far along the Alliance’s plans have developed, their direction and intent are clear. Whether advanced through a board meeting, political debate, or one of the several civil rights lawsuits framed herein, we intend that these issues will be confronted and fairly resolved in a forum in which all parents—men and women—children, and the entire interested citizen population affected have a seat at the table.
In addition to the above Demand to cease and desist, we urge that in implementing any policy with respect to families and children, you and your agency consider:
1. Restraint and Respect: Intervention based on novel or speculative theories guarantees immediate harm to individual rights while “hoping” for a net favorable outcome. Oddly, this directly contradicts Alliance values of autonomy and empowerment. Recognize the harmful consequences of overreaching and coercion by the monolithic perspective of a criminal justice response—especially one based upon novel, speculative, or downright inaccurate, biased, or malevolent ideologies. No matter how worthy the cause or pure-hearted the leaders, commanding behavior by force in intimate relations is at best a tolerable last resort, but increasingly a ham-fisted (and potentially catastrophic) blunderbuss;
2. Responsible Awareness: There are many appropriate social responses to domestic disputes which are based on real science and law and not solicitous of government entanglement. A monolithic criminal justice response is strong medicine with inevitably serious, often unforeseeable side effects. Given the many appropriate modern tools available to address domestic strife, awareness and mastery of available resources may be wise;
3. Fairness: “Studies” are often flawed or biased, particularly when the subject is complex human interaction or control. When adopting policies, carefully scrutinize relevant supporting (and contradicting) data and assumptions to identify and minimize the harm from adoption of erroneous, speculative, biased and/or ideological approaches. Skillfully manipulated by sophisticated criminal justice professionals facile with the implements of coercion, might sometimes appears to make right. Few disinterested professionals would succumb to such conveniences. When conflicts among science and ideology appear, caution and restraint are justice. Our grandparents wisely advised “if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” Your grandchildren may appreciate the dignity you maintained (or ignominy you avoided) by obedience to that wisdom;
Watch Psychotherapist Dr. Donald Dutton Explain How VAWA-Funded Organizations
Such As Family Justice Centers Have a “Grip” On the Domestic Dispute
4. Sensitivity to Our Common Humanity: Unlike generic criminal justice matters, domestic disputes ordinarily involve genuinely differing perspectives on the nature of acts and actors accused. Intimate relations are uniquely incompatible with intensive criminal justice intervention, and recent history tells us that hasty accusations not only poison relationships, but can also be dangerous for years to come. Table B.1.
5. Efficiency Is Effectiveness: The criminal justice system is expensive; not just in terms of police and courts, but indirectly to the participants themselves. We regularly observe costs in dollars and tears which the Family Justice Center Alliance analysis fails to account for. Awareness of appropriate alternatives to criminal prosecution saves taxpayers, children, and ultimately the parties themselves both fiscally and psychologically;
6. Obedience to Yours and Others: Those who formed your entity imbued it and you with empowerments and restrictions—and for good reason. So did others who formed the entities with whom you interact. Alliance “partner collocation” or as code for “public/private integration” is disingenuous and largely illegal. Law and tradition advises respect for obedient, honest, and independent government functions central to social prosperity;
7. Don’t Make it Worse: A policymaker or administrator has no training in psychotherapy for ordinary humans, but abundant training in coercion of criminals. If you chose to apply such learning beyond its prescribed confines to impose coercive “therapy” to remedy misdemeanor domestic strife, observe the ancient law of genuine healers: Above all else, do no harm
8. “Hope” Isn’t Far Away: We share the Alliance’s vision for hope, most notably the praiseworthy solutions the Alliance proposes to its own employees, members, and partners to their internal “power and control” conflicts. The slides below are copied from the May 4, 2009 Family Justice Center Presentation entitled “Family Justice Center Vision” available at slides available at http://www.caseygwinn.com:
Worthy advice—yet perhaps underutilized. From these slides (excerpted at Exhibit B, pp. 404-417) it appears that many who have joined the Alliance benefited from this wise guidance toward the historical virtues of successful human joint endeavors—that honesty, humility, humor and grace are highly effective antidotes to “power and control” struggles. Given the success of the Alliance movement, the advice appears to have been miraculously successful, and we would not be surprised if Alliance employees fortunate enough to have adopted those virtues in their personal lives have experienced similar improved personal outcomes.
It is a surprise though that given the Alliance’s own appreciation of the empowerment bestowed by disciplined practice of “honesty, grace, and humility” the Alliance nevertheless fails to deploy this awareness in their aid of Alliance clients. Alliance clients and their families in crises are coached to perceive and therefore resolve their problems—not with integrity, humility, humor and grace—but with “power and control” ideology enacted through a coerced “power exchange” subsidized by state police powers and “long-term accountability to survivors”—i.e., prison. In other words, newly-enlightened Alliance employees tell their clients:
While our new Alliance leadership has bestowed upon us wisdom with which we have escaped our own “power and control” silos to empower ourselves to relate better with others, we won’t be similarly empowering you. For you we offer police officers, courts and prisons for those who disagree. To repair the damage we know this will cause, we offer welfare, food stamps, relocation, day care in case you get a job, and a camp for children without fathers. Your family, friends, network, career—well, good luck but don’t worry, our jobs depend on supporting you through this so we’ll be here as long as your kind coming back. Sign here and right this way.
Our Common Future?
What a horrific nightmare we would wake up from if, in a generation we realize that the Alliance’s emancipation of women from an unstable relationship with one fallible human simply rebounded them into a terminally stable relationship with an infallible welfare state. The promise of “pre-crime intervention” is that by imposing the disability of state receivership onto your life, your now-former loved one’s life, your children’s life, your relationships with your employer, banker, network, friends, neighbors, creditors, landlord, and perhaps even your God,
you receive in exchange the “hope” of an improvement in all of these, via police and welfare state services. While we also hope it works, from our perspective such folly is persuasive uniquely to those motivated by the “hope” of lotto-funded wealth, nicotine confidence, and plastic-bottled spirituality. In perspective, the Alliance’s solution seems more a punishment for a woman’s autonomy than empowerment of it. We would hope that the wisdom the Alliance imparts to its own in improving relations within its understandably harried community might be at least as “empowering” if adopted, taught, and facilitated for interactions with others outside of the Alliance’s bulletproof hearts and black-widow tinted glass. Hearts risen in hope are not well served by hands risen in fear.
We respectfully reference a free resource for domestic strife in families which contains guidance backed by a substantial body of academic research that enables others to understand and practice very much the same advice the Alliance has thus far adopted for its own at www.youtube.com/uptoparents. This resource provides tools which can empower parents and children without unnecessary reliance on government entanglement. It may be an additional tool which can empower the Domestic Class, given access to the many such tools available, to develop and deploy successful long-term solutions to whatever are the underlying causes of domestic strife. Best of all—at least for parents and children—it’s free. One place to start is the interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUH3mWzLeO4&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL75FBQp2qmEdBmfa15v5AftUEvHYtYrT2.
 Mr. Gwinn has himself acknowledged the importance of parental autonomy in resolving intrafamily conflict without police intervention, and the exposure of Alliance entities to “significant” liability for injuries to citizens facilitated by novel state intervention strategies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATtBh2UPIo from 2:30-3:58. We concur.
 The Alliance provides an exhibit referring to an ABA survey of women who received domestic violence services from the criminal justice system indicating that such women don’t want the relationship to end, but simply to change the behavior of their partner. For women, a “successful” criminal justice system intervention seems not to be a successful prosecution, but (1) by ending the tense conflict, and (2) by using the coercive fear of future prosecution to adjust the “power and control” while maintaining the relationship. If so, the threat of jail is a novel aphrodisiac in the Western world, though apparently still successfully practiced with child grooms and brides in certain Hindu regions of India.
 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith.” Matt. 23:23.
 Judge Hand observed that “right conclusions are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of tongues than through any kind of authoritative selection. To many, this is, and always will be, folly, but we have staked upon it our all.” United States v. Associated Press, 52 F.Supp. 362, 372 (D.C.S.D.N.Y.1943).
 From The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith (1759): “The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquility of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.”