Custody Evaluators

Custody Evaluators:  When therapists are dangerous.  Also see, Therapists and Psychiatrists.  But just like the military – report a crime, get a personality disorder.  The similarities are starkly on point.

Among the findings of a seven month investigation in the military:

* An estimated 26,000 troops were victims of sexual assault in 2012, a 35-percent increase from the prior year. By the Pentagon’s own estimate, 89 percent of those assaulted do not report the sex crimes.

* A staggering 31,000 troops were discharged over the last decade on the basis of having “personality” disorders.

* A government review found that the military illegally discharged hundreds of victims.

* Women are being disproportionately discharged for personality disorders, even though records show they typically had no history of a mental condition before they were assaulted.  This mirrors family court.  Along with various DV related non-profits hindering efforts to end domestic violence.  Examples are here.

San Antonio Express investigation
Ann Covertino
, a seemingly resolutely biased custody evaluator is finally ordered removed from a case by Appellate Court.  What about a return of fees?

Lets roll.  It’s time to end routinely requested custody evaluations.  Roy Bradbury best illustrates why.  As stated in the SB Sun, 

“In virtually all cases in which Bradbury was brought in as an expert witness, the court made a custody decision in accordance with his recommendations.

Bradbury was deemed so credible, that judges routinely overlooked contradictory opinions rendered by other psychologists or evaluators brought in on the same cases.”Bradbury later killed himself.

Among our 12,000 plus family court records, is a list of attorneys and psychologists arrested for a variety of offenses.  Including not actually being attorneys and psychologists.But most worrisome is the pattern of the cases featured below, which reveal family court is, when all is said and done, a high-stakes game of money and politics. The problem is always the same.  Only the names changes.  Which is why Cronyism stamps out “oversight” at every turn.  Send us your examples.


Alameda County
Dr. Chris Hodson

The never married Hodson has a peculiar habit of intensively interviewing witnesses from one side, but not the other – then dismissing complaints.

Orange County
Dr. David Jimenez

The behavior of Dr. David Jimenez, who sits on many panels throughout California, was such that the he may lose his license.

Los Angeles – a best, worst case example
Dr. Joe Kenan

Consider Beverly Hills Psychiatrist Dr. Joe Kenan, 

past president of the of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, best known for his lewd Facebook postings, hard partying lifestyle, who seemed overjoyed to have gotten Bobby Trendy to host a function sponsored by the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry. 

And that’s just the part he made public.  It’s worth noting Pasadena CommissionerMary Lou Katz refused to remove Kenan from a case stating, 

“You’re saying Dr. Kenan should be disqualified because of a goofy Facebook page. What on earth does it have anything to do with this court?”

[With a jurist as dense as Katz we recommend bouncing her from any hearing involving any child.]

Media recently outed the lewd pictures part.  In another area of media failing to address the crimes committed in family court, media just completely blew off Kenan’s extortion attempts, in favor of focusing on pictures to shock.

The LA Times reported:  “State law sets requirements for evaluators, but County courts oversee their appointments and handle complaints. LA County Superior Court requires private evaluators like Kenan to submit sworn declarations detailing their training and experience, including at least three years of working with families in custody disputes, but does not vet the information or conduct background checks.”

Kenan has been involved in at least 250 custody cases in the last 10 years. Kenan wormed his way in the county’s custody evaluations office as a medical intern in 2002, before graduating to part-time employee from 2004 to 2009 according to a Superior Court family law and probate administrator.

The money is in Private Evaluations.

Evaluators on the court’s staff work at a fixed rate but private evaluators set their own fees, which can be more than 10 times as much.   In Kegan’s case he stipulated to a $7,500 and then demanded thousands more to “finish his report” offering to send a “runner” over to pick up a check.

Most evaluations aren’t necessary

In Singer’s case she already had custody of her daughter, now 5, and supported her financially. Singer’s estranged husband had barely seen the child in two years, was serving a one-year jail sentence for a probation violation and faced additional felony charges upon release, the records state.  But that’s how the evaluators roll – and attorneys aren’t stepping up and just saying “No” to evaluations.  Perhaps now they will.Marin County:
Dr. Margaret Lee

One Marin County woman said long ago Dr. Lee mentioned she would continue to see a couple’s child, although there was nothing wrong with the child.  When another litigant attempted to report Lee to the Ethics Board – it was discovered Lee sat on the Board.  Separate from seeing patients for no reason, the woman is just plain, strange

Dr. Edward Oklan

Deemed “Not Credible” by an LA Court in the Alanna Krause case, Dr. Oklan’s evaluations have been so bizarre three children placed with their abusive parents wound up entering law school.  That’s some kind of legacy.  But then, as the California Auditor’s office found, Marin Court judges are using people who are unqualifed for their custody evaluations.

Monterey County:
Dr. Elizabeth Lee

Sometimes it’s better to be succinct.  A disaster.

Santa Clara:
Michael Kerner

After we noticed the bad reviews on Michael Kerner were disappearing from Yelp, we suggested people dissatisfied with Kerner (and Yelp’s willingness to remove bad reveiws) people make new one at the Rip Off Report.

Meanwhile, how did psychologist Michael Kerner react when a litigant filed a formal complaint against him with the Board?  The next day Kerner filed a TRO against the individual, citing voicemails from a year earlier, but referenced in a way to make them appear recent.  After mediation, the motion was dropped.  Athough seemingly embroiled in the case, Kerner, the psychologist who is being paid to render his opinions, refused to recuse himself and next made claims against the litigant.   We’re waiting to see if the Judge, perhaps on the judge’s own motion will ask psychologist Kerner step out.  If not, we recommend not working with any attorney who sings Kerner’s praises.

Separately, we have noticed psychologist Kerner’s name on a couple of lawsuits, and Kerner’s bad reviews on-line; another reason to steer way clear of Kerner as apsychologist, or custody evaluator.  But separate from that, we believe it’s time for the public to take a hard look at local government.  Why DA Jeff Rosen hasn’t acted against Kerner and Ayers remains a problem.  Nt taking action against Ayers and Kerner…is essentially not providing honest services.  Ultimately that means people are paying taxes for services the District Attorney refuses to provide.

San Diego:

Breffni Barrett
Employ at your own peril.  Barrett often makes sweeping statements about people he has never met.  Also, Superior Court records.  The list of claims against Breffni Barrett include, the State of California as well as the city of San Diego.  Which strikes us as weird, given Barrett’s long association with San Diego PD, the department long afflicted with officers who attack women.  Barrett is a father’s rights guy and his reports offer an extreme bias against women.  Separately, for a guy who claims vast amounts of  expertise at spotting negative traits, why would he sue so many people in unlawful detainer actions?  Seemingly, Breffni Barrett sues many people he leases properties to, wouldn’t it be reasonable to suspect his “expertise” could be used as evidence his take on things is quite often, wrong.  We have received many complaints about Barrett over the years.  He strikes us as toxic personality.  He was also featured in on of San Diego’s most litigated cases, “Saving Damon” a convoluted case from the get….in which the only way the child escaped was to become emancipated. Use Breffni Barrett at your own peril. 

Stephen Doyne

Judges who continue to support Stephen Doyne as “highly respected” are themselves, suspect.  We visited his office once and became so creeped out we got a refund.  Far more sinister however, is Breffni Barrett.  Contact us for details.

San Diego:
John C Parker IV

One word comes to mind with Parker.  Ka-ching. According to some reports “John C Parker IV Inc in San Diego, CA is a private company categorized under Psychologists. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of less than $500,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1 to 4. Companies like John C Parker IV Inc usually offer: Behavioral Psychologist, Psychologists Jobs, Pet Psychologist, Jungian Psychologist and Military Psychologist.”

Equally troubling?  In one case the judge wrote, “the record shows he submitted his 45 page report to the court almost a year later.”

In any case where the Court appoints this guy – we recommend an appeal. 

Neil Ribner

Neil Ribner is someone we recommend avoiding at all costs.  If ordered to use him, we recommend an immediate appeal.  Ribner has submitted “reports” when asked to simply write a letter, and then charged outrageous fees, all while his license was expired.
Separate from other complaints received, Ribner has also Not protected children by allowing one parent to verbally disparage another, exactly the reason he was hired for supervised visitation….while promoting himself to be used for future visitations.  (Ka-ching.)  Ribner’s association with Alliant University, one of San Diego’s least reputable establishments pretty much guarantees future problems.  The university is politically embedded in the courts.  Personnel sits on various boards, (and the phrase “highly regarded” is always used to prior to identifying them by name) which in San Diego, constitutes the bedrock of San Diego’s custody evaluation problems.

New York
Saratoga County

Fake therapist Steven Feldman arrested.  Saratoga County contracted with him for custody disputes.  On June 2, Feldman pled guilty to one of the four charges.    However, as Maria Geizer’s arrest demonstrates, Saratoga seems to have a problem checking credentials.

Clifton Park
Dr. Mary O’Connor:  Dr. O’Connor was featured in the Rip-Off Report.  The charges sound very familiar.

Dallas:   The doctors also mix it up.  Dueling shrinks

Dr. Edward Silverman:  This Houston practitioner, whose lack of skills recognizing parental alienation are only surpassed by his inability to recognize a pedophile.
The saddest issue being Dr. Silverman appears entrenched in the Houston Bar Association as a presenter of information.  How scary is that?  Content copyright 2019. Family Law Courts. All rights reserved.