Back in May, I wrote an article entitled, “Utah Woman Has Son Stolen By DCFS Agent Despite Declaration of Innocence by Court and Social Services,” where I discussed the case of Katerina Jeleva, a Utah mother who has been victimized by an out-of-control Child Protective Services system. If you are new to this case, I encourage you to go to the article linked above in order to understand the background behind this update.
In short, when Katerina was served with a Protective Order by her ex-husband during the midst of a divorce proceeding, Katerina’s son was immediately taken from her by DCFS agents along with armed police. Yet, after repeated interviews and investigations by psychologists, sex abuse investigators, and other DCFS agents, it was determined that there was absolutely no evidence that Katerina had abused her son.
Soon after her son was returned to her, however, Katerina was served with yet another Protective Order by her ex-husband – this time with the help of rogue Guardian ad Litem, Amber Ruder. Once again, after the filing of the second Protective Order, Katerina’s son was forcibly removed from her, with police literally taking the child from his mother’s arms.
The process of interviews and investigations thus began anew and, again, Katerina was exonerated. Yet, after being ordered to organize and facilitate the family therapy sessions, Guardian ad Litem Amber Ruder has flatly refused to obey the judge’s orders, telling Katerina that she “cannot and will not do this for you.” Ruder has since been claiming that Katerina’s son may not be returned to her at all because the two have been separated for such a long time that it might traumatize the child to return to his mother.
Ever since the second Protective Order, Katerina has been fighting an uphill fight in what seems like a never-ending legal battle where she is forced to represent herself despite having very little time and money at her disposal. In addition, Katerina is having to contend with a Guardian ad Litem who is not only being uncooperative, but is actively sabotaging and opposing Katerina’s efforts to be reunited with her son.
Now, however, Katerina claims that even individuals within the court system have been playing a role in confounding her legal efforts. For instance, when a court issues an order, copies of the order go out in three different directions – the defense, the prosecution, and the court (which keeps a copy).
Yet, in Katerina’s case, only the court and the legal team of her ex-husband have been receiving the orders. Katerina claims that this is because the orders that should be going to her are being sent to the offices of the attorney she had hired some time ago but has subsequently ceased to obtain services from. But, since she is now representing herself and is no longer using this attorney’s services, the office doesn’t bother to contact her when they receive the orders.
Katerina says that, even though she has clearly stated to the court – presided over by Judge Sansbury (who handles hearings dealing with the Protective Orders) – that she was representing herself and that the new court orders should be delivered to her personal address, the documents are still being delivered to her previous attorney. Thus, she is in a constant state of surprise regarding her hearing dates, as she must either call or visit the offices of the court in order to find out whether or not a new court order has been filed.
Not only that, but Katerina also claims that the legal team of her ex-husband, consisting of his attorney Jere Reneer and the ever-present Amber Ruder (who is legally only supposed to represent the child), have become increasingly arrogant and dismissive not only of her rights, but also of the authority of the court.
The case regarding the petition to terminate parental rights which was filed by Reneer is a perfect example. Katerina states that, when the original petition came before Judge Mary T. Noonan, the judge in charge of custody hearings, Katerina’s ex-husband and Amber Ruder were told that they needed “clear and convincing evidence” in order for the petition to be accepted. According to Katerina, the judge stated clearly that this petition did not contain the requisite “clear and convincing evidence.”
So, Katerina says, Reneer filed for a “motion for leave to amend the petition.” This is simply a request for permission to be granted by the court to amend or update the petition already filed. This motion for leave was filed on March 1, 2012. However, on the very same day, Reneer filed an updated version of the petition with the court as well.
This is important because, if both the motion for leave to amend and the amended petition itself were filed on the same day, it shows that Reneer did not even wait for the permission of the court which is required before the petition can be amended. It would, indeed, show an alarming amount of arrogance on the part of this legal team – as they have obviously assumed that the permission would be granted. It also shows a brazen disregard for the legal process and authority of the court.
Regardless, Katerina states that this amended form of the petition contains even more embellished accusations and even less evidence than the original. She also states that it contains a new demand that, in the event that Katerina’s parental rights are not terminated, sole physical custody should be awarded to her ex-husband and that she would have to pay child support to him.
Obviously, these are ridiculous demands. Yet they were also reasserted by her ex-husband during the mediation period held on June 28, 2012. Katerina’s counter-proposal was the option of a co-parenting agreement (both parents being equal), no child support, and that the ex-husband must drop the allegations. Unfortunately, no agreement was made.
As a result, Katerina is now being forced to go on the offense and has indicated that she is now in the process of filing a lawsuit with the District Attorney’s Office of Utah, requesting a full investigation of her ex-husband for filing multiple false Protective Orders, a serious criminal charge. She is also filing a libel suit against him.
Katerina also states that the day after the mediation fell through, Amber Ruder filed a verbal motion with the court claiming that the original interview DCFS interview with Katerina’s son had been compromised and requesting that another interview take place, this time on camera. However, Judge Noonan rightly denied this motion.
Ruder has been truly persistent in the quest to separate Katerina and her son; and even though Ruder was given the responsibility to organize and facilitate therapy sessions for Katerina’s son and for sessions with the two together, Katerina claims Ruder is continuing her obstinate behavior by making the process as difficult and impractical as possible. Because Ruder is not fulfilling her court-ordered responsibility to facilitate these meetings, the work once again has fallen on Katerina to organize appointments with the agreed-upon therapist.
In the end, when the other parties (like her ex-husband) do not show up to appointments, Ruder replies simply by stating “too bad,” as if it were Katerina’s responsibility to ensure that her ex-husband, who would gain nothing by cooperating with her, show up for the appointments.
This has left Katerina with very little choice but to file a claim against Ruder in the 4th District Juvenile Court of Utah, requesting that Ruder be replaced with another Guardian ad Litem. Katerina is citing “incompetence, prejudice, and negligence and otherwise inappropriate behavior” as her reasons for this request.
Indeed, according to Katerina’s filing, Ruder has been removed and replaced as Guardian ad Litem in another case for similar reasons.
One bit of positive news, however, is that Katerina has finally been able to have the first joint therapy session with her son after a marathon of stalling attempts by her ex-husband and Amber Ruder. Indeed, from Katerina’s report regarding the session, one might see why Ruder has been attempting to sabotage the process at every step.
According to Katerina, the session could scarcely have gone better, with her son overwhelmed with excitement and joy at the opportunity to finally see his mother after eight months of separation. Katerina describes her son as being “all giggles and smiles” and “beaming” as they tried to catch up on what they had missed during their time apart. At the end of the session, Katerina says that he ran up to her, hugged and kissed her, and told her that he loved her. Overall, the session was a success.
Indeed, it seems clear that the only “trauma” suffered by the child was that caused by Amber Ruder, Katerina’s ex-husband, and the CPS-style system itself. It is also clear that, after false accusations have been made on two occasions, Katerina has been broken financially, and her son is being robbed of any modicum of a healthy childhood largely due to a rogue power-tripping government agent, someone must be held accountable.
But let’s not start holding our breath just yet.
This is because, according to Katerina, the current Protective Order has been extended four times since November 2011 and remains in place until September 31, 2012. Thus there is the very real danger of an attempt to extend the Protective Order yet again on the part of Amber Ruder and the ex-husband, which would only lengthen the time that Katerina and her son are forced to spend apart.
With this in mind, I have included contact information for Amber Ruder in case any readers would like to contact her and explain to her why she should give up on her attempts to separate a son from his mother or, in addition, simply resign from her position before she destroys anyone else’s life.
I have also included the contact information for Amber Ruder’s boss, Rick Smith, the Director of the Office of Guardian Ad Litem of Utah if any readers would like to contact him and request that he investigate the behavior of Amber Ruder.
Also included in this article is the contact information for Judge Mary T. Noonan, the judge in charge of the custody hearings.
If you would like to contact Katerina Jeleva and offer assistance to her in any way, her contact information is provided below as well.
Amber M. Ruder
Guardian ad Litem, Attorney
32 West Center Street, Suite 205
Provo, Utah 84601
Director of the Office of Guardian Ad Litem of the State of Utah
Clerical Department for Judge Mary T. Noonan
4th District Juvenile Court – Orem
99 E Center Street
Orem, UT 84057
Wendy Matheney – 801-724-3820
Crystal Tua’One – 801-724-3802
Sandra Willard – 801-724-3811
Christine Wilcox – 801-724-3810
Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over one hundred articles dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville is available for podcast, radio, and TV interviews. Please contact us at activistpost (at) gmail.com.