My desolate friend Idelle, another pro per/pro se, has sent out an SOS to her many supporters, of whom I certainly am one. If you live in the Los Angeles area, come on down on Friday (don’t expect media attention though, they’re very uninterested in this burning situation).
Her story in Family Court, much longer than mine, is on her very informative website UNITED FOR JUSTICE, which details her tangles with Judge Arnold Gold, and how her daughter Heather, now an adult, was taken from her by court action.
[Judge Gold won’t be there, however, because he now sits as a “private judge”, selling his services more lucratively than when on the bench. I know, because I overheard heard him say this to a bunch of Loyola law students in court – detailed in my motion to dismiss him before my wife’s suit was heard against me. You can download it here, law students. Download file. If you have money and are a celebrity, you can hire him through “Alternative Resolution Centers”, a Limited Liability Company, its hungry judges beyond judicial oversight, and offered to consumers for the privacy it offers.]
Here’s Idelle’s message:
“Dear friends,
This coming Friday, August 12 at 8:30 AM in Department 58, fifth floor of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse at 111 N Hill Street in LA , Heather’s ultimate fate will be resolved. The Court will decide if she is to live her life under the absolute control of her father under a permanent Conservatorship with permanent restraining orders against my having any contact with Heather – replacing the “Temporary Limited Conservatorship” that was illegally imposed without notice to me shortly before Heather’s 18th birthday last October. That happened after her father heard Heather’s phone conversations about moving home with me, redecorating her room, etc. Her father has testified that he sought the Limited Conservatorship available only to clients of the Regional Center which Heather is not nor has ever been [a client] only after he was contacted by Dr. Phil to appear on that show. I think however this was planned as the final nail long ago to insure that as an adult Heather will never have the option to seek civil or criminal retribution for all the harm she has suffered at the hands of her father, court appointed attorneys and therapists.
I urgently need the Court to see that there are many, many people who have been and are concerned about Heather. I need you in the courtroom on August 12. I know it is summer and you have other places to be but this is the day that will determine the rest of Heather’s life – and of course my own.
Please do what you can to come on Friday and show your support for justice and freedom and for Heather and me. There is parking across the street from the court on both Hill St and 1st St.
After 12 long years of trying to protect Heather, I feel as though I will be going to my own execution on Friday.
Thank you in advance.
Idelle”

FOLLOW-UP:
August 13, 2005
Well, I said I would be there, even though we hadn’t communicated in a year, so I got some background of the case from a web article see this and then went. Actually, the case had now matured to Probate Court, and these were my impressions:
I won’t get into the case itself, Idelle can plead her own cause, but the case drags on as though life’s length is infinite. Rulings have yet to be made, but certainly I can report on what I observed.
I was surprised to see that Mr. Cowles had brought his daughter to the courtroom, and because the courtroom was fairly full, I seated myself against the wall so I could observe Heather during the proceedings, just an empty seat between us. She didn’t look at me once, but seemed nervous and preoccupied. We didn’t speak.
She’s now almost 19 years old, and has grown into a very beautiful and sexy brunette, and I’m told interested in being an actress.
This time, I saw that Idelle had a male lawyer to represent her, which was smart, considering her forceful pro se arguments tend to annoy judges, and her ex-husband had 2 female lawyers to represent him, and Heather, it appeared, was represented by a male court-appointed lawyer. None of whom came and greeted her.
The judge appeared, and waved to Heather with a smile, which she returned. Good, I thought, he cares about her. Perhaps this was the moment for her to leave the room, but no.
During a break in the proceedings, Heather’s father, Ovando Cowles, stood and came up to me, identified me by name, shook my hand, and said he’d studied this blogsite. Good, I said, I’m glad somebody’s reading it.
He then, astoundingly, leaned down and yelled at me to withdraw his name from this site, or there would be consequences. I don’t know what they might be, but I told him that I would not remove his name. I also said that I had heard that she enjoys acting in her school plays, shows talent, and that I as a professional theatre director would be very interested in coaching his daughter for an acting career.
At which point the court bailiff shouted that this conversation should be held in the corridor, and I said that I certainly wasn’t shouting, and I didn’t start it anyway, and the bailiff said that’s true.
Then the judge reappeared, and proceedings continued.
I listened to evidence from his lawyers that Heather was a plus or minus 70 IQ and should be protected and that conservator protection should remain with the father where it has been for the last ten or more years.
I kept hearing his lawyers say that if Heather were put on the stand she would say so and so and this and thus.
I waited in vain for the judge to interject that she was certainly capable of speaking for herself, and should immediately be put on the stand to speak.
But that didn’t happen, and she sat and fidgeted, squirmed even, while having to listen to lawyers arguing her fate. Which included that she could only see her mother in a room strictly supervised by a psychotherapist, and that restraining orders would be continued against the mother into the foreseeable future.
That nobody in her case asked Heather to wait outside (or not as she wished) was astonishing to me, and to my mind was an abuse of her and her civil rights, assuming she is being allowed to have any.
For my money, I would take a 70 IQ actor or actress to direct any day over a super intellect with a 140 IQ. Acting is a profession that makes use of one’s “child”, and a director takes that offering with the awe and respect it deserves attendant with a tremendous sense of responsibility. Clint Eastwood, the director, goes even further. He says to his actors when working “Empty your brain.” And while we’re discussing IQ’s, it’s worth considering that the writers of Forrest Gump assigned him a 75, and look how he dealt with what he had!
Meanwhile, I think the comfort and support of a mother’s love cannot be underestimated. One hopes that the conclusion of the court will be that Heather is an adult, should be given the benefit of the doubt, and should not be held captive by anybody.
Incidentally, it is worth checking out the full range of what IQ is and how it’s interpreted. Here’s a site on Wilkipedia that explores the subject thoroughly.
Wilkipedia