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August 11, 2009 permalink

Here is a profile of father Donald Tenn, who protested on a construction crane in Ohio for four days in 2008. Note the level of incivility by the judge, who refused to let Tenn speak in his own case.



Abducted child's father faces prison for peaceful protest

August 9, 6:34 AM, Family Rights Examiner, Teri Stoddard

Donald Tenn

Donald Tenn, the Sacramento father who traveled to Washington DC recently for a rally to confront President Obama on his "fathers need to step up" comments, will be in a Columbus, Ohio courtroom Monday morning on charges related to his 4 day protest on a 175' construction crane last year.

Tenn was a stay-at-home daddy until Shannon Phillips took their daughter to Illinois on what was described as a vacation three years ago. After her arrival Phillips announced that she had no intention of returning to California, or of allowing Madison to return. When Tenn reminded her that California law prevents parental move-aways Phillips filed her first of many false charges of domestic violence against Tenn.

Donald Tenn, Stop the war on fatherhood

At one point he had hope. One judge refused a restraining order and scolded Phillips for her antics. But after Tenn had one visit with Madison in Illinois Phillips renewed her campaign of false allegations.

He writes on his website

I had finally received a California court order for visitation with my daughter. I was certain it would be enforced by the police in Illinois.

But Moultrie County States Attorney Marvin Hanson ignored the California Court order. He told police to no longer assist Mr. Tenn in his efforts to visit his daughter. He even went out of his way to contact the California state court. He was looking for a restraining order so he could arrest me!

There have been no consequences for any of Phillips' illegal activities. She has not only been allowed to keep custody of Madison; she's also hiding Madison from Tenn, against court orders.

Donald Tenn with Madison

Phillips, like many women is allowed to break the law and perpetrate fraud upon the court and tax-payers. Studies show that one million allegations of domestic violence filed each year are unnecessary or false. The Violence Against Women Act has continued to fund Phillips' crimes, travel and legal fees through battered women's shelters, including WEAVE in California and DOVE in Illinois.

Tenn has had family court judges in both Illinois and California refuse to address his custody and visitation concerns, each telling him to go back to the other state to file in that family court. And when they did address him, he says, his attempt to protect his daughter and her best interest was not their concern.

By phone recently he said:

Donald Tenn with Madison

I've been yelled at by judges three times for saying that I was there for my daughter. If you get a traffic ticket you're given several minutes to plead your case. Like most dads I thought if I just tell the truth everything will get sorted out. But go to family court and you aren't allowed to speak.

Sacramento County family court Judge John Winn got so upset when I told him I was there for my daughter the baliff walked over to the judge to calm him down.

When I told Judge Thomas Cecil that I believed the restraining order to be mutual, he yelled at the top of his lungs he was so angry.

Tenn, who is now President of Fathers 4 Justice in the United States, spent the 4 days on a 175' construction crane in a thunderstorm. He and Paul Fisher, who had come down earlier, hoped to draw media attention to their plight, and that of millions of fathers across the country.

Donald Tenn

He went on:

I don't know how they're getting away with this. The judges are breaking the law. They don't care. I'm a good and loving daddy. I don't deserve this. Madison doesn't deserve this.

Asked if there is a war on fathers Tenn said:

I hear the same story from fathers in every state. I've traveled the country and have seen it myself. I challenge anyone to sit in any family courtroom, in any city, in any state, for one hour on any day of the week. They will see that the war on fathers is real.

When Tenn, who has years of tower climbing experience and Fisher unfurled their banner, they didn't know what reaction their presence would cause when the sun came up and the construction crew came on site. They were happy to see they had the support of the workers. They were even told that the crane itself wouldn't be needed for a couple of days.

With news reporters present, not ten minutes after Tenn's descent, workers had the crane up and running. He's being charged thousands of dollars for a safety inspection that from the looks of it was never done, along with federal vandalism charges that could land him in prison for 18 months. Tenn is hoping for a sympathetic jury.

video: Day 4 : Fathers-4-Justice OSU Crane Protest YouTube or local copy (flv).

Source: National Examiner