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Family Lawyer Throws in the Towel

Filed under: General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 7:56 pm Wed 20th June 2007

Palmerston North Family Court Lawyer Penny Clothier throws in the towel.

Family Lawyer throws in the towel

Well worth a listen




  1. Yes I heard Penny on National Radio this morning and I could relate to why she left the totally inappropriate adversarial litigation world of the Kangaroo family court. As a six year client of the disgraceful court I am saddened that not once in all those years, did any one of dozens of the well paid professionals ever bothered to watch the loving interaction between a heartbroken dad and his alienated daughters at the access visits. The Family Court is a prejudice and bias cess pit of pious corruption as instead of avoiding conflicts that might seriously impact on the children they condone parental alienation and encourage the adversity tactics for effect by the legally aided funded custodial mother. It was not fair my daughters had lawyers and psychologists assigned to them by a judge in their early childhood years, as they did not ask for them. I can assure you someone is accountable for my major depressive episode that was built on a foundation of cumulative malicious false allegations.

    Comment by dad4justice — Wed 20th June 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  2. Finally, a family court lawyer who appears to have some principles and some common sense. Can it be true? I can hardly believe my ears.

    Everyone shoud have a listen to this interview, probably only available through the Radio NZ website for the next few days. Email your comments to [email protected]

    This lawyer describes (it’s so uncanny it gives me goosebumps, when have we ever heard industry insiders opening up like this?) exactly what is wrong with the FC; Lawyers do not have relationship skills, mediation skills, knowledge of child development. Lawyers encourage an adverserial approach to the problems of separated parents, which only make the problems worse. The family court fails fathers and children in particular and so many good kiwi blokes end up having to simply walk away from their children. The solution, Penny says, is simple. Keep lawyers away from ‘care of children’ disputes.

    Phew. Hearing these words uttered on National Radio has put me in a cold sweat and nearly brought on a fainting spell. Listening is like having strayed into a parallel universe, one where the iniquitous evils of family law get reported as they are, exposed to fresh air and sunlight. Of course many of us have been able to come to the same realisations within about five minutes of becoming involved with the fc, whereas it took Penny 30 years. But unlike so many of her industry colleagues, she has taken a good hard look at the family court and been able to see it for what it is, and all credit to her for that.

    Comment by paulm — Wed 20th June 2007 @ 10:56 pm

  3. It was an interesting interview. Wonder if Boshier was listening, especially about the ‘voice of the child’ perhaps causing more trouble than it is worth, as that was Boshiers baby! We need some more lawyers to take the same stand.

    Comment by wendy — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 11:11 am

  4. Now lets not get all teary eyed because one woman told half the truth, (granted that’s more than you can expect from most lawyers), when others like Terry Carson where ridiculed for writing articles like fiction in the family court. There is one stark contradiction in the interview, in that the attacks by men’s groups are unfounded, and there was room for constructive criticism. How many petitions? How many submissions? How many meeting with the family law section? How many complaints that went though Mahoney’s vacuum cleaner. So this woman has voluntarily handed in her practicing certificate. That’s hardly a noble deed while perfidious lethrinus like Simon Mitchell and others should have theirs taken off them and prosecuted for their criminal behaviour. If specialist jurisdiction means you’re above the law that the rest of society abides by, then that’s not fiction in the family court, its a legal fantasyland.

    (not to offend all lethrinus, I was only referring to the dangerously toxic ones with long snouts)

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 5:52 pm

  5. Well said Bevan “the family court, its a legal fantasyland.”

    I wish the prejudice Kangaroo Court judges could hear the roar of pain that their fantasyland piety has caused, as the Court is guilty of child abuse, because it is a court devoid of obeisance and balanced gender fairness.

    Comment by dad4justice — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 7:07 pm

  6. Wrong. I found a bloody excellent lawyer who was actually a court appointed lawyer to act in my young sons’s best interests after our seperation.

    Thanks to him I won shared custody of my only son. He listened to my side of the story, looked at the Police Report which stated that my ex had clearly made malicious and false complaints against me, and he interviewed my 7 year old son who wanted to be with his dad.

    He subsequently blasted my ex at every opportunity and stood up in my favour in court.

    Ritchard Russell of Cruickshank Pryde & co in Invercargill is a big burly man, not to be trifled with.

    Even so, I am still stuck with paying exorbitant child support to my ex even though I care for my son half of the year and buy him clothes and toys and whatever he needs, including setting him with a bank account for his Uni education.

    I just want fairness and equality.

    Comment by Morris Lindsay — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 7:18 pm

  7. Morris,

    What reasons are given for ordering you to pay your ex when you are already demonstrably meeting your half of your son’s care?

    If that question is too intrusive, are you able to say if any reasons were actually given?

    Comment by Rob Case — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 7:32 pm

  8. Morris

    One of the reasons the NZ family court system failed so badly was not because there were some good lawyers but because it did not abide by the self regulating nature of the law societies of NZ. Because those that acted inappropriately, unprofessionally, and illegally, received the indemnity of parliament, and have never had to answer for any degree of the escalating unprofessionalism of this jurisdiction. There are some people that need to be extricated from the confines of this jurisdiction and held accountable for their behaviour, and the simple suggestion that you found a good one does not absolve those that failed to uphold a reasonable degree of accountability, and professional standard, in the interest of the public good, and the integrity of the judiciary.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 8:53 pm

  9. I did not originally apply for 50/50 custody. I couldnt. My son was 7 yo. I was a was prohibitive. he is now 10 and very responsible.

    Now he is older I can c

    Comment by Morris Lindsay — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 9:15 pm

  10. I know. Basically money take precedence over morals, thats all u said.

    All I want to do is look after my son 1/2 of the time. He wants that too. I have the time. He has the time.

    Why should I pay her $350 a month just because my son &I want to be together?

    I pay for most his clothes and his eduction as it stands.

    Is there no such thing as 50/50 parenting?

    Comment by Morris Lindsay — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 9:30 pm

  11. Not in New Zealand Morris thank the feminazi’s for that !!!

    Comment by dad4justice — Thu 21st June 2007 @ 9:48 pm

  12. I phoned the IRD, told this (woman) I wanted 50/50 sharing of my son, which I can do.

    She told me in order to for me to cease making any payment to my ex wife, I would have to look after my son for 5 nights a week. Every week of the year.

    A discussion involving equal costs, discrimination and basic fair play ended in a bitter argument as you can imagine.

    I had hoped the system would recognise my 10 year old son wanted to stay with me more often and liked the 50/50 idea.

    I was thinking I would not then have to pay me ex wife any more money since all costs would be equally shared between us.

    I just cant believe this. I just cant believe the injustice especially when when I buy my son the more expensive items, such as the new $500 bike he got for Xmas, his new clothes and his Star Wars computer games.

    The stupid IRD bitch at the IRD told me I should not have bought him anything at all, not for Xmas, his birthday, or as reward for doind so well at school!!!

    I’m not a DAD, I am just a paying parent according to the IRD. I just have to the money to my ex, and buy my my son nothing.

    If I did that, carried out the advice i got from the IRD, would I be a Dad in the eyes of son? i don’t bloody think so.

    I enjoy buying things for my son. I like the way his eyes light up when I buy him something special, like his new bike. I can see the adoration in his eyes..

    “dad buys me nice things and gives me nice meals” so I know he loves me.

    “dad nevers buys me anything, not for Xmas, nothing for my Birthday, not even when I get an Excellent Report from my school….so I don’t think Dad loves me…I prefer to stay with my mum.”

    The children dont know what goes on behind the scenes, the excorbitant and crippling costs placed on the father rather then the mother. The mother stays at home, enjoys the money bestowed upon her by the feminazi goverment in the way of financial handouts and Child Support.

    Mum doesnt have to work. Dad does. Mum can bestowe love in many forms including gifts and rewards. Dad cant.

    If you are kid, who do you want to go? The mum who buys you neat presents and gifts and clothes and hugs. Or the dad who just gives you hugs?

    Think like a kid.

    Comment by Morris Lindsay — Sat 23rd June 2007 @ 11:49 pm

  13. Do not believe a word of what that womans says. She stands up there on her soap box in yet for the last 13 years she has done nothing but rip my step daughters life apart.

    Along with the help of another government department Penny has now placed my step daughter with her mother who does drugs and drinks. She has three children with three different fathers and a new partner. She does not work and stated that she has no intention of working until her youngest turns 5 at least, another four years away. She does not even have half of what this girl’s father and I have to offer her but Penny believes that it is the best place for this child as it is where she WANTS to live.

    I recorded a conversation with Penny in her office about 12 months ago where she stated that she only represents the wishes of a child and NOT the best interest of the child. If she did represent the best intersts of this child she would not be living where she is currently living.

    Penny has been so anti my partner who has raised this girl on his own without input from her mother who has never given a toss about her for 13 years. Penny has been pro the mother having day to day care of her even though it is very clear that she is totally financially and mentally incapable of caring for her.

    At the last court hearing Penny and the lawyer for the mother were passing notes in court for two days. About five minutes before the end of court when Penny saw that her case was not going well she jumped the fence and said that even though it is her clients wish to live with her mother it is in her best interests to stay with her father. Penny dragged this court case on for four years becuase she believed that her client should be with her mother.

    From the time my step daughter was 8 Penny has pushed and pushed to get her infront of the judge for hours at a time.

    Needless to say the mother was on legal aid and of course would get a larger benefit by having another child living in the house and my partner and I are hard working members of the community. I believe that this has all been a money making exercise for mother of the child and her lawyer and Penny. If it wasn’t why are we still in court? Why was this not resolved years ago? Mother of the child has already been on the DPB for 8 years and has stated that she will be on it for at least a further 4 years. That is unless she has more children as her new partner doesn’t have any kids yet! Wow what a great role model Penny has just placed this child with.

    Just before Penny threw in the towel at the end of last year she called our lawyer to say sorry! If Penny had been doing her job what would she need to say sorry for?

    Do not believe a word that comes out of that womans mouth.

    Comment by Natalie — Mon 9th July 2007 @ 3:08 pm

  14. The arbitrary system should never have been employed in the first place, social problems require social solutions. Presently although it has taken a massive drag onthe system pilot programmes have been set up in courts to negotiate separating problems before they reach court. Mediation and facilitating compromise by way of plans that could be orders are under way. However, these neither resolve the problems of child support and its invasion over the principles of care and contact, nor does it reolve as Bevan is hostile the damage from the past.

    The child support issue has a little more hope for the moment than the remuneration and accountability problem from a history of incredible damage. I posted yesterday the updated story for Michael Cox in the UK. Morris should read this (search child support on the engine 1st story up and read the last entry), I do not see why this case precedent should not be admissable as cause for a review of his circumstances. He could note comfortably that even if we no longer have a Privy Council surely the case would be admissable if we did.

    As for the accountability this is a different and some would believe impossible hurdle. In fact I think it is the only hurdle to all of teh problems we have. In my court proceedings for deliberately breaching a protection order by sending a letter to Phil Goff and a copy to my ex-wife, (I did complain about her behaviour in her copy) the lawyer for the Crown objected to me bringing forward evidence to the court on the corruption of the Family Law system. This was my point and the reason for breaching the protection order as I did. I wanted to prove the corruption and the criminal court was the best place so to do. The point he made in order to seek the justification was most interesting. He said it would have a “snowball effect”. Of course he was absolutely right – which was also the reason for me handling the trial in the way I chose. The fact is that the injustice is only just away fromt he surface and the administration have no answer as to how they will respond when it is recognised that a gross injustice has developed over a relatively small number of years. The casualties will be absolutely horrendous. Ask the coroner – oh, sorry , he just got retired from he chief position. WHY? What would he tell? After a fuss they had to reemploy him, not least because his job was pretty busy. What I am saying is that the evidence is all there on just how bad the court is and has been. The values system of the judges are starting to be checked but the history remains hidden. Lawyers like Penny want to get out because they can read the signs. The answer then, in order for there to be some progress on holding those who have done the public of NZ such a terrible disservice is for the organisers of the menz movement to figure out what they want to compensate the damage that has been done; to figure out how to reach in order to stabilise the relationships that have been torn apart; how to give comfort and hope to those who have been sucked dry of their associations with their loved ones; extorted for every cent that is accessible. That’s where our think tank should centre itself. WHAT WILL FIX THE PROBLEM FROM THE VIEW OF THE DISAFFECTED!

    In the meantime, we still have 6 cases in with the Families Commission. There are complaints going into the Ombudsmen and there is a protest being held outside the Hastings Court in a couple of weeks. And Julie is running a seminar as well. There is more, for sure, but what part will you play in challenging the primary problem rather than simply defining its conditions?

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Tue 10th July 2007 @ 11:07 am

  15. A lot said about Penny Clothier, let’s not forget that she destroyed some people’s relationship with their children. She was my son’s counsel and she is responsible for me not having seen my 12year old son for some 8 years now. She acted (very) inappropriately and dishourably when she acted for my son. I have many, many pieces of evidence of this.

    And do not forget that she was one of the lawyers supporting the Family Court and Family Court judges in June 2007 via an open letter. I wonder if the grapes turned sour for reasons we do not know yet. Maybe she wanted to be a Family Court Judge but was rejected.

    Yeah Penny Clothier, if you read this look me up. [name removed] has two beautiful brothers, [name removed] (3) and [name removed] (1.5) and when their mother took them to Carterton to meet [name removed], [name removed] came out of the house and told them to “piss off”. I was nowhere near Carterton then (actually thousands of kms away. So, no Parental Alienation as you consistenly said without looking at the evidence.

    Penny, I am an Indian and believe in Kama – perhaps you could avoid all that will be coming your way by doing what you should, get [name removed] to know his papa again. I hope you have a great life with your grandchildren.

    Comment by Name Removed — Fri 18th January 2008 @ 1:40 am

  16. Morris Lindsay: what a really neat post!

    Comment by pete — Mon 21st January 2008 @ 12:06 am

  17. Hi Morris

    we too have obtained 50/50 shared care of my husbands children. We are like you and STILL have to pay $260 a week to their mother ASWELL as their medical, clothing and misc items whilst they are in our care. We actually have them ‘technically’ about 4 days more than his ex due to long weekends….and still IRD tell us we have to pay her that foolish amount…..for what we ask. She now has 2 weeks each month where she can obtain fulltime employment …but why would she when she’s laughing all the way to the Bank with her choosen 20 hrs of work a week, top up’s from Aunty Helen and our $13.5k per yr…. Where is the fairness here?

    Comment by Karen — Wed 23rd January 2008 @ 8:41 am

  18. You can apply for an admin review under ground 8 of her earning capacity. Her assessed income could be moved up 100% given that she now works 20 hours and could realistically work for 40 hours a week. Lots of precident for this decision from a review officer. Bit of a trade off as the ill-will that such an application might bring could be huge.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Wed 23rd January 2008 @ 9:08 am

  19. Thanks Allan

    Comment by Karen — Wed 23rd January 2008 @ 9:43 am

  20. Hi,

    Like Morris and Karen, we too have 50/50 shared care of my husbands children. We too are expected to pay $860 a month CS. We have been to MPs to discuss this issue. Seemingly scraped under the carpet, “it’s just the way the system is. We can’t change the law”. They are politicians, they are the ONLY one we have to take this issue to parliament but they refuse to even acknowledge the injustice of it. We went for an administrative review on ground 8 and financial hardship. The report we recieved back after the hearing was based entirely on what his ex had said in her interview (she insisted we had seperate interviews). When we asked to see her budget (which we were told would be available for us and ours was to her), she hadn’t done one. The entirety of the report, right down to her earnings was straight from her mouth, no proof given or apparently needed.

    It’s a dead end road with IRD and our government in regards to this issue.

    Comment by Muddy — Tue 26th February 2008 @ 12:09 am

  21. Hello : Pls I need your help out there.I am writing on behalf of a man a very hard worker that haven’t see his children for over a year because he has to work overseas to pay for mortgages, child support and wife support. He is desperate he is on the second lawyer already. His wife does not want to sell a big villa because she wants him to keep on paying that mortgage, they have another house that cost much less but he said that he has been working all his life to end up with nothing, he wants to keep the smaller house sale the villa give her the part that belong to her and then he will have enough money to pay child and ex-wife support (she does not want to work), he also want to have money to go back to NZ to see his kids. Do you know of a good courageous, honest lawyer that can handle a case like this? The wife is delaying everything with lies, and his lawyer keeps on asking him for proof, he told him to make her give proof first because of the lies.

    Comment by Sam — Tue 18th March 2008 @ 6:14 am

  22. Hi there, just like to say there is no such thing as a good courageous honest lawyer unless you pay big bucks and even then its just a no go situation, we have had a few family lawyers but now we have found Greg Webster i think we will be fine, i always thought a lawyer is there to take your instructions but these ones suggest i leave my wife of three years whom i love and trust more than anything but really i feel she has been discriminated enough, she has lost her children, she will never loose me and these ——– have no choice but to give our son back

    Comment by Hadi Akbari — Tue 18th March 2008 @ 5:49 pm

  23. Hi guys, i just thought some of you might like this info
    Petitions Team
    Office of the High Commisioner for Human Rights
    United Nations Office at Geneva
    1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
    PH (41-22) 917 900
    Fax +41 22 917 9022
    E-Mail [email protected]

    Comment by Hadi Akbari — Tue 18th March 2008 @ 9:01 pm

  24. Thanks Hadi , I have tried that a couple of years back.
    The whole movement is sadly a waste of time.

    Comment by dad4justice — Tue 18th March 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  25. Criminal lawyers handle all crime related issues and its consequences. It is known as offence act against the society. The lawyers dealing in this case are responsible to understand the view of accused in the case proceedings. Anyhow finding any criminal lawyers in US is not difficult but criminal lawyers of New York are very popular due to their service excellence.

    Comment by Criminal Law — Wed 17th September 2008 @ 8:25 pm

  26. From my experience in the Family court with her by opinion is that this vile human being should never have been allowed anywhere near children.

    Comment by Roger — Fri 19th May 2023 @ 12:54 pm

  27. This is a good post, with good comments.
    It has people trying, using the system to get change.
    Showing how even 50:50 care, is still biased in NZ.
    But time has shown, nothing has really changed.
    Despite people trying, the system protects itself.
    Everything they tried, was just a dead end.

    Penny Clothier, is just like any individual.
    In her own mind, she may have always tried to do good.
    And in hindsight like everyone, at times she made mistakes.
    Defended her client, and not the child.
    She like any lawyer, is trapped in a system.
    Years in court, years with people fighting over petty things.

    I have my own experience, of Palmerston North.
    My own case, was in its family court.
    Maybe I met her, the ex did have a lawyer.
    I mentioned a banned subject, and the judge lost the plot.
    I had no choice, but to stop talking.
    Seeing my son again, was at stake.

    Why then do banned subjects, even exist.
    I’ve tested some of them in court, and quickly get shut down.
    It’s just like the comments, everything is a dead end.
    No matter how correct you are, nothing can change.
    No letter or court case, no complaints or protest works.
    The only option left, is to just say things anyway.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 19th May 2023 @ 10:35 pm

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