Thursday, August 05, 2004

ACCAMA update on Burton's Bill

I found a few spare minutes and I got the following in an email so I am simply going to paste it verbatim:


Revised Draft of SB 730--Watered Down, but Still a Step in the Wrong DirectionAugust 4, 2004
A draft of the revised version of SB 730--the anti-LaMusga move-away bill now in the California legislature--has just been released. In part because of the efforts of the
Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways in organizing large scale opposition to this bill, the bill has been watered down significantly from its original.

To read the new draft of SB 730, click here. To read the original, in which custodial parents were to be granted the right to move without even obtaining a court order, click here.

Nevertheless, even the revised version of SB 730 is still a significant step in the wrong direction. LaMusga is a very moderate opinion. LaMusga still puts the burden of proof on the nonmoving parent, and would still allow most custodial parents to move with their children. The revised SB 730 abrogates LaMusga, and makes it even more difficult for nonmoving parents to block a move.

As previously mentioned, SB 730 will reportedly be heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on August 10. For up to date information on the LaMusga bill and information on how to take action, click here.

Chronology of events regarding SB 730 and LaMusga

August 4, 2004Revised draft of SB 730 released. To read it, click here.

July 27, 2004Letters to Sacramento by ACAAMA supporters total over 1,000.

July 26, 2004Opponents and proponents of SB 730 meet with Anthony Williams, principal consultant to California Senate President Pro Tem John Burton. Several endorsers and supporters of the Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways speak, including Garrett C. Dailey, who represented Gary LaMusga in the California Supreme Court, and family law attorney Peter M. Walzer. Dailey presents Williams with 600 letters from ACCAMA supporters expressing their opposition to SB 730.

July 25, 2004California Supreme Court denies petition to rehear LaMusga.

July 24, 2004Over three dozen family law attorneys and mental health professionals endorse ACCAMA. For a list of endorsers, click here.

July 20, 2004 Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlesinger, an outspoken opponent of the 1996 Burgess decision, endorses ACCAMA's campaign on the air. See Dr. Laura Joins Campaign Against Unrestricted Move-Aways (MND Newswire, 7/23/04).

July 13, 2004Over 300 ACCAMA supporters write to California Senate President Pro Tem John Burton. Burton's principal consultant Anthony Williams invites ACCAMA representatives to discuss the anti-LaMusga bill.

July 11, 2004Los Angeles radio talk show host Glenn Sacks announces the formation of the Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways, and calls his listeners to action.
June, July, 2004Prominent California family law attorneys write letters to Burton opposing anti-LaMusga bill. To read the letters, click here.

June, 2004Draft of SB 730 is leaked. Draft states "the custodial parent has a presumptive right to change the residence of the child and does not need a court order allowing him or her to do so." Draft is available here.

April 29, 2004California Supreme Court decides In Re: Marriage of LaMusga in favor of the father, Gary LaMusga. See: LaMusga opinion at [PDF], "Is a Pool More Important than a Dad?" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/4/04) and Court: Closer scrutiny in custody case moves (Sacramento Bee, 4/30/04).

February, 2004Burton introduces SB 1367, which instructs courts that a custodial parent's request to change residence cannot be "frustrated by undue delay." See California Senate Leader to Family Courts: Don't Consider Children's Best Interests (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 4/6/04) Burton later pulls SB 1367 in favor of SB 730.

October, 2003In his last days in office Governor Davis signs SB 156, which reaffirms the Burgess decision. See New California Move-Away Law Hurts Children of Divorce (Long Beach Press Telegram, 10/18/03).

June, 2003Arizona State University professors Sanford Braver, Ira Ellman and William Fabricius release a study which finds that move-aways are correlated with damaging long-term consequences for children. See Relocation of children after divorce and children's best interests: New evidence and legal considerations and New Study, Case May Help California Children of Divorce (Pasadena Star-News & Affiliated Papers, 6/5/03)

August 28, 2002California Supreme Court agrees to hear LaMusga. Read all briefs from all sides here.

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