Jennifer E. Joseph was appointed to our case by a judge from Dakota County District Court. When I met with Jennifer E Joseph, she told me how she works things is that she does her investigation and gives us her recommendations and if we agree, that’s great but if we don’t, then she writes a report for the court which would cost an additional $1000. She also said that the mother and I both had a right to see anything in our file.
I told her all of the specifics of the case which were…I have been caring for children since I was like 11 years old, I had been raising my ex-wife’s children as my own since 2000. The mother had a long history of mental illness, the mother was also type 1 diabetic and had a history of psychotic episodes due to low blood sugar (and Ilso provided Miss Joseph with an audio recording of the mother waking up in the middle of the night screaming in pain because she was convinced that her arms were engulfed in flames and were on fire), the mother was involved in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend that she no longer had feelings of a romantic nature for but refused to let her go and her only recourse was to have relationships outside of the relationship (which is how our child was conceived in the first place), The ex-boyfriend would drive her to such a state of depression that she would intentionally neglect her insulin as a form of self-harming tencency to intentionally make herself sick and has been hospitalized and place on a suicide watch in the past for doing so, The ex-boyfriend had a deep hatred of me because of her feelings for me and the fact that we now had a child, the ex-boyfriend was a master manipulator and maniacal control freak, the ex-boyfriend was a Methamphetamine addict (and I provided her with email conversations where he discussed his methamphetamine addiction).
After my initial meeting with Miss Joseph, I didn’t hear much from her. I had gotten an email from her in March of 2013 claiming that she was called away from our case for a week yet I didn’t here from her for another couple of months or so. Eventually, it was getting close to our pretrial date which I think was sometime in June…maybe July (I would have to check my records) and she decided to meet with me and the mother’s lawyer (and I had no lawyer) to give us the findings of her investigation and her “preliminary recommendations”. When she met with us, she decided to discuss her findings about the mother first. The first thing she said was that the mother’s live-in ex-boyfriend tested positive for methamphetamine and a second test was pending. Then she discussed the mother’s mental health issues (and everything that goes along with that) and all she said about that was that “Tami has quite the extensive history” (and everybody in the room knew what that meant…she had learned from the therapists that everything I told her was true). Then she turned her sights on me…and the only bad thing she said about me was that I had no room made up for my child (which only made sense since my child had never even been to my house at this point because I only had supervised visitation until the investigation was completed).
Then Miss Joseph gave us her “preliminary recommendations” which was…the mother be granted FULL LEGAL AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY…along with a complete list of stipulations concerning drug testing and consequences of failed tests…she even put a clause in the recommendations stating that if the mother or her live-in ex-boyfriend failed a drug test, custody would never go to me but would go to the grandmother…for no actual reason against me whatsoever!!! I was in a devastating state of shock when I was told that there was methamphetamine use in my child’s home and because I had no lawyer and felt backed into a corner by 3 lawyers (Jennifer E. Joseph, the mother’s lawyer, and the county prosecutor looking for child support) I stupidly agreed to Jennifer E Joseph’s recommendations. Once I left the courthouse, I realized the horrid mistake that I had made and tried to undo it but the judge made me abide by my decision to follow the recommendations that I had agreed to…and now, the aftermath…
A few days after the pretrial, I called Miss Joseph and asked if she had the results of the second drug test that was pending on the mother’s live-in boyfriend. She said no, not yet. I asked if I could get a copy of the original drug test that he failed. She said no and that if I wanted it, I would have to subpeona the entire file (yet she told me in the beginning that we each had a right to anything in the file). As I was talking to lawyers about trying to get my agreement reversed, one lawyer told me about a Mn statute that states upon the request of either party or their attorney, the custody evaluator must grant us access to our file. I later received an email from Miss Joseph stating that normally she requires a subpeona for access to a case file but since I was pro se, she would forgo the subpeona and just make me pay for a copy of everything in the file (to the tune of $100…still illegal). I decided to go over her head and get a copy of the drug test results another way. I sent a letter to a judge asking for a subpeona for all drug test results from Minnesota Monitoring which did the tests and it was granted but when I got the drug test results back I learned some startling discoveries.I expected 1 test back but I got like 20… First of all, there was no second test pending! The truth of the matter was that Miss Joseph ordered a hair folicle test (which goes back 3 months) which failed, then there was a Urinalisys (which goes back 5 days) and that one also failed! Then there was approximately 5 tests each month for the next 3 months which tested negative. So once I started piecing things together, logic dictated the obvious…Miss Joseph was never working for the best interest of the child, she was working for the best interest of the mother. As soon as the mother’s boyfriend tested positive for methamphetamine, Miss Joseph went to the mother and said, “Look, unless your bff cleans up his act, I’m going to have no choice but to give custody to the father”. And when that happens, she also puts a clause into her preliminary recommendations making sure that I would never get custody of our child??? 1 of 2 obvious conclusions here…either the mother paid off Miss Joseph or Miss Joseph tried pitting us against each other by stating one obvious conclusion based on the evidence yet recommending the exact opposite so neither of us would agree just to get the extra $1000 for writing the report. Oh, and did I mention the Miss Joseph specifically stated to me and the mother’s attorney that she didn’t want her “preliminary recommendation” actually part of the court record? (although it kinda is because mom’s lawyer mentioned that to the judge so technically, it would be part of the court transcript)