"An appalling scheme to separate a child from his mother"

The same day the Court of Appeals issued a strongly-worded opinion calling the Orange County child custody case involving Emily McManaway's son a "charade," it issued a second opinion affirming the dismissal of McManaway's lawsuit against LDS Family Services, Cecil Bohannon, Marvilyn Bohannon, Kristin Bradley Branch, Johnny Lee Branch and Attorneys Donna Ambler Rice and Leigh Peek, on the grounds they had absolute immunity because their misconduct occurred during judicial proceedings. The Court noted that other legal remedies may be available to McManaway against the parties who interfered with custody of her son:

Because we are reviewing an order granting a motion to dismiss, we have taken all of the allegations of plaintiff's complaint as true. To the extent that they are in fact true, they reveal an appalling scheme to separate a child from his mother by misrepresentations and manipulation of court proceedings. Our conclusion that the trial court properly dismissed the complaint should not be read as an endorsement of defendants' actions. Other legal remedies may be available to plaintiff for these wrongs.

McManaway v. LDS Family Services, Inc. et al.


State Bar fails to discipline attorneys involved in "charade"

If we need any proof that the North Carolina State Bar is as corrupt as Orange County District Court consider this: The North Carolina State Bar sat on Emily McManaway's Bar grievances against Leigh A. Peek and Donna Ambler Rice (formerly Davis) for months.

Just days before the charade of my Bar hearing at which I was disbarred while recuperating from bronchitis, the State Bar dismissed the grievances against Peek and Rice, claiming it did not have enough information to find they had engaged in unethical conduct. The State Bar had to dismiss the grievances before my Bar hearing so Donna and Leigh could testify falsely under oath at my Bar hearing with impunity. This is not only a charade, it's prosecutorial misconduct at its worst!

The State Bar accused me of attempting to convince the public that the legal system in NC is corrupt. Once the public hears the facts, the public is smart enough to arrive at its own conclusion.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

The State Bar is a Marx Brothers Movie [ Not Carl]

Watching the State Bar twist in the wind of legal corruption, where all lawyers are equal, except some lawyers are more equal than other lawyers fits the profile of a "Judical Star Chamber"

Rachel To Betsy

From: rachelforjustice@hotmail.com
To: nclegalreform@gmail.com
Subject: RE: "Appalling scheme to separate a child from his mother"
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 22:22:05 -0500


For some reason the opinion appeared now and I read it. WTF? You raised nothing which so much as even resembled a defamation claim regardless of not construing labels on causes of action as definitive. So, taking the appeals court at face value, attorneys and litigants are now privileged to lie about the facts in court proceedings because of some kind of immunity for judicial proceedings? Of course those fine folks at the NC Bar will be all over that, right? You are a menace for bringing out the corruption here and were disbarred because you had to be silenced, but lawyers like Donna Ambler Davis and Leigh Peek can lie and perpetrate fraud and can get away with that?

C'mon. Really, how stupid do they think you or anyone who is not room temperature are? This demonstrates once more the intellectual laziness that passes for legal reasoning among the NC judiciary. They looked for a loophole whereby they could dismiss the case without having to think. If they had guts, they would have sent this over to the NC Disciplinary Board with instructions to pursue a disbarment action against these attorneys and they would have allowed your action to proceed. However, no amount of money will ever compensate poor Emily for the time that she has lost with her son.

And what are the other remedies your client supposedly has against these people? None. All that she can hope for is to have a proper custody hearing so maybe she can get her son back.

Appeal this or have your client appeal it if she can. Can you get the ACLU interested in this? Or some organization for parents' rights?

I think the McManaway opinion is just plain wrong except for the last paragraph you cite in which they admit that this was an "appalling scheme."

Reading this "opinion" just infuriates me.

Rachel Lea Hunter

Emily's options

It's a difficult opinion to read but Judge Elmore does a good job of providing Emily with a legal guidepost for how to proceed. NC recognizes the common law civil action of tortious interference with custody. While federal courts do not have jurisdiction over domestic claims, they do have jurisdiction over torts and there is diversity between the parties in this case.

The bogus 2003 consent order was used to "abduct" Emily's son from the state of Nevada. Once the 2003 consent order is established as void ab initio by the trial court, the only party who ever had and now has legal custody of Emily's son is Emily, and every other defendant, including LDS Family Services, who engaged in the conspiracy to kidnap him from NV, conceal him in NC, and thwart Emily's custody, is not immune and can and should be held liable.

I would argue that Judge Buckner is also liable for furthering the charade as well as the State Bar, because by not disciplining Donna Ambler Rice (formerly Davis) and Leigh Peek, the Bar emboldened them to continue their malfeasance. That's one for the history books, isn't it? A State Bar encourages attorneys to act unethically because it does not want to be caught with egg on its face for prosecuting the whistleblower.

Leigh's brief to the COA was pure poppycock and, thankfully, she got shredded at oral arguments. If the State Bar had done its job and disciplined her for the obvious misconduct she engaged in, she would not have signed her name to an appellate brief replete with lies and would not have perjured herself at my Bar hearing. Same goes for Donna.

Eddie Greene, who began representing the Branches after Donna was discharged, was smart enough to not co-sign Leigh's brief. When Leigh invoked the former COA judge's name at oral arguments in an effort to bolster her credibility, the panel pointed out to Leigh that the only person who signed her bizarre brief was her.

Last but not least, Nevada has a criminal kidnapping statute and it is my understanding that Emily is evaluating all of her legal options in NV and in NC.

There will be justice.

Betsy J. Wolfenden