You may Be Suffering From Legal Abuse Syndrome If You Have Been A Victim Of DCF

Personal note: I have been doing some reading on LAS (legal abuse syndrome) and PTSD since I have begun to fear my own shadow. I hate the doorbell to ring, I run to the window to try to see who it might be, and rarely answer, if someone knocks on the door with any force I am paralyzed. I do not like to answer the phone and thank God for caller ID, when I go out of the house, heaven help me if I see a child who reminds me of what we have lost, I can not tell you the times I have spent vomiting in public toilets, a police car in the rear view mirror leads to deep breathing and panic attacks, the thought of walking in a courtroom is enough to reduce me to a shaking mess.  Certain names like Robin Jensen, Lisa Voght, James Parker, and Brena Slater can cause me to feel a sense of violation like no other. Sleep rarely happens and is often interrupted by nightmares, or even worse waking and screaming for your child. No one cares, all of those I thought would protect us have not only failed us but willingly allowed misconduct and lies. Those I held in high regard due to their positions of trust and power I have found to have let their power corrupt their values and morals. Do I think I am ill, yes I know I am, I have a good doctor who is trying to help, a church to support me and my husband and children who have stood by me, but I also know I will never be the same person I was, I will never trust in the “system” and have been totally disillusioned by what I always thought was my constitutional rights as an American Citizen not only being disregarded but willfully being tramples on by those sworn to protect them.

If you have any of these feeling or thoughts you are not alone and it is not in your head, seek help.


Many  victims of the legal system suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, identified  as Legal Abuse Syndrome, brought on by the abusive and protracted litigation, prevalent in our courts.

You may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome if you feel deeply disillusioned and oppressed as a result of your experience with the legal system; if you feel you were frustrated in obtaining justice; if you feel your dreams and plans for your life were torn from you by a system that is supposedly there to protect your rights and property; if you fear that the system will defeat you at every turn and there is nothing you can do about it, and if you feel that you have been victimized several times over, by the perpetrators, by lawyers, judges, bailiffs, DCF employees and other court personnel.

As a consequence you may suffer from tension and anxiety, recurring nightmares you may feel emotionally an physically exhausted, numb, disconnected and vulnerable.

Victims of legal abuse syndrome typically jump when a phone or doorbell rings, check obsessively to see if windows and doors are locked and try to avoid anything that reminds them of the legal system. [this sounds just like my life]

“I’ve known some who can’t even walk into a courthouse,” says Huffer. “They’ll take a detour just to avoid seeing it.”

In severe cases, physical problems arise: High blood pressure, chronic fatigue and heart attacks. Among the most susceptible to the disorder are people with cases in family court, says Huffer. They fight over their houses, their children and other intensely personal matters, and are prone to crack under the emotional pressure.

The enormous betrayals and inefficiencies that make up bureaucratic post-crime experiences are literally attacking the emotional health of the nation. She recommends that the community of American citizens adopt the following:

1. Oppression and abuse of power are injurious to the health of the victims. Domination by abusers of bureaucratic power threatens the very functionality of the public and private sections in our country.
2. Victims are not self interested, narcissistic folks who sit around and

wallow in their losses. They are courageous individuals who face their pain and care to right the wrongs. They participate in the collision of evil and good as it is classically intended in order to achieve balance. Denial is popular, but far less responsible.

3. Trust is a social staple that must be protected just as earth and water must be protected to provide for survival. When trust is damaged the community suffers and society as a whole will eventually falter and collapse (Bok). Veterans of crime must exude zero tolerance for lying in courtrooms, lying in political campaigns, lying to cover-up, and deceptions through omission and nonperformance by public officials and public servants.



“Anyone who has ever worked in a legal aid office or law library has met people whose lives have come unhinged after a bad contact with the legal system.  The details vary; they may have lost a business or inheritance or the custody of a child, but the common theme of feeling violated by the legal system does not.  Even 20 years after losing a lawsuit, some people who suffer from legal abuse syndrome still carry a suitcase of old legal papers around, desperately hoping someone will help them find justice.”

Ralph Warner, 1997
Co-founder and former President,
NOLO Press,



LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME, Kerin Huffer M.S., her website is or

A new cause of action that is a new bases for lawsuits is being accepted by the courts allowing cases to proceed on claims of “organic brain injury” caused by traumatic stress.  An article appeared on this on November 11, 2002 in the National Law Journal. Click here to see full article.

Harassment related emotional distress is being recognized in the work field upon which lawyers are now suing. To read the article by by Joni Johnston, Psy.D. Click here There is no reason why the same facts and reasoning should not apply to the harassment inflicted on victims in a lawsuit.



10 comments to You may Be Suffering From Legal Abuse Syndrome If You Have Been A Victim Of DCF

  • Glen Gibellina

    How about Thomas Ball, Corrupt Family Courts at it’s best, it’s what they do….destroy families
    Thomas James Ball in his “last statement” before he self-immolated in front of the courthouse that was integral in destroying his life.
    Thomas James Ball, born 2/21/53 and his wife at the time, Karen Louise Ball (maiden name Primiano), born 3/2/65 had begun divorce proceedings about a decade ago. It was alleged that Ball had committed domestic violence against his 4 year old daughter at the time, Melissa. Karen had called Monadnock Family Services after the incident and was allegedly told that if she did not report the incident to police, that she would be arrested for child abuse. She called Jaffrey PD out of fear of what the government people would do to her family (steal her kids if they were both arrested) and because of their mandatory arrest policy in domestic violence cases, Thomas was arrested. He was found not guilty of simple assault in Cheshire Superior Court, despite slapping his daughter multiple times and causing bleeding. The Jaffrey PD apparently admitted that pressing forward as a domestic violence case was a mistake. His wife’s testimony shows he did not have a history of violence. Thomas figured he’d get to see his kids again after the not guilty. He figured wrong. The court continued to press for counseling at Monadnock Family Services (MFS) prior to allowing Thomas unsupervised visits with his kids. Of course, this is a huge racket for MFS, who likely is paid for every one of the cases they are sent by the court, either by the people involved or by the state of NH.
    Thomas claimed Monadnock Family Services misinformed Karen when she was told that she better call the police or she’d be arrested for child abuse. He outlines the history of the case in question in his lawsuit against MFS from 2006. Here’s the PDF of his claims. The court dismissed the case against MFS primarily on a statute of limitations technicality.
    Thomas’ odyssey with Cheshire superior court’s “justice” system stretched for an entire decade of his life, and despite making child support payments and having unsupervised visitation with his young son, he was unable to have unsupervised visitation with his two daughters, not because he was considered a danger, but because he refused to attend counseling as ordered by the court. Why did he refuse? Because the location of the counseling was to be Monadnock Family Services, the very same agency that he believed was responsible for escalating the situation and intimidating Karen Ball into calling the police in the first place. He wanted the decision on unsupervised visits to be made by the court, but the court kept passing the buck to MFS, therefore he did not participate, as he felt the case worker had a vendetta against him, as she allegedly refused to meet with him until he “changed his attitude”.
    In 2009 he lost his job and was unable to continue making child support payments. As a result, Karen filed for a hearing on contempt of court, which the court scheduled for 6/24, next Friday. You can download Karen’s motion for a contempt hearing here in PDF form. In it, she alleges that Thomas owes thousands in back child support and attorney’s fees and demands the court sentence him to jail until he can pay the amounts demanded.
    Of course, one might wonder how a jobless man could pay anything to child support behind bars, and perhaps Thomas was wondering how that might be possible as well. Facing an indefinite jail sentence, during which the amount “owed” would continue to grow, he chose to end his life in the hopes that someone would pay attention to the plight of families destroyed by this horrible system that is supposedly there to protect us. (Of course the truth is, they protect and serve themselves, not us.) He had tried the legal route, filing lawsuits to no avail. He tried to protest, joining the Fatherhood Coalition and picketing courthouses and the state house. Nothing worked.
    Thomas James Ball was a man pushed to the brink by an inhumane system enforced by people who act like they have no empathy and are “just doing their jobs”. Thomas had his own issues with which to deal, but by all evidence, and even according to the state, he was not a domestic abuser, despite losing control with his daughter, which was clearly the wrong thing to do. Had the people calling themselves the state never gotten involved, maybe his family would still be together.
    “Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge That no king can corrupt.”
    William Shakespeare

  • Patti Penning

    OMGosh. I have this. I was in Paralegal school when I went through the court system and I was so disappointed and upset that I cannot work as a Paralegal now. I also have a B.S. in Law Enforcement, but I believed in the laws then. I no longer have any faith in our legal system. It is so crooked that it is scary. I saw County Attorneys break the law, Social Services committed embezzlement, Abuse of Discretion, Bias, Discrimination, Lawyer Misconduct, etc. It was unbelievable. The County Attorney even provided my husband’s social security number to Social Services via a public fax. After that he had his credit card compromised. They made us jump through hoops only to tell us that we shouldn’t have jumped through those hoops. The Appellate court didn’t even read the 43-page, 28 issue appellate brief because the opposing attorney pulled some crap and they threw the entire thing out, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I am now very hopeless about this country. I don’t trust anyone and I am fearful of being in the wrong place at the wrong time because who knows what the legal system will do to you? I saw legal corruption when I was trying to break into the field. That case completely ruined my career. I don’t work in the legal field at all now. What a waste of 7 years of college.

    • i am very sad and sickened after rdnaieg these stories! in my opinion, they are cowards as they only hit little toddlers- children as they know they cant hit them back. hit someone your own size and see if it works like that lets hope you die of your long ignored suffering! i am currently in year 11 at the whitby high school and when leaving sixth form i am going to train to be a social worker. i want to make sure all children in my case are safe and protected. i feel very passionate about this person who is sort of campaining about abused children. sorry to call you this person i just dont know your name. if not to much trouble, can you reply back to me on my school email adress or even my home hotmails . i would be appreciated. my name is katie jane horgan by the way. please reply soon x

  • I cryed hysterically reading these stories, how can humanity allow these crimes of bullying to occur in our court systems? Since my less than just experience with the DFC and family support services, I too have been diagnosed by PTSD and one of my triggers is DCF workers and any unjust person with in the courts. Once a loving responsible mother and citizen and teacher in the public school, i have been reduced to a shell of a person who has no faith in goodness. I never wanted to take my child away from anyone, not even her documented emotionally abusive and gender abusive father, but she was taken away from me based on trumped up exaggerations and overt lies and “shading” of the facts. All i wanted was to be a part of my child’s life, but the father and the system was against it and made a case that devastated myself all that know me and my family including my children. Now i do not know who to trust and what will become of the shambles the system left me and my children in…my career was ruined, my sanity was taken from me and my children are without a mother. How is that justice?-sally willage

  • Kit

    My wife and I are victims of family (anti-family?) court. Up until we got embroiled in the tyrannical, anti-justice fiasco of dealing with Child Protective Services, I was taught that the legal profession was in fact, a profession, devoted to helping its clients. In reality, lawyers only serve the interests of themselves and their “profession”. Lawyers are members of the legal RACKET. People should not dignify it by falsely claiming it is a “profession”. This racket has morphed into the legal-judicial-police state-industrial complex. Kids go to law school, so they can later chase ambulances, read and decipher complex, Latin-laded corporate documents, or become law professors or judges. The most ambitious of them become politicians. Politicians make more complicated, crazy laws, which begets a fake “need” for more lawyers. More bureaucracies and agencies controlling peoples’ lives forces them to buy the “services” of attorneys, and it is just a huge racket to force people to cough up private funds or taxes for more lawyers, bailiffs, courthouse paper shufflers, law schools, etc. Japan has only 35,000 lawyers and they are the world’s leading high tech design center. They led the world in modern manufacturing, with China now taking the lead. In Washington, DC, there are probably 35,000 lawyers on every block of K Street. They are a useless, pedantic, predatory breed of human garbage and their vile racket should be dismantled by NON-lawyers. Future practice of justice should involve NON-lawyers in supervisory and advisory capacities, to ride herd on the predatory instincts of would-be shysters. The public should be empowered to pull the plug on them at a moment’s notice.

  • I am currently in theraphy for “anxiety and stress.” The court tried saying I was mentally Ill however a did an extensive evaluation and it came back with traits of personality disorders, but no clear diagnosis other than stress and anxiety with a recommendation of therphy for the next 18 -24 months. after reading about LAS I believe i have this. Do you know anyone in Washignton state that can diagnois this or look into this?

  • barbara

    I was diagnosed about two years ago with LAS – see Karin Huffer’s 2 books about this subject. Protracted litigation and corrupt court decisions not only exacerbated my Fibromyalgia, but caused me to begin a whole new set of debilitating symptoms which have rendered me unable to sleep properly, hold a job, succeed in relationships, enjoy life, maintain goals, dreams, and hope. I suffer from what I call “spinal cord attacks,” which feel like rushes of adrenaline or cortisol permeating up my spine, making me feel paralyzed, causing severe pain, lasting for 30 seconds to 2 minutes – resulting in complete exhaustion and distress.
    My once beautiful life as a drama and music teacher, writer and producer of children’s musical, and fledgling writer, have all but vanished. I am so debilitated from extensive legal research, useless destructive attorneys and judges, horrendous living conditions imposed upon me by corrupt judges who denied me due process, the loss of my beautiful family home to my ex (which I had been paying for but couldn’t qualify for), the purging of all my earthly belongings, a now transient lifestyle, and increasing medical problems like high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, and hopelessness.
    I am anxious to hear from others who have been diagnosed, or now think they SHOULD be diagnosed. Oh and by the way, this is now an official disability! So the very government whose agencies are causing LAS, will now provide disability to its own victims. Absurd!
    PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORIES WITH ME – I am compiling compelling stories – good bad, over, not over, all of them – I want to publish a book of these atrocities – how people cope – or do not cope – etc.
    Thank you for sharing, for those who don’t know. LIVINGWITHLAS@LIVE.COM

  • Geeta

    There stories are sad but not surprising. I have actually said in court that Family Court is a joke, they don’t help anyone. When I divorced with my husband we agreed to try and keep the court out of it as much as possible. Immediately the court demanded a family plan and at the time we didn’t feel like we needed a set PLAN because we were capable of figuring it out. He was also immediately forced to pay child support which I never enforced but was enforced when I had to go on government aid. When that happened he was growing more and more resentful to me even though I didn’t limit him and visitation and would do things to return his child support and used it with him to do family things. When he got involved with a certain woman she no longer wanted me in the picture at all. She after a few months made a plan to get rid of me and keep my daughter so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. At first he said that he wouldn’t ask for child support but I guess he found out that raising her cost a lot more than what he was already paying me. Either way his gf is still destroying us and he lets her. Now speaking with him or reasoning with him is impossible. I haven’t seen her or be able to talk with her on the phone without him dictating and listening to the conversation. I actually don’t even know what to say at all when on the phone with her. I feel like a deer in headlights. I don’t find any relief in the conversation and I doubt she enjoys it either. I am sure she gets punished for certain things she says and its not much because I have spoken with her for a total of 15 minutes in 4 years. If I didn’t have other children I wouldn’t have much reason for living. I can see how people commit suicide and do mass shootings. I am surprised there isn’t more. No wonder they have security at the door.

  • Daniel Clifford


  • After going through an abusive twenty nine year marriage, last three in an abusive divorce, Judge validated our prenuptial, on the false testimony of our family lawyer, that had already been invalidated years ago for numerous reasons because I wouldn’t stop talking about the fraud and malpractice being done in my case by the abusive defendant, his lawyers, my own numerous ;lawyers and judges in our flawed legal system. The defendant was awarded our multi million dollar estate(gained during marriage) and I am left homeless( we have three residences) destitute and deeply in debt. women have no rights.The family lawyer has a vested interest in our estate in the defendant’s will. Sharon Blanchard

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