Author Topic: sure, stay was longer, but  (Read 1445 times)

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Offline katfish

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sure, stay was longer, but
« on: June 19, 2005, 08:33:00 PM »
No on can tell me the major problematic effect of MMS wasn't to place doubt in our minds about right and wrong

This is a sad story:

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

   With discovery in this case complete and even without the records the defendants ?lost?, we now can document much of what was done to plaintiff in the name of ?treatment.? Although the plaintiff never had a behavioral disorder of any kind, the defendants had her taken out of school, strip searched and placed in their treatment facility. For thirteen years they deprived her of an education, kept her in a closed society in which they made all the rules,  systematically destroyed her ability to function in society and engaged in horrific behavior modification techniques by rewarding her for lying and punishing her for telling the truth. When she finally escaped she had no money, no education and no ability to function. She did have mental illnesses and suicidal ideations induced by what they did to her.
   What is remarkable is not that it took Lulu Corter two and a half years to commence her suit. It is that the Newtons are not in jail for what they have done and that she was able to survive to file a suit at all. On this motion the defendants attempt to use the condition they put her in and left her in to avoid answering for their deeds. This statute of limitations motion is just the last hurdle that Lulu has to overcome before she finally gets to tell her story. For the reasons set forth in this brief and the attached Exhibits, it is a frivolous motion and an insignificant hurdle.
 
STATEMENT OF FACTS
   Lulu Corter became a Kids patient on October 27, 1984. She remained under the Newtons? control for the next twelve years and ten months until August 1997 when she escaped from Kids with the assistance of her grandmother. She was 13 years old when she entered Kids and 26 when she left. She spent most of her time at Kids in the first and second phases of treatment (Exhibit P) where she was subjected to conditions which violated a panoply of State laws and constitutional protections. (Exhibit A)
   In specific terms, she was deprived of her right to an education, deprived of sleep, subjected to daily group therapy conducted by people without any qualifications or credentials, physically restrained on hundreds, if not thousands of occasions, assaulted, humiliated and lied to. She was observed in the bathroom doing the most private of acts and subjected to a special rule that required her to sometimes ask for permission to wipe herself after bowel movements and limited the number of times she could wipe. (Exhibit N, page 51) In a facility in which nobody was treated well, Lulu Corter was the runt of the Kids? litter. No one was there longer. (Exhibit I) A rhyme written by the staff that she was required to sing for their amusement went like this ?I?m Lulu Mae and I?m here to stay.?
   Another song sung by the staff had these words
Lulu is here to stay because she?s in a blue chair for seven years now and she will rot more and more till she makes a bigger change. (Exhibits A and P)

   One of the two psychiatrists who examined the plaintiff on behalf of the defendants tried to explain why Lulu did not escape from this environment earlier:
I feel that any ?answer? would need to get its arms around the profoundly deleterious effects this program had on Lulu Corter?s psychic state/personality development, the fact that she had been educationally deprived, that she had been deprived of adolescent phase experiences vital to adult functioning, that she was unfamiliar with the freedoms of society, that she correctly understood the lack of maternal nurturing and support to leave ? all of this in addition to her psychological vulnerabilities and her enduring emotional hunger to be attached and attended to. After so many years in a program of isolation, control and brainwashing, she felt uncertain whether she was wrong or right in her wishes to leave. She felt incompetent to make it in the outside world. She was aware that some members had run away but some had been forcefully returned. The reach of Miller Newton seemed wide and strong and she feared him.
(Exhibit K )

   When she finally did get away from her captors and doctors, she hid in her sister?s house. In the fall of 1997 because she was afraid to be alone she accompanied her sister Cindy to her job as a dental assistant at a Sussex county dental office.  Susan Hildebrand, the office manager, described her as follows:
Lulu was like a little kid in a grown up body. She was much more like a 12 or 13 year old than she was like an adult. She was terrified most of the time and was certain that someone was going to come and take her back to the place where she had been. Everyone who worked here felt terribly for her and kept assuring her that nobody could make her go back, and that because she was an adult, she could not be made to go where she did not want to go. She did not believe us. She was terrified. She was afraid to go outside and unable to function. I tried to give her filing work to do but she could not do that. She spent her days here while Cindy worked drawing pictures and coloring like a young child. When she completed a picture, she would ask if she could hang the picture on the wall in the same way that I hung up pictures of my children?s school work when they were in elementary school. (Exhibit O)

   The challenges of the dental office were too much for Lulu and in the two years that followed she was hospitalized as an in-patient in the psychiatric unit at Newton Memorial Hospital six separate times. (Exhibit A) The last hospitalization occurred in January 2000, shortly before this lawsuit was started. Her admissions were for severe major depression and suicidal ideation relating to her treatment at Kids. Throughout the period in question she was a person deprived of an education, with no life skills and no experience functioning in the world. What she knew about the world and how it functioned she had been taught by the Newtons. Their view expressed over and over again was that she had no rights except those they gave her and were free to arbitrarily remove.
   Jay Kuris, M.D., the psychiatrist who examined Lulu on behalf of the plaintiff, described her mental status in a report served upon the defendants on February 27, 2002. (Exhibit C)
     In trying to understand the unusual delay between the time that Ms. Corter left the Kids program and her filing of her suit, one must fully understand the degree to which the program itself had deprived her of the ability and capacity to understand that she could do anything about the malpractice and maltreatment that she endured. The mental affliction which she suffered in the program and through the years following her discharge by elopement from the program clearly restricted her capacity to fully comprehend her maltreatment and to take appropriate action. She was, after leaving the program, in dreadful fear of encountering other individuals from the program and delayed encountering and contacting even her own mother for an extended period of time out of abject fear that she would be forcibly returned to the program through the use of physical force or psychological techniques. She had ongoing dreadful fear of the ability of Miller Newton to return her to the program against her will and continue to hold her. Additionally, as just stated, because the very nature of the program was designed to confuse the patient?s sense of right and wrong and normal versus improper behavior, it took some considerable time for Ms. Corter to actually have the mental capacity and freedom from mental illness to the extent where she could look back and fully understand how much harm and malpractice had been done to her. She had been the victim of a program that set out as one of its basic goals to alter the patient?s perception and confidence in their own ability to know right and wrong. They were indoctrinated and co-opted into a system in which the program defined right and wrong and other societal standards and even laws were considered secondary and unreliable. Ms. Corter had to recover from the severity level of her mental illness and affliction after she left the program to reach a level of self-confidence, freedom from depression and freedom from fear so as to realize that harm and malpractice had been done to her. (Exhibit F)

   The plaintiff?s fear that she would be forcibly returned to Kids and harshly punished for escaping was a fear based on the reality that such forcible returns were a regular part of the Kids treatment. (Exhibits S, N, M and L).
   Five licensed mental health professionals examined the plaintiff in connection with the statute of limitations issue here. Dr. Kuris? opinions are set forth above and in his Certification. (Exhibits E & F) William Goldberg, a clinical social worker who has treated the adolescent victims of totalist environments, (Exhibit H) and Rami Mosseri, who has many years of clinical and administrative experience in the residential treatment of troubled adolescents, (Exhibit J) examined her and each concluded that at the time of her departure from Kids as a result of the abuse, constant state of self-criticism, educational deprivation, interference with adolescent development and efforts to prevent her from becoming an autonomous adult Lulu Corter was suffering from a mental condition which prevented her from understanding her legal rights or instituting action against her abusers. They further concluded that she lacked the ability and capacity to assert her rights and that this was due to mental and educational defects which resulted directly from her treatment at Kids. (Exhibits G & I)
   There were two other exams of the plaintiff. They were completed on behalf of the defendants after a discussion in open court about the role of these exams in connection with the statute of limitations. (Exhibit D) One of the exams was by Dr. Paula Kraft. Her report is attached as Exhibit K and some of her conclusions are set forth above. After she concluded that the plaintiff was the victim of brainwashing, she was withdrawn as an expert. Dr. Pamela Moss, the other defense expert who examined the plaintiff, submitted a report that was silent on the issue. She was deposed and acknowledged that after examining the plaintiff she would not dispute Dr. Kuris? opinion with respect to the plaintiff?s inability to commence an action within two years because of the duress and mental illness the defendants induced. (Exhibit B, 12)
   The statute of limitations motion has been filed on the eve of trial here and after three de bene esse depositions have been concluded. For the purpose of completeness on this motion, the transcripts of two of the fact witnesses whose trial testimony is concluded are attached. (Exhibits M and N) They provide ample evidence of what a day at Kids was like. The defendants? effort on this motion is to prevent a trial where the impact of thirteen years of those days will become public.
 
INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGAL ARGUMENT
   The applicable law with respect to statutes of limitations motions in personal injury cases pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:14-2 is not all that complicated. The motions filed by the defendants here ignore most of it including all of the law they have known from the outset was implicated by this case. Their motion sets forth in exquisite detail all of the reasons why the ?discovery rule,? Lopez v. Swyer, 62 N.J. 267, 274, 300 A. 2d 563 (1973) is not applicable. The fundamental flaw in the defendants? argument is that the plaintiff has never claimed it was. From the outset of this litigation the defendants have known, as set forth in the Certification of Philip Elberg (Exhibit B),  it was the plaintiff?s mental condition, the role of the defendants in creating that condition and the defendants? conduct which formed the basis for plaintiff?s tolling claim. As a practical matter, what has happened is that the defendants, with a clear understanding of the issue, were not able to identify experts to challenge the plaintiff?s position as set forth in expert reports, (Exhibits F, H and J), in letters from counsel (Exhibit C) and a discussion in court (Exhibit D). As a result, the defendants waited until the eve of trial and filed perfunctory motions premised on a non issue and simply omitted from their moving papers what they knew this case and this issue was actually about.
THE LEGAL STANDARD
   We acknowledge the important salutary purpose served by statutes of limitations. The most important of these purposes is the security and stability of human affairs created by eventual repose. Jones v. Jones, 242 N.J. Super. 195, 576 A. 2d 316 (App. Div. 1990), certif. denied, 122 N.J. 418, 585 A. 2d 412 (1990), and cases cited therein. Separate from the interest of repose, by penalizing unreasonable delay, statutes of limitations induce litigants to pursue their claims diligently so that answering parties will have a fair opportunity to defend. In addition, statutes of limitations "spare the courts from litigation of stale claims." State v. Standard Oil Co., 5 N.J. 281, 295, 74 A. 2d 565 (1950), quoting Chase Securities Corp. v. Donaldson, 325 U.S. 304, 314, 65 S. Ct. 1137, 1142, 89 L. Ed. 1628, 1635 (1945).
   On the other hand, the effect of a statute of limitations is to deny access to our courts. Unswerving, mechanistic application of statutes of limitations would at times inflict harm upon individual plaintiffs without advancing the objectives they are designed to serve. As a result, our courts do not strictly and uncritically apply statutory periods of limitations without first considering conscientiously the circumstances of the individual case. Kaczmarek v. N.J. Tpk. Auth., 77 N.J. 329, 337, 390 A. 2d 597 (1978) Limitations defenses are not permitted when their ?mechanistic application... would... inflict obvious and unnecessary harm upon individual plaintiffs without advancing [the] legislative purposes?. Galligan v. Westfield Centre Service, Inc., 82 N.J. 188, 191, 412 A. 2d 122 (1980); see also Jones v. Jones, supra, White v. Karlsson, 354 N.J. Super 284 (App. Div. 2002). The Legislature and our courts have provided statutory exceptions and fashioned equitable remedies to avoid the injustice that would result from a literal reading of statutory language. There is a "long history of instances where equity has interposed to bar the statute of limitations... where some conduct on the part of the defendant... has rendered it inequitable that he be allowed to avail himself of the defense." Jones v. Jones supra at 207 citing Lopez v. Swyer, supra and the numerous cases cited therein.
   This is a case in which the defendant doctors and an adolescent treatment center convinced a vulnerable and unsophisticated mother to place her thirteen year old daughter in their care. At their direction, the young woman was removed from school and society for thirteen years during which she was subjected to all sorts of physical and mental abuse including what a defense expert described as brainwashing. She escaped from the defendants? clutches, a young child in a woman?s body, (Exhibit O) into a Rip Van Winkle like world without education, funds, experience or any understanding of why anyone would be so evil. Because she knew that it was the defendants? protocol to forcibly return escapees to their control for more treatment, (Dickstein Certification on prior motion; Exhibits M and N) she hid for two years, was hospitalized six times during that period for mental illnesses (Exhibit A) and ventured out into the world only when her grandmother read a newspaper article suggesting that Miller Newton was no longer as powerful as he had been. The defendants claim on this motion that she waited too long to file her suit. This is not the first time that a wrong doer has used that excuse in an effort to avoid responsibility for their deeds.
   Examples of our courts preventing defendants from invoking the statute of limitations for equitable reasons are numerous. They include situations where a prospective defendant's coercive acts and threats rise to such a level of duress as to deprive the plaintiff of his freedom of will. Jones v. Jones, supra at 207-208.
   A second example, this one statutory, was first discussed in Kyle v. Green Acres at Verona, Inc., 44 N.J. 100, 207 A. 2d 513 (1965) where our Supreme Court held that the statute of limitations would be tolled for reason of insanity pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:14-21 where the defendant?s actions brought about the plaintiff?s condition. The Court defined insanity as simply such a condition of mental derangement as actually prevents the sufferer from understanding his legal rights or instituting legal action." Id. at 113.
   A third example of tolling for equitable reasons was presented last year in LaFage v. Jani, 166 N.J. 412 (2001) where the Supreme Court reversed a long line of cases to permit equitable tolling of wrongful death claims brought on behalf of minors in recognition of the fact that tolling is necessary to "protect minors who presumably are not well-versed in legal matters, from the adverse consequences of their inexperience." LaFage v, Jani, citing Green v. Auerbach Chevrolet Corp., 127 N.J. 591, 600, 606 A. 2d 1093 (1992)
   A fourth example is more general and involves those cases where a defendant tries to use the statutes of limitation which was intended to be a shield to protect against the litigation of stale claims into a sword where the defendant?s conduct is responsible for the expiration of the statutory period. Several examples of such cases are Bernoskie v. Zarinsky, 344 N.J. Super 160, 781 A. 2d 52 (App. Div. 2001) and Dunn v. Borough of Mountainside, 301 N.J. Super 262, 274, 693 A. 2d 1248 (App. Div. 1997), certif. denied, 153 N.J. 402, (1998) where the perpetrators of crimes avoided capture until after the expiration of the statute of limitations and then unsuccessfully attempted to use the passage of time to avoid civil litigation.
A fifth example was presented in Giovine v. Giovine, 284 N.J. Super 3, 663 A. 2d 109 (App. Div. 1995) where the Appellate Division recognized a new tort, battered wife syndrome involving wives who can prove through expert testimony that spousal abuse suffered as an adult caused them to sustain physical and emotional injuries that prevented the taking of ?any action to improve or alter the situation unilaterally.? In such cases, the court held the statute of limitations would be tolled and a battered wife who presents adequate medical and psychological proof can seek damages for assaults which occurred many years prior to the institution of suit.
   Each of the examples is applicable here. We will discuss them separately.
 
POINT ONE

THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS TOLLED BECAUSE OF THE PLAINTIFF?S MENTAL CONDITION INDUCED BY THE DEFENDANTS? ACTIONS PURSUANT TO N.J.S.A. 2A:14-21

   Before discussing the numerous equitable (judicially created) bases that result in a tolling of the statute of limitations here we focus on the legislative exception created by N.J.S.A. 2A:14-21. That statute provides as follows:
If any person entitled to any of the actions or proceedings specified in sections 2A:14-1 to 2A:14-8 or sections 2A:14-16 to 2A:14-20 of this title or to a right or title of entry under section 2A:14-6 of this title is or shall be, at the time of any such cause of action or right or title accruing, under the age of 21 years, or insane, such person may commence such action or make such entry, within such time as limited by said sections, after his coming to or being of full age or of sane mind.

   In Kyle v. Green Acres at Verona, Inc., supra, the Supreme Court considered a tolling claim by the car accident plaintiff who claimed that as a result of the accident she became mentally ill and that her illness rendered her insane within the above referenced statute. In that case, the law suit was filed more than five years after the accident occurred.
   The Court reviewed the history of the statute and the countervailing considerations on motions like this one:
   As pointed out by Mr. Justice Jacobs in Fernandi v. Strully, 35 N.J. 434, 439, 173 A. 2d 277, 279 (1961):

   'Most courts, including those in New Jersey, have taken the position that where a plaintiff suffers damage as the result of the defendant's wrong he may be barred though he does not, during the customary period of limitations, know or have any reason to believe that he has a cause of action.  * * * In reaching this result the courts have evidently considered that the obvious injustice to the plaintiff is outweighed by broader policy considerations favoring the defendant; * * *.'
But that:

   'Notwithstanding the foregoing, there have been many instances in which courts, in our State as well as elsewhere, have found the particular circumstances and the considerations of individual justice to be sufficiently compelling to dictate a less harsh approach.'

   We there found such particular circumstances as to dictate not the harsh approach of literally applying the statute of limitations but the application of the more equitable and countervailing considerations of individual justice.

   But in the present case in terms of equally appealing equitable considerations, if plaintiff's insanity was caused by defendant's wrongful act, it may be said that such act was responsible for plaintiff's failure or inability to institute her action prior to the running of the statute of limitations. We feel that justice here requires us to carve out an equitable exception to the general principle that there is no time out for the period of time covered by the disability if the disability accrued at or after the cause of action accrued. Thus, a defendant whose negligent act brings about plaintiff's insanity should not be permitted to cloak himself with the protective garb of the statute of limitations.

   To achieve individual justice in the situation where a plaintiff suffers a mental illness as a result of the tortfeasor?s conduct, the Court held that a period of insanity would toll the statute of limitations. Of particular significance was the definition of the statutory language. The Court concluded that ?insane? in the statute of limitations means such a condition of mental derangement as actually prevents the sufferer from understanding his legal rights or instituting legal action.
   In this case, there are three Certifications, (Exhibits E, G and I) supported by detailed expert reports (Exhibits F, H and J) that specifically conclude that the mental conditions induced in the plaintiff by the defendants? actions prevented Lulu Corter from understanding her legal rights or instituting legal action.
   Although there have been years for the defendants to find an expert who will disagree with these conclusions they have not done so.
   If there was a dispute on this issue a hearing would be necessary. Because there is none the summary judgment motion should simply be denied.
 
POINT TWO
THE DEFENDANTS? COERCIVE ACTS AND THREATS ROSE TO A LEVEL OF DURESS THAT DEPRIVED THE PLAINTIFF OF HER FREEDOM OF WILL THEREBY TOLLING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

   Kids operated as a private jail outside of judicial scrutiny. In the words of its founder, a patient admitted to the first phase of treatment at Kids received the following message:
Hey, turkey, you did it and did it and did it till you lost control of it. You made a mess of your life and so you've blown the right to be trusted by us, by your family, by the world. You are going to give up living with your family, walking free on the street, going to school. (Exhibit Q)

   He meant it. Newton routinely told patients that they had lost all their rights.  His patients were told over and over again that they would leave Kids, go to school, see their parents only when he said so because he made the laws. Several examples suffice. State law requires children to go to school. Education is a right and an obligation of all children and adolescents. N.J.S.A. A18:38-25. Regular attendance is required on all days school is in session unless the mental condition of the child is such that he cannot benefit from instruction. N.J.S.A. 18A:38-26. Newton and Kids ignored these and all the other school laws with impunity. The defendants in this case decided that education was a privilege which they could deny based on their treatment protocol. Patients at Kids who thought they had a right to an education found out they were wrong. Plaintiff was pulled out of the seventh grade when she was reading on a fourth grade level. (Exhibit A)
   Education was not the only area in which Newton demonstrated that he was above the law and the law would not protect his victims. N.J.S.A. 30:4-24.2 describes the rights of mentally ill patients. All such patients have the right to be free from physical restraint and isolation except under certain narrowly defined circumstances as follows:
Except for emergency situations, in which a patient has caused substantial property damage or has attempted to harm himself or others and in which less restrictive means of restraint are not feasible, a patient may be physically restrained or placed in isolation only on a medical director's written order or that of his physician designee which explains the rationale for such action. The written order may be entered only after the medical director or his physician designee has personally seen the patient concerned, and evaluated whatever episode or situation is said to require restraint or isolation. Emergency use of restraints or isolation shall be for no more than 1 hour, by which time the medical director or his physician designee shall have been consulted and shall have entered an appropriate order in writing. Such written order shall be effective for no more than 24 hours and shall be renewed if restraint and isolation are continued?

   The plaintiff was stripped of those rights. She was physically restrained and placed in isolation hundreds and perhaps thousands of times. Nobody protected her or prevented it from happening.
   The plaintiff was routinely deprived of sleep, made to confess to all kinds of acts she never committed and subjected to daily abuse and humiliation. In fact, the purpose of the treatment at Kids was to deprive its patient/victims of their free will. (Exhibits E - J)
   In Jones v. Jones, supra an adult victim of incest sought to excuse her late filing of a lawsuit against her father by claiming that her father's coercive acts, physical assaults and explicit threats served to excuse her failure to institute suit in a timely fashion. She asserted that the duress exerted by defendants was so compelling as to prevent her from filing suit within the limitations period. Judge Baime, writing for a unanimous appellate division panel that included Judge Keefe and Judge King, reviewed the numerous cases in which a wrongdoer?s conduct barred them from invoking the statute of limitations to bar an otherwise stale claim. The panel concluded that where the duress and coercion exerted by the prospective defendant was such as to have actually deprived the plaintiff of his freedom of will to institute suit in a timely fashion, and risen to a level that a person of reasonable firmness in the plaintiff's situation would have been unable to resist, the statute would be tolled.
   In her de bene esse testimony, Laura King, a former Kids patient, described what happened to her when she questioned whether Miller Newton made a mistake in an area which she and her dad were experts and Newton knew little or nothing. (Exhibit N, pages 86:8 ? 87:1 and 109:18 ? 114:6). She also described a Kids effort to kidnap her and return her to Kids from Kansas City when she was 19 years old. (Exhibit N, pages 59-63)
   Janne Holmgren, a former Kids patient, has also been deposed de bene esse.  She described what happened when she tried to leave Kids. (Exhibit M, pages 44-54)
   It was the practice and protocol at Kids to return its adult victims to its control. Lulu Corter believed and reasonably believed that if she surfaced she would be taken back to Kids. (Exhibit A)
   Robert Dickstein is a member of the New Jersey Bar and a former member of the Kids Board of Directors. His certification provided in connection with the pending in limine motion says:
It was the policy of Kids to bring patients who were over the age of eighteen back to the program after they escaped as long as it was acceptable to one of their parents. Anything went with respect to such efforts and patients who escaped knew that they were subject to being kidnapped and returned at any time. Miller Newton knew and tacitly participated in these kidnap plans. Any procedures that described a method for adult patients to leave by simply putting in a request were there for the eyes of outsiders. Patients and their parents knew about the ?return? policy.

   Erica Goodman (Exhibit S) names 35 patients who were physically prevented from leaving Kids after they were 18 or returned to Kids against their will as adults without any involvement of the courts. That is not surprising because this practice of forcing adults into treatment without judicial oversight was fully described by an Administrative Law Judge in 1989 and continued for another nine years after that. (Exhibit L) Lulu Corter was already in treatment at Kids for five years when the report was issued and remained there for 8 years afterwards.
   The expert witnesses on behalf of plaintiff who have examined her have concluded that the duress and coercion including the fear of being returned deprived her of the ability to institute suit. (Exhibits E ? J). There is no defense expert to challenge them despite two defense exams and the knowledge that this issue has been in the case from the outset.
   Because there is no dispute about what the defendants did or its consequences there is no reason for a hearing here. The defendants are simply not in a position to challenge our claim that their actions resulted in duress which deprived plaintiff of her free will.
 
POINT THREE

BECAUSE THE DEFENDANTS DEPRIVED THE PLAINTIFF OF HER CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION, THEY OUGHT BE EQUITABLY BARRED FROM INVOKING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS HERE

   The New Jersey Constitution (1947) Art. VIII, sec. IV, par. 1 provides:
'The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years.'

The legislature has implemented this constitutional requirement in a variety of ways. State law requires children to go to school. Education is a right and an obligation of all children and adolescents. N.J.S.A. 18:38-25. Regular attendance is required on all days school is in session unless the mental condition of the child is such that he cannot benefit from instruction. N.J.S.A. 18A:38-26. Parents that do not send their children to school are guilty of an offense. N.J.S.A. 18A:38-31. Mentally ill individuals between the ages of 5 and 20 years old are entitled to education and training suited to their age and attainments. N.J.S.A. 18A:38-26. Children who suffer from handicaps, including emotionally disturbed and socially maladjusted children, are entitled to be classified and be educated even if it means their school district has to pay for their education outside the district. N.J.S.A. 18A:46-1 et seq.  
   Our courts have also emphasized over and over again that this State holds the education of children to be of supreme importance. Our courts have made that point over and over again. State v. Vaughn, 44 N.J. 142, 145 (1965); Robinson v. Cahill, 69 N.J. 449, 355 A. 2d 129 (1976) and its progeny. In fact, there is probably no issue that has received more attention from our courts, our legislative and our executive branches of government in recent years then their joint effort to be certain that every child receives a thorough and efficient education.
   Against this background, the claim and action of Kids that it could decide that its patients had lost the right to go to school is simply astounding. We have attached as Exhibits Q and R excerpts from the deposition testimony of Miller and Ruth Newton with respect to this issue. The excerpt includes a demonstration of Miller Newton?s ability to create a ?study? in the middle of his deposition. It is mind boggling. As a practical matter, Kids? patients not only lost the right to go to school. They also lost the right to read because reading was prohibited on the first and second phases of treatment in which Lulu Corter spent her adolescence (Exhibit P). Even the reading of billboard signs and the back of corn flake boxes was prohibited. (Exhibit M, page 39-40 and Exhibit N, page 15).
   Lulu Corter was placed in Kids when she was thirteen years old. She was never a problem in school but she was a slow learner. She was reading on a fourth grade level and repeating a grade.
   The defendants kept her out of school for years allowing her to go back for brief periods only to then pull her back out to suit their needs. When she finally escaped, Lulu Corter had the education of a young child. The office manager in the office where she spent time shortly after her escape describes her as a child in a woman?s body, coloring in a back room and asking to have her pictures hung on the wall. (Exhibit O) Anyone who has hung their elementary school child?s picture on their refrigerator or brought their child to their office on a day off from school is familiar with the developmental age associated with such requests.
   As a practical matter, Lulu Corter was a child in every way except her chronological age during the period when the defendants claim the statute of limitations was running. She had been denied the right to an education and prevented from reading. She was a child because of what was done to her by the defendants. Kyle v. Green Acres, supra; Jones v. Jones, supra.
   In LaFage v. Jani, supra, the Supreme Court considered the wrongful death statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:31-3 et. seq. and its requirement that every action brought under this chapter shall be commenced within two years after the death of the decedent, and not thereafter (emphasis added). The Court decided that it would permit equitable tolling for wrongful death actions brought by minors despite the very clear language of the statute. The Court?s reasoning was based on the equities involved and the conclusion that the wrongful death statute should not be strictly applied but rather flexibly construed subject to equitable principles. LaFage, supra at 422. The equity that the Court focused on was the protection of ?minors who presumably are not well versed in legal matters from the adverse consequences of their inexperience. LaFage, supra at 430; Green v. Auerbach Chevrolet Corp., supra
   In this case the defendants set out to prevent the plaintiff from becoming an autonomous adult. They used many methods and they succeeded. One of the methods they used was to deprive her of an education and the right to read. The plaintiff is entitled to be protected from the adverse consequences of her inexperience.
   The child who kills his parents and seeks mercy because they are orphaned at least has the excuse of being a child. The defendants here are adults who tortured a child and deprived her of her constitutional and supreme right to be educated. They now claim that her failure to understand and pursue her rights quickly enough after she escaped from them should bar her claim.
   Equity ought take a harsh view of these defendants. It ought smile at the plaintiff and offer her a day in court.
 
POINT FOUR

BECAUSE THE DEFENDANTS SUBJECTED THE PLAINTIFF TO MANY YEARS OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE, THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS OUGHT BE TOLLED DURING THE PERIOD THAT PLAINTIFF WAS PSYCHOLOGICALLY INCAPACITATED FROM TAKING ACTION ON HER BEHALF

   In Giovine v. Giovine, 284 N.J. Super 3, 663 A. 2d 109 (App. Div. 1995) the Appellate Division recognized a new tort, battered wife syndrome. The court concluded that the victim of a pattern of marital assault would not be barred by the two year statute of limitations from pursuing claims if she could demonstrate that as a result of the battering and the syndrome she had an inability to ?take any action to improve or alter the circumstances in her marriage.? The court reached its conclusion by relying on the line of cases including Kyle v. Green Acres, supra and Jones v. Jones, supra discussed in this brief.
   The Giovine court?s adoption of a new tort was based on a record which consisted primarily of the wife?s certification containing her version of events that occurred in her marriage. It permitted a suit for assaults and actions that took place many years before suit was filed. There were no supporting certifications from doctors or psychologists (See Judge Skillman?s dissent) The decision was based on the court?s view that in cases where there is a statute of limitations issue, a "just accommodation" of individual justice and public policy requires that "in each case the equitable claims of opposing parties must be identified, evaluated and weighed." Giovine, supra at 17. Whenever dismissal would not further the Legislature's objectives in prescribing the limitation, the plaintiff should be given an opportunity to assert his claim. Galligan v. Westfield Centre Service, Inc., supra
We do not minimize the physical and psychological harm that accompanies battered wife syndrome as described by the court in State v. Kelly, 97 N.J. 178, 478 A. 2d 364 (1984) and Giovine, supra. We do note, however, that the battered wife is typically an adult, who entered into a marriage voluntarily and was not stripped of all access to outside help or the ability to educate herself about her condition. The plaintiff in this case was subjected to years of abuse. It was conducted on a 24/7 basis. It began when she was a child. It was initiated and continued by doctors and an institution that claimed to be helping her. It was conducted in a totalist environment (Exhibit H) from which plaintiff could not escape without having to worry about being captured and returned.
   If a battered but educated adult wife can be relieved for many years of the burden of the statute of limitations because of her psychological inability to take action on her behalf, it is inconceivable that the plaintiff here is not entitled to the same treatment, particularly where the record with respect to the impact of the treatment on her is medically documented (Exhibits D-I), is not in dispute and the time that passed beyond the end of the two years is so short.
 
POINT FIVE

THE DEFENDANTS SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO CLAIM THE BENEFITS OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WHERE THEIR CONDUCT IS THE REASON FOR THE EXPIRATION OF THE STATUTORY PERIOD

   In Bernoskie v. Zarinsky, 344 N.J. Super 160 (App. Div. 2001) the Appellate Division unanimously upheld a law division decision by Judge Beglin equitably tolling the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case despite the clear language of the statute where the survivors of a murder victim were unable to pursue a claim because the alleged murderer was not caught for many years.
   The court at page 164 discussed the harshness of the statute of limitations under certain circumstances and the numerous exceptions to the general rule.
To ameliorate the sometimes harsh and unjust impact of these limitations provisions, our Supreme Court has adopted equitable doctrines that may be invoked by an injured party to extend the time for filing a claim beyond what would be allowed under a rigid application of the statutes of limitations. See, e.g., LaFage v. Jani, 166 N.J. 412, 420-31, 766 A. 2d 1066 (2001) (equitable tolling); Negron v. Llarena, 156 N.J. 296, 304-05, 716 A. 2d 1158 (1998) (substantial compliance); Lopez v. Swyer, 62 N.J. 267, 273-76, 300 A. 2d 563 (1973) (discovery rule). These doctrines recognize that "nswerving 'mechanistic' application of statutes of limitations would at times inflict obvious and unnecessary harm upon individual plaintiffs without advancing [the] legislative purposes" of providing repose for potential defendants and sparing the courts from the burden of hearing stale claims. Galligan v. Westfield Centre Service, Inc., 82 N.J. 188, 192, 412 A. 2d 122 (1980). Our Supreme Court has applied these doctrines not only to what are commonly called "procedural" statutes of limitations, which bar only a remedy but not the right that existed at common law, but also to "substantive" statutes of limitations, which establish a condition precedent to filing a claim that did not exist at common law. See, e.g., LaFage, supra, 166 N.J. at 420-31, 766 A. 2d 1066; Negron, supra, 156 N.J. at 300-04, 716 A. 2d 1158; White v. Violent Crimes Compensation Bd., 76 N.J. 368, 374-78, 388 A. 2d 206 (1978).


   In Bernoskie the court concluded that statutes of limitations are ?primarily a shield to protect a defendant from having to defend stale claims. They should not be used as a sword by a defendant whose conduct contributed to the expiration of the statutory period.? This same point is made in the numerous cases cited in Jones, supra and Kyle, supra and will not be offered as a string of citations here.
   The relevance of the Bernoskie holding is clear. In this case the defendants hid behind all sorts of procedures, their titles, the books they wrote, and the members of their cult to hide what they were actually doing from the public. Until the conclusion of the Ehrlich case, their ?crimes? were hidden. As a practical matter, Lulu Corter knew she was harmed and she even knew who did it. What she lacked was the mental capacity, the education or the practical ability to do anything about it.
 
CONCLUSION

   For the reasons herein submitted it is respectfully urged that defendants? motion be denied.
            MEDVIN & ELBERG
            Attorneys for Plaintiff



Dated:            BY:_________________________
                 PHILIP ELBERG

[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-06-19 17:40 ][ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-06-24 11:43 ]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
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Offline katfish

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« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Offline OverLordd

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sure, stay was longer, but
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2005, 09:01:00 AM »
So she is sueing, yes, its a sad story, but I dont garner your point in showing  us this, maybe a summery of why you showed up this would help me understand.

P.S. She has every right to sue, hope she wins.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
our walking down a hallway, you turn left, you turn right. BRICK WALL!

GAH!!!!

Yeah, hes a survivor.

Offline katfish

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sure, stay was longer, but
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2005, 02:42:00 PM »
hi overlord,

in response to your q, I wanted to put this out there b/c many of us girls feel, myself included, that the fact that MMS was a fear based institution was damaging.  I'm sure there are many peices to this story we can all relate to and there's hope for retribution in such instances.

I don't want to rehash old stories, but the fact that it's a fear based institution say quite enough.  'therapy' and fear are not conducive to one another, and certainly not conducive in producing furure well-adjusted girls, as Dr. Hall points out in this little snipit of an article that was recenlty published, linked below:

From Spring Creek's Short Leash (Please note: MMS founders were a part of SCL, it's there roots)
Mickey Manning, Spring Creek?s principal, says the school?s detractors should not be believed.

?The population you are speaking to is definitely a biased group that really fervently believes what they are saying,? Manning says.

Manning maintains that parents and students who left Spring Creek and today denounce its practices are in denial about the problems in their own families. (this tactic often used to discredit detractors by alumni, school and it's supporters, see other MMS postings from MMS advocates- kw)

?Part of it is to protect themselves from the pain of the reality of what they?ve gone through,? says Manning. ?As far as the kids are concerned, they are going to manipulate to the hills, because that?s what these kids do.?

?That?s pretty much the program line,? counters Dr. Roderick Hall, a San Diego-based clinical psychologist who specializes in child psychology. ?You hear the exact same thing at all of the schools. They say the kids are liars and manipulators and they convince the parents that that?s true.?

Hall says parents and kids may see results from the type of behavior modification that takes place at facilities like Spring Creek, but in the long run, they do more harm than good.

?It?s not therapy at all,? says Hall. ?I haven?t heard anything that goes on in those facilities that has anything to do with therapy. It?s more like scaring the heck out of them so that they fall in line. That will work, temporarily.?

WWASPS, Hall says, catches parents ?when they are vulnerable, desperate. They provide what looks like an easy solution. I think their facilities are nothing more than private prisons.

"What parents really need to do is, instead of going to the Internet to find help for their rebellious teen, is seek out a professional who has experience working with teens. Take the child. If the child won?t go, then they should go by themselves. But parents need to talk to a social worker or therapist or counselor who has experience working with kids.?


http://www.caica.org/NEWS%20SCL%20Short ... -16-05.htm
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Offline OverLordd

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sure, stay was longer, but
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2005, 03:08:00 PM »
Ok, but I get what your trying to say, but I dont understand why you showed a post at the start that had nothing to do with MMS, or did it and I missed it, I got that she was a part of KHK or somthing like that.

Am I missing the point, or are you going after the overall use of programs and not MMS as is this board.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
our walking down a hallway, you turn left, you turn right. BRICK WALL!

GAH!!!!

Yeah, hes a survivor.

Offline Anonymous

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sure, stay was longer, but
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2005, 10:36:00 PM »
I'd say it's here because MMS is in Montana, as is Spring Creek Lodge. Getting these facts on different topics can't hurt.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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sure, stay was longer, but
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2005, 10:38:00 PM »
Also, Kat said MMS's roots came from Spring Creek Lodge.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »