It has been a very long time since we’ve heard any updates about Kimberly Rossler and her son, Elliott. The reason for the silence is because Kimberly was under a gag order imposed on her by the courts at the insistence of Kate Sharp and her attorneys. For those of you who may not be familiar with this case, I encourage you to first read the following articles to gain a better understanding of what exactly is happening in the United States of America and, more specifically, Alabama.
Are you all caught up? Good.
Gag orders are good at shutting people up when you want to do something and don’t want others to know about it. Sometimes, however, the consequences of breaking that gag order are worth it to get the truth out.
The court dates Kimberly has had, thus far, have been focusing on whether or not her pre-birth consent should be upheld. We all know that it shouldn’t be, but we’re working with a corrupt judicial system here.
Let’s recap –
Last we heard, Judge Don Davis (serious ties with Adoption Rocks and Donna Ames) recused himself as the Judge presiding over Kimberly’s case (yay!). He appointed Judge Druhan to take his place, though (boo!). Druhan was part of Davis’s 2014 campaign committee and represented Davis when he was sued for failing to grant an adoption to a lesbian couple. He was also the President of the Mobile Bar Association (also serious ties with Adoption Rocks since they frequently donated to them, even though Donna Ames was a member of the Bar Association). That is, until he was appointed to preside over Kimberly’s case. He stepped down and his protege, Brian McCarthy, filled his place. I know, I know. All these players switching roles and intermingling with every aspect of this case; judges and attorneys at that. But that’s not where it ends. As of January, Mobile’s Bar Association got yet another President – Pete Mackey (Seriously, how many times can they change the President of this organization in 6 months?). Pete was also part of Davis’s 2014 campaign committee with Donna Ames.
What’s the point of all this? All of these judges and attorneys are in each other’s pockets and look out for each other. This is a recipe for moral dilemmas.
I digress. On October 16, 2015, Judge Druhan had the sole responsibility of deciding on whether or not Kimberly’s pre-birth consent was valid. Him alone. Motions had been filed in August for him to also recuse himself, as Don Davis had done, because of the conflict of interest and his association with key players on the opposing side of this game. He would not recuse himself voluntarily so Kimberly waited for the Supreme Court to make a decision. Three days AFTER Judge Druhan decided that he was going to allow Kimberly’s pre-birth consent to be considered “valid” (of course he did) the Supreme Court of Alabama put a hold on EVERYTHING. They didn’t decide whether or not he should be recusing himself, but they said, “Hey, nothing else proceeds until we rule on this matter.” And that is where Kimberly is today. Awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision. If they decide that Judge Druhan should have been recused then that’s good. If they rule he shouldn’t have been, then everything will rely on the appellate court (which is where the case is now).
It’s important to remember that this is the pre-birth consent trial. Yet, the whole thing appears to be conducting itself like a circus according to what I’m being told. Upon hearing Druhan’s ruling, Kimberly fell to the floor sobbing and crying. The clerks in the room had tears in their eyes. Druhan said that he was sorry, he had lost a child too, but he had to follow the statute. Seconds later, David Broome starts demanding birth certificates from the Judge so they could “get this adoption finalized.” How sensitive of him. That didn’t happen.
Because of the Supreme Court’s “hold,” Kate Sharp still only has interlocutory custody. That means temporary, or interim custody. In other words, nothing proceeds until we decide if this Judge should have even been hearing this case in the first place.
Bias in the Court
For the second part of Kim’s trial to decide whether her pre-birth consent was valid, as reported to me, she was only allowed one witness – her therapist. She had others she wanted to call in but she wasn’t allowed because they kept saying, “This is private, we don’t want outsiders in on this.”Gee, I wonder why. She had witnesses, too.
One of her witnesses was Greg’s ex-girlfriend. Greg is Elliott’s father (and I use that term loosely with how he’s behaved). When this whole thing started, the ex was on every article published commenting under aliases and multiple profiles trying to discredit Kimberly. We now know why. After her break-up with Greg she came forward. According to the ex, Kate had her watching the Internet for news stories so she could comment and discredit Kimberly. The ex had also sat in on meetings with Kate Sharp and her attorneys since Greg was one of their witnesses. Greg was supposed to testify for Kate and the ex was going to testify for Kimberly. Because she defected to the other side, and was only approved as a rebuttal witness for Kimberly, David Broome (one of Kate’s attorneys) decided not to call Greg as a witness and, in turn, Kimberly was not allowed to call the ex. She wasn’t allowed to call anyone, really, that hadn’t dealt directly with this whole mess, even people who had sat with her in meetings she had with Donna Ames. Yet, Kate was allowed to call whomever she wanted as a witness. There’s also that tidbit about Kate getting Donna Ames’ deposition suppressed. It wasn’t. even. heard. (there’s another “Gee. I wonder why they wanted that locked away.”)
I’ll just say, something stinks. The courts had no problem knowing where Kimberly lived to come seize her infant to give him to Kate Sharp, but somehow, after this whole legal mess started, Kimberly’s address was changed in the court systems to an address she’d never even heard of before. She had to ask THREE separate times, over a period of weeks, for them to get it corrected. She asked who changed it and was told, “I don’t know but let’s get it corrected.” But it wasn’t REALLY corrected until the third try of this. Who changed Kimberly’s address? She had not been receiving any papers from the court because of this and when she finally did receive her first one it was a threatening paper, served to her, demanding she pay a $562 bill to probate or they would seize her property, as they seized her baby. Her response? “They already took the only thing that matters to me, my baby.”
Thanks to all you good folks, though, Kimberly was able to pay the fine and is now working on her contempt fine. Oh? You didn’t know about that? Of course you didn’t. Judge Druhan is elderly. He doesn’t understand social media or how it works. David Broome and Kate Sharp definitely took advantage of that. They told the Judge that Kimberly had broken her gag order by posting about the case on Facebook. What Kimberly had ACTUALLY done was to share different news stories or blogs on her page. She didn’t write them, she didn’t break any gag order. The second part of the contempt she was found in has to do with pictures of Elliott that SHE owns that SHE took. She posted them to the Bring Baby Elliott Home Facebook page, as herself. Kate’s cronies had those pictures flagged so Facebook would remove them. The Judge was told that meant that Kimberly ran the Bring Baby Elliott Home page. But she doesn’t. Not at all. Not even a little bit. She had just posted them on the page, as anyone could do. Because this judge has absolutely no understanding about how Facebook works, she was found in contempt. In other words, he believed David Broome’s explanation of how social media worked over Kimberly’s. Well, he didn’t even give Kimberly a chance to explain how it really worked. He just found her in contempt.
The reporter who interviewed Kimberly when this all first started? The one who works for Fox 10? They tried to hold HER in contempt, too. Now, they know she wasn’t in contempt of anything. It was just a tactic to SCARE anyone from going public with this story. The reporter wasn’t under a gag order and the interview was done before Kimberly had any kind of gag order. You can’t hold a PERSON in contempt for a gag order that they never had! Hello!
And how is Kimberly these days? Not so good, as you can imagine. Each day that goes by her son is not with her. She waits and hopes. She has heard nothing since the October 16 hearing. She sends letters, cards, and gifts to Elliott weekly. She never hears a response. She doesn’t get the letters back so it’s safe to assume they’re going to the correct place. What Kate does with them is another matter altogether. When Kimberly first looked into adoption, at her very first meeting, she expressed she did not want an open adoption. About a month later she changed her mind and expressed that to Kate several times. Kate always ignored the subject but she was reassured, by Donna, that she’d have all the openness she wants with Kate as the adoptive mother. Yet, when this court battle began, records notated that Donna said this would not be an open adoption in any way. And speaking of open adoption…David Broome keeps telling Kimberly that they can “make a deal.” She drops all of this and they’ll allow an open adoption. Kimberly has learned well, though (and even unfortunately). Her response? “There’s no such thing as an enforceable open adoption, I’ll never go away, I’ll never stop fighting for my son.”
Here’s where we’re at. We are awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on whether or not Judge Druhan, who was the only one deciding if Kimberly’s pre-birth consent was valid, should have been recused due to his conflict of interest in this whole case. We have been waiting since August. On Oct 16 Judge Druhan ruled that Kimberly’s pre-birth consent was valid. On Oct 19 we heard that the Supreme Court had not yet made a decision but they were stopping anything else from happening, putting things on hold. Kimberly is now awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision while her trial is moving to the appellate courts (for appeal, just in case the Supreme Court does not rule in her favor).
Her legal fees are about to start surmounting again. There are 5,000 pages of court records she will need to pay for copies of in order to start her appeal process. This is going to cost a lot of money. The other side knows this, but their wallets are very deep.
While all this red tape is deciding the fate of a little boy, his mother mourns his loss. She still sleeps with his dirty clothes at night, the closest thing she has to holding him. She has not seen a picture of him since the day he left her arms, she has not even heard if he is healthy or not. The guardian ad litem won’t tell her. Kate won’t tell her. It’s cruel. It’s inhumane.
If you would like to donate to Kimberly’s legal fees, please visit the CUB website at: http://www.cubirthparents.org/docs/BBEH_Website_Intro_Final_Rev2.pdf
You have all been so generous thus far and Kimberly hates to even ask for anything. We want you all to know how very much it is all appreciated.
All is not doom and gloom, though. Because of what is happening to her Kimberly has a mission. She has started the process learning about how to open up her own non-profit to assist mothers like her. Mobile is in serious need of something like this, something that’s NOT an adoption agency.
Here are the gory details. I expect that Kim will receive a huge amount of legal backlash from this but she was brave enough to do it anyway. Your support means the world to her.
Thank you is not enough.