Contra Costa County, Family Court Services — Family court services mediation
Contra Costa County Family Court Services (FCS) is responsible for peddling information to its judiciary. FCS does not provide facts or information supplied by its litigants. FCS does not make recommendations in compliance with its Court Rules, as the State of California Courts website states it is required to do. Family Court Services mediation is run by an attorney named Magda Lopez, whose main mediator, the Administrator, James Paulsen is running a back office scam, whereby he ignores claims of abuse via mothers, attempts to label them as "mentally unfit" parents without other supporting expert opinions, and then sends the kids who complain of abuse right back to the abusive dads.
Contra Costa County makes a big deal about its support of domestic violence victims, but Paulsen does the exact opposite, negating the County's stated agenda. The County is a hypocrite, and Paulsen's defense of the abusers is curious. Paulsen's LCSW is not governed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, even though the State Court website states that it is (false information).
Here is what the Board of Behavioral Sciences states:
Good Morning Mr/Mrs XXXXXX
The Board of Behavioral Sciences (Board) does not have jurisdiction over court appointed mediators/child custody recommending counselors as neither the setting nor the services provided are clinical or psychotherapeutic.
Please be advised that persons who perform mediation services are not required to be licensed by the Board, or any other State agency, at this time. Since referral to Family Court Services (FCS) mediation is mandatory under the law, persons being seen as a part of the dissolution and custody process do not actually have a psychotherapist client or patient relationship with the mediator or evaluator, even if that person is a licensed psychotherapist.
Persons who work in mediation and conciliation are preparing reports based upon protocols established by the Judicial Council and California Rules of Court versus the statutes and regulations related to the practice of clinical social work.
If you have a complaint against a mediator, the Board suggest you speak with the judge assigned to your family court case or the director of Family Court Services to find out how to make a complaint with the court.
Thank you for contacting the Board and we hope this information is of assistance.
BBS Consumer Complaints Unit