TRUTH IS USUALLY THE BEST VINDICATION AGAINST SLANDER - ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Court hands win, loss to Hackensack law firm, Hasbrouck Heights dad seeking girl’s return from Spain
By PETER J. SAMPSON
An appeals court has reversed a $424,000 award to the daughter of a Hasbrouck Heights man who sued a Hackensack law firm, claiming its release of her passport allowed the girl to be kidnapped to Spain by her mother in a bitter matrimonial split.
At the same time, the state Appellate Division panel affirmed a jury’s 2011 verdict awarding $700,000 in damages from the law firm for emotional distress to the father, Peter Innes, plus $292,332 in interest and attorneys fees.
“Innes’s testimony was sufficient to permit the jury to award him emotional distress damages proximately caused by defendants’ breach of their duty,” the Superior Court appeals court said in a 67-page opinion filed Monday. “The loss in this case was particularly personal in nature — the inability of a father to see his daughter for many years, and the likely prospect that he may never see her again,” it said.
The judges, however, said they were compelled to reach a different result with the award on behalf of his daughter, Victoria: “There was simply no testimony regarding her emotional distress, meaning the jury’s award was based upon speculation,” the opinion said.
“I am very happy the appellate court agreed that these lawyers had no right to surrender my daughter’s passport and that their actions were a violation of their professional rules of conduct,” Innes said Tuesday.
He added he was disappointed the judicial panel vacated the damages, interest and legal fees awarded to his daughter in the suit against the firm Lesnevich & Marzano-Lesnevich.
“Because she is concealed from me in Spain, I could not offer any proof of her emotional harm. However, I think it goes without saying that a 4-year-old child, who is taken from her father, is certain to have been emotionally harmed,” he said.
Walter A. Lesnevich, a partner in the Lesnevich & Marzano-Lesnevich firm, said the firm, which appealed the original awards, intends to press a bid to overturn the Innes award to the state’s highest court.
“This is just the interim decision,” he said of the appellate ruling. “We’re appealing to the Supreme Court to remove the rest of the award. So it’s got another year at least to go.”
Innes said he does not think that he will he will pursue a further appeal.
The May 2011 verdict stemmed from an acrimonious matrimonial dispute between Innes and Maria Jose Carrascosa, a native of Spain. The couple separated in 2004 after a five-year marriage. The two signed a parenting agreement in October 2004 to take care of their only daughter, who was 4 at the time. The agreement prohibited either party from taking the child on an international trip without the consent of the other parent. As part of that clause, Carrascosa’s attorney was obligated to hold Victoria’s American passport in trust.
After Carrascosa changed lawyers, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, a partner at the Hackensack firm, turned over the passport to her in December 2004. A month later, Victoria was on a plane to England with her grandfather and then on to Spain, where she remains.
A Superior Court judge in Hackensack, meanwhile, granted full custody of the child to Innes and ordered the mother to bring the child back to New Jersey. Carrascosa refused, arguing that the Spanish courts have jurisdiction over the case. The courts in Spain ruled that Victoria cannot leave the country until she is 18.
In 2006, Carrascosa, an attorney admitted to practice in the European Union, returned to New Jersey and was arrested for contempt of court. Bergen County prosecutors later charged her with criminal interference with child custody. She was convicted and is now in the eighth year of a 14-year prison sentence.
Innes, who runs a small graphics design and advertising company, said he has fought in state and federal courts and in Spanish courts to be reunited with his daughter. “I blame a lot of this on the Lesnevich lawyers, who the jury said, and the appellate court agreed, had absolutely no right to give up my daughter’s passport. That act of giving up the passport is what enabled my daughter to be abducted,” he said.
“I’m hoping maybe this money allows me to hire another lawyer in Spain and fight for my daughter over there,” he said. He added that his daughter, who he hasn’t seen since she was 4½ , will turn 14 this month. “My daughter was abducted over nine years ago. It’s been a long strange trip through the legal system in two countries. But in the end, I know that everything I’ve done has been with my daughter’s best interest at heart, and I am certain that someday she will understand that.”
Hackensack firm slapped with $950,000 judgment for releasing passport in international custody case
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 BY KIBRET MARKOS The Record STAFF WRITER
A prominent Hackensack law firm was hit with a $950,000 judgment on Tuesday for improperly releasing the passport of a young girl whose mother took her to Spain, setting off a bitter international custody dispute.
Walter Lesnevich, a partner at the Lesnevich & Marzano-Lesnevich firm, however, said the girl’s mother, Maria Jose Carrascosa, is the one who bears the responsibility for illegally taking the child to Spain.
He said a hearing will be held in Superior Court in Hackensack in the next few months to apportion responsibility between the firm and Carrascosa.
Tuesday’s verdict stemmed from an acrimonious matrimonial dispute that dates to 2004 and stretches across the Atlantic. Carrascosa, a native of Spain, was separated from her husband, Peter Innes of Hasbrouck Heights, after a five-year marriage that year.
Innes said he filed for divorce that same year, and the two signed a parenting agreement in October 2004 to take care of their only daughter, Victoria, who was 4 at the time.
The agreement prohibited either party from taking the child on an international trip without the consent of the other parent, Innes said. As part of that clause, Carrascosa’s attorneys were obligated to hold Victoria’s American passport in trust, he said.
Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, another partner at the firm, however turned over the passport to Carrascosa in December 2004, Innes said.
“A couple of weeks after she [Carrascosa] gets her hands on the passport, the child left the country,” said Michael Casale, who represented Victoria in the trial.
Carrascosa took Victoria to Spain in January 2005 and returned alone to the United States. The case took a series of twists and turns over the years, and the child remains in Spain.
After Carrascosa returned to New Jersey, a Superior Court judge in Hackensack granted full custody of the child to Innes and ordered the mother to bring the child back to New Jersey. But Carrascosa refused, arguing that the Spanish courts have jurisdiction over the case. Carrascosa has also said that courts in Spain have ruled that Victoria cannot leave the country until she is 18.
She was arrested in 2006 for contempt of court. Bergen County prosecutors, meanwhile, charged her with criminal interference with child custody. She was later convicted and is now serving a 14-year sentence in state prison.
Carrascosa, however, remains defiant. Several mediation attempts, including one involving the U.S. Department of State, have proved futile.
Innes, meanwhile, sued Lesnevich & Marzano-Lesnevich, alleging that Marzano-Lesnevich and her firm breached their professional obligation by releasing the child’s passport to her mother.
Attorneys at the firm fought back, arguing that they were never trustees and that they had no obligation to hold the child’s passport.
“Nobody ever asked Madeline to be a trustee, and she never agreed to be a trustee,” Walter Lesnevich said Tuesday. “The mother took the passport and fled with the child, so they blame Madeline for letting the mother have the passport.”
A jury, however, did not agree with him. After deliberating briefly on Tuesday afternoon, the eight-member panel ruled unanimously in favor of Innes, who had sued the firm both on his own behalf and that of his daughter.
The jury awarded $700,000 to Innes and $250,000 to Victoria.
“It’s another battle in a long war,” Innes said Tuesday after the verdict. “My daughter is now 11. I haven’t seen her since she was 4½.”
His attorney, James Waller, said Innes’ loss has been “incalculable.”
Walter Lesnevich said his firm will file an appeal.
January 13, 2010
The Carrascosa scandal continues!
Today, Victoria Carrascosa is holding a press conference in Valencia where she is making accusations about the Spanish government. She claims that Spanish government officials did not make a sincere effort to solve this conflict.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Together with the U.S. Department of State in Washington, the Spanish government in Madrid made extraordinary attempts to settle this conflict. In addition to frequent discussions, they went so far as to arrange a very rare judicial meeting that was held at The Hague in the Netherlands in April 2009. This meeting was attended by judges and diplomats from both the United States and Spain [see list below]. The meeting was a result of a year-long dialog between governments and their mutual belief that "this conflict is a judicial matter that is best solved with an agreement". A resolution outlining an agreement was crafted at this meeting that would have ended this conflict and allowed Victoria Innes to maintain her primary residence in Spain. This arrangement was immediately accepted by Mr. Innes. However, the Carrascosa family rejected any discussion of an agreement. With no agreement there was nothing further the government officials could have done to prevent Maria Jose from going to trial and eventually to 14 years in prison. Now, in an attempt to deceive the public once again, Victoria Carrascosa is claiming she and her family have been "taken for a ride" by the Spanish government in Madrid. She claims the government did not make a sincere effort to help her sister. This is a completely untrue and unfair statement. She and her family should be thankful to the Spanish government for taking such extraordinary steps to help her sister. Sadly it is position of her sister, that there can be no compromise, no negotiations and no settlement; that ties the hands of the Spanish government. The Carrascosa family have proven time and time again that they are unwilling to accept any solution to this problem except their own. It is this attitude that make an end to this conflict impossible. If Victoria Carrascosa wants to blame a government it should be the Regional Government of Valencia and the Spanish Family Courts. They are the ones most responsible for this conflict. It was their inability to properly adjudicate this case under the Hague Treaty that set this conflict into motion.
It's time for people in Spain to see that they have been sold a novel.
Below is a complete list of every person from Spain who attended the April 2009 judicial meeting in Spain.
·Ms Aurora MEJIA, Directora General de Cooperacion Juridica lnternacional, Ministerio de Justicia, Madrid, Spain ·Ana Maria GALLEGO TORRES, Subdirectora General de Cooperaci6n Juridica lnternacional, Ministerio de Justicia Mag. Lic. Francisco Javier FORCADA MIRANDA, Magistrado, Juzgado Primera lnstancia Zaragoza, Spain ·Ms Gema GARCIA, Prosecutor for Children's lssues, Valencia, Spain ·Mr Miguel Angel DE FRUTOS, Director General for Consular Affairs National Organ for the Hague Conference, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperaci6n, DG de Asuntos y Asistencia Consulares, Madrid, Spain ·Mrs Alegria BORRAS, Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain ·Mr Marcos GARCIA MONTES, Attorney of Ms Carrascosa*
*Note the lawyer, Marcos Garcia Montes, attended the meeting and represented himself as "the attorney for Maria Jose Carrascosa". However, in the United States Ms. Carrascosa has denied that Mr. Montes has ever represented her. Today, he claims to represent Victoria Solenne Innes without pay.
November 15, 2010
Carrascosa family attorney indicted on charges of money laundering for a South America drug ring
Today, the high profile Spanish attorney - Marcos Garcia Montes - was charged by Spanish criminal courts of laundering money for a major cocaine smuggling operation between Spain and South America.
This is the same lawyer who claims to be representing Victoria Innes and the Carrascosa family. While this claim has been publicly refuted by Maria Jose Carrascosa, Mr. Garcia-Montes did make several trips to the United States on behalf of the Carrascosa family and has appeared in court in Bergen County claiming he represented the Carrascosa family.
While Mr. Garcia-Montes hasn't been known to shy away from newspapers and cameras, so far he has made no comment on this matter.
July 27, 2010
Since the conviction and sentencing of Ms. Carrascosa in December, there have been continued efforts by Mr. Innes to end this horrific situation for Victoria Innes. Sadly, these efforts have been overshadowed by the continued incompetence and repugnant behavior of individuals in the Regional Government of Valencia. Spanish Social Services in Valencia
In Spain, attorneys for Mr. Innes have finally had communication with Spanish Social Services in Valencia. It is this department of the regional government of Valencia, who in October 2009 together with Gema Garcia the prosecutor for children's issues in Valencia, conspired to influence the U.S. courts and a jury of American citizens by assigning custody of Victoria to the regional government and guardianship to the elderly Carrascosa parents. They did this, not to protect Victoria, but to provide Ms. Carrascosa with the "I can't comply, I don't have custody" defense in her criminal trial. Not only did this trick fail, but at the time they took this extraordinary measure, they were bound by Spanish law to inform Mr. Innes within 15 days of their intentions and allow him to challenge their decision. Needless to say, they completely ignored this requirement and no one made any attempt whatsoever to serve such notice to Mr. Innes. They acted as if he simply did not exist.
Fast forward to early March 2010 when Mr. Innes' Spanish attorneys publically challenged them as to why Mr. Innes had not been notified of their intentions within the required 15 days. Initially, there was no response from Valencia Social Services. In fact, when Mr. Innes' attorneys paid a visit to their office they were turned away at the door. Then, just a few days later, the U.S. Embassy In Madrid was asked to post a notice from the regional government of Valencia stating they were "unable to locate Mr. Innes" to participate in the custody proceedings involving his own daughter Victoria Innes!
Imagine that? Mr. Innes, a litigant in what may be the most public international custody case that the city of Valencia has ever seen, cannot be located by the regional government of Valencia!Even though Mr. Innes has personally visited the court in Valencia twice in conjunction with these proceedings, he has been represented by well known attorneys in Spain for over five years,he is publically represented by ProJustica - a highly visible men's rights organization; and Spanish media has no trouble contacting him and they print his quotes frequently. Most amazing is the fact that judges from the court in Valencia and the public prosecutor herself were present at the 2009 meeting in The Hague to discuss this case. All of these people had uninterrupted access to Mr. Innes' attorneys, the US Consular's office in Valencia and U.S. Embassy in Madrid who would have been able to contact Mr. Innes 24/7! Hell, a simple Google search would have found Mr. Innes.
However, it wasn't so easy for Spanish Social Services in Valencia. For this prejudicial and dysfunctional branch of the Regional Government of Valencia, locating and communicating with Mr. Innes or his attorneys was far too daunting a task. Clearly, they are cut from the same cloth as the inept prosecutor Gema Garcia. Together, they are either lairs or totally incompetent. Most likely both!
Of course, the U.S. Embassy saw through their ruse and refused to post their bogus notice. They, like everyone else involved in this mess, could easily have located Mr. Innes or one of his attorneys. The actions of these Spanish government officials was nothing more than another display of the complete and total disregard for the rule of law as it applies to Mr. Innes and Victoria Innes. It also reflects the prevailinganti-American and feminist attitude of the Valencia regional government.
Finally, a few days after being refused by the Embassy and publically called to task by ProJustica and Innes' attorneys, Valencia Social Services communicated their intentions to Mr. Innes' attorney by saying the "matter will be handled by the courts"!
Mind you, in October, just weeks before Ms. Carrascosa's criminal trial it was "urgent" that the prosecutor and social services conspire to "protect the child" by addressing the issue of Victoria's custody. Yet in March, with the child's mother sentenced to 14 years in prison, it's no longer urgent and the issue reverts back to a "a matter for the courts".
What actually occurred here is not just a departure from protocol or legal procedure. It was the continued manipulation and abuse of an innocent American child by a foreign government. Every individual involved in this matter completely understood the circumstances of Victoria Innes' removal from the United States and they knew Mr. Innes has been demanding her return since 2005. They also all knew Ms. Carrascosa was scheduled for trial in October. The prosecutor, Gema Garcia, even traveled to the United States in 2009 and attended court proceedings in an effort to defend Ms. Carrascosa. It is her job to represent children, not criminal defendants. Yet, not only did she overstep her authority, she did so at the expense of the Spanish taxpayer. This women is not a advocate for children, she is a liar and child abductor as are her associates in Spanish Social Services. Law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of Spain should be appalled at the behavior of these people. Spaniards should demand these people are removed from their government jobs and help accountable for this scandal. Rather than do something to help this child, these people did nothing but make a bad situation even worst.
As for Ms. Carrascosa, she has decided to continue her delusional crusade from prison where, acting Pro Se [as her own attorney], she attempts to re-litigate matters that have been fully, fairly and finally decided by U.S. Courts. Since her conviction she has filed a number of motions and appeals in family court, the appellate division and district court.Most filings include long, ranting letters where she voices her many false accusations againstMr. Innes, his attorneys, U.S. judges, prosecutors, her past attorneys and the family of Mr. Innes.
Even her own family isn't safe from her accusations! In a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper - El Mundo - Ms. Carrascosa accuses her sister of "manipulating her parents" and refers to the family lawyer as "that clown from Madrid" who is "up to his neck in a movie deal". Clearly, no one is off limits from the delusional rants of Ms. Carrascosa.
However, what Ms. Carrascosa simply refuses to accept is the absolute fact that custody litigation involving Victoria Innes in the United States is final and will not be altered unless Victoria Innes is returned to the United States. This fact will never change. Until then, U.S. laws will keep Ms. Carrascosa incarcerated in a New Jersey State Prison.
Negotiations Toward a Settlement
As reported in May by the Spanish media, the Spanish Consulate did contact Mr. Innes' U.S. attorney and requested a meeting with the Carrascosa family attorney, Mr. Carrascosa and Victoria Carrascosa. The meeting took place Friday May 7th at the office of Mr. Innes' attorney in New Jersey, Peter Van Aulen. As expected, Mr. Carrascosa and Victoria Carrascosa were unable to control themselves and refused to participate in this meeting. Instead they sat in a waiting room while the Spanish attorney Marcos Garcia Montes and a representative from the Spanish consulate met with Mr. Innes and his attorney.
To date, not even a hint of a solution has come from this meeting. In fact, not so much as the courtesy of a reply to Mr. Innes' suggested settlement. However, both parties agreed the subject matter discussed would remain confidential and for the moment, it shall remain that way.
In the meantime, Victoria Innes remains an orphan and the victim of a state-sponsored child abduction. Despite that fact, Victoria has a perfectly normal American family, eager to welcome her into their home, fully supportive of the release of her mother and totally committed to cooperating in a shared parenting plan - a simple and fair solution that is best for Victoria.
Sadly, what is best for Victoria is of no interest to the misguided Carrascosa family and the Regional Government of Valencia.
December 23, 2009
Today, Maria Jose Carrascosa was sentenced to 14 years in a New Jersey State Prison for her crime of taking Victoria Innes to Spain and concealing her from her father. Judge Donald Venezia blasted her for using this child as if she were a piece on a chess board. He said she was despicable and she had no reason to take this child other than to extract her revenge on her ex-husband. The judge also pointed out that despite the many false claims made by Carrascosa not a single shred of evidence existed to suggest Mr. Innes has ever done anything wrong. Most importantly, he said what this case is really all about is the “manipulation” of an innocent child by an angry mother. He made it very clear that children are not the sole property of one parent and he was highly critical of Spanish court rulings that he felt made no sense and were completely unfair to the child and her father.
During this sentencing hearing, Mr. Innes addressed the court and made the following statement:
Your Honor, today my 9 year old daughter Victoria lives as an orphan. She is without a mother or father and she is the true victim in this case. Her mother is incarcerated and despite my best efforts, as well as the efforts of this court and the U.S. Department of State, I can not find a way to free my child from the grip of a ruthless Spanish family and their army of attorneys. Sadly, the person most responsible for the unfortunate situation that Victoria finds herself in is her own mother Maria Jose Carrascosa.
Maria Jose is devious and deceitful. She is not a victim, she is a criminal. She knowingly chose to violate the laws of New Jersey where she lived exclusively since 1993. She violated my parental rights, she violated Victoria’s rights and she violated a legally binding agreement. She abducted my child and she has concealed her from me for what will soon be 5 years. She has manipulated my child and alienated her from me and my family. She has been a burden to this court and the citizens of New Jersey. For one person, she has done a lot of damage to a lot of people and she is without a shred of remorse.
She also refuses any discussion of a compromise. Despite the fact that I was awarded full legal custody in a fair trial, I have offered to allow Victoria to have her primary residence in Spain and visitation with me in New Jersey. A simple solution that everyone knows is best for our child. However, Maria Jose refuses any settlement. It is her way, or no way. A zero sum game. Total disregard for me, our child, this court and the laws of the United States. It is her will against the will of the U.S. courts.
Your honor, my case is one of over 2,000 unresolved cases of American children illegally abducted by one parent to a foreign country. Spain, Brazil, Japan, Italy. The countries vary, but the stories are all the same. A failed marriage, a spouse who knowingly violates U.S. law and a foreign court that fails to meet its obligations under an international treaty.
However your Honor, my case is unique because the perpetrator of the crime has been brought to justice. This is rare in international child abduction cases. Therefore, the sentence you impose in this matter is much more meaningful. Today, you will speak not only for me and my child, but for over 2,000 other abducted American children and their law-abiding American parents. Equally important, you will speak for many more children who are at risk of being abducted in the future. It is my sincere hope your voice will be heard by multi-national parents throughout the United States and by foreign courts around the world, and what they hear is that parental child abduction is wrong, it is harmful to children and it will not be tolerated by civilized countries where both parents enjoy equal rights of custody to their children.
Victoria and I thank you for your attention.
Peter William Innes
November 12, 2009
Today, a jury of 12 U.S. citizens firmly rejected the "stories" told by Maria Jose Carrascosa and they convicted her of all 9 criminal counts filed against her. It took the jury less than 2 hours to reach a guilty verdict.
This ruling certainly helps vindicate Mr. Innes of the false accusations made against him by the now convicted felon - Maria Jose Carrascosa - and her criminal family.
While some measure of justice was served today, it is very sad to know that even more time will past for Victoria without either of her parents. Without question, Victoria is the true victim in all of this.
We can only hope at this point that the Carrascosa family and judicial authorities in Spain will see the wisdom in returning Victoria to her father before Ms. Carrascosa is sentanced on December 23rd.
INEPT SPANISH PROSECUTOR MAKES VEILED ATTEMPT TO SWAY U.S. COURTS
Victoria Carrascosa and Gema Garcia in a Bergen County Court hearing - May 2009
October 1, 2009
Ms. Gema Garcia - a public prosecutor in Valencia - has informed attorneys for Mr. Innes that she has commenced a proceeding asking the court in Valencia to assign custody of Victoria Innes to Ms. Carrascosa's elderly parents. She plans to completely ignor the U.S. courts and the rights of this child's father! This action is yet another insult to Mr. Innes and the United States by an inept and discriminatory Spanish family court who continues to abuse a 9 year old American citizen.
Ms. Garcia's position as a public prosecutor in a family court requires her to be an advocate for children. She is supposed to look after children's best interests when their parents are unable to.
However, the true reason Ms. Garcia has decided to take such a step at this time is solely to get Ms. Carrascosa out of jail. She thinks that assigning custody to Ms. Carrascosa's parents will create a defense for Ms. Carrascosa, where she is "unable" to comply with U.S. court rulings ordering the child's return.
The truth is Ms. Garcia, and the court in Valencia, are not at all interested in the welfare of this child. If they were sincere in wanting to protect this child, they would have ordered her return in 2005 when they recognized the U.S. as the child's habitual residence and they were advised by their own psychologists that the child was being manipulated. In their report, the court's own appointed psychologists found no reason what-so-ever that Victoria Innes should not be returned immediately. In fact, they said her return to the U.S. was in her "best interest" and they concluded if she is not returned her development would be adversely affected.
Ms. Garcia and the court in Valencia completely ignored this report and did nothing to protect this child.
Now over 4 years later, and less than a month before Ms. Carrascosa's trial is set to begin, Ms. Garcia and the court in Valencia are suddenly concerned about the welfare of this child and her legal guardianship. And to show how concerned she is, she is attempting to award custody to people in their late 70's who are physically unable to care for an active 9 year old child.
What's even more disturbing is the fact that Ms. Garcia was present in the judicial meeting held in The Hague earlier this year. She is fully aware that every level of courts in the U.S. have granted full custody of Victoria to Mr. Innes. She is fully aware that Mr. Innes has been found to be a perfectly fit parent. She is fully aware that Victoria Innes is a U.S. citizen. She is fully aware that her own court in Valencia has NEVER made a ruling on custody in favor of Ms. Carrascosa and she has communicated frequently with the attorneys of Mr. Innes.
Ms. Garcia even traveled to the United States in May 2009 [at the expense of Spanish taxpayers] to visit Ms. Carrascosa, meet with New Jersey State Prosecutors and attend a criminal court hearing with Victoria Carrascosa! During her visit she made absolutely no effort to meet with or even speak to Mr. Innes or his attorneys! Is this how she looks after a child's interests? Acting as if the father doesn't exist? Or is this how she looks after the interests of Ms. Carrascosa, a jailed criminal?
Now, she chooses to continue to violate the custodial rights of Mr. Innes and discriminate against him because he is an American AND a man! Her latest action is nothing short of a "court-sponsored dirty trick".
Well Ms. Garcia, as sure as the sun will rise in the east, your little trick will not work in the United States. Our prosecutors, our judges and our citizens are far too intelligent not to see through your trickery, your incompetence and your prejudice.
Throughout this case
U.S. courts have steadfastly refused to recognize any decision of a Spanish court that "offends public policy and prejudices our citizens".
And in the end, this action by Ms. Garcia will only inflict further harm on an innocent child who it is Ms. Garcia's job to protect. Law-abiding citizens of Spain should be appalled by her behavior and her abuse of this child.
May 13, 2009
Today, another chapter in this sad story has been written. It appears certain a civil agreement between Mr. Innes and Ms. Carrascosa will be impossible. There can be no reasonable agreement when only one side is reasonable. Therefore, at this time I can speak about the meeting in The Hague and the resulting proposed agreement.
On April 20, 2009 a very unique meeting was held in The Hague, Netherlands in an attempt to find a resolution to this very complicated case. The meeting was attended by judges, diplomats and attorneys from both the United States and Spain. A great deal of effort and expense was put into this by the U.S. Department of State who coordinated the meeting. Everyone involved sincerely hoped the gathering would result in the end to this conflict. In this meeting a number of issues were addressed. Most notably:
Ms. Gema Garcia, the Prosecutor for Children’s Issues in Valencia confirmed “The Spanish court has never awarded the custody of Victoria to Ms. Carrascosa”.
Mrs. Alegria Borras, a professor at the University of Barcelona, and expert in The Hague Treaty, analyzed the various court rulings and supported the U.S. judicial rulings and the position of the U.S. in respect to the treaty.
The attendees at the meeting agreed that their focus should not be on “pointing fingers of blame” but rather on finding a solution to the conflict that “is in the best interest of the child who is suffering”.
The group closed the meeting by drafting an outline of an agreement that the group considered to be best for the child and could be enforceable in both Spain and the United States.
The proposed agreement called for joint legal custody with residential custody assigned to Ms. Carrascosa in Spain with liberal visitation for Mr. Innes in the United States and Spain.It would also result in the immediate release of Ms. Carrascosa from jail. The details as to how the agreement would be executed and how it would be enforceable remain confidential, but by all accounts – the agreement would be best for the child.
Immediately upon receipt of this proposed agreement, it was graciously and immediately accepted by Mr. Innes. If the judges and diplomats thought it best for Victoria – so did Mr. Innes!
However, as we have come to expect from the Carrascosa’s, a self-imposed term of 3 weeks was proclaimed by their hot-shot attorney so they could “review and respond” to the proposed agreement. Today, we’ve learned that the agreement has been flatly rejected as it does not meet Ms. Carrascosa’s singular goal of separating Victoria from her father and furthering her agenda of delusional accusations made against Mr. Innes. At this point, it’s fairly clear to anyone who comes in contact with Ms. Carrascosa that she has issues with accepting reality.
Today, what is being reporting is the Spanish press by Ms. Carrascosa’s sister Victoria, is a “counter-offer” that includes the following absurd requirements:
The complete termination of Mr. Innes’ parental rights
Mr. Innes must admit he falsified documents. (which he did not do)
Mr. Innes must “prove” he is innocent of the crimes Ms. Carrascosa has accused him of. (Prove you didn’t do something - is that even possible?)
Mr. Innes is to compensate Ms. Carrascosa for properties lost as a result of her incarceration and judicial proceedings.
Mr. Innes must pay Ms. Carrascosa child support and the full cost of education for his daughter.
Needless to say, this is absolutely ridicules and isn’t going to be considered. It is a clear sign that the delusional Ms. Carrascosa and her misguided family are not ever going to respect the parental rights of Mr. Innes or obey the law. They are playing a game with two governments and in the process, abusing an innocent child who has a God given right to her mother AND her father! It’s no wonder the Spanish Government has had enough of these people. In fact, this is yet another instance of Ms. Carrascosa knowingly and deliberately interfering with Mr. Innes’ right of custody – the same crime she is accused of - she continues to commit!
Therefore, Mr. Innes will no longer pursue any type of civil agreement. Instead, he will continue to pursue custody of his child through the courts in the United States and Spain. Since Mr. Innes is this child’s only parent who is physically, mentally and financially able to provide for her – and if the Spanish court is sincere about wanting what is best for Victoria – it is only a matter of time before she must be returned to the United States.
As for Ms. Carrascosa, she will continue her self-imposed incarceration for what is likely to be years to come. Her trial is scheduled for October 2009. Until then she will remain in Bergen County Jail.
As for Victoria Innes – she is missed very much and she is loved very much. Someday she will understand the truth. Until then, she remains in our thoughts and prayers:)
March 18, 2008
Again this week, the Carrascosa "campaign of deception" came face-to-face with reality. Since not a single word that comes from the Carrascosa camp is truthful, allow me to clarify a few facts.
* The lawyer Marcos Garcia Montes is a professional liar. He claims he is negotiating an agreement, when in fact, he is not. He has never spoken a word to anyone associated with Mr. Innes. He is simply posing for cameras and acting like the dishonest lawyer that he appears to be.
* Garcia Montes claims that "charges against Mr. Innes for falsifying documents will be dismissed" in return for "Mr. Innes dismissing charges against Ms. Carrascosa". Only problem with this is there are no charges against Mr. Innes and no documents have been falsified! That's another lie.
* The judge in Ms. Carrascosa's criminal case"completely rejected" the defense that Mr. Innes was abusive and tried to poison Ms. Carrascosa. He stated there is "absolutely no evidence to support this and Mr. Innes is not on trial". Now, courts in the U.S. and in Spain have completely rejected this false accusation.
* Regardless of what may happen next in Ms. Carrascosa's criminal trial, she will not be released from jail until the contempt of court order is addressed in the family court.
Clearly, the Carrascosa clan has no intention of resolving this through a mutual agreement. Therefore, this matter must be resolved through the courts of both the United States and Spain. And that is exactly what is about to happen!
Ms. Carrascosa and her lawyer-of-the-week
December 3, 2008
Time and time again, the Spanish press and the Carrascosa family state that the courts in Spain were the first to issue a custody ruling and that because I lost, I then filed for divorce in New Jersey. Nothing could be further from the truth. To set the record straight, below you find a link to the actual Hague Convention application submitted by U.S. Department of State to Spanish Central Authority and the court in Valencia Spain.
In this application you will find:
1. Documented proof that Victoria Innes was born in New Jersey, lived in New Jersey and attended School in New Jersey.
2. A pre-nuptial agreement and certificate of marriage that confirms New Jersey is the residence of Ms. Carrascosa - as stated by Ms. Carrascosa.
3. A parenting agreement dated October 2004 restricting Victoria from leaving her home in the United States.
4. The first judicial ruling made in the case. This was made in New Jersey on February 5, 2005. This order was made within weeks of Victoria's abduction. In his ruling this judge exercised his jurisdiction and ordered the immediate return of Victoria.
2. The 2nd judicial ruling made on March 22, 2005. In this ruling the judge in New Jersey rejected Ms. Carrascosa's claim that Spain had jurisdiction and he again ordered the child be returned, he assigned temporary custody to Mr. Innes, ordered the parenting agreement be respected and demanded the child passport be held by the court until a final custody decision was made.
3. On July 5, 2005 - months after U.S. courts assumed jurisdiction and issued rulings - the first judicial ruling was made in Spain. This ruling was a result of the Hague petition filed by Mr. Innes through the U.S. Department of State.
In making it's decision that the "mother had custody", the court in Valencia ruled that indeed New Jersey was the "habitual residence" of the child. But then the court in Valencia completely ignored the February and March 2005 rulings made in the U.S. This is in direct violation of the Hague treaty. Further, the court in Valencia went far beyond its authority by assigning custody in proceeding that was never intended to determine custody. Because the court made such outrageous errors, any decision made by them will never be recognized in a U.S. court.
So next time you read the lies made by the Carrascosa family, you can be sure the truth lies in these documents.
This week the United States Supreme Court rejected Ms. Carrascosa's petition for certification. As a result of this rejection Ms. Carrascosa has exhausted her final appeal in the United States courts. So far, New Jersey state courts and United States federal courts - at every level - have ruled that Victoria Innes was illegally abducted.
Next for Ms. Carrascosa will be a criminal trial. She is facing 8 counts of interference with custody. Since this interference included the removal of the child from the United States, these charges are automatically upgraded to the more serious crime of felony kidnapping. She will face 10 years on each count. Given our courts have issued multiple rulings stating the actions of Ms. Carrascosa were illegal, it is almost certain she will be convicted. The Innes family and friends will all be present at this trial and we intend to ask the judge for the maximum sentence without the possibility of parole until Victoria Innes is returned.
The sad fact is there is absolutely nothing anyone in the United States or Spain can do to change Ms. Carrascosa's position. She alone holds the key to her cell. Politicians, lawyers, even the King of Spain is powerless to do anything to assist Ms. Carrascosa. She choose to defy the laws of the United States, she was afforded every opportunity to be heard and her arguments were flatly rejected.
Meanwhile in Spain, the criminal Carrascosa family and their lawyer-of-the-week are making yet another desperate attempt to have me charged with a crime that never happened. This recent complaint brings the total to 15. This time they've convinced a Spanish judge that I need to give a statement about documents that were submitted to the U.S. courts. Of course, this will never happen. As a U.S. Citizen and resident of New Jersey, no foreign judge will ever have jurisdiction over me. This is just another trick to get more of their lies printed in Spanish newspapers.
September 15, 2008
This week the Carrascosa clan added it's newest liar to their collection of scumbag attorneys, misfits and child abductors - Ms. Reyes Monforte. A misguided writer, Ms. Reyes wrote what she claims is a "novel" based on "true facts" about this case. However, she clearly took the Carrascosa bait - hook, line and sinker - and published a book that is complete and total bullshit. Nothing about this book is based on true facts. This women is a puppet with the Carrascosa family pulling her strings.
When asked if she ever spoke to the ex-husband for his side of the story, she indicated that she had, when in fact she never did! The book only adds to the slander that continues to come from the criminal Carrascosa clan.
Professional liar Reyes Monforte (center) with Victoria Carrascosa and Reyes' husband - actor Pepe Sancho.
June 18, 2008
Once again, the District Appeals Court for the 3rd Circuit was unimpressed with Ms. Carrascosa's request for a rehearing. Clearly, her claim that falsified documents were submitted to the District Court proved to be completely not true.
Thisweek the Carrascosa family, led by their resident feminist Victoria Carrascosa, hired another new attorney and held another press conference. This time they played one of the oldest tricks in the public relations book - guilt by association.
At this press conference they stood next to a fellow Spaniard, who spent several years in a Florida prison having been convicted and later acquitted, of a horrific double murder. By using this association the Carrascosa's are attempting to create the perception that Maria Jose - like her fellow Spaniard - is a victim of an unjust American criminal justice system. Great for drama and headlines, but no substance whatsoever. In addition, they claim that documents submitted to the federal court by my attorneys have been falsified and they will be filing a criminal complaint. This will bring the total number of criminal complaints filed by the Carrascosa clan to 14. This complaint, like the 13 that preceded it, is ridicules and it is certain to be dismissed.
Attorney-of-the week Marcos García, Victoria Carrascosa and acquitted murderer Joaquín José Martínez
April 10, 2008
This week the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has offically taken the case of Victoria Innes and listed her as an abducted child. This organization will act as a clearing house for law enforcement information relating to the illegal abduction of Victoria. You can view her profile by visiting www.missingkids.com
March 20, 2008
Today, the Federal Appeals Court for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia issued its final decision on the merits of Ms. Carrascosa's case. It affirmed all lower court decisions and clearly stated the abduction of Victoria S. Innes from the United States was illegal. After three years, the truth has prevailed.
Now, Ms. Carrascosa will stand trial in Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey on June 23rd, 2008. This court decision makes the evidence against her - and her parents -overwhelming.
Another chapter in a very sad story.
March 3, 2009
This week the Spanish Courts have again rejected the insane accusations of the Carrascosa family. At this point its clear the criminal complaints filed by the Carrascosa clan in Spain are simply ridiculous. As stated in the most recent ruling from Criminal Court #11 in Valencia - there is absolutely no evidence of any crime ever having been committed. This serves as more proof that the only criminals in this case are Maria Jose Carrascosa and her parents.
Below is a link to the Spanish court's investigation of the criminal complaints filed by the Carrascosa family. As we all already knew, they found absolutely no evidence of any crime having been committed and absolutely no truth to the Carrascosa's accusations.
Sadly, it appears this conflict is going to continue into 2008. Despite my best efforts to propose a settlement, the Carrascosa family remains adamant in their refusal to consider any solution but their own.
During the past two months there have been several developments in this case. The Carrascosa’s attorney-of-the-week [number 14 I believe] has submitted a brief to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Ms. Carrascosa’s petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Their argument is exactly the same as what has already been argued and denied twice by the District Court. This brief was answered by my attorney and attorneys for Bergen County, New Jersey. Oral arguments – which are open to the public – will be held January 7th, 2008 at 8:30am in the U.S. Federal Courthouse / 601 Market Street in my home town – Philadelphia, PA.
While no one expects the 3rd Circuit to overturn the Superior Court and District Court rulings, every accused criminal in the United States is entitled to due process and Ms. Carrascosa is no different. If she wins, she will be released immediately. However, if she loses, she will stand trial in New Jersey on felony kidnapping changes and she will be judged by a jury of New Jersey citizens just like me.
Next, finally some good news from Spain regarding the last of the 14 frivolous criminal complaints filed against me by the Carrascosa family. Again, the truth has come to the surface! This is a quote from one of my lawyers -"This last May I ask to Instrucción 3 of Requena to dismiss the claim against you and now I have the pleasure to inform you that my petition is accepted by the judge and the claim is closed. But I have more information for you, in the Court of Instrucción nº 11 about attempted murder by poison, the investigator say in his report that there aren’t any proofs about these charges so now I will ask to the Judge to dismiss this final claim. Its very good news!” --- Clearly, Spanish authorities are begining to see through the Carrascosa family and their false accusations.
Of course, no update to this website would be complete without mention of more lawsuits! Since October, Ms. Carrascosa has filed two additional lawsuits in U.S. Federal Court – one against the United States of America for violation of her civil rights and another against several New Jersey hospitals and doctors for malpractice. Both lawsuits are hand-written diatribes that are almost impossible to understand. Based on these rambling and very convoluted writings it seems Ms. Carrascosa is quickly losing touch with reality. Very, very sad.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Ms. Carrascosa’s sister continues her public relations campaign aimed at slandering me and pushing government suits to get involved. Despite her inaccurate and untrue statements made to journalists, I’m happy to report her efforts are having absolutely no impact whatsoever on any legal proceedings in the United States or in Spain. Politicians and most of the credible journalists in Spain have elected not to get involved.
Last, but certainly not least, the Carrascosa’s former Wall Street attorneys - Carter, Ledyard & Milburn – have filed a lawsuit against Ms. Carrascosa, her father Jose Carrascosa-Cusi and their big mouth Spanish attorney Vincente Ibor. They are seeking over $400,000 in unpaid legal bills! The suit was filed in Federal Court so it looks like the Carrascosa clan has another problem in the U.S. that isn’t going away. These lawyers don’t seem to be the type of people who will forgive and forget – they want their money. Fortunately, this one doesn’t involve me! So as we all prepare for the Holiday season with our friends and families, it seems obvious the Carrascosa family is continuing on their path of self destruction.
As for my family, we’ve never been happier. Little Peter gets bigger and brighter every day, Yesenia is one of the most vibrant teenagers the world will ever know, and Jaydee and I couldn’t be happier in our new home. The only thing we’re missing is Victoria!
October 8, 2007
This week the news from Spain is the Carrascosa family is publicly claiming they have been "abandoned" by the Spanish government. However, the truth is the Spanish government knows that this issue needs to be solved and there is only one solution. Victoria Innes must be returned to the United States. This is the only way Ms. Carrascosa will be released from jail.
And if Ms. Carrascosa chooses to stay incarcerated , the Spanish Government knows that very soon Mr. Innes must be granted custody of his child. By making the decision not to get involved with the Carrascosa family any further, we believe government officials see the truth and the eventual outcome of this situation. Sadly, the only people who insist on continuing this conflict are the Carrascosa family.
Also, there was a court hearing in New Jersey last week in Ms. Carrascosa's criminal case. The next day it became uncertain if Ms. Carrascosa will be represented by a licensed attorney or if she will represent herself. To date, Ms. Carrascosa has used 12 different attorneys in the United States and now she appears either unwilling or unable to hire number 13!
At this point it appears the Carrascosa family have painted themselves into a corner. Both the E.U. Parliament and the Spanish Government have stepped aside. The European press is beginning to turn against them. Certainly, they must fear bringing Victoria back will result in a psychological evaluation of Maria Jose and the possibility of losing custody of Victoria. It also seems evident that the parents can't over rule Maria Jose's decisions, not matter how crazy they are. For the Carrascosa family, this must truly be an intolerable situation.
The truth is, all they have to do settle this like normal people and everyone can get on with their lives.
September 21st, 2007
The European Union Parliament determines it has no competence to intervene in the case of Maria Jose Carrascosa.
You can see the detail of this ruling via the link below. It was presented as a question to the E.U. Parliament by one of the Carrascosa's attorneys. Like everything from the Carrascosa's the question itself is untrue and inaccurate. However, the answer is exactly correct! The United States has every right to incarcerate Ms. Carrascosa and the United States did not violate any treaty or international law. This document will certainly be presented at future court hearings in the United States.
This website was created to present factual information, however at times, opinions may be expressed. These opinions, protected by the U.S. Constitution and published in the United States by a United States citizen, are for the sole purpose of expressing a position regarding certain people, places, events and circumstances. Any photographs used in this site are either solely owned or have been published in newspapers or internet sites.