Troubling Update on the Colonel Kirk Case

On September 21, 2012, Judge James A. Matish of the West Virginia Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court heard LtCol. Joel Kirk’s appeal to reverse two incomprehensible rulings made by Judge Lori B. Jackson. The appeal requests that Matish:

1.)   Overturn several mathematical  errors Lori Jackson made in a previous ruling. Jackson’s errors would cost Col. Kirk a great deal of money he does not have because it never existed.

Jackson held Kirk in contempt for non-payment even though she admitted to making the errors. Jackson decided to uphold her errors because she did not believe they were “that big of a mistake.” Jackson told Joel she would expunge the contempt charge if he paid the non-existent money specified in her previous ruling even though she acknowledged her calculations were wrong. Believe it or not, Jackson used to be an accountant.

2.)   Overturn Jackson’s August 2012 decision to give 50/50 custody to Tina and Joel and the implication that Tina would eventually be given full primary custody. Jackson made this ruling despite overwhelming evidence that Tina is an emotionally abusive and physically violent, untreated Borderline Personality Disordered, drug and alcohol abusing parent who has yet to undergo treatment for these issues.



Even though the Kirk children’s physical safety and emotional well-being are at stake, Matish deferred making a ruling for 60 days and inexplicably mirrored Lori Jackson’s sentiments by proclaiming:

“This case is quite disturbing in the behavior of both parties. Ms. Kirk for her substance abuse and Mr. Kirk for filming from a dark room.”

Male victims of abusive women, especially borderline personality disordered women, frequently have to record their abuses because it is the only way anyone will believe them. It is common practice for attorneys and therapists specializing in these cases to advise clients with BPD spouses to do exactly what Joel did – document the abuse. At Shrink4Men, we call this the ABR Rule (Always Be Recording).

Before Jackson replaced Judge Cornelia Reep, Col. Kirk had advised the court repeatedly about Tina’s abusive behavior and substance abuse problems, but his concerns were ignored. It was only after he produced video evidence that CPS and the court began to take the problem seriously, that is until Jackson was given the case.

Would Matish have condemned Tina for filming Joel from a “dark room” if he was the abuser or commended her for trying to protect the children and herself? Matish appears to either be ignorant or be operating under a woefully disturbing double standard when it comes to female abusers or both.

Meanwhile, it is nearly 120 days since the September appeal hearing and Matish has yet to make a ruling. Perhaps Matish naively believes Tina’s violent and abusive episode captured on the June 28, 2009 video (above audio file) was an isolated incident. In reality, it is just the tip of the iceberg. AVFM and Shrink4Men have so many audio files documenting Tina’s abuse of Col. Kirk and the children that we are still going through them months after receiving them.

One can only speculate why Matish has allowed these two issues, one very urgent because it involves the safety of minors, to sit on his desk for almost 4 months. One can only speculate why he needed to adjourn at all to fix another Judge’s admitted mathematical error.

How Many Judges Does It Take to Divorce a Borderline?

Over the last 3.5 years, the Kirk case has had five judges. Five judges.

Judge Cornelia Reep: She recused herself due to a conflict of interest after Tina fired her original family law lawyer, who she still owes $18,000, and hired personal injury attorney, Thomas G. Smith. Reep represented Smith in his divorce when she was a practicing attorney. Smith and associates appear to be working on a contingency fee basis, which is illegal in West Virginia family law cases.

Reep ruled that the children should have no contact with their mother until Tina  underwent treatment and was deemed safe by the children’s therapist and the GAL. Therefore, Reep had to go so Tina could get in front of the only other Harrison County Family Court judge who just happens to be a close family friend of one of Tina’s drinking buddies, Celeste Clutter. Thomas G. Smith’s law firm coincidentally happens to be one of Clutter’s biggest clients at the radio station where Celeste works in sales.

Judge Lori B. Jackson: Jackson’s malfeasance, enabling of child abuse and multiple conflicts of interest are evident. Jackson ruled that the children’s visitation with Tina would resume, unsupervised, against the protests of the GAL and the children’s therapist.

Judge James A. Matish: See above.

State Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum: In early October 2012, Justice Ketchum recused Jackson due to the Internet coverage of the Kirk case on AVFM, Shrink4Men and other websites. Ketchum should have recused Jackson for gross incompetence, judicial malfeasance, multiple conflicts of interest and for her reckless endangerment of the Kirk children.

Judge J. Jeffrey Culpepper: Justice Ketchum appointed Monongalia County Judge Culpepper to replace Jackson. However, Judge Culpepper cannot rule on the Kirk case in its entirety because Matish, a colleague of Jackson’s, continues to sit on Col. Kirk’s appeal. One also wonders why Matish has not handed the appeal to Matish. It would certainly help to simplify things in the Harrison County Dysfunctional Family Court Circus.

So that’s 3.5 years, 5 judges and no resolution for the Kirk children and LtCol. Kirk.

Dumpster Diving for Dollars

Tina Kirk’s four ambulance chasing personal injury attorneys, Thomas G. Smith, Esq., Jamison H. Cooper, Esq., Afton Leanne Huston, Esq. and Daniel C. Cooper, Esq. (the husband of Jamison Cooper) deny Tina’s abuse — even after watching the video, the GAL report, the therapist’s testimony and psychiatric evaluations. They claim it was an isolated incident because “Joel got Tina drunk” and has since attended anger management counseling at her new church.

First, there is no documentation that Tina has undergone treatment by a credentialed mental health professional that specializes in BPD and substance abuse. Sorry, but a few confabs with Pastor “Suffer the Little Children,” a few crocodile tears and a few prayer circles is not a cure for either Borderline Personality Disorder or alcoholism — except perhaps in Lori Jackson’s court. It remains to be seen whether this also applies to Matish’s court.

Second, there are many photos of Tina taken after June 2009, partying it up on different occasions, drink in hand.

Third, the last thing the partner of an out-of-control, violent BPD wants is for her or him to get drunk. BPD and alcohol can be a dangerous combination and no one in their right mind would want to expose themselves or their children to that.

Fourth, AVFM and Shrink4Men have received recent reports of ongoing abuse by Tina Kirk toward their two children, including a public display of abuse in December 2012. After AVfM ran The Real Housewives of Harrison County on October 8, 2012, one of the housewives contacted Paul Elam via email, providing us with additional information.

This housewife of Harrison County reported that Tina was so drunk the night of the party documented in the photos in The Real Housewives article, that she got into a screaming match with her bouncer boyfriend in Celeste Clutter’s driveway and was asked to leave.

We also have reports from other community members that Tina has begun yet another smear campaign by approaching the children’s educators and extracurricular activity instructors claiming Joel is abusing his children without providing a shred of evidence to substantiate her claims.

Smear campaigns are textbook Borderline behavior. Borderlines typically initiate smear campaigns during divorce and custody proceedings (and sometimes during the relationship) in an attempt to cover up abuse that they are actually committing. Smear campaigns are just a public form of projection, misinformation and redirection.

Furthermore, Judge Culpepper placed a gag order on both Kirks in December 2012, so it would appear that Tina is in violation of the gag order as she goes about Harrison County slandering Col. Kirk.

Tina Kirk’s abuse of the Kirk children is active and ongoing. It is not “in the past” nor is it an “isolated incident.” Yet Judge Matish continues to let this case drag on. In doing so, he is enabling the abuse of children just like Lori B. Jackson. That makes two judges in Harrison County demonstrating abject indifference to child abuse. What are the odds?

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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  1. Paul Elam says

    I just get more outraged as I think about this case. Kirk tells the court several times that she has an ETOH problem and abuses the kids. They look the other way. So he gets them video proof of what he is talking about, and they decided it is an isolated incident. What the hell do they think he was talking about when he reported all this stuff BEFORE he made the video?

    What a sickening indifference to the abuse of his children.

  2. nonecon says

    This is so disturbing because it is more typical than anyone would believe (outside these Internet support forums). Female abusers are a legally protected class and they know it. They revel in the use of the courts to validate, nay amplify their abusive behavior. The male is left going bankrupt trying to protect his children, while spending YEARS, while the abuse is perpetrated. The use of recorded evidence is routinely thrown out against females and routinely accepted against males. We have an anti-male culture now. Men will be more and more unwilling to ” commit” to marriage because it may be the same as getting “committed” to the nuthouse of a legal status that is focused on potentially destroying him because of his gender.

      • Driver says

        Yep, nonecon…I agree.

        It really is sad how our society is shaping up. I dealt with a similar issue in the courts regarding child support. They really do want to hear want you have to say or what your living situation is…just pay.

        My ex has moved on (remarried) and they have two incomes. At times (over the years), I’ve struggled to keep a roof over my head. The court could care less about my financial hardships…just keep reduction.

        I hope it changes one day…because it’s definitely not equal (to men).


  3. Funky Monk says

    I empathize with the colonel, I really do. I can only imagine what it is like to sit by and helplessly watch your chilren’s lives being ruined despite all of your best efforts to the contrary. And I can’t help but think that my life would have mirrored his if not for some sensibilities wrt legal adherence in my own jurisdiction.

    But luckily my custody battle turned out drastically different — after 14 days in court spanning 3 months I was awarded the following:
    • Sole custody of my son, with Saturday evening to Monday morning access to her
    • She could not have access for at least two weeks after the judgment, and only until she obtained a psychological report verifying her emotional well-being (in light of the verdict)
    • I can involve the police to enforce the access order but she cannot
    • Communication between us can only occur through OurFamilyWizard (ie. no phone/email/text)
    • Utter discrediting of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) investigator and her report which recommended the custody switch in the first place (30% of the judgment is dedicated to this)

    In the end we got way more than we asked for wrt access schedule, short-term restricted access, police involvement and no-contact orders.
    Hopefully this will have a positive effect on cost implications since our offers in April and again in July were far better than what the judge eventually ordered.
    I am most pleased that the judge totally lambasted the OCL investigator and her report, since I do plan to follow up on that end to ensure that she cannot have the opportunity to potentially ruin another child’s life again.

    Needless to say I am very pleased with the judgment: after a long 2½ years of battling in court it seems to have been worth it; I just hope that the colonel’s case will resolve itself in a similar manner to mine.

    • Driver says

      Nice, Funky Monk.

      I hate to say it..but you were one of the lucky ones.

      The sad part…it took 2 1/2 years to settle it.

      Count it as a “win” I guess.


    • texasgrand says

      Hello Funky Monk. My son is about to start the custody fight. Your story of success, sad to say, is not common compared to all I’ve read on the internet. Could you PLEASE share with us any advice? What do you believe that you did that made you so successful? I’m sure I speak for everyone here that we need all the help we can get. Thank you!

  4. mikeinatl says

    I see in the GAL report that the ex-wife is “part-time personal trainer”. What is it with BPD’s and personal training? I have known so many disordered women, who claim to be or have been a personal trainer. So much so, that now it is one of my inexcusable red flags. If a woman tells me she is or has been a personal trainer I walk in the other direction.

    • Cousin Dave says

      My guess is because they perceive it as being an easy and glamorous job, and one that will get them close to famous people. I knew a few of that type when I lived in south Florida, and they were all convinced that within a month or two, they were going to be getting paid hundreds of dollars an hour to work with A-list celebrities.

    • killswitch says

      My soon to be ex wife is a personal trainer, life coach and former massage therapist who lives in [identifying info removed]. She targets well to do men of any age. Now she’s offering career advice over the phone while reading Tarot cards. She’s heavy in to the crystals, chimes, sage burning, candles, and law of attraction.

      Anywho, CB got into the personal training because, in her mind, she needed to be fit and trim in order to attract men with money. That’s her bait… and it’s an obsession. She dated a couple of photographers to get free pro photo and video shoots.

      For me, all new age (sorry if there’s any here), physical trainers, massage therapists, women claiming to be spiritual, and the big one for me, law of attraction practitioners. I know it’s a big stroke of the brush. Those are my flags and it works for me.

      Folks, do background checks and check into their county database. As they tell you where they have lived, check into that county’s clerk of courts civil and criminal database. The gov’t databases are free and open to the public.

      • Sean2 says

        A (36 yo) girl I wrote about on another thread fits killswitch’s definition to a Tee.

        Massage therapist: Check
        Tarrot Cards: Check
        Crystals: Check
        Chimes, sage, candles and more candles, law of attraction: Check…

        She was all about spirituality. Always had a burning candle in her room. I soon started protesting that because candle smoke gets annoying after awhile.

        Man, she was such a mess. We were out and about one day, pretty close to the end and she is just raging about everything. And she HAD to get a candle. So we had to find some Mexican store in Pike Place Market that sells the big candles that burn forever that she likes.

        She buys two. One of which she gives to me. Prior to giving it to me, she pulled out a knife and carved a pentagram into the top of it, and instructed me to write a wish down on a piece of paper and tape around the candle (it was in glass) and light the candle.

        That candle went straight to the garbage after I got home.

        Anyhow, killswitche’s post got me thinking. For someone to be into all that new age spiritual stuff, they are pretty much grasping at anything to feel at peace. In my example’s case, she was literally a walking mess. She actually had a “guru” that she talked to in New York for advice.. He did give her some advice that I was not accepting her religion for not wanting her candles to be lit all the time… I did ask her a few times how one goes about becoming a guru, since I might want a career change one day…

        There was something very majorly wrong with her. I remember commenting to her on one occasion, that I felt sorry for her dad. This too was pretty close to the end.

    • RecoveredAlpha says

      OMG!!! Isn’t that the truth?!

      After divorce my ex quit her elementary teaching job and became a personal trainer. I know from court records (child support calculations) she makes about $15k/yr. Her 70+ year old parents take care of her.

      She used to say when we were divorcing: “It’s time for me to bloom. Time to stand on my own two feet.”

      • Driver says

        Recovered, lol..yeah, stand on her own two feet.

        She must be standing on someone shoulder’s while standing on her own two feet.

        Good info on the personal trainer…I’ll keep my eyes (and ears) open.


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