Thursday, January 26, 2017

Random Fuzzy

Reports based on dubious sources aside, it's been very quiet since their joint statement.  We also haven't had any case update.  So I thought I'd look again at what has been filed and try to match them with the court's action / response.

If the filing date listed for the last Order -- presumably appointing minors' counsel -- indicates when it was actually made by Judge Ouderkirk, it's possible that they filed the request to set aside the Custody Stipulation on 1/17.  Judge Ouderkirk was officially engaged on 1/9 and this means it took him a week to grant the RFO.

The filings on 1/3 in support of the RFO to seal were prepared and signed last year.  Samantha Klein's Memorandum of Points & Authorities was signed 12/23 and she indicated that the S&O to seal was signed by Angelina the same day Spiegel filed his SMPA -- 12/21.  The family returned from Crested Butte on 1/3.  The lawyers may not have known when they filed the documents that the children and Brad had already progressed to the point that the Custody Stipulation was no longer needed and they could soon engage Judge Ouderkirk.  This meant that the RFO to seal was no longer needed since they would be transferring to a private forum.  Filing Klein's MPA allowed her to publicly rebut Spiegel's surprise filing dissing Angelina and Wasser and perhaps they also didn't want to deprive her of that opportunity.  Brad had filed his RFO to seal on 12/7 and the regular judge was set to rule on the request during the hearing scheduled for 1/17.

Spiegel's 12/21 Supplemental MPA mentioned that Wasser had filed a redacted RFO to which she again attached their emails.  I think the RFO was to compel compliance with the Custody Stipulation.  It is not separately listed in the Court Summary.  There is a Notice - Lodging filed by Petitioner on 12/22 but this came after Spiegel's SMPA.  Wasser likely redacted the portions that quote from the documents they received from the DCFS.  The Custody Stipulation memorializes Angelina's custody and the therapeutic visitation arrangement and incorporates recommendations made by DCFS.  Their request to set aside the Custody Stipulation will necessarily have to show that the arrangements and the DCFS' recommendations are no longer needed and that setting it aside is in the children's best interests.

The declarations from the therapists will detail the children's therapy and recovery to explain why they no longer need therapeutic visits or to stay in Angelina's custody.  The therapists and the lawyers will also address why the other provisions pertaining to therapy and Brad's random drug and alcohol tests are no longer needed.  Angelina's rep said Brad had volunteered to undergo random drug and alcohol tests so it was not required but he wanted to show to her that he was clean.

When Wasser broached appointing minors' counsel last year, Brad did not agree because he knew the "children wouldn't want to live with him, and they are of the age when their opinions matter."  But now that the family is already living together and their relationships and family life are back to normal, he needs the minors' counsel to communicate their opinions to the evaluator or the judge. 

How quickly Judge Ouderkirk is able to act will obviously depend on his caseload.  If it took him a week to act on something routine like appointing minors' counsel, it may take much longer to grant the order to set aside the Custody Stipulation given the sensitive issues and the need to carefully lay out his ruling.

I imagine Angelina would not have set First They Killed My Father's premiere for Feb. 18 if she was not assured the case would be cleared well before that date.  While it's true that Brad was able to breeze through Allied's premieres with tight press controls, Angelina has said she will participate in post-screening town hall meetings.

They released their joint statement to the AP hours after the court ordered the transfer of their case to Judge Ouderkirk.  They wanted to be sure people read their statement first before court reporters got wind of their filings so they could direct the narrative.  Now that Judge Ouderkirk is presiding in a private forum, they have more leeway in timing their next statement.  They don't want to waste time completing the family's reunification but they may not be in any hurry to let the public know.

Their spokeswoman released news of their Aug 23, 2014 wedding in Miraval to the AP on Aug. 28 when they were already in Malta, and we've since learned that they were legally married in L.A. on Aug 14.  They probably don't want the media swarming their house(s) while they're in town so in similar fashion they may release their next statement when they are already in or on their way to Cambodia. 

We have no way of knowing who will accompany Angelina to Sieam Reap but First They Killed My Father is a family endeavor with Maddox and Pax having official roles in the production, and it is a particularly personal project for Maddox.  It would be the perfect occasion for the reunited family to make it's first public appearance.  There would be no better opportunity for Brad to show that his relationship with Maddox has healed.   It would also give FTKMF -- a film with very narrow appeal -- TONS of valuable free publicity.  So there are very strong arguments for the entire family to go to Siem Reap.  Outside of the one article from The Guardian, they have not publicized the film's premiere.

-- Fussy



Brad in Santa Monica on Wednesday, Jan. 25

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