Tel: (415) 921-8719
FAX: (415) 929-7500
May 26, 1996
Dear Judge Trabue,
I am deeply disturbed, upset, incensed and various other things at your court order which I have now received in the mail, dated April 30, 1996, which states: "Visitation with M. Ismail Sloan remains terminated, however, this court retains jurisdiction to consider any proposal M. Ismail Sloan may make for supervised visitation within this jurisdiction."
This court order is a complete reversal of your oral decision in court. There, you stated that I was entitled to have visitation which my daughter. You specifically instructed J. Thompson Shrader to make arrangements for such visitation and to prepare a court order to that effect. You also ordered that I was entitled to receive all school records and medical reports regarding my daughter.
Immediately thereafter, I retained a lawyer in Amherst County to negotiate a deal with Mr. Shrader. The reason I did so is that I knew that Mr. Shrader was going to be giving a hard time regarding this, and would not be cooperative, even though he said, in open court, "Thank you your honor" and made no objection.
Then, for the next two months, Tom Shrader did nothing. I have repeatedly called James Massie, the lawyer I retained to negotiate with Tom Shrader, to find out what's up. I also stayed in New York for two months, rather than return to California, so that I would be near to Virginia and could come down when arrangements for visitation with my daughter were finally made. I was told that the delay in arrangements was due to the fact that Mr. Shrader's mother was ill. Finally, when Mr. Massie told me that Tom Shrader was unwilling to agree to any visitation at all, I called you and left a message to that effect. You then wrote a letter to Tom Shrader, with copies to all parties, and in response he drafted this order, which you signed, completely reversing your decision in court. I wonder if you really read the order which you signed and understood what you were doing.
In addition, I have never received any school records and medical reports pertaining to my daughter, even though you ordered this in open court and this is also required by Virginia state law.
Furthermore, your order prohibits the news media from revealing the name of my daughter. However, during the period when Charles and Shelby Roberts were spending four years trying to kidnap my daughter, there was no reluctance to reveal the name of my daughter or even publish her photograph in the news media. I am enclosing two flyers of which more than 10,000 copies were distributed by Charles and Shelby Roberts in 1987 and 1988 and which were published in such publications as the Dominion Real Estate Review, through the employer of Shelby Roberts, John Stewart Walker, a real estate agency.
Mr. Shrader took two months from the hearing of February 20 to submit a proposed order to you. He never sent me an advance copy of the order as required by Virginia court rules. He did send me a copy of his cover letter to you, but not a copy of the proposed order which it contained. As a result, I was given no opportunity to object to the order and had no advance warning that your decision, announced in open court, had changed.
Six years have passed since my daughter was criminally kidnapped from my home in the United Arab Emirates, more than one year has passed since the order of Judge Janow from which I filed my latest appeal and more than two months have passed since your decision in open court supposedly giving me the right of visitation, and I still have not had the opportunity to visit with my daughter.
Also, your order misstates the facts: It says in paragraph 9 that I "removed the child from the jurisdiction of that court for a period of years and prevented the court from concluding the matter in a timely and definitive manner in keeping with the best interests of the child."
As I keep trying to explain to you and everybody else, Charles and Shelby Roberts did not even file their initial petition for the custody of this child until August 27, 1986, which was after I left the Commonwealth of Virginia with the child. I was never served with any court order. I was never served with a summons and complaint. Charles and Shelby Roberts did not have legal custody of the child, not in the Commonwealth of Virginia, nor in any place else in the world. In fact, I had legal custody of the child by order of Judge Janow. Furthermore, the order of the New York Supreme Court dated October 24, 1994 makes it clear that Judge Janow never had jurisdiction over this matter from the beginning.
In addition, my taking my daughter from Virginia, as was my perfect legal right to do, did not in any way "prevent the court from concluding the matter in a timely and definitive manner". To the contrary, it was the deliberate decision of Judge Janow to procrastinate and delay in this case for a period of years. The actual record will show that the Amherst County Commonwealth Attorney made numerous requests of Judge Janow to terminate these unwarranted proceedings, which were costing the county money, and to return jurisdiction of the child to me. Judge Janow refused to agree to these demands and requests of Amherst County. I doubt that Judge Janow even had the legal right under the Code of Virginia to refuse these requests.
Your decision states: "M. Ismail Sloan had no expert evidence to present as to the emotional and psychological needs of the child." However, back in 1991, Judge Janow ordered a psychological examination of my daughter by Dr. Wayne Sloop. Dr. Sloop's report stated that my daughter, who refused to talk to Dr. Sloop, was "in need of psychotherapy". This led the Roberts to tell the court that there should be no visitation "until the psychotherapy is completed". However, it was apparent that there was nothing clinically wrong with my daughter. Her problem was that she had been criminally kidnapped from her father and her loving family by kidnappers hired by Charles and Shelby Roberts. To this day, the Roberts have never had the psychotherapy done which the doctor said was so necessary five years ago. It was plainly apparent that the child you saw in court was profoundly unhappy and that her condition has not improved and indeed perhaps has gotten worse in the six years that the Roberts have had her.
If you had been able to look at the record of this case, you would have plainly seen that the Amherst Country courts have never had legal jurisdiction over this matter. However, I discovered after you left the courtroom on February 20 that the complete record of this case had not been sent up to you from the Amherst County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. All you had at your disposal was one thin file folder. The actual record of this case is voluminous and comprises more than 1000 pages. If you could see the actual record, I could show you that it is plainly obvious that the Amherst County courts never had jurisdiction even from the initial stages. Yet, I have had my daughter kidnapped, have been deprived of her for the past six years, she has been deprived of being with her father and a loving family for already six years, and I have been sentenced to five years in prison and have served 19 months in prison over a case in which your court and the courts of Virginia never had jurisdiction. My final appeal is now pending before the United States Supreme Court on a petition for a writ of certiorari as Sloan vs. Virginia, No. 95-8909.
It is readily apparent what has happened. Tom Shrader has undoubtedly told you that I am not cooperating in some way and it should be up to me to set forth a plan to visit my daughter. He made similar statements in open court. However, I have never lived in Amherst County and do not have contacts there. How can I make arrangements for supervised visitation without knowing anybody there? You recognized this at the court hearing and that is why you instructed Mr. Shrader to make such arrangements. It is now apparent that he made no effort to do so. More than that, the history of this case demonstrates that even if such arrangements were made, Charles and Shelby Roberts would not cooperate. Twice in 1991, the Amherst County courts ordered that I have visitation. In each instance, the Roberts were successful in thwarting visitation. Always, there was a piano lesson or a church school trip that would come up at the last minute and when I would drive down 400 miles from New York City just for a two hour visit with my daughter, the visit would be called off at just about the time that I reached Charlottesville. Finally, the Roberts did allow me just one visit with my daughter, on September 5, 1991, but that was because I was scheduled to argue my case before the Virginia Supreme Court the next day and therefore I was set up to be arrested on the preposterous charge of "attempted abduction" of my own daughter.
For this reason, I call upon you to remove J. Thompson Shrader as attorney in this case. Remember that he is a court appointed attorney. He was appointed by Judge Janow, as was Lisa Schenkel, and you clearly have the authority to remove and replace them both. I am sure that you know numerous attorneys who would be qualified to handle this case and who would not be biased in favor of Charles and Shelby Roberts, the criminal kidnappers of my daughter.
I also call upon you to vacate and set aside your order dated April 30, 1996 and to issue a new order in accordance with your previously announced decision. Furthermore, since is obvious that the Roberts will never cooperate with any court orders giving me visitation with my kidnapped daughter, as indeed they state that they spent $40,000 to have my daughter kidnapped and brought to the jurisdiction, and there is still an outstanding Interpol warrant for the arrest of Charles Roberts in the United Arab Emirates for this kidnapping, I ask that you award custody to me.
Very Truly Yours,
M. Ismail Sloan
Copy to: J. Thompson Shrader
Charles and Shelby Roberts
Honzagool (the mother in Pakistan)