FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE

Recovering from the Financial Damage Caused by Abusive Litigants

One thing that thrills the soul of every power-lusting abuser is to leave in their wake as much damage to their victims as they can. The abuser may be an ex-partner or ex-spouse, a parent, a sibling, a cult or religious organization’s leader or followers, a co-worker, a boss, a neighbor, or a former friend.

In my case, my abusers are my brothers. One brother — a cult leader — is their ring leader, Ken Parks (aka, Max Parks, Pastor Max Parks). For decades Ken has claimed to receive “dreams and visions” to “punish” his “enemies”, and for decades he has stalked, harassed, and death-threatened me and others. One of his favorite tactics has been to abuse the court system to file nine lawsuits against me (always without an attorney). Two of those cases were in probate court in which he and my three other abusive and mentally unstable brothers — all filing pro se / self-represented — sought to exhume and obtain possession of our deceased mother’s remains (but not our deceased father’s remains). This is the sick extent of their abuse of the courts. Permanent state and federal injunctions have thus far put a stop to my brother Ken Parks’ court weaponization tactics, and have sent a chilling warning to my other brothers (one of whom, in Connecticut, has been on a lawsuit spree for a number of years against all kinds of people).

Just as with other victims of abusive litigants who have related their own financially devastating experiences to me, my husband and I have tried every which way to collect the nearly $250,000 monetary judgments rendered against my brother Ken Parks (we’ve spent about $200,000 in actual legal fees and related expenses, and the court awarded us additional punitive monetary judgments against my brother Ken). The fact of the matter is that our courts are completely broken in that they fail to force abusive litigants to pay restitution to their victims. It is a sick joke perpetrated by our corrupted court system — a fact that abusive litigants such as my brother Ken Parks use to their full advantage against their victims. My husband and I went so far as to file as third party intervenors earlier this year in my brother Ken’s divorce case against his second wife to try to get the divorce court judge to order my brother Ken to turn over his assets, but weighing the extent of time typical in divorce cases, the additional attorney fee expenses, my brother Ken’s long reputation of hiding assets and up and fleeing to parts unknown, and the fact that most judges refuse to exercise their duty to imprison anyone committing contempt of court orders, we decided to withdraw from my brother Ken’s divorce case. He immediately posted on his public Facebook page some ridiculous nonsense that we withdrew from his divorce case because we were terrified of him. Far from it — it was purely an economic and practical decision.

 

So how do victims of abusive litigants recover from the financial damage of paying attorneys to get dismissals, judgments, and injunctions against those abusive litigants? The fact is, if you had never experienced being victimized and financially damaged by being forced to respond against an abusive litigant’s lawsuit, then you would most likely not even think to take extraordinary and even risky steps to obtain additional sources of income. We certainly would not have pursued all kinds of especially riskier options to obtain additional income if we hadn’t been put through repeated litigation hell by my brother Ken. But the bottom line is that victims of abusive litigants must take extraordinary steps if we are to achieve financial recovery from our defense fees, so here are some creative tips that can help in those efforts:

  1. Obtain additional employment or better paying employment. It is no surprise that many victims who have been financially damaged by both an abusive litigant and our corrupted courts that give free rein to abusive litigants must financially recover by working a second or even a third job, or at least seek out a higher paying primary job. Fortunately, the job market abounds in various kinds of open positions, and many of those positions offer decent pay, so this may be one way to help financially recover. Also, there are opportunities online that can provide extra income for little time investment, so think about skills you have that you can market online, and seek out advice from others who have set up successful online businesses or found online employment.
  2. Research various investment opportunities. When the stock market plunged in 2020 due to the COVID panic, my husband and I jumped in the market, taking advantage of low stock prices. As is typical in the cycle of the stock market, the bear market turned into a bull market and the amount of money we invested paid off — BIG! We made over a 40% profit when we sold our stocks, which is atypical; most investments pay out about a 10% profit. We also received a settlement from our former homeowners insurance company for their breach of contract when they failed to pay for our defense costs in the 2018 lawsuit my brother Ken Parks filed against us (his third abusive lawsuit). Adding up our various investments, my part-time employment, ongoing book sales and interview payments, and the settlement we received from our former insurance company, we have recouped about half of the financial damage that we incurred paying attorneys to defend our innocence in the nine separate court actions my brother Ken harassingly filed against us. Since the market has taken a downturn under the Biden administration, we are still holding onto some stocks in anticipation of the usual historic cycle of market recovery. Many analysts advise that the current bear market has some good buys at low prices on stable stocks that are likely to regain their strength in the next bull market. Timing is everything. My advice in a bear market? Many banks and credit unions offer free investment counseling for their members, so take advantage of that perk from your banking institution. Talk to people who have long-term investment histories and whose research into market swings and stable companies can help you make the best possible investments, especially now that so many stock prices are low. Also, one good thing about the current rising interest rates is that it is very safe to invest in certificates of deposit (CDs). CDs offer opportunities to grow your money at no risk so that even a relatively small amount placed in at least a one-year CD can help you with your financial recovery plans.
  3. Rent out a room, finished basement, or, if you’re financially able, purchase real estate to flip or use as a rental. Towns and counties may have different regulations on renting out space in your home, so if you’re able to rent a room or finished basement check first on any and all requirements. Check also with your homeowners insurance company about obtaining additional coverage. Working with a realtor can be a great help on all those particulars as well as helping you write up a rental agreement and doing a credit check on potential renters. We’re friends with someone who has been renting out her fully finished basement for years to travel nurses, and doing so has been a great financial help to her.
  4. Sell unwanted items or crafts online or in yard sales. I know and have heard of people who make a comfortable living selling flipped flea market items, their own unused personal items, or craft items, or a combination of all these things. Our own yard sales selling off excess items we just didn’t need or want have been a great benefit to us.
  5. Do crowdfunding or have a fundraiser. These can be successful based on your network of friends and family, and your friends and family’s network of people they know. I know of other victims of cult leaders who were maliciously and meritlessly sued by those cult leaders’ because the truth of their illegal or immoral actions were publicized to warn the public about these cultists. Crowdfunding definitely helped offset the expense of the victims’ legal fees defending their free speech rights. I also know of victims of domestic abuse who likewise have used crowdfunding to pay for their legal fees against their abuser weaponizing the court system.
  6. Move to a less expensive location. People often ask me why we moved from Connecticut to Tennessee and I tell them, “We were fed up with high crime, high corruption, and high taxes.” In our particular case when we moved to Tennessee about ten years ago we saved about $13,000 in combined state and local taxes in just one year. Since the tax rates are even higher now in Connecticut, those savings have multiplied quite nicely. Had my brother Ken not been committing the crimes of stalking, harassment, and issuing death threats against us in a leftist corrupt state that has and continues even more so to aid and abet criminals, we may still be living there for the simple emotional reason that my husband and I were both born and raised in that state. We still miss the beauty of Connecticut and all New England, but it would take dramatic political changes to ever coax us back there. Due to the fact that so many people are quite literally fleeing corrupt leftist states to states like Tennessee, our current home has been our greatest investment because it has risen in value significantly. Homes in many parts of Tennessee are generally now more expensive than in Connecticut because of the influx of so many people from other states, thus resulting in a housing shortage and rising house prices. We have no intention of selling our home at this point, and no one knows what the housing market may be like even a year from now, but if the current upward trend continues and we decide at some point to sell our house we stand to fully recoup all the attorney fee costs we incurred getting the dismissals, injunctions, and judgments against my brother Ken, and have plenty to spare as well. There are many conservative states that generally uphold the rule of law that have lower priced houses and rentals, so if you own a home in a more expensive state that has problems with crime, corruption, and high taxes, and you can sell your house at a profit or at least break even, consider moving. Especially if you’re renting in a high cost state, consider moving to a lower cost state to help in your financial recovery efforts. Also, moving may offer you escape from your lawsuit-filing stalker (unfortunately, moving will probably not stop an aggressively obsessive stalker, such as my brother Ken Parks has proved to be), but in any case consider moving to a lower cost state or lower cost region within a state that offers you better laws and better law enforcement against abusive litigants, such as Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. There’s no guaranteed paradise anywhere, but some states are definitely better than other states.
  7. Get rid of unnecessary and frivolous expenditures. These can be apps on phones, streaming providers, subscriptions, prepared food packages, frequent dining out or ordering food from restaurants, etc. Figure out what you can cut back on and live without, learn to be a savvy consumer, and live frugally. These practices can provide you with significant savings over the long run.

With some degree of creativity, good advice and research, and determination, we can defeat and recover from the malicious actions of lawsuit-obsessed abusive litigants. So stick it to them, fellow survivors! Your success in recouping your financial losses wrenches power and control away from your abuser!

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© Copyright 2021 Paulette J. Buchanan