A Rainbow of Support

A Rainbow of Support
Posted by FoM on November 02, 2001 at 07:33:59 PT
By Adam Jackson, Tribune Staff Writer
Source: South Bend Tribune 
Braving a stiff west wind, supporters of the bereaved families of Grover "Tom" Crosslin and Rolland Rohm paced the sidewalk outside the Cass County Courthouse Thursday, hoping to reunite Rohm's son with his paternal grandparents. But it was not to be.A request by Rohm's mother, Geraldine Livermore, to have visitation rights with Robert, Rohm's 13-year-old son, was denied by Cass County Probate Judge Susan Dobrich after an hour-long hearing.
The ruling effectively means Livermore would have to take her case to the state Court of Appeals in order to have any chance to contact the boy, who is currently in a foster home.But Livermore, whose son was killed by police during a standoff Sept. 3 at Rainbow Farm Campground near Vandalia, said she may be too frustrated by what she says is a corrupt system to pursue the matter further."This is it; I'm done," she said, tears rolling down her face. "I'm giving up."The hearing is the latest twist in a saga that has been unreeling since Rohm, 28, and Rainbow Farm Campground owner Crosslin, 46, were indicted on felony drug charges in May. The charges were based on a lengthy investigation of festivals held at the campground, which authorities claim played host to illicit drug activity.But Rohm and Crosslin did not appear at a court hearing on the charges slated for Aug. 31.Instead, they stayed in the farmhouse they lived in at the campground at 59896 Pemberton Road.That prompted a standoff with Cass County and state police. The standoff ended in tragedy for Crosslin on Sept. 3, when authorities say he was shot by an FBI agent after he brandished a gun at them.Rohm was shot and killed the next day under similar circumstances by a Michigan State Police trooper.In addition to the deaths, the standoff left Robert without a father. He had been raised by Rohm since he was 4, and family and friends said Crosslin and Rohm were both fathers to the boy. And that, supporters said, is a big reason why he should be allowed to see his family.Robert's "dads are both dead, and the house he lived in has been burned to the ground," said Sarah Dolezal, a family friend who joined the rally Thursday. "What right does the state have to keep a little boy who has been through that away from his family?"But Dan Wilson, who heads up the statewide advocacy group Parents for Children, said the scenario is all too common within the state's courts. His group has sponsored more than 100 rallies, much like the one it co-sponsored with advocacy group Jail4Judges at the Cass County Courthouse on Thursday, to call attention to similar cases."There are thousands of children in foster care across the state, and many of them don't need to be there," he said. "In some cases, it becomes more about the money than the parents."Some at the rally have experienced this the hard way.One picketer, Carol Grayam of Dowagiac, said she has not seen her 3-year-old granddaughter in three months, since a court order placed her in foster care."This is my grandbaby, and they won't even let me write to her," said Grayam, carrying a picket sign. "All I think about is seeing her again."Even though the rally did not sway the court ruling, at least one of the two dozen or so demonstrators said he believed it had served the purpose of putting the issue on display for the public, and hopefully, Robert, to see."The reason I am here is so that people understand that this happens," said Doug Leinbach, a friend of Grover "Tom" Crosslin. "I hope that Robert will see this in the news, and he will understand that his friends and family are still here."He needs to know that."The next court hearings connected to Rainbow Farm Campground are slated for 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. today in Cass County Probate Court.The hearings will determine if family members will be allowed to oversee the estates of Rohm and Crosslin until Robert is old enough to inherit them. The state is petitioning for a Niles attorney, Peter Smith, to serve as overseer of the estates.In conjunction with today's hearings, another rally will be conducted at the courthouse, 110 N. Broadway, beginning at 8:30 a.m.Note: Grandmother loses battle for visitation.Source: South Bend Tribune (IN) Author: Adam Jackson, Tribune Staff WriterPublished: November 2, 2001Copyright: 2001 South Bend TribuneContact: vop sbtinfo.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Tom Crosslin & Rolland Rohm Memorial Farm Fallout Questions Than Answers at Rainbow Farm's Passions Led To Downfall 
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Comment #1 posted by freedom fighter on November 02, 2001 at 10:47:35 PT
For love of a God
Why?How does the society benefit from this ruling? What does the society define itself as a society of civilizied human beings? By taking a child away from the any family?ff
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