by F.O. Lambert
“Raw Onions,” Marina Gazette, Oct 1, 2012

Things sometimes change at a snail’s pace and sometimes very rapidly, and sometimes in-between. Black, white, and shades of gray. The Alpha, the Omega, and in between are “We the People”. Sounds noble anyway. Today’s topic for the faithful readers of Raw Onions is the third segment of  “More Times In Court Than Al Capone”. Actually, I didn’t realize the amount of positive feedback I would receive on the original article from such a wide variety of people. Eva Ruiz Gomez and her family deserve this column’s support. Here’s the latest. (At least what has transpired so far. Eva will be in court again – tomorrow – Oct. 2nd for another Monterey County court melodrama. Which means Part 4 comes to you in two weeks hence, courtesy of Marina’s ‘The Gazette’.

Part 3: “More Times In Court Than Al Capone” (People v. Eva Ruiz Gomez)

Last week, on September 26th, a group of about 2 dozen supporters of Eva assembled across the street from the Mayan Theater and Steinbeck Center in Salinas for a “Free Eva” rally and march to the office of Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, displaying various signs and handing out flyers, and then on to the courthouse for the finale of the rally which I’ll share with you.

But first, back to the assembly area. The press was there to cover the event. Reporters and photographers from the Herald, the Californian, this writer for The Gazette, and a reporter from the Carmel Pine Cone called in.  Plus a television news crew from the Spanish language channel, Univision 67, covered the whole event and did an unhurried interview with several supporters and family members of Eva. It aired on the 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM news. Also, a representative from the Mexican Consulate’s office in Salinas could not be there for the march, but she appeared in Superior Court the following day as an observer in Eva’s case. She told the judge that the Consulate had taken a keen interest in this case.

After chanting “FREE EVA!” in front of the DA’s office, we marched to the courthouse and gathered around to hear my friend Eric Peterson read an “OPEN LETTER TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY DEAN FLIPPO” written by the Friends of Eva group.

Dear Mr. Flippo,

Is the continuing prosecution of Eva Ruiz Gomez an intelligent use of court time? NO.
Is it the best use of Monterey County taxpayer money? NO.

Eva Ruiz Gomez has been branded a criminal because she missed one custody hearing –
a custody hearing that was set up and held without her knowledge.
Why did she not know about the hearing?
Because she was living in Mexico and was never properly notified.

This woman is not a criminal. Eva is the hard-working, loving and conscientious mother of three children.
She has a daughter in her third year of college, a son in his first year of high school and a 3-yr-old daughter.  She has a devoted husband of 10 years, who works 2, sometimes 3, jobs to provide a decent life for their family.
She has no prior record of breaking any laws.
Yet she now faces a mother’s nightmare of being torn from her children,
Of being torn from her husband,
and imprisoned for three years.

Ten years ago, the Monterey Superior Court gave Eva full legal and physical custody of her son.
And they gave her permission to move to Mexico with him.
After seven years of running a successful business in San Miguel de Allende, Eva and her family returned to the Monterey Peninsula for a temporary stay.
Shortly after that, Eva was arrested for felony kidnapping of her own son, based on a change in the custody order –
a change that happened without her knowledge –
and without her participation.

Meanwhile, the boy’s biological father – the same man who filed the kidnapping charges that started this case against Eva,
A man who has made numerous false accusations against her in the past,
And who has a long history of harassing Eva and her family,
A man who has spent his share of time in Monterey County jail for drinking and driving convictions,
who did not want to be part of his son’s life until he needed a tax deduction,  A man with family members in local law enforcement who have involved themselves in this case,
this man has been allowed to fall $28,000 behind in child support payments while he pursues an endless string of frivolous legal filings against Eva.

Mr. Flippo, why is the Monterey Superior Court coddling a deadbeat dad while it persecutes a hard-working mother?
Why do the courts look away while a deadbeat dad spends his money on attorneys instead of the $28,000 he is court-ordered to pay in child support?

There are three conflicting court orders in this case,
two which Eva followed and one unknown to her until her arrest.
Currently Eva is supposed to be “free” on $50,000 bail,
but almost weekly she is forced to appear in court.
Over sixty hearings so far, and another one scheduled tomorrow.

This is a civil dispute that should never have been made subject of a criminal prosecution.
Since the day of Eva’s arrest in 2010, hers and her family’s lives have been turned upside down in an irreversible way.
They are daily and constantly under enormous stress.
They have been pushed to the edge of financial ruin, borrowing thousands of dollars to keep Eva’s defense going.

With Eva caught in the court system, her family’s lives are in limbo.
They are unable to return to their beloved Mexico.
They are being driven into a pit of stress and debt as they fight to keep Eva out of prison.
Yet two years into this case, the prosecutor has never told which court order Eva violated.
Mr. Flippo, we ask you to spell out exactly how Eva violated a court order, and which order she violated.
We ask you to look closely at the documents and evidence of this case.

This woman is not a criminal. Give her back to her family, and give them back their lives.  FREE EVA!  LIBEREN A EVA!

And if you can spare a few bucks to help  Eva cover some of the costs in her defense she sure can use the help. You can donate here.
the onion cutter