Psychological Games in Family Court: Missouri Parents Speak Out About Being Falsely Diagnosed with Mental Disorders

This article is part 15 of an investigative series looking into reported corruption in the Missouri judiciary. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13 , Part 14

During my trip to St. Louis, Missouri to dig deeper into the family court controversy that PJ Media has been covering, I sat down with many parents who say they’ve been targeted by a money-making scheme through the court process. A major part of that scheme, they say, is being falsely diagnosed with a mental disorder in order to remove their children from them and give them to the other parent. In almost all of the cases allegations of abuse were made by the children against the parent the court gave them to. The children’s voices were completely suppressed.

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Megan McLeod was a child when her mother was diagnosed with an “unspecified” personality disorder by Dr. James Reid, husband of former appellate court judge Larry Mooney, who is being sued in several lawsuits alleging malpractice. McLeod has a degree in psychology and explained that Reid’s diagnosis of her mother is completely fabricated and does not exist in any accepted psychological teachings.

THE SECOND WAVE

“An unspecified personality disorder does not exist,” she told PJ Media. “There are at least three clumps and unspecified is not one of those. You have to specify it otherwise it’s not a personality disorder.” McLeod continued, “Personality disorders are extremely hard to diagnose so saying ‘unspecified’ is not only going against what you studied and have a Ph.D. in it’s going against your entire field and trying to damage the image of a woman who does not have a personality disorder.”

Kristin Dodson said she had a similar experience with Dr. James Reid. “He diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder and listed all of the traits of borderline personality disorder but never once said which of those traits that I had.”

Evita Tolu described her diagnosis by Reid as a bouquet of disorders. “[He said] I had borderline personality disorder, I had anti-social disorder–which you can only have if you have a criminal conviction which I do not– I was diagnosed as a narcissist, and I also have ‘unspecified.'”

When Tolu took Reid’s tests to another psychologist, that psychologist found a very different result. “He ran the reports and they came back that I am absolutely healthy and my ex was hostile and violent and had personality disorders.”

Dodson says that her MMPI (The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) results from Reid said she was “exceptionally well adjusted to life” but he went on to diagnose her anyway with a personality disorder despite the test results that did not indicate any disorder.

Several lawsuits have named Reid along with other court professionals in a scheme that litigants say created high conflict in their custody disputes, fabricated evidence against them, and billed them for injurious services which resulted in the loss of custody of their children. Tolu’s lawsuit led to the recusal of the entire 21st Judicial Circuit Court from her case after the presiding judge Michael Burton was caught sending an improper email discussing Tolu’s case with other attorneys in the court. Judges are not allowed to discuss litigation with anyone let alone promise to help defendants in his court as Burton did in the case against the court actors named.

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“The kids pay. They don’t get a fair upbringing or a say in court,” said Sue LaMartina. “All these players, all these actors…they’re vultures. They’re picking at the remains of a failed relationship and making as much money as they can.” James Reid charged Tolu, LaMartina, and Dodson tens of thousands of dollars for his reports they say are bogus.

Dr. James Reid is not a child psychologist with any special training in recognizing child abuse but specializes in geriatric psychology. He appears to be the preferred psychologist that St. Louis judges and guardians ad litem use in custody disputes, despite his lack of training or expertise in child psychology or custody evaluation. In the leaked Zoom call, the guardians name him as being a favorite go-to psychologist for custody evaluations. A glimpse of his online reviews at WebMD shows a familiar pattern of complaints.

Not a real doctor. plays golf with lawyers and gives their clients favorable reviews. absolute disgrace.

Corrupt, biased, and unethical child custody evaluator. Follows the money, not the law. Doesn’t care about best interests of the children. Rude, demeaning, heartless, and with the chip on his shoulder. Talks non-stop about his spouse judge. Uses threats and insults. He is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Old boys club at St. Louis County Family Court.

Not a good experience. Dr. Reid was rude, theatrical, and very demeaning. I wouldn’t recommend him to anyone.

You can see part two of my in-depth interviews below.

If you or someone you know has had experience with Dr. James Reid please contact me at [email protected]

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