Continuing my fight for Kali
August 25th, 2015 - Happy birthday Kali. Kali is 8 years old. I miss you very much.
December 7th, 2014 - The Dominican Republic's supreme court has finally ruled in my appeal against the ruling denying Kali's return to the United States. The ruling was that it is in Kali's best interest to remain in the Dominican Republic due to the length of time she has spent there. All this after 4 years of sitting in their queue and their lack immediate action ironically contributing to their reasoning for stating Kali is now better off in the Dominican Republic.
Personally I was expecting nothing less. From my experience with the whole Hague Process in the Dominican Republic I did not expect that the Dominican Republic would be serious about it's obligations under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. This is the very reason that children are often abducted to countries like the Dominican Republic due to their lack of seriousness and often lack of understanding of the Hague Convention.
It has been my belief since 2010 that in my case the only resolution to this tragic case is for Kali Soleil's abductor, Sandra Clarissa Zemialkowski, to be brought to justice under the criminal system. This is what I believe needs to happen most importantly for Kali Soleil's sake. She is the innocent victim of Sandra Clarissa Zemialkowski's callous actions.
While this ruling has no impact on the rulings in the Massachusetts with respect to Kali's custody, Kali will lose her right to have a relationship with her father for the foresseable future due to this ruling. The immeasurable damage to her life and her adulthood due to the loss of this important relationship will never be understood. However, it is only a matter of time before justice will be served. The law has away of catching up with criminals.
More importantly for parents in the United States it is all the more important that strict exits laws be passed for children to prevent child abductions. Laws should mandate strict exit checks for all minors with proof of consent of both parents for a child to be allowed to board a plane.
October 10th, 2014 -This father is re-united with his daughter after 12 years! Now I hope the abductor is prosecuted to the full extent of the law for this heinous act! This is the kind of news that keeps my hopes up. It is only a matter of time before the law catches up with Kali's kidnapper.c
August 25th, 2014 - Happy birthday to my beloved daughter Kali she turned 7 today. Dear Kali I am thinking of you everyday.
August 17, 2014 - Just over a week left before Kali turns 7. I think of her often and wonder how she is and if she knows I exist. I have only been with her for 2 of her birthdays before she was abducted.
I hope to see her one day. I am still recovering from this tragic event in my life and I do not know if I will ever fully recover.
I have also changed my opinion about Kali's abductor. Both Kali and I need justice. I hope one day Kali's abductor is caught and brought to justice. I used to think that there was hope for an agreement and that common sense would prevail but now I believe that this is a criminal act and her abductor needs to be held accountable for this crime.
November 05, 2012 - Kali's abductor's lastest effort fails. Sandy Zemialkowski's latest effort to overturn the custody ruling granting me sole custody of Kali Soleil Athukorala fails. She is ordered to pay $2000.00 in Attorneys fees to me.
She apparently wanted to overturn the ruling so that she can return to the U.S. to study/work and wanted to avoid getting arrested for Kali's abduction in the process of trying to further her career.
April 15, 2012 - I am heading to court on April 18th to contiue my fight for Kali. This time Kali's abductor, Sandy Zemialkowski, is trying to confuse a judge with a claim that the original ruling granting me sole legal and physical custody of Kali should be overturned due to her opinion that the Massachusetts courts did not have jurisdiction over Kali. Here Sandy Zemialkowski again is changing her own words, when she was in Massachusetts for the custody trial she stated in a written affidavit that she undertstood that if her appeal to the Massachusetts appeals court failed, the Hampshire Probate Court would have jurisdiction over Kali's custody.
Apparently now she is saying (now that she is in the Dominican Republic after failing to abide by the court's rulings and return Kali to Massachusetts) that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Ironically she would not have been allowed to take Kali from Massachusetts to the Dominican Republic originally unless the Massachusetts courts allowed her to (on a temporary basis). In other words the Hampshire County Probate Court has Jurisdiction over Kali.
Sandra seems to be changing her story to fit her current circumstances incredibly even when it contradicts her own words (that she gave in writing)!
Kali's abductor's changing stories in her own words
February 5th, 2012 - In her latest motion to the Hampshire County Probate Court asking that the Judgment granting me sole custody be overturned Sandy (Sandra) Zemialkowski mentions the following in an affidavit to the courts:
"Dhanika came to visit me in February 2008 and tried to unsuccessfully convince me to move to Massachusetts. The Dominican Republic has always been my home."
"Dhanika realized that our relationship was indeed over and knew that I did not want to live in Massachusetts."
This was filed in January 2012. Yet in June 2008 in a deposition during the custody trial in Massachusetts Sandy Zemialkowski in her own words:
"I had asked him for more time because I preferred to return when the weather was warmer in Massachusetts and so I would have more time to work on my plan." (I have highlighted the more interesting text)
A link to the excerpt from her deposition can be found by clicking here. Her response mentioned above is on page 9/10.
In the very same excerpt Sandy Zemialkowski says in response to the question about whether she intended to move to the Dominican Republic:
"No, not at all."
"It was just a vacation. It was a very important and meaningful vacation for me."
She goes on to say that she received threats from me.
Yet here she is again in her own words (page 5), the only thing she could come up with regarding threats was that she felt threatened because I got angry on the phone. Well who would not get angry after they find out that their child has been abducted? Apparently she also considered the fact that I filed for custody "abusive".
She also goes onto to state that the Dominican Courts have decided that Kali's removal from Massachusetts to the Dominican Republic was not wrongful and my attempts to get Kali returned have failed (and so jurisdiction should be transferred to the Dominican Republic). Well just because the Dominican Republic thinks that the removal was not wrongful has no impact in Massachusetts.
She fled Massachusetts to go to the Dominican Republic after promising the courts in Massachusetts that she would obey all court orders given by the courts in Massachusetts. She also said she recognizes the courts in Massachusetts and not the ones in the Dominican Republic as having jurisdiction over matters relating to Kali's custody. Here is the link, again in her own words. What the Dominican Republic thinks is irrelevant to Kali's custody in the United States.
Bizarre start to 2012
January 21st, 2012 -- A bizarre start to the year. Kali's abductor, Sandy Zemialkowski, filed a motion to the Hampshire County Probate Court in Northampton, Massachusetts, to request that the Judgment granting me custody be overturned due to her assertion that the courts lacked jurisdiction.
What is amazing about this is she has come 32 months after the courts made the judgment (way past the appeals period) and after the courts ruled on the issue of Jurisdiction during the court case. The Massachusetts appeals court even denied her appeal on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction. Additionally she submitted to the courts in writing an affidavit stating that she accepts the Jurisdiction of the courts in Massachusetts. She was actually in the state of Massachusetts at the time she provided this affidavit to the courts.
Sandy Zemialkowski is also now in the Dominican Republic with Kali because the courts in Massachusetts gave her permission to "temporarily" leave Massachusetts until the custody case was completed. She subsequently decided to ignore agreements made with the courts and refused to return Kali to her home. There is no doubt here with respect to the jurisdiction of the Hampshire County Probate Court over Sandy Zemialkowski and Kali's custody.
Sandy Zemialkowski has also provided some bizarre statements in a new affidavit to the courts. Conveniently picking a time when the Judge that made the original judgment has retired and a new judge has to review the motion. Apparently she thinks that her statements alone will be enough to have a new judge overturn a judgment made by the previous Judge. This even after she has been found in contempt of court and has deceived the courts.
One of the more bizarre assertions is that I refused to pay "delivery expenses" for Kali and offered her a place to stay in my Mother's house which she accepted. The house is my house as well since I own part of it. What's really bizarre is this new assertion that I refused to pay "delivery expenses" for Kali.
Sandy Zemialkowski was working in Florida at the time and already had health insurance there so no "delivery expenses" were required. She chose to come to Massachusetts because she wanted to stay at home and take care of Kali for the first year and also study for her veterinary degree. But her new spin is that she "accepted" my "offer" to come to Massachusetts and I refused to pay Kali's "delivery expenses".
I will provide a more detailed review of her some of her more sensational "new" claims with responses using her own words provided to the court in affidavits and in a sworn deposition.
Quite a bizarre start to 2012. But I am not giving up on Kali and will continue on the path to bring her abductor, Sandy Zemialkowski, to justice and Kali returned to her home.
Hoping for the best in 2012
January 12th, 2012 -- Another year gone and no Kali. This might be the year I'll be re-united with Kali.
My Attorney in the Dominican Republic tells me a new set of judges has been seated on the Dominican Republic's supreme court so it may take another 8 months for a judgment. I am also focusing on other avenues to try and bring Kali's abductor, Sandy Zemialkowski, and any other accomplices as defined under the law, to justice.
Another Thanksgiving without Kali, a failure of the 'civil' process.
November 24th, 2011 -- The third thanksgiving without Kali. My attempt to get Kali returned through the civil process (Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) has been a complete failure. The Dominican Republic has failed thusfar to live up to its' obligations to return Kali in a blantant disregard for the Hague Convention.
I have lost all faith in the 'Civil' process. I am now convinced that I must proceed and focus all my efforts on the criminal system to bring my daughter's abductor, Sandy Zemialkowski, and any accomplices, to justice. This now seems like the only possible way to have any hope of getting Kali back.
Kali turns 4 August 25th, 2011, 2 years since her abduction.
August 20th, 2011 -- Kali Soleil turns 4 on Thursday August 25th, 2011. Happy birthday Kali, I miss you very much.
It has been over 2 years since I saw Kali last and I have not had any contact with her since she was abducted. She continues to be wrongfully retained in the Dominican Republic after her abduction by Sandy Zemialkowski in 2009.
The Dominican government continues to show it's unwillingness to abide by a treaty it signed in 2007 and return Kali to her home. I urge anyone wanting to travel to the Dominican Republic for vacation to travel somewhere else and not provide the government with the income. Especially avoid the Punta Cana area where Sandy Zemialkowski's father, Walter Zemialkowski is the Director of Operations at the airport.
Kali is not the only child being wrongfully retained in the Dominican Republic and the government will not get the message that they need to honor their agreements until they are held accountable.
Waiting for Supreme Court Ruling
March 9th, 2011 -- A hearing was held in the Dominican Republic's supreme court. I have been informed that another 6-8 months will elapse before the ruling is given.
June 25th, 2010 -- Over two weeks ago we filed our appeal against the initial ruling by Judge Antonia Josefina Grullon Blandino who ruled against returning Kali Soleil to her home in Massachusetts. By law the appeals court is required to rule within 5 days of receiving all the closing arguments however I have been told this ruling may take up to a month due to the issues at stake and the visibility of this case.
Bring Sean Home Foundation (BSHF) partnership for Kali's return
The Bring Sean Home Foundation (BSHF) has joined me in my campaign for the return of my daughter, Kali Soleil Athukorala, to her home in Massachusetts. You can view Kali's profile on the BSHF website by clicking on the following link:
Kali's abduction on BSHF
The Bring Sean Home Foundation has a forum where Kali's case is being discussed:
Discussion of Kali's Abduction on BSHF
Please visit Kali's forum for a continuing discussion on the clear non-compliance of the Dominican Republic with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The Bring Sean Home Foundation's site also lists several other on-going cases and is a good source of information and place to discuss the on-going battle that parents face with Parental Child Abduction.