For Immediate Release

Parental Alienation Expert to Testify

May 5, 2003

SPRINGFIELD – A nationally renown parental alienation expert, Dr. Douglas Darnell, PhD., will testify in the case of Lussier v. Lussier at the Hampden Division Probate and Family Court Wednesday, May 7 at 10:00 a.m.

Darnell, who resides in Ohio, is the author of the book, "Divorce Causalities; Protecting your children from parental alienation." He will testify on behalf of Eugene Lussier of Chicopee and his daughter, Paige, in a "Daubert" proceeding, legally known as a voir dire hearing.

A Daubert or voir dire hearing is a mechanism by which the Court will try to eliminate Darnell as an expert witness claiming that parental alienation is not a scientifically accepted condition cited in the DSM-IV, a handbook used by the mental health profession.

Lussier’s daughter lives in Holyoke approximately six miles from her dad, but he claims the mother is alienating the father-child relationship by not allowing visitation or parenting time.

"I haven’t seen my daughter for more than four years," Lussier said. "The family court and its judges don’t seem concerned about this condition."

Visitation has been in a "disrupted state since 1995" when the parents separated, he said.

According to Mike Franco, State Co-Chair for the Fatherhood Coalition, the group contends there are numerous cases locally and across the state similar to the Lussier matter.

"Parental alienation is a tragic reality for dads and their children," Franco said. It occurs when a custodial parent, usually the mother, obstructs the father’s access to his child both emotionally and physically.

"We challenge the court to give due consideration to this phenomenon," he said.

You may visit the coalition’s web site at or contact us through the Fathers' Rights Hotline at 1-413-295-DADS toll free anywhere from Western Massachusetts.

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CPF / The Fatherhood Coalition

A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994