December 3, 2014

Facts About the GoFundMe Account

There has been some speculation about the GoFundMe account that was set up to help me and my sisters pay for attorneys.

When I filed the original petition to determine abuse and neglect against my dad in late June 2014, I was represented pro bono by an attorney. He had health problems and had to resign his bar membership effective July 1, 2014. I was left without legal representation when I needed it most desperately. Another attorney stepped in and represented me pro bono at the July 11 hearing where Judge Bartholomew vacated the temporary restraining order, which led my to my sisters deciding to run away on July 17 rather than go back to our dad whom they had publicly accused of abusing them. After the hearing, I was again left without an attorney to help me get the petition heard and my sisters protected.

In September, multiple family members rallied together and graciously loaned me money to pay the $5,000 retainer to hire a good attorney in Utah County with experience both in the Fourth District Court where my parents' divorce case was filed and in the Juvenile Court where my petition was filed. My attorneys are Trent Cahill and Scott Weight at Esplin Weight. I have also received some pro bono legal advice from an out-of-state attorney who has had experience trying a divorce case in the Fourth District Court in the past.

My attorneys have had to work hard defending against my dad's aggressive legal maneuvers. My dad has deployed every artifice and stratagem in his lawyer's legal arsenal to keep me and my sisters from having our day in court. Most recently, my dad was able to get the Juvenile Court to dismiss the amended petition we had submitted. 

We are now asking the Court to reconsider that dismissal and have plans to continue fighting. But it takes money. Through today, I have incurred $9,235 in legal fees with Esplin & Weight. My attorneys estimate that if we are ultimately able to get the case reinstated and get through an evidentiary hearing, it will cost an additional $10,000, which you can see he has included in my most recent billing statement dated 26 November, 2014.
I am extremely grateful to all who have contributed to the GoFundMe account. I assure you that it is all going to pay my legal fees, either directly to my attorneys or to re-pay the family loan that was made to fund the legal retainer when I hired Esplin & Weight. So far, I have raised $2,920 through the GoFundMe. Of that amount, GoFundMe takes a 5% commission off the top, and another company takes an additional 3% to transfer the money to a bank account. So, I have yielded a net of $2690.78 from the GoFundMe. Many of the contributions to the GoFundMe have come from family members. From the general public and anonymous posters (some of whom may have been family, but I don't know), I have raised $2,690.78 through the GoFundMe as of December 3, 2014. Since receiving this bill, my uncle sent to Esplin Weight another $2,000 payment using his credit card on Monday, December 1st, which payment comes directly from your GoFundMe contributions. I will include proof of this $2,000 payment to this post when I get the receipt from Esplin Weight. This payment will also be reflected in my next statement by Esplin Weight that I will share here with you when I get it. So that means that since three days ago, my current amount due Esplin Weight is $12,235 ($2,235 for past work already done, and $10,000 for work they will do going forward). I still desperately need your help.

So to recap:
$9,235     Legal fees incurred to date by Esplin Weight
($5,000)  Retainer paid to and used by Esplin Weight
$10,000   Estimated additional fees needed
($2,000)  Payment made to Esplin Weight on Dec 1, 2014

$12,235   Amount currently due Esplin Weight today.

This is far below what I need to raise to continue to pay my attorneys' fees. But, again, I want to express my gratitude to all who have contributed. I want you to know that the money you have donated was and is needed, and appreciated, and it has not been wasted or used for any other purpose than to help me and my sisters in our legal battle to keep them safe and protected. 


  1. Although we don't know you personally, we follow the story and feel strongly that you are a woman of integrity. I'm so sorry your sisters had to run away to get away from your dad. I admire you for choosing this battle. Your dad is an abuser. His wife Angie is in defense mode. She over values him as she has to defend the father of her child. What Angie fails to realize is... if there is abuse taking place now...and she allows it by keeping silent and turning her cheek, she can go to jail. She needs to leave for a while and do what is right for her daughters sake. Dear Angie... you will find love that is so much more gentle and loving. What you're experiencing is NOT the priesthood. Marriage is hard, but not painful. Protect your baby. That is your duty. You can save these girls by speaking up. They are on your side. You are beautiful and you WILL find love. You are not broken... neither are these children, but they will be if you don't speak up. Praying for you.

    1. Anon, I just now saw this. Thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement. Every time I see a comment like yours, it increases my motivation to keep trying. Thank you!