Court Hearing 10/17/94
. . TRUTH METER
1 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE STATE OF
2 COUNTY OF JACKSON
5 SUSAN S. COUTSOUKIS, )
6 Petitioner, )
) 7 vs. ) CASE NO. )
8 PHOTIUS COUTSOUKIS, )
9 Respondent. )
REPORTER'S TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
12 October 17, 1994
14 BEFORE: THE HONORABLE LOREN L. SAWYER,
FOR PETITIONER: CHRISTINA SANZ
18 Attorney at Law
900 West 8th
19 Medford, Oregon
FOR RESPONDENT: PHOTIUS
21 In Pro Per
22 Medford, Oregon
EILEEN M. LEDDY,
1 MEDFORD, OREGON
2 MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1994; 9:00 A.M.
5 THE COURT: Coutsoukis vs. Coutsoukis.
I may not be
6 pronouncing that correct. If I'm not, I
7 THE COURT: Are you involved in this?
8 MS. SANZ: I am.
9 THE COURT: Do you want this reported?
10 MS. SANZ: Yes, Your Honor, we would
12 THE COURT: She's kind of like a
machine. She keeps
13 reporting until I tell her to stop.
14 MS. SANZ: Your Honor, there are, I
15 Mr. Coutsoukis's Petition -- excuse me -- from
16 he is contesting the restraining order as a
whole as well as
17 bringing up the issue of visitation.
18 This restraining order was issued on
19 1994. My client's -- Mrs. Coutsoukis --
20 that he is verbally abusive. She is in fear of
21 There will be evidence today of his anger, his
22 nature; that he's unstable; he hadn't been
23 several nights.
24 This is not the first time she has had
25 the Court for a restraining order. There was
1 issued in January of this year, and there is
2 at that time he had threatened to kill her and
3 other previous events that had happened in the
4 very much wants the restraining order to
continue; that they
5 not have any contact whatsoever, except she is
6 that he be allowed to have visitation.
7 There are some problems that have come
8 visitation since the time of the restraining
order due to
9 his obsessive nature concerning the child and
10 that in the past he has taken off with the child
to go to
11 San Francisco. We don't know why he took off
12 her previous notice. Thank goodness he did
13 subsequent to that, the parties have had more
14 She then had to apply for the
restraining order, and
15 she has since then also filed for a dissolution.
So we very
16 much want the restraining order to continue. We
17 ongoing concerns regarding visitation.
Visitation right now
18 is taking place as much as possible at the child
19 provider who is here to testify, and we are
20 have that continued at the child chair
21 THE COURT: Mr. Coutsoukis, do you want
just to get
22 visitation, or do you want the restraining order
23 what's your position?
24 MR. COUTSOUKIS: Your Honor, may I
address a couple
25 of the accusations?
1 THE COURT: Just answer the question.
2 MR. COUTSOUKIS: I'm contesting the
3 order as well. My wife has never --
4 THE COURT: That's all I need to know.
5 to have to put on evidence now. You're not
6 having the restraining in existence and get
7 MR. COUTSOUKIS: That's correct.
8 MS. SANZ: I'd like to call Susan
10 SUSAN SAMORA,
11 called as a witness on behalf of the Petitioner,
12 and testified as follows:
13 MS. SANZ: Please be seated. State your
14 spell your last name.
15 THE WITNESS: Susan Samora Coutsoukis,
18 DIRECT EXAMINATION
19 BY MS. SANZ:
20 Q. Mrs. Coutsoukis, can you please state
22 A. On Bellinger Lane, 3950.
23 Q. In Medford?
24 A. Right.
25 Q. And you are married to Mr. Coutsoukis?
1 A. I am.
2 Q. For how many years have you been
3 A. Ten years.
4 Q. You have a child?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. And can you please state her name and
7 A. Her name is Theodora Coutsoukis, and
8 Q. And you called her Teddie?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And she's currently in your custody?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You applied for a restraining order
13 month. Why did you do so?
14 A. My husband has been acting very
15 incredibly angry. I'm fearful that his lack of
16 that his instability could cause anything to
17 judgment is very flawed. I mean, he will scream
18 and I'll be nursing, and he'll be screaming at
me at the top
19 of his lungs.
20 And I'll cover the baby's ears, and
he'll say "She
21 doesn't mind my voice. She likes to hear my
22 Q. Is he verbally abusive towards you?
23 A. Yeah. He calls me all terrible names,
24 come right up to my face and keep screaming at
me, and I
25 just don't know what it's going to take.
1 Q. In the past year has he threatened to
hurt you or
2 kill you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And has he acted violently against you
5 to hurt you in any way?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, was there an incident concerning
8 Teddie, wherein he took off with her out of
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you please describe that to the
11 A. Yes. I believe it was in the middle of
June or at
12 the end of June. We were taking the baby to
Greece to be
13 baptized. I got a call, and he said that they
were out --
14 or he left a message on my machine at work that
they were at
15 the store or something. I came home at
lunchtime, and they
16 weren't there. The phone rang. He said,
17 fine. We're okay."
18 So I'm thinking he's at the store and
19 fine. He was calling from San Francisco, and we
had all the
20 tickets to go to Greece, and I believe he had
21 him. I said, "What are you doing in San
22 He said, "Well, I had to take the baby
23 don't feel like I'm her father."
24 Now, he takes care -- has taken care of
25 because he's out of work.
1 Q. Can I just bring you back to the
questions here and
2 what the Judge will want to hear.
3 A. I'm sorry.
4 Q. Did he give you any indication
whatsoever that he
5 was leaving the state of Oregon?
6 A. No, absolutely not.
7 Q. Did he indicate that he changed his mind
8 coming back to your home?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And he did, in fact, return?
11 A. He did.
12 Q. Did this cause you concern?
13 A. Concern? I was hysterical. I called
his sister in
14 Greece and said, if he goes, to make sure that I
can -- he
15 won't keep the baby in Greece.
16 Q. Have you made any steps to make sure
that the child
17 not leave the state?
18 A. I have her. I have her passport, and
19 the passport services, and they won't issue
20 if someone says that it's lost.
21 Q. Are you currently breast feeding?
22 A. I am, yes.
23 Q. And has he been violating the
24 since it's been issued?
25 A. Yes. He came to the house on Monday,
1 there was going to be a baby-sitter in the
2 Q. And did he make telephone calls to you?
3 A. He's called constantly. He leaves
messages on my
4 machine at work. I can't pick up. My phone
5 3:00 o'clock in the morning for minutes and
7 Q. Are you in fear of him?
8 A. Yeah, I am. I mean, I hear noises in
the house, and
9 I think that it's him. I just -- he's not
10 Q. And you agreed that he should have
12 A. Absolutely.
13 Q. But that that be right now in the child
14 provider's presence?
15 A. I just think it's better for right now
because he is
16 so unstable.
17 MS. SANZ: No further questions, Your
18 THE COURT: Mr. Coutsoukis, do you want
to stand and
19 raise your right hand and be sworn, please.
21 PHOTIUS COUTSOUKIS,
22 called as a witness on behalf of the Court, was
23 testified as follows:
25 THE CLERK: Please be seated. State
your name and
1 spell your last name.
2 THE WITNESS: My name is Photius
4 May I cross-examine Susan?
5 THE COURT: Why don't you go ahead and
tell me your
7 MR. COUTSOUKIS: Okay. I want to point
out that in
8 the last ten years or so, I have made well over
9 $1 million -- very close to a million dollars in
11 THE COURT: I'm not interested in your
12 only interested in the situation between you,
your wife, and
13 the child.
14 MR. COUTSOUKIS: Well, the situation is
that I gave
15 up a career and a business to come with Susan
who works at a
16 local company expressly for the purpose of
taking care of
17 Theodora, our daughter, because I feel very
strongly that a
18 newborn infant is better off with a loving,
19 than outside the house.
20 I did this under rather difficult
21 although I will admit to personality
imperfections and not
22 being a very pleasant person necessarily all the
23 took exceptional good care of her 12 hours every
24 woke up at night whenever Teddie woke up. I
25 diapers. I made baby food. I took her to the
1 I didn't exactly get a "thank you" because
shortly after my
2 wife's pregnancy, with Susan, the relationship
3 She was diagnosed with the clinical
4 had been under a lot of stress. I tried to help
5 was an injury during the pregnancy, and I made
her food. I
6 took her to the doctors. I washed her. I took
7 of her by hand when she couldn't. I care very
8 Susan, Your Honor, and I would never do anything
10 I have been committed to her since
11 devoted my life to her until Theodora was born,
and then I
12 had to pay some attention to our daughter as
13 Regarding the San Francisco incident, I had
promised my wife
14 and have kept my promise that I would never take
15 away from her and that, if there was a divorce,
I would give
16 her full custody of her.
17 The bay trip to San Francisco, as
18 mentioned, was because I felt that having to
19 chronicle supervision day in and day out, I did
20 that I was in charge of my child, but simply
21 the wishes of a mother who was not there, and I
22 this to Susan.
23 Now, Susan and Teddie have never slept
24 separate roof since Teddie was born;
nevertheless, she has
25 taken Teddie away from here even for short
periods of time,
1 hours to days or a couple of weeks, during this
2 incident against my will, and my problem is
that, whenever I
3 see Teddie after that -- not every time, but
like 80 percent
4 of the time -- Teddie is sick, anything from the
5 brain injury, four days without bowel movement,
6 weight, ear infections, and so on.
7 And I don't mean to say that these are
8 coincidental, but they have been of concern to
me. In the
9 restraining order it says that I have to move
out, and a
10 month ago, at my wife's request, I did move out,
11 rented a room. And after the separation, I went
12 agreement to Sunday through Friday to take care
of Teddie as
13 I always have.
14 The plan was that I would try to recruit
15 appropriate nanny, one that I would supervise
16 from home. And once she was being acceptable,
17 move in and take my place there so I don't have
to be there
18 to hold the baby when she wakes up in the middle
19 night or be there first thing in the morning.
20 Now, I would leave the house on Friday
night and go
21 stay where I'm paying rent by the month, and I
22 on Sunday and almost invariably I would find
Teddie ill, and
23 again I don't -- Susan is a loving mother. She
24 Teddie, and so do I. What I'm saying is this
was just a
25 matter of fact, and I was so concerned.
1 When I returned Sunday and Susan was
2 Teddie and I found nobody in the house, my first
3 to call. She left Christina a number.
Christina is closed
4 on weekends. I called anybody that I thought
5 Susan's whereabouts, and it turned out she, in a
6 melodramatic fashion, went to a battered
7 And I also want to point out, Your
8 these eyes have been crying day and night for a
9 My wife has not spoken to me, refused to touch
10 before Teddie was born, and I put my tail under
my legs and
11 bit my tongue and shut up and put up because
12 important to me that the parent, myself, take
care of my
13 daughter rather than some stranger, and this may
14 an obsession. To me, where I come from, it's
15 necessary and mandatory.
16 When I -- consequent to this, when I
17 people that knew both of us, it was impossible
18 her. When I finally was able to get hold of her
19 Wednesday, I was telling everybody that I
20 tell Susan bring Teddie and herself to this
21 already paying rent outside. There is no reason
for me to
22 stay here in luxury with an environmental luxury
23 for Teddie and her crib and toys and
24 They are staying somewhere strange, and
25 worried to death that yet again, in my absence,
1 would be sick. To make a long story short, the
next time I
2 was able to see my daughter is when I went to
3 Care Center, which is run by Lori, the beautiful
4 the baby over there, and I found out that during
5 or five days -- actually I hadn't seen her for a
6 because I left Friday for a week -- that she's
7 care of her since I wasn't able to.
8 Teddie developed high fever for several
days at a
9 time. She hadn't had a bowel movement for four
10 again I'm not saying that there is a cause or
11 blame. I wasn't there. All I'm saying is this
is what I
12 found. I was very upset. I know Lori will
testify that I
13 was not a pleasant person to find my daughter on
14 crying, and I pick her up and she stops crying,
and I -- I
15 can't -- she looks at me like where have you
16 Anyhow, I spoke to Christina on Monday.
17 lawyer, Your Honor, is more interested in
plotting some sort
18 of a scenario that will exclude me rather than
19 accommodate some sort of a compromise. I called
20 I called Tuesday; I called Wednesday. Each time
21 that I meet with her. She demanded to hire an
22 told her, "I do not have money to waste for an
23 would be representing myself.
24 So Wednesday she agreed, but she said,
25 bring me -- first give me some paperwork," and
1 she requested was going to be financial
statements which I
2 printed out of my computer on the spot, and I
gave them to
3 Susan. I put them with Susan's mail. Is this
4 THE COURT: They both work. You just
have to open
6 MR. COUTSOUKIS: I'm sorry. So I
7 a 50-page financial statement on the spot, and
8 the next time I spoke to her a few days later, I
9 "Christina, look where I live. I'm on my own.
I have no
10 kind of telephone of my own, and my landlady is
By Photius Coutsoukis, Respondent.
"I Was There"
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