Keeping Judges Honest
A common complaint in dealing with Family Court Issues; is the presumption of bias on the part of the judge. The idea of bias’ness is spread more by poorly prepared and trained attorneys, then by fact. However, it does not hurt to be prepared for this through the use of Court Watchers.
Who Can Be A Court Observer
A Court Observers or Watcher can be anyone, such as a friend or relative who is not directly involved in the case. However, as an alternative you may also consider contacting local High School Civics, and/or Community College Paralegal, Teachers to see if any programs exist for students to get credit for being Court Observers.
Another good source would be Boy Scouts of America to find a young man working toward earning his “Citizenship in the Community” merit badge, which is required to become an Eagle Scout. This will give them applicable experience in our judicial system.
The Job Of A Watcher
Court Observers should be sitting in the front row of Visitor’s Gallery, but spread apart so that their comments are individual and not affected by what another observer is writing.
The observers should to be sitting on both sides of the gallery, near both the petitioner and respondent attorneys. Each observer should be equipped with a hardback clipboard, tablet, and two writing pens for taking notes.
It’s best to make use of a Court Evaluation Form (see Image below) designed for this purpose. With this form, they need not guess or interpret what to record. They need simply answer the questions.
Court Watch Forms (ask for these)
Individuals performing a Court Watcher function are like a Jury. They are there to report on their observations and not to expound on them. If the Judge asks who they are, they need only identify themselves as Court Observers.
If all goes well, the Judge will rule based on the preponderance of the evidence and the results of the Court Watch Forms will be unneeded. However, do remember that a less than favorable ruling does not always mean bias. The volume of evidence, and the performance of the attorneys, counts the most. The ability of your attorney, and the value of your evidence, is fully dependent your prep work, and taking the time to interview and find the right attorney for the job.
If it appears the judge is not providing a balanced interpretation of the evidence presented, an appeal can be filed using info from this form. Further, the judge sanctioned or removed from the case. In a worst case scenario, a complaint can be filed with the State Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court conducts an investigation, a judge must remove him or herself from the case.
Fathers are a frequent a target of the media, and politicians, in citing what they think is wrong with America. They blame us for fatherless children, even though 40% of divorced/single mothers deny fathers access to their children. They call them deadbeat dads, even though only 3% of those ordered to pay child support refuse to.
They claim that millions of single mothers are not getting child support, without mentioning that 75% of single mothers never applied for any, either due to them cohabiting with the father, or not knowing who the father is.
If we are to curb the negative picture presented about fathers, then fathers need to be expressing their opinions on it. You can be doing that by writing letters to your politicians, and to the Editorial Letter page of local and national newspapers.
However, in my opinion this is not always the case. We know that many judges are biased and in that only tearing a family apart through child abuse cases. Attorneys for CPS will lie against you in court and side with the perpetrators known as CPS/Family Child Services. We know that this is not an easy task for parents and in the beginning of these abuse case are clearly over-rated underlining tasks for parents that are set up for failure even before you began walking this hell (and hell is what it is). So, with that said we must fight for our family and our children and this is almost near impossible due to funds and the financial status’s of our parents. If you think court watching would be of interest to you please email us and tell us why you think so.
We cannot make our voices heard if we are not willing to speak up.