Spoiled Children of Divorce

The Courts and The Kids / Newspaper Series
February 10, 2008, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Courts, Custody, links to articles, Uncategorized

Today’s San Jose Mercury News is running the first part of an expose on how the Family Courts fail. The story, written by Karen de Sa is called “How Rushed Justice Fails Our Kids.”

It’s a typical morning in the court system designed to protect California’s children from abuse and neglect: Justice is being strangled by the clock.

In this Sacramento courtroom, attorneys spend two minutes on the case of a 3-year-old sent to the children’s shelter after being found in a filthy home. The case of a teenager anxious to reconnect with lost siblings gets three minutes, yet his desperation cannot be felt; he’s absent from his own hearing. Should a mother’s right to her child be terminated? The court date opens and closes in 60 seconds. Parent and child are legally severed for life.

By 11:30 a.m., 14 cases into a 21-case morning, Sacramento Superior Court Referee Daniel Horton is anxious. “C’mon folks, we can do this! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” he shouts. “OK, counsel, we can do this, let’s go, let’s get it done. It’s like driving a car. Sit down and buckle up.”


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