Color of Law Custody Cases

Color of Law Custody Cases
Rhode Island and other states often violate civil rights in civil courts when officials threaten to separate children from protective parents who are their lifeline. These cases may include "color of law" abuses that push the boundaries of law. Judges who allow color of law abuse in their courtrooms are guilty of "color of office."

In Family Court, we give judges ultimate power over people’s lives while taking away their curiosity, concern, and even their ability to inquire about what is really happening in these cases. This transfers the power to guardians ad litem and lawyers. These officers of the court can convince a judge--through false allegations that are frequently off the record--to remove children, imprison innocent parents, then bankrupt them through years of frivolous motions, and forbid them to talk about it--all under color of law.

In domestic abuse custody cases, this enables the abusive parent to gain extraordinary power and control over the protective parent and the children.

Here is more information about color of law:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

FLASH 3: Grandmother in Court

I asked the Grandmother to keep me apprised of their case. (Click on August, "6. A Grandmother's Testimony" in the Blog Archive at right.) She sent me this email:

We went to court on Friday, September 3, 2010, for the hearing on the exparte motion. Our lawyer had scheduled it for September 10th but the judge crossed that out and wrote in "schedule for earlier hearing" which turned out to be the third. It was the Friday before a holiday weekend and there was only one judge sitting, and she was hearing DCYF cases!

I am only this morning calming down from the outrage of having to sit in court all day twiddling my thumbs and paying an attorney to do the same. What is wrong with these people? They know that there are no judges sitting on a Friday before a holiday weekend! Why would they schedule for hearings and have hundreds of people milling around in the corridors of the courthouse and getting madder by the minute? This is the insanity of our family court system.

[We now have the technology to improve this system. Even Panera Bread knows how to use buzzers. And every lawyer has a cellphone. Many have offices near the court and a law library at court. If Family Court improved its scheduling and allowed lawyers to be on call, then penalized those who fail to respond or stroll in late, some lawyers would resist. Afterall, this would significantly reduce their income. But it would help their clients and further the ethical pursuit of justice. Some legal staff have told me that lawyers instruct them to charge more than one client for the same hours those lawyers sit in court.]