Thursday, July 09, 2015

When Contempt Is Contemptable - Oakland Family Court Judge Gone Wild

Some Judges cross the line with their contempt powers, especially when used against children, and this is an especially horrifying and egregious example.

At a hearing on June 24, 2015 Judge Gorcyca of Oakland County Circuit Court Family Division put three siblings - two boys ages 15 and 10, and a girl, age 9, into Children's Village, a place for juvenile criminals for the offense of refusing to have lunch with their father after being ordered to do so by the judge.

Oh, and they're basically ordered held there until they're 18 with a review hearing in September.

Think about spending all summer in juvenille detention for refusing to have lunch with their father, and possibly being stuck there for years.

Even worse, they can't even clear the contempt even if they wanted to - under the court's decision, only their father, who is out of the country, can apparently get them sprung.

Even worse, under the Court's order, their mother is not permitted access to visit them nor is anyone on the mother's side of the family allowed, nor are they allowed to be with each other in the facility. Only their father and people he chooses can visit them along with the GAL.

Think about that for a moment.

This is a cruel and vindictive punishment far outweighs any "crime" the kids committed by refusing to obey the Judge's order that they go have lunch with their dad. One would think already being locked up for 2 weeks would be more than sufficient but they're stuck there until at least September, which will mean all summer when they should be out playing and being children.

Juvenile criminals who have committed violent serious crimes have been sentenced to far, far, less for so much worse.

Were the judge intentionally trying to emotionally damage the kids, she couldn't do a much worse job than this.

The transcript of the contempt hearing shows the whole thing is completely off the rails. The kids attorneys were hastily appointed literally at the hearing, and the kids are basically railroaded into juvenile jail.

The judge was extremely belittling to the children at the hearing and the exchanges in the transcript is cringe-worthy.

Regardless of the family situation, throwing minor kids in jail over a refusal to communicate with a parent is wrong. Period. End of story.

Fox 2: Judge orders kids held in juvenile center after refusing to see dad

My kids know the two younger kids and go to school and play with them. The Tsimhoni kids are good kids. That they got railroaded like this is insane. To hammer a ten year old and a nine year old not to mention, the 15 year old, on the spot like that with such a draconian punishment is totally unacceptable.

This is a travesty of justice and part of the reason why I don't practice family law. Unfortunately, Judges in Michigan are not only immune but also exempt from recall elections as the entire community is aghast at this happening and were it possible you'd see a recall on this.

So far, quite a few parents who know these kids have demonstrated for their release, an online petition has been launched, and the media are taking notice. Hopefully the pressure will cause the judge to apply a more calm and reasoned approach to dealing with these kids and get them out of juvie jail.

The Detroit Free Press has picked up the story: Judge jails kids for refusing lunch with dad


juvat said...

Tar and Feathers. Lots of Tar. Lots and Lots.

Robert Fowler said...

Maybe, when TSHTF, this judge will be on some patriots "list".

ProudHillbilly said...

Needs lots and lots of media attention.

ProudHillbilly said...

Needs lots and lots of media attention.

Aaron said...

Juvat: If there ever was an action that called for it, this is it.

Robert Fowler: Hopefully not, but I'd rather like to see a state constitutional amendment allowing for a recall of judges (the state cons only allows for recall of elected officials and exempts judges) to act as a check on these kinds of terrible decisions.

PH: It's certainly getting it around here. The father has gone out and hired a PR firm. Regardless of what's going on between him and the mom (and apparently this is the definition of a messy divorce) this is an unconscionable to be done to the kids.

Mcgyver said...

Kids for Cash happened in my town with out of control corrupt judges. Hearing some of the stories I have wondered why these judges weren't met with some misfortune in a dark alley.

Mcgyver said...

Also reminds me of G. Gordon telling Judge Sirica that he didn't have contempt of the court, only contempt of him.