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California Judges

Alameda Judge Gifford
The Recorder - March 8, 2004

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jackson Gifford may have put his gavel in jeopardy when he allegedly tried to buy sex from a police decoy on Wednesday. After his criminal case is resolved, Gifford will likely face investigation by the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state watchdog agency that disciplines judges. A judge convicted of a misdemeanor could face anything from private admonishment to removal from the bench, with felonies and crimes involving moral turpitude being grounds for removal.

 
California
 
California's Chief Justice Ronald George, in the case of Zeling v. County of Los Angeles, 02 S.O.S. 2400 writing the opinion the Courts Have No Duty To Screen For Weapons, after Eileen Zelig, who had a restraining order against her former husband, Dr. Harry Zelig, complained three times to bailiffs he had a gun and threatened to to kill her. Zelig was shot dead in the court hallway by her ex, in front of their six year old daughter, enroute to a child spousal support hearing.

George who now goes on at length over his fear for judicial safety, wrote that public entities weren't responsible for screening. At the time Attorney General Bill Lockyer, supported the decision. Now, what do you suppose the Commission on Judicial Performance would do with a complaint against the Chief Justice?

Judge Aviva Bobb. the judge Refused to talk to the child who wanted to tell the judge she was afraid of her father.Court personnel said, (after the girls father killed her), it wasn't judicial policy to speak to children. (Prefering instead, to hire attorneys who 'interpret' what the child says.)

the judge in the Susan Eubanks matter. Susan's ex warned a Vista judge Susan threatened to harm their children. Instead of responding to the threat; the judge shot the messenger. The judge ordered Eric Eubanks, the father to "Supervised visitation" as the judge thought the father might "damage" the relationship between the parent and the child.

Susan is now on death row; having killed all Four of their kids. The judge promptly sealed the case, (protecting herself), and retired.

Unfortunately she quickly returned, and now works now as a "visiting" judge.

City Suspends Judge Arrested With Teenage Girls, Beer, Condoms

POSTED: 5:43 am EDT May 8, 2006
UPDATED: 5:55 pm EDT May 9, 2006

BARNESVILLE -- The Barnesville City Council voted Monday evening to suspend without pay a city court judge accused of providing alcohol to two 16-year-old girls.

Judge Aurelio Enrique Abreu was arrested after visiting the girls while they were alone together in a private room Friday, according to a statement from the Lamar County Sheriff's Office.

The statement said the 51-year-old Abreu was charged with driving under the influence, violation of oath by a public officer, furnishing alcohol for underage consumption, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and permitting an unlicensed person to drive, after he allegedly let the girls drive his car in a prior incident.

The sheriff's office said Abreu was arrested by SWAT team members, who hid in the house during a covert operation following a tip

 

 

California Judge Craig S. Kamansky - now with Inland Valley Arbitration & Mediation
San Bernardino County

In 1994, attorney Terrence Goggin, SB# 43835, filed civil rights suit, Case No. 94-7641, in Riverside Superior Court, on behalf of Plaintiff, Jason Bumpus; a boy Judge Craig Kamansky, allegedly took under his wing.

Probation officers Mildred Kelly and Thomas Callahan were also named.

According to the suit, Jason, who was in Juvenile Hall, and often given passes to see Judge Kamansky in closed chambers, was repeatedly sodomized by the judge.

The suit also alleged, while at Juvenile Hall, Jason's mother committed suicide under 'unusual' circumstances. She supposedly stabbed herself in the chest.

The suit further alleged Jason was allowed to attend the funeral, after which, he also attempted suicide; and that Judge Kamansky was allowed to remove Jason from Juvenile Hall, whereupon Jason was taken by the judge to his home.

The civil rights action settled, with the county paying for some of Judge Kamansky's defense.

Jason Bumpus committed suicide.

Ultimately, Judge Kamansky was publicly censored for one instance of bad behavior; taping over the video tapes he earlier agreed to turn over to the Commission.

The Commission on Judicial Performance, Did Not Address the allegations leading to the erased video tapes.

Judge Kamansky remains on the bench. We hope, not in Juvenile Court

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in judge child porn case

LOS ANGELES The Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a former California judge accused of storing child pornography on his court computer.

Without commenting, justices let stand a federal appeals court ruling in favor of prosecutors who want to present graphic images allegedly taken from former Orange County Superior Judge Ronald Kline's computers.

A U-S attorney's spokesman says the case now returns to a Los Angeles federal court where a judge will hear a motion by Kline's attorney who is challenging the truthfulness of a government agent in a search warrant affidavit. No date has been set for that hearing.

Kline has pleaded innocent to charges of possessing child pornography. He also faces separate state charges of molesting a 14-year-old boy in the late 1970s.

 
 
FLORIDA 

FLORIDAFAMILYCOURT.COMMERRY MORRIS CASE, Palm Beach County, Florida. Merry Morris has been punished by the Florida family court for seeking that court's help in securing her visitation rights to her two minor children. The punishment: $1.8 million and a warrant for her arrest when she failed to pay that amount. The Florida appellate system dismissed her appeal. Merry is now a fugitive because she faces the very real prospect that if she submits to the arrest warrant she will remain indefinitely incarcerated unable to comply with a contempt order she is not able to appeal.
            The Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, refused to permit her appeal of this order, finding that she can be punished for the simple act of coming to court to seek assistance in enforcing her visitation rights Morris v. Morris. To their credit, Justices Anstead, Pariente and Quince dissented finding that the dismissal of Morris's appeal "potentially fosters a serious miscarriage of justice, and violates the petitioner's constitutional right to an appeal."
            [05/01/06] Merry has now taken two actions. First, she has invoked the common law writ of habeas corpus and petitioned the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal to consider whether her arrest warrants are "intolerable restraints� deserving of review under the law articulated at Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 401 (1963). A copy of that petition may be viewed here.
            Additionally, Morris has filed an action in the U.S. District Court of Florida seeking emergency declaratory relief that (i) Florida's policy of punishing parents for seeking relief from Florida's family court to enforce visitation rights is unconstitutional and violates public policy and (ii) Florida's judge-made appellate rules which permits a Florida appellate court to dismiss an appeal -- as the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal did here -- violates both Florida and Federal Constitutional guarantees to due process.

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/outrage/

KANSAS 

CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI CASE, Shawnee County, Kansas. Claudine lost custody of her baby daughter Rikki to Hal Richardson, the man who did this, thanks to Judge James P. Buchele, who refused to permit adequate testimony at trial, shortening it to benefit his docket, and also ordered Claudine to move back to Topeka to live near Richardson, for the sake of their "co-parenting." WHAT?! Richardson is a man with multiple criminal convictions for violent behavior (Battery, Attempted Battery, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Legal Process, Possession of Marijuana and violation of Open Container law), a man who has beaten and raped Claudine multiple times before and after her divorce from him, a man who has threatened to kill her and her child.
            Worse, Judge Buchele also ordered Claudine not to call the police any more without the permission of her case manager. When Judge James Buchele retired,
Judge Richard D. Anderson affirmed Buchele's previous orders, including the illegal prohibition on Claudine's being able to call the police.
            But don't blame the judges alone. Stupidity rarely works its evil in a vaccuum. A truly egregious outrage requires that could-be good men do nothing.
Guardian ad litem Scott McKenzie deserves a substantial portion of the credit for this travesty. I ask, how in hell can this happen in the United States of America? For more information, also see
http://www.kansas.net/%7Efreepress/7-12-01-8.html

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/outrage/

 Louisiana
Former State District Judge Ronald Bodenheimer claims that he conspired with New Orleans restaurant owner Al Copeland to fix Copeland's child custody case. The Times-Picayune reported that Copeland allegedly threatened Bodenhiemer by stating that he would have opposition during the next election. Bodenheimer began serving a 46 month federal sentence for his role in the conspiracy among other crimes in 2005.

New Mexico
The case of a Las Cruces magistrate judge charged with rape and bribery is now in the hands of a jury. Judge Reuben Galvan's defense is he was too drunk to remember the evening.

The jury will decide what happened that August night when a woman says she was raped after agreeing to have sex with Galvan in exchange for getting her husband�s criminal case dismissed.

Galvan, who maintains that the sex was consensual, is facing a possible six years in prison and removal from the bench.

 

New York

Brooklyn Judge Given 3- to 10-Year Sentence for accepting bribes in matrimonial cases

Gerald Garson

Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson, elected to the bench in 1997, was indicted on May 22, 2003 for accepting gifts and money for preferential treatment in divorce and child custody cases. Some two and a half months later, he was indicted again, this time for the more serious charge of bribery. Garson was accused of offering advice on how to try cases before him to long time friend and attorney Paul Siminovsky. Siminovsky reportedly repaid the judge for his 'advisement' with expensive cigars, restaurant dinners, and cash.

 

Victor Barron

Victor Barron, who was elected to the Supreme Court in 1998, was caught on videotape in his chambers accepting $18,000 in marked bills. He was indicted for bribery in January, 2002, and pleaded guilty to receiving the $18,000 bribe and demanding an additional sum of $115,000 from a plaintiff's attorney during a hearing on a multi-million dollar injury case. Barron accepted a plea bargain offered by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, hence, according to the Brooklyn Papers newspaper, avoiding a potentially long trial, which likely would have gone much further in exposing the deepest roots of the borough's judicial and political corruption. In October, 2002, Barron was sentenced to a term of three to nine years in prison, which is the longest prison sentence ever imposed on a judge in New York State. However, he will still receive his $97,000 a year pension while incarcerated.

Reynold Mason

Reynold Mason, who had served on the Supreme Court bench since 1997, was removed by the Court of Appeals on May 1st, 2003 for unethical conduct. The Commission on Judicial Conduct had determined that Mason had "abused an escrow account and cheated his brother-in-law and his landlord" (as Tom Robbins of the Village Voice put it); he illegally subletted his rent-stabilized apartment in downtown Brooklyn to his brother-in-law. Mason refused to cooperate with the commission's inquiry. He reportedly used the extra $336 a month he made from his illegal sublet to pay child support and make political donations. The charges of impropriety levied against Mason were found to violate provisions on judicial conduct.

New York:
Brooklyn Judge Michael Garson was indicted, accused of stealing $$163,000 from his aunt. This is separate from the Judge Garson featured on 48 Hours for taking 10k to throw a custody case. The most interesting item about Michael Garson is while Suspended from the bench, with pay, teaches Criminal Justice, American Politics, as well as Government and Business Law. Well now boys and girls, Garson as an indicted judge, is one who knows about the politics of law.

Nassau County District Judge David A. Gross, recently arrested for money laundering and attempting to fence diamonds, told New York's highest court he does not oppose his suspension during the pendency of the federal criminal case against him. (What a sport!)
But in a letter written by Judge Gross' attorney, he asked the Court of Appeals to continue his $122,700 annual salary because it is his family's only income.

GENIA SHOCKOME CASE, Poughkeepsie, Duchess County, New York. On Thursday, May 5, 2005, Yevgenia Shockome, a pro se battered mother seven months pregnant, who already inexplicably had lost custody of her children to her abuser three years before in Judge Damian J. Amodeo's Duchess County Courtroom, was jailed on Mother's Day weekend for objecting to Amodeo's order permitting the father to move her children (whom she has not been able to see for months) to Texas. Apparently, Amodeo got ticked off because Shockome called him a "liar" in response to... her perception of what I guess we would call "bullshit" if it emanated from someone other than a judge? Amodeo previously had given custody to the children's father despite indications of the father's dysfunctional and stalker-like behavior. That original decision of dubious merit currently is on appeal. This latest act by the judge seems inexcusable. The hearing transcript does not seem to support these sanctions.
            Incredibly, Judge Amodeo sits on New York State's Matrimonial Commission, which is supposed to help improve the way family courts function. Amodeo touts the following credentials: Member, NYS Matrimonial Commission, 2003 to present; Member, NYS Parent Education Advisory Board, 2001 to present; Member, NYS Universal Case Management Committee, 1999 to 2001; Member, NYS Committee on Automation and Technology for Judges, 1993 to 1996 Member, NYS Judicial Institute Committee, 2000 to 2002; Member, P.E.A.C.E. Advisory Committee, 1994 to 1999; Member, 9th Judicial District Committee to Promote Gender Fairness in the Courts, 1990 to present; Member & Past President [1986-1987]; Dutchess County Bar Association, 1968 to present; Member, Dutchess County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, 1989 to present; Member, Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council, 2000 to present ;Member, Dutchess County Juvenile Justice Task Force, 2004 to present; Member & Past President, Hyde Park Rotary, 1968 to 2004.
            What's Judge Amodeo doing involved with all these domestic violence, parenting education, and "gender fairness" committees? Doesn't seem to jibe with this case, and looks suspicious. We need judges who engender actual respect, not ones who jail pregnant immigrant mothers whom they've admitted to traumatizing, which causes the litigants in turn -- because of the judge's own inappropriate behavior or decisions -- to lose respect for and confuse this honorable office with a man who happens to wield its power.

Judge Nathanial P. Proctor NORTH CAROLINA 

 

    NATALIE GIBBONS CASE
    Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
    Gibbons v. Gibbons 01-CVD-3027-LCB

    BAD JUDGE:
    Honorable Nathanial P. Proctor
    http://www.nccourts.org/County/Mecklenburg/Courts/Family/Default.asp
    800 East Fourth Sreet
    Charlotte, NC 28202

    PO Mailing address
    Box 37971
    Charlottle, NC 28237-7971

    JUSTICE FOR CHILDRENPress Release 

    August 24, 2005
    202-462-4688

    For Immediate Release

    Natalie Gibbons sits in a Mecklenburg County, N.C. jail on a $100,00.00 bond, reduced from $1 million. Her telephone calls with her children must be strictly supervised.

    It looks like the judge thinks a mother trying to protect her children from exposure to pornography is a danger to the community and her own children" says Jim Shields, Executive Director for Justice For Childrens main office in Houston, Texas. Justice For Children, a national non-profit with chapters in Arizona, Michigan and Washington, D.C., advocates and intervenes on behalf of abused and at risk children. JFC works to ensure that these children receive the protection and justice to which they are entitled.

    Judges wonder why parents violate their court orders, adds Eileen King, Regional Director of JFCs Washington, D.C. office. But we wonder why judges force parents to send their children back into a situation where they must know there is immediate risk of harm.

    Judge Proctor apparently believes sexual freedom should reign in the bedroom. This freedom seems to include a man's right to possess pornography and allow his children access to it while he is lying down and his eyes are closed.

    What are the Gibbons' children's rights? According to Judge Proctor, they have the right to see their mother dragged off to jail and punished for protecting them. They enjoy the right to be put at risk with no one watching or caring what happens to them.

    Some say that Natalie Gibbons shouldn't worry about her children's safety because Judge Proctor warned Mr. Gibbons not to let his two children watch pornography again. Mr. Gibbons adamantly denied that he ever let the children watch porn in the first place -- but an eye-witness testified otherwise. Judge Proctor believed the eyewitness but he didn't believe Mr. Gibbons. Why then should Natalie Gibbons be expected to believe and trust Mr. Gibbons?

    In King's opinion, These children qualify as Abused Juveniles under the Definitions (N.C.G.S. 7B-101) in the North Carolina Division of Social Services Family Services Manual, Volume I, Chapter VIII. But neither Judge Proctor nor Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services seem concerned. In fact, Social Services testified that although the children had probably been exposed to pornography their sexual acting out wasn't troubling.

    A child acting out sexually after exposure to pornography would be a concern for any normal parent. It's also a red flag for possible criminal sexual abuse. A responsible mother would want to find out what's really going on. Indeed, she has a legal and moral duty to do so, says Randy Burton, Founder of Justice For Children, a former Harris County, Texas prosecutor.

    "Only in the family court system is a victim of a crime placed in the care of the perpetrator who is told by the court not to do it again", said Toby Kleinman, a New Jersey attorney who has litigated and/or consulted on child abuse cases in over 25 states and is the Founder of the Center for Protection of Children, a national educational organization which is dedicated to protecting children from risk of exposure to sexual, emotional and physical family violence.

    "Ms. Gibbons is being punished for refusing to send the children back to visit. Had the identical information been presented about "the neighbor 3 doors down," or any other stranger, Ms. Gibbons would be considered negligent if she allowed the children to visit again with them.

    JFC Regional Director King agrees: What mother or father would willingly send a child off to the house of a neighbor found by a judge to have allowed children to watch pornography? What parent rests easy when he or she finds out their child knows how to type in "women having sex with animals" to reach bestiality websites? What mother watches her child act out sexually after watching pornography and thinks it is normal -- just playful acting out?

    The family courts apply different rules says Attorney Kleinman. At the very least, were a neighbor to have shown pornography, Ms. Gibbons would be entitled to make protective decisions about what is proper. But here, where it is the spouse who has shown pornography, she has lost her right to protect the children. Were it a stranger who showed the children pornography they would likely be prosecuted.

    CPC Founder Kleinman states further that Here, as in many other cases around the country, while the judge essentially found the facts to be true about the father's behavior, he found it harmless. Were it a neighbor he would be outraged. Were it criminal court, he would be punished and kept where he could not do this to children again. This double standard needs to be changed. Ms. Gibbons rights and obligations to protect her children are being thwarted by the very system designed to protect them."

    Randy Burton, Justice For Childrens Founder, agrees there is a Catch 22 at work here:

    What do we learn from the Gibbons case? Protective parents will be punished with huge fines and jailed if they refuse to put their children at risk. Parents exposing their children to pornography will receive the full protection of the law as well as custody of the children. The real tragedy is that these children lose their entire childhood when judges wont protect them.

    Is this what the state of North Carolina wants for its children?

    * * *

    Eileen King, Regional Director
    Justice For Children Washington, D.C. Chapter 1155
    Connecticut Ave., N.W. 6th Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20036
    202-462-4688
    http://www.justiceforchildren.org/

Ohio
Criminal court judges, who refuse to protect our most vulnerable. For instance, Ohio Judges like,

Jane Bond and Patricia Cosgrove

Both incarerated battered women who recanted. Bail was set at $100,000.00 for refusing to testify against the men who injure them. Clearly these judges do not understand Battered Women's Syndrome.

Oklahoma
 
 
Aug 18 2006

Judge Donald Thompson

486-judge-donald-thompson.jpgI never write about work, but the sordid tale of Judge Donald Thompson has pervaded the national news such that I feel obligated to note my connection. Thompson was today sentenced to four years in jail and ordered to pay $40,000 in fines for exposing himself when he ...um... pleasured himself with a pump while he presided over four trials in 2002 and 2003.

For those of you who are not aware, I am a practicing civil defense attorney in Tulsa which is immediately adjacent to Creek County and the city of Sapulpa where Thompson was a judge for almost 23 years. 487-convict-donald-thompson.jpgOver the years, I appeared before Judge Thompson on a number of motions. To the best of my knowledge and recollection...I lost every one of them. And, that's enough about that.

What amazes me, besides the un-freakingly-believable things he did, is that Thompson, 59 years old, married and father of three adult children, was given the opportunity early on to simply retire...no jail time, no probation, no fines, no penalty, just retire from the bench. He turned that down and, instead, risked 40 years in prison and $80,000 in fines and wound up with four years (eligible for parole after two), a $40,000 fine, loss of his $83,879 a year (a lot for Oklahoma) pension for life, registration as a sex offender and a good dose of national ridicule. Wow.

Pennsylvania

Judge Mark Pazuhanich, A former district attorney who was elected to a judgeship entered "no contest" pleas to charges that he molested his 10-year-old daughter at a Hillary Duff concert in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He got probation. Judges protect their own.

Tennessee
 
Jan 2, 2008



 Tenn. judge resigns over fantasies tape

By BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 15 minutes ago

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A Tennessee judge resigned last month after making a recording of fantasies so lurid that when the tape fell into the hands of the police and FBI, they thought they were listening to a torture session and believed it might be linked to a murder case.

Ultimately, investigators brought no charges against Circuit Judge John B. Hagler, and police said Wednesday he is not a suspect in any investigation.

But the sensational case has led to allegations of professional retaliation, interdepartmental intrigue and strategic news leaks.

The recording was investigated by authorities more than two years ago, but its existence did not come to light publicly until just a few weeks ago, and details on the contents are only now coming out, at a hearing that began Wednesday on whether police must release the tape.

During those two years, the judge remained on the bench, hearing mostly family court cases like divorces and child custody.

Among the mysteries: Why did he make such a recording? Why is it coming to light just now? And what, exactly, is on the tape?

The tape was briefly examined by Chattanooga police and the FBI in late 2005 after a secretary who had just been fired by Hagler turned it over, authorities said. She told them she found the recording of the judge's voice on a tape that also contained legal dictation.

"It sounded like someone being tortured," Chattanooga police Sgt. Alan Franks testified Wednesday, offering the first details of what is on the tape.

Franks said the recording was investigated in relation to a still-unsolved 1997 murder. He gave no other details on the murder case.

"The content was so shocking. I have been a police officer for 24 years," Franks said before his testimony was cut off by an objection.

Investigators ultimately concluded the recording consisted only of fantasies.

Two years later, the tape made its way to the prosecutor in Hagler's Tennessee district, District Attorney Steve Bebb. Then, last month, the Chattanooga Times Free Press learned about the recording from an unidentified source, and Hagler confirmed it and resigned.

Hagler said that he had done nothing wrong but that the recording had caused great embarrassment to friends, family and the courts. Hagler, who is 65 and married, has been a circuit judge in Cleveland, Tenn., since 1990 and served three terms as president of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association.

"The description of it as containing 'graphic fantasies' ... is an accurate and sufficient description and all any decent person would want to hear of it," the judge said in a statement.

Bebb, the district attorney, said he, too, concluded the recording was not connected to any crime, but what he heard led him to persuade Hagler, whom he describes as a longtime friend, to resign.

"This would disturb any human being who heard it," Bebb said.

The judge strongly suggested the leak was committed by someone with a grudge against him, perhaps someone he ruled against.

"In my opinion, the real story here, so strongly expressed by an alert and outraged public, is not about me or my sins, but about whether one of our essential public institutions, the judiciary, has been the victim of a retaliatory attack," Hagler said in his statement. He did not elaborate but alluded to a dispute within the local bar association.

The district attorney has disputed speculation the leak was related to the judge's recent ruling against a local sheriff's department's request for more funding.

Bebb said in December that he sent a copy of the tape to the state Court of the Judiciary, which handles complaints against judges. A court spokeswman said the panel would not act because the judge has resigned and it no longer has jurisdiction.

Members of the local bar have asked federal prosecutors to investigate how the existence of the tape became public. Police said FBI agents are asking them questions about the leak.

The judge is fighting a request by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Associated Press and other news organizations that the tape be released. The hearing resumes on Thursday.

Hagler was relaxed and smiling at times during Wednesday's hearing. He said during a break that he had not heard the tape in the hands of police and could not be sure it was the one he recorded. "I hope it's my voice," he said.

 
Linda Berrera Cano
(Christopher Berkey)
June 10, 2005 | LEBANON, Tenn. -- An 11-year-old girl whose immigrant mother was ordered to learn English in six months or risk losing her daughter will be reunited with her family next month, a Tennessee circuit court judge ruled Tuesday.

Linda Berrera Cano was taken from her mother, Felipa Berrera, 15 months ago and placed in foster care after there were allegations that Berrera had pulled her ear and that the girl's sister-in-law had hit her with a stick.

Berrera, a Mexican immigrant living in Lebanon, Tenn., speaks Mixteco, one of Mexico's indigenous languages. No Mixteco translators were provided to Berrera during the initial custody proceedings when Linda was removed from her mother's custody and placed in foster care. Center attorneys became involved in the case after Wilson County Judge Barry Tatum ordered Berrera to learn English at a 4th-grade level or have her parental rights terminated.

Judge Clara Byrd ruled Tuesday that Linda will leave her foster family's home and will move in with her father, Antonio Cano, by July 24. Berrera, who does not live with Linda's father, will be granted supervised visitation. The ruling calls for Linda's foster parents, Emily and Warren Patterson, to retain legal custody while she lives with her father.

The ruling came in the middle of a hearing in which Berrera was seeking to regain custody of her daughter.

Byrd rejected a settlement, presented by attorneys representing Berrera, Cano and the Pattersons, that would still have granted custody to Cano, but also would have dismissed the case.

Though all parties agreed to the settlement, Byrd said she wanted to make sure Linda made a smooth transition to her father's home before dismissing the case. Byrd said Tuesday she will make a final ruling in the case after an October hearing to assess Linda's transition to her father's home.

The Center's Immigrant Justice Project, which has played an instrumental role in Berrera's custody battle, refuted the abuse charges and asked that Linda be returned to her mother's home.

Center attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case after lawyers for the couple ended their testimony in the custody hearing last month. The motion claimed the couple, despite days of testimony, failed to provide evidence that Linda is an abused and neglected child as defined by Tennessee law. They also were unable to demonstrate convincing evidence that Linda would suffer substantial harm if she were returned to her mother's custody.

After hearing a day of testimony and argument on May 24, Judge Byrd dismissed the motion.

"We've made some progress, but the proceedings have trampled on our client's rights," said IJP director Mary Bauer. "After six days of testimony, the judge has put the trial on hold for four months. This process is outrageous."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In Tennessee, Wilson County Judge, Judge Barry Tatum, told one family victim to study English and use birth control.

In a second case, involving another family whose daughter had already been removed from her home, Tatum warned he would terminate parental rights if the mother could not speak English at a fourth-grade level by a later hearing date.

The order specifically warned the mother if she does not make the effort to learn English, she is running the risk of losing any connection � legally, morally or physically � with her daughter forever

 

Dallas, Texas...
 
 
where a News Channel TV camera crew panned to Family Law Judge, Craig Fowler's computer screen, and filmed him playing solitare during a Custody hearing.

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