Courtwatching in California

From the Center for Judicial Excellence:

 

COURTWATCH
MARIN COUNTY COURTWATCH
WHAT: Family Court Hearing – Assawasuksant v. Heierle
WHEN:Thursday, June 10th at  9:00 AM
WHERE:Marin County Superior Court – Courtroom K, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael 94903 WHAT: Family Court Hearing – Zucconi v. Zucconi
WHEN: Thursday, June 10th at 2:00pm & Friday, June 18th at 9:00 AM
WHERE: Marin County Superior Court – Courtroom K, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael 94903

NAPA COUNTY COURTWATCH
WHAT:Family Court Custody Hearing – Barnett v. Heflebower
WHEN: Tuesday, June 8th at 8:30 AM
WHERE: Napa County Superior Court: Courtroom N
820 Brown Street, Napa 94558

SONOMA COUNTY COURTWATCH

WHAT: Family Court Hearing – Kuhlman v. Tjoelker
WHEN: Thursday, June 17th at 8:30 AM
WHERE: Santa Rosa Family Law Courts at Empire College (law school), Courtroom 22, 3055 Cleveland Ave, Santa Rosa 95403

SACRAMENTO COUNTY COURTWATCH

WHAT: Family Court Trial – Tessema v. Begashaw
WHEN: Thursday, June 10th & Friday, June 11th at 9:00 AM
WHERE: Dept. 123, Ridgeway Family Relations Court, 3341 Power Inn Road 95826

 

WHERE:Dept. 104, Ridgeway Family Relations Court, 3341 Power Inn Road 95826
WHEN: Thursday, June 10th at 1:00 PM
WHAT: Family Court Hearing – Karres v. Rapton

*Please note that we cannot guarantee attendance as Courtwatch is a volunteer program. However, as a means of increasing turnout, you can feel free to forward the eblast to anyone on your personal contact list that may be interested in attending.

Check the CJE website often for breaking news & action opportunities. We’ll be posting updates on CJE’s other legislative priorities & related hearings soon!

For more information, contact CJE at 415-256-9606, or at info@centerforjudicialexcellence.org
   

Together, we can rebuild public trust in our courts, reinforcing the judiciary as a well-managed model of integrity, justice and equality.
   

Delaware House Bill 306: To believe or disbelieve, that’s the question…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

If a few legislators in Delaware have their way, Delaware House Bill 306 would have effects analogous to the current case law in Connecticut which allows an alleged perpetrator of sexual abuse to sue anyone who first believes, and then reports, a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse. See post Protective Parent Law in Some States But Not in Connecticut. In her response to the Connecticut Law Tribune, Joan Meier of DVLEAP wrote:

“Whatever the actual truth of the abuse allegations, the fact that a national expert in the field, a social worker at DCF, and the police believed the child should have been more than sufficient to defeat a malicious prosecution claim against the mother. Indeed, the family court had previously found that the mother ‘profoundly believes’ the abuse allegation. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court said that the mother had ‘persuaded herself that what she knew to be false was true.’  ”

 In that Connecticut case, the family court decided that the mother “profoundly believed” the abuse occurred. Anyone – malicious or not – who “profoundly believes” that a child is being abused, is obliged to report to the authorities any and all information that would lead to securing protection for the child – who might or might not be abused. A “profound belief” means belief . So does the phrase “good faith belief” in Delaware Code Chapter 81, Title 10, §8146 (a).

When “malicious” people “profoundly believe” that a child is being abused, that’s still called a “good faith belief”.  Those “bad” people are still obliged to report child abuse and to protect children – whether or not they have “malicious” intent.

The Connecticut family court case was followed by a civil case in which the alleged perpetrator sued the mother who, according to the Connecticut Supreme Court, believed the abuse occurred because she “persuaded herself that what she knew to be false was true.”  That sounds like “Dr.” Richard Gardner’s  theory called “parental alienation syndrome”.  

The problem with HB 306 is that §8146 (b) immediately follows §8146 (a ) and both are within the same section presumably also within the same context. That sets the stage for anyone in Delaware to say there’s such a thing as “maliciously trying to protect a child from abuse”.

 House Bill 306 looks like a good bill – to anyone who hasn’t heard of the “PAS scam”, unfortunately, it would be a Trojan horse for those wanting to silence mandated reporters and protective mothers.

Protecting children and acting with malice are two totally different states of being. How about keeping the two totally different subjects in two totally separate sections? If legislators in Delaware really want to “encourage the reporting of possible sexual abuse of a child by providing immunity from civil liability for making such a report”, here’s what the amendment should look like: 

” §8146 (a) No person shall be subject to any civil action for damages of any type as a result of reporting to a law enforcement officer or the Attorney General’s Office any act of possible sexual abuse of a child provided such report is made under a good faith belief that the sexual abuse has occurred.” Period.

 

SPONSOR:    Rep. Lavelle & Rep. Schwartzkopf & Sen. Henry & Sen. Sorenson;
  Reps. Bennett, Brady, Carson, Keeley, Kowalko, Cathcart, D. Short, BriggsKing, Hocker, Hudson, Kovach, Miro, Ramone, Thornburg, Wilson; Sens. Bunting, Marshall

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

HOUSE BILL NO. 306

 

 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REPORTING POSSIBLE SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1.  Amend Chapter 81, Title 10, Delaware Code by adding a new section to read as follows:

“§ 8146.  Exemption from civil liability for reporting sexual abuse of a child.

(a)           No person shall be subject to any civil action for damages of any type as a result of reporting to a law enforcement officer or the Attorney General’s Office any act of possible sexual abuse of a child provided such report is made under a good faith belief that the sexual abuse has occurred.

(b)           This section shall not apply if the person making the report is also a participant in the sexual abuse of the child or the person makes a false report of sexual abuse of a child with the intent to cause malicious harm to the child, or child’s family, or the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the possible sexual abuse.”.

SYNOPSIS

This Bill intends to encourage the reporting of possible sexual abuse of a child by providing immunity from civil liability for making such a report.

California AB 2475 Judiciary Committee Hearing

More great legislative work in California. This is from the Center for Judicial Excellence website. Fast forward to 50:35 on the video… 

AB 2475 Hearing
  Click here to view footage of the May 4th CA Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing featuring testimony about AB 2475:https://www.calchannel.com/channel/viewvideo/1338
(scroll forward to 50:35 on the video)

Thanks to everyone who turned out in Sacramento to keep this bill alive!

California…from the Center For Judicial Excellence website…

 

       Also from California, we’d like to include the following 

suggestion from the Center for Judicial Excellence.

        It really is all about the law.  Making laws that will protect

abused children in family courts and making sure that our

courts protect us with the existing laws.

       It’s also about education.  Most people don’t know what our family courts

 do with child abuse cases.

       Please contact your legislators and ask them to support an

 audit of the family courts in your state. Thank you!

Take Action!
It is critically important that each and every one of us contact our elected officials and urge them to make family court reform a priority. These are the people who can bring about the reform we need, and it is important that they understand how our current system is harming children. Click on the link below to find your state and federal elected officials in your zip code, and then call/email their office to urge them to take action.Instructions:
1) When you click on the link below, you will be taken to a webpage where you will be asked to enter your zip code to look up the elected officials in your area.
2) After you enter your zip code, hit “GO” and you will be taken to a page where all of the state and federal elected officials in your area will be listed.
3) Click on the legislator you want to contact. This will take you to the legislator’s info page
4) On the legislator’s info page, select the “Contact” tab and the contact info for that legislator will appear.
5) Call and email your legislator and urge them to take action.http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/