Why do judges do this? / Food for thought

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A_newlife2014

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Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« on: March 21, 2016, 07:50:25 PM »
Another high-profile custody scrimmage in the news (Madonna), another instance where the judge chastises the parents and tells them to just work it out. Twice now, two difference judges have basically told them to figure it out themselves.

This is not the first or last instance, and this is something that happens in everyday courtrooms as well as high-profile ones. What's going on? I know this is is a thing, I'm just not sure what's behind it. Everyone "jokes" that the system is just there to wring more money out of the participants, but although the lawyers benefit, the courts themselves do not -- in fact, they are anxious to clear their  caseloads. So why drag cases out by refusing to adjudicate them, which is the whole reason anyone is in front of them anyway?

During my divorce, as all the divorced wannabes were in the courtroom waiting for their cases to be called, there was one couple, no kids, where, during routine chit-chat with the judge, it had become known that the woman was the one seeking divorce, and the man didn't want it. Both the man and wife were acting reasonable and friendly enough in court; the man, making it known he was carrying a torch for his wife, the wife a little more reserved, but determined. No fireworks or anything.

Well, of course everyone in court is on their best behavior and doesn't want to be on the judge's bad side, so you go along with the judge's banter and whatnot. Because the couple seemed friendly enough, I guess, the judge asked the couple -- the woman, really -- if there was any chance of reconciliation, and she replied no, nicely. The judge then *suggested* that she and her husband go "get a coffee together" and think things over, make sure this was really what they wanted to do. The woman smiled (resignedly) and agreed to do so.

Now what they really did while they were gone for an hour, I'll never know.

But I was so PISSED at how patronizing this judge was!!!! And I knew I was in trouble, if that was his viewpoint toward women. (This same judge also offered commentary in chambers about how NPDxh and I never should have gotten married, what were we thinking, etc. Which, again, on the one hand, pissed me off, but then again, I was like, well maybe, given where we are, he DOES have a right to comment?)

I'd like to hear what other ladies and guys think. WAS that a patronizing move? What is his motivation to stop a divorce? Is it a personal moral calling? Does he enjoy "calling the shots"? Does he love humankind and just wants to "help"? Are gender issues at play?

In my mind, by the time you've made the decision to do it, have filled out the paperwork, and actually shown up in court, I would be PISSED to have my time wasted, and to be told that the decision I had made was wrong, just because the guy I'm trying to divorce is over there making puppy dog eyes at me.

But that specific instance aside, still, many times, you just get strung along, and strung along, in court, with the judge judging the both of you like you're both children yourselves, because you can't come to a decision and want them to do it.

Do they honestly just think everyone who comes before them are immature morons? I can see in criminal court, if you get caught, but in divorce court where you're both just coming to a decision you no longer want to be married, what business is it of the court's if you don't, and also, don't they think that if you COULD come to an agreement, you WOULD? Why else would you be in court? Do grown men and women judges honestly not understand sometimes one person has problems and can hang it up?

Do judges not make decisions because they're fearful of doing the wrong thing? I figure it's more likely they enjoy the power, and would lean toward making decisions, rather than not, so that doesn't make sense to me.

Do they honestly think they're teaching the masses how to get along? Bettering humanity by ordering people to suddenly become mature?

Are they just so disgusted with people that they don't want to be bothered?

Is it laziness?

WHY do judges, time and again, REFUSE to make actual decisions in divorce/custody cases?




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hhaw

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 08:59:17 PM »
The Judge in my divorce case sat through an hour of difficult dollar information, and I swear I saw his eyes roll around in his head like a gumball machine.

After that hour of hearing testimony from my ASPD N, the Judge told everyone that we knew more about the case than anyone, we should go out  into the hall and settle and if we forced him to hear our case, which he'd cleared the entire courtroom for that entire week, then he'd punish everyone in the room.

Now, I see that as the Judge not having the right temperament to be a family court Judge.  He was also not very bright, and my attorney actually helped him get out of law school when he should have failed.  Third, he was shooting me eat sh*t nad die looks the moment he saw me in his courtroom. 

He would say he would have "someone" arrested if "what he heard about dv was true." while staring daggers into ME! It was my h who had assaulted me, threatened me, and harmed, but you would have thought the stories were ABOUT ME. 

He had been on the bench too long... was jaded, and bitter, and knew he didn't have the knowledge and education to make the kinds of decisions he was called on to make in family court, IMO.

I think he was angry at everyone with polar opposite stories bc he knew his limitations, and that he probably did as much harm as good when he was forced to rule.

In my case, there was plenty of evidence, and he should have listened to it.  He should have done his job, and heard the case, esp bc dv was alleged, and bc there were small children involved.

When you think about it.... who does a Judge believe when everyone's telling crazy opposite stories?  It's not an easy job, and there's zero consequences for lying under oath so..... it's never going to change, IME.

That's my two cents about that.

hhaw
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
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A_newlife2014

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 09:57:58 PM »
I think he was angry at everyone with polar opposite stories bc he knew his limitations, and that he probably did as much harm as good when he was forced to rule.


hhaw

I think your'e on to something here. .... I want to give the benefit of the doubt and assume there's some moral rationale, some thought that goes on, but I think more than likely it probably comes down to some personal issue, ego or other, that motivates people to act the way they do. My case (and judge) weren't as bad as yours, but there is definitely that attitude in court, that you're wasting the judge's time just by even bringing the case. They seem angry just by virtue of you stepping into the room. Ha! ..... With the couple in my case whom the judge told to go get a coffee, I think he just thought of himself as a paternal authority. I think it was probably well-intentioned, just misguided. He was an older white guy who called all the women "dear." Ugh. I think he probably thought the woman was foolish to turn her back on a guy who was so obviously into her; he wanted her to really think again. After all, that's what's best for her, what more could she want/need? SIGH.

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When you think about it.... who does a Judge believe when everyone's telling crazy opposite stories?  It's not an easy job, and there's zero consequences for lying under oath so..... it's never going to change, IME.

I agree it's not "easy," but come on -- zero effort, it seems! ... It seems they either just shut down at all the blathering being pointed in their direction, or they get angry and "punish" BOTH sides, as you pointed out. And with wrongful convictions, racism, etc., happening on the criminal justice side, it doesn't seem that judges shy from making decisions, even ones that might be wrong, because they know there is no accountability for their decisions, so I just don't get why family court is the place where they suddenly decide to lay off the decision making.

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hhaw

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 10:22:40 PM »
That particular Judge actually ruled against me twice, and reversed himself twice.

It's unheard of, but he did SO much damage.... I honestly believe he's the reason many of the most terrible things that happened to us, happened.

He more than dropped the ball.  He was manipulated by the pd's and I think we were saved by his pregnant law clerk in the Grandparent visitation case.  In fact, I think everyone in his courtroom was used to covering for him..... the court reporter left things out that he said, for instance, from the trial transcripts.

His law clerk was the one who phoned and said the Judge made a mistake... WE HAD TO TRY THE CASE AGAIN!  WTH?  Crazy days... crazy days.

hhaw 

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Sunny

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 01:49:05 AM »
Just one appearance so far, but I researched my judge and he had acquired his position in family law just a few years ago, after many years in corporate law. Basically I was lucky I didn't get him when he was a total newbie.

That said, he did accept my self-written custody agreement which was stapled to some official document my lawyer drew up, and he did so without any lecturing, but wanted to know if my stbexh's signature was "verified". Huh?? My attorney patiently explained that the court had done away with requiring notarized signatures awhile back, so he sighed and signed it...but yes I detected just a hint of paternalism with his asking if my h's signature (he had not bothered to show up...and had only responded to one out of 4 summonses...) was "verified".

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Rose1

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 04:24:33 AM »
DH's judge has a lot of negative stuff about her on the internet. She ordered a situation that was conflict of interest, told him he wasn't going to like her order but her hands were tied (judges can and do make rulings - in that state only a very few get the rough deal DH got), she ordered another situation that conflicted with local town rules, she swept identity theft and credit card fraud under the table because she wanted the case pushed through, she either didn't get or didn't care that the financial situation was going downhill monthly and that her orders meant DH couldn't care for his son of whom he had custody adequately. Most of this smelt like last month's fish.

My personal opinion (some weight here as I am an accountant and we are trained to look for fraud) is that there was a little scam going. The loser was the only one who was earning an income. She eventually said one thing that made sense - find another jurisdiction where the rules are different. I'm not sure she meant to say it. DH did that but was left penniless. It was almost like they were scared of his UPDex and as DH found later, it was against the law for a person with mental illness to not be represented by a GAL in that jurisdiction. This was confirmed for him from research and also legal people in his new State. It made the rulings in the previous state technically invalid. That might have been what they were scared of. But with a GAL the scheme they were maybe running (being careful here) would probably not have flown.

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kiwihelen

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 04:34:51 AM »
Don't start me on judges in the family court.
Unless we have an external review process established where judges are scrutinised for safety of decision making and compliance with statutory practices, we will never have a functional family court.
Our lawyer says that the family court has no expertise on psychological matters (he's also a clinical psychologist so I trust his judgement) but the judges feel that if you bring in experts you are trying to force a judgement particularly with older children
You can't win basically.

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thesanewife

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 04:00:19 PM »
Oh but come on ANL!  You hated each other enough to want a divorce, are probably divorced because you disagreed on nearly everything, so working out major disagreements should be simple, right?  Right?  I mean, duh!  Just get along!  For the kids' sake.

I LOATHE our court system.  It's so so very broken.  It will never be a fair and unbiased way of making decisions because every judge is not a robot.  No one person reasons like another person.  It's insane to think fair decisions can be made when the decisions are made by humans.  I almost wish it worked like a computer formula.  You enter X, Y, Z information and the computer spits out an answer.

Le sigh.   :no:

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hhaw

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Re: Why do judges do this? / Food for thought
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 06:05:09 PM »
The system is flawed bc humans are involved.

I've seen one Judge flirt with female witnesses, and laugh when it was probably not a good idea to laugh.   He was old, and ruled for me, but he was upsetting, and absolutely on the ball.  Dizzying really. 

I've seen 2 Judges do everything they could to harm my children, and/or see me die in prison.  They did that bc there were people pulling strings behind the scenes, my IL's had a Judge telling lies behind closed doors on their behalf, and they were all over everyone telling lies, and demanding their version of justice take place.  That conduct eventually backfired, but what a thing to have to SEE and face and fear when you don't know what the outcome will be. 

One Judge let the ADA get away with doing what he'd been accusing my attorney of doing.... and my attorney overtly followed every rule, and never stepped out of bounds. (In an odd twist of fate, that Judge ended up hiring my attorney to represent her when she was de throned, and thrown off the bench with criminal charges of her own to defend.) That Judge snapped my head off when I was accused of flashing pictures of my children in front of the Jury who came into the courtroom suddenly without announcement.  She allowed my FIL to engage in witness tampering in the hallway without even speaking to him about it.    She refused to allow an attorney to testify as a witness for me.  She had important information that would have helped me.... a witness that had no dog in the fight, btw.... The Judge found that attorney witness  "not credible."  She treated me and my attorney very badly, and baby talked the ADA giving him everythjing he asked for, then she smacked Ross Gardener around on the stand, and he's the most credible, upstanding, professional expert witness you'll ever see testify.   Ross didn't crack, and the Judge failed to throw him off his game even a little. 

She threw an 80yo woman out of the courtroom, on my side of course, for not turning off her cell phone, while allowing one Juror to sleep through half the trial without saying a word.  SNARKY b*tch to an 80yo woman... wth?  She let two people make out on the Prosecutions side of the gallery.  The list goes on, and my point is.... the ADA wanted me to die in prison bc it was good for his record.  That Judge wanted me to die in prison bc she was pro prosecution, and that's what she did as a matter of habit.  It wasn't personal.  Putting innocent people in prison is something that happens, and I see why now.  Sometimes it's a matter of poor representation, or a biased jury.... I know there were jurors on my first jury who lied to get on it, bc they admitted they were there to get justice for my abusive husband no matter what the evidence was.  That happens, and NO BODY CARES.  I'm positive that it happens all the time bc of bigoted jurors.... it's not fair, and it stinks. 

There was a Judge in another case who switched his position and allowed the pd's to go forward with a case they had no standing to even bring, after he'd been ruling property.  Someone got to him.  There was nothing to do about it but prepare for yet another trial, write response briefs to requests for reconsideration when the pd's lost and/or respond to appeals, which is the equivalent of preparing for yet another trial in itself, but limited to 30 pages, AND you have to include the Plaintiff's brief, or a large portion.

There was a Judge who did the right thing, got reversed on appeal, then handed the case off to a baby judge to avoid dealing with it when it had to go to trial.  That case went on and on and on and the GAL was paid 40K to get swayed by the PD's, and not even listen to my side of the case.  He didn't even want the facts.  THE GAL WAS PAID 40K!  For nothing.  The Judge ignored his opinion, bc it was worthless, and again.... outside the bounds of what the court should do according to the laws.  The pd's willing to lie, cheat, and manipulate court officers will always be in a position to threaten our mental health..... perhaps more than our position in a court case, IME.

There was the ONE Judge who about gave me a heart attack with her egregiously unprofessional choice of court appt psych who had zero experience in family court, and had never been an expert at trial EVER.  That Judge kept a strict poker face, almost, during the entire trial, which was killing me.  She undid the damage of the psych by ignoring her completely, and leaving out her entire testimony from her ruling, but...... I about lost my mind worrying about the psych who was doing everything she could to bury me in that courtroom.  I think she did it for money, and bc another Judge told her what to do...... that Judge happened to be representing my IL's i that County.  It was completely whack.

I know another Judge ruled hard against a litigant bc he'd spoken to other people about the litigants in a social situation that involved alcohol, and heard things that influenced him outside the courtroom.

Some Judges are ignorant, but that's OK if they can be educated by a good attorney as things go along.   I think some do the wrong thing out of insecurity, and some think they're doing the right thing, but are actually revictimizing and putting children/victims in harms way again and again.   It certainly was the case with my family.  There are a couple of posters on this board that come to mind..... their lives have been impacted negatively forever, and nothing can be done to undo what the court forced them to do.... typically make their children available to people who harmed, or killed them, bc they couldn't stand to lose, or they felt THAT was winning.

Judge's should be required to take psychology classes, and master basic information about toxic self destructive pd individuals..... Judges should be required to hold people who lie on the stand accountable, IME. 

I know it would be ever more overwhelming to hold liars accountable, but would they swing back the other direction IF THEY WERE LOOKING AT JAIL TIME100 hours of public service AND AUTOMATICALLY HAD TO PAY ALL COURT AND ATTORNEY FEES if they lose?

I think we could get a handle on our out of control justice system IF we required the losers to pay everyone's court fees.

hhaw
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt