Monday, February 06, 2006

Yana, BIOTC, and move-aways

Here is another excerpt from Brown v Yana, mentioned below. The father (Yana) tried to comply with silly California precedents requiring him to show that the move-away would be detrimental. The California supreme court said:
Yana merely offered to produce "a lot of evidence about Las Vegas, Nevada, such as the high student-to-teacher ratio; the fact that the state of Nevada has one of the highest dropout rates in junior high and high school of any state in the nation; the amount of crime over there; the volume of people moving in and out of the community of Las Vegas, Nevada, and what the transient effect has upon people in that community." Like the trial court, we conclude this was insufficient to justify an evidentiary hearing given the record as a whole. ... such evidence did not suggest that Cameron could not or would not thrive in the new location with his mother, stepfather, and two half siblings.
One would think that there would be some obvious detriment to separating a boy from his father and his friends. The court doesn't accept that, so Yana tried to give objective measures. The court didn't accept that either. The court said:
The trial court enjoys "wide discretion" ... That is, a reviewing court generally will leave it to the trial court to assess the detrimental impact of a proposed move in light of other relevant factors in determining what is in the best interest of the child. [emphasis added]
As usual, the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTC) is just a smokescreen. The court keeps saying that it is the deciding factor, but whenever BIOTC evidence is presented, the court just refuses to look at it. The court shuts the father out of the child's life altogether, and does not do any BIOTC analysis at all.

This case did have a happy ending, and the boy is now living with his father. I wonder what the Supreme court judges will think when they read about their decision in the newspaper. They will learn that the father had a rock-solid case, that the court was cruel and idiotic, that they have set a dangerous precedent, and that the boy had to take matters into his own hands in order to undo the damage that the court had done.

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