Saturday, February 23, 2008

San Jose court looks for more lawyers

The San Jose paper continues to expose problems with juvenile dependency court:
The court search for a new provider began after the Mercury News asked detailed questions about the representation provided by the private firm, Santa Clara Juvenile Defenders. On Feb. 11, the newspaper published an extensive article detailing how parents who faced losing their children following allegations of child abuse or neglect were represented by attorneys with inadequate access to investigators, experts and other resources.
No, it wasn't that the attorneys had inadequate access. It was that they refused to contest false charges or appeal bad decisions.
Decisions made in Santa Clara County Juvenile Dependency Court - which now serves 2,500 children - determine whether children separated from their parents due to safety concerns will be raised in foster care or returned home to their families.
Serves children? That is a bit like saying San Quentin State Prison serves 5000 inmates. The children are prisoners in the system.
The newspaper series reported that former employees, appellate lawyers and clients described Juvenile Defenders as unwilling or unable to provide aggressive advocacy for parents fighting abuse allegations. The firm also suffers from high turnover and an ongoing reluctance to challenge trial court rulings in the higher courts.
Yes, that is what the paper showed.
John Nieman, a supervising attorney with Santa Clara Juvenile Defenders, did not return repeated messages, but he has told other attorneys he would head up a bid for services using the same attorneys now employed by Proctor.
So maybe the county will pretend to be doing something by awarding a new contract, but in reality it will be the same lawyers doing the same work.


optimist said...

Here's the latest argument for shared parenting. Be sure and read the last line of the story.

Anonymous said...

Angry Dad, you keep my desire to see the courts change very fresh.

I dedicated the majority of my latest post to you:

Family Courts Gone Wild

Still a dedicated reader...

George said...

Thanks for the comments.

The above news story says:

NEW CASSEL, N.Y. — A single mother who neighbors said was overwhelmed was accused of murder Sunday after police found her three small children dead in a bed, then tracked her down and arrested her.

Leatrice Brewer, 27, has been charged with multiple counts of murder, Nassau County police said.

"It was a disturbing scene," Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said. ...

Jewell's father, Ricky Ward, said that he had tried to get custody of her but that child welfare officials had rebuffed him. The father of the two boys said something similar.