Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's status conference in court

I just wasted another morning in the courtroom of Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph.

This time we were in Watsonville. They moved the family court to Watsonville. I don't know why. Maybe it was for the convenience of the interpreters for the spanish-speaking Watsonville residents.

The first case was a couple that appeared to have been married a long time. He had an after-tax income of $9k per month, and was paying $6k per month in alimony. She did not work. They had a million dollar house, but they could not find a buyer. They were represented by lawyers, but they seemed incompetent. They told contradictory stories about several monetary matters. Finally Comm. Joseph swore the husband and wife in, and it looked like he was going to resolve the contradiction. But he failed to ask the wife the pertinent question, and Comm. Joseph couldn't figure out what to do. At one point, Comm. Joseph seemed confused about how income tax withholding works. He never did figure out what to do, and told the lawyers to work it out among themselves.

The next case was a Mexican dad and a black mom. The dad had lost all custody and visitation because he had flunked an alcohol test. The mom gave him a surprise test one evening. He had a lame story about how he had just used mouthwash. She said that she videotaped it, but thought that he had eaten ice cream, not used mouthwash. He asked Comm. Joseph to at least tell the mom to take the boy to school. Then the mom went into a rant about how the dad's father (ie, the boy's grandfather) volunteers at the school, and she thinks that he could say things to the teacher without her knowing about it. So she has only taken the boy to school one or two days in the last month.

Even Comm. Joseph was appalled that the mom would keep the boy out of school for such a paranoid and vindictive reason. He told her to take the kid to school. But he let her continue to have sole custody, and only let the dad talk to his boy on the phone.

Then my case was called. Comm. Joseph announced that a recent court case just decided that blogs were legal. The case is Evans v Evans. I guess he just learned about free speech.

Julie asked for a trial on her community property claim, and Comm. Joseph set a Sept. 15 court date. She reserved a date for next month on another monetary matter, but she did not mention it in court. Since I don't have any papers on that yet, I suspect that she will delay it.

Comm. Joseph asked about the psychological evaluation, and I explained again how it was impossible for anyone to carry out his order. He asked if I knew what a psychological evaluation was. I explained that we already had two such court-ordered evaluations already, including one that Comm. Joseph ordered himself. Comm. Joseph said that he thought that we saw those psychologists on our own. I said that the evaluation has no explained purpose, and he said that the purpose was to give a recommendation. Then he claimed to be able to deduce from the expressions on the faces of the lawyers in the courtroom that we should be able to find a psychologist to do an evaluation.

Afterwards, Julie told me that Comm. Joseph had finally signed the written order for his Jan. 11 oral order and had sent her a copy, but had not sent me a copy.

The children's lawyer, Jim Ritchey, was present in court for another case. He did not appear in behalf of the kids today. He talked to us briefly in front of the court building afterwords, but obviously had not followed the case.

It has now been over six months since my kids were seized, and there is no likelihood of me seeing them anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

I think you meant to say:
It has NOW been over six months since my kids were seized..."

Anonymous said...

I really sympathise with you. I went through the system myself and I know exactly what you are going through.
I realised earlier on how flawed the system was.The best way to approach the matter is to look at the worst case scenario and see if you can live with it.
Divorce boils down to money and children. Custody is nonsense if your wife has the best interest of the kids at heart.Once you have visitation everything is alright, Children are not stupid and they will figure out things once they get older.
The lawyer is not your friend so be careful what you tell him or her.Lawyer management is crucial.
I fired three lawyers to get what I
I still owe them $45,000 dollars which they have no chance in hell of collecting.I dared them to send me a final bill to justify the representation they offered and it has been a year since I finalised my divorce and I am yet to hear a squeak from them.
The judge I had was totally useless and even forgot to include childcare expenses in his final ruling.He is still on the bench when he should be in a nursing home.
End this as soon as possible.

George said...

Yes, lawyer management is crucial. I represent myself in court.

Chuck, thanks for pointing out the typo.