I was supposed to have a child custody trial today, from 10:00 to 4:30. We did not get started until 1:45, and went only until 4:00.
At 1:45, I started to put my first witness on the stand, but my ex-wife made a serious of proposterous objections. She said that my witness should not be able to testify because he had been criticized by her witness. She said that he is not a psychologist, and therefore should not be allowed to have an opinion on child custody. She said she did not have adequate notice of the witness, even tho he had been on my witness list all along. She said that he did not follow the procedures that he would have had to follow if he had been a court-appointed evaluator. She complained that I used the internet to transmit some pre-trial documents. She complained that her witness proposed restricting my ability to make motions for custody and visitation, so I should not even have the hearing.
The amazing was that Judge Heather Morse was buying into her kooky objections! The judge ruled in favor of her a couple of times, and I had to spend about 30 minutes arguing with her and explaining the unfairness.
I had to explain that the rules on court-appointed child custody evaluators do not apply to other witnesses. I had to explain that I am entitled to a rebuttal witness under the statute. I had to explain that the current order was issued by juvenile delinquency commissioner without any input from my ex-wife or me, or any opportunity for a hearing. I had to explain that if I were limited to witnesses who had interviewed my ex-wife and the kids, then I would have no opportunity at all.
The judge had to concede some of these points, but kept going back to ridiculous arguments such as saying that my rebuttal witness could only go after my ex-wife's witness. I had to remind the judge that she was the one who required my witness to go first.
Eventually I did get my witness on the stand, but with a limited scope of testimony. I had no time for the other testimony that I planned.
This is not going well. The trial was supposed to finish on the 30th, but there is no way that we can get all our witnesses on that day. The judge said that the next open days are in March and April 2011.
The worst part was the judge's dogged determination to make up bogus excuses to reject my witnesses. That is a bad sign.
If there was a YELP site for Judges, perhaps you would have heeded those warnings....no good can come from this woman's incompetence.
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