Law School Discussion

Can a Judge actually do this?

Can a Judge actually do this?
« on: July 09, 2015, 04:46:49 PM »
https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/kids-locked-up-for-refusing-to-have-lunch-with-dad-123579270182.html

I thought that the max you could give for "contempt of court" was 6 months. This is clearly FAR beyond that.

Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 08:07:01 AM »
Unless the jurisdiction has a rule, probably not.

loki13

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Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 08:25:17 AM »
Different jurisdictions have slightly different rules for contempt. First, as a general proposition, there are differences between direct and indirect contempt (behavior in the courtroom or otherwise directly "in front of" the judge, and behavior that would require an evidentiary hearing). Then there's the difference between criminal and civil contempt.

Also, there's often the concept that the contumacious party has the "keys to the jailhouse" for certain types of contempt- that they can purge the contempt provision by simply performing as the court requires. This is where things can get a little tricky re: time limits and due process. In a famous example, there was a man held for over 14 years in a divorce proceeding because, despite being a millionaire, he claimed that he had no assets.

Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 10:40:40 AM »
Valid point I actually remember that and a few other examples in law school.

If someone deliberately refuses to comply with a court order there is technically no end to the crime.

If I remember  right distinction between Criminal and Civil contempt from remedies. http://www.gregoryforman.com/faqs/what-is-the-difference-between-civil-contempt-and-criminal-contempt/

If I remember correctly if you are in civil contempt you are continually violating the law until you comply. Criminal contempt has a term attached to it.

Civil contempt is to order compliance it is something you can comply with/Criminal contempt is to punish you can't undo it.

The millionaire example is civil contempt  he probably needed to pay child support and he clearly had the assets, but refused to comply.

As for the story like anything from Yahoo News I question the facts. Judge's do crazy things, but I find it hard to believe jail for not having lunch there is likely something more, but technically a Judge can order contempt for anything.

However, the medias focus is to get attention not necessarily report the news accurately. Children sent to jail for not having lunch with their dad is a good headline, but I suspect there is more to it.

Reading between the lines I am guessing the judge thought the Mother was manipulating the children and lying to them about their father, which routinely happens in Family court. The Judge then wanted the Kids to at least give the Father a chance by ordering them to have lunch and talk to him. Probably a bit activist on his part and not the most appropriate use of his power, but I am guessing it was a scare tactic and the kids were probably let out seconds earlier.

However, County Court's are not very formal and I have seen all kinds of crazy scenarios so the Judge could just be a nut.
 


Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 12:46:16 PM »
The article said UNTIL AGE 18 in it...........there is more to the article than the header. Albeit more to it most likely but its a bit lazy to just brush it off too. It still smells foul. Judges do stuff all the time that isn't right too, the news is full of example of judges getting fired, being forced to quit, going to jail, being disbarred, all that jazz.

What was the guys name who got 14 years? I'd love to google it and read more on it is why I ask.

loki13

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Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2015, 12:53:00 PM »
Guy who got 14 years was Beatty Chadwick.

WRT the yahoo article, first, never, ever, ever trust news reports of trial court proceedings.

That said, while I certainly don't approve of the judicial action, without learning more, you can read between the lines on this one- a "high conflict" divorce for over 5 years- this is going to your alienation-case. I am surprised that it isn't (one of the) parents going to jail. Maybe a misguided attempt to get them to pay attention? I don't know.

But this, right here, is why I would never practice family law.

Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2015, 01:06:05 PM »
I have some experience with family court, and can tell you that there is rarely a good and a bad guy. The reason that these situation end up in need of adjudication in the first place is because the parties are incapable of coming to reasonable terms.

It could be that the mother is manipulating the children by poisoning their minds against the father, and it could also be true that the father doesn't care about the kids beyond their utility as a way to pester the mother. Who knows.

However, I have never, EVER even heard of a judge sending a nine year old to detention because they refuse to comply with court ordered visitation. Even if the kids are being unreasonable and are being manipulated, this is a crap way of handling it. 

Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 01:45:56 PM »
BTW, as a father I would have gotten on my knees and begged the judge to NOT send my kids to juvenile detention. In fact, I would voluntarily relinquish my claim if it could only be supported by sending my kids to a system well known to be rife with abuse and corruption.

Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 08:07:43 PM »
Maintain..........Agreed 100%. I was thinking the same thing IMHO.

As for the guys name given (to those too lazy to google like I did)H. Beatty Chadwick (b. 1936) is the American record holder for the longest time being held in civil contempt of court.[1] In 1995, a judge ruled that Chadwick hid millions of U.S. dollars in overseas bank accounts so that he would not have to pay the sums to his ex-wife during their divorce.[2] He was incarcerated until such time as he could present $2.5 million to the Delaware County Court. Chadwick maintains that the money was lost in a business transaction and therefore he cannot surrender money he does not possess.

On July 10, 2009, Chadwick was ordered released from prison by Delaware County Judge Joseph Cronin, who determined his continued incarceration had lost its coercive effect and would not result in him surrendering the money.


-F'NBadAss. No other words can describe that level of testicual fortitude properly. F'NBadAss. Good for him. I don't even care if it was unethical and illegal. At a certain point you just have to respect the guy.



Re: Can a Judge actually do this?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2015, 01:37:36 PM »
So I went further and looked for H. Beatty Chadwick  in http://www.californiacriminalrecords.org and OH... what a tremendous
background did I find...

Maintain..........Agreed 100%. I was thinking the same thing IMHO.

As for the guys name given (to those too lazy to google like I did)H. Beatty Chadwick (b. 1936) is the American record holder for the longest time being held in civil contempt of court...-