One of the most secretive court systems in South Carolina and in America today is the Family Courts. Parents who are brought to this court are told not to discuss any going on’s or aspects of proceedings under threat.
Many of the parents who have openly spoken out about the Family Court system have been repeatedly incarcerated and some have even lost custody or visitation of their children for no reason except having spoken out against the Family Court system and its Judges and Lawyers.
For those parents who have experienced the horror of Family Court the first thing they realize is that the Judges and Lawyers who practice in this system control every aspect of your life and the lives of your children.
One of the major Constitutional protections we have as citizens is to criticize our government and our judicial officials. But in the Family Court Industry, this protection does not exist. Parents across this state and the U.S. have paid a heavy price for speaking out against the unjust practices that take place in many of these secret courtrooms. In these courtrooms, the Judges have absolute power.
Here in South Carolina Family Courts are suppose to do all they can to keep families together (excluding abuse and neglect cases), but their actions prove the exact opposite. We have to remember that Family Courts are a Court of equity, which means their sole purpose is to divide the property of a couple. For this sole purpose, children are categorized as property of the parents that must be divided.
Here are some cases that show just how Judges retaliate:
In a case involving Matt Younginer, a family court judge, Monet Pincus, sent his two young children to the state of Montana to undergo a questionable treatment called “Parental Re-unification Treatment”. Mr. Younginer had custody of his children, but because Mr. Younginer began speaking out about the going on in her courtroom this Judge chose to use her powers to punish Mr. Younginer by removing his children and forcing him to seek an appeal to regain custody which he won. Overturning the ruling of Judge Pincus.
In another case, this same judge ignored the fact that a stay at home father, who had been accused of physical abuse was found not guilty by a General Sessions Court and still granted the divorce under the same allegations and gave custody of the two young children (who repeatedly stated they wanted to stay with their father) to the mother. Once the father began speaking out against this judge and the family court industry, his visitation was taken away. The father was repeatedly incarcerated and then held in contempt for not being able to pay child support, after the fact that this Judge left him destitute. He was ordered to pay even though his wife earned $170,000 a year and he had been the primary caretaker of the children. He was left destitute and without any means of support. His oldest son was diagnosed with separation anxiety, due to no contact with his father.
Judge Monet Pincus is not the only Family Court Judge who retaliates against parents who speak out by no means. Across this state, we have been contacted by many parents all with horror stories of retaliation for speaking out.
In many cases where parents speak out of the injustice, these Judges use what they call “Judicial Discretion” to justify their actions against these same parents for criticizing them. This means they can order what they wish no matter the law and can not be held accountable.
It is common knowledge that if one speaks out against the family court industry or its actors then one will face a heavy price.
The loss of your children.
Several individuals who have endured the retaliation have taken up the fight to prevent any more children from losing a loved parent. These parents have begun a push on legislators to change the family courts here in South Carolina and in the U.S..
Several parents have begun demanding Shared Parenting or Equal Custody to protect their children’s rights to both parents. While others seek to remove the almighty power these Judges wield by demanding Jury Trials in Family Courts. Many parents and adult children state it is time to change this horrific system of law and to put families first. In many of the family courtrooms, there are no cameras placed that could show the actions of these questionable rulings.
It is sad to say that many parents and children have lost their lives due to this court system. Parents and children have committed suicide or have been killed, such as John Mast who was gunned down by his father-in-law for speaking out on his parental alienation.
Here in South Carolina a Family Court Judges earn an average of $183,838 a year, despite being considered the lowest court in the judiciary system. This is merely a $28,322 difference from the state’s Supreme Court Justice who earns $212,160. There are a total of 61 Family Court Judges in South Carolina bringing the total budget for these judges to $11,214,120. It’s easy to see why these Judges want their actions hidden from public scrutiny.
Throughout the State of South Carolina, many parents have felt the hand of retaliation from Family Court Judges simply for speaking out or demanding change in the system. What makes this worse are the children in these cases are used as pawns and leverage, causing sometimes severe issues for these children as they grow older. Children in the Family Court Industry have no rights under the law and are merely considered property of the parents.
These questionable Judges are protected by a hand full of Attorney/Legislators who have taken the role of Gate Keepers of the bench. Many of these Attorney/Legislators ignore complaints filed by parents or even grandparents and then inform the Judges of these complaining individuals.
The thousands of parents who have filed complaints against family court judges to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel have all received the same form letter back. Stating that their complaint does not meet any ethical violations or the factual proof they submitted was not enough to show any violations. The Post and Courier posted an article on their investigation to the lack of disciplinary actions taken against judges and has continued to show the corruption in the judicial system.
The lack of public transparency in the system to hold Judges accountable is evident when complainants receive no information as to what sort of investigation was done (if any). Nor is the general public made aware of any complaints pertaining to a judge. As public officials complaints and wrongdoings should be made available to the public that they serve.
The South Carolina Judicial Merit Selection Commission prides itself on the fact that within 2 decades no judge has been disciplined, which is a boast no other state can claim. This boast comes on the back of secrecy also that no other state can claim.
Should complaints on South Carolina Judges be made public?
Should the Office of Disciplinary Counsel give a detailed report of their investigation to the complainants?
Many feel that complaints on public officials including judges should be made open to the general public. This way the general public has a sense of who is doing their job correctly and maintaining the publics’ best interest.
Categories: Family Court