As we have reported before in past articles Family Court and its “actors” take a new meaning when it comes to violating their oaths of office and misuse of power. Several Family Court Judges feel they are empowered to ignore and violate the U.S. Constitution when it comes to cases before them.
A large number of Family Court Judges and Attorneys feel they have the power to prevent someone from talking about the proceedings of a hearing. This action clearly violates the 1st. Amendment (also known as Freedom of Speech), but it also violates several other aspects of the Constitution which allow people to openly criticize our government and public officials in their official capacity. There is a catch to this… You may not insight violence against these individuals.
The above being said, most individuals would understand not openly mentioning any children’s names when criticizing an official, to protect these children from any public prying. But that should be the end of these officials’ power. In a recent family court case a Family Court Judge Rosalyn Frierson-Smith from the 5th Circuit (Richland, Kershaw) in South Carolina wrote in her “Final Order” the following:
“The Defendant shall not post videos, texts, YouTube videos, Facebook posts or any form of social media, written or otherwise, regarding this litigation or the Plaintiff. The Defendant shall not communicate anything related to this litigation or the Plaintiff in any other format. The Defendant is strictly prohibited from sharing or communicating anything that can be construed as addressing this litigation or the Plaintiff. The Defendant shall not allow others to address any issue related to this litigation or the Plaintiff.”
Judge Frierson-Smith not unlike many of her colleagues seems to believe their power rises to the level of violating a person’s Civil Rights in these aspects. One reason why these Judges and Attorneys attempt to place these restrictions on litigants is to prevent their violations from becoming public knowledge. In recent years more and more Family Court Judges in South Carolina and in the United States have been exposed for their misuse of power and have begun being held accountable for their actions.
The judicial doctrine requires that any verdict that is contrary to the evidence must be set aside. In Family Courts across South Carolina and the nation, a different rule is used to determine the facts of a case. This rule is called “The Preponderance of the Evidence”, (Preponderance of the evidence is one type of evidentiary standard used in a burden of proof analysis. Under the preponderance standard, the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.). This rule allows Family Court Judges to bypass the actual facts of a case and go by their own opinion or the story that is told to them by the attorneys, thereby ignoring true facts that are presented in a case.
This rule sadly also allows for the fact that if an attorney is personal friends with the judge to simply side with that attorney. Granted litigants may appeal any final decision these Judges determine but at a high cost. This is perhaps noticeable more in family courts in South Carolina with attorneys who practice family law such as Sen. Luke Rankin, who brags that he has a 99% success rate in courts. Sen. Rankin also sits on the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, these are the individuals who pick the Judges for the state of South Carolina. Sen. Rankin is not the only attorney in the state that has come under heavy question when it comes to professional relations between attorneys and judges in the family court industry, within South Carolina. Judge Monet Pincus, has become famous for allegations made against her for her ignoring facts of a case or the law and simply going by her opinion or alleged friendships between her and attorneys.
It is also noteworthy to mention these same individuals are against what a large part of the United States and many South Carolinians are pushing for, “Family Court Reform” and “Shared Parenting”.
Other publications such as the Post and Courier have in the past run many articles pertaining to the many violations that these judges have been allowed to get away with, and the fact that there is no accountability for their actions within South Carolina.