Update on difficult child's court

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It didn't go well... in spite of the policeman from school showing up to testify FOR difficult child and offering to transport him to school each day this summer so he could do community service at school- which the principal had already agreed to- and in spite of the fact that the PO just asked for weekend detentions through the summer and the prosecuting attny only seemed to care that difficult child not have his case dismissed, but didn't push any specific punishment-
    the judge said she was almost about to commit difficult child to state dept. of corrections and put that on a suspension until he is 21, then ordered Post-D which is a 4-6 mo program, apparently, but has a waiting list of at least 2 mos so he is currently held in detention waiting on that, and she said after Post-D, he would go back on probation. There is a court date set for 30 days as a mandatory review (????) but that is a concern too because she didn't list any ruling for a couple of charges that were held over from last year, nor did she note them as being continued.

    Bad or good- we found out after court that he doesn't qualify for Post-D because he isn't 14yo yet and that is supposed to be a program for kids who have already had detention or some other punishment ordered, which he never has. The attny tried to put in an appeal, but they wouldn't accept it, saying that the case wasn't closed yet. He is worried about how to proceed since the judge might go ahead and turn difficult child over to the state. Then, I found out that someone was sending the Post-D supervisor to talk with difficult child to TRY to get him qualified for the program. It is not a place I want him and it seems they should be deciding something like that after talking to other people (GAL, me, PO, defense attny)- not just a 13 yo difficult child. But, last year the judge gave difficult child 5 mos detention and suspended it. She could possibly hold him in detention on that until he turns 14 yo (which would be a little longer than 5 mos), then send him to Post-D, then he would be held for over a year total.

    The only good thing- she is letting me check him out to go to psychiatrist and therapist appts.- at least right now.

    My computer is out at home- it's in the shop and apparently needs a new hard drive. I went someplace today to get online and stop in here and say "hello" and post this update. I guess it will be next week before I'm back on.

    Please know in the mean time that I really appreciate everyone's help this past year. The knowledge and support offered here has been our best advice and strength. Thank you all so much!!
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I got that sinking feeling in my stomach when I read this.

    Perhaps the Post-D supervisor will tell the judge difficult child isn't appropriate for the program. Something like that happened to us when the school district was trying to force my son into an alternative program (not the same thing, I know). The head of the program was at the hearing and said flatly that my son was not a good candidate for the program and that the other students would "chew him up and spit him out". She further advised me -- in front of those trying to place him there -- if the placement was made despite her recommendation, I should not ever let him ride the bus but rather pick him up and drop him off every day. The placement wasn't made.

    Maybe you'll be that lucky.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    My stomach just dropped as well. I'm so sorry. I will the justice department understood mental illness---but they don't. Maybe NAMI should work on having it made mandatory that all judges attended classes on mental illness and substance abuse. That will be the only way they will ever understand---short of living with a difficult child.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Glad that you were able to write us. I'm not sure I understood all of that, though! It sounds all messed up! Maybe that's because it is all messed up? sigh....
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    klmno - my gosh - I don't understand any of this at all. I don't understand the judge's thinking. I would think it's obvious he would get more help at home than in the system. And I really don't understand how he can be sent to a program he doesn't qualify for and yet attorney can't appeal??? It just baffles me.

    Hon, you're in my thoughts, as is difficult child. I sure hope that someone gets a clue - I know that when they do, it will be because of your advocacy. You take care of yourself, OK? Keep us updated as you can.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    klmno, I'm really sorry. It sure sounds as if the judge doesn't understand what's going on with difficult child at all. Have you thought about talking to someone at your local NAMI chapter or Legal Aid or someone who could advise you about getting difficult child out of this mess? This situation just seems so wrong for a 13-year-old with a mental illness.

    Like everyone else here, I am sending positive thoughts and gentle hugs your way.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Computer is back home and working! YIPEE!!

    I've tried to find out a little more about that program. It seems that they can put together a transition plan (of requirements for difficult child and me) that have to be monitored and met- these would probably be mental health related but focusing on ODD, not BiPolar (BP) or mood cycling or underlying issues. That concerns me. We tried that route before in therapy and it was a disaster.

    And, according to my very brief review of family law for VA during lunchtime today, it appears that it is the law that a kid can't be sent there unless they are 14- we're still looking at it though. The attny says it would be much better than being turned over to state corrections because that is much more violent. I still think it might possibly be the only way to get difficult child out from under this judge's hold. He got arrested in Mar. of 2007 and she has held him (and thus me) under her control since but still claims that she hasn't issued her punishment yet, so therefore this is not appealable, and she said in court that this case is no where close to being closed. Isn't there a time limit on this?

    I have calls in to NAMI. Hopefully, it won't take a long time to hear back from them.
  8. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Did you do something to tic this judge off? There is a right to speedy trial and having the "sentence" going on past a year? Would ask the attorney about the timing on this......Can't believe they would drag this out for over a year, were there delays on anyone's part? I guess your state could be totallly different from here and juvie is sometimes a whole new ballgame. This is why it is so important to have an attorney who knows the system and has been through it many times......Hoping for the best for your difficult child........
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He had to wait for 3 mos last year to go to trial- 2+ mos on house arrest on a monitor and almost 1 mo in detention, which he has gotten NO "credit for time served". The at last year's trial, she put him on probation for 1 year and deferred the case to this year.

    Oh- I am definitely making a list of things I run across to ask the attny about. One is that I just read, if I interpret correctly but I am no lawyer- that in order to be turned over to state dept., it has to be a serious offense that occurred within the previous year. Oops- if that is true- she has waited too long for that. And, she put him on a suspended sentence of being turned over to the state until he's 21- suspended until he's 21. I think that is a little harsh. The attny said that would mean if he had ANY offense, probation violation, etc., until he's 21, he would automatically go.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think maybe the ACLU could help, because CLEARLY his civil liberties (and yours) are being violated. Is this judge high, cruel, stupid or mentally ill? Maybe a combination?? soundslike the judge is really really messed up.

    I hope and pray that this is changed soon. Please keep detailed records of everything, including getting court transcripts. Sometimes they can help.

    I am so so so sorry. Sending hugs to you and to difficult child.

  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry things didn't go well in court. Hugs.