Court Referee Is Acting Like A difficult child


New Member
Hi Family:

Thank you all for your circle of support. My dear friends all of us fighting this drug war......
The court here in Family Court most often assigns a referee to try to make a amicable solution possible for both parties. My lawyer explained this referee is pretty new, doesn't go by the current standards of what should be done and has given him a hard time in the past....OH JUST GREAT /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
Lawyer tells me we can "opt out" of this and go to a judge.
Referee fails to transfer us to another part, she sends us back to her on this Friday so that she can see if difficult child is able to get Legal Aid. Referee also calls judge for a TRIAL DATE?????? My lawyer was taken aback....told referee trial was could see they were having a battle of wills. Lawyer asked for another conference. Judge calls back says trial can be set 1/07 :wildone: /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
Lawyer is going to check out what the Heck is going on......He's never seen this before....she didn't even appoint a law guardian for baby J :wildone: /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/916thumbdowns.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
difficult child has thus far had 2 visits with baby....all supervised. I have to have her come here and have people here so she doesn't try anything according to my attorney. He says possession of the baby by me is important to win.
So, basically we got nothing accomplished.
A trial will cost alot of money we don't have.
This whole system is difficult child if you ask me.
I am disgusted by the whole thing.
I am going to bed......
I'm frustrated.

Melissa *


New Member
Ugh! How frustrating! I had a feeling that this would not go smoothly. Unfortunately, custody hearings rarely do. A trial? That's ridiculous. I can't imagine why a judge couldn't just rule on temporary custody with what your lawyer put forth and then have another hearing in a few months time to see how your difficult child is doing and if she is complying with what they feel she needs to do to get custody back.

Hang in there! I can imagine you are emotionally exhausted at this point.

Marcie Mac

Just Plain Ole Tired
Jeeze Melissa - I would be tired as well - how hard of a call can this be to make a decision for the time being to keep the baby safe under your wing??

What a farce the legal system is at times..



New Member
Yes, I am frustrated and mad. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
I know that this wasn't going to be easy but not expecting an incompetant referee /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/916thumbdowns.gif....Just my opinion.
difficult child was relieved that case adjourned till Friday, apparently she qualifies for legal aid and has representation already. That's fine, maybe it will help, but at this point I am sure it won't help me. :hammer:
I hate this tenuous game I have to keep playing with difficult child with no legal papers in my hand. My lawyer says that possession is 99% of this case. I have to maintain possession of Baby.
difficult child is also entitled to visit, which we gave her last Sunday in a house full of relatives and yesterday with my SO and my parents here.
This just plain Sux. I am going to talk to lawyers office today about all this. I am sure it can be fixed without a costly trial.....I hope it can :tears:
I also plan to talk to difficult child one more time and try to get her to understand all we want is temporary custody....we want her to get treatment....I'm sure it won't work. :hammer:
Meanwhile, yesterday baby J started his new trick..... He blows "raspberries" with his cute!!!!! It was also very apropo to the day.....if ya know what I mean.

Love to all. Waiting for Friday now. Please continue to pray, it's much appreciated.

Melissa :warrior:


Worlds Best Nana
Since the referee is newand inexperienced, I wouldn't hesitate to go over his head. Personally I think it would be better if you did it rather than your lawyer (more likely to get somewhere), but talk to your lawyer about how to present the facts so the incompetence is clear. Threaten to contact your Congressman if necessary...the referee is a public servant who is not serving anyone's best interest - least of all Baby J's.

Now I remember why I hate court so much. Too often whay happens there defies logic. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif

Hang in there...we're here rooting for you!



New Member
If she would just see that if she would get treatment for herself it would be the beginning of the battle and that you aren't doing this to hurt her, but to help her.

The court system sure does stink sometimes. You have to often wonder who's side they are really on????


Warrior Parent
Hit the nail directly on the head, Genny!

Now I remember why I hate court so much. Too often what happens there defies logic.

[/ QUOTE ]

Try to keep your sanity, Melissa. :warrior:

Continuing prayers for all of you. To Friday, "and beyond"! :grin:



Warrior Parent
On a Happier Note, I wanted to mention, Melissa, I LOVE the "raspberries" from Baby J!! :rofl:

(((Funny Hugs)))



One other thought... if all else fails, you won't have to pay for a trial if you call CPS and get them involved. Frankly, in addition to issuing a request for a law guardian which I would have assumed was step 1, all of these people are mandated reporters. At some point, when they hear enough, especially if she is preg again, they are mandated to call CPS. Even assuming you get 100% custody, they will take baby 2 from her in the hospital.


New Member
Hi Melissa,

It's been a very long time since I've posted so you're not familiar with my story. I'm a regular viewer and have followed your posts. So when I read this post I knew I had to respond. In my situation, my sister passed away and I sued my former brother-in-law and the State of NY for custody of their 3y.o. little boy. My brother in law had a 15 year criminal record for felonies, drugs, fraud and much more. Yet, CPS represented my brother in law and the State of NY in Family Court. Ultimately I won!

I understand what you're going through.The day I terminated parental rights (TRP) my lawyer also handed the judge adoption papers to sign. It was a sweet victory. I hope what I'm about to share with you will help you understand how this process works. Some things may be different but the process doesn’t change much. It was the most horrible experience of my life.

To begin, the referee is there to mediate between family members, to manage the case because there’s a great deal of violence in custody cases. They may work for Family Court or CPS. You should be able to find out who she works for by searching online.

The average custody case to TPR takes 7 years. I won my case in 2 years. In almost all cases, CPS will intervene on behalf of the child and parent. This is very normal and part of the ‘system’.

There are several types of custody cases. (1) Permanent “temporary” guardianship is when you become the guardian until the child is 18. Even though it’s permanent until age 18, it’s still considered temporary because if the parent straightens out then the case can be reopened years later. (2) Temporary guardianship is short term, typically 2 years. This is usually granted because the courts want to first try for family reunification. The parent is given 18-24 months to straighten out. During this time the parent must go through required State rehabilitation programs (this is free to the parent) and supervised visits. (3) Terminating parental rights (TPR) is full custody rights taken away from the parents. You can adopt the child if tpr is granted.

Going to court is not a trial because there are no jurors. The case is presented to the judge. If you’re granted any type of guardianship, be prepared. In almost all cases, the child is technically a ward of the State. It sounds terrible but it’s ok because the child is then given full health benefits paid by the State. This will continue until age 18 or adoption is granted. Each month you will receive an unannounced visit from CPS or the referee. In some cases, (such as mine), I had to get the court’s permission every time I took my son on a vacation. I had to provide telephone numbers and my whereabouts at all times because my brother in law convinced CPS that I wanted to kidnap my son and run. Great system, especially when this was coming from a known criminal.

Lastly, document, document, document!! This means write down everything that takes place on a daily basis, every call you make, logs of your daughter’s activities, drug use, phone calls, visits, doctor’s visits, pre-school, etc. Even takes pictures of the happy baby growing. Keep a running log. This may be the most important thing you do.

One other point, please don’t take offense, but be prepared if your daughter and her attorney get ugly and accuses you of being unstable because you take medication. This can happen if things get nasty. Keep yourself healthy. A judge is allowed to ask about your health.

Try and get yourself a good attorney who specializes in custody cases. Go online to the grandparent organizations. They represent Grandparents Rights. It’s very important to have an attorney. Good preparation is important.

I hope this information helps you. It was the most depressing and emotional time of my life, but I would do it all over again. My son’s diagnosis is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and ODD. Things at home are manageable. Today, he’s 13.5 and in 8th grade and very much a typical teen. He has reached many milestones. Several months ago, with a packed congregation he was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitvah and recently earned honor roll. There is hope.

If you want more info, feel free to ask away. Of course I’m not a lawyer, just a parent who understands what you’re going through. I'm here for support.


Me: - still going strong at 50.
husband: mid 50s.
difficult child: 13.5yo. We're very proud of him. His behavior is manageable. Typical teen stuff. diagnosis: Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), ODD. Recently made honor roll.