Court Update

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by exhausted, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have not been around the last week or so. I have had so much going on and have been trying to get myself out of a "funk". My thoughts have been with you and I am sad to see some of the posts. Dear God, these kids are soooo hard!

    I have not had anxiety for quite sometime-it is back. I am worried sick. difficult children case is assigned back to our "favorite", ignorant juvenile judge. I know I talked a tough story the night it happened, but reality has set in.

    difficult child is loving her job at the Golden Arches (go figure) and they like her. She has full time hours and is crossed trained. She seems happy about that. She has begun talking about her future again. She gets to walk in the graduation line the end of May(if not jailed) Of course I know, this did not stop her from her impulsive act of driving her brother's car without a license and crashing it, all to see her friend for a short time and only about 1 mile away!!

    If the judge puts her in DT, she will loose her job, not pay her brother back, and we will be stuck with almost $1,000 a month in support to the state. This causes severe hardship for us. It means not one dime left over. Again our house will not get the repairs it needs(we are behind here because of the years of residential treatment) and I will be on the board asking for juju for my 12 year old car every day! I am so tired of having to skimp. The one nice thing about her being home is that we have been able to replace very old ruined furniture and have a few repairs made. She will not get hired back as she has to have a security clearance to work at the airport. Though it is not a felony at this time-he could raise it to that. He is just that hardline.

    Again I am being selfish-but I am tired of paying for her mistakes. She has never been hit in the pocketbook. Something tells me that would be worse than anything-court ordered restitution payments! Court ordered fines!

    In the other ear I hear "Let go and let God". What should I do and say at court? (She wants us to say nothing!) She will be 18 in September. What is the right thing?
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I don't have any advice. I hate to say - "let it go - it's outta your realm" - because truthfully, I am not someone who can let things go just because I can't do anything about them.

    I think I read this on a board here - could have been a magazine - could have been any number of websites -- I can't remember it well enough to do it justice - but the phrase was learned by the author while in therapy IIRC and reading it was one of those "ding ding ding" moments for me.

    "don't awfulise"

    In looking for my source (which I didn't find) I DID find this definition:

    It's a human tendency to fear the worst. It's a way we 'inoculate' ourselves against future disappointment. But most of the time, the worst doesn't happen. And should something bad come to pass, I must realize that I will be able to call on unexpected reserves of strength and resourcefulness when the time comes
    I must not let fear of the awful keep me from enjoying the awfully good.

    That said, it's a good thing I can't cross stitch - or my house would be full of pillows, framed stitchwork, etc with all of these cliches that sound the "ding ding ding" LOL

    Things are good now, and I know how we are always waiting for the next shoe to fall - but try to just go with the good for now. Just for now. And cross the other bridge when you get there. I know, I know - easier to type than to do. XXOO
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When does she go to court? Is it possible that her having a job will be helpful since she can pay back her debt if she keeps working?

    I don't have any answers but I want you to know that I am thinking about you and hoping for the best.

  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you Kathy and Sig. We don't have the date, just were told over the phone it was relocated to JJ court with our old judge. They thought it could be as long as the beginning of June. The wait is a killer!
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Gosh, I dont know. I can say my gut says (but probably not what my head is supposed to say) if it was me, I would want her to keep working, for her and for the lesson in paying back. I think actual jail time would be such a waste of tax payer money and a lost opportunity for them to teach her. maybe probation though??? would she lose her job if they did that? Just to keep her aware her actions have help move her to the next level??? I dont know her so maybe that wouldn't be of benefit.

    In any event, I am sorry you have to worry about this. I dont know how any of you do the "disengaging" thing...but I can see how it is so necessary to some degree. (heck I have even learned from you all....even in my situation, I have to let some of it go)....

    Let us know what happens...will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am sorry for your worry and your pain. You say your daughter doesn't want you to speak and you could abid by her wishes and let things go as they may. By doing that she cannot say that it was your fault when she doesn't like what the judge says. On the other hand you could ask to speak to the judge and give him an update on how well she is doing and ask for leniency so she can continue to work and graduate and help pay her bills and fines. It is a hard call & I have done both. All I can suggest is that you think about it and go with you gut. -RM
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry Exhausted. I do agree with Sig, try your best to not worry. Gee, I know how hard that is, but all those moments of your life will be taken out by your worry and the outcome will be whatever it will be whether you worry or not. I'd worried for so long about my difficult child and when I left for Kauai, I realized I could worry about her and ruin my stay in Paradise, or let go, because as others pointed out to me on this board, my difficult child will be homeless whether I leave or not. Whatever happens, your worry won't impact anything but the quality of your life for the next 2 months. Whatever happens, you will deal with it then. My prayers go out to you and your difficult child for the best possible outcome and a peaceful path getting there.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does she have a lawyer? If she does then the lawyer should advocate for her which takes you out of the mix. I second guess myself a lot these days so I don't even know if my response is right but since she is still a juvenile and it has been sent to juvenile court if she does not have an attorney they should ask for parental comments, at least the prosecutor should talk to you before you go into court. If it were me I would probably tell the court tht she has a job and that things seem to be going well now and you don't want her schooling to be disrupted and she has a job that she enjoys and is doing well at. At least the courts here take all that into account, our juvenile facilities are overcrowded and they don't want to add to that if the family seems to be able to handle it.

    I know this sounds as if I am advocating that you should not make her face the consequences but she is still a minor and this is the time when you want her to straighten out and not have something on her record that will follow her for a long time.

  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've been there done that and I understand your concern. Sadly our juvie court system is set up much like the adult court. Often there is no effort or time spent trying to encourage positive changes. Public Defenders are assigned and it is the luck of the draw whether you have one who listens or not. We have one Judge who eagerly labels juveniles as felons. Sigh.

    So...after all that whine, lol...what would I do if I were you? I would keep a personal journal of difficult children daily choices and behaviors "worked 5-9" "did home dishes" "maintained curfew"...whatever. I would do that until notification of further Court action arrived in the mail. THEN I would write a summary of difficult child's activities and progress to share with the Attorney. Often the PD and the PA meet and decide what they believe the Court should do. This information is shared with the accused. If your daughter is 18 she can insist that only she be consulted. Sigh.

    I'm sorry you are in this position. It is hard not to get psyched out about it. I'm sending hugs and hopes you can detach and enjoy the good things that are happening now. DDD
  10. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thanks Nancy. I don't want her to have felonies on her record, yet what she did was horrible and I am so releaved noone else was hurt. I don't know that we can handle her at all. She still goes off to an older girl's house and stays overnight. This girl is in communty college-but doesn't work and yet has her own apartment behind her mom's house. difficult child TELLS us she is going, doesn't ask. We have decided not to fight it because she will do it at all costs. The way we got to this judge to begin with was trying to block her from leaving and she pushed and kicked us to get through the door. We still struggle to get her to do things at home. She can be mouthy and defiant. She has her GED and because she got it before her graduation date, which would be next year-they will have her walk with the kids at the Alt. high school-so school would not be interupted.

    Last night she got paid and stayed with this girl. She was supposed to work this morning but she could not find her security badge (surprize) and had to call her boss. I don't know what ended up happening. I was so stinkin mad! I think she had no intention of working today and wanted to party last night. I hope she doesn't continue doing this stuff, because without a job, she will go to DT.

    As many of us have said-things go along great for awhile and then something happens that is stressful, like having your case sent to the JJS judge you detest, and difficult children melt down. They do everything not to face reality. Meanwhile we worry (I'm trying to let go honestly), loose sleep, etc. I tried to get her to just talk with me about it and try to get to a place of calm but she won't. She just said I don't want you and dad to talk, you'll make it worse.

    Yes the judge will ask us to speak. He interupts us and tells us there is little hope, says her behavior has nothing to do with her mental issues and so on. He's a bully. I hate dealing with him as do most f the people who deal with him. He makes me feel like a horrible mom. I have always had an advocate with me from NAMI and she just literally holds my hand. She has stopped trying to educate him. She has been in his court 100s of times and he calls her "NAMI", not by her name, jerk! As I have said before, even the workers in his court room are affraid of him. Last time our lawyer and bailiff warned us he was in a bad mood and to be careful. That is when he released her, denied all the requests for further treatment and said, "Good luck, she all yours !"

    She will have a public defender, we will not spend a dime on a lawyer-that really backfired last time. He even said," Here you have spent money to defend her", and called it enabling. The one assigned to his court room is ok-but he too has said this judge is unpredictable.

    Honestly, I am scared and I just hate the way he makes me feel. We have done everything our professionals have told us to do. I can't tell you the books and websites I have read. The hours of counseling and support meetings to learn all I can. I don't know any other families, besides you guys on this board, that have gone to the length we have to try and be the best parent we could to these kids.
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand. Then I think you have to let the chips fall where they may. Her court appointed lawyer is her advocate. This judge is going to do what he wants anyway, sounds like so many we have around here. They are impressed with their power and could care less about the person.

    I understand your worry and loss of sleep. I have not slept for two nights and when I do fall asleep I wake in a panic. Funny I am worrying about her being jobless but she isn't. That just shows you their warped thought processes.

    I know you have done everything in your power to help her. It's so much more discouraging because those of us here have all done everything humanly possible for our difficult child's and nothing has worked for very long. It isn't fair that this should be our life when we have done nothing wrong.

  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm "fairly" smart and I just can not understand how such destructive and incompetent Judges manage to remain on the bench. There is such a disconnect between the Judiciary and the real world. To me their presence/actions should be adjudicated as felony crimes against citizens. DDD
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD it's because the general population doesn't know which judges to vote for in the elections and so it goes on last name or who is in office. Two months ago a lawyer who has been a juvenile magistrate for 30 years ran for juvenile court to replace a judge that has been awful. In one case she released a juvenile offender against the advice of his probation officer and he shot and killed another young man upon release. In another case he required victms of a sexual assault to undergo polygraph tests and onle reversed herself after a barrage of complaints. She was not endorsed by any of the legl communities or the newspaper and her opponent was given the highest recommendation. He lost the election because she was the incumbent and people don't take the time to educate themselves about the candidate. He was an excellent candidate and would have made a wonderful juvenile court judge.

    In the case of federally elected judges, well you know what happens there. We need a better way to elect judges.

  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Nancy, at one time the local attorneys took a poll and the results were published showing their recommendations. To the best of my knowledge that no longer is true. I could be wrong but I don't recall that juvie judges were included in that polling. I do know that husband and I always vote. There is a wonderful caring former juvie Judge who was often on the bench when I did my GAL work. I have never, ever, had a ballot that included his name. So I am wondering if all areas select the Judiciary in the same way. I do know that on State ballots there are Judges listed and the major newspapers recommend retain or not.

    The other important factor is how the public learns who is "good" and who is "bad". Most people, like we all used to be sigh, have no interaction with the Court system and just assume "they take care of the bad guys". If you don't have a difficult child you have no idea how the system works. If you do have a difficult child it's not likely you're going to criticize the system or publicize that your family is involved. DDD
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Exactly. That's why judges, especially juvenile court judges, should not be elected. in my humble opinion they should be appointed by a non-partisan body made up of lawyers, law professors, child advocates, prosecutors, local board of attorneys. and probably more that I just can't think of right now. This board should be responsible for vetting the prospective judges and evaluating their performance.

  16. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I vote and I don't recall ever seeing JJS judges on the ballot here. I do know there is a judiciary review. I was encouraged by the Alternative school to tell them my story. They have been trying to get this guy off the bench because of the stuff he has done to so many of their kids. I haven't because I feared we would be back in his court-here we are. Can you imagine what would happen if I had told the review my story! Lord help us then!!
  17. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Exhausted: I'm sorry that you have to worry about this horrible judge and the court case with your difficult child. I have been in court with my difficult child, and a courtroom can be intimidating even with a good judge. Is there any way that you can contact the public defender before the court date to ask him about your daughter's case? I know that personally I would want to talk to the judge to give your honest opinion of your difficult child. No one knows your daughter's behavior and problems better than you and your h, and I really hope that this idiot judge will listen to you. Please keep posting here, because you have friends on this board. HUGS...
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think we vote for Department of Juvenile Justice judges here either but we do vote for adult judges. And boy do I know which ones of those are good, bad or indifferent. We also vote for Sheriff and I can tell you about that too. One of our sheriff's was a good ole boy who was in cahoots with drug dealers, gangs and lord knows who else and he ended up finally getting indicted several years ago but it was a joke. He got less time than some of his employees that got caught up in the whole mess just because they did what he told them to do. IE, he told them to go cut his grass at his house or go wash his car and they got in trouble for abusing public property and time. Some of them got 5 years in prison. He got 3 even though he stole drugs from the evidence locker at the police station, would arrest drug dealers and take their drugs then turn them loose. He was also caught in his house with over a million dollars in cash in his freezer. your situation...Have you considered asking her lawyer to try to get the trial changed to another judge because he has "bias" against her. Do you guys live in a small town? Could you did a little and find out if somehow one of your relatives is related to one of his...or pray tell dating one of his or works in his court staff? All you need is someone related somehow to either you or your attorney or their offices...and you can get him to be recused from the case.
  19. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    We live in a large city out west. There is little chance there is any relation, he is of hispanic decent and local. We are not from here origionally. I don't know that he is crooked, he has beliefs that are not a good fit for helping kids. Most of the kids that he sees have trauma issues and emotional problems (that is true in all JJS courts). He believes in hardline sentencing. In this state he often sends kids to secure care even until age 21. Within 6 months they have a board that reviews each case. Many of these are kids are sent home, to treatment or elsewhere because they have not done the kinds of crimes to keep them locked in secure care. Our lawyer last Aug. (who use to be the public defender in this court room) said it was his standard sentence for girls especially.

    OUr daughter, having had 9 months at the one and only treatment center for girls that deals with mental health, and then almost completing suicide because of their poor management (state investigator found that and cited them), has little options. Frankly, I don't want her in any of their places. They are poorly run and the kids spend the magority of the time with minimally trained and badly paid paraprofessionals. I don't know what the answer is. She needs a consequence but jailing her will cost us money and my son will not get his money back. I don't think it helps in the long run as there is no treatment or positive influencence. Having her pay stiff penalties as she has a job would be better for us. The question is will she learn? It's always 2 steps forward and 5 back with her. She is better in some ways and worse in others. The issue of marijuana is very small as she seldom does it now that she is working. As for the sex compulsion (or addiction, noone is sure) who knows? Her behavior is so much like the other difficult children on this forum. I have to believe that the mental illness drives everything with these kids.
  20. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am so sorry it seems so bleak. I have a tiny idea - perhaps your son could contact a victim's advocate group? After all, he is the real victim here...and often judges allow a victim's impact statement to be entered. If he is so inclined- perhaps he could state that her keeping her job is the BEST way to restore him? I don't know...just grasping at straws.