difficult child's letter to the judge

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child gave me four draft letters he has written to the judge. They all say about the same.

    "Even though the house looked abandoned, I shouldn't have gone in there. Even though a book of matches aren't worth much, they weren't mine to take. Even though I was just messing around with the matches and stomped on them and thought the fire was out, it wasn't out and I realize now that someone could have gotten hurt. I SWEAR I have learned my lesson and will never do it again. I want to go back to my school this fall. Please consider just giving me another 30 days and letting it all be over or give me house arrest and another year on probation. Thank you for considering this."

    I feel his pain- he's about the youngest- if not the only one under 14- in there and he's sitting there shaking and biting his nails to the quick and doesn't have a clue what to expect. I feel it , too. But, really, I'm afraid the judge will jump on this like flies on-(you know what), if he presents that letter in court, don't you think? I don't have the heart to tell him that.

  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Frankly, I don't know what more anyone would expect from a 13 year old but I'm sure this judge has her ideas. It really sounds like she has an ax to grind.
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Sorry, I am feeling brain dead at the moment. I looked back through your posts and see where the judge put him back in juvy - but it does not add up to now. Wasn't this episode a year ago or more? Why did they revoke his probation?

    The letter sounds as good as it can get. He is a child!

  4. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Prayers, so young to be there, his letter seems sincere for his age. It really all depends on the judge. Are you using an attorney or public defender.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, he was put on probation a year ago, with charges from last year deferred until this year. Then, he did 2 dumb things with a friend this year. Both illegal, misdemeanors. One, unlawful entry into a yard shed, and another was tearing up the school issued laptop. So, the judge locked him up with a sentence that she can't stick to because the kid has to be at least 14 yo to do what she initially sentenced 2 weeks ago. We go back on Thurs. to get her "revised" sentence.

    I guess I will talk to the defense attny about the letter- maybe he can play it by ear during court and determine then if it might help. difficult child has anxiety issues (regardless of what the psychiatrist says) and will fall apart if he has to read it. I think the judge will consider that and would either not accept it, or take it and read it herself.

    Paid attny- I fired the public defender. He didn't do anything. The paid one isn't doing a lot. It is to a point where I can't afford anything anymore though. The lack of time at work caused my employer to quit paying our medication insurance (he had been paying mine and difficult child's). So, now I'm still not working full time hours (so less pay), but having to dish out the cost for medication insurance so we don't have to change providers. The medication insurance is about the same cost as a house payment. This situation CANNOT last much longer.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member


    I hate this for you.
    I hate this for our kids.
    You & difficult child are in my thoughts and prayers.
  7. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    I am so sorry you are struggling with this. Oh the things we go through as parents. I would try the letter. He sounds sincere. If he messes up again the judge will probably not care too much about the letter though.
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sorry you are faced with this. It sounds like your son is trying to state that he has learned something and wants the chnace to move on. If he is open to suggestions on the letter, I would encourage him to lose the phrase "even though" as it sounds like he is rationalizing it. Encourage him to make it sound more definite.

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It breaks the heart and boggles the mind. I will keep you all in my thoughts on Thursday.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If he does send the letter, make sure it is in his handwriting and not something computer-generated. I've found that when kids send a letter to anyone who doesn't know them, it is often assumed that someone else wrote the letter.

    We used to have a TV program here in Australia, a consumer feedback on programming with responses from the network. easy child was very annoyed about a favourite program of hers being taken off and so she wrote to the network, and printed it off the computer to give it "more authority". Unfortunately, it got totally ignored because they assumed it was written by an adult in her name and therefore had no validity as consumer feedback; or about as much validity as someone writing a letter on behalf of their dog or cat.

    Especially if the judge is an older person, a handwritten letter will be seen as far more sincere.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, everyone! Christy, I thought the same about the "even though's"- I thought it sounded like excuses. But, on the other hand, these are facts that he has stuck to consistently and she doesn't know them. She has only heard the prosecutions side, which of course makes him look like a real social deviant and down-right mean. I don't want to pput words in his mouth, but there should be a way to word things differently to at least present that he isn't a sociopath.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I think the letter is worth a try! It's really a rather good letter. I DO think - he should include in his ideas of what is punishment COMMUNITY SERVICE at say washing firetrucks at a firestation?

    He also should include his goal for going to school - like I want to be a X when i grow up and need an education to attain that goal.

  13. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Most judges are looking for remorse to go with the taking of responsibility. Unfortunately, there is no "I'm sorry" in this letter and it sounds like this judge wants a mess of sorries plus who knows what else. He's also going to have mention the things he did to have his probation pulled.

    I have yet to understand how they expect a kid to be able to cope with probation, especially one with serious impulse control issues, when most adults fail. To me, probation is a good thing if it is used to help the family and child get services but not as a way to keep the child in check -- it just doesn't work.

    I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I hope the judge finds some compassion and understanding before the next hearing.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    There is some good advice here- I relayed this to difficult child this afternoon since I was allowed to check him out to go to counseling.

    He had written a letter to the property owner of the shed several mos ago that had a couple of "I'm sorries" in it along with an offer to cut the man's grass or do other outside chores for him all summer. (This was the "big" incident he did while on probation.) The judge was presented a copy of that letter in court and she did read it. I had to testify at this last hearing, too, and I verified that he wrote that letter on his own accord and that I would ensure that if the property owner wanted difficult child to do any chores, I would personally supervise him and make sure that were done properly and that nothing out of line was done.

    This current letter was difficult child's response to the judge's comment about the public needing to be protected from him, I think. That seemed to really bother difficult child- which iss a good sign, in my opinion. I just hope that he has time to write another one before Thurs. morning.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Will be keeping you in my thoughts on Thursday. Hugs.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    this situation stinks. I think the letter, with I'm sorry for X and will do community service by doing Z is certainly worth a try.
  17. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    I think the letter is good for someone his age, too. Along with the other suggestions, I think it's worth a try too.