Public Defenders

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mistmouse, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    Can anybody tell me who I complain to if my child isn't getting adequate (i.e. none)representation from her public defender? Is this a matter I would take up with some supervisor or administrator within the Public Defender's office itself, or would I write a letter to the judge or what?

    I know they say you get what you pay for and I am trying to take that into account, but I can't afford an attorney outside of the Public Defender's office. It doesn't seem fair that only the people who can afford an attorney for their child will get the legal representation that results in what is fair for the child.

  2. Loris

    Loris New Member

    You can talk to the supervisor, or even go through the Judge, If you go through the Judge, it may get worse, because the public defenders band together. That will get them in trouble with the Judge. I went through tis with B. Good luck. I understand how you feel.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I hope where you live that there is a "system" in place that helps you deal with "the system". Sad to say....easy child/difficult child got what
    was paid for. It's sad. DDD
  4. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    It sounds like if I go to the judge then difficult child will get less representation...but, wait...none is taking place now. If I go to the supervisor, assuming they will even take my call since I have asked to talk to one already when I made several attempts to talk to the public defender assigned to difficult child, then the supervisor will make the attorney do their job? I am just tired of things dragging out and nothing being done, and I just really don't think it is going to be fair that difficult child ends up doing time two years after the incident took place. I mean it makes so much sense to punish a 12 or 13 year old for something that took place when she was 10 and was a result of the school personnel not following CPI procedures? It is now the middle of February 2007 and we are still dragging out a case that originally went to Children's Court in December of 2005 for an incident that took place in August of 2005. We were back in court for a status report on this case in March of 2006, at which time the public defender said she wanted to do a competency evaluation. That evaluation took place in July of 2006, and I can't get any communication from the public defender's office regarding what their plans are. I have talked to the public defender assigned to my daughter three times since August 2005. Once was when the file was transferred from the first public defender to this one; second was five minutes before my daughter's name was called in court in March of 2006; third was when she walked through the lobby while I was waiting for the psychologist who was doing the evaluation...she said, "hello" and kept going. My daughter was 10 when this started and is now 12 and it still looks as if it isn't going to be resolved any time soon.

    The first public defender was very good and had my daughter's case because she was the one who handles all cases involving mental health issues. Then her caseload was shifted to some death penalty cases that were pending and she was unable to continue to handle my daughter's case. This other public defender seems not to care about her "clients" at all, and certainly seems to have no understanding of mental health issues. She isn't doing anything to try to alleviate the problem, or to even get it through the court system. It seems instead her strategy is to delay and forget about it until such time as the judge orders us back in court to find out what is going on and then she will just "wing" it at the time.

    I would like to make the judge aware that she isn't even working on the case, and that dragging something out for years isn't fair to difficult child. My daughter isn't even capable of understanding the normal delay between a preliminary inquiry before the JPO and when it finally gets referred to Children's Court a few months later. She definitely cannot track that something happening over a year and a half after the fact relates to something that happened the second day of last school year.

    I don't know what I will do. I suppose I will try again to talk to a supervisor at the public defender's office, but if I get the "I will leave a message and have them call you" tactic again, then I think it is time to write a letter to the judge.

  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Do you have a CASA program at your court? You can talk to them and they should have some good advice.
  6. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    I don't know if we have a CASA program or not. The county courthouse is 30 miles away where we have to go to court. I guess I can call and see if there is one. Thanks for the suggestion. I guess I always thought a CASA could only help you if the court appointed one.