Thursday, May 26, 2005

Family Court - NOT Innocent until proven guilty

If you are having difficulty processing how a person can be charged with any negligence or abuse related to a child and not be found innocent if they are indeed innocent - let me inform you of the differences between criminal court and family court. In criminal court the law does indeed maintain that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The state or prosecuter has the burden to prove that the defendant is guilty, in fact they have to prove it is reasonably possible just to get the defendent into court and tried. Some evidence must be obtained of some kind, and an indictment is needed. Therefore, while it is possible for an innocent person to be convicted of a crime, it is more difficult to do so.

In fact, this mantra 'Innocent until proven guilty' is so ingrained in our minds as Americans from tv, movies and culture that we mistakenly believe this is the law in ALL courts, and fail to be aware that it is only the law in criminal court. This is not the case in family court, where child abuse and neglect allegations are made. In family court there is no burden of proof on the state, county or prosecutor. Furthermore, you are guilty unless and until you can prove your innocence. Don't believe it is true? Call up an attorney, friend or judge, or do an internet search to find out for yourself. This is not criminal court, and all abuse allegations begin in family court. If found guilty in family court by a judge, you may be tried in a criminal court - but only after.

One more thing - you can be punished for your 'guilt' (being you are believed guilty until you prove otherwise) before you are even brought before a judge.

Now let me ask you....if I accuse you of hitting your children in an abusive way how are you going to prove otherwise? Testimony of friends, family, bosses, co-workers, teachers and neighbors? No one has ever seen a mark on your child, heard of any abuse claims in the past or seen you abuse your children.....so what? Obviously you are clever enough to hit without leaving a mark (how many of us from watching too much tv know that the 'right' people know how to do this professionally), and you are also smart enough not to do it except in the privacy of your own home. Your children say it never happened? You are terrorizing them and influencing them to say that. No medical records of any untoward abuse or suspected abuse? Well who would bring their kid into the doctors office for injuries sustained during abuse? You just didn't bring them in, doesn't mean there weren't any injuries. Lie-detector test? Not admissible in court, and even if it were - who here fully believes in their scientific accuracy? Sorry - guess you can't prove your innocence - no matter who you are.

Why is the court set up this way? In the supposed interest of the child. The 'better safe than sorry' motive. Many offenders are clever enough to abuse children without any clue as to their guilt. Better to assume guilt and take action until innocence can be proven. The problem here is this - if you are innocent, your children have been taken away and put in foster care, tramatized by doctors visits, the foster care system and social services....to start with. Is this really 'safe'? And how is it not 'sorry' either way you look at it?

This is just the beginning of the terrorism of Americans at the hand of Social Services - and it is all perfectly legal - furthermore considered either socially acceptable, or out of the ignorance of most Americans, believed to be untrue.