Pursuant to California Rules of court 10.21, the members of the public hereby present a proposal to amend California rules of court 5.30 which govern the standard for training of family law judges in the State of California. Family law is a highly specialized field where a wrong decision that does not adhere to the uniform standard created by the legislature results in a devastating impact that needlessly substantially harms parents and their children. Family law in the State of California is in a crisis where new judges are appointed to the bench who do not have the required training to deal with the field. Presiding judges around the State recognize the harmful, incorrect application of the law in cases that require specialized training and handling. Former Presiding Judge Ellsworth of the Riverside Superior Court wanted to implement and review procedures vital to family law and the children that are involved in high conflict cases, recognizing the devastating impact of the current system in place and that a solution needed to be found. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20100901-riverside-countys-next-top-judge-envisions-changes.ece
The court system in California does not accommodate the required training for the judiciary appointed to family law. The appointment as a family law judge should not be the initial training that a judicial officer receives in order to develop expertise in family law. The consequences are a rogue application of the law and the legislative intent of the statute devastating parents and their children with long term consequences. Most litigants cannot afford the cost of an appeal, nor the time spent on appeal, nor can anyone compensate a parent for the time that has been lost with a child and the destruction of a parent child bond as the time with that child can never be regained.
California rules of court 5.30 (e) specifies that judges in family law require training and education and that this is a specialized area of law but leaves the responsibility with the supervising judge of family law for each court. In essence the required training in a highly specialized field of law is not taking place and rogue rules and procedures are adopted as the norm that do not have any basis in family law; handed down from each supervising family law judge to the next.
The public is requesting that the judicial council amend subsection e and implement a recommendation that requires anyone who is appointed as a family law judge to participate in the certified family law specialist training process as required by the California bar association; http://ls.calbar.ca.gov/LegalSpecialization/LegalSpecialtyAreas/FamilyLaw.aspx; or a similar qualified organization before they ascend the bench.
Providing a third party organization with that responsibility would alleviate the training requirements for the supervising judges in family law and would ensure that there is accountability by a recognized institution of law in training judicial officers in family law; developing the required statutory rules and procedures that adhere to the best interest of the child standard, providing an incentive for the public to regain the trust in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary in place.
The public is not served by judicial officers who have no experience in the specialized field of family law escalating the harm to parents and their children by prolonging the required litigation in a dissolution action with the rogue application of family law.
A petition has been created to gather comments and support for the proposal from the interested public.