Question on Quora: Have you ever witnessed a judge go completely ballistic and “lose it” in court?
ANSWER FROM JERICA:
I was a child welfare worker for a Native American tribe and often appeared in the courtroom of a local county judge. She was a fair but strict judge, but she did have a reputation for her temper. I often worked with the state child welfare caseworkers, and tried to be an extra set of eyes because we all knew how underfunded and understaffed the state Department of Human Services was.
On my way to court one day our tribal adoptions investigators stopped me and handed me a single sheet of paper, on state DHS letterhead. It outlined 6 counts of sexual misconduct charges against the potential adoptive father centering around his own children from around 15 to 20 years prior. I had been fighting most earnestly to get this family approved for adoption, as the little child had been in the system since the age of 17 months and had some sever emotional attachment issues, I wanted to find a suitable home before permanent mental and emotional damage had been inflicted by the system. The state DHS had assured me this family had been properly vetted and were totally suitable and a good fit for the child. I am very glad our own tribal adoption investigators had discovered the truth! I was also furious this loving “Christian” man had pulled the wool over our collective eyes, this adoption case had been going on for over a year.
We were already in the trial period where the little 4 year old was spending 2 or 3 nights a week with the adoptive family to ease out of foster care and into a new adoptive family life! I quickly made several copies of the paper to give all involved parties, child’s attorney, state’s attorney, D.A. Judge, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for children volunteer), and ironically enough, the DHS caseworker.
When court convened I was called to testify. I called a halt to the proceedings, to the shock of all involved. I had been the biggest champion of the adoptive couple, now I was saying “No way!”. I immediately requested a sidebar to speak with the judge. I gave her a copy of the damning paper and she sat there stone cold silent. She then called all of the other official parties up to the bench and told the bailiff to clear the courtroom. Even the CASAs were told to leave. I was terrified, because I knew her reputation for temper. We even had a fund back at the office to bail out our workers in case she lost it and one of us were given an overnight invitation to the county jail. I was already working on what I would tell my supervisor in my one phone call. My heart was in my shoes and my stomach was filled with cold lead.
The DA, the child’s attorney, the DHS worker, and her supervisor all gathered at the bench staring at me as if I has sprouted a third eye or something. I quietly handed each of them a copy of the paper. They each took a moment to read it and all eyes turned toward the DHS worker and her supervisor. That is when all hell broke loose. The judge exploded! She screamed at the DHS supervisor, not the worker, “HOW IS IT POSSIBLE YOU DID NOT FIND THIS WHEN IT IS FROM YOUR OWN RECORDS!?!?!? THIS IS ON YOUR OWN LETTERHEAD! HOW INCOMPETENT ARE YOUR PEOPLE?!?!? Why is the tribal worker giving me information you should have found months ago?!?! That is not their job, that is YOUR JOB!!!” She then stood, picked up the case file (which was very thick) and threw it across the courtroom, nearly hitting the court reporter in the process. She then spent the next 10 minutes or so yelling like a banshee at the state worker and her supervisor, who cowardly threw her own worker under the bus.
I felt horrible. But I had protected the child from a possible bad life, and that was my first priority. The judge put me in charge of finding and vetting the next potential adoptive family and told the state to follow the tribe’s lead. I had a state worker shadowing me for the rest of that case. That was a very strange turn of events. A suitable family was found and the little child is now a lovely teen in high school, doing well, involved in sports and extracurriculars. I get regular updates and even saw the child on a billboard advertisement, as they have become involved in some local modeling. The family stays in touch with me and I am very glad a potential travesty was averted.
But I will never forget the day I witnessed first hand someone get “POSTED”, the term everyone in that county used for when judge Post would fly crazy in court.
Great 👍 story, thanks!! Btw, I’ve heard from a few people now: DHS is deeply involved in child sex-trafficking. According to a few sources & victims I follow on Tiktok, DHS is THE BIGGEST OFFENDER in this regard. If I had any power or influence, I’d #InvestigateDHS. Have you seen any statistics on what happens to these poor children? One-third are in jail or dead 💀 by age 20. Check it out!!! #FBI