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Inviting Media to Report on Family Court Cases

Filed under: Law & Courts — nzleagle @ 4:18 am Fri 18th April 2008

Just looking on Google news, searching for “Family Court” and all I can find, is regarding the parental tests that was announced last month, and a thing on a family of 15 living in the bush.

Has anyone tried to invite the media to their Family Court hearing? 

What would be the process of doing this?

The Family Court definitely needs more media attention in the smaller cases, that don’t particularity mean anything to anyone, but without this attention there will continue to be a gender bias and secrecy in court.


  1. Yes Judge Boshier has done this twice. He used it to put a spin about how wonderful the Court was and how fair and reasonable. Otherwise the media are not interested as reporting restrictions are tight.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Fri 18th April 2008 @ 6:05 am

  2. The purpose of media reporting is to accurately inform the public about the world that they are in and through this value to the public, to scrape off a profit for the publishers.
    In practice however, if a reporter from the profit media does turn up at a familycaught hearing, they can only attend the hearing if it happens to be under Care of Children Act. If either party mentions that they might have a fear of violence, even if only psychosomatic, then the judge is required to exclude profit media. Any issues about relationship money…..
    Now, even if the profit media do get into the familycaught room, they don’t usually have copies of affidavits or previous judgements in this case. They can sit there and scribble notes for all they are worth, but it isn’t likely to have much sense, due to the incompleteness. The gaps are far bigger than the substance. Thus the result won’t usually meet minimum journalistic standards to be published. Even if one or both parties hand over some papers, the profit media cannot check on the completeness or accuracy of what they have been given.

    So, who is surprised that there is so little profit media attention of familycaught hearings?
    Occasionally a TV station or newspaper will report these matters, though the story will usually lie in the real world story, which obviously the familycaught has had some hand in, such as a father “abducting” their own child for a few days. The police trying to hunt down the father or mother adds to the drama.
    But the mothers abducting children overseas for months and years don’t seem to be newsworthy?
    NZ Police receiving a mother abductor and children at the airport, from the overseas police returning her, doesn’t seem to be newsworthy?
    Maybe this is because they are so commonplace?
    The crime that is silently crying out, is why wasn’t the mother international-abductor arrested and charged under NZ law for her abduction?
    It seems that familycaught “judges” don’t consider that mothers can abduct their own children. This illegal attitude, it is in clear breach of Care of Children Act (and before that the Guardianship Act), thus the written law isn’t acted on inside the familycaught room.

    The profit media set cowardly low budgets for pushing the envelope around the familycaught. Their heart is in the money….
    Also, it’s just not “proper”?
    The familycaught is as open as the Law Society hearing complaints about overcharging!

    Although the familycaught tries to talk about how it wants to be open, in practice most NZ judges, inside familycaught and in the more real caughts, are apparently very cautious or even scared of any form of accountability.
    If you go to a bank and deposit cash, the teller gives you a receipt. It notes the amount of cash, the date and the branch. The teller initialises it, thus identifying the teller.
    This is a piece of legal quality evidence.
    If you attend a caught, do you get a good quality record of the proceedings?
    Are you given this record without even having to ask for it?
    If you do ask, can you get a complete record of the entire proceeding?
    It all seems so “Alice in Wonderland”, the bank giving a legal standard of evidence and the caught fudging and mucking around!
    I must record, that Judge P. Recordon allowed a complete sound record of a prosecution of Breach of a Protection Order in Waitakere District Court.
    Contrast this with judge baragwannath in high caught, who refused to allow an unedited video record to be made, of a parking ticket appeal! Very delicate issue….

    Lets get real, for the tuatara familycaught to be made to move forward, the pressure will come from parents who know the familycaught should have done better and know how the familycaught could have done better – speaking in public about their experiences and the consequences that flowed from them. This speaking may be one to one, at home or at lunchtime at work. It may be at social groups, or it might be through profit media.
    This is the communication that will force the “profit familycaught” to offer a competent service that the customers can see is good value for money.
    Lets not take too long about it, for the sake of our grandchildren.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 18th April 2008 @ 9:47 am

  3. Help for Representing Yourself in Court
    Public access to unedited recording of District Court prosecution
    Breach Protection Order
    I mentioned in the post above, that Judge P. Recordon of Waitakere District Court, agreed to allow a sound recording to be made of a prosecution for Breach of Protection Order. The father who was being prosecuted has agreed that this recording can be available to members of the public, to assist them to understand Court procedure.
    If people are interested in representing themselves, in familycaught or in more real courts, they might find this recording to be of some value in understanding the court process. It also helps to remove some of the stress due to unfamiliarity with courts. (The best way is to attend a trial or hearing or three.)
    If you would like to listen to this recording, please contact me on 09 638 7275.
    Incidentally, this hearing was later invalidated, because the father had clearly asked for trial by jury and this hearing was trial in front of a judge only. This does not reflect negatively in any way on Judge Recordon, the “mistake in hearing” was made by a prior judge.
    The hearing before Judge Recordon proceeded without discovery of police evidence being given. Once this hearing had proceeded, the police then “honoured” their obligation to provide this evidence before the hearing. Then this evidence was available to the father, in time for his second hearing! With relevant evidence available, the second hearing proceeded for two days and then the judge discharged the case without conviction, before it had even completed.
    Who says the caught system doesn’t work!
    This does show how important it is to have all relevant evidence available in time for the hearing. Most failures in the caught system result from incomplete or misunderstood evidence.
    For justice to be done, it must be seen to be done.
    Best regards, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 18th April 2008 @ 10:36 am

  4. I applied for media attendance at a Family Court hearing. My case had already been in the media less than 8 weeks earlier (One news, 3 news, Homes, radio live, New Idea etc.), and public interest was high. In this respect, the Family Court should have allowed media attendance, but…
    The Judge deferred his decision on whether or not to allow media attendance until DURING the actually hearing, and it was a firm “no”. This, I’m sure all would agree, was absurd, and contrary to the “openess” described in the Family Court Proceedings act 2004 and Boshier’s own public campaign to announce that the Family Court is now “open”.
    The Family Court is not “open”,….. strict censorship of information and publication still exists, as it always has, and fully controlled by the preciding judge.

    Comment by xsryder — Fri 18th April 2008 @ 5:37 pm

  5. I applied for an “Application for Publication” of complete proceedings which was shut down by Judge O’Donovan as he cited that I would use the information maliciously.
    How can a person publishing, the complete documentation, all Affidavits, memorandums,directions and Court Judgements, be malicious.
    Perhaps the maliciousness within the documentation and systemic approval does not want to be addressed.

    Kindest Regards
    Paul Catton
    East Auckland Refuge for Men and Families
    (09) 940 6236

    Comment by Paul Catton — Fri 18th April 2008 @ 7:45 pm

  6. Paul Catton has reminded me, that in making his recording of his trial available to the public, that he is happy for it to be mentioned that he was the person being prosecuted.
    Censorship of information about the familycaught is only part of the problem, the bigger part of the problem is the feeding of misleading and downright dishonest information to the public. The confusion that results, is a large part of the force which pressures parents to pay a legal worker, when this isn’t warranted or required.
    If the “judges” were of good quality, then a legal worker would be rarely if ever required. This manipulation of the familycaught, is the only reason that so many worthless legal workers and “judges” can survive. It isn’t an environment in which competition is based on relevance, quality and price, it is more akin to plain old extortion under cover of darkness.
    Mahony said to the Social Services Select Committee that all judgements are passed on to legal publishers. As NZ is a common law jurisdiction, this is axiomatic. However, I enquired under the Privacy Act of the legal publishers and neither had received a copy of either of my two hearings resulting from child abduction by my ex-wife. Strictly, a single lie makes a person a liar.

    For the familycaught to breach this principle, leaves them looking as though they are unprincipled scoundrels. By trying to operate a system where there are two types of judgements, those that can see the light of day and those that will never see the light of day, reduces these “caughts” to illusions and delusions. The “judges” when they write a judgement that is never intended to see the light of day – are free to not be bound by legislation. There are no working checks and balances on them. In the absence of operational controls, these “judges” are then free to act far outside of the legislation set down for them to operate within. When there are no working control systems, people can easily degenerate from being “white liars”, to “pathological liars”, they have completely lost sight of reality and truth altogether.

    Members of the public can correct these shortcomings in the familycaught, to bring NZ back to being a common law constitutional democracy, by publishing their familycaught judgements.
    To comply with the secrecy paralysis laws, is to dishonour democracy and justice.
    Boshier himself has proven that publishing isn’t illegal?, as he was never prosecuted. I believe that his publishing antics did do good. Certainly Kay Skelton was not a consenting adult regarding the publication of judgements that allowed the public to see her parenting behaviours, as she showed by her appeals and public complaints.
    Scoundrels don’t like publication of their deeds, whether they be child abductors like Kay Skelton or whether they be child abductor-supporting familycaught “judges”.
    Its amazing the wildlife that scurries away when a stone is lifted and a bright light is shone down. We need a Commission of Enquiry into the operation of the familycaught, before further unnecessary damage is done.
    It should also look into the prosecution of IRD for illegally subsidising mother child international abductors. IRD staff who made these individual decisions should be jailed for several years.
    I commend Paul for his principled stand for the free flow of honest information, so that the public can efficiently and cost effectively manage their affairs, with the least involvement of legal workers and caughts.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 18th April 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  7. For all to know, that do not know, the family court is far from an expedient process, this seems of no significance in media reporting circles.

    i.e. why does it take four different family court judges 7 years to award a father 3 hours supervised access ? (oh, so noble and clever we judges, the fabric of society, no more than cheap toilet paper are these family court judges.., no guessing where they will end up too …)

    So life we know it, will remain the same, not interested in dealing with crooks, the father opted out of partaking in the family courts shady offerings and the child grew up to never meet or know his father.

    Comment by cb — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 10:47 am

  8. TOILET PAPER MAN SPEAKS >>> (His Honour, Principal Family Court Judge Mahony)
    Wednesday 16 May 2001
    Public confidence in the Courts is just as important as it is for the law making process through Parliament.
    It is in that context that I have been concerned at recent criticism of the Family Court aired in the media insofar as it has been ill informed, exaggerated and couched in terms calculated to destroy the Court’s credibility, particularly when it has been directed at the personal and professional integrity of the Judges.

    Comment by cb — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 11:02 am

  9. Dear cb,
    I fear that you are taking the familycaught too seriously.
    People are easily hurt, when they hold unrealistic expectations, of anything.

    The familycaught only really hurts and/or damages people who take it seriously!
    These NZ “judges” have no relevant professional level training to work as a judge.
    They are “jumped up lawyers”, in the sense that they have just jumped up a bench. There is no more to it than this, the training that they receive, on taking up employment as a judge amounts to a small number of weeks and is not at a professional level, there are no exams!
    It certainly does not have to be like this.

    European countries only admit people of good reputation and with a law degree, with NO MORE than 1 years experience as a lawyer, into judicial training for a further 2 to 3 years. This training DOES involve passing professional level judicial training exams – as you would expect on a professional level course.
    To deal with NZ familycaught in good faith, is naive and throwing both good time and good money down the drain.

    Like any dealings with anyone, you have to protect yourself!
    You need to know the track history of who you are dealing with.
    Learn from those who go before you. Look before you leap.

    This is why it is critically important that the public do have access to honest information about what goes on in any court – IN THEIR NAME!
    All the comments that I have made above, apply right across the caught system.
    Dealing with these people is really only a form of gambling, but with the poorest odds that are available anywhere.
    You should only gamble with things you are prepared to lose, spare time, spare cash or spare children.
    It is just that in the familycaught, the damage done is closer to the heart and the damage can persist much longer, than say from a malfeasance in the District Caught.
    There is no point in dealing with the existing “judges” in any way or in any forum.
    Instead of complaining, you would achieve more for improving judicial skills, to campaign for either:
    (a) judicial elections say every 12 months so that there was a constructive competitive element or,
    (b) NZ to discharge untrained judges and employ only trained judges who have satisfactory reputations for honesty.

    Look down to item 14 or search in this page for: sarah or flemming

    to see my experience of complaining about a legal worker’s dishonesty. There was no action taken on my notification/complaint. Then about 10 years later I hear that she has been appointed as familycaught judge! You can imagine my astonishment!
    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry?
    Anyway, remember that these judges are better professionally qualified as actors or comedians, than they are as judges.
    If we are not getting good entertainment from these “judges”, then we should get new ones.

    I believe that for the salary offered, NZers should be able to expect far more, than the familycaught “judges” deliver. These are issues that can only be addressed through Parliament.
    Incidentally, we do have an election coming up in about 4 years time, if I look closer – maybe there might even be an election sooner too!

    My child told me that he was thinking of studying law. I bit my tongue and said nothing.

    A week later, I said to my child, that I strongly believe that parents should never even try to influence their children’s choice of job, BUT:

    The job you choose affects every aspect of your life. It affects the cash you may have, it affects the spare time you may have and it affects the values that will seep out of your skin, in every aspect of your life. This affects the quality of relationships that you can hold, in your public and even more so, in your private life.

    I mentioned that I believed I had met 3 or 4 honest lawyers and strongly respect 2 of them.

    Most of the lowest people that I have ever met, work as lawyers. Much of their work involves working among sharp conflict-of-interests, between their personal and their customer’s interests. I would never trust them, unless I watched them every single step of the way. Many of these people, I would never be comfortable to have within the walls of my house. I wouldn’t trust them in daylight, let alone…..

    However, although I respect the small issue integrity of a few of these lawyers, I feel they are basically cowards, in that they will stay silent about important issues, where it conflicts with their personal financial interest. The greasy pole seems to be more important in their lives.

    With Anzac Day coming up, none of them stand comparison.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 6:00 pm

  10. Family caught judges are failed lawyers.You are lucky to have met 2 good lawyers.I worked in the profession for many years and never met any good family caught ones.I definetely could not think of one I would recommend to anyone.They are all just people wanting to profit from others’ misfortune.

    Comment by whanga — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  11. Hi guys, just wanted to say well said Whanga!

    Comment by Hadi Akbari — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 11:25 pm

  12. To be more precise, one of the legal workers that I complemented for their honesty, was a familycaught barrista 15 years ago.

    She was honest, but would not quote the full truth to me. Through her honesty, I paid $500 and self represented. If she had manipulated, through misrepresenting the odds of success through the familycaught, maybe she could have taken me for several tens of thousands$.

    I was frustrated that she would not justify her statements, even against me quoting Legislation back to her.

    She just went silent and her mouth could not work.

    Much as I was frustrated by her refusal to justify her comments, I felt that they had the ring of truth in them – even though the Legislation should have made her words lies. Part of the truth, the right part of the truth, is worth far more than the misleading Legislation and dribble that we get through the media from familycaught “judges”.

    My intuition was dead right and it seems I own my own house.

    It seems that this legal worker chose honesty, over and above her own business “success”.

    I have tried to trace her, to give her my thanks and appreciation, but I have thus far been unsuccessful. I remember her example, when at times I face hard choices. Life involves at times some sacrifices. I don’t desire money for fancy holidays or shiny cars, so much that I would sacrifice all integrity. As long as I have enough money for my speeding fines and to wash the blood off my car, I can be happy. (Bumper sticker: I swerve and hit people!)

    Remember, it is all about taking OK care of our children. If we waste too much money on legal workers holidays, how can we care for our children?

    Legal workers aren’t profiting from other’s misfortune, they are selling misfortune?
    I suspect that they can only sell misfortune, because people aren’t accurately informed about the product that they are buying.
    Anyway, if you look closely at these legal worker’s lives, they aren’t really benefiting, as the wages of sin is still death (sign at the top of Queen Street a couple of years ago).
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  13. Hey, my wife was never allowed a couple of police officers in the family courtroom when going up on sexual abuse allegations by the woman who has her 13yr old son who was 4yrs old at the time so why would these assholes allow media, we went to see her nearly 17yr old daughter who goes to Spotswood college in New Plymouth yesterday and the school rang the police and 3 police cars came like there are no criminal acts happening down there, they said to me she is not my daughter and i have no rights to her as i gave her up, i would like to see the adoption papers i supposedly signed

    Comment by Hadi Akbari — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 11:49 pm

  14. Hi guys, sorry my wife was telling me what to write and i accidently wrote it in her words

    Comment by Hadi Akbari — Sat 19th April 2008 @ 11:59 pm

  15. Let’s shine a light on these shady family courts UK

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 8th February 2014 @ 3:46 pm

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