By Cynthia Cruz-Oxman
This year will mark the fifth holiday season we are without my granddaughter. She is one of the many children who are victims of a dysfunctional family court system. A system where judges ignore laws and rules of the court and are not held accountable. A system where the primary goal is more about racking up billable hours for family law attorneys and assigning as many “experts” as needed to keep the fight going. “In the best interest of a child” as a focus has long been forgotten.
Two weeks ago I spoke, once again, before the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments. Two other parents also spoke. I expressed my objection to one of the candidates, Brian Kimminau. Mr. Kimminau has been complicit in alienating my granddaughter from our family and placing her with two men who have sexually abused minors. The Commission heard our objections and Mr. Kimminau was removed from the list of candidates.
Just as important, however, was the fact that Supreme Court Justice Ann Timmer, who oversees the Commission, listened to our frustrations with Pima County Family Court and offered her assistance. With her help I will be speaking with Pima County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson to request a public forum. My goal is to have the forum in the first months of the new year.
I am looking for input from families. I want to hear about your experience with family court in Pima County, good and bad. I know many parents have expressed a fear of retaliation if they speak out. You can remain anonymous. I only want the name of the judge/commissioner and a brief paragraph on what happened in your case and how it affected you.
One thing we know for sure is we need more judges with Family Law experience. Assigning a judge to the Family Law bench who comes from a practice in Real Estate Law, for example, is damaging to children and families. These judges get little to no training and go through a learning curb. This should not be at the expense of our children. It would be no different than seeing a Cardiologist for a gastrointestinal problem!
Another issue is the rotation of judges. Our case has now gone before the tenth judge! There have been recusals, reassignments, and rotations. Speaking from my standpoint as a nurse, there is no “continuity of care.” This is damaging and unacceptable.
Help make family court fair and honest by sending your stories to me at email@example.com. I will not use anyone’s name or information without their permission.
Thank you. Merry Christmas Lela, we miss you!! #nomoresilence