News & Politics

NBC Airs Two-Part Series on Corrupt Family Courts Putting Kids in Danger

(NBC YouTube screenshot)

Is the media silence on family court corruption finally ending? Not in St. Louis, where local media is completely silent about the ongoing scandal in its 21st Judicial Circuit Court. But on a national level, the dam may be leaking. On Thursday, NBC aired part one of its investigation into family court judges who order children into the hands of abusers who then murder them. Part two is scheduled to air tonight.

In the five-minute segment, NBC highlights the tragic story of Kathy Sherlock’s daughter Kayden, who was beaten to death by her abusive father, even after Sherlock begged the court not to allow him to have unsupervised visits. The judge in the case, whom NBC did not name for unknown reasons, was never disciplined for his role in this child’s death by the oversight board in Pennsylvania. As PJ Media’s investigation has uncovered, the oversight boards that are charged with disciplining judges are full of Bar members who have no intention of holding other Bar members to account. In most cases, these boards don’t even respond to complaints. A complaint that I submitted to Missouri’s accountability board over a month ago for being kept out of open courtrooms has returned nothing but silence.

Related: Former Child Victim Speaks Out About St. Louis Family Court Trauma: ‘No One Would Help Me’

Family courts are operating in total secrecy under the color of law. Without oversight by the public and the media, there is no hope that any of this will change. Many states have written codes into their laws allowing family courts to be sealed “for the privacy of children.” When it is revealed that judges are giving custody to abusers and rapists, it should be clear to everyone that it isn’t the children they care about. The “privacy” the court wants is for itself to act without fear of being held accountable.

Michelle, another mother in Texas, told NBC the same story that the parents in St. Louis have been telling PJ Media for months: she was punished for reporting child abuse. NBC interviewed a family court judge, Ramona Gonzalez, who explained that there’s a real problem with judges not taking abuse allegations seriously. “There are lawyers who will say, ‘we’re not going to mention the abuse because you can’t corroborate it and it will impact the judge’s view on your credibility on other issues.'”

Related: St. Louis Mom of Murdered Child Says Family Court ‘Guardian’ Program Destroyed Her Life

In St. Louis County, parents had verified and substantiated DFS reports of abuse that judges and guardians ad litem simply ignored. In two of those cases PJ Media has covered, the end result was murder and child suicide. Perhaps the real problem here is that family court is a “dumping ground for morons and political hacks,” as Judge Judy once said, and instead of hiding the names of these judges as NBC appears to be doing, the media should highlight them all on a wall of shame and track them down and shove microphones in their faces and ask them why they have done this. Any judge placing children into the hands of murderers and rapists should be stripped of his robe and brought before a court on charges of being an accessory to a crime. Instead, judges have total immunity. There’s something very wrong with this system.


If you or someone you know is a victim of corrupt family court judges or lawyers, contact Megan Fox at [email protected]