UPDATE: Historic 2016 Audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance
As many who are following this high-stakes audit know, the California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) sued the California State Auditor in October 2016 in an attempt to thwart the first-ever audit of the state’s only judicial oversight agency. So far, it has worked. The CJP lawsuit stalled the State Auditor and has kept her from doing her job. The Center for Judicial Excellence co-led the statewide effort to get a unanimous vote from the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee to audit the agency back in August 2016, and we have been monitoring this situation all year.
Fast forward one year. Both sides have “lawyered up,” briefs and responses are being written and filed, and FINALLY, a hearing has been set on this matter for 9:30am on August 4, 2017 at the San Francisco Superior Court. We hope to see you there!
2017 California Legislative Agenda
SB-170 Child custody: preferences of the child.
Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) introduced Senate Bill 170, the Giving Children A Voice Act, which lowers the age that California children can speak directly with a family court judge about custody and visitation with their parents. Current law (FC Section 3042, which our organization sponsored and got passed back in 2010) allows teens 14 and older to weigh in, and this bill states that children 10 and older should be given this same right to address the court if they want to. Please thank Sen. Leyva for her leadership on this bill. Find Your California Representative Here and stay tuned for updates on this important legislation. We will be working on this again in 2018, as it is a two-year bill, just like the original bill that gives kids 14 and older the right to speak with the judge was.
Press Release: Senator Leyva Introduces “Giving Children a Voice Act” (January 23, 2017)
2017 U.S. Congressional Agenda
CJE’s Executive Director Kathleen Russell worked the halls of Congress in early 2017 to secure co-sponsors for our first Congressional Resolution on the family court crisis. The historic bipartisan resolution, H Con Res 150, will be reintroduced in Congress in the coming weeks. Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) led the way last year to ensure that family courts across the U.S. do more to protect children’s safety when their parents are navigating the difficult terrain of divorce and separation. The Resolution also calls for Congressional Oversight Hearings and clear standards for custody evaluators, and it mentions CJE’s child murder data. Stay tuned to learn about our new Republican sponsor, and please ask your Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor.