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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:45 AM

9. I use to do CYS work, and people do NOT understand how much of this occurs


Since at least the 1930s, CYS hearings in all states have been NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC i,e "Secret", and given most such "incidents" involve children, the trends has been NOT to report such hearings.

The worse part is that most such "incidents" are between older males (Which can include not only adults but teenagers) and children in the same families. In many cases the children are dependent on the adult male who is the prepetrator for financial support. i.e Father is committing the acts against his own children, who are also dependent on him for housing, clothing and food.

Given that situation, what do you do as a Judge? Lets look at the options:

1. Recommend Criminal Charges for the father, he would be convicted and sentence to jail. The Father will thus have three meals a day and a place to live (i.e. Prison) and clothing. What about the Child/Victim? The Victim will probably lose his or her home, for without the income of the Father, the child and the child's mother can NOT afford to stay in the home. The Father's side of the family will blame the child for the Father being in Jail, so they will NOT want to support the Child. Thus you have a good chance that the child/victim will be without housing, food and clothing, while the perpetrator will have all three provided by the state.

There is an old rule of law, the punishment of the perpetrator should cause more harm to the perpetrator then the victim. Thus the courts are reluctant to jail such perpetrators (Remember over 90% of such cases involve in family members), the courts are much more willing to jail non-family abusers but then you have equal protections issues, i.e. why do you punish one person but not another for the same crime, when the only difference is one is a family member of the victim and the other is not).

2. Separate the child/victim from the perpetrator but leaving the perpetrator outside of jail so he or she can find work and pay child support. This is the option most often selected by Judges and prosecutors for it does NOT punish the victim more then the perpetrator, but then it becomes a simple case of child support and equal protection of the law says the amount the father (who is more often the perpetrator then the mother) has to pay is the same as any other father. The only addition "punishment" is contact between the perpetrator and victim is minimized.

Do to the above two bad choices and given that CYS hearings are closed to the public, the only cases people hear of are when a non-family member is the perpetrator. This was the problem with the incidents involving the day care centers, the Catholic Church and now the Boy Scouts. If you followed the trend, it started with the Public Schools in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but the Public Schools could use Sovereign Immunity and quashed any money claim against them for the acts of their teachers. For that reasons lawyers are reluctant to takes cases against Public Schools, the lawyer can get a Judgement against the teacher, but not the school and it is the school that has the access to money to pay a judgement. Daycare centers, the Catholic Church and now the Boy Scouts are all "Private" organizations and thus can NOT rely on Sovereign Immunity to prevent any judgments against themselves. Thus you hear of actions and judgments against the Catholic Church and other organizations with assets for lawyers do NOT bring actions unless they can be paid, and they get paid from Judgments, when the Judgement is paid by the defendant. In cases involving individual teachers, priests etc, this is rarely done for such individuals rarely has the income or assets to pay such a judgement, but the organization they belong to can, thus the Catholic Church and now the Boy Scouts are being sued for the lawyers know they have the assets to pay a judgement, the actual perpetrators rarely does.

The primary reason it is hard to collect on a Judgement on an individual. Most people with assets are married (people date, marry then buy a house). Given that situation, most judgments against individuals are hard to collect, for most, if not all of their property, they own as joint owners with their spouse, and thus unless you can get a judgement against BOTH spouses, it is almost impossible to force payment of the Judgement (and it is hard to get a Judgement against both spouses in this type of case, for in most cases the spouse does NOT know what the other spouse is doing and thus NOT liable, i.e. you can not be liable for something you had no control or knowledge of). In those states that permit attachments of wages for such judgments, any children of the perpetrator tends to have a superior claim to any wage attachment. Thus it is next to impossible to collect FROM THE ACTUAL PERPETRATOR.

For this reason, lawyers only name the perpetrators as defendants and get a judgement against them as part of a action where they expect the judgement to be paid by their organization. Without a judgement saying the perpetrator did the act, the Court can NOT find the organization they were employees or members of did not do adequate supervision. Thus in most cases the actual perpetrators are technical defendants, the real defendant (and the "persons" everyone is looking for to pay the judgement) is the the organization that the perpetrator belong to or was an employee of.

I bring all of the above up to show why we have had a "huge" increase in such incidents over the last 30 years. The number of incidents have NOT gone up, but starting in the 1980s lawyers found that they could sue and collect judgments against employers of perpetrators (Juries and Judges would not award such damages in previous decades, holding only the actual perpetrator liable and no one wanted such judgments given they are almost impossible to collect on).

At that same time, people, prior to the 1930s, would know such incidents occurred for CYS courts were open to the public, thus it was reported and thus known to most people. With the movement to make CYS courts NOT open to the public, PUBLIC reports of such incidents dropped, thus people forgot how common such incidents are. The next time most people read about such incidents is when some Public Schools were brought up on such cases in the 1970s, but then those cases quickly died do to lack of judgments against the actual schools. Lawyer, who want to be PAID for their work, shifted to the Day Care center (which tended NOT to have assets, so that move quickly died) then to the Catholic Church, where is boomed for the Catholic Church had assets to pay judgments.

The Catholic Church is slowly working its way out of the mess it found itself in, adopting rules it should have had in place but did not (Many had been in place prior to the 1960s, but under the "spirit" of Vatican II, most were removed in the drive to modernize the church. please note it was NOT Vatican II that did the harm, but what Bishops did in addition to Vatican II that caused the harm, changes without thinking of why the rules were in place in the first place). The cases you hear now are mostly pre-1995 cases that are working through the courts and due to the adoption of these new (and old) rules it is hard to find a case involving someone AFTER 1995, and thus lawyers are looking elsewhere such as the Boy Scouts and other organizations that deal with youths.

Thus, if you are an organization that deals with youths, you should have rules on how to handle such reports AND FOLLOW THOSE RULES (the failure to follow they own rules is one of the reason the Catholic Church has had so many cases brought against them). When dealing with children, other children has to be present (as in a school room) or another adult. All reports should be investigated by someone outside the local group (in the case of the Catholic Church by the Diocese, not the parish) which includes contact with the parents and victim. If a rule was violated, even if it does not show actual intent to violate the rule, the person who broke the rule should be disciplined (another problem with the Catholic Church prior to 1995, they wanted evidence of actual abuse, not a violation of some rule) AND repeated reports from different sources should be viewed as collaboration of each report not as separate incidents (Another problem the Catholic Church had, it had moved its priests around, and when reports recurred did NOT view them as collaboration of the previous series of report that lead to the transfer). The Boy Scouts has to accept the fact it has pedophiles among its ranks. The Catholic Church has NEVER been held liable for having pedophiles among its ranks, only in not have a system to make sure they did NOT harm anyone AND for not making sure when it came to their attention that someone was a pedophile, to keep that person away from potential victims. Other youth organization should have similar rules for these people exist in our society and will look for weaknesses in any control system so they can get their victims. Thus the control system must be set up to make sure the perpetrators can not get away with their crimes.

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