Judge Denies Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi Chance to See Son

The judge also struck back against the media circus by banning recording devices in the courtroom.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jodi Hernandez
    San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi leaves the family court on McAllister Street in San Francisco on Feb. 3, 2012 after trying to modify a court order preventing him from contacting his wife or son because of an alleged domestic violence incident on New Year's Eve.

    Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi left San Francisco Superior Court on the verge of tears Friday afternoon after learning that he was again denied the chance to see his young son pending another hearing about a stay-away order issued last month.

    Mirkarimi, the first-term county sheriff, is alleged to have bruised his wife, Eliana Lopez, during a New Year's Eve argument. Lopez and Mirkarimi both deny that any abuse took place. District Attorney George Gascon is seeking three misdemeanor charges, for which Mirkarimi will go on trial Feb. 24.

    Judge Ronald Albers denied a petition filed by Mirkarimi to be granted "reasonable" visitation with his son, but agreed to hold another hearing on the stay-away order on Wednesday, which is the next regular day such matters are heard in family court.

    Mirkarimi had already tried twice unsuccessfully to have the stay-away order modified in criminal court and tried again in family court Friday. Both Lopez and Mirkarimi have asked a judge to lift the stay away order.

    "If they tell him he'll have to stand on one leg and Skype, he'll do it," Mirkarimi's attorney Lidia Stiglich said outside the courthouse after the decision was handed down.

    Camera-carrying members of the media were barred by an order from a judge from using their photo equipment or other electronic devices in the courthouse.

    The order, signed by San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein, allows the media to request to film courthouse proceedings and allows them to use tape recorders, video and still cameras, cell phone cameras, and -- by extension -- Hipstamatic prints on their iPhones in select, media-open designated areas in the Civic Center courthouse, but not the fourth floor hallway, where Mirkarimi was seeking to have a hearing to alter the stay-away order imposed in his case, the San Francisco Appeal reported.

    The former San Francisco supervisor met with reporters before heading into court Friday. He said he bought new books for his son in the hope that he will see him soon.

    The ban on cameras was imposed by Feinstein -- who was originally scheduled to swear Mirkarimi in last month before bowing out after news of the alleged bruising broke -- because of "anticipated concern over high-profile cases like the Mirkarimi case" and "past problems" at the courthouse.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.