Family Court Audit Raises Questions

When auditors realized family court mediators don't have enough training, the courts agreed.

An audit released just this week looked at those hired to mediate child custody cases and found many of them don't have the background of training to do the job, according to several published reports.

Among the complaints listed in the report, that family courts in Sacramento and Marin County keep poor records, fail to log complaints and use staff who have not been properly trained.

"The problems in Marin and Sacramento are far from unique," Katheleen Russell, executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence told CaliforniaWatch. "We've been receiving horrific complaints for many years from parents and children whose lives are being destroyed by a family court system run amok. We finally have credible, government data to back up these stories for the first time."

While the courts say they will do more to get in line with the report's findings, and will implement recommendations from report authors, you've got to wonder what took them so long to figure this out?

Regardless, one critic believes an independent group needs to oversee family court operations.

As Connie Valentine of California Protective Parents Association told the Sacramento Bee, "Without a citizen review board, there will continue to be abuses of power."

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