Child Custody Court Observation Essay

1054 words - 4 pages

After half an hour of searching, finally I have the opportunity to observe a court in person for the first time. At the 302nd Family Court in downtown Dallas on the 3rd of Dec, 2013, the case I was observing was a child custody case between Anna Smith and David Smith. The case number as show on the board outside the court is DS-12-08126. Furthermore, the Judge of 302nd Family Court is Tena Callahan.
It was quite an experience when I step inside the Court building and don’t really know where to go. I stopped and asked a security and a court clerk. I was informed that I could walk right in the court as silent and if anyone start asking question just tell them the reason. That is totally new for me as an international student. The case I walked into is a Child custody case between Anna Smith and David Smith. Anna Smith, for what I observe, is a dark skin woman who looks roughly around thirty five to forty. On the other hand, David Smith is gentlemen who looks about forty two to forty five. When I walked in, they are discussing about the truck payment that Anna Smith is in charge of paying when they divorced, and she demand a share from her husband around 60%-40% monthly. The truck was bought in 2010 and it worth $15.000 to $16.000. Next, I observed the attorney on David’s side, Lafleur Eric, was asking question to “lawyer” Anna Smith who was the defendant. When I said lawyer her, I mean he means to ask Anna bunch of question to bring out the guilt, truth, frustration, confuse, and regret in Anna. He cover all of her answer by asking the first question. “Will you be fully understand and truthfully answer my questions under any circumstances? She said yes. When he started asking quite fast and she started confusing. I thought it was the time that she was already in his cage. Eric said: “You testified that you will be fully understand my question.” However, the judge allowed Anna to hear the question again from David’s attorney slowly. David and Anna are trying to win the right to raise their son, Logan. As Anna said, she has the income of $39.000 to $40.000 annually, and it was denied by David attorney according to one of her work friend.
In my observation, the Judge was quite quiet during the time. There were a judge, a bailiff, a court reporter, Anna and David, two attorneys from both sides, indeed, nine observers including us four, and 5 witnesses from both sides. By noticing us walking by carrying the Richland College’s binder. The Judge Tena Callahan have personally written down some information about the court and her name for us. She passed it to the bailiff, a gentlemen who is Williams, about 60 years old. For instance, Judge Tena Callahan was a Caucasian woman who is about forty years old with a great skills of defying the situations and giving out her decision. By observing her actions with people in the court, I think that she has a great skills and...

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