WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NO CHILDREN ALLOWED





This is the sign hanging on a Judge's courtroom on the sixth floor. She's not the only judge with the sign on her door.

It's illegal.

It's wrong.

Children are people too, unless you're Adrian Peterson, asshole football player for the Vikings.

Florida law covers specific instances where a judge may close a courtroom. There are specialized notice requirements involving the media. Hanging a sign on a door is not the legal way to do it.

Banning an entire class of individuals for no good reason will not withstand any legal challenge whatsoever.

THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE HAVE OPEN COURTS, EVEN FOR CHILDREN.

So let's get this straight. Take a young Rumpole, age 17,first year of college, in a pre-law class, assigned to go to the local courthouse and watch a calendar and do a report. This sign bars young Rumpole, a very mature 17 year old, from observing court and fulfilling a college assignment

We hope judges will remove these signs.  It presents such a bad vision of the courts of Florida. And as we said, it's completely illegal and if they try and bar a person based on age and no other reason, they will lose in court.

So try and follow the law for once (we know how awkward and strange that can be for most of you) and take down the signs.

See you in court, where we might just arrange for a gaggle of kindergarteners to stage a protest if the signs don't come down.

48 comments:

Claude Etskine-Browne said...

BlackRobers , the case law is clear, UNLESS a child is actively interrupting the proceedings Judges can not exclude them from a PUBLIC courtroom. Remember Government in the Sunshine?

Michael Froomkin said...

Especially inappropriate to do this now, as the illegal "no children" rule is something the judges in Ferguson did (are still doing?) which then put people with court dates in a bind: either miss court and be held in contempt, jailed, and/or fined else leave the kids in the car, street, or hallway and then be charged with child neglect/endangerment.

Anonymous said...

Why not post which judge did this?

Anonymous said...

Where in that sign does it say the courtroom is closed? I applaud judges who are not afraid of all this political correctness crap & won't put up with crying children/babies and the baby momma's/daddios/grandmas who bring them to court to show how their parent/family member is all locked up! The noise levels and phones going off are ridiculous!!! How is the court reporter/monitor supposed to keep an accurate record of the proceeding? Are CRs suppose to get bionic ears, because MOST bailiffs do not keep order anymore in the courtrooms and are afraid or too lazy to maintain it!

Anonymous said...

Love the comment about Adrian Peterson. What ever happened to the presumption of innocence? A few years ago, you could have substituted "Duke Lacrosse Players" for Peterson. Don't be so quick to buy into the media hype about a crime. Let the dust settle and wait for ALL the facts to come out. Then render your opinion.

CAL said...

It is imperative for a judge to use such a notice but with discretion. You gave an example of a law student which I find legitimate but take into account the other extreme.

Family court, divorce.

A month who has animosity toward her ex husband wants to alienate the 8 yo child of both parents. She deliberately brings the child to court to try to make the father look bad. When the judge asks the mother why she did not leave the child in the care of another adult she claims she cannot find a sitter.

Under Florida Family Law Statute 61 it requires the judge to find what is in the best interest of a child. To allow the child the opportunity to hear the fighting, which is probably the reason for the divorce, is the judge taking into account the best interest of the child proceeding with the case? If he requires that an agent of the court watches the child in another room, should it be the responsibility of the court to provide babysitting services? If the judge proceeds with the child in the room and sees the arguing within the court, does that not result in culpable negligence by the judge which could result in an appeal?

This is the reason why children have of should be barred from the courtroom as it can have a long term psychological affect on a child if there is something negative going on with someone they love and expect to protect them. It has nothing to do with prejudice and I don't think a judge would bar a law student under the age of 18 if they clearly explain their purpose. In fact I know very few kids who would ever desire to step foot in a courtroom. In fact most adults don't have much of an interest in doing so.

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

You should walk by altonaga's courtroom...same bs, plus a few extra signs to boot.

Anonymous said...

I've had clients who are 17 with NVDLs, LSAs, and various other cases. What does the court suggest these people do?

Anonymous said...

Even funnier: Some of the State Attorney and Public Defender Interns are below 18. They accept high school students. I was 16 during my internship

Anonymous said...

Zzzzzzzzzzz

Keep ur kids out of criminal court unless the observing. If you are a defendant especially leave the kids at home. AP is innocent bra. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Dude read the LAW. The Courtrooms are OPEN to the PUBLIC, including minute UNLESS and Until.they are a active disturbance. Judges DO NOT have the AUTHORITY to keep kids out. Its ILLEGAL

Claude Erskine- Browne said...

This is almost as bad as Tacoma Washington. They made it illegal to smell offensively in public buildings. Nice way to arrest the homeless or poor

Claude Erskine- Browne said...

Judges should be ware. If a parent complains to the JQC about being kept out of court w a sleeping baby in their arm or a quiet kid taging along, and they couldn't see their family members in court there Could be trouble.
CourtS are open to the Public

Anonymous said...

How about this. If child is disruptive, bailiff can escort parent and child outside and their case can be called after others have left. But only after disruption. Otherwise, courts are open.

Anonymous said...

Miami loves Migna
Migna loves Miami
Obama can't you see?
Miami loves Migna
Migna loves Miami
She'll be on the federal bench
You wait and see.

Anonymous said...

There is such a growing gap between rich and poor in the US. Those of us who are lawyers have less and less in common with the poor who are generally defendants.

Banning their children (and so the mothers, grandmothers, etc. who care for these kids) from the courtroom just allows us to further ignore the reality of their lives.

I recently saw a tour of young ASAs walking through Main Jail. Good for that office! It would be useful for anyone who works at REG to also spend a little time in Pork & Beans or Liberty Square.

Anonymous said...

Yet, the same Judges allow attorneys to bring their "under 18" kids in the courtroom during "bring your child to work day." Not only do they exclude people based on age, but based on social class...

Mad Samoan said...

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign . .

When I was a wee baby lawyer just starting out, signs were posted in the stairwell at 73 West Flagler: "No urinating in stairwell."

They were clearly being ignored.

Just a simpler, more innocent time . . .

Anonymous said...

Uh, family court doesn't count. It's a joke.

Anonymous said...

If a child can stand trial, as an adult, in the very same courtroom, under the presumption of innocent until proven guilty [we pray]; they should be allowed full access to the very same courtroom to view court in session.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

COURT CARE .........

The sign is an embarrassment. Of course, if a child, or any person, is unruly and disruptive of the court proceedings, they can and should be asked to leave the courtroom.

As for children from birth through age five years old, there is the option of COURT CARE.

Court Care is located on the 5th floor, room 519, It is open Monday - Friday, from 8:30 - 3:30. It is Free. A parent or Guardian must provide identification and also bring diapers, juice, a snack, etc., but the babysitting service is Free. The program is currently funded by the YMCA.

Parents who are forced to bring children age five and under to the courthouse should really consider using the Court Care option.

Cap Out .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I remember being banned from entering the courthouse in Port Antonio, Jamaica because I was wearing shorts and, therefore, not dressed appropriately. This was to enter the same temple of justice that had a huge banner hanging from the second floor that advertising the Friday night bingo game.

Anonymous said...

I get "Open Courts" and all that - but folks who bring toddlers to court just so they can wave to daddy in the box - cuffed - is messed up.
I didn't appreciate as an ASA, or as a defense attorney.

Anonymous said...


"COURT CARE .........

The sign is an embarrassment"

Nah. The JUDGE is the embarrassment, and for more than the stupid sign.

Anonymous said...

So much for bring your kid to work day.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what you "appreciated" as an ASA? So entitled.

Anonymous said...

Remember when the signs at the doors said no cameras allowed in the building. Boy was that wrong. I bitched and complained after my client went back to her car to get rid of her camera and was late for court and got a warrant.

After complaining for months, they did everything possible not to change the signs so, they allowed me to duct tape the offensive language and then months later they re-did the signs.

I feel like they think they can make up rules just because they are judges and court administrators.

Judge Slom... you know who I am.

Anonymous said...

very nice post captain

Anonymous said...

Migna has no business being a judge in any court. She is totally consumed with herself and intolerable by any standard. She has also pissed off some very influential people and can anticipate opposition next go around.

Claude Ersline- Browne said...

I DO NOT. Like kids in the Courtrooms. I understand why Judges don't want kids in Court.
But our uncomfort, our distaste
CAN NOT be an excuse to exclude the Public including, no especially the Defendant's Family.
Government, Business, Especially the Courts must be Open to the Public.
Government in the Sundhine

Juniper said...

The sign should say, "Children Not Allowed, Error Invited."

Juniper said...

By the way, are there any children under the age if 18 in a legal sense which is not to suggest such creatures do not exist with respect to maturity or in other relevant areas?

Anonymous said...

The sign should simply read "any child who is the type to cause people to want to leave a restaurant or jump out of an airplane, is prohibited.

Fake Tom Thumb said...

Loyalty oath?

George Frobisher said...

I'll take "Structural Errors Not Subject to the Harmless-Error Rule" for 1000, Alex.

A: In this case the Court established the principle a violation of the guarantee of a public trial required reversal without any showing of prejudice and even though the values of a public trial may be intangible and unprovable in any particular case.

Q: What is Waller v. Georgia, 1984.

Anonymous said...

4:21, we all know who you are.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


This is NOT a misprint .....

U.S. state and federal prisons held about 1,574,700 inmates on December 31, 2013, an increase of 4,300 prisoners over yearend 2012.

Cap Out .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Are babies people? What about a pregnant woman, is she excluded since she has a fetus, which could be defined as a child and that may or may not be a person (depending on your religious and philosophical views)? If I were a judge I would bar babies, children and pregnant women from the courtroom. 11:30 tee-time anyone?

Pando, Pando, Pando said...

Someone actually gave her a job.

In 2004, Pando was charged by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission with accepting “numerous” improper loans from her mother and father, Millie and Esteban Bencomo, during her unsuccessful 1998 campaign, and the 2000 campaign in which she won office.

One of the seven justices, Fred Lewis from Miami, argued in a concurring opinion that Pando should have been removed from the bench.

“If conduct is so egregious as to require enormous monetary fines,” Lewis wrote, “the judicial office itself has been soiled and damaged. If we continue down this path, in my view, we undermine trust and confidence in the judicial system.”

Anonymous said...

Is this posted in Hialeah?

We're not in Nazi Germany and/or Cuba. Also, that's the kind of power-crazed shenanigans one would expect from ISIS.

Get it together and take the notice down - it's embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

FORGET all this stuff …. MORE FOOTBALL and the suicide pool. Who is out and who is still in it Rumpole?

Let's get to the important stuff. Forget ISIS, Forget the screaming kids in court, Forget KENNY W's new Plaid Blazer (it is cool, but not NFL cool!)

Anonymous said...

PLEASE list Phil Reizenstein's BLOG on your list of links….

It is that good!

Anonymous said...

sorry defense attorneys you cannot bring in the human shield for your shitbag clients

Anonymous said...

So my girl scouts can't come to court to observe and learn about the judicial system? Shameful!

Anonymous said...

there is one judge who never excludes children and has the tolerance to continue with court without removing them even when they are being a bit noisy and she simply calls the parent out of turn. She is a new mom... Ohhohhh is that another side effect of the Mommy Bench, following the law and tolerance.

Anonymous said...

omg you sound retarded, a courtroom is no place for children, it doesn't matter if it's the US or any other country.

Sure you want your kids to listen to a murderer tell the story of how he dismembered his victim, give the kids some psychological problems I say.

Vern B. Southern said...

There are some places where children simple should not be. Children should only be allow in courtrooms if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise they are an unnecessary disturbance. Adults Have Right Too!

The Predictor said...

Can you provide the caselaw? I would like to see it. Thanks!