I am Pro-Se in the middle of a Custody trial. My children have been interviewed by the judge. My children and I are involved in counseling and at a session my children revealed on their own to the counselor some of the questions the judge asked and how it bothered them. From what I heard it seemed the judge had some harassing and leading question to get them to change their answers. I refrained from inquiring about what was all asked.
So to get to the point, What right do I have to the transcripts or video of the judge speaking with my kids and how would I go about getting it, i.e. what motion would I file?
Thanks all for the help
In Ohio, an in camera interview by a Judge or Magistrate is confidential, as are the children's responses--but if you are disturbed by the effect of some of the questions, you should discuss this with the Guardian Ad Litem on the case. In most Courts, the GAL is present during the in camera interview as is a Court stenographer.
It is highly unlikely that a Judge asked questions to "change" the childrens' opinions, as opposed to obtain information regarding, the wishes of the children. The Court has an obligation to inquire in some cases, in various areas--particularly in cases involving parental alienation or issues of child safety. The ages of the children can also affect the interpretation of questions in the interview---which is not easy for the children--but either you asked for the children to be interviewed, or the other parent did--since no custody agreement could be reached.
To protect children, responses are kept confidential to encourage frank and open disclosure.
However, Be careful with the information from the Counselor. The experience I have as a litigator in these matters indicates that secondhand interpretation in these matters can be highly subjective and subject to interpretation. Good Luck.
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I agree with the previous answer particularly as it relates to the advice about what the counselor said. Children do not process information the same way as adults do. Oftentimes, their perception of what has been said is completely different from what was actually said. I have seen this scenario many times. I also agree that the best course of action is to approach the issue with the guardian ad litem.
Have to agree with the other two posters. In my experience children are more likely to lie to a parent to tell them what they want to hear than to a GAL, Judge, or Magistrate. The judges in Domestic Relations Court in Columbus are very fair and have all interviewed enough children to know what questions to ask.
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