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Action Alert: Defend Judge Who Told Mom to Stop Interfering with Ex's Visitation!
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Max Baker is facing ethics violations for his conduct in a family court case where he says he was only "trying to get [the mother] to understand the detrimental nature of denying the child's father access." Judge Baker has apologized to the mother, "acknowledging that the manner in which he spoke to her and the words he utilized were wrong." Through his attorney, Judge Baker says his "remarks... demonstrated an inappropriate level of patience and courtesy, all of which was unintentional" and that his actions were only a result "of his desire to do justice to children." At Fathers and Families we certainly believe that judges should treat all litigants with respect and courtesy, and if Judge Baker erred in these areas, we do not condone this. However, what's missing from the media coverage of this case and (apparently) from the ethics proceedings is the simple fact that what Baker was trying to do was correct. Judges are continually faced with vindictive mothers and fathers who want to drive their exes out of their children's lives. Too often courts allow these parents to slide by or get away with their misconduct. We commend judges like Baker who stand up for children's right to a relationship with both parents. The article on the case is here. We suggest you write a Letter to the Editor of the Atlantic City Press explaining that visitation interference and Parental Alienation are serious problems, and commending Baker for trying to do something about it. The paper's guidelines ask that you include your name, full address, daytime and evening phone numbers. The shorter the letter, the more likely it will be published. To post a web comment on the piece, click here. To read the full article, see Atlantic County Superior Court judge - accused of screaming at a woman during a custody hearing - apologizes but denies ethics violation (Atlantic City Press, 9/4/10).