Formed by a coalition of Family Court victims and activists in 2003 by the South Palm Beach County Chapter of NOW, Families Against Court Travesties (FACTS) is primarily concerned that the family court system is harming children by treating them as property, ignoring their rights to contact with both parents, denying their parents due process, and in general not considering the children’s best interests. Some of us are victims of these injustices, some are friends and family members of victims, and some are simply devoted to healthy children and families.
FACTS Mission Statement
Our mission is to assist families who have been placed into a crisis situation by the family court or other government agency. As a response to pleas for assistance from mothers (and some fathers) who have been wrongfully deprived of their children, their property and assets, the right to attorney representation, who have been victims of gender bias and have been denied due process in the Family Courts, we have formed a “court watch” system.
Our goal is to ensure that the best interests of the child and the primary caregiver prevail in family court and that due process and fairness are the norm instead of the exception, and that the right to present witnesses and obtain a fair and complete trial on the merits prevails over expediency and “docket-clearing”. By implementing a court-monitoring and reporting program, we will detect and flush out those members of the system who are destroying families with impunity.
We believe that there should be integrity in the justice system and with related professionals in the government and the courts. We will fight for the passage of laws that will strengthen, support and enhance these goals through advocacy, education, legislative lobbying, etc.
What we have accomplished
Aside from going to the courtroom for hearings and trials, we write up evaluations of the judges and they are aware of our presence. We’ve been instrumental in removing Family Court Judges from the bench. We’ve actively participated in the election of judges. We’ve given testimony to the Florida Supreme Court about Fairness & Diversity in the courts. We’ve staged protests against terrible judges in front of several courts and the Appellate Court, and gotten news coverage. We’ve witnessed the Judicial Nominating Committee in action and contributed feedback to the members. We’ve appealed to legislators to look into changes of the law in Family Court, and many other efforts. As the need and opportunity arises, we act.
What You Can Do
Volunteer to monitor and evaluate proceedings in the Family Court, join our demonstrations, call and write letters to the media and government officials, etc.