Court watchers see
There is something very wrong with the judicial system in Palm Beach County. So much so, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) had to form a special committee many years ago that does court watching in both family and probate/guardianship court. This committee is called Families Against Court Travesties (FACTS).
For over 15 years we have been called on by family members to witness the bias and the collusion going on in both these courtrooms. We are all volunteers and, when notified, we go to hearings in which certain judges such as those mentioned in the investigative article by John Pacenti, preside. (“Report finds guardian ‘corruption’”)
In our court watch reports, we document these egregious decisions and use them as evidence when trying to right these wrongs.
Changing the practices in the family and probate/ guardianship courts is very hard to do.
Sign up for The Palm Beach Post weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999
We have been reporting these abuses of power to the chief justices, the Judicial Qualifying Committee, the clerk of the courts, many of our representatives, the Bar Association, the Supreme Court and to anyone else who may be able to intervene on behalf of so many families who were decimated both financially and emotionally in these courtrooms.
In most cases, when judges or those appointed by the court — such as guardians or lawyers for the incapacitated or very young — are found guilty, they get away with just a slap on the wrist.
ADELE GUADALUPE, DELRAY BEACH
I have two overweening concerns regarding the possible confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court: reproductive rights and health care, and gun safety.
Judge Kavanaugh’s writings make clear that he is hostile to reproductive rights. In the recent “Jane Doe” case, Kavanaugh tried to block a young immigrant woman’s access to abortion care, claiming that the court was creating “a new right” for immigrants in custody to “obtain an immediate abortion on demand.”
This position is consistent with views he has expressed in the past, including lauding Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade.
Regarding gun safety: In 2008, Judge Kavanaugh was the sole dissenter from an opinion upholding the D.C. law banning possession of semi-automatic rifles and requiring registration of all guns. He argued that courts and judges have no role in the regulation of guns and that semi-automatic rifles are protected by the Second Amendment.
NANCY COHEN, PALM BEACH GARDENS
Reynolds was ever
the gracious star
Despite the fame he achieved, Burt Reynolds never forgot his roots. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times while my ex-husband was working on the series “B.L. Stryker,” which he filmed in his home county. He was always gracious and always came to the end-of-season parties, socializing with everyone.
In addition, my grandfather owned a restaurant on Banyan Street called The Patio Grill in the 1950s-early 60s, where Burt occasionally dined.
When he did his one-man show at the Poinciana Playhouse, we took my mother and aunt, and as we were leaving, a very serendipitous thing happened. Burt was walking our way with bodyguards and my mother called out “Burt!” He stopped dead in his tracks and responded, “Yes?”
She then recalled how he came to her father’s restaurant, which he remembered, and they had a little chat about those days. He ended with giving my mom a hug and kiss.
Today’s celebrities need to take a lesson from this gracious man. Rest in peace, Burt. You will be missed.
DESSIE CARACCIO, LAKE WORTH