Friday, March 31, 2006

Massachusetts Court Restrains Distribution of Book Critical of Family Court

Massachusetts may be placing family court procedures on a collision course with the First Amendment.  Last week, a Massachusetts family court judge issued an order restraining the distribution of a book entitled "Exposing the Corruption in the Massachusetts Family Courts." The author, Kevin Thompson, is a non-custodial parent who feels betrayed by a judicial system that he calls "anti-father."  Thompson claims that his book is "banned" in the Boston sense of that word. But according to the order, which Thompson received by mail last Friday, impounding the book is necessary to protect the privacy interests of the minor child. In other words, the book includes information about Thompson's 4-year-old son, which violates a minor's privacy in a legal proceeding. Concern for a child's privacy, however, does not explain some of the circumstances surrounding the restraining order. For example, the issuing judge is also the subject of an entire section of Thompson's book: Chapter 17, "Judge Mary McCauley Manzi." Canon 3 of "The Code of Conduct for United States Judges" requires a judge to recuse him or herself when "impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

Click here to read the entire story by Wendy McElroy, FOX News (last visited March 31, 2006 bgf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/03/massachusetts_c.html

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