Stand with Judge Blake, for the best interest of the child
By Celest Hart
WBTV reported Judge Aretha Blake was incompetent and its reporters sought out people with experience in her court room to corroborate its articles on her alleged years of delayed orders in family court including, custody and child support. The report said many family members feared Blake retaliation. In my personal response, as a journalist, court watcher and a party in a Blake court family matter, this judge is the fairest of many I have watched and experienced for the last three years.
As a third party, a witness, to a custody issue, Blake patiently listened to each parent, even the father, which is so rare in family courts. She allowed everyone time to speak without intimidation, another rarity with many judges. Un-biased, Blake paid attention, cared and looked beyond the words spoken which threw me off-guard.
“You love him, don’t you?” Blake asked me.
Many, including judges, attorneys, child protective social workers, parents, grandparents, forget why they are in these hearings, for the best interest of the child and love. I listen and talk to people in the court lobbies, elevators and bathrooms. Some say the judges are over worked, that there is a need for at least three more judges. According to UNC School of Law, the Superior Court Judges Rotation system, established in 1868, requires the justices to rotate every six months, changes occur in January and June, to prevent corruption, other say to place more work on the justices.
After months of various motions, un-resolved mediations, hearings, some continued, unattended, postponed or ignored, a sort of trial commences, not due to Blake incompetence but to parents unable to amicably co-parent without court involvement,’ for the best interest of the child’. Blake ordered these parents to get it together in six months and return. Six months later, everyone showed up, except a judge. A judge rotation occurred, Blake was transferred to juvenile cases, no one was notified and a judge was not assigned, all parties will get a notice. Lol.
As a researcher, I have read many public files on the third floor. Twice, I have found wrong hearing notices in the wrong file, a confused father showed me a notice he received that belong to some other man. A father probably couldn’t tell a judge, he didn’t get the notice, and be believed.
It’s been almost two years for the parties, I was a witness to, and after reassigned to another judge, months later, parent no shows, nothing has been resolved, and someone has to file for new hearings, for the best interest of the child.
I do not fear retaliation, with this family court process or judges, there is nothing more that can be done to my family, but I CAN write about this horrible mess of a system.
I say, don’t blame Judge Blake, fault the system that needs reform, for the best interest of the child.