Friday, August 10, 2007

From Evansville - a support case gets ugly

I am still not sure how to categorize this mess from Evansville. The Evansville Courier Press starts Special judge to be assigned to child support case (free subscription needed) with this:

A child support case in which an ex-wife claimed unfairness in the judicial system will be assigned to a special judge.

Suzanne Hebert Hamilton's attorney, Mary Lee Schiff, wrote a six-page letter to prosecutors in June complaining about the case. Hebert Hamilton's ex-husband, Richard Hamilton, is the son of Vanderburgh Superior Court Magistrate Allen Hamilton. A copy of the letter was also provided to the Courier & Press.

As of now, all the Vanderburgh County judges cannot hear the case. Frankly, I think most of the judges I know would not have touched this case for anything. The Vanderburgh County judge got the parties to sign off on a waiver of conflicts but still the matter blew up in his face.

Not many child support enforcement cases get this sort of attention. I know many people probably feel as annoyed at the system as the former wife did in this case. Having the son of a magistrate on side does probably raise the case a bit higher in the newspaper's sights but this bit of information gives me the idea that both sides have attractions for making themselves newsworthy:
The letter was delivered to the Courier & Press by Hebert Hamilton's father, Terry Hebert, a former employee of the newspaper. Hebert Hamilton is also a former newspaper employee.

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