The Show

Crisis in Family Court

Dr. Phil shines a light on the American family court system, and how often it fails its citizens. From restraining orders to custody battles, hear heartbreaking stories that many say prove the system needs a major overhaul.

The Aftermath




Katie remembers, "Eight hours after Stephen had killed himself and Wyatt, his suicide note was posted on his Facebook [profile]. He went to somebody that day and asked, ‘Can you do this for me?' They could've stopped it if they knew he was going to go kill himself and Wyatt. They could've gone to the police, but they posted his suicide note instead. They helped kill Stephen and Wyatt.

"After Wyatt died, I decided to have him cremated, and he now sits in my mom's house. Stephen's mom asked me for some of Wyatt's ashes to put with Stephen's, and I told her no, because this is the only way I can keep Wyatt safe now. And that was the last time I ever heard from them."

Katie feels she won't be able to heal until justice is served. "I think after Judge Lemkau gets voted out of office, I think I will be able to start moving on. I want Judge Lemkau removed from office so he doesn't do this to someone else. When I went to court, Judge Lemkau apologized to me. His apology was prepared. It wasn't meaningful. It didn't come from his heart. He only did it because his bosses were in the courtroom that day. I do not accept the judge's apology. He said that he never meant to put any child in harm's way, and he couldn't have known that this was going to happen. But if he would've just read what I had presented to him, he would've known this was going to happen."

District Attorney James Hosking joins the conversation. He's running against Judge Lemkau. He tells Dr. Phil, "When I found out what happened with Katie and Wyatt, I had read the transcript of what Judge Lemkau had said to her, and the way he treated her, and the decision he made, and then I found out that even after Wyatt was murdered, Judge Lemkau filed his papers for his re-election. I decided that someone needed to give the people of San Bernardino County a choice and that if no one else would do it, I would step up and run against him."

Judge Robert Lemkau was invited to the show but declined.

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