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




"Is this a problem with Judge Lemkau, or is this a problem with the system?" Dr. Phil asks James, pointing out that Katie was denied by three separated judges. "Why would you be any different? What wisdom would you bring to this?"

"Well, there are a couple things. Judge Lemkau failed to look at the evidence, or if he did, completely ignored it without stating a reason why," James says. "If he has a reason, he hasn't explained to anyone what he was thinking, why he supposed that she was a liar. It seems to me that he prejudged the case, because he says over and over again, ‘My supposition is that you're lying.' He doesn't say, ‘You're lying because of X, Y and Z. He just supposes that she's lying. Second of all, just that demeanor in which he treats her, I believe, is in violation of the judicial code of ethics, which say you have to treat all litigants with respect when they're in the courtroom, and that transcript makes clear that he was doing anything but that."

When Alan Boinus became aware of Katie's story, he wanted to bring attention to the crisis, so he set up protests at the courthouse to stop Lemkau's re-election. He tells Dr. Phil, "I organized this march because the community of San Bernardino was outraged, and on a cold, winter day in Victorville, where most people don't even know where Victorville is, we had 100 people " remarkable " to protest this judge. But it's not just Judge Lemkau. This is endemic in the system."

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