Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Tsimhoni Children: Dear Judge Gorcyca

“Wooden Justice Gavel” by suphakit73 via

UPDATE: Friday, July 10th 2015 - 
as of this afternoon the children have been released from juvenile detention and sent to summer camp. 

This post is an open letter to Judge Lisa Gorcyca in Oakland county regarding the article (including court transcript) that was recently published highlighting her decision to send three children to a juvenile detention facility to live for refusing to have a "healthy relationship with their father." 

The hearing that took place involving a divorced mother and father along with their three children by the names of Liam, Rowie and Natalie only continues to prove that the family court system is not only deeply flawed but downright dangerous to children and hardly in their best interests. 

Dear Judge Gorcyca, 

Upon reading the news article regarding your decision to send the Tsimhoni children to a juvenile detention facility I was appalled. I was not only deeply saddened for these children and worried for them but rightly moved to write this letter to stress to you the error in your decision. 

The family court system is to look out for the best interests of the children. When you made the decision to send these three children to a juvenile detention center the system failed them. You were not looking out for their best interests… in fact, upon reading the transcript from the hearing and reading what you said during it, I can only conclude that you were at best highly emotional, (the transcript reeked of a lack of empathy on your part) in making such a serious decision that you were given the responsibility to make for this family. 

Looking out for the children's best interests means not placing them in a place where they will be frightened. Looking out for the children's best interests means not viewing them with contempt which you clearly do by the things you said to them: "I'll tell you this, you two don't have a nice lunch with your dad and make this up to your dad you're going to come back here at 1:30 and I'm going to have the deputies take you to Children's Village." 

Using threatening language with the children as you did only shows how you're merely using FEAR and SHAME tactics to get them to comply. You're ignorantly and superiorly believing that a lunch will fix whatever damage there may be between these children and their father. You're behaving as though these children are merely possessions and property that must bow to you and their father… like robots you believe by your actions they have no hearts, no feelings, no spirits. 

You, Judge Gorcyca are wrong. These are children with hearts, with feelings, with spirits and view points who are refusing to have lunch with their father. These are children who are saying no to a relationship with him. The eldest who is fifteen claims to have witnessed their father hit their mother. You are claiming parental alienation by the mother. As the judge and the one who is supposed to be the adult and run a responsible and ethical courtroom you are to get to the issue at hand; is there alienation or not? Or are the children rightly justified in refusing a relationship with their father? It's your job to find out. It's your job to step up to the plate and not take the easy way out; to not send three children packing to a detention facility, throwing your arms up and talking ugly to them. The youngest is nine, a girl… no, Judge Gorcyca… you owe these children an apology. You owe them an apology for not doing your job and finding out the truth. 

What's the truth? Is the mother alienating the children? Where is the proof? Is the dad abusive? Is HE healthy? If he is abusive the children should have a voice in whether they see him or not; a nine year old is old enough to see toxic behavior if it exists and voice how often or if at all he/she chooses to see that parent. Not everything is always as it seems on the surface. Is there a combination of issues going on? Is the father abusive and the mother finally snapped and just told the children in no uncertain terms exactly what she thinks of their father? We don't know… and clearly you don't either. But regardless of what the father, what the mother or the children have done… they DO NOT DESERVE the decision you made in that courtroom. There are many who believe you should be removed from the bench for your outrageous and blatantly irresponsible rulings. 

There are plenty of Ad Litems, counselors, therapists, etc that are available to help in these types of cases… there are plenty of avenues to consider and take besides throwing three innocent children into a mini prison like criminals. In the interim until the truth was sorted out wasn't the children staying with another relative an alternative to the choice you made? It seems you had many alternatives for these children yet instead you chose the punitive route. 

I will pray for these children's safety, that they are reunited with family members who have their best interests at heart. I will pray that the truth comes out and it's so glaringly obvious no one, not even you can deny it's reality. I will pray that you see the damage being done via your ruling to these children as so many of us can. 

In the transcripts you address the youngest, Natalie by saying "God gave you a brain. He expects you to use it." I would say He expects the same for you… use your brain, seek the truth, exude love, use discernment… because none of those were utilized in your courtroom that day. 


Jennifer Gafford 
© ~ 2015


  1. Thank you for writing this post. It's passionate, direct and asks for change. Our court system needs it. I've been in a year long custody battle with an ex who is abusive but the courts don't see it. He puts on the nice guy act and sways them. I keep trying to fight it but I am maxed out.

    1. The extreme of putting these children in a juvenile facility is what shows the court is not doing what's in their best interests. The failure of the system is widespread throughout the states; some worse than others. I'm sorry to hear you're enduring the same battle...its one no one should have to face. I know all about the "nice guy" act and how they are capable of flipping everything to look like it's your fault. ((hugs))