We put Wall Street men and women in jail when they defraud people of their money. Yet Judge Leslie Kim Smith thinks nothing of giving her clerk a stamp with her signature on it — to remove people’s children. And nothing is being done about.
What is wrong with this picture?
By: Heather Catallo
(WXYZ) – When protective services take children from their parents, state law says a judge must first personally review the case and sign off. But that was not happening in one of Michigan’s busiest courts.
It’s called “rubber stamping,” and last August 7 Action News first exposed how court staff were literally stamping a judge’s name onto orders that allowed the state to take kids from their parents.
After our investigations – the rubber stamping stopped – but no one has ever been held accountable — not the judge, not the chief judge or child protective services.
“Why was this allowed to happen in your court,” Catallo asked Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Kim Smith.
Smith is the presiding judge at the James Lincoln Hall of Justice, the county’s juvenile court. It was her name that had been stamped on removal orders. And legal experts tell us, that stamp allowed children to be taken from their parents illegally.
Testimony under oath in the Godboldo case revealed that caseworkers routinely took their petitions to probation officers inside the court, who would then stamp Judge Leslie Kim Smith’s name onto the removal orders.
“It is completely illegal,” said Joshua Kay a professor with the University of Michigan Law School’s Child Advocacy Law Clinic
“This system is destroying the future of America. And if something is not done about it, we won’t have a future,” said Godboldo.
Maryanne Godboldo is now suing the state, Wayne County, and Detroit police for illegally taking her child.
Please do some checking into your own case. If your case was rubber stamped, you can and should sue. (It is surely happening in more places than Wayne County, Michigan)
- Baby killer sentenced to life without parole in Wayne County, Pa. (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)