You may want to remind yourself to never end up in family court with Judge Lisa Gorcyca of Oakland County, northwest of Detroit.
In June, Gorcyca sentenced three children, ages 9 through 14, to spend the summer in a juvenile detention center, for defying an order she had given them. The order was to have lunch during a visitation period with their father.
Gorcyca, who blamed their mother for poisoning the children’s attitude toward their father, ordered the children be sent to the center for defying her orders — while in court — that they go to lunch with their father.
The children — ranging in age from 9 to 14 — were deemed in contempt of court last month by Gorcyca for disobeying her orders to “have a healthy relationship with your father.”
The children aren’t named in the news report because they are minors. But according to court records, the oldest boy offered his reasoning for defying the judge’s order:
“I do not apologize for — for not talking to him [the father] because I have a reason for that and that’s because he’s violent and he — I saw him hit my mom and I’m not gonna talk to him,” the boy said, later telling the judge, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Gorcyca assured the boy that he had done something wrong, and sentenced him to juvenile detention for civil contempt. She then offered the other two children – a boy, 10, and a girl, 9 – the chance to avoid detention for themselves by going to lunch with their father. They refused.
Gorcyca lectured the children’s mother stringently on their behavior and hers:
“Your children — you need to do a research program on Charlie Manson and the cult that he has. Your behavior in the hall with me months ago, your behavior in this courtroom … is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in 46,000 cases,” said Gorcyca, who has a young son and is known for her normally pleasant demeanor in court.
The judge told the mother she could not visit her children this summer, according to a court transcript of the hearing.
The judge’s sentiments clearly lie with the father in this case.
Referring to the contempt orders and sending the trio of kids to summer behind institutional walls, Gorcyca told the older sibling: “I wanted to do this because of your horrific behavior a long time ago and your dad begged me not to. … One day you are going to realize what’s going on in this case and you’re going to apologize to your dad.” …
“Your dad is a good man. And wipe that smirk off your face,” Gorcyca said to the 10-year-old, as both he and his sister defied the judge’s order to have lunch with their dad.
And it may be that the mother is an instigator and a bad influence, as Gorcyca insists. It does seem questionable whether being sent to a juvenile detention center constitutes “justice,” or the best outcome for their welfare, in the case of children whose lives are already turned upside down by divorce and parents who are at war with each other.