Justice Fo Da Mamaz: Part II

root - Posted on 18 October 2008

Single mamaz fight back against an unjust judge.

Single mamaz fight back against an unjust judge.


by Marlon Crump/PNN

What do we want?


Who do we want it for?

Poor mamas struggling!


A bias judge!

When do we want it?


Led by POOR Magazine co-founder and advocate for single mothers Tiny Gray-Garcia, these chants boomed into the air outside San Francisco's Superior Courthouse on the morning of Monday May 12. She was joined by single mamas and poverty scholars, June Strohlin (a.k.a. Jewnbug), Kim Swan (a.k.a Queenandi), Sandra Thomsen, Maria Brosas and others to protest the blatant bias and corruption of San Francisco Judge Marjorie A. Slabach.

As a revolutionary legal advocate for POOR Magazine, I was there to re-port and sup-port these poor mamaz in their struggle for justice in San Francisco's family court system. As I walked up to join my POOR Magazine family, Tiny's voice was already blasting through the bullhorn, my POOR comrades yelling alongside of her.

On this Monday morning, the day after Mother's Day, most mothers in the Bay Area were still glowing after family celebrations, but these single moms found it difficult to celebrate this traditional holiday when an unjust judge has stolen their children and civil rights.

Since 1997, Judge Slabach has presided over family law of child dependency cases in the Unified Family Court Division, at the San Francisco Superior Courthouse. Since that time, single moms that have appeared before her have had their rights ignored and have been mistreated and belittled in her courtroom. She has consistently and biasedly ruled against mothers, ignoring their parental and constitutional rights.

Some of the moms that were in protest had past cases involving temporary restraining orders and some were currently involved in cases that were issues of child visitation and parental custody rights.

Kim Swan, Jewnbug, Sandra Thomsen (who's son was unjustly taken from her by Slabach) and Maria Brosas shared their own struggles in Judge Slabach's courthouse. Each had experienced her cruel behavior and unjust rulings.

As I listened to each mama speak into the bullhorn, I waved my handmade sign, reading EX-PARTE MOTIONS ARE UN-JUST AND WRONG. Ex-parte motions are motions filed by one party, without advance notice to the opposing side. They are decided by a judge, without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.

Ex-parte motions are sharply limited by the U.S Constitution’s 5th and 14th Amendment, because they violate a U.S Citizen's Right to Due Process of Law; however Judge Slabach has repeatedly and unwarrantedly used ex-parte motions in her rulings against single moms.

"I demand that the judicial commission hold a hearing regarding the conduct of Judge Marjorie A. Slabach for her to be held accountable, by her resignation from the bench!" exclaimed Jewnbug into the bullhorn.

"I would like to see this judge investigated by her highest superiors. I would like to see her prosecuted for her injustice and the fraudulent crimes she has committed against single mothers!" Sandra Thomsen yelled in agreement. (Despite all of the evidence that Sandra has provided to the courts, nothing has ever been done about Slabach's behavior in her son's custody case, a case that Slabach continues to preside over.)

Two San Francisco Sheriff Department Deputies stood grimly by at the entrance of the San Francisco Superior Courthouse, as they smugly eyed our protest. The presence of single moms fighting for their rights in front of the San Francisco Superior Courthouse was quickly capturing the eyes of numerous pedestrians, drivers, spectators, as well as lawyers and litigants who entered the courthouse.

POOR Magazine po' poet, Ruyata McGlothin recited a special poem in honor of mothers and I shared my poem, Callous Custody Corruption, which describes Judge Slabach’s unjust behavior:

"You took away my child like a landlord to a tenant's lease...Ohhh your honor, you heinous beast!

You addressed the many in attendance with a plastic smile...All the while you plotted with the other side to seize my child."

As I read my poem, I looked at the faces of the single mamaz in the crowd, and thought about how their children and rights were being stolen from them everyday. I thought about the words of Gaylynn Burroughs, staff attorney of the Bronx Defender in New York City, as she was quoted in a recent San Francisco Bayview article, "Too poor to be a parent."

"Until this country comes to terms with it's culpability in allowing widespread poverty-related issues to exist, poor single mothers will continue to lose their children to the state. And we will continue to label these women as "bad mothers" to usage of our own guilt."


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