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Family Court Protest
Las Vegas, 10/21/05

Below are photos of a public protest to reform the Family Court system in Clark County, held all day on Friday, Oct. 21, 2005. Reported in the newspapers before the event and after. I visited at about 10am. This is a big page that might take a while to load. You can click on most of the photos for a larger image.

The venue of the protest, at the corner of Pecos and Bonanza in Las Vegas — in front of the Family Court Building, but mostly off the property. There were about 12 protesters in attendence. There was no police presence apart from two bailiffs standing about 100 yards away. (I suggested to other bailiffs that the scene would be much more interesting, for the sake of my photos, if they marched in with batons and teargas to disperse the crowd.)

Here is the ringleader speaking to the press. Her website is Redressinc.org.

This woman's son was convicted of killing his wife in spite of DNA evidence suggesting otherwise. (Someone else's DNA was found under the victim's fingernails. See News article.) She says that her son was also denied visitation with his children while he was out on bail prior to his conviction.

The grievance of the man on the left is obvious. (I didn't inquire into the details.) The man on the right seemed to have no direct beef with the Family Court, only the court system in general. He says he has been fighting a court battle in Arizona for about 12 years, concerning a real estate matter. His website is Updoc.com.

Note the protest: "Open all closed hearings to the public!" (Right now in Family Court, it is hard to find any closed hearings left to open.)

No one at the protest seemed to know much about the woman in the full burka. She spoke English with an American accent. When I asked her if I could take her picture, she held her sign in front of her already shrouded face. I asked her is she was Muslim and she said, "No." I asked her if her outfit has any religious significance, and she said, "No," and walked away. I chose to not intrude further on her privacy.

This woman said that Judge Moss and another judge unfairly awarded custody of her two children, aged 12 and 16 at the time, to her husband, who then moved to Oregon. The children are now adults, 19 and 23, living in Oregon.

Moss-bashing was a popular theme for this event. The woman who carried the sign on the left didn't know much about Judge Moss herself and had never been involved in a case in Family Court. However, she was active in many other political causes.

This man has a comprehensive plan for improving both the courts and the legislature. The term for every judge should be limited to one year. Judges should not be lawyers, but should be ordinary citizens who make rulings based on "common sense." Legislators should also not be lawyers. The man has no objections to lawyers running for the legislature, but if they win, they must temporarily give up their licenses to practice law while they are serving in Carson City. Otherwise, it is a violation of "separation of powers."

Photographing the news photographers. The fellow on the left, working for City Life magazine, didn't want to be photographed, but I did it anyway. (Note the stylish stubble on the face. I told him he looked, "totally Afghanistan.") The photographer on the right, from the Review-Journal, was more accommodating. (The court entrance is in the background.) Below: Photographers at work. In the photo on the right, I believe she is taking the photo that actually appeared in the R-J.



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