Saturday, January 01, 2005

From the Annals of the Weird

Another activist judge doing his thing:

A Spokane woman trying to divorce her estranged husband two years after he was jailed for beating her has been told by a judge she can't get out of the marriage while she's pregnant.
The case pits a first-year attorney who argues that state law allows any couple to divorce if neither spouse chal-lenges it against a longtime family law judge who asserts that the rights of the unborn child in this type of case trump a woman's right to divorce.
"There's a lot of case law that says it is important in this state that children not be illegitamized," Spokane County Superior Court Judge Paul Bastine told The Spokesman-Review newspaper.
Further complicating things, Shawnna Hughes claims her husband is not the child's father.
The bottom line, says Hughes' attorney, Terri Sloyer, is that there's nothing in state law that says a mother can't get a divorce if she's pregnant.
"We don't live in 15th century England," Sloyer said. "I am absolutely dumbfounded by it."
Hughes' husband, Carlos, was convicted in 2002 of beating her. She separated from him after the attack and filed for divorce last April. She later became pregnant by another man and is due in March.
Her husband never contested the divorce, and Court Commissioner Pro Tem Julia Pelc approved it in late October.
However, the approved divorce papers didn't note that Hughes was pregnant. Sloyer filed amended papers to correct the omission, and the next day, she spoke with Bastine by phone. Bastine said he planned to rescind the divorce and then did so following a Nov. 4 hearing.
"It's not the child's fault that mom got pregnant," Bastine said. "The answer is, you don't go around doing that when you're not divorced."

This is such a shining example of the idiocy one arrives at when institutions are adulated while the individuals in them are totally scorned.
Via Democratic Underground.