Jane Doe is actually a fictional divorcée whose plight will seem acquainted to most divorce Lawyers. Her husband, John Doe, experienced consistently and flatly lied in gaining Key household care of Jane's younger daughters. He claimed to cook many their daughters' meals, wash their http://jscottbennettattorney.com/ apparel, browse to them... the fabricated record went on and on. Few witnesses could contradict him mainly because he taken care of a convincing façade for family and friends. The only real 3rd-party witnesses who understood the truth were being the events' daughters, and Jane Doe's lawyer declined to provide the younger girls' testimony. Her lawyer said testimony from "Young children is frequently inadmissible."
Jane Doe, like many divorcing moms and dads, might have misplaced custody simply because her attorney was unaware of current legal developments opening the doorway for boy or girl testimony. In 2010 the Washington Supreme Court docket's opinion in Point out v. S.J.W., a hundred and seventy Wn.2nd 92 clarified that kids are presumptively knowledgeable to testify. Since the Courtroom wrote: "A 6-year-old little one... may be a lot more qualified to testify than an adult inside of a given situation; no court need to presume a kid is incompetent to testify dependent upon age by yourself... [W]e maintain that courts ought to presume all witnesses are competent to testify in spite of their age." The Courtroom buttressed its opinion with similar federal legislation.
In a 2011 Household Regulation Evidence Continuing Authorized Instruction Seminar in Snohomish County, commentator Karl Tegland said witnesses about the age of four are likely to survive competency issues in Washington. An viewers member responsively chortled that no Snohomish County family regulation "commissioner would go away a legal professional using a shred of dignity" Should the lawyer attempted to post a declaration from a child that age. Other attendees shared the vocal audience member's reservations about youngster testimony. Clear simple and community policy problems have offered area courts and practitioners very good reason to prevent baby testimony, particularly in family legislation hearings where get-togethers post evidence by declaration.
Having said that, the S.J.W. scenario, federal legislation, and Tegland's remark recommend the perceived worth of kid testimony is beating many of those concerns in other venues and jurisdictions. Eric Johnson, a Utah legal professional, wrote the following in defense of the kid depositions he conducts: "The actual rationale people don't need youngsters deposed... is since young children, by their virtue of being younger, and so inexperienced and naïve, have a good deal more challenging time remaining intelligent and evasive. Those who don't need kids deposed object simply because a Kid's testimony very generally has genuine evidentiary value that may be damaging to the situation of individuals who object to the child's deposition."
For much better or even worse, makes an attempt to supply the testimony of younger children are coming. Divorce attorneys in Snohomish County and all over Washington Condition must be well prepared.