Date: July 2, 2018
Author: Brian Hickey, Philly Voice staff
Lyris Younge, a judge for the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania is transferred from the family court after several parents and lawyers issued complaints against her involving due process violations and “creating judicial parental alienation“. Critics say Judge Younge ruled by intimidation, not the law. Parents claimed their children were wrongly taken, and rights violated, when Judge Younge refused to allow them to address the court or present evidence.
A case from 2016 that made headlines when Judge Younge “did everything in her power” to remove a 5 month old infant from the custody of her parents, and place the child in foster care, even though a grandparent was able to provide care, in order to compel the parents to plead guilty to alleged abuse. Judge Younge’s ruling was later reversed. In a ruling on the case, Superior Court Judge Anne E. Lazarus said, “The fact that a trial judge tells parents that unless one of them ‘cops to an admission of what happened to the child’ they are going to lose their child flies in the face of not only the [child protection laws] but of the entire body of case law with regard to best interests of the child and family reunification.” Read more on this case: Court Slams Family Judge for Holding Baby in Foster Care to Force Confession (ALM Media)
A petition was also created by concerned parents to remove Judge Younge from the bench PETITION TO REMOVE JUDGE LYRIS F. YOUNGE FROM OFFICE
The petition reads, in part, “Within her short time on the bench, Younge has amassed more appeals then any other judge in the Philadelphia Family Court Of Common Pleas, which has resulted in 9 ruling overturns by the Superior Court.
Hundreds of families have been affected due to younge’s unsupported decisions. Younge is suppose to preserve the family unit, and ONLY place children who are not safe and in danger. Lyris Younge has made it her goal to separate families, terminate parental rights, and adopt their children out. How can we have faith in our judiciary system when the superior court acknowledges, Lyris Younge’s goal is to deteriorate the bond between parents and children…”
The decision to transfer Judge Younge out of family court resulted after she was investigated by the Judicial Conduct Board.