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Thursday, November 24, 2005

What are Court Watchers?

Court Watchers are the eyes and ears of the public that observe and report the (mis) conduct of various Judicial Officers. In family law, the practice of court watching extends to include the monitoring of “Referees” and other “officers and employees” that have judicial influence. Court Watchers are concerned wit h how courts are responding to various social issues that have come into view of the Judicial system and aim to report their observations to the public.

Existing Court Watching programs monitor anything from audibility of proceedings to the behavior of court personnel as well as alleged misconduct and gender bias in the courts. The premise of most community programs is that while judges, jurors, and court personnel want to do the right thing, having residents, and citizens evaluating court proceedings encourages impartiality for parties involved in court cases and holds courts accountable to the communities they serve when those officials act in a arbitrary or unethical manner.

Court Watchers get involved when there are documented allegations of misconduct by court officials within a particular case or when there is moderate dissent about a particular official and his/her exercise of authority in an arbitrary fashion. Once Court Watchers get involved, the concern of how officers of the court perform their duty in upholding their Oaths to protect the Federal and State Constitution comes into view. Questions such as “Has Due Process been served in this hearing?” become valid questions to the Court Watchers, who many times have been exposed to adequate number of hearings to provide solid documentary evidence to the major questions that either support or rebuke allegations of (mis) conduct.

If you would like to get involved with a Michigan Court Watching program in your community, please contact us at If you would like file a public complaint against an official and would like to provide documentary evidence to support your claims, please send your complete information to

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