Group Protests Family Court System in Augusta

Group Protests Family Court System in Augusta (Image 1)_29958

About a dozen parents showed up at the Columbia County Courthouse on Friday to protest the family court system.

“We’ve been doing this for two years now. Stop Parental Bullying is an organization that we started a couple of years ago because we found out that things were going on in the family court systems that shouldn’t be going on,” Founder Cheryl Glover said.

The group says that judges are being unfair to parents who are dealing with child custody cases.

In Cheryl Glover’s case, she says her grandson was taken away from her son.

“The children need both parents to parent them. And there’s no reason why they cannot give both parents 50/50 custody,” she said.

Glover and the other parents say there is also a big problem with the guardian ad litem system.

Whenever the guardian does work for the parents, they charge fees, and some parents say the guardians are overcharging.

“Because they know they can make money and they know as long as they keep people in litigation and keep it going and going and going, people have been in litigation for 8 years, 9 years, 10 years… do you know how much that cost?” Glover said.

In the case of Shannon Lingefelt, she still owes a guardian ad litem more than $1,600 and because of that, she’s facing jail time for failure to pay.

“How much do they charge and why do they charge so much? She’s probably already spent thousands of dollars,” Glover said.

One mother even came from Atlanta to join the group’s cause.

“My daughter is suffering neglect and abuse in another state because the judge moved her out of the state of Georgia even though Georgia is my home state,” Jazmin Rivera-Sommano said.

The group is now asking for changes to be done to the family court system… something that has been done recently in other states.

“We want Family Court reform. We want those judges that have been hiding documents and have been altering documents, those judges that are not listening to the facts, they need to step down,” Glover said

Lingefelt was supposed to turn herself in today because of the $1,600 she owes to a guardian ad litem, but she says she filed an appeal on the case, which gives her another opportunity to fight the charge.

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