Court procedures outweigh justice

January 15, 2014 

My wife was not properly prepared for a hearing held at the courthouse in Belleville last week because she had never previously been to an order of protection hearing before.

She had no questions prepared because she had initially thought the judge would be asking the questions. If she had been made aware of this prior to the hearing, she would have been much better prepared with a list of questions for her witnesses.

It would have been nice to have a set of guidelines and procedures, especially for pro se plaintiffs, but it is what it is. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement in regard to informing pro se plaintiffs of court procedures.

Although deputy Joe Steinhauer's testimony was taken as key testimony and was the deciding factor in the court's decision, I feel his response to the question, as asked, was misinterpreted.

When my wife told the defendant she was insulted why he questioned her disability, he responded, "Good, I'm glad you're insulted." This was recorded on audio tape. It was uncalled for and hardly a civil response to a member of the public, especially concerning her disability parking.

My wife was denied the order of protection.

Steps must be taken to protect the disabled and no one should have the right to question and doubt the condition of anyone with a disability. A person with a disability should not be used as a doormat as a means to provoke someone else.

Richard Donovan

Trustee, Caseyville Township

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