In May of 2018 Health Impact News published the story of Philadelphia Family Court Judge Lyris Younge, who was accused of “judicially created parental alienation” by a Pennsylvania state appeals court. See:
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed the termination of parental rights that had been decreed under Judge Lyris Younge of Philadelphia Family Court.
According to the ABA Journal, a child referred to as N.M. was taken from her parents after she was found to have two broken ribs. The appellate decision is public record, with the parents and children identified only by their initials.
The baby was taken to the doctor after signs of “increased fussiness.” The pediatrician had the family take the baby to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where they ran a series of x-rays.
When two fractured ribs were found, the Child Abuse Team, including Dr. Natalie Stavas, decided that the only explanation was abuse. The Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) was called on April 7, 2016, and the baby was seized from her parents. DHS refused to place the baby with her grandparents, and she was placed into foster care. The parents’ rights were terminated.
It is apparent from the appeals document that there are other medical possibilities for the baby’s injuries that were not considered. The family was not permitted to have other medical experts testify as to other possible diagnoses. Because the parents did not have an explanation, the foregone conclusion at CHOPS was “abuse.”
Judge Lyris Younge was later removed from the bench as her trial was pending.
Today, (February 19, 2020), Philadelphia media is reporting that Judge Younge has admitted to the allegations to avoid trial.
Philadelphia judge accused of improperly jailing parents in custody cases admits misconduct charges
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Lyris Younge, who had been fighting a complaint charging her with 10 counts of judicial misconduct over 18 months in Family Court, has admitted to the allegations in a filing with the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline.
With that admission, made public late Tuesday, Younge, 53, will avoid a trial that had been set for Wednesday on claims that she had failed to be impartial, demonstrated an improper judicial demeanor, denied parties their right to be heard in court, and caused “inordinate” delays in cases involving young children that were supposed to be fast-tracked.
As a judge in Family Court, Younge on several occasions prevented parents from speaking in court proceedings about the removal of their children from their care, The Inquirer reported. One mother described being handcuffed in the courthouse while her kids were taken away. She would not regain custody of the children for eight months, until after Younge was removed from her courtroom.
In another case, a mother became ill during proceedings and stepped out of the courtroom. Younge barred her from reentering and, while she was absent, terminated her parental rights.
Read the full article at The Philadelphia Inquirer