Law expert stunned by judge's decision to hold children in detention center

Three children are in an Oakland County detention center after refusing a court-ordered lunch with their father. 

Protests formed outside the Oakland County courthouse Wednesday after Bloomfield Hills students, parents and teachers learned the Tsimhoni children were sentenced to Children's Village until their 18th birthdays for not wanting to spend time with their dad.

On Tuesday FOX 2 first showed court transcripts which describe exactly how family court Judge Lisa Gorcyca handled a hearing which was suppose to deal with supervised parenting time.

She berated the children, comparing them to Charles Manson and his cult. And claimed they were brainwashed. The judge made threats saying if they didn't apologize and go to lunch with dad they would live in separate cells where they would have to go to the bathroom in front of others.

When they refused to spend time with their father - Judge Lisa Gorcyca found the kids in civil contempt and had the kids locked up.

Read the court transcript as the judge as she sent the three kids to Children's Village

"I was in such in a shock I couldn't believe I was even there," said Maya Tsimhoni, the children's mother.

Larry Dubin, an attorney who has been a law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy for the last 40 years, was also stunned by Gorcyca's decision.

"To treat this like a case of contempt where she sends them away until they're willing to comply with court order seems harsh with respect to young children," Dubin said. "It certainly can raise all kinds of Constitutional issues." 

The judge sided with the father, who is in Israel right now. 

His attorney issued this statement - in part it reads "The situation is traumatic for everyone. It is unfortunate the children are in shelter care due to the actions of the mother. Dr. Tsimhoni has continued to endorse the children's behavior that she instilled in them, effectively alienating them from their father."

Lisa Stern who is the mother's attorney, acknowledges a lengthy court battle between parents. But feels the kids shouldn't have to pay the price.

"You said there are people who believe you are behind this, brainwashing the children," Stern said. "Even taken as true the children should not be punished the person to punish would be Maya herself."

Dubin talked about the rights of the children and believes they may have been violated.

"To treat this like a case of contempt where she sends them away until they're willing to comply with court order seems harsh with respect to young children," Dubin said. "It certainly can raise all kinds of Constitutional issues." 

Dubin believes the judge may have abused her power. They are not allowed to see their mother while they are locked away.

"If you want to bring them together," Dubin said. "This seems to be in my opinion, the opposite way of creating a loving environment between a mother and father." 

There are plenty of allegations on both sides but no parent has been criminally charged with anything.
 
The Oakland County Chief Judge Nanci Grant  was upset with FOX 2's story and wanted to point out that Gorcyca felt she exhausted all other avenues to reunite this family. And that the mother has had multiple attorneys and has ignored several court orders.
   
Grant says the children are not in the detention portion of Children's Village - but the care portion. However - as you saw from the court transcripts, that's not what Gorcyca said. She said "jail" she used the terms "cells" and mentioned they would have to go to the bathroom in front of other people. 

Gorcyca also had the children separated and ordered that their mother is not allowed to visit them in the center.

Also the father said in his press release that the children were properly represented and all were appointed an attorney. 

FOX 2 reached out to all three attorneys today but have not received responses.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories