Deportment in a court of any kind is vital. And especially in the two courts that I have dealings, dependency and LPS, if someone does not present well, that can present poorly in the judges eyes making the defendant lose their case.
When I talk about deportment I mean how the defendant carries themselves. In the case of LPS conservatorship hearings, this can be a large issue as the conservatee may appear disheveled and dirty. The conservatee may have been blindsighted by the upcoming hearing. The conservatee may come in hospital attire or not have showered the day before. If their hair and appearance is out of order this reinforces the idea that the conservatee does not know how to take care of their ADLs. The conservatee and the hospital staff should make an effort to have the conservatee prepare.
Another issue with LPS conservatee is that they may talk to themselves or present as hearing voices. I have seen several conservatees who were rolled in believing that they were going to win their hearing, but were talking to themselves constantly. The conservatees would talk about jesus or conspiracies. Even though it sounds out of a movie, conservatees will carry on conservations despite facing a hearing. These conservations may seem logical for the conservatee but in reality they are often disorganized and makes the conservatee appear even more "crazy".
In the realm of dependency court, the defendants, the parents, must remember to remain calm and not lose their temper. Dependency court especially in the early stages are confusing and angering. The parents may have read their detention report and saw some unsavoury facts. These may have made them cry out loud or cuss and yell. Even though the feelings within may make a parent want to cuss and shout, it is very important to talk to their counsel and remain calm. See if they can hold it in until they reach a private place. You never know who is watching.
Even though the judges are to make an impartial decision based on facts and evidence, many judges are biased or rubber stamp judges and seeing public outbursts of emotions do not help anyone's case.
That is my PSA for today.
Juvenile Dependency and