Officials upset over divorced fathers angry protests

Legal officials look for ways to control recent trend of demonstrations outside private residences of family court judges.

Father and son 521 (photo credit: Israel Weiss)
Father and son 521
(photo credit: Israel Weiss)
Top judicial and legal officials met recently to figure out ways to use the law to exercise greater control over what many officials consider a disturbing trend of demonstrations outside private residences of family court judges without police permits.
Among the top officials were Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, head of the Court Administration Michael Spitzer and state prosecutor Moshe Lador.
According to a court official, there is a growing trend of disgruntled fathers who have lost custody hearings and then demonstrated or threatened to demonstrate outside the private residences of the judges who ruled against them without getting permits from the police.
While the right to demonstrate is sacred, said the official, all demonstrations need police permits, and many of these demonstrations have been violating the law in that regard.
The meetings of top officials have focused on being more meticulous about enforcing rules regarding receiving police permits and enforcement against those individuals who demonstrate outside judges’ houses without those permits.
The official denied other media reports that there was a move to pass new laws to prohibit demonstrating outside judges’ houses across the board.
Rather, there must be a sense that “with freedom comes responsibility,” said the official, noting that any democratic government must find a balance between freedom of expression and assembly and invasion of public officials’ private space without acquiring the required permits.