The Columbia County courthouse was a lot busier earlier Thursday after a handful of protestors demonstrated, holding signs begging the court system to see their side.
"There's a couple of cases in Augusta where children appear to be injured," said Deb Beacham, Executive Director of My Advocate Center. "There's actual evidence of injuries to children, so the evidence isn't making it onto the court record for some reason."
Beacham made the trip from Atlanta today to do case research and observe the demonstrators.
Marching, holding signs, some of them said, they've been directly impacted by what they said is a lack of oversight of the family court system.
"It's just a sad thing for the child," said Cheryl Glover. "It hurts. It really hurts."
Glover said her grandchild is caught up in the system; after her son's divorce, she said she can barely get any time to see her own flesh and blood.
"There are other parents and grandparents who have lost visitation time with their children and grandchildren, and we just want to see change come to our family court system," said Glover.
A particular case Beacham is researching is one where she said a Columbia County mother is fighting to get her child back from his abusive dad. Something as simple as taking the kid to the doctor for alleged injuries inflicted by the father have landed the mom in hot water.
"So far DFCS and law enforcement have not pursued the investigation," said Beacham. "We're here to understand why that's happening."
The judge in that case is The Honorable Daniel Craig. I reached out to his office, and his secretary wouldn't patch me through to him, and said he doesn't answer questions about specific cases. I then asked if maybe he could talk with me about family case law in general; she said, he doesn't do that either. We'll keep chasing answers in this case - and let you know what happens next.
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