the court of family affairs totally saturated - THECHOWANIECS.COM

the court of family affairs totally saturated

For several weeks, Toulouse family lawyers have been sounding the alarm. In this month of September, the court is still congested. Divorce, child custody, alimony: there are no more hearing dates available at the Toulouse court.

Divorce, child custody or allocation of alimony … The files continue to pile up at the Toulouse courthouse in a very worrying way.

A petition facing the lack of means

As of June 23, 2022, the Council of the Toulouse Bar Association had however alerted and launched a petition in the face of the lack of resources in the court in charge of family matters. “Resources for family justice at the stop in Toulouse”. Such is his name. It has now collected more than 1970 signatures.

“The situation is catastrophic. CurrentIt is almost impossible to obtain a hearing date for divorce, to fix a residence or a right of reception for the children or an alimony within a reasonable time. For example, it takes between 2 and 2 and a half years to obtain a divorce in Toulouse, even with simple files, or 6 months to a year longer than usual. Waiting times that are unbearable for our customers and even detrimental for the spouses and their children”explains Maître Aurélien Delecroix, a civil law lawyer in Toulouse.

No date available to assign

Another lawyer from Toulouse confirms this blocking situation which has lasted for several weeks.

In practice, to seize a judge for family affairs we must obtain a date from the registry to assign. However, today, we have no date available either for a divorce or for non-divorce proceedings. For example, a father who no longer sees his child because his mother refuses to introduce him, who has never gone to court for his separation, is forced to wait months before having a decision. He has no visibility to know when he will see his child again. It is a disaster. And without a court order, the police cannot intervene.

Me Sophie Dermarkar, Family Lawyer

The anger of the litigants

This observation provokes the anger and incomprehension of the citizens of Haut-Garonne who are awaiting a trial or a decision from the family court judge.

Faced with a completely overcrowded court, the lawyers obtain hearing dates but “sparingly”. The jurisdiction is not at a standstill, but it lacks the means to deal with the requests.

Me Nathalie Dupont, specialist in family law, spoke in June in the press about these difficulties. “Even if the magistrates and the clerks are doing the impossible, they have reached saturation point, they cannot do more. To render justice as soon as possible, it would be necessary to hire with a vengeance.»

Toulouse has seen its demography explode in 20 years, but in the Toulouse courts the number of magistrates and clerks has not followed. It would take between fifty and eighty more civil servants to cope with the increase in the population and the disputes that naturally ensue.

Me Pierre Dunac, President of the Toulouse Bar

The risk, according to the lawyers, is that simple disagreements dealt with too late do not turn into conflicts with dramatic turns.

Delays only exacerbate difficulties and tensions and even conflicts in difficult cases, especially for children. You have to make quick decisions, which is not possible at the moment. In 15 years of practice, I have never experienced such a situation.

Me Aurélien Delecroix, civil law lawyer

“Politicians are constantly showing a desire to fight against domestic violence, this subject should be an essential point. It is unacceptable that a court like Toulouse does not have sufficient means”explains Me Pierre Dunac, the president of the Toulouse bar.

“6 magistrates, it would take 12”

Today the jurisdiction of Toulouse has 6 magistrates for family affairs where it would take at least 12 to absorb a major dispute which represents 50% of civil cases in court.

Me Pierre Dunac, President of the Toulouse Bar

Two additional magistrates were expected in September for family affairs in Toulouse. “A additional magistrate will arrive but he will not be there until November 14. We then have two other magistrates, who do not have a dedicated post, who will be placed in family affairs from October 10 but only until December 31. For the moment, therefore, we cannot have any hearing dates. We should have new time slots by the end of September for hearings in the first quarter of 2023. This is totally intolerable. We put a bandage on a wooden leg.” concludes Me Pierre Dunac.

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