Corrupt Rulings in Talladega County Juvenile Court

About 2,600 juvenile court cases are in judicial limbo following news that Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Drayton Nabers has eliminated the judicial authority of Juvenile Court Judge Tommy Dobson. Here’s a story about it in the Talladega County Daily Home.

The problem boils down to Dobson’s having given court referee Jack E. Swinford blanket authority to sign orders rather than merely to make written findings and recommendations to the judge. Swinford resigned as a referee on Monday, the same day that Justice Nabors stripped Dobson of his judicial authority.

The cases in question were decided from October 1, 2003 through June 15, 2005. Dobson signed an order when he appointed Swinford as referee granting to Swinford the same authority as a judge, even though Swinford was not elected and not accountable to voters. Here’s what the document said:

The findings and recommendations of the referee are hereby confirmed and ordered by the court and the parties are hereby ordered to abide by and obey the findings and recommendations made by said referee and shall be treated as a final order herein unless either party files a written request for a rehearing within 14 days of the referee’s recommendation.

Dobson signed the order on October 1, 2003, but there’s no indication it was filed with the court until October 21, 2004. Under its authority, Swinford issued orders in 2,579 cases, which now must be reviewed to determine the extent of irregularities in them and what curative orders need to be issued in them.

Although there’s no question this creates a huge mess in Talladega County, there’s no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing. The problems seem at this point to be administrative only.

10 comments

  1. Arizonadad says:

    If you want to see real corruption of the laws in family court, look to the Second Judicial District Court of Bernalillo County, Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Court of Appeals for the State of New mexico. I have Judge Deborah Davis Walker on digital CD recording (I purchased copies of the audio recordings of the two hearings) stating that she disagreed with the law that required her to enforce a sister state change of custody order and therefore would do as she pleased. She declared a false emergency (false under the rule) and imposed Home State Jurisdiction without cause or authority (under the rule) and the Court of Appeals up held the lower courts ruling on the grounds that my request to register a sister state change if custody order had proven nothing against the ex wife. it was a request to register the change of custody order issued by the proper jurisdictional court, nothing needed to be proven against my ex wife. According to the rules of the UCCJEA and the PKPA and numerous US Supreme Court rulings. Under the existing laws of this country, all of the actions of the new mexico courts are invalid and unenforceable and infact are criminal acts.

  2. Tony Tagliaferro says:

    And you are suprised by this? Walker refused me child support for the children living with me. She then played stupid while my youngest daughter was kept from me for over 2.5 years. Remember Walker is the Judge that made a man pay child support for 5 years without contact or visitation only to find out there was no child. Walker loves money and is using the Court, Court Officers, etc. to make money for herself and her friends. If you think the NM Judicial Standards COmmission is going to do anything you would have to be crazy. They are there to protect the Judges, not keep them honest. You can go to the US Attorney and file charges. You can also write to the US Attorney General about it because the acts you list are Federal Crimes. Just make sure you don’t report them to the FBI in NM or the State Police, Shariff’s Department or the Albuquerque Police Department. You may want to contact http://www.family-justice.org see what Walker and her pals have done to others.
    Tony Tagliaferro
    505.450.3164

  3. ron says:

    yes

    I was in a corrupt court in texas; they threstened my daughters relatiosnhip with me because I asked for a custody hearing. everything is done in the back rooms.

    The falsified the court records – everything. they ordered me to supervised visitation and when I went I was told Il lnever see my daughtrer again –

    i havennt seen my daughter since 1997.

  4. Nana9 says:

    My daughter lived in Talladega during this period, and they never helped her to collect child support. The father is thousands of dollars in arrears and he even managed to get his monthly amount lowered with out my daughter being present at the hearing. We finally had to move her out of the county into another just to get some help.

  5. Leigh says:

    My husband and I have been stuck in the Family Court system in Bernalillo County, Albuquerque, NM for the past 2 years. We are on our 3rd judge, Judge Whitfield, after going through Judge Jewel, then Nash, both just dragged their feet and passed the buck. We have been undergoing supervised visits with court appointed visitation supervisor, Paul Labarre, who comes over to eat dinner and watch TV, only accepts cash and refuses to give a receipt. We also had a GAL appointed last year to the tune of 5K, 90% of which my husband was ordered to pay because even though my husband was required to provide his last years tax returns, the same laws apparently don’t apply to his x-wife who cries poor mouth, but actually makes 40K a year. The sad part of all of this is, we have depleated every last dime we had in savings and can no longer afford to fight this battle without loosing our own home and personal possession and it seems like nobody cares, this is no longer about the children but about money. Money we no longer have.

  6. thom says:

    whatever the ruling was,, judge dobson is still on the bench and content with locking up poor fathers for contempt because their child support is more than they can pay and still be able to eat and pay rent. if you cant buy food and pay your rent you end up homeless and unable to pay anyway,,

  7. Jennifer says:

    I am hearing a lot of bad things about NM family court rulings. I do have a child custody hearing coming up in Aug. It is before Judge Deborah Walker. I have been a single mother for 9 years with the childs father coming around only when it was convenient for him. Judge Walker ended up giving him “temporary” custody because I wanted to move out of state. She did not wait for my atty to come in who was in another emergency court hearing. Do I have something to worry about with her at my next hearing?

  8. Sarah says:

    Judge Deborah Davis Walker took my kids away from me for 6 months with two supervised visitations a week which i never got because i have no car and cant make it to the mountains to see them. She had no grounds to take me kids from me at all. There was never any question of my parenting and it was because of the person i was dating has a criminal record but was a better father to my kids than thier real father. My ex never paid me any child support and my kids beg me to come get them when i call them on the phone. I filed two emergency motions to modify custody to get my kids back and she only bumped up my court date by 2 months which i am NOT satisfied with. I live every day in hell without my kids because of Judge Deborah Davis Walker and my ex David. It’s just evil and it isnt fair because I love those kids and they love me and I take way better care of them than thier father that isnt working, lives with mommy and daddy and took them out of thier school!!!!

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