Adams Had Offenders Read Books & Write Reports In Family Court

Posted: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 18:45

During the month of October and for some of November, Cassandra Adams, director of Cumberland School of Law’s Community Mediation Center [CCMC] and Public Interest Programs, served as a special judge in the Family Court of Jefferson County, Ala. Family Court is often called Juvenile Court because it exercises jurisdiction in matters involving children. The court handles cases such as ones where a child is alleged to be delinquent, dependent or in need of supervision.

While sitting in for Judge Huff, Adams heard matters that involved children that had committed drug, weapon and truancy offenses. Adams used a creative approach to address some of these issues. She had offenders read books and write reports. Adams has since donated several books to the court to continue this process, if a judge chooses to do so.

Adams continues to build a strong relationship between Family Court and Cumberland School of Law. She started the Paternity Service Docket, which has evolved into a course credit opportunity for law students. In addition, through the court system and the CCMC, Adams provides mediation services for post minority pro se clients. Both of these opportunities have proved to be invaluable to the court and to law students' legal skills building.

Paternity Service Docket
At the Paternity Service Docket, Cumberland School of Law students run a docket three Fridays a month throughout the year at Family Court. When someone applies for child support through the Alabama Department of Human Resources the docket will appear in Family Court. Based on the information given within the docket, a defendant will be served. Law students will file the paperwork to produce a court date where the defendant will appear in front of a Family Court judge. In the past, law students have also helped calculate child support payments. In addition, if the docket returns to the court undeliverable, law students will investigate how to locate the parties and provide these details to the special investigator.