NJCDLP is committed to helping ensure that relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren are not preempted or otherwise diminished based on improper considerations by judges during legal proceedings, whether unwittingly or deliberately. Towards that end, NJCDLP is in the early phases of its "More Than Solomon Project" (MTS).
As of January 2013, NJCDLP is examining the constitutionality of how U.S. judges tend to resolve credibility contests (a/k/a "he said - she said" fights) in determining grandparent rights. So far, related investigation and research suggest the fact-finding process is too subjective and may foster class-based
discrimination. Should corresponding due process and equal protection concerns become increasingly justified through additional investigation and research, NJCDLP will spearhead appropriate public awareness and reform initiatives which
may include soliciting attorneys for public interest litigation.
Our Project Inspiration: Solomon, King of Israel - Solomon, the second son of King David and Bathsheba, reigned for 40 years as King of Israel. His prayer to God for wisdom and God's answer are set out in the Kings James Version of 1 Kings 3:9-12:
9. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
10. And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
12. Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
With this gift from God, Solomon was said to have resolved a maternity battle between two women. Both came to his court claiming to be the mother of the same baby. As a ploy, Solomon reportedly threatened to split the baby in two and give half to each woman.
Solomon's proverbial proposal to "split the baby" seemed acceptable to one of the women before him. The other withdrew her request for custody in hopes that Solomon would spare the baby's life. Because she thereby placed the child's
well being above her own desires, Solomon knew this woman was the baby's mother and awarded her custody.
NJCDLP's MTS strives to bring more objectivity and predictability to credibility contests impacting grandparent rights. The goal is not to eliminate substantial reliance on judicial wisdom and discretion in resolving credibility contests. Instead, MTS will explore the prospect of establishing certain objective, predictable criteria to guide judicial resolution of credibility contests. The corresponding goal is to best assure grandparents of fair and impartial fact finding when their visitation with or custody of a grandchild or grandchildren is at stake.
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