WARREN Judge forbids young kids in courtroom
The judge said those in court should find a child-care provider.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Small children are not welcome in one municipal courtroom.
Judge Thomas Gysegem has posted a large sign on his courtroom door alerting the public that young children are not to be inside.
The sign says: "Children under the age of 10 years old absolutely prohibited from this courtroom."
Court officials said the sign was posted last week after a crying child caused the judge to temporarily suspend proceedings. The judge left the court, and security had to ask the adult with the child to leave the courtroom, officials said.
Municipal court normally handles traffic and misdemeanor criminal charges.
The judge, who is the father of two children, said he does not believe the court is a place for small children.
"It's been an ongoing problem," the judge said. "Having small children in the court prevents me from concentrating."
Judge Terry Ivanchak, the court's other judge, does not have a similar sign posted. Judge Ivanchak could not be reached to comment.
No problems: Law Director Greg Hicks said he doesn't believe the judge's order will cause any problems.
"It is his court, so he can do it if he wants to," Hicks said. "Sometimes young children will act up if they are in court because they are bored. It can be difficult at times to get court proceedings done with young children in the court, plus there are things that can go on in court that young children shouldn't have to witness."
Baby sitters: The judge said that a defendant, who has young children, should make arrangements for someone to stay with them.
"I don't know of any reason why someone would have to bring a child to court," Judge Gysegem said. "There are times that a parent has to be away from their child, and court [proceedings] should be one of those times. I don't bring my children to court."
Hicks said he understands that for single parents it could be difficult to find a baby sitter.
"As soon as the person knows that they can't arrange for someone else to watch their children, then they have to call the court and find out if they can get another court [hearing] date," Hicks said.