Tahlequah Attorney BlogKids in Court: What Is an in-Camera?

It’s a Real Tough Thing To Try To Put a Child in Court

Video Transcribed: You have a case, and you have children that need to tell the judge something. They need to testify. But, you don’t want to call children to the stand and have them have to testify in open court with attorneys badgering them for questioning. What do you do?

Hi, my name is Ryan Cannonie. I’m an attorney in Tahlequah, and there is a situation we call in cam or in-camera hearings that are very important in matters like these. This is child custody, this is guardianships, anything involving children, really, outside of a criminal context. That is an in-camera hearing.

Now, an in-camera hearing is going to be a situation where the judge, usually with their bailiff so they have a witness, will go in and talk to the children in their chambers, with no attorneys involved. If I represent you, I’m not in there. The other side’s not in there. You’re not in there. The other side’s not in there.

It’s just the judge, and sometimes their bailiff will be in there to see what happens. Now, on these in-camera hearings, the judge can ask whatever questions they want of the child.

Sometimes they just let the child talk. But, the whole point is to get the evidence the child would be giving in court out in a way that doesn’t traumatize or further harm the child in any way.

It’s a real tough thing to try to put a child in court and say, “Tell us about what your mom did to you or what your dad did to you,” while their mom or dad is sitting right there. This is just a way to help the process and make it so that kids are not further harmed, but the court can still hear the evidence and testimony they need.

Now, if you have a situation where you have children that are old enough to really talk to a judge, that needs to talk to a judge, then this is something you should probably be talking about with your attorney.

If you have questions about this, if you have questions about any custody matter or anything involving children, then please give us a call (918) 458-2677, or go to tahlequahattorney.com, shoot us a web form. We’d love to help you.

Bookmark and Share