Hiding The Happy
Court proceedings are, as a rule, public. By design, anyone is entitled to see pretty much everything that happens in open court.
Now, I’m in court a lot. So I see restraining orders get imposed in domestic violence situations. People getting sentenced to prison and accused of all sorts of awful crimes. People getting evicted. People getting sued and hit with civil judgments for all sorts of awful things. People getting divorced. People dealing with traffic tickets and child support payments and judgment collections. Almost no one leaves that building feeling happy.
None of these things produce happiness. On a typical day, a courts does one thing, and one thing only, that really make people happier than when they walked in. It’s called an “adoption.” I saw a beautiful family today, about a dozen people, all dressed up and smiling and hugging and celebrating in the hallway.
But by law, the proceeding was confidential; everyone but the immediate family was excluded from the room. So when the courts do the one thing that actually makes people happier in their lives, they lock the doors and the public can’t see it.