More than a year and a half for a divorce. Hearing dates impossible to obtain even when it comes to urgently organizing child custody or fixing the amount of child support. Toulouse lawyers, like magistrates, are powerless in a judicial machine that is out of breath. They launched a petition for all citizens to ask for means for family justice.
Family justice is broken. According to the Toulouse Bar Council, it is currently impossible to obtain hearing dates to start divorce proceedings.
And when the files are already engaged, according to Me Pierre Dunac, president of the Toulouse Bar, it takes more than a year and a half to obtain a decision. This situation is due to the shortage of magistrates and court clerks. For twenty years, in the Toulouse courts, their number has not kept up with the demographic explosion of the capital of Occitania. For the representative of Toulouse lawyers, between fifty and eighty more civil servants would be needed to cope with the increase in the population and the disputes that naturally ensue.
The magistrates have already alerted the public authorities on numerous occasions. At the national level, they were 3000 plus a hundred clerks to sign a forum in the newspaper Le Monde in November 2021.
Lawyers, like all Justice personnel, no longer count the mobilizations in Toulouse and elsewhere in France, to denounce the poverty of the means allocated by the State. No result.
So today, as the situation is still deteriorating, the Council of the Toulouse Bar Association calls for citizen mobilization through an online petition which has just been launched this Thursday, June 23, 2022.
Family justice is an extremely concrete and priority area for a large number of people. Divorce judgments, the organization of the sharing of custody of children in the event of separation, the payment of alimony, so many situations which sometimes turn into conflict in families. And when there is no other way out, it would be necessary, in these cases, for a rapid intervention of Justice.
According to Me Nathalie Dupont, former president of the Toulouse bar, specialist in family law. ” Family Justice is failing, even if the magistrates and the clerks do the impossible. They have reached saturation, they cannot do more. To render justice as soon as possible, it would be necessary to hire with a vengeance. »
Currently, in Toulouse, family justice is failing.Me Nathalie Dupont, lawyer specializing in family law
This lawyer who accompanies many clients in family matters, believes that the government and Parliament are taking a great risk by not seriously financing this daily justice. ” When a family breakup file drags on too long, it can degenerate in a couple. And it can create violent conflicts that risk affecting the whole family. “.
For this lawyer, the first victims of the slowness of family justice are the children. ” When custody is not organized by a judge, there are cases where incidents multiply in front of parents’ homes or children’s schools. And it is often the latter who live the worst with the shortcomings of Justice. »
For the president of the Toulouse bar, with the petition launched on June 23, all citizens can manifest themselves. ” Everyone can thus send a message to the government and parliamentarians, to say that the situation is intolerable. “.
According to Me Pierre Dunac, daily justice has been neglected for 30 years. ” Family Justice is 50% of civil litigation. It weighs heavily on the judicial machine. And it is essential that it works well, for the whole of society. »
The risk, according to the lawyers, is that simple disagreements treated too late do not turn into conflicts with dramatic turns. This would trigger a spiral that would in turn clog the criminal justice system.