Judge checks Bitcoin price during domestic violence case hearing

Robert J Hansen

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Christine Garcia-Sen who checked the price of Bitcoin during court proceedings on Feb. 28, 2023.Photo by(Santa Clara County Court)

A Santa Clara Superior Court judge took time to check the price of Bitcoin, which was $23514.36/ BTC, during family court proceedings yesterday, according to leaked recordings.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Christine Garcia-Sen, who was sworn to the bench in 2021, was listening to a custody hearing when she changed windows to check the website tradingview.com for the value of Bitcoin.

The video can be seen below.

At the time judge was looking at Bitcoin price, she was presiding over a domestic violence case hearing the alleged abusive father did not have an attorney.

He was requesting to see his children and Judge Garcia-Sen ordered supervised visitation.

Judge Garcia-Sen oversaw at least four cases during the hour-and-a-half video. 

Bitcoin, traded on a decentralized network, is difficult to track and many in divorces, spouses underreport their holdings or try to hide funds in online wallets that can be difficult to get into, according to New York Times reporting.

“Originally, it was under the mattress, and then it was the bank account in the Caymans,” Jacqueline Newman, a New York divorce attorney said to the Times. “Now it’s crypto.”

The courts can order cryptocurrency exchanges to relinquish somebody’s funds however a person’s digital wallet, where cryptocurrencies are stored, is not subject to any court-ordered control and requires a personalized password to access.

When the father asked how much the liaison for his supervised visits would cost, Judge Garcia-Sen sharply told him, “I don’t know,” before directing him out of the courtroom.

This is breaking news and will be updated.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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