The prosecuting attorney gets a bit rough on the youth in “Family Court” but a surprise plea bargain by the defense gives this court case a graceful twist at the end.
Characters: Youth, Parents, Prosecuting Attorney, Defense Attorney, Court Assistant, Judge
Props & Setup: Set it up to look like a courtroom with desks, tables, chairs. Next to the judge’s desk set up a bunch of chairs in a line facing the audience. You’ll also need Bibles, a gavel, a brief case or two, and perhaps some books and papers to look like professional documents. If you wish, watch one of the courtroom dramas on TV for more ideas and professional lawyer lingo.
Note: The Prosecutor probably will need a clipboard to keep all the stories straight. She can refer to it or simply read her lines directly from the clipboard. To get funny crime stories about the youth, do a bit of research and dig up some wild stories about each one. Ask their parents beforehand to provide you with a juicy stories about things they did when they were younger or as babies. Then prepare the stories with the person playing the prosecutor, and embellish or exaggerate the stories a bit just to make the kids squirm – all in good fun of course!
The Skit: The Judge enters and sits at his desk. The youth are marched into the courtroom and seated in a line of chairs facing the audience. The Judge bangs his mallet on his desk and says, “Order in the court, order in the court.” A court assistant, standing next to the judge’s desk says, “This court will now come to order! All rise.” Everyone stands up. The court assistant says, “Family court is now in session, the honorable judge presiding.” Everyone sits back down. The judge states, “It has come to the attention of this court that there have been a number of offenses committed among family members recently, therefore, the offenders will be tried and their sentences executed today.” The court assistant says, “Will the defendants please rise and place your hands on your Bibles. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.” With their hands on their Bibles the youth say, “We do.” and sit back down.
The prosecuting attorney rises and approaches the first youth. She instructs him, “Young man, would you please stand up so the court can get a good look at the rotten, no-good, lying, cheating, little stinker that you are!” The defense attorney stands up and says, “I object!” The judge says, “Sustained.”
The Prosecutor continues with a barrage of questions and accusations, “Is it true that you snuck out of the house last week? and stole the keys to your father’s car? and went for a joyride with your friends? and then ran a red light? and then ran the car into a stop sign? and then proceeded to cover the whole thing up by painting over the dent with a can of Rustoleum? Is this story true? Yes or no?” He says, “Uh, not exactly.” The judge bangs down his gavel and shouts, “Guilty!” The defendant sits down embarrassed and ashamed.
The Prosecutor moves immediately to the next youth and goes through the same kind of ridicule, questioning, and accusing, but with a different story. The youth may try to speak or get a word in edge-wise, but the Prosecutor moves so fast with the questions and accusations that it’s over before they can blink an eye. The Prosecutor proceeds down the line of youth in rapid succession, and in turn, each one is pronounced guilty along with the bang of the Judges gavel.
After all the youth have been tried and convicted of their crimes, the Prosecutor sits back down. The courtroom assistant says, “The defendants will now rise for their sentencing.”
As the defendants stand up, the judge says, “Tisk, tisk, you naughty, naughty little girls and boys. You have been tried and found guilty of the crimes as stated in this courtroom today. Now you must bear the punishment for your crimes, and that is going to be a lot of fun for me!”
At this point, the Defense Attorney stands and asks, “May the Defense approach the desk?” The Judge is surprised by this last minute move, but consents. The Defense Attorney and the Prosecutor approach the bench and have a hushed conference there for a few seconds. The Prosecutor is visibly irate at what the Defense is proposing, but everything is kept hush-hush. Finally the conference is over and both attorneys return to their seats.
The Judge directs his attention back to the youth and says, “It appears that the Defense is smarter than he looks. A plea bargain has been made at the bench seeking alternate redemption for the defendants misdemeanors. It pleases the court to inquire, therefore, to inquire into this matter immediately. Are there any in this courtroom who are willing to bear the punishment for the crimes of these youth, in order that they may go free?” There is a moment of silence as everyone looks around in confusion for a few seconds. Then quietly, the parents of each youth walk up and stand behind their child in silence. The parents of the judge, attorneys, and courtroom assistant may also wish to come up as well. The parents place their hands on the shoulders of their children and wait for the sentencing.
Tenderly now, the judge asks, “Parents, are you willing to bear the punishment for these kids crimes in order that they may be forgiven and go free?” Together the parents say, “Yes, we are.” The judge says to the youth, “You are free then to go kids!”
The judge eyes the parents sternly and says, “And you parents are all going to get a whole lot of spankings tonight! Court adjourned!”
Scripture Emphasis: Ephesians 5:1-2, Phil. 2:1-8 We are called to follow Christ’s example and lay our lives down for each other – our children, family, friends, and those around us.
1. How have you experienced the love and grace of God from a member of your family?
2. Why is it sometimes difficult to love and care for those close to us?
3. How can we show those in our family that we love them?
4. Think of one thing you could do to show love to each member of your family.
5. Pray and ask God for strength and wisdom to love those in our family.
“Family Law” Copyright 2005 Cross the Sky Ministries
Permission granted for local use.