A U.S. Navy sailor from Washington State is currently serving on a submarine thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean, but a judge has ordered him into an impossible custody scenario: Appear in a Michigan courtroom Monday or risk losing custody of his 6-year-old daughter.The video ends with the TV announcer saying that everyone wants the judge to decide this after a fair hearing.
Navy submariner Matthew Hindes was given permanent custody of his daughter Kaylee in 2010, after she was reportedly removed from the home of his ex-wife, Angela, by child protective services. But now a judge has ordered him to appear in court Monday, or risk losing his daughter to his ex-wife in addition to a bench warrant being issued for his arrest, ABC News reports.
Hindes’ lawyers argue he should be protected by the Service Members Civil Relief Act, which states courts in custody cases may “grant a stay of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days to defendants serving their country.”
But the Michigan judge hearing the case, circuit court judge Margaret Noe, disagrees, stating: “If the child is not in the care and custody of the father, the child should be in the care and custody of the mother.”
The judge reiterated that regardless of Hindes’ assignment under the Pacific Ocean, he will appear in court or face contempt of court.
The mom lost custody after a CPS investigation. I have no idea if that was reasonable or not. But the dad certainly should not lose because he is serving his country.
I also do not agree with the TV announcer that the judge should be able to force his BIOTCh opinion on the parents and kid.
You left out this paragraph:
Judge Noe denied the motion for a stay under the Service Members Relief Act, ruling that he could have arranged for his wife to bring the child to her mother, saying, “At this point, I don’t think I have any alternative but to enter a bench warrant for his arrest,” Noe said.
So there must be at least a temporary court order that he and his wife turn the child over to the mother for either visitation or the duration, and his wife hasn't done so. This is kind of like when a parent with custody gets put in jail leaving the child with a grandparent or something and the other parent wants custody. The court has to sort out who are the parties who can be subject to court orders -- does a wife or grandparent have standing in a custody case versus a fit parent? In other words, if the court ordered dad to let mom have the kid for a few hours hours by sundown Sunday, and his wife didn't turn over the kid and says let's sort this out in a few months when my husband is back, who's responsible?
Maybe there should have been joint child custody in the first place. I do not doubt that. I am just commenting on the facts that are in the story, and a sailor should not lost his rights just because he is in a submarine.
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