What went on in the court room

On June 23 there was a hearing of this case. In this hearing the judge declares that he will switch custody from the mother, who is still nursing the 18 month old child, and who has been the sole caretaker up until now, to the father in the video of the traumatic visitation. Below are excerpts from the hearing. Read on to see how Judge Minor has not discussed, considered, and in fact refused to look at evidence that takes into account the best interest and safety of the child.


The father presented a petition for holding the mother in contempt for not returning the child to unsupervised visitation for 3 months following his aggressive episode show in the video. Up until the visit shown in the video, the mother had not missed a single court ordered visitation, even though the father had used only 1/3 of his allotted visitation time; he often cancelled visits and arrived late.

The mother had presented a petition for holding the father in contempt for cursing, shouting, and hostile behavior, not having a car seat installed to take the child, and not returning, the clothing and supplies which he had taken with the child.

The mother tried to enter into evidence the video shown in this blog, as well as documentary evidence that despite having offered the father supervised visits, he only came to one in the three months. During the hearing, the father admitted that he had been offered supervised visits.

Please note that the judge telephones the mother’s parents, who are not a party in this case, and keeps them on the phone throughout what is supposed to be a closed hearing. He also asks them to speak during the hearing, even though they have not been called as witnesses and are not sworn in:

Judge: So I guess I am assuming that you are not paying for this, for this this litigation. Who is paying for your attorney?

Mother: I have a loan from my family.

Judge: Your mother and father?

Mother: Yes, my sisters pitched in a bit too.

Judge: What’s their phone number?

[Judge Minor calls the mother’s parents:]

Judge: This is Judge Minor at the Preston County Family Court.   I’m at the hearing with your daughter …

Judge asks that he be put on speaker phone with both parents.

Judge: I wanted you to hear this as well since it sounds like financially you’re helping to fund your daughter’s litigation.

MM (Mother’s Mother) Well…our other daughters and we agreed to lend [our daughter]… money until…

Judge cuts her off.

Judge: This is going to get much more expensive, so I wanted to at least to have everyone who might have an interest in this listen to what I’m going to say. Is your sister here?

MM: I… {trying to say that she is not part of the case.}

Judge: Ma’am let me talk and then I’ll and if you want to say something you can.

…..

Judge: If you’re going to insist that he have no contact, then I’m going to require that you deposit $5000 in the next 30 days I’m going to appoint a guardian ad litem, I’m going to order psychological evaluations, and I’m probably going to instruct the guardian ad litem to assess the father’s home and the father for purposes of having primary custodial responsibility of his child. Right now I’m inclined to believe that mom is just absolutely not co-operating and won’t co-operate with dad in the future, then I will place the child with dad because I don’t want the child to grow up with such a mom.

……….

Mother’s Attorney points out that there is a warrant for the father for driving without a license, insurance and registration.   The judge answers that this is no problem; if the father gets picked up on the warrant when the baby is with him, the baby can just be put into foster care.

He then says he has no time to look at the video, and the video will not change what he is going to do. However, he spends quite a bit of time reading a promotional city blurb about the neighborhood where the father lives.

Judge: I guess the issue is do you want to wait or do you want me to appoint a guardian ad litem right now.

Mother’s Attorney: We’d be good with a guardian ad litem right away.

Judge: You have 30 days to deposit $5000. I will also consider ordering psychological exams for both parties.  

Mother’s Attorney: We would be in favor of that.

Judge: $5000 may not be enough, ultimately, just so everybody knows.

Mother’s Attorney: We understand.

Father’s attorney: Mr. Solomon does not have to deposit $5000.

Judge: No.

This hearing was illegal; the judge, on his own initiative, telephoned and invited two people, who are not parties to this case, to listen in on and speak at what was supposed to be a closed hearing. They were invited to speak, even though they were not sworn in as witnesses. In addition, the judge instructed them as to how much money he was going to charge them for this case.

Other illegalities: refusing to admit evidence, the judge draws conclusions based on no evidence at all. The judge has no evidence that the mother is unfit in any way – and has not even tried to claim she is a bad mother. His only excuse for taking her child away from her is his claim that she won’t allow the father contact with the child. But, not only does the mother have documentation that she offered supervised visits, but in court, the father agreed that he had been offered supervised visits.

Nowhere in the hearing did the judge discuss what was good for the child, where she would be best cared for, where she would not be neglected. The effects of the child of a custody switch were not ever mentioned.

This isn’t right, just, or reasonable, and it is happening.

Please sign our petition to have this judge investigated.

2 thoughts on “What went on in the court room

  1. BOY, does this sound almost exactly what happened in my case. What a freakin’ nightmare! Sad thing is….he’s still on the bench.

    Like

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