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Unusual turn of events in controversial child custody case

Many Maryland readers will recall a highly controversial case in which a family court judge sent three young children to juvenile detention as part of an ongoing custody battle. The case received national attention, and outraged many who felt that the judge overstepped her boundaries in the matter. In an unexpected move, that same judge has withdrawn herself from any further involvement in the child custody case.

The case involves a mother and father who have been struggling over the care and custody of their three shared children. After multiple hearings, the judge in the case stated that she believes that the mother has acted to alienate the children from their father, and that the case is one of the most blatant examples of parental alienation. At one point, the children refused to meet with their father to have a scheduled lunch visit, which prompted a return to court.

At that hearing, the judge found the children in contempt, and sentenced them to juvenile detention. Media attention led her to alter that ruling and allow the kids to be moved to summer camp. They have since been placed with their father, although it is expected that the matter is not fully resolved.

The Judicial Tenure Commission in the family's state of residence looked into the child custody case, and found that the judge did not properly handle the matter. Specifically, the Commission asserts that the judge failed to act in a manner that was patient, courteous and dignified. She was also found to have made false statements and misrepresentations. As a result of those accusations, the judge recently took steps to remove herself from the case. Many readers in Maryland and elsewhere will watch to see if the mother files new motions to try and regain custody of her three children.

Source: CBS Detroit, "Judge Accused Of Misconduct Withdraws From Child Custody Case", Dec. 29, 2015

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