Seattle, Wash. (CBS SEATTLE) – 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.
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.
That judge needs to go.
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.
So even though he’s out doing what submariners do, probably on a 6 month cruise at 500 feet underwater and 4000 miles from CONUS, and it’s physically impossible for him to get to court, he’s being ordered by a judge to go back or lose his daughter and face arrest.
Judge Noe needs to go.