Deployed sailor files appeal in Lenawee custody case - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Deployed sailor files appeal in Lenawee custody case

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 The attorney of a sailor deployed overseas says a Michigan judge is violating rules that protect deployed service members by making rulings in a custody case.

Back in June, a judge ordered Matthew Hindes into an impossible custody scenario: Appear in a Michigan courtroom with a few days or risk losing custody of his 6-year-old daughter. Hindes was deployed in the Pacific at the time.

Hindes was given permanent custody of his daughter Kaylee in 2010, after she was removed from the home of his ex-wife Angela by child protective services and was living with with her stepmother in Washington State.

Hinds' lawyers argued that he was 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.”

Judge Margaret Noe disagreed, saying, “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.”

Noe later issued a stay on June 22, but conducted a hearing the next day where she rescinded an order for a custody evaluation for Angela Hindes. Kaylee was taken from Angela back in 2009 during an abuse investigation. She pleaded guilty to a reduced assault charge and served a short jail term.

Noe also later ordered an unscheduled two-week visit for Kaylee with her mother.

Matthew Hindes' attorney says these actions are a violation of the service members Relief Act. A trail on the custody issues is scheduled for October 24.

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