Tomorrow the fit Tarrant County father who has been separated from his thirteen year-old daughter for more than three years will be reunited with her. What some have called a “legal kidnapping” by a judge (who has done this before) who issued a temporary order to remove her from the father has been reversed after a 10-day trial. The temporary order was issued on the basis that he was an “international flight risk” with absolutely no evidence presented to support that allegation.
A jury of 12 of his peers listened to 10 days of evidence and denied the grandparents’ request to give them custody of the child. By a resounding vote of 11-1, the jury required that the young girl be returned to her father. Some of those jurors later asked how this tragedy could have happened.
What came out during the trial was that after the death of their daughter, the grandparents were told by their legal counsel that their case to gain custody of their granddaughter from her fit father was “very weak” but if they were willing to spend more money than the father they could prevail.
So began a campaign, recounted in the closing arguments of the trial, which resulted in the father selling his property and eventually declaring bankruptcy in his desperate attempt to keep and then regain his daughter. With no funds, he tried to represent himself for some time with negative results.
The Texas Home School Coalition took up his cause and has continued to raise support to pay his legal fees because of its mandate to defend and restore the fundamental constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children. Indeed, if that right is thwarted, any parent is at risk of losing the right to homeschool if faced with well-funded non-parents who are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and who can find a judge who is willing to disregard the law.
The grandparents’ attorneys asked for a hearing in a pre-trial motion to require the father to pay their legal fees because he chose a jury trial. Since the grandparents lost, it will be the father’s attorneys who will be asking for a hearing to request the court that the grandparents pay the father’s legal fees. This hearing will be before the same judge that facilitated this horrific miscarriage of justice, and he will make the decision to require that or not. We’ll be watching for that hearing and what he decides.
Last week a Texas jury sent a clear message that we will not stand by and allow non-parents and unrighteous judges to remove children from fit parents. God bless them, and God bless Texas!