Screwing over the Military, one Sailor at a time…
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.
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.
The full article is HERE. Bold above is mine- And this is pure BS!!!
There is this little thing called the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Relief Act that was enacted back in the 40’s and updated by President Bush in 2003 JUST to prevent crap like this…
Extract- Affidavit. Section 200(1) of the Act provides that before judgment in any action in any court, if there is a default of any appearance by the defendant, the plaintiff must file an affidavit stating facts showing whether the defendant is in military service.
I can’t help but wonder if this judge is trying to use the ‘excuse’ below to do a default judgement against the service member, contrary to the ‘intent’ of the Act.
Upon receiving service of process in an overseas area, a service member sometimes writes a letter to the court or sends a telegram asking for protection under the Act. Such an informal communication should not be classified as an “appearance” by the courts. The same is true of a legal-appearing document prepared by a military legal assistance officer and mailed to the court. In practice, however, at least two state courts have held that a letter from a legal assistance attorney invoking the Act and requesting a stay constituted an appearance This appearance waived the service member’s protection against a default judgment.
In any case, this is just flat out WRONG… I’m hoping the parent command brings some serious JAG horsepower to this to get this abortion of the sailor’s rights stopped!!!
I wonder if this kid needs a legal defense fund? I’d kick in to this…