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Judge withdraws from high profile child custody case

Florida readers may have seen or read media coverage of a highly contentious child custody case that led to three children being sent to juvenile detention. The matter made headlines after a judge found the kids -- ages 9, 11 and 14 -- in contempt for refusing to attend a scheduled lunch visit with their father. In an unexpected move, the same judge recently removed herself from that child custody case.

The judge asserts that the case presents the most shocking example of parental alienation that she has ever encountered. At one point, she went so far as to compare the children's living conditions to those of the Manson Family. When the case received a great deal of media attention following the order to place the children in detention, the judge changed course and allowed the kids to go to summer camp instead. Eventually, the children were placed in the physical custody of their father.

Recently, that state's Judicial Tenure Commission looked into the case. The result was a formal complaint in which the judge is accused of multiple acts of misconduct. The Commission asserts that she failed to show respect for the law, and failed to act in a patient, courteous and dignified manner. In addition, the judge is accused of making misrepresentations and false statements while presiding over the case.

As a result, the judge has written an order to effectively remove herself from any further involvement in the case. There is no mention of whether the mother will attempt to ask the court to make changes in the existing child custody arrangement, which places the three kids in the custody of their father. Many in Florida and elsewhere believe that new motions will soon be filed and hope that the next judge assigned to the case will place the interests of the children at the forefront of the process.

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

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