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September 2015 Archives

Grandparents Fight for Custody in Utah

The Supreme Court in Utah has ruled that grandparents who say the deserve to have visitation rights to their grandchildren have to present substantial evidence to show why visitation is necessary. The court ruled that unless grandparents can provide this proof, such as protecting the children from harm, they do not have a right to visitation. Another exception would be a grandparent or grandparents acting as the parents to the child. The court recently ruled against a couple, Ellie and Tracy Jones Sr., who was seeking visitation rights to their granddaughter based on the argument that they had previously played a parental role in the girl's life. However, the court did not rule in their favor since the contact only consisted of once or twice-monthly visits when the child was a year old.

Vermont Cracks Down on Parents Abusing Drugs

For over a year, Vermont has seen a spike in the number of children taken into the state's child protective service system. Normally, the most common age group to be seen in state care is adolescents, but it has shifted to younger children. Deputy commissioner Cindy Walcott says this is a result of parents using drugs such as heroin around their young children. The Department of Children and Families began stepping in more after two toddlers died in the care of their drug-addicted parents and the state found other similar situations. 

Texas Issues Thousands Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses

The U.S. Supreme Court's ban on same-sex marriage has given way to a large volume of those couples asking to get married in the state of Texas. Texas estimates that it has seen about 2,500 same-sex couples obtain marriage licenses since June 26 this year. Tarrant County has seen an exceptional jump in numbers to 9% since the summer decision. Because the wording on the licenses no longer distinguishes gender, the counties can only make their best guesses as to how many have come into the courthouse. Political science professor Jim Riddlesperger of TCU mentions that many couples were waiting for this law to pass for years, accounting for the spike in numbers. The population of LGBT citizens in the U.S. is between 4 and 5 percent today. Experts believe that will be roughly the same percentage of those applying for LGBT marriage licenses once the demand slows down.

Davis out of Jail but Not out of the Woods

After five days in jail, Kim Davis was released and went back to work at the Rowan County courthouse. The Kentucky clerk was jailed on September 3 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Though she was released from jail, she made the decision not to authorize any of the licenses upon her return. This may spark another legal battle, and Judge David L. Bunning will once again be involved in the process. Davis's deputy clerks began issuing licenses while she was incarcerated, and some feared they would be invalid. However, two women who have been a couple over 20 years came to the courthouse shortly after Davis was removed and didn't seem to be worried as they left with a license.

Tsimhoni Children with Father for 90 Days

The Detroit Free Press reported that the Tsimhoni children who have been involved in a custody battle are now with their father. The three kids, ages 9, 11, and 14, will be with their father for 90 days without contact from their mother. They also went through a five-day therapy session designed to assist children going through custody and parental separation such as this matter. The case is sealed, so it is unclear as to why the 90 day separation was ordered and who did the therapy sessions. The judge will have a hearing next month to determine whether the mother will keep custody or not.

Kentucky Clerk Denies Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down a Kentucky County Clerk's request for an emergency order to allow her to continue denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis, will be appealing a federal judge's order that requires her to issue these licenses. Davis has not issued any same-sex licenses since the June decision from the U.S. Supreme Court granting marriage rights to everyone. Davis says that it violates her religious beliefs as a Christian to issue the licenses. She was later put in jail for defying a federal judge's order.

Abducted Girl Found Unharmed in L.A.

At the end of August, a toddler was abducted by her father and driven out of Los Angeles, according to the Desert Sun. The two-year-old girl, Lanees Issa, was found with Louai Nayel Issa late on a Wednesday night in the Westlake neighborhood. The girl's father was with Louai during a supervised visit when he pointed a gun at a Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services worker and took her. There was a getaway vehicle waiting outside with a friend behind the wheel. The toddler's mother may also have know about this planned abduction, and police plan to question her. The girl was unharmed when officers arrived. She was in the custody of Children and Family Services because her parents have a history of drug abuse.

Father Wins Custody of Daughter After 8 Years

For eight years, Rob Manzanares has been fighting for custody to get his 7-year-old daughter, and he finally had a victory at the end of August. The father was asking for full custody of his daughter, and took the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Manzanares was in a relationship with a woman, and in 2007, she became pregnant with their child. The couple broke up and as Manzanares feared, the mother went to Utah. She gave up the baby for adoption and never told Manzanares. A judge ruled that the adoption was fraudulent, but that the child had been with her adoptive parents so long, they should have partial custody. Manzanares fought the ruling, and later won full custody in appeals court. He is looking forward to seeing his daughter much more often.

Kentuckians Pay for Governor's Opposition to Gay Marriage

The state of Kentucky was left with a large legal bill after the case against same-sex marriage ended this year. The total cost for the state court is over $2 million, according to the Lexington Hearld-Leader. The Governor, Steve Beshear, said that he wanted the citizens of Kentucky to get a full understanding of how this law would affect them, but thinks the fees are too high. Beshear will argue that the fees are "unreasonable" for the attorneys he hired for the appeals process. As in other states, the attorneys representing the same-sex couples in this case had to endure stressful situations such as harassment and threats. Judge John G. Heyburn II ended up awarded those attorneys a $10,000 bonus because the achieved success despite such a stressful situation.

Invasive Medical Exams Lead to Class-Action Suit

The Polinsky Children's Center in San Diego, CA is under fire after recent accusations that their examinations were too invasive. The county is facing these charges after several families came forward when their children were taken from their homes under suspicion of abuse or other false pretenses. The county says the exams were necessary to protect against diseases, and were seeing about 300 children in their offices every month. Parents claim they were deceived regarding the reason for the exam and did not know the children would have their genitals examined. As many as 50,000 children are included in the class, and investigations are still underway in San Diego County.

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