Dear, To Whom May Help or Care
I am writing you in regards to a child custody case in MN. I have a custody case that has been in court for 3yrs 7months. I don't know what is wrong with are legal system. I don't see how a court proceeding can carry on for this long and still have nothing get done. Do I have a bad judge, do I have a Bad lawyer, or is the system just this bad? What is it? In 3 ˝ yrs there has been very little if anything done. I will give you a brief overview of what is going on. I was wondering if you would have any advice or could point me in the correct direction of what to do and who to contact. I am willing to write letters, interview with, call, email, what ever I need to do to get laws reformed and changed so that this does not happen to other children and to help get my situation resolved. I will be leaving names out as they do not matter in regards to the situation.
To start I have custody of my 7yr old daughter *I was granted an ex-part e order when she was 4 months old and then granted full physical and legal custody about 9 months later. The mother would be*allowed Visitation after completing*treatment, consoling, and providing proof that she is free from drug use.*The circumstance around this were, that the mother was using Methamphetamine’s and had attempted suicide. She was also abusing alcohol and was in multiple abusive relationships.* There was no contact from her for approx 1 1/2 to 2 yrs. She had then gone to treatment and it seemed like she had turned her life around. We began to talk and develop another relationship.*Other than the drugs and alcohol we got along*well before. I will just not be with or associate with some one that is abusing drugs. Needless to say we started to develop a relationship again and thing's were going fine. I noticed that she was starting to change and suspected that she was abusing again. We split up and she then moved out.*We found out she was pregnant with are 2nd child. She moved around to about 5 different homes with different family friends in the next*8 months.*She then began to reside in Blue Earth, MN*where she started to date an man named we will refer to as Her-X.
My son was born in May 2008 I was not informed until the following day of the birth. From the beginning she kept my child from me and would not allow me to have him in any capacity. The state ordered a paternity test following the child support hearing and by the request of myself. After the test*I then signed the recognition of parentage form. By now I had hired a lawyer and had begun court proceedings in hope to at a minimum receive visitation of my son, but was more looking for custody of him as well so he could grow up in my home with his sister. There were many court proceeding*and orders in witch they all fell threw and there was never any regular or substantial visits.*During this time I was still court ordered to send my daughter to her mothers home in which she was sent every other weekend like the court had ordered. I noticed more changes in Mom and her home life started to deteriorate. At this point she moved out of state*to Iowa (without court permission)*and again started bar tending at the local bar where she had all the*Methamphetamine and alcohol problems before. With in approximately a month and a half I was hearing rumors that she was using*Meth again and was at the bars drinking a lot. I requested that she have a drug test done, as I am allowed per the court order for my daughter. Heather*refused the test.*After the refusal I no longer allowed my daughter to go to her mothers home as I do not feel it is safe. At this time*I was also informed that she was at an impatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. And had also been informed by my lawyer that she*was charged with*DUI and convicted in* MN.*I again petitioned the court for an ex-part e order for custody of my son.*The court denied my request.
We*then proceeded to a hearing.*At the hearing Mom stated in affidavits and also under oath that she was not using drugs or alcohol.* She also stated that she*just “couldn't make it to the drug test” that I requested. The court after placing her under oath, listing to her*statement and my concerns Heather was told*that she was to ob-stain from alcohol and drugs. The judge*told here she was not to be around alcohol*she could not have friend's that bring it to her house even. She was to completely avoid alcohol and drugs in every way possible. Approx 3 weeks later I was in the area. I had a booth set up at the local county fair for my business. I heard that there was a motorcycle run at the bar Mom usually goes to. Me and 3 friends went over to Rake and Mom was at the bar drinking.*My friend and myself then turned in affidavits to the court testifying to the facts. Mom and Her-X had now broken off there engagement and were split up. Mom and Her-X had also had a child of their own*in this time. At this point my lawyer drafted another*ex-part e order*on the ground that*Mom was again using alcohol and had again moved, this time back into to*MN.
Next I had found out there was a few domestic disputes that Mom and Her-X were in. One of which Mom was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Mom then obtained an*Order For Protection from*Her-X in the state of Iowa. I also found out that the Iowa DHS child protective services were looking in to Mom and Her-X. I still don't know of all the details as Iowa will not give me the information. I did however obtain the Police report for the incidents between Mom and Her-X. In the report I found out that*my son was injured. I called Iowa DHS and they would still not tell me info even though I*am*his father.
Now to the most current. I was supposed to have*trial court for the custody case on November 8th, 2011. The day before court Her-X placed a*order before the Judge asking for 3rd party custody. Claiming that the child*has lived with him most of his life and is currently residing with him. The Judge then postponed our*trial and set a new date to hear Her-X's order. That was again postponed because Her-X had court in Iowa.(guessing it was for the domestic abuse against mom)*I still have not heard of the new court date. The judge also appointed an Guardian Ad Lit-em and ordered that I receive visitation of my son. I was able to have my son at my house the following weekend, this was the first time he had been at my house in over 3 years. The following weekend my daughter was supposed to go to her mothers. I requested another drug test to be sure that she wasn't using again and she refused the test for a 2nd time. At this same time we had also received the records for the hospitals and the drug treatment center Mom was at.*The*hospital emergency room reports state that Mom came to the emergency room stating that she had been using met again and abusing alcohol. It also reported that she was thinking of committing suicide. There were 2 different hospital reports on 2 different*dates stating that she was using Meth and alcohol again. The Treatment Center report stated that she was*attending an Inpatient treatment for Meth and alcohol abuse(she testified multiple times she was in an out-patient treatment only*and it was only for preventative measures and that she was not using drugs or alcohol). Report also stated that she*left the center before completing the program and did not do any of the recommended follow up counseling or treatment programs. After finding this out I did not*allow my daughter*to go to her mothers for the weekend visit. My lawyer then filed another ex-part e order for custody of my son on the grounds of all the above mentioned. The last ex-part e was filed on Dec 7, 2011. I have still yet to hear anything. I still have not been contacted by*the Guardian ad Lit-em, I just received a letter on*Dec 27 telling me her name but no contact info. She was supposed to have been appointed back on Nov 8th.
I am sure that you are wondering what kind of person I am. Well*I am 33 and*married she is an*RN. We have been married for almost 2 years.*I own my own Insurance Agency. I have had full time employment since age 16. I have never used drugs, never gotten a DUI, or any thing like that. Multiple people*have turned in affidavits of my good character and ability to raise children. Mom has never even tried to tell the court that I am a bad parent. My character has never come into question. I have taken alcohol*and psychological*evaluations. Both reports came back fine and did not advise me of any problems or needed treatment.
I am sure I*have forgot*some details*but this is the basic overview of the case. I would like to know what*I can do? What are my options? She continues to use abuse drugs and alcohol, has been in treatment 2 different times, gotten 2 DUI's, moved*at least 6*times in the last 4yrs, refused 2 drug tests, attempted suicide*once, and contemplated it another. What has to happen before the courts remove*the child from her home.*Is there any sort of legal action I can take against the State, Mom, or Her-X? I don't know what to*do this has went on for over 3 1/2 years. All the while she continues to do what ever she wants. Any*help or a referral to someone would be greatly appreciated.*I am to the point I have completely lost faith in our legal system. I don't understand how this can go on for this long given the circumstances. Again any help or guidance would be Greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time.