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Under media spotlight, judge withdraws from child custody case

Some Colorado readers will recall coverage of an unusual and disturbing child custody case that left three children sitting in juvenile detention. The case received a great deal of media attention and led to outrage across the nation. In a recent and unexpected move, the judge in the case has withdrawn from any further participation after being accused of mishandling the child custody matter.

The case centers on a custody battle between a mother and father over their three shared children. The children have been estranged from their father, and they refused to participate in a scheduled lunch meeting with him. That led the judge to find the three kids in contempt, and they were sent to a juvenile detention facility. When news of that decision spread, the judge altered her order and allowed the children to go to summer camp instead of remaining detained.

The children were eventually placed with their father. After the case was brought to the attention of the state's Judicial Tenure Commission, an investigation began. The Commission filed a complaint that asserts that the judge failed to demonstrate respect for the law and did not act in a patient or courteous manner. In addition, the judge was accused of making false statements and misrepresentations concerning the matter.

In a recent move, the judge wrote an order withdrawing herself from further involvement in the case. She did not admit to any form of wrongdoing, but stated that the accusation of misconduct could lead to an "appearance of impropriety." There is no word on whether the mother will attempt to revisit the child custody matter in new motions or if there is already an appeal in place. For many in Colorado and across the nation, the judge's decision to withdraw may seem like a step in the right direction and a chance for the family to address the issue with a new judge.

Source: CBS Detroit, "Judge Accused Of Misconduct Withdraws From Child Custody Case", Dec. 29, 2015

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