On Saturday TheBlaze reported about a Michigan judge who had ordered a sailor to court, leaving him with big problems since Matthew Hindes is deployed aboard a nuclear submarine in the Pacific Ocean.
Hindes faced even bigger problems, since the judge had said he’d be in contempt if he failed to show, which left custody of his 6-year-old daughter hanging in the balance.
But on Sunday Lenawee County Judge Margaret Noe released an order delaying some matters until at least Oct. 22, according to the Associated Press.
Noe cited a federal law that suspends court action when a member of the armed services is away, adding that she didn’t know Hindes was in the Pacific Ocean until June 16 when he was supposed to appear or have someone bring his daughter Kaylee to court.
Interestingly, ABC News noted the following previous to Noe’s new ruling:
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.
The judge hearing the case, circuit court judge Margaret Noe, disagreed, adding, “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 sailor is not allowed to appear by Skype or phone, and in custody cases, being absent in court could have a huge effect on the outcome.
Kaylee has been living with Hindes’ wife Benita-Lynn Caoile Hindes – her stepmother – in Washington state.
The judge says ex-wife Angela Hindes of Ohio still is allowed parenting time; Noe will consider that issue Monday. ABC News reported that Hindes was granted full custody of Kaylee after she was reportedly removed from her mother’s house by child protective services.
While Noe has been criticized for how she’s handled the case, the AP added, she has said facts have been sacrificed for “sensational stories.”
Here’s the ABC News report on the issue that preceded Noe’s new ruling: