I am watching the two Cichlid fish flit about the aquarium in the playroom. My 3 year old son and I picked them out last week. At the pet shop he set his sights on the ugliest fish in the tank, a tan and pink “calico” with black markings. It looked like a burn victim. I picked a pretty blue one to counter it and he named them Namo and Dad.
I have not seen him since May the seventh 2014. It was a Wednesday and one of the two days I am allowed to spend eight hours with him each week (plus every other weekend). I spent half of that day in court and since this is my off weekend I did not see him more than 12 hours this week. Today is Saturday the tenth. I will see him Monday.
That Wednesday presented itself as a horror show from the second I got to my attorney’s office. I sat down and was informed that his mother would serve no jail time for the three D.U.I.s she had received over the last two years. A hurried agreement on her behalf by Judge Daniel Miliron and District Attorney Julia Wilt had spared her at the last minute and screwed me.
Later that afternoon I went to court hoping as the fit parent to gain custody of my son. I was in for another surprise. Despite being made aware of the three drug related D.U.I. offenses, all of which she was found guilty for and the suicide attempt by intentional overdose while home alone with our two year old son, Judge Sullivan granted her custody of our son again.
It’s a horrible thing to wish the mother of your child in jail but it was my failsafe in the custody case that had been drug out for the last 3 years. The past two years had been the most telling. Her drug and mental health problems were getting to be too big for her and her family to hide. The Suicide attempt when she was alone with our child. The night I came home from work and found her passed out in an armchair in front of the television while our less than two year old boy played with a full bottle of Percocet at her feet.
Two times she had been committed, once voluntarily but she walked out of rehab before completion and the second for the intentional overdose.
When she got her first DUI she had just dropped our children off at our home and then turned around to get toilet paper from her parents’ house. The police dropped her off an hour later because she had been driving erratically on the highway miles out of the way.
The second DUI she was again returning home from her parents house when she smashed into two parked cars destroying them both and rolling her Nissan Murano over onto the side walk upside down in front of the neighborhood tavern.
The third DUI came within 18 months of the first. She was still on probation from that first one and had yet to go to trial for the second. She was pulled over again for driving erratically near her parents’ home. I was working as an EMT at the time of that incident and my boss a policeman and paramedic was the one who went to the station and verified her impairment.
With the exception of the incident of my son using a full bottle of opiates as a baby rattle you need not take my word for any of this. Everyone one of these incidents is documented by the police and courts, however she has yet to spend one day in jail and as of now the courts say she will not. Rather she will serve forty days of house arrest. On top of that the court also says that she is fit to have custody over my son even though I am here and able and anxious to care for him.
I have no criminal history over the last 13 years. I have worked full time hours ever since my son was born, own my house outright and paid off my truck in full.
At this point it is actually beginning to feel like a conspiracy perpetrated by the courts and her family to take my son away from me. Even I think that sounds crazy but what other reason could there be for a judge to forgive her for 3 drug related DUIs in a county that has notoriously little tolerance for that sort of thing and a completely different judge to decide that she is the more fit parent?
If she has custody of my child while she is on house arrest does that not effectively put my innocent son under house arrest?
I don’t believe that what Judge Miliron did is legal. I know it is not ethical. He placed her on a house arrest program that monitors her for alcohol consumption when all of her D.U.I.s are DRUG related. She is not receiving any punishment for her original crimes or her multiple probation violations.
What Judge Sullivan did is in no way in the best interest of my son.
Furthermore, after all of this, as a social worker she is being allowed to continue working with developmentally disabled children, so the next child she puts at risk might be yours.
Article originally published on the NCFM Website.