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VA VA - Isabella Miller-Jenkins, 7, Bedford, Sept 2009

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by Cubby, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I didn't see a thread started for this case and 'missing child' Isabella Miller Jenkins. If there is a thread started already mods please merge.

    Lisa Miller, an 'ex-gay' evangelical Christian who was in a lesbian relationship in Vermont for four years, has abducted the former couple's 7-year-old daughter following a court order awarding sole custody to her former partner.

    more at link:

    http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20091231/NEWS04/912310386/0/NEWS04
     
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  3. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    Mom and Daughter Go AWOL in Lesbian Custody Case


    Interstate Custody Battle Underscores Patchwork of Laws Regarding Same-Sex Couples


    By EMILY FRIEDMAN and SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES
    Jan. 1, 2009
    A Virginia woman who has been missing for more than a month with her daughter violated court orders to return her 7-year--old to her former lesbian partner today.
    Lisa Miller and her 7-year-old daughter Isabella have not been seen in more than a month after Miller was ordered to share custody with her former lesbian partner Janet Jenkins.
    (AP Photo)




    Lisa Miller, 41, of Winchester, Va., was ordered by a Vermont family court judge in November to hand over her daughter Isabella by 1 p.m. to Janet Jenkins , 45, of Fairhaven, Vt.
    But according to Jenkins' lawyer, Miller failed to show up.



    Virginia's Fairfax County Police said they would await a court-ordered arrest warrant before offering to assist in the search for Miller, who was last heard from on a Dec. 4 Facebook posting.

    much much more at link.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/lisa-mille...bella-lesbian-partner/story?id=9462217&page=1

    Is it legal to not search for a missing child who has abducted a child until an arrest is issued for the non custodial parent?

    I sure hope the custodial mother is not getting the run around with LE support because of her sexual orientation.

    I can't help but wonder if Isabella will be listed on NCMEC. I sure hope so! Ms. Jenkins deserves the exact same avenues available to her as any parent with a missing child.

    Has anyone else been following this story?
     
  4. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    Looks like the state of Virginia is unwilling to cooperate. Prejudice is disgusting.
    If the mother has custody, then VA should be willing to tract down the child and other mother to get the child back to the parent with custody, it's obvious one was awarded custody for a reason.
     
  5. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    The non bio mom, who is a resident of Vermont, and Vermont had jurisdiction of the custody issues, now has custody. I think VT would need to get the ball moving then, no?
     
  6. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    This case is a good example why gay marriage should be legalized in the USA.
    The child is the one who is hurting since VA won't go find her and arrest the mother as they'd do if this was a case involving a heterosexual marriage. It's discrimination plain and simple.
    Children of gay & lesbians deserve the same protection as children of heterosexual parents receive.
    As this case shows, it is not equal at all.
     
  7. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I agree, which is why I hope some of our fabulous sleuths can assist the custodial mother. However, I do think the local evangelical christian community is providing assistance in hiding the non custodial parent and child. ....and I hope whomever is doing so is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
     
  8. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    Some of the technical terms in the article are confusing me, Cubby.
    The mother who doesn't have custody who is living in VA, Lisa Miller, was the one who went AWOL with their child and Miller never gave the child back to the mother who has custody. Miller was ordered to return the child back in Nov by a judge in VT, she failed.
    Miller fled to VA, since she knew that state wouldn't recognize civil unions, sounds very premeditated.
    Miller lost custody to begin with for failing to show up for her parental visits so Jenkins got custody. Then Miller pulls the religion card to try and get custody again. Honestly it's the same thing as a child stuck in between a custody battle of a heterosexual couple.
    IMO, Jenkins was awarded custody for a good reason (seeing that Miller missed a lot of visits with her child, a good parent would look forward to every single visit and never miss one). Miller failed to allow Jenkins to visit the child, stating religious propaganda.

    The child is safer with Jenkins, IMO.

    As for who gets the ball rolling..?

    I think this may end up in the Supreme Court.
    It will take a lot of working together to get a ball rolling..
     
  9. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    one of the many articles I have read indicated the supreme court already turned down hearing the case.

    Initially the bio mom had custody but has not allowed her former lesbian partner to see the child in about a year. Lisa Miller lost custody because of her apparent refusal to coparent with her former partner. I'm unsure how long Lisa Miller has been in VA but I think it has been some time, and was definately before she lost custody.

    I'm thinking back to the Emily Nialyn Manion Machado case, while different Mike, Emily's father had a very difficult time getting a missing persons report filed.

    From what I have read a missing persons report was already filed for Isabella... I'd have to dig to see when, but IIRC it was in November....

    As I have time, I will find and add more links. there is a ton of media out there on this case. I thought the ABC article was pretty good at summarizing much of the case.

    ETA: It was the ABC article I linked above which mentions the supreme court declined to hear arguments on the case.
     
  10. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I hope Janet Jenkins decides to have Isabella listed at NCMEC. I think that will open many doors for her. Ms. Jenkins is already on record stating she does not think Lisa Miller will comply with any court orders.

    I also hope Ms. Jenkins does not have any difficulty having Isabella listed at NCMEC should she choose that route.
     
  11. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    Cubby, thank you for the briefing in laymans terms, it helped me. I'm surprised we've not heard more on this case, and it saddens me to think that the Supreme Court has turned it down. If elements change, can the case get another chance with the Supreme Court?
    I will have to look up the Machado case, as i am unfamiliar.

    Miller has ran off with the child since Nov, maybe before, that's been perhaps 2 months, in a heterosexual case this would have made more news and the partner that absconded with child would have had a warrant out by now.

    It is sad that everyone is not treated equal. This is why i think the USA as a whole needs to recognize gay marriage. The children end up being the ones who suffer.
    Some states recognize gay marriage, yet the states that don't... and something like this happens.

    This sounds like it has the makings of a landmark case, and i pray in a good way with good results.

    There is a seperation between church and state, yet this seems to be the cause of some individuals being against gay marriage. So there really is no seperation between church and state to begin with. The religious conservative states and political players are going to vote against gay marriage.

    If two consenting adults are in love, they should be entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual couples.

    I have 2 lesbian friends who were married in MA, and one is pregnant with child.
    Not only regarding children, yet so many other things should be equal as they are with heterosexual couple. Hospital visitations, important decisions.

    What does Ms Jenkins do in this situation? VA won't recognize that they are married and that she has custody. How much can VT actually do?
    "Unfamiliar legal ground" as the one article dubbed it.

    It is a bitter custody battle, i would guess that the relationship between Jenkins and Miller didn't disipate smoothly and now the child is caught in the middle.
    Miller's family in the Falls Church area is harboring a criminal who commited parental abduction.
    Fairfax County refuses to acknowledge the problem, qoute:

    "Jenkins could not be reached Wednesday either. However, police in Falls Church and Fairfax County in Virginia said they had no record of a missing person report for Isabella or of a report filed by Jenkins.

    "I don't know what we could do at this point anyway," Fairfax County police spokeswoman Tawny Wright said. "If she's still in the legal custody of her mom down here, then she's not missing."
    http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20091231/NEWS04/912310386/0/NEWS04

    What i don't understand is how Miller is "exgay"? She renounced homosexuality after the breakup, which sounds more like Miller was extremely hurt by the break up to do something like that. What is "exgay"? Was she bisexual? She had to identify with being gay once to be "exgay" now. How does one change their sexuality overnight?
    For example if a heterosexual couple broke up and one had such hurt feelings, maybe the would renounce heterosexuality? Sounds like some right wing Christians are "helping" Miller.
    Miller seems to be tossing around accusations against Jenkins and using the religion card in order to gain custody of her child. Same thing as hetero couples tossing accusations at eachother in a bitter custody debate. Except i've not read about Jenkins having blasted Miller.
    It does seem the Jenkins was awarded custody for good reasons.
     
  12. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I don't know what the supreme court can or would do. Vermont had jurisdiction to hear the custody case based on the childs residency. Vermont initially granted bio mom custody, and Jenkins had liberal visitation. From what I am understanding Miller never once showed up for any visitation and Jenkins has not seen the child in about a year, or since sometime in late 2008. (Not exact on dates, just from memory).

    Vermont later granted custody to Jenkins. How on earth can Virginia ignore a custody order. Virginia has no jurisdiction in the custodial case. Right now she is not in the legal custody of the custodial parent, which is Jenkins. Why is Virginia refusing to acknowledge a court order indicating Jenkins is the legal custodial parent with sole custody?


    now typically, law enforcement will not get involved with custody stuff... I think Jenkins could have shown up with a visitation order and LE could have forced it, but I do not believe Jenkins wished for it to 'get ugly' in front of the child....

    They were never married, just had a civil union, IIRC.

    If I understand it correctly, Jenkins must have a missing persons report filed and then she can have Isabella listed with NCMEC. Outside of that I think she will continue to run into road blocks.... because LE will view this as a 'civil' matter without the missing persons report. One article reports Jenkins filed a missing persons report in November of 2009. (IIR the date correctly)

    The question is, where was the missing persons report filed and what is being done with it?

    In the Machado case, father was non custodial but had parental rights. He hit walls until he went back to court and was granted custody. he still had a six month fight with local police in Berwyn, IL to file a missing persons report. Needless to say six months were lost, and his daughter has been abducted to Brazil.

    hope this helps. I am a single parent so I have a lot of knowledge throughout the years regarding family court. Fortunately I haven't had to deal with it personally and my sons father and I agree outside of court.
     
  13. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    Regardless of sexual orientation, this is the messed up crap I see time and time again with parental abductions. LE takes this sense, they are with a parent, they are ok.... GRRRRR!!!!!!!!
     
  14. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Former Member

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    Aside from the obvious reasons, this makes me so angry! I saw a few articles recently that said something along the lines of "mother won't hand daughter over to woman". Like this other "woman" is just some stranger who wants the child. NO! This other woman is her MOTHER!

    Prayers that Isabella is found safe, and quickly. I'm sure her bio mom is filling her head with all sorts of nonsense. And she deserves the love of both of her parents, regardless of religious or political beliefs.
     
  15. dreamweaver

    dreamweaver New Member

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    I think the bio mom should honor the custody agreement. Work something out together for the sake of the child. That is who is most important.

    And despite my own personal beliefs, the court system is just not wanting to deal with these very real issues. First, they have to admit that same sex marriage is okay. Then, well, you know where I'm going...
     
  16. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    exactly! Despite whatever beliefs, the fact remains the child is in the company of a non custodial parent who lost custody do to the fact she is unable to coparent without filling the childs head with hatred towards the other parent. This should be treated no differently than a heterosexual couple.

    On the other hand, getting a bit off topic here, what if it were two lesbians or two gay males who adopted a child one had custody and the non custodial parent abducted the child? Then what, because of someones beliefs the child should be adopted to a new set of parents?

    The law is the law, and the court has already ruled this case should be handled exactly the same way it would with a heterosexual couple who split and had children.

    jmo
     
  17. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    TBH, I do not see why the Supreme Court should hear it-VT and VA have to work it out. Miller took the child to VA and established residency. While she had custody. VT has changed the custody in order to bring Miller to heel-and I do not argue that this was warranted, but I dont think that VA position is being adequately stated. Who has the right to change the custody of the child once residency has been established somewhere else???

    In the real world, this is why you do not want the courts making these decisions for the two of you....no matter what your orientation is.

    Miller appears to be keeping the child away out of spite. She is not heroic-she is putting their child through the ringer for what?
     
  18. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I haven't read all the court documents, but I know they are out there.... just need to find them. From the ABC article:

    The supreme courts of Virginia and Vermont ruled in favor of Jenkins, saying the case was the same as a custody dispute between a heterosexual couple.

    Now my question is which state had jurisdiction? The initial custody order which granted Jenkins visitation was in Vermont when the civil union was dissolved. If the initial custody order was in Vermont, it would have to be switched to VA by request to the Vermont courts.

    We also don't know if the initial move from VT to VA was 'legal' or not, or if, as in many cases, the custodial parent which was then Miller had stipulations in the custody agreement not allowing her to move more than so many miles or out of state without the courts permission. If so, then her moving to VA to 'judge and jurisdiction' shop, imo, would negate establishing residency legally in VA thus, VT would still have jurisdiction over custody matters. As I mentioned, I haven't read the court docs but it sounds like that is most likely the case.
     
  19. TripleA

    TripleA New Member

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    Fairfax County refused to help my Goddaughter's father when her mother kidnapped her against a court order and took her to SC. VA said to take it to the SC police and SC police said it had to be dealt with in VA. In the mean time, my Goddaughter was caught in the middle and being lied to by her mother. It took months to get her back, and the way it happened was that I found her mother's new address and her father went down and picked her up at the closest school.
     
  20. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    From the following link:

    The Jenkins family called police after Miller failed to show, and a detective from the department's child exploitation unit is investigating, said Officer Tawny Wright, a Fairfax County police spokeswoman.
    If police believe a crime has been committed, they will obtain a criminal warrant charging Miller with parental abduction, and at that point officers would begin searching aggressively for the child, Wright said. For the time being, she said, the case remains a civil matter


    Cohen awarded custody to Jenkins on Nov. 20 after finding Miller in contempt of court for denying Jenkins access to the girl. The judge said the only way to ensure equal access to the child was to switch custody.
    But Cohen also noted that it appeared Miller had stopped speaking to her attorneys and "disappeared" with the child.


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34661539/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

    I still don't know when Miller moved to Virginia.......
     
  21. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    FWIW I know a couple where one parent currently lives in Alabama and the other in Montana. Their divorce and custody order was in Georgia. While both have been out of the state of Georgia for a year, either parent would have to petition the proper county in Georgia to have the case transfered to another county even though neither are currently living in GA and have not for more than a year.

    I am going to guess there is a good reason Vermont still has jurisdiction over this custody case. My guess is going to be the initial visitation interference began in Vermont and because of an ongoing custody case already being established and open in Vermont it has been in Vermont since.

    Did Miller ever petition Vermont to have it moved to Virginia?
     

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