In the latest family court hearing for the Lakeville, Minnesota, man accused of abandoning his pre-teen son and moving to California last summer, the judge denied the father’s requests for visitation and to strip custody of the boy from his great aunt. The judge based his decision in part with a conversation with the 11-year-old prior to the hearing, during which he demonstrated “a great deal of anger toward his father,” he told the father.
The father faces criminal charges related to his allegedly walking out of his home on July 18 as his son slept. He left his son a letter telling him to move in with a neighbor family. The letter also explained that the boy’s mother, whom he had previously been told was dead, was actually alive. The boy was later taken in by his maternal great aunt, with whom he currently lives.
As Gabriel and Gabriel discussed in our Dec. 21 blog post, the father asked the Dakota County court to intervene in his quest to see his son. At a hearing that day, his attorney argued that his client has fulfilled all of the requirements set down in October, but that social services had not granted him visitation.
Another tack the father has taken was to request that the great aunt lose custody of the son. At a Jan. 11 hearing, his attorney argued that the great aunt’s foster children made her home unsafe. But testimony from the boy’s court-appointed guardian and other experts led the judge to rule against the father.
The judge had a 15 minute talk with the son before the hearing. He remarked that the boy is still angry with his father for abandoning him and is not interested in seeing him right now. An attorney for the boy’s mother suggested that the father’s apparent refusal to apologize for what he allegedly did is contributing to the son’s resentment.