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Update on Michigan judge accused of misconduct in child custody case

We’ve been following on this blog some of the developments that have taken place in the case of a Michigan judge who was involved in a child custody case in which she ordered three children to participate in controversial reunification therapy aimed at addressing parental alienation from their father. That judge, we noted, came under fire for ordering the children to submit to juvenile detention for refusing to participate in parenting time with their father.

As we pointed out over the summer, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission subsequently found the judge guilty of misconduct. This month, the commission made a recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court that the judge should be suspended for 30 days without pay as punishment for her behavior. 

The 30-day recommendation is significantly less than the recommendation of the commission’s interim executive director, who had pushed for a 9-month suspension. That recommendation was partly based on allegations that the judge lied during investigation of the case. The commission eventually concluded that the judge didn’t intentionally make false statements.

At this point, it is up to the Michigan Supreme Court to determine what to do with the commission’s recommendation, but the judge is apparently prepared to fight the case, if necessary.

We give this case so much attention here because it involves the issue of parental alienation, and how judges should handle it when it arises in child custody cases. In any case, judges are expected to act professionally and in a neutral manner. They are also duty-bound to recognize parental alienation for what it is, and to afford those affected by it appropriate remedies. Anybody facing the issue of parental alienation in a child custody case needs to work with an experienced attorney, of course, to ensure their rights are protected and their interests zealously advocated. 

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Update on Michigan judge accused of misconduct in child custody case | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC