- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 5, 2010

MONTPELIER, Vt. | A Vermont woman locked in a child-custody battle with a former partner who has since renounced homosexuality asked a judge Monday to hold her “ex” in contempt.

An attorney for Janet Jenkins filed an emergency motion for contempt for not surrendering the couple’s 7-year-old daughter, Isabella, on Friday.

The motion seeks court sanctions and the assistance of law enforcement in locating Lisa Miller, whose last known address was Forest, Va., but whose whereabouts are now unknown.

Her attorney, Mathew Staver, didn’t return a call seeking comment. A telephone message left for Sarah Star, Ms. Jenkins’ attorney in Vermont, wasn’t returned.

Ms. Miller and Ms. Jenkins got a civil union in 2000, and the girl was born to Ms. Miller after a pregnancy that began with artificial insemination.

They broke up a year later, and Ms. Miller moved to Virginia, setting the stage for a custody fight that has been closely watched by gay rights advocates, as well as conservative Christian groups.

Courts in Virginia and Vermont have ruled in favor of Ms. Jenkins, even though she is not the biological mother. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments on it.

The court filings Monday were made in family court in Rutland, Vt.

Judge William Cohen, who granted the couple’s civil union dissolution and has presided over the custody battle since, didn’t immediately rule on the contempt citation request or set a hearing date, court officials said.

A year ago, in ruling against Ms. Miller’s bid to deny visitation by Ms. Jenkins, he warned Ms. Miller she risked losing custody of the girl if she continued to violate orders. On Nov. 20, he made good on the warning, ordering the custody change.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide