Bil Browning

Ex-gay mom flees with child to avoid custody dispute

Filed By Bil Browning | December 29, 2009 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: custody battles, ex-gay, ex-lesbian, Janet Jenkins, Jerry Falwell, Lisa Miller, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia

When will the drama with Lisa Miller ever end? At this point I just feel so sorry for her former partner, Janet Jenkins...

miller-jenkins1.jpgJenkins and Miller have been involved in a custody dispute that's spanned two states after Miller went ex-gay (ex-lesbian?) and became a Jerry Falwell follower. The former partners had a civil union in Vermont, but Miller fled to Virginia in an attempt to avoid a custody battle with Jenkins over their daughter.

The case has pitted courts in Virginia and Vermont against each other. Vermont claims jurisdiction since the child was born in Vermont and they got a civil union there. Virgina says that they don't recognize the civil union and Miller, the biological mother, lives there now, so they should have jurisdiction. The case has gone back and forth for so long, I've forgotten who's won and lost what, but it seems the Vermont courts are cracking down.

Earlier this year, the court ordered Miller to surrender custody of their child when she refused to allow Jenkins visitation rights. Miller was ordered to turn their daughter over to Jenkins by January 1st, 2010 but it's looking like that won't happen.

No one can find Lisa Miller now - not even her lawyers.

A Rutland Family Court judge has refused to delay an order that transfers custody of a child from a Virginia mother to her former lesbian partner in Fair Haven.

But with the whereabouts of Lisa Miller and 7-year-old Isabella Miller presently "unknown," it remains to be seen whether the first of its kind parent custody switch takes place when the court order takes effect on New Year's Day.
After finding Miller in contempt of court earlier this year for denying Jenkins access to Isabella, Judge William Cohen said he decided the only way to ensure the child equal access to both parents was to switch custody and he issued an order requiring the transfer be made by Jan. 1, 2010.

Miller's attorneys filed a motion earlier this month asking Cohen to delay his order until an appeal in the Virginia court system -- regarding whether that state needed to enforce the Vermont order -- was decided.

But in a two-page decision issued by Cohen, the judge said Miller failed to meet the legal burden required to delay the order in part because she has not appeared in court nor spoken with her attorneys about the case for more than a month.

"Ms. Miller has not demonstrated that she is entitled to a stay....Instead, it appears that Ms. Miller has ceased contact with her attorneys and disappeared with (Isabella)....Such conduct does not show that a stay is warranted," Cohen wrote.

The whereabouts of Miller couldn't be determined on Monday.

Jenkins' attorney, Middlebury lawyer Sarah Star, said she didn't know where Miller was, but hoped she was still at her home in Virginia and was simply not communicating with her attorneys.
"My client is asking, almost pleading, Ms. Miller to not make it harder than it is," Star said. "It's a difficult transition but as adults she is asking her to not make it any harder than it needs to be."

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Ah yes, I am sure she is acting out in the best interests of the child, I mean isn't it her responsibility to protect the child from such Satanic influences like a lesbian.

This is a horrifying development. Lisa Miller has already become the darling of the homophobic right-wing. If she has in fact gone "underground" with Isabella, this will give her martyr-like status. So much for the rule of law.

I guess like so many other things, Kidnapping is okay if you're a "christian", though to be honest, if Christ was like the "christians" of today, it's no wonder he was executed.

heck what religious groups were supporting her; one is undoubtedly hiding her

planesdrifter | December 30, 2009 6:28 PM

It's going to be interesting to see where this ends up in court, knowing the monied right wing interests in this dramatic story and baring Miller being a wack job. How far will states go in denying jurisdiction clams by courts in custody battles such as this?

Wow this custody battle is one long sad story from what I read and I feel most sorry for this little girl caught in the middle. Who didn't see this coming for a mile away But this is not really somtetime new, because thousands of children have been taken and abducted by their non custodial parent every year. My cousin was taken by her mother illegally by her mom after a bitter custody dispute like this one and the authorities have no clue of whereabout since 2001. It is like they vanished. The only difference between this case and my cousin's is that she is biracial (mother white, father black). Because my uncle was black and had custody is the reason I feel the police was bias against him in the first place and were dragging their feet. There should have been social workers or child advocate involve in the Jenkins, case to prevent history from repeating itself. There is a lesson to be learned from this