Judge Gives Drug-Addicted Father Sole Custody Despite Toddler Testing Positive for Drugs
In yet another unbelievable—if not unpredictable—Custody Crisis case, Jacque, a North Carolina mother, has lost custody to her proven drug addicted ex. This despite the fact that her 3 year-old son son tested positive for drugs after being court-ordered to live with his father. Meanwhile, as usual, Mom has been jailed for contempt—twice.
As Women’s Coalition News & Views subscribers well know, these kinds of cases go on every day in Family Courts around the world. What sets Jacque’s case apart, though, is that she has video, audio, and written evidence of her judges minimizing, disregarding and concealing the father’s abuse and switching the blame to her. Local media is following her case so the community is watching the judges in real time engage in their dirty tricks. [See below for links.]
The media attention appeared to be making a difference—for a minute. But a new judge has doubled down and carried on her colleagues’ miscarriage of justice. There is a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, so watch this page. Updates will be posted in the comment section of this column. [See below for activism opportunities.]
The day Jacque’s son was born, the father was arrested for DUI (driving under the influence). Jacque decided Little Roman was not safe being alone with his father due to domestic violence (DV) and drug and alcohol abuse. She denied him visitation with her baby until he could prove his sobriety, a reasonable condition.
Her ex eventually filed for custody, claiming he was being wrongly denied visitation. Jacque submitted all her evidence of DV and drug abuse. Judge Gary Henderson ordered drug testing on both parents. Jacque passed; the father failed.
Judge Henderson acknowledged the father had abused alcohol and drugs, but he did not order supervised visitation between Roman and him. He just told them to work work it out between themselves.
By not ordering supervised visitation for the father, Judge Henderson knowingly put Jacque in the position to have to break the law in order to protect Roman: The set up.
RESTRAINING ORDER GRANTED
The father apparently became angry at some point that Jacque was entering evidence in court and committed more acts of DV. Jacque got a Restraining Order against him. He was arrested 3 times for violating the RO. It is a criminal offense to violate an RO.
The father filed numerous motions to hold Jacque in contempt, while she continued to support her refusals with evidence of abuse. Judge Henderson admitted on the record that he did not care about any of the evidence of DV, drug or alcohol abuse by the father. His stated his only goal was for the father to have visits.
After one of the arrests for violating the RO, the father entered a drug treatment facility.
But Judge Henderson found Jacque to be in criminal contempt and sentenced her to 9 days in jail: one day for each finding of contempt.
When Jacque was released from jail, she brought a federal lawsuit against Judge Henderson. It was dismissed as “frivolous or malicious”, because, of course, mothers who are trying desperately to protect their children are either acting frivolously or maliciously according to the Old Boy Network [OBN]…
By the beginning of 2022, Judge Henderson had had enough of the case and recused himself. Jacque likely thought it would help to have a new judge, but as most mothers discover, it does not. That’s because the Custody Crisis is not a judge problem; it is a system problem, a Systemic Male Entitlement [SME] problem.
Another judge, Judge Sean Smith, already famous for entitling fathers and oppressing mothers, was assigned to her case. Judge Smith would not order supervised visitation with the father, despite the new charges of DV and all the RO violations, in which Jacque and Roman felt frightened by him. So Jacque continued to not allow Roman to visits with the violent, drug addicted father, as any good mother would.
True to the SME set-up, Judge Smith found Jacque in criminal contempt for not allowing visitation. He sentenced her to 60 days in jail on the grounds she has continued to make “unfounded allegations of child abuse and unfitness [by the father]” and has “made repeated attempts to estrange the father”.
Smith avoided using the word “alienate” using “estrange” instead, but the concept is the same: a malicious mother turning her child against a good father. And just as false. Judge Smith is lying. He knows she is not attempting to estrange Roman from his father, that she only wants him to be safe.
Yes, judges lie. Smith is not an anomaly. Family Court judges lie all the time, falsely finding good mothers to be versions of “bad” or “mad” to justify giving custody to the father and do the OBN’s bidding.
In a preposterous twist of the dagger, Judge Smith placed blame on Jacque for the father’s drug abuse, claiming she’d driven him to addiction by keeping his son from him. And, in true SME fashion, found a way to extol the father. He credited the father for entering the drug treatment program, saying it was “positive change”. [You can’t make this stuff up.]
Judge Smith went on to say that Jacque had “disrespect for the court” and issued a thinly-veiled threat, that she should “reflect upon how you’re handling this situation” while sitting in jail. Implicit is that if she doesn’t stop trying to protect Roman from his father, she will continue to be punished and jailed and kept away from Roman.
Judge Smith gave sole custody to the father with only occasional Facetime visits with Jacque.
PI SAVES THE DAY (NOT)
Jacque bonded out of jail after 11 days. But even another stint in jail and being actively prosecuted for contempt did not stop this intrepid mom!! She hired a Private Investigator, who documented that her ex was still using drugs on video.
Jacque filed for an emergency protective order, submitting the proof the father was still using drugs. The father was ordered to get another drug test, and again it was positive.
On July 1st, the father admitted in testimony to the court that he was a drug addict “in recovery”. He admitted to still using drugs, even though being in recovery means one is not using drugs anymore. Judge Smith asked him where Roman was when he was using drugs, and he said with his mother (the paternal grandmother).
Despite the private investigator’s surveillance video, a failed drug test, reports of domestic violence, and numerous violations of a protective order, Judge Smith kept sole custody with the father. However, he did allow an occasional couple-hour unsupervised visit with Jacque.
On July 7th, Jacque took Roman to a lab that specializes in hair follicle analysis that can detect drugs in a child’s system from ambient smoke. Roman tested positive for 6 times the cut-off amount of marijuana in his system. In other words, Roman, a 3 year-old child, had been stoned while living with his father.
On July 13th, Queen City News Chief Investigator Jody Barr contacted Judge Smith to inform him of their investigation, including that Roman’s test had just come back positive for marijuana. Hours later, Smith removed himself from the case.
ROMAN RETURNS TO MOMMY!
Two days later, Jacque filed for emergency custody based on Roman’s positive drug test. It was granted and Roman was allowed to come home to Mommy where he was so happy!!
Cause for celebration?
Not so fast. The OBN had another card up its sleeve.
On July 15th, less than a week after custody was returned to Jacque, the father filed an emergency ex parte claiming the drug test on Roman was false. He submitted a test that came up negative, but that test was for drug use, not a child being exposed to ambient smoke.
Judge Paige McThenia—ironically, the lead Domestic Violence judge—rescinded Jacque’s temporary custody order and gave sole custody back to the DV perpetrator. She reinstated Judge Smith’s previous order of sole custody to the father. This was blatantly wrong and suspicious because there was 1) no emergency, so the hearing should not have been allowed and 2) no need to switch custody before the next week’s hearing.
So why would Judge McThenia give the father custody one week before a hearing where she could look at all the evidence and make an informed decision?
A tell: she made a revision to Smith’s order: no more unsupervised visits with Jacque, only short Facetime visits the father could monitor. This is a common tactic used to traumatize the child and keep mothers from possibly getting more evidence of the father’s abuse. Part of the SME playbook.
Jacque’s next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. Will Judge McThenia do the right thing finally and order supervised visits with the violent, drug-addicted father? You would think so, especially considering he is currently charged with five counts of DV and child abuse.
But if Jacque’s case continues to follow the SME playbook, now that Roman is with his father, the “case” will be incessantly continued while the “temporary” orders remain in place.
Hopefully the MSM and social media attention will make a difference in Jacque’s case. It’s the only thing that ever has, but, sadly, even MSM attention does not usually help. Judges know they can withstand a bit of short-term bad press, but they cannot survive going against the OBN.
Update Thursday after Judge McThenia gave Roman back to the father:
GO TO HEARING
If you are in the area, you can support Jacque by attending her hearing on Wednesday.
July 27th, 2022 at 11:00 am
832 East Fourth St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Courtroom #8300, Judge Paige McThenia
COMMENT ON REPORTER’S CHANNEL
The reporter, Jody Barr, has a Youtube channel where lots of people are chiming in. You can comment about how Jacque’s case is just one in an epidemic women losing custody to abusive fathers. You can mention that The Women’s Coalition is documenting the Custody Crisis.
There are a bunch of FRA’s on the thread, as usual, spreading misinformation. They are very organized and descend on all reporting of mother’s cases—claiming there is a crisis of fathers wrongly losing custody: This. Is. False. There is only one crisis: mothers being falsely found to be lying, alienating, or mentally ill to switch custody to the father. Rarely happens in reverse.
LIKE, COMMENT AND SHARE THIS COLUMN!
Women's Coalition News & Views is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
One time or recurring donations are also appreciated!
Join the global dialogue on social media.