Proceedings in a nationally watched child custody case involving a U.S. Navy sailor aboard a submarine were delayed Sunday by a Lenawee County judge.
Lenawee Circuit Court Judge Margaret Noe signed an order delaying ahearing slated for Monday over custody and parenting time for 6-year-old Kaylee, the daughter of Angela Kay Hindes and Matthew Allan Hindes, who are divorced.
The hearing was rescheduled for October. Matthew Hindes is deployed at sea at an undisclosed location and would have been unable to attend Monday’s hearing, prompting outrage and a social media campaign on change.org, which drew some 12,500 online signatures.
The delayed hearing drew praise from the woman who started the petition and she hopes the social media push had something to do with the ruling Sunday.
“There’s too much injustice that happens to people that serve our country,” said Forrest Wieseckel, 21, who lives near Baltimore. She doesn’t know the family but started the petition Thursday after she heard about the case.
Wieseckel, whose father and grandfather were servicemen, said she hopes the effort “makes an impact and it makes people think twice before they screw with our servicemen and our families.”
The girl has been in the custody of her father since 2010 and has lived with him in Seattle; her mother lives in Ohio.
The case has been under the jurisdiction of Lenawee County because the former couple had lived there previously and they agreed to keep the case in Michigan.
The parents have been in the court on a variety of issues including the father’s denial of parenting time for the mother, supervised parenting time, missed visits and more, according to documents provided by the court.
The girl’s mother filed for custody last year, and to compel the father to let the mother visit Kaylee. Angela Kay Hindes could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Monday’s hearing was set for issues about a parenting time for the mother that was agreed to in previous court orders and a change in custody.
The judge cited the Servicemember Civil Relief Act in her order as a reason for delaying the hearing. But in a statement, she notes that the court was not aware that Matthew Hindes was deployed until last Monday.
“This court would not cause Mr. Hindes or any other person in military service to suffer prejudice as a result of their military duty while away in service to our nation,” Noe said.
Though the judge delayed some of the issues until October, the court will still hear the issue of temporary modification of visitation Monday.