Not surprisingly, the hearing scheduled for yesterday in the 231st District Court in Tarrant County was another disappointment and example of judges who lack impartiality and have a low view of parental rights. The hearing was scheduled to address the issue of requiring the grandparents to pay attorney fees incurred by the father in the three-year legal battle to regain custody of his daughter. For the second time this year, the judge refused to allow the hearing to go forward on an issue likely to favor the parent citing the basis that the grandparents’ attorney had raised additional issues that were not already before the court.
The grandparents are now requesting a hearing on a modification of the possession schedule stating that they want to modify based on their pleading that they requested a different schedule in the event the father prevailed on the conservatorship issue. The father’s attorney reminded the judge of the court’s previous indication that the schedule would be that of the original 2008 order.
The judge nevertheless agreed to allow the grandparents to go forward with their motion, even though the argument would most likely be based on evidence already tried to the jury (which is good for the father). The unfortunate issue is that the grandparents plan to continue to litigate the rights as they perceive them and plan to continue to seek penalties and sanctions filed for in the original violation. A hearing is currently set on a back-up schedule for December 7, January 10 and 11, and a firm date in 2012. All of this proves that the grandparents believe they have just as much right to this young lady as does her father, and they intend to continue to push and, at a minimum, seek standard visitation under the Family Code which exceeds that normally contemplated by a non-parent.
This horrible situation is repeated across Texas many, many times every year, and it must be stopped. THSC will continue to help this father as we are enabled to do so. We will focus on judicial elections next year to ensure that we elect fair, impartial judges who have a respect for the fundamental constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children, and we are already preparing to amend the Texas Family Code with the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA) to protect fit parents from this type of lawsuit abuse.