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Case Type Custody Skills Developed Client Interviewing/Counsel and Advice

Case #20-0044995

An elderly client, seeks representation for an expedited custody hearing, and the underlying custody case, concerning his five-month-old daughter. Client believes the child’s mother endangers the child. There is no current custody order in place. The mother has been withholding the child from client for two months, and before that she had frequently threatened client during visits. When the child was three weeks old, mother dropped her, and client took her to the hospital. In January 2020, client filed a complaint requesting sole legal and physical custody. Then, in February, client filed a motion for expedited relief because mother uses drugs while taking care of the child, sold the child’s formula to buy drugs, and has not allowed client to see the child in the past two months. The court has ordered a mental health evaluation for the mother, an inspection of both parties’ homes, and directed DHS to provide records of its ongoing investigation to the court. Since there is no custody order in place, the mother now says she is withholding the child due to COVID-19. Client’s goal is to have sole legal and physical custody. He would also like advice on whether an emergency petition is an appropriate course of action. The expedited relief hearing will be rescheduled once the court reopens. The custody hearing is scheduled for October 9, 2020, at 1:30 pm before Judge Deborah Cianfrani. A volunteer is needed to represent client for both hearings.