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