01/04/09-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
It has been three days since Lisa Miller failed to appear at the custody exchange for Isabella. Today, Janet Jenkins’ lawyers filed an emergency motion to hold Lisa Miller in contempt of court for failing to bring Isabella to the reunion with her second mother. In a written statement issued by Jenkins via her lawyer Sarah Star, “I am so worried about Isabella. I do not know where she is or whether she is okay.” Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller have been locked in a custody battle now for six years. At issue was Judge William Cohen’s decision to grant Jenkins unsupervised visitation. Lisa Miller, who claims to be a former lesbian, fled to Virginia in hopes of being able to avoid the visitation orders. Virginia has a strict constitutional amendment not recognizing either civil unions or same-sex marriages. However, the courts in both Virginia and Vermont have both upheld Judge Cohen’s orders due to federal laws governing these cases.
“My goal has never been to separate Isabella from Lisa. I just want Isabella to know and love both of her parents. I just want to be with her, like any parent,” Jenkins stated further in the statement. A year ago, Judge Cohen warned Lisa Miller that she risked losing custody entirely if she failed to uphold his visitation orders. In November, after she failed yet again to uphold these orders, Judge Cohen ordered that Isabella be given to Janet Jenkins, who would have sole custody of her. He took into account all the testimony from child psychologists regarding the exchange of custody.
In the interim, Lisa Miller has done a series of interviews with Christian media in order to slander Janet Jenkins’ name and make her case seem more sympathetic. Miller’s accusations include attempts to make it sound as if Jenkins is a pedophile; however, the courts did look into the accusations and found them baseless.
The hearing regarding the contempt citation is likely to be held Tuesday or Wednesday. According to a source close to the case, it is also possible that, given the behavior of Lisa Miller’s lawyers, that they may also be held in contempt. Judge Cohen is a fairly conservative judge and a stickler when it comes to court discipline. He has a track record of siding with the birth mother in child custody cases unless there is a strong reason not to.
On Friday, Janet Jenkins filed a missing persons report for Isabella. The phone at Lisa Miller’s house has been shut off, and her cell phone goes unanswered. Should this become a criminal case, it is probable that Lisa Miller will be facing jail time, and may lose custody and will likely be unable to get unsupervised visitation even if she does not go to prison.