A Michigan judge has issued an impossible order to a deployed sailor: Appear in court Monday or face arrest and the possibility of losing custody of his six-year-old daughter, ABC News reports.
Matthew Hindes is currently serving on the USS Michigan under the Pacific Ocean, so there is no way he can appear in court.
“He’s protecting the rights of others, but who is protecting his rights?” Hindes’ wife Benita-Lynn told CBS Local.
Hindes was awarded custody in 2010, after his daughter Kaylee was removed from the home of his ex-wife, Angela, by child protective services. While the sailor is deployed, Kaylee has been under the care of the daughter’s step-mother Benita-Lynn, according to CBS.
Because Hindes left his daughter in the care of his wife instead of leaving her with the mother, the judge has refused to issue a stay under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which allows courts to “grant a stay of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days to defendants serving their country.”
Circuit Court Judge Margaret Noe disagreed with Hindes’ lawyers request for relief, saying, “If the child is not in the care and custody of the father, the child should be in the care and custody of the mother.”
Hindes is not even allowed attend by Skype or phone, only in person.
“At this point, I don’t think I have any alternative but to enter a bench warrant for his arrest,” Noe said, according to the Daily Telegram.
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