Last Thursday, I mentioned a potential travesty involving Matthew Hindes, a Navy submariner who risked losing custody of his six-year-old daughter if he didn't appear at a custody hearing in Michigan. The problem? Hindes, whose family lives in Bremerton, Washington, is out at sea in the Pacific, and Noe apparently didn't even consider granting a waiver under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which stays most civil actions against active-duty servicemen. Well, sanity prevailed on Sunday, when the judge delayed the hearing until October.
Lenawee County Judge Margaret Noe released an order Sunday, delaying some matters until at least Oct. 22.Hindes is aboard the USS Michigan, whose command staff alerted Noe about Hindes' situation before June 13, according to the Detroit Free Press. Although Matthew lives in Washington and Angela now lives in northern Ohio, Noe has jurisdiction since they both lived in Michigan at the time Kaylee was born, according to the Detroit News.
The judge cited a federal law that suspends court action when a member of the armed services is away. Noe says she didn't know Matthew Hindes was in the Pacific Ocean until June 16 when he was supposed to appear or have someone bring his 6-year-old daughter Kaylee to court.
"I am very proud of our military," Noe said. "My dad flew in the Navy. My brother served in the Army and the Marines."
The judge also lifted the requirement that Hides' wife, Benita, fly from Bremerton to Michigan and bring Kaylee to court herself and possibly be handed over to Kaylee's birth mother, Angela Hindes. Angela lost custody of her daughter 4-years ago.
Bonita Hindes is overjoyed, and thanked everyone across the nation who has supported them so far.
There's little chance that Angela will get custody of Kaylee when all is said and done. Her lawyer resigned from the case earlier this month because he hasn't been paid since December.