Judge demands deployed U.S. soldier attend custody hearing or lose daughterBy Mason White 3:53 PM June 23, 2014
By: Aarav Sen
(Scroll down for video) A soldier was left devastated after a judge ordered him to attend a custody hearing in person or lose his daughter.
However, the U.S. Navy sailor of Washington, is currently serving on a submarine thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean.
He does not have enough time to get back to the United States for the hearing, and he is not allowed to attend via Skype or phone.
Matthew Hindes was given permanent custody of his now 6-year-old daughter Kaylee in 2010, after she was taken away from his former wife, Angela, by Child Protective Services.
However, the judge has ordered him to appear in court on Monday, or risk losing his daughter to his former wife, and a warrant issued for his arrest if does not show up.
Kaylee is currently living with her father’s new wife Benita-Lynn, in Washington.
Hindes’ Attorneys argued that he should be protected by the Service Members Civil Relief Act, establishing that courts in custody cases “grant a stay of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days to defendants serving their country.
However, Judge Margaret Noe disagreed. The judge said that if the child is not physically living with her biological father, then it would be in the best interest of the child to live with and be raised by her biological mother rather than her stepmother.