Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A post from the Past: January 14, 2009

I am transferring my blog post from Live Journal over here to Blogger. I will start with the newest first so that the last post I post will be the oldest one from LJ.  That way you can scroll down and read it in order. 

January 14, 2009

 I have the best news ever.  Yesterday I had court for the guardianship of my granddaughter Peanut.   I filed for guardianship right after my daughter Sierra died.  It has almost been 2 years since she died.  Next Monday the 19th will be the anniversary.  
I have been in and out of court for the last 2 years.  In the beginning Alexis was with her dad.  Then on Oct. 30, 2007 the judge granted me temporary guardianship.  This was wonderful. Alexis came to live with me on that day. 

Now on January 13, 2009 The judge gave me the PERMANENT Guardianship.   It was so fantastic.   
In the same court house, on the second floor (I was on the 3rd floor), the father was being sentenced for cultivation.
He did have 6 felony counts but 5 were dismissed in a plea bargain.  He was in criminal court for his sentencing.  He got 365 days in county jail and 36 months of probation.  He had court again in February for restitution for stealing electricity. 

So we waited on the 3rd floor for his appearance.  He came up with his lawyer. There was an extra sheriff too.  We had our turn with the judge. The fathers lawyer always says mean and horrible things and he did it again.  He always brings up my daughters death.  He is so unfeeling like she was no one.  He says every time in open court that she was a suicide, which I don't believe she was.  This lawyer had said to my lawyer, a month after Sierras death, that he was gearing up for a murder trial.  His client, the dad, Chris, was going to be facing murder charges.  It all changed when the district attorney declined to go forward with the case.  

In court also this attorney told the judge that he wants a new therapist for Alexis.  His reason, Last week when we were in a therapy session, the father called. (he has phone visits monitored, recorded during the therapy sessions) and when Peanut got on the phone she asked him, "did you shoot my mommy?"   She said this about 4 times because her dad would not give an answer.  This was totally from her mind.  She wants to know.  No one put the words in her mouth.  I was surprised when I heard her ask that question.  So anyway, in court the father's attorney tells the judge that Peanut got on the phone and asked "did you kill my mommy?".   The attorney said that Peanut is being told things in sessions that are untrue because he said that her mother was a suicide.  
He rambled on and on, saying things like:  The grandmother is blocking the fathers family from visiting or calling.
This is baloney because they have never called me.  I have caller ID and an answering machine.  They never have contacted me.  I would only let them visit in my home with me there.  They don't even send her a birthday card or Christmas card.    Then he said that I want to move out of state and I should not be allowed to move.  
He also said that he wanted the phone visits to continue from prison.  And when Chris gets out of jail he will want to take his daughter back and raise her so they wanted the temporary guardianship to last just till Chris got out. Which he said that Chris will probably only serve 9 months. 
I guess to them I am just a babysitter.
Peanut's Attorney spoke next. (Peanut was assigned an attorney by the court. I also have my own attorney separate from Peanut.)  Peanut's attorney said that she was against phone visits from the beginning and absolutely does not want any phone visits from jail.  She said that Peanut should be with the grandmother.  She was really good.
Then my attorney spoke.  He said that it was time to give the permanent guardianship.  And that I had no problem talking to Chris' family.  And that I would stay in California.  

The judge listened to everyone, then he said that he grants the permanent guardianship.  He said that I was to stay in California, he said Peanut is to remain with her current therapist and there will be no telephonic communication.

After it was all done, the sheriff came and slapped on the handcuffs and took him away.  All in front of everyone in the court room.  WOW

So we WON.  Peanut will be with me till she is 18 by court order, and longer if she wants to.  I told her the news and she was so happy.  I didn't tell her that her dad was in jail.  I want to do that in her therapy session on Friday. 

So after 2 years our lives can settle down and the black cloud of Peanut being taken away from me is gone.    The dad can try to get her back later but the burden of proving he is capable and that I am no good shifts to him.  He would have to go through drug classes and probably parenting classes and pass.  

I'm so happy.  Yeah!!!!

This photo is from our Christmas trip to Idaho in 2008.  Carol & Peanut aka Gramma & GD.

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