In April of this year, we learned that Kelly Rutherford and her Attorney Wendy Murphy would be speakers at a Battered Mothers Custody Conference in the Northeast. At the time, we were surprised to hear that Rutherford would be attaching herself to this activist group known as “protective parents”. This group has long been known to promote their cases in the media as well as not discouraging acts of civil disobedience to raise attention to their case. Most of these mothers have non-residential custody or are the non-custodial parent, mostly because of their lack of respect for a Family Court in their custody cases. At their recent conference, most of the speakers said that you must use the media in your efforts.
Kelly Rutherford did not get residential custody of her children after a long and grueling custody trial that ended with the October 2013 Statement of Decision by the Los Angeles County Judge. Many of us have now read this custody order which is normally sealed by the stipulation of both parties. In the Summer of 2014, Kelly Rutherford used Attorney and TV Analyst Wendy Murphy to bring her matter to the Federal Court and Media, since returning to the Los Angeles Court was not a realistic option. As expected, the Federal Court does not want to involve themselves in Family Court or Child Custody Cases.
So this summer, Kelly Rutherford went on a public relations or media tour of all the Entertainment Magazines (People/Dana Kennedy, TMZ, E Onine, US) with the message that her children are “living in exhile” in a Foreign Country. She wanted a change in custody because she didn’t want to abide by the 2013 Decision. For most of us in the Family Abduction Community who have seen many of these cases over the years, that statement is ludicrous for children with dual-citizenship. Nevertheless, Rutherford even enlisted the assistance of her friend, Dan Abrams, the ABC News Legal Analyst. Abrams’ wife works for Gucci and Rutherford’s current boyfriend is Tony Brand of Gucci, but that’s a separate story.
In the last several days, we noticed that Dan Abrams was calling Rutherford’s Case a “State Department issue”. But for those of us in the Family Abduction Community, we know exactly what Abrams was trying to do. If the State Department got involved like it did in the Elian Gonzalez Case, Rutherford would likely keep custody of her two children in America until things could get sorted out. That could be months as Rutherford would enroll them in a new school in New York. Abrams did not believe both the Los Angeles and New York Courts would enforce the Monaco Custody Order, since both refused to re-open the 2013 Custody Case as Rutherford wanted.
But Justice Ellen Gesmer of the Manhattan Supreme Court did exactly that. She ordered a writ of habeas corpus for Kelly Rutherford to deliver children to court. Judge Gesmer was going to show the World that the United States or the Manhattan Supreme Court would enforce the Monaco and Los Angeles 2013 Court Order decisively and swiftly.
“Definition: A writ of habeas corpus (literally to “produce the body”) is a court order to a person (prison warden) or agency (institution) holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order.”
For those of us in the Family Abduction Community, we applaud the efforts of Judge Gesmer. For Searching Parents of International Custody Cases, once they have a location of their American Born or even Foreign Born Children, we want International Judges to enforce those U.S. orders as decisively and swiftly as Judge Ellen Gesmer did. We don’t want our kidnapped children that are victims of International Family Abductions to be caught up in red tape of the Foreign Governments or even the Hague Convention and especially the U.S. State Department. As all of us know, sometimes months or even years pass as our children are not rightfully returned to the custodial parent.
So this summer before Daniel Giersch sendt his children to America, it appears he had wanted more guarantees from Kelly Rutherford and her lawyers that she would not try and kidnap or keep them in America. For the past two years or more, that’s been the case. Additionally, if you read the Decision, Rutherford has also withheld custody a number of times which is a Family Abduction or parental kidnapping. This year, a Monaco Judge and one in Los Angeles had a historic International Custody conference call to ensure the children made it to America for their custody time with Kelly. So when Kelly did not send the kids back to Monaco this week, that certainly would not have looked good for the American Legal system if the kids were not immediately returned to Monaco.
This custody case if far from over. But this is why we believe this summer’s Change of Custody Attempt by Kelly Rutherford did not work.